Today in World History: September 30th

Henry IV of England, the first Lancaster king of England, was crowned on this day in 1399. A cadet branch of the Plantagenet family, the Lancaster dynasty was the dynasty that ruled England up until the War of the Roses broke out, causing a civil war that ravaged the country until the Lancaster defeat and the rise of rival Plantagenet cadet dynasty York. He spent much of the beginning of his reign battling rebellions, many of them supporting rival claimants to the throne. Following his capture by pirates, future Scottish king James I was brought to Henry’s court, where he remained until Henry’s death. By the second half of his reign, Henry was impaired by numerous health problems, including a skin disease and several rounds of debilitating illnesses. After having his sixth bout of illness in March of 1413, Henry died on March 20th, at the age of forty-five. Several explanations for his illnesses include leprosy, epilepsy, and cardiovascular disease. Henry was succeeded by his son, Henry V, the second and second last Lancaster king.

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