The Royal Authority and the King's Childhood, 1376–82

Christopher Fletcher

in Richard II

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199546916
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720826 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

 The Royal Authority and the King's Childhood, 1376–82

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter begins the inquiry into the themes of manhood and youth in the reign of Richard II with the circumstances of his accession and early reign. In the last year of Edward III's reign, aspirations to regulate royal revenues and the appointment of ‘those about the king’ had been expressed, and these were to haunt his grandson throughout his reign. This chapter explores how, with Richard's accession at the age of 10, these issues first became confused with the problem of the new king's youth. As yet, the king's youth was not used against Richard personally, even as it served to justify mechanisms such as the Continual Councils, appointed tutors, and repeated commissions of inquiry into royal finances. As Richard began to assert himself in his early teens, however, these themes began to assume a different aspect, as his opponents attempted to circumvent his authority by appeal to his youth.

Keywords: Richard II; manhood; youth; royal finances; Continual Councils; appointed tutors; commissions of inquiry

Chapter.  10413 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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