War and Roses 1470: The Kingmaker
House of York
Originally a cadet branch of the Royal Plantagenet household, the House of York was founded by Edmund of Langley, fourth son of King Edward III who reigned as King of England and Lord of Ireland, 1327-1377. His eldest son Edward of Norwich succeeded him upon death in the year 1402. Duke Edward of Norwich was to be killed fighting in France at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 fighting at the side of King Henry V and was succeeded upon death by his young nephew then the four year old Richard of York. Young Richard was the son of the Earl of Cambridge, Richard of Conisburgh, who had been executed on the eve of the Agincourt campaign for plotting murder and treason against King Henry V. He was also a a direct descendant of both Roger Mortimer the Earl of March-King Richard II’s rightful heir dating back to the year 1399 and Lionel of Antwerp the 1st Duke of Clarence and second son of King Edward III.
The Duke of York in his own rite was a distinguished veteran of the War with France and later served as the regent and as Protector of the Realm for King Henry VI during his long period of incapacitating madness from November 1453 until June of 1455. After The Duke of York was dismissed in favor of the Beauforts, Queen Margaret, York, his uncle the Earl of Salisbury and his brother-in-law, Sir Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, launched a rebellion against the house of Lancaster in 1455 at St. Albans north of London.
The Duke of York won the day St. Albans in 1455 by slaying all of his rivals in the field of battle. At First St. Albans the Duke of Somerset, Earl of Northumberland, and the Baron Clifford were killed and King Henry VI was wounded and eventually captured. The Duke of York made the feeble minded king renounce his infant sons’ claim to the throne of England. Warwick won two battles against the Lancastrian armies in support of the Duke of York’s claim to throne from 1459-1460 though the Duke of York was never accepted nor confirmed as King of England. God decided against Richard’s right to rule when he was slain along with his middle son and more than half of his army at the Battle of Wakefield in December of 1460. Fortune’s wheel ever turning, the Duke of York was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward the Earl of March, who hastily returned to England from France to assert the Yorkist claim to the throne.
The current head of the House of York is Richard’s eldest son, King Edward IV.