Saxon England The Stuarts

England: The Medieval Period

1066 to 1603 A.D.

Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1066) allegedly promised his kingdom to William, Duke of Normandy. On Edward's death, William invaded England to take what he considered rightfully his. This he did at the Battle of Hastings on 14th October, 1066, killing Harold II in the process. William took over the country and installed his own nobles on Saxon estates. To check up on what he actually had, he instigated the famous Domesday Book, listing every holding in the land.

For the next couple of hundred years, the kings of England were essentially French kings. Dynastic squabbling was the order if the day in Medieval England. The first of these squabbles was the civil wars during the reign of Stephen (1135 - 1154). Richard I (1189 - 1199) was much more interested in Crusading and fighting Saladin for control of Jerusalem. This lead to the attempted usurpation of John (1199 - 1216), but his barons pulled him into line, making him sign Magna Carta in 1215. During the reign of Henry III (1216 - 1272) the King's Great Council became known as "Parliament". Edward I (1272 - 1307) wasn't content just to rule England alone. He turned his attentions to Wales and Scotland, earning himself the title "Hammer of the Scots".

In 1348, the Black Death arrived. The population of England was reduced by a third. However, for the survivors, things improved. A shortage of labour meant that wages and opportunities improved.

English kings still held lands in France. And since they were kings, they weren't just dukes or counts of those lands, but overlord and kings as well. The upstart king of France had to be kept in his place. Thus the Medieval period saw many wars against the French kings, including the Hundred Years War (1337 - 1453) - more a series of wars. In spite of some brilliant successes, at Crécy and Agincourt, the English monarchs eventually lost all their continental possessions.

As well as continental wars, there were dynastic wars to fight as well. The Wars of the Roses (in the 1450s) pitched the red rose of the House of Lancaster against the white rose of the House of York.

Henry VIII (1509 - 1547) lacked a male heir and needed to change his wife for one that would give him one. As the Catholic Church did not allow divorce, Henry decided to create his own church, with him as it's head. This gave him the added advantage that he could do away with all the monasteries, taking for himself their land and valuables.

Mary I (1553 - 1558) returned the country to Catholicism, but Elizabeth I (1559 - 1603) turned it back to Protestantism. The Pope authorised a Crusade in the form of Philip II of Spain, but his "Spanish Armada" foundered in storms around the coasts of Britain. Meanwhile, sights were set on another continent across the Atlantic Ocean.

England Bibliography List of Rulers of England

Click on image for more details and history
William I the Conqueror
1066 - 1087
AR "Paxs" Penny
William II

Henry I
1100 - 1135
AR Penny
1135 - 1154
AR "Watford" type Penny
Henry II
1154 - 1189
AR Short Cross Penny (Class 1b)
Richard I, the Lionheart
1189 - 1199
AR Denier of Aquitaine
1199 - 1216
AR Penny of London
1199 - 1216
AR Penny of Dublin
Henry III
1216 - 1272
AR Long cross Penny (Class Vc)
Edward I
1272 - 1307
AR Penny New Coinage (Class 10cf)
Edward II
1307 - 1327
AR Penny (Class 14*)
Edward III
1327 - 1377
Gold Noble
Edward III
1327 - 1377
AR Half Groat
Edward, the Black Prince
1362 - 1372
AR Sterling
Richard II, Anglo-Gallic
1377 - 1399
AR Hardi
Henry IV

Henry V
1413 - 1422
AR Groat (4 pence)
Henry VI Anglo-Gallic
1st Reign 1422-61 and 1470-71
AV Salut d'or
Henry VI First Reign
1st Reign 1422-61 and 1470-71
AR Groat (4 pence)
Edward IV. 1st Reign
1461 - 1470
AR Groat, light coinage
Edward IV. 1st Reign
1461 - 1470
Contemporary forgery 1/2 Ryal
Edward IV. 2nd Reign
1471 - 1483
AR Penny, Contemporary Forgery
Richard III

Henry VII
1485 - 1509
AR Half groat (2d) (Profile)
Henry VIII
1509 - 1547
AR Half-Groat 2nd coinage
Henry VIII
1509 - 1547
AR Groat 3rd coinage
Edward VI
1547 - 1553
AR Shilling -3rd period
Mary I
1553 - 1554 (sole)
AR Groat
Elizabeth I
1558 - 1603
AR Sixpence 4th Issue
Elizabeth I
1558 - 1603
AR Shilling 5th Issue

England: The Saxon Period
England: Medieval Period
England: The Stuarts
Great Britain from George I