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Margaret of Anjou (Lorraine, March 23, 1430 - Saumur, August 25, 1482), was a French noblewoman who, as the wife of Henry VI, it was Queen of England. At the same time, it went down in history as one of the leaders of the Lancaster side in the War of the Two Roses.
He was, in turn, a direct descendant of the king Philip VI of Valois.
He grew up under the influence of his mother, Isabela de Lorena, and his grandmother, Yolanda from Aragon, and with them, learned that a woman was capable of ruling in the absence of a man and not underestimating wealth or power.
The marriage between Margaret and Henry VI
Behind the Hundred Years War and to ensure peace between the crown of France and that of England, Margaret was chosen to marry King Henry VI in 1445.
But nevertheless, Enrique still had a certain innocent air and he had no interest in crossing the Channel to lead his army. To this it was necessary to add that Enrique acceded of indiscriminate form to the requests of his nobles, which caused private guerrillas between them.
It was not long before the nobles closest to the royal family discovered that the king was too young to rule without anyone to advise him properly, a task that fell to the Earl of Suffolk.
In 1448, the troops of Carlos VII took up arms to regain the territories that the English had promised them.
The burden of all the blame fell on the Earl of Suffolk and, with this, the population began to take justice into their own hands at the inactivity of the king to punish traitors.
Another war for the possession of French lands had started and, after losing control of Gascony, King Henry fell into a catatonic state, causing political chaos.
It was then that Margaret, after giving birth to her son Edward, took her place as Queen of England..
Margaret of Anjou: Queen of England
He positioned himself in politics to act in his own right and under his own opinions, which caused some agitation in the absence of any immediate precedent in England to support his claim to power and led to the uncertainty of who would reign on behalf of the sick king.
The Duke of York volunteered to carry out this task, but was opposed by the queen. England was torn between accepting the sovereignty of a duke or a queen of French lineage.
Eventually Margarita's offer was declined, and York soon seized power.
Margaret of Anjou and The War of the Two Roses
The king did not regain health until 1454, leaving power beyond York's grasp. The following year, this event led to the St. Albans massacre among the noble supporters of Lancaster and those of York who wanted to strengthen their influence at court: the War of the Two Roses had begun.
So Margaret decided to use the power she had as the wife and mother of the future King of England to stop the threat from her enemies.
From this moment, a series of military campaigns between the kings and the duke followed.
Margarita de Anjou began to weave a political network to extend her territorial power for her lands and those of her son to rule in a trinity made up of king, prince and queen, but her attempts to establish peace in the kingdom did not bear fruit, so Margaret gathered an army with which to defend the crown of her husband and son's inheritance.
The Duke of York
For the Duke of York, the only chance of coming to power was to eliminate the king, whom they retained to coerce the parliament and force it to pass the crown to the duke and not the prince after Henry's death.
The king was but a pawn in this game and Margarita understood that the only way out was to completely destroy her enemies.
TO late 1461, the Duke of York fell in battle and the queen regained her husband. However, the son of the former duke gathered support to confront the power of the queen.
In the absence of supplies for feed Margarita's army, this looted and destroyed the towns through which it happened, reason why many of its subjects began to sympathize with the army of York.
And not only that, but he also had to face the threat of a French invasion. In this same year, Eduardo IV was crowned king of England.
The Earl of Warwick's Plan
In this context, the Earl of Warwick drew up his own plan to take over the government. The only thing that was clear to him was that he needed the king to rule, so his main objective was fulfilled after capture Eduardo and return the throne to Enrique.
However, faced with the threat of a new battle, he was forced to release Eduardo so that he could rally his troops.
During these years of wars and fruitless treaties, Margarita never gave up. She sought out supporters to support the reign of her husband and son until, in 1470, they resolved that Eduardo was to marry Anne Warwick and that only he could rule as regent in his father's name.
But nevertheless, the fighting would continue for more than a decade and not even after the death of Warwick and King Edward did they obtain peace.
Henry VI also found eternal rest, after what Margaret decided to retire to the castle of Dampierre, where he died in 1482.
You can learn more about this warrior woman in the book "Wolves", by Helen Castor.