Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

All seven colours identified in the popular mnemonic: ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’.

Richard of York lived from 21 September 1411 to 30 December 1460.

He was an orphan, born of royal descent. He became a noble, coming in to his inheritance and full control over his estates.

He left to France to fight on behalf of King Henry, with some success, and returned to England in November 1439. He became Lieutenant of France the next year, but struggled to hold the borders of Normandy and after a truce, his time was spent in routine administration and domestic affairs.

After returning to England on 20 October 1445, his financial state was problematic, owed by the crown and with the income from his estate declining. Nevertheless he was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland. In Ireland, claiming lack of money to defend English possessions, he decided to return to England.

By 1450 there was political unrest, with the House of Commons asking that the King revoke the grants of land he made to his favourites. York stood in opposition, with the support of parliament. Henry VI was prompted into reforms and York, frustrated by his lack of political power, protested his loyalty to Henry VI, with the aim to be recognised as the King’s heir apparent, even trying to destroy the Earl of Somerset, who Henry may have preferred to take over the throne. York was forced to take an oath of allegiance after his attempt on Somerset failed.

York gained support from a section of nobility and was appointed Protector of the Realm and Chief Councillor. After a fight with Somerset, which he won, York took the King prisoner, but released him on condition that he (York) play a major part in the government of the realm.

Now it was the Queen, Margaret of Anjou who took control. She viewed York with suspicion, whilst he returned to Lieutenancy of Ireland and attended meetings of the council. When called to attend the great council in Coventry, the Queen’s country, York and his allies refused, fearing their arrest. Instead he raised an army to fight the King, at the Battle of Ludford Bridge, but he lost and had to flee to Ireland.

The opposition allies were forfeit, and their lands reverted to the King. With York’s allies responding by taking up strategic positions, the King’s army was defeated, and York returned to England, acting as King, even taking residence in the royal palace. He advanced his claim to the crown by hereditary right, but this failed and so York made an agreement to become King upon Henry VI’s death. Now he governed the country as Lord Protector.

But a few weeks after this, on 30th December 1460, York was killed in the Battle of Wakefield by Lancastrian loyalists. He was buried at Pontefract, but his head was put on a pike and displayed over Micklegate Bar at York, wearing a paper crown.

His sons became King Edward IV and King Richard III.

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

<a href=””>Roy G. Biv</a>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s