House of York

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The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented Edward's senior line, being maternal descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son, and based on these descents they claimed the English crown.[1][2] Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture.


Descent from Edward III

Edmund of Langley had two sons, Edward, and Richard of Conisburgh. Edward succeeded to the dukedom in 1402, but was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, with no issue. His younger brother married Anne de Mortimer, a great-granddaughter of Lionel of Antwerp, the second son of Edward III. Anne was also heiress to the earldom of March, following the death of her brother Edmund, 5th Earl in 1425. Edmund Mortimer was the son of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, who had been named heir presumptive of Richard II, prior to the usurpation of the House of Lancaster, in the person of Henry Bolingbroke, in 1399.

Richard of Conisburgh was executed following his involvement in the Southampton Plot to depose Henry V of England in favour of the Earl of March. The dukedom of York therefore passed to his son, Richard Plantagenet. Through his mother, Richard Plantagenet also inherited the lands of the earldom of March, as well as the Mortimer claim to the throne.

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