This Day in History: 1461-02-26
On 26th February 1461, after the Lancastrians’ victory at the Second Battle St Albans their army marched on the capital but, with their notorious reputation now common knowledge, Londoners closed the city gates. Rather than trying to take the capital by force, the Lancastrian army turned north to regroup and plan its next course of action. It now began to march north to the city of York. The Earl of Warwick now convinced Richard Duke of York‘s son, Edward, to proclaim himself king; the Duke of York was dead and under the Act of Accord, Edward, his heir, could claim the throne on Henry VI’s death. Albeit Henry was still (presumably) alive, Edward, Warwick and their supporters claimed the throne by virtue of Henry VI and his followers breaching the agreement by causing ‘unrest, inward war and trouble, unright wiseness, and the shedding and effusion of innocent blood’. The Yorkists called on the citizens of London to accept Edward as king and save them from the ‘dissolute’ Lancastrians. Edward was now acknowledged (at least in London) as Edward IV, King of England. These events would lead in the following weeks to the climactic battles at Ferrybridge and Towton where the future of the crown would be decided.