Worst British Monarchs

The Top Ten

1 John I

Forced into signing Magna Carta and was viewed as having a very unstable personality, leading to the barons to rally behind Prince Louis to replace John. Was also completely overpowered by Philip II of France and Pope Innocent I. On the plus side he was able to sort out his dispute with Innocent and did have some military successes against his barons.

John was a dumb king who thought that the barons had no rights to control him and the fact that he died from eating too much peaches and drinking so much bear explains how much of a idiot he was

Class 7QD agrees that King John was the worst king. He raised taxes unfairly and he broke the Magna Carta. We also think this because he fell out with the Pope and he got excommunicated. This made people less able to get access to the Church and heaven, which was unpopular.
He may have possibly drowned his own nephew in order to keep the throne of England.

Class 7PA agrees that King John was the worst king. The reasons for this are;
He got his country excommunicated from the Church because he was arguing with the Pope over who should control the English Church.
He did not listen to his barons and he should have listened to everyone instead of his foreign advisers.
A source said that he had an unstable personality and was evil.
He had an agreement, Magna Carta, but he abandoned it causeing the baronst o fight against him. he also raised unfair taxes.

V 16 Comments
2 George IV

A completely useless monarch. No interest in Britain, had huge debts and by the time he became king he avoided being seen in public leading many people to wonder what the point of having a monarchy was.

Shouldn't Bloody Mary be on here. I'm not British and even I know she was a terrible leader.

He only cared about money and mistresses. He is useless!

He may be bad but Henry VIII is the wordt

V 2 Comments
3 Mary I

A bitter woman who caused chaos and instability due to her Catholic preference.

An insane absolutist driven by hatred. Her reign saw almost 300 innocent people being burned at the stake.

She executed Lady Jane Grey and many other people for no reason! No wonder she is known " Bloody Mary"!

Her treatment of Protestants is unforgivable, furthermore she did little for England during her reign and we’ll and truly earned the name Bloody Mary.

V 10 Comments
4 Henry VIII

Henry VIII was a self interested irritable monarch who actually achieved very little in a positive sense. The fact that we are a protestant nation (largely seen as a good thing) is purely a by-product of his self interest. OK, so he told the Pope where to get off but his wars were costly and largely unsuccessful.

On the whole, he spent money like there was no tomorrow and left the country far worse off than when he became king. People are only obsessed with him today because the whole"6 wives" thing makes good television.

The worst thing in my opinion however, being a student of architecture, is that he was a vandal on an epic scale.So many abbeys and priories wrecked needlessly.

He was basically the biggest baby in English monarchy history. Fickled, flaky, greedy, unfaithful, deceitful, arrogant, narcissistic, con artist. Had people killed on trumped up charges, because he wanted something/someone new, due to religious beliefs, etc. He treated most of his wives horribly (even before the cheating came out with some of them) and his own daughters Mary and Elizabeth. Yet people are criticizing his daughters and not him... 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree'. He is to blame for their bitterness.

Clearly the worst, most bloodthirsty monarch in England. Killed more people than Vlad Tepes and Ivan The Terrible and made some of the worst decisions any monarch could make.

Got a book on Tudors and no one should wish they would want to live then. Most people only ate bread!

V 13 Comments
5 Richard III

No no no no! I think Richard 111 has been completely been mistreated by history! There was no proof that he killed his nephews or poisoned his wife as most contemporary sources were biased against him in order to please later monarchs! It was Edward iv who drowned his brother in a barrel of wine, not Richard! Also, his wife's father was killed at the battle of Barnet in the wars of the roses rather than at Richard's hands! He also achieved so much during his tragically short reign such as making the justice system much fairer!

Edward V doesn't need to be on here, but this guy does! Unpopular, cruel, manipulative (if Sir Thomas More is anyone to believe), a child-killer (not yet confirmed, but highly likely)... would you want him for a monarch?

Adding to what has already been presented, I point out that he also drowned his brother, poisoned his wives father, Buried his wife under the tower of London, then he did supposedly kill his nephews.

great guy

V 1 Comment
6 Elizabeth II Elizabeth II Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and she was educated privately at home.

It was under her rule that the British Empire declined greatly, and it is more than likely that the United Kingdom will dismantle after her reign seeing as nearly all the territories became independent countries and the lot.

The bill to repair windsor castle in 1992 was outrageous and the people wanted a republic

Oversaw the dismantling of the British Empire.

Waste of money

V 7 Comments
7 Henry VI

Was haunted by madness but even when he was sane he was a weak personality and this led to the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses. His small successes were mainly due to his wife or his noble friends.

His lack of leadership directly caused the wars of the roses and the loss of the 100 years war

Mentally unstable somehow

War of The Roses

8 William II

He was ruthless, feckless, capricious and oppressive. His father was ruthless, but at least he was an intelligent soldier.

9 Stephen I

England was in total chaos after he usurped the throne in 1135. Ended up being imprisoned but after a brave assault from his wife he was freed. His only redeeming feature was that he was a capable leader in battle.

He plunged Britain into a series of four civil wars! Between 1138 and 1154!

He sucks

10 Charles I

Charles I had catholic sympathies (religious tolerance was not a thing back then), and completely alienated parliament. He also illegally taxed people without parliamentary consent, and was an awful war leader. Just a reminder, Charles was so bad, he was the only English King to be executed for regicide!

Did not allow himself to be dominated but never understood the importance of compromise unlike his father. Consequently the Civil War broke out and after a few early successes he was defeated, refused to compromise with Cromwell and subsequently executed.

Charles Stuart was a verified traitor. He began English Civil War because he refused to recognize Parliament's superior role in governance. Made secret deals with Vatican in hopes of receiving Spanish troops to fight his own people

He took a peaceful country and managed to tear it apart with a war that nobody wanted. Numerous attempts to reached an accommodation failed because of his stubbornness. Not a bad man, simply incompetent.

V 2 Comments

The Contenders

11 Edward II

He never been kind to his wife and made really bad decisions for his country!

A fickle man, prone to having usually homosexual favourites. His complete and pathetic misgovernment resulted in him being deposed in 1327

He wielded his office only in his own and his favourites's interest finally becoming a tyrant.

He is a British monarch who paid no attention to his own country. he has no respect whatsoever

V 2 Comments
12 Victoria

She is the worst because she killed so many Indians and took over India for 200 years and the people who were in India at the time became slaves to the crazy British people that is like slavery.

She may be "Grandmother of Europe", but she has also a bad backstory.
She married Albert and shortly after, he died and Victoria never appeared in public
for over a decade!

The 1st monarch to have never appeared in public life for over a decade!

13 George V

I think that's a bit harsh. He pit his people first before foreign affairs. Plus, he might have been overthrow had he done that

This coward didn't want to offend Lenin by granting asylum to his own cousin tsar Nicholas and his family...unforgivable!

14 George III

Wasn't really any of his fault, he was mad sure but he also had no power. Blame Lord North for taxing and losing to the Confederacy, it was his fault as the man with power to change such things.

Let the valuable colonies that would become the United States slip away, was quite mentally unstable, unwilling to compromise to satisfy the colonists

He Was insane and lost America.


15 Edward VII

A weak and cowardly man, who never led from the front in battle. Drove his people into poverty because of his own fears and even enslaved those who dared to rebel against his huge taxes and fines. Executed large numbers of people. Held the young boy Edward of Warwick (a York heir) in basically solitary confinement in the tower of London until he lost his mind. Treated his wife appallingly but as a grown man of over 30 years and crowned a king needed his mothers rooms next to his still and she would see him to bed at night (basically tucking him in).

The only royal to be a genuine nazi.

He was a NAZI

16 James II

To the person above that thinks William the Conqueror of 1066 fame overthrew James II, thank god you don't teach history.

Didn't understand that England would not accept a Catholic king who tried to brush aside parliament. Was overthrown by William I during the Glorious Revolution.

I don't even know who this dude is like what

He was really, really forgettable

17 Harold Godwinson

Defeated the largest invading force that England had ever seen at Stamford Bridge, lost to the largest force England had ever seen at Hastings. Short reign, not too bad as a king, pretty fleet footed (which helped his charge on both William and Harald), but certainly not that notable.

Only king for a day? hahaahaha go away you lessie

18 Edward VIII

After nearly destroying the government and being forced to abdicate, he and his Nazi wife conspired with Germany. He told Hitler to keep bombing the country he abandoned.

First British monarch to abdicate

Shamed the monarchy after abdicating the throne to marry an American actress, Wallis Simpson.

19 Egbert

Not even a king of England, you bloody morons.


20 Edward V

Not his fault but at the end of the day he was only on the throne for 2 months before being overthrown by Richard I and therefore achieved nothing as king. The poor boy never got a chance to prove himself and became more famous for his mysterious death.

It's not fair because he had barely been king

It's not fair he had to be killed by his uncle.

I believe his uncle was Richard III, brother of Edward IV, and not Richard I (Coeur de Leon).

V 1 Comment
21 Henry III

Henry III, the king that fled to the Cathedral when the Barons knocked on his door, was a worse despot than his father, King John, and more negligent than his great grandson, Edward III (who let the plague in England after it killed his daughter, as well as bankrupting two of the largest banking families in Florence to give rise to the Medicis, a bloodthirsty despotic lot, he let his son go to alien Portugal and die, giving rise to King Richard II- BUT yet he was not as negligent as Henry III), and more abrasive than the VIII of his name.

A very weak king who was dominated by his barons and then his wife and her family, leading to his imprisonment by Simon de Montfort. It was down to his son Edward, not Henry himself, that Simon was killed and that Henry got his throne back.

22 Mary Queen of Scots

Wonderful, beautiful, intelligent Catholic monarch betrayed by the heretic John Knox. She unfortunately had a poor choice in men.

23 Æthelred the Unread

Over the dead body of his brother king received a country ruled by the laws of Alfred the Great - the best organised state in Western Europe. His long reign marked by unrest and slaughter of his Danish subjects resulted in the loss of England to Danish kings and paved the way to the Norman conquest that brought ruin to the North and extermination of Anglosaxon aristocracy.

Ill advised, as his name says, into marching on Winchester and killing his brother, Eadwærd the Martyr, into prancing around England whilst his Kingdom was taken, into pushing his son, Ironside, to war with CNUT and HARTHACNUT (as well as Harold Harefoot). He was a pretty bad king, was so abrasive and stupid that the Witan (the council that elected Kings in Anglo-Saxon England) kicked him out of the country twice in favour of a Scandinavian candidate.

24 Richard I

£150,000 for Crusade, £100,000 for his ransom, £31,000 for his defense.

The Crusade can be swept aside as an act of piety, because surely kings should be pious?

But the capture was his fault. After the fall of Acre to the Christians the three most battleworthy men stood to fly their banners above the city: Richard le Couer de Lion, Phillip Augustus, and Leopold die Virtuous. Richard stood, offended that someone of his pomposity could be equal to a Duke like Leopold, he tore the standard down and stamped on it.

The defense was his fault, he left the Crusade too early in some's eyes (for he abandoned Jerusalem), but I'd suggest he left too late. If he had left with Phillip, the Crusade would still have gotten Acre and Cyprus, steppingboards that would be used more than any other port for future Levantine Crusades, and he wouldn't have lost the Vexin, the land so needed for the defense of Normandy. With the loss of the Vexin, the Norman Barons begun to move to ...more

Overrated bloodthirsty warlord who only cared about England when he wanted money from his subjects to help him kill more Muslims and never even attempted to learn English. He always considered England a distant second to his homeland France.

Ambitious to the point of megalomania, he usurped his own father to win the throne.

Utterly moronic, he managed to get himself kidnapped through incompetence and the ransom bankrupted the nation for years.

In a final act of stupidity he was killed in battle as he didn't bother to put any armour on.

His good reputation stems from the fact that the Church did molst of the writing back then and they gave him a good write up as he took part in the Crusades. Through modern eyes, his reign can be seen for the warmongering egotrip that it really was.

25 James I

Is he the one who did the Bible or was there another lol.

26 Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth was a bastard queen who took the thrown that rightfully belonged to her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. She imprisoned Mary for 19 years under horrible, cruel conditions and then signed her death warrant and had her killed in 1587. If Mary was queen, she would have united England and Scotland. Mary was also queen of France until her husband, Francis ii of France died from a horrible ear infection. She loved and adored Francis and was heartbroken by his death. Elizabeth I was also jealous of Mary's beauty and kindness. On the other hand, Elizabeth I was an ugly woman with wrinkled grey skin from using led white face paint to cover up the sores and wrinkles on her face. Elizabeth I also had a huge, crooked nose. She once had a man beheaded for seeing her without makeup on when he came unannounced to talk to her in her room. She was nasty, unkind, jealous, ugly, and a bloody and horrible queen.

Bloody Elizabeth

27 William the Conqueror William the Conqueror William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. The descendant of Viking raiders, he had been Duke of Normandy since 1035. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his ...read more.

He isn't that bad he did what he had to and he was a relative to King Edward so he was a rightful heir.

The guy how killed the saxons of England. He even killed their King Harold. The guy didn’t even deserve the throne. The French Norman of conquered England.
Worst Norman ever.

28 Edward VI

I think he wasn't that bad.

29 Richard II

He was the reason the Peasants Revolt began

30 George ll
31 George I

The 1st Hanoverian king of Britain, He would never visit England and never learnt English. He lost some power only to be obtained and kept by George III.

32 James V
33 William III
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Best British Monarchs Top 10 Best Tudor and Stuart Monarchs Best Monarchs of All Times Top 10 Tudor and Georgian Monarchs Best Aztec Monarchs

List Stats

500 votes
33 listings
5 years, 127 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. John I
2. Richard III
3. Mary I
1. Elizabeth II
2. George V
3. Victoria
1. William II
2. Henry VI
3. Richard III

View All 4

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.