Young Folks' History of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about Young Folks' History of England.
state of people’s minds, William of Orange set forth from Holland, and landed at Torbay.  Crowds of people came to meet him, and to call on him.  It was only three years since the Bloody Assize, and they had not forgotten it in those parts.  King James heard that one person after another had gone to the Prince of Orange, and he thought it not safe for his wife and child to be any longer in England.  So, quietly, one night he put them in charge of a French nobleman who had been visiting him, and who took them to the Thames, where, after waiting in the dark under a church wall, he brought them a boat, and they reached a ship which took them safely to France.

King James staid a little longer.  He did not mind when he heard that Prince George of Denmark had gone to the Prince of Orange, but only laughed, and said “Est il possible?” but when he heard his daughter Anne, to whom he had always been kind, was gone too, the tears came into his eyes, and he said, “God help me, my own children are deserting me.”  He would have put himself at the head of the army, but he found that if he did so he was likely to be made prisoner and carried to William.  So he disguised himself and set off for France; but at Faversham, some people who took him for a Roman Catholic priest seized him, and he was sent back to London.  However, as there was nothing the Prince of Orange wished so little as to keep him in captivity, he was allowed to escape again, and this time he safely reached France, where he was very kindly welcomed, and had the palace of St. Germain given him for a dwelling-place.

It was on the 4th of November, 1688, that William landed, and the change that now took place is commonly called the English Revolution.

We must think of the gentlemen, during these reigns, as going about in very fine laced and ruffled coats, and the most enormous wigs.  You know the Roundheads had short hair and the Cavaliers long:  so people were ashamed to have short hair, and wore wigs to hide it if it would not grow, till everybody came to have shaven heads, and monstrous wigs in great curls on their shoulders:  and even little boys’ hair was made to look as like a wig as possible.  The barber had the wig every morning to fresh curl, and make it white with hair powder, so that everyone might look like an old man, with a huge quantity of white hair.

CHAPTER XXXIX.

William III.  And Mary II. 1689—­1702.

When James II. proved to be entirely gone, the Parliament agreed to offer the crown to William of Orange—­the next heir after James’s children—­and Mary, his wife, James’s eldest daughter; but not until there had been new conditions made, which would prevent the kings from ever being so powerful again as they had been since the time of Henry VII.  Remember, Magna Carta, under King John, gave the power to the nobles.  They lost it by the wars of the Roses, and the Tudor kings gained it; but the Stuart kings could not keep it, and the House of Commons became the strongest power in the kingdom, by the Revolution of 1688.

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