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Normans Blois Anjou Plantagenets Lancaster York Tudors Stuarts Hanover S–C & G Windsor

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Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain: Classified

Normans

Dates Name Spouse Cause of death Successor Buried at
1066–1087 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1089–1100 Click to show or hide the answer (None) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1100–1135 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

House of Blois

Henry I's only legitimate male heir was William Adelin, who died in 1120 when the White Ship struck a submerged rock in the English Channel off Barfleur, Normandy, and sank. Only one person on board survived. Henry entered negotiations to name his nephew Stephen of Blois as his heir, but then named his daughter Matilda instead.

Stephen was the son of Adela, who was the ninth and last child (and fifth daughter) of William I. His father was Stephen II, Count of Blois. Blois was a city and county south of Paris; the Counts of Blois also held the city and county of Chartres.

When Henry died, Stephen invaded England and had himself crowned. The period that followed is known as The Anarchy, with open warfare between the respective supporters of Stephen and Matilda both in England and on the Continent for almost twenty years.

1135–1141 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer N/A Click to show or hide the answer N/A
1141 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1141–1154 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

House of Anjou

In 1153, Stephen's son died, and Stephen signed an agreement with Matilda to recognise her son, Prince Henry, as his heir apparent. Henry's father was Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou (Matilda's second husband). The House of Plantagenet is also known as the House of Anjou, and its members are also known as the Angevins (meaning the kings from Anjou).

1154–1189 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1189–1199 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1199–1216 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
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Plantagenets

The name Anjou persisted until the reign of Henry III, but by this time the family had lost most of their continental possessions and so they became known by their family name: Plantagenet. Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, was (as we've already seen) the father of Henry II. The first member of the English royal family to officially use this name was Richard, the 3rd Duke of York (1411-1460), a great-grandson of Edward III and the father of Edward IV. The name has been retrospectively applied to English kings from Henry II onwards (whose houses were known at the time, as we've also seen, as Blois and Anjou).

1216-1272 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1272–1307 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1307–1327 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1327–1377 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1377–1399 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
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Lancaster

Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, the first Duke of Lancaster, seized power from his cousin Richard II. Richard was the son of Edward of Woodstock, who died in 1376. Edward would later become known as the Black Prince; he was the eldest son of Edward III, and John of Gaunt was his younger brother. (Edward III had two sons between Edward and John, but one died in infancy and the other, Lionel of Antwerp, died in 1368 aged 29.)

1399–1413 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1413–1422 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1422–1461 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer N/A Click to show or hide the answer N/A

York

Henry VI, the third and last Lancastrian king, succeeded to the throne at the age of just nine months on the death of his father Henry V. Some thirty years later, following the end of the Hundred Years' War and the loss of England's territories in France (all except Calais), the Yorkists' claim to the throne was revived (bearing in mind that the Lancastrians were only there because Henry's grandfather, Henry IV, had seized power from Richard II in 1399). The houses of York and Lancaster fought for their respective claims during the Wars of the Roses (1455–85), during which time the throne changed hands three times – four times, if you include Henry Tudor's victory over Richard III (the last Yorkist king), which ended the conflict.

There is a common misconception that the Wars of the Roses were between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Although I have no problem with the name being used by analogy for cricket matches between those two counties, the original Wars of the Roses were between the respective families of the Dukes of York and Lancaster. They had little or no connection with the actual counties, and to represent the Wars of the Roses as Lancashire folk fighting Yorkshire folk is (unless I'm much mistaken) well wide of the mark.

Edward IV was the 4th Duke of York – the great–great grandson of Edward III. (The first Duke of York was Edward III's fourth son.) Following early successes in the Wars of the Roses, culminating at Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire in February 1461, Edward proclaimed himself king. He scored a further victory over the Lancastrians at Towton on 29 March, after which he was crowned in London. He captured Henry VI and imprisoned him in the Tower of London.

1461–1470 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer N/A Click to show or hide the answer N/A

Lancaster

Edward had needed the support of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, in overthrowing Henry. Warwick was the wealthiest and most powerful English peer of his age. Most of England's leading families had remained loyal to Henry VI, or remained uncommitted; the new regime, therefore, relied heavily on the support of the Nevilles. But Edward proceeded to antagonise Warwick, not least by impulsively marrying Elizabeth Woodville, after sending Warwick to France to arrange a marriage to either the daughter or the sister–in–law of Louis XI. Warwick formed an alliance with Edward's disaffected younger brother George, Duke of Clarence, but the so–called Lincolnshire Rebellion was defeated, and Warwick fled to France. There he agreed with Louis XI and Margaret of Anjou, the wife of Henry VI, to restore Henry in return for French military support. This led to the restoration of Henry VI in October 1470 – an event known as the Readeption – leading to Warwick's sobriquet 'the Kingmaker'.

1470–1471 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Following the Readeption, Edward fled to Burgundy. There he raised an army, which he led back to England. He continued to gather support, and enlisted the help of his younger brothers George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III). After entering London unopposed and taking Henry prisoner, they defeated Warwick at the Battle of Barnet, on 14 April 1471, in which Warwick was killed. The remaining Lancastrian resistance was eliminated three weeks later at the Battle of Tewkesbury, in which Edward of Westminster, the only son of Henry VI (aged 18), was killed. Henry himself died a few days later (21 May) – it's widely suspected that Edward had him murdered.

York

1471–1483 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Unknown
1483 Click to show or hide the answer (None) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Unknown
1483–1485 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Seven years later, the Duke of Clarence was found guilty of plotting against Edward, imprisoned in the Tower of London, and privately executed. According to a long–standing tradition, he was "drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine".

Before long Edward became seriously ill, from ailments that remain mysterious (but were probably natural). On his deathbed, with his son Edward aged just 11, he named his remaining younger brother Richard as Protector. Edward IV died on 19 April 1483, and soon afterwards his sons Edward (now King Edward V) and Richard were taken to the Tower of London.

Arrangements were made for Edward's coronation, but then the marriage of his parents (Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville) was declared invalid, making their children illegitimate and ineligible for the throne. Richard of Gloucester was proclaimed as King Richard III, and he was crowned on 6 July.

The two princes were never seen in public after August 1483. They probably never left the Tower, and it is widely believed that they were murdered there. The most likely culprit is their uncle Richard, but there are other suspects.

Tudors

The Tudors were descended from Edward III via an illegitimate son of John of Gaunt, who was retroactively declared legitimate (by papal bull and by Act of Parliament) after his parents married when he was 25 years old. They were allied to the House of Lancaster, and Henry Tudor (born in Pembroke Castle in 1457) ended the Wars of the Roses by defeating Richard III at Bosworth and marrying Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV.

1485–1509 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1509–1547 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1547–1553 Click to show or hide the answer (None) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1553 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1553–1558 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1558–1603 Click to show or hide the answer   (None) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Stuarts

James VI of Scotland was the first cousin of Elizabeth I, who died childless having famously never married. He was descended from the Tudors through his great–grandmother – Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII.

1603–1625 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1625–1649 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Interregnum

1649–1660 Interregnum

Stuarts

1660–1685 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1685–1688 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer
1689–1694 Click to show or hide the answer   (Each other ... ) Click to show or hide the answer N/A Click to show or hide the answer
1694–1702 Click to show or hide the answer (Widower) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1702–1714 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

William of Orange was the grandson of Charles I, through his daughter Mary, and this made him fourth in line to the English and Scottish thrones in 1677, when he married his first cousin Mary (daughter of the Duke of York – later King James II). Charles II opposed the alliance at first, preferring that Mary should wed the French Dauphin Louis, which would have strengthened the odds of an eventual Catholic successor in Britain; but he later approved it, under pressure from Parliament and with a coalition with the Catholic French no longer politically expedient. Mary's father agreed to the marriage, after pressure from chief minister Lord Danby and the King, who hoped (vainly, as it turned out) that it would improve James's popularity among the Protestants. When James told his 15–year–old daughter that she was to marry her cousin (aged 26), she is said to have "wept all that afternoon and all the following day".

Mary suffered a miscarriage soon after the marriage, and this may have permanently impaired her ability to have children. For whatever reason, she remained childless; she died in 1694, aged only 32, and when William died eight years later (aged 51) the throne passed to Mary's sister Anne.

Queen Anne bore 14 children, but eight of them were stillborn and three more survived for less than 24 hours. A further two died aged 20 months and 8 months; only one – Prince William, Duke of Gloucester – lived for more than two years, and he died in 1700 at the age of 11.

The Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, disqualified Roman Catholics – or anyone married to one – from succeeding to the throne. It settled the succession on the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant descendants. Sophia was the grand–daughter of James I (of England), through his daughter Elizabeth, and Anne's first cousin, once removed upwards. She was 35 years older than Anne, and she died in 1714 at the age of 83. When Anne died less than two months later, the British throne passed to Sophia's eldest son, George.

It was during Queen Anne's reign that England and Scotland were, in the words of the Treaty of Union (1706), "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The Acts of Union were passed in 1706 in England, and 1707 in Scotland.

Hanover

1714–1727 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1727–1760 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1760–1820 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1820–1830 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1830–1837 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1837–1901 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

There is another common misconception (which has cost me quiz points, in the past) that Queen Victoria joined the House of Saxe–Coburg and Gotha when she married Prince Albert. The fact is that royal dynasties don't work like this. Victoria was a Hanoverian; her son, Edward VII, was the first monarch of the House of Saxe–Coburg and Gotha.

I feel I should point out that when the misconception cost me quiz points, it was the question setter (and more importantly, the opposing team captain) that was under the misconception, and not me. Not that I bear a grudge.

Saxe–Coburg and Gotha

1901–1910 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Saxe–Coburg and Gotha, later Windsor

1910–1936 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

George V changed the name of the House of Saxe–Coburg and Gotha to Windsor in 1917, because of wartime anti–German sentiment in the United Kingdom.

Windsor

1936 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1936–1952 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1952– Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017