List of last scions
This is a list of last scions or individuals who were the last member of a ruling house, or other prominent family, where heredity is the prime form of inheritance. This may be the last person to rule a realm, sometimes leading to a political crisis, or a change in government; other times power has already passed from the patrilineal family, leaving it in a less important position when it reaches its extinction.
House of Aviz
The House of Aviz, an illegitimate branch of its predecessor the House of Burgundy, ruled Portugal from 1385 to 1580; its last member was Henrique, Cardinal-King of Portugal (1512–1580), who succeeded his grand-nephew King Sebastian late in life. António, Prior of Crato would briefly rule Portugal shortly thereafter, but his illegitimate birth contests his claim to be considered a member of the House of Aviz.
House of Bourbon (main line)
The main line of the House of Bourbon, which had ruled France from 1589 to 1793 and from 1814 to 1830, became extinct with the death of Henri, comte de Chambord (1820–1883), grandson of King Charles X. The comte de Chambord was the last male-line descendant of King Louis XV, but many other lines of the house survive, including the Spanish Royal Family, the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg, and pretenders to the thrones of numerous other European thrones, all descending from Henry IV of France and ultimately from Hugh Capet of the House of Capet.
House of Bruce
The Clan Bruce ruled Scotland from 1306 to 1371. Its last royal member was King David II (1324–1371), upon whose death without issue the throne passed to his nephew Robert Stewart. The Clan continues today through other lines that do not have patrilineal royal ancestry, although the current clan chief, Andrew Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin, is descended from King Robert Bruce in the female line.
House of Burgundy (Portuguese branch)
A branch of the House of Burgundy, itself a branch of the House of Capet, was the first ruling house of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1139. Its last male member was King Ferdinand I (1345–1383), whose daughter Beatrice (1372–1408) was the disputed queen for two years, as well as queen of Castile and León by marriage. Instead Ferdinand's illegitimate half-brother John, Grand Master of the Order of Aviz became king, forming the House of Aviz.
House of Dunkeld
The last member of the House of Dunkeld was King Alexander III (1241–1286), ending the family's rule over Scotland that had persisted since 1058. Alexander, the last male-line descendant of King Donnchad I, who ruled from 1034 to 1040, outlived his own children, leaving only his granddaughter (though his daughter) Margaret, Maid of Norway as heir; her death a few years later plunged Scotland into an interregnum.
House of Habsburg
Male members of the House of Habsburg held many regnal titles in Europe from the twelfth to eighteenth centuries, most importantly those of Holy Roman Emperor (and its German associate and predecessor titles) and King of Spain. Its last male scion was Emperor Charles VI (1685–1740). His daughter Maria Theresa of Austria (1717–1780), who succeeded to some of her father's titles by inheritance and gained power of the rest of her father's domains when her husband was elected Emperor, was the last member of the royal house. Her descendants, the House of Lorraine, continued to hold this power and were styled the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster or Lancaster branch of the House of Plantagenet ruled England from 1399 to 1461 and again briefly in 1470-1471; its last scion was King Henry VI, who outlived his only son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales. Henry VI also had claims to the French throne through the parentage of his mother Catherine of Valois and the conquests of his father King Henry V. See also House of Plantagenet.
House of Luxembourg
Long before the present Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was established, the House of Luxembourg was a powerful family in Germany, supplying several Holy Roman Emperors. The last of these was Sigismund (1368–1437), also King of Hungary and Bohemia. His daughter Elisabeth of Bohemia (1409–1442) survived him to become the last Luxembourg family monarch, ruling Hungary and Bohemia and also as German queen consort.
House of Orange-Nassau
The House of Orange-Nassau, which had ruled before the Napoleonic Wars as Princes of Orange, served as Kings of the Netherlands and Grand Dukes of Luxembourg from 1815. King-Grand Duke William III (1817–1890), who outlived his three sons, was the last male member of the house and the last person to rule both countries; his daughter Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880–1962) succeeded him as Queen, while Luxembourg passed to the House of Nassau-Weilburg. The house became totally extinct in the male line with Wilhelmina's death, but the name is still used by her descendants, who continue to rule.
Houses of Plantagenet and York
The last male member of the House of Plantagenet, which ruled England from 1154 to 1485 and had fluctuating control over parts of France, was Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick (1475–1499), a nephew of King Edward IV and great-great-grandson of King Edward III. His uncle King Richard III had been killed and replaced by Henry Tudor, who started his own royal dynasty and eventually had Warwick executed. The last legitimate male-line descendant of Henry II of England, first Plantagenet king, was Warwick's sister Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury (1473–1541), who was executed by Henry Tudor's son King Henry VIII.
As descendants of the earliest Dukes of York, Edward and Margaret may also be considered the last scions of the House of York or York branch of the House of Plantagenet, which ruled England specifically from 1461 to 1485 (with a brief pause in 1470-1471).
House of Stuart
The last member of the House of Stuart was Henry Benedict Stuart (1725–1807), a Roman Catholic cardinal. He was the last legitimate male-line descendant of Robert II, who became King of Scots in 1371. The House of Stuart had ruled Scotland since then and England since 1603, replaced temporarily from 1649 to 1660 by the Covenanters and permanently in 1714 when Queen Anne died without surviving children, although Henry Cardinal Stuart's grandfather King James II & VII had been dethroned in 1688 during the Glorious Revolution. The headship of the house is usually associated today with Franz, Duke of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach, the senior heir-general of James II & VII's sister Henrietta Anna, Duchess of Orléans.
House of Tudor
The last male member of the House of Tudor, which had ruled England since 1485, was King Edward VI (1537–1553). His half-sister Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) took the throne in 1558 and ruled until her death, when the House of Stuart came to the throne in the person of King James VI of Scotland.
House of York
- See House of Plantagenet.