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Key Figures in the Dispute
Origins of the Rebellion
The Battle
The Aftermath
Local Conditions in 1408

 

 

 

The Battle of Bramham Moor - 1408

THE KEY FIGURES IN THE DISPUTE

King Henry IV


Following King Richard II’s surrender at Conway castle in August 1399 to the forces of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster and eldest son of John of Gaunt, Parliament was summoned in September to hear a list of King Richard II’s “many crimes and failings” and his “voluntary” abdication. The proclamation of Henry as King Henry IV (the first Lancastrian king) followed on 30th September 1399.  Richard II was subsequently imprisoned in Pontefract Castle where he starved to death in 1400 - very probably murdered on Henry’s orders. 

 

Henry IV Coat of Arms 

Henry IV as depicted in Cassell's 'History of England'

This usurpation of the throne by Henry was to cause future problems because he was not the heir presumptive to the crown.  The best theoretical claim was that of Edmund de Mortimer, 5th Earl of March but, as a child of eight at the time, he was in no position to assert it.

Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland

Henry Percy was given the title of Marshall of England and created 1st Earl of Northumberland by Richard II in 1377.

In 1384 he married Maud de Lucy.  This union between the two families made the Percies with all their lands and castles in Northumberland, Yorkshire, Cumberland, and Westmorland the most powerful and richest family in the north of England.  Situated just below the border with Scotland they were responsible for defending the border against the Scots.

1st Earl of Northumberland
Coat of Arms


Lord Percy from a manuscript in the British Museum

In 1399 when King Richard appointed Lord Percy’s chief rival, Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, Percy switched to the side of Henry Bolingbroke and was a leading supporter of Henry in the usurpation of 1399.  At the succession of King Henry IV, Lord Percy was made Constable of England for life.

Read more about Henry Percy here - Luminarium
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