Windsor Monarchy

When George V became King in 1910, the family name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which was the family name of his father, Edward VII, and his grandfather Prince Albert.  For the first seven years of his reign, he kept this German surname, but in 1917, in recognition of anti-German feelings, by his people, he changed the family name to Windsor.  It was a symbolic and popular gesture by a King who took his role seriously.

George V adhered strictly to the constitution and knew both his rights and his responsibilities.

When he succeeded he was immediately plunged into a major constitutional crisis over the powers of the House of Lords.  The Prime Minister asked the King to create additional new peers to vote through a bill to reform the Lords, but George objected in which his position was being abused.  He felt it was the monarch’s duty to keep out of party politics, and politicians to avoid dragging him in.

Further controversy amongst the Royal’s would shock the Royal Family and Parliament alike.  Edward VIII the son of George V decided to abdicate his position as King of England, rather than give up the woman he loved.  His brother George VI restored honour to the family, becoming a much loved king, and sharing the dangers of the Second World War with his people.

King George V: George Frederick Ernest Albert was born on the 3rd June 1865 at Marlborough House in London, to parents Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark.

At the age of twelve joined the Royal Navy, and served until 1892, when his elder brother Albert, the Duke of Clarence died, and he became heir to the English throne.

His father Edward VII, died in 1910, and he ascended to the post of King George V of England at his coronation on the 22nd June 1911, at Westminster Abbey.

In 1917, anti-German feelings by the British People, and the slaughter of British soldiers during the war, by German forces, made it essential to drop the family name.  So it was, the family name of Saxe-Coburg Gotha was replaced with Windsor.

With the fall of the Romanov dynasty, George’s cousin, Tsarina Alexandra wife of Tsar Nicholas II, were executed along with their children by revolutionaries at Ekaterinburg.  There was much critism, why he didn’t rescue them … his reply being, it could incite a British revolution.

In 1922, the Monarchy of Greece was overthrown, and George V sent in HMS Calypso to rescue them, which included the one-year old Philip, now the Duke of Edinburgh.

In 1932, he started the Royal tradition; the Christmas broadcast to the people.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V dies of pleurisy at Sandringham and is buried at Windsor Castle.

King Edward VIII: On the 23rd June 1894, Edward Albert Christian George was born at White Lodge in Richmond, to parents King George V and Queen Mary.

He became a celebrity playboy about town, and had several affairs with married women, and high on the list was; Mrs Wallis Simpson.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V died, and Edward ascended to the English throne.  In 1936, Mrs Wallis Simpson obtained a divorce from her second husband, it was clear to see, Edward wanted to be husband number three.

In November of 1936, the uncrowned Edward sent shock waves through Parliament and family.  The two were very much in love, and Edward had to choose Wallis Simpson or the English throne.  She a divorced woman would have been an unacceptable Queen.  On the 11th December 1936, Edward abdicated, which meant any children he might have, were excluded from succession to the English throne. 

King George VI: Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on the 14th December 1895 at Sandringham, to parents George V and Mary of Teck.  In World War One, he served as a young naval officer, in the “Battle of Jutland.”

In the December of 1936, following the death of his father; King George V and the surprise abdication by his brother, he became King George VI of England at his coronation on the 12th May 1937, held at Westminster Abbey.

In 1940 King George VI instituted the George Cross and George Medal for acts of bravery by citizens.  In 1942 the George Cross was awarded to Malta, in recognition of their heroism and resistance to the enemy siege.

In 1939, King George visited France and the British Expeditionary Force, North Africa in 1943 after the victory of El Alamein.  In 1944 visited the army on the beaches of Normandy, ten days after D-Day.

On the 8th May 1945, a day which will be remembered VE (Victory in Europe) Day.  The war, the King and his duty to his people had created a bond between them.

Britain had overcome the hardships of the post-war years, but the strain incurred by the Second World War had taken their toll on the King.  On the 6th February 1952, King George VI died in his sleep, at Sandringham.  He laid in state at Westminster Hall.  The funeral was held at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he is buried.

Queen Elizabeth II: Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on the 21st April 1926, to parents George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Bruton Street, London.

In 1947, Philip Mountbatten became a British subject, converted from Greek Orthodox to Anglican and renounced any claims to the Greek crown.  On the 9th July 1947, Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten were officially engaged and married on the 20th November at Westminster Abbey. 

With the death of her father; King George VI Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II of England at her coronation on the 2nd June 1953, and Prince Philip her consort.

Philip passed away on the morning of April 9, 2021, at Windsor Castle. He was 99. His funeral service was held on Saturday, April 17 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, and attended by thirty members of the royal family, due to Covid restrictions.

Philip’s casket was driven to the church in a custom Land Rover at his request. Laid upon the casket; his naval hat, a sword and flag representing his Greek and Danish heritage and flowers selected by the queen.

The Queen’s political powers these days are largely of a ceremonial nature, however she holds powers which can be used to expedite situations.

Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Monarchy

King Edward VII did not accede to the English throne until 1901, aged fifty-nine.  As Prince of Wales, he undertook many duties on behalf of his mother; Queen Victoria, making frequent goodwill visits at home and abroad.  His mother refused to involve him in domestic political duties, feeling she could not trust his discretion in such matters.  Excluded from Victoria’s circle of advisers, Edward spent much of his time, enjoying himself at social events; London’s Playboy.  This only confirmed his mother’s opinion of her son, the next King of England.

Throughout his nine year reign, he was a popular and much respected King of England.  His love of foreign travel and public ceremonial pioneered an ambassadorial style of monarchy that was to replace its earlier political role.

Albert Edward was born on the 9th November 1841 at Buckingham Palace to parents Queen Victoria and Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha.

During the reign of his mother Queen Victoria, he undertook public duties on her behalf, but was excluded by his mother from acting as her deputy until 1898.

Queen Victoria died in 1901, and Edward aged 59 ascended to the post of King Edward VII of England, and was crowned on the 9th August 1902 at Westminster Abbey.

During his mother’s reign, he had become known as a playboy, much to his mother’s disgust.  His interests lay in horse-racing, shooting, drinking and mistresses.  When King his interests included Foreign affairs, military and naval matters.

In 1904, he played a major role creating the triple “Entente Cordiale” between Britain, France and Russia.  This agreement ended Anglo-French rivalry, and played a major role in the First World War.

In the years following the Boer War, Edward played an active role, pushing forward military and naval reforms, including the building of the Dreadnought battleships and the Army Medical Service.

On the 6th May 1910, King Edward VII suffered multiple strokes which took his life, and was buried in St.George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Hanover Monarchy

In 1701 the Act of Settlement ensured once and for all that Britain would never be ruled by a Catholic Monarch.

Queen Anne, the last Stuart Monarch died in 1714, without an heir.  Parliament sought to block any claim by the Catholic James Edward Stuart, by making George successor after his mother; Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I.

Sophia of Hanover died in 1714, the succession past to her son, George, who later that year became the first Hanoverian King of England.

In the beginning the Hanoverian Kings had little going for them in England.  George himself could speak little or no English, and few English statesmen could understand German.  Although the majority of England’s people were Protestant and approved the Act of Settlement, understandably they wished Anne’s successor could have been someone more congenial.  The minority who stilled preferred the Jacobite cause, made things difficult for the new dynasty, for some twenty to thirty years.

Despite these problems, the Hanoverians, worked hard, learning the English ways.  George III was born and raised in England, and became a popular King.

In 1837 Victoria came to the throne, but her marriage to Albert, a German prince received much critism.  Albert changed the public opinion of him, with the Great Exhibition of 1851, where he proved his worth.  By the end of the Hanoverian dynasty, and the end of Victoria’s reign, the monarchy had lost most of its power, whilst still retaining considerable influence.

King George I:  George was born on the 28th May 1660 at Osnabruck, Hanover to parents Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick, Elector of Hanover, and Sophia Stuart, the granddaughter of James I of England.

On the 1st August 1714, George ascended to the English throne, and on the 20th October 1714, was crowned King George I of England at Westminster Abbey.

In 1715, the Jacobite uprising began in Scotland.  They were not happy with the British crown going to a Protestant, and demanded that the exiled “Old Pretender” James Edward Stuart heir to James II, be crowned King.  The rebellion was quashed at the “Battle of Sheriffmuir.”   16,000 Jacobites were beaten by 8,000 soldiers of the union.

In 1720, the stock market crashed, “South Sea Bubble” thousands of investors ruined.  George was governor of the South Sea Company, and was accused of aiding in the mismanagement of the company.  Robert Walpole came to his assistance.

On the 11th June 1727, King George I of England died at Osnabruck in Germany, and was buried at Leineschlosskirche, Hanover.

King George II:  George Augustus was born on the 30th October 1683 at Herrenhausen, Hanover to parents George I and Sophia Dorothea.

When King George I died, his son made the decision not to attend his father’s funeral in Hanover, showing to the people of Britain, where his heart belonged.  Truthfully his reason was more likely they didn’t get on when he was alive.

On the 11th June 1727, George Augustus ascended to the English throne, and was crowned King George II of England, on the 11th October at Westminster Abbey.

It was expected, that George would dismiss Walpole and replace him in his government with Sir Spencer Compton.  However, Walpole remained, for he held a majority in Parliament, and instability should be avoided at all costs.

Walpole demanded that Britain stay out of the war brewing in Poland of 1733, over succession leaving Hanover to go solo; German states were victorious.  Yet George won the right a few years later, as Britain was dragged into the war of the Austrian succession in 1740-1748.  Britain achieved nothing; thousands dead and dying.

The Seven Year War, commenced in 1756 when Britain declared War on France, based on the French threat upon the lands of Hanover.  Upon its conclusion, Britain’s growth and lands increased, with the seizure of French territory in North America, India, Caribbean and Spanish Florida.  Under William Pitt as England’s Prime Minister.

General Wolfe captured Quebec from the French in 1759, and British supremacy in Canada is assured.

On the 25th October 1760, King George II dies at Kensington Palace, and is buried at Westminster Abbey.  With instructions, that one side of each coffin, his and his wife’s be removed, so their remains could mingle in death… an act of true love.

King George III:  George William Frederick, was born on the 4th June 1738 at Norfolk House, St.James Square, London to parents Frederick, the Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.  On the 25th October 1760, George ascended to the English throne upon the death of his grandfather; King George II.

On the 22nd September 1761, George was crowned King George III of England along with his new wife, Queen Charlotte at Westminster Abbey.  In 1762 George purchased Bucking House, later known as Buckingham Palace, home to England’s monarchs.

The Earl of Bute is appointed Prime Minister, and in 1763 negotiates the Treaty of Paris, which ends the Seven Years War, which caused patriotic outrage amongst colonists in North America.

In 1772 he introduced the Royal Marriage Act; no member of the Royal family was permitted to marry, without the approval of the then Sovereign.

In April 1775, the relations between Britain and her American colonies would lead to the outbreak of war: The American War of Independence.  On the 4th July 1776, American Congress passed the Declaration of Independence; America’s case for freedom.

In 1788, King George III has an attack of porphyria, one of insanity, and his son, George the Prince of Wales had to step in and assist, becoming temporary Regent of England.  During his reign George suffered a number of attacks; 1788-1789-1801-1804, but the worst by far was in 1810, when he became permanently deranged.  He spent the last ten years of his life, in a fog of insanity, blind and deaf.  Death would have been a welcome release for him.

On the 18th June 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated by British and Prussian armies at the Battle of Waterloo.  He surrenders to the British on the 15th July and dies on the 5th May 1821, as a prisoner on the island of St.Helena.

In 1807, the Slave Trade Act is introduced by William Wilberforce, which saw the abolishment of slave trading throughout the British Empire.

On the 29th January 1820, King George III died at Windsor Castle, and was buried at Windsor.

King George IV:  On the 12th August 1762, George Augustus Frederick, was born at St.James Palace, London to parents George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

On the 29th January 1820, George Augustus Frederick, ascended to the English throne, upon the death of his father; King George III.

On the 19th July 1821, George Augustus Frederick, was crowned King George IV of England at Westminster Abbey.

Prince George was now King George IV after living in his father’s shadow, and Regent for the last nine years.  He acted as King, but without the title and power.

King George IV was extravagant.  John Nash built the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, of Indian Gothic style, and undertook improvements to Buckingham Palace.

In 1828, the Duke of Wellington became Prime Minister, he who had taken on Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo and won.

The Catholic Relief Act was passed in 1829, which allowed Catholics to become Members of Parliament.  Initially rejected by the King, but with encouragement, passed by the Prime Minister; the Duke of Wellington.

On the 26th June 1830, King George IV died at Windsor Castle, and was buried at Windsor Castle.

King William IV:  William Henry was born on the 21st August 1765 at Buckingham Palace, to parents King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Aged thirteen he joined the Royal Navy and saw service:  In 1780 was at the “Battle of Cape St.Vincent,” served in New York during the American War of Independence.  A plot had been sanctioned by George Washington, to kidnap him during his frequent walks around the city unescorted.  Once news got out he was assigned a guard.

In 1785 became Lieutenant of the HMS Pegasus, and promoted to captain in 1786, and later that year stationed in the West Indies under Horatio Nelson.  In 1788 commanded the HMS Andromeda and was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1789, commanding the HMS Valiant.  In 1798 he made admiral, and in 1811 promoted to Admiral of the Fleet.

William’s brother’s died before him, without producing a legitimate heir to the English throne.  Princess Charlotte the daughter of George IV died in 1817, Frederick the Duke of York died in 1827, which made William heir to the English throne, something he had never expected.

On the 26th June 1830 William ascended to the English throne, and on the 8th September 1831, he was crowned King William IV of England, and King of Hanover.

The Reform Act of 1832, which abolished abuses of the electoral system, was pushed through when King William created new Whig peers, getting the bill through the House of Lords.  It also meant, more people could vote, and a fair redistribution of Parliamentary seats.

In 1833, following years of campaigning by the Quakers and William Wilberforce, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.

The Factory Act of 1833 made it illegal for children under nine, to work in factories and reduced the number of hours worked by women and older children.

In 1834, the Poor Law Act was passed, creating workhouses for the poor.

In 1836 it became a compulsory act of law, that all births, deaths and marriages had to be registered.

On the morning of the 20th June 1837 King William IV died at Windsor Castle and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor on the 8th July.  With no legitimate children, he was succeeded to the throne by his niece; Victoria who would become Queen of England and Ireland.

Queen Victoria:  19th century England was to see a new Monarch on the English throne, one who would reign for sixty-three years.  She would become the second longest reigning monarch, and the last of the “House of Hanover.”

Alexandrina Victoria was born on the 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London.  Her father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strashearn, and he was the fourth son of King George III who reigned from (1760-1820), and her German Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Her early years were met with tragedy when her father Prince Edward the Duke of Kent died on the 23rd January 1820, and six days later her grandfather King George III died on the 29th January 1820.

On the 20th June 1837 Alexandrina Victoria barely eighteen years old had become Queen Victoria from that day forth.  Her official Coronation took place on the 28th June 1838, and the people flocked into the streets to see their new Queen.

Victoria was tormented by her mother’s presence, and marriage was the only way she could be free of her mother.  So on the 10th February 1840, she married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal of St.James Palace in London.

One of her first acts that took place a few years after her marriage was to be the first reigning monarch, to ride upon the train as used by the public.  Newspapers covered the journey with pictures, spread across the papers pages.

The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1857 to honour acts of bravery during the Crimean War.

On the 22nd January 1901, after a reign of almost 64 years, Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.  She was buried at Windsor Castle alongside her husband Prince Albert in the Frogmore Royal Mausoleum, built for their final resting place.

Stuart Monarchy

The Tudor line ended with Queen Elizabeth I as the King of Scotland succeeded her as King James I of England.

His conception of the royal power was none the less elevated.  He being highly educated, and considered himself the philosopher or theologian of absolute monarchy.

Since James protected Anglicanism, which enjoyed submission to the King’s will, Catholic conspirators placed barrels of gunpowder in the cellars of Westminster.  The Gunpowder Plot was discovered, and all those who took part were executed.  This enflamed public opinion against Rome, and anti-Catholic measures were put in place.  More dangerous than the Catholics were extreme Protestants.

Although many early Puritans, as they came to be known, remained inside the Anglican Church, distinguished by their piety and simplicity of life, others had already begun to show extremes of sectarian fanaticism.  The most determined among them asserted that nobody and nothing should stand between man and God.

While Puritanism gave its blessing to individual enterprises, the king sold monopolies to raise money, for he proved a poor housekeeper, and was continually in debt.

Money had to be obtained; Titles of nobility were sold, taxes placed on wood, wine and leather.  He was at loggerheads with Parliament.  When King James I died in 1625, the state of the Kingdom lay in tatters, the future of the ruling house unsettled, and the future of the Stuarts uncertain.

King James I:  James I was born on the 19th June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, to parents Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.  On the 29th July 1567, crowned King James VI of Scotland, after his mother Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate the throne in favour of her son.  On the 24th July 1603, ascended to the English throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, and on the 25th July, crowned King James I of England.

James united the crowns of England and Scotland.  In 1606, James created the Union Jack flag, consisting of the flag of St.Andrew, St.Partick for Ireland and the cross of St.George for England.

King Henry VIII had commissioned the Great Bible translation in 1535 and the Bishop’s Bible in 1568.  These were replaced in 1611, by the King James Bible commissioned by James I, and still in use to this day.

James believed that King’s took their authority from God, but accepted his actions were subject to the laws of the land.  He was often in dispute with Parliament, over royal finances, as his predecessors had been, before him and would be in the future.

King James I of England who also reigned as King James VI of Scotland died on the 27th March 1625 at Theobald’s Park and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

King Charles I:  Charles I was born on the 19th November 1600, at Dunfermline Palace, Scotland to parents King James I (VI of Scotland) and Anne of Denmark.

On the 27th March 1625, his father King James I died, and he ascended to the English throne.  On the 2nd February 1626, he was crowned King Charles I of England at Westminster Abbey.

His twenty-four year reign as England’s King, saw much conflict with the government, civil unrest by his people, civil war and his own execution on the 30th January 1649 in Whitehall.

An act of Parliament was passed, on the 30th January 1649, forbidding the automatic succession of his son.  On the 7th February, the office of the King had been abolished.

On the 9th February 1649, he was buried in Henry VIII’s vault, in St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Oliver Cromwell – Lord Protector:  With the overthrow of the government and the execution of the King, power was passed to Oliver Cromwell, who became known as the “Lord Protector.”

Oliver Cromwell was born on the 25th April 1599 in Huntingdon to parents Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward.

On the 18th May 1649, an Act was passed, which declared that England was a Commonwealth, governed by a council, appointed by Parliament.

On the 16th December, a reluctant Oliver Cromwell, becomes Lord Protector of England’s Commonwealth.  In the eyes of the people, Cromwell was now King of England, in all but name. 

Cromwell was nothing short of a puritanical religious zealot who became nothing short of a dictator.  He was instrumental in the genocide of thousands of Scottish and Irish Catholics.

By the time of his death on the 3rd September 1658, the people of England, Scotland and Ireland were glad to be rid of him.

Richard Cromwell – Lord Protector:  Without Oliver Cromwell, the head of England’s Republic, England’s Commonwealth, and the country gradually slipped into chaos, with his son Richard Cromwell as the new Lord Protector at its helm.

The Parliamentarians who had elected Oliver Cromwell to the post of Lord Protector, crossed swords with Richard Cromwell over his harsh treatment of the army and government.  Just nine months later, Parliament ousted him.

Richard was placed under house arrest at Whitehall Palace.  The remaining members of the old Rump Parliament were recalled, and on the 14th May the House of Commons formally destroyed Richards seal, as Lord Protector.

Parliament treated him with honour, paying off his debts, granting him a pension, upon his resignation as Lord Protector in 1659.

In the summer of 1660, Richard left his family and fled into exile on the continent until 1680, when he returned, living in Cheshunt, Herfordshire under the assumed name of John Clarke until his death in 1712.

King Charles II:  King Charles II was born on the 29th May 1630, at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta Maria.  He ascended to the English throne on the 29th May 1660, by invitation from Parliament, and was crowned King Charles II of England, on the 23rd April 1661 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1664 English forces seized the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, and renamed it; New York.  In 1666 the forces of France and Denmark assisted the Dutch, and in 1667, Dutch forces laid siege to England, capturing the Royal Charles, England’s flagship and the sinking of three other ships on the River Medway.  Peace talks commenced in the latter part of 1667.

In 1665, the plague (Black Death) struck England, and some 200,000 are known to have lost their lives in London.  This was followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, destroying 13,500 houses, 87 churches, and sixteen people lost their lives.

Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild much of London, including St.Paul’s Cathedral.

On the 6th February 1685, King Charles II converted to Catholicism, a deathbed conversion, and died at Whitehall Palace, and  buried at Westminster Abbey.

King James II:  James II was born on the 14th October 1633 at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta, and the last Catholic Monarch of England, to have secretly converted to Catholicism.  He grew up in exile, first in Holland then in France, and served in the French and Spanish forces.

Following Cromwell’s death, and the restoration on the monarchy, when his brother had taken his rightful place as King of England, James returned to England, and was appointed by his brother; King Charles II as Lord High Admiral, and commanded the Royal Navy during the Anglo-Dutch conflict.

In 1673, Parliament not wanting a Catholic successor to the English throne passed the “Test Act” which excluded Catholics from political office.

In 1679, an Exclusion Bill was introduced into Parliament, adding James II, as a practising Catholic, to those excluded from holding political office… Parliament did not want a Catholic King… Charles responded by dissolving Parliament.

King Charles II died on the 6th February 1685, and James ascended to the English throne, and crowned King James II of England on the 23rd April at Westminster Abbey.

In 1688, James believed in his “Divine Right as King” and believed he had absolute power over his kingdom.  He issued the “Declaration of Indulgence,” thus suspending all laws against Catholic’s.  He went further still, by promoting Catholic supporters within Parliament.

His daughter Mary married William of Orange of the Netherlands.  William of Orange, son-in-law to James II was invited to England by leading statesman to restore English liberties; Protestantism and Democracy.

William of Orange landed at Torbay on the 5th November 1688, in 463 ships with no opposition from the English Royal Navy.  His army of 14,000 men grew to 20,000 men by the time they reached London.

James tossed the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames… he had abdicated his position as England’s King, and went into exile in France.

James II lived the rest of his life in exile, until he died on the 6th September 1701, at St.Germain-en-laye in France, and buried at the Chateau de Saint Germain-en-laye.

King William III and Queen Mary II:  William Henry Stuart was born on the 14th November 1650 in the Hague, Netherlands to parents William II of Orange and Mary Stuart.  Mary was born on the 30th April 1662 at St.James Palace, London to parents James II and Anne Hyde.  William Henry Stuart (William III of Orange) married Mary II in 1677.

In 1689 Parliament declared to England, that King James II had abdicated his position as King of England.  His daughter Mary and husband William of Orange were crowned; King William III and Queen Mary II of England, on the 11th April 1689 at Westminster Abbey.

After the joint Coronation at Westminster Abbey on the 11th April 1689, King William III and Queen Mary II became the only British monarchs to have joint sovereignty and equal powers.  Their reign is probably best remembered for the 1658 Revolution, signing of the English Bill of Rights in 1689, and stamp duty in 1694, which saw the end of absolute monarchy and more power for Parliament.  Their combined reign oversaw the beginning of the Scottish Jacobite Rebellion of 1689.

In 1689, a “Declaration of Rights,” had been drawn up by Parliament, thus limiting the monarch’s power, and control of legislation, and taxes came under Parliament.

Queen Mary II dies of smallpox in 1694, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.  Mary’s untimely death left William bereft and he reigned alone for the next twelve years.

William forms alliances between England, Holland and Austria, preventing a union of French and Spanish crowns in 1701.

King William III dies on the 8th March 1702 at Kensington Palace, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Queen Anne:  Anne Stuart was born on the 6th February 1665 at St.James Palace, London, to parents James II and Anne Hyde, and when King William III died on the 8th March 1702, Anne Stuart ascended to the English throne, and was crowned Queen Anne of England on the 23rd April 1702 at Westminster Abbey.

On the 1st May 1707, the “Act of Union” unites England and Scotland, with the seat of government for both countries, firmly set in London.  From that day forth the two countries were known as Great Britain.

Queen Anne died on the 1st August 1714 at Kensington Palace, London and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Tudor Monarchy

The Yorkist King, Edward IV overcame Lancastrian forces at the “Battle of Tewkesbury” in May of 1471.  The Lancastrian heir to the English throne, Edward Prince of Wales died in battle, and shortly thereafter, Henry VI was murdered in the Tower of London.

Henry Tudor became the last Lancastrian heir and threat to the Yorkist dynasty.  When Edward IV attempted to capture the fourteen year old Henry, only one option laid open to him…/ flee his home, go into exile at the Count of the Duke of Brittany, waiting for his time to come… and it would.

For fourteen long years, Henry remained in exile, waiting; and the opportunity came with the death of King Edward IV of England, on the 9th April 1483.  Edward’s brother, Richard the Duke of Gloucester, usurped the English throne that should have gone to Edward’s nine year old son.  Within months, Richard had been crowned King Richard III of England, and Edward’s sons, the two young princes had been murdered, possibly under the order’s of Richard III.

On the 25th December 1483, Henry took a solemn oath in Rennes Cathedral, that he would take Elizabeth of York, as his wife and Queen.  Yorkist’s paid homage to Henry in return.

King Henry VII:  King Henry VII:  Henry was born on the 28th January 1457 to parents Edmund Tudor the Earl of Richmond and Margaret Beaufort at Pembroke Castle in Wales. 

Henry VII possessed only his ability and the ancient name and audacity of his welsh ancestors.  His grandfather had married the widow of Henry V, and his father had Margaret Beaufort, an illegitimate descendant of Edward III.  Henry’s only claim to the English throne was his victory at the “Battle of Bosworth,” defeating the English forces and killing of Richard III.

The Tudors gave England the government it so wanted, and they got the reputation of not pushing its subjects, where they were not ready to follow.

He gained much recognition from abroad; Spain in 1489 with the Treaty of Medina del Campo, and then from France, Netherlands and Scotland.  He restored a strong government, promoted English trade which he could tax, avoided overseas wars and saved money.

On the 21st April 1509, King Henry VII the first Tudor Monach of England, died at Richmond Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

King Henry VIII:  Henry was crowned King Henry VIII on the 24th June 1509 at Westminster Abbey.  During his reign, he was responsible for the formation of the English Navy and the construction of shipyards on the River Thames.

Henry was an ambitious and bold King, different in many respects to that of his father; Henry VII.  He received much praise from the likes of Thomas More, who served in his government.

In 1513, Henry won the “Battle of the Spurs” in France and overcome the Scots at Flodden.

In the years 1514-1529 Thomas Wolsey served as his Chancellor and Archbishop of York.

Henry’s desire for a male heir blighted his reign… leading to many Queens in his quest.  Catherine of Aragon, bore him six children, but only one survived infancy; Mary I.  Anne Boleyn his next quest, led to the creation of the Church of England, and a daughter: Elizabeth I.  Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour gave birth to a son; Edward VI.

Thomas Cromwell oversaw the revolutionary changes of the 1530’s; Henry’s break from Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

King Henry VIII died on the 28th January 1547 at the Palace of Whitehall and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle alongside his third wife,; Jane Seymour.

King Edward VI:  Edward VI was born on the 12th October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace to parents Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.  He was crowned King Edward VI of England on the 20th February 1547.

Edward’s reign was overseen by a Regency Council, headed by Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset until his death in 1553, and from then by John Dudley, the Earl of Warwick.

During Edward’s short reign, he will be remembered for the introduction of the “Book of Common Prayer,” as still used today.

In 1549, an act was passed “The First Act of Uniformity” making Roman Catholic Mass illegal.

On the 6th July 1553 King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

On the 6th July 1553, King Edward VI of England died at Greenwich Palace.  On the 9th July, Bishop Ridley stated that contenders to the English throne, Mary and Elizabeth were illegitimate by right of birth.  Then on the 10th July, proclamation of the death of King Edward VI was announced.

Lady Jane Grey:  Lady Jane Grey was born in October 1537 at Bradgate Manor, Leicestershire to parents Henry Grey, Marquis Dorset and great grandson of Queen Elizabeth and her mother was Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

On the 21st May 1553, she married Lord Guildford Dudley, not by choice, but by request of her mother.

The Dudley’s were Protestant nobles, and as Protestant’s they feared, Mary a devout catholic, could become Edward’s successor, and so it was under pressure, his will was changed to include Lady Jane Grey as his Protestant heir.

Edward died on the 6th July 1553, and Lady Jane Grey made her claim to the English throne, by right of Edward’s will and that her grandmother; Mary Tudor was the sister of Henry VIII.

On the 3rd August 1553 Mary the people’s choice and her followers entered London; she was dressed in purple velvet and satin, receiving rejoicing from the people who had lined the streets to greet her… their new Queen.

On the 12th February 1554, Lady Jane grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley were beheaded at the Tower of London.  Lady Jane Grey’s body was buried in the chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London.

Queen Mary I:  Mary was born on the 8th February 1516 at Greenwich Palace to parents Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon.  When Edward VI died, she seized the crown, from the newly crowned Queen; Jane Grey, Edward’s chosen successor,  ascended to the throne on the 19th July 1553.  On the 12th February 1554, Jane Grey and her husband Guildford Dudley were executed at the Tower of London, on the orders of Queen Mary I.

In the autumn of 1554, Mary overturned acts relating to the church, and in turn, returned England to Roman Catholicism.  Many Protestant Bishops were persecuted, and some three hundred were burned at the stake.

Queen Mary I of England died on the 17th November 1558 at St.James Palace and was buried on the 14th December at Westminster Abbey.

This Queen who ruled for only five years, had attempted to return England to its Catholic roots of the past … she who was true to her faith, her beliefs.

What will she be remembered for?  Her mass burning of Protestants, who refused to turn to Catholicism.

Queen Elizabeth I:  Elizabeth was born on the 7th September 1533 at Greenwich Palace to parents Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  She ascended to the English throne on the 17th November 1558, following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I, and was crowned Queen Elizabeth I of England at Westminster Abbey on the 15th January 1559.

Elizabeth would have been well aware, what this new position in life held.  She knew, she was considered an illegitimate child in the eyes of some of her Catholic subjects.  For they believed, Mary, Queen of Scotland, the Catholic daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise, also the great niece of Henry VIII, gave her claim to the English throne.

Therefore if Elizabeth had died, Mary would have ascended to the English throne.  Whilst Mary lived an assassination on Elizabeth’s life, by supporters loyal to Mary existed.

Elizabeth dismantled Mary’s Catholic England, and on the 29th May 1559 Edmund Grindal became the new Protestant Bishop of London.  One by one, Catholic churches suppressed making way for Protestant England.

On the 19th June 1566, Mary, the Queen of Scots bore a son, baptised according to Catholic rites, and the child was named James, and Elizabeth was his godmother.

On the 29th July 1567, 13-month-old heir to the Scottish throne was crowned King James VI, after his mother, Mary had abdicated on the 24th July under duress. 

On the 2nd May 1568, Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle, and on the 16th May crossed the border into England.

In the October of 1586 Mary was put on trial at Fotheringale Castle for plotting against the Queen’s life.  On the 25th October she was found guilty, and sentenced to death. 

On the 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, she who sought support from England, yet being a conspirator against the life of Elizabeth lost her own life.  Spain replied on the 19th July 1588, with the Spanish Armada.

Elizabeth had not married, she had no off-spring this Virgin Queen … it was just a matter of time for James, to wait for Elizabeth to die.

On the 24th March 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace and was buried at Westminster Abbey on the 28th April, alongside her half-sister Queen Mary I.

Yorkist Monarchy

The Royal House of York, consisted of three monarchs; Edward IV – Edward V – Richard III, becoming the ruling house of England and Wales from 1471 until 1485.

King Edward IV:  For the first nine years of Edward’s reign, he acted as Regent King for the mentally ill Lancastrian King; Henry VI.  Those early years consisted of constant battles, maintaining order between warring factions of the House of York and aggressors of the House of Lancaster.

With Henry VI dead, Edward was crowned King of England in 1461.  His arch enemy Margaret of Anjou, wife of the late King Henry VI was immediately arrested, and later returned to France.

The Wars of the Roses, which had taken place between the Lancastrians and Yorkists, meant Edward ruled a peaceful land.

On the 9th April 1483, King Edward IV died, and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

King Edward V:  Edward was born in 1470, in the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, for his parents Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, feared attacks by Lancastrian supporters.

In 1483, Prince Edward was informed his father’s death was close at hand, and on the 30th April was escorted to the Tower of London, as the future King of England.  On the 16th June, Edward’s brother, Richard Duke of York, was also moved to the Tower of London.

Deceit was at hand, as Richard the Duke of Gloucester made his play for the English throne.

Evidence was produced before Parliament, by Philippe de Commines, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, that Edward V had married another, before his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville.

Parliament agreed with Richard, that the young princes be illegitimate, and Richard the Duke of York would be England’s next King.

The young Edward V and his brother Richard the Duke of York were declared illegitimate, and these young princes slowly disappeared from sight, becoming prisoner’s at the Tower of London.  It wasn’t long before they disappeared all together, believed to have been murdered upon the orders of Richard.

King Richard III:  Richard Plantagenet, son of Richard the Duke of York, was born in 1452 and by 1483 had seized the English throne through deceit, from the rightful heir; Prince Edward.

Richard III, instigated the first ever execution to be held at the Tower of London, and in 1483 held the post of Lord Protector of the Prince of Wales upon the death of his father.

Richard suffered personal losses in 1484, with the death of his son Edward of Middleham, and in 1485, his wife Anne Neville died.

Richard’s reign was overshadowed by the constant threat of a Tudor invasion.  A few months after the death of his wife, Richard clashed with Tudor forces on Bosworth Field, where he was defeated and killed.

His naked body was first buried at Greyfriars Church, and later tossed in the river after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by an angry mob.  He would have to wait some 500 years before his remains would be buried in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

Lancastrian Monarchy

The Royal House of Lancaster consisted of three monarchs who would rule England and Wales between 1399: Henry IV – Henry V – Henry VI.

The house of Lancaster, was created from a branch of the Plantagenet Dynasty: King Edward III married Philippa of Hainault, and their son John of Grant married Blanche, the Duchess of Lancaster.  Their first born, Henry Bolingbroke became King Henry IV of England, the first monarch of the newly created House of Lancaster.

King Henry IV:  Henry of Bolingbroke was not in line, to become King at the time of his birth on the 13th April 1367.  However, events changed when King Richard II was deposed by John of Gaunt, Henry’s father and former Regent to Richard II.

Henry’s cousin, King Richard II, son of Edward the Black Prince and grandson of Edward III, became a child King in 1377 aged just ten.

Henry joined the “Lords Appellants,” in 1386, they who outlawed many of Richard’s closest associates, forcing the King to accept counsel.  By 1388, many of Richard’s friends and adviser’s had either been executed or exiled.

Richard sought revenge, against members of the Lords Appellants, watching and waiting to take his revenge.  In 1389, Richard discharged his counsel, and ruled England as King.

In 1390 Henry joined the Teutonic Knights, and in 1392, joined the crusades to the Holy Land, before returning to Richard’s political court.

In 1398 Henry Bolingbroke questioned Richard’s rule and Thomas de Mowbray, interpreted it as treason, and challenged him to a duel.  Richard stopped the duel, and banished Henry to France for ten years, seizing his lands, and exiled Mowbray for life.

In 1399, Henry’s father, John of Gaunt died, and Richard seized the family estates…  Henry had been deprived of his inheritance.  Richard had thrown down the gauntlet, if you want your inheritance, you have to come before me, and beg for what is yours.

Richard’s actions had dire consequences, for Henry Bolingbroke landed at Ravenspur in Yorkshire, with a French army.  Richard was captured and confessed before Parliament of being unworthy to reign as England’s King, surrendering his crown in August 1399 to Henry Bolingbroke.

Henry was crowned on the 13th October, and his first issue, was what to do with Richard II.  He was imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, and died of starvation on the 14th February 1400.

As Henry’s health began to deteriorate, a power struggle evolved between Thomas Arundel, Henry’s half brother and his son Prince Henry.  The struggle led to arguments about France and the Civil War.  Prince Henry wanted war with France, whilst Henry his father favoured peace.

On the 20th March 1413, King Henry IV died and was buried at Canterbury Cathedral.

King Henry V: King Henry IV died on the 20th March 1413, and was succeeded by his son Prince Henry, who was crowned King Henry V of England on the 9th April 1413.

The first battle of his reign was in 1414, with Sir John Oldcastle and Sir John Acton, known heretics.  Along with their band of followers, they made war against the Church, Priests, King and Kingdom.  The rebels were seized close to Westminster, and crucified, as for their leaders they underwent days of torture, until death was a blessing.  King Henry V had achieved victory against these heretics for Church, Priests and their faith.

On the 14th August 1415 Henry landed near Harfleur at the mouth of the Seine, where an encounter took place between English and French troops, where England was the victor.

On the 25th August 1415, one of the most famous battles took place, between the English and the French: the “Battle of Agincourt,” where the English became victorious over the French forces, thanks to the English longbow… Henry had demoralised the French, and laid the path for subsequent triumphs in France…

In 1420, King Henry V was officially recognised as heir to the French throne as agreed by the “Treaty of Troyes.”  The treaty was cemented with his marriage to Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI.

The Treaty of Troyes placed Henry in control of France for the  remainder of Charles VI’s life and promised that the English line would succeed to the French throne.   

On the 31st August 1422, King Henry V died at Bois de Vincennes, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 7th November 1422.

King Henry VI: Henry was born on the 6th December 1421 at Windsor Castle, to parents Henry V and Catherine of Valois.  He ascended to the English throne, on the 1st September 1422, and was crowned King Henry VI of England on the 6th November 1429 at Westminster Abbey.

John, the Duke of Bedford was appointed his Regent of France, and Humphrey the Duke of Gloucester his Regent of England. 

On the 29th April 1429, English forces at the Siege of Orleans, witnessed the peasant girl, Joan of Arc, leading the French forces, giving them the will to fight.  On the 23rd May 1430, Joan of Arc was captured at Compiegne, put on trial and found guilty of witchcraft.  Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake as a heretic on the 30th May.  Joan of Arc legacy to her people, she had created a French army with the will to fight, and England’s position in France became increasingly precarious.

On the 16th December 1431, Henry became King of France, and in 1437, he took over power of England.

In 1453, the houses of Lancaster and York started a feud, and in 1454 Richard the Duke of York, is named Regent and Protector of the realm during Henry’s mental breakdown.  He sees his chance, and makes a claim towards the throne.

Henry VI recovers from his illness, and it is left to his wife Margaret of Anjou to dismiss Richard, the Duke of York from Henry’s court.  The Lancastrians aided by Margaret of Anjou had regained power.

The Duke of York raises an army in 1455 defeating the Kings Lancastrian army at the “Battle of St.Albans” on the 22nd May.

The Duke of Somerset, the Lancastrian leader is killed in battle as the Duke of York takes over England’s Government. 

On the 10th July 1460, Yorkist army led by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick clash with Lancastrian forces.  King Henry VI is captured, and Richard, the Duke of York is England’s Protector once again.

In October 1460, the “Act of Accord” named Richard, the Duke of York as successor to the English throne.

Richard, the Duke of York is killed at the “Battle of Wakefield” by Lancastrian forces, and so it was, his son pressed home his claim for the English throne.

Queen Margaret and her Lancastrian army heads south, defeats the Earl of Warwick at St.Albans, releasing Henry VI.

Edward of York defeats Margaret’s Lancastrian forces on the 29th March 1461 at the “Battle of Towton,” and Henry VI and Margaret flee to Scotland, as Edward declares himself King Edward IV.

In 1470 a rebellion led by the Earl of Warwick, and the Duke of Clarence, failed forcing them to take refuge in France and make an alliance with Margaret of Anjou… The French supported an English invasion, led by Margaret, Warwick and Clarence.

King Edward IV fled as news reached him that the Duke of Clarence, had changed sides supporting the Lancastrians.  On the 3rd October 1470, King Henry VI was reinstated as England’s King.

On the 14th April 1471 at the “Battle of Barnet” King Edward IV is triumphant, and King Henry VI is imprisoned in the Tower of London.

On the 4th May 1471, the Lancastrian line is all but destroyed, as Edward, the Prince of Wales is killed in the “Battle of Tewkesbury.”  Queen Margaret and her daughter-in-law Anne Neville are taken prisoner.

On the 22nd May 1471, King Henry VI prisoner at the Tower of London is murdered, stabbed to death and buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Plantagenet Monarchy

The Plantagenet Dynasty ruled England from 1154-1399, a period of 245 years by way of eight kings.  Henry II (Henry Plantagenet) came to the English throne with an Empire which stretched from the Scottish borders down to the Pyrenees.  He began his reign by destroying castles built by rebellious barons during Stephen’s reign, and then set about regulating the power of the church.  He introduced reforms, laying the foundation for the common law.

Yet Henry II will be most remembered, for the death of Thomas Becket in 1170, murdered on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral, by Henry’s own knights.

King Henry II: Henry, the son of Matilda ascends to the English throne upon the death of Stephen, he who had stolen the position of England’s ruler, from the rightful heir; Matilda his mother.

In 1155, Henry appoints Thomas Becket as his Chancellor of England, and in 1162 he becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury.  In 1164 Henry introduced the “Constitution of Clarendon” placing limitations on Church jurisdiction over crimes committed by their own.

Henry and Thomas Becket started out as friends, but when Thomas Becket became Archbishop of Canterbury, all that changed.  From that day forth they were always at odds with each other, leading to the death of Thomas Becket in 1170.

In 1171-72 Henry invades Ireland and receives homage from the King of Leinster and other kings.  Henry is accepted by the Irish as Lord of Ireland, and the clergy are forced to submit to the authority of Rome.

In 1176, Henry creates a framework of justice, creating judges and dividing England into six counties.  In 1179, Henry gave the defendant, the right to opt for trial by jury or trial by combat.

In 1189, King Henry II died at Chinon Castle in Anjou, and is buried at Fontevrault Abbey in France.

King Richard I: Henry II died on the 6th July in France and is succeeded to the English throne by his son Richard in 1189.  Within months, Richard left England, on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land.

Richard’s appointed Chancellor of England during his absence was William Longchamp, but Richard’s brother Prince John stepped in and removed him in 1191.

In 1192, Richard I is captured by Henry VI Holy Roman Emperor of Germany, and held for ransom.  Prince John had sought to be king, and with Richard’s imprisonment, this could come soon…   What John hadn’t bargained on was the people of England had raised the 100,000 marks to release their king.

Richard and John came face to face on the 12th May 1194.  John sought clemency for his actions in the King’s absence… Richard forgave his brother, and named him as his successor.

On the 26th March 1199, King Richard I of England died in battle at Chalus in France, and was buried at Fontevrault Abbey.

King John: Prince John had previously acted as King during his brother’s absence, during the Third Crusade and fighting in France.  Richard I died in 1199, and John became King of England.

By 1204, following years of fighting, John had lost much of the French Empire, to King Philip II of France, land secured by his father and brother.

With the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1205, a dispute arose between King and monks, as to the rightful successor.

John alienated the Pope, by refusing to accept the elected replacement, Stephen Langton as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.  In 1207, Langton was consecrated as Archbishop in Rome, and a betrayed John expelled the Monks of Canterbury.

In 1208, the Pope issued a ban against England; no church services, except baptisms and funerals.  In 1209 John is excommunicated for confiscation of church possessions.  Then in 1212, the Pope declared John is no longer fit to be King of England.

King John believed he himself was the only ruler of England, but hadn’t counted on the power of the church and Rome.  John was forced to accept the authority of the Pope in England, or face war with France backed by the Pope… to remove him as King.

After years of fighting in France, John was defeated in 1214 by Philip Augustus at the “Battle of Bouvines.”  John returned to England to face his nobles and answer to them how he had lost their lands in France.

In 1215, rebellion broke out, which led to the signing of the “Magna Carta” at Runnymede.  The intention was to bring peace, but John didn’t abide by its terms.

King John fled north, and died on the 19th October at Newark Castle, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral.

King Henry III: Henry was the son of King John, and ascended to the English throne, upon his father’s death in 1215, and crowned in 1216, aged nine. 

With much guidance from William Marshall, the Earl of Pembroke and Hubert de Burgh, the King’s Regents, Henry brought stability to England.

In 1227, Henry took control of the government and his kingdom in his name, retaining Hubert de Burgh as his chief adviser until 1232, when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for squandering royal money and lands.

In 1237 “The Treaty of York,” created an Anglo-Scottish border.

Henry’s reign was dogged by civil strife from England’s barons, led by Simon de Montfort who defeated Henry at the “Battle of Lewes” in 1264 and took Henry prisoner.

In 1265 Simon de Montfort took control of the government, and called the first elected English Parliament.  Simon de Montfort died in the “Battle of Evesham,” leading to Henry’s release.

On the 16th November 1272, King Henry III died at the Palace of Westminster and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

King Edward I: In 1274, Edward son of Henry III was crowned King Edward I of England, upon his return home from the Holy Land Crusade.

Edward would best be remembered for his conquest of Wales (1277-1283) through a number of bitter battles between England and the Welsh princes.

William Wallace wanted freedom for all Scots, and took on the mighty English forces.  In 1305 Wallace was betrayed by one of his own, captured and executed by the English.  In 1306 Robert the Bruce rebelled and was crowned King of Scotland.

On the 7th July 1307, the aged Edward I died at Burg-on-Sands, and buried at Westminster Abbey in a black marble tomb.

King Edward II: On the 25th February 1308, Edward the son of Edward I succeeded his father as King Edward II of England.

Edward was a practicing homosexual, who had many affairs during his reign, but his favourite was Piers Gaveston.  The Earl of Pembroke captured Gaveston and had him executed, for he was a bad distraction for the King.

His homosexual affairs saw his own wife take a lover, one Roger Mortimer.  Edward was forced to abdicate as King, in favour of his son Edward III with his mother Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer acting as Regents.  Edward II was murdered in Berkeley Castle upon the orders of his wife on the 21st September 1327, and was buried at Gloucester Cathedral.

King Edward III: Edward ascended to the English throne on the 25th January 1327, after his father had renounced his throne, and ruled England with his mother; Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer as his guiding regents.  Edward was crowned King Edward III of England on the 1st February 1327 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1330 Edward takes over power, as ruler of his kingdom, after three years of governing by his regents.  No longer was he prepared to be the face to his people, whilst his mother Isabella and Roger Mortimer plundered royal finances and lands.

Edward was convinced that his father was murdered on the orders of his mother… he wanted justice.

Roger Mortimer was executed, and as for his mother, he allowed her to live at Castle Rising, but never leave the grounds… she remained a prisoner for the rest of her life.

In 1332, he divided Parliament into two houses; the Lords and Commons, and English became the common language, replacing the Norman-French language.

He started the Hundred Years War with France, when he attempted to claim the French throne in 1337, as grandson of Philip IV.

In 1348 he founded the “Order of the Garter, and in 1351 adapted St.George as the patron Saint of England.

On the 21st June 1377, King Edward III died at Sheen Palace, and buried at Westminster Abbey.

King Richard II: Richard the grandson of Edward III ascended to the English throne in 1377.  Being only ten years old, the young King had adviser’s to decide policy, as no regent could be agreed upon.

In 1380, he introduced the controversial Poll Tax, which led to the Peasants Revolt of 1381, led by rebel leader Watt Tyler.

In 1395, Richard invaded Ireland, creating an alliance between England and Ireland.

In 1399, Richard confessed before Parliament, of being unworthy to reign, and passed the English crown to Henry Bolingbroke.

King Richard II abdicated his throne in 1399, as an unfit king to rule his kingdom and people.  Richard was imprisoned at Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire, where he died of starvation, and buried at Westminster Abbey.

Norman Monarchy

The Normans originated from the Vikings who took up occupation in the early part of the 10th century in north-east France.  A powerful state was created around the mouth of the Seine.

In 1035, the Duchy passed to William, an illegitimate son of Duke Robert of Normandy, and anarchy reigned.  In 1047 he proved himself a skilled military leader, by defeating his enemies, and uniting the Duchy behind his rule.

William offered land hungry lords, large areas of England in return for military assistance to overcome Anglo-Saxon resistance.  Edward the Confessor had told William, that upon his death, the English crown would pass to him.  William expected resistance from the English, and was prepared to do battle, to claim what is his by right.

King William I: The year 1066, became a turning point in England’s history.  William the illegitimate son of Duke Robert the Devil of Normandy invaded England, defeating King Harold II (Harold Godwinson) at the Battle of Hastings.  On the 25th December William was crowned King William I of England at Westminster Abbey.

Norman feudalism became the basis for redistributing the land among the conquerors, giving England a new French aristocracy, and a new social and political structury.

William faced Saxon revolt in the south, and responded by driving out Anglo-Saxon lords from their lands.  In the northern areas he created mass starvation by burning houses, barns crops and killing livestock.

His power and efficiency can be seen in the Domesday Book, a census for taxes, listings manors and shires across the land.

He appointed Lanfranc, an Italian clergyman to the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, and promoted church reform, with the creation of separate church courts, whilst retaining royal control.

King William I (William the Conqueror) died in battle at the French city of Mantes; his horse stumbled amongst the ruins, and he is unhorsed, causing a fatal stomach injury.  William was buried at the Abbey Church of St.Etienne, Caen.

King William II: When William I died in 1087, he gave England to his second son, William II and Normandy to his eldest son Robert.  To his third son Henry, he left nothing, for he was supposed to enter the church.

William II ascended to the English throne upon the death of his father William I in 1087, and was crowned King William II of England on the 26th September at his coronation at Canterbury Cathedral.

William faced rebellion from his brother Robert, urged on by his uncle Odo of Bayeux, the revolt quickly collapsed.  William responded by waging war against Robert in 1089, laying claims to the lands of Normandy, and defeating him in battle.

William faced hostile opposition from Scotland in 1091, and was forced to take action, forcing Malcolm III, King of the Scots to acknowledge him as King of England and the lands of Scotland.  In November 1093, Malcolm III and his forces revolted, taking on the might of William II near Alnwick, where Malcolm died on the battlefield.

William was always at odds with the church, he being a practicing homosexual, his interest lay in the revenue the church raised, not the faith itself.

On the 2nd August 1100, King William II was killed when an arrow penetrated his lung in a hunting accident.  Walter Tirel, nobleman and friend of the King fired the fateful arrow, missing a stag and killing the king.  Tirel fled to France, fearful of his life. 

King Henry I: Henry, the third son of William the Conqueror received nothing at his father’s death, but thing’s changed, when his brother William was killed in a hunting accident, he swiftly moved being crowned King in a matter of a few days.

Henry’s brother Robert, landed on English shores in 1101, claiming he was the rightful heir of England.  Conflict was averted, Henry’s territories in Normandy passed to Robert, along with 2,000 marks a year.  In 1106, Henry invaded Normandy and captured Robert at the “Battle of Tinchebrai,” and imprisoned him for life.

In 1110 Henry created a financial counting system, a chequered cloth was used by the Royal Treasury, a central point for discussions on finance.

In 1121, Henry’s heir William died, and he had no male successor, and proposed his daughter Matilda would be Queen of England upon his death.  Henry’s barons swore an allegiance to Matilda, yet their promise was never kept.

In 1135 King Henry I died in Rouen, France and was buried at Reading Abbey.

King Stephen: With Henry I dead, the last thing English barons wanted, was to be ruled by a woman, which led to conflict over succession…  So it was, on the 22nd December 1135, Stephen the nephew of Henry I seized the English throne with the backing of barons and nobles, and was crowned on the 26th December.

Henry had so desired his daughter should be his successor, the actions taken by Stephen, led to Civil War as to who should be the rightful ruler; Stephen or Matilda.

Matilda received support from King David I of Scotland, as he invaded English lands.  In 1138 Robert the Earl of Gloucester rebels against Stephen.  In 1141, Matilda was elected as Queen, but driven out of London by its people who wanted Stephen, prior to her coronation.

This Civil War was tearing England apart, as Henry’s Royal Government lay in tatters.  The church played one side against the other, extending its authority.  It all came to a head, under the “Treaty of Westminster.”  Stephen would remain king for the remainder of his life, and upon his death the English throne would pass to Matilda’s son, Henry Plantagenet and he would take the title; King Henry II of England.

In 1154, King Stephen of England died, and was buried at Faversham in Kent.

Anne Basset – Mistress of Henry VIII & Almost Queen of England

In 1528 Honor Basset found herself in need of a husband. John Basset had just died at the age of 66 and Honor, an ambitious woman from an ancient Cornish family, knew only too well the advantages that a good marriage could bring, not just for her but for her children too. It is unlikely […]

Anne Basset – Mistress of Henry VIII & Almost Queen of England — The Cornish Bird
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