Act of Accord

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The Act of Accord

Coat of Arms of Henry VI of England (1422-1471).svg

Citation 39 Hen.VI
Territorial extent England
Dates
Royal assent 25 October 1460
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Act of Accord was passed by the English Parliament on 25 October 1460, [1] three weeks after Richard, Duke of York, had entered the Council Chamber and laid his hand on the empty throne. Under the Act, King Henry VI of England was to retain the crown for life but York and his heirs were to succeed, excluding Henry's son, Edward of Westminster. Henry was forced to agree to the Act.

Henry VI of England 15th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards.

Contents

Far from ending the Wars of the Roses, it split the kingdom further, as it was unacceptable to the queen, Margaret of Anjou, who saw her son disinherited, while retaining a large body of Lancastrian supporters. In the immediate aftermath, the Lancastrians defeated and killed York in December 1460 (even though the Act had made it high treason to kill him), but they were in turn defeated in spring 1461 by York's son Edward, who then became king. [2]

Wars of the Roses Dynastic civil war in England during the 15th-century

The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both families. The conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on which of these factors to identify as the main reason for the wars.

Margaret of Anjou 15th-century French noblewoman and queen of England

Margaret of Anjou was the Queen of England by marriage to King Henry VI from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. Born in the Duchy of Lorraine into the House of Valois-Anjou, Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René, King of Naples, and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine.

House of Lancaster noble family

The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had already been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War. When Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, who was also called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.

In the same parliament (on 31 October), York was made Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall and Lord Protector of England. [3]

Prince of Wales title granted to princes born in Wales

Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards; the term replaced the use of the word king. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301.

Earl of Chester

The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England, extending principally over the counties of Cheshire and Flintshire. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs-apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.

Duke of Cornwall title in the Peerage of England

Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England, traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, previously the English monarch. The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in England and was established by royal charter in 1337. The present duke is the Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. His wife, Camilla, is the current Duchess.

See also

Notes

  1. Britain Express: The Act of Accord
  2. Wagner, John A., Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses, (ABC-CLIO, 2001), 1.
  3. Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume XII/2, page 908.

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