Special Sub-Topic: Plantagenet Dynasty
|From whom does the Plantagenet dynasty take its name?|
Geoffrey V the Handsome, Count of Anjou. Geoffrey's nickname was Plantagenet whence derives the name of the dynasty. The name came from the yellow bloom he wore in his hat, known in French as the genet. Geoffrey was married to the Empress Matilda who was the daughter of Henry I. Together they were the parents of Henry II the first Plantagenet king. Geoffrey was also the son of Fulk V the Young, Count of Anjou who became the King of Jerusalem.
|Who was the first Plantagenet king of England?|
Henry II. Henry was nicknamed Curtmantle and as well as being king of England, he was Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine and Poitou and Lord of Ireland. He started the Angevin Empire which fell apart in the reign of his son King John.
|Who was the eldest son of Henry II to survive infancy?|
Henry the Young King. Though the second son of Henry II, Henry was the eldest surviving as his older brother William, Count of Poitou died as an infant. Henry died in 1184 just five years before his father, so his younger brother Richard the Lionheart succeeded his father. Henry became the first heir to the throne of England to be crowned in his father's lifetime. He was crowned as a junior king, a practice borrowed from the French kings. It was thought that by crowning your heir during your lifetime no one could challenge their right to the throne.
|How much of his ten-year reign did Richard the Lionheart spend in England?|
Six months. When he first succeeded in 1189, Richard almost straightaway left to go on crusade. In 1193 while returning home from crusade Richard was captured. He spent a year in captivity and was released when England paid a large ransom. Richard then spent his longest time in England before leaving for France to reclaim the territories that were lost while he was on crusade. After a brief visit to England, Richard was again in France when he met his death in 1199.
|What was the name of the charter that king John was forced to sign in 1215?|
Magna Carta. John was facing a rebellion from his barons and they wrote up the Magna Carta. John was forced to sign it in 1215. The Magna Carta declared that the king was as bound by the law as the barons themselves and could not act arbitrarily. John immediately renounced the charter after the barons left, thus prompting a civil war.
|What was the nickname of Edward I?|
Longshanks. Edward succeeded his father Henry III, the son of King John in 1272. Edward is best known for conquering Wales and the wars with Scotland. Another nickname for Edward is Hammer of the Scots. Edward died in 1307 and was succeeded by his son also called Edward.
|Who was Edward II's favourite at the start of his reign?|
Piers Gaveston. Piers had been a favourite of Edward since he was young. When Edward became king he made Piers earl of Cornwall which was a title normally given to sons of kings, this angered the nobility. Edward and Piers are thought to have had a homosexual relationship although it is not certain. Piers was later murdered by angry barons.
|What war did Edward III begin with France?|
The Hundred Years' War. Edwards mother was the sister of three French kings. When the last of these died childless like his brothers a French cousin became king, but Edward thought he was the rightful king. Edward waged war on France and tried to claim his throne. Though this war actually lasted 116 years, it is called the Hundred Years' War.
|In which year did Henry IV force Richard II to abdicate?|
1399. Richard succeeded his grandfather Edward III in 1377. His cousin Henry believed that he had a strong claim to the throne and took part in a rebellion against Richard in 1387 that forced the king to remove many of his favourites from positions of authority and influence. Though Richard sought to bring Henry into the fold by making him the Duke of Hereford in the wake of the rebellion, twelve years later he was to make Henry pay for his disloyalty. In 1399, Henry's father John of Gaunt died and Richard refused to let his lands pass into Henry's ownership. Furious at this slight, Henry raised an army while Richard was away in France and began to take his lands by force. By the time Richard returned to England, Henry had become powerful enough to have Richard arrested and force his abdication. Some time in early 1400, Richard died. The circumstances of his death are unknown to history.
|In what battle of 1415 did Henry V defeat the French?|
Battle of Agincourt. This battle was very famous as the English were far outnumbered: the English army was 9,000 and the French army was 36,000. The French charged their cavalry but they were all cut down by English archers and the French army was soon destroyed. Henry had re-opened the Hundred Years' War against the French and the battle greatly advanced his chances of gaining the French throne.
|How old was Henry VI when he became king?|
Eight months. Henry succeeded his father Henry V in 1422 when he was only eight months old. At first, Henry's uncles ruled while he was in his minority. The War of the Roses started during Henry's reign between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists which led to Henry losing his throne in 1461.
|Who was the first Yorkist king?|
Edward IV. Edward was the great great grandson of Edward III. He defeated his cousin Henry VI, imprisoned him and took the throne in 1461. Edward reigned for nine years when, in 1470, he was driven from the throne and Henry VI returned. However, in 1471, Edward returned and defeated Henry's army at the battle of Tewkesbury thereby retaking the throne. Henry VI was later executed. Edward ruled for another 12 years and in 1485 was succeeded by his son Edward V.
|Who was the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty?|
Richard III. Richard succeeded his nephew Edward V in 1483. Richard ruled until 1485 when the pretender, Henry Tudor, brought an army to England. They met in the battle of Bosworth Field where Richard was killed and Henry became King Henry VII. Thus began the Tudor Dynasty. Henry was the father of Henry VIII, possibly the most famous of all English monarchs.
|The execution of which man ended the legitimate male line descent of the Plantagenet dynasty?|
Edward, 17th Earl of Warwick. Edward was the nephew of Richard III and he was ten years old when his uncle died in 1485. When Henry Tudor came to the throne, Edward was put in the Tower of London. In 1499, Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, was captured. Henry Tudor decided to execute Edward as well as Perkin in order for him not to be used as a symbol for protesters.
|Which noble family are the last living direct male line descendants of the Plantagenets?|
Somerset. The Somersets are descended through an illegitimate line so they have no claim to the throne. The senior line of the family are the Dukes of Beaufort, a younger line are the Barons Raglan.
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