A Kingdom in Crisis: Henry IV and the Battle of Shrewsbury
Alastair Dunn discusses the battle and its repercussions in its 600th anniversary year.
On Saturday July 21st, 1403, the vigil of St Mary Magdalene, two armies met just outside Shrewsbury. One was led by Henry IV (1366-1413), king of England since the summer of 1399, and the other by his erstwhile ally, Sir Henry Percy (1364-1403), son of the Earl of Northumberland, and better known to history as ‘Hotspur’. The ensuing encounter was the hardest fought battle between Englishmen since that of Evesham in 1265. Engaging the royal forces with cries of ‘Henry Percy King!’ the rebels threatened to undo the Lancastrian revolution of 1399, and plunge England into renewed turmoil.