Percy, Henry

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Percy, Henry (1364–1403), known as ‘Hotspur’. Eldest son of the earl of Northumberland, Percy was first appointed sole warden of the east march in 1385; Scottish borderers were soon calling him ‘Haatspore’. On an evening in early August 1388, he was captured at Otterburn while pursuing a Scottish army, a battle immortalized in verse as ‘Chevy Chase’. Soon ransomed, he was warden of the west march for five years from 1390, and from 1396 succeeded his father in the eastern wardenship, continuing there after Henry IV's usurpation, which he had assisted. Father and son defeated a Scottish invasion at Homildon Hill in 1402; the king's order against the ransom of their prisoners was one reason for their rebellion. Its objective may have been the coronation of Edmund Mortimer, the nephew of Hotspur's wife. Percy was making for Wales to join Owain Glyndŵr when the king intercepted him near Shrewsbury; he was killed in the battle.

R. L. Storey

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