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house of York

York, house of, royal house of England, deriving its name from the creation of Edmund of Langley, fifth son of Edward III, as duke of York in 1385. The claims to the throne of Edmund's grandson, Richard, duke of York, in opposition to Henry VI of the house of Lancaster (see Lancaster, house of), resulted in the Wars of the Roses (see Roses, Wars of the), so called because the badge of the house of York was a white rose, and a red rose was later attributed to the house of Lancaster. Richard's claim to the throne came not only from direct male descent from Edmund, but also through his mother Anne Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Lionel, duke of Clarence, who was the third son of Edward III. The royal members of the house of York were Edward IV, Edward V, and Richard III. The marriage of the Lancastrian Henry VII to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, united the houses of York and Lancaster. Henry was the first of the Tudor kings.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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