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Kings and Queens

Posterity alone rightly judges kings. Posterity alone has the right to accord or withhold honours.

Here we set our history into the context of the monarchs reigning in England/Britain



This page covers monarchs reigning in England/Britain from the discovery of St Helena onwards. Also included are the two Lord Protectors during the Interregnum (1649-1660). Note that Great Britain was created by the Act of Union in 1707, which merged England and Scotland into a single kingdom. Prior to 1707 only English monarchs are shown.

For more details see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_monarchs (1502-1707) and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_monarchs (1707-today) or click the image to see the Wikipedia page for each individual monarch.

Below: King Henry VII • King Henry VIII • King Edward VI • Lady Jane Grey • Queen Mary I • Queen Elizabeth I • King James I • King Charles I • Oliver Cromwell • Richard Cromwell • King Charles II • King James II • King William III& Queen Mary II • King William III • Queen Anne • King George I • King George II • King George III • King George IV • King William IV • Queen Victoria • King Edward VII • King George V • King Edward VIII • King George VI • Queen Elizabeth II


Other Records-based pages:

• A Brief History

• A Very Brief History

• Chronology

• On This Day

• In This Week

• Comparative History

• Titbits from the records

• Island History

From the Records, the various island histories and the island’s newspapers we have compiled an Events Database which currently contains items, ranging from to . You can search this database on our Chronology page. It is our intention to maintain and keep this database updated. To search the original Records for yourself, see our Family And Friends page for contact details. Please note: our database is not a complete history, even of all the most important events; there are some we still have not yet managed to date. If you can help us with any omissions or errors please contact us. For the pre-discovery history of St Helena, see our pages Geology of St Helena, Before Discovery and Endemic Species.



St Helena Events

King Henry VII

House of Tudor

1502: St Helena is discovered by João da Nova

1503: Ascension Island is discovered by Portuguese navigator Afonso de Albuquerque

1506: Tristan da Cunha is discovered by Portuguese explorer Tristão da Cunha

King Henry VIII

House of Tudor

1515: A Rhinoceros visits!

1516: Fernão Lopez arrives, the first inhabitant

1546: Fernão Lopez dies on St Helena

King Edward VI

House of Tudor


Lady Jane Grey

House of Tudor


Queen Mary I

Bloody Mary
House of Tudor


Queen Elizabeth I

House of Tudor

1580: Francis Drake, circumnavigating the world, locates St Helena but does not land

1584: William Barrett is the first Englishman to write about St Helena

1588: First Englishman visits

1589: Dutchman Jan Huygen Linschoten visits and starts the myth of our discovery being on 21st May

1593: Captain Sir James Lancaster makes his first visit

King James I

House of Stuart

1603: Sir James Lancaster visits again

1608: Dutch officer Admiral Wittert visits and the Dutch take an interest

1613: Dutch warship the Witte Leeuw arrives, and loses a brief but spectacular naval action with two Portuguese carracks

1625: British & Dutch fight the Portuguese for possession of St Helena (unsuccessfully)

King Charles I

House of Stuart

1633: The Dutch formally claim St Helena, planning to occupy & fortify it

1644: Richard Boothby proposes to The East India Company that St Helena be colonised

1649: The East India Company begins using St Helena as a rallying point for its homeward-bound vessels

No Monarch. Rule by Parliament alone.

1651: The Dutch abandon plans to occupy St Helena

Oliver Cromwell

Lord Protector

1657: Oliver Cromwell grants The East India Company patents to occupy and develop St Helena

1658: The East India Company decides to occupy St Helena
Dutchman Johan Nieuhof visits

Richard Cromwell

Lord Protector

1659: The English occupy & fortify St Helena
Governor Dutton builds the Fort of St. John

King Charles II

House of Stuart

1660: The fort is renamed James Fort, the town Jamestown and the valley James Valley, in honour of the Duke of York, later King James II

1661: King Charles II formalises The East India Company occupation with a Charter

1667: People displaced by the Great Fire of London are brought to St Helena (possibly)

1671: The first chaplain of The East India Company arrives

1672: Dutch Invade St Helena

1673: English re-capture St Helena

1675: Slaves begin to be sent to St Helena

1677: Edmond Halley visits and catalogues the stars in the Southern hemisphere and observe the Transit of Mercury

King James II

House of Stuart


King William III
& Queen Mary II

William of Orange
House of Stuart
Queen Mary II died on 28th December 1694 and thereafter King William III ruled alone

1690: Several French protestants arrive and start a wine industry

1693: Governor Joshua Johnston is shot and killed during the ‘Jackson Mutiny

King William III

William of Orange
House of Stuart

1698: Rats and goats reported to be out of control and destroying the island

Queen Anne

House of Stuart

1708: Council approves Governor John Roberts’ scheme to rebuild James Fort, creating what is now The Castle

1710: The Great Wood is reported destroyed

King George I

House of Hanover

1715: Governor Pyke proposes that the island be abandoned and everybody moved to Mauritius

King George II

House of Hanover

1733: Coffee plants are introduced to the island

1742: The island’s first hospital is built

King George III

House of Hanover

1761: Nevil Maskelyne visits to observe the Transit of Venus

1771: Captain James Cook visits

1774: St. James’ Church is completed, the oldest Anglican Church in the southern hemisphere

1775: Captain James Cook visits for the 2nd time

1790: Saul Solomon arrives on St Helena

1791: Plantation House is built

1792: It becomes illegal to import slaves
Captain Bligh visits

1805: Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington visits, and nearly drowns

1810: Chinese labourers arrive
Tristan da Cunha is settled by Jonathan Lambert, from the USA

1815: St Helena is chosen to detain Napoleon
Britain claims Ascension Island

1816: Many descriptions and histories of St Helena begin to appear
The UK claims and occupies Tristan da Cunha

1817: William Thackeray visits as a child and sees Napoleon

1818: All children born to slaves are declared to be free

King George IV

House of Hanover

1821: Napoleon dies at Longwood House

1827: The emancipation of slaves begins

1829: Mynah Birds are introduced to control cattle ticks
The ‘Inclined Plane’ railway from Jamestown to the Ladder Hill Fort begins operating

King William IV

House of Hanover

1831: The Jamestown Upper Theatre is destroyed by fire

1834: St Helena becomes a Crown Colony ending 175 years of rule by The East India Company

1836: Charles Darwin visits in the HMS Beagle
The first British Governor arrives, Governor George Middlemore

1837: Attempts to set up a local whaling company fail

Queen Victoria

House of Hanover

1838: Dr James Barry leaves St Helena

1840: The British Navy begins intercepting South Atlantic slave ships, liberating the slaves onto St Helena
Napoleon’s body is returned to France

1842: William Alexander Thorpe is born on St Helena
The St Helena Regiment is formed

1846: ‘The Rollers of 1846’ destroy 13 ships

1851: St Helena Coffee wins a prize at the Great Exhibition
St. Paul’s Cathedral is completed

1854: Baptists arrive on St Helena

1858: Longwood House and Napoleon’s Tomb are transferred to French ownership

1860: ‘White Ants’ from a slave ship are destroying Jamestown
HRH Prince Alfred visits

1863: The St Helena Regiment is disbanded

1869: The Suez Canal opens, further reducing St Helena’s role in global shipping

1870: The Liberated Slave Depot is closed. 25,000 have passed through St Helena, 500 choosing to stay

1871: The ‘Inclined Plane’ railway is re-engineered to become Jacob’s Ladder

1874: The first flax industry fails
High Knoll Fort is expanded to its present form

1882: Jonathan the tortoise arrives, aged about 50

1888: Streetlights are introduced in Jamestown

1890: A large rockfall kills nine people and destroys 14 houses
Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo arrives

1891: The ‘Rockfall Memorial Fountain’ is dedicated

1897: Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo departs

1898: Joshua Slocum visits while sailing around the world

1899: The undersea cable connects St Helena to the world

1900: The Boer Prisoners (1900-1902) arrive on St Helena

King Edward VII

Houses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

1902: The Boer Prisoners (1900-1902) depart from St Helena

1905: The last execution takes place on St Helena (for the Prosperous Bay Murder)

King George V

Houses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Retitled House of Windsor in 1917

1911: The SS Papanui burns out and sinks in James Bay

1914: The island’s first cinema, Thorpes Bioscope, opens in Jamestown

1929: The island’s first car arrives

1934: The first flight over St Helena is made by a seaplane from HMS Dorsetshire

King Edward VIII

House of Windsor


King George VI

House of Windsor

1941: Education becomes compulsory and the Government of St Helena takes over all schools

1941: The RFA Darkdale is torpedoed and sinks in James Bay

1947: First visit by a reigning monarch of Great Britain

1949: The 100 Men leave for the UK

Queen Elizabeth II

House of Windsor

1965: The flax industry collapses

1966: Democracy is introduced with a part-elected Legislative Council

1967: The island’s first radio station, Radio St Helena, starts broadcasting

1977: The first RMS St Helena commences operation

1983: Saints lose their right to live and work in the UK

1995: Television is introduced

2002: The Quincentenary of St Helena is celebrated and British Citizenship is restored

2015: The first ever fixed-wing aircraft lands on St Helena

2015: Mobile Phones arrive on St Helena

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