chapter  8
SAD STORIES OF THE DEATH OF KINGS: RICHARD II 8.1 INTRODUCTION
Pages 3

There are several parallels between the fates of Edward II and Richard II. Both were successors to powerful kings who had enjoyed the confidence and respect of their subjects, but nevertheless ended their reigns in difficulties. Both inherited messy political situations from their predecessors and aroused the anger of their greater subjects by their devotion to favourites. Both ended their reigns by deposition and their lives by murder. Yet Richard emerges from the pages of history as a much more positive and commanding individual than his great-grandfather. Where it was ultimately Edward’s incompetence which brought him down, the coup against Richard arose directly from his tyranny towards his greatest subject, in the last of a series of confrontations with the magnate class stemming from Richard’s conception of his unique position as a king ordained by God and his determination to subdue all his subjects to his will.