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Title: Public School History of England and Canada

Date of first publication: 1886

Author: Graeme Mercer Adam (1839-Oct. 31, 1912); William John Robertson (1846- ?)

Date first posted: July 9, 2018

Date last updated: July 9, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180728

This ebook was produced by: Larry Harrison, David T. Jones, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net
























Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, by the Minister of Education for Ontario, in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture.





It is useless to expect a teacher to instil into the minds of his pupils a love of historical reading and research, unless he himself appreciates and enjoys the study, and is fully alive to its educational and political value. The apathy or distaste so frequently exhibited by pupils when called upon to master the most elementary historical facts is largely due to the superficiality of the teacher’s knowledge. Without a good acquaintance with the subject he can make it neither profitable nor interesting.

“History is past politics.” This may be accepted as a History and its value. fairly correct definition, if we enlarge the ordinary conception of “politics,” so as to comprehend all the facts connected with the moral, intellectual, and social life of a community. History deals with something more than the struggles of contending princes for power and fame; its main incidents are not battles and sieges. Nor is it limited to the discussion and explanation of the varying fortunes of great political parties. It includes these things; but it includes also many other matters of equal or even greater importance. It aims to reveal to us the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and defeats, the virtues and vices, of the different classes that make up a nation. It tells us how rude, semi-civilized tribes and peoples develop into powerful commonwealths, enjoying the advantages of good government, pure morals, high culture, and literary excellence. It tells us, too, of the gradual or rapid decline of great monarchies and strong republics; and shows us the reason why one nation prospered and another suffered ruin or disaster.

History also gives us ample opportunities of studying human character as manifested on an extended scale. The wise and the unwise, the just and the unjust, the cruel and the merciful, the pure and the impure; all kinds of actors on life’s stage are placed before us for moral discrimination and judgment. Rightly studied, history teaches us to admire and esteem the brave, the honest, and the self-denying; and to despise and condemn the cowardly, the base, and the selfish. We are led to see that virtue preserves and strengthens a nation, while vice inevitably causes decay and weakness. Not the least of the important uses of history is its tendency to broaden our sympathies and to enlarge our views of human life and action. History, then, is a great teacher of morals. It is, also, a powerful means of developing the intellectual faculties. It leads us to compare nation with nation; institutions with institutions; laws with laws. It prompts us to discover the links that connect events apparently isolated; in other words, to find causes for effects. It helps us to estimate the value of proposed laws and constitutions; for by careful reading and wide generalizations we are, to a certain extent, able to discover the character of the customs, laws, and systems, that produce beneficial results, or the contrary.

In particular is the history of England and her self-governing Colonies of value to us. England, it has been well said, surpasses all nations “in the unbroken continuity of her national life. . . . That to which the mind of the nation has been turned from its birth . . . is the working out of a political constitution combining Roman order with Northern liberty, and harmonizing the freest development of individual mind and character with intense national unity and unfailing reverence for law.”

If, then, History is such an important study, how should it be taught and what should be taught to enlist the interest of students and induce them to pursue it successfully?

As to the subject matter of History; customs and habits, How History should be taught, and what should be taught. character and its influence, laws and forms of governments, causes and effects, must all be thoroughly discussed and elucidated. The physical, mental and moral qualities of races; the influence of climate and geographical position; the development of religious and civil institutions, cannot be neglected in any philosophic treatment of history. But it does not follow that all these topics should be taken up with young pupils at the outset. On the contrary, many of the most important questions with which a philosophy of history deals must be deferred until the teacher has succeeded in arousing the interest of his class, and until sufficient mental power has been acquired by the pupils to enable them to grapple with comparatively difficult problems.

As to methods of teaching, one remark applies to them all. It is of the utmost importance that history should be made interesting, and, if possible, fascinating. To do this, all available means must be used to produce vivid impressions. Tales, anecdotes, poems, maps, portraits, wood-cuts, may be employed with good effect to quicken the imagination and excite the sympathies. Descriptions of the traits of character and personal appearance of remarkable men and women, vivid narratives of their deeds and achievements, generally arrest the attention of the young. Draw from your readings in poetry and fiction illustrations of the subject in hand. Shakspeare’s historical plays; Scott’s Waverley Novels, especially his Ivanhoe, The Talisman, and Kenilworth, are examples of works not strictly historical that throw strong side-lights upon important characters and events in English history. But the teacher is not confined to anecdotes and illustrations drawn from fiction; abundant material is to be found in the records of the romances of real life. No more thrilling or absorbing narratives exist than Parkman’s histories of the early settlement of Canada.

The order of treatment of the various topics with which history deals must be largely left to the individual teacher. The following suggestions, however, may be of some service:—

(1). On the first reading of a period, minor events, names and dates, should be passed over, and attention directed solely to great facts and personages. The reason for this course is obvious. Too many details overload the memory, produce confusion of thought, and destroy the perception of historic proportion.

(2). The leading features of a period having been mastered, the teacher may proceed to show how events are connected as cause and effect. In this work the pupil should have an important share. He should not be told what are the causes and what the effects of certain events and actions; but he should be encouraged and assisted to draw conclusions for himself. This encouragement and assistance can best be given by a judicious system of questioning. Questions of a thought-provoking character, simple and concrete at first, but gradually leading up to wider and wider generalizations, should be given after the story of the chapter or period has been learned.

(3). When the pupil has obtained a thorough knowledge of the principal facts of a period, and has acquired some power of connecting events in their chronological and causal relations, the teacher may go on to explain the origin, the growth and influence, of those laws and institutions that have materially affected the national life and well-being. This will be found a difficult task, especially when the pupils are young; and it cannot be accomplished at all if the teacher has not a clear and well-defined knowledge of the subject. The only way that ideas, such as are involved in constitutional history, can be brought home to the mind, is by drawing illustrations from familiar facts. Fortunately, English institutions have been of slow growth, and have never undergone radical change. “The same habits of local self-government, which are so much at the root of our political character now, held together English society in the county, the hundred, the parish, the borough, when the central government was dissolved by the Civil Wars of Henry III., the Wars of the Roses, and the Great Rebellion.” The institutions under which we now live do not differ so widely from those of the Anglo-Saxons as to render it impossible to explain and illustrate the systems of government possessed by our forefathers.

(4). Descriptions of the social life of the masses—their material, moral, and religious condition at various stages in the national development—literature, and its relation to the thoughts and tendencies of the age—poetry and politics, how they act and react on each other, are topics of great educational value. Discussions having for their object the elucidation of the reflex action of the literature and the tendencies of the age may well be deferred until the pupil has acquired considerable maturity of thought; but descriptions of the customs, habits, and social condition of the people at any given period may be interwoven with the thread of the history, and, like tales and anecdotes, may be employed to give the pupil vivid and permanent impressions. In dealing with these latter topics, Green’s “History of the English People” will be found invaluable for purposes of reference.

(5). History abounds with more or less important details. These, if time and circumstances permit, may be gradually supplied after the framework has been thoroughly put together. But they should not be taken up until a clear and orderly conception has been acquired of the bold outlines that mark an age or an epoch.

To assist the teacher in selecting the most important facts, and to suggest topics for explanation and instruction, hints and references have been prefixed to each chapter of the following pages. The teacher must not, however, conclude that full directions have been given as to the subject matter and method of treatment. Much has been and must be left to his judgment as to what topics can be treated with satisfactory results. In addition to hints, it has been considered advisable to insert questions based on the different chapters. These questions are, by no means, exhaustive of the contents of the chapters with which they deal; they are introduced to assist the teacher in choosing the proper kind for examination purposes. It will be noticed that many of them are of considerable difficulty, and require powers of generalization not possessed at the present time by the great majority of Fourth Class pupils. The Authors are, however, of the opinion that too little attention is paid to the development in this particular of the minds of Public School pupils. They believe that comparatively young pupils can be taught to deduce general conclusions from the historic facts placed before them. The process of mental development is, however, often slow and tedious, and the wise teacher will not, as a rule, make use of such questions as are appended until after a great many simple and concrete questions have been given and answered.

The maps and cuts, it is hoped, will aid the teacher in his recitations, besides giving the pupils more realistic and vivid conceptions of leading events and personages.

It is almost unnecessary to say that in the following pages only the merest outline of the history has been attempted. In the Canadian Primer, especially, is this the case; the narrative being confined, in the main, to events occurring in what are now the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.


Toronto, May 1st, 1886.



I.—The Coming of the English1
II.—The Coming of the Danes8
III.—The Norman Conquest12
IV.—The Feudal System15
V.—The Crown, the Church, and the Barons22
VI.—The Great Charter28
VII.—Growth of Parliamentary Government33
VIII.—Conquest of France41
IX.—The New Monarchy48
X.—The Reformation54
XI.—The Reformation (Continued)61
XII.—The Struggle between the Crown and Parliament67
XIII.—The Great Rebellion76
XIV.—End of the New Monarchy83
XV.—The Revolution Settlement91
XVI.—Half-a-Century of Whig Rule100
XVII.—The Crown and the Colonies108
XVIII.—The Struggle against Napoleon116
XIX.—An Epoch of Reform125
XX.—Growth of Democracy131
I.—Early Settlement of Canada141
II.—Conquest of Canada146
III.—The Quebec Act (1774), and Constitutional Act (1791)157
IV.—War of 1812165
V.—The Rebellion of 1837, and the Act of Union (1841)173
VII.—How we are Governed194

[Teachers might consult the following works.]
Green’s Short History of the English People.
   “The Making of England. The Conquest of England.
   “Readings from English History.
Tait’s Analysis of Green’s History.
Freeman’s Old English History.
   “    Short History of the Norman Conquest.
Scarth’s Roman Britain. Maclear’s The Celts. Rhys’ Celtic Britain.
Grant Allen’s Anglo-Saxon Britain.
Bright’s History of England:(1.)  Medieval Monarchy.
(2.)  Personal Monarchy.
(3.)  Constitutional Monarchy.
Douglas Hamilton’s Constitutional History of England.
Stubbs’s, Hallam’s, and May’s Constitutional Histories.
Gardiner and Mullinger’s Introduction to the Study of English History.
Wills’s Synopsis of English History or Historical Note Book.
Ackland and Ransome’s Skeleton Outline of English History.
Cassell’s Cyclopædia of English History.
Smith’s English Institutions.
Knight’s Popular History of England.
   “  Half Hours of English History.
Thompson’s The “Victoria” History of England.
Macaulay’s and Froude’s Histories of England.
Lecky’s History of England in the 18th Century.
Molesworth’s History of England from 1832 to 1880.
Mackenzie’s The Nineteenth Century, and “America.”
McCarthy’s History of Our Own Times.
   “      Four Georges. Thackeray’s Four Georges.
Thackeray’s Esmond, and The Virginians. Scott’s Waverley Novels.
M. Creighton’s Epochs of English History.
Highways of English History, Edited by Louise Creighton:
Creighton’s The Government of England. Social and Religious History of England.
Sitwell’s Growth of the English Colonies. Relations of England with Foreign Powers.
Epochs of Modern History, Edited by C. Colbeck and E. E. Morris:
Johnson’s Normans in Europe. Seabohm’s Era of Protestant Revolution. Stubbs’s Early Plantagenets. Morris’s Age of Anne.
Gairdner’s Houses of Lancaster and York. Ludlow’s War of American Independence.
Creighton’s Age of Elizabeth. McCarthy’s Epoch of Reform.
Parkman’s Historical Narratives. Archer’s and other Histories of Canada.






[Hints to the Teacher.—Give a brief account of the Romans, their character and conquests, referring especially to the causes of their invasions of England. Give fuller details of British customs, religion, and civilization. Tell the pupils something about the Teutonic, Keltic, and Slavonic races. Go more fully into the changes and improvements made by the Romans in Britain, drawing attention specially to the introduction of Christianity. Explain why the Britons, when the Roman soldiers were withdrawn, could not defend themselves. State clearly the peculiarity of the English conquest of Britain; and tell what kind of men the English were physically, mentally, and morally. Enumerate the names given to the British Islands, and explain their origin. Call the attention of the pupils to Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and the tales about King Arthur. Show clearly that the Anglo-Saxons had many of the customs that we now have. In connection with the introduction of Christianity, relate the story of Pope Gregory and the English slaves; also other interesting incidents, such as Cowper’s “Boadicea” (4th Reader), and the story of Caractacus at Rome.

References:—Freeman’s “Old English History,” Green’s “History of the English People,” Maclear’s “The Celts,” and Scarth’s “Roman Britain.”]

1. Roman Conquest.—When the British Isles first become known to history the Romans were the great conquering people of Central Europe. So much were they dreaded, and so well had they learned the trade of war, that many countries were subject to them. About the years 58 to 54 before the birth of Christ Cæsar’s Invasions, B.C. 55-54. their armies had overrun Gaul, which we now call France; and their leader, Caius Julius Cæsar, was eager to extend his conquests to Britain. This he did in the years 55 and 54 before Christ; and from Cæsar’s account of his invasions we get our first exact knowledge of the country. The great Roman general made a brief stay in the island, and then withdrew to Gaul, after punishing the Britons for giving aid to their kinsmen on the continent in fighting him. Nearly a The Invasion under Emperor Claudius, A.D. 43. hundred years afterwards the Romans again landed on its shores; and in spite of the resistance of the Britons, under their leader Caractacus, the invaders overran the whole south-eastern portion of England and conquered the country as far north as the Firth of Forth and the Clyde. For over three hundred years the Romans were now to rule Britain.

2. Character and Customs of the Britons.—The inhabitants of Britain were mainly of Keltic origin: their language is still spoken by many of the Welsh, Irish, and Highland Scotch of our day. They were a warlike people, and their bravery was well shown in the defence of their country, particularly under Caractacus and Queen Boadicea. The latter headed a native army which for a time was the scourge of the Roman troops; but in the end the Queen was defeated and some 80,000 Britons were slain. Grieved at the loss of so many of her people, Boadicea put an end to her life by poison. The Britons were an idolatrous people, worshipping the oak and mistletoe, whose priests, called Druids, offered human sacrifices to their gods. The Southern tribes cultivated the soil, were familiar with the use of metals, and had acquired some knowledge of trade from the people of the mainland, who came to the mines of Devon and Cornwall to get supplies of tin and lead. The tribes of the interior were hunters, and lived on what they could kill or trap. They dressed themselves in the skins of wild beasts, and at night sheltered themselves in caves or in wicker huts in the great forests that clothed the land. Like the Indians of America, the British tribes were governed by their own chiefs, and were often at war with one another.

3. Roman Rule, (A.D. 43-410).—First among the results of the Roman occupation of Britain was the opening up of the country. Great military roads were cut through the dense forests, north as far as Scotland, and west into Wales. These roads are still highways of communication in England. With the building of the roads, adjoining lands were tilled, swamps were drained, towns laid out, homesteads reared, and an advance made in agriculture. Another, though a later, result of Roman rule in Britain was the introduction of Christianity. With its coming, churches were built and monasteries founded, and a learned class sprang up whose influence was refining. But if we except the introduction of Christianity, the influence of Roman civilization did not extend very far. It produced little effect on the rude life of the people. In the cities alone was the Roman or Latin tongue spoken, and there, only among the higher classes.

4. Departure of the Romans.—Though Britain had been under Roman rule for over three centuries, many of its western and northern tribes were far from being subjugated. The fiercest enemies of the Romans were the barbarous tribes of the north, called Picts and Scots, the former living in what is now Scotland, and the latter in the north of Ireland. To secure themselves from surprise, The Roman Walls under Hadrian and Antoninus. and to keep these tribes in check, the Romans erected two immense stone walls across the island, and built at least fifty walled towns, numerous inland military stations, and several fortresses on the coast. But these precautions did not prevent the inroads of the Picts and Scots; nor did they save the Romans from the attacks of their other enemies who roamed the sea. Towards the close of the third century, the frontiers of the Roman provinces on the continent were similarly threatened, and to save these more important possessions the Roman troops gradually left Britain, the last of the garrisons being withdrawn from the country in A.D. 410.

5. The Coming of the English.—After the Romans abandoned Britain, its inhabitants, being unfitted for self-government, fell back into their savage ways, and their country became a prey to the pirate Saxons of the Northern Sea. The Saxons were a race of hardy seamen who inhabited the northern coasts of Germany, and were at first called in by the Britons to aid them in driving back the turbulent tribes of the north. But these rovers of the sea were not content to be hirelings. They, too, became the enemies of the Hengist founds the Saxon Kingdom of Kent, A.D. 457. Britons. The Saxon tribes that first secured a foothold in the country were under the leadership of two brothers, Hengist and Horsa. They came from Jutland, the peninsula of Denmark, and, with their wives and families, settled in Kent about the year A.D. 451. Later on, these Jutes, as they were called, were followed by the two other branches of the same family, the Saxons and the Angles—the common home of all being the low-lying lands around the Baltic and the North Sea. The Saxons founded settlements in Sussex and Wessex; while the Angles took the land on the east coast from the Thames to the Firth of Forth. All these tribes—Jutes, Saxons, and Angles—were afterwards known as the English.

6. Nature and Scope of the English Conquest.—The English Conquest, though gradual, was complete. The Britons were either destroyed or driven back into Cornwall and the highlands of Wales. Almost every trace of the Roman occupation of the country disappeared. Even the cities were deserted or laid waste; but English settlements sprang up rapidly over the country, for the invaders came in hordes and overpowered all opposition. As time passed, these settlements grew into kingdoms. Within the space of one hundred and thirty years (A.D. 457-582), seven Saxon kingdoms were founded, each in turn striving for the sovereignty of the whole. These were named Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Essex, Northumbria, Union of the Saxon kingdoms under Egbert, A.D. 827. East Anglia, and Mercia. At the close of the eighth century three of the kingdoms had absorbed the others; and by the year A.D. 827, after much war and bloodshed, the supremacy passed to the Kingdom of Wessex, and what is called the Saxon Heptarchy came to an end. This happened in the reign of Egbert, in whose day the country became known as England, the land of the Angles, the most numerous of the Saxon tribes. To this period belongs the legendary King Arthur, of whom Tennyson, the poet laureate, has written in his Idylls of the King.

7. Customs and Character of the English.—Clinging to their old ways, and not mixing at all with the Britons, the English maintained in their new home the laws and the customs which they had brought from their German fatherland. The tribes settled at first under their chiefs, or leaders, in village communities generally apart from one another. The land upon which they settled was parcelled out among the different families that composed the tribe. As the several tribes spread over the country, the necessity arose for combining together for conquest and protection. This in time led to their formation into political communities. The first demand was for a leader in war; the after demand was for a ruler and counsellor. When the leader arose he became, first, the ealdorman, as he was termed, and, as the communities knit together and formed petty kingdoms, he became the overlord, or king. The succession to the Crown, however, was not yet hereditary: at first the nation chose for king him who seemed most fitted for that honour and trust. In this way had the Saxons been accustomed to make choice of their Wise Men, or Councillors, and of those who led them to battle. This mode of election lives on in our day in the choice we make of our representatives to parliamentary and municipal office. In many ways has Anglo-Saxon custom come down to us. Our limited monarchy, our parliament, and our county and township systems, are all of Anglo-Saxon origin. In character, also, we inherit much from our Anglo-Saxon forefathers. In large measure we possess their steadiness, industry, energy, enterprise, love of freedom, and dislike of arbitrary restraint. In other ways, happily, we have not copied them. The Anglo-Saxons were fierce, bloodthirsty, and revengeful.

8. Introduction of Christianity among the English.—The Saxons for some time after they came to England held to their idolatries; for they were a pagan people, though they believed in a Future State, and in a Paradise where bravery would be rewarded by unstinted carousing. They had numerous gods, the names of some of whom are preserved to us in the days of the week. Wednesday, for instance, is Woden’s day, from Woden, the chief god of the Saxons. At the request of Pope Gregory, Augustine came, in A.D. 597, to the Court of King Ethelbert

“To break the heathen and uphold the Christ.”

There he met with marked success in his missionary work, the influence of which on the barbarian English was early seen in the growth of their civilization, and especially in the elevation of their condition and the advancement of learning among them.

[Examination Questions.—1. Why did the Romans invade Britain?

2. Describe the character, religion, and customs of the Britons.

3. Point out clearly the effects produced by the Roman occupation of Britain.

4. Give an account of the “coming of the English,” and their conquest of Britain. In what respect did this conquest differ from other conquests?

5. Describe the character, customs, and mode of government of the Anglo-Saxons.]




[Point out that the Danes were of the same stock as the English, and mention other countries that suffered from their invasions. Relate incidents in the life and career of Alfred—such as “burning the cakes,” and tell of improvements he introduced among his subjects. Give an account of Dunstan and his influence. Make as clear as possible the kind of government, and the system of administering justice, possessed by the English.

References:—Freeman’s “Old English History,” Grant Allen’s “Anglo-Saxon Britain,” and Green’s “Short History” and “Readings from English History.”]

1. England attacked by the Danes.—To the north of the old German home of the English lived the Danes, or Norsemen, who were of the same race as the English, and who, like them, were accustomed to lead a roving life on the sea. About the close of The Norse Sea-­kings ravage England. the eighth century, under their Vikings, or chiefs, the Danes pounced upon one portion after another of the Saxon kingdoms in England, laid waste their coasts, and murdered the people. After Egbert’s death they overran many parts of the country; and by the middle of the ninth century they had succeeded in occupying several of the minor Saxon kingdoms.

2. Alfred the Great (871-901).Alfred the Great, who was one of the five grandsons of Egbert, all of whom reigned over portions of England, is the one monarch who brightens the early pages of English history. When he came to the throne the Danes were still the scourge of the land. Having been defeated by them under their leader, Guthrum, Alfred fled for safety to the marshes of Athelney, in Somersetshire. Here, however, he collected his forces, and before long succeeded in routing the Danes at Edington. By a treaty made at Wedmore, Alfred surrendered to the Danes the Kingdom of East Anglia, on condition of their becoming Christians and living on friendly terms with his people. During his years of peace Alfred did much to promote learning, while he sought at all times to rule his kingdom wisely. He restored order in the land, and built anew the churches, the monasteries, and many of the cities which the Danes had destroyed. His whole life was devoted to the good of his subjects and to the improvement of their social condition.

3. Alfred’s Successors.—Towards the close of his reign, Alfred had once more to beat off the Danish raiders. In A.D. 893, a mighty force, under a chief, named Hastings, attempted a landing in England, and for three years ravaged the coasts. But Alfred had by this time got together a large naval force, and was thus able to keep off the invaders. At his death, his son, Edward the Elder, succeeded to the West Saxon crown. In his reign, and that of his son, Athelstan, all the land was recovered from the Danes that had been given them by Alfred. In the following reign of Edmund, the Magnificent, the kingdom of Strathclyde (originally the western half of Britain, from the Clyde to the Dee) was abolished, and a part of it, Cumberland, given to Malcolm, king of the Scots, as the price of an alliance with Wessex. The next reigns were brief and uneventful, until we come to that of Edgar, the Pacific, under whom the Saxon power in England reached its greatest height. The king’s chief adviser, and one of the most prominent personages of his time, was Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, who lived during the reign of five kings and was noted for his many reforms in the Church and the State.

4. Government among the English.—The English were now making some effort to become a well-governed people. Regard for law and justice, however roughly they were at first administered, was one of the chief characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon. For acts of wrong-doing there were Courts to try culprits and to secure justice to the injured. The way in which the country was parcelled out determined the size and the character of the Court. A small community, with its limited holding of land, had a small Court; a group of communities, with a large holding, had a large Court. At the head, and over all, was the chief Court and Assembly of the nation. Let us try to make all this clear. When the English settled in the country, portions of the land were divided amongst the tribes who conquered it. Every free member or family in the community had a share. All the land not divided among the tribes was the common property of the people, and was known as the folkland. The land of one or two families combined Anglo-Saxon Institutions. to form the village or township. A number of villages were grouped into a hundred, so-called, it is supposed, because at first it was made up of a hundred or so households, each sending one armed man to war. The village or township managed its own local affairs; but in greater matters it sent cases to the hundred-moot, or Court above, which sat at least four times a year, under the presidency of the alderman, or chief officer of the district. The next higher Court was the shire-moot, or county Court, which was presided over by the alderman and bishop, with a shire-reeve, or sheriff, to collect the king’s dues. Over all was the Witenagemot, or supreme council of the nation, in which sat the bishop and the king’s household officers, with the alderman, or earl, from the shire-moot below. The Witan, as it was commonly called, was presided over by the king, and was composed of men who made war, shaped the laws of the kingdom, elected or deposed the king, and shared in every act of government. The lower Courts were held in the open air; and in all of them the punishments imposed for offences were fines, outlawry, whipping, mutilation, branding, or death. In the case of punishment by death, the men were hanged and the women were drowned. When fines were imposed, failure to pay them reduced a freeman to slavery. Proof of innocence or guilt was taken by ordeal of fire or water, a test which was applied by making the accused either carry a red-hot iron a certain distance, or plunge his hand into boiling water. If the burns were healed after three days, he was pronounced innocent; if not, he was found guilty. Proof was also taken by compurgation, a process by which the accused might clear himself on bringing forward witnesses to prove his innocence, and the weight of whose testimony would be determined by his rank. Among the king’s officers were his military followers, afterwards known as thanes. These thanes, or servants, became very powerful in the State; for, as the king’s power grew, he conferred titles upon them and made them rich grants from the folkland.

5. Conquest of England by Sweyn, of Denmark.—The ever-vigilant Danes were always ready for an attack on England. Led by Sweyn, King of Denmark, these Northern pirates again harried the land. As a cheap defence, Ethelred II., who had been made king, adopted the plan of buying them off. But this had just the contrary effect, for the more money they got the more they wanted. Annoyed by his troublesome foes, Ethelred put the Danes who Massacre of the Danes, St. Brice’s day, A.D. 1002 had settled in the country to a general massacre. Among the slain was Gunhilda, sister of the king of Denmark. Enraged at Ethelred’s foul act, Sweyn repeated his invasions of England; and in A.D. 1013, he came with a great army, accompanied by his son Canute, or Cnut, and made himself master of the country. Ethelred then fled from the kingdom, and Canute, after fighting many battles, was made king.

6. Canute’s Reign, (1017-1035).—The English Crown, for the first time, now passed to the Dane. Though Canute still held the Danish Crown, and was able to add to his possessions Norway and part of Sweden, he preferred to rule in England. His early life had been wicked, but his rule was wise and just. His idea of good government was that it should be approved, rather than feared, by the people. The beautiful story of Canute’s rebuke to his flattering courtiers, on the seashore of Southampton, well indicates the character of the king. On one occasion these courtiers, thinking to flatter him, said that his greatness was such that even the sea would obey him. To chide them for their folly he had a chair placed on the beach in which he seated himself when the tide was coming in. As the waters flowed towards him he bade them retire. But they continued to advance and surround his chair. He then turned to his flatterers and reminded them that his power was nothing compared with that of Him who alone could say to the waves, “Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther!” To lighten the cares of government, Canute divided England into four great earldoms, and over two of these he placed the English Earls, Leofric and Godwin, who, with their sons, were to play an important part in the later history. For twenty-five years Canute and his sons ruled over England.

[1. For what is the reign of Alfred the Great remarkable?

2. How was justice administered among the English? Explain ordeal and compurgation.

3. Give a brief account of the Danish conquest of England.

4. Describe the character of Canute’s rule.

5. What traces still exist of the settlement of the Danes in England?]




[For expanding and illustrating this chapter, Freeman’s “Old English History” and “Norman Conquest” will be found very valuable. The accounts of the death of Earl Godwin, of the influence of the Normans at Court, of Harold’s shipwreck and oath, and of the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings, are most interestingly given, and the teacher should relate them for the pupils. It should be clearly brought out, also, that the Normans were of the same race as the Saxons and Danes.]

1. From Canute to Edward the Confessor.—When Canute died a bitter strife broke out among the great Earls whom he had set up, as to which of his sons, Harold and Harthacnut, should succeed him. It was first agreed that the kingdom should be shared by both brothers; but as Harthacnut stayed in Denmark, Harold was put on the throne. Harold’s reign was a cruel one, but happily it was short. He died in A.D. 1040, and then Harthacnut was sent for and became king. During Harthacnut’s reign the king brought his half-brother, Edward, a son of Ethelred, from Normandy, and had him live with him at Court. On Harthacnut’s sudden death, Earl Godwin, who was now all powerful in the land, Beginning of Norman influence in England. persuaded the English people to make Edward king. French influence began to be felt in England when Edward, the Confessor, as he was called, ascended the throne; for he had been brought up in the home of his mother, Emma, of Normandy. The Normans were a people, who, when the Danes first invaded Britain, had left Norway to settle in the North of France, and were soon now to come and take up their abode in England. As the Danes, when they settled in England, became English, so the Normans, when they settled in France, became French, spoke the French language, and were brought up in French ways.

2. Edward the Confessor, (1042-1066).—When Edward came to the throne he brought with him from Normandy many foreign priests and nobles who had been his favourites at the Norman Court. These Norman companions Edward enriched with English estates and raised to high honour. The king knew little of the English people, whom he had come to rule, and who disliked the favouritism shown to strangers. But as Earl Godwin, who Earl Godwin, and Edward’s French following. was greatly liked by the English, was the real ruler of the kingdom, they were content for a while to let Edward keep his Norman friends about him. Godwin, however, hated the Normans; and the people’s dislike of the latter grew as the king continued to favour them. Presently, some trouble broke out between the citizens of Dover and a brother-in-law of the king who had come from France to visit him. When the king heard of the affray he ordered Earl Godwin to punish the citizens; but Godwin refused, and the king banished him from the country. In Godwin’s absence things went wrong in England, and the people clamoured to have him restored to his estates. Hearing of this, Godwin, and his sons, who were outlawed with him, gathered a fleet and sailed for London, to bring the king to terms by force of arms. There the people joined them and compelled the king to dismiss his Norman favourites and restore Godwin to favour. Shortly afterwards, Earl Godwin died, and his son, Harold, succeeded to his father’s earldom.

3. Succession of Harold.—Early in the year 1066 Edward died, commending his kingdom to Harold, Earl Godwin’s mighty son. Edward’s rule, though feeble, was well-intentioned, and his laws were just. He was devoted to the church, and the monks laid his body in what, since his canonization, is known as the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor in Westminster. West Minster had just been founded by Edward, and his remains were the first to consecrate the famous Abbey which for over eight hundred years has been the last resting-place of England’s kings and kingly men. Though the Witan was willing Harold should be king, there were two to contest the throne with him. One of these was his brother, Danish and Norman rivals for the throne. Earl Tostig, who had been exiled; the other was Duke William, of Normandy, who claimed the throne on two pleas: first, that it had been promised him by Edward, when he paid the king a visit during the exile of Godwin; and secondly, that Harold had sworn to support him, as the price of his liberty, when Harold was once a captive in William’s kingdom. Harold’s answer to the rival claimants was that he had been chosen king by the Witan. This answer satisfied neither Tostig nor William. Both determined to fight him for the throne, and with that purpose each prepared to invade England. In the meanwhile Harold was made king.

4. Battles of Stamford Bridge and Senlac.—No sooner was Harold elected king than his banished brother, Tostig, with the Battle of Stamford Bridge, 25th Sept., 1066. king of Norway, whom Tostig got to join him, landed with an army in the North of England. Harold went against the invaders, and utterly routed them at Stamford Bridge, near York. Both Tostig and the king of Norway were slain, the latter finding a grave, as Harold of England had promised him, “in seven feet or more of English ground, for he was taller than most men.” The next day Harold made peace with the Northmen, and they at once sailed back to their homes. Rid of his enemies in the north, Harold had to hasten, a few days afterwards, to meet William of Normandy’s forces in the south. The Normans disembarked a large army at Pevensey, in Sussex, and marched upon Hastings. There, on the hill of Senlac, Harold had selected a strong position for his troops, and awaited the approach of William. The Norman forces soon faced Battle of Hastings, or Senlac, fought 14th October, A.D. the English, and William determined to storm the defences they had thrown up. The fate of the English was to turn on the result. The fight began by a Norman minstrel riding up to the palisades of the English, singing a battle-song, and tossing his lance bravely in the air. After this, on came the Norman archers and the Norman knights on horseback. Both were repulsed, and the battle seemed for a time to go against William. But William made a feint by withdrawing his troops, and the English, thinking the enemy had taken flight, left their defences and pursued them. Suddenly the Normans turned upon their pursuers and hotly drove them back. After long fighting, Harold was wounded with an arrow in the eye, his personal followers were slain, and his army, dispirited, turned and fled. The day was won by Duke William.

5. William the Conqueror comes to the Throne (A.D. 1066).—The death of Harold and his chief nobles, at the disastrous battle of Hastings, left the English forces without a leader to rally them against the invader. Harold’s brothers had fallen with him on the field of Senlac, and the descendants of the great English families of Godwin and Leofric were ill-disposed to peril their own interests in the northern parts of the kingdom by fighting against the great Norman. Everything favoured William: his own dukedom of Normandy was just then free from trouble; his great nobles were willing to be lured by the promise of estates in England; the other continental rulers consented, if not to help, to be neutral; and the Pope at Rome had espoused his cause and sent him a hallowed banner. But, though he had slain the king and defeated his forces, William had not yet won England. The English naturally looked for a successor to Harold in one of the royal line, and, as the Witan had assembled, they chose for king Edgar the Atheling, a descendant of Ethelred II. But, as Edgar was a mere lad, many of the English refused to acknowledge him. Meanwhile William and his Norman army captured the southern towns in the kingdom and marched upon London. The citizens grew frightened, and a deputation of them, with Edgar and the chief nobles, came to make submission to William and offer him the crown. This the Conqueror accepted, after feigning to refuse it, and entering the capital, he was crowned on Christmas Day, A.D. 1066.




[Explain the effects produced by the Norman Conquest on the language, customs, laws, and national character of the people of England. The English Game Laws had their origin in the reign of William I.; give some idea of their character, and the manner of their enforcement by the Normans. Explain more fully the nature of the dispute between Anselm and Henry I.; also the law reforms carried out by this king. Call the attention of the pupils to Dickens’s “The White Ship” (3rd Reader).

References:—Freeman’s “Norman Conquest,” and Green’s “Short History.”]

1. Settlement after the Conquest.—At first William seemed disposed to rule England kindly; but under the soft glove was an iron hand. For a long while he met with armed resistance, which, in later years, he put down with great cruelty. The people feared him, and they disliked the foreign nobles who came in his William seizes the Folkland and confiscates English estates. train. This dislike was increased when the King made the folkland the property of the crown, and took the estates of the English nobles who had fought against him at Hastings and gave them to his Norman barons. He allowed some holders of estates to get back their lands on his receiving a money payment from them; but much of England was treated as a conquered country, and the people were ruled as rebellious subjects. Even to his own followers, though he shared with them the spoils of the conquest, William was suspicious and harsh. Nor did he confine his rule to the State: he took upon himself to govern the Church’s affairs also. The English bishops he displaced, putting foreign clergy and chaplains of his own in their stead. His chief adviser was Lanfranc, an Italian priest of great piety and learning, whom he had brought from an abbey in Normandy and made Archbishop of Canterbury. But William held a tight rein over both the clergy and the nobles, and, despite the Pope’s interference, in England he was head of the Church as well as of the State. In William’s reign there began to be built those fine Norman castles which are still to be met with in England, and which were long the seats of personal and territorial oppression.

2. Norman Rule and Influence.—The conquest of England by William, a foreign prince, accompanied by foreign nobles, naturally altered, in some degree, the manners and customs of the time, and introduced changes into the social life of the people. Though English laws were still in force, they were interpreted and administered according to Norman ideas and customs. But William wished to rule as an English king; and though he brought with him French ways and the French tongue, their effect was comparatively slight on the laws and the speech of the English. The reason of this was that the people, though conquered, far outnumbered their conquerors, and in time were able to recover much of their old power and freedom. At first, between the English and the Normans England becomes an Anglo-Norman nation. there was great bitterness, but time did much to soften this feeling; and in the end both races in England became friends and were blended in one people. This blending of the races was good for England, for it made her a nation. Not only did it awaken the country to new life and vigour, but through the chivalrous spirit which showed itself in military exploits, it gave grace and elevation to the English character. Another effect of the Conquest was to bring England into closer relations with the other nations of Europe. The result of this was seen in the extension of commerce, in the growth of both the seaport and the inland towns of the kingdom, and in the stimulus given to all sorts of handicraft and skilled labour. “To Normandy,” it has been said, “we owe the builder, the knight, the schoolman, and the statesman.”

3. The Feudal System.—William’s coming to England brought with it, in a modified form, what is called the Feudal System of land-tenure and government. The germs of the system already existed in England, for under the Saxon kings the thanes held lands which were given them as the rewards of military service. But the system introduced by William from the continent was in many respects different from that known to the Saxons; and as it greatly influenced the social and political life of the English people for nearly six hundred years, it will be well to see just what it was. Feudalism defined. Briefly, then, feudalism meant one man’s becoming the vassal, or servant, of another, by acknowledging him as his “lord,” and by swearing to be his “man,” and to aid him in war. For this service the vassal was taken under the protection of his lord, and was given a grant of land from the estates which his lord held from the king. The “lord” or “baron” owed the same duty to the sovereign that the vassal owed to his lord. Under William—such was his claim—all the land belonged to the king, not as representing the people, but as sovereign feudal lord, by right of conquest, and by election by the Witan, as the successor, as he styled himself, of Edward the Confessor. Of this land the king granted estates, called manors or baronies, to the more distinguished of his followers and fighting men, who were called barons and knights. Land thus held from the crown was called a fief, a feud, or a tenure. The barons who became tenants-in-chief of the king had to render annually certain military service, together with their retainers, or personal followers, and were liable to pay sums of money, called aids, for any expedition undertaken, or extraordinary expenditure made, by the king. This money payment was also exacted on certain occasions by the lords from their vassals. The land was cultivated under its feudal holders, lay and clerical, by villeins, or small dependent farmers, and, under them, by serfs, or slaves, who had no rights as freemen. To prevent William’s modification of the Feudal System. the barons from becoming too powerful, and thus giving him trouble, William scattered their holdings over the country, and took care that no large estates should be close to one other. He also compelled their followers to swear fealty, or loyal promise of service, to himself before rendering fealty to their lords. By these, and other similar precautions, William lessened the power of the barons, and protected the people from the oppression of those who were over them. The old Saxon machinery of justice, the hundred-moot and shire-moot, was retained, but to it were added an Ecclesiastical Court, for the trial of cases in which the clergy were concerned, and a supreme tribunal, called the King’s Court, which met wherever the king resided, and which tried all important cases, and heard appeals from the Courts below. The Witenagemot, or Council of Wise Men, was superseded by the Great Council of bishops, abbots, earls, and barons, which met at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide.

4. Risings against William I.—William, though made king, had, so far, gained possession of only a portion of the kingdom. All the north and west of England was as yet unsubdued. After his coronation, William went on a visit to his dukedom of Normandy, and in his absence appointed as regents his half-brother, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and William Fitz-Osborn, a trusted Norman follower. While the king was gone the people rose in rebellion; and on his return he proceeded, with great cruelty, to put down the revolt. The most formidable risings were in Northumberland, where, at various times, the Scottish king, Malcolm III., the youth Edgar the Atheling, who was to have been king in place of William, and the Danes, who had come with a large fleet from Denmark, all kept up a bitter strife. William’s castle of York, meanwhile, fell into the hands of the revolted English, and 3,000 Normans who formed the garrison were murdered. For this there was a frightful reckoning. First of all, William got rid of the Danes by bribing them to go back to Denmark. Then he turned upon the English, recovered William’s harrying of the North, in the winter of 1069. York, and put the whole country to the sword. The peasantry were mercilessly slaughtered, the towns and villages were burnt, the crops were destroyed, and, for the space of sixty miles, the country between the Humber and the Tyne was made a desert. More than 100,000 people are said to have perished from William’s vengeance. In other parts of England he had trouble for a time. A gallant stand was made against him by Hereward, a Saxon thane, who had established, in the Isle of Ely, “a camp of refuge” for English fugitives. But this resistance William quickly put down. The Scottish king and Edgar were also forced to submit.

5. William’s Later Years and Death.—For a while William’s strong arm and stern rule secured him peace. The people feared him; and with the help of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, he restored the kingdom to order. During this period William, who loved hunting, turned into a preserve for game a large district in Hampshire, which came to be called the New Forest. For this purpose he wantonly destroyed many villages and churches over an area of thirty miles, and made severe laws to protect the game. In other ways, also, William governed cruelly. In particular, The New Forest and Domesday Book. he laid many and burdensome taxes upon the people. To enable him to do this he caused a survey to be made of all the lands in his kingdom. The volume in which this is written down is called Domesday Book, for the decisions and judgments recorded in it were claimed to be as unalterable as those in God’s book of doom. In 1087, war broke out between William and the king of France, which William Death of the Conqueror, A. D. 1087. conducted with his usual severity, and which lead to his death in Normandy, in the same year. Before his death, he gave the dukedom of Normandy to his eldest son, Robert; to his second son, William, he willed the Kingdom of England; and to his third son, Henry, he made a gift of a large sum of money. William’s rule had been so pitiless that when he died his courtiers left his body unburied; but, through the compassion of a poor Norman knight, it was removed to Caen, where, after some difficulty about the payment for the grave, it at last found a resting-place.

6. William II., or Rufus (1087-1100).—The Conqueror was succeeded by his second son, William, who was called Rufus, from his ruddy complexion and red hair. In his reign there was much strife, owing to the barons wanting his brother, Robert of Normandy, to be king. Besides trouble with the barons, which broke out in two successive revolts, William was harassed by the Welsh, and had twice to fight Malcolm, king of Scotland. The Archbishopric of Canterbury, which had become vacant by the death of Anselm made Archbishop of Canterbury. Lanfranc, was given to a very learned man, named Anselm. Anselm, who was modest in his ways and pious in his life, did not want to be made Archbishop, for the king had become very licentious and despotic. But, having once accepted the position, he sternly reproved William for his sins, and rebuked him for interfering with the affairs of the Church. This led to a quarrel, which resulted in Anselm’s leaving England, and in the people’s being grievously oppressed, for in this good man’s absence there was no one to restrain the king. But one day, while out hunting in the New Forest, William was found dead with an arrow in his breast, shot by some unknown hand. Beginning of the Crusades. In this reign we first hear of the Crusades, a movement which began in pilgrimages to Jerusalem, but which soon developed into a series of wars against the Turks, who were in possession of the Holy City. To join one of these, Robert of Normandy had mortgaged his dukedom to William, and when the latter died he was in Palestine with the Crusaders.

7. Henry I. (1100-1135).—William Rufus was succeeded by his younger brother, Henry, surnamed Beauclerc (that is, “fine scholar”), because he was very learned for a king in those days. Henry made great haste to have himself crowned, for he feared the return from the Crusades of his eldest brother, Robert, who had expected to be made king when Rufus died. To secure himself in the throne Henry bribed the nobles with grants of money, and the clergy he won over by appointing many of them to high office, and by recalling to England the exiled archbishop, Anselm. To the people he promised good government, the restoration of the laws of Edward the Confessor, and the undoing of the wrongs from which they suffered. These promises were written down in a Charter, the first document on record of a solemn compact between the king and the people, which ensured to the latter their rights and liberties. When Robert Charter of Henry I. returned from the Holy Land he crossed to England to claim his rights, but Henry agreed to give him a pension, and to leave him in possession of Normandy. Later on, however, Henry broke this promise, by invading Robert’s dominions; and after fighting a battle with him he took Robert prisoner and confined him for life in England. Henry now assumed possession of Normandy, but Robert’s son, William, gave him trouble in holding it; and another battle was fought near Rouen, which Henry won. Shortly after this, Henry had to mourn the drowning of his son, William, by the foundering of the White Ship on the passage from France.

8. Henry’s Quarrel with the Church.—Early in his reign Henry had a difficulty with the Church, which arose from his desire to have Anselm, in feudal fashion, do homage for the lands of his See. As this would be an acknowledgment of the king as head of the Church, Anselm refused to obey. This led to a second long exile for Anselm. Finally the matter was settled by Anselm’s consenting to do homage, and by Henry’s abandoning his claim to invest bishops and abbots. Under his able adviser, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, the king extended and improved the machinery of the local Courts, appointed judges to travel on circuit, and took the administration of justice largely out of the hands of the barons, placing it in the hands of his judges. The Exchequer Court, for Henry’s organization of the Courts. the collection of the revenue, was also organized, and a judiciary created, whose administration of the laws was more in the interest of justice. But death called Henry suddenly from his great work; and he left the crown to his only daughter, Matilda, who he hoped would succeed him.

[1. Briefly relate the principal events from the accession of Edward the Confessor to the Battle of Hastings.

2. Point out the effects produced by the Norman Conquest on the people of England.

3. Explain what is meant by the Feudal System.

4. What concessions did Henry I. grant the people of England? Why are these important?

5. What important change was made by Henry I. in connection with the administration of justice?]




[The reign of Stephen is remarkable for the sufferings inflicted by the feudal barons on the people. Show that a weak government was the principal cause of this disorder and oppression. The story of Thomas à Becket should be dwelt upon, as illustrating the character of the struggle between the Crown and the Church. The Conquest of Ireland, Henry II.’s legal reforms, and the effect of the Crusades on Europe and England deserve attention. Special prominence should be given to the establishment of law courts, the Grand Assize (the forerunner of the modern jury), and the system of travelling justices. Describe the ordeal of battle. Read with the pupils the “Archery Contest,” from Scott’s Ivanhoe, and “King Richard and the Nubian,” from The Talisman (4th Reader).

References:—Green’s “Short History,” Freeman’s “Norman Conquest,” Johnson’s “Normans in Europe,” Coxe’s “The Crusades,” Tennyson’s and Froude’s “Becket,” and Scott’s Ivanhoe, and The Talisman.]

1. Reign of Stephen of Blois (1135-1154).—On the death of Henry I. there came a long period of confusion. Henry’s daughter, Matilda, though promised the crown, was forestalled in the possession of it by Stephen, Earl of Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror. How Stephen came to be chosen was this: the people, ever fearing the barons, and wanting some one able to oppose them, objected to the rule of a queen. The barons, on the other hand, disliked Matilda, for she had married Geoffrey of Anjou, who, with his following of Angevins, or men of Anjou, was always at war with Normandy. To obtain the throne, Stephen had to make concessions to conciliate those who otherwise might take up the cause of Matilda. The barons taking advantage of this, and spurning the king’s feeble authority, set up a reign of anarchy. They robbed and plundered, and from their Norman castles grievously oppressed and tortured the people. To add to Battle of the Standard, fought at Northallerton, A.D. 1138. the disorder, King David of Scotland, who was related to Matilda, invaded the kingdom; but he was routed at the Battle of the Standard. For fourteen years the country passed through the horrors of civil war. Fortune was fickle in the long contest, for at one time Stephen was captured and Matilda declared queen; at another, Matilda was shut up by Stephen’s forces in Oxford, and to save her life had a romantic escape. The struggle was marked throughout by every kind of outrage, which the hired troops brought from the continent by both parties took a grim pleasure in committing. Finally, Matilda had to withdraw to Normandy. Six years later, however, the quarrel was taken up by her son, Henry of Anjou, whom Stephen was compelled to acknowledge heir to the throne. In the following year Stephen died.

2. Succession of Henry II.—The accession of Henry II. marks the beginning of the rule of the Angevin or Anjou Kings, sometimes called the Plantagenets. The latter title is derived from the Latin name of the common broom of Anjou (the planta genista), a sprig of which Henry’s father, Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, used to wear in his helmet. Henry’s French dominions were Possessions and personal qualities of Henry II. larger than those of the king of France, of whom he was a vassal; for they extended from the English Channel to the Pyrenees. From his mother he inherited Normandy; and from his father, Anjou, Maine, and Touraine; and by marriage with the Duchess Eleanor of Aquitane, the divorced wife of Louis VII. of France, he obtained the great duchy of Guienne. To govern these wide-spread dominions, and to restore peace and prosperity to England, was a heavy task for the young king. But he came well fitted for his work; for he possessed a strong frame and great powers of endurance, together with a natural energy, ambition, and force of character, which enabled him to overcome many difficulties.

3. Political and Legal Reforms of Henry II.—Henry’s special claim to notice, as well as to the gratitude of all English-speaking people, is the care he took of the rights of his subjects, at a time when freedom was well nigh strangled by the tyranny of the barons and the arrogance of the Church. On his accession Henry disbanded the foreign troops which had been used in the Civil War, and cancelled the foolish grants of land and money which Stephen and Matilda had given to those who had fought in their cause. From the barons he took away much of their authority and pulled down their castles. Order was restored by the appointment Judges sent on circuit. of royal commissioners to administer justice. Itinerant justices were regularly sent out through the land to hear complaints, try wrong-doers, and decide points of dispute about the revenue. In his reign was created the Court of King’s Bench, for the trial of criminal causes, and for the control of the lesser courts established under the Saxon kings. Another institution of Henry the Second’s reign was the Grand Assize, a court established to settle disputes about the ownership of land in a more sensible way than the former method, by ordeal of battle. From the establishment of this court has sprung our system of the “Grand Jury”; for it was Henry’s plan to summon by the sheriff four knights of the county, who were to elect twelve others, and the sixteen were to sit and try cases about disputed property, and to decide upon what other cases were to be referred to the king’s travelling justices. In Henry’s reign the Great Council was more frequently summoned and consulted than had previously been the case, though as yet it had no popular, or representative, character.

4. The Story of Thomas à Becket.—The conflict between the Crown and the Barons was now to extend to a conflict between the Crown and the Church. Under Henry II. the latter had a firm assertor of its rights, who was to give the king much trouble. This was Thomas à Becket, who for the first six years of Henry’s reign was his chief adviser, the chancellor of his kingdom, and his bosom friend. Becket was a man of great ability and of iron will. He was liked by the Church, and was also a favourite with the nobles, for he was skilled in all learned and knightly accomplishments and courtly arts. On the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry, thinking to get better control of the clergy, appointed Becket to the vacant See. But Becket, as soon as he was made primate, changed his manner of life and would acknowledge no sovereign but the Pope. Presently a dispute arose over the question whether clergymen who had broken the law should be tried by the civil courts or by those of the Church. Becket claimed the right to judge the offenders; while Henry insisted that they should be brought before the King’s Courts. To settle the matter the king summoned a council, at Clarendon. The result of this Council Constitutions of Clarendon, Jan. A.D. 1164. was the passing of certain laws which affirmed the king’s power over offending priests; and to these laws Becket, though he at first refused, subsequently assented. Before long, however, he repented of what he had done, and sought and obtained from the Pope absolution for his offence. Meanwhile, thinking his life in danger, the Archbishop fled to France, and for six years remained in exile. At length a reconciliation was brought about; and, though the cause of quarrel was left unsettled, he returned to England. But no sooner was Becket back than he began to exercise his clerical authority. He deposed several bishops for consenting to crown Henry, the king’s eldest son, claiming that none but the Archbishop of Canterbury had a right to crown the king. Hearing of this, the king, in a fit of anger, cried, “Is there no one in my kingdom who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” Next day four knights left the king’s court, Murder of Thomas à Becket, Dec. 29, A.D. 1170. which was at the time in Normandy, crossed to England, and murdered the Archbishop in the Cathedral at Canterbury. The murder horrified all Europe, and the king himself was grief-stricken over the result of his hasty words. Afterwards, indeed, he thought it necessary to do penance at the murdered prelate’s tomb, and to ask the forgiveness of the Pope; for his sons and nobles rose in rebellion; his wife, Eleanor, embittered his life; the King of Scotland invaded his kingdom; and Louis VII. of France sought to overthrow his power in Normandy. But, though Henry triumphed over the enemies of his country, the unnatural conduct of his sons brought him constant trouble and finally broke his heart.

5. The Conquest of Ireland (1171).—Before the death of Becket, Henry had given permission to some of his subjects, notably to the Earl of Pembroke (commonly called Strongbow), to engage in military adventure in Ireland, which was then distracted by the rivalries of some of its native princes. The island had been peopled by the same Keltic race as had settled in England; and, like England, it had been repeatedly ravaged by the Norsemen. In the time of Henry it was divided into five petty kingdoms, whose chieftains waged cruel war with one another. At the request of Dermot, King of Leinster, “Strongbow,” and two other Norman knights, had come over with a force from the West of England and helped Dermot to conquer parts of the island and put down his enemies. “Strongbow” married Dermot’s daughter, and on his father-in-law’s death succeeded to his possessions. But Henry, who was jealous of “Strongbow’s” successes in Ireland, went over with an army and landed at Waterford. Here many of the chiefs made submission, and he took possession of the lands that had been won. With this formal possession of the island, Henry returned to England, and left it to the misrule of his Norman barons. For centuries afterwards Ireland was a prey to lawlessness and crime.

6. Richard I. [Cœur-de-Lion,] (1189-1199).—Henry II. in the last year of his life, was forced by his sons, Richard and John, into a war with France, and obliged to make a humiliating peace. Grief at his troubles brought on a fever, of which he died in Normandy, with a curse on his lips for his rebellious children. Henry’s eldest surviving son, Richard, who, for his bravery, was called Cœur-de-Lion, or “Lion Heart,” succeeded him. Richard was little of an Englishman, for of his ten years reign he did not spend more than six months in England. During nearly the whole of this period he was either absent in the Third Crusade, or engaged in profitless wars in France. Richard was more soldier than king, and as his ambition was to win glory in the Holy Land, he drained his kingdom of money to gratify his object. His urgent need for money was, indeed, the means of advancing the people; for to raise funds he sold all manner of offices; gave permission to his barons to make transfers of land; and allowed the now growing towns to purchase municipal rights and other privileges. Richard’s expedition to Palestine, though marked by notable acts of skill and bravery, cost him so much blood and treasure that he was fain to return home, with but a sight of Jerusalem, and with nothing to repay England for her outlay but the advantages obtained from contact with the civilization of the East. On the way back to England Richard was taken prisoner in an Austrian city and confined for over a year by the Emperor of Germany, who released him only after the payment by the English of an enormous ransom. The remainder of his reign was marked by a revolt in England against heavy taxation and the overstraining of the power of the Crown; by strife with his brother, John; and by a petty war with Philip of France, in which he lost his life. In an attack on the Castle of Chaluz the king was slain by an archer, and the crown passed to his brother, John.

[1. What is noteworthy in the reign of Stephen? Explain fully.

2. Who was the first Plantagenet king? What is the origin of the word “Plantagenet”?

3. What did Henry II. do to make the government of England better and stronger?

4. Tell the story of the Conquest of Ireland.

5. Why did a dispute arise between Henry II. and Thomas à Becket? How did it end?

6. Point out any effects of the Crusades on England.]




[The character of John, his abuse of authority, and the steps taken by the barons to control him, should be clearly brought out. The importance of the provisions of the Magna Charta ought to be dwelt upon and illustrated. The gradual introduction of Parliamentary government, and the great part played by Simon de Montfort, in securing the liberties of the English people, deserve careful treatment. Also, explain interdict and excommunication. Read with the pupils Dickens’s “Prince Arthur” (3rd Reader), and the scene from Shakespeare’s “King John” (4th Reader).

References:—Green, Freeman’s “Norman Conquest,” Bright’s “Medieval Monarchy,” Stubbs’s “Early Plantagenets,” Creighton’s “Simon de Montfort,” and Shakespeare’s “King John.”]

1. King John loses the French Provinces.—The right of John, surnamed “Lackland,” (for, unlike his brothers, he held no estates from the Crown), to succeed to the throne was questioned. Some thought that Prince Arthur of Britanny, son of John’s elder brother, Geoffrey, should be king; but, as had happened before, the English people chose the man rather than the boy. Philip of France, however, stood by Arthur when the latter claimed from John both England and the French provinces. While John was in Normandy, fighting for his possessions, Arthur fell into his hands, and in some unknown manner was put out of the way. Suspecting John, who was treacherous and cruel, to have murdered the youth, Philip, as sovereign lord of France, summoned him to answer the charge; but to this John paid no heed. Philip, thereupon, declared John to have forfeited his French possessions; and most of them were at once severed from the English crown. Though seemingly a loss, this was really a gain to England, for the kings were now shut in to the care of their own island dominions, and the Norman nobles had no other country to divide their allegiance.

2. The Pope’s Interdict (1208-1213).—In 1205, John got into difficulty with the Church and the Pope over the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury. To fill the See, the monks chose one man; the king another. The matter was referred to the Pope, who set aside both elections, and appointed a learned Englishman, named Stephen Langton, who was then at Rome. The clergy accepted the Pope’s choice, but the king would not, and in anger he expelled the monks of Canterbury from his kingdom. For this the Pope laid England under an Interdict, which deprived the people of the services of the Church; and for six years no marriages were solemnized, nor were people buried with funeral rites. But John cared so little for this that he robbed the clergy and drove many of them out of England. The Pope now excommunicated him; and when this had no effect upon the defiant king, he declared the English throne vacant, and got Philip of France to prepare to invade the kingdom. Alarmed at this, John made haste to submit to the Pope; promised to pay him annually a large sum of money; and, at Dover, laid his crown at the feet of the papal legate. The king now acknowledged Langton as archbishop, and the ‘Excommunication’ and ‘Interdict’ were withdrawn.

3. Signing of the Great Charter.—When the Interdict was removed, John wanted to go against France and recover Normandy. But his barons were sullen and refused to fight out of England; and the people gave him no support, because he had acted tyrannically and had humbled the nation by accepting his crown from the Pope. John at first contented himself by sending to the assistance of the Count of Flanders, who had been attacked by Philip, a fleet, which won an important victory. But the defeat of his German and Flemish allies at Bouvines (1214), compelled him to make a truce with France. Towards the close of the year the clergy and the barons became restive under John’s continued tyranny; and, at the call of Archbishop Langton and the Earl of Pembroke, a meeting was held at Bury St. Edmunds to enforce their rights. At a private gathering of the barons, in the previous year, Langton brought forward the neglected charter of Henry I., and it was resolved to ask the king to act as he should and stand by its provisions. To give the resolution effect the barons drew up a charter of rights, which they were determined that John should sign. Things had come to such a pass that everyone felt that a rigid check must be put upon the king’s power, and some guarantee given to the people that their rights and liberties should be respected. John, however, would have none of the charter. But the barons were in earnest; and rallying their forces, they made war upon him and took possession of London. John, who had at first stormed and then shuffled, now that his crown was in danger, met the barons at Runnymede, and there Signing of the Great Charter, June 15th, A.D. 1215. signed and affixed his seal to the Great Charter. This famous document was, in the main, but a recapitulation of rights and safeguards heretofore won by the English people; but these now received from John an emphatic confirmation. The provisions of the Charter relate to the Church, the barons, and the people; but its chief stress is on the relation between the Crown and its subjects. The Church was to be free and possess all her privileges. The barons were to be protected from unjust taxation, and to be more fairly dealt with as tenants of the Crown. The people were not to be imprisoned, outlawed, dispossessed of their property, or otherwise punished, save by the judgment of their peers, or equals, or by the law of the land. Justice was not to be sold, delayed, or denied to any man; and all should be at liberty when they pleased to go in and out of the kingdom. London and other towns were to retain their privileges of trade; and taxes were not to be levied without the consent of the people. Twenty-four barons were named to see that the provisions of the Charter were carried into effect. In this great document, which gives security to the life and property of the subject, the English people had for the first time laid down in black and white the “main points of the Constitution and the several rights and duties of king and people.”

4. War with the Barons. Accession of Henry III.—Though John had signed the Charter, he had no intention to do what it required of him. In his anger at being compelled to sign it, he appealed to the Pope, who declared it null and void, and released the king from his oath to respect it. John then got his hired troops together and made war against the barons, laid waste their possessions, and ravaged the land. Many of the barons, in despair, offered the crown to Louis, son of the king of France, and got him to come with an army to help them to fight John. But others of the Death of King John, 19th Oct. A. D. 1216. barons did not want a foreign king, and for a time they took John’s side of the quarrel. The king, however, died in 1216, and England was saved from the danger of another foreign conquest. The king’s death reunited the barons, who all now took the national side against Louis. Louis, unwilling to give up his chance of the Crown, continued to fight; but his army was overthrown at Lincoln and his fleet defeated at Dover. Thereupon, he returned to France. John was succeeded on the throne by his young son, Henry III., who was crowned when but nine years old. The government was first placed in the hands of the good William Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, who was made regent. He was succeeded in the Regency by Hubert de Burgh. Under these and other able men who lived in Henry’s long reign, England, though she suffered much from the king’s mismanagement, made great strides towards constitutional government. Hubert de Burgh’s Government. In particular, during the king’s minority, the Charter was three times confirmed, and also recognized by the Pope. The French adventurers who had been in King John’s service were expelled from the kingdom, order was restored, and the aggression of the Church restrained. When, however, the king came of age, he interfered with Hubert de Burgh’s wise government, and drove him from office.

5. The Provisions of Oxford.—Henry, when he became his own adviser, did not know how to rule. He mismanaged affairs, and brought into England many foreign favourites, relatives of his mother, whom he made rich and raised to dignity at the expense of the barons. What Henry had to give away went to foreigners; Henry’s foreign favourites. English heiresses were married to Frenchmen, and even French women were brought over to marry the rich wards of the king. English laws were disregarded by these people, every extravagance was indulged in, and the country was burdened with debt. At length, the English nobles determined to put an end to the king’s misgovernment and favouritism. Under the leadership of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who had married the king’s sister, the barons met at Westminster to protest against the king’s burdensome taxation, and to demand that the administration of the kingdom be placed in the hands of twenty-four nobles. Later on (A.D. 1258) the National Council, or Parliament, as it now came to be called, met at Oxford, where the king and the barons jointly agreed to a commission to reform and conduct the government. A Council of State was formed, consisting of fifteen members; and what are known as the Provisions of Oxford were produced. These Provisions—which Provisions of Oxford: Government by the Barons. were accepted and sworn to by the king and his son, Prince Edward—required the royal castles to be placed in the hands of Englishmen. Parliament was to meet three times a year, and to be composed of the fifteen councillors and the twelve members representing the barons. Four knights were summoned from each county to declare its grievances; sheriffs were also to be elected; and an account of the public money was to be duly rendered.

6. The Barons’ War, and the First Parliament.—The arrangement made by the Council at Oxford, unhappily, did not last long. Jealousy and dissension broke out among the barons, part of them holding by the great Earl, Simon de Montfort, and part by the king. Meanwhile, the people began to assert their rights, and the growing towns now exercised an influence on public questions. London and the chief towns ranged themselves on the side of Henry taken prisoner at the Battle of Lewes, A.D. 1264. Simon de Montfort, and a pitched battle was fought at Lewes, in Sussex, in which the barons were victorious, and the king and his brother taken prisoners. Simon de Montfort now ruled in the king’s name; and as he wished to use his authority righteously, he summoned a Parliament. To this Parliament, for the first time in the national history, were summoned deputies from the cities and boroughs, also two knights from each shire, in addition to the great barons and prelates who alone had hitherto composed the councils of the kingdom. This memorable Parliament met in January, 1265.

7. Death of de Montfort and Henry III.—Simon de Montfort’s Parliament, though intended to solve the difficulties of the time, did not bring peace to the kingdom. His growing ambition and arrogance offended many of the barons, who disliked to see the king in the absolute power of a subject. The king’s party gradually gained strength, and resort was again had to arms. Prince Edward, the king’s eldest son, who also had been a prisoner of Earl Simon’s, escaped from his guard, and placing himself at the head of a strong party of royalist barons, attacked De Montfort’s De Montfort slain at Evesham, A.D. 1265. army at Evesham and slew the great Earl and his sons. After this, the king’s authority was restored; but De Montfort’s withstanding of tyranny was not forgotten by the people. In 1272, Henry III. died, in the fifty-seventh year of his reign, and was succeeded by his son, Edward I.

[1. What should we admire and what should we condemn in the character of John?

2. Why was the loss by John of his French possessions a gain to England?

3. State the principal provisions of the Great Charter. Give an account of the struggle by which it was obtained.

4. When did the First Parliament meet? Who summoned it? What persons composed it? Narrate the events that led to the summoning of this Parliament.

5. What is the meaning of “interdict,” “excommunication,” “peers,” “wards”?]




[The leading facts of this chapter are the conquest of Wales and Scotland by Edward I.; the growth of the power of Parliament under the same king; the War of Scottish Independence in the reign of Edward II.; the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War, and the Black Death in the reign of Edward III. But, in addition to these, the teacher should relate some of the interesting tales and incidents connected with the lives of Wallace and Bruce, and with the battle of Bannockburn. The Expulsion of the Jews in the reign of Edward I., and its cause, ought to be taken up. The battles of Crecy and Poitiers are deserving of more minute description, as they are among the first battles that illustrate the superiority of English yeomanry over French chivalry, and of foot soldiers or infantry over mail-clad cavalry. The story of the capture of Calais should be told. Let the pupils read the poem, “Bruce and the Spider” (3rd Reader), Bruce’s Address, and Scott’s account of the battle of Bannockburn; also Stanley’s “The Black Prince at Cressy” (4th Reader). The Black Death, and the change it produced in the relations between labourers and employers, together with the cruel and unjust provisions of the Statute of Labourers, should be noted; also Wyclif and his work. The teacher should explain what is meant by an impeachment.

References:—Green, Bright, Edith Thompson, Pearson’s “English History of the XIVth Century,” Warburton’s “Edward III.,” and Rowley’s “Rise of the People.”]

1. Character of Edward I.Edward I. had learned the lesson of the struggle between king and people, for the confirmation of the rights embodied in the Great Charter; and these rights he did much to make secure. Edward was a thorough Englishman, true to his word, loving fair dealing (especially in the early part of his reign), with an open, manly character, a soldier’s courage, and a statesman’s wisdom. Having travelled much in the East, he had a wide knowledge of foreign lands, men, and institutions; and under him England prospered as it had never done before. He has been called the “greatest of the Plantagenets,” for in his reign he endeavoured to make the whole of Britain one united kingdom, and to give the people representative government.

2. Conquest of Wales.—England at this time had only nominal sovereignty over Scotland and Wales. Edward wished to make this sovereignty real; and when he was crowned he called upon Llewellyn, one of the most powerful of the Welsh princes, to do him homage. Llewellyn refused; but Edward made war upon him and forced him to submit. Five years later (A.D. 1282), having been stirred up to rebellion by his brother David, Llewellyn was killed while opposing the passage of the English forces over the Wye. David, after a time, was captured, tried as a traitor, and hanged. Wales was now annexed to the English Crown, though it was not until Henry the Eighth’s reign that it formally became a part of the kingdom. During the campaign Edward had a son born to him at Caernarvon, in Wales; and to please the Welsh the infant was made Prince of Wales, a title which has ever since been borne by the eldest son of the English sovereign.

3. Conquest of Scotland.—Edward’s attention was now turned to Scotland, which was at the time disturbed by contests among the Scottish nobles for the Crown, the king, Alexander III., having just died. Alexander’s grand-daughter, Margaret of Norway, was next heir to the throne. Edward wished his son, the Prince of Wales, to marry this princess, and so unite the English and Scottish Crowns. Unfortunately, Margaret died on her way from Norway to Scotland; and the Scottish people, fearing civil war, called on Edward to decide which should be king among the many rivals for the throne. The two nobles whose claims by birth were the strongest were John Balliol and Robert Bruce. After weighing the matter, Edward gave his decision in favour of Balliol, though he first demanded of the Scots the acknowledgment of his right to settle the dispute, not as an arbitrator, but as sovereign lord of Scotland. This right of the English kings was with ill grace acknowledged, and Balliol obtained the Scottish Crown by becoming the vassal of Edward. This vassalage soon grew irksome to Balliol, for some of his people appealed to Edward against decisions in the Scottish law courts, and Edward summoned him to answer these appeals at Westminster. Taking advantage, however, of Edward’s war at the time with France, Balliol refused to War of Scottish Independence, A.D. 1295. obey, formed an alliance with the king of France, and began the War of Scottish Independence. Edward at once marched into Scotland, routed Balliol’s forces, and placed his kingdom under a Regent. To humiliate the country still more, the Scottish crown and coronation-stone were carried off to London. Next year the Scots again rose, this time under Sir William Wallace, who, after defeating the English army near Stirling, became the idol of his countrymen. But Edward himself routed Wallace’s forces at Falkirk (A.D. 1298); the patriot chief was driven a fugitive from the field; and being betrayed into the hands of the English met a cruel death on the gibbet in London. The conquest of Scotland was now supposed to be complete. But Scottish love of freedom again asserted itself; for, in 1306, there was another rising, under Robert Bruce, the grandson of Balliol’s rival. When Bruce was crowned, Edward once more marched northward to subdue the intractable Scots. Taking ill, however, by the way, he died July 7th, 1307, and was succeeded by his son, Edward II.

4. Confirmation of the Charters.—At intervals in the war with Scotland Edward I. had to engage in contests with France. The expenses of these wars led him at times to resort to arbitrary measures to raise money. But he did not wish to obtain money wrongfully. Much, however, was needed for the country’s wars; and he thought that the people should trust him fully, and give him the sums necessary to conduct them. Heretofore money had been obtained by levies on the barons, by demands on the clergy, and by taxes on the towns and on merchandise. Edward, who had begun to recognize the right of the representatives of the people to share in legislation, took a step further, and concluded that he could get the money he wanted with the consent of Edward’s Model Parliament, A.D. 1295. all classes in parliament. He, therefore, called what is known as the Model Parliament, for in it, besides the bishops and barons, sat representatives of the citizens and burghers, together with the lesser knights and inferior clergy. This Parliament voted the king’s needed supplies, on the principle he had himself laid down, that “common dangers must be met by measures concerted in common.” But though calling on Parliament to grant the money he needed, Edward had not as yet agreed to refrain from raising money without its consent. Being in want of more money, he set aside the rights of clergy, barons, and people, and demanded large grants for his wars on the continent. These demands were refused. A Parliament was called (A.D. 1297), at which, in the king’s absence in Flanders, the Prince of Wales and his Council presided. By this assembly the old Charters were confirmed, with this important addition, THAT THE KING SHOULD TAKE NO MONEY FROM HIS SUBJECTS EXCEPT BY THE COMMON CONSENT OF THE REALM AND FOR THE COMMON PROFIT OF ALL. This new and important clause in the Charter was subscribed to by the Prince of Wales, and later in the year was ratified by the king at Ghent. Thus Parliament obtained full control over taxation, and the long struggle for the charters came to an end.

5. Edward II. and the Ordainers.—Edward II., unhappily, was a different man from his father. He was utterly unfitted to rule, for he spent his days in foolish pleasures, in company with wild and reckless companions. Of the latter Piers Gaveston, a Gascon knight, was the king’s favourite. The late king had banished Gaveston as no companion for his son; but Edward, when he came to the throne, recalled him, and gave him his niece in marriage. When, too, Edward went to France to marry Isabella, daughter of Philip the Fair, he made Gaveston Regent. All this annoyed the barons, who were angry at the king’s neglect of his duties, and did not like these honours being paid to a foreigner. When remonstrated with on his conduct, Edward yielded so much to the barons as to send Gaveston to Ireland as governor. But before a year passed he recalled him and reinstated him in power. Parliament Appointment of the Lords’ Ordainers. now took the matter up, decreed the banishment of Gaveston, and made Edward consent to the appointment of a council of peers, called Ordainers, who were to govern the kingdom. Gaveston was accordingly banished; but, being recalled by the king, he was seized by the barons and beheaded.

6. Bannockburn.—Edward I., on his way northward to chastise the Scots for electing Robert Bruce their king, had charged his son to carry on the Scottish war. But Edward II. allowed seven years to pass before fulfilling his father’s dying commands. Meanwhile Bruce had won back all the Scottish strongholds except Stirling, and it was now in peril. To save this, his last garrison in the country, Edward was compelled to go north at the head of a large Battle of Bannockburn, June 24, 1314. army. Arriving at Stirling, in June, 1314, he gave the Scots battle at Bannockburn. But Bruce had chosen his ground carefully and well, and the result was that the English were routed with terrible loss. This victory won for Scotland her independence.

7. Deposition and Death of Edward II.—England was now in a miserable plight, for, in addition to national defeat, famine had broken out in the land, and terrible diseases followed in its train. To add to the troubles, Edward again took up with unworthy advisers, the Despensers, father and son. After a fruitless struggle of some years against the king and his favourites, the barons found an ally in Queen Isabella, who had formed an intrigue with a noble, named Roger Mortimer; and together they led a successful revolt against the king, and overthrew the Despensers. The king was deposed by Parliament, imprisoned, and after a time cruelly murdered. His son, Edward, a youth of fifteen, succeeded him (A.D. 1327). During the minority of Edward III. the kingdom was for a while under a nominal Regency, composed of bishops, earls, and barons. The real power, however, was in the hands of Queen Isabella and her favourite, Mortimer. But the young king, in 1330, became his own master, and, resenting the conduct of his mother and her paramour, had the latter seized and brought to trial before Parliament. Parliament, on the ground of treason, decreed the death of Mortimer, and he was executed at Tyburn.

8. War with France.—We now reach the time when what is termed the “Hundred Years’ War” begins. The general cause of the war was, on the one hand, the desire on the part of France to wrest from England her French possessions; and, on the other, the equally strong desire of English kings to recover Normandy and other provinces which had been lost to the English crown. The immediate cause of hostilities was the aid Philip VI. of France had given to the Scots in their struggle against England, and his desire to seize the English possessions in the duchy of Guienne. These possessions the English kings had hitherto held as vassals of France; but Edward, when he decided to go to war with Philip, set up the claim not only of a right to Guienne, but of a right to the throne of France itself. This claim he based on the fact that his mother was the sister of the late king of France, whilst Philip VI., who now reigned, was only the late king’s cousin. But the French denied the claim, maintaining that a woman could not rule in France, and that no man had a right to rule there through his mother. In the war thus provoked, English arms had for a time its triumphs. In 1340, Edward won a naval victory off Sluys, on the coast of Flanders. After this success, there was a pause in the struggle until 1346. In that year Edward and the English Parliament resolved to conquer or to cripple France. The king with an army of 30,000 men, and some pieces of artillery, which appear to have been now first used by the English, landed in Normandy, destroyed the chief commercial towns, and took up a position at Battle of Cressy, Aug. 26th, A.D. 1346. Crecy or Cressy, a village near the Somme. Hither came Philip with his host of 120,000 men, including the best chivalry of France, and a large force of Genoese crossbowmen. Edward’s army, though much smaller was more efficient and better handled, its strength lying in its compact bodies of foot soldiery and skilled English bowmen. The battle was begun by the troops under the king’s young son, Edward, the Black Prince, who won his spurs by conspicuous daring. Then on came unwieldy masses of mail-clad French cavalry, which the sturdy English and Welsh bowmen quickly put to rout; while the Genoese bowmen met a more signal defeat at the hands of the English archers and spearmen. The French nobles courageously continued the fight; but nothing could withstand the shower of well-aimed arrows that was rained upon them; so, baffled and broken, Philip’s army turned and fled. After the slaughter that ensued, the heralds appointed to go over the field reported the death “of eleven French princes, 1,200 knights, and 30,000 of inferior rank.” On winning this victory, Edward marched Siege and surrender of Calais, A.D. 1347. to Calais, which he besieged by sea and land; though the place did not surrender for nearly a year afterwards, when starvation compelled the brave citizens to open its gates. Having turned the French inhabitants out of Calais, Edward filled it with his countrymen; and the town remained under English rule for more than two centuries.

9. Peace of Bretigny.—After the fall of Calais, the scourge of war gave place for a time to the scourge of pestilence. A fearful The Black Death, A.D. 1349. plague, called the Black Death, visited Europe, and carried off, it is calculated, one half of the population. In England its ravages were frightful, particularly in the large and crowded cities: in London alone nearly 60,000 were swept away. In 1355 the French war was renewed. Philip VI. was dead, and his son, John, sat on the throne. The Black Prince was now ruling Guienne and Gascony for Edward, his father. In 1356, he led an expedition through the South of France, which he ravaged with fire and sword. Turning northward, with a small force of 12,000 men, he met, at Poitiers, the French army of Battle of Poitiers, Sept. 17th, A.D. 1356. King John, nearly five times as strong. Though far outnumbered, the Black Prince did not decline a battle; and its result was a victory as great as the one at Cressy. The French king and his son, with many of the nobles, were taken prisoners; and the former accompanied the Black Prince on his triumphal return to England. But Treaty of Bretigny, A.D. 1360. this victory was of little good to England, for after much negotiation only a temporary peace was concluded, and its terms were evaded by the succeeding French king. By the Treaty of Bretigny Edward renounced his claim to the French Crown; while John gave up to England Guienne, Gascony, Poitou, and the important town of Calais. France also agreed to pay a large ransom for the release of John; but the French failing to keep this promise, the king honourably surrendered himself and died in London.

10. The Good Parliament.—The latter years of Edward III. were full of sadness and gloom. The old king partially lost his senses, and became the tool of low and vicious favourites. During the Black Prince’s absence in France, John of Gaunt, or Ghent, the king’s fourth son, took the leading part in the management of public affairs. His government was so bad that a few years after the return of the Black Prince it was decided to summon a Parliament to remedy the prevailing abuses of corruption and extravagance. This Parliament, known as the Good Parliament, had the support and active assistance of the Black Prince, who though broken in health, and actually dying, was anxious to restore good government to England. When the Commons met they proceeded to impeach, or accuse before the Lords, several of the king’s officials, and banished from the country the king’s favourites. This is the first instance we have of an impeachment, and it shows the power the House of Commons had now acquired. Unfortunately, the death of the brave and good Black Prince brought John of Gaunt again to power, and with him returned all the old evils that Parliament had sought to remedy. In the following year (1377) Edward III. died—neglected and deserted in his last moments. He was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II., the son of the Black Prince.

11. John Wyclif (1324-1384).—In this reign and the beginning of the next, lived John Wyclif, a famous Oxford priest, who preached against the abuses that had crept into the Church; the extravagance and idleness of the higher clergy; the corrupt lives many of them led; and the interference of the Pope in the affairs of the English Church. In his later years he opposed many of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and in consequence was accused of heresy; but the influence of powerful nobles, like John of Gaunt, shielded him from harm. He translated the Bible into English, and sent forth “poor priests” to teach the people to read it. His followers were afterwards known as Lollards.

[1. Show how Edward I. was fitted to make a good king.

2. Why did Edward I. invade Scotland? Tell the story of the War of Scottish Independence.

3. Show that Parliament in the reigns of Edward I., II., and III. became very powerful.

4. What was the cause of the “Hundred Years’ War”? What great victories were won, and how, by the English, in the reign of Edward III.? What treaty for a while closed this war?

5. Point out any important results produced by the Black Death.

6. Who was John Wyclif? Why is he mentioned in history? Why are his followers called “Lollards”?]




[Wat Tyler’s insurrection and its cause are important points to be explained and illustrated. The persecution of the Lollards, and the risings of the Percies in the reign of Henry IV., the Conquest of France by Henry V., and the romantic achievements of Joan of Arc, should be dwelt upon. The character of the “Wars of the Roses” should be pointed out, and their cause clearly stated. Explain “Papal Bulls” and “Statute of Præmunire.”

References:—Green’s “Short History,” Bright, Edith Thompson, Shakespeare’s Richard II., Henry IV., Henry V., and Henry VI.]

1. Richard II. and the Peasants’ War.—When Richard II. came to the throne the English were exhausted by war and grievously taxed. To add to their burdens they suffered also from the exactions of the nobles and landowners. Against this class-oppression the peasants rose in revolt. The Black Death, which thinned their ranks, had made them discontented; and some of the Lollards, or followers of Wyclif, had incited them to rebel against the rich. Hitherto the condition of the villein, or serf, had been one of great hardship. He now endeavoured to better his lot, by breaking the old customs which bound him to the soil, and by demanding pay, instead of protection, for his labour. But the grievance he specially complained of, was the imposition of a poll, or head-tax, a tax which was necessitated by the extravagance of the rulers and the outlay on recent wars. Objecting to The Peasants’ Revolt, A.D. 1381. this poll-tax, the peasantry, to the number of 100,000, headed by a Kentishman, named Wat Tyler, assembled near London and committed all sorts of excesses. Here Richard II. met them, and after listening to their grievances, promised that they should have redress. With this assurance most of the peasants returned to their homes. On the following day, however, Wat Tyler, behaving himself insolently, was killed, and, but for the king’s courageous interference, there would have been further trouble. After the disturbance had been quelled, the promises were broken, and about 1,500 of the rioters were put to death; but the uprising was not altogether fruitless, for after this the condition of the peasant gradually improved.

2. Government of Richard.—During Richard’s minority the affairs of the kingdom were for a time in the hands of the king’s uncle, the Duke of Lancaster, whom we already know as John of Gaunt. Subsequently, the administration was assumed by another uncle, Thomas, Duke of Gloucester. Richard and his uncle, however, did not agree, for Gloucester was jealous of the king’s favourites and endeavoured to check his extravagance. Parliament twice interfered, and had Richard’s favourites dismissed and some of them put to death. In 1389 Richard became his own master, and removed his opponents from the Council. But the feeling was strong against him; for, having treacherously seized the Duke of Gloucester, he had sent him to Calais, where he was mysteriously murdered. Of those who opposed the king, the only nobles left were the Dukes of Hereford and Norfolk. The former was Richard’s cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke, the eldest son of John of Gaunt. A quarrel having broken out between the Dukes of Hereford and Norfolk, the king took advantage of the trouble and banished both of them from England. Richard, now rid of opposition, for a while ruled despotically.

3. Deposition of Richard.—The effect of Richard’s tyranny was to turn the people against him, and to cause them to look for relief to the popular favourite, Henry, the banished Duke of Hereford. When Henry’s father, John of Gaunt, died, Richard seized his estates, and this roused the popular sympathy for Henry. While Richard was on an expedition to Ireland, Henry returned to England to claim his estates, and was everywhere received with gladness. He was instantly joined by the great family of the Percies, whose chief was the Earl of Northumberland; and marching towards London he found himself at the head of a force of some 60,000 men. When Richard heard of Henry’s return, he came back in haste to England, but only to fall a prisoner into the hands of the Earl of Northumberland. Henry IV. succeeds to the throne, A.D. 1399. Parliament now assembled and deposed the king, on the ground of tyranny and bad government, and, in a fit of enthusiasm, gave the Crown to Henry. Richard was confined in Pontefract Castle, and in the fashion of the times disappears from view.

4. Reign of Henry IV. (1399-1414.)—Henry, of Bolingbroke, succeeded to the throne as Henry IV. He is known as the first of the Lancastrian kings, the title being derived from the dukedom of Lancaster, which he inherited from his father, John of Gaunt. Had the strict rule of succession been followed (Richard II. having no children), the grandson of an elder brother of Henry’s father would have come to the throne. But Parliament gave the Crown to Henry as the head of a party in the State; and this support of the national council induced the king to act in accordance with its wishes. Parliament, however, did not restore peace, though it readily supplied the king with money, and in doing so strengthened its own position. Henry had many enemies among the barons in England, who were encouraged by the Scots and the French. His whole reign, in fact, was full of trouble. A rebellion broke out in Wales under Owen Glendower, who sought to gain his country’s independence; after which there was a rising of the Percies, of Northumberland, who had taken offence at Henry, and, allying themselves with the Scots and the Welsh, desired to depose him and put the legitimate successor on the throne. But Henry triumphed over all his enemies, with the aid of his son, the Prince of Wales, who, at his death, in 1414, succeeded him.

5. Accession of Henry V.Henry V. had come to the throne with some military renown, for he had distinguished himself in battle against his father’s enemies. As the “Prince Hal” of Shakespeare, if we are to credit the poet’s version of his character, we must believe him to have led a riotous life when a youth. If his early companions had been foolish and disorderly, we know that on his accession to the throne his counsellors were noted for their wisdom. Possessing the energy and ambition of youth, with a passion for military glory, and caring little at times how it was gratified, Henry was, in many respects, a king after an Englishman’s heart. France was now distracted by the faction fights of rival princes, and Henry determined to revive the English claim to the French Crown. In the year 1415, he conducted an army into France, Battle of Agincourt, 25th Oct., 1415. besieged and took Harfleur, and on the fatal field of Agincourt, totally defeated the French. The latter great victory was a repetition of the successes of Cressy and Poitiers, for thousands of Frenchmen were slaughtered by the English bowmen. Fourteen thousand were taken prisoners, while some ten thousand, including the flower of the French nobility, lay dead on the field. After the battle Henry returned in triumph to England.

6. The Lollards.—Henry’s reign was disgraced by the persecution of the Lollards, or Wyclifites. Their leader was Sir John Oldcastle, usually known as Lord Cobham. In early life he had been a companion of the king, and Henry’s friendship had often saved him from trouble. But having conspired against the king, the great Lollard chief was seized and put to a horrible death. Oldcastle’s martyr-fate was the fate of many thousands of Lollards, for in the previous reign persecution had broken out actively against this sect, and a cruel law had been enacted, condemning persons accused of heretical opinions,—that is, holding views contrary to those taught by the Church,—to be burnt alive. On the other hand, owing to Wyclif’s teaching, the Papacy had to forego the right to dispose of Church livings, impose taxes, and intrude foreign priests into English churches. In a previous reign Parliament had passed an Act limiting the Papal power in England and vindicating the right of the State to prohibit the admission or execution of Papal “bulls,” or briefs, within the kingdom. This Act, which was passed in 1393, is known as the Statute of Præmunire.

7. Conquest of France, and Treaty of Troyes.—After the battle of Agincourt, France was still torn by the factions who were striving for power under the imbecile king, Charles VI. In 1417, Henry again successfully invaded France. In his conquest of the country, he had the sympathy of the Duke of Burgundy, one of the contending parties for the French crown. But this Duke was treacherously murdered by his opponents, the Orleanist party, and the Burgundians, in revenge, agreed to grant all Henry’s Treaty of Troyes, A.D. 1420. demands. A Treaty was accordingly signed at Troyes, whereby Henry was to be Regent until the death of Charles VI., when he was to succeed to the French throne. In accordance with the treaty, Henry married Catherine, the king’s daughter, and entering Paris, assumed the government. He then crossed to England with his young bride; but a victory of the Dauphin Charles over the English troops brought him again to France. Henry drove the Dauphin beyond the Loire, and then returned to Paris, near which he shortly afterwards died, A.D. 1422.

8. Loss of France under Henry VI.—The long minority and weak mind of Henry VI. made it necessary to appoint others to rule in his name. The care of the king’s person was given to Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester. The Duke of Bedford, an uncle of the king, was made Regent of both France and England, while, during his absence in France, the Duke of Gloucester, another uncle, held the governing power at home. Almost immediately after the accession of Henry VI., the French king died, and Henry of England was proclaimed at Paris King of France. Meanwhile, the Dauphin assumed the title of Charles VII.; and the country was thus claimed by an English and by a French king. During the first five years of Henry’s reign, Charles VII. was repeatedly defeated by the English troops, under the Duke of Bedford. In 1428, the latter sent an army across the Loire to lay siege to Orleans. When the place was about to fall, it was almost miraculously relieved by a young peasant-girl of Joan of Arc raises the siege of Orleans, A.D. 1429. Lorraine, named Joan of Arc, who came to be called the “Maid of Orleans.” This maiden, believing herself to have a divine mission to save her country, was brought before Charles VII., who allowed her to lead some of his troops to the relief of Orleans. Passing by night through the English lines, she succeeded in throwing supplies into the beleaguered town, and so raised the spirit of its defenders that they made repeated sallies and compelled the English to abandon the siege. Two years later, Joan of Arc fell into the hands of the English, and after trial on a charge of sorcery, was cruelly put to death at Rouen. The English now gradually lost ground in France. On the death of the Duke of Bedford, disputes arose in England over the prosecution of the war. Different views on the matter were held; but the peace party prevailed. During the truce that followed, Henry married Margaret, of Anjou, and resigned to her father his claims to that province. Presently, both Gloucester and Beaufort died, and two new rival parties arose in England, one of which allowed the French to regain all the English possessions on the continent save Calais. These new rival parties bring us to a disastrous period in the history of England. The one was led by the Duke of Suffolk, who headed what was called the Queen’s party; the other was that of the Duke of York, the next heir to the throne.

9. Wars of the Roses.—For the next thirty years (1455-1485) England was to be distracted by the Wars of the Roses. Such a conflict as this was, is termed a “civil war”; that is, a war, not with a foreign nation, but between two sections of the same people. It was, in this instance, a war between two rival factions of English nobles. It had its origin in the struggle for the crown, between those who sought to maintain the rule of the Lancastrian kings and those who sought to put one of the House of York on the throne. At first the friends of the latter only wanted the Duke of York to govern England, instead of the favourites of Henry VI., or rather of his clever wife, Margaret. But in time, as the quarrel went on and much blood was shed on both sides, the Duke of York claimed the throne by right of birth; and though he was himself slain in battle, his son Edward was given the crown. This was conceded not on account of his birth, though his claim on that score was good, but because he was an abler soldier than any on the Lancastrian side, and because the people wanted a king who was strong enough both to keep order and to govern. The badges chosen by the two parties gave the struggle its distinctive name, “the Wars of the Roses”; the symbol of the Yorkists being a white rose, that of the Lancastrians a red rose. In the varying contest between the parties, Henry VI. was taken prisoner at Northampton (1460) by the Duke of York; but later in the same year the duke was defeated, and being taken prisoner was executed by order of the queen. In subsequent battles, however, his son avenged his death; the king was deposed, and Edward IV. came to the throne. Henry escaped to Scotland with Queen Margaret and her young son.

10. Chaucer (1328-1400).—From the time of the Norman Conquest until about the middle of the fourteenth century, Latin and French were the languages chiefly used by the educated and Court classes of the English people. In the reign of Edward III., however, so much had the use of these languages died out among all ranks, that a statute was passed making English the language of the law courts. So far, no great prose or poetical work had been written in the language of the people; but about 1383, Geoffrey Chaucer, a favourite at Court, and a friend of John of Gaunt, wrote his famous poem, “The Canterbury Tales,” in one of the English dialects. These Tales are supposed to be told by a party of pilgrims of different ranks and employments, on the way to the shrine of Thomas à Becket. This poem, one of the greatest in our literature, helped to fix a standard for the English language and gave an impulse to English poetry. Chaucer has, therefore, been aptly termed “The Father of English Poetry,” just as Wyclif, by translating the Bible into English, is known as “The Father of English Prose.”

[1. Give an account of Wat Tyler’s insurrection, and the causes that brought it about. State the principal provisions of the Statute of Labourers.

2. Give a brief account of the events that led to the accession of Henry IV.

3. Is there anything in the reign of Henry IV. worthy of particular notice? If so, what and why?

4. Why were the English for a time able to conquer the French? State the terms of the Treaty of Troyes.

5. Sketch the life and work of Joan of Arc. What was the cause of her success?

6. What was the origin of the name “Wars of the Roses”? What is peculiar about this Civil War? What led to it? Name the principal battles fought, and tell how the war ended.

7. Who was Chaucer? What effect was produced by the publication of his poems?]




[To make this chapter interesting, it will be necessary to relate anecdotes connected with prominent actors in the events of this period: Edward IV.’s marriage, Warwick’s power and magnificence, Queen Margaret’s courage and endurance, and Richard III.’s cruelty and perfidy, furnish material. At the same time, it must be pointed out, that the character of Richard III., as handed down to us, was painted by his enemies, the Tudors. The matters of historic importance to be carefully explained are the establishment of the New Monarchy, its chief characteristics, and the reason why such a monarchy came into existence. In the reign of Henry VII. some important laws were passed; show their importance. During the period covered by this chapter, what is known as the “New Learning” had its birth. Point out the causes of the revival of learning and quickening of the national intelligence. The names of Colet, Erasmus, and More, are worthy of being brought into prominence in connection with this movement in England.

References:—Green, Edith Thompson, Bright, Hallam, Shakespeare’s Richard III., and Gairdner’s “Houses of Lancaster and York.”]

1. Barnet and Tewkesbury.—Before Edward IV. was crowned, he had to overcome a large force in the north of England which was still loyal to the last of the Lancaster kings. This, however, he was able to do, with the help of the great Earl of Warwick; Battle of Towton, 29th March, 1461, which puts Edward IV. on the throne. for at the battle of Towton, in Yorkshire, the army of Henry’s wife, Margaret, was utterly defeated. Though owing his crown to Earl Warwick, who was called “the Kingmaker” (for he had put Edward on the throne), Edward had no intention of submitting himself to his authority. A pretext for a quarrel was soon found in Edward’s marriage with the widow of a knight who had fallen in battle on the side opposed to the king. Warwick, angry at the marriage, and seeing his place at Court filled by the queen’s friends, headed a rebellion, in which Margaret, Henry’s wife, joined; and together they succeeded in putting Henry again on the throne. Six months later, Edward, having raised a small force on the continent, Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, April and May, 1471. returned to England, and defeated first Warwick at Barnet, then Margaret at Tewkesbury, and at once recovered the crown. Edward had little scruple in getting rid of his enemies. Warwick had been slain at Barnet; the ex-king was confined in the Tower of London, where he shortly met his death; Margaret was ransomed by the king of France; while her young son was stabbed by the king’s brothers, Dukes Clarence and Gloucester.

2. Character and Policy of Edward IV.—Edward on coming to the throne had all the qualities of a popular ruler: he was handsome, brave, energetic, fond of state, and pleasant-mannered in his intercourse with the people. As time passed, however, he became cruel, selfish, sensual, and despotic. For the people he always professed to care, though he really thought more of their money, and knew how to get it. From rich subjects he demanded money as a gift, and these gifts he called benevolences, because they were supposed to be given willingly. Parliament was seldom asked for supplies, as, by means of benevolences and seizures of the property of those who had opposed him in the Wars of the Roses, the king obtained all the money he wanted. Besides, he engaged in trade, taxed the clergy, and exacted fines from the feudal lords. Edward became independent of his Parliament, and seldom consulted it. How this came about has to be explained.

3. The New Monarchy.—In this reign we come to an important period in the history of England—a period which is marked by a change which came over the rule of the king. The chief cause of this was the Wars of the Roses. They had killed off almost all the great barons, whose feudal power had enabled them to place restraints upon the crown. All classes of subjects were weary of strife. The trading classes wished for peace and orderly government; the Church was weak and sought the protection of the crown; while Parliament, which now consisted of newly-created nobles, small landowners, and merchants, was neither willing nor able to oppose successfully the power of the king. Hence, there now arises what is called the New Monarchy, a system of personal rule by the kings, which under the Tudors grows into despotism.

4. Richard III., (1483-85).—The dissipated life which Edward IV. led brought him to an untimely grave. He left behind him a number of children, three of whom figure in history. These are his two young sons, Edward and Richard, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who became the wife of Henry VII. The elder of the boys, a lad twelve years old, was proclaimed king, with the title of Edward V. His uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who was appointed protector of the kingdom, got possession of the lad and his younger brother, and had them lodged in the Tower of London, which was then a royal residence as well as a fortress and State prison. It was given out that the children of Edward IV. were illegitimate, and that Richard was the proper heir to the throne. The Duke of Buckingham, a friend of Richard’s, having talked over the citizens of London to this view of matters, then induced a body of bishops, nobles, and commons to come to Richard and ask him to accept the crown. After a show of reluctance, Richard consented to be king and was shortly afterwards crowned. The next step of this crafty usurper was to have Edward’s two children murdered in the Tower. The young princes are said to have been smothered with pillows in their sleep.

5. Bosworth Field.—The natural result followed: Richard’s crimes were the cause of his overthrow. No sooner was Richard seated on the throne than a conspiracy was hatched to get rid of him. But Richard was wary, and many feared him. Conscious of the weakness of his position, Richard sought to conciliate those likely to oppose him and tried to rule honestly. Though a crafty and cruel man, he could be generous and just, but no good trait in his character could wipe out the memory of his misdeeds. His appearance, we are told, was against him, for he is said to have been crookbacked and otherwise deformed. But this picture of him is not unlikely to have been inspired by horror of his acts, and is probably exaggerated, if not untrue. His measures of reform in Parliament, at any rate, commend him to approval, and his numerous enactments in aid of commerce were politic and wise. Among his measures of Parliamentary reform was his doing away with the forced loans, exacted under the name of benevolences, and this system of levying money was declared illegal. When Richard usurped the throne, there was living in exile in Brittany a descendant, on his mother’s side, of John of Gaunt. This was Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, now head of the House of Lancaster. Those who conspired to get rid of Richard proposed that Henry should marry Elizabeth, the eldest daughter and heiress of Edward IV., and thus unite the Houses of York and Lancaster. The young earl assented to this, and the Duke of Buckingham took up arms to aid the scheme. Before it was ripe, however, Buckingham was captured by Richard and beheaded. To defeat the plot, Richard now proposed that his own son should marry Elizabeth; but this was foiled by his son’s death; and Richard, getting rid of his wife, proposed that he should marry Elizabeth himself. This proposal hastened the movements of Richmond, who presently landed with a small army in Wales, and advanced against the king. The latter at once prepared to meet Henry, though he grew alarmed at the way in which the enemy’s forces increased and his own seemed to become disaffected. The armies met at Bosworth, in Leicestershire. As the crisis of battle grew near, more than 6,000 of the king’s forces, under Lord Stanley, went over to the Battle of Bosworth Field, 22nd Aug., 1485. enemy, and Richard’s position became desperate. By personal daring the king tried to make up for the loss he had sustained; and in the battle he furiously sought to close with and cut down his rival. But in the hand-to-hand conflict that ensued he was himself slain, and the crown passed to Henry Tudor. With this fight on the field of Bosworth the Wars of the Roses came to an end.

6. The First of the Tudors.—True to his promise, Henry VII. married Elizabeth of York; but he delayed her coronation, and in the early part of his reign treated her with neglect. This offended the Yorkists and got him into trouble. His wish was to rule by right of his own claim to the throne, rather than by the stronger claim of his wife. The doubtfulness of his own claim caused various plots to be hatched against him for the possession of the throne, two of which are curious. The principal figure in the first of these plots was a boy, named Lambert Simnel, whom Simnel and Warbeck’s impostures, A.D. 1487-1492. the Yorkist leaders got hold of and gave out to be the Earl of Warwick, son of the Duke of Clarence. The hero of the other plot was Perkin Warbeck, who represented himself to be Richard, Duke of York, one of the sons of Edward IV., who were supposed to have been murdered in the Tower. Simnel raised a small army, but was defeated and captured. The king pardoned him, and employed him as a scullion. Warbeck, who gave Henry more trouble and received a stronger support, was, after a defeat at Taunton, captured and executed.

7. Character and Policy of Henry VII.—Henry VII. gave the country peace and a measure of prosperity which it had not for some time known. Under him commerce flourished and England took her share in the maritime discoveries of the period; for from the port of Bristol John and Sebastian Cabot set out on an expedition, in which they discovered Newfoundland and the Labrador coast. Personally, Henry was of a cold and reserved nature, with none of those winning ways which attract the people. He governed shrewdly, and, but for his avarice, with wisdom. Love of money was his chief vice; and this led him to exact illegally large sums from his subjects and to hoard them like a miser. These exactions took various forms; sometimes that of benevolences, and sometimes that of heavy fines imposed by his unscrupulous ministers and unjust judges. The fines, it is fair to say, were exacted from friend and foe alike. His greed of gold was such, that, on one occasion, he obtained money from Parliament to carry on war with France, and a short time after took money from the French king to withdraw from the country. A like greed led him to plan a marriage for his eldest son Arthur, with Katharine of Aragon, a wealthy princess of Spain. After the marriage took place Arthur died, and to keep Katharine’s rich dowry in the family and retain the political alliance with Spain, the king caused his second son, afterwards Henry VIII., to marry his brother’s widow. His eldest daughter Margaret he married to James IV. of Scotland—by this act preparing the way for a union of the English and Scottish kingdoms, and at the same time securing an ally in the king of Scotland.

8. Important Statutes.—Parliament was little consulted in this reign, and, from the lack of men to look after them, regard for the people’s liberties began to grow less. This indifference quite suited the king, for it gave him the opportunity to amass money and reduce the nobles to submission. For this latter purpose the Court of the Star Chamber (so-called from the place of meeting) was reconstructed for the trial of offences against the State, though its punishments were limited as yet to fines and imprisonment. Punishment by mutilation and death was the odious practice of a later and more despotic era. In Henry’s reign were passed some good and useful acts. One of these was a statute which defined more clearly the law of treason. One important provision was that a subject, obeying the king in power for the time being, should not be deemed guilty of treason when the rightful king came to be restored to the throne. Another statute abolished Maintenance, or the right of the nobles to keep an unlimited number of retainers, or fighting men, in their service. By the Statute of Liveries each nobleman was taxed so much per month for every armed retainer he kept in his pay. By these and other vigorous measures of the king, the power of the nobles was curbed and order and good government were secured.

9. William Caxton (1410-1491).—Learning, which hitherto had been the exclusive possession of the Church, was now spreading among the nobles and wealthier commoners. Travel and intercourse with other countries aided the intellectual advancement of the people. But much was due to the art of printing, which was introduced into England by William Caxton in the year 1469. This great invention wrought a marvellous change in the social and intellectual life of England, for it set books into circulation which had heretofore been in manuscript, and spread a love of knowledge and gave the means of gratifying it. In Henry’s reign the English tongue became general throughout the kingdom; and for the first time it was formally made the language not only of debate but of the statutes passed by Parliament.

[1. Why was the Earl of Warwick called the “Kingmaker”?

2. What is meant by the “New Monarchy”? Explain fully how it came into existence.

3. What was the character of Edward IV.? Point out what you think good in him, and what bad. Explain “benevolences.”

4. How does history represent Richard III. as a man, and as a king? What reasons are there for doubting that we have a correct description of him?

5. Why was Bosworth Field a very important battle? Relate the events that led to it.

6. Mention any important laws passed in the reign of Henry VII., and show why they were important.

7. State the cause of the Revival of Learning during this period. Name any great men who took an active part in promoting the New Learning, and tell what they did.]




[This chapter opens a period of great importance in English history—the period of the Reformation. The Reformation movement in England was closely connected with that on the continent. Hence, Luther and his work must receive attention. So must the circumstances under which the movement began and developed. In England the personal influence of the monarch had a great effect on the religious attitude of the nation. Show how this happened, and illustrate by reference to the different rulers. Explain clearly the nature of the various changes introduced in the Church by Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Mary. Delineate the characters of such prominent individuals as Henry VIII., Wolsey, Cranmer, Fisher, More, Thomas Cromwell, and Anne Boleyn. Point out the great power possessed by Henry VIII. in Church and State. As stated before, wherever possible, introduce anecdotes and illustrations, to make the study of the subject in hand interesting. Read with pupils Aytoun’s “Edinburgh after Flodden” (4th Reader).

References:—Green, Bright, Froude, Hallam, Shakespeare’s Henry VIII., Tennyson’s “Queen Mary,” Motley’s “Dutch Republic” (for character of Philip of Spain).]

1. Henry VIII.—On the death of Henry VII., in 1509, his eldest surviving son, then in his eighteenth year, succeeded to the crown as Henry VIII. Henry, when he came to the throne, had all the advantages of youth, good looks, pleasant manners, and many accomplishments. To add to his popularity, the gay young king united in himself the rival claims of the houses of York and Lancaster. As he grew older, his strong self-will often broke through all restraints and he gave rein to his passionate and lustful nature. Shortly after his reign began, a great religious movement known as the Protestant Reformation took its rise in Germany, under the leadership of Martin Luther. Luther commenced by preaching against certain practices in the Church of Rome, and step by step was led to reject many of its doctrines. Those who, like Luther, protested against Roman Catholic doctrines and practices were called Protestants. In a short time Protestants became very numerous in many parts of Europe, especially in Switzerland, Holland, and Germany. Henry at first opposed Luther, and wrote against him and in support of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. For this service the Pope rewarded him with the title of “Defender of the Faith,” a title still worn by the sovereigns of England. Not many in England, at the outset, became converts to the new faith, although there was, and had been for some time, a strong feeling against the vicious lives of many of the clergy and the interference of the Pope in English affairs.

2. Henry’s Foreign Wars.—In the early part of his reign Henry engaged in costly and needless wars with France. His motive was partly a wish to recover possession of England’s former province of Guienne, and partly a desire to figure prominently among the great princes of Europe, who were contending for supremacy on the continent. In 1513 he invaded France, won a battle, and besieged and took several towns, to release which Louis XII. had to pay England a large ransom. After peace was declared, Henry gave his sister in marriage to the old French king, Louis; but the latter soon died, and was succeeded by Francis I. While Henry was in France, James IV., of Scotland, pursuing the old policy of the Scots, invaded England; and at the foot of the Cheviot Hills met an English army, under the great Earl of Surrey. Battle of Flodden Field, 9th Sept., 1513. Then ensued the battle of Flodden Field, one of the fiercest fights in the many wars between the two kingdoms. The slaughter of the Scots was great, for 10,000 men were killed, besides the king and the flower of the Scottish nobility. For this brilliant victory Surrey was rewarded with the title of Duke of Norfolk.

3. Cardinal Wolsey and Anne Boleyn.—In Henry’s time England’s foreign and domestic affairs were largely under the rule of one of the most remarkable men the English Church has ever produced. This was Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey. He was at once courtier, diplomatist, and administrator. Of humble origin, his abilities advanced him one step after another, until he became Archbishop of York, Papal legate for England, a Cardinal of the Church, and Lord High Chancellor of the kingdom. He lived in great state, had a princely retinue, and for a time ruled, under the king, with almost despotic authority. In European affairs he exercised much influence, for he had unbounded ambition, great talents for intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of statecraft. Great as was Wolsey’s influence, Henry, however, was no puppet in his hands, as will presently be seen. The king was struck by the beauty of a lady of his court, named Anne of Boleyn, and wished to marry her. To enable him to do this he sought to be divorced from his wife, Katharine, on the ground that it was sinful to marry a brother’s widow; and he applied to the Pope and to Wolsey to further his wicked ends. But both, though for different reasons, refused to grant him a divorce; the Pope, fearing to offend Katharine’s nephew, Charles V. of Spain, now Emperor of Germany; and Wolsey, for political reasons, wishing the king to marry a French princess. Henry, thus thwarted, became angry with Wolsey and the Pope; and from Wolsey he took away his offices, stripped him of his wealth, and charged him with high treason. On his way from York to London, to answer Cardinal Wolsey dies in disgrace, 29th Nov., 1530. the charge, Wolsey fell ill, and died on reaching Leicester Abbey, with the following lament on his lips: “Had I but served my God as diligently as I have served my king, He would not have given me over in my gray hairs.” The king, accustomed to have his way, divorced Katharine in his own courts, and married Anne Boleyn (A.D. 1533).

4. Henry becomes Head of the Church.—Henry’s quarrel with the Church enabled England to shake off the authority of the Pope. Henry, in truth, cared more for his own authority than he cared either for Protestantism or for Roman Catholicism. But it was to Henry’s advantage to separate the Church of England from the Church of Rome; and he did this by a series of assaults on Papal authority in England, by prohibiting the Pope from drawing any revenue from English benefices, and by compelling the clergy to acknowledge the king as Protector and Supreme Head of the Church. This severance from the Roman Communion took place A.D. 1534, and was brought about by the aid of Parliament, the Bishops and clergy, and under the advice of Thomas Cromwell, the king’s Vicar-General, and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. For refusing to take the oath of the king’s supremacy many illustrious persons lost their lives, among whom were Bishop Fisher, of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More, the king’s Chancellor, and one of the most learned men in Europe. On the ground that they were improperly conducted, many of the religious monasteries throughout England were abolished, and their property and revenues seized by the king.

5. Cromwell’s Rule.—Under Cromwell, who had been one of Cardinal Wolsey’s secretaries, and through whom Henry exercised his supremacy in Church affairs, the Reformation movement in England made much progress. At Cromwell’s instigation, not only were the monasteries suppressed, but the Bible was ordered to be translated and read in the Churches in the English tongue. Unfortunately, Henry could not be trusted to give steady support to any particular political or religious policy. At times he was as hostile to Protestants as he was to Catholics; and he was utterly reckless in his treatment of his ministers, sacrificing them without the least compunction. Two instances may be cited which illustrate Henry’s changeable policy in Church matters, and his treachery towards his ministers. Immediately on the suppression of the monasteries, the king ordered a law to be passed, known as “The Bloody Statute,” which consisted of six articles, affirming the truth of the main doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and threatening with torture and death all who refused to subscribe to them. The other instance of Henry’s fickleness was his treatment of Cromwell. Counselled by the latter, the king had married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves; but taking a great dislike to her, he had her divorced, and Cromwell, for having suggested the marriage, was condemned for treason and executed.

6. Power of Henry in Church and State.—The religious differences of the time showed Henry’s cruelty and despotism. Protestants were burnt as heretics; while Roman Catholics, as the humour took him, were imprisoned and hanged. But neither the gallows nor the stake could prevent the people from thinking for themselves: not a few adhered to the new faith, though it was drenched with blood, and many clung to the old beliefs whatever fate befel. In State affairs Henry had almost absolute power. Parliament, in the main, was a tool in his hands: it gave him, with two notable exceptions, all the money he wanted, and on one occasion it absolved him from his debts. It recognized alternately his marriages and divorces, and repeatedly altered the succession to the throne to suit his wishes. It passed Acts which sent his discarded favourites to the block, and gave his proclamations the force of law. But Parliament, on the whole, gained by his rule, for the king’s habit, particularly after the Reformation, of appealing to it in aid of his measures increased its influence; while the withdrawal of the abbots from the House of Lords, owing to the suppression of the monasteries, increased the power of the lay element, which in both Houses was more favourable to constitutional government. Henry’s death gave Parliament an opportunity to recover some of its old authority. The king died in 1547, bequeathing the throne to his three children in succession: (1) to Edward, Henry’s son by Jane Seymour; (2) to Mary, daughter of Katharine of Aragon; and (3) to Elizabeth, daughter of Anne of Boleyn. All in turn came to the throne.

7. Edward VI. and the Rule of Somerset.—Edward VI. came to the throne at the age of nine, and reigned for six years. During his short reign the country was under the Protectorate, first of the Duke of Somerset, brother of queen Jane Seymour, and afterwards of the Earl of Warwick, who became Duke of Northumberland. Under Edward, or rather under the Protector, Somerset, the Reformation in England made much progress, though it continued to excite differences of opinion and even rebellion. Somerset, Act of Uniformity, A. D., 1549. with Archbishop Cranmer’s assistance, passed an Act for securing uniformity in the Church’s service, and introduced the English Prayer Book into the Church. Though these Acts had the approval of many good people, among whom were the great Reformers, bishops Ridley, Coverdale, and Latimer, there were not a few in England opposed to the new doctrines, particularly among the Catholics of the north and the west. The latter stirred up bitter feeling against Somerset, who at times acted with little wisdom or moderation. He procured the repeal, however, of the “Bloody Statute” of Edward’s predecessor, and cancelled the oppressive statutes against the Lollards. But he was unwise in his attitude towards Scotland, which he attacked, that he might force the Scots to give the young queen, Mary, in marriage to Edward VI. In this he failed, though he defeated the Scots in battle; but the latter sent Mary to France, where she married the young Dauphin. After this, trouble increased in England, partly through the intrigues, which were brought speedily to an end, of Somerset’s ambitious brother, Lord Seymour, and partly from the social changes that were going on in the nation. These changes came about from hard times, and from the rapacity of wealthy landowners, who, in acquiring property, turned the poor labourers, with their families, out of their homes, and left many to beggary or starvation. Their condition was made worse by severe laws passed by Parliament against begging, and by the lack of the aid which the poor used to get from monasteries. The situation drove thousands to riot and rebellion. Insurrections for a time were rife in Cornwall, Devonshire, and Norfolk; but they were finally put down with great loss of life. The blame of these disorders fell upon Somerset, and much dissatisfaction was expressed with his government. This feeling broke out in Council, where Somerset’s enemy, the Earl of Warwick, defied him, upset his authority, and finally had him condemned and beheaded.

8. Lady Jane Grey.—Earl Warwick, now Duke of Northumberland, succeeded to the Protectorate in the place of Somerset. The boy king was in ill-health and not likely to live. Northumberland, knowing this, schemed to get Edward to alter the succession in favour of his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, great grand-daughter of Henry VII., thus setting aside both Mary and Elizabeth, the rightful heirs to the crown. He succeeded in his design by playing upon the young king’s fear that the Reformed Church would suffer, if Mary, who was a Catholic, should succeed; and shortly afterwards (A.D. 1553) Edward VI. died, and Lady Jane Grey, in spite of her own protests, was proclaimed queen. But the English people did not like to see Mary Tudor defrauded of her inheritance; moreover, they had kind feelings towards her on account of Henry VIII.’s ill-usage of her mother, Katharine of Aragon. So they rallied round the true heir, and dethroning Northumberland’s daughter-in-law, crowned Mary. For his wicked ambition, Northumberland was executed, and the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey and her husband also came to the block. But Mary’s accession to the throne brought great trouble to England. As a Catholic, she repealed all the laws in favour of the Protestant religion, restored the Catholic bishops to office, and began a religious persecution on account of which many have given her the name of “Bloody Mary.”

9. Persecution of Protestants.—One of the troubles of Mary’s reign was her marriage, in 1554, with Philip II. of Spain. The alliance was very unpopular in England. The people were alarmed to have the queen, already a rigid Catholic, connect herself with a prince of the most Roman Catholic country in Europe. So great, indeed, was this alarm that several insurrections took place, the chief of which was Sir Thomas Wyatt’s. These led to the imprisonment and death of many influential people who had taken part in them, and threw Mary entirely into the hands of the Papal party in England that had encouraged the marriage. Her marriage strengthened Mary in her resolve to bring about a reconciliation with Rome, and to restore the Church property in the possession of the Crown. But she could not induce Parliament to restore to the Church the lands and goods that had become private property. She rebuilt, however, many monasteries at the public expense, and did what was in her power to replace the Church in its old position of wealth and influence. The Statutes against heretics were revived, and hundreds died at the stake for the Protestant faith. For these atrocities the queen’s adviser, Bishop Gardiner, was partly responsible. He was aided in his infamous work by Bonner, Bishop of London, in whose diocese most of the burnings took place. Among those to suffer martyrdom for their faith were Archbishop Cranmer, and bishops Hooper, Ridley, and Latimer. The two latter were bound together at one stake, at Oxford, in 1555; and as the fagots were lit, Latimer, addressing his fellow-martyr, cried: “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man: we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” Philip induced Mary to join him in a war with France, the result of which was that England lost Calais, her last possession in France, (A.D. 1558). In the same year Mary, having lost the love alike of husband and people, sickened and died.

[1. Under what circumstances did Henry VIII. come to the throne? Why was he popular with the people? Compare his character at the beginning with his character at the close of his reign, and account for the change.

2. What caused Henry VIII. to separate from the Church of Rome? What steps did he take in doing so?

3. Describe the character of Wolsey, and relate the principal incidents in his career.

4. Who was Thomas Cromwell? For what is he famous?

5. Why were Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher put to death?

6. Show that Henry VIII. had great power both in Church and State.

7. What kind of government had England during the reign of Edward VI.? What was the condition of the labouring classes?

8. Mention the principal events that took place in connection with the Reformation in England during Edward’s reign.

9. What is to be admired, and what condemned, in the life and character of Archbishop Cranmer?

10. Point out what you think is most worthy of notice in the reign of Mary.]




[The great figure in the period covered by this chapter is Queen Elizabeth. Her character is an interesting study, and the teacher will find vivid and life-like descriptions of her in Green, Froude, and Lingard. Next in interest comes Mary, Queen of Scots. Her life abounds in romantic incidents. Relate some of them, and read with pupils Henry Glassford Bell’s poem, “Queen Mary.” The great work accomplished by Elizabeth in securing the peace, independence, and prosperity of England; the final triumph of Protestantism in England; and the wonderful activity and intelligence displayed by Englishmen in all spheres of thought and labour, are the principal features of this reign. The literary activity of the age, as shown in the works of Spenser, Shakespeare, Bacon, Raleigh, and others, should come in for mention. It was an age of high purpose and chivalrous action. Illustrate this by anecdotes about Raleigh, Sir Philip Sidney, Essex, and others; and read with pupils Macaulay’s “The Armada,” and Tennyson’s “The Revenge.”

References:—Green, Froude, Hallam, Lingard, Creighton’s “Age of Elizabeth,” and “The Tudors and the Reformation,” Strickland’s “Queens of England,” Scott’s “Kenilworth,” Swinburne’s “Chastelard” and “Bothwell,” Burton’s “History of Scotland,” and Seabohm’s “Era of the Protestant Revolution.”]

1. Character and Work of Elizabeth.—This reign opens the renowned Age of Elizabeth, an age distinguished for stirring action and great literary achievement. Elizabeth, who was twenty-five when she came to the throne, was energetic and courageous, clever and well-read. With her Tudor blood she inherited her father’s pride in the kingdom, and had much of his imperious ways and haughty manner. Though fond of grandeur, and possessed of a woman’s love of flattery, she did not care merely for these things; she worked hard for the good of her people, and was careful in choosing the men she set over them. Coming after her Catholic sister, Mary, she had a difficult task in bringing the kingdom back to Protestantism; and the difficulty was increased by the many plots during her reign to remove her from the throne and give a Catholic the crown. But she was well counselled by her life-long adviser, Sir William Cecil (Lord Burleigh); and her own moderate views in religion removed many thorns from her path. Her first step was to close the courts for the trial of heretics, and to release those who had been imprisoned for their religion. The exiled Protestants then returned to the kingdom, and those rallied round her who had held aloof from the Court during the persecutions of Mary. In the religious ferment of the period there was need of moderation, for a Protestant England was then jealously regarded by the great Catholic Powers of Europe, Italy, France and Spain. Elizabeth had no love for war, and was long careful not to embroil the country with the princes of the continent; but to keep out of trouble she had to be watchful of the plots against her, and diligent to see that England was kept strong and independent. Elizabeth’s hand was repeatedly sought in marriage, but she lived and died a “Virgin Queen.”

2. Completion of the Reformation.—On Elizabeth’s accession, the clergy, who were strongly Catholic, sullenly regarded the coming of a Protestant queen. It was with difficulty a bishop could be got to crown her, for the Pope refused to acknowledge her title, and the Kings of France and Spain were in favour of putting her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, on the English throne. When, however, Parliament met (1559), a devoted majority in both Houses eagerly supported Elizabeth in proclaiming the Supremacy of the Crown. A revised Prayer Book and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion were put in circulation, and an Act of Uniformity was passed which forbade all worship not in accordance with the Liturgy of the Church of England. The clergy who refused assent to the new order of things were deprived of their livings and others put in their place. A Court of High Commission was also formed to manage Church matters and especially to enforce conformity, by fines and imprisonment, to the Established Church. The exercise of this latter power was the cause of much unjustifiable persecution. Protestantism again became the law of the land and the work of the Reformation may be said to be complete. Among the returned Protestants, who during the persecutions of Mary had sought refuge on the continent, were many who came to be called Puritans, because they desired a purer form of worship than that established in the kingdom, and refused to conform to many of the practices of the Church. Against these Puritans, whom Elizabeth disliked, the Act of Uniformity was put in force with great rigour; but they adhered doggedly to their opinions, and their love of civil liberty added many to their ranks. On the other hand, trouble came from the Jesuits, a religious Order in the Roman Catholic Church that had arisen in Spain a short time before, and did much by its zeal to check the progress of the Reformation not only in England, but on the continent.

3. Mary, Queen of Scots.—From the time Elizabeth was crowned, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, gave trouble to England. She had married the Dauphin of France, who in 1559 became king. As a descendant of Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII., she was next heir to the English throne; and this led her husband to style himself king of France and England. Elizabeth took great offence at this, for she feared that Mary would try to seize the throne. Mary’s husband, however, died in 1560, and the following year she was invited to Scotland and became queen. The year before, Elizabeth had been asked to interfere in a civil war in Scotland, which had broken out between the Catholic party and the Scotch Reformers under John Knox. An English fleet was sent to the Forth; but peace was made at Edinburgh, and the French who had aided the Catholics left the country, and Elizabeth withdrew her fleet on the condition that Mary should make no claim to the English throne. In 1565 Mary married her cousin, Lord Darnley; but the marriage was an unhappy one, and the Scottish queen got foolishly entangled with a favourite, the Earl of Bothwell, who murdered Darnley and married Mary. This led to a rising among the Scottish nobles, who made the queen a prisoner, and gave the crown to her son, James VI. Mary afterwards escaped to England, and Elizabeth, fearing that her presence would lead to plots against her life, kept her for nineteen years under watchful restraint. During these years, in spite of Elizabeth’s jealous care, many plots were put on foot to give Mary her liberty and place her on the throne. Finally, becoming involved in a plot known as the Babington Conspiracy, she was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle, A.D. 1587. The justice of her fate has long been a subject for dispute; but it must be acknowledged that, while Mary lived, England was always in trouble from conspiracy and threatened invasion.

4. The Spanish Armada.—In Elizabeth’s reign the spirit of adventure among her people showed itself in England’s commercial and naval greatness. Spain, at the period, was the chief trading nation of Europe; and in the New World her mariners were enriching their country with the wealth of South America and the West Indies. England caught the excitement of the time, and many expeditions left her ports to engage in discovery and to pillage Spanish ships. The latter acts were bitterly resented by King Philip, who also suffered from English interference in the Netherlands, whither Elizabeth had sent her troops to aid Philip’s Dutch subjects in throwing off the Spanish yoke. Philip was further exasperated by the loss of eighty vessels in the harbour of Cadiz, which were destroyed by Sir Francis Drake in a descent upon the place, “to singe,” as he said, “the Spanish king’s beard.” In retaliation, Philip having got a great fleet together, which he called the Invincible Armada, sent it in 1588 to invade England, with an army on board of 30,000 men. To meet the invasion a land force was organized in England under the Earl of Leicester, and a fleet under Lord Howard, of Effingham, cruised about in the English Channel. When the Spanish fleet came in sight it was engaged by the Lord High Admiral, and many of the largest galleons were destroyed. Other portions were burnt by fire-ships sent into the fleet over night. On this a panic seized the Spaniards, and Sir Francis Drake boldly attacked and routed them. A strong southwesterly gale now sprang up; and the Spanish admiral thought to escape the English by sailing round the north of Scotland, and so reaching Spain. But the fierce storms of the North Sea made terrible havoc with the lumbering Spanish ships, and only a small remnant of the ill-fated expedition was able to reach the harbour of Corunna. Thus ended, in signal failure, the Spanish invasion of England.

5. Rebellion in Ireland.—Naturally enough, the loss of the Armada did not lessen Philip’s hatred of England. Though English valour on the sea had defeated his schemes of invasion, he gave encouragement to a rising in Ireland under O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, which for five years annoyed England. The reason of the rising was the hatred caused by English misrule, and increased by religious differences. To put an end to the rebellion, Elizabeth sent an army to Ireland in 1599 under her favourite, the Earl of Essex. But Essex, unable to crush Tyrone, made a truce with the rebel, and, against Elizabeth’s orders, returned to England and pushed his way into her presence. For his presumption, Elizabeth, though partial to him, forbade him the Court and deprived him of part of his income. Essex foolishly resented this, and conspired to overthrow her ministers, whom he held responsible for his losing the queen’s favour. But the plot failed, and Elizabeth was reluctantly compelled to order his execution. The Irish rising was put down in 1601 by Lord Mountjoy, and a Spanish fleet which had come to assist the rebels was defeated.

6. Parliamentary Government under Elizabeth.—The struggles through which England passed during the Reformation greatly developed the national life and were not without their influence on Parliament. The effort to free the nation completely from the ecclesiastical power of Rome, and the necessity for legislation to protect her person from the dangers of conspiracy, compelled Elizabeth to resort to Parliament. This, of course, increased its influence. For money, however, Elizabeth had no need to come to Parliament during the greater part of her reign. Her own economy made her content with little; while the expenses connected with the threatened invasion and the wars in Ireland and the Netherlands were readily met by the people. Under the Tudor kings Parliament had been very submissive; but under Elizabeth, its Puritan section, in particular, was more independent; and the queen’s cleverness and moderation led her to see that at times it was best to yield. One important concession she was obliged to make, is the discontinuance of Monopolies. These were privileges granted to Court favourites or to others, in return for a money payment which conveyed the sole right of selling some article or of engaging in some foreign trade. This spirit of independence in the Commons also showed itself in its objecting to the creation, by unconstitutional means, of new parliamentary boroughs, and to Court interference in elections. Parliament also frequently urged the queen to marry; and although Elizabeth resented any interference in this matter, she was compelled to acknowledge its right to give advice on a question involving the peace of the kingdom.

7. Spenser and Shakespeare.—The enterprises of the time, together with the religious controversies, had a marked influence on literature. As feudal oppression passed away and superstition decayed, the energies of the people awoke to new life. The spirit of adventure abroad had made the New World known to the Old, and the East India Company, which was formed in Elizabeth’s reign, opened up the East to commerce. While these forces were at work, thanks to the founding of the Grammar Schools and Universities, the thirst for knowledge increased, and England rose to unexampled literary greatness. In the reign of Elizabeth Modern English took its rise. Its great writers are Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, Richard Hooker, and Francis, Lord Bacon; the splendour of the period centering in its two chief poets, Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare. In the musical flow of the Faerie Queen, as well as in its moral beauty, English verse was crowned by the achievement of Spenser. The poem is an exquisite allegory, describing the warfare of twelve knights against all forms of evil, which in the poet’s pages become real personages, and contend with the knights who represent the chief virtues. In the works of Shakespeare, who is indisputably the first of English dramatists—if not of all dramatists—literature was immortalized by a marvellous creative power and an unsurpassed genius. His chief productions, however, more properly belong to the next reign. They consist of some thirty-five plays—tragedies, comedies, and historical dramas.

[1. In what condition did Elizabeth find England when she became queen?

2. Give, as well as you can, a pen-and-ink portrait of Elizabeth with respect to (1) personal appearance and accomplishments; (2) moral qualities; (3) mental qualities. Compare her with Mary, Queen of Scots.

3. What policy did Elizabeth pursue to give England peace and prosperity? Show how she succeeded.

4. Why did Philip of Spain send the Armada? What was its fate?

5. Show that England during this reign made great advances in trade and commerce.

6. Who are the great Elizabethan writers? What caused the wonderful literary activity in this reign?

7. What is meant by the statement that Elizabeth’s reign marks the beginning of a new state of affairs in England?

8. Tell the story of the imprisonment and death of Mary, Queen of Scots.

9. What position did Parliament occupy in this reign? Mention any facts bearing on this point.]




[The Great Rebellion was the result of a conflict between the Crown and Parliament, which began in the reign of James I. Hence, every step in this struggle should be traced. The early training of James I.; his mistaken ideas of kingly authority; his want of tact and political wisdom, are points all bearing on this question. The personal appearance and character of James are graphically described by Green, and this description should be given to the class. The difference between the Tudors and the Stuarts, as stated by Macaulay, ought to be pointed out. The Gunpowder Plot, its cause, and incidents connected with its inception and discovery, are worth mentioning. The character of Charles I. should be studied and delineated. The provisions of the Petition of Right ought to be carefully explained. Buckingham, Sir John Eliot, Hampden, Pym, Falkland, Laud, and Strafford are the great men at this stage of the history; as graphically as possible put their prominent traits before the pupils. The teacher will find in Macaulay’s “Milton,” and in Green’s “Short History,” vivid descriptions of the Puritans and their opinions; give the substance of these studies, illustrating by reference to Milton, Bunyan, Hutchinson, and Cromwell. These hints do not exhaust the points in this chapter to be taken up; but the headings of the paragraphs will suggest other topics. Read with pupils Mrs. Heman’s “Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers” (4th Reader), and refer to Longfellow’s “Evangeline” for a picture of the Puritans in New England.

References:—Green, Macaulay’s Essays, Hallam, Goldwin Smith’s “Three English Statesmen,” Mrs. Hutchinson’s “Memoirs of Her Husband,” Carlyle’s “Cromwell,” and Forster’s “Statesmen of the Commonwealth.”]

1. James I. (1603-1625).—Queen Elizabeth, fearing plots against her life, would never say who was to succeed her. It was well understood, however, that as she was the last of Henry VIII.’s family, the crown was to pass to James VI. of Scotland. When Elizabeth died, this was what happened; and the Scottish king, son of the unfortunate Mary Stuart, and great-grandson of the eldest sister of Henry VIII., succeeded to the throne as James I. of Great Britain. Though the two kingdoms were thus united, each had still its own Parliament, its own Church government, and its own laws. James was gladly welcomed to the throne, for the people had long desired the union. He had good natural abilities and was well educated; but the seclusion of his early life had made him conceited, as well as careless of his appearance and awkward in his manners. On coming to the throne, James had the good sense to retain Elizabeth’s advisers; but being fond of flattery and vulgar in his tastes, he made himself free with unworthy favourites, and was very much under their influence.

2. The King and the People.—James brought with him from Scotland exaggerated notions of the king’s authority, regarding it not as a trust derived from the people, but as a right divinely bestowed, and therefore independent of Parliament and beyond its control. The Tudor kings, we have seen, were very despotic, but the times were stormy and full of danger, and the people were content to be ruled with a strong hand. Of late, however, a change had come about. There was now little fear of enemies within or without the kingdom, and the power the people had parted with they now wished to recall. If James had reasonably met their views, there would have been no trouble; but the king, while he was weak and cowardly, was stubborn and conceited. Towards two of the religious parties in the State he at first pursued a temporizing policy, which pleased neither and got him into trouble. These parties were the Catholics and the Puritans, both of whom expected favours from him. The former looked for his support as the son of the Catholic Mary; while the latter, being the strong party in Parliament, and the one that had got him the crown, expected that he would take their side. But both parties were disappointed. The Catholics he offended by speaking of them as disloyal; and the Puritans he disliked because they wanted to get rid of bishops, and introduce changes in the Church which he thought would interfere with his own power. Nor would he let Parliament meddle with Church matters; so there was much discontent in the kingdom.

3. Gunpowder Plot.—Early in 1604, James presided over a Hampton Court Conference of Bishops. Conference of Bishops, which he summoned with a view to settle Church matters in dispute. But in the Assembly the Puritans were in the minority, and the king took advantage of this to browbeat them and to declare his religious and political creed in a phrase he was fond of using, “No bishop, no king.” One great fruit of the Conference was a new English translation of the Bible, which was completed in 1611. This is the Authorized Version of the Scriptures now in use, and is dedicated to King James. No sooner had James left the Conference than he issued a proclamation ordering all Jesuits and seminary priests to leave the kingdom. This greatly enraged the Roman Catholics, and a plot was formed by a number of them, headed by one Robert Catesby, to blow up the Parliament House, with the king and the Commons who had taken part in passing the law. The conspirators bound themselves to secrecy, and a Yorkshireman, named Guy Fawkes, who had been in the Spanish service in the Netherlands, was employed to do the dastardly deed. It was Gunpowder Plot, Nov. 5, 1605. arranged that the mine was to be fired at the opening of Parliament, and access was secured to the vaults of the House to enable the conspirators to lay the train. Luckily, however, the plot was discovered in time to prevent its accomplishment. Fawkes was arrested and put to the torture of the rack to force him to disclose the names of his associates; but though he refused to tell, they were subsequently found out, arrested, and executed. After this, very severe laws were passed against the Roman Catholics.

4. The Spanish Alliance.—In 1612, death deprived the king of his adviser, Robert Cecil, son of Elizabeth’s minister, Lord Burleigh. He was succeeded for a time by a worthless favourite, named Robert Carr, who in turn gave place to George Villiers, whom the king created Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham gained great power over the king, and all the principal offices of State were filled with his creatures. This gave much offence to the nation, for he was arrogant, dissolute, and extravagant. Under his influence the Court became very corrupt, and positions and honours were shamelessly sold for money. The judges were compelled to decide cases as Buckingham dictated: even the Lord Chancellor Bacon lent himself to carry out the wishes of this insolent favourite. The influence of Buckingham was seen in the effort James made to form an alliance with Spain, by marrying his son Charles to the Infanta. To this match the English people and Parliament were strongly opposed on both national and religious grounds. The marriage negotiations failed, but not before they brought about a serious quarrel between James and his Parliament. A short time after the match was broken off, Charles married Henrietta Maria, the daughter of Henry IV. of France.

5. Beginning of the Struggle with Parliament.—The threatened Spanish marriage, and James’s unwillingness to take active part with the Protestants in the religious war then being waged on the continent, showed how much the king and the people differed in their views as to what was good for the nation. The discontent with James’s rule was increased by his disregard of Parliament, by his illegal exactions of money, and by the issue of arbitrary proclamations, one of which forbade the king’s subjects to speak of State affairs. But James’s financial necessities compelled him to summon Parliament, and the Commons took the opportunity to state its grievances and assert its rights. The House drew up a Protest of the Commons, and assertion of its rights, A.D. 1621. Protest, in which it was declared, that “freedom of speech and the privileges of Parliament are the undoubted birthright and inheritance of the subjects of England.” The king got angry at this Protest, and sending for the journals of the House he tore it out and dissolved Parliament. He also committed to prison the leaders of the Commons and two members of the Upper House. These acts, however, made Parliament more determined to assert its rights, and this it did by passing an Act making Monopolies illegal, by impeaching or bringing to trial the king’s ministers, and by forcing on James a war with Spain. Next year (1625), while this fruitless war was going on, and he was still at issue with his subjects, James died, and his son, Charles I., came to the throne.

6. Colonization of Ulster and New England.—Early in James’s reign (1608) the Tyrone rebellion in Ireland again broke out, under a new rebel chief, the Earl of Tyrconnel. But this rising fared no better than the one in Elizabeth’s time; its leaders had to flee from the country, and their large estates were taken possession of by the Crown. On these forfeited estates James caused a large number of English and Scotch to settle, and the colony in time came to be the flourishing Province of Ulster. Puritan colonization, in the same reign, extended to the New World. In 1620, a band of English Puritans, known as the Pilgrim Fathers, sailed from Plymouth in the Mayflower, and settled on Massachusetts Bay. These Puritans were mainly English refugees from persecution who had for a time lived in Holland. Ten years later, their numbers were largely increased by another emigration of those who sought on the American Continent the religious freedom they were denied at home.

7. Accession of Charles I.—Much was hoped from Charles when he became king, for, unlike his father, he was dignified in appearance and decorous in his manners. Had James, by his arbitrary acts and extravagant notions of kingly power, not roused the temper of the nation, Charles might have made an estimable ruler. But his son, too, had exalted notions of the power of a king; and the antagonism between the Crown and the Parliament made him stand firmly on what he thought were his rights. The circumstances of the times were also against him. His father had left him a legacy of debt, a war with Spain, and an unpopular minister. Religious animosities, moreover, were still rife; and by marrying a Catholic wife Charles had added not a little to the prejudice which afterwards showed itself against him. Subsequent troubles also showed that he was impatient of opposition and lacking in sincerity.

8. Petition of Right.—When Charles’s first Parliament met, his popularity had waned. Buckingham was still his adviser, and the foreign policy of this minister and the young king was distrusted by the people. The war with Spain was badly managed, and an expedition to capture Cadiz turned out a failure. Parliament, therefore, voted money very sparingly until it saw how it was to be used. Charles urged that more money was wanted, but the Commons were firm and refused to give it. Thereupon he dismissed Parliament, and to raise money resorted to the old custom of forced loans. Next year a new Parliament was called, which was quite as hostile to the king. After protesting against the levying of money without the consent of the Commons, it proceeded to impeach the king’s minister, to save whom the king again dismissed Parliament. Before the third Parliament met, in 1628, the king, under Buckingham’s advice, had foolishly added a war with France to the nation’s troubles. He had also continued his illegal taxation, thrown the leaders of the Opposition into prison, billeted his soldiers oppressively on the people, and exercised martial law. The third Parliament, still more determined that the king should govern by constitutional means, compelled him to sign the “Petition of Right,” which condemned his illegal acts. On the signing of this document, which is considered the “second Great Charter of the liberties of England,” the Commons voted five subsidies; but a short time after, the king renewed his efforts to raise money by illegal means, and the Commons remonstrating he threw nine of its members into prison and angrily dissolved Parliament. For the next eleven years Charles governed England without the aid or check of a national council.

9. Ship-Money.—Matters fast became worse. Instead of government by Parliament, there was now the government of the king. The instruments of Charles’s personal rule were, in political matters, the Court of the Star Chamber, and in religious matters, the Court of High Commission. At the head of these were new men whom the king had won to his side; for after the Third Parliament was dissolved, the Duke of Buckingham, when about to lead an expedition to France, was murdered by a disgraced officer of the navy. His successor, Sir Thomas Wentworth, had been at one time a staunch supporter of the cause of liberty and an active opponent of Charles in Parliament. On the death of Buckingham, ambition had led him to desert his old party and espouse the Wentworth and Laud. cause of the king. Appointed Viceroy of Ireland, in 1633, he established a military despotism in the island, and encouraged Charles to carry out a like obnoxious rule in England. Despotic government, too, was established in Church affairs by William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury; and the Puritans were the first to feel his cruel oppression. The ingenuity of these ministers devised a new way of raising money, which was put in force by the king. This was the revival of an old law, which called upon the seaports and maritime counties to furnish ships for the defence of the coast. But instead of ships, a tax, called Ship-Money, was levied upon every county. A gentleman of Buckinghamshire, named John Hampden, had the courage to resist the imposition of the tax, and to test its legality in the courts. Though the judges, by a small majority, decided the case against him, the whole nation was roused by a sense of wrong, and many of the best men of the country came patriotically forward to contend for their rights.

10. Scotland rejects Episcopacy.—Charles, seemingly bent on his own ruin, took Archbishop Laud’s advice and sought to force upon the Scottish nation the forms and service of the Episcopal Church in England. This was very obnoxious to the Scotch, who, since the Reformation, had almost wholly become Presbyterians, and were opposed to Church government by bishops, and to the use of a book of Church service. So strong was the feeling against Laud’s interference with their mode of worship, that at Edinburgh a riot broke out in one of the Churches where the Episcopal service was introduced; and the whole country banded itself together to resist what was looked upon as a form of Roman Catholicism. To The Scottish Covenanters take up arms against Charles. give unity to their action, the Scottish people signed a National Covenant, in which they agreed to resist Popery and all religious innovations, and to support each other in their resistance. Episcopacy was abolished, and when the king wished to force it upon them, the Scots took up arms and marched southwards against him. But though he had raised an army on the borders, Charles had no money to maintain it; and, negotiating a temporary peace, at Berwick, he proceeded to London and summoned his fourth Parliament (April, 1640).

11. The Long Parliament (1640).—The fourth, or as it is called the Short Parliament, did little for Charles; for no sooner did it meet than the Commons, under John Pym, a famous leader of the time, proceeded to complain of the country’s wrongs, and of the arbitrary acts of the Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission, which were taking away the rights and liberties of the people. To stop these complaints, Charles dissolved Parliament, but later in the year he was compelled by his need of money to call it together again. In the interval, the Scottish army crossed the border and marched into Yorkshire, where an agreement was made with Charles to refer matters in dispute to the Parliaments of the two countries. So the king again summoned what came to be known as the Long Parliament, on account of the long time it lasted. This memorable Assembly, which was warmly supported in its acts by popular feeling, now determined to settle the question, which should govern the country—the king or the Parliament. Its first act was to impeach and bring to trial Sir Thomas Wentworth, now Earl of Strafford, who had returned from Ireland to aid the king with his counsel. Strafford was declared a traitor by Parliament, and was condemned to death and executed in May, 1641. Archbishop Laud was also impeached, and for the present was sent a prisoner to the Tower. The next step was to pass Acts requiring the assembling of Parliament at least once in three years, and to prevent its adjournment or dissolution without its own consent. Statutes were also passed forbidding the levying of ship-money and illegal customs duties, and abolishing the Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission.

12. Attempted arrest of the Five Members.—Charles’s position, though full of difficulty, for a time looked brighter. The Commons, in its zeal to effect reforms, was carried into excesses, which alienated some of its members and drove them to sympathize with the king. By granting to the Scots what they demanded, Charles had produced peace in the North, and given hope in England that he would now be more yielding. This expectation brought him further support, particularly of those who thought that the Commons had gone far enough in asserting its rights, and who feared to plunge the country into anarchy. Two political parties thus arose in Parliament and the country, the one (known as the “Cavaliers”) taking the Royalist or king’s side, and the other (the “Roundheads”) taking the popular or Opposition side. On the king’s side were ranged all the Roman Catholics and most of the nobles, clergy, and country gentlemen. These were led in Parliament by Lucius, Lord Falkland, and by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, both of whom had formerly opposed the king. On the Opposition side were the Puritans and Nonconformists, a few of the nobility, and many able but austere men of the merchant and middle classes. Their chief leaders were the great commoners, Hampden, Pym, and Oliver Cromwell. The two parties were pretty evenly balanced in Parliament, though the Opposition now gained strength by the breaking out once more of a rebellion in Ireland, which was marked by great atrocities inflicted by the Irish Roman Catholics on the Protestant settlers in the island. In this new outbreak Charles was suspected of having a hand, and violent discussions ensued in Parliament over the matter. The Opposition brought forward a Grand Remonstrance complaining of the king’s misgovernment since he had come to the throne, and expressing distrust of his acts and policy. The Remonstrance was passed by a small majority in the House, amid great tumult, and was printed and circulated throughout the country. This produced a reaction in favour of the king, and, taking advantage of it, he proceeded with a small body of armed troops to the House to arrest five of the prominent leaders of the Commons. But the members, being secretly advised of the king’s coming, had taken refuge in the city, and Charles was foiled in his attempt to get them into his possession. The king’s treacherous and flagrant violation of the privileges of Parliament roused it to fury, and created such excitement in London that the king fled from the city and took refuge in Hampton Court. The queen was sent to Holland, and Charles now proceeded to the North to muster his forces for the coming strife, while Parliament prepared for armed resistance. England once more was to be distracted by civil war.

[1. What claim had James I. to the throne of England?

2. Compare the Stuarts with the Tudors.

3. Describe the personal and mental peculiarities of James I.

4. What views did James I. hold of the power of the Crown? Show how these views affected his relations with Parliament.

5. Mention the principal causes that led to the disagreement between James I. and Parliament.

6. Point out the excellences and defects in the character of Charles I.

7. What were the main provisions of the Petition of Right? Show why they were needed, and how they were obtained.

8. What line of conduct was pursued by Charles I. between 1629 and 1640?

9. For what are the following persons famous:—Buckingham, Sir John Eliot, Hampden, Pym, Laud, and Strafford?

10. What led to the assembling of the Long Parliament? What important laws did it pass?

11. Sketch the events immediately prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.]




[The central figure of this period is Cromwell. In Carlyle’s “Cromwell” will be found the most life-like portraiture of the “uncrowned King of England.” For different views of the justice of the sentence carried out on Charles I., read Hallam and Macaulay’s Essay on Hallam. The principal battle-fields of the Civil War are located in the map on p. 78; the teacher should point them out. Cromwell’s rule, generalship, and foreign and domestic policy, require explanation and illustration. His treatment of the Irish, and the contradictory opinions held by different authors regarding his character, may be briefly alluded to; but anything in the shape of an elaborate discussion should be avoided. It may interest the class if it be shown that Cromwell was far in advance of his times in his ideas of parliamentary reform and religious toleration. Milton’s Sonnet on Cromwell should be read, also Aytoun’s “Execution of Montrose” (3rd Reader), and Scott’s “Woodstock” and “Legend of Montrose.”

References:—Green, Hallam, Macaulay’s Essays, Carlyle’s “Cromwell,” Gardiner’s “Struggle Against Absolute Monarchy,” and Bissett’s “History of the Commonwealth.”]

1. Civil War.—Before the sword was drawn, Charles was asked to consent that the militia of the country should be controlled by Parliament. But to this interference with the rights of the Crown he and his counsellors would not agree; and rallying about him, in 1642, what forces he could obtain, he set up the royal standard at Nottingham. His own headquarters he made at Oxford. The king’s army, which soon numbered 10,000 men, was commanded by the Earl of Lindsay and Charles’s nephew, Prince Rupert. It was drawn mainly from the north and west of England, and its chief strength lay in Prince Rupert’s Cavaliers, a dashing body of mounted nobles and gentry. The Parliamentary army, some 15,000 strong, mustered at Northampton, and was placed under the command of the Earl of Essex. The ranks were filled by the yeomanry of the south and east of England, and by the stout burghers of London and the large towns. To these were afterwards added a body of Puritan troopers, known as Cromwell’s Ironsides, whose stubborn valour and zeal for the Parliamentary, or, as they deemed it, God’s cause, made them almost invincible. Oliver Cromwell, who raised this body of honest and fearless men, was a prominent member of the Opposition in Parliament, and the leader of a branch of the Puritan party called “Independents.” This sect maintained that every Christian congregation was an independent Church of itself, and therefore free from the control of either bishop or king. The great part Cromwell was to take in subsequent events we shall soon see. The Parliamentary side had some assistance from the Scots, who in 1643 entered into a Solemn League with Parliament by which Presbyterianism was to be introduced into England and Prelacy abolished. This compact was for the time carried out, and an incident of its history was an Assembly of Divines at Westminster, which drew up what is known as the Scottish “Confession of Faith.” To Scottish influence in London at this time are due the cruel ejection from their livings of many of the English clergy, who refused to accept Presbyterianism; and the subsequent trial and execution of Archbishop Laud.

2. Marston Moor and Naseby.—The early battles of the civil war were one at Edgehill, in Warwickshire, and two at Newbury, in Berkshire. No important results attended these battles, except the loss of two of the king’s commanders, Lords Lindsay and Falkland. In a skirmish at Chalgrove Field, the Parliamentary side lost the famous patriot, John Hampden, one of its principal leaders. The decisive engagements of the struggle were the battles of Marston Moor (1644), and Naseby (1645). In the former, Cromwell’s well-disciplined troopers, after a severe contest, overthrew Prince Rupert and his cavaliers; in the latter, Cromwell again routed Charles’s army, with the king at its head, and completely ruined the royal cause. At Naseby, over 5,000 prisoners were taken, with all the artillery and baggage and the king’s cabinet and private correspondence. After this crowning victory, General Fairfax, who had succeeded Essex in the command of the army, subdued the west, and proceeded to invest Oxford, where Charles had taken refuge. On his approach, however, the king escaped from the town and gave himself up to the Scots, who were besieging Newark (1644).

3. Execution of Charles I.—The surrender of Charles to the Scots showed how hopeless now was his cause. His supporters in Scotland had been beaten in battle, and the Irish who came to his assistance had also been overcome. But Charles still hoped for a way out of his difficulties, though he would make no concessions to Parliament. His opportunity he thought would come, in a quarrel between the Presbyterians, who were strong in Parliament, and the Independents, of whom the army was mainly composed. Though these two parties strongly differed, the king gained nothing by the strife. Meanwhile, Parliament proposed to the Scots to surrender the king, on its guaranteeing a large sum of money as their arrears of pay. This proposal the Scots accepted, and they returned to their homes after delivering the king to the Parliamentary Commissioners. Now commenced a struggle between the army and the Parliament, the latter desiring to disband the forces, and to deprive of their commands the officers who were members of the Commons. Meanwhile, the king had been seized by the army, the leaders of which proposed to place him on the throne on favourable terms. Charles pretended to listen to these terms, but at the same time intrigued against the army. Becoming, however, alarmed for his safety, he escaped from his guards and fled to Carisbrooke Castle, in the Isle of Wight, but was once more handed over to his enemies. His flight was followed by a new rising of his friends, and the Scots invaded England. But Fairfax put down the royalists, and Cromwell defeated the Scots; and thereafter the army marched to London to visit its wrath upon the Presbyterian section of Parliament. The members composing this section were expelled from the House; and the king, being held responsible for the renewal of the war, the Independent minority in the Commons (known as the “Rump Parliament”) brought him to trial at Westminster, and in January, 1649, Charles was condemned and executed.

4. The Commonwealth (1649-1660).—A thrill of horror went through the nation on learning of the execution of Charles. The kingly dignity with which he had met his death aroused the sympathy of the people. This sympathy increased the difficulties of the faction in Parliament, consisting of less than eighty members, which now proceeded to set up a Commonwealth. But it went vigorously to work and abolished the House of Lords, and declared the office of king “burdensome and dangerous.” Government was carried on by a Council of State, with Cromwell and Fairfax in command of the army; while a revenue was raised by imposing fines on royalists and by selling their estates. Fresh outbreaks in the interests of the Stuart cause for a time occupied the attention of the new government. There were risings in Ireland and in Scotland, and in the latter country the eldest son of the late king was crowned at Scone as Charles II. To repress these risings Cromwell was sent as Lord-Lieutenant to Ireland, with an army of 9,000 men. With this force he stormed Drogheda and put its garrison to the sword, sacked Wexford and Cork, and subdued the country with ruthless severity. Cromwell then returned to England, where he was thanked by Parliament and made Captain-General of the armies of the Commonwealth. The Scottish disturbance now claimed his attention; and with a force of 16,000 men he went north and routed the Scottish army at Dunbar, taking 10,000 prisoners. After this defeat all Scotland submitted to General Monk, whom Cromwell left in charge of the country. Meanwhile Charles II., evading Cromwell, entered England with a large army of Scots, and got as far as Worcester. Here he was overtaken by the victorious Cromwell and utterly defeated, the young king with much difficulty escaping to France.

5. Cromwell, or Military Rule.—After the victory at Worcester, which Cromwell in his religious way of talking called “God’s crowning mercy,” the whole nation came under the military rule of the great soldier of the Commonwealth. Parliament, although it had ceased to represent the nation, refused to dissolve itself, so Cromwell, in 1653, went with a body of soldiers to the House and turned the members out and locked the door. He also dismissed the Council of State and appointed a new one in its place. He now tried to set up a better Parliament, composed of men of his own appointing, and friendly to the army; but this Assembly, called by the cavaliers the Barebones Parliament, after the name of one of its members, found its duties too difficult, and resigned its trust to Cromwell. Before resigning, however, it appointed a new Council of State, and this Council proceeded to draft a Constitution, known as the Instrument of Government. Under this Cromwell made Protector under the Instrument of Government, A.D. 1653. “Instrument” Cromwell was made Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, and was given a Council of twenty-one members, by whose advice he was to be guided in foreign and domestic affairs. A freely-elected Parliament, consisting of four hundred members from England, thirty from Scotland, and thirty from Ireland, was called. This, the first United Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland, sought to place the government upon a constitutional basis, and in so doing questioned the Protector’s authority. Cromwell, annoyed at this opposition, dissolved Parliament and thus ended all show of legal government. England was now divided into ten military districts and governed for a while under a strict but just military rule. In 1656 a second Parliament was called, which proposed to make Cromwell king, and have him create a new House of Lords. The latter Cromwell called into a short-lived existence, but the offer of the crown he reluctantly refused, as the army was opposed to the restoration of monarchy.

6. Home and Foreign Policy.—While Cromwell was making these vain efforts at governing through Parliament, his military administration was vigorous and successful. Order was maintained throughout the country, and the people enjoyed a large measure of civil liberty. Religious liberty they also enjoyed, for Cromwell, though a rigid Puritan, was very tolerant towards the various religious sects, except the Roman Catholics, who wanted to put a Stuart king again on the throne. The Protector’s foreign policy bore the marks of his strong personal rule, and gained for England a high name among the governing powers of Europe. This was first brought about by a war with England’s commercial rival, Holland, and then by a war with Spain, in both of which the English Admiral, Blake, won great victories at sea. By these triumphs not only was the English flag respected, but England’s influence, especially after the war with Spain, was made to tell in lessening the persecution of Protestants on the continent. At home and abroad, Cromwell’s name, though not loved, was respected, and his stern and vigilant policy set England at the head of the Protestant interest in Europe.

7. Restoration of Charles II.—The burden of the nation’s cares, added to domestic affliction and anxiety to ward off attempts upon his life, told upon Cromwell’s health, and he died on the 3rd of September, 1658. His easy-going and incapable son, Richard, succeeded him as Protector. But the strong hand being removed, the struggle again broke out between the army and the Parliament; and the latter, which had been summoned on the death of the founder of the Commonwealth, had no sooner met than it had to be dissolved. The army compelled Richard to resign the Protectorship, and the Long Parliament was restored, but only to meet the fate of its predecessor. Disunion among the army officers, however, brought a solution of the difficulties, and saved the country from anarchy. General Monk, who was in command of the army in Scotland, now marched with his troops to London and declared for a free Parliament. This step everywhere met the approval of the people. The Long Parliament was again summoned, and its members decided to hold a general election, the result of which was the return of a House of Commons friendly to the royal family. The old peers also returned and took their seats. The combined Houses, known as the Convention Parliament, met in April, 1660, and invited Charles II. to return to England and be king. This invitation Charles accepted, and promising a general pardon and religious toleration, he was restored to the throne of his ancestors.

[1. How were the English people divided by the Civil War?

2. Name the principal battles of this war—give their dates and localities, and state the circumstances under which they were fought.

3. Who were the “Ironsides”? What was their character? Name any great battles they won.

4. Why was Charles I. executed? Was his execution justifiable? Give reasons for your answer.

5. Why did Cromwell and his soldiers use such severity in suppressing the rebellion in Ireland?

6. When did the first united Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland meet? Under what circumstances was it summoned, and how many members composed it? What led to its dissolution?

7. Show that Cromwell was a great general and ruler. Describe his character.

8. What position did England occupy among European nations under the rule of Cromwell?

9. Why did not Cromwell become king of England? Would it have been well for England if Cromwell had accepted the crown? State your reasons.

10. What led to the restoration of Charles II.? What is meant by a “Convention Parliament”?]




[The Restoration was followed by a strong reaction at Court and among the higher classes against the sternness of Puritan morality. The stage and the fashionable literature of the time reeked with vice and profanity. Explain to the pupils the cause of this reaction. Describe the character of Charles II., as given by Green and Macaulay. In addition to explanations of the important Acts and Treaties that mark this reign, point out the far-reaching effects produced by the Act of Uniformity. The relations between Charles II. and the French king, together with the various influences at work to make England a dependency of France should be defined and illustrated. The character and career of Shaftesbury and Clarendon are deserving of notice. In the reign of James II. the various causes that led to the Revolution of 1688 should be carefully explained. These causes were the character of James II., the violations of the Test Act, the attack upon the Universities, the trial of the Seven Bishops, the birth of James the Pretender, and the general fear of the overthrow of Protestantism and civil liberty. A good deal of interest may be given to this chapter by relating stories and anecdotes about Shaftesbury, Monmouth, Russell, and other prominent persons. Read with pupils Aytoun’s “Burial-March of Dundee,” and refer also to Scott’s “Old Mortality,” as illustrating the period of the Covenanters.

References:—Green, Macaulay’s “Comic Dramatists of the Restoration” and other Essays, Hallam, Hale’s “Fall of the Stuarts,” Pepys’ Memoirs, and Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel.]

1. Re-Establishment of the Church and the Monarchy.—The coming to the throne of Charles II. was hailed with joy by all classes, save by the Puritan soldiery. The latter were paid off and disbanded, with the exception of three regiments, which formed the beginnings of the present standing army of England. The young king’s graceful manners made him at first a favourite with the people; and the return of the Cavaliers dispelled the austerity and gloom that had prevailed at Court under the Protectorate. But the king’s love of pleasure and his licentious habits lowered the morals of his Court, and introduced the reign of unblushing vice and gross extravagance. Caring only for his pleasures, he managed, however, to hold his own with the various parties in the State, though often by a shameful disregard of duty and honour. In religious matters he was very insincere, for, though professing Protestantism, he was at heart a Catholic. Nevertheless, he set up the Church of England services, restored to the clergy the livings they had been deprived of during the Commonwealth, and recalled the bishops to the House of Lords. Parliament, moreover, put in force many cruel laws against the Protestant Dissenters, as they now came to be called, for they dissented from Corporation, Conventicle, and Five Mile Acts. the mode of public worship forced upon them by the State Church. Dissenters were also shut out from holding public office, forbidden to assemble themselves in their own meeting-houses, and their ministers were restrained from teaching, or from coming within five miles of any corporate town. In Scotland the Covenanters, or Presbyterians, were fiercely persecuted, and forbidden to meet for purposes of worship.

2. Foreign Policy.—In 1665, England, provoked by the commercial rivalry of Holland, went to war with the Dutch; and for two years much blood and treasure was spent with humiliating results. This was chiefly owing to Charles spending on his own pleasures part of the money Parliament had given him for the war. This so crippled the English navy that the Dutch fleet was able to make its way up the Thames and blockade the port of London, after which peace was declared at Breda. During the period of the war London was devastated by a great plague and a calamitous fire. To free himself from dependence on Parliament for the money necessary to the gratification of his desires, Charles entered into a secret and shameful treaty with Louis XIV. of France. Its occasion was this: Louis wished to get possession of the Spanish Netherlands, and to secure the aid of Charles in carrying out his designs had assisted in bringing to an end the war between England and Holland. But when peace was declared England entered into an agreement with Holland and Sweden, called the Triple Alliance, for the purpose of checking French aggressions in Flanders. This alliance, though very popular in England, was, however, practically set aside by the king, who was annoyed by the watchfulness of a strong party in the Commons opposed to his extravagance and jealous of France. Charles entered into private negotiations with Louis XIV., the result of which was a secret Treaty of Dover, 1670 treaty between the two kings, called the Treaty of Dover, by which Charles agreed to become a Roman Catholic and to support Louis’s renewed attacks upon the Netherlands. Louis, on his part, was to pay Charles £200,000 a year, and to give him the aid of 6,000 French troops, should any opposition to the compact be met with in England. In accordance with this treaty, England, in 1672, declared war against Holland, but, after two years, peace was made.

3. The Test Act.—The first step of the king to enable him to earn Louis’s money, was to suspend, by what is called a Declaration of Indulgence, the operation of many statutes against Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters. Parliament viewed the wholesale suspension of these Acts as an infringement of its rights, and compelled the king to withdraw the “Declaration.” It then proceeded to pass a Test Act (1673), by which persons holding office, civil or military, were forced to acknowledge the supremacy of the Crown in ecclesiastical matters, and to take the sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England. The result of this Act was startling. Many Catholics were driven from office, including the king’s brother, the Duke of York, who held the position of Lord High Admiral. Rumors of “Popish” plots and uneasy suspicions about the king’s secret relations with France became prevalent. One of these plots was said to have been discovered by an expelled Jesuit priest, named Titus Oates, who gave out that he knew of a conspiracy to massacre the Protestants, murder the king, and put James, Duke of York, on the throne. This worthless fellow’s story was unfortunately believed, and the nation becoming panic-stricken, many innocent people were put to death.

4. Habeas Corpus Act.—The Parliament of 1679 is memorable for the passing of a measure for the better securing of the liberty of the subject. This measure is known as the Habeas Corpus Act. Arbitrary imprisonment had been forbidden by the Great Charter of King John, and again by the Petition of Right under Charles I.; but various ways had been found to defeat the end aimed at by these laws. The provisions of the new Act made it unlawful for any one to be long detained in prison except after due trial, and gave every prisoner the right to be tried within a certain time after his arrest. The object of the Act was to prevent all evasion or delay in bringing any one to trial who had been committed to prison; for it compelled a judge, on application, to issue a writ of Habeas Corpus, which is directed to the gaoler, ordering him to produce the prisoner’s body in Court and certify the cause of his imprisonment.

5. The Exclusion Bill.—In Parliament popular dread of Roman Catholic influence in the State led the Commons to pass a measure, called the Exclusion Bill, to deprive the Duke of York, the heir to the throne, of his right of succession. The measure was hotly contested by the two political parties in Parliament, who came to be called Whigs and Tories, names which correspond to Liberals and Conservatives of the present time. The Whigs, who were the opponents of the Court party, supported the Exclusion Bill; while the Tories, or royalists, opposed it. The term Whig, meaning sour-milk, was an opprobrious epithet applied by the Cavaliers to the sour-visaged Puritans; and the term Tory, originally meaning an Irish outlaw or robber, was the nickname applied to the ardent loyalists. The Bill passed the Commons, but was rejected by the Lords, when the king dissolved Parliament. In the two succeeding Parliaments the Bill was again brought forward and met the same fate. The violence of the opposition produced a re-action throughout the country in the king’s favour, which he took advantage of to make serious encroachments on the rights of cities and towns wherein the Whigs were powerful. This led to a conspiracy’s being formed by the Whig leaders for the defence of their rights and to prevent the Duke of York from coming to the throne. The leader of this conspiracy was the Earl of Shaftesbury, who with Lord William Russell, Algernon Sidney, and other prominent Whigs, espoused the cause of the Duke of Monmouth, a natural son of Charles II., whom they wished to make king. Connected with this conspiracy was a minor one, known as the Rye House Plot, which was concocted by unscrupulous subordinates, and which had for its object the assassination of the king and his brother, the Duke of York. Both plots were discovered, and most of those engaged in them met their death. Monmouth escaped and was subsequently pardoned; Shaftesbury sought refuge in Holland; while Lord Russell and Algernon Sidney came to the block. The failure of these plots was followed by a cruel persecution of the Whigs, and of those who had humiliated or thwarted the king. The Duke of York, who in spite of the Test Act had resumed office, took part in these severe measures, and abetted the king in his policy of establishing an arbitrary government. The death of Charles, in 1685, fortunately intervened and saved England from utter despotism. James, Duke of York, came to the throne without any opposition.

6. James II. (1685-1688).—James II. had all the Stuart love of arbitrary power without the wit to use it wisely. In some respects he was a better man than his brother Charles; but he had a more cruel disposition, and a fanatical zeal for Popery, which alienated the loyalty of his Protestant subjects and finally cost him his throne. On his accession, he promised to maintain the established government both in Church and State, a promise he immediately broke by attending mass and filling the army with Catholic officers, in violation of the Test Act, and by the illegal use of the dispensing power, which relieved those whom he favoured from the penalties of the laws. Soon two insurrections broke out against him—one in Scotland, headed by the Duke of Argyle, and the other in England, led by his nephew, the Duke of Monmouth. Both failed, and gave the king the opportunity to take a cruel vengeance on those concerned in them. The Scottish rebels were defeated in Dumbartonshire, and Argyle was taken to Edinburgh and beheaded. Monmouth’s army was overthrown at Sedgemoor, and the Duke met his doom on Tower Hill. On the failure of Monmouth’s rebellion, James disgraced his humanity by encouraging the atrocities of Judge Jeffreys in the trial of rebels at what is known as the “Bloody Assizes,” and by permitting the brutality of the soldiery in the disaffected districts of the country.

7. Trial of the Seven Bishops.—The king continued his efforts to make England a Catholic nation and to deprive the people of their civil and religious liberty. Catholics were received by him with unconcealed favour and given offices in the army and Church in defiance of the law. He also appointed them to high positions in the universities; going so far as to expel the governing body of an Oxford College, because it refused to accept a Roman Catholic as its head. The king now endeavoured to bribe the Nonconformists to aid him in showing favour to Catholics, by issuing a Declaration of Indulgence, which allowed Declaration of Indulgence, A.D. 1688. all men to worship as they pleased. However just we should now think this law, at the time it interfered with the rights of Parliament, and was objectionable to those who rigidly supported the national Church. Even the Nonconformists opposed the Indulgence, as they saw that under the guise of toleration it cloaked James’s desire to advance his friends, the Catholics. But James insisted on the Declaration becoming law, and ordered it to be read in all the Churches. To this many of the clergy objected, and seven bishops petitioned the king to withdraw the illegal Declaration. For this they were charged with publishing a libel, and James had them sent to the Tower. The bishops were afterwards brought to trial and acquitted, and the nation rejoiced at the victory over the king.

8. Invitation to William of Orange.—In the midst of these affronts to the Church and the nation a new cause of Protestant alarm arose in the birth of a son to the king. This child, on whose parentage a doubt for a time was cast, was subsequently known as James, the Old Pretender. The people were determined to have no more Catholic kings to rule over them, and their leaders, driven to despair, resolved to ask William of Orange, who was head of the Dutch Republic, to come and help them. Prince William, who was James’s nephew, and had married his daughter Mary, was deeply interested in English affairs; and as he was the great defender of Protestantism on the continent and an opponent of the aggressive policy of the French king, the mass of the English people naturally looked to him as their deliverer from James’s tyranny. A formal invitation was sent to him by the great Whig leaders, in which all classes of the country, save the Catholics, joined. This invitation the Prince of Orange accepted; and he presently set out for England with a large military force. Before he landed James recalled his Declaration of Indulgence, and sought to win back popular favour by returning to constitutional government. But the English people had no confidence in his protestations, and refused to accept this late repentance.

9. Landing of William of Orange.—William of Orange landed with his army in England on the 5th of November, 1688. On his appearing, a Declaration was published stating that he had come as husband of Mary, the heir to the Crown, to protect the rights and liberties of the English people, to give them a free Parliament, and to aid them in settling the succession to the throne. William was warmly welcomed by both Whig and Tory leaders, by the masses of the people, and by a large portion of the king’s army that had left James to join William. Thus deserted, James fled to France, and though he hoped that Louis XIV. would aid him to recover his throne, he never again set foot in England. William now entered London, and assembled a Convention Parliament, which, after some discussion, declared the throne vacant, and settled the Crown upon William and Mary as joint rulers. A Declaration of Rights was drawn up and presented to William and Mary. This Declaration recited the acts of misgovernment of James, and asserted the ancient rights and liberties of the subjects. It denied the right of the king to levy taxes, to exercise a dispensing power, or to maintain a standing army without the consent of Parliament. It claimed the right of freedom of election, and freedom of debate, and ended with declaring William and Mary King and Queen of England. The joint sovereigns subscribed to the terms, acknowledged that the powers of the king were founded on law, and accepted the crown as a trust from the people. The Declaration, after receiving some additions, was turned, in 1689, into a statute known as the Bill of Rights.

10. Change in the Character of the Monarchy.—The Revolution of 1688 marks the close of the long struggle between the Crown and Parliament. With it the New Monarchy ends. Henceforth the monarchs owed their power, not to hereditary or Divine right, but to Parliament, which determined by what rulers, by what laws, and on what conditions the country was to be governed. “An English monarch is now as much the creature of an Act of Parliament as the pettiest tax-gatherer in the realm.”

11. John Bunyan, and John Milton.—Under the Stuarts, in spite of political turmoil, the literary spirit developed and gathered strength. During the early portion of the seventeenth century this was notably the case. The period of the Civil War was not so favourable to literary progress, nor was that which followed the Restoration helpful to morals. The literary productions, especially the comic dramas, of this latter period are noted for their foulness and wanton disregard of ordinary decency. The century, however, gave birth to two writers of undying fame. One of these was John Bunyan, who wrote the Pilgrim’s Progress while imprisoned for twelve years, on account of his religion, in Bedford Gaol. The other was the great Puritan poet, John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, and many important prose works on politics and in defence of the Commonwealth. Milton lived between the times of James I. and Charles II., and was employed as Latin Secretary by the Protector Cromwell. Paradise Lost, the greatest of epic poems, was written in poverty and blindness after the Restoration. It was first published in 1667, and is considered “probably the noblest monument of human genius.”

[1. How far did the natural inclinations and foreign experience of Charles II. fit him for the kingship? Sketch his character.

2 What promises did Charles II. make when he came to the throne, and how did he carry them out?

3. What relations existed between Charles II. and Louis XIV. during the greater part of this reign? Give illustrations.

4. Point out the effect produced by the Act of Uniformity on the Established Church. Mention any other Acts passed in this reign against Dissenters and Roman Catholics. Why did Charles II. consent to these laws? State their principal clauses.

5. Give the provisions of any good laws passed in Charles II.’s reign.

6. What was the Exclusion Bill? Who sought to make it law? What blunder did he commit? How did the struggle over the Bill end?

7. With what feelings did the English accept James II. as king? Why?

8. Trace the various steps taken by James II. to restore Roman Catholicism in England.

9. State the main causes of the expulsion of James II. from the throne.

10. Name the principal clauses of the Declaration of Rights, and point out their great importance.]




[The Revolution restored the older character of the kingship. Green says that “an English monarch is now as much the creature of an Act of Parliament as the pettiest tax-gatherer in the realm.” Explain this by reference to the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement. Point out all the important provisions of these two Acts. Dwell upon the physical, mental, and moral characteristics of William III. and Marlborough; and show that this period is marked by great political profligacy and treachery. Party Government had its origin at this time: explain the nature of such government, and lead the pupils to see why it came into existence. The Act of Toleration, the Mutiny Act, the new method introduced of granting money for the public needs, are prominent features of the reign of William. The War of the Spanish Succession had some important results—a very noticeable one being the overthrow of the French ascendancy in Europe. In accomplishing this the Battle of Blenheim contributed materially. Other points of an interesting character are the Massacre of Glencoe, the Siege of Londonderry, the Battle of the Boyne, the Treaty of Limerick, the condition of Ireland after the Revolution, the escapades and exploits of Earl Peterborough, the influence of the Duchess of Marlborough and Mrs. Masham on the foreign and domestic policy of Anne. The Union of England and Scotland, its causes, method of accomplishment, immediate and ultimate results, must be fully dealt with; also the other important Acts passed at this time.

References:—Green, Hallam, Macaulay’s “History of England” and Essay on “The War of the Spanish Succession,” Mackintosh’s “Causes of the Revolution of 1688,” McCarthy’s “Four Georges,” Morris’s “Age of Anne,” Thackeray’s “Esmond,” Scott’s “Rob Roy” and “Old Mortality,” Rowley’s “The Settlement of the Constitution,” Stanhope’s “Reign of Anne,” Ashton’s “Social Life in the Reign of Anne,” Coxe’s “Marlborough,” and Fronde’s “English in Ireland in the 18th Century.”]

1. William III.—To William, by agreement, fell the duty of governing. It was moreover arranged that if either William or Mary died, the survivor was to continue to reign; and when both were dead, the crown, in default of children, was to go to Mary’s sister, the Princess Anne. Such were the terms of the succession. In many respects Mary would have been the more popular ruler, for she was attractive in her manners and thoroughly English in her ways. William, on the contrary, though he was an able statesman, a skilful general, and a good man of business, was cold, silent, and austere. His word, however, could be relied upon, and his moral character was good. The great object of his ambition was to curb the power of Louis XIV. on the continent; but in this he was not very successful on the field, though he formed alliances against France which partly answered his purpose. During his reign the Jacobites (that is, those who clung to the fortunes of the late king, James) plotted against him perpetually, and doubtless from this cause he was unwilling to make intimates of his English counsellors. The mutual distrust that existed for a time between William and his advisers led him more than once to threaten to return to Holland. His wish that his ministers should be drawn from the ranks of Whig and Tory alike increased his difficulties, and he was afterwards compelled to accept his advisers from the ruling party in Parliament.

2. Important Measures.—While William’s mind was occupied chiefly with foreign affairs, Parliament used its opportunity to secure for the House of Commons the supreme power in the State. This it did by passing the Bill of Rights, which contained the provisions of the Declaration of Rights, with the important addition that the monarchs of England should henceforth be Protestants. The Commons, now for the first time, limited the money supplies to the estimated annual requirements. The mutiny of a Scottish regiment, which objected to be sent on foreign service, gave it the opportunity to regulate army affairs. By the passing of the Mutiny Act, the Commons not only subjected the army to martial law, but prevented its being kept in existence, without the consent of Parliament, for more than a year at a time. A scant measure of religious liberty was also given by Parliament, in the Bill of Rights, Mutiny Act, Toleration Act, and Act of Grace. Toleration Act, which granted freedom of worship to Nonconformists, but excluded Catholics and Unitarians from its benefits. In addition to these important measures, William issued in his own name a general pardon for all political offences. This measure is known as the Act of Grace; and was specially designed to conciliate the Jacobites.

3. The Revolution and Scotland.—The Scottish people, glad to get rid of the Stuarts, accepted William and Mary’s rule; and the Scotch Parliament drew up a Claim of Right, requiring the abolition of Prelacy and the establishment of Presbyterianism—a claim which was granted by the joint sovereigns. But King James had a reckless follower in John Grahame, of Claverhouse, now Viscount Dundee, who had been active in persecuting the Covenanters in the two previous reigns. Dundee gathered a number of the Highland clans to oppose the authority of William and Mary, and while the royal troops were on their way northward, he fell upon them in the Pass of Killiecrankie and put them to the sword. Dundee, however, was killed in the fight, and the Highlanders dispersed to their homes. To bring the clans under subjection, a proclamation was issued at Edinburgh requiring them to take the oath of allegiance before the last day of December, 1691. All did so, save the Macdonalds of Glencoe, whose chief postponed his Massacre of Glencoe, A.D. 1692. submission until after the day appointed. Advantage of this was taken by the English Governor in Scotland, who conspired with the Clan Campbell, bitter enemies of the Macdonalds, to get authority from William to punish the latter as contumacious rebels. Concealing the fact of the subsequent submission of the clan, an order was obtained to “extirpate” the Macdonalds, which was partially executed in the most heartless manner in the depth of winter. The butchery is known as the Massacre of Glencoe.

4. The Subjugation of Ireland.—Taking advantage of Catholic opposition in Ireland to William and Mary, James II. came over from France to subdue the loyal Protestants of the north, who had taken refuge in Enniskillen and Londonderry. For four months the inhabitants of the latter maintained a heroic defence against the French forces of James and the Catholic troops of Tyrconnel. The place was finally relieved by the arrival of some English ships in the river Foyle at the moment when hunger was about to compel Derry’s brave defenders to surrender. On the same day the Protestants of Enniskillen gained a victory over the Irish troops at Newton Butler. The following year William crossed to Ireland with a large army, and met James and his forces on the river Boyne, not far from Drogheda. On the 1st of July, 1690, was fought the Battle of the Boyne, 1st July, 1690. Battle of the Boyne. James’s troops were defeated and the deposed king fled back to France. The Irish held out determinedly in Limerick for eighteen months afterwards, when the struggle was brought to an end by the Treaty of Limerick, and some 10,000 Irish troops took service in France where they distinguished themselves as the “Irish Brigade.” The Treaty of Limerick, though it guaranteed religious liberty to the Roman Catholics and an amnesty to those who submitted to William, was not ratified by Parliament, and the cruellest oppression was afterwards indulged in. The Irish, to the present day, have neither forgotten nor forgiven this period of wrong.

5. War with France.—On William’s coming to the throne he persuaded Parliament to join the continental confederacy against Louis XIV., and war with France was at once declared. While the king was in Ireland, the French had defeated an English fleet off Beachy Head; but two years afterwards this disgrace was wiped out in a victory over the French at La Hogue by the combined fleets of England and Holland. When the French met with this disaster they were preparing to invade England in the interest of the exiled Stuart king, who, trusting to treachery among the officers of the English navy, had collected a large army with the view to make a descent upon his former kingdom. The destruction of the French fleet was a fatal blow to James and his cause. For the next five years the war was carried on against France with indifferent results. At length, after numerous indecisive engagements, Treaty of Ryswick, 10th Sep., 1697. peace was declared by the Treaty of Ryswick. By this treaty France gave up all her conquests in the previous twenty years, acknowledged William as king of England and Anne as his successor, and promised to cease to aid James in his efforts to recover the English throne. The war with France so impoverished England that the nation had to borrow money. This was the beginning of the National Debt, and led to the founding of the Bank of England.

6. The Act of Settlement, 1701.—As Queen Mary had died childless, and the Princess Anne, the next heir to the throne, had lost all her children, a new arrangement with regard to the succession to the throne became necessary. In 1701 Parliament passed the Act of Settlement, which provided that on the death of Anne, who was to succeed William, the crown was to go to the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant heirs. Sophia was the Protestant nearest to the Stuart line. She was one of the children of Elizabeth, daughter of James I., and had married the Duke of Brunswick. But this important Act did more than establish the Protestant succession to the throne. It contained articles, for instance, to the effect that the country was not to go to war for the sovereign’s foreign possessions; that foreigners were not to receive grants or to hold office from the crown; that ministers were to be responsible for the sovereign’s acts, and were not to be saved from impeachment by pardon under the great seal; and, finally, that judges were to be appointed for life and good conduct.

7. The Spanish Succession.—Charles II., king of Spain, was at this time near his death. There were three claimants for his dominions: the Dauphin of France, the Electoral Prince of Bavaria, and the Emperor of Germany. Whatever happened, William did not wish that the power of France should be increased by any portion of the Spanish dominions falling to it. Jealously careful of this, he made two Partition Treaties, in 1698 and in 1700, disposing of the Spanish possessions, by agreement with Louis XIV., the French king. By the last of these treaties the Spanish crown was to be given to the Archduke Charles, the second son of the Emperor; the Electoral Prince whom William had at first favoured, having died after the first treaty had been made. But the king of Spain upset these treaties and disappointed the various claimants by leaving the crown to Philip, Duke of Anjou, son of the Dauphin, and grandson of Louis. This was a great blow to William, particularly as he was then unable to get his Parliament to go to war with France, for it was angry with him for making the treaties with Louis without its knowledge or consent. All he could get Parliament to do was to form a Grand Alliance of England, Holland, and Germany, to prevent the union of the French and Spanish crowns, and especially to keep France from obtaining the Spanish Netherlands. Soon the necessity for this Alliance was realized by the English people; for, on the death of James II., in France, Louis XIV. acknowledged his son, the Pretender, as rightful king of England. This created such indignation throughout the kingdom that William had no difficulty in getting the new Parliament he had summoned to vote money and soldiers to prosecute a war with France. But William’s health was then declining, and before war could be entered upon, he met with an accident which in his enfeebled bodily condition ended his days. He died, in 1702, after appointing the Duke of Marlborough to the command of the Allied armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.

8. Marlborough.—William was succeeded in the throne by “the Accession of Queen Anne, A.D. 1702. good Queen Anne,” a woman of amiable disposition, but weak and indolent. She had married Prince George of Denmark, and by him she had a large family, all of whom died young. The real ruler, at least in the early part of her reign, was John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, one of England’s greatest generals. His wife, the Duchess of Marlborough, was a great favourite of the queen, who was much under her influence. Marlborough was the one man in England who appreciated the importance of William III.’s foreign policy, and was well fitted to carry it out. His character has always been a puzzle to the historian, for with great gifts as a soldier and statesman he had the meanest vices of avarice and treachery that could disgrace a man. His military genius and skill in the management of the mixed nationalities composing the Alliance were, however, of the highest service in the war. In conducting it, he had the hearty support of Anne and the English nation, though towards its close he had to contend against many political enemies in England, and all through had trouble and annoyance from timid allies in the field. It is said of Marlborough, that “he never besieged a fortress which he did not take, or fought a battle which he did not win.”

9. Blenheim.—During the early years of the war, Marlborough was in the Netherlands, where he captured some important towns. His first great battle was that of Blenheim, in Bavaria, in which he had the able assistance of Prince Eugene, of Savoy, who had joined the Grand Alliance. The French king’s design was to move at once against Austria; and Marlborough anticipating the move, Blenheim, August 13th, A.D. 1704. marched his army to the Danube and gave battle to the French. The result was a decisive victory, for it cost the enemy some 30,000 men, and for a time broke the power of Louis XIV. At sea, in the same year, the English added to their laurels, by the capture of the great Mediterranean fortress of Gibraltar. The following year was noted for successes in Spain, the chief of which was the taking of Barcelona. Marlborough withdrew to the Netherlands, where he conducted a vigorous campaign against the French, and won three memorable Ramilies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet. battles. These were Ramilies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), and Malplaquet (1709). The result of these victories was to force the French to abandon Flanders. But party struggles in England now turned public attention away from the war, and political intrigue brought about the recall, and subsequent dismissal, of Marlborough.

10. Union of England and Scotland.—Meanwhile important changes were taking place in the relations between England and Scotland. In William’s last message to Parliament he had asked it to consider how the union of these two countries could be brought about. But many difficulties stood in the way, arising out of the trading jealousy of the English and the often unreasoning patriotism of the Scots. Though these countries had for over a hundred years been under one sovereign, there was little national blending and much jealousy of each other. Finally, however, an understanding was come to; and in 1707 the Act of Union was passed which made the two nations one. By this Act the two countries were to form one kingdom, under the name of Great Britain, with one Parliament in England, to which the Scots were to send representatives. The Scots were to recognize the heir of Sophia of Hanover as the heir to the united throne: but they were allowed to retain their national form of religion and their courts of justice, and were given equal rights with the English in the matter of trade. The “Union Jack,” bearing the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew, was adopted as the national flag: the cross of St. Patrick was introduced on the union with Ireland in 1800. Owing, however, to the prevalency of Jacobite feeling in Scotland, half a century was to pass before the country began to reap the benefits of union.

11. Party Government.—The late king, William, as we have seen, was at first anxious to form a mixed government, by drawing his ministers from the ranks of both Whigs and Tories. But this he found to work badly while the majority in the Commons was of one party stripe. So, taking the advice of the Earl of Sunderland, an able but wily minister of James II., William endeavoured to form a Whig ministry, which he succeeded in doing in 1695. From this date the principle was recognized of Government by Party, the composition of the ministry being determined by the political complexion of the majority in the Commons. The Government for the time in power thenceforth became more immediately responsible to Parliament. At this period another important change in the executive of the nation came about. Hitherto the king had aided in forming the policy of the Government in the Privy Council, and personally took part in discussions determining what that policy should be. But under the party system, with ministerial responsibility to Parliament, this interference by the king could not be permitted, and the ministry of the day assumed the direction of affairs, and formed what is now known as the Cabinet. “This institution of party government is simply a committee of the Privy Council, in which all the chief ministers have seats. It forms no essential part of the Constitution, but has been found advantageous in the practical administration of the affairs of the country.”

12. Fall of the Whig Ministry (1710).—The two parties in the State—Whig and Tory—differed, not only over Church matters, but also over the prosecution of the war. This made the political game very keen. The country, however, grew tired of the war, and the Whigs, who were its main support, became very unpopular. A circumstance now happened which inflamed public feeling against them. Dr. Sacheverell, a violent Tory clergyman, preached a sermon in St. Paul’s Cathedral, in which he railed at the Whig Ministry and all Dissenters, and even cast reflections on the principles of the Revolution. For this clerical indiscretion Sacheverell was foolishly prosecuted by the Whig Government and punished, and this increased popular clamour against the ministry. The queen, also, took sides against the Whigs; for though, under Marlborough’s influence, she had previously favoured them, her own preference was for the Tories. The result of this adverse feeling was the dismissal of the ministry, and the formation of a Tory administration, of which Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, were the leading members. Marlborough was now dismissed from his command of the Allies, accused of receiving bribes from army contractors, and found guilty by the House of Commons.

13. Death of Anne (1714).—With the accession of the Tories to office, the War of the Spanish Succession was brought to a close by the Treaty of Utrecht. This treaty secured peace and the partial attainment of the objects sought by the war. Spain ceded Treaty of Utrecht, A.D. 1713. to Austria the Netherlands, and to England, Gibraltar and Minorca. France acknowledged the Protestant succession in England, agreed that the crowns of France and Spain should not be united (although Philip, Louis’ grandson was left on the throne of Spain), and ceded to Britain Hudson Bay, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. But the Tories cared little for the late king’s European policy, and their Jacobite sympathies had by no means died out. Many of them looked coldly on the coming accession of the Elector of Hanover, as this would increase Whig influence in the country and probably drive the Tory party from power. So they intrigued for a while with James, the “Old Pretender.” This caused dissension in their ranks and led to Bolingbroke’s supplanting Oxford in the queen’s favour and finally to Oxford’s dismissal from the Cabinet. Bolingbroke, having now his own way, renewed his efforts to secure the Pretender’s coming to the throne. At this critical juncture Anne suddenly died, but not before she defeated the plans of Bolingbroke, by placing the Treasurer’s staff, the wand of office, in the hands of the Duke of Shrewsbury, one of the Whig leaders. Prompt and successful measures were at once taken by the Whigs to prevent a Jacobite rising, and by this timely action the country was saved from civil war and George I. quietly seated on the throne.

[1. Why was William III. an unpopular king? Describe his character and aims. What great qualities did he possess?

2. What clause did the Bill of Rights contain that was not in the Declaration of Rights? State the principal provisions of the Act of Settlement.

3. What important change was made in the character of the monarchy by the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement?

4. Give an account of the principal Acts passed in the reign of William III.

5. What is meant by the “Massacre of Glencoe,” “Siege of Londonderry,” and “Treaty of Limerick”?

6. Explain what is meant by “Party Government,” and show how it arose.

7. Describe Marlborough as a man, a general, and a statesman.

8. What were the causes of the War of the Spanish Succession?

9. Why is Blenheim a very important battle? Mention, with dates and localities, other great battles won by Marlborough.

10. What caused Marlborough’s downfall? Explain fully the influences at work.

11. What statesmen made the Treaty of Utrecht? State its main provisions, and show how far it secured the object sought by the allies.

12. What great danger threatened England during the last years of the reign of Anne? How was it avoided?]




[The leading feature of these two reigns is the long rule of the Whigs. It will be necessary to explain the cause of this. Full information can be obtained by a reference to Green’s “Short History.” The first two Georges were unpopular. Show why they were so, and indicate the reasons of the failure of the Stuart risings, in spite of this unpopularity of the Hanoverian kings. Walpole, Bolingbroke, and the elder Pitt, are the prominent figures; it will add to the interest and value of the chapter to give a comparatively full description of these men. Green’s History deals with Walpole and Pitt, and McCarthy’s “Four Georges” gives a very good picture of Bolingbroke. Point out the characteristics of this long Whig rule, its effects on public morals, national prosperity, and religious toleration. The great religious and moral revival at the close of the period deserves a more extended notice. For the results of this revival, see Green. The different foreign wars in which England was engaged, especially the struggle between England and France in India and North America, and the vast and far-reaching results flowing from them, are well explained by Green. Minor, but interesting points, are the method adopted by the Government to restore order in the Highlands of Scotland, Pitt’s wise policy of forming Highland regiments, and the passage of the Septennial Act (still in force). Many interesting tales are connected with the Stuart risings in 1715 and 1745, especially with the latter. Flora Macdonald is the heroine of 1745. The Excise Bill of Walpole and the South Sea Scheme, will require additional explanation. Read with pupils Macaulay on “The Conquest of Bengal” and Warburton on “The Capture of Quebec” (4th Reader.)

References:—Green, Hallam, Lecky’s “History of the 18th Century,” Leslie Stephens’ sketches of the 18th century, in his “Hours in a Library,” McCarthy’s “Four Georges,” Thackeray’s “Virginians,” Sir Horace Walpole’s “Memoirs,” Tyerman’s “Life of John Wesley,” Macaulay’s Essays on “Lord Clive” and “Warren Hastings,” and Parkman’s “Montcalm and Wolfe;” also, Scott’s “Waverley,” for an account of the Pretender’s rising in Scotland.]

1. George I., (1714-1727).—When George I. assumed the English crown he was over fifty years of age. He had spent his life in his beloved Hanover, which he was loath to leave, and to which he was always glad to return. In England he was never popular, for he was ungraceful in his person, cold in his manners, and coarse in his tastes. He had, however, been trained as a soldier, and had a soldier’s orderly methods, and gave diligent attention to public business. As he was wholly ignorant of the English language he took little part in governing; and the affairs of the State were conducted by his Whig ministers, for whom he had naturally a preference. So far as he had a policy of his own, it was one of peace. The people looked upon him as a necessity to be borne with, for his coming saved them from the rule of another Stuart king and the controlling influence of France. Now began a long period of Whig rule, for the Tories were tainted with Jacobitism and were distrusted by the people. At the close of Anne’s reign, the Tories, as we have seen, had been intriguing with France and Impeachment of the Tory Leaders. the Pretender, and for this the new government proceeded to bring their leaders to trial. Oxford, Bolingbroke, and Ormond were impeached for high treason, but the two latter escaped to France, and Oxford was committed to the Tower. Two years afterwards, however, Oxford obtained his freedom, the charges against him having been abandoned owing to disagreements in Parliament.

2. The Jacobite Rebellion of 1715.—James, the “Old Pretender,” was still agitating his cause in France, and with the aid of Louis XIV. now attempted a rising in Scotland. Luckily for England, however, Louis XIV., the “Grand Monarch,” as he was called, died before the plot was ripe, and the Pretender entered upon his daring purpose without his assistance. The Earl of Mar was the first to raise the standard of revolt. This he did in the highlands of Perthshire, where 10,000 men responded to his call, and soon the whole north of Scotland was in arms for James. But the Duke of Argyle, who commanded the royal troops, was able to reach Stirling and there checked the rebel advance southward. Excited by the rising in Scotland, a number of nobles and gentry on the Border declared for the Pretender, and with their following marched south as far as Preston. Here they were opposed by an English force under General Carpenter, and were compelled to surrender. On the same day, Argyle met Mar and his highlanders at Sheriff-Muir, near Dunblane, and though the result was indecisive Mar retreated and left Argyle in possession of the field. Amid such discouragements, the Pretender, accompanied by Ormond and Bolingbroke, landed in Aberdeenshire and joined Mar at Perth; but the highlanders melted away from Mar’s camp, and James; seeing his cause lost, fled back to France. Among those taken in arms at Preston were Lords Derwentwater and Kenmure, who were beheaded for their treason. Some thirty others also suffered death. Thus ended the Jacobite rising of “the Fifteen,” as it was familiarly called. One result of the rising in 1715 was Septennial Act, A.D. 1716. the passing of the Septennial Act, which extended the duration of Parliament from three to seven years. Though designed as a temporary measure, to avoid holding new elections while the country was disturbed by Jacobite intrigues, this Act still remains in force. But while seven years is the life of Parliament in England, it can be dissolved by the sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister at any time within that period.

3. The South Sea Scheme.—The country was at this time convulsed by wide-spread ruin, caused by multitudes speculating in the shares of a company of merchants trading in the South Seas. The Company had assumed a large portion of the National Debt, and had agreed, on being granted a certain monopoly of trade in Spanish America, to become the sole creditor of the State on advantageous terms to the nation. The public were invited to take stock in South Sea Bubble, A.D. 1720. the Company; and such was the temptation that a mad rush was made by everyone who had money to invest, to buy up and trade in the shares of the concern. Under the excitement, hundred pound shares soon rose in value to one thousand pounds; but a panic seizing the market, they speedily fell to almost their original value. The loss was tremendous, and thousands of families were reduced to beggary. The spirit of gambling showed itself in the formation of many “bubble companies,” and this increased the disaster. Parliament took prompt measures to punish the directors of the South Sea Company and relieve in a measure the stockholders; but the effects of the financial crash were long felt in the country.

4. Walpole.—At this crisis, England’s “first great commoner,” Sir Robert Walpole, did much to restore the national credit and bring a return of confidence to the country. In 1721, he became Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, and for over twenty years held the reins of government. His methods of governing were, in many respects, vicious, for he freely bribed members of Parliament whom he could not otherwise induce to support him. But he was an able administrator and skilful financier, and did much to give the country peace and increase its wealth and prosperity. Walpole’s proud temper and love of power led him into frequent quarrels with his colleagues in the ministry, and drove many of the leading Whigs into opposition. This weakened his otherwise strong administration, and in time forced him to resign.

5. George II. (1727-1760).—In the summer of 1727, while travelling in Germany, the first of the Georges died of apoplexy, and was succeeded by his son, George II., then in his forty-fifth year. Like his father, George was much attached to Hanover; but his residence in England had made him familiar with the English language and with the customs of the people. Like his father, too, he was avaricious, obstinate, and licentious, and had a violent temper. He inherited also a partiality for the Whigs, though he had no love for Walpole, and but for the good sense of the queen, Caroline of Anspach, would have removed him from office. For the first ten years of George II.’s rule, England made an unchecked advance in industry and wealth, and, during the peace with Spain, largely extended her commerce with the Spanish colonies. This trade led to extensive smuggling, which Walpole endeavoured to stop. To collect the duty on wine and tobacco coming into the Walpole’s Excise Bill, A. D. 1733. country, he proposed, by an Excise Bill, to levy the imposts in the warehouses where the goods were stored, instead of collecting the duty through the Customs, when the articles were landed in port. But this mode of collecting the revenue raised a great clamour, and to prevent bloodshed he abandoned the measure. Had this Bill become law, its effect would have been to diminish smuggling greatly, and to increase English commerce.

6. Fall of Walpole.—As years went by, it became clear that the nation was not satisfied with its rulers. The people became weary of the system of corruption practised by Walpole and his colleagues, and, although the country enjoyed material prosperity, it began to long for a policy of political activity. Presently a war-feeling broke out against Spain, which the Opposition fomented, and to which Walpole and his colleagues had to bend. The occasion was the determination of English merchants to carry on a forbidden trade with the Spanish Colonies in America and the West Indies. Severe measures were taken by the Spaniards against all found engaged in this illegal traffic. This led to war, which was declared in 1739; but as it was unsuccessfully conducted, Walpole’s administration was held responsible. The ill success of the war was a strong cry with the Opposition, and in the elections of 1741 Walpole found himself shorn of his strength in the House. He struggled on, however, till the next year; but being then unable to command a majority in the Commons, he resigned office, and the king created him Earl of Orford. Three years afterwards, “the Great Commoner” died.

7. Battle of Dettingen (1743).—At the period of Walpole’s downfall, England took sides in another outbreak on the Continent, known as the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1740, Charles VI., Emperor of Germany, died without male issue; but previous to his death he had obtained the consent of the European Powers that his daughter, Maria Theresa, should succeed to his Austrian dominions. On his death, however, the agreement was broken, first, by France and Spain, who supported the claims of the Elector of Bavaria, and then by Frederick the Great, of Prussia, who laid claim to Silesia. England espoused the cause of Maria, and having voted her a large subsidy, sent into Germany a combined army of British and Hanoverian troops. This army, unfortunately, was caught in a trap by the French, but was saved from destruction by the personal courage of George II. and his son, the Duke of Cumberland, who overthrew the French forces at Dettingen, on the river Maine, and drove them out of Germany. This was the last occasion on which an English king commanded his troops in person on the battle-field. The war went on until 1748, when the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle brought it to a close, Prussia retaining Silesia. France then recognized the illustrious Maria Theresa, who, with her husband, Francis I., had become joint sovereigns of Austria.

8. The Young Pretender (1745).—While England was engaged in the European war, Prince Charles Edward, son of the “Old Pretender” thought the occasion favourable for another Jacobite rising in Scotland. Landing at Inverness with a small personal following, he induced the Highlanders again to take up arms in the Stuart cause, and marched southwards with an imposing array of clansmen. At Prestonpans he met and defeated the royal forces under Sir John Cope, and then took up his residence in the ancient palace of Holyrood, in the Scottish capital. Here he held high carnival, the Scottish nobles with their ladies being greatly enamoured with the youth and beauty of the “gay chevalier.” After loitering some weeks at Edinburgh, Charles Edward, at the head of 5,000 men, now entered England, where he expected to be joined by English Jacobites, and to march on London. But in this he was disappointed, and at Derby he was compelled to return to the north, closely followed by new musterings of the royal troops Culloden Moor, April 16, 1746. under the Duke of Cumberland. At Culloden Moor Cumberland met and defeated the rebel army, and Charles fled from the disastrous field and his adherents were mercilessly put to death. The cause of the Stuarts was now forever lost. The young prince was for over five months a hunted fugitive; but the romantic devotion of a Stuart sympathizer, named Flora Macdonald, enabled him, despite the large reward that was placed on his head, to escape to France. Driven thence, he took refuge in Italy, where he fell into dissolute habits, and died at Rome in 1788. Many Highland chieftains who espoused his cause came to the block, while the clans were disarmed and forbidden to wear the Highland costume, and the clan system was broken up. Military roads, which penetrated the Highlands, were now built; and this not only reduced the clans to order, but opened up means of intercourse with the lowlands which produced the happiest results.

9. The Seven Years’ War (1756-1763).—During the eight years’ peace with France that followed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, there had been considerable ill-feeling between the English and French colonists in America and in distant India, which led to a renewal of hostilities between the two countries, on England’s taking the side of Prussia in the Seven Years’ War. This war had broken out between Frederick the Great and a Confederacy of European Powers, consisting mainly of Austria, Prussia, Spain, and France, the object of the Confederacy being to crush the growing power of Frederick and to partition Prussia. Between England and France, aside from European complications, there was cause enough for war, in the desire of both nations to settle who should be the masters of India and North America. On the latter continent, France had colonized Canada and Louisiana, while England had established colonies along that part of the Atlantic coast which separated the French settlements. To connect the latter, and to exclude England from the great fur-trade of the interior, France proposed to erect a series of military posts from the Niagara river to the mouth of the Mississippi. This proposal was naturally resented by Britain and her New England colonies, and in 1755 the conflict began by an attack on the French forts in the Ohio valley. The English, however, were not successful, and their general, Braddock, was mortally wounded and his troops defeated while marching to attack Fort Duquesne. This disaster was atoned for by subsequent successes in the neighbourhood of Lake Champlain, and by the capture of Louisburg by Amherst and Wolfe. Capture of Quebec, A.D. 1759. Next year came the crowning victory, the Fall of Quebec, and the surrender by France of the whole of Canada to Britain. Joy at the capture of this stronghold was saddened by the deaths of the gallant British commander, General Wolfe, and the equally gallant defender, General Montcalm. In India, English prowess met with like good fortune and decided the question of supremacy. There, the East India Company had founded settlements for purposes of trade, which gave promise of extending to an empire; but France, jealous of her hereditary rival, endeavoured to snatch from her the prize. Dupleix, the French Governor of Pondicherry, captured Madras, and by intriguing with the native princes, attempted to make French power supreme over the country. In this ambitious scheme he was, however, checkmated by Robert (afterwards Lord) Clive, who from a clerkship in the East India Company rose to be one of the greatest of English generals and the saviour of India. Clive captured Arcot, and in 1757, when the sovereignty of Bengal was in peril, he won a great victory over the native insurgents at Plassey, which made Bengal a British province, saved the English residents from massacre, and laid the foundations of British rule in India. In the previous year occurred the atrocity of the Black Hole, at Calcutta. One hundred and forty-six Europeans were one hot summer night thrust into a small cell not twenty feet square. In the morning it was found that only twenty-three survived; the rest had been suffocated or trampled to death.

10. The Elder Pitt.—Much of the success of the British arms at this period was due to one of England’s greatest statesmen, William Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham. Pitt entered Parliament in 1735, was one of the chief opponents of Walpole, and from 1756 to 1761, save for a brief interval, was the ruling spirit of the government In 1756, he was made Secretary of State, and during the Seven Years’ War his vigorous and large-minded policy did much to restore England’s military fame abroad and add to the laurels of the nation. His nobility of character and lofty, unsullied patriotism, together with his great talents as an orator and a war minister, won him the respect and affection of the people. His steady advocacy of the rights of the people, his passionate and almost resistless eloquence, and his marvellous power to animate and inspire a desponding nation, earned for him the title of “The Great Commoner.”

11. Rise of Methodism.—The reign of George II. is memorable for the rise of the religious body known as Methodists, so-called from their orderly or methodical manner of life. The denomination is also known as Wesleyans, from the name of their founder, John Wesley. Wesley, and a co-labourer, named George Whitfield, were educated at Oxford and ordained as clergymen; but the zeal of the national church having been almost quenched by the worldliness of the times, they started a movement to rouse it from its apathy. Discarding the formality of the Church’s services, they held religious meetings in the open air throughout England, and gained an immense influence over the masses. In this laudable work they encountered much opposition from the dignitaries of the Church; but their labours awoke the latter to new life and gave a fresh impulse to religion. At Wesley’s death, in 1791, his followers numbered over 75,000 in England, and as many more in America.

12. Literature since the Revolution.—The period covered by the reigns of William III., Anne, and the two Georges was prolific of great writers in both prose and poetry. To this age belonged Addison, the gentle humorist; Swift, the bitter but powerful satirist; Locke, the philosopher, and Bolingbroke, the brilliant pamphleteer. Of the poets, Pope, with his smooth but artificial versification, has won for himself an enduring place in English literature. His principal poems are the Rape of the Lock, and the Dunciad. Later on, Goldsmith and Johnson became prominent figures among the literary men of the eighteenth century. Goldsmith was a fertile and charming writer of both prose and poetry, but his fame rests mainly on his novel, The Vicar of Wakefield and his poems The Traveller and The Deserted Village. Johnson’s best known work is his English Dictionary; but as a man and conversationalist he lives for us in the pages of Boswell, his biographer and admirer.

[1. Mention the principal incidents of the rising of 1715. Why was it unsuccessful?

2. What occasioned the passage of the Septennial Act? What change did it make in the term of a Parliament?

3. Explain what is meant by “South Sea Bubble.” Show how it arose, and how it ended.

4. For what is Walpole noted? Describe his methods of government, and the policy he pursued. Give an estimate of Walpole as a statesman.

5. Under what circumstances, and with what success, did the “Young Pretender” raise an insurrection in Great Britain?

6. What means were adopted to restore and maintain peace in the Highlands of Scotland?

7. Point out the influences that drove Walpole from power.

8. Describe William Pitt, as an orator, a statesman, and a minister of war.

9. State, with dates and causes, the principal battles of the Seven Years’ War.

10. Why were the Whigs able to hold office during the reigns of George I. and George II.?

11. Compare the Hanoverian kings with the Stuarts.]




[The character and early training of George III. furnish a key to the conflicts, discontent, and disasters of the first part of this reign. It will be necessary to show how George III., by creating a “King’s Party,” by corruption, intimidation, and the exercise of a low cunning, carried out the advice of his mother, “George, be King!” The frequent changes of Ministers, the humiliation and dismissal of the elder Pitt, the conflicts between Wilkes and Parliament, the struggles for a free press, and the loss of the American colonies, are incidents in the career of a narrow-minded and obstinate king, who sought to make responsible government a mockery. The teacher should give great prominence to this idea, and, by examples and illustrations, leave a vivid impression on the minds of pupils. The character and career of the profligate, versatile, able, and almost fascinating Wilkes, will, if properly treated, add much to the interest of the chapter. Other great names that stand out in bold relief are Washington, Fox, and the younger Pitt. The sad fate of Major André might be told; also other interesting stories of the American War of Independence. The cause of this revolt must be carefully explained. The teacher will find in Green a statement to the effect that the Conquest of Canada inevitably led to the independence of the American colonies. Explain this statement, and give the terms of the Treaty that handed Canada over to England. A reference to the granting of Home Rule to Ireland in 1782 will be in place. Green, and May’s “Constitutional History” are among the best and most readily available works on this period.

References:—Green, May’s “Constitutional History,” Trevelyan’s “Life of Charles James Fox,” Rae’s “Wilkes, Sheridan, and Fox,” Payne’s “European Colonies,” Doyle’s “United States” (in Freeman’s Historical Course), and Mackenzie’s “America.”]

1. George III. (1760-1820).—George II. was succeeded by his grandson, George III., who came to the throne in his twenty-third year. He was the first of the reigning Hanoverian family born in England, and was educated under the tutelage of a Scotch Tory, named Lord Bute. From Bute and his mother the king imbibed his political views, and these led him to get rid gradually of his Whig ministers, and to form a new political party opposed to the Whigs and willing to assist him in asserting his own prerogative. “George, be king,” was the constant admonition of his mother; and the lesson he early learned showed itself in his taking the reins of government into his own hands. Though George III. was a man of but ordinary understanding, he had much good sense and considerable tact in managing men and things. He was honest but stubborn in his convictions, lived a good life, and during his long reign was actuated by a sincere desire for the well-being of the nation, though his mistaken policy brought it disaster.

2. Treaty of Paris.—In 1761 “the great commoner,” Pitt, who by his vigorous war policy had brought much glory to the nation, met with strong opposition from the peace party in the Cabinet, led by Bute, and supported by the king. Pitt, so far from accepting peace with France, which was now proposed, wanted to prosecute hostilities and make war also against Spain. But being overruled in this, he resigned the Secretaryship of State and was succeeded by Bute. Next year, however, the Government was obliged to adopt Pitt’s views and declare war with Spain, for she had joined France in a compact against England. The Duke of Newcastle, who was nominally head of the Government, now resigned, because he was not consulted in matters of policy and patronage, and Lord Bute became Prime Minister. But these changes in Treaty of Paris, A.D. 1763. the ministry did not please the people, and when the war was brought to a close by the Treaty of Paris, Bute became the best abused man in the country. Frightened at his unpopularity, he resigned, and was succeeded by George Grenville. By the Treaty of Paris England kept her conquests in North America, and gained a number of islands from France in the West Indies. The terms of Peace, though lauded by the king in a speech on closing Parliament, were bitterly inveighed against in and out of the House, as they inadequately compensated England for her outlay on the Seven Years’ War. The national debt had doubled during the period, and now exceeded one hundred and twenty millions sterling.

3. John Wilkes.—A circumstance now happened which showed the growing power of the newspaper press, though it had hardly yet freed itself from legal trammels. John Wilkes, a profligate member of Parliament and publisher of a paper called the North Briton, had, in 1763, severely criticized in his journal the terms of peace with France, and had denounced Bute with great scurrility. For this he was sent to the Tower by Grenville, the Prime Minister, under a general warrant, (one in which no person is named); but being a member of Parliament and as such free from arrest, he was set at liberty by the Lord Chief Justice. Subsequently the Courts decided that “general warrants” were illegal. The Commons now took up the matter, and declared the comments of Wilkes seditious. Popular sympathy was, however, on his side, and he was emboldened to bring an action against the Secretary of State for illegal imprisonment, and was awarded a £1,000 damages. But Wilkes had now to stand his trial for libel. He was found guilty, and having fled to France, was outlawed. In 1768, however, he returned to England, and was three times elected member for Middlesex, but the House refused to receive him. Meantime he had become the popular idol and the representative of liberty, and great rioting ensued over his case. Finally, in 1774, he was allowed to take his seat. During this exciting period appeared the famous “Letters of Junius,” which attacked the maladministration of the times, and were directed particularly against the Duke of Grafton, who was now the leader of the Government.

4. The Crown and the American Colonies.—Meanwhile, the Grenville ministry became involved in serious difficulties with the North American Colonies on the question of taxation. The Seven Years’ War, which had been waged chiefly for the protection of these dependencies, had left a heavy burden of debt upon England. Stamp Act, A.D. 1765. To meet this debt in part, Grenville proposed to levy a Stamp Tax upon the American Colonies, now thirteen in number, with a population of two million whites and half a million blacks. But the Colonists objected to being taxed without their consent, and without representation in the British Parliament, and declared that they were sufficiently oppressed by the burden of Customs’ duties already imposed upon them. The Stamp Act was nevertheless passed in spite of the protest of the Colonial Assemblies; but the obnoxious measure met such opposition in America that, at Pitt’s urgent solicitation, it was withdrawn. Parliament, however, passed another Act declaring its authority over the Colonies in matters of legislation and taxation, and this increased the soreness of feeling in America against the mother country. The irritation was far from being allayed when a subsequent administration imposed various small Customs’ duties on American imports, but chiefly upon tea. In retaliation the Colonists determined not to use this article. The spirit of resistance was soon now to take a determined form; for, on the one hand, the king and his ministers stubbornly insisted on England’s right to derive some benefit from her Colonies; while, on the other hand, the Colonists as stubbornly held to the principle of no taxation without representation, and upheld the rights of their own Assemblies. Meanwhile, the Grenville ministry had passed away with its successors under the leaderships of Lord Rockingham and the Duke of Grafton, and was followed by the administration of Lord North. Pitt, who had become Earl of Chatham, was for a time a member of the Grafton ministry, but resigned on the plea of ill-health. Partly recovering his strength, he became a vehement opponent of Lord North’s Government. Throughout the trouble with the Colonists, he was a staunch supporter of their cause, and in Parliament eloquently denounced arbitrary measures against them.

5. American War of Independence.—In 1773, the Colonists were finally estranged from the mother country by the arrival in Boston harbour of three ship-loads of taxed tea, which the Colonists refused to receive; and, as the English governor of the colony would not consent to the tea being returned to England, the cargo was thrown overboard into Boston bay. For this act the English government closed the Port of Boston and took away the charter of Massachusetts. Troops were also sent out from England, and on their arrival the Colonists banded themselves together for armed resistance. Next year, a Congress assembled at Philadelphia, which, after English fashion, issued a Declaration of Rights, followed two years afterwards by a Declaration of Independence. George Washington, of Virginia, an able officer, Declaration of Independence, A.D. 1776. was chosen by the Colonists to command their forces in the coming struggle. The first shots of the war were fired in 1775, in a skirmish at Lexington, and in a battle at Bunker Hill, near Boston, where the Americans were repulsed, though at serious loss to the English. In the same year, the Americans invaded Canada, captured Montreal, but failed in their attack upon Quebec. New York was occupied by General Howe, in 1776, and in the following year Lord Cornwallis defeated Washington at Brandywine, and took Philadelphia. A month later, however, the tide of fortune turned in favour of the Colonists; for France lent them aid, and the English general, Burgoyne, was forced to surrender, with 6,000 men, at Saratoga. This disaster led the English to see that the war with their kinsmen in America was a mistake, and overtures of peace were talked of in Parliament. But the entry of France into the quarrel brought about a renewal of hostilities, urged on by the Earl of Chatham, who though he had opposed the taxation of the Colonies would not hear of the dismemberment of the Empire. While making a powerful speech in the House of Lords, against a proposal to make peace with America, the venerable statesman fell in a fit upon the floor, and died a month afterwards. But the struggle with the Colonies went on with slackened energy, for war had broken out with France, Spain, and Holland, owing to England’s persisting in her right to search the vessels of neutral nations; and England having these combined powers against her, had to limit her land operations to the Southern States. There, in 1781, the English arms met with a crowning disaster. Lord Cornwallis, for a time successful in the Carolinas, had withdrawn his forces to Yorktown, Virginia, to await supplies and reinforcements from New York. While there a French fleet entered the Chesapeake and shut him in from the sea. Washington, and the French general, Lafayette, then surrounded Independence of the United States conceded, A.D. 1783. him on land, when he was forced to capitulate. This event brought the war to an inglorious close, though the misfortune was relieved by victories at sea over the fleets of France and Spain. Two years afterwards, by the Peace of Versailles (1783), Britain recognized the Independence of the United States of America.

6. Home Rule in Ireland.—The unhappy condition of Ireland again demanded attention. Influenced by the revolt of the American Colonies, and suffering from the illiberal policy of the English Government, the Irish demanded relief in matters of trade and religion. Their trade was vexatiously hampered by the commercial jealousy of England, while Catholics were still under the cruel and oppressive laws of William III. The English ministry, uneasy at the disaffection in the island, made some important concessions. In 1778 the penal laws throughout the kingdom against Catholics were relaxed, and in 1780, through the mediation of Edmund Burke, one of the ablest statesmen of the time, many of the restrictions on Irish trade were removed. Two years afterwards, Home Rule in Ireland, A.D. 1782. a more important concession was granted, the legislative independence of Ireland. The credit of obtaining this concession is due to Henry Grattan, an able orator and member of the Irish Parliament. But this measure of home rule brought little relief to Catholics, for the Irish Parliament was wholly composed of Protestants, and religious toleration was as yet little understood.

7. Pitt and Fox.—With the close of the American War of Independence came the break-up of the Government under Lord North, and the appearance of two young statesmen destined to become leading figures in English political history. These were the younger Pitt, son of the Earl of Chatham, and Charles James Fox. The latter, the senior of the two, had been for some time in Parliament and had held office, though throughout the war he was a powerful antagonist of the ministry. In 1782-1783 he was Secretary of State; but for the next twenty years he was in opposition to the younger Pitt’s ministry, and as leader of his party displayed great political sagacity and marvellous powers of debate. Pitt entered Parliament in 1781, when in his twenty-second year, and was made Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Shelburne’s Cabinet. In 1784 he became Prime Minister, forming a government from members of both parties, which ruled the country for the next seventeen years, in spite of opposition from the combined phalanx of Whig orators—Burke, Fox, and Sheridan. Pitt’s great ability carried him successfully through a trying time for the country, giving it peace, so long as that was in honour possible, and advancing its commerce. He also endeavoured to raise statesmanship to a higher plane, to purge politics of corruption, and secure reforms in and out of Parliament.

8. Affairs in India.—While England was losing her colonies in America, she made large acquisitions of territory in India. After the destruction of the French power in the Carnatic, the English gained almost the whole sea-coast from Madras to Bengal. The latter province was now consolidated with Bahar and Orissa under the rule of the East India Company, subject to the control of the Crown. This control was established by an Act passed in Parliament in 1773, for better regulation of affairs in the East Indies; and under it Warren Hastings was appointed Governor-General of the British possessions in Hindostan. During Hastings’ able rule, which lasted till 1785, British power rapidly extended over the country and a vigorous administration was established. Unfortunately the latter was accompanied by many oppressive acts for which Hastings, on his return to England, was impeached and subjected to a lengthy trial, which, however, ended in an acquittal. In 1784 the English Government wisely again interfered with Pitt’s India Bill, A.D. 1784. Indian affairs, and Pitt passed an Act of Parliament which set up a Board of Control to regulate the political doings of the East India Company. This method of double government lasted till 1858, when the Company’s rule was superseded by that of the Crown.

[1. Give as faithful a picture as you can of George III. when he came to the throne. Why was he more popular than George I. and George II.?

2. In as brief terms as possible state the policy of George III. How did he succeed in this policy, and what means did he employ?

3. Who was John Wilkes? With what great questions was he identified?

4. Give the terms of the Treaties that closed the Seven Years’ War.

5. State the causes and the results of the revolt of the American Colonies.

6. Describe the characters of Washington, Fox, Burke, and Pitt.

7. What part did Warren Hastings take in the extension of the British Empire? Why was he impeached?

8. Under what circumstances did Ireland obtain Home Rule? How far was Ireland governed by her people at this time?]




[During the first part of the Napoleonic war, the prominent English statesmen are Burke, Fox, and Pitt. The several parts played by these great men in the European drama should be noted. The horrors of the French Revolution, its causes, and the chief actors in it, are depicted with marvellous power by Carlyle in his “French Revolution.” The one figure that towers above all others as the outcome of this upheaval, is Napoleon Bonaparte. His selfishness, cruelty, and prodigious self-confidence, are well described by Madame de Remusat in her “Memoirs.” Stories without number, about Napoleon, exist: some of these should be related to give an insight into his character and genius. As a military commander he can be compared with Alexander, Hannibal, and Cæsar. Napoleon’s great antagonist and conqueror, the Duke of Wellington, will, at a later period, appear on the scene as a statesman; but here he must be discussed as the uniformly successful general. Nelson, and Sir John Moore, rank high among British heroes; hence, the Battle of the Baltic, and the Burial of Sir John Moore should be read or recited. Among the most thrilling of all the episodes of this terrible struggle is Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and the burning of Moscow. Scarcely less important than the Napoleonic war is the condition of England and Ireland, and the policy pursued by the various Tory Governments. The rebellion in Ireland, followed by the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, the distress and discontent that marked the close of the war, and the severe measures taken by the Government to repress agitations favourable to political reforms, are important matters, not to be passed over lightly. The various philanthrophic movements with which the names of Howard, Wilberforce, Clarkson, and Romilly are so honourably connected need further explanation. The literature of this time, and its relation to contemporary events, should be referred to and illustrations given.

References:—Green, May’s “Constitutional History,” Madame de Remusat’s “Memoirs,” Carlyle’s “French Revolution,” Napier’s “Peninsular War,” Alison’s “History of Europe,” Southey’s “Nelson,” Russell’s “Life and Times of Fox,” Burke’s “Reflections and Regicide Peace,” Goldwin Smith’s “Three English Statesmen,” and Coffin’s “War of 1812.” The Erckmann-Chatrian novels vividly illustrate the Revolutionary epoch in France; see also Victor Hugo’s “Ninety-three.”]

1. The French Revolution (1789-1795).—The year 1789 saw the outbreak in France of a terrible revolution against a despotic monarchy, a licentious nobility, and a corrupt clergy. All show of legitimate authority disappeared, and Paris became the scene of the wildest excesses of an irreligious and frenzied populace. The Revolution began with the destruction, as a hated symbol of tyranny, of the Bastille, or State prison; after which the infuriated leaders of the movement proceeded to overthrow the monarchy and set up a Republic. By the year 1793, a veritable “Reign of Terror” had set in, and thousands of the aristocracy of France were pitilessly Execution of the King and Queen of France, A.D. 1793. put to death, including Louis XVI. and his beautiful queen, Marie Antoinette. The Revolutionists then offered to help other nations to recover their freedom; and, to stem the tide of anarchy which now threatened Europe, England joined Austria, Prussia, Spain, and Holland in a war against the new Republic. At first, the effect of the revolution on England was to create sympathy for the French people, who had long suffered from the oppression of their rulers. But the frightful excesses of the Paris mob led to a revulsion of feeling; and when an invasion of England was talked of in Paris, the English loyally stood by Pitt, the Prime Minister, in supporting the European coalition against France. This change of feeling was greatly due to the publication of Edmund Burke’s “Reflections,” which contained an eloquent attack on the principles of the Revolutionists, and did much to stay the advance of democratic sentiments in England.

2. Naval Victories.—England’s successes during the first period of the war were won at sea. An army had been sent into the Austrian Netherlands, under the king’s son, the Duke of York; but it failed to prevent the French conquest of Belgium and Holland. The English took possession of Toulon, but were compelled to abandon it, though the fleet captured Corsica, the island home of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was then rising into fame. In 1795, Prussia and Spain withdrew from the Alliance, and the latter, with Holland, joined France against England. This act cost the Dutch the loss of the Cape of Good Hope and other possessions in the East and West Indies. The following year, the French, under Napoleon, conducted a successful campaign against the Austrians in Northern Italy; but an attempt by General Hoche to invade Ireland failed. In 1797, the outlook for England became a gloomy one, for she was left to contend almost single-handed against France. But the gloom was partly dispelled by the brilliant victory of Admiral Jervis and Commodore Horatio Nelson over the Spanish fleet off Cape St. Vincent, and by Admiral Duncan’s defeat of the Dutch off Camperdown. In 1798, Napoleon having gone on an ill-fated expedition to Egypt, Admiral Nelson followed the French fleet into the Mediterranean, and at Aboukir Bay fought the famous Battle of the Nile, and almost Battle of the Nile, A.D. 1798. totally destroyed the navy of France. Presently a new danger threatened England, in an armed league of the northern nations, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark; but this was happily broken up by Nelson’s bombardment of Copenhagen and the destruction of the Danish fleet. England Peace of Amiens, A.D. 1802. now, however, grew weary of the distracting and costly war, and in 1802, trusting to the good faith of Napoleon, she consented to the hollow Peace of Amiens. The Peace only enabled the ambitious Napoleon, who was now elected Consul for life, to mature his plans for further strife.

3. Union of Great Britain and Ireland.—To the general disturbance of the period Ireland contributed its share. The country had scarcely ever been free from revolutionary agitation. Taking advantage of the proffered aid of France, a body of men, called the United Irishmen, endeavoured to free the island from English rule and to set up a republican government. This new Irish rising took place in 1798, and was marked by great atrocities on the side of the rebels as well as on that of the English and Irish Protestants who took part in crushing the rebellion. The French fleet brought over an army to assist the Irish, but was scattered by a storm, and not a soldier landed. Later on, another French expedition was fitted out; but though it entered Ireland, it was surrounded and compelled to surrender. The English Government, anxious to prevent continued bloodshed, sent Lord Cornwallis to Ireland as Lord-Lieutenant, who did all he could to stop the strife. Pitt now strove to bring about a legislative union of the two countries, Union of Great Britain and Ireland, A.D. 1801. and by dint of bribery and other influences, the Irish Parliament ceased to exist and an Act of Union was agreed to and became law. To cement the union, Pitt endeavoured to introduce a Relief Bill, on behalf of the Irish Roman Catholics; but the king stubbornly opposed it, and Pitt, in consequence, resigned. His government was succeeded by the Addington ministry, which held office for the next three years.

4. Death of Nelson.—During the Addington Administration, the second period of the war with France began. The peace of Amiens had not been two years signed when Napoleon found a pretext for a quarrel in England’s delay in surrendering Malta, in her harbouring French refugees in Britain, and in the outspoken comments of the English press on his ambitious designs in Europe. In 1803 war was declared by England, whereupon Napoleon promptly seized all the English in France and made preparations for a great invasion of England. At this new danger, some 300,000 volunteers were enrolled in England, and her naval commanders from their “wooden walls” kept a sharp look out on the coasts. Pitt resumed his post of Prime Minister, and by his skilful diplomacy formed a new alliance with Austria, Russia, and Sweden. Spain still co-operated with France. Meanwhile the French fleet, eluding Nelson’s vigilance, sailed from Toulon, and, joining the Spanish navy, set out for the West Indies with the design of drawing Nelson away from British waters. Succeeding in this ruse, the French Admiral then stole back with a squadron of sail, but was met off Cape Finisterre by some British ships of the line, which so crippled his fleet that it was obliged to seek Cadiz for repairs. Nelson had by this time returned; and, in October, 1805, encountering the Battle of Trafalgar, and death of Nelson. A.D. 1805. combined French and Spanish fleet in Trafalgar Bay, near the Straits of Gibraltar, he gave the signal for battle and at once bore down upon the foe. Hoisting his famous signal, “England expects every man will do his duty,” he led his own flag-ship, “Victory,” into action, and ere the day closed had utterly vanquished the enemy. In the engagement the great English admiral lost his life, but saved his country from invasion and made Britain again supreme on the sea.

5. Austerlitz.—Though beaten at sea, the French, owing to Napoleon’s marvellous generalship, continued supreme on land. Marching his “Grand Army,” in 1805, into Austria, Napoleon compelled the surrender of 30,000 Austrians at Ulm, and entered Vienna. Proceeding now to Moravia, he reached the crown of his Battles of Austerlitz and Jena, A.D. 1805 and 1806. successes, in a victory over the Russians and Austrians at Austerlitz; and the next year he utterly crushed Prussia at Jena. From the Prussian capital he then issued his famous Berlin Decrees, declaring the British Islands to be in a state of blockade, and ordering the ports of Europe to be closed against their commerce. England replied to this act of the temporary dictator of Europe, by forbidding any neutral Power to trade with France or her allies. The effect of these war measures was injurious to English commerce, and some years afterwards they led to further trouble with the revolted American colonies. The shock of these disasters to the allies of England broke the health of England’s great statesman, Pitt, and hurried him to an untimely grave, whither he was shortly followed by his great rival, Fox.

6. The Peninsular War (1808-1814).—Napoleon, not satisfied with his successes on the field, now began to set up and pull down kings. His brother, Joseph, he put on the throne of Naples, and another brother, Louis, he made king of Holland. Presently he set covetous eyes on the crown of Spain, and deposing the king, he transferred Joseph from Naples to Madrid. But the Spaniards rose in arms and drove Joseph out, and then called on Britain to help them to restrain Napoleon’s aggressions. England replied by sending an army to Portugal, under Sir Arthur Wellesley, who had distinguished himself in India, and who presently won the title of Lord Wellington. This great soldier began his successes in the Peninsular War by defeating the French at Vimiera, in August, 1808. For a time his operations were interfered with by the timidity of Spain and by the lukewarmness of the English Battle of Corunna, and death of Sir John Moore, Jan. 16, 1809. ministry, which cost Sir John Moore his life in the famous engagement at Corunna. But in the following year Wellington was able to march into Spain and win the battle of Talavera, inflicting great loss upon the French, though he was compelled to withdraw again to Portugal. Here he won the battle of Busaco, and entrenching himself behind the lines of Torres Vedras, near Lisbon, he defied the French general, Massena, with his 80,000 veterans. The next year, the British, issuing from Torres Vedras, won in rapid succession Barossa, Fuentes D’Onoro, and Albuera. In 1812 Wellington pursued his victorious career by capturing the two border fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, and by inflicting a ruinous defeat on Marshal Marmont at Salamanca. The next two years shed additional lustre on the British arms; for, at Vittoria, Wellington scattered the French to the winds, under King Joseph Battle of Toulouse, April 10, 1814. and Marshal Jourdan, and overthrew Soult and his forces at Toulouse. By these victories the French were driven across the Pyrenees, and the campaign in the Spanish Peninsula was brought to a close. Napoleon, meanwhile, had undertaken a disastrous expedition into Russia; and had led a new army into Germany, where he met with a crushing defeat at Leipsic. From Saxony he fled back to France, with Retirement Napoleon to Elba, A.D. 1814. the allied forces of Russia, Austria, and Prussia at his heels. Entering Paris, in 1814, the Allies compelled Napoleon to abdicate and retire to the island of Elba. England, grateful for the peace, hastened to bestow upon Wellington the rewards of victory. He was created Duke, and received the thanks of the British Parliament and a grant of half-a-million sterling.

7. Waterloo.—Early in the year 1815, England’s dream of peace was rudely disturbed by Napoleon’s return to France, the dethroned Emperor having escaped from Elba. Once more he was at the head of his legions, and the Great Powers instantly allied themselves to crush him. Wellington with an English army entered Belgium and sought to effect a junction with the Prussians under Blucher. Napoleon, divining Wellington’s purpose, dispatched half of his army, under Marshal Ney, to attack the British, while he himself attacked the Prussians and beat them at Ligny. On the day on which this battle was fought, Wellington met the French at Quatre Bras, and though Ney strove for hours to force his position, the attacks were gallantly repulsed. The English now fell back to Waterloo, and with their Hanoverian Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815. and Belgian allies waited for the Prussians to come up. Here, on Sunday, the 18th of June, 1815, was fought the decisive battle of Waterloo. The opposing forces were numerically well matched, each side having on the field from 70,000 to 80,000 men. After a stubborn, all-day contest, the French were defeated, with a total loss of nearly 40,000 men. The loss of the allies was close upon 15,000. Napoleon escaped from the field, but a few weeks afterwards surrendered himself to the British, when he was banished to the island of St. Helena. There the disturber of Europe died six years afterwards, and England for the next forty years enjoyed almost uninterrupted peace.

8. War with the United States (1812-1814).—During the later years of the struggle with Napoleon, England was unhappily at war with the United States. The cause of quarrel was England’s claiming the right to search American vessels for seamen to serve in the navy and to impose restrictions on the commerce of neutral nations during the war with France. Though England cancelled the Orders in Council which occasioned the trouble, the United States, resenting the interference, declared war, in June, 1812, and invaded Canada. The Canadians with much spirit defended the colony; and for nearly three years the unequal struggle was maintained along the frontier. York (Toronto) was twice captured, Niagara was burned, and a small British squadron on Lake Erie met with defeat. The Americans, on the other hand, suffered the loss of Detroit, Oswego, Ogdensburg, and Forts Erie and Mackinaw, and were routed at Queenston, Chippewa, Chateauguay, Chrysler’s Farm, and Lundy’s Lane. On the Atlantic seaboard, Washington was raided, and a British cruiser, the Shannon, won a naval duel with the American ship Chesapeake. Happily, the unnatural conflict was ended in December, 1814, by the Treaty of Ghent, though not Treaty of Ghent, A.D. 1814. before an attack upon New Orleans had been repulsed with great loss to the British. By the treaty, mutual conquests were restored, though the ground of quarrel, the right of search, was left undecided.

9. Social and Political Reforms.—The cessation of the long period of strife, though gladly hailed by the people, did not bring immediate relief to England. The war had raised the national debt to nearly nine hundred millions, and brought distress and misery in its train. Masses of the people were unemployed, wheat was dear, money was scarce, and bread riots were plentiful. The distractions of the war, too, had delayed many necessary reforms, social and religious; and political meetings, seditious writings, and general discontent showed how urgently they were needed. In spite of all this, the nation was making progress, and only peace was wanted to ameliorate the condition of the masses and ensure the return of “good times.” The power-loom and spinning-jenny had been invented; steam had been introduced; canals had been constructed; coal-gas had been first used for lighting; and all manner of beneficent activities were at work. Popular education and the newspaper press were also adding to the general enlightenment, while religion had gained a new auxiliary in the Sunday School. Nor were individual philanthropists lacking, to battle single-handed with some great evil, and bring redress. Of these, three names stand out in bold relief—Howard, Wilberforce, and Romilly. From 1773 to 1790, the philanthropist, John Howard, had been looking into the condition of the prisons throughout Europe. He found that gross abuses existed in connection with the management of these institutions, and that great brutality was often shown towards the inmates. Prisoners were detained without having been convicted or brought to trial, because they were unable to pay the fees the jailer demanded. Vice, filth, and disease prevailed in very many of the prisons, not only on the continent but in England. By calling public attention to the facts, Howard was able in great measure to remedy this state of things. Another crying evil at this period received public attention, thanks to the humanity of a member of the English Parliament, named William Wilberforce. A decision of Lord Mansfield, in 1772, affirmed that if a slave lands on English soil he becomes free. Wilberforce’s labours gave practical effect to this Abolition of the Slave Trade, A.D. 1807. judgment of the bench; for by his instrumentality an Act was passed in Parliament, in 1807, forbidding the horrid trade in slaves, though freedom was not given to those in the British colonies of the West Indies until 1833. At the beginning of the century beneficent reforms in other directions were also secured. The efforts of Sir Samuel Romilly, another member of the House of Commons, were early directed to the improvement of the criminal laws of the kingdom, which had been put on the statute books in the cruel times of the Plantagenets and Tudors. The severity of the criminal code was such that death was the punishment of anyone who picked a pocket of more than five shillings or robbed a store. Gradually a wiser and more merciful spirit actuated English legislators, and the number of crimes which sent victims daily to the gallows was in time reduced.

10. Literature of the Reign of George III.—During the last twenty years of the eighteenth century, the poet, William Cowper, produced his more important works. Cowper, whose poems are mainly of a religious and didactic character, rendered an important service to English poetry by breaking away from the artificial but polished versification of Pope and his imitators, and by bringing poetry back to truth and nature. The successful revolt of the American colonies, followed shortly afterwards by the terrible uprising of the oppressed masses of the French nation, had a powerful effect in spreading democratic ideas among the educated and the literary men of Europe. Among those who came under the influence of these ideas were the English poets, Southey, Coleridge, and Wordsworth. These writers are known as the poets of the “Lake School,” mainly because they all lived for a time near the lakes in the north of England. Wordsworth, the head of the School, introduced into English poetry a distinctive type and method of treatment. His poetry is largely devoted to a minute and faithful description of the common incidents of life, and of nature in her various aspects. Towards the close of the reign of George III. appeared a great name in our literature, that of Sir Walter Scott. Scott first became popular as a poet, but whatever fame he won in that character was speedily lost in the universal admiration he excited by the production of the celebrated Waverley Novels. Scott’s fame as a novelist has suffered no diminution by the lapse of years: he still stands at the head of the writers of fiction, not only of England, but of all countries.

[1. State the principal causes of the French Revolution. Show how England was drawn into a war with France.

2. Compare the views of Burke, Pitt, and Fox, with regard to the French Revolution.

3. When did Napoleon first come into prominence? Mention some of his earlier successes.

4. With what victories are the names of Nelson, Admiral Jervis, Admiral Duncan, and Sir John Moore connected?

5. Briefly sketch the principal events of the Peninsular War. How did this war arise, and how did it affect Napoleon’s power?

6. In what battles were Prussia, Austria, and Russia, respectively, defeated? Give dates.

7. What was the immediate effect of the Napoleonic war on English trade and commerce, and what the ultimate effect?

8. Give as graphic a description as you can of the battle of Waterloo, and show that it was a very important battle.

9. Show how the Revolutionary feeling extended to Great Britain and Ireland, and describe the methods adopted to repress agitation for reform.

10. Under what circumstances did Ireland enter the Union? What were the provisions of the Act of Union of 1800?

11. Why did England and the United States go to war in 1812? How did this war end?

12. With what movements are the names of Howard, Wilberforce, and Romilly, identified?]




[This is pre-eminently the epoch of Reform. Within the period of ten years, we have the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill, the Reform Bill, Abolition of Slavery, Reform of the Poor Laws, and of the Municipal system, not to mention a number of minor but useful measures. The chief interest centres about the Reform Bill of Lord John Russell, for mainly through the passage of this measure were other reforms possible. It will be necessary to go into greater details about all the measures we have mentioned, and it is advisable to point out the fact that the Reform Bill was passed only by the threatened exercise of the royal prerogative, to create peers in sufficient numbers to carry the Bill through the House of Lords. This power of creating peers is a safety-valve of the English Constitution. A review of the long and eventually successful struggle to abolish slavery, would be here in place; also explanations of the working of the Poor Laws. Among prominent persons, we find George IV., William IV., Queen Caroline, Lord Brougham, Canning, O’Connell, Earl Grey, Lord John Russell, Wellington, and Peel. Of these, the most interesting are the brilliant Canning, the eloquent and impulsive O’Connell, the versatile and courageous Brougham, the conservative Wellington, and the prudent, patriotic, and wise Russell and Peel. Some mention should be made of the War of Greek Independence, and the French Revolution of 1830. The first of these events is connected with the name of Lord Byron, the poet; whilst the second seriously affected public opinion in England, and hastened Parliamentary Reform.

References: Molesworth’s “History of England,” May’s “Constitutional History,” McCarthy’s “History of our Own Times,” and “Epoch of Reform,” Mackenzie’s “19th Century,” Earl Stanhope’s “Memoirs of Peel,” “Greville Memoirs,” Thackeray’s and McCarthy’s “Four Georges,” Fitzgerald’s “Life of George IV.,” Martineau’s “History of the Peace.”]

1. George IV., and Queen Caroline.—In 1811 George III. became incurably insane, and the Prince of Wales was proclaimed regent. Nine years later the poor king died, and the courtly but immoral prince, whom his flatterers called “the first gentleman in Europe,” came to the throne as George IV. His accession took place at a time of much disaffection, owing to the depression of trade, the burden of war taxation, and the indifference of the government to reforms which had long become urgent. Public discontent soon found a subject upon which to vent itself. This was the unhappy domestic relations of the king, who, in 1818, had separated from his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, and now refused to let her be crowned as his queen. To the popular mind Queen Caroline was an injured woman, and this just feeling was intensified when the king bade his ministers bring into the House of Lords a Bill for Divorce, on the ground of unchastity. The queen was ably defended by Lord Brougham; but the bill passed the House of Lords, though by so small a majority that it was, to the great joy of the people, abandoned. The unfortunate queen presented herself at Westminster Abbey on the occasion of her husband’s coronation, but was refused admittance, and this indignity so broke her spirit that she died a few days afterwards.

2. Catholic Emancipation (1829).—Other agitations occurred at this period, in connection with the efforts of an aggressive Radical party to press measures of reform upon Parliament. But these agitations were partly allayed by returning prosperity, and by the adoption, through the influence of Lord Canning and Mr. Huskisson, of measures lessening the restrictions on trade and commerce followed by the long-sought removal of the unjust laws against Dissenters and Catholics, and, later on, by a reform of the system of Parliamentary representation. Some of these measures were wrung from unwilling administrations, whose chiefs, fearing the advance of revolutionary principles, had long opposed them, and were supported in their opposition by the king. But Catholic emancipation was a measure of justice that had so long been withheld that rebellion seemed imminent had it not now been granted. Already a formidable organization existed in Ireland, led by Daniel O’Connell, an eloquent Roman Catholic barrister, whose object was to secure political freedom and the repeal of repressive Abolition of the Test and Corporation Acts, A.D. 1828. Acts against Catholics. In 1828, a Bill was passed freeing Protestant Dissenters from the disabilities to which they had been subjected by the Test and Corporation Acts of Charles II., that had closed the public service to all but members of the Church of England. But Catholics were still prevented, by the Disabling Act of 1678, from sitting in Parliament unless they disavowed the chief doctrines of their Church. It was to remove this disability that O’Connell and the Passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act, A.D. 1829. Catholic Association laboured; and the election of O’Connell just then to the House of Commons compelled the government to pass the Catholic Relief Bill, which enabled Roman Catholics to sit in Parliament, and, with some minor exceptions, to hold office in the State and in the army. The Bill was introduced by the Tory administration of the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, and was carried through both Houses in March, 1829. But the measure was for a time so unpopular that it cost Peel his seat in Parliament, and in the following year helped to drive the Tories from office, and bring back to power the Whigs—or Liberals, as they now came to be called.

3. Death of George IV., and Accession of William IV.—In the midst of these struggles for religious equality and parliamentary reform, the king died at Windsor, whither his unpopularity and bad health had driven him. Many are the blemishes on George IV.’s character. The little of good in him was sadly marred by sensual indulgence, cowardice, and falsehood. Having left no heirs, he was succeeded by his eldest surviving brother, William IV., known as the “Sailor King.” William was sixty-five years old when he came to the throne, and reigned seven years, during which his warm heart and genial manners won him the love of the people.

4. The Reform Bill.—With the accession of William IV. came up once more the irrepressible question of the reform of Parliament. Wellington, who was Prime Minister, and opposed to the movement, had to give way to the reforming spirit of the age; and a new administration took office under Earl Grey, who had long advocated reform. The great evil complained of was that the rising manufacturing towns and large centres of population were unrepresented in Parliament, while many members were returned by boroughs which were completely under the control of some great lord or wealthy man, who owned the landed property in the borough, and was thus able to nominate any person he wished as a representative. These nominations were openly bought and sold; and some of the greatest men in political life owed their seats in Parliament to this system of purchase and nomination. Electoral rights were exceedingly varied; in many towns the right being confined to a small and often corrupt body of men, called the “corporation.” As instances of defects in the parliamentary representation of the time, it may be said that one of these so-called boroughs contained a single house; “its owner, if he chose, might send his footman to the House of Commons. Another borough was a phantom—Old Sarum, on Salisbury Plain, a city in the olden times, now represented by a field or two and a clump of trees. The owner of the trees and fields sent up two members to sit and legislate at Westminster!” To remedy this state of things, Lord John Russell, a member of Earl Grey’s cabinet, brought forward a measure to adjust more fairly the representation, and bring the composition of the House of Commons into harmony with the altered circumstances of the country. Russell’s Reform Bill was introduced into the House of Commons in March, 1831; but being defeated on its second reading, Parliament was dissolved and a new one elected. In the next Parliament the measure was carried by a large majority in the Commons, but was thrown out in the Lords. Its rejection created great excitement in the country, which warmly resented the resistance of the Upper House to the popular will as expressed in the Lower Chamber. In the following session, however, after many weeks’ stormy debate, First Reform Bill, A.D. 1832. during which the ministry resigned but were recalled to office, the Bill was passed by both Houses and became law. By its operation, over fifty boroughs, which had previously returned two members each, were disfranchised (that is, deprived of representation in Parliament); while one member was taken away from each of thirty other boroughs. On the other hand, sixty-five new members were given to the counties; twenty towns were for the first time represented; and as many more, having large populations, were each given two members. The franchise was also extended; for householders, paying an annual rental of £10, were now entitled to a vote in the boroughs; and tenants of land of the annual rental of £50 were given a vote in the counties. Similar Acts were passed for Scotland and Ireland; and throughout the kingdom the middle classes now came to have a voice in the governing of the country.

5. Abolition of Slavery.—After reforming the representative system, Parliament undertook another memorable measure of this reign. This was the Abolition of Slavery in the British dependencies. The earnestness which characterized the legislation of the time is clearly seen in the passing of this beneficent measure; for, to give effect to its provisions, Parliament voted twenty millions sterling to compensate the slave owners of the British West Indies for the liberation of their slaves. By this Act, which was passed in 1833, some 800,000 slaves obtained their freedom, and Britain purged herself of the guilt of trading in, or holding as chattels, human beings.

6. Other Reforms.—The legislation of the period was marked by the passing of several other important measures, one of which was the reform of the Poor Laws, which had come into existence in the reign of Elizabeth. In many districts of the country pauperism had become alarmingly prevalent; and labourers, instead of earning a fair wage, were let out to employers at a few shillings a week, while their families were supported by the parish. This vicious system of relief, which encouraged indolence and vice, was forbidden by the new Poor Law Act, which came into force in 1834; and henceforth those who were able to work, and professed to be unable to find employment, were required to enter the workhouse and do a certain amount of labour for each meal. The effect of the Act was to relieve the Poor Rates of heavy burdens and to raise the peasantry in the scale of industry and self-reliance. In the following year, another wise measure of domestic reform was passed, the Municipal Reform Bill, which provided for the better administration of justice in towns and boroughs, and gave to the ratepayers the right to elect town-councillors, who were privileged to choose their own chief magistrate and other local officers. Other reforms restricted the labour of children in factories and provided for their education; further modified the severity of the Criminal Code; and secured a reduction of the Paper Duty, and the consequent extension of the influence of the Press. While Parliament was laudably engaged in effecting these reforms, William IV. died in June, 1837, and was succeeded by Victoria, the daughter of his deceased brother Edward, Duke of Kent. This event severed Hanover from the British Empire; for, by the Salic law, a female is not allowed to occupy the Hanoverian throne, and it passed to the Duke of Cumberland, a brother of the late king.

[1. Describe the character of George IV. Give incidents in his career bearing on your description.

2. In what condition were the labouring classes at the accession of George IV? How did their discontent exhibit itself?

3. What led to the repeal of the Test and Corporations Acts, and to the passage of the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill?

4. Sketch the incidents connected with the Reform Bill of 1832, and show how the House of Lords was compelled to pass it.

5. What changes did the Reform Bill make? State the principal clauses, and point out what classes of the community were affected by it.

6. Write explanatory notes on the Abolition of Slavery, Reform of the Poor Laws, and the Municipal Reform Bill.

7. What effect had the passage of the Catholic Relief Bill on the political fortunes of the Tory party? Show why this effect was produced.

8. Mention any foreign events that affected English public opinion in the reigns of George IV. and William IV.

9. What do you consider the principal features in the characters of Brougham, O’Connell, Wellington, Russell, and Peel?]




[The Reform Bill of 1832 extended the franchise to the middle classes, but left out the great mass of the labouring population. The Reform Bills of 1867 and 1885 have given the right to vote to nearly every male adult capable of exercising that right intelligently. In addition to the extension of the franchise, many anomalies in the distribution of seats have been corrected. The great feature in the reign of Victoria is the growth of democracy, or government by the people. That the welfare of the masses is constantly sought in legislation, is shown by the Repeal of the Corn-Laws, the extension of the Franchise, and the passing of Educational Acts giving almost free elementary education to the people. Besides, many important sanitary laws and a host of minor measures have been passed, all intended to protect the rights of mechanics, operatives, and labourers of every description. The teacher in dealing with this, generally the least known period in English History, should devote considerable time and attention to Irish affairs—as very important legislation has, to the present date, taken place with reference to the Church and Land questions in Ireland. The Chartist agitation deserves notice, inasmuch as most of the Chartist demands have since been granted by Parliament. It may be necessary to give more details about the Reform Bills of recent date, and the Corn Law agitation. Modern literature ought to receive more extended notice; also modern material and scientific progress. Abundant material for interesting tales and descriptions will be found in connection with the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, and the romantic career of General Gordon. Read with pupils the poems Zlobane, and The Road to the Trenches (3rd Reader.) For life-like studies of great public men, read McCarthy’s “History of our Own Times.” The teacher should make the pupils acquainted with the personal characteristics of Cobden, Bright, Peel, Russell, Palmerston, Disraeli (Beaconsfield,) Gladstone, and Prince Albert.

References:—May’s “Constitutional History,” McCarthy’s “History of Our Own Times,” Mackenzie’s “19th Century,” Molesworth’s “History of England,” Martin’s “Life of the Prince Consort,” Morley’s “Life of Cobden,” Ashley’s “Life of Palmerston,” Trevelyan’s “Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay,” Kinglake’s “Crimean War;” and Mrs. Oliphant’s, Taine’s, and Morley’s “English Literature.”]

1. Queen Victoria.—The Princess Victoria came to the throne in her nineteenth year. The young queen had been carefully educated by her mother, the Duchess of Kent. She brought to the duties of her elevated position a discreet and virtuous mind, good business habits, and a hearty desire to promote the well-being of her people. In 1840, Her Majesty married her cousin, Prince Albert, of Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha, upon whom she subsequently conferred the title of Prince Consort. The union proved a singularly happy one, and the intelligent aid Prince Albert gave the queen in her duties as a constitutional ruler was of much benefit to the nation.

2. The Chartists.—The beginning of the queen’s reign was marked by much political disturbance, owing to distress among the lower classes, and to the agitations of a number of Radical reformers, called Chartists, because they embodied their demands in what was termed a “People’s Charter.” Among other things, the Chartists Six points of the Charter. demanded that every man should have a vote; that voting should be by ballot, (instead of “open voting,” which led to bribery and intimidation of electors); that there should be annual parliaments, and that members should be paid for attending them; that the property qualification for seats in the House of Commons should be abolished; and that the country should be divided into equal electoral districts. Some of these demands have since been complied with; but, at this time, they were so violently insisted upon, and with such seditious language, that the Government resisted them, and punished the leaders of the movement. At a later period (1848) Chartism again reared its head; but the wise measures of Government in the direction of Free-trade, and the growing confidence of the people in the way they were governed, deprived the movement of its revolutionary character, and ranged against it the forces of law and order. The disturbance soon subsided, and many of the abuses complained of by the Chartists and other agitators of the period were in time met by peaceful and effectual remedies.

3. Repeal of the Corn-Laws.—Side by side with the Chartist agitation went for a time that for the Repeal of the Corn-Laws. These laws imposed heavy duties on the importation of foreign grain, and this made bread dear and created discontent, particularly among the poorer classes. In 1838, an Anti-Corn Law League was formed in Manchester. This organization, with its zealous leaders Richard Cobden and John Bright, did much to make free-trade principles acceptable, and eventually secured the abolition of protective duties on breadstuffs. At first, the League met with much opposition, for it was argued that English agriculture should be encouraged, and that protective duties were necessary to make the home-growing of corn profitable. But more enlightened views at length spread, and so influenced public opinion, that Parliament was forced to grapple with the question. The failure just then of the potato crop in Ireland, which caused a famine in the island, gave force to the arguments of the free-traders in corn and hastened the action of Government. Sir Robert Peel, the Conservative Prime Minister, was at first unwilling to move in the matter. Finally he introduced a Bill in Parliament to Repeal of the Corn-Laws, June, 1846. Repeal the Corn-Laws, which was carried in June 1846, though it met with a lengthened and bitter opposition. This triumph of sound policy brought to the millions of the British people the boon of untaxed food, though it led to the downfall of Peel and the ministry that was responsible for the measure.

4. The Crimean War (1854-1856).—The peace which had lasted with but little interruption since the battle of Waterloo was now (1854) broken by a war with Russia. The cause of the war was the quarrel of the Russian emperor Nicholas with the Sultan of Turkey, because the latter refused him the protectorate of the Greek Christians in his European dominions. But Nicholas’s real object was the dismemberment of Turkey. To this England would not consent; and for the security of Europe she declared war against Russia. In this war she was joined by France, then under the emperor Napoleon III., and, later on, by the small kingdom of Battle of the Alma, Sept., 1854. Sardinia. The chief scene of hostilities was the Crimean peninsula, in the Black Sea, though the English fleet operated in the Baltic also. One of the first events of the war was the Battle of the Alma, in which the allies forced the Russian position on the heights of the river of that Balaklava and Inkermann, Oct. 25 and Nov. 5, 1854. name, and then invested Sebastopol. To the south of this Russian stronghold, above the harbour of Balaklava, occurred the famous English cavalry “charge of the Light Brigade;” and shortly afterwards was fought the Battle of Inkermann, won by the combined forces of England and France. These engagements were Capture of Sebastopol, Sept., 1855. followed by the lengthened siege and bombardment of Sebastopol. The English troops suffered greatly during the severe winter of 1854-55. Finally the defences of the town and harbour were taken by storm, and the war was brought to a close by the Treaty of Paris, in March, 1856. By the treaty the Christian subjects of the Sultan were placed under the protection of England, France, Russia, Austria, and Sardinia; and the Black Sea was closed to the Russian fleet.

5. The Indian Mutiny.—In the following year (1857) occurred a Mutiny of the Sepoys, or native troops of India, in the service of the East India Company. A variety of causes led to the revolt, the chief of which was the fanaticism of the Hindoo soldiery, coupled with native dislike of English domination. Trouble broke out first at Meerut, and then Delhi was seized by the insurgents; Massacre of Cawnpore, June-July, 1857. after which a horrible massacre of Europeans took place at Cawnpore, and the British Residency at Lucknow was besieged. To relieve the latter and quell the rising, Sir Henry Havelock marched with a body of British troops from Allahabad, routed the forces of the chief rebel, Nana Sahib, and, reinforced by Sir James Outram, fought his way to Lucknow. Here the British relieving forces were themselves besieged by masses of the insurgents, until the opportune Relief and Capture of Lucknow, Nov., 1857, March, 1858. arrival of Sir Colin Campbell, afterwards Lord Clyde, when the mutineers were suppressed and punished, and the country was restored to order. The mutiny was made infamous by brutal outrages and massacres, committed on European men, women, and children. It is calculated that 50,000 native troops took part in the rebellion, and for a time there was grave danger of Britain losing her Indian Empire. In the following year, an Act of Parliament abolished the East India Company’s rule, and transferred the government of all the territories to the Crown. The country is now governed by a Viceroy, assisted by an Executive Council, under the control of a member of the British Cabinet, the Secretary of State for India.

6. Reform Bill of 1867.—The extension of Parliamentary representation continued to be the pressing want of the period, owing to the fact, that the Reform Bill of 1832 left large numbers of the working-classes unrepresented in Parliament. From 1859 to 1867, the matter was repeatedly brought up in the Commons and agitated in the country; and two administrations fell in endeavouring to pass a measure of Reform. The second administration which was compelled to resign on this measure was that of Lord John Russell, a great leader of the Liberal or Whig party, whose Bill, introduced in the Commons by Mr. Gladstone, was defeated in 1866. Next Second Reform Bill, A.D. 1867. year, however, the Conservatives, under Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli, succeeded, with the aid of the Liberals, in passing the Reform Bill of 1867. By the provisions of the Bill votes were given to all householders in towns who paid Poor Rates, and to lodgers occupying rooms with a rental of £10. In counties, the franchise was conferred on those who paid a rental of at least £12. A redistribution of seats was also made, and additional ones were created, so that the large centres of population might be more fairly represented. A like readjustment of the franchise was made in the following year in Scotland and Ireland, the former receiving eight, and the latter five, additional members. In connection with elections, it may here be said, that, in 1872, the Ballot Act came into operation, which established a system of secret voting by ballot (votes being recorded by means of voting-papers), instead of the old method of open voting.

7. Disestablishment of the Irish Church.—The general elections of 1868, held under the new Reform Acts, placed a Liberal administration in power, with Mr. Gladstone as Prime Minister. One of the questions which brought his Government into office was the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Irish Protestant Church—a new measure of justice proposed by Mr. Gladstone for Ireland. By the Act of Union (1800) it was provided that the churches of England and Ireland should be united into one Protestant Episcopal Church; but as this was the Church of the minority of the Irish people, it was considered a wrong to continue to maintain it as an Established Church. Mr. Gladstone accordingly introduced a Bill in Parliament to disconnect it with the State, and put it on a footing of equality with the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The Act was passed in the session of 1869, and came into force in January, 1871. By its provisions, no Irish bishop now sits in the House of Lords; while part of the revenues of the Disestablished Church are devoted to Irish Land Acts of 1870 and 1881. relieving distress among the poor in Ireland. Subsequently, Mr. Gladstone, by his two Irish Land Bills (1870 and 1881) has done further and substantial justice to Ireland, in recognizing the right of tenants to compensation for improvements made on their holdings, and in securing for them a greater fixity of tenure and lower rents. In large measure he has removed the grievances of Irish agricultural tenants, though the country remains in a restless and troubled condition.

8. The Education Act (1870).—Among the important measures of recent years must be mentioned Mr. Forster’s Elementary Education Act, which made provision, through the machinery of local School Boards, for the thorough, systematic education of all children between the ages of five and thirteen. This work is undertaken mainly at the public expense, the Act empowering the School Boards to erect and maintain schools out of a rate levied for that purpose. Hitherto the education of the children of the poor had been carried on through the voluntary efforts of the Established and other Churches, and of certain societies; but by the more efficient system set up by Parliament the great work of dispelling ignorance and fitting the youth of the land for the practical duties of life is now undertaken on a comprehensive scale as a national duty.

9. Recent Minor Wars.—England’s extensive commercial and political interest abroad, and her leading position among the nations of the world, have led her in recent years into various minor wars. A few of these may here be briefly mentioned. In 1868 occurred the Abyssinian War, rendered necessary for the liberation of certain British missionaries and others, whom the king of Abyssinia had captured and unjustly imprisoned. After overcoming great natural difficulties, a British expedition at length made its way into the heart of Abyssinia, and stormed King Theodore’s rock fortress at Magdala, and released the captives. In 1874, occurred the Ashantee War, on the Gold Coast of Africa; in 1878-80, a war in Afghanistan; and in 1879, a war in South Africa, against the Zulus. These wars were undertaken either to assert Britain’s power in the protection of her subjects, or to maintain the integrity and peace of her vast Colonial Empire. Similarly, England became involved, in 1882, in a War in Egypt, which has had a rather unfortunate ending. A revolt of the Egyptian troops, under Arabi Pasha, threatened the seizure of the Suez Canal, England’s highway to India, and to protect the canal, England sent her fleet to bombard Alexandria, then held by the rebels, and an army to suppress the revolt and occupy the country. When this was accomplished, trouble broke out among the native tribes of the Soudan, led by the Mahdi, and England was drawn into further fighting, with the view chiefly to relieve an English officer, named General Gordon, who was sent into the interior on a pacific mission for the Government. Unhappily, Gordon was killed by the natives at Khartoum; and the British Expedition, owing to the unhealthiness of the climate, returned to the coast and was recalled to England.

10. Extension of the Franchise.—Very recently a further measure of Parliamentary reform was granted by the Liberal Administration of Mr. Gladstone, which gave the franchise in counties to all householders and permanent lodgers on the same conditions on which the franchise had in 1867 been given to boroughs. This was effected by the Franchise Bill of 1885, the passing of Franchise and Redistribution Bill, passed A.D. 1885. which caused great excitement, and led to a collision between the Commons and the House of Lords, which was overcome by judicious concessions. The measure enfranchises the bulk of the working-classes and gives them a substantial interest in the legislation of the country. The proportion of votes to population is now about one in seven; while before the passing of the first Reform Bill, in 1832, it was one in fifty. The Franchise Bill was accompanied by a Redistribution Bill, which increased the number of members of Parliament and effected a greater equalization of electoral districts.

11. Character of the Period.—In no other age of England’s history have such giant strides been made as in this, in all that contributes to the security, the comfort, and the prosperity of the people. Science has made wonderful discoveries, given powerful aid to manufactures and commerce, and contributed richly to the thought and the activities of the time. The various applications of steam-power and of electricity, and the many inventions and other adaptations of the period, have wrought a revolution as marvellous as it has been beneficent The progress of education, the spread of knowledge, and the growth of the influence of the press, are the chief glory of the age and the most remarkable instances of its tendencies. These great agencies of enlightenment not only have had their effect in contributing to the mental and moral advancement of the nation, but have been instrumental in reforming abuses, in giving birth to countless philanthropies, and in elevating and enriching the life of the people. Nor has their least effect been produced in the domain of legislation. By the reforms in Parliament, democracy has fairly entered upon its rights, and the masses are now, in the main, honestly, wisely, and happily governed.

12. Literature.—The Victorian era has been productive of many great writers in almost every department of thought. The period is rich in men, and if they do not stand out in relief like Shakespeare, Milton, and Bacon, it is because they have as yet only a contemporary reputation, and because culture is more generally diffused, and the average intellectual ability is higher. In historians, divines, poets, novelists, essayists, journalists, scientists, and critical and philosophical writers, the nineteenth century can count men of high excellence, untiring industry, and praiseworthy devotion to literature and to special pursuits. Among the more eminent names, those of the poets, Tennyson and Browning, deserve especial mention. The latter, if too metaphysical to be popular, is not the less worthy of the student’s attention for the profound thought that underlies his often rugged verse. Tennyson’s lyrical sweetness and broad sympathies, on the other hand, make him a true singer and master of his art. In history, the chief authors of the period are Hallam, a learned writer on the English Constitution; Macaulay, a brilliant essayist and historian of England in the seventeenth century; and Carlyle, a philosopher, biographer, and annalist. The latter’s best known works are his biography of Oliver Cromwell, and his history of the French Revolution. In fiction, the three most distinguished names are Thackeray, Dickens, and the accomplished lady who has written so well and thoughtfully under the pen-name of George Eliot. All the authors whose names we have mentioned are dead, save Tennyson and Browning, who remain the great living representatives of that grand English poetry which has done so much to elevate the national character and refine the human heart.

[1. What claim had Queen Victoria to the crown? What has been the character of her rule?

2. Name the six points of the Charter. How many of these have since become law?

3. What caused the Chartist agitation, and how did it end?

4. What were the Corn-Laws? Relate the principal events that led to their Repeal. Has England Free Trade now?

5. How did the Repeal of the Corn-Laws affect the political position of Sir Robert Peel? Mention any other instance in which Peel acted against the wishes of his party.

6. Briefly state the causes and the results of the Crimean War, and of the Indian Mutiny.

7. Give the provisions of the Reform Bills of 1867 and 1885.

8. What important legislation for Ireland has taken place in the reign of Victoria?

9. Describe the principal characteristics of Peel, Bright, Disraeli, Palmerston, and Gladstone.

10. Show that the leading feature of the age is the “Growth of Democracy.”

11. What great inventions have been introduced since 1840?

12. Give an account of the principal English writers in the 19th century?]








[Hints to the Teacher.—The teacher is recommended to supplement the contents of this chapter by reading or relating to the pupils interesting tales or anecdotes connected with the early voyages of discovery of the English, French, and Spaniards to the New World. Parkman’s “Pioneers of France in the New World,” and Prescott’s histories of Mexico and Peru, might be consulted. The Indian tribes of North America, especially the Iroquois, Hurons, and Algonquins, should receive considerable attention. Their physical appearance, character, habits, customs, and religion should be explained and freely illustrated. For an animated and full description of the principal Indian tribes consult Parkman’s “Jesuits in North America.” Read with pupils Irving’s “Discovery of America,” and McGee’s “Jacques Cartier” (4th Reader).

References:—Withrow’s, Archer’s, Bell’s, Garneau’s, and Christie’s histories of Canada.]

1. Discovery of America.—The honour of discovering America belongs to Christopher Columbus, a Genoese mariner, who, towards the close of the fifteenth century, sailed from a port in Spain in search of a western route to the East Indies. Before Columbus’s day, the existence of a Western Continent was a dream; though, as early as the tenth century, some hardy Norsemen are supposed to have crossed the Atlantic, by way of Iceland and Greenland, and discovered Newfoundland and the north-eastern coasts of America. In A.D. 1492, Columbus first sighted Columbus discovers America, 1492. San Salvador, one of the Bahama Islands, and in subsequent voyages he explored the West Indian archipelago, the Gulf of Mexico, and the coasts of the mainland. The appearance of much of the American continent at this period was not unlike that of Britain when Cæsar landed on its shores. It was covered by dense forests, in whose recesses roamed wild animals and equally wild and savage tribes. The latter Columbus called Indians, in the mistaken notion that he had reached the East Indies, then looked upon as a land of fabled wealth. The fame of Columbus’s exploits stirred all Europe and excited other adventurous spirits to engage in exploration. One of these, Amerigo Vespucci, a native of Florence, followed in the track of Columbus, and rather unfairly succeeded in giving his name to the continent. Meanwhile, Henry VII., of England, had aided the Cabots, father and son, to fit out two expeditions from Bristol, to explore the coasts of the New World. Voyages of John and Sebastian Cabot, A.D., 1497-98. The result of these enterprises was the discovery of Newfoundland and Labrador, and England’s claim to the possession of the greater portion of the North American continent. France, about this time also, entered the field of New World discovery, for in the year, A.D. 1524, Verazzani sailed down the eastern coast of America, and named it New France in honour of the French king. Ten years afterwards, maritime enterprise disclosed the noble St. Lawrence River, and the eastern portion of the great domain which we now call Canada.[A]

[A] There is a little uncertainty in regard to the origin of this word “Canada.” Some derive it from the Spanish words Aca Nada—“here is nothing”; while others affirm that it is a modification of the Algonquin word Kanata—“a cluster of huts.”

2. Jacques Cartier.—In 1534, Francis I., of France, sent Jacques Cartier, a famous sea-captain of St. Malo, to prosecute discovery on the north-eastern coasts of America. Cartier sailed to Newfoundland, and, entering the Straits of Belle Isle, found himself in what is now known as the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Landing at Gaspé, he erected a cross, bearing the arms of France, to mark his taking possession of the country for the French king. Next year, Cartier came again to the country, and learning from the Indians of a Great River that ran through Canada, he determined to explore it. Entering the Gulf on St. Lawrence’s Day, 1535, he named it and the river he now proceeded to ascend in honour of that patron saint. In September, he arrived off the headland, subsequently called Cape Diamond, and the Indian village of Stadacona, near by what is now the city and citadel of Quebec. Continuing his voyage, Cartier reached Hochelaga, a palisaded village, situated at the base of a forest-clad mountain. This he called Mount Royal, whence the modern name, Montreal. After a brief stay, Cartier returned to Stadacona, where he and his crew spent the winter. In the spring he set out for France, where he had to wait some six years before he again got permission to set sail for the new found continent. In 1541, Francis I. appointed the Sieur de Roberval Viceroy of Canada, and commissioned him, with Cartier’s assistance, to found a French colony in the country and open up trade. Unhappily, neither Cartier’s nor Roberval’s expeditions were successful, and France ceased for a time to contest the field against a savage people and an arctic winter.

3. The Indian Nations of Canada.—The native races of Canada are of Algonquin and Huron origin. At an early period, the Iroquois seem to have been allied to the Hurons, for both nations have been traced to one parent stock. But history knows them for centuries only as cruel, bitter, and relentless foes. The ancestral home of the Algonquins was the region lying between Lake Superior and Hudson Bay, though scattered bands of this tribe roamed along the shores of the St. Lawrence to the Atlantic. The Hurons originally occupied the territory extending north-westward from the mouth of the Ottawa to the inland sea which bears their name. Within historic times, however, they formed settlements in the Matchedash peninsula, between Lake Simcoe and the Georgian Bay. The Iroquois, or Five Nation Indians, as they were then called, after their separation from the Hurons found a home in the western part of the State of New York, and from there, for nearly two centuries, harassed the French colony and its Huron allies by incessant, murderous raids. Among such savages—the Red men of the American continent—had the French come. War and hunting were their principal occupations; they stalked the game through the gloomy forests that overspread the land and enriched the colony with the wealth of the fur-trade. For the pursuit of this trade these “children of the woods” were admirably fitted. Their every sense and instinct seemed to be trained to its acutest point, while tribal wars had inured them to hardship and developed in them the highest virtues of endurance and courage.

4. Champlain.—From the period of Cartier’s and Roberval’s expeditions, nearly fifty years elapsed before France renewed her efforts to colonize the New World. About the year 1598 the lucrative fur-trade began to be encouraged by Henry IV. of France, who in the brief respite from religious wars was turning his attention to colonization and commerce. In 1603 Samuel de Champlain, a French naval officer of high character and chivalrous instincts, made his first voyage to Canada in company with Pontgrave, a merchant of St. Malo, and together they pushed their way up the St. Lawrence as far as the rapids above Montreal, which Champlain named Lachine, (à la Chine) for he thought he had at last found a waterway to China. In 1608 he proceeded to found at Stadacona a fixed trading-post of the merchant company in whose service he had again come to the Quebec founded, A.D. 1608. country. Champlain brought with him among the colonists a number of artisans, who, on the magnificent headland of Quebec, erected a fort which was to become the refuge of the sadly-menaced little European colony, and was long the centre of French influence and dominion in the New World. After establishing at Quebec this rude outpost of Old France, Champlain set out to explore other portions of the country. In this he was unfortunately brought into collision with the Iroquois, the inveterate enemies of the Algonquins and Hurons. Proceeding up the St. Lawrence, he met some warriors of the latter tribes, who promised to aid him in his explorations and to trade with his people if he would help them in their conflicts with the Discovery of Lake Champlain, and first French encounter with the Iroquois. Iroquois. To this he thoughtlessly consented. Entering the Richelieu river he discovered the lake which bears his name: here, or rather in the neighbourhood of Lake George, Champlain, with his dusky allies, had his first encounter with the Iroquois braves, and was compelled to witness the accustomed atrocities committed by one Indian tribe on the captives of another. Some years later, (in A.D. 1615), he joined a war-party of the Hurons, whom he had gone to visit in their homes on the Georgian Bay, and with them had a further encounter with the Iroquois. This second act of hostility on Champlain’s part proved most disastrous to the French, as it led the Iroquois to ally themselves with the English on the seaboard, and together, for many long years, to harass the newly-formed colony. But its consequences were more dire, in its accustoming the Indians to the use of fire-arms, and in putting into the hands of the native tribes an additional and powerful weapon to gratify their lust of blood.

5. Company of One Hundred Associates.—The rivalries of various commercial companies, and the conflicting colonial policy of France, seriously retarded settlement, and were a great vexation to Champlain. In 1627 Cardinal Richelieu, Prime Minister to Louis XIII., cancelled the old trading-charters, and established the Company of One Hundred Associates, with power to trade throughout New France, from Florida to Hudson Bay. By the terms of the charter the “Hundred Associates” were given the sole right to engage in the fur-trade, with control over the shore and inland fishing, and of all commerce with the French settlements in the country. In return for this monopoly, the Company agreed to carry out mechanics and tradesmen to the colony, to settle, within a specified period, some six thousand colonists, and to make provision for the support of a certain number of Catholic clergy. The French king, at the same time, made Champlain Governor. Unfortunately for the colony, its seemingly bright prospects were marred by the outbreak of a war between France and England, and the despatch of an English expedition, under Sir David Kirke, to capture Quebec and hold the country. Kirke appeared twice before Quebec, and on the second occasion (A.D. 1629), compelled Champlain to surrender that stronghold, and with it the whole territory of New France. The English held the country for three years, when, to the joy of Champlain, it was restored to France, by the Treaty of St. Germaine-en-Laye. Becoming master again of the colony, Champlain redoubled his efforts to establish French dominion in the New World on a stable basis, to pacify the dreaded Iroquois, and to extend among the friendly Indian tribes the religion of the Cross. But, on Christmas Day, 1635, this great work was interrupted by the death of Champlain; and the colony long mourned its founder and noblest administrator.

[Examination Questions.—1. Relate the principal events connected with the discovery of Canada.

2. Describe the character, customs, habits, and physical characteristics of the principal Indian tribes of Canada.

3. Point out the regions inhabited by the Hurons, Algonquins, and Iroquois, respectively.

4. What great services did Champlain render Canada? Show the importance of his rule.

5. Under what circumstances did the French first come into contact with the Iroquois? Point out the effects produced by these acts of hostility.

6. What led to the formation of the “Company of One Hundred Associates”? How did it fulfil its obligations?

7. Under what circumstances was Quebec first captured by the English? How long did they retain it, and why did they restore it?]




[The period covered by this chapter abounds in important and interesting facts. The teacher should dwell on the causes of the slow progress of the French colony, the heroic self-sacrifice of the French missionaries, the discoveries of explorers like La Salle, and the principal incidents connected with the Conquest of Canada in 1759. The pupil should be given a clear idea of the social life and various occupations of the inhabitants of the colony; as well as of the form of government existing in New France. Prominent men like Frontenac, Bishop Laval, Montcalm, Wolfe, Sir Wm. Johnson, &c., should be noticed. Narrate the story of the Expulsion of the Acadians, as found in Parkman’s “Montcalm and Wolfe.” Read with the pupils Parkman’s “The Heroes of the Long Sault” and “The Heroine of Verchères” (4th Reader), and Reade’s poetic version of the latter; also, Warburton’s “Capture of Quebec” (4th Reader).

References:—Parkman’s “La Salle,” “Frontenac,” “Jesuits in North America,” and “Montcalm and Wolfe;” also Kirby’s “Le Chien d’Or,” and Lesperance’s “The Bastonnais.”]

1. Indian Wars.—After the death of Champlain the little French colony on the St. Lawrence made slow progress. During the first half of the seventeenth century the history of Canada may be said to be little more than the chequered history of the French Missions and the frightful record of Indian marauding. As yet, “France in the New World” could boast only of a few trading and military posts, and a limited tract of rudely-cultivated land, in the hands of poor Seigneurs, who carved out their little wilderness holdings on the model of the feudal estates of the mother country. The Hundred Associates had made no serious effort to people the colony; nor was much accomplished until the company’s charter was cancelled, and the rule of the Fur-traders gave place to an administration by the Crown. After the first English conquest, the colony owed its renewed life to the Church rather than to the soldier or the settler. The Jesuits, with heroic zeal, established several missions among the Indians, and founded at Quebec and Montreal a number of convents and religious seminaries. But the tribal wars of the Indians hindered their work, and through many eventful years seriously jeopardized their lives. Soon danger pressed the colony from all sides, for the dreaded Iroquois were bent on its destruction, and no overtures could appease their wrath, or turn them from their bloodthirsty designs on their Huron kin and the unfortunate French who had become their allies. Their enmity finally manifested itself in a design to exterminate the Hurons, in their villages situated between Lake Simcoe and the Georgian Bay. There the French priests had established missions and were striving to win them to Christianity. In 1648-9 the blow fell on the Huron settlements with sudden and appalling force, and the outposts of the Church were engulfed in the common ruin. The whole Huron nation was almost rooted out and their country laid waste, while the Jesuit Fathers were put to death with fiendish ferocity. Only a small remnant of the Hurons escaped slaughter, and abandoning their country fled for succour, by way of Lake Nipissing and the Ottawa, to Quebec. In 1660 the whole colony was only saved from destruction by the heroism of a handful of Frenchmen, who, though they sacrificed their own lives, for eight days kept the ruthless Iroquois at bay on the Ottawa, and inflicted such losses upon them that they returned to their homes discomfited.

2. Royal Government.—The deplorable condition of the colony having at last won sympathy in France, its affairs were now placed in the hands of a Supreme Council, appointed by the king, with a number of officers who were sent out to look after its temporal and spiritual welfare. These were (1) a Governor (M. de Mesy), (2) a Royal Intendant (M. Talon), and (3) a Bishop (M. Laval), each of whom was invested with some share of sovereign authority. The Governor, who represented the king and was the medium of communication with the Crown, was administrator-in-chief, and had special charge of the external relations of the colony, and absolute control over the military force despatched from France for its protection. The Intendant was entrusted with matters pertaining to finance, police, and justice; and the Bishop had charge of ecclesiastical affairs. All three sat in Council, of which there were five other members, whose duties were to try civil and criminal cases, and to administer justice, according to what is called the Custom of Paris, an unwritten legal code established by long usage in France. The Intendant (M. Talon) by his energetic and large-minded policy did much to advance the agricultural and commercial prospects of the country. Through his instrumentality the colony revived, and its commerce, which had fallen into the hands of another company of monopolists, was in time set free from many of its obnoxious restrictions.

3. La Salle.—Before Talon quitted the country, he took steps to extend the dominion of France in the New World towards Hudson Bay, and westward, in the direction of the Great Lakes. In 1671, he despatched a royal commissioner to Sault Ste. Marie, at the foot of Lake Superior, to assemble the Indians of the region and induce them to place themselves under the protection, and aid the commerce, of the French king. While thus engaged, the commissioner heard of the Mississippi River from the Indians; and Talon entrusted the task of tracking its waters to Father Marquette and to M. Joliet, a merchant of Quebec. With infinite toil, these two adventurous spirits reached the great river they were in search of, and explored it as far south as the Arkansas. Here unfriendly Indian tribes compelled them to return, without being permitted to trace the stream to its outlet. This, however, was accomplished in 1682, by Robert de la Salle, a daring young Frenchman, who descended the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and named the whole country Louisiana, in honour of Louis XIV. To undertake this enterprise, La Salle had been given a grant of Fort Cataraqui (now Kingston), which Frontenac, the Governor, had erected as a trading-post at the foot of Lake Ontario. In this neighbourhood, La Salle built several vessels for pursuing the fur-trade round the lake, in one of which, in 1697, he sailed for the Niagara River, where he erected a fortified trading-post where Lewiston now stands. In the same year, after passing the Falls of Niagara, he built a vessel, and in it proceeded to explore Lake Erie and the waterway to the west. The next three years La Salle spent in prosecuting discovery, and opening trade with the Indian tribes round the upper lakes and in the rivers and straits which connect these waters. Finally, in 1682, he launched his canoes on the Illinois River, and proceeded to trace the Mississippi to its mouth.

4. Frontenac.—While these enterprises were extending French sway in the west, Count Frontenac, the ablest governor since Champlain’s day, was administering the affairs of the colony with an iron hand. Frontenac was of noble birth and commanding bearing. His administration was vigorous, though autocratic, and at times capricious. While he remained at the head of affairs the Indian enemies of France were kept in subjection, and had a wholesome fear of his name. Even his colleagues feared him, for he would brook no opposition in the Council, and this led to violent quarrels between him and the Bishop and the Intendant. These discussions arose over the question of the liquor traffic with the Indians, which the Governor, as a matter of policy, permitted, but which the Bishop and his clergy opposed. The matter for a time was settled by the recall of both the Governor and the Intendant. Meanwhile M. de La Barre was sent out to the colony as Governor, and about the same time the English appointed Colonel Dongan Governor of New York, a colony which they had taken from the Dutch. Under Dongan, the English on the seaboard began to extend their trade into the interior of the continent, and to divert commerce from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson. This gave rise to keen rivalries between the two European races, and led the English to take sides with the Iroquois in their enmity to the French. The hatred of the Iroquois for the French was at this period increased by the conduct of Denonville, the successor of De La Barre. At a friendly meeting of Iroquois chiefs with Denonville, at Fort Frontenac, the Governor caused fifty of them to be seized and put in irons; and, to humour the whim of the king, they were sent to France to work on the galleys. Nor did Denonville’s perfidy end here. Declaring that the tribes of the Five Nation Indians could never be conciliated, and that it was well to extirpate them at once, the Governor proceeded to put his fell purpose into effect. With a force of two thousand men, in a fleet of canoes, he entered the Seneca country by the Genesee River, and for ten days ravaged their homes and put many of them cruelly to death. Returning by the Niagara River, he erected and garrisoned a fort at its mouth, and then withdrew to Quebec. A terrible revenge was taken on the French colonists for these infamous acts. The Iroquois descended like a hurricane on the colony, and at Lachine, a little way above Montreal, more than a thousand Frenchmen were surprised over night and massacred. Fort Niagara was razed to the ground, and Fort Frontenac, having to be abandoned, was burned, together with the trading vessels and stores in the port. The colony was now in the greatest jeopardy, and news of this reaching France, Count Frontenac was immediately reinstated in the governorship and despatched to Canada. With him were returned the Iroquois warriors who had been iniquitously captured and taken to France.

5. Weak State of the Colony.—With Frontenac’s return, however, the colony took heart, and his active mind infused new life and vigour into the administration. His first care was to endeavour to restore tranquillity to the country. To bring this about, he saw that he must first punish the English colonists on the seaboard, who were the chief cause of the enmity of the Iroquois. With this design, he caused three separate expeditions to be fitted out, of French and Indians, who by stealth fell upon the border settlements of New York, Maine, and New Hampshire, murdered or took captive many of the settlers, and committed frightful depredations. These marauding expeditions roused the vengeance of the English colonists, and they retaliated by organizing a land and naval force to invade Canada. The former moved upon Montreal, by way of Lake Champlain, but accomplishing nothing, fell back upon Albany. The naval expedition, which was commanded by Sir William Phipps, sailed for Annapolis basin, in Acadia, and took Port Royal. Later in the year, the fleet appeared before Quebec, and demanded Sir William Phipps fails to take Quebec, A.D. 1690. its surrender. Frontenac returned a haughty reply to the demand and opened fire upon the New England ships. Phipps now disembarked his land force, and essayed to take Quebec by storm. In this, however, he failed, and the city’s assailants were driven in confusion to their boats. Smarting under his defeat, Phipps drew off his fleet and returned to Boston.

6. De Vaudreuil.—The succeeding years, after the failure of Phipps’s expedition against Quebec, saw the continuance of the bitter strife between New France and New England. In this cruel warfare, the Indians ranged themselves on both sides, and embittered the struggle by their savage atrocities. For a time, the Treaty of Ryswick gave relief to the colony and a temporary cessation to the Indian feuds. But the “War of the Spanish Succession,” in Europe, again embittered the two nations, and plunged the colony in a new ferment. In 1703, the Marquis de Vaudreuil became Governor, and for the next ten years, with much success, defended the colony and advanced its interests. In Treaty of Utrecht, A.D. 1713. 1713, peace was declared between France and England, and was ratified by the Treaty of Utrecht. By this treaty, France was permitted to retain Canada, including Cape Breton, and the islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, though she had to surrender Acadia, Newfoundland, and the Hudson Bay Territory. Canada now enjoyed an interval of repose, in which she greatly increased her population and extended her trade and commerce.

7. The Disputed Boundary Lines.—France and England were now to decide the question which should be supreme on the North American continent. The whole interior was claimed by France; while the English were shut in between the mountain-ranges of the Alleghanies and the sea. But the English colonies would not be hemmed in either by Nature or by France. Their hardy sons sought adventure and gain in the Far West, while not a few for this purpose pushed their way to the St. Lawrence and the lakes by the waterways and woodland valleys of the continent. The French, resenting this intrusion, began to erect a series of forts, to mark the boundaries of their possessions and conserve the inland fur-trade. First capture of Louisburg by the English, A.D. 1745. Already, in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, the first scene in the opening drama had been enacted at Louisburg. This stronghold in Cape Breton, which guarded the marine highway to New France, had surrendered to the forces of England and her colonial levies on the Atlantic. French pride was hurt at this disaster and the loss of the important naval station in the Gulf. To recover the lost prestige, Count de la Galissioniere was sent as governor to Canada. This nobleman’s extravagant assumptions of the extent of the territorial possessions of New France, however, offended the English colonists and roused the jealousy of many of the Indian tribes. Nor was this feeling allayed when France, by the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, recovered Louisburg, and when her boundary commissioners claimed all the country north of the Bay of Fundy as not having been ceded to England by the Treaty of Utrecht.

8. Events preceding the Conquest.—Hostilities between the two nations were precipitated in the valley of the Ohio by the persistent encroachment of the English. To stop this intrusion, the French, in addition to other inland posts, built a fort at the junction of the Alleghany and the Monongahela—tributaries of the Ohio River—and named it Du Quesne, after the new Governor of Canada. The English colonists of Virginia, about the same time, erected a fort in the vicinity, and despatched a force to garrison it under a young officer, named George Washington, who was afterwards to play an important part in the history of the Anglo-American colonies. A collision between the two races here soon occurred, and Fort Necessity, the English post, surrendered to the French. The English on the seaboard considered this the signal for a general conflict, and at once prepared for war. In this they were aided by the mother country, then drifting into “The Seven Years’ War” with France. In 1754, England sent out a couple of regiments, under General Braddock, to co-operate with the colonial forces in occupying the debatable territory and in keeping the French in check. Military reinforcements were also sent out by France, under the Baron Dieskau, a Dutch general in the French service, accompanied by a new governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, the second of his name to occupy that office. At a meeting of the English colonial governors it was decided to attack the French posts on the Ohio, on the Niagara River, on Lake Champlain, and at Beauséjour, in Acadia. In the Spring of 1755, Braddock left Virginia for the Ohio, with some two thousand soldiers, part of whom were provincial levies. Crossing the Alleghanies, he reached the Great Meadows, where he pushed on with a portion of his force to Fort du Quesne. The French, learning of the approach of the English, prepared an ambuscade for them in the woods, into which they fell and were routed with great loss. General Braddock, who though a brave officer was not accustomed to bush warfare, was killed and the survivors of the expedition were saved from destruction by the skill and bravery of Washington, who Failure of the attack on Fort du Quesne, and death of General Braddock, A.D. 1755. accompanied the column. Dismay seized the British colonies on learning of this disaster, though English successes in other parts of the continent, in some measure, atoned for Braddock’s defeat. Beauséjour had fallen before an expeditionary force sent out from Massachusetts, while Dieskau was routed and made a prisoner near Lake George by Colonel, (afterwards Sir William,) Johnson, in command of the colonial militia and a band of Mohawk warriors.

9. Capture of Quebec.—For a while the advantage in the struggle in North America was on the side of France, though the preponderance of population was vastly on the side of the English colonies. Louis XV. had one general in Canada worthy of the gallant race from which he had sprung, and who strenuously endeavoured to uphold the fortunes of his country. This was the Marquis de Montcalm, a cultured and far-seeing French nobleman, whose ability and enthusiasm in the profession of arms had procured for him the chief military command in Canada, and who was now seeking to expel the English from the colonial possessions of France on the continent. But unfortunately for his country, Montcalm was ill-supported by Old France, and his difficulties were increased by the maladministration of affairs in the colony. Despite these drawbacks, he was for some years, however, the means of protracting the gallant struggle in America, and of bringing many disasters on the English arms. Concentrating his forces in the neighbourhood of Lake Champlain, he attacked Fort William Henry, on Lake George, and with a body of Indian auxiliaries from the Ottawa forced the English to capitulate. This victory was marred by horrible Indian atrocities on the English prisoners of war, which Montcalm was unable to prevent. During the year 1757 Montcalm acted solely on the defensive, while the English, having incompetent generals, accomplished little, and failed in an attempt to wrest Louisburg from the French. The following year, however, William Pitt, “the great English Commoner,” was called to the councils of his nation and infused new vigour into the war, which Louisburg surrenders to the English, A.D. 1758. had now been formally declared between the two countries. Pitt, aiming at the extinction of French power in America, fitted out a fleet of one hundred and fifty sail, under Admiral Boscawen, with a land force of some fourteen thousand men, under General Amherst and Brigadier James Wolfe, and despatched both to Canada. The first operation was the siege of Louisburg, which surrendered with some five thousand prisoners, and in the capture of which young Wolfe highly distinguished himself. Later in the year, the French were compelled to abandon Fort du Quesne, in the Ohio Valley, which the English now named Pittsburg, in honour of War Minister Pitt; and Frontenac (Kingston), the marine arsenal of the French on Lake Ontario, surrendered and was destroyed. The effect of these losses was disheartening to the French, though before the season’s campaign closed Montcalm defeated the English, under General Abercrombie, in an attack on the French post on Lake Champlain, afterwards named Ticonderoga. When the season of 1759 opened, the English The English occupy Ticonderoga and capture Niagara, A.D. 1759. were ready to resume operations with spirit and effect. Amherst’s army advanced upon Crown Point and Ticonderoga, from which the French retired, and Sir William Johnson captured Niagara, and drove the French from the lakes. Wolfe, now General of the Forces of the St. Lawrence, sailed in June with his army from Louisburg to Quebec. With Wolfe came his brigadiers, Monckton, Townshend, and Murray; and in command of the fleet were Admirals Saunders and Holmes. Disembarking his army on the Isle of Orleans, and on the eastern bank of the Montmorency River, Wolfe proceeded to view the bristling line of French defences along the Beauport shoals, and the towering red-rock fortress, the possession of which was to change the destiny of a continent. The young general was appalled at the formidable task he had undertaken, and many long weeks passed in various assaults which ended in discomfiture only. To capture Quebec seemed to Wolfe hopeless, and the consciousness of this helped to bring on a fever which long prostrated him and weakened his already enfeebled frame. But his heroic spirit was undaunted; and, recovering his strength, he daringly grappled with a project which led him to victory and to a victor’s grave. This project was to scale the almost inaccessible cliffs of the citadel and gain the Plains of Abraham, in rear of Quebec, and there to bring Montcalm to battle. Orders were issued to have the fleet in readiness, to make a feigned attack on the Beauport shore, while the bulk of the army was to move up the river, drop down again over night, climb the precipice, and form on the heights to attack Quebec from the rear. The night of the 12th of September saw this daring scheme put into execution. Wolfe, with a premonition of his fate, as he moved down the river in his barge with muffled oars, repeated the line from Gray’s Elegy:—“The paths of glory lead but to the grave!” The dawn saw the English army massed in position on the Heights, and the surprised French army, under their brave leader, Montcalm, gallantly marched out to attack the invaders. Brief was the struggle that followed. The English reserved their fire until the enemy was within forty paces of them, when they poured a deadly rain of bullets on the advancing French and Canadians, and the Scottish regiments charged with bayonet and broadsword. The native militia broke and fled, and the veterans of France, after stubbornly contesting the position were compelled to fall back and seek refuge in the citadel. The commanders of both sides fell mortally wounded, Wolfe dying on the field, and Montcalm breathing his last on the morrow within the walls of Quebec. Fall of Quebec, 17th Sept., 1759. Three days afterwards Quebec surrendered, and the flag of Britain supplanted the emblem of France. In the ensuing winter, the city was held by an English garrison, under General Murray, and in the following spring it narrowly escaped recapture by De Levis, at the head of seven thousand men, who had come from Montreal to attack it. The timely arrival of a British fleet saved the now British stronghold, while Montreal was in turn invested, and that post and all Canada Peace of Paris, A.D. 1768, and Conspiracy of Pontiac. surrendered to the British Crown. Three years afterwards, the Peace of Paris confirmed the cession of the country to Britain and closed the dominion of France in Canada. In the interval, a wide-spread Indian rising, under Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa confederacy, threatened the stability of the English conquest; but in 1764 the conspiracy was stamped out, and the Indians in time became the firm and trusted allies of the English.

[1. Explain the causes of the slow progress of Canada under the French régime.

2. Give some account of the endurance and self-sacrifice of the Jesuits in their efforts to Christianize the Indians.

3. Mention the principal officers appointed by the King of France to govern Canada, and explain the nature of the duties of each.

4. With what discoveries are the names of Marquette, Joliet, and La Salle identified? Mention the circumstances under which these discoveries were made.

5. Narrate the principal events connected with the rule of Frontenac.

6. State the principal grounds of dispute between the French and the English colonists in North America.

7. Outline the plan of the campaign which ended in the Conquest of Canada.

8. What difficulties had Wolfe to contend against when endeavouring to capture Quebec? Sketch the battle of the Plains of Abraham.]




[The terms of the Treaty of Paris, and the provision it made for the religious and political rights of the people of the conquered Province, should be explained. The causes that led to the passage of the Quebec Act, and the Constitutional Act of 1791, as well as the provisions of these Acts, are deserving of notice. The teacher should carefully point out the defects of these measures, especially of the Constitutional Act; but to give the pupils clear and accurate conceptions, it will be necessary to dwell on the character of the laws and customs in force in French Canada. These explanations should include the nature of Seignorial Tenure, and the relations between the Seigneur and the “habitant.” The teacher will find comparatively full information on these points in Watson’s “Constitutional History of Canada.”

References:—Archer, Garneau, Withrow, Jeffers, Christie’s “Lower Canada,” Warburton’s “Conquest of Canada,” and Ryerson’s “Loyalists in America.”]

1. Military Rule.—With the conquest of Canada by the English came a period of Military Rule, which extended from 1760 to 1774. The little colony of France on the St. Lawrence, when it passed into the hands of its new masters, was divided for the purposes of government into the three old territorial districts of Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal. General Amherst, commander of the English forces in Canada, became Governor-General, and was assisted in the administration of affairs by a Council, composed of military officers, in which was vested the power of making ordinances and enforcing the British laws now introduced into Canada. This system of military rule, which was established by the King’s Proclamation, was a provisional one, designed to secure the pacification of the country and to encourage English settlement. It was promised that, by-and-by, Canada should have self-government, such as the colonists on the seaboard enjoyed; but just then, when the sword was hardly sheathed, it was thought premature to give the colony representative institutions. The French and their Canadian compatriots readily submitted to “the new sovereignty which the sword had imposed on them,” and in becoming British subjects they were secured in the possession of their property and the uninterrupted enjoyment of their religion. The French civil law was for a time abrogated, British laws first introduced into Canada, A.D. 1763. though it is doubtful whether it ever ceased to be in force. The ancient criminal law was, however, superseded by the criminal law of England, and the administration of justice was taken out of the hands of the Seigneurs. In this change the simple French inhabitants largely acquiesced; for though it introduced a system of which they had no knowledge, and which, being in a foreign language, few of them understood, it relieved them from the harsh and arbitrary rule of rapacious government officials and local superiors, which had long oppressed the country and retarded its development. Restraint was also placed upon the clergy in exacting tithes and other ecclesiastical dues, formerly levied on the people. By the conquest, England had made large additions to her territory rather than added to the number of her subjects. The population of the whole of New France, on the fall of Quebec, did not exceed sixty-five thousand, while that of the English colonies on the Atlantic was close upon two millions. This inequality is accounted for by the widely differing modes of French and English colonization. French colonization was feudal and semi-religious; England’s was characterized, in the main, by the escape from these Old World bonds, and from many things that impeded the exercise of civil and religious rights. In Canada, officialism and trade monopolies had well nigh strangled commerce, while the rapid settlement of the country was retarded by the intolerance of opposing religious opinions. But with the conquest and the British additions to the population, the energies of the colony awoke to new life, and the change had a stimulating effect on the French inhabitants.

2. The Quebec Act.—The intrusion of English Protestant settlers soon led to rivalries in race and religion; and the French began to look with a jealous eye on the Anglicising of their civil and religious institutions. A conciliatory policy on the part of the Lieutenant-Governor and Council helped to prevent a rupture between the two sections of the colony, but as time passed increasing disaffection and hostility began to be manifested. The French, keenly sensitive to the fact that they were a conquered people, and being disabled from holding positions of responsibility in the colony, resented the sweeping away of the laws which for a century and a half had been in force in the country. The English, on the other hand, grew restive under the rule of the Governor and Council, and clamoured for a Representative Assembly and the permanent establishment of British law. At this juncture the English colonies on the Atlantic quarrelled with George III.’s government, and showed signs of withdrawing their allegiance to the mother country. The position was critical; and to remove the grievances of the Canadians, and confirm their attachment to Britain, the English Government took the advice of Sir Guy Carleton, who had succeeded to the governorship of Quebec, and restored in the province the whole body of French civil jurisprudence. This action was in sharp contrast to the policy of England towards the colonies on the seaboard, and gave great offence to the English settlers in Canada. The measure which granted this concession French law restored in Quebec, A.D. 1774. to the Canadians, is known as The Quebec Act, of 1774. By its provisions, the French Civil Code became the law of Canada, though the English Criminal Law was to remain in force. Provision was at the same time made for extending the boundaries of the province to the Ohio valley; for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion; and for the establishment of a Legislative Council, to be composed of not less than seventeen and not more than twenty-three members, of both nationalities. This action of the Imperial Government was a politic stroke to secure the adhesion of the French Canadian colony at a time when those on the Atlantic were wavering in their loyalty to Britain, and were soon now to take up arms against her.

3. American War of Independence.—For a number of years the relations between England and her American colonies had been strained to the point of rupture by trade restrictions imposed by the mother country and by the attempt to levy taxes to help her to defray the expenses of the French war and maintain her increased civil and military establishments in America. This unwise policy arose from the mistake of considering the settlements of the New World as colonial possessions to be held solely for the financial benefit of England rather than for their own advancement and material well-being. In 1776 thirteen of the colonies Declared their Independence, under the designation of the United States of America. While the Philadelphia Congress was in session, it invited the Canadians to join those we now term the American People, in throwing off allegiance to Britain. But Canada remained loyal and refused to rally to the standard of revolt. This passive attitude angered the Americans, and they determined to invade Canada and wrest it from the British Crown. In 1775, two expeditions were fitted out for this purpose, one of which seized the forts on Lake Champlain, the gateway of Canada, and, thinking that the Canadians would offer no resistance, proceeded to invest Montreal. Another expedition advanced upon Quebec. Montreal, being indifferently garrisoned, surrendered to the Americans, but the attack on Surrender of Montreal, and defeat of the Americans at Quebec. Quebec failed after some weeks’ siege. The American general, Montgomery, who had formerly fought under Wolfe, was killed in storming the citadel on the 31st of December; and the discomfited American force was in the following summer driven from the country. Meanwhile, the struggle in the United States went on with varying Close of the Revolutionary War—Treaty of Versailles, A.D. 1783. fortune, until the British, under Lord Cornwallis, surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, and the war was brought to a close. The Americans achieved their independence, which Britain acknowledged by the Treaty of Versailles, in 1783; and an adjustment of territorial possessions gave to Canada its present limits.

4. United Empire Loyalists.—In this unhappy strife there were many in the new-born Republic who either refrained from participating or took the loyalist side in the conflict. These were called United Empire Loyalists, for they clung to the unity of the Empire and refused to ally themselves with their fellow-colonists in their revolt. When the war was over, those who took up arms on the loyal side found themselves in a hopeless minority, loaded with obloquy, and subjected to indignity at the hands of the victorious Republicans. Rather than live under these humiliating conditions, some of these loyalists returned to England; but the most of them, preferring voluntary expatriation in Western wilds to living in a country that had become independent through rebellion, sought new homes for themselves in Acadia and Canada. Their act was not lost upon the home government, for the latter sent instructions to Canada to make provision for their reception and settlement, and for the mitigation, in some measure, of their trials and privations. This provision consisted of seed, farm implements, tools for building purposes, and food and clothing for a year or two after settling in the country. To make good in part their losses, the British Government also voted some three millions sterling, to be divided among the in-coming settlers, and gave them munificent grants of land, chiefly in the western portion of the country, the then virgin province of Upper Canada. Here, as well as in desirable locations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, streamed in the loyalists and their families, to begin their sad experience of exile in the wilderness. It is calculated that about ten thousand, in the Maritime Provinces, and nearly twenty thousand in what is now named Ontario, were added to the British population of Canada by this loyalist emigration. By their coming, Western Canada—chiefly on the banks of the St. Lawrence, on the Bay of Quinté, in the Niagara District, and round the shores of Lake Ontario—received that contribution of brawn and muscle so essential to the carving out of a new province and the founding of a strong and enduring community.

5. The Constitutional Act (1791).—While Canada was gaining this important addition to her British population, the political condition of the French province was by no means satisfactory. For some time after the Revolutionary War, the Province of Quebec was under the strong hand of a military Lieutenant-Governor (General Haldimand), who, with a despotic Legislative Council, administered affairs in such a manner as well nigh brought about social and political chaos. An oppressive militia law was put in force, while military arrests and illegal imprisonments irritated and impoverished the people. Nor was relief to be had from the courts, for the legal tribunals, if not closed, administered the laws after so uncertain a fashion, partly in one language and partly in another, that few of those who were wronged could get redress. Fortunately, however, Haldimand withdrew to England, and in 1787 Sir Guy Carleton (now Lord Dorchester) returned to Canada, as Governor-General of the whole of the Provinces of British North America. Haldimand’s last act, by compulsion of the British authorities, was to give his assent to the passing of an ordinance by the Legislative Council, introducing the English law of Habeas Corpus, and, in civil cases, trial by jury. Lord Dorchester, whose conciliatory manner well qualified him to restore peace and political harmony, was now appealed to by the British residents of Canada for the extension of British law into those portions of the country not yet organized for judicial purposes, and, above all, for the institution of representative government, in lieu of the irresponsible Council established by the Quebec Act. Numerous petitions, urging the granting of this latter boon, which was already enjoyed by the people of the Maritime Provinces, were forwarded to the Imperial Government by many of the English inhabitants and by a few of the French who were in sympathy with liberty and legislative freedom. In time, these petitions were received with favour Passing of the Constitutional Act, and the division of the country into Upper and Lower Canada. in England; and a new scheme for the government of Canada took definite shape in the English Parliament, by the passing of a measure known as the Constitutional Act (of 1791), which repealed the Quebec Act, and divided the country watered by the St. Lawrence and the lakes into two separate provinces, called Upper and Lower Canada. The Ottawa River became the boundary line separating the two provinces. By this division of Old Canada, it was hoped, that existing causes of controversy between the French and English would be removed, and that the two races, with their diverse religions, would have ample scope for development, each after its own fashion, and in the unrestricted enjoyment of its own religion and laws. To each province was given an administrative body, composed of a Lieutenant-Governor and an Executive Council, with a Parliament consisting of two Houses—a Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly. The Governor, his Executive Council, and the Legislative Council, were appointed by the Crown, while the representatives in the Legislative Assembly were elected by the people. The laws were made by the Assembly, in conjunction with the Legislative Council, subject to the approval or assent of the Lieutenant-Governor. The latter’s advisers, the Executive Council, usually had seats in the Legislative Council, or Upper Chamber, as it came to be called. In both provinces, the Criminal Law of England, and the Habeas Corpus Act, were introduced; but in Lower Canada the French Civil Law and its peculiar land-system—that of holding property by Feudal Tenure—were retained. In Upper Canada Feudal Tenures were abolished and Freehold Tenures introduced. In other words, Upper Canada, in the matter of Civil Law and its usages, became wholly English, while Lower Canada remained altogether French. In both provinces a like provision was made with regard to religion. In the Lower Province, the provisions of the Quebec Act, for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion, were retained; while in the Upper Province, one-seventh of the Crown lands were set aside for the support of a Protestant clergy—an enactment which afterwards wrought much trouble. An agreement was also come to between the two provinces, to share the revenue derived from customs duties on importations arriving at the Lower Canada ports. Upper Canada, at first, received one-eighth only of the impost, but this was afterwards increased to one-fifth. The share of the Upper Province, a year or two after the passing of the Constitutional Act, was only $5,000, while, in 1810—so great had been the progress of the country—the revenue rose to nearly $30,000. However well meant was the Constitutional Act, it must be said that it was far from allaying discontent among both sections of the people. The French in the Lower Province, though in the majority in the Legislative Assembly, were scarcely represented in the Executive, and had little or no influence in the practical administration of affairs, the government offices being filled with Englishmen. On the other hand, the English in the Upper Province were dissatisfied with the division of the country, as it placed commerce—the French having command of the St. Lawrence—under the control of the Legislature and people of Lower Canada. But the main defect of the measure, as will afterwards be seen, was the Crown-nominated Legislative Council, whose despotic acts long retarded the development of the country and caused bitter political strife. The government in both Provinces, moreover, was unfortunately made responsible, not to the representative Assembly, but to the Colonial Office in England. Another defect in the Act was England’s retaining the power to tax the colonies and dispose of the Crown lands, an unwise interference with the people’s rights, and with the control which ought to have been vested in the local Assemblies.

[1. Give the terms of the treaty which made Canada a British Province.

2. What kind of government existed in Canada between 1760 and 1774?

3. What led to the passage of the Quebec Act? State its principal provisions, and show how far it satisfied the Canadian people.

4. Sketch the leading incidents of the American invasion of Canada in 1775.

5. Give an account of the settlement of the United Empire Loyalists in Canada.

6. Under what circumstances was the Constitutional Act of 1791 passed? Point out the defects of this Act, and state its more important clauses.

7. What is meant by Seignorial Tenure? State any particulars in which French Civil Law differs from British Civil Law.]



WAR OF 1812.

[The early settlement of Upper Canada, the hardships connected therewith, the different kinds of immigrants, and the social life and customs of the Province, are worthy of receiving special attention. Point out the character of the legislation of the first Parliaments of Upper and Lower Canada. Explain the causes of the War of 1812, and the reasons of the failure of the American invasion of Canada; one reason being the hostility of the New England States to the war. Among the many brave men who distinguished themselves on the Canadian side, Brock, De Salaberry, and Tecumseh, stand out prominent: their great services should be fully recognized. Of the battles, Queenston Heights, Moravian Town, Chateauguay, and Lundy’s Lane, are the most important. Read with pupils Ryerson’s “Founders of Upper Canada” (Fourth Reader).

References:—Coffin’s “War of 1812,” Withrow, McMullen, and Gameau’s Histories, Canniff’s “Settlement of Upper Canada,” and Scadding’s “Toronto of Old.”]

1. Founding of Upper Canada.—The Upper Province now made rapid progress in the settlement of its lands, and in the development of its resources. Previous to the passing of the Constitutional Act, the whole region west of the Ottawa was an almost unbroken forest. A few Loyalist settlements had been formed on the Upper St. Lawrence, on the Bay of Quinté, on the Niagara frontier, and down the Detroit River. Besides these small and scattered communities there was no white population in the country. If we except Kingston, which Lord Dorchester wished to make the capital, the only place of importance in Upper Canada was Newark, which, from its eligible site at the mouth of the Niagara River, naturally became the cradle of the settlements of the western province. Hither, in 1792, came Lieutenant-Colonel John Graves Simcoe, who had been appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, and who now proceeded to summon the First Provincial Parliament and administer the affairs of the infant colony. Though Newark (Niagara) had some claim to become the permanent capital, its nearness to United States territory and the dangerous proximity of Fort Niagara, which had now been given up to the Americans, led Governor Simcoe to make choice of York (Toronto) as the seat of Government. It was at Niagara, however, that the first Parliament of the Province met. It consisted of an Upper House of seven members, appointed by the Crown for life, and a Lower House, of sixteen members, elected by the people. The latter were chosen, in the main, from the farming and trading classes, the professions, as yet, not having much foothold in the province. The legislation of this primitive parliament, though unambitious, was adapted to the wants of the country. One of its earliest measures was the introduction of the Civil Law of England and Trial by Jury. Other measures made provision for the erection of court-houses, jails, and such other public buildings as were required in the various districts into which the province was at the time divided. These districts were subdivided into counties, and each of the latter had its jail and court-house. To the honour and credit of the legislators, an enactment was passed abolishing slavery in Upper Canada. In the previous year, (1792), the first Parliament of Lower Canada met; but its legislation was impeded by race and religious jealousies, and by angry discussion over the autocratic acts of the Executive and other political misdemeanors. In Upper Canada, the affairs of which must specially concern us, the ever-active Governor Simcoe hastened the work of laying out the town of York, opened up inland communication, including a roadway to the northern lakes, and personally visited every part of the now fast-growing province. He also set in motion the legal machinery of the Province, and periodically returned to Newark, to summon and prorogue Parliament and direct the affairs of State. In 1796, however, this bluff old soldier and sturdy representative of the king was transferred from Upper Canada to San Domingo, and the young province lost the services of one who had given the colony his every thought.

2. The Coming Storm.—After the withdrawal of Governor Simcoe, the Upper Province came successively under the administrations of Hon. Peter Russell, President of the Council, and Lieutenants-Governor Hunter and Gore. Under Russell, in 1797, the seat of Government was transferred from Newark to York, and the infant capital began to grow apace. As the century crept to its close, other parts of the province were invaded by courageous settlers, who took up land and proceeded to build homes for themselves and their families in the woods. From these homesteads were ere long to come forth the men who were to guide the destinies of the country and become notable figures in the provincial capital. Parliament voted considerable sums for the construction of roads and bridges, for extending postal facilities and the means of communication with the outer world, and for the opening up of new sections of the country. Laudable provision was also made for education and the intellectual needs of the province. In 1811, Governor Sir Francis Gore returned to England, and Lieutenant-General Isaac Brock became President and acting-Administrator of the province. In this year the growing hostility to Britain shown by the United States, which had never got over the bitterness of separation, rose to a flame over some unauthorized acts of British naval officers in command of vessels on the Atlantic coast. Previous acts in asserting England’s “right of search” on the high seas, for deserters and contraband goods, which the United States had resented, had intensified the ill-feeling between the two countries. Britain was at this period in the throes of a European conflict which was putting Anglo-Saxon pluck and hardihood to the severest test. She was thus ill-prepared, War declared by the Americans, 18th June, 1812. as she was loath, to undertake a new war on the American continent. There was but little justification for the invasion of Canada, and the step was opposed by a considerable portion of the American people. Congress, however, declared war against Great Britain, and took instant steps to invade Canada. Canada, with equal promptitude, proceeded to call out her militia, and determinedly braced herself to resist invasion.

3. War of 1812.—The total population of Canada at this time did not exceed 300,000, of which number only about a fourth was settled in the Upper Province. The regular troops of all arms in the country did not quite number 4,500 men, less than a third being in Upper Canada. With this small body of troops Canada had to defend a frontier of over 1,500 miles, threatened at many points by a large and fairly disciplined army, with a population to draw upon of nearly eight millions. Yet such was the spirit of her sons that, hopeless as seemed the undertaking, she did not hesitate to take the field at the first signal of danger. Within a month after the declaration of war, the American general, Hull, with an army of 2,500 men, crossed the Detroit River and entered Canada. Later on, at other points, the country was invaded, namely, on the Niagara frontier, and in Lower Canada, by way of Lake Champlain. On learning of the invasion of the western peninsula, General Brock called an emergency meeting of the Provincial Parliament, despatched some companies of the 41st Regiment, then in garrison at York, to Niagara, and thither, within a few days, followed them. Colonel Proctor, with the remaining companies of the 41st, was ordered to reinforce the troops at Amherstburg. With the 3rd Regiment of York militia Brock himself set out, on the 6th of August, for Amherstburg. Here he was joined by the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, with whom and his Indian followers Brock concerted measures for the capture of Fort Detroit. By this time General Hull had withdrawn his army from Canada, and retired upon the stronghold of Detroit. Promptly carrying out his project, Brock put his small force in fighting array, and crossed the river into Michigan. Before assaulting the fort, he summoned the garrison to surrender. The summons, to Brock’s surprise, was complied with, and 2,500 American soldiers gave up their arms. Elated at his unlooked-for success, and enabled by the capitulation of the fort to arm more efficiently the Canadian militia, he resolved at once to return to York, thereafter to cross Lake Ontario and sweep from the Niagara frontier other detachments of the enemy. By the 27th of August, Brock and his troops were back at the capital, where they were received with the warmest acclaims of the populace. Unfortunately, when about to set out again, Brock’s design to prevent the enemy from massing on the Niagara River was for the time frustrated by an ill-timed armistice, which had been agreed to by Sir George Prevost, who held supreme command in Lower Canada. This delayed action till the following October, and gave the Americans time to concentrate a force, of some 6,000 men, under Van Rensselaer, in the neighbourhood of Lewiston. At daybreak on the 13th the advance guard of this force effected a landing on the Canadian bank of the Niagara River, despite the heroism of its defenders. General Brock, hearing at Fort George the cannonading, galloped with his aides-de-camp to the scene of action, and at once found himself in the thick of a desperate onset. The story is a brief one. Two companies of the 49th Regiment, with about a hundred of the Canadian militia, had for some time been holding the enemy in check, when the engagement suddenly became general. A portion of the invading force, gaining the heights unobserved, from this vantage-ground began to pour a destructive fire upon the Battle of Queenston Heights, and death of Brock. defenders. Brock, with characteristic gallantry, instantly placed himself at the head of the troops, with whom were two companies of the militia of York, and hastened to dislodge the enemy from the heights. Conspicuously leading the storming-party, and with the cry, “Push on the York volunteers!” on his lips, Brock was struck by a musket-ball and fell mortally wounded. Maddened by the death of their heroic leader, the troops twice essayed to clear the invaders from the flame-clad heights. Twice, however, were they driven back; and the gallant column, of barely three hundred men, was compelled to retire upon the village and wait reinforcements. Presently these came up, and under General Sheaffe they now out-flanked the Americans, and drove them over the precipice, or on the brink of the river forced them to surrender. Victory had once more rested upon British arms, though its lustre was grievously dimmed by heavy losses sustained by the victors, and by the death of Sir Isaac Brock, their loved commander. Three days afterwards they laid his body temporarily to rest in a bastion of Fort George, and the Canadian people mourned for the dead hero.

4. Campaign of 1813.—The success won on Queenston Heights was a serious blow to the Americans, for nearly a thousand men surrendered to General Sheaffe. With the spring of 1813, however the Americans renewed their military and naval operations against Canada, and the water boundary between the two countries became for a time the chief scene of hostilities. Towards the close of February, the Legislature of Upper Canada was called together by General Sheaffe, the provisional administrator, and in concert with Sir George Prevost and the Parliament of the Lower Province, active measures were adopted and money votes passed for the continued defence of the country. Efforts were also made to strengthen the weak marine on the lakes, to command which Sir James Yeo had arrived at Kingston. But the Americans were earlier prepared to renew hostilities, at least on the water. They had also planned demonstrations by land, both in the east and the west, with the hope of recovering their lost military prestige, and of effacing the recollection of the previous years’ disasters. The opening year’s hostilities, however, brought defeat to the Americans, for at Frenchtown General Proctor inflicted a heavy blow on the American “Army of the West;” and in the east, Major Macdonell and his Glengarry Fencibles took Ogdensburg at the point of the bayonet and drove its defenders from the town. On Lake Ontario, on the other hand, the Americans had the advantage; for York was besieged and surrendered to Commodore Chauncey and General Dearborn. After the submission of the capital, Chauncey’s fleet set sail for the mouth of the Niagara River, and the British fort there, though gallantly defended by a small force under General Vincent, was abandoned, and its garrison fell back on a strong position midway between the Niagara River and Burlington Heights.

The Niagara Frontier.

The loss of Fort George was, however, more than atoned for by Colonel Harvey’s heroic midnight attack and dispersion of the American force at Stoney Creek, and by the romantic repulse by Lieutenant Fitzgibbon, with a handful of Canadian militia and Indians, of Colonel Boerstler’s command at Beaver Dams. On the lakes, however, the Americans had for a time the advantage, for a second descent was made upon York, when the Parliament Buildings and much of the town was given to the flames; while, on Lake Erie, the American commander, Perry, routed and captured the British squadron under Commodore Barclay. This brought on Loss of the British fleet on Lake Erie. another disaster in the west, for the British land force, under Proctor, being cut off from supplies by the loss of the fleet, was compelled to withdraw from Detroit and Amherstburg and to fall back on the interior of the western peninsula. Here the retreating British and Indians were actively followed by General Harrison and an American force, four times larger than that under Proctor. The latter, harassed by Disaster of Moravian Town, and death of Tecumseh. his pursuers, gave them battle at Moravian Town, on the river Thames, the result of which was disastrous to the Canadian troops. The brave Tecumseh was killed, and a large portion of Proctor’s army was annihilated, only a remnant escaping to join General Vincent at Burlington Heights. The western peninsula for a time now fell into the hands of the invaders. Against this serious loss in the west is, however, to be placed the signal victory at Chateauguay, in Lower Canada, gained by Colonel de Salaberry, and some 300 Canadian Voltigeurs, over General Hampton’s division of the American “Army of the North.” This success, and the brilliant one which followed it—on Chrysler’s Farm, by the St. Lawrence—more Chateauguay, and Chrysler’s Farm. than counterbalanced the loss to British and Canadian arms in a period of great hardships and much bloodshed. The year closed, however, amid woe and desolation. The American general, McClure, in command of the captured stronghold of Fort George, being hard pressed by Vincent’s troops brought up from Burlington Heights, decided to winter in Fort Niagara, on the other side of the Niagara River. Thinking his safety even there endangered by the proximity of Newark, he committed the inhuman act of turning out of their homes in the depth of winter about one hundred and fifty families, including four hundred women and children, and fired the town at thirty minutes’ notice. For this barbarous act the Americans were held to a terrible account in the reprisals which instantly followed—the surprise and capture of Fort Niagara, and the consigning to the flames of all American villages from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.

5. 1814, and Close of the War.—There is little to record in the events of the year 1814, save the failure of the British attack on the strong position of the Americans at Chippewa, and the crowning Battle of Lundy’s Lane, 24th July, 1814. success of the war, the battle of Lundy’s Lane, near by the Falls of Niagara. Here, on a midsummer night, for six hours, the opposing forces stubbornly contested the field, until victory rested upon the Anglo-Canadian arms, though the loss was heavy on both sides. With the battle of Lundy’s Lane the War of 1812 may be said to have practically ended. On the seaboard, in the previous year, there had been a naval duel between the Chesapeake and the Shannon, the former, after a desperate conflict, becoming the prize of the British flag. In August, 1814, a British fleet appeared in Chesapeake Bay, and, landing a force, captured Washington, and ruthlessly gave the Capitol and other public buildings to the flames. Subsequently, at New Orleans, the British The Treaty of Ghent, and close of the war, 14th Dec., 1814. met with a reverse, and the protracted struggle was brought to a close. The Treaty of Ghent terminated the war, and left Canada in possession of Britain. The country had been devastated, innumerable homes made desolate, and thousands of lives sacrificed, in an inglorious attempt by the American people to subjugate Canada, and supplant the Union Jack by the Stars and Stripes.

[1. Mention any causes which promoted the rapid settlement of Upper Canada after the passage of the Constitutional Act of 1791.

2. What different classes of early settlers made their homes in Upper Canada? What parts of the Province were first settled, and why?

3. State any important measures passed in the First Parliaments of Upper and Lower Canada. Where did these Parliaments meet?

4. Point out the causes that provoked the War of 1812-14; also explain why the Americans were unsuccessful in their attempts to conquer Canada.

5. Write explanatory notes on the following battles: Queenston Heights, Lundy’s Lane, Moravian Town, Chateauguay, and Chrysler’s Farm.

6. What treaty brought this war to a close? Show how far this treaty settled the grounds of dispute that occasioned the war.]




[Explain clearly, but concisely, the nature of the political difficulty that arose in connection with the Clergy Reserves; also the character of the rule of the Family Compact. The Rebellions of 1837-38, in Upper and Lower Canada, are deserving of careful and explicit treatment: the causes producing them, as well as the results flowing from them, should be thoroughly explained. In giving the terms of the Union Act of 1841, point out the defects which led at a later date to a political dead-lock. Lord Durham’s Report is one of the most important documents relating to our history: its chief clauses should be outlined. Some account should be given of Sir Francis Bond Head, Wm. Lyon Mackenzie, Dr. Rolph, Papineau, and Sir Allan McNab. Explain clearly what is meant by the establishment of Responsible Government.

References:—Dent’s “Last Forty Years” and “Canadian Rebellion,” Lindsey’s “Life of Wm. Lyon Mackenzie,” Ryerson’s “Story of My Life,” Sir Francis Hincks’s “Reminiscences,” and the Canadian histories already referred to.]

1. Immigration.—Canada now hailed with fervour the return of peace, and set herself the task of laying anew the foundations of her material advancement. In Upper Canada the militia was disbanded, and many of the troops of the mother country bought or were granted their discharge. These, with the new immigrants, to whom the British government had given free passage to the colony, settled on the land or engaged in various other industries. The increase of population soon brought its results, in the further opening up of the country; in the improved facilities of communication, including the construction of the Lachine canal and steam transit on the lakes; in the development of the lumber and shipbuilding trades; and in the provision, first made in 1816, for Common School System founded, 1816. education and the founding of the Common-School System of the Province. Money was also set in circulation, by the Government promptly redeeming the “Army Bills” which it had issued during the war, and by the payment of pensions and war-grants to those to whom they had been awarded. Banks were established by law, and large sums were voted by Parliament for the construction of public works, the building of roads and bridges, and other purposes of civil government. While the country was thus making satisfactory material progress, its political condition was deplorable. In both Provinces public feeling was aroused over the irresponsible character of the Executive Council, and found vent in many stormy scenes in the Legislature and in angry outbursts in the press. In Lower Canada, the English minority were indignant at the misappropriation of public funds and the high-handed acts of the Governor and the Executive. In the Upper Province there was a plentiful crop of grievances. Among these were the scandalous system on which the public lands were granted, and the partiality shown in the issue of land-patents and other favours in the gift of the Crown. Immigrants from the United States, being tainted as it was supposed with republicanism, were the special objects of official dislike and the victims of legislative injustice and wrong. Oppressive laws were passed against them; and an Alien Act was rigorously enforced, which for a time deprived them of their political rights, excluded them from the privilege of taking up land, and subjected them to many indignities, including arbitrary expulsion from the Province.

2. The Family Compact, and the Clergy Reserves.—The chief authors of these abuses were the members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, who, by their close alliances for mutual advantage, came to be known by the rather sinister designation of The Family Compact. For the most part, they were of United Empire Loyalist descent, men of influence, occupying good social and political positions in the Province—many of them being connected by family ties—and having at their disposal offices of emolument and other Crown patronage, which secured for them a strongly attached but not always a scrupulously honest following. Among the questions that agitated the Province at this time was that of the Clergy Reserves, as the Executive excluded all denominations but the Church of England from participating in the provision made by the State for the maintenance of the Protestant religion. By the Constitutional Act of 1791, ONE-SEVENTH of the land was set apart for the support of a Protestant clergy. In Upper Canada this land appropriation amounted to nearly two and a half million acres. The position taken by the Executive Council, by the Tory party in politics, and by the Anglican denomination, was that the Crown had made this land appropriation for the exclusive benefit of the clergy and adherents of the Church of England in Canada. This view of the matter was long and bitterly contested by the Presbyterians, by the Methodists, and by many of the Roman Catholics. Efforts were made to secure part of the proceeds of the sale of the lands for the benefit of other denominations. These efforts were defeated, however, by a counter-proposal to devote the surplus funds to the purposes of education, and, in particular, to the founding and endowing of King’s College at York, an Anglican University. In 1836 a further disposition of money derived from the sale of the Clergy Reserves was made by the Governor-in-Council, by which fifty-seven rectories of the Church of England were erected in the Province and endowed with extensive and valuable lands. This act of the Government was considered a gross violation of the rights of the people, and added greatly to the general indignation and discontent. In 1840, as the result of continued agitation, the Church of England was deprived of its exclusive interest in the Clergy Reserves, and the claims of the Church of Scotland, the Methodist body, and other denominations, were in part recognized.

3. Canada Trade Act.—While the people of Upper Canada were thus striving to bring about reforms in the administration of affairs, commerce was extending its domain and the country was being rapidly settled. In 1829, the Welland Canal, which had been projected by the Hon. W. H. Merritt, opened up a highway for commerce to the upper lakes and tapped a wide area of thriving settlements in the Far West. As yet, however, the revenue of Upper Canada was inadequate to the growing needs of the province, and trade was much impeded by the shackles placed upon it by Lower Canada. This latter circumstance was the cause of a long and bitter quarrel between the two provinces, Upper Canada justly complaining that it did not receive its fair share of the revenue derived from the duties levied on goods entering the country at Lower Canada ports. With the design of remedying the grievances complained of by Upper Canada, the Imperial Parliament passed a measure, known as the Canada Trade Act, which readjusted Upper Canada’s share of the customs’ duties levied by Lower Canada, determined what these duties should be, and provided for a more equitable and prompt payment of the Upper Province’s proportion of the revenue. Meantime other causes were at work which produced disaffection within both provinces, and finally led to rebellion. In Lower Canada, there were burning questions connected with the administration of the affairs of the province, which for some years had been in improper hands and independent of legislative check or control. Abuses grew as the Governor screened delinquents from the consequences of their misdeeds, sided with the dominant ruling party, and resorted to unconstitutional acts in making unauthorized disbursements from the treasury. For years the great game of the political rulers was to thwart the Assembly in its effort to obtain control of the revenues. In Upper Canada, a somewhat similar state of things prevailed; and matters became worse as the reforming spirit of the time sought to remedy them.

4. The Eve of Rebellion.—Among those to take a leading part in the political discussions of the time were Louis Joseph Papineau in the Lower Province, and William Lyon Mackenzie in the Upper Province. Both of these men desired to wrest the governing power from the hands into which it had fallen, to purge the political system from corruption, and to remove the abuses which had crept in with irresponsible government. The despotic “Family Compact” in Upper Canada was the special object of Mackenzie’s hatred; and long and bitterly he denounced its high-handed acts, and through the press issued many inflammatory appeals to the people. Being returned a member of the Assembly, he made use of his position in the House to expose abuses, agitate reforms, and give voice to the country’s appeal for responsible government. So trenchant were his attacks on the governing party and so violent was his attitude in the House, that he was five times expelled from the Legislature and as often returned by his constituency. Equally fiery were Papineau’s attacks in the Lower Canada Legislature on the Executive of that Province and equally earnest his efforts in the cause of reform. Elected Speaker of the Assembly, Papineau became so obnoxious towards the Governor and his Council that the Governor refused to acknowledge him as the mouth-piece of the House; and the Assembly sustaining Papineau, it was petulantly prorogued, and legislation for a time came to a stand-still. Meanwhile, political agitation was continued at public meetings and in the press; and a memorial of grievances was drawn out and forwarded to England, imploring the aid of the king and Parliament. The Imperial authorities, wishing to avert strife and conciliate the people, sent out a Commission of Inquiry, which however failed to accomplish anything. Parliament was now summoned; but the Lower House refused to vote more than temporary supplies unless a radical change was made in the Constitution. The changes desired were, that the Executive Council should in some measure be responsible to the people, and that the Legislative Council should be made an elective rather than a Crown-nominated body. As these demands were not complied with, the next step was rebellion.

5. The Outbreak.—In Upper Canada the disaffected were in close sympathy with the movement in the Lower Province, which now sought to cast off allegiance to Britain and secure Independence under a Republican form of government. With the arrival of a new Governor—Sir Francis Bond Head—for a while there was hope of concessions being made, so as to avert rebellion; but the hope was speedily doomed to disappointment. The Governor, indignant at some disloyal utterances in the Legislature, dissolved the House, then in session, and threw his influence into the elections against the agitators for reform. This act brought on a crisis, which was hastened by the outbreak of riots in Montreal, and by risings in other parts of the Lower Province. To deal with the Lower Canada insurgents—the leaders of whom were Papineau and a Dr. Wolfred Nelson—the troops were withdrawn from Upper Canada, the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, and martial law proclaimed. The governing function was at the same time assumed by a Special Council and the Legislature set aside. The military were enabled to suppress the risings, and the leaders were for the time either outlawed or banished. In the following year, aided by sympathizers from the United States, there was a further outbreak; and at various points the rebels—or “Sons of Liberty,” as they styled themselves—came into collision with the troops and were finally defeated and dispersed. In the Upper Province, thanks to the efforts of Mackenzie, Robert Baldwin, John Rolph, and others, many grievances had been redressed and concessions wrung from the Council. But the irresponsible Upper House defeated much of the legislation originating in the Assembly, and continued to resist the popular demand for responsible government. Other arbitrary acts of the ruling body produced wide-spread disaffection, which now broke into flame; for Mackenzie, with a number of followers, taking advantage of the withdrawal of troops to Lower Canada, determined to march upon Toronto, as the provincial capital was now called, and to proclaim a Republic. Early in December, 1837, about four hundred insurgents mustered on Yonge Street, about four miles from the city, with the intent of seizing the capital, ousting the government, and setting up independent rule. Want of agreement among the leaders of the movement delayed action, and gave time for the assembling of loyal subjects for the defence of the provincial capital. At the first signal of danger, Colonel (afterwards Sir Allan) McNab hastened from Hamilton with a body of militia, and within a few days these loyal troops and a Toronto force met the rebels at Montgomery’s Tavern, near by Mackenzie’s rallying-place, and defeated them with heavy loss. Mackenzie, by the aid of friends, escaped to the United States; and the government proclaimed him an outlaw and offered a reward of a £1,000 for his head. In the London district there was also an abortive rising, which was speedily repressed, and for the moment quiet and order were restored.

6. The “Patriots.”—On Mackenzie’s flight across the frontier, he was received with open arms by American sympathizers and Canadian refugees, who proceeded about the middle of December to take possession of Navy Island, in the Niagara River, a short distance above the Falls. From this portion of British territory, Mackenzie proclaimed Upper Canada a Republic, set up the Flag of Liberty, and proceeded to establish a provisional government. Hither came Colonel McNab and the troops, to keep a watch on the doings of the rebels. An American steamboat—the Caroline—had been impressed into service by Mackenzie and his republican fillibusters, and lay moored across the river at Fort Schlosser. This craft and her crew McNab gave orders to surprise and capture, and a midnight expedition, under Lieutenant Drew, of the Royal Navy, set out to perform the task. The vessel was boarded, her crew landed, and she was then towed into mid-stream, set on fire, and, being caught in the current, was abandoned and allowed to drift over the Falls. After this mishap, the “patriot” army left Navy Island, and, breaking up, threatened the invasion of different portions of Upper Canada. One of the chief points of attack was Prescott, on the St. Lawrence, where a body of adventurers landed in the autumn of 1838 and ensconced themselves in an old Windmill near the town. From this they were dislodged by loyal troops, though not before some forty of them were killed. Later in the year, a large body of American sympathizers crossed the Detroit River and took possession of Windsor; but this and other incursions from United States territory were fruitless of results, and the Patriot War soon came to an end. In the following spring, some two hundred rebels, who had been taken prisoners, were brought to trial for treason and were condemned to death. Only a few, however, were executed, while the remainder were either banished from the country or pardoned. Those who were banished were subsequently allowed to return to their homes, and a like indulgence was granted in time to the leaders of the rebellion—Mackenzie, Papineau, Nelson, and George Etienne Cartier.

7. Lord Durham’s Report.—In 1838, while the country was in the throes of rebellion, the British Government commissioned the Earl of Durham, an able statesman of the Liberal party at the time in power in England, to proceed to Canada and report on the state of affairs in the colony, and to fill the then vacant office of Governor-General. During his brief rule, Lord Durham endeavoured to allay political commotion and soften the asperities of party strife, and with laudable motives stretched his authority on the side of clemency in dealing with the rebels. His acts, however, did not meet with the approval of the British House of Peers; and its members having passed a resolution declaring that he had exceeded his powers, he resigned the Governor-Generalship and returned to England. But before doing so he travelled extensively through the provinces and made a close study of the causes of the rebellion, the results of which were embodied in an elaborate and statesmanlike Report which was submitted to the Imperial authorities. This able State paper the ministry made the basis of certain political changes in the Constitution of the colony, which were of lasting benefit to Canada. Among the suggestions in the Report was the recommendation that a Legislative Union should be formed of all the British American Provinces, or if this was at the period impracticable, then that the two Canadas, at least, should be united. An intercolonial railway, connecting the provinces, was also suggested; and in response to the appeal of the people it was strongly urged that the Executive Councils should be made responsible to the Assemblies. Reformers and the friends of responsible government were delighted with the suggestion of making the Executive responsible to the people’s representatives in Parliament. Lord Durham’s suggestions were however strongly opposed by the “Family Compact” in Upper Canada and by the governing party in the Lower Province, both of whom foresaw in the threatened changes in the Constitution the termination of their despotic rule. The Imperial Government, though it acquiesced in the idea of a legislative union of Upper and Lower Canada, did not then favour the principle of making the Executive responsible to the popular Chamber. Meanwhile, the Hon. Mr. Poulett Thomson was sent out as Governor-General, with instructions to bring about a legislative union.

8. The Act of Union (1841).—Mr. Thomson’s task was a difficult one; but it was delicately performed; and the Union Act was passed by the Upper Canada Legislature and by a Special Council in the Lower Province, the Imperial Parliament ratifying the measure. The Act went into force in 1841, and Upper and Lower Canada were united under the name of the Province of Canada, with a single Parliament, consisting of a Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly. The former was composed of twenty members, nominated by the Crown, and the latter of eighty-four members, elected by the people—each province having equal representation in both Chambers. The governor had as his advisers an Executive Council of eight members, who, if they had seats in the Assembly, were required when summoned to the Council to be re-elected by their constituents. It was also provided, that when the Council no longer commanded a majority in the Assembly, it ceased to hold office—a provision which practically secured the long-sought boon of Responsible Government. The whole revenue was placed under the control of the Legislative Assembly, which agreed to vote $300,000 annually for the working expenses of the government. The proceedings of Parliament were to be recorded in both languages and their use in common allowed in debate. The judiciary were also to be appointed by the Crown for life. On the re-union of the provinces, a general election took place, and Kingston, for the time being, became the seat of government. The Lieutenant-Governorships were abolished; and Mr. Poulett Thomson, now raised to the peerage as Lord Sydenham, was confirmed in the Governor-Generalship, and a new era dawns upon Canada.

[1. Write explanatory notes on the following: Family Compact, Clergy Reserves Question, and Canada Trade Act.

2. Point out the causes of the Rebellions of 1837-38, in Upper and Lower Canada.

3. Sketch the principal events of the “Patriots’ War.”

4. Describe from your own point of view the characters of the following men: Sir Francis Bond Head, Papineau, Wm. Lyon Mackenzie, and Dr. Rolph.

5. Explain the nature of Lord Durham’s Report, and show its political importance.

6. State what is meant by Responsible Government. How far was it recognized in the Act of Union (1841)?

7. What English statesman was sent to Canada to bring about the Union of the two Provinces? By what means did he succeed?

8. What important public works were constructed during this period?]




[The principles of Responsible Government in Canada were not for some years after the Union fully acted upon. In connection with the efforts to obtain this boon, the political crisis during the rule of Lord Metcalfe is of more than ordinary interest and importance. The principal events prior to Confederation are the re-modelling and extension of our Educational System under Dr. Ryerson, the secularization of the Clergy Reserves, the abolition of Seignorial Tenure, the Reciprocity Treaty, the political dead-lock which resulted in a temporary coalition of parties and the framing of the B. N. A. Act, and the Fenian Raids. The hostility of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to Confederation, and the means adopted to bring them into Confederation, may be compared with the hostility of Scotland and Ireland to union with England, and the means adopted to accomplish the desired end. The teacher should carefully explain the terms of the Act of Confederation, referring specially to the relative powers of the Dominion and the Provinces. Since Confederation, the Washington Treaty, the Riel Rebellions of 1870 and 1885, the Pacific Scandal and building of the Canadian Pacific R. R., and the adoption of a Protectionist policy, are the events of most prominence. Among the prominent public men, now deceased, are Robert Baldwin, La Fontaine, Sir Francis Hincks, George Brown, and Sir George E. Cartier. Lord Elgin and Lord Dufferin rank high among our Governors.

References:—Dent’s “Last Forty Years,” Sir Francis Hincks’s “Reminiscences,” Mackenzie’s “Life of Hon. George Brown,” Collins’ “Sir J. A. Macdonald,” Stewart’s “Administration of Lord Dufferin,” and the ordinary Canadian histories.]

1. A Period of Reconstruction.—After the rebellion the united Province of Canada set itself the task of bringing order out of chaos and of giving unity and strength to the young nation. Many measures of internal amelioration and development were promoted in Parliament. One of the most important of these was a Founding of the Municipal System, A.D. 1841. Bill establishing the Municipal System of local government in cities, towns, villages, townships and counties, with power to levy taxes for local improvements, to provide the machinery, and pay the cost of local administration. Provision was also made for extending and maintaining a System of Common-School Education; for the founding and endowing of King’s College (now Toronto University), Upper Canada College, and other educational institutions. Money was also appropriated for the extension of the Canal System, the construction of Colonization Roads, and the building of Public Works. In 1842 was settled another disturbing question, which was long a source of international irritation, namely, the Disputed Boundary Line of New Brunswick and the State of Maine. Between the British province and Maine lay a considerable area of territory, which was claimed by both Canadian and American lumbermen, and was the cause of frequent and sometimes serious collisions. To prevent further complication, the British and American governments made the matter the subject of a friendly negotiation; and each country appointed a representative to look after its interests. Lord Ashburton acted for Great Britain, and Daniel Webster for the United States. The result of the arbitration was to give, of the total twelve thousand square miles, seven thousand to the The Ashburton Treaty defines the boundary between New Brunswick and Maine. United States and five thousand to Britain. The decision, which did great injustice to Canada, was embodied in what is known as the Ashburton Treaty, which also fixed the boundary line northward to the St. Lawrence, and westward through the lakes to the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods. A clause in the Treaty also made provision for the Extradition of Criminals, convicted of certain offences committed in either country.

2. Sir Charles Metcalfe, and Lord Elgin.—In 1841, Lord Sydenham died, and after the brief administration of Sir Charles Bagot, the Governor-Generalship was in 1843 assumed by Sir Charles (afterwards Lord) Metcalfe. Sir Charles had held an important office under the Crown in India, and his diplomatic training in the East led him to look with disfavour upon Responsible Government, which he deemed incompatible with the dependent position of a colony. He rigidly upheld the prerogative of the Crown, in its distribution of patronage and appointment to office. Actuated by these feelings, he made some appointments without the knowledge or consent of his constitutional advisers, who in consequence resigned office. After governing some time without responsible advisers, Metcalfe formed a Tory ministry and made a personal appeal to the country, which resulted in the return of a small Tory majority to Parliament, and the formation of a ministry, under Mr. William Henry (afterwards Chief Justice) Draper. During Lord Metcalfe’s governorship, the Rev. Dr. Egerton Ryerson, who had been at the head of Victoria (Methodist) University, was appointed Chief Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, a position he was to hold with great profit to the country and honour to himself for a period of over thirty years. Rev. Dr. Ryerson, appointed Chief Superintendent of Education, organizes the Public School System of Upper Canada, A.D. 1844. Under Dr. Ryerson, the present admirable system of Public and High School education was established, with the generous aid of Parliament. Shortly after this, failing health compelled Lord Metcalfe to resign the Governor-Generalship; and after a brief interval he was succeeded in 1847 by Lord Elgin, a son-in-law of the Earl of Durham, and a statesman of great sagacity and experience. With the coming of this nobleman, Responsible Government may be said to be now fully and firmly established, for he was commissioned by the Liberal ministry in England, who had appointed him, to announce the Removal of the Customs Duties, favouring British manufactured goods, heretofore imposed by the Home Government on importations entering the colony; while his own policy led him to pay deference to the wishes of the people and to guide himself by the counsels of those only who enjoyed their confidence. Unfortunately, Canada at this period was in no position to profit by the conciliatory attitude of the new Governor. A new and burning question had for some time agitated the country. This was the proposal, which had been repeatedly brought before Parliament, to compensate those persons in both Provinces who had suffered destruction of their property during the rebellion. In 1846 the Draper Ministry submitted a Bill in the Assembly to indemnify Upper Canadians for their losses; and the French members agreed to pass the measure on the understanding that the claims of Lower Canadians would meet with like justice. But Lower Canadian losses were at the time only partially compensated; and after the defeat of the Draper Ministry, in 1848, on the question of full Compensation and Secularization of the Clergy Reserves, and the formation of the Baldwin-La Fontaine Liberal Government, the matter came up again at the meeting of a new Parliament in Montreal, in 1849, when the proposal met the fierce resistance of the English-speaking Tories. It was held by the latter that the bulk of the Lower Canadian claims were those preferred by “rebels,” and that therefore no compensation should be granted them. Notwithstanding this opposition, the Reform Government, now in power, passed a measure authorizing it to raise £100,000 to indemnify Lower Canadians for their losses. So unpopular, however, was this action with the Tory party, that the Governor-General was deluged with petitions praying him to Montreal Riots over the passing of the Rebellion Losses Bill, and burning of the Parliament Buildings, A.D. 1849. withhold his consent to the Bill; but this Lord Elgin refused to do, and the measure became law on the 26th of April, 1849. For this act, His Excellency, on leaving the Parliament buildings, was hooted and insulted by an angry, turbulent mob, which as night came on wrought itself into a high fever of excitement and proceeded to attack the Legislative Chambers. Both Houses were still sitting. A party of armed men broke into the Assembly Chamber, drove out the members, destroyed all movable property, and ended by applying lighted torches to the buildings and burned them down. With the Parliament buildings the Library and the State Records were consumed. Time allayed the excitement; and though vigorous protests were sent to England, asking Her Majesty to disallow the Rebellion Losses Bill, this was not done; and the menace of a new uprising spent itself in talk. Imperial displeasure towards the rioters was shown in the British ministry’s approving of Lord Elgin’s course, and in the removal of the seat of Government from Montreal. For a time Parliament met every four years alternately in Toronto and Quebec. In 1858, Ottawa (formerly Bytown) became, by the decision of Her Majesty, the capital of the Canadas, and at a later day it was made the permanent seat of Government.

3. Measures of Progress.—Immigrants continued to pour into the colony; and the opening of railways and the extension of steam transit on the rivers and lakes gave facilities for settlement over an ever-widening range of country. The mother country also granted to the colony commercial freedom, and opened her ports to the untaxed lumber, grain, and other products of the west. Canada was thus enabled to trade with foreign countries, to give in exchange such of her products as she could find a market for abroad, and to employ her merchant-marine in the carrying-trade of the continent. One marked instance of the concessions of Britain to Canada at the period was her consent to the colony’s negotiating a treaty with the United States for the mutual exchange, free of duty, of the natural products of the farm, the forest, the sea, and the mine. This Reciprocity Treaty, The Reciprocity Treaty of A.D. 1854. as it was called, was negotiated in 1854, and was to continue in force for ten years, after which it could be terminated by either of the parties giving a year’s notice. By it the United States had the privilege of fishing in the coast waters of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and the Maritime Provinces, with freedom of access to the Upper Canada canals. The treaty, though of manifest advantage to both countries, was terminated by the United States in 1866; and Canada sought markets elsewhere and new outlets for her surplus products. During Lord Elgin’s administration the Canadian Parliament disposed finally of the Clergy Reserves controversy, by passing a measure decreeing the separation of the State in its relations to any particular Church, and by making provision for the clergy in possession of livings endowed by the Crown. When this had been done, the balance of the moneys derived from the sale of the Clergy Land Reserves Secularization of the Clergy Reserves, and abolition of the Feudal Tenure System, A.D. 1854. was divided among the municipalities, according to population, to be applied either for purposes of education or for local improvements. In the same year (1854) Parliament also abolished, by the Seigniorial Tenure Act, the feudal system of land-tenure prevailing in Lower Canada, and made compensation to the Seigneurs for the surrender of their rights and privileges, which had been granted them under the old French law. This measure was a great relief to the small farmer and land-tenant classes in the Lower Province, who were now freed from the privileged levies of the Seigneurs and enabled to acquire possession of the lands they tilled and occupied. Other measures of Parliament at this period indicate the continued progress of the country and its political development. In 1853, the number of representatives in Parliament was increased from 84 to 130, each province returning sixty-five members. In 1856, the elective principle was applied to the Legislative Council, a reform which changed that formerly nominative body into an elective one, on the death of the then Crown-appointed members. This reform was followed by an agitation for Representation by Population, which sought to increase the number of Upper Canadian members in the Assembly so as to correspond with the increased population in the Upper Province. The population of Upper Canada was now close upon 1,400,000; while that of the Lower Province was some 300,000 less. In 1860 Canada was visited by the heir-apparent, H. R. H. the Prince of Wales; and in the following year Sir Edmund Head was succeeded in the Governor-Generalship by Lord Monck.

4. The British North America Act.—The demand in Upper Canada for representation in Parliament in proportion to its numbers met with bitter opposition in Lower Canada, and along with other previously mentioned causes threatened the permanence of the union between the two Provinces. Party strife increased these discords; and the far-seeing began to look in other directions for a solution of the difficulties which now pressed heavily on both sections of the community. Then was revived the suggestion, made at an earlier period in the country’s history, of a more extended union among the British Provinces of North America. International complications between the mother country and the neighbouring Republic, arising out of the War of Secession, which had now broken out, gave increased force to the suggestion, and brought home to the minds of the people the advantages of a closer union of all the British communities of the continent. At this period there were seven distinct colonies in British America owning allegiance to Britain, each—if we except the two Canadas—having its own political system and separate government. These were the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the two Canadas, and the Crown colonies of Newfoundland and British Columbia. As early as 1860, the Hon. George Brown, founder of the Toronto Globe, and an able and prominent leader of the Reform party in Upper Canada, moved two resolutions in Parliament, which met that year in Quebec, affirming “that the existing Legislative Union of the Provinces (Upper and Lower Canada) had failed to realize the anticipations of its promoters,” and recommending “the formation of two or more local governments, to which should be committed all matters of a sectional character, and the erection of some joint authority to dispose of the affairs common to all.” These resolutions were at the time defeated; but two years afterwards, when legislation came to a stand-still, in consequence of the strife of parties, which were now very evenly balanced, the “joint authority” scheme was acted upon, and a coalition government formed, which warmly advocated a confederation of all the British American provinces, and held a series of conferences with the view to bring about the desirable measure. This proposal for a Federal Union was very opportunely brought before the leading public men of the various sections of the country, for at the time the Maritime Provinces were contemplating a similar union among themselves. In the two Canadas, some such measure was felt to be a necessity, in order to extricate parties from the dead-lock which had come about, for neither of them could command a sufficient majority in Parliament to enable it efficiently to administer affairs. The project continuing to engage the attention of Canadian statesmen, a Convention of Confederation Conventions at Charlottetown and Quebec, Sept. and Oct., A.D. 1864. representatives from the various Provinces met in 1864, first at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and then at Quebec, to discuss the feasibility of the scheme and finally to arrange the terms of the contemplated union. Next year, the Canadian Legislature adopted the union resolutions, which by this time had received the hearty support of the Imperial authorities; but in the Maritime Provinces the Confederation scheme as yet failed to meet the approval of the people. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland withdrew from the negotiations; and the latter colony still maintains its separate political existence. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick there was a strong popular opposition to the scheme. So strong was this opposition in Nova Scotia, that, although its Legislature was induced to endorse the scheme, at the ensuing elections held in that Province the most of the Unionist candidates were rejected, and fruitless efforts were made at a later date to get the consent of the Imperial Government to withdraw from the Confederation. Delegates from the various Provinces now met in London, to arrange with the Home Government a formal basis of union, the result of which was the passing in the Imperial Parliament of the British North America Act, and the ratifying of The British Parliament passes the British North America Act, creating the Dominion of Canada. Mar. 29th, 1867. the Confederation of the British American Provinces, which was to take effect on the 1st of July, 1867. The union embraced the four Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Upper and Lower Canada, under the designation of the Dominion of Canada, with a single, Federal Parliament, and four Local Legislatures, with jurisdiction over local matters in the several Provinces. The name of Upper Canada was changed to Ontario, and that of Lower Canada to Quebec. Provision was made in the Act for the admission of other Provinces which might afterwards desire to come into the union; while the Imperial Government guaranteed a loan to Canada of three millions sterling to aid in the building of an Intercolonial Railway connecting the Maritime Provinces with the two Canadas. Lord Monck became the first Governor-General of the Dominion; Lieutenant-Governors were appointed to the several Provinces; elections were held under the new constitution; and the first Dominion Parliament met in 1867 at Ottawa, the seat of government, with Sir John A. Macdonald as Premier.

5. Canada since Confederation.—With Confederation passed away, in some measure the enfeebling sectional rivalries which had so long retarded the progress of the country and exercised a baneful influence upon politics. In Nova Scotia, the new regime was for a time regarded with disfavour; but opposition finally yielded to the dictates of reason and patriotism and the granting of “better terms.” In the following year, Lord Lisgar (Sir John Young) became Governor-General; and during his administration some delicate international questions, affecting the relations of Canada and the mother country with the United States, came up for settlement. These questions were a legacy of the American Civil War, and arose chiefly out of the acts of the Confederate cruiser, the Alabama, for which the United States held Britain responsible—the vessel having been fitted out in a British port, and, in violation of international comity, permitted to leave on its career of depredation without the interference of the Imperial authorities. The matter was complicated, so far as the Dominion was concerned, by the counter-claims of Canada, first, for the value of fishery rights in Canadian waters enjoyed by the United States, and for which, since the expiry of the Reciprocity treaty, the Dominion had received no equivalent; and, secondly, for compensation for the expense the country had been put to, in 1866, in repelling armed raids of American citizens, belonging to Fenian organizations, who sought by the invasion of Canada to gratify Irish hatred of England, and, quixotically, to endeavour to wrest it from the Fenian Raids. British crown. The most serious of these marauding expeditions, under “General O’Neill,” who had seen service in the War of Secession, crossed the Niagara frontier, in June 1866. Effecting a landing at Fort Erie, the invading force advanced upon the Welland Canal, and at Ridgeway encountered a hastily summoned levy of Canadian militia, which checked their progress, though the militia were forced to retire with considerable loss in killed and wounded. Within twelve hours after the engagement, the Fenians withdrew discomfited to American territory, though not before a hundred or more of them were captured and imprisoned, besides their loss on the field. These and other Washington Treaty, and Halifax Commission. irritating international questions were adjusted by a Joint High Commission, held at Washington in 1871; compensation being afterwards made by Britain to the United States in settlement of the Alabama Claims, and by the United States to Canada, for her concessions, in what are known as the Fishery Clauses of the Washington Treaty. The amount of this latter compensation—five and a half million dollars—was determined by a Commission, which sat in Halifax, in 1878.

6. Acquisition of the North-West.—Shortly after Confederation, the Dominion authorities took steps to extend the country’s territorial possessions, by negotiating with the British Government for the purchase of the Hudson Bay Company’s interests in the vast region known as Rupert’s Land, which for two centuries had been under the rule of that great fur-trading corporation. In 1869, Canada obtained the cession of the territory, at a cost of a million and a half of dollars, with the reservation to the Company of its trading-posts and one-twentieth of the land. A difficulty, however, arose in entering upon the possession of the country. The French and Half-breed population of that portion of it known as the Red River Settlement objected to the transfer without their consent, or without some assurance being given them that their rights and interests would be respected. In the Riel’s First Rebellion, 1869-70. haste to take possession, the Dominion authorities had offended native sensitiveness, which showed itself in preventing the entry into the country of the newly-appointed Lieutenant-Governor and the machinery of government designed for the erection of a new province. The leader of the obstructionists was Louis Riel, a French Canadian, with Indian blood in his veins, who proceeded to usurp authority in the district, and to form a provisional government at Fort Garry. Here, for nearly a year, he set at defiance both the Canadian and the Imperial Governments, and imprisoned many of the loyal inhabitants, putting to a foul death one of their number. A military force, under Sir Garnet (now Lord) Wolesley, was despatched by the joint governments to quell the rebellion. On the arrival of this force Riel fled into United States territory, and for a time was outlawed, but subsequently he was banished for five years. After asserting its authority, the Canadian Government erected the district into the Province of Manitoba, appointed a new Lieutenant-Governor and organized a Government, with a Local Legislature and representation in the Federal Parliament. The unorganized Creation of the Province of Manitoba, and organization of the North-West Territory. territory outside of the Province was at first placed under the jurisdiction of Manitoba; but, subsequently, the North-West Territory was placed under a separate government, consisting of a Lieutenant-Governor and Council; and, at a still later date, was divided into the four districts of Assiniboia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Athabasca. As time passed, the same difficulties were met with in opening up the North-West Territory for settlement as had arisen in the case of Manitoba. On the colonization of that Province, the half-breed trappers and hunters moved westward in pursuit of the fur-trade and of game. Many of them took up lands for cultivation along the North and South Saskatchewan; and when the government surveys were being made in the region of their holdings, they feared they were going to be dispossessed, and, finding their petitions neglected, assumed a threatening attitude towards established authority. To aid them in their resistance, they sent for their old leader, Louis Riel, whose term of banishment had expired in the interval. On coming, his foolish Riel, and the Saskatchewan Rebellion, A.D. 1885. ambition led him once more to play the role of dictator and to excite disaffection. Setting up a provisional government, he declared war against the Dominion authorities, and at Duck Lake, in March, 1885, incited his followers to shed blood. He then entrenched himself and his lawless following at Batoche, a half-breed village on the South Saskatchewan, set up the flag and government of rebellion, and instigated a general rising of the Indians. To suppress the outbreak, the Dominion Government despatched from the older Provinces some three thousand Canadian militia and regulars, under Major-General Middleton, C.B., besides organizing in the Territories several corps of mounted scouts and other branches of the military service. This North-West Field Force, co-operating with the local corps and Mounted Police, penetrated into the disaffected region, spread its protecting arm over the many exposed parts of the Territory, and on three occasions encountered the half-breed and Indian insurgents. Batoche was taken by assault, Riel and his rebel-following were captured, and the Indian chiefs and those who had committed pillage and murder were taken prisoners. Law and order were now restored in the country; and later in the year Riel and several Indians were hanged, and others less criminal were imprisoned.

7. Admission of New Provinces, and the Canadian Pacific R. R.—An important undertaking in connection with the acquirement of the North-West was to provide facilities, through Canadian territory, for access to it. In 1871, British Columbia, entered Confederation, but stipulated in doing so that it be connected with the east by a railway across the continent. At first, political difficulties of a party character beset this enterprise, and brought a crisis upon the country, arising out of what is known as the Pacific Scandal. But, in 1880, the Dominion Government contracted with a Syndicate of Canadian and European capitalists for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway; and to aid the project gave a cash subsidy of Twenty-five Million Dollars and a land-grant of Twenty-five Million Acres. This liberal aid, which has since been supplemented, has enabled the company to complete the work in the present year (1886), and to bring the great resources of the Pacific Province within easy reach of the older settlements of the Dominion, and in the line of direct and speedy communication with Europe. In 1872, the Earl of Dufferin succeeded Lord Lisgar as Governor-General, and he in turn was succeeded (1878) by the Marquis of Lorne, and the latter (1883) by the Marquis of Lansdowne. During Lord Dufferin’s regime (1873), Prince Edward Island became a Province of Canada, and completed the chain from ocean to ocean of Confederated British Colonies. In the same year, a Reform Administration, under the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, was called to power, on the resignation of the Government of Sir John Macdonald, which had fallen in consequence of alleged corrupt relations with a company of contractors offering to build the Pacific Railway. The Mackenzie Administration held the reins of government until 1878, when it was overthrown on a Tariff Question which then agitated the country. This was the question of protection to native industries, foreshadowed in what came to be called the National Policy of the succeeding Conservative Administration of Sir John Macdonald, which still (1886) holds office.

[1. For what is the administration of Sir Charles Metcalfe noted? Describe the character and antecedents of this Governor.

2. What important events are connected with the administration of Lord Elgin? Explain why they are important.

3. Give an account of the extension and re-modelling of the Public School system of Ontario by Dr. Ryerson.

4. State the causes of the political dead-lock that led to Confederation.

5. Describe the steps taken to bring about Confederation?

6. Of what Provinces did the Dominion at first consist? What Provinces have been added since? Give dates.

7. Write explanatory notes on the following: Washington Treaty, Fenian Raids, Red River Rebellion, Pacific Scandal, National Policy, and North-West Rebellion.]




[This very brief synopsis of “How we are Governed” must be largely supplemented and illustrated by the teacher from his own information. It is desirable to show that in essentials our system of government has been derived from England. Abundant illustrations of its practical working should be drawn from familiar facts. By means of such illustrations it is possible to make clear and attractive many matters which otherwise will be not only obscure but positively distasteful. Explain the meaning of all technical terms, such as Prorogue, Dissolution, Executive, Municipal, Disallowance; also clearly distinguish between a Legislative and Federal Union.

References:—O’Sullivan’s “Manual of Government,” the British North America Act, Todd’s “Parliamentary Government in the Colonies,” and Bourinot’s “Parliamentary Practice and Procedure.”]

1. Parliamentary System.—The Constitution of the Dominion of Canada is embodied in an Act passed by the Imperial Parliament to give effect to Confederation, and known as The British North America Act of 1867. By this Act, as we have seen, the four older Provinces of British North America (with three subsequent additions) were united in what is called a Federation or Federal Union, owing allegiance to the British Crown, and governed, as a part of the British Empire, somewhat after the manner in which the people of the British Isles are governed. It is to be remembered, however, that the British Constitution is to a great extent an unwritten one; while that of Canada is mainly contained in the Confederation Act, as the British North America Act is sometimes called. By the latter Act, the Sovereign Authority is vested in the Queen; though the Executive Power is exercised by the Governor-General of the Dominion, and his advisers, the Ministry, for the time being, who possess the confidence of Parliament. The Governor-General is appointed by the Crown (generally for a period of five years), though his salary—$50,000 a year—is paid from the Dominion treasury. He is the commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the Dominion; and has the power, in the Queen’s name, to commute the sentence of a court of justice; to summon, open, prorogue, and on occasions dissolve Parliament; to give or withhold assent to, or reserve for the Royal consideration, all Bills which have passed both Houses; and, with the advice of his Ministry, to appoint the Lieutenant-Governors of the various Provinces, the Senators, the Judges, and other officers under Government. The general, or Dominion, Parliament consists of the Governor-General, representing the Queen, an Upper House, styled the Senate, and the House of Commons. In them, collectively, is vested the Legislative Power, with exclusive jurisdiction over such matters as “the public debt and property, trade and commerce, raising money on the credit of the Dominion by loan or taxation, the postal service, militia, fisheries, navigation, banks, currency, coinage, bankruptcy, marriage and divorce, criminal law, public works, and—in common with the local legislatures—over agriculture and immigration.” The general government is the custodian of the moneys derived from customs’ duties and excise throughout the Dominion, which form a Consolidated Revenue Fund, and from which is disbursed the expenses of the public service, interest on the public debt and other charges, together with the subsidies paid to the several Local Governments. The Governor-General’s advisers, the Ministry—known also as the Dominion Cabinet, the Administration, the Privy Council for Canada, or, individually, as Ministers of the Crown or of State—consist generally of thirteen members, each of whom, with the exception of the President of the Council, has charge of some one of the Departments into which the work of carrying on the Government is divided. Each of these Ministers must be a member either of the Senate or of the Commons, and so answerable to Parliament and the country for his share in the administration of public affairs. The Senate—the members of which are appointed by the Crown for life, on the advice of the Privy Council, through the Governor-General—consists at present (1886) of seventy-seven (77) members, apportioned as follows: Ontario 24, Quebec 24, Nova Scotia 10, New Brunswick 10, Prince Edward Island 4, British Columbia 3, and Manitoba 2. The Speaker of the Senate is appointed by the Governor-General. The House of Commons—the members of which need no property qualification, and are not necessarily residents of their constituency or province, though they must be British subjects—consists (1886) of two hundred and eleven (211) members, apportioned as follows: Ontario 92, Quebec 65, Nova Scotia 21, New Brunswick 16, Prince Edward Island 6, British Columbia 6, and Manitoba 5. Sixty-five is the fixed number for Quebec (the Confederation Act permitting of no additions); and each province, after the decennial census, is entitled to a representation in Parliament which shall bear the same ratio to its own population as the number sixty-five bears to the population of the Province of Quebec. The House of Commons is elected for five years, subject to dissolution at any time by the Governor-General. With the Commons alone can money-bills originate, and they must first be recommended by a message from the Governor-General. To each province a Lieutenant-Governor is appointed, who holds office for a term of five years. Each province has also a Legislature, composed of one or more branches. Three provinces—Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia—have each one Legislative Assembly: all the others have chosen to add to their legislative machinery a second Chamber, known as the Legislative Council. Local Legislatures are elected for a period of four years; and, as at Ottawa, there is a Ministry or Government, with departments presided over by members of the Provincial Executive. In Ontario, the Executive Council consists at present of six members, the Attorney-General, the Minister of Education, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, the Commissioner of Public Works, the Provincial Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Provincial Secretary and Registrar. The Local Legislatures have power to levy direct taxes for provincial purposes; borrow money on the credit of the Province; organize and amend Municipal Institutions; define civil and property rights; legislate upon the administration of justice; establish Reformatories, Public Prisons, Asylums, etc.; undertake local works, or charter companies for their construction within the Province; and make laws with regard to, and administer the machinery of, Education. Both Dominion and Provincial Parliaments must meet annually. The members of the House of Commons, and of most of the Local Legislatures, are elected by Ballot. The electors must be male adults, also British subjects by birth or naturalization, and possess a property or income qualification (except in Prince Edward Island for the Local Legislature). For electoral purposes the country is divided into districts, called Constituencies, each of which, in the great majority of instances, elects one member. The electors practically govern the country, for they choose the members of the House of Commons and the Local Legislatures; and these members by their votes in Parliament maintain in office or overthrow the Ministers of the Crown. Thus Canada, like the British Islands, is in the enjoyment of Responsible Government—the meaning of which is that the Government of the day is responsible to the people through the members of Parliament they elect to carry out their wishes.

2. Judicial System.—The Executive authority in Canada is responsible, not only for the character of the laws of the country, but also for their correct interpretation and proper enforcement. These latter duties are entrusted to the Judiciary of the Dominion, sitting in the established Courts of Law, and to a body of officers of justice, called Magistrates, who sit in the minor Courts. The Federal Executive, through the Governor-General in Council, appoints all the Judges of the Superior, District, and County Courts; and their salaries form a permanent charge on the civil list of the Dominion. In no essential respect, however, are they dependent on the mere will of the Executive; nor is their retention in office subject to the will of the people. They hold their positions during good behaviour, and can be removed only by petition of both Houses of Parliament. Their tenure of office is thus assured; and in this respect the principle is allied to that in England, but unlike that in vogue in many of the States of the neighbouring Republic. While the Dominion Government is entrusted with the appointment of Judges, the Local Governments are charged with the Administration of the laws in the various Provinces. Hence, many of the officers required to carry out the will of the Courts, such as Sheriffs, are appointed by the Local Executive: so, too, are Magistrates or Justices of the Peace. To the Local Legislatures is given the creation and organization of the various Courts in the different Provinces, with the exception of such Courts as deal with matters affecting the Dominion as a whole. Such a Court is the Supreme Court of Canada, to which, in cases of grave difficulty, matters in dispute may be referred, but the final Court of Appeal is the British Privy Council. To either or both of these tribunals controverted cases may be referred, not only by private individuals, but by those acting for the Provinces, in cases of dispute between each other, or between a Province and the Dominion.

3. Municipal System.—We have seen that the Municipal System of local government in cities, towns, villages, etc., was established in 1841, and that municipal corporations had conferred upon them the power to levy taxes for local improvements, as well as to provide machinery and pay the cost of local administration. These municipal bodies are incorporated by the Provincial Legislatures, and are empowered by them to make certain enactments, termed By-laws, for the management of their local affairs. Villages entitled to incorporation must have a population of at least 750 inhabitants. Towns must have 2000, and cities 10,000 inhabitants. Rural communities have their affairs managed by Township and County Councils. The administrative machinery of these municipal corporations is minutely set out in Acts relating to Municipal Institutions passed by the various Local Assemblies. In Ontario, these Acts provide for the making and keeping in repair of public highways, and for regulating the driving thereon; for the maintenance of a local police; for aiding schools, agricultural societies, mechanics’ institutes, charitable institutions, factories, and manufacturing establishments; and for the performance of other specified duties. They are empowered to impose fines for a breach of the by-laws, and to commit to prison for disturbance of the peace or other infractions of the law. These bodies form the local administration of their municipality for the year for which they are elected; and their members must possess certain property qualifications. They are styled Aldermen or Councillors, and have a presiding officer, who is Mayor, Warden, or Reeve, according to the scope and character of the corporation. The election of municipal officers takes place by ballot, and the electors must have a property qualification. The right to vote for these officers is much the same as that for members of Parliament; but unmarried women and widows possessing the necessary property qualification can vote for Municipal Officers and School Trustees.

4. School System.—Under the Confederation Act, each Province was given the right to manage its own educational affairs, and to make its own laws governing Education, in so far as they shall not prejudicially affect any right or privilege by law enjoyed by denominational bodies at the time of the Union. Previous to the passing of this Act, the municipalities of the Province of Ontario were divided for the purposes of education into School Sections, whose affairs were managed by School Boards. This system has since been maintained. Up to the year 1876, these bodies were governed, under the Legislature, by a Department of Education, with a Chief Superintendent as its executive head, aided by a Council of Public Instruction. In that year the office of Minister of Education for Ontario was created, and the duties of the Council were assumed by that member of the provincial administration, and his department was made immediately responsible to the Legislature. To this department is entrusted the management of the Public, High, and Normal Schools, and the Collegiate Institutes of the Province; and the Minister is responsible for the apportionment of the Legislative grant to the schools, for their inspection and efficient maintenance, for the preparing of the programme of studies, for the regulation of the text-books in use, and for the carrying out of the School Law. School Boards have the power to levy an annual rate for the maintenance of the schools in the cities, towns, and school sections throughout the Province; and properly qualified inspectors are appointed to inspect the Public and High Schools in the counties, towns, and cities. The cost of supporting both High and Public Schools is borne partly by the municipality or school section and partly by the Local Government. In Ontario and Quebec there are Separate School systems, by means of which Roman Catholics and Protestants can educate their children in their own schools, and with the proceeds of their own taxes, aided by a Government grant. The higher education of the community is provided for by denominational universities and the University of Toronto, the latter being almost wholly supported by a land endowment.

[1. Explain the following terms: Federal Union, Legislative Union, Constitution, Cabinet, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Functions of the Cabinet.

2. What proofs does our form of Government afford of Canada’s being a British colony?

3. Describe the elements that compose the Dominion Parliament.

4. In what respects do the Legislatures of the Provinces of the Dominion differ from one another?

5. In what respects does the Dominion Parliament differ from the Ontario Legislature? From the British Parliament?

6. Explain how members of the Dominion Parliament and Local Legislatures are elected.

7. Explain: County Council, Reeve, Trustee, By-law, Minister of the Crown.

8. Show that Canada is governed by “the people.”]


Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

Some illustrations were moved to facilitate page layout.

Chapter III has no Examination Questions included and no editions have been identified which include questions for this Chapter.


[The end of Public School History of England and Canada by Graeme Mercer Adam and William John Robertson]