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Suffolk delivers Margaret of Anjou to Henry VI, with no dowry and the surrender of Anjou and Maine back to France. Gloucester (Duke Humphrey) loudly complains that these actions betray his brother Henry V's accomplishments and risk the loss of France entirely. Cardinal Beaufort (Winchester) disagrees, trying to calm him. The Duke of York and Warwick grieve that Suffolk (arbiter of the peace settlement) also betrayed England by returning two well-fought-for counties of France. Gloucester storms out prophesizing France will be lost soon. Buckingham suggests that he, Somerset, and the Cardinal oust Gloucester from his position as Protector of the King, though Somerset fears the Cardinal will become the new protector. Salisbury, his son Warwick, and York agree to oppose the aforementioned nobles and support Gloucester, though York has the ulterior motive of becoming England's King, claiming rights through the House of York while Henry VI claims through the House of Lancaster. At Gloucester's house his wife Eleanor (Nell) tells Gloucester she wishes to be Queen of England to which Gloucester tells her not to be so ambitious. Nell even pays Priest Hum to convince two conjurors to help her gain the crown. Unfortunately, the Cardinal and Suffolk have paid off Hum so that he may encourage Nell's fantasy and use her ambition to incriminate and oust Gloucester.
Queen Margaret complains to Suffolk (her secret lover) of everyone's desire for the crown, worst of all Eleanor's. The King and nobles enter with Somerset wishing to take York's place as Regent to France. Margaret boldly tells Gloucester to resign the Protectorship and all begin to rail on him. Additionally, Margaret drops her fan then slaps Eleanor after she refuses to pick it up. Stemming from accusations that a man said York should be king and Henry VI is an usurper, Gloucester and Henry VI decide Somerset shall be the French Regent. At Gloucester's house, Eleanor holds a witch seance with Hum and others, but is discovered and arrested for treason after York and Buckingham ambush the ceremony. At Saint Albans, Gloucester charges the bastard Cardinal Winchester to a duel. Buckingham arrives with news of Eleanor's treachery and Gloucester banishes her from his house and bed. Richard (3rd Duke of York) confers with Warwick and Salisbury (Neville) of his intentions for the crown and they agree to help him.
In London, Henry sentences the conjurers to death and Eleanor to banishment on the Isle of Man to which Stanley takes her. At an abbey, Queen Margaret rails on Gloucester and calls for his immediate downfall. Somerset brings news that France is completely lost, greatly disappointing York. Gloucester arrives and the Cardinal, Suffolk, and York immediately arrest him of treason. Gloucester goes to prison predicting Henry VI's downfall. Henry VI runs away mourning and the Cardinal tells Suffolk he'll provide an executioner for Gloucester. News of uprisings in Ireland causes the Cardinal to send York there to suppress them. York himself has enlisted John Cade of Ashford to create problems in Ireland. Gloucester is murdered in his sleep and Henry VI faints at the news. Warwick inspects Gloucester's body and declares murder by suffocation. Warwick, Salisbury, and the Commoners accuse Suffolk of the murder, so Henry VI banishes him forever. Romantically, the Queen says goodbye to Suffolk, only to hear the news that her other companion, the Cardinal, is deathly ill. He dies with Henry VI watching. Suffolk is captured and killed by pirates who charge him with betrothing Henry VI to a nobody, losing Anjou and Maine, and murdering Gloucester. Walter Whitmore kills him.
In Ireland, John Cade aims to become King of England, declaring those who can write or speak French to be enemies. They fight Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother William. Humphrey is killed and Cade wears his armor. Cade takes London, killing all nobles in the city. Henry VI and Margaret flee to Killingworth. Cade declares himself Lord John Mortimer, then burns London Bridge and the Tower of London. Cade captures Lord Say and his son-in-law Sir James Cromer and beheads them. Buckingham and Clifford then convince the commoners to disperse, forcing Cade to flee. However, York arrives from Ireland with troops -- ready to capture Somerset. Alexander Iden slays Cade (and beheads him) in his garden. York meets Buckingham and tells him he wants Somerset dead. When this does not occur, York declares his desire to the crown openly to Henry VI. York's sons Edward IV and Richard III; Warwick; and Salisbury support York. Somerset, Clifford, and Buckingham support Henry VI. The Battle of St. Albans ensues. York kills Clifford of Cumberland. Young Clifford finds his dad and vows revenge of York. Deformed Richard III kills the Duke of Somerset.
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