Henry IV. (13661413)

Henry IV., king of England from 1399 to 1418, first of the Lancastrian kings, son of John of Gaunt, and grandchild of Edward III., born at Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire; Richard II.'s misrule and despotism had damped the loyalty of his people, and when Henry came to England to maintain his ducal rights he had little difficulty in deposing Richard, and, with the consent of Parliament, in assuming the crown; this act of usurpation—for Richard's true heir was Roger Mortimer, a descendant of an older branch of the family—had two important results; it made Henry more obsequious to the Parliamentary power which had placed him on the throne, and it was the occasion of the bloody Wars of the Roses that were to devastate the kingdom during the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV.; Henry's own reign was a troubled one; wars were successfully undertaken against the Welsh under Owen Glendower and against the Scotch; while rebellion was raised by the Percies in unsuccessful attempts to win the crown for Mortimer; the only law of importance passed was the statute for burning heretics, the first passed in England for the suppression of religious opinion (13661413).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Henry III. * Henry V.
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Henley, William Ernest
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