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´╗┐Title: Young Folks' History of England
Author: Yonge, Charlotte M. (Charlotte Mary)
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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 1.--Julius Caesar.  B.C. 55.

 2.--The Romans in Britain.  A.D. 41--418.

 3.--The Angle Children.  A.D. 597.

 4.--The Northmen.  A.D. 858--958.

 5.--The Danish Conquest.  A.D. 958--1035.

 6.--The Norman Conquest.  A.D. 1035--1066.

 7.--William the Conqueror.  A.D. 1066--1087.

 8.--William II., Rufus.  A.D. 1087--1100.

 9.--Henry I., Beau-Clerc.  A.D. 1100--1135.

10.--Stephen.  A.D. 1135--1154.

11.--Henry II., Fitz-Empress.  A.D. 1154--1189.

12.--Richard I., Lion-Heart.  A.D. 1189--1199.

13.--John, Lackland.  A.D. 1199--1216.

14.--Henry III., of Winchester.  A.D. 1216--1272.

15.--Edward I., Longshanks.  A.D. 1272--1307.

16.--Edward II., of Caernarvon.  A.D. 1307--1327.

17.--Edward III.  A.D. 1327--1377.

18.--Richard II.  A.D. 1377--1399.

19.--Henry IV.  A.D. 1399--1413.

20.--Henry V., of Monmouth.  A.D. 1413--1423.

21.--Henry VI., of Windsor.  A.D. 1423--1461.

22.--Edward IV.  A.D. 1461--1483.

23.--Edward V.  A.D. 1483.

24.--Richard III.  A.D. 1483--1485.

25.--Henry VII.  A.D. 1485--1509.

26.--Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey.  A.D. 1509--1529.

27.--Henry VIII. and his Wives.  A.D. 1528--1547.

28.--Edward VI.  A.D. 1547--1553.

29.--Mary I.  A.D.  1553--1558.

30.--Elizabeth.  A.D. 1558--1587.

31.--Elizabeth (continued).  A.D. 1587--1602.

32.--James I.,  A.D. 1602--1625.

33.--Charles I.,  A.D. 1625--1645.

34.--The Long Parliament.  A.D. 1649.

35.--Death of Charles I.  A.D. 1649--1651.

36.--Oliver Cromwell.  A.D. 1649--1660.

37.--Charles II.  A.D. 1660--1685.

38.--James II.  A.D. 1685--1688.

39.--William III., and Mary II.  A.D. 1689--1702.

40.--Anne.  A.D. 1702--1714.

41.--George I.  A.D. 1714--1725.

42.--George II.  A.D. 1725--1760.

43.--George III.  A.D. 1760--1785.

44.--George III. (continued).  A.D. 1785--1810.

45.--George III.--The Regency.  A.D. 1810--1820.

46.--George IV.  A.D. 1820-1839.

47.--William IV.  A.D. 1830--1837.

48.--Victoria.  A.D. 1837--1855.

49.--Victoria (continued).  A.D. 1855--1860.

50.--Victoria (continued).  A.D. 1860--1872.




Nearly two thousand years ago there was a brave captain whose name
was Julius Caesar.  The soldiers he led to battle were very strong,
and conquered the people wherever they went.  They had no gun or
gunpowder then; but they had swords and spears, and, to prevent
themselves from being hurt, they had helmets or brazen caps on their
heads, with long tufts of horse-hair upon them, by way of ornament,
and breast-plates of brass on their breasts, and on their arms they
carried a sort of screen, made of strong leather.  One of them
carried a little brass figure of an eagle on a long pole, with a
scarlet flag flying below, and wherever the eagle was seen, they
all followed, and fought so bravely that nothing could long stand
against them.

When Julius Caesar rode at their head, with his keen, pale hook-nosed
face, and the scarlet cloak that the general always wore, they were so
proud of him, and so fond of him, that there was nothing they would
not do for him.

Julius Caesar heard that a little way off there was a country nobody
knew anything about, except that the people were very fierce and
savage, and that a sort of pearl was found in the shells of mussels
which lived in the rivers.  He could not bear that there should be
any place that his own people, the Romans, did not know and subdue.
So he commanded the ships to be prepared, and he and his soldiers
embarked, watching the white cliffs on the other side of the sea
grow higher and higher as he came nearer and nearer.

When he came quite up to them, he found the savages were there in
earnest.  They were tall men, with long red streaming hair, and such
clothes as they had were woollen, checked like plaid; but many had
their arms and breasts naked, and painted all over in blue patterns.
They yelled and brandished their darts, to make Julius Caesar and his
Roman soldiers keep away; but he only went on to a place where the
shore was not quite so steep, and there commanded his soldiers to
land.  The savages had run along the shore too, and there was a
terrible fight; but at last the man who carried the eagle jumped down
into the middle of the natives, calling out to his fellows that they
must come after him, or they would lose their eagle.  They all came
rushing and leaping down, and thus they managed to force back the
savages, and make their way to the shore.

There was not much worth having when they had made their way there.
Though they came again the next year, and forced their way a good
deal farther into the country, they saw chiefly bare downs, or heaths,
or thick woods.  The few houses were little more than piles of stones,
and the people were rough and wild, and could do very little.  The men
hunted wild boars, and wolves and stags, and the women dug the ground,
and raised a little corn, which they ground to flour between two
stones to make bread; and they spun the wool of their sheep, dyed it
with bright colors, and wove it into dresses.  They had some strong
places in the woods, with trunks of trees, cut down to shut them in
from the enemy, with all their flocks and cattle; but Caesar did not
get into any of these.  He only made the natives give him some of
their pearls, and call the Romans their masters, and then he went back
to his ships, and none of the set of savages who were alive when he
came saw him or his Romans any more.

Do you know who these savages were who fought with Julius Caesar?
They were called Britons.  And the country he came to see?  That was
our very own island, England, only it was not called so then.  And the
place where Julius Caesar landed is called Deal, and, if you look at
the map where England and France most nearly touch one another, I
think you will see the name Deal, and remember it was there Julius
Caesar landed, and fought with the Britons.

It was fifty-five years before our blessed Saviour was born that
the Romans came.  So at the top of this chapter stands B.C. (Before
Christ) 55.



It was nearly a hundred years before any more of the Romans came to
Britain; but they were people who could not hear of a place without
wanting to conquer it, and they never left off trying till they had
done what they undertook.

One of their emperors, named Claudius, sent his soldiers to conquer
the island, and then came to see it himself, and called himself
Brittanicus in honor of the victory, just as if he had done it
himself, instead of his generals.  One British chief, whose name
was Caractacus, who had fought very bravely against the Romans, was
brought to Rome, with chains on his hands and feet, and set before
them emperor.  As he stood there, he said that, when he looked at all
the grand buildings of stone and marble in the streets, he could not
think why the Romans should want to take away the poor rough-stone
huts of the Britons.  The wife of Caractacus, who had also been
brought a prisoner to Rome, fell upon her knees imploring for pity,
but the conquered chief asked for nothing and exhibited no signs of
fear.  Claudius was kind to Caractacus; but the Romans went on
conquering Britain till they had won all the part of it that lies
south of the river Tweed; and, as the people beyond that point were
more fierce and savage still, a very strong wall, with a bank of
earth and deep ditch was made to keep them out, and always watched
by Roman soldiers.

The Romans made beautiful straight roads all over the country, and
they built towns.  Almost all the towns whose names end in _chester_
were begun by the Romans, and bits of their walls are to be seen
still, built of very small bricks.  Sometimes people dig up a bit of
the beautiful pavement of colored tiles, in patterns, which used to
be the floors of their houses, or a piece of their money, or one of
their ornaments.

For the Romans held Britain for four hundred years, and tamed the wild
people in the south, and taught them to speak and dress, and read and
write like themselves, so that they could hardly be known from the
Romans.  Only the wild ones beyond the wall, and in the mountains,
were as savage as ever, and, now and then, used to come and steal the
cattle, and burn the houses of their neighbors who had learnt better.

Another set of wild people used to come over in boats across the North
Sea and German Ocean.  These people had their home in the country that
is called Holstein and Jutland.  They were tall men, and had blue eyes
and fair hair, and they were very strong, and good-natured in a rough
sort of way, though they were fierce to their enemies.  There was a
great deal more fighting than any one has told us about; but the end
of it all was that the Roman soldiers were wanted at home, and though
the great British chief we call King Arthur fought very bravely, he
could not drive back the blue-eyed men in the ships; but more and more
came, till, at last, they got all the country, and drove the Britons,
some up into the North, some into the mountains that rise along the
West of the island, and some into its west point.

The Britons used to call the blue-eyed men Saxons; but they called
themselves Angles, and the country was called after them Angle-land.
Don't you know what it is called now?  England itself, and the people
English.  They spoke much the same language as we do, only more as
untaught country people, and they had not so many words, because they
had not so many things to see and talk about.

As to the Britons, the English went on driving them back till they
only kept their mountains.  There they have gone on living ever since,
and talking their own old language.  The English called them Welsh, a
name that meant strangers, and we call them Welsh still, and their
country Wales.  They made a great many grand stories about their last
brave chief, Arthur, till, at last, they turned into a sort of fairy
tale.  It was said that, when King Arthur lay badly wounded after his
last battle, he bade his friend fling his sword into the river, and
that then three lovely ladies came in a boat, and carried him away to
a secret island.  The Welsh kept on saying, for years and years, that
one day king Arthur would wake up again, and give them back all
Britain, which used to be their own before the English got it for
themselves; but the English have had England now for thirteen hundred
years, and we cannot doubt they will keep it as long as the world

It was about 400 years after our Lord was born that the Romans were
going and the English coming.



The old English who had come to Britain were heathen, and believed in
many false gods: the Sun, to whom they made Sunday sacred, as Monday
was to the moon, Wednesday to a great terrible god, named Woden, and
Thursday to a god named Thor, or Thunder.  They thought a clap of
thunder was the sound of the great hammer he carried in his hand.
They thought their gods cared for people being brave, and that the
souls of those who died fighting gallantly in battle were the happiest
of all; but they did not care for kindness or gentleness.

Thus they often did very cruel things, and one of the worst that they
did was the stealing of men, women, and children from their homes, and
selling them to strangers, who made slaves of them.  All England had
not one king.  There were generally about seven kings, each with a
different part of the island and as they were often at war with one
another, they used to steal one another's subjects, and sell them to
merchants who came from Italy and Greece for them.

Some English children were made slaves, and carried to Rome, where
they were set in the market-place to be sold.  A good priest, named
Gregory, was walking by.  He saw their fair faces, blue eyes, and long
light hair, and, stopping, he asked who they were.  "Angles," he was
told, "from the isle of Britain."  "Angles?" he said, "they have angel
faces, and they ought to be heirs with the angels in heaven."  From
that time this good man tried to find means to send teachers to teach
the English the Christian faith.  He had to wait for many years, and,
in that time, he was made Pope, namely, Father-Bishop of Rome.  At
last he heard that one of the chief English kings, Ethelbert of Kent,
had married Bertha, the daughter of the King of Paris, who was a
Christian, and that she was to be allowed to bring a priest with her,
and have a church to worship in.

Gregory thought this would make a beginning: so he sent a priest,
whose name was Augustine, with a letter to King Ethelbert and Queen
Bertha, and asked the King to listen to him.  Ethelbert met Augustine
in the open air, under a tree at Canterbury, and heard him tell about
the true God, and JESUS CHRIST, whom He sent; and, after some time,
and a great deal of teaching, Ethelbert gave up worshiping Woden and
Thor, and believed in the true God, and was baptized, and many of his
people with him.  Then Augustine was made Archbishop of Canterbury;
and, one after another, in the course of the next hundred years, all
the English kingdoms learnt to know God, and broke down their idols,
and became Christian.

Bishops were appointed, and churches were built, and parishes were
marked off--a great many of them the very same that we have now.  Here
and there, when men and women wanted to be very good indeed, and to
give their whole lives to doing nothing but serving God, without any
of the fighting and feasting, the buying and selling of the outer
world, they built houses, where they might live apart, and churches,
where there might be services seven times a day.  These houses were
named abbeys.  Those for men were, sometimes, also called monasteries,
and the men in them were termed monks, while the women were called
nuns, and their homes convents of nunneries.  They had plain dark
dresses, and hoods, and the women always had veils.  The monks used
to promise that they would work as well as pray, so they used to build
their abbeys by some forest or marsh, and bring it all into order,
turning the wild place into fields, full of wheat.  Others used to
copy out the Holy Scriptures and other good books upon parchment--
because there was no paper in those days, nor any printing--drawing
beautiful painted pictures at the beginning of the chapters, which
were called illuminations.  The nun did needlework and embroidery,
as hangings for the altar, and garments for the priests, all bright
with beautiful colors, and stiff with gold.  The English nuns' work
was the most beautiful to be seen anywhere.

There were schools in the abbeys, where boys were taught reading,
writing, singing, and Latin, to prepare them for being clergymen; but
not many others thought it needful to have anything to do with books.
Even the great men thought they could farm and feast, advise the king,
and consent to the laws, hunt or fight, quite as well without reading,
and they did not care for much besides; for, though they were
Christians, they were still rude, rough, ignorant men, who liked
nothing so well as a hunt or a feast, and slept away all the evening,
especially when they could get a harper to sing to them.

The English men used to wear a long dress like a carter's frock, and
their legs were wound round with strips of cloth by way of stockings.
Their houses were only one story, and had no chimneys--only a hole at
the top for the smoke to go out at; and no glass in the windows.  The
only glass there was at all had been brought from Italy to put into
York Cathedral, and it was thought a great wonder.  So the windows had
shutters to keep out the rain and wind, and the fire was in the middle
of the room.  At dinner-time, about twelve o'clock, the lord and lady
of the house sat upon cross-legged stools, and their children and
servants sat on benches; and square bits of wood called trenchers,
were put before them for plates, while the servants carried round the
meat on spits, and everybody cut off a piece with his own knife and
at it without a fork.  They drank out of cows' horns, if they had not
silver cups.  But though they were so rough they were often good,
brave people.


THE NORTHMEN.  A.D. 858--958.

There were many more of the light-haired, blue-eyed people on the
further side of the North Sea who worshiped Thor and Woden still, and
thought that their kindred in England had fallen from the old ways.
Besides, they liked to make their fortunes by getting what they could
from their neighbors.  Nobody was thought brave or worthy, in Norway
or Denmark, who had not made some voyages in a "long keel," as a ship
was called, and fought bravely, and brought home gold cups and chains
or jewels to show where he had been.  Their captains were called Sea
Kings, and some them went a great way, even into the Mediterranean
Sea, and robbed the beautiful shores of Italy.  So dreadful was it
to see the fleet of long ships coming up to the shore, with a serpent
for the figure-head, and a raven as the flag, and crowds of fierce
warriors with axes in their hands longing for prey and bloodshed, that
where we pray in church that God would deliver us from lightning and
tempest, and battle and murder, our forefathers used to add, "From
the fury of the Northmen, good Lord deliver us."

To England these Northmen came in great swarms, and chiefly from
Denmark, so that they were generally call "the Danes."  They burnt
the houses, drove off the cows and sheep, killed the men, and took
away the women and children to be slaves; and they were always most
cruel of all where they found an Abbey with any monks or nuns,
because they hated the Christian  faith.  By this time those seven
English kingdoms I told you of had all fallen into the hands of one
king.  Egbert, King of the West Saxons, who reigned at Winchester,
is counted as the first king of all England.  His four grandsons had
dreadful battles with the Danes all their lives, and the three eldest
all died quite young.  The youngest was the greatest and best king
England ever had--Alfred the Truth-teller.  As a child Alfred excited
the hopes and admiration of all who saw him, and while his brothers
were busy with their sports, it was his delight to kneel at his
mother's knee, and recite to her the Saxon ballads which his tutor
had read to him, inspiring him, at that early age, with the ardent
patriotism and the passionate love of literature which rendered his
character so illustrious.  He was only twenty-two years old when he
came to the throne, and the kingdom was overrun everywhere with the
Danes.  In the northern part some had even settled down and made
themselves at home, as the English had done four hundred years
before, and more and more kept coming in their ships: so that, though
Alfred beat them in battle again and again, there was no such thing
as driving them away.  At last he had so very few faithful men left
him, that he thought it wise to send them away, and hide himself in
the Somersetshire marsh country.  There is a pretty story told of
him that he was hidden in the hut of a poor herdsman, whose wife,
thinking he was a poor wandering soldier as he sat by the fire mending
his bow and arrows, desired him to turn the cakes she had set to bake
upon the hearth.  Presently she found them burning, and cried out
angrily, "Lazy rogue! you can't turn the cakes, though you can eat
them fast enough."

However, that same spring, the brave English gained more victories;
Alfred came out of his hiding place and gathered them all together,
and beat the Danes, so that they asked for peace.  He said he would
allow those who had settled in the North of England to stay there,
provided they would become Christians; and he stood godfather to
their chief, and gave him the name of Ethelstane.  After this, Alfred
had stout ships built to meet the Danes at sea before they could come
and land in England; and thus he kept them off, so that for all the
rest of his reign, and that of his son and grandsons, they could do
very little mischief, and for a time left off coming at all, but went
to rob other countries that were not so well guarded by brave kings.

But Alfred was not only a brave warrior.  He was a most good and holy
man, who feared God above all things, and tried to do his very best
for his people.  He made good laws for them, and took care that every
one should be justly treated, and that nobody should do his neighbor
wrong without being punished.  So many Abbeys had been burnt and the
monks killed by the Danes, that there were hardly any books to be had,
or scholars to read them.  He invited learned men from abroad, and
wrote and translated books himself for them; and he had a school in
his house, where he made the young nobles learn with his own sons.  He
built up the churches, and gave alms to the poor; and he was always
ready to hear the troubles of any poor man.  Though he was always
working so hard, he had a disease that used to cause him terrible pain
almost every day.  His last years were less peaceful than the middle
ones of his reign, for the Danes tried to come again; but he beat them
off by his ships at sea, and when he died at fifty-two years old, in
the year 901, he left England at rest and quiet, and we always think of
him as one of the greatest and best kings who ever reigned in England,
or in any other country.  As long as his children after him and his
people went on in the good way he had taught them, all prospered with
them, and no enemies hurt them; and this was all through the reigns
of his son, his grandson, and great-grandsons.  Their council of great
men was called by a long word that is in our English, "Wise Men's
Meeting," and there they settled the affairs of the kingdom.  The
king's wife was not called queen, but lady; and what do you think
lady means?  It means "loaf-giver"--giver of bread to her household
and the poor.  so a lady's great work is to be charitable.



The last very prosperous king was Alfred's great-grandson, Edgar, who
was owned as their over-lord by all the kings of the remains of the
Britons in Wales and Scotland.  Once, eight of these kings came to
meet him at Chester, and rowed him in his barge along the river Dee.
It was the grandest day a king of England enjoyed for many years.
Edgar was called the peaceable, because there were no attacks by the
Danes at all through his reign.  In fact, the Northmen and Danes had
been fighting among themselves at home, and these fights generally
ended in some one going off as a Sea-King, with all his friends, and
trying to gain a new home in some fresh country.  One great party of
Northmen under a very tall and mighty chief named Rollo, had some time
before, thus gone to France, and forced the King to give them a great
piece of his country, just opposite to England, which was called after
them Normandy.  There they learned to talk French, and grew like
Frenchmen, though they remained a great deal braver, and more spirited
than any of their neighbors.

There were continually fleets of Danish ships coming to England; and
the son of Edgar, whose name was Ethelred, was a helpless, cowardly
sort of man, so slow and tardy, that his people called him Ethelred
the Unready.  Instead of fitting out ships to fight against the Danes,
he took the money the ships ought to have cost to pay them to go away
without plundering; and as to those who had come into the country
without his leave, he called them his guard, took them into his pay,
and let them live in the houses of the English, where they were very
rude, and gave themselves great airs, making the English feed them on
all their best meat, and bread, and beer, and always call them Lord
Danes.  He made friends himself with the Northmen, or Normans, who
had settled in France, and married Emma, the daughter of their duke;
but none of his plans prospered: things grew worse and worse, and
his mind and his people's grew so bitter against the Danes, that
at last it was agreed that all over the South of England every
Englishman should rise up in one night and murder the Dane who
lodged in his house.

Among those Danes who were thus wickedly killed was the sister of the
King of Denmark.  Of course he was furious when he heard of it, and
came over to England determined to punish the cruel, treacherous king
and people, and take the whole island for his own.  He did punish the
people, killing, burning, and plundering wherever he went; but he
could never get the king into his hands, for Ethelred went off in the
height of the danger to Normandy, where he had before sent his wife
Emma, and her children, leaving his eldest son( child of his first
wife), Edmund Ironside, to fight for the kingdom as best he might.

The King of Denmark died in the midst of his English war; but his son
Cnut went on with the conquest he had begun, and before long Ethelred,
the Unready died, and Edmund Ironside was murdered, and Cnut became
King of England, as well as of Denmark.  He became a Christian, and
married Emma, Ethelred's widow, though she was much older than himself.
He had been a hard and cruel man, but he now laid aside his evil ways,
and became a noble and wise and just king, a lover of churches and
good men; and the English seem to have been as well off under him as
if he had been one of their own kings.  There is no king of whom more
pleasant stories are told.  One is of his wanting to go to church at
Ely Abbey one cold Candlemas Day.  Ely was on a hill in the middle of
a great marsh.  The marsh was frozen over; not strong enough to bear,
and they all stood looking at it.  Then out stepped a stout countryman,
who was so fat, that his nickname was The Pudding.  "Are you all
afraid?" he said.  "I will go over at once before the king."  "Will
you," said the king, "then I will come after you, for whatever bears
you will bear me."  Cnut was a little, slight man, and he got easily
over, and Pudding got a piece of land for his reward.

These servants of the king used to flatter him.  They told him he was
lord of land and sea, and that every thing would obey him.  "Let us
try," said Cnut, who wished to show them how foolish and profane they
were; "bring out my chair to the sea-side."  He was at Southampton at
the time, close to the sea, and the tide was coming in.  "Now sea," he
said, as he sat down, "I am thy lord, dare not to come near, nor wet
my feet."  Of course the waves rolled on, and splashed over him; and
he turned to his servants, and bade them never say words that took
away from the honor due to the only Lord of heaven and earth.  He
never put on his crown again after this, but hung it up in Winchester
Cathedral.  He was a thorough good king, and there was much grief when
he died, stranger though he was.

A great many Danes had made their homes in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire,
ever since Alfred's time, and some of their customs are still left
there, and some of their words.  The worst of them was that they were
great drunkards, and the English learnt this bad custom of them.


THE NORMAN CONQUEST.  A.D. 1035--1066.

Cnut left three sons; but one was content to be only King of Denmark,
and the other two died very soon.  So a great English nobleman, called
Earl Godwin, set up as king, Edward, one of those sons of Ethelred the
Unready who had been sent away to Normandy.  He was a very kind, good,
pious man, who loved to do good.  He began the building of our grand
church at Westminster Abbey, and he was so holy that he was called the
Confessor, which is a word for good men not great enough to be called
saints.  He was too good-natured, as you will say when you hear that
one day, when he was in bed, he saw a thief come cautiously into his
room, open the chest where his treasure was, and take out the money-
bags.  Instead of calling anyone, or seizing the man, the king only
said, sleepily, "Take care, you rogue, or my chancellor will catch
you and give you a good whipping."

You can fancy that nobody much minded such a king as this, and so
there were many disturbances in his time.  Some of them rose out of
the king--who had been brought up in Normandy--liking the Normans
better than the English.  They really were much cleverer and more
sensible, for they had learnt a great deal in France, while the
English had forgotten much of what Alfred and his sons had taught
them, and all through the long, sad reign of Ethelred had been getting
more dull, and clumsy and rude.  Moreover, they had learnt of the Danes
to be sad drunkards; but both they and the Danes thought the Norman
French fine gentlemen, and could not bear the sight of them.

Think, then, how angry they all were when it began to be said that King
Edward wanted to leave his kingdom of England to his mother's Norman
nephew, Duke William, because all his own near relations were still
little boys, not likely to be grown up by the time the old king died.
Many of the English wished for Harold, the son of Earl Godwin, a brave,
spirited man; but Edward sent him to Normandy, and there Duke William
made him swear an oath not to do anything to hinder the kingdom from
being given to Duke William.

Old King Edward died soon after, and Harold said at once that his
promise had been forced and cheated from him, so that he need not
keep it, and he was crowned King of England.  This filled William
with anger.  He called all his fighting Normans together, fitted
out ships, and sailed across the English Channel to Dover.  The
figure-head of his own ship was a likeness of his second little boy,
named William.  He landed at Pevensey, in Sussex, and set up his camp
while Harold was away in the North, fighting with a runaway brother
of his own, who had brought the Norwegians to attack Yorkshire.
Harold had just won a great battle over these enemies when he heard
that William and his Normans had landed, and he had to hurry the
whole length of England to meet them.

Many of the English would not join him, because they did not want him
for their king.  But though his army was not large, it was very brave.
When he reached Sussex, he placed all his men on the top of a low hill,
near Hastings, and caused them to make a fence all round, with a ditch
before it, and in the middle was his own standard, with a fighting man
embroidered upon it.  Then the Normans rode up on their war-horses to
attack him, one brave knight going first, singing.  The war-horses
stumbled in the ditch, and the long spears of the English killed both
men and horses.  Then William ordered his archers to shoot their
arrows high in the air.  They came down like hail into the faces and
on the heads of the English.  Harold himself was pierced by one in the
eye.  The Normans charged the fence again, and broke through; and, by
the time night came on, Harold himself and all his brave Englishmen
were dead.  They did not flee away; they all staid, and were killed,
fighting to the last; and only then was Harold's standard of the
fighting man rooted up, and William's standard--a cross, which had
been blessed by the Pope--planted instead of it.  So ended the battle
of Hastings, in the year 1066.

The land has had a great many "conquests" hitherto--the Roman conquest,
the English conquest, and now the Norman conquest.  But there have
been no more since; and the kings and queens have gone on in one long
line ever since, from William of Normandy down to Queen Victoria.



The king who had conquered England was a brave, strong man, who had
been used to fighting and struggling ever since he was a young child.

He really feared God, and was in many ways a good man; but it had not
been right of him to come and take another people's country by force;
and the having done one wrong thing often makes people grow worse and
worse.  Many of the English were unwilling to have William as their
king, and his Norman friends were angry that he would not let them
have more of the English lands, nor break the English laws.  So they
were often rising up against him; and each time he had to put them
down he grew more harsh and stern.  He did not want to be cruel; but
he did many cruel things, because it was the only way to keep England.

When the people of Northumberland rose against him, and tried to get
back the old set of kings, he had the whole country wasted with fire
and sword, till hardly a town or village was left standing.  He did
this to punish the Northumbrians, and frighten the rest.  But he did
another thing that was worse, because it was only for his own
amusement.  In Hampshire, near his castle of Winchester, there was a
great space of heathy ground, and holly copse and beeches and oaks
above it, with deer and boars running wild in the glades--a beautiful
place for hunting, only that there were so many villages in it that
the creatures were disturbed and killed.  William liked hunting more
than anything else--his people said he loved the high deer as if he
was their father,--and to keep the place clear for them, he turned
out all the inhabitants, and pulled down their houses, and made laws
against any one killing his game.  The place he thus cleared is still
called the New Forest, though it is a thousand years old.

An old Norman law that the English grumbled about very much was, that
as soon as a bell was rung, at eight o'clock every evening, everyone
was to put out candle and fire, and go to bed.  The bell was called
the curfew, and many old churches ring it still.

William caused a great list to be made of all the lands in the country,
and who held them.  We have this list still, and it is called Domesday
Book.  It shows that a great deal had been taken from the English and
given to the Normans.  The king built castles, with immensely thick,
strong walls, and loop-hole windows, whence to shoot arrows; and here
he placed his Normans to keep the English down.  But the Normans were
even more unruly than the English, and only his strong hand kept them
in order.  They rode about in armor--helmets on their heads, a shirt
of mail, made of iron linked together, over their bodies, gloves and
boots of iron, swords by their sides, and lances in their hands--and
thus they could bear down all before them.  They called themselves
knights, and were always made to take an oath to befriend the weak,
and poor, and helpless; but they did not often keep it towards the
poor English.

William had four sons--Robert, who was called Court-hose or Short-legs;
William, called Rufus, because he had red hair; Henry, called Beau-
clerc or the fine scholar; and Richard, who was still a lad when he
was killed by a stag in the New Forest.

Robert, the eldest, was a wild, rude, thoughtless youth; but he fancied
himself fit to govern Normandy, and asked his father to give it up to
him.  King William answered, "I never take my clothes off before I go
to bed," meaning that Robert must wait for his death.  Robert could
not bear to be laughed at, and was very angry.  Soon after, when he
was in the castle court, his two brothers, William and Henry, grew
riotous, and poured water down from the upper windows on him and his
friends.  He flew into a passion, dashed up-stairs with his sword in
his hand, and might have killed his brothers if their father had not
come in to protect them.  Then he threw himself on his horse and
galloped away, persuaded some friends to join him, and actually fought
a battle with his own father, in which the old king was thrown off his
horse, and hurt in the hand; but we must do the prince the justice to
say that when he recognized his father in the knight whom he had
unseated, he was filled with grief and horror, and eagerly sought his
pardon, and tenderly raised him from the ground.  Then Robert wandered
about, living on money that his mother, Queen Matilda, sent him, though
his father was angry with her for doing so, and this made the first
quarrel the husband and wife had ever had.

Not long after, William went to war with the King of France.  He had
caused a city to be burnt down, and was riding through the ruins, when
his horse trod on some hot ashes, and began to plunge.  The king was
thrown forward on the saddle, and, being a very heavy, stout man, was
so much hurt, that, after a few weeks, in the year 1087, he died at
a little monastery, a short way from Rouen, the chief city of his
dukedom of Normandy.

He was the greatest man of his time, and he had much good in him; and
when he lay on his death-bed he grieved much for all the evil he had
brought upon the English; but that could not undo it.  He had been a
great church-builder, and so were his Norman bishops and barons.  You
always know their work, because it has round pillars, and round arches,
with broad borders of zig-zags, and all manner of patterns round them.

In the end, the coming of the Normans did the English much good, by
brightening them up and making them less dull and heavy; but they did
not like having a king and court who talked French, and cared more for
Normandy than for England.


WILLIAM II., RUFUS.  A.D. 1087-1100.

William the Conqueror was obliged to let Normandy fall to Robert, his
eldest son; but he thought he could do as he pleased about England,
which he had won for himself.  He had sent off his second son, William,
to England, with his ring to Westminster, giving him a message that he
hoped the English people would have him for their king.  And they did
take him, though they would hardly have done do if they had known what
he would be like when he was left to himself.  But while he was kept
under by his father, they only knew that he had red hair and a ruddy
face, and had more sense than his brother Robert.  He is sometimes
called the Red King, but more commonly William Rufus.  Things went
worse than ever with the poor English in his time; for at lest William
the Conqueror had made everybody mind the law, but now William Rufus
let his cruel soldiers do just as they pleased, and spoil what they
did not want.  It was of no use to complain, for the king would only
laugh and make jokes.  He did not care for God or man; only for being
powerful, for feasting, and for hunting.

Just at this time there was a great stir in Europe.  Jerusalem--that
holy city, where our blessed Lord had taught, where he had been
crucified, and where he had risen from the dead--was a place where
everyone wished to go and worship, and this they called going on
pilgrimage.  A beautiful church had once been built over the sepulchre
where our Lord had lain, and enriched with gifts.  But for a long time
past Jerusalem had been in the hands of an Eastern people, who think
their false prophet, Mahommed, greater than our blessed Lord.  These
Mahommedans used to rob and ill-treat the pilgrims, and make them
pay great sums of money for leave to come into Jerusalem.  At last
a pilgrim, named Peter the Hermit, came home, and got leave from
the Pope to try to go to the Holy Land, and fight to get the Holy
Sepulchre back into Christian hands again.  He used to preach in the
open air, and the people who heard him were so stirred up that they
all shouted out, "It is God's will!  It is God's will!"  And each who
undertook to go and fight in the East received a cross cut out into
cloth, red or white, to wear on his shoulder.  Many thousands promised
to go on this crusade, as they called it, among them was Robert, Duke
of Normandy. But he had wasted his money, so that he could not fit out
an army to take with him.  So he offered to give up Normandy to his
brother William while he was gone, if William would let him have the
money he wanted.  The Red King was very ready to make such a bargain,
and he laughed at the Crusaders, and thought that they were wasting
their time and trouble.

They had a very good man to lead them, named Godfrey de Buillon; and,
after many toils and troubles, they did gain Jerusalem, and could
kneel, weeping, at the Holy Sepulchre.  It was proposed to make Robert
King of Jerusalem, but he would not accept the offer, and Godfrey was
made king instead, and staid to guard the holy places, while Duke
Robert set out on his return home.

In the meantime, the Red King had gone on in as fierce and ungodly a
way as ever, laughing good advice to scorn, and driving away the good
Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Anselm, and everyone else who tried to
warn him or withstand his wickedness.  One day, in the year 1100, he
went out to hunt deer in the New Forest, which his father had wasted,
laughing and jesting in his rough way.  By and by he was found under
an oak tree, with an arrow through his heart; and a wood-cutter took
up his body in his cart, and carried it to Winchester Cathedral, where
is was buried.

Who shot the arrow nobody knew, and nobody ever will know.  Some
thought it must be a knight, named Walter Tyrrell, to whom the king
had given three long good arrows that morning.  He rode straight away
to Southampton, and went off to the Holy Land; so it is likely that
he knew something about the king's death.  But he never seems to have
told any one, whether it was only an accident, or a murder, or who
did it.  Anyway, it was a fearful end, for a bad man to die in his
sin, without a moment to repent and pray.


HENRY I., BEAU-CLERC.  A.D. 1100--1135.

Henry, the brother of William Rufus, was one of the hunting party; and
as soon as the cry spread through the forest that the king was dead, he
rode off at full speed to Winchester, and took possession of all his
brother's treasure.  William Rufus had never been married, and left no
children, and Henry was much the least violent and most sensible of
the brothers; and, as he promised to govern according to the old laws
of England, he did not find it difficult to persuade the people to let
him be crowned king.

He was not really a good man, and he could be very cruel sometimes, as
well as false and cunning; but he kept good order, and would not allow
such horrible things to be done as in his brother's time.  So the
English were better off than they had been, and used to say the king
would let no one break the laws but himself.  They were pleased, too,
that Henry married a lady who was half English--Maude, the daughter of
Malcolm Greathead, King of Scotland, and of a lady of the old English
royal line.  They loved her greatly, and called her good Queen Maude.

Robert came back to Normandy, and tried to make himself King of
England; but Henry soon drove him back.  The brothers went on
quarreling for some years, and Robert managed Normandy miserably, and
wasted his money, so that he sometimes had no clothes to wear, and lay
in bed for want of them.

Some of the Normans could not bear this any longer, and invited Henry
to come and take the dukedom.  He came with an army, many of whom were
English, and fought a battle with Robert and his faithful Normans at
Trenchebray, in Normandy.  They gained a great victory, and the English
thought it made up for Hastings.  Poor Robert was made prisoner by his
brother, who sent him off to Cardiff Castle, in Wales, where he lived
for twenty-eight years, and then died, and was buried in Gloucester
Cathedral, with his figure made in bog oak over his monument.

Henry had two children--William and Maude.  The girl was married to
the Emperor of Germany and the boy was to be the husband of Alice,
daughter to the Count of Anjou, a great French Prince, whose lands
were near Normandy.  It was the custom to marry children very young
then, before they were old enough to leave their parents and make a
home for themselves.  So William was taken by his father to Anjou, and
there married to the little girl, and then she was left behind, while
he was to return to England with his father.  Just as he was going to
embark, a man came to the king, and begged to have the honor of taking
him across in his new vessel, called the White Ship.  Henry could not
change his own plans; but, as the man begged so hard, he said his son,
the young bridegroom, and his friends might go in the White Ship.
They sailed in the evening, and there was a great merry-making on
board, till the sailors grew so drunk that they did not know how to
guide the ship, and ran her against a rock.  She filled with water
and began to sink.  A boat was lowered, and William safely placed in
it; but, just as he was rowed off he heard the cries of the ladies
who were left behind, and caused the oarsmen to turn back for them.
So many drowning wretches crowded into it, as soon as it came near,
that it sank with their weight, and all were lost.  Only the top-mast
of the ship remained above water, and to it clung a butcher and the
owner of the ship all night long.  When daylight came, and the owner
knew that the king's son was really dead, and by his fault, he lost
heart, let go the mast and was drowned.  Only the butcher was taken
off alive; and for a long time no one durst tell the king what had
happened.  At last a boy was sent to fall at his feet, and tell him
his son was dead.  He was a broken-hearted man, and never knew
gladness again all the rest of his life.

His daughter Maude had lost her German husband, and came home.  He
made her marry Geoffrey of Anjou, the brother of his son's wife, and
called upon all his chief noblemen to swear that they would take her
for their queen in England and their duchess in Normandy after his
own death.

He did not live much longer.  His death was caused, in the year 1135,
by eating too much of the fish called lamprey, and he was buried in
Reading Abbey.


STEPHEN.  A.D. 1135--1154.

Neither English nor Normans had ever been ruled by a woman, and the
Empress Maude, as she still called herself, was a proud, disagreeable,
ill-tempered woman, whom nobody liked.  So her cousin, Stephen de
Blois--whose mother, Adela, had been daughter of William the Conqueror
--thought to obtain the crown of England by promising to give everyone
what they wished.  It was very wrong of him; for he, like all the
other barons, had sworn that Maude should reign.  But the people knew
he was a kindly, gracious sort of person, and greatly preferred him
to her.  So he was crowned; and at once all the Norman barons, whom
King Henry had kept down, began to think they could have their own
way.  They built strong castles, and hired men, with whom they made
war upon each other, robbed one another's tenants, and, when they saw
a peaceable traveler on his way, they would dash down upon him, drag
him into the castle, take away all the jewels or money he had about
him, or, if he had none, they would shut him up and torment him till
he could get his friends to pay them a sum to let him loose.

Stephen, who was a kind-hearted man himself, tried to stop these
cruelties; but then the barons turned round on him, told him he was
not their proper king, and invited Maude to come and be crowned in
his stead.  She came very willingly; and her uncle, King David of
Scotland, set out with an army to fight for her; but all the English
in the north came out to drive him back; and they beat him and his
Scots at what they call the Battle of the Standard, because the
English had a holy standard, which was kept in Durham Cathedral.
Soon after, Stephen was taken prisoner at a battle at Lincoln, and
there was nothing to prevent Maude from being queen but her own bad
temper.  She went to Winchester, and was there proclaimed; but she
would not speak kindly or gently to the people; and when her friends
entreated her to reply more kindly, she flew into a passion, and it
is even said that she gave a box on the ear to her uncle--the good
King of Scotland, who had come to help her--for reproving her for her
harsh answers.  When Stephen's wife came to beg her to set him free,
promising that he should go away beyond the seas, and never interfere
with her again, she would not listen, and drove her away.  But she
soon found how foolish she had been.  Stephen's friends would have
been willing that he should give up trying to be king, but they could
not leave him in prison for life; and so they went on fighting for
him, while more and more of the English joined them, as they felt how
bad and unkind a queen they had in the Empress.  Indeed, she was so
proud and violent, that her husband would not come over to England
to help her, but staid to govern Normandy.  She was soon in great
distress, and had to flee from Winchester, riding through the midst
of the enemy, and losing almost all her friends by the way as they
were slain or made prisoners.  Her best helper of all--Earl Robert of
Gloucester--was taken while guarding her; and she could only get to
his town of Gloucester by lying down in a coffin, with holes for air,
and being thus carried through all the country, where she had made
everyone hate her.

Stephen's wife offered to set the Earl free, if the other side would
release her husband; and this exchange was brought about.  Robert then
went to Normandy, to fetch Maude's little son Henry, who was ten years
old, leaving her, as he thought, safe in Oxford Castle; but no sooner
was he gone than Stephen brought his army, and besieged the Castle--
that is, he brought his men round it, tried to climb up the walls, or
beat them down with heavy beams, and hindered any food from being
brought in.  Everything in the castle that could be eaten was gone;
but Maude was determined not to fall into her enemy's hands.  It was
the depth of winter; the river below the walls was frozen over, and
snow was on the ground.  One night, Maude dressed herself and three of
her knights all in white, and they were, one by one, let down by ropes
from the walls.  No one saw them in the snow.  They crossed the river
on the ice, walked a great part of the night, and at last came to
Abingdon, where horses were waiting for them, and thence they rode to
Wallingford, where Maude met her little son.

There was not much more fighting after this.  Stephen kept all the
eastern part of the kingdom, and Henry was brought up at Gloucester
till his father sent for him, to take leave of him before going on a
crusade.  Geoffrey died during this crusade.  He was fond of hunting,
and was generally seen with a spray of broom blossom in his cap.  The
French name for this plant is _genet_; and thus his nickname was
"Plantagenet;" and this became a kind of surname to the kings of

Henry, called Fitz-empress--or "the Empress's son"--came to England
again as soon as he was grown up; but instead of going to war, he made
an agreement with Stephen.  Henry would not attack Stephen any more,
but leave him to reign all the days of his life, provided Stephen
engaged that Henry should reign instead of his own son after his death.
This made Stephen's son, Eustace, very angry, and he went away in a
rage to raise troops to maintain his cause; but he died suddenly in
the midst of his wild doings, and the king, his father, did not live
long after him, but died in 1154.

Maude had learnt wisdom by her misfortunes.  She had no further desire
to be queen, but lived a retired life in a convent, and was much more
respected there than as queen.


HENRY II., FITZ-EMPRESS.  A.D. 1154-1189.

Henry Fitz-Empress is counted as the first king of the Plantagenet
family, also called the House of Anjou.  He was a very clever, brisk,
spirited man, who hardly ever sat down, but was always going from
place to place, and who would let no one disobey him.  He kept
everybody in order, pulled down almost all the Castles that had been
built in Stephen's time, and would not let the barons ill-treat the
people.  Indeed, everyone had been so mixed up together during the
wars in Stephen's reign, that the grandchildren of the Normans who
had come over with William the Conqueror were now quite English in
their feelings.  French was, however, chiefly spoken at court.  The
king was really a Frenchman, and he married a French wife Eleanor,
the lady of Aquitaine, a great dukedom in the South of France; and,
as Henry had already Normandy and Anjou, he really was lord of nearly
half France.  He ruled England well; but he was not a good man, for
he cared for power and pleasure more than for what was right; and
sometimes he fell into such rages that he would roll on the floor,
and bite the rushes and sticks it was strewn with.  He made many laws.
One was that, if a priest or monk was thought to have committed any
crime, he should be tried by the king's judge, instead of the bishop.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket, did not think it
right to consent to this law; and, though he and the king had once
been great friends, Henry was so angry with him that he was forced
to leave England, and take shelter with the King of France.  Six
years passed by, and the king pretended to be reconciled to him, but
still, when they met, would not give him the kiss of peace.  The
archbishop knew that this showed that the king still hated him; but
his flock had been so long without a shepherd that he thought it his
duty to go back to them.  Just after his return, he laid under censure
some persons who had given offence.  They went and complained to the
king, and Henry exclaimed in passion, "Will no one rid me of this
turbulent priest?"  Four of his knights who heard these words set
forth to Canterbury.  The archbishop guessed why they were come;
but he would not flee again, and waited for them by the altar in
the cathedral, not even letting the doors be shut.  There they slew
him; and thither, in great grief at the effect of his own words, the
king came--three years later--to show his penitence by entering
barefoot, kneeling before Thomas's tomb, and causing every priest
or monk in turn to strike him with a rod.  We should not exactly
call Thomas a martyr now, but he was thought so then, because he
died for upholding the privileges of the Church, and he was held
to be a very great saint.

While this dispute was going on, the Earl of Pembroke, called
Strongbow, one of Henry's nobles, had gone over to Ireland and
obtained a little kingdom there, which he professed to hold of Henry;
and thus the Kings of England became Lords of Ireland, though for a
long time they only had the Province of Leinster, and were always at
war with the Irish around.

Henry was a most powerful king; but his latter years were very unhappy.
His wife was not a good woman, and her sons were all disobedient and
rebellious.  Once all the three eldest, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey,
and their mother, ran away together from his court, and began to make
war upon him.  He was much stronger and wiser than they so he soon
forced them to submit; and he sent Queen Eleanor away, and shut her
up in a strong castle in England as long as he lived.  Here sons were
much more fond of her than of their father, and they thought this
usage so hard, that they were all the more ready to break out against
him.  The eldest son, Henry, was leading an army against his father,
when he was taken ill, and felt himself dying.  He sent an entreaty
that his father would forgive him, and come to see him; but the young
man had so often been false and treacherous, that Henry feared it was
only a trick to get him as a prisoner, and only sent his ring and a
message of pardon; and young Henry died, pressing the ring to his
lips, and longing to hear his father's voice.

Geoffrey, the third son, was killed by a fall from his horse, and
there were only two left alive, Richard and John.  Just at this time,
news came that the Mahommedans in the Holy Land had won Jerusalem
back again; and the Pope called on all Christian princes to leave
off quarreling, and go on a crusade to recover the Holy Sepulchre.

The kings of England and France, young Richard, and many more, were
roused to take the cross; but while arrangements for going were being
made, a fresh dispute about them arose, and Richard went away in a
rage, got his friends together, and, with King Philip of France to
help him, began to make war.  His father was feeble, and worn out,
and could not resist as in former times.  He fell ill, and gave up
the struggle, saying he would grant all they asked.  The list of
Richard's friends whom he was to pardon was brought to him, and the
first name he saw in it was that of John, his youngest son, and his
darling, the one who had never before rebelled.  That quite broke
his heart, his illness grew worse, and he talked about an old eagle
being torn to pieces by his eaglets.  And so, in the year 1189,
Henry II. died the saddest death, perhaps, that an old man can die,
for his sons had brought down his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.


RICHARD I., LION-HEART  A.D. 1189--1199.

Richard was greatly grieved at his father's death, and when he came
and looked at the dead body, in Fontevraud Abbey Church, he cried
out, "Alas! it was I who killed him!"  But it was too late now: he
could not make up for what he had done, and he had to think about the
Crusade he had promised to make.  Richard was so brave and strong that
he was called Lion-heart; he was very noble and good in some ways, but
his fierce, passionate temper did him a great deal of harm.  He, and
King Philip of France, and several other great princes, all met in the
island of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, and thence sailed for the
Holy Land.  The lady whom Richard was to marry came to meet him in
Sicily.  Her name was Berengaria; but, as it was Lent, he did not
marry her then.  She went on to the Holy Land in a ship with his
sister Joan, and tried to land in the island of Cypress; but the
people were inhospitable, and would not let them come.  So Richard,
in his great anger, conquered the isle, and was married to Berengaria

The Mahommedans who held Palestine at that time were called Saracens,
and had a very brave prince at their head named Saladin, which means
Splendor of Religion.  He was very good, just, upright, and truth-
telling, and his Saracens fought so well, that the Crusaders would
hardly have won a bit of ground if the Lion-heart had not been so
brave.  At last, they did take one city on the coast named Acre; and
one of the princes, Leopold, Duke of Austria, set up his banner on
the walls.  Richard did not think it ought to be there: he pulled it
up and threw it down into the ditch, asking the duke how he durst take
the honors of a king.  Leopold was sullen, and brooded over the insult,
and King Philip thought Richard so overbearing, that he could not bear
to be in the army with him any longer.  In truth, though Philip had
pretended to be his friend, and had taken his part against his father,
that was really only to hurt King Henry;  he hated Richard quite as
much, or more, and only wanted to get home first in order to do him
as much harm as he could while he was away.  So Philip said it was
too hot for him in the Holy Land, and made him ill.  He sailed back
to France, while Richard remained, though the climate really did hurt
his health, and he often had fevers there.  When he was ill, Saladin
used to send him grapes, and do all he could to show how highly he
thought of so brave a man.  Once Saladin sent him a beautiful horse;
Richard told the Earl of Salisbury to try it, and no sooner was the
earl mounted, than the horse ran away with him to the Saracen army.
Saladin was very much vexed, and was afraid it would be taken for
a trick to take the English king prisoner, and he gave the earl a
quieter horse to ride back with.  Richard fought one terrible battle
at Joppa with the Saracens, and then he tried to go on to take
Jerusalem; but he wanted to leave a good strong castle behind him
at Ascalon, and set all his men to work to build it up.  When they
grumbled, he worked with them, and asked the duke to do the same; but
Leopold said gruffly that he was not a carpenter or a mason.  Richard
was so provoked that he struck him a blow, and the duke went home in
a rage.

So many men had gone home, that Richard found his army was not strong
enough to try to take Jerusalem.  He was greatly grieved, for he knew
it was his own fault for not having shown the temper of a Crusader;
and when he came to the top of a hill whence the Holy City could be
seen, he would not look at it, but turned away, saying, "They who are
not worthy to win it are not worthy to behold it."  It was of no use
for him to stay with so few men; besides, tidings came from home that
King Philip and his own brother, John, were doing all the mischief
they could.  So he made a peace for three years between the Saracens
and Christians, hoping to come back again after that to rescue
Jerusalem.  But on his way home there were terrible storms; his ships
were scattered, and his own ship was driven up into the Adriatic Sea,
where he was robbed by pirates, or sea robbers, and then was
shipwrecked.  There was no way for him to get home but through the
lands of Leopold of Austria; so he pretended to be a merchant, and
set out attended only by a boy.  He fell ill at a little inn, and
while he was in bed the boy went into the kitchen with the king's
glove in his belt.  It was an embroidered glove, such as merchants
never used, and people asked questions, and guessed that the boy's
master must be some great man.  The Duke of Austria heard of it,
sent soldiers to take him, and shut him up as a prisoner in one of
his castles.  Afterwards, the duke gave him up for a large sum of
money to the Emperor of Germany.  All this time Richard's wife and
mother had been in great sorrow and fear, trying to find out what
had become of him.  It is said that he was found at last by his
friend, the minstrel Blondel.  A minstrel was a person who made
verses and sang them.  Many of the nobles and knights in Queen
Eleanor's Duchy of Aquitaine were minstrels--and Richard was a very
good one himself, and amused himself in his captivity by making
verses.  This is certainly true--though I cannot answer for it that
the pretty story is true, which says that Blondel sung at all the
castle courts in Germany, till he heard his master's voice take up
and reply to his song.

The Queens, Eleanor and Berengaria, raised a ransom--that is, a sum
of money to buy his freedom--though his brother John tried to prevent
them, and the King of France did his best to hinder the emperor from
releasing him; but the Pope insisted that the brave crusader should
be set at liberty: and Richard came home, after a year and a half of
captivity.  He freely forgave John for all the mischief he had done
or tried to do, though he thought so ill of him as to say, "I wish
I may forget John's injuries to me as soon as he will forget my pardon
of him."

Richard only lived two years after he came back.  He was besieging a
castle in Aquitaine, where there was some treasure that he thought was
unlawfully kept from him, when he was struck in the shoulder by a bolt
from a cross-bow, and the surgeons treated it so unskilfully that in
a few days he died.  The man who had shot the bolt was made prisoner,
but the Lion-heart's last act was to command that no harm should be
done to him.  The soldiers, however, in their grief and rage for the
king, did put him to death in a cruel manner.

Richard desired to be burned at the feet of his father, in Fontevraud
Abbey, where he once bewailed his undutiful conduct, and now wished
his body forever to lie in penitence.  The figures in stone, of the
father, mother, and son, who quarreled so much in life, all lie on
one monument now, and with them Richard's youngest sister Joan, who
died nearly at the same time as he died, party of grief for him.


JOHN, LACKLAND.  A.D. 1199--1216.

As a kind of joke, John, King Henry's youngest son, had been called
Lackland, because he had nothing when his brothers each had some great
dukedom.  The name suited him only too well before the end of his life.
The English made him king at once.  They always did take a grown-up
man for their king, if the last king's son was but a child.  Richard
had never had any children, but his brother Geoffrey, who was older
than John, had left a son named Arthur, who was about twelve years
old, and who was rightly the Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou.
King Philip, who was always glad to vex whoever was king of England,
took Arthur under his protection, and promised to get Normandy out of
John's hands.  However, John had a meeting with him and persuaded him
to desert Arthur, and marry his son Louis to John's own niece, Blanche,
who had a chance of being queen of part of Spain.  Still Arthur lived
at the French King's court, and when he was sixteen years old, Philip
helped him to raise an army and go to try his fortune against his
uncle.  He laid siege to Mirabeau, a town where his grandmother, Queen
Eleanor, was living.  John, who was then in Normandy, hurried to her
rescue, beat Arthur's army, made him prisoner and carried him off,
first to Rouen, and then to the strong castle of Falaise.  Nobody
quite knows what was done to him there.  The governor, Hubert de
Burgh, once found him fighting hard, though with no weapon but a
stool, to defend himself from some ruffians who had been sent to put
out his eyes.  Hubert saved him from these men, but shortly after
this good man was sent elsewhere by the king, and John came himself
to Falaise.  Arthur was never seen alive again, and it is believed
that John took him out in a boat in the river at night, stabbed him
with his own hand, and threw his body into the river.  There was, any
way, no doubt that John was guilty of his nephew's death, and he was
fully known to be one of the most selfish and cruel men who ever
lived; and so lazy, that he let Philip take Normandy from him, without
stirring a finger to save the grand old dukedom of his forefathers; so
that nothing is left of it to us now but the four little islands,
Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and Sark.

Matters became much worse in England, when he quarreled with the Pope,
whose name was Innocent, about who should be archbishop of Canterbury.
The Pope wanted a man named Stephen Langton to be archbishop, but the
king swore he should never come into the kingdom.  Then the Pope
punished the kingdom, by forbidding all church services in all parish
churches.  The was termed putting the kingdom under an interdict.
John was not much distressed by this, though his people were; but when
he found that Innocent was stirring up the King of France to come to
attack him, he thought it time to make his peace with the Pope.  So he
not only consented to receive Stephen Langton, but he even knelt down
before the Pope's legate, or messenger, and took off his crown, giving
it up to the legate, in token that he only held the kingdom from the
Pope.  It was two or three days before it was given back to him; and
the Pope held himself to be lord of England, and made the king and
people pay him money whenever he demanded it.

All this time John's cruelty and savageness were making the whole
kingdom miserable; and at last the great barons could bear it no
longer.  They met together and agreed that they would make John swear
to govern by the good old English laws that had prevailed before the
Normans came.  The difficulty was to be sure of what these laws were,
for most of the copies of them had been lost.  However, Archbishop
Langton and some of the wisest of the barons put together a set of
laws--some copied, some recollected, some old, some new--but all such
as to give the barons some control of the king, and hinder him from
getting savage soldiers together to frighten people into doing
whatever he chose to make them.  These laws they called Magna Carta,
or the great charter; and they all came in armor, and took John
by surprise at Windsor.  He came to meet them in a meadow named
Runnymede, on the bank of the Thames, and there they forced him to
sign the charter, for which all Englishmen are grateful to them.

But he did not mean to keep it!  No, not he!  He had one of his
father's fits of rage when he got back to Windsor Castle--he gnawed
the sticks for rage and swore he was no king.  Then he sent for more
of the fierce soldiers, who went about in bands, ready to be hired,
and prepared to take vengeance on the barons.  They found themselves
not strong enough to make head against him; so they invited Louis, the
son of Philip of France and husband of John's niece, to come and be
their king.  He came, and was received in London, while John and his
bands of soldiers were roaming about the eastern counties, wasting
and burning everywhere till they came to the Wash--that curious bay
between Lincolnshire and Norfolk, where so many rivers run into the
sea.  There is a safe way across the sands in this bay when the tide
is low, but when it is coming in and meets the rivers, the waters
rise suddenly into a flood.  So it happened to King John; he did get
out himself, but all carts with his goods and treasures were lost,
and many of his men.  He was full of rage and grief, but he went on
to the abbey where he meant to sleep.  He supped on peaches and new
ale, and soon after became very ill.  He died in a few days, a
miserable, disgraced man, with half his people fighting against him
and London in the hands of his worst enemy.


HENRY III., OF WINCHESTER.  A.D. 1216--1272.

King John left two little sons, Henry and Richard, nine and seven
years old, and all the English barons felt that they would rather
have Henry as their king than the French Louis, whom they had only
called in because John was such a wretch.  So when little Henry had
been crowned at Gloucester, with his mother's bracelet, swearing to
rule according to Magna Carta, and good Hubert de Burgh undertook to
govern for him, one baron after another came back to him.  Louis was
beaten in a battle at Lincoln; and when his wife sent him more troops,
Hubert de Burgh got ships together and sunk many vessels, and drove
the others back in the Straits of Dover; so that Louis was forced to
go home and leave England in peace.

Henry must have been too young to understand about Magna Carta when
he swore to it, but it was the trouble of all his long reign to get
him to observe it.  It was not that he was wicked like his father--
for he was very religious and kind-hearted--but he was too good-
natured, and never could say No to anybody.  Bad advisers got about
him when he grew up, and persuaded him to let them take good Hubert
de Burgh and imprison him.  He had taken refuge in a church, but they
dragged him out and took him to a blacksmith to have chains put on his
feet; the smith however said he would never forge chains for the man
who had saved his country from the French.  De Burgh was afterwards
set free, and died in peace and honor.

Henry was a builder of beautiful churches.  Westminster Abbey, as it
is now, was one.  And he was so charitable to the poor that, when he
had his children weighed, he gave their weight in gold and silver in
alms.  But he gave to everyone who asked, and so always wanted money;
and sometimes his men could get nothing for the king and queen to eat,
but by going and taking sheep and poultry from the poor farmers around;
so that things were nearly as bad as under William Rufus--because the
king was foolishly good-natured.  The Pope was always sending for
money, too; and the king tried to raise it in ways that, according to
Magna Carta, he had sworn not to do.  His foreign friends told him
that if he minded Magna Carta he would be a poor creature--not like
a king who might do all he pleased; and whenever he listened to them
he broke the laws of Magna Carta.  Then, when his barons complained
and frightened him, he swore again to keep them; so that nobody could
trust him, and his weakness was almost as bad for the kingdom as John's
wickedness.  When they could bear it no longer, the barons all met him
at the council which was called the Parliament, from a French word
meaning talk.  This time they came in armor, bringing all their
fighting men, and declared that he had broken his word so often that
they should appoint some of their own number to watch him, and hinder
his doing anything against the laws he had sworn to observe, or from
getting money from the people without their consent.  He was very
angry; but he was in their power, and had to submit to swear that
so it should be; and Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who had
married his sister, was appointed among the lords who were to keep
watch over him.  Henry could not bear this; he felt himself to be
less than ever a king, and tried to break loose.  He had never cared
for his promises; but his brave son Edward, who was now grown up,
cared a great deal: and they put the question to Louis, King of France,
whether the king was bound by the oath he had made to be under
Montfort and his council.  This Louis was son to the one who had been
driven back by Hubert de Burgh.  He was one of the best men and kings
that ever lived, and he tried to judge rightly; but he scarcely thought
how much provocation Henry had given, when he said that subjects had
no right to frighten their king, and so that Henry and Edward were
not obliged to keep the oath.

Thereupon they got an army together, and so did Simon de Montfort and
the barons; and they met at a place called Lewes, in Sussex.  Edward
got the advantage at first, and galloped away, driving his enemies
before him; but when he turned round and came back, he found that
Simon de Montfort had beaten the rest of the army, and made his father
and uncle Richard prisoners.  Indeed, the barons threatened to cut off
Richard's head if Edward went on fighting with them; and to save his
uncle's life, he too, gave himself up to them.

Simon de Montfort now governed all the kingdom.  He still called Henry
king, but did not let him do anything, and watched him closely that
he might not get away; and Edward was kept a prisoner--first in one
castle, then in another.  Simon was a good and high-minded man
himself, who only wanted to do what was best for everyone; but he had
a family of proud and overbearing sons, who treated all who came in
their way so ill, that most of the barons quarreled with them.  One
of these barons sent Edward a beautiful horse; and one day when he
was riding out from Hereford Castle with his keepers, he proposed to
them to ride races, while he was to look on and decide which was the
swiftest.  Thus they all tired out their horses, and as soon as he
saw that they could hardly get them along, Edward spurred his own
fresh horse, and galloped off to meet the friends who were waiting
for him.  All who were discontented with the Montforts joined him,
and he soon had a large army.  He marched against Montfort, and met
him at Evesham.  The poor old king was in Montfort's army, and in
the battle was thrown down, and would have been killed if he had not
called out--"Save me, save me, I am Henry of Winchester."  His son
heard the call, and, rushing to his side, carried him to a place of
safety.  His army was much the strongest, and Montfort had known from
the first that there was no hope for him.  "God have mercy on our
souls, for our bodies are Sir Edward's," he had said; and he died
bravely on the field of battle.

Edward brought his father back to reign in all honor, but he took the
whole management of the kingdom, and soon set things in order again--
taking care that Magna Carta should be properly observed.  When
everything was peaceful at home, he set out upon a Crusade with the
good King of France, and while he was gone his father died, after a
reign of fifty-six years.  There only three English Kings who reigned
more than fifty years, and these are easy to remember, as each was the
third of his name--Henry III., Edward III., and George III.  In the
reign of Henry III. the custom of having Parliaments was established,
and the king was prevented from getting money from the people unless
the Parliament granted it.  The Parliament has, ever since, been made
up of great lords, who are born to it: and, besides them, of men
chosen by the people in the counties and towns, to speak and decide
for them.  The clergy have a meeting of their own called Convocation;
and these three--Clergy, Lords, and Commons--are called the Three
Estates of the Realm.


EDWARD I., LONGSHANKS.  A.D. 1272--1307.

The son of Henry III. returned from the Holy Land to be one of our
noblest, best, and wisest kings.  Edward I.--called Longshanks in a
kind of joke, because he was the tallest man in the Court--was very
grand-looking and handsome; and could leap, run, ride, and fight in
his heavy armor better than anyone else.  He was brave, just, and
affectionate; and his sweet wife, Eleanor of Castille, was warmly
loved by him and all the nation.  He built as many churches and was
as charitable as his father, but he was much more careful to make only
good men bishops, and he allowed no wasting or idling.  He faithfully
obeyed Magna Carta, and made everyone else obey the law--indeed many
good laws and customs have begun from this time.  Order was the great
thing he cared for, and under him the English grew prosperous and
happy, when nobody was allowed to rob them.

The Welsh were, however, terrible robbers.  You remember that they are
the remains of the old Britons, who used to have all Britain.  They
had never left off thinking that they had a right to it, and coming
down out of their mountains to burn the houses and steal the cattle
of the Saxons, as they still called the English.  Edward tried to make
friends with their princes--Llewellyn and David--and to make them keep
their people in order.  He gave David lands in England, and let
Llewellyn marry his cousin, Eleanor de Montfort.  But they broke their
promises shamefully, and did such savage things to the English on their
borders that he was forced to put a stop to it, and went to war.  David
was made prisoner, and put to death as a traitor; and Llewellyn was
met by some soldiers near the bridge of Builth and killed, without
their knowing who he was.  Edward had, in the meantime, conquered most
of the country; and he told the Welsh chiefs that, if they would come
and meet him at Caernarvon Castle, he would give them a prince who had
been born in their country--had never spoken a word of any language
but theirs.  They all came, and the king came down to them with his
own little baby son in his arms, who had lately been born in
Caernarvon Castle, and, of course, had never spoken any language at
all.  The Welsh were obliged to accept him; and he had a Welsh nurse,
that the first words he spoke might be Welsh.  They thought he would
have been altogether theirs, as he then had an elder brother; but in
a year or two the oldest boy died; and, ever since that time, the
eldest son of the King of England has always been Prince of Wales.

There was a plan for the little Prince Edward of Caernarvon being
married to a little girl, who was grand-daughter to the King of
Scotland, and would be Queen of Scotland herself--and this would have
led to the whole island being under one king--but, unfortunately, the
little maiden died.  It was so hard to decide who ought to reign, out
of all her cousins, that they asked king Edward to choose among them--
since everyone knew that a great piece of Scotland belonged to him as
over-lord, just as his own dukedom of Aquitaine belonged to the King
of France over him; and the Kings of Scotland always used to pay
homage to those of England for it.

Edward chose John Balliol, the one who had the best right; but he made
him understand that, as overlord, he meant to see that as good order
was kept in Scotland as in England.  Now, the English kings had never
meddled with Scottish affairs before, and the Scots were furious at
finding that he did so.  They said it was insulting them and their
king; and poor Balliol did not know what to do among them, but let
them defy Edward in his name.  This brought Edward and his army to
Scotland.  The strong places were taken and filled with English
soldiers, and Balliol was made prisoner, adjudged to have rebelled
against his lord and forfeited his kingdom, and was sent away to

Edward thought it would be much better for the whole country to join
Scotland to England, and rule it himself.  And so, no doubt, it would
have been; but many Scots were not willing,--and in spite of all the
care he could take, the soldiers who guarded his castles often behaved
shamefully to the people round them.  One gentleman, named William
Wallace, whose home had been broken up by some soldiers, fled to the
woods and hills, and drew so many Scots round him that he had quite
an army.  There was a great fight at the Bridge of Stirling; the
English governors were beaten, and Wallace led his men over the border
into Northumberland, where they plundered and burnt wherever they went,
in revenge for what had been done in Scotland.

Edward gathered his forces and came to Scotland.  The army that Wallace
had drawn together could not stand before him, but was defeated at
Falkirk, and Wallace had to take to the woods.  Edward promised pardon
to all who would submit--and almost all did; but Wallace still lurked
in the hills, till one of his own countrymen betrayed him to the
English, when he was sent to London, and put to death.

All seemed quieted, and English garrisons--that is, guarding soldiers
--were in all the Scottish towns and castles, when, suddenly, Robert
Bruce, one of the half English, half Scottish nobles between whom
Edward had judged, ran away from the English court, with his horse's
shoes put on backwards.  The next thing that was heard of him was,
that he had quarreled with one of his cousins in the church at
Dumfries, and stabbed him to the heart, and then had gone to Scone
and had been crowned King of Scotland.

Edward was bitterly angry now.  He sent on an army to deal unsparingly
with the rising, and set out to follow with his son, now grown to man's
estate.  Crueller things than he had ever allowed before were done to
the places where Robert Bruce had been acknowledged as king, and his
friends were hung as traitors wherever they were found; but Bruce
himself could not be caught.  He was living a wild life among the
lakes and hills; and Edward, who was an old man now, had been taken
so ill at Carlisle, that he could not come on to keep his own strict
rule among his men.  All the winter he lay sick there; and in the
spring he heard that Bruce, whom he thought quite crushed, had
suddenly burst upon the English, defeated them, and was gathering
strength every day.

Edward put on his armor and set out for Scotland; but at Burgh-on-
the-Sands his illness came on again, and he died there at seventy
years old.

He was buried in Westminster Abbey, under a great block of stone, and
the inscription on it only says, "Edward I., 1308--The Hammer of the
Scots--Keep Treaties."  His good wife, Queen Eleanor, had died many
years before him, and was also buried at Westminster.  All the way
from Grantham, in Lincolnshire--where she died--to London, Edward set
up a beautiful stone cross wherever her body rested for the night--
fifteen of them--but only three are left now.


EDWARD II., OF CAERNARVON.  A.D. 1307--1327.

Unlike his father in everything was the young Edward, who had just
come to manhood in mind, for he was silly and easily led as his
grandfather, Henry III., had been.  He had a friend--a gay, handsome,
thoughtless, careless young man--named Piers Gaveston, who had often
led him into mischief.  His father had banished this dangerous
companion, and forbidden, under pain of his heaviest displeasure, the
two young men from ever meeting again; but the moment the old king was
dead, Edward turned back from Scotland, where he was so much wanted,
and sent for Piers Gaveston again.  At the same time his bride arrived
--Isabel, daughter to the King of France, a beautiful girl--and there
was a splendid wedding feast; but the king and Gaveston were both so
vain and conceited, that they cared more about their own beauty and
fine dress than the young queen's, and she found herself quite
neglected.  The nobles, too, were angered at the airs that Gaveston
gave himself; he not only dressed splendidly, had a huge train of
servants, and managed the king as he pleased, but he was very insolent
to them, and gave them nick-names.  He called the king's cousin, the
Earl of Lancaster, "the old hog;" the Earl of Pembroke, "Joseph the
Jew;" and the Earl of Warwick, "the black dog."  Meantime, the king
and he were wasting the treasury, and doing harm of all kinds, till
the barons gathered together and forced the king to send his favorite
into banishment.  Gaveston went, but he soon came back again and
joined the king, who was at last setting out for Scotland.

The nobles, however, would not endure his return.  they seized him,
brought him to Warwick Castle, and there held a kind of Court, which
could hardly be called of Justice, for they had no right at all to
sentence him.  He spoke them fair now, and begged hard for his life;
but they could not forget the names he had called them, and he was
beheaded on Blacklow Hill.

Edward was full of grief and anger for the cruel death of his friend;
but he was forced to keep it out of sight, for all the barons were
coming round him for the Scottish war.  While he had been wasting
his time, Robert Bruce had obtained every strong place in Scotland,
except Stirling Castle, and there the English governor had promised
to yield, if succor did not come from England within a year and a day.

The year was almost over when Edward came into Scotland with a fine
army of English, Welsh, and Gascons from Aquitaine; but Robert Bruce
was a great and able general, and he was no general at all; so when
the armies met at Bannockburn, under the walls of Stirling, the
English were worse beaten than ever they had been anywhere else,
except at Hastings.  Edward was obliged to flee away to England, and
though Bruce was never owned by the English to be King of Scotland,
there he really reigned, having driven every Englishman away, and
taken all the towns and castles.  Indeed, the English had grown so
much afraid of the Scots, that a hundred would flee at the sight
of two.

The king comforted himself with a new friend--Hugh le Despencer--who,
with his old father, had his own way, just like Gaveston.  Again the
barons rose, and required that they should be banished.  They went,
but the Earl of Lancaster carried his turbulence too far, and, when
he hear that the father had come back, raised an army, and was even
found to have asked Robert Bruce to help him against his own king.
This made the other barons so angry that they joined the king against
him, and he was made prisoner and put to death for making war on the
king, and making friends with the enemies of the country.

Edward had his Le Despencers back again, and very discontented the
sight made the whole country--and especially the queen, whom he had
always neglected, though she now had four children.  He had never
tried to gain her love, and she hated him more and more.  There was
some danger of a quarrel with her brother, the King of France, and
she offered to go with her son Edward, now about fourteen, and settle
it.  But this was only an excuse.  She went about to the princes
abroad, telling them how ill she was used by her husband, and asking
for help.  A good many knights believed and pitied her, and came with
her to England to help.  All the English who hated the Le Despencers
joined her, and she led the young prince against his father.  Edward
and his friends were hunted across into Wales; but they were tracked
out one by one, and the Despencers were put to a cruel death, though
Edward gave himself up in hopes of saving them.

The queen and her friends made him own that he did not deserve to
reign, and would give up the crown to his son.  Then they kept him
in prison, taking him from one castle to another, in great misery.
The rude soldiers of his guard mocked him and crowned him with hay,
and gave him dirty ditch water to shave with; and when they found he
was too strong and healthy to die only of bad food and damp lodging,
they murdered him one night in Berkeley Castle.  He lies buried in
Gloucester Cathedral, not far from that other foolish and unfortunate
prince, Robert of Normandy.  He had reigned twenty years, and was
dethroned in 1327.

The queen then wanted to get rid of Edmund, Earl of Kent, the poor
king's youngest brother.  So a report was spread that Edward was
alive, and Edmund was allowed to peep into a dark prison room, where
he saw a man who he thought was his brother.  He tried to stir up
friends to set the king free; but this was called rebelling, and he
was taken and beheaded at Winchester by a criminal condemned to die,
for it was such a wicked sentence that nobody else could be found to
carry it out.


EDWARD III.  A.D. 1327--1377.

For about three years, the cruel Queen Isabel and her friends managed
all the country; but as soon as her son--Edward III., who had been
crowned instead of his father--understood how wicked she had been, and
was strong enough to deal with her party, he made them prisoners, put
the worst of them to death, and kept the queen shut up in a castle
as long as she lived.  He had a very good queen of his own, named
Phillipa, who brought cloth-workers over from he own country Hainault
(now part of Belgium), to teach the English their trade, and thus
began to render England the chief country in the world for wool and

Queen Isabel, Edward's mother, had, you remember, been daughter of
the King of France.  All her three brothers died without leaving a
son, and their cousin, whose name was Philip, began to reign in their
stead.  Edward, however, fancied that the crown of France properly
belonged to him, in right of his mother; but he did not stir about it
at once, and, perhaps, never would have done so at all, but for two
things.  One was, that the King of France, Philip VI., had been so
foolish as to fancy that one of his lords, named Robert of Artois,
had been bewitching him--by sticking pins into a wax figure and
roasting it before the fire.  So this Robert was driven out of France
and, coming to England, stirred Edward up to go and overthrow Philip.
The other was, that the English barons had grown so restless and
troublesome, that they would not stay peacefully at home and mind
their own estate;--but if they had not wars abroad, they always gave
the king trouble at home; and Edward liked better that they should
fight for him than against him.  So he called himself King of France
and England, and began a war which lasted--with short space of quiet--
for full one hundred years, and only ended in the time of the great
grandchildren of the men who entered upon it.  There was one great
sea-fight off Sluys, when the king sat in his ship, in a black velvet
dress, and gained a great victory; but it was a good while before
there was any great battle by land--so long, that the king's eldest
son, Edward Prince of Wales, was sixteen years old.  He is generally
called the Black Prince--no one quite knows why, for his hair, like
that of all these old English kings, was quite light and his eyes were
blue.  He was such a spirited young soldier, that when the French army
under King Philip came in sight of the English one, near the village
of Crecy, King Edward said he should have the honor of the day, and
stood under a windmill on a his watching the fight, while the prince
led the English army.  He gained a very great victory, and in the
evening came and knelt before his father, saying the praise was not
his own but the king's, who had ordered all so wisely.  Afterwards,
while Philip had fled away, Edward besieged Calais, the town just
opposite to Dover.  The inhabitants were very brave, and held out for
a long time; and while Edward was absent, the Scots under David, the
son of Robert Bruce, came over the Border, and began to burn and
plunder in Northumberland.  However, Phillipa could be brave in time
of need.  She did not send for her husband, but called an army
together, and the Scots were so well beaten at Neville's Cross, that
their king, David himself, was obliged to give himself up to an
English squire.  The man would not let the queen have his prisoner,
but rode day and night to Dover, and then crossed to Calais to tell
the king, who bade him put King David into Queen Philippa's keeping.
She came herself to the camp, just as the brave men of Calais had
been starved out; and Edward had said he would only consent not to
burn the town down, if six of the chief townsmen would bring him the
keys of the gates, kneeling, with sackcloth on, and halters round
their necks, ready to be hung.  Queen Philippa wept when she saw them,
and begged that they might be spared; and when the king granted them
to her she had them led away, and gave each a good dinner and a fresh
suit of clothes.  The king, however, turned all the French people out
of Calais, and filled it with English, and it remained quite an
English town for more than 200 years.

King Philip VI. of France died, and his son John became king, while
still the war went on.  The Black Prince and John had a terrible
battle at a place called Poitiers, and the English gained another
victory.  King John and one of his sons were made prisoners, but when
they were brought to the tent where the Black Prince was to sup, he
made them sit down at the table before him, and waited on them as if
they had been his guests instead of his prisoners.  He did all he
could to prevent captivity being a pain to them; and when he brought
them to London, he gave John a tall white horse to ride, and only
rode a small pony himself by his side.  There were two kings prisoners
in the Tower of London, and they were treated as if they were visitors
and friends.  John was allowed to go home, provided he would pay a
ransom by degrees, as he could get the money together; and, in the
meantime, his two elder sons were to be kept at Calais in his stead.
But they would not stay at Calais, and King John could not obtain the
sum for his ransom; so, rather than cheat King Edward, he went back to
his prison in England again.  He died soon after; and his son Charles
was a cleverer and wiser man, who knew it was better not to fight
battles with the English, but made a truce, or short peace.

Prince Edward governed that part of the south of France that belonged
to his father; but he went on a foolish expedition into Spain, to help
a very bad king whom his subjects had driven out, and there caught an
illness from which he never quite recovered.  While he was ill King
Charles began the war again; and, though there was no battle, he
tormented the English, and took the castles and towns they held.  The
Black Prince tried to fight, but he was too weak and ill to do much,
and was obliged to go home, and leave the government to his brother
John, Duke of Lancaster.  He lived about six years after he came home,
and then died, to the great sorrow of everyone.  His father, King
Edward, was now too old and feeble to attend to the affairs of the
country.  Queen Philippa was dead too, and as no one took proper care
of the poor old king, he fell into the hands of bad servants, who made
themselves rich and neglected him.  When, at length, he lay dying,
they stole the ring off his finger before he had breathed his last,
and left him all alone, with the doors open, till a priest came by,
and stayed and prayed by him till his last moment.  He had reigned
exactly fifty years.  You had better learn and remember the names of
his sons, as you will hear more about some of them.  They were Edward,
Lionel, John, Edmund, and Thomas.  Edward was Prince of Wales; Lionel,
Duke of Clarence; John, Duke of Lancaster; Edmund, Duke of York; and
Thomas, Duke of Gloucester.  Edward and Lionel both died before
their father.  Edward had left a son named Richard; Lionel had left
a daughter named Philippa.


RICHARD II.  A.D. 1377--1399.

These were not very good times in England.  The new King, Richard, was
only eleven years old, and his three uncles did not care much for his
good or the good of the nation.  There was not much fighting going on
in France, but for the little there was a great deal of money was
wanting, and the great lords were apt to be very hard upon the poor
people on their estates.  They would not let them be taught to read;
and if a poor man who belonged to an estate went away to a town, his
lord could have him brought back to his old home.  Any tax, too, fell
more heavily on the poor than the rich.  One tax, especially, called
the poll tax, which was made when Richard was sixteen, vexed them
greatly.  Everyone above fifteen years old had to pay fourpence, and
the collectors were often very rude and insolent.  A man named Wat
Tyler, in Kent, was so angry with a rude collector as to strike him
dead.  All the villagers came together with sticks, scythes, and
flails; and Wat Tyler told them they would go to London, and tell the
king how his poor commons were treated.  More people and more joined
them on the way, and an immense multitude of wild looking men came
pouring into London, where the Lord Mayor and Aldermen were taken by
surprise, and could do nothing to stop them.  They did not do much
harm then; they lay on the grass all night round the Tower, and said
they wanted to speak to the king.  In the morning he came down to his
barge, and meant to have spoken to them; but his people, seeing such
a host of wild men, took fright, and carried him back again.  He went
out again the next day on horseback; but while he was speaking to some
of them, the worst of them broke into the Tower, where they seized
Archbishop Simon of Canterbury, and fancying he was one of the king's
bad advisers, they cut off his head.  Richard had to sleep in the
house called the Royal Wardrobe that night, but he went out again on
horseback among the mob, and began trying to understand what they
wanted.  Wat Tyler, while talking, grew violent, forgot to whom he
was speaking, and laid his hand on the king's bridle, as if to
threaten or take him prisoner.  Upon this, the Lord Mayor, with his
mace--the large crowned staff that is carried before him--dealt the
man such a blow that fell from his horse, and an attendant thrust him
through with a sword.  The people wavered, and seemed not to know
what to do: and the young king, with great readiness, rode forward
and said--"Good fellows, have you lost your leader?  This fellow was
but a traitor, I am your king, and will be your captain and guide."
Then he rode at their head out into the fields, and the gentlemen,
who had mustered their men by this time, were able to get between
them and the city.  The people of each county were desired to state
their grievances; the king engaged to do what he could for them, and
they went home.

Richard seems to have really wished to take away some of the laws that
were so hard upon them, but his lords would not let him, and he had as
yet very little power--being only a boy--and by the time he grew up
his head was full of vanity and folly.  He was very handsome, and he
cared more for fine clothes and amusements than for business; and his
youngest uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, did all he could to keep him
back, and hinder him from taking his affairs into his own hands.  Not
till he was twenty-four did Richard begin to govern for himself; and
then the Duke of Gloucester was always grumbling and setting the
people to grumble, because the king chose to have peace with France.
Duke Thomas used to lament over the glories of the battles of Edward
III., and tell the people they had taxes to pay to keep the king in
ermine robes, and rings, and jewels, and to let him give feasts and
tilting matches--when the knights, in beautiful, gorgeous armor, rode
against one another in sham fight, and the king and ladies looked on
and gave the prize.

Now, Richard knew very well that all this did not cost half so much as
his grandfather's wars, and he said it did not signify to the people
what he wore, or how he amused himself, as long as he did not tax them
and take their lambs and sheaves to pay for it.  But the people would
not believe him, and Gloucester was always stirring them up against
him, and interfering with him in council.  At last, Richard went as
if on a visit to his uncle at Pleshy Castle; and there, in his own
presence, caused him to be seized and sent off to Calais.  In a few
days' time Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, was dead; and to this day
nobody knows whether his grief and rage brought on a fit, or if he
was put to death.  It is certain, at least, that Richard's other two
uncles do not seem to have treated the king as if he had been to
blame.  The elder of these uncles, the Duke of Lancaster, was called
John of Gaunt--because he had been born a Ghent, a town in Flanders.
He was becoming an old man, and only tried to help the king and keep
things quiet; but Henry, his eldest son, was a fine high-spirited
young man--a favorite with everybody, and was always putting himself
forward--and the king was very much afraid of him.

One day, when Parliament met, the king stood up, and commanded Henry
of Lancaster to tell all those present what the Duke of Norfolk had
said when they were riding together.  Henry gave in a written paper,
saying that the duke had told him that they should all be ruined, like
the Duke of Gloucester, and that the king would find some way to
destroy them.  Norfolk angrily sprang up, and declared he had said no
such thing.  In those days, when no one could tell which spoke the
truth, the two parties often would offer to fight, and it was believed
that God would show the right, by giving the victory to the sincere
one.  So Henry and Norfolk were to fight; but just as they were
mounted on their horses, with their lances in their hands, the king
threw down his staff before them, stopped the combat, and sentenced
Norfolk to be banished from England for life, and Henry for ten years.

Not long after Henry had gone, his old father--John of Gaunt--died,
and the king kept all his great dukedom of Lancaster.  Henry would
not bear this, and knew that many people at home thought it very
unfair; so he came to England, and as soon as he landed at Ravenspur
in Yorkshire, people flocked to him so eagerly, that he began to think
he could do more than make himself duke of Lancaster.  King Richard
was in Ireland, where his cousin, the governor--Roger Mortimer--had
been killed by the wild Irish.  He came home in haste on hearing of
Henry's arrival, but everybody turned against him: and the Earl of
Northumberland, whom he had chiefly trusted, made him prisoner and
carried him to Henry.  He was taken to London, and there set before
Parliament, to confess that he had ruled so ill that he was unworthy
to reign, and gave up the crown to his dear cousin Henry of Lancaster,
in the year 1399.

Then he was sent away to Pontefract Castle, and what happened to him
there nobody knows, but he never came out of it alive.


HENRY IV.  A.D. 1399--1413.

The English people had often chosen their king out of the royal family
in old times, but from John to Richard II., he had always been the son
and heir of the last king.  Now, though poor Richard had no child,
Henry of Lancaster was not the next of kin to him, for Lionel, Duke of
Clarence, had come between the Black Prince and John of Gaunt; and his
great grandson, Edmund Mortimer, was thought by many to have a better
right to be king than Henry.  Besides, people did not know whether
Richard was alive, and they thought him hardly used, and wanted to
set him free.  So Henry had a very uneasy time.  Everyone had been
fond of him when he was a bright, friendly, free-spoken noble, and
he thought that he would be a good king and much loved; but he had
gained the crown in an evil way, and it never gave him any peace or
joy.  The Welsh, who always had loved Richard, took up arms for him,
and the Earl of Northumberland, who had betrayed Richard, expected
a great deal too much from Henry.  The earl had a brave son--Henry
Percy--who was so fiery and eager that he was commonly called Hotspur.
He was sent to fight with the Welsh: and with the king's son, Henry,
Prince of Wales--a brave boy of fifteen or sixteen--under his charge,
to teach him the art of war; and they used to climb the mountains and
sleep in tents together as good friends.

But the Scots made an attack on England.  Henry Percy went north
to fight with them, and beat them in a great battle, making many
prisoners.  The King sent to ask to have the prisoners sent to London,
and this made the proud Percy so angry that he gave up the cause of
King Henry, and went off to Wales, taking his prisoners with him; and
there--being by this time nearly sure that poor Richard must be dead
--he joined the Welsh in choosing, as the only right king of England,
young Edmund Mortimer.  Henry IV. and his sons gathered an army easily
--for the Welsh were so savage and cruel, that the English were sure to
fight against them if they broke into England.  The battle was fought
near Shrewsbury.  It was a very fierce one, and in it Hotspur was
killed, the Welsh put to flight, and the Prince of Wales fought so
well that everyone saw he was likely to be a brave, warlike king,
like Edward I. or Edward III.

The troubles were not over, however, for the Earl of Northumberland
himself, and Archbishop Scrope of York, took up arms against the
king; but they were put down without a battle.  The Earl fled and
hid himself, but the archbishop was taken and beheaded--the first
bishop whom a king of England had ever put to death.  The Welsh went
on plundering and doing harm, and Prince Henry had to be constantly
on the watch against them; and, in fact, there never was a reign so
full of plots and conspiracies.  The king never knew whom to trust:
one friend after another turned against him, and he became soured
and wretched: he was worn out with disappointment and guarding against
everyone, and at last he grew even suspicious of his brave son Henry,
because he was so bright and bold, and was so much loved.  The prince
was ordered home from Wales, and obliged to live at Windsor, with
nothing to do, while his youngest brothers were put before him and
trusted by their father--one of them even sent to command the army
in France.  But happily the four brothers--Henry, Thomas, John and
Humfrey--all loved each other so well that nothing could make them
jealous or at enmity with one another.  At Windsor, too, the king
kept young Edmund Mortimer--whom the Welsh had tried to make king,--
and also the young English princes, and they all led a happy life

There are stories told of Henry--Prince Hal, as he was called--leading
a wild, merry life, as a sort of madcap; playing at being a robber,
and breaking into the wagons that were bringing treasure for his
father, and then giving the money back again.  Also there is a story
that, when one of his friends was taken before the Lord Chief Justice,
he went and ordered him to be released and that when the justice
refused he drew his sword, upon which the justice sent him to prison;
and he went quietly, knowing it was right.  The king is said to have
declared himself happy to have a judge who maintained the law so well,
and a son who would submit to it; but there does not seem to be good
reason for believing the story; and it seems clear that young Henry,
if he was full of fun and frolic, took care never to do anything
really wrong.

The king was an old man before his time.  He was always ill, and often
had fits, and one of these came on when he was in Westminster Abbey.
He was taken to the room called the Jerusalem chamber, and Henry watched
him there.  Another of the stories is that the king lay as if he were
dead, and the prince took the crown that was by his side and carried
it away.  When the king revived, Henry brought it back, with many
excuses.  "Ah, fair son," said the king, "what right have you to the
crown? you know your father had none."

"Sir," said Henry, "with your sword you took it, and with my sword I
will keep it."

"May God have mercy on my soul," said the king.

Another story tells show the prince, feeling that his father doubted
his loyalty, presented himself one day in disordered attire before
the king, and kneeling, offered him a dagger, and begged his father
to take his life, if he could no longer trust and love him.

We cannot be quite certain about the truth of these conversations,
for many people will write down stories they have heard, without
making sure of them.  One thing we are certain of which Henry told
his son, which seems less like repentance.  It was that, unless he
made war in France, his lords would never let him be quiet on his
throne in England; and this young Henry was quite ready to believe.
There had never been a real peace between France and England since
Edward III. had begun the war--only truces, which are short rests
in the middle of a great war--and the English were eager to begin
again; for people seldom thought then of the misery that comes of
a great war, but only of the honor and glory that were to be gained,
of making prisoners and getting ransoms from them.

So Henry IV. died, after having made his own life miserable by taking
the crown unjustly, and, as you will see, leaving a great deal or harm
still to come to the whole country, as well as to France.

He died in the year 1399.  His family is called the House of Lancaster,
because his father had been Duke of Lancaster.  You will be amused
to hear that Richard Whittington really lived in his time.  I cannot
answer for his cat, but he was really Lord Mayor of London, and
supplied the wardrobe of King Henry's daughter, when she married the
King of Denmark.


HENRY V., OF MONMOUTH.  A.D. 1413--1423.

The young King Henry was full of high, good thoughts.  He was devout
in going to church, tried to make good Bishops, gave freely to the
poor, and was so kindly, and hearty, and merry in all his words and
ways, that everyone loved him.  Still, he thought it was his duty to
go and make war in France.  He had been taught to believe the kingdom
belonged to him, and it was in so wretched a state that he thought he
could do it good.  The poor king, Charles VI., was mad, and had a
wicked wife besides; and his sons, and uncles, and cousins were always
fighting, till the streets of Paris were often red with blood, and the
whole country was miserable.  Henry hoped to set all in order for them,
and gathering an army together, crossed to Normandy.  He called on the
people to own him as their true king, and never let any harm be done
to them, for he hung any soldier who was caught stealing, or misusing
anyone.  He took the town of Harfleur, on the coast of Normandy, but
not till after a long siege, when his camp was in so wet a place that
there was much illness among his men.  The store of food was nearly
used up, and he was obliged to march his troops across to Calais,
which you know belonged to England, to get some more.  But on the way
the French army came up to meet him--a very grand, splendid-looking
army, commanded by the king's eldest son the dauphin.  Just as the
English kings' eldest son was always Prince of Wales, the French
kings' eldest son was always called Dauphin of Vienne, because Vienne,
the country that belonged to him, had a dolphin on its shield.  The
French army was very large--quite twice the number of the English--
but, though Henry's men were weary and half-starved, and many
of them sick, they were not afraid, but believed their king when he
told them that there were enough Frenchmen to kill, enough to run
away, enough to make prisoners.  At night, however, the English had
solemn prayers, and made themselves ready, and the king walked from
tent to tent to see that each man was in his place; while, on the
other hand, the French were feasting and revelling, and settling
what they would do the English when they had made them prisoners.
They were close to a little village which the English called Agincourt,
and, though that is not quite its right name, it is what we have
called the battle ever since.  The French, owing to the quarrelsome
state of the country, had no order or obedience among them.  Nobody
would obey any other; and when their own archers were in the way, the
horsemen began cutting them down as if they were the enemy.  Some
fought bravely, but it was of little use; and by night all the French
were routed, and King Henry's banner waving in victory over the field.
He went back to England in great glory, and all the aldermen of London
came out to meet him in red gowns and gold chains, and among them was
Sir Richard Whittington, the great silk mercer.

Henry was so modest that he would not allow the helmet he had worn at
Agincourt, all knocked about with terrible blows, to be carried before
him when he rode into London, and he went straight to church, to give
thanks to God for his victory.  He soon went back to France, and went
on conquering it till the queen came to an agreement with him that he
should marry his daughter Catherine, and that, though poor, crazy
Charles VI. should reign to the end of his life, when he died Henry
and Catherine should be king and queen of France.  So Henry and
Catherine were married, and he took her home to England with great
joy and pomp, leaving his brother Thomas, Duke of Clarence to take
care of his army in France.  For, of course, though the queen had made
this treaty for her mad husband, most brave, honest Frenchmen could
not but feel it a wicked and unfair thing to give the kingdom away
from her son, the Dauphin Charles.  He was not a good man, and had
consented to the murder of his cousin, the Duke of Burgundy, and this
had turned some against him; but still he was badly treated, and the
bravest Frenchmen could not bear to see their country given up to the
English.  So, though he took no trouble to fight for himself, they
fought for him, and got some Scots to help them; and by and by news
came to Henry that his army had been beaten, and his brother killed.

He came back again in haste to France, and his presence made everything
go well again; but all the winter he was besieging the town of Meaux,
where there was a very cruel robber, who made all the roads to Paris
unsafe, and by the time he had taken it his health was much injured.
His queen came to him, and they kept a very grand court at Paris, at
Whitsuntide; but soon after, when Henry set out to join his army, he
found himself so ill and weak that he was obliged to turn back to the
Castle of Vincennes, where he grew much worse.  He called for all his
friends, and begged them to be faithful to his little baby son, whom
he had never even seen; and he spoke especially to his brother John,
Duke of Bedford, to whom he left the charge of all he had gained.  He
had tried to be a good man, and though his attack on France was really
wrong, and caused great misery, he had meant to do right.  So he was
not afraid to face death, and he died when only thirty-four years old,
while he was listening to the 51st Psalm.  Everybody grieved for him--
even the French--and nobody had ever been so good and dutiful to poor
old King Charles, who sat in a corner lamenting for his good son Henry,
and wasting away till he died, only three weeks later, so that he was
buried the same day, at St. Denys Abbey, near Paris, as Henry was
buried at Westminster Abbey, near London.


HENRY VI., OF WINDSOR.  A.D. 1423--1461.

The poor little baby, Henry VI., was but nine months old when--over the
grave of his father in England, and his grandfather in France--he was
proclaimed King of France and England.  The crown of England was held
over his head, and his lords made their oaths to him: and when he was
nine years old he was sent to Paris, and there crowned King of France.
He was a very good, little, gentle boy, as meek and obedient as
possible; but his friends, who knew that a king must be brave, strong,
and firm for his people's sake, began to be afraid that nothing would
ever make him manly.  The war in France went on all the time: the Duke
of Bedford keeping the north and the old lands in the south-west for
little Henry, and the French doing their best for their rightful king
--though he was so lazy and fond of pleasure that he let them do it
all alone.

Yet a wonderful thing happened in his favor.  The English were
besieging Orleans, when a young village girl, named Joan of Arc, came
to King Charles and told him that she had had a commission from Heaven
to save Orleans, and to lead him to Rheims, where French kings were
always crowned.  And she did!  She always acted as one led by Heaven.
Many wonderful things are told of her, and one circumstance that
produced a great impression on the public mind was that when brought
into the presence of Charles, whom she had never before seen, she
recognized him, although he was dressed plainly, and one of the
courtiers had on the royal apparel.  She never let anything wrong be
done in her sight--no bad words spoken, no savage deeds done; and she
never fought herself, only led the French soldiers.  The English
thought her a witch, and fled like sheep whenever they saw her; and
the French common men were always brave with her to lead them.  And
so she really saved Orleans, and brought the king to be crowned at
Rheims.  But neither Charles nor his selfish bad nobles liked her.
She was too good for them; so, though they would not let her go home
to her village as she wished, they gave her no proper help; and once,
when there was a fight going on outside the walls of a town, the
French all ran away and left her outside, where she was taken by the
English.  And then, I grieve to say, the court that sat to judge her--
some English and some French of the English party--sentenced her to
be burnt to death in the market place at Rouen as a witch, and her
own king never tried to save her.

But the spirit she had stirred up never died away.  The French went on
winning back more and more; and there were so many quarrels among the
English that they had little chance of keeping anything.  The king's
youngest uncle, Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester, was always disputing with
the Beaufort family.  John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster--father to Henry
IV.--had, late in life, married a person of low birth, and her children
were called Beaufort, after the castle where they were born--not
Plantagenet--and were hardly reckoned as princes by other people; but
they were very proud, and thought themselves equal to anybody.  The
good Duke of Bedford died quite worn out with trying to keep the peace
among them, and to get proper help from England to save the lands his
brother had won in France.  All this time, the king liked the Beauforts
much better than Duke Humfrey, and he followed their advice, and that
of their friend, the Earl of Suffolk, in marrying Margaret of Anjou--
the daughter of a French prince, who had a right to a great part of
the lands the English held.  All these were given back to her father,
and this made the Duke of Gloucester and all the English more angry,
and they hated the young queen as the cause.  She was as bold and
high-spirited as the king was gentle and meek.  He loved nothing so
well as praying, praising God, and reading; and he did one great thing
for the country--which did more for it than all the fighting kings had
done--he founded Eton College, close to Windsor Castle; and there many
of our best clergymen, and soldiers, and statesmen, have had their
education.  But while he was happy over rules for his scholars, and
in plans for the beautiful chapel, the queen was eagerly taking part
in the quarrels, and the nation hated her the more for interfering.
And very strangely, Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester, was, at the meeting
of Parliament, accused of high treason and sent to prison, where, in
a few days, he was found dead in his bed--just like his great-uncle,
Thomas, Duke of Gloucester; nor does anyone understand the mystery
in one case, better than in the other, except that we are more sure
that gentle Henry VI. had nothing to do with it than we can be of
Richard II.

These were very bad times.  There was a rising like Wat Tyler's, under
a man named Jack Cade, who held London for two or three days before he
was put down; and, almost at the same time, the queen's first English
friend, Suffolk, was exiled by her enemies, and taken at sea and
murdered by some sailors.  Moreover, the last of the brave old friends
of Henry V. was killed in France, while trying to save the remains of
the old duchy of Aquitaine, which had belonged to the English kings
ever since Henry II. married Queen Eleanor.  That was the end of the
hundred years' war, for peace was made at last, and England kept
nothing in France but the one city of Calais.

Still things were growing worse.  Duke Humfrey left no children, and
as time went on and the king had none, the question was who should
reign.  If the Beauforts were to be counted as princes, they came
next; but everyone hated them, so that people recollected that Henry
IV. had thrust aside the young Edmund Mortimer, grandson to Lionel,
who had been next eldest to the Black Prince.  Edmund was dead, but
his sister Anne had married a son of the Duke of York, youngest son
of Edward III.; and her son Richard, Duke of York, could not help
feeling that he had a much better right to be king than any Beaufort.
There was a great English noble named Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick,
who liked to manage everything--just the sort of baron that was always
mischievous at home, if not fighting in France--and he took up York's
cause hotly.  York's friends used to wear white roses, Beaufort's
friends red roses, and the two parties kept on getting more bitter;
but as no one wished any ill to gentle King Henry--who, to make
matters worse, sometimes had fits of madness, like his poor
grandfather in France--they would hardly have fought it in his
lifetime, if he had not at last had a little son, who was born while
he was so mad that he did not know of it.  Then, when York found it
was of no use to wait, he began to make war, backed up by Warwick,
and, after much fighting, they made the king prisoner, and forced him
to make an agreement that he should reign as long as he lived, but
that after that Richard of York should be king, and his son Edward
be only Duke of Lancaster.  This made the queen furiously angry.
She would not give up her son's rights, and she gathered a great army,
with which she came suddenly on the Duke of York near Wakefield, and
destroyed nearly his whole army.  He was killed in the battle; and
his second son, Edmund, was met on Wakefield bridge and stabbed by
Lord Clifford; and Margaret had their heads set up over the gates of
York, while she went on to London to free her husband.

But Edward, York's eldest son, was a better captain than he, and far
fiercer and more cruel.  He made the war much more savage than it had
been before; and after beating the queen's friends at Mortimer's Cross,
he hurried on to London, where the people--who had always been very
fond of his father, and hated Queen Margaret--greeted him gladly.  He
was handsome and stately looking; and though he was really cruel when
offended, had easy, good-natured manners, and everyone in London was
delighted to receive him and own him as king.  But Henry and Margaret
were in the north with many friends, and he followed them thither to
Towton Moor, where, in a snow storm, began the most cruel and savage
battle of all the war.  Edward gained the victory, and nobody was
spared, or made prisoner--all were killed who could not flee.  Poor
Henry was hidden among his friends, and Margaret went to seek help
in Scotland and abroad, taking her son with her.  Once she brought
another army and fought at Hexham, but she was beaten again; and
before long King Henry was discovered by his enemies, carried to
London, and shut up a prisoner in the Tower.  His reign is reckoned
to have ended in 1461.


EDWARD IV.  A.D. 1461--1483.

Though Edward IV. was made king, the wars of the Red and White Roses
were not over yet.  Queen Margaret and her friends were always trying
to get help for poor King Henry.  Edward had been so base and mean as
to have him led into London, with his feet tied together under his
horse, while men struck him on the face, and cried out, "Behold the
traitor!"  But Henry was meek, patient, and gentle throughout; and,
when shut up in the Tower, spent his time in reading and praying, or
playing with his little dog.

Queen Margaret and her son Edward were living with her father in
France, and she was always trying to have her husband set free, and
brought back to his throne.  In the meantime, all England was
exceeedingly surprised to find that Edward IV. had been secretly
married to a beautiful lady named Elizabeth Woodville--Lady Grey.
Her first husband had been killed fighting for Henry, and she had
stood under an oak tree, when King Edward was passing, to entreat
that his lands might not be taken from her little boys.  The king
fell in love with her and married her, but for a long time he was
afraid to tell the Earl of Warwick; and when he did, Warwick was
greatly offended--and all the more because Elizabeth's relations were
proud and gay in their dress, and tried to set themselves above all
the old nobles.  Warwick himself had no son, but he had two daughters,
whom he meant to marry to the king's two brothers--George, Duke of
Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester.  Edward thought this would
make Warwick too powerful, and though he could not prevent George
from marrying Isabel Nevil, the eldest daughter, the discontent grew
so strong that Warwick persuaded George to fly with him, turn against
his own brother, and offer Queen Margaret their help!  No wonder
Margaret did not trust them, and was very hard to persuade that
Warwick could mean well by her; but at last she consented, and gave
her son Edward--a fine lad of sixteen--to marry his daughter, Anne
Nevil; after which, Warwick--whom men began to call the king-maker--
went back to England with Clarence, to raise their men, while she was
to follow with her son and his young wife.  Warwick came so suddenly
that he took the Yorkists at unawares.  Edward had to flee for his
life to Flanders, leaving his wife and his babies to take shelter in
Westminster Abbey--since no one durst take any one out of that holy
place--and poor Henry was taken out of prison and set on the throne
again.  However, Edward soon got help in Flanders, where his sister
was married to the Duke of Burgundy.  He came back again, gathered
his friends, and sent messages to his brother Clarence that he would
forgive him if he would desert the earl.  No one ever had less faith
or honor than George of Clarence.  He did desert Warwick, just as
the battle of Barnet Heath was beginning; and Warwick's king-making
all ended, for he was killed, with his brother and many others, in
the battle.

And this was the first news that met Margaret when, after being long
hindered by foul weather, she landed at Plymouth.  She would have
done more wisely to have gone back, but her son Edward longed to
strike a blow for his inheritance, and they had friends in Wales
whom they hope to meet.  So they made their way into Gloucestershire;
but there King Edward, with both his brothers, came down upon them
at Tewkesbury, and there their army was routed, and the young prince
taken and killed--some say by the king himself and his brothers.  Poor
broken hearted Queen Margaret was made prisoner too, and carried to
the Tower, where she arrived a day or two after the meek and crazed
captive, Henry VI., had been slain, that there might be no more
risings in his name.  And so ended the long war of York and Lancaster
--though not in peace or joy to the savage, faithless family who had

Edward was merry and good-natured when not angered, and had quite
sense and ability enough to have been a very good king, if he had not
been lazy, selfish, and full of vices.  He actually set out to conquer
France, and then let himself be persuaded over and paid off by the
cunning King of France, and went home again, a laughing-stock to
everybody.  The two kings had an interview on a bridge over the River
Somme in France, where they talked through a kind of fence, each being
too suspicious of the other to meet, without such a barrier between
them.  As to George, the king had never trusted him since his shameful
behavior when Warwick rebelled; besides, he was always abusing the
queen's relations, and Richard was always telling the king of all the
bad and foolish things he did or said.  At last there was a great
outbreak of anger, and the king ordered the Duke of Clarence to be
imprisoned in the Tower; and there, before long, he too was killed.
The saying was that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine, but
this is not at all likely to be true.  He left two little children,
a boy and a girl.

So much cruel slaughter had taken place, that most of the noble
families in England had lost many sons, and a great deal of their
wealth, and none of them ever became again so mighty as the king-
maker had been.  His daughter, Anne, the wife of poor Edward of
Lancaster, was found by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, hidden as a
cook-maid in London, and she was persuaded to marry him--as, indeed,
she had always been intended for him.  He was a little, thin, slight
man, with one shoulder higher than the other, and keen, cunning dark
eyes; and as the king was very tall, with a handsome, blue-eyed face,
people laughed at the contrast, called Gloucester Richard Crook-back
and were very much afraid of him.

It was in this reign that books began to be printed in England instead
of written.  Printing had been found out in Germany a little before,
and books had been shown to Henry VI., but the troubles of his time
kept him from attending to them.  Now, however, Edward's sister, the
Duchess of Burgundy, much encouraged a printer named Caxton, whose
books she sent her brother, and other presses were set up in London.
Another great change had come in.  Long ago, in the time of Henry III.,
a monk name Roger Bacon had made gunpowder; but nobody used it much
until, in the reign of Edward III., it was found out how cannon might
be fired with it; and some say it was first used in the battle of Crecy.
But it was not till the reign of Edward IV. that smaller guns, such
as each soldier could carry one of for himself, were invented--
harquebuses, as they were called;--and after this the whole way of
fighting was gradually altered.  Printing and gunpowder both made
great changes in everything, though not all at once.  King Edward
did not live to see the changes.  He had hurt his health with his
revellings and amusements, and died quite in middle age, in the year
1483: seeing, perhaps, at last, how much better a king he might have


EDWARD V.  A.D. 1483.

Edward IV. left several daughters and two sons--Edward, Prince of
Wales, who was fourteen years old, and Richard, Duke of York, who was
eleven.  Edward was at Ludlow Castle--where the princes of Wales were
always brought up--with his mother's brother, Lord Rivers; his half-
brother, Richard Grey; and other gentlemen.

When the tidings came of his father's death, they set out to bring
him to London to be crowned king.

But, in the meantime, the Duke of Gloucester and several of the
noblemen, especially the Duke of Buckingham, agreed that it was
unbearable that the queen and her brothers should go on having all
the power, as they had done in Edward's time.  Till the king was old
enough to govern, his father's brother, the Duke of Gloucester, was
the proper person to rule for him, and they would soon put an end to
the Woodvilles.  The long wars had made everybody cruel and regardless
of the laws, so that no one made much objection when Gloucester and
Buckingham met the king and took him from his uncle and half-brother,
who were sent off to Pontefract Castle, and in a short time their
heads were cut off there.  Another of the late king's friends was
Lord Hastings; and as he sat at the council table in the Tower of
London, with the other lords, Richard came in, and showing his own
lean, shrunken arm, declared that Lord Hastings had bewitched him,
and made it so.  The other lords began to say the _if_ he done so
it was horrible.  But Richard would listen to no _ifs_, and said
he would not dine till Hasting's head was off.  And his cruel word
was done.

The queen saw that harm was intended, and went with all her other
children to her former refuge in the sanctuary at Westminster; nor
would she leave it when her son Edward rode in state into London and
was taken to the Tower, which was then a palace as well as a prison.

The Duke of Gloucester and the Council said that this pretence at fear
was very foolish, and that the little Duke of York ought to be with
his brother; and they sent the Archbishop of Canterbury to desire her
to give the boy up.  He found the queen sitting desolate, with all her
long light hair streaming about her, and her children round her; and
he spoke kindly to her at first and tried to persuade her of what he
really believed himself--that it was all her foolish fears and fancies
that the Duke of Gloucester could mean any ill to his little nephew,
and that the two brothers ought to be together in his keeping.

Elizabeth cried, and said that the boys were better apart, for they
quarrelled when they were together, and that she could not give up
little Richard.  In truth, she guessed that their uncle wanted to
get rid of them and to reign himself; and she knew that while she
had Richard, Edward would be safe, since it would not make him king
to destroy one without the other.  Archbishop Morton, who believed
Richard's smooth words, and was a very good, kind man, thought this
all a woman's nonsense, and told her that if she would not give up
the boy freely, he would be taken from her by force.  If she had been
really a wise, brave mother, she would have gone to the Tower with
her boy, as queen and mother, and watched over her children herself.
But she had always been a silly, selfish woman, and she was afraid
for herself.  So she let the archbishop lead her child away, and
only sat crying in the sanctuary instead of keeping sight of him.

The next thing that happened was, that the Duke of Gloucester caused
one Dr. Shaw to preach a sermon to the people of London in the open
air, explaining that King Edward IV. had been a very bad man, and had
never been properly married to Lady Grey, and so that she was no queen
at all, and her children had no right to reign.  The Londoners liked
Gloucester and hated the Woodvilles, and all belonging to them, and
after some sermons and speeches of this sort, there were so many
people inclined to take as their king the man rather than the boy,
that the Duke of Buckingham led a deputation to request Richard to
accept the crown in his nephew's stead.  He met it as if the whole
notion was quite new to him, but, of course, accepted the crown, sent
for his wife, Anne Nevil, and her son, and was soon crowned as King
Richard III. of England.

As for the two boys, they were never seen out of the Tower again.
They were sent into the prison part of it, and nobody exactly knows
what became of them there; but there cannot be much doubt that they
must have been murdered.  Some years later, two men confessed that
they had been employed to smother the two brothers with pillows, as
they slept; and though they added some particulars to the story that
can hardly be believed, it is most likely that this was true.  Full
two hundred years later, a chest was found under a staircase, in
what is called the White Tower, containing bones that evidently had
belonged to boys of about fourteen and eleven years old; and these
were placed in a marble urn among the tombs of the kings in
Westminster Abbey.  But even to this day, there are some people who
doubt whether Edward V. and Richard of York were really murdered, or
if Richard were not a person who came back to England and tried to
make himself king.


RICHARD III.  A.D. 1483--1485.

Richard III. seems to have wished to be a good and great king; but he
had made his way to the throne in too evil a manner to be likely to
prosper.  How many people he had put to death we do not know, for when
the English began to suspect the he had murdered his two nephews, they
also accused him of the death of everyone who had been secretly slain
ever since Edward IV. came to the throne, when he had been a mere boy.
He found he must be always on the watch; and his home was unhappy, for
his son, for whose sake he had striven so hard to be king, died while
yet a boy, and Anne, his wife, not long after.

Then his former staunch friend, the Duke of Buckingham, began to feel
that though he wanted the sons of Elizabeth Woodville to be set aside
from reigning, it was quite another thing to murder them.  He was a
vain, proud man, who had a little royal blood--being descended from
Thomas, the first Duke of Gloucester, son of Edward III.--and he
bethought himself that, now all the House of Lancaster was gone, and
so many of the House of York, he might possibly become king.  But he
had hardly begun to make a plot, before the keen-sighted, watchful
Richard found it out, and had him seized and beheaded.

There was another plot, though, that Richard did not find out in time.
The real House of Lancaster had ended when poor young Edward was
killed at Tewkesbury; but the Beauforts--the children of that younger
family of John of Gaunt, who had first begun the quarrel with the Duke
of York--were not all dead.  Lady Margaret Beaufort, the daughter of
the eldest son, had married a Welsh gentleman named Edmund Tudor, and
had a son called Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond.  Edward IV. had always
feared that this youth might rise against him, and he had been obliged
to wander about in France and Brittany since the death of his father;
but nobody was afraid of Lady Margaret, and she had married a Yorkist
nobleman, Lord Stanley.

Now, the eldest daughter of Edward IV.--Elizabeth, or Lady Bessee, as
she was called--was older than her poor young brothers; and she heard,
to her great horror, that her uncle wanted to commit the great
wickedness of making her his wife, after poor Anne Nevil's death.
There is a curious old set of verses, written by Lord Stanley's
squire, which says that Lady Bessee called Lord Stanley to a secret
room, and begged him to send to his stepson, Richmond, to invite him
to come to England and set them all free.

Stanley said he could not write well enough, and that he could not
trust a scribe; but Lady Bessee said she could write as well as any
scribe in England.  So she told him to come to her chamber at nine
that evening, with his trusty squire; and there she wrote letters,
kneeling by the table, to all the noblemen likely to be discontented
with Richard, and appointing a place of meeting with Stanley; and she
promised herself that, if Henry Tudor would come and overthrow the
cruel tyrant Richard, she would marry him: and she sent him a ring
in pledge of her promise.

Henry was in Brittany when he received the letter.  He kissed the
ring, but waited long before he made up his mind to try his fortune.
At last he sailed in a French ship, and landed at Milford Haven--for
he knew the Welsh would be delighted to see him; and, as he was really
descended from the great British chiefs, they seemed to think that
to make him king of England would be almost like having King Arthur
back again.

They gathered round him, and so did a great many English nobles and
gentlemen.  But Richard, though very angry, was not much alarmed, for
he knew Henry Tudor had never seen a battle.  He marched out to meet
him, and a terrible fight took place at Redmore Heath, near Market
Bosworth, where, after long and desperate struggling, Richard was
overwhelmed and slain, his banner taken, and his men either killed
or driven from the field.  His body was found gashed, bleeding, and
stripped; and thus was thrown across a horse and carried into
Leicester, where he had slept the night before.

The crown he had worn over his helmet was picked up from the branches
of a hawthorn, and set on the head of Henry Tudor.  Richard was the
last king of the Plantagenet family, who had ruled over England for
more than three hundred years.  This battle of Bosworth likewise
finished the whole bloody war of the Red and White Roses.


HENRY VII.  A.D. 1485--1509.

Henry Tudor married the Lady Bessee as soon as he came to London, and
by this marriage the causes of the Red and white Roses were united;
so that he took for his badge a great rose--half red and half white.
You may see it carved all over the beautiful chapel that he built on
to Westminster Abbey to be buried in.

He was not a very pleasant person; he was stiff, and cold, and dry,
and very mean and covetous in some ways--though he liked to make a
grand show, and dress all his court in cloth of gold and silver,
and the very horses in velvet housings, whenever there was any state
occasion.  Nobody greatly cared for him; but the whole country was so
worn out with the troubles of the Wars of the Roses, that there was
no desire to interfere with him; and people only grumbled, and said
he did not treat his gentle, beautiful wife Elizabeth as he ought to
do, but was jealous of her being a king's daughter.  There was one
person who did hate him most bitterly, and that was the Duchess of
Burgundy, the sister of Edward IV. and Richard III.: the same who,
as I told you, encouraged printing so much.  She felt as if a mean
upstart had got into the place of her brothers, and his having
married her niece did not make it seem a bit the better to her.
There was one nephew left--the poor young orphan son of George, Duke
of Clarence--but he had always been quite silly, and Henry VII. had
him watched carefully, for fear some one should set him up to claim
the crown.  He was called Earl of Warwick, as heir to his grandfather,
the king-maker.

Suddenly, a young man came to Ireland and pretended to be this Earl
of Warwick.  He deceived a good many of the Irish, and the Mayor of
Dublin actually took him to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where he was
crowned as King Edward the Sixth: and then he was carried to the
banquet upon an Irish chieftain's back.  He came to England with some
Irish followers, and some German soldiers hired by the duchess; and
a few, but not many, English joined him.  Henry met him at a village
called Stoke, near Newark, and all his Germans and Irish were killed,
and he himself made prisoner.  Then he confessed that he was really
a baker's son named Lambert Simnel; and, as he turned out to be a
poor weak lad, whom designing people had made to do just what they
pleased, the king took him into his kitchen as a scullion; and, as
he behaved well there, afterwards set him to look after the falcons,
that people used to keep to go out with to catch partridges and herons.

But after this, a young man appeared under the protection of the
Duchess of Burgundy, who said he was no other than the poor little
Duke of York, Richard, who had escaped from the Tower when his brother
was murdered.  Englishmen, who came from Flanders, said that he was
a clever, cowardly lad of the name of Peter (or Perkin) Warbeck, the
son of a townsman of Tournay; but the duchess persuaded King James
IV. of Scotland to believe him a real royal Plantagenet.  He went to
Edinburgh, married a beautiful lady, cousin to the king, and James
led him into England at the head of an army to put forward his claim.
But nobody would join him, and the Scots did not care about him; so
James sent him away to Ireland, whence he went to Cornwall.  However,
he soon found fighting was of no use, and fled away to the New Forest,
where he was taken prisoner.  He was set in the stocks, and there made
to confess that he was really Perkin Warbeck and no duke, and then he
was shut up in the Tower.  But there he made friends with the real
Earl of Warwick, and persuaded him into a plan for escape; but this
was found out, and Henry, thinking that he should never have any
peace or safety whilst either of them was alive, caused Perkin to
be hanged, and poor innocent Edward of Warwick to be beheaded.

It was thought that this cruel deed was done because Henry found
that foreign kings did not think him safe upon the throne while one
Plantagenet was left alive, and would not give their children in
marriage to his sons and daughters.  He was very anxious to make grand
marriages for his children, and make peace with Scotland by a wedding
between King James and his eldest daughter, Margaret.  For his eldest
son, Arthur, Prince of Wales, he obtained Katharine, the daughter
of the King of Aragon and Queen of Castille, and she was brought to
England while both were mere children.  Prince Arthur died when only
eighteen years old; and King Henry then said that they had been both
such children that they could not be considered really married, and so
that Katharine had better marry his next son, Henry, although everyone
knew that no marriage between a man and his brother's widow could be
lawful.  The truth was that he did not like to give up all the money
and jewels she had brought; and the matter remained in dispute for
some years--nor was it settled when King Henry himself died, after an
illness that no one expected would cause his death.  Nobody was very
sorry for him, for he had been hard upon everyone, and had encouraged
two wicked judges, named Dudley and Empson, who made people pay most
unjust demands, and did everything to fill the king's treasury and
make themselves rich at the same time.

It was a time when many changes were going on peacefully.  The great
nobles had grown much poorer and less powerful; and the country
squires and chief people in the towns reckoned for much more in
the State.  Moreover, there was much learning and study going on
everywhere.  Greek began to be taught as well as Latin, and the
New Testament was thus read in the language in which the apostles
themselves wrote; and that led people to think over some of the evil
ways that had grown up in their churches and abbeys, during those
long, grievous years, when no one thought of much but fighting, or
of getting out of the way of the enemy.

The king himself, and all his family, loved learning, and nobody more
than his son Henry, who--if his elder brother had lived--was to have
been archbishop of Canterbury.

It was in this reign, too, that America was discovered--though not by
the English, but by Christopher Columbus, an Italian, who came out
in ships that were lent to him by Isabel, the Queen of Spain, mother
to Katharine, Princess of Wales.  Henry had been very near sending
Columbus, only he did not like spending so much money.  How ever, he
afterwards did send out some ships, which discovered Newfoundland.
Henry died in the year 1509.



The new king was very fond of the Princess Katharine, and he married
her soon after his father's death, without asking any more questions
about the right or wrong of it.  He began with very gallant and
prosperous times.  He was very handsome, and skilled in all sports
and games, and had such frank, free manners, that the people felt as
if they had one of their best old Plantagenets back again.  They were
pleased, too, when he quarreled with the King of France, and like an
old Plantagenet, led an army across the sea and besieged the town of
Tournay.  Again, it was like the time of Edward III., for James IV.
of Scotland was a friend of the French king, and came across the
Border with all the strength of Scotland, to ravage England while
Henry was away.  But there were plenty of stout Englishmen left, and
under the Earl of Surrey, they beat the Scots entirely at the battle
of Flodden field; and King James himself was not taken, but left dead
upon the field, while his kingdom went to his poor little baby son.
Though there had been a battle in France it was not another Crecy,
for the French ran away so fast that it was called the battle of the
Spurs.  However, Henry's expedition did not come to much, for he did
not get all the help he was promised; and he made peace with the
French king, giving him in marriage his beautiful young sister Mary--
though King Louis was an old, helpless, sickly man.  Indeed, he only
lived six weeks after the wedding, and before there was time to fetch
Queen Mary home again, she had married a gentleman named Charles
Brandon.  She told he brother that she had married once to please
him, and now she had married to please herself.  But he forgave her,
and made her husband Duke of Suffolk.

Henry's chief adviser, at this time, was Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop
of York; a very able man, and of most splendid tastes and habits--
outdoing even the Tudors in love of show.  The pope had made him a
cardinal--that is, one of the clergy, who are counted as parish
priests in the diocese of Rome, and therefore have a right to choose
the pope.  They wear scarlet hats, capes, and shoes, and are the
highest rank of all the clergy except the pope.  Indeed, Cardinal
Wolsey was in hopes of being chosen pope himself, and setting the
whole Church to rights--for there had been several very wicked men
reigning at Rome, one after the other, and they had brought things
to such a pass that everyone felt there would be some great judgment
from God if some improvement were not made.  Most of Wolsey's
arrangements with foreign princes had this end in view.  The new
king of France, Francis I., was young, brilliant and splendid, like
Henry, and the two had a conference near Calais, when they brought
their queens and their whole Court, and put up tents of velvet, silk,
and gold--while everything was so extraordinarily magnificent, that
the meeting has ever since been called the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

However, nothing came of it all.  Cardinal Wolsey thought Francis's
enemy--the Emperor Charles V.--more likely to help him to be pope,
and make his master go over to that side; but after all an Italian
was chosen in his stead.  And there came a new trouble in his way.
The king and queen had been married a good many years, and they had
only one child alive, and that was a girl, the Lady Mary--all the
others had died as soon as they were born--and statesmen began to
think that if there never was a son at all, there might be fresh wars
when Henry died; while others said that the loss of the children was
to punish them for marrying unlawfully.  Wolsey himself began to wish
that the pope would say that it had never been a real marriage, and
so to set the king free to put Katharine away and take another wife--
some grand princess abroad.  This was thinking more of what seemed
prudent than of the right; and it turned out ill for Wolsey and all
besides, for no sooner had the notion of setting aside poor Katharine
come into his mind, than the king cast his eyes on Anne Boleyn, one
of her maids of honor--a lively lady, who had been to France with his
sister Mary.  He was bent on marrying her, and insisted on the pope's
giving sentence against Katharine.  But the pope would not make any
answer at all; first, because he was enquiring, and then because he
could not well offend Katharine's nephew, the Emperor.  Time went on,
and the king grew more impatient, and at last a clergyman, named
Thomas Cranmer, said that he might settle the matter by asking the
learned men at the universities whether it was lawful for a man to
marry his brother's widow.  "He has got the right sow by the ear,"
cried Henry, who was not choice in his words, and he determined that
the universities should decide it.  But Wolsey would not help the
king here.  He knew that the pope had been the only person to decide
such questions all over the Western Church for many centuries; and,
besides, he had never intended to assist the king to lower himself by
taking a wife like Anne Boleyn.  But his secretary, Thomas Crumwell,
told the king all of Wolsey's disapproval, and between them they found
out something that the cardinal had done by the king's own wish, but
which did not agree with the old disused laws.  He was put down from
all his offices of state, and accused of treason against the king; but
while he was being brought to London to be tried, he became so ill at
the abbey at Leicester that he was forced to remain there, and in a
few days he died, saying, sadly--"If I had served God as I have served
my king, He would not have forsaken me in my old age."

With Cardinal Wolsey ended the first twenty years of Henry's reign,
and all that had ever been good in it.


HENRY VIII. AND HIS WIVES.  A.D. 1528--1547.

When Henry VIII. had so ungratefully treated Cardinal Wolsey, there
was no one to keep him in order.  He would have no more to do with the
pope, but said he was head of the Church of England himself, and could
settle matters his own way.  He really was a very learned man, and had
written a book to uphold the doctrines of the Church, which had caused
the people to call him the Defender of the Faith.  After the king's or
queen's name on an English coin you may see F.D.--_Fidei Defensor_.
This stands for that name in Latin.  But Henry used his learning now
against the pope.  He declared that his marriage with Katharine was
good for nothing, and sent her away to a house in Huntingdonshire,
where, in three years' time, she pined away and died.  In the meantime,
he had married Anne Boleyn, taken Crumwell for his chief adviser, and
had made Thomas Cranmer archbishop of Canterbury.  Then, calling
himself the head of the Church, he insisted that all his people should
own him as such; but the good ones knew that our Lord Jesus Christ is
the only real Head of the Church, and they had learnt to believe that
the pope is the father bishop of the west, though he had sometimes
taken more power than he ought, and no king could ever be the same
as a patriarch or father bishop.  So they refused, and Henry cut off
the heads of two of the best--Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More--
though they had been his great friends.  Sir Thomas More's good
daughter Margaret, came and kissed him on his way to be executed;
and afterwards, when his head was placed on a spike on London Bridge,
she came by night in a boat and took it home in her arms.

There were many people, however, who were glad to break with the pope,
because so much had gone amiss in the Church, and they wanted to set
it to rights.  There was so much more reading, now that printing had
been invented, that many could read who had never learnt Latin, and
so a translation of the Bible was to be made for them, and there was
a great desire that the Church Services--many of which had also been
in Latin--should likewise be put into English, and the litany was first
translated, but no more at present.  The king and Crumwell had taken
it upon them to go on with what had been begun in Wolsey's time--the
looking into the state of all the monasteries.  Some were found going
on badly, and the messengers took care to make the worst of everything.
So all the worst houses were broken up, and the monks sent to their
homes, with a small payment to maintain them for the rest of their

As to the lands that good men of old had given to keep up the convents,
that God might be praised there, Henry made gifts of them to the lords
about Court.  Whoever chose to ask for an abbey could get it, from the
king's good nature; and, as they wanted more and more, Henry went on
breaking up the monasteries, till the whole of them were gone.  A good
deal of their riches he kept for himself, and two new bishoprics were
endowed from their spoils, but most of them were bestowed on the
courtiers.  The king, however, did not at all intend to change the
teaching of the Church, and whenever a person was detected in teaching
any thing contrary to her doctrines, as they were at the time
understood, he was tried by a court of clergymen and lawyers before
the bishop, and, if convicted, was--according to the cruel custom of
those times--burnt to death at a stake in the market place of the
next town.

Meantime, the new queen, Anne Boleyn, whom the king had married
privately in May, 1533, had not prospered.  She had one little
daughter, named Elizabeth, and a son, who died; and then the king
began to admire one of her ladies, named Jane Seymour.  Seeing this
Anne's enemies either invented stories against her, or made the worst
of some foolish, unlady-like, and unqueen-like things she had said
and done, so that the king thought she wished for his death.  She was
accused of high treason, sentenced to death, and beheaded: thus
paying a heavy price for the harm she had done good Queen Katharine.

The king, directly after, married Jane Seymour; but she lived only a
very short time, dying immediately after the christening of her first
son, who was named Edward.

Then the king was persuaded by Lord Crumwell to marry a foreign
princess called Anne of Cleves.  A great painter was sent to bring her
picture, and made her very beautiful in it; but when she arrived, she
proved to be not only plain-featured but large and clumsy, and the
king could not bear the sight of her, and said they had sent him a
great Flanders mare by way of queen.  So he made Cranmer find some
foolish excuse for breaking this marriage also, and was so angry with
Thomas Crumwell for having led him into it, that this favorite was in
turn thrown into prison and beheaded.

The king chose another English wife, named Katharine Howard; but,
after he had married her, it was found out that she had been very ill
brought up, and the bad people with whom she had been left came and
accused her of the evil into which they had led her.  So the king cut
off her head, likewise, and then wanted to find another wife; but no
foreign princess would take a husband who had put away two wives and
beheaded two more, and one Italian lady actually answered that she
was much obliged to him, but she could not venture to marry him,
because she had only one neck.

At last he found an English widow, Lady Latimer, whose maiden name
was Katharine Parr, and married her.  He was diseased now, lame with
gout, and very large and fat; and she nursed him kindly, and being a
good-natured woman, persuaded him to be kinder to his daughters, Mary
and Elizabeth, than he had ever been since the disgrace of their
mothers; and she did her best to keep him in good humor, but he went
on doing cruel things, even to the end of his life; and, at the very
last, had in prison the very same Duke of Norfolk who had won the
battle of Flodden, and would have put him to death in a few days'
time, only that his own death prevented it.

Yet, strange to say, Henry VIII. was not hated as might have been
expected.  His cruelties were chiefly to the nobles, not to the common
people; and he would do good-natured things, and speak with a frank,
open manner, that was much liked.  England was prosperous, too, and
shopkeepers, farmers, and all were well off; there was plenty of
bread and meat for all, and the foreign nations were afraid to go
to war with us.  So the English people, on the whole, loved "Bluff
King Hal," as they called him, and did not think much about his many
wickednesses, or care how many heads he cut off.  He died in the year
1547.  The changes in his time are generally called the beginning of
the Reformation.


EDWARD VI.  A.D. 1547--1553.

The little son of Henry VIII. and Jane Seymour of course reigned
after him as Edward VI.  He was a quiet, gentle boy exceedingly fond
of  learning and study, and there were great expectations of him; but, as
he was only nine years old, the affairs of state were managed by his

The chief of the council were his two uncles--his mother's brothers,
Edward and Thomas Seymour, the elder of whom had been made Duke of
Somerset--together with Archbishop Cranmer; but it was not long before
the duke quarreled with his brother Thomas, put him into the Tower,
and cut off his head, so that it seemed as if the days of Henry VIII.
were not yet over.

The Duke of Somerset and Archbishop Cranmer wanted to make many more
changes in the Church of England than Henry VIII. had ever allowed.
They had all the Prayer-book Services translated into English, leaving
out such parts as they did not approve; The Lessons were read from the
English Bible, and people were greatly delighted at being able to
worship and to listen to God's Word in their own tongue.  The first
day on which the English Prayer-book was used was the Whitsunday of
1548.  The Bibles were chained to the desks as being so precious and
valuable; and crowds would stand, or sit, and listen for hours
together to any one who would read to them, without caring if he were
a clergyman or not; and men who tried to explain, without being
properly taught, often made great mistakes.

Indeed, in Germany and France a great deal of the same kind had been
going on for some time past, though not with any sort of leave from
the kings or bishops, as there was in England, and thus the reformers
there broke quite off from the Church, and fancied they could do
without bishops.  This great break was called the Reformation, because
it professed to set matters of religion to rights; and in Germany the
reformers called themselves Protestants, because they protested some
of the teachings of the Church of Rome.

Cranmer had at one time been in Germany, and had made friends with
some of these German and Swiss Protestants, and he invited them to
England to consult and help him and his friends.  Several of them
came, and they found fault with our old English Prayer-book--though
it had never been the same as the Roman one--and it was altered again
to please them and their friends, and brought out as King Edward's
second book.  Indeed, they tried to persuade the English to be like
themselves--with very few services, no ornaments in the churches, and
no bishops; and things seemed to be tending more and more to what they
desired, for the king was too young not to do what his tutors and
governors wished, and his uncle and Cranmer were all on their side.

However, there was another great nobleman, the Duke of Northumberland,
who wanted to be as powerful as the Duke of Somerset.  He was the son
of Dudley, the wicked judge under Henry VII., who had made himself so
rich, and he managed to take advantage of the people being discontented
with Somerset to get the king into his own hands, accuse Somerset of
treason, send him to the Tower, and cut off his head.

The king at this time was sixteen.  He had never been strong, and he
had learnt and worked much more than was good for him.  He wrote a
journal, and though he never says he grieved for his uncles, most
likely he did, for he had few near him who really loved or cared for
him, and he was fast falling into decline, so that it became quite
plain that he was not likely ever to be a grown-up king.  There was
a great difficulty as to who was to reign after him.  The natural
person would have been his eldest sister, Mary, but King Henry had
forbidden her and Elizabeth to be spoken of as princesses or
heiresses of the crown; and, besides, Mary held so firmly to the
Church, as she had learnt to believe in it in her youth, that the
reformers knew she would undo all their work.

There was a little Scottish girl, also named Mary--the grand-daughter
of Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII.  Poor child, she had been
a queen from babyhood, for her father had died of grief when she was
but a week old; and there had been some notion of marrying her to King
Edward, and so ending the wars, but the Scots did not like this, and
sent her away to be married to the Dauphin, Francois, eldest son of
the king of France.  If Edward's sisters were not to reign, she came
next; but the English would not have borne to be joined on to the
French; and there were the grand-daughters of Mary, that other sister
of Henry VIII., who were thorough Englishwomen.  Lady Jane Grey, the
eldest of them, was a good, sweet, pious, and diligent girl of fifteen,
wonderfully learned.  But it was not for that reason, only for the
sake of the royal blood, that the Duke of Northumberland asked her
in marriage for his son, Guildford Dudley.  When they were married,
the duke and Cranmer began to persuade the poor, sick, young king
that it was his duty to leave his crown away from his sister Mary
to Lady Jane, who would go on with the Reformation, while Mary would
try to overthrow it.  In truth, young Edward had not right to will
away the crown; but he was only sixteen, and could only trust to
what the archbishop and his council told him.  So he signed the
parchment they brought him, and after that he quickly grew worse.

The people grew afraid that Northumberland was shutting him up and
misusing him, and once he came to the window of his palace and looked
out at them, to show he was alive; but he died only a fortnight later,
and we cannot guess what he would have been when he was grown up.


MARY I.  A.D. 1553--1588.

The Duke of Northumberland kept king Edward's death a secret till he
had proclaimed Jane queen of England.  The poor girl knew that a great
wrong was being done in her name.  She wept bitterly, and begged that
she might not be forced to accept the crown; but she could do nothing
to prevent it, when her father and husband, and his father, all were
bent on making her obey them; and so she had to sit as a queen in the
royal apartments in the Tower of London.

But as soon as the news reached Mary, she set off riding towards
London; and, as everyone knew her to be the right queen, and no one
would be tricked by Dudley, the whole of the people joined her, and
even Northumberland was obliged to throw up his hat and cry "God save
Queen Mary."  Jane and her husband were safely kept, but Mary meant
no harm by them if their friends would have been quiet.  However, the
people became discontented when Mary began to have the Latin service
used again, and put Archbishop Cranmer in prison for having favored
Jane.  She showed in every way that she thought all her brother's
advisers had done very wrong.  She wanted to be under the Pope again,
and she engaged herself to marry the King of Spain, her cousin, Philip
II.  This was very foolish of her, for she was a middle-aged woman,
pale, and low-spirited; and he was much younger, and of a silent,
gloomy temper, so that everyone was afraid of him.  All her best
friends advised her not, and the English hated the notion so much, that
the little children played at the queen's wedding in their games, and
always ended by pretending to hang the King of Spain.  Northumberland
thought this discontent gave another chance for his plan, and tried to
raise the people in favor of Jane; but so few joined him that Mary
very soon put them down, and beheaded Northumberland.  She thought,
too, that the quiet of the country would never be secure while Jane
lived, and so she consented to her being put to death.  Jane behaved
with beautiful firmness and patience.  Her husband was led out first
and beheaded, and then she followed.  She was most good and innocent
in herself, and it was for the faults of others that she suffered.
Mary's sister Elizabeth, was suspected, and sent to the Tower.  She
came in a boat on the Thames to the Traitor's Gate; but, when she
found where she was, she sat down on the stone steps and said, "This
is a place for traitors, and I am none."  After a time she was allowed
to live in the country, but closely watched.

Philip of Spain came and was married to Mary.  She was very fond of
him, but he was not very kind to her, and he had too much to do in
his other kingdoms to spend much time with her, so that she was always
pining after him.  Her great wish in choosing him was to be helped
in bringing the country back to the old obedience to the Pope; and
she succeeded in having the English Church reconciled, and received
again to communion with Rome.  The new service she would under no
consideration have established in her house.  This displeased many
of her subjects exceedingly.  They thought they should be forbidden
to read the Bible--they could not endure the Latin service--and those
who had been taught by the foreigners fancied that all proper reverence
and beauty in church was a sort of idolatry.  Some fled away into
Holland and Germany, and others, who staid, and taught loudly against
the doctrines that were to be brought back again, were seized and
thrown into prison.

Those bishops who had been foremost in the changes of course were the
first to be tried for their teaching.  The punishment was the dreadful
one of being burnt alive, chained to a stake.  Bishop Hooper died in
this way at Gloucester, and Bishop Ridley and Bishop Latimer were both
burnt at the same time at Oxford, encouraging one another to die
bravely as martyrs for the truth, as they held it.  Cranmer was in
prison already for supporting Jane Grey, and he was condemned to
death; but he was led to expect that he would be spared the fire if
he would allow that the old faith, as Rome held it, was the right one.
Paper after paper was brought, such as would please the queen and his
judges, and he signed them all; but after all, it turned out that
none would do, and that he was to be burnt in spite of them.  The he
felt what a base part he had acted, and was ashamed when he thought
how bravely his brethren had died on the same spot: and when he was
chained to the stake and the fire lighted, he held his right hand
over the flame to be burnt first, because it had signed what he did
not really believe, and he cried out, "This unworthy hand!"

Altogether, about three hundred people were burnt in Queen Mary's
reign for denying one or other of the doctrines that the Pope thought
the right ones.  It was a terrible time; and the queen, who had only
longed to do right and restore her country to the Church, found
herself hated and disliked by everyone.  Even the Pope, who had a
quarrel with her husband, did not treat her warmly; and the nobles,
who had taken possession of the abbey lands, were determined never
to let her restore them.  Her husband did not love her, or like
England.  However, he persuaded her to help him in a war with the
French, with which England out to have had nothing to do, and the
consequence was that a brave French duke took the city of Calais,
the very last possession of the English in France.  Mary was so
exceedingly grieved, that she said that when she died the name of
Calais would be found written on her heart.

She was already ill, and there was a bad fever at the time, of which
many of those she most loved and trusted had fallen sick.  She died,
in 1558, a melancholy and sorrowful woman, after reigning only five


ELIZABETH.  A.D. 1558--1587.

All through Queen Mary's time, her sister Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn's
daughter, had been in trouble.  Those who held by Queen Mary, and
maintained Henry's first marriage, said that his wedding with Anne
was no real one, and so that Elizabeth ought not to reign; but then
there was no one else to take in her stead, except the young Queen
Mary of Scotland, wife to the French dauphin.  All who wished for
the Reformation, and dreaded Mary's persecutions had hoped to see
Elizabeth queen, and this had made Mary much afraid of her; and she
was so closely watched and guarded that once she even said she wished
she was a milkmaid, to be left in peace.  While she had been in the
Tower she had made friends with another prisoner, Robert Dudley,
brother to the husband of Lady Jane Grey, and she continued to like
him better than any other person as long as he lived.

When Mary died, Elizabeth was twenty-five, and the English were mostly
willing to have her for their queen.  She had read, thought, and
learnt a great deal; and she took care to have the advice of wise men,
especially of the great Thomas Cecil, whom she made Lord Burleigh, and
kept as her adviser as long as he lived.  She did not always follow
even his advice, however; but, whenever she did, it was the better
for her.  She knew Robert Dudley was not wise, so, though she was so
fond of him, she never let him manage her affairs for her.  She would
have wished to marry, but she knew her subjects would think this
disgraceful, so she only made him Earl of Leicester: and her liking
for him prevented her from ever bringing herself to accept any of
the foreign princes who were always making proposals to her.
Unfortunately he was not a good man, and did not make a good use of
her favor, and he was much disliked by all the queen's best friends.

She was very fond of making stately journeys through the country.  All
the poor people ran to see her and admire her; but the noblemen who
had to entertain her were almost ruined, she brought so many people
who ate so much, and she expected such presents.  These journeys were
called Progresses.  The most famous was to Lord Leicester's castle
of Kenilworth, but he could quite afford it.  He kept the clock's
hands at twelve o'clock all the time, that it might always seem to
be dinner time!

Elizabeth wanted to keep the English Church a pure and true branch of
the Church, free of the mistakes that had crept in before her father's
time.  So she restored the English Prayer-book, and cancelled all that
Mary had done; the people who had gone into exile returned, and all
the Protestants abroad reckoned her as on their side.  But, on the
other hand, the Pope would not regard her as queen at all, and cut
her and her country off from the Church, while Mary of Scotland and her
husband called themselves the true queen and king of England; and such
of the English as believed the Pope to have the first right over the
Church, held with him and Mary of Scotland.  They were called Roman
Catholics, while Elizabeth and her friends were the real Catholics,
for they held with the Church Universal of old: and it was the Pope
who had broken off with them for not accepting his doctrines, not
they with the Pope.  The English who had lived abroad in Mary's time
wanted to have much more altered, and to have churches and services
much less beautiful and more plain than they were.  But Elizabeth
never would consent to this; and these people called themselves
Puritans, and continued to object to the Episcopal form of worship.

Mary of Scotland was two years queen of France, and then her husband
died, and she had to come back to Scotland.  There most of the people
had taken up the doctrines that made them hate the sight of the clergy
and services she had brought home from France; they called her an
idolater, and would hardly bear that she should hear the old service
in her own chapel.  She was one of the most beautiful and charming
women who ever lived, and if she had been as true and good as she
was lovely, nobody could have done more good; but the court of France
at that time was a wicked place, and she had learnt much of the
wickedness.  She married a young nobleman named Henry Stuart, a
cousin of her own, but he turned out foolish, selfish and head-strong,
and made her miserable; indeed, he helped to kill her secretary in her
own bedroom before her eyes.  She hated him so much at last, that
there is only too much reason to fear that she knew of the plot, laid
by some of her lords, to blow the poor man's house up with gunpowder,
while he lay is his bed ill of smallpox.  At any rate, she very soon
married one of the very worst of the nobles who had committed the
murder.  Her subjects could not bear this, and they rose against her
and made her prisoner, while her husband fled the country.  They shut
her up in a castle in the middle of a lake, and obliged her to give
up her crown to her little son, James VI.--a baby not a year old.
However, her sweet words persuaded a boy who waited on her to steal
the keys, and row her across the lake, and she was soon at the head of
an army of her Roman Catholic subjects.  They were defeated, however,
and she found no place safe for her in Scotland, so she fled across
the Border to England.  Queen Elizabeth hardly knew what to do.  She
believed that Mary had really had to do with Henry Stuart's death,
but she could not bear to make such a crime known in a cousin and
queen; and what made it all more difficult to judge was, that the
kings of France and Spain, and all the Roman Catholics at home,
thought Mary ought to be queen instead of Elizabeth, and she might
have been set up against England if she might had gone abroad, or
been left at large, while in Scotland she would have been murdered.
The end of it was that Elizabeth kept her shut up in different
castles.  There she managed to interest the English Roman Catholics
in her, and get them to lay plots, which always were found out.
Then nobles were put to death, and Mary was more closely watched.
This went on for nineteen years, and at last a worse plot than all
was found out--for actually killing Queen Elizabeth.  Her servants
did not act honorably, for when they found out what was going on
they pretended not to know, so that Mary might go on writing worse
and worse things, and then, at last, the whole was made known.  Mary
was tried and sentenced to death, but Elizabeth was a long time
making up her mind to sign the order for her execution, and at last
punished the clerks who sent it off, as if it had been their fault.

So Queen Mary of Scotland was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle, showing
much bravery and piety.  There are many people who still believe that
she was really innocent of all that she was accused of, and that she
only was ruined by the plots that were laid against her.


ELIZABETH'S REIGN.  A.D. 1587--1602.

No reign ever was more glorious or better for the people than Queen
Elizabeth's.  It was a time when there were many very great men living
--soldiers, sailors, writers, poets--and they all loved and look up to
the queen as the mother of her country.  There really was nothing she
did love like the good of her people, and somehow they all felt and
knew it, and "Good Queen Bess" had their hearts--though she was not
always right, and had some serious faults.

The worst of her faults was not telling the truth.  Somehow kings and
rulers had, at that time, learnt to believe that when they were dealing
with other countries anything was fair, and that it was not wrong to
tell falsehoods to hide a secret, nor to make promises they never meant
to keep.  People used to do so who would never have told a lie on their
own account to their neighbor, and Lord Burleigh and Queen Elizabeth
did so very often, and often behaved meanly and shabbily to people who
had trusted to their promises.  Her other fault was vanity.  She was
a little woman, with bright eyes, and rather hooked nose, and sandy
hair, but she managed to look every inch a queen, and her eye, when
displeased, was like a lion's.  She had really been in love with Lord
Leicester, and every now and then he hoped she would marry him; indeed,
there is reason to fear that he had his wife secretly killed, in order
that he might be able to wed the queen; but she saw that the people
would not allow her to do so, and gave it up.  But she liked to be
courted.  She allowed foreign princes to send her their portraits,
rings, and jewels, and sometimes to come and see her, but she never
made up her mind to take them.  And as to the gentlemen at her own
court, she liked them to make the most absurd and ridiculous
compliments to her, calling her their sun and goddess, and her hair
golden beams of the morning, and the like; and the older she grew the
more of these fine speeches she required of them.  Her dress--a huge
hoop, a tall ruff all over lace, and jewels in the utmost profusion--
was as splendid as it could be made, and in wonderful variety.  She is
said to have had three hundred gowns and thirty wigs.  Lord Burleigh
said of her that she was sometimes more than a man, and sometimes less
than a woman.  And so she was, when she did not like her ladies to
wear handsome dresses.

One of the people who had wanted to marry her was her brother-in-law,
Philip of Spain, but she was far too wise, and he and she were bitter
enemies all the rest of their lives.  His subjects in Holland had
become Protestants, and he persecuted them so harshly that they broke
away from him.  They wanted Elizabeth to be their queen, but she would
not, though she sent Lord Leicester to help them with an army.  With
him went his nephew, Sir Philip Sydney, the most good, and learned,
and graceful gentleman at court.  There was great grief when Sir
Philip was struck by a cannon ball in the thigh, and died after nine
days pain.  It was as he was being carried from the field, faint and
thirsty, that some one had just brought him a cup of water, when he
saw a poor soldier, worse hurt than himself, looking at it with longing
eyes.  He put it from him untasted, and said, "Take it, thy necessity
is greater than mine."

After the execution of Mary of Scotland, Philip of Spain resolved to
punish Elizabeth and the English, and force them back to obedience to
the pope.  He fitted out an immense fleet, and filled it with fighting
men.  So strong was it that, as armada is the Spanish for a fleet, it
was called the Invincible Armada.  It sailed for England, the men
expecting to burn and ruin all before them.  But the English ships
were ready.  Little as they were, they hunted and tormented the big
Spaniards all the way up the English Channel; and, just as the Armada
had passed the Straits of Dover, there came on such dreadful storms
that the ships were driven and broken before it, and wrecked all round
the coasts--even in Scotland and Ireland--and very few ever reached
home again.  The English felt that God had protected them with His
wind and storm, and had fought for them.

Lord Leicester died not long after, and the queen became almost equally
fond of his stepson, the Earl of Essex, who was a brave, high-spirited
young man, only too proud.

The sailors of Queen Elizabeth's time were some of the bravest and
most skilful that ever lived.  Sir Francis Drake sailed round the
world in the good ship Pelican, and when he brought her into the
Thames the queen went to look at her.  Sir Walter Raleigh was another
great sailor, and a most courtly gentleman besides.  He took out the
first English settlers to North America, and named their new home
Virginia--after the virgin queen--and he brought home from South
America our good friend the potato root; and, also he learnt their
to smoke tobacco.  The first time his servant saw this done in
England, he thought his master must be on fire, and threw a bucket
of water over him to put it out.

The queen valued these brave men much, but she liked none so well as
Lord Essex, till at last he displeased her, and she sent him to govern
Ireland.  There he fell into difficulties, and she wrote angry letters,
which made him think his enemies were setting her against him.  So he
came back without leave; and one morning came straight into her
dressing chamber, where she was sitting, with her thin grey hair being
combed, before she put on one of her thirty wigs, or painted her face.
She was very angry, and would not forgive him, and he got into a rage,
too; and she heard he had said she was an old woman, crooked in temper
as in person.  What was far worse, he raised the Londoners to break
out in a tumult to uphold him.  He  was taken and sent to the Tower,
tried for treason, and found guilty of death.  But the queen still
loved him, and waited and waited for some message or token to ask her
pardon.  None came, and she thought he was too proud to beg for mercy.
She signed the death warrant, and Essex died on the block.  But soon
she found that he had really sent a ring she once had given him, to a
lady who was to show it to her, in token that he craved her pardon.
The ring had been taken by mistake to a cruel lady who hated him, and
kept it back.  But by-and-by this lady was sick to death.  Then she
repented, and sent for the queen and gave her the ring, and confessed
her wickedness.  Poor Queen Elizabeth--her very heart was broken.  She
said to the dying woman, "God may forgive you, but I cannot."  She
said little more after that.  She was old, and her strength failed
her.  Day after day she sat on a pile of cushions, with her finger
on her lips, still growing weaker, and begging for the prayers the
archbishop read her.  And thus, she who had once been so great and
spirited, sank into death, when seventy years old, in the year 1602.


JAMES I.  A.D. 1602--1625.

After Queen Elizabeth's death, the next heir was James, the son of
Mary of Scotland, and had reigned there ever since his mother had been
driven away.  He had been brought up very strictly by the Scottish
Reformers, who had made him very learned, and kept him under great
restraint; and all that he had undergone had tended to make him
awkward and strange in his manners.  He was timid, and could not bear
to see a drawn sword; and he was so much afraid of being murdered,
that he used to wear a dress padded and stuffed out all over with
wool, which made him look even more clumsy than he was by nature.

The English did not much admire their new king, though it really was
a great blessing that England and Scotland should be under the same
king at last, so as to end all the long and bloody wars that had gone
on for so many years.  Still, the Puritans thought that, as James had
been brought up in their way of thinking, they would be allowed to
make all the changes that Queen Elizabeth had stopped; and the Roman
Catholics recollected that he was Queen Mary's son, and that his
Reformed tutors had not made his life very pleasant to him as a boy,
so they had hopes from him.

But they both were wrong.  James had really read and thought much, and
was a much wiser man at the bottom than anyone would have thought who
had seen his disagreeable ways, and heard his silly way of talking.
He thought the English Church was much more in the right than either
of them, and he only wished that things should go on the same in
England, and that the Scots should be brought to have bishops, and
to use the prayers that Christians had used from the very old times,
instead of each minister praying out of his own head, as had become
the custom.  But though he could not change the ways of the Scots at
once, he caused all the best scholars and clergymen in his kingdom to
go to work to make the translation of the Bible as right and good as
it could be.

Long before this was finished, however, some of the Roman Catholics
had formed a conspiracy for getting rid of all the chief people in
the kingdom; and so, as they hoped, bringing the rest back to the
pope.  There were good men among the Roman Catholics who knew such
an act would be horrible; but there were some among them who had
learnt to hate everyone that they did not reckon as of the right
religion, and to believe that everything was right that was done for
the cause of their Church.  So these men agreed that on the day of
the meeting of Parliament, when the king, with the queen and Prince
of Wales, would all be meeting the lords and commons, they would blow
the whole of them up with gunpowder; and, while the country was all
in confusion, the king dead, and almost all his lords and the chief
country squires, they would take the king's younger children--Elizabeth
or Charles, who were both quite little--and bring one up as a Roman
Catholic to govern England.

They hired some cellars under the Houses of Parliament, and stored
them with barrels of gunpowder, hidden by faggots; and the time was
nearly come, when one of the lords called Monteagle, received a letter
that puzzled him very much, advising him not to attend the meeting of
Parliament, since a sudden destruction, would come upon all who would
there be present, and yet so that they would not know the doer of it.
No one knows who wrote the letter, but most likely it was one of the
gentlemen who had been asked to join in the plot, and, though he would
not betray his friends, could not bear that Lord Monteagle should
perish.  Lord Monteagle took the letter to the council, and there,
after puzzling over it and wondering if it were a joke, the king said
gunpowder was a means of sudden destruction; and it was agreed that,
at any rate, it would be safer to look into the vaults.  A party was
sent to search, and there they found all the powder ready prepared,
and, moreover, a man with a lantern, one Guy Fawkes, who had undertaken
to be the one to set fire to the train of gunpowder, hoping to escape
before the explosion.  However he was seized in time, and was forced
to make confession.  Most of the gentlemen concerned fled into the
country, and shut themselves up in a fortified house; but there,
strange to say, a barrel of gunpowder chanced to get lighted, and
thus many were much hurt in the very way that meant to hurt others.

There was a great thanksgiving all over the country, and it became the
custom that, on the 5th of November--the day when the gunpowder plot
was to have taken effect--there should be bonfires and fireworks, and
Guy Fawkes' figure burnt, but people are getting wiser now, and think
it better not to keep up the memory old crimes and hatreds.

Henry, Prince of Wales, was a fine lad, fond of all that was good,
but a little too apt to talk of wars, and of being like Henry V.
He was very fond of ships and  sailors, and delighted in watching
the building of a grand vessel that was to take his sister Elizabeth
across the sea, when she was to marry the Count Palatine of the Rhine.
Before the wedding, however, Prince Henry fell suddenly ill and died.

King James was a fond of favorites as ever Elizabeth had been, though
not of the same persons.  One of the worst things he ever did was the
keeping Sir Walter Raleigh in the Tower for many years, and a last
cutting off his head.  It was asserted that Sir Walter had tried, when
first James came, to set up a lady named Arabella Stuart to be queen;
but if he was to be punished for that, it ought to have been directly,
instead of keeping the sentence hanging over his head for years.  The
truth was that Sir Walter had been a great enemy to the Spaniards, and
James wanted to please them, for he wished his son Charles to marry the
daughter of the King of Spain.  Charles wanted to see her first, and
set off for Spain, in disguise, with the Duke of Buckingham, who was
his friend, and his father's greatest favorite.  But when reached he
Madrid, he found that the princesses were not allowed to speak to any
gentleman, nor to show their faces; and though he climbed over a wall
to speak to her when she was walking in the garden, an attendant
begged him to go away, or all her train would be punished.  Charles
went back disappointed, and, on his way through Paris, saw Henrietta
Maria, the bright-eyed sister of the King of France, and set his heart
on marrying her.

Before this was settled, however, King James was seized with an ague
and died, in the year 1625.  He was the first king of the family of
Stuart, and a very strange person he was--wonderfully learned and
exceedingly conceited; indeed, he like nothing better than to be
called the English Solomon.  The worst of him was that, like
Elizabeth, he thought kings and rulers might tell falsehoods and
deceive.  He called this kingcraft, and took this very bad sort of
cunning for wisdom.


CHARLES I.  A.D. 1625--1649.

So many of the great nobles had been killed in the Wars of the Roses,
that the barons had lost all that great strength and power they had
gained when they made King John sign Magna Carta.  The kings got the
power instead; and all through the reigns of the five Tudors, the
sovereign had very little to hinder him from doing exactly as he
pleased.  But, in the meantime, the country squires and the great
merchants who sat in the House of Commons had been getting richer
and stronger, and read and thought more.  As long as Queen Elizabeth
lived they were contented, for they loved her and were proud of her,
and she knew how to manage them.  She scolded them sometimes, but
when she saw that she was really vexing them she always changed, and
she had smiles and good words for them, so that she could really do
what she pleased with them.

But James I. was a disagreeable man to have to do with; and, instead
of trying to please them, he talked a great deal about his own power
as king, and how they ought to obey him; so that they were angered,
and began to read the laws, and wonder how much power properly
belonged to him.  Now, when he died, his son Charles was a much
pleasanter person; he was a gentleman in all his looks and ways,
and had none of his father's awkward, ungainly tricks and habits.
He was good and earnest, too, and there was nothing to take offence
at in himself; so for some years all went on quietly, and there seemed
to be a great improvement.  But several things were against him.  His
friend, the Duke of Buckingham, was a proud, selfish man, who affronted
almost everyone, and made a bad use of the king's favor; and the
people were also vexed that the king should marry a Roman Catholic
princess, Henrietta Maria, who would not go to church with him, nor
even let herself be crowned by an English archbishop.

You heard that, in Queen Elizabeth's time, there were Puritans who
would have liked to have the Prayer-book much more altered, and who
fancied that every pious rule of old times must be wrong.  They did
not like the cross in baptism, nor the ring in marriage; and they
could not bear to see a clergyman in a surplice.  In many churches
they took their own way, and did just as they pleased.  But under
James and Charles matters changed.  Dr. Laud, whom Charles had made
archbishop of Canterbury, had all the churches visited, and insisted
on the parishioners setting them in order; and if a clergyman would
not wear a surplice, not make a cross on the baptized child's
forehead, nor obey the other laws of the Prayer-book, he was punished.

The Puritans were greatly displeased.  They fancied the king and Dr.
Laud wanted to make them all Roman Catholics again; and a great many
so hated these Church rules, that they took ship and went off to
North America to found a colony, where they might set up their own
religion as they liked it.  Those who staid continued to murmur and
struggle against Laud.

There was another great matter of displeasure, and that was the way in
which the king raised money.  The right way is that he should call his
Parliament together, and the House of Commons should grant him what he
wanted.  But there were other means.  One was that every place in
England should be called on to pay so much for ship money.  This had
begun when King Alfred raised his fleet to keep off the Danes; but
it had come not to be spent on ships at all, but only be money for
the king to use.  Another way that the kings had of getting money
was from fines.  People who committed some small offence, that did
not come under the regular laws, were brought before the Council in
a room at Westminster, that had a ceiling painted with stars--and so
was called the Star Chamber--and there were sentenced, sometimes to
pay heavy sums of money, sometimes to have their ears cut off.  This
Court of the Star Chamber had been begun in the days of Henry VII.,
and it is only a wonder that the English had borne it so long.

One thing Charles I. did that pleased his people, and that was sending
help to the French Protestants, who were having their town of Rochelle
besieged.  But the English were not pleased that the command of the
army was given to the duke of Buckingham, his proud, insolent favorite.
but Buckingham never went.  As he was going to embark at Portsmouth,
he was stabbed to the heart by a man named Felton; nobody clearly
knows why.

Charles did not get on much better even when Buckingham was dead.
Whenever he called a Parliament, fault was always found with him and
with the laws.  Then he tried to do without a Parliament; and, as he,
of course, needed money, the calls for ship money came oftener, and
the fines in the Star Chamber became heavier, and more cases for
them were hunted out.  Then murmurs arose.  Just then, too, he and
Archbishop Laud were trying to make the Scots return to the Church,
by giving them bishops and a Prayer-book.  But the first time the
Service was read in a church at Edinburgh, a fishwoman, named Jenny
Geddes, jumped up in a rage and threw a three-legged stool at the
clergyman's head.  Some Scots fancied they were being brought back
to Rome; others hated whatever was commanded in England.  All these
leagued together, and raised an army to resist the king; and he was
obliged to call a Parliament once more, to get money enough to resist


THE LONG PARLIAMENT.  A.D. 1641--1649.

When Charles I. was obliged to call his Parliament, the House of
Commons met, angered at the length of time that had passed since
they had been called, and determined to use their opportunity.  They
speedily put an end both to the payment of ship money and to the Court
of the Star Chamber; and they threw into prison the two among the
king's friends whom they most disliked, namely, Archbishop Laud and
the Earl of Strafford.  The earl had been governor of Ireland, and
had kept great order there, but severely; and he thought that the
king was the only person who ought to have any power, and was always
advising the king to put down all resistance by the strong hand.
He was thought a hard man, and very much hated; and when he was tried
the Houses of Parliament gave sentence against him that he should be
beheaded.  Still, this could not be done without the king's warrant;
and Charles at first stood out against giving up his faithful friend.
But there was a great tumult, and the queen and her mother grew
frightened, and entreated the king to save himself by giving up Lord
Strafford, until at last he consented, and signed the paper ordering
the execution.  It was a sad act of weakness and cowardice, and he
mourned over it all the days of his life.

The Parliament only asked more and more, and at last the king thought
he must put a check on them.  So he resolved to go down to the House
and cause the five members who spoke against his power to be taken
prisoners in his own presence.  But he told his wife what he intended,
and Henrietta Maria was so foolish as to tell Lady Carlisle, one of
her ladies, and she sent warning to the five gentlemen, so that they
were not in the House when Charles arrived; and the Londoners rose up
in a great mob, and showed themselves so angry with him, that he took
the queen and his children away into the country.  The queen took her
daughter Mary to Holland to marry the Prince of Orange; and there she
bought muskets and gunpowder for her husband's army--for things had
come to pass now that a civil war began.  A civil war is the worst
of all wars, for it is one between the people of the same country.
England had had two civil wars before.  There were the Barons' wars,
between Henry III. and Simon de Montfort, about the keeping of Magna
Carta; and there were the wars of the Roses, to settle whether York
or Lancaster should reign.  This war between Charles I. and the
Parliament was to decide whether the king or the House of Commons
should be most powerful.  Those who held with the king called
themselves Cavaliers, but the friends of the Parliament called them
Malignants; and they in turn nicknamed the Parliamentary party
Roundheads, because they often chose not to wear their hair in the
prevailing fashion, long and flowing on their shoulders, but cut
short round their heads.  Most of the Roundheads were Puritans, and
hated the Prayer-book, and all the strict rules for religious worship
that Archbishop Laud had brought in; and the Cavaliers, on the other
hand, held by the bishops and the Prayer-book.  Some of the Cavaliers
were very good men indeed, and led holy and Christian lives, like
their master the king, but there were others who were only bold,
dashing men, careless and full of mirth and mischief; and the
Puritans were apt to think all amusements and pleasures wrong,
so that they made out the Cavaliers worse than they really were.

I do not think you would understand about all the battles, so I shall
only tell you now that the king's army was chiefly led by his nephew,
Prince Rupert, the son of his sister Elizabeth.  Rupert was a fiery,
brave young man, who was apt to think a battle was won before it
really was, and would ride after the people he had beaten himself
without waiting to see whether his help was wanted by the other
captains; and so he did his uncle's cause as much harm as good.

The king's party had been the  most used to war, and they prospered
the most at first; but as the soldiers of the Parliament became more
trained, they gained the advantage.  One of the members of Parliament,
a gentleman named Oliver Cromwell, soon showed himself to be a much
better captain than any one else in England, and from the time he came
to the chief command the Parliament always had the victory.  The places
of the three chief battles were Edgehill, Marston Moor, and Naseby.
The first was doubtful, but the other two were great victories of the
Roundheads.  Just after Marston Moor, the Parliament put to death
Archbishop Laud; and, at the same time, they forbade the use of the
Prayer-book, and turned out all the parish priests from the churches,
putting in their stead men chosen after their own fashion, and not
ordained by bishops.  They likewise destroyed all they disliked in the
churches--the painted glass, the organs, and the carvings; and when
the Puritan soldiers took possession of a town or village, they would
stable their horses in the churches, use the font for a trough, and
shoot at the windows as marks.

After the battle of Naseby, King Charles was in such distress that he
thought he would go to the Scots, remembering that, though he had
offended them by trying to make them use the Prayer-book, he had been
born among them, and he thought they would prefer him to the English.
But when he came, the Scottish army treated him like a prisoner, and
showed him very few honors; and at last they gave him up to the
English Parliament for a great sum of money.

So Charles was a prisoner to his own subjects.  This Parliament is
called the Long Parliament, because it sat longer than any other
Parliament ever did: indeed it had passed a resolution that it could
not be dissolved.


DEATH OF CHARLES I.  A.D. 1649--1651.

The Long Parliament did not wish to have no king, only to make him do
what they pleased; and then went on trying whether he would come back
to reign according to their notions.  He would have given up a great
deal, but when they wanted him to declare that there should be no
bishops in England he would never consent, for he thought there could
be no real Church without bishops, as our Lord himself had appointed.

At last, after there had been much debating, and it was plain that it
would never come to an end, Oliver Cromwell sent some of his officers
to take King Charles into their hands, instead of the persons appointed
by Parliament.  So the king was prisoner to the army instead of to the

Cromwell was a very able man, and he saw that nobody could settle the
difficulties about the law and the rights of the people but himself.
He saw that things never would be settled while the king lived, nor
by the Parliament, so he sent one of his officers, named Pryde, to
turnout all the members of Parliament who would not do his will, and
then the fifty who were left appointed a court of officers and lawyers
to try the king.  Charles was brought before them; but, as they had
no right to try him, he would not say a word in answer to them.
Nevertheless, they sentenced him to have his head cut off.  He had
borne all his troubles in the most meek and patient way, forgiving
all his enemies and praying for them: and he was ready to die in the
same temper.  His queen was in France, and all his children were safe
out of England, except his daughter Elizabeth, who was twelve years
old, and little Henry, who was five.  They were brought to Whitehall
Palace for him to see the night before he was to die.  He took the
little boy on his knee, and talked a long time to Elizabeth, telling
her what books to read and giving her his message to her mother and
brothers; and then he told little Henry to mark what he said, and to
mind that he must never be set up as a king while his elder brothers,
Charles and James were alive.  The little boy said through his tears,
"I will be torn to pieces first."  His father kissed and blessed the
two children, and left them.

The next day was the 30th of January, 1649.  The king was allowed to
have Bishop Juxon to read and pray with him, and to give him the holy
communion.  After that, forgiving his enemies and praying for them,
he was led to the Banqueting House at Whitehall, and out through a
window, on to the scaffold hung with black cloth.  He said his last
prayers, and the executioner cut off his head with one blow, and held
it up to the people.  He was buried at night,--a light snow falling
at the time,--in St. George's Chapel at Windsor, by four faithful
noblemen, but they were not allowed to use any service over his grave.

The Scots were so much shocked to find what their selling of their
king had come to, that they invited his eldest son, Charles, a young
man of nineteen, to come and reign over them, and offered to set him
on the English throne again.  Young Charles came; but they were so
strict that they made his life very dull and weary, since they saw
sin in every amusement.  However, they kept their promise of marching
into England, and some of the English cavaliers joined them; but Oliver
Cromwell and his army met them at Worcester, and they were entirely
beaten.  Young King Charles had to go away with a few gentlemen, and
he was so closely followed that they had to put him in charge of some
woodmen named Penderel, who lived in Boscobel Forest.  They dressed
him in a rough leather suit like their own, and when the Roundhead
soldiers came to search, he was hidden among the branches of an oak
tree above their heads.  Afterwards, a lady named Jane Lane helped
him over another part of his journey, by letting him ride on horseback
before her as her servant; but, when she stopped at an inn, he was
very near being found out, because he did not know how to turn the
spit in the kitchen when the cook asked him.  However, he got safely
to Brighton, which was only a little village then, and a boat took
him to France, where his  mother was living.

In the meantime, his young sister and brother, Elizabeth and Henry,
had been sent to the Isle of Wight, to Carisbrook Castle.  Elizabeth
was pining away with sorrow, and before long she was found dead, with
her cheek resting on her open Bible.  After this, little Henry was
sent to be with his mother in France.

The eldest daughter, Mary, had been married just as the war began to
the Prince of Orange, who lived in Holland, and was left a widow with
one little son.  James, Duke of York, the second brother, had at first
been in the keeping of a Parliamentary nobleman, with his brother and
sister, in London; but, during a game of hide-and-seek, he crept out
of the gardens and met some friends, who dressed him in girls' clothes
and took him to a ship in the Thames, which carried him to Holland.
Little Henrietta, the youngest, had been left, when only six weeks
old, to the care of one of her mother's ladies.  When she was nearly
three, the lady did not think it safe to keep her any longer in
England.  So she stained her face and hands brown with walnut juice,
to look like a gipsy, took the child upon her back, and trudged to
the coast.

Little Henrietta could not speak plain, but she always called herself
by a name she meant to be princess, and the lady was obliged to call
her Piers, and pretend that she was a little boy, when the poor child
grew angry at being treated so differently from usual, and did all she
possibly could to make the strangers understand that she was no beggar
boy.  However, at last she was safe across the sea, and was with her
mother at Paris, where the king of France, Queen Henrietta's nephew,
was very kind to the poor exiles.  The misfortune was, that the queen
brought up little Henrietta as a Roman Catholic, and tried to make
Henry one also; but he was old enough to be firm to his father's
Church, and he went away to his sister in Holland.  James, however
did somewhat late become a Roman Catholic; and Charles would have
been one, if he had cared enough about religion to do what would have
lessened his chance of getting back to England as king.  But these two
brothers were learning no good at Paris, and were growing careless of
the right and fond of pleasure.  James and Henry, after a time, joined
the French army, that they might learn the art of war.  They were both
very brave, but it was sad that when France and England went to war,
they should be in the army of the enemies of their country.


OLIVER CROMWELL.  A.D. 1649--1660.

Oliver Cromwell felt, as has been said, that there was no one who
could set matters to rights as he could in England.  He had shewn
that the country could not do without him, if it was to go on without
the old government.  Not only had he conquered and slain Charles I.,
and beaten that king's friends and those of his son in Scotland, but
he had put down a terrible rising of the Irish, and suppressed them
with much more cruelty than he generally showed.

He found that the old Long Parliament did nothing but blunder and talk,
so he marched into the House one day with a company of soldiers, and
sternly ordered the members all off, calling out, as he pointed to the
mace that lay before the Speaker's chair, "Take away that bauble."
After that he called together a fresh Parliament; but there were very
few members, and those only men who would do as he bade them.  The
Speaker was a leather-seller named Barebones, so that this is generally
known as Barebones' Parliament.  By these people he was named Lord
Protector of England; and as his soldiers would still do anything for
him, he reigned for five years, just as a king might have done, and a
good king too.

He was by no means a cruel or unmerciful man, and he did not persecute
the Cavaliers more than he could help, if he was to keep up his power;
though, of course, they suffered a great deal, since they had fines
laid upon them, and some forfeited their estates for having resisted
the Parliament.  Many had to live in Holland or France, because there
was no safety for them in England, and their wives went backwards and
forwards to their homes to collect their rents, and obtain something
to live upon.  The bishops and clergy had all been driven out, and in
no church was it allowable to use the Prayer-book; so there used to
be secret meetings in rooms, or vaults, or in woods, where the prayers
could be used as of old, and the holy sacrament administered.

For five years Cromwell was Lord Protector, but in the year 1658 he
died, advising that his son Richard should be chosen Protector in his
stead.  Richard Cromwell was a kind, amiable gentleman, but not clever
or strong like his father, and he very soon found that to govern
England was quite beyond his power; so he gave up, and went to live
at his own home again, while the English people gave him the nick-name

No one seemed well to know what was to be done next; but General Monk,
who was now at the head of the army, thought the best thing possible
would be to bring back the king.  A new Parliament was elected, and
sent an invitation to Charles II. to come back again and reign like
his forefathers.  He accepted it; the fleet was sent to fetch him, and
on the 29th of May, 1660, he rode into London between his brothers,
James and Henry.  The streets were dressed with green boughs, the
windows hung with tapestry, and everyone shewed such intense joy and
delight, the king said he could not think why he should have
stayed away so long, since everyone was so glad to see him back again.

But the joy of his return was clouded by the deaths of his sister
Mary, the Princess of Orange, and of his brother Henry, who was only
just twenty.  Mary left a son, William, Prince of Orange, of whom you
will hear more.

The bishops were restored, and, as there had been no archbishop since
Laud had been beheaded, good Juxon, who had attended King Charles at
his death, was made archbishop in his room.  The persons who had been
put into the parishes to act as clergymen, were obliged to give place
to the real original parish priest; but if he were dead, as was often
the case, they were told that they might stay, if they would be
ordained by the bishops and obey the Prayer-book.  Some did so, some
made an arrangement for keeping the parsonages, and paying a curate
to take the service in church; but those who were the most really in
earnest gave up everything, and were turned out--but only as they had
turned out the former clergymen ten or twelve years before.

All Oliver Cromwell's army was broken up, and the men sent to their
homes, except one regiment which came from Coldstream in Scotland.
These would not disband, and when Charles II. heard it he said he
would take them as his guards.  This was the beginning of there
being always a regular army of men, whose whole business it is to
be soldiers, instead of any man being called from his work when he
is wanted.

Charles II. promised pardon to all the rebels, but he did try and
execute all who had been actually concerned in condemning his father
to death.


CHARLES II.  A.D. 1660-1685.

It is sad to have to say that, after all his troubles, Charles II.
disappointed everybody.  Some of these disappointments could not be
helped, but others were his own fault.  The Puritan party thought,
after they had brought him home again he should have been more
favorable to them, and grumbled at the restoration of the clergymen
and of the Prayer-book.  The Cavaliers thought that, after all they
had gone through for him and his father, he ought to have rewarded
them more; but he said truly enough, that if he had made a nobleman
of everyone who had deserved well of him, no place but Salisbury Plain
would have been big enough for the House of Lords to meet upon.  Then
those gentlemen who had got into debt to raise soldiers for the king's
service, and had paid fines, or had to sell their estates, felt it
hard not to have them again; but when a Roundhead gentleman had
honestly bought the property, it would have been still more unjust
to turn them out.  These two old names of Cavaliers and Roundheads
began to turn into two others even more absurd.  The Cavalier set
came to be called Tories, an Irish name for a robber, and the Puritans
got the Scotch name of Whigs, which means buttermilk.

It would have taken a very strong, wise, and good man to deal rightly
with two such different sets of people; but though Charles II. was a
very clever man, he was neither wise nor good.  He could not bear to
vex himself, nor anybody else; and, rather than be teased, would grant
almost anything that was asked of him.  He was so bright and lively,
and made such droll, good-natured answers, that everyone liked him who
came near him; but he had no steady principle, only to stand easy with
everybody, and keep as much power for himself as he could without giving
offence.  He loved pleasure much better than duty, and kept about him
a set of people who amused him, but were a disgrace to his court.
They even took money from the French king to persuade Charles against
helping the Dutch in their war against the French.  The Dutch went to
war with the English upon this, and there were many terrible sea-
fights, in which James, Duke of York, the king's brother, shewed
himself a good and brave sailor.

The year 1665 is remembered as that in which there was a dreadful
sickness in London, called the plague.  People died of it often after
a very short illness, and it was so infectious that it was difficult
to escape it.  When a person in a house was found to have it, the door
was fastened up and marked with a red cross in chalk, and no one was
allowed to go out or in; food was set down outside to be fetched in,
and carts came round to take away the dead, who were all buried
together in long ditches.  The plague was worst in the summer and
autumn; as winter came on more recovered and fewer sickened, and
at last this frightful sickness was ended; and by God's good mercy,
it has never since that year come to London.

The next year 1666, there was a fire in London, which burnt down whole
streets, with their churches, and even destroyed St. Paul's Cathedral.
Perhaps it did good by burning down the dirty old houses and narrow
streets where the plague might have lingered, but it was a fearsome
misfortune.  It was only stopped at last by blowing up a space with
gunpowder all round it, so that the flames might have no way to pass
on.  The king and his brother came and were very helpful in giving
orders about this, and in finding shelter for many poor, homeless

There was a good deal of disturbance in Scotland when the king wanted
to bring back the bishops and the Prayer-book.  Many of the Scots
would not go to church, and met on hills and moors to have their
prayers in their own way.  Soldiers were sent to disperse them, and
there was much fierce, bitter feeling.  Archbishop Sharpe was dragged
out of his carriage and killed, and then there was a civil war, in
which the king's men prevailed; but the Whigs were harshly treated,
and there was great discontent.

The country was much troubled because the king and queen had no
children: and the Duke of York was a Roman Catholic.  A strange story
was got up that there was what was called a popish plot for killing
the king, and putting James on the throne.  Charles himself laughed at
it, for he knew everyone liked him and disliked his brother: "No one
would kill me to make you king, James," he said; but in his easy,
selfish way, when he found that all the country believed in it, and
wanted to have the men they fancied guilty put to death, he did not
try to save their lives.

Soon after this false plot, there was a real one called the Rye-house
Plot.  Long ago, the king had pretended to marry a girl named Lucy
Waters and they had a son whom he had made Duke of Monmouth, but who
could not reign because there had been no right marriage.  However,
Lord Russell and some other gentlemen, who ought to have know better,
so hated the idea of the Duke of York being king, that they joined in
the Ryehouse Plot for killing the duke, and forcing the king to make
Monmouth his heir.  Some of the more unprincipled sort, who had joined
them, even meant to shoot Charles and James together on the way to the
Newmarket races.  However, the plot was found out, and the leaders
were put to death.  Lord Russell's wife, Lady Rachel, sat by him all
the time of his trial, and was his great comfort to the last.  Monmouth
was pardoned, but fled away into Holland.

The best thing to be said of Charles II. was that he made good men
bishops, and he never was angry when they spoke out boldly about his
wicked ways; but then, he never tried to leave them off, and he spent
the very last Sunday of his life among his bad companions, playing at
cards and listening to idle songs.  Just after this came a stroke of
apoplexy, and, while he lay dying on his bed, he sent for a Roman
Catholic priest, and was received into the Church of Rome, in which
he had really believed most of his life--though he had never dared to
own it, for fear of losing his crown.  So, as he was living a lie, of
course the fruits showed themselves in his selfish, wasted life.

It was in this reign that two grand books were written.  John Milton,
a blind scholar and poet, who, before he lost his sight, had been
Oliver Cromwell's secretary, wrote his Paradise Lost, or rather
dictated it to his daughters; and John Bunyan, a tinker, who had
been a Puritan preacher, wrote the Pilgrim's Progress.


JAMES II.  A.D. 1685--1688.

James II. had, at least, been honest in openly joining the Church in
which he believed; but the people disliked and distrusted him, and he
had not the graces of his brother to gain their hearts with, but was
grave, sad, and stern.

The Duke of Monmouth came across from Holland, and was proclaimed king
in his uncle's stead at Exeter.  Many people in the West of England
joined him, and at Taunton, in Somersetshire, he was received by rows
of little girls standing by the gate in white frocks, strewing flowers
before him.  But at Sedgemoor he was met by the army, and his friends
were routed; he himself fled away, and at last was caught hiding in a
ditch, dressed in a laborer's smock frock, and with his pockets full
of peas from the fields.  He was taken to London, tried, and executed.
He did not deserve much pity, but James ought not to have let the
people who favored him be cruelly treated.  Sir George Jeffreys, the
chief justice, was sent to try all who had been concerned, from
Winchester to Exeter; and he hung so many, and treated all so savagely,
that his progress was called the Bloody Assize.  Even the poor little
maids at Taunton were thrown into a horrible, dirty jail, and only
released on their parents paying a heavy sum of money for them.

This was a bad beginning for James's reign; and the English grew more
angry and suspicious when they saw that he favored Roman Catholics
more than anyone else, and even put them into places that only
clergymen of the Church of England could fill.  Then he put forth a
decree, declaring that a person might be chosen to any office in the
State, whether he were a member of the English Church or no; and he
commanded that every clergyman should read it from his pulpit on
Sunday mornings.  Archbishop Sancroft did not think it a right thing
for clergymen to read, and he and six more bishops presented a
petition to the king against being obliged to read it.  One of these
was Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who wrote the morning hymn,
"Awake, my soul, and with the sun," and the evening hymn, "All praise
to Thee, my God, this night."  Instead of listening to their petition,
the king had all the seven bishops sent to the Tower, and tried for
libel--that is, for malicious writing.  All England was full of
anxiety, and when at last the jury gave the verdict of "not guilty,"
the whole of London rang with shouts of joy, and the soldiers in their
camp shouted still louder.

This might have been a warning to the king; for he thought that, as he
paid the army, they were all on his side, and would make the people
bear whatever he pleased.  The chief comfort people had was in thinking
their troubles would only last during his reign: for his first wife,
an Englishwoman, had only left him two daughters, Mary and Anne, and
Mary was married to her cousin William, Prince of Orange, who was a
great enemy of the King of France and of the pope; and Anne's husband,
Prince George, brother to the King of Denmark, was a Protestant.  He
was a dull man, and people laughed at him--because, whenever he heard
any news, he never said anything but "_Est il possible?_" is it
possible?  But he had a little son, of whom there was much hope.

But James had married again, Mary Beatrice d'Este, an Italian princess;
and, though none of her babies had lived before, at last she had a
little son who was healthy and likely to live, and who was christened
James.  Poor little boy!  Everyone was so angry and disappointed that
he should have come into the world at all, that a story was put about
that he was not the son of the king and queen, but a strange baby who
had been carried into the queen's room in a warming-pan, because James
was resolved to prevent Mary and William from reigning.

Only silly people could believe such a story as this; but all the
Whigs, and most of the Tories, thought in earnest that it was a sad
thing for the country to have an heir to the throne brought up by a
Roman Catholic, and to think it right to treat his subjects as James
was treating them.  Some would have been patient, and have believed
that God would bring it right, but others were resolved to put a stop
to the evils they expected; and, knowing what was the state of people's
minds, William of Orange set forth from Holland, and landed at Torbay.
Crowds of people came to meet him, and to call on him.  It was only
three years since the Bloody Assize, and they had not forgotten it in
those parts.  King James heard that one person after another had gone
to the Prince of Orange, and he thought it not safe for his wife and
child to be any longer in England.  So, quietly, one night he put them
in charge of a French nobleman who had been visiting him, and who took
them to the Thames, where, after waiting in the dark under a church
wall, he brought them a boat, and they reached a ship which took them
safely to France.

King James staid a little longer.  He did not mind when he heard that
Prince George of Denmark had gone to the Prince of Orange, but only
laughed, and said "_Est il possible?_" but when he heard his daughter
Anne, to whom he had always been kind, was gone too, the tears came
into his eyes, and he said, "God help me, my own children are deserting
me."  He would have put himself at the head of the army, but he found
that if he did so he was likely to be made prisoner and carried to
William.  So he disguised himself and set off for France; but at
Faversham, some people who took him for a Roman Catholic priest seized
him, and he was sent back to London.  However, as there was nothing
the Prince of Orange wished so little as to keep him in captivity, he
was allowed to escape again, and this time he safely reached France,
where he was very kindly welcomed, and had the palace of St. Germain
given him for a dwelling-place.

It was on the 4th of November, 1688, that William landed, and the
change that now took place is commonly called the English Revolution.

We must think of the gentlemen, during these reigns, as going about
in very fine laced and ruffled coats, and the most enormous wigs.
You know the Roundheads had short hair and the Cavaliers long: so
people were ashamed to have short hair, and wore wigs to hide it if
it would not grow, till everybody came to have shaven heads, and
monstrous wigs in great curls on their shoulders: and even little
boys' hair was made to look as like a wig as possible.  The barber
had the wig every morning to fresh curl, and make it white with hair
powder, so that everyone might look like an old man, with a huge
quantity of white hair.


WILLIAM III. AND MARY II.  1689--1702.

When James II. proved to be entirely gone, the Parliament agreed to
offer the crown to William of Orange--the next heir after James's
children--and Mary, his wife, James's eldest daughter; but not until
there had been new conditions made, which would prevent the kings
from ever being so powerful again as they had been since the time of
Henry VII.  Remember, Magna Carta, under King John, gave the power
to the nobles.  They lost it by the wars of the Roses, and the Tudor
kings gained it; but the Stuart kings could not keep it, and the
House of Commons became the strongest power in the kingdom, by the
Revolution of 1688.

The House of Commons is made up of persons chosen--whenever there is
a general election--by the men who have a certain amount of property
in each county and large town.  There must be a fresh election, or
choosing again every seven years; also, whenever the sovereign dies;
and the sovereign can dissolve the Parliament--that is, break it up--
and have a fresh election whenever it is thought right.  But above the
House of Commons stands the House of Lords, or Peers.  These are
not chosen, but the eldest son, or next heir of each lord, succeeds
to his seat upon his death; and fresh peerages are given as rewards
to great generals, great lawyers, or people who have deserved well of
their country.  When a law has to be made, it has first to be agreed
to by a majority--that is, the larger number--of the Commons, then by
a majority of the Lords, and lastly, by the king or queen.  The
sovereign's council are called the ministers, and if the Houses of
Parliament do not approve of their way of carrying on the government
they vote against their proposals, and this generally makes them
resign, that others may be chosen in their place who may please the
country better.

This arrangement has gone on ever since William and Mary came in.
However, James II. still had many friends, only they had been out of
reach at the first alarm.  The Latin word for James is Jacobus, and,
therefore, they were called Jacobites.  All Roman Catholics were, of
course, Jacobites; and there were other persons who, though grieved
at the king's conduct, did not think it right to rise against him
and drive him away; and, having taken an oath to obey him, held that
it would be wrong to swear obedience to anyone else while he was
alive.  Archbishop Sancroft was one of these.  He thought it wrong
in the new queen, Mary, to consent to take her father's place; and
when she sent to ask his blessing, he told her to ask her father's
first, as, without that, his own would do her little good.  Neither
he nor Bishop Ken, nor some other bishops, nor a good many more of
the clergy, would take the oaths to William, or put his name instead
of that of James in the prayers at church.  They rather chose to be
turned out of their bishoprics and parishes, and to live in poverty.
They were called the non-jurors, or not-swearers.

Louis, King of France, tried to send James back, and gave him the
service of his fleet; but it was beaten by Admiral Russell, off Cape
La Hogue.  Poor James could not help crying out, "See my brave English
sailors!"  One of Charles's old officers, Lord Dundee, raised an army
of Scots in James's favor, but he was killed just as he had won the
battle of Killicrankie; and there was no one to take up the cause just
then, and the Scotch Whigs were glad of the change.

Most of James's friends, the Roman Catholics, were in Ireland, and
Louis lent him an army with which to go thither and try to win his
crown back.  He got on pretty well in the South, but in the North--
where Oliver Cromwell had given lands to many of his old soldiers--
he met with much more resistance.  At Londonderry, the apprentice boys
shut the gates of the town and barred them against him.  A clergyman
named George Walker took the command of the city, and held it out for
a hundred and five days against him, till everyone was nearly starved
to death--and at last help came from England.  William himself came
to Ireland, and the father and son-in-law met in battle on the banks
of the Boyne, on the 1st of July, 1690.  James was routed; and large
numbers of the Irish Protestants have ever since kept the 1st of July
as a great holiday--commemorating the victory by wearing orange lilies
and orange-colored scarfs.

James was soon obliged to leave Ireland, and his friends there were
severely punished.  In the meantime, William was fighting the French
in Holland--as he had done nearly all his life--while Mary governed
the kingdom at home.  She was a handsome, stately lady, and was much
respected; and there was great grief when she died of the small-pox,
never having had any children.  It was settled upon this that William
should go on reigning as long as he lived, and then that Princess Anne
should be queen; and if she left no children, that the next after
her should be the youngest daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of James
I.  Her name was Sophia, and she was married to Ernest of Brunswick,
Elector of Hanover.  It was also settled that no Roman Catholic, nor
even anyone who married a Roman Catholic, could ever be on the English

Most of the Tories disliked this Act of Settlement; and nobody had
much love for King William, who was a thin, spare man, with a large,
hooked nose, and very rough, sharp manners--perhaps the more sharp
because he was never in good health, and suffered terribly from the
asthma.  However, he managed to keep all the countries under him in
good order, and he was very active, and always at war with the French.
Towards the end of his reign a fresh quarrel began, in which all
Europe took part.  The King of Spain died without children, and the
question was who should reign after him.  The King of France had
married one sister of this king, and the Emperor of Germany was the
son of her aunt.  One wanted to make his grandson king of Spain, the
other his son, and so there was a great war.  William III. took part
against the French--as he had always been their enemy; but just as
the war was going to begin, as he was riding near his palace of Hampton
Court, his horse trod into a mole-hill, and he fell, breaking his
collar bone; and this hurt his weak chest so much that he died in a
few days, in the year 1702.  The Jacobites were very glad to be rid
of him, and used to drink the health of the "little gentleman in a
black velvet coat," meaning the mole which had caused his death.


ANNE.  A.D. 1702--1714.

Queen Anne, the second daughter of James II., began to reign on the
death of William III.  She was a well-meaning woman, but very weak
and silly; and any person who knew how to manage her could make her
have no will of her own.  The person who had always had such power
over her has Sarah Jennings, a lady in her train, who had married an
officer named John Churchill.  As this gentleman had risen in the
army, he proved to be one of the most able generals who ever lived.
He was made a peer, and, step by step, came to be Duke of Marlborough.
It was he and his wife who, being Whigs, had persuaded Anne to desert
her father; and, now she was queen, she did just as they pleased.
The duchess was mistress of the robes, and more queen at home than
Anne was; and the duke commanded the army which was sent to fight
against the French, to decide who should be king of Spain.  An
expedition was sent to Spain, which gained the rock of Gibraltar,
and this has been kept by the English ever since.

Never were there greater victories than were gained by the English
and German forces together, under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince
Eugene of Savoy, who commanded the Emperor's armies.  The first and
greatest battle of them all was fought at Blenheim, in Bavaria, when
the French were totally defeated, with great loss.  Marlborough was
rewarded by the queen and nation buying an estate for him, which was
called Blenheim, where woods were planted so as to imitate the
position of his army before the battle, and a grand house built and
filled with pictures recording his adventures.  The other battles
were all in the Low Countries--at Ramillies, Oudenard, and Malplaquet.
The city of Lisle was taken after a long siege, and not a summer went
by without tidings coming of some great victory, and the queen going
in a state coach to St. Paul's Cathedral to return thanks for it.

But all this glory of her husband made the Duchess of Marlborough more
proud and overbearing.  She thought the queen could not do without her,
and so she left off taking any trouble to please her; nay, she would
sometimes scold her more rudely than any real lady would do to any
woman, however much below her in rank.  Sometimes she brought the poor
queen to tears; and on the day on which Anne went in state to St.
Paul's, to return thanks for the victory of Oudenarde, she was seen
to be crying all the way from St. James's Palace in her coach, with
the six cream-colored horses, because the duchess had been scolding
her for putting on her jewels in the way she liked best, instead of
in the duchess's way.

Now, Duchess Sarah had brought to the palace, to help to wait on the
queen, a poor cousin of her own, named Abigail Masham, a much more
smooth and gentle person, but rather deceitful.  When the mistress of
the robes was unkind and insolent, the queen used to complain to Mrs.
Masham; and by-and-by Abigail told her how to get free.  There was a
gentleman, well known to Mrs. Masham--Mr. Harley, a member of
Parliament and a Tory, and she brought him in by the back stairs to
see the queen, without the duchess knowing it.  He undertook, if the
queen would stand by him, to be her minister, and to turn out the
Churchills and their Whig friends, send away the tyrant duchess, and
make peace, so that the duke might not be wanted any more.  In fact,
the war had gone on quite long enough; the power of the King of France
was broken, and he was an old man, whom it was cruel to press further;
but this was not what Anne cared about so much as getting free of the
duchess.  There was great anger and indignation among all the Whigs at
the breaking off the war in the midst of so much glory; and, besides,
the nation did not keep its engagements to the others with whom it had
allied itself.  Marlborough himself was not treated as a man deserved
who had won so much honor for his country, and he did not keep his
health many years after his fall.  Once, when he felt his mind getting
weak, he looked up at his own picture at Blenheim, taken when he was
one of the handsomest, most able, and active men in Europe, and said
sadly, "Ah! that _was_ a man."

Mr. Harley was made Earl of Oxford, and managed the queen's affairs
for her.  He and the Tories did not at all like the notion of the
German family of Brunswick--Sophia and her son George--who were to
reign next, and they allowed the queen to look towards her own family
a little more.  Her father had died in exile, but there remained the
young brother whom she had disowned, and whom the French and the
Jacobites called King James III.  If he would have joined the English
Church Anne would have gladly invited him, and many of the English
would have owned him as the right king; but he was too honest to give
up his faith, and the queen could do nothing for him.

Till her time the Scots--though since James I. they had been under the
same king as England--had had a separate Parliament, Lords and Commons,
who sat at Edinburgh; but in the reign of Queen Anne the Scottish
Parliament was united to the English one, and the members of it had
to come to Westminster.  This made many Scotsmen so angry that they
became Jacobites; but as every body knew that the queen was a gentle,
well-meaning old lady, nobody wished to disturb her, and all was
quiet as long as she lived, so that her reign was an unusually tranquil
one at home, though there were such splendid victories abroad.  It was
a time, too, when there were almost as many able writers as in Queen
Elizabeth's time.  The two books written at that day, which you are
most likely to have heard of, are Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel
Defoe, and Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's Iliad.

Anne's Tory friends did not make her happy; they used to quarrel among
themselves and frightened her; and after one of their disputes she had
an attack of apoplexy, and soon died of it, in the year 1714.

It was during Anne's reign that it became the fashion to drink tea
and coffee.  One was brought from China, and the other from Arabia,
not very long before, and they were very dear indeed.  The ladies
used to drink tea out of little cups of egg-shell china, and the
clever gentlemen, who were called the wits, used to meet and talk
at coffeehouses, and read newspapers, and discuss plays and poems;
also, the first magazine was then begun.  It was called "The
Spectator," and was managed by Mr. Addison.  It came out once a week,
and laughed at or blamed many of the foolish and mischievous habits
of the time.  Indeed it did much to draw people out of the bad ways
that had come in with Charles II.


GEORGE I.  A.D. 1714--1725.

The Electress Sophia, who had always desired to be queen of England,
had died a few months before Queen Anne; and her son George, who liked
his own German home much better than the trouble of reigning in a
strange country, was in no hurry to come, and waited to see whether
the English would not prefer the young James Stuart.  But as no James
arrived George set off, rather unwillingly, and was received in London
in a dull kind of way.  He hardly knew any English, and was obliged
sometimes to talk bad Latin and sometimes French, when he consulted
with his ministers.  He did not bring a queen with him, for he had
quarreled with his wife, and shut her up in a castle in Germany; but
he had a son, also named George, who had a very clever, handsome wife
--Caroline of Anspach, a German princess; but the king was jealous of
them, and generally made them live abroad.

Just when it was too late, and George I. had thoroughly settled into
his kingdom, the Jacobites in the North of England and in Scotland
began to make a stir, and invited James Stuart over to try to gain
the kingdom.  The Jacobites used to call him James III., but the Whigs
called him the Pretender; and the Tories used, by way of a middle
course, to call him the Chevalier--the French word for a knight, as
that he certainly was, whether he were king or pretender.  A white
rose was the Jacobite mark, and the Whigs still held to the orange
lily and orange ribbon, for the sake of William of Orange.

The Jacobite rising did not come to any good.  Two battles were fought
between the king's troops and the Jacobites--one in England and the
other in Scotland--on the very same day.  The Scottish one was at
Sheriff-muir, and was so doubtful, that the old Scottish song about
it ran thus--

                       Some say that we won,
                       And some say the they won,
                       Some say that none won
                            At a', man;

                       But of one thing I'm sure,
                       That at Sheriff-muir
                       A battle there was,
                               Which I saw, man.

                       And we ran, and they ran,
                       And they ran, and we ran,
                       And we ran, and they ran--
                               Awa, man.

The English one was at Preston, and in it the Jacobites were all
defeated and made prisoners; so that when their friend the Chevalier
landed in Scotland, he found that nothing could be done, and had to
go back again to Italy, where he generally lived, under the Pope's
protection; and where he married a Polish princess and had two sons,
whom he named Charles Edward and Henry.

This rising of the Jacobites took place in the year 1715, and is,
therefore, generally called the Rebellion of the Fifteen.  The chief
noblemen who were engaged in it were taken to London to be tried.
Three were beheaded; one was saved upon his wife's petition; and one,
the Earl of Nithsdale, by the cleverness of his wife.  She was allowed
to go and see him in the Tower, and she took a tall lady in with her,
who contrived to wear a double set of outer garments.  The friend
went away, after a time; and then, after waiting till the guard was
changed, Lady Nithsdale dressed her husband in the clothes that had
been brought in: and he, too, went away, with the hood over his face
and a handkerchief up to his eyes, so that the guard might take him
for the other lady, crying bitterly at parting with the earl.  The
wife, meantime, remained for some time, talking and walking up and
down as heavily as she could, till the time came when she would
naturally be obliged to leave him--when, as she passed by his servant,
she said to him that "My lord will not be ready for the candles just
yet,"--and then left the Tower, and went to a little lodging in a
back street, where she found her husband, and where they both lay hid
while the search for Lord Nithsdale was going on, and where they heard
the knell tolling when his friends, the other lords, were being led out
to have their heads cut off.  Afterwards, they made their escape to
France, where most of the Jacobites who had been concerned in the
rising were living, as best they could, on small means--and some of
them by becoming soldiers of the King of France.

England was prosperous in the time of George I., and the possessions
of the country in India were growing, from a merchant's factory here
and there, to large lands and towns.  But the English never liked King
George, nor did he like them; and he generally spent his time in his
own native country of Hanover.  He was taking a drive there in his
coach, when a letter was thrown in at the window.  As he was reading
it, a sudden stroke of apoplexy came on, and he died in a few hours'
time.  No one ever knew what was in the letter, but some thought it
was a letter reproaching him with his cruelty to his poor wife, who
had died in her prison about eight months before.  He died in the
year 1725.

Gentlemen were leaving off full-bottomed wigs now, and wearing smaller
ones; and younger men had their own hair powdered, and tied up with
ribbon in a long tail behind, called a queue.  Ladies powdered their
hair, and raised it to an immense height, and also wore monstrous
hoops, long ruffles, and high-heeled shoes.  Another odd fashion was
that ladies put black patches on their faces, thinking they made them
handsomer.  Both ladies and gentlemen took snuff, and carried beautiful


GEORGE II.  A.D. 1725--1760.

The reign of George II. was a very warlike one.  Indeed he was the
last king of England who ever was personally in a battle; and,
curiously enough, this battle--that of Fontenoy--was the last that
a king of France also was present in.  It was, however, not a very
interesting battle; and it was not clear who really won it, nor are
wars of this time very easy to understand.

The battle of Fontenoy was fought in the course of a great war to
decide who would be emperor of Germany, in which France and England
took different sides; and this made Charles Edward Stuart, the eldest
son of James, think it was a good moment for trying once again to get
back the crown of his forefathers.  He was a fine-looking young man,
with winning manners, and a great deal more spirit than his father:
and when he landed in Scotland with a very few followers, one Highland
gentleman after another was so delighted with him that they all brought
their clans to join him, and he was at the head of quite a large force,
with which he took possession of the town of Edinburgh; but he never
could take the castle.  The English army was most of it away fighting
in Germany, and the soldiers who met him at Prestonpans, close to
Edinburgh, were not well managed, and were easily beaten by the
Highlanders.  Then he marched straight on into England: and there
was great terror, for the Highlanders--with their plaids, long swords,
and strange language--were thought to be all savage robbers, and the
Londoners expected to have every house and shop ruined and themselves
murdered: though on the whole the Highlanders behaved very well.  They
would probably have really entered London if they had gone on, and
reached it before the army could come home, but they grew discontented
and frightened at being so far away from their own hills; and at Derby.
Charles Edward was obliged to let them turn back to Scotland.

The English army had come back by this time, and the Scots were
followed closely, getting more sad and forlorn, and losing men in every
day's march, till at last, after they had reached Scotland again, they
made a stand against the English under the king's second son, William,
Duke of Cumberland, at the heath of Culloden.  There they were entirely
routed, and the prince had to fly, and hide himself in strange places
and disguises, much as his great uncle, Charles II., had done before
him.  A young lady named Flora Macdonald took him from one of the
Western Isles to another in a boat as her Irish maid, Betty Bourke;
and, at another time, he was his in a sort of bower, called the cage,
woven of branches of trees on a hill side, where he lived with three
Highlanders, who used to go out by turns to get food.  One of them
once brought him a piece of ginger-bread as a treat--for they loved
him heartily for being patient, cheerful, and thankful for all they
did for him; and when at last he found a way of reaching France, and
shook hands with them on bidding the farewell, one of them tied up
his right hand, and vowed that no meaner person should ever touch it.

The Empress Maria Theresa, of Germany, had a long war with Frederick,
King of Prussia, who was nephew to George II., and a very clever and
brave man, who made his little kingdom of Prussia very warlike and
brave.  But he was not a very good man, and these were sad times among
the great people, for few of them thought much about being good: and
there were clever Frenchmen who laughed at all religion.  You know
one of the Psalms, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."
There were a great many such fools at that time, and their ways,
together with the selfishness of the nobles, soon brought terrible
times to France, and all the countries round.

The wars under George II. were by sea as well as by land: and,
likewise, in the distant countries where Englishmen, on the one hand,
and Frenchmen, on the other, had made those new homes that we call
colonies.  In North America, both English and French had large
settlements; and when the kings at home were at war, there were
likewise battles in these distant parts, and the Indians were stirred
up to take part with the one side or the other.  They used to attack
the homes of the settlers, burn them, kill and torment the men, and
keep the children to bring up among their own.  The English had, in
general, the advantage, especially in Canada, where the brave young
General Wolfe led an attack, on the very early morning, to the Heights
of Abraham, close to the town of Quebec.  He was struck down by a
shot early in the fight, and lay on the ground with a few officers
round him.  "They run, they run!" he heard them cry.  "Who run?" he
asked.  "The French run."  "Then I die happy," he said; and it was
by this battle that England won Lower Canada, with many French
inhabitants, whose descendants still speak their old language.

In the East Indies, too, there was much fighting.  The English and
French both had merchants there; and these had native soldiers to
guard them, and made friends with the native princes.  When these
princes quarreled they helped them, and so obtained a larger footing.
But in this reign the English power was nearly ended in a very sad
way.  An Indian army came suddenly down on Calcutta.  Many English
got on board the ships, but those who could not--146 in number--were
shut up all night in a small room, in the hottest time of the year,
and they were so crushed together and suffocated by the heat that,
when the morning came, there were only twenty-three of them alive.
This dreadful place was known as the Black Hole of Calcutta.  The
next year Calcutta was won back again; and the English, under Colonel
Clive, gained so much ground that the French had no power left in
India, and the English could go on obtaining more and more land,
riches and power.

George II. had lost his eldest son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, and
his lively and clever wife, Queen Caroline, many years before his
death.  His chief ministers were, first, Sir Robert Walpole, and
afterwards the Earl of Chatham--able men, who knew how to manage the
country through all these wars.  The king died at last, quite suddenly
when sixty-eight years old, in the year 1760.


GEORGE III.  A.D. 1760--1785.

After George II. reigned his grandson, George III., the son of
Frederick, Prince of Wales, who had died before his father.  The
Princess of Wales was a good woman, who tried to bring up her
children well; and George III. was a dutiful son to her, and a good,
faithful man--always caring more to do right than for anything else.
He had been born in England, and did not feel as if Hanover were his
home, as his father and grandfather had done, but loved England, and
English people, and ways.  When he was at Windsor, he used to ride or
walk about like a country squire, and he had a ruddy, hearty face and
manner, that made him sometimes be called Farmer George; and he had
an odd way of saying "What? what?" when he was spoken to, which made
him be laughed at; but he was as good and true as any man who ever
lived: and when he thought a thing was right, he was as firm as a
rock in holding to it.  He married a German princess named Charlotte,
and they did their utmost to make all those about them good.  They
had a very large family--no less than fourteen children--and some old
people still remember what a beautiful sight it was when, after church
on Sunday, the king and queen and their children used to walk up and
down the stately terrace at Windsor Castle, with a band playing, and
everyone who was respectably dressed allowed to come in and look at

Just after George III. came to the crown, a great war broke out in the
English colonies in America.  A new tax had been made.  A tax means
the money that has to be given to the Government of a country to pay
the judges and their officers, the soldiers and sailors, to keep up
ships and buy weapons, and do all that is wanted to protect us and
keep us in order.  Taxes are sometimes made by calling on everybody to
pay money in proportion to what they have--say threepence for every
hundred pounds; sometimes they are made by putting what is called a
duty on something that is bought and sold--making it sell for more
than its natural price--so that the Government gets the money above
the right cost.  This is generally done with things that people could
live without, and had better not buy too much of--such as spirits,
tobacco, and hair powder.  And as tea was still a new thing in England,
which only fine ladies drank, it was thought useless, and there was a
heavy duty laid upon it when the king wanted money.  Now, the Americans
got their tea straight from China, and thought it was unfair that they
should pay tax on it.  So, though they used it much more than the
English then did, they gave it up, threw whole ship-loads of it into
the harbor at Boston, and resisted the soldiers.  A gentleman named
George Washington took the command, and they declared they would fight
for freedom from the mother country.  The French were beginning to
think freedom was a fine thing, and at first a few French gentlemen
came over to fight among the Americans, and then the king Louis XVI.,
quarreled with George III., and helped them openly.

There was a very clever man among the Americans named Benjamin
Franklin, a printer by trade, but who made very curious discoveries.
One of them was that lightning comes from the strange power men call
electricity, and that there are some substances which it will run
along, so that it came be brought down to the ground without doing any
mischief--especially metallic wires.  He made sure of it by flying a
kite, with such an iron wire up to the clouds when there was a thunder-
storm.  The lightning was attracted by the wire, ran down the wet
string of the kite, and only glanced off when it came to a silk ribbon
--because electricity will not go along silk.  After this, such wires
were fastened to buildings, and carried down into the ground, to
convey away the force of the lightning.  Perhaps you have seen them
on the tops of churches or tall buildings; they are called conductors.
Franklin was a plain-spoken, homely dressing man; and when he was sent
to Paris on the affairs of the Americans, all the great ladies and
gentlemen went into raptures about his beautiful simplicity, and began
to imitate him, in a very affected, ridiculous way.

In the meantime, the war went on between America and England, year
after year; and the Americans became trained soldiers and got the
better, so that George III. was advised to give up his rights over
them.  Old Lord Chatham, his grandfather's minister, who had long
been too sick and feeble to undertake any public business, thought
it so bad for the country to give anything up, that he came down to
the House of Lords to make a speech against doing so; but he was not
strong enough for the exertion, and had only just done speaking when
he fainted away, and his son, William Pitt, was called out of the
House of Commons to help carry him away to his coach.  He was taken
home, and died in a few day's time.

The war went on, but when it had lasted seven years, the English felt
that peace must be made; and so George III. gave up his rights to all
that country that is called the United States of America.  The United
States set up a Government of their own, which has gone on ever since,
without a king, but with a President who is freshly chosen every four
years, and for whom every citizen has a vote.

As if to make up for what was lost in the West, the English were
winning a great deal in the East Indies, chiefly from a great prince
called Tipoo Sahib, who was very powerful, and at one time took a
number of English officers prisoners and drove them to his city of
Seringapatam, chained together in pairs, and kept them half starved
in a prison, where several died; but he was defeated and killed.
They were set free by their countrymen, after nearly two years of
grievous hardship.


GEORGE III.  A.D. 1785--1810.

The chief sorrow of George III. was that his eldest sons were wild,
disobedient young men.  George, Prince of Wales, especially, was very
handsome, and extremely proud of his own beauty.  He was called the
First Gentleman in Europe, and set the fashion in every matter of
taste; but he spent and wasted money to a shameful amount, and was
full of bad habits; besides which, he used to set himself in every
way in his power to vex and contradict his father and mother, whom
he despised for their plain simple ways and their love of duty.
The next two brothers--Frederick, Duke of York, and William, Duke
of Clarence--had also very bad habits; but they went astray from
carelessness, and did not wilfully oppose their father, like their
eldest brother.

William Pitt, son of Lord Chatham, was Prime Minister.  He thought
that the Roman Catholics in England ought to have the same rights as
the king's other subjects, and not be hindered from being members of
Parliament, judges, or, indeed, from holding any office, and he wanted
to bring a bill into Parliament for this purpose.  But the king thought
that for him to consent would be contrary to the oath he had sworn
when he was crowned, and which had been drawn up when William of
Orange came over.  Nothing would make George III. break his word, and
he remained firm, though he was so harassed and distressed that he
fell ill, and lost the use of his reason for a time.  There were
questions whether the regency--that is, the right to act as king--
should be given to the son, who, though his heir, was so unlike him,
when he recovered; and there was a great day of joy throughout the
nation, when he went in state to St. Paul's Cathedral to return thanks.

In the meantime, terrible troubles were going on in France.  Neither
the kings nor nobles had, for ages past, any notion of their proper
duties to people under them, but had ground them down so hard that at
last they could bear it no longer; and there was a great rising up
throughout the country, which is known as the French Revolution.  The
king who was then reigning was a good and kind man, Louis XVI., who
would gladly have put things in better order; but he was not as wise
or firm as he was good, and the people hated him for the evil doings
of his forefathers.  So, while he was trying to make up his mind what
to do, the power was taken out of his hands, and he, with his wife,
sister, and two children, were shut up in prison.  An evil spirit
came into the people, and made them believe that the only way to keep
themselves free would be to get rid of all who had been great people
in the former days.  So they set up a machine for cutting off heads,
called the guillotine, and there, day after day, nobles and priests,
gentlemen and ladies--even the king, queen, and princess, were brought
and slain.  The two children were not guillotined, but the poor little
boy, only nine years old, was worse off than if he had been, for the
cruel wretches who kept him called him the wolf-cub, and said he was
to be got rid of, and they kept him alone in a dark, dirty room, and
used him so ill that he pined to death.  Many French gentry and
clergymen fled to England, and there were kindly treated and helped
to live; and the king's brother, now the rightful king himself, found
a home there too.

At last the French grew weary of this horrible bloodshed; but, as they
could not manage themselves, a soldier named Napoleon Bonaparte, by
his great cleverness and the victories he gained over other nations,
succeeded in getting all the power.  His victories were wonderful.  He
beat the Germans, the Italians, the Russians, and conquered wherever
he went.  There was only one nation he never could beat, and that was
the English; though he very much wanted to have come over here with a
great fleet and army, and have conquered our island.  All over England
people got ready.  All the men learnt something of how to be soldiers,
and made themselves into regiments of volunteers; and careful watch
was kept against the quantities of flat-bottomed boats that Bonaparte
had made ready to bring his troops across the English Channel.  But no
one had ships and sailors like the English; and, besides, they had the
greatest sea-captain who ever lived, whose name was Horatio Nelson.
When the French went under Napoleon to try to conquer Egypt and all
the East, Nelson went after them with his ships, and beat the whole
French fleet, though it was a great deal larger than his own, at the
mouth of the Nile, blowing up the Admiral's ship, and taking or
burning many more.  Afterward, when the King of Denmark was being made
to take part against England, Nelson's fleet sailed to Copenhagen,
fought a sharp battle, and took all the Danish ships.  And lastly,
when Spain had made friends with France, and both their fleets had
joined together against England, Lord Nelson fought them both off
Cape Trafalgar, and gained the greatest of all his victories; but it
was his last, for a Frenchman on the mast-head shot him through the
backbone, and he died the same night.  No one should ever forget the
order he gave to all his sailors in all the ships before the battle--
"England expects every man to do his duty."

After the battle of Trafalgar the sea was cleared of the enemy's
ships, and there was no more talk of invading England.  Indeed, though
Bonaparte overran nearly all the Continent of Europe, the smallest
strip of sea was enough to stop him, for his ships could not stand
before the English ones.

All this time English affairs were managed by Mr. Pitt, Lord Chatham's
son; but he died the very same year as Lord Nelson was killed, 1805,
and then his great rival, Mr. Fox, was minister in his stead: but he,
too, died very soon, and affairs were managed by less clever men, but
who were able to go on in the line that Pitt had marked out for them:
and that was, of standing up with all their might against Bonaparte--
though he now called himself the Emperor, Napoleon I., and was treading
down every country in Europe.

The war time was a hard one at home in England, for everything was
very dear and the taxes were high; but everyone felt that the only
way to keep the French away was to go on fighting with them, and
trying to help the people in the countries they seized upon.  So the
whole country stood up bravely against them.

Sad trouble came on the good old king in his later years.  He lost his
sight, and, about the same time, died his youngest child, the Princess
Amelia, of whom he was very fond.  His grief clouded his mind again,
and there was no recovery this time.  He was shut up in some rooms at
Windsor Castle, where he had music to amuse him, and his good wife,
Queen Charlotte, watched over him carefully as long as she lived.


GEORGE III.--THE REGENCY.  A.D. 1810--1820.

When George III. lost his senses, the government was given to his son,
the Prince of Wales--the Prince Regent as he was called.  Regent means
a person ruling instead of the king.  Everyone expected that, as he
had always quarreled with his father, he would change everything and
have different ministers; but instead of that, he went on just as had
been done before, fighting with the French, and helping every country
that tried to lift up its head against Bonaparte.

Spain was one of these countries.  Napoleon had managed to get the
king, and queen, and eldest son, all into his hands together, shut
them up as prisoners in France, and made his own brother king.  But
the Spaniards were too brave to bear this, and they rose up against
him, calling the English to help them.  Sir John Moore was sent first,
and he marched an army into Spain; but, though the Spaniards were
brave, they were not steady, and when Napoleon sent more troops he
was obliged to march back over the steep hills, covered with snow,
to Corunna, where he had left the ships.  The French followed him,
and he had to fight a battle to drive them back, that his soldiers
might embark in quiet.  It was a great victory; but in the midst of
it Sir John Moore was wounded by a cannon shot, and only live long
enough to hear that the battle was won.  He was buried at the dead
of night on the ramparts of Corunna, wrapped in his cloak.

However, before the year was over, Sir Arthur Wellesley was sent out
to Portugal and Spain.  He never once was beaten, and though twice he
had had to retreat into Portugal, he soon won back the ground he had
lost; and in three years' time he had driven the French quite out of
Spain, and even crossed the Pyrenean mountains after them, forcing
them back into their own country, and winning the battle of Toulouse
on their own ground.  This grand war had more victories in it than
you will easily remember.  The chief of them were at Salamanca,
Vittoria, Orthes, and Toulouse; and the whole war was called the
Peninsular War, because it was fought in the Peninsular of France
and Spain.  Sir Arthur Wellesley had been made duke of Wellington,
to reward him, and he set off across France to meet the armies of
the other European countries.  For, while the English were fighting
in Spain, the other states of Europe had all joined together against
Napoleon, and driven him away from robbing them, and hunted him at
last to Paris, where they made him give up all his unlawful power.
The right king of France, Louis XVIII., was brought home, and Napoleon
was sent to a little island named Elba, in the Mediterranean Sea,
where it was thought he could do no harm.

But only the next year he managed to escape, and came back to France,
where all his old soldiers were delighted to see him again.  The king
was obliged to fly, and Napoleon was soon at the head of as large and
fierce an army as ever.  The first countries that were ready to fight
with him were England and Prussia.  The Duke of Wellington with the
English, and Marshal Blucher with the Prussian army, met him on the
field of Waterloo, in Belgium; and there he was so entirely defeated
that he had to flee away from the field.  But he found no rest or
shelter anywhere, and at last was obliged to give himself up to the
captain of an English ship named the Bellerophon.  He was taken to
Plymouth harbor, and kept in the ship while it was being determined
what should be done with him: and at length it was decided to send
him to St. Helena, a very lonely island far away in the Atlantic
Ocean, whence he would have no chance of escaping.  There he was kept
for five years, at the end of which time he died.

The whole of Europe was at peace again; but the poor old blind King
George did not know it, nor how much times had changed in his long
reign.  The war had waked people up from the dull state they had been
in so long, and much was going on that began greater changes than
anyone thought of.  Sixty years before, when he began to reign, the
roads were so bad that it took three days to go by coach to London
from Bath; now they were smooth and good, and fine swift horses were
kept at short stages, which made the coaches take only a few hours on
the journey.  Letters came much quicker and more safely; there were
a great many newspapers, and everybody was more alive.  Some great
writers there were, too: the Scottish poet Walter Scott, who wrote
some of the most delightful tales there are in the world; and three
who lived at the lakes--Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge.  It was
only in this reign that people cared to write books for children.
Mrs. Trimmer, and another good lady called Hannah More, were trying
to get the poor in the villages better taught; and there was a very
good Yorkshire gentleman--William Wilberforce--who was striving to
make people better.

As to people's looks in those days, they had left off wigs--except
bishops, judges, and lawyers, in their robes.  Men had their hair
short and curly, and wore coats shaped like evening ones--generally
blue, with brass buttons--buff waistcoats, and tight trousers tucked
into their boots, tight stocks round their necks, and monstrous shirt-
frills.  Ladies had their gowns and pelisses made very short-waisted,
and as tight and narrow as they could be, though with enormous
sleeves in them, and their hair in little curls on their foreheads.
Old ladies wore turbans in evening dress; and both they and their
daughters had immense bonnets and hats, with a high crown and very
large front.

In the 1820, the good old king passed away.


GEORGE IV.  A.D. 1820--1830.

George IV. was not much under sixty years old when he came to the
throne, and had really been king in all but the name for eight years
past.  He had been married to the Princess Caroline of Brunswick, much
against his will, for she was, though a princess, far from being a
lady in any of her ways, and he disliked her from the first moment he
saw her; and though he could not quite treat her as Henry VIII. had
treated Anne of Cleves, the two were so unhappy together that, after
the first year, they never lived in the same house.  They had had one
child, a daughter, named Charlotte--a good, bright, sensible high-
spirited girl--on whom all the hopes of the country were fixed; but
as she grew up, there were many troubles between her love and her
duty towards her father and mother.  As soon as the peace was made,
the Princess of Wales went to Italy and lived there, with a great
many people of bad characters about her.  Princess Charlotte was
married to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, and was very happy with
him; but, to the great grief of all England, she died in the bloom
of her youth, the year before her grandfather.

George IV., though he was much alone in the world, prepared to have a
most splendid coronation; but as soon as his wife heard that he was
king, she set off to come to England and be crowned with him.  He was
exceedingly angry, forbade her name to be put into the Prayer-book as
queen, and called on the House of Lords to break his marriage with one
who had proved herself not worthy to be a wife.  There was a great
uproar about it, for though the king's friends wanted him to be rid
of her, all the country knew that he had been no better to her than
she had been to him, and felt it unfair that the weaker one should
have all the shame and disgrace, and the stronger one none.  One of
Caroline's defenders said that if her name were left out of the
Litany, yet still she was prayed for there as one who was desolate
and oppressed.  People took up her cause much more hotly than deserved,
and the king was obliged to give up the enquiry into her behavior, but
still he would not let her be crowned.  In the midst of all the
splendor and solemnity in Westminster Abbey, a carriage was driven to
the door and entrance was demanded for the queen; but she was kept
back, and the people did not seem disposed to interrupt the show by
doing anything in her favor, as she and her friends had expected.
She went back to her rooms, and, after being more foolish than ever
in her ways, died of fretting and pining.  It is a sad history, where
both were much to blame; and it shows how hateful to the king she must
have been, that, when Napoleon died he was told his greatest enemy was
dead, and he answered, "When did _she_ die?"  But if he had been a
good man himself, and not selfish, he would have borne with the poor,
ill brought up, giddy girl, when first she came, and that would have
prevented her going so far astray.

George IV. made two journeys--one to Scotland, and the other to
Ireland.  He was the first of the House of Brunswick who ever visited
these other two kingdoms, and he was received in both with great
splendor and rejoicing; but after this his health began to fail, and
he disliked showing himself.  He spent most of his time at a house he
had built for himself at Brighton, called the Pavilion, and at Windsor,
where he used to drive about in the park.  He was kind and gracious to
those with whom he associated, but they were as few as possible.

He was vexed and angry at having to consent to the Bill for letting
Roman Catholics sit in Parliament, and hold other office--the same
that his father had stood out against.  It was not that he cared for
one religion more than another, for he had never been a religious
man, but he saw that it would be the beginning of a great many changes
that would alter the whole state of things.  His next brother,
Frederick, Duke of York, died before him; and the third, William,
Duke of Clarence, who had been brought up as an officer in the navy,
was a friend of the Whigs, and of those who were ready to make

Changes were coming of themselves, though--for inventions were making
progress in this time of peace.  People had begun to find out the great
power of steam, and had made it move the ships, which had hitherto
depended upon the winds, and thus it became much easier to travel from
one country to another and to send goods.  Steam was also being used
to work engines for spinning and weaving cotton, linen, and wool, and
for working metals; so that what had hitherto been done by hand, by
small numbers of skilful people, was now brought about by large
machines, where the labor was done by steam; but quantities of people
were needed to assist the engine.  And as steam cannot be had without
fire, and most of the coal is in the Northern parts of England, almost
all of these works were set up in them, and people flocked to get work
there, so that the towns began to grow very large.  Manchester was one,
with Liverpool as the sea-port from which to send its calico and get
its cotton.  Sheffield and Birmingham grew famous for works in iron
and steel, and so on; and all this tended to make the manufacturers as
rich and great as the old lords and squires, who had held most of the
power in England ever since, at the Revolution, they had got it away
from the king.  Everyone saw that some great change would soon come;
but before it came to the point George IV. fell ill, and died after a
reign of twenty years in reality, but of only ten in name, the first
five of which were spent in war, and the last fifteen in peace.  The
Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel were his chief ministers--for
the duke was as clear-headed in peace as he was in war.


WILLIAM IV.  A.D. 1830--1837.

George IV. had, as you know, no child living at the time of his death.
His next brother, Frederick Duke of York, died before him, likewise
without children, so the crown went to William, Duke of Clarence,
third son of George III.  He had been a sailor in his younger days,
but was an elderly man when he came to the throne.  He was a dull and
not a very wise man, but good-natured and kind, and had an open,
friendly, sailor manner; and his wife, Queen Adelaide, of Saxe-
Meiningen, was an excellent woman, whom everyone respected.  They
never had any children but two daughters who died in infancy: and
everyone knew that the next heir must be the Princess Victoria,
daughter to the next brother, Edward, Duke of Kent, who had died the
year after she was born.

King William IV. had always been friendly with the Whigs, who wanted
power for the people.  Those who went furthest among them were called
Radicals, because they wanted a radical reform--that is, going to the
root.  In fact, it was time to alter the way of sending members to the
House of Commons, for some of the towns that had once been big enough
to choose one were now deserted and grown very small, while on the
other hand, others which used to be little villages, like Birmingham
and Brighton, had now become very large, and full of people.

The Duke of Wellington and his friends wanted to consider the best way
of setting these things to rights, but the Radicals wanted to do much
more and much faster than he was willing to grant.  The poor fancied
that the new rights proposed would make them better off all at once,
and that every man would get a fat pig in his sty and as much bread
as he wanted; and they were so angry at any delay, that they went about
in bands burning the hay-ricks and stacks of corn, to frighten their
landlords.  And the Duke of Wellington's great deeds were forgotten
in the anger of the mob, who gathered round him, ready to abuse and
pelt him as he rode along; and yet, as they saw his quiet, calm way
of going on, taking no heed to them, and quite fearless, no one raised
a hand.  They broke the windows of his house in London, though, and he
had iron blinds put up to protect them.  He went out of office, and
the Whigs came in, and then the Act of Parliament was passed which was
called the Reform bill--because it set to rights what had gone wrong as
to which towns should have members of their own, and, besides, allowed
everyone in a borough town, who rented a house at ten pounds a year,
to vote for the member of Parliament.  A borough is a town that has a
member of Parliament, and a city is one that is large enough to have a
mayor and an alderman to manage its affairs at home.

Several more changes were made under King William.  Most of the great
union workhouses were built then, and it was made less easy to get help
from the parish without going to live in one.  This was meant to cure
people of being idle and liking to live on other folk's money--and it
has done good in that way; but workhouses are sad places for the poor
aged people who cannot work, and it is a great kindness to help them
to keep out of them.

The best thing that was done was the setting the slaves free.  Look at
the map of America, and you will see a number of islands--beautiful
places, where sugar-canes, and coffee, and spices grow.  Many of these
belong to the English, but it is too hot for Englishmen to work there.
So, for more than a hundred years, there had been a wicked custom that
ships should go to Africa, and there the crews would steal negro men,
women and children, or buy them of tribes of fierce negroes who had
made them captive, and carry them off to the West Indies Islands,
where they were sold to work for their masters, just as cattle are
bought and sold.  An English gentleman--William Wilberforce--worked
half his life to get this horrible slave trade forbidden; and at last
he succeeded, in the year 1807, whilst George III. was still reigning.
But though no more blacks were brought from Africa, still the people
in the West Indies were allowed to keep, and buy and sell the slaves
they already had.  So Wilberforce and his friends still worked on
until the time of William IV., when, in 1834, all the slaves in the
British dominions were set free.

This reign only lasted seven years, and there were no wars in it; so
the only other thing that I have to tell you about it is, that people
had gone on from finding that steam could be made to work their ships
to making it draw carriages.  Railways were being made for trains of
carriages and vans to be drawn by one steam engine.  The oldest of all
was opened in 1830, the very year that William IV. began to reign, and
that answered so well that more and more began to be made, and the
whole country to be covered with a network of railways, so the people
and goods could be carried about much quicker than ever was dreamt of
in old times; while steam-ships were made larger and larger, and to go
greater distances.

Besides this, many people in England found there was not work or food
enough for them at home, and went to settle in Canada, and Australia,
and Van Dieman's Land, and New Zealand, making, in all these distant
places, the new English homes called colonies; and thus there have
come to be English people wherever the sun shines.

William IV. died in the year 1837.  He was the last English king who
had the German State of Hanover.  It cannot belong to a woman, so it
went to his brother Ernest, instead of his niece Victoria.


VICTORIA.  A.D. 1837--1855.

The Princess Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Kent, was but eighteen
years old when she was Queen of England.

She went with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, to live, sometimes at
Buckingham Palace and sometimes at Windsor Castle, and the next year
she was crowned in state at Westminster Abbey.  Everyone saw then how
kind she was, for when one of the lords, who was very old, stumbled on
the steps as he came to pay her homage, she sprang up from her throne
to help him.

Three years later she was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, a
most excellent men, who made it his whole business to help her in all
her duties as sovereign of the great country, without putting himself
forward.  Nothing ever has been more beautiful than the way those two
behaved to one another; she never forgetting that he was her husband
and she only his wife, and he always remembering that she was really
the queen, and that he had no power at all.  He had a clear head and
good judgment that everyone trusted to, and yet he always kept himself
in the background, that the queen might have all the credit of whatever
was done.

He took much pains to get all that was good and beautiful encouraged,
and to turn people's minds to doing things not only in the quickest
and cheapest, but in the best and most beautiful way possible.  One
of these plans that he carried out was to set up what he called an
International Exhibition, namely--a great building, to which every
country was invited to send specimens of all its arts and manufactures.
It was called the World's Fair.  The house was of glass, and was a
beautiful thing in itself.  It was opened on the 1st of May, 1851;
and, though there have been many great International Exhibitions
since, not one has come up to the first.

People talked as if the World's Fair was to make all nations friends;
but it is not showing off their laces and their silks, their ironwork
and brass, their pictures and statues, that can keep them at peace;
and, only two years after the Great Exhibition, a great war broke out
in Europe--only a year after the great Duke of Wellington had died,
full of years and honors.

The only country in Europe that is not Christian is Turkey; and the
Russians have always greatly wished to conquer Turkey, and join it on
to their great empire.  The Turks have been getting less powerful for
a long time past, and finding it harder to govern the country; and one
day the Emperor of Russia asked the English ambassador, Sir Hamilton
Seymour, if he did not think the Turkish power a very sick man who
would soon be dead.  Sir Hamilton Seymour knew what this meant; and
he knew the English did not think it right that the Russians should
drive out the Sultan of Turkey--even though he is not a Christian; so
he made the emperor understand that if the sick man did die, it would
not be for want of doctors.

Neither the English nor the French could bear that the Russians should
get so much power as they would have, if they gained all the countries
down to the Mediterranean Sea; so, as soon as ever the Russians began
to attack the Turks, the English and French armies were sent to defend
them; and they found the best way of doing this was to go and fight
the Russians in their own country, namely--the Crimea, the peninsula
which hangs as it were, down into the Black Sea.  So, in the autumn of
the year 1854, the English and French armies, under Lord Raglan and
Marshal St. Arnaud, were landed in the Crimea, where they gained a
great victory on their first landing, called the battle of the Alma,
and then besieged the city of Sebastopol.  It was a very long siege,
and in the course of it the two armies suffered sadly from the cold
and damp, and there was much illness; but a brave English Lady, named
Florence Nightingale, went out with a number of nurses to take care of
the sick and wounded, and thus she saved a great many lives.  There
were two more famous battles.  One was when six hundred English
horsemen were sent by mistake against a whole battery of Russian
cannon, and rode on as bravely as if they were not seeing their
comrades shot down, till scarcely half were left.  This was called
the Charge of Balaklava.  The other battle was when the Russians
crept out, late in the evening of November 5, to attack the English
camp: and there was a dreadful fight by night and in the early morning
on the heights of Inkerman; but at last the English won the battle,
and gave the day a better honor that it had had before.  Then came a
terrible winter of watching the city and firing at the walls; and when
at last, on the 18th of June, 1855, it was assaulted, the defenders
beat the attack off; and Lord Raglan, worn out with care and vexation,
died a few days after.  However, soon another attack was made, and
in September half the city was won.  The Emperor of Russia had died
during the war, and his son made peace, on condition that Sebastopol
should not be fortified again, and that the Russians should let the
Turks alone, and keep no fleet in the Black Sea.

In this war news flew faster than ever it had done before.  You heard
how Benjamin Franklin found that electricity--that strange power of
which lightning is the visible sign--could be carried along upon metal
wire.  It has since been made out how to make the touch of a magnet
at one end of these wires make the other end move so that letters can
be pointed to, words spelt out and messages sent to any distance with
really the speed of lightning.  This is the wonderful electric
telegraph, of which you see the wires upon the railway.


VICTORIA.  A.D. 1857--1860.

Peace had been made after the Crimean war, and everybody hoped it was
going to last, when very sad news came from India.  You know I told
you the English people had gone to live in India, and had gradually
gained more and more lands there, so that they were making themselves
rulers and governors over all that great country.  They had some of
the regiments of the English army to help them to keep up their power,
and a great many soldiers besides--Hindoos, or natives of India, who
had English officers, and were taught to fight in the English manner.
These Hindoo soldiers were called Sepoys.  They were not Christians,
but were some of them Mahommedans, and some believed in the strange
religion of India, which teached people to believe in a great many
gods--some of them very savage and cruel ones, according to their
stories, and which forbids them many very simple things.  One of the
things it forbids is the killing a cow, or touching beef, or any part
of it.

Now, it seems the Sepoys had grown discontented with the English; and,
besides that, there came out a new sort of cartridge--that is, little
parcels of powder and shot with which to load fire-arms.  The Sepoys
took it into their heads that these cartridges had grease in them
taken from cows, and that it was a trick on the part of the English
to make them break the rules of their religion, and force them to
become Christians.  In their anger they made a conspiracy together;
and, in many of the places in India, they then suddenly turned upon
their English officers, and shot them down on their parade ground, and
then they went to the houses and killed every white woman and child
they could meet with.  Some few had very wonderful escapes, and were
treated kindly by native friends; and many showed great bravery and
piety in their troubles.  After that the Sepoys marched away to the
city of Delhi, where an old man lived who had once been king, and
they set him up to be king, while every English person left in the
city was murdered.

The English regiments in India made haste to come into Bengal, to try
to save their country-folk who had shut themselves up in the towns or
strong places, and were being besieged there by the Sepoys.  A great
many were in barracks in Cawnpore.  It was not a strong place, and
only had a mud wall round; but there was a native prince called the
Nana Sahib, who had always seemed a friend to the officers--had gone
out hunting with them, and invited them to his house.  They thought
themselves safe near him; but, to their horror, he forgot all this,
and joined the Sepoys.  The cannon were turned against them, and the
Sepoys watched all day the barrack yard where they were shut in, and
shot everyone who went for water.  At last, after more pain and misery
than we can bear to think of, they gave themselves up to the Nana, and
horrible to tell, he killed them all.  The men were shot the first day,
and the women and little children were then shut up in a house, where
they were kept for a night.  Then the Nana heard that the English army
was coming, and in his fright and rage he sent in his men, who killed
everyone of them, and threw their bodies into a deep well.  The English
came up the next day, and were nearly mad with grief and anger.  They
could not lay hands on the Nana, but they punished all the people he
employed; and they were so furious that they hardly showed any mercy
to another Sepoy after that dreadful sight.

There were some more English holding out in the city of Lucknow, and
they longed to go to their relief; but first Delhi, where the old king
was, had to be taken; and, as it was a very strong place, it was a
long time before it was conquered; but at last the gates of the city
were blown up by three brave men, and the whole army made their way
in.  More troops had been sent out from England to help their comrades,
and they were able at last to march to Lucknow.  There, week after
week, the English soldiers, men of business, ladies, soldier's wives,
and little children, had bravely waited, with the enemy round, and
shot so often coming through the buildings that they had chiefly to
live in the cellars; and the food was so scanty and bad, that the
sickly people and the little babies mostly died; and no one seemed
able to get well if once he was wounded.  Help came at last.  The
brave Sir Colin Campbell, who had been sent out from home, brought the
army to their rescue, and they were saved.  The Sepoys were beaten in
every fight; and at last the terrible time of the mutiny was over, and
India quiet again.

In 1860, the queen and all the nation had a grievous loss in the death
of the good Prince Consort, Albert, who died of a fever at Windsor
Castle, and was mourned for by everyone, as if he had been a relation
or friend.  He left nine children, of whom the eldest, Victoria, the
Princess Royal, was married to the Prince of Prussia.  He had done
everything to help forward improvements; and the country only found
out how wise and good he was after he was taken away.

Pains began to be taken to make the great towns healthier.  It is true
that the plague has never come to England since the reign of Charles
II., but those sad diseases, cholera and typhus fever, come where
people will not attend to cleanliness.  The first time the cholera came
was in the year 1833, under William IV.; and that was the last time of
all, because it was a new disease, and the doctors did not know what
to do to cure it.  But now they understand it much better--both how
to treat, and, what is better, how to keep it away; and that is by
keeping everything sweet and clean.


VICTORIA.  A.D. 1860--1872.

One more chapter, which, however, does not finish the history of good
Queen Victoria, and these Stories of the History of England will be

All the nation rejoiced very much when the queen's eldest son, Albert
Edward, the Prince of Wales, married Alexandra, daughter to the king
of Denmark.  Her father and mother brought her to England, and the
prince met her on board ship in the mouth of the Thames; and there
was a most beautiful and joyous procession through London.  When
they were married the next day, in St. George's Chapel at Windsor,
the whole of England made merry, and there were bonfires on every
hill, and illuminations in every town, so that the whole island was
glowing with brightness all that Spring evening.

There is a country in Abyssinia, south of Egypt.  The people there are
Christians, but they have had very little to do with other nations,
and have grown very dull and half savage; indeed they have many horrid
and disgusting customs, and have forgotten all the teaching that would
have made them better.  Of late years there had been some attempt to
wake them up and teach them; and they had a clever king named Theodore,
who seemed pleased and willing to improve himself and his nation.
He allowed missionaries to come and try to teach his people what
Christianity means a little better than they knew before, and invited
skilled workmen to come and teach his people.  They came; but not long
after Theodore was affronted by the English Government, and shut them
all up in prison.  Messages were sent to insist upon his releasing
them, but he did not attend or understand; and at last an army was
sent to land on the coast from the east, under General Napier, and
march to his capital, which was called Magdala, and stood on a hill.

General Napier managed so well that there was no fighting on the road.
He came to the gates of Magdala, and threatened to fire upon it if the
prisoners were not given up to him.  He waited till the time was up,
and then caused his troops to begin the attack.  The Abyssinians fled
away, and close by one of the gates Theodore was found lying dead,
shot through.  No one is quite sure whether one of his servants killed
him treacherously, or whether he killed himself in his rage and
despair.  England did not try to keep Abyssinia though it was
conquered; but it was left to the royal family whom Theodore had
turned out, and Theodore's little son, about five years old, was
brought to England; but, as he could not bear the cold winter, he
was sent to a school in India.

This, which was in the year 1868, was the last war the English have
had.  There has been fighting all round and about in Europe, especially
a great war between France and Prussia in 1870; but the only thing
the English had to do with that, was the sending out of doctors and
nurses, with all the good things for sick people that could be thought
of, to take care of all the poor wounded on both sides, and lessen
their suffering as much as possible.  They all wore red crosses on
their sleeves, and put up a red-cross flag over the houses where they
were taking care of the sick and wounded, and then no one on either
side fired upon them.

An Act of Parliament has given the right to vote, at the election of
the House of Commons, to much poorer men than used to have it.  It is
to be hoped that they will learn to use wisely this power of helping
to choose those who make the laws and govern the country.  To give
them a better chance of doing so, a law has been made that no child
shall be allowed to grow up without any teaching at all, but that
those who are too poor to pay for their own schooling shall be paid
for by the State, and that their parents shall be obliged to send
them.  The great thing is to learn to know and do one's duty.  If
one only learns to be clever with one's head, without trying to
be good at the same time, it is of very little use.  But I hope you
will try to mind your duty--first to God and then to man; and if you
do that, God will prosper you and bless you.

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