Friday, 18 April 2008

Edward, Duke of Aumale

Edward of York had by this time secured a list of titles and offices that must have given his clerks writers' cramp. Duke of Aumale, Earl of Rutland and Cork. Lord Constable, Lord Admiral, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Constable of the Tower and of Dover, Keeper of the Channel Islands, Keeper of Carisbrooke and Lord of Wight, Warden of the New Forest, Justice in Eyre South of Trent - it just goes on and on. He was also customarily referred to in grants and other official documents as 'the King's brother' - not 'the King's kinsman' as was correct.

In his Fears of Henry IV Ian Mortimer suggests that Richard II had chosen Edward as his eventual successor, and there is some evidence for this. Notably Bagot, in his various confessions, claimed that Richard had told him, Bagot, that this was what was in his mind, and that Edward was the most suitable candidate for the job.

What is beyond doubt is that in the period 1396-1399 Edward was extremely high in Richard's favour and was showered with offices, grants of land and responsibilities. In February 1398 he was even appointed Warden of the West March and Keeper of Carlisle, despite having no land or following in the area. It seems likely that this decision of the King was one of the final straws for the Neville and Percy families, who a few months later were to be united in their support for Bolingbroke.

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