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Introduction part I – the sovereigns

King John’s reign over England, 1199 to 1216, was a litany of failures and losses. From his brother Richard I he inherited vast Continental possessions, Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, Poitou and Aquitaine. He failed to act as a just lord of these lands, and lost all but Aquitaine to his ally become foe Philippe II of France. He failed to be a just king in England also; his despotic rule, frequent cruelties and incessant harsh taxation, intended to finance the recapture of the lost fiefs, alienated his subjects and led to widespread revolt and eventually the importation of the French king’s son, who was set up as king in John’s stead. His attempt to maintain the rights of the kings of England over appointments to its Church led only to the entire loss of those rights and John’s submission to the Pope as his vassal.

It would be easy to say that the most successful thing John ever did was die unexpectedly at the early age of forty-nine, allowing support to accrue to his nine-year-old heir Henry III and eventually leading to a successful conclusion of the civil war John’s failures as man and monarch had provoked. And yet his seventeen-year reign was the foundation of England’s, later Britain’s, status as a constitutional kingdom under law, and of much else besides. John was intelligent, energetic, highly literate, an able administrator and a capable general, but he had no moral compass. He respected no law or right and no man’s wife, ruling by his own arbitrary will and taking his pleasure wherever and with whoever he pleased.

These latter failings led to the loss of the French lands, but that in turn, combined with the former and more admirable traits, led to John becoming known as the Father of the English Navy. There had been no particular need of one before, seeing as the English monarch owned or controlled the entire opposing coastline, but having through his failures created the need John set to and filled it. Through that same loss John became the first English monarch since the Conquest, the abject Stephen aside, to spend the bulk of his reign in England. He concerned himself very directly with administration and the system of justice, producing important reforms to both and extending royal justice at the expense of the baronial version, albeit his intentions were not benign but to improve the efficiency with which his extortionate taxes and fines could be gathered.

His essential worthlessness as a man nearly led to the loss of England too, and probably would have were it not for the changed situation produced by John’s death. Sixteen months earlier, on 15th June 1215 at Runnymede, on the banks of the Thames near Windsor, John had sealed what was in essence a peace treaty with his barons, he promising to rule in future justly and in accordance with law and they to be his faithful vassals. No one really expected it to work, and it didn’t. The barons understandably did not trust John to keep his word and did not stand down their forces, and John, who had promised among many other things not to appeal to the Pope to nullify his oath, promptly did just that, the Pope as promptly obliging.

But in 1216 the agreement was reissued in the name of the young Henry III, and in 1217 again, gaining the name of Magna Carta, shortened from Magna Carta Libertatum, ‘the Great Charter of Liberties’, by which it was forever after known. It was issued once more in 1225 in abbreviated form, and in 1297 this version was enshrined in statute by Henry III’s son Edward I. It remained in effect in its entirety until the 19th century, and in three clauses still is today, these guaranteeing in turn the freedom of the Church, the liberties of London and other cities and towns and the right to due process of law.

The Church was a main broker in the peace negotiations and as always looked after its own interests, London was in rebel hands and its citizens had to be mollified, and as for the last clause, consider its translated wording: ‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.’

John of course had regularly, indeed habitually, done all these things which he now pledged not to do again, and the clause was intended specifically to restrain his actions, not that anyone expected that it would. But it became the foundation of trial by jury and impartial, independent justice, not because it was intended to but because its wording allowed that to happen, and similarly by a process of evolution and accrued quasi-mythological status the failed peace agreement, seen by no one at the time as of any particular significance and swiftly annulled, became the foundation of constitutional rule in these lands and eventually many others.

This year sees the 800th anniversary of the most important of what might be called John’s fortunate failures, and many public events are planned to mark it. This is my own offering, posted on the first day of the year, charts and supporting material exploring the relationships between King John and seventeen of his fellow monarchs and tracing descent from them to the present day.

Some of these were famous, great men who accomplished much, such as Philippe II of France, known as ‘Augustus’, Friedrich II of Germany, later Emperor and known as Stupor Mundi, ‘the Wonder of the World’, and Chaime I of Aragón, known as ‘the Conqueror’. Some were worthy but obscure, others less worthy but still obscure, and two did not even live beyond childhood. All however feature in the charts and the discussion of posterities, and will be covered at varying lengths in a fuller version of this introduction I hope to post later in the month.

There are two contemporary European sovereigns who do not appear, these being Inge II of Norway and Boril of Bulgaria. The latter is in a slightly better position than his later successor George Terter I, similarly overlooked in the 1286 thread, in that while we have no clue who George Terter’s parents were, for Boril we have guesses but aren’t sure. But actually even if the guesses were confirmed there would still be no possibility of establishing relationships for him, nor is there anyone known to be of his descent.

Of the sovereigns I do treat of, I was unable to establish a complete set of relationships for Hugues I of Cyprus, Erik X of Sweden and Yaroslav of Pereyaslavl, my chosen Russian prince. I could though connect them to a good number of their fellow sovereigns, whereas for Inge II the number was three; Valdemar II of Denmark, 5c, András II of Hungary, also 5c, and Demetrius of Thessalonica, 5c1r, all through Godwin, Earl of Wessex. Obviously there was no point in bulking up the charts with him when his known relationships could be so simply summarised, and I did not.

Before I move to the second part of the introduction, which introduces the charts and analyses the relationships, I should explain the second part of the thread title. Although as said a full set of relationships is shown for most of the monarchs there are all too many gaps, and if I continued to go back in time the gaps would multiply, reducing the meaningfulness of the results I did manage to produce. So I will not be going back any further, and this, the earliest-dated of all the threads, is also the last I will produce.

It is in that way both end and beginning, which inevitably made me think of the great passage from T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding from which I used a brief excerpt to close the main portion of the introduction to 1453 (the earliest-dated thread in my original series). A little presumptuous of me perhaps, but I decided that the passage as a whole would serve as a fitting envoi for the extended series as a whole, its themes of time and mortality and history binding the present to the past echoed by the 800-year-long narrative the threads form. So here at the beginning, the master poet’s words will be the very end.


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Introduction part II – the relationships

Once again, the high number of monarchs found at this early date necessitated the splitting of the original chart, and that in turn required me to find some reasonable basis on which to do so. As with the other pre-1453 threads I divided the monarchs into what can conveniently if not entirely accurately be called ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ groups, the former related closely amongst themselves and more distantly to members of the other group, the latter fairly distantly in all cases.

As in all the threads except 1330, the dividing lines between the two groups are not sharp, and in fact with some exceptions the 1215 relationships as a whole are reasonably close. I nevertheless did find it possible to produce the two groups, relationships within and between which are summarised in the table below:

 130362767 100282152

T refers to the original 18-monarch chart, I to the Western group amongst themselves, II to the Eastern group ditto, and III to the two groups with each other. Figures on the left are actual numbers and on the right the percentages these form; for example, 6% of the total relationships are as first cousins and 100% of these appear in chart I.

With 49% of the relationships third cousin or nearer, and only 16% more distant than fifth cousin, my point about the relative closeness overall can be seen. My feeling is that the early date has something to do with this; while some of the monarchs were already of ancient line others came from families of more recent origin, and if connectable at all, as in most cases they were, the mutual ancestors were also likely to be quite recent and the connections correspondingly close. That at any rate will be some of the cause, and is a question I may go into further at another time.

A particularly interesting case is that of Hugues I of Cyprus, who was fairly closely connected with some monarchs but with others remotely or not at all, his remotest relationships having to be excluded from the statistics above and elsewhere because while I could verify their existence I could not that they were nearest. His father was a King, Aimery of Cyprus and Jerusalem, but apart from that he had no royal ancestry whatsoever. None. His ancestors were all French nobility, mostly minor at that, and the wonder is not that there were gaps but that he could be connected in any way, let alone as closely as fourth cousin, which he was in six cases (all of which were with Western group members; he makes hardly any connections with his own group).

For the other sovereigns with incomplete connections, Erik X of Sweden and Yaroslav of Pereyaslavl, the determining factor was often a question of whether the other monarch was descended from Henri I of France and his consort Anna of Kiev. If they were connections could be made; if not, not, unless there was some other Rurikid descent present. Later, descent from Anna of Kiev and certain other Rurikids had become universal so connections could always be made with the Russian princes of the day, though usually remoter by far than these.

All these matters and much more besides are detailed in the three charts, which with their keys follow this introduction, and are themselves followed by two tables of combined statistics, a note on posterities, an addendum which I will explain in the next paragraph and the envoi explained in part I above.

I have included one monarch of an Asian kingdom in the charts, Isabella II of Jerusalem. She however was entirely of Western culture and heritage, as her kingdom was. The same is not true of Cilician Armenia, of which Leo I had in 1199 become the first King, nor was it true of that monarch himself. He is connectable to most of the European monarchs, and while I did not wish to emulate the exception I made for 1286 and his grandson Leo II I did not feel it right to overlook this great man and ruler altogether, so have showed his relationships in the aforementioned addendum.

Of the other Christian rulers in Asia, Theodore I Laskaris of the Nicene Empire is not connectable or I would have done a similar addendum for this also admirable man and monarch. Béla IV of Hungary, son of András II who appears in these charts, was however married to Theodore I’s daughter Maria, and through her he is a universal ancestor of royalty today; this link shows as much by tracing him to another Maria, wife of Charles II of Naples, proved to be a universal ancestor in the 1286 note on posterities. As for the Emperor of Trebizond and the King of Georgia, I intend to continue my previous policy of politely ignoring their existence.

All that said, I will proceed to the charts. There is a guide to how to read them here.


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Relationships of the European sovereigns* at the sealing of Magna Carta, 15 June 1215 (part I)
Reigning MonarchPhilippe IIAfonso IIAlfonso IXSancho VIIJohnDemetriusIsabella IIChaime IEnrique I
Philippe II of France2c1r UIIS2c1r UIIS3c GIB3c WIE2c GCB2c1r GCB3c1r GIB3c1r GIB
3c1r WIE
Afonso II of Portugal2c1r UIIS1c AIP2c RB3B2c1r GIXA2c1r GCB3c GCB1c1r RBIVB2c1r RB3B
Alfonso IX of León2c1r UIIS1c AIP1c A7C4c ALM
4c RIB
2c1r GCB3c GCB1c1r A7C1c1r A7C
Sancho VII of Navarre3c GIB2c RB3B1c A7C4c ALM
4c RIB
3c GIB3c1r GIB1c1r A7C1c1r A7C
1c1r GVIN
John of England3c WIE2c1r GIXA4c ALM
4c RIB
4c ALM
4c RIB
4c1r GVA2c1r FIJ2c2r GIXAU HIIE
Demetrius of Thessalonica2c GCB2c1r GCB2c1r GCB3c GIB4c1r GVA1c1r GVM2c2r L3A3c1r GIB
Isabella II of Jerusalem2c1r GCB3c GCB3c GCB3c1r GIB2c1r FIJ1c1r GVM3c1r L3A3c FIJ
Chaime I of Aragón3c1r GIB1c1r RBIVB1c1r A7C1c1r A7C2c2r GIXA2c2r L3A3c1r L3A2c A7C
Enrique I of Castile3c1r GIB
3c1r WIE
2c1r RB3B1c1r A7C1c1r A7C
1c1r GVIN
N HIIE3c1r GIB3c FIJ2c A7C
* Excluding Inge II of Norway and Boril of Bulgaria

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Alfonso VII of Castile (6)Afonso I of Portugal (1)Almodis de la Marche (2)
Foulque of Jerusalem (2)Gisela of Burgundy (6)Guillaume I, Count of Burgundy (6)
Guillaume IX, Duke of Aquitaine (2)Guillaume V, Duke of Aquitaine (1)García VI of Navarre (1)
Guillermo V, Margrave of Montferrat (1)Henry II of England (1)Leopold III, Margrave of Austria (2)
Ramon Berenguer III, C of Barcelona (2)Ramon Berenguer IV, C of Barcelona (1)Robert I, Duke of Burgundy (2)
Umberto II, Count of Savoy (2)William I of England (2) 
Most connections formed:A7C, GCB, GIB (6)ALM, FIJ, GIXA, L3A, RB3B, RIB, UIIS, WIE (2)Others (1)

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Relationships of the European sovereigns* at the sealing of Magna Carta, 15 June 1215 (part II)
Reigning MonarchPřemysl IFriedrich IIValdemar IIHugues IAndrás IIHenriErik XYaroslavAlexander II
Přemysl I Otakar of Bohemia4c2r HMN
4c2r MIIP
2c1r HBS4c2r MIIP
4c2r VGK
4c1r HMN6c2r MID4c 1r VGK4c2r VGK
Friedrich Ii of Germany4c2r HMN
4c2r MIIP
5c1r LIIL
5c1r MIIP
10c3r WCF3c2r TDH2c1r GCN6c1r O3S5c2r O3S5c1r BIVF
5c1r BVF
Valdemar II of Denmark2c1r HBS5c1r LIIL
5c1r MIIP
2c MIGK5c LIIL2c2r EID2c1r VIIK5c YIK
Hugues I of Cyprus10c3r WCF10c3r WCF10c WCF10c2r WCF
András II of Hungary4c2r MIIP
4c2r VGK
3c2r TDH2c MIGK10c3r WCF3c2r GPS6c O3S2c1r VIIK4c1r HIF
Henri, Latin Emperor4c1r HMN2c1r GCN5c LIIL10c WCF3c2r GPS4c1r BVF
Erik X of Sweden6c2r MID6c1r O3S2c2r EID6c O3S5c1r O3S6c O3S
Yaroslav of Pereyaslavl4c 1r VGK5c2r O3S2c1r VIIK2c1r VIIK5c1r O3S4c1r YIK
Alexander II of Scotland4c2r VGK5c1r BIVF
5c1r BVF
5c YIK10c2r WCF4c1r HIF4c1r BVF6c O3S4c1r YIK
* Excluding Inge II of Norway and Boril of Bulgaria
Note 1: relationships through Mieszko II of Poland shown in the following links have been disregarded, as the identification of Agatha, wife of Edward the Exile, as a daughter of Mieszko II is, while plausible, an as yet unproven theory: Přemysl I Otakar of Bohemia to Alexander II of Scotland; Friedrich II of Germany to Alexander II.
Note 2: some of the relationship of Hugues I of Cyprus were too remote for a red link to be obtained. In these cases a link in purple shows the descent of the sovereign whose row it is from his mutual ancestor with the other sovereign. For Friedrich II the link goes only as far as his great-grandfather Friedrich II, Duke of Swabia. Similarly, the link for András II of Hungary goes to his great-grandfather Bohemund II of Antioch, and that for Alexander II to his grandfather Henry, Earl of Huntingdon. Relationships linked in this way are treated as examples and excluded from all statistics.

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Baudouin IV, Count of Flanders (1)Baudouin V, Count of Flanders (2)Erik I of Denmark (1)
Godefroy, Count of Namur (1)Gertrude of Saxony (1)Heinrich I, Count of Berg-Schelklingen (1)
Henri I of France (1)Heinrich, Margrave of Nordgau (2)Lambert II, Count of Louvain (2)
Mieszko I of Poland (1)Mstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)Mieszko II of Poland (3)
Olof III of Sweden (5)Tancred de Hauteville (1)Vladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev (3)
Vladimir II, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)Wulfhard, Count of Flavigny (1)Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)
Certain relationships through Wulfhard, Count of Flavigny, have been excluded from statistics, as explained in the second note to the chart
Most connections formed:O3S (5)MIIP, VGK (3)BVF, HMN, LIIL, VIIK, YIK (2)Others (1)

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Relationships of the European sovereigns* at the sealing of Magna Carta, 15 June 1215 (part III)
Reigning MonarchPřemysl I
of Bohemia
Friedrich II
of Germany
Valdemar II
of Denmark
Hugues I
of Cyprus
András II
of Hungary
L Emperor
Erik X
of Sweden
of Pereyaslavl
Alexander II
of Scotland
Philippe II of France4c1r HMN
4c1r VGK
3c1r GIB4c1r YIK10c1r WCF2c2r PIF3c GPS5c1r O3S4c YIK3c1r HIF
3c1r WIE
Afonso II of Portugal8c GPG
8c HIG
4c GIB7c R3H4c ALM4c RDA4c1r ECA4c1r HIVM
Alfonso IX of León7c1r GPG3c1r GIB7c1r GPG4c ALM4c RDA5c RIIF5c RIIF
Sancho VII of Navarre7c1r GPG3c1r GIB7c R3H4c ALM4c RDA5c RIIF2c1r GLA
John of England7c1r GPG4c2r BVF
4c2r GVA
4c ALM
5c1r RIIF2c FIJ2c1r HIE
Demetrius of Thessalonica6c GPB2c1r APG2c1r MIGK10c4r WCFN B3H3c3r GPS6c1r O3S2c2r VIIK4c2r HIF
Isabella II of Jerusalem6c1r GPB3c APG5c1r OML10c3r WCF3c1r B2J2c1r FIJ5c HIVM
Chaime I of Aragón2c4r VIIB3c1r APG2c2r B3P4c1r ALM4c1r RDA
4c1r SIIK
4c2r ECA6c2r O3S4c3r YIK3c2r HCV
Enrique I of Castile8c GPG4c GIB7c1r MDS
7c1r R3H
4c1r ALM
4c1r AIVT
4c1r RDA2c1r FIJ3c GLA
3c HIE
* Excluding Inge II of Norway and Boril of Bulgaria
Note 1: relationships through Mieszko II of Poland shown in the following links have been disregarded, for the same reason as given in the first note to chart II:  Přemysl I Otakar of Bohemia to John of England and Enrique I of Castile; John to Valdemar II of Denmark and András II of Hungary; Valdemar II to Enrique I.
Note 2: some of the relationship pf Hugues I of Cyprus were too remote for a red link to be obtained. In these cases a link in purple shows the descent of the sovereign whose row it is from the mutual ancestor with Hugues I (for Hugues I’s own descent, click any purple link in his row in chart II). The link for Demetrius of Thessalonica goes only as far as Bohemund II of Antioch, his great-great-grandfather, and that for for Isabella II of Jerusalem to her great-grandmother Judith of Austria. Relationships linked in this way are treated as examples and excluded from all statistics.

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Aimery IV, Viscount of Thouars (2)Almodis de la Marche (6)Agnes of Germany (3)
Baudouin II of Jerusalem (1)Béla III of Hungary (1)Bolesław III, Duke of Poland (1)
Baudouin V, Count of Flanders (1)Ermengarde of Anjou (2)Foulque of Jerusalem (3)
Guillaume I, Count of Burgundy (5)Gilbert, Lord of L'Aigle (2)Gerberge of Burgundy (2)
Gerberga of Saxony (6)Gertrude of Saxony (2)Guillaume V, Duke of Aquitaine (1)
Hugues I, Count of Vermandois (1)Henry I of England (2)Henri I of France (2)
Heinrich I of Germany (1)Hilduin IV, Count of Montdidier (2)Heinrich, Margrave of Nordgau (1)
Mathilde of Saxony (2)Mstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)Olof III of Sweden (3)
Oda of Lusatia (1)Philippe I of France (1)Reginar III, Count of Hainaut (3)
Eobert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia (5)Robert II of France (4)Sviatopolk II, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)
Vladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)Vratislav II of Bohemia (1)Vladimir II, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)
Wulfhard, Count of Flavigny (1)William I of England (1)Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (3)
Certain relationships through Wulfhard, Count of Flavigny, have been excluded from statistics, as explained in the second note to the chart
Most connections formed:ALM, GPG (6)GIB, RDA (5)RIIF (4)APG, FIJ, O3S, R3H, YIK (3)

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Combined statistics 1215 part one: individuals forming three or more connections
GIBGuillaume I, Count of Burgundy116-5VGKVladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev  4-31
ALMAlmodis de la Marche  82-6APGAgnes of Germany  3--3
O3SOlof III of Sweden  8-53BVFBaudouin V, Count of Flanders  3-21
A7CAlfonso VII of Castile  66--GPSGertrude of Saxony  3-12
GCBGisela of Burgundy  66--HIFHenri I of France  3-12
GPGGerberga of Saxony  6--6HMNHeinrich, Margrave of Nordgau  3-21
FIJFoulque of Jerusalem  52-3MIIPMieszko II of Poland  3-3-
RDAEobert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia  5--5R3HReginar III, Count of Hainaut  3--3
YIKYaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev  5-23VIIKVladimir II, Grand Prince of Kiev  3-21
RIIFRobert II of France  4--4WIEWilliam I of England  32-1

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Combined statistics 1215 part two: individuals forming under three connections
AIVTAimery IV, Viscount of Thouars  2--2B3HBéla III of Hungary  1--1
ECAErmengarde of Anjou  2--2B3PBolesław III, Duke of Poland  1--1
GIXAGuillaume IX, Duke of Aquitaine  22--BIVFBaudouin IV, Count of Flanders  1-1-
GLAGilbert, Lord of L'Aigle  2--2EIDErik I of Denmark  1-1-
GPBGerberge of Burgundy  2--2GCNGodefroy, Count of Namur  1-1-
GVAGuillaume V, Duke of Aquitaine  21-1GVINGarcía VI of Navarre  11--
HIEHenry I of England  2--2GVMGuillermo V, Margrave of Montferrat  11--
HIVMHilduin IV, Count of Montdidier  2--2HBSHeinrich I, Count of Berg-Schelklingen  1-1-
L3ALeopold III, Margrave of Austria  22--HCVHugues I, Count of Vermandois  1--1
LIILLambert II, Count of Louvain  2-2-HIGHeinrich I of Germany  1--1
MDSMathilde of Saxony  2--2HIIEHenry II of England  11--
MIGKMstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev  2-11MIDMieszko I of Poland  1-1-
RB3BRamon Berenguer III, C of Barcelona  22--OMLOda of Lusatia  1--1
RIBRobert I, Duke of Burgundy  22--PIFPhilippe I of France  1--1
UIISUmberto II, Count of Savoy  22--RBIVBRamon Berenguer IV, C of Barcelona  11--
WCFWulfhard, Count of Flavigny  2-11SIIKSviatopolk II, Grand Prince of Kiev  1--1
AIPAfonso I of Portugal  11--TDHTancred de Hauteville  1-1-
B2JBaudouin II of Jerusalem  1--1VIIBVratislav II of Bohemia  1--1

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Reply with quote  #11 

A note on posterities

Of the eighteen monarchs that appear in the charts, twelve are universal ancestors of today’s sovereigns, one is an ancestor of four of them, and the remaining five of none, having in fact no known posterity at all. The twelve are Philippe II of France, Afonso II of Portugal, Alfonso IX of León, Přemysl I Otakar of Bohemia, the German king (also King of Sicily, and later Holy Roman Emperor) Friedrich II, John of England, Valdemar II of Denmark, Hugues I of Cyprus, András II of Hungary, Erik X of Sweden, Yaroslav of Pereyaslavl and Chaime I of Aragón.

Rather than just refer to notes for other years or resort once again to Emperor Ferdinand I, I thought I would try to find someone else of reasonable interest, descended from most at least of the twelve, who himself was an ancestor of Jan Willem Friso, nearest common ancestor of the current sovereigns. My choice fell on Albrecht IV, Duke of Bavaria (1447-1508).

As he reunified Bavaria as sole Duke and arranged for the future inheritance to be indivisible he is of some note, and was descended from eight of the twelve sovereigns. His wife Archduchess Kunigunde of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Friedrich III, was descended from three of the others and the gap is filled by Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV of England and wife of Henry VII. In the 1286 note she is part of the chain from William the Lion of Scotland, grandfather of Alexander III of the same, and is thus shown to be a universal ancestress. The following table shows descents to these three; a descent of Jan Willem Friso from Albrecht IV and Kunigunde can be seen here.

Philippe II to Albrecht IVValdemar II to Albrecht IV
Afonso II to KunigundeHugues I to Elizabeth
Alfonso IX to KunigundeAndrás II to Albrecht IV
Přemysl I to Albrecht IVErik X to Albrecht IV
Friedrich II to Albrecht IVYaroslav to Kunigunde
John to Albrecht IVChaime I to Albrecht IV

Note that Kunigunde was a descendantof Edward III of England, and is thus one of the extremely large number of ways by which sovereigns of today descend from him, discussed at length in the 1330 note part I. There is descent from three of the children of Kunigunde and Albrecht IV to current royalty, Sabina, Duchess of Württemberg and Susanne, Margravine of Brandenburg-Kulmbach being ancestresses of all and Wilhelm IV, Duke of Bavaria, an ancestor of the Catholics, the Prince of Monaco aside, and also of the three Scandinavian monarchs.  Sabina appears in the link to Jan Willem Friso above, though this is very far from being the only route from her to royalty of today; here is a similar link for Susanne, and the same applies.

This traces Wilhelm IV to Carlos IV of Spain, a demonstrated ancestor of the four Catholic monarchs, and there are again an almost incalculable number of other ways to trace descents from him to them, certainly for the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the Kings of Belgium and Spain, and even for the Prince of Liechtenstein the number is large. This shows descent from Wilhelm IV to Oscar II of Sweden and Norway, of whom Margrethe II of Denmark and Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden are great-great-grandchildren and Harald V of Norway a great-grandson, as the links show.

The above was not pure digression, as not only multiplicity of descent from Edward III was demonstrated but also multiplicity of descent from eleven of the twelve 1215 monarchs. Edward III himself incidentally was descended from five of the twelve, Philippe II (twice), Alfonso IX, John (naturally), Chaime I and András II, while his wife Philippa of Hainaut could muster Philippe II (twice again), Chaime I and András II (twice).

Turning to the five 1215 monarchs without known descent, these are Sancho VII of Navarre, Demetrius of Thessalonica, Isabella II of Jerusalem, Enrique I of Castile and the Latin Emperor Henri. Sancho VII had one legitimate son, who died aged fifteen, and apparently several illegitimate children, but posterity if any from them is not known. His successor was his sister Blanca’s son Thibaut I, who was Count of Champagne and thus paternally of the same line as King Stephen of England. Champagne incidentally remained with the Navarrese royal house, which with Jeanne I merged temporarily into that of France, until her granddaughter Jeanne II agreed with Philippe VI to exchange it for lands in Normandy, Philippe wishing to keep the strategically important County of Champagne within the direct royal domain. Showing Edward III as Thibaut I’s great-great-grandson should sufficiently demonstrate collateral descent from Sancho VII.

Demetrius, who died in his early twenties, never married and had no known illegitimate children. He was the sole child of his father Boniface I of Montferrat’s marriage with Margarete of Hungary, but this was a second marriage for both of them and posterity exists from their respective first marriages. I will trace Boniface I to Albrecht IV of Bavaria again, and Margarete to Vladislav II of Bohemia and Hungary, the father of Anna Jagiello, wife of the Emperor Ferdinand I (whom I was never going to be able to keep out of things altogether).

Isabella II of Jerusalem, who was not so much married to the Emperor Friedrich II as added to his harem, died in her teens but leaving a son, Conrad II of Jerusalem, I of Sicily and IV as German king. He died aged twenty-six, also leaving a son, Conrad III of Jerusalem, more usually known as Conradin. He was murdered aged sixteen by Charles I of Sicily, Conradin being lawful successor to the throne of Sicily which Charles had usurped.

That wicked act extinguished the Imperial House of Hohenstaufen, and also the posterity of Isabella II. There is ample posterity from her father Jean de Brienne, including for example Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, shown to be a universal ancestor in post #18 of the 1330 thread. None though from her mother Maria of Montferrat, Queen of Jerusalem in her own right as Isabella II was. Maria’s mother Isabella I of Jerusalem is however a universal ancestress, which I will show by tracing her to Hugues IV of Cyprus, demonstrated to be a universal ancestor in part I of the same thread’s note.

Enrique I of Castile was only thirteen when he died, so could hardly be expected to have progeny. None of his father Alfonso VIII’s other sons lived to any greater age, but he had three daughters from whom posterity survives. Berenguela, her brother’s heiress, was wife to Alfonso IX of León and can be seen in the links from him to Kunigunde and Edward III above; Urraca was wife to Afonso II of Portugal, and can be seen in the link from him to Kunigunde; and Blanche was wed to Louis VIII of France, and appears in all three links from his father Philippe II.

The final 1215 sovereign without descendants was Henri, Latin Emperor. He was childless but had numerous siblings, descent surviving from four of them to present-day royalty. I will show descent from his brother Baudouin I, his predecessor as Latin Emperor so that seems appropriate, to Edward III’s wife Philippa of Hainaut.

Before moving on to the 1215 sovereign with descents to only some of the monarchs of today I will cover Inge II of Norway, who was omitted from the charts as I could connect him to only three of his fellow sovereigns. Those connections were from Inge’s side all through his male-line forebear Tostig Godwinson, brother of Harold II, last native King of the English. Inge had one illegitimate son, with no known descent from him, and no full siblings, but this shows the descent of Haakon V of Norway from his paternal half-brother Skule Bårdsson. In the 1286 note Haakon V was proved to be a universal ancestor, by way of demonstrating collateral descent from his brother and predecessor Eirik II, and thus the interesting Tostig who played such a part in the events of 1066 is a universal ancestor also.

By process of elimination it must be Alexander II of Scotland with descent to just some current monarchs, and indeed it is. To four of them, as already mentioned, and these are the Queen (stage I; stage II; stage III), Albert II of Monaco (stage I; stage II; stage III), Henri of Luxembourg (stage I; stage II; stage III) and Philippe of Belgium (first two stages as for Henri; stage III). I had hoped to be able to trace wider, indeed universal descent, as I had been under the impression that John of Gaunt’s first wife Blanche of Lancaster was a descendant. Descent is universal from their daughter Philippa, Queen of Portugal as wife of João I, and would also have been from Alexander II if I was right. Unfortunately it appears I was wrong, but at least there are these four descents.**

As mentioned in the introduction part II, this note is followed by an addendum showing the relationships of Leo I of Armenia with the European sovereigns of the day, but before I move to it I will just briefly mention that monarch’s posterity. He is a universal ancestor, which I will demonstrate first by showing descent to James I of England/VI of Scotland, an ancestor of all current monarchs apart from the Prince of Monaco (stage I: stage II), and then to Albert II. I could do the latter through his ancestress Charlotte de la Trémoille, used on several other threads, but will instead explore a different route (stage I; stage II; stage III).

That concludes this note, but the thread continues with the aforementioned addendum and then an envoi for the series as a whole, explained in the introduction part I. I wish this to be the last post on the thread, so will mention here that although the thread is locked, for reasons explained in the discussion thread at the top of the page, anyone who has comment, criticisms or corrections to offer is invited to post them in that thread. All would be welcomed, especially corrections. Any criticism there may be aside, I hope all who read this will have found things to enjoy, both in this thread and the series generally.

* These red links, first seen in the second note to chart II, show descent in a different way to the blue links I have customarily used. Though they can be slower-loading than the blue links those are prone to corruption, requiring regular checking and maintenance from me, which the red links should not be. I have continued to use blue links for remoter descents, as the red links would be very slow indeed for those.
** I was doubly wrong, as though that route didn’t work another one does. Murtagon, who has made such a great contribution to this section, has now shown that descent from Alexander II is indeed traceable to all ten current sovereigns.


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Reply with quote  #12 
Relationships of the  European sovereigns* of 15 June 1215 with Leo I of Armenia
Reigning monarchPhilippe II
of France
Afonso II
of Portugal
Alfonso IX
of León
Přemysl I
of Bohemia
Sancho VII
of Navarre
Friedrich II
of Germany
of England
Valdemar II
of Denmark
Hugues I
of Cyprus
Leo I of Armenia6c RCR5c1r GCR6c RCR7c1r GPG5c1r GCR2c2r HIR6c RCR7c1r GPG
Reigning monarchAndrás II
of Hungary
L Emperor
of Thessalonica
Erik X
of Sweden
Isabella II
of Jerusalem
of Pereyaslavl
Chaime I
of Aragón
Enrique I
of Castile
Alexander II
of Scotland
Leo I of Armenia2c2r HIR6c1r GPG
6c1r RCR
2c3r HIR2c3r HIR5c2r GCR5c2r GCR5c2r GCR
*Excluding Inge II of Norway and Boril of Bulgaria
Leo I's name is linked first to his Genealogics ancestry, then to his Wikipedia article
Giselbert, C of Roucy (5)Gerberga of Saxony (3)Hugues I, Count of Rethel (4)
Ragenold, C of Roucy (4)  

Posts: 7,775
Reply with quote  #13 


What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase 
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home, 
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity, 
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, 
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat 
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying: 
See, they depart, and we go with them. 
We are born with the dead: 
See, they return, and bring us with them. 
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern 
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails 
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

T.S. Eliot. Little Gidding (1942)

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