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]
EDMUND BEAUFORT, 2ND DUKE OF SOMERSET, THE GREAT RIVAL
OF RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK
KING HENRY VI OF ENGLAND
MARGARET OF ANJOU, QUEEN OF ENGLAND
TWO IMAGES OF MARGARET OF ANJOU, QUEEN OF ENGLAND
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
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.
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
Eventually, this rivalry,
together with other causes, would lead to the Wars of the Roses.
[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,
since the the Lancaster King Henry VI descended from the third son of
[children of John of Gaunt and his misstress,
Between York and Somerset grew intense animosity because of
And York had been a capable commander.
York returned from Ireland [where he was appointed as
[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],
, because he was still highly in favour.
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
´´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
THE PASTON LETTERS