Why no female monarchs early on?

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JonnyBoy12 | 20:42 Thu 22nd Nov 2007 | History
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Does anyone know why there were no female rulers of England before Elizabeth 1, who was the daugheter of Henry 8th? Did he change this law himself then?


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I would imagine the older monarchs just used to have children until they got a boy. Edward VI was king at 9 and dies at 16. He never married so didn't have chance to produce a boy.
Maybe the early monarchs just produced a lot of male children.

The first son is always heir to the throne. Henry VIII only had one son, Edward VI, who did become King when his father died. However he died young without having children and as Henry VIII had no more sons, his daughters went on to become queen.

Same as our Queen, her father had no sons otherwise we would have a King now and not a Queen.
I may be wrong but didn't one of the kings execute his wife because she had a girl rather than a boy?
there was no law, just practice. Elizabeth's older sister Mary actually came first. And that's not counting Matilda (aka Maud) back in the 1100s: she was the daughter of Henry I but spent her reign fighting over the throne with Stephen of Blois, who had the barons' backing but not such a good claim otherwise. The history books are undecided which was the true ruler and some credit both of them.
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In actual fact, short though her rule was, Empress Matilda was the first female ruler of England.

I'm sure if you google it, you'll come up with something.
There were female monachs befor lizzie I. Its just that you dont get to here of any of them cos Lizzie I was so powerful and made a huge difference!! Lizzie took over Mary I as monarch!!.......Thinkin about it it was Mary who was first female Monarch of Britain!!
Most definetly!! However this island has changed since then and the meaning of ruler (monarchy) means something completely different!!! Boadicea was from and era when the people where different and a ruler was trully a ruler!!
BTW mustafaTICKl.. fancy a test tickle?? LOL see what i did there!!
Boudicca was queen of the Iceni, a tribe of Eastern England. She wasn't queen of England.

When Henry VIII died, his son, Edward VI, who lived a very short life, became king, and he appointed Lady Jane Grey, his cousin, as his heir. However, although Jane became queen, her block was very swiftly knocked off, and Mary Tudor (Mary I, often known as Bloody Mary - Henry VIII's eldest daughter) was then crowned queen of England. Upon Mary's death, her half sister, Elizabeth, Henry VIII's second daughter, was crowned queen and became Elizabeth I.

Matilda was never crowned, so it seems Mary Tudor was the first true queen of England.
There was no such thing as England during the time of the Iceni tribe!! This whole Island was Briton!!
Henry VII wife Elizabeth had more claims to be a monarch in her own right rather than Henry.
taliesin, thank you for that gem of wisdom(?). I was talking about a time when tribes inhabited this land and didn't suggest the England existed at that time. I simply said that Boudicca was queen of the Iceni, and intimated that as such she cannot be considered as a contender for the title of first queen of England. Perhaps I should have said that the Iceni inhabited the area which is now Eastern England. Incidentally, the peoples may have been Ancient Britons, but I think you'll find the land was not known as Briton - unless, of course, you know something I don't, in which case could you please provide a link?
Coming back to answer the question which is why there were so few female monarchs in the medeval period you have to remeber that at that time there was a perpetual struggle between powerful lords and the king.

It was perceived that a woman would not be strong enough to resist the attempts of such interests to overthrow her.

In all probability given the sort of education that most women at that time received that's probably true.

There are some significant exceptions to that though. Most notably Elanor of Aqutaine who was Henry the II's wife. Mother of Richard the Lionheat and John.

She was the wife and queen of the king of France before marrying Henry becoming the only person to wear the crowns of France and England.

Henry locked her up for organising a revolt against him and she was released when Henry died and made regent while Richard went off on crusade.

She was probably the most powerful and remarkabele woman in medieval history but very much a one off

In English custom if not in law it was the rule of primogenitor that took precedence i.e. male heir of the male monarch. Things were very different as (although it was the male who ruled) the line came through the female. i.e it was fairly common for the king's daughter's child to succeed the grandfather. This way there was a surer way to keep the bloodline going. seems like a good idea.
according to Wikipedia, Britannia was a Roman province covering most of modern England and Wales, and some of southern Scotland - not the whole island, but not far off.

The Greeks, if they considered the matter at all, earlier called the whole country 'the tin isles'. The Britons, or some of them, seem to have called it Albion, which is probably the earliest known name
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Wow, thanks, guys, you have all been paying attention in History, that's for sure. I suppose I should explain myself further. What I was referring to was the Ruler of Rulers I am sure we have all seen. A wooden ruler with all the Kings and Queens of England since 1066, and in this Elizabeth 1st is the first queen shown there.
JonnyBoy. I haven't seen a ruler like that, and Elizabeth I certainly wasn't the first Queen of England - although she was the first Protestant Queen, so perhaps your ruler refers to that in some way. I can't think of another reason for her to be listed as the first Queen. Any ideas anyone?

jno, I would go along with that.

Jake, Eleanor of Aquitaine - now you're talking. What a strong and powerful woman she was!! Sadly, though, not a contender for the title of first Queen of England.
The people of this island were referred to as britons in some of Ceasar's work and other Roman text that we have. On the contrary the people of this island did not call this land Briton, we are not sure what they called this island as their history was mainly oral and we dont have much written text.

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