He was the younger son of Henry Percy, 3rd Lord Percy, and Mary Plantagenet, daughter of Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, son Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster, son of Henry III of England. Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland was his elder brother, and Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy was his nephew.
Worcester fought against England's traditional enemy France in the Hundred Years' War, and then served in various important governing posts in English-controlled France, as Ambassador, Seneschal and as an Admiral. He was created Earl of Worcester in 1397 by King Richard II.
He was captured at the Battle of Shrewsbury and publicly beheaded in Shrewsbury two days later, on 23 July 1403. He was buried in St. Peter's, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. His head was displayed in London on London Bridge.