The Wars of the Roses/Rivalry between Richard, Duke of York and the Duke of Somerset/The oath of allegiance of Richard, Duke of York to King Henry VI at St Paul´s Cathedral in 1452

File:Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.jpg
RICHARD OF YORK, CLAIMANT TO THE ENGLISH THRONE
AND ONE OF THE MAIN LEADERS OF THE WAR OF ROSES
[WAR BETWEEN THE HOUSES OF LANCASTER AND YORK,
BOTH DESCENDANTS OF KING EDWARD III]
[HISTORICAL IMAGE]

13501173331

_________________________________________

EDMUND BEAUFORT, 2ND DUKE OF SOMERSET, THE GREAT RIVAL
OF RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK
HISTORICAL FICTION
KING HENRY VI OF ENGLAND
[HISTORICAL IMAGE]
MARGARET OF ANJOU, QUEEN OF ENGLAND
[HISTORICAL IMAGE]

TWO IMAGES OF MARGARET OF ANJOU, QUEEN OF ENGLAND
[FICTION]
WARS OF THE ROSES
RIVALRY BETWEEN RICHARD, DUKE
OF YORK AND THE DUKE OF SOMERSET/
THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE OF RICHARD, DUKE
OF YORK TO KING HENRY VI IN THE ST PAUL´S
CATHEDRAL IN 1452
INTRODUCTION
Presenting the  oath of allegiance that Richard, Duke of York had to
swear to King Henry VI, which I found in the Paston Letters.
This oath  was the direct result of the rivalry between

Richard, Duke of York and Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset,which

came to an armed clash with King Henry VI in 1450 as 1452, not challenging

the King´s power, as sometimes is assumed, but to dismiss

Somerset as councillor of the King.

Trying to get rid of Somerset, York had also made two
proclamations, one at the 9th of january and when that didn’t
work, and then, a stronger one at the 3rd of february, 1452, showing
more enmity against Somerset than in the first.

However, this strike was for Somerset,

because York was arrested and had to swear an oath of
allegiance to King Henry VI  at St Paul’s Cathedral, while Somerset was still
in favour.

Eventually,  this rivalry,

together with other causes, would lead to the Wars of the Roses.

 

BACKGROUND

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were both descendants of King Edward III  and therefore ”cousins”
[The War of the Cousins, other term of the Wars of the Roses].
Richard of York descended from maternal side from Edward III’s second son,
Lionel of Antwerp and from paternal side from Edward III’s fourth son,
From his mother’s side York had a superior claim to the throne,
since the the Lancaster  King Henry VI descended from the third son of
Edward III, John of Gaunt.
The Duke of Somerset descended from the Lancaster Beaufort
 line [children of John of Gaunt and his misstress,
Kathryn Swynford]
They were illegitimate, but legitimized first by King Richard II  and later
by King Henry IV on condition, that they could not claim rights to
Between York and Somerset grew intense animosity because of
several issues.
Important point of animosity were the losses of the English territories
And York had been a capable commander.
 favouritism of Somerset, also played a large role.
York returned from Ireland [where he was appointed as
Lieutenant] without royal permission and started an uprising,
 [that’s how I call it when you march with armed men to meet the King]
Admitted, this armed march was not an uprising against
the King to ”go for the throne” [as sometimes is assumed],
in France, because he was still highly in favour.
RESULT
Somerset remained in his position, probably due to Queen Margaret’s
sympathies for him, while York was arrested, brought to London
and given house arrest.
However, the King was lenient with him, not imprisoning
or punishing him further.
It was humiliating, but at least he was not imprisoned or
had to face trial.
However, York was further embittered, since Somerset was still
the star and he  returned to his castle in Ludlow.
Partly from this York/Somerset animosity, the Wars of
the Roses broke out in 1455.
SEE UNDERLYING THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE, RICHARD
OF YORK HAD TO SWEAR IN THE ST PAUL´S CATHEDRAL
IN 1452
´´I, Richard, Duke of York, confess and beknow that I am and ought to be humble subject and liegeman to you, my sovereign Lord, King Henry the Sixth, and owe therefore to bear you faith and truth as to my sovereign lord, and shall do all the days unto my life’s end; and shall not at any time will or assent, that anything be attempted or done against your noble person, but wheresoever I shall have knowledge of any such thing imagined or purposed I shall, with all the speed and diligence possible to me, make that your Highness shall have knowledge thereof, and even do all that shall be possible to me to the withstanding thereof, to the utterest of my life. I shall not in no wise any thing take upon me against your royal estate or the obeisance that is due thereto, nor suffer any other man to do, as far forth as it shall lie in my power to let it; and also I shall come at your commandment, whensoever I shall be called by the same, in humble and obeisant wise, but if [i.e. unless] I be letted by any sickness or impotency of my person or by such other causes as shall be thought reasonable to you, my sovereign lord. I shall never hereafter take upon me to gather any routs, or make any assembly of your people, without your commandment or licence, or in my lawful defence. In the interpretation of which my lawful defence, and declaration thereof, I shall report me at all times to your Highness, and, if the case require, unto my peers: nor anything attempt by way of faite against any of your subjects, of what estate, degree, or condition that they be. But whensoever I find myself wronged or aggrieved, I shall sue humbly for remedy to your Highness, and proceed after the course of your laws, and in none other wise, saving in mine own lawful defence in manner above said; and shall in all things abovesaid and other have me unto your Highness as an humble and true subject ought to have him to his Sovereign Lord.

All these things above said I promise truly to observe and keep, by the Holy Evangelists contained in this book that I lay my hand upon, and by the Holy Cross that I here touch, and by the blessed Sacrament of our Lord’s body that I shall now with His mercy receive. And over this I agree me and will that if I any time hereafter, as with the grace of our Lord I never shall, anything attempt by way of fear or otherwise against your royal majesty and obeisance that I owe thereto, 102or anything I take upon me otherwise than is above expressed, I from that time forth be unabled, [held and taken as an untrue and openly forsworn man, and unable]102.1 to all manner of worship, estate, and degree, be it such as I now occupy, or any other that might grow unto me in any wise.

And this I here have promised and sworn proceedeth of mine own desire and free voluntee and by no constraining or coercion. In witness of all the which things above written I, Richard, Duke of York above named, subscribe me with mine own hand and seal, with this mine own seal, &c.102.2

 

SEE
THE PASTON LETTERS
101

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