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 King and the Painter

Henry VIII. was so fond of interviews that he once arranged one with James V. of Scotland. But either the Scots were afraid their king would be made a prisoner, or the Scotch king wished to please the Catholics. Anyway, Henry vainly waited for his fellow-monarch, and when he saw that James was not coming, he declared war against Scotland.

The troops of James V. were defeated at Solway Moss, and he felt so badly over the loss of his followers that he soon after died of grief, leaving the crown to his little daughter Mary, who became Queen of Scotland. Henry now proposed a marriage between this queen and his son Edward, which would unite the Scotch and English crowns. The nobles at first consented to it, but it never took place.

Besides the French war mentioned in the beginning of Henry's reign, there was a second, in which the English won Boulogne, which, however, they promised to give back to France at the end of seven years.

As Henry waxed older he grew very stout, suffered a great deal from illness, and became so violent in temper that every one was afraid of him. We are told that even Parliament dared not disobey him, for he once said to one of the members: "Get my bill passed to-morrow, or else to-morrow this head of yours shall be off."

The queen once incurred his wrath simply because she differed from him in a religious argument. But when she found out that the king was going to have her tried for heresy, she disarmed his anger by saying that she loved to hear him argue because he was so clever.

Henry not only encouraged learning, but he was also very fond of painting, and engaged the German artist Holbein to paint his portrait. He had great respect for men of talent, and when a courtier once complained that Holbein had insulted him by sending him out of the studio, into which he had forced his way, the king answered:

"It is I, in the person of Holbein, who have been insulted. I can, when I please, make seven lords of seven ploughmen; but I cannot make one Holbein even of seven lords."

Besides learning, Henry also encouraged commerce, which, under him, became very flourishing. But there was a new kind of trade begun in his reign which was not to his credit. This was slave trading, and it was many years before that wicked traffic came to an end.

Henry reigned thirty-eight years, and when his people saw that he was dying, they did not dare tell him so, lest they should be accused of high treason and put to death. Finally, however, a very old man plucked up courage enough to inform the king that he was nearing his end.

Instead of flying into a rage as every one expected, Henry took the news very calmly. He said that his son Edward should succeed him, and as the lad was delicate, he arranged that if the prince died without leaving any children, the crown should go to Mary, and after her to Elizabeth, and after them to his youngest sister, the Duchess of Suffolk. When all his arrangements had been made, Henry died; and all breathed a sigh of relief at the thought that the tyrannical ruler could frighten them no more.