English History Timeline 1380-1389

Richard IIThis timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English history for the years 1380 – 1389

The monarch for this period was Richard II


1381 (during)
The poll tax, which had been introduced to raise money for the war with France, was raised to one shilling per person.
1381 (during)
Peasant’s Revolt
The people rebelled against the poll tax. It was seen as a very unfair tax since the same amount was payable by rich and poor alike. As wages were still fixed at pre Black Death levels by the Statute of Labourers this left the peasants in a very poor situation and, encouraged by travelling priest, John Ball, they began to revolt.
1381 (Spring)
Peasant’s Revolt
John Ball was imprisoned in Maidstone.
1381 (30th May)
Peasant’s Revolt
Angry peasants in Essex, led by Jack Strawe, chased the tax collectors away then marched to London. At the same time protesters in Kent, led by Wat Tyler, freed John Ball and then marched to London.
1381 (13th June)
Peasant’s Revolt
The two groups of peasants reached London and joined at Tower Bridge. The mob, which had been orderly so far, turned violent and stormed the Tower of London. They murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Treasurer and many others who had sought refuge in the Tower.
1381 (15th June)
Peasant’s Revolt
Richard met the protesters at Smithfield and Wat Tyler was killed. The other protesters left on the promise of a pardon.
1381 (late June)
Peasant’s Revolt
The pardon made by Richard was revoked. Uprisings against the Poll Tax were suppressed in St Albans, East Anglia and the South. John Ball was hung, drawn and quartered.
1381 (30th July)
William Courtenay was created Archbishop of Canterbury.
1381 (late)
Following the problems caused by the Peasant’s Revolt, the Poll Tax was dropped.
1382 (during)
Having begun to take control of the government of the country, King Richard II negotiated an alliance with Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor against France. However, a large sum had to be paid to to the Emperor to secure the treaty.
1382 (20th January)
Richard married Anne of Bohemia, daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.
1382 (22nd January)
Anne of Bohemia was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.
1384 (April)
Richard’s uncle and former regent, John of Gaunt and Thomas of Woodstock expressed concern about Richard’s rule.
1385 (during)
A French army landed in Scotland to help the Scots invade England. Richard marched north at the head of an army and burnt Scottish border regions.
1385 (during
Richard created his uncle Edmund of Langley Duke of York and his uncle Thomas of Woodstock was created Duke of Gloucester.
1385 (20th October)
Permission was granted for a new castle to be built at Bodiam in Sussex.
1386 (during)
Richard created his favourite, Robert de Vere, Marquis of Dublin. This gave de Vere control of vast lands in Ireland.
1386 (during)
Parliament questioned the power of Richard’s closest associates.
1386 (Summer)
A large French fleet was assembled at Sluys and it was believed that a French invasion was imminent.
1386 (Summer)
Richard’s uncle, Thomas Duke of Gloucester spoke to Richard about his rule and the preferment given to his favourites.
1387 (during)
Geoffrey Chaucer began writing The Canterbury Tales.
1387 (14th November)
The Appellants
A group of influential noblemen – Thomas Duke of Gloucester (Richard’s uncle), Richard, Earl of Arundel, Thomas, Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Derby – known as the Appellants, accused a group of Richard’s friends of treason. Those accused included Chief Justice Tresilian and the King’s tutor Sir Simon Burley.
1387 (19th December)
Radcot Bridge
The Appellants were joined by Richard’s cousin, Henry Bolingbroke the Earl of Lancaster and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham. They defeated a Royalist force led by Richard’s favourite, Robert De Vere, Earl of Oxford.
1388 (February)
The Merciless Parliament
Following the Royalist defeat at Radcot Bridge, Richard had no choice but to submit to this parliament which found many of his supporters guilty of treason. Chief Justice Tresilian and Simon Burley were executed and many others were imprisoned. Parliament set controls on the privileges enjoyed by the King and his household.
1388 (June)
Parliament was dissolved.
1388 (during)
Battle of Otterburn
The English led by Henry Hotspur, son of the Earl of Northumberland, were defeated by the Scots.
1389 (May)
Richard declared that he was going to rule without advisers. He pursued a moderate policy to appease those likely to oppose him but at the same time he was secretly forming militant groups around the country ready to rise against his opponents when the time was right.
1389 (18th July)
A truce was agreed with France.


Published Oct 31, 2016 @ 11:39 am – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2020). English History 1380 – 1389. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/english-history-1380-1389. Last accessed [date]


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