History of England (comprehensive)

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Introduction[edit]

Each of this article is organized in the following manner: Period: General Description of the Time Period Who would know this? This article deals with real world, mortal events. However, the 13th century was a time of not only mass lack of education, but loss of historic knowledge so that even the educated often did not have access to any accurate knowledge about the past. While England has always had a healthy oral tradition, folklore is very limited as a means of historical documentation and it takes less than a generation or a few miles of travel for most of the truth to evolve out of an account if oral history is all one has to rely on. Keep this in mind when reading the wiki histories. The history presented here doesn’t pertain to the supernatural, but in some cases, only the oldest of supernatural beings would have any way of knowing what transpired via firsthand experience or compacted verbal traditions. Don't assume that just because it's in the wiki, your character needs to know it; use the “Who Would Know This?” section for ideas about what your character might know about a certain period.

The Basics: A Snapshot of Early 13th Century England[edit]

An Historical Crash Course for Players

Prologue[edit]

Regarding History and Game “Medieval English History” is a subject of vast scope, intimidating even to scholars specializing in the era. So, as a new player coming to game, it's easy to get overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. This section outlines England as you'll find it when you enter the game and attempts to give, in the briefest way possible, the basic information most characters living there would know off the top of their heads. Knowing more than this will naturally enrich your game experience and help to flesh out characters, but this should be more than enough to get anyone started on their first game and first character.

One of the wonderful things about Shadow Accord as a game is certainly the richness and accuracy of its historical background and ambiance. However, it's really not necessary for every single player to know every single detail about medieval England. (Though I'm sure we have a few who particularly enjoy that side who might come close!) Knowing how to use a few key pieces of history can often be a lot more effective in actual gameplay than trying to memorize the entirety of medieval history. Keep in mind that we're playing a game set in a provincial town in an era of ignorance. If you don't know out of game, in most cases it's going to be completely reasonable that your character might not know either. Knowing very little of the world you're walking into is, in fact, itself in-period! The Middle Ages were rife with misinformation and genuinely believed fairy tale based loosely on fact, so getting some things wrong is far from the end of the world. What's important is that there's some historical context, not that you have every single date and detail committed to memory. Focus, instead, on a few specific things your character would have first or second-hand knowledge of based on where he or she was born and what events you think should have had the strongest direct effect on his or her family. For the rest, a general idea of the times should be sufficient, at least to get started. That's what this section is for.

Who Would Know This?[edit]

Every character in game has access to this information unless you have a specific, concept based reason for your character not to. (For a more in-depth look at this information see “Contemporary England”)

Time Period[edit]

Shadow Accord takes place exactly 800 years in the past. So, IG the date is Friday, December 15, {{#expr:2017-800}}. (Note: it is historically debatable how many people outside of monasteries and the nobility had means of--or interest in--keeping track of the exact date or year. Emphasis outside of politics and academia was on the seasons rather than numerical tracking of time. Your in-character approach to this is your call.)

Geography[edit]

We are in Seaton Carew, a small village in the far North of England. The closest major city is Durham and the region, as is typical of a borderland, has often been ambiguous about its allegiance to or independence from unified England. Northumbria (the region of England in which Durham lies) has a long history of resisting unification under the kings of England and its borders have long been disputed between England and Scotland. It has also been under Danish (Viking) occupation at various points during the Dark Ages.

Politics of Society[edit]

Current King: King John; He is unpopular and has a reputation for tyranny and cruelty. (Though keep in mind it is usually unwise to openly criticize a King even if he is unpopular.) He has been king since 1199.

Recent Kings: Adult characters will also remember John's brother, King Richard, who was considered pious and heroic, but whose popularity waned near the end of his reign after the conclusion of the Third Crusade. Many characters will also remember the charismatic but controversial King Henry II, their father.

The Pope: Pope Innocent III

Basic Human Feudal Ranking: King (Queen) > Duke (Duchess) > Earl (Countess) > Viscount (Viscountess) > Baron (Baroness) > Knight (Dame) > Local Authorities

The Laws: See the The King's Laws for details of the law in Shadow Accord.

England is at War With: The French (territorial); The Scots (territorial – Northumbria, as the disputed territory, is the site of this conflict, though the people living here are not necessarily all siding with the English on this one. This is, however, a very long-term, multigenerational conflict that doesn't really involve current fighting in any real way. Rather, it's a thorn in the King's side that he occasionally turns his attention to.)

Crusades: The most recent Crusade for the Holy Land was the Fourth Crusade which ended in 1204 with the sacking of Constantinople; a deplorable and politically motivated act of aggression against the eastern sect of Christianity. The 5th will not begin until 1217. The Albigensian Crusade (against Cathar Christians) is currently underway and in its early years in France.

Miscellaneous historic trivia you should know: Purple is typically reserved for the upper classes as it is a rare dye and therefore very expensive, it's considered proper for women to cover their hair when in public, Catholic Christianity is compulsory; Protestants do not yet exist. The plague is not an issue during this period of time (there were two major outbreaks of plague in Europe. One was subdued a few hundred years ago. The next is not due to strike for at least another century.) Leprosy, however, is a persistent issue and grounds for eviction from society at large.

On social values: Discrimination is a simple fact of life and there is no talk of equal rights in this era particularly when it comes to gender, religion, or homosexuality. Race is more ambiguous as variations simply weren't seen in this time due to the difficulty of transportation between regions. There are indications that racial differences may not have been discriminated against, but possibly wondered at instead during this time, though little mention of it can be found at all.

Ancient History (Pre Roman)[edit]

Who would know this? It’s exceedingly unlikely that any but the very oldest of wraiths, vampires or fae would even have heard accounts of these events with any degree of accuracy. Little to no written history from this period exists in any form that is accessible during the medieval period even to the most dedicated of scholars. Keep in mind that our own 21st century knowledge of this period is largely archaeological in nature. In other words, it's based on scientific inquiry methods not available to our medieval ancestors. Extreme discretion should be used in designing characters with any degree of knowledge of this period. Even if you are playing a scholar or historian character, it is virtually impossible that you have any accurate IG knowledge of this. It is primarily being included for the sake of general setting background and Storyteller use. Knowledge of this period would have faded entirely to the realm of legend and fairy tale by the time of SA.

History

Approximately 4000 BCE – Neolithic man settles Britain – built some of the first stone circle temples

Approximately 1900 BCE – Invasion of Bronze Age peoples from the Rhineland – these peoples were larger than Neolithic man, so swiftly occupied England from Yorkshire to Surrey. They were also known as the “Beaker People” and are generally considered to be the ones who built Stonehenge.

1000 BCE: - Arrival of the Iron Age Celts from Eastern Europe. They were notably skilled at mining ore and extracting and working iron and were able to defeat the Bronze age peoples with this superior technology, claiming and settling the region for themselves. With the Iron Age Celts we see the development of traditional British civilization as we generally think of it today with the emergence of the Gaelic and Brythonic languages along with the institution of farming, post hut village settlements, chariots and domesticated horses. They were a fierce druidic warrior people with a society built on relative egalitarianism and gender equality, ruled by Kings and Queens alike. By 400 BCE, The British Celts had a well established international reputation as military aristocrats and masters of Northern and Central European and Mediterranean trade.


Roman England (1st - 5th centuries CE)[edit]

Who would know this? Very Old Wraiths, Spirits, Elder Ananasi, Elder Vampires (5th generation or lower) and True Fae characters may have first hand memories of this period (consult your faction guide/character guide for more info.) Very fragmented and inaccurate snippets of lore may be passed down from this period for characters other that those listed above. 13th century Britain is covered in the ruins of Roman architecture. Many Roman cities have been reclaimed and now exist as England's most famous cities. Artifacts of the period can be found easily, but may be heavily damaged and may easily be misinterpreted by a Middle Ages person. Mystical meanings were often attached to the advanced arts and technologies of Roman artifacts. Knowledge of this period through family lineage is probably not viable due to the region being decimated and resettled repeatedly between the Roman Era and the Middle Ages. Scholars, particularly high level clergy, may have some patchwork knowledge of this period if they've traveled and studied in and around Rome.

History Rome’s interest in Britain began in the first century BCE as Caesar sought to put an end to the problem of rebels of Gaul (modern day France) seeking sanctuary across the channel, beyond Roman reach. He personally visited Britain in 55 BCE on a reconnaissance mission and subsequently attempted 2 invasions. The first failed, the second only half succeeded and resulted with an inconclusive treaty. The British tribes were to pay annual tribute to Rome, but it was not a full conquest. Full Roman conquest of Britain was not achieved until 90 years later under Emperor Claudius in the 1st century CE. During this period of conquest and token tribute, the British tribes underwent a period of unification under a smaller number of more powerful leaders and seem to have enjoyed relatively favorable diplomatic and trade relations with Rome, while still maintaining more autonomy than other Roman territories. This exposure to Roman culture, along with the change in social structure, brought marked change to the lives of the Britons, serving as great impetus in molding it to more closely resemble the Britain we know today; a distinctively Roman-Briton hybrid culture. Unfortunately, however, the Britons were not sufficiently united by the time of the Romans' next invasion to fight them off. They were still largely operating as independent tribes.

In the 1st century CE, interest in complete Roman conquest of Britain was rekindled under Emperor Caligula when the banished Prince Adminius, son of Britain's King Cunobelinus (sometimes called Cymbeline in literary fiction) fled to Rome to plead his case. Caligula made extensive preparations for the invasion, but it is unknown whether he ever embarked. Regardless, his successor, Claudius, made use of these preparations soon after coming to power, needing a military victory to lend credibility to his reign. Under Claudius, Britain was fully conquered and became a Roman province in the classical sense, complete with martial occupation and full integration into the empire. However, it is significant to note that fierce resistance persisted throughout the Roman era from the Northern & Western Celts. As a result, at no point were the Romans able to boast complete domination of the region in any but a nominal way and at times a full 10% of the Roman army was actively deployed in the British Isles in perpetual warfare with the Britons in their struggle to maintain a hold over the region.

One of the largest surviving monuments to the martial struggle of the Romans in Britain is Hadrian's Wall, an extreme measure taken in about 122 CE to keep the rebellious Northern tribes physically sealed off from the Southern portion of the country that assimilated more amicably to Roman rule and conformed more closely to a traditional Roman province.

In general, the Britons were cruelly treated under early Roman rule but by the dawn of the 2nd century CE, the country much more closely resembled any other Roman province. By this time, much of the aristocracy had been brought up and educated in the Classical liberal arts and Latin had been instituted as the official written and spoken language. (In the Southeast, particularly. Roman cultural impact could and still can be observed to dwindle the further North and West you look in the country.)

In the early 4th century, Constantine converted to Christianity and instituted a policy of religious tolerance throughout Rome, putting a halt to sanctioned persecution of Christians. Though the traditional Celtic pantheism as well as Roman polytheism continued to thrive in Britain, Christianity also spread during the 4th century, also making its way to Ireland and Scotland.

In the wake of invasion by the German tribes in mainland Europe and under threat of the rumored Hun menace, Rome pulled much of its military occupational force out of Britain to protect its territories closer to home in the early 5th century. This left Britain vulnerable to Saxon, Germanic and Danish raiding parties from across the channel as well as to attacks from their Irish, Scottish and Pictish neighbors to the North and West. Thus abandoned, Britain severed ties with imperial Rome for good at the dawn of the 5h century and by this time, Roman resources were stretched so thin defending that they had neither the will nor means to take action against the secession.

The Britons were generally happy to be rid of the Romans, having long been unhappy about the impact of the empire on their personal liberties, but after only a few decades, the ouster of the civic backbone provided by the Romans began take its toll in the form of massive economic destabilization, decline in health and law enforcement, and the general disrepair of the country's infrastructure. Persistent violence prevented any real sustainable recovery so the societal degeneration was steady. Conditions were similar throughout formerly Roman Europe during this period as the empire declined. By the end of the 5th century, the landscape of Britain (and Western Europe at large) had drastically changed and living conditions had declined significantly. International and, indeed, often inter-regional trade had essentially collapsed, government was thrown into chaos (tribal conflict once more amongst regional Lords?) and the economy reverted to barter.


Early Dark Ages: Anglo-Saxon Period (5th - 8th century)[edit]

Who would know this? Fae, Spirits, Old Wraiths, Elder Ananasi, Older Ancilla Vampires (7th or 8th generation maximum,) Human and Shifter characters with unusually solid family lineages based in Northern France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland or Northumbria may have some (probably mostly inaccurate) lore based on this period.

Conquest: Even before the Roman period had fully come to an end, Britain had become the target of concerted attacks by the Jute, Angle, and Saxon invading forces. This age of brutal and bloody conquest continued into and throughout the 6th century, decimating Britain's Romano-Celtic population and forever changing the ethnic and cultural makeup of the country.

Conquest was almost universal and the Romano-Celts were forced to flee, taking shelter primarily either North of Hadrian's Wall, in the Southwest of Britain, dubbed “Wales” by the Angles and Saxons or “land of the foreigner,” or in a region of Gaul (present day France) now known as Brittany. The lands conquered by the Angles and Saxons were divided into kingdoms whose boundaries are still recognized in today’s modern landscape. Sussex = land of the South Saxons, Essex = county of the East Saxons, etc. There were seven kingdoms in total, known as the heptarchy: Sussex, Kent, Essex, East Anglia, Wessex, Mercia, and Northumbria.


Anglo Saxon Culture: The historical record grows vague from this era onwards into the Dark Ages as the Anglo-Saxons did not have a written tradition. What few eye witness reports exist paint the 6th century under de-Romanized pagan Saxon rule as savage and primitive, though Roman-Briton refugees did preserve some Roman custom and learning, primarily in Wales.

During this period, the pagan Anglo-Saxons almost completely eradicated Christianity from Britain. Some Romano-Celts hid to preserve the tradition, but Christianity had to be essentially re-introduced in the 7th century.

It is sometime during this period that the term England (Angle-land) was first introduced. This name persisted until far past the time period of SA.

Anglo-Saxon (stemming from Germanic) social structure/values: most important thing is loyalty to one's family. This carried over into medieval English society as the Anglo-Saxon's became Christianized and integrated with European ideas. Fealty and Feudalism became key in English society.

Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons At the very end of the 6th Century CE, Pope Gregory the Great resolved to convert the Angles and the Saxons. The papal mission was led by Saint Augustine and was sent to King Ethelbert of Kent. Impressed by their words, their gifts and their literacy (and also influenced by his Christian Frankish wife) he converted and was baptized and much, though not all, of his kingdom followed his example soon thereafter. Augustine, having successfully converted the king, founded Canterbury Cathedral in 602 and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Through Ethelbert's influence, King Saeberht of Essex also converted and King Raedwald of East Anglia partially converted (maintaining Christian and pagan altars side by side.) However, most of the rest of England remained pagan well into the 7th century. The whole of Britain was not considered successfully re-Christianized until approximately 700CE.

The conversion of the Anglo Saxons was important for Britain’s development as it re-established contact with the rest of Europe. As such, the 7th Century saw the establishment of the first written English legal code, heavily influenced by Frankish (church) law and a great period of learning and art, rediscovery of Roman inspired academia, craftsmanship, economy, and architecture.

8th century – This was the period of Mercian supremacy during which the Mercian ruler King Ethelbald began to be styled King of All South England and his son Offa, simply King of the English. This marked one of the first signs of transition from the fractured heptarchy toward the monarchy of united England. The Mercians were zealously pious, and even sent missionaries back to Germany to convert the lands of their ancestors. Through the 8th century, scholarship and the church continued to take hold as English traditions, bolstered by Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance across the channel. By the 8th century, the savage Anglo Saxon invaders of the Roman and Dark Ages had indeed transformed into the disciplined and scholastic English of the Medieval Era.


Dark Ages England (9th - 10th Centuries)[edit]

Who would know this? Most supernatural characters can probably make a case for having access to this information in some form or other at player and Character Guide discretion, though extra care should be used in the case of short lived shifters, particularly those not concerned with history or academia. For mortals: probably only scholars and the more recent it is, the more likely you are to know it.

History

The Viking threat against Britain began at the tail end of the 8th century. They struck swiftly, looting and pillaging as they went and left a wake of utter devastation wherever they went. Entire Anglo Saxon kingdoms fell to Viking control and by the mid 9th century all of Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria were occupied and ruled by the Danes. However, when they turned their attention on Wessex, they were met by the armies of Alfred the Great. Though he did not fully expel the Vikings from Britain, Alfred mounted one of the first and most significant defenses of this period, forming the predecessor to the British navy and attacking at sea as one facet of his strategy.

Alfred the Great's defense of England was debatably the beginning of unified England, as formerly subjugated kingdoms, particularly Mercia after London was retaken, looked to the ruler of Wessex as their common defender and asked him to be their new lord after the re-conquest. King Alfred the Great, to this day, is known as one of the greatest defenders of English civilization.

During his rule, Alfred increased royal power by creating civic institutions in the form of shires that could override the power of local the local lords, circumventing some of the Dark Ages feudal system. This was an important step toward the British monarchic government that succeeds the feudal system through the later Middle Ages and Renaissance. Under Alfred, England adopted a stronger central government with something resembling a national assembly, reminiscent both of traditional witena gemot - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witenagemot (which had always been maintained by the Anglo Saxon kings) and the parliamentary systems yet to come.

Over the 50 years or so following Alfred's death, the Danes were slowly driven out of most of Britain and the House of Wessex came to hold sway over more and more of what was now unified England. There were no fresh Danish invasions for nearly a century, which allowed for the emersion of a solid English identity during the time period. However, in 1013, largely in response to a series of unwise actions on the part of King Ethelred the Unready, the Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard staged a highly successful invasion against the kingdom, seizing the throne for his own bloodline. He died shortly after the invasion leaving the crown to his son Cnut. Luckily for England, Cnut did ultimately seek to differentiate himself from the Vikings and ruled more or less as an English king, though exacting painfully high taxes (Danegeld) on the people to send back to the Nordic empire.

The House of Wessex was eventually able to retake the throne, but the victory was brief, lasting only a few years before the Norman Conquest.

The Norman Conquest –William, Duke of Normandy, who came to be known as William the Conqueror, invaded England in 1066 under a papal banner with the support of Rome and much of Christendom. After a series of decisive battles, key amongst them the famed Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror was coronated King of England on Christmas day of 1066, marking the end of the Anglo-Saxon period and the dawn of a new kind of reign that would forever change life in Britain.

The Norman period saw the institution of legal and social systems more closely reflecting those in place across Roman Catholic Europe of the Middle Ages and the suppression of much of the distinctly Anglo Saxon ways of the Dark Ages. Complex and rigid judicial, ecclesiastical, and aristocratic traditions were all integral to the Norman period and persisted long after its supremacy. Much of what we think of as quintessentially medieval was implemented in England by the Normans, England having maintained a much more distinctively British culture before this time.

After the Conquest, the Normans went on a massive campaign of suppressing English language and culture in favor of the French and there were persistent abuses of the new Norman ruling class against the native populations that often went unaddressed. The Anglo-Saxons chafed under this new system which included the institution of a much more autocratic form of monarchy that suppressed the witan tradition, wherein subjects of a king were consulted in major decisions, which the Anglo Saxons had preserved since the times of their ancestors. The civic landscape itself was transformed into a harshly feudal one wherein farmers, formerly freemen, were forced into serfdom while government took on a distinctly European feudal quality with harsh laws punishing every small transgression amongst the lower classes. That is not to say that Anglo-Saxon England had been precisely egalitarian, but its social system had not been nearly as rigidly tiered as that found in Continental Europe before this period. Rebellion against the Normans was widespread, but harshly and decisively quelled and ultimately the Normans proved victorious in imposing both their dominion and their way of life onto the English.


Contemporary England (Mid 12th Century - Present)[edit]

Who would know this? These are events that have occurred within the lifetime of you character and/or your character’s parents. At worst, you would not have to look further than your character's grandparents for a firsthand account of these events. You should feel free to have your character be familiar with this information, particularly if he or she is an English citizen. Of course, you may also consider leaving some holes in this knowledge if you’re playing someone uneducated or a foreigner. For example, a poverty stricken farmer may have access to all of this information, but in the day to day struggle to survive, may simply not care enough to take notice.

The Angevin Royal Line - In 1135, a curious situation arose that eventually gave rise to the Angevins also known as the House of Plantagenet (another French noble line). After the death of his son, the Norman King Henry I was left without a male heir and so named his daughter, Empress Matilda, heir to the throne. However, the English were not inclined to accept a female sovereign and the throne was usurped by her cousin, Stephen of Blois. A 19 year civil war ensued which was concluded with a treaty allowing Stephen to reign, but naming Matilda’s son, Henry II, heir to the throne in lieu of Stephen’s own offspring. Plantagenet was the title that came through Henry’s father (Matilda’s husband) and this first Angevin king would be remembered as one of England’s greatest monarchs, heralding a period of innovation and intellectualism in the mid 12th century. However, the end of his reign was marred by the ordeal of Thomas a' Becket. In the early years of Henry's reign, Becket was the kings greatest friend and advisor, but he became obstinate and inflexible upon being named Archbishop of Canterbury, whereas Henry had expected him, as a dear friend, to bow to his political wishes. Becket and the King argued bitterly over policy to the point of trading threats of excommunication and trials for treason until ultimately, in 1170 Beckett was murdered and martyred by supporters of the king and became an English folk hero. Henry, however, was uninvolved and devastated by his friend’s death. He accomplished many further great things during his reign, but ceased to be the charismatic leader he had once been.

Henry II was succeeded by his son, Richard I or Richard the Lionheart, who was largely absent from the country during his reign due to his dedication to the Third Crusade in Jerusalem, to which he led an army of 8000 men. In his absence, his brother John plotted continuously with the help of King Phillip Augustus of France to take the throne, which he attempted repeatedly to do through force. Things were very difficult for the people of England during this period. Violence was a constant with the conflict between John and Richard’s supporters and the taxes to fund the crusade were exorbitant. After the crusades and Richard’s return, the violence subsided, but the financial hardship only grew worse as the conflict turned toward squabbles over French territories with still more money being siphoned from the people to fund military campaigns abroad. In 1198, tensions came to a head and the barons revolted against the King, refusing to meet his feudal demands for funds or soldiers. However, Richard never returned to respond to this uprising and died abroad a year later to be succeeded by John.

John, current King of England in our setting, has a dreadful reputation for decadence, tyranny and cruelty. His succession led to outright war with France, whose King had always opposed him in favor of his brother, so that taxes in England remain astronomically high in order to fund defense of French Angevin territories—territories in which the English people have no vested interest.

1208-The Interdict: The conflict between King John and Pope Innocent III began with a dispute over who would be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. King John sought the appointment of his ally, John de Gray, Bishop of Norwich. The Pope, however, would not comply and instead consecrated his own favored candidate, Stephen Langton, to the position. Outraged, the king retaliated by barring the new Archbishop from court and seizing church assets. Censure from Rome was quick to follow in the form of the interdict, which shut down all religious services in the country save for baptisms of newborns and last rites for the dying. From here, the conflict escalated, King John acting taking more extreme actions against the church and Pope Innocent ultimately excommunicating the King in November 1209

1212 – The Children's Crusade (Thought to be largely fictitious. Please research this thoroughly before bringing it into game.)

1213 – Interdict Lifted

The Near Future[edit]

Who would know this? Nobody. It hasn't happened yet! However, it’s worth keeping in mind for ways in which your character may relate to the historical events that will take place within the scope of his or her lifetime

1215 – Creation of the Magna Carta 1214-1216 - First Barons' War, French Invasion and “Rule” by Prince Louis VIII

1213–1221 Fifth Crusade – Jerusalem and Egypt


Timeline of English Monarchs[edit]

House of Wessex (Anglo-Saxon)[edit]

829-839 – Egbert

839 – 856 - Æthelwulf

856 – 860 – Æthelbald (Son of Æthelwulf)

860 – 865 – Æthelberht (Son of Æthelwulf)

865 – 871 – Æthelred (Son of Æthelwulf)

871 – 899 – Alfred (Ælfræd) the Great (Son of Æthelwulf) – Defended Against the Vikings

899 – 924 – Edward (Eadweard) the Elder (Son of Alfred)

924 – 939 – Athelstan (Æþelstan) the Glorious (Son of Edward)

939 – 946 – Edmund (Eadmund) the Magnificent (Son of Edward)

946 – 955 – Eadred (Son of Edward)

955 – 959 – Eadwig (Son of Edmund)

959 - 975 – Edgar (Eadgar) the Peaceable (Son of Edmund)

975 – 978 – Saint Edward the Martyr (Son of Edgar)

978 – 1016 - Æthelred the Unready (Son of Edgar) deposed 1013; restored 1014

1016 – Edmund Ironside (Son of Æthelred the Unready)

House of Denmark (Viking Conquest)[edit]

1013 – 1014 – Sweyn Forkbeard

1016 – 1035 – Cnut – Son of Sweyn

1035 – 1040 – Harold Harefoot (Son of Cnut)

1040 – 1042 – Harthacanute (Son of Cnut)

House of Wessex Restoration[edit]

1042 – 1066 - Saint Edward the Confessor (Son of Æthelred the Unready) – One of Medieval England's most Popular Saints

1066 - Harold Godwinson

House of Normandy (See Norman Conquest)[edit]

1066 – 1087 - William the Conqueror (William I)

1087-1100 – William II – Son of William the Conqueror

1100 – 1135 – Henry I – Son of William the Conqueror – seized crown from brother

1135-1154 - Stephen of Blois – Nephew of Henry I – Cousin to Matilda, through whom the crown passed to the Plantagenets after a succession dispute that was concluded by her son being recognized as heir apparent in lieu of Stephen's own due to popular support of Matilda's rightful claim to the throne. (change to in-line summary not in timeline)

House of Plantagenet (Angevins)[edit]

1154 – 1189 - Henry II – notably married to Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)

1189-1199 - Richard I – Son of Henry II – aka Richard Lionheart

1199 – 1216 - King John – Son of Henry II – unpopular; also called Lackland, Softsword