Plantagenet: Wikis


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House of Plantagenet
England COA.svg
Armorial of Plantagenet
Country Kingdom of England, Kingdom of France, Lordship of Ireland, Principality of Wales
Parent house House of Anjou (continuation)
Founder Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou
Final ruler Richard III of England
Founding year 1126
Ethnicity French, English (see details)
Cadet branches

The House of Plantagenet (pronounced /plænˈtædʒɨnɨt/), or First House of Anjou, was a royal house founded by Geoffrey V of Anjou, father of Henry II of England. Plantagenet kings first ruled the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. Their paternal ancestors originated in the French province of Gâtinais and gained the County of Anjou through marriage during the 11th century. The dynasty accumulated several other holdings building the Angevin Empire, which at its peak stretched from the Pyrenees to Ireland.

In total, fifteen Plantagenet monarchs, including those belonging to cadet branches, ruled England from 1154 until 1485. The initial branch ruled from Henry II of England until the deposition of Richard II of England in 1399. After that, a junior branch, the House of Lancaster, ruled for some fifty years, before clashing with another branch, the House of York, in a civil war known as the Wars of the Roses over control of England. After three ruling Lancastrian monarchs, the crown returned to senior primogeniture with three ruling Yorkist monarchs, the last of whom, Richard III, was killed in battle during 1485. The legitimate male line went extinct with the execution of Richard's nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick, in 1499. However an illegitimate scion, Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, was active at the court of Henry VIII of England. Several illegitimate lines persist, including the Dukes of Beaufort.

A distinctive English culture and art emerged during the Plantagenet era, encouraged by some of the monarchs who were patrons of the "father of English poetry", Geoffrey Chaucer. The Gothic architecture style was popular during the time, with buildings such as Westminster Abbey and York Minster remodelled in that style. There were also lasting developments in the social sector, such as John of England's signing of the Magna Carta. This was influential in the development of common law and constitutional law. Political institutions such as the Parliament of England and the Model Parliament originate from the Plantagenet period, as do educational institutions including the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

The eventful political climate of the day saw the Hundred Years' War, where the Plantagenets battled with the House of Valois for control of the Kingdom of France, as both claimed House of Capet seniority. Some of the Plantagenet kings were renowned as warriors: Henry V of England left his mark with a famous victory against larger numbers at the Battle of Agincourt, while Richard the Lionheart had earlier distinguished himself in the Third Crusade; he was later romanticised as an iconic figure in English folklore.





The name Plantagenet has origins as a nickname of Geoffrey V of Anjou[1] derived from the name of a shrub, the common broom, known in Latin as the planta genista. It is claimed the nickname arose because Geoffrey of Anjou wore a sprig of the common broom in his hat. The significance has been said to relate to its golden flower[1] and contemporary belief in its vegetative soul.[1] Since the 15th century, Plantagenet has been applied retrospectively to the descendants of Geoffrey of Anjou as their surname. It was not a contemporary term before that century, and the house itself used no surname until the legitimist claimant Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of both Edward IV and Richard III, assumed the name about 1448.[1]


The White Ship sinking sparked a succession crisis.

The Plantagenets are also called Angevins in reference to their progenitors' positions as Counts of Anjou, once an autonomous county in northern France. The male line descends from the Counts of Gâtinais, one of whom married an heiress to the county. Her Anjou ancestors derived from an obscure 9th-century nobleman, Ingelger.[2] It is due to this lineage that the Plantagenets are sometimes referred to as the First House of Anjou. One of the more notable counts was Fulk, a crusader who became King of Jerusalem. Fulk's son, Geoffrey, nicknamed Plantagenet, gave his name to the dynasty,[note 1] and Fulk's grandson, Henry, was the first of the family to rule England.[3]

Henry claimed the English throne through his mother's family, the Empress Matilda, who had claimed the crown as the daughter of Henry I of England.[4] Empress Matilda's brother William Adelin died in the wreck of the White Ship, leaving Matilda to be her father's only surviving legitimate child.[4] After Henry's death in 1135, Matilda's cousin Stephen of Blois had enough support from the Anglo-Norman nobility to have himself crowned instead.[5] Matilda gained support from her illegitimate half-brother, Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester and a tightly-fought civil war known as The Anarchy ensued.[6] The balance swayed both ways during the war; Matilda gained control at one point and carried the title "Lady of the English" but Stephen besieged her in Oxford Castle from where she escaped and fled to Anjou.[7] Unrest and instability continued throughout Stephen's reign. Geoffrey managed to place the Duchy of Normandy under Angevin control in 1141, but did not show interest in campaigning across the English Channel.[8]


Rise of Henry II and his sons

Henry II followed up his mother's hereditary claim to England, with success.

Matilda's son, the future King Henry II of England, became a skilled military tactician and arrived in England to pursue his family claim to the throne.[9] By marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Duchy of Aquitaine had become part of the Plantagenet's vast land holdings in the emerging Angevin Empire. In November 1153, after arriving in England, Henry came to an agreement with Stephen and they signed the Treaty of Wallingford, recognising Henry as heir to Stephen's throne.[10] Scholars regard Henry's reign as energetic with effective government.[11] Henry overhauled the English judicial system, restoring royal authority to replace the manipulated feudal law of barons who had undermined Stephen's reign.[11] The system and reforms put in place by Henry restored law and order to create a self-standing system which used competent government clerks and sheriffs. It could operate smoothly with common law prevailing, even if the king was absent or less skilled monarchs reigned.[11]

When Dermot MacMurrough, then King of Leinster, was chased out of his lands by Tiernan O'Rourke in 1166, on behalf of Rory O'Connor (then High King of Ireland) he asked Henry for help.[12] Henry allowed MacMurrough enough soldiers to instigate a Norman invasion of Ireland, restoring MacMurrough to Leinster and inserting his son John as Lord of Ireland.[12] Henry also recovered Northumberland and Cumbria from the control of Scotland who had earlier seized the areas from the Kingdom of England, during the reigns of Malcolm II and David I of Scotland respectively.[13] Henry's first son, William, died at age two. His second son, also named Henry, was crowned coregent at the age of fifteen and known thereafter as Henry the Young King. The coronation was performed by the Archbishop of York.[14] This angered Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury and former close friend of Henry; Henry asked, "who would rid me of this turbulent priest?!", after which knights killed Becket.[15] Henry regretted his friend's death and exhibited a penance in public; walking barefoot into Canterbury Cathedral, he allowed monks to scourge him. His excommunication was rescinded.[16]

Statue of Richard the Lionheart outside Westminster Palace. Richard's involvement in the Third Crusade resulted in a reputation as an English icon.

In his will, Henry envisaged a situation similar to a federal monarchy for the Plantagenet Empire.[17] He planned that his four sons would inherit different parts: England, Normandy and Anjou for Henry the Younger, Aquitaine for Richard, Brittany for Geoffrey and Ireland for John. Each would preside over a separate monarchy.[17] Under the leadership of his son Henry the Younger, who wanted more power during Henry II's lifetime, his wife and sons rebelled in the Revolt of 1173–1174.[17] The rebels included the king of France, his second cousin the king of Scotland and English barons.[17] Despite being attacked on various different fronts, Henry II and his loyalists fought a defensive campaign that humiliated all their enemies.[17] Henry's men, led by Ranulf de Glanvill, captured his second cousin William I of Scotland at the Battle of Alnwick, but allowed him to swear fealty to Henry at York Castle.[17] Henry the Younger instigated another rebellion against his father in 1183 during which he died of dysentery.[17]

Barons forced John to sign the Magna Carta, to the advantage of the nobility.

Richard the Lionheart, as Henry II's third son would later be known, became monarch in 1189. Richard did not focus on local governance as his father did and rarely spent time in England.[18] Rather, he built up a reputation as a great military leader and warrior for his efforts in the Third Crusade, achieving considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin.[18] For a time Richard was Lord of Cyprus, but sold the island in 1192 to Guy of Lusignan, whose wife was Richard's kinswoman. Since his death Richard has been romanticised in English folklore. His name remains synonymous with bravery and courage.[19]

His brother John of England, nicknamed Lackland, succeeded the throne in 1199. Geoffrey was next in line but had died in 1186. John clashed with Philip II of France, who favoured John's nephew Arthur to control the Plantagenet territories in the European mainlands. After Arthur was killed, the Norman and Angevin lords rebelled against Plantagenet rule and John lost much of the continent to the House of Capet, solidified by defeat at the Battle of Bouvines.[20]. John also had to deal with rebellion in England, and was forced by barons to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 to limit his power. That is regarded as an early first step in the evolution of modern democracy.[21] As John signed the document under duress, the First Barons' War broke out, with the barons inviting an invasion by Louis VIII of France. John died in 1217 and his son Henry III of England succeeded him. The barons switched their allegiance back to Plantagenet against Capet.[22]

Three Edwards and claim to Capet

The English Justinian

Henry III became king at just nine years old, so nobles such as William Marshal and Hubert de Burgh dominated the early years of his reign.[23] Henry made unsuccessful attempts to regain Plantagenet land in northern France.[24] He handed out various honours to foreigners related to his wife, Eleanor of Provence, which aggravated the local nobility.[25] The Provisions of Oxford was imposed on the king, led by Simon de Montfort, setting up a council of fifteen nobles to help govern the country. Henry asserted himself and the Second Barons' War began. At the Battle of Lewes, de Montfort captured Henry's son Prince Edward and assumed a role as de facto ruler of the nation, until royalists won the war at the Battle of Evesham.[26] It was during this period that the Parliament of England originated. Henry was passionate about aesthetics and had many of England's buildings such as Westminster Abbey and York Minster re-built in the Gothic architecture style.[24] The reign of Edward I of England, nicknamed Longshanks due to his tall height, saw much legislative activity and improvements in the administration of the judiciary which would last almost unchanged for centuries.[27] Due to this he is sometimes called "The English Justinian", a reference to the Byzantine Emperor.[27]

Edward was a vassal to Philip IV of France, in his role as Duke of Aquitaine.

Edward clashed with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, who directly ruled the Kingdom of Gwynedd, while other parts of the Principality of Wales were Marcher Lordships existing since Norman times.[28] Llywelyn refused to pay homage or attend Edward's coronation; thus in 1277, the two men went to war.[28] Edward was quickly victorious and the Treaty of Aberconwy was issued. Llywelyn and his brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd broke the treaty and continued to attack. Edward was victorious again, but this time the Principality of Wales was seized and Edward's son, also named Edward, was crowned Prince of Wales.[28]

After Edward's brother-in-law Alexander III of Scotland died and Margaret, Maid of Norway became his sole heir, her marriage to Edward, Prince of Wales was proposed to foster an alliance; this would make Scotland a Plantagenet holding within the next generation.[29] Aged seven years old, Margaret died on her first voyage to Scotland, opening the way to various competitors for the Scottish throne.[30] Edward was asked to arbitrate and chose the hereditarily-superior John Balliol.[31] Balliol later betrayed Edward by setting up the Auld Alliance with France; the Wars of Scotland began.[32] Edward's campaign was effective. He captured the Stone of Scone coronation stone and defeated William Wallace at the Batttle of Falkirk.[33] Edward died at Burgh by Sands on the way to fight Robert I of Scotland, never having solidified his claim to Scotland.[33]

Edward III and his son Edward, the Black Prince

Edward I's son and successor, Edward II of England, was the polar opposite of his warrior statesman father.[34] Edward II's reign was largely unpopular for several reasons; he was regarded as a poor general and lost out in Scotland to Robert I at the Battle of Bannockburn.[35] He also angered nobility by giving large sums of money and gifts to his favourites, such as Piers Gaveston.[34] This annoyed the barons to the extent that they rallied around Edward's cousin Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, and had Gaveston murdered.[35] Another favourite and rumoured homosexual lover of the king, Hugh Despenser, was further cause of conflict. Edward defeated his cousin Thomas at the resulting Battle of Boroughbridge and had him executed in 1322.[35]

Edward's downfall came when his wife Isabella of France and her baronial lover, Roger Mortimer, set out to depose the king, with the help of the king's second cousin Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster.[35] The defeated Edward agreed to abdicate the throne in favour of his and Isabella's son, Edward III of England. Edward II was subsequently moved to Berkeley Castle as a prisoner where he is believed to have remained for five months before being murdered on 11 October 1327.[35] After four years of court control by his mother and her lover, the eighteen-year-old Edward III staged a revolt and had Mortimer executed. He overturned the Treaty of Northampton and supported Edward Balliol's claim to Scotland, against against the then-king David II of the House of Bruce.[36] The Plantagenet-backed campaign was a success for Balliol, resulting in David's capture at the Battle of Neville's Cross; he spent some time in the Tower of London before signing the Treaty of Berwick and paying a large ransom for his release. David's invasion into northern England had been under the terms of the Auld Alliance with the House of Valois of France.[36]

Hundred Years' War begins

The victory at Crécy was an important Plantagenet success of the Edwardian War in France.

The right of succession to the House of Capet was disputed.[37] Philip IV of France had three sons, all of whom died without having produced male issue, aside from Louis whose son, John, lived for only five days.[37] In feudal law, Philip IV's daughter and sole remaining child Isabella of France (mother of Edward III of England) had claim to the French throne, and the seniority of the House of Capet.[37] However, Philip VI of the House of Valois, a more distantly related Capetian cadet branch invoked Salic law which denied the right of any female to take the French throne, and was crowned King of France.[37]

Philip confiscated the Duchy of Aquitaine from Edward for "disobedience" and Edward decided to follow up his claim to all of the Kingdom of France with force; thus began the Hundred Years' War between the Plantagenets and Valois. The Hundred Years' War took place over three periods in time. The first was the Edwardian War, 1337-1360, and was particularly successful for the Plantagenets winning battles at Crécy and Poitiers leading to the Treaty of Brétigny.[38]

Edward had to deal with the Black Death during his reign,[39] but was able to make vital developments in legislature and government. In England, his reign developed a strong sense of national identity due partly to the ongoing wars. He founded the chivalric Order of the Garter which essentially saw nationalisation of the aristocracy.[39] His latter years were less successful in comparison with political problems at home and renewed problems with Valois. The death of Valois' John II in English captivity during 1364 instigated the rise of Charles V of France who had capable allies.[40]

The second period of the Hundred Years' War, known as the Caroline War, broke out. The Plantagenets were led by Edward's sons Edward, the Black Prince and John of Gaunt.[39] The Black Prince died in 1376 of an illness which may have been cancer. Edward III himself died of a stroke the following year, following illness caused by an abscess.[39]

Despite being just fourteen, king Richard II rode out on horseback to meet the leaders of the Great Rising.

Upon to the death of his father Edward the Black Prince, 10-year-old Richard II of England, the long-time heir apparent to England, succeeded to the throne.[41] The Commons of Parliament feared that Richard's uncle John of Gaunt's influence over political decisions if a regency led by him was instated; thus Parliament created an environment in which a series of councils could control politics.

The continuing Hundred Years' War with Valois was an expensive venture and a poll tax was levied to finance it.[42] This tax was levied three times and covered 60% of the population. The 1381 tax cost one shilling for each person over 15 and proved particularly unpopular. This was one of the main reasons behind the Great Rising of 1381.[43] Only fourteen at the time, Richard rode out on horseback and met with the rebel leaders, showing considerable statesmanship qualities in spite of his age.[44]

In 1389, due to the king's dependence on a small number of courtiers, governance was taken over by a group known as the Lords Appellant.[45] Richard regained control in 1389 and, after eight years of relative harmony, decided to take revenge on the appellants, executing some and exiling others.[45] After John of Gaunt died, the king disinherited his son, Henry of Bolingbroke, who had previously been exiled. Henry invaded England in June 1399 with a small force that quickly grew in numbers.[46] Meeting little resistance, he deposed Richard to have himself crowned Henry IV of England. Richard died in captivity early the next year; he was probably murdered.[46]

Dynastic dispute

Lancastrians crowned, rebellion

Prior to Henry taking the throne and becoming the first Lancastrian king, Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March was the actual heir presumptive to Richard II, through his deceased grandmother Philippa Plantagenet, according to cognatic primogeniture. Phillipa was the only child of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.[47] Henry could be deemed more senior through agnatic succession, as he was a Plantagenet through the male line. Edmund and his brother Roger were just children when their father died and Henry took the throne on the subsequent year. They were kept in custody by Henry, who, despite the threat of rebellion they could eventually pose, treated them honourably.[47]

Henry had to deal with numerous rebellions in the Angevin Empire, in Wales under Owain Glyndŵr and in England, such as the Southampton Plot.[48] The Southampton Plot was an attempt to put Mortimer on the throne, though he himself never rebelled against Henry. A falling out between the king and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland resulted in the Percy Rebellion and the Battle of Bramham Moor.[48] Henry's wife Joanna of Navarre was accused of practicing necromancy (and convicted of witchcraft in 1419, during Henry V's reign). This added to diminishing support for the Lancastrians.[48] The Archbishop of York, Richard le Scrope, was executed after another rebellion, further diminishing support, and when Henry was later struck down with leprosy and epilepsy, many saw it is a punishment from God.[49] Henry was so ill during his last two years as king that his son and heir, Henry of Monmouth, took up the majority of royal responsibilities.[48]

Victory at the Battle of Agincourt fought on Saint Crispin's Day.

Henry V of England was a soldier from age 14 and a commander at the Battle of Shrewsbury at age 16. He was to prove the warrior-statesman archetype of his ancestors.[50] Henry desired the ancestral Plantagenet lands of the Duchy of Normandy and County of Anjou, earlier confiscated by Valois.[50] He first attempted this diplomatically by suggesting that he and Charles VI of France's daughter Catherine of Valois should marry. The proposal was rejected and thus began the third part of the Hundred Years War, the Lancastrian War (1415–1429). Two political purposes lay behind this war for Henry: first, to gain land; second, to unite his cousins under a common cause in the hopes of dissuading further rebellion at home.[50] Henry presented himself as a chaste and pious king which was a relief to the masses after his father's reign. At the Battle of Agincourt, vastly outnumbered Henry led his men to a famous victory. The Plantagenets were allied with the Duchy of Burgundy despite Philip the Good being of a Valois cadet branch. The Plantagenets took back Normandy, as well as Picardy, and much of the Île-de-France.[50] A settlement was reached with the Treaty of Troyes in which it was agreed that, not only would Catherine marry Henry, but Charles VI would pass over his own son to name Henry the heir to the French crown.[50] Henry died of dysentery in 1422 at Bois de Vincennes, two months before being crowned King of France.[51]

Henry VI founded King's College.

The nine-month-old baby Henry VI of England was crowned King of England on 31 August 1422 and king of France on 21 October the same year to actually reign, rather than be king of France in title only as many Plantagenet monarchs had been during the Hundred Years' War.[52] During the early years of his reign, as he was still a child, his family, John, Duke of Bedford, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and Henry Beaufort, were regents.[53] The rise of Joan of Arc and Valois claimant to France, Charles VII, sparked a continuation of the Lancastrian War. Between 1449–1453, the territories of Brittany, Normandy, and Gascony had been lost, leaving the Plantagenets with only the Pale of Calais on Europe's mainland.[52]

In England the government became increasingly unpopular due to the losses, breakdown in law and order, and corruption. Henry had a mental breakdown in 1453 and while he was suffering this illness, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York was named regent and Protector of the Realm. Richard benefited from influential allies such as Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.[52] By the time Henry had regained his senses, a movement in favour of Richard, known as the Yorkists, had emerged. Richard had a legitimist claim to the throne due to being the senior descendant of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.[54] What separated Richard from past potential legitimists was that he was also a Plantagenet paternally through Edmund, Duke of York; thus, if he were put on the throne, the male line would still be preserved.[54] Henry himself was trusting and not a man of war. He was more interested in his foundation projects of educational institutions such as Eton College.[55] However, his wife Margaret of Anjou was more assertive, showing open enmity toward Richard. From these events, the English civil war for the throne known as the Wars of the Roses began.[55]

Wars of the Roses, Yorkist rule

Symbolic representation of the Wars of the Roses in art.

The first phase of conflict was between 1455—1460. The Yorkists were victorious at the First Battle of St Albans and attempts were made to reconcile differences.[56] Margaret resisted attempts to have her son Edward of Westminster disinherited, and Richard was forced to return to Ireland as a lieutenant.[57] Hostilities picked up again after the Duke of York returned and the war continued. At the Battle of Northampton Henry was found abandoned in a tent experiencing another mental breakdown.[58] The Act of Accord was agreed in which it was outlined that Henry would remain as monarch for his lifetime, but Richard and his descendants would succeed him. Because Margaret and Lancastrian supporters found this unacceptable, conflict continued. Richard was slain at the Battle of Wakefield. His son Edmund, Earl of Rutland and Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury were captured and beheaded by the Lancastrians. The head of the Duke of York was set on display at Micklegate Bar, York.[59] Richard's young son Edward, Earl of March took up the cause. Margaret formed an alliance with Mary of Guelders, Queen of Scots against the Yorkists and the Scottish army pillaged its way down to southern England.[60] London's gates remained closed to the Scottish army after hearing of the plundering; the capital city enthusiastically welcomed Edward when the Yorkists arrived. The people demanded that he be made king, which was quickly confirmed by the Parliament of England, and he was unofficially crowned Edward IV of England at Westminster Abbey.[61] After a battle at Towton, Edward's official coronation in the capital city took place, in June 1461.[62]

Edward IV gained the throne for the Yorkists.

Edward was involved in governance far more directly than his predecessor.[63] Warwick the Kingmaker, who had helped Edward come to power and wished to influence him, was deeply unhappy at the new king's marriage with Elizabeth Woodville.[64] His family was also unhappy with this, leading his mother to declare him a bastard and his brother George, Duke of Clarence to revolt.[64] After a counter-rebellion, Edward defeated Warwick who eventually entered into a pact with the Lancastrians.[65] In late 1470, Warwick helped the Lancastrians depose the Yorkists, and Henry VI returned briefly to the throne. Edward and his loyal brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, took refuge in Burgundy until the following year when they returned to England. George, Duke of Clarence, switched sides at the Battle of Barnet, leading to Warwick's death and Edward's restoration.[65] After his restoration, Edward returned some stability with heavy personal control in government.[63] He signed a peace treaty with France on favourable terms, tightened management of royal revenues, paid for the country's administration with Crown Estate profits, and patronised William Caxton who set up England's first printing press.[63] Edward's son was crowned Edward V of England at age 12. The protectorship of the young king and his brother Richard of Shrewsbury was entrusted to their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester.[66] Richard was suspicious of the influential Woodville faction who he blamed for the death of his brother George.[66]

A statute of the Parliament of England, known as "Titulus Regius," was issued in 1483 declaring the children of Edward IV illegitimate, thus passing the crown to Richard III of England.[67] This was due to evidence presented by Ralph Shaa that Edward had entered contract to marry Lady Eleanor Talbot before he married Elizabeth Woodville, making his marriage to Elizabeth and their issue invalid.[67] The two boys became the Princes in the Tower, the Tower being a royal residence at the time. Their ultimate fate is unknown. Some have suggested that they died there.[66] Richard had a strong power base in the North of England and founded the Council of the North to improve governance there.[68] He also founded the College of Arms office of heraldry.[69] The king's son and heir, Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, died before him in 1484.[70] Henry Tudor, a Welshman and maternal descendant of John of Gaunt was the cognatic primogeniture pretender to the House of Lancaster, landed at Milford Haven in the Principality of Wales to invade with an army of foreign mercenaries.[70] The Battle of Bosworth Field took place for the throne of England. Richard was betrayed when Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and Lord Stanley refused to send in troops.[70] Along with his loyal commander John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Richard fought until the end and was killed in action.[70] The crown passed to a new dynasty, the House of Tudor, with the coronation of Henry VII of England, beginning the Tudor era.[70]

Deposed house

Henry married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.

The new Tudor monarch Henry VII, married Elizabeth of York, oldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, in 1486.[71] The white and red roses were merged together, forming the Tudor rose—intended to symbolise rapprochement and the consolidation of the Tudor dynasty.[71] In fact, the Wars of the Roses and Yorkist attempts would continue. The Battle of Stoke Field took place the following year. Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare in Ireland and John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln in England (a maternal Yorkist by blood), supported the claim of Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, under the guise of Lambert Simnel who was sent to Ireland by Mary, Duchess of Burgundy and presented as the escaped prince.[72] Edward, as a paternal Plantagenet and son of George, Duke of Clarence, had a very strong claim to the throne. Rumours abounded that he had died in the Tower of London. The Yorkist attempt failed with thin support outside of the Irish and Flemish though Henry VII was merciful to young Simnel and gave him a job in the royal household.[73]

Blessed Margaret Pole was executed by Henry VIII.

When the new Tudor monarch, Henry VII, executed Edward, the Earl of Warwick in 1499, the House of Plantagenet went extinct in the legitimate male line. The last legitimate Plantagenet was Margaret Pole, the Earl of Warwick's sister, who was executed for treason by Henry VIII in 1541.

Edward IV's illegitimate son Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle was a member of Henry VIII's court until he was arrested and charged with treason in 1540. He was cleared of the treason charges but suffered a heart attack in 1542, just before he was to be released from the Tower of London.


Designation and details

Title Held Designation and details
Count of Anjou 870–1204 ancestral family title, originating with Ingelger. Remained under direct control of the Plantagenets until Philip II of France captured the county and merged it with the House of Capet royal holdings.
Count of Maine 1110–1203 ancestral family title, inherited by the House of Anjou after the marriage of Ermengarde of Maine with Fulk V of Anjou. It was captured and merged into the House of Capet royal holdings.
King of Jerusalem 1131–1143 title held by the grandfather of Henry II of England named Fulk of Jerusalem. Ruled for a while by their cousins. The Plantagenets followed up their claim in the Third and Ninth Crusades but never regained it.
Duke of Normandy 1144–1485 also used Count of Mortain title. Due to be handed to the Plantagenets during The Anarchy but Geoffrey V of Anjou conquered it early. Mainland holdings lost to Valois in 1259, but title continued to be used in relation to Channel Islands. Eventually lost to House of Tudor
Duke of Aquitaine 1152–1422 titles Duke of Gascony and Count of Poitiers also used. The Duchy became part of the Planagenet holdings after Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II. Eventually lost to House of Valois.
King of England 1154–1485 title became part of the Plantagenet holdings after the Treaty of Wallingford. The title was inherited through Matilda, Lady of the English. Eventually lost to the House of Tudor.
Lord of Ireland 1177–1485 title was a Plantagenet holding since 1177, replacing the High Kings of Ireland title. Eventually lost to the Tudors; Henry VIII of England later raised the Lordship to a Monarchal title.
Duke of Brittany 1181–1203 title Count of Nantes also used. Became Plantagenet title after marriage of Constance, Duchess of Brittany and Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany. Strongly linked to Earl of Richmond title.
Lord of Cyprus 1191–1192 title was briefly held by Richard the Lionheart after his conquest of the island, he then sold the island to Guy of Lusignan who raised Cyprus from a Lordship into the Kingdom of Cyprus.
King of Sicily 1254–1263 titular claim rather than de facto. Pope Alexander IV had declared Sicily a papal possession and offered the crown to Henry III's son Edmund, Earl of Lancaster. The next Pope reversed the offer and the Plantagenets never succeeded in taking the kingdom, but took the claim seriously.
Prince of Wales 1301–1484 Originally a fief of the Angevin Empire, it was given to the first born son of the King of England after the Aberffraw dynasty rebelled against their vassal. Eventually lost to the Tudors.
King of France 1340–1485 mostly titular, rather than de facto. The Plantagenets claimed to be the senior continution of the House of Capet after the Direct Capetians line came to an end. During part of the Lancastrian period of rule there was a time when this was de facto rulership.

List of England monarchs


Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Henry II of England.png Henry II of England
19 December 1154 6 July 1189 son of Empress Matilda, heir to the English throne but was usurped by her cousin, Stephen I of England.
Henry the Young King.jpg Henry the Young King 14 June 1170 11 June 1183 coregent at age 15 onwards with his father, Henry II of England.
Richard I of England.png Richard I of England
(Richard the Lionheart)
3 September 1189 6 April 1199 son of Henry II of England.
John of England.png John of England
(John Lackland)
27 May 1199 19 October 1216 son of Henry II of England. Brother of issueless Richard I of England.
Henry III of England.png Henry III of England 28 October 1216 16 November 1272 son of John of England.
Edward I of England.png Edward I of England
(Edward Longshanks)
20 November 1272 7 July 1307 son of Henry III of England.
Edward II Plantagenet of England.jpg Edward II of England 7 July 1307 25 January 1327 son of Edward I of England.
King Edward III from NPG.jpg Edward III of England 25 January 1327 21 June 1377 son of Edward II of England.
Richard II of England.png Richard II of England 21 June 1377 29 September 1399 son of Edward, the Black Prince. Grandson of Edward III of England.

House of Lancaster

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Henry IV of England.png Henry IV of England
(Henry Bolingbroke)
30 September 1399 20 March 1413 cousin of Richard II of England, whom he had murdered. Son of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster.
Henry5.JPG Henry V of England 20 March 1413 31 August 1422 son of Henry IV of England.
Henry VI of England.png Henry VI of England 31 August 1422 11 April 1471 son of Henry V of England.

House of York

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
EdwardIVofEngland-Yorkist.jpg Edward IV of England 4 March 1461 9 April 1483 cousin of Henry VI of England. Son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York.
Edward V of England.png Edward V of England 9 April 1483 25 June 1483 son of Edward IV of England.
Richard III of England.jpg Richard III of England 26 June 1483 22 August 1485 uncle of Edward V of England. Son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York.

Timeline of monarchs


  1. ^ The younger half-brothers of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Baldwin and Amalric, would rule the Kingdom of Jerusalem.



  1. ^ a b c d Dr. John S Plant (2007), "The Tardy Adoption of the Plantagenet Surname", Nomina.
  2. ^ Vauchez 2000, p. 65.
  3. ^ Benjamin 1910, p. 288.
  4. ^ a b Hooper 1996, p. 50.
  5. ^ Lane Poole 1993, p. 132.
  6. ^ Lane Poole 1993, p. 134.
  7. ^ Bartlett 1999, p. 124.
  8. ^ Grant 2005, p. 7.
  9. ^ Bartlett 1999, p. 91.
  10. ^ Ashley 2003, p. 73.
  11. ^ a b c "Henry II (1154-1189)".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  12. ^ a b Downs 2004, p. 28.
  13. ^ Bartlett 1999, p. 79.
  14. ^ Barber 2003, p. 140.
  15. ^ Barber 2003, p. 144.
  16. ^ Barber 2003, p. 147.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "The Character and Legacy of Henry II: Henry and his sons".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  18. ^ a b Carlton 2003, p. 42.
  19. ^ "Saladin, Richard the Lionheart and the legacy of the Crusades".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  20. ^ Marshall 2006, p. 213.
  21. ^ Marshall 2006, p. 216.
  22. ^ Marshall 2006, p. 219.
  23. ^ Turner 2003, p. 81.
  24. ^ a b "Henry III (1216-1272 AD)".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  25. ^ Prestwich 2007, p. 93.
  26. ^ Prestwich 2007, p. 101.
  27. ^ a b Carter 1986, p. 71.
  28. ^ a b c "Edward I (r. 1272-1307)".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  29. ^ Grant 1995, p. 89.
  30. ^ Grant 1995, p. 90.
  31. ^ Morris 1910, p. 127.
  32. ^ Morris 1910, p. 128.
  33. ^ a b Gardiner 2000, p. 275.
  34. ^ a b "Edward II (r.1307-1327)".  Retrieved on 1 October 2008.
  35. ^ a b c d e "Edward II (1307-27 AD)".  Retrieved on 1 October 2008.
  36. ^ a b Ashley 2003, p. 180.
  37. ^ a b c d Fowler 1967, p. 208.
  38. ^ Rogers 1999, p. 384.
  39. ^ a b c d "Edward III (1327-1377 AD)".  Retrieved on 2 October 2008.
  40. ^ Waugh 1991, p. 18.
  41. ^ Waugh 1991, p. 19.
  42. ^ Hilton 1984, p. 132.
  43. ^ Hilton 1984, p. 37.
  44. ^ Aberth 2000, p. 139.
  45. ^ a b Saul 1997, p. 203.
  46. ^ a b "Richard II (1377-1399)".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  47. ^ a b "Edmund De Mortimer, 5th Earl of March and Ulster". Retrieved September 27, 2008. .
  48. ^ a b c d "Henry IV (1399-1413 AD)". Retrieved September27, 2008. 
  49. ^ Swanson 1995, p. 298.
  50. ^ a b c d e "Henry V (1413-1422 AD)". Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  51. ^ "Henry V (r. 1413-1422)". Retrieved September 27, 2008. .
  52. ^ a b c {{cite web |title=Henry VI (1422-61, 1470-71 AD)|url=||accessdate=September27, 2008.
  53. ^ "Henry VI (r. 1422-1461 and 1470-1471)". Retrieved September27, 2008. 
  54. ^ a b Crofton 2007, p. 112.
  55. ^ a b Crofton 2007, p. 111.
  56. ^ Goodman 1981, p. 25.
  57. ^ Goodman 1981, p. 31.
  58. ^ Goodman 1981, p. 38.
  59. ^ "Micklegate Bar".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  60. ^ Goodman 1981, p. 57.
  61. ^ Goodman 1981, p. 1.
  62. ^ Goodman 1981, p. 147.
  63. ^ a b c "Edward IV (r. 1461-1470 and 1471-1483)".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  64. ^ a b "Edward IV (1442 - 1483)". Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  65. ^ a b "Edward IV".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  66. ^ a b c "Edward V (r. April-June 1483)".  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  67. ^ a b Neville Figgis 1896, p. 373.
  68. ^ Horrox 1989, p. 292.
  69. ^ "The history of the Royal Heralds and the College of Arms". College of Arms.  Retrieved on 27 September 2008.
  70. ^ a b c d e "Richard III (r. 1483-1485)". Retrieved September27 2008. 
  71. ^ a b Hebditch 2003, p. 6.
  72. ^ Lawless 2008, p. 136.
  73. ^ Lawless 2008, p. 138.


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  • Benjamin, Marcus (1910). Appleton's New Practical Cyclopedia. University of Michigan. 
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  • Larned, Josephus Nelson (1922). The New Larned History for Ready Reference, Reading and Research. C.A. Nichols Publishing Company. 
  • Fowler, Kenneth Alan (1967). The Age of Plantagenet and Valois: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1328-1498. Putnam. ISBN 0236308327. 
  • Goodman, Anthony (1981). The Wars of the Roses: Military Activity and English Society, 1452-97. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415052645. 
  • Hilton, Rodney Howard (1984). The English Rising of 1381. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521359309. 
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  • Hooper, Nicholas (1996). The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521440491. 
  • Saul, Nigel (1997). Richard II. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07003-9. 
  • Bartlett, Robert (1999). England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199251010. 
  • Rogers, Clifford J (1999). The Wars of Edward III: Sources and Interpretations. Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 0851156460. 
  • Gardiner, Juliet (2000). The History Today Who's who in British History. Collins & Brown. ISBN 1855858827. 
  • Aberth, John (2000). From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages. Routledge. ISBN 0415927153. 
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  • Stanford, John L (2002). The Great Governing Families of England. Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 1402159013. 
  • Barber, Richard (2003). Henry Plantagenet. Boydell Press. ISBN 0851159931. 
  • Ashley, Mike (2003). A Brief History of British Kings and Queens. Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0786711043. 
  • Carlton, Charles (2003). Royal Warriors: A Military History of the British Monarchy. Pearson Education. ISBN 0582472652. 
  • Turner, Ralph V (2003). Magna Carta: Through the Ages. Pearson Education. ISBN 0582438268. 
  • Hebditch, Felicity (2003). Tudors. Evans Brothers. ISBN 0237525720. 
  • Downs, Tom (2004). Ireland. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1741040787. 
  • Grant, Lindy (2005). Architecture and Society in Normandy, 1120-1270. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300106866. 
  • Marshall, H.E. (2006). Our Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls. Yesterday's Classics. ISBN 1599150093. 
  • Prestwich, Michael (2007). Plantagenet England 1225-1360. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199226873. 
  • Crofton, Ian (2007). The Kings and Queens of England. Quercus. ISBN 1847240658. 
  • Lawless, Emily (2008). The Story of Ireland. BiblioBazaar. ISBN 0554333597. 

External links

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