The significance of the the earlt actions of Richard, Duke of York

York's return from Ireland

  • Suffolk executed in May + York returns November so somerset has time to relace suffolk, Somerset has an opportunity
  • Returned to remove the Duke of Somerset and other members of the royal houehold and to cancel all the grants to royal favours by an Act of resumption
  • Had the support of the house of commons which couldve been seen as a threat to Henry VI
  • Goes to Ludlow on the way to gather a force of 3000 men which feulled thoughts about his motuves to return
  • This political victory was short lived as Henry decided to ignore the demands of parliament as soon as it had been dissolved
  • His return posed as a threat to Henry VI
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Attempted Coup at Dartford

  • Result of Henry ignoring the demands of parliament 
  • seen as a mistake as the nobility accepted the peaceful methods of reform but didnt accept his taking up of arms against the rightful monarch
  • His attempted Coup failed and he only had support from the Earl of Devon. Warwick and Salisbury were on the King's side but later changed before St Albans
  • He was defeated by the royal army so went back to Ludlow castle and lay low until April 1454 when he was made Protector
  • He refused a place on the King's councll and goes to Ludlow before the attempted Coup aas he wanted to be the Cheif Advisor but wasnt given this position so turned down any role on the King's Council.
  • He put out Propaganda which alerted the crown who waited for York at Dartford.
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Henry VI Illness and recovery

  • Turning point where people change sides to York
  • There is a time gap between the start of Henry's illness and York's protectorate so Henry's pregnant wife Margaret of Anjou assumed a more active role in politics, working closely with Somerset, she hoped to exclude York from power and set herself up as Regent until Henry recovered which appalled the nobility who rejected the idea. 
  • York was set as protectorate which is significant as York was Margaret and Henry's enemy.
  • The governemnent couldnt interfer until the Chancellor died which is then when York becomes protector
  • It allowed noble fueds to escalte like the Percy/Neville feud
  • Added to the view that he was weak king
  • It was triggered by the loss of French lands
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The birth of Prince Edward

  • York is no longer the successor
  • Henry now has an heir to the throne
  • Henry didnt respond to his son showing the extent of his illness
  • Margaret felt threatened for her son's power by York, increasing her hatred for him.
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Somerset's imprisonment and release from the tower

  • The nole elite turned on Somerset and Margaret ruthlessly abandoned him and put him in the tower in an attempt to consilliate her enemies
  • Margaret persuaded Henry to exclude York from important decisions of state and Somerset was released
  • He was given back the position of Cheif Advisor giving him the ability to get revenge on York
  • York appointed himself the Captain of Calais (Somerset's role) but it was returned to Somerset when Henry recovered in 1455
  • This shows how Henry became like a puppet for Margaret which caused York to flee north and raise an army with the Nevilles
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York's involvement in the first Battle of St Alban

  • York is no longer protector
  • He had support of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker
  • York and the Nevilles left court without asking the King
  • They aimed to destroy Somerset who died and eliminate the infuence of Maragret who was then the main enemy of York as Somerset was dead
  • York had no intention of taking the crown for himself. He only wants to be cheif advisor like at Dartford
  • York lacked the noble support needed to control the king
  • Confirms Margaret's fear that he is a threat which increases her determination to look after her son. 
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The start and end of York's First and second prote

  • York became King in all but name
  • reduced the size and expernditure of royal household in first Protectorate and restored law and order which makes him a more effective than the king was
  • failed to put Somerset on trial for treason during first Protectorate so Margaret still had a strong ally
  • Majority of nobles were cautious and didnt support or trust him
  • Margaret tried to isolate him from power
  • Key nobles opposed York
  • Tried not to have favouites but did favour the Nevilles in feud with Percys and made Salisbury Chancellor
  • Better than Henry at dealing with feuds but did fail to deal with the Courtenay and Bonneville feud
  • no alternative to York and Somerset was officially blamed for St Albans so the Yorkists were pardoned and York has 2nd protectorate
  • Followed through on promised land
  • Gave key role of Cheif Advisor to York when Henry recovered 2nd time and Warwaick was made Captain of Calais
  • Margaret built power base in Kenilworth where she had more power
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