King Henry IV survived at least eight plots to dethrone or kill him in the first six years of his reign. However he had not always been so unpopular. In his youth he had been a great chivalric champion and crusader. In 1399, at the age of thirty-two, he was greeted as the saviour of the realm when he ousted from power the tyrannical King Richard II. But Henry had to contend with men who supported him only as long as they could control him; when they failed, they plotted to kill him. Adversaries also tried to take advantage of his questionable right to the crown. Such threats transformed him from hero to murderer, prepared to go to any lengths to save his family and throne. Against all the odds, however, he took a poorly ruled nation, established a new Lancastrian dynasty, and introduced the principle that a king must act in accordance with parliament.