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When Margaret of Anjou is brought to England to marry Henry VI, the Duke of Gloucester, lord-protector of England, is dismayed to learn that she has brought no dowry. He expresses his disappointment to the other nobles, who, instead of supporting him, plot to use his dissatisfaction in turning the king against him. His wife, Eleanor, is ambitious of being England's queen and hints to Gloucester that if he only would he could seize the crown for himself. The Duke of Suffolk knows of this desire of the Duchess and makes his first attack on Gloucester through his wife. Queen Margaret, anxious to be queen in reality as well as in name, allies herself with Suffolk against Gloucester. The Duchess of Gloucester is persuaded to consult sorcerers regarding the future, and then she and the conjurers are arrested.


The Duke of York convinces the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury that he is the rightful heir to the crown. The Duchess of Gloucester is sentenced to banishment, Gloucester is deposed from his office of protector, and summoned to appear before the Parliament.


Gloucester goes to the Parliament, and, in spite of lack of evidence, is arrested and imprisoned for high treason. While the nobles are planning Gloucester's death, a messenger brings news of an uprising in Ireland. The Duke

of York is sent there to restore order and he rejoices at the opportunity thus given him for raising an army. Before he leaves England, he arranges with a Kentish laborer, Jack Cade by name, to incite a rebellion at home. Under Suffolk's direction Gloucester is murdered in his prison; the common people, hearing of it, storm the palace, demanding Suffolk's death or banishment. Henry orders Suffolk to leave England's territories within three days on pain of death.


Suffolk is slain at sea by pirates. Jack Cade wins several small battles, seizes London Bridge, and enters London, but is finally defeated by the royal forces. He flees, but a price is set on his head and he is soon killed. In the meanwhile York returns to England at the head of his army, proclaiming that his intentions are only to remove from office the Duke of Somerset.


Henry meets York between Dartford and Blackheath, but the interview ends in open rebellion upon York's part. A battle takes place at Saint Albans, ending in a victory for the Duke of York. The king flees to London and the victors, York and Warwick, resolve to follow.





London. The palace.

Flourish of trumpets; then hautboys. Enter, the King, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Salisbury, Warwick, and Cardinal Beaufort, on the one side; The Queen, Suffolk, York, Somerset, and Buckingham, on the other.

Suf. As by your high imperial majesty

I had in charge at my depart for France,
As procurator to your excellence,

To marry Princess Margaret for your grace,
So, in the famous ancient city Tours,

In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne
and Alençon,

1. “As by your high," &c.; "The Contention” reads:—“As by your high imperial majesty's command.”—I. G.

7. "and"; the reading of F. 1; Ff. 2, 3, 4, omit it.—I. G.

Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend

I have perform'd my task and was espoused:
And humbly now upon my bended knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
up my title in the queen

Deliver up my


To your most gracious hands, and are the sub


Of that great shadow I did represent;

The happiest gift that ever marquess gave, The fairest queen that ever king received. King. Suffolk, arise. Welcome, Queen Margaret:

I can express no kinder sign of love

Than this kind kiss. O Lord, that lends me

Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness! 20
For Thou hast given me in this beauteous face
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,

If sympathy of love unite our thoughts. Queen. Great King of England and my gracious lord,

The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
In courtly company or at my beads,


With you, mine alder-liefest sovereign, Makes me the bolder to salute my king With ruder terms, such as my wit affords And over-joy of heart doth minister. King. Her sight did ravish; but her grace in


19. "lends"; Rowe, "lend'st.”—I. G.

Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty, Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys;

Such is the fulness of my heart's content.

Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love. All [kneeling]. Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!

Queen. We thank you all.


[Flourish. Suff. My lord protector, so it please your grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,

For eighteen months concluded by consent. Glou. [Reads] 'Imprimis, It is agreed between the French king Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry King of England, that the said Henry shall espouse the Lady Margaret, daughter unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the thirtieth of May next 50 ensuing. Item, that the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be released and delivered to the king her father—'

King. Uncle, how now!


[Lets the paper fall.

Pardon me, gracious lord;

Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart, And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.

50. "duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine"; changed by Capell from Qq. to "dutchies of Anjou and Maine.”—I. G.

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