What Does Hotspur Mean?


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The word hotspur means a violent, impulsive person. The gallant English soldier Sir Henry Percy who was killed while leading a rebellion against King Henry IV, in the year 1403 was nicknamed "Harry Hotspur."

Henry Pierce attained the status of a great warrior after he showed his valour against the Scots and the French. He showed his skills as a fighter against the Scottish forces of James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas in August 1388 at the Battle of Otterburn. Though he was captured in the battle, he was ransomed. Henry was later involved in deposing King Richard II in favour of Henry of Bolingbroke, who eventually became King Henry IV. Things did not go well between Henry Pierce and Henry IV, who joined with his paternal uncle Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester for an uprising against King Henry IV in 1403. Henry was looking forward to seek an alliance with the Welsh revolutionary Owain Glyndŵr. Before the alliance could be formed, Henry Pierce was slain down in the Battle of Shrewsbury. He died an unfortunate death; he raised his visor (the helmet of the armour) to get some air and an arrow stuck him in the mouth which killed him instantly. As a result the King Henry IV emerged victorious in the battle.

Henry Pierce was known for his violent, impulsive nature and hence the word became famous as his last name. He was known as Henry Hotspur or Harry Hotspur. The word "hotspur", implying a violent, impetuous person found entry in popular English literature in the year 1590.

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