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AUNT CHARLOTTE'SENGLISH HISTORY
IN THE PRESSBY THE SAME AUTHORUniform foit "" Stories of Englis4 istorg "ILLUSTRATED FRENCH HISTORY FOR THELITTLE ONESILLUSTRATED SUNDAY LESSONS FOR THELITTLE ONES
L NIIAFTER THE BATTLE OF CRECYFROM A WATER COIUR BY H S MARKS, A R A
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AUNT CHARLOTTE'SSTORIES OFENGLISH HISTORYFOR THE LITTLE ONES.BYCHARLOTTE M. YONGE,AUTHOR OP "THE HEIR OF REDCLYFFE," &C.eaonban:MARCUS WARD & CO., CHANDOS STREET, W.C.;AND ROYAL ULSTER WORKS, BELFAST.
MARCUS WARD AND CO.OrintersROYAL ULSTER WORKS, BELFAST
PREFACE.HIS History is intended for very little children.It seems to be the experience of all families,that the exigencies of modern education require thenames of the sovereigns of England, and some ideaconnected with them, to be acquired long before thereis any possibility of really understanding history. Ihad hoped to supply this need by " The Kings of Eng-land," but it is found too difficult for the very first age;and I never yet found a nursery history that was cor-rect in the facts it attempted to give. Whether thepresent will answer the purpose can only be proved byexperience as to whether the little ones take interestin it.It has been made as easy as the nature of thingswould permit, and it is hoped to follow it up with afew other little histories, such as, with the carefullydrawn illustrations, may lay the foundation with toler-able correctness, and not much to unlearn.CHARLOTTE M. YONGE.May 2nd, 1873.
CONTENTS.CHAP. PAGEI.-Julius Casar. B.C. 55 5II.-The Romans in Britain. A.D. 41-418 9III.-The Angle Children. A.D. 597 13IV.-The Northmen. A.D. 858-958 .V.-The Danish Conquest. A.D. 958-1035 23VI.-The Norman Conquest. A.D. 1035-1066 28VII.-William the Conqueror. A.D. 1O66-1087 32VIII.-William II., Rufus. A.D. 1087-1100 37IX.-Henry I., Beau-Clerc. A.D. 1100-1135 41X.-Stephen. A.D. 1135-1154 45XI.-Henry II., Fitz-Empress. A.D. 1154-1189 59XII.- ichard I., Lion-Heart. A.D. 1189--I99 5 55XIII.-ohn, Lackland. A.D. 1199-1216 61XIV.-Henry III., of Winchester. A.D. 1216-1272 6XV.-Edward I., Longshanks. A. 1272-1307 72XVI.-Edward II., of Caernarvon. A.D. 1307-1327 78*XVII. Edward II.L A.D. 1327-1377 83XVIII- Richard II.) A.D. 1377-1399 89XIX.IHenry IV. A.D. 1399-1413 95XX.-Henty V., of Monmouth. A.D. 1.I 3-1423 101XXI. Henry VIA of Windsor. A.D. 23-1461 lo6XXII.-Edward IV. A.D. 1461-148 113XXIII.-Edward V. AD. A.D: 1483 119XXIV.-FRichard I I.- A.D. 1483- 85. 124X4 R-.
vi Contents.CHAP. PAGXXV.-Henry VII. A.D. 1485-1509 128XXVI.-Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey. A.D. 1509-1529 134XXVII.L24enry VIII. and his Wives. A.D. 1528-1547. 139XXVIII.-'Edward VI. A.D. 1547-1553 145XXIX.-Mary I. A.D. 1553-1558 150XXX.-Elizabeth. A.D. 1558-1587 155XXXI.-,Elizabeth (continued). A.D. 1587-1602. 161XXXII.-ames I. A.D. I602-1625 167XXXIII.- harles I. A.D. 1625-1649 173XXXIV.-The Long Parliament. A.D. 1649 178XXXV. -Death of Charles I. A.D. 1649 183XXXVI.--Oliver Cromwell. A.D. 1649-1660 189XXXVII. Charles II. A.D. 1660-1685 194XXXVIII. -James II. A.D. 1685-1688 200XXXIX.--William III. and Mary II. A.D. 1689-1702 206XL.-Anne. A.D. 1702-1714 212XLI.-George I. A.D. 1714-1725 218SXLII.-George II. A.D. 1725-1760 223XLIII.-George III. A.D. 176-1785 229XLIV/.F George III. (continued). A.D. 1785-810 234XLV-e-George III.-The Regency. A.D. 1810-1820 240XLVI,-George IV. A.D. 1820-1830 245XLVII.-William IV. A.D. 1830-1837 250XLVIII.pVictoria. A.D. 1837-1855 255XLIX.-Victoria (continued). A.D. 1857-1860. 260L.-Victoria (continued). A.D. 1860-1872 265
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.King Edward III. receiving the Black Prince after the Battle of Crecy-From a painting by H. S. Marks, Esq., A.R.A.-Frontisfiece.Queen Victoria at the Age of Eight ixCaesar receiving Tribute from the Britons 5The Romans Building the Wall. 9Augustine's Mission to Ethelbert 13Edgar on the Dee 18Crossing the Ice at Ely 23Edward and the Thief 28William the Conqueror and his Sons .Peter the Hermit preaching the Crusade 37Homage to Maude *IMaude's Escape from Oxford 45Prince Henry receiving his Father's Ring .Richard I. turning aside from the sight of Jerusalem 55John Escaping from the Wash .Henry III. Crowned with his Mother's Bracelet 66Edward I. presenting his Son to the Welsh Princes 72"Edward II. Crowned wit 'Hay 78Queen Philippa and the Burghers of Calais. .83Death of Wat Tyler 89
viii List of Illustrations.PAGEHenry IV. addressing his Son at his death. 95Henry V. Knighting Whittington 101Joan of Arc led to Execution 106Elizabeth Woodville entreating Edward IV. 113Archbishop Morton taking the Duke of York from the Queen 119Lady Bessee writing the Letter to Henry Tudor 124Perkin Warbeck in the Stocks 128The Field of the Cloth of Gold 34Henry VIII. looking at Anne of Cleves' Picture 139Edward VI. shown at the Window 145Children playing at Hanging the King of Spain 150Elizabeth sitting on the steps at Traitors' Gate 155Sir Philip Sydney and the wounded Soldier .Prince Charles Climbing over the Wall to see the Infanta 167The Pilgrim Fathers Embarking 173Cromwell's Soldiers Shooting at Stained Glass Windows 178Princess Henrietta Escaping, disguised as a Boy. 183Cromwell Expelling the Long Parliament 189Lord Wilmot writing the Epigram on the Kings bed-room door 194The Queen's Escape with her Child (James II.) 200The Apprentice Boys of Deny Shutting the Gates 206The Duchess of Marlborough Scolding Queen Anne 212The Earl of Nithsdale's Escape 218Prince Charles Shaking Hands with the Highlanders 223Death of Chatham 229Death of Nelson 234
List of Illustrations. ixPAGEBonaparte on board the Bellerophon 240George IV.'s Reception in Scotland 245Rick-burners 250Florence Nightingale in the Crimea 255Cashmere Gate, Delhi-Lighting the Fuse 26oMarriage of the Prince of Wales 265HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA, AT THE AGE OF EIGHT.From a Portrait in the possession of ere Foster, Esq."The Queen thinks the picture from which this small engraving was taken was paintedin 1826 or 1827.-Osborne, Afril 1st, 1868."/-
CAESAR RECEIVING TRIBUTE.STORIES OF ENGLISH HISTORY.CHAP. I.-JULIUS CAESAR.B.C. 55.EARLY two thousand years ago there was at'brave captain whose name was Julius Cesar.The soldiers he led to battle were very strong, andConquered the people wherever they went. They hadno guns or gunpowder then; but they had swords andspears, and, to'prevent themselves from being hurt,they had helmets or brazen caps on their heads, with
6 Stories of English History.long tufts of horse-hair upon them, by way of orna-ment, and breast-plates of brass on their breasts, andon their arms they carried a sort of screen, made ofstrong leather. One of them carried a little brassfigure of an eagle on a long pole, with a scarlet flagflying below, and wherever the eagle was seen, theyall followed, and fought so bravely that nothing couldlong stand against them.When Julius Cesar rode at their head, with hiskeen, pale hook-nosed face, and the scarlet cloak thatthe general always wore, they were so proud of him,and so fond of him, that there was nothing they wouldnot do for him.Julius Caesar heard that a little way off there wasa country nobody knew anything about, except thatthe people were very fierce and savage, and that asort of pearl was found in the shells of mussels whichlived in the rivers. He could not bear that thereshould be any place that his own people, the Romans,did not know and subdue. So he commanded theships to be prepared, and he and his soldiers embarked,watching the white cliffs on the other side of the seagrow higher and higher as he came nearer and nearer.When he came quite up to them; he found thesavages were there in earnest. They were tall men,
Julius Cesar. 7.with long red streaming hair, and such clothes as theyhad were woollen, checked, like plaid; but many hadTheir arms and breasts naked, and painted all overin blue patterns. They had spears and darts, and thechief men among them were in basket-work chariots,with a scythe in the middle of each wheel to cut downtheir enemies. They yelled and brandished their darts,Sto make Julius Caesar and his Roman soldiers keepaway; but he only went on to a place where the shorewas not quite so steep, and there commanded his sol-diers to land. The savages had run along the shoretoo, and there was a terrible fight; 'but, at last, theman who carried the eagle jumped down into themiddle of the natives, calling out to his fellows thatthey must come after him, or they would lose theireagle. They all came rushing and leaping down, andthus they managed to force back the savages, andmake their way to the shore.;There was not much worth having when they hadmade their way there. Though they came again thenext year, and forced their way a good deal further intothe country, they saw chiefly bare downs, or heaths, orthick woods. The few houses were little more thanpiles of stones, and the people were rough and wild,and could do-very little. The men hunted wild boars,
8 Stories of English History.and wolves and stags, and the women dug the ground,and raised a little corn, which they ground to flourbetween two stones to make bread; and they spun thewool of their sheep, dyed it with, bright colours, andwove it into dresses. They had some strong places inthe woods, with trunks of trees, cut down to shut themin from the enemy, with all their flocks and cattle;but Caesar did not get into any of these. He onlymade the natives give him some of their pearls, andcall the Romans their masters, and then he went backto his ships, and none of the set of savages who werealive when he camesaw him or his Romans any more.Do you know who these savages were who foughtwith Julius Caesar ? They were called Britons. Andthe country he came to see ? That was our very ownisland, .England, only it was not, called so then. Andthe place where Julius Caesar landed is called Deal,and, if you look at the map, where England andFrance most nearly touch one another, I think you willsee the name Deal, and reniember it was there thatJulius Caesar landed, and fought with the Britons.It was fifty-five years before our blessed Sayiourwas born that the Romans came. So at the top ofthis chapter stands B.C. (Before Christ) 55.
ROMANS BUILDING THE WALL.CHAP. II.-THE ROMANS IN BRITAIN.A.D. 41--48.sT was nearly a hundred years before any moreof the Romans came- to Britain; but they werepeople who could not hear of a place without wantingto conquer it, and they never left off trying till theyhad done what they undertook.One of their emperors, named Claudius, sent hissoldiers to conquer the island, and then came to see ithimself, and called himself Britannicus in honour of thevictory, just as if he had done it himself, instead of hisgenerals. One British chief, whose name was Caradoc,* c /
io Stories of English History.who had fought very bravely against the Romans, wasbrought to Rome, with chains on his hands and feet,and set before the emperor. As he stood there, hesaid that, when he looked at all the grand buildings ofstone and marble in the streets, he could not thinkwhy the Romans should want to take away the poorrough stone huts of the Britons. Claudius was kind toCaradoc; but the Romans went on conquering Britaintill they had won all the part of it that lies south of theriver Tweed; and, as the people beyond that pointwere more fierce and savage still, a very strong wall,with a bank of earth and deep ditch was made tokeep them out, and always watched by Roman soldiers.The Romans made beautiful straight roads all overthe country, and they built towns. Almost all the townswhose names end in chester were begun by the Romans,and bits of their walls are to be seen still, built of verysmall bricks. 'Sometimes people dig up a bit of thebeautiful pavement of coloured tiles, in patterns, whichused to be the floors of their houses, or a piece of theirmoney; or one of their ornaments.For the Romans held Britain for four hundred years,and tamed the wild people in the South, and taughtthem to speak and dress, and read and write likethemselves, so that they could hardly be known from
The Romans in Britain. i.Romans. Only the wild ones beyond the wall, and inthe mountains, were as savage as 'ever, and, now andthen, used to come and steal the cattle, and burn thehouses of their neighbours who had learnt better.Another set of wild people used to come ovAr inboats across the North Sea and German Ocean. Thesepeople had their home in the country that is calledHolstein and Jutland. They were tall men, and hadblue eyes and fair hair, and they were very strong, andgood-natured in a rough sort of way, though they werefierce to their enemies. There was a great deal morefighting than any one has told us about; but the end ofit all was that the Roman soldiers were wanted athome, and though the great British chief we call KingArthur fought very bravely, he could not drive backthe blue-eyed men in the ships; but more and morecame, till; at last, they got all the country, and drovethe Britons, some up into the North, some into themountains that rise along the West of the island, andsome out into its west point.The Britons used to call the blue-eyed menSaxons; but they called themselves Angles, and thecountry was called after them Angle-land. Don't youknow what it is called now ? England itself, and thepeople English; for these were our own forefathers-/1
12 Stories of English History.our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfa-thers They spoke much the same language as we do,only more as untaught country people, and they hadnot so many words, because they had not so manythings to see and talk about.As to the Britons, the English went on driving.them back till they only kept their mountains. Therethey have gone on living ever since, and talking theirown old language. The English called them Welsh, aname that meant strangers, and we call them Welshstill, and their country Wales. They made a greatmany. grand stories about their last brave chief, Arthur,till, at last, they turned into a sort of fairy tale. It wassaid that, when King Arthur lay badly wounded afterhis last battle, he bade his friend fling his sword intothe river, and that then three lovely ladies came in aboat, and carried him away to a secret island. TheWelsh kept on saying, for years and years, that oneday King Arthur would wake up again, and give themback all Britain, which used to be their own before theEnglish got it for themselves; but the English havehad England now for thirteen hundred years, and mayGod, in His mercy, keep it for us still."It was about 400 years after our Lord was born thatthe Romans were going and the English coming.
AUGUSTINE'S MISSION TO ETHELBERT.CHAP. III.-THE ANGLE CHILDREN.AD. 597.TIHE old English who had come to Britain wereheathen, and believed in many false gods: theSun, to whom they made Sunday sacred, as Mondaywas to the Moon, Wednesday to a great, terriblegod, named Woden, and Thursday to a god calledThor, or Thunder. They thought a clap of thunderwas the sound of the great hammer he carried inhis hand. They thought their gods cared for peo-ple being brave, and that the souls of those whodied fighting gallantly in battle were the happiest of
14 Stories of English History.all ; but they did not care for kindness or gentleness.Thus they often did very cruel things, and one ofthe worst that they did was the stealing of men,women, and children from their homes, and sellingthem to strangers, who made slaves of them. AllEngland had not one king. There were generallyabout seven kings, each with a different part of theisland; and, as they were often at war with oneanother, they used to steal one another's subjects, andsell them to merchants who came from Italy andGreece for them.Some English children were made slaves, andcarried 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 Bri-"tain." "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 tosend teachers to teach the English the Christian faith.He had to wait for many years, and, in that time, hewas made Pope, namely, Father-Bishop of Rome. Atlast he heard that one of the chief English kings,Ethelbert of Kent, had married Bertha, the daughter
The Angle Children. 15of the King of Paris, who was a Christian, and thatshe was to be allowed to bring a priest with her, andhave a church to worship in.Gregory thought this would make a beginning: sohe sent a priest, whose name was Augustine, with aletter to King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha, and askedthe king to listen to him. Ethelbert met Augustinein the open air, under a tree at Canterbury, and heardhim tell about the true God, and JESUS CHRIST, whomHe has sent; and, after some time, and a great deal ofteaching, Ethelbert gave up worshipping Woden andThor, and believed in the true God, and was baptised,and many of his people with him. Then Augustinewas made Archbishop of Canterbury; and, one afteranother, in-the course of the next hundred years, allthe English kingdoms learnt to know God, and brokedown their idols, and became Christian.Bishops were appointed, and churches were built,and parishes were marked off-a great many of themthe very same that we have now. Here and there,when men or women wanted to be very good indeed,and to give their whole lives to doing nothing butserving God, without any of the fighting and feasting,the buying and selling of the outer world, they builthouses, where they might live apart, and churches,- //
16 Stories of English History.where there might be services seven times a-day.These houses were named abbeys. Those for menwere, sometimes, also called monasteries, and the menin them were termed monks, while the women werecalled nuns, and their homes convents or nunneries.They had. plain dark dresses, and hoods, and thewomen always had veils. The monks used to promisethat they would work as well as pray, so they used tobuild their abbeys by some forest or marsh, and bringit all into order, turning the wild place into fields, fullof wheat. Others used to copy out the Holy Scrip-tures and other good books upon parchment-becausethere was no paper in those days, nor any printing-drawing beautiful painted pictures at the beginning ofthe chapters, which were called illuminations. Thenuns did needlework and embroidery, as hangings forthe'altar, and garments for the priests, all bright withbeautiful colours, and stiff with gold. The Englishnuns' work was the most beautiful to be seen anywhere.There were schools in the abbeys, where boys weretaught reading, writing, singing, and Latin, to preparethem for being clergymen; but not many othersthought it needful to have anything to do with books.Even the great men thought they could farm andfeast, advise the king, and consent to the laws, hunt
The Angle Children. 17or fight, quite as well without reading, and they didnot care for much besides; for, though they wereChristians, they were still rude, rough, ignorant men,who liked nothing so well as a hunt or a feast, andslept away all the evening, especially when they couldget a harper to sing to them.The English men used to wear a long dress like acarter's frock, and their legs were wound round withstrips of cloth by way of stockings. Their houses wereonly of one storey, and had no chimneys-only a holeat the top for the smoke to go out at; and no glassin the windows. The only glass there was at all hadbeen brought from Italy to put into York Cathedral,and it was thought a great wonder. So the windowshad shutters to keep out the rain and wind, and thefire was in the middle of the room. At dinner-time,about twelve o'clock, the lord and lady of the housesat upon cross-legged stools, and their children andservants sat on benches; and square bits of wood, cal-led trenchers, were put before them for plates, whilethe servants carried round the meat on spits, andeverybody cut off a piece with his own knife and ate itwithout a fork. They drank out of cows' horns, if they"had not silver cups. But though they were so roughthey were often good, brave people./
C.ZEDGAR ON THE DEE-SEE PAGE 23.CHAP. IV.-THE NORTHMEN.A.D. 858-958.THERE were many more of the light-haired, blue-eyed people on the further side of the North Seawho worshipped Thor and Woden still, and thoughtthat their kindred in England had fallen from the oldways. Besides, they liked to make their fortunes bygetting what they could from their neighbours. No-body was thought brave or worthy, in Norway orDenmark, who had not made some voyages in a "longkeel," as a ship was called, ard fought bravely, andbrought home gold cups and chains or jewels to show
The Northmen. 19where he had been. Their captains were called SeaKings, and some of them went a great way, even intothe Mediterranean Sea, and robbed the beautiful shoresof Italy. So dreadful was it to see the fleet of longships coming up to the shore, with a serpent for thefigure-head, and a raven as the flag, and crowds offierce warriors with axes in their hands longing forprey and bloodshed, that where we pray in church thatGod would deliver us from lightning and tempest, andbattle and murder, our forefathers used to add, " Fromthe fury of the Northmen, good Lord deliver us."To England these Northern men came in greatswarms, and chiefly from Denmark, so that they weregenerally called " the Danes." They burnt the houses,drove off the cows and sheep, killed the men, and tookaway the women and children to be slaves; and theywere always most cruel of all where they found an- Abbey with any monks or nuns, because they hatedthe Christian faith. By this time those seven Englishkingdoms I told you of had all fallen into the hands ofone king. Egbert, King of the West Saxons, whoreigned at Winchester, is counted as the first king ofall England. His four grandsons had dreadful battleswith the Danes all their lives, and the three eldest alldied quite young. The youngest was the greatest and
20 Stories of English History.best king we ever had-Alfred the Truth-teller. Hewas only twenty-two years old when he came to thethrone, and the kingdom was overrun everywhere withthe Danes. In the northern part some had evensettled down, and made themselves at home, as theEnglish had done four hundred years before, and moreand more kept coming in their ships : so that, thoughAlfred beat them in battle again and again, there wasno such thing as driving them away. At last he hadso very few faithful men left with him, that he thoughtit wise to send them away, and hide himself in theSomersetshire marsh country. There is a pretty storytold of him that he was hidden in the hut of a poorherdsman, whose wife, thinking he was a poor wander-ing soldier as he sat by the fire mending his bow andarrows, desired him to turn the cakes she had set tobake upon the hearth. Presently she found themburning, and cried out angrily, "Lazy rogue! you can'tturn the cakes, though you can eat them fast enough.",However, that same spring, the brave Englishgained more victories; Alfred came out of his hidingplace and gathered them all together, and beat theDanes, so that they asked for peace. He said hewould allow those who had settled in the North ofEngland to stay there, provided they would become
The Northmen. 21Christians; and he stood godfather to their chief, andgave him the name of Ethelstane. After this, Alfredhad stout English ships built to meet the Danes at seabefore they could come-and land in England; and thushe kept them off, so that for all the rest of his reign,and that of his son and grandsons, they could do verylittle mischief, and for a time left off coming at all, butwent to rob other countries that were not so wellguarded by brave kings.But Alfred was not only a brave warrior. He wasa most good and holy man, who feared God above allthings, and tried to do his very best for his people.He made good laws for them, and took care that everyone should be justly treated, and that nobody shoulddo his neighbour wrong without being punished. Somany Abbeys had been burnt and the monks killed bythe Danes, that there were hardly any books to beShad, or scholars to read them. He invited learnedmen from abroad, and wrote and translated bookshimself for them; and he had a school in his house,where he made the young nobles learn with his ownsons. He built up the churches, and gave alms to thepoor; and he was always ready to hear the troublesof any poor man. Though he was always workingso hard, he had a disease that used to cause him
22 Stories of English History.terrible pain almost every day. His last years wereless peaceful than the middle ones of his reign, for theDanes tried to come again; but he beat them off byhis ships at sea, and when he died at fifty-two yearsold, in the year 901, he left England at rest and quiet,and we always think of him as one of the greatestand best kings who ever reigned in England, or in anyother country. As long as his children after him andhis people went on in the good way he had taughtthem, all prospered with them, and no enemies hurtthem; and this was all through the reigns of his son,his grandson, and great-grandsons. Their council ofgreat men was called by a long word that is in ourEnglish, "Wise Men's Meeting," and there they set-tled the affairs of the kingdom. The king's wife wasnot called queen, but lady; and what do you think ladymeans ? It means "loaf-giver"-giver of bread to herhousehold and the poor. So a lady's great work is tobe charitable.tK
CROSSING THE ICE AT ELY.CHAP, V.-THE DANISH CONQUEST.A.D. 958-1035.SHE last very prosperous king was Alfred's greatgrandson, Edgar, who was owned as their over-"lord by all the kings of the remains of the Britons inWales and Scotland. Once eight of these kings cameto meet hint at Chester, and rowed him in his bargealong the river Dee. It was the grandest day a kingof England enjoyed for many years. Edgar wascalled the peaceable, because there were no attacks bythe Danes at all throughout his reign. In fact, theNorthmen and Danes had been fighting among them-/
24 Stories of English Hityory.selves at home, and these fights generally ended insome 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 andmighty chief named Rollo, had, some time before, thusgone to France, and forced the king to give them agreat piece of his country, just opposite to England,which was called after them Normandy. There theylearned to talk French, and grew like Frenchmen,though they remained a great deal braver, and morespirited than any of their neighbours.,There were continually fleets of Danish shipscoming to England; and the son of Edgar, whosename was Ethelred, was a helpless, cowardly sort ofman, so slow and tardy, that his people called himEthelred the Unready. Instead of fitting out shipsto fight against the Danes, he took the money theships ought to have cost, to pay them to go awaywithout plundering; and as to those who had comeinto the country without his leave, he called them hisguard, took them into his pay, and let them live in thehouses of the English, where they were very rude,and gave themselves great airs, making the Englishfeed them on all their best meat, and bread, and beer,and always call them Lord Danes. He made friends
The Danish Conquest. 25himself with the Northmen, or Normans, who had set-tled in France, and married Emma, the daughter oftheir duke; but none of his plans prospered: thingsgrew worse and worse, and his mind and his people'sgrew so bitter against the Danes, that at last it wasagreed that, all over the South of England, everyEnglishman should rise up in one night and murderthe Dane who lodged in his house.Among those Danes who were thus wickedly killedwas the sister of the King of Denmark. Of coursehe was furious when he heard of it, and came over toEngland determined to punish the cruel, treacherousking and people, and take the whole island for hisown. He did punish the people, killing, burning, andplundering wherever he went; but he could never getthe king into his hands, for Ethelred went off in theheight of the danger to Normandy, where he hadbefore sent his wife Emma, and her children, leavinghis eldest son (child of his first wife), Edmund Iron-side, to fight for the kingdom as best he might..This King of Denmark died in the midst of hisEnglish war; but his son Cnut went on with theconquest he had begun, and before long Ethelred theUnready died, and Edmund Ironside was murdered,and Cnut became King of England, as well as ofD/-
26 Stories of English History.Denmark. He became a Christian, and marriedEmma, Ethelred's widow, though she was much olderthan himself. He had been a hard and cruel man, buthe now laid aside his evil ways, and became a nobleand wise and just king, a lover of churches and goodmen; and the English seem to have been as well offunder him as if he had been one of their own kings.There is no king of whom more pleasant stories aretold. One is of his wanting to go to church at ElyAbbey one cold Candlemas Day. Ely was on a hill,in the middle of a great marsh. The marsh was frozenover; but the king's servants told him that the ice wasnot strong enough to bear, and they all stood lookingat it. Then out stepped a stout countryman, who wasso fat, that his nickname was The Pudding. "Areyou all afraid ?" he said, " I will go over at once beforethe king." "Will you so," said the king, "then I willcome 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 thatevery thing would obey him. "Let us try," said Cnut,who wished to show them how foolish and profanethey were; "bring out my chair to the sea-side." He
The Danish Conquest. 27was at Southampton at the time, close to the sea, andthe tide was coming in. "Now sea," he said, as he satdown, " I am thy lord, dare not to come near, nor towet my feet" Of course the waves rolled on, andsplashed over him; and he turned to his servants, andbade them never say words that took away from thehonor due to the only Lord of heaven and earth. Henever put on his crown again after this, but hung it upin Winchester Cathedral. He was a thorough goodking, and there was much grief when he died, strangerthough he was.A great many Danes had made their homes in York-shire and Lincolnshire, ever since Alfred's time, andsome of their customs are still left among us, and someof their words. The worst of them was that they weregreat drunkards, and the English learnt this bad cus-tom of them./'~-
EDWARD AND THE THIEF.CHAP. VI.-THE NORMAN CONQUEST.A.D. 1035-Io66.GNUT left three sons; but one was content to beonly King of Denmark, and the other two diedvery soon. So a great English nobleman, called EarlGodwin, set up as king, Edward, one of those sons ofEthelred the Unready who had been sent away toNormandy. He was a very kind, good, pious man,who loved to do good. He began the building of ourgrand church at Westminster Abbey, and he was soholy that he was called the Confessor, which is a wordfor good men not great enough to be called saints.
The Norman Conquest. 29He was too good-natured, as you will say when youhear that one day, when he was in bed, he saw a thiefcome cautiously into his room, open the chest wherehis treasure was, and take out the money-bags. Insteadof calling anyone, or seizing the man, the king onlysaid, sleepily, " Take care, you rogue, or my chancellorwill catch you and give you a good whipping."You can fancy that nobody much minded such a kingas this, and so there were many disturbances in histime. Some of them rose out of the king-who hadbeen brought up in Normandy-liking the Normansbetter than the English. They really were muchcleverer and more sensible, for they had learnt a greatdeal in France, while the English had forgotten muchof what Alfred and his sons had taught them, and allthrough the long, sad reign of Ethelred had been get-ting more dull, and clumsy, and rude. Moreover, theyhad learnt of the Danes to be sad drunkards; but boththey and the Danes thought the Norman French finegentlemen, and could not bear the sight of them.Think, then, how angry they all were when it beganto be said that King Edward wanted to leave hiskingdom of England to his mother's Norman nephew,Duke William, because all his own near relations werestill little boys, not likely to be grown up by the time
30 Stories of English History.the old king died. Many of the English wished forHarold, the son of Earl Godwin, a brave, spirited man;but Edward sent him to Normandy, and there DukeWilliam made him swear an oath not to do anything tohinder the kingdom from being given to Duke William.Old King Edward died soon after, and Harold saidat once that his promise had been forced and cheatedfrom him, so that he need not keep it, and he wascrowned King of England. This filled William withanger. He called all his fighting Normans together,fitted out ships, and sailed across the English Channelto Dover. The figure-head of his own ship was alikeness of his second little boy, named William. Helanded at Pevensey, in Sussex, and set up his campwhile Harold was away in the North, fighting with arunaway brother of his own, who had brought the Nor-wegians to attack Yorkshire. Harold had just won agreat battle over these enemies when he heard thatWilliam and his Normans had landed, and he had tohurry the whole length of England to meet them.Many of the English would not join him, becausethey did not want him for their king. But though hisarmy was not large, it was very brave. When hereached Sussex, he placed all his men on the top of alow hill, near Hastings, and caused them to make a
The Norman Conquest. 31fence all round, with a ditch before it, and in themiddle was his own standard, with a fighting manembroidered upon it Then the Normans rode up ontheir war-horses to attack him, one brave knight goingfirst, singing. The war-horses stumbled in the ditch,and the long spears of the English killed both men andhorses. Then William ordered his archers to shoottheir arrows high in the air. They came down likehail into the faces and on the heads of the English.Harold himself was pierced by one in the ye. TheNormans charged the fence again, and bro e through;and, by the time night came on, Harold himself and allhis brave Englishmen were dead. They did not fleeaway; they all staid, and were killed, fighting to thelast; and only then was Harold's standard of thefighting "man rooted up, and William's standard-across, which had been blessed by the Pope-plantedinstead of it So ended the battle of Hastings, in theyear io66.We have had a great many "conquests" hitherto-the Roman conquest, the English conquest, the Danishconquest, and now the Norman conquest But therehave been no more since; and our kings and queenshave gone on in one long line ever since, from Williamof Normandy down to Queen Victoria.
"~-~ ~WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR AND HIS SONS.CHAP. VII.-WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.A.D. 1066---087.THE king who had conquered England was abrave, strong man, who had been used to fightingand struggling ever since he was a young child.He really feared God, and was in many ways a goodman; but it had not been right of him to come andtake another people's country by force; and the havingdone one wrong thing often makes people grow worseand worse. Many of the English were unwilling tohave William as their king, and his Norman friendswere angry that he would not let them have more of
William the Conqueror. 33the English lands, nor break the English laws. So theywere often rising up against him; and each time he hadto put them down he grew more harsh and stern. Hedid not want to be cruel; but he did many cruel things,because it was the only way to keep England.When 'the people in Northumberland rose againsthim, and tried to get back the old set of kings, he hadthe whole country wasted with fire and sword, tillhardly a town or village was left standing. He didthis to punish the Northumbrians, and frighten therest. But he did another thing that was worse, becauseit was only for his own amusement. In Hampshire,near his castle of Winchester, there was a great spaceof healthy ground, and holly copse and beeches andoaks above it,,with deer and boars running wild inthe. glades-a beautiful place for hunting, only thatthere were' so many villages in it that the creatureswere disturbed and killed. William liked hunting morethan anything else-his people said he loved the highdeer as if he was their father,-and to keep the place -clear for them, he turned out all the inhabitants, andpulled down their houses, and made laws against any-one killing his game. The place he thus cleared isstill called the New Forest, though it is a thousandyears old.
34 Stories of English History.An old Norman law that the English grumbledabout very much was, that as soon as a bell was rungat eight o'clock every evening, everyone was to put outcandle and fire, and go to bed. The bell was calledthe curfew, and many old churches ring it still. -...William caused a great list to be made of all thelands in the country, and who held them. We havethis list still, and it is called Domesday Book. Itshews that a great deal had been taken from theEnglish and given to the Normans. The king builtcastles, with immensely thick, strong walls, and loop-hole windows, whence to shoot arrows; and here heplaced his Normans to keep the English down. Butthe Normans were even more unruly than the English,and only his strong hand kept them in order. Theyrode about in armour-helmets on their heads, a shirtof mail, made of chains of iron linked together, overtheir bodies, gloves and boots of iron, swords by theirsides, and lances in their hands-and thus they couldbear down all before them. They called themselvesknights, and were always made to take an oath to be-friend the weak, and poor, and helpless; but they didnot often keep it towards the poor English.William had four sons-Robert, who was calledCourt-hose or Short-legs; William, called Rufus, be-
William tIe Conqueror. 35cause he had red hair; Henry, called Beau-clerc, orthe fine scholar; and Richard, who was still a lad whenhe was killed by a stag in the New Forest.Robert, the eldest, was a wild, rude, thoughtlessyouth ; but he fancied himself fit to govern Normandy,and asked his father to give it up to him. KingWilliam answered,." I never take my clothes off beforeI go to bed," meaning that Robert must wait for his"death. Robert could not bear to be laughed at, andwas very angry. Soon after, when he was in the castlecourt, his two brothers, William and Henry, grewriotous, and poured water down from the upper win-dows on him and his friends. He flew into a passion,dashed up-stairs with his swrord in his hand, and mighthave killed his brothers if their father had not come into protect them. Then he threw himself on his horseand galloped away, persuaded some friends to join him,and actually fought a battle with his own father, inwhich the old king was thrown off his horse, and hurtin the hand. Then Robert wandered about, living onmoney that his mother, Queen Matilda, sent him,though his father was angry with her for doing so, andthis made the first quarrel the husband and wife hadever had.Not long after, William went to war with the King
36 Stories of English History.of France. He had caused a city to be burnt down,and was riding through the ruins, when his horse trodon some hot ashes, and began to plunge. The kingwas thrown forward on the saddle, and, being a veryheavy, stout man, was so much hurt, that, after a fewweeks, in the year Io87, he died at a little monastery,a short way from Rouen, the chief city of his dukedomof Normandy.He was the greatest man of his time, and he hadmuch good in him; and when he lay on his death-bedhe grieved much for all the evil he had brought uponthe English; but that could not undo it. He hadbeen a great church-builder, and so were his Normanbishops and barons. You may always know theirwork, because it has round pillars, and round arches,with broad borders of zig-zags, and all manner ofpatterns round them.In the end, the coming of the Normans did theEnglish much good, by brightening them up -and mak-ing them less dull and heavy; but they did riot likehaving a king and court who talked French, and caredmore for Normandy than for England.
H j ,PETER THE HERMIT PREACHING THE CRUSADE.CHAP. VIII.-WILLIAM II., RUFUS.A.D. 1087-1100.WILLIAM the Conqueror was obliged to letNormandy fall to Robert, his eldest son; buthe thought he could do as he pleased about England,which he had won for himself. So he had sent off his.second son, William, to England, with his ring toWestminster, giving him a message that he hoped theEnglish people would have him for their king. Andthey did take him, though they would hardly have doneso if they had known what he would be like when hewas left to himself. ,But while he was kept under by
38 Stories of English History.his father, they only knew that he had red hair and aruddy face, and had more sense than his brotherRobert. He is sometimes called the Red King, butmore commonly William Rufus. Things went worsethan ever with the poor English in his time; for at leastWilliam the Conqueror had made everybody mind thelaw, but now William Rufus let his cruel soldiers dojust as they pleased. They would come into the farms,have the best of everything set before them, beat andmisuse the people, carry off whatever they pleased, andspoil what they did not want It was of no use to com-plain, for the king would only laugh and make jokes.He did not care for God or man; only for beingpowerful, for feasting, and for hunting.Just at this time there was a great stir in Europe.Jerusalem-that holy city, where our blessed Lordhad taught, where He had been crucified, and whereHe had risen from the dead-was a place whereeveryone wished to go and worship, and this theycalled going on pilgrimage. A beautiful church hadonce been built over the sepulchre where our Lordhad lain, and enriched with gifts. But for a longtime past Jerusalem had been in the hands of an East-ern people, who think their false prophet, Mahommed,greater than our blessed Lord. These Mahomme-
William II., Rufus. 39dans used to rob and ill-treat the pilgrims, and makethem pay great sums of money for leave to come intoJerusalem. At last a pilgrim, named Peter the Her-mit, came home, and got leave from the Pope to tryto waken up all the Christian princes and knightsto go to the Holy Land, and fight to get the HolySepulchre back into Christian hands again. He usedto preach in the open air, and the people who heardhim were so stirred up that they all shouted out, " It isGod's will! It is God's will!" And each who under-took to go and fight in the East received a cross cutout in cloth, red or white, to wear on his shoulder.Many thousands promised to go on this crusade, asthey called it, and among them was Robert, Duke ofNormandy. But he had wasted his money, so that hecould not fit out an army to take with him. So he of-fered to give up Normandy to his brother William whilehe was gone, if William would let him have the moneyhe wanted. The Red King was very ready to makesuch a bargain, but he laughed at the Crusaders, andthought that they were wasting their time and trouble.They had a very good man to lead them, namedGodfrey de Bouillon; and, after many toils andtroubles, they did gain Jerusalem, and could kneel,weeping, at the Holy Sepulchre. It was proposed to
40 Stories of English History.make Robert King of Jerusalem, but he would notaccept the offer, and Godfrey was made king instead,and staid to guard the holy places, while Duke Robertset out on his return home.In the meantime, the Red King had gone on in asfierce and ungodly a way as ever, laughing good adviceto scorn, and driving away the good Archbishop ofCanterbury, St. Anselm, and everyone else who triedto warn him or withstand his wickedness. One day, inthe year i Ioo, he went out to hunt deer in the NewForest, which his father had wasted, laughing and jest-ing in his rough way. By and by he was found deadunder an oak tree, with an arrow through his heart;and a wood-cutter took up his body in his cart, arid car-ried it to Winchester Cathedral, where it was buried.Who shot the arrow nobody knew, and nobody everwill know. Some thought it must be a knight, namedWalter Tyrrell, to whom the king had given three longgood arrows that morning. He rode straight awayto Southampton, and went off to the Holy Land; soit is likely that he knew something about the king'sdeath. But. he never seems to have told anyone,whether it. was only an accident, or a murder, or whodid it. Anyway, it was a fearful end, for a bad man todie in his sin, without a moment to repent and pray.
HOMAGE TO MADE.CHAP. IX.-HENRY I., BEAU-CLERC.A.D. 1100I--1135.SENRY, the brother of William Rufus, was oneof the hunting party; and as soon as the cryspread through the forest that the king was dead, herode off at full speed to Winchester, and took posses-sion of all his brother's treasure. William Rufus hadnever been married, and left no children, and Henrywas much the least violent and most sensible of thebrothers; and, as he promised to govern according tothe old laws of England, he did not find it difficult topersuade the people to let him be crowned king.D2
42 Stories of English History.He was not really a good man, and he could be verycruel sometimes, as well as false and cunning; but hekept good order, and would not allow such horriblethings to be done as in his brother's time. So theEnglish were better off than they had been, and used tosay the king would let nobody break the laws but him-self. They were pleased, too, that Henry married alady who was half English-Maude, the daughter ofMalcolm Greathead, King of Scotland, and of a ladyof the old English royal line. They loved her greatly,and called her good Queen Maude.Robert came back to Normandy, and tried to makehimself King of England; but Henry soon drovehim back. The brothers went on quarrelling for someyears, and Robert managed Normandy miserably, andwasted his money, so that he sometimes had no clothesto 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 NQr-mans at Tenchebray, in Normandy. They gained aa great victory, and the English thought it made up forHastings. Poor Robert was made prisoner by hisbrother, who sent him off to Cardiff Castle, iri Wales,' ;y.,
Henry I., Beau-clerc. 43where he lived for twenty-eight years, and then died,and was buried in Gloucester Cathedral, with his figuremade in bog oak over his monument.Henry had two children-William and Maude. Thegirl was married to the Emperor of Germany, and theboy was to be the husband of Alice, daughter to theCount of Anjou, a great French prince, whose landswere near Normandy. It was the custom to marrychildren very young then, before they were old enoughto leave their parents and make a home for themselves.So William was taken by his father to Anjou, andthere married to the little girl, and then she was leftbehind, while he was to return to England with hisfather. Just as he was going to embark, a man cameto the king, and begged to have the honour of takinghim in his new vessel, called the White Ship, sayingthat his father had steered William the Conqueror'sship. Henry could not change his own plans; but, asthe man begged so hard, he said his son, the youngbridegroom, and his friends might go in the WhiteShip. They sailed in the evening, and there was greatmerry-making on board, till the sailors grew so drunkthat they did not know how to guide the ship, and ranher against a rock. She filled with water and began tosink. A boat was lowered, and William safely placed
44 Stories of English History.in it; but, just as he was rowed off, he heard the criesof the ladies who were left behind, and caused theoarsmen to turn back for them. So many drowningwretches crowded into it, as soon as it came near, thatit sank with their weight, and all were lost Only thetop-mast of the ship remained above water, and to itclung a butcher and the owner of the ship all nightlong. When daylight came, and the owner knew thatthe king's son was really dead, and by his fault, he lostheart, let go the mast and was drowned. Only thebutcher was taken off alive; and for a long time noone durst tell the king what had happened. At last aboy was sent to fall at his feet, and tell him his son .wasdead. He was a broken-hearted man, and never knewgladness again all the rest of his life.His daughter Maude had lost her German husband,and come home. He made her marry Geoffrey ofAnjou, the brother of his son's young wife, and calledupon all his chief noblemen to swear that they wouldtake her for their queen in England and their duchessin 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 calledlamprey, and he was buried in Reading Abbey.
MADE'S ESCAPE FROM OXFORD.CHAP. X.-STEPHEN.A.D. 1135-1154.TEITHER English nor Normans had ever beenRuled by a woman, and the Empress Maude, asshe still called herself, was a proud, disagreeable, ill-tempered woman, whom nobody liked. So her cousin,Stephen de Blois-whose mother, Adela, had been adaughter of William the Conqueror-thought to obtainthe crown of'England by promising to give everyonewhat they wished. It was very wrong of him; for he,like all the other barons, had sworn that Maude shouldreign. But the people knew he was a kindly, gra-
46 Stories of English History.cious sort of person, and greatly preferred him to her.So he was crowned; and at once all the Normanbarons, whom King Henry had kept down, began tothink they could have their own way. They builtstrong castles, and hired men, with whom they madewar upon each other, robbed one another's tenants,and, when they saw a peaceable traveller on his way,they would dash down upon him, drag him into thecastle, take away all the jewels or money he had abouthim, or, if he had none, they would shut him up andtorment him till he could get his friends to pay them asum to let him loose.Stephen, who was a kind-hearted man himself, tried tostop these cruelties; but then the barons turned roundon him, told him he was not their proper king, andinvited Maude to come and be crowned in his stead.She came very willingly; and her uncle, King Davidof Scotland, set out with an army to fight for her;but all the English in the north came out to drive himback; and they beat him and his Scots at what, theycalled the Battle of the Standard, because the Englishhad a holy standard, which was kept in DurhamCathedral. Soon after, Stephen was taken prisonerat a battle at Lincoln, and there was nothing to pre-vent Maude from being queen but her own bad tem-
Stehhen. 47per. She went to Winchester, and was there pro-claimed; but she would not speak kindly or gentlyto the people; and when her friends entreated her toreply more kindly, she flew into a passion, and it iseven said that she gave a box on the ear to her uncle-the good King of Scotland, who had come to helpher-for reproving her for her harsh answers. WhenStephen's wife came to beg her to set him free, pro-mising that he should go away beyond the seas, andnever interfere with her again, she would not listen,and drove her away. But she soon found how foolishshe had been. Stephen's friends would have beenwilling that he should give up trying to be king, butthey could not leave him in prison for life; and sothey went on fighting for him, while more and more ofthe English joined them, as they felt how bad and un-kind a queen they had in the Empress. Indeed, shewas so proud and violent, that her husband would notcome over to England to help her, but staid to governNormandy. She was soon in great distress, and hadto flee from Winchester, riding through the midst ofthe enemy, and losing almost all her friends by theway, as they were slain or made prisoners. Her besthelper of all-Earl Robert of Gloucester-was takenwhile guarding her; and she could only get to his town
48 Stories of English History.of Gloucester by lying down in a coffin, with holes forair, 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 theother side would release her husband; and this ex-change was brought about. Robert then went toNormandy, to fetch Maude's little son Henry, who wasten years old, leaving her, as he thought, safe inOxford Castle; but no sooner was he gone thanStephen brought his army, and besieged the castle-that is, he brought his men round it, tried to climb upthe walls, or beat them down with heavy beams, andhindered any food from being brought in. Everythingin the castle that could be eaten was gone; but Maudewas determined not to fall into her enemy's hands. Itwas the depth of winter; the river below the walls wasfrozen over, and snow was on the ground. One darknight, Maude dressed herself and three of her knightsall in white, and they were, one by one, let down byropes from. the walls. No one saw them in the snow.They crossed the river on the ice, walked a great partof the night,. and at last came to Abingdon, wherehorses were waiting for them, and thence they rode toWallingford, where Maude met her little son.There was not much more fighting after this.
Stephen. 49Stephen kept all the eastern part of the kingdom, andHenry was brought up at Gloucester till his father sentfor him, to take leave of him before going on a crusade.Geoffrey died during this crusade. He was fond ofhunting, and was generally seen with a spray of broom"blossom in his cap. The French name for this plantis genet; and thus his nickname was " Plantagenet ;"and this became a kind of surname to the kings ofEngland.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 agreementwith Stephen. Henry would not attack Stephen anymore, but leave him to reign all the days of his life,provided Stephen engaged that Henry should reigninstead of his own son after his death. This madeStephen's son, Eustace, very angry, and he went awayin a rage to raise troops to maintain his cause; but hedied suddenly in the midst of his wild doings, and theking, his father, did not live long after him, but died inthe year 1154.Maude had learnt wisdom by her misfortunes. Shehad no further desire to be queen, but lived a retiredlife in a convent, and was much more respected therethan as queen.
HENRY RECEIVING HIS FATHER'S RING.CHAP. XI.-HENRY II., FITZ-EMPRESS.A.D. i154-1189..M ENRY FITZ-EMPRESS is counted as the"U first king of the Plantagenet family, also calledthe House of Anjou. He was a very clever, brisk,spirited man, who hardly ever sat down, but wasalways going from place to place, and who would letnobody disobey him. He kept everybody in order,pulled down almost all the Castles that had been builtin Stephen's time, and would not let the barons illtreatthe people. Indeed, everyone had been so mixed uptogether during the wars in Stephen's reign, that the
Henry II., Fitz-emfress, 51grandchildren of the Normans who had come overwith William the Conqueror were now quite Englishin their feelings. French was, however, chiefly spokenat court. The king was really a Frenchman, and hemarried a French wife, Eleanor, the lady of Aquitaine,a great dukedom in the South of France; and, asHenry had already Normandy and Anjou, he reallywas lord of nearly half France. He ruled Englandwell; but he was not a good man, for he cared forpower and pleasure more than for what was right; andsometimes he fell into such rages that he would roll onthe floor, and bite the rushes and sticks it was strewnwith. He made many laws. One was that, if a priestor monk was thought to have committed any crim, heshould be tried by the king's judge, instead of by thebishop. 'The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas aBecket, did not think it right to consent to this law;and, though he and the king had once been greatfriends, Henry was so angry with him that he wasforced to leave England, and take shelter with theKing of France. Six years passed by, and the kingpretended to be reconciled to him, but still, when theymet, would not give him the kiss of peace. The arch-bishop knew that this showed that the king still hatedhim; but his flock had been so long without a shep-
52 Stories of English History.herd that he thought it his duty to go back to them.Just after his return, he laid under censure somepersons who had given offence. They went and com-plained to the king, and Henry exclaimed in a passion,"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Fouiof his knights who heard these words set forth forCanterbury. The archbishop guessed why they werecome; but he would not flee again, and waited forthem by the altar in the cathedral, not even letting thedoors be shut. There they slew him; and thither, ingreat grief at the effect of his own words, the kingcame--three years later-to show his penitence byentering barefoot, kneeling before Thomas's tomb, andcausing every priest or monk in turn to strike himwith a rod. We should not exactly call Thomas amartyr now, but he was thought so then, because hedied for upholding the privileges of the Church, andhe was held to be a very great saint.While this dispute was going on, the Earl ofPembroke, called Strongbow, one of Henry's nobles,had gone over to Ireland, and obtained a little king-dom there, which he professed to hold of Henry; andthus the Kings of England became Lords of Ireland,though for a long time they only had the Province ofLeinster, and were always at war with the Irish around.
Henry II., Fitz-em6press. 53Henry was a most powerful king; but his latteryears were very unhappy. His wife was not a goodwoman, and her sons were all disobedient and rebelli-ous. Once all the three eldest, Henry, Richard, andGeoffrey, and their mother, ran away together from hiscourt, and began to make war upon him. He wasmuch stronger and wiser than they, so he soon forcedthem to submit; and he sent Queen Eleanor away,and shut her up in a strong castle in England as longas he lived. Her sons were much more fond of herthan of their father, and they thought this usage sohard, that they were all the more ready to break outagainst him. The eldest son, Henry, was leading anarmy against his father, when he was taken ill, and felthimself dying. He sent an entreaty that his fatherwould forgive him, and come to see him; but theyoung mart had so often been false and treacherous,that Henry feared it was only a trick to get him as aprisoner, and only sent his ring and a message ofpardon; and young Henry died, pressing the ring tohis lips, and longing to hear his father's voice.Geoffrey, the third son, was killed by a fall fromhis horse, and there were only two left alive, Richardand John. Just at this time, news came that theMahommedans in the Holy Land had won Jerusalem
54 Stories of English History.back again; and the pope called on all Christianprinces to leave off quarrelling, and go on a crusade torecover the Holy Sepulchre.The kings of England and France, young Richard,and many more, were roused to take the cross; butwhile arrangements for going were being made, a freshdispute about them arose, and Richard went away in arage, got his friends together, and, with King Philip ofFrance to help him, began to make war. His fatherwas feeble, and worn out, and could not resist as informer times. He fell ill, and gave up the struggle,saying he would grant all they asked. The .list ofRichard's friends whom he was to pardon was broughtto him, and the first name he saw in it was that ofJohn, 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 oldeagle being torn to pieces by his eaglets. And so, inthe year 189, Henry II. died the saddest death, per-haps, that an old man can die; for his sons had broughtdown his grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.
RICHARD I. TURNING ASIDE FROM THE SIGHT OF JERUSALEM.CHAP. XII.-RICHARD I., LION-HEART.A.D. II89-1199.,DICHARD was greatly grieved at his father'sX6. death, and when he came and looked at thedead body, in Fontevraud Abbey Church, he cried out,"Alas! it was I who killed him !" But it was too latenow: he could not make up for what he had done, andhe had to think about the Crusade he had promisedtomake. Richard was so brave and strong that he wascalled Lion-heart; he was very noble and good in soieways, but his fierce, passionate temper did him a greatdeal of harm. He, and King Philip of France, and
56 Stories of English History.several other great princes, all met in the Island ofSicily in the Mediterranean Sea, 'and thence sailed forthe Holy Land. The lady whom Richard was tomarry came to meet him in Sicily. Her name wasBerengaria; but, as it was Lent, he did not marry herthen. She went on to the Holy Land in a ship withhis sister Joan, and tried to land in the island ofCyprus; but the people were inhospitable, and wouldnot let them come. So Richard, in his great anger,conquered the isle, and was married to Berengariathere.The Mahommedans who held Palestine at that timewere called Saracens, and had a very brave prince attheir head named Saladin, which means Splendour ofReligion. He was very good, just, upright, and truth-telling, and his Saracens fought so well, that the Crusa-ders would hardly have won a bit of ground if theLion-heart had not been so brave. At last, they didtake one city on the coast named Acre; and one of theprinces, Leopold, Duke of Austria, set up his banneron the walls. Richard did not think it ought to bethere: he pulled it up and threw it down into the ditch,asking the duke how he durst take the honours of aking. Leopold was sullen and brooded over the insult,and King Philip thought Richard so overbearing, that
Richard I., Lion-heart. 7he could not bear to be in the army with him anylonger. In truth, though Philip had pretended to behis friend, and had taken his part against his father,that was really only to hurt King Henry; he hatedRichard quite as much, or more, and only wanted toget home first in order to do him as much harm as hecould while he was away. So Philip said it was toohot for him in the Holy Land, and made him ill. Hesailed back to France, while Richard remained, thoughthe climate really did hurt his health, and he often hadfevers there. When he was ill, Saladin used to sendhim grapes, and do all he could to show how highly hethought of so brave a man. Once Saladin sent him abeautiful horse; Richard told the Earl of Salisbury totry it, and no sooner was the earl mounted, than thehorse ran away with him to the Saracen army. Saladinwas very much vexed, and was afraid it would be takenfor a trick to make the English king prisoner, and hegave the earl a quieter horse to ride back with.Richard fought one terrible battle at Joppa with theSaracens, and then he tried to go on to take Jerusalem;but he wanted to leave a good strong castle behind himat Ascalon, and set all his men to work to build it up.When they grumbled, he worked with them, and askedthe duke to do the same; but Leopold said gruffly thatE
58 Stories of English History.he was not a carpenter or a mason. Richard was soprovoked that he struck him a blow, and the dukewent home in a rage. \/,So many men had gone home, that Richard foundhis army was not strong enough to try to take Jerusa-lem. He was greatly grieved, for he knew it was hisown fault for not having shewn the temper of a Crusa-der; and when he came to the top of a hill, whence theHoly City could be seen, he would not look at it, butturned away, saying, " They who are not worthy to winit are not worthy to behold it." It was of no use forhim to stay with so few men; besides, tidings came fromhome that King Philip and his own brother, John, weredoing all the mischief they could. So he made a peacefor three years between the Saracens and Christians,hoping to come back again after that to rescue Jerusa-lem. But on his way home there were terrible storms;his ships were scattered, and his own ship was driven upinto the Adriatic Sea, where he was robbed by pirates,or sea robbers, and then was ship-wrecked. There wasno way for him to get home but through the lands ofLeopold of Austria; so he pretended to be a merchant,and set out attended only by a boy. He fell ill at alittle inn, and while he was in bed the boy went intothe kitchen with the king's glove in his belt. It was
Richard I., Lion-heart. 59an embroidered glove, such as merchants never used,and people asked questions, and-guessed that the boy'smaster must be some great man. The Duke of Aus-tria heard of it, sent soldiers to take him, and shut himup as a prisoner in one of his castles. Afterwards, theduke gave him up for a large sum of money to theEmperor of Germany. All this time Richard's wifeand mother had been in great sorrow and fear, tryingto find out what had become of him. It is said that hewas found at last by his friend, the minstrel Blondel.A minstrel was a person who made verses and sungthem. Many of the nobles and knights in QueenEleanor's Duchy of Aquitaine were minstrels-andRichard was a very good one himself, and amusedhimself in his captivity by making verses. This is cer-tainly true-though I cannot answer for it that thepretty story is true, which says that Blondel sung at allthe castle courts in Germany, till he heard his master'svoice take up and reply to his song.The Queens, Eleanor and Berengaria, raised a ran-som-that is, a sum of money to buy his freedom-though his brother John tried to prevent her, and theKing of France did his best to hinder the emperorfrom releasing him; but the Pope insisted that thebrave crusader should be set at liberty: and Richard
60 Stories of English History.came home, after a year and a-half of captivity. Hefreely forgave John for all the mischief he had doneor tried to do, though he thought so ill of him as tosay, " I wish I may forget John's injuries to me as soonas he will forget my pardon of him."Richard only lived two years after he came back.He was beseiging a castle in Aquitaine, where therewas some treasure that he thought was unlawfully keptfrom him, when he was struck in the shoulder by abolt from a cross-bow, and the surgeons treated it sounskilfully that in a few days he died. The man whohad shot the bolt was made prisoner, but the Lion-heart's last act was to command that no harm shouldbe done to him. The soldiers, however, in, their griefand rage for the king, did put him to death in a cruelmanner.Richard desired to be buried at the feet of his father,in Fontevraud Abbey, where he had once bewailed hisundutiful conduct, and now wished his body for ever tolie in penitence. The figures, in stone, of the father,mother, and son, who quarrelled so much in life, alllie on one monument now, and with them Richard'syoungest sister, Joan, who died nearly at the same timeas he died, partly of grief for him.
JOHN ESCAPING FROM THE WASH.CHAP. XIII.-JOHN, LACKLAND.A.D. 1199--I26.. S a kind of joke, John, King Henry's youngest"son, had been called Lackland, because he hadnothing when his brothers each had some great duke-dom. The name suited him only too well before theend of his life. The English made him king at once.They always did take a grown-up man for their king, ifthe last king's son was but a child. Richard had neverhad any children, but his brother Geoffrey, who wasolder than John, had left a son named Arthur, who wasabout twelve years old, and who was rightly the Duke
62 Stories of English History.of Normandy and Count of Anjou. King Philip, whowas always glad to vex whoever was king of England,took Arthur under his protection, and promised to getNormandy out of John's hands. However, John had ameeting 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, andwhen he was sixteen years old, Philip helped him toraise an army and go to try his fortune against hisuncle. He laid siege to Mirabeau, a town where hisgrandmother, Queen Eleanor, was living. John, whowas then in Normandy, hurried to her rescue, beatArthur's army, nade 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. Thegovernor, Hubert de Burgh, once found him fightinghard, though with no weapon but a stool, to defendhimself from some ruffians who had been sent to putout his eyes. Hubert saved him from these men, butshortly after this good man was sent elsewhere by.theking, and John came himself to Falaise. Arthur wasnever seen alive again, and it is believed that Johntook him out in a boat in the river at night, stabbedhim with his own hand, and threw his body into the
fohn, Lackland. 63river. There was, any way, no doubt that John wasguilty of his nephew's death, and he was fully knownto be one of the most selfish and cruel men who everlived; and so lazy, that he let Philip take Normandyfrom him, without stirring a finger to save the grandold dukedom of his forefathers; so that nothing is leftof it to our kings but the four little islands, Guernsey,Jersey, Alderney, and Sark.Matters became much worse in England, when hequarrelled with the Pope, whose name was Innocent,about who should be archbishop of Canterbury. ThePope wanted a man named Stephen Langton to bearchbishop, but the king swore he should never comeinto the kingdom. Then the Pope punished the king-dom, 'by forbidding all church services in all parishchurches. This was termed putting the kingdom underan interdict. John was- not much distressed by this,though his people were; but when he found thatInnocent was stirring up the King of France to cometo attack him, he thought it time to make his peacewith the Pope. So he not only consented to receiveStephen Langton, but he even knelt down before thePope's legate, or messenger, and took off his crown,giving it up to the legate, in token that he only heldthe kingdom from the Pope. It was two or three days
64 Stories of English History.before it was given back to him; and the Pope heldhimself to be lord of England,, and made the king andpeople pay him money whenever he demanded it. LAll this time John's cruelty and savageness weremaking the whole kingdom miserable; and at last thegreat barons could bear it no longer. They met toge-ther and agreed that they would make John swear togovern by the good old English laws that had pre-vailed before the Normans came. The difficulty was tobe sure of what these laws were, for most of the copiesof them had been lost. However, Archbishop Langtonand some of the wisest of the barons put together aset of laws-some copied, some recollected, some old,some new-but all such as to give the barons somecontrol of the king, and hinder him from getting sav-age soldiers together to frighten people into doingwhatever he chose to make them. These laws theycalled Magna Carta, or the great charter; and theyall came in armour, and took John by surprise atWindsor. He came to meet them in a meadow namedRunnymede, on the bank of the Thames, and therethey forced him to sign the charter, for which all Eng-lishmen are grateful to them.But he did not mean to keep it! No, not he! Hehad one of his father's fits of rage when he got back to
John, Lackland. 65Windsor Castle-he gnawed the sticks for rage, andswore he was no king. Then he sent for more of thefierce soldiers, who went about in bands ready to behired, and prepared to take vengeance on the barons.They found themselves not strong enough to makehead against him; so they invited Louis, the son ofPhilip of France and husband of John's niece, to comeand be their king. He came, and was received in Lon-don, while John and his bands of soldiers were roam-ing about the eastern counties, wasting and burningeverywhere till they came to the Wash-that curiousbay between Lincolnshire and Norfolk, where somany rivers run into the sea. There is a safe wayacross the sands in this bay when the tide is low, butwhen it is coming in and meets the rivers, the watersrise suddenly into a flood. So it happened to KingJohn; he did get out himself, but all the carts with hisgoods and treasures were lost, and many of his men.He was full of rage and grief, but he went on to theabbey where he meant to sleep. He supped onpeaches 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 Londonin the hands of his worst enemy.
CHAP. XIV.-HENRY ,I., OF WINCHESTER.* nine and seven years old, and all the Englishking than the French Louis, whom they had only cal-Henry had been crowned at Gloucester,, with hisV, jHENRY 1II. CROWNED V-ITH I1S MOTHER'S BRACELET.CHAP. XIV.-HENRY III., OF WINCHESTER.A.D. 1216-1I272.%7ING John left two little sons, Henry and Richard,Cartanine and seven years old, and all the Enolishbarons felt that they would rather have Henry as theirking than the French Louis, whom they had only cal-led in because John was such a wretch. So when littleHenry had been crowned at Gloucester,, with hismother's bracelet, swearing to rule according to MagnaCarta, and good Hubert de Burgh undertook togovern for him, one baron after another came back tohim. Louis was beaten in a battle at Lincoln; and
Henry III., of Winchester. .67when his wife sent him more troops, Hubert de Burghgot ships together and sunk many vessels, and drovethe others back in the Straits of Dover; so that Louiswas forced to go home and leave England in peace.Henry must have been too young to understandabout Magna Carta when he swore to it, but it wasthe trouble of all his long reign to get him to observeit. It was not that he was wicked like his father-forhe was very religious and kind-hearted-but he wastoo good-natured, and never could say No to anybody.Bad advisers got about him when he grew up, and per-suaded him to let them take good Hubert de Burghand imprison him. When they seized him, they tookhim to a blacksmith to have chains put on his feet, butthe smith said he would never forge chains for the.man who had saved his country from the French. Hewas afterwards set free, and died in peace and honor.Henry was a builder of beautiful churches. West-minster Abbey, as it is now, was one. And he was socharitable to the poor that, when he had his childrenweighed, he gave their weight in gold and silver inalms. But he gave to everyone who asked, and soalways wanted money; and sometimes his men couldget nothing for the king and queen to eat, but by goingand taking sheep and poultry from the poor farmers
68 Stories of English History.around; so that things were nearly as bad as underWilliam Rufus-because the king was so foolishlygood-natured. The Pope was always sending formoney, 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 MagnaCarta he would be a poor creature-not like a kingwho might do all he pleased; and whenever he list-ened 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 couldtrust him, and his weakness was almost as bad for thekingdom as John's wickedness. When they could bearit no longer, the barons all met him at the councilwhich was called the Parliament, from a French wordmeaning talk. This time they came in armour, bring-ing all their fighting men, and declared that he hadbroken his word so often that they should appointsome of their own number to watch him, and hinderhis doing anything against the laws he had sworn toobserve, or from getting money from the people with-out their consent. He was very angry; but he was intheir power, and had to submit to swear that so itshould be; and Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester,who had married his sister, was appointed among the
Henry III., of Winchester. 69lords who were to keep watch over him. Henry couldnot bear this; he felt himself to be less than ever aking, and tried to break loose. He had never cared forhis promises; but his brave son Edward, who was nowgrown up, cared a great deal: and they put the ques-tion to Louis, King of France, whether the king wasbound by the oath he had made to be under Montfortand his council. This Louis was son to the one whohad been driven back by Hubert de Burgh. He wasone of the best men and kings that ever lived, and hetried to judge rightly; but he scarcely thought howmuch provocation Henry had given, when he said thatsubjects had no right to frighten their king, and so thatHenry and Edward were not obliged to keep the oath.Thereupon they got an army together, and so didSimon de Montfort and the barons; and they met at aplace called Lewes, in Sussex. Edward got the ad-vantage at first, and galloped away, driving his ene-mies before him; but when he turned round and cameback, he found that Simon de Montfort had beaten therest of the army, and made his father and uncleRichard prisoners. Indeed the barons threatened tocut off Richard's head if Edward went on fighting withthem; and to save his uncle's life he, too, gave himselfup to them.
70 Stories of English History.Simon de Montfort now governed all the kingdom.He still called Henry king, but did not let him do any-thing, and watched him closely that he might not getaway; and Edward was kept a prisoner-first in onecastle, then in another. Simon was a good and high-minded man himself, who only wanted to do what wasbest for everyone; but he had a family of proud andoverbearing sons, who treated all who came in theirway so ill, that most of the barons quarrelled withthem. One of these barons sent Edward a beautifulhorse; and one day when he was riding out from Here-ford Castle with his keepers, he proposed to them toride races, while he was to look on and decide whichwas the swiftest. Thus they all tired out their horses,and as soon as he saw that they courd hardly get themalong, Edward spurred his own fresh horse, and gal-loped off to meet the friends who were waiting for him.All who were discontented with the Montforts joinedhim, and he soon had a large army. He marchedagainst Montfort, and met him at Evesham. Thepoor old king was in Montfort's army, and in the battlewas thrown down, and would have been killed if hehad not called out-" Save me, save me, I am Henryof Winchester." His son heard the call, and, rushingto his side, carried him to a place of safety. His army
Henry III., ofWinchester. 71was much the strongest, and Montfort had known fromthe first that there was no hope for him. " God havemercy 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 allhonor, but he took the whole management of thekingdom, and soon set things in order again-takingcare that Magna Carta should be properly observed.When everything was peaceful at home;'he set outupon a Crusade with the good King of France, andwhile he was gone his father died, after a reign offifty-six years. There were only three English kingswho reigned more than fifty years, and these are easyto remember, as each was the third of his name-Henry III., Edward III., and George III. In the reignof Henry III. the custom of having Parliaments wasestablished, and the king was prevented from gettingmoney from the people unless the Parliament grantedit. The Parliament has, ever since, been made up ofgreat lords, who are born to it: and, besides them, ofmen chosen by the people in the counties and towns,to speak and decide for them. The clergy have a meet-ing of their own called Convocation; and these three-Clergy, Lords, and Commons-are called the ThreeEstates of the Realm.
EDWARD L. PRESENTING HIS SON rO THE WELSH PRINCES.CHAP. XV.-EDWARD I., LONGSHANKS.A.D. 1272-1307.ETHE son of Henry III. returned from the HolyI Land to be one of our noblest, best, and wisestkings. Edward I.-called Longshanks in a kind ofjoke, because he was the tallest man in the Court-wasvery grand-looking and handsome; and could leap, run,ride, and fight in his heavy armour better than anyoneelse. He was brave, just, and affectionate; and hissweet wife, Eleanor of Castille, was warmly loved byhim and all the nation. He built as many churchesand was as charitable as his father, but he was much
Edward I., Longshanks. 73more careful only to make good men bishops, and heallowed no wasting or idling. He faithfully obeyedMagna Carta, and made everyone else obey the law-indeed many good laws and customs have begunfrom his time. Order was the great thing he caredfor, and under him the English grew prosperous andhappy, when nobody was allowed to rob them.The Welsh were, however, terrible robbers. Youremember that they are the remains of the old Britons,who used to have all Britain. They had never left offthinking they had a right to it, and coming down outof their mountains to burn the houses and steal thecattle 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 theirpeople in order. He gave David lands in England, andlet Llewellyn marry his cousin, Eleanor de Montfort.But they broke their promises shamefully, and did suchsavage things to the English on their borders that hewas forced to put a stop to it, and went to war. Davidwas made prisoner, and put to death as a traitor; andLlewellyn was met by some soldiers near the bridge ofBuilth and killed, without their knowing who he was.Edward had, in the meantime, conquered most of thecountry; and he told the Welsh .chiefs that, if theyF
74 Stories of English History.would come and meet him at Caernarvon Castle, hewould give them a prince who had been born in theircountry-had never spoken a word of any language buttheirs. They all came, and the king came down tothem with his own little baby son in his arms, who hadlately been born in Caernarvon Castle, and, of course,had never spoken any language at all. The Welshwere obliged to accept him; and he had a Welsh nurse,that the first words he spoke might be Welsh. Theythought he would have been altogether theirs, as hethen had an elder brother; but in a year or two theoldest boy died; and, ever since that time, the eldestson of the King of England has always been Prince ofWales. -There"was a plan for the little Prince Edward ofCaernarvon being married to a little girl, who wasgrand-daughter to the King of Scotland, and wouldbe Queen of Scotland herself-and this would have ledto the whole island being under one king-but, unfor-tunately, the little maiden died. It was so hard to de-cide who ought to reign, out of all her cousins, thatthey asked King Edward to choose among them-since everyone knew that a great piece of Scotland be-longed to him as over-lord, just as his own dukedom ofAquitaine belonged to the King of France over him ;?e
Edward I, Longshanks. 75and the Kings of Scotland always used to pay homageto those of England for it.Edward chose John Balliol, the one who had thebest right; but he made him understand that, as over-lord, he meant to see that as good order was kept inScotland as in England. Now, the English kings hadnever meddled with Scottish affairs before, and theScots were furious at finding that he did so. They saidit was insulting them and their king: and poor Ballioldid not know what to do among them, but let themdefy Edward in his name. This brought Edward andhis army to Scotland. The strong places were takenand filled with English soldiers, and Balliol was madeprisoner, adjudged to have rebelled against his lord andforfeited his kingdom, and was sent away to France.Edward thought it would be much better for thewhole country to join Scotland to England, and rule ithimself. And so, no doubt, it would have been; "butmany of the Scots were not willing,-and in spite of allthe care he could take, the soldiers who guarded hiscastles often behaved shamefully to the people roundthem. One gentleman, named William Wallace, whosehome had been broken up by some soldiers, fled to thewoods and hills, and drew so many Scots round himthat he had quite an army. There was a great fight--- ;-----------------------. i .'
76 Stories of English History.at the Bridge of Stirling; the English governors werebeaten, and Wallace led his men over the Border intoNorthumberland, where they plundered and burntwherever they went, in revenge for what had beendone in Scotland.Edward gathered his forces and came to Scotland.The army that Wallace had drawn together could notstand before him, but was defeated at Falkirk, andWallace had to take to the woods. Edward promisedpardon to all who would submit,-and almost all did;but Wallace still lurked in the hills, till one of his owncountrymen betrayed him to the English, when he wassent to London, and put to death.All seemed quieted, and English garrisons-that is,guarding soldiers-were in all the Scottish towns andcastles, when, suddenly, Robert Bruce, one of the halfEnglish, half Scottish nobles between whom Edwardhad judged, ran away from the English court, with hishorse's shoes put on backwards. The next thing thatwas heard of him was, that he had quarrelled with oneof his cousins in the church at Dumfries, and stabbedhim to the heart, and then had gone to Scone and hadbeen crowned King of Scotland.Edward was bitterly angry now. He sent on anarmy to deal unsparingly with the rising, and set out-* a ebs$~: ^,- .. .-
Edward I., Longshanks. 77to follow with his son, now grown to man's estate.Crueller things than he had ever allowed before weredone to the places where Robert Bruce had been ac-knowledged as king, and his friends were hung as trai-tors wherever they were found; but Bruce himself couldnot be caught. He was living a wild life among thelakes and hills; and Edward, who was an old man now,had been taken so ill at Carlisle, that he could notcome on to keep his own strict rule among his men.All the winter he lay sick there; and in the spring heheard that Bruce, whom he thought quite crushed, hadsuddenly burst upon the English, defeated them, andwas gathering strength every day.Edward put on his armour 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 greatblock of stone, and the inscription on it only says,"Edward I., 1308-The Hammer of the Scots-KeepTreaties." His good wife, Queen Eleanor, had diedmany years before him, and was also buried at West-minster. All the way from Grantham, in Lincolnshire-where she died-to London, Edward set up a beau-tiful stone cross wherever her body rested for the night-fifteen of them-but only three are left now. /
r .- M "'-EDWARD II. CROWNED WITH HAY.CHAP. XVI.-EDWARD II., OF CAERNARVON.A.D. 1307-1327.N LIKE his father in everything was the young." Edward, who was just come to manhood whenhe became king. Nay, he never did come to manhoodin mind, for he was as silly and easily led as his grand-father, Henry III., had been. He had a friend-a gay,handsome, thoughtless, careless young man-namedPiers 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
Edward II., of Caernarvon. 79moment the old king was dead, Edward turned backfrom Scotland, where he was so much wanted, and sentfor Piers Gaveston again. At the same time his bridearrived-Isabel, daughter to the King of France, abeautiful girl-and there was a splendid wedding feast;but the king and Gaveston were both so vain and con-ceited, that they cared more about their own beautyand fine dress than the young queen's, and she foundherself quite neglected. The nobles, too, were angeredat the airs that Gaveston gave himself; he not onlydressed splendidly, had a huge train of servants, andmanaged the king as he pleased, but he was very inso-lent to them, and gave them nick-names. He calledthe king's cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, " the old hog;"the Earl of Pembroke, "Joseph, the Jew;" and theEarl of Warwick, "the black dog." Meantime, the kingand he were wasting the treasury, and doing harm ofall kinds,.till the barons gathered together and forcedthe king to send his favorite into banishment. Gaves-ton went, but he soon came back again and joined theking, who was at last setting out for Scotland.The nobles, however, would not endure his return.They seized him, brought him to Warwick Castle, andthere held a kind of Court, which could hardly becalled of Justice, for they had no right at all to sentence
80 Stories of English History.him. He spoke them fair now, and begged hard forhis life; but they could not forget the names he hadcalled them, and he was beheaded on Blacklow Hill.Edward was full of grief and anger for the crueldeath of his friend; but he was forced to keep it out ofsight, for all the barons were coming round him for theScottish war. While he had been wasting his time,Robert Bruce had obtained every strong place in Scot-land, except Stirling Castle, and there the Englishgovernor had promised to yield, if succour did not comefrom England within a year and a day.The year was almost over when Edward came intoScotland with a fine army of English, Welsh, and Gas-cons from Aquitaine; but Robert Bruce was a greatand able general, and he was no general at all; sowhen the armies met at Bannockburn, under the wallsof Stirling, the English were worse beaten than everthey had been anywhere else, except at Hastings.Edward was obliged to flee away to England, andthough Bruce was never owned by the English to beKing of Scotland,there he really reigned, having drivenevery Englishman away, and taken all the towns andcastles. Indeed, the English had grown so much afraidof the Scots, that a hundred would flee at sight of two.The king comforted himself with a new friend-
Edward II., of Caernarvon. 8,Hugh le Despencer-who, with his old father, had hisown 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 heard that the father had come back,raised an army, and was even found to have askedRobert Bruce to help him against his own king. Thismade the other barons so angry that they joined theking against him, and he was made prisoner and put todeath for making war on the king, and making friendswith the enemies of the country.Edward had his Le Despencers back again, and verydiscontented the sight made the whole country-andespecially the'queen, whom he had always neglected,though she now had four children. He had never triedto 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 sonEdward, now about fourteen, and settle it. But thiswas only an excuse. She went about to the princesabroad, telling them how ill she was used by her hus-band, and asking for help. A good many knights be-lieved and pitied her, and came with her to England tohelp. All the English who hated the Le Despencersjoined her, and she led the young prince against his
82 Stories of English History.father. Edward and his friends were hunted acrossinto Wales; but they were tracked out one by one, andthe Despencers were put to a cruel death, thoughEdward gave himself up in hopes of saving them.The queen and her friends made him own that hedid not deserve to reign, and would give up the crownto his son. Then they kept him in prison, taking himfrom one castle to another, in great misery. The rudesoldiers of his guard mocked him and crowned himwith hay, and gave him dirty ditch water to shave with;and when they found he was too strong and healthy todie only of bad food and damp lodging, they murderedhim one night in Berkeley Castle. He lies buried inGloucester Cathedral, not far from that other foolishand unfortunate prince, Robert of Normandy. He hadreigned twenty years, and was dethroned in 1327.The queen then wanted to get rid of Edmund, Earlof Kent, the poor king's youngest brother. So a reportwas spread that Edward was alive, and Edmund wasallowed to peep into a dark prison room, where he sawa man who he thought was his brother. He tried to stirup friends to set the king free; but this was called rebel-ling, and he was taken and beheaded at Winchester by acriminal condemned to die, for it was such a wicked sen-tence that nobody else could be found to carry it out.*- *->;' *, ^
QUEEN PHILIPPA AND THE BURGHERS OF CALAIS.CHAP. XVII.-EDWARD III.A.D. 1327-1377.3 OR about three years, the cruel Queen Isabel andher friends managed all the country; but as soonas her son-Edward III., who had been crowned in-stead of his father-understood how wicked she hadbeen, and was strong enough to deal with her party, hemade them prisoners, put the worst of them to death,and kept the queen shut up in a castle as long as shelived. He had a very good queen of his own, namedPhilippa, who brought cloth-workers over from her owncountry, Hainault (now part of Belgium), to teach the
84 Stories of English History.English their trade, and thus began to render Englandthe chief country .in the world for wool and cloth.SQueen Isabel, Edward's mother, had, you remember,been daughter of the King of France. All her threebrothers 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 Franceproperly belonged to him, in right of his mother; buthe did not stir about it at once, and, perhaps, neverwould have done so at all, but for two things. Onewas, that the King of France, Philip VI., had been sofoolish as to fancy that one of his lords, named Robertof Artois, had been bewitching him-by sticking pinsinto a wax figure and roasting it before a fire. So thisRobert was driven out of France, and, coming to Eng-land, stirred Edward up to go and overthrow Philip.The other was, that the English barons had grown sorestless and troublesome, that they would not staypeacefully "at home and mind their own estates;-butif they had not wars abroad, they always gave the kingtrouble at home; and Edward liked better that theyshould fight for him than against him. So he calledhimself King of France and England, and began a warwhich lasted-with short spaces of quiet-for full Iooyears, and only ended in the time of the great grand-
Edward III. 85children of the men who entered upon it. There was onegreat sea-fight off Sluys, when the king sat in his ship,in a black velvet dress, and gained a great victory; butit was a good while before there was any great battle byland-so long, that the king's eldest son, Edward Princeof Wales, was sixteen years old. He is generally calledthe Black Prince-no one quite knows why, for hishair, like that of all these old kings of ours, was quitelight, and his eyes were blue. He was such a spiritedyoung soldier, that when the French army under KingPhilip came in sight of the English one, near the vil-lage of Crecy, King Edward said he should have thehonor of the day, and stood under a windmill on a hillwatching the fight, while the prince led the Englisharmy. He gained a very great victory, and in theevening came and knelt before his father, saying thepraise was not his own but the king's, who had orderedall so wisely. Afterwards, while Philip had fled away,Edward besieged Calais, the town just opposite toDover. The inhabitants were very brave, and heldout for a long time; and while Edward was absent, theScots under David, the son of Robert Bruce, came overthe Border, and began to burn and plunder in North-umberland. However, Philippa could be brave in timeof need. She did not send for her husband, but called
86 Stories of English History.an army together, and the Scots were so well beatenat Neville's Cross, that their king, David himself, wasobliged to give himself up to an English squire. Theman would not let the queen have his prisoner, butrode day and night to Dover, and then crossed toCalais to tell the king, who bade him put King Davidinto Queen Philippa's keeping. She came herself tothe camp, just as the brave men of Calais had beenstarved out; and Edward had said he would only con-sent not to burn the town down, if six of the chieftownsmen would bring him the keys of the gates, kneel-ing, with sackcloth on, and halters round their necks,ready to be hung. Queen Philippa wept when she sawthem, and begged that they might be spared; and whenthe 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 otof Calais, and filled it with English, and it remainedquite an English town for more than 200 years. .King Philip VI. of France died, and his son Johnbecame king, while still the war went on. The BlackPrince and John had a terrible battle at a place calledPoitiers, and the English gained another great victory.King John and one of his sons were made prisoners,but when they were brought to the tent where the
Edward III. 87Black Prince was to sup, he made them sit down atthe table before him, and waited on them as if they hadbeen his guests instead of his prisoners. He did all hecould to prevent captivity being a pain to them; andwhen he brought them to London, he gave John a tallwhite horse to ride, and only rode a small pony himselfby his side. There were two kings prisoners in theTower of London at once, and they were treated as ifthey were visitors and friends. John was allowed togo home, provided he would pay a ransom by degrees,as he could get the money together; and, in the mean-time, his two eldest sons were to be kept at Calais inhis stead. But they would not stay at Calais, andKing John could not obtain the sum for his ransom;so, rather than cheat King Edward, he went back tohis prison in England again. He died soon after; andhi son Charles was a cleverer and wiser man, whoknew it was better not to fight battles with the English,but made a truce, or short peace.VPrince Edward governed that part of the south ofFrance that belonged to his father; but he went on afoolish expedition into Spain, to help a very bad kingwhom his subjects had driven out, and there he caughtan illness which he never quite recovered. While hewas ill King Charles began the war again; and, though
88 Stories of English History.there was no battle, he tormented the English, and tookthe castles and tower* they held. The Black Princetried to fight, but he was too weak and ill to do much,and was obliged to go home, and leave the governmentto his brother John, Duke of Lancaster. He livedabout six years after he came home, and then died,to the great sorrow of everyone. His father, KingEdward, was now too old and feeble to attend to theaffairs of the country. Queen Philippa was dead, too,and as no one took proper care of the poor old king, hefell into the hands of bad servants, who made them-selves rich and neglected him. When, at length, helay dying, they stole the ring off his finger before hehad breathed his last, and left him all alone, with thedoors open, till a priest came by, and stayed and prayedby him till his last moment. He had reigned exactlyfifty years. You had better learn and remember thenames of his sons, as you will hear more about some ofthem. 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 lefta daughter named Philippa. j* '!