It was a time when many changes were going on peacefully. The great nobles had grown much poorer and less powerful; and the country squires and chief people in the towns reckoned for much more in the State. Moreover, there was much learning and study going on everywhere. Greek began to be taught as well as Latin, and the New Testament was thus read in the language in which the apostles themselves wrote; and that led people to think over some of the evil ways that had grown up in their churches and abbeys, during those long, grievous years, when no one thought of much but fighting, or of getting out of the way of the enemy.
The king himself, and all his family, loved learning, and nobody more than his son Henry, who—if his elder brother had lived—was to have been archbishop of Canterbury.
It was in this reign, too, that America was discovered—though not by the English, but by Christopher Columbus, an Italian, who came out in ships that were lent to him by Isabel, the Queen of Spain, mother to Katharine, Princess of Wales. Henry had been very near sending Columbus, only he did not like spending so much money. How ever, he afterwards did send out some ships, which discovered Newfoundland. Henry died in the year 1509.
Henry VIII. And cardinal Wolsey. A.D. 1509—1529.
The new king was very fond of the Princess Katharine, and he married her soon after his father’s death, without asking any more questions about the right or wrong of it. He began with very gallant and prosperous times. He was very handsome, and skilled in all sports and games, and had such frank, free manners, that the people felt as if they had one of their best old Plantagenets back again. They were pleased, too, when he quarreled with the King of France, and like an old Plantagenet, led an army across the sea and besieged the town of Tournay. Again, it was like the time of Edward III., for James IV. of Scotland was a friend of the French king, and came across the Border with all the strength of Scotland, to ravage England while Henry was away. But there were plenty of stout Englishmen left, and under the Earl of Surrey, they beat the Scots entirely at