LancastriansSource Material

Proclamation for King Henry VI issued August 1470 by the Earl of Warwick

In August of 1470 the Earl of Warwick declared for King Henry VI, casting off any doubts as to his intentions. Earlier statements, letters and proclamations made by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, had not been directly aimed at King Edward IV individually. Instead, they had, much like the Yorkist statements of 1459/60, called for reform. Now, he openly supported the restoration of King Henry VI and the removal of Edward IV.


The most noble and Christian Prince, our most dread Sovereign Lord, King Harry the Sixth, very true undoubted King of England and of France, now being in the hands of his rebels, and {of) great enemy, Edward, late the Earl of Marche, usurper, oppressor, and destroyer of our said Sovereign Lord, and of the noble blood of the realm of England, and of the true commons of the same, by his mischievous and inordinate new founded laws and ordinances inconvenient, to the uttermost destruction of the good commons of the said realm of England ; if it so should continue for the reformation whereof, in especial for the commonweal of all the said realm, the right high and mighty Prince George, Duke (of) Clarence, Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, Richard, Earl of Warwick, and John, Earl of Oxford, as very and true faithful cousins, subjects, and liege men to our said sovereign Lord King Harry the Sixth, by sufficient authority committed unto Uiem in this behalf, by the whole voice and assent of the Most Noble Princess Margaret, Queen of England, (and the Right High and Mighty Prince Edward,) at this time being Queen, unto this realm to put them in their most uttermost [en]deavour to deliver our said Sovereign Lord out of his great captivity, and danger of his enemies, unto his liberty, and by the grace of God to rest him in his Royal estate, and crown of this his said realm of England, and reform . . . and amend all the great mischievous oppressions, and all other inordinate abuses now reigning in the said realm, to the perpetual peace, prosperity, to the common welfare of this realm. Also it is fully concluded and granted that all mail men within the realm of England, of yfhBi(ever) estate, degree, condition that they be of, be fully pardoned of all manner (of) treason or trespass imagined or done, in any manner of wise contrary to their legeyns, {allegiance) against our sovereign Lord the King, the Queen, and my Lord the prince, before the day of coming and entry of the said Duke and Earls in this said realm; so that they put them in their uttermost [en]deavour, and at this time draw them to the company of the said Duke and Earls, to help and to fortify them in their purpose and journey; except such persons as be capital enemies to our said Sovereign Lord, without punishment of the which, good peace and prosperity of this realm cannot be had; and except all such as at this time make any resistance against the said Duke and Earls, or any of them, or of their company. Also the said Duke and Earls, in the name and behalf of our said Sovereign Lord, King Harry the Sixth, charging and commanding that all manner of men, that be between sixteen years and fifty, incontinently and immediately after this proclamation {be) made, be ready, in their best array defensible, to attend and await upon the said Duke and Earls, to assist them in their journey, to the intent afore rehearsed, upon pain of death and forfeiture of all that they {may forfeit) within the realm of England, except such persons as be visited with sickness, or, with such noune {not of) power that they may not go.

Sourced from the Chronicles of the White Rose of York. Digitised and available on the Hathi Trust website here.

Related Content

Richard Duke of York’s claim to the throne – another statement of ‘right’ to the throne from a decade earlier, when the Earl of Warwick was allied to the Duke of York.

The Abingdon Proclamation – Edward IV’s statement regarding his claim to the throne. This was made during his 1471 campaign and is useful for comparative purposes.

The Angers Agreement – the agreements made between the Earl of Warwick and Queen Margaret. This unlikely alliance led to the Earl of Warwick returning to England and establishing the second reign of King Henry VI, known as the Readeption.

Contemporary views on the readeption of King Henry VI – one view of the readeption.

Letter from King Henry VI to the Earl of Warwick
Henry sends Warwick to France in December 1470 ‘with an army of ships and men … for the bringing home of our most dear and entirely beloved wife the queen and of our son the prince’. TNA Catalogue ref: E 404/71/6/35


National Archives – Readeption


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