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Richard IIManhood, Youth, and Politics 1377-99$
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Christopher Fletcher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546916

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546916.001.0001

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The Emergence of the King's Firm Purpose, 1382–84

The Emergence of the King's Firm Purpose, 1382–84

(p.97) 6 The Emergence of the King's Firm Purpose, 1382–84
Richard II

Christopher Fletcher

Oxford University Press

When Richard II began to assert himself at the age of 15, it was still ambiguous whether he was of an age to exert his full authority. This chapter focuses on one strategy the king pursued to remedy this situation, namely the aggressive pursuit of a royal expedition, partly in order to promote his manhood in the sense of his renown and personal honour. Those who wished to contest this and other strategies to establish the king's authority took recourse instead to the topos of his inconstant youth. This chapter traces the project of a royal expedition from the first emergence of the king's ‘firm purpose’ in May 1382 to his attempts to intervene in Bishop Despenser's Crusade in autumn 1383. It places this in the context of other forms of evidence of the king's self-assertion, up to the tumultuous parliament held at Salisbury in April 1384.

Keywords:   Richard II, manhood, honour, renown, authority, royal expedition, Bishop Despenser's Crusade, youth, Salisbury parliament

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