The Earl of Arundel, the War with France, and the Anger of King Richard II

  • Chris Given-Wilson
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


On January 25, 1386, according to a brief chronicle written at the Hospitaller priory at Clerkenwell in London, “there was a disagreement (dissencio) between the king of England and the earl of Arundel, as a result of which the said lord king struck him with his fist and knocked him to the ground.”1 This was probably the first time that Richard II had physically assaulted one of the great men of his realm, but it was not the first time he had tried to do so: about a year before this, while being rowed across the Thames in his barge, the king had passed the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Courtenay, coming the other way, and had quarreled so violently with him that, according to the Westminster Chronicler,

the King drew his sword and would have run the Archbishop through on the spot if he had not been stoutly resisted by the Earl of Buckingham, Sir John Devereux and Sir Thomas Trivet, with whom he was so angry that in their fear they jumped from his barge into the Archbishop’s boat.2


Diffi Cult Anger Management Righteous Anger Draft Treaty Henry Versus 
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© R. F. Yeager and Toshiyuki Takamiya 2012

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  • Chris Given-Wilson

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