Edward, duke of York - Encyclopedia

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EDWARD YORK, DUKE OF (c. 1373-1415), elder son of the preceding, was created earl of Rutland in 1390. Being an intimate friend of his cousin, Richard II., he received several important appointments, including those of admiral of the fleet, constable of the tower of London and warden of the Cinque Ports. He accompanied the king to Ireland in 1394 and was made earl of Cork; arranged Richard's marriage with Isabella, daughter of Charles VI. of France; and was one of the king's most active helpers in the proceedings against the "lords appellant" in 1397. As a reward he secured the office of constable of England and the lands in Holderness which had previously belonged to his murdered uncle, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester, together with other estates and the title of duke of Aumerle or Albemarle. He appears to have deserted Richard in 1399, but only at the last moment; and in Henry IV.'s first parliament he was vigorously denounced as the murderer of Gloucester. After declaring that his part in the proceedings of 1397 had been performed under constraint, his life was spared, but he was reduced to his former rank as earl of Rutland, and deprived of his recent acquisitions of land. It is uncertain what share. Rutland had in the conspiracy against Henry IV. in January 1400, but his complete acquittal by parliament in 1401, and the confidence subsequently reposed in him by the king, point to the conclusion that he was not seriously involved. Serving as the royal lieutenant in Aquitaine and in Wales, Rutland, who became duke of York on his father's death in 1402, was, like all Henry's servants, hampered by want of money, and perhaps began to feel some irritation against the king. At all events he was concerned in the scheme, concocted in 1405 by his sister, Constance, widow of Thomas le Despencer, earl of Gloucester, for seizing the young earl of March, and his brother Roger Mortimer, and carrying them into Wales. On her trial Constance asserted that her brother had instigated the plot, which also included the murder of the king, and York was imprisoned in Pevensey castle. Released a few months later, he was restored to the privy council and regained his estates, after which he again served Henry in Wales and in France. York led one division of the English army at Agincourt, where, on the 25th of October 1415, he was killed by "much hete and thronggid." He was buried in Fotheringhay church. The duke left no children and was succeeded as duke of York by his nephew, Richard.

York compiled the Maystre of the Game, a treatise on hunting which is largely a translation of the Livre de Chasse of Gaston Phochus, count of Foix. This has been edited by W. A. and F. BaillieGrohman (1904).

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