Richard II

Early Life

After his father's death (1376) he was created prince of Wales and succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, to the throne. During his minority, his uncle John of Gaunt was the most influential single noble, but the struggle for power among several rival lords perpetuated the faction-ridden government inherited by Richard from his predecessor. In 1381, when Richard was 14, there occurred the uprising known as the Peasants' Revolt, led by Wat Tyler and John Ball. The young king acted with great courage in meeting with the insurgents, but the concessions that he made were immediately revoked, and the rebels were ruthlessly persecuted.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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