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Henry VIII
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Kings and Queens: Miscellaneous

This page provides various random facts about kings and queens of England since 1066.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

  Name Years Issue Reign Fate
1 Click to show or hide the answer 1509–33 Click to show or hide the answer 1553–8 Click to show or hide the answer
2 Click to show or hide the answer 1533–36 Click to show or hide the answer 1533–1603 Click to show or hide the answer
3 Click to show or hide the answer 1536-37 Click to show or hide the answer 1547–53 Click to show or hide the answer
4 Click to show or hide the answer 1540 None  Click to show or hide the answer
5 Click to show or hide the answer 1540–42 None  Click to show or hide the answer
6 Click to show or hide the answer 1543–47 None  Click to show or hide the answer

Catherine of Aragon was pregnant six times between 1509 and 1518. The first and fourth terms ended in stillbirths (a daughter and a son respectively). The second resulted in a son – Henry, Duke of Cornwall – who was born on New Year's Day 1511, but died on 23 February aged 54 days. The third and sixth pregnancies resulted in live births – a son and a daughter respectively – but the son lived only a few hours and the daughter may have died after a similar time, but may have survived for up to a week.

Mary I was born on 18 February 1516, as a result of the fifth pregnancy.

Henry VIII divorced Catherine 15 years after the sixth (unsuccessful) pregnancy, and Elizabeth and Edward were his only subsequent issue.

All three boys (the first of whom lived for 54 days, the second lived for a few hours, and the third was stillborn) were named Henry and given the title Duke of Cornwall. Apart from Mary, none of the girls was named.

Edward VI named Lady Jane Grey as his heir presumptive, in defiance of Parliament which had passed an act in 1543 (the year of Henry's marriage to Catherine Parr, and four years before his death) returning both Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession behind Edward. Jane was the great–granddaughter of Henry VII, through his younger daughter Mary, and thus the great–niece of Henry VIII and Edward's first cousin once removed. Edward died on 6 July 1553, aged 15, and Jane was proclaimed queen four days later (10 July). Nine days after the proclamation (19 July), the Privy Council switched allegiance and proclaimed Edward's Catholic half–sister Mary. Jane was executed on 12 February 1554, aged 16, after being found guilty of signing letters "Jane the Quene". Many historians do not consider her to have been a legitimate monarch.

The three unmarried kings

Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Other

Consort of Queen Victoria; father of Edward VII Click to show or hide the answer
Last Queen not born in Britain (Danish – consort of Edward VII) Click to show or hide the answer
Last Stuart monarch Click to show or hide the answer
Last monarch of England and Scotland separately, and first of Great Britain (the two kingdoms were united during her reign – 1707)
Last to withhold Royal Assent (Scottish Militia Bill, 1707)
Founded Ascot racecourse (1711)
Bore 14 children – 8 stillborn, 3 others survived less than 24 hours; also had 4 miscarriages; one (Mary, 2nd born) died in February 1687 aged 20 months; Anne Sophia (3rd born) died 6 days earlier aged 8 months; William, Duke of Gloucester (7th born) died in 1700 aged 11
Mother of Elizabeth I Click to show or hide the answer
Reputed to have had 11 fingers
Reputedly haunts Hever Castle, Kent (her childhood home)
Divorced by Henry VIII after six months (1540) on ground of non–consummation (and her previous betrothal to Francis, heir to the Duchy of Lorraine); subsequently remained in England and survived him Click to show or hide the answer
Eldest son of Henry VII, elder brother of Henry VIII, and first husband of Catherine of Aragon (it was said that the marriage was never consummated); died 1502 aged 15 Click to show or hide the answer
Mother of Mary Tudor; daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain; first marriage was to Henry VIII's elder brother Arthur Click to show or hide the answer
First cousin of Anne Boleyn; youngest of Henry VIII's six wives (at least 29 years his junior – married when he was 49 and she was at most 20); he referred to her as "the rose without a thorn"; divorced and executed on the grounds of an affair with Francis Dereham before her marriage to Henry, and a romance with courtier Thomas Culpeper Click to show or hide the answer
Final words, according to popular folklore, were, "I die a Queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper"
Henry VIII's widow; was herself married four times (Henry was her third husband) Click to show or hide the answer
Grandfather of William III, Mary II and Queen Anne Click to show or hide the answer
Marriage to Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter of King Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici (when Prince of Wales), required a special dispensation from the Pope because it was the first time a Catholic princess had married a Protestant prince
Hid in an oak tree (in Boscobel Wood, Shropshire) to avoid capture, after the Battle of Worcester (1651); subsequently escaped from Bentley Hall, near Walsall, to Bristol, disguised as William Jackson, supposed to be the servant of Jane Lane (daughter of one of his supporters) Click to show or hide the answer
Benefited from the Restoration of the monarchy (1660)
29th May was declared a holiday (Oak Apple Day) to celebrate the birthday of
"Great plague" of London and Fire of London (1665–6) occurred in the reign of
Built the Royal Observatory at Greenwich for John Flamsteed
James Scott, Duke of Monmouth was the illegitimate son of; Charles and James Beauclerk were other illegitimate sons of
Title originally bestowed on Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in 1521, for supporting the supremacy of the Pope in opposition to the Protestant Reformation; revoked by Pope Paul III in 1530, but conferred on Edward VI and his successors by Parliament in 1544 Click to show or hide the answer
Fourth son of George III; father of Queen Victoria Click to show or hide the answer
Father of the first English Prince of Wales Click to show or hide the answer
Brought the Stone of Scone to Westminster, and commissioned the Coronation Chair to hold it
Had a series of great castles built in Wales
Summoned the Model Parliament, 1295
Married Eleanor, "the Infanta of Castile"; built a series of 12 crosses to mark the route of her coffin to London following her death near Lincoln in 1290 (Charing Cross being the last)
Was the first English Prince of Wales Click to show or hide the answer
Defeated by Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn (1314)
Deposed in 1327, in favour of his 14–year–old son, by his wife Isabella, in alliance with Roger Mortimer; murdered eight months later in Berkeley Castle, by disembowelment with a red–hot poker (according to a story that began to circulate soon afterwards, and attained general currency, but is now doubted by most historians)

Succeeded by their grandsons Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer

Father of Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince) and John of Gaunt Click to show or hide the answer
Grandfather of Richard II (of York) and Henry IV (of Lancaster)
Founded the Order of the Garter (1350)
Prompted the Hundred Years War (1337) by claiming to be the rightful king of France, through his mother Isabella
First king of the House of York Click to show or hide the answer
Father of the Princes in the Tower (Edward and Richard)
George, Duke of Clarence, drowned (according to tradition) in a butt of malmsey in the Tower of London in 1478, was the brother of (and was put to death by)
Married Elizabeth Woodville, three years after his accession, making her the first commoner since the Norman Conquest to be crowned queen Click for more information
Banned a game known as "Hands in and Hands Out" – often said to be an early form of cricket – because it distracted the lower orders from farming, archery practice etc. (1477)
Died as one of the Princes in the Tower (along with his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York) Click to show or hide the answer
Only surviving son of Henry VIII; succeeded his father aged 9, died 6 years later Click to show or hide the answer
Ruled under John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and later his uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and 1st Earl of Hertford (elder brother of Jane Seymour), as Lords Protector
Authorised the Book of Common Prayer (written by Thomas Cranmer)
The only one to have been born at Buckingham Palace Click to show or hide the answer
Coronation was delayed for six weeks while he had his appendix out
Popularised the Homburg hat; first to have the title Emperor of India
Consort (Queen Alexandra) was the daughter of Christian IX of Denmark
The last Duke of Clarence was Albert Victor (1864–92), son of
Consort of Henry II; mother of Richard I and King John Click to show or hide the answer
George I's title before becoming King of Great Britain Click to show or hide the answer
Last Tudor Click to show or hide the answer
Last to be excommunicated (by Pope Pius V, after having over 750 Catholic rebels executed)
Virginia was named after
First to visit a Communist country (Yugoslavia, 1972) Click to show or hide the answer
Title bestowed on Victoria, New Years Day 1877 Click to show or hide the answer
Consort of Queen Matilda, and father of Henry II (the first Plantagenet king) Click to show or hide the answer
First Hanoverian (nearest Protestant relative of Queen Anne; there were over 50 Catholics with a stronger claim; the Catholics' choice was James Edward Stuart – eldest son of James II, younger brother of Queen Anne – known to the Protestants as the Old Pretender) Click to show or hide the answer
The first after Henry VIII to be divorced (born in 1660, married in 1682, divorced in 1692, came to the throne in 1714)
Couldn't speak English, although he did live mainly in Britain during his reign
Last to be buried abroad (died on a trip to Hanover, and was buried there)
Power of the monarchy diminished, and the post of Prime Minister (Walpole 1721–42) grew in importance, during the reign of
Handel's Water Music (1717) was written for
Last to be born outside Britain Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Last to live at Hampton Court
Last to lead his troops into battle (Dettingen, 1743)
Georgia (USA) was named after
Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) was written for
Longest–reigning king Click to show or hide the answer
Queen Victoria's paternal grandfather
The American colonies were lost during the reign of
Frederick, the Grand Old Duke of York, was the son of
Surrendered the hereditary revenues of the Crown in exchange for the Civil List
Secretly married Catholic widow Mrs. Maria FitzHerbert when Prince of Wales (1785); forced by parliament to marry his cousin Caroline of Brunswick (1795), and attempted to divorce her on grounds of adultery; refused to allow her to attend his coronation Click to show or hide the answer
Played cricket for his county (Berkshire) when Prince of Wales
Had Brighton Pavilion built (current building 1815–22 – also largely when Prince of Wales) Click for more information
Changed family name from Saxe–Coburg–Gotha to Windsor Click to show or hide the answer
First to broadcast, including the first Christmas message (1932 – on radio)
The Sussex seaside resort of Bognor was granted the suffix 'Regis' following the visit, for convalescence, of Click for more information
Played at Wimbledon when Duke of York (1926) Click to show or hide the answer
First to visit the USA
Last Emperor of India
Name shared by the elder brothers of Richard I and Charles I – both of whom predeceased their fathers and so never succeeded to the throne Click to show or hide the answer
Died in France, from (according to his physician) "a surfeit of lampreys" Click to show or hide the answer
Buried in Reading Abbey, which was largely demolished during the dissolution of the monasteries, causing his body to be lost – leading to a search following the discovery of Richard III in Leicester in 2012 and his reburial in Leicester Cathedral in 2015
Prince William Adelin, drowned when the White Ship was wrecked in the English Channel in 1120, was the only legitimate heir to
First Plantagenet King (House of Anjou) Click to show or hide the answer
Father of Richard I and John
Quarrelled with Thomas Becket – "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest!"
Rosamund Clifford – "the Fair Rosamund" – was a mistress of
Succeeded his father, King John, aged 9, under the regency of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (William the Marshal); Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent, was also influential Click to show or hide the answer
Crowned in Gloucester Cathedral
Subservience to the Papacy and foreign favourites led to de Montfort's revolt, 1264
Son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster Click to show or hide the answer
Known prior to his accession as Henry Bolingbroke (after his Lincolnshire birthplace)
Died in the Jerusalem Chamber, Westminster
Leader of the English army at Agincourt Click to show or hide the answer
Was struck in the face by an arrow at the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403 – when heir to the throne, aged 16) Click for more information
Was insulted (probably mistakenly) by a gift of tennis balls from Charles, the Dauphin of France – as told by Shakespeare Click for more information
Youngest to succeed to the throne, at 266 days (8 months 25 days); also de jure, but not de facto (i.e. in law, but not in practice) king of France Click to show or hide the answer
Founded Eton College in 1440, and King's College Cambridge in 1441
The claim to his throne of Edward, Duke of York led to the Wars of the Roses
Died (in 1471) while imprisoned in the Tower of London, 17 days after the death of his son Edmund of Westminster, Prince of Wales, at the Battle of Tewkesbury
The first Tudor Click to show or hide the answer
Born at Pembroke Castle, 1457
Buried in Westminster Abbey with his wife Elizabeth of York (represented on a playing card), in a tomb by Torrigiani
Great–grandfather of Mary, Queen of Scots
Sponsored the journeys of John and Sebastian Cabot to North America (1497)
First to be called Defender of the Faith (title conferred on him by the Pope) Click to show or hide the answer
First to have 'King of Ireland' in his title
First to be addressed as 'Your Majesty'
Stood for election as Holy Roman Emperor
Sodomy was first outlawed in his reign (by the Buggery Act of 1533)
United England and Wales
Instigated the dissolution of the monasteries
Succeeded by all three of the children that survived him
Henry Fitroy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, was an illegitimate child (by his mistress Elizabeth Blount) of, and the only one acknowledged by
First Stuart King of England Click to show or hide the answer
James VI of Scotland
Born at Edinburgh Castle, the son of Mary Queen of Scots
Intended victim of the Gunpowder Plot
Described by Henry IV of France as 'the wisest fool in Christendom'
Author of A Counterblast Against Tobacco
Ordered the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh
Both his mother and his son were beheaded
Last Roman Catholic King of England Click to show or hide the answer
Last to wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday
Opposed by the Monmouth Rebellion
Deposed by the so–called 'Glorious Revolution'
Father of Mary II and Queen Anne
De facto queen for nine days, July 1553 (between Edward VI and Mary I) Click to show or hide the answer
Signed (put his seal to) the Magna Carta (1215) Click to show or hide the answer
Lost his treasure (crown jewels) in The Wash
Excommunicated
Younger son of Edward III – father of Henry IV Click to show or hide the answer
Elder sister of Henry VIII: married James IV of Scotland; mother of James V, thus grandmother of Mary Queen of Scots and great–grandmother of James I of England Click to show or hide the answer
Wife and consort of Henry VI: effectively ruled the country during his frequent bouts of insanity; called for the Great Council of 1455 which excluded Yorkists and thus sparked the Wars of the Roses; leader of the Lancastrian faction against Richard, Duke of York (father of Edward IV and Richard III) Click to show or hide the answer
Younger sister of Henry VIII: married Louis XII of France; grandmother of Lady Jane Grey (her daughter Frances, from her second marriage, was Jane's mother) Click to show or hide the answer
The first undisputed Queen of England in her own right Click to show or hide the answer
Married Philip II of Spain
Ordered the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
Two full sisters who ruled England in their own right (both daughters of James II) Click to show or hide the answer
Consort of George V, mother of Edward VIII and George VI Click to show or hide the answer
Wife of William I: traditionally believed to have commissioned and helped to create the Bayeux Tapestry (in France it's also known as La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde) – 20th century research shows that in fact it was commissioned by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, William's half brother Click to show or hide the answer
Daughter of Henry I, mother of Henry II; married to Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and thus known as Empress Click to show or hide the answer
Second marriage was to Geoffrey of Anjou, an enemy of the Normans; their son Henry II and his descendants formed the house of Plantagenet
Disputed the crown with her cousin Stephen, in a long period of civil strife known as The Anarchy; secured the crown for a few weeks, in 1141, but was never crowned
Fled from Oxford Castle wearing a white cape (or sheets) as camouflage against the snow
Also known as Maude (an anglicised version of her French name Mahaut, via Latin)
England's most–married queen (4: Edward, Lord Borough; John Neville, Lord Latimer (d. 1542); Henry VIII; Thomas Seymour) – died in childbirth 1548 Click to show or hide the answer
Spent only 6 months of his reign in England Click to show or hide the answer
Popularly believed to have adopted St. George's emblem as the flag of England
Killed whilst besieging the castle of Chalons, France
Berengaria of Navarre, the queen who never visited England, was the consort of
Son of Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince Click to show or hide the answer
Quelled the Peasants' Revolt (1381)
Usurped by his first cousin Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV)
Chose the white hart as the symbol to be worn by his knights
Died in Pontefract Castle under mysterious circumstances
A pupil of Westminster School once claimed that in 1766 – or 1776 – he had stolen (from his tomb in Westminster Abbey) the jawbone of Click for more information
The last Plantagenet king; born at Fotheringay Castle Click to show or hide the answer
Confirmed as king by an Act of Parliament known as Titulus Regius (Title of the King) – which ratified Parliament's declaration of the year before, that the marriage of his brother (Edward IV) to Elizabeth Woodville had been invalid (as Edward had previously been betrothed to Lady Eleanor Butler), and consequently their children were illegitimate and therefore debarred from the throne
Married Anne Neville, daughter of the 16th Earl of Warwick ('the Kingmaker') and the great–niece of his mother Cecily Neville
Last King of England to be killed in battle (Bosworth Field, 1485)
Obituary appears in The Times on 22nd August each year
The Princes in the Tower are traditionally believed to have been killed on the orders of
The white boar was the personal heraldic device or badge of
Caricatured in the nursery rhyme as Humpty Dumpty
Died with Edward V – the other 'prince in the Tower' Click to show or hide the answer
George V changed the Royal Family's name to Windsor from Click to show or hide the answer
Mother of Edward VI, Henry VIII's only male heir; died two weeks after the birth Click to show or hide the answer
Henry was buried at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, alongside
Wife of George I, but he divorced her in 1794 (20 years before he came to the throne); she was then imprisoned near Hanover for over 30 years until her death in 1727 Click to show or hide the answer
Last Norman King; secured the throne on the death of his uncle Henry I, against the claim of Henry's daughter Matilda, claiming that Henry had named him as his successor on his deathbed; regained the throne after Matilda secured it for a few weeks in 1141; eventually reached a compromise with her whereby her son (Henry II) would succeed him Click to show or hide the answer
Last holder of the title Empress of India Click to show or hide the answer
Daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of George III Click to show or hide the answer
Came to the throne aged 18 yrs 27 days, died aged 81 yrs 270 days; bore 9 children (4 boys, 5 girls)
Last in the House of Hanover
Crowned Empress of India, 1876
Married her first cousin (Albert's father, Duke Ernest I of Saxe–Coburg and Gotha, and Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe–Coburg–Saalfeld, were brother and sister)
Last to marry while on the throne
First to live in Buckingham Palace (it became the official residence of the monarch on her accession)
Illegitimate son of a tanner's daughter (probably) Click to show or hide the answer
Formerly Duke of Normandy
Crowned on Christmas Day
Ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book
Founded the Tower of London
Robert II Curthose, Duke of Normandy, was the eldest son of
Shot, possibly accidentally, by an arrow while hunting in the New Forest – possibly by Walter Tirel (who denied it) Click to show or hide the answer
Died of septicaemia after falling from his horse which stumbled on a molehill – giving rise to the Jacobite toast "to the little gentleman in black velvet" Click to show or hide the answer
The maze at Hampton Court was made for
Oldest to come to the throne (at 61) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017