Talk:Henry IV of England

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When France stole the Papacy in about 1307, Rome vowed revenge. England was Rome's "Sword of Vengeance" against France -- hence, the 100 Years' War (1337-1455) which was designed to wipe France off the map. Richard II was hated for being "too soft on France", as it were... and therefore we infer that the Lords' Appellent faction which opposed Richard II was backed by Rome. This explains why the Lords' Appellent faction wanted war with France, for they were being paid by Rome for that purpose. By the 1380s, France had already been weakened enough viz-a-vis Rome that the latter again declared their own Popes (in opposition to those in France). Therefore, we might guess that Richard II's suspiciously pro-French advisors were Franco-Catholics, whereas the Lords' Appellent were Romano-Catholics. Indeed, the Welsh Rebellion of Owain (1400-1416) was backed by France against Henry IV and Henry V. And, during the same period, the Lollard's (of Wycliffe) also rebelled against Henry V. Thus, the Lords Appellent faction who backed Henry IV and V and aggressive war against France were indeed, unsurprisingly, opposed by France. Owain even offered to recognize the Avignon Pope over Rome -- which must have angered Rome. Therefore, a clear picture emerges: Lords Appellent / Henry V = Team Rome, Richard II / Owain = Team Avignon. English politics in 1400 CE was, just like all of Europe, torn between the two power centers of Rome and France. May it be noted that this is an unshocking claim, that England was just like the rest of Europe.

How could he have become the king after being Duke of Lancaster if his predecessor Richard II prevented him from inheriting the Dukedom of Lancaster? This isn't explained on the Duke of Lancaster page either, which doesn't say anything (at this time) about how Richard II prevented Henry Bolingbroke from inheriting the Dukedom of Lancaster.

My understanding is that Richard seized the lands pertaining to Lancaster on John of Gaunt's death. No action was taken to prevent Henry from receiving the title. But I'm not sure on that. Peerage references always list him as being Duke of Lancaster after his father's death. john k 15:52, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Richard prevented him from returning to England, even to his father's funeral, as he was on a crusade in Baltic at that time, and also sort of exiled. The reason was that he had quarreled and apparently dueled with another lord, who was Richard's favourite and/or close relative. Richard seized the lands of deceased duke and refused to confirm the title and anything to Henry.

As he was enraged due to these, he almost immediately began the preparations of invasion. It succeeded and he captured Richard, who was forced to abdicate.

There apparently was no occasion to Henry to officially receive the Lancaster. It more or less only7 happened: when he won, no one tried to inhibit him from taking his father's inheritance, duriong the short time between his victory and Richard's abdication, which was followed by Henry's accession.

Already before his father's death, Henry was Duke of Derby. I believe that he was stripped of it when Richard forced him to abroad, to crusade.

He was not Duke of Derby, but Duke of Hereford before his exile, he was Earl of Derby. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a style matter, I think it is rather ridiculous to word his accession as elevation of Duke to King. It is not relevant. He was what he was, and he ascended the throne. This is the neutral statement regarding his kingship. We do not need any royally-romantic list of titles, nor any artificial idea of elevation. 17:11, 24 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which Mortimer?[edit]

Was it Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March or Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March who was heir presumptive to Richard II when Bolingbroke seized the crown? The different articles on the people in question seem to imply both... Fire Star 20:33, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It was definately Edmund because Roger died in 1398.

"and by-passing Richard’s heir-apparent Roger Mortimer" - I believe Mortimer was Heir Presumptive, not Heir Apparent; it's right in the related articles; changing it here. (preceding unsigned comment by Dispensa (talk · contribs) 22:27, 2005 October 8 (UTC))

James I[edit]

James was taken by English pirates, not soldiers. Rcpaterson 02:26, 14 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

-- The level of royal authorisation is disputed in these kinds of raids. I would not talk about "pirates" in late medieval England as the only people rich enough to command such voyages etc were either Knights or Magnates, and so called "pirate" activities closely resembled royal policy ( for example border raids/chevauchés etc)

Katherine Swinford Relationship[edit]

I trimmed the fillowing lines from the introduction: His relationship with the Beauforts and their mother was equivocal. He expressed resentment that his former governess had taken his mother’s place, as well as the favor shown to them by their father. Upon his ascension, he revoked his half-brother’s marquessate, and passed further legal measures barring them from the throne. However, Thomas Swynford, a son from Katherine’s first marriage was a trusted and able companion. Not only is the intro a bit long, but also the claim that Henry and Katherine de Swinford didn't get along is contrary to the information provided in Anthony Goodman's book which indicated that, quite opposite to the claim above, Henry and Katherine got along swimmingly -- he even kept inviting her over for holidays after she and John of Gaunt (temporarily) broke up.-- 02:34, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jeez! If you're going to undo the change at least state your argument for doing so! Till then I've just flagged the line, but so far I have a citation for the opposite being true.-- 14:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This page seems poorly written to me. The first section uses the word "equivocal" *five times* in a completely incomprehensible way (how is a relationship "equivocal"?). Does the author know the meaning of the word? Then we are told that Henry "probably" ordered Richard to be starved to death, but that there is no evidence for this supposition. How, then, is it probable? 06:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The five occurrences of "equivocal" are mischief and have been reverted... Cheers, Ian Rose 08:28, 27 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


When was Henry IV born? Some sources state like article 1367. But others give date in 1366. What date is correct?

Those pesky French[edit]

I'm sure that Henry claimed to be King of France, as the Kings of England tended to, but it hardly seems accurate to say he was King of France, especially with Charles VI enthroned in Paris. And St. Crispin's Day is coming soon, too. -- OtherDave 22:43, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Every King (or Queen) of England from 1338 up to the reign of George III claimed to also be the ruler of France, except between 1360 and 1369 when they dropped it. The only one who was able to enforce that claim, and then only for a few years, was Henry VI. Henry VI is credited on Wikipedia as an actual King of France (albeit in dispute with the French claimant), but the others are credited only as claiming it as a title of pretence. See English claims to the French throne for more information. Jsc1973 (talk) 16:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New infobox image[edit]

This image from Commons is a detail from the portrait in the NPG; the existing infobox image is a 19th century "artist's impression". What is the view of editors on using the original portrait instead? --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The picture I had in mind now added. Thanks True as Blue. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:08, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re Henry IV / Richard II succession[edit]

Questions re Henry IV's succession of Richard II: Help! Can anyone provide sources for the facts mentioned in this section...?; that is: two different entails to the crown --one by Edward III, the other by Richard II; plus, a supposed 'settlement' of the crown by Richard on his uncle York; and the reference to a precendent (established in 1199) re no succession by a female to the crown. All these 'facts' were posted on 28 November 2007 by anonymous IP --who has not posted again. Specifically, does anyone have access to the work or works by Ian Mortimer, which the poster made broad reference to, and which may shed light on these 'facts'? --Jbeans (talk) 07:42, 26 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here are Dr Mortimer's works. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:30, 26 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the section has major problems. Its confusing, unnecessary and reads a bit like a rationalization for the Lancastrian Succession. It was mentioned before that the Mortimers were the rightful heirs, but that the Mortimer heir himself was only seven years old so when Bolingbroke decided that Richard II had to go (see Richard II article for details on the long feud between the King and John of Gaunt/Bolingbroke), Bolingbroke couldn't rally behind a small boy... so he took the throne for himself... and with the army he had, who could complain? Then, there's the mention of the Yorkists, but its not until 1415 that the Mortimer line merges with the York line (again with a small boy), its not until 1425 that the last of the Mortimers dies out and its not until 1432 that the Duke of York with Mortimer descent reaches maturity. I'd be in father of removing the entire section.DavidRF (talk) 06:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This, which was in the introduction, doesn't help: "His father, John of Gaunt, was the third son of Edward III, and enjoyed a position of considerable influence during much of the reign of his cousin Richard II whom he eventually deposed." John of Gaunt did not depose Richard II. I have fixed it. (talk) 14:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC) EricReply[reply]


It says here that Henry put down the rebellions he faced, but that is not true. He failed to put down Owain Glyndwr's rebellion- it was Henry V who put down the Welsh rebellion and that was when Henry IV wasn't the King.-- (talk) 15:47, 17 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Relationship to Richard II[edit]

I changed it from first cousins to second cousins. They had a common grandfather, Edward III Plantagenet. Themagicmanfromtrent (talk) 08:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oops --check your wikipedia! Please note, having a common grand -parent is what first cousin means. (Second cousins have a common great-grand -parent.)--Jbeans (talk) 11:07, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


From what I have read in other places, it seems that quite a few people at the time believed Henry's illness was divine retribution for the controversial execution of Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York, who was beheaded in 1405 without trial. Would it be worth mentioning this in the article? (talk) 13:08, 27 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It can't be syphilis. It came to Europe earliest in 1492, a result of Columbus' expedition to "India". Castorius (talk) 14:43, 19 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questionable statement[edit]

In 1392/93 Henry undertook a journey to Jerusalem where he gained a reputation of a seasoned warrior and courtier.

I would like to see a source for that one. If he went to Jerusalem in 1392, I don't see how he could have done any fighting to get a reputation as a "seasoned warrior." The Crusades had been over for 100 years, and I doubt Henry IV went there and enlisted in the service of the Mamluks. Jsc1973 (talk) 16:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reworded, with acknowledgement to User:Jsc1973. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Details of marriage[edit]

The page on Mary de Bohun gives 27 July 1380 at Arundel Castle (agrees with ref 2.) not 1381 at Rochford Hall, Essex given here. Are there any authoritative sources to help clear this up, or do the sources differ? Recent Runes (talk) 09:45, 13 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ODNB has Rochford, Essex, "probably on 5 February 1381". Other sources are less certain, dating the event only as after 30 July 1380, the date of the receipted marriage "licence" (rather expensive, at £2000, but she was an heiress) from the king. Froissart asserts that John of Gaunt, Henry's grandfather, arranged for Mary to be taken from Essex (where she in the care of nuns and intended for the life of the cloister) to Arundel for the ceremony; Gaunt had employed Mary's aunt to entice her away from the nuns, and the aunt was the sister of Richard, Duke of Arundel. In short, I don't think this can be cleared up readily and the articles should reflect this.--Old Moonraker (talk) 11:00, 13 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of this added. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:35, 28 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The page on Mary de Bohun also lists their first child as: Edward of Lancaster, April 1382; buried Monmouth Castle, Monmouth (who died that same month) But this page does gives only six children and states they had six children together (her page gives seven) this is clear inconsistent 2001:470:1F09:11ED:4E72:B9FF:FE55:C6CD (talk) 19:31, 6 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contradiction on descendants[edit]

The article states that, of Bolingbroke's children, only Humphrey and Henry V had children to survive to adulthood. However, the article for John, Duke of Bedford states that he had an illegitimate daughter, Mary, who married Pierre de Montferrand and had issue, while the article for Thomas, Duke of Clarence states that he had a bastard son who fought with him in France.

The WP page on his daughter, Blanche, states that "Blanche's son Rupert (nicknamed the English) died aged nineteen in 1426, unmarried and without issue." I suspect that to be accurate but it further contradicts that assertion - and Rupert was alone with Henry VI in being a legitimate adult grandchild, even if he is a cul-de-sac genealogically. Smlark (talk) 22:30, 7 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per the book "Magna Carta Ancestry", John of Clarence was still living in 1431, though no descendants are noted. Per the same source, Bedford had two illegitimate children: Richard (still living in 1439, no descendants noted) and Mary, who had four children (Thomas, seigneur of Aiguille; Bertrand, seigner of Montbadon; Francois, baron of Uzeste and Portets, soudan of La Trau; and Mathilde) and who is claimed to have modern descendants.

A second contradiction concerns Bolingbroke's son Edward Laborde. This article places Edward as a son of his second wife Joanna (in contradiction to Joanna's own page, which claims they had no children). The "Magna Carta Ancestry" reference has Edward as an illegitimate child of Bolingbroke by an unknown mistress and states that he took holy orders and lived as a scholar in London. —Preceding unsigned comment added by PohranicniStraze (talkcontribs) 16:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English, Please[edit]

The sentence below, from the lead paragraph of the article, does not parse.

Henry IV is, therefore, the first King of England from the Lancaster branch of the Plantagenets, one of the two family branches (the other one being the York branch, initiated by his uncle Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York) protagonists of the War of the Roses (see section "Seniority in line from Edward III" below).

Perhaps replace 'protagonists of' with that contended for the throne in.

Or rewrite the sentence for clarity and style. Neonorange 21:34, 30 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Neonorange (talkcontribs)

Baron of Halton[edit]

No mention Henry was the final Baron of Halton before being king??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 22 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Descent of Elizabeth II from Henry IV[edit]

Could anyone show exactly how the Queen is descended from Henry IV? Emerson 07 (talk) 18:18, 27 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As i recall, she's not. She is, however, descended from Henry's half brother John Beaufort ~ she's his 16th great grand-daughter ~ making her, i suppose, Henry's half 17th great-niece. Hope that helps. Cheers, LindsayHello 05:53, 28 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Beaufort descent was well known, starting with Henry VII. What I'm more interested in would be the descent of the late Queen Mother from Henry IV's son Humphrey. Emerson 07 (talk) 13:59, 28 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's Descent of Elizabeth II from William I for more info. Hot Stop UTC 15:47, 28 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was hoping that someone could fill up the unknown in-betweens between the Queen and Henry IV precisely for that article. Emerson 07 (talk) 17:02, 28 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahh fair enough. Hot Stop UTC 04:56, 29 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Someone has put this statement back in -- apparently she descends through the Dukes of Devonshire and for that matter so does Diana, Princess of Wales and several millions. Even Sophie of Wessex descends from Henry. -- Lady Meg (talk) 06:44, 21 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bolingbroke /balan brug?[edit]

Is it possible that the otherwise unremarkable Bolingbroke placename from his birth at the castle was chosen to represent him because of its resemblance to the Breton 'balan-brug' meaning 'heath[er]' - i.e. an outlaw? (talk) 09:57, 13 April 2012 (UTC) Ian IsonReply[reply]

Question of Succession[edit]

In the section titled "Seniority in line from Edward III" (as of April 24, 2012), the article states "The problem lay in the fact that Henry was only the most prominent male heir, the most senior in terms of agnatic descent from Edward III." However, this does not seem to be accurate based upon the definition of "agnatic seniority" currently (April 24, 2012) in Wikipedia. At the time of Richard II's death, which is when the statement in question was referring to, the Duke of York (son of Edward III) was more senior than Henry IV. If as stated on the agnatic seniority page, "A monarch's children (the next generation) succeed only after the males of the elder generation have all been exhausted" then the Duke of York would be ahead of Henry IV in line. Both he and Lancaster, under this principle, would also have been ahead of Richard II when Richard II became king. So, I think using the phrase "agnatic descent" in this article on Henry IV's right to succeed may not be accurate.

Rabs222 (talk) 22:32, 24 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At this point the statement reads "The problem lay in the fact that Henry was only the most prominent male heir, not the most senior in terms of agnatic descent from Edward III". What I see as the problem here is a failure to understand succession jargon. "Agnatic seniority" is not the exclusive consideration in speaking of agnatic descent. "Agnatic seniority" is a particular type of agnatic succession in which the oldest male dynast (member of a dynasty eligible for the throne) is the one who inherits the throne. But it is not the only form of agnatic succession. There is also, most importantly, "agnatic primogeniture" in which the earliest born male of the earliest born male of the earliest born male (etc.) is the one who inherits the throne. This was actually the predominant system of succession for Western and Central Europe, not agnatic seniority. So, because we are talking about the English succession, which has always been primogeniture, it seems reasonable to me to assume that the first post was referring to agnatic primogeniture rather than agnatic seniority. Now, another important thing to take into account is that when speaking of primogeniture, "senior" is often used not to refer to the individually oldest dynast, but rather the dnyast with the most senior line of descent. In context of this language, Henry would have indeed been the senior agnatic dynast by primogeniture because his father was born before his father's brother, the Duke of York. Perhaps you could argue that the original language was not sufficiently clear, but in the context of this way of speaking, it was technically correct. Perhaps it could be rephrased in a way that makes it clear that Henry was the senior heir according to agnatic primogeniture. Deusveritasest (talk) 00:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Birth contradiction[edit]

The lede now contradicts the "lineage" section on Henry's birth year. Either the article should be consistent or else it should be explained that the year of birth is in doubt. This site gives both 1366 and 1367 as possible dates. SpinningSpark 20:14, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Apparently a record exists of a payment to the messenger who brought the news from Bolingbroke Castle to Edward III (in France?). It is dated 1 June 1367. The birth day was Maundy Thursday 1367 and Henry celebrated his anniversary on that day each year, notwithstanding it was a moveable feast, as a reminder that he was born under God's favour. He sometimes calculated his annual payments of Maundy money by reference to the years of his life. Citing ODNB; Ian Mortimer (2008) The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-Made King, page 364; and Mortimer, I. (2007). "Henry IV's date of birth and the royal Maundy". Historical Research. 80 (210): 567–576. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2006.00403.x.. These are top-quality references. I can't assess the original weblink as it's now 404. --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:24, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have made it consistent on 1367 for now. If there is genuinely any doubt amongst the best sources, this can be noted in the article later. SpinningSpark 16:08, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've removed the reference we had for "either" date because it didn't seem particularly strong and, in any case, was only copying from another web page, now defunct. There may be other sources of strong reliability with more, so this need not be the last word. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:48, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Was his body dumped overboard and another substituted?[edit]

There's an oft-repeated legend that the sailors who were conducting his body to Canterbury Cathedral for burial became frightened when a storm arose, and threw his body overboard - another corpse was substituted and buried as Henry's. This and this make reference to the story. Any reason we don't, if only to debunk it? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:33, 22 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

10th Monarch of the House of Plantagenet or the 9th?[edit]

Please correct me if I'm wrong and I certainly could be, but the first monarch of the House of Plantagenet was Henry II, son of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who wore the yellow flower in his hat, hence "plantagenet." Following Henry II, the line follows: 1. Henry II 2. Richard I ("The Lionheart") 3. John 4. Henry III 5. Edward I 6. Edward II 7. Edward III 8. Richard II 9. Henry IV

Who did I miss and where? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:00, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Henry the Young King, who was officially co-king with his father but predeceased him, is sometimes included in the list. Favonian (talk) 12:24, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

birth year discrepancy[edit]

Henry's year of birth was listed as 1367 in the lede, but 1366 everywhere else. I changed it to 1367 to be consistent. As I wrote in the edit summary, Dr. Ian Mortimer's research on the subject seems extremely thorough into the exact year, and I don't know of anyone who has refuted his research. I put a comment in the page to say not to change it without discussing it here first — if any historians are still insisting he was born in 1366 please let us know on here. МандичкаYO 😜 02:09, 21 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Henry 1V[edit]

  Should this be Henry V1  As depicted, by my Wall clock and my Japanese Rolex Watch.???  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:21, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply] 

Make intro longer[edit]

Intro way too short and brief. More detail about life, i.e. seizing control, Glyndwr Revolt, etc — Preceding unsigned comment added by Toluwan (talkcontribs) 15:25, 8 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mother Tongue[edit]

It states in the lead that he was the first king since the Norman Conquest to use English rather than French as his mother tongue. Can it truly be said that English as a language existed in 1066?Catherinejarvis (talk) 15:16, 25 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, Old English existed at the Norman conquest of England. In fact, one of the major sources of English history, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was written in Old English. Old English was also the language of the administration of England, since most writs were in English, not Latin. English continued to be the language of the great majority of the inhabitants of England even after the Conquest, and although it ceased to be used in the written records of the royal administration, it returned as a literary language in the later 1200s and into the 1300s. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:31, 25 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Origin of House of Beaufort[edit]

" These illegitimate children were given the surname Beaufortfrom their birthplace at the Château de Beaufort in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France.[5] " . There are a couple of possible origins for the Beaufort family name. Either Montmorency-Beaufort in Champagne once held by John of Gaunt or as Professor Goodman suggested ; after Roger de Beaufort , a chivalrous Knight held by John of Gaunt at Kenilworth since 1370. Alison Weir reasons in her book Mistress of the Monarchy that John Beaufort was born in Lincoln 1373 followed by Henry in Kenilworth 1375 with Thomas and Joan to follow in due course but none at Chateau de Beaufort as proposed by Armitage-Smith (talk) 22:29, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]