In June 1460, the Duke of Warwick
and Edward Earl of March
landed in Sandwich, England
with 2,000 men, having sailed from Calais.
It would be a recurring theme throughout the wars that people would rarely ever challenge the King directly, and thus it was that Warwick declared his intent to "relieve the King of evil counsellors". After Warwick entered Canterbury, he began to march towards London, gathering support as he went.
Against his wishes but under the influence of key magnates, the lord mayor of London opened the gates to Warwick's now vast army of 40,000. Fearing their lives, Lancastrian nobles either fled the city or took refuge in the Tower of London.
The engagement between the Yorkists and King Henry took place on the 10th July in Northampton. "Battle" is perhaps too strong a word for the scuffle, which ended within 30 minutes and a sound Lancastrian defeat. Out of the 50,000 soldiers involved, only 500 or so where killed, but among them lay the Duke of Buckingham. Upon Warwick's orders, the King was taken alive.
The Duke of York's supporters called parliament merely with a view to revoking the 'Pariliament of Devils' attainder of 1459. This attainder had been against the leaders of the Yorkist faction back then (an attainder brands the attaindees traitors). Only when the Duke of York returned from Ireland did he make a claim to the throne, and it seems he did so against the wishes and expectations of his followers.
The Duke arrived in London, and set about creating a display of total arrogance. He strode into the great hall at the palace. He walked up to the King's throne and placed his hand upon it. An infuriating silence ensued. Trying to save the Duke of York face, the Archbishop of Canterbury asked if the Duke would like to see the King. He aggressively replied:
'I know of no-one in the realm who would not more fitly come to me than I to him.'
York could not persuade the laws to despose Henry in favour of him. This is not what they had intended or desired. However, they did agree that York and his heirs would inherit the throne upon Henry's death or abdication.
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