Curtis’s Approved Educational Works.



1.—A Class Book of English History. From B.C. 55 to A.D. 1890. Cr. 8vo. 3/-

Part I, B.C. 55 to A.D. 1485 1/3

Part II, A.D. 1485 to 1890 1/9

“Brightly written; there is not a dull or unnecessary line from beginning to end. The amount of information is surprising, and it is sure to be popular.”—Catholic Educator.

“This careful summary of English History is intended for pupils in the middle forms of public and private schools; it is well adapted for this purpose.”—Educational Times.

“Mr. Curtis is successful in presenting the facts of English History, clearly and concisely.”—Literary World.


2.—School and College History of England. Containing Chapters on Religion, Government, Trade, &c. 28,000 sold. Cr. 8vo. 5/6

“It is a pleasure to meet with a history that is correct in its facts. It is greatly in advance of its predecessors, and may be recommended with confidence.”—Papers for the Schoolmaster.

“A vast amount of interesting matter, not often included in a school book, is supplied.”—Educational Times.

“We can most conscientiously recommend Mr. Curtis’s ‘School and College History of England’ for general use, and we particularly commend it to candidates preparing for Civil Service examinations.”—Civil Service Gazette.


3.—Chronological and Genealogical Tables. Illustrative of English History. 13,000 sold. 2/-

“We regard these tables not only as an excellent supplement to his excellent history, but also as an invaluable companion to any history of England.”—English Journal of Education.

“Very accurate and well arranged.”—Educational Times.


4.—Outlines of the History of England. From B.C. 55 to A.D. 1890. 352,000 sold. Fcp. -/6

“As an introduction to English History, we know of none equal to it.”—Quarterly Journal of Education.

“The ‘Outlines of English History’ are surprising instances of compression, considering that no events of importance are left out.”—Nottingham Review.

“For the elementary facts of English History, there is no book so useful as Curtis’s ‘Outlines.’”—Educational Times.

“We do not see a fault in the book.”—School Board Chronicle.


5.—Short Manual of English History. With Genealogical Tables, &c. 16,000 sold. Fcp. -/6

“One of the best summaries of English History which has yet been published.”—Educational Times.

“Comprehensive and well arranged.”—Educational Record.

“The amount of information it condenses is well-nigh wonderful.”—School Magazine.


6.—Outlines of Scripture History. 45,000 sold. Fcp. -/6

“They lend to the sacred story a connected historic form in the mind of the reader, and by explaining the direct relations of events and characters in these priceless narratives, they assist the understanding as well as the memory.”—School Board Chronicle.

“Concise, comprehensive, and well arranged, and argue a masterly knowledge of the history of the Old and New Testaments.”—Church and School Gazette.

“Small in size, but great in value. We recommend the work not only to private Christians, but also to teachers and preachers.”—Christian World.




7.—An English Grammar for Schools. With copious Exercises, Examples of Parsing, Analysis, &c. 23,000 sold. Fcp. -/6

“Will be found one of the best books for teaching grammar to elementary classes. The examples have a merit that we believe is peculiar to the work. Mr Curtis gives full directions for parsing every class of word in each of the eight divisions. His explanation of the rules of syntax is very valuable and interesting.”—National Schoolmaster.


8.—Outlines of English Grammar. With Copious Exercises. 250,000 sold. Fcp. -/6

“Remarkably clear in its definitions, copious in its facts, and rich in the examples it gives for exercise.”—Freeman.

“An admirable example of placing in a clear light the essentials of a subject.”—Carlisle Examiner.

“The arrangement is admirable, and the exercises especially are so well devised as greatly to assist the student and lighten the labours of the teacher.”—Brighton Gazette.

“An admirable introduction to the mysteries of English grammar.”—Norfolk News.

[Continued at end]







FROM B.C. 55 TO A.D. 1895.


Arranged in Chronological Order.









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B.C. 55 TO A.D. 410.




54. Cæsar invaded Britain a second time, defeated Cassivelaunus, the most able of the British chiefs, and imposed a tribute on the inhabitants.


43. After an interval of nearly a hundred years, another attempt was made to conquer the country; Aulus Plautius sent as general to Britain by the emperor Claudius.

51. Ostorius Scapula, who had succeeded Plautius, defeated Caractacus at Caer Caradoc, in Shropshire. Caractacus afterwards betrayed by his stepmother, and sent as a prisoner to Rome.

61. Suetonius captured Anglesea. He gained a decisive victory over Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, who poisoned herself after the battle.

78. Julius Agricola became governor. He subdued and then conciliated the natives.

84. Agricola vanquished a Caledonian chief, named Galgacus, at the foot of the Grampians.

121. The emperor Hadrian drove back the northern barbarians, and built a wall between the Solway Firth and the mouth of the Tyne, for the purpose of preventing their incursions.

139. Lollius Urbicus constructed a rampart between the Firths of Forth and Clyde, called the wall of Antoninus.

209. The emperor Severus invaded Caledonia (Scotland) to chastise the people for their ravages in South Britain.

210. Severus constructed a wall near that of Hadrian.

211. Severus died at York.

286. Carausius, admiral of the Roman fleet, threw off his allegiance, and became sovereign of Britain.

294. Carausius slain by his minister, Allectus, who mounted the throne.

296. Allectus slain, and the country re-annexed to the Roman empire.

304. St. Alban put to death for refusing to renounce Christianity.

306. The emperor Constantius died at York.

368. Theodosius restored the discipline of the Roman troops in Britain, and drove back the Picts and Scots.

383. Maximus, a Roman general, proclaimed emperor in Britain.

388. Maximus defeated and slain in Italy.

410. The emperor Honorius informed the Britons that they must in future provide for their own defence.


Britain under the Romans was divided into five provinces:—1. Britannia Prima, the country south of the Thames and the Bristol Channel. 2. Britannia Secunda, almost the same as the Principality of Wales. 3. Flavia Cæsariensis, the country north of the Thames, east of the Severn, and south of the Mersey and Humber. 4. Maxima Cæsariensis, the territory northward to the wall of Severus. 5. Valentia, the district between the wall of Severus and that of Antoninus.



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A.D. 449 TO 1066.


449. HENGIST AND HORSA, TWO JUTISH LEADERS, LANDED IN BRITAIN, at the request of Vortigern, a British chief, and drove back the Picts and Scots.

467. Hengist founded the Kingdom of Kent.

490. Ella founded Sussex (Sussex and a part of Surrey).

519. Cerdic founded Wessex (Western counties south of the Thames and Severn).

520. Battle of Mount Badon, in which Arthur defeated the Saxons.

527. Erkenwin founded Essex (Essex, Middlesex, part of Herts).

542. Arthur, the most heroic of the opponents of the Saxons, murdered by his nephew.

547. Ida founded Bernicia (Eastern side of Britain, from the Forth to the Tyne).

560. Ella founded Deira (Eastern side of Britain, from the Humber to the Tees).

571. Uffa founded East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge).

586. Crida founded Mercia (Central England).

597. Augustine, who was sent to Britain by Pope Gregory to spread Christianity among the Saxons, arrived in Kent.

600. About this time Ethelbert, king of Kent, published the earliest code of Saxon laws extant.

617. Bernicia and Deira formed into one kingdom under Edwin, and called Northumbria.

627. Edwin of Northumbria adopted the Christian faith.

633. Battle of Heathfield, between Edwin and Penda, king of Mercia: Edwin defeated and slain.

655. Battle of Winwidfield, between Oswy, king of Northumbria, and Penda: Penda defeated and slain.

709. About this time Ina, king of Wessex, promulgated an important code of laws.


800. Egbert became king of Wessex.

823. Battle of Wilton: Kent and Essex annexed to Wessex.

827. Egbert conquered Mercia. Supremacy of Wessex established.

Some writers incorrectly state that Egbert was the first king of England.

835. Egbert defeated the Cornish Britons and Danes at Hengston Hill.

836. Death of Egbert. Accession of his son Ethelwulf.

851. Ethelwulf defeated the Danes at Ockley, in Surrey.

856. Death of Ethelwulf. Accession of his son Ethelbald.

860. Death of Ethelbald. Accession of his brother Ethelbert.

866. Death of Ethelbert. Accession of his brother Ethelred.

870. Edmund, king of East Anglia, put to death by the Danes, for refusing to renounce Christianity.

871. Battles fought with the Danes at Reading, Ashdown, Basing, and Merton; death of Ethelred.

ACCESSION OF HIS BROTHER ALFRED. The Danes defeated Alfred at Wilton.

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875. Alfred equipped a small fleet: First English navy.

878. The Danes took Chippenham. Alfred, unable to cope with the enemy, retired to the Isle of Athelney, in Somersetshire. He suddenly re-appeared, and defeated them at Ethandune. Treaty of Wedmore, between Alfred and Gothrun, the Danish leader.

Alfred ceded to him East Anglia and portions of Essex and Mercia.

893. Hastings, a Danish leader, invaded England.

894. Alfred defeated the Danes at Farnham, in Surrey.

897. Hastings, unable to establish himself in England, retired to France.

901. Death of Alfred. Accession of his son Edward the Elder.

920. Death of Edward’s sister, Ethelfleda, who for several years had governed Mercia.

924. Death of Edward. Accession of his son Athelstan.

926. Athelstan annexed Northumbria, on the death of Sihtric, who, the year before, had married his sister.

937. Anlaf, son of Sihtric, and Constantine, king of the Scots, invaded England. They were defeated, with immense loss, by Athelstan, at Brunanburh.

“To Athelstan belongs the glory of having established what has ever since been called the kingdom of England.”

941. Death of Athelstan. Accession of his brother Edmund. The Northumbrians chose Anlaf as their king.

944. Anlaf died, and Northumbria was re-annexed.

946. Death of Edmund. Accession of his brother Edred.

948. The Northumbrians chose Eric, a Dane, for their king.

954. The Northumbrians submitted to Edred; and their territory became an earldom.

955. Death of Edred. Accession of his nephew Edwin, son of Edmund.

956. Dunstan, abbot of Glastonbury, banished.

959. Death of Edwin. Accession of his brother Edgar.

960. Dunstan became archbishop of Canterbury: he exercised great influence in Church and State.

973. Edgar crowned at Bath. Eight kings did homage to him at Chester, and rowed him down the Dee.

975. Death of Edgar. Accession of his son Edward II.

978. Edward slain at Corfe Castle by order of his stepmother. Accession of his brother Ethelred II.

991. Ravages of the Danes. £10,000 paid in order to buy off their hostility.

1002. All the Danes, who were in that part of England under Ethelred’s authority, put to death by his order. One of the victims was Gunhilda, sister of Sweyn, king of Denmark.

1008. An assessment, said to be the origin of ship-money, levied for the equipment of a large fleet.

1012. The English paid the Danes £48,000 as tribute.

1013. Sweyn, of Denmark, conquered the country. King Ethelred fled to Normandy.

1014. Death of Sweyn. His son, Canute, chosen by the Danes. Ethelred returned, and the Saxons promised to obey him, if he would govern them better than before.

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1016. Death of Ethelred. Accession of his son Edmund Ironside. After several battles between the Saxons and Danes, it was agreed that the country should be divided. Canute had Northumbria and Mercia; Edmund the rest of England. Death of Edmund. Canute became king of the whole country.

1017. Canute married Emma, the widow of Ethelred.

1028. Canute conquered Norway.

1031. Canute invaded Scotland, and compelled Malcolm II. to do homage.

1035. Death of Canute. Accession of his son Harold.

1040. Death of Harold. Accession of his brother Hardicanute.

1041. Hardicanute caused all Worcestershire to be ravaged, because two of his officers, employed in collecting the Danegelt, were killed at Worcester.

1042. Death of Hardicanute. Accession of Edward the Confessor, son of Ethelred.

1044. Edward married Editha, daughter of Godwin, earl of Kent, the most powerful nobleman in the country.

1051. Eustace, count of Boulogne, the king’s brother-in-law, had a conflict with the people of Dover. Godwin refused to punish them, and was soon after banished. William, duke of Normandy, visited England.

1052. Godwin returned, and recovered his power.

1053. Death of Godwin. His son Harold succeeded to his possessions and authority.

1054. Siward, earl of Northumbria, invaded Scotland in behalf of his nephew Malcolm, and defeated the usurper Macbeth.

1066. Death of Edward the Confessor. Harold mounted the throne. His brother Tostig, who had shortly before been expelled from his earldom of Northumbria (granted to him on the death of Siward), allied himself with Harold Hardrada, king of Norway; and the allies invaded England. They were defeated at Stamford Bridge, near York (Sept. 25). William, Duke of Normandy, claimed the crown, on the pretext that Edward had bequeathed it to him, and landed with an army at Pevensey to assert his claim.


The battle of Hastings was one of the “few battles of which a contrary event would have essentially varied the drama of the world in all its subsequent scenes.”





William I., surnamed The Conqueror.

D. He was the son of Robert, duke of Normandy. B. at Falaise, 1027. M. Matilda, daughter of Baldwin V., count of Flanders. Dd. at Rouen, Sept. 9, 1087. R. 21 years (1066 to 1087).[1]

1067. William visited Normandy, and during his absence the tyranny of his regents goaded some of the people into insurrection.

1068. The king marched to Exeter, and captured it after a short siege. Later in the year he carried his arms to York.

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1069. An armament, commanded by Harold and Canute, sons of Sweyn, king of Denmark, arrived in the Humber. The invaders were joined by Edgar Atheling (the grandson of Edmund Ironside, and heir to the throne on the death of Edward the Confessor), Waltheof (the son of Siward), and other Saxon nobles. William is said to have bought off the hostility of the Danes. He captured York, which had fallen into the hands of the insurgents, and ordered the whole district, from the Humber to the Tees, to be laid waste,—an order most effectually and cruelly carried out.

1070. Waltheof was made earl of Huntingdon, and received the hand of William’s niece, Judith, in marriage.

1071. The Saxons, who, under Hereward, had been holding out against the king for some time in the Isle of Ely, surrendered. Conquest of England completed.

1072. William invaded Scotland, and compelled Malcolm to acknowledge himself a vassal of the English crown.

1074. The earls of Hereford and Norfolk, and Waltheof, conspired against the king. Waltheof revealed the plot, and sought the king’s pardon, but was executed the next year at Winchester.

1079. The king besieged the castle of Gerberoi, held by his son Robert, who had rebelled against him. Robert, not recognizing his father, wounded and unhorsed him.

About this time the New Forest was formed.


It is generally believed that the system of feudal tenures was legally established in England at the Council of Salisbury, held either in 1085 or 1086. The great characteristic of the feudal system was that the obligation of military or knight’s service was annexed to the tenure of land held of the sovereign. The estates, or fiefs of the tenants-in-chief, consisted of one or more knight’s fees; and for every fee the king might claim the military service of an armed knight for forty days a year. The holders of these estates, on taking possession, were required to do homage, and to swear fealty to the king; and on particular and specified occasions other services were exacted. The holders of large estates often granted portions of their land to under-vassals, from whom they received services similar to those which they themselves rendered to their sovereign. The number of knight’s fees in England was 60,215.

About this time the ecclesiastical was separated from the civil jurisdiction; all causes of the Church were to be tried before clerical tribunals.

1086. Domesday Book completed.

This invaluable record, the result of a survey begun about the year 1080, consists of two volumes, and contains an account of the extent and value of the landed property of the country, together with many other important particulars.

1087. William engaged in war with Philip I. of France. He was seriously hurt at Mantes, and the injury terminated fatally.

In this reign the mode of trial by combat began to be employed. The curfew-bell was tolled every night at eight o’clock, at which time all fires were to be put out.


William II., surnamed Rufus.

D. He was the son of William I. B. about 1060. Killed in the New Forest, Aug. 2, 1100, R. 13 years (1087 to 1100).

1088. Several of the principal Norman nobles conspired against the king. The insurrection suppressed by the aid of the Saxons.

1090. William intrigued against his elder brother Robert, duke of Normandy, in the hope of acquiring the duchy.

1091. William invaded Normandy. A treaty concluded between the brothers, by which the king obtained several towns in the duchy. Malcolm III., king of Scotland, invaded England, but was repulsed.

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1093. Malcolm invaded England, and was slain at Alnwick.

1095. Urban II. preached the first Crusade at Clermont in Auvergne, and induced several of the princes of Europe to take part in the enterprise.

The object of the Crusades was to recover Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Turks, who treated the Christian pilgrims with great harshness and cruelty. These wars lasted about 174 years, and exercised great political influence on the Continent. The only Crusade in which the English played an important part was that undertaken by Richard I.

1096. Robert mortgaged his duchy to William, in order that he might join the Crusade.

1097. William built a wall round the Tower, a bridge over the Thames, and a great hall at Westminster.

1098. Magnus, king of Norway, made a descent on the Isle of Anglesea, but was repulsed. This was the last attempt made by the Northmen upon England.

1099. Jerusalem taken by the Crusaders.

1100. It is said that the Goodwin Sands were formed this year by an inundation of the sea, which overflowed 4,000 acres of land, off the coast of Kent, which had formerly belonged to earl Godwin.


Henry I., surnamed Beauclerk.

D. He was the brother of William II. B. at Selby, in Yorkshire, 1070. M. (1) Matilda, daughter of Malcolm III. of Scotland, and of Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling; (2) Adelicia, daughter of the duke of Louvaine, and niece to Pope Calixtus. Dd. at Rouen, Dec. 1, 1135. R. 35 years (1100 to 1135).

1101. Robert, who had returned from the Crusade, landed in England to assert his claim to the crown. He renounced his pretensions on condition of receiving 3,000 marks a year.

1106. Henry invaded Normandy, defeated Robert at Tenchebrai (Sept. 28), and took him prisoner. He annexed the duchy to the kingdom.

1117. William, son of Robert, aided by Louis VI. of France, and the earls of Flanders and Anjou, tried to recover Normandy.

1118. Establishment of the Order of Knights Templars.

1119. Henry defeated Louis at Brenville, near Noyon.

1120. Henry’s only son, William, drowned at sea.

1128. William, son of Robert, mortally wounded at Alost, in Flanders.

1135. Robert died in Cardiff Castle, after an imprisonment of more than twenty-eight years.


Stephen of Blois.

D. He was the son of Stephen, earl of Blois, and of Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror. B. about 1096. M. Matilda, daughter of the count of Boulogne, and of Mary of Scotland, sister to Henry I.’s wife Matilda. Dd. at Canterbury, Oct. 25, 1154. R. 19 years (1135 to 1154).

1135. The crown, which was left by the late king to his daughter Matilda (widow of Henry V., emperor of Germany, and wife of Geoffrey Plantagenet, earl of Anjou), usurped by Stephen.

1138. David I. of Scotland invaded England to support the cause of his niece Matilda. He was defeated at Northallerton (Aug. 22). This battle generally called the Battle of the Standard.

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1139. Peace concluded with Scotland. Matilda, accompanied by her natural brother, Robert of Gloucester, invaded England. Civil war, which lasted for several years, and enabled the nobles to plunder and oppress the people.

1141. Stephen defeated near Lincoln, and taken prisoner (Feb. 2). Robert, in retreating from Winchester, captured, and afterwards exchanged for Stephen.

1147. Death of Robert of Gloucester. Matilda retired to Normandy.

1152. Matilda’s son Henry married Eleanor, the divorced wife of Louis VII., and thus acquired Poitou and Aquitaine.

1153. Treaty of Winchester, which provided for the succession of Henry on the death of Stephen.





Henry II.

D. He was the son of Matilda and of Geoffrey Plantagenet, and grandson of Henry I. B. at Mans, 1133. M. Eleanor of Poitou. Dd. at Chinon, July 6, 1189. R. 34½ years (1154 to 1189).

1157. Henry invaded Wales: his army surprised and nearly cut off.

1162. Thomas a Becket appointed archbishop of Canterbury. Differences soon arose between him and the king.

1164. Constitutions of Clarendon drawn up. Becket fled to France.

The constitutions were sixteen in number. The most important were,—that clergymen charged with crimes should be tried in the civil courts;—that all causes not strictly ecclesiastical should be tried in the same courts;—that no clergyman of high rank should leave the country without the king’s consent;—that no appeals should be made to Rome without his consent;—that no tenant-in-chief, or officer of his household, should be excommunicated without his consent;—that the king should enjoy the revenues of vacant sees;—and that no prelate should be elected without his assent.

1165. Henry invaded Wales a second time, and defeated the Welsh on the banks of the Cieroc, in Denbighshire.

1169. Richard Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, and other knights, aided Dermot in his attempt to recover the kingdom of Leinster, from which he had been driven.

1170. Henry and Becket were reconciled. Becket returned to England, and was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral (Dec. 29).

1171. Henry invaded Ireland, and was acknowledged lord of the country.

In the second year of his reign (1155) he had obtained a bull from Pope Adrian IV. (Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman who ever sat on the papal throne), authorizing him to subject the people of that country, but hitherto other affairs had prevented him from undertaking the enterprise.

1173. Three of Henry’s sons rebelled against him, and were aided by the kings of France and Scotland.

1174. William, king of Scotland, invaded the country, and was defeated and taken prisoner at Alnwick (July 12). Henry did penance at the tomb of Becket. William released on agreeing to a treaty by which Scotland was declared a vassal dependency of England.


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1183. Civil war between Henry’s children.

1187. Richard revolted against his father, and joined Philip II. of France. Saladin captured Jerusalem.

1189. Peace concluded between Henry and Philip at Tours; the terms unfavourable to Henry.

In this reign the common law of England probably originated.


Richard I., surnamed Cœur de Lion.

D. He was the eldest surviving son of Henry II. B. at Oxford, 1157. M. Berengaria, daughter of Sancho, king of Navarre. Mortally wounded while besieging the castle of Chaluz; he died April 6, 1199. R. 9½ years (1189 to 1199).

1189. Massacre of the Jews in London, and the next year at Lincoln, Norwich, York, and other towns.

1190. The king set out for Palestine to take part in the third Crusade for the recovery of Jerusalem. He joined Philip at Messina.

1191. Richard arrived at Acre and captured the town, which had been besieged for nearly two years. Philip returned to France. Battle of Arsoof, in which Richard defeated Saladin.

1192. Richard concluded a truce with Saladin, and left Palestine. He was taken prisoner in passing through Austria.

1194. Richard released on paying a heavy ransom. He engaged in war with Philip, who had encouraged his (Richard’s) brother John in his designs on the English crown.

1196. An insurrection broke out in London under William FitsOsbert.

1198. Richard defeated Philip of France at Gisors.

In this reign lived the famous outlaw Robin Hood, sometimes called earl of Huntingdon.


John, surnamed Lackland.

D. He was the brother of Richard. B. at Oxford, 1166. M. (1) Hadwisa, heiress of the earl of Gloucester, from whom he was divorced; (2) Isabella, daughter of the count of Angoulême. Dd. at Newark, Oct. 19, 1216. R. 17½ years (1199 to 1216).

1199. Arthur, son of John’s elder and deceased brother Geoffrey, recognized as Richard’s successor in Anjou, Maine, and Touraine.

1202. Arthur besieged his grandmother, Queen Eleanor, in the castle of Mirabeau. John raised the siege, and captured his nephew, whom he is supposed to have murdered.

1203. John, being summoned by Philip II. of France, his lord superior, to answer for the death of Arthur, refused to attend his court, and was declared to have forfeited all his lands in France.

1204. Philip II. conquered Normandy. Before the close of the next year, all the English possessions except Aquitaine fell into the hands of the French.

1205. Death of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury.

1206. John invaded France, and after some successes consented to a two years’ truce.

1207. Stephen Langton appointed archbishop of Canterbury by the pope. This led to a serious quarrel between the king and pope, as the former refused to recognize the archbishop.

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1208. The king granted the citizens of London liberty to appoint a mayor every year. The pope laid England under an interdict.

The object of the interdict was to induce John to acknowledge the archbishop. When a country was laid under an interdict the churches were closed, no bells tolled, and all public ecclesiastical functions ceased, except confession, the baptism of infants, and the sacrament of the dying. The bodies of the dead lay unburied, or were interred in unconsecrated ground without any prayer or service of the priest.

1209. John excommunicated by the pope.

1210. He invaded Ireland, and 20 chieftains repaired to his court, and did homage. The next year he invaded Wales, and dictated terms of submission to Llewellyn, the Welsh chief.

1212. The pope deposed John, and offered the crown to Philip II., who began to make active preparations for an invasion.

1213. The English crossed the channel, captured some French ships, and burnt Dieppe. John surrendered the kingdom to the pope, and received it back as his vassal.

1214. Philip defeated an allied English, German, and Flemish army at Bouvines, in Flanders (July 27).

1215. The English barons, unable to bear any longer the arbitrary and tyrannical government of the king, took up arms against him, and compelled him to grant a charter, known as MAGNA CHARTA. The pope annulled the charter; and the king, refusing to abide by it, collected foreign mercenaries, and ravaged the lands of the barons.

Magna Charta (or the Great Charter), is justly recognized as the keystone of English liberty. It contained 63 clauses, among the most important of which were that no freeman should be dispossessed of his property, imprisoned, or outlawed contrary to law;—that justice should not be sold, delayed, or refused to any one;—that no one should be fined except by his peers, and in proportion to his fault;—that no taxes save certain therein specified should be granted except by parliament;—that justices should go through each county four times a year to try causes;—that weights and measures should be justly fixed;—and that merchants should have liberty to enter and leave the country, except in time of war.

With the grant of Magna Charta commences the history of the English Nation.

1216. The confederated barons offered the crown to Louis (son of Philip II., and husband of John’s niece). He accepted their offer, and landed in England.


Henry III., of Winchester.

D. He was the eldest son of John. B. at Winchester, 1207. M. Eleanor, daughter of Raymond Berenger, count of Provence. Dd. at Westminster, Nov. 16, 1272. R. 56 years (1216 to 1272).

1216. The king being only nine years old, the earl of Pembroke was appointed regent.

1217. Louis’ army defeated at Lincoln (May 20). Hubert vanquished and nearly destroyed a fleet sent to assist Louis, who now finding his cause hopeless, returned to France.

1219. Death of Pembroke. His authority shared between Hubert de Burgh and Peter des Roches: the latter retired from office in 1224.

1225. The Great Charter confirmed and ratified in the form it has ever since retained.

The chapters relative to forests and warrens had been withdrawn from the charter a few years before, and, with certain modifications, formed into a separate charter, called the Charter of Forests, which was now confirmed.

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1232. Hubert de Burgh removed from office, and succeeded by his old rival, Peter des Roches.

1242. Henry invaded France, and was defeated by Louis IX. at Taillebourg in Saintonge.

1258. The king’s misgovernment, which had lasted through a series of years, led the nobility, headed by Simon de Montfort (earl of Leicester, and brother-in-law of the king), to endeavour to check his arbitrary power; and at a parliament held at Oxford, unjustly called THE MAD PARLIAMENT, they drew up some ordinances for the reformation of the Government, known as THE PROVISIONS OF OXFORD.

Two of the most important provisions were, that four knights should be chosen by the freeholders of each county to ascertain and lay before parliament all wrongs committed by the royal officers, and that parliaments should meet thrice in the year.

1259. Henry formally renounced all claim to the English possessions in France lost in John’s reign, and Louis IX. ceded to him Limousin, Querci, and Perigord.

1261. Henry refused to abide by the Provisions of Oxford, and tried, though without success, to recover his authority by forcible means.

1264. The Barons’ War. The barons, led by Simon de Montfort, resorted to arms, and defeated Henry at Lewes (May 14). He and his brother Richard taken prisoners.

The next day a treaty, called the Mise of Lewes, was concluded, by which it was agreed that Prince Edward and his cousin Henry should be kept as hostages for their fathers, and that all matters that could not be amicably settled in the next parliament should be referred to arbitration. Simon de Montfort, in the king’s name, summoned a parliament to meet early in the following year.

1265. ORIGIN Of POPULAR REPRESENTATION IN PARLIAMENT. The first parliament, to which representatives for cities and boroughs were summoned, met at Westminster. The royalists, under Prince Edward, who had escaped from his keepers, overthrew the barons at Evesham (Aug. 4). Simon de Montfort fell in the battle.

1270. The country being restored to tranquillity, Prince Edward took the cross, and set sail for the Holy Land.


Edward I., surnamed Longshanks.

D. He was the eldest son of Henry III. B. at Westminster, 1239. M. (1) Eleanor, daughter of Ferdinand III., king of Castile; (2) Margaret, daughter of Philip III. of France. Dd. at Burgh-on-the-Sands, near Carlisle, July 7, 1307. R. 34½ years (1272 to 1307).

1274. Edward returned to England.

1277. He invaded Wales, and compelled Llewellyn to submit to very humiliating terms.

1279. Statute of Mortmain passed; all lands granted to the church without the king’s licence were to be forfeited.

1282. Insurrection in Wales. Llewellyn surprised and slain in the valley of the Wye, near Builth (Dec. 11).


1283. David, brother of Llewellyn, executed for high treason.

1284. Wales formally annexed to England by the Statute of Wales, enacted at Rhuddlan. Prince Edward born at Caernarvon. He was afterwards declared prince of Wales.

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1290. The Jews, 15,000 in number, expelled from the kingdom.

1291. Edward, having been called in to decide the claims of several competitors for the Scottish crown, required the nobles and competitors to acknowledge him feudal lord of Scotland.

1292. He conferred the crown on John Baliol, who had indisputably the best claim.—Death of Roger Bacon, a Franciscan friar, a famous experimental philosopher, and the inventor of the magnifying glass.

1294. Quarrel with France. Philip by an artifice obtained possession of Guienne. The duchy was restored in 1303.

1296. WAR WITH SCOTLAND. Baliol revolted against Edward. The latter invaded Scotland, and captured Berwick. The earl of Surrey gained a great victory over the Scots at Dunbar (April 27). Baliol made his submission, and was sent to the Tower.

1297. The clergy, who had been very heavily taxed in this reign, on refusing a new demand, were outlawed by the king, and their property was seized for his benefit. To recover it, they were compelled to make a large payment. The Scots, under Sir William Wallace, utterly routed the English at Cambuskenneth, near Stirling (Sept. 10). A statute called Confirmatio Chartarum enacted, by which the Great Charter, and the Charter of Forests, were solemnly confirmed.

These charters were to be read in cathedral churches twice a year; excommunication was pronounced against the breakers of the charters; and no new taxes were to be levied except by consent of parliament.

1298. Edward invaded Scotland, and completely defeated Wallace at Falkirk (July 22).

1303. Battle of Roslin (Feb. 24), in which the advantage lay with the Scots.

1304. Surrender of Stirling Castle. Conquest of Scotland completed.

1305. Wallace captured, and executed as a traitor.

1306. Robert Bruce, grandson of one of the competitors for the Scottish crown, assumed the title of king. He was defeated at Methven (June 19), and escaped to the Western Isles.

1307. Bruce emerged from his retreat at Rathlin, and defeated the English at Loudon Hill (May 10). Edward determined to punish the Scots, and marched northward, but his intention was frustrated by death.


Edward II., of Caernarvon.

D. He was the son of Edward I. B. at Caernarvon, 1284. M. Isabella, daughter of Philip IV. of France. Deposed, Jan. 20, 1327. Murdered in Berkeley Castle, Sept., 1327. R. 19½ years (1307 to 1327).

1308. The nobles compelled the king to banish his favourite, Piers Gaveston.

1309. Having succeeded in mitigating the hostility of the barons, he recalled his favourite, who had been governor of Ireland during his absence from England.

1310. A parliament, assembled at Westminster, obtained the king’s reluctant consent to the appointment of a committee of peers called ordainers, who were to draw up ordinances for the reformation of the state, and the regulation of the king’s household.

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1311. The ordinances were drawn up and accepted by the king.

Among the ordinances were the following:—that Gaveston should be banished for ever;—that the new taxes on wool, cloth, and wine should be abolished;—that the king should not leave the kingdom, nor undertake war, without the consent of the baronage in Parliament;—that all the great officers of the crown should be chosen with their assent;—and that parliaments should be held once a year, or twice if need be.

1312. Gaveston, who had retired to Flanders, returned. He was seized and executed on Blacklow Hill, near Warwick. Suppression of the order of Knights Templars.

1314. Edward invaded Scotland. Bruce gained a splendid victory at BANNOCKBURN (June 24). Independence of Scotland re-established.

1322. The earl of Lancaster, a prince of the blood, who had risen against the king and his second favourite, De Spenser, defeated at Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire (March 16), and executed at Pomfret.

1327. Edward deposed by the influence of the queen and her favourite, Roger Mortimer.

In this reign the assumption prevailed that no important business could be transacted without the sanction of parliament; and the House of Commons began the practice of coupling the grant of supplies with the redress of grievances.


Edward III., of Windsor.

D. He was the son of Edward II. B. at Windsor, 1312. M. Philippa, daughter of William, count of Hainault. Dd. at Shene (Richmond), June 21, 1377. R. 50½ years (1327 to 1377).

1327. Parliament appointed a council of regency, at the head of which was Henry, earl of Lancaster; but all the real power was exercised by the queen and Mortimer. The Scots, under Bruce, invaded England; and Edward, in pursuing them, narrowly escaped capture.

1328. Peace concluded between the two countries, by which the independence of Scotland was completely recognized.

1329. Death of Robert Bruce, and accession of his son, David II.

1330. Mortimer seized by the king, condemned, and executed. Isabella confined to her castle at Risings.

1333. Edward supported Edward Baliol (son of John Baliol), in his attempt to obtain the crown of Scotland, and gained an important victory at Halidon Hill (July 19). Berwick, which he had been besieging, surrendered the next day.

1339. WAR WITH FRANCE. Edward invaded France.

This war arose mainly from two causes:—1, the aid that the French had rendered to the Scots in the late war; 2, Edward’s claim to the French crown. Louis X., Philip V., and Charles IV. had died in succession without male issue; and as females were excluded from the throne, Philip of Valois was chosen king (1328), and Edward, though he had claimed the crown, did homage to him for the duchy of Guienne as his liege lord. Edward’s claim, as son of Isabella, sister of these three kings, was essentially defective, for he had to contend, that though females were excluded, such exclusion did not apply to their children; but, admitting that such children were eligible, Charles of Navarre, grandson of Louis X. (born after Edward had put forth his first pretension), had a better right than he. After the campaign of 1340 it is probable that Edward would have totally abandoned the enterprise had it not been for a revolution in Brittany, which furnished him with another opportunity of taking up arms.

1340. Edward gained a great victory over the French fleet at Sluys (June 24).

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1345. Henry, earl of Derby, defeated the French at Auberoche, in Perigord (Oct. 23).

1346. Edward gained a glorious victory over the French at CRESSY: about 30,000 of the enemy slain (Aug. 26). David II. invaded England, and was defeated and captured at Nevil’s Cross, near Durham (Oct. 17).

1347. Calais surrendered to Edward after a siege of 11 months. Truce with France.

1349. England ravaged by a great pestilence called the Black Plague. 50,000 persons are said to have died in London alone. There was a second plague of 1361, and a third in 1369. Order of the Garter established. Statute of Labourers passed: labourers ordered to work at the ordinary wages for any one who required their services.

1351. Second Statute of Labourers passed, fixing the wages of labourers and artificers. Statute of Treason, defining the crime of high treason. Statute of Provisions, forbidding the presentation of benefices by the pope.

1355. Renewal of the war with France.

1356. Edward’s eldest son, the Black Prince, defeated and captured King John near Poitiers (Sept. 19).

1358. A terrible insurrection of the peasants against the nobles broke out in France.

1360. Treaty of Bretigny, between England and France (May 8).

Edward renounced his claim to the crown of France, and the ancient possessions of his family, but he was to hold, in full sovereignty, Calais, Guisnes, Ponthieu, Poitou, Guienne, and their dependencies.

1362. A statute passed, enacting that pleadings in law courts should be conducted in English.

1367. The Black Prince aided Don Pedro of Castile, and gained the battle of Navarette, by which the tyrant was restored to his throne.

1370. The bishop and people of Limoges having admitted a French garrison, the Black Prince invested and captured the town: 3,000 men, women, and children were butchered in cold blood.

1374. The only possessions that the English retained in France were Calais, Bordeaux, Bayonne, and a few places on the Dordogne.

1376. Death of the Black Prince.

In this reign justices of the peace were appointed. Growth of the power of parliament. Windsor Castle rebuilt and enlarged by William of Wykeham, a famous architect, afterwards Bishop of Winchester.


Richard II., of Bordeaux.

D. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince. B. at Bordeaux, 1368. M. (1) to Anne of Bohemia, sister of the Emperor Wenceslaus; (2) to Isabella, daughter of Charles VI. of France. Deposed, Sept. 29, 1399. Said to have been murdered in Pontefract Castle, 1400. R. 22¼ years (1377 to 1399).

1379. A capitation tax, ranging from £6 13s. 4d. to 4d. per head, imposed by parliament.

1380. A capitation tax voted, of twelvepence per head, on every person above 15 years of age.

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1381. Wat Tyler’s Insurrection: caused immediately by the capitation tax, and its rigorous mode of collection. The insurrection broke out in Kent under Tyler, and in Essex under Jack Straw. The rebels marched to London, and committed great excesses. Richard met them at Smithfield, where Tyler was struck down by the Lord Mayor, and slain. Several concessions were granted to the insurgents, and afterwards revoked.

1384. Death of John Wycliffe, the ‘Morning Star of the Reformation.’

This famous divine, born in 1324, held doctrines very similar to those of the Reformers of the sixteenth century: and by his efforts and those of his disciples they were extensively spread among the people. His followers were called Wycliffites, or Lollards. His writings are very numerous, but the most celebrated is his translation of the Bible into English.

1385. The Scots having made incursions in the north of England, Richard advanced against them, and burnt Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Perth, and Dundee.

1386. The king’s favourites, De Vere, duke of Ireland, and De la Pole, earl of Suffolk, removed from office, and Suffolk impeached. Richard compelled to entrust the government to a council of regency, with the duke of Gloucester, one of his uncles, at the head.

1387. De Vere raised forces in the king’s behalf, but was defeated at Radcot Bridge, in Oxfordshire.

1388. The Wonderful Parliament assembled: five of the king’s counsellors convicted of high treason, and two executed. De la Pole and De Vere escaped out of the country. Henry Percy (Hotspur) defeated by the Scots in the battle of Chevy Chase at Otterburn (Aug. 10).

1389. Richard recovered his authority.

1390. Navigation Act: merchandise to be exported in English vessels only.

1392. Statute of Præmunire passed.

Persons who purchased, in the court of Rome or elsewhere, bulls or other papal instruments, were to be brought before the king and his council to answer for their conduct, and were liable to outlawry and loss of lands and goods.

1397. The duke of Gloucester arrested and conveyed to Calais, where it was generally believed he was murdered.

1398. A Parliament at Shrewsbury reversed the acts of the Wonderful Parliament. Richard banished the Duke of Hereford (Henry Bolingbroke) for ten years, and the duke of Norfolk for life. The king’s power nearly absolute.

1399. Richard visited Ireland. During his absence Hereford, who, by his father’s death, had become duke of Lancaster, invaded England professedly to recover his estates and honours. On Richard’s return he obtained possession of his person, and forced him to resign the crown. He then claimed the vacant throne, which was bestowed on him.

In this reign peers were first created by patent. Westminster Hall was rebuilt.





Henry IV., of Bolingbroke.

D. He was the son of John of Gaunt, and grandson of Edward III. B. at Bolingbroke, 1366. M. (1) Mary, daughter of the earl of Hereford; (2) Jane, daughter of the king of Navarre. Dd. at Westminster, March 20, 1413. R. 13½ years (1399 to 1413).

1399. Knights of the Bath first created, at the king’s coronation.

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1401. Statute passed for burning heretics. A clergyman, named William Sawtre, burnt for holding the doctrines of the Lollards—the first English martyr.

1402. The Welsh defeated Sir Edmund Mortimer near Knyghton, in Radnorshire (June 12). The Scots invaded England, and were vanquished at Nesbit Moor (June 22). They were again defeated by the Percies at Homildon Hill (Sept. 14).

1403. Rebellion of the Percies. The Percies conspired with Sir Edmund Mortimer and Owen Glendower, the Welsh chief. Hotspur defeated and slain at Shrewsbury (July 21).

“One of the most obstinate and bloody battles recorded in English history.”

1405. James of Scotland, son of Robert III., captured as he was proceeding to France. New conspiracy of Percy, earl of Northumberland, and his friends. Scrope, archbishop of York, one of the conspirators, executed—the first instance in our annals of a prelate undergoing capital punishment.

1407. England visited by a terrible pestilence.

1408. The earl of Northumberland defeated and slain at Bramham Moor, near Tadcaster (Feb. 18).

1410. John Badby, a Lollard, executed for heresy.

In this reign the influence of parliament was considerably increased. The members indulged more freely in liberty of speech, and carried their inquiries into every department of the government.


Henry V., of Monmouth.

D. He was the son of Henry IV. B. at Monmouth, 1388. M. Catherine, daughter of Charles VI. of France. Dd. at Vincennes, Aug. 31, 1422. R. 9½ years (1413 to 1422).

1413. Sir John Oldcastle (commonly called Lord Cobham), one of the Lollards, condemned as a heretic. He escaped into Wales, but was captured and burnt in 1417.

1414. Henry demanded the crown of France; and that unreasonable claim being disregarded, he claimed Normandy, Maine, Touraine, Anjou, Guienne, and other districts, together with the hand of the Princess Catherine, and a large dower.

1415. Negotiations continued. The French finally offered the duchy of Aquitaine and the hand of Catherine, with 800,000 crowns; but these terms were rejected.

WAR WITH FRANCE. Before setting sail for France, Henry detected a conspiracy to place the earl of March on the throne; Richard, earl of Cambridge, and other conspirators executed. Siege and capture of Harfleur (Sept. 22). Henry gained a great victory at AGINCOURT (Oct. 25); the French loss 10,000, the English, 1,600.

1419. Rouen captured by the English, after a siege of nearly six months (Jan. 19). The duke of Burgundy assassinated in the presence of the dauphin: the duke’s son at once joined the English.

1420. Treaty of Troyes (May 21): Henry was to marry Catherine, to govern France in the name of Charles, who was insane, and on his death to succeed him.

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1421. The duke of Clarence, the king’s brother, defeated and slain by the dauphin’s troops at Beaugé in Anjou (Mar. 22).

1422. Henry besieged and captured Meaux (May).


Henry VI., of Windsor.

D. He was the son of Henry V. B. at Windsor, 1421. M. Margaret of Anjou. Deposed, March, 1461. Probably murdered in the Tower, May, 1471. R. 38½ years (1422 to 1461).

1422. The duke of Bedford appointed protector of England, and in his absence beyond sea, his brother, the duke of Gloucester. Bedford regent of France. Charles VI. died, and Henry was proclaimed king.

1423. The French and their Scottish allies defeated at Crevant on Yonne by the earl of Salisbury, one of the ablest of the English commanders (July 31).

1424. The duke of Bedford gained a great victory over the French at Verneuil (Aug. 17).

1428. Orleans besieged by the English; one of the first sieges in which cannon were found to be of importance.

1429. The French, endeavouring to intercept supplies for the English army, were defeated at Rouvrai (the Battle of Herrings, Feb. 12). SIEGE RAISED BY JOAN OF ARC (May). The English defeated at Patay (June 18). Charles VII. crowned at Rheims.

1430. Joan of Arc captured at the siege of Compiègne, and burnt, the next year, at Rouen for sorcery and witchcraft.

1435. Treaty of Arras: the duke of Burgundy withdrew from the English alliance. Death of Bedford.

1436. Paris recovered by Charles VII. Richard, duke of York, became regent of France, but was recalled the next year, and succeeded by Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick. He died in 1439, and York became regent a second time.

1440. John Beaumont created viscount, being the first of that title in England.

1441. Eleanor Cobham, duchess of Gloucester, prosecuted for witchcraft and treason, and condemned to do public penance.

1445. Maine and Anjou, the keys of Normandy, ceded to the queen’s father on her marriage with Henry.

1447. Death of the duke of Gloucester,—said by most historians to have been assassinated. Death of his rival, Cardinal Beaufort. Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset, succeeded the duke of York as regent in France.

1449. Normandy conquered by the French. The duke of York appointed lieutenant of Ireland.

1450. The duke of Suffolk, the king’s chief minister, banished for five years: he was intercepted, and beheaded at sea. Jack Cade’s insurrection. Cade taken and slain.

This rising was thought by some to have been instigated by the friends of the duke of York, who, as far as hereditary succession alone was concerned, had a better right to the throne than Henry. Richard was descended from Lionel, duke of Clarence, second son of Edward III., and Henry from John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, the fourth son. Henry, however, was unquestionably lawful sovereign of England.

1451. Guienne conquered by the French.

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1452. Talbot, the veteran earl of Shrewsbury, one of the greatest commanders of the age, recovered Bordeaux, and other places in Guienne.

1453. Talbot defeated and slain at Chatillon in Perigord (July 20). Final loss of Guienne. The king became insane. Birth of the Prince of Wales.

1454. York appointed protector; but a few months after, the king partially recovered, and revoked the duke’s commission.


The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians at St. Alban’s: the duke of Somerset was slain, and the king fell into the hands of the Yorkist faction (May 22). Renewal of his illness. York made protector a second time, and with such powers as to give the protectorate a revolutionary character.

This was the first battle in what were called the “Wars of the Roses”—a name applied to them because the emblem of the Lancastrians was a red, and that of the Yorkists a white rose. Several causes combined to bring about the struggle. The principal were—1, the feeble and unwarlike character of the king; and 2, the resolute determination of the queen and the Somerset family that Henry should retain the crown, and that the succession should vest in his son.

1456. Recovery of the king and removal of the protector.

1458. Hollow reconciliation of the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions.

1459. Renewal of the Civil War. The Lancastrians, under Lord Audley, defeated by the Yorkists, under the earl of Salisbury, at Bloreheath (Sept. 23).

1460. The Lancastrians, under the duke of Buckingham, defeated at Northampton by the Yorkists, under the earl of Warwick (July 10). The duke of York defeated and slain by the queen’s forces at Wakefield Green (Dec. 31).

1461. Edward, earl of March (son and heir of Richard), defeated the Lancastrians, under the earl of Pembroke, at Mortimer’s Cross (Feb. 2). Margaret defeated the Yorkists under the earl of Warwick at St. Alban’s (Feb. 17). Edward a few days after reached London, and was acknowledged king (Mar. 4).

In the early part of this reign it was enacted that county members must be elected by freeholders whose estates were worth at least 40s. a year.





Edward IV.

D. Edward was the eldest surviving son of Richard, duke of York, who was the lineal descendant of Lionel, duke of Clarence, son of Edward III. B. at Rouen, 1441. M. Elizabeth Woodville. Dd. at Westminster, April 9, 1483. R. 22 years (1461 to 1483).

1461. Edward defeated the Lancastrians, under the duke of Somerset (son of the duke slain at St. Alban’s), at Towton, in Yorkshire: total loss 38,000 (Mar. 29). Henry and Margaret escaped into Scotland.

1464. The Lancastrians defeated at Hedgley Moor (April 25), and Hexham (May 15). The duke of Somerset captured in the second battle, and executed.

1467. Jealousy between the Woodvilles (relatives of the queen) and the Nevilles (or Warwick family). The latter had been, up to this time, the most strenuous supporters of the Yorkists.

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1469. An insurrection broke out, and the royal forces were defeated at Edgecote, near Banbury (July 26). The queen’s father and one of her brothers captured soon after, and beheaded by the insurgents.

1470. An insurrection in Lincolnshire. The insurgents defeated by the king at Stamford (Mar. 12). The earl of Warwick, the duke of Clarence (brother of Edward IV.), and Queen Margaret, met at the court of Louis XI. of France, and were reconciled. Warwick and Clarence invaded England, and proclaimed Henry VI. Edward escaped to Flanders.

In this year a battle was fought between the friends and retainers of Lord Berkeley, and those of Lord Lisle, at Nibley Green, in Gloucestershire—the last instance of a pitched battle between two powerful noblemen in England.

1471. Edward returned, and was soon joined by Clarence. The Lancastrians, under Warwick, defeated by Edward at Barnet: Warwick, “the king-maker,” slain (April 14). Margaret landed at Weymouth, and was defeated by Edward at Tewkesbury (May 4). Prince Edward assassinated, and the duke of Somerset (brother of the commander at Hexham) executed.

1475. Edward demanded the crown of France, and invaded the country to enforce his claim. Treaty of Pecquigny (Aug. 29).

The most important article of the treaty was that Edward agreed to a truce for 7 years, on condition of receiving an annuity from Louis XI.

1478. Edward prosecuted his brother Clarence for high treason. He was condemned, and is said to have been drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.

Edward was the first sovereign who exacted benevolences from his subjects. Tonnage and poundage were granted to him for life.


Edward V.

D. He was the son of Edward IV. B. In the Sanctuary at Westminster 1470. Said to have been murdered in the Tower about Aug., 1483. R. from April 9 to June 26, 1483.

1483. Richard, duke of Gloucester, the king’s uncle, made protector. Lord Hastings, and the earl of Rivers, the king’s maternal uncle, executed. Richard was offered the crown, which he accepted.


Richard III., surnamed Crookback.

D. He was brother of Edward IV. B. at Fotheringay Castle, 1450. M. Anne, daughter of the earl of Warwick, and widow of Prince Edward. Slain at Bosworth Field, Aug. 22, 1485. R. 2 years (1483 to 1485).

1483. The duke of Buckingham, hitherto Richard’s chief adherent, joined in a conspiracy to raise Henry, earl of Richmond, to the throne, but was captured, and beheaded at Salisbury.

1484. A parliament met, and enacted several beneficial laws: these laws were the first entirely drawn up in English. On the death of his son, Richard declared his nephew, John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln, heir to the throne.

1485. Henry of Richmond invaded England. The two armies met at BOSWORTH, where Richard was defeated and slain (Aug. 22).



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Henry VII., of Richmond.

D. Henry was the son of Margaret (daughter of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset) and of Edmund Tudor. John Beaufort’s father was an illegitimate son of John of Gaunt. B. probably at Pembroke, 1456. M. Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV. Dd. at Richmond, April 21, 1509. R. 23¾ years (1485 to 1509).

1485. The earl of Warwick, son of the duke of Clarence, confined in the Tower. Parliament settled the crown on Henry and his heirs.

1486. Henry married Elizabeth, and the rival claims of the two houses were blended. The Court of Star Chamber established.

1487. Lambert Simnel appeared in Ireland, and, personating the earl of Warwick, was proclaimed king as Edward VI. He and his supporters landed in England, and were defeated at Stoke, near Newark (June 16).

1492. Perkin Warbeck appeared in Ireland, and declared himself to be Richard, duke of York (son of Edward IV.), generally supposed to have been murdered in the Tower. Columbus discovered America. Henry invaded France, but soon concluded a peace with Charles VIII. at Estaples (Nov. 3).

Charles agreed to pay £149,000, partly to reimburse Henry for his expenses in a war in Brittany, and partly as arrears of Edward’s pension.

1494. Joan Boughton, the first English female martyr, burnt for heresy.

1496. James IV. of Scotland espoused the cause of Warbeck, and invaded England. None of the English joined the invaders, and the Scots returned laden with plunder.

1497. A heavy tax, voted by parliament for war with Scotland, led to an insurrection in Cornwall. The insurgents marched to Blackheath, near London, where they were defeated (June 22). Warbeck landed in Cornwall, and besieged Exeter, but retreated on the approach of the royal forces. He afterwards surrendered, and was sent prisoner to London. John Cabot and his son Sebastian discovered Newfoundland. Vasco de Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope.

1499. Warbeck and the earl of Warwick executed for high treason.

1501. Prince Arthur married Catherine of Arragon. He died in the following year.

1503. James IV. of Scotland married the king’s daughter Margaret. Henry, whose ruling passion was avarice, exacted, in the course of his reign, immense sums from his subjects by unjust and irregular means. He is said to have died worth £1,800,000. The chief instruments of his exactions were two lawyers, named Empson and Dudley.


Henry VIII.

D. He was the son of Henry VII. B. at Greenwich, 1491. M. (1) Catherine of Arragon, his brother’s widow, whom he divorced—she died 1536; (2) Anne Boleyn, beheaded for alleged immorality, May 19, 1536; (3) Jane Seymour, the day after Anne’s execution—she died 1537; (4) Anne of Cleves, whom he divorced; (5) Catherine Howard, beheaded for immorality, Feb 13, 1542; (6) Catherine Parr, who survived him. Dd. at Westminster, Jan. 28, 1547. R. 37¾ years (1509 to 1547).

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1510. Empson and Dudley executed on a frivolous charge of high treason.

1512. War with France. Sir Edward Howard gained a victory over the French fleet near Brest (Aug. 12).

1513. Henry besieged and captured Terouenne. During the siege a body of French troops advanced for its relief, and were defeated at Guinegate: their hasty retreat led the battle to be called the “Battle of Spurs” (Aug. 16). James IV. invaded England, and was defeated and slain at FLODDEN (Sept. 9).

1514. Peace concluded with France and Scotland.

1515. Wolsey made Cardinal by the Pope, and chancellor by the king. In 1518 he was appointed papal legate.

1520. Henry visited Francis I. of France. The place where they met called “The Field of the Cloth of Gold.”

1521. Edward, duke of Buckingham, first peer of the realm, executed for high treason. Henry wrote a book against Luther, and, in return, the pope conferred on him the title of Defender of the Faith.

1527. Henry began to express doubts as to the validity of his marriage with Catherine.

1529. Cardinals Wolsey and Compeggio held a court to try the validity of the marriage, but adjourned it without coming to any decision. Wolsey sentenced, soon after, to the loss of his goods, and imprisonment during the king’s pleasure, for having received bulls from Rome. Henry released from his debts by statute.

1530. Wolsey pardoned, but afterwards arrested for treason. He died in Leicester Abbey on his way to the Tower.

1532. Sir Thomas More, who had succeeded Wolsey as chancellor, resigned his office. Commencement of the Reformation.

1533. Cranmer appointed archbishop of Canterbury. He held a court at Dunstable, and declared that Henry’s marriage with Catherine was null and void.

1534. PAPAL SUPREMACY ABOLISHED IN ENGLAND. Henry declared to be “the only Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England.” Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More attainted of high treason for refusing to acknowledge the invalidity of Henry’s marriage with Catherine.

1535. Fisher and More executed for declining to acknowledge Henry as head of the church. Cromwell appointed the king’s vicar-general in ecclesiastical matters.

1536. Wales incorporated with England, and subjected to English laws. Suppression of the lesser monasteries. Insurrection in Lincolnshire, and another in Yorkshire, called the Pilgrimage of Grace, both of which were caused by the changes in religion.

1539. Suppression of the remaining monasteries. Statute passed known as the Statute of Six Articles. The abbots of Glastonbury, Reading, and Colchester executed for high treason.

By the Statute of Six Articles—1, Transubstantiation; 2, Communion in one kind; 3, The celibacy of the clergy; 4, Vows of chastity; 5, Private masses; and 6, Auricular confession,—were declared to be agreeable to the law of God. Those who denied the first were to be burnt; those who denied the rest were to suffer the loss of property for the first offence, and death for the second.

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1540. Cromwell, now earl of Essex, executed for high treason.

1541. Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, executed for high treason. Henry declared king of Ireland.

1542. War with Scotland. The Scottish army routed on Solway Moss (Nov. 25); James V. died a few days after, and was succeeded by his daughter Mary, only a week old.

1544. Henry empowered to alter the succession by will. Parliament remitted to the king all money he had borrowed since 1542, and directed that any sums he had paid back should be returned to him. He invaded France, besieged and captured Boulogne, but, as his ally the Emperor Charles made a separate peace at Crêpy, he was obliged to return to England.

1545. An indecisive action between the English and French fleets off Portsmouth.

1546. Peace concluded with France. The duke of Norfolk and his son, the earl of Surrey, committed to the Tower for high treason.

1547. Execution of the earl of Surrey. The execution of his father was prevented by the death of the king.


Edward VI.

D. He was the son of Henry VIII. and of Jane Seymour. B. at Hampton Court, 1537. Dd. at Greenwich, July 6, 1553. R. 6½ years (1547 to 1553).

1547. The earl of Hertford, the king’s maternal uncle, appointed protector, and soon after created duke of Somerset. War with Scotland. The Scots defeated with great loss at Pinkie (Sept. 10). Repeal of the Statute of Six Articles.

1548. The French sent troops to assist the Scots; and Queen Mary was conveyed to France.

1549. The Act of Uniformity of divine worship passed. Execution of Lord Seymour, brother of the protector, for high treason. Insurrections in Cornwall, Devon, and Norfolk;—the western insurrection caused chiefly by the changes in religion; the eastern by the enclosing of land;—the latter, which was the most formidable, was suppressed by the earl of Warwick; and Ket, the leader, was hanged at Norwich Castle. These outbreaks led to the institution of lords-lieutenant of counties. Somerset removed from the protectorate by Warwick and his friends, and sent to the Tower.

1550. Peace concluded with France and Scotland. Somerset released, and re-admitted to the council. Joan Bocher (or Joan of Kent) burnt for heresy.

1552. Execution of Somerset on a charge of intending to imprison the earl of Warwick (who had just been created duke of Northumberland).

1553. Edward, on the suggestion of Northumberland, altered the succession, and made Lady Jane Grey heir to the throne.

She was granddaughter of Henry VIII.’s sister Mary, and wife of Lord Guildford Dudley, fourth son of Northumberland.



D. She was the daughter of Henry VIII. and of Catherine of Arragon. B. at Greenwich, 1516. M. Philip (son of Charles V., emperor of Germany), who soon after became king of Spain. Dd. at St. James’s, Westminster, Nov. 17, 1558. R. 5¼ years (1553 to 1558).

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1553. Lady Jane Grey proclaimed queen; but the people were not disposed to sanction the change of the succession, and soon recognized Mary. Norfolk, Bishop Gardiner, and others, released from prison. Execution of Northumberland for high treason. Practical re-establishment of the Catholic religion. Lady Jane Grey, her husband, and Cranmer, convicted of high treason.

1554. Insurrection of Sir Thomas Wyatt to prevent the queen’s marriage with Philip. Wyatt taken and executed. Lady Jane Grey and her husband executed. The Princess Elizabeth placed in prison, because she was supposed to be concerned in the insurrection.

1555. Commencement of the Marian persecution. Rogers, prebendary of St. Paul’s, Bishops Hooper, Latimer, Ridley, and many other persons, burnt for heresy.

1556. Cranmer burnt for heresy, and Cardinal Pole consecrated archbishop the day after his death.

1557. War declared against France. Battle of St. Quentin, in which the Spaniards, aided by the English, defeated the French (Aug. 10).

1558. Calais taken by the duke of Guise after it had been in the possession of the English for 210 years (Jan. 7). Death of Cardinal Pole.



D. She was the daughter of Henry VIII. and of Anne Boleyn. B. at Greenwich, 1533. Dd. at Richmond, March 24, 1603. R. 44½ years (1558 to 1603).

1558. Sir William Cecil (afterwards Lord Burleigh) chosen by the queen as her chief adviser.

1559. The Protestant religion re-established by Parliament: Act of Supremacy and Act of Uniformity passed. Peace concluded with France at Cateau-Cambresis (April 2). Parker appointed archbishop of Canterbury.

1561. Mary, queen of Scots, widow of Francis II. of France, returned to Scotland after an absence of about thirteen years.

1562. Ratification of the 39 Articles. The Puritan party were defeated in Convocation.

The Puritans objected to the wearing of ecclesiastical vestments, to the sign of the cross in baptism, to kneeling at the communion, to bowing at the name of Jesus, to the ring in marriage, and, some years later, to the Episcopal form of government. Elizabeth, who was fond of some of the Romish practices, was bitterly opposed to the Puritans, but they were secretly supported by Cecil, Leicester, and other of her councillors.

1565. Mary, queen of Scots, married her cousin, Lord Darnley.

1567. Lord Darnley was murdered; and Mary married Bothwell, who was publicly charged with the crime. She was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle, and compelled to resign the crown to her infant son James.

1568. Mary escaped and raised an army, but was defeated by the regent Murray. She fled into England, and was detained as a prisoner.

1569. The earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland raised an insurrection in the north, for the purpose of re-establishing the Catholic religion, and of liberating Mary, but were soon compelled to abandon the attempt.

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1572. Execution of the duke of Norfolk for high treason. He was charged with conspiring to dethrone Elizabeth, and to marry Mary. Massacre of Protestants in France on St. Bartholomew’s day.

1578. Elizabeth concluded an alliance with the people of the Netherlands, who had revolted against Spain.

1579. Treaty of Union between the revolted provinces at Utrecht—the foundation of the Netherland Republic.

1580. Francis Drake returned from his voyage round the world.

1583. Complete establishment of the High Commission Court.

1585. Elizabeth sent military aid to the Netherlands, and appointed the earl of Leicester commander-in-chief.

1586. Sir Philip Sidney mortally wounded at Zutphen. A plot discovered for assassinating the queen and liberating the queen of Scots. Babington and other conspirators executed. Trial and conviction of Mary for complicity in the plot.

1587. Execution of Mary, queen of Scots, at Fotheringay (Feb. 8).

1588. THE SPANISH ARMADA. Philip sent a large armada to invade England, but it was defeated and dispersed.

The “Invincible Armada” consisted of about 130 ships and 30,000 men, and an army of invasion of about 35,000 men was collected in the Netherlands, under the duke of Parma, ready to be carried across in transports, under the protection of the Armada. The Spaniards lost 81 vessels and 13,500 men.

1589. Henry IV. succeeded to the crown of France, and was opposed by the confederacy of the Catholic nobles, known as the League, as well as by the pope and Philip II. Elizabeth rendered him military and pecuniary aid.

1596. Cadiz captured by an armament under the earl of Essex and Lord Howard.

1598. Henry IV. granted toleration and protection to the Protestants by the Edict of Nantes. Death of Lord Burleigh, and of Philip II. of Spain. The English were defeated at Blackwater by the rebel earl of Tyrone (Aug. 14).

1599. The earl of Essex appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In stead of resorting to active hostilities, he made a treaty with the earl of Tyrone. On returning home to justify his conduct, he was placed in custody, but was set at liberty the next year.

1600. Establishment of the East India Company.

1601. Essex plotted to seize the queen, and compel her to remove his enemies from power. He attempted to raise an insurrection in London, but failed, and was executed for high treason. Great complaints made in Parliament about monopolies. Poor Law Act passed: this act, with some modifications, remained in force till 1834.

1602. Submission of the earl of Tyrone.

In the course of this reign several extremely severe laws were passed against the Catholics, and some very intolerant ones against the Protestant Nonconformists. Commencement of the maritime greatness of England.



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James I.

D. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and of Lord Darnley. Mary was the granddaughter of Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. B. at Edinburgh, 1566. M. Anne, daughter of Frederick II., of Denmark. Dd. at Theobalds, in Hertfordshire, Mar. 27, 1625. R. 22 years (1603 to 1625).

1603. Two plots (the Bye and Main) formed against the king, but soon abandoned. Sir Walter Raleigh, charged with being one of the conspirators in the Main plot (the alleged object of which was to raise Lady Arabella Stuart, the king’s cousin, to the throne), was convicted, and imprisoned in the Tower, where he remained for more than twelve years.

1604. The Puritans having petitioned for alterations in the ritual of the church, a conference was held between representatives of the Puritans, and of the conservative church party, before the king at Hampton Court, but very few concessions were granted to the petitioners.

1605. Discovery of a plot for blowing up the king and parliament with gunpowder. The principal conspirators were either killed in resisting their arrest, or executed. The executions took place early in 1606.

1607. James Town, in Virginia, founded;—the earliest permanent settlement of the English in North America.

1611. Commencement of British colonization of Ulster. Institution of the order of baronets. Publication of a new translation of the Bible (our present authorized version).

1612. Death of Robert Cecil (earl of Salisbury, and chief minister of the crown), and of Prince Henry, the king’s eldest son.

1616. Sir Walter Raleigh released from the Tower. The earl and countess of Somerset convicted of procuring the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.

1617. Raleigh sailed to Guiana in search of a gold mine, but was unsuccessful, and on his return was committed to prison, because he had engaged in hostilities with the Spaniards, who had attacked him on his landing at St. Thomas.

1618. Raleigh executed on his former sentence.

1620. Emigration of the “Pilgrim Fathers” to New England.

1621. Parliament complained of monopolies, and prosecuted some of the monopolists. Francis Bacon, viscount St. Alban’s, convicted of bribery and corruption in the exercise of his office of Lord Chancellor. The Commons recorded in their journal that the liberties of parliament are the undoubted birthright of the subjects of England.

1622. On the dissolution of Parliament, Sir Edward Coke, Pym, and some other distinguished and patriotic members were imprisoned.

1623. Prince Charles and the duke of Buckingham proceeded to Spain in disguise, in order that the prince might see the infanta, to whom he was engaged to be married. They were received with great honour, but the marriage treaty was broken off near the close of the year.

1624. The earl of Middlesex convicted of bribery and oppression in the exercise of his office of lord treasurer.

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During about half his reign, James governed without the control of parliaments. Loans, the sale of honours, enormous fines levied by the Star Chamber, and, on one occasion, a benevolence, were among the methods he adopted to secure an income.


Charles I.

D. He was the son of James I. B. at Dunfermline, 1600. M. Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV., of France. Executed at Whitehall, Jan. 30, 1649. R. 24 years (1625 to 1649).

1625. Charles’s first parliament met at Westminster, but was adjourned to Oxford, as the plague was raging in the capital. The Commons granted a supply, but, contrary to precedent, voted tonnage and poundage for one year only. Parliament dissolved because a further supply was refused unless coupled with a redress of grievances.

1626. Second parliament. Impeachment of the duke of Buckingham, the king’s minister, to save whom parliament was dissolved.

1627. Unsuccessful expedition of the duke of Buckingham to aid the Protestants at Rochelle. The king raised money by illegal taxation, and by forced loans: those who resisted the loans were imprisoned.

1628. Third parliament. PETITION OF RIGHT drawn up, to which Charles reluctantly agreed.

The Petition of Right declared the illegality—1, of all pecuniary demands without the consent of parliament; 2, of the punishment of persons for refusing to pay such demands; 3, of billeting soldiers and mariners on private subjects; 4, of proceedings for punishing persons by martial law.

1629. Parliament dissolved for passing resolutions on religion and taxation which were obnoxious to the king. Some of the principal members imprisoned.

1632. Lord Wentworth appointed deputy of Ireland.

1633. Laud appointed archbishop of Canterbury.

1634. Imposition of ship-money on seaport towns. It was extended to inland towns in the following year.

1637. John Hampden having refused to pay ship-money, the legality of the tax was discussed before the judges, who decided in its favour. An attempt to introduce a book of canons and a liturgy in Scotland led to great disturbances.

1638. The Scots drew up a covenant, by which they pledged themselves to resist all innovations in religion.

1639. Charles determined to coerce the Scots, who assembled an army. Not having confidence in his forces, he agreed to an accommodation with the Scots, known as the Pacification of Berwick.

1640. Fourth parliament assembled, and was soon dissolved, because it refused to grant money without a redress of grievances. The Scots invaded England, and defeated the royal vanguard at Newburn (Aug. 28). Treaty of Ripon, by the terms of which the Scottish army was to abstain from all acts of hostility, on condition of receiving a weekly payment till the differences between them and the king were adjusted. THE LONG PARLIAMENT assembled (Nov. 3). The earl of Strafford (Lord Wentworth) impeached of high treason.

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1641. A statute passed, enacting that parliament should not be dissolved without its own consent. Execution of the earl of Strafford. The Star Chamber, High Commission Court, and other arbitrary courts abolished. Insurrection of the Catholics in Ireland, and fearful excesses committed. The Commons drew up a REMONSTRANCE on the state of the nation.

1642. Charles went to the House of Commons to arrest five members—Pym, Hampden, Haselrig, Hollis, and Strode, whom, with Lord Kimbolton, he had charged with high treason; but he failed in his attempt, as the obnoxious members were designedly absent. The parliament passed a bill for regulating the militia, to which he refused his assent. The CIVIL WAR, or GREAT REBELLION: Charles raised his standard at Nottingham (Aug. 22). Indecisive battle at Edgehill, in Warwickshire (Oct. 23).

The immediate cause of the rebellion, says Lord Brougham, were—1. The religious zeal, or rather fury, excited by the encouragement which the king and queen gave to Popery, and which was greatly magnified, at least as concerned him. 2. A conspiracy was discovered of some leading persons in the king’s party to march the army to London and subdue the parliament. 3. That which, more than all the rest, hurried on matters to extremities, was the insane step he took of entering, in person, the House of Commons, and claiming the surrender of five members, the leaders of the party opposed to him, but who had the whole Commons and nearly the whole Lords for their followers. That it led immediately to the vote which vested in parliament the nomination of militia officers—in other words, the command of the army—cannot be doubted; and this was the commencement of the Civil War.

1643. Battle of Chalgrove Field, near Oxford, where Hampden was mortally wounded (June 18); Royalist victories at Atherton Moor, in Yorkshire (June 30), and Roundway Down, near Devizes (July 13). Prince Rupert, the king’s nephew, took Bristol, but the king himself failed in an attempt on Gloucester. Royalists defeated at Newbury, in Berkshire, where the earls of Sunderland and Carnarvon and Lord Falkland were slain (Sept. 20). Death of Pym.

1644. The king assembled a rival parliament (consisting of the loyal members) at Oxford. The Scots entered England to aid the Long Parliament. Royalists defeated at Nantwich (Jan. 25). The parliamentarians, mainly by the military genius of Oliver Cromwell, gained a great victory at Marston Moor, in Yorkshire (July 2). Indecisive battle at Newbury (Oct. 27).

1645. Archbishop Laud executed for high treason. A treaty of peace begun at Uxbridge, but the two parties could not agree as to the terms. Self-denying ordinance passed, ordaining that no member of parliament should hold in future any civil or military office. The parliamentarians gained a decisive victory at NASEBY, in Northamptonshire (June 14). Bristol retaken by Sir Thomas Fairfax. The earl of Montrose, who had gained several victories over the covenanters, was totally defeated at Philiphaugh, near Selkirk (Sept. 13).

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1646. The king surrendered himself to the Scots who were stationed near Newark (May 5).


1647. The Scots gave Charles up to the parliament on payment of part of their arrears. The latter endeavoured to disband the English army, but failed: and the army seized the king. About five months after, he escaped to the Isle of Wight, but was arrested and imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle.

1648. SECOND CIVIL WAR. A royalist insurrection in Wales was soon suppressed by Cromwell, who also defeated, at Preston, a Scotch army that had invaded England in behalf of the king (Aug. 17). The Presbyterians, in the absence of the army, being predominant in parliament, began a treaty with Charles at Newport; but while the negotiations were proceeding, the army directed Charles to be removed to Hurst Castle, and Colonel Pride “purged” the House by forcibly excluding many of the members unfavourable to the army: this proceeding was known as Pride’s Purge. The remainder, or Rump Parliament, voted that the king should be brought to trial as guilty of high treason against the people.

1649. THE KING was tried in Westminster Hall, and though he refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the high court of justice, he was CONDEMNED AND EXECUTED.

Principal Officers in the Civil War.—Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice (the king’s nephews), the earls of Lindsey, Newcastle, and Montrose, Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and Goring, royalist commanders. The earl of Essex, Lord Kimbolton, afterwards earl of Manchester, Sir William Waller, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Hampden, Cromwell, Ireton, and Lambert, parliamentary commanders.



The Commonwealth.
1649 to 1660.


1649. Charles II. proclaimed king in Scotland, and soon after in Ireland. The Commons voted that the House of Lords and the office of King should be abolished. A council of forty-one persons appointed to conduct the government. Cromwell went to Ireland, took Drogheda and Wexford by storm, and captured several other towns.

1650. Montrose appeared in arms in Scotland on behalf of Charles II., but was captured, and executed at Edinburgh. Cromwell returned from Ireland, and about a month after Charles’s arrival in Scotland, he crossed the Tweed (July), and defeated the Scots under General Leslie at Dunbar (Sept. 3).

1651. Charles crowned at Scone. He raised an army and invaded England, but was pursued by Cromwell, and defeated at Worcester (Sept. 3). After a series of perilous adventures he escaped to France. Navigation Act passed.

This act, which aimed a deadly blow at the Dutch carrying trade, forbade the importation of goods from Asia, Africa, or America, in any ships except such as belonged to English subjects, and in the case of European goods they must be imported in English ships, or in ships that were the property of the people of the country producing the goods.

1652. WAR WITH THE DUTCH. Van Tromp defeated by Blake off Dover (May 19), and an indecisive battle was fought between De Ruyter and Ayscue off Plymouth (Aug. 16). The English were victorious in the Downs (Sept. 28), and defeated in the same neighbourhood two months after (Nov. 29).

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1653. The Dutch defeated with great loss off Portland (Feb. 18-20); and they were again defeated off the North Foreland (June 2, 3), and off Texel (July 31): Van Tromp killed in the last battle. Cromwell forcibly dissolved the Rump Parliament (April 20). The Little Parliament met, and about five months after surrendered their power into the hands of CROMWELL, who was declared LORD PROTECTOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH (Dec. 16).

1654. Peace concluded with Holland. Scotland incorporated with England. Cromwell called a new parliament, which met Sept. 3, and was dissolved early in the next year (Jan. 22).

1655. Capture of Jamaica. The Jews were again allowed to settle in England.

1657. A parliament, which had first assembled in 1656 (Sept. 17), offered Cromwell the title of king, which he refused. He was then empowered to name his successor, and to create a second legislative assembly.

1658. The French and English defeated the Spaniards at the Dunes, near Dunkirk (June 4). Dunkirk taken, and surrendered to the English. DEATH OF THE PROTECTOR (Sept. 3). He was succeeded by his son Richard.

1659. A new parliament assembled, but after sitting three months was dissolved by Richard Cromwell, at the request of the army leaders. He resigned the Protectorate. The Long (Rump) Parliament reassembled. The royalists attempted an insurrection, but were defeated at Nantwich. The parliament expelled by the army, and a Committee of Safety appointed; but two months later the parliament was reinstated.

1660. General Monk, the parliamentary commander in Scotland, came to London with his troops, and at his desire the members expelled by Pride were readmitted. This parliament resolved that a new parliament should assemble, and dissolved itself. The Convention Parliament met, and Charles, who was residing at Breda, and with whom Monk had been lately holding communications, sent, at his suggestion, a letter containing the Declaration from Breda. CHARLES RECALLED. His restoration dates from his public entry into London (May 29).

In the Declaration from Breda he promised, among other things,—1. A general pardon to all persons, save those who should be afterwards excepted by parliament, who should return to their obedience within 40 days. 2. That all differences about the grants, sales, and purchases of estates should be settled in a free parliament. 3. That no man should be disquieted for differences of opinion in religion that did not disturb the peace of the kingdom.

Principal Commanders.—Ireton, Monk, Lambert, Desborough, Fleetwood, generals; Blake, Penn, Venables, Ayscue, admirals.





Charles II.

D. He was the son of Charles I. B. at St. James’s Palace, 1630. M. Catherine, daughter of John IV., of Portugal. Dd. at Whitehall, Feb, 6, 1685. R. 24¾ years (1660 to 1685).

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1660. The system of military tenures abolished by parliament, and an excise tax on beer and other liquors imposed in its stead. Ten of the regicides executed. The Convention Parliament dissolved.

1661. A new parliament, sometimes called the Pension Parliament, met, and sat for seventeen years. Corporation Act passed. Savoy Conference, between some of the bishops and leading presbyterian divines.

1662. Act of Uniformity passed. Iniquitous execution of Sir Harry Vane. Dunkirk sold to the French.

1664. Conventicle Act passed. Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam (now New York) surrendered to the English.

1665. War with the Dutch. The English gained a great victory over them off Lowestoft (June 3). The Great Plague raged in London, and carried off more than 100,000 victims. Five Mile Act passed.

The Corporation Act, the Act of Uniformity, the Conventicle Act, and the Five Mile Act are called the Clarendon Code. The Corporation Act required all persons holding offices in municipal corporations to take the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper according to the rites of the Church of England—to renounce the Solemn League and Covenant—and to swear that they believed it unlawful to take up arms, upon any pretence whatsoever, against the king. The Act of Uniformity required all clergymen to declare their assent to everything contained in the Prayer Book, and all schoolmasters were obliged to have a licence from the bishop. About 2,000 clergymen declined to subscribe, and were ejected from their livings: and, receiving no compensation from the state, were, in many cases, reduced to the utmost poverty. The Conventicle Act declared all meetings of more than five persons, except the household, for religious worship not according to the Prayer Book, seditious; and all persons above sixteen years old, who attended, for a first offence were to be fined or imprisoned for three months; for a second, fined or imprisoned for six months; and for a third, transported for seven years. The Five Mile Act required all dissenting ministers to take an oath similar to that imposed by the Corporation Act, and, in case of refusal, they were not to approach within five miles of any borough or place where they had ever preached, nor to act as schoolmasters, under a penalty of £40 and six months’ imprisonment.

1666. Louis XIV. of France joined the Dutch against England. The Dutch defeated the English off the North Foreland (June 1-4), but were afterwards vanquished in the same neighbourhood (July 25). Great Fire of London: the loss caused by the fire estimated at more than £7,000,000. Some of the presbyterians rose in Scotland, and were defeated on the Pentland Hills (Nov. 28).

1667. The Dutch sailed up the Medway, and burnt several ships; and for some time insulted our coasts. Treaty of Breda, between the English, Dutch, and French (July 21). Lord Clarendon, the king’s chief minister from the beginning of the reign, dismissed and banished. The Cabal ministry formed; the chief ministers being Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale.

1668. Triple Alliance between England, Holland, and Sweden, to check the aggressive policy of Louis. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

1670. A new act passed against conventicles. Secret treaty concluded between Charles and Louis at Dover.

Charles agreed to declare himself a Catholic, to support Louis’s foreign policy, to receive a pension, and to be aided by foreign troops in case of a rebellion. But, on account of the temper of the country, he was afraid to carry out the first stipulation.

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1672. Charles shut up the exchequer, and thereby ruined a large number of persons whose money was in the hands of the government. He issued a declaration of indulgence to Catholics and Protestant Nonconformists, but it was withdrawn the next year, at the request of parliament. England and France declared war against Holland, and the Dutch were defeated off Southwold Bay (May 28).

1673. Test Act passed. The duke of York, being a Catholic, resigned his office of lord high admiral. Sir Thomas Osborne, better known as the earl of Danby, became chief minister.

By the Test Act all officers of the Crown were required to take the oath of allegiance and supremacy, to take the sacrament according to the usage of the Church of England, and to declare their disbelief in transubstantiation.

1674. Peace concluded with Holland.

1677. The statute for burning heretics repealed. William, prince of Orange, married Mary, daughter of James, duke of York.

1678. Titus Oates’ plot. He falsely asserted that the Catholics were plotting against the king’s life, and several persons were executed for their alleged share in the plot. Impeachment of the earl of Danby; but the proceeding was stayed by the prorogation of the parliament, which was dissolved in 1679.

1679. Charles called a third parliament.[2] A new ministry formed by Sir William Temple, of which the earl of Shaftesbury was president. HABEAS CORPUS ACT passed.

A bill introduced to exclude the duke of York from the throne, but frustrated by the dissolution of parliament. Insurrection in Scotland; the duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of the king, defeated the rebels at Bothwell Bridge (June 22). Meal Tub Plot, so called because some documents relative to another plot were placed in a meal tub. The earl of Shaftesbury (Ashley) removed from the presidency of the council, and Sir William Temple and other ministers soon resigned.

The Habeas Corpus Act was passed to prevent the illegal and indefinite imprisonment to which persons obnoxious to the government could be subjected. By its provisions—1. All persons except those charged with treason or felony could demand from one of the judges a writ of Habeas Corpus, directing the jailor to bring them before him, so that the validity of their detention might be tested. 2. All persons charged with treason or felony must be tried at the next sessions after commitment, or else admitted to bail, and if not tried at the second sessions they must be discharged. 3. No person could be recommitted for the same offence. 4. No person was to be imprisoned beyond sea. 5. Heavy penalties were imposed on those who violated the provisions of the Act.

1680. A fourth parliament, summoned in 1679, did not actually meet till Oct., 1680. The Commons passed a bill for excluding the duke of York, but it was rejected by the Lords, and the parliament was dissolved in the following January.

1681. A fifth parliament met at Oxford, but as the Commons resolved to introduce an exclusion bill it was hastily dissolved. Shaftesbury charged with high treason, but the grand jury threw out the bill. The king’s government became very despotic.

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1683. The Rye House Plot discovered: some of the principal parties concerned—as the duke of Monmouth, Lord Russell, and Algernon Sidney—had apparently discussed the feasibility of compelling the king to establish a constitutional government, but some of the inferior persons implicated had formed a design to assassinate him. Russell and Sidney tried for high treason, and executed. Monmouth was pardoned, but withdrew to Holland.

1684. Titus Oates convicted of having libelled the duke of York, fined £100,000, and imprisoned in default of payment.


James II.

D. He was the brother of Charles II. B. at St. James’s, 1633. M. (1) Anne Hyde, daughter of Lord Clarendon; (2) Mary d’Este, sister of the duke of Modena. His reign ended Dec. 11, 1688. Dd. at St. Germains, Sept. 6, 1701. R. 3¾ years (1685 to 1688).

1685. Catholic worship publicly celebrated in the palace. Meeting of parliament; the majority of the members very favourable to the king. Rebellions of Argyle and Monmouth: the earl of Argyle landed in Scotland, and attempted to raise a rebellion, but was taken and executed; and the duke of Monmouth landed in Dorsetshire, raised a rebellion, and assumed the title of king, but was defeated at Sedgemoor, in Somersetshire (July 6), and afterwards executed. Jeffreys’ bloody campaign, during which he condemned a large number of persons for their share in the rebellion. Persecution of Dissenters. Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in France. The parliament was prorogued because it disapproved of the king’s violation of the Test Act, and of his maintaining a standing army.

1686. The judges servilely decided that the king could dispense with penal laws in particular cases—a decision which enabled him to confer offices in church and state on Catholics, contrary to the Act of Uniformity and the Test Act. Establishment of a court similar to the High Commission Court.

1687. Rochester, the king’s brother-in-law, deprived of the lord-treasurership because he would not become a Catholic. Declaration of Indulgence published, allowing Catholics and Protestant Dissenters to perform their religious services openly. The universities resisted the king’s attempts to infringe their rights.

1688. He re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence, and ordered the clergy to read it in the churches. Seven of the bishops presented a petition to him, praying that he would not insist on their distributing and reading the Declaration, and were on that account prosecuted for libel, but acquitted, to the great joy of the nation. Birth of the Old Pretender. William, prince of Orange, being invited to invade England, landed at Torbay; and James, distrusting his army, tried to escape from the country, but failed. Close of his reign (Dec. 11). THE REVOLUTION.

1688. William arrived in London, and James escaped to France. The peers, and a second chamber, consisting of members who had sat in Charles II.’s parliaments, together with the aldermen of London, and a deputation from the Common[Pg 34] Council, requested William to call a Convention, and to take on himself the executive administration in the interim.

1689. The Convention declared the throne vacant, and offered the crown to William and Mary, the former of whom was to exercise the executive power; they also drew up a Declaration of Rights, which was subsequently embodied in the Bill of Rights. William and Mary accepted the crown (Feb. 13). THE REVOLUTION COMPLETED.


William and Mary.

D. William was the son of William, prince of Orange, and of Mary, daughter of Charles I. B. at the Hague, 1650. M. Mary, daughter of James II. (b. 1662). Dd. at Kensington, Mar. 8, 1702. Mary. Dd. at Kensington, Dec. 28, 1694. R. together 5 years (1689 to 1694). William reigned alone 8¼ years (1694 to 1702).

1689. The Convention turned into a parliament. First Mutiny Act. Civil War in Ireland, where James landed to recover his crown. War declared against France. Toleration Act passed. Battle of Killiecrankie, in Perthshire, in which William’s troops were defeated, but Dundee, the Jacobite general, was slain (July 27). Siege of Londonderry raised by General Kirke (July 30). BILL OF RIGHTS passed.

The Toleration Act exempted Dissenters from the penalties of the existing statutes on religion, and enabled their ministers to conduct public worship on making certain subscriptions and declarations. The Bill of Rights declared—1, That it is illegal to suspend laws without consent of parliament; 2, That the pretended power of dispensing with laws, as it hath been exercised of late, is illegal; 3, That the commission for creating the late court of commissioners for ecclesiastical causes is illegal; 4, That it is illegal to levy money without consent of parliament; 5, That subjects have a right to petition the king; 6, That it is illegal to maintain a standing army in time of peace without consent of parliament; 7, That Protestant subjects may have arms for their defence; 8, That election of members of parliament ought to be free; 9, That freedom of speech and debate in parliament ought not to be questioned in any place out of parliament; 10, That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted; 11, That juries ought to be impartially selected; 12, That grants of fines and forfeitures before conviction are illegal; 13, That for the redress of grievances parliaments ought to be held frequently. It was further enacted, that every English sovereign should, in full parliament, repeat and subscribe the declaration against transubstantiation; and that if a sovereign should marry a papist, the subjects should be absolved from allegiance.

1690. William went to Ireland, and defeated James at the battle of the Boyne (July 1). James returned to France. The English and Dutch fleets were defeated by the French off Beachy Head (June 30).

1691. The nonjuring bishops (those who refused to take the oaths to William) deprived of their sees. General Ginkel captured Athlone, gained the battle of Aghrim (July 12), and besieged Limerick, which capitulated (Oct. 1).

1692. Massacre of the Macdonalds in the valley of Glencoe. The French fleet defeated by the English and Dutch fleets off La Hogue (May 19). Foundation of the National Debt.

1694. Bill passed for holding triennial parliaments. Incorporation of the Bank of England. About this time a Cabinet Ministry was first established.

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William III.

1695. William besieged and captured Namur, in Belgium (Aug. 26). Statute passed for regulating trials for high treason.

Prisoners were to be allowed counsel; and two witnesses were required to prove each overt act.

1697. A bill of attainder passed against Sir John Fenwick, for participation in a plot for assassinating the king, and he was executed accordingly. He was the last person condemned by bill of attainder. Treaty of Ryswick, between England, France, Spain, Holland, and the emperor of Germany (Sept. 20).

By this treaty William was acknowledged king of England; and nearly all the places in the Spanish dominions conquered by France were to be restored.

1698. First partition treaty between William and Louis for dividing the Spanish dominions on the death of Charles II., king of Spain. A second treaty was concluded in 1700.

The purpose of these private treaties was to prevent the disarrangement of the balance of power which would ensue in case the whole of the Spanish dominions fell into the hands of Louis’ son, the dauphin. By the first treaty they were to be divided between the electoral prince of Bavaria, the Dauphin, and the archduke Charles, all of whom had pretensions to the Spanish throne. On the death of the electoral prince (in 1699) they were to be divided between the survivors. Charles, on his death, left the whole to Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis, who determined, in spite of his agreement with William, to support his grandson; and hence ensued the war in the next reign.

1700. Death of the duke of Gloucester, son of the Princess Anne, and heir presumptive to the throne.

1701. ACT OF SETTLEMENT passed. William formed a grand alliance against France in behalf of the Archduke Charles, whom the allies recognised as king of Spain. Death of James II., whose son James was acknowledged king of England by Louis XIV.

By the Act of Settlement, Anne was to succeed William; and if she died without issue, the heirs of William were to succeed: in failure of these, the Electress Sophia (granddaughter of James I.), the next in succession who held the Protestant faith, was to become sovereign. Several provisions were inserted which were to take effect from the accession of the new line:—1. The sovereign must join in communion with the Church of England. 2. The nation shall not be obliged to go to war for the defence of any dominions not belonging to the English crown. 3. No English sovereign shall leave the kingdom without consent of parliament. 4. All important matters of state are to be transacted in the privy council, and all resolutions adopted signed by such of the privy council as shall advise and consent to the same. 5. No foreigner shall hold any office, civil or military, or receive any grant from the crown. 6. No person, holding any office or place of profit under the crown, and receiving a pension therefrom, shall be capable of sitting in the house of commons. 7. Judges shall hold office during good behaviour, but they may be removed on address of both houses of parliament. 8. No pardon under the great seal shall be pleadable to an impeachment by the Commons. The third provision was repealed in the first year of George I.’s reign.



D. Anne was the second daughter of James II. B. at St. James’s, 1665. M. Prince George, of Denmark. Dd. at Kensington, Aug. 1, 1714. R. 12½ years (1702 to 1714).

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1702. The earl of Marlborough appointed captain-general of the royal forces. Lord Godolphin made treasurer—Marlborough and he became ascendant, and, though nominally Tories, were supported by the Whigs, who approved of their war policy. WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION: War declared against France and Spain.

1703. The duke of Marlborough captured Bonn and other towns.

1704. Gibraltar taken by Sir George Rooke (July 23). Marlborough and Prince Eugene gained a splendid victory over the French and Bavarians at BLENHEIM, in Bavaria (Aug. 13).

1705. Barcelona captured by the earl of Peterborough (Sept.).

1706. Marlborough gained a great victory over the French at Ramilies, in Belgium (May 23).

1707. Act of Union passed between England and Scotland. The English and their allies disastrously defeated at Almanza, in Spain, by the duke of Berwick (April 25). First United Parliament of Great Britain met (Oct. 23).

The chief provisions of the Act of Union were—1, That the succession of the crown should vest in the Princess Sophia and her heirs, being Protestants; 2, That both nations should have full freedom of trade, and should enjoy equal rights and privileges, except where otherwise agreed; 3, That Scotland should retain the presbyterian church, her own municipal laws, and her own courts of justice; 4, That the united kingdom should be governed by one parliament; 5, That 16 peers and 45 commoners should represent Scotland in parliament; 6, That the regulations relating to trade, customs, and excise, should be the same in both countries, and that Scotland should only pay one-fortieth of the land tax paid by England.

1708. The French defeated by Marlborough at Oudenarde, in Belgium (July 11). Conquest of Minorca. Lille surrendered to the allies after an active siege. Mrs. Masham was gradually supplanting the duchess of Marlborough as the queen’s favourite, and was intriguing to bring the Tories into power.

1709. The French defeated by Marlborough and Prince Eugene at Malplaquet, in Flanders, but the loss of the victors was greater than that of the vanquished (Sept. 11).

1710. Dr. Sacheverell tried and convicted for publishing sermons reflecting on the revolution and the Protestant succession; but the lenity of the sentence was regarded as a triumph by the High Church party. Mrs. Masham obtained a complete ascendancy, and the duchess of Marlborough was dismissed at the beginning of the next year. Lord Godolphin and the other Whig ministers dismissed; Harley made chancellor of exchequer, and St. John secretary of state (Aug. 8). The allies, under General Stanhope, gained the battles of Almenara (July 27) and Saragossa (Aug. 20), but he was afterwards compelled to capitulate at Brihuega (Dec. 9), and General Staremberg, though nominally victorious at Villa Viciosa (Dec. 10), was obliged to make a forced retreat.

1711. Harley created earl of Oxford, and appointed lord treasurer. Marlborough forced the lines of the French, and took Bouchain, but was afterwards removed from office.

1713. Treaty of Utrecht: between France, England, and all her allies, except the emperor; a treaty most discreditable to the English ministry (April 11 and July 13).

[Pg 37]The terms of this treaty were very much more favourable to the French than they could have reasonably expected, and than they would have been, had the Whigs remained in power. Among the principal terms that concerned England were—1, That the French and Spanish crowns should never become united; 2, That the Protestant succession should be acknowledged by France; 3, That the fortifications of Dunkirk should be destroyed; 4, That Hudson’s Bay, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Gibraltar, and Minorca should be ceded to England. The principal object of the war—the exclusion of the Bourbons from the throne of Spain—was not secured. At the close of the war the national debt was about £38,000,000.

1714. Death of the Princess Sophia. Schism Act passed. Harley removed from office, and succeeded by his colleague St. John, created Viscount Bolingbroke. He plotted to restore the Pretender on the death of the queen, but her sudden illness enabled the dukes of Shrewsbury, Somerset, and Argyle, three of the Whig leaders, to thwart his intentions, for the lord treasurer’s staff was bestowed on the first-mentioned peer—“the only individual who mainly assisted in both the great changes of dynasty of 1688 and 1714.”

The object of the Schism Act was to prevent Dissenters from acting as tutors or schoolmasters; but it did not come into operation, on account of the death of the queen.





George I.

D. George I. was the son of the Electress Sophia, daughter of Elizabeth. (Elizabeth was the daughter of James I.) B. at Hanover, 1660. M. Sophia Dorothea, of Zell. Dd. near Osnabruck, June 10, 1727. R. 13 years (1714 to 1727).

1714. The king arrived in England. Lord Townshend appointed chief minister.

1715. Oxford, Bolingbroke, and Ormond impeached for their conduct in negotiating the Peace of Utrecht. The first was committed to the Tower; the other two escaped to the Continent, and were attainted. Riot Act passed. REBELLION IN SCOTLAND, in behalf of the Pretender (son of James II.), headed by the earl of Mar. Battle of Sheriffmuir, Perthshire (Nov. 13), in which the royalists gained a slight advantage. The Pretender landed at Peterhead (Dec.), but, finding his cause hopeless, he re-embarked (Feb., 1716).

1716. The earls of Derwentwater and Kenmure, two of the rebels, executed. SEPTENNIAL BILL passed for extending the duration of parliaments from three to seven years. General Stanhope (afterwards created earl) and the earl of Sunderland became chief ministers of the crown.

1718. Quadruple Alliance between England, France, the emperor, and Holland, to resist the aggressive policy of Cardinal Alberoni, the chief minister of Spain. Sir George Byng defeated the Spanish fleet off Cape Passaro, in Sicily (Aug. 11).

1720. The South Sea Company was invested with certain exclusive commercial privileges, and authorized to take up the whole of the National Debt, so as to become the sole public creditor.

1721. Robert Walpole and Lord Townshend became the king’s principal ministers.

The £100 shares of the company, by fraudulent means, were raised to more than £1000; but the bubble soon burst, and ruined thousands of families. The[Pg 38] financial credit of the nation was restored by the judicious measures of Robert Walpole.

1723. Atterbury, bishop of Rochester, banished for taking part in a Jacobite conspiracy. Bolingbroke allowed to return.

1725. The earl of Macclesfield, lord chancellor, impeached for selling offices in Chancery, and misappropriating the money of suitors, widows, and orphans. He was convicted, and fined £30,000.

1727. The Spaniards besieged Gibraltar, but abandoned the enterprise after it had lasted four months.


George II.

D. He was the son of George I. B. at Hanover, 1683. M. Caroline, of Anspach. Dd. at Kensington, Oct 25, 1760. R. 33¼ years (1727 to 1760).

1730. Sir Robert Walpole became supreme in the government.

1733. Excise bill introduced, but abandoned on account of the violent opposition which it experienced.

1739. War with Spain. Porto Bello, on the Isthmus of Darien, taken by Admiral Vernon.

1741. Frederick, king of Prussia, invaded Silesia, and thus arose a war with the empress.

1742. Resignation of Walpole. The earl of Bath and Lord Carteret became chief ministers. England espoused the cause of the empress against Prussia; the latter was aided by France.

1743. George II. defeated the French at Dettingen, in Bavaria (June 27).

1744. France declared war against Great Britain. Anson returned from his voyage round the world, during which he inflicted great damage on the Spaniards. Coalition ministry, of which Henry Pelham was head.

1745. The English and their allies, under the duke of Cumberland, were defeated at Fontenoy, in Belgium (May 11). Cape Breton taken from the French. REBELLION IN SCOTLAND in behalf of the Pretender; his son, Charles Edward, landed, and defeated the royalists at Preston Pans, near Edinburgh (Sept. 21). He invaded England, and proceeded as far as Derby, but retreated on the advance of the royalists.

1746. The rebels were again victorious at Falkirk (Jan. 17), but were completely defeated at Culloden, in Inverness-shire (April 16). Charles escaped to the Continent.

1748. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, between England, France, Holland, Spain, and the emperor (Oct. 7).

The principal articles that concerned England were, that there should be a mutual restitution of all conquests in every part of the world, and that the Asiento treaty (or right to supply Spanish America with slaves) should be renewed for four years. “Not a single point was gained for which England had been fighting with France and Spain for eight years.”

1752. Alteration of the calendar, and adoption of the new style.

1754. Death of Pelham, who was succeeded by his brother, the duke of Newcastle.

1756. The French captured Minorca. War declared against France. COMMENCEMENT OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR, in which Prussia was the ally of England, and Austria of France. Calcutta seized by Surajah Dowiah, and 146 persons confined in a dungeon, known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. William Pitt appointed premier.

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1757. Recapture of Calcutta by the English. Admiral Byng shot for not attempting to relieve Minorca. Pitt and his colleagues dismissed, but the duke of Newcastle and he coalesced (June), and thus began what may be strictly called Pitt’s Administration, though Newcastle was the nominal head. Clive gained the battle of Plassey (June 23), and thus laid the FOUNDATION OF OUR INDIAN EMPIRE.

1758. The English captured Fort Louis and the island of Goree, in Africa; and Cape Breton, Prince Edward’s Island, and Fort Duquesne (afterwards called Pittsburgh), in America.

1759. The most glorious year, perhaps, that England had ever seen. Guadaloupe captured. The French defeated at the battle of Minden, in Prussia (Aug. 1). Admiral Boscawen defeated the French fleet off Lagos, in Portugal (Aug. 18). General Wolfe gained a decisive victory at QUEBEC, but was mortally wounded (Sept. 13). Sir Edward Hawke almost annihilated the French fleet in Quiberon Bay (Nov. 20).

1760. Colonel Coote defeated the French at Wandewash, in the Carnatic (Jan. 22). Surrender of Montreal and complete conquest of Canada.


George III.

D. He was the son of Frederick, prince of Wales (who died in 1751), and grandson of George II. B. in London, 1738. M. Charlotte, of Mecklenburg Strelitz. D. at Windsor, Jan. 29, 1820. R. 59¼ years (1760 to 1820).

1761. Capture of Pondicherry, Dominica, and Belle Isle. Pitt resigned office because the government declined to declare war against Spain.

1762. War declared against Spain for forming an alliance with France. Capture of Martinique, Grenada, and other isles. Bute became premier. Havannah, the capital of Cuba, and Manilla, the capital of the Philippines, taken from Spain.

1763. Treaty of Paris, between England, France, and Spain (Feb. 10). Grenville appointed premier. John Wilkes prosecuted for a libel in the “North Briton,” and expelled from parliament the next year. General warrants declared illegal.

By this treaty England recovered, in Europe, Minorca, and restored Belle Isle; in America, she restored Martinique and Guadaloupe, but kept her other conquests; Spain gave up Florida for Havannah, and recovered the Philippines without compensation. This war raised the national debt to about £138,000,000.

1764. Restraints placed by England on the American trade with the Spanish and French colonies.

1765. American Stamp Act passed, imposing a duty on stamps. The marquess of Rockingham became premier.

1766. Repeal of the American Stamp Act. The duke of Grafton became premier, but Pitt, created earl of Chatham, was the chief member of the cabinet.

1767. Illness of Pitt, who was unable to transact any public business. Townshend, the most able minister in his absence, introduced and carried a bill imposing duties in the British colonies on glass, paper, painters’ colours, and tea.

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1769. Letters of Junius commenced in the “Public Advertiser.”

1770. Lord North became premier. All the duties imposed on America, except that on tea, repealed.

1773. Cargoes of tea thrown overboard by an organized mob at Boston, in America.

1775. THE AMERICAN WAR. Skirmish between the royal troops and the colonists at Lexington (April 19). The colonies took the title of the United Colonies, and assumed the functions of sovereignty. Washington appointed commander-in-chief. Victory of the English at Bunker’s Hill (June 17). The Americans invaded Canada.

1776. Declaration of American Independence (July 4). The English gained a victory at Brooklyn (Aug. 27).

1777. The English victorious at Brandywine (Sept. 11). Convention of Saratoga; Burgoyne’s army of 5,700 men capitulated—the first great disaster experienced by the English in the American war (Oct. 17).

1778. France recognized the United States, and war consequently ensued. Death of the earl of Chatham. Capture of Pondicherry by the English.

1779. Spain joined in the war against England, and blockaded Gibraltar.

1780. Rodney defeated the Spaniards off Cape St. Vincent, and temporarily relieved Gibraltar (Jan. 16). Charleston, the capital of South Carolina, capitulated to the English (May 12); and later in the year they gained a decisive victory at Camden (Aug. 16). Gordon Riots in London, directed against the Catholics. Major André executed by the Americans as a spy. COMMENCEMENT OF THE WAR IN THE CARNATIC WITH HYDER ALI.

1781. Sir Eyre Coote gained a brilliant victory over Hyder Ali at Porto Novo (July 1). Capitulation of York Town; Lord Cornwallis’s army surrendered to the Americans—virtual close of the war (Oct. 19). Negapatam, in the Carnatic, taken from the Dutch.

1782. Minorca taken by the Spaniards. The marquess of Rockingham became premier, and on his death Lord Shelburne. Sir George Rodney gained a splendid victory over the French fleet in the West Indies (April 12). Unsuccessful bombardment of Gibraltar. Independence of the United States recognized (Nov.).

1783. Coalition ministry of Lord North and Charles James Fox. This ministry dismissed, and William Pitt (son of the earl of Chatham) appointed premier. Treaty of Versailles, between England, France, Spain, and America (Sept. 3).

By this treaty, the preliminaries of which were signed during the Shelburne administration, England recovered from France, Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Christopher’s, Nevis, and Montserrat, and ceded St. Lucia and Tobago. France recovered some possessions in Africa and the East Indies; and Minorca and the Floridas were ceded to Spain. The independence of the United States, acknowledged the year before, was formally recognized by this treaty. At the close of this war the national debt was about £240,000,000.

1787. Warren Hastings, who had been governor-general for several years, impeached on account of some of his proceedings in India. His trial began in 1788, and was not concluded till 1795, when he was acquitted.

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1793. Execution of Louis XVI. France declared war against England. Napoleon Buonaparte first distinguished himself at the siege of Toulon.

1794. Capture of most of the French West Indies. Lord Howe gained a decisive victory over the Brest fleet (June 1).

1795. War with Holland, and capture of the Cape of Good Hope, as well as nearly all the Dutch East Indies.

1796. Spain declared war against England.

1797. Sir John Jervis defeated the Spanish fleet off Cape St. Vincent (Feb. 14). Mutinies of the fleet at Spithead and at the Nore. The Dutch defeated by Admiral Duncan off Camperdown (Oct. 11).

1798. IRISH REBELLION. The rebels defeated several times, and the rebellion suppressed. Battle of THE NILE, in which Nelson almost destroyed the French fleet (Aug. 1).

1799. Generals Harris and Baird besieged and captured Seringapatam: Tippoo Saib killed (May 4). Buonaparte unsuccessfully besieged Acre, which was defended by Sir Sidney Smith. He returned to France, and was declared First Consul.

1800. The Irish parliament agreed to a legislative union with England. Malta taken from the French (Sept. 5). Maritime confederacy formed against England by Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Denmark.

1801. Union of Great Britain and Ireland. Mr. Addington succeeded Pitt as premier. The French defeated by the English at Alexandria (Mar. 21). Battle of COPENHAGEN (April 2); this victory, and the assassination of the emperor Paul, broke up the maritime confederacy.

By the terms of the union with Ireland, four spiritual peers, twenty-eight temporal peers, and a hundred commoners were to represent Ireland in the united parliament. The churches of England and Ireland were to be united into one Protestant episcopal church, called the United Church of England and Ireland; both countries were to enjoy the same commercial privileges; and the laws and courts of each country were to remain the same as before, subject to alterations by the united parliament.

1802. Treaty of Amíens, between England, France, Spain, and Holland (Mar. 27). Buonaparte declared consul for life.

This treaty was merely a truce. England surrendered all her conquests except Ceylon and Trinidad. Malta was to be given back to the knights of St. John.

1803. Renewal of the war with France: all the English travelling in France arrested. War with the Mahrattas in India. General Lake gained great victories at Delhi (Sept. 11) and Laswaree (Nov. 1), and General Wellesley at Assaye (Sept. 23) and Argaum (Nov. 28).

1804. Pitt reinstated as premier. Buonaparte became emperor of France under the title of Napoleon I.

1805. Napoleon prepared to invade England. Victory over the French and Spanish fleets off Cape Finisterre, by Sir Robert Calder (July 22), and off TRAFALGAR by Nelson, who was killed (Oct 21): naval power of France destroyed.

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1806. Death of Pitt. A coalition ministry formed, the most important member of which was Fox, who died the same year. The French defeated by Sir John Stuart at Maida, in Calabria (July 6). Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree, to destroy the trade of England.

1807. Slave trade abolished by parliament. The duke of Portland appointed premier. Copenhagen bombarded by the English (Sept. 5), who seized the Danish fleet, which otherwise would have fallen into the hands of Napoleon. Portugal occupied by the French.

1808. The king of Spain compelled to resign his crown, which was conferred by Napoleon on his brother, Joseph Buonaparte. The people of the Peninsula resolved to resist, and England to render aid. THE PENINSULAR WAR. Sir Arthur Wellesley landed in Portugal, and defeated the French at Roliça (Aug. 17) and Vimiera (Aug. 21). After the latter battle, the Convention of Cintra was concluded, by which the French agreed to evacuate Portugal.

1809. Battle of Corunna, in which the French were defeated, and Sir John Moore, the English general, slain (Jan. 16). Wellesley gained a great victory at Talavera (July 27-8). The unfortunate Walcheren expedition, in which a large number of our troops died from disease. Perceval became premier.

1810. Wellesley, now Lord Wellington, defeated the French at Busaco (Sept. 27), but his opponents in the Peninsula being greatly superior in numbers, he entered the impregnable lines of Torres Vedras, where it was impossible to attack him with success. George III. became incurably insane.

1811. George, prince of Wales, appointed regent. The English defeated the French at Barrosa (Mar. 5), Fuentes d’Onore (May 5), and Albuera (May 16).

1812. Wellington took Ciudad Rodrigo (Jan, 19), and Badajoz (April 7), by storm, and gained a great victory at Salamanca (July 22). Perceval shot by an assassin, and Lord Liverpool made premier. United States declared war against England on account of our searching their vessels for deserted seamen, and other alleged grievances. Napoleon invaded Russia; but, as the Russians burnt Moscow, he was compelled to retreat,—during this campaign and retreat, his army was almost destroyed.

1813. Wellington completely routed the French at Vittoria (June 21), and defeated them in the Battles of the Pyrenees. Wellington crossed the Bidassoa, and thus England was the first of the powers of Europe which succeeded in planting its victorious standard on the soil of France.

1814. The Russians, Prussians, and Austrians invaded France. Wellington defeated the French at Orthes (Feb. 27) and Toulouse (April 10). NAPOLEON ABDICATED, and was allowed to retire to Elba. Louis XVIII. acknowledged king. Treaty of Paris (May 30). Washington taken by the English. Peace concluded between England and the United States at Ghent (Dec. 24).

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By the treaty of Paris, France was reduced to its limits as they stood in 1792. Malta was ceded to England, and England restored all the colonies taken from France and her allies except Tobago, St. Lucia, and the Isle of France.

During the war with the United States many engagements took place at sea; and as the Americans usually attacked much smaller vessels than their own, they gained several victories; but the superiority of the British navy was unmistakably proved in the ocean duel between the Shannon and Chesapeake, for the latter, though containing a much larger crew, was taken in fifteen minutes.

1815. The English, shortly after the peace was signed in Europe, defeated at New Orleans (Jan. 8). Napoleon escaped from Elba, and returned to France; and the allies declared war against him. The Prussians were defeated by the French at Ligny (June 16), but Wellington repulsed them at Quatre Bras (June 16), and gained a decisive victory at WATERLOO (June 18). Second abdication of Napoleon, who was sent to St. Helena. Second treaty of Paris (Nov. 20). Enactment of a corn law.

This treaty further restricted the limits of France, provided for the occupation of the northern and eastern frontier, and certain fortresses, by the allies for three years, and fixed the amount to be paid towards the expenses of the war. At the end of this war the total national debt reached nearly £900,000,000.

1816. Algiers bombarded by Lord Exmouth.

1817. Death of the Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent.

1819. A public meeting at Manchester forcibly dispersed, and several persons killed and wounded. The Six Acts passed: this unconstitutional code was the latest violation of our free constitution.


George IV.

D. He was the son of George III. B. at St. James’s, 1762. M. Caroline, of Brunswick. Dd. at Windsor, June 26, 1830. R. 10½ years (1820 to 1830).

1820. Conspiracy discovered for assassinating the king’s ministers. Bill of pains and penalties introduced against Queen Caroline for adultery, but afterwards abandoned.

1823. War with the Burmese: it ended in 1826.

1827. Death of Lord Liverpool. Canning became premier, and on his death Lord Goderich. The Turkish and Egyptian fleet defeated by the English, French, and Russian fleet at Navarino (Oct. 20).

1828. The duke of Wellington became premier. Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts.

1829. Catholic Emancipation Bill passed.


William IV.

D. He was the brother of George IV. B. at Buckingham House, London, 1765. M. Adelaide, of Saxe-Meiningen. Dd. at Windsor, June 20, 1837. R. 7 years (1830 to 1837).

1830. Revolutions in France and Belgium. Earl Grey appointed premier.

1831. Reform Bill introduced and rejected. Riots at Bristol and other towns.

1832. REFORM BILL passed, by which many towns were disfranchised, and others empowered to return members, while at the same time the franchise was largely extended.

1833. Bill passed for the abolition of slavery.

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1834. Lord Melbourne appointed premier. New Poor Law passed. Houses of Parliament destroyed by fire. Sir Robert Peel succeeded Lord Melbourne.

1835. Melbourne returned to office. Municipal Corporation Reform Bill passed.

1836. Marriage and Registration Acts passed, as well as an Act for allowing prisoners counsel in cases of felony.



D. She is the only daughter of Edward, duke of Kent, fourth son of George III. B. at Kensington, 1819. M. Albert, prince of Saxe Coburg, who died in 1861. Became Queen June 20, 1837.

1837. The duke of Cumberland (the queen’s uncle, and eldest male heir of George III.) became king of Hanover, by virtue of the Salic law, which prohibits the accession of females. Rebellion in Canada.

1838. Chartist movement. Commencement of the agitation for the repeal of the corn laws.

The Chartists were so called because they drew up what they termed the People’s Charter, in which were embodied their demands. They were—1, Annual parliaments; 2, Universal suffrage; 3, Vote by ballot; 4, Equal electoral districts; 5, Abolition of property qualification for members of parliament; 6, Payment of members of parliament. Some of the demagogues soon began to talk about resorting to physical force for the accomplishment of their objects, and several disturbances occurred, but the only serious attempt at insurrection was at Newport, where more than twenty persons were killed (1839).

1840. Penny Postage established. War with China, which arose out of disputes about the opium trade. England assisted Turkey against Mehemet Ali, the pasha of Egypt, who had seized on Syria: Acre stormed by the British fleet, on which he agreed to evacuate Syria.

1841. Sir Robert Peel appointed premier.

1842. Late in 1841 the Afghans rose against the English, who were compelled to make a disastrous retreat. Generals Nott and Pollock restored the prestige of the British army, and then retired from Afghanistan. Peace with China.

Besides the payment of about four and a quarter millions, the Chinese ceded Hong Kong, and opened five of their ports to our merchants.

1843. War with the Ameers of Scinde: Sir Charles Napier defeated them at Meeanee (Feb. 17), and Hyderabad (Mar. 24). Rebecca riots in Wales. Secession of many of the clergy of the Scotch established church; and formation of the Free Church. War in Gwalior. Sir Hugh Gough gained a decisive victory at Maharajpoor (Dec. 29), and General Grey, on the same day, was victorious at Punniar. The agitation in Ireland for the Repeal of the Union assumed a very serious character; Daniel O’Connell and other leaders were arrested for conspiracy and sedition.

1844. Trial and conviction of Daniel O’Connell, and the other conspirators; the sentence was afterwards reversed by the House of Lords.

1845. War with the Sikhs. Sir Hugh Gough and Sir Henry Hardinge defeated them at Moodkee (Dec. 18), and Ferozeshah (Dec. 21, 22).

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1846. Sir Harry Smith gained a complete victory over the Sikhs at Aliwal (Jan. 28); and Gough completely routed them at Sobraon (Feb. 10). The conquerors dictated terms of peace. Failure of the potato crop in Ireland, which led to a famine in the ensuing winter. REPEAL OF THE CORN LAWS. Lord John Russell appointed premier. Minutes of Council on education issued.

1848. Revolution in France, and Prince Louis Napoleon, nephew of the emperor, elected president of the French Republic. Smith O’Brien tried to raise an insurrection in Ireland, and signally failed. War with the Sikhs, and indecisive battle of Ramnuggur (Nov. 22).

1849. Lord Gough again met the Sikhs at Chilianwallah, where a sanguinary and indecisive battle was fought (Jan. 13), but he soon after gained a great victory at Goojerat (Feb. 21). Annexation of the Punjaub.

1850. Death of Sir Robert Peel.

1851. The Great Exhibition of Industry, open for twenty-four weeks, and attended by 6,000,000 people.

1852. Louis Napoleon elected president for life. War with the Burmese, and annexation of Pegu. The earl of Derby appointed premier, and succeeded, several months after, by the earl of Aberdeen, at the head of a coalition ministry. Death of the duke of Wellington. Louis Napoleon elected emperor.

1853. The Sultan declared war against Russia on account of the aggressive measures of the Emperor Nicholas.

1854. England and France determined to assist Turkey, and declared war against Russia. THE CRIMEAN WAR. The allies invaded the Crimea, and defeated the Russians at The Alma (Sept. 20). Siege of Sebastopol. The Russians defeated at Balaclava (Oct. 25), and Inkermann (Nov. 5). Sir Charles Napier destroyed Bomarsund, on the Aland Isles (Aug.).

1855. Lord Palmerston became premier. Death of the Emperor Nicholas. Sir Edmund Lyons took Kertch and other towns. Final bombardment of Sebastopol: the Russians effected a masterly retreat to the northern side of the town (Sept.).

1856. Annexation of Oude. Peace concluded with Russia (March). Hostilities with China, on account of the Chinese authorities seizing a small vessel bearing the British flag.

Russia receded from all her previous demands, agreed to dismantle the fortifications of Sebastopol, and pledged herself not to keep ships of war in the Black Sea. The national debt and interest, at the close of this war, reached £836,000,000.

1857. INDIAN MUTINY. The rebels captured Delhi, and treacherously massacred the English at Cawnpore. General Havelock repeatedly defeated the rebels, and temporarily relieved Lucknow, which was finally relieved by Sir Colin Campbell (Nov. 17), who had been sent from England as commander-in-chief. Death of Havelock. Delhi was recovered immediately before the first relief of Lucknow (Sept. 14). Canton taken by the English.

1858. Lord Derby appointed premier. The mutiny completely suppressed. Treaty of Tien-Tsin, between England and China. Commercial treaty with Japan. Abolition of the East India Company.

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1859. Lord Palmerston succeeded Lord Derby. The volunteer movement originated.

1860. Renewal of the war with China. Occupation of Pekin; and Convention of Pekin (Oct.).

1861. The Southern States seceded from the United States, and war ensued. Death of the Prince Consort. Repeal of the paper duty.

1862. Distress in the cotton districts, from the want of the usual supplies of cotton from America. International Exhibition open for more than six months. Discussions in parliament concerning popular education.

1863. Marriage of the prince of Wales. Continuance of the war in America. Sir John Lawrence, who had mainly contributed to save India at the time of the mutiny, appointed governor-general on the death of Lord Elgin.

1864. The Ionian Isles annexed to Greece.

1865. The Southern States subjugated. Death of Lord Palmerston. Earl Russell became premier, and Mr. Gladstone chancellor of the exchequer. The Fenian conspiracy assumed a serious aspect. Outbreak of the cattle plague.

1866. The ministry, being defeated on one of the clauses of a Reform Bill, resigned. Earl Derby appointed premier, and Disraeli chancellor of the exchequer. Atlantic cable laid. Overend and Gurney’s great bank failure for £10,000,000.

1867. REFORM BILL passed (August 16). War with Abyssinia.

This act confers the franchise in boroughs on all householders and on all lodgers paying a rent of not less than £10 per annum, and in counties on all householders rated at £12 and upwards. It partially disfranchises several constituencies, and creates others.

1868. Disraeli appointed premier (March), resigns (Dec.) owing to defeat of the government, and is succeeded by Mr. Gladstone. Magdala taken, and Abyssinian War ended. Death of Lord Brougham (May). First private execution (Aug.).

1869. Suez Canal opened (March). Disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church (July). Earl Derby died (Oct.).

1870. Mr. Gladstone’s first Irish Land Act, and Forster’s ELEMENTARY EDUCATION ACT passed.

This Act provides for the election of School Boards, empowered to raise funds for the building and maintenance of schools, and of compelling the attendance of children at efficient schools, either voluntary or board.

Russia repudiates her pledges made at the Treaty of Peace in 1856, with regard to the Black Sea clause. Suppression of the Red River Rebellion (Aug.). Loss of H.M.S. “Captain” and 523 hands (Sep.). Half-penny Postcards came into use.

1871. Serious illness of the Prince of Wales. Army purchase abolished. Treaty of Washington, between Great Britain and the United States, providing for the settlement, by arbitration, of the “Alabama” claims, which resulted in the United States receiving 15,000,000 dollars (about £3,000,000), awarded by the Tribunal of Arbitration, which met at Geneva in the following year.

[Pg 47]

1872. The Queen and royal family attend a public thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, for the recovery of the Prince of Wales. The Ballot Act passed. Assassination of Lord Mayo, Viceroy of India.

1873. Death of Napoleon III. at Chislehurst, Kent (Jan.). Ashantee War commenced. Constitution of the Supreme Court of Judicature.

1874. End of the first Gladstone Ministry. Disraeli became premier. Capture of Coomassie, and termination of the Ashantee War. Annexation of the Fiji Islands.

1875. The postal union ratified.

1876. The Queen proclaimed “Empress of India.” Disraeli created Earl of Beaconsfield. Purchase of the Khedive’s share of the Suez Canal for £4,000,000. Terrible famine in Southern India.

1877. Lord Salisbury represented England at the Conference held at Constantinople to discuss the Eastern question. War between Russia and Turkey.

1878. The Berlin Congress on the Eastern question, at which England was represented by Lords Beaconsfield and Salisbury, brought to a successful issue. Treaty of Berlin. Cyprus ceded to England by Turkey. Shere Ali, of Cabul, having refused to receive a British ambassador, the SECOND AFGHAN WAR commenced (Sep.). Death of Prince Alice (Dec. 14).

1879. War in Zululand. The Prince Imperial (only son of the late Emperor Napoleon III.), who had accompanied the British troops, killed by Zulus. Cetewayo, the Zulu king, captured, and the war ended. Zululand divided among a number of chiefs subject to British rule.

1880. Dissolution of parliament. Mr. Gladstone became premier. Burial Laws Amendment Act passed, permitting nonconformists to be buried in Church of England burial grounds, without the service of that church. The Speaker of the House of Commons invested with the power of the Closure. Rising of the Boers in the Transvaal. Abdul Rahman (nephew of Shere Ali) proclaimed Ameer of Cabul by the British: and end of the second Afghan war.

1881. Defeat of the British by the Boers at Majuba Hill. Assassination of Alexander II., Emperor of Russia. Death of Lord Beaconsfield. Irish Land Act passed, to improve the relations between landlord and tenant.

1882. Assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke in Phœnix Park, Dublin. English occupation of Egypt. Alexandria bombarded. Battles of Kassassin and Tel-el-kebir. Arabi Pasha taken prisoner and sent into exile.

1883. War in the Soudan. Destruction by the Mahdi (leader of the rebels) of the army of Hicks Pasha.

1884. Continuance of the War in the Soudan. Defeat of the Mahdi at El Teb. REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT passed, which extended the household and lodger franchise of the boroughs to the counties, and added about 2½ million voters.

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1885. Betrayal and assassination of General Gordon at Khartoum. Mr. Gladstone resigns the premiership, and is succeeded by Lord Salisbury. Redistribution of Seats Act passed, by which the parliamentary representatives were increased from 658 to 670. Revised version of the Bible, the result of fourteen years’ preparation, was published.

1886. Annexation of Upper Burmah. Lord Salisbury resigns the premiership, and is succeeded by Mr. Gladstone, who gives up office on the rejection of his measure for Home Rule in Ireland, and the Conservatives under Lord Salisbury return to power, supported by about eighty Liberals, since known as “Liberal Unionists,” who could not follow Mr. Gladstone in reference to the Irish question.

1887. THE JUBILEE OF THE REIGN OF QUEEN VICTORIA. Prevention of Crimes (Ireland) Act passed. Proclamation of the Irish National League.

1888. Death of the Emperor William of Germany, followed by that of his son, the Emperor Frederick William. THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT received Royal Assent.

The principal object of this Act is the division of England and Wales into counties and county boroughs for local government, with boundaries as nearly as possible corresponding to the geographical counties, and the establishment in each of a representative Council having control over most of the administrative business and finance of the district it represents. The Metropolitan Board of Works ceases to exist, and its powers, business, and officers are transferred to the London County Council.

The national debt and interest at this date slightly exceeded £705,000,000.

1889. Local Government Act for Scotland passed, establishing Elective County Councils. H. M. Stanley reached the East Coast of Africa with Emin Pasha, whom he had gone to relieve.

1890. Heligoland ceded to Germany, and the protectorate of Zanzibar granted to Great Britain. The Forth Bridge, which cost £4,000,000, and is the largest bridge in the world, opened.

1891. Death of Parnell, leader of the Irish party.

1892. Duke of Clarence died. The Conservative Ministry defeated. Mr. Gladstone returns to power. Death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poet-Laureate.

1893. The Imperial Institute inaugurated. Marriage of the Duke of York and Princess Victoria Maud of Teck.

1894. Parish and District Councils appointed. The Manchester Ship-Canal opened for traffic. The Tower Bridge, London, completed.

1895. Advance against Umra Khan, usurper of Chitral. The “Unionists” return to power with a majority of 152.

1896. Dr. Jameson made an unsuccessful raid into the South-African Republic. The National Debt and interest at this date amounted to nearly £657,000,000.




GRAMMAR (continued)


9.—A Manual of Grammatical Analysis. With copious Exercises, Analytical and Synthetical. 90,000 sold. Fcap. -/6

“One of the completest works on this subject we have seen.”—National Schoolmaster.

“A very clear and excellent manual.”—School Board Chronicle.

“Not only good, but thoroughly cheap.”—Literary World.

“It is remarkable for its simplicity and comprehensiveness, and is written by one well acquainted with the English language.”—Midland Counties Herald.

“A neat and well-arranged manual, with a double set of exercises, both synthetical and analytical,—that is, one set with blanks which require to be filled in, and the other containing sentences in which the various parts of which they consist are to be pointed out and described. The plan and arrangement are clear and well worked out.”—Educational Times.


10.—A Manual of English Etymology. Fcap. 27,000 sold. -/6

“This is a most useful little book; and it contains much more accurate knowledge than is usually furnished in such books for the use of schools. The notes are especially valuable.”—Educational Review.

“Really well done.”—Papers for the Schoolmaster.

“Compiled with the greatest care.”—Norfolk News.


11.—A First Book of Grammar and Analysis. With copious Exercises. 21,000 sold. Fcap. -/3

“A handy and thoroughly well-got-up little manual.”—Scholastic Register.

“This is a working book. It is full of exercises, and the exercises are very full and clear.”—National Schoolmaster.




12.—Outlines of Geography. 211,000 sold. Fcap. -/6

“Excessively cheap.”—School Board Chronicle.

“A most excellent little manual of geography, complete, yet concise, and with its facts put in a form likely to attract the attention of the scholar.”—Court Circular.


13.—Geography of Great Britain and Ireland. 28,000 sold. Fcap. -/6

“An excellent little treatise, which we can cordially recommend for school use; it is full, accurate, and concise.”—Educational Reporter.

“A very useful and compact manual. It contains a large amount of useful matter, well arranged and clearly set out.”—Educational Times.

“This is really an excellent little work. We approve very much of the method pursued in dealing with the outlines and general features of each country.”—Irish Teachers’ Journal.


14.—A First Book of Geography. 12,000 sold. Fcap. -/3

“It is clearly arranged, well printed, and just the treatise to push its way.”—Scholastic Register.

“Mr. Curtis has a happy knack of condensing his materials, and at the same time making them intelligible.”—Educational Register.




15.—The Poetical Reader. 139,000 sold. 1/-

“An excellent selection, made with great judgment.”—Nonconformist.

“A mass of brilliancy, wit, humour and pathos which it would be difficult to surpass.”—British Standard.


16.—The New Poetical Reader. 35,000 sold. Fcap. 1/-

“An exquisite series of extracts. The volume needs only to be known to be highly appreciated.”—Educational Reporter.


17.—The Complete Poetical Reader. Being “The Poetical Reader” and “The New Poetical Reader” in one volume 2/-


18.—The Junior Reader. Fcap. 1/-

“An admirable little Reader.”—Norfolk News.




19.—The New School Arithmetic. Upon a new and improved plan. With copious Exercises. Fcap. -/6


20.—Answers to the above -/3






[1] D., descent; B., born; M., married; Dd., died; R. reigned.

[2] I.e. if we regard the Convention Parliament as the first.




Hellenica World - Scientific Library