Front Matter Albion and Brutus The Coming of the Romans The Romans Come Again Caligula Conquers Britain The Story of Boadicea The Last of the Romans The Story of St. Alban Vortigern and King Constans Hengist and Horsa Hengist's Treachery The Giant's Dance The Coming of Arthur Founding of the Round Table Gregory and the Children King Alfred Learns to Read Alfred and the Cowherd More About Alfred the Great Ethelred the Unready Edmund Ironside Canute and the Waves Edward the Confessor Harold Godwin The Battle of Stamford Bridge The Battle of Hastings Hereward the Wake Death of the King The Story of William the Red The Story of the "White Ship" The Story of King Stephen Henry II—Gilbert and Rohesia Thomas a Becket The Conquest of Ireland Richard Coeur de Lion How Blondel Found the King The Story of Prince Arthur The Great Charter Henry III and Hubert de Burgh Simon de Montfort The Poisoned Dagger The War of Chalons The Lawgiver The Hammer of the Scots King Robert the Bruce The Battle of Bannockburn The Battle of Sluys The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Battle of Poitiers Wat Tyler's Rebellion How Richard Lost His Throne The Battle of Shrewsbury Prince Hal Sent to Prison The Battle of Agincourt The Maid of Orleans Red Rose and White Margaret and the Robbers The Story of the Kingmaker A King Who Wasn't Crowned Two Princes in the Tower The Make-Believe Prince Another Make-Believe Prince The Field of the Cloth of Gold Defender of the Faith The Six Wives of Henry VIII The Story of a Boy King The Story of Lady Jane Grey Elizabeth a Prisoner A Candle Lit in England Elizabeth Becomes Queen A Most Unhappy Queen Saved from the Spaniards Sir Walter Raleigh The Queen's Favourite The Story of Guy Fawkes The Story of the Mayflower A Blow for Freedom King and Parliament Quarrel The King Brought to Death The Adventures of a Prince The Lord Protector How Death Plagued London How London was Burned The Fiery Cross The Story of King Monmouth The Story of the Seven Bishops William the Deliverer William III and Mary II A Sad Day in a Highland Glen How the Union Jack was Made Earl of Mar's Hunting Party Bonnie Prince Charlie Flora MacDonald The Black Hole of Calcutta How Canada Was Won How America Was Lost A Story of a Spinning Wheel Every Man Will Do His Duty The Battle of Waterloo The First Gentleman in Europe Two Peaceful Victories The Girl Queen When Bread was Dear Victorian Age: Peace Victorian Age: War The Land of Snow The Siege of Delhi The Pipes at Lucknow Under the Southern Cross From Cannibal to Christian Boer and Briton List of Kings

Our Island Story - H. E. Marshall


A few days after Argyle reached Scotland, the Duke of Monmouth sailed from Holland and landed in England. He was received with great joy. The common people flocked to his standard, many of them armed only with scythes, and pruning-hooks fastened to poles. Nine hundred young men marched before him, twenty beautiful girls gave him a Bible splendidly bound and a banner which they had themselves embroidered. The roads wherever he went were lined with cheering crowds. 'A Monmouth! A Monmouth! the Protestant religion!' they cried as he passed.

The Duke's followers begged him to take the title of king, so, on 20th June 1685 A.D., the same day on which Argyle was led captive through Edinburgh, Monmouth was proclaimed king at Taunton, a little town in the south of England. But like the real King, he was named James so, instead of calling him King James, his followers called him King Monmouth.

King Monmouth did not enjoy his title long. In the dark of the early morning of the 6th July, a battle was fought between King James's men and the followers of Monmouth, on the plain of Sedgemoor. Monmouth fought bravely, but when he saw that his men were being defeated, he turned and fled away leaving them leaderless and hopeless. This was the last real battle ever fought on English ground.

Monmouth tried to escape in disguise. He changed clothes with a poor shepherd, but the country was so full of the King's soldiers that he found it impossible to get away. For several days he lived in the fields, hiding in ditches and having nothing to eat but raw peas and beans. At last, miserable and ragged, half starving from cold and hunger, he was discovered by the soldiers and taken prisoner to London.

Bound with a cord of silk he was led before King James, and falling upon his knees he begged for mercy and forgiveness. But James never forgave. Monmouth, like so many other men, good and bad, was beheaded.

The anger and vengeance of the King did not end with the death of Monmouth. His soldiers, under a dreadful man called Kirke, tortured and murdered, in a terrible manner, the poor rebels who escaped from Sedgemoor. Judge Jeffreys followed next, and so many people did he kill, such terrible things did he do, that his journey through the country was for ever after called the Bloody Assize.

Assize means Court of Justice. At certain times in England judges make what is called a circuit or journey through the country, when they hear what wrong things people have done, and when they judge and punish. But on this dreadful journey Judge Jeffreys did not do justice. He did wrong and murder, and King James praised and rewarded him for it.