England/Catalogs/Kings and Queens

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The English monarchy is usually regarded as beginning with Egbert. The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had acknowledged one among their number as overlord in some sense. Egbert of Wessex displaced the Mercian overlordhsip. Over the next century, the Vikings conquered most of England, destroying all the other kingdoms in the process, and Wessex then reconquered their territory. When Athelstan completed this process, he was effective king of all England, not just an overlord of independent kingdoms.


Date of Reign Name Comment
829-839 Egbert
839-855 Ethelwulf abdicated
855-860 Ethelbald
860-865 Ethelbert
865-871 Ethelred
871-899 Alfred the Great
899-924 Edward the Elder
924-939 Athelstan
939-946 Edmund
946-955 Edred
955-959 Edwy
959-975 Edgar
975-978 Edward the Martyr
978-1016 Ethelred the Unready
1016 Edmund Ironside

Danish rulers

Date of Reign Name Comment
1017-1035 Canute
1035-1040 Harold I Known as Harefoot
1040-1042 Hardicanute


Date of Reign Name Comment
1042-1066 Edward The Confessor
1066-1066 Harold II

House of Normandy

Date of Reign Name Comment
1066-1087 William I
1087-1100 William II
1100-1135 Henry I
1135-1154 Stephen

House of Plantagenet

Date of Reign Name Comment
1154-1189 Henry II
1189-1199 Richard I
1199-1216 John
1216-1272 Henry III
1272-1307 Edward I Known as Longshanks and as 'Hammer of the Scots'
1307-1327 Edward II
1327-1377 Edward III
1377-1399 Richard II

House of Lancaster

Date of Reign Name Comment
1399-1413 Henry IV
1413-1422 Henry V
1422-1461 Henry VI

House of York

Date of Reign Name Comment
1461-1483 Edward IV
1483-1483 Edward V
1483-1485 Richard III

House of Tudor

Date of Reign Name Comment
1485-1509 Henry VII
1509-1547 Henry VIII
1547-1553 Edward VI
1553-1558 Mary I
1558-1603 Elizabeth I

House of Stuart

Date of Reign Name Comment
1603-1625 James I James VI of Scotland
1625-1649 Charles I


Date of Reign Name Comment
1649-1653 Commonwealth
1653-1658 Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector
1658-1659 Richard Cromwell Lord Protector

House of Stuart restored

Date of Reign Name Comment
1660-1685 Charles II
1685-1688 James II James VII of Scotland
1689-1694 William and Mary jointly
1694-1702 William III sole ruler; William II of Scotland
1702-1714 Anne


The 16-day "reign" of Elfweard in 924 is usually ignored.

The Danish Sweyn Forkbeard seized the throne for about 6 weeks in 1013-1014.

After King Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the Witan elected Edgar Atheling as king. He was never crowned, and submitted to William shortly after. He is sometimes included in the list of monarchs.

In 1141, the Church declared King Stephen deposed, but then restored and recrowned him.

In 1216, rebel barons proclaimed the future Louis VIII of France as King of England in London. His "reign" did not last long, and he is not usually included in lists of monarchs.

Although Henry VI was deposed in London in 1461, he remained king in parts of the country till 1465. He was restored for 6 months in 1470-71.

After the death of Edward VI, the Council in London, and the local authorities in King's Lynn and Berwick-upon-Tweed, proclaimed Lady Jane Dudley (née Grey) as queen. The rest of the country supported Mary, and Jane was deposed after 9 days. She is sometimes included in the list of monarchs.

When Queen Mary married Philip of Spain in 1554 he was given the title of King. Subsequent Acts of Parliament, charters and coins were issued under the joint names of the king and queen, and official documents were dated by both their regnal years. However, he is not normally included in lists of monarchs.

After the execution of Charles I a republic ("commonwealth") was proclaimed. The Cromwells were given the title of Lord Protector. Charles II dated his reign from the day of his father's execution, but was recognized at the time in only a few small areas of England, which were soon conquered by Commonwealth forces. After his restoration he continued to date his reign as if he had been king all along.

Faced with invasion and rebellion, James II fled the country in 1688. Parliament, meeting the following year, deemed him to have abdicated at that point.

The first English monarch known to have used a number is Henry III (on some coins). The numbering of earlier monarchs is retrospective. His son called himself Edward the First after the Conquest, establishing the conventional starting point of the numbering. However, monarchs do not usually call themselves "the First", such designations being added retrospectively when another monarch of the same name succeeds. Another exception is James I, who sometimes used the number to balance his Scottish title James VI.

Spellings of some early monarchs have been modernized.