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Saxons - Plantagenets
10. Cerdic, a patriarch of royalty in Saxony, landed in Hampshire in 495 and in 519 gained a victory at Charford. He was first crowned King of the West Saxons, when, as it is reported, the legendary King Arthur, who had his castle on the steep coast of Cornwall, yielded to him the section of land now known as Hampshire and Somerset. In 520, being unable to extend his rule west of the Avon and defeated at Badbury, co. Dorset, Cedric withdrew. Ten years later he conquered the Isle of Wight. He died in 534. Cerdic is said to be the founding figure of the West Saxon dynasty. However, much of this is obscure and not documented, subject to dispute by history scholars. There was no secure chronicle in the 6th century. (Wurts)
11. Creoda (?)
12. Cynric, ruled Wessex from 534 to 560, distinguished himself in the wars of his father, Cerdic. He fought a great battle in 552 against the Britons, but his reign of about 26 years was a comparatively peaceful one. He died in 560. He had two sons as follows:
1. Ceawlin. See below.
2. Cutha (Cuthwulf). He had two sons: Ceol, who ruled in Wessex from 591 to 597; and Ceolwulf, who succeeded his brother and ruled in Wessex from 597 to 611. Cynegila, son of Ceol, then ruled from 611 to 643, succeeded by his two sons: Cenwalh (643-674) and Centwine (676-685).
13. Ceawlin succeeded his father and greatly enlarged the kingdom of Wessex, reigning from 560 to 591 or 592. He died about 600. He had two sons as follows:
1. Cuthwine. See below.
2. Cenberht, possibly descended from Ceawlin. He had a son, Cardwalla, who ruled from 685 to 688.
14. Cuthwine (or Cutha) was slain in battle against the Scots in 581. He had the following sons:
1. Cynegila, King of the West Saxons (611-641)
4. Cutha. See below.
15. Cutha (or Cuthwulf), son of Cuthwine (or Cutha).
17. Cenred, had two sons as follows:
1. Ine, King of the West Saxons (Wessex) from 688 to 725.
2. Ingild. See below.
18. Ingild, youngest son, who died in 718(?).
21. Alemund (Ealhmund), Under-King in Kent, from 784 to 786.
22. Egbert, called the First King of all England (802-839). He married Lady Readberga (Redburga). He was succeeded by his son, Ethelwulf, "The Noble Wolf."
See details of Egbert and the continuation of the lineage in the next section below.
[Note: There are many discrepancies in the genealogical records of Cerdic's descendants. Research reveals that no two sources are exactly the same, but a general pattern does appear. The above is a probable reconstruction based on several sources, but does not tally exactly with some recent compilations.]
2. Kings of England, From Egbert (802-829) to Edward I (1274-1307)
1. Egbert, is regarded as the first King of England. He reigned from 802 to 829 (839?). He was born about 775 and fled from his cousin Brethrick, taking refuse in the court of Charlemagne, where he stayed for about twelve years, serving as one of his captains. On the death of Brethrick, who was poisoned by his wife, Egbert returned to England. In 802 at Winchester he was crowned King of the West Saxons. He subdued West Wales, or Cornwall, defeated the King of Mercia at Ellandune, annexed Kent and in 829 he became overlord of all the English kings and gave the name of England to the whole realm. There are still in existence some coins struck by Egbert, though these are now extremely rare. In 835 Egbert defeated a formidable army of Danes at Hingston Down in Cornwall, when they attempted to invade England. He died in 839, and was buried at Westminster. He married Lady Readberga (Redburga). He was succeeded by his son, Ethelwulf.
2. Ethelwulf(Aethelwulf), "Noble Wolf," son of Egbert, reigned from 839 to 857 in Wessex, England. During his reign the Danes miserably spoiled England, daring to winter there for the first time. In 851 Ethelwulf routed them at Okely in Surrey. By the advise of St. Swithin, Bishop of Winchester, he granted to the church the tithe of all his dominions. He died January 13, 858. He married (1) Lady Osburga (Osburh) (Osberga), daughter of Earl Oslac, the royal cup-bearer. From this first marriage they had a son,
1. Athelstan, died about 850.
2. Ethelbald, ruled from 855 to 860, married Judith of Bavaria, his step mother, after the death of his father. See below.
3. Ethelbert, ruled from 860 to 866.
4. Ethelred I., ruled from 871 to 890.
5. Aethelswith, a daughter, married Burgred (Burhred), King of Mercia. See lineage of the Kings of Mercia elsewhere in Volume I.
6. Alfred., 4th son, born in 849. See below.
On a pilgrimage to Rome in 855, Ethelwulf married (2) Judith of Bavaria, the 12 year old daughter of Charles II., the Bald, King of the West Franks and his wife, Ermentrude. See the genealogical details elsewhere in Royalty of France in Vol. I. When Ethelwulf returned home it is said that he made his son, Ethelbald, King of Wessex, and retained Kent for his own rule. He died January 13, 857, and was buried at Stamridge, his body later being removed to Winchester. Ethelwulf was succeeded by each of his four sons in turn, the fourth and youngest of whom was Alfred.
3. Alfred the Great, son of Ethelwulf, succeeded his brother, Ethelred I., reigning from 871 to 900. Alfred began as second-in-command to his eldest brother, King Ethelred I. There were no jealousies between them, but a marked difference of temperament. Ethelred inclined toward a religious viewpoint that faith and prayer were the prime agencies by which the heathen would be overcome. Alfred, though also devout, laid the emphasis upon policy and arms. He was born in 849 and died in 900. At twenty-four he became King. He married Lady Alswitha (Ealhswith), daughter of Ethelan, the Earl of Mercia, lineally descended from Crioda, 1st Earl of Mercia, who died in 594. She died in 904. Alfred was regarded as one of the noblest monarchs in British history. No name in English history is so justly popular as his. That he taught his people to defend themselves and defeat their enemies, is the least of the many claims to our grateful admiration; he did much more than this; he launched his people upon a great advance in civilization, and showed a horde of untaught countrymen that there were other and worthier pursuits than war or the pleasure of the table. "He was indeed one of those highly gifted men that would seem to be especially raised up by Providence to protect and advance his people." (Wurts, Vol I, p. 171). Alfred was born at Wantage, in Berkshire, in the year 849, ascended the throne in 871 at the age of 23, and reigned for thirty years. Young Alfred, according to the historian Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, was a comely person and of a sweeter disposition than his older brothers and consequently became the favorite of both his parents and was sent by them to Rome, while still a child in order that he might be anointed king by the Pope. But though Ethelwulf showed this especial instance of regard for his son, he altogether neglected his education, and the young prince in his twelfth year had not learned to read or write. But if he could not read for himself, he nevertheless loved to listen to the rude but inspiring strains of Saxon poetry when recited by others, and had he not been a king and statesman, he might easily have been a poet. In 871, Alfred succeeded as king, at a period when the whole country was suffering under the ravages of the Danes, and the general misery was yet further increased by a raging pestilence, along with the general dissentions of the people. Alfred now for the first time took the field against these ruthless invaders with such skill and courage, that he was able to maintain the struggles till a truce was concluded between the combatants. Neither was this the worst of the evils that beset the Saxon prince. Any compact he might make with one party, had no influence whatever upon others of their countrymen, who had different leaders and different interests. No sooner had he made terms with one horde of pirates than England was invaded by a new force of them under Rollo; and when he had compelled these to abandon Wessex, he was attacked by fresh bands of Danes settled in other parts of England. So long, however, as they ventured to meet him on the open field, his skill secured him the victory; till, taught by repeated defeats, they had recourse to other tactics. That is, suddenly to land and ravage a apart of the country, and when a force opposed them, they retired to their ships, and passed to some other part, which in a like manner they ravaged, and then retired as before, until the country, completely harassed, pillaged and wasted by their incursions, was no longer able to resist them. Then they ventured safely to enter and to establish themselves. Therefore, Alfred, finding a navy necessary, built England's first fleet. After much fighting over the years he at last routed the Danes at Ethendune (Edington) in 878 with so much slaughter that they were glad to obtain peace on such terms as he chose to dictate. As merciful as he was good and brave, he then, instead of killing them, proposed peace on condition that they should altogether depart from the western part of England and that Guthrun, their leader, should become a Christian, in remembrance of the religion which taught Alfred, the conqueror, to forgive the enemy who had so injured him. Thereupon Guthrun embraced Christianity and became to adopted son of god-child of Alfred. Encouraging the arts and sciences, he founded Oxford University. He made London the capital of England, fortified it in 886, and carried on a defensive war with the Danes from 894 until they withdrew in 897. He organized judicial and educational reforms, compiled a code of laws, rebuilt the schools and invited learned monks from the continent and from Wales to his court to teach the young men there. He was himself a man of much learning; he translated from Latin into Anglo-Saxon parts of the ecclesiastical writings of Bede and others. He was the author of the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the first history written in any modern language. He died October 28, 901, aged 52. He and his wife had the following children:
1. Ethelfleda, a daughter, married the regent of Mercia, Ethelred, (Ealdorman of the Mercians). This marriage set the final seal upon the cooperation of the South and Midlands. He died in 911, and his widow succeeded him as ruler of Mercia. She was known as "the Lady of the Mercians." She aided he brother Edward I., the Elder, in conquering the Danelaw and its Five Boroughs. In 918, the Danish resistance in East Anglia collapsed, and all the Danish leaders submitted to Edward as their protector and lord. They were granted in return their estates and the right to live according to their Danish customs. At the same time "the Lady of the Mercians" conquered Leicester, and received even from York offers of submission. In this hour of success Ethelfleda died, and Edward was invited by the nobles of Mercia to occupy the vacant throne.
2. Edward I., the Elder. See below.
3. Edmund, died in infancy.
4. Ethelgifu, Abbess of Shaftsbury.
5. Elfrida (Elfthryth or Ethelswitha), married Baldwin II, Count of Flanders See this lineage elsewhere in Volume I. in the Line of Nobility from Flanders.
Alfred the Great died in 911, Lady Alswitha died in 918.
4. Edward I., the Elder , "the Unconquerored King," was born about 870 and died about 924. He reigned 24 years from 900 to 924. He was not, like his father, a legislator or a scholar, although it is said that he founded the University of Cambridge, but he was great warrior. He gradually extended his sway over the whole island, in which project he was assisted by his sister the "Lady of Mercia" who headed her own troops and gained victories over both the Danes and Britons. Tradition assigns to Edward an even wider rule shortly before his death. In the middle of the ninth century the Picts and the Scots had been amalgamated under Kenneth MacAlpin, the King of the Scots, just as Mercia and Wessex were being welded together by the attacks of the Danes. It is said that in 925 the King of the Scots, together with other northern rulers, chose Edward "to father and lord." Probably this statement only covers some act of alliance formed by the English King with King of Scots and other lesser rulers. Nothing was more natural than that of the Scottish King, Constantine, should wish to obtain the support of Edward against his enemies; and it is natural that if Edward agreed to support him he would require some acknowledgment of the superiority of the English King. After a prosperous reign, King Edward died in Forndon, Northamptonshire in 925. He married (3) Lady Edgiva (Edgina), daughter of Earl Sigelline (Sigilline), Earl of Meapham. He succeeded his father about 901, and raised the supremacy of Wessex into something little short of an imperial authority, extending his sway over Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria. They had several children as follows:
1. Athelstan, who reigned from 924 to 939.
2. Edmund I See below.
3. Edred (Eadred), the Second Boy King, who reigned from 946 to 955.
4. Edith, married Otto I., the Great, of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. See the continuation of this lineage in the Line of German Kings in Vol I.
5. Edgina (Eadgithu or Eadgifu), married Charles IV., the Simple, King of Franks. See the continuation of this lineage in the Line of French Kings in Volume I..
6. Edwin, died in 933.
5. Edmund I., the Magnificent. was born in 922, the twelfth of his father's fifteen children. The first of the six Boy Kings, he reigned from 939 to 946. He had to meet a general uprising of the Danes of Mercia as well as those of the North. In the suppression of this he showed himself to be a great statesman as well as a great warrior. Little is definitely known about the policy of the Scots at this time but it appears that they joined the English whenever they were afraid of the Danes, and joined the Danes whenever they were afraid of the English. Edmund made it to be the interest of the Scottish King permanently to join the English. The southern part of the kingdom of Strathclyde had for some time been under the English Kings. In 945 Edmund took the remainder, but gave it to Malcolm on condition that he should be his fellow worker by sea and land. The king of the Scots thus entered into a position of dependent alliance towards Edmund. A great step was thus taken; the dominant powers in the island were to be English and Scots, not English and Danes. Edmund thought it worth while to conciliate the Scottish Celts rather than to endeavor to conquer them. The result of Edmund's statesmanship was soon seen, but he did not live to gather its fruits. On May 26, 946 an outlaw named Lief, who had taken his seat at a banquet in his hall, slew him as Edmund was attempting to drag him out by his hair. He was succeeded by his brother Edred. He married Princess Elgiva (Aelfgifu)., known as the "Fairies Gift,." who died in 944. Edmund and his wife had the following children:
1. Edwig (Eadwig), who became the third Boy King, reigning from 955 to 959.
2. Edgar the Peaceful, who succeeded Edwig. See below.
6. Edgar, the Peaceful, the fourth Boy King, was born in 943 and died July 8, 975. He reigned from 959 to 975. It is recorded that Edgar, while keeping his court at Chester, was rowed down the River Dee, the oars manned by eight kings of neighboring tributary states. The story, though probably untrue, sets forth his power not only over his own immediate subjects, but over the whole island. He had a well-trained army and a strong navy and his title shows that at least he lived on good terms with his neighbors. He married (1) Aethelflaed, and (2) Elfrida (Aelfthryth) of Devon, daughter of Ordgar, Earl of Devonshire, and widow of Ethelwold. From his first marriage he and his wife, Aethelflaed, had a son as follows:
1. Edward the Martyr, who reigned from 975 to 979, when he was murdered by his father's second wife, Elfrida, at Corfe.
By the second marriage, he and his wife, Elfrida, had a son as follows:
1. Ethelred II., the Unready. See below.
7. Ethelred II., the Unready was born in 968, a boy of ten when he became king in 978. He died April 23, 1016 in London, reigning for thirty-eight years from 979 to 1016. He was the last of the Boy Kings. The epitaph "The Unready" which is usually assigned to him is a misrepresentation of a word which properly means the Rede-less, the man without counsel. He was entirely without the qualities which befit a king. He married in 984 (1) Elfflaed (Elgifa) (Aelfgifu), daughter of Earl Thorad, and they had a son as follows:
1. Edmund II., Ironsides. See below.
2. Eadwig, died in 1017.
Ethelred married in 1002 (2) Emma of Normandy, "The Flower of Normandy", daughter of Richard I., Duke of Normandy, and sister of Richard II., Duke of Normandy. See his lineage elsewhere in Volume I. This marriage was one of the first that joined the Anglo-Saxon lines to the French. They had children as follows:
1. Alfred, who was murdered in 1036.
2. Edward, the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon king of the House of Wessex, reigning from 1042 to 1066. Edward was born about 1004 at Islip in Oxfordshire. He was an albino, dignified, of medium height, and rather childish. Godwin helped to secure Edward's succession to Harthacnut (1042). He married Edith (Aldgyth), daughter of Earl Godwin and his second wife, Gytha, and sister of Harold II, who ruled in 1066. He built Westminster Abbey shortly before his death. Harold, son of Godwin and brother of the queen, became king, a usurper in Norman opinion. Saxons looked back to Edward's time as to a golden age before the Norman age of iron, and all remembered his piety.
3. Goda, married (1) Dreux, Count of Vexin (another resource names the first husband as Walter, Count of Mantes), and (2) Eustace II., Count of Boulogne. The first marriage produced a son, Ralph (Ralf) the Timid, Earl of Hereford, died 1057.
Emma married (2) Canute the Great (Cnut) I, son of Swein Forkbeard, the Dane, who died in 1016. Canute reigned over England from 1016 to 1035, and died in 1014. They had Harthacnut (Cnut II), King of England from 1040 to 1042, after his half brother, Harold I, who ruled from 1037 to 1040. Canute (Cnut) had a first marriage to Aelfgifu (Elgifrig) of Northampton (Mercia). From that marriage there were two sons: Swein, King of Norway, who died 1036, and Harold I., King of England (1035-1040).
[Note: Homer Beers James, compiler of these records, in about 1971 appeared in the play "Ceremony of Innocence," based on the events and life of King Ethelred, at the First Unitarian Church in Pittsburgh, PA., unaware at the time that he was a direct relative.]
8. Edmund II., Ironsides, was born in 989 and succeeded his father in April 1016. In this year he fought six battles, but through treachery he was completely overthrown at Assandun, in Essex. He and Canute the Dane agreed to divide the kingdom. He was chosen king of England by the Londoners on his father's death, April, 1016, while Canute was elected at Southampton by the Witan. Edmund hastily levied an army in the west, defeated Canute twice, raised the siege of London, and again routed the Danes. Levying a fresh army, he defeated them at Otford, his last victory. At Ashingdon in Essex, after a desperate fight, he was routed. By compromise with Canute, the latter retained Mercia and Northumbria, Edmund all the south and the headship, the survivor to succeed to the whole. A few weeks later Edmund died, in 1016, and Canute became King of England without a rival. It is said that the traitorous Edric Streona perhaps murdered Edmund on November 30, 1016, shortly after peace was made. Edmund II. married Ealgyth (Algitha), widow of Sigefrith the Dane. She died in 1014. They had the following sons:
1. Edmund III., born in 1016.
2. Edward the Exile. See below.
9. Edward the Exile (Outlaw) (Atheling) fled the country and lived at the court of Hungary until recalled by his father's half-brother, Edward the Confessor. He was never crowned king, as he died in London immediately after his return in 1057, and was buried at St. Paul's Cathedral. While on the continent, he married Agatha of Hungary, daughter of Emperor Henry II. of Germany (Bruno of Germany). Edward was the founder of the House of Burgoyne. He and his wife had the following children:
1. Edgar Atherling, who married the sister of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, d.s.p., in 1125.
2. Christina, a nun.
3. Margaret, The Saint. See below.
10. Margaret, The Saint (St. Margaret of Scotland), sole heiress of the Saxon royal line, married Malcolm III Canmore, King of Scotland, descended from a long line of Scottish royalty. See the Scottish lineage elsewhere in Volume I. She died in 1093. They had the following children:
1. Edward , died November 16, 1093, slain with his father near Alnwick.
2. Edgar, born about 1074, King of Scotland, ascended 1097, died in January 1107. He was absent from Scotland with William Rufus in England, about 1099-1100; with Henry I. in England, about 1101-1102.
4. Ethelred, who was bred a churchman and became Aldee, abbot of Dunkeld.
5. Alexander I., the Fierce, born about 1077, King of Scotland, ascended January 8, 1107, died April 25, 1124. He was absent from Scotland in the invasion of Wales in the summer of 1114, and in cooperation with Henry I of England. He married Sybilla.
6. David I. (St. David), King of Scotland, married Matilda (Maud). See below in the Section on Scottish Kings.
7. Edith - Margaret (Matilda) of Scotland. See below.
8. Mary, died May 31, 1115, married Eustace, Count of Boulogne. They were parents of Matilda, who married Stephen, King of England.
11. Edith - Margaret (Matilda) of Scotland, born in 1080 and died in 1118, married Henry I. Beauclerc, King of England, son of William I The Conqueror (ruler from 1066 to 1087) and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, who died in 1083. See this lineage in the Early French Ancestors in Volume I. Matilda was educated at Wilton and Romsey Abbey where she said that her aunt, Christina, forced her to wear a black veil. She threw it on the ground whenever left alone, in spite of beatings. When her mother died she came to England to Edgar Atheling, her uncle. She was a sister of King David of Scotland; she was a correspondent of Anselm and Hildebert, Bishop of Le Mans, who wrote poetry about her. She was a symbol of the union of Saxon and Norman. She was Henry's Queen for seventeen years and six months, and died in her prime like most of her family. Henry and Matilda had a son and a daughter as follows:
1. William, Duke of Normandy, died in a shipwreck in 1119.
2. Matilda (Maud the Empress). See below.
In addition to these legitimate births, Henry is reported to have had nineteen or twenty illegitimate children, the highest number of spurious offspring for a King of England to have acknowledged. The best known of them all is Robert the Consul, Earl of Gloucester, father of Maud, wife of Ranulph de Meschines, 2nd Earl of Chester. Another was Reginald, a natural son from a relationship between Henry I. of England and his mistress, Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulent and Earl of Leicester, (son of Roger de Beaumont and his wife, Adelina, Countess of Meulent) and his wife Elizabeth Vermandois, younger daughter of Hugh Magnus, the Great, of France, Count of Vermandois. Reginald, married Beatrix, daughter of William Fitz Richard, a potent lord in Cornwall. They had a daughter, Matilda, who married Robert, Count of Meulent, son of Waleran II., Count of Meulent, who married Agnes de Montfort. Waleran II. was a son of the aforementioned Robert Beaumont, and his wife, Elizabeth Vermandois. Robert and Matilda had two children: Waleran III. and Mabel de Beaumont, who married William de Vernon, Earl of Devon, who had three children: Baldwin, Mary Vernon and Joan. Their descendants are not identified.
Henry I. also married (2) Adeliza of Lorraine, daughter of Geoffrey Barbatus, Duke of Lorraine and Count of Barbant. Adeliza of Lorraine, upon the death of Henry I., married (2) William de Albini. See the continuation of that lineage under the Albini Line in Volume II.
12. Matilda (Maud the Empress) of England (1102-1167), was left the sole legitimate child of Henry I. by the loss of his son in the White Ship (1120). She married (1) Emperor Henry V, Emperor of Rome, and was crowned at Mainz (1114), but was widowed in 1125 and married (2) Geoffrey IV. le Bel, Plantaganet, 10th Count of Anjou and Maine, Duke of Normandy, having won the Duchy from Stephen, son of Fulk V. the Younger, 9th Count of Anjou, King of Jerusalem, and his wife, Ermengarde. See their ancestral lineage elsewhere in Vol. I. Her first husband was thirty years older, her second husband, ten years younger than herself. Henry made the barons recognize the Empress as his heir (1126, 1131, and 1133), but when he died Stephen ignored her claim to rule England by hereditary right. The Normans preferred his chivalrous geniality to her haughtiness and they disliked the House of Anjou as much as they did the House of Blois, into which Stephen's mother, the Conqueror's daughter Adela, had married. The Empress appealed to the Pope in vain (1136) and Archbishop Thurstan of York defeated her uncle and champion, David I., King of Scotland (1084-1153) at the Battle of the Standard (1138); but at last she landed in England. Geoffrey was the original Plantaganet, so named by his companions for the broom corn he wore on his person. Matilda and Geoffrey had two sons as follows:
1. Henry II. See below.
2. Geoffrey, died in 1158.
It is through Geoffrey that the Plantaganet line from France was brought into the British royalty (see the lineage of the Counts of Anjou elsewhere). He died in 1151. After Geoffrey's death Matilda lived in Normandy, charitable and respected. Matilda died in 1167. Geoffrey was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry.
13. Henry II. Plantaganet, first Plantaganet King of England (1154-1189), known as Curt Mantel, was born at Le Mans, France, on March 15, 1133. At eighteen in 1151 he was invested with the Duchy of Normandy, his mother's heritage, and within a year became also, by his father's death, Count of Anjou; while in 1152 he married Eleanor of Aquitaine, the daughter of William X, Duke of Aquitaine (see his ancestral lineage elsewhere in Vol. I.), and divorced wife of King Louis VII. of France, added Poitou and Guienne to his dominions. In January 1153 he landed in England, and in November a treaty was agreed to whereby Henry was declared successor to King Stephen; he was crowned in 1154 and ruled until his death in 1189. He confirmed the laws of his grandfather, King Henry I, reestablished the exchequer, banished the foreign mercenaries, demolished the hundreds of castles erected in Stephen's reign, and recovered the royal estates. The whole of 1156 he spent in France, reducing his brother, Geoffrey of Nantes, who died in 1158, and having secured his territories, he spent the next five years warring and organizing his possessions on the Continent. Henry's objective was that of all Norman kings, to build up the royal power at the expense of the barons and the church. From the barons his reforms met with little serious opposition; with the clergy he was less successful. To aid him in reducing the church to subjection, he appointed his chancellor, Thomas a Becket to the see of Canterbury. Henry compelled him and the other prelates to agree to the 'Constitution of Clarendon', but Bechet proved a sturdy churchman, and the struggle between him and the monarch terminated only by his murder. In 1174 Henry did penance at Bechet's tomb, but he ended by bringing the church to subordination in civil matters. Meanwhile he organized an expedition to Ireland. The English Pope, Adrian IV, had in 1155 given Henry authority over the entire island of Ireland; and a number of Norman-Welsh knights had gained a footing in the country, among them Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, styled Strongbow, who in 1155 married the heiress of Leinster and assumed rule as the Earl of Leinster. Henry was jealous at the rise of a powerful feudal baronage in Ireland, and during his stay there (1171-1172) he broke the power of Richard Strongbow and the other nobles. Henry and Eleanor had many children as follows:
1. William Plantaganet, the eldest son, was born in 1153, but died in childhood in 1156.
2. Henry Plantaganet, Associate King of England, born February 28, 1155, known as Henry "the Young King," was crowned as his father's successor in 1170. Henry married Margaret, daughter of Louis VII., King of France. In 1173, incited by their jealous mother, Queen Eleanor, this prince and his brother Richard rebelled against their father, and their cause was espoused by the King of France and the King of Scotland. The latter, King William the Lion, was ravaging the north of England when he was taken prisoner at Alnwick in 1174, and to obtain his liberty he submitted to do homage to Henry II. In a few months King Henry II. had reestablished his authority in all his domains. During a second rebellion, Prince Henry died June 11, 1183. He married Margaret, daughter of Louis VII., King of France.
3. Matilda Plantaganet, born in 1156, died in 1189, married Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Duke of Bavaria. They had a son, Otto IV. of Brunswick, Emperor (1208-1215).
4. Richard Plantaganet, the Lion-Hearted, born in 1157, married Berengaria of Navarre, daughter of Sancho VI. of Navarre. Richard d.s.p. April 6, 1199. He reigned as King Richard I. of England and Duke of Normandy, 1189-1199. Richard was imprisoned by the Emperor Henry VI in 1192, while returning from a Crusade. His freedom was obtained by ransom in 1194. After his release he was in constant battle with Philip Augustus, King of France. Berengaria died in 1230.
5. Geoffrey Plantaganet, Duke of Brittany, 1171-1186, died in 1158, married Constance of Brittany, daughter of Conan IV. of Brittany. She died in 1201. In 1186, he was killed in a tournament. He and his wife had two children:
1. Eleanor, who died in 1240.
2. Arthur, Duke of Brittany, born in 1187 and murdered in 1204, while in conflict with his uncle, King John I. King John saw him as a rival to the throne.
6. Eleanor (Eleanora) Plantaganet of Castile, born in 1162, died in 1214, promised initially by her father to marry French royalty, but eventually married Afonso VIII. of Castile., King of Castile (1158-1214). He was the son of Sancho III., the Desired, King of Castile (1157-1158). See this lineage in the Kings of Spain Line in Volume I. Eleanor and Afonso VIII. had the following children (Note: Some differences are seen between this list and the one in the Kings of Spain Line):
1. Sancho of Castile.
2. Bergenuela (Berengaria) of Castile, married Afonso IX, King of Leon. They had a son, Ferdinand III, who married Joanna Dammartin. See the continuation of this lineage in the Spanish Kings Line of Volume I.
3. Uracca of Castile, had been promised to Louis VIII., the heir of France, but eventually married Afonso II. the Fat, King of Portugal, 1211-1223. She was rejected by the French because of her unusual name. Her younger sister, Blanche was deemed to be more suitable for the French tastes.
4. Blanche of Castile, born on March 4, 1188, in the palace of Placentia, in Castile, where she spent most of her childhood years, married on May 23, 1200, Louis VIII. of France., prince and heir of France and eventually King of France. Blanche received as her dowry, the town of Evreux with its surrounding land, always a bone of contention between France and England, but nevertheless given to her by her father-in-law, King Philip. Her uncle, King John of England, gave her the fiefs of Issoudun and Grapay in Berry. See the continuation of this lineage elsewhere in Volume I. See Pernoud, "Blanche of Castile," for details on her life and times. Their son was King Louis IX of France.
5. Constancia of Castile
6. Matilda of Castile
7. Sancha of Castile
8. Enrique of Castile
7. Joanna Plantaganet, born in 1165, married (1) William II of Sicily, who died in 1189; and (2) Raymond VI. (Raimund) of Toulouse, who died in 1222. She died in 1199. From the second marriage they had Raymond VII. of Toulouse, who was father of Joan of Toulouse.
8. John Plantaganet, Lackland, born December 24, 1166, the youngest legitimate son of King Henry II. In 1185 Prince John was appointed King of Ireland, but before the end of 1186 he was driven from the Ireland and all was left in confusion. See details below.
Henry also had a natural son by Rosamund Clifford (?), William Longsword (Longespee), who became Earl of Salisbury by marrying the Countess Ela, then aged twelve (1198). He was a councilor of John and commanded the English part of the army which Philip Augustus of France defeated at Bouvines (1214). He supported King John at Runnymede (1215), fought for Henry III. at Lincoln and Sandwich (1217), and served with Hubert de Burgh as "ruler of the King and kingdom" (1222). He died in March, 1226.
In 1188, while Henry II. was engaged in a war with Philip of France, Richard joined the French King; and in 1189, Henry having lost Le Mans and the chief castles of Maine, agreed to a treaty of peace granting an indemnity to the followers of Richard. The sight of his favorite son John in the list broke his heart; and he died at Chinon, on July 6, 1189. On the whole, Henry was an able and enlightened sovereign, a clear-headed, unprincipled politician, and an able general; his reign was one of great legal reforms. At its height, Henry's power had been greater than that of any other European ruler and his position was comparable to that of such Holy Roman Emperors as Charlemagne and Frederick Barbarossa. Eleanor died in 1202. Henry was succeeded by his surviving son, John.
14. John Plantaganet, Lackland, King of England (1199-1216), the fifth and favorite son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor, was born at Oxford on December 24, 1166, and he died at Newark Castle, Notts, October 19, 1216, and was buried at Worcester Cathedral. He was named Lackland by his father because he was the youngest son, meaning he had little land inheritance. He married on August 29, 1189 (1) Isabella (Hawisa), Countess of Gloucester, daughter of William, Earl of Gloucester, by whom he had no children. She was previously married to Hugh of Lusignan. John divorced her in 1199 after ten years of marriage and married (2) Isabella of Angouleme, daughter of Aymer (Adhemer) de Taillefer, Count of Angoulesme, the swordsmith, who died in 1246, who may possibly have descended from Taillefer, who was supposed to be the court jester of Duke William of Normandy, sister and heir of Amyer Taillefer, Earl of Angoulesme. Henry of Huntington in his Chronicle states that Taillefer, who was supposed to be the jester of Duke William, before the armies closed for the fight at the Battle of Hastings,
"sportively brandishing swords in front of the English troops, while they were lost in amazement at his gambols, slew one of their standard-bearers. A second time one of the enemy fell. The third time he was slain himself."
On the other hand Wace says that Taillefer called to Duke William,
"A boon, sire. I have long served you and you owe me for all such service. Today, so please you, you shall repay it. I ask as my guerdon and beseech you for it earnestly that you will allow me to strike the first blow in the battle."
To which the Duke replied, "I grant it." Then Taillefer put his horse to a gallop, charging before all the rest.
Isabella was the mother of all his legal children, she was only 12-years of age when she was married. She married (2) Hugh X. of Lusignan, by whom she had the following children: Henry, Count of La Manche; William of Valence, died in 1269, father of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (1307-1324); Guy of Valence: Geoffrey of Lusignan; Aymer, Bishop of Winchester, died in 1280; and Alice le Brun, who married John de Warenne. Isabella died in 1246.
King John, who reigned as King of England from 1199 to 1216, traveled extensively in England, as few of his predecessors had done, often dealing with mundane financial and legal matters. He reluctantly signed the Magna Charta, permitting basic rights to the barons and landowners, a landmark document in the history of western civilization. [Editor's Note: Of interest from a genealogical standpoint is the fact that the majority of barons opposed to King John all became common ancestors as the royal family and the baronial families intermarried in the following several generations. The specific baronial families who had signers of the Magna Carta are detailed in Volume II. of this genealogical record.]
According to the Plantaganet Chronicles,
"John was a great prince but scarcely a happy one, experiencing the ups and downs of Fortune. He was munificent and liberal to outsiders but a plunderer of his own people, trusting strangers rather than his subjects, wherefore he was eventually deserted by his own men and, in the end, little mourned."
He and his second wife, Isabella, had the following children:
1. Henry III. Plantaganet, his successor. See below.
2. Richard of Cornwall Plantaganet, Earl of Cornwall, King of Romans and Almiane (Germany), 1256. He was born January 5, 1209, youngest son of King John. He was made Earl of Cornwall and Count of Poictou, 1225. He refused the Empire in 1250. He married (1) Isabel Marshal, daughter of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, and widow of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester. He died in 1272. They had a son, Henry:
1. Henry of Almiane, who was slain at Viterbo in 1271, and who was alluded to by Dante (Inferno, xii, 115).
He married (2) Sanchia, 3rd daughter and co-heir of Raymond Berenger V., Count of Provence and his wife, Beatrix of Savoy. Sanchia was the sister of Queen of England, Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III., the sister of the Queen of France, Margaret of Provence, wife of Louis IX., and the sister of Beatrice, wife of Charles of Anjou, who was the brother of Louis IX. Richard and Sanchia had the following children:
1. Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, married Margaret, daughter of Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, and d.s.p. in 1300.
2. Richard de Cornwall, King of the Romans, who was slain at the siege of Berwick in 1296.
3. Joan Plantaganet, married Alexander II., King of Scotland. She died in 1238.
4. Isabel (Isabella) Plantaganet, married Frederick II., Emperor and King of Germany (1215-1250), son of Henry IV., Emperor (1190-1197), grandson of Frederick I., Barbarossa. See his lineage elsewhere in Volume I. She died in 1241. They had three sons as follows:
1. Henry, died in 1245.
2. Conrad, who ruled Germany from 1250 to 1254. He had a son, Conradin, who ruled Germany from 1254 to 1268.
5. Eleanor (Alianore) Plantaganet, married (1) William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, who died in 1231, without issue. He was the son of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and his wife, Isabel Clare. Eleanor married (2) Simon II de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who died in 1265. She died in 1275. From the second marriage, Eleanor and Simon had the following children (See Volume II for details):
1. Henry de Montfort, died in 1265, slain at Evesham.
2. Simon de Montfort, died in 1271.
3. Guy de Montfort, died in 1287-88.
4. Almaric de Montfort.
5. Eleanor Montfort, who married Llewellyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of North Wales, who died December 10, 1282. They had two daughters: Catherine, who married Philip ap Ivor, Lord of Cardigan; and Gwenllian, a nun.
John Plantaganet, Lackland, died at Berkhampstead in 1279. He also had natural children as follows:
1. Isabella Plantaganet, married Maurice de Berkeley, Lord Berkeley, of Berkeley Castle.
2. Richard of Cornwall had the manor of Thunnock, in Lincolnshire, from Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, in 1280. He married Joan St. Owen, daughter of John St. Owen, Lord St. Owen. There was issue.
3. Walter of Cornwall, to whom Edmund, Earl of Cornwall gave lands on his manor of Branell, in the 18th year of Edward I.
There are reports that John had a total of seven or eight illegitimate children during his lifetime; other names that have been reported are as follows:
1. Geoffrey FitzRoy, died 1205.
2. Joan of England, died in 1237, married in 1206, Llewelyn the Great, Prince of North Wales. See the continuation of this lineage in the Welsh Kings Line of Volume I.
3. Richard, fl. 1217.
4. Oliver, fl. 1218.
15. Henry III. Plantaganet, King of England (1216-1272), was born on October 1, 1207, at Winchester, and died on November 16, 1272, at St. Edmundsbury, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. He reigned from 1216 to 1272. He was only nine years old when his father died, and he was crowned king of England, on October 28, 1216. William Marshal was persuaded by King John's executors to become rector of the king and kingdom. The king's mother, Isabel of Angouleme, left England and married again (1220), the Marshal died (1219), and Hubert de Burgh ruled undisturbed until 1223. Then Henry, aged sixteen, became fully responsible for the disposal of his seals, castle, lands, and wardships. He was also Earl of Winchester. In 1227 he declared himself of age; in 1232 he deprived Hubert de Burgh, who ruled as regent and justiciary, of all his offices; and in 1234 he took administration into his own hands. On January 14, 1236, he married Eleanor of Provence, daughter of Raymond Berengar (Berenger) IV., Count of Provence, 1222-1291, and his wife, Beatrix of Savoy. Eleanor was also the sister-in-law of St. Louis, King of France, and niece of Amadeus IV., Count of Savoy. Henry III. reigned in the period from 1216 to 1272. He was memorable because he showed himself unfitted to exercise supreme power (1234-1258). By acting as if the Magna Charta had never been, he provoked the opposition of the barons and made possible the rise of Simon de Montfort. Dante represents him in Purgatory among those punished for being negligent rulers. Unsuccessful in war, whether in Wales (1228) or Gascony (1242-43), he was equally unsuccessful at home, and the defeat of Simon de Montfort's baronial rebellion was due not to Henry but to his son, Edward I. After his death Queen Eleanor became a nun at Ambresbury in Wiltshire and died there on June 24, 1291. They had the following children:
1. John Plantaganet, died young.
2. Henry Plantaganet, died young.
3. Edward I., Plantaganet, became king of England. See details below.
4. Edmund Plantaganet, Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster and Earl of Leicester He died in 1296. See continuation of this lineage in Volume II.
5. Margaret Plantaganet, married in 1215, Alexander III., King of Scotland, at the age of ten years. She died in 1275. They had Margaret, who married Eric, King of Norway, and in turn they had Margaret, "Maid of Norway", who died in 1290.
6. Beatrice Plantaganet, married John II. de Dreux of Brittany, Duke of Brittany, who died in 1305. She died in 1275. They two sons: Arthur and John of Brittany, the latter died in 1334.
7. Katherine Plantaganet, died in 1257.
16. Edward I., Plantaganet, Longshanks, Earl of Chester, King of England (1272-1307), the third son of Henry III and his wife Eleanor, was born at Westminster on June 17, 1239 and during the reign of his father took active part in political affairs. He was the Earl of Chester. He was taken prisoner at Lewes in 1264 but escaping, he defeated the Earl of Leicester. In 1272 he went on a Crusade as far as Acre, where his daughter Joan was born, and although he inherited the crown that year, he did not return to England until 1274, being crowned on August 19, 1274. It is significant of the times that he was able to thus move in a leisurely fashion across Europe without fear of disturbances at home.
He fully accepted those articles of The Great Charter (Magna Charta) of King John which had been set aside at the beginning of his father's reign, and which required that the king should levy scutages and aids only with the consent of the Great Council or Parliament. The further requirement of the barons that they should name the ministers of the crown was allowed to fall into disuse. Edward was a capable ruler, and knew how to appoint better ministers than the barons were likely to choose for him. He was eminent not only as a ruler but as a legislator and succeeded in enacting many wise laws, because he knew that useful legislation is possible only when the legislator has an intelligent perception of the remedies needed to meet existing evils, and is willing to content himself with such remedies as those persons who are to be benefited by them are ready to accept. The first condition was fulfilled by Edward's own skill as a lawyer, and by the skill of the great lawyers whom he employed. The second condition was fulfilled by his determination to authorize no new legislation without the counsel and acquiescence of those who were most affected by it. Not until late in his reign did he call a whole parliament together as Earl Simon de Montfort had done. Instead, he called the barons together in any manner which affected the barons, and the representatives of the townsmen together in any manner which affected the townsmen, and so with other classes. In 1295 he summoned the "Model Parliament," so called because it became the form for future Parliaments.
Every king of England since the Norman Conquest had exercised authority in a twofold capacity: (1) as head of the nation and (2) as the feudal lord of his vassals. Edward laid more stress than any former king upon his national headship. Early in his reign he divided the Curis Regis into three courts: (1) The Court of King's Bench, to deal with criminal offenses reserved for the king's judgment and with suits in which he was himself concerned; (2) The Court of Exchequer, to deal with all matters touching the king's revenue; and (3) The Court of Common Pleas, to deal with suits between subject and subject. Edward took care that these Courts should administer justice, and dismissed judges and many other officials for corruption. In 1285 he improved the Assize of Arms of King Henry II., to assure national support for his government in time of danger. His favorite motto "Keep Troth" indicates the value he placed upon a man's oath.
Alexander III. was King of Scotland in the earlier part of Edward's reign, and his ancestors had done homage to Edward's ancestors, but, in 1189, William the Lion had purchased from Richard I possessions which Henry II. had acquired by the treaty of Falaise. The Lion's successors, however, held lands in England, and had done homage for them to the English kings. Edward would gladly have restored the old practice of homage for Scotland itself, but to this Alexander had never consented. Edward coveted the prospect of being lord of the entire island, as it would not only strengthen his position, but would bring the two nations into peaceful union. A prospect of effecting a union by peaceful means offered itself to Edward in 1285, when Alexander III. was killed by a fall from his horse, near Kinghorn. Alexander's only descendant was his grand-daughter Margaret, the child of his daughter and King Eric of Norway. In 1290 it was agreed that she should marry the Prince of Wales but that the two kingdoms should remain absolutely independent of each other. Unfortunately the Maid of Norway, as the child was called, died on her way to Scotland and this plan for establishing friendly relations between the two countries came to naught. If it has succeeded, three centuries of warfare and misery might possibly have been avoided.
Edward I. married in 1254 (1) Eleanor of Castile, daughter of Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Leon, and his wife Jeanne of Dammartin, who was the daughter of Simon Dammartin and his wife, Marie, Countess of Ponthieu, and on her death in 1279 that country came by descent to Eleanor. Jeanne of Dammartin died on November 20, 1290. Her body was brought for burial from Lincoln to Westminster, and the bereaved husband ordered the erection of a memorial cross at each place where the body rested. The years that followed were filled with wars with France and with difficulties in Scotland. Edward married September 8, 1299 (2) Margaret of France, daughter of Philip III., King of France. King Edward died, during the third invasion of Scotland, at Burgh-on-the-Sands near Carlisle, July 8, 1307, and was buried at Westminster. Margaret, the second wife of King Edward I., died February 14, 1317 and was buried at Grey Friars, London.
It was King Edward I. who first conferred the title Prince of Wales, thus designating the fourth son, Edward, who was the oldest to survive, and who later became Edward II., King of England. The children of King Edward I. and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile were as follows (Ref: Parsons, "The Year of Eleanor of Castile's Birth and Her Children by Edward I." Medieval Studies, xlvi (1984), pp 249- 265, where Parsons lists 14 children with the probable existence of 2 more unnamed):
1. Katherine Plantaganet, born in 1261-1263,-died 1264.
2. Joan Plantaganet, born in January 1265, died in September 1265. See below for another daughter with the same name, who is a direct ancestor.
3. John Plantaganet, died young, born in July 1266, died in August 1271.
4. Henry Plantaganet, died young, born in May 1268, died in October 1274.
5. Eleanor Plantaganet, born in June 1269, died in August 1298, married by proxy in 1282 to Alphonso III., King of Aragon, 1285-1291. She is also recorded as married to Henry III. of Bar.
6. Unnamed daughter, born about 1271, died about 1271-1272.
7. Joan (Joanna) Plantaganet of Acre, born in 1272, in Acre in the Holy Land during a crusade, died in April 1307. She was looked after in Ponthieu, by her maternal grandmother, Jeanne of Dammartin, much of her childhood. She married in 1290, (1) Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who died in 1295, and later, a clandestine marriage, to (2) Ralph de Monthermer, who died in 1307. See continuation of this lineage elsewhere under the Clare Line. [Note: This lineage also connects with the Beers Family in the late 17th Century when a Joseph Bulkeley (c. 1644-1719) married Martha Beers, daughter of James Beers, of Fairfield, CT.
8. Afonso Plantaganet, Earl of Chester, born November 24, 1273, died August 19, 1284, only ten years of age at the time of his death.
9. Margaret Plantaganet, born in March 1275 and died about 1333, married July 9, 1290 to John II., Duke of Brabant, who died in 1312.
10. Berengaria Plantaganet, born in May 1276, died in 1277-1278.
11. Unnamed child, born January 1278, died in 1278.
12. Mary Plantaganet, born in March 1279 and died in 1332, became a nun in 1285. It is reported that she was quite extravagant and had large gambling debts, as well as having an affair with Earl Warren (Warenne) during one of her visits to her father's court.
13. Elizabeth Plantaganet, born in August 1282, died in 1316, married, at age 15, (1) John II. of Avesenes, Count of Holland, a descendant of David, King of Scotland (1124-1153), who died without issue late in the year 1299; and (2) Humphrey de Bohun VIII, Earl of Hereford, who died in 1321. See continuation of this lineage elsewhere under the Bohun Line in Volume II.