Until 1603 the English and Scottish Crowns were separate.
King William I, the Conqueror 1066 - 1087
Invaded England from Normandy. Defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. In 1085 the Doomsday Survey was begun and all England was recorded so William knew exactly what his new kingdom contained. The Doomsday Book was, in effect, the first national census.
King William II, Rufus1087 - 1100
Was killed in the New Forest by a stray arrow while out hunting, maybe accidentally, there is some doubt about this. The Rufus Stone in The New Forest marks the spot where he fell.
King Henry I 1100 - 1135
The fourth son of William I. Henry's two sons were drowned so his daughter Matilda was made his successor. When Henry died the Council considered a woman unfit to rule so offered the throne to STEPHEN, a grandson of William I.
King Stephen 1135 - 1154
Uncle of Henry I. Civil war followed between King Stephen and Matilda, Henry I's daughter. A compromise was decided, Matilda's son was to be king when Stephen died.
King Henry II 1154 - 1189
Ruled most of England and France with his fiery temper. Henry is mostly remembered for his quarrel with Thomas A Becket, and Becket's subsequent murder in Canterbury Cathedral on 29th December 1170.
King Richard I the Lionheart 1189 - 1199
Was in England for only four months spending the other time fighting in the Crusades. Known as 'Lionheart'
King John 1 1199 - 1216
Fourth child of Henry II. Responsible for the Magna Charta (Great Charter) giving justice to all.
King Henry III 1216 - 1272
Henry was 9 years old when he became king. In 1264 Henry was captured during a civil war and was forced to set up a 'Parlement' ((from the French "parler", to talk) at Westminster, the start of the House of Commons. He built Westminster Abbey.
King Edward I 1272 - 1307
Fought wars against the Scots King Robert the Bruce and was called 'the hammer of the Scots'. Edward formed the Model Parliament in 1295, bringing together the knights, clergy, nobility and burgesses of the cities, bringing Lords and Commons together for the first time.
King Edward II 1307 - 1327
His wife raised an army to take over the Kingdom. He was murdered in gaol.
King Edward III 1327 - 1377
Fought many battles against the Scots and the French. Set up the Order of the Garter. The outbreak of bubonic plague, the 'Black Death' in 1348-1350 killed half the population of England.
Richard II 1377 - 1399
Ruled at the time of Chaucer the poet. His cousin Henry IV had him murdered in prison to take over the throne.
The House of Lancaster
Henry IV 1399 - 1413
Henry, the first Lancastrian king, died of leprosy in 1413.
Henry V 1413 - 1422
Fought the French in the battle of Agincourt and won.
Henry VI 1422 - 1461, 1470 - 1471
Very ill during his reign. The war of the roses began between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.
The House of York
King Edward IV 1461 -1470, 1471 - 1483
Won the wars of the roses. Tried to bring peace to the country. During his reign the first printing press was established in Westminster by William Caxton.
King Edward V 1483 - 1483
Reigned for only two months. Elder son of EDWARD IV. He and his brother Richard were murdered in the Tower of London. Only about 12 years old when he died.
King Richard III 1483 - 1485 End of the Wars of the Roses
Killed in battle against Henry Tudor.
King Henry VII 1485 - 1509
Kept England peaceful and brought riches to the crown and country.
King Henry VIII 1509 - 1547
The best known fact about Henry VIII is that he had six wives! married (1) Catherine of Aragon married (2) Anne Boleyn married (3) Jane Seymour married (4) Anne of Cleves married (5) Catherine Howard married (6) Catherine Parr. Argued with the Pope and made himself the head of the new 'Church of England'. Most school children learn the following rhyme to help them remember the fate of each wife: "Divorced, Beheaded, Died: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived".
King Edward VI 1547 - 1553
Was never a healthy King and died aged only 15 years.
After Edward's death there was a dispute over the succession. As Mary was Catholic, LADY JANE GREY was named as the next in line to the throne. She was proclaimed Queen but Mary entered London with her supporters and Jane was taken to the Tower. She reigned for only 9 days. She was executed in 1554, aged 17.
Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) 1553 - 1558
Married Philip II of Spain. Wanted to make England Catholic again. Killed many who opposed her which is why she is remembered as Bloody Mary.
Queen Elizabeth I 1558 - 1603
During her reign great adventurers discovered many new lands. Fought off the Spanish Armada.
The Stuarts were the first kings of the United Kingdom.
James I 1603 - 1625
married Anne of Denmark. United the Crowns of Scotland and England.
In 1605 the Gunpowder Plot was hatched: Guy Fawkes and his friends, Catholics, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament, but were captured before they could do so.
Charles I 1625 - 1649
married Henrietta Maria of France. Son of James 1. Fought against the Parliament leading to civil war. Was executed as a result.
No Monarch for 11 years during the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth - declared May 19th 1649 Oliver Cromwell (1649-58) Richard Cromwell (1658-59)
The Stuarts line Restored (The Restoration)
Charles II 1660 - 1685
Returned from exile to rule the country. Son of Charles I. Saw London recover from the Plague (1665) and Great Fire (1666). Many new buildings were built at this time. St. Paul's Cathedral was built by Sir Christopher Wren and also many churches still to be seen today.
James II 1685 - 1688
Brother of Charles II. Tried to force people to follow his Roman Catholic faith. He was very unpopular because of his persecution of the Protestants, and he was hated by the people. Forced to give up the crown. Parliament asked William of Orange to take the throne.
William II 1688 - 1702 and Queen Mary II 1688 - 1694
Daughter of James II and her Dutch husband were invited to be King and Queen following James abdication.
Queen Anne 1702 - 1714
married George of Denmark. Sister of Mary II, the second daughter of James II.
After Anne's death the succession went to the nearest Protestant relative of the Stuart line. This was SOPHIA, daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, JAMES I 's only daughter.
The House of Hanover
King George I 1714 - 1727
Son of Sophia. George never learned English so the conduct of national policy was left to the government of the time. Sir Robert Walpole became England's first Prime Minister.
King George II 1727 - 1760
Prefered Germany to England, but learned to speak English, unlike his father.
King George III 1760 - 1820
He was a grandson of George II. Ruled for 50 years and fathered 15 children. Australia was colonised. His reign was the age of some of the greatest names in English literature - Jane Austen, Byron, Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth. It was also the time of great statesmen like Pitt and Fox and great captains like Wellington and Nelson. in 1773 the 'Boston Tea Party' was the first sign of the troubles that were to come in America. The American Colonies proclaimed their independence on July 4th 1776.
King George IV 1820 - 1830
Became Prince Regent while his father was very ill. Built Brighton Pavillion.
King William IV 1830 - 1837
Became known as the "Sailor King" after joining the navy from just 13 years old. He was the third son of George III. During his reign England abolished slavery in the colonies in 1833.
Queen Victoria 1837 - 1901
married Albert of Saxe - Coburg Gotha. Ruled during the industrial revolution. The British Empire became powerful, rich and confident. When Victoria died in 1901, after the longest reign in English history, the British Empire and British world power had reached their highest point. She had six children, 40 grand-children and 37 great-grandchildren, scattered all over Europe.
The House of Saxe - Coburg Gotha
The name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha came to the British Royal Family in 1840 with the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha. Queen Victoria herself remained a member of the House of Hanover.
King Edward VII 1901 - 1910
married Alexandra of Denmark. Kept Europe at peace during his life. He enjoyed fine food and horse racing.
The House of Windsor - Name changed in 1917
The name Windsor was adopted as the British Royal Family's official name by a proclamation of King George V, replacing the historic name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
King George V 1910 – 1936
Ruled Britain during World War One. During his reign women were allowed to vote for the first time.
King Edward VIII June 1936 - abdicated December 1936
Abdicated to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, as he was not able to marry a divorced woman and become King. Mrs. Simpson was an American, a divorcee and had two husbands still living.
King George VI 1936 - 1952
The shy brother of Edward VIII. He didn't expect to become King. Ruled during World War Two and refused to leave London during the blitz. The two Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, spent the war years at Windsor Castle. The post-war years of his reign were ones of great social change and saw the start of the National Health Service. The whole country flocked to the Festival of Britain held in London in 1951
Queen Elizabeth II 1952 - present day
married Philip Mountabatten. Our present day Queen celebrates 50 years of her reign this year (2002). She witnessed the great fire at Windsor Castle in 1992.