"Coin of Henry I." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Henry I

"Coin of Henry I." — Lardner, 1885

Henry II of England.

Henry II

Henry II of England.

"Coin of Henry II." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Henry II

"Coin of Henry II." — Lardner, 1885

Henry III of England.

Henry III

Henry III of England.

Henry III is one of the least-known British monarchs, considering the great length of his reign. He was also the first child monarch in English royal history.

Henry III of Winchester

Henry III is one of the least-known British monarchs, considering the great length of his reign. He…

Henry IV

Henry IV

Henry IV

Henry VIII was married six times during his life. First, to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymor, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.

Henry the VIII and His Wives

Henry VIII was married six times during his life. First, to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymor,…

Henry V.

Henry V

Henry V.

Henry VI

Henry VI

Henry VI

Known greatly as the king of hearts, or the man of ruthless wonder, Henry was born in Pembroke Castle, Wales, in 1457, Henry VII was the only son of Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort.

Henry VII

Known greatly as the king of hearts, or the man of ruthless wonder, Henry was born in Pembroke Castle,…

"Coin of Henry VII." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Henry VII

"Coin of Henry VII." — Lardner, 1885

Henry VIII and all of his men coming into the city

Henry VIII

Henry VIII and all of his men coming into the city

"Coin of Henry VIII" — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Henry VIII

"Coin of Henry VIII" — Lardner, 1885

The Valley of Rocks Hotel in Lynton.

Valley of Rocks Hotel

The Valley of Rocks Hotel in Lynton.

"James II." — Lardner, 1885

James II

"James II." — Lardner, 1885

"Coin of James II." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of James II

"Coin of James II." — Lardner, 1885

John of England.

John of England

John of England.

All this time John Lacklands cruelty and savageness were making the whole kingdom miserable; and at last the great barons bear it no longer. They met together and agreed that they would make John swear to govern by the good old English laws that had prevailed before the Normans came. The difficulty was to be sure of what these laws were, for most of the copies of them had been lost. However, Archbishop Langton and some of the wisest of the barons put together a set of laws-some copied, some recollected, some old, some new-but all such as to give the barons some control of the king, and hinder him from getting savage soldiers together to frighten people into doing whatever he chose to make them. These laws they called Magna Charta, or the great charter; and they all came in armor, and took John by surprise at Windsor. He came to meet them in a meadow named Runnymede, on the bank of the Thames, and there they force him to sign the charter, for which all Englishmen are grateful to them.

John's Anger after Signing Magna Charta

All this time John Lacklands cruelty and savageness were making the whole kingdom miserable; and at…

King Henry was a builder of beautiful churches. Westminster Abby, as it is now, was one. And he was charitable to the poor that, when he had his children weighed, he gave their weight in gold and silver in alms. But he gave to everyone who asked, and so always wanted money; and sometimes his men could get nothing for the king and queen to eat, but by going and taking sheep and poultry from the poor farmers around; so that things were nearly as bad as under William Rufus-because the king was so foolishly good-natured. The Pope was always sending for money, too; and the king tried to raise it in ways that, according to Magna Carta, he had sworn not to do. His foreign friends told him that if he minded Magna Carta he would be a poor creature-not like a king who might do all he pleased; and whenever he listened to them he broke the laws of Magna Carta. Then, when his barons complained and frightened him, he swore again to keep them; so that nobody could trust him, and his weakness was almost as bad for the kingdom as John's wickedness. When they could bear it no longer, the barons all met him at the council, which was called the Parliament, from a French word meaning talk. This time they came in armor, binging all their fighting men, and declared that he had broken his word so often that they should appoint some of their own number to watch him, and hinder his doing anything against the laws he had sworn to observe, or from getting money from the people without their consent.

King Henry and his Barons

King Henry was a builder of beautiful churches. Westminster Abby, as it is now, was one. And he was…

Mary, the fourth and penultimate monarch of the Tudor dynasty, is remembered for returning England from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. To this end, she had almost three hundred religious dissenters executed; as a consequence, she is often known as Bloody Mary. Her religious policies, however, were in many cases reversed by her successor and half-sister, Elizabeth I. Mary Tudor was a cousin, once removed, of Mary, Queen of Scots, with whom she is often confused by those unfamiliar with British history.

Mary I

Mary, the fourth and penultimate monarch of the Tudor dynasty, is remembered for returning England from…

Although the Stewart family had gained the Scottish throne Marjory, Mary, Queen of Scots became Queen only because all male alternatives had been exhausted.

Mary Queen of Scots

Although the Stewart family had gained the Scottish throne Marjory, Mary, Queen of Scots became Queen…

Portrait of General Monk who was at the head of the army in England

General Monk

Portrait of General Monk who was at the head of the army in England

As a kind of joke, John, King Henry's youngest son, had been called Lackland, because he had nothing when his brothers each had some great dukedom. The name suited him only too well before the end of his life. The English made him king at once. Richard had never had any children, but his brother Geoffery, who was older than John had left a son named Arthur, who was about twelve years old, and who rightly the Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou. King Philip, who was always glad to vex whoever was king of England, took Arthur under his protection, and promised to get Normandy out of John's hands. However, John had a meeting with him and persuaded him to desert Arthur, and marry his son Louis to John's own niece, Blanche, who had a chance of being queen of part of Spain. Still Arthur lived at the French King's court, and when he was sixteen years old, Philip helped him to raise an army and go to try his fortune against his uncle. He laid siege to Mirabeau, a town where his grandmother, Queen Eleanor, was living. John, who was then in Normandy, hurried to her rescue, beat Arthur's army, made him prisoner and carried him off, first to Romen, and then to the strong castle of Falaise. Nobody quite knows what was done to him there. The governor, Hubert de Burgh, once found him fighting hard, though with no weapon but a stool, to defend himself from some ruffians who had been sent to put out his eyes. Hubert saved him from these men, but shortly after this good man was sent elsewhere by the king, and John came himself to Falaise. Arthur was never seen alive again, and it is believed that John took him out in a boat in the river at night, stabbed him with his own hand, and threw his body in the river.

Murder of Prince Arthur

As a kind of joke, John, King Henry's youngest son, had been called Lackland, because he had nothing…

Beau Nash (18 October 1674 - 3 February 1762), born Richard Nash, was a celebrated dandy and leader of fashion in 18th-century Britain. He is best remembered as the Master of Ceremonies at the spa town of Bath.

Beau Nash

Beau Nash (18 October 1674 - 3 February 1762), born Richard Nash, was a celebrated dandy and leader…

Philip sought an alliance with the Kingdom of England, marrying the Catholic Queen Mary I of England in 1554. On occasion of the marriage, he was created King of Chile by his father and received the Kingdom of Naples and the title of a King of Jerusalem, which came with it, from him. Under the terms of the marriage, Philip became King Consort, during the lifetime of his spouse. The marriage was unpopular with her subjects and was a purely political alliance as far as Philip was concerned. On January 16, 1556, Philip succeeded to the throne of Spain, as a result of his father's abdication, but he did not choose to reside i the country until his father's death two years later. After Mary died childless in 1558, Philip showed an interest in marrying her Protestant younger half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I of England, but this plan fell through for a number of reasons.

Philip II

Philip sought an alliance with the Kingdom of England, marrying the Catholic Queen Mary I of England…

"Coin of Phillip and Mary." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Phillip and Mary

"Coin of Phillip and Mary." — Lardner, 1885

A rare breed of pig originating from Britain.

Berkshire Pig

A rare breed of pig originating from Britain.

Raleigh's plan for colonization in Virginia in North America ended in failure at Roanoke Island, but paved the way for subsequent colonies.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Raleigh's plan for colonization in Virginia in North America ended in failure at Roanoke Island, but…

Richard I of England.

Richard I

Richard I of England.

Richard II

Richard II

Richard II

"Coin of Richard III." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Richard III

"Coin of Richard III." — Lardner, 1885

During one of King Richard the Lion-Heart's crusades the city of Acre was taken over and a prince, Leopold, Duke of Austria, set up his banner on the walls. Richard did not think it ought to be there: he pulled it up and threw it down into the ditch, asking the duke how he durst take the honors of a king.

Richard Removing the Archduke's Banner

During one of King Richard the Lion-Heart's crusades the city of Acre was taken over and a prince, Leopold,…

Robert's encounter with his father, William the Great, during battle.

Robert

Robert's encounter with his father, William the Great, during battle.

The sceptre with a cross, used since the restoration of the English monarchy.

English Royal Sceptre

The sceptre with a cross, used since the restoration of the English monarchy.

He is sometimes called the Red King, but more commonly William Rufus. Things went worse than ever with the poor English in his time; for at least William the Conqueror had made everybody mind the law, but now William Rufus let his cruel soldiers do just as they pleased, and spoil what they did not want.

William Rufus II

He is sometimes called the Red King, but more commonly William Rufus. Things went worse than ever with…

"In the eleventh century, the Anglo-Saxons, originally the fiercest nation of the North of Europe, had become changed into a submissive and unwarlike people by the combine influences of luxury, a great landed aristocracy, and a richly endowed hierarchy." — Goodrich, 1844

Saxons

"In the eleventh century, the Anglo-Saxons, originally the fiercest nation of the North of Europe, had…

A script wrapped in a floral vine

Script footer

A script wrapped in a floral vine

"This famous man, who has been called 'the chief literary glory of England', was born at Stratford-on-Avon." —The Popular Cyclopedia, 1888

William Shakespeare

"This famous man, who has been called 'the chief literary glory of England', was born at Stratford-on-Avon."…

A small British sheep raised primarily for meat.

Southdown Sheep

A small British sheep raised primarily for meat.

Individuals socializing in the court

Socializing

Individuals socializing in the court

An Anglo-Saxon spearhead, made of iron.

Anglo-Saxon spearhead

An Anglo-Saxon spearhead, made of iron.

Stephen I, the last Norman king of England.

Stephen

Stephen I, the last Norman king of England.

Stephen, who was a kind-hearted man himself, tried to stop these cruelties; but then the barons turned round on him, told him he was not their proper king, and invited Maude to come and be crowned in his stead.

Stephen

Stephen, who was a kind-hearted man himself, tried to stop these cruelties; but then the barons turned…

"A bit of Stonehenge. The earliest architectural monument in Britain."—Gordy, 1912

Stonehenge

"A bit of Stonehenge. The earliest architectural monument in Britain."—Gordy, 1912

The White Tower, the square building with turrets on each corner that gave it its name, is actually in the middle of a complex of several buildings along the River Thames in London, which have served as fortresses, armories, treasuries, zoos/menageries, mints, palaces, places of execution, public records offices, observatories, shelters, and prisons.

Towers of London

The White Tower, the square building with turrets on each corner that gave it its name, is actually…

"Coin of Victoria." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Victoria

"Coin of Victoria." — Lardner, 1885

James Watt (19 January 1736 – 25 August 1819) was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both Britain and the world.

James Watts

James Watt (19 January 1736 – 25 August 1819) was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer…

"William and Mary." — Lardner, 1885

William and Mary

"William and Mary." — Lardner, 1885

"Coin of William and Mary." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of William and Mary

"Coin of William and Mary." — Lardner, 1885

"William I." — Lardner, 1885

William I

"William I." — Lardner, 1885

"Coin of William I." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of Willian I

"Coin of William I." — Lardner, 1885

"William II" — Lardner, 1885

William II

"William II" — Lardner, 1885

"Coin of William II." — Lardner, 1885

Coin of William II

"Coin of William II." — Lardner, 1885

"Coin of William IV." — Lardner, 1885

William IV

"Coin of William IV." — Lardner, 1885

When William was denied the throne of Normandy he assembled a Norman invasion fleet of around 600 ships and 7000 soldiers.

William the Conqueror

When William was denied the throne of Normandy he assembled a Norman invasion fleet of around 600 ships…

A British Army officer known for his victory over the French in Canada during the early 18th century.

James Wolfe

A British Army officer known for his victory over the French in Canada during the early 18th century.