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Margaret of Anjou

(1430—1482) queen of England, consort of Henry VI.


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Queen of England, b. 23 Mar. 1430, da. of René, duke of Anjou, and Isabella, da. of Charles, duke of Lorraine; m. Henry VI, 23 Apr. 1445; d. 25 Aug. 1482; bur. Angers.

Disliked by many English as a meddlesome foreigner, Margaret of Anjou made a gallant attempt to preserve the throne for her hapless husband and young son; by the time Edward was born in 1453, Henry had lapsed into insanity, and, though he made a partial recovery, she was thenceforth the main prop of the Lancastrian cause. She repudiated Henry's agreement in 1460 to recognize the duke of York as his heir and campaigned to restore him after Edward IV had taken the throne. After the defeat at Towton in 1461, she took refuge in Scotland, visiting France to raise troops and supplies. Her invasion in 1471 was dogged by bad timing, her ally Warwick was killed at Barnet, and her own troops defeated at Tewkesbury; her son was killed, her husband murdered, and she herself taken prisoner. From captivity in the Tower, she was rescued in 1475 by a ransom, and spent her last years in France. She was the founder of Queens' College, Cambridge.


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