Richard was born at Conisborough Castle in Yorkshire, and inherited the earldom of Cambridge (formerly his father's) in 1414. In 1406, Richard married Anne Mortimer, also a descendant of Edward III, through his son Lionel of Antwerp. It was through her that the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses claimed the throne. Their marriage produced a daughter, Isabella, and a son, Richard.
Following Anne's death, the Earl of Cambridge married Matilda Clifford, but they were probably married a very short time before he was discovered plotting treasonously against King Henry V of England immediately prior to departure on the French campaign. (His elder brother, Edward, Duke of York, would die at the Battle of Agincourt, less than three months later.) Richard was stripped of all his titles and estates and was executed at Southampton before the fleet set sail.