Something caught my attention in this article about the role York has played in our history. Here is the relevant extract:-
“….In 1405, the Percys seriously proposed to create a separate Northern kingdom forever. The Wars of the Roses was at heart all about that divide. Richard III became king only because he had his own power-base in York as leader of the Council of the North….”
Really? That last sentence is wrong on various counts, which I paraphrase from comments made by a friend on Facebook. Firstly, the Council of the North was based in Sheriff Hutton, not York. Secondly, it wasn’t a power base for Richard, but an arm of the Crown’s power, i.e. his brother Edward IV. It was there for the petitions of people in the north, thus sparing them from having to go all the way to London for their cases to be heard. Thirdly, it was necessary in order to “keep the peace” between rival northern factions and to secure the border with Scotland. And lastly, Richard didn’t become king because he was president of the Council of the North; he became king because he was the rightful heir after the death of his brother.
End of paraphrasing. Now then, we all know that Edward’s “marriage” to Elizabeth Woodville was bigamous and the children thereof were illegitimate. We all know that George of Clarence had been attainted and executed for treason and his children set aside from the succession (not by Richard, but by Edward!) That only left Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who was the sole surviving Yorkist brother. Richard had every rightful claim to be King of England, and it’s about time this was realised by all the scribblers who gleefully repeat any old so-called fact they happen upon. Or they happen to dream up. Most of these flights of fancy are derived from Tudor spin.