Saturday, April 17, 2010

Choose Up Sides for the Wars of the Roses

After Joan of Arc came onto the scene the Frenchie wars began going badly for the poor beleagured Duke of Bedford. Henry VI was taken over to France w/ Mom (b4 things hit the fan) to be crowned as French king, tho by then things were going so badly it couldn't even be done at the traditional French coronation spot of Rheims Cathedral, which the Frenchies now held tight, but at Notre Dame instead, & then there was that whole deal where the Burgundians captured Joan & sold her out to the English & she was burnt at the stake while young Henry fretted that she was a saint & they were all going to the hot place for it.
Henry VI
he don't even LOOK like he's all there, does he? LOL

Henry was put in the charge of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, whilst Uncle Bedford tried running the war & Uncle Gloucester got fat off his English proceeds as Lord Protector Jr.  Warwick's daddy had been one of the Lords Appellant who were such a thorn in Richard IIs throne.  Henry didn't much like him but alas boy kings get to do what they're told & not a whole lot more.  Warwick natch expected him to be all agog to learn how to be a mighty warrior, but Henry would rather pray & go to Mass 11dy6x a day.  Even as a kidlet peeps were at their wit's end w/ him.  He just wasn't right somehow & everyone knew it.  But whatcha gonna do when ya got hereditary monarchy in place?  They just kept hoping they could mold him into something a tad more kingly.

Eventually he was married off to Margaret of Anjou (French, therefore a She-Wolf in training), the marriage brokered by Gaunt's son Henry, Cardinal Beaufort, & William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. 

contemporary French miniature depicting
the wedding of Henry VI & Margaret of Anjou

The marriage was unpopular once it was learned the price tag for Margaret's daddy's support against the Frenchies was yiedling him back his lands of Anjou & Maine.  Since ya couldn't well yell for the head of a cardinal of the church, blame for this was squarely placed upon Suffolk.  Uncle Bedford demised of dysentery in France, the wars were not going well at all, & yet they were giving away French provinces like candy just to get Henry a queen?  Uncle Gloucester was outraged & wanted Suffolk gone.

The tables were turned on him, boy, b/c Margaret cozened Henry into having Unks arrested on charges of treason.  There was the usual demise in prison.  Peeps were not amused & even more irked w/ Suffolk & his cohort Edmund Beaufort, now the Duke of Somerset (who in addition to having once eyed up Queen Catherine, was now said to be unseemly close w/ Queen Margaret).  Somerset was sent over to France to fix stuff, but Parliament insisted Suffolk had to be exiled.  He went, but then his murdalized body was found lying on the beach at Dover.  There's a history mystery for ya.  Whodunnit?

Somerset managed to lose all of Normandy back to the Frenchies posthaste, so there was grumbling galore.  The treasury was running out of groats & sometimes returning soldiers didn't get pd, so then there was Jack Cade's Rebellion about this.  Cade's peeps actually managed to occupy London for a tme, but eventually they were chased out & there were the usual hangings for entertainment.  Somerset lost Guyenne & then Bordeaux, so all of a sudden the English had nuffin left save Calais, which was where they had started.  BOO HISS was the general sentiment amongst the English.

Peeps began to worry that something was REALLY wrong w/ Henry, as he much preferred praying to his pretty young wife & there were no heirs appearing. Then Henry, like his Frenchie grandpa, had a catatonic episode after learning of the loss of Bordeaux that lasted several mos, & in this time Margaret finally, after like 7 yrs of trying, turned up pregnant, & gave birth to the desired heir, Edward. When Henry came round he wondered if the boy had been brought by the Holy Spirit.

And that gave rise to speculation as to if the kid was Henry's at all. Edmund Beaufort was the leading candidate for paternity. She began actually doing the running of the joint b/c Henry was too busy being a turnip. Peeps didn't take too kindly to that, esp w/ how much they disliked all Frenchies to begin w/. Margaret was supposedly pretty arrogant & condescending, too.

With everything going into the toilet, another of Henry's cuz's decided enough was enough. When Henry had another protracted episode of catatonia, Richard of York stepped forward (from the dual claim family) & was appointed Protector of the Realm for the period of Henry's la la land trip.  He had been Henry's Lord Lieutenant of Ireland & was backed up by the powerful NEW Warwick.  This dude, Richard Neville, had wed Isabel Beauchamp, the old Warwick's sole offspring, & got the title w/ the bride.  He was also a cuz of York's wife Cicely Neville; his dad, also Richard, was her big bro & the Earl of Salisbury.  Cicely's mum was Joan Beaufort, Gaunt's daughter.  Joan had married Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, so the semi-royal Nevilles pretty much controlled the entire north of England.  York & Warwick decided 1st act of bidness was to send Somerset to the Tower.

Margaret was not amused. She managed to get York banished back to Ireland & natch the Yorks were not amused, so there was the usual invasion force....ya'd think they'd learn about that whole banishment thing leading to such by now....& the Wars of the Roses officially began w/ the 1st battle of St Albans.  Natch the theme of such was hey, the king has bad councilors.  The Lancastrians were trounced & Somerset kilt.  After the battle York found that idiot Henry sitting in a tent nursing a flesh wound from an arrow, left alone & abandoned by his peeps who were natch all RUN AWAY RUN AWAY! when they saw they were trounced.  Henry had gone sort of gaga again, so natch peeps said OK York can be Lord Protector some more.

Everyone was kinda o my that there had been an actual battle & decided reconciliation was in order.  When Henry emerged from his latest trance he said I know!  Let's have a Loveday!  Peeps was all ROFLMFAO at this public show of jeez my bad LOL  You can just see Margaret's eyes rolling ROFL  Henry thunk maybe peeps would settle down if little Edward of Westminster was passed over in favor of the York claim & dithered about making York, who was much older so not likely to happen, his heir.  Margaret was outraged esp w/ all that tittle-tattle that the kid belonging to the late Duke of Somerset in the 1st place.  She began cuddling up to his replacement duke, his son John.  Court was set up at Coventry b/c the London peeps were not amused w/ all this nonsense (this could be where the phrase "sent to Coventry" when one is bad comes from).  Since Henry was lucid again, York was sent back to Ireland again.

Peeps started choosing up sides when York said pffft to that & came back.  Margaret Beaufort's young son Henry Tudor was sent off to exile in Brittany w/ his uncle Jasper for his own safety.  York called a powwow at Ludlow & lots of disgruntled peeps came & there was another Lancastrian trouncing at the battle of Blore Heath.  But then the Yorkists got trounced so badly at the battle of Ludford Bridge (there was battlefield turncoating involved, which would plague this conflict) that York, his heir Edward, Earl of March, Warwick, & Salisbury were all RUN AWAY RUN AWAY! this time & fled to the continent.  They were promptly charged w/ treason & attainted (which meant the crown took over their goodies).

Natch there was another invasion & a sound Lancastrian trouncing at the battle of Northampton & a 2nd discovery of Henry left behind all gaga in a tent.  This was getting tedious.  York & his wife strolled into Parliament & he set his hand to the vacant throne & said MINE! 

Peeps was all appalled b/c for some reason, they were still all no, no, Henry's just got bad councilors, we just wanna get rid of THEM, not HIM....even tho Henry was clearly 11dy6 fries short of a Happy Meal by now.  York was all gobsmacked at this stunned rejection & said hang a tic, I got genealogies n stuff!  My claim is better than Henry's any day of the wk!  So Parliament hmmm'd a bit & by a narrow majority of 5 decided Henry could stay king, but York would be Lord Protector permanently & then succeed him, shoving 6 yo Edward to the side.  York sighed & said OK, since twas better than a kick in the nuts.

Captain Marguerite, as everyone knew she was in charge & not her looney toon hubby, hied off to Scotland w/ the kidlet in tow to seek assistance from James II.  

And then she did the thing that REALLY branded her a She-Wolf....

No comments:

Post a Comment