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List of English monarchs: Wikis


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The first person to assume the title Rex Anglorum (King of the English) was Offa of Mercia, though his power did not survive him. In the 9th century the kings of Wessex, who conquered Kent and Sussex from Mercia in 825, became increasingly dominant over the other kingdoms of England. The continuous list of English monarchs traditionally begins with Egbert of Wessex in 829. Alfred the Great and his son Edward the Elder used the title "King of the Anglo-Saxons". After Athelstan conquered Northumbria in 927, he adopted the title Rex Anglorum. Starting with Henry II (1154), the title became Rex Angliae (King of England).

The Principality of Wales was incorporated into the Kingdom of England under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 and, in 1301, Edward I invested his eldest son, Edward II, as Prince of Wales. Since that time, with the exception of Edward III, the eldest sons of all English monarchs have borne this title. After the death of Elizabeth I of England in 1603, the crowns of England and Scotland were united under James I and VI. By royal proclamation James titled himself 'king of Great Britain'. Since the accession of James, as heir to both kingdoms with a dual inheritance via his parents, the title King or Queen of England is incorrect, though it has remained in popular usage to the present day. England underwent legislative union with Scotland in 1707 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Since 1707, there has been no separate legislature for England, although recent devolution has provided for Scotland. In 1801 the Kingdom of Ireland, which had been under English rule since Henry II, became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland following the Act of Union, which lasted until the secession of Ireland in 1922 and the subsequent renaming of the state to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


House of Mercia

According to some sources the first ruler to assume the title Rex Anglorum is said to have been Offa in 774, who had been King of Mercia since 757, but this claim is based on charters apparently forged in the 10th century.[1][2] However, on some of his coins Offa describes himself as Of Rx A, believed to stand for Offa Rex Anglorum.[3] This probably had a different meaning at the time than it acquired later, i.e. king of the Angles, and not necessarily the Saxons.[3]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Offa born circa 747 Cynethryth
five children
26 or 29 July 796
aged 58

House of Wessex

The continuous list traditionally starts with Egbert, King of Wessex from 802, the first King of Wessex to have overlordship over much of England.[4] He defeated the Mercians in 825 and became Bretwalda in 829, although he later lost control of Mercia. Alfred the Great and his son Edward the Elder used the title "king of the Anglo-Saxons." After Athelstan conquered Northumbria in 927, he adopted the title rex Anglorum (King of the English).

There is some evidence that Ælfweard of Wessex may have been king for four weeks in 924, between his father Edward the Elder and his brother Athelstan, although he was not crowned.[5][6] However this is not accepted by all historians.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Egbert c.775[8]
son of Ealhmund of Kent[7]
three children[7]
4 February 839
aged about 64[7]
5 February
Æthelwulf Aachen born 795
son of Egbert and Redburga
(1) Osburga
six children
(2) Judith of Flanders
1 October 853
no children
13 January 858
62 or 63[4]
Aethelbald.jpg c.834[9]
son of Æthelwulf and Osburga
Judith of Flanders
no children
20 December 860
21 December
King Æthelberht from All Souls College Chapel c.835
son of Æthelwulf and Osburga
two children
aged about 30[4]
Coin of Æthelred c.837
son of Æthelwulf and Osburga
two children
23 April 871
aged about 34[4]
Alfred the Great
24 April
Statue of Alfred the Great in Wantage c.849
son of Æthelwulf and Osburga[11]
six children[12]
26 October 899
aged about 50[10]
Edward the Elder
27 October
Edward the Elder c.871–877
son of Alfred the Great and Ealhswith[14]
(1) Ecgwynn
three children
(2) Aelffaed
ten children
(3) Eadgifu of Kent
four children[15]
17 July 924
Farndon, Cheshire
aged about 50[13]
Athelstan the Glorious
3 August
King Athelstan from All Souls College Chapel 895
son of Edward the Elder and Ecgwynn
unmarried[16] 27 October 939
aged about 44[16]
Edmund the Magnificent
28 October
Imaginary portrait of Edmund I c.921
son of Edward the Elder and Eadgifu of Kent[17]
(1) Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
three children
(2) Æthelflæd of Damerham
no children[18]
26 May 946
aged about 25 (murdered)[17]
27 May
Imaginary line engraving of Edred made by un unknown engraver after an unknown artist c.923
son of Edward the Elder and Eadgifu of Kent
unmarried 23 November 955
aged about 32[20]
24 November
Line engraving of Edwy made by an unknown engraver after an unknown artist c.940
son of Edmund the Magnificent and Ælfgifu[22]
Ælfgifu[21] 1 October 959
aged about 19[21]
Edgar the Peaceable
2 October
King Edgar of England c.943
son of Edmund the Magnificent and Elgiva
(1) Æthelflæd
1 son
(2) Ælfthryth
2 sons
8 July 975
aged about 32[24]
Saint Edward the Martyr
9 July
St. Edward the Martyr c.962
son of Edgar the Peaceable and Æthelflæd
unmarried 18 March 978
Corfe Castle
aged about 16 (assassinated)[25]
Æthelred the Unready
(Æþelræd Unræd)
19 March
978–1013 & 1014–1016[26]
Image of Æthelred II with an oversize sword from the illuminated manuscript "The Chronicle of Abingdon" c.968
son of Edgar the Peaceable and Ælfthryth[27]
(1) Ælflaed of Northumbria
four children
(2) Aelgifu
six children
(3) Emma of Normandy
three children[28]
23 April 1016
aged about 48[26]
Edmund Ironside
24 April –
30 November 1016[29]
Edmund Ironside c.993
son of Æthelred the Unready and Ælflæd of Northumbria[29]
Edith of East Anglia
two children[30]
30 November 1016
aged about 23[29][30]

House of Denmark

England came under the rule of Danish kings during and following the reign of Æthelred the Unready.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Sweyn Forkbeard
(Svend Tveskæg)
25 December[31]
Sweyn Forkbeard, from an architectural element in the Swansea Guildhall, Swansea, Wales c.960
son of Harald Bluetooth and Gyrid Olafsdottir[33]
(1) Gunhilda of Poland
seven children
(2) Sigrid the Haughty
1 daughter[33]
3 February 1014
aged about 54[33]
1 December
Cnut.jpg c.995
son of Sweyn Forkbeard and Gunhilda of Poland [34]
(1) Aelgifu of Northampton
two children
(2) Emma of Normandy
12 November 1035
aged about 40[34]
Harold Harefoot
13 November
Harold H.jpg c.1016/7
son of Canute and Aelgifu of Northampton[35]
1 son[36]
17 March 1040
aged about 23 or 24[35]
18 June
Hardeknut.jpg 1018
son of Canute and Emma of Normandy[36]
unknown 8 June 1042
aged about 24[36]

House of Wessex (restored)

After Harthacanute, there was a brief Saxon Restoration between 1042 and 1066. After the Battle of Hastings, a decisive point in British history, William of Normandy became king of England.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Saint Edward the Confessor
9 June
EdtheCon.jpg c.1003
Islip, Oxfordshire
son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy[38]
Edith of Wessex
23 January 1045
no children[38]
5 January 1066
Westminster Palace
aged about 60[38]
Harold Godwinson
(Harold Godwinesson)
6 January–14 October 1066[38]
Harold2.jpg c.1020
son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex and Gytha Thorkelsdóttir[38]
(1) Edith Swannesha
six children

(2) Edith of Mercia
two sons[38]

14 October 1066
aged about 46 (died in battle)[38]
Edgar the Atheling
(Eadgar Æþeling)
15 October–17 December 1066.
Proclaimed, but never crowned.[39]
Edgar the Ætheling.jpg c.1053
son of Edward the Exile and Agatha[40]
unmarried[40] c.1125
aged about 72[39]

House of Normandy

In 1066 the Duke of Normandy, William II, a vassal to the King of France and cousin once-removed of Edward the Confessor, invaded England and conquered the West Saxon establishment in the Norman Conquest of England and made the recent removal from Winchester to London permanent under their government. Following the death of King Harold II in the decisive Battle of Hastings on 14 October, the Anglo-Saxon witan elected Edgar the Ætheling king in Harold's place, but Edgar was unable to resist the invaders and was never crowned. William was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066, and is today known as William the Conqueror, William the Bastard or William I.

Much like the Battle of Stamford Bridge, the Normans succeeded in driving away peninsular Scandinavian claimants from asserting their sway over the Danelaw and generally throughout England, thereby securing their own Scandinavian progeny to the Throne, whilst based on the southern side of what was lately known as the Saxon Shores in the British Ocean of the Western Roman Empire, but had been transformed into the Marches of Neustria in the English Channel of the Holy Roman Empire. Normandy greatly increased royal power and tolerated little of provincial independence which had largely characterised the scope of Wessex's rule over their subjects and in any case, the very nature of Norman character was a blend of Saxon and Dane through the historical settlement pattern of their duchy independent from Frankish qualities. There was thus little to gain for a prostrate England, from either a Saxon or a Dane to seize power simply for their own bloc against one another. England had been pushed into Norman hands as a result of the inadequacy of the West Saxon monarchs to enforce and centralise their rule against Danish attacks, but the consequence of this was a centre of administration (i.e. Westminster) closer to the Danelaw than before and the concentration of power completely out of the hands of local governmental officials such as the ealdormanry. Normandy would simply delegate authority by the curia regis from Rouen to London and the access to the king's body and entourage was severely restricted from the common people. This gulf was thought necessary to retain a stable government, rather than be susceptible to another deposition of the monarchy by those such as earls who had a decidedly Danish bias for their own claims to power independent of the Crown.

It was only from the reign of William and his descendents that monarchs took regnal numbers in the French fashion, though the earlier custom of distinguishing monarchs by nicknames did not die out by consequence.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
William I
William the Bastard/the Conqueror

(Guillaume le Bâtard / le Conquérant)
25 December
William the Conqueror depicted at the Battle of Hastings, on the Bayeux Tapestry c.1028
Falaise Castle
son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, and Herleva[41]
Matilda of Flanders
Chapel Notre Dame of the castle in Eu, Normandy
ten children[41]
9 September 1087
St. Gervais in Rouen
aged about 59.[41] Buried at Saint Etienne Abbey (Abbaye aux Hommes) of Caen
right of conquest
William II Rufus
(Guillaume le Roux)
26 September
William Rufus depicted in the Stowe Manuscript c.1060
son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders[41]
unmarried 2 August 1100
New Forest
aged about 40[41]
son of William I
Henry I
Henry Beauclerc

(Henri Beauclerc)
5 August
Henry I September 1068
son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders[42]
(1) Edith of Scotland
Westminster Abbey
11 November 1100
four children
(2) Adeliza of Louvain
Windsor Castle
29 January 1121
no children[42]
1 December 1135
Castle of Lyons-la-Forêt (Saint-Denis-en-Lyons)
aged 67.[42] Buried at Reading Abbey
son of William I;
(seizure of the crown)
Stephen of Blois

(Étienne de Blois)
22 December
Stephen c.1096
son of Stephen, Count of Blois, and Adela of Normandy[42]
Matilda of Boulogne
five children[42]
25 October 1154
Dover Castle
aged about 58[42]
grandson of William I

Disputed claimant

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Mahaut l'emperesse
7 April–1 November 1141[44]
Title disputed
Matilda 7 February 1102
Sutton Courtenay
daughter of Henry I and Edith of Scotland[45]
(1) Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
6 January 1114
no children
(2) Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou
Le Mans Cathedral
22 May 1128
three children
10 September 1167
Notre Dame du Pré in Rouen
aged 65[44]
daughter of Henry I
(seizure of the crown)

Empress Matilda was declared heir presumptive by her father, Henry I, and acknowledged as such by the barons. However, upon Henry I's death, the throne was seized by Matilda's cousin, Stephen of Blois. The Anarchy followed, with Matilda being a de facto ruler for a few months in 1141, but she was never crowned and is rarely listed as monarch of England. Stephen and Geoffrey's mutual entrance to English politics at this time is remarkable in that they had no direct ties to England of an ethnic sort, only dynastically through the Normans, who acted as their literal and figurative bridge between England and France, a cultural inheritance the Channel Islands retain today.

House of Plantagenet

Stephen came to an agreement in November 1153, with the signing of the Treaty of Wallingford where Stephen recognised Henry, son of Matilda, as his heir to the throne in lieu of his own son.

Rather than ruling among the Normans, the Plantagenets ruled from Aquitaine and accumulated more territories in France, but likewise did not regard England as their primary home until after most of their French possessions were lost by King John. This long-lived dynasty is usually divided into three houses: the Angevins, the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The transition from a French focus to expansion throughout the British Isles, is noted in the use of Lancastrian and Yorkist to denote the difference and the forward outlook on their frontier with the King of Scots, who claimed Northumbria (see Auld Alliance), as well as names for the rival Plantagenet factions. The Plantagenets destroyed themselves and the Welsh Tudors took advantage of this, but affirmed the Lancastro-Portuguese link (essential to maintaining Aquitaine) with Castile in two Spanish marriages. This was abruptly changed to Henry VIII choosing an old Yorko-Burgundian alliance with Cleves, pursued further under Elizabeth's Dudley faction in the Dutch Rebellion. All of this was paralleled by resentful, anti-Tudor "treason" from the previously feuding Northumberland-Westmorland faction which handed England into the hands of the Francophile Stuarts of Lennox in Scotland, who were originally based at Aubigny-sur-Nère, France. The Scottish dynasty would rely on French support to maintain authoritarian rule over their newfound English subjects whom they were often at war with, before and after taking their Crown, before the Hundred Years' War Yorkist-Burgundian alliance would be revived under William III of Orange, in what was called the Second Hundred Years' War.

The Plantagenets 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.



In addition to the kings listed below, Prince Louis of France briefly ruled about half of England from 1216 to 1217 at the conclusion of the First Barons' War against King John. However in signing the Treaty of Lambeth he conceded that he had never been the legitimate king of England.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Henry II Curtmantle
(Henri Court-mantel)
19 December
Henry II 5 March 1133
Le Mans
son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda[46]
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Bordeaux Cathedral
18 May 1152
eight children[46]
6 July 1189
Château Chinon
aged 56.[46] Buried at Fontevraud Abbey
grandson of Henry I
(Treaty of Wallingford)
Henry the Young King
(Henri le Jeune Roy)
(co-ruler with his father)
14 June
Henry 28 February 1155

son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine

Margaret of France
Winchester Cathedral
27 August 1172
one child
11 June 1183
Martel, Limoges
aged 28. Buried at Rouen Cathedral (Notre-Dame)
son of Henry II
(coronation as junior king)
Richard I the Lionheart
(Richard Cœur de Lion)
3 September
Richard the Lionheart, an illustration from a 12th century codex 8 September 1157
Beaumont Palace
son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine[46]
Berengaria of Navarre
12 May 1191
no children[46]
6 April 1199
aged 41.[46] Buried: Heart at Rouen Cathedral. Body at Fontevraud Abbey
son of Henry II
John Lackland
(Jean Sans Terre)
27 May
Tomb effigy of John 24 December 1166
Beaumont Palace
son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine[47]
(1) Isabel of Gloucester
Marlborough Castle
29 August 1189
no children

(2) Isabella of Angoulême
Bordeaux Cathedral
24 August 1200
five children[47]

19 October 1216
Newark Castle
aged 49.[47] Buried at Worcester Cathedral
brother of Richard I
Henry III
28 October
Henry III 1 October 1207
Winchester Castle
son of John and Isabella of Angoulême[48]
Eleanor of Provence
Canterbury Cathedral
14 January 1236
nine children[48]
16 November 1272
Westminster Palace
aged 65[48]
son of John
Edward I Longshanks
20 November
Edward I and II.jpg 17 June 1239
Westminster Palace
son of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence[49]
(1) Eleanor of Castile
Abbey of Santa Maria la Real de Huelgas
18 October 1254
17 children

(2) Margaret of France
10 September 1299
three children[49]

7 July 1307
Burgh by Sands
aged 68[49]
son of Henry III
Edward II
7 July 1307 –
25 January 1327[50]
Modern depiction of Edward II 25 April 1284
Caernarfon Castle
son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile[50]
Isabella of France
Boulogne Cathedral
25 January 1308
five children[50]
21 September 1327
Berkeley Castle
aged 43 (murdered)[50] [51]
son of Edward I
Edward III
25 January
Edward III 13 November 1312
Windsor Castle
son of Edward II and Isabella of France[52]
Philippa of Hainault
York Minster
24 January 1328
14 children[52]
21 June 1377
Sheen Palace
aged 64[52]
son of Edward II
Richard II
21 June 1377 –
29 September 1399[53]
Richard II, the sol-called 'Westminster Portrait', painted by an unknown artist working in the International Gothic style, 1390s 6 January 1367
son of Edward, the Black Prince and Joan of Kent[53]
(1) Anne of Bohemia
14 January 1382
no children

(2) Isabella of Valois
4 November 1396
no children[53]

14 February 1400
Pontefract Castle
aged 33[53]
grandson of Edward III

House of Lancaster

This house descended from Edward III's third surviving son, John of Gaunt.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Henry IV Bolingbroke
30 September
Henry IV 3 April 1366/7
Bolingbroke Castle
son of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster[54]
(1) Mary de Bohun
Arundel Castle
27 July 1380
seven children

(2) Joanna of Navarre
Winchester Cathedral
7 February 1403
no children[54]

20 March 1413
Westminster Abbey
aged 45 or 46[55]
grandson and heir male of Edward III
(usurpation/agnatic primogeniture)
Henry V
20 March
Henry V 9 August 1387 (or 16 September)
Monmouth Castle
son of Henry IV and Mary de Bohun[54]
Catherine of Valois
Troyes Cathedral
2 June 1420
one son[54]
31 August 1422
Château de Vincennes
aged 35[54]
son of Henry IV
(agnatic primogeniture)
Henry VI
(first reign)
31 August 1422 – 4 March 1461[56]
Henry VI 6 December 1421
Windsor Castle
son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois[56]
Margaret of Anjou
Titchfield Abbey
22 April 1445
1 son[56]
21 May 1471
Tower of London
aged 49 (murdered)[56]
son of Henry V
(agnatic primogeniture)

House of York

The House of York was descended from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Edward IV
(first reign)
4 March 1461 – 2 October 1470[57]
Edward IV 28 April 1442
son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville[57]
Elizabeth Woodville
Grafton Regis
1 May 1464
ten children[57]
9 April 1483
Westminster Palace
aged 40[57]
great-great-great-grandson and heir general of Edward III
(seizure of the crown/cognatic primogeniture)

House of Lancaster (restored)

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Henry VI
(second reign)
2 October 1470 – 11 April 1471[56]
Henry VI 6 December 1421
Windsor Castle
son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois[56]
Margaret of Anjou
Titchfield Abbey
22 April 1445
1 son[56]
21 May 1471
Tower of London
aged 49 (murdered)[56]
son of Henry V
(seizure of the crown)

House of York (restored)

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Edward IV
(second reign)
11 April 1471 – 9 April 1483[57]
Edward IV 28 April 1442
son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville[57]
Elizabeth Woodville
Grafton Regis
1 May 1464
ten children[57]
9 April 1483
Westminster Palace
aged 40[57]
great-great-great-grandson and heir general of Edward III
(seizure of the crown/cognatic primogeniture)
Edward V
9 April – 25 June 1483[58]
Edward V 2 November 1470
son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville[58]
unmarried c. 1483
aged about 12[59]
son of Edward IV
(cognatic primogeniture)
Richard III
26 June
1483 – 1485[60]
Richard III 2 October 1452
Fotheringhay Castle
son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville[61]
Anne Neville
Westminster Abbey
12 July 1472
1 son[61]
22 August 1485
Bosworth Field
aged 32 (killed in battle)[61]
great-great-great-grandson of Edward III
(Titulus Regius)

House of Tudor

The Tudors descended matrilineally from John Beaufort, one of the illegitimate children of 14th Century English Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (third surviving son of Edward III of England), by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford. The descendants of an illegitimate child of English Royalty 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 (also enshrined in an Act of Parliament in 1397). A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, King Henry IV, also recognized the Beauforts' legitimacy, but declared them ineligible to ever inherit the throne. Nevertheless, the Beauforts remained closely allied with Gaunt's other descendants, the Royal House of Lancaster.

John Beaufort's granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort, a considerable heiress, was married to Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond. Tudor was the son of Welsh courtier Owain Tewdr (anglicised to "Owen Tudor") and Katherine of Valois, widowed queen consort 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.

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 Birth Marriages Death Claim
Henry VII
22 August
Henry VII, by Michel Sittow, 1505 28 January 1457
Pembroke Castle
son of Edmund Tudor and Lady Margaret Beaufort[62]
Elizabeth of York
Westminster Abbey
18 January 1486
eight children[62]
21 April 1509
Richmond Palace
aged 52[62]
great-great-great-grandson of Edward III
(right of conquest)
Henry VIII
21 April
Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein, c.1536 28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace
son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York[63]
Catherine of Aragon
11 June 1509
one daughter
28 January 1547
Whitehall Palace
aged 55[63]
son of Henry VII
Anne Boleyn
Westminster Palace
25 January 1533
one daughter
Jane Seymour
Whitehall Palace
30 May 1536
one son
Anne of Cleves
Greenwich Palace
6 January 1540
Catherine Howard
Hampton Court Palace
28 July 1540
Catherine Parr
Hampton Court Palace
12 July 1543
Edward VI
28 January
Edward VI, by Hans Eworth 12 October 1537
Hampton Court Palace
son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour[64]
unmarried 6 July 1553
Greenwich Palace
aged 15[64]
son of Henry VIII

Disputed claimant

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Jane Grey
(The Nine Days Queen)
10 July–19 July 1553[65]
title disputed
Streathamladyjayne.jpg October 1537
Bradgate Park
daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Lady Frances Brandon[65]
Lord Guildford Dudley
The Strand
21 May 1553
no children[66]
12 February 1554
Tower of London
aged 16 (beheaded)[65]
great-granddaughter of Henry VII
(Device for the succession)

Edward VI named Lady Jane Grey as his heir presumptive. Four days after his death, Jane was proclaimed queen. Nine days after the proclamation, Edward VI's Catholic half-sister Mary had managed to find sufficient support to ride into London in a triumphal procession on 19 July. Jane was executed in 1554, aged 16. Few historians consider her to have been a legitimate monarch.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Mary I
(Bloody Mary)
19 July
Mary I, by Antonius Mor, 1554 18 February 1516
Greenwich Palace
daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon[64]
Philip II of Spain
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
no children[64]
17 November 1558
St. James's Palace
aged 42[64]
daughter of Henry VIII
(Third Succession Act)
Philip of Spain[67]
25 July 1554 –
17 November 1558
(in the right of his wife)
status unclear; "de jure" claims were nullified by sister-in-law's defeat of the Spanish Armada
King Philip of England 21 May 1527
Valladolid, Spain
son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Isabella of Portugal
(2) Mary I of England
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
no children
three other marriages
and seven children
13 September 1598
El Escorial, Spain
aged 71
husband of Mary I
(Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain)
Coat of arms, 1554–1558

Under the terms of the marriage treaty between Philip II of Spain 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"[68] (although elsewhere the Act stated that Mary was to be "sole queen"). Nonetheless, Philip was to co-reign with his wife.[69] 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.[69][70][71] Coins were minted showing the heads of both Mary and Philip, and the coat of arms of England (right) was impaled with Philip's to denote their joint reign.[72][73] Acts which made it high treason to deny Philip's royal authority were passed in England[74] and Ireland.[75] In 1555, Pope Paul IV issued a papal bull recognising Philip and Mary as rightful King and Queen of Ireland.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Elizabeth I
(The Virgin Queen)
17 November
Elizabeth I, by Darnley 7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace
daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn[64]
unmarried 24 March 1603
Richmond Palace
aged 69[64]
daughter of Henry VIII
(Third Succession Act)

House of Stuart

Following the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 without issue, the Scottish king, James VI, succeeded to the English throne as James I in what became known as the Union of the Crowns. James was descended from the Tudors through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII. In 1604 he adopted the title King of Great Britain, much like the agglomeration of Habsburg "Spain" through the previous union of Castile and Aragon. James similarly lavished titles onto Scots or Englishmen to promote cross-border identity, such as naming his cousin the Duke of Lennox also Duke of Richmond, while the Lord of the Isles became Prince of Wales, Duke of Albany became Duke of York and so on, but the two parliaments remained operatively separate, especially in their Commons. Ireland's distinct independent, parallel government with England in both matters of church and state, continued when Scotland was added to the mix, although James changed the Plantations of Ireland by introducing his own countrymen to Ulster, many of whom were quite resentful of English dominance in Leinster. The Stuart dynasty had long supported the Capetian and Valois dynasties through the Auld Alliance, thus making absolutely no attempt to claim the Throne of France. The Stuarts were pensioners of the Bourbons and often maligned for their foreign orientation within their inherited realm of England, perhaps betraying the Plantagenet cause, a concession further made when the Stuart heirs in Hanover dropped the French royal title under Revolutionary pressure.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
James I
24 March
James I, by Paulus van Somer 19 June 1566
Edinburgh Castle
son of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, and Mary I, Queen of Scots[76]
Anne of Denmark
23 November 1589
seven children[76]
27 March 1625
Theobalds House
aged 58[76]
great-great-grandson and heir general of Henry VII (cognatic primogeniture)
Charles I
(Saint Charles the Martyr[77])
27 March
Charles I, by Anthony van Dyck 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace
son of James I and Anne of Denmark[78]
Henrietta Maria of France
St Augustine's Abbey
13 June 1625
nine children[78]
30 January 1649
Whitehall Palace
aged 48 (beheaded)[78]
son of James I (cognatic primogeniture)


There was no reigning monarch between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. Despite this, from 1653 the following individuals held power as Lords Protector, during the period known as the Protectorate.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Oliver Cromwell
(Old Ironsides)
16 December
Oliver Cromwell 25 April 1599
son of Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Stewart[80]
Elizabeth Bourchier
St Giles[81]
22 August 1620
nine children[79]
3 September 1658
aged 59[79]
Richard Cromwell
(Tumbledown Dick)
3 September 1658
– 7 May 1659[82]
Richard Cromwell, c.1650 4 October 1626
son of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth Bourchier[82]
Dorothy Maijor
May 1649
nine children[82]
12 July 1712
aged 85[83]

House of Stuart (restored)

Although the monarchy was restored in 1660, no stable settlement proved possible until the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when parliament finally asserted the right to choose whomsoever it pleased as monarch.

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Claim
Charles II
Recognized by Parliament in 1660
Charles II (1670s).jpg 29 May 1630
St. James's Palace
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France[85]
Catherine of Braganza
21 May 1662
three legitimate children (none survived infancy)[85]
6 February 1685
Whitehall Palace
aged 54[85]
son of Charles I (cognatic primogeniture; English Restoration)
James II
6 February 1685 –
23 December 1688 (deposed)[86]
James II by John Riley.png 14 October 1633
St. James's Palace
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France[86]
(1) Anne Hyde
The Strand
3 September 1660
eight children

(2) Mary of Modena
21 November 1673
seven children[86]

16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
aged 67[86]
son of Charles I (cognatic primogeniture)
Mary II
13 February
Queen Mary II.jpg 30 April 1662
St. James's Palace
daughter of James II and Anne Hyde[86]
St. James's Palace
4 November 1677
three children (none survived infancy)[87]
28 December 1694
Kensington Palace
aged 32[86]
daughter of James II and grandson of Charles I (offered the crown by the Parliament)
William III
William of Orange

13 February
Portrait of William III, (1650-1702).jpg 4 November 1650
The Hague
son of William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary, Princess Royal[88]
8 March 1702
Kensington Palace
aged 51[87]
8 March
Anne1705.jpg 6 February 1665
St. James's Palace
daughter of James II and Anne Hyde[90]
George of Denmark
St. James's Palace
28 July 1683
17 children[90]
1 August 1714
Kensington Palace
aged 49[90]
daughter of James II (cognatic primogeniture; Bill of Rights 1689)

Timeline of English Monarchs

Acts of Union

The Acts of Union 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 terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (previously separate states, with separate legislatures but with the same monarch) into a single United Kingdom of Great Britain.[91]

The two countries had shared a monarch for about 100 years (since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne 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 three attempts in 1606, 1667, and 1689 to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early eighteenth century that the idea had the will of both political establishments behind them, albeit for rather different reasons.


The standard title for all monarchs from Alfred the Great 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:

  • Alfred the Great: Rex Angulsaxonum (King of the Anglosaxons) and Rex Anglorum et Saxonum (King of the Angles and Saxons)
  • Athelstan: Rex Anglorum per omnipatrantis dexteram totius Bryttaniæ regni solio sublimatus
  • Edmund the Magnificent: Rex Britanniae and Rex Anglorum caeterarumque gentium gobernator et rector
  • Edred: Regis qui regimina regnorum Angulsaxna, Norþhymbra, Paganorum, Brettonumque
  • Edwy the Fair: Rex nutu Dei Angulsæxna et Northanhumbrorum imperator paganorum gubernator Breotonumque propugnator
  • Edgar the Peaceable: Totius Albionis finitimorumque regum basileus
  • Canute: Rex Anglorum totiusque Brittannice orbis gubernator et rector and Brytannie totius Anglorum monarchus

In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie ("King of England"). 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 Anglie, or Regina Anglie ("Queen of England") if female.

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 of course Queen of Great Britain rather than king).[92]


  1. ^ Keynes, Simon (1999), "Offa", in Lapidge, Michael, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 301–341, ISBN 0-631-22492-0  "The notion that Offa claimed to be 'king of the English', or 'king of the whole country of England', has been shown to depend, however, on charters forged in the tenth century. In his own day he was 'king of the Mercians', and proud enough to be so." (p. 341)
  2. ^ Wormald, Patrick (1982), "The Age of Offa and Alcuin", in Campbell, James, The Anglo-Saxons, London: Phaidon, pp. 101–128, ISBN 0-14-0143950-5  "Charlemagne, moreover, saw England as if it were ruled by two kings only; Æthelred ruling Northumbria, and Offa everything to the south." (p. 101)
  3. ^ a b The Earliest English Kings, D.P. Kirby
  4. ^ a b c d Burke's Peerage & Gentry. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  5. ^ Yorke, Barbara. Bishop Æthelwold. His Career and Influence. Woodbridge, 1988. p. 71
  6. ^ Textus Roffensis
  7. ^ a b c d " – Æthelbald, King of Wessex and others". Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  8. ^ "King Egbert". Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  9. ^ Weir, Alison (1999), Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy, London, U.K., p. 6 
  10. ^ a b Alfred (the Great) @ Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  11. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Alfred the Great. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  12. ^ Alfred the Great. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  13. ^ a b EADWEARD (Edward the Elder) @ Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  14. ^ There are various references listing Edward the Elder's birth as sometime in the 870s, being the second child of a marriage of 868. There are no sources listing his birth as after 877. : Edward the Elder. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  15. ^ English Monarchs – Kings and Queens of England – Edward the Elder. Retrieved 21 January 2007.
  16. ^ a b c Aethelstan @ Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  17. ^ a b c EADMUND (Edmund) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  18. ^ English Monarchs – Kings and Queens of England – Edmund the Elder. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  19. ^ EADRED (Edred) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  20. ^ BritRoyals – King Edred. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  21. ^ a b c EADWIG (Edwy) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  22. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Edwy. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  23. ^ EADGAR (Edgar the Peacemaker) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  24. ^ The Ætheling. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  25. ^ a b EADWEARD (Edward the Martyr) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  26. ^ a b Æthelred the Unready was forced to go into exile in the summer of 1013, following Danish attacks, but was invited back following Sweyn Forkbeard's death. AETHELRED (the Unready) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  27. ^ Schoolnet Spartacus: Ethelred. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  28. ^ English Monarchs – Kings and Queens of England – Ethelred II, the Redeless. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  29. ^ a b c EADMUND (Edmund the Ironside) @ Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  30. ^ a b English Monarchs – Kings and Queens of England – Edmund Ironside. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  31. ^ "English Monarchs". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  32. ^ "Sweyn (Forkbeard) -". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  33. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10242". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  34. ^ a b c d CNUT (Canute) @ Retrieved 21 March 2007.
  35. ^ a b c Harold was only recognised as king north of the River Thames until 1037, after which he was recognised as king of all England. "Harold (Harefoot) -". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  36. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10220". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  37. ^ "Harthacnut -". Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h " – Person Page 10218". Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  39. ^ a b After reigning for approximately 9 weeks, Edgar the Atheling submitted to William the Conqueror, who had gained control of the area to the south and immediate west of London ("Eadgar (the Ætheling) -". Retrieved 2007-10-26. ).
  40. ^ a b " – Person Page 9". Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f g " – Person Page 10203". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  42. ^ a b c d e f g " – Person Page 10204". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  43. ^ "STEPHEN (of Blois) -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  44. ^ a b Matilda ruled at the same time as Stephen, but her reign was disputed. " – Person Page 10204". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  45. ^ "MATILDA (the Empress) -". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h " – Person Page 10202". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  47. ^ a b c d " – Person Page 10201". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  48. ^ a b c d " – Person Page 10193". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  49. ^ a b c d " – Person Page 10191". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  50. ^ a b c d Edward II was officially deposed by Parliament on 25 January 1327, having been imprisoned on 16 November 1326. " – Person Page 10094". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  51. ^ The date of Edward II's death is disputed by Ian Mortimer in his book "The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation," in which argues that he may not have been murdered, but held imprisoned in Europe for several more years: ISBN 009952709X
  52. ^ a b c d " – Person Page 10188". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  53. ^ a b c d Richard II was deposed, and became a prisoner of Henry Bolingbroke, who usurped the throne from the prior claims of the issue of his father John of Gaunt. " – Person Page 10206". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  54. ^ a b c d e f g " – Person Page 10187". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  55. ^ "HENRY IV -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h Edward IV usurped the throne in 1461 after years of civil war. Henry VI was restored for about five months in 1470 before being deposed again permanently. " – Person Page 10186". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  57. ^ a b c d e f g h Edward was briefly deposed during his reign by Henry VI. " – Person Page 10164". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  58. ^ a b Edward V was deposed by Richard III, who usurped the throne on the grounds that Edward was illegitimate. "EDWARD V -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  59. ^ " – Person Page 10165". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  60. ^ "RICHARD III -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  61. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10163". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  62. ^ a b c d " – Person Page 10142". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  63. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10148". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h i j " – Person Page 10150". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  65. ^ a b c Jane was deposed in favour of Mary Tudor. " – Person Page 10152". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  66. ^ "Lady Jane Grey: Marriage". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  67. ^ 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 Philip II of Spain's reign in England. However the extent of his authority and his status are ambiguous. An Act of Parliament, 1 Mar. stat. 2 c. 2, 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.
  68. ^ 1 Mar. stat. 2 c. 2
  69. ^ a b Louis Adrian Montrose, The subject of Elizabeth: authority, gender, and representation, University of Chicago Press, 2006
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  71. ^ Wim de Groot, The Seventh Window: The King's Window Donated by Philip II and Mary Tudor to Sint Janskerk in Gouda (1557), Uitgeverij Verloren, 2005
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  73. ^ American Numismatic Association, The Numismatist, American Numismatic Association, 1971
  74. ^ Treason Act 1554
  75. ^ Robert Dudley Edwards, Ireland in the age of the Tudors: the destruction of Hiberno-Norman civilisation, Taylor & Francis, 1977
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  77. ^
  78. ^ a b c d " – Person Page 10138". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  79. ^ a b c d "Oliver Cromwell 1599–1658". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  80. ^ "Oliver Cromwell – Faq 1". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  81. ^ "New Page 1". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  82. ^ a b c "Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1626–1712". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  83. ^ "CROMWELL, Richard -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  84. ^ Britannia: Monarchs of Britain
  85. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10139". Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  86. ^ a b c d e f g " – Person Page 10136". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  87. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10141". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  88. ^ "WILLIAM III -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  89. ^ "Anne (England) -". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  90. ^ a b c " – Person Page 10134". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  91. ^ Welcome Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  92. ^ After the personal union of the three 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. Croft, p67; Wilson, pp249–252. See also the early history of the Union Flag.

See also

External links


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This is a list of English monarchs.

Name Birth Began Reign Death
Egbert c775 802 February 4, 839
Ethelwulf c795 February 5, 839 January 13, 855
Ethelbald c831 January 14, 855 December 20, 860
Ethelred c835 December 21, 860 866
Ethelred c837 866 April 23, 871
Edward the Elder c849 April 24, 871 October 26, 899
Edward the Elder c874 October 27, 899 July 17, 924
Athelstan c902 July 18, 924 August 2, 924
Athelstan c895 August 3, 924 October 27, 939
Edmund the Magnificent c921 October 28, 939 May 26, 946
Edred c923 May 27, 946 November 23, 955
Edwy the Fair c940 November 24, 955 October 1, 959
Edgar the Peaceable c943 October 2, 959 July 8, 975
St. Edward the Martyr c962 July 9, 975 March 18, 978
Ethelred the Unready c968 March 19, 978 April 23, 1016
Edmund Ironside) c993 April 24, 1016 November 30, 1016
Sweyn Forkbeard c960 December 25, 1013 February 3, 1014
Canute c995 December 1, 1016 November 12, 1035
Harold Harefoot c1015 November 25, 1035 March 17, 1040
Harthacanute (1018-1042) 1018 June 18, 1040 June 8, 1042
St. Edward the Confessor c1002 June 9, 1042 January 4, 1066
Harold Godwinson c1020 January 5, 1066 October 14, 1066
Edgar the Atheling c1044 October 15, 1066 December 10, 1066
William I c1027 December 25, 1066 September 9, 1087
William II c1056 September 26, 1087 August 2, 1100
Henry I September 1068 August 5, 1100 December 1, 1135
Stephen c1095 December 22, 1135 October 25, 1154
Matilda February 7, 1102 April 8, 1141 September 10, 1167
Henry II March 5, 1133 December 19, 1154 July 6, 1189
Richard I September 8, 1157 September 3, 1189 April 6, 1199
John December 24, 1167 May 27, 1199 October 19, 1216
Henry III October 1, 1207 October 28, 1216 November 16, 1272

This article uses material from the "List of English monarchs" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

This is a list of the Kings and Queens of the Kingdom of England from 871 until England and Scotland joined together in 1707.


House of Mercia

House of Wessex

Danish Kings

House of Wessex Restoration


In 1066, William, Duke of Normandy invaded England. He defeated King Harold II and became King.






The Tudors were from Wales and in 1536 Wales became part of England. England had controlled Wales since 1284.


The Stuarts were also Kings of Scotland, with which kingdom England was in personal, but not legislative, union until 1707.


There was a civil war in England from 1642 until 1652. In 1649, King Charles I was executed and England became a Commonwealth. In 1653 Oliver Cromwell made himself Lord Protector and so England became a Protectorate. Cromwell died in 1658 and his son, Richard, became Lord Protector. In 1660 power was given back to the Monarchy.

Stuarts (restored)

In 1707, England and Scotland joined together. For Kings and Queens after 1707, see British monarchs.


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