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 Tiny Queen

These religious troubles were not all. War arose, and the king's uncles had to carry it on. But as they were quite selfish, you will not be surprised to hear that one of them, Lancaster, took the money which Parliament gave him for the war in France, and used it in securing the throne of Castile in Spain for his daughter.

Besides the war in Castile and France, there was a war with Scotland, the principal battle being won by Douglas and the Scots against the English under Percy Hotspur. This battle took place at Otterburn, and it gave rise to a ballad which was sung for several centuries the "Ballad of Chevy Chase."

The Duke of Gloucester, one of the king's uncles, had used his power very unwisely, and had, besides, angered the king by putting to death his tutor, although Queen Anne knelt before Gloucester three hours, imploring him to spare the good man's life. Richard was naturally indignant, and shortly after this turned to his uncle in full council, and abruptly asked: "How old am I?"

"Your majesty is in your twenty-second year," answered Gloucester.

"Then I am old enough to reign," cried the king, and he dismissed the council.

Gloucester, deprived of the regency, now plotted against the king, who therefore sent him a prisoner to Calais. Here the duke died, and it is generally supposed that he was secretly put to death by Richard's order.

When good Queen Anne died, leaving no children, Richard decided to marry again, and after much thought he selected Isabella, daughter of the King of France. When he made this choice known, one of his courtiers objected that the princess was too young, as she was only eight years old. But the king answered, "The lady's age is a fault which every day will remedy," and sent an embassy to France to ask her hand in marriage.

Isabella was so little that every one wondered how she would behave. The men were brought before her, and when the ambassador had knelt and kissed her hand, he said: "Madam, if it please God, you shall be our lady and queen."

Baby as she still was, little Isabella gravely answered: "Sir, if it please God and my father that I be Queen of England, I shall be well pleased, for I am told I shall be a great lady."

The grandest outfit you ever heard of was made ready for this little queen, who was escorted to England by the embassy, and solemnly crowned at Westminster Abbey. She was so sweet and little that every one loved her; and the king used to visit her every day in her nursery, where he actually played dolls with her. He was so kind to the little queen that she loved him dearly, and she never forgot her playfellow, who was a good-hearted man, although a weak and worthless king.

The Duke of Lancaster was dead by this time, and his son, Henry of Bolingbroke, had been exiled by the king. Richard now thought it would be a good chance to seize this cousin's property; so he took possession of it, just before leaving for Ireland, where war awaited him.

Henry of Bolingbroke, or Lancaster, as he is called, now begged the Duke of Brittany to help him regain his estates. The duke consented, and while Richard was in Ireland, Henry landed in England. He was soon joined by a large force, and, seeing that the people were tired of their weak king Richard, Henry began to think of taking the throne himself.

Richard, hearing of his cousin's arrival, came back to England as fast as winds and waves would allow him; but he no sooner landed than his army deserted him. He then took refuge in Flint Castle; but Henry of Lancaster came there to get him, and by false promises persuaded him to go to London and there resign his crown.

The weak Richard offered no resistance to his cousin's entreaties, and after he had given up his crown to Henry, he withdrew to Pontefract Castle, where he died in the year 1400, having been put to death, some say, by his cousin's order. Little Queen Isabella showed more spirit than he, for she refused to recognize Henry as king, and scorned to marry his son when she became a widow at twelve. After being kept a prisoner for some time, and being deprived of her attendants and jewels, she was finally allowed to go back to her father's court.