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.


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