Explore the BBC
3 Oct 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Radio 4
Radio 4 History
BBC History

This Sceptred Isle


55 BC - 1087

1087 - 1327

1327 - 1547

1547 - 1660

1660 - 1702

1702 - 1760

1760 - 1792

1792 - 1837

1837 - 1861

1861 - 1901

1901 - 1919

1920 - 1939

1940 - 1959

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999


Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

This Sceptred Isle

The Wars of the Roses
Henry VI was finally crowned in 1429, though he was not declared of age until 1437. In 1450 the Kentish Rebellion reflected a breakdown in law and order.

Then in 1453 the King had a breakdown. His queen, Margaret of Anjou, aspired to be Protector - in October she gave birth to a son, Edward, but there was uncertainty whether Henry was his father. In 1454 the Duke of York was declared Protector in her stead. The Beauforts (Lancastrians) rose against the Government. The King then recovered slightly. Margaret was ready to do battle, so was the Duke of York.

The Wars of the Roses had begun.

Edward of York, the Earl of March, joined forces with the Earl of Warwick. At Towton Field in Yorkshire Edward won a battle which won him the throne. Henry was imprisoned in the Tower. Edward IV was crowned king in 1465. He beheaded Henry VI in 1471. He died suddenly in 1483.

Henry VI
Henry VI
HENRY VI (1421-1471)

  • King of England 1422-1461 and 1470-1471
  • Became King of England at the age of nine months
  • England was governed effectively until he was declared of age in 1437
  • After his breakdown in 1453, he played an even more passive role
  • Lost his crown to Edward IV in 1461 and retreated to Scotland with Margaret but was captured in 1465 and sent to the Tower of London
  • Restored to the throne for a few brief months from October 1470
  • Murdered by Edward IV in April 1471

did you know?
On the death of his maternal grandfather, Henry VI was proclaimed King of France but Charles VII, the Dauphin, reclaimed the throne just two weeks later.

It was Sir Walter Scott in his novel, Anne of Geierstein (1829), who first called the Lancaster Vs York conflict The War of the Roses.

Select historical period

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.dat does not exist

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.html does not exist

1422Henry VI becomes King
Humphrey of Gloucester and John of Lancaster - protectors
1429Joan of Arc is victorious at Orleons
Charles VII of France crowned at Rouen
1431Joan of Arc burned at Rouen
1437James II, King of Scots
1445Henry VI marries Margaret of Anjou
1453The Hundred Years' War ends at Castillon
1454Henry VI temporarily insane - Richard of York protector
1455Wars of the Roses begin
St Albans - Yorkists defeat Lancastrians. Beaufort dies.
1460Warwick captures Henry VI at Northampton
1460James III, King of Scots
1461Edward, Duke of York, defeats Lancastrians
Declares himself Edward IV
Margaret of Anjour rescues Henry VI
Edward IV wins at Towton and is crowned King
Magaret and Henry flee to Scotland
1465Henry VI is recaptured and imprisoned in the Tower
1469Earl of Warwick and Duke of Clarence plot against Edward
Henry VI is restored to the throne and Edward flees to
1471Edward IV lands in England, defeats Warwick at Barnet
Imprisons Henry VI who is later murdered
1483Edward IV dies
Edward V, King of England

Crown lands
- e.g. Duchy of Cornwall
Lancastrian Earldoms:
- Lancaster
- Derby
- Lincoln
- Leicester
- Hereford
- Nottingham
Strongholds of Supporting Families:
- Somerset
- Surrey
- East Anglia
- Devon
Northern Strongholds
- through the Percy's
- through the elder Nevilles

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy