Front Matter Albion and Brutus The Coming of the Romans The Romans Come Again Caligula Conquers Britain The Story of Boadicea The Last of the Romans The Story of St. Alban Vortigern and King Constans Hengist and Horsa Hengist's Treachery The Giant's Dance The Coming of Arthur Founding of the Round Table Gregory and the Children King Alfred Learns to Read Alfred and the Cowherd More About Alfred the Great Ethelred the Unready Edmund Ironside Canute and the Waves Edward the Confessor Harold Godwin The Battle of Stamford Bridge The Battle of Hastings Hereward the Wake Death of the King The Story of William the Red The Story of the "White Ship" The Story of King Stephen Henry II—Gilbert and Rohesia Thomas a Becket The Conquest of Ireland Richard Coeur de Lion How Blondel Found the King The Story of Prince Arthur The Great Charter Henry III and Hubert de Burgh Simon de Montfort The Poisoned Dagger The War of Chalons The Lawgiver The Hammer of the Scots King Robert the Bruce The Battle of Bannockburn The Battle of Sluys The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Battle of Poitiers Wat Tyler's Rebellion How Richard Lost His Throne The Battle of Shrewsbury Prince Hal Sent to Prison The Battle of Agincourt The Maid of Orleans Red Rose and White Margaret and the Robbers The Story of the Kingmaker A King Who Wasn't Crowned Two Princes in the Tower The Make-Believe Prince Another Make-Believe Prince The Field of the Cloth of Gold Defender of the Faith The Six Wives of Henry VIII The Story of a Boy King The Story of Lady Jane Grey Elizabeth a Prisoner A Candle Lit in England Elizabeth Becomes Queen A Most Unhappy Queen Saved from the Spaniards Sir Walter Raleigh The Queen's Favourite The Story of Guy Fawkes The Story of the Mayflower A Blow for Freedom King and Parliament Quarrel The King Brought to Death The Adventures of a Prince The Lord Protector How Death Plagued London How London was Burned The Fiery Cross The Story of King Monmouth The Story of the Seven Bishops William the Deliverer William III and Mary II A Sad Day in a Highland Glen How the Union Jack was Made Earl of Mar's Hunting Party Bonnie Prince Charlie Flora MacDonald The Black Hole of Calcutta How Canada Was Won How America Was Lost A Story of a Spinning Wheel Every Man Will Do His Duty The Battle of Waterloo The First Gentleman in Europe Two Peaceful Victories The Girl Queen When Bread was Dear Victorian Age: Peace Victorian Age: War The Land of Snow The Siege of Delhi The Pipes at Lucknow Under the Southern Cross From Cannibal to Christian Boer and Briton List of Kings

Our Island Story - H. E. Marshall


It was in 1461 A.D. that the people chose Edward IV. as their King, and so there were two kings in England—Henry VI. the head of the Red Rose, and Edward IV. the head of the White Rose party.

There could be no peace in the country so long as there were two kings each claiming the throne, so, without waiting to be crowned, Edward marched to meet the Red Rose army and to fight for the crown.

On a cold, bleak day in March the two forces met at Towton in Yorkshire, and fought amid a wild storm of wind and snow. For ten hours the battle raged. The white snow was stained and the river which flowed near ran red with blood, till it seemed as if the earth and the sky had taken sides with the red and white roses. Never since Hastings had such a terrible battle been fought on English ground.

The White Rose was victorious. Henry's cause seemed utterly lost and he and his wife and their little son fled to Scotland.

If Henry had been left to himself he would have given up fighting for the crown, for he loved quiet and peace. But Queen Margaret loved power and would not rest until she had again won the kingdom. She got help from the French king and in three years was back in England once more.

But Edward and the great Earl of Warwick, who had helped to put Edward upon the throne, were too strong for Margaret, and she was utterly defeated.

Without a single friend or servant, Margaret and her little son, who was now about eleven years old, fled into the forest to hide. The night came on, it grew dark, and they lost their way among the winding paths. Hungry and tired, they did not know which way to turn. Afraid to stop, afraid to go on, starting and shrinking at every sound, they clung to each other trembling.

Presently they heard men's voices and saw the glimmer of a fire. Margaret whispered to her little son to be very, very still, as they crept near to find out who these people were, whether friends or enemies.

Hidden by the trees, the Queen and her little boy came quite close to the fire and stood listening and watching.

In a few minutes they found out that these men were robbers. Holding the Prince tight by the hand, Queen Margaret made ready to run away. But suddenly one of the robbers looked towards them. He saw the glitter of jewels in the firelight. With a cry he made a spring at the Queen and, in spite of her screams and struggles, she was dragged into the circle round the fire.

'Ah, ah, what have we here?' cried one robber.

'A fine prize, truly,' said another.

'Here is gold enough,' said a third, roughly pulling at the chain round Margaret's neck. 'Come, lady, we will have all these things,' he went on, pointing to her jewels.

The Queen began to take off her rings and jewels, for she was very much afraid. But one robber pushed the other aside. 'Let be,' he said, 'the prize is mine. I took her.'

'Nay, nay, share and share alike.'

'It is mine, I say.'

'I took her, I say, it is mine.'

So the robbers began to quarrel fiercely about the treasure, and while they quarrelled, Margaret took the Prince in her arms and ran away.

Where she ran she did not know. On and on she went, stumbling through the dark forest. At last, breathless and weary, unable to go another step, she sank down on a grassy bank. Scarcely had she done so when another robber appeared.

Seeing no escape, Margaret went towards this robber putting the little Prince into his arms, 'Friend,' she said, 'take care of him, he is the son of your true King.'

The hard, rough man, accustomed only to murder and rob, felt sorry for the poor, tired lady and her little boy. He held the Prince in his arms saying, 'Lady, I will not hurt you. Come with me and I will show you where you can rest safely.'

The robber led the Queen and Prince through the forest till he came to his secret cave. There he fed them and kept them safe for some days, and at last took them to the shore, where they found a ship in which to sail over the sea.

But King Henry was not so fortunate. He escaped and hid in various places for nearly a year, but he was discovered at last and taken prisoner to London.

As he rode a prisoner into the city, he was met by the Earl of Warwick, and the poor unfortunate King was made to ride through the streets like a common criminal, with his feet tied under his horse. Then he was shut up in the Tower of London.