The deposition of King Richard II, 1399

Holinshed 1577, Vol. II, 1116

After the Archbishop had ended, wishing that it might so come to passe, the people answered Amen.

The wordes of the elected king.The king then standing on his feet, said vnto the Lordes and Comons there present: I thanke you my Lordes both spirituall and temporal, and all the states of this lande, and doe you to witte, that it is not my will that any man thinke, that I by the way of conquest, would disinherite any man of his heritage, franches, or other ryghtes, that him ought to haue of right, nor for to putte him out of that which he now enioyeth, and hath had before time by custome of good law of thys realme, except such private persons as haue beene against the good purpose, and the common profit of the realme.

When hee had thus ended, then all the Sherifes and other officers were put in their authorities againe, to exercise the same as before, whiche they could not doe whilest the kings royal throne was uoyde.

Tho VVals.Moreouer a Proclamation was made, that the States shoulde assemble againe in Parliament on Monday then next ensuing, beeing the feast day of S. Fayth, which is the sixt of October, and that the Monday then next following, being the .xiij. of the same Moneth,The coronatio(n) proclaymed. and the feast day of Saint Edward the king, and Confessor, the coronation should be solemnised, and that al such as had to clayme any seruice to be done by them at the same by any tenure, they shoulde come to the white Hall in the kings Palace, afore the steward Marshall and Conestable of Englande,The parliame(n)t. on Saterday next before the same day of ye Parliame(n)t, and presenting their petitions that were due and rightfull they should obteyne that to them apperteyned. Excuse was also made on the kings behalfe, for calling a Parliament upon so short a warning, so as the knights and Burgesses were not chaunged, but onely appoynted to assemble againe, as if the other Parliament had rather bin continued than dissolued. The cause was alledged to bee for easing of the charges that woulde haue rysen if eche man had bene sent home, and new knightes and burgesses called. These things done, the king rose from his place, and with a cheerefull and right courteous countenance regarding the people, went to whyte Hall, where the same day he held a great feast.

King Henry the fourth proclaymed.In the after Noone were Proclamations made in the accustomed places of the Citie, in the name of king Henrie the fourth.

On the morrow following being Wednesday, and first of October, the Procurators aboue named, repayred to the Tower of London, and there signified to king Richarde of the admission of King Henrie. And the aforesayde Justice William Thyrning in the name of the other, and for all the states of the lande, renounced vnto the sayde Richard late king, all homage and fealtie vnto him before time due, in maner and forme as apperteyned.

King Richard depriuedAnd thus was King Richarde depriued of all kingly honour and princely dignitie, by reason he was so giuen to followe euill counsaile, and vsed suche inconuenient wayes and meanes, through insole(n)t misgouerna(n)ce, & youthful outrage, though otherwise a righte noble and worthie Prince: He raigned .xxij. yeares three moneths and .viij. dayes.

Hall.He deliuered to king Henrie now that he was thus deposed, all the goodes that he had, to the summe of three hundred thousande poundes in coyne, besides Plate and Jewels, as a pledge and satisfaction of the iniuries by him committed and done, in hope to bee in more suretie of life for the deliuerie thereof: but whatsoeuer was promised, he was deceyued therein. His Personage.For shortly after his resignation, hee was conueyed to the Castell of Leedes in Kent, and from thence to Pumfret, where he departedout of this miserable life (as after you shal heare.) He was seemely of shape and fauour, and of nature good ynough, if the wickednesse and naughtie demeanor of such as were about him had not altered it. His chaunce verily was greatly infortunate, whiche fell into suche calamitie, that hee tooke it for the beste waye hee coulde deuise to renounce his Kingdome, for the whiche mortall menne are accustomed to hazarde all they have to atteyne thereunto: but such mysfortune, or the lyke oftentymes falleth vnto those Princes, whiche when they are aloft, cast no doubt for perilles that maye followe.Harding He was prodigall, ambitious, and muche giuen to the pleasure of the bodie. Hee kept the greatest port, and mainteyned the most plentifull house that euer any king in Englande did eyther before his time or since.

Back to top
Holinshed 1587, Vol. III, 507-8

After the archbishop had ended, wishing that it might so come to passe,The words of the elected king. and the people answered, Amen; the king standing on his feet, said vnto the lords and commons there present: "I thanke you my lords both spirituall and temporall, and all the states of this land, and doo you to wit, that it is not my will that any man thinke, that I by the waie of conquest would disherit any man of his heritage, franches, or other rights, that him ought to haue of right, nor to put him out of that which he now inioieth, and hath had before time by custome or good law of this realme, except such priuat persons as haue beene against the good purpose, and the common profit of the realme." When he had thus ended, all the shiriffes and other officers were put in their authorities againe, to exercise the same as before, which they could not doo whilest the kings roiall throne as uoid.

Thom. Wals.Moreouer, a proclamation was made, that the states should assemble againe in parleement on mondaie then next insuing, being the feast daie of saint Faith, which is the sixt of October, and that the Monday then next following, being the 13 of the same moneth, and the feast day of saint Edward the king and confessor, the coronation should be solemnized, and that all such as had to claime any seruice to be doone by them at the same by any tenure, they should come to the White-hall in the kings palace, before the steward and constable of England, on saturdaie next before the same day of the parlement, and presenting their petitions that were due & rightfull, they should obteine that to them apperteined. Excuse was also made on the kings behalfe, for calling of a parlement vpon so short a warning, so as the knights and burgesses were not changed, but onelie appointed to assemble againe, as if the other parlement had rather beene continued than dissolued. The cause was alledged to be for easing of the charge that would haue risen, if ech man had beene sent home, and new knights and burgesses called.

These things doone, the king rose from his place, and with a cheerefull and right courteous countenance regarding the people went to White-hall where the same day he held a great feast. King Henrie ye fourth proclamed In the after noone were proclamations made in the accustomed places of the citie, in the name of king Henrie the fourth. On the morrow following, being wednesdaie and first of October, the procurators aboue named repaired to the tower of London, and there signified vnto king Richard the admission of king Henrie. And the aforesaid iustice William Thirning, in the name of the other, and for all the states of the land, renounced vnto the said Richard late king, all homage and fealtie vnto him before time due, in maner and forme as apperteined. Which renuntiation to the deposed king, was a redoubling of his greefe, in so much as thereby it came to his mind, how in former times he was acknowledged & taken for their liege lord and souereigne, who now (whether in contempt or in malice, God knoweth) to his face forsware him to be their king. So that in his heuines he might verie well haue said with a greeved plaintifeT.Wats. Amintas querela 5

Heu quantę sortes miseris mortalibus instant!
Ah chari quoties oblivies nominis opto!
O qui me fluctus, quis me telluris hiatus
Pertęsum tetricę vitę deglutiat ore
Chasmatico?
K Richard depriued.

Thus was king Richard depriued of all kinglie honour and princelie dignitie, by reason he was so giuen to follow euill counsell, and vsed such inconuenient waies and meanes, through insolent misgouernaunce, and youthfull outrage, though otherwise a right noble and worthie prince. He reigned two and twentie yeares, three moneths and eight daies. Hall. He deliuered to king Henrie now that he was thus deposed, all the goods that he had to the summe of three hundred thousand pounds in coine, besides plate and iewels, as a pledge and satisfaction of the iniuries by him committed and doone, in hope to be in more suertie of life for the deliuerie thereof: but whatsoeuer was promised, he was deceiued therein. For shortlie after his resignation, he was conueied to the castell of Leeds in Kent, & fro(m) thence to Pomfret, where he departed out of this miserable life (as after you shall heare.) His personage. He was seemelie of shape and fauor, & of nature good inough, if the wickednesse & naughtie demeanor of such as were about him had not altered it.

His chance verelie was greatlie infortunate, which fell into such calamitie, that he tooke it for the best waie he could devise to renounce his kingdome, for the which mortall men are accustomed to hazard all they have to atteine thereunto. But such misfortune (or the like) oftentimes falleth vnto those princes, which when they are aloft, cast no doubt for perils that maie follow. He was prodigall, ambitious, and much giuen to the pleasure of the bodie. Harding He kept the greatest port, and mainteined the most plentifull house that euer any king in England did either before his time or since...

Back to top