List of English monarchs

This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Wessex, one of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons from about 886, and while he was not the first king to claim to rule all of the English, his rule represents the start of the first unbroken line of kings to rule the whole of England, the House of Wessex.[1]

British kingdoms c 800
The seven main Anglo-Saxon petty kingdoms to be unified as the early Kingdom of England

Arguments are made for a few different kings deemed to control enough Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to be deemed the first king of England. For example, Offa of Mercia and Egbert of Wessex are sometimes described as kings of England by popular writers, but it is no longer the majority view of historians that their wide dominions are part of a process leading to a unified England. Historian Simon Keynes states, for example, that "Offa was driven by a lust for power, not a vision of English unity; and what he left was a reputation, not a legacy."[2] This refers to a period in the late 8th century when Offa achieved a dominance over many of the kingdoms of southern England, but this did not survive his death in 796.[3][4]

In 829 Egbert of Wessex conquered Mercia, but he soon lost control of it. It was not until the late 9th century that one kingdom, Wessex, had become the dominant Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Its king, Alfred the Great, was overlord of western Mercia and used the title King of the Angles and Saxons, but he never ruled eastern and northern England, which was then known as the Danelaw, having earlier been conquered by the Danes from Scandinavia. His son Edward the Elder conquered the eastern Danelaw, but Edward's son Æthelstan became the first king to rule the whole of England when he conquered Northumbria in 927, and he is regarded by some modern historians as the first true king of England.[5][6] The title "King of the English" or Rex Anglorum in Latin, was first used to describe Æthelstan in one of his charters in 928.

The Principality of Wales was incorporated into the Kingdom of England under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, and in 1301 King Edward I invested his eldest son, the future King Edward II, as Prince of Wales. Since that time, except for King Edward III, the eldest sons of all English monarchs have borne this title.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth I without issue, in 1603, King James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, joining the crowns of England and Scotland in personal union. By royal proclamation, James styled himself "King of Great Britain", but no such kingdom was actually created until 1707, when England and Scotland united to form the new Kingdom of Great Britain, with a single British parliament sitting at Westminster, during the reign of Queen Anne.

House of Wessex

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Alfred the Great
c. 886

26 October 899
Alfred - MS Royal 14 B VI 849
Son of Æthelwulf of Wessex
and Osburh
Ealhswith
Gainsborough
868
5 children
26 October 899
Aged about 50
Son of Æthelwulf of Wessex
Treaty of Wedmore
[7]
[8]
[9]
Edward the Elder
26 October 899

17 July 924
(24 years, 266 days)
Edward the Elder - MS Royal 14 B VI c. 874
Son of Alfred
and Ealhswith
(1) Ecgwynn
c. 893
2 children
(2) Ælfflæd
c. 900
8 children
(3) Eadgifu
c. 919
4 children
17 July 924
Aged about 50
Son of Alfred [10]

Disputed

There is some evidence that Ælfweard of Wessex may have been king in 924, between his father Edward the Elder and his brother Æthelstan, although he was not crowned. A 12th-century list of kings gives him a reign length of four weeks, though one manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says he died only 16 days after his father.[11] However, that he ruled is not accepted by all historians. Also, it is unclear whether—if Ælfweard was declared king—it was over the whole kingdom or of Wessex only. One interpretation of the ambiguous evidence is that when Edward died, Ælfweard was declared king in Wessex and Æthelstan in Mercia.[12]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Ælfweard
c. 17 July 924

2 August 924[13]
(16 days)
Does not appear No image c. 901[14]
Son of Edward the Elder
and Ælfflæd[14]
Does not appear Unmarried?
No children
2 August 924[12]
Aged about 23[i]
Son of Edward the Elder
Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Æthelstan
924
King of the Anglo-Saxons (924–927)

King of the English (927–939)
27 October 939
(14–15 years)
King Athelstan from All Souls College Chapel 894
Son of Edward the Elder
and Ecgwynn
Does not appear Unmarried 27 October 939
Aged about 45
Son of Edward the Elder [16]
[17]
Edmund I
27 October 939

26 May 946
(6 years, 212 days)
Edmund I - MS Royal 14 B V c. 921
Son of Edward the Elder
and Eadgifu of Kent
(1) Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
2 sons
(2) Æthelflæd of Damerham
944
No children
26 May 946
Pucklechurch
Killed in a brawl aged about 25
Son of Edward the Elder [18]
[19]
[20]
Eadred
26 May 946

23 November 955
(9 years, 182 days)
Eadred - MS Royal 14 B VI c. 923
Son of Edward the Elder
and Eadgifu of Kent
Does not appear Unmarried 23 November 955
Frome
Aged about 32
Son of Edward the Elder [21]
[22]
[23]
Eadwig
23 November 955

1 October 959
(3 years, 313 days)
Line engraving of Edwy made by an unknown engraver after an unknown artist c. 940
Son of Edmund I
and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
Ælfgifu
No verified children
1 October 959
Aged about 19
Son of Edmund I [24]
[25]
[26]
Edgar the Peaceful
1 October 959

8 July 975
(15 years, 281 days)
King Edgar of England c. 943
Wessex
Son of Edmund I
and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
(1) Æthelflæd
c. 960
1 son
(2) Ælfthryth
c. 964
2 sons
8 July 975
Winchester
Aged 31
Son of Edmund I [27]
[28]
[29]
Edward the Martyr
8 July 975

18 March 978
(2 years, 254 days)
St. Edward the Martyr c. 962
Son of Edgar the Peaceful
and Æthelflæd
Does not appear Unmarried 18 March 978
Corfe Castle
Murdered aged about 16
Son of Edgar the Peaceful [30]
[31]
(1st reign)[ii]
Æthelred
Æthelred the Unready
18 March 978

1013
(34–35 years)
Image of Æthelred II with an oversize sword from the illuminated manuscript "The Chronicle of Abingdon" c. 968
Son of Edgar the Peaceful
and Ælfthryth
(1) Ælfgifu of York
991
9 children
(2) Emma of Normandy
1002
3 children
23 April 1016
London
Aged about 48
Son of Edgar the Peaceful [33]
[32]
[34]

House of Denmark

England came under the control of Sweyn Forkbeard, a Danish king, after an invasion in 1013, during which Æthelred abandoned the throne and went into exile in Normandy.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Sweyn
Sweyn Forkbeard
25 December 1013

3 February 1014
(41 days)
Sweyn Forkbeard, from an architectural element in the Swansea Guildhall, Swansea, Wales c. 960
Denmark
Son of Harald Bluetooth
and Gyrid Olafsdottir of Sweden
(1) Gunhild of Wenden
c. 990
7 children
(2) Sigrid the Haughty
c. 1000
1 daughter
3 February 1014
Gainsborough
Aged about 54
Right of conquest [35]
[36]
[37]

House of Wessex (restored, first time)

Following the death of Sweyn Forkbeard, Æthelred the Unready returned from exile and was again proclaimed king on 3 February 1014. His son succeeded him after being chosen king by the citizens of London and a part of the Witan,[38] despite ongoing Danish efforts to wrest the crown from the West Saxons.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(2nd reign)
Æthelred
Æthelred the Unready
3 February 1014

23 April 1016
(2 years, 81 days)
Image of Æthelred II with an oversize sword from the illuminated manuscript "The Chronicle of Abingdon" c. 968
Son of Edgar the Peaceful
and Ælfthryth
(1) Ælfgifu of York
991
9 children
(2) Emma of Normandy
1002
3 children
23 April 1016
London
Aged about 48
Son of Edgar the Peaceful [33]
[32]
[34]
Edmund Ironside
23 April 1016

30 November 1016
(222 days)
Edmund Ironside c. 990
Son of Æthelred
and Ælfgifu of York
Edith of East Anglia
2 children
30 November 1016
Glastonbury
Aged 26
Son of Æthelred [38]
[39]
[40]

House of Denmark (restored)

Following the decisive Battle of Assandun on 18 October 1016, King Edmund signed a treaty with Cnut (Canute) under which all of England except for Wessex would be controlled by Cnut.[41] Upon Edmund's death just over a month later on 30 November, Cnut ruled the whole kingdom as its sole king for almost twenty years.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Canute
Cnut the Great
18 October 1016

12 November 1035
(19 years, 26 days)
Knut der Große cropped c. 995
Son of Sweyn Forkbeard
and Gunhilda of Poland
(1) Ælfgifu of Northampton
2 sons
(2) Emma of Normandy
1017
2 children
12 November 1035
Shaftesbury
Aged about 40
Son of Sweyn
Treaty of Deerhurst
[42]
[43]
Harold Harefoot
12 November 1035

17 March 1040[iii]
(4 years, 127 days)
Harold H c. 1016
Son of Canute
and Ælfgifu of Northampton
Ælfgifu?
1 son?
17 March 1040
Oxford
Aged about 24
Son of Canute [45]
[44]
[46]
Harthacnut
17 March 1040

8 June 1042
(2 years, 84 days)
Hardeknut 1018
Son of Canute
and Emma of Normandy
Does not appear Unmarried 8 June 1042
Lambeth
Aged about 24
Son of Canute [47]
[48]
[49]

House of Wessex (restored, second time)

After Harthacnut, there was a brief Saxon Restoration between 1042 and 1066.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Edward the Confessor
8 June 1042

5 January 1066
(23 years, 212 days)
Edward Confessor c. 1003
Islip
Son of Æthelred
and Emma of Normandy
Edith of Wessex
23 January 1045
No children
5 January 1066
Westminster Palace
Aged about 63
Son of Æthelred [50]

House of Godwin

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Harold Godwinson
6 January 1066

14 October 1066
(282 days)
BayeuxTapestryScene13(crop2) c. 1022
Son of Godwin of Wessex
and Gytha Thorkelsdóttir
(1) Edith Swannesha
5 children
(2) Ealdgyth
c. 1064
2 sons
14 October 1066
Hastings
Died in battle aged 44
Supposedly named heir by Edward the Confessor
Elected by the Witenagemot
[51]

Disputed claimant (House of Wessex)

After King Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings, the Witan elected Edgar Atheling as king, but by then the Normans controlled the country and Edgar never ruled. He submitted to King William the Conqueror.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(Title disputed)
Edgar Ætheling
15 October 1066

17 December 1066[iv]
(64 days)
Edgar the Ætheling c. 1051
Son of Edward the Exile
and Agatha
Does not appear Unmarried c. 1126
Aged about 75
Grandson of Edmund Ironside
Elected by the Witenagemot
[52]
[53]

House of Normandy

In 1066, several rival claimants to the English throne emerged. Among them were Harold Godwinson, elected king by the Witenagemot after the death of Edward the Confessor, as well as Harald Hardrada, King of Norway who claimed to be the rightful heir of Harthacnut, and Duke William II of Normandy, vassal to the King of France, and first cousin once-removed of Edward the Confessor. Harald and William both invaded separately in 1066. Godwinson successfully repelled the invasion by Hardrada, but ultimately lost the throne of England in the Norman conquest of England.

After the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, William the Conqueror made permanent the recent removal of the capital from Winchester to London. Following the death of Harold Godwinson at Hastings, the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot elected as king Edgar the Ætheling, the son of Edward the Exile and grandson of Edmund Ironside. The young monarch was unable to resist the invaders and was never crowned. William was crowned King William I of England on Christmas Day 1066, in Westminster Abbey, and is today known as William the Conqueror, William the Bastard or William I.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
William I
William the Conqueror[54]
25 December 1066

9 September 1087
(20 years, 259 days)
William the Conqueror depicted at the Battle of Hastings, on the Bayeux Tapestry c. 1028
Falaise Castle
Son of Robert the Magnificent
and Herleva
Matilda of Flanders
Normandy
1053
9 children
9 September 1087
Rouen
Aged about 59[v]
Supposedly named heir in 1052 by Edward the Confessor
First cousin once removed of Edward the Confessor
Right of conquest
[55]
[56]
William II
William Rufus
26 September 1087[a]

2 August 1100
(12 years, 311 days)
William Rufus depicted in the Stowe Manuscript c. 1056
Normandy
Son of William the Conqueror
and Matilda of Flanders
Does not appear Unmarried 2 August 1100
New Forest
Shot with an arrow aged 44
Son of William I
Granted the Kingdom of England over elder brother Robert Curthose
[57]
[58]
Henry I
Henry Beauclerc
5 August 1100[b]

1 December 1135
(35 years, 119 days)
Henry I September 1068
Selby
Son of William the Conqueror
and Matilda of Flanders
(1) Matilda of Scotland
Westminster Abbey
11 November 1100
2 children
(2) Adeliza of Louvain
Windsor Castle
29 January 1121
No children
1 December 1135
Saint-Denis-en-Lyons
Aged 67[vi]
Son of William I
Seizure of the Crown (from Robert Curthose)
[59]
[58]

House of Blois

Henry I left no legitimate male heirs, his son William Adelin having died in the White Ship disaster. This ended the direct Norman line of kings in England. Henry named his eldest daughter, the dowager Empress Matilda as his heir. Before naming Matilda as heir, he had been in negotiations to name his nephew Stephen of Blois as his heir. When Henry died, Stephen invaded England, and in a coup d'etat had himself crowned instead of Matilda. The period which followed is known as The Anarchy, as parties supporting each side fought in open warfare on both Britain and on the continent for the better part of two decades.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Stephen
Stephen of Blois
22 December 1135[c]

25 October 1154
(18 years, 308 days)
Stephen c. 1096
Blois
Son of Stephen II of Blois
and Adela of Normandy
Matilda of Boulogne
Westminster
1125
6 children
25 October 1154
Dover Castle
Aged about 58
Grandson of William I
Appointment / usurpation
[58]
[60]

Disputed claimants

Empress Matilda was declared heir presumptive by her father, Henry I, after the death of her brother on the White Ship, and acknowledged as such by the barons. Upon Henry I's death, the throne was seized by Matilda's cousin, Stephen of Blois. During the ensuing Anarchy, Matilda controlled England for a few months in 1141—the first woman to do so—but was never crowned and is rarely listed as a monarch of England.[vii]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(Title disputed)
Matilda
Empress Matilda
7 April 1141

1 November 1141
(209 days)
Matilda 7 February 1102
Sutton Courtenay
Daughter of Henry I
and Edith of Scotland
(1) Henry V of the Holy Roman Empire
Mainz
6 January 1114
No children
(2) Geoffrey Plantagenet
Le Mans Cathedral
22 May 1128
3 sons
10 September 1167
Rouen
Aged 65
Daughter of Henry I
Seizure of the Crown
[61]
[60]

Count Eustace IV of Boulogne (c. 1130 – 17 August 1153) was appointed co-king of England by his father, King Stephen, on 6 April 1152, in order to guarantee his succession to the throne (as was the custom in France, but not in England). The Pope and the Church would not agree to this, and Eustace was not crowned. Eustace died the next year aged 23, during his father's lifetime, and so never became king in his own right.[62]

House of Anjou

King Stephen came to an agreement with Matilda in November 1153 with the signing of the Treaty of Wallingford, where Stephen recognised Henry, son of Matilda and her second husband Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, as the designated heir. The royal house descended from Matilda and Geoffrey is widely known by two names, the House of Anjou (after Geoffrey's title as Count of Anjou) or the House of Plantagenet, after his sobriquet. Some historians prefer to group the subsequent kings into two groups, before and after the loss of the bulk of their French possessions, although they are not different royal houses.

The Angevins ruled over the Angevin Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries, an area stretching from the Pyrenees to Ireland. They did not regard England as their primary home until most of their continental domains were lost by John. Though the Angevin dynasty was short-lived, their male line descendants included the House of Plantagenet, the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

The Angevins formulated England's royal coat of arms, which usually showed other kingdoms held or claimed by them or their successors, although without representation of Ireland for quite some time. Dieu et mon droit has generally been used as the motto of English monarchs since being adopted by Edward III,[63] but it was first used as a battle cry by Richard I in 1198 at the Battle of Gisors, when he defeated the forces of Philip II of France, after which, he made it his motto.[63][64]

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Henry II
Henry Curtmantle
19 December 1154[d]

6 July 1189
(34 years, 200 days)
Henry II Royal Arms of England (1154-1189) 5 March 1133
Le Mans
Son of Geoffrey V of Anjou
and Matilda
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Bordeaux Cathedral
18 May 1152
8 children
6 July 1189
Chinon
Aged 56[viii]
Grandson of Henry I
Treaty of Wallingford
[65]
[66]
Richard I
Richard the Lionheart
3 September 1189[e]

6 April 1199
(9 years, 216 days)
Richard the Lionheart, an illustration from a 12th-century codex Royal Arms of England (1189-1198)
Royal Arms of England
8 September 1157
Beaumont Palace
Son of Henry II
and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Berengaria of Navarre
Limassol
12 May 1191
No children
6 April 1199
Châlus
Shot by an arrow aged 41[ix]
Son of Henry II
Primogeniture
[67]
[66]
John
John Lackland
27 May 1199[f]

19 October 1216
(17 years, 146 days)
King John Royal Arms of England 24 December 1166
Beaumont Palace
Son of Henry II
and Eleanor of Aquitaine
(1) Isabel of Gloucester
Marlborough Castle
29 August 1189
No children
(2) Isabella of Angoulême
Bordeaux Cathedral
24 August 1200
5 children
19 October 1216
Newark-on-Trent
Aged 49[x]
Son of Henry II
Proximity of blood
[68]
[69]

Henry II named his son, another Henry (1155–1183), as co-ruler with him. But this was a Norman custom of designating an heir, and the younger Henry did not outlive his father and rule in his own right, so he is not counted as a monarch on lists of kings.

Disputed claimant

Louis VIII of France briefly won about half of England over to his side from 1216 to 1217 at the conclusion of the First Barons' War against King John. On marching into London he was openly received by the rebel barons and citizens of London and proclaimed (though not crowned) king at St Paul's cathedral. Many nobles, including Alexander II of Scotland for his English possessions, gathered to give homage to him. However, in signing the Treaty of Lambeth in 1217, Louis conceded that he had never been the legitimate king of England.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim
(Title disputed)
Louis
Louis VIII the Lion
1216

22 September 1217
(1 year)
Louis8 France Ancient Arms 5 September 1187
Paris
Son of Philip II of France
and Isabella of Hainault
Blanche of Castile
Port-Mort
23 May 1200
13 children
8 November 1226
Montpensier
Aged 39
Right of conquest

House of Plantagenet

The House of Plantagenet takes its name from Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, husband of the Empress Matilda and father of Henry II. The name Plantagenet itself was unknown as a family name per se until Richard of York adopted it as his family name in the 15th century. It has since been retroactively applied to English monarchs from Henry II onward. It is common among modern historians to refer to Henry II and his sons as the "Angevins" due to their vast continental Empire, and most of the Angevin kings before John spent more time in their continental possessions than in England.

It is from the time of Henry III, after the loss of most of the family's continental possessions, that the Plantagenet kings became more English in nature. The Houses of Lancaster and York are cadet branches of the House of Plantagenet.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Henry III
Henry of Winchester
28 October 1216[g]

16 November 1272
(56 years, 20 days)
Henry III Royal Arms of England 1 October 1207
Winchester Castle
Son of John
and Isabella of Angoulême
Eleanor of Provence
Canterbury Cathedral
14 January 1236
5 children
16 November 1272
Westminster Palace
Aged 65
Son of John
Primogeniture
[70]


[69]

Edward I
Edward Longshanks
20 November 1272[h]

7 July 1307
(34 years, 230 days)
Edward I of England Royal Arms of England 17 June 1239
Palace of Westminster
Son of Henry III
and Eleanor of Provence
(1) Eleanor of Castile
Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas
18 October 1254
16 children
(2) Margaret of France
Canterbury
10 September 1299
3 children
7 July 1307
Burgh by Sands
Aged 68
Son of Henry III
Primogeniture
[71]
[72]
Edward II
Edward of Caernarfon
8 July 1307[i]

20 January 1327
(19 years, 197 days)
Edward II - British Library Royal 20 A ii f10 (detail) Royal Arms of England 25 April 1284
Caernarfon Castle
Son of Edward I
and Eleanor of Castile
Isabella of France
Boulogne Cathedral
24 January 1308
4 children
21 September 1327
Berkeley Castle
Murdered aged 43[xi]
Son of Edward I
Primogeniture
[74]
[75]
Edward III
25 January 1327[j]

21 June 1377
(50 years, 148 days)
Edward III of England (Order of the Garter) Royal Arms of England
Royal Arms of England (1340-1367)
13 November 1312
Windsor Castle
Son of Edward II
and Isabella of France
Philippa of Hainault
York Minster
25 January 1328
14 children
21 June 1377
Sheen Palace
Aged 64
Son of Edward II
Primogeniture
[76]
[75]
Richard II
22 June 1377[k]

29 September 1399
(22 years, 100 days)
Richard II King of England Royal Arms of England (1395-1399) 6 January 1367
Bordeaux
Son of Edward the Black Prince
and Joan of Kent
(1) Anne of Bohemia
14 January 1382
No children
(2) Isabella of Valois
Calais
4 November 1396
No children
14 February 1400
Pontefract Castle
Aged 33
Grandson of Edward III
Primogeniture
[77]
[78]

House of Lancaster

This house descended from Edward III's third surviving son, John of Gaunt. Henry IV seized power from Richard II (and also displaced the next in line to the throne, Edmund Mortimer (then aged 7), a descendant of Edward III's second son, Lionel of Antwerp).

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Henry IV
Henry of Bolingbroke
30 September 1399[l]

20 March 1413
(13 years, 172 days)
Henry IV Royal Arms of England (1340-1367) 3 April 1367
Bolingbroke Castle
Son of John of Gaunt
and Blanche of Lancaster
(1) Mary de Bohun
Arundel Castle
27 July 1380
7 children
(2) Joanna of Navarre
Winchester Cathedral
7 February 1403
No children
20 March 1413
Westminster Abbey
Aged 45
Grandson / heir male of Edward III
Usurpation / agnatic primogeniture
[79]
[80]
[78]
Henry V
21 March 1413[m]

31 August 1422
(9 years, 164 days)
Henry V Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 16 September 1386
Monmouth Castle
Son of Henry IV
and Mary de Bohun
Catherine of Valois
Troyes Cathedral
2 June 1420
1 son
31 August 1422
Château de Vincennes
Aged 36
Son of Henry IV
Agnatic primogeniture
[81]
[82]
[83]
(1st reign)
Henry VI
1 September 1422[n]

4 March 1461
(38 years, 185 days)
Henry VI Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 6 December 1421
Windsor Castle
Son of Henry V
and Catherine of Valois
Margaret of Anjou
Titchfield Abbey
22 April 1445
1 son
21 May 1471
Tower of London
Allegedly murdered aged 49
Son of Henry V
Agnatic primogeniture
[84]
[83]

House of York

The House of York inherited its name from the fourth surviving son of Edward III, Edmund of Langley, first Duke of York, and claimed the right to the throne through Edward III's second surviving son, Lionel of Antwerp.

The Wars of the Roses (1455–1485) saw the throne pass back and forth between the rival houses of Lancaster and York.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(1st reign)
Edward IV
4 March 1461[o]

3 October 1470
(9 years, 214 days)
Edward IV Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 28 April 1442
Rouen
Son of Richard of York
and Cecily Neville
Elizabeth Woodville
Grafton Regis
1 May 1464
10 children
9 April 1483
Westminster Palace
Aged 40
Great-great-grandson / heir general of Edward III
Seizure of the Crown
Cognatic primogeniture
[85]

House of Lancaster (restored)

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(2nd reign)
Henry VI
3 October 1470

11 April 1471
(191 days)
Henry VI Royal Arms of England (1470-1471) 6 December 1421
Windsor Castle
Son of Henry V
and Catherine of Valois
Margaret of Anjou
Titchfield Abbey
22 April 1445
1 son
21 May 1471
Tower of London
Allegedly murdered aged 49
Son of Henry V
Seizure of the Crown
[84]

House of York (restored)

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(2nd reign)
Edward IV
11 April 1471

9 April 1483
(11 years, 364 days)
Edward IV Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 28 April 1442
Rouen
Son of Richard of York
and Cecily Neville
Elizabeth Woodville
Grafton Regis
1 May 1464
10 children
9 April 1483
Westminster Palace
Aged 40
Great-great-grandson / heir general of Edward III
Seizure of the Crown
Cognatic primogeniture
[85]
Edward V
9 April 1483

25 June 1483[xii]
(78 days)
Edward V Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 2 November 1470
Westminster
Son of Edward IV
and Elizabeth Woodville
Does not appear Unmarried Disappeared mid-1483
London
Allegedly murdered aged 12
Son of Edward IV
Cognatic primogeniture
[86]
[87]
[83]
Richard III
26 June 1483[p]

22 August 1485
(2 years, 58 days)
Richard III Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 2 October 1452
Fotheringhay Castle
Son of Richard of York
and Cecily Neville
Anne Neville
Westminster Abbey
12 July 1472
1 son
22 August 1485
Bosworth Field
Killed in battle aged 32[xiii]
Great-great-grandson of Edward III
Titulus Regius
[88]
[89]

House of Tudor

The Tudors descended in the female line from John Beaufort, one of the illegitimate children of John of Gaunt (third surviving son of Edward III), by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford. Those descended from English monarchs only through an illegitimate child would normally have no claim on the throne, but the situation was complicated when Gaunt and Swynford eventually married in 1396 (25 years after John Beaufort's birth). In view of the marriage, the church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate via a papal bull the same year.[90] Parliament did the same in an Act in 1397.[91] A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, King Henry IV, also recognised the Beauforts' legitimacy, but declared them ineligible ever to inherit the throne.[92] Nevertheless, the Beauforts remained closely allied with Gaunt's other descendants, the Royal House of Lancaster.

John Beaufort's granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort was married to Edmund Tudor. Tudor was the son of Welsh courtier Owain Tudur (anglicised to Owen Tudor) and Catherine of Valois, the widow of the Lancastrian King Henry V. Edmund Tudor and his siblings were either illegitimate, or the product of a secret marriage, and owed their fortunes to the goodwill of their legitimate half-brother King Henry VI. When the House of Lancaster fell from power, the Tudors followed.

By the late 15th century, the Tudors were the last hope for the Lancaster supporters. Edmund Tudor's son became king as Henry VII after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, winning the Wars of the Roses. King Henry married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, thereby uniting the Lancastrian and York lineages. (See family tree.)

With Henry VIII's break from the Roman Catholic Church, the monarch became the Supreme Head of the Church of England and of the Church of Ireland. Elizabeth I's title became the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Henry VII
22 August 1485[q]

21 April 1509
(23 years, 243 days)
Henry VII, by Michel Sittow, 1505 Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 28 January 1457
Pembroke Castle
Son of Edmund Tudor
and Margaret Beaufort
Elizabeth of York
Westminster Abbey
18 January 1486
8 children
21 April 1509
Richmond Palace
Aged 52
Great-great-great-grandson of Edward III
Right of conquest
[93]
Henry VIII
22 April 1509[r]

28 January 1547
(37 years, 282 days)
Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein, c.1536 Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace
Son of Henry VII
and Elizabeth of York
(1) Catherine of Aragon
Greenwich
11 June 1509
1 daughter
(2) Anne Boleyn
Westminster Palace
25 January 1533[xiv]
1 daughter
(3) Jane Seymour
Whitehall Palace
30 May 1536
1 son
3 further marriages
No more children
28 January 1547
Whitehall Palace
Aged 55
Son of Henry VII
Primogeniture
[94]
[95]
Edward VI
28 January 1547[s]

6 July 1553
(6 years, 160 days)
Edward VI, by Hans Eworth Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 12 October 1537
Hampton Court Palace
Son of Henry VIII
and Jane Seymour
Does not appear Unmarried 6 July 1553
Greenwich Palace
Aged 15
Son of Henry VIII
Primogeniture
[96]

Disputed claimant

Edward VI named Lady Jane Grey as his heir in his will, overruling the order of succession laid down by Parliament in the Third Succession Act. Four days after his death on 6 July 1553, Jane was proclaimed queen—the first of three Tudor women to be proclaimed queen regnant. Nine days after the proclamation, on 19 July, the Privy Council switched allegiance and proclaimed Edward VI's Catholic half-sister Mary queen. Jane was executed for treason in 1554, aged 16.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(Title disputed)
Jane
10 July 1553

19 July 1553
(Overthrown after 9 days)
Streathamladyjayne Arms of Grey Family October 1537
Bradgate Park
Daughter of the 1st Duke of Suffolk
and Frances Brandon
Guildford Dudley
The Strand
21 May 1553
No children
12 February 1554
Tower of London
Executed aged 16
Great-granddaughter of Henry VII
Devise for the Succession
[97]
[98]
Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Mary I
Bloody Mary
19 July 1553[t]

17 November 1558
(5 years, 122 days)
Mary I, by Antonius Mor, 1554 Royal Arms of England (1554-1558) 18 February 1516
Greenwich Palace
Daughter of Henry VIII
and Catherine of Aragon
Philip II of Spain
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
No children
17 November 1558
St James's Palace
Aged 42
Daughter of Henry VIII
Third Succession Act
[99]
(Jure uxoris)
Philip
25 July 1554[xv]

17 November 1558
(4 years, 116 days)
King Philip of England Royal Arms of England (1554-1558) 21 May 1527
Valladolid
Son of Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire
and Isabella of Portugal
Mary I of England
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
No children
3 other marriages
7 children
13 September 1598
El Escorial
Aged 71
Husband of Mary I
Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain
N/A
Coat of arms of Mary I

Under the terms of the marriage treaty between Philip I of Naples (Philip II of Spain from 15 January 1556) and Queen Mary I, Philip was to enjoy Mary's titles and honours for as long as their marriage should last. All official documents, including Acts of Parliament, were to be dated with both their names, and Parliament was to be called under the joint authority of the couple. An Act of Parliament gave him the title of king and stated that he "shall aid her Highness … in the happy administration of her Grace's realms and dominions"[100] (although elsewhere the Act stated that Mary was to be "sole queen"). Nonetheless, Philip was to co-reign with his wife.[101]

As the new King of England could not read English, it was ordered that a note of all matters of state should be made in Latin or Spanish.[101][102][103] Coins were minted showing the heads of both Mary and Philip, and the coat of arms of England (pictured right) was impaled with Philip's to denote their joint reign.[104][105] Acts which made it high treason to deny Philip's royal authority were passed in England (see Treason Act 1554) and Ireland.[106] In 1555, Pope Paul IV issued a papal bull recognising Philip and Mary as rightful King and Queen of Ireland.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Elizabeth I
17 November 1558[u]

24 March 1603
(44 years, 128 days)
Elizabeth I, by Darnley Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace
Daughter of Henry VIII
and Anne Boleyn
Does not appear Unmarried 24 March 1603
Richmond Palace
Aged 69
Daughter of Henry VIII
Third Succession Act
[107]

House of Stuart

Following the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 without issue, her first cousin twice removed, King James VI of Scotland, succeeded to the English throne as James I in the Union of the Crowns. James was descended from the Tudors through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII and wife of James IV of Scotland. In 1604, he adopted the title King of Great Britain. However, the two parliaments remained separate until the Acts of Union 1707.[108]

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
James I
24 March 1603[v]

27 March 1625
(22 years, 4 days)
James I, by Paulus van Somer Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) 19 June 1566
Edinburgh Castle
Son of Lord Darnley
and Mary I of Scotland
Anne of Denmark
Oslo
23 November 1589
7 children
27 March 1625
Theobalds House
Aged 58
Great-great-grandson / heir general of Henry VII [109]
Charles I
27 March 1625[w]

30 January 1649
(23 years, 310 days)
Charles I, by Anthony van Dyck Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace
Son of James I
and Anne of Denmark
Henrietta Maria of France
St Augustine's Abbey
13 June 1625
9 children
30 January 1649
Whitehall Palace
Executed aged 48
Son of James I
Cognatic primogeniture
[110]

Interregnum

No monarch reigned between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. Between 1649 and 1653, there was no single English head of state, as England was ruled directly by the Rump Parliament with the English Council of State acting as executive power during a period known as the Commonwealth of England. After a coup d'etat in 1653, Oliver Cromwell forcibly took control of England from Parliament. He dissolved the Rump Parliament at the head of a military force and England entered a period known as The Protectorate, under Cromwell's direct control with the title Lord Protector.

While not officially monarchs, the holder of the office of Lord Protector passed from Oliver Cromwell to his son Richard. Richard lacked both the ability to rule and confidence of the Army, and he was forcibly removed by the English Committee of Safety under the leadership of Charles Fleetwood in May 1659. England again lacked any single head of state during several months of conflict between Fleetwood's party and that of George Monck. Monck took control of the country in December 1659, and after almost a year of anarchy, the monarchy was formally restored when Charles II returned from France to accept the throne of England. This was following the Declaration of Breda and an invitation to reclaim the throne from the Convention Parliament of 1660.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death
Lords Protector
Oliver Cromwell
16 December 1653

3 September 1658[111]
(4 years, 262 days)
Oliver Cromwell Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659) 25 April 1599
Huntingdon[111]
Son of Robert Cromwell
and Elizabeth Steward[112]
Elizabeth Bourchier
St Giles[113]
22 August 1620
9 children[111]
3 September 1658
Whitehall
Aged 59[111]
Richard Cromwell
3 September 1658

7 May 1659[114]
(247 days)
Richard Cromwell, c.1650 Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659) 4 October 1626
Huntingdon
Son of Oliver Cromwell
and Elizabeth Bourchier[114]
Dorothy Maijor
May 1649
9 children[114]
12 July 1712
Cheshunt
Aged 85[115]

House of Stuart (restored)

After the Monarchy was restored, England came under the rule of Charles II, whose reign was relatively peaceful domestically, given the tumultuous time of the Interregnum years. Tensions still existed between Catholics and Protestants. With the ascension of Charles's brother, the openly Catholic James II, England was again sent into a period of political turmoil.

James II was ousted by Parliament less than three years after ascending to the throne, replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband (also his nephew) William III during the Glorious Revolution. While James and his descendants would continue to claim the throne, all Catholics (such as James and his son Charles) were barred from the throne by the Act of Settlement 1701, enacted by Anne, another of James's Protestant daughters. After the Acts of Union 1707, England as a sovereign state ceased to exist, replaced by the new Kingdom of Great Britain.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
(Recognised by Royalists in 1649)
Charles II
29 May 1660[x]

6 February 1685
(24 years, 254 days)
Charles II of England.jpeg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) 29 May 1630
St James's Palace
Son of Charles I
and Henrietta Maria of France
Catherine of Braganza
Portsmouth
21 May 1662
No children
6 February 1685
Whitehall Palace
Aged 54
Son of Charles I
Cognatic primogeniture
English Restoration
[116]
[117]
James II
6 February 1685[y]

23 December 1688
(Overthrown after 3 years, 321 days)
James II (Gennari Benedetto) Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) 14 October 1633
St James's Palace
Son of Charles I
and Henrietta Maria of France
(1) Anne Hyde
The Strand
3 September 1660
8 children
(2) Mary of Modena
Dover
21 November 1673
7 children
16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Aged 67
Son of Charles I
Cognatic primogeniture
[118]
Mary II
13 February 1689[z]

28 December 1694
(5 years, 319 days)
Mary II - Kneller 1690 Royal Arms of England (1689-1694) 30 April 1662
St James's Palace
Daughter of James II
and Anne Hyde
William III of England
St James's Palace
4 November 1677
No children
28 December 1694
Kensington Palace
Aged 32
Daughter of James II
Offered the Crown by Parliament
[119]
William III
William of Orange
13 February 1689[z]

8 March 1702
(13 years, 24 days)
Portrait of William III, (1650-1702) Royal Arms of England (1694-1702) 4 November 1650
The Hague
Son of William II of Orange
and Mary of England
Mary II of England
St James's Palace
4 November 1677
No children
8 March 1702
Kensington Palace
Aged 51
Grandson of Charles I
Offered the Crown by Parliament
[120]
[119]
Anne
8 March 1702[aa]

1 May 1707[121]
(5 years, 55 days)
(Queen of Great Britain until
1 August 1714)
(12 years, 147 days)
Anne1705 Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) 6 February 1665
St James's Palace
Daughter of James II
and Anne Hyde
George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683
No surviving children
1 August 1714
Kensington Palace
Aged 49
Daughter of James II
Cognatic primogeniture
Bill of Rights 1689
[122]

Acts of Union

The Acts of Union 1707 were a pair of Parliamentary Acts passed during 1706 and 1707 by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland to put into effect the Treaty of Union agreed on 22 July 1706. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (previously separate sovereign states, with separate legislatures but with the same monarch) into the Kingdom of Great Britain.[123]

England, Scotland, and Ireland had shared a monarch for more than a hundred years, since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones from his first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in fact two separate Crowns resting on the same head. There had been attempts in 1606, 1667, and 1689, to unite England and Scotland by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early eighteenth century that the idea had the support of both political establishments behind it, albeit for rather different reasons.

Titles

The standard title for all monarchs from Æthelstan until the time of King John was Rex Anglorum ("King of the English"). In addition, many of the pre-Norman kings assumed extra titles, as follows:

  • Æthelstan: Rex totius Britanniae ("King of the Whole of Britain")
  • Edmund the Magnificent: Rex Britanniæ ("King of Britain") and Rex Anglorum cæterarumque gentium gobernator et rector ("King of the English and of other peoples governor and director")
  • Eadred: Regis qui regimina regnorum Angulsaxna, Norþhymbra, Paganorum, Brettonumque ("Reigning over the governments of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, Northumbrians, Pagans, and British")
  • Eadwig the Fair: Rex nutu Dei Angulsæxna et Northanhumbrorum imperator paganorum gubernator Breotonumque propugnator ("King by the will of God, Emperor of the Anglo-Saxons and Northumbrians, governor of the pagans, commander of the British")
  • Edgar the Peaceful: Totius Albionis finitimorumque regum basileus ("King of all Albion and its neighbouring realms")
  • Canute: Rex Anglorum totiusque Brittannice orbis gubernator et rector ("King of the English and of all the British sphere governor and ruler") and Brytannie totius Anglorum monarchus ("Monarch of all the English of Britain")

In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie ("King of England"). The Empress Matilda styled herself Domina Anglorum ("Lady of the English").

From the time of King John onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Rex or Regina Anglie.

In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title (now usually rendered in English rather than Latin) King of Great Britain. The English and Scottish parliaments, however, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707 under Queen Anne (who was Queen of Great Britain rather than king).[xvi]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ælfweard is buried at Winchester.[15]
  2. ^ Æthelred was forced to go into exile in mid-1013, following Danish attacks, but was invited back following Sweyn Forkbeard's death in 1014.[32]
  3. ^ Harold was only recognised as Regent until 1037, when was recognised as king.[44].
  4. ^ After reigning for approximately 9 weeks, Edgar Atheling submitted to William the Conqueror, who had gained control of the area to the south and immediate west of London.[52]
  5. ^ William I is buried at the Abbey of Saint-Étienne (French: Abbaye aux Hommes) in France.
  6. ^ Henry I is buried at Reading Abbey.
  7. ^ Matilda is not listed as a monarch of England in many genealogies within texts, including Carpenter, David (2003). A Struggle for Mastery. p. 533.; Warren, W.L. (1973). Henry II. p. 176.; and Gillingham, John (1984). The Angevin Empire. p. x..
  8. ^ Henry II is buried at Fontevraud Abbey.
  9. ^ Richard II was buried at Rouen Cathedral. His body currently lies at Fontevraud Abbey.
  10. ^ John is buried at Worcester Cathedral.
  11. ^ The date of Edward II's death is disputed by historian Ian Mortimer, who argues that he may not have been murdered, but held imprisoned in Europe for several more years.[73]
  12. ^ Edward V was deposed by Richard III, who usurped the throne on the grounds that Edward was illegitimate. He was never crowned.[86]
  13. ^ The body of Richard III was exhumed and reburied in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.
  14. ^ Edward Hall and Raphael Holinshed both record an earlier secret wedding between Henry and Anne, which was conducted in Dover on 15 November 1532.
  15. ^ Philip was not meant to be a mere consort; rather, the status of Mary I's husband was envisioned as that of a co-monarch during her reign. (See Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain.) However the extent of his authority and his status are ambiguous. The Act says that Philip shall have the title of king and "shall aid her Highness ... in the happy administration of her Grace's realms and dominions", but elsewhere says that Mary shall be the sole Queen.
  16. ^ After the personal union of the crowns, James was the first to style himself King of Great Britain, but the title was rejected by the English Parliament and had no basis in law. The Parliament of Scotland also opposed it.[124] (See also Union Flag.)

Coronations

  1. ^ William II was crowned on 26 September 1087.
  2. ^ Henry I was crowned on 5 August 1100.
  3. ^ Stephen was crowned on 22 December 1135.
  4. ^ Henry II was crowned on 19 December 1154 with his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  5. ^ Richard I was crowned on 3 September 1189.
  6. ^ John was crowned on 27 May 1199.
  7. ^ Henry III was crowned on 28 October 1216.
  8. ^ Edward I was crowned on 19 August 1274 with Queen Eleanor.
  9. ^ Edward II was crowned on 25 February 1308 with Queen Isabella.
  10. ^ Edward III was crowned on 1 February 1327.
  11. ^ Richard II was crowned on 16 July 1377.
  12. ^ Henry IV was crowned on 13 October 1399.
  13. ^ Henry V was crowned on 9 April 1413.
  14. ^ Henry VI was crowned on 6 November 1429.
  15. ^ Edward IV was crowned on 28 June 1461.
  16. ^ Richard III was crowned on 6 July 1483 with Queen Anne.
  17. ^ Henry VII was crowned on 30 October 1485.
  18. ^ Henry VIII was crowned on 24 June 1509 with Queen Catherine.
  19. ^ Edward VI was crowned on 20 February 1547.
  20. ^ Mary I was crowned on 1 October 1553.
  21. ^ Elizabeth I was crowned on 15 January 1559.
  22. ^ James I was crowned on 25 July 1603 with Queen Anne.
  23. ^ Charles I was crowned on 2 February 1626.
  24. ^ Charles II was crowned on 23 April 1661.
  25. ^ James II was crowned on 23 April 1685 with Mary of Modena.
  26. ^ a b Mary II and William III were crowned on 11 April 1689.
  27. ^ Anne was crowned on 23 April 1702.

References

  1. ^ Ashley, Mike (2003). A Brief History of British Kings and Queens: British Royal History from Alfred the Great to the Present. Running Press.
  2. ^ Keynes, Simon (1999). "Offa". In Lapidge, Michael. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p. 340. ISBN 978-0-631-22492-1.
  3. ^ Fryde, E. B., ed. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Royal Historical Society. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-521-56350-5.
  4. ^ Keynes, Simon (2001). "Rulers of the English, c.450–1066". In Lapidge, Michael; Blair, John; Keynes, Simon; Scragg, Donald. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Blackwell Publishing. p. 514. ISBN 978-0-631-22492-1.
  5. ^ Fryde, E. B., ed. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Royal Historical Society. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-521-56350-5.
  6. ^ Keynes, Simon (2001). "Rulers of the English, c.450–1066". In Lapidge, Michael; Blair, John; Keynes, Simon; Scragg, Donald. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Blackwell Publishing. p. 514. ISBN 978-0-631-22492-1.
  7. ^ Pratt, David (2007). The political thought of King Alfred the Great. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series. 67. Cambridge University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-521-80350-2.
  8. ^ "Kings and Queens of England". britroyals.com. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Alfred 'The Great' (r. 871–899)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Edward 'The Elder' (r. 899–924)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  11. ^ Yorke, Barbara (1988). Bishop Æthelwold: His Career and Influence. Woodbridge. p. 71.
  12. ^ a b Keynes, Simon (2001). "Rulers of the English, c 450–1066". In Lapidge, Michael. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. p. 514.
  13. ^ Miller, Sean (2001). "Æthelstan". In Lapidge, Michael. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. p. 16.
  14. ^ a b Keynes, Simon (2001). "Edward the Elder". In Higham, N. J.; Hill, D. H. Edward, King of the Anglo-Saxons. Routledge. pp. 50–51.
  15. ^ Thacker, Alan (2001). "Dynastic Monasteries and Family Cults". In Higham, N. J.; Hill, D. H. Edward the Elder. Routledge. p. 253.
  16. ^ "Aethelstan". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  17. ^ "Athelstan (r.924–939)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Eadmund (Edmund)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  19. ^ "Edmund the Elder". englishmonarchs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 January 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  20. ^ "Edmund I (r. 939–946)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Eadred (Edred)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  22. ^ "King Edred". britroyals.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  23. ^ "Edred (r. 946–55)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Eadwig (Edwy)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  25. ^ "Edwy". newadvent.org. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  26. ^ "Edwy (r.955–959)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Eadgar (Edgar the Peacemaker)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  28. ^ "Family of Edgar +* and Aelfthryth +* of DEVON". Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Edgar (r. 959–975)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Eadweard (Edward the Martyr)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  31. ^ "Edward II 'The Martyr' (r. 975–978)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  32. ^ a b c "Aethelred (the Unready)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  33. ^ a b "Ethelred II, the Redeless". englishmonarchs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 January 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  34. ^ a b "Ethelred II 'The Unready' (r. 978–1013 and 1014–1016)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Sweyn (Forkbeard)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  36. ^ "Sweyn Forkbeard". englishmonarchs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  37. ^ "Sweyn (r. 1013–1014)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  38. ^ a b "Eadmund (Edmund the Ironside)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  39. ^ "Edmund Ironside". englishmonarchs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  40. ^ "Edmund II 'Ironside' (r. Apr – Nov 1016)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  41. ^ "Edmund II (king of England)". britannica.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  42. ^ "Cnut (Canute)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2007.
  43. ^ "Canute 'The Great' (r. 1016–1035)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  44. ^ a b "Harold (Harefoot)". archontology.org. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  45. ^ "Harold I". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12359. |access-date= requires |url= (help) (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  46. ^ "Harold Harefoot (r. 1035–1040)". royal.gov.uk. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  47. ^ "Harthacnut". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12252. |access-date= requires |url= (help) (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
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External links

Bretwalda

Bretwalda (also brytenwalda and bretenanwealda, sometimes capitalised) is an Old English word. The first record comes from the late 9th-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It is given to some of the rulers of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms from the 5th century onwards who had achieved overlordship of some or all of the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It is unclear whether the word dates back to the 5th century and was used by the kings themselves or whether it is a later, 9th-century, invention. The term bretwalda also appears in a 10th-century charter of Æthelstan. The literal meaning of the word is disputed and may translate to either 'wide-ruler' or 'Britain-ruler'.

The rulers of Mercia were generally the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kings from the mid 7th century to the early 9th century but are not accorded the title of bretwalda by the Chronicle, which had an anti-Mercian bias. The Annals of Wales continued to recognise the kings of Northumbria as "Kings of the Saxons" until the death of Osred I of Northumbria in 716.

Henry V of England

Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422), also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England.

In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.

In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes (1420) recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois.

Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry. His sudden and unexpected death in France two years later condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France.

House of Knýtlinga

The Danish House of Knýtlinga (English: "House of Cnut's Descendants") was a ruling royal house in Middle Age Scandinavia and England. Its most famous king was Cnut the Great, who gave his name to this dynasty. Other notable members were Cnut's father Sweyn Forkbeard, grandfather Harald Bluetooth, and sons Harthacnut, Harold Harefoot, and Svein Knutsson. It has also been called the House of Canute, the House of Denmark, the House of Gorm, or the Jelling dynasty.

In 1018 AD the House of Knýtlinga brought the crowns of Denmark and England together under a personal union. At the height of its power, in the years 1028–1030, the House reigned over Denmark, England and Norway. After the death of Cnut the Great's heirs within a decade of his own death and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the legacy of the Knýtlinga was largely lost to history.

House of Wessex

The House of Wessex, also known as the House of Cerdic (Cerdicingas in Old English), refers to the family that initially ruled a kingdom in southwest England known as Wessex, from the 6th century under Cerdic of Wessex until the unification of the Kingdoms of England by Alfred the Great and his successors. Alfred and his successors would also be part of this dynasty, which would continue ruling in the main line all the way until Alfred's descendant, Ethelred the Unready, whose reign in the late 10th century and early 11th century saw a brief period of Danish occupation and following his and his son Edmund Ironside's death, kingship by the Danish Cnut the Great and his successors to 1042. The House of Wessex then briefly regained its power for 24 years, but after the deposition of its last scion, Ethelred's great-grandson Edgar Ætheling, it faded into the annals of history. Edgar himself died after a long and adventurous life sometime after 1125. All kings of England and Great Britain since Henry II have been descended from the House of Wessex through Henry I's wife Matilda of Scotland––a daughter of Edgar Ætheling's sister, Margaret of Wessex.

Kingdom of England

The Kingdom of England (Anglo-Norman and French: Royaume d'Angleterre) was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan (r. 927–939). In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark and Norway. The Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, and the City of London quickly established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre.Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714 (interrupted by the Interregnum (England) of 1649–1660).

Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 ultimately claim descent from the Normans; the distinction of the Plantagenets is merely conventional, beginning with Henry II (reigned 1154–1189) as from that time, the Angevin kings became "more English in nature"; the houses of Lancaster and York are both Plantagenet cadet branches, the Tudor dynasty claimed descent from Edward III via John Beaufort and James VI and I of the House of Stuart claimed descent from Henry VII via Margaret Tudor.

The completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown. Edward III (reigned 1327–1377) transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe; his reign also saw vital developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution of the English parliament. From the 1340s the kings of England also laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, and his daughter Elizabeth I (reigned 1558–1603) the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World.

From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland. Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament. This concept became legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

List of monarchs of Kent

This is a list of the kings of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent.

The regnal dates for the earlier kings are known only from Bede, who piously expunged apostates (Unde cunctis placuit regum tempora computantibus, ut ablata de medio regum perfidorum memoria, idem annus sequentis regis), and seems also to have deliberately suppressed details of short or joint reigns in order to produce an orderly sequence (he had no place for Æðelwald or Eormenred). Generally more than one king ruled in Kent. Some kings are known mainly from charters, of which several are forgeries, while others have been subjected to tampering in order to reconcile them with the erroneous king lists of chroniclers, baffled by blanks, and confused by concurrent reigns and kings with similar or identical names. It is commonplace for the later kings to be referred to as subkings, but the actual rank used is always rex, never regulus (except for a late legend concerning Eormenred). The usual style was simply King of Kent (rex Cantiae) or King of the Kentish Men (rex Cantuariorum). Territorial division within Kent is not alluded to, except by Eadberht I (rex Cantuariorum terram dimidii) and Sigered (rex dimidie partis prouincie Cantuariorum).

List of monarchs of Mercia

The Kingdom of Mercia was a state in the English Midlands from the 6th century to the 10th century. For some two hundred years from the mid-7th century onwards it was the dominant member of the Heptarchy and consequently the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. During this period its rulers became the first English monarchs to assume such wide-ranging titles as King of Britain and King of the English.

Spellings varied widely in this period, even within a single document, and a number of variants exist for the names given below. For example, the sound th was usually represented with the Old English letters ð or þ.

For the Continental predecessors of the Mercians in Angeln, see List of kings of the Angles. For their successors see List of English monarchs.

List of monarchs of Northumbria

Northumbria, a kingdom of Angles, in what is now northern England and south-east Scotland, was initially divided into two kingdoms: Bernicia and Deira. The two were first united by Aethelfrith around the year 604, and except for occasional periods of division over the subsequent century, they remained so. The exceptions are during the brief period from 633 to 634, when Northumbria was plunged into chaos by the death of King Edwin in battle and the ruinous invasion of Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd. The unity of the Northumbrian kingdoms was restored after Cadwallon's death in battle in 634.

Another exception is a period from about the year 644 to 664, when kings ruled individually over Deira. In 651, King Oswiu had Oswine of Deira killed and replaced by Aethelwald, but Aethelwald did not prove to be a loyal sub-king, allying with the Mercian king Penda; according to Bede, Aethelwald acted as Penda's guide during the latter's invasion of Northumbria but withdrew his forces when the Mercians met the Northumbrians at the Battle of Winwaed. After the Mercian defeat at Winwaed, Aethelwald lost power and Oswiu's own son, Alchfrith, became king in his place. In 670, Aelfwine, the brother of the childless King Ecgfrith, was made king of Deira; by this point the title may have been used primarily to designate an heir. Aelfwine was killed in battle against Mercia in 679, and there was not another separate king of Deira until the time of Norse rule.

List of monarchs of Sussex

This list of kings and ealdormen of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the South Saxons contains substantial gaps, and many of the dates from this time are unreliable. No authentic South Saxon king list or genealogy exists, unlike what can be found for other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Most kings are known only from charters, some of which are forgeries, which makes it difficult to date the reigns of each king.

According to the charters, most kings did not govern alone: Nothhelm reigned with two or three colleagues and Oslac with four. The locations of the lands granted in their charters indicate that they reigned jointly and that there was no division of territory. Such joint reigns can also be demonstrated for the Hwicce, the East Saxons, and the West Saxons. Indeed, “[t]here is nothing remarkable in the existence of two or even more contemporary kings in the same people in the seventh century. The ancient idea that royal dignity was a matter of birth rather than of territorial rule still survived at this date.”The traditional residence of the South Saxon kings was at Kingsham, once outside the southern walls of Chichester although within its modern boundaries.

List of monarchs of Wessex

This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 927. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a number of sources, the earlier ones are in many cases obscure.

The names are given in modern English form followed by the names and titles (as far as is known) in contemporary Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and Latin, the prevalent "official" languages of the time in England.

This was a period in which spellings varied widely, even within a document. A number of variations of the details below exist. Among these are the preference between the runic character thorn (Þ, lower-case þ, from the rune of the same name) and the letter eth (Ð or ð), both of which are pronounced /th/ and were interchangeable. They were used indiscriminately for voiced and unvoiced /th/ sounds, unlike in modern Icelandic. Thorn tended to be more used in the south (Wessex) and eth in the North (Mercia and Northumbria). Separate letters th were preferred in the earliest period in Northern texts, and returned to dominate by the Middle English period onward.

The character ⁊ (Tironian et) was used as the ampersand (&) in contemporary Anglo-Saxon writings. The era pre-dates the emergence of some forms of writing accepted today; notably rare were lower case characters, and the letters W and U. W was occasionally rendered VV (later UU), but the runic character wynn (Ƿ or ƿ) was a common way of writing the /w/ sound. Again the West Saxons initially preferred the character derived from a rune, and the Angles/Engle preferred the Latin-derived lettering VV, consistent with the thorn versus eth usage pattern.

Except in manuscripts, runic letters were an Anglian phenomenon. The early Engle restricted the use of runes to monuments, whereas the Saxons adopted wynn and thorn for sounds which did not have a Latin equivalent. Otherwise they were not used in Wessex.

Lists of English and British monarchs

List of English and British monarchs include:

List of English monarchs (927–1707)

List of British monarchs (1707 on)

Monarchs of the British Isles

Monarchs of the British Isles may refer to monarchs within any of the following:

List of English Monarchs

Monarchy of Ireland

Monarchs of Scotland

List of British monarchs

Monarchy of the United Kingdom

Normans

The Normans (Norman: Normaunds; French: Normands) are an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans, and Norse Viking settlers. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.The Norman dynasty had a major political, cultural and military impact on medieval Europe and the Near East. The Normans were famed for their martial spirit and eventually for their Catholic piety, becoming exponents of the Catholic orthodoxy of the Romance community into which they assimilated. They adopted the Gallo-Romance language of the Frankish land they settled, their dialect becoming known as Norman, Normaund or Norman French, an important literary language which is still spoken today in parts of Normandy and the nearby Channel Islands. The Duchy of Normandy, which they formed by treaty with the French crown, was a great fief of medieval France, and under Richard I of Normandy was forged into a cohesive and formidable principality in feudal tenure.The Normans are noted both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture and musical traditions, and for their significant military accomplishments and innovations. Norman adventurers played a role in founding the Kingdom of Sicily under Roger II after briefly conquering southern Italy and Malta from the Saracens and Byzantines, during an expedition on behalf of their duke, William the Conqueror, which also led to the Norman conquest of England at the historic Battle of Hastings in 1066. In the ninth century, the Normans captured Seville in Southern Spain, and Norman and Anglo-Norman forces contributed to the Iberian Reconquista from the early eleventh to the mid-thirteenth centuries.Norman cultural and military influence spread from these new European centres to the Crusader states of the Near East, where their prince Bohemond I founded the Principality of Antioch in the Levant, to Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, to Ireland, and to the coasts of north Africa and the Canary Islands. The legacy of the Normans persists today through the regional languages and dialects of France, England, Spain, and Sicily, as well as the various cultural, judicial, and political arrangements they introduced in their conquered territories.

North Sea Empire

The North Sea Empire, also known as the Anglo-Scandinavian Empire, was the thalassocratic domain ruled by Cnut the Great as King of England, Denmark, Norway and parts of what is now Sweden between 1016 and 1035.

Outline of the Middle Ages

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Middle Ages:

Middle Ages – periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern.

Regnal years of English monarchs

The following is a list of the official regnal years of the monarchs of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain and United Kingdom from 1066. The regnal calendar ("nth year of the reign of King X", etc.) is used in many official British government and legal documents of historical interest, notably parliamentary statutes.

Throne of England

The Throne of England is the throne of the Monarch of England. "Throne of England" also refers metonymically to the office of monarch, and monarchy itself. The term "Throne of Great Britain" has been used in reference to Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords, from which a monarch gives his or her speech at the State opening of Parliament.

William of the United Kingdom

William of the United Kingdom may refer to:

William IV of the United Kingdom (1765–1837), reigned 1830–1837

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (born 1982)

English, Scottish and British monarchs

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