On this day in 1382, Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia married at Westminster Abbey. Richard had come to the throne five years earlier at the age of ten, following the death of his grandfather, Edward III. Due to his young age, he ruled as king with guidance from councilors. These councilors upset the Commons and along with a heavy tax burden, which partially funded unsuccessful military operations in France, there was a significant level of unrest. In 1381 an all-time low was reached with the Peasants Revolt, when thousands of peasants convened on London.
Richard came through the Revolt ready to rule and one of his first significant acts was to marry. His bride was Anne of Bohemia, who was also 15, daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage was seen to have a significant diplomatic advantage with Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire potential allies in the ongoing war with France. However, the marriage was not popular in England as Anne brought no dowry and was seen to have little direct benefit to the country. After the wedding there was a month of tournaments and banquets held in London. Anne was crowned the two days later on the 22nd.
While Anne was Queen, she had little political power, however she had a strong relationship with Richard and gained a good reputation with the people of England. Following the Peasants Revolt trials continued and Anne asked for mercy, most notably for the life of a former mayor of London, John Northampton. She also interceded on behalf of the people gaining the peoples warmth, meanwhile Richard was slowly losing popularity with his subjects.
After twelve short years of marriage Anne died of plague in 1394 at Sheen Manor west of London. Richard was so grief-stricken that he demolished the manor. Sadly, the marriage had been childless. Anne was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Historians have speculated that her counsel had a moderating effect on Richard during her lifetime. This is supported by his unwise conduct in the years after Anne's death that lost him his throne.
This scene was built by James Pegrum as part of a series of models on the Kings and Queens of England. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see them first.
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