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HOTSPUR AND GLENDOWER
 IT would have been well for King Richard if he had always behaved as well as he did on the day when he met Wat
Tyler and his men in Smithfield. He was then but sixteen years of age, but unhappily he did not grow wiser as
he grew older. At one time he allowed himself to be led by bad advisers; at another he seemed determined to
have his own way, and was very tyrannical and unjust. One of his unrighteous acts was a chief cause of his
fate. He had banished his cousin, Henry, Earl of Hereford, but had promised him that when Henry's father, John
of Gaunt, should die, he should have his estates. This promise he did not keep. John of Gaunt died in 1399, and
the King at once seized all his property. Henry came to England to claim his inheritance; many of the great
nobles joined him; and Richard when he came back from Ireland, whither he had gone a few months before, found
that he was no longer King. His cousin Henry had been declared King in his stead by Parliament.
 This was the first time that Parliament had done such a thing as to declare who was to be King. Parliament was
the people; so it was the people saying who should reign over them. To us this seems all right, but it was not
so clear then. Henry had to fight all his life against the rebellions and conspiracies of those who thought he
had no right to be King. What great troubles came from this cause in after years we shall soon see.
The first rebellion that King Henry had to do with broke out in Wales. Rather more than a hundred years before
this time an English King, Edward I.,
had conquered this country. The people had never been quite content, and now they saw a chance of getting their
freedom again. Their leader was a certain Owen Glendower, who claimed to be descended from the last Prince of
Wales, Llewellyn by name, the one who had tried in vain to resist the English conquest. Glendower had been one
of King Richard's squires, and had been ill-treated when his master lost his throne. A neighbour, Lord Grey of
Ruthyn, had been allowed to take possession of some of his estates. When he tried to get justice done to him,
it was refused. Then he rebelled, and soon gathered a number of followers. Wales is a land of mountains, which
Glendower and his men
 knew very well, and in which it was not easy for the English to find them. To the very end of his reign King
Henry found this Welsh chief a very troublesome enemy. Twice did he invade Wales with a large army, and twice
he was obliged to retreat. He made a third attempt, he and his son Prince Henry (afterwards Henry V.) and the
 of Arundel attacking the country at different points. This time the Welsh rivers were so flooded by heavy rains
that the English armies could not advance. Owen had the reputation of being a magician, and his followers
believed that he had caused the floods by his arts. This made him more powerful than ever.
THE BATTLE OF SHREWSBURY.
In one of his battles he had taken prisoner one Edmund Mortimer, uncle to the young Earl of March, who,
according to the strict law of inheritance, had a better claim to the throne of England than Henry himself. As
this is an important thing toward understanding the history of England for the next sixty years, I give a table
which shows the descent of the two from King Edward III.
King Henry did not look with any favour on his family, and he would not allow Edmund Mortimer's relatives to
ransom him. But by doing this he made enemies of another very powerful family, the Percies, Earls of
Northumberland, for Henry Percy, eldest son of the Earl, known as Hotspur on account of his
 impetuous courage, had married Edmund Mortimer's sister. The Percies had for some time disliked the King. They
had had much to do with putting him on the throne, and though he had rewarded them with grants of land and
various honours, they thought that he had not done enough. So a great conspiracy was formed against King Henry.
Owen Glendower released his prisoner Mortimer, and gave him his sister to wife, while Henry Percy made friends
with a powerful Scotch noble, the Earl of Douglas. This Earl of Douglas had been taken prisoner by Henry Percy
the year before at the Battle of Homildon Hill. He was now released without ransom, and joined the Percies with
a large number of Scottish soldiers. Owen Glendower, on his part, promised to bring 12,000 Welshmen to help his
friends. It was agreed that the Northumbrians and the Scotchmen should march southwards, and join Owen and his
If this plan had been carried out it is quite possible that the rebellion might have succeeded. And indeed
Henry was in great danger. He did not know what the Percies were thinking of doing. He heard indeed that
Glendower and his Welshmen were about to invade Gloucestershire, and he sent letters to the lieutenant of that
and of other counties on the Welsh border, telling them to muster their men and send them to join the Prince of
Wales. He also knew that the
 Scotch were intending to attack England, and he sent instructions to the Percies themselves to resist them.
This he did on June 16. A few days later he marched northwards himself, still knowing nothing about the Percies
having rebelled. About July 12 he learnt the truth, and hurried back. And he was just in time. On July 18 he
came up with Hotspur and his Scottish allies, before Glendower had been able to join them. They were three
miles from Shewsbury, and so not far from the Welsh border. A fierce battle was fought, in which the rebels
were defeated; Hotspur was killed, not, as Shakespeare describes, by the young Prince Henry, who was but a lad
of fifteen, but by a chance arrow, as he was leading his men. The Earl of Douglas was taken prisoner. Prince
Henry was in the battle, and was wounded by an arrow in the forehead.
We do not know what became of Glendower. He was certainly never conquered. In 1404, two years, that is, after
the battle of Shrewsbury, we hear of his sending the Bishop of Asaph to make a treaty for him with the King of
France, and nine years later still, Henry V., who was then about to start on the expedition which I shall
describe in my next chapter, offered to pardon him if he would submit. He never did submit; very likely, as we
hear no more about him, he died about this time.