Henry VI of England

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards. Henry inherited the long-running Hundred Years' War, in which his uncle Charles VII contested his claim to the French throne, he is the only English monarch to have been crowned King of France. His early reign, when several people were ruling for him, saw the pinnacle of English power in France, but subsequent military and economic problems had endangered the English cause by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437, he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Unlike his father, Henry is described as timid, passive, well-intentioned, averse to warfare and violence, his ineffective reign saw the gradual loss of the English lands in France.

In the hope of achieving peace, in 1445 Henry married Charles VII's niece, the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou. The peace policy failed, leading to the murder of one of Henry's key advisers, William de la Pole, the war recommenced, with France taking the upper hand; as the situation in France worsened, there was a related increase in political instability in England. With Henry unfit to rule, power was exercised by quarrelsome nobles, while factions and favourites encouraged the rise of disorder in the country. Regional magnates and soldiers returning from France formed and maintained increasing numbers of private armed retainers, with whom they fought one another, terrorised their neighbours, paralysed the courts, dominated the government. Queen Margaret did not remain unpartisan, took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Amidst military disasters in France and a collapse of law and order in England, the queen and her clique came under accusations from Henry VI's popular cousin Richard of the House of York, of misconduct of the war in France and misrule of the country.

Starting in 1453, Henry had a series of mental breakdowns, tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York over control of the incapacitated king's government, over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1455, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29 March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Despite Margaret continuing to lead a resistance to Edward, Henry was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Henry was restored to the throne in 1470, but Edward retook power in 1471, killing Henry's only son and heir in battle and imprisoning Henry once again. Having "lost his wits, his two kingdoms, his only son", Henry died in the Tower during the night of 21 May killed on the orders of Edward. Miracles were attributed to Henry after his death, he was informally regarded as a saint and martyr until the 16th century.

He left a legacy of educational institutions, having founded Eton College, King's College and All Souls College, Oxford. Shakespeare wrote a trilogy of plays about his life, depicting him as weak-willed and influenced by his wife, Margaret. Henry was the only child and heir of King Henry V, he was born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor Castle. He succeeded to the throne as King of England at the age of nine months on 1 September 1422, the day after his father's death. A few weeks on 21 October 1422, in accordance with the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, he became titular King of France upon his grandfather Charles VI's death, his mother, Catherine of Valois, was 20 years old. As Charles VI's daughter, she was viewed with considerable suspicion by English nobles and was prevented from playing a full role in her son's upbringing. On 28 September 1423, the nobles swore loyalty to Henry VI, not yet two years old, they summoned Parliament in the King's name and established a regency council to govern until the King should come of age.

One of Henry V's surviving brothers, Duke of Bedford, was appointed senior regent of the realm and was in charge of the ongoing war in France. During Bedford's absence, the government of England was headed by Henry V's other surviving brother, Duke of Gloucester, appointed Lord Protector and Defender of the Realm, his duties were limited to summoning Parliament. Henry V's half-uncle Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, had an important place on the Council. After the Duke of Bedford died in 1435, the Duke of Gloucester claimed the Regency himself, but was contested in this by the other members of the Council. From 1428, Henry's tutor was Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, whose father had been instrumental in the opposition to Richard II's reign. For the period 1430-1432, Henry was tutored by the physician John Somerset. Somerset's duties were to'tutor the young king as well as preserving his health'. Somerset remained within the royal household until early 1451 after the commons petitioned for his removal because of his'dangerous and subversive influence over Henry VI'.

Henry's half-brothers Edmund and Jasper, the sons of his widowed mother and Owen Tudor, were given earldoms. Edmund Tudo

Solar eclipse of December 22, 1889

A total solar eclipse occurred on December 22, 1889. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby or obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide, it was visible from Cuba, to the coast of Brazil, across southern Africa. This eclipse is a part of Saros cycle 130, repeating 11 days, containing 73 events; the series started with partial solar eclipse on August 20, 1096. It contains total eclipses from April 5, 1475 through July 18, 2232. There are no annular eclipses in the series; the series ends at member 73 as a partial eclipse on October 25, 2394. The longest duration of totality was 6 minutes, 41 seconds on July 11, 1619. All eclipses in this series occurs at the Moon’s descending node.

NASA graphic Googlemap NASA Besselian elements Sketchs of Solar Corona December 22, 1889 Eclipse of December 21, 1889. Contact print from the original glass negative. Lick Observatory Plate Archive, Mt. Hamilton. On Board the Pensacola--The Eclipse Expedition to the West Coast of Africa by Albert Bergman, New York, 1890 Mabel Loomis Todd. Total Eclipses of the Sun. Little, Brown. Turner, H. H.. "Report of the Eclipse Committee". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Royal Astronomical Society. 50: 265 et seq. Bibcode:1890MNRAS..50..265T. Doi:10.1093/mnras/50.5.265

David Parsons (racing driver)

David John "Skippy" Parsons, is a retired Australian racing driver, who while never a full-time racing driver, drove for the biggest racing teams in Australia including the Holden Dealer Team, Perkins Engineering, Glenn Seton Racing and Gibson Motorsport. The son of Tasmanian touring car racer Graham Parsons, David Parsons, a dairy farmer, began emerging onto the national scene racing a Holden VC Commodore in the 1982 Australian Touring Car Championship, making his debut at his home track, Symmons Plains in Tasmania. Embraced as an endurance co-driver by gentleman privateer racer Peter Janson, he showed pace on his way to fourth outright at the 1982 James Hardie 1000, as well as qualifying Janson's Commodore 3rd for the 1983 race. This, his performances in his self-funded Commodore in the 1983 ATCC, brought him to the attention of Peter Brock and the Holden Dealer Team, with the help of Janson he was drafted into the HDT for the 1984 Australian Endurance Championship. Parsons co-drove with John Harvey to a DNF in the Oran Park 250 in Brock's ATCC car, before the pair went on to finish 3rd in the 1984 Castrol 500 at Sandown in the second of the team's new VK Commodore's.

From there Harvey/Parsons finished 2nd in the 1984 James Hardie 1000 behind teammates Brock and Larry Perkins, with Parsons following Brock across the finish line in a 1-2 form finish. Late in the James Hardie 1000, Parsons was "let off the leash" by team owner Brock who told him to go for second place, held at the time by 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones, driving Warren Cullen's similar VK Commodore. Parsons responded to the challenge and reduced the gap to the former World Champion from over a minute to under two seconds before Jones was forced to pit with 4 laps remaining for fuel and attention to the cars non-existent rear brakes. After finishing 7th in the 1983 ATCC in his own entered Holden VH Commodore SS, Parsons drove his 1983 Bathurst Commodore for Peter Janson in the opening two rounds of the 1984 championship at Sandown and Symmons Plains, but Janson did not have the funds to run the full series and these were Parson's only drives in the championship which saw him fall to 17th in the standings.

Parsons was retained as a driver for the HDT into 1985, although results were harder to come by as the Commodore struggled with engine unreliability in Australia's move to the FIA's Group A rules. The highlight of the year for the Tasmanian dairy farmer was out qualifying team leader Brock at the 1985 James Hardie 1000. Parsons left HDT in 1986 to join Perkins in his new team Perkins Engineering, but was let go in early 1987 with Perkins opting for someone with "more experience" after Parsons had crashed the Commodore in the Wellington 500. Parsons rejoined the HDT, now without any official support from Holden following the company's split with Brock in February 1987, joined Brock and Neville Crichton at the Spa 24 Hours round of the inaugural World Touring Car Championship; the trio failed to finish the race. Heading into the 1987 James Hardie 1000 the Holden Dealer Team was expected to do little more the make up the numbers against the strength of the factory supported European Ford and BMW teams.

When the #05 car Parsons shared with Brock experienced a major engine failure in the early running, their effort looked set to be little more than a footnote. First Brock Parsons stepped aboard the team's second car, #10, driven to that point of the race by the 1983 Australian Endurance Champion Peter McLeod. Inspired driving on variable surface as rain plagued the second half of the race, good strategy and a lucky break with safety car procedure saw the team claw their way past the BMW M3s as they failed, the Nissan Skyline turbos and into third position behind the flawless 1-2 finish of the Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500s. During his stint at the wheel, Parsons recorded a time of 2:25.37 on lap 129, credited as #10's fastest race lap in the 1987 1000. After scrutineering at Bathurst in 1987, there had been rumours about the legality of the Eggenberger built Sierra's to do with oversized wheel arches. On the Thursday before qualifying an official protest was lodged against the Sierra's, held over due to the lack of a road going RS500 in Australia to compare them with.

After nearly four months and an eventual disqualification and appeal by Eggenberger, the two Sierras were disqualified for having oversize wheel arches allowing them to fit larger wheels, giving McLeod and Parsons the race win. Parsons stayed with the team into 1988 as they transitioned from V8 Holden Commodore's to 4 cyl BMW M3s, although by now in Australia the giant killers of 1987 had become little more than class runners in the face of the all-powerful Sierras. After sitting out 1989 during which time the Brock team switched to running the RS500 Sierra's, Parsons returned to Brock's team in 1990, teaming with Andrew Miedecke and Charlie O'Brien to finish 11t