The bachelor kings of England

April 19 2013

Who were they?

Agnes Strickland reminds us, and the answer is not surprising, because two were boys:

William Rufus

Edward V

Edward VI

Can twelve- or fifteen-year olds be bachelors? The mystery is William Rufus, who was succeeded by his younger brother Henry. Frank Barlow’s book must be the one to read.

Strickland would be good comfort or ’flu reading except that she is such a dull writer. I have tried. What about Anglo-Saxon kings?


The industrious Strickland’s œuvre:

Lives of the Queens of England, 12 vols, 1840-48

The Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, 1842-43

Lives of the Queens of Scotland and English Princesses Connected with the Regal Succession of Great Britain, 8 vols, 1851-59

Lives of the Bachelor Kings of England, 1861

The Lives of the Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688, Enriched and Illustrated with Personal Letters, Now First Published, from the Bodleian Library, 1866

Lives of the Tudor Princesses, Including Lady Jane Gray and Her Sisters, 1868

Lives of the Last Four Princesses of the Royal House of Stuart, 1872

She was helped in much of this by her sister Elisabeth. Both were spinsters.

Agnes Strickland by John Hayes

Portrait by John Hayes, National Portrait Gallery, London, not my cropping

She wasn’t beautiful: NPG images.

One Response to “The bachelor kings of England”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    Richard the Lionheart and James I may have been gay, but weren’t bachelors.

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