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

Sir Walter Raleigh

During the reign of Elizabeth, in the year 1600, some English traders formed the East India Company. Their charter was renewed in the reign of James, and at the same time a traveller named Coryat wrote an account of his visit to one of the greatest Indian rulers, and gave an enthusiastic description of the country, little suspecting that it would, in days to come, belong to the English.

James's eldest son, Prince Henry, was such a very good and clever lad that every one loved him. The prince was very fond of learned men, so he often visited. Raleigh in the Tower, where the latter was busy writing a history of the world for his use. Henry greatly admired Raleigh, who had travelled so much, and who conferred an inestimable benefit on Ireland by bringing potatoes over from America to plant there.

Henry was sorry to see this able man languish in prison, and he was once heard to say: "No king but my father would keep such a bird in such a cage!" Unfortunately for Raleigh, the young prince did not live long enough to free him, but suddenly died from a cold caught after playing a violent game of tennis.

Some time after that, James, being short of money, and hearing that Raleigh knew where a gold mine was to be found, took him out of prison, and, giving him a vessel, sent him in search of the treasure. In this expedition Raleigh got into trouble with the Spaniards, and when he came home without any money, the king was so angry that he sent him back to the Tower to be executed.

Raleigh was a good and brave man, and, knowing he was innocent, he went to his death without fear. When he was on the scaffold, he gently ran his finger along the edge of the ax, and then, giving it to the executioner, he said: "This is a sharp medicine, but a cure for all evils."

James, having sent away his favourite Carr because the latter ceased to amuse him, now took up a young man whose principal attractions were his good looks and graceful dancing. He bestowed upon this new favourite the title of Duke of Buckingham, and soon no one could approach the king except through this "Steenie," whose only aim was to lead a merry life and get a great deal of money.

This vicious man spent much of his time with the king's son Charles, for whom he did not set a good example: He even went in disguise with the young prince to the court of Spain, for Charles was anxious to see the Spanish princess whom he was to marry. On their way, the two young men visited the French court, where they saw Henrietta Maria, the king's fair sister.

On reaching Spain, Buckingham was coldly received. This made him so angry that he soon influenced James to give up the Spanish match, and to bargain with France for the hand of Princess Henrietta.

James's daughter married the Elector Frederick V., so England was dragged into the war then troubling Europe, which is known as the Thirty Years' War. Here the English and the Spanish were opposed to each other; for since the marriage between Charles and the Spanish princess had been broken off, they had ceased to be friends.

Charles I


Four very clever men lived in the reign of King James. The first was Lord Francis Bacon, one of Elizabeth's advisers. This man was very talented, but he accepted bribes, and was sent away from court in disgrace. The second, Ben Jonson, wrote so well that he came to be regarded as Shakespeare's successor, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. The third was John Napier, a man of science, who invented the tables of logarithms, which in higher arithmetic help as much as the multiplication tables in easier sums. The fourth was the Dutch artist Van Dyke, who first came over to England to paint the portrait of James I. Later on, he became court painter to Charles I., and his portraits of that unhappy king, of the beautiful queen, and of the royal children, now form the principal decoration of a room in Windsor Palace, which bears the artist's name.