Dr David Grummitt is Head of the School of Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University. He lectures and has published widely on various aspects of fifteenth and sixteenth-century England. He has held teaching positions at the London School of Economics and the University of Kent, and his publications include The Calais Garrison 1436–1558 (2008), A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (2013) and Henry VI (2015).
Henry VI, according to the great medieval historian K.B. McFarlane, was 'the most unfortunate' of English kings. Coming to the throne as a baby and dying, probably murdered, in the Tower of London, his incompetence and inability to rule is frequently offered as the explanation for the Wars of the Roses. This lecture, however, reconsiders his style of rule, putting it into the context of a distinctive Lancastrian style of kingship.