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Gosford Green Re-enactment
Sunday 27 September 1998

The Gosford Green Residents Association are pleased to present a historical pageant to mark the 600th anniversary of an event so momentous that it was recorded by William Shakespeare in his play "Richard II" and affected the monarchies not only in England but across Europe.

King Richard II was the son of Edward the Black Prince who lived in Cheylesmore Manor in Coventry. The Black Prince had several brothers who included John of Gaunt who guided and tutored his 10 year old nephew, Richard, when he became King in 1377.

That was a time of great turmoil in the country with Wat Tyler leading the 'Peasants Revolt'.

Lionel of Antwerp, another of the Black Prince's brothers, believed he was the rightful heir to the throne.

John of Gaunt's son (cousin to King Richard II) began to covert the throne under the pretext of defending it from Lionel of Antwerp. This son was Henry Bollingbroke, Duke of Hereford and Lancaster.

Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, who lived at Caludon Castle, accused Henry Bollingbroke of treason. Henry demanded that he be tried by ordeal of single combat (a duel) with Thomas to the death.

It was for this duel that King Richard II and his wife Isabelle (daughter of Charles VI of France) came to Coventry. It is believed that they made their camp on Ball Hill.

The battle field was chosen as Gosford Green and the two knights presented themselves to the King ready for combat. The King realised that whoever won the duel would still covert his crown and that a civil war was inevitable. Therefore he stopped the duel taking place and decreed that both of the knights should be banished from the kingdom, Thomas for life and Henry for six years.

The peace, however, was short lived as within the year Henry returned to topple Richard from the throne and to crown himself King Henry IV of the House of Lancaster. This act led the country into the War of the Roses. This war lasted until 1485 when the hunchback King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

[This event has been supported by: Jaguar Cars plc, Peugeot Motor Co plc, Elliotts Car Accessories Ltd, Astleys Ltd and McCranors (Chartered Accountants)]

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