In 1459 the Yorkists had fled from Ludlow. Richard 3rd duke of York, to Ireland, the Earls of March, Salisbury, and Warwick, to Calais. They were then subject to attainder at the Coventry ‘Parliament of Devils’ and moves were made to oust the Calais Lords from the port. 1460 saw a change of fortunes as the Yorkists landed at Sandwich, then gained control of King Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton. All had been done whilst claiming loyalty to the king. Until, that is, Richard duke of York returned to England in September 1460.
Richard Duke of York’s monarchical style progress towards London.
Following the rout at Ludlow Richard Duke of York had travelled to Ireland. The other great Yorkist lords had travelled to Calais. Whilst in exile, they were attained at the Parliament of Devils.
With the Earl of Warwick retaining control of the Calais fleet, the lords could communicate and even meet. This allowed them the opportunity to plan for a return to England and their rehabilitation within the peerage.
The plan was for dual forces to land and force the Council and Parliament to make changes to the way that England was being governed.
From Sandwich to Northampton
The Earls of Warwick, Salisbury, and March set sail from Calais, landing at Sandwich They advanced on London and then engaged the royal army at Northampton. Having defeated the Lancastrians, captured Henry VI, and secured the Tower of London, the Yorkist party was again ascendancy.
Richard 3rd Duke of York lands
Richard returned to England on 9th September 1460. The other lords had promised that they simply wanted good governance and reiterated their loyal opposition. Richard, on his return, made a progress style march to London.
Claiming the throne
When he arrived in the capital, he placed his hand on the throne and stated his right to the crown. In doing so, he surprised most of the nobility. His argument was debated and whilst his claim to the throne was accepted, the nobles were unwilling to overthrow an anointed king, Henry VI. The basis for Richard Duke of York’s claim to the throne is outlined here.
The compromise was the Act of Accord, which named Richard as heir.
Detailed biography of Richard, 3rd Duke of York.
Richard Neville (Warwick the Kingmaker) and an A-Level lesson on his role in the Wars of the Roses, here: Consummate Politician? Assessing Warwick the Kingmaker
Edward IV, Earl of March at the time of his father’s return from Ireland.