Front Matter Early Times The Druids The Britons Caesar in Britain Queen Boadicea The Great Walls The Great Irish Saint The Anglo-Saxons Brave King Arthur The Laws of the Saxons The Story of St Augustine Three Great Men The Danish Pirates King Alfred and the Cakes Alfred conquers the Danes A King's Narrow Escape The King and the Outlaw The Monasteries An Unlucky Couple St Dunstan King Canute and the Waves A Saxon Nobleman Lady Godiva's Ride The Battle of Hastings The Conquest Lords and Vassals Death of William The Brothers' Quarrels Arms and Armour The "White Ship" Matilda's Narrow Escapes Story of Fair Rosamond Thomas a Becket Murder of Thomas a Becket Richard's Adventures Richard and the Saracens The Faithful Minstrel Death of Richard The Murder of Arthur The Great Charter The Rule of Henry III A Race Persecution of the Jews The Conquest of Wales A Quarrel with France The Coronation Stone The Insolent Favourite Bruce and the Spider Death of Edward II The Murderers punished The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Age of Chivalry The Battle of Poitiers The Peasants' Revolt Richard's Presence of Mind A Tiny Queen Henry's Troubles Madcap Harry A Glorious Reign The Maid of Orleans The War of the Roses The Queen and the Brigand The Triumph of the Yorks The Princes in the Tower Richard's Punishment Two Pretenders A Grasping King Field of the Cloth of Gold The New Opinions Death of Wolsey Henry's Wives The King and the Painter A Boy King Lady Jane Grey The Death of Cranmer A Clever Queen Elizabeth's Lovers Mary, Queen of Scots Captivity of Mary Stuart Wreck of the Spanish Armada The Elizabethan Age Death of Elizabeth A Scotch King The Gunpowder Plot Sir Walter Raleigh King and Parliament Cavaliers and Roundheads "Remember" The Royal Oak The Commonwealth The Restoration Plague and Fire The Merry Monarch James driven out of England A Terrible Massacre William's Wars The Duke of Marlborough The Taking of Gibraltar The South Sea Bubble Bonny Prince Charlie Black Hole of Calcutta Loss of the Colonies The Battle of the Nile Nelson's Last Signal The Battle of Waterloo First Gentleman of Europe Childhood of Queen Victoria The Queen's Marriage Wars in Victoria's Reign The Jubilee

Story of the English - Helene Guerber

The Taking of Gibraltar

While Marlborough was winning glorious victories for his country in the north of Europe, another English commander, Sir George Rooke, carried on the war in Spain, and by a bold move became master of Gibraltar, one of the strongest fortresses in the world. The fort stands on a huge rock at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea; and although many efforts have since been made to recapture it, the British flag still floats proudly over it. But at first the English so little knew the value of this glorious possession that Parliament did not even send a vote of thanks to the gallant Sir George Rooke.



Shortly after the taking of Gibraltar, the union between Scotland and England was completed by arranging that there should be only one Parliament for both countries. Since 1707, when this change took place, Scotchmen have had seats both in the House of Lords and in the House of Commons.

All through the reign of good Queen Anne the two political parties, Whigs and Tories, were constantly quarrelling, yet England steadily prospered. The queen herself took very little part in the government, which was left almost entirely in the hands of her ministers. But while all England was rejoicing over the victories won abroad, Anne was very sad; for her husband, George of Denmark, became ill and died. He had taken no part in the government, and he was so uninteresting that Charles II. once cried in jest: "I have tried him drunk and sober, and there is nothing to him."

Five years after his death, the War of the Spanish Succession came to an end, and peace was signed at Utrecht 1713. Louis XIV. again promised not to uphold the Jacobites, and in America he gave up all claim to Newfoundland, Acadia, and the land around Hudson Bay.

Although Anne herself was not a clever woman, her time is almost as famous in literature as that of Elizabeth, because so many noted men lived then. Among them were the poet Pope, the satirist Swift, and Addison and Steele, the great writers of the "Tatler" and "Spectator," the first two English magazines. That is why in literature you will find this epoch called the Age of Queen Anne.

Parliament, you know, had decided that if Anne died without leaving children, the crown should go to Sophia, the granddaughter of James I. This princess had married the Elector of Hanover, and had always hoped to be queen; but she died before Anne, so the crown, which she never wore, was placed upon her coffin.

When Queen Anne grew very ill, and her ministers saw she was about to die, they sent word to Sophia's son George, the Elector of Hanover, to be ready to come over to England at any moment, to take possession of the throne. Then, as soon as Anne breathed her last, Parliament proclaimed George King of Great Britain.

The new monarch came over as quickly as possible, though this was not very fast, for travel was very slow in those days. He was met and welcomed by Marlborough and by the Whigs, who were then in power. George I. was a plain-mannered, middle-aged German who could speak only a few words of English. He was a good business man; but when he wanted to talk with his prime minister Walpole, he had to use the help of an interpreter, or else speak Latin, the only language that they both knew. The English, however, were so anxious to have a Protestant ruler that they welcomed George and applauded him greatly when he said: "My maxim is never to abandon my friends, to do justice to all the world, and to fear no man."