Richard of Shrewsbury was the younger of Edward IV’s two sons. Born in August of 1473, he was created Duke of York the following year. It was common for the sons of the monarch to be bestowed with titles at an early age. It gave them a basis upon which they could generate an income in later life.
Since this creation, it has been the tradition for the second born son of the monarch to receive the title of Duke of York.
Duke of Yotk, a symbolic title
Giving the infant the title was very symbolic. It was the same title that the King’s father had held and one that Edward IV himself had a claim to in the short period between his father’s death and his taking the throne, and during the Readeption of Henry VI.
Richard of Shrewsbury was created Duke of York on 28 May 1474.
The young Richard was made a Knight of the Garter the following year, recognising his importance as a prince of royal blood. As was usual with royal children he was entered into marriage at an early age, to Anne Mowbray. This led to Richard being created Duke of Norfolk and following some legal wrangling’s, to the wealth to be had from the extensive Mowbray estates.
Richard was never to see much benefit from these titles. Following the death of Edward IV in 1483 he joined his elder brother, Edward, in the Tower of London to prepare for the coronation. Following his parents’ marriage being declared bigamist, the boys gradually faded from public view and their fate remains unproven.