This Day in History: 1459-11-20

On 20th November 1459 a parliament was summoned at Coventry by Henry VI and his Lancastrian supporters. The fact that this parliament was in the heart of Lancastrian territory emphasises that the aim was to deal once and for all with the Yorkist lords. Richard Duke of York – owner of Sandal Castle – along with the earl’s of Salisbury and Warwick, were not invited. At the parliament all of the key Yorkist leaders were attainted for treason and found guilty by an Act of Parliament rather than by the basic right attributed to Magna Carta for a man to be tried by his peers.By the verdict, York and all those attainted with him, lost every title, every castle, every piece of land and every income they owned. At a stroke, the most powerful nobleman in the kingdom became a penniless common outlaw, along with all his allies.