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The Politics of Magnate PowerEngland and Wales 1389-1413$
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Alastair Dunn

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263103

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263103.001.0001

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The Administration of Confiscated Estates under Richard II’s Tyranny

The Administration of Confiscated Estates under Richard II’s Tyranny

(p.152) 7 The Administration of Confiscated Estates under Richard II’s Tyranny
The Politics of Magnate Power


Oxford University Press

Royal intervention in the estates of the higher nobility — through treason, rebellion, and natural extinction — gave Richard II access to massive resources. However, this chapter shows that although substantial sums were yielded by these assets, they did not give Richard II the political security that he appears to have wished for. The boldest experiment was the annexation of the Fitzalan estates to the county of Chester, which was erected into a new principality. The proceeds from these forfeited estates were used to fund the king's personal bodyguard. However, the evidence shows that in spite of these efforts, the inhabitants of Chester and north Wales lacked the political will to protect Richard II in 1399, in spite of the massive resources that he had lavished on them. In the West Midlands, the servants of the forfeited earl of Warwick were left in charge of managing the estates, and in 1399 they played a role on overthrowing Richard II. A similar pattern of continuity can be found on the confiscated lands of Henry of Lancaster, whose retainers would play a vital role in his coup against Richard II.

Keywords:   Richard II, Fitzalan, Warwick, Gloucester, Chester, Henry, Lancaster

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