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

Richard's Punishment

Richard III. bestowed many gifts upon his accomplice Buckingham, to reward him for so cleverly helping him to secure the throne. But a man who is not faithful to one master is likely to betray another; so the Duke of Buckingham, fancying that Richard did not do enough for him, soon began to plot to give the crown to the Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor.

Henry Tudor was a descendant of the third son of Edward III., and also of a Welshman named Owen Tudor. Being thus the head of the Lancastrians, he made his claim to the throne stronger by promising to marry Princess Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV., and hence the heiress of the house of York.

Buckingham proposed this marriage to Henry, and invited him to come over to England to claim the throne. But when Buckingham began his rebellion against Richard, a terrible rainstorm so terrified his adherents that they deserted, and Buckingham himself was betrayed into the hands of King Richard, who had him executed as a traitor.

During the next two years Richard governed England very wisely; but although he was an able king, he was a very unhappy man. His son, the only creature whom he loved, fell sick and died, and Richard mourned him sorely. Besides that, Richard was haunted by remorse, and in his dreams he saw the spirits of all his unhappy victims.

Hoping to win the people's affection and to have a child to inherit his throne, Richard now thought of marrying his own niece, the Princess Elizabeth. But when he saw that every one disapproved of this match, he gave it up. The rumour of his intentions, however, reached Henry of Richmond, who came over from Brittany with an army. Richard, who had taken part in the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, and who was very brave, collected an army and went to meet his rival, determined to conquer or die.

On the night of the battle, it is said, Richard, asleep in his tent, was, as usual, haunted by the ghosts of his victims. This seemed to him a bad omen, and on the next day, just as the battle of Bosworth was about to begin, his commander in chief deserted him. Richard nevertheless called for his horse and dashed forward, hoping to meet and slay his hated rival. But in spite of all his courage, he was cut down, and fell head first, mortally wounded, into a brook. The crown, which a moment before sparkled so proudly upon his helmet, rolled under a hawthorn bush, and was picked up by Henry's soldiers, who crowned their leader on the battlefield.

Richard's body was carelessly thrown across a horse's back and carried to Leicester, where it was buried. But the last of the York kings was not even to rest in peace in his grave. Some years later his body was torn out of its stone tomb, which from that time on served as a common watering trough.

Richard III., the last of the three York kings, was the last of the family of the Plantagenets, which ruled England for three hundred and thirty years. The battle of Bosworth (1485) marks the end of the Wars of the Roses, and also the end of feudalism, which had been introduced into England by William the Conqueror, at the battle of Hastings, four hundred and nineteen years before.