Richard, Duke of York


Richard, 3rd Duke of York (l. 1411-1460 CE) was the richest man in England and one of the nobles who sparked off the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487 CE), a dynastic dispute that rumbled on for four decades between several English kings, queens, and barons. Richard, leader of the Yorkists who set themselves against their rivals the Lancastrians, became Protector of the Realm under Henry VI of England (r. 1422-1461 CE & 1470-1471 CE) when that king suffered from episodes of insanity. Perhaps initially Richard only wished to better his great rival the Earl of Somerset (d. 1455 CE) but he made a bid for the crown itself and was defeated by an army led by Henry's wife, Queen Margaret (d. 1482 CE). Killed in the battle of Wakefield in December 1460 CE, the pretender's head was displayed on a pike in York. The Wars of the Roses then continued as two of Richard's sons bettered their father and each became king: Edward IV of England (r. 1461-1470 CE & 1471-1483 CE) and Richard III of England (r. 1483-1485 CE).

More about: Richard, Duke of York


  • 1411 - 1460
    Life of Richard, Duke of York.
  • 22 Sep 1411
    Richard, future 3rd Duke of York, is born.
  • 1422 - 1461
    First reign of Henry VI of England.
  • c. 1429
    Richard, Duke of York marries Cecily Neville.
  • 1436
    Tax records show that Richard, Duke of York is the richest man in England.
  • 1436 - 1437
    Richard, Duke of York leads an army in France.
  • 1440 - 1445
    Richard, Duke of york leads an army in France for a second time.
  • 28 Apr 1442
    Birth of Edward of York, Earl of March, son of Richard, Duke of York and future Edward IV of England.
  • 1447
    Richard, Duke of York is the king's lieutenant in Ireland.
  • 1450
    There is a rebellion in England led by Jack Cade.
  • Feb 1452 - Mar 1452
    Richard, Duke of York launches a failed by marching his army to Dartford.
  • 2 Oct 1452
    Birth of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, future Richard III of England, at Fotheringhay Castle.
  • 1453
    Henry VI of England suffers his first episode of insanity.
  • 13 Oct 1453
    Birth of Edward, the only son of Henry VI of England.
  • Mar 1454
    Richard, Duke of York is made Protector of the Realm.
  • 1455 - 1487
    Wars of the Roses in England.
  • 1455
    Richard, Duke of York imprisons his rival the Earl of Somerset in the Tower of London.
  • 22 May 1455
    Richard, Duke of York wins the Battle of St. Albans and the Earl of Somerset is killed.
  • Nov 1455
    Richard, Duke of York is made the Protector of the Realm for a second time.
  • 25 Mar 1458
    ‘Loveday’, Henry VI of England's attempt to reconcile the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
  • 1459
    The 'Parliament of Devils' identifies Richard, Duke of York as a traitor. The duke flees to Ireland.
  • 12 Oct 1459
    An army led by Queen Margaret defeats Richard, Duke of York at the Battle of Ludford Bridge.
  • 10 Jul 1460
    A Yorkist army led by Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick and Edward, Earl of March defeats Queen Margaret’s army at Northampton. Henry VI of England is captured.
  • 24 Oct 1460
    The Act of Accord identifies Richard, Duke of York as the official heir of Henry VI of England.
  • 30 Dec 1460
    Richard, Duke of York is killed at the Battle of Wakefield.