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

A Quarrel with France

The Welsh war was scarcely ended when trouble began with France. This war arose from a very slight cause. It seems that a Norman bark and an English ship once put in at the same port to renew their supply of fresh water. Two sailors began to quarrel while filling their casks, and soon came to blows. The crews of both vessels, instead of stopping the fight, joined in it, and a Norman was killed. A few days later the angry Normans took revenge by capturing and hanging an English merchant, and they added insult to injury by placing a dog at his feet. The news of this affront enraged the English seamen, and for some time after that, whenever Normans and Englishmen met, there were quarrels and fights.

France during100 Years War


Although both the French and the English king tried to avoid taking part in this contest, it soon grew so bitter that the French king summoned Edward to come to France, as Duke of Guienne, to answer for the damages done by his subjects. Edward, either unable or unwilling to go himself, sent his brother, who foolishly allowed the French monarch to occupy Guienne for forty days, upon his promise to give it back at the end of that time.

But when the forty days were ended, the French king refused to give up the province, and Edward, eager to regain it, began to raise an army. As he had no money to pay troops, he tried to levy a force in the same way as William the Conqueror. Calling the noblemen to help him, he bade them bring their vassals, and told the Earl of Hereford to lead the army into Guienne.

The Earl of Hereford, however, flatly refused to obey; and when Edward angrily cried, "By heaven, Sir Earl, you shall either go or be hanged!" he retorted hotly, "By heaven, Sir King, I will neither go nor yet will I be hanged!" And having said these words, he coolly left the court and went home.

When Edward saw that he could not raise troops in this way, he began to tax the clergy to get money to hire men; and when they complained, he said he would not protect them unless they did as he wished, but would allow any one to take their property. In dismay the priests appealed to the pope, while the barons, banding together, sent word to Edward that he should have neither funds nor help unless he solemnly swore to ratify the Great Charter, and never again to attempt to raise money except through Parliament. Edward was forced to yield to these demands; and in 1295 was held the first English Parliament that was composed of a House of Lords and a House of Commons. Ever since then Parliament has exercised the right of taxing the people, whom it represents by bishops, lords, and elected members.

Edward himself now conducted his army into France, but before much fighting could be done the pope interfered. By his advice the two kings became friends, and then Edward went back to England.

Charing Cross, London.


Shortly before this good Queen Eleanor died. She had been Edward's wife for more than twenty years, and had borne him fifteen children. To show his affection for her, the king ordered that a cross should be erected wherever her body rested on its way from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey, where she lies buried. The best known of these interesting monuments is "Charing Cross "in London.