Tag Archives: Edward III of England

Oldest children rarely succeed

Oldest children rarely succeed


Monarchy is very much a family business. According to the law of primogeniture, the eldest son should follow his father on to the throne. The statistics are surprising, however. I include some forgotten figures among the forty-eight who have been proclaimed King or Queen of England.

Hammering the Celts, 1272 – 1330

Hammering the Celts, 1272 – 1330

Henry’s heir was a swarthy giant of 6ft 2in, as Provencal  (through his mother) as he was Plantagenet. Edward I (1272 – 1307) first heard of his father’s death when stopping in Sicily on his way back from a crusade. Such was his lack of urgency that he spent two years in France before arriving in England in 1274. Now aged thirty-five, he had rescued his father from the barons’ rebellion, but he had been an early supporter of de Montfort and understood the need for kingly power in a constitutional framework.

The Parliament of England

The Parliament of England

The term ‘parliament’ came into use in the early 13th century to describe a national forum for discussion, and the institution’s origins lay in the consultative Great Council, consisting of the nobility and senior clergy, which had been regularly summoned by English monarchs since the Norman Conquest.

England as papal fiefdom and agreement of paying tribute to the pope

England as papal fiefdom and agreement of paying tribute to the pope

King John’s surrender of his realm in 1213 was symbolised by his agreement to pay an annual tribute to the pope of 1,000 marks (666 pounds). This tribute was paid, albeit irregularly, into the 1290s. However, king Edward I and Edward II, John’s grandson and great-grandson, found themselves increasingly at odds with the papacy, partly over their rights to collect their own taxes from the English church and also over the pope’s partisan support for the king’s of France.