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Henry IV

Henry Bolingbroke

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Henry IV belonged to the House of Lancaster. Born in 1367, he ascended to the throne in 1399 and died in 1413. He was preceded as monarch by Richard II and was succeeded by Henry V.

The son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Henry was born in Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire. Richard II banished him in 1398 and, on the death of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, confiscated Henry's estates. Henry landed in England to recover them by force. Many English leaders supported him and Richard II was forced to abdicate. Henry became Henry V, the first Lancastrian king.

Soon after Henry's ascension, Wales rebelled under Owen Glendower and the Scots crossed the border. The Percies quarreled with Henry and joined Glendower's cause. At the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, Henry (Hotspur) Percy ws slain and the Welsh were defeated.

Meanwhile, Parliament had been gaining considerable power, and in 1407 the House of Commons gained the right of initiating money grants. The last years of Henry's reign were marked by struggles for control of the king's council.

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