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Angers Agreement

Angers Agreement between the Earl of Warwick and Margaret of Anjou, July 1470.


The Earl of Warwick had tried to control the government whilst holding King Edward under house arrest. He was thwarted as he did not have enough support from other nobles, meaning his attempts to force things through Council failed.

An unlikely alliance negotiated at Angers

An attempt to reconcile Warwick and the King was unsuccessful; Warwick remained isolated and disgruntled. Over the years, the Earl of Warwick had favoured a pro-France policy. This now opened an unlikely opportunity for him to regain the initiative. The King of France was eager to have an alliance with England. It would help him in his conflicts with Burgundy. To this end, he suggested an alliance between Queen Margaret and the Earl of Warwick.

This led to Queen Margaret being approached regarding an alliance between those loyal to Henry VI and the Neville’s. Given the friction between the Queen and Warwick in earlier years, this was an unusual alliance created out of necessity.

Angers Agreement

At Angers, the pair agreed on terms. Prince Edward and Warwick’s daughter, Anne, would marry. Both parties would muster large armies. They would combine to oust King Edward, reinstate Henry VI as King, and Warwick would act as the chief counsellor.

It was a plan for the readeption of King Henry VI. The plan was set into motion quite quickly, the alliance being confirmed by Anne Neville’s marriage to Prince Edward before Warwick returned to England to begin the process of removing Edward from the throne.

” The Manner and Guiding of the Earl of Warwick at Angers, from the xvth day of July to the ivth¬† of August 1470, which day he departed from Anglers”

“First, by the mean of the King of France, the said Earl of Warwick purchased a pardon of the Queen Margaret and of her son. Secondly by the said mean was treated the marriage of the said Qneens son called Prince of Wales, and the Earl of Warwick s second Daughter. Thirdly there was appointed upon his passage over the sea into England with a puissance.
” Touching the first point, the said Queen was right difficile {difficulty) and showed to the King of France, being present the Duke of Guienne and many others, that with the honour of her and her son, he, neither she, might [not,] nor could [not] pardon the said Earl, which hath been the greatest causes of the fall of King Henry, of her, and of their son, and that never of her own cou- rage she neither might be contented with him nor pardon him.

Touching the first point, the said Queen was right difficile {difficulty) and showed to the King of France, being present the Duke of Guienne and many others, that with the honour of her and her son, he, neither she, might [not,] nor could [not] pardon the said Earl, which hath been the greatest causes of the fall of King Henry, of her, and of their son, and that never of her own courage she neither might be contented with him nor pardon him.

Item the said Queen shewed to the King and others aforesaid that it should be (a) thing greatly hurting and prejudicial to the King Henry, her, and her son, to pardon the said Earl of Warwick, [n]or to take party with him. And over this, that the King Henry, she, and her son had certain parties and friends which they might lightly lose by this mean, and that should be a tldng that greatly might grieve them, and do them more harm and hinderance than the said Earl and his Allies might bring
or bear unto them profit or advantage. Wherefore she
besought the King that it would please him to leave o’R,
or further to speak or labour for the said pardon, amity,
or alliance aforesaid.

The Excuse and Answer of the Earl of Warwick
unto Queen Margaret, in these two Articles following:”

“The Earl of Warwick, all these things {having) heard, said unto the Queen that he confessed well, that by his conduct and men the King Henry and she were put out of the Realm of England ; but for an excuse and justification thereof, he shewed that the King Henry and she by their false Councel had enterprised the destruction of him and hia friends in body and in goods, which he never had deserved against them. And (to) him seemed that
for such causes, and the great evil will that they have shewed him he had a righteous cause to labour their undoing and destruction, and that therein he had not done but that (which) a nobleman outraged and disperred (impaired) ought to have done. Also he said over that, and well confessed that he was causer of the upsetting (on the throne) of the King of England that now is; but now, seeing the evil terms that the King hath kept (vnth) him, and cast him out of- the Realm, and, as much as he hath been with him in times past, now he will be an far contrary, and enemy unto him here-after : beseeching there the Queen, and the said Prince, that so they would take and repute him, and forgive him that (which) in time past he had done and attempted against them ; offering himself to be bound, by all manner of ways, to be their true and faithful subject in time
to come, and upon that he would set for surety the King of France. Whereunto the said King then being present agreed himself to be surety for all the promises with good will, praying the said Queen, that at his request she would pardon the said Earl of Warwick, shewing the great love that he had unto bim, and that he was bound and beholden to the said Earl more than
to any other man, and therefore he would do as much and more for him than for any man living.

Queen Margaret and of her son Prince Edward

” And so the Queen, thus required by the King, as it is said, counselled also by the servants of the King of Sicily her Father, after many treaties and meeting, pardoned the Earl of Warwick, and so did her son also. And after that they pardoned the Earl of Oxford being with the Earl of Warwick ; to whom the Queen said, that his pardon was easy to purchase, for she knew well that he and his friends had suffered much [thing] for
King Henry^s Quarrels.

” Touching the manner of the Treaty of Marriage between the Prince and the Earl of Warwick’s second daughter with the Answer of Queen Margaret!”

Touching the second point, that is of marriage, true it is that the Queen would not in any wise consent thereunto for offer shewing, or any manner of request that the King of France might make her. Some times she said that she saw neither honour nor profit for her, nor for her son the Prince. At others she ledged that and (if) she would, she should find a more profitable party and of a more advantage with the King of England, And indeed, she shewed unto the King of France a letter which she said was sent her out of England the last week, by the which was offered to her son and so the Queen persevered fifteen days ere she would any thing intend to the said Treaty of Marriage, the which finally, by the means and conduct of the King of France and the councilors of the King of Sicily being at Angiers, the said marriage was agreed and promised; present the King of France and the Duke of Guienne, by means of certain articles hereafter following.”

The Oath of the Earl of Warwick at Angiers sworn to King Henry

” First, the Earl of Warwick aware upon the veney {true) Cross in Saint Mary’s Church of Angiers, that without change he shall always hold the party and quarrel of King Henry, and shall serve him, the Queen and the Prince, as a true and faithful subject oweth to serve his Sovereign Lord.

” The Oath of the King of France, and of his Brother, and of the Queen Margaret.”

” Item, the King of France, and his Brother, clothed in canons robes in the said Church of Saint Mary, sware that they should help, bear and sustain to their power the said Earl of Warwick holding the said quarrel of Henry. And after this the said Queen swore and promised from henceforth to [enjtreat the said Earl as true and faithful to King Henry here, and the Prince, and for the deeds passed never hereafter to make him reproach,

” Item, in treating the foresaid marriage, it was promised and accorded that after the recovery of the Realm of England, for and in the name of the said King Henry, he holden and avouched for (fis) King, and the Prince for Regent and Governor of the said Realm, my Lord of Clarence shall have all the lands that he had when he departed out of England, and the Duchy of York, and many others, and the Earl of Warwick his, and othere named in the appointment.”

” Touching the time when the Marriage shall he put in Time rheiwre” {practice).”

” Item that from thence forth the said daughter of the Earl of Warwick shall be put and remain in the hands and keeping of Queen Mai’garet, and also that the said marriage shall not be perfected to (till) the Earl of Warwick had been with an army over the Sea into England, and that he had recovered the realm of England in the most part thereof for the King Henry. Many other points were spoken of in the said Treaty of Marriage which were over long to (be) put in writing.

The French ” The aid of the French King^ for the passage of the Earl of Warwick into England”

” Touching the point concerning the Earl of Warwick’s passage, truth it is that the Earl every day gave to understand, and yet doth to the King of France, that he hath Letters often from Lords of England containing that as soon as he shall be landed there, he shall have more than fifty thousand fighters at his commandment; wherefore the said Earl promised the King that if he would help him with a few folk, ships and money, he shall pass over the sea without any delay, and upon these his words and promises to the King, he hath spent and daily spendeth great sums of money for entertaining the state of him and his, and beside that, hath helpen in victual for his ships of sixty-six thousand scutes,containing two thousand frank (French) archers,etc.

Angers Agreement: Links

English Royal Marriages and the Papal Penitentiary in the Fifteenth Century.  English Historical Review. Vol. 120, No. 488 (Sep., 2005), pp. 1014-1029 (16 pages). Published By: Oxford University Press.

Clarence and Warwick’s invasion of 1470.


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