Dartford Uprising

   The unsuccessful armed uprising that culminated at Dartford in Kent in March 1452 was the first attempt by Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, to use force to achieve his political ends.
   In January 1452, York, seeking to secure recognition of himself as heir to the childless HENRY VI and eager to increase his influence in the royal government, issued a public declaration of allegiance to the king and a statement of regret that Henry did not currently look upon him with favor. In February, the duke issued a condemnation of Edmund BEAUFORT, duke of Somerset, who was York’s rival both for political power and for the succession, the BEAUFORT FAMILY having as compelling a claim to the throne as the house of YORK. The duke charged Somerset with responsibility for the recent English military collapse in FRANCE and with plotting the destruction of York and his family. Backed by Thomas COURTENAY, earl of Devon, who was seeking allies against his courtier rival, William BONVILLE, Lord Bonville, and relying on public support born of anger over Somerset’s perceived failures in France, York began raising an armed force to march on LONDON and compel the king to dismiss Somerset. When several deputations from the king failed to deflect York from his purpose, Henry ordered the London authorities to refuse York admittance to the city, which they did in late February, forcing the duke to march into Kent to his property at Dartford. Because Kent had been the heart of JACK CADE’S REBELLION in 1450,York hoped to increase his support by tapping into any lingering antigovernment sentiment. On 1 March, Henry entered Kent at the head of a large army. Although York’s own forces were sizable, and he had several ships in the Thames loaded with ARTILLERY, the English PEERAGE, with the exception of Devon and Lord Cobham, backed the king. As the two armies advanced toward each other, a team of mediators led by the bishops William WAINFLEET and Thomas BOURCHIER, and including Richard NEVILLE, earl of Salisbury, and his son, Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, moved back and forth between the king and the duke. According to some sources, an agreement was concluded on 2 March whereby York would lay down his arms in return for being allowed to present his petition against Somerset to the king. Somerset was then to be imprisoned in the TOWER OF LONDON pending an investigation into York’s charges against him. However, when York came before Henry, he found Somerset at the king’s side and himself in custody. Other sources simply say that York came and knelt before the king, presented his petition, and then returned to London with Henry. Finding the commons of Kent hesitant to follow him, and lacking any significant support from other peers, York probably realized the futility of his position and submitted. Nonetheless, the same nobles who refused to support his armed rising were also unwilling to see him too severely punished.York was detained at his London residence, compelled to make a public oath of loyalty to Henry at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and then released. He was also forced to submit to an arbitration of his dispute with Somerset, which was conducted by a panel dominated by friends of Somerset. Although a pardon was issued to encourage York’s supporters to disperse, the king sought to warn the duke’s RETAINERS against future armed demonstrations by leading a series of judicial commissions into areas of Yorkist influence. The king’s liberal imposition of fines and imprisonments impressed York’s supporters with royal authority and left the duke powerless and politically isolated.
   Further Reading: Griffiths, Ralph A., The Reign of King Henry VI (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981); Johnson, P. A., Duke Richard of York (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jack Cade’s Rebellion — (1450)    Distressed by high taxes, corrupt local officials, and the recent loss of Normandy, the commons of Kent, led by a man named Jack (or John) Cade, rose in rebellion in the summer of 1450. Because HENRY VI and his advisors suspected that… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Beaufort, Edmund, Duke of Somerset —    1) (c. 1406–1455)    Through his quarrel with Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, Edmund Beaufort, second duke of Somerset, helped initiate the political conflicts that eventually escalated into the WARS OF THE ROSES.    Edmund Beaufort was a… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • First Protectorate — (1454–1455)    Lasting from March 1454 until February 1455, the first protectorate was an attempt to solve the constitutional crisis created by the mental illness of HENRY VI (see Henry VI, Illness of). Realizing that the king was unable to… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Henry VI, King of England — (1421–1471)    Through his favoritism and inability to function effectively as king, Henry VI, third monarch of the house of LANCASTER, became a chief cause of the WARS OF THE ROSES.    Born at Windsor in December 1421, the only child of Henry V… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Neville, Richard, Earl of Salisbury — (c. 1400–1460)    In the mid fifteenth century, Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, was one of the wealthiest and most politically influential nobles in England. By bringing the extensive Neville interest into alliance with Richard PLANTAGENET,… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Stafford, Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham — (1402–1460)    Humphrey Stafford, duke of Buckingham,was one of the wealthiest magnates and largest landowners in fifteenth century England, as STAFFORD, HUMPHREY, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM 253 well as a force for political moderation in the early… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Tailboys, Sir William — (c. 1416–1464)    Although responsible for numerous crimes in his county and therefore a prime example of the local corruption and disorder that made HENRY VI’s government so ineffective and unpopular, Sir William Tailboys (or Talboys) was a… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Wainfleet, William — Bishop of Winchester (c. 1395–1486)    William Wainfleet (or Waynfleet) was chancellor under HENRY VI in the late 1450s and bishop of Winchester throughout the WARS OF THE ROSES.    The son of a Lincolnshire gentleman, Wainfleet was ordained in… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Margaret Thatcher — For other uses, see Margaret Thatcher (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Plantagenet, Richard, Duke of York —    1) (1411–1460)    By laying claim to the Crown of England, Richard Plantagenet, duke of York, transformed a factional struggle for control of the royal government into a dynastic civil war, pitting his family, the house of YORK, against the… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.