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  #1  
Old 07-25-2008, 02:21 PM
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Worst British Monarchs

Found this a few weeks ago and thought it very interesting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today...00/7510028.stm

I quote, "Today spoke to historians taking part in a debate organised by English Heritage, which seeks to answer the question of which British monarch should be considered the biggest failure."

There were some on the list I wasn't surprised to find, such as "Mary I of England" and "Queen Mary of Scots." But there were several other monarchs that were missing -- George III perhaps? He did lose America after all.

I suppose it's all based on how we define "failure." I wanted to see what other candidates the forum members had in mind!
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:34 PM
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I wouldn't put George on the list. After 1689 the monarch had no real power anyway--all power was vested in the monarch, but wielded only on the advice of Parliament. For greatest failure you have to look before 1689. I'd say that Charles I would probably be the pretty obvious major failure, there.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:51 PM
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i would put Edward II and Mary I.

I didnt expect George IV
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Victoria got a mention for being miserable
Poor Queen V!
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:25 PM
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I'm not suprised to find Henry VIII on the list or Mary I, but I didn't expect that Victoria was mentioned for being a bad monarch...
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:41 AM
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Ivan the terrible.....Ivan was Tsar of Russia very early on. he did monstrous terrible things, some included murdering his wife killing who ever he felt like it eugh...read up on it he was truly sick...hence why they call him Ivan the terrible.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:20 PM
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Edward I of England Hammer of The Scots!
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:10 PM
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King Henry VIII without hesitation ... although he 'supposedly' recanted on his deathbed
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:56 PM
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The Plantagenets would have to rank high... the Lionheart and John. Henry VI. My beloved Henry VIII. Charles I, pardon his incompetence. Edward VIII.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:43 PM
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Stephen, Richard I, Richard II, Henry VI, Mary I, James II, Edward VIII would be me worst list for a number of reasons - namely weakness, sell outs, not putting their country first being the main ones.


Henry VIII I see as one of the best monarchs in an absolute system simply for promoting English rights over foreign ones - he really supported the idea of England being controlled by Englishmen rather than have a foreigner interfere.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:23 PM
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William Rufus ... probably not a vote of popularity to have someone shoot an arrow through your eye. Richard II, too -- I thought of him last night as I was going to sleep.

I wrote a report on Richard II in graduate school. Although he was a great patron of the arts (and allegedly the inventor of the men's necktie), great patronage does not necessarily a great king make.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:41 PM
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Edward II. Not that it's much of a surprise, given that his father was such a brute. But really, he was an utter disgrace.

And Richard II, who seems to fully deserve the description "monster."

And I think Richard I belongs on that list too. He may have been a Lionheart in his crusades, but he was a worthless King of England.

Henry VI would have made a very good prior or abbot, but he wasn't exactly King material. I think both Edward VI and Mary I could have usefully been bypassed too, for that matter.

And moving forward a bit, I don't think James II, Mary II, Anne, and George I were much to write home about. And while I have some sympathy for Edward VIII, we're probably better off for the abdication. I'm not sure how good a wartime King he'd have been.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:46 PM
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Henry VIII is the worst for me (paradoxically, Catherine of Aragon is one of my favourite monarchs).
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:17 PM
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I think that Mary (I) had potential, since she had formidable examples in her maternal line (Catherine, one of my all-time favorite queens, and Isabella of Castile). But it all went wrong, with the highly dysfunctional family and the religious issue. Had she been more inclined to mercy and compassion, and not had the misfortune of tying herself to Philip of Spain, she might have been more successful.

But I know, you can't win a popularity contest by torturing people.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:20 PM
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I agree with Elspeth about the Lionheart. Once again, lacking in compassion. And beggaring the State with financing his unsuccessful crusades. (He might have made a mint had he opened trade with the Muslims and through them opened a route to India and China. Why couldn't I have been there to advise him? )
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:28 PM
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Empress Catherine II of Russia. She might not be "cruel", but she betrayed her husband and the coup d'etat she made, for me, was horrible, even being good for Russian people and the Empire at all.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:20 PM
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With modern monarchy being no more than a figurehead, it'll be harder to pick out "monstrous ones" in the future since kings and queens no longer have the political power they once had.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:54 PM
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Henry VIII

Not even Kings of his time were allowed to execute their wives because they could not provide sons!!!
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Edward II. Not that it's much of a surprise, given that his father was such a brute. But really, he was an utter disgrace.

And Richard II, who seems to fully deserve the description "monster."

And I think Richard I belongs on that list too. He may have been a Lionheart in his crusades, but he was a worthless King of England.

Henry VI would have made a very good prior or abbot, but he wasn't exactly King material. I think both Edward VI and Mary I could have usefully been bypassed too, for that matter.

And moving forward a bit, I don't think James II, Mary II, Anne, and George I were much to write home about. And while I have some sympathy for Edward VIII, we're probably better off for the abdication. I'm not sure how good a wartime King he'd have been.
I am going to have to greatly agree Elspeth....
Edward II was unstable... Richard II was inhuman.... and George I was duller than a dump-truck load of dirt!
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camilo2002 View Post
Henry VIII

Not even Kings of his time were allowed to execute their wives because they could not provide sons!!!

Actually they could.

The evidence: Henry did execute Anne (although he used the excuse of her infidelity rather than that she couldn't provide sons).
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