Henry IV (DNB00)
HENRY IV (1367–1413), king of England, eldest surviving son of John of Gaunt [q. v.], fourth son of Edward III, by his first wife, Blanche, daughter and heiress of Henry, duke of Lancaster [q. v.], was born on 3 April 1367, the day of the victory won at Najara by his father and his uncle Edward the ‘Black Prince’ [q. v.] (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. xi. 162), at his father's castle of Bolingbroke, near Spilsby, Lincolnshire (Capgrave, De Illustribus Henricis, p. 98). He was therefore sometimes called Henry of Bolingbroke (Williams, note to Chronique de la Traïson, p. 124). Contemporaries more often styled him Henry of Lancaster. When only ten years old he was, on 23 April 1377, made a knight of the Garter by his grandfather Edward III. Less than three months afterwards he bore the principal sword at the coronation of Richard II (Fœdera, vii. 160, original edition). In 1377 he was already styled Earl of Derby.
Henry's mother died in 1369. In 1372 his father married Constance of Castile, and called himself king of Castile and Leon. When, about June 1378, John went beyond sea he appointed Henry ‘warden of the regality of the palatine county of Lancaster’ (Deputy-Keeper's Thirty-second Report, p. 350). About 1380 Henry married Mary Bohun, the younger of the two coheiresses of the Hereford earldom, whose elder sister was already the wife of his uncle Thomas of Woodstock [q. v.], afterwards Duke of Gloucester. Both were mere children. In 1381 Henry was with King Richard in the Tower when threatened by the followers of Wat Tyler (Knighton in Twysden, Decem Scriptores, c. 2634). In 1382 his wife was still under the care of her mother, the Countess of Hereford (Fœdera, vii. 343). Yet on 4 Nov. 1383 he was associated with his father, already lieutenant in Picardy, on a commission to treat with Flanders and France at Leulinghen (ib. vii. 412–413). When he was less than twenty Froissart praised his knightly skill, and in 1386 he distinguished himself in some great jousts at London.
In July 1386 John of Gaunt, when sailing in quest of his throne, was accompanied by Henry to Plymouth (Knighton, c. 2676). Henry was again warden of the Lancaster palatinate, and witnessed charters between 1 Sept. 1386 and December 1388 (Deputy-Keeper's Thirty-second Report, App. i. pp. 359–361; Froissart, xi. 325, ed. Kervyn). He probably continued in office until his father's return in November 1389.
The struggle between Richard II and the baronial opposition began in the parliament of October 1386, when Henry was not of age to receive a summons. Yet when, after Easter 1387, Richard withdrew to Wales to take counsel with Robert de Vere, duke of Ireland [q. v.], Derby was one of the persons obnoxious to the king and his favourites (Walsingham, Hist. Anglic. ii. 161). Derby now definitely joined his uncle Gloucester, Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel (1346–1397) [q. v.], and Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick [q. v.]. Thomas Mowbray [q. v.], earl of Nottingham and earl-marshal, followed his example. On 12 Dec. 1387 the five met at Huntingdon. The hesitation of the two new confederates alone prevented the adoption of Arundel's plan to capture and depose the king (Rot. Parl. iii. 376; Monk of Evesham, p. 137). Derby was first in the field in the hostilities that ensued. On 20 Dec. he blocked the way of the Duke of Ireland, who was advancing with a wild horde of Welsh and Cheshire men, by occupying Radcot Bridge in Oxfordshire. The duke took flight (Knighton, c. 2703–4). Henry and Warwick led the van of the host of the five lords which marched through Oxford (Adam of Usk, p. 5), reached London on 26 Dec., and camped in the fields at Clerkenwell. The citizens gladly opened their gates, and Henry was ever afterwards their hero. Richard was forced to give audience in the Tower to the five lords, and to concede their demands against the favourites. Henry could not resist the unworthy triumph of showing the king the vast throng beneath the Tower walls. He took a leading share in the proceedings of the Merciless parliament. On 3 Feb. 1388 he followed Gloucester in renewing the charge of treason against the favourites (Rot. Parl. iii. 229). But alone amidst the appellants he showed some moderation, and quarrelled fiercely with Gloucester for not sparing Sir Simon Burley [q. v.] (Walsingham, ii. 174).
Derby was present in the Hilarytide parliament of 1389 (Rot. Parl. iii. 264). On 3 May 1389 Richard threw off the tutelage of the appellants; but on 13 Sept. Derby and the earl-marshal were already restored to the council (Nicolas, Ord. Privy Council, i. 11). Lancaster, now back in England, doubtless urged moderate courses upon his son. For the next few years Derby held aloof from political intrigue. He gradually won back Richard's favour, and sought fame in tournaments and crusades. He attended the great jousts at Saint-Inglevert, between Calais and Boulogne, in March and April 1390. The French agreed that he was the best of the English knights, and his liberality increased his popularity (Livre des faicts du Mareschal de Boucicault in Michaud et Poujoulat, Collect. de Mémoires, ii. 231; Religieux de Saint-Denys, i. 678, Doc. inédits; Les Joûtes de Saint-Inglebert, Poème Contemporain, Paris, 1864; Chronique de Berne in Kervyn's Froissart, xiv. 419–20). He returned to England early in May.
Devotion to the church had always been hereditary in the Lancastrian house, and Henry prepared to join the crusade of Bourbon, Boucicault, and the Genoese to Barbary, though at the last moment he allowed his brother John Beaufort to go alone. The statement of the Saint-Denys chronicler that Derby actually went on this crusade (Chroniques, i. 650) has misled most later writers. (The whole question is discussed by J. Delaville Le Roulx, La France en Orient, Expéditions du Maréchal de Boucicault, i. 176 sq. in Bibliothèque de l'École Française d'Athènes, fascicule 44, Paris, 1886.) Henry's own treasurer, Richard Kyngeston, speaks in his accounts of the ‘viagium ordinatum versus partes Barbarie’ (Deputy-Keeper's Thirtieth Report, p. 35). Instead of this, however, Henry determined to join the Teutonic knights on an expedition into Lithuania, which still counted as a crusade, although the Lithuanians had just become Christian. John of Gaunt gave him 3,500l. for his expenses. Ships from Danzig were hired to transport him and his three hundred followers. On 20 July 1390 the expedition set sail from Boston, and three weeks later landed at Rosenhain in Further Pomerania. The accounts of Henry's treasurer, Kyngeston, give a full itinerary of ‘le reys’ (Compotus R. Kyngeston Thesaurarii Dom. Hen. Com. de Derby pro viagio suo versus partes Pruc. in Records of the Duchy of Lancaster, No. xxviii., first bundle, No. 6, R. O.; see Deputy-Keeper's Thirtieth Report, p. 35; and summary by Dr. Pauli in pp. 406–17 of the Monatsberichte der königliche Preuss. Acad. der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1857, reprinted in Beilage ix. of vol. ii. of Hirsch, Scriptores Rerum Prussicarum, Leipzig, 1861–74). Derby reached Danzig on 10 and Königsberg on 16 Aug. The ordens-marschall, Engelhard Rabe, started upon his arrival in alliance with Vitovt, the exiled claimant to the duchy, and in co-operation with the master of the knights of the Sword of Livonia. The crusaders gained a complete victory on 28 Aug., and the Prussian historians acknowledge the good service of ‘der herczoge von langkastel’ and his archers (Johann von Posilge in Script. Rer. Pruss. iii. 164–5; Lindenblatt, Jahrbücher, ed. Voigt, 1823; cf. Voigt, Geschichte Preussens, v. 541; Walsingham, ii. 197–8, gives the best English account of the whole journey). They besieged Vilna, the Lithuanian capital, in September. The English archers won great glory; but sickness caused the siege to be abandoned. On 20 Oct. Derby was back at Königsberg, where he remained till 9 Feb. 1391, keeping up a great feast between Christmas and Twelfth Night ‘in the English way.’ He returned to Danzig, remained there till after Easter 1391, receiving presents from the new hochmeister, Konrad von Wallenrod, and treating with Poland for the delivery of two captive English knights. The severity of the winter prevented another ‘reys.’ Henry became involved in acrimonious disputes with the Teutonic knights (Ann. Thorun. p. 168, in Script. Rer. Pruss.), and his uncle Gloucester was prevented from joining him by bad weather. By redeeming captives and pious offerings he obtained from Boniface IX absolution from his crusading vow, and at the end of March he sailed for England, landing at Hull before 30 April (Capgrave, De Ill. Henr. p. 99). On 3 Nov. he was in London attending parliament, and acting as a trier of petitions (Rot. Parl. iii. 284).
In July 1392 Henry again embarked at Lynn for a second crusade in Prussia. Landing at Leba in Pomerania, he entered Danzig on 10 Aug. His followers killed a German (J. von Posilge in Script. Rer. Pruss. iii. 182), and were so disorderly that the Teutonic knights were glad to get rid of him. He then went to Königsberg, but early in September was back in Danzig, having given up his plan of a new ‘reys’ altogether. He sent most of his followers home, and on 23 Sept. started for a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre. Richard Kyngeston's expenses roll again preserves his itinerary. He stayed at Prague from 13 to 25 Oct. 1392, passed three days with King Wenzel at his castle of Bettlern; spent the first four days of November at Vienna, meeting Archduke Albrecht III and Sigismund of Hungary; and, crossing the Semmering, reached Venice on 29 Nov., and was splendidly entertained at the expense of the state, which presented him with a fully equipped galley (Riant, Archives de l'Orient Latin, II. ii. 238–40; Cal. State Papers, Venet. i. Nos. 107–8). He spent Christmas day at Zara, and also landed at Rhodes, whence he sailed to Jaffa. Thence he made a flying visit to Jerusalem, one donkey carrying his provisions, and returned by Cyprus (Stubbs, Lectures on Mediæval and Modern History, p. 198; Raine, Papers from the Northern Registers, p. 198), reaching Venice towards the end of March 1393, where the council voted one hundred ducats ‘that he might return home contented with us.’ After a month's stay at his old quarters at San Giorgio, he travelled by Milan (13 May) and Pavia and the Mont Cenis to Paris, where he arrived on 22 June (cf. Luce, Chronique des Quatre Premiers Valois, p. 335, Soc. de l'Hist. de France). He reached London on 5 July, having industriously visited churches and other sights throughout his journey (Kyngeston's accounts in Lancaster Records, class xxviii. first bundle No. 7; summarised by Dr. Pauli in Nachrichten von der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, No. 8, pp. 329–40, 1880, and No. 14, pp. 345–357, 1881; cf. Capgrave, De Illustribus Henricis, pp. 99–101). Froissart's statement that he visited Cairo and St. Catherine's (xvi. 107, ed. Kervyn) is wrong.
For the next few years Henry remained quietly at home, taking an active but not a very conspicuous part in politics, and generally working with his father on the side of the king. In 1393 father and son quarrelled with Arundel, whom they accused of lukewarmness in putting down the Cheshire revolt. Henry was present in the Hilarytide parliament of 1394. His stepmother, Constance, and his wife, Mary Bohun, died and were buried with great pomp at the end of June at Leicester (Knighton, c. 2741; Wals ii. 214). In 1395 Derby acted as one of the council which ruled England while Richard II was in Ireland (Ord. P. C. i. 57). He tried petitions at the Westminster parliament which met in January and February (Rot. Parl. iii. 329). The conclusion of a private treaty of alliance by his father and himself with the Duke of Brittany, without reservation of homage to Richard, on 25 Nov., is sometimes regarded as an attempt to establish a separate interest from that of the king (Williams, Preface, pp. xix–xx, of Chronique de la Traïson, Engl. Hist. Soc.). But the treaty was mainly concerned with a projected marriage of Derby's eldest son, Henry (afterwards Henry V), to Mary, eldest daughter of John IV, duke of Brittany (Lobineau, Hist. de Bretagne, Preuves, ii. 791–3). In October 1396 Derby took a prominent part at the meeting of Richard II and Charles VI of France, previous to the English king's marriage with Isabella, Charles's daughter, and in February 1397 Richard proposed a marriage between Derby and a lady of the lineage of the king of France (Fœdera, vii. 850).
Early in 1396 Henry was anxious to join the expedition of William of Bavaria, count of Oostervant, eldest son of Count Albert of Hainault and Holland, against Friesland, but was forbidden to go by his father (Froissart, xv. 269–70, ed. Kervyn). The story that he then went to Hungary and fought with King Sigismund against the Turks at Nicopolis (25 Sept.) rests solely upon the statement of the Italian chronicler Minerbetti (Tartini, Rer. Ital. Script. ii. c. 364), that a son of Lancaster (possibly John Beaufort) was present at the battle (see Delaville le Roulx, i. 216).
In the January parliament of 1397 Derby was a trier of petitions (Rot. Parl. iii. 337), and witnessed a grant to his brother, John Beaufort, now Earl of Somerset (ib. iii. 343). Henry had long ceased to have any dealings with Gloucester and his friends, and was friendly to Richard throughout the great struggle that the king had made to win absolute power and revenge himself on his old enemies. The French authorities maintain (very improbably) that he was present at the conference of conspirators which met, according to them, at Arundel, in July (Chronique de la Traïson, p. 5; Religieux de Saint-Denys, ii. 478). When Gloucester, Arundel, and Warwick were arrested, Henry took a decided part against his old associates; but he avoided the violence of Nottingham, earl-marshal. He was not a party to the marshal's new appeal, and had no share in the getting rid of Gloucester. But he joined his father and the Duke of York after 28 Aug. in gathering troops to protect the king (Fœdera, viii. 14). When the new parliament met on 17 Sept. 1397, Henry was again a trier of petitions (Rot. Parl. iii. 348). He attacked Arundel, now his personal enemy, who hotly gave him the lie (Monk of Evesham, p. 137; Usk, p. 14). On the rehearsal of the commons that Derby and Nottingham had been ‘innocent of malice’ in their former appeal, the king vouched for their loyalty (Rot. Parl. iii. 353). On 29 Sept. Henry was made Duke of Hereford, the king himself girding him with his sword and putting on his head the cap of honour (ib. iii. 355).
The triumph of Richard was so complete that Nottingham, now Duke of Norfolk, became uneasy. He confided to Hereford his fears that Richard's vengeance would still extend to them, and, according to Hereford (ib. iii. 360), declared that the king was not to be trusted even if he ‘had sworn on God's body.’ Hereford reported this to his father; and afterwards, at the king's command, drew up a statement (ib. iii. 360). On 30 Jan. 1398 Hereford repeated the charge before the parliament reassembled at Shrewsbury, and appealed Norfolk of treason. Richard referred the whole business to the committee of parliament, and again pardoned Hereford (ib. iii. 367). On 4 Feb. a peremptory summons was issued to Norfolk to appear before the king within fifteen days (Fœdera, viii. 32).
On 23 Feb. Hereford and Norfolk both came before Richard at Oswestry, and Norfolk denounced Hereford as a liar and traitor. Both were put under arrest, though Hereford was released under sureties after a time, and the matter was finally referred to a court of chivalry at Windsor (Rot. Parl. iii. 383), which ordered (29 April) that the dispute should be decided by combat on 16 Sept. at Coventry. Before this court Norfolk partially admitted his indiscretion (ib. iii. 383).
Great preparations were made for the duel. Hereford obtained from Gian Galeazzo Visconti some of the famous Milan armourers, while Norfolk sought his harness from the smiths of Germany (Froissart, xvi. 95–6). The king of France sent in vain a special messenger to prevent the combat (Wallon, Richard II, ii. 465; his instructions are printed in Froissart, ed. Kervyn, xvi. 302–5). Popular feeling rose high. The Londoners hated Norfolk as the murderer of Gloucester, and rallied round their old favourite. So strong was the feeling that Richard's best friends urged him not to risk the battle. When 16 Sept. came, a vast crowd was assembled at Coventry in the ‘very strong and large theatre’ (Monk of Evesham, p. 145), prepared for the duel. When, after a stately ceremonial, the combatants were on the point of meeting, Richard stopped the combat, and decided that, to prevent the chance of dishonour to the king's kin and to secure the peace, Hereford should be banished for ten years and Norfolk for life, pledges being required that they would not hold intercourse with each other or with the exiled Archbishop Arundel (Rot. Parl. iii. 383). The committee of parliament confirmed this judgment. Hereford was now the idol of the mob and treated respectfully by the king, who almost apologised for his condemnation, and, perhaps, reduced the ten years to six (Froissart, xvi. 110). An enthusiastic crowd blocked the streets of London to see the popular favourite depart, and the mayor with many leading citizens attended him as far as Dartford. On 3 Oct. Richard granted him permission to remain for six weeks at Sandgate Castle and a month at Calais (Fœdera, viii. 48, 49). On 8 Oct. letters of attorney were issued on his behalf (ib. viii. 49, 50), especially providing that his attorneys should have power to receive his heritage in the event of his father's death (Rot. Parl. iii. 372). Two thousand a year was allowed to him of the king's gift (Tyler, Henry V, i. 35, from Pell Records). He seems to have left England by 13 Oct. 1398 (Froissart, xvi. 305, ed. Kervyn; Wylie, Hist. of Henry IV, p. 7). His children remained in England.
Henry proceeded direct to Paris in spite of a fresh invitation to join the expedition to Friesland. He was received with great honour, and the Hôtel Clisson was assigned for his residence. When it became known that the honours shown were displeasing to King Richard, more caution was displayed. Delays were thrown in the way of a proposed match with the daughter of the Duke of Berri, his special confidant, and the French nobles whispered that a daughter of France must never become the bride of a traitor (Froissart, xvi. 141–51, ed. Kervyn).
Hereford contemplated new adventures to which his father refused assent. He therefore stayed at Paris till the death of his father (3 Feb. 1399). Richard now threw off the mask, revoked on 18 March the patents which had authorised Henry's attorneys to receive his inheritance (Rot. Parl. iii. 372), banished him for ever, and confiscated the Lancaster estates. On 23 April Henry's attorney, Henry Bowet [q. v.], was condemned as a traitor (ib. iii. 385). Richard no doubt thought that his cousin was now ruined, and on 29 May sailed for Ireland, leaving his incompetent uncle, Edmund, duke of York [see Langley, Edmund of], regent in England.
With Berri's advice, Henry affected gaiety, and with characteristic English cunning kept quite silent about revenge (‘Anglicana usus astucia,’ Religieux de Saint-Denys, ii. 674), yet he considered himself now free from his oath. He was joined at Paris by Archbishop Thomas Arundel [q. v.], Thomas Fitzalan, earl of Arundel [q. v.], son of the murdered earl, who perhaps brought the news of the undiminished goodwill of the Londoners. On 17 June Henry made at Paris a formal treaty of alliance with Louis of Orleans, but he still carefully concealed his plans, and among the long list of those against whom the alliance was not to prevail was Richard of England (printed in Douët-d'Arcq, Pièces inédites sur le règne de Charles VI, i. 157–60, Soc. de l'Histoire de France). Very soon afterwards he privately withdrew from Paris in order to make a descent on England.
Henry observed the closest secrecy, so that very different stories got abroad as to his subsequent movements. Froissart's erroneous opinion that he sailed from Vannes (‘m'est advis que ce fut à Vannes,’ xvi. 167–71) is regarded as a fact even by Dr. Pauli (Geschichte von England, iv. 625). He gave out he was going to Spain, but quietly travelled northwards through Saint-Denys, where he promised the abbot to procure the restoration of Deerhurst, then in lay hands, to the convent, and soon crossed at Boulogne with the help of some English merchants whom he found there (Religieux de Saint-Denys, ii. 704; Ann. Ric. p. 242; Otterbourne, p. 201). He was accompanied by the two Arundels, Thomas Erpingham, John Northbury, and only fifteen ‘lances’ (Ann. Ric. p. 242).
William le Scrope, the new earl of Wiltshire, was ready for him at Dover. Henry made various feints. A popular song (Wright, Pol. Songs, i. 366–8) shows with what anxiety he was expected. Even the soldiers gathered by the regent York at St. Albans boasted almost openly that they would do him no harm (Ann. Ric. p. 244). He at last landed in a deserted place not far south of Bridlington, near where the village of Ravenspur had once stood (ib. p. 244), not before 4 July 1399 (ib. p. 244), perhaps on the 15th (Monk of Evesham, p. 182). The whole country-side flocked to his banner. He occupied his own castle of Pickering without resistance. He next took Knaresborough, and promised that the church should pay no more tenths, and the people no more taxes (Maidstone in Anglia Sacra, ii. 369). At Doncaster he was joined by the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland, Henry Percy, and many other nobles of the north. Here he held a council, and is said by his enemies to have solemnly disavowed designs on the crown. He then marched to Leicester at the head of a vast army. Richard's ministers had fled to Bristol. Henry therefore moved to Berkeley, where, on 27 July, York himself joined him. Uncle and nephew now hurried towards Bristol, followed, it was believed, by one hundred thousand troops. The gates of Bristol Castle were thrown open, and on 29 July the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, and Green were beheaded. Henry now pressed northwards through the Welsh marches, and after passing through Gloucester, Ross, Hereford, Ludlow, and Shrewsbury, reached Chester on 9 Aug. No formidable resistance was made anywhere.
Meanwhile Richard had arrived in Wales and had been deserted by his army. On 18 Aug. he offered to resign the crown, and advanced to Flint to make his submission to the conqueror. On 19 Aug. Henry marched from Chester to Flint, and had an interview with the captive king. Henry saluted Richard with all due reverence, and said that he had come to claim his inheritance (Monk of Evesham, p. 155), which Richard professed himself ready to restore. After drinking together both rode off to Chester. On the same day writs were issued from Chester in Richard's name summoning a parliament for 30 Sept. at London. Henry now started for London, taking Richard with him. On Monday, 2 Sept., he arrived at London (Ann. Ric. p. 251). The English chroniclers speak of the chivalrous deference paid by Henry to the captive king, but the French writers opposed to Lancaster are furious at the indignities to which they allege Richard was subjected. The Londoners could not have shown more joy, says Creton, ‘if our Lord had come among them.’ Henry visited his father's tomb at St. Paul's, and then awaited the meeting of the parliament at St. John's Priory, Clerkenwell (Creton, p. 181).
On 29 Sept. the king, after conferring with Lancaster and Archbishop Arundel, publicly renounced the crown, adding that if it rested with him he desired Henry as his successor (Ann. Ric. pp. 253–6). The good sense of Chief-justice Thirning dissuaded Henry from his design of claiming the throne by conquest (Ann. Henr. p. 282), and the experience of Arundel suggested wiser methods of procedure. Next day parliament assembled in the great hall at Westminster (Rot. Parl. iii. 416, 423). Lancaster was in his place, and the throne was left empty. Richard's resignation was accepted, and his deposition voted. The duke then read an English declaration, claiming the crown on the grounds of his being in the right line of descent from Henry III, and of the misgovernment of Richard (ib. iii. 422–3). The estates thereon chose him to fill the vacant throne. The two archbishops led him to the empty royal seat. After an harangue from Arundel, and a speech from Henry disclaiming any right of conquest, parliament was dissolved, to meet again under the new king's name on 6 Oct. On 1 Oct. the renunciation of the homages of the estates to Richard completed the revolution, which established constitutional monarchy, and restored ecclesiastical orthodoxy. Men saw that the new king ruled, as his biographer says, ‘not so much by title of blood as by popular election’ (Capgrave, De Ill. Henr. p. 98). Yet a delusive title by conquest, and a mendacious insinuation that Edmund of Lancaster was the elder brother of Edward I, were thought desirable to give Henry a threefold hold on popular allegiance (Chaucer, Compleynte to his Purse, v. 22; cf. Gower in Wright, Polit. Songs, i. 449).
On 6 Oct. 1399 Henry met his first parliament in Westminster Hall. It was then adjourned until after the coronation. Henry spent the evening of 11 Oct. in the Tower, where, in the presence of Richard, he made more than forty new knights, including his four sons and the young Earl of Arundel (Adam of Usk, p. 33). From this ceremony the heralds date the foundation of the order of the Bath (cf. Froissart, xvi. 205). Next morning Henry rode through London in great state to Westminster. On 13 Oct. he was crowned with extraordinary splendour by Arundel. First among English kings he was anointed with the oil which the Blessed Virgin had miraculously given to St. Thomas in his exile, and which his grandfather had brought to England (Ann. Henr. pp. 297–300, tells the whole history of this miracle). Prophecies of his coming good deeds were ascribed to our Lady and to Merlin.
On 14 Oct. parliament reassembled, and remained sitting until 19 Nov. After stormy scenes the chief supporters of King Richard were deprived of the honours gained in 1397. The deposed king was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, the acts of 1397 were repealed, the king's friends were rewarded, and a fairly liberal grant was made (Rot. Parl. iii. 424–53). The leniency of the king provoked much murmuring among his partisans.
Henry, his eldest son, and many of his household were now smitten with a malady generally attributed to poison. He had not recovered by Christmas. Meanwhile the degraded lords were conspiring to dethrone him. On 4 Jan. 1400 they assembled troops at Kingston, hoping to cut him off from London; while, on pretence of attending a tournament (‘ludum nuncupatum Anglice Mummynge,’ Chron. Giles, p. 7), 6 Jan., they proposed to get possession of Windsor and Henry himself. Rutland betrayed their plans (Chron. Giles, p. 7, says that the mayor of London discovered the conspiracy, and rode at night to Windsor to warn Henry). Henry at once hurried, almost alone, to London, arrived there late at night, and by the next afternoon had a large force on Hounslow Heath. The leading conspirators fled westwards, but Kent, Salisbury, and Despenser were slain by the mob, and Huntingdon was put to death by Henry's mother-in-law, the Countess of Hereford. Henry proceeded no further west than Oxford, where he ordered more formal execution for the lesser traitors. On 15 Jan. he was back in London, singing ‘Te Deum’ for his victory. This failure was quickly followed by the death of the deposed king at Pontefract, either, as Henry's friends maintained, of self-starvation, or, as his enemies believed, starved or murdered by his gaolers. Henry himself attended the solemn service held over his rival's body at St. Paul's, and ordered a thousand masses for the repose of his soul. To avoid future dangers a night watch was set about the king and his household provided with arms (Ord. P. C. i. 110–111).
Henry's great trouble was now from abroad. He had already sent on 29 Nov. 1399 to treat for the marriage of his eldest son with a French princess, probably Isabella, Richard II's widow. But the French court looked upon him as a usurper, and pressed for the immediate restoration of Isabella and her dower. Charles VI refused Henry the title of king of England. At his instigation the Scots, whose truce had expired at Michaelmas, threw every obstacle in the way of its renewal. But the defection of George Dunbar, earl of March, from the Scottish king strengthened Henry's position in the north. On 9 June 1400 Henry summoned his tenants to assemble at York to proceed against Scotland (Fœdera, viii. 146). His march was delayed by want of money and Scottish offers of negotiation. On 6 Aug. he summoned King Robert to perform the homage ‘due ever since the days of Locrine, son of Brut.’ Declining Rothesay's chivalrous challenge, he crossed the border on 14 Aug., and, meeting no opposition, reached Leith on 22 Aug. (ib. viii. 158). He obtained a vague promise that his demands should be considered, but was too weak and poor to keep the field. On 29 Aug. he was back over the border. Some months later a short truce was concluded. He now heard of the Welsh rising caused by Owain ab Gruffydd's [see Glendower, Owen] feud with Reginald, lord Grey of Ruthin [q. v.] He hurried to Leicester, and on 19 Sept. summoned the levies of ten shires to join him in an expedition against Owain. Owain evaded his attack, and his Welsh expedition ended ingloriously within a month after he had penetrated to the shores of the Menai. On 19 Oct. he passed through Evesham (Monk of Evesham, p. 173). On 8 Nov. he was at Westminster granting Owain's estates to his brother Somerset, and on 12 Nov. propounded the knotty problems involved in the restitution of Queen Isabella (Fœdera, viii. 164).
On 21 Dec. 1400 Henry met on Blackheath the Greek emperor, Manuel Palaiologos, who stayed two months, spending Christmas with the king at Eltham. Henry entertained him splendidly, and gave him three thousand marks at his departure, but could not give him military help against the Turks. On 20 Jan. 1401 parliament reassembled, and, led by its pertinacious speaker, Arnold Savage, sought to make what it could out of the king's poverty. Henry could still reject as unprecedented the demand that the redress of grievances should precede supply. In this session was passed the act against the lollards. Henry's orthodoxy led him to approve the policy of which his wife's uncle, Archbishop Arundel, was the chief mover. The repressive legislation now sanctioned by Henry against the rebellious Welsh was in accordance with the earnest petitions of the commons. Henry himself showed a more conciliatory spirit by an almost general pardon, issued on 10 May, the last day of the session.
At the end of May Henry again started upon an expedition to Wales, the fall of Conway Castle having excited fears of a Welsh invasion of England. He reached Evesham on 1 June, already attended by a large army. On 3 June he departed thence for Worcester (Monk of Evesham, p. 174). Here he received letters from the council urging his return to London, as the danger had been exaggerated (Ord. P. C. i. 134). After resting a few days at Worcester he returned to London on 25 June (ib. i. 143).
Henry attended a council the very day of his arrival. On 27 June he saw the infant Queen Isabella before her departure for France. But her surrender did Henry no good, and left the French a freer hand. On 15 Aug. Henry met a great council at Westminster, strengthened by more knights from the shires than generally attended parliament. The council accepted war with both France and Scotland, and attempted to supply funds. An effort was also made to put down the chronic anarchy of Ireland by sending Thomas, the king's second son, as lord-lieutenant, and the Prince of Wales was ordered to advance against Owain. But Henry had now become violently unpopular. The people murmured against his officers, who seized supplies without paying for them (Ann. Henr. p. 337). His best friends complained that his remissness had brought about almost a state of anarchy, and his confessor, Philip Repingdon, addressed to him an earnest and plain-spoken letter of remonstrance (Beckington, Correspondence, i. 151–4, Rolls Ser.). About 8 Sept. Henry found hidden in his bed an ‘iron with three branches so sharp that wherever the king had turned him it should slay him’ (Capgrave, Chron. p. 278; Ann. Henr. p. 337; Monk of Evesham, p. 175; Chron. Giles, p. 25).
On 18 Sept. Henry issued from Westminster military summonses for 2 Oct. at latest to meet at Worcester for a fresh attack upon Wales (Fœdera, viii. 225; Chron. Giles, p. 26; the Monk of Evesham, p. 176, transposes the two expeditions of this year). On 1 Oct. he reached Worcester, and at once hurried off into Wales. The accounts of this expedition are confused and contradictory. On 8 Oct. Henry reached Bangor and Carnarvon (Wylie, p. 243, from Rot. Viag. 28). He is said to have made a raid into Cardiganshire, for which, however, there was hardly time, as he was at Mochdre on 13 Oct. and on 15 Oct. back at Shrewsbury (ib. p. 244). His northern foray in a hostile country at a wet time of year is of itself a remarkable proof of his energy. He was back at Westminster early in November (Fœdera, viii. 230–1).
Early in 1402 Henry met great councils or parliaments at London and Coventry, and obtained more supplies. The foreign outlook was as threatening as ever, and Henry had negotiated a series of marriages to improve his position. On 21 June 1402 his elder daughter Blanche set sail for Germany to marry Louis, eldest son of Rupert, the count palatine, newly chosen king of the Romans (see for marriage negotiations and her subsequent history Beckington, Corresp.) In May he began negotiations to wed the Prince of Wales to Catharine, grandniece of Margaret, the powerful ruler of a newly united Scandinavia, and his second daughter, Philippa, to King Eric, Margaret's grandnephew and heir (Geijer, Geschichte Schwedens, i. 197). The former proposal came to nothing; the latter marriage was effected in 1406. Henry was simultaneously arranging a marriage between himself and Joan, widow of John IV, duke of Brittany, and daughter of Charles the Bad of Navarre, who since November 1399 had been acting as regent for her son, Duke John V, and on 3 April 1402 a proxy marriage was celebrated at Eltham. But Henry failed in his political hopes of the marriage. In October the Duke of Burgundy compelled Joan to resign the regency and the custody of her sons, and Brittany was henceforth among Henry's active enemies.
Riots and outrages now broke out all over the country. A pretended Richard appeared in Scotland. In May 1402 a bastard son of the Black Prince was hanged for conspiracy. Franciscan friars were the chief emissaries of sedition. In the early summer of 1402 several of these were executed, along with some secular priests. The friars boldly avowed their resolve to fight for Richard, and reduce the king to his duchy of Lancaster (Cont. Eul. Hist. iii. 389–94 gives a curious conversation between Henry and the captive friars). Meanwhile Owain of Wales captured Reginald, lord Grey of Ruthin [q. v.], in Lent and Edmund Mortimer in June. While Burgundy secured Brittany, Orleans attacked Aquitaine, both he and the Count of St. Pol solemnly defying Henry, and professing to carry on a private war against him.
In the summer Henry at last made a really great effort to put down the Welsh. On 27 Aug. three great armies were summoned to assemble at Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford (Fœdera, viii. 272), and Henry in person commanded the host that marched from Shrewsbury. One hundred thousand men, it was believed, were poured into the revolted districts (Usk, p. 76). But the expedition failed from the usual evasions of the Welsh and persistent bad weather, ascribed at the time to the magic spells of the Franciscans. On 8 Sept. the winds blew down Henry's own tent, and the king would have been slain by his own lance falling on him if he had not gone to rest in armour. Within three weeks Henry was back in England (Ann. Henr. pp. 343–4; Chron. Giles, p. 28). The brilliant success of the Percies against the Scots at Humbleton (14 Sept.) relieved Henry from danger in the north, but contrasted sharply with his own misfortunes.
On 30 Sept. 1402 Henry met his parliament at Westminster (Rot. Parl. iii. 485–521). On 20 Oct. Northumberland paraded the chief Scottish prisoners before king and parliament in the White Hall. Henry complimented Murdoch Stewart for his gallantry, and graciously entertained all the captives at his own table in the Painted Chamber. On 25 Nov. the estates separated, after making Henry a fairly liberal but grudgingly given grant. Henry kept Christmas at Windsor. His promised bride at last arrived, and on 7 Feb. 1403 Henry was married to her at Winchester by his half-brother, Henry Beaufort [q. v.], now bishop of Lincoln. On 26 Feb. Joan was crowned at Westminster (Ann. Henr. p. 350). The marriage brought Henry no strength abroad, and provided a new grievance at home in the queen's foreign attendants.
On 2 March 1403 Henry granted Northumberland Douglas's estates in Scotland, which he professed to annex to England (Fœdera, viii. 289). But the Percies were profoundly discontented, both at the opposition of the courtiers to their schemes of pacification (Chron. Giles, p. 31) and at having to bear the whole burden of the Scottish war. Henry now insisted on Hotspur giving up the captive Earl of Douglas to his keeping. Hotspur complained that the king had abandoned Mortimer, who was thus forced to join with the Welsh rebels. In a stormy interview Henry called Hotspur a traitor, and drew his dagger upon him; while Hotspur withdrew, crying, ‘Not here, but in the field’ (Cont. Eulog. Hist. iii. 295–6; cf. Waurin, pp. 56–8). External friendship was soon restored; but as Henry was again marching to Scotland he heard at Lichfield, on 11 July (Wylie, p. 350), that Hotspur had raised a revolt among King Richard's turbulent partisans in Cheshire, and was hurrying south to join Owain. Henry, with the advice of the Earl of Dunbar, resolved to crush the rebellion before the rebels united their forces (Ann. Henr. p. 364). In a few days he joined his son Henry at Shrewsbury, surprising Hotspur, who was encamped outside its walls. On 21 July a decisive battle followed at Berwick, a little to the north of the town. Henry showed great personal prowess, slew, it is said, thirty men with his own hands, and was thrice hurled to the ground. Before nightfall Hotspur was slain, Worcester and Douglas captured, and the rebellion at an end. Henry established a chapel on the battle-field for the souls of the slain. He then hurried northwards to meet Northumberland, reaching Pontefract on 4 Aug. On his approach the earl disbanded his troops, and on 11 Aug. submitted in person at York. Henry coldly promised him his life, but ordered him into custody (ib. p. 372; Otterbourne, p. 244). On 14 Aug. Henry was back at Pontefract, where Northumberland agreed to give up his castles. On 3 Sept. Henry was at Worcester, preparing for a Welsh campaign. Arundel prudently supplied him with money, his council having suggested plunder of the church. After an unresisted expedition to Carmarthen, where he was on 24 Sept. (Wylie, p. 375, from Rot. Viag. 27), Henry returned to Hereford, having strengthened the castles. The cordial greeting of the Londoners on his return in the winter showed that successes had revived his old popularity.
Despite the nominal truce, the French were plundering the coast. It was believed in Essex that Queen Isabella would land at Orwell. Orleans was invading Guienne, and Burgundy threatening Calais. Discontent came to a head in the Westminster parliament (14 Jan. to 20 March 1404). The estates were more disposed to debate than do business (‘plura locuta sunt, pauca fuere statuta,’ Ann. Henr. p. 378). But they petitioned that Northumberland should be pardoned outright, though he had not yet given up his castles. They insisted on the expulsion of aliens and schismatics. The royal expenses were limited, and Henry was forced to publish the names of the council in parliament. The failure of the attempt to rouse Essex, and the ignominious defeat of the French invaders at Dartmouth, followed close on the dismissal of parliament, and strengthened the king's position. Henry returned thanks for this signal victory at the shrine of the Confessor (Ann. Henr. p. 385). The Dartmouth prisoners were examined before Henry (Fœdera, viii. 358), and he boasted that he knew all the secrets of the French court (Juvénal des Ursins, p. 420, in Panthéon Littéraire). Although on 14 June a formal treaty was made between Owain and the French, the accession of John the Fearless to the duchy of Burgundy gave Orleans employment at home. Henry's energy declined. He suffered during this year from serious ill-health, and was long in getting quite well again (Beckington, Correspondence, ii. 373–4). This seems the first of a long series of illnesses. He visited Pontefract in June, where, on the 24th, Northumberland (Ann. Henr. p. 390) at last surrendered his castles. Henry also arranged a continuation of the truce with the Scots, and the execution of Serle, the reputed murderer of Thomas of Gloucester, put a stop to the reports that Richard was still alive. On 22 Aug. he arrived at Lichfield, where he held a great council, which decided that he could not that year go to Wales. On 6 Oct. Henry opened at Coventry the ‘Unlearned parliament,’ from which all lawyers had been excluded by proclamation. The resumption of royal grants since 1367 and the appropriation for the year of the whole of the temporalities of the church were discussed and rejected, and a very liberal supply was granted. The king kept his Christmas at Eltham (ib. p. 397), where a plot for his murder came to nothing.
In February 1405 Edmund Mortimer, the young earl of March, was stolen from Windsor, but was soon brought back. On 17 Feb., at a great council at Westminster, Lady Despenser accused her brother (now Duke of York by Edmund of Langley's death) of complicity in his abduction and in the Eltham plot. Archbishop Arundel himself was suspected, but, to Henry's great delight, purged himself. As the lords showed no disposition to comply with the king's requests the council was moved to St. Albans, where Lord Bardolf headed a virulent opposition.
Henry prepared for another expedition to Wales, and on 8 May was at Worcester. He heard there that Bardolf had joined Northumberland in an open revolt, and was supposed to have suggested a treaty between Northumberland, Owain, and Mortimer for the division of England into three parts (Chron. Giles, pp. 39–42). Archbishop Scrope of York (second cousin of the late Earl of Wiltshire) had joined with Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham, styled the earl-marshal, in raising the Yorkshiremen, and had published articles against Henry. The king hurried northwards, and on 3 June was at Pontefract. But the rebellion had collapsed with the surrender of the archbishop and Mowbray to Westmoreland on 29 May at Shipton Moor. Henry advanced upon York, where the citizens implored his pardon. Henry sternly bade them return. On 6 June the king lodged at Bishopsthorpe, where Scrope was now a captive in his own palace. The courtiers, headed by the Earl of Arundel and Thomas Beaufort, urged Henry to make a terrible example of the treacherous prelate (Raynaldi, Ann. Eccl. viii. 143, ed. Mansi). Archbishop Arundel hurried to Bishopsthorpe to persuade Henry to refer the case of Scrope to pope or parliament. While Archbishop Arundel was at breakfast with Henry, after his journey, the Earl of Arundel and Thomas Beaufort held a hasty and irregular trial of the archbishop and Mowbray, and executed them on the spot (Ann. Henr. pp. 408–9; Raynaldi, Ann. Eccl. viii. 143, but cf. the different accounts in Gascoigne, Liber Veritatum, pp. 225–9, ed. Rogers; Clement Maidstone, Hist. de Martyrio R. Scrope in Anglia Sacra, ii. 369–72; and Chron. Giles, p. 45).
Every one was horrified at the deed, and miracles at once attested the sanctity of the martyred archbishop. (The poem in Wright, Polit. Poems, ii. 114–18, well expresses clerical opinion.) Conscious perhaps of his blunder, Henry at once hurried northward against Northumberland and Bardolf. He took Northumberland's last castles, Warkworth and Alnwick, and drove his foes into Scotland. At the end of August he again invaded Wales. His most glorious exploit was the relief of the long-beleaguered castle of Coyty in Glamorgan. He lost his baggage, wagons, and treasure from floods, and early in October was back at Worcester, leaving Carmarthen to fall into the hands of Owain and his French allies. He sought a further supply of money from the archbishop and bishops. Arundel resisted what he regarded as a spoliation of the church, but promised to treat with the clergy for additional grants. Henry now returned to his capital. The year had witnessed the culmination of his troubles, but the worst crisis was now over. Henry, however, came out of his difficulties a broken-down man. It was believed that he had been smitten with leprosy on the very day of Scrope's execution (Chron. Giles, p. 47; Cont. Eul. Hist. iii. 405). His health and vigour steadily declined.
Conspiracy at home was no longer formidable. The Welshmen were confined to their own hills, the French were beaten at sea, and were otherwise occupied. Before Easter 1405 an English ship had captured the heir to the Scottish throne, who, on the death of Robert III in April 1406, became James I. Northumberland and Bardolf took refuge in Wales. Yet Henry was more than ever in want of money.
Nearly all 1406 was taken up with the debates of the longest parliament that had hitherto sat (Stubbs, Const. Hist. iii. 52; Rot. Parl. iii. 567–607). The estates met on 1 March at Westminster, and demanded an acceptance of their policy and the expulsion of the Bretons, including two daughters of the queen (Otterbourne, p. 259). Henry on 22 May was forced to nominate a council, which included the chief parliamentary leaders (Rot. Parl. iii. 572; cf., however, Ord. P. C. i. 295 for the changes before the end of the year). The council, led by Arundel, refused to serve without fuller powers. The wastefulness of the king and courtiers was fiercely denounced. The commons next urged an audit of accounts, but in a personal argument Henry, in spite of a haughty refusal, had to give way. He passed Easter at Windsor, and was detained there for a long time by an attack, probably, of sciatica. He returned to Westminster before long, but was out of health all the summer. He attended a tournament between English and Scottish knights at London, and secured the appointment of his favourite, Bishop Bowet [q. v.], to York, in spite of the pope's preference for Robert Hallam [q. v.] At an autumn session (13 Oct. to 22 Dec.) Henry granted all that was asked of him, including a scheme of reform which pledged him to govern by the advice of his new councillors. On the last day of the session Henry, ‘of his own will and motion,’ commanded the councillors to swear to the new articles. The council at once busied itself with the reform of the household. Henry kept Christmas at Eltham (Otterbourne, p. 260), but soon after was requested to remove to some place where the reform of the household might best be effected (Ord. P. C. i. 296). His frank acceptance of his position as a constitutional king diminished his troubles at home; a civil war raged in Scotland, and an invasion of Guienne towards the end of 1406 by Louis of Orleans signally failed.
Henry's influence declined with his health. He seldom left the neighbourhood of London, and very few personal references to his action remain. He had little to do with the disputes between the two great parties in the council. But in the great struggle between the courtiers, headed by the Beauforts and the constitutional party, led by Archbishop Arundel, Henry seems on the whole to have taken Arundel's side (Stubbs, Const. Hist. iii. 57–9). It was Henry's policy to concentrate the great offices of state in his own family (Fortescue, Governance of England, ed. Plummer, p. 326). The real business of government fell chiefly into the hands of the Prince of Wales, who now had less distractions from the decline of the Welsh revolt.
In 1407 a severe blow was dealt to the Beauforts by Henry's confirmation of their charter of legitimation, with a clause excluding them from the succession. Henry held a parliament at Gloucester from 20 Oct. to 2 Dec. It made a liberal grant, and busied itself with the pacification of Wales. It also expressly vindicated the right of the commons to originate all money grants (Rot. Parl. iii. 608–21; Stubbs, Const. Hist. iii. 60–2).
Northumberland and Bardolf had sought to raise Yorkshire during the early months of 1408. Their defeat and death on Bramham Moor (19 Feb.) put an end to overt rebellion for the rest of the reign. Henry in the summer went to York, condemned many rebels, confiscated much land, and, regardless of benefit of clergy, hanged the abbot of Hales for taking a part in the rebellion. The exertion was too much for his health. After his return he was seized with a fit at Mortlake, and was for some time thought dead (Otterbourne, p. 263). On his recovery he devoted his reviving energies to the service of the church and the suppression of heresy. He took a special interest in Arundel's efforts to heal the schism in the papacy. He was present at at least one of the councils which the archbishop convoked (Cont. Eul. Hist. iii. 412), supported the proposal to convoke a general council at Pisa, was indignant at Gregory XI's breach of faith, and wrote him a letter, quoted with admiration by Walsingham (Hist. Angl. ii. 279–80). Yet he received with cordiality the nuncio sent by Gregory to excuse his conduct. But when the council of Pisa repudiated both rivals, and elected Alexander V, he transferred his allegiance to the new pope. In all this he acted in conjunction with France, with whom in 1408 he had concluded a three years' truce (Waurin, p. 115).
Early in 1410 Sir Thomas Beaufort became chancellor in succession to Archbishop Arundel. In January of that year a new parliament assembled, which ventured to suggest the complete confiscation of the temporalities of the church (Walsingham, ii. 282); but the king and the prince combined with the church party in strenuous opposition to so revolutionary a scheme, which failed so completely that it has left no record in the rolls of parliament. Henry sought to obtain from this parliament a revenue for life, but his proposal was not entertained (ib. ii. 283). At the end of the session his councillors were, as was now usual, nominated in parliament (Rot. Parl. iii. 641).
In 1411 Burgundy appealed to Henry for help against the Armagnacs. The king's reluctance was overpowered by the prince's eagerness (Gregory, Thomas, Chron. p. 106). Negotiations were begun for the latter's marriage with a daughter of Burgundy (Ord. P. C. ii. 19–24), and the Earl of Arundel [see Fitzalan, Thomas] was sent with a large force to France. But the tension between the Beauforts and Archbishop Arundel had now become very great, and Henry, not unnaturally jealous of his son, and still clinging to power, despite his failing health, made a vigorous attempt to shake off the Beauforts in the parliament which met on 3 Nov. at Westminster. The Beauforts retorted by a plot to force him to resign the crown, or at least to give up the regency, to the Prince of Wales. It is not easy to reconcile formal documents (e.g. Rolls of Parliament, iv. 298 b) with the more outspoken evidence of the chroniclers. But it seems clear that Henry indignantly declined to give up power, that after some sort of demonstration of the number of his partisans the prince shrank from an open conflict with his father, and retired for a time from public life (Otterbourne, p. 271; Chron. Giles, p. 63; Chron. London, p. 94; Cont. Eul. Hist. iii. 421; Stubbs, Const. Hist. iii. 69 n.). Thomas Beaufort was now replaced by Arundel as chancellor (5 Jan.). Henry paid his son his arrears of salary as a councillor (18 Feb.), and discharged him from further attendance. Thomas, the king's second son, who had adhered to his father's side, was made Duke of Clarence. The king broke off from the alliance with Burgundy, and on 18 May concluded one with the Armagnacs, his old foes, who promised him all Aquitaine (Fœdera, viii. 738–42). Anxious to show that he was still fit to be king, Henry undertook a progress (Cont. Eul. Hist. iii. 421), and even proposed to command the troops, now summoned to sail to Aquitaine (Ord. P. C. ii. 29; Otterbourne, p. 270). But he was by this time unable to walk, and could hardly even ride, and his council persuaded him to send Clarence instead. The Prince of Wales was now accused of embezzling sums intended for the Calais garrison. He sought out his father, and some sort of reconciliation was apparently effected. The charges were disproved (Ord. P. C. ii. 34–5).
The king's exertions in the summer brought about a fresh relapse. He was able to transact business so late as 21 Oct. (ib. ii. 37–40), and in November was feebly contemplating a crusade. But soon afterwards he had a severe attack, and sometimes seemed actually dead. He was able to celebrate Christmas at his favourite palace at Eltham (Otterbourne, p. 272). He summoned a parliament to meet on 3 Feb., but was then unable to transact business. While praying before St. Edward's shrine in Westminster Abbey (Fabyan, p. 576), he had a fit, was removed in great agony to the abbot's house, rallied for a short time, but could never be moved, and died in the Jerusalem Chamber on 20 March 1413 (‘Bethlehem Chamber,’ in Polit. Songs, ii. 122). A dying speech to his son is reported, full of wise and pious counsel. The story of the Prince of Wales taking the crown when he was lying in one of his deathlike trances is first found in Monstrelet (Chroniques, ii. 338–9, ed. Douët-d'Arcq). His body was conveyed by water to Gravesend, and thence to Canterbury, where it was buried on Trinity Sunday in the extreme east of the cathedral, to the north of the shrine of St. Thomas, and over against the tomb of the Black Prince. Queen Joan, who died in 1437, was ultimately buried by his side. In 1832 his tomb was opened, and the condition of the face refuted the exaggerated stories of the chroniclers as to the ravages which leprosy had made in him (Archæologia, xxvi. 440–445). The exact nature of his diseases has been much discussed. The chroniclers speak of leprosy, and he had fits which were plainly not of an epileptic nature, as some say. It is thought by Dr. Norman Moore (who has kindly supplied the writer with full notes on this subject) that he suffered from valvular disease of the heart, accompanied by syncope, and that his ‘leprosy’ was ‘herpes labialis,’ with perhaps other aggravations.
By his first wife, Mary Bohun, Henry had four sons and two daughters: first, Henry, prince of Wales, who became Henry V; secondly, Thomas, duke of Clarence [see Thomas]; thirdly, John, made in 1414 Duke of Bedford [see John]; and fourthly, Humphrey, made Duke of Gloucester in 1414 [see Humphrey]. His daughters were, first, Blanche (b. 1392), married in 1402 to Louis, count palatine of the Rhine; and secondly, Philippa (b. 1393 or 1394), married in 1406 to Eric, king of Sweden.
Henry was ‘of a mean stature,’ but ‘well proportioned and compact’ (Hall, p. 45). He was strong and handsome, proud of his good looks (‘beau chevalier,’ Froissart, xi. 325; Hardyng, p. 370; Elmham, in Polit. Poems, ii. 121), with regular teeth which lasted till death, and wearing a thick matted beard of a deep russet colour. All through his life he was brave, active, orthodox, devout, and pure. Though a keen partisan from early youth, he remained long amenable to the influence of more experienced advisers. He seems to have been naturally merciful and trustful of his friends, but hot-tempered. Bitter experience taught him to be reserved, suspicious, and upon occasion cruel. His courtiers resented his clemency, and urged him to bad acts. His conscience does not seem to have been quite easy in his later years, and perhaps stimulated the curious interest he showed in discussing doubtful points of casuistry, which Capgrave notes as his most distinguishing characteristic (De Illustr. Henr. p. 109). He had a retentive memory, was able to follow a Latin sermon, and delighted in the conversation of men of letters. He more than doubled Chaucer's pension, patronised Gower, and invited Christine de Pisan to England because he was so pleased with her poetry. Scholars who had enjoyed his bounty spoke strongly to Capgrave of his knowledge and ability. He kept to the end his power of saying sharp things. His activity in affairs of state is seen by his answering petitions himself, and by the endorsements in his own hand on state papers (Pauli, v. 75).
Besides the fine effigy on his tomb at Canterbury, there is a well-known portrait of Henry at Windsor Castle. A portrait in MS. Harl. No. 1319 is figured in Doyle's ‘Official Baronage,’ ii. 316.