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Henry IV

Henry was a son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (a son of Edward III) and Blanche. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire on 4th April 1366. As his elder brothers died he succeeded his father in 1399. After the death of his first wife he travelled on the continent and then was troubled by rebellions at home and in Wales. It was prophesied that he would die in Jerusalem but as it was he was taken ill while praying at St Edward's Shrine in Westminster Abbey and died in a room in the Abbot's House called the Jerusalem Chamber.


Aged 14 he was married at Arundel Castle to Mary de Bohun in about 1380. His second wife was Joan of Navarre whom he married at Winchester on 7th February 1403.


Henry IV was crowned on 13th October 1399. He had two coronation processions, one from Westminster to the Tower of London on the eve of the coronation and then from the Tower back to Westminster on the afternoon of the next day. His queen Joan of Navarre was crowned in 1403.


He died on 20th March 1413 of a stroke and by his own wish was buried at Canterbury cathedral near the Shrine of St Thomas a Becket.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Henry IV by C.Given-Wilson, 2016


15th April 1367


20th March 1413


13th October 1399

Henry IV
Painting of Henry IV

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Henry IV
Plaster bust of Henry IV

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

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