Richard I
Richard I Anglia (The Kalmar Union).png
Richard I
King of Anglia
Reign 8th July, 1437 - 7th January, 1451
Predecessor Henry III
Successor William I
Born 30th November, 1380
Hartham, Hertfordshire, Anglia
Died 7th January, 1451
Antwerp, Flanders
Spouse Elizabeth of Betun
Issue Viola

John of Ghent

House Estridsson
Father Charles IV
Mother Philippa of Wessex

Richard I was the second son of Charles IV to reign over Anglia. A more competent ruler than his brother and predecessor Henry III he would not have the chance to cement his rule thanks the problems Henry had left behind.

Born in 1380, the third son of Charles IV and Philippa of Wessex, Richard had been given the Earldom of Kesteven, a central shire in Anglia, to govern. This he did well, building a reputation for himself for sure-footed financial sense. Coupled with a considerable friendliness and even-handed temper, his court, a little to the west of Lincoln was soon a well-frequented hub for the nobles to gather, secure marriages and plot. It was on this last point which Richard had been admonished on two occasions by his father. Indeed it was in his own house where in 1436 the plot to capture Henry III and force his reconciliation to the Witenage was hatched. Though Richard may not have known of the original plan he soon came to the forefront of the effort to mediate its effects.

Whilst Henry refused to back down from his stand and hoped that a royalist army would be raised to rescue him from captivity, Richard marshaled his diplomatic forces to keep the peace. He gave every indication of support to his brother but at the same time saw the clear advantage in a reconciled Witenage. Anglia was plagued by lawlessness, a symptom of the badly handled war in France, financial difficulties which meant returning soldiers did not get paid and finally, Henry withdrawing his justice meaning many shire judges had no authority. Kesteven had been as badly affected as other parts of the realm so Richard saw the sense in negotiating his way to a solution rather than imposing martial violence on an already tired country.

In July 1437 the negotiations, plus letters of support from the Emperor Sigismund had worked and Henry agreed to climb down. However as he was being released from his captivity in Rockingham Castle he stumbled and fell to his death on the castle stairs. Richard would be crowned king later that year, reissuing and reaffirming the great charters which had come to signify the pact between king and Witenage.

As a less haughty and 'odd' man Richard had an easy relationship with his lords and therefore should have had a easier reign, however he found the burden of kingship heavy. His brother-in-law Matthew of Luxembourg had also just inherited 'half of Europe' in the same month and

Unlike Henry with his almost pathological avoidance of matters sexual, Richard and his wife Elizabeth of Betun had seven children. However he would outlive them all with four dying before the age of five, two daughters dying in childbirth and the heir to the throne, John of Ghent dying on the battlefield of x. When Richard himself died in 1451 from a gangrene infection in his foot he would be succeeded by his half-brother William.

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