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OTD 30 September

Updated: Oct 11, 2021


By UnknownUnknown author ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Henry IV of England

Henry Bolingbroke proclaimed King of England as Henry IV

Henry was born in Lancashire in April 1367. His parents were cousins, his father John of Gaunt, third surviving son of Edward III, his mother descended from Henry III.

By The National Archives UK (Illumination of Henry IV) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
Illuminated initial letter showing Henry IV from the records of the Duchy of Lancaster. Before his usurpation of Richard II in 1399, Henry was Duke of Lancaster.

In 1377 Henry's cousin, Richard II became king. In 1386, Henry joined a group of opposition leaders - the lords appellants - who outlawed Richard's closest associates & forced the king to accept their counsel. In 1398, Richard took revenge, banishing Henry after he disagreed with another member of the court.

On 3 February 1399, John of Gaunt died. Richard seized the family estates, depriving Henry of his inheritance & prompting him to invade England. He received little opposition to his invasion, as many were horrified by the king's actions. Richard surrendered in August & Henry was crowned on 13 October 1399, claiming that Richard had abdicated of his own free will.

Henry IV coronation, 13 October 1399
Henry IV coronation, 13 October 1399

The first task as king was to consolidate his position. Most of the rebellions were quashed easily, but the revolt of the Welsh squire Owen Glendower in 1400 was more serious affair. In 1403, Glendower allied himself with Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, & his son Henry, called Hotspur. Hotspur's brief uprising, Henry's most serious challenge, ended when he was killed in battle with the king's forces near Shrewsbury in July 1403.

Northumberland's subsequent rebellion in 1408 was quickly suppressed & was the last armed challenge to Henry's authority. However, he also had Scottish border raids & conflicts with the French to deal with. To finance these activities, Henry was forced to rely on parliamentary grants. From 1401 to 1406 parliament repeatedly accused him of fiscal mismanagement & gradually acquired new powers over royal expenditures & appointments.

James William Edmund Doyle [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Richard II stops the duel between Henry Bolingbroke, 1st Duke of Hereford, and Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk.

As Henry's health deteriorated, a power struggle developed between his favourite, Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, & a faction headed by Henry's half brothers & his son, Prince Henry (later Henry V). From 1408 to 1411 the government was dominated first by Archbishop Arundel & then Prince Henry. Argument raged over the best strategy to adopt in France, where civil war had erupted. Prince Henry wanted to resume war in France, but the king favoured peace. Uneasy relations between the prince & his father persisted until Henry IV's death in London on 20 March 1413.

Henry married Mary De Bohun in 1381, they had six children;

  • Henry V of England (1386–1422)

  • Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence (1387–1421)

  • John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford (1389–1435)

  • Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1390–1447)

  • Blanche of England (1392–1409) married in 1402 to Louis III, Elector Palatine

  • Philippa of England (1394–1430) married in 1406 to Eric of Pomerania, king of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Mary died in 1394, & on 7 February 1403 Henry married Joanna of Navarre, the daughter of Charles d'Évreux, King of Navarre, at Winchester. She was the widow of John IV, Duke of Brittany, with whom she had had four daughters & four sons; however, her marriage to the King of England was to be childless.

DID YOU KNOW? The descendants of Henry IV's son Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, include Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, queen consort of George VI & mother of Elizabeth II, & the Queen's current daughters-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, & Sophie, Countess of Wessex

By Rs-nourse [CC BY-SA 3.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons
Coat of Arms of Henry IV, King of England


Sophia of Hanover married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Gerard van Honthorst [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Sophia of Hanover was the mother of George I of Great Britain

Sophia of Hanover (born Sophia of the Palatinate; 14 October 1630 – 8 June 1714) was the Electress of Hanover from 1692 to 1698.

As a granddaughter of James VI & I, she became heir presumptive to the crowns of the Kingdom of England & the Kingdom of Ireland under the Act of Settlement 1701. After the Acts of Union 1707, she became heir presumptive to the unified throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain. She died less than two months before she would have become queen succeeding her first cousin once removed, Queen Anne, & her claim to the throne passed on to her eldest son, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, who ascended as George I on 1 August 1714.

Sophia of Hanover, mother of George I By UnknownUnknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Sophie of the Palatinate, electress of Hanover, in her younger days

Her parents were Frederick V of the Palatinate, a member of the House of Wittelsbach, & Elizabeth Stuart, the second child & eldest daughter of James VI & I, King of Scotland, England, & Ireland, & his wife, Anne of Denmark.

Sophia grew up in the Dutch Republic, where her family had sought refuge after the sequestration of their Electorate during the Thirty Years' War. Sophia's brother Charles Louis was restored to the Palatinate as part of the Peace of Westphalia.

By Jacob Ferdinand Voet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Sophia married Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1658. Despite his jealous temper & frequent absences, Sophia loved him, & bore him seven children who survived to adulthood. Initially a landless cadet, Ernest Augustus succeeded in having the House of Hanover raised to electoral dignity in 1692. Therefore, Sophia became Electress of Hanover, the title by which she is best remembered. A patron of the arts, Sophia commissioned the palace & gardens of Herrenhausen & sponsored philosophers, such as Gottfried Leibniz & John Toland.

Sophia & Ernest had seven children;

George I of Great Britain (1660–1727)

Frederick Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1661–90), Imperial General

Maximilian William of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1666–1726), field marshal in the Imperial Army

Sophia Charlotte (1668–1705), Queen in Prussia

Charles Philip of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1669–90), colonel in the Imperial Army

Christian Henry of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1671–1703)

Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Duke of York and Albany (1674–1728), became prince-bishop of Osnabrück

King George I of Great Britain Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
King George I of Great Britain Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018


1888 Jack the Ripper kills his third & fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride & Catherine Eddowes.

1909 – The Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania makes a record-breaking westbound crossing of the Atlantic, that will not be bettered for 20 years.

1938 – Britain, France, Germany & Italy sign the Munich Agreement, whereby Germany annexes the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.


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