The Edmondson Blog

KIngs And Queens Of England, Part 1

HOUSE OF WESSEX - Anglo-Saxon Kings of England

Edward the Confessor, born about 1004, reigned 1042 – 4th January 1066. He promised the English crown to his cousin, William of Normandy. Edward is considered the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. From the reign of Henry II of England to 1348 he was considered the patron saint of England, and he has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family. Died of old age. To brother in law:

Harold II, Harold Godwinesson, last of the Saxons, born about 1022, crowned 6th January 1066 and killed 14th October 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. Harold had sworn to Edward he would help William of Normandy to become king but broke the oath and accepted the crown on Edward’s death. Then to:


William I, born 1025, reigned 1066 – 1087. Only spoke French. The numbering of English monarchs starts anew after the Norman conquest, which explains why the regnal numbers assigned to English kings named Edward begin with the later Edward I (ruled 1272–1307) and do not include Edward the Confessor (who was the third King Edward).Fell off his horse and died of injuries. To younger son:

William II, born 1057, reigned 1087 – 1100. William Rufus, very unpopular, rowdy, drunken and bawdy. He never married and might have been homosexual. He was shot in heart while hunting deer in New Forest, carried to Winchester in a cart and was buried under the cathedral tower. The next year the tower fell down. Then to brother:

Henry I, born 1068, reigned 1100 – 1135. William II and his brother Robert had agreed each to be the other’s heir. However, Robert was on a crusade when William II died so Henry had himself crowned king. At first he was liked but became cruel. He captured Robert on his return, blinded him and held him prisoner for 28 years. Henry’s son and heir was drowned in shipwreck in 1120 when drunk. Henry died from eating a surfeit of lampreys (small eels). To nephew:

Stephen, born 1095, reigned 1135 – 1154. Although all dukes had sworn to make Henry’s daughter, Matilda, queen, they changed their minds when he died, and made Stephen king. This triggered a civil war and it was eventually agreed that Stephen would remain king but Henry, grandson of Henry II, would become king on Stephen’s death. Stephen died naturally. To grandson of Henry I.

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