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Notes   King Henry VI (reign:1422-1461 and 1470-1471)


  Henry VI  was of the House of Lancaster
Henry VI came to the throne at the age of nine months. Government of the country remained in the hands of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (Henry V's brother) who was appointed Regent of England on Henry V's deathbed. Open conflict erupts with Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England over who should control of the King and Country.




  Due to the sudden and unexpected death of his father, Henry V, the young King Henry VI ascended to the throne at only nine months of age. The country is operated under a Protectorate until the King comes of age to rule and govern.


August Prince Henry ascends as Henry VI (31 August) at only nine months of age. Country is operated under a Protectorate.
1429 Joan of Arc achieves notable victories, relieving Orleans and defeating the English at Jargeau and Patay.
July Dauphin Charles is crowned Charles VII of France at Reims in violation of the Treaty of Troyes.
November Coronation of King Henry VI of England at Westminster Abbey (6 November).
December Henry VI (aged 10) crowned Henri II King of France at Notre Dame de Paris (16 December).

Joan of Arc captured and burned at stake in Rouen on charges of heresy.

1435 Duke of Burgundy - one of England's principal allies - makes peace with Charles VII.

John, Duke of Bedford (Regent of France) dies in Rouen.

1436 French Army captures Paris from the English.
1440-1441 Henry founds Kings College of Our Lady at Eton (1440) and Kings College, Cambridge (1441).
August Henry sends an army led by John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, to France.
1444 A five-year peace is brokered with France. Henry VI marries Margaret, daughter of René - Duke of Anjou. Margaret persuades Henry to pass the Duchy of Maine to her father.
1448-1449 War between England and France resumes.
1450-1452 John Cade, a former soldier, assumes the name 'John Mortimer' and leads a labourers rebellion to the Royal Court. Henry VI flees to the North leaving Queen Margaret in London. Margaret quells the rebellion by offering pardons.

England lose Normandy and Gascony to France.

1453 English army is decisively beaten at Castillon (July) whilst trying to recover Gascony.

The Hundred Years' War is drawn to a conclusion and England only retains Calais.

Henry suffers his first bout of madness and is unable to make decisions or hold rational debates

1454 Richard, Duke of York, is appointed Protector of the Realm. One of his first acts is to imprison Somerset in the Tower for the Normandy debacle.
1455 Henry VI returns to health and resumes power. Somerset is released from the Tower.
May Richard, Duke of York, rebels over the loss of his authority, defeating Lancastrian forces at St Albans, where Somerset is killed by the Yorkists (22 May). Henry  VI is wounded in the neck by an arrow and seeks refuge (where he is found by Richard, who swears loyalty and escorts him first to St Albans Abbey and then on to London). Richard is made Constable of England.
November Richard resumes his role as Protector, but Queen Margaret and her Lancastrian allies begin to manoeuvre against him.
1456 Richard's Protectorate is revoked.
March Henry attempts to enforce reconciliation between the rival Yorkists and Lancastrians culminating in 'Loveday' (25 March), where the Yorkists and Lancastrians walk hand in hand to St Paul's Cathedral. The Yorkists are made to compensate the descendants of those fallen at St Albans.
1459 Henry VI is too weak as a King to impose peace and battle quickly resumes.
September Yorkist victory at Blore Heath (23 September).
October Lancastrian victory at Ludford Bridge (12 October).

Richard, Duke of York, flees to Ireland and is condemned for treason in abstentia by Parliament.

July The Yorkist army led by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Edward, Earl of March (Richard, Duke of York's son) defeat the Lancastrian forces at Northampton (10 July). Henry VI is captured. Richard, Duke of York, returns from Ireland.
October Act of Accord (24 October) names Richard, Duke of York, rightful heir to Henry VI. (Note: Richard has a rightful claim to the throne as nephew of Edmund Mortimer).
December Margaret raises the Lancastrian army and, led by Somerset their forces defeat the Yorkists at Wakefield, killing Richard, Duke of York. Margaret has Richard's head displayed on the Gates of York wearing a paper crown.
February Margaret's army defeats Warwick at St Albans (17 February) and rescues Henry VI.
March Yorkist victory at Mortimer's Cross. Warwick (later referred to as Warwick the Kingmaker) and Edward, Earl of March enter London where Edward is declared King Edward IV. (4 March).

Lancastrians are defeated at Towton (29 March), Margaret flees to Scotland.

1470 Warwick, now aligned with Queen Margaret and the King's brother, the Duke of Clarence inspires rebellions in the North. Edward marches to quell them and Warwick and Clarence arrive on the South coast. Betrayed by the Marquis of Montagu, Edward is out numbered and flees to Burgundy.
October Henry VI restored to throne (3 October).
April Edward IV returns from Burgundy and makes peace with Clarence. Warwick and Montagu are defeated and killed at the Battle of Barnet (14 April). Henry VI is again deposed and imprisoned in the Tower.
May Henry VI dies in the Tower of London under mysterious circumstances (21 May).

Information of this page has been researched from Charles Phillips 'The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Kings & Queens of Britain'


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Born 6 December 1421
Reigned 1422-1461, 1470-71
Died 21 May 1471
Margaret of Anjou 22 April 1455

King Henry IV
King Henry V
King Henry VI
King Edward IV
King Edward V
King Richard III

King Henry VII

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