Princes of England


Edgar Atheling,

or Prince Edgar, son of Edward Atheling, also called Edward the Outlaw, and grandson of Edmund Ironside, was probably born in Hungary, whither his father and uncle, then children, had been sent after the accession of Canute. He came to England with his father in 1057, but though he was rightful heir to the throne on the death of Edward the Confessor, his claims were passed over. After the fall of Harold at the battle of Hastings, he was actually proclaimed king at London, and appears to have been recognized for some time as such; however, he was one of the first to profess submission to the Conqueror, whom in the next year he followed into Normandy. In 1068 he was in Scotland, and his sister Margaret was married not long after to King Malcolm. He took part in the invasion of England and the storming of York Castle in 1069, and was induced on several occasions subsequently to make rash attempts of a similar kind, followed by formal reconciliation with William. In 1086 he went to Italy, and is said to have joined the Norman bands there. In 1098 his nephew Edgar, with his aid, was raised to the Scottish throne. In the civil war between Henry I. and his brother Robert, duke of Normandy, Edgar joined the latter, and was captured by Henry at the battle of Tinchebrai in 1106. The year of his death is unknown.


prince of Wales, surnamed the Black Prince, son of Edward III., was born in 1330; and accompanying his father to France in 1346, took a leading part in gaining the victory of Crecy. During his stay in France he performed many other acts of heroism, till at length, in 1356, he won the great battle of Poitiers, when he took King John and his son prisoners, and distinguished himself as much by his courtesy to his captives as he had in the field by his unrivalled valour. In 1361 he married Joan, called the Fair Maid of Kent, daughter of the Earl of Kent, and widow, first, of Sir Thomas Holland, and then of the Earl of Salisbury, and was soon after created by his father Prince of Aquitaine. Bordeaux then became the seat of his government. In 1367 he went to the assistance of Pedro the Cruel, king of Castile, who had been dethroned by his brother, Henry of Trastamare. The latter was defeated, and Pedro re-established, but only for a short time. Prince Edward was soon after involved in disputes with his subjects, which occasioned the renewal of war between Francs and England. He died in 1376, aged 45.

George, Prince of Denmark,

consort of Queen Anne, was born in 1653. He was one of the sons of Frederick III. of Denmark, and married the Princess Anne at London in 1683. At the Revolution he went over to the Prince of Orange, and was soon after naturalised and made an English peer. When Anne succeeded to the throne, Prince George was named generalissimo and lord high admiral, but his indolence and incapacity left him without any influence on affairs. He died at Kensington, in 1708.

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Rupert, or Robert, Prince of Bavaria,

the third son of Frederick, Elector- palatine, by Elizabeth, daughter of James I, was born in 1619, and received a military education. He came to England in 1642 commanded the cavalry of Charles I during the civil war, and on various occasions manifested the most daring courage; but also great brutality and unscrupulous indulgence in pillage. He took part at the battle of Edgehill forced a passage through Birmingham; surprised the parliamentarians at Chalgrove, Hampden being mortally wounded; took Bristol; fought at Newbury; relieved Lathom House after it had been defended for several months by the Countess of Derby; raised the siege of York but immediately after was totally defeated at Marston Moor, July 2, 1644; commanded the right wing at Naseby; and three months later (Sept, 1645), having surrendered Bristol to General Fairfax, the king dismissed him from his service.

Between 1649-53 Prince Rupert led the life of a buccaneer in the West Indies. He won distinction as a naval commander, particularly after the Restoration, in the great Dutch war; took part, under Monk, in the four days battle with the Dutch, in 1665; served again in 1673; and on the conclusion of the war led a retired life, occupied wholly in scientific pursuits. He invented a composition called 'prince's metal,' improved the strength of gunpowder, found out a method of fusing black lead, and practised, if he did not invent, the art of engraving in mezzotinto. He was an active member of the Board of Trade, and a fellow of the Royal Society; and to his influence is ascribed the establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company, of which he was the first governor. His name is perpetuated in 'Rupert's Land.' Died, at London, in 1682, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Portraits of Prince Rupert, by Mytens, Vandyck, and others, were lent to the National Portrait Exhibition (1866).

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The above information was gleaned from various sources and then put together by Colin Hinson ©1996.

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