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Portrait of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, from Harleian MS 1319.

Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland (1342-1408)

HENRY PERCY, first Earl of Northumberland, son of Henry, third baron Percy of Alnwick, by his first wife, Mary, daughter of Henry, earl of Lancaster (1281?-1346), was born in 1342. In 1369 he married Margaret, daughter of Ralph Neville, Baron Neville of Raby, and widow of William, lord Ros of Hamlake, or Helmsley; in that year and the next he was a leader of troops in the French war, and was knighted before October 1360, in which month he appears as one of the guarantors of the treaty of Bretigny at Calais.1 He was appointed to treat with David Bruce in 1362, being then a warden of the marches towards Scotland.2 In 1366 he was made a knight of the Garter,3 and the next year was a warden of the east marches towards Scotland.

On the death of his father in 1368 he succeeded to his barony, and did homage for his lands, was appointed a warden of the east marches towards Scotland, and constable of Jedburgh Castle.4 When the war with France broke out again in 1369 he was ordered to go with others to secure Ponthieu, but the French took possession of the province before the expedition sailed.5 He crossed with the Duke of Lancaster to Calais in August, and took part in his campaign in France. In 1370 he was appointed a warden of the west, as well as the east, marches towards Scotland.6 He joined the abortive expedition undertaken by Edward III in 1372 in the hope of relieving Thouars.

Disputes having arisen between him and William, first earl of Douglas (1327?-1384), in 1373, with reference to Jedburgh Forest, the king appointed commissioners to settle their quarrel.7 In that year he bought the constableship of Mitford Castle, Northumberland, of the crown, and the wardship of the lands of the heirs of the Earl of Atholl in that county, and in the summer took part in the expedition of Lancaster against France. On the meeting of the 'Good Parliament' in April 1376, the commons having requested to be assisted in their deliberations oy the lords, Percy was one of the magnates chosen to advise with them; they upheld the commons in their resolve to make supply dependent on redress of grievances. He was held to be specially zealous in his desire for the public good, and brought before parliament an accusation against Lord Latimer, the king's chamberlain, whom he charged with suppressing a letter sent to the king from Rochelle, and with imprisoning the bearer. At first Latimer tried to avoid producing the prisoner, and the Londoners were highly indignant at seeing Percy confounded through his having taken up the cause of a man whom he could not find.8 When the parliament was dissolved, Percy was won over by Lancaster to the court party by the promise of the marshal's office. He was believed to have dissuaded the duke from taking the life of Sir Peter de la Mare, the late speaker, but his defection from the popular cause was bitterly resented, and made him as much disliked as he had before been loved.9 He entered on the marshal's office on or about 1 Dec., though his formal appointment is dated later.

In common with Lancaster he took up the cause of Wiclif, and when on 19 Feb. 1377 Wiclif was summoned before the bishops at St. Paul's, Percy walked before him as marshal, and used violence to the people in order to clear the way through the crowd in the church. The bishop of London [William Courtenay] declared that he would have no such doings in the church, and an altercation ensued. When the lady-chapel was reached, Percy demanded that Wiclif should be allowed to sit before his judges, eaying that the more the charges were that he had to answer, the more need he had of a comfortable seat. On this he and the bishops came to high words. On that day he and Lancaster had advised the king to supersede the mayor by appointing a captain over the city, and to authorise the marshal to execute his office within the city; and this, together with their insults to the bishop, greatly excited the citizens against them. The next day Lord Fitzwalter appeared before the common council, and declared that a prisoner was detained in the marshal's house contrary to law, and warned the citizens that if they let such things pass they would live to repent it. The citizens took arms, Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland broke into the marshalsea, brought the prisoner out, burnt the stocks in which he had been set, and searched every room to find the marshal. Not finding him, they rushed to the duke's palace, the Savoy, thinking to find him there. Percy and the duke were dining together at the house of a certain William Ypres. They were warned of their danger by one of the duke's knights, and escaped by water to Kennington, to the house of the Princess of Wales, who gave them shelter. When a day or two later Percy returned to parliament, he went to Westminster attended by an armed retinue.10 On 8 May he received his formal appointment as marshal of England, and was further made captain in the marches of Calais.11 Shortly before the king's death Sir John Menstreworth, lying in the marshal's prison under sentence of death, entrusted him with a letter to the king, and it was believed that Percy suppressed it.

On 15 July the young king, Richard II, the influence of Lancaster being in the ascendant, created Percy Earl of Northumberland, and he thus became earl-marshal. Nevertheless Margaret, elder daughter of Thomas of Brotherton (1300-1338), second son of Edward I, who had been earl of Norfolk and earl-marshal, asserted her right to the office, and claimed to execute it by deputy at the coronation. It was, however, declared that the office was in the king's gift, and, forasmuch as there was no time to hear and finally decide the case, that Percy should hold the office temporarily, saving the rights of all concerned.12 The new earl therefore acted as marshal at the coronation on the 16th, and on that and the preceding day showed so much courtesy and forbearance to the crowd that he regained no small part of his former popularity. He then resigned the marshal's staff, alleging the pressure of his private affairs, and being, it was thought, unwilling to contest the office with the Countess Margaret.13 His presence was needed in the north, for the Scots, under the Earl of Dunbar, pillaged and burnt Roxburgh. Northumberland retaliated by entering Scotland with a large force and wasting the lands of Dunbar, burning everything that he came across in three days' march.

On 12 Dec. he was again appointed a warden of the east and west marches, and on 22 Oct. 1378 a joint commissioner to treat with Scotland. Hearing towards the end of November that the Scots had surprised Berwick, he, in company with his eldest son, Sir Henry, called Hotspur, attacked the place, and retook it after a fierce struggle. In 1380 he had a dispute with the men of Newcastle and Hull about a Scots ship which they had token, and which he claimed as a prize, either wholly or in part, on behalf of the crown. The ship was finally taken possession of by a Hull man, and the earl's claim failed.14 A serious inroad of the Scots was made across the border in the summer; they wasted parts of Cumberland and Westmorland, pillaged Penrith, threatened Carlisle, and carried off great booty, doing the earl damage to the amount of more than one thousand marks. He was preparing to take vengeance on them when he was forbidden to proceed by the king. He at once went to the council at London, was received with flattering words, and was bidden to wait and bring his complaint before the next marchers' court.15 In June 1381 he was appointed captain against the rebels in Yorkshire.16

On the outbreak of the villeins' insurrection the Duke of Lancaster made a truce with the Scots. This seems to have offended the earl, who probably thus lost the power of forcing them to make him amends; he thwarted the duke, and did him a serious disservice. A violent quarrel ensued; it seems probable that the earl, seeing that the duke was unpopular and that his power in England was lessened, was not unwilling to break with him. Lancaster laid his complaints against him before the king, and the earl was summoned to appear before the council at Berkhampstead, which was attended by nearly all the earls in the kingdom. Lancaster kept his temper, and stated his charges quietly; but the earl behaved with the vehemence characteristic of his race ("more gentis suse"), answered him with abuse, and refused to be silent when the king bade him. His disobedience was punished by arrest, as though he had been guilty of treason; but he was bailed by the Earls of Warwick and Suffolk. He attended parliament in November, accompanied by armed followers, and was received with favour by the Londoners, with whom he was again popular. The duke was also attended by an armed force, and the peace of the kingdom was endangered. Vain efforts were made in parliament for some time to compose their quarrel, and at last the king interfered and compelled them to be reconciled.17 Writs were again issued appointing the earl a warden of the marches towards Scotland, and in November 1383 he was made admiral of the north, and held that office for fourteen months.18 In that year he made a raid into Scotland in company with the Earl of Nottingham, and wasted the country as far as Edinburgh. The Scots revenged themselves later by ravaging his lands.

In December 1384, while he was attending parliament, the Scots, through the treachery of his lieutenant, obtained possession of Berwick Castle, which was in the earl's custody. Lancaster is said to have gladly seized this opportunity of spiting his enemy, and to have procured that the lords should pronounce sentence of forfeiture against him for having thus lost one of the royal castles; but the king remitted him all penalty. He gathered an army and besieged the castle. The garrison soon surrendered on condition of receiving two thousand marks of English gold, and being allowed to march off with their goods. Again, in 1385, the Scots and their French allies invaded England, destroyed the villages round Alnwick, and did much mischief in Northumberland, but retreated on hearing that the earl and other English lords were marching to meet them.19 The earl took part in the king's invasion of Scotland which followed.

In 1387 the king, who was set upon overthrowing the party of reform then in power, sent Northumberland to arrest one of its leaders, the Earl of Arundel, at Reigate Castle. Northumberland, however, found the earl at the head of a strong force, and did not therefore carry out his commission. He was probably not anxious to do so, for when in November the king contemplated resisting Gloucester and the other lords by war, Northumberland told him plainly that they were loyal, and were acting for his good, but were aggrieved by his evil advisers, and urged him to behave wisely and to invite them to state their grievances.20

In March 1388 he was appointed to treat with the Scots. In the summer the Scots made a great raid across the border under the Earls of Douglas, Dunbar, and Moray, and ravaged the land to the gates of Durham, intending to return by way of Newcastle. The earl sent his sons, Sir Henry and Sir Ralph, to Newcastle, while he himself remained at Alnwick, thinking that he might thus take them on both sides. His sons met the Scots in battle at Otterburn, near Woolley. in 1389 he was appointed captain of Calais, and in 1390 was a commissioner to treat with Flanders.21 He was recalled from Calais in February 1391, and was again appointed to guard the east Scottish march.22 The Scots made a raid across the east march in 1393, carried off much booty, and slew some men of note. The earl was much blamed for not keeping stricter ward, for he received seven thousand marks a year from the treasury for his expenses.23 He was present at the interview between the kings of England and France at Guisnes in October 1396, and was one of the four great English lords that acted as the French king's escort. When Richard took vengeance on his enemies and assumed despotic power in 1397, he reckoned on the earl's support. In February 1398 he was appointed by the parliament of Shrewsbury as one of the committee empowered to execute the functions of parliament.

He soon became indignant at Richard's violent proceedings, and both he and his son Henry spoke strongly of the king's misgovernment. Their words were reported to Richard when he was about to set sail for Ireland. The king was wroth, and sent a special summons to the earl to come to him, besides the summons that he had already received to attend him to Ireland. The earl did not obey, and the king sentenced him and his son to banishment. He made arrangements to take refuge in Scotland, but the king's departure caused him to delay,24 and on the landing of Henry of Lancaster [see Henry IV] in July 1399 he joined him in Yorkshire with a large force. Richard sent the Duke of Exeter from Conway to Henry, who was then at Chester, requesting him to send the earl Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, delivering message to King Richard II to him with a message.25 On his way the earl, it is said, left his armed retinue in ambush, and proceeded to Conway with only a few attendants. There he had a conference with Richard, persuaded him to ride with him to meet Henry, and it was asserted received from him a declaration that he was ready to renounce the crown.26 He brought Richard as a captive to Henry at Flint on 19 Aug., and rode with Henry and the fallen king to London. On 29 Sept. he recited before Henry and a great council of the magnates of the kingdom the promise of abdication which he asserted that he had received from Richard, and Henry was the next day accepted as king by parliament. On the same day the new king made the earl constable of England, and shortly afterwards gave him the Isle of Man to hold by carrying at the coronation the sword that Henry wore on landing. Northumberland also received certain lands and constableships in Wales and the border, before held by Roger, earl of March, the captaincy of Carlisle, and the wardenship of the west march, with an income of £1,500 to maintain it in time of peace.27

To Northumberland Henry largely owed the success of his attempt on the crown. For a time the earl was one of the new king's chief supporters, and seems to have been regarded with affection by him. Northumberland was continued in his membership of his privy council, and was, in common with the king, blamed for the leniency shown to the evil counsellors of Richard. He was soon busy with the affairs of the Scottish march, for in August 1400 the king invaded Scotland. On Henry's return the Scots attempted to retaliate, and in December the earl urged the necessity of strengthening Berwick and Carlisle. In February 1401 he was appointed a joint commissioner to treat with the envoys of the king of the Romans, then in London, concerning a proposed marriage between Henry's daughter Blanche and their master's eldest son.28 In March, April, and May he was engaged in negotiations for peace with Scotland,29 and in October met the Earl of Douglas at a conference at Yetham, in Roxburghshire.30 Nothing was effected, and war began again on the border. Douglas in 1402 sent to Henry declaring that the renewal of the war was due to Northumberland; but this Henry, after consulting with the earl, refused to admit; and he gave the earl authority, together with his son and the Earl of Westmorland, to treat with Scotland at a fitting time, and meanwhile to endeavour to win over to the English side any of the Scottish nobles that were inclined to it.31 In August a large army of Scots, under Douglas and Murdoch Stewart, ravaged Northumberland and Durham, and on their way home were intercepted by an English army under the earl, his son Henry, and the Earl of March on 14 Sept. The Scots took their station on Homildoun, or Humbledon, Hill, near Wooler, the English being drawn up at Millfield-on-the-Till. The English won a complete victory, utterly routing the enemy, and taking a large number of prisoners of high rank, among whom were Douglas and Murdoch Stewart, the Earls of Angus, Moray, and Orkney, and many barons.32 On the 22nd Henry issued an order that the prisoners were not to be ransomed or set free, promising, however, to respect the rights of the captors.33

The earl attended the parliament opened on the 30th; the commons, on 16 Oct., requested the king to show him special favour in consideration of his late victory, and on the 20th he presented some of his principal prisoners to the king in parliament.34 When, however, the commons, discontented at the demand for grants, asked what had become of the last king's treasure, Henry replied that the earl and others had had it. The commons asked that an official inquiry should be made into the matter, but the king refused.35 On 2 March 1403 the earl received from the king a grant of all the lands of the Earl of Douglas, which may roughly be described as the country south of the Tweed, with Galloway. This vast territory, though declared to be annexed to England, was not in Henry's power, and he granted it to the earl that he might conquer it. An attempt to take possession of it was checked by the resistance of two fortresses, and the earl agreed that the sieges should be suspended until 1 Aug., on which date the garrisons, if not relieved, were to surrender. In May he pressed the king for supplies; the Scots were preparing to relieve the fortresses; he must have the money that the king owed to him and his son. Again, on 26 June, he wrote urgently, representing the disgrace that would befall the kingdom if he were not enabled to take the places, and declaring that, though it was reported that he and his son had had £60,00036 of the king since his accession, more than £20,00037 of that amount was then due to him. He signed this letter 'Your Mathathias,' thus comparing himself and his sons to the patriotic heroes of the Maccabæan house.38 It has been calculated that the Percys, the earl, his brother Thomas, Earl of Worcester, and his son Henry, called Hotspur, had received from the king, in money, £41,750,39 besides the profits of their lands, and anything that they may have had from Richard's treasure.40 On the other hand, there seems no reason to doubt that this sum was exhausted in the continual wars that they waged against the national enemies.

Early in July the king marched northwards with a force to support them. The Percys rose in revolt. Henry Percy had special grievances against the king, in which his father had some share. Northumberland was thwarted by the king's inability to supply him with the money that he needed for the war with the Scots, he had been treated somewhat shabbily with respect to the Scottish prisoners, he had good reason to suspect the king of endeavouring to represent him and his family as the cause of the poverty of the realm, and he was probably also jealous of the Earl of Westmorland, the earl's nephew by his first wife and the head of the rival house of the Nevilles of Raby. He made an alliance with Owen Glendower, raised a large force, and joined his brother and son in putting out a manifesto declaring that the king had obtained the throne by fraud, demanding that the public ills should be redressed by the employment of wise counsellors, and complaining that the money raised by taxes was not used for the good of the kingdom, and was spent uselessly.41 Henry Percy was defeated and slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury on the 21st, and his uncle, the Earl of Worcester, was beheaded. The earl, who was marching to join his son a few days after this battle, found his way barred by the Earl of Westmorland, and retreated to Newcastle, where the burgesses at first shut the gates against him, and later would only allow him to enter with his personal attendants, refusing to admit his army. From Newcastle he retired to his castle of Warkworth, where he received a summons from the king to meet him at York, with a promise that he should not be harmed before he had made his defence in parliament.

He appeared before the king on 11 Aug., was received coldly, and excused himself by declaring that in the late rising and much else his son had acted without his approval.42 The king took him with him to Pontefract, where he agreed to give up his castles to be commanded by officers appointed by the king; he was deprived of the office of constable, and was sent to Baginton, near Coventry, where he was kept in custody until February 1404, when he was brought before parliament. The lords held that his acts did not amount to treason, but only to a trespass, which might be punished by a fine. At his own request he took an oath of fealty to the king in parliament on the cross of St. Thomas, and the king pardoned him the fine. On the 9th the commons thanked the king for showing him mercy, and he and Westmorland were publicly reconciled.43 He was restored to his dignities, though not to the constableship, and to his possessions, with the exception of grants made by the king, as the lordship of the Isle of Man.44 The captains of several of his castles refused to admit the king's officers, and in May Henry went northwards to enforce their submission. After repeated summonses the earl appeared before him at Pontefract about midsummer, bringing with him his three grandsons in order to remove all suspicion; he agreed to give up the castles of Berwick and Jedburgh, an equivalent being promised to him, and departed in peace.45 This arrangement was afterwards cancelled by the king, and the earl retained the castles.46

In profession he was at this time loyal, though he was really discontented and ready for mischief, his uncertain attitude adding in no small degree to the political difficulties of the kingdom. When summoned to the council in January 1405, he wrote a letter to the king excusing himself on the score of age and health, and signing it 'your humble Matathyas.' On 28 Feb. he made an agreement with Owen Glendower and Sir Edmund Mortimer partitioning England and Wales between them, in the belief that an old prophecy concerning the division of Britain was to be fulfilled; his own share was twelve northern and eastern counties.47 In March he attended the privy council at Westminster. Before the end of April his treaty with Owen Glendower seems to have been known, and the king declared him a traitor. A message from the king was sent to him early in May, and he put the messenger into prison.48 About the same time, finding that his rival Westmorland, whom he was in the habit of accusing of spite and ingratitude, was staying at a castle which Mr. Wylie identifies with that of Witton-le-Wear,belonging to Sir Ralph Eure, he marched by night with four hundred armed men in the hope of surprising him; but Westmorland was forewarned,and left before he arrived.

Northumberland was busy fortifying and victualling his castles when he received a visit from Lord Bardolf, with whom he was already in treasonable communication, joined himself with him and Sir William Clifford, and before the end of the month was in open revolt. The insurrection was crushed while he was bringing his forces to aid the rebels, and he, with Bardolf and a small following, fled to Berwick, where the castle was held by his men. The mayor at first refused to admit him into the town, but did so on the earl's assurance that he was loyal to the king, and was merely at feud with his neighbours. The king advanced northwards, taking some of his castles. At his coming, the earl and Bardolf fled to Scotland, where they were received by Sir David Fleming, and were lodged first at St. Andrews and then at Perth. The earl's possessions were confiscated and his castles taken or surrendered. Early in 1406 the Scots offered to deliver him up to the king; but Fleming informed him of their intention, and he and Bardolf escaped to Wales, where they were received by Owen Glendower.49

Later in the year they went to France, the earl, before entering Scotland, having attempted to open negotiations with the Duke of Orleans; they appeared before the king and his council, and asked for help against King Henry, declaring that they were supporters of the young Earl of March. They were refused, and seem to have gone thence to Holland, and in the summer of 1407 again took refuge in Scotland.50 Believing that King Henry was so generally hated, and that popular feeling would be so strong in their favour that adherents would quickly join them, they crossed the border in February 1408, and advanced to Thirsk, where they put out a proclamation that they had come to relieve the people from unjust taxation. Thence they marched to Grimbald Bridge, near Knaresborough, where they found Sir Thomas Rokeby, the sheriff of Yorkshire, at the head of the forces of the shire, holding the passage of the Nidd; they turned aside to Wetherby, and on the 19th were at Tadcaster. They gave Rokeby battle on Monday the 20th on Bramham Moor, in the neighbourhood of Tadcaster; their troops were defeated and the earl was slain in the battle. His head was cut off and stuck upon a stake on London Bridge, where its venerable grey hair excited no small sorrow among the people;51 his body was quartered, parts being sent for exposure to London, Lincoln, Berwick, and Newcastle; but they were afterwards delivered to his friends for burial.52

Northumberland was magnificent in his daily life, gracious in manner, and given to courting popularity. Over a large part of northern England, where the feudal tie was stronger than in the south, he had almost kingly power; he kept great state, and was faithfully served by his knights and retainers. Prompt and fearless in war, he was the hero and champion of the English of the northern marches in their almost ceaseless strife with the Scots (see the ballad of "Chevy Chase"). He probably desired good and vigorous government, and was not wholly insincere in his profession of anxiety for the public welfare. At the same time his actions were really the results of selfish motives, of ambition, jealousy of the rival house of Neville, anger, pride, or mortification. Though he was exceedingly crafty, his temper was violent, and his policy devoid of wisdom. Proud, passionate, unstable, and faithless, he was never to be relied on except when his own interests were to be served or his feelings gratified by his adherence to the cause he had adopted. His desertion of the popular cause in 1377 was shameful. For his desertion of Richard II there were valid reasons; but his conduct towards his fallen master was base, and merely dictated by his wish to place the new king under overwhelming obligations, and reap a rich harvest from his gratitude. That he had cause for discontent in 1403 seems certain. But he failed to make allowance for the king's financial difficulties; he was impatient, and perhaps incapable of appreciating the position of affairs. When he was bereft of his sons and others, as his brother Thomas Percy, earl of Worcester, that were near to him, when he found that the king had learnt to distrust him, saw his rivals advancing in favour and power, and knew that his greatness was slipping from him, his heart became bitter; and, though he retained his capacity for guile, he lost his judgment, and acted with a lack of wisdom and a recklessness that reached their highest point in his last mad expedition.

He gave the hospital of St. Leonard at Alnwick to the abbey there, is said incorrectly, as it seems, to have founded a hospital at Scarborough, to which he was perhaps a benefactor, did good service to St. Alban's Abbey, and gave largely to its cell, the priory of Tynemouth.53 By his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Ralph, fourth baron Neville of Raby, he had three sons—Sir Henry, called Hotspur; Sir Thomas, married Elizabeth, elder daughter and coheiress of David, earl of Atholl, and died in Spain in March 1387, leaving a son Henry; and Sir Ralph, who was taken prisoner at Otterburn in 1388, acted efficiently as warden of west march in 1393, and probably died soon afterwards—and a daughter. In 1384 he married his second wife, Maud, daughter of Thomas de Lucy of Cockermouth, and eventually sole heir of her brother Anthony, last baron Lucy, and widow of Gilbert de Umfraville, earl of Angus, by whom he had no issue, and who died on 24 Dec. 1398.

1. Rymer's Foedera, iii. 518, 531.
2. ib. pp. 645, 659.
3. Beltz. Memorials of the Order of the Garter. link.
4. Doyle. The Official Baronage of England. Vol II. link.
5. Froissart, Chronicles I. ii. c. 262.
6. Foedera, iii. 896.
7. ib. pp. 971, 1011.
8. Chronicon Angliae, pp. 81, 82.
9. ib. pp. 106, 108.
10. ib. pp. 117-80.
11. Foedera, iii. 1078.
12. Liber Custumarum, p. 548.
13. Chron. Angliae, p. 165. 14. ib. p. 267.
15. ib. p. 270.
16. Doyle.
17. Chron. Angliae, pp. 327-30.
18. Doyle.
19. Froissart, ii. c. 235.
20. Knighton, Chronicle, col. 2698.
21. Doyle.
22. Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ii. 203. link.
23. Annales Ricardi II, p. 164.
24. Froissart, iv. c. 70; Williams, Chronique de la traïson et mort de Richart II, p. 34. link.
25. Annales Ricardi, p. 249.
26. ib.; Traïson, pp. 50-2. link.
27. Wylie, History of England Under Henry IV, i. 25-6; Doyle; Dugdale, Baronage, i. 278; Annales Henrici IV, p. 311.
28. Foedera, viii. 176.
29. Wylie, i. l91-2. link.
30. Royal Letters, Hen. IV, i.53. link.
31. ib. p. 64; Foedera, viii. 251; Wylie, i. 237. link.
32. Annales Henr. p. 344; Scotichronicon, ii. 433; Wyntoun, ii. 401 link; Wylie, i. 292; Ramsay, Lancaster and York, i.
33. Foedera, viii. 278.
34. Rolls of Parliament, iii. 485 sq.
35. Eulogium, iii. 395.
36. £60,000 in 1402 is roughly equivalent to £19.5 million in 2008 money. Source: Measuring Worth.
37. £20,000 in 1402 is roughly equivalent to £6.5 million in 2008 money. Source: Measuring Worth.
38. Proceedings of the Privy Council, i. 203-4.
39. £41,750 in 1402 is roughly equivalent to £13.6 million in 2008 money. Source: Measuring Worth.
40. Lancaster and York, i. 67. link.
41. Annales Henr. p. 361; Hardyng, Chronicle p. 362. link.
42. Eulogium, iii. 398.
43. Rot. Parl. iii. 624.
44. Annales Henr. p. 879.
45. ib. p. 890; Wylie, i. 450,
46. ib. ii. 66-7.
47. Chronicon, ed. Giles, pp. 39-42.
48. Wylie, ii. 178. link.
49. To this date has been referred the partition treaty between the earl, Owen, and Mortimer, ib. pp. 375-81; but the only authority that records it dates it, as above, 28 Feb. 1405, and expressly states that it was divulged before the earl's flight to Scotland.
50. Juvenal des Ursins, an. 1406; Chronique de St. Denys, iii. 427; Monstrelet, i. c. 27; Hardyng, Chronicle, p. 364; Lancaster and York, i. 112. link.
51. Thomas Otterbourne, Chronicle, ed. Hearne, pp. 262-3; Walsingham, Historia Anglicana ii. 278.
52. Dugdale.
53. Notitia Monastica, pp. 398, 416, 687; Trokelowe, Annales, App. p.436.

      Excerpted from:

      Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. XV. Sidney Lee, ed.
      New York: The Macmillan Co., 1909. 844-850.

Other Local Resources:

Books for further study: Brenan, Gerald. A History of the House of Percy.
            Fremantle & Co., 1902.

Collins, Arthur. An History of the Ancient and Illustrious Family of the Percys.
           Gale ECCO, 2010. (Reprint from 1750)

Davies, R. R. The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dwr.
            Oxford University Press, 2001.

De Fonblanque, E. Barrington. Annals of the House of Percy.
           London: Richard Clay & Sons, 1887.

Dodd, G., and D. Biggs, eds. The Reign of Henry IV: Rebellion and Survival, 1403-1413.
           York: York Medieval Press, 2008.

Lomas, Richard. The Fall of the House of Percy.
           Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, Ltd., 2007.

Lomas, Richard. A Power in the Land: The Percys.
           East Linton: Tuckwell Press, Ltd., 1999.

Rose, Alexander. Kings in the North: The House of Percy in British History.
            Phoenix Press, 2003.

Shakespeare, William. Henry IV, Part I.
            Folger Shakespeare Library, 2004.

Valente, Claire. The Theory and Practice of Revolt in Medieval England.
            Ashgate Publishing, 2003.

Whitewood, Dickon. Shrewsbury 1403: Struggle for a Fragile Crown.
            Osprey Publishing, 2017.

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Hugh le Despenser the Younger
Bartholomew, Lord Burghersh, elder

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
The Siege of Calais, 1346-7
The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
The Peasants' Revolt, 1381
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Agincourt, 1415
The Battle of Castillon, 1453

The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450

Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer

The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster


Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
London in late 16th century
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's View of London, 1616
Larger Visscher's View in Sections
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London

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