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  #41  
Old 02-22-2009, 02:31 AM
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Henry VIII and her second queen (Anne Boleyn). Although the latter is not considered a monarch. He was very popular for his exploits...
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  #42  
Old 02-22-2009, 03:22 AM
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My vote would be for any of the Plantagenet monarchs.
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  #43  
Old 02-22-2009, 11:19 AM
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As TRF is a discussion Forum we would like to encourage the exchange of fact and opinion in the historical threads. Many members have extensive knowledge of various periods and dynasties and are willing to share their expertise. This is what makes the Forums interesting and rewarding.

To this end, it would be beneficial if reasons are given for selections of "Worst British Monarchs" rather than merely names or one-sentence statements.

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  #44  
Old 02-23-2009, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Claire View Post
My vote would be for any of the Plantagenet monarchs.
I disagree about Edward III. I think he's a good candidate for title of best monarch. He took a country that was practically in ruins after a reign of awful misrule and made it stable and wealthy.
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  #45  
Old 02-24-2009, 02:50 AM
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Edward VIII was just weak, weak, weak
I entirely disagree and think it rather unfortunate that people should label the man in such a way. I see nothing weak about standing by one's conviction, infact, I was brought up to acknowledge it as an admirable quality. I understand perfectly the enormity of his decision, but ultimately he made the only decision that he could live with.

I know I'll never think poorly of him for being true to himself.
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  #46  
Old 02-28-2009, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Madame Royale View Post
I entirely disagree and think it rather unfortunate that people should label the man in such a way. I see nothing weak about standing by one's conviction, infact, I was brought up to acknowledge it as an admirable quality. I understand perfectly the enormity of his decision, but ultimately he made the only decision that he could live with.
I know I'll never think poorly of him for being true to himself.
Well said.

I don't have much time for Edward as a King as I think he was an awful king but not because of the abdication but based on my reading of what he actually did as King.

I respect his decision to abdicate as it was what he could live with and I think he should be respected for making that decision.

This has really been brought home to me over the last week or so. A very dear friend of mine died last Sunday and Friday night was scheduled as a celebration dinner for her and a colleague who had held leadership positions in an organisation I belong to for most of the last year (there are two weeks of their term to go). Some of us felt the dinner should have been postponed and couldn't go because of our feelings while others felt it should go ahead to honour the colleague. The last couple of days have been awful as people have been abusing (verbally) others who decided to go or not go depending on what decision they themselves made and it is really uncomfortable. I didn't go but I have no problem with those who did (although I can't understand how they could celebrate her term of office with her colleague the day after her funeral). I do however respect their decision to do so. Some of them, and some of those who made the same decision I did, just want to blame the others and call then names.

After this experience I respect Edward's decision more.

Sorry for the extra bit but it sort of explains why I am saying that I think, for Edward, he made the right decision and that that decision should be respected, even if for Britain it was also the best thing.
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  #47  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:42 AM
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I think George IV- he did nothing for England. It's not just his personal character, he really accomplished nothing. I'm not really that familiar with early Plantagnet monarchs, but after all, it was the Middle Ages, and we have to measure people against the time in which they lived, William Rufus though deserves to be on this list. I'd agree Henry VIII should be on the list, although he did do some good for England.

As for Richard III, well, you have to remember when he murdered his nephews, that was an era were blood thirsty behaviour was more common than today, and the Sucession had been unstable not long before- Richard III's actions were part of his day and age, so I'm not sure he belongs on the list. Mary I personally was not evil, just a sad woman, but she did make bad choices for England so she would have to be on the list.
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  #48  
Old 03-11-2009, 04:22 PM
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I would like to point out that the argument that Richard III killed his nephews is not proven and wasn't even raised until years after this allegedly happened.

Henry VII never accused him of doing so (although very late in his reign the argument was raised).

In fact had that argument been raised/suggested earlier in Henry's reign the situations with the claimants in the 1490s wouldn't have happened at all.

Personally, having done some research into this event and the people involved I am convinced that Richard didn't kill his nephews at all. Others may have killed them thinking they would gain favour with him, or with Henry, but I don't believe that Richard was involved.
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  #49  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:30 PM
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In fact, it is more likely that Henry VII ordered their murder. Richard III proclaimed his nephews illegitimate and they were minors, so they wouldn't be a problem to him. However, during the reign of Henry VII (himself of undisputable illegitimate descent), Edward IV and Richard, Duke of York reached adulthood if they weren't killed during Richard III's reign. As adults whose legitimacy was less disputed than legitimacy of Henry VII's line, the boys would've been a bigger problem to Henry VII than they were to Richard III. Furthermore, Henry VII executed all opponents and pretendents to his throne soon after his accession, so he wouldn't hesitate to execute the boys who were already imprisoned for a long time when he ascended the throne.
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  #50  
Old 03-12-2009, 12:13 AM
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I'm not sure about Richard III myself- it was just other earlier posters to this thread seemed to hold him accountable for his nephews' murder by even putting him on the Worst Monarchs list, so I was answering them. I'm not sure he was guilty nor that he should be on the Worst Monarchs list, and I was saying if he did do that, we have to place it in the context of his times, which was right after the Middle Ages and War of the Roses, a time of sucession disputes.
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  #51  
Old 03-12-2009, 02:52 AM
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I'm not sure about Richard III myself- it was just other earlier posters to this thread seemed to hold him accountable for his nephews' murder by even putting him on the Worst Monarchs list, so I was answering them. I'm not sure he was guilty nor that he should be on the Worst Monarchs list, and I was saying if he did do that, we have to place it in the context of his times, which was right after the Middle Ages and War of the Roses, a time of sucession disputes.

When you used the phrase 'when he killed his nephews' without qualifying by suggesting that you didn't believe that what is one to think.

That phrase says to me that you do believe that he killed his nephews.

Had your first post suggested otherwise I would have said nothing.
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  #52  
Old 03-18-2009, 02:49 PM
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I wouldn't put Richard III on the list. He was only King for two years and he didn't screw up England nearly as much as some of the other people we've mentioned.

As for Richard and the Princes in the Tower, I don't think there was an evidence they were still alive when Henry VII took the throne and it would've been difficult for him to order them killed before that. It's entirely possible people who supported him and his mother may have killed them, but I doubt he was directly involved.

Personally, I think the most likely explanation is that they were killed by some one on Richard's side, though not necessarily by his orders. Perhaps some courtier with connections in the Tower who had heard rumors of a rebellion in their names and thought he could gain favor with Richard by killing them. It's possible Richard ordered it, but equally possible he didn't even know about it until after it happened.
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  #53  
Old 03-19-2009, 09:46 PM
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Yes, Richard III has become a victim of his reputation as much as anything else. I think that's why people tend to say he murdered his nephews at times, because he gets such a bad rap. Shakespeare's play Richard III portrays him in a bad light for example, but there was worse as far as British monarchs were concerned.
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  #54  
Old 03-20-2009, 03:46 PM
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I think it was Thomas More and later Shakespeare who were largely responsible for blackening R3's reputation... what else could WS do when it was the queen's own grandfather who deposed him. No one ever described him as a hunchback before (and in Tudor England hunchbacks were known to have defective characters).

My guess is that killing the boys would have been more beneficial to Henry VII.
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  #55  
Old 03-20-2009, 04:52 PM
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I think it would have been beneficial to both, but I'm not sure Richard did it. It was a tragedy anyway, although had not the Tudor Dynasty come into power, Elizabeth I never would have ruled and that would have been a great loss. It's unfortunate Richard III owes his traditional historical reputation as such a monster to a play. What about James II who fled England- how would he rank in the worst monarch stakes? He certainly wasn't one of the best monarchs England had, as he was way of out of step with the way England was at the time of his reign.
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  #56  
Old 03-20-2009, 06:08 PM
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I think he's right up there with the worst monarchs. He could have put the country right back into civil war with his arrogance and his religious certainties. I don't know whether a second deposition and possible execution of a monarch would have led to a second Restoration, but my hunch is that it wouldn't.
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  #57  
Old 03-20-2009, 07:16 PM
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I happen to think that all British monarchs were adequate. Some were better, others were worse. The main thing is that British rulers have preserved their institution.
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  #58  
Old 03-20-2009, 09:18 PM
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I have only recently begun to learn something about the rulers before Victoria, and though I don't know much about them yet I think quite a number were less than adequate, for example Richard I, Mary I, Charles I, James II and George I.

Richard had no interest in being king and just wanted to be off on his military adventures. Mary just wanted to burn protestants. Charles had no time for Parliament believed he had a God-given right to do whatever he wanted and did just that, apparently having little regard for the likely consequences, and eventually caused the Civil War and the resulting hiatus in the monarchy. James' incompetence led to the "Glorious Revolution" and significant changes to the monarchy. George couldn't even speak English. Of course the incompetence of some of them had an indirect benefit of leading to more power to Parliament and the people, so depending on your point of view they may in fact have been excellent monarchs.
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  #59  
Old 03-28-2009, 01:04 PM
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I consider George IV to be the worst Monarch of the United Kingdom. I am surprised no one has mentioned him yet. Mrs Maria Fitzherbert has a lot to answer for.

I actually like Hugh Lauries portrayal of him in Blackadder III
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  #60  
Old 03-28-2009, 04:49 PM
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I did mention George IV, and yes he was up there ( in my opinion). As for George I I don't think he was a bad monarch just because he was a foreigner and couldn't speak English. He wasn't raised in England and wasn't prepared for his role as monarch in England by anyone when growing up. He didn't know that he would become king until later in his life, so he was raised to be a German ruler, not English, and he became king when older so it was hard for him to change by that time. He could have tried harder, but he didn't know he was going to be monarch in England until later in his life so there was only so much he could do to become English, or speak English.
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