Henry Bolingbroke ~ Lincolnshire’s Very Own King of England
A small village in Lincolnshire gave the country Henry IV King of England !
Back to Medieval Lincolnshire and the overthrowing of a King !
A really interesting story and a Lincolnshire Hero . . .
Henry of Bolingbroke was born 15 April 1366 in the tiny village of Bolingbroke, an area known to me since boyhood and I find it’s almost 4 years to the week since I wrote about Bolingbroke Castle.
In 1399 Henry was crowned the 10th King of England - Henry IV of England and also, it was claimed, rightful King of France (quite right too)
He was a first cousin, and childhood friend, of King Richard II, though this did not stop him taking part in the Lords Appellant’s rebellion against the king in 1387,
though I suspect it may have protected him from subsequent punishment when Richard II regained control and starting dishing out punishment - our man escaped exile etc, though eventually the King’s patience would wear thin.
In the early 1390s he took part in a couple of Crusades, the second more successful than the first before going on Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, something that moved him so much he vowed to put together another Crusade and to “free Jerusalem from the infidel”! Though it never was to be.
Our Man from the Golden Shire fell foul of King Richard again and got himself exiled for it, though clearly not a man to be beat he continued with his machinations until his father, John of Gaunt, died in 1399.
Presumably out of spite Richard II cancelled the automatic inheritance of the estates to Henry and required him to personally ask King Richard for his birth right.
This was clearly too much for our hero’s pride so instead of grovelling to the King he set about overthrowing him!
He met up with a fellow exile Thomas Arundel, who was Archbishop of Canterbury before Richard booted him out, and together they made mischief.
Whilst Richard was away on a military campaign trying to deal with the ever troublesome Irish Henry began taking land in England, attacking those who opposed him and destroying much of Cheshire (no great loss )
Before long he’d won enough support and declared himself King of England.
King Richard II found himself on the receiving end of Henry’s retribution and was imprisoned, whilst in prison he mysteriously died !?!?
One further achievement which consolidates him as a proper Lincolnshire Lad not some Home Counties Nancy Boy
At his coronation he became the first King since the Norman Conquest to make his address in English and not damnable French Aaaaargh French!
The English were back - all thanks to Lincolnshire
So, there we go, a man from a tiny Lincolnshire village seizes a kingdom, probably commits Regicide and finally boots out the frogs!
What a man . . .
Yours in awe and admiration,