War of the Roses


Treaty of Tours


Signed a peace treaty with France, however Humphrey disagreed with the decision as he felt it gave the french a chance to regroup

Heir Presumptive


Margaret was worried about Richard, duke of York, as after the death of Henry's uncle, should Henry die childless then Richard took the role of heir presumptive

Humphrey vs Beaufort


Humphrey was overcome by rival in court Beaufort, this lead to Henry mistaking Beauforts bribes as offers of friendship to control him. He also misunderstood Beaufort's rivalry with Richard of York

Mishandling of the Hundred Year War


Henry resumed conflict

Suffolk's demise


Suffolk was blamed for the loss of Gascony and Normandy, even though he had received insufficient funds in order to maintain them, and was charged with treason. imprisoned in the tower Henry saved him who banished him for 5 years his ship was intercepted and Suffolk was executed against Henry's will. The commons demanded Henry pass as act of resumption to recover Suffolk's lands

York's irritation

1450 - 1455

Having served twice (1436-1437 and 1440-1445) as the Kings commander in France, York was mortified when he was removed and replaced by Somerset. Angry at being owed over £38,000 by the crown from France he was given the role Lieutenant of Ireland

Loss of Normandy and Gascony


Loss of these places in the hundred year war, lowered public morale and increased Henry's problems with debt

Cade's Rebellion


Rebels from Kent claimed loyalty to the king but said that they wanted;
- the removal and punishment of royal officials found guilty of corruption and misgovernment in Kent
- fair and impartial justice, and the restoration in law and order
- the removal of the king's 'evil councillors''
- the appointment of the Dues of York, Buckingham and Exeter to the royal council

Result of Cade's Rebellion

September 1450

Yorks returned from Ireland without permission and presented the King with the list of complaints which concluded in two bills.

Bill 1: a list of personal grievance concerned with York's position as heir, his debts and the fact that his advise had been ignored

Bill 2: a list of general grievances that echoes what Cade's rebels had drawn up; namely, the increase in lawlessness and disorder, the corruption of royal officials and the king's evil councillors and the demise of 'good governance'

Captain of Calais

October 1450

Already irritated York is further irritated as Somerset is made captain of Calais in command of the largest army at the kings disposal


February 1452

York's army met the King's forces at Dartford, but the duke had miscalculated. Apart from the Earl of Devon and Lord Cobham, the most powerful nobles in the kingdom, including the Duke of Buckingham and the Nevilles Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, remained loyal to the King. York was outnumbered and forced to submit

Turn for the worse for York

March 1452

After miscalculating at Dartford, York was forced to take a solemn oath to remain faithful to the King in St Paul's Cathedral. Soon after this it was announced the Queen was pregnant, York will no longer be heir presumptive

Henry VI's Insanity

August 1453 - December 1454

On hearing about the defeats in France that ended any hope for England in the Hundred year war. Henry VI suffered a mental breakdown. His pregnant wife, Margaret, assumed a more active role in politics, working closely with Somerset in the hope of excluding York from power she set herself up as regent until her King recovered

Rejection of Margaret by the nobility

September 1453

The nobility were appalled at the idea of Margaret assuming the role of regent. The noble elite turned on Somerset and supported York. In an effort to conciliate her enemies. Margaret ruthlessly abandoned Somerset and imprisoned him in the Tower


October 1453

Margaret gives birth to a healthy son named Edward

York's rise

March 1454 - March 1455

Unimpressed by Margaret's actions the Nevilles decided to support York. This may have also been because of their feud with Percy earl of Northumberland, who the King favoured and Margaret had continued to support. Margaret could not stop York with the new found power of the Nevilles from assuming the power and authority of protector and defender of the realm, in effect York had become King in all but name

Margaret's retention of Power

December 1454

Even though Henry had regained a stable mental state, Margaret remained in charge. She was determined to destroy York as she was convinced he posed a threat to her son's inheritance. Although she managed to strip him of his role of protectorate she didn't succeed in removing him from court. In fact Henry pronounced that York was to be his principal royal advisor. Margaret presuaded Henry to exclude York from the decision-making process on important matters of state, In addition, Somerset was released from the Tower and reappointed to the king's council and to the post of Captain of Calais

Running to the North


York fled to the North to raise an army with the support of the Nevilles

1st battle of St Albans


York led his supporters, Nevilles, Earl of Salisbury and Warwick into rebellion against Henry VI. Their aim the elimination of Margarets control, the removal of Somerset and control of the King. York wanted to carve out a new career as king's cheif councillor. Somerset and Margaret convinced Henry York was committing treason.

Henry VI summoned York to Leicester to explain himself. York surprised the king by attending the meeting backed by a force of over 3000 men. The king had fewer than 2000 men so he was forced to negotiate; the failure of there talks led to the so called battle. Although the battle was little more than a skirmish as only 60/70 men died. Henry VI was wounded by an arrow and among the dead lay Somerset and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland

Second term as Protector

November 1455 - February 1456

York lacked the nobility support to control the king and his government. A compromise was reached whereby York was reappointed to the council and became the king's principal adviser. In addition, York had his ally Warwick appointed Captain of Calais. The strain proved too much for the king, who again lapsed into insanity. Between Nov and the following Feb. York served a second term as protector.