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.
two uncles do not seem to have treated the king as if he had been to blame.  The elder of these uncles, the Duke of Lancaster, was called John of Gaunt—­because he had been born a Ghent, a town in Flanders.  He was becoming an old man, and only tried to help the king and keep things quiet; but Henry, his eldest son, was a fine high-spirited young man—­a favorite with everybody, and was always putting himself forward—­and the king was very much afraid of him.

One day, when Parliament met, the king stood up, and commanded Henry of Lancaster to tell all those present what the Duke of Norfolk had said when they were riding together.  Henry gave in a written paper, saying that the duke had told him that they should all be ruined, like the Duke of Gloucester, and that the king would find some way to destroy them.  Norfolk angrily sprang up, and declared he had said no such thing.  In those days, when no one could tell which spoke the truth, the two parties often would offer to fight, and it was believed that God would show the right, by giving the victory to the sincere one.  So Henry and Norfolk were to fight; but just as they were mounted on their horses, with their lances in their hands, the king threw down his staff before them, stopped the combat, and sentenced Norfolk to be banished from England for life, and Henry for ten years.

Not long after Henry had gone, his old father—­John of Gaunt—­died, and the king kept all his great dukedom of Lancaster.  Henry would not bear this, and knew that many people at home thought it very unfair; so he came to England, and as soon as he landed at Ravenspur in Yorkshire, people flocked to him so eagerly, that he began to think he could do more than make himself duke of Lancaster.  King Richard was in Ireland, where his cousin, the governor—­Roger Mortimer—­had been killed by the wild Irish.  He came home in haste on hearing of Henry’s arrival, but everybody turned against him:  and the Earl of Northumberland, whom he had chiefly trusted, made him prisoner and carried him to Henry.  He was taken to London, and there set before Parliament, to confess that he had ruled so ill that he was unworthy to reign, and gave up the crown to his dear cousin Henry of Lancaster, in the year 1399.

Then he was sent away to Pontefract Castle, and what happened to him there nobody knows, but he never came out of it alive.


Henry IV.  A.D. 1399—­1413.

The English people had often chosen their king out of the royal family in old times, but from John to Richard II., he had always been the son and heir of the last king.  Now, though poor Richard had no child, Henry of Lancaster was not the next of kin to him, for Lionel, Duke of Clarence, had come between the Black Prince and John of Gaunt; and his great grandson, Edmund Mortimer, was thought by many to have a better right to be king than Henry.  Besides,

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