Today’s challenge is once again courtesy of Michael – first born daughters of English monarchs since 1066 – a tricky challenge which I shall have to go away and have a good long think about. Daughters were marriageable commodities, often used to seal treaties between kingdoms. Who for example can name the daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine? There were three of them and I have mentioned one of them in recent weeks.
England does not have a salic law forbidding daughters from inheriting the Crown even though many medieval barons baulked at the idea of a woman in charge and lets not forget that the laws pertaining to women were very clear – poor souls didn’t have the brain power to be in charge and were naturally inferior to their male counterparts. Rape laws had to do with stealing another man’s property rather than personal abuse – father, husband or brother – which meant that even if the woman was a willing participant it was these laws which were invoked. It’s a very interesting field of study – though somewhat infuriating.
Henry VII married the eldest daughter of Edward IV in order to help legitimise his reign – not that he ever acknowledged that particular fact in public.