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King Richard II

(1367-1400), Reigned 1377-99

Sitter associated with 34 portraits
The second son of Edward, Prince of Wales and Joan, Countess of Kent. Richard succeeded to the throne, aged ten, under the regency of his uncle John of Gaunt, on 22 June 1377 following the death of his grandfather, Edward III. He was criticised for misusing royal patronage and between 1386 and 1389 parliament gave government control to a group of noblemen. In 1397 the king took revenge, charging many noblemen with treason. In June 1399 Gaunt's son Henry Bolingbroke, whom Richard had previously exiled, invaded England. He claimed the throne as Henry IV on 30 September. Richard died in captivity on 14 February 1400. His reign became the subject of Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of King Richard the Second.

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