Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-bjz6k Total loading time: 0.229 Render date: 2022-05-24T16:42:42.690Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

‘Mercy and Truth Preserve the King’: Richard II's Use of the Royal Pardon in 1397 and 1398

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2017

Helen Lacey
Affiliation:
University of Durham
Beth Alison Barr
Affiliation:
Beth Allison Barr is Assistant Professor of European Women's History at Baylor University.
James Bothwell
Affiliation:
Dr James Bothwell is Lecturer in Later Medieval English History at the University of Leicester.
Helen Lacey
Affiliation:
College Lecturer in Late Medieval History, Mansfield College, University of Oxford
Christian D. Liddy
Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer in History, University of Durham, England.
Get access

Summary

Richard II convened his so-called ‘Revenge Parliament’ on 17 September 1397, with the intention of imposing a new personal agenda on the polity of the realm. Two months earlier the king had ordered the arrest of his longstanding political opponents, the Lords Appellant, and the autumn parliament provided the forum for their public trial and conviction. Furthermore, he extorted concessions from the Lords and Commons which effectively curtailed the powers of parliament. For the chronicler Thomas Walsingham these events were the herald of a new and tyrannical phase of Richard's reign, and historians have generated a considerable body of scholarship in their attempt to elucidate the distinctive character of this period. However, these studies have struggled to explain the motivation behind the dramatic events of 1397–8. The intention of this article is to suggest that one vital element of Richard II's ‘tyranny’ has been overlooked, namely his view of the role and significance of the royal pardon. Beyond the drama of parliamentary proceedings, scant attention has been paid to the way in which Richard actually used the royal pardon in these years to bring pressure to bear on his political opponents. While the chroniclers dwell on the set-piece show trials of Arundel and Warwick, they allude only briefly to events occurring outside the limelight of parliament. Walsingham refers to a vague atmosphere of suspicion, and to secretive activities carried out by royal agents in order to secure forced loans for the king. The administrative records of government, however, contain a whole series of veiled references to arrests, imprisonments and council meetings, which, when pieced together, reveal a sequence of events revolving around the use of the royal pardon as a political bargaining tool. Richard, it seems, was using the very concept of pardon to justify his move against the supporters of the Lords Appellant in the autumn of 1397.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×