WikiJournal of Humanities/Loveday, 1458/XML

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    <full_title>WikiJournal of Humanities/Loveday, 1458</full_title>
    <issn media_type='electronic'>2002-4436 / 2470-6345 / 2639-5347</issn>
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     <title>Loveday, 1458</title>
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This is an open access article distributed under the&nbsp;[ Creative Commons Attribution License], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction, provided the original author and source are credited.</license-p>
The Loveday of 1458 (also known as the Annunciation Loveday)   was a ritualistic reconciliation between warring factions of the English nobility that took place at St Paul's Cathedral on 25 March 1458. Following the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, it was the culmination of lengthy negotiations initiated by King Henry VI to resolve the lords' rivalries. English politics had become increasingly factional during his reign, and was exacerbated in 1453 when he became catatonic. This effectively left the government leaderless, and eventually the King's cousin, and at the time heir to the throne, Richard, Duke of York, was appointed Protector during the King's illness. Alongside York were his allies from the politically and militarily powerful Neville family, led by Richard, Earl of Salisbury, and his eldest son, Richard, Earl of Warwick. When the King returned to health a year later, the protectorship ended but partisanship within the government did not.   Supporters of King Henry and his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, have been loosely called "Lancastrians", the King being head of the House of Lancaster, while the duke and his party are considered "Yorkists", after his title of Duke of York.   By the 1450s, York felt increasingly excluded from government, and, in May 1455—possibly fearing an ambush by his enemies—led an army against the King at the First Battle of St Albans. There, in what has been called more of a series of assassinations than a battle, the personal enemies of York and the Nevilles—the Duke of Somerset, the Earl of Northumberland, and Lord Clifford—perished.  In 1458 the King attempted to unite his feuding nobles with a public display of friendship under the auspices of the Church at St Paul's Cathedral. Following much discussion and negotiation, and amid the presence of large, armed, noble retinues which almost led to another outbreak of war, a compromise was announced. To celebrate, a procession was held by all the major participants, who walked hand-in-hand from Westminster Palace to St Paul's Cathedral. Queen Margaret was partnered with York, and other adversaries were paired off accordingly, and the sons of the dead Lancastrian lords took their fathers' places. Certain reparations were ordained, all by the Yorkist lords, who for their part accepted full responsibility for the Battle of St Albans. They were ordered to make payments to the dead lords' widows and sons, and masses were paid for the souls of all who had died. Contemporaries varied in their views of the accord. Some wrote verses expressing hope that it would lead to a new-found peace and prosperity; others were more pessimistic as to its value.  In the long run, the King's Loveday and its agreements had no long-lasting benefit. Within a few months, petty violence between the lords had broken out again and, within the year, York and Lancaster faced each other at the Battle of Blore Heath. Historians debate who—if anyone—actually gained from the 1458 Loveday. On the one hand, the crown publicised its role as the ultimate court of appeal but, conversely, although the Yorkists were bound to pay large sums in compensation, this was done with money already owed by the government. Fundamentally, factional discord was highlighted on the public stage, and the war it was intended to prevent was only deferred.
  1. Wolffe 2001, p. 315.
  2. Hicks 2010, pp. 43–45, 12–13.

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