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King Richard II

(1367-1400), Reigned 1377-99

Sitter associated with 34 portraits
The second son of Edward (the Black Prince) and Joan, Countess of Kent, and grandson of Edward III, Richard succeeded to the throne aged ten, under the regency of his uncle John of Gaunt. Misrule, plague and war with France resulted in the Peasant's Revolt of 1381. After this early crisis, his reign was coloured by bitter fighting with the nobility, culminating in a royal campaign of arrest, execution and property confiscation in 1398. Gaunt's son, the banished noble Henry Bolingbroke, invaded England in 1399 and with popular support forced the king to abdicate, claiming the throne as Henry IV. Richard died in captivity, his reign becoming the subject of Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard the Second.

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