Chancery Patent Rolls confirmed the nature of Richard Duke of York’s appointment as Protector on 3 Aptil 1454.
Richard 3rd Duke of York appointed Protector
“Appointment, during pleasure, by the advice and assent of the lords spiritual and temporal and the commonality of England in the present Parliament, in consideration of the king’s infirmity whereby his attendance [would be] prejudicial to his swift recovery, of Richard Duke of York, as protector and defender of the realm and church and principal councillor of the king, [the] authority of the duke ceasing when Edward, the king’s first born, arrives at years of discretion, if he should then wish to take upon himself the charge of protector and defender”.
This Chancery Roll confirmed the decision that had been made on 27 March.
Interim arrangements for rule prior to the appointment of a Protector
Prior to Richard’s formal appointment as the Protector, there had been earlier temporary decisions that enabled the continuance of Government in the King’s absence.
For example, the Chancery Rolls also have an entry dated 13 February 1454 regarding Richard’s role in the monarch’s absence.
“Power to Richard Duke of York, by assent of the council, to hold in the king’s name Parliament on 14 February at the palace of Westminster, as the king can not be present in person, and to do all the things for the good governance of the realm, [and] to dissolve that Parliament by assent of the council”.
Here we see that appointing a protector can take some time and that the powers granted to the Protector can be varied and require the consent of the Council.
Richard 3rd Duke of York resigns his position as Protector following the return to health of King Henry VI.