Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/458

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became knight of the Garter, and in 1430 accompanied the young king abroad, and was made constable of France with the governorship of Paris. The day after his arrival (1 Sept.) there he made a dash into Brie and recovered some strongholds (Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, p. 259; Wavrin, pp. 373–374, 393; Monstrelet, ed. Douet d'Arcq, iv. 405; Chron. London, pp. 170–1). Turning back from Sens, he was in Paris again on 9 Oct., and lodged in the Hôtel des Tournelles (Paris pendant la domination anglaise, p. 317). Bedford soon after relieved him, and Stafford became lieutenant-general of Normandy, an office which he retained until 1432, when he returned to England. In the previous year he had been created by Henry VI Count of Perche, a title in which he succeeded Thomas Beaufort (Revue des Questions historiques, xviii. 510). On his return he seems to have opposed Gloucester's ambitious schemes (Ordinances, iv. 113).

In August 1436 he took part in a short campaign in Flanders, and two years later there was again some talk of his going to France. He acted as one of the English representatives in the peace negotiations of June 1439 at Calais (ib. v. 98, 334; Stevenson, vol. ii. p. xlix). After his mother's death, in October 1438, Stafford was known as Earl of Buckingham (Ordinances, v. 209). He was appointed in 1442 captain of the town of Calais, an office which he held for some years, but frequently performed its duties by deputy. He took a leading part in the peace negotiations of 1445 and 1446, and was created Duke of Buckingham on the very day (14 Sept. 1444) that Gloucester's great enemy, Suffolk, was made a marquis (Rot. Parl. vi. 128; cf. Ordinances, vi. 33, 39; Engl. Chron. ed. Davies, p. 61). The creation of Henry de Beauchamp as Duke of Warwick in the following April, with precedence over him, drew from him a protest, which parliament met (1445) by decreeing that the two dukes should have precedence of each other year and year about. The death of the Duke of Warwick on 11 June following, however, soon supplied a more radical solution of the difficulty. Buckingham took the precaution to secure in 1447 a grant of special precedence before all dukes of subsequent creation not of royal blood. This doubtless was the reward of his prominent share in the arrest of Gloucester at Bury St. Edmunds in February of that year (ib. pp. 63, 117). He was also granted Penshurst and other of Gloucester's Kentish estates (Rot. Parl. v. 309). In June 1450 he was employed in a vain attempt to make terms with Cade's insurgents, and after the collapse of the rebellion was one of the commissioners who sat at Rochester for the trial of the rebels. In the same year he became warden of the Cinque ports and constable of Dover and Queenborough castles, and in the autumn he provided a strong guard for the king at Kenilworth and Coventry (Issue Roll, p. 478). His wages as captain of Calais had by November 1449 fallen into arrears to the extent of over 19,000l., but parliament then gave him a lien on the customs and subsidies (Rot. Parl. v. 206). He seems to have resigned this unprofitable post to Edmund Beaufort, second duke of Somerset [q. v.], in 1451. In February 1455 he helped to bail out Somerset, and to arbitrate between him and Richard, duke of York (Fœdera, xi. 361–2). He had shown his dislike of York's ambition a year before by consenting to act as lord steward at the Earl of Devonshire's trial (Rot. Parl. v. 249). He it was, too, who had presented the infant prince Edward to the mad king without succeeding in making him understand that a son and heir had been born to him (Paston Letters, i. 263). About the same time (January 1454) Buckingham was reported to have had two thousand Stafford knots (his badge of livery) made ‘to what intent men may construe as their wits will give them’ (ib. i. 265). He consistently supported the queen against York, and on Henry's recovery accompanied him against the duke. He vainly endeavoured to make an arrangement with York on the eve of the battle of St. Albans (Whethamstede, Annals, i. 167). He was wounded in the face at the battle (Paston Letters, i. 327, 330–3). But he soon recognised the accomplished fact, and ‘swore to be ruled and draw the line’ with York and his friends (ib. i. 335). He and his half-brothers, the Bourchiers, were bound in very heavy recognisances. The act of resumption passed by the Yorkist parliament contained an express exception in favour of his crown grants, and he was placed on various committees (Rot. Parl. v. 279, 287). Entrusted with the ungrateful task of investigating a riot between the Londoners and some Italians, he was put in fear of his life, and in May 1456 fled to Writtle, near Chelmsford, ‘nothing well pleased’ (Fabyan, p. 630; Paston Letters, i. 386). Before the end of the year Queen Margaret temporarily estranged him by the abrupt dismissal of Archbishop Bourchier and Viscount Bourchier from their offices. But on the whole his sympathies were with the royal party; possibly he had ideas of holding the balance between Margaret and the Duke of York. Sir James Ramsay thus explains the incident (which he thinks occurred on this occasion) of Buckingham reminding York that he ‘had