Henry the Sixth, part 1 (a History)
- Chronologically, Henry V dies 7 years after Agincourt
At Henry V's Funeral, Gloucester accuses the church of trying to control young Henry VI, though Winchester of the church denies it. A messenger brings news that the French are revolting, Dolphin (Dauphin) Charles is king, the English Lord Talbot is taken prisoner, and the English army under the Earl of Salisbury is weak and close to mutiny. Bedford vows to go to France to fight. At Orleans, the Dolphin, losing to Salisbury, meets a virgin/prophetess named Pucelle who seems to have God's protection. The Dauphin allows her to help them fight; he also wants to marry her. At the Tower of London, Winchester will not let Gloucester see Henry VI. They fight, but the mayor breaks them up. At Orleans, Talbot, freed from the French, greets Salisbury. While spying on the enemy in a tower they are hit by a cannonball and Salisbury is gravely hurt and dies, while Gargrave is hurt. Talbot swears revenge.
Talbot fights Pucelle and loses, though he doesn't die. The French capture the city and the Dolphin marries Joan la Pucelle (Joan of Arc), naming her a saint. They celebrate, but the English attack at night by surprise. The Dolphin and Joan of Arc flee and the English recapture the city. Talbot (named "great warrior") visits by invitation the Countess of Auvergne. There she tries to imprison him (she finds him a "silly dwarf" rather than a warrior), but his soldiers rescue him (foreseen by Talbot). The countess, impressed, feeds them all. At a garden, Richard Plantagenet argues with Somerset about whether he (Plantagenet) is base and scum because his father, Richard, Earl of Cambridge, was executed for treason by Henry V -- thus starts the War of the Roses.
At the Tower of London, Edmund Mortimer, the 5th Earl of March (who's in jail), meets his nephew, Richard Plantagenet. Mortimer explains that Henry IV imprisoned him because the Percies wanted him to be king after Henry IV deposed Richard II. Then, during Henry V's reign, Richard Earl of Cambridge (married to Mortimer's sister, Richard's mom) rose against Henry V, failed, and was beheaded. Mortimer declares Richard his hear, then dies. At parliament, Winchester and Gloucester regrettably make peace and Richard Plantagenet is declared the Third Duke of York by young King Henry VI (though Somerset disagrees). Henry VI goes to France to be crowned King while Exeter (Henry VI's great uncle) repeats the prophesy that Henry V will win all and Henry VI will lose all. In France, at Rowen (pronounced ruin), Joan of Arc (Pucelle) and the Dauphin fight the English. The Duke of Bedford (Henry V's brother) sits, dying, and observes. The French retreat and Bedford, observing, dies happy, afterwhich Talbot and Burgundy find him. Talbot marches to Paris but Pucelle convinces Burgundy to fight for France.
In Paris, King Henry VI declares Talbot the Earl of Shrewsbury. Next, Falstaff returns with a letter from Burgundy stating his intentions. Falstaff himself is banished for cowardly behavior in battle. Finally, Henry VI tries with little success to calm the furor between Somerset and the Duke of York. Talbot arrives at Bordeaux to fight, only to find that he is surround by French: the Bastard of Orleans, Charles, Burgundy, Alen‡on, and Reignier. York cannot send men without Somerset's horses, and Somerset refuses to help York, so Talbot is greatly outnumbered. Talbot's son John meets his dad at Bordeaux to help fight. They both die in battle.
At London, Henry VI agrees to a peace settlement, including marriage to Margaret, the daughter of a Frenchman, the Earl of Armagnac. Reignier Winchester is now Cardinal and plans even more to suppress Gloucester (Lord Protector of Henry VI) and control Henry VI himself. At Angiers, York defeats the French and captures Pucelle. The Earl of Suffolk catches Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Reignier and gets the idea that she should marry Henry VI, to which her father agrees. York sentences Pucelle to death by burning at the stack. She denies her own father, then claims she is pregnant yet still a virgin, but York is not swayed. She curses England to despair. York is informed of the peace settlement and regrettably makes peace with Charles the Dauphin. In London, Henry VI decides to marry Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Reignier, and not Armagnac's daughter Margaret. Gloucester is very disappointed and fears trouble, as is confirmed by Suffolk's statement of intent to control Margaret (via an affair with her), Henry VI (through Margaret), and the Realm.
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Last Modified April 17, 2002