26th June: Despite repeated royal offers of clemency, Warwick, Salsbury and York's son, Edward Earl of March, landed from Calais at Sandwich. They had decided once again to put their demands through by force of arms. York himself hung back in Ireland.
10th July: The battle of Northampton: King Henry in the Midlands summoned his supporters to join him at Northampton. While Salisbury besieged the Tower in London, Warwick and March headed north to confront the royal army.They again committed high treason in levying war upon the sovereign within his own realm. The desertion of Lord Grey of Ruthin with the King's vanguard exposed the royal right wing and allowed the Yorkists to breakthrough and roll up the Lancastrian lines. The Duke of Buckingham, Earl of Shrewsbury, Lords Egremont and Beaumont were all slaughtered as they tried to protect the King, who was then taken prisoner in his tent.
10th October: The Duke of York entered London with his sword borne royally before him. Parliament had opened in Westminster three days earlier with the purpose of legitimizing the Yorkist coup and reversing the attainders passed by the Coventry “Parliament of Devils”. York marched into the hall, approached the throne and laid his hand upon it. The gesture was clear. He was claiming the Crown. Instead of the applause he expected, he was greeted with stony disapproval. In high dudgeon York stormed out and broke open the King's apartments, in which he then ensconced himself. Henry had wisely withdrawn to the Queen's lodgings in order to avoid confrontation.
25th October: Under pressure from York to respond to his memorial 'justifying' his claim to the Crown, the lords in parliament hammered out a so-called Accord, under which York was declared the rightful heir to the throne, but only upon the death of King Henry. The Accord disinherited Prince Edward and therefore the House of Lancaster. King Henry had little choice but to submit to this Accord. He was alone, a prisoner of the Yorkists. His loyal nobles had been either slaughtered or were dispersed in the West or the North. Somerset was still in France. His officers had been dismissed and replaced by Warwick's men. Now the lords who were present in parliament had deserted him and bowed to the power of the victorious Duke of York.
30th December: The battle of Wakefield: Queen Margaret based at the city of York refused to accept the Accord. The Duke of York and Earl of Salisbury marched north to deal with the Lancastrian troops, but were defeated by the newly returned Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Devon in the battle of Wakefield. York himself was cut down in the battle and killed. Salisbury was captured afterwards and beheaded the next day at Pontefract Castle.
2-3rd February: March (now Duke of York) intercepted and defeated Pembroke and Wiltshire in the battle of Mortimer's Cross in the West.
17th February: The second battle of St. Albans: Queen Margaret and the victorious Lancastrians marched southwards towards London. Warwick took up position at St.Albans to block their way, but was defeated and forced to flee westwards to join Edward of York. The person of King Henry was re-captured by the Lancastrian forces at St. Albans, but the Queen held back from forcing an entry to London. Unable to negotiate a peaceful entry, the Lancastrian army retired north again.
27th February: Warwick and Edward of York entered London.
4th March: No longer in possession of the King and therefore the royal authority, Edward, Duke of York, claimed the Crown as Edward IV to legitimise their position.
13th March: Edward IV, have already dispatched his vanguard of Welsh forces north, left London with the main army, containing also mercenaries supplied by the Duke of Burgundy.
29th March: The battle of Towton: England's bloodiest battle, fought on Palm Sunday in a blinding snow storm. Weight of numbers almost carried the day for Somerset and the Lancastrians, but the reinforcement of Edward with fresh troops under the Duke of Norfolk turned the battle into a bloody rout. King Henry, the Queen and the lords who escaped, fled north to find refuge in Scotland.
25th April: Henry and Margaret surrendered Berwick Castle to the Scots, promising to surrender Carlisle as well. They then crossed over to accept refuge in Scotland; Henry remaining near the English border while Margaret and Prince Edward seem to have gone on to Edinburgh.
28th June: Edward of York crowned King Edward IV in Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Thomas Bourchier of Canterbury and Archbishop William Booth of York (both partisans of the Yorkists).
4th November: Parliament convened at Westminster and dutifully confirmed Edward's title to the throne. The lords assembled passed an act of attainder against 113 persons, living and dead, headed by King Henry himself, and condemning them for “treason” against Edward IV.
25th October: Margaret and de Brézé landed at Bamburgh with a combined Scottish-French force. They succeeded in taking Alnwick Castle. Somerset now commanded Bamburgh while Dunstanburgh was being held for King Henry by Sir Ralph Percy. Both Warwick and Edward hurried north with an army of overwhelming numbers, causing Margaret to retreat to Scotland, but promising to return with larger forces.
13th November: A violent storm almost wrecked their fleet of four ships. Queen Margaret was saved by a fisherman, who brought her safely to Scottish-held Berwick. The Earl of Warwick now busied himself with besieging the Lancastrian strongholds.
26th December: Somerset surrendered Bamburgh Castle and evacuated his garrison. Two days later Percy surrendered Dunstanburgh. Alnwick held out till 5th January, when the garrison abandoned it and retreated to Scotland. Both Somerset and Percy appeared to submit and be reconciled to the Yorkist king. Percy indeed was entrusted again with Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh.
March: Queen Margaret crossed back into England with a combined Lancastrian and Scottish force. Percy returned to his first loyalty, surrendering Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh again into her hands. Sir Ralph Grey (till then a Yorkist supporter) surrendered Alnwick in May.
July/August: Queen Margaret left King Henry in the safety of Bamburgh and sailed with Prince Edward and de Brézé for Sluys in France. She hoped to move King Louis XI to committed support for a Lancastrian restoration. Unsuccessful, she set up an impoverished court-in-exile at Koeur in her father's domains.
December: Somerset had deserted his new Yorkist allegiance and after a dangerous flight north, had reached through to Bamburgh. By Christmas Henry had returned to Edinburgh, but in the New Year he was removed to St. Andrews while the Scots negotiated with Edward IV.
March: Fearing that the King might be betrayed by the Scots into Edward's hands, he was fetched by his lords at the end of March from St. Andrews back to the safety of Bamburgh.
25th April: The battle of Hedgeley Moor: Lord Montagu on his way to escort the Scottish negotiators safely down to the city of York was confronted by a Lancastrian force under Somerset, Percy and others at Hedgeley Moor. The vigorous attack by Montagu's troops broke the Lancastrian lines causing panic and collapse. Sir Ralph Percy was cut down; a serious loss. The other leaders managed to escape.
15th May: The battle of Hexham: Somerset regrouped at Bamburgh and then set off south after Montagu. King Henry accompanied the army, but was placed in the security of the castle of Bywell on the river Tyne. Montagu hastened with his victorious army out of Newcastle and surprised Somerset by attacking his encampment south of Hexham. With their backs to the river, the Lancastrian troops, demoralised and unpaid, soon collapsed. This time the leaders did not succeed in escaping. Soldiers were dispatched to take the King at Bywell, but Henry and his few attendants managed to flee just before the Yorkist arrived. They had to abandon most of their personal baggage, including the King's crowned helmet and cap of estate.
16th May: Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset was beheaded in the presence of Lord Montagu in Hexham. Two days later Hungerford, Roos and others were similarly executed in Newcastle.
23rd June: Alnwick surrendered. Dunstanburgh surrendered the following day. Warwick bombaded Bamburgh with siege guns, injuring Sir Ralph Grey. His second in command surrendered the castle. Grey was beheaded in Doncaster on 10th July. Edward had his head spiked on London Bridge. Only the castle of Harlech still held out for King Henry, and would continue to do so until 1468.
29th June: On or about this date King Henry was captured near Clitheroe in Lancashire, apparently betrayed by a black monk from Abingdon. He had been a fugitive in his own realm for just over a year – a testimony to his physical and mental stamina.
24th July: Warwick took Henry into his custody at Islington. He degraded him from knighthood by striking the spurs from his feet, proclaiming him to be Edward's “great rebel”. Henry's feet were tied to the stirrups and a straw hat labelled “Rebel” was placed on his head. Henry would not enter London as a king, but as a defeated figure of ridicule. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London, probably in the Wakefield Tower from the start.
1465-1470: King Henry was incarcerated in the Tower for five years. Edward provided him with a chaplain to say Mass, with food and clothing, but with the passing years he seems to have been ever more neglected. Visitors were admitted – some to gawk, some to rebuke.
11th July: Edward's brother George, Duke of Clarence, married Warwick's daughter Isabel in Calais in defiance of Edward's prohibition. Relations between the Kingmaker and Edward had been strained by the latter's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville and her rapacious family.
22nd June: After rebelling against Edward IV, Warwick had to flee the kingdom. King Louis arranged for him to meet a reluctant Queen Margaret at Angers. Kneeling before her, Warwick besought pardon for the wrongs he had done her and King Henry. It was agreed that he would restore King Henry to his throne and rule as his regent, at least until Margaret and her son returned. Warwick's second daughter, Anne Neville, was to marry Margaret's son, Prince Edward.
13th September: Warwick landed back in England with Jasper Tudor and others to raise rebellion against Edward IV. The Neville faction and all discontented lords declared for King Henry.
3rd October: Edward had fled the realm in panic, landing on the coast of Holland in search of refuge with the Duke of Burgundy (now his brother-in-law). That same day King Henry was taken from his prison in the Wakefield Tower “not worshipfully arrayed as a prince, and not so cleanly kept as should seem such a prince”. He was lodged in the palace of the bishop of London next to St. Paul's cathedral.
13th October: Henry appeared in public at a solemn crown-wearing ceremony in St. Paul's.
26th November: Parliament assembled at Westminster in the King's presence. The attainders against the Lancastrian lords were reversed. The attainder of Henry himself was held to be null and void, since a king could not commit treason against himself. Of the Yorkists only Edward of March (Edward IV) and his brother Richard of Gloucester (future Richard III) appear to have been attainted. The records of this parliament have disappeared; either not entered in time, or perhaps destroyed upon the Yorkist restoration.
19th December: Ambassadors from France were received by King Henry in audience at Westminster. King Louis was demanding an alliance pledged to make war on Burgundy. Duke Charles the Bold had originally favoured Henry's restoration, but Warwick's alliance now with Louis XI drove him to receive his fugitive brother-in-law of York and promise him support.
11th March: Edward set sail from Flushing with a small force. Attempting to land at Cromer in Norfolk, they found the population up in arms against them. They managed to land at Ravenspur on 14th March, but their reception was far from friendly. Hull closed its gates against them. Edward proceeded to the city of York loudly proclaiming his loyalty to King Henry and protesting that he sought only to recover his dukedom of York. (Was he consciously imitating Henry's own grandfather's actions of 1399?) Meeting with no determined opposition, Edward headed toward Leicester, gathering more forces as he passed. Warwick remained behind the walls of Coventry, rather than risking an armed confrontation. Edward now marched on London.
10th April: King Henry was led by Archbishop Neville in a pathetic procession through the streets in the hope of rallying enthusiam, without success. Despairing now of the Lancastrian cause, Neville desert his brother, the Kingmaker, and sought pardon and reconciliation with Edward of York.
11th April: Edward was admitted to the city while Henry's defendors had been sent home for their midday meals. Neville surrendered the King at the bishop's palace next to St. Paul's and Edward had him immediately committed again to his former prison in the Wakefield Tower.
13th April: Queen Margaret left Honfleur for England. She had long hesitated from mistrust of Warwick and his success. Then she had been further held back by adverse weather. Her ships now made for the West, for Weymouth.
14th April: The battle of Barnet: reinforced by the duke of Exeter, the earl of Oxford and his own brother Lord Montagu, Warwick had pursued Edward towards London, two days behind him. Edward now led an army out to confront him at Barnet just south of St. Albans. He took King Henry with him under close guard. He was not going to risk losing custody of the Lancastrian King again. The battle was obscured by fog, but at first the Lancastrians seemed to gain the upper hand. Then soldiers returning from a pursuit were fired on and cries of “treason” spread panic, causing the Lancastrian lines to falter and break. Both the Earl of Warwick and Lord Montagu were cut down and killed on the field. Exeter was badly wounded and ended imprisoned in the Tower. Oxford and others made it to safety in Scotland. Henry was returned to the Tower. That same day Queen Margaret landed at Weymouth in Dorset.
4th May: The battle of Tewkesbury: Margaret was attempting to raise troops along with Somerset and Devon in the south-West and to form a juncture with Jasper Tudor's army in Wales. Edward was determined to bring her to a decisive battle. His army caught up the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury where they were hoping to cross the river Severn. The duke of Somerset commanded the Queen's forces, but the Yorkists were superior in numbers, artillery and archers. Somerset was defeated. Devon was killed in the battle. Young Prince Edward was overtaken and cut down as well. Somerset and others sought refuge in the church of the Cistercian abbey. Yorkist soldiers broke in there and other churches, slaughtering the defeated soldiers. Edward promised to respect the sanctuary of the abbey, but then decided against it. Those taking refuge there were forcably removed. Somerset and other Lancastrian lords were beheaded two days later in Tewkesbury market place. Queen Margaret, devastated by her son's death, attempted to flee to Wales. She was found and taken back as a prisoner and a trophy in Edward's victorious train to London.
21st May: Edward returned in triumph to London. Later that very night King Henry VI was murdered while at prayer in the Wakefield Tower. There is no doubt that the deed was executed on the orders of Edward IV, who had no further reason to keep his promise of protecting the King's life. As the Lord High Constable, Richard Duke of Gloucester, must have borne the death sentence to the Tower himself (the Warkworth chronicler records his presence there) and as Edward's most trusted brother probably stayed to see it carried out, although there is no evidence that he struck the murderous blow himself.
23rd May: King Henry's body was laid out in St. Paul's with his face exposed, so that all might see he had truly died. His body was taken to Blackfriars and then by barge up river to Chertsey Abbey where he was buried the next day.
12th August: Richard III had the remains of King Henry exhumed from Chertsey Abbey and reinterred in St. George's Chapel at Windsor castle, where access could be controlled and pilgrims kept under observation, and perhaps in a bid to attract Lancastrian support. Certainly the revenues from pilgrims were not unwelcome to the canons of St. George's.
1490: Henry VII petitioned Rome for the canionization of King Henry the Sixth.
October: Pope Alexander VI issued a commission to Archbishop John Morton and Bishop Richard Foxe to investigate the sanctity and reputed miracles of the King, and to report their findings to Rome.
5th March: The privy council determines in favour of Westminster Abbey against both Chertsey and Windsor as the final resting place for the saintly King.
24th January: Foundation stone laid for the new Lady Chapel at Westminster. King Henry's body was never transferred, however, and the tomb there became that of the Tudor king and his queen. Today the chapel is known as the Henry VII Chapel.
1959: Founding of the Henry VI Society under the honorary secretary, the late Mrs. Dorothy Banks Warner, to further the King's cause for canonization and to contribute to the rehabilitation of his character as widely depicted in history.