Династия Плантагенетов в истории Англии — страница 8

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chancellor, Hales, the treasure and other officials. On the next day Richard met the rebels again at Smithfield, and their main leader, Wat Tyler, presented their demands. But during the negotiations Tyler was attacked and slain by the mayor of London. The young king rode forward and reassured the rebels, asking them to follow him to Clerkenwell. This proved to be a turning point, and the rebels, their suppliers exhausted, began to make their way home. “Richard went back on his promises he had made saying, “Villeins you are and villeins you shall remain.”(28) In October Parliament confirmed the king’s revocation of charters but demanded amnesty save for a few special offenders. “The events of the Peasants’ Revolt may have given Richard an exalted idea of his own

powers and prerogative as a result of his success at Smithfield, but for the rebels the gains of the rising amounted to no more than the abolition of the poll taxes.”(29) Improvement in the social position of the peasantry did occur, but not so mach as a consequence of the revolt as of changes in the economy that would have occurred anyhow. John Wycliffe. “Religious unrest was another subversive factor under Richard II. England had been virtually free from heresy until John Wycliffe, a priest and an Oxford scholar, began his career as a religious reformer with two treaties in 1375 – 76. He argued that the exercise of lordship depended on grace and that therefore, a sinful man had no right to authority. Priest had even the pope himself , Wycliffe went on to argue, might not

necessarily be in state of grace and thus would lack authority. Such doctrines appealed to anticlerical sentiments and brought Wycliffe into direct conflict with the church hierarchy, although he received protection from John of Gaunt. The beginning of the Great Schism in 1378 gave Wycliffe fresh opportunities to attack the papacy, and in a treaties of 1379 on the Eucharist he openly denied the doctrine of transubstantiation. He was ordered before the church court at Lambeth in 1378. In 1380 his views were condemned by a commission of theologians at Oxford, and he was forced to leave the university. At Lutterworth he continued to write voluminously until his death.”(30) Political struggles and Richard’s desposition. Soon after putting down the Peasants’ Revolt, Richard

began to build up a court party, partly in opposition to Gaunt. A crisis was precipitated in 1386 when the king asked Parliament for a grant to meet the French treat. Parliament responded by demanding the dismissal of the king’s favorites, but Richard insisted that he would not dismiss so much as a scullion in the kitchen at the request of Parliament. In the end he was forced by the impeachment of the chancellor, Michel de la Pole, to agree to the appointment of a reforming commission. Richard withdrew from London and went on a “gyration” of the country. He called his judges before him at Shrewsbury and asked them to pronounce the actions of Parliament illegal. An engagement at Radcot Bridge, at which Richard’s favorite, Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford was defeated

settled the matter of ascendancy. In the Merciless Parliament of 1388 five lords accused the king’s friends of treason under an expansive definition of the crime. “Richard was chastened, but he began to recover his authority as early as the autumn of 1388 at the Cambridge Parliament. Declaring himself to be of age in 1389, Richard anounced that he was taking over the government. He pardoned the Lords Appellant and ruled with some moderation until 1394, when his queen Ann of Bohemia, died.”(31) After putting down a rebellion in Ireland, he was , for a time, almost popular. He began to implement his personal policy once more and rebuilt a royal party with the help of a group of young nobles. He made a 28- years truce with France and married the French king’s seven-year-old

daughter. He built up a household of faithful servants, including the notorious Sir John Bushy, Sir William Bagot, and Sir Henry Green. “He enlisted household troops and built a wide network of “king’s knight” in the counties, distributing to them his personal budge, the White Hart.”(32) The first sign of renewed crisis emerged in January 1397, when complaints were put forward in Parliament and their author, Thomas Haxey, was adjudged a traitor. “Richard’s rule, based on fear rather then consent, became increasingly tyrannical.”(33) Three of the Lords Appellant of 1388 were arrested in July and tried in Parliament. The Earl of Arundel was executed and Warwick exiled. Gloucester, whose death was reported to Parliament, had probably been murdered. The act of the