chapter  6
Majority rule (I)
Patronage and piety, 1437–50
Pages 27

The peculiarly Lancastrian relationship between spirituality and kingship, encouraged kingly behaviour that was neither conventional nor easily compatible with the longer-term structures of English government. Henry's adult rule was also mediated through and conditioned by his household, a body of men whose loyalty was at once to him as an individual, as duke of Lancaster, and as ruler of the Dual Monarchy, as well as, in an impersonal sense, to the crown of England. Historians of Henry's reign have generally followed the criticisms made by some contemporaries and dismissed the royal household as corrupt, faction ridden, and responsible in no small part for the eventual demise of Lancastrian kingship. The later Middle Ages have been dubbed the 'age of the household'. In many ways the Lancastrian household of the 1440s remained recognisably that which had attended upon the king during minority. Henry's kingship was not solely a product of his own will and ambitions.