Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Arrest of the Duchess | Henry VI, Part 1


The Duchess of Gloucester, wife of the Duke of Gloucester, believes that she has the right to the throne. She is arrested after hiring a witch to summon spirits and ask about the future of Henry VI’s reign. Gloucester grieves her arrest, but states that he cannot control the law. The Duke is released from his duties as King Henry’s protector.

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses – which comes to Great Performances on three consecutive Sundays beginning December 11 at 9 p.m. – includes epic film versions of Henry VI (in two parts) and Richard III.

Henry VI, Part 1 airs on Sunday, December 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). 

Welcome is my death!

Eleanor, the law, thou see'st, hath judged thee: I cannot justify whom the law condemns.

Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.

Oh, Humphrey, this dishonor in thine age will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground!

I do beseech your majesty, give me leave to go; sorrow would solace and mine age would ease.

Stay, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.

Ere thou go, give up thy staff.

Henry will to himself protector be; and God shall be my guide.

But go in peace, Humphrey, no less beloved than when thou wert Protector to thy king.

I see no reason why a king of years should be protected like a child.

God and King Henry govern England's realm!

Give up your staff, sir, and the King his realm.