Biographies & Memoirs

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It is difficult to know how much George saw of his parents while he was growing up, but during the first year of his life the baby had shared his place of residence with his mother – and for much of the time also with his father. During this period he may well have seen both parents quite often, since they were all living together in Dublin or Trim Castle. If his sister Margaret had remained in England in the custody of a nurse, then George would probably have had no experience of siblings during his first year of life. On the other hand, both his young sister and other siblings (perhaps including Anne of York) may well have been in Dublin to keep the baby company and help to care for him. George’s later relationship with his sister Margaret does offer circumstantial evidence that she had known George more or less from birth, and that they grew up together.

Later in his life, Anne of York exhibited concern for George’s well-being and safety. George also seems to have enjoyed a close brotherly relationship with Margaret. This suggests that both sisters had been around when he was small and that he knew Margaret particularly well. The role-play of modern baby girls as ‘mothers’ of dolls is said to commence typically at about the age of 3, to develop fully between the ages of 4 to 6, and to cease at about 9 or 10 years of age.1 It would be logical to infer, therefore, that the 4-year-old Margaret of York enjoyed having not a doll, but a real, live baby brother to ‘mother’. Both she and George may have been lastingly affected by the resulting deep childhood relationship. This would account for their mutual closeness later in life – even when they were geographically far apart. Later, perhaps, Margaret may also have ‘mothered’ her youngest brother, Richard. There are also signs that she cared deeply for him, too.2 However, she was already six and a half years old when Richard was born, so her maternal role-play in relation to him would have been of much shorter duration than that in respect of the older George.

Once the family sailed back to England, the picture of George’s closeness to both his parents may have changed somewhat. George’s mother, who was again pregnant when she returned, probably then stayed at home with her children. However, for much of the time we have no information about precisely where she and they were living. Sir George Buck, a descendant of one of Richard III’s supporters at the Battle of Bosworth,3 writing in the seventeenth century, stated that the ‘children of Richard Duke of Yorke, were brought up in Yorke-shire, and Northampton shire, but lived for the most part in the Castle of Middleham in Yorke shire, until the Duke their Father, and his Sonne Edmund Plantagenet Earle of Rutland were slaine at the battell of Wakefield’.4 However, Buck is not always correct in his statements. York’s youngest son, Richard, may have spent time at Middleham – but after his father’s death, for the castle at Middleham was held by the Neville family, not the House of York.

As for George’s father, as we have seen, following his return to England, at first he manoeuvred to enter London. Later, he was taken into London as a captive. During his imprisonment he must inevitably have been absent for a time from his family circle. After being forced to promise to behave, the Duke – almost certainly accompanied by his wife and younger children – retired to Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, where the family could enjoy time together once again. The Duchess was probably at Fotheringhay by the late summer of 1452, since her last son, Richard, was reputedly born there (see above).

The Duke and Duchess and their younger children may have remained at Fotheringhay Castle for a time after Richard’s birth, though from December, and during the following year the Duke spent much of his time in the vicinity of the capital. Whether he took his young family with him is not known. Even if he did, in the summer of 1454 the Duke would have been absent from his wife and children once again, since he was then obliged to campaign against his son-in-law in the north of England.

Of course, it was not unusual for fifteenth-century noble children to spend time away from their parents. It was standard practice for them to be cared for by nurses when they were very young, and later they had tutors to educate them. Finally, when they were a little older, the general practice was for them to be lodged in another (and friendly) noble household as part of their education and training. For boys, the head of the household in which they were lodged would then become a kind of role model for them.

However, this standard pattern did not always materialise in practice, and there were a number of instances in which children – particularly those who were left as orphans – ended up in the care of noblemen who were not at all the friends of their family, but who saw an advantage of some kind to be gained in taking on their wardship. In a way, this had happened to the Duke of York himself – though on the whole he seems to have been fortunate in his guardians, and his relationship with the Nevilles with whom he was lodged developed into a strong one.

The elder York sons, Edward and Edmund, seem to have been brought up largely by their father. In their early teens they were given a household of their own, under his supervision. The youngest York son, Richard, completing his education and training after his father’s death, was placed by his brother Edward under the guardianship of his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. In general, this appears to have proved a happy experience for Richard, and in some ways Warwick did become Richard’s role model. Like his father, young Richard also seems to have found a loving relationship within his guardian’s family, since he ultimately married his cousin’s daughter, Anne Neville.

However, George’s upbringing did not follow any of these patterns. Like Edward and Edmund, George was never placed in another noble household as part of his education. When he was small he probably saw his father quite often, and came under the paternal influence to some extent. But the Duke of York was much more preoccupied during George’s childhood than he had been when his older sons were growing up. In consequence, he probably had less time to devote to the boy’s training. Then, as we shall see presently, George was completely deprived of his father’s influence and training when he was only 11 years old. What happened to him after his father’s death was probably a traumatic and, in the long run, rather devastating experience. We shall explore these events, and their probable psychological impact, shortly.

It is in May 1455 that the so-called ‘Wars of the Roses’ are usually considered to have begun. On 22 May the Duke of York defeated the army of Henry VI at the First Battle of St Albans – a battle that shocked most of the troops who were caught up in it. They had expected another standoff followed by a peaceful resolution of some kind – rather like the one that had occurred in 1452 at Blackheath. The First Battle of St Albans was a relatively small affair, but it constituted a major victory for the Duke of York. Henry VI himself was captured, and York’s arch-rival, the Duke of Somerset, was killed. He died at the Castle Inn, thereby fulfilling a prophecy.5 Other deaths on the Lancastrian side included the Earl of Warwick’s northern rival, the Earl of Northumberland, together with Northumberland’s nephew, Lord Clifford. Ironically, both Northumberland and Clifford shared the Duke of York’s royal Clarence/Mortimer descent, though they stood lower in the female line of succession than he did.

York was now in a commanding position. Together with his Neville relations, the earls of Salisbury and Warwick, he escorted the king back to London. The duke and the two earls presented themselves as Henry’s loyal subjects – a presentation which seems, to some degree, to have convinced the king himself. Henry VI was now separated from his queen and her son Edward, who had taken refuge at Kenilworth. The absence of the bellicose Margaret, the loss of the Duke of Somerset, and the apparently respectful proximity of the Duke of York may have combined to modify the mentally unstable king’s perceptions.

On the Sunday after the battle (the Feast of Pentecost) a crown-wearing ceremony for Henry VI was held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The king received his crown from the hands of Richard, Duke of York. The following day a Parliament was summoned in the king’s name. Meanwhile, York sought to ensure that the ailing king would be in a fit state to conduct the business of the realm. Surgeons were called in and consulted for this purpose. There seems to have been some concern that Henry VI’s recent experience at St Albans (during which he had received a wound in the neck) might also have caused him some lasting mental damage. Throughout the last five years of his first reign6 the king’s mental health appears to have been precarious. However, Henry VI was fit to open the new Parliament in July 1455.

Later that same month, on 22 July 1455, the Duchess of York gave birth to her last child, a short-lived daughter, christened Ursula. The Duchess had celebrated her own fortieth birthday three weeks before the Battle of St Albans, and after Ursula’s birth her life may have entered a new phase as her long years of childbearing finally ended and she reached the menopause.7

By the autumn of 1455 the king was again showing overt signs of mental instability, and on 19 November the Duke of York was reinstated as Protector of the realm. But this time, the king (who was obviously not completely incapacitated) committed governmental authority to the royal council. Thus the council, not the Duke of York, held ultimate authority. This time York was to hold power for only a couple of months. On 25 February 1456 the king relieved him of his special post and personally resumed his royal authority. Thereafter York was merely the principal royal councillor. Even that post gave him too much power and prestige for the queen’s liking. Margaret of Anjou and her supporters were doing their best to make York ‘stink in the king’s nostrils even unto death; as they insisted that he was endeavouring to gain the kingdom into his own hands’.8

The following spring the Earl of Warwick took Carmarthen and Aberystwyth castles, in the process imprisoning Henry VI’s half-brother, Edmund ‘Tudor’. Hitherto the king had appeared to be developing some degree of trust and confidence in York. But Henry also perceived Warwick as the Duke of York’s subordinate, and his previously growing faith in York’s fidelity was now damaged as a result of Warwick’s hostile actions. Shortly after Warwick’s campaign in Wales, Henry VI left both the Duke of York and London to rejoin his wife and her son at Kenilworth. It is uncertain whether he did this of his own volition, or because the queen came and took him away with her.

Henry had now largely abandoned any real interest in the government of his realm. His attention seems now to have been focused on the horarium of the Opus Dei – the regular sequence of hours of prayer observed by priests and religious. He does not seem to have felt any personal hostility towards the Duke of York, despite his queen’s legendary animosity in that direction. Indeed, Margaret of Anjou may well have sought once again to attack the Duke of York at this stage, were it not for the fact that the Duke of Buckingham acted as his defender.

On 25 March 1458 a ‘Love Day’ was held at St Paul’s Cathedral, as a public ceremony of reconciliation between the queen’s party and the supporters of the Duke of York. But this event was largely for show. Beneath the surface the antagonism between the two opposing factions continued. At this time Margaret of Anjou is alleged to have been trying to persuade her husband to abdicate in favour of her son, Edward of Westminster. However, the queen herself had become very unpopular in some quarters, while the legitimacy of her son was now openly being questioned.9

By 1459, thanks to the unfailing efforts of his wife, Henry VI finally became convinced once again that the Duke of York was not, after all, to be trusted; that he aimed to make himself king. The queen was now preparing for open warfare. The king’s men were commanded to muster at Leicester in June 1459, but York, Warwick and their supporters flouted the royal summons, protesting that although they were loyal, they feared for their own safety. While Henry VI now viewed York as a threat, York, for his part, saw the king as a mere puppet, manipulated by his queen.

The Duke, apparently accompanied by his wife and younger children, now installed himself at Ludlow Castle, where his elder sons, Edward and Edmund, resided. So far as we know, this was only the second occasion on which George – now approaching his tenth birthday – had spent time with his two elder brothers. Since the first known meeting with them had occurred when George was only about 1 year old, this new encounter, in 1459, was probably a key event in determining the subsequent relationship between George and his brother Edward. It is a pity, therefore, that we do not have any detailed day-to-day information about what took place, or about precisely how the 9-year-old George got on with Edward, Earl of March, who was now 17.

We can observe one obvious point, however. For nine years, George had been – and had seen himself as – the senior male member of his family in the context in which he had been living (after his father, of course). Now, suddenly, he found himself eclipsed in that role. Eclipsing was to prove an experience that George would be forced to endure more than once. Unfortunately, on both the first and the second occasion, his demotion was attributable to Edward. It is highly probable, therefore, that in 1459 George may have begun to perceive his brother and supposed ally as a powerful rival and a threat. The later repetition of this experience would have reinforced that impression. The encounter between George and Edward in 1459 could well have been a significant moment, therefore, which helped to determine the later course of their relationship. We should also note that this possibly uncomfortable meeting with his elder brother was followed by traumatic experiences for George, which must have totally shattered the security of the privileged childhood he had hitherto experienced and enjoyed.

Meanwhile the Lancaster/York conflict now escalated once again into battle. On 23 September, at Blore Heath, a Yorkist force under the Earl of Salisbury defeated a Lancastrian army. This was followed on 12 October by a Lancastrian victory of a kind at the Battle of Ludford Bridge. Following this encounter, the Duke of York fled to Ireland, where, of course, his position was very strong. At the same time, his eldest son, Edward, Earl of March, accompanied by the earls of Salisbury and Warwick, made his way to Calais. As a result both, Ireland and Calais were now effectively out of government control, and attempts by the Lancastrians to make appointments in both areas subsequently proved vain.

As a result of York’s defeat and flight, his young family fell into the hands of the enemy. Ludlow was pillaged and looted by the Lancastrians. Treated like an enemy town, its women were raped, and the castle was sacked. Either in the castle or in the town itself, the Lancastrian forces found Cecily Neville, Duchess of York and her younger children. They were all taken prisoner and carried off to Coventry. The York children who were living with their mother in 1459 – and who were captured with her at Ludlow – were just three in number: Margaret, George and Richard. There is every reason to suppose that they constituted a closely united family.

The queen now sought to attaint the absent Duke of York in Parliament, but she was prevented by the duke’s cousin, Archbishop Bourchier of Canterbury. Nevertheless York’s property was confiscated by the crown. The king allocated 1,000 marks a year from the confiscated property and income to the Duchess of York to enable her to support herself and her younger children. A decision was also made to hand Cecily over to her elder sister, Anne Neville, Duchess of Buckingham, a trusted Lancastrian in whose custody the duchess and her children were now to live. It has traditionally been stated that the York family was taken to one of the Buckingham manors in Kent.10 Subsequently, as we shall see, Cecily and her children were reported to be approaching London viaSouthwark, which might imply that they had been living somewhere in the south-east. But wherever Cecily and her children lived with the Buckinghams, they were reportedly ‘kept full straight and [suffered] many a great rebuke’.11

In Calais, the earls of March, Warwick and Salisbury made plans to return to England. They apparently had no aim beyond that of taking control of the king’s person and the government. Returning to England at the end of June 1460, at the Battle of Northampton they secured the person of Henry VI. Thereafter, power was in their hands. The Duke of York was then still in Ireland, and the Duchess of York and her younger children were still apparently living with Cecily’s sister, the Duchess of Buckingham, in the south-east of England. It was not until September 1460 that York left Dublin and sailed back to England. The duchess received news of his planned return before it became an accomplished fact. Probably her husband wrote to her, although no such letter survives.12Nevertheless, the duchess and her younger children promptly left the custody of her sister, and headed in some state towards London.

It was probably not safe for the duchess to enter the capital and take up residence at Baynard’s Castle. As a result, in October 1460, John Paston II esquire, who was then residing at his home in Norwich, received a letter from Christopher Hanson, a former archer of German extraction who had charge of the Pastons’ house in Southwark. Hanson’s letter, penned on Sunday 12 October 1460, reads as follows:

Right worschipfull ser and maister, I recommaund me unto you. Please you to wete the Monday after Oure Lady Day13 [th]ere14 come hider to my maister ys plase my Maister Bowser, Ser Harry Ratford, Maister John Clay, and the h[ar]bynger15 of my lord of Marche, desyryng that my lady of York might lye her untylle the coming of my lord of York, and hir [tw – crossed out] sonnys my lorde George and my lord Richard and my lady Margarete hir dowBook titletyr, whiche y graunt hem in youre name to lye here untylle Mychelmas.16 And sho had not ley here ij days but sche hade tythyng of the londyng of my lord at Chester. The Tewesday next after my lord sent for hir that scho shuld come to hym to Hartford, and theder sho is gone, and sythe y-left here bothe the sunys and the dowBook titletyr, and the lord of Marche comyth every day to se them.17

Based upon Hanson’s letter and other information we can deduce the following chronology:

Monday 8 September (Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

The Duke of York landed near Chester.

Monday 15 September

Request from Edward, Earl of March, for his mother, the Duchess of York, and her younger children, to stay at the Southwark house.18 Situated near the southern end of London Bridge, this house was just outside London, and therefore probably safer for the York family than Baynard’s Castle would have been. Permission was granted for them to stay for two weeks – that is, until Monday 29 September (see below), and the York family, who were doubtless already in the neighbourhood, probably actually arrived at the Southwark house on Monday 15 September (for details of how they travelled, see below).

? Wednesday 17 September

News reached the Duchess of York that her husband had landed at Chester.

Tuesday 23 September

The duke summoned the duchess to join him in Hertford, and she left the same day, travelling in her carriage (see below).

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Fastolf’s Place, Southwark, where George stayed in 1460 (after the ‘Agas’ woodcut map of London, c.1558).

Sunday 12 October

George, Margaret and Richard were still living at the Southwark house and their elder brother, Edward, Earl of March was visiting them there every day. The children had then been in Southwark for four weeks.

The Southwark house in which George and his brother and sister were staying had been inherited by the Pastons from Sir John Fastolf, and it was called ‘Fastolf’s Place’. It stood a little to the east of the southern end of London Bridge, just across the Thames from the Tower of London, and at no great distance from the Priory of St Mary Overy (now Southwark’s Anglican Cathedral). The site of the building, which today is occupied by Southwark Crown Courts and by parts of the ‘More London’ development, lies on the north side of Tooley Street, just to the west of City Hall, not far from HMS Belfast and the Shard (see illustrations):

By 1300, the site already included several tidal mills and a large moated house, known as Dunley Place because it was owned by the prominent Dunley family of Southwark. Around 1324, Edward II obtained land to the east of the Dunley house on which he built a moated pleasure-house across the river from the Tower of London. Called the Rosary, this house was rarely visited by Edward and was probably not finished when he was [sic] died in 1327. The famous architect/mason, Henry Yevele, acquired lands west of the Dunley house in 1388 and rebuilt the tidal mills there. In 1440, the well-known solider of the Hundred Years War, John Fastolf, acquired both Dunley’s Place and the land on which the Rosary was built. Not much remained of the two earlier moated houses even when Fastolf took possession; indeed, until recently, the location of Fastolf’s Place and its moated house was thought to be nearer to the Rosary, but the authors now argue that it was situated to the east, in Dunley’s Place. Later accounts of repairs to Fastolf’s property give us an idea of the residential complex (including his counting house and the ‘Round Tabull’ in his chamber), which was surrounded by a large, buttressed brick wall pierced by at least two gatehouses and two causeways. The site also included a brewery (or perhaps a granary) as early as 1428 with its own inlet or dock.19

The Duchess of York seems to have left Southwark – and presumably had also arrived there – in a rather grand vehicle. An account survives which states that she drove to meet her husband ‘in a carriage covered with blue velvet, drawn by four pairs of horses’.20Blue and white were the Duke of York’s livery colours.21 Presumably, when the family had arrived at Fastolf’s Place, her daughter, Margaret, was sitting in the carriage with the duchess, while her two young sons, George and Richard, accompanied them on horseback.

We know that on Sunday 12 October 1460 George, Margaret and Richard were still at Fastolf’s Place in Southwark, though their mother had left about two weeks earlier to rejoin her husband. The Duke of York entered London in a regal manner, accompanied by banners bearing the full royal arms of England, on Friday 10 October, but it is doubtful that his younger children witnessed his entry.22

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A fifteenth-century carriage, drawn by seven horses, similar to the ‘chare y-coveryd with blewe felewette’ used by the Duchess of York at Southwark in September 1460.

Matters now came to a head. On his return to England, not only did the Duke of York begin to display undifferenced royal arms, he also formally laid claim not merely to the succession, but to the throne itself. He was now asserting not his male-line but his female-line royal descent, which placed him higher in the order of succession than the House of Lancaster. This course of action was questioned by many of his own supporters, including his cousin, Warwick, and his own eldest son, the Earl of March. Finally, Parliament proposed a solution to this dilemma, namely that Henry VI should retain the throne for the duration of his life, but that York, not Edward of Westminster, should succeed him when he died. Thanks to the persuasive powers of the papal legate, the king himself seemed willing to accept this compromise.

Predictably, his queen was furious. After escaping to Harlech Castle, she made her way to Scotland, where she offered to hand over Berwick to Scotland in return for military help. Her supporters were gathering an army in the north of England. Two Yorkist armies marched out of London to confront this challenge. One was led by the Duke of York himself with his second son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland. This army marched northwards. The second army was led by York’s eldest son, the Earl of March, and this headed for Wales. Warwick was left in charge of the capital, where the Duchess of York and her younger children remained in residence, probably at Baynard’s Castle. George therefore did not personally witness what happened to his father and his elder brother, Edmund. His only sources of information in this respect were the reports that subsequently reached his cousin Warwick and his mother.

Briefly, on 21 December, the Duke of York established himself at his castle at Sandal. He remained at Sandal over Christmas, and it was not until the late afternoon of 30 December that the Lancastrian army suddenly appeared in front of the castle. York’s sortie to confront them has often been seen as an unwise move – and of course, in the event it did prove a mistake. However, the Lancastrian victory, which took the Yorkists completely by surprise, was due chiefly to York’s overconfidence in the size of his army, and to his misplaced trust in John Lord Neville, brother of the Earl of Westmorland and York’s relative by marriage. Lord Neville had led him to believe he would join York’s strength, but instead he unexpectedly sided with the queen’s army.23 After the battle, York’s head, adorned with a mocking paper crown, was sent to the city of York, where it was displayed on top of Micklegate Bar. The Duke of York’s overconfidence on this occasion presaged, perhaps, the similar overconfidence of his youngest son and namesake, Richard III, twenty-five years later at the Battle of Bosworth.

In London, George, who had kept the Christmas feast with Margaret, Richard and their mother, received the news of his father’s death and of the post mortem insults inflicted upon his body on the morning of 2 January.24 ‘Cecily acted swiftly exhibiting a calmness in the face of serious crisis which [her daughter] Margaret would later emulate. She sent her two youngest sons off to safety in Burgundy, “unto a towne in Flaundyrs namyd uteryk”’.25 Despite later accounts, however, it is virtually certain that the Duchess of York did not send her sons directly to Utrecht, but rather to an unspecified port in the Low Countries. It was the Duke of Burgundy who, when he heard of their arrival, made the decision to lodge them at Utrecht. Also, in spite of his mother’s reported calmness, this sudden reversal – the news that his father and brother Edmund had been killed, and that his father’s body had been insulted, together with his own sudden separation from his family and from his country – must have been an terribly traumatic experience for George, who was only 11 years old.

George’s childhood exhibits a number of unusual features. Male children of his class at this period were expected to be brought up in the chivalric tradition, trained in arms and in courtesy and taught to maintain a balance between loyalty to one’s lord and the proclamation of one’s own self-importance and prestige. For this training, a role model was important. Sometimes that role model was the boy’s father, but often it was one of his father’s colleagues. For Edward, Earl of March, and Edmund, Earl of Rutland, their role model had been their father. For the future Richard III (who lost his father at the young age of 7), the ultimate role model was Warwick the Kingmaker – a model chosen for him by his elder brother, then King Edward IV.

But George was given no role model. His father died when he was only 11 years old. At that time he was still living with his mother. Subsequently he was sent abroad, to a city whose principal language (Dutch) he was almost certainly unable either to speak or to understand.26 On this journey he was accompanied only by his younger brother, Richard, and by servants. If the sudden and violent death of his father had been traumatic for him, then his equally sudden separation from his family – dispatched to an alien environment in a strange land – may well have felt to George almost like a punishment.

When he returned to England, as we shall see in the next chapter, he suddenly and unexpectedly found himself required to attend his brother’s court as a very young royal duke, a knight and, most importantly, heir to the throne. Still untrained, still without an older role model, he at first spent much of his time residing mainly at Greenwich Palace with his young siblings. From there, on his coming of age, he was thrust straight into the role of an independent magnate.

No one ever really prepared George for the life he was expected to lead, or for the roles he was required to fulfil. He lacked the experience of working with an older role model which had benefited both his older and his younger brothers. We shall now trace in greater detail first his experience of exile in the Low Countries, and subsequently the sudden, shattering elevation which brought a still very young George into very close proximity to the throne, and also very much into the public eye.


1. See, for example, (consulted February 2013).

2. Margaret’s choice of her burial place is a case in point. Her request to be buried at the entrance to the choir of the Franciscan Priory Church of Mechelen very precisely paralleled Richard III’s burial location, just inside the entrance to the choir of the Franciscan Priory Church in Leicester. This can hardly have been coincidental.

3. ODNB, A. Kincaid ‘Buck (Buc), Sir George’: ‘his great-grandfather John Buck supported Richard III at Bosworth and was executed and attainted after the battle’.

4. Myers/Buck, p.7.

5. Margery Jourdemayne, ‘the Witch of Eye’, was executed in 1441 for her alleged involvement with Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester in necromancy against Henry VI. She had earlier warned Edmund Beaufort to ‘avoid the castle’.

6. Henry VI was King of England from 1422 until 1461. He was then deposed by Edward IV. He reigned again briefly during the ‘Lancastrian Readeption’ (1470–71).

7. The average age at which modern western women reach the menopause is 51, but in the third world the age is lower, as it was in Europe in the past. Aristotle, for example, cited the typical age as 40.

8. H. T. Riley, ed., Ingulph’s Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland (London, 1854), p.148, as cited in Kendall, Richard the Third, p.31.

9. For her alleged attempt to replace Henry with Edward of Westminster and the talk of the latter’s illegitimacy, see ODNB, Margaret of Anjou.

10. Kendall (Richard the Third, pp.439–40) contests this, while Wilkinson (Richard: The Young King to Be (Stroud, 2009), p.68) not only accepts that the Duchess of York and her younger children dwelt at a Kentish manor of the Buckinghams, but specifies their residence as Tonbridge Castle.

11. Kendall, Richard the Third, p.440; J. S. Davies, ed., An English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI (London, 1856), p.83.

12. It is certainly on record that her husband wrote to Cecily ordering her to come and join him shortly afterwards (see below) though that letter does not survive.

13. Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Monday 8 September 1460.

14. Letters missing due to a hole in the paper.

15. Letters missing, as above.

16. 29 September.

17. N. Davis, ed., Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century vol. 2 (Oxford, 1976), p.216.

18. ‘Fastolf Place’, former property of Sir John Fastolf, from whom the Pastons had inherited it. It stood close to the southern end of London Bridge – see below.

19. See: (consulted Nov. 2012).

20. The account states: ‘hys lady the duchyes met with hym in a chare y-coveryd with blewe felewette, and iiij pore coursserys ther-yn’. See: J. Gairdner, ed., The Historical Collections of a London Citizen in the Fifteenth Century (London, 1876), p.208.

21. Ibid.

22. Kendall assumes that York’s children witnessed his arrival in London, but there is no evidence to confirm this. See Kendall, Richard the Third, p.38.

23. H. Cox, The Battle of Wakefield Revisited: A Fresh Perspective on Richard of York’s Final Battle, December 1460 (York: Herstory Writing & Interpretation/York Publishing Services, 2010), p.83 [AC].

24. Kendall, Richard the Third, p.40.

25. Weightman, Margaret of York, p.19, citing Great Chronicle, p.195; New Chronicles, p.639.

26. There is no reason to suppose that George knew Dutch, which would have been the main language of the population in Utrecht. However, the Bishop of Utrecht, an illegitimate member of the Franco-Burgundian royal House of Valois, must have spoken French, and since Richard (and probably George) had been brought up by the York family’s Norman nurse, Anne of Caux, they may well have had some knowledge of that language. Edward IV could speak (or at least write) French.

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