The Edmondson Blog

Kings And Queens Of England, Part 2


Henry II, born 1133, reigned 1154 – 1189. Henry II had a very bad temper but was hardworking. He is reputed to have died of a broken heart when he learnt that his sons had turned against him. To son:

Richard I (the Lionheart), born 1157, reigned 1189 – 1199. Crusader. Caught returning from Crusade and held for ransom in Austria. Legend has it that Blondel his faithful troubadour went from castle to castle, singing a particular song, and that the imprisoned Richard replied with the second verse – thus identifying where he was imprisoned. Later, Richard was shot in the shoulder in a minor skirmish and died from gangrene. To brother:

John, born 1167, reigned 1199 – 1216. A bad king, bad mannered, bad tempered and a glutton. Had to sign the Magna Carta but the promises he made were short lived and he was soon at war again with nobles. On 12th October 1216 he needed to cross the River Welland and being impatient, would not wait for the tide to drop. He lost his vast treasure in the mud – it has never been found. He died a week later. Four hundred years later, in 1653, papers were found that admitted, “With the grief of which disaster, and perhaps distempered in his body before, he fell into a fever and was let blood, but keeping an ill diet as indeed he never kept good, eating green peaches, and drinking sweet ale, he fell into a looseness and grew presently so weak, that there was much ado to get him to Newark, where soon after he died.” He was buried at Worcester but dug up in 1797 and found to be 5ft 5in tall. To son:


Henry III, born 1207, reigned 1216 – 1272. Died naturally. To son:

Edward I, born 1239, reigned 1272 – 1307. Very popular, called “Longshanks.” On crusade when father died, returned in 1274. Died from dysentery while travelling to Scotland for a military campaign. He had been ill for some time and was probably unfit to travel. To son:

Edward II, born 1284, reigned 1307 – 1327. Terrible king. In 1326 his queen, Isabella, deposed him and made their 15 year old son Edward, king in 1327. Reputedly murdered with a red-hot spit thrust into his anus, so that body showed no signs. His heart was placed in silver box and sent to Isabella. To son:

Edward III, born 1312, reigned 1327 – 1377. Died of overwork. To grandson (son, Edward, died 1376):

Richard II, born 1367, reigned 1377 – 1399. Political infighting and bad decisions forced him to abdicate in 1399. Secretly murdered at Pontefract Castle in 1400. To cousin:


Henry IV, born 1366, reigned 1399 – 1413. Collapsed at his prayers in Westminster Abbey and carried into Abbots withdrawing room, known as the Jerusalem Chamber, where he died. An old prophesy said he would die “in Jerusalem.” To son:

Henry V, born 1387, reigned 1413 – 1422. Died in France after long illness. To son:

Henry VI, born 1421, reigned 1422 – 1471. Crowned age 9 months. A naïve man with bad advisors and suffered bouts of insanity. During the Wars of the Roses, Warwick the King Maker, a good general, made Edward IV king in 1461. Henry hung around, was captured in 1465 and put in Tower. Warwick fell out with Edward and reinstated Henry as pawn king in 1470. Edward returned in 1471, and Henry returned to the Tower. Henry’s son, Prince Edward killed in battle, Henry was murdered. To cousin, Edward VI of York.

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