Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced what, in centuries, became referred to as a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the tenants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes, save with the consent of his royal council, which developed into a parliament. Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of the English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and British sovereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited executive authority.
The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Parliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliament of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Under a monarchical system of government, monarchs must consult and seek a measure of acceptance for their policies if they are to enjoy the broad cooperation of their subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, so depended on the support of powerful subjects; the monarchy had agents in every part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have been upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy; the former had economic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and the feudal obligations of their tenants. The Church was a law unto itself in this period as it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clergy on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Councils. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, abbots and earls, the pillars of the feudal system; when this system of consultation and consent broke down, it became impossible for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this before the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and Henry II and between King John and the barons. Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murdered after a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the Church. John, king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many leading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refusal to adhere to this charter led to civil war; the Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term came into use during the early 13th century, when it shifted from the more general meaning of "an occasion for speaking."
It first appears in official documents in the 1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson, it is believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a legislative function. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings called Knights of the Shire to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in 1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to parliament to advise the king on finance. Parliaments were summoned when the king needed to raise money through taxes. After Magna Carta, this became a convention; this was due in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by his young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling to relinquish. Among other things, they made sure. Once the reign of John ended and Henry III took full control of the government, leading peers became concerned with his style of government his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, his seeming patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects.
Henry's support of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven leading barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster; this abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen barons, providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their performance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, most notably at Oxford in 1258; the French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the leader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the years that followed, those supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each other. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sides began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had supported Montfort began to suspect that he ha
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain. In 1801, with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, that house was in turn replaced by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom; the Parliament of England developed from the Magnum Concilium that advised the English monarch in medieval times. This royal council, meeting for short periods, included ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties; the chief duty of the council was to approve taxes proposed by the Crown. In many cases, the council demanded the redress of the people's grievances before proceeding to vote on taxation. Thus, it developed legislative powers; the first parliament to invite representatives of the major towns was Montfort's Parliament in 1265. At the "Model Parliament" of 1295, representatives of the boroughs were admitted. Thus, it became settled practice that each county send two knights of the shire, that each borough send two burgesses.
At first, the burgesses were entirely powerless. Any show of independence by burgesses would thus be to lead to the exclusion of their towns from Parliament; the knights of the shire were in a better position, although less powerful than their noble and clerical counterparts in what was still a unicameral Parliament. The division of the Parliament of England into two houses occurred during the reign of Edward III: in 1341 the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first time, creating in effect an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the knights and burgesses sitting in the latter, they formed what became known as the House of Commons, while the clergy and nobility became the House of Lords. Although they remained subordinate to both the Crown and the Lords, the Commons did act with increasing boldness. During the Good Parliament of 1376, the Commons appointed Sir Peter de la Mare to convey to the Lords their complaints of heavy taxes, demands for an accounting of the royal expenditures, criticism of the King's management of the military.
The Commons proceeded to impeach some of the King's ministers. Although Mare was imprisoned for his actions, the benefits of having a single voice to represent the Commons were recognized, the office which became known as Speaker of the House of Commons was thus created. Mare was soon released after the death of King Edward III and in 1377 became the second Speaker of the Commons. During the reign of the next monarch, Richard II, the Commons once again began to impeach errant ministers of the Crown, they began to insist that they could control public expenditures. Despite such gains in authority, the Commons still remained much less powerful than the Lords and the Crown; the influence of the Crown was increased by the civil wars of the late fifteenth century, which destroyed the power of the great noblemen. Both houses of Parliament held little power during the ensuing years, the absolute supremacy of the Sovereign was restored; the domination of the monarch grew further under the House of Tudor in the sixteenth century.
This trend, was somewhat reversed when the House of Stuart came to the English throne in 1603. The first two Stuart monarchs, James I and Charles I, provoked conflicts with the Commons over issues such as taxation and royal powers; the differences between Charles I and Parliament were great, resulted in the English Civil War, in which the armed forces of Parliament were victorious. In December 1648 the House of Commons was purged by the New Model Army, supposed to be subservient to Parliament. Pride's Purge was the only military coup in English history. Subsequently, King Charles I was beheaded and the Upper House was abolished; the unicameral Parliament that remained was referred to by critics as the Rump Parliament, as it consisted only of a small selection of Members of Parliament approved by the army - some of whom were soldiers themselves. In 1653, when leading figures in this Parliament began to disagree with the army, it was dissolved by Oliver Cromwell. However, the monarchy and the House of Lords were both restored with the Commons in 1660.
The influence of the Crown had been decreased, was further diminished after James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Bill of Rights 1689 was enacted. Duration of English Parliaments before 1660 History of borough status in England and Wales Lex Parliamentaria List of Acts of the Parliament of England List of Parliaments of England List of Speakers of the House of Commons of England Modus Tenendi Parliamentum John Cannon, Parliamentary Reform 1640-1832 J. E. Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War; when Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.
The second house of Lancaster was descended from John of Gaunt, who married the heiress of the first house. Edward III married all his sons to wealthy English heiresses rather than following his predecessors' practice of finding continental political marriages for royal princes. Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, had no male heir so Edward married his son John to Henry's heiress daughter and John's third cousin Blanche of Lancaster; this gave John the vast wealth of the House of Lancaster. Their son Henry usurped the throne in 1399. There was an intermittent dynastic struggle between the descendants of Edward III. In these wars, the term Lancastrian became a reference to members of the family and their supporters; the family provided England with three kings: Henry IV, who ruled from 1399 to 1413, Henry V, Henry VI. The House became extinct in the male line upon the murder in the Tower of London of Henry VI, following the battlefield execution of his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, by supporters of the House of York in 1471.
Lancastrian cognatic descent—from John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster's daughter Phillipa—continued in the royal houses of Spain and Portugal while the Lancastrian political cause was maintained by Henry Tudor—a unknown scion of the Beauforts—eventually leading to the establishment of the House of Tudor. The Lancastrians left a legacy through the patronage of the arts—most notably in founding Eton College and King's College, Cambridge—but to historians' chagrin their propaganda, that of their Tudor successors, means that it is Shakespeare's fictionalized history plays rather than medievalist scholarly research that has the greater influence on modern perceptions of the dynasty. After the supporters of Henry III of England suppressed opposition from the English nobility in the Second Barons' War, Henry granted to his second son Edmund Crouchback the titles and possessions forfeited by attainder of the barons' leader, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, including the Earldom of Leicester, on 26 October 1265.
Grants included the first Earldom of Lancaster on 30 June 1267 and that of Earl Ferrers in 1301. Edmund was Count of Champagne and Brie from 1276 by right of his wife. Henry IV of England would use his descent from Edmund to legitimise his claim to the throne making the spurious claim that Edmund was the elder son of Henry but had been passed over as king because of his deformity. Edmund's second marriage to Blanche of Artois, the widow of the King of Navarre, placed him at the centre of the European aristocracy. Blanche's daughter Joan I of Navarre was queen regnant of Navarre and through her marriage to Philip IV of France was queen consort of France. Edmund's son Thomas became the most powerful nobleman in England, gaining the Earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury through marriage to the heiress of Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, his income was £11,000 per annum—double that of the next wealthiest earl. Thomas and his younger brother Henry served in the coronation of their cousin King Edward II of England on 25 February 1308.
After supporting Edward, Thomas became one of the Lords Ordainers, who demanded the banishment of Piers Gaveston and the governance of the realm by a baronial council. After Gaveston was captured, Thomas took the lead in his trial and execution at Warwick in 1312. Edward's authority was weakened by poor governance and defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn; this allowed Thomas to restrain Edward's power by republishing the Ordinances of 1311. Following this achievement Thomas took little part in the governance of the realm and instead retreated to Pontefract Castle; this allowed Edward to regroup and re-arm, leading to a fragile peace in August 1318 with the Treaty of Leake. In 1321 Edward's rule again collapsed into civil war. Thomas raised a northern army but was defeated and captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge in March 1322, he was sentenced to be hanged and quartered but because he was Edward's cousin he was given a quicker death by beheading. Henry joined the revolt of Edward's wife Isabella of France and Mortimer in 1326, pursuing and capturing Edward at Neath in South Wales.
Following Edward's deposition at the Parliament of Kenilworth in 1326 and reputed murder at Berkeley Castle, Thomas's conviction was posthumously reversed and Henry regained possession of the Earldoms of Lancaster, Derby and Lincoln, forfeit for Thomas's treason. His restored prestige led to him knighting the young King Edward III of England before his coronation. Mortimer lost support over the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton that form
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The wars eliminated the male lines of both families; the conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on. With the Duke of York's death in 1460, the claim transferred to Edward. After a series of Yorkist victories from January–February 1461, Edward claimed the throne on March 4, 1461, the last serious Lancastrian resistance ended at decisive Battle of Towton.
Edward was thus unopposed as the first Yorkist king of England, as Edward IV. Resistance smoldered in the North until 1464, but the early part of his reign remained peaceful. A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after The Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories throughout 1469–1470; when Edward fled to Flanders in 1470, Henry VI was re-installed as king on 3 October 1470, but his resumption of rule was short lived, he was deposed again following the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Tewkesbury, on 21 May 1471, Edward entered London unopposed, resumed the throne, had Henry killed that same day. With all significant Lancastrian leaders now banished or killed, Edward ruled unopposed until his sudden death in 1483, his son reigned for 78 days as Edward V, but was deposed by his uncle, who became Richard III. The ascension of Richard III occurred under a cloud of controversy, shortly after assuming the throne, the wars sparked anew with Buckingham's rebellion, as many die-hard Yorkists abandoned Richard to join Lancastrians.
While the rebellions lacked much central coordination, in the chaos the exiled Henry Tudor, son of Henry VI's half-brother Edmund Earl of Richmond, the leader of the Lancastrian cause, returned to the country from exile in Brittany at the head of an army of combined Breton and English forces. Richard avoided direct conflict with Henry until the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. After Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims; the House of Tudor ruled the Kingdom of England until 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Shortly after Henry took the throne, the Earl of Lincoln, a Yorkist sympathizer, put forward Lambert Simnel as an imposter Richard of York, younger brother of Edward V. Lincoln's forces were defeated, he was killed at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, bringing a close to the Wars of the Roses.
The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 1, set in the gardens of the Temple Church, where a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively, it is suggested by literary critics that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has strong allegorical references to the conflict with York represented by the White Queen and Lancaster represented by the Red Queen. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when it was combined with the Yorkist white rose to form the Tudor rose, which symbolised the union of the two houses.
Owing to nobles holding multiple titles, more than one badge was used: Edward IV, for example, used both his sun in splendour as Earl of March, but his father's falcon and fetterlock as Duke of York. Badges were not always distinct. Most, but not all, of the participants in the wars wore livery badges associated with their immediate lords or patrons under the prevailing system of bastard feudalism. Another example: Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal device of a white boar. Although the names of the rival houses derive from the cities of York and Lancaster, the corresponding duchy and dukedom had little to do with these cities; the lands and offices attached to the Duchy of Lancaster were in Gloucestershire, North Wales, in Yorkshire, while the estates and castles of the Duke of York were spread throughout England and Wales, many in the We
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
Humphrey of Lancaster, Duke of Gloucester was an English prince and literary patron. He was "son and uncle of kings", being the fourth and youngest son of Henry IV of England, the brother of Henry V, the uncle of Henry VI. Gloucester fought in the Hundred Years' War and acted as Lord Protector of England during the minority of his nephew. A controversial figure, he has been characterised as reckless and fractious, but is noted for his intellectual activity and for being the first significant English patron of humanism, in the context of the Renaissance. Unlike his brothers, Humphrey was given no major military command by his father, instead receiving an intellectual upbringing. Created Duke of Gloucester in 1414, he participated in Henry V's campaigns during the Hundred Years' War in France: he fought at Agincourt in 1415 and at the conquest of Normandy in 1417–9. Following the king's death in 1422, Gloucester became one of the leading figures in the regency government of the infant Henry VI.
He proved a rash, impulsive and troublesome figure: he quarreled with his brother, Duke of Bedford, uncle, Cardinal Henry Beaufort, went so far as to violently prosecute a dispute with the Duke of Burgundy, a key English ally in France, over conflicting claims to lands in the Low Countries. At home, Gloucester never achieved his desired dominance, while his attempts to gain a foreign principality for himself were fruitless. A stauch opponent of concessions in the French conflict, a proponent of offensive warfare, Gloucester lost favour among the political community, King Henry VI himself after the end of his minority, following a series of setbacks on the war in France; the trial in 1441 of Eleanor Cobham, his second wife, under charges of witchcraft, destroyed Gloucester's political influence. In 1447, he himself was accused falsely, of treason, died a few days while under arrest. Humphrey was the exemplar of the romantic chivalric persona. Mettled and courageous, he was a foil for the princess Jacqueline of his first wife.
His learned read, scholarly approach to the early renaissance cultural expansion demonstrated the quintessential well-rounded princely character. He was a paragon for Eton College, an exemplar for Oxford, diplomatic, with political cunning. Unlike his brothers, he was not brave, but opinionated and judgmental, he exaggerated his own achievements, but idolized his brother Henry V. Despite the errors in both his public and private life, the mischief he caused in politics, Gloucester is at times praised as a patron of learning and a benefactor to the University of Oxford, he was popular among the literary figures of his age for his scholarly activity, with the common people for his advocacy of a spirited foreign policy. For these causes he was known as the "good Duke Humphrey"; the place of his birth is unknown, but he was named after his maternal grandfather, Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford. He was the youngest in a powerful quadrumvirate of brothers, who were close companions. Thomas and Humphrey had all been knighted in 1399.
They joined the Order of the Garter together in 1400. During the reign of Henry IV, Humphrey received a scholar's education, while his elder brothers fought on the Welsh and Scottish borders. Following his father's death he was created Duke of Gloucester in 1414, Chamberlain of England, he took his seat in Parliament. In 1415 he became a member of the Privy Council. Before embarking for France, the army camped at Southampton, where the Earl of Cambridge failed in an assassination plot to kill the king. Humphrey and his brother, the Duke of Clarence, led an Inquiry of Lords to try Cambridge and Scrope for high treason on 5 August. During Henry V's campaigns in France, Humphrey gained a reputation as a successful commander, his knowledge of siege warfare, gained from his classical studies, contributed to the fall of Honfleur. During the Battle of Agincourt Humphrey was wounded. For his services, Humphrey was granted offices including Constable of Dover, Warden of the Cinque Ports on 27 November, King's Lieutenant.
His tenure in government was successful. This period commenced with Emperor Sigismund's peace mission. At Paris in March 1416, the Emperor was arrested on the beach by Duke Humphrey, who extracted a promise to keep fealty; the Treaty of "eternal friendship" signed at Canterbury on 15 August served only to anticipate renewed hostility from France. Upon the death of his brother in 1422, Humphrey became Lord Protector to his young nephew Henry VI, he claimed the right to the regency of England following the death of his elder brother, Duke of Bedford, in 1435. Humphrey's claims were contested by the lords of the king's council, in particular his half-uncle, Cardinal Henry Beaufort. Henry V's will, rediscovered at Eton College in 1978 supported Humphrey's claims. In 1436 Philip, Duke of Burgundy, attacked Calais. Duke Humphrey was appointed garrison commander; the Flemings assaulted from the landward but the English resistance was stubborn. Humphrey marched the army to Baillieul. Humphrey was popular with the citizens of London and the Commons.
He had a widespread reputation as a patron of learning and the arts. His popularity with the people and his ability to keep the peace earned him the appointment of Chief Justice of South Wales. However, his unpopular marriage
Catherine of Valois
Catherine of Valois was the queen consort of England from 1420 until 1422. A daughter of Charles VI of France, she married Henry V of England, gave birth to his heir Henry VI of England, her liaison with Owen Tudor proved the springboard of that family's fortunes leading to their grandson's elevation as Henry VII of England. Catherine's older sister Isabella was queen of England from 1396 until 1399, as the child bride of Richard II. Catherine of Valois was the youngest daughter of King Charles VI of France and his wife Isabeau of Bavaria, she was born at the Hôtel Saint-Pol on 27 October 1401. Early on, there had been a discussion of marrying her to the prince of Wales, son of Henry IV of England, but the king died before negotiations could begin. In 1414, the prince, now Henry V, re-opened discussion of the match, along with a large dowry and acknowledgement of his right to the throne of France. While some authors have maintained that Catherine was neglected as a child by her mother, a more modern examination of the evidence suggests otherwise.
According to the financial accounts of her mother, toys befitting a French princess were purchased, religious texts were provided, Catherine was sent to the convent in Poissy to receive a religious education. Henry V went to war with France, after the great English victory at Agincourt, plans for the marriage continued. Catherine was said to be attractive and when Henry met her at Meulan, he became enamoured. In May 1420, a peace agreement was made between England and France, the Treaty of Troyes, Charles acknowledged Henry of England as his heir. Catherine and Henry were married at the Parish Church of St John or at Troyes Cathedral on 2 June 1420. Catherine went to England with her new husband and was crowned queen in Westminster Abbey on 23 February 1421. In June 1421, Henry returned to France to continue his military campaigns. By this time, Catherine was several months pregnant and gave birth to a son named Henry on 6 December 1421 at Windsor, her husband never saw their child. During the siege of Meaux, he became sick with dysentery and died on 31 August 1422, just before his 36th birthday.
Catherine was left a queen dowager. Charles VI died a couple of months after Henry V, making the young Henry VI king of England and English-occupied northern France. Catherine doted on her son during his early childhood. Catherine was still young and marriageable, a source of concern to her brother-in-law Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the guardian of her son. Rumours abounded that Catherine planned to marry Edmund Beaufort, Count of Mortain, her late husband's cousin; the Duke of Gloucester was against the match and the Parliament of 1427–8 passed a bill which set forth the provision that if the queen dowager remarried without the king's consent, her husband would forfeit his lands and possessions, although any children of the marriage would not suffer punishment. The king's consent was contingent upon his having attained his majority. At that time, the king was only six years old. Catherine lived in the king's household so she could care for her young son, but the arrangement enabled the councillors to watch over the queen dowager herself.
Catherine entered into a sexual relationship with Welshman Owen ap Maredudd ap Tudor, who, in 1421, in France, had been in the service of Henry V's steward Sir Walter Hungerford. Tudor was appointed keeper of Catherine's household or wardrobe; the relationship began when Catherine lived at Windsor Castle, she became pregnant with their first child there. At some point, she stopped living in the King's household and in May 1432 Parliament granted Owen the rights of an Englishman; this was important because of Henry IV's laws limiting the rights of Welshmen. There is no clear evidence that Catherine of Valois and Owen Tudor were married. No documentation of such a marriage exists. Moreover if they had been married, the question arises whether the marriage would have been lawful, given the Act of 1428. At the same time, there is no contemporaneous evidence that the validity of the marriage and the legitimacy of her children were questioned in secular or canon law. From the relationship of Owen Tudor and Queen Catherine descended the Tudor dynasty of England, starting with King Henry VII.
Tudor historians asserted that Owen and Catherine had been married, for their lawful marriage would add respectability and stronger royal ties to the claims of the Tudor dynasty. Owen and Catherine had at least six children. Edmund and Owen were all born away from court, they had one daughter, who became a nun and died young. Catherine died on 3 January 1437, shortly after childbirth, in London, was buried in Westminster Abbey. While the death date is not in question the cause is, with an equal number of records stating that she did not die a result of childbirth, but entered Bermondsey Abbey seeking a cure for an illness that had troubled her for some time, she made her will just three days before her death. She now rests at Westminster Abbey in Henry V's Chantry Chapel. After her death, Catherine's enemies decided to proceed against Owen for violating the law of the remarriage of the queen dowager. Owen appeared before the Council, was subsequently arrested, taken to Newgate Prison, he tried to escape from Newgate Prison in early 1438 and ended up at Windsor Castle in July of that year.
Meanwhile and Catherine's two older sons and Jasper, went to live with Katherine de la Pole, Abbess of Barking and sister of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Sometime after 1442, the king took a role