The top ten: Monarchs 1066-1707
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 01 December 2013
Sir Michael Barber, who was head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit from 2001 to 2005, suggested this list: monarchs of England 'judged on leaving the country in better shape than they found it', and he provided most of the rankings here...
1. Henry VII Michael Barber's top choice.
2. William I I, for one, welcome our new Norman overlords.
3. Elizabeth I "For declining to make windows into men's souls," says Michael McCarthy.
4. Edward III "Crécy. Black Prince. Bicameral parliament. Treason Act. English used in law. JPs." Nominated by David Head.
5. Henry II "Juries, rule of law." Put forward by Louise McCudden.
6. William III and Mary II Bill of Rights.
7. Henry V Agincourt.
8. Harold II Godwinson. "Defeat of Harald Hardrada meant there was a united kingdom of England for William to inherit." Thanks to John Blake.
9. Edward II "For losing at Bannockburn and thus ensuring 1707 would be a Union not an incorporation." Nominated by Alex Massie.
10. John "For being rubbish, thus giving rise to the Magna Carta." From Ian Silvera.
Next week: Trollemics: 'deliberately over-the-top arguments designed to generate controversy'.
Coming soon: Words used with only one other word (serried, fledged and so on). Send suggestions (by 10 December), along with ideas for any future Top 10s, to email@example.com
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...
£350 - £425 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager - 3 mont...