"the ladder upon which the mounting Bolingbroke ascends the throne.”
This statement reflects the rise of the Percy family during the reign of Richard II and the subsequent usurpation of the throne by Henry Bolingbroke.
The first two decades of Percy's life were unremarkable, however the twenty years following his father's death lead Percy to great heights of power and influence, not only in his own stamping ground but in the country as a whole. Henry Percy headed a family that included his sons Henry 'Hotspur' and Thomas, all three were guardians of the English boarder with Scotland. As Lords of the North, and as the previous statement states, they were involved in the future Henry IV taking the crown of England. However, siding with Henry had its problems, and the Percy's would soon regret helping Bolingbroke take his seat on the throne of England.
We cannot think of the Percy family without considering the part they played in the Wars of the Roses. Many believe that the First Battle of St Albans, in 1455, was as much about the ongoing squabble between the Percy's and their nemesis the Neville's, as it was about the wider squabble, that of the House of York and Lancaster. It cannot be doubted that this battle, for the individual members of these two northern families, was very personal, each trying to destroy the other under the guise of a greater cause.
The origins of Percy/Neville squabble had it roots in land, or the loss of it, bitterness turned to anger, discussion to litigation, skirmishes into outright warfare that initiated 'the beginning of the greatest sorrows in England."
Henry Percy died a traitor at Bramham Moor, the last battle of the Percy's rebellion, on the 19 February 1408 and as was the norm for a traitor, his head was decapitated and sent to London, placed for all to see on London Bridge, it was reunited with his quartered remains and eventually buried in York Minster.