Geoffrey Chaucer. 19th century image. From The Illustrated Magazine of Art. 1:1 (ca. 1853).

The Parliament which assembled in Westminster in October 1386 was always going to be difficult. King Richard II, nine years into his reign yet still only nineteen, was unpopular on account of his arrogance, favoritism, and financial profligacy. He had been humiliated by the failure of his military campaign against the Scots the previous year and was now facing the prospect of a French invasion, with troops massing across the Channel. Promised reductions in royal expenditure had not been forthcoming. Richard’s chancellor, Michael de la Pole, and the Lord Mayor of London, Nicholas Brembre, were widely despised as corrupt, and...

 

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