Duke of York
Duke of York is a title of nobility in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of English monarchs. The equivalent title in the Scottish peerage was Duke of Albany. However, King George I and Queen Victoria granted the second sons of their eldest sons the titles Duke of York and Albany and Duke of York respectively.
Initially granted in the 14th century in the Peerage of England, the title Duke of York has been created eight times. The title Duke of York and Albany has been created three times. These occurred during the 18th century, following the 1707 unification of the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland into a single, united realm. The double naming was done so that a territorial designation from each of the previously separate realms could be included.
The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II. The present Duke's marriage produced two daughters only, and he has remained unmarried since his 1996 divorce. It therefore seems likely that the eighth creation of the title will be only the second not to become merged into the Crown upon the holder's accession to the role of monarch.
HistoryIn medieval times, York was the main city of the North of England and the see of the Archbishop of York from AD 735. Yorkshire was England's largest shire in area.
York under its Viking name "Jorvik" was a petty kingdom in the Early Medieval period. In the interval between the fall of independent Jorvik under Eirik Bloodaxe, last King of Jorvik, and the first creation of the Dukedom of York, there were a few Earls of York.
The title Duke of York was first created in the Peerage of England in 1385 for Edmund of Langley, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, and an important character in Shakespeare's Richard II. His son Edward, who inherited the title, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The title passed to Edward's nephew Richard, the son of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge. The younger Richard managed to obtain a restoration of the title, but when his eldest son, who inherited the title, became king in 1461 as Edward IV, the title merged into the Crown.
The title was next created for Richard of Shrewsbury, second son of King Edward IV. Richard was one of the Princes in the Tower, and, as he died without heirs, the title became extinct at his death.
The third creation was for Henry Tudor, second son of King Henry VII. When his elder brother Arthur, Prince of Wales, died in 1502, Henry became heir-apparent to the throne. When Henry ultimately became King Henry VIII in 1509, his titles merged into the crown.
The title was created for the fourth time for Charles Stuart, second son of James I. When his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1612, Charles became heir-apparent. He was created Prince of Wales in 1616 and eventually became Charles I in 1625 when the title again merged into the Crown.
The fifth creation was in favour of James Stuart, the second son of Charles I. The city and state of New York in what is now the United States were named for this particular Duke of York. When his elder brother, King Charles II, died without heirs, James succeeded to the throne as King James II, and the title once again merged into the Crown.
During the 18th century the double dukedom of York and Albany was created a number of times in the Peerage of Great Britain. The title was first held by Duke Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Bishop of Osnabrück, the youngest brother of King George I. He died without heirs. The second creation of the double dukedom was for Prince Edward, younger brother of King George III, who also died without heirs, having never married. The third and last creation of the double dukedom was for Prince Frederick Augustus, the second son of King George III. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army for many years, and was the original "Grand old Duke of York" in the popular rhyme. He too died without heirs.
The sixth creation of the Dukedom of York was for Prince George of Wales, second son of the future King Edward VII. He was created Duke of York following the death of his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale. The title merged with the Crown when George succeeded his father as King George V.
The seventh creation was for Prince Albert, second son of King George V, and younger brother of the future King Edward VIII. Albert came unexpectedly to the throne when his brother abdicated, and took the name George VI, the Dukedom then merging into the Crown.
The title was created for the eighth time for Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II. At present, he only has two daughters. Thus, if he has no future sons, the title will again become extinct at his death.
Aside from the first creation, every time the Dukedom of York has been created it has had only one occupant, that person either inheriting the throne or dying without male heirs.
PretendersIn the early 18th century, the eldest son of the overthrown King James II and thus Jacobite claimant to the throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, known to his opponents as the Old Pretender, granted the title "Duke of York" to his own second son, Henry, using his purported authority as King James III. Henry later became a cardinal in the Catholic church and is thus known as the Cardinal Duke of York. Since James was not recognised as king by English law, the grant is also not recognised as a legitimate creation.
Dukes of York
First creation, 1385–1415, 1425–14611 August 1402
Second creation, 1474
Third creation, 1494
Fourth creation, 1605
Fifth creation, 1633/1644
Sixth creation, 1892
Seventh creation, 1920
Eighth creation, 1986
Places and things named after the Dukes of York
- Cape York Peninsula, Australia
- Duke of York Island, Antarctica
- Duke of York Island, Papua New Guinea
- Duke of York Islands, Papua New Guinea
- Duke of York Archipelago, Canada
- Duke of York Bay, Canada
- York, Upper Canada, now Toronto, Ontario
- York County, New Brunswick, Canada
- New York, a U.S. state
- New York City, the largest city in the state of New York and the United States
- Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover, Kent, United Kingdom
- Duke of York School, renamed Lenana School after Kenya attained independence in 1963.Nairobi, Kenya
- HMS Duke of York, a 4-gun cutter purchased in 1763 and sold in 1776
- HMS Duke of York, a King George V-class battleship launched in 1940, and broken up in 1958
- Hired armed cutter Duke of York
- Hired armed lugger Duke of York
- TSS Duke of York
- TSS Duke of York
- Duke of York was one of the GWR 3031 Class locomotives that were built for and run on the Great Western Railway between 1891 and 1915.