DEAD KINGS is a personal project featuring illustrations of historical figures. Poster prints are available here.
Edward the Confessor, among the last truly English kings by blood. The epitaph at the top, from his tomb in Westminster Abbey, translates from the Latin as: "Confessor, king, and saint, he sought the skies. Friends, lift to heaven your hearts as well as eyes." 
William the Conqueror, who famously invaded England in 1066 and changed history. Centuries of war between England and France ensued, and in some cases ill will continues to this day, all because of him. Entombed at Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Caen, France. Inscription translates from the Latin as: Invincible conqueror, Duke of Normandy, King of England." 
Richard I, called Lionheart for his fighting during the Third Crusade. His clashes with Saladin led to a mutual respect between the two. Died of gangrene from a French crossbow injury, his embalmed heart is entombed at Rouen Cathedral. Inscription translates as: "Here lies the heart of Richard, king of England."
An inept and malicious leader, he squandered his family's (and his country's) fortunes. Forced to sign the Magna Carta, which he promptly ignored. Died of dysentery, interred at Worcester Cathedral. Inscription translates to: "Foul as it is, Hell itself is made fouler by the presence of John," a quote made after his death.
Grandson of Longshanks, one of the most accomplished military kings in English history. Started the Hundred Years' War, upended the mighty French army at Crecy in 1346, weathered the ravages of the Black Plague. Reigned 50 years, died of a stroke, interred at Westminster Abbey beneath a spectacular bronze effigy. 
Son and heir of Edward III; hero of the battle of Crecy. Died unexpectedly of dysentery in 1376, just before his dying father. His 10-year-old son inherited the crown, and chaos ensued. Entombed at Canterbury Cathedral. His translated epitaph reads in part: "Such as thou art, some time was I. Such as I am, such shalt thou be. I little thought on the hour of death, So long as I enjoyed breath."
The most legendary military regent in British history. Emerged from his "wild" younger years to shock the world and defeat the invincible French army at Agincourt in 1415. Died suddenly of dysentery at age 34, leaving his 9-month-old son to sit the throne. Buried at Westminster Abbey. The quote on this piece is from Shakespeare's famous play: "...But we in it shall be remembered. We few. We happy few. We band of brothers."
The only person in history ever crowned king of both England and France. He was less than one year old at the time. Not surprisingly, his reign would be a catastrophe. The quote at the top is from a chronicler at the time of his coronation: "Borne to possess by inheritance / Crowns two, of England and of France."
Illiterate teenage girl who came from nowhere to lead French armies to victory over the occupying English. Betrayed by her own, given over to the English and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. The quote above was her response to a trick question at her trial, "Are you within God's grace?" Answering Yes or No would have convicted her for different reasons. She answered cannily, "If I am not, may God put me there. If I am, may God so keep me." This quote is reflected above her head, in French.
The only person in history ever crowned king of both England and France. Due to mental illness, his reign was a catastrophe. Once found after a losing battle sitting under a tree, laughing and clapping. Overthrown and murdered in prison, 1471, he was entombed at Windsor Castle. His epitaph: "What is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust? And live we how we can, yet die we must."
Infamous for marrying six women and beheading two, Henry VIII was one of the most fearful tyrants in history. Died in 1547, entombed at Windsor Palace. The epitaph above his head reads: "Pardon me all my sins; yea though they were greater than can be."
A martyr who preferred to die for his beliefs rather than betray them for his king, Henry VIII. Famously portrayed by Paul Scofield in 1966's "A Man for All Seasons". Beheaded at the Tower of London, his head was impaled on Tower Bridge but retrieved by his daughter. His skull is currently on display in St. Dunstan's Church, Canterbury. Epitaph: "I die the king's good servant. But God's first."
Executed by her husband Henry VIII for multiple (untrue) crimes, she was beheaded at the Tower of London in 1536. Buried beneath the Tower's St. Peter ad Vincula chapel, London. Epitaph: "I heard say the executioner was very good; and I have but a little neck."
A long shot to take the throne after the death of her father, Henry VIII, Elizabeth reigned over one of the greatest eras in English history. After a storied life she died at 70 in 1603, and was entombed with her half-sister Mary in Westminster Abbey. Epitaph: "I would not make windows into men's souls."
One of the most prolific and famous writers in English history, his plays and prose are celebrated throughout the world even today. He died in 1616 and was buried in his home town Stratford-Upon-Avon, beneath the chancel of Holy Trinity Church. His epitaph: "Good friend for Jesus' sake forbeare / To dig the dust enclosed here."
Most famous today from Braveheart, he spent years subjugating Wales and Scotland. On crusade he disarmed and killed an assassin in his bedchamber, then spent weeks recovering from a poison knife. Died many years later on the road to Scotland of dysentery, in 1307 at the age of 68. His Latin epitaph translates as, "Hammer of the Scots."
Saint Louis, King of France, crusader. Known for his piety and sense of justice, the only French king ever sainted. Led two crusades to the Holy Land, dying of dystentery during the second in 1270. His bones were interred in the basilica of Saint Denis, France.
Gaius Julius Caesar, acclaimed general and controversial first emperor of Rome. The inscription above his head is his famous epitaph, "Vini, Vidi, Vici."
Famed English warrior who served five different kings over the course of his long and distinguished career. The epitaph at the top is from his famous eulogy by Stephen Langton: "Look there, and see the greatest knight who ever lived."
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