Henry VI 1445-50


legacy of Henry V and expectations for Henry VI

Henry V had been 34 when he died, legacy of a strong trusted ruler meant many were loyal to his son. the 100 years wars began under Edward III, Henry V's conquest of N. France began with the victory of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Normandy was conquered by him in 1419, 

However Henry V's victorys were also because the king of france, charles vi was extremely weak., by 1435 burgundy had teamed with France, Charles vii was strong.

Henry VI became king in 1422, only 9 months old.  It was agreed that Henry V would be king of france (as he'd married Catherine) or his son.

the money needed to continue funding these wars were unsustainable, and so Henry VI ran an unpopular campaign of peace. taxation without victory was incredibly unpopular 


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function to uphold justice and fight wars

  • power to call parliment
  • appointed by God - can accuse people of treason
  • expected to lead troops
  • Had to work within the law due to 1215 magna carta
  • had resources ie patronage to reward subject


  • Blood relations of the king = magnates
  • duke->marquis->earl->viscount->baron
  • relied upon to uphold law and order
  • expected to provide armies for the king if needed
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How was law and order upkept

Justices of Peace

  • local issues
  • public order
  • shefriff must bring defendants, assemble juries and carry out verdicts

court of assizes: two per year, serious crimes

court of the kings bench: power to overturn other decisions

Oyers and Terminers: delt with rebellion, disorder they heard, determined and punished the guilty

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significant end of the 100 years wars

1415- battle of Agincourt

1429-  battle of orleans,  Charles VII became king

1435- burgundy allies with France

1440- York appointed Lieutenant general of grance

1442- john Beaufort's failed campaign

1443- Yorks dieppe campaign failed

1444- Truce of tours signed

1445- december, agreed to hand over Maine and Le Mans, to Margarets father rene in return for 20 years of peace... giving them a direct military route to attack Normandy and Gascony.

1448 - Mains and Le Mans physically handed over, soldiers mutony, York undermined

1449- England broke the truce at Fougeres Brittany, Duke of BRittany requested aid from France, declared war on 31st July France attacked Normandy, battle of rouen, fell on 29th of October

1450- fall of Cherbourg

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Earl of Suffolk - why was he hated? + his faction

William De La Pole - 4th Earl of Suffolk

  • introduced to royal council 1431
  • became a steward, had access to the king
  •  he was appointed Chamberlain many critised him, Gloucester and York felt they should be Henry's closest advisors

Why did people hate him

  • he and his faction received preseige and power
  • Royal Grant given to disproportionally, Bishop of Salisubry + Lincolnshire, Lord Say
  • Money for wars used to pay off debts, often suffolks faction. Little money for war when the truce of torus was broken in 1444
  • Handed over Maine and anjou in secret as part of the mariage terms of MOA to Henry VI
  • Protected Nicolas talisbury from murder charges
  • many nobels had abandoned Government post 1447, failing to protect Normandy, making Suffolk's clique seem increasingly to blame for the destructiuon of the country.
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How did Suffolk fall

1449-  Parliment were furious about the fall of rouen, demanded Suffolk to be charged with treason

- in attempt to save him Henry exiled him for 5 Years, to begin the 1st of May

- His ship was attacked by priates, where he was murdered at dover

- 2nd of May Suffolk's body was washed up at Kent beach, head on a pole they were terrified of being blamed for this

1450 july- all of Suffolk's faction had been murdered by an angry mob -Lord Say, Bishop of Salisbury and the BIshop of Lincolnshire

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Henry's incompetance

use of patronage

  • had a lack of judgement, was taken advantage of by his overmighty subjects, he couldnt afford to be this generous, suggling to pay for his household and having to borrow mass amounts of money

excessive spending

  • 1440; Eton
  • 1443; King's collage

Act of Resmption 1450

  • commons tried to persuade henry to reclaim lands however Henry insisted on hiis rights to exclude his royal household, meaning many of his other nobels were further turned against them. there were 186 cases of exemption, thee royal household only surrendering one third of claims.

Customs revenues

  • 1421- £41,677
  • 1446- £28,100


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Cades rebellion


  • raised rtaaxes which were used for King's own benefit
  • justice wasnt impartial
  • favourite nobels allowed to govern without consequence, despite obvious failure
  • Kent was concerned that they's be blamed for Suffolk's murder


  • punishments for alleged misdeads of royal servents in kent
  • fairer justice
  • destruction of the remains of suffolks faction
  • henry to rely on greater lords for aadvice ie, the duke of york
  • hoever they didnt want to remove Henry VI
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initial divisions between Somerset and York

Yorks possible resentment: 

  • replaced by Somerset as Lieutenant General of France
  • Made Lieutenant general of Ireland, considered political exile
  • blames somerset 4 key losses in France
  • Somerset was repaid promtly, York was not
  • York was the kings most senior relative after Gloucester, felt he should be principal advisor
  • john Beaufort (elder somerset) was governing Gascony 1443- challenge to yorks authority, henry funded this campaign, york left short of finance failed in Dieppe 1443
  • Somerset was accused of lack of effort in Normandy 1449- surrendering rouen and York held strongholds
  • york was owed £38,000 from the king
  • Somerset delayed travelling to France as Lord Lieuenant from 1446-8, arriving when it all went to ****
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Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester

Clostest relation to the king as brother of Henry V - Heir presumptive after Bedford's death

Wife Eleanor consulted necromancers and estrologists to predict the kings death, they put it as 1441

Eleanor imprisoned and forcibly divorced from Humphrey - mass tarnish on Humphrey's reputation

Not included at 1445 negotiations due to her actions - Sufflok mocked him

Suffolk afraid that Gloucester would take regency if the KIng and Margaret went to france to negotiate furhte- would affect their plans

1447 - Feburary, obscure parliment summoned at Bury St Edmunds, heart of Suffolk's territory

suffolk was suspicious, came 10 days early with retainers.

Rumours of plans to kill the king likely created by Suffolk so they coudl charge Gloucester with treason.  Found dead 5 days after being arrested

became the ledgend of th e'good duke' when relations with france deteriorated

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disorder in England

Bonvilles and Courtenays

  • Henry VI handed the stewardship of the duchy of cornwall to 2 men in 1437
  • 1440s - home invasion, murder, private armies and siege on property,


  • rival magnates held and jealously guarded near autonomous regional power

East Anglia

  • Suffolk finding b the balance of private lord vs excecutor of royal governement hard to balance
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truce of tours

Truce of Tours

  •  1444-49
  • parliment raised money to pay for when the truce was broken. however lord say spent this money raised oon crown debts
  • Nobility woudlnt support Hnery raising taxes in 1449 as they believed he was being 'managed by a self interested clique'
  • by 1453 the french empire had been reduced to merely calais
  • unprovoked attack in 1449 at fougeres meant that the better prepared French attacked Rouen, Formingny and cherbourg all at once.
  • Rouen fell in oct 1449, cherbourg and formigney at 1450, the fall of cherbourg giving the french coontrol o much of the channel.

Henry allowed his suffolks faction to do tooo much, as Somerset was allowed to run his own campaign in 1442, meaning funds for Yorks campaign in 1443 were small and the campagin failed. 

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power pt 2

Courtenays and Bonvilles dispute

Moyens and POstons dispute, Moleyns friends with Suffolk-twisted laws


  • knights, squires, gentlemen
  • generally operated local courts
  • relied upon to uphold law and order
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100 years war pt 2

1450 battle of Formigny

  • unprovoked attack in 1449 at fougeres meant that the better prepared French attacked Rouen, Formingny and cherbourg all at once.
  • Rouen fell in oct 1449, cherbourg and formigney at 1450, the fall of cherbourg giving the french control o much of the channel.
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suffolk pt 2


  • encouraging Charles VII to go to war
  • stirring king to release the duke of Orleans
  • passing on diplomatic and military secrets to the french
  • giving up Le Mans and Maine
  • tricking the king into granting him lands and titles
  • giving money to the queen of france
  • -gossip of his taking a nun and defiling her before his capture at the battle of jargeau

Adam Moleyns - Bishop of Chichester

  • associated with every negative negotiation with france.
  • member who formalised cession of Maine
  • accused the Duke of York of corrupsy and incompetance during French lieutenancy
  • tried to leave the country on pilgrimage but murdered by Colville, a military captian
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cades pt 2


  • began in may 1450, kent numbering 46,000
  • lead by Jack Cade (John Mortimer)- false name used as the name MOrtimer was royal and Yorks maternal family, giving the rebellion legitimacy, Mortimer also had historic links with disorder and rebellion
  • King sent cousin Duke of Buckingham and Viscount Beaumont, constable of England to try and control the rebellion
  • rebels 'retreated' sir Humphrey Stafford and William Stafford wentto chasisise with 400 men, battle near Tonbridge, ambushed, both staffords killed.
  • KIngs men on the way to LOndon, half were ambushed by the rebes at stevnoaks, king fled to kennilworth castle
  • rebellion let into london,in these days the army lost discipline, looting and pilaging, Lord say and Wiilliam Cromer (sherriff of kent) both murdered
  • Cades army forced out of london by the people off london, MOA offered pardons if they left.
  • Cade attempted to take Queenbrough castle, but many men disappeared when the pardon was revoked
  • cade murdered in sussex, head on spike to london, four quarters to Salisbury, Norwich, Glocester and Backheath
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