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Richard II King of England. Richard, at three years of age, became second in line to the throne after his father. With Edward III’s death the following year, Richard succeeded to the throne at the age of ten. During Richard’s first years as king, government was in the hands of a series of councils. 1381, and the young king played a major part in the successful suppression of this crisis. By 1389 Richard had regained control, and for the next eight years governed in relative harmony with his former opponents. In 1397, Richard took his revenge on the appellants, many of whom were executed or exiled.
The next two years have been described by historians as Richard’s “tyranny”. Henry invaded England in June 1399 with a small force that quickly grew in numbers. Although he initially claimed that his goal was only to reclaim his patrimony, it soon became clear that Henry intended to claim the throne for himself. Meeting little resistance, Bolingbroke deposed Richard and had himself crowned as King Henry IV. Richard was said to have been tall, good-looking and intelligent.
Modern historians do not accept this interpretation, while not exonerating Richard from responsibility for his own deposition. Most authorities agree that, even though his policies were not unprecedented or entirely unrealistic, the way in which he carried them out was unacceptable to the political establishment, and this led to his downfall. He never fully recovered and had to return to England the next year. Less than a year after Holland’s death in 1360, Joan married Prince Edward. His elder brother Edward of Angoulême died near his sixth birthday in 1371, and Richard became his father’s heir.