The name derives from the 'appeal' of treason against the friends of Richard II in parliament in 1387 made by the group of magnates who opposed the king. They were the earls of Arundel, Derby (later Henry IV) and Warwick, and Thomas of Woodstock. Those accused were defeated when they fought to defend themselves at the Battle of Radcot Bridge. For a while the Appellants ruled the country through parliament. Those accused who had not fled to Europe were tried and executed. It was some 10 years before Richard was able to turn the tables and accuse the Appellants themselves.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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