The Library is open over the October long weekend, with reduced hours on Monday 2 October 2023. View the long weekend opening hours here.

Questions on the source

Student activities

Task no. 1

Questions on the source

Use books and the Internet to research the answers to the questions.

  1. Who was Henry IV of England?
  2. When and where was he born?
  3. Who were his parents?
  4. What is a 'royal seal' and how was it used?
  5. Why would Henry IV consider it necessary to show himself as a charging knight on this seal? What message does he wish to convey?
  6. What does the phrase 'Henry by the Grace of God' tell us about Henry's belief in his right to the kingship?
  7. How useful is this source for providing information about the power of the king in medieval times?
Royal seal of King Henry IV of England
View collection item detail
Royal seal of King Henry IV of England, 1399-1413, 1399-1413
View collection item detail

Task no. 2

Further research

  1. Use books and the Internet to research and write a short biography (300 words) of Henry IV. Explain how he came to be king of England and why he is also described as king of France and Ireland.
  2. Draw a diagram of the medieval hierarchy* of power. Include the church, God, nobility, peasants, serfs, merchants, knights, and artisans.

*Hierarchy = a social system in which some people are ranked higher than others; also called a 'social pyramid'.