Lancaster, House of

views updated Jun 27 2018

Lancaster, House of the English royal house descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, that ruled England from 1399 ( Henry IV) until 1461 (the deposition of Henry VI) and again on Henry's brief restoration in 1470–1. With the red rose as its emblem it fought the Wars of the Roses with the House of York, both houses being branches of the Plantagenet line. Lancaster's descendants, the Tudors, eventually prevailed through Henry VII's accession to the throne in 1485.

The Duchy of Lancaster is now an estate vested in the Crown, consisting of properties in Lancashire and elsewhere in England.