Richard Duke of Gloucester had held several key positions in the north prior to this newly created position. It gave him extensive powers, largely military in nature. This was extended in 1480 through the creation of the position of Lieutenant-General on 12 May.
Following the reinstatement of Edward IV as King, there had been attempts to improve relations with the Scots. Initially, the English had to relieve Berwick, but after that, ambassadors had met to try and improve relations and reduce unrest along the border.
Warden of the West March
By the late 1470s and into 1480 the number of border raids had increased again. As Warden of the West March, Richard was charged with the defence of the border in that region. Now though, the raids were large in number and increasingly frequent.
Richard Duke of Gloucester was created Lieutenant-General of the North.
The solution that King Edward, no doubt with input from his brother, came up with was the position of Lieutenant-General of the North. As Lieutenant General, Richard could call commissions of array across most of the north of England: Westmoreland, Cumberland, Northumberland, and the ridings of Yorkshire.
This meant that he could raise a substantial army if required, without needing to wait for messages to get to and from London and meant a coordinated approach to dealing with the raids, and Scotland, across the entire border.
This position strengthened Richard’s control over the region, reinforcing the notion that he was ‘Lord of the North’.