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 Scotch King

One hundred and eighteen years had passed since the Tudors first became masters of England on Bosworth battlefield. There were no Tudors left, and as Elizabeth had never before been willing to name a successor, her ministers, as she lay on her deathbed, begged her to appoint one. She was then too weak to speak, but nodded her approval when they suggested that the crown should go to her nearest relative, James VI. of Scotland, the only child of Mary Stuart and Darnley.

This monarch, who was already thirty-seven years old, therefore became King of England, which, with Scotland, is called Great Britain. But although the crowns were united, the parliaments were separate for about a century longer. James I. of England, as the new king was called, immediately set out for his new realm, and on his journey thither he gave the title of knight to many men. He had been born a Roman Catholic and brought up a Puritan; but he now favoured the Church of England, to the disappointment of both Catholics and Puritans.

A few of the former, seeing he would not restore the Catholic religion, as they had hoped, now made a conspiracy to put his cousin Lady Arabella Stuart upon the throne. They failed, however; but as the poor lady had been merely their tool, she was at first kindly treated. When she escaped from prison and married, James had her captured again and closely guarded until she died.

Several noted Catholic gentlemen were accused of having taken part in this plot, among others the famous Sir Walter Raleigh. He was imprisoned, tried, and sentenced like the rest; but for some reason he was reprieved, and spent the next twelve years in the Tower. Here he was allowed to receive visitors and to write and study as much as he pleased.

In the reign of Elizabeth tobacco was first brought to England by Raleigh. It was such a curiosity that a new servant, entering Sir Walter's room and finding him smoking, fancied that his master was on fire, and hastily flung a pitcherful of water over him. As James did not approve of smoking, he wrote a book against the practice, pompously calling it "A Counterblast to Tobacco." He was so proud of this work, and of all his intellectual gifts, that the French wittily called him "the wisest fool in Christendom."

James I. was homely, vain, stupid, and so untidy in person and habits that even his friends compared him to the filthiest of all animals. He was also mean, untruthful, and so fond of eating and drinking that he has often been called a drunkard and a glutton. His principal amusement lay in hunting and cockfighting, or, as he prided himself upon being very learned, in arguing about religion.

Hoping to settle all church difficulties, and especially to show his talent in argument, James soon called a religious conference. Although this meeting did not do all that he had hoped, it decreed a careful revision of the Bible. During the next four years, it is said, fifty learned men worked hard at this translation, and finally printed what is still known as "King James's Bible."

The Puritans, Independents, Separatists, and Nonconformists, as those who would not conform to the established religion were called, would not yield. Parliament refused to change the laws, so James boastingly said: "I will make them conform, or I will harry them out of the kingdom."

It was because James was so determined to have his subjects worship as he wished, that some of them resolved to leave the country. A small band of Separatists first went over to Holland; but, seeing that their children would soon forget the English language and their native country if they continued to dwell there, they came back to England, and, embarking on the Mayflower, set sail for the New World to make their homes there. These Separatists, who are known as the Pilgrim Fathers, landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, and founded the first colony in New England.