This Day in History: 1452-02-27

On the 27th February 1452, Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal Castle,  arrived at Dartford with an army of 23,000 men, ahead of a meeting with King Henry VI who had marched down from the Midlands with an army of approximately the same size.  Henry was always nervous of Richard’s intentions, but he was always looking to protect his own favourite, Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry sent a delegation to Richard – which, interestingly, included, Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and his son, Richard, Earl of Warwick who would both fight with York against the king in forthcoming years –  to ascertain what were York’s demands. York’s ‘demand’ was, simply, the removal of Somerset from the king’s side and his arrest. York was told that Henry had agreed and would arrest Somerset; on which news, Richard  disbanded his army on March 1st. This probably goes a long way to emphasising that, at this stage, Richard had no intention of seizing the throne as there would have been no reason for him to take this course of action.