Henry Holland, duke of Exeter, imprisoned by the duke of York

Henry Holland Duke of Exeter, was imprisoned by the Duke of York on 23 July 1454. It was a result of the duke of Exeter’s involvement in the violence that had gripped the country in the 1450’s. 

Henry Holland’s inheritance

Having inherited his fathers dukedom and estates in 1447, Henry Holland had been granted livery of his lands in 1450 and self administration of his estates and roles associated with the title. It is thought by some historians that this was in response to the memorandum of the Cade rebels that called for ancient royal blood to be in government.

Tensions and the Appointment of a Protector of the realm

In 1454 the tension between different factions within the government had reached boiling point. The King was incapacitated, and there had been heated debate over the choice of Protector for the realm. Council had settled the matter by appointing Richard Duke of York to the role. He was the senior Prince of the Blood and heir presumptive.

He was not the only Prince of the blood, though. Henry Holland Duke of Exeter was another. Exeter, who had been granted livery of his lands on this day in 1450, was something of a loose cannon. He had become embroiled in land disputes and used his rank to coerce and violence to force issues.

Henry Holland, duke of Exeter is arrested for his involvement in uprisings

Henry Holland was also implicated in uprisings. Richard acted decisively against Exeter on 23 July 1454, Benet’s Chronicle describing the events:

“[About 19 May] the Duke of York, with a great number of men, rode to York to confront the Duke of Exeter and Lord Egremont who had armed themselves in Yorkshire and rebelled against the King’s peace. However, when they heard of the Duke of York’s arrival, they fled. On 23 July, the Duke of York seized The Duke of Exeter at Westminster, took him to his house and, later, imprisoned him in Pontefract Castle”.


John Holland, Duke of Exeter

Revolts and Uprisings in the Fifteenth Century

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