Richard 3rd duke of York had been given the role of Lieutenant of Ireland instead of having his tenure as Lieutenant of France extended. Seen by some as a snub, the result was that the duke of York was far away from Normandy as the duchy fell to the French. It coincided with chaotic political scenes. The duke of Suffolk was arrested, then banished and murdered. Two revolts had broken out in the south east. And rumours had begun that suggested that the duke of York may be implicated in stirring unrest.
Richard Duke of York returned from Ireland
The exact location where Richard Duke of York landed on his return from Ireland, though we know it was on 7th September 1450. He had been made aware of the political situation so knew of the murders of the Duke of Suffolk, Adam Moleyns and the revolts of Thomas Cheyne and Jack Cade.
Rumours about the duke of York’s intentions
He was evidently also aware that rumours persisted that he intended to mount a challenge for the crown. King Henry had been told by a sailor that, ‘the Duke of Yorke then in Ireland should lyke manner fight with traytours at Leicester parliament’ (the sailor was executed for this).
Richard refutes rumours
That Richard was aware and concerned is evidenced in several ways.
He stated in one bill that he was a loyal subject and refuted rumours spread about him.
In a second bill, he was quite direct. He had been barred from entry to several ports, and his bill bemoaned this and the execution of good men and wrongful imprisonment of others.
In these two bills, Richard had effectively become the head of the loyal opposition to the King’s favourites, in particular, the Duke of Somerset.
This is a turning point in Richard’s political methods. Following his return, he was proactive in his approach to politics. It led at first to the standoff at Dartford in 1452, then clashes with the Duke of Somerset and Duke of Exeter, and later his claiming of right to the throne.
Henry VI sits while Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, have an argument. From Doyle, James William Edmund (1864) “Henry VI” in A Chronicle of England: B.C. 55 – A.D. 1485, London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, pp. p. 400. Source: Wikipedia.