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Greatest English Monarchs by Decade Since 1066


Greatest English Monarchs by Decade Since 1066  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. 11th Century

    • William I - initiated the Norman Conquest following invasion, brought concepts of knights and castles to England, Domesday Book, Old English begins conversion to Middle English
    • William II - Extended control into Scotland, and partially into Wales. No children and killed.
  2. 2. 12th Century

    • Henry I - Invaded France and took Normandy and initiated judicials reform. Illegally named his daughter, Matilda, his heir, sending country into anarchy.
    • Stephen - Defeated Matilda for the crown, ending anarchy, but had to allow Matilda's son to be his heir. Lost control of Normandy and influence in Scotland.
    • Henry II - 1st Plantagenet King. Son of French nobles and inherited Normandy and Aquitaine. Reestablished control of Wales and took Brittany in France. Faced rebellions and invaded Ireland.
    • Richard I - The Lion-hearted. Fought mastefully in the Crusades. Spent only 6 months of his 10 year reign in England. Left no heir.
  3. 3. 13th Century

    • John - Lost all of England's French possessions except Aquitaine in wars. Faced Rebellion and compelled to sign Magna Carta. Robin Hood. Died as Civil War broke out.
    • Henry III - Resolved Civil War. Failed in attempts to retake French lands. Segregated Jewish residents. Captured during another Civil War but resolved it. Reigned 56 years.
    • Edward I - Reformed legal system. Conquered Wales. Began long war with Scotland. Expelled Jews from England. Defended French possessions from France.
  4. 4. 14th Century

    • Edward I - Continued his long war with Scotland from the previous century (FYI, my most recent royal ancestor that I know of)
    • Edward II - Favoritism towards his same-sex partner led to rebellion. Lost father's war with Scotland. Famine in kingdom. Second rebellion saw him captured, abdicating, and murdered.
    • Edward III - Quelled a coup. England becomes military power. Parliament emerges as a major part of government. Defeated Scotland. Began 100 Year War and expanded territory in France.
    • Richard II - Continued 100 Year War. Quelled peasant rebellion. Initiated English literature with is patronage. Tyrannical rule saw him defeated in a coup. Murdered in captivity.
  5. 5. 15th Century

    • Henry IV - Took power from his cousin via coup. 1st king to speak English as 1st language. Quelled Welsh rebellion. Continued 100 Years War. Faced Civil War at home as well.
    • Henry V - Military successes in France saw Normandy retaken + more territories. King of France was comeplled to make Henry his heir, but Henry died at age 35.
    • Henry VI - Continued 100 Years War. More of a puppet ruler as he was weak, shy, and insane. Lost many French possessions. Overthrown in the War of the Roses, but thrown regained before he died.
    • Edward IV - Took the throne from Henry VI during the War of the Roses coup. However, lost it when his supporters helped reinstall Henry VI. Became King again on Henry's death and saw 12 years of peace.
    • Edward V - 12-year-old boy who was a puppet for his uncle (future Richard IIII) , who then usurped the throne and killed him.
    • Richard III - The last Plantagenet King. His usurpation of the throne saw two rebellions: supporters of the late Edward IV and Henry Tudor. The latter defeated and killed Richard in battle.
    • Henry VII - 1st Tudor King. Stabilized the country after years of rebellion. Saw boom in wool industry. Initiated several new taxes to build England's finances.
  6. 6. 16th Century

    • Henry VII - Continuing much of what he did from the previous century.
    • Henry VIII - Father of the Navy. Established Church of England by breaking from Rome. Dissolution of the monastaries. Generally tyrannical in behavior. Failed wars in France. Made King of Ireland.
    • Edward VI - Ill and young, he dealt with political instability, failed war with Scotland, saw the church abolish mass and clerical celibacy. Made Lady Jane his heir, who was not recognized.
    • Mary I - Deposed and beheaded Edward's preferred heir, Lady Jane. Reinstituted Catholicism and persecuted Protestants. Married Philip II of Spain who had designs on England for himself. Died childless.
    • Elizabeth I - Reinstituted Protestantism. Persecuted Catholics. Survived Assassination attempts. Defeat of the Spanish Armada. Shakespeare and Modern English. Colonialism and Slave Trade. Wars in Netherlands. Never married.
  7. 7. 17th Century

    • Elizabeth I - Continued much from previous century. Saw Essex rebellion quelled. Avoided succession crisis by making James of Scotland her heir.
    • James I - Shakespeare, Colonialism, and Slave Trade continues. Also ruled Scotland. King James Bible. Survived assassination plot. Avoided war with Spain and kept out of the 30 Years War. Spent money like crazy..
    • Charles I - Firm believer of the divine right of kings, causing him to clash with Parliament. Tyrannical behavior led to Civil War, he defeat, and his execution. England become Commonwealth.
    • Charles II - England restores monarchy after the Commonwealth fails. Whig and Tory political parties form. Mostly avoided fighting Parliament. Party Charlie. Produced only illegitimate children.
    • James II - Greatly disliked for his Catholicism and for his desire to see the monarch assert control again. Fled England for France when rebellion broke out and deposed for vacating the throne.
    • William III & Mary II - Became King on James's unwitting abdication. Adopts of the English Bill of Rights. Fought in the Nine Years War in the Netherlands. Fended off challenges by James II's supporters.
  8. 8. 18th Century

    • William III - Mary II died the previous century, William's later part of his term saw the Act of Settlement, which required protestants to rule England.
    • Anne - Act of Union sees creation of Great Britain. Involved in Spanish War of Succession. Died childless despite 17 pregnancies. Very tragic.
    • George I - A German who was German to his core. Fended off challenges by Stuart pretenders. Prime Minister and cabinet evolve, making King a figurehead. Prefered ruling lands in Germany. Buried in Germany.
    • George II - Like his father, preferred ruling in Germany. Last English monarch to fight in battle (War of Austrian Succession). Fended off last challenges by Stuart pretenders. Let Parliament and cabinet rule.
    • George III - Never visited Germany and spoke English. Victory in Seven Years War saw England at peak of power, but lost American Rev War later. Became insane.
  9. 9. 19th Century

    • George III - Was insane for most of his reign in this century. Slave Trade banned. Napoleon defeated. King for 60 years.
    • George IV - Mostly scandalous and financially flamboyant. Accepted Catholic emancipation even though he opposed it. No living heirs.
    • William IV - Last King to appoint a Prime Minister not approved by Congress. Otherwise asserted little independence. Saw slavery abolished and much reform. No legitimate children. England lost Hanover on his death.
    • Victoria - Victorian Era. Cultural dominance. Empress of India. Grandmother of Europe. In mourning for 40 of her 63 years on the throne. Iconic but only mildly influenced policy.
  10. 10. 20th Century

    • Victoria - Mostly old and inform in this last year or two of her reign.
    • Edward VII - Modernization of the military. Saw reform to restrict the power of the House of Lords in favor of the House of Commons. Saw the monarchy expand who they were willing to socialize with.
    • George V - House of Commons becomes supreme in Parliament. World War I. Indian Independence Movement begins. Commonwealth is formed, making George King of Independence nations rather than of colonies..
    • Edward VIII - Uninterested in royal protocol and chose to abdicate when forced to choose between being King or marrying a divorced woman. Had fascist sympathies.
    • George VI - World War II. London Blitz. Saw official loss of India and Ireland. Dropped Emperor of India and took the title Head of the Commonwealth.
    • Elizabeth II - Devolution of the UK, joins European Union, and is mostly symbolic figurehead for a nation most as a junior partner to the United States in many ways.
  11. 11. 21st Century

    • Elizabeth II - Later reign sees her as a kind of cultural icon, which reestablishes the popularity of the monarchy after some years of criticism. Brexit occurs. reigns almost 71 years.
    • Charles III - Becomes King at age 73. So far his only accomplishment is getting irritated at a pen tray when signing a proclamation.

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