Second Protectorate of Richard 3rd Duke of York

Richard 3rd Duke of York was appointed protector and defender of the realm for a second time on 19 November 1455. This followed the Yorkist victory in the First Battle of St. Albans. King Henry VI was again deemed incapable of personal rule.

With King Henry VI once again unable to rule, a protector was required. The Yorkists, having been victorious at the First Battle of St. Albans, were in the ascendancy. Therefore, the commons petitioned for Richard 3rd Duke of York to be appointed to the role.

Appointment of Richard 3rd Duke of York as Protector in 1455

The Chancery Patent Rolls record the event:

‘Appointment, on petition of the Commons in the present Parliament, of Richard Duke of York as protector and defender of the realm and church, and the king’s principal councillor, until he be discharged by the king in Parliament by the advice and assent of the lords spiritual and temporal, [the duke’s] authority ceasing when Edward, the king’s first-born son, comes to years of discretion and wishes to assume the charge of protector and defender.’

Power Base

Unlike his first appointment to this role, York was in the ascendancy when invited to take it. This does not mean that he had a consensus government, though: his power bloc was the Neville family and their followers.

Problems faced as Protector

He faced problems almost immediately. Lawlessness between nobles in the South-West had flared up and had to be dealt with. Richard sent the offending parties to the Tower. There was also the matter of the nation’s finances. Much land had been granted in such a way that it would generate income for the crown. This had been to the dismay of some of the nobility.

The Duke attempted to resolve the matter through a Bill of Resumption. By the time King Henry recovered, this Bill had not been fully implemented due to many requests for exemptions and was quickly dropped upon Henry’s return to the throne.

Links on the Duke of York as Protector

Richard 3rd Duke of York’s role as Protector from November 1455 is covered in this page of my education website. Part of a lengthy biography.


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