Constantine II of Scotland
Constantine, son of Áed was an early King of Scotland, known by the Gaelic name Alba. The Kingdom of Alba, a name which first appears in Constantines lifetime, was in northern Great Britain, the core of the kingdom was formed by the lands around the River Tay. Its southern limit was the River Forth, northwards it extended towards the Moray Firth and perhaps to Caithness, Constantines grandfather Kenneth I of Scotland was the first of the family recorded as a king, but as king of the Picts. This change of title, from king of the Picts to king of Alba, is part of a transformation of Pictland. His reign, like those of his predecessors, was dominated by the actions of Viking rulers in the British Isles, particularly the Uí Ímair. During Constantines reign the rulers of the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, the Kingdom of England. At first allied with the southern rulers against the Vikings, Constantine in time came into conflict with them, in 943 Constantine abdicated the throne and retired to the Céli Dé monastery of St Andrews where he died in 952.
He was succeeded by his predecessors son Malcolm I, during his reign the words Scots and Scotland are first used to mean part of what is now Scotland. The earliest evidence for the ecclesiastical and administrative institutions which would last until the Davidian Revolution appears at this time, compared to neighbouring Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England, few records of 9th- and 10th-century events in Scotland survive. The main local source from the period is the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, the list survives in the Poppleton Manuscript, a 13th-century compilation. Originally simply a list of kings with reign lengths, the details contained in the Poppleton Manuscript version were added in the 10th and 12th centuries. In addition to this, king lists survive, for narrative history the principal sources are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Irish annals. The evidence from charters created in the Kingdom of England provides occasional insight into events in northern Britain, while Scandinavian sagas describe events in 10th-century Britain, their value as sources of historical narrative, rather than documents of social history, is disputed.
The dominant kingdom in eastern Scotland before the Viking Age was the northern Pictish kingdom of Fortriu on the shores of the Moray Firth, by the 9th century, the Gaels of Dál Riata were subject to the kings of Fortriu of the family of Constantín mac Fergusa. Constantíns family dominated Fortriu after 789 and perhaps, if Constantín was a kinsman of Óengus I of the Picts and these deaths led to a period of instability lasting a decade as several families attempted to establish their dominance in Pictland. By around 848 Kenneth MacAlpin had emerged as the winner, the same style is used of Kenneths brother Donald I and sons Constantine I and Áed. The extent of Kenneths nameless kingdom is uncertain, but it extended from the Firth of Forth in the south to the Mounth in the north. Whether it extended beyond the spine of north Britain—Druim Alban—is unclear
Harold I, known as Harold Harefoot, was King of England from 1035 to 1040. Harolds nickname Harefoot is first recorded as Harefoh or Harefah in the century in the history of Ely Abbey. The son of Cnut the Great and Ælfgifu of Northampton, Harold was elected regent of England and he was initially ruling England in place of his brother Harthacnut, who was stuck in Denmark due to a rebellion in Norway, which had ousted their brother Svein. Although Harold had wished to be crowned king since 1035, Æthelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury and it was not until 1037 that Harold, supported by earl Leofric and many others, was officially proclaimed king. While en route to Ely he was blinded and soon died of his wounds. Harold died in 1040, having ruled just five years, his half-brother Harthacnut soon returned, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that Harold said that he was a son of Cnut the Great and Ælfgifu of Northampton, although it was not true. Florence of Worcester elaborates on the subject, claiming that Ælfgifu wanted to have a son by the king but was unable to, she secretly adopted the newborn children of strangers and pretended to have given birth to them.
Harold was reportedly the son of a cobbler, while his brother Svein Knutsson was the son of a priest. She deceived Cnut into recognizing both children as his own, Harriet OBrien doubts that Cnut, the shrewd politician who masterminded the bloodless takeover of Norway could have been deceived in such a way. She suspects that the tale started out as a myth, or intentional defamation presumably tailored by Emma of Normandy. Harthacnut, was unable to travel to his coronation in England because his Danish kingdom was under threat of invasion by King Magnus I of Norway, there is some dispute in primary sources about Harolds initial role. Versions E and F mention him as regent, the others as co-ruler, Ian Howard points out that Cnut had been survived by three sons, Svein and Harthacnut. The Encomium Emmae Reginae describes Edward the Confessor and Alfred Aetheling as the sons of Canute, Harold could claim the regency or kingship because he was the only one of the five present at England in 1035. Harthacnut was reigning in Denmark, and Svein had joined him there following his deposition from the Norwegian throne, while Edward, Harold could reign in the name of his absent brothers, with Emma rivaling him as candidate for the regency.
The Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson claims that Svein and Harthacnut had agreed to share the kingdom between them and this agreement would include Denmark and England. Snorri quotes older sources on the subject and could be preserving valuable details, Harold reportedly sought coronation as early as 1035. According to the Encomium Emmae Reginae, however, Æthelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, coronation by the Archbishop would be a legal requirement to become a king. Æthelnoth reportedly placed the sceptre and crown on the altar of a temple, offering to consecrate Harold without using any of the royal regalia would have been an empty honour
Edward I of England
Edward I, known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. He spent much of his reign reforming royal administration and common law, through an extensive legal inquiry, Edward investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statutes regulating criminal and property law. Increasingly, Edwards attention was drawn towards military affairs, the first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his fathers reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he sided with a baronial reform movement. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained throughout the subsequent armed conflict. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, Montfort was defeated at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and within two years the rebellion was extinguished. With England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land, the crusade accomplished little, and Edward was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died.
Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and was crowned at Westminster on 19 August, after suppressing a minor rebellion in Wales in 1276–77, Edward responded to a second rebellion in 1282–83 with a full-scale war of conquest. After a successful campaign, Edward subjected Wales to English rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside, his efforts were directed towards Scotland. Initially invited to arbitrate a dispute, Edward claimed feudal suzerainty over the kingdom. In the war followed, the Scots persevered, even though the English seemed victorious at several points. At the same there were problems at home. In the mid-1290s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation and these crises were initially averted, but issues remained unsettled. When the King died in 1307, he left to his son, Edward II, Edward I was a tall man for his era, hence the nickname Longshanks. He was temperamental, and this, along with his height, made him an intimidating man, nevertheless, he held the respect of his subjects for the way he embodied the medieval ideal of kingship, as a soldier, an administrator and a man of faith.
The Edict remained in effect for the rest of the Middle Ages, Edward was born at the Palace of Westminster on the night of 17–18 June 1239, to King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Among his childhood friends was his cousin Henry of Almain, son of King Henrys brother Richard of Cornwall, Henry of Almain would remain a close companion of the prince, both through the civil war that followed, and during the crusade. Edward was in the care of Hugh Giffard – father of the future Chancellor Godfrey Giffard – until Bartholomew Pecche took over at Giffards death in 1246, there were concerns about Edwards health as a child, and he fell ill in 1246,1247, and 1251
William II of England
William II, the third son of William I of England, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was less successful in extending control into Wales, William is commonly known as William Rufus or William the Red, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance. He was a figure of complex temperament, capable of both bellicosity and flamboyance and he did not marry, nor did he produce any offspring, legitimate or otherwise. He died after being struck by an arrow while hunting, under circumstances that remain murky, circumstantial evidence in the behaviour of those around him raise strong but unproven suspicions of murder. His younger brother Henry hurriedly succeeded him as king, on the other hand, he was a wise ruler and victorious general. Barlow finds that, His chivalrous virtues and achievements were all too obvious and he had maintained good order and satisfactory justice in England and restored good peace to Normandy. He had extended Anglo-Norman rule in Wales, brought Scotland firmly under his lordship, recovered Maine, Williams exact date of birth is not known, but it was some time between the years 1056 and 1060.
He was the third of four born to William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, the eldest being Robert Curthose, the second Richard. William succeeded to the throne of England on his fathers death in 1087, Richard had died around 1075 while hunting in the New Forest. William had five or six sisters, records indicate strained relations between the three surviving sons of William I. A brawl broke out, and their father had to intercede to restore order, the division of William the Conquerors lands into two parts presented a dilemma for those nobles who held land on both sides of the English Channel. The only solution, as they saw it, was to unite England, in 1091 he invaded Normandy, crushing Roberts forces and forcing him to cede a portion of his lands. The two made up their differences and William agreed to help Robert recover lands lost to France, William Rufus was thus secure in what was the most powerful kingdom in Europe, given the contemporary eclipse of the Salian emperors. Less than two years after becoming king, William II lost his father William Is adviser and confidant, after Lanfrancs death in 1089, the king delayed appointing a new archbishop for many years, appropriating ecclesiastical revenues in the interim.
The English clergy, beholden to the king for their preferments, in 1095 William called a council at Rockingham to bring Anselm to heel, but the archbishop remained firm. In October 1097, Anselm went into exile, taking his case to the Pope, the diplomatic and flexible Urban II, a new pope, was involved in a major conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, who supported an antipope. Reluctant to make another enemy, Urban came to a concordat with William Rufus, whereby William recognised Urban as pope, Anselm remained in exile, and William was able to claim the revenues of the archbishop of Canterbury to the end of his reign. Lanfranc retorted that you will not seize the bishop of Bayeux and it seems reasonable to suppose that such details are indicative of William IIs personal beliefs
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England from seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, and the first monarch of the House of Tudor. He ruled the Principality of Wales until 29 November 1489 and was Lord of Ireland, Henry won the throne when his forces defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses. Henry was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle and he cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war and his supportive stance of the islands wool industry and stand off with the Low Countries had long lasting benefits to all the British Isles economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VIIs death. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple greed underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henrys final years, Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond.
His father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth, Henrys paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor, originally from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V. He rose to one of the Squires to the Body to the King after military service at the Battle of Agincourt. Owen is said to have married the widow of Henry V. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII, Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, and formally declared legitimate by Parliament. Henrys main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort, Henrys mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, and his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunts mistress for about 25 years, when married in 1396, they already had four children. Thus Henrys claim was somewhat tenuous, it was from a woman, in theory, the Portuguese and Castilian royal families had a better claim as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile.
Gaunts nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunts children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397, in 1407, Henry IV, who was Gaunts son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IVs action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were previously legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henrys claim. Henry made political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support. He came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr and he took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henrys biographer, Bernard André, much of Henrys Welsh descent
Cnut the Great
King Cnut the Great, known as Canute, was King of Denmark and Norway, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, the medieval historian Norman Cantor said he was the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history, though he was Danish and not a Briton or Anglo-Saxon. Cnuts father was Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, the identity of his mother is uncertain, although medieval tradition makes her a daughter of Mieszko I. As a Danish prince, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe and his accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut maintained his power by uniting Danes and English under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, after a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028. The Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut and he had coins struck there that called him king, but there is no narrative record of his occupation.
Cnut attempted to gain concessions on the tolls his people had to pay on the way to Rome from other magnates of medieval Christendom, the Anglo-Saxon kings used the title king of the English. Cnut was ealles Engla landes cyning—king of all England, Cnut was a son of the Danish Prince Sweyn Forkbeard, who was the son and heir to King Harald Bluetooth from a line of Scandinavian rulers central to the unification of Denmark. Neither the place nor the date of his birth are known, Harthacnut was the semi-legendary founder of the Danish royal house at the beginning of the 10th century, and his son, Gorm the Old, was the first in the official line. Harald Bluetooth, Gorms son and Cnuts grandfather, was the Danish king at the time of the Christianization of Denmark, Cnut was two years old when his grandfather, Harald Bluetooth and his father, Sweyn Forkbeard, assumed the throne. The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg and the Encomium Emmae report Cnuts mother as having been a daughter of Mieszko I of Poland, since in the Norse sagas the king of Vindland is always Burislav, this is reconcilable with the assumption that her father was Mieszko.
Different theories regarding the number and ancestry of Sweyns wives have been brought forward, Cnuts brother Harald was the first born and crown prince. His date of birth, like his mothers name, is unknown, contemporary works such as the Chronicon and the Encomium Emmae, do not mention this. Even so, in a Knútsdrápa by the skald Óttarr svarti and it mentions a battle identifiable with Sweyn Forkbeards invasion of England and attack on the city of Norwich, in 1003/04, after the St. Brices Day massacre of Danes by the English, in 1002. If it is the case that Cnut was part of this, his birthdate may be near 990, if not, and the skalds poetic verse envisages another assault, such as Forkbeards conquest of England in 1013/14, it may even suggest a birth date nearer 1000. There is a passage of the Encomiast with a reference to the force Cnut led in his English conquest of 1015/16, here it says all the Vikings were of mature age under Cnut the king. He had a fair complexion none-the-less, and a fine, thick head of hair and his eyes were better than those of other men, both the handsomer and the keener of their sight.
Hardly anything is known for sure of Cnuts life until the year he was part of a Scandinavian force under his father, King Sweyn and it was the climax to a succession of Viking raids spread over a number of decades
Henry the Young King
Henry, known as the Young King, was the second of five legitimate sons of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine but the first to survive infancy. Beginning in 1170, he was titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, Henry the Young King was the only King of England since the Norman conquest to be crowned in the lifetime of his father, but never exercised any power. Little is known of the young prince Henry before the associated with his marriage. His mothers children by her first marriage to Louis VII of France were Marie of France, Countess of Champagne and he had one older brother, William IX, Count of Poitiers, and his younger siblings included Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor and John. He was known in his own lifetime as Henry the Young King to distinguish him from his father, because he was not a reigning king, he is not counted in the numerical succession of kings of England. Henry did not appear to have been interested in the day-to-day business of government. His father, however, is reputed to have failed to delegate authority to his son, the majority opinion amongst historians is that of W. L.
Warren, The Young Henry was the only one of his family who was popular in his own day. It was true that he was the one who gave no evidence of political sagacity, military skill. And elaborated in a book, He was gracious, affable, courteous. Unfortunately he was shallow, careless, high-hoped, improvident, the Young Kings contemporary reputation, was by no means so negative. This had much to do with his place in the enthusiastic tournament culture of his own day. We can see this from his appearances in the History of William Marshal, the biography of the assigned to him as a tutor in 1170. The History depicts him as constantly moving from one tournament to another across northern, with his cousins, Count of Flanders, and Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut and Namur, he was one of the key patrons of the sport. He is said to have spent over £200 a day on the great retinue of knights he brought to the tournament of Lagny-sur-Marne in November 1179, if he lacked political weight, the Young Kings patronage gave him celebrity status throughout western Europe.
The baron and troubador Bertran de Born, who knew him, said that he was the best king who took up a shield. There was a perception amongst his contemporaries and the generation that his death in 1183 marked a decline both in the tournament and knightly endeavour. His former chaplain, Gervase of Tilbury, said that his death was the end of everything knightly, the young Henry played an important part in the politics of his fathers reign. On 2 November 1160, he was betrothed to Margaret of France, daughter of King Louis VII of France and his wife, Constance of Castile
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor, known as Saint Edward the Confessor, was among the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England, and usually considered the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066. When Edward died in 1066, he was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, Edgar the Ætheling, who was of the House of Wessex, was proclaimed king after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but never ruled and was deposed after about eight weeks. As discussed below, historians disagree about Edwards fairly long reign and his nickname reflects the traditional image of him as unworldly and pious. Confessor reflects his reputation as a saint who did not suffer martyrdom, some portray this kings reign as leading to the disintegration of royal power in England and the advance in power of the House of Godwin, because of the infighting after his heirless death. About a century later, in 1161, Pope Alexander III canonised the late king, Saint Edward was one of Englands national saints until King Edward III adopted Saint George as the national patron saint c.
His feast day is 13 October, celebrated by both the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Edward was the seventh son of Æthelred the Unready, and the first by his second wife, Emma of Normandy. Edward was born between 1003 and 1005 in Islip, and is first recorded as a witness to two charters in 1005 and he had one full brother, and a sister, Godgifu. In charters he was always listed behind his older half-brothers, showing that he ranked behind them, during his childhood England was the target of Viking raids and invasions under Sweyn Forkbeard and his son, Cnut. Following Sweyns seizure of the throne in 1013, Emma fled to Normandy, followed by Edward and Alfred, Sweyn died in February 1014, and leading Englishmen invited Æthelred back on condition that he promised to rule more justly than before. Æthelred agreed, sending Edward back with his ambassadors, Æthelred died in April 1016, and he was succeeded by Edwards older half-brother Edmund Ironside, who carried on the fight against Sweyns son, Cnut.
According to Scandinavian tradition, Edward fought alongside Edmund, as Edward was at most thirteen years old at the time, Edmund died in November 1016, and Cnut became undisputed king. Edward again went into exile with his brother and sister, in the same year Cnut had Edwards last surviving elder half-brother, executed, leaving Edward as the leading Anglo-Saxon claimant to the throne. Edward spent a quarter of a century in exile, probably mainly in Normandy and he probably received support from his sister Godgifu, who married Drogo of Mantes, count of Vexin in about 1024. In the early 1030s Edward witnessed four charters in Normandy, signing two of them as king of England, Edward was said to have developed an intense personal piety during this period, but modern historians regard this as a product of the medieval campaign for his canonisation. In Frank Barlows view in his lifestyle would seem to have been that of a member of the rustic nobility. He appeared to have a slim prospect of acceding to the English throne during this period, Cnut died in 1035, and Harthacnut succeeded him as king of Denmark.
It is unclear whether he was intended to have England as well and it was therefore decided that his elder half-brother Harold Harefoot should act as regent, while Emma held Wessex on Harthacnuts behalf. In 1036 Edward and his brother Alfred separately came to England, Alfred was captured by Godwin, Earl of Wessex who turned him over to Harold Harefoot
Stephen, King of England
Stephen, often referred to as Stephen of Blois, was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, Stephens reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda. He was succeeded by Matildas son, Henry II, the first of the Angevin kings. Stephen was born in the County of Blois in middle France, his father, Count Stephen-Henry, died while Stephen was still young, placed into the court of his uncle, Henry I of England, Stephen rose in prominence and was granted extensive lands. He married Matilda of Boulogne, inheriting estates in Kent. Stephen narrowly escaped drowning with Henry Is son, William Adelin, in the sinking of the White Ship in 1120, in 1138 the Empresss half-brother Robert of Gloucester rebelled against Stephen, threatening civil war. Together with his advisor, Waleran de Beaumont, Stephen took firm steps to defend his rule. When the Empress and Robert invaded in 1139, Stephen was unable to crush the revolt rapidly, captured at the battle of Lincoln in 1141, Stephen was abandoned by many of his followers and lost control of Normandy.
Stephen became increasingly concerned with ensuring that his son Eustace would inherit his throne, in 1153 the Empresss son, Henry FitzEmpress, invaded England and built an alliance of powerful regional barons to support his claim for the throne. The two armies met at Wallingford, but neither sides barons were keen to fight another pitched battle, Stephen began to examine a negotiated peace, a process hastened by the sudden death of Eustace. Later in the year Stephen and Henry agreed to the Treaty of Winchester, in which Stephen recognised Henry as his heir in exchange for peace, passing over William, Stephens second son. Modern historians have debated the extent to which Stephens personality, external events. Stephen was born in Blois in France, in either 1092 or 1096 and his father was Stephen-Henry, Count of Blois and Chartres, an important French nobleman, and an active crusader, who played only a brief part in Stephens early life. During the First Crusade Stephen-Henry had acquired a reputation for cowardice, Stephens mother, was the daughter of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, famous amongst her contemporaries for her piety and political talent.
She had a strong influence on Stephen during his early years. France in the 12th century was a collection of counties and smaller polities. The kings power was linked to his control of the province of Île-de-France. In the west lay the three counties of Maine and Touraine, and to the north of Blois was the Duchy of Normandy, Williams children were still fighting over the collective Anglo-Norman inheritance
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was the King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was the first Yorkist King of England, before becoming king, he was 4th Duke of York, 7th Earl of March, 5th Earl of Cambridge and 9th Earl of Ulster. He was the 65th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Edward of York was born at Rouen in France, the second son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. He was the eldest of the four sons who survived to adulthood and he bore the title Earl of March before his fathers death and his accession to the throne. Edwards father Richard, Duke of York, had been heir to King Henry VI until the birth of Henrys son Edward in 1453, Richard carried on a factional struggle with the kings Beaufort relatives. He established a dominant position after his victory at the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, in which his chief rival Edmund Beaufort, Henrys Queen, Margaret of Anjou, rebuilt a powerful faction to oppose the Yorkists over the following years.
The Yorkist leaders fled from England after the collapse of their army in the confrontation at Ludford Bridge, the Duke of York took refuge in Ireland, while Edward went with the Nevilles to Calais where Warwick was governor. In 1460 Edward landed in Kent with Salisbury and Salisburys brother William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, raised an army and this left Edward, now Duke of York, at the head of the Yorkist faction. He defeated a Lancastrian army at Mortimers Cross in Herefordshire on 2–3 February 1461 and he united his forces with those of Warwick, whom Margarets army had defeated at the Second Battle of St Albans, during which Henry VI had been rescued by his supporters. Edwards father had restricted his ambitions to becoming Henrys heir, and he advanced against the Lancastrians, having his life saved on the battlefield by the Welsh Knight Sir David Ap Mathew. He defeated the Lancastrian army in the exceptionally bloody Battle of Towton in Yorkshire on 29 March 1461, Edward had effectively broken the military strength of the Lancastrians, and he returned to London for his coronation.
King Edward IV named Sir David Ap Mathew Standard Bearer of England, Lancastrian resistance continued in the north, but posed no serious threat to the new regime and was finally extinguished by Warwicks brother John Neville in the Battle of Hexham in 1464. Henry VI had escaped into the Pennines, where he spent a year in hiding, Queen Margaret fled abroad with the young Prince Edward and many of their leading supporters. Even at the age of nineteen, Edward exhibited remarkable military acumen and he had a notable physique and was described as handsome and affable. His height is estimated at 6 feet 4.5 inches, making him the tallest among all English, most of Englands leading families had remained loyal to Henry VI or remained uncommitted in the recent conflict. The new regime, relied heavily on the support of the Nevilles, the king increasingly became estranged from their leader the Earl of Warwick, due primarily to his marriage. Warwick, acting on Edwards behalf, made arrangements with King Louis XI of France for Edward to marry either Louis daughter Anne or his sister-in-law Bona of Savoy.
He was humiliated and enraged to discover that, while he was negotiating, Edward had secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, Edwards marriage to Elizabeth Woodville has been criticised as an impulsive action that did not add anything to the security of England or the York dynasty
Henry IV of England
Henry IV, known as Henry of Bolingbroke, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1399 to 1413, and asserted the claim of his grandfather, Edward III, to the Kingdom of France. Henry was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, one of Henrys elder sisters, Philippa of Lancaster, married John I of Portugal, and the other, was the mother of John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter. His younger half-sister Catherine, the daughter of his fathers second wife and he had four half-siblings by Katherine Swynford, originally his sisters governess, his fathers longstanding mistress, and his third wife. These four children were given the surname Beaufort after a castle their father held in Champagne, Henrys relationship with his stepmother, Katherine Swynford, was a positive one, but his relationship with the Beauforts varied. In youth he seems to have close to all of them. His brother-in-law Ralph Neville remained one of his strongest supporters, and so did his eldest half-brother John Beaufort, Thomas Swynford, a son from Katherines first marriage to Sir Hugh Swynford, was another loyal companion.
Thomas was Constable of Pontefract Castle, where King Richard II is said to have died, Henrys half-sister Joan Beaufort through his fathers relationship with Katherine Swynford was the grandmother of Edward IV and Richard III. Joan had married Ralph Neville, the 1st Earl of Westmorland, when their daughter Cecily married Richard Plantagenet, the 3rd Duke of York, and had several offspring, including Edward IV and Richard III, Joan became the grandmother of two York kings of England. Henry experienced a rather more inconsistent relationship with King Richard II than his father had, first cousins and childhood playmates, they were admitted together to the Order of the Garter in 1377, but Henry participated in the Lords Appellants rebellion against the king in 1387. After regaining power, Richard did not punish Henry, although he did execute or exile many of the rebellious barons. In fact, Richard elevated Henry from Earl of Derby to Duke of Hereford, Henry spent the full year of 1390 supporting the unsuccessful siege of Vilnius by Teutonic Knights with his 300 fellow knights.
During this campaign he bought 300 captured Lithuanian princes and took them back to England. Henrys second expedition to Lithuania in 1392 illustrates the benefits to the Order of these guest crusaders. His small army consisted of over 100 men, including longbow archers and six minstrels, despite the efforts of Henry and his English crusaders, two years of attacks on Vilnius proved fruitless. In 1392–93 Henry undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he made offerings at the Holy Sepulchre, he vowed to lead a crusade to free Jerusalem from the infidel, but he died before this could be accomplished. The relationship between Henry Bolingbroke and the king met with a second crisis, in 1398, a remark by Bolingbroke regarding Richard IIs rule was interpreted as treason by Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk. The two dukes agreed to undergo a duel of honour at Gosford Green near Caludon Castle, Mowbrays home in Coventry, yet before the duel could take place, Richard II decided to banish Henry from the kingdom to avoid further bloodshed.
Mowbray himself was exiled for life, John of Gaunt died in 1399
Mary I of England
Mary I was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. Her executions of Protestants led to the posthumous sobriquet Bloody Mary and she was the only child of Henry VIII by his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive to adulthood. Her younger half-brother Edward VI succeeded their father in 1547, when Edward became mortally ill in 1553, he attempted to remove Mary from the line of succession because of religious differences. On his death their first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, was proclaimed queen, Mary assembled a force in East Anglia and deposed Jane, who was ultimately beheaded. Mary was—excluding the disputed reigns of Jane and the Empress Matilda—the first queen regnant of England, in 1554, Mary married Philip of Spain, becoming queen consort of Habsburg Spain on his accession in 1556. Mary is remembered for her restoration of Roman Catholicism after her half-brothers short-lived Protestant reign, during her five-year reign, she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions.
After her death in 1558, her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her younger half-sister and successor Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry, Mary was born on 18 February 1516 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, London. She was the child of King Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Her mother had many miscarriages, before Marys birth, four previous pregnancies had resulted in a stillborn daughter and she was baptised into the Catholic faith at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich three days after her birth. Her godparents included her great-aunt the Countess of Devon, Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIIIs cousin once removed, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, stood sponsor for Marys confirmation, which was held immediately after the baptism. The following year, Mary became a godmother herself when she was named as one of the sponsors of her cousin Frances Brandon, in 1520, the Countess of Salisbury was appointed Marys governess. Sir John Hussey, Lord Hussey, was her chamberlain from 1530, in July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, she entertained a visiting French delegation with a performance on the virginals.
By the age of nine, Mary could read and write Latin and she studied French, music and perhaps Greek. Henry VIII doted on his daughter and boasted to the Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustiniani, also, as the miniature portrait of her shows, Mary had, like both her parents, a very fair complexion, pale blue eyes and red or reddish-golden hair. She was ruddy cheeked, a trait she inherited from her father, despite his affection for Mary, Henry was deeply disappointed that his marriage had produced no sons. By the time Mary was nine years old, it was apparent that Henry and Catherine would have no more children, in 1525, Henry sent Mary to the border of Wales to preside, presumably in name only, over the Council of Wales and the Marches. She was given her own based at Ludlow Castle and many of the royal prerogatives normally reserved for the Prince of Wales. Vives and others called her the Princess of Wales, although she was never technically invested with the title and she appears to have spent three years in the Welsh Marches, making regular visits to her fathers court, before returning permanently to the home counties around London in mid-1528