Collingwood entered the Royal Navy
at the age of 12, and spent almost all of the
rest of his life at sea. He is best known for
taking command of the British fleet during the
Battle of Trafalgar following the death of
Admiral Horatio Nelson.
succeeded his father, James I, on March 27, 1625.
His reign was marked by constant disputes with
Parliament over funding England's war against
Spain, uprisings in both Scotland and Ireland,
and two civil wars in England. He was executed on
January 30, 1649.
Walpole served as the first
"Prime Minister" of Great Britain from
1721 to 1742. In this capacity, he pursued
a policy of peace abroad, low taxation, and
reduction of the national debt. He became the
first official occupant of Number 10 Downing
Street in 1735.
became King James VI of Scotland upon the
abdication of his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots,
on July 24, 1567, and King James I of England
upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I on March 24,
1603. Throughout his reign, he asserted the
Divine Right of Kings to rule, and was a
supporter of literature and the arts. He is also
known for sponsoring the most popular translation
of the Bible into English ever published.
was formally crowned King of Great
Britain and Ireland on April 23, 1661. His reign
began the era that still exists in Britain,
whereby the monarch holds primarily ceremonial
powers while Parliament holds actual control of
governmental affairs. It also marked the
beginning of political parties in England.
is one of the best loved monarchs
in history. The Elizabethan Era marked one of the
most productive periods in English literary
history, and was also marked with many voyages of
discovery. During her reign, England went from an
impoverished country torn apart by religious
squabbles to one of the most powerful and
prosperous countries in the world.
gained distinction during the campaign against
Quebec in 1759, during the Seven Years' War. Sent
back to America in 1775, he actively
led a column against Americans entrenched on
Breed's Hill. As commander of all British forces
in America he won battles at Long Island, White
Plains and Brandywine before resigning.
ruled for 63 years, from 1837 to
1901, the longest reign of any British monarch.
During her reign, Great Britain reached the
height of its power. The Victorian Age featured
great industrial expansion at home and imperial
served as Secretary of State from 1756 to 1761, and it was in this capacity that he made
his biggest impact on British history. His
policies led to French defeats in North America,
the West Indies, India, Europe, West Africa, and
on the seas, and the British Empire reached its
greatest extent ever.
Burgoyne served with distinction
during the Seven Years' War, and subsequently won
a commission to invade New York during the
American Revolutionary War. He was forced to
surrender his army to Continental forces on
October 17, 1777.
Drake commanded the first English
expedition to sail around the world, between
December 13, 1577 and September 26, 1580. He did
so, however, more by circumstance than by design,
due to his raiding of Spanish settlements during
the first leg of the voyage.
became king upon the death of Richard I in 1199,
and reigned until his own death in 1216. An inept
and very unpopular king, he fought a losing
battle against English lords and was forced to
sign the Magna Carta in 1215. That document
severely limited the king's authority, and became
the foundation of the system that governs England
reluctantly entered politics as a member of
Parliament in 1765, but soon became one of the
leading figures in the House of Commons. Always
ready to speak his mind concerning the major
issues of the day, he is today most remembered
for his volumes of writings, including Reflections
on the Revolution in France.