This Day in History: 1456-02-25

On 25th February 1456, Richard, Duke of York, was sent an emphatic and strongly worded letter to his castle at Sandal : ‘We on the 25th February in our said parliament, with the advice and assent of the lords spiritual and temporal being in the same parliament, have discharged you from the responsibility or change and name of Lord Protector and Defender. We order you not to intervene at all in any further responsibility or charge and name of the protector and defender of our aforesaid kingdom of England and our principle councillor and name of the aforesaid. For we wish you to be completely discharged of the responsibility or charge and name of the aforesaid.’ Albeit discharged of ‘kingly’ powers, York was expected to deal with a new crisis in the realm: Scotland’s James II‘s incursion into Cumbria. James did reportedly offer to help York in his claim to the English throne. This pattern of expecting York to meet a crisis in government and then being side-lined was one he was unable to break.