Richard II was born on January 6, 1367, at Bordeaux, France, the son of Edward, the Black Prince, and Joan of Kent. He was the grandson of King Edward III of England. Richard’s father died when he was only eight years old, and his grandfather died two years later, making Richard king at the age of ten.


Richard’s reign was marked by political instability and conflict. He was a weak and indecisive king, and he was often overshadowed by his uncles, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. In 1381, the Peasants’ Revolt broke out, and Richard was forced to make concessions to the rebels. In 1386, he had his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, murdered.

In 1399, Richard was overthrown by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, who became King Henry IV. Richard was imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he died in 1400.


Richard II is often seen as a tragic figure. He was a weak and ineffective king, but he was also a victim of circumstance. He was born into a time of great political turmoil, and he was unable to cope with the challenges he faced.

Richard’s reign is also notable for the development of the English language. During his reign, the English language began to evolve from a dialect of Old French into a distinct language in its own right.


  • Bordeaux, France
  • England
  • Pontefract Castle


  • King Edward III
  • Edward, the Black Prince
  • Joan of Kent
  • King Richard II
  • John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
  • Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester
  • King Henry IV