162 The Return of York

It's still 1450. Because it was something of an eventful year. Richard of York, sat in Ireland, was worried – his name had been bandied about by Jack Cade and his rebels. See what happens…

162 The Return of York

Some links

First of all,m if you don't know the History of Byzantium, and would like to, hop along to Robin Pierson's website. It's a great series.  

Secondly, I'm starting up a series of Wars of the Roses pages, just to help you all navigate through the mess of families that hop in and out of each others' beds. Look at the Left Hand Nav bar; or to read about a few of the major families in 1450, follow this link to Major Families...

Richard Duke of York, 1411-1460

Richard of YorkSon of the disgraced Richard Earl of Cambridge, despite his long minority Richard was born to the fortunes of York and Mortimer, and descended from The Duke of Clarence, Edward III's son. There was no sign before 1450 that Richard was anything other than a loyal servant of the king – serving in France as Lieutenant General. Then he was ousted, and replaced by Edmund Beaufort. Historians disagree about how Richard took this – but being appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland may very well not have been the reward it sounds like – in Ireland he was safely far away from the king. Richard was alienated by a feeling that he was denied his birthright – being in the closest counsels of the king. 

His return in 1450 was dramatic – he came without permission. Beaufort was now effectively the chief Minister of the king and Queen, and all 3 appeared to panic trying to prevent York's return. 

 By 1451, civil war was not inevitable; but a pattern of antipathy between Beaufort, Queen Margaret and York was becoming established, and York 's ambitions being thwarted. 

Margaret of Anjou, 1430-1482

Margaret of AnjouWhat to make of Margaret? It's always worth bearing in mind that women like Margaret who stepped outside the mould will be unfairly judged by contemporary chroniclers. From the start of her relationship with Henry, it seems both got on well – spending more time together than was expected of a king and queen at the time. She was reasonably traditional in her role, supporting her husband; though she spent freely; and appears frequently in the minutes of the King's council as grants were made 'by the queen's counsel'; so it appears she became more involved, and the political situation sharpened, and her husband's lack of capability .became more evident., 

After 8 years of marriage, by 1452 the couple still showed no signs of producing a child. 

Livery Badges, Bastard feudalism and the Wars of the Roses

The prevailing theory about why the Wars of the Roses happened was, at one point very much about 'bastard feudalism'and the 'overmighty subjects'. The story goes that by the 15th century, the relationship between a lord and his retinue had changed – no longer based on an honest knight and his patch of land, but no a money fee, based on an 'indenture' or contract. And that as a result, lords traipsed around the countryside with massive retinues of followers. Which is true – they did. A magnate gave out robes of particular colours, and livery badges by which they might be known; and there were a lot of them; and the 15th century was a violent time. The general feeling is that this wasn't the fault of bastard feudalism; in earlier centuries, a magnates affinity was just as important. The reasons for the war had more to do with Henry VIth's failure to control his magnates. 

But back to livery badges; below is one example, one of Henry VIth's badges. I've had a rootle around and tried to find the ones I could – guided, obviously, by that authoritative historical resource, the game Kingmaker…so you can find them all by clicking on this link to my page 'Livery Badges'

Chained Antelope badge

15 thoughts on “162 The Return of York

  1. I was also a keen player of Kingmaker 30+ years ago and have used it as the basis of many a castle-visiting expedition. I still play board games and these days there are many excellent games covering English history. If you’re interested, I can recommend the 2-player block wargame, Richard III which (despite its name) covers the whole of the Wars of the Roses.

  2. Steve! A fellow player! And did you always end up in either North wales or 2 squares of London? Did you play the advanced rules? Ever have hung parliament.
    Always interested in a recommendation, but sadly NONE OF THE REST OF MY FAMILY PLAY BOARD GAMES. Can you believe it? Children are such a disappointment – why can’t they be more like me?

  3. My games usually ended up with two almighty armies hiding in cities that had recently survived plagues, then reshuffling the events until one player was plagued into oblivion. Usually one in London and one elsewhere, and yes, frequently North Wales in those lovely strong castles. I don’t recall hung parliaments, nor what was in advanced or basic rules, so can’t really comment; it’s been a while.
    I managed to breed a couple of wargamers, so I get in plenty of play these days. My 11-year-old son frequently slaughters my Lancastrians with his Yorkist rebels.

  4. I’m a touch behind in my listening, but thanks so much for mentioning Kingmaker! I’ve been anxiously waiting (seemingly for 100 years :-)) for all those names from the colorful cards to appear in the podcast.
    Many a pleasant evening in my youth was spent with my posse and our ragged copy of Kingmaker (which I still have). It was one of those rare games where the play was always more important than the outcome, at least until someone got stiffed in Parliament and decided to go home.
    Glad to see that others remember it warmly. Hmmmm, I wonder if I can get my 10-year-old to try a game or two with his old dad…

  5. is there anyway to reclaim these episodes? poitiers is one such affected episode and one i really wanted to hear. You are doing a fantastic job with a great and well read podcast. The occational acting is…..

  6. Belated note to echo the Kingmaker game fond reminiscences from the episode and previous comments. I played when I was about 10 and had no clue what I was doing, though perhaps that was the superior way to play compared to the actual rules. I’m enjoying these Henry IV, V, and VI shows … any better 15th-century English history board games that capture the spirit of the age?

    1. We are a small and yet loyal band! I am proud to say that I have handed the baton on to my nephew, and so another generation is ensnared…!
      I’ve only played a few more games; there was diplomacy, which I utterly adore, but you need a week to play it and at least 4 players and everyone else has better things to do And there was some Frederick the Great game played in Corfu, mainly half cut I have to say. Apart from that, I have no further expertise to impart!

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