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Reference list

Monarchs of England (924x7–1707)

This list follows the precedent established by the Handbook of British Chronology (3rd edn, 1986) in presenting Æthelstan as the first ruler of a kingdom of England, combining the kingdom of the West Saxons with those of the Mercians and the Northumbrians.

The list is ordered chronologically by dates of accession. These dates are marked as approximate until 1066, unless they are definitely known, on the grounds that successions were occasionally contested and it is not clear whether someone was regarded as king from the day of his election, the death of his predecessor, or his inauguration. Reflecting contemporary practice, from the accession of Harold II until the death of Henry III a monarch's reign is dated from the day of his coronation; from Edward I to Henry VIII (with the exceptions of Henry IV, Edward IV, Edward V, and Henry VII) from the day following the end of his predecessor's reign. From the accession of Edward VI a monarch's reign is treated as having begun on the day the predecessor's reign ended, with the exception of Charles II (dated from the day he was recognized as king by the English parliament) and William III and Mary II (dated from their proclamation as king and queen by the convention summoned to decide on the succession).

From 1177 John, son of Henry II, was styled lord of Ireland; he continued to use this title as king of England, and his successors bore it until Henry VIII became king of Ireland in 1541. From 1603 the king of England and Ireland was also king of Scotland; in 1604 James I assumed the title king of Great Britain. As he and several of his successors following the union of the crowns began and ended their reigns on different dates in England and Scotland, separate lists have been maintained until the Act of Union in 1707. Thereafter British monarchs combined rule of England and Wales with Scotland as part of Great Britain.

Within the list, subheadings group the rulers by dynasty. Before 1066, these have been arranged into West Saxon and Danish kings, and afterwards by royal house.

West Saxon kings

c.2 Aug 924×7Æthelstan (b. 893/4, d. 27 Oct 939); crowned 4 Sept 925
c.27 Oct 939Edmund I (b. 920/21, d. 26 May 946)
c.26 May 946Eadred (d. 23 Nov 955); crowned 16 Aug 946
c.23 Nov 955Eadwig (b. c.940, d. 1 Oct 959); crowned late Jan 956
summer 957×c.1 Oct 959Edgar (b. 943/4, d. 8 July 975); crowned 11 May 973
17 July 975Edward [St Edward; called Edward the Martyr] (b. c.962, d. 18 March 978)
c.18 March 978 [first reign]Æthelred II [known as Ethelred the Unready] (b. c.966×8, d. 23 April 1016); crowned 4 May 979; deposed

Danish house

summer 1013Swein (d. 3 Feb 1014)

West Saxon house

spring 1014 [second reign]Æthelred II [known as Ethelred the Unready] (b. c.966×8, d. 23 April 1016)
23 April 1016Edmund II [known as Edmund Ironside] (d. 1016)

Danish house

Oct×Dec 1016Cnut [Canute] (d. 12 Nov 1035)
c.12 Nov 1035×1037Harold I (d. 17 March 1040)
17 June 1040Harthacnut (b. c.1018, d. 8 June 1042); nominally king in England, c.12 Nov 1035×1037

West Saxon kings

late 1042Edward [St Edward; known as Edward the Confessor] (b. 1003×5, d. 5 Jan 1066); crowned 3 April 1043
6 Jan 1066Harold II (b. 1022/3, d. 14 Oct 1066); crowned 6 Jan 1066

House of Normandy

25 Dec 1066William I [known as William the Conqueror] (b. 1027/8, d. 9 Sept 1087); crowned 25 Dec 1066
26 Sept 1087William II [known as William Rufus] (b. c.1060, d. 2 Aug 1100); crowned 26 Sept 1087
5 Aug 1100Henry I (b. 1068/9, d. 1 Dec 1135); crowned 5 Aug 1100

House of Blois

22 Dec 1135Stephen (b. c. 1092, d. 25 Oct 1154); crowned 22 Dec 1135

House of Anjou (Plantagenet)

19 Dec 1154Henry II (b. 5 March 1133, d. 6 July 1189); crowned 19 Dec 1154
3 Sept 1189Richard I (b. 8 Sept 1157, d. 6 April 1199); crowned 3 Sept 1189
27 May 1199John (b. 24 Dec 1167, d. 18/19 Oct 1216); crowned 27 May 1199
28 Oct 1216Henry III (b. 1 Oct 1207, d. 16 Nov 1272); crowned 28 Oct 1216
17 Nov 1272Edward I (b. 17/18 June 1239, d. 7 July 1307); crowned 19 Aug 1274
8 July 1307Edward II (b. 25 April 1284, d. 21 Sept 1327); crowned 25 Feb 1308; abdicated under duress
25 Jan 1327Edward III (b. 12 Nov 1312, d. 21 June 1377); crowned 1 Feb 1327
22 June 1377Richard II (b. 6 Jan 1367, d. 14 Feb 1400?); crowned 16 July 1377; abdicated under duress

House of Lancaster

30 Sept 1399Henry IV (b. 15 April? 1367, d. 20 March 1413); crowned 13 Oct 1399
21 March 1413Henry V (b. 16 Sept 1386, d. 31 Aug 1422); crowned 9 April 1413
1 Sept 1422 [first reign]Henry VI (b. 6 Dec 1421, d. 21 May 1471); crowned 5 Nov 1429; deposed

House of York

4 March 1461 [first reign]Edward IV (b. 28 April 1442, d. 9 April 1483); crowned 28 June 1461; deposed

House of Lancaster

3 Oct 1470 [second reign]Henry VI (b. 6 Dec 1421, d. 21 May 1471); deposed

House of York

11 April 1471 [second reign]Edward IV (b. 28 April 1442, d. 9 April 1483)
9 April 1483Edward V (b. 2 Nov 1470, d. July×Sept 1483); never crowned; deposed
26 June 1483Richard III (b. 2 Oct 1452, d. 22 Aug 1485); crowned 6 July 1483

House of Tudor

22 Aug 1485Henry VII (b. 28 Jan 1457, d. 21 April 1509); dated his reign from 21 Aug 1485; crowned 30 Oct 1485
22 April 1509Henry VIII (b. 28 June 1491, d. 28 Jan 1547); crowned 24 June 1509
28 Jan 1547Edward VI (b. 12 Oct 1537, d. 6 July 1553); crowned 20 Feb 1547
6 July 1553Jane [see Grey, Lady Jane] (b. Oct 1537, d. 12 Feb 1554); never crowned; proclaimed as successor to Edward VI on 10 July 1553, but recognized Mary I on 19 July 1553
6 July 1553Mary I (b. 18 Feb 1516, d. 17 Nov 1558); crowned 1 Oct 1553
17 Nov 1558Elizabeth I (b. 7 Sept 1533, d. 24 March 1603); crowned 15 Jan 1559

House of Stuart

24 March 1603James I [see James VI and I] (b. 19 June 1566, d. 27 March 1625); crowned 25 July 1603
27 March 1625Charles I (b. 19 Nov 1600, d. 30 Jan 1649); crowned 18 June 1625; executed 30 Jan 1649

The Commonwealth

The kingship was abolished on 16 March 1649. Government by the first council of state was introduced on 14 Feb 1649 and lasted until 20 April 1653. The second council of state governed from 29 April 1653 to 16 Dec 1653.

The Protectorate: lords protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland

16 Dec 1653Oliver Cromwell (b. 25 April 1599, d. 3 Sept 1658)
3 Sept 1658Richard Cromwell (b. 4 Oct 1626, d. 12 July 1712)
Richard Cromwell resigned on 24 May 1659. There followed a return to government by council of state until the restorarion of the monarchy on 8 May 1660.

House of Stuart

8 May 1660Charles II (b. 29 May 1630, d. 6 Feb 1685); crowned 23 April 1661; Charles dated reign from the death of his father on 30 Jan 1649
6 Feb 1685James II [see James II and VII] (b. 14 Oct 1633, d. 5 Sept 1701); crowned 23 April 1685; fled England, and was subsequently deemed to have abdicated, in December 1688
13 Feb 1689William III [see William III and II] (b. 14 Nov 1650 NS, d. 8 March 1702); crowned 10 April 1689
13 Feb 1689Mary II (b. 30 April 1662, d. 28 Dec 1694); crowned 10 April 1689
8 March 1702Anne (b. 6 Feb 1665, d. 1 Aug 1714); crowned 23 April 1702
The Act of Union with Scotland took effect on 1 May 1707. Thereafter British monarchs combined rule of England and Wales with Scotland as part of Great Britain.