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In London, York, with Warwick, storms the now empty palace and takes the throne. Henry VI enters and York demands the crown. To Northumberland, Clifford, and Westmoreland's dismay and disgust, Henry VI tells York that he and his heirs may have the crown after Henry VI dies a natural death. York agrees and the three above storm out. Queen Margaret yells at Henry VI for his decision, divorces herself from him, and with her son, Prince Edward, leaves to join the revolting armies of the three nobles from above. Henry VI confers with his only ally, Exeter, that they will try to make up with the queen and the three revolting lords. Henry VI does wish them all luck in their revolt. At Sandal Castle, Richard III convinces York that his oath to not harm Henry VI is voided since a magistrate wasn't present when sworn. York plans to attack Henry VI. However, Margaret arrives with 20,000 men; York plans to fight, though he and his uncles John and Hugh Mortimer only have 5,000 men. The battle of Wakefield ensues. Clifford captures and kills York's young son Rutland. The Queen's army wins the battle, killing both Mortimers. Northumberland, Clifford, and the Queen then capture York and kill him, Clifford stabbing him to revenge his father's death (Clifford of Cumberland). Margaret stabs York too, then beheads him. Warwick reports to Edward IV, Richard III, and the Duke of Clarence that the Queen defeated his armies. Warwick, with his brothers Montague and Norfolk, vows to attack Clifford, Northumberland, and the Queen. The Queen's 30,000 man army meets Warwick's 25,000 man army in battle and 10,000 men die. Wounded, Clifford dies while Edward IV and Warwick watch, then behead him.
Edward IV names Richard III Duke of Gloucester and George Plantagenet Duke of Clarence (both are his own brothers and all are sons of Richard, 3rd Duke of York). Margaret and her son go to France to seek help while Warwick also goes to France to see the King of France's sister to be Edward IV's wife. Two commoners capture Henry VI from hiding and arrest him. Richard III privately declares his desire for the crown. Margaret visits King Lewis of France to beg for help to oppose Edward IV, but Warwick arrives and convinces Lewis to wed his sister Bona to Edward IV. However, they all receive news that Edward IV has married Lady Grey. This enrages, betrays, and mocks Warwick, who immediately pledges allegiance to Queen Margaret, as does King Lewis. To show his allegiance, Warwick pledges his daughter's hand to Prince Edward, Margaret's son. None of Richard III, Clarence, or Montague approve of Edward IV's marriage to Lady Grey, though Hastings does approve. King Edward IV is told of the revolting and his brother Clarence decides to join Warwick and marry his other daughter. Somerset deserts King Edward IV too and meets with Warwick. Warwick et. al. capture King Edward IV, letting Richard III and Hastings flee. Lady Grey flees with King Edward IV's unborn child. Richard III, Hastings, and Stanley free Edward IV from captivity.
Newly recrowned, King Henry VI names Warwick and the Duke of Clarence protectors of England. Henry VI tells all to protect his nephew Henry VII, Earl of Richmond, in case both Henry VI and his son Edward are killed. Somerset and Oxford take Henry VII to Brittany to be safe from further conflict. Edward IV returns from France to the town of York with military aid from Burgundy and Hastings. Montgomery convinces a reluctant Edward IV to fight for the crown. In London, Henry VI's generals abandon him to battle Edward IV, inadvertently resulting in Edward IV capturing and imprisoning Henry VI. Warwick meets Edward IV at Coventry and is joined by Oxford, Montague, Somerset, and even Edward IV's brother Clarence, though Richard III quickly talks Clarence into siding with Edward IV instead. In the Battle of Barnet, Edward IV kills Warwick and his brother Montague. Queen Margaret arrives with 30,000 fresh soldiers at Tewksbury, but Edward IV captures Margaret, Oxford, Prince Edward, and Somerset, killing Somerset and Prince Edward (Henry VI's son). At the Tower, Richard III murders Henry VI while Henry VI prophesizes that Richard III will be a terror to many. Richard verbally confirms the prophesy upon Henry VI's death. The play closes with King Edward IV blessing his newborn son Edward V, while banishing Margaret to France.
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