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.
There was a great English noble named Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick, who liked to manage everything—­just the sort of baron that was always mischievous at home, if not fighting in France—­and he took up York’s cause hotly.  York’s friends used to wear white roses, Beaufort’s friends red roses, and the two parties kept on getting more bitter; but as no one wished any ill to gentle King Henry—­who, to make matters worse, sometimes had fits of madness, like his poor grandfather in France—­they would hardly have fought it in his lifetime, if he had not at last had a little son, who was born while he was so mad that he did not know of it.  Then, when York found it was of no use to wait, he began to make war, backed up by Warwick, and, after much fighting, they made the king prisoner, and forced him to make an agreement that he should reign as long as he lived, but that after that Richard of York should be king, and his son Edward be only Duke of Lancaster.  This made the queen furiously angry.  She would not give up her son’s rights, and she gathered a great army, with which she came suddenly on the Duke of York near Wakefield, and destroyed nearly his whole army.  He was killed in the battle; and his second son, Edmund, was met on Wakefield bridge and stabbed by Lord Clifford; and Margaret had their heads set up over the gates of York, while she went on to London to free her husband.

But Edward, York’s eldest son, was a better captain than he, and far fiercer and more cruel.  He made the war much more savage than it had been before; and after beating the queen’s friends at Mortimer’s Cross, he hurried on to London, where the people—­who had always been very fond of his father, and hated Queen Margaret—­greeted him gladly.  He was handsome and stately looking; and though he was really cruel when offended, had easy, good-natured manners, and everyone in London was delighted to receive him and own him as king.  But Henry and Margaret were in the north with many friends, and he followed them thither to Towton Moor, where, in a snow storm, began the most cruel and savage battle of all the war.  Edward gained the victory, and nobody was spared, or made prisoner—­all were killed who could not flee.  Poor Henry was hidden among his friends, and Margaret went to seek help in Scotland and abroad, taking her son with her.  Once she brought another army and fought at Hexham, but she was beaten again; and before long King Henry was discovered by his enemies, carried to London, and shut up a prisoner in the Tower.  His reign is reckoned to have ended in 1461.


Edward IV.  A.D. 1461—­1483.

Though Edward IV. was made king, the wars of the Red and White Roses were not over yet.  Queen Margaret and her friends were always trying to get help for poor King Henry.  Edward had been so base and mean as to have him led into London, with his feet tied together under his horse, while men struck him on the face, and cried out, “Behold the traitor!” But Henry was meek, patient, and gentle throughout; and, when shut up in the Tower, spent his time in reading and praying, or playing with his little dog.

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