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.
Prince tried to fight, but he was too weak and ill to do much, and was obliged to go home, and leave the government to his brother John, Duke of Lancaster.  He lived about six years after he came home, and then died, to the great sorrow of everyone.  His father, King Edward, was now too old and feeble to attend to the affairs of the country.  Queen Philippa was dead too, and as no one took proper care of the poor old king, he fell into the hands of bad servants, who made themselves rich and neglected him.  When, at length, he lay dying, they stole the ring off his finger before he had breathed his last, and left him all alone, with the doors open, till a priest came by, and stayed and prayed by him till his last moment.  He had reigned exactly fifty years.  You had better learn and remember the names of his sons, as you will hear more about some of them.  They were Edward, Lionel, John, Edmund, and Thomas.  Edward was Prince of Wales; Lionel, Duke of Clarence; John, Duke of Lancaster; Edmund, Duke of York; and Thomas, Duke of Gloucester.  Edward and Lionel both died before their father.  Edward had left a son named Richard; Lionel had left a daughter named Philippa.


Richard II.  A.D. 1377—­1399.

These were not very good times in England.  The new King, Richard, was only eleven years old, and his three uncles did not care much for his good or the good of the nation.  There was not much fighting going on in France, but for the little there was a great deal of money was wanting, and the great lords were apt to be very hard upon the poor people on their estates.  They would not let them be taught to read; and if a poor man who belonged to an estate went away to a town, his lord could have him brought back to his old home.  Any tax, too, fell more heavily on the poor than the rich.  One tax, especially, called the poll tax, which was made when Richard was sixteen, vexed them greatly.  Everyone above fifteen years old had to pay fourpence, and the collectors were often very rude and insolent.  A man named Wat Tyler, in Kent, was so angry with a rude collector as to strike him dead.  All the villagers came together with sticks, scythes, and flails; and Wat Tyler told them they would go to London, and tell the king how his poor commons were treated.  More people and more joined them on the way, and an immense multitude of wild looking men came pouring into London, where the Lord Mayor and Aldermen were taken by surprise, and could do nothing to stop them.  They did not do much harm then; they lay on the grass all night round the Tower, and said they wanted to speak to the king.  In the morning he came down to his barge, and meant to have spoken to them; but his people, seeing such a host of wild men, took fright, and carried him back again.  He went out again the next day on horseback; but while he was speaking to some of them, the worst of them broke into the Tower, where

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