Kingdom of England

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Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
not part of the Kingdom: Commonwealth (1649–1660)
Flag of england Coat of arms of England 1702–1707
flag coat of arms
navigation Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors) .svg
Motto : Dieu et mon droit
( French for "God and my law")
- 927 to 1066
- 1066 to 1707

Form of government kingdom
System of government
- 927 to 1215
- 1215 to 1649 and
- 1660 to 1689
- 1689 to 1707

Absolute monarchy

constitutional monarchy Constitutional monarchy
Head of state king
surface 151,174 km² (1603)
currency Pound sterling (since about 1200)
Existence period 927-1649, 1660-1707
Location of the Kingdom of England in Europe

The Kingdom of England existed from the collapse of the heptarchy in the early Middle Ages to 1707 . His successor was the result of the merger of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland created Kingdom of Great Britain .


Traditionally, King Egbert of Wessex is the first to be listed in England's royal lists, as he was the first from the House of Kings of Wessex to establish supremacy over the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy on the British Isles, at least for a time . Offa von Mercien (King from 757 to 796) was the first Anglo-Saxon to describe himself as "King of England" (774).

Alfred the Great later achieved recognition as the English king, but the Danelaw , ruled by King Guthrum , did not recognize him as a patron. Following the example of Charlemagne , Alfred founded numerous monasteries . By creating new schools, he promoted the cultural and intellectual life of his empire. At the age of 36 he learned Latin himself and began to invite numerous scholars from the Franconian Empire to come to England. These and Anglo-Saxon lawyers began writing common law under his reign in a set of laws called the Domboc . An English national consciousness also made itself felt under him for the first time. Alfred's successors created an administrative system in which sheriffs were crown officials at the head of a county , a shire , with several counties being grouped into an earldom under an earl .

The historical founding day of the English Kingdom is July 12, 927 , when, according to the description of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the historians William of Malmsbury and John of Worcester, the kings Æthelstan , Constantine II , Eógan I , Howell the Good and Ealdred I. met at Eamont Bridge in what is now Cumbria . The kings here recognized the supremacy of Æthelstan. King Æthelstan was able to drive the Cornwallers out of Exeter in 936 and drew a line on the outer edge of his kingdom of Wessex , on the River Tamar . He called himself Rex totius Britanniae (King of all Britain), but could only bring Wales and Scotland under loose suzerainty. In contrast, he conquered Northumbria permanently. After 930 his documents were made by a single firm in Winchester , which suggests a kind of capital of his kingdom. From his reign onwards one can speak of the Kingdom of England. (see Origin of England )

Time and descent table of the English and British monarchs since William the Conqueror, color-coded according to dynasties

William I the Conqueror led the invasion of the British Isles in 1066 and defeated his rival Harald II in the Battle of Hastings. He then subjugated the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom and founded the Anglo-Norman Empire. He had the Domesday Book drawn up and the Tower of London built. The English kings of the High Middle Ages reached far into France (see Angevin Empire ). From the late 12th century onwards, the English kings gradually subjugated the island of Ireland and Wales . In the early 13th century, the Angevin Empire collapsed, and the Plantagenet family gradually transformed into a purely English dynasty. The Norman nobility integrated themselves into the Anglo-Saxon population and gradually adopted an independent English national consciousness.

The Act of Union, the laws incorporating Wales 1535–1542 , finally ended the special status of the Welsh Marches and made Wales subject to English law. In 1541 the Kingdom of Ireland was founded, which was linked in personal union with England. From 1603 was under James I , a personal union with Scotland . The Commonwealth of England as a republic (1649-1659) under Oliver Cromwell remained a brief episode. Through the amalgamation of the kingdoms of England and Scotland through the Act of Union 1707 , a real union was created under the name of the Kingdom of Great Britain . (see list of British monarchs ).


The constitutional order of the kingdom changed from the regional kingship with the hegemony of a single king to the clearly pronounced feudal system under William the Conqueror . This was converted from Johann Ohneland and reinforced under Edward I to a royal rule with the participation of Parliament. Jacob I and Karl I tried to enforce an absolutist rule. However, this failed in the English civil war , which led to the execution of Charles I, the interim abolition of the monarchy and the introduction of the Commonwealth of England - a republic. After the semi-absolutist interlude under Charles II and James II , which followed the Commonwealth, a preliminary form of constitutional monarchy was introduced under William of Orange and Maria II .

See also


  • The Oxford History of England. Published by George Clark. 15 volumes. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1934-1966.
  • The New History of England. Edited by AG Dickens and Norman Gash. Arnold, London 1977 ff.
  • The New Oxford History of England. Edited by JN Roberts. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1989 ff.
  • Walter Bagehot : The English Constitution. Chapman and Hall, London 1867, online (PDF; 551 KB) .PDF document
  • Norman Davies : The Isles. A history. Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 1999, ISBN 0-19-513442-7 .
  • History of england. In three volumes. CH Beck, Munich;
  • Julian Hoppit: A land of liberty? England 1689–1727 (= The new Oxford history of England ). Clarendon Press, Oxford et al. 2000, ISBN 0-19-822842-2 .
  • Kurt Kluxen : History of England. From the beginning to the present (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 374). 2nd Edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3-520-37402-1 .
  • Henry Royston Loyn, Sir David M. Wilson:  England. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (RGA). 2nd Edition. Volume 7, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1989, ISBN 3-11-011445-3 , pp. 289-302. (introductory specialist article from pre-Roman to early medieval history of England)
  • Michael Maurer: Little History of England (= Universal Library 9616). Revised, updated and bibliographical supplemented edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-15-009616-2 .
  • Jürgen Sarnowsky : England in the Middle Ages. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-14719-7 .
  • Peter Wende: History of England. 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-17-013517-1 .

Individual evidence

  1. C. Patrick Wormald, PE Szarmach: Alfred the Great . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA) . tape 1 . Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 409 f .
  2. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Edited by Dorothy Whitelock , David C. Douglas , Susie I. Tucker. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick 1961.
  3. Ronald G. Asch : Jakob I. (1566-1625). King of England and Scotland; Ruler of Peace in the Age of Wars of Religion. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-17-018680-9 .
  4. Christopher Hill: God's Englishman. Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution. Littlehampton Book Services, London 1970, ISBN 0-297-00043-8 .
  5. ^ William Ferguson: The Making of the Treaty of Union of 1707 Scottish Historical Review 43, (1964), pp. 89-110.