REIGNED: Betrayed by Richard II after the death of John of Gaunt, Henry invaded England, captured Richard, was elected King, defeated Scots 1402 at Humbleton Hill, defeated Percy family 1403 at Shrewsbury.
Henry subsequently fought with the Teutonic Knights against the Lithuanians and made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After his return to England he allied himself with the king.
Because of a quarrel with Thomas Mowbray, 1st duke of Norfolk, in 1398, Henry was exiled for six years by Richard, who promised that Henry would not lose his inheritance. When Henry's father died, however, Richard confiscated the Lancastrian estates willed to Henry. Consequently, Henry raised an army, invaded England, and captured Richard, who later abdicated.
In 1399 Henry was elected king by Parliament. The following year he suppressed a revolt of nobles who supported Richard. The Scots and the Welsh, aided by the French, then began a rebellion against the English crown. The Scots were defeated (1402) at Humbleton Hill, but the Welsh continued the rebellion for seven years under the leadership of the Welsh chief Owen Glendower. In 1403 the Percy family rebelled against Henry because they were dissatisfied with the rewards for service he had bestowed upon them; they were defeated in the Battle of Shrewsbury in the same year. Wars and rebellions persisted after that date but diminished in number. During his reign Henry IV persecuted the religious sect known as the Lollards. He was succeeded by his son, Henry V.
BIOGRAPHICAL: He was fond of music and song. At the end of his reign Henry was struck by a disfiguring disease, probably leprosy, which forced him to become a recluse.