Most of my History knowledge comes from Horrible Histories on CBBC, so I could do with a little help. I studied GCSE History, but our main topics were ‘Medicine Through Time’ and ‘The American West’. This means I have a very bizarre niche awareness of Custer and His Last Stand and the development of antibiotics. However if I am asked about the World Wars or Kings and Queens of England, I’m usually a bit clueless.
I have recently discovered The Crown, which I wasn’t expecting to enjoy, but I do. It is interesting to see a personal side to people we all think we know. I know it’s partly fictional, but I feel like I am learning something. I know that my knowledge of English Kings and Queens is pretty poor, so hopefully putting this list together will help me remember some of them.
- Elizabeth II – 1952 – present
- George VI – 1936 – 1952
- Edward VIII – 1936 – 1936
- George V – 1910 – 1936
5. Edward VII – 1901 – 1910
House of Hanover Monarchs
6. Victoria – 1837 – 1901
7. William IV – 1830 – 1837
8. George IV – 1820 – 1830
9. George III – 1760 – 1820
10. George II – 1727 – 1760
11. George I – 1714 – 1727
Stuart (restored) Monarchs
12. Anne – 1702 – 1714
13. Mary II – 1689 – 1694
14. William III – 1689 – 1702
15. James II – 1685 – 1688
16. Charles II – 1660 – 1685
17. Richard Cromwell – 1658 – 1659
18. Oliver Cromwell – 1649 – 1658
19. Charles I – 1625-1649
20. James I – 1603 – 1625
21. Elizabeth I – 1558 – 1603
22. Mary I – 1553 – 1558
23. Jane Grey – 1553
24. Edward VI – 1547 – 1553
25. Henry VIII – 1509 -1547
26. Henry VII – 1485 – 1509
I think this is far back as I want to go on my first investigation of the English Kings and Queens through time.
As I compiled the list there were a couple of things that caught my eye.
Who was Jane Grey?
How come Mary II and William III are listed as Monarchs from 1689 with Mary II ending her reign in 1694 and William III going on until 1702.
Who Was Jane Grey?
So, having done a little digging, I am reminded of the tale of ‘the Nine Days’ Queen’. Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553.
Edward VI nominated Jane to the throne in his will while on his deathbed. Jane was Edward’s first cousin, once removed. The former heir was Edward’s half-sister Mary and she was Roman Catholic. Sisters Mary and Elizabeth were removed from the line of succession based on illegitimacy. Following the death of Edward, support for Mary grew. Jane was deposed and later convicted of high treason. Jane and her husband were executed on 12 February 1554.
Joint King and Queen
Mary II and William III (William of Orange) became joint King and Queen in 1689. This followed the overthrow of Mary’s father King James II who was Catholic.
The cousins married in 1677 and the marriage was hoped to improve relations between England and the Netherlands after the Anglo-Dutch wars. Mary was just 15 when they married and William was 27. Mary had been writing passionate letters to a girl from the age of nine until she was forced to marry William. She cried for two days when she was told she must marry her cousin and she cried throughout the wedding.
Mary was invited to take the throne after the deposition of King James II (Glorious Revolution of 1688). This reign was the start of a move towards parliamentary rule. Mary did not want to rule alone, so they took the throne together. She had no surviving children, but suffered at least three miscarriages. She died aged 38 from Smallpox in 1694.
There is loads of interesting information about previous relationships within the monarchy and how each monarch came to be. I have just read about Mary II and William III. Anyone who thinks the current Royal Family are going through turbulent times needs to take a look at previous monarchs and their time on the throne.
So, what are the chances of me remembering these Kings and Queens with dates? I don’t think I’ll remember much, but the stories around William and Mary are more memorable for me.