chapter  9
Civil war and the end of the House of Lancaster, 1455–61
Pages 26

This chapter indicates that it took a period of eighteen months of civil war, seven pitched battles, and death of more than a quarter of the parliamentary peerage, not to mention hundreds if not thousands of ordinary Englishmen and women, to finally end the reign of Henry VI. The duke of York's claim to the throne did not make any explicit comment on Henry's kingship, merely stating that own line, descended from third son of Edward III, Lionel of Clarence, was superior to that of Henry's, descended from John of Gaunt, Edward's fourth son. The Yorkist charges against Henry VI identified as the principal agent of events in 1459 - 61 out of necessity. Until the Lancastrian lords, rallying around figureheads of Prince Edward and Queen Margaret, forced their Yorkist opponent's hands in the autumn of 1459 that open conflict was renewed. The king and his supporters made a decision that would have far-reaching consequences for the House of Lancaster.