The Monarchs of England - Intro: Over the centuries, England has had a variety of rulers, each of which had their own contributions and connections to the royal family. This timeline is a convenient summary of those rulers.

Timeline created by Meganhyer
  • Period:
    1485
    to
    1509

    Henry VII

    We begin with Henry Tudor, who took the crown after Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry VII was a skillful politician who united the warring houses of York and Lancaster by marrying Elizabeth of York. Additionally, Henry used his skills to greatly increase the wealth of the country.
  • Period:
    1509
    to
    1547

    Henry VIII

    Son of Henry VII, this Henry was mostly known for this peculiar fact - he had 6 wives! His first wife was Catherine of Aragon, but he later divorced her and married Anne Boleyn. The divorce led to Henry declaring himself as the head of the Church of England (probably so he could have so many wives). Additionally, the divorce also caused the split with Rome. Henry desperately wanted a son, and he eventually did end up with one son to Jane Seymour. Henry also had 2 daughters.
  • Period:
    1547
    to
    1553

    Edward VI

    Edward, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour was a very sickly young boy. At the young age of 9, Edward ascended the throne. Due to his age, the government was controlled by a Council of Regency with Edward's uncle, Duke of Somerset. During his short reign, Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer and the uniformity of worship helped to turn England into a Protestant State.
  • Period:
    1553
    to
    1558

    Mary I - aka Bloody Mary

    Mary was the daughter of Henry VII and Catherine Aragon. She was a devout Catholic and she married Philip of Spain. After Mary basically forced the crown to be handed over to her, she attempted to make England switch to Catholicism. She took this VERY seriously and burnt people at the stake fro defying her. Some of those burnt at the stake include the protestant bishops, Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer. Mary plunged the country into a massive bloodbath, hence the name Bloody Mary
  • Period:
    Jul 6, 1553
    to
    1553

    Edward VI Dies - Who Rules Now?

    Edward died from tuberculosis very soon. Now who shall ascend to the throne? Since Edward's half-sister, Mary, was Catholic, Lady Jane Grey was announced to be next in line to the throne. She was proclaimed Queen, but Mary was furious and wanted what she considered to be hers. Mary went into London with her supporters and Jane was taken to the Tower. Jane reigned for only 9 days before she was executed at the age of 17.
  • Period:
    1558
    to

    Elizabeth I - From Evil to Good

    Almost the exact opposite to her half sister, Mary, Elizabeth I was a remarkable woman who was respected for her wisdom. She was very popular with the people and was very skilled in picking good advisors. During her rule, the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 and Raleigh's first Virginian colony was founded. Also, Elizabeth was never married. Fun fact: Shakespeare was also extremely popular at this time.
  • Period: to

    James I and VI of Scotland

    James, Elizabeth's cousin and son to Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, was the first king to rule over Scotland and England. James had not been on the throne long before his lack of action towards the implementation of religious toleration began to upset the Catholics. James then made it even worse by ordering all the Catholic Priests to leave the country. All of this sparked the Gunpowder Plot. Later, in 1620, the pilgrims set sail for the new world in their ship, The Mayflower.
  • Period: to

    Gunpowder Plot

    A group of Roman Catholic nobles and gentlemen led by Robert Catesby conspired to end Protestant rule by blowing up the king, queen, church leaders, noblemen, and both Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder placed under the Palace of Westminster. However, their plan was thwarted when a letter was sent to James I's Chief Minister, discussing the plan. It was on this day that a man called Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed in the cellar with 36 kegs of gunpowder, and matches in his pocket.
  • Period: to

    Charles I

    Son of James I and Anne of Denmark, Charles believed that he ruled by Divine Right. He often struggled with Parliament, which led to the English Civil War in 1642. The war went on for 4 years and after the defeat of Charles' Royalist forces by the New Model Army, led by Oliver Cromwell, Charles was captured and imprisoned. Charles was then tried by the House of Commons, found guilty, and was condemned to death.
  • Period: to

    Charles I is Beheaded

    Charles I was beheaded for treason (Ew, how do people watch that?!). After Charles' death, the British monarchy was abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was established.
  • Period: to

    Oliver Cromwell

    Cromwell declared Britain a republic known as "The Commonwealth" and he was labeled as Lord Protector. Cromwell entered Parliament in 1629 and was very active in the events leading up to the Civil War. He was a strong Puritan figure that raised cavalry forces and organized the New Model Army, who he led to victory against the Royalists at the Battle of Naseby in 1645. Cromwell crushed the Irish clans and the Scots loyal to Charles II between 1649 and 1651.
  • Period: to

    King in all but the Name

    Oliver Cromwell finally expelled the corrupt English parliament and with the support of the army leaders, he became Lord Protector. Essentially, he was the new king, but with a different name.
  • Period: to

    Richard Cromwell

    The third son to Oliver Cromwell, Richard became the second Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Unlike his father, Richard was not a military man and he was quickly persuaded to resign from his position as Lord Protector after a mere 9 months. He then exiled himself to France until 1680, when he chose to return to England.
  • Period: to

    Charles II - aka the Merry Monarch

    After the collapse of the Protectorate, Oliver Cromwell's death, and Richard Cromwell's flight, the Army and Parliament asked Charles II, son of Charles I, to take the throne. Charles II was very popular, yet he was a weak king with out a strong foreign policy. He fathered many illegitimate children, but produced no heir to the throne. The Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666 happened during his reign.
  • Period: to

    James II and VII of Scotland

    James was the second child of Charles I and Charles II's younger brother. James had been exiled after the Civil War and served in both the French and Spanish Army. James was unpopular due to his persecution of the Protestant clergy. After the Monmouth Uprising (Monmouth was an illegitimate son of Charles II and a protestant) as well as the Bloody Assizes of Judge Jeffries, Parliament asked the Dutch prince, William of Orange, to come and take the throne.
  • Period: to

    William III and Mary II - Lots of DRAMA

    On Nov 5, 1688, William of Orange sailed to Devon and then marched his army to London in The Glorious Revolution. William married James II's protestant daughter, Mary II. William and Mary were to reign together and William was given the crown for life after Mar died in 1694. Mary's father, James, plotted to regain the throne and in 1689 he landed in Ireland. However, William defeated his dead wife's dad at the Battle of Boyne and then James fled again to France as Louis XIV's guest.
  • Period: to

    Anne

    The second daughter of James II, Anne had 17 pregnancies, but only one child survived - William, who died of smallpox at age 11. Anne was 37 years old when she succeeded the throne. It was during Anne's reign that the United Kingdom of Great Britain was created through the Union of England and Scotland. After her death, the succession went to the nearest Protestant relative of the Stuart line, Sophia, daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, James I's only daughter, who died a few weeks before Anne.
  • Period: to

    George

    Since Sophia could not take the throne, it went to her son, George. Great grandson of James I, 54 year old George arrived in England. He had never learned English, so the national policy was left to the government of the time, Sir Robert Walpole, who became Britain's first prime minister. George much preferred his beloved Hanover and spent very little time in England.
  • Period: to

    George II

    The only son of George I, he was more English than his father, but he still relied on Sir Robert Walpole to run the country. George was the last English king to lead his army into battle at Dettingen in 1743.
  • Period: to

    George III

    The grandson of George II and the first English-born and English speaking monarch since Queen Anne (It's about time). George III's reign was full of elegance and it was filled with some of the greatest names to English literature - Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and Wordsworth were just a few. In 1773, the Boston Tea Party was the first sign of trouble in America, and then the colonies proclaimed their independence on July fourth, 1776.
  • Period: to

    George IV - aka First Gentleman of Europe

    He had a love for art and architecture, but his own life was quite a mess. He was married twice, first in secret to the love of his life, Fitzherbert (Wow, same as Eugene in Tangled). George then married again in 1795 to Caroline of Brunswick, and they had one daughter together who soon died.
  • Period: to

    William IV - aka the Sailor King

    The third son of George III, he was loved by the people for his lack of pretension. During his reign, The Reform Act was passed in 1832 and Britain abolished slavery in the colonies in 1833.
  • Period: to

    Victoria

    The only child of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Edward Duke of Kent, fourth son of George III. In 1840, she married her cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg. During her reign, the British empire doubled in size and in 1876, she became Empress of India.
  • Period: to

    Edward VII

    He was very well loved by the people and the opposite of his father, Albert. Edward was a very social king and he had six children with Alexandria of Denmark. Sadly, the eldest died in 1892.
  • Period: to

    George V

    George had no expected to be king, but when his elder brother died, he was next in line. George loved the sea and joined the navy as a cadet in 1877. In 1893, he married Princess Mary of Teck, his dead brother's fiancee. His reign had some difficulties including the First World War in 1914 -1918 and issues in Ireland which led to the creation of the Irish Free State.
  • Period: to

    Edward VIII

    Edward was the most popular Prince of Wales Britain ever. Therefore, when he renounced the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the people were in shock. Mrs. Simpson was an American, a divorcee, and had two husband still living. The church did not accept this, so Edward abdicated for his brother and became the Duke of Windsor.
  • Period: to

    George VI

    George VI was not like his brother and had instead inherited the sturdy virtues of his father, George V. He was well loved and very popular with the people. His mother, Queen Mary, and his wife, Elizabeth, fully supported him as king. World War II started in 1939, and throughout it the King and Queen stayed strong. Fun fact: They remained at Buckingham palace despite the bombings. The post war years of George's reign brought great social change including the start of the National Health Service.
  • Period: to

    Elizabeth II - Long Live the Queen

    Elizabeth Alexandra May was born in London on April 21, 1926. Taking after her parents, Elizabeth was very involved in the war efforts during WWII. Fun fact: she served in the women's branch of the British Army. She married her second cousin, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and they had four children - Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. When her father, George VI died, Elizabeth became Queen of seven commonwealth countries (Wow, you go girl!). 2012 was her Diamond Jubilee (60th year as queen).