Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NamePLANTAGENET, Henry VI, King Of England , 10C16R
Birth6 Dec 1421, Windsor Castle, England
Death27 May 1471, Tower Of London, London, England
OccupationKing Of England 1422-1461, 1470-1471
MotherCatherine Of France (-1437)
Misc. Notes
Henry VI
Born at Windsor Castle, Henry VI (reigned 1422-61 and 1470-71) succeeded to the thrones of England and France before the age of one, when his father Henry V and his grandfather Charles VI of France died within months of each other. Henry was crowned King of England in 1429 and, in 1431, King of France. His minority was dominated by his uncles Cardinal Beaufort and the Duke of Gloucester (who opposed each other). Another uncle, the Duke of Bedford, was Regent of France; his death in 1435, combined with Burgundy breaking the alliance with England, led to the collapse of English rule in northern France. The dual monarchy proved too difficult for the King and England to maintain; the successes of the Dauphin and Joan of Arc began to weaken England's grip on its French possessions and Normandy was lost in 1450. Henry's cultural patronage and genuine interest in education (he founded Eton and King's College, Cambridge) were outweighed by his patchy and partisan interest in administration. Failure in France and domestic unrest (for example, the Cade rebellion of 1450) encouraged factionalism.

In 1453 the King became ill and Richard, Duke of York, was made Protector in 1454. The King recovered in 1455, but civil war between the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions broke out (the Wars of the Roses). For the rest of his reign, Henry's queen, Margaret of Anjou, was determined to fight, rather than negotiate a compromise, for the Lancastrian cause of her husband and son. Pitted against Henry was the Duke of York, asserting his legitimate claim to the throne as he was descended by his mother from Edward III's second surviving son (Henry VI was descended from Edward's third surviving son). The Wars of the Roses were therefore a struggle to decide if the succession should keep to the male line or could pass through females. The Duke of York was killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460.

In 1461, his son Edward, an able commander, defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton (out of the 120,000 men who fought, 28,000 died). London opened its gates to the Yorkist forces; Henry and his queen fled to Scotland. An unsuccessful military campaigner, Henry was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1465, but was restored to the throne in 1470. His brief period of freedom ended after the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 (in which his son Edward, Prince of Wales was killed) when Edward IV regained the throne, and Henry was put to death in the Tower of London.
Marriage23 Apr 1445, Titchfield Abbey, Hants
SpouseMargaret Of Anjou
Last Modified 21 May 2000Created 23 Jan 2020 using Reunion for Macintosh
This info is base often times on multiple source - sometimes with conflicting information. Don’t use this data as the absolute truth, but rather one source of the data. Email me with additions, errors or questions.