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Title: Biographical Outlines - British History
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcribed from the [1879] B. Harris & Co. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org



                          BIOGRAPHICAL OUTLINES


                                * * * * *

                             BRITISH HISTORY.

                                * * * * *

                                 London:

                             B. HARRIS & Co.,

                     4, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET, W.



INDEX.

                                    PAGE
à-Becket, Thos.                       10
Abercrombie, Sir Ralph                56
Addison, Joseph                       37
Agricola                               3
Alban, Saint                           3
Alfred, King                           6
Arkwright, Sir Richard                52
Arthur, King                           4
Asser                                  7
Augustine, Saint                       5
Bacon, Francis                        29
Bacon, Roger                          11
Barbauld, Mrs.                        67
Bede, Venerable                        6
Black Prince                          17
Blackstone, Sir William               49
Blake, Admiral                        32
Boadicea                               2
Brindley, James                       46
Bruce, Sir Robert                     14
Brunel, Sir I. K.                     81
Bunyan, John                          35
Burke, Edmund                         54
Butler, Joseph                        41
Byron, Lord                           67
Cabot, Sebastian                      24
Cæsar, Julius                          1
Campbell, Thomas                      74
Canute                                 8
Caractacus                             2
Caxton, William                       20
Cecil, William                        26
Chantrey, Sir Francis                 73
Chaucer                               18
Clive, Lord                           46
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor              72
Constantine                            4
Cook, Captain                         48
Cornwallis, Lord                      57
Cowper, William                       56
Crabbe, George                        69
Cranmer, Thomas                       23
Davy, Sir Humphrey                    68
Defoe, Daniel                         40
Dickens, Charles                      84
Drake, Sir Francis                    25
Dunstan, Saint                         8
Dryden, John                          35
Edgeworth, Maria                      77
Edward I.                              3
Edward III.                           16
Evelyn, John                          36
Fielding, Henry                       42
Flamstead, John                       37
Flaxman, John                         68
Franklin, Sir John                    76
Fry, Mrs. Elizabeth                   74
Fox, Charles James                    60
Gainsborough, Thos.                   51
Garrick, David                        48
Gibbon, Edward                        53
Gildas the Wise                        5
Goldsmith, Oliver                     47
Gower, John                           18
Hampden, John                         30
Harvey, Dr.                           33
Hastings, Warren                      63
Hengist and Horsa                      4
Henry V.                              18
Herschel, Sir William                 65
Hogarth, William                      43
Hume, David                           47
Jenner, Dr.                           66
Johnson, Dr.                          49
Jones, Inigo                          32
Jonson, Ben                           30
Keats, John                           64
Keble, John                           83
Kemble, John                          66
Ken, Bishop                           36
Langton, Cardinal                     11
Laud, William                         31
Lawrence, Sir Thomas                  69
Lely, Sir Peter                       34
Llewellyn                             13
Locke, John                           36
Marlborough, Duke of                  38
Milton, John                          34
Montfort, Simon de                    12
Moore, Sir John                       62
Moore, Thomas                         80
More, Hannah                          71
More, Sir Thomas                      22
Mortimer, Roger                       15
Nelson, Lord                          57
Neville, Earl of Warwick              19
Newton, Sir Isaac                     40
O’Connell, Daniel                     75
Palmerston, Lord                      82
Park, Mungo                           61
Paulinus                               2
Peel, Sir Robert                      77
Peter the Hermit                       9
Philippa, Queen                       16
Pitt, Lord Chatham                    47
Pitt, William                         59
Pope, Alexander                       41
Raleigh, Sir Walter                   28
Reynolds, Sir Joshua                  53
Richard Cœur de Lion                  10
Richardson, Samuel                    43
Rodney, Lord                          52
Rogers, Samuel                        80
Scott, Sir Walter                     70
Shakespeare                           28
Shelley, Sir Percy                    65
Sheridan                              62
Sidney, Sir Philip                    24
Smollett                              45
Southey                               73
Spenser, Edmund                       27
Steele                                40
Sterne                                44
Stephenson, Sir Robert                81
Stuart, James                         44
Stuart, Charles Edward                49
Swift, Dean                           41
Taylor, Jeremy                        83
Thackeray, William M.                 82
Tyndale, William                      23
Tyrrell, Sir Walter                    9
Vandyke                               31
Wallace, Sir William                  13
Walsingham, Sir Francis               25
Watt, James                           64
Wedgwood, Josiah                      53
Wellington, Duke of                   79
Wesley, John                          51
Whitfield, George                     45
Wilberforce, William                  71
Wilkie, Sir David                     72
Wolfe, General                        42
Wolsey, Cardinal                      20
Wordsworth, William                   78
Wren, Sir Christopher                 39



JULIUS CÆSAR.


                               B.C. 100–44.

THIS greatest of the Roman generals, and afterwards the first Roman
emperor, having subdued the whole of Gaul, beyond and on this side the
Alps (now France, Switzerland, and part of Italy), invaded Britain, and
landing near Deal, defeated the Britons and obliged them to pay tribute,
B.C. 55.  The next year he led a second and larger army to Britain, and
having conquered the British tribes in several battles, he took
possession of the southern provinces, and paved the way for the total
occupation of Britain by the Romans.



CARACTACUS.


                              Died A.D. 43.

A brave British general (son of a native king, Cunobolin) who resisted
the Romans when, under the Emperor Claudius, they extended their
conquests in Britain.  Taken prisoner to Rome, and led in triumph, he
expressed his surprise that a nation possessed of such magnificence could
covet his humble cottage in Britain.



PAULINUS.


                              Died A.D. 59.

A Roman general sent to Britain under the Emperor Nero.  He attacked and
destroyed the Druids in the island of Anglesea, and so roused the
Britains that, under their queen, Boadicea, they defeated the Romans with
great slaughter, and burned London.



BOADICEA.


                              Died A.D. 61.

Queen of the Iceni, who occupied Norfolk and the valley of the great
Ouse.  She and her daughter being shamefully and cruelly treated by the
Romans, under Paulinus, attacked and defeated them and burned London.
She was, however, soon after defeated by them in Essex, and eighty
thousand Britons were slain, when in despair she poisoned herself.



AGRICOLA.


                              Died A.D. 78.

A Roman general under the Emperor Vespasian, conquered most of Britain
and part of Scotland (called Caledonia).  He taught the Britons Roman
arts and customs, made roads, and built two walls to keep out the
unsubdued tribes in the far north.  His sailors sailed round Great
Britain, and so discovered it to be an island.



SAINT ALBAN.


                              Died A.D. 303.

A British officer of the Roman army, who became the first Christian
martyr in England at Verulam, now called St. Albans.



CONSTANTINE THE GREAT.


                      Born A.D. 309.—Died A.D. 337.

The first Christian Roman emperor.  The son of the Emperor Constantius,
who came over to Britain, had married a British princess, and died at
York A.D. 309; where Constantine assumed the rank of emperor.  He is said
by some historians to have been born in England.  He greatly promoted
Christianity.



HENGIST AND HORSA.


                                A.D. 449.

Two Saxon chiefs, who came over at the invitation of the Britons, under
their chief, Vortigern, to help them drive back the Picts and Scots, who,
coming from the north, invaded the country when the Romans abandoned
Britain.



KING ARTHUR.


                             Reigned 508–533.

When the Romans left Britain, A.D. 409, the country split up into
principalities and petty kingdoms, under chiefs.  Vortigern brought in
the Saxons to help him reign, and they took possession of most of
southern England.  King Arthur is said to have stemmed the invasion and
conquered them in twelve pitched battles, and to have formed a league of
chiefs reaching from Somersetshire to the Frith of Forth.  Beautiful
legends have been written about this league and the chiefs who joined in
it.  Arthur’s reign lasted twenty-five years.



GILDAS THE WISE.


                                A.D. 570.

The first British historian.  A native of Wales, and a monk.  He died
A.D. 570.



SAINT AUGUSTINE.


                              Died A.D. 596.

A Benedictine monk, who was sent over from Rome by Pope Gregory the
Great, at the invitation of the Saxon king Ethelbert, to preach the
Gospel in Britain.  Two of the kings were soon converted to Christianity,
who pulled down the heathen temples and began to build churches.



VENERABLE BEDE.


                           Born 672.—Died 735.

A Benedictine monk of great learning, and an early author and historian;
he translated the Scriptures into Anglo-Saxon.  Died A.D. 735.



ALFRED THE GREAT.


  Born 849.—Died 901.—Ethelwulf.—Ethelbald—Ethelbert.—Ethelred.—Alfred.

This extraordinary man, who has with justice been called the greatest of
all the line of English kings, was the son of Ethelwulf and Osburga, and
was born at Wantage in Berkshire.  He learnt to read at six years old,
and steadily set himself to gain and spread the love of learning, when he
began his reign at seventeen.  The Danes overran his kingdom, and he was
forced to take refuge in the Isle of Athelney, between the rivers Parret
and Tone; it was then that he was set to watch the cakes baking in the
ashes, in a hut in which he had asked shelter.  After he had subdued the
Danes, Alfred enlarged his fleet, and sent envoys to other countries to
obtain a knowledge of their state and productions.  His name was well
known at Rome, Constantinople, Bagdad, and even in India.  Alfred first
sketched out the English Constitution in his Code of Laws.  He built and
endowed schools, had books written and chained in the churches, and
invented a wax-candle clock, which measured the time by burning an inch
of wax in twenty minutes.  After a reign of thirty-four years, spent in
unceasing toil for the good of his people, Alfred died in 901.



ASSER.


                                Died 909.

A native of Wales, a learned monk, and Bishop of Sherbourne, who was
tutor to King Alfred.  He afterwards wrote his life.  Died A.D. 909.



ST. DUNSTAN, ABBOT.


                           Born 945.—Died 978.

A Saxon nobleman, who became a Benedictine monk, Abbot of Glastonbury
Abbey, and Archbishop of Canterbury, was the most learned man of his
time.  He learnt every art then known, and first used stained glass and
organs in England.  He lived for some time in a cave, and is said to have
had personal battles with Satan, who appeared under different shapes to
tempt him.



CANUTE THE GREAT.


                            Reigned 1017–1035.

A Danish king who came to the throne in 1017, he ruled over England,
Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and was therefore called “The Great.”  He
rebuked his courtiers, who flattered him, by commanding the waves to
retire, and when they wetted his feet reminded them that there was only
One who could say to the ocean, “Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther.”
He died A.D. 1035.



PETER THE HERMIT.


                                Died 1115.

A poor French priest who, on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy
Land, went about from country to country persuading princes and people to
join in the crusades against the Saracens with great enthusiasm.



SIR WALTER TYRRELL.


                               William II.

All that we read of this character is the story of his accidentally
shooting King William II. while they were hunting together in the New
Forest.  It is supposed by many historians that the arrow was aimed
intentionally at the king.  By most modern authors the story is entirely
discredited.



THOMAS À BECKET.


            Born 1117.—Died 1170.—Henry I.—Stephen.—Henry II.

Chancellor to Henry II. and tutor to his son, he became a great favourite
with the king, who afterwards made him Archbishop of Canterbury.  He then
espoused the cause of the clergy against the king, and so exasperated him
by turning against him, that he was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by
four knights, in whose presence the king had a short time previously
rashly exclaimed: “Is there nobody that will rid me of this turbulent
priest?”



RICHARD CŒUR DE LION.


                            Reigned 1189–1199.

Son of Henry II.; succeeded his father in 1189 as King Richard I.  Of the
ten years of his reign, six months only were spent in England; his life
was passed in the crusades in the Holy Land, when after taking Acre he
attacked Jerusalem, but without success.  On his return through Germany,
after being shipwrecked, he was imprisoned by the emperor, and was not
released until he had paid a heavy ransom.  Shortly after his return he
was besieging a castle in France, when he was shot by an arrow.



STEPHEN CARDINAL LANGTON.


                        Born 1151—Died 1228.—John.

Stephen Langton, English Chancellor of the University of Paris, was made
Archbishop of Canterbury, but, owing to the king’s opposition, did not
enter into possession till 1213, when John was obliged to give way.
Langton formed a solemn league with the English barons against the king’s
tyranny; and the Great Charter of English liberty which they drew up was
signed by John at Runnymead, near Windsor, in 1215.  In the Great Charter
the first idea of the House of Lords is drawn out.



ROGER BACON.


                          Born 1214.—Died 1294.

A Franciscan monk, born at Ilchester, in Somersetshire.  A natural
philosopher and man of science.  He is acknowledged to have introduced
the study of chemistry into England, and was the first to combine the
ingredients of gunpowder, though he did not foresee to what the discovery
would lead.



SIMON DE MONTFORT,


                          Died 1265.—Henry III.

Earl of Leicester, headed a rebellion against King Henry III., whom he
defeated and took prisoner, with his son, Prince Edward, in a battle at
Lewes.  During the king’s imprisonment he called together a Parliament,
the first to which the boroughs sent members.  Prince Edward soon after
this escaped, and collecting an army, attacked Montfort near Evesham,
who, although he was an experienced general, was utterly defeated, and he
and one of his sons were killed and almost torn to pieces.



LLEWELLYN,


                     Died 1282.—Henry III.—Edward I.

The last king of Wales, who refusing to do homage to King Edward I., was
attacked by him, and taken prisoner to London.  He was released on paying
a heavy tribute and giving up the whole of Wales, excepting the island of
Angelsea; resisting the heavy yoke put upon him, he was surprised and
slain a few years afterwards, in 1282.



SIR WILLIAM WALLACE.


                Born 1276.—Died 1305.—Henry III.—Edward I.

A brave Scottish warrior who resisted the English under Edward I.  He
gained a great victory over the English near Stirling, and for several
years kept the English at bay.  He was, however, at length defeated,
betrayed and sent to London, and beheaded in 1305.



EDWARD I.


                            Reigned 1272–1307.

Son of Henry III.  Married (1) Eleanor of Castile and (2) Margaret of
France.  Annexed Wales to England.  Began the conquest of Scotland, and
removed the block of marble on which the Scottish kings were crowned,
from Scone (now in Westminster Abbey).  The nobles, asserting the
privileges of the Great Charter, began to assemble and act in this reign
as the first House of Lords; and by creating “Barons by writ” Edward
broke in upon the monopolies of the nobles, and laid the foundations of
the House of Commons.



ROBERT BRUCE,


                Born 1274.—Died 1320.—Edward I.—Edward II.

Who had been educated in King Edward I.’s household, succeeded Wallace as
leader of the Scots against Edward I.  Having slain his rival claimant
the Red Comyn in the Grey Friars Church at Dumfries, Bruce borrowed
robes, chain, and gold rim from some saint’s image, and had himself
crowned King of Scotland at Scone.  After the most romantic escapes and
adventures, and retaking all the castles Edward I. had gained, except
Stirling, Bruce defeated Edward II. at the great battle of Bannockburn,
not far from Stirling, and freed Scotland from the English yoke.



ROGER MORTIMER,


          Born 1287.—Died 1330.—Edward I.—Edward II.—Edward III.

Earl of March.  The wicked queen of Edward II. (Isabella) having joined
with Mortimer, Earl of March, in the murder of her husband at Berkeley
Castle, they governed England as they pleased.  Mortimer set up a new
order of Knights of the Round Table, in imitation of King Arthur.  Edward
III., still only a boy, surprised the guilty queen’s favourite in
Nottingham Castle, and after a trial by his peers, Mortimer was hanged at
Tyburn, 1330.



EDWARD III.


                            Reigned 1327–1377.

Son of Edward II.  First claimed the crown of France.  Won the battles of
Cressy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), and took Calais.  Great part of France
made over to the (Black) Prince of Wales.  First Speaker of House of
Commons (1376), and great development of the Commons’ privileges.  Edward
III. reigned half a century, and was one of the wisest, ablest, and most
useful of the English kings.



QUEEN PHILIPPA.


                    Mar. 1327.—Died 1369.—Edward III.

Philippa of Hainault, the queen of Edward III., was the sister of the
Count of Hainault in Flanders (Belgium).  She was a most religious, wise,
and able woman, who ruled the country while the king was at war in France
as well as he did himself.  She went with the army against the Scots, and
defeated them at Nevil’s Cross, close to Durham, 1346.  After the siege
of Calais Queen Philippa begged the lives of Eustace de St. Pierre and
five other French gentlemen, whom the king had condemned to death.  When
Queen Philippa died, Edward fell under the power of a wretched woman, and
lost the confidence of his nobles and people.



THE BLACK PRINCE.


                    Born 1330.—Died 1376.—Edward III.

The Prince of Wales, son of King Edward III., called the Black Prince
from the colour of his armour, was knighted on the sands at La Hogue, in
the midst of the war between England and France about the succession to
Bretagne (Brittany).  He distinguished himself with extraordinary valour
at the battles of Cressy and Poitiers, and the siege of Calais.  He
married Joan of Kent, and held his court chiefly at Bordeaux, and having
ruined his health by an excessive love of fighting, his last years were
spent in a sick room.



GEOFFREY CHAUCER,


        Born 1321.—Died 1400.—Edward II.—Edward III.—Richard III.

Born in London, and called the first English poet, wrote the twenty-four
_Canterbury Tales_.  The scene is laid in the Tabard inn, Southwark, and
the characters of noble, knight, yeoman, prioress, pardoner, parson,
clerk of Oxford, reeve or steward, and Robin the miller, etc., give the
best pictures of the Plantagenet times that exist.



JOHN GOWER.


 Born 1325.—Died 1402.—Edward II.—Edward III.—Richard II.—Henry IV.—Henry
                                    V.

An early English poet, born in Yorkshire, who flourished about the same
time as Chaucer.  His poems are chiefly on moral subjects, the first
edition of them being printed by Caxton.  He was a liberal benefactor to
the church of St. Saviour, Southwark, and died in London.



HENRY V.


                            Reigned 1413–1422.

Son of Henry IV.  When Prince of Wales called “Madcap Hal.”  Invaded
France and fought the battle of Agincourt.  Was acknowledged Regent of
France and successor to the crown.  Lived chiefly in Paris, and died at
Vincennes, when in the full glory of his reign.



RICHARD NEVILLE,


        Born about 1420.—Died 1471.—Harry V.—Henry VI.—Edward IV.

Earl of Warwick (the king maker).  This famous nobleman, also known as
the last of the Barons, was the son of the Earl of Salisbury, and first
cousin of Edward IV., son of the Duke of York.  After the first great
battle of the Rose wars (St. Albans) Warwick joined the Yorkists.  After
the battles of Bloreheath, Northampton, Wakefield, and Mortimer’s Cross,
Warwick was defeated in the second battle of St. Albans.  He again won
the bloodiest struggle of the Rose wars, Towton, but was slain at Barnet,
fighting against Edward IV.  With him English feudalism died.



WILLIAM CAXTON.


   Born 1410.—Died 1491.—Henry IV.—Henry V.—Henry VI.—Edward IV.—Edward
                        V.—Richard III.—Henry VII.

William Caxton was born in Kent.  He seems to have begun authorship long
before printing.  He went to Bruges in 1468 with the English bride of
Duke Charles of Burgundy, and translated for her the _Recueil des
Histoires de Troye_, by the duke’s chaplain.  Having learnt in Germany
(Cologne) to print, he brought out this translation in 1471.  He removed
in 1474 to Westminster, where he lived in the Reed Pale, near the
Almonry, and set up his printing-press there.  The first book printed
there was _The Game and Playe of the Chesse_, _translated out of the
French_.  When he died in 1491, Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson worked
the press.



CARDINAL WOLSEY.


 Born 1471.—Died 1530.—Edward IV.—Edward V.—Richard III.—Henry VII.—Henry
                                  VIII.

Thomas Wolsey, the son of a butcher at Ipswich, became a fellow of
Magdalen College in Oxford.  He was a friend of the famous Erasmus, and
helped him in pushing the study of Greek.  While Bursar of Magdalen
College he built the college chapel tower.  He was sent as envoy to
Bruges on a negociation of marriage between Margaret of Savoy, daughter
of the Emperor Maximilian, and Henry VII., and was rewarded for the speed
of his journey by the deanery of Lincoln.  Under Henry VIII. Wolsey was
successively made king’s almoner, chancellor of the garter, archbishop of
York, cardinal legate, and lord chancellor of England.  His splendour and
state surpassed that of any minister ever seen in England.  York Place
(now Whitehall), Esher, and Hampton Court were his residences in and near
London.  He built Christ Church College in Oxford, and a grammar school
at Ipswich.  When Wolsey failed to induce Cardinal Campeggio to annul
Henry’s marriage with Katherine of Arragon, the king refused to see him
again.  The great seal was taken from him, and he was ordered to retire
to York.  He was arrested for high treason, and on his way to London,
died in Leicester Abbey, wishing he had served God as faithfully as he
had the king.



SIR THOMAS MORE.


 Born 1480.—Died 1535.—Edward IV.—Edward V.—Richard III.—Henry VII.—Henry
                                  VIII.

Was born in Milk Street, London, brought up in the household of Cardinal
Morton under Henry VII.  He was early distinguished by great attainments,
wit, and dauntless love of truth.  When Speaker of the House of Commons,
he came into collision with Wolsey upon a loan of £800,000 demanded by
the king.  As not a member would open his lips, Wolsey appealed to More,
who said that unless all the statues around him could put their wits into
his head, he could not answer His Grace.  More refused to take the oath
of supremacy to Henry VIII. as head of the English Church, and he was
executed on Tower Hill.  His daughter, Margaret Roper, rescued his head.
He was a man of deep and various learning, and his _Utopia_, or romance
of a model republic, is well known.



WILLIAM TYNDALE.


 Born 1447.—Died 1536.—Henry VI.—Edward IV.—Edward V.—Richard III.—Henry
                             VII.—Henry VIII.

Was born in Wales, educated at Cambridge, and with Miles Coverdale made a
new translation of the New Testament, the Pentateuch, and the book of
Jonah.  He was strangled and burnt at the stake at Vilvoord, in
consequence of the success of his translations of the Bible.



THOMAS CRANMER,


      Born 1489.—Died 1556.—Henry VII.—Henry VIII.—Edward VI.—Mary.

Born at Aslacton, in Nottinghamshire, was a tutor at Cambridge, and was
made at one bound Archbishop of Canterbury.  He owed his rise to his
clever suggestions for enabling Henry VIII. to divorce Queen Katherine,
and became the favourite of Anne Boleyn in consequence.  As Primate he
sanctioned three divorces of Henry VIII.  He drew up the Book of Common
Prayer.  He perished at the stake at Oxford in 1550, under Mary, after
signing several recantations which he finally repudiated, and died with
firmness.



SEBASTIAN CABOT,


 Born 1447.—Died 1557.—Edward IV.—Edward V.—Richard III.—Henry VII.—Henry
                             VIII.—Edward VI.

Was born at Bristol, of Venetian ancestry; became a celebrated navigator.
He was the first to see the coast of Labrador from the ship _Matthew_,
and discovered a great part of America.



SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.


                  Born 1554.—Died 1586.—Mary.—Elizabeth.

This eminent gentleman, poet, and man of letters was born at Penshurst in
Kent.  He was General of the Horse under Queen Elizabeth, and
distinguished himself in many engagements.  He wrote a romance called
_Arcadia_ and _The Defence of Poesie_.  He was killed at the battle of
Zutphen in Holland, where, when a draught of water was brought him, he
showed his unselfishness by sending it to a poor dying soldier near him,
saying, “He wants it more than I do.”



SIR FRANCIS WALSINGHAM.


      Born 1536.—Died 1590.—Henry VIII.—Edward VI.—Mary.—Elizabeth.

Sir Francis Walsingham was one of Elizabeth’s most devoted ministers, and
one of the craftiest and wiliest of men.  He had an army of spies in pay,
and was the chief mover in the cruelties practised in Elizabeth’s reign,
and in the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots.



SIR FRANCIS DRAKE.


      Born 1545.—Died 1596.—Henry VIII.—Edward VI.—Mary.—Elizabeth.

One of the “Devonshire Worthies,” born at Tavistock.  Sailing from
Plymouth with five ships, he passed through the Straits of Magellan to
the South Seas, captured many large Spanish galleons with his famous
_Golden Hind_, and returned to Plymouth by the Cape of Good Hope.  He had
been two years and ten months sailing round the world (December 1577 to
1580).  Queen Elizabeth dined with Drake on board the _Golden Hind_ at
Deptford and knighted him with her own hands.  Some of the timbers of
Drake’s famous ship were made into a chair, which was given to the
university of Oxford.  Drake took a distinguished part in the defeat of
the Spanish Armada.



WILLIAM CECIL,


      Born 1520.—Died 1598.—Henry VIII.—Edward VI.—Mary.—Elizabeth.

Lord Burleigh, was born in Lincolnshire.  He was the greatest of all
Queen Elizabeth’s statesmen and the chief originator of the English
merchant navy.  By taking their privileges from the Hanse Town steelyard
merchants, who monopolized nearly all the foreign trade of England, he
obliged English merchants to build their own ships; and devoted himself
also to raising the revenues of the country.  He purified the coinage and
took a chief part in building the first Exchange, where the London
merchants could meet under cover to transact their business.  He
persuaded Queen Elizabeth to visit it, and it ever after was known as the
Royal Exchange.  This building was burnt in the great fire (1666).  Lord
Burleigh was a silent and most cautious man, fond of books and his
garden, and was a most useful minister to England.



EDMUND SPENSER.


                  Born 1553.—Died 1599.—Mary.—Elizabeth.

The author of the _Fairy Queen_, six books of which were unfortunately
lost by his servant when coming from Ireland, where Spenser was private
secretary to the cruel Lord Grey de Wilton.  He was the great friend of
Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Walter Raleigh.  He was born and died in
London.



WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.


             Born 1564.—Died 1616.—Mary.—Elizabeth.—James I.

Universally acknowledged as the greatest poet that ever lived.  He was
born in 1564 at Stratford-on-Avon, and when quite young delighted the
court of Queen Elizabeth with his genius.  His plays are the best known
of his works, and those which relate to historical subjects are
treasuries of information upon the manners, customs, and mode of life of
the times they represent.



SIR WALTER RALEIGH,


        Born 1552.—Died 1618.—Edward VI.—Mary.—Elizabeth.—James I.

Was born at Hayes, in Devonshire, and was one of the “Devonshire
Worthies.”  He was the son of a Devonshire gentleman of small fortune,
who rose rapidly in favour with Queen Elizabeth from his wit, good looks,
and great talents.  He was sent on a command to Ireland, and afterwards
took great part in colonizing Virginia in North America.  In the reign of
James I. he was unjustly accused of high treason and sent to the Tower,
where he wrote his famous “History of the World.”  He was beheaded at
Westminster, though his guilt was never proved.



FRANCIS BACON,


           Born 1561.—Died 1626.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

Lord Verulam, was born in London.  This extraordinary man was a great
statesman and lawyer, an eminent writer, and has been called the Light of
Science and Father of Experimental Philosophy.  He was made Royal Keeper
and Lord Chancellor under James I., and then trafficked in the decisions
of the woolsack.  After a career of unbounded expense and the most
unprincipled use of his high offices, Bacon was impeached and sentenced
to a kind of imprisonment within twelve miles of the court.  For five
years he presented the pitiful sight of vast genius, united to a total
want of principle or high character, and with all his splendid gifts he
died despised and in disgrace.



BEN JONSON.


           Born 1574—Died 1637.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

This celebrated English poet and dramatist was born in Westminster.
After serving to his credit as a soldier in the Netherlands, he became a
player and dramatic writer.  He was distinguished for his wit, learning,
and various information, as well as for his writings.  He was made Poet
Laureate by James I.



JOHN HAMPDEN.


                Born 1594.—Died 1643.—James I.—Charles I.

This brave gentleman, born at Great Hampden, in Buckinghamshire,
distinguished as a patriot, was the first to refuse payment of the
shipmoney levied by Charles I.  He was one of the foremost of those who
reasonably opposed the king’s unconstitutional acts.  He was killed at
the battle of Chalgrove, near Oxford.



VANDYKE.


           Born 1598.—Died 1641.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

This famous Flemish portrait painter was a pupil of Rubens, but imitated
Titian in his warm, rich colouring.  He lived in England for many years,
being much patronised by Charles I.



WILLIAM LAUD,


           Born 1573—Died 1644.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

Archbishop of Canterbury, was born in Berkshire, and educated at the
grammar school, Reading, and at St. John’s College, Oxford, of which he
became President.  As Primate in the turbulent reign of Charles I., he
was associated with repressive measures against the Puritans, to whom he
made himself so obnoxious that through their instrumentality he was
beheaded on Tower Hill.



INIGO JONES.


           Born 1572.—Died 1652.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

An architect, born in London in 1572.  He designed many imposing public
buildings in his own peculiar style—the Banqueting House, Whitehall, the
Church and Piazza of Covent Garden, etc.; many stately brick and stone
country houses were also built by him.  He has been called the “British
Vitruvius.”



ADMIRAL BLAKE.


           Born 1598.—Died 1657.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

Born at Bridgewater in Somersetshire.  He was first distinguished as a
Parliamentary General.  He afterwards raised the name of the English
navy, under Cromwell, to almost its greatest height.  He burnt nine
pirate ships in Tunis Harbour, and after a series of battles and
brilliant victories, in which he several times defeated the Dutch under
Van Tromp, he carried off the spoil of several rich Spanish plate
galleons at Teneriffe.  That same year, just as his well-known ship the
_St. George_ was entering Plymouth sound, Blake, worn out with toil and
disease, breathed his last.



DR. WILLIAM HARVEY.


           Born 1578.—Died 1657.—Elizabeth.—James I.—Charles I.

This eminent man of science, born at Folkestone in Kent, was physician
extraordinary to James I. and Charles I.  He was the first discoverer of
the circulation of the blood, but his great modesty of character
prevented him from making it known till many years after.



JEREMY TAYLOR.


          Born 1613.—Died 1667.—James I.—Charles I.—Charles II.

Born at Cambridge, became Bishop of Down and Connor, in Ireland.  He was
chaplain to Charles I., and was present during several of his campaigns.
After the royal martyr’s death he kept a school in Wales, and there wrote
the beautiful devotional works by which his name will be remembered.



JOHN MILTON.


          Born 1608.—Died 1674.—James I.—Charles I.—Charles II.

This great poet, born in Bread Street, London, was Cromwell’s Latin
Secretary, and was strongly imbued with republican opinions.  His
_Paradise Lost_ and _Paradise Regained_ are models of sublime verse; and
_Comus_ and many smaller poems and sonnets are full of beauty and
learning.  Milton was totally blind, and was obliged to dictate his poems
to his daughter, who wrote for him.  He was buried in St. Giles’ church,
Cripplegate, London.



SIR PETER LELY.


          Born 1617.—Died 1680.—James I.—Charles I.—Charles II.

A celebrated portrait painter, whose pictures are full of grace and
exquisite colouring.  He painted the well-known beauties of the court of
Charles II.



JOHN BUNYAN.


               1628–1688.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.

Born in Bedfordshire, where he began life as a tinker, then enlisted as a
soldier in the Parliamentary army, and ended by preaching, for which he
suffered imprisonment for twelve years.  While in prison he wrote his
famous allegory _The Pilgrim’s Progress_, and several others, by which
his name will always be known.



JOHN DRYDEN.


   Born 1631.—Died 1700.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.

The translator of _Virgil_ and the author of _The Hind and Panther_ and
other celebrated political and descriptive poems of singular energy and
force.  His plays also are well known.  He was born at Aldwinkle, in
Northamptonshire.



JOHN LOCKE.


   Born 1632.—Died 1704.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.

A celebrated philosopher and man of learning, was born at Wrington, near
Bristol.  He wrote the essay upon the Conduct of the Human Understanding.



JOHN EVELYN.


 Born 1620.—Died 1706.—James I.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William
                                III.—Anne.

This Surrey country gentleman was remarkable as a naturalist and man of
literature.  He wrote a famous Diary, and “_Silva_,” or account of Forest
Trees; also on engraving.



THOMAS KEN.


    Born 1637.—Died 1711.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William and
                               Mary.—Anne.

Bishop of Bath and Wells.  The friend and relative of Isaac Walton.  Was
appointed to the bishoprick of Bath and Wells by King Charles II.  He
refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary, and was
consequently deprived of his see.  He was one of the most eminent of
those who for this refusal were called _Nonjurors_.  He was the author of
_The Evening Hymn_, and other pious works.



JOHN FLAMSTEAD.


      Born 1646.—Died 1719.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William
                           III.—Anne.—George I.

The first astronomer-royal after Greenwich Observatory was built.  He
made many astronomical discoveries, and drew up the catalogue of the
stars seen in our astronomical hemisphere.



JOSEPH ADDISON.


 Born 1672.—Died 1719.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.—Anne.—George I.

Was born at Milston, in Wiltshire, of which his father was Rector, and
educated at the Charter House and Magdalene College, Oxford.  He is
chiefly known by his papers in the _Spectator_ and _Tatler_.  His style
was pure and flowing, though more polished and artificial than the
English of the present day.  He held several appointments, and became
Secretary of State.  He died at Holland House, Kensington.



JOHN CHURCHILL,


 Born 1650.—Died 1722.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.—Anne.—George I.

Duke of Marlborough.  This celebrated general, born in Devonshire, went
to court as a page under Charles II.  He married the beautiful Sarah
Jennings, became attached to the Duke of York (James II.), and rose
rapidly, through his great military genius.  James II. created him Lord
Churchill, and by basely forsaking him for William III., he was created
Earl of Marlborough.  In the war of the Spanish Succession (1702)
Marlborough dashed from the Low Countries (Belgium) to Bavaria, and
defeated the French and their allies at Donauwert, Blenheim (on the
Danube, thirty-three miles from Ulm), Ramilies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet,
and Arleux, and in numberless smaller engagements.  After the Treaty of
Utrecht in 1713, Marlborough was created a Duke, and received from the
nation a property and splendid palace near Woodstock, built by Sir John
Vanbrugh, and called Blenheim.  Marlborough was unhappy in his private
life.



SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN.


      Born 1632.—Died 1723.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William
                           III.—Anne.—George I.

Was born at East Knoyle, in Wiltshire.  He was the greatest architect of
his age, after Italian models.  He did not understand the principles of
Pointed, or what is called Gothic Architecture.  Besides re-building many
of the churches destroyed by the great fire of London, he built the
Theatre at Oxford and re-built St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is the
greatest of his works.  The Latin inscription to him to be read there
justly says, “If you seek for his monument, look around you.”



SIR ISAAC NEWTON.


      Born 1642.—Died 1727.—Charles I.—Charles II.—James II.—William
                           III.—Anne.—George I.

This great man was a native of Woolsthorpe, in Lincolnshire; he has been
called the founder of natural philosophy.  He made great discoveries in
astronomy by applying the principle of gravitation to the planets; and
established important facts in optics and mathematics.  His great works
were the _Principia_ and _Optics_.  He was a man of the gentlest
disposition, and was so unassuming and modest that he seemed unaware of
his own genius.  He died at Kensington.



SIR RICHARD STEELE.


  Born 1671.—Died 1729.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.—Anne.—George
                              I.—George II.

The friend of Addison and editor of the _Spectator_, _Tatler_,
_Guardian_, and _Englishman_, in which he also wrote.



DANIEL DEFOE.


  Born 1661.—Died 1731.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.—Anne.—George
                              I.—George II.

The author of _Robinson Crusoe_ and the _History of the Plague_, was the
son of James Foe, a butcher of Cripplegate in London.  He also wrote
tracts which several times got him into trouble.



ALEXANDER POPE.


 Born 1688.—Died 1744.—James III.—William III.—Anne.—George I.—George II.

This celebrated poet of the 18th century, the son of a linendraper in the
Strand, London, translated the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, wrote the _Rape of
the Lock_, the _Essay on Man_, and other poems.



DEAN JONATHAN SWIFT.


  Born 1667.—Died 1745.—Charles II.—James II.—William III.—Anne.—George
                              I.—George II.

An Irish divine, born at Dublin, was a distinguished wit and writer.  He
wrote many satirical works, and _Gulliver’s Travels_.  His bitter, morose
spirit tinges all his works.  He died insane as Dean of St. Patrick’s.



JOSEPH BUTLER.


      Born 1692.—Died 1752.—William III.—Anne.—George I.—George II.

The author of the famous Analogy and Sermons, which have been long used
as text-books of moral philosophy at our universities; he was Bishop of
Bristol and afterwards of Durham, and Clerk of the Closet to Queen
Caroline.  He was born at Wantage in Berkshire, and died at Bath.



HENRY FIELDING,


             Born 1707.—Died 1754.—Anne.—George I.—George II.

Son of Lieutenant-General Fielding and great grandson of the third Earl
of Denbigh, was born at Sharpham, in Somersetshire.  He was the author of
_Tom Jones_ and several other novels full of character and accurate
descriptions of varieties of life, but disfigured by the great coarseness
of the age in which he wrote.  He died of dropsy at Lisbon.



GENERAL WOLFE.


          Born 1726.—Died 1759.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This brave General, born in Kent, earned during his short life of
thirty-three years unusual distinction.  He was appointed General of the
British troops in North America, under Lord Chatham’s administration, and
fought in the siege of Louisbourg, which surrendered, in Cape Breton.
While afterwards besieging Quebec, Wolfe was shot at the moment of his
victory over the French under Montcalm, and when told that the French
troops were flying, said, “I die content.”



SAMUEL RICHARDSON.


Born 1689.—Died 1761.—William III.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This celebrated novelist was born in Derbyshire.  He was educated at
Christ’s Hospital, and began life as a printer.  He was the first English
writer of fiction who, in _Sir Charles Grandison_, avoided the coarseness
which disfigures Smollett’s and Fielding’s works.  He wrote also _Pamela_
and _Clarissa Harlowe_, which have been translated into most of the
European languages.



WILLIAM HOGARTH.


Born 1697.—Died 1764.—William III.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

Born in London, began life as an engraver on silver: he became a great
painter.  The engravings of _The Rake’s Progress_, _Marriage à la Mode_,
_The Analysis of Beauty_, etc., are universally known.  His works are
full of satire and instruction, though not of the most pleasing kind.



JAMES STUART.


   Born 1688.—Died 1766.—James II.—William III.—Anne.—George I.—George
                             II.—George III.

The first Pretender, son of James II., who when living at St. Germain, in
France, landed in Scotland after the battle of Sheriffmuir, and made a
public entry into Dundee.  His small army soon melted away, and he
escaped in a small vessel from the Bay of Montrose to Gravelines.
Unhappily, eight Jacobite noblemen had been induced to rise in this
rebellion, and though most of them escaped, Lords Derwentwater and
Kenmure were beheaded on Tower Hill.



LAWRENCE STERNE,


               Born 1738.—Died 1768.—George II.—George III.

Born at Clonmel in Ireland, was author of _The Sentimental Journey_,
_Tristram Shandy_, and other works.



GEORGE WHITFIELD,


       Born 1714.—Died 1770.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

The founder of the sect of Calvinistic Methodists, was born in
Gloucestershire, was educated at the Crypt School there, and at Pembroke
College, Oxford, and first displayed there his extraordinary powers as an
eloquent and forcible preacher.  He worked with the Wesleys in Georgia in
America, until differences arose, which divided the Methodists into two
sects, and he died the rival of Wesley, near Boston, in the United
States.



DR. TOBIAS SMOLLETT,


          Born 1721.—Died 1771.—George I.—George II.—George III.

Born in Scotland, was a physician, but is best known as the author of a
very poor continuation of _Hume’s History of England_, and very powerful
and striking novels, the talent of which is defaced by coarseness and
want of religious principle.  He died at Leghorn.



JAMES BRINDLEY,


          Born 1716.—Died 1772.—George I.—George II.—George III.

A mechanic of extraordinary abilities, born at Thornsett, in Derbyshire.
He planned the Bridgewater canal from Worsley to Manchester, and several
other great works of inland navigation.



ROBERT LORD CLIVE.


          Born 1725.—Died 1774.—George I.—George II.—George III.

A famous General in the East India Company’s Service, born at Styche, in
Shropshire.  He fought the French under Count Lalley, and took from them
Ponticherry and Chandanagore.  He defeated the Nabob of Bengal, Surajah
Dowlah, who put 146 English prisoners into the Black Hole of
Calcutta—twenty feet square—and after the battle of Plassey he secured
for England the Empire of India.  Lord Clive was called by the Hindoos
“The Daring in War.”  He was impeached for using his position to enrich
himself, but acquitted, and committed suicide.



OLIVER GOLDSMITH.


               Born 1728.—Died 1774.—George II.—George III.

Born at Pallas, near Longford, in Ireland.  He wrote by turns prose,
poetry, and plays.  His poems of _The Deserted Village_ and _The
Traveller_, and his tale of the _Vicar of Wakefield_, are almost equally
famous.



DAVID HUME.


       Born 1711.—Died 1776.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

Wrote the History of England and Essays.  His writings are sadly tinged
with unbelief and bitterness.  He was born and died in Edinburgh.



WILLIAM PITT,


       Born 1708.—Died 1778.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

Lord Chatham.  This great statesman, the son of Mr. Robert Pitt of
Boconnoc, in Cornwall, during a most successful administration, raised
the dignity of England to a high standard.  His eloquence as a debater
was extraordinary, and when he burst forth in indignant invective,
scarcely any adversary could stand against him.  He was seized with his
last illness (apoplexy) in the House of Lords, and died soon afterwards.



CAPTAIN JAMES COOK.


               Born 1728.—Died 1779.—George II.—George III.

This great navigator, born at Marton, in Yorkshire, made many useful
geographical discoveries.  He sailed three times round the world, and was
at last killed in one of the Sandwich Islands.



DAVID GARRICK,


          Born 1716.—Died 1779.—George I.—George II.—George III.

Was born at Hereford.  He is generally considered to have been altogether
the most famous actor ever known on the English stage.  He was also a
good writer of light literature: he died in London.



SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE.


          Born 1723.—Died 1780.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This eminent lawyer is best known by his _Commentaries_ and _Analysis of
the Laws of England_, in which the information is conveyed in very clear
and beautiful English: he was born in London.



DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON,


       Born 1709.—Died 1784.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

The son of a bookseller at Lichfield, was a man of immense learning and
capacity.  His _English Dictionary_, _Essays_, _Rambler_, _Idler_,
_Rasselas_, and _Tour to the Hebrides_, show his great range of knowledge
and powers of mind.  His life has been admirably written by his friend
James Boswell.



CHARLES EDWARD STUART.


          Born 1720.—Died 1788.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This Second Pretender to the British crown was the grandson of James II.
of England.  He embarked in the _Dentelle_ from the Loire month, and
landed in Invernesshire, near Moidart, and soon raised 1,600 men.  He
entered Perth, Linlithgo, and took up his abode in Holyrood Palace.  The
Highlanders’ charge at Prestonpans chiefly won the engagement there, and
a second at Falkirk; but at Culloden the unfortunate Pretender was
obliged to see that any attempt to disturb the English throne was a vain
bubble.  The Duke of Cumberland, known as the Butcher, committed
atrocious cruelties after the battle.  Charles Edward was once saved by
Flora Macdonald, and again by hiding in a cave on Mount Benalder.  At
length a French privateer came off the Scottish coast, and after many
hairbreadth escapes, he reached France in safety.  Lords Kilmarnock,
Balmerino, and Lovat were executed for their share in this rebellion of
’45.  He died at Rome in 1788.



THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH.


          Born 1727.—Died 1788.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This famous painter was for a long time self-taught, and his genius was
first made known by his painting the head of a thief, who was looking
over the wall of the garden in which the boy was painting by stealth.
The head was so strikingly like, that the man was convicted upon it.



JOHN WESLEY,


       Born 1703.—Died 1791.—Anne.—George I.—George II.—George III.

The founder of Methodism, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire.  He was a
missionary for three years in North America among the Red Indians.  In
his day the English Church was characterized by a great want of vigour
and discipline, and Wesley and his disciples did a great work in rousing
the zeal of the Church, from which he had no intention of separating, and
stirring up a spirit of labour and good works.  Wesley was a preacher of
great eloquence, with an aptness of illustration which was very
attractive to the classes to whom he chiefly addressed himself.



SIR RICHARD ARKWRIGHT.


               Born 1732.—Died 1792.—George II—George III.

A manufacturer, originally a hairdresser at Bolton, in Lancashire, was
the inventor of the spinning jenny: he had large mills at Cromford, near
Derby, was knighted in 1786, and died possessed of great wealth.



ADMIRAL LORD RODNEY.


          Born 1718.—Died 1792.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This famous admiral was born at Walton-on-Thames.  He gained a great
victory over the French under Comte de Grasse, which won for the admiral
his peerage.  He fought a great battle off Cape St. Vincent, and captured
four Spanish ships.  After winning the battle he went on to relieve
Gibraltar.



SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.


          Born 1723.—Died 1792.—George I.—George II.—George III.

This great painter was most celebrated for his portraits, especially his
exquisite pictures of children.  He also painted historical subjects, and
published his discoveries on painting, which were the substance of his
lectures before the Royal Academy.  Sir Joshua was a Fellow of the Royal
and Antiquarian Institutions.  He was born at Plympton, in Devonshire.



EDWARD GIBBON.


               Born 1737.—Died 1794.—George II.—George III.

A celebrated historian, whose chief work was the _Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire_, a standard and classical work; the only fault in which is
that it contains an attack on the Christian religion.  It was written
chiefly at Lausanne, in Switzerland, where he often stayed.



JOSIAH WEDGWOOD.


               Born 1730.—Died 1795.—George II.—George III.

Born at Burslem, in Staffordshire, the son of a potter.  Wedgwood had the
merit of instituting an entirely new era in the manufacture of English
pottery.  By intelligent observation, the study of chemical appliances,
and unwearied industry, he worked a complete revolution in the making,
glazing, and painting of earthenware and china.  His pottery-works in
Staffordshire, ‘Etruria,’ became celebrated all over the world, and he
earned for himself and his family great wealth as well as distinction.
His delicate manufacture of embossing white figures on a coloured ground,
called ‘_Wedgwood ware_,’ is well known and much prized.  He first gave
the impetus to the Staffordshire and other potteries which has enabled
England to rival the first china manufactories in the world.



EDMUND BURKE,


               Born 1728.—Died 1797.—George II.—George III.

Born in Dublin, was one of the most distinguished parliamentary orators
ever known.  He was in opposition during the Grafton Ministry (1769), but
was afterwards drawn to Fox by the debates on the taxation of the
American colonies, especially on tea, against which Burke made a famous
speech (1771).  He also supported Fox with all the splendour of his
oratory under the Duke of Portland (1783).  The grandest of all his
speeches was said to be that against Warren Hastings, in whose
impeachment he took a great part.  He also spoke in the strongest way
against the French Revolution, and by so doing separated himself from Fox
(1791).  Burke died in 1797.  His writings are voluminous; the best known
are his _Reflections upon the French Revolution_ and his _Discourse on
the Sublime and Beautiful_.  He lived (when in the country), died, and
was buried at Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire, where “Burke’s Grove” is
well known.



WILLIAM COWPER.


               Born 1731.—Died 1800.—George II.—George III.

A poet, born at Berkhampstead, whose writings are full of the best and
highest teaching.  He is best known by _The Task_, _The Castaway_, and
_Table Talk_; but his smaller poems, _On My Mother’s Picture_, _The Three
Hares_, _John Gilpin_, etc., more fully show his sensibility, general
kindness, and playful wit.  He also translated the _Iliad_.  Cowper’s
blameless and useful life was darkened by fits of despondency and
depression, which in the end nearly destroyed his mind; but the light of
religion never failed him.



SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE


               Born 1738.—Died 1801.—George II.—George III.

This brave General was engaged against Napoleon I. in Holland and Egypt,
and always maintained the fame of English arms.  He won two battles at
Aboukir, in Egypt, the last of which cost him his life.  He fought on,
though desperately wounded, till the battle was over.



LORD CORNWALLIS.


               Born 1738.—Died 1805.—George II.—George III.

A soldier who first served under the Marquis of Granby in the Seven
Years’ War in Germany.  On the breaking out of the American war he was
sent there, and at first was very successful, but in 1781 was obliged to
surrender at York Town to the United American and French armies.  In 1786
he was sent to India, where he took Bangalore and defeated Tippoo Sahib;
on returning to England he was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was
instrumental in carrying out the Union of England and Ireland.  He died
of fever in India, whither he was sent as Governor General, on his way to
join the army at Ghazepore.



HORATIO, LORD NELSON.


               Born 1758.—Died 1805.—George II.—George III.

This most famous of all the English admirals was the son of the rector of
Burnham Thorpe, in Norfolk, where he was born, and went to sea first as a
midshipman in the _Raisonable_, 64 guns, then in a West Indiaman.  He
afterwards returned to the Royal Navy, and saw service in the Arctic
Ocean, the West Indies, and South America.  He was a Commodore at the
battle of St. Vincent, when he first boarded the _San Nicholas_, jumping
through the cabin window, and then sprang on to the _San Joseph_, crying,
“Victory or Westminster Abbey!”  In 1798 Nelson fought the battle of
Aboukir near Alexandria, in Egypt.  The French admiral’s ship,
_L’Orient_, blew up, and only two French ships escaped.  Nelson was
immediately created ‘Lord Nelson of the Nile.’  In 1805 he hoisted his
flag on board the _Victory_, and fought the battle of Trafalgar, between
Cadiz and Gibraltar.  When grappled to the _Redoutable_, whose rigging
was full of sharpshooters, a shot was fired through Nelson’s shoulder and
spine, and he died three hours afterwards, cheered by the news that the
French were totally defeated.



WILLIAM PITT,


               Born 1752.—Died 1806.—George II.—George III.

The second son of Lord Chatham, born at Hayes, in Kent, was a greater
statesman even than his father.  At the age of twenty-three he became
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and was Prime Minister almost till his
death.  His eloquence was brilliant and startling, and in spite of
opposition sneers, and the ridicule which nicknamed him “the ambitious
young man,” and of being often in a minority, the support of the king
(George III.) and of the country, who enthusiastically seconded his
opposition to Napoleon Buonaparte and the First Empire, steadily
maintained him in power, and he held his ground against Fox and the
Coalition ministries.  War was declared with France, against all that
Fox, Sheridan, and Grey could advance.  The battle of Trafalgar raised
his hopes of peace, which the news of Austerlitz quenched; and being worn
out with gout, toil, and anxieties, the great minister, as has been well
said, “died of old age at forty-six,” after nineteen years of public
service.  He was so thoroughly beloved that the nation voted him a
magnificent funeral, burial in Westminster Abbey, and £40,000 to pay his
debts.



CHARLES JAMES FOX.


               Born 1749.—Died 1806.—George II.—George III.

This great orator and statesman, the third son of the first Lord Holland,
belonged to the opposite party in politics to Pitt, and they were
continually at war throughout their public career,—Pitt representing the
Tory, Fox the Whig party.  Fox made his first speech in Parliament
against John Wilkes, who at that time was always stirring up sedition and
spreading his infidel opinions.  The Fox and North coalitions broke up on
an Indian Bill, and the one hundred and sixty supporters of Fox who lost
their seats in the election that followed, were known as “Fox’s Martyrs.”
Fox estranged Burke from him by his opposing the war with France, and
thus tacitly supporting the French Revolution.  After the death of Pitt,
Fox again came into power under Lord Grenville, and his last acts were
striving to put an end to slavery in the British dependencies, and
bringing about peace with France.  He was attacked with dropsy about
seven months after the death of Pitt, at whose funeral he had spoken a
noble eulogium on his great public rival.



MUNGO PARK.


                    Born 1771.—Died 1806.—George III.

Born near Selkirk, was the first modern traveller who penetrated into the
heart of Africa.  He went down the Niger, and after passing through a
great variety of adventures and hardships, he was killed near Boussa.



SIR JOHN MOORE,


               Born 1761.—Died 1809.—George II.—George III.

The son of a Dr. Moore, born at Glasgow, became a brave general.  He was
at the taking of St. Lucia with Abercrombie, was employed in the Irish
rising, and fought in Egypt and Holland.  While commanding an English
army in Spain during the Peninsular war, he made his famous retreat on
and was killed at Corunna.



RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN.


               Born 1751.—Died 1816.—George II.—George III.

An Irishman, born in Dublin, whose wit, oratory, and parliamentary
eloquence won him a dazzling reputation.  He was the personal friend of
Fox, and the companion of George IV. as Prince of Wales, but was always
in debt and many difficulties.  He was also celebrated as a dramatist,
and wrote the comedies of _The Rivals_, _The School for Scandal_, the
_Duenna_, and a play called _Pizarro_.  But he is chiefly known by what
are called his _bon mots_, or witty sayings, which are unrivalled.  He
died in London in extreme want.



WARREN HASTINGS.


               Born 1732.—Died 1818.—George II.—George III.

This remarkable man, born in Worcestershire, went to India at seventeen,
and after filling several important posts was made Governor General of
India in 1773.  His administration was famous for the submission of the
formidable enemies of England, Hyder Ali and Tippoo Sahib; but his
cruelties to the Begums (princesses) of Oude and in the Rohilla war were
the subject of his impeachment and trial before the House of Lords in
Westminster Hall.  Sheridan pleaded the cause of the Begums in what has
been reckoned the finest speech ever heard in modern times.  Warren
Hastings was acquitted, but he was a ruined man until the East India
Company nobly pensioned him for life with £4,000 a-year, paid his debts,
arid lent him £50,000 without interest.  He died in retirement at the age
of eighty-six.



JAMES WATT.


               Born 1736.—Died 1819.—George II.—George III.

This celebrated mechanic and natural philosopher began life as a
mathematical instrument maker, but having his attention very early called
to the nature and power of steam, he directed all his energies to
improvements in steam engines, and made important experiments and
discoveries.  He was buried in Westminster Abbey.



JOHN KEATS.


                    Born 1796.—Died 1820.—George III.

A poet who, if he had lived a little later, would have been admired,
praised, and had a school of imitators.  As it was his sensibilities were
so wounded by the severe criticisms made upon his poems that he fell into
ill-health and died.  His _Endymion_ is the poem by which he is best
known, but his volume shows that he had the merit of being beforehand
with the “Lake School” in freeing English poetry from artificial trammels
and opening for it a wider and more natural spirit.  He was a native of
London.



SIR WILLIAM HERSCHEL.


         Born 1738.—Died 1822.—George II.—George III.—George IV.

This great astronomer discovered a new planet, which he called _Georgium
Sidus_, but which is now called _Herschel_.  He erected an enormous
telescope at Slough.  His son, Sir John Herschel, continued his
discoveries, and became one of the greatest astronomers yet known.



PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY,


               Born 1792.—Died 1822.—George III.—George IV.

A poet of the most extraordinary genius and imagination, was born in
Sussex.  Some of his writings are unfortunately tinged with infidelity
and false beliefs.  His translations from the Greek and longer poems are
very beautiful, especially the _Prometheus Unbound_.  Shelley was drowned
in the Bay of Spezzia in Italy.



DR. JENNER.


         Born 1749.—Died 1823.—George II.—George III.—George IV.

An English physician, celebrated as the discoverer of vaccination as a
preventive of small-pox.  Born at Berkeley, in Gloucestershire, he was
educated at Cirencester school, and was for several years a pupil of the
celebrated John Hunter.  He was rewarded with several pensions as a
recompense for his discoveries and disinterested labours.



JOHN KEMBLE.


         Born 1757.—Died 1823.—George II.—George III.—George IV.

The greatest of a family of actors—John Philip, Stephen, Charles, and
Mrs. Siddons,—whose father was proprietor of a provincial theatre.
Kemble’s fine figure and splendid face were of great service in his
personation of such characters as Coriolanus, Brutus, and Julius Cæsar;
Hamlet was one of his favourite parts, which particularly suited his
somewhat sad and severe features.  The Kemble family raised the English
stage to a perfection and dignity it has never since attained.



GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.


               Born 1788.—Died 1824.—George III.—George IV.

A poet, whose magnificent and musical language and passionate power
conceal the want of principle and poverty of heart of most of his poems.
_Childe Harold_ is the most celebrated of his works, _The Prisoner of
Chillon_ and _The Bride of Abydos_, the best in aim.  Lord Byron’s life
was a bad one.  He died at Missolonghi, in Greece.



MRS. BARBAULD.


            B. 1743—D. 1825.—George II.—George III.—George IV.

Anna Letitia Aikin, daughter of Dr. Aikin, a writer and literary man.
Mrs. Barbauld was the first writer of really appropriate stories for very
young children, and her _Children’s Hymns in Prose_ will probably be
known as long as the English language lasts.



JOHN FLAXMAN.


               Born 1755.—Died 1826.—George III.—George IV.

An eminent sculptor.  He represented in marble the tragedies of Æschylus,
Homer, and Dante.  He executed two celebrated works,—“The Fury of
Athamas,” and the “Cephalus and Aurora,”—and is well known by his
monuments, one of the finest of which is that to Lord Mansfield, in
Westminster Abbey.



SIR HUMPHREY DAVY.


               Born 1778.—Died 1829.—George III.—George IV.

A celebrated natural philosopher, chiefly noted for his discoveries in
chemistry and galvanism.  He was the inventor of the safety-lamp for use
in mines.  His lectures at the Royal Institution were models of the
narrative of scientific enquiry, and his general reading and information
were extraordinary.



SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE.


               Born 1769.—Died 1830.—George III.—George IV.

A well-known portrait painter, and President of the Royal Academy.  He
drew good likenesses in pencil and ink at five years old, and received a
prize from the Society of Arts at thirteen for a copy in chalk of
Raphael’s Transfiguration.  His portraits in the Waterloo Gallery at
Windsor are very celebrated.  He painted exquisite pictures of children.



GEORGE CRABBE.


               Born 1754.—Died 1832.—George III.—George IV.

A poet, born at Aldborough, in Suffolk, who perhaps first opened men’s
eyes in England to the poetry of common things.  His tales in verse are
admirable pictures of everyday life, full of pathos.  Crabbe went to
London to try to make his fortune by literature, but would have perished
of want had it not been for Edmund Burke, who generously befriended him
in every possible way.



SIR WALTER SCOTT.


         Born 1771.—Died 1832.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.

One of the most extraordinary literary men on record.  He was born in
Edinburgh, and intended for the law, and practised for a short time in
Edinburgh; but his literary genius asserted itself too strongly to allow
of any other pursuit.  His _Border Minstrelsy_ was succeeded by longer
poems—the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, the _Lady of the Lake_, _Lord of
the Isles_, _Marmion_, and others; and these again by a succession of
novels, all differing in their rich abundance of character and incident,
and all possessing a charm which few other works of fiction can even now
present.  He bought a property called Abbotsford, on the Tweed, and
having fallen into difficulties through the failure of one of his
publishers, he ruined his health by excessive work to pay his debts.
Scott is often called, from the enchantment of his genius, “The Wizard of
the North.”



WILLIAM WILBERFORCE,


         Born 1759.—Died 1833.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.

Was a native of Hull.  After many years’ active labour to obtain the
emancipation of slaves in the English dependencies, in which his chief
coadjutors were Clarkson, Granville Sharpe, and Lord Brougham,
Wilberforce lived to see the Act of Emancipation passed under William IV.



HANNAH MORE.


   Born 1745.—Died 1833.—George II.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.

This excellent and remarkable woman, born at Stapleton, near Bristol, who
lived through four English reigns, was a well-known moral writer.  In her
early life she was distinguished for her brilliant social qualities, and
was well known in the circles which Johnson, Burke, Reynolds, and Garrick
frequented.  Afterwards she withdrew from the world and devoted her time
to active good works and writing.  Her tracts on many useful subjects
have been much read.



SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.


         Born 1772.—Died 1834.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.

A native of Devonshire.  This original and profound thinker was a moral
philosopher, a most eloquent writer, and a poet.  He was also remarkable
for his singular conversational powers.  His translation of Schiller’s
_Wallenstein_, his _Ancient Mariner_, _Remorse_, _Christabel_, etc., and
his essays called _The Friend_, stamp him as a true poet and philosopher.



SIR DAVID WILKIE.


    Born 1785.—Died 1841.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

A powerful and careful painter of common subjects, was born near Cupar,
in Fifeshire.  The _Blind Fiddler_ first established his reputation.  His
portraits in the National Gallery at Edinburgh are well worth seeing.



SIR FRANCIS CHANTREY.


    Born 1781.—Died 1841.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

An eminent sculptor, born near Sheffield, well known for his busts and
memorial figures.  His monument of the Sleeping Children with the broken
snow-drops in Lichfield Cathedral, his figure of Watt in Westminster
Abbey, and his bust of Scott, are perhaps some of the best and most
remembered of his works.



ROBERT SOUTHEY.


    Born 1774.—Died 1843.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

Poet Laureate, born at Bristol.  His numerous works embrace many
varieties of literature.  In poetry the _Curse of Kehama_, _Thalaba_, and
_Vision of Don Roderick_; in prose his _History of Brazil_, _The Doctor_,
and the _Life of Nelson_, show his great learning and research, power of
language, and variety of attainments.



THOMAS CAMPBELL.


    Born 1777.—Died 1844.—George II.—George III.—William IV.—Victoria.

A poet and essayist.  The _Pleasures of Hope_, _Gertrude of Wyoming_,
_Exile of Erin_, and _Mariners of England_, are universally known and
admired.



MRS. ELIZABETH FRY,


    Born 1780.—Died 1845.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

Was the third daughter of Mr. John Gurney of Norwich.  She is well known
for her life devoted to works of philanthropy, and chiefly for her
memorable labours for the reformation of female prisoners.  Her earliest
endeavours were made in Newgate prison, and the reforms introduced there
under her influence were extended to all the other prisons in the
kingdom.  In the pursuit of her object she visited the chief cities of
Europe, where she met with warm sympathy and encouragement.  Her energies
were always at the service of the sufferers and the wretched of every
class.



DANIEL O’CONNELL.


   Born 1775.—Died 1845.—George III.—George IV.  William IV.—Victoria.

This famous Irish political agitator was born in Kerry, and educated at
St. Omer’s, in France.  He was called to the bar in 1798, and elected
member for Clare in 1828.  In spite of the continued opposition of George
IV., Irish agitation through O’Connell urged the Government to pass the
Catholic Relief Bill, which was done in 1829, and one of the king’s last
reluctant acts was to sign it.  O’Connell supported the Government in the
passing of the Reform Bill, but came into collision with Earl Grey upon
the Irish Coercion Bill (1837).  He foolishly began an “agitation” for
the Repeal of the Union (1843), and was arrested on a charge of sedition,
found guilty, and condemned to pay a fine of £2,000 and suffer two years’
imprisonment.  The House of Lords, however, guided by the discernment and
firmness of Lord Lyndhurst, reversed the decision and set O’Connell free.
He went abroad in broken health, and died at Genoa in 1847.



SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.


    Born 1786.—Died 1847.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

When Captain Franklin this brave and persevering explorer went out to
discover the north-west passage, and after several expeditions to the
North and Polar seas, he started on a last Polar voyage, from which he
never returned.  In 1859 Captain Maclure went out on the same track, and
found that Sir John Franklin had preceded him by five years in his
discoveries, and been lost in the attempt.



MARIA EDGEWORTH.


    Born 1767.—Died 1849.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

This accomplished woman wrote a number of useful and educational tales,
for which the children of many generations owe her a debt of gratitude.
Her _Frank_, _Rosamond_, _Harry and Lucy_, _Moral_, _Popular_, _and
Fashionable Tales_, _Patronage_, _Belinda_, _Harrington and Ormond_,
etc., are all written with a purpose of instruction that is admirably
carried out.  Her last and most beautiful story, _Helen_, shows the
wretched consequences of departing from truth.



SIR ROBERT PEEL.


    Born 1788.—Died 1850.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

This celebrated statesman (sprung from the class of artizans) raised
himself to the highest station by his great talents and their careful and
refined cultivation.  His love of literature and general knowledge were
considerable, and he was a most accomplished leader of the House of
Commons.  His political life was marked by the passing of the Roman
Catholic Relief and the Reform Bills, and his administration by the
measures passed for repealing the Corn Laws and General Free Trade.  He
died from injuries sustained by a fall from his horse, in London.



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.


    Born 1770.—Died 1850.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

This eminent poet is the chief founder of what is called the “Lake
School” of poetry.  Throwing off the fetters of conventional and “fine”
language, and clothing the reality of thought in the simplest words,
Wordsworth, as a poet, is the greatest moral teacher of modern times, and
no one can make a study of his works without finding himself the better
for it.  _The Excursion_, _the White Doe of Rylstone_, _The Brothers_,
and a multitude of smaller poems, are well known.  Wordsworth, Coleridge,
and Southey were all strict and intimate friends; but the former outlived
most of his early companions, dying at Rydal at eighty years of age.  It
is much to be regretted that his poems are not spread in cheap forms.



DUKE OF WELLINGTON.


    Born 1769.—Died 1852.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

Arthur Wellesley, the third son of the Earl of Mornington, went into the
army as an ensign in the 73rd Foot, and became a very great general and
afterwards a statesman.  He went to India in 1797, where his wonderful
military career may be said to have begun.  From India he passed to the
command of the English armies in the Peninsular war against Buonaparte,
where he steadily overcame the best French generals, and at Waterloo
broke the whole strength of France, and obliged Buonaparte to surrender
to the allies.  The Duke of Wellington was a man of the loftiest
character as a commander and statesman, with no thought of himself, or
love of praise or gain.  He lived in an unassuming way, with great
simplicity, and died at Walmer Castle in 1852.



THOMAS MOORE.


    Born 1779.—Died 1852.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

An Irish gentleman and poet who spent much of his time with Lord Byron
and the literary men of his time.  He wrote several satirical poems, but
is best known by his _Lalla Rookh_, and the _Irish and National
Melodies_.



SAMUEL ROGERS.


    Born 1763.—Died 1855.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

A poet, whose reputation was perhaps greater than his works.  His
_Pleasures of Memory_ and _Italy_ are those chiefly known, but he wrote a
variety of smaller poems of great beauty and finish.  His knowledge of
literature and conversational powers were extraordinary.



ROBERT STEPHENSON.


    Born 1803.—Died 1859.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

The son of George Stephenson, the great engineer and mechanic, who was
one of the most extraordinary instances on record of the benefits of
self-education and “self-help.”  He placed the first locomotive engine on
the line between Liverpool and Manchester in 1814.  Robert Stephenson
succeeded his father in all his works, and carried out several gigantic
undertakings, especially the tubular bridge over the Menai Straits and
the Victoria bridge over the river St. Lawrence in Canada.  He was
employed in making railways throughout Europe, and in America, Canada,
Egypt, and India.



SIR ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL.


    Born 1806.—Died 1859.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

The son of Sir Mark Isambard Brunel, the engineer of the Thames Tunnel.
Sir Isambard, the son, first laid down the broad gauge system of
railways, and also built the _Great Eastern_ steamship.  His railway
bridges were planned with extraordinary boldness, and that at Saltash, in
Devonshire, is well known.



WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.


    Born 1811.—Died 1863.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

This celebrated writer was a Charterhouse boy.  His career began by his
lectures upon the English Humorists and the Four Georges (the kings of
that name), upon whom he discanted in terms of the most pungent and
biting satire.  His novels, _Esmond_, _The Newcomes_, _Vanity Fair_, _The
Virginians_, have become English classics.  Thackeray’s knowledge of life
and character was wonderful, but he indulged in too bitter and censorious
views of society.



VISCOUNT PALMERSTON,


    Born 1784.—Died 1865.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

Henry John Temple.  This eminent politician sat in Parliament at an early
age, and spent his entire life in various ministerial offices, ending
with the highest.  Through many changes of ministry he was Secretary of
War for twenty years, and then became Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary,
and Prime Minister.  His firmness, tact, and consummate knowledge of men
and foreign affairs maintained the reputation of England on the Continent
as it has never since been upheld.  Lord Palmerston was not only
respected as English Premier, but was also one of the most popular
ministers ever known.



JOHN KEBLE.


    Born 1792—Died 1866.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

The son of a clergyman, and was born on St. Mark’s day at Fairford, in
Gloucestershire, where he wrote his beautiful collection of sacred poems
for all the Sundays and Feasts of the year, called the _Christian Year_,
by which his name will always be known and honoured.  Keble College in
Oxford was built as a memorial of him, and an acknowledgment of his
teaching.



CHARLES DICKENS.


    Born 1812.—Died 1870.—George III.—George IV.—William IV.—Victoria.

This fertile and most popular novelist was educated for the law, and then
became a reporter to the _Morning Chronicle_ newspaper, in which he
published a series of sketches, now known as _Sketches by Boz_.  The
_Pickwick Papers_ came next, and these were succeeded by _Nicholas
Nickleby_, _Oliver Twist_, _The Old Curiosity Shop_, _Barnaby Budge_, and
a number of other fictions, in which vice is always painted in its true
colours, and the advantage of truthfulness, straightforward dealing, and
kindliness brought out in strong and clear characters.  He died at the
age of fifty-eight, and was privately buried in Westminster Abbey in
1870.





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