Henry VI belonged to the House of Lancaster. Born in 1421, he ascended to the throne in 1422 and died in 1471. He was preceded as monarch by Henry V and was succeeded by Edward IV.
Becoming king while still an infant, Henry ceded control during his long minority to the Privy Council, under the control of Parliament. The Duke of Bedford, eldest brother of the dead Henry V, was regent in France, while Gloucester, Henry's youngest brother, was protector of the realm. A series of events, including the rising national feeling among the French, led in 1453 to the total loss of English possessions in France, with the exception of Calais.
The incompetence and unpopularity of the government led eventually to the War of the Roses. Henry was deposed by Edward IV in 1461. He was restored in 1470, but after the victory of the Yorkists at Mortimer's Cross in 1471, Henry was murdered in the Tower of London.