OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA  - Founded 24 January 1895


MEETING # 1601

4:00 P.M.

APRIL 2, 1998

Primogeniture: The Genetic Journey
From William the Conqueror
to the Future William V

by Fritz Bromberger Ph.D.

Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library


The law of primogeniture is simple in statement but often complex in application. This paper demonstrates its practice in the entangled succession of British monarchs from William the Conqueror, the initial accedent, in 1066, to his genetic heir' the future king William V.

Some attention is given to each of the forty-two monarchs who have transmitted their genes in an often attenuated but unbroken line for almost a millennium.


When, in the course of human events, a society raises itself to the enviable position of determining its own well being and future, it becomes necessary to establish a system of governance. Many systems have been tried; as many as have succeeded have failed: trial by ordeal such as a duel or demonstration of superior strength or endurance; trial by magic like the sword in the stone; the appointment of a leader by a select group of wise men, the curia of medieval courts or the College of Cardinals; the election of a temporary leader by a seg-ment of or by the entire populace; the unilateral appointment of a successor by a tribal or societal eider like the High Lama in Shangri La; a matriarchal society such as the Amazonian warriors; the tyrannical control by terror; the domination of a religious ideal such as Cromwellian Puritanism; a democratic system in which the leaders and laws are by the consent of all those governed (Jeffersonian), or the leaders are the educated and elite (Hamiltonian). And we reed be reminded here of Winston Churchill's caveat, "Democracy is the worst form of government in the world -- except for all the others." Our present concern is with the establishment of a familial hierarchy usually after a struggle wherein the dominant family determines the basis on which the dynasty extends its governing power into an indefinite future.

From time immemorial and with variations the system known as primogeniture has obtained in many human societies. Frequently the system failed when a father had no son, the eldest son usually assuming the management of the father's property. According to the Scaffold Bible, which dates all the events from Eden in 4004 B.C. to Revelation in A.D.96, God was asked by Moses in the year 1452 B.C. to detail the extensions of inheritance. (Numbers 27: 8-11) God replied exactingly: "If a man dies leaving no son, you must transfer his heritage to his daughter. If he has no daughter give his heritage to his brothers. If he has no brothers, to his father's brothers. If his father has no brothers, you must give his heritage to the nearest relative in his family...." ~ THE BIBLE, AN AMERICAN TRANSLATION, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1935.) In the succession of English monarchs every one of these situations and even more complicated ones occur.

The process of primogeniture in the medieval world was reduced to five words: The eldest son shall succeed. This benignly simple proposal for deter-mining by inheritance the next ruler and sole owner of his predecessor's property has been anything but simple in its execution and is, in a particular family, the substance of this paper.

From God's affirming a right of inheritance, kings assumed that they ruled by Divine Right, the doctrine that sovereigns derive their right to rule by virtue of their birth alone. Authority is transmitted to a ruler from his ancestors, whom God himself appointed to rule. Because the sovereign was responsible not to the governed, but to God alone, active resistance to a king was a sin ensuring damnation. (NEW COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA, 1 985)

The social and spiritual orientation of monarchs was known as the Great Chain of Being. Imagine a chain suspended from the inner top of an enormous ring. In the Holy Roman Empire that encompassing circle was thought of as the Prim am Mobile, the prime mover, the original force in the universe, God, controlling from an high. The chain held all of mankind together and at the precise level that God desired. The upper links were the angels, God's messengers (angelos). Below them the God-appointed kings and his adjutants, the sub-royalty. Below them, and to the bottom, the servants of royalty with their own more or less levels. A literate and accountable steward to a duke was a person of importance, perhaps the business manager of the duke's estate, but he was eminently and always a servant. (Upstairs, Downstairs was a middle-class English society with vertical levels of its own.)

In the great chain every person knew, because he was taught from birth, his place in society. He did not socialize or, God forbid, marry above OR below the station to which God chose to cast his life. Therefore, a prince married a princess, usually a foreign one, or he could have chosen for him a lady whose family had long and many relations with the royal family. (Cases in point: King George Vl marrying Elizabeth of the noble Scottish Bowes-Lyon family, or Prince Charles marrying Lady Diana, daughter of the eighth Earl of Spencer.) Of course, this created, this IS the two-class system, one in which, if everyone does his duty, on his level up to the monarch himself, who answers via angels to God, society will sustain, protect, and improve itself.

Two institutions, however, allowed a person to rise above his birth, the military and the church, symbolized by the red and the black. A Corsican peasant could rise to command the French armies; an Italian or Polish farmboy could become the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth deserving fealty by all the kings of his religious persuasion.

Later the Renaissance with its widening physical horizons created the venturous tradesmen. Those who succeeded could buy titles of nobility and build castles. The powerful world of trade drove a huge wedge between the two classes, creating the Middle Class, which then created its own classes.

Now some background on the formation of the royal family. Having for centuries been driven into the woods of northwestern Europe, the Vikings after aggrandizing their number and their military prowess, sought new lands in the West (Iceland, Greenland, even, pretty certainly, the eastern coast of North America), the East (the very name Russia is derived from the Norse word Rus), and, most important for our purposes here, to the south. Near the beginning of the tenth century, after numerous raids on north-central coasts of France, several forces of fierce warriors in their open, dragon-headed boats sailed up the Seine River to Paris threatening to destroy the city and ravage the countryside (at which practice people in the British Isles knew that they were well adept? unless they were given in perpetuity ample lands, which they would govern and protect. Thus was established the French duchy of Normandy, named after the placated north men. The symbiotic relationship between the northern tribespeople and the French farmers who lived IN the peace offering is one of the most interesting and important racial comminglings known.

The fierce plunderers melded with the garlic natives, adopted their language, Catholic religion, and gentle manners; for all intents became a vigorous segment of French culture within a few generations.

Their success in France greatly increased their numbers, and they began seeking new farmlands. Take more of France from their new friends and relatives? No. Some ancient bard long before Bishop Berkeley must have intoned the words to the effect that, "Westward the course of Empire takes its way." ("On the Prospect of Planting Art and Learning in America) That primordial insistence influenced the ruling house in Normandy to establish a right of domaine in England, which was "proved" by William the Conqueror's conquest over Saxon King Harold's forces in 1066. This story is realized in the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

So dominating a figure was William as military leader, political organizer, and defender of the church that the Norse-Gallic invaders who formed his court hoped to have their new land controlled forever by the blood (genetic) descendants of William and Mathilda, their newly formed royal family. Because the successive descendants' chief obligation was protecting his people and lands, a male, trained as a warrior, was appointed to succeed when the father died or could no longer discharge the duties of kingship. Thus was instituted upon the tribal Saxons in England the system of primogeniture.

Following the outline of English Rulers, I'll try to show you how, by way of many twists, deceits, murders, and depositions the future King William V will inherit part of his genetic makeup from the Conqueror. Along the millennium, cellular infiltrations have been genetically instilled from royalty in France (many times), Wales, Spain, Scotland, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Greece, and Norway.

The first queen of the House of Normandy was William's wife, Mathilda, a woman notable for her energy. She organized, according to legend, the women of her court to dye the wool and embroider in color that remains bright to this day, the background story of William's foray into England when he was thirty-nine. Having pushed farmers in southern England to Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, William had to build and maintain many castles and seats of power, knowing that deprived tenants can wrest land by internal and external forces. The Tower of London was built on the Thames to protect the land from invasion by a foreign armada. The new king ordered a survey of his kingdom known as the Doomsday Book (judgment book), and with rigidity and some benevolence was able to maintain a surprisingly peaceable kingdom for twenty-one years.

Little is known of William's first two sons, but his third son an namesake, William 11, called Rufus for his red hair, was the first eldest son of an English monarch to establish primogeniture as the rule of succession. When he died, childless, the Conqueror's youngest son became Henry 1, but he had no children, so succession, for the first time, was by way of a woman. The Conqueror's fourth daughter, Adela, had married the wealthy Count of Blois. Their third son, Stephen, tenanted the one-king House of Blois. Now again, succession was passed through a woman. Stephen was childless so the daughter of Henry 1, also Mathilda, extended the line to her son Henry 11, who became the first of the Plantagenet kings, in power for 200 years.

Now we come to one of the most interesting women in medieval history. Eleanor of Acquitaine as a young girl married the French Duke of Anjou, who became the King of France, which made her Queen. But, by special dispensation they were divorced. Then by complex, international, matchmaking agreements she married the English Prince Henry and became Queen of England on his succession. Their very tempestuous and philoprogenitive marriage was delineated in the movie, "The Lion in Winter." The murder of the presumptive Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170, is the most frequently remembered event of Henry's administration after the crusades, one of whose leaders was their son King Richard, known as Coeur de Lion (the court was still speaking French) for his military bravery in attempting to free Jerusalem from the pagans. Richard, being absent from England for long periods, the barons began controlling the country, weakening the power of the king so that, on John's assuming the throne in 1199, he deserved his historical name, Jean sans Terre, John Lackland. Under pressure he signed the Magna Charta in 1215 and left the weakened kingdom to his son Henry ill, who reigned far fifty-six years. His son, Edward I, re-established much of the power of the throne by suppressing rebellions, the most memorable for us being the uprising of William Wallace of Scotland, the background story of the film "Braveheart."

Then, for the first time in English history, a king was deposed. In 1307 Edward l's son became king, a position he did not want and which he discharged badly. His story was dramatized brilliantly by Shakespeare's contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, in the play "Edward li." Disliked by his father and by his own wife, he was murdered along with his sycophantic cronies. Edward II did have children, however, and his eldest son and namesake became Edward lilt

Now we get into complications. Edward III had seven sons, three of whom are important in our story. His eldest was Edward the Black Prince, military governor of Bordeaux in southwestern France. Prince Edward preceded his father in death by one year. He had a young son, Richard, who, on his grandfather's death in 1377, became the ten-year-old King of England. Obviously he was not capable of ruling and suffered the overweening powers and jealousies of his six uncles, all of whom had dreams of "the golden round." Chief among advisers was his uncle John of Gaunt, the powerful Duke of Lancaster whose son, Henry of Bolingbroke, gathered forces and in 1399 deposed his cousin, ineffectual as a monarch, Richard II, whom he allowed to be murdered the next year. This pathetic story Shakespeare recounts in his play, "The Tragedy of King Richard II."

Guilty of murdering not only a relative but a king, Henry IV, as Shakespeare describes in the two plays named after him, was not unhappy to relinquish the crown to his young namesake, who, knowing his father's illegal kingship and supreme guilt, resolved to glorify his kingly role by proving in battle, if necessary, that he should be the lawful king of England as well as King of France. Two years into his kingship he invaded France in 1415, and, against tremendous odds won the battle of Agincourt, and applying some conqueror's pressure, married the French princess and had the promise of her father, King Charles Vl, that a son of theirs would be crowned king of France as well as of England.

Their son was less than a year old when his father died trying to obviate a rebellion in France. The infant was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey, and his French mother took him, on the death of Henry V, to the Cathedral of St. Denis, the patron saint of France, where was crowned king of the country. Having this English baby as their king was gall to the French (no pun intended), who reneged on Charles' promise so that Henry Vl of England never reigned in France, He had troubles enough and all his life at home. The land barons vied for power, resolving themselves into two groups headed by the Lancastrians and the Yorkists. The civil wars between them began soon after Henry Vl's assumption and would last until the last of the two houses was killed in 1485. Henry, in 1461, ten years before his death, was declared mentally incapable of ruling and was deposed by the rival Yorkists, who placed on the throne a descendant of two of Edward IlI's sons, Edward IV, first of the Yorkist kings. Edward had two brothers and two sons. When he died in 1483, his elder son became king at thirteen but not for long. The young king's uncle Richard is historically accepted as the murderer of his two nephews, the princes in the Tower of London. Having taken the precaution of first killing his older brother, George, the Duke of Clarence, by turning him head down in a barrel of wine, he became king following his murdered nephews. His brief rise and demise is brilliantly illuminated in Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of King Richard 111 "

Among Richard's enemies were the descendants of those who, in previous intrigues, had been cheated of the kingship. Among them was the grandson of Henry V's widow, who married a Welshman, Owen Tudor, descended from two of Edward IlI's sons. Shakespeare says that a later Owen Tudor killed the wicked Richard III when the king was trying to mount another horse to continue leading his forces at the Battle of Bosworth Field. ("A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!''

The Tudor victory dissolved the House of York, and victorious Henry became Henry Vll, first of the Tudor kings. He fathered two sons in his relatively peaceful reign. Feeling the increasingly formidable power of Spain (Spanish colonialism had begun in 1492), he arranged with the king to have his older son Arthur married to the Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon. Prince Arthur died at the age of nineteen, so the king expeditiously married his second son, who became Henry Vl11, to Arthur's widow. The concept of in-law was generally unaccepted in the renaissance; marriage was a one-flesh realization so that when Henry, having fathered a daughter, wanted to marry his mistress, Ann Boleyn, he applied to the Pope (remember that England had been a Catholic nation since the Roman Emperor Constantine) for an annulment on the basis that he was married to his sister. It was denied, and, after long litigation, Henry broke with the Catholic church making himself the head of the new Anglo-Catholic Church. He gave Catherine and her daughter Mary a rich living in a castle and married Ann, who bore him Elizabeth. Now he had two daughters but wanted a son to carry out his increasingly international programs. He accused Ann of adultery and had her beheaded for treason and married Jane Seymour, who died in the childbirth of Henry's only son, Edward, who though younger than his two half-sisters became, by the rule, King Edward Vl, aged ten. He was sickly and died six years later in 1553, leaving the throne to thirty-seven-year-old Mary, who in her brief five-year reign tried to reaffirm England as a Roman Catholic country. History remembers her as "Bloody Mary" for her widespread executions of those who protested (Protestants) for Henry's new church. Fortunately, her tenure was brief. She was succeeded by her half-sister, Elizabeth, who followed, religiously, a middle road and continued her father's plans for strengthening trade, the military, and exploration. By creating the world's largest navy she made England the dominant force in Europe. A tough and brilliant monarch whose forces defended the nation against Spain's final attempt to conquer England, for world dominance, she brought the longest period of peace since the reign of Stephen in the twelfth century.

The "Virgin Queen" had no offspring, of course; who would succeed her half-century reign? Henry Vll's youngest daughter, Margaret, married King James IV of Scotland. Their son, James V, fathered Mary, who became Queen of Scots. She married Henry Stuart producing King James Vl of Scotland who, on Elizabeth's demise, became King James I of England. One of the fruits of continued peace under James was hi granting money for the formation of a large committee of scholars to make a new translation of the Bible. The grant was for three years; eight years later, with considerable overrun, the King James version was published ink 611.

James died in 1625 and was followed by his unfortunate firstborn, Charles 1, under whom the Puritans gained power, dominating parliament. After a long civil war the king was found guilty of treason, theoretically impossible for a king ruling by Divine Right, and beheaded in 1649, thereby discontinuing the monarchy for which was substituted the Commonwealth under the Cromwells. In 1660 the Royalists restored the monarchy by placing executed Charles l's elder son on the throne as Charles 11. Having no children, he was succeeded by his brother, James 11, who had become a Roman Catholic while the royal family was in exile in France during the Commonwealth. Opposition to James' religious policies forced his deposition after a stormy three years of turmoil.

No royal genes were to be found in England for a brief time until Par-liament chose a Dutch couple, both of whom had the divine inheritance: William of Orange, a grandson of Charles I, and his wife, Mary, daughter of deposed James II. The childless couple ruled jointly until Mary died in 1694, William continuing until his death in 1702, when Queen Mary's younger sister assumed the ball and sceptre of majesty. Poor Anne produced fourteen children, none of whom lived to maturity or outlived her. Her statue stands at the stairs of the new (as of 1710) St. Paul's Cathedral. The fire of 1666 had destroyed most of the city of London.

Anne's death again left the country with no royal male genes. Thus, with the House of Hanover begin the reigns of the four German Georges by way of three female descendants of James I. The first King George was succeeded by his only son, George II, who, in turn had a son, Frederick, but who preceded his father in death, so that Frederick’s son succeeded at George lI's death. George Ill. was our last king, his long reign included the rebellion of the western colonies (and the first war in history fought across an ocean),and his insanity in 1811 when his son acted as regent until George III died in 1820, his son continuing the Hanoverian House until his death ten years later in 1820. He was succeeded by his third son, who became William IV.
George III had four sons. The fourth, who was named Edward, Duke of Kent, married the daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg. Their only child was Victoria, who married Albert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg, establishing briefly the house of the same name, it having one occupant, Victoria's eldest son who, on her death, after the longest reign in British history, became King Edward Vll.

Since the establishment of the House of Hanover in 1714, most of the royal family has been German, and the name Saxe-Coburg would be the name today except for a proclamation in 1917 which adopted an eminently English name, Windsor (after one of the Conqueror's castles), as part of the resentment of the English-speaking world of things German during World War I. The rejection of anything Germanic was ironic since the German Kaiser was Victoria's grandson by way of her eldest daughter. Edward Vll was sixty when Victoria died. He married a Danish princess who became the mother of George V, who returned to Germany for a wife, marrying Mary Of Teck. George was a cousin of the Kaiser and of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, whose family was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. During that war the English king, the German Kaiser, and the Russian Czar were first cousins, all grandchildren of Victoria. George V's eldest son was a popular visitor in America in the twenties and thirties as the heir-apparent Edward VIII On his father's death in 1936 he acceded to the kingship, but he was never crowned, having abdicated his throne for the love of an American lady whom the royal family would not accept. On his self-deposition his brother became George Vl, who married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. They had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, the elder succeeding 1952.

Queen Elizabeth has four children, the eldest of whom is Prince Charles, who is now fifty. If the monarchy prevails, as it has many times over movements to eliminate it, Charles will become King Charles 111 on his mother's demise or possible abdication, and he will be succeeded by his elder son William V (born in 1982) when he becomes the "monarch of Great Britain, her armed forces, and her dominions beyond the seas."

At Victoria's diamond jubilee (sixty year on the throne) in 1897 she was the monarch of the greatest and richest empire in the world. A century and two world wars later her great-great-granddaughter is the Queen of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (all occasionally rumbling for home rule and of thirteen tiny, far-flung islands and corners.

In 1066 the king was the head of the country's government, its church, and he led his forces into battle. The queen is today theoretically head of church and government, but no monarch has controlled the government or led its forces into battle since Charles 1, and he lost his head doing it. Monarchies (and there are seven extant in Europe) are vestiges of feudal dispensations when, in a universally religious civilization the divine right of kings was policy: God chose the earthly rulers by birth. Will the first civilization on Mars be governed by primocomputer?


  House of Normandy        
William I Duke of Normandy; obtained crown by his conquest
over Harold at the Battle of Hastings
1066 1087 60 21
William II Third son of William 1; surnamed Rufus 1087 1100 43 13
Henry I Youngest son of William I; surnamed Beauclerc 1100 1135 67 35
  House of Blois        
Stephen Third son of Stephen, Count of Blois
by Adela, the fourth daughter of William I
1135 1154 50 19
  House of Plantagenet        
Henry II Son of Henry Plantagenet
by Matilda the only daughter of Henry I
1154 1189 56 35
Richard I Son of Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine;
surnamed Coeur de Lion
1189 1199 42 10
John Sixth son of Hens It; surnamed Lackland 1199 1216 50 17
Henry III Son of John; first king buried at Westminster 1216 1272 65 56
Edward I Son of Henry III; surnamed Longshanks 1272 1307 68 35
Edward II Son of Edward I; deposed January 7,1327 1307 1327 43 20
Edward III Eldest son of Edward II and Isabella 1327 1377 65 50
Richard II Son of the Black Prince and grandson of Edward III.
Deposed 1399.
1377 1400 33 22
  House of Lancaster        
Henry IV Son of John of Gaunt (Ghent) the fourth son of Edward III.
Surnamed Bolingbroke.
1399 1413 47 13
Henry V Son of Henry IV; hero of Agincourt 1413 1422 34 9
Henry VI Only son of Henry V; deposed 1461 1422 1471 49 39
  House of York        
Eduard IV Grandson of Richard who was the son of Edmund,
the fifth son of Edward III.
His grandmother, Ann, was the great-granddaughter
of Lionel, the third son of Edward III
1461 1483 41 22
Edward V Eldest son of Edward IV, murdered in the Tower 1483 1485 13 2
Richard III "Crookback" Brother of Edward IV.
Killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
1483 1485 35 2
  House of Tudor        
Henry VII Son of Edmund, eldest son of Owen Tudor by Katherine, widow of Henry V. His mother, Margaret Beaufort, was great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt.        
Henry VIII Only surviving son or Henry VII; had six queens        
Edward VI Henry VIII's son by Jane Seymour, his third queen        
Mary I 1 Daughter of Henry VIII by Catherine of Arragon        
Elizabeth I Daughter of Henry VIII by AMe Boleyn        
  House of Stuart        
James I Son of Mary Queen of Scots, the granddaughter of James IV of Scotland.
James I had been King James VI of Scotland
1603 1625 59 22
Charles I Son of James I; beheaded by Puritans 1625 1649 48 24
The Cromwells Olkivr Cromwell, Lord Protector 1653 1658 58 -
  Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector;
resigned 25 May 1659
1658 1712 86 -
  House of Stuart (Restored)        
Charles II Eldest son of Charles I; no issue 1660 1685 55 25
James II Second son of Charles I; deposed 1688
--Interregnum -
11 December 1688 to 13 February 1689--
1685 1701 68 3
William III
& Mary Il 2
Son of William, Prince of Orange by Mary,
daughter of Charles I. Mary was the eldest daughter
of James II, and was William IIl's wife.
1689 1702 51 15
Anne Second daughter of James II 1702 1714 49 12
  House of Hanover        
George I Son of Elector of Hanover by Sophia, the daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of James I 1714 1727 67 13
George II Only son of George I; married Caroline of Brandenburg 1727 1760 77 33
George III Grandson of George II.
His son, later George IV, was Prince Regent from 1811 until 1820 owing to the mental condition of George III
1760 1820 81 59
George IV Eldest son of George III 1820 1830 67 10
William IV Third son of George III 1830 1837 71 7
Victoria Daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent,
the 4th son of George III
1837 1901 81 63
  House of Saxe-Coburg        
Edward VII Eldest son of Victoria, married Alexandra,
Princess of Denmark
1901 1910 68 9
  House of Windsor 3        
George V Second son of Edward VII,
married Princess Mary of Teck
1910 1936 70 25
Edward VIII Eldest son of George V,
proclaimed King but never crowned;
acceded 20 January 1936;
abdicated under date of 11 December 1936;
he was later created His Royal Highness,
Duke of Windsor
1936 1972 78 0
George VI Second son of George V; born 14 December 1895;
married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon





Elizabeth II 4 Elder daughter of George VI; born 1925


  1. Lady Jane Grey was named by Edward VI, just before his death, as his successor to the crown,
    and she was proclaimed Queen (10 July 1553) by the Council of State.
    The Council later (19 July 1553) proclaimed Mary as Queen.
    Lady Jane and her husband pleaded guilty to charges of treason and were beheaded.
  2. Mary II died in 1694, and the reign was continued by William III.
  3. The name of the royal family was changed to Windsor by a proclamation, 17 July 1917
  4. The heirs apparent to the throne are Charles (as Charles III), eldest son of Elizabeth II
    and after him, his eider son (William V).

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