A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if the usurpation of Henry IV had finished Chaucer? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1400,the treasonous intent of the final stanza of "The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse" was punished by Henry Bolingbroke; the King signed an execution order for the poet's beheading.
The Beheading of Geoffrey Chaucer at Poet's CornerAlso imprisoned at the Tower of London was his former patron, Richard Plantagenet, the deposed monarch who had surrendered at Flint Castle to be spared his life. And ultimately, it was his fall from power that had thrown Chaucer out of favour and into serious debt. Because his endeavours to get renewed grants from the new king completely backfired; Henry IV decided to respond by clearing the remains of Richard II's influence.
Editor says, in reality [Jeff Provine notes] Chaucer wrote flatteringly to Henry IV who promised to return grants to Chaucer, though records are unclear whether they were actually paid. Chaucer is believed to have died October 25, 1400, though even this date was written on a tomb erected a century after his death. Some historians, such as Python Terry Jones, speculate that his sudden death and lack of will or surviving papers could have been a political murder to clear the remains of Richard II's influence. Whatever the truth, Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey, and ever since English writers have sought to be buried with him in what has become Poet's Corner. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.