English Monarchs Timeline
Timeline Description: There have been some 66 English monarchs, from the Saxons to the present-day. This timeline provides a look at the most important English monarchs from the Norman invasion of 1066 to the union of Great Britain following the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603.

Date Event
1066 William I (the Conqueror)(1066 to 1087)

William, Duke of Normandy, defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This defeat dramatically changed the language and culture of England in the coming years, and began the Norman ruling dynasty. William I was succeeded by William II (called Rufus); however, the reign of William II was relatively short and unremarkable.
1100 Henry I(1100 to 1135)

Henry I is known for producing fair, albeit harsh, criminal laws. He fathered two sons, but both died on the White Ship. His daughter Mathilda was his heir; however, she did not inherit the throne.
1135 Stephen I(1135 to 1154)

Stephen I was the grandson of William the Conqueror and was offered the throne when Henry I died with only a female heir. He was an unfit ruler, and his reign is marked by The Anarchy, a period of civil war driven by conflict with Mathilda, daughter of Henry I.
1154 Henry II(1154 to 1189)

Henry II is the first Plantagenet king of England. Henry II extended English rule into France.
1189 Richard I (the Lionhearted)(1189 to 1199)

Richard I was a soldier, first and foremost. He spent much of his reign away from England, rarely visiting. At one point, he was taken prisoner and England paid an immense ransom for his return.
1199 John(1199 to 1216)

John, called John Lackland, is often called the worst king in English history. His reign is remarkable for the signing of the Magna Carta, a document limiting the rights of the king.
1216 Henry III(1216 to 1272)

Henry III was another weak king, leading to an increase in the rights of the people to govern themselves. Under Henry III, the church gained power, but the House of Commons also came into existence.
1272 Edward I(1272 to 1307)

Edward I conquered Wales. Following Edward's reign, the king of England was also the king of Wales.
1307 Edward II(1307 to 1327)

Edward II was a weak king, and was eventually murdered while still on the throne.
1327 Edward III(1327 to 1377)

Edward III sought military victories, beginning the Hundred Years War in 1338. Edward III's reign also saw the Black Death, or bubonic plague, decimate the population of England and Wales.
1377 Richard II(1377 to 1399)

Richard II was known for his erratic behavior, and was widely disliked. He was deposed by the Lancaster king, Henry IV.
1399 Henry IV(1399 to 1413)

Henry IV was chosen as king by Parliament in 1399. He spent his reign fighting near-constant rebellion.
1413 Henry V(1413 to 1422)

Henry V was a skilled soldier and king, remembered for his victory at the Battle of Agincourt. He died of dysentery while fighting, leaving an infant son as his heir.
1422 Henry VI(1422 to 1461)

The reign of Henry VI began the War of the Roses, between the houses of York and Lancaster. In addition, the Hundred Years War ended during his reign, with the loss of nearly all French lands.
1461 Edward IV(1461 to 1483)

Edward IV was a York king, and not a well-respected one. The War of the Roses continued. Edward IV did oversee the introduction of the first printing press to England during his reign.
1483 Edward V

Edward V was one of the two princes in the tower, eventually murdered by his uncle, Richard III. Edward V reigned for only two months at 13 years old.
1483 Richard III(1483 to 1485)

The War of the Roses ended with the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Richard was killed in the battle.
1485 Henry VII(1485 to 1509)

Following Richard's death, Henry Tudor was crowned king and married to Elizabeth of York. He was a skillful, but not well-liked, king.
1509 Henry VIII(1509 to 1547)

Henry VIII is best remembered for his six wives; however, he was a fine king as a young man. In his later years, he introduced the Protestant Reformation and became increasingly erratic in his behavior.
1547 Edward V(1547 to 1553)

Edward V continued to work toward a stable and unified English church during his reign. He declared Lady Jane Grey his successor, but she was executed after only nine days as queen by Edward's half-sister, Mary I.
1553 Mary I(1553 to 1558)

Mary I was the daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. Mary, known as Bloody Mary, was a devout Catholic, leading to severe religious persecutions in England.
1558 Elizabeth I(1558 to 1603)

Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was popular, tolerant and well-educated, creating a thriving nation during her reign.