king james : related to william the conquerer ?

Jun 2016
3
seattle
#1
it seems like there would be no blood relation between james and william, since william was norman blood and james was probably celtic, yet the line of succession has been unbroken from william until present day ? thanks
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,928
Dispargum
#2
James was a great great grandson of Henry VII. Long before the 16th century terms like Norman and Celtic had lost their meaning due to frequent intermarriage between the two groups.

It depends on how one defines 'line of succession.' Not every king or queen of England was descended from all of their predecessors since several kings or queens died without issue. However, the crown always managed to pass to someone who was a blood relative of their predecessor.

Nor should one believe that England (or Britain) was always a monarchy. There was a twelve year stretch in the 17th century when England was a republic. However, the interregnum ended when Charles II assumed the throne. Charles II was a son of the last previoius king, Charles I.
 
Jun 2015
1,252
Scotland
#3
I think 30 generations gives you a million ancestors so a great many or probably the majority of people will have decent from royals all over the place. Putting emphasis on ancestry becomes less and less relevant the longer back you look.
 
Jun 2017
2,879
Connecticut
#4
it seems like there would be no blood relation between james and william, since william was norman blood and james was probably celtic, yet the line of succession has been unbroken from william until present day ? thanks
Every single English and British monarch since 1066 has been a descendant of William the Conqueror. The name of the dynasty changes when a female or a male inheriting through a female line becomes monarch. James was the King of Scotland but his great grandmother was Henry VIII's older sister and was both his mother and fathers grandmother(she was married twice and the children of her offspring from the two marriages married and produced James).

The line of succession on the other hand has been broken quite a few times. Before Mary I several women were the rightful heirs to the throne and were not able to take power. James II and his son were deposed in favor of Mary and William and then the Act of Succession banned a bunch of Catholic with superior claims to the Hanoverians. Today's law allowing first born women to succeed over second born men also means if this law had been applied earlier there would be a different royal family entirely. If Edward VIII had had children the line would have been broken again as they were barred by act of succession. Every single member of the royal family is a descendant of William the Conqueror.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,806
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#6
IMHO a little research would have shown that any and all Kings named James of England and/or Scotland had many different descents from William the Conqueror and also from many other people who lived in the same era as William.

1) William the Conqueror was the father of

2) King Henry I of England.

Edgar the Aetheling, the rightful heir of England in 1066, had a sister St. Margaret who married King Malcolm III of Scotland. Their children included a daughter Matilda who married King Henry I of England in 1100.

So then you have King Henry I of England, more or less rightful heir of William the conqueror, married to Matilda, descendant of, though not heiress of, the Anglo-Saxon kings of England.

3) Empress Matilda, daughter, married 1) Emperor Henry V, no children, and 2) Count Geoffrey Plantagenet.
4) King Henry II of England, son.
5) King John of England, son.
6) King Henry III of England, son.
7) King Edward I of England, son.
8) King Edward II of England, son.
9) King Edward III of England, son.
10) Lionel, Duke of Clarence, son.
11) Philippa, daughter, married Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March.
12) Roger Mortimer, son, 4th Earl of March.
13) Anne de Mortimer, daughter, married Richard, Earl of Cambridge.
14) Richard Plantagenet, son, 3rd Duke of York.
15) King Edward IV of England, son.
16) Elizabeth of York, daughter, married King Henry VII.
17) Margaret Tudor, daughter, married King James IV of Scotland.
18) King James V of Scotland, son.
19) Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, daughter, married her first cousin Henry Stewart.
20) King James VI of Scotland and I of England.

King James VII of Scotland and II of England was the grandson of James VI & I.

And here is another line of descent:
same as above to 9)
9) King Edward III of England, son.
10) John of Gaunt, son, Duke of Lancaster.
11) John Beaufort, son, Earl of Somerset.
12) Joan Beaufort, daughter, married King James I of Scotland.
13) King James II of Scotland, son.
14) King James III of Scotland, son.
15) King James IV of Scotland, son.
16) King James V of Scotland, son.
17) Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, daughter, married her first cousin Henry Stewart.
28) King James VI of Scotland and I of England.

This makes every English and Scottish King James descended from William the Conqueror except for James I of Scotland.
 
Jun 2017
2,879
Connecticut
#7
I only know of Matilda as a female heir that was denied the throne. I don't think Lady Jane was a hereditary heir even if Mary was denied. Who were they?
Elizabeth of York was next in line and was denied the throne by both Richard III and her eventual husband Henry V, males with inferior claims though her and Henry's children were rightful heirs given the system. In addition to Matilda and Elizabeth I was referring to Phillipa of Clarence's line and Anne de Mortimer's sub line which was passed over in favor of the Lancester's who would have had the superior claim under Salic Law but not the English succession law. Neither Phillipia or Anne would have become Queen given when they died but their male descendants claim's were also not recognized/heavily disputed and therefore I'm making an inference that their succession would have been disputed as well as Matilda and Elizabeth give the impression that before Mary a female heir to the throne was an invitation for a male with an inferior claim like Stephen Blois, Richard III or Henry VII to seize power. Queen Mary was the first woman to actually become Queen and I can imagine Henry's desire for a male heir had to at least be partly due to this precedent that would have given the impression that females couldn't take the throne and that their male descendants had a difficult time doing so.

Wasn't referring to Lady Jane at all. You're right she was not a hereditary heir and given this historical precedent, Jane's gender might have been a reason her attempt to skip Mary in line was less successful than Stephen, Richard and Henry taking the throne from female heirs.
 
Last edited:

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,163
Las Vegas, NV USA
#8
Elizabeth of York was next in line and was denied the throne by both Richard III and her eventual husband Henry V, males with inferior claims though her and Henry's children were rightful heirs given the system. In addition to Matilda and Elizabeth I was referring to Phillipa of Clarence's line and Anne de Mortimer's sub line which was passed over in favor of the Lancester's who would have had the superior claim under Salic Law but not the English succession law. Neither Phillipia or Anne would have become Queen given when they died but their male descendants claim's were also not recognized/heavily disputed and therefore I'm making an inference that their succession would have been disputed as well............
Thanks for this fine summary. I had no idea although I aways thought that Henry VII's claim was no better than Richard III's.
 
Jun 2017
2,879
Connecticut
#9
Thanks for this fine summary. I had no idea although I aways thought that Henry VII's claim was no better than Richard III's.
Np. Glad to break this down.

Well neither's was legitimate and Henry VII didn't marry Elizabeth until after he won the battle. Richard III's claim was much better though on his own merits(after he killed his nephews allegedly he was only skipping over one other male heir) , Henry VII without his marriage to Elizabeth was really down the list of the line of succession. Henry VII's marriage was quite necessary to give him and his heirs legitimacy.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,806
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#10
Here is another descent from William the Conqueror.

1) William the Conqueror was the father of

2) King Henry I of England, son.

3) Robert, first Earl of Gloucester, illegitimate son.

4) Maud/Matilda of Gloucester, daughter, married Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester.

5) Hugh, 5th Earl of Chester, son.

6) Matilda of Chester, daughter, married David of Scotland, 8th Earl of Huntingdon.

7) Margaret of Huntingdon, daughter, married Alan Lord of Galloway.

8) Dervorguilla of Galloway, daughter, married John, 5th Baron of Balliol.

9) King John Balliol of Scotland, son, rightful heir by primogeniture of King Malcolm III of Scotland, and of Malcolm III's wife St. Margaret, heiress of the Anglo-Saxon Kings of England.

10) Edward Balliol, son, three times briefly king of Scotland.

The lack of descendants of King John Balliol means that his rightful heirs, and the rightful heirs by primogeniture of the Kings of England and of Scotland are the heirs of this three married sisters.

And here is another line of descent for the Bruce and Stewart kings.

1) William the Conqueror was the father of

2) King Henry I of England.

3) Robert, first Earl of Gloucester, illegitimate son.

4) Maud/Matilda of Gloucester, daughter, married Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester.

5) Hugh, 5th Earl of Chester, son.

6) Matilda of Chester, daughter, married David of Scotland, 8th Earl of Huntingdon.

7) Isobel of Huntingdon, daughter (and sister of #7) Margaret above), married Robert Bruce, 4th Lord of Annandale.

8) Robert de Brus, son, 5th Lord of Annandale. Was a competitor for the crown of Scotland in the Great Cause of 1290/92.

9) Robert the Bruce, son, 6th Lord of Annandale, Earl of Carrick.

10) King Robert I the Bruce of Scotland, son, 7th Lord of Annandale, ancestor of all later kings of Scotland.

And here is yet another descent of Scottish kings from William the Usurper of England, the earliest I can find:

1) King William I of England.

2) King Henry I of England, son.

3) Constance or Maude, illegitimate daughter, married Roscelin, Viscount of Beaumont.

4) Richard I, son, Viscount of Beaumont.

5) Ermengarde de Beaumont, daughter, married King William I the Lion of Scotland.

6) King Alexander II of Scotland, son.

7) King Alexander III of Scotland, son.

8) Margaret, daughter, married King Eric II of Norway.

9) Margaret the Maid of Norway, daughter, heiress and/or Queen of Scotland.

Of course it is far more important for an English or Scottish monarch to be descended from the Anglo-Saxon kings of England than from William the Invader.

As I wrote above, when King Edward the Confessor died in 1066 his genealogical heir was Edgar the Aetheling, but the ambitious and powerful noble Harold became king. After Harold was killed, Edgar was proclaimed king, but soon submitted to William.

Edgar's sister Saint Margaret married King Malcolm III of Scotland in 1070, and all the Kings of Scotland after Malcolm III - except for Duncan II (and the MacWilliam claimants descended from him) and Donald III - were descendants of Malcolm III and Saint Margaret. Every Scottish monarch that was descended from Malcolm III and Saint Margaret was also the rightful heir of the Anglo Saxon kings of England, down to Margaret the Maid of Norway and John Balliol and his son Edward Balliol. But the later kings of Scotland were not the rightful heirs of the Anglo-saxon kings of England, since they were not the rightful heirs of John Balliol.

See here where the heirs of the three sisters of John Balliol are traced.

Pretenders in the British Isles

And see my own thread on this site:

http://historum.com/european-history/125841-heirs-john-balliol-king-scotland.html

What about the descent of English kings from the Anglo-Saxon kings of England?

The invader, William, had absolutely no descent from Anglo-saxon kings of England or other Anglo-saxon kingdoms. He didn't even have any descent from Anglo-Saxon slaves. The kings and nobles of Wales had better claims to the English throne, first as descendants of the ancient Romano-Britons and second as descendants of Cadwallader the Blessed, King of the Britons, the son of Cadwallon, King of the Britons, and according to legend a sister of Penda, King of Mercia and descendant of the kings of all the Angles back in the old country.

But William the Invader's wife, Matilda of Flanders, did have a descent from a daughter of King Alfred the Great of Wessex, ancestor of the Kings of England. Of course Matilda's two brothers had senior claims to be the heirs of the daughter of Alfred the Great, and in turn the sons of Alfred the Great had superior claims to that of their sister. In 1066 a number of European nobles, including Emperor Henry IV, were descended from daughters of Alfred's son King Edward the Elder, and thus had superior claims to the English throne than Matilda.

So:

1) King Alfred the Great of Wessex.

2) Aelfthryth of Wessex, daughter, married Count Baldwin II of Flanders. Note that the descendants of her brothers had superior claims to the crowns of Wessex and of England than her descendants.

3) Arnulf I, Count of Flanders, son.

4) Baldwin III, Count of Flanders, son.

5) Arnulf II, Count of Flanders, son.

6) Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders, son.

7) Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, son.

8) Matilda of Flanders, daughter. Married King William I of England. Note that the descendants of Matilda's two brothers had superior claims to the English throne than her descendants did.

9) King Henry I of England, son. Married Matilda of Scotland, descendant of Anglo-Saxon kings.

10) Matilda, daughter. Married first, Emperor Henry V, no children. Married second Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou.

11) King Henry II Plantagenet, ancestor of all later kings of England except for Louis of France.

And another line of descent:

Same as above to number 8.

8) Matilda of Flanders, daughter. Married King William I of England. Note that the descendants of Matilda's two brothers had superior claims to the English throne than her descendants did.

9) Adela, daughter, married Stephen Count of Blois.

10) King or rival King Stephen of England. Son.

And here is the best line of descent from the Anglo-saxon kings of England.

Aethelred the Unready, King of the English.

1) Edmund Ironside, king of the English, oldest surviving son and older half brother of King Edward the Confessor.

2) Edward the Exile, second son. In 1057 he was the only surviving member of the house of Wessex and returned to England invited by Edward the Confessor. Married Agatha, a women of high but mysterious ancestry.

3) Edgar the Aetheling, son. King of the English for a short time in 1066. Rightful heir of England. Still alive in 1025. No known children.

4) St. Margaret, sister. Died 1093. Married King Malcolm III of Scotland.

5) Edmund, probably oldest surviving son, died after 1097.

6) King Edgar of Scotland, brother. Childless.

7) King Alexander I of Scotland, next brother. No legitimate children.

8) King David of Scotland, next brother. Note that Edgar, Alexander, and David of Scotland, to say nothing of their uncle Edgar Aetheling, were alive and had superior claims to the English throne in 1100 when King Henry I of England married their sister Matilda, ancestress of Henry II and all later kings of England.

9) Henry Earl of Huntingon and Northumbria, son. Died before his father.

10) King Malcom IV of Scotland, son of Henry, grandson of David. Childless.

11) King William I The Lion of Scotland, younger brother. Ancestor of Scottish monarchs until Margaret the Maid of Norway. His younger brother David of Scotland, 8th Earl of Huntingdon, was the ancestor of the Balliol, Bruce, and Stewart kings of Scotland.
 
Last edited:

Similar History Discussions