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Encyclopedia > Richard, Duke of York

This article is about Richard, Duke of York, father of King Edward IV. For the article about Edward IV's son who was imprisoned in the Tower of London see: Richard, Duke of York (Prince in the Tower).

Richard (Plantagenet), Duke of York (21 September 1411- 30 December 1460) was the son of Richard, Earl of Cambridge, a noble who had been executed for treason by King Henry V of England in 1415, and of Anne Mortimer, who, like her husband, was a direct descendant of King Edward III. Richard thus had an excellent claim on the throne of England, which he began to press in 1448 by assuming the long-disused surname of Plantagenet. In doing so, he made a direct challenge to the weak King Henry VI. In about 1424, he married Cecily Neville, a descendant of John of Gaunt. Having had the attainder against his father reversed in 1426, he resumed the title of Duke of York, having already become Earl of March through the death of his uncle, Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March.

With King Henry's insanity in 1452, York was made Lord Protector, but had to give up this position with the king's recovery and the birth of an heir, Edward, Prince of Wales, the next year. York gradually gathered together his forces, however, and war eventually broke out with forces loyal to the King, led by the ambitious Duke of Somerset. York was victorious at the First Battle of St Albans on 22 May 1455, at which Somerset was killed, but he was soon forced to back down and come to terms with the King. Soon, however, civil war sprang up again, and York and his followers were attainted as traitors on 20 November 1459. This made the Duke all the more determined to achieve the throne for the House of York, and he was victorious over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Northampton. At this battle, he captured the King, who was forced to recognize York as his heir (disinheriting his own son).

The Lancastrians, however, led by Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, refused to accept this, and continued the war. York was killed fighting the Lancastrians at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460. He was buried at Pontefract, but his head was put on a pike by the victorious Lancastrian armies. Richard's eldest son finally succeeded in putting his dynasty on the throne in 1461 as King Edward IV of England. Edward V of England was Richard's grandson, and Richard III of England was Richard's son. The Tudor king Henry VIII of England was Richard's great-grandson.

His children with Cecily Neville include:

  1. Joan of York (1438).
  2. Anne of York (August 10, 1439 - January 14, 1476), consort to Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter.
  3. Henry of York (b. February 10, 1441).
  4. Edward IV of England (April 28, 1442 - April 9, 1483).
  5. Edmund, Earl of Rutland (May 17, 1443 - December 31, 1460).
  6. Elizabeth of York (April 22, 1444 - after January, 1503), consort to John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk.
  7. Margaret of Burgundy (May 3, 1446 - November 23, 1503).
  8. William of York (b. July 7, 1447).
  9. John of York (b. November 7, 1448).
  10. George, Duke of Clarence (October 21, 1449 - February 18, 1478).
  11. Thomas of York (born c. 1451).
  12. Richard III of England (October 2, 1452 - August 22, 1485).
  13. Ursula of York (born c. 1454).

Preceded by:
Edward, Duke of York
Duke of York
Succeeded by:
Edward IV of England

Preceded by:
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Earl of Cambridge
Succeeded by:
Edward IV of England

Preceded by:
Edmund Mortimer
Earl of March Followed by:
Edward IV of England

External link

  • A profile of him (http://www.royalist.info/execute/biog?person=72)

  Results from FactBites:
Richard, Duke Of York - LoveToKnow 1911 (1204 words)
RICHARD YORK, DUKE OF (1411-1460), was born on the 21st of September 1411, the son of Richard, earl of Cambridge, second son of Edmund of Langley, duke of York.
By the death of his uncle Edward at Agincourt he became duke of York, and on the death of Edmund Mortimer in 1425 he succeeded to his claims as representing in the female line the elder branch of the royal family.
Richard of York was not a great statesman, but he had qualities of restraint and moderation, and might have made a good king.
House Of York - LoveToKnow 1911 (1737 words)
It may be said that his claim, at the time it was advanced, was rightly barred by prescription, the house of Lancaster having then occupied the throne for three generations, and that it was really owing to the misgovernment of Margaret of Anjou, and her favourites that it was advanced at all.
For the duke was descended from Lionel, duke of Clarence, the third son of Edward III., while the house of Lancaster came of John of Gaunt, a younger brother of Lionel.
For his father, Richard, earl of Cambridge, was the son of Edmund, duke of York, fifth son of Edward III.; and he himself was the direct lineal heir of this Edmund, just as much as he was of Lionel, duke of Clarence.
  More results at FactBites »



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