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House of Lancaster - King Henry VI

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King Henry VI
Name: King Henry VI
Father: Henry V
Mother: Catherine of Valois
Born: December 6, 1421 at Windsor Castle
Ascended to the throne: September 1, 1422
Crowned: November 6, 1429 at Westminster Abbey, aged 7. St Pauls Cathedral, aged 48. Also crowned Henri II of France, December 1431, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, aged 10.
Married: Margaret, Daughter of Count of Anjou
Children: One son
Died: May 21, 1471 at Tower of London (murdered), aged 49 years, 5 months, and 13 days
Buried at: Chertsey, reburied in 1485 when his body was moved to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

King of England from 1422, son of Henry V. He assumed royal power 1442 and sided with the party opposed to the continuation of the Hundred Years' War with France. After his marriage 1445, he was dominated by his wife, Margaret of Anjou. He was deposed 1461 in the Wars of the Roses; was captured 1465, temporarily restored 1470, but again imprisoned 1471 and then murdered.

Henry was eight months old when he succeeded to the English throne, and shortly afterwards, by the death in 1422 of his maternal grandfather, Charles VI, he became titular king of France. Unlike his father, Henry was disinclined to warfare, and when Joan of Arc revived French patriotism the English gradually began to lose their French possessions. By 1453 only Calais remained of his father's conquests.

The unpopularity of the government, especially after the loss of the English conquests in France, encouraged Richard, Duke of York, to claim the throne, and though York was killed 1460, his son Edward IV proclaimed himself king 1461.

King Henry VI's Signature

Signature of King Henry VI



 Henry aged 8 months becomes King of England on the death of his father, Henry V, and then, two months later, King of France on the death of his grandfather, Charles VI. 


 John, Duke of Bedford, is appointed Regent of France; Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, becomes Regent of England. 


 Henry VI is crowned King of England 


 The young peasant girl Joan of Arc begins her campaign to expel the English from France. She inspires the French army which relieves Orleans besieged by English troops.  


 The English capture Joan of Arc. She is burned at the stake as a witch and heretic in Rouen on 30 May. 


 Henry VI of England is crowned King of France in Paris 


 Henry assumes personal rule of England 


 Eton college founded giving free education to 70 scholars 


 Henry marries Margaret of Anjou 


 End of 100 Years’ War. Gascony and Normandy fall to the French. England retains only Calais and The Channel Islands. 


 Henry becomes mentally ill. Richard, Duke of York, is made Protector during Henry’s illness 


 Battle of Heworth between supporters of the Neville and Percy families marks the beginning of the feud between the Houses of York and Lancaster 


 Henry regains his senses but disaffected nobles take matters into their own hands. Supporters of the Dukes of York and Lancaster take sides. 


 Beginning of the 'Wars of the Roses'. Duke of York is dismissed. York raises an army and defeats the King’s Lancastrian forces at the Battle of St. Albans.The Lancastrian leader, the Duke of Somerset, is killed. York takes over the government of England. 


 Henry unsuccessfully tries to broker peace between the Yorkists and Lancastrians. 


 War is renewed and the Lancastrians are defeated at Blore Heath; the Yorkists are then defeated at Ludford Bridge near Ludlow. Parliament declares York a traitor and he escapes to Ireland. 


 Yorkist army led by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeats Lancastrians at the Battle of Northampton. Henry VI is captured and his wife, Margaret, escapes to Scotland. Richard of York is again Protector. 


 Margaret raises a Lancastrian army in the north and defeats and kills Richard of York at Wakefield. Henry VI captured by the Yorkists at Northampton. Earl of Warwick takes London for the Yorkists. 


 Yorkists win Battle of Mortimers Cross. Queen Margaret marches her army South, defeats Earl of Warwick at St Albans, and frees Henry. Edward, son of Richard of York, defeats Margaret's Lancastrian forces on 29 March at the Battle of Towton - the largest and bloodiest battle ever on British soil when 28,000 lose their lives. Margaret and Henry flee to Scotland. Henry is deposed by Edward who declares himself King Edward IV 


 Lancastrian revolts are suppressed. 


 Warwick defeats Lancastrians at Battle of Hexham; Henry VI is captured and brought to the Tower of London. 


 Warwick falls out with Edward IV, and defeats him at Edgecote. They are later reconciled but Warwick is banished. He makes peace with Margaret, returns to England with an army, and Edward flees to Flanders. Henry VI is restored to the throne. 


 Edward returns to England and defeats and kills Warwick at the Battle of Barnet. Margaret is defeated at the Battle of Tewkesbury; her son Edward, Prince of Wales, heir to the Lancastrian throne is killed in battle. 


 Henry is murdered by being stabbed to death in the Tower of London. 

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