York, house of

views updated Jun 08 2018

York, house of. 15th-cent. royal dynasty. Historians from the Tudor period onward viewed the Wars of the Roses as a dynastic contest between the houses of Lancaster and York. This interpretation appears in the papal dispensation for the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, in 1486.

The title was first created in 1385 for Edmund of Langley duke of York, 4th surviving son of Edward III, and descended to his son Edward, duke of York in 1402. His heir was Richard of York, son of his brother Richard of Conisborough. A hereditary right to the throne by York was inferior to that of the Lancastrians descended from John of Gaunt, Edward III's third son to reach maturity. From his mother, however, Duke Richard could trace descent through the Mortimer earls of March from Lionel, Edward's second surviving son. In 1460 he claimed the crown as Lionel's heir.

By this date there had been intermittent hostilities since 1455, and this was the second time victory in battle by York and his allies had won control of Henry VI's government. His friends had not fought to make him king, as was apparent by their dismayed reaction to his claim and the eventual compromise that he should be Henry's heir. After York's death, they recognized his son as King Edward IV. His claim was confirmed by battles in 1461 and again in 1471, when the main Lancastrian dynasty was extinguished; its former ministers, like John Morton, now entered Edward's service.

The Yorkist monarchy was destroyed by Richard III's usurpation. Courtiers of Edward, believing Richard had murdered Edward's sons Edward V and Richard, agreed to accept Henry Tudor as king if he married their sister. Risings for this purpose failed in 1483; it was achieved at Bosworth in 1485.

Continental enemies encouraged opposition to the Tudor king. Edward IV's sister Margaret, duchess of Burgundy, assisted the pseudo-Yorkist claimants Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. Pole and Courtenay descendants of Richard of York, some known as ‘the white rose’, fell victim to Henry VIII's paranoia. Pride in his own Yorkist ancestry was shown by naming his children Edward ( VI) and Elizabeth, and by his burial in Edward's chapel of St George in Windsor castle.

R. L. Storey

York, House of

views updated May 18 2018

York, House of the English royal house which ruled England from 1461 ( Edward IV) until the defeat and death of Richard III in 1485, with a short break in 1470–1 (the restoration of Henry VI).

Descended from Edmund of Langley (1341–1402), 1st Duke of York and 5th son of Edward III, the House of York fought the Wars of the Roses with the House of Lancaster, both houses being branches of the Plantagenet line. Lancaster eventually prevailed, through their descendants, the Tudors, but the houses were united when the victorious Henry VII married Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV (1486).

The Yorkist emblem was a white rose.

York, House of

views updated May 11 2018

York, House of English royal House, a branch of the Plantagenets. During the Wars of the Roses, rival claimants from the Houses of York and Lancaster contended for the throne. The Yorkist claimant, Richard, Duke of York, was a great-grandson of Edward III. His son was crowned as Edward IV. In 1485, the defeat of Edward's brother, Richard III, by Henry VII brought the Yorkist line to a close. See also Tudors

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