duke of York Richard

(b. 1411)

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B. 22 Sept. 1411, s. of Richard, earl of Cambridge, and Anne, da. of Roger, earl of March; m. Cecily, da. of Ralph, earl of Westmorland, c.1429; issue: Edward, Edmund, George, Richard, Anne, Elizabeth, Margaret; d. 30 Dec. 1460; bur. Pontefract, rebur. Fotheringhay.

Richard was close to the crown. His father was a grandson of Edward III and was executed when Richard was three for conspiracy to murder Henry V. Richard succeeded to the dukedom of York in 1415 when his uncle was killed at Agincourt. He served in high office in France and in Ireland, and was Protector of the Realm when Henry VI became deranged 1454–5. He defeated and killed his rival Somerset at the battle of St Albans in 1455, and was once more in arms in 1459. On this occasion he claimed the throne but, in a compromise, was named as Henry VI's heir. A serious error of judgement led him to give battle at Wakefield in 1460 to forces loyal to Henry VI's queen, Margaret of Anjou. He was defeated and executed, and his head set up on Micklegate Bar at York, wearing a paper crown. Within three months his son, after a victory at Mortimer's Cross, seized the throne as Edward IV.

Subjects: British History.

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