Politics

Lords swear oaths of allegiance to King Henry VI. December 1459

On 11 December 1459 the Lords swear oaths of allegiance to King Henry VI at the Coventry Parliament.

Coventry Parliament

The Coventry Parliament, known as the Parliament of Devils, ended its session on 11 December 1459. It had been a hugely significant session with the leading Yorkist nobles and many of their retainers having been attained.

Attainders

The purpose of the Coventry Parliament had been to strip the opposition of its power base. The attainders removed land, titles, wealth and therefore, authority. The Yorkists, having not been invited to the session, were well aware of the likely outcome and had removed themselves from England: The Duke of York to Ireland, the Earls of March, Salisbury and Warwick to Calais.

Oath of Allegiance to Henry VI

One of the last items on the agenda was an Oath of Allegiance to the King. The lords spiritual and temporal who were present swearing to be ready to serve the King and to aid in any resistance to acts against him.

Lord Fitzhugh

One curiosity here is that Lord Fitzhugh was among the lords who made this oath. Fitzhugh was the Earl of Salisbury’s son-in-law. He had stood firmly behind the Neville family throughout the northern clashes of 1453-4. Now, he was swearing an oath to defend the King against them. Fitzhugh was rewarded for his action against the rebellious Yorkists: much of his fathers-in-law’s land was granted to him.

 

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