Monarchs of England
Note: Names with a hyphen (-) after them have descriptions. Click on the names to see these descriptions.


William I, the Conqueror (1066-1087)-

conquered England for the last time in history during the Norman Conquest

Plantagenet, Angevin Line

Henry II, Curtmantle, “Anjou” (1154-1189)-

created the Common Law, husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Richard I the Lionheart (1189-1199)-

son of Eleanor, participated in the Third Crusade

John, Lackland (119-1216)

Henry III (1216-72)

Edward I, Longshanks (1272-1307)

Edward II (1307-1327)

Edward III (1327-1377)-

claimed the French throne and began the Hundred Years’ War

Richard II (1377-1399)

Plantagenet, Lancastrian Line

Henry IV, Bolingbroke (1399-1413)-

was excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII and walked in the snow to ask for forgiveness

Henry V (1413-1422)

Henry IV (1422-1461, 1470-1471)

Plantagenet, Yorkist Line

Edward IV (1461-1470, 1471-1483)-

got the crown for the Yorks during the War of the Roses

Edward V (1483)-

was killed by his uncle Richard III (see below) in the Tower of London

Richard III, Crookback (1483-1485)-

killed Edward V (see above) so he could become king, was killed by Henry VII

House of Tudor

Henry VII, Tudor (1485-1509)-

a Lancastrian who ended the War of the Roses by killing Richard III (see above) and creating the Tudor Line

Henry VIII (1509-1547)-

had six wives including Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour; “preferred the chopping block to the treaty”; taxed every penny; confiscated enormous wealth of the church; one of the three main fighters of the Italian Wars; started the Anglican church; got the title “Defender of the Faith” for attacking Lutherans; suppressed the Pilgrimage of Grace [Remember: The Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion was the most serious threat to England since the War of the Roses.]

Edward VI (1547-1553)-

had church services done in English; had the first two prayer books in English created

Lady Jane Grey (1553)-

didn’t really rule and not recorded as a monarch by some

Mary I, Tudor, Bloody Mary (1553-1558)-

converted England to Catholicism and killed many Protestants (Bloody Mary); married Philip II

Elizabeth I (1558-1603)-

brought England back to Anglicanism (Good Queen Bess); never married (Virgin Queen), defeated the Spanish Armada

House of Stuart

James I (James VI of Scotland) (1603-1625)-

ends war with England, wrote The True Law of Free Monarchies defining divine right of kings, came from Scotland and gave away new peerages

Charles I (1625-1649)-

created the Petition of Right; had duke of Buckingham as a “favorite”; experienced the English Civil War and Revolution [Remember: The Petition of Right gave freedom from arbitrary arrest or imprisonment.]

The Commonwealth

Oliver Cromwell (1649-1658)-

crushed Royalists with Thomas Fairfax, dissolved the Rump Parliament, created the Instrument of Government [Remember: The English Civil War was closely followed by the English Revolution when the army took things into its own hands. The Rump Parliament consisted of the remaining members of the Long Parliament who would agree to the execution of Charles I. The Instrument of Government was the new constitution that made Oliver Cromwell the “Lord Protector” and created an administrative body called the “Council of State”.]

Richard Cromwell (1658-1659)-


House of Stuart, Restored

Charles II (1660-1685)-

known as the “Merry Monarch” for restoring theater and fun to England

James II (1685-1688)-

was Catholic and put Catholics into office; government negotiated with William and Mary to have him removed

House of Orange and Stuart

William III (“Prince of Orange”), Mary II (“Stuart”) (1689-1702)-

replaced James II after the Glorious Revolution; enacted the Declaration of Rights and the Toleration Act [Remember: The Declaration of Rights created a limited monarchy in England while the Toleration Act gave religious freedom to nearly all Protestants.]

Anne (1702-1714)

House of Brunswick, Hanover Line

George I (1714-1727)-

a Protestant who was favored by the Whigs while the Tories wanted a James III instead

George II (1727-1760)-

created the British Museum

George III (1760-1820)-

wanted to shift tax burden to North American colonies, created the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, enacted the Declaratory Act stating that Parliament holds jurisdiction over the colonies “in all cases whatsoever”; experienced the American Revolution

George IV (1820-1830)

William IV (1830-1837)

Victoria (1837-1901)

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

Edward VII (1901-1910)

House of Windsor

George V (1910-1936)

Edward VIII (1936)

George VI (1936-1952)

Elizabeth II (1952-present)