Duke of York


York's Career prior to 1455

  • Henry VI's military commander in defence of Lancastrian 
  • demoted to lieutenant of Ireland
  • landing in Wales, York travelled to London, backed by an army of 5,000 retainers
  • presented a series of bills to the king and make a public and humiliating apology in St Paul's Cathedral, taking an oath of furute loyalty to the king
  • soon afterwards, Margaret of Anjou's pregnancy was announced damaging York's claim to be heir presumptive to the throne
  • 1452 Richard took up arms against the king and met the royal forces at Dartford in Kent (oartford Uprising)
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York's First Protectorate

  • November 1453, Somerset accused Treason on the gorunds of poor military leadership
  • late March 1454, York was declared Defender and Protector of the Realm by pariament
  • Richard was willing to declareopenly his loyalty to the infant Prince Edward
  • also surrounded himself with advisors who held a range of opinions
  • had the support of the Neville family from October 1453
  • appointed Richard Neville as chancellor
  • angered the Percies who then organised a rebellion
  • May 19th 1454, York led a strong military force, backed by Lord Cromwell, against the rebels and his opponents fled
  • by July, York managed to capture Exeter and to imprison him in Pontefract castle - although reccurence of Neville-Percy violence in the autumn of 1454, around Stanford Bridge

End of 1st protectorate

  • Henry VI recovers christmas of 1454
  • king released a number of York's prisoners
  • 9th February 1455 York resigned as Protector
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The Battle of St Albans

22nd May 1455

  • Richard Duke of York and Richard Neville assembled their private armies in the north and marched south to conront the king
  • 2,000 strong Lancastrain army under command of Duke of Buckingham arrived at town first and Began organising defences
  • after several hours of failed negotiations Yorkist force launched a frontal assault on the town
  • Yorkists suffered heavy casualties
  • Lancastrian defences finally broke
  • Warwick ordered his men to charge the main body of Henry's army
  • Lancastrain defences abandoned their barracades and fled
  • Warwick's longbowmen resigned arrows onto Henry's bodyguard killing Buckingham and wounding the king
  • York restored as Lord Protector of England
  • Margaret and son fled
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York's growing ambition

Key outcomes of Battle of St Albans

  • Somerset and Henry Percy killed
  • king wounded in neck
  • York could give Henry the crown, and he could also take it away
  • king was captured
  • Yorkists lords made a display of begging king for forgiveness
  • only wished to attack 'traitors' to the realm
  • duke of York did not want to take crown at this point

Events fuelling York's ambition

  • York was once again made Defender and Protector of the Realm
  • York's second protectorate - king's relapse into insanity
  • rivalry with Margaret of Anjou
  • 'Loveday' demonstrations
  • Act of Attainder
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York's growing ambition - continued

York's ambition demonstrated

  • York exaggerated the king's ill-health to justify seize
  • negotiated with Anglp-Irish political leaders
  • Warwick captain of Calais (strong Yorkist military)
  • Blore Heath
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Battle of Blore Heath 1459

  • September 1459 armies of the Hous of Lancaster and York met at Blore Heath
  • it was a concequence of renewed instability
  • York felt it was neccessary to re-assert his influence
  • as Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, hurried South - intercepted by Lord Audley
  • Audley's Lancastrian army reckoned to be suprerior
  • Lancastrians lost
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Battle of Ludford Bridge

  • king led his own army and Yorkists troops refused to fight their own king
  • York suffered a heavy defeat
  • Yrok fled to Ireland while Salisbury, Warwick and Edward IV fled to Calais
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Parliament of Devils

  • purpose was to condemn York and allies to traitors to the king
  • November 1459 parliament met in conventry and passed Act of Attainder
  • individuals convicted of treason, punishable w/o trial by death and persons and their heir disinherited
  • could have possibly been a mistake as it empowers them b/c they have to nothing to lose
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