Henry VI


Henry VIHenry VI (1422-1461) and (1470-1471) was only nine months old when he became King of England. Two months later he also became King of France when his grandfather, King Charles VI of France, died.

Over the next 30 years the Hundred Years War continued in France. By 1453 all that was left of English possessions in France was Calais.

In England things were no better. Henry seems to have had no natural ability for kingship. He was a gentle and religious man.

In 1453 he suffered a bout of insanity and was declared unfit to rule. Richard, Duke of York was made Protector and ruled in his place.  When Henry was well enough to rule again the Duke of York was reluctant to give up power and the civil war known as the Wars of the Roses (after the emblems of the Houses of York and Lancaster) began.

In 1460 the Duke of York was killed but, with the help of the Earl of Warwick, the Yorkists were victorious at the Battle of Towton in 1461.  The Duke's eldest son was proclaimed Edward IV.  Henry VI fled to Scotland.  When Edward and the Earl of Warwick fell out, Henry VI was briefly restored.  However, when Edward won back power, Henry VI was taken to the Tower of London - where it is believed he was murdered by Edward and his brothers.  


Succeeded by:

Edward IV

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