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Comic History of England by Bill Nye

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his household was superfluous.

John now became mixed up in a fracas with the Roman pontiff, who would
have been justified in giving him a Roman punch. Why he did not, no
Roman knows.

On the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1205, Stephen Langton
was elected to the place, with a good salary and use of the rectory.
John refused to confirm the appointment, whereat Innocent III., the
pontiff, closed the churches and declared a general lock-out. People
were denied Christian burial in 1208, and John was excommunicated in
1209.

Philip united with the Pope, and together they raised the temperature
for John so that he yielded to the Roman pontiff, and in 1213 agreed to
pay him a comfortable tribute. The French king attempted to conquer
England, but was defeated in a great naval battle in the harbor of
Damme. Philip afterwards admitted that the English were not conquered
by a Damme site; but the Pope absolved him for two dollars.

[Illustration: KING JOHN SIGNS THE MAGNA CHARTA.]

It was now decided by the royal subjects that John should be still
further restrained, as he had disgraced his nation and soiled his
ermine. So the barons raised an army, took London, and at Runnymede,
June 15, 1215, compelled John to sign the famous Magna Charta, giving
his subjects many additional rights to the use of the climate, and so
forth, which they had not known before.

Among other things the right of trial by his peers was granted to the
freeman; and so, out of the mental and moral chaos and general
strabismus of royal justice, everlasting truth and human rights arose.

Scarcely was the ink dry on Magna Charta, and hardly had the king
returned his tongue to its place after signing the instrument, when he
began to organize an army of foreign soldiers, with which he laid waste
with fire and sword the better part of "Merrie Englande."

But the barons called on Philip, the general salaried Peacemaker
Plenipotentiary, who sent his son Louis with an army to overtake John
and punish him severely. The king was overtaken by the tide and lost all
his luggage, treasure, hat-box, dress-suit case, return ticket, annual
address, shoot-guns, stab-knives, rolling stock, and catapults,
together with a fine flock of battering-rams.

This loss brought on a fever, of which he died, in 1216 A.D., after
eighteen years of reign and wind.

A good execrator could here pause a few weeks and do well.

History holds but few such characters as John, who was not successful
even in crime. He may be regarded roughly as the royal poultice who
brought matters to a head in England, and who, by means of his
treachery, cowardice, and phenomenal villany, acted as a
counter-irritant upon the malarial surface of the body politic.

After the death of John, the Earl of Pembroke, who was Marshal of
England, caused Henry, the nine-year-old son of the late king, to be
promptly crowned.

Pembroke was chosen protector, and so served till 1219, when he died,
and was succeeded by Hubert de Burgh. Louis, with the French forces, had
been defeated and driven back home, so peace followed.

Henry III. was a weak king, as is too well known, but was kind. He
behaved well enough till about 1231, when he began to ill-treat de
Burgh.

He became subservient to the French element and his wife's relatives
from Provence (pronounced _Provongs_). He imported officials by the
score, and Eleanor's family never released their hold upon the public
teat night or day. They would cry bitterly if deprived of same even for
a moment. This was about the year 1236.

[Illustration: THE PROMPT CORONATION OF THE NINE-YEAR-OLD KING HENRY.]

Besides this, and feeling that more hot water was necessary to keep up a
ruddy glow, the king was held tightly beneath the thumb of the Pope.
Thus Italy claimed and secured the fat official positions in the church.
The pontiff gave Henry the crown of Sicily with a C.O.D. on it, which
Henry could not raise without the assistance of Parliament. Parliament
did not like this, and the barons called upon him one evening with
concealed brass knuckles and things, and compelled him to once more
comply with the regulations of Magna Charta, which promise he rigidly
adhered to until the committee had turned the first corner outside the
royal lawn.

[Illustration: THE BARONS COMPELLED HENRY III. TO PROMISE COMPLIANCE
WITH THE MAGNA CHARTA.]

Possessing peculiar gifts as a versatile liar and boneless coward, and
being entirely free from the milk of human kindness or bowels of
compassion, his remains were eagerly sought after and yearned for by
scientists long before he decided to abandon them.

Again, in 1258, he was required to submit to the requests of the barons;
but they required too much this time, and a civil war followed.

Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, at the head of the rebellious
barons, won a victory over the king in 1264, and took the monarch and
his son Edward prisoners.

Leicester now ruled the kingdom, and not only called an extra session of
Parliament, but in 1265 admitted representatives of the towns and
boroughs, thereby instituting the House of Commons, where self-made
men might sit on the small of the back with their hats on and cry "Hear!
Hear!"

The House of Commons is regarded as the bulwark of civil and political
liberty, and when under good police regulations is still a great boon.

Prince Edward escaped from jail and organized an army, which in 1265
defeated the rebels, and Leicester and his son were slain. The wicked
soldiery wreaked their vengeance upon the body of the fallen man, for
they took great pride in their prowess as wreakers; but in the hearts of
the people Leicester was regarded as a martyr to their cause.

Henry III. was now securely seated once more upon his rather restless
throne, and as Edward had been a good boy for some time, his father gave
him permission to visit the Holy Land, in 1270, with Louis of France,
who also wished to go to Jerusalem and take advantage of the low Jewish
clothing market. In 1272 Henry died, during the absence of his son,
after fifty-six years of vacillation and timidity. He was the kind of
king who would sit up half of the night trying to decide which boot to
pull off first, and then, with a deep-drawn sigh, go to bed with them
on.

Edward, surnamed "Longshanks," having collected many antiques, and cut
up a few also, returned and took charge of the throne. He found England
prosperous and the Normans and Saxons now thoroughly united and
homogeneous. Edward did not hurry home as some would have done, but sent
word to have his father's funeral made as cheery as possible, and
remained over a year in Italy and France. He was crowned in 1274. In a
short time, however, he had trouble with the Welsh, and in 1282, in
battle, the Welsh prince became somehow entangled with his own name so
that he tripped and fell, and before he could recover his feet was
slain.

[Illustration: LONGSHANKS RECEIVES TIDINGS OF HIS FATHER'S DEATH.]

Wales having been annexed to the crown, Edward's son was vested with its
government, and the heir-apparent has ever since been called the Prince
of Wales. It is a good position, but becomes irksome after fifty or
sixty years, it is said.

[Illustration: CONQUEST OF WALES.]

CHAPTER XIII.

FURTHER DISAGREEMENTS RECORDED: ILLUSTRATING THE AMIABILITY OF THE JEW
AND THE PERVERSITY OF THE SCOT.

In 1278 the Jews, to the number of two hundred and eighty, were hanged
for having in their possession clipped coins. Shortly afterwards all the
Jews in England were imprisoned. Whenever times were hard the Jews were
imprisoned, and on one job lot alone twelve thousand pounds were
realized in ransom. And still the Jews are not yet considered as among
the redeemed. In 1290 they were all banished from the kingdom and their
property seized by the crown. This seizure of real estate turned the
attention of the Jews to the use of diamonds as an investment. For four
hundred years the Jews were not permitted to return to England.

Scotch wars were kept up during the rest of Edward's reign; but in 1291,
with great reluctance, Scotland submitted, and Baliol, whose trouble
with Bruce had been settled in favor of the former, was placed upon the
throne. But the king was overbearing to Baliol, insomuch that the
Scotch joined with the Normans in war with England, which resulted, in
1293, in the destruction of the Norman navy.

Philip then subpoenaed Edward, as Duke of Guienne, to show cause why he
should not pay damages for the loss of the navy, which could not be
replaced for less than twenty pounds, and finally wheedled Edward out of
the duchy.

Philip maintained a secret understanding with Baliol, however, and
Edward called a parliament, founded upon the great principle that "what
concerns all should be approved by all." This was in 1295; and on this
declaration, so far as successful government is concerned, hang all the
law and the profits.

The following year Edward marched into Scotland, where he captured
Baliol and sent him to France, where he died, in boundless obscurity, in
1297. Baliol was succeeded by the brave William Wallace, who won a great
battle at Stirling, but was afterwards defeated entirely at Falkirk, and
in 1305 was executed in London by request.

But the Scotch called to their aid Robert Bruce, the grandson of
Baliol's competitor, and he was solemnly crowned at the Abbey of Scone.

During a successful campaign against these people Edward fell sick, and
died in 1307. He left orders for the Scottish war to be continued till
that restless and courageous people were subdued.

[Illustration: THE FRENCH KING ENTERS INTO A SECRET ALLIANCE WITH
BALIOL.]

Edward was called the English Justinian; yet those acts for which he is
most famous were reluctantly done because of the demands made by a
determined people.

During his reign gunpowder was discovered by Roger Bacon, whereby Guy
Fawkes was made possible. Without him England would still be a
slumbering fog-bank upon the shores of Time.

[Illustration: ROGER BACON DISCOVERS GUNPOWDER.]

Young Edward was not much of a monarch. He forgot to fight the Scots,
and soon Robert Bruce had won back the fortresses taken by the English,
and Edward II., under the influence of an attractive trifler named
Gaveston, dawdled away his days and frittered away his nights. Finally
the nobles, who disliked Gaveston, captured him and put him in Warwick
Castle, and in 1312 the royal favorite was horrified to find near him a
large pool of blood, and on a further search discovered his own head
lying in the gutter of the court. Turning sick at the gory sight, he
buried his face in his handkerchief and expired.

The nobles were forgiven afterwards by the king, who now turned his
attention to the victorious Scots.

Stirling Castle and the Fortress of Berwick alone remained to the
English, and Robert Bruce was besieging the latter.

The English, numbering one hundred thousand, at Bannockburn fought
against thirty thousand Scots. Bruce surprised the cavalry with deep
pits, and before the English could recover from this, an approaching
reinforcement for the Scotch was seen coming over the hill. This
consisted of "supes," with banners and bagpipes; and though they were
really teamsters in disguise, their hostile appearance and the
depressing music of the bagpipes so shocked the English that they did
not stop running until they reached Berwick. The king came around to
Berwick from Dunbar by steamer, thus saving his life, and obtaining
much-needed rest on board the boat.[A]

[Footnote A: Doubtless this is an error, so far as the steamer is
concerned; but the statement can do no harm, and the historian cannot be
positive in matters of this kind at all times, for the strain upon his
memory is too great. The critic, too, should not be forgotten in a work
of this kind. He must do something to support his family, or he will
become disliked.--AUTHOR.]

Edward found himself now on the verge of open war with Ireland and
Wales, and the population of the Isle of Wight and another person, whose
name is not given, threatened to declare war. The English nobles, too,
were insubordinate, and the king, who had fallen under the influence of
a man named Spencer and his father, was required by the best society,
headed by Lancaster, to exile both of these wicked advisers.

Afterwards the king attacked Lancaster with his army, and having
captured him, had him executed in 1322.

[Illustration: UNFORTUNATE KING WAS TREATED WITH REVOLTING CRUELTY.]

The Spencers now returned, and the queen began to cut up strangely and
create talk. She formed the acquaintance of Roger Mortimer, who
consented to act as her paramour. They organized a scheme to throw off
the Spencers and dethrone Edward the Thinkless, her husband, in 1325.

Any one who has tried to be king even for a few weeks under the above
circumstances must agree with the historian that it is no moonlight
frolic.

Edward fled to Wales, but in 1326 was requested to come home and remain
in jail there, instead of causing a scandal by staying away and spending
his money in Wales. He was confined in Kenilworth Castle, while his son
was ostensibly king, though his wife and Mortimer really managed the
kingdom and behaved in a scandalous way, Mortimer wearing the king's
clothes, shaving with his razor, and winding the clock every night as
though he owned the place.[A] This was in 1327.

[Footnote A: The clock may safely be omitted from the above account, as
later information would indicate that this may be an error, though there
is no doubt that Mortimer at this time wore out two suits of the king's
pajamas.--Author.]

In September the poor king was put to death by co-respondent Mortimer in
a painful and sickening manner, after having been most inhumanly
treated in Berkeley Castle, whither he had been removed.

Thus ends the sad history of a monarch who might have succeeded in a
minor position on a hen farm, but who made a beastly fluke in the king
business.

The assurance of Mortimer in treating the king as he did is a blot upon
the fair page of history in high life. Let us turn over a new leaf.

[Illustration: ON A HEN FARM.]

CHAPTER XIV.

IRRITABILITY OF THE FRENCH: INTERMINABLE DISSENSION, ASSISTED BY THE
PLAGUE, CONTINUES REDUCING THE POPULATION.

It is a little odd, but it is true, that Edward III. was crowned at
fourteen and married at fifteen years of age. Princes in those days were
affianced as soon as they were weighed, and married before they got
their eyes open, though even yet there are many people who do not get
their eyes opened until after marriage. Edward married Philippa,
daughter of the Count of Hainault, to whom he had been engaged while
teething.

In 1328 Mortimer mixed up matters with the Scots, by which he
relinquished his claim to Scotch homage. Being still the gentleman
friend of Isabella, the regent, he had great influence. He assumed, on
the ratification of the above treaty by Parliament, the title of Earl of
March.

The young prince rose to the occasion, and directed several of his
nobles to forcibly drag the Earl of March from the apartments of the
guilty pair, and in 1330 he became the Earl of Double-Quick March--a
sort of forced March--towards the gibbet, where he was last seen trying
to stand on the English climate. The queen was kept in close confinement
during the rest of her life, and the morning papers of that time
contained nothing of a social nature regarding her doings.

[Illustration: IN 1330 MORTIMER BECAME THE EARL OF DOUBLE-QUICK MARCH.]

The Scots, under David Bruce, were defeated at Halidon Hill in 1333, and
Bruce fled to France. Thus again under a vassal of the English king,
Edward Baliol by name, the Scotch crooked the reluctant hinges of the
knee.

Edward now claimed to be a more direct heir through Queen Isabella than
Philip, the cousin of Charles IV., who occupied the throne, so he
proceeded to vindicate himself against King Philip in the usual way. He
destroyed the French fleet in 1340, defeated Philip, though with
inferior numbers, at Crecy, and demonstrated for the first time that
cannon could be used with injurious results on the enemy.

[Illustration: EDWARD DEMONSTRATED AT THE BATTLE OF CRECY THAT CANNON
COULD BE USED WITH VIGOROUS RESULTS.]

In 1346 the Black Prince, as Edward was called, on account of the color
of the Russia iron used in making his mackintosh, may be said to have
commenced his brilliant military career. He captured Calais,--the key to
France,--and made it a flourishing English city and a market for wool,
leather, tin, and lead. It so continued for two hundred years.

The Scotch considered this a good time to regain their independence,
and David Bruce took charge of the enterprise, but was defeated at
Neville's Cross, in 1346, and taken prisoner.

Philippa here distinguished herself during the absence of the king, by
encouraging the troops and making a telling equestrian speech to them
before the battle. After the capture of Bruce, too, she repaired to
Calais, where she prevented the king's disgraceful execution of six
respectable citizens who had been sent to surrender the city.

[Illustration: A CLOSE CALL FOR THE SIX CITIZENS OF CALAIS.]

During a truce between the English and French, England was visited by
the Black Death, a plague that came from Asia and bade fair to
depopulate the country. London lost fifty thousand people, and at times
there were hardly enough people left to bury the dead or till the
fields. This contagion occurred in 1349, and even attacked the domestic
animals.

[Illustration: NO MONARCH OF SPIRIT CARES TO HAVE HIS THRONE PULLED FROM
UNDER HIM JUST AS HE IS ABOUT TO OCCUPY IT.]

John having succeeded Philip in France, in 1350 Edward made another
effort to recover the French throne; but no monarch of spirit cares to
have his throne pulled from beneath him just as he is about to occupy
it, and so, when the Black Prince began to burn and plunder southern
France, his father made a similar excursion from Calais, in 1355.

The next year the Black Prince sent twelve thousand men into the heart
of France, where they met an army of sixty thousand, and the English
general offered all his conquests cheerfully to John for the privilege
of returning to England; but John overstepped himself by demanding an
unconditional surrender, and a battle followed in which the French were
whipped out of their boots and the king captured. We should learn from
this to know when we have enough.

This battle was memorable because the English loss was mostly confined
to the common soldiery, while among the French it was peculiarly fatal
to the nobility. Two dukes, nineteen counts, five thousand men-at-arms,
and eight thousand infantry were killed, and a bobtail flush royal was
found to have been bagged as prisoners.

For four years John was a prisoner, but well treated. He was then
allowed to resume his renovated throne; but failing to keep good his
promises to the English, he came back to London by request, and died
there in 1364.

The war continued under Charles, the new French monarch; and though
Edward was an able and courteous foe, in 1370 he became so irritated
because of the revolt of Limoges, notwithstanding his former kindness to
its people, that he caused three thousand of her citizens to be put to
the sword.

The Black Prince fought no more, but after six years of illness died,
in 1376, with a good record for courage and statecraft. His father, the
king, survived him only a year, expiring in the sixty-fifth year of his
age, 1377.

English literature was encouraged during his reign, and John Wickliffe,
Gower, Chaucer, and other men whose genius greatly outstripped their
orthography were seen to flourish some.

[Illustration: A STRIKING ILLUSTRATION OF WAT TYLER'S CONTROVERSY WITH
THE TAX RECEIVER.]

Edward III. was succeeded by his grandson, Richard, and war with France
was maintained, though Charles the Wise held his own, with the aid of
the Scotch under Robert II., the first of the Stuarts.

A heavy war-tax was levied _per capita_ at the rate of three groats on
male and female above the age of fifteen, and those who know the value
of a groat will admit that it was too much. A damsel named Tyler,
daughter of Wat the Tyler, was so badly treated by the assessor that her
father struck the officer dead with his hammer, in 1381, and placed
himself at the head of a revolt, numbering one hundred thousand people,
who collected on Blackheath. Jack Straw and Rev. John Ball also aided in
the convention. The latter objected to the gentlemen on general
principles, claiming that Adam was no gentleman, and that Eve had still
less claim in that direction.[A]

[Footnote A: Rev. John Ball chose as a war-cry and transparency these
words:

"When Adam delved and Eve span,
Where was then the gentleman?"

Those who have tried it in modern times say that to be a gentleman is no
sinecure, and the well-bred author falls in with this sentiment, though
still regarding it as a great boon.--HISTORIAN.]

In this outbreak, and during the same year, the rebels broke into the
city of London, burned the palaces, plundered the warehouses, and killed
off the gentlemen wherever an _alibi_ could not be established, winding
up with the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

During a conference with Tyler, the king was so rudely addressed by Wat,
that Walworth, mayor of London, struck the rebel with his sword, and
others despatched him before he knew exactly Wat was Wat.

Richard, to quiet this storm, acceded to the rebel demands until he
could get his forces together, when he ignored his promises in a right
royal manner in the same year. One of these concessions was the
abolition of slavery and the novel use of wages for farm work. By his
failure to keep this promise, serfdom continued in England four hundred
years afterwards.

Richard now became unpopular, and showed signs of worthlessness. He
banished his cousin Henry, and dispossessed him of his estates. This, of
course, irritated Henry, who entered England while the king was in
Ireland, and his forces were soon joined by sixty thousand malecontents.

Poor Richard wandered away to Wales, where he was in constant danger of
falling off, and after living on chestnuts knocked from the high trees
by means of his sceptre, he returned disgusted and took up his quarters
in the Tower, where he died of starvation in 1400.

Nothing can be more pathetic than the picture of a king crying for
bread, yet willing to compromise on tarts. A friendless king sitting on
the hard stone floor of the Tower, after years spent on board of an
elastic throne with rockers under it, would move even the hardened
historian to tears. (A brief intermission is here offered for unavailing
tears.)

[Illustration: A FRIENDLESS KING SITTING ON THE HARD STONE FLOOR OF THE
TOWER.]

CHAPTER XV.

MORE SANGUINARY TRIUMPHS: ONWARD MARCH OF CIVILIZATION GRAPHICALLY
DELINEATED WITH THE HISTORIAN'S USUAL COMPLETENESS.

The Plantagenet period saw the establishment of the House of Commons,
and cut off the power of the king to levy taxes without the consent of
Parliament. It also exchanged the judicial rough-and-tumble on horseback
for the trial by jury. Serfdom continued, and a good horse would bring
more in market than a man.

Agriculture was still in its infancy, and the farmer refused to adopt a
new and attractive plough because it did not permit the ploughman to
walk near enough to his team, that he might twist the tail of the
patient bullock.

The costumes of the period seem odd, as we look back upon them, for the
men wore pointed shoes with toes tied to the girdle, and trousers and
coat each of different colors: for instance, sometimes one sleeve was
black and the other white, while the ladies wore tall hats, sometimes
two feet high, and long trains. They also carried two swords in the
girdle, doubtless to protect them from the nobility.

[Illustration: SLAVES WERE BOUGHT AND SOLD AT THE FAIRS.]

Each house of any size had a "pleasance," and the "herberie," or physic
garden, which was the pioneer of the pie-plant bed, was connected with
the monasteries.

[Illustration: ASTROLOGY WAS THE FAVORITE STUDY OF THOSE TIMES.]

Roger Bacon was thrown into prison for having too good an education.
Scientists in those days always ran the risk of being surprised, and
more than one discoverer wound up by discovering himself in jail.

Astrology was a favorite amusement, especially among the young people.

Henry IV., son of John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III., became king
in 1399, though Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, and great-grandson of
Lionel, the third son of Edward III., was the rightful heir. This boy
was detained in Windsor Castle by Henry's orders.

[Illustration: HENRY PROTECTS THE CHURCH FROM HERESY.]

Henry succeeded in catching a heretic, in 1401, and burned him at the
stake. This was the first person put to death in England for his
religious belief, and the occasion was the origin of the epitaph, "Well
done, good and faithful servant."

Conspiracies were quite common in those days, one of them being
organized by Harry Percy, called "Hotspur" because of his irritability.
The ballad of Chevy Chase was founded upon his exploits at the battle of
Otterburn, in 1388. The Percys favored Mortimer, and so united with the
Welsh and Scots.

A large fight occurred at Shrewsbury in 1403. The rebels were defeated
and Percy slain. Northumberland was pardoned, and tried it again,
assisted by the Archbishop of York, two years later. The archbishop was
executed in 1405. Northumberland made another effort, but was defeated
and slain.

In 1413 Henry died, leaving behind him the record of a fraudulent
sovereign who was parsimonious, sour, and superstitious, without virtue
or religion.

He was succeeded by his successor, which was customary at that time.
Henry V. was his son, a youth who was wild and reckless. He had been in
jail for insulting the chief-justice, as a result of a drunken frolic
and fine. He was real wild and bad, and had no more respect for his
ancestry than a chicken born in an incubator. Yet he reformed on taking
the throne.

[Illustration: HENRY V. HAD ON ONE OCCASION BEEN COMMITTED TO PRISON.]

Henry now went over to France with a view to securing the throne, but
did not get it, as it was occupied at the time. So he returned; but at
Agincourt was surprised by the French army, four times as large as his
own, and with a loss of forty only, he slew ten thousand of the French
and captured fourteen thousand. What the French were doing while this
slaughter was going on the modern historian has great difficulty in
figuring out. This battle occurred in 1415, and two years after Henry
returned to France, hoping to do equally well. He made a treaty at
Troyes with the celebrated idiot Charles VI., and promised to marry his
daughter Catherine, who was to succeed Charles upon his death, and try
to do better. Henry became Regent of France by this ruse, but died in
1422, and left his son Henry, less than a year old. The king's death was
a sad blow to England, for he was an improvement on the general run of
kings. Henry V. left a brother, the Duke of Bedford, who became
Protector and Regent of France; but when Charles the Imbecile died, his
son, Charles VII., rose to the occasion, and a war of some years began.
After some time, Bedford invaded southern France and besieged Orleans.

[Illustration: HENRY, PROCLAIMED REGENT OF FRANCE, ENTERED PARIS IN
TRIUMPH.]

Joan of Arc had been told of a prophecy to the effect that France could
only be delivered from the English by a virgin, and so she, though only
a peasant girl, yet full of a strange, eager heroism which was almost
inspiration, applied to the king for a commission.

[Illustration: JOAN OF ARC INDUCES THE KING TO BELIEVE THE TRUTH OF HER
MISSION.]

Inspired by her perfect faith and godlike heroism, the French fought
like tigers, and, in 1429, the besiegers went home. She induced the king
to be crowned in due form at Rheims, and asked for an honorable
discharge; but she was detained, and the English, who afterwards
captured her, burned her to death at Rouen, in 1431, on the charge of
sorcery. Those who did this afterwards regretted it and felt mortified.
Her death did the invaders no good; but above her ashes, and moistened
by her tears,--if such a feat were possible,--liberty arose once more,
and, in 1437, Charles was permitted to enter Paris and enjoy the town
for the first time in twenty years. In 1444 a truce of six years was
established.

Henry was a disappointment, and, as Bedford was dead, the Duke of
Gloucester, the king's uncle, and Cardinal Beaufort, his guardian, had,
up to his majority, been the powers behind the throne.

Henry married Margaret of Anjou, a very beautiful and able lady, who
possessed the qualities so lacking in the king. They were married in
1445, and, if living, this would be the four hundred and fifty-first
anniversary of their wedding. It is, anyway. (1896.)

The provinces of Maine and Anjou were given by the king in return for
Margaret. Henry continued to show more and more signs of fatty
degeneration of the cerebrator, and Gloucester, who had opposed the
marriage, was found dead in his prison bed, whither he had been sent at
Margaret's request. The Duke of York, the queen's favorite, succeeded
him, and Somerset, another favorite, succeeded York. In 1451 it was
found that the English had lost all their French possessions except
Calais.

Things went from bad to worse, and, in 1450, Jack Cade headed an
outbreak; but he was slain, and the king showing renewed signs of
intellectual fag, Richard, Duke of York, was talked of as the people's
choice on account of his descent from Edward III. He was for a few days
Protector, but the queen was too strongly opposed to him, and he
resigned.

[Illustration: RICHARD AND HIS ADHERENTS RAISING AN ARMY FOR THE REDRESS
OF GRIEVANCES.]

He then raised an army, and in a battle at St. Albans, in 1455,
defeated the royalists, capturing the king. This was the opening of the
War of the Roses,--so called because as badges the Lancastrians wore a
red rose and the Yorkists a white rose. This war lasted over thirty
years, and killed off the nobility like sheep. They were, it is said,
virtually annihilated, and thus a better class of nobility was
substituted.

The king was restored; but in 1460 there occurred the battle of
Northampton, in which he was defeated and again taken prisoner by the
Earl of Warwick.

[Illustration: BY REQUEST OF MARGARET, HIS HEAD WAS REMOVED FROM HIS
BODY TO THE GATES OF YORK.]

Margaret was a woman of great spirit, and when the Duke of York was
given the throne she went to Scotland, and in the battle of Wakefield
her army defeated and captured the duke. At her request he was beheaded,
and his head, ornamented with a paper crown, placed on the gates of
York, as shown in the rather life-like--or death-like--etching on the
preceding page.

The queen was for a time successful, and her army earned a slight
reputation for cruelty also; but Edward, son of the late Duke of York,
embittered somewhat by the flippant death of his father, was soon
victorious over the Lancastrians, and, in 1461, was crowned King of
England at a good salary, with the use of a large palace and a good well
of water and barn.

CHAPTER XVI.

UNPLEASANT CAPRICES OF ROYALTY: INTRODUCTION OF PRINTING AS A SUBSIDIARY
AID IN THE PROGRESS OF EMANCIPATION.

Henry VI. left no royal record worth remembering save the establishment
of Eton and King's Colleges. Edward IV., who began his reign in 1461,
was bold and active. Queen Margaret's army of sixty thousand men which
attacked him was defeated and half her forces slaughtered, no quarter
being given.

His title was now confirmed, and Margaret fled to Scotland. Three years
later she attempted again to secure the throne through the aid of Louis
XI., but failed. Henry, who had been in concealment, was now confined in
the Tower, as shown in the engraving on the following page.

[Illustration: HENRY VI. IMPRESSED IN THE TOWER.]

Edward's marriage was not satisfactory, and, as he bestowed all the
offices on his wife's relatives, Warwick deserted him and espoused the
cause of Queen Margaret.

He had no trouble in raising an army and compelling Edward to flee.
Henry was taken from the Tower and crowned, his rights having been
recognized by Parliament. Warwick and his son-in-law, the Duke of
Clarence, brother to Edward IV., were made regents, therefore, in 1471.
Before the year was out, however, the tables were again turned, and
Henry found himself once more in his old quarters in the Tower. Warwick
was soon defeated and slain, and on the same day Margaret and her son
Edward landed in England. She and Edward were defeated and taken
prisoners at Tewkesbury, and the young prince cruelly put to death by
the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester, brothers of Edward IV. Margaret
was placed in the Tower, and a day or two after Henry died mysteriously
there, it is presumed at the hands of Gloucester, who was socially an
unpleasant man to meet after dark.

Margaret died in France, in 1482, and the Lancastrians gave up all hope.
Edward, feeling again secure, at the instigation of his younger
brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, caused Clarence, the other
brother, to be put to death, and then began to give his entire attention
to vice, never allowing his reign to get into his rum or interfere with
it.

He was a very handsome man, but died, in 1483, of what the historian
calls a distemper. Some say he died of heart-failure while sleeping off
an attack of coma. Anyway, he turned up his comatose, as one might say,
and passed on from a spirituous life to a spiritual one, such as it may
be. He was a counterfeit sovereign.

In 1474 the first book was printed in England, and more attention was
then paid to spelling. William Caxton printed this book,--a work on
chess. The form of the types came from Germany, and was used till James
I. introduced the Roman type. James I. took a great interest in plain
and ornamental job printing, and while trying to pick a calling card out
of the jaws of a crude job-press in the early years of his reign,
contributed a royal thumb to this restless emblem of progress and
civilization. (See next page.)

[Illustration: JAMES I. CONTRIBUTING HIS MITE TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF
KNOWLEDGE.]

The War of the Roses having destroyed the nobility, times greatly
improved, and Industry was declared constitutional.

Edward V. at twelve years of age became king, and his uncle Dick, Duke
of Gloucester, became Protector. As such he was a disgrace, for he
protected nobody but himself. The young king and his brother, the Duke
of York, were placed in the Tower, and their uncle, Lord Hastings, and
several other offensive partisans, on the charge of treason, were
executed in 1483. He then made arrangements that he should be urged to
accept the throne, and with a coy and reluctant grace peculiar to this
gifted assassin, he caused himself to be proclaimed Richard III.

[Illustration: DEATH OF BUCKINGHAM.]

Richard then caused the young princes to be smothered in their beds, in
what is now called the Bloody Tower. The Duke of Buckingham was at first
loaded with honors in return for his gory assistance; but even he became
disgusted with the wicked usurper, and headed a Welsh rebellion. He was
not successful, and, in 1483, he received a slight testimonial from the
king, as portrayed by the gifted artist of this work. The surprise and
sorrow shown on the face of the duke, together with his thrift and
economy in keeping his cigar from being spattered, and his determination
that, although he might be put out, the cigar should not be, prove him
to have been a man of great force of character for a duke.

Richard now espoused his niece, daughter of Edward IV., and in order to
make the home nest perfectly free from social erosion, he caused his
consort, Anne, to be poisoned. Those who believed the climate around the
throne to be bracing and healthful had a chance to change their views in
a land where pea-soup fog can never enter. Anne was the widow of Edward,
whom Richard slew at Tewkesbury.

[Illustration: STONE COFFIN OF RICHARD III.]

Every one felt that Richard was a disgrace to the country, and Henry,
Earl of Richmond, succeeded in defeating and slaying the usurper on
Bosworth Field, in 1485, when Henry was crowned on the battle-field.

Richard was buried at Leicester; but during the reign of Henry VIII.,
when the monasteries were destroyed, Richard's body was exhumed and his
stone coffin used for many years in that town as a horse-trough.

Shakespeare and the historians give an unpleasant impression regarding
Richard's personality; but this was done in the interests of the Tudors,
perhaps. He was highly intelligent, and if he had given less attention
to usurpation, would have been more popular.

Under the administrations of the houses of Lancaster and York serfdom
was abolished, as the slaves who were armed during the War of the Roses
would not submit again to slavery after they had fought for their
country.

Agriculture suffered, and some of the poor had to subsist upon acorns
and wild roots. During those days Whittington was thrice Lord Mayor of
London, though at first only a poor boy. Even in the land of lineage
this poor lad, with a cat and no other means of subsistence, won his way
to fame and fortune.

The manufacture of wool encouraged the growing of sheep, and, in 1455,
silk began to attract attention.

During his reign Richard had known what it was to need money, and the
rich merchants and pawnbrokers were familiar with his countenance when
he came after office hours to negotiate a small loan.

[Illustration: RICHARD HAS A CONFERENCE WITH THE MONEY-LENDER.]

Science spent a great deal of surplus energy experimenting on alchemy,
and the Philosopher's Stone, as well as the Elixir of Life, attracted
much attention; but, as neither of these commodities are now on the
market, it is presumed that they were never successful.

Printing may be regarded as the most valuable discovery during those
bloody years, showing that Peace hath her victories no less than War,
and from this art came the most powerful and implacable enemy to
Ignorance and its attendant crimes that Progress can call its own.

No two authors spelled alike at that time, however, and the literature
of the day was characterized by the most startling originality along
that line.

The drama began to bud, and the chief roles were taken by the clergy.
They acted Bible scenes interspersed with local witticisms, and often
turned away money.

Afterwards followed what were called Moral Plays, in which the bad man
always suffered intensely on a small salary.

The feudal castles disappeared, and new and more airy architecture
succeeded them. A better class of furniture also followed; but it was
very thinly scattered through the rooms, and a person on rising from his
bed in the night would have some difficulty in falling over anything.
Tidies on the chairs were unknown, and there was only tapestry enough to
get along with in a sort of hand-to-mouth way.

CHAPTER XVII.

BIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD III.: BEING AN ALLEGORICAL PANEGYRIC OF THE
INCONTROVERTIBLE MACHINATIONS OF AN EGOTISTICAL USURPER.

[Illustration: RICHARD III.]

We will now write out a few personal recollections of Richard III. This
great monarch, of whom so much has been said pro and con,--but mostly
con,--was born at Fotheringhay Castle, October 2, 1452, in the presence
of his parents and a physician whose name has at this moment escaped the
treacherous memory of the historian.

Richard was the son of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville,
daughter of the Earl of Westmoreland, his father being the legitimate
heir to the throne by descent in the female line, so he was the head of
the Yorkists in the War of the Roses.

Richard's father, the Duke of York, while struggling one day with Henry
VI., the royal jackass that flourished in 1460, prior to the conquest
of the Fool-Killer, had the misfortune, while trying to wrest the throne
from Henry, to get himself amputated at the second joint. He was brought
home in two pieces, and ceased to draw a salary as a duke from that on.
This cast a gloom over Richard, and inspired in his breast a strong
desire to cut off the heads of a few casual acquaintances.

He was but eight years of age at this time, and was taken prisoner and
sent to Utrecht, Holland. He was returned in good order the following
year. His elder brother Edward having become king, under the title of
Edward IV., Richard was then made Duke of Gloucester, Lord High Admiral,
Knight of the Garter, and Earl of Balmoral.

It was at this time that he made the celebrated _bon-mot_ relative to
dogs as pets.

Having been out the evening before attending a watermelon recital in the
country, and having contributed a portion of his clothing to a
barbed-wire fence and the balance to an open-faced Waterbury bull-dog,
some one asked him what he thought of the dog as a pet.

Richard drew himself up to his full height, and said that, as a rule, he
favored the dog as a pet, but that the man who got too intimate with the
common low-browed bull-dog of the fifteenth century would find that it
must certainly hurt him in the end.

[Illustration: THE MAN WHO GOT TOO INTIMATE WITH THE COMMON LOW-BROWED
BULL-DOG.]

He resided for several years under the tutelage of the Earl of Warwick,
who was called the "Kingmaker," and afterwards, in 1470, fled to
Flanders, remaining fled for some time. He commanded the van of the
Yorkist army at the battle of Barnet, April 14, 1471, and Tewkesbury,
May 4, fighting gallantly at both places on both sides, it is said, and
admitting it in an article which he wrote for an English magazine.

He has been accused of having murdered Prince Edward after the battle,
and also his father, Henry VI., in the Tower a few days later, but it is
not known to be a fact.

Richard was attainted and outlawed by Parliament at one time; but he was
careful about what he ate, and didn't get his feet wet, so, at last,
having a good preamble and constitution, he pulled through.

He married his own cousin, Anne Neville, who made a first-rate queen.
She got so that it was no trouble at all for her to reign while Dick was
away attending to his large slaughtering interests.

Richard at this time was made Lord High Constable and Keeper of the
Pound. He was also Justiciary of North Wales, Seneschal of the Duchy of
Lancaster, and Chief of Police on the North Side.

His brother Clarence was successfully executed for treason in February,
1478, and Richard, without a moment's hesitation, came to the front and
inherited the estates.

[Illustration: RICHARD HAD A STORMY TIME.]

Richard had a stormy time of it up to 1481, when he was made "protector
and defender of the realm" early in May. He then proceeded with a few
neglected executions. This list was headed--or rather beheaded--by Lord
Chamberlain Hastings, who tendered his resignation in a pail of saw-dust
soon after Richard became "protector and defender of the realm." Richard
laid claim to the throne in June, on the grounds of the illegitimacy of
his nephews, and was crowned July 6. So was his queen. They sat on this
throne for some time, and each had a sceptre with which to welt their
subjects over the head and keep off the flies in summer. Richard could
wield a sceptre longer and harder, it is said, than any other
middle-weight monarch known to history. The throne used by Richard is
still in existence, and has an aperture in it containing some very old
gin.

The reason this gin was left, it is said, was that he was suddenly
called away from the throne and never lived to get back. No monarch
should ever leave his throne in too much of a hurry.

Richard made himself very unpopular in 1485 by his forced loans, as they
were called: a system of assessing a man after dark with a self-cocking
writ and what was known as the headache-stick, a small weapon which was
worn up the sleeve during the day, and which was worn behind the ear by
the loyal subject after nightfall. It was a common sight, so says the
historian, to hear the nightfall and the headache-stick fall at the same
time.

[Illustration: THEY SAT ON THE THRONE FOR SOME TIME.]

The queen died in 1485, and Richard thought some of marrying again; but
it got into the newspapers because he thought of it while a
correspondent was going by, who heard it and telegraphed his paper who
the lady was and all about it. This scared Richard out, and he changed
his mind about marrying, concluding, as a mild substitute, to go into
battle at Bosworth and get killed all at once. He did so on the 22d of
August.

[Illustration: A MILD SUBSTITUTE FOR SECOND MARRIAGE.]

After his death it was found that he had rolled up his pantaloons above
his knees, so that he would not get gore on them. This custom was
afterwards generally adopted in England.

He was buried by the nuns of Leicester in their chapel, Richmond then
succeeding him as king. He was buried in the usual manner, and a large
amount of obloquy heaped on him.

That is one advantage of being great. After one's grave is filled up,
one can have a large three-cornered chunk of obloquy put on the top of
it to mark the spot and keep medical students away of nights.

Greatness certainly has its drawbacks, as the Duchess of Bloomer once
said to the author, after she had been sitting on a dry-goods box with a
nail in it, and had, therefore, called forth adverse criticism. An
unknown man might have sat on that same dry-goods box and hung on the
same nail till he was black in the face without causing remarks, but
with the Duchess of Bloomer it was different,--oh, so different!

[Illustration: TOMB OF RICHARD III.]

CHAPTER XVIII.

DISORDER STILL THE POPULAR FAD: GENERAL ADMIXTURE OF PRETENDERS,
RELIGION, POLITICS, AND DISGRUNTLED MONARCHS.

As a result of the Bosworth victory, Henry Tudor obtained the use of the
throne from 1485 to 1509. He saw at once by means of an eagle eye that
with the house of York so popular among his people, nothing but a firm
hand and eternal vigilance could maintain his sovereignty. He kept the
young Earl of Warwick, son of the Duke of Clarence, carefully indoors
with massive iron gewgaws attached to his legs, thus teaching him to be
backward about mingling in the false joys of society.

Henry Tudor is known to history as Henry VII., and caused some adverse
criticism by delaying his nuptials with the Princess Elizabeth, daughter
of Edward IV.

A pleasing practical joke at this time came near plunging the country
into a bloody war. A rumor having gone forth that the Earl of Warwick
had escaped from the Tower, a priest named Simon instructed a
good-looking young man-about-town named Lambert Simnel to play the
part, landed him in Ireland, and proceeded to call for troops. Strange
to say, in those days almost any pretender with courage stood a good
chance of winning renown or a hospitable grave in this way. But Lambert
was not made of the material generally used in the construction of great
men, and, though he secured quite an army, and the aid of the Earl of
Lincoln and many veteran troops, the first battle closed the comedy, and
the bogus sovereign, too contemptible even to occupy the valuable time
of the hangman, became a scullion in the royal kitchen, while Simon was
imprisoned.

[Illustration: SIMON, A PRIEST OF OXFORD, TAKES LAMBERT THE PRETENDER TO
IRELAND.]

For five years things were again dull, but at the end of that period an
understudy for Richard, Duke of York, arose and made pretensions. His
name was Perkin Warbeck, and though the son of a Flemish merchant, he
was a great favorite at social functions and straw rides. He went to
Ireland, where anything in the way of a riot was even then hailed with
delight, and soon the York family and others who cursed the reigning
dynasty flocked to his standard.

France endorsed him temporarily until Charles became reconciled to
Henry, and then he dropped Perkin like a heated potato. Perk, however,
had been well entertained in Paris as the coming English king, and while
there was not permitted to pay for a thing. He now visited the Duchess
of Burgundy, sister of Edward IV., and made a hit at once. She gave him
the title of The White Rose of England (1493), and he was pleased to
find himself so popular when he might have been measuring molasses in
the obscurity of his father's store.

Henry now felt quite mortified that he could not produce the evidence of
the murder of the two sons of Edward IV., so as to settle this gay
young pretender; but he did not succeed in finding the remains, though
they were afterwards discovered under the staircase of the White Tower,
and buried in Westminster Abbey, where the floor is now paved with
epitaphs, and where economy and grief are better combined, perhaps, than
elsewhere in the world, the floor and tombstone being happily united,
thus, as it were, killing two birds with one stone.

But how sad it is to-day to contemplate the situation occupied by Henry,
forced thus to rummage the kingdom for the dust of two murdered princes,
that he might, by unearthing a most wicked crime, prevent the success of
a young pretender, and yet fearing to do so lest he might call the
attention of the police to the royal record of homicide, regicide,
fratricide, and germicide!

Most cruel of all this sad history, perhaps, was the execution of
Stanley, the king's best friend in the past, who had saved his life in
battle and crowned him at Bosworth. In an unguarded moment he had said
that were he sure the young man was as he claimed, King Edward's son,
he--Stanley--would not fight against him. For this purely unpartisan
remark he yielded up his noble life in 1495.

Warbeck for some time went about trying to organize cheap insurrections,
with poor success until he reached Scotland, where James IV. endorsed
him, and told him to have his luggage sent up to the castle. James also
presented his sister Catherine as a spouse to the giddy young scion of
the Flemish calico counter. James also assisted Perkin, his new
brother-in-law, in an invasion of England, which failed, after which the
pretender gave himself up. He was hanged amid great applause at Tyburn,
and the Earl of Warwick, with whom he had planned to escape, was
beheaded at Tower Hill. Thus, in 1499, perished the last of the
Plantagenets of the male kind.

Henry hated war, not because of its cruelty and horrors, but because it
was expensive. He was one of the most parsimonious of kings, and often
averted war in order to prevent the wear and tear on the cannon. He
managed to acquire two million pounds sterling from the reluctant
tax-payer, yet no monarch ever received such a universal consent when he
desired to pass away. If any regret was felt anywhere, it was so deftly
concealed that his death, to all appearance, gave general and complete
satisfaction.

[Illustration: A RELUCTANT TAX-PAYER.]

After a reign of twenty-four years he was succeeded by his second son,
Henry, in 1509, the elder son, Arthur, having died previously.

It was during the reign of Henry VII. that John and Sebastian Cabot were
fitted out and discovered North America in 1497, which paved the way
for the subsequent depopulation of Africa, Italy, and Ireland. South
America had been discovered the year before by Columbus. Henry VII. was
also the father of the English navy.

The accession of Henry VIII. was now hailed with great rejoicing. He was
but eighteen years of age, but handsome and smart. He soon married
Catherine of Aragon, the widow of his brother Arthur. She was six years
his senior, and he had been betrothed to her under duress at his
eleventh year.

A very fine snap-shot reproduction of Henry VIII. and Catherine in
holiday attire, from an old daguerreotype in the author's possession,
will be found upon the following page.

[Illustration: HENRY VIII. AND CATHERINE.]

Henry VIII. ordered his father's old lawyers, Empson and Dudley, tried
and executed for being too diligent in business. He sent an army to
recover the lost English possessions in France, but in this was
unsuccessful. He then determined to organize a larger force, and so he
sent to Calais fifty thousand men, where they were joined by Maximilian.
In the battle which soon followed with the French cavalry, they lost
their habitual _sang-froid_ and most of their hand-baggage in a wild and
impetuous flight. It is still called the Battle of the Spurs. This was
in 1513.

In the report of the engagement sent to the king, nothing was said of
the German emperor for the reason, as was said by the commander, "that
he does not desire notice, and, in fact, Maximilian objections to the
use of his name." This remark still furnishes food for thought on rainy
days at Balmoral, and makes the leaden hours go gayly by.

During the year 1513 the Scots invaded England under James, but though
their numbers were superior, they were sadly defeated at Flodden Field,
and when the battle was over their king and the flower of their nobility
lay dead upon the scene.

[Illustration: WOLSEY OUTSHINES THE KING.]

Wolsey, who was made cardinal in 1515 by the Pope, held a tremendous
influence over the young king, and indirectly ruled the country. He
ostensibly presented a humble demeanor, but in his innermost soul he was
the haughtiest human being that ever concealed beneath the cloak of
humility an inflexible, tough, and durable heart.

On the death of Maximilian, Henry had some notion of preempting the
vacant throne, but soon discovered that Charles V. of Spain had a prior
lien to the same, and thus, in 1520, this new potentate became the
greatest power in the civilized world. It is hard to believe in the
nineteenth or twentieth century that Spain ever had any influence with
anybody of sound mind, but such the veracious historian tells us was
once the case.

Francis, the French king, was so grieved and mortified over the success
of his Spanish rival that he turned to Henry for comfort, and at
Calais the two disgruntled monarchs spent a fortnight jousting,
tourneying, in-falling, out-falling, merry-making, swashbuckling, and
general acute gastritis.

[Illustration: THE FIELD OF THE CLOTH OF GOLD.]

It was a magnificent meeting, however, Wolsey acting as costumer, and
was called "The Field of the Cloth of Gold." Large, portly men with
whiskers wore purple velvet opera-cloaks trimmed with fur, and
Gainsborough hats with ostrich feathers worth four pounds apiece
(sterling). These corpulent warriors, who at Calais shortly before had
run till overtaken by nervous prostration and general debility, now wore
more millinery and breastpins and slashed velvet and satin facings and
tinsel than the most successful and highly painted and decorated
courtesans of that period.

The treaty here made with so much pyrotechnical display and _eclat_ and
hand-embroidery was soon broken, Charles having caught the ear of Wolsey
with a promise of the papal throne upon the death of Leo X., which event
he joyfully anticipated.

Henry, in 1521, scored a triumph and earned the title of Defender of the
Faith by writing a defence of Catholicism in answer to an article
written by Martin Luther attacking it. Leo died soon after, and, much to
the chagrin of Wolsey, was succeeded by Adrian VI.

[Illustration: HENRY WRITES A TREATISE IN DEFENCE OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH.]

War was now waged with France by the new alliance of Spain and
England; but success waited not upon the English arms, while, worse than
all, the king was greatly embarrassed for want of more scudii. Nothing
can be more pitiful, perhaps, than a shabby king waiting till all his
retainers have gone away before he dare leave the throne, fearing that
his threadbare retreat may not be protected. Henry tried to wring
something from Parliament, but without success, even aided by that
practical apostle of external piety and internal intrigue, Wolsey. The
latter, too, had a second bitter disappointment in the election of
Clement VII. to succeed Adrian, and as this was easily traced to the
chicanery of the emperor, who had twice promised the portfolio of
pontiff to Wolsey, the latter determined to work up another union
between Henry and France in 1523.

War, however, continued for some time with Francis, till, in 1525, he
was defeated and taken prisoner. This gave Henry a chance to figure with
the queen regent, the mother of Francis, and a pleasant treaty was made
in 1526. The Pope, too, having been captured by the emperor, Henry and
Francis agreed to release and restore him or perish on the spot. Quite a
well-written and beguiling account of this alliance, together with the
Anne Boleyn affair, will be found in the succeeding chapter.

[Illustration: CHARLES II. CONCEALED IN THE "ROYAL OAK," WHILE HIS
PURSUERS PASSED UNDER HIM (1651).]

[Illustration: OLIVER CROMWELL IN DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT SEIZED THE MACE,
EXCLAIMING, "TAKE AWAY THIS BAUBLE!" (1653).]

[Illustration: A BOOK ENTITLED "KILLING NO MURDER", BOLDLY ADVISING THE
REMOVAL OF THE USURPER, CAUSED CROMWELL CEASELESS ANXIETY (1658).]

[Illustration: HENRY VIII. PLUNDERING THE CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES OF
THEIR POSSESSIONS.]

[Illustration: AFTER THE DEATH OF JANE SEYMOUR, HENRY VIII. TURNED HIS
ATTENTION TO THE SELECTION OF A NEW QUEEN, DECIDING ON ANNE OF CLEVES, A
PROTESTANT PRINCESS WITH WHOSE PORTRAIT HE HAD BEEN HIGHLY PLEASED. THE
ORIGINAL SO GREATLY DISAPPOINTED HIM THAT HE SOON DIVORCED HER.]

[Illustration: EDWARD VI., SUCCESSOR TO HENRY VIII., AETAT. TEN YEARS,
WHOSE ATTENTION TO HIS STUDIES AND THE GENTLENESS OF HIS DISPOSITION
MADE HIM MUCH BELOVED (1547-53).]

[Illustration: THE GREAT INFLUX OF GOLD AND SILVER FROM THE NEW WORLD
CAUSED AN INCREASE IN THE PRICE OF COMMODITIES (1549).]

[Illustration: THE CHERISHED OBJECT OF MARY WAS TO RESTORE THE CATHOLIC
RELIGION, AND HER CHIEF COUNSELLORS WERE BISHOPS GARDINER AND BONNER
(1554).]

[Illustration: QUEEN ELIZABETH (1558-1603).]

[Illustration: SIR WALTER RALEIGH.]

[Illustration: QUEEN ELIZABETH SIGNING THE DEATH-WARRANT OF MARY QUEEN
OF SCOTS, 1587.]

[Illustration: DEATH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH, MARCH 24, 1603. FOR TEN DAYS
PREVIOUS TO HER DEATH SHE LAY UPON THE FLOOR SUPPORTED BY CUSHIONS.]

[Illustration: DISCOVERY OF THE GUNPOWDER PLOT (1605).]

[Illustration: EFFIGY OF GUY FAWKES.]

[Illustration: THE SCOTCH COULD NOT ENDURE ARCHBISHOP LAUD'S RITUALISTIC
PRACTICES, AND JENNY GEDDES THREW A STOOL AT HIS HEAD.]

[Illustration: SIR WALTER RALEIGH, AT HIS EXECUTION, ASKED TO EXAMINE
THE AXE. HE POISED IT, AND RUNNING HIS THUMB ALONG THE EDGE, SAID, WITH
A SMILE, "THIS IS SHARP MEDICINE," ETC. (1618).]

[Illustration: PRINCE CHARLES AND BUCKINGHAM TRAVEL TO SPAIN IN
DISGUISE, SO THAT THE FORMER MIGHT PAY HIS ADDRESSES IN PERSON TO THE
INFANTA.]

[Illustration: CHARLES I. FORCED TO GIVE HIS ASSENT TO THE "PETITION OF
EIGHTS" (1628).]

[Illustration: OLIVER CROMWELL.]

[Illustration: EARL OF STRAFFORD RECEIVING LAUD'S BLESSING ON THE WAY
TO EXECUTION (1641).]

[Illustration: SAMPLE PAGE OF ROUNDHEADS (1642).]

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