Henry V: One of England's most successful monarchs, peace, stability, battlefield success, strong leader, memory meant most loyal to his son, great victories in 100 years' war.
100 years war: Normany conquered 1419, French agreed next King of France would be Henry or his son, couldn't keep paying taxation, empire size of Henry's unsustainable, defeat 1429 as France recovered with help of Joan of Arc, Henry VI pursued policy of peace, realistic but unpopular.
Henry VI: Pious, gentle, poorly governed, disinterested, became King aged 9 in 1422 minority government until 16, successful - no challenges to right, council governed effectively, factional struggles.
The Nobility: Soldiers, retainers, fight each other, led to popular rebellion. Duke of Suffolk dominated, resentment from Duke of York, felt he should have been chief adviser. Took advantage, King relied on for law in localities, favourites showered with patronage, land = wealth, power and status.
Government: Advice from great nobles, judges, churchmen. Character of king everything. Parliament: money, war, implementing policy. Treason = death so council/nobles blamed. Royal household at centre of court to clothe, entertain, fed, exhibit king - access, influence.
Duke of Somerset: Born 1406, rivaly with cousin York, despised favouritism, blamed him for losses in France, had replaced York as commander in France, 1453 - nearly all Henry V's French possessions lost. Rumoured father of Margaret of Anjou (campaign during King's insanity to destroy his reputation?) Captain of Calais when King recovered 1454.
Duke of Suffolk: Born 1396, fought in Henry V's French wars. Blamed for losses in France, Maine and Anjou result of marriage negotiations. Principle power behind Henry VI, nobles jealous. Arrested and imprisoned in Tower, Henry VI intervened, banished for 5 years but executed 1450 on ship.
Richard, Duke of York: 1452 - demanded recognition as heir, crushed with Margaret's pregnancy 1453, 1453 - protector but recovery dismissed him, discontented, gathered army for Battle of St. Albans 1455, Somerset killed. Henry captured, returned to London, York protector, Margaret gathered army and forced him into flight, when returned, formal claim to throne, succession would go to him/heirs.
Margaret of Anjou: Betrothed to Henry part of peace treaty, unpopular, attempted to regain regency when Henry broke down, given to DoY, rivalry. Oct 1453 - Edward. May 1455 - factional dispute, DoY controlled until MoA ousted him 1456, hostilities again in 1459.
Henry VI: Unable to prevent developing power struggles, dual monarchy too hard to maintain, lost Normandy 1450, erosion of Henry V's prestige and authority, picked wrong advisers, sporadic interest in government.
1445 March: m. Henry VI and MoA
1445 Sept: End of DoY's Lieutenancy in France
1446 Dec: Duke of Somerset Lieutenant in France
1447 July: York Lieutenant of Ireland, takes job 1449
1448 March-1449 April: Surrender Anjou and Maine, French invade Normandy
1450 April: Parliament called, Suffolk accused of treason, exiled and murdered
1450 May/June: Cade's Rebellion
1450 Aug: Complete loss of Normandy, Duke of Somerset defeated returns from France
1450 Sept: York returns from Ireland, Somerset takes control of court