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Shakespeare Play Reading

The group meets monthly on a Monday morning.

Richard reigned from 1377 -1399 succeeding  Edward lll when only a child. The play opens with Richard settling a dispute between Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray (Duke of Norfolk) by originally ordering a trial by combat, then forbidding it and sentencing both men to exile.
Henry’s father, John of Gaunt dies and Richard, against the wishes of powerful noblemen, seizes his estate to pay for his coming Irish campaign. While he is in Ireland, Bolingbroke lands in Yorkshire and is joined by the Earl of Northumberland to march to Berkeley Castle where the Duke of York, acting as regent is obliged to receive them. Bolingbroke executes two of Richard’s favourites, “the caterpillars of the commonwealth”, Bushy and Green. The country rises in Henry’s favour.
When Richard lands back in Wales he hears only a tale of woe and is taken prisoner at Flint Castle with York’s son, Aumerle. In London Richard yields the crown to Bolingbroke who will become King Henry 1V. Richard is sent to Pomfret (Pontefract) Castle.  Aumerle and the Bishop of Carlisle join in a plot against the King which is discovered by York. Henry grants a pardon only on the intervention of the Duchess of York, Aumerle’s mother.
Richard is murdered by Sir Pierce of Exton, a crime at once mourned by the King who had prompted it. “From your own mouth, did I this deed,” says Exton; and Henry answers, “They love not poison that do poison need, Nor do I thee:”

King Richard ll, and Queen Isabel
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (the King’s uncle)
Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt
Duke of York uncle of the King, and the Duchess of York
Duke of Aumerle ( son of the Duke of York)
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Green and Sir John Bushy
Bishop of Carlisle
Sir Pierce of Exton

Contact: Steve Reynolds