This Day in History: 1387-12-30

On 30th December 1387, the Lords Appellant, including John of Gaunt’s (lord of Pontefract) son, Henry, Earl of Derby (later Henry IV), entered the Tower of London with a bodyguard of 500 armed men and confronted Richard II (who was to die at Pontefract Castle just over twelve years later). Probably accusing him of treachery and showing him letters found in Robert de Vere’s baggage appealing for French help, Richard apologised. Different sources suggest it was demanded of Richard that his five key advisers be arrested or that he must attend a meeting at Westminster the next day with failure to do so meaning he would be deposed. After being rebuked for his misrule, the Whalley Abbey Chronicle recorded Richard being deposed for three days but reinstated as Derby and Gloucester could not agree on which of them should replace him.