This Day in History: 1485-11-21

On 21st November 1485, the attainder on Henry VI was reversed by Henry VII as part of the legitimisation process for his family. The Parliament that had opened twenty-four years earlier on 4th November 1461 had been an assembly designed to set a seal on a change of dynasty (from Lancaster to York) and deny the rights to the Crown of the three Lancastrian monarchs, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI and the consequent invalidation of their acts. This earlier Parliament had also sanctioned the transfer of Henry IV’s patrimony, the Duchy of Lancaster (of which Pontefract Castle had been a key element since the death of Henry de Lacy in 1311), on Edward IV and his successors. An extract from Henry VII’s Parliamentary Roll of 1485 declared: ‘…all acts of atteynder, forfeture and disablement made or hadde in the said parliament or in any parliament of the said late Kynge Edwarde, ayenst the said moste blessed prince Kynge Herry……….voyde, adnulled, repelled and of no force ne effecte.’