Richard, Duke of York

York, Richard, duke of,

1411–60, English nobleman, claimant to the throne. He was descended from Edward III through his father, Richard, earl of Cambridge, grandson of that king, and also through his mother, Anne Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Lionel, duke of Clarence, who was the third son of Edward III. Richard was brought up as a royal ward, having become duke of York on the death of his uncle Edward in 1415. He inherited (1425) the vast estates of another uncle, Edmund de Mortimer, 5th earl of March, which made him the richest landholder in England. He served in the retinue of Henry VIHenry VI,
1421–71, king of England (1422–61, 1470–71). Reign
Early Years

The only son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois, he became king of England when he was not yet nine months old.
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 in France (1431) and was lieutenant general of France and Normandy (1436–37). In 1438 he married Cecily Neville, daughter of the earl of Westmoreland. He served again as lieutenant general in France from 1441 to 1445 but became increasingly discontented with the English government, which diverted men and funds from his operations to those of John Beaufort, 1st duke of Somerset. The death of the king's uncle Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in 1447 made York heir presumptive to the throne, and the government, to get him out of the way, promptly ordered him to Ireland as lieutenant. He did not go until 1449 and returned in 1450 to struggle against the growing power of Queen Margaret of AnjouMargaret of Anjou
, 1430?–1482, queen consort of King Henry VI of England, daughter of René of Anjou. Her marriage, which took place in 1445, was negotiated by William de la Pole, 4th earl (later 1st duke) of Suffolk (see under Pole, family).
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 and Edmund Beaufort, 2d duke of SomersetSomerset, Edmund Beaufort, 2d duke of,
d. 1455, English statesman and general. He fought in France in the Hundred Years War, receiving his first command in 1431, recapturing Harfleur in 1440, and relieving Calais in
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. In 1453 a son born to Henry VI displaced York as heir to the throne, but the onset of the king's insanity enabled York to secure control of the government as protector (1454). Dismissed when the king recovered, York resorted to arms (see Roses, Wars of theRoses, Wars of the,
traditional name given to the intermittent struggle (1455–85) for the throne of England between the noble houses of York (whose badge was a white rose) and Lancaster (later associated with the red rose).

About the middle of the 15th cent.
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) and, with the help of his wife's relatives, most notably Richard Neville, earl of WarwickWarwick, Richard Neville, earl of
, 1428–71, English nobleman, called the Kingmaker. Through his grandfather, Ralph Neville, 1st earl of Westmorland, he had connections with the house of Lancaster; he was also the nephew of Cecily Neville, wife of Richard, duke of York.
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, won the first battle of St. Albans (1455), in which Somerset was killed. After this victory York once more became protector, but by 1456 the queen's faction had regained power. Forced to flee to Ireland in 1459, York returned after the victory of his supporters at Northampton (1460) and for the first time laid claim to the throne. A compromise was arranged by which York was recognized as protector and heir apparent to the throne, but Margaret (whose own son had thus been disinherited) gathered her forces and defeated the Yorkists at the battle of Wakefield, in which York was slain. His son, Edward of York, however, was to secure the throne as Edward IV.


See E. F. Jacob, The Fifteenth Century (1961).

References in periodicals archive ?
HAPPENED ON THIS DAY 1499: Perkin Warbeck, the Flemish imposter claiming to be Richard, Duke of York, was hanged at the Tower of London.
ON THIS Nostalgia DAY ON THIS DAY 1499: Perkin Warbeck, the Flemish imposter claiming to be Richard, Duke of York, was hanged at the Tower of London.
1483: The date on which the two young princes, the uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, are believed to have been murdered in the Tower of London.
The Duke of Clarence, third surviving son of Richard, Duke of York, sadly doesn't survive the play.
Cicely Neville stood out, firstly because she was the youngest of her father's 22 children and secondly because the Nevilles were gritty Lancastrian northern-border warlords and Cicely married Richard, Duke of York.
1483: The date on which the two young PRINCE'S, nthe uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, are believed to have been murdered in the Tower of London.
That same year Henry VI suffered a mental collapse before his son was born, and thus the king's cousin Richard, Duke of York, became protector of the realm.
She married Richard, Duke of York, whom she had known from childhood at Raby and was the mother of two English kings - Edward IV and Richard III.
1460: Lancastrian forces inflicted a crushing defeat on a heavily outnumbered Yorkist army at the Battle of Wakefield, killing their leader Richard, Duke of York - though the Yorkists would recover to win the decisive Battle of Towton just three months later.
Add to this the presence of a great nobleman and potential heir in Richard, Duke of York (141160), who staged both coups d'etat and persistently stopped his monarch from ruling, and any king might have faltered.
The Act of Settlement signed by King Henry VI in October 1460 transferred the right of succession to Richard, Duke of York, and his heirs.
Richard, Duke of York, never "got his act together" and perished miserably in a battle he should not have fought.