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Notable Women Ancestors - Royalty

Eleanor of AQUITAINE
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), renowned for her cultivated intelligence and great beauty, was queen to two kings and mother of two others. She was one of the most powerful and fascinating personalities of feudal Europe.

Sancha de AYALA
Belonging to Spanish aristocracy, Sancha came to England in 1371 as part of the retinue accompanying Doña Constanza who become the bride of John of Gaunt. Sancha later married Sir Walter Blount, an English knight immortalized in Shakespeare's Henry IV, and they became the ancestors of several noted American colonists, including Anne Marbury Hutchinson and Roger Ludlow.

Daughter of Henry VIII by his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth ruled England for nearly half a century. Her reign was marked by the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the flourishing of literature, especially during the latter part of her reign known as the Elizabethan Age. Also important, however, were hundreds of laws on shipping, commerce, industry, currency reform, roads, poor relief, and agriculture. These laws shaped the policy of England for more than two centuries after Elizabeth's reign had ended.

A real woman of the 11th century, Godiva and her husband founded the Benedictine abbey around which the city of Coventry grew and prospered. Her legendary nude ride was prompted by burdensome taxes.

Lady Jane GREY
Queen of England for 9 days, Lady Jane remains one of the most tragic figures in English history. She was 4th in line for the English throne after Edward VI, short-lived son of King Henry VIII. The plotting and treachery of her in-laws and her own family put her on the throne ahead of those legally entitled to succeed, but the plot failed and her reign and life ended with her execution.

Isabel of MAR
The wife of Robert the Bruce, Isabel was imprisoned by the English.

SAINT Margaret, Queen of Scotland
Wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland, Margaret helped to civilize and refine both her husband and her adopted country. She devoted time and money to works of charity, assisting the poor, the aged, orphans, and the sick. Margaret re-founded the monastery on the Island of Iona and built a church at Dunfermline. She was the mother of four Scot kings and mother-in-law of England's King Henry I. [See also "Religious Leaders".]

Mary Queen of SCOTS
Renowned for her misguided, tragic life, Mary was passionate woman whose life was ruled too often by her emotions and not her head, she ended her days in misery - imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I and eventually executed. Her son, James VI of Scotland, became James I at the death of Elizabeth I, the first monarch to rule both England and Scotland.

SIX Wives of Henry VIII
They're all here: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr. These wives, and Henry VIII himself were all descendants of King Edward I and their lives changed the course of English history.

Mary TUDOR, Queen of England
The first queen to rule England in her own right, Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Because of her attempts to reinstate the Catholic religion and the ensuing persecution of religious opponents, she became known as "Bloody Mary". She died of consumption and was succeeded by her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth of YORK
The last princess of the Yorkist line (her father was Edward IV), she became the first of the Tudor queens by marrying Henry VII. She bore seven children, the most notable of whom was Henry VIII.

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