Bad Kings, King Edward II of England, King Henry VI of England, King Henry VIII of England, King James II of England, King John of England, Queen Mary I of England, William II of England
Since I am going on vacation next week I thought I would not stick to my usual schedule and do some fun lists for the next couple of days. When I get back on September 17, I will go back to my normal schedule.
So here is a list of few of the “bad” Monarchs of England. I will just limit myself to the kings and queens from the post-conquest era until the union of England and Scotland. These are in Chronological order.
William II 1087-1100. He was at constant war with his brothers and the Church. He had a ruthless temper and was killed while hunting. Was it an accident? Historians do not know for sure. Never the less he was not mourned much.
John 1199-1216. The infamous King of the Robin Hood mythos. He had better point than is depicted in fiction but he wasn’t forced to sign the Magna Carta for nothing!
Edward II 1207-1227. He was a weak king and ineffectual. He was deposed by his wife and her lover in favor of his son, Edward III, and came to a brutal and horrific end (a red-hot poker thrust into his anus) after he was forced to abdicate. Historians now question if his brutal death actually happened as the legend goes.
Henry VI 1422-1461 & 1470-1471. He came to the throne at the age of 9. When he took the reigns of government over in 1437 it was the middle of the 100 Years War with France. Henry VI was soon dominated by the nobility and his wife, Margaret of Anjou. He later suffered a mental breakdown.
Richard III 1483-1485. It is still questioned if he was a bad administrator. Was he responsible for the death of his nephews, the young King Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York? We may never know. After two short years as king he was killed in the battle of Bosworth Field and the Plantagenet Dynasty came to an end bringing the Tudor dynasty to the throne.
Henry VIII 1509-1547. He is your typical tyrant. Too much power and it corrupted him. Many beheadings under his rule including two wives and Sir Thomas More among them. Just surfing the web I found this information so take it with a grain of salt. The exact figure may never be known, but according to Raphael Holinshed, an English Chronicler who died in 1580, the number of executions in this 38 year reign amounted to 72,000. (Although this is considered to be an exaggeration as it is hard to imagine this would have been tolerated by the people) Source: Tudor Wiki.
Mary I 1553-1558. Daughter of Henry VIII and a chip off the old chopping block. 😉 A radical and zealous Catholic had an estimated 284 Protestants murdered giving her the well deserved sobirquet. Bloody Mary.
James II & VII 1685-1688. His zeal for the Catholic faith also cost him his throne. He was tolerated as long as his heir was Protestant but as soon as his wife gave birth to a Catholic heir it was an excuse to get rid of him.
There you have it. A simple and brief look at some bad kings and queens of England. Sure, George I and George IV may not have been considered good kings but by then the wind had been taken out of their sails and a lot of what went wrong can be also attributed to their ministers.