The weakness of Henry VI's rule

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  • The weakness of Henry VI's rule
    • Henry V
      • Inspiring standard of kingship - others expected to follow
        • Expected to continue to exert influence over France
          • Losing this would be a terrible failure and insult to those who died wining the lands
          • What would happen if french revived under new leadership
            • War was expensive - required a lot of taxation
              • Would English continue to pay if their success ended
      • Success built on alliance with Duke of Burgundy and on France's lack of leadership
        • King of France was elderly and insane
          • Believed he was made of glass and would break anyone touched him
            • What if Burgundy changed sides and became a French ally
              • Leave England isolated
    • About Henry VI
      • Henry VI ruled from 1422 until 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471
      • He was just nine months old when he became king
      • He lost a lot of English lands in France
      • He was responsible for the start of the Wars of the Roses
      • It is likely he was murdered in the Tower
      • Henry VI is seen as a weak and mentally unstable king
    • The rebels in 1450
      • Angered
        • Blamed the king - though not publicly
          • False councillors
            • Corrupting the legal system
              • Enriching themselves at the kings expense
                • Excluding nobles of royal blood from advising the king
        • Loss of France
          • Created problems for people of south east
            • Corruption and economic problems
              • Lord Saye
                • threatened to turn Kent in to wasteland
                  • In revenge for Suffolks death
      • Careful about publicising their anger
        • Did not want to deter voters by not being seen to  be loyal to the king
          • Wanted to avoid be linked to treason
    • Words used to describe Henry VI
      • gentle, hapless, innocent, unworldly, passive, malleable
      • Religious devotion
        • After death people wanted him to be a saint
    • Characteristics
      • Died 49 in 1471
      • Cade's rebellion 28yrs old
        • Energetic and active
      • Physically quite strong and sturdy
        • 5' 9"
          • Not a weakling
            • Slow learner?
              • Discouraged from being seen in public in France aged 10
                • Peace loving man - merciful
                  • Concerned with managing feuds between leading members of nobility
                    • His personal interests distracted from his duties and governing
              • Reluctant to let him make speeches in french at 10
                • Looks more like a child than a man
                  • A child face
                    • Not of steadfast wit
                      • These comments are few and from common people
                        • Must be some truth as how would they have heard
              • Complained about loud noises in the street
                • Normal child would be making those noises
              • Grew up an imbecile
            • Fathers crown was too big for his head
        • Not stern or resolute like his father
    • Easily lead and poor decision maker
      • Abbot Whetehamstede
        • Praised Henry as simple and upright man
          • Could not resist those who urged him to unwise decisions and wasteful extravagance
      • Polydore Vergil
        • 1470-1555
          • Strong Tudor bias
            • Presented him as a simpleton, easily led and dominated by an evil council
        • Wrote the accounts for Henry V11
      • Shaekspeare
        • Guileless saint
        • He was pious and took a deep interest in education, founding Eton and King's College, Cambridge.
        • have suggested that by judging him on his ability to wage war successfully, his better traits have been overlooked
        • He was sensitive and empathetic, and a man who felt deeply, as his worsening mental state proves.
        • Perhaps he will always be a king who splits opinion.
      • William Stubbs
        • Perhaps the most unfortunate king who ever reigned
      • Blacman
        • Wanted to portray in better light
          • Devour ma, religion before everything
            • Can be interpreted differently
    • William Stubbs cont
      • Failure due to ambitious nobility
        • His poor health
        • Unsuitable king
    • KB McFarlane
      • 20th century historian
        • Said his head was too small for his fathers crown
        • Sure his mindlessness was the cause of the war of the roses
          • Perceptive accurate historian
        • He was unwilling and incapable of fulfilling his duties
          • Inane,  meaning silly or senseless
          • imbecile, meaning  mentally weak, idiotic
            • Clear he believed he remained childlike and incapable of ruling or making his own decisions
      • Charles Ross had a similar view
        • Had he have been half the man his father was disasters which followed eight have been avoided
        • Bertram Wolfe similar views also
          • perverse wilfulness regarding war with France
            • Meddling with conflict and aiming for peace
              • Disastrous consequences
    • BP Wolffe
      • Discounted Blacmans evidence
        • Written as part of a campaign to have king canonised
      • More weighting on royal records

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