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British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Timeline of the Kings and Queens of England

The Normans french flag
1066 - 1154

The Normans were descendants of Vikings who had settled by force in North East France around the mouth of the Seine River. The land they occupied became known as Normandy. (The name Normandy comes from the French normand, meaning Norsemen and Normans)

  • King William I, the Conqueror 1066 - 1087
  • King Henry I 1100 - 1135
  • King Stephen 1135 - 1154
  • (Empress Matilda 1141)

williamKing William I, the Conqueror 1066 - 1087

      • Age 38-59
      • Born: September 1028 at Falaise, Normandy image: French flag
      • Parents: Robert I, Duke of Normandy, and Arlette daughter of Fulbert (illegitimate)
      • Ascended to the throne: 25 December 1066 aged 38 years
      • Crowned: 25 December 1066 at Westminster Abbey
      • Married: His cousin Matilda, Daughter of Count of Flanders and granddaughter of  the King of France
      • Children: 4 sons including William II and Henry I, and 6 daughters
      • Died: 9 September 1087 at Rouen, France, aged 59 years
      • Buried at: St Stephens Abbey, Caen, Normandy
      • Succeeded by: his son William I

The Norman Duke, William was friendly with English King, Edward the Confessor and attacked England on Edwards death because he had been promised the English crown by Edward but denied it by the Saxon Harold.

Defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

In 1085 the Domesday Survey was begun and all England was recorded so William knew exactly what his new kingdom contained. The Domesday Book was, in effect, the first national census.

doomsday book
The Domesday Book

William ruled simultaneously in both England and parts of France. This set the scene for regular land battles over territory in France for the next 500 years.

When William died his lands were divided between his eldest two sons. Robert inherited Normandy, while William became king of England.

rufusKing William II, Rufus 1087 - 1100

  • Age about 27-40
  • Born: c.1056 at Normandy image: French flag
  • Parents: William I and Matilda of Flanders
  • Ascended to the throne: 9 September 1087
  • Crowned: 26 September 1087 at Westminster Abbey
  • Married: Unmarried
  • Children: None
  • Died: 2 August 1100 at New Forest, Hampshire
  • Buried at: Winchester
  • Succeeded by: his brother Henry

He was called William Rufus or William the Red because of the reddish colour of his hair and complexion.

William died out hunting in the New Forest in mysterious circumstances with an arrow in his back. No one knows if it was deliberate or an accident but what is known is that Rufus was very unpopular, so many people think he may have been murdred.

The Rufus Stone in The New Forest marks the spot where he fell.

henry 1 King Henry I 1100 - 1135

  • Age 31-67
  • Born: September 1068 at Selby, Yorkshire image: English flag
  • Parents: William I and Matilda of Flanders
  • Ascended to the throne: 3 August 1100 aged 31 years
  • Crowned: 6 August 1100 at Westminster Abbey
  • Married: (1) Edith (Matilda), Daughter of Malcolm III Scotland
    (2) Adelicia, Daughter of Geoffrey VII, count of Louvain
  • Children: Daughter Matilda, son William, and reputedly around 20 illegitimate children
  • Died: 2 December 1135 at St Denis le Fermont, Normandy, aged 67 years
  • Buried at: Reading
  • Succeeded by: his nephew Stephen

King of England and Normandy

Henry was the fourth and youngest son of William I. His two sons were drowned so his daughter Matilda was made his successor. However, when Henry died the Council considered a woman unfit to rule so offered the throne to Stephen, a grandson of William I.

This plunged England into civil war as the country was divided over Henry's plans for his daughter Matilda to take the throne as the first ever Queen of England.

stephenKing Stephen 1135 - 1154

  • Age about 38-57
  • Born: c.1097 at Blois, France image: French flag
  • Parents: Stephen, Count of Blois, and Adela (daughter of William I)
  • Ascended to the throne: 22 December 1135
  • Crowned: 26 December 1135 at Westminster Abbey
  • Married: Matilda, Daughter of Eustace III, Count of Boulogne
  • Children: 3 sons and 2 daughters, plus at least 5 illegitimate children
  • Died: 25 October 1154 at Dover, Kent
  • Buried at: Faversham, Kent
  • Succeeded by: his 2nd cousin Henry II

King of England from 1135.

Nephew of Henry I and grandson of William l. He was elected king in 1135, although he had previously recognised Henry I's daughter Matilda as heiress to the throne.

1136 - Civil war disrupted the country with fighting between Stephen and forces loyal to Matilda.

1139 - Matilda landed in England

1141 - Stephen was briefly taken prisoner and Matilda declared "Lady off the English" until she was defeated at the Battle of Farringdon in 1145.

Matilda agreed with Stephen to end the wars so long as he agreed to her son Henry becoming the next King of England.

In December 1153, Stephen agreed to the Treaty of Westminster (Wallingford) with Henry. In the treaty it was agreed, among other things that on Stephen's death the throne would go to Matilda's son, Henry

In 1154, Stephen died and the line of Norman Kings ended.

Introductionprevious pagenext pageThe Angevins

1066 - 1154 The Normans

1154 - 1216 The Angevins (The first Plantagenet kings)

1216 - 1399 Plantagenets

1399 - 1461 The House of Lancaster

1461 - 1485 The House of York

1485 -1603 The Tudors

1603 - 1649 and 1660 - 1714 The Stuarts

1714 -1901 The House of Hanoverians

1901 -1910 and 1910 - Today Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and The Windsors

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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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