Henry VI (b.1421 r.1422-1461, 1470-1471)
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Henry VI (b.1421 r.1422-1461, 1470-1471)

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At three years of age he was brought to open Parliament and shryked and cryed and sprang; and he was then led upon his feet to the choir of St.Paul's by the Lord Protector and the Duke of Exeter, and afterwards set upon a fair courser and conveyed through Chepe.
John Blackman (Henry's chaplain), Memoir of Henry VI.

Additional Information on
Henry VI (b.1421 r.1422-1461, 1470-1471)

Henry VI, son of Henry V, ascended the thrones of England and France as an infant and so his great uncle acted as regent until Henry was crowned king - aged nine. Unfortunately Henry was not made of the same material as his father, and instead of a triumphant reign, Henry VI's was a chapter of disasters. Before long, his rule in France became completely undermined by the campaigns of Joan of Arc - and thus all his father's conquests were lost. It was soon apparent that Henry has neither the disposition or the intelligence to successfully govern a country. He was a simple, gentle, kind and extremely generous man who had no cares for the richness of clothing expected for a king and so he often dressed as a townsman or a farmer. However, it is widely recognised that he had bouts of madness and was seemingly incapable of governing in his state of mind. Henry was deeply religious and very interested in education and building, e.g. Eton College and Kings College Cambridge.

During this period there was an ongoing struggle between two powerful families over who should be the king - this became known as The War of the Roses (and lasted approx. 30 years). The red rose was used by the House of Lancaster, the white rose by the House of York. Henry's queen was a good leader for the Lancastrian cause, whilst Richard Duke of York led the cause against them - he was twice appointed as Protector to take over from the king when he was too sick to govern. At the battle of Towton the Yorkists were victorious and made Richard's son Edward the new king (Edward IV) in 1461, Henry VI being imprisoned in the Tower. The throne was relinquished briefly in 1470, but Henry lost it again in 1471. Weeks later Henry was murdered in the Tower, only days after his son was killed in battle.


At Christmas time a certain great Lord had brought before him a show of young ladies with bared bosoms who were to dance in that guise before the king who very angrily averted his eyes, turned his back upon them, and went out of his chamber saying, "Fy, fy, for shame forsoothe yet be to blame".
- John Blackman (Henry's chaplain), Memoir of Henry VI.

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