Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards. Henry inherited the long-running Hundred Years' War, in which his uncle Charles VII contested his claim to the French throne, he is the only English monarch to have been crowned King of France, in 1431. His early reign, when several people were ruling for him, saw the pinnacle of English power in France, but subsequent military and economic problems had endangered the English cause by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437, he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Unlike his father, Henry is described as timid, passive, well-intentioned, averse to warfare and violence, his ineffective reign saw the gradual loss of the English lands in France.
In the hope of achieving peace, in 1445 Henry married Charles VII's niece, the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou. The peace policy failed, leading to the murder of one of Henry's key advisers, the war recommenced, with France taking the upper hand; as the situation in France worsened, there was a related increase in political instability in England. With Henry unfit to rule, power was exercised by quarrelsome nobles, while factions and favourites encouraged the rise of disorder in the country. Regional magnates and soldiers returning from France formed and maintained increasing numbers of private armed retainers, with which they fought one another, terrorised their neighbors, paralysed the courts, dominated the government. Queen Margaret did not remain unpartisan, took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Amidst military disasters in France and a collapse of law and order in England, the queen and her clique came under criticism, coming from Henry VI's popular cousin Richard of the House of York, of misconduct of the war in France and misrule of the country.
Starting in 1453, Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns, tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York over control of the incapacitated king's government, over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1455, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29 March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Despite Margaret continuing to lead a resistance to Edward, he was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Henry was restored to the throne in 1470, but Edward retook power in 1471, killing Henry's only son and heir in battle and imprisoning Henry once again. Having "lost his wits, his two kingdoms, his only son", Henry died in the Tower during the night of 21 May killed on the orders of Edward. Miracles were attributed to Henry after his death, he was informally regarded as a saint and martyr until the 16th century.
He left a legacy of educational institutions, having founded Eton College, King's College and All Souls College, Oxford. Shakespeare wrote a trilogy of plays about his life, depicting him as weak-willed and influenced by his wife, Margaret. Henry was the only child and heir of King Henry V, he was born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor Castle. He succeeded to the throne as King of England at the age of nine months on 1 September 1422, the day after his father's death. A few weeks on 21 October 1422 in accordance with the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, he became titular King of France upon his grandfather Charles VI's death, his mother, Catherine of Valois, was 20 years old. As Charles VI's daughter, she was viewed with considerable suspicion by English nobles and was prevented from playing a full role in her son's upbringing. On 28 September 1423, the nobles swore loyalty to Henry VI, not yet two years old, they summoned Parliament in the King's name and established a regency council to govern until the King should come of age.
One of Henry V's surviving brothers, Duke of Bedford, was appointed senior regent of the realm and was in charge of the ongoing war in France. During Bedford's absence, the government of England was headed by Henry V's other surviving brother, Duke of Gloucester, appointed Lord Protector and Defender of the Realm, his duties were limited to summoning Parliament. Henry V's half-uncle Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, had an important place on the Council. After the Duke of Bedford died in 1435, the Duke of Gloucester claimed the Regency himself, but was contested in this by the other members of the Council. From 1428, Henry's tutor was Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, whose father had been instrumental in the opposition to Richard II's reign. Henry's half-brothers and Jasper, the sons of his widowed mother and Owen Tudor, were given earldoms. Edmund Tudor was the father of Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII. In reaction to Charles VII's coronation as French King in Reims Cathedral on 17 July 1429, Henry was soon crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on 6 November 1429, followed by his own coronation as King of France at Notre Dame de Paris on 16 December 1431, at age 10.
He was the only English king to be crow
Battle of Wakefield
The Battle of Wakefield took place in Sandal Magna near Wakefield in northern England, on 30 December 1460. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses; the opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to the captive King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster and his Queen Margaret of Anjou on one side, the army of Richard, Duke of York, the rival claimant to the throne, on the other. For several years before the battle, the Duke of York had become opposed to the weak King Henry's court. After Henry became his prisoner, he lacked sufficient support. Instead, in an agreement known as the Act of Accord, he was made Henry's heir to the throne, displacing from the succession Henry's and Margaret's 7-year-old son Edward, Prince of Wales. Margaret of Anjou and several prominent nobles were irreconcilably opposed to this accord, massed their armies in the north. Richard of York found he was outnumbered. Although he occupied Sandal Castle, York sortied from the castle on 30 December, his reasons for doing so have been variously ascribed to deception by the Lancastrian armies, or treachery by some nobles and Lancastrian officers who York thought were his allies, or simple rashness or miscalculation by York.
The Duke of York was killed and his army was destroyed, many of the prominent Yorkist leaders and their family members died in the battle or were captured and executed. King Henry VI ascended the throne in 1422, he grew up to be an ineffective king, prone to spells of mental illness. There were bitter divisions among the officials and councillors who governed in Henry's name over the conduct of the Hundred Years' War with France. By the early 1450s, the most important rivalry was that between Richard, Duke of York, Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. York argued for a more vigorous prosecution of the war, to recover territories lost to the French, while Somerset belonged to the party which tried to secure peace by making concessions. York had been Lieutenant in France for several years and resented being supplanted in that office by Somerset, who had failed to defend Normandy against French armies. York was not only the wealthiest magnate in the land, but was descended through both his parents from King Edward III, leading to calls that he be recognised as successor to the childless King Henry.
His rival, belonged to the Beaufort family, who were distant cousins of King Henry. Illegitimate, the Beauforts had been made legitimate by an Act of Parliament but were barred from the line of succession to the throne. However, there was always the possibility that this could be circumvented and the Beaufort line produced King Henry VII and the Tudor dynasty. York was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland exiling him from court, while Somerset increased his influence over the King. In 1452, York marched on London in an attempt to force Henry to dismiss Somerset from the government, but at this stage he lacked support and was forced to swear not to take arms against the King at Old St Paul's Cathedral. In 1453, Henry VI suffered a complete mental breakdown; the Great Council of peers appointed York Lord Protector and he governed the country responsibly, but Henry recovered his sanity after eighteen months and restored Somerset to favour. During Henry's madness his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, had given birth to a son, which dashed York's hopes of becoming king if Henry died.
Fearing arrest for treason and his most prominent allies, the Nevilles resorted to armed force in 1455. At the First Battle of St Albans, many of York's and Salisbury's rivals and enemies were killed, including Somerset, the Earl of Northumberland and Lord Clifford. After the battle, York reaffirmed his loyalty to King Henry, found abandoned in a shop in the town, he was reappointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Margaret of Anjou suspected York of wishing to supplant her infant son, Edward, as Henry's successor, the heirs of the Lancastrian nobles who were killed at St Albans remained at deadly feud with York. After an uneasy peace during which attempts at reconciliation failed, hostilities broke out again in 1459. Richard of York once again feared indictment for rebellion by a Great Council dominated by his opponents, he and the Nevilles concentrated their forces near York's stronghold at Ludlow Castle in the Welsh Marches but at the confrontation with the royal army which became known as the Battle of Ludford, some of Warwick's contingent from the garrison of Calais, led by experienced captain Andrew Trollope, defected overnight.
York and the Nevilles fled. The next day, the outnumbered and leaderless Yorkist army surrendered. York went to Ireland, where he had unchallenged support, while Salisbury and York's eldest son Edward, Earl of March made their way to Calais, where Warwick was Constable, they narrowly forestalled the new Duke of Somerset. Lancastrian attempts to reassert their authority over Ireland and Calais failed, but York and his supporters were declared traitors and attainted; the victorious Lancastrians became reviled for the manner in which their army had looted the town of Ludlow after the Yorkist surrender at Ludford Bridge, the repressive acts of a compliant Parliament of Devils which caused many uncommitted peers to fear for their own property and titles. The country remained in disorder. In 1460, the Nevilles invaded England through a foothold the
As a means of recording the passage of time, the 14th century was a century lasting from January 1, 1301, to December 31, 1400. During this period and natural disasters ravaged both Europe and the four khanates of the Mongol Empire; the Mongol court was driven out of China and retreated to Mongolia, the Ilkhanate collapsed in Persia, the Chaghatayid dissolved and broke into two parts, the Golden Horde lost its position as a great power in Eastern Europe. In Europe, the Black Death claimed between 75 and 200 million lives – wiping out over 60 percent of European society – while England and France fought in the protracted Hundred Years' War after the death of Charles IV, King of France led to a claim to the French throne by Edward III, King of England; this period is considered the height of chivalry and marks the beginning of strong separate identities for both England and France. The transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age. Beginning of the Ottoman Empire, early expansion into the Balkans.
Early 14th century: Attributed to Kao Ninga Monk Sewing is made. Kamakura period, it is now kept at The Cleveland Museum of Art. An account of Buddha's life, translated earlier into Greek by Saint John of Damascus and circulated to Christians as the story of Barlaam and Josaphat, became so popular that the two were venerated as saints. Singapore emerges for the first time as a fortified trading centre of some importance. Islam reaches Terengganu, on the Malay Peninsula; the Hausa found several city-states in the south of modern Niger. The poet Petrarch coins the term Dark Ages to describe the preceding 900 years in Europe, beginning with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 through to the renewal embodied in the Renaissance. Iwan vault, Jamé Mosque of Isfahan, Persia, is built. Work begins on the Great Enclosure at Great Zimbabwe, built of dressed stone; the city's population is now between 10,000 and 40,000. 1309 — King Jayanegara succeeds Kertarajasa Jayawardhana as ruler of Majapahit. 1309-1377 — The Avignon papacy transfers the seat of the Popes from Italy to France The Great Famine of 1315-1317 kills millions of people in Europe.
1318-1330 — An Italian Franciscan friar, Mattiussi visited Sumatra and Banjarmasin in Borneo. In his record he described the kingdom of Majapahit. 1320 — Władysław I the Elbow-high is crowned King of Poland which leads to its unification 1323 — Malietoafaiga ordered cannibalism to be abolished in Tutuila, now known as American Samoa. 1325 — Forced out of previous locations, the Mexica found the city of Tenochtitlan 1328 — Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi succeeds Jayanegara as ruler of Majapahit. Beginning of the Renaissance in Italy 1335 — The death of the Ilkhan Abu Said, causes the disintegration of the Mongol rule in Persia. 1336 — The Vijayanagara Empire is founded in South India by Harihara 1337 — The Hundred Years' War begins when Edward III of England lays claim to the French throne. 1345–1346 — The French recruit troops and ships in Genoa and Nice. 1346 — English forces led by Edward III defeat a French army led by Philip VI in The Battle of Crécy, a major point in the Hundred Years' War which marks the rise of the longbow as a dominant weapon in Western Europe.
1347–1351 — The Black Death kills around a third of the population of Europe. 1347 — Adityawarman moved the capital of Dharmasraya and established the kingdom of Malayupura in Pagarruyung, West Sumatra. 1350 — Hayam Wuruk, styled Sri Rajasanagara, succeeds Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi as ruler of Majapahit. Under its military commander Gajah Mada, Majapahit stretches over much of modern-day Indonesia. 1356 — The Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire headed by Emperor Charles IV issues the Golden Bull of 1356, establishing various constitutional aspects of the Empire, the most significant being the electoral college to elect future emperors. 1356 — The Diet of the Hansa is held in Lübeck, formalising what up until had only been a loose alliance of trading cities in northern Europe and founding the Hanseatic League. 1357 — Scotland retains its independence with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick, thus ending the Wars of Scottish Independence. 1357 — In the Battle of Bubat, the Sundanese royal family is massacred by the Majapahit army by the order of Gajah Mada.
1363 — The Battle of Lake Poyang, a naval conflict between Chinese rebel groups led by Chen Youliang and Zhu Yuanzhang, takes place from August to October, constituting one of the largest naval battles in history. 1365 — The Old Javanese text Nagarakertagama is written. 1366 — Tepanec Tlatoani Acolnahuácatl accepts Acamapichtli as the first tlatoani of Tenochtitlan for the Mexica Empire. 1368 — The end of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in China and the beginning of the Ming Dynasty. 1377 — Majapahit sends a punitive expedition against Palembang in Sumatra. Palembang's prince, Parameswara flees finding his way to Malacca and establishing it as a major international port. 1378 — The Great Schism of the West begins leading to 3 simultaneous popes. 1378-1382 — Ciompi Revolt occurs in Florence 1381 — John Wycliffe is dismissed from the University of Oxford for criticism of the Roman Catholic Church thus, the Lollardy movement rises in England. 1381 — Peasants' Revolt in England. 1385 — Battle of Aljubarrota between Portugal and Castile.
Portugal maintains independence. 1385 — Union of Krewo between Poland and Lithuania. 1389 — Battle of Kosovo between Serbs and Ottoman Turks, Prince Lazar, sultan Murat I and Miloš Obilić were killed. 1389 — Wikramawardhana succeeds Sri Rajasanagara as ruler of Majapahit. 1392 — Taejo
Tower of London
The Tower of London Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill, it was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite; the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although, not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence; as a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion under Kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries; the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, controlling it has been important to controlling the country; the Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle; this was a trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery; the peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls.
This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.
Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, operated by the Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate, it stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle enclosures; the innermost ward is the earliest phase of the castle. Encircling it to the north and west is the inner ward, built during the reign of Richard I. There is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285; the castle encloses an area of 12 acres with a further 6 acres around the Tower of London constituting the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.
The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear. Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in periods. Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I and was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II; the White Tower is a keep, the strongest structure in a medieval castle, contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was by virtue of its strength and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence"; as one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe". The White Tower, not including its projecting corner towers, measures 36 by 32 metres at the base, is 27 m high at the southern battlements.
The structure was three storeys high, comprising a basement floor, an entrance level, an upper floor. The entrance, as is usual in Norman keeps, was above ground
Battle of Northampton (1460)
The Battle of Northampton was fought on 10 July 1460 near the River Nene, Northamptonshire. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses; the opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster, his Queen Margaret of Anjou and their seven-year-old son Edward, Prince of Wales on one side, the army of Edward, Earl of March and Warwick the Kingmaker on the other. The battle was the first. After the disintegration of the Yorkist army at Ludford Bridge in 1459, many of the Yorkist commanders went into self-imposed exile; the Duke of York and his second son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, retired to the relative safety of Dublin, Ireland. His principal supporters the Earl of Warwick and his father the Earl of Salisbury, York's son Edward, Earl of March reached Calais on 2 November 1459, where Warwick found his uncle Lord Fauconberg. In England, the Lancastrians were quick to exploit the Yorkist flight; the Earl of Wiltshire was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland and the Duke of Somerset became Captain of Calais.
Neither however succeeded in occupying their new posts as the Irish refused to dislodge York and the gates of Calais remained closed to their new'Captain'. The Lancastrians gave Somerset an army to storm Calais, but first they had to cross the Channel, so the construction of a fleet was started at Sandwich in Kent. In January and May 1460, Warwick stole the ships. In June 1460, the Lancastrian invasion was pre-empted by an attack on Sandwich, reinforced with several hundred Lancastrian troops commanded by Osbert Mundford; the Yorkist force under Lord Fauconberg, Sir John Wenlock and John Dynham seized the port, capturing troops and armaments. Mundford was taken to Rysbank tower and executed. Warwick left his uncle, Lord Fauconberg, in Sandwich with a small force of Yorkists to act as a bridgehead for his planned invasion of England. On 26 June 1460, Warwick and Edward landed at Sandwich with 2,000 men at arms. King Henry VI and his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, were at Coventry with their small army.
Warwick entered London on 2 July with an army of supporters numbering 10,000. The King's forces took up a defensive position at Northampton, in the grounds of Delapré Abbey, with their backs to the River Nene and a water-filled ditch in front of them, topped with stakes; the defending army was around 5,000 strong, consisting of men-at-arms. The Lancastrians had some field artillery. While approaching, Warwick sent a delegate to negotiate with the King on his behalf; the Lancastrian commander, the Duke of Buckingham, replied "The Earl of Warwick shall not come to the King's presence and if he comes he shall die." During Warwick's advance to Northampton he was twice more denied access to the King's person. Once in position, he sent a message that read "At 2 o'clock I will speak with the King or I will die". At two o'clock the Yorkists advanced; the men were in column. As they closed with the Lancastrians, Warwick was met by a fierce hail of arrows, but the rain had rendered the Lancastrian collection of cannon quite useless.
When Warwick reached the Lancastrian left flank, commanded by Lord Grey of Ruthin, treachery ensued. Grey had his men lay down their weapons and allow the Yorkists to have easy access into the camp beyond; this treachery was the result of a secret message from Lord Grey to March saying that he would change sides if the Yorkists would back him in a property dispute with Lord Fanhope. Warwick had ordered his men not to lay violent hands on ordinary soldiers – those wearing the black ragged staff of Lord Grey's men. There may have been inducements and promises of high office by Warwick. Grey became Treasurer of England in 1463. After this, the battle lasted a mere thirty minutes; the defenders were unable to manoeuvre inside the fortifications, fled the field as their line was rolled up by attacking Yorkists. The Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Egremont and Lord Beaumont all died trying to save Henry from the Yorkists closing on his tent. Three hundred other Lancastrians were slain in the battle.
King Henry VI was captured by Henry Mountfort. Henry was found in his tent by Warwick and Fauconberg. Showing him proper respect they escorted him to Delapre Abbey Northampton, London, where the tower garrison surrendered soon after. Goodman, Anthony; the Wars of the Roses: Military Activity and English society, 1452–97. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 9780710007285. Griffiths, Ralph A.. The Reign of King Henry VI: The Exercise of Royal Authority, 1422–1461. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520043725. Hicks, Michael; the Wars of the Roses. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300114232. Wagner, John A. ed.. Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781576075753. Haigh, Philip A.. Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses. Far Thrupp, Gloucestershire: A. Sutton. ISBN 9780750914307
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York named Richard Plantagenet, was a leading English magnate, a great-grandson of King Edward III through his father, a great-great-great-grandson of the same king through his mother. He inherited vast estates and served in various offices of state in Ireland and England, a country he governed as Lord Protector during the madness of King Henry VI, his conflicts with Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, other members of Henry's court, as well as his competing claim on the throne, were a leading factor in the political upheaval of mid-fifteenth-century England, a major cause of the Wars of the Roses. Richard attempted to take the throne, but was dissuaded, although it was agreed that he would become king on Henry's death, but within a few weeks of securing this agreement, he died in battle. Two of his sons, Edward IV and Richard III ascended the throne. Richard of York was born on 21 September 1411, the son of Richard, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, by his wife Anne de Mortimer, the daughter of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March.
Anne Mortimer was the great-granddaughter of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of King Edward III. After the death in 1425 of Anne's childless brother Edmund, the 5th Earl of March, this ancestry supplied her son Richard, of the House of York, with a claim to the English throne that was, under English law, arguably superior to that of the reigning House of Lancaster, descended from John of Gaunt, the third son of King Edward III. On his father's side, Richard had a claim to the throne in a direct male line of descent from his grandfather Edmund, 1st Duke of York, fourth surviving son of King Edward III and founder of the House of York; this made Richard a prince of blood and member of the ruling dynasty of England, which might have improved his position as contender or possible successor to the throne though his mother's descent gave him a better claim anyway. His adoption of the surname "Plantagenet" in 1448 would serve to emphasize this point, namely his status as an agnate of the English royal family.
Richard's mother, Anne Mortimer, is said to have died giving birth to him, his father, the Earl of Cambridge, was beheaded in 1415 for his part in the Southampton Plot against the Lancastrian King Henry V. Although the Earl's title was forfeited, he was not attainted, the four-year-old orphan Richard became his father's heir. Richard had an only sister, Isabel of Cambridge, who became Countess of Essex upon her second marriage in 1426. Within a few months of his father's death, Richard's childless uncle, Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York, was slain at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415. After some hesitation, King Henry V allowed Richard to inherit his uncle's title and the lands of the Duchy of York; the lesser title but greater estates of the Earldom of March descended to him on the death of his maternal uncle Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, on 18 January 1425. The reason for Henry V's hesitation was that Edmund Mortimer had been proclaimed several times, by factions rebelling against him, to have a stronger claim to the throne than Henry's father, King Henry IV.
Edmund had been a disputed heir of Richard II until his deposition by Henry IV in 1399. However, during his lifetime, Mortimer remained a faithful supporter of the House of Lancaster. Richard would claim to the throne upon his death. Richard of York held the Mortimer and Cambridge claims to the English throne; the Valor Ecclesiasticus shows that York's net income from Mortimer lands alone was £3,430 in the year 1443–44. As he was an orphan, Richard's income became the property of, was managed by, the crown. Though many of the lands of his uncle of York had been granted for life only, or to him and his male heirs, the remaining lands, concentrated in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire were considerable; the wardship of such an orphan was therefore a valuable gift of the crown, in October 1417 this was granted to Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, with the young Richard under the guardianship of Robert Waterton. Ralph Neville had many daughters needing husbands.
As was his right, in 1424 he betrothed the 13-year-old Richard to his daughter Cecily Neville aged 9. In October 1425, when Ralph Neville died, he bequeathed the wardship of York to his widow, Joan Beaufort. By now the wardship was more valuable, as Richard had inherited the Mortimer estates on the death of the Earl of March; these manors were concentrated in Wales, in the Welsh Borders around Ludlow. They included the Earldom of Ulster, located in Ireland. In a document dated 8 August 1435, he is described as duke of York, earl of March and Ulster, lord of Wigmore, Clare and Connaught. Little is recorded of Richard's early life. On 19 May 1426 he was knighted at Leicester by John, Duke of Bedford, the younger brother of King Henry V. In October 1429 his marriage to Cecily Neville took place. On 20 January 1430, he acted as Constable of England for a duel. On 6 November he was present at th