Henry VI and the Start of the Wars of the Roses

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  • Created by: LeFay
  • Created on: 07-01-14 12:12


  • 1413  - Henry V succeeded to the throne.
  • 1414  - War against France renewed, Battle of Agincourt won.
  • 1421  - Henry VI born.
  • 1422  - Henry VI succeeded to the throne.
  • 1431  - Henry VI crowned King of France in Paris.
  • 1437  - Henry VI took control of government.
  • 1444  - Treaty of Tours.
  • 1445  - Marriage of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou.
  • 1447  - Death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.
  • 1450  - Normandy lost to the French. Duke of Suffolk executed. Cade's rebellion.
  • 1451  - Loss of Gascony.
  • 1453  - Henry VI suffered mental breakdown. Duke of York appointed protector.
  • 1455  - Wars of the Roses begins with the Battle of St. Albans.
  • 1455-6 - York serves second term as protector.
  • 1458  - The Loveday.
  • 1459  - September: Battle of Blore Heath. October: 'Rout' of Ludford. November: Parliament of Devils.
  • 1460  - July: Battle of Northampton. December: Battle of Wakefield. Richard, Duke of York, killed at Wakefield.
  • 1461  - Febuary: Second battle of St. Albans. Battle of Mortimer's Cross. March: Battle of Ferrybridge. Battle of Towton. Edward IV usurped the throne by removing Henry VI.

Personality, War and Debt

  • Personality:
    •  John Warren – “The king’s personality touched and affected every facet of power and authority in the kingdom.”
    • Education:
      • Henry received the best tuition available at the time.
      • During his minority, he learnt the art of kingship and war.
      • For nine years (1428-37) Henry was schooled in the crafts of good governance, patronage and military leadership, but the lessons learnt seemed not to have the desired effect.
    • Governance:
      • Naval and coastal security of the kingdom were neglected.
      • The King failed in establishing peace and effective law and order.
      • Henry was indecisive or slow to act.
      • “The realm of England was out of all good governance.”
    • Military leadership:
      • Henry was the first English king never to command an army against a foreign enemy.
      • Left military leadership in the hands of others, principally Bedford, Gloucester and Somerset, Suffolk and York.
      • Even the queen showed a greater inclination to employ military means to achieve her aims of securing control of both the Crown and the government.
      • Before the civil war, the only time his subjects saw the king in battle array was during Cade’s rebellion.
    • Advisers:
      • Henry “could not resist those who led him to unwise decisions.”
      • Henry was a man of weak character who relied too much on the advice of those around him, the majority of whom he had chosen or appointed.
      • He was not a good judge of character, and those around him knew how to manipulate him.
      • Henry VI was a good man but a bad king who became a “fool of God”.
    • Assessments of Henry:
      •  Vergil – “King Henry was a man of mild and plain-dealing disposition, who preferred peace before wars, quietness before troubles … and leisure before business; and, to be short, there was…


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