Young Folks' History of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Young Folks' History of England.
is said that he was found at last by his friend, the minstrel Blondel.  A minstrel was a person who made verses and sang them.  Many of the nobles and knights in Queen Eleanor’s Duchy of Aquitaine were minstrels—­and Richard was a very good one himself, and amused himself in his captivity by making verses.  This is certainly true—­though I cannot answer for it that the pretty story is true, which says that Blondel sung at all the castle courts in Germany, till he heard his master’s voice take up and reply to his song.

The Queens, Eleanor and Berengaria, raised a ransom—­that is, a sum of money to buy his freedom—­though his brother John tried to prevent them, and the King of France did his best to hinder the emperor from releasing him; but the Pope insisted that the brave crusader should be set at liberty:  and Richard came home, after a year and a half of captivity.  He freely forgave John for all the mischief he had done or tried to do, though he thought so ill of him as to say, “I wish I may forget John’s injuries to me as soon as he will forget my pardon of him.”

Richard only lived two years after he came back.  He was besieging a castle in Aquitaine, where there was some treasure that he thought was unlawfully kept from him, when he was struck in the shoulder by a bolt from a cross-bow, and the surgeons treated it so unskilfully that in a few days he died.  The man who had shot the bolt was made prisoner, but the Lion-heart’s last act was to command that no harm should be done to him.  The soldiers, however, in their grief and rage for the king, did put him to death in a cruel manner.

Richard desired to be burned at the feet of his father, in Fontevraud Abbey, where he once bewailed his undutiful conduct, and now wished his body forever to lie in penitence.  The figures in stone, of the father, mother, and son, who quarreled so much in life, all lie on one monument now, and with them Richard’s youngest sister Joan, who died nearly at the same time as he died, party of grief for him.


John, Lackland.  A.D. 1199—­1216.

As a kind of joke, John, King Henry’s youngest son, had been called Lackland, because he had nothing when his brothers each had some great dukedom.  The name suited him only too well before the end of his life.  The English made him king at once.  They always did take a grown-up man for their king, if the last king’s son was but a child.  Richard had never had any children, but his brother Geoffrey, who was older than John, had left a son named Arthur, who was about twelve years old, and who was rightly the Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou.  King Philip, who was always glad to vex whoever was king of England, took Arthur under his protection, and promised to get Normandy out of John’s hands.  However, John had a meeting with him and persuaded him to desert Arthur, and marry his son Louis to John’s

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Young Folks' History of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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