OUTBREAK OF THE WARS 1445-50 (Failure in France (Father HV proven a…
OUTBREAK OF THE WARS 1445-50
King relied on nobles and gentry to enforce the law as Sherriffs and JPs.
Duke of York epitome of over-mighty subject. Owned vast estates across England as well as English France, and aspired for the crown.
Monarch employed 'divide and rule' tactic - could choose to reward or withhold royal patronage to nobles, so they would compete for this. However HVI's weakness allowed this to get out of hand.
Failure in France
Father HV proven a warrior King at Agincourt 1415. HVI's weaknesses inevitably compared to his strengths.
Greatest success was Treaty of Tours 1444, which established peace w/ France until 1449. However marriage to Anjou was unpopular as promised dowry of 20,000 francs was unpaid. Strategically vital Maine was handed away.
HVI foolishly listened to Suffolk's suggestion to renew conflicts in 1449 by attacking the Breton town of Fougeres, leading to French victory.
Normandy lost in August 1450.
Influence of Margaret of Anjou
Marriage to Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Rene Duke of Anjou and granddaughter of Louis II married HVI in 1445. Was unpopular due to failure of payment of 20,000 francs, but it secured a 21-month truce with France.
Intelligent and strong-willed, she became involved in political affairs. She came to make decisions in place of HVI. Her strength exacerbated the impression of the under-mighty monarch.
Raised in Europe, factionalism was accepted as a method of rule, but she failed to realise this did not apply in England. She promoted certain noblemen to high office, such as William de la Pole to Duke of Suffolk in 1448, causing resentment from others.
Henry an Under-mighty Monarch
Poor manager of the nobility, misunderstood seriousness of rivalries such as between the Percy's and Nevilles. Failed to notice growing rivalry between Somerset and York, and failed to pacify them before war broke.
Failed to manage his wealth. By 1444 Cardinal Beaufort had lent the crown over £200,000. Mistook this as a friendly act rather than a means to control him, and he struggled to repay.
A poor military tactician. Advised by Suffolk in 1449 he resumed conflict in France. This resulted in fall of Suffolk who was blamed for the ensuing loss of Normandy. Loss of land in France angered the nobles as they lost land-wealth.
A poor decision to appoint Somerset as Lieutenant of France in 1447 whereas York was isolated as Lieutenant of Ireland. HVI prioritised repaying Somerset over York, stirring resentment.
Peasant unrest: Cade Rebellion 1450
-Cade and followers worried they would be blamed for Suffolk's murder at Sea, and Somerset would pillage Kent as revenge. The peasants thought the justice system was unfair to the poor, but their 'Complaint of the Poor Commons of Kent' was ignored by the King.
-Cade called himself John Mortimer (York's family name). He missed 2 commissions HVI sent to crush his revolt as he went to Blackheath.
-HVI refused to negotiate himself, but 400 of his men chased Cade back to Kent.
-However they had only fled for reinforcements. The Staffords were killed. HVI fled to Warwickshire.
-Allowed Cade to set up his own court in London, where he tried and executed Lord Sage.
-Cade was executed on 10th July 1450.
Demonstrated law and order was unstable, gave impression of HVI's weakness as he had fled.