Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Wed, 2019-Jul-10 02:15 UTC
Length - 4:04
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Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, 6th Earl of Stafford, (1402 –10 July 1460) was an English nobleman and a military commander in both the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the Roses. Through his mother he had royal blood as a great-grandson of King Edward III, and from his father, he inherited the earldom of Stafford at an early age. By his marriage to a daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmorland, Humphrey was not only related to the powerful Neville family but to many of the leading aristocratic houses of the time. He joined the English campaign in France with King Henry V in 1420, and following Henry V's death two years later he became a councillor for the new King, the nine-month-old Henry VI. Stafford acted as a peacemaker during the partisan, factional politics of the 1430s, when Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester vied with Cardinal Beaufort for political supremacy. Stafford also took part in the eventual arrest of Gloucester in 1447.
Stafford returned to the French campaign during the 1430s and, as a result of his loyalty and years of service, he was elevated from Earl of Stafford to Duke of Buckingham. Around the same time, his mother died. As much of his estate—as her dower—had previously been in her hands, Humphrey went from having a reduced income in his early years to being one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in England. His lands stretched across much of the country, ranging from East Anglia to the Welsh border. Being such an important figure in the localities was not without its dangers, and for some time he feuded violently with Sir Thomas Malory in the Midlands.
After returning from France, Stafford remained in England for the rest of his life, serving King Henry. He acted as the King's bodyguard and chief negotiator during Jack Cade's rebellion of 1450, helping to suppress it. Similarly, when the King's cousin, Richard, Duke of York, rebelled two years later, Stafford investigated York's followers. In 1453, the King became ill and sank into a catatonic state; law and order broke down further, and the country slid towards civil war. When armed conflict broke out in 1455 Stafford fought for the King in the first battle of the Wars of the Roses, at St Albans, where they were both captured by the Yorkists. Stafford spent most of his final years attempting to mediate between the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions, the latter by now headed by Henry's Queen, Margaret of Anjou. Partly due to a personal feud with a leading Yorkist—Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick—Stafford eventually declared for King Henry. The weight Stafford could throw behind the royal campaign was responsible for Richard, Duke of York's defeat in 1459, driving York into exile. When the rebels returned the following year they attacked the royal army at Northampton. Acting as the King's personal guard in the ensuing struggle, Stafford was killed and the King was again taken prisoner. Stafford's eldest son had died of plague two years earlier, so the Buckingham dukedom descended to Stafford's five-year-old grandson, Henry, a ward of the King until he came of age in 1473.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 02:15 UTC on Wednesday, 10 July 2019.
For the full current version of the article, see Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham on Wikipedia.
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