Edward of Norwich

Photo added by Bobb Edwards

Edward of Norwich

Langlely, North Hertfordshire District, Hertfordshire, England
Death 25 Oct 1415 (aged 41–42)
Azincourt, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Burial* Fotheringhay, East Northamptonshire Borough, Northamptonshire, England

* This is the original burial site

Memorial ID 38286493 · View Source
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English Nobility, Soldier, Author. The 2nd Duke of York, also known as Edward of York. He commanded the right flank of Henry V's forces at the Battle of Agincourt (October 25, 1415), and died in action. Shakespeare featured him as a character in his plays "Richard II" (as the "Duke of Aumerle") and "Henry V". Edward was probably born in Norwich, Norfolk, the son of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, and Isabella de Castilla. He was a grandson of Edward III and, on his mother's side, King Pedro of Castile. At age eight he was unsuccessfully proposed as a candidate to marry Princess Beatrice of Portugal in order to strengthen England's ties with that country. Edward became a close advisor to his cousin Richard II, who made him a Knight of the Garter (1387), Earl of Rutland (1390), and Earl of Cork (1395); in addition he helped negotiate the King's marriage to Isabel of Valois (1396). He succeeded his father as Duke of York in 1402. Edward appears to have been a particularly mercenary politician, motivated by financial gain, and was widely mistrusted. He was assumed to have played a role in the 1397 murder of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, for he was then awarded Woodstock's Dukedom of Aumale. King Richard was unpopular in the last years of his reign and in 1399, when the usurper Henry Bolingbroke (subsequently Henry IV) arrived from France with an army to claim the throne, Edward shrewdly switched allegiances. But he was stripped of the most powerful and lucrative titles Richard had given him and his resentment affected his dealings with the new sovereign. Parliament accused him of treason several times, notably for his involvement in the 1400 Epiphany conspiracy against Henry (he had a last-minute change of heart and revealed it to the king), and for failing to aid the monarch at the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403). From 1405 to 1406 he was imprisoned for taking part in a scheme by his sister, Constance of York, to replace Henry with Richard's presumptive heir, Edmund de Mortimer; he was later pardoned and made a member of the Privy Council. How he escaped execution or exile through all this is not known. After 1406 he more faithfully served Henry's son, the future Henry V, and fought for him in Wales. He never lost his taste for intrigue, however - as late as 1412 he was plotting with Spanish nobles to seize the Kingdom of Castile. In 1415 he joined the young King Henry on his French campaign. Many have credited Edward with the idea of using palings (sharpened wooden stakes) to protect the archers at Agincourt; it proved a very effective defense but failed to save the duke's life. Mobbed by French knights in the melee, he fell off his horse and either suffocated in the mud or was trampled to death. He was the highest ranking English casualty of the battle. His body was boiled so his bones could be returned to England, where they were originally interred in the college chapel at Fotheringhay Castle. By the 1590s the castle compound had fallen into ruin and Elizabeth I had her ancestor's remains placed in a new tomb at St. Mary and All Saints Church. Shakespeare aside, Edward made his own contribution to literature. During his imprisonment he began translating Gaston de Foix's hunting treatise "Livre de chasse", revising the text and adding five new chapters, and completed it as "The Master of Game" (1413). It was the first book in English on hunting and is considered the most important source on its medieval practice. A scholarly edition (with a 1909 foreward by Theodore Roosevelt) is still in print.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 13 Jun 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 38286493
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edward of Norwich (1373–25 Oct 1415), Find a Grave Memorial no. 38286493, citing Fotheringhay Castle, Fotheringhay, East Northamptonshire Borough, Northamptonshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .