The Establishment of a Conciliar Regime, 1388–90

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 Establishment of a Conciliar Regime, 1388–90

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter returns to the aftermath of the Merciless Parliament of 1388 to reconsider how successful Richard II really was in his attempt to throw off the restraints imposed upon him through his ‘coming of age’ in May 1389. It is argued that unusual restrictions on the king's choice of personnel and the disposition of his resources remained in place well into the 1390s. This chapter traces in detail how, despite the king's gains in the Cambridge parliament of autumn 1388, his ‘assumption of government’ of 1389 was quickly followed by the re-assertion and formalization of conciliar mechanisms established in 1386-8. It examines how the councils and parliaments which followed the return of John of Gaunt served to cement these arrangements, now guaranteed by the supervision of the duke, his brothers, and those involved in earlier conciliar mechanisms, such as William Wykeham, bishop of Winchester.

Keywords: Richard II; May 1389; conciliar mechanisms; coming of age; assumption of government; John of Gaunt; William Wykeham

Chapter.  7113 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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