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the Connt of Chalons, sent him a polite challenge to come
with his knights and hold a fair tournament with the Count
and ku knights, and make a day of it with sword and lauce.
It was represented to the King that the Count of Chalons was
not to be trusted, and that, instead of a holiday fight for mere
show and in good humor, he secretly meant a real battle, in
which the English should be defeated by superior force.

The King, however, nothing aiVaid, went to the appointed
place on the appointed day with a thousand followers. When
the Count came with two thousand and attacked the English
in earnest, the English rushed at them with such valor that
the Count's men and the Count's horses soon began to be
tambled down all over the field. The Count himself seized
the King round the neck, but the King tumbled him out of
Mb saddle in retuin for the compliment, and, jumping from
his own horse, and standing over him, beat away at his iron
armor like a blacksmith hammering on his anvil. Even when
the Count owned himself defeated and offered his sword, the
King would not do him the honor to take it, but made him
yield it up to a common soldier. There had been such fury
shown in this fight, that it was afterwards called the little
Battle of Chalons.

The English were very well disposed to be proud of their
King after these adventures ; so, when he landed at Dover in
the year one thousand two hundred and seventy-four (being
then thirty-sis years oW) , and went on to Westminster, whwe
he and his good Queen were crowned with great magnificence,
s^endid rejoicings took place. For tlie coronation-feast
there were provided, among other eatables, four hundred
oxen, four hundred sheep, four hundred and fift}' pigs, eigh-
^n wild boars, three hundred fiitches of bacon, and twenty
tlnmsand fowls. The fountains and conduits in the street
flowed witli red and white wine instead of water ; the rich
citizens hung silks and cloths of the brightest colors out of
tittir windows, to increase the beauty of the show, and threw



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152 A CHILD'S HISTORY OP ENGLAND.

out gold and silver by whole haodf^ls to make scrambles for
the crowd. In short, there was sueh eating and <Mnkuig,
such music and capering, such a ringing of bells and tossing
of caps, such a shouting, and singing, and reyeliing, as the
narrow overhanging streets of old London City had not wit^
nessed for many a long day. All the people were merry-—
except the poor Jews — who, trembling within their houses^
and scarcely daring to peep out, began to foresee that they
would have to find the money for this joviality sooaer or
later.

To dismiss this sad subject of the Jews for the preseoty I
am sorry to add thi^ in this reign they were most nn-
meroifully pillaged. They were hanged in great numbers,
on accusations of having clipped the King's com— which all
kinds of people had done. They were heavily taxed ; they
were disgracefully badged; they were, on one day, thkteen
}'ears after the coronation, taken up with their wives and
children and thrown into beastly prisons, until tbey purchased
their release by paying to the King twelve thousand pounds.
Finally, every kind of property belonging to them was s^sed
by the King, except so little as would deftny the charge of
their taking themselves away into foreign countries. Many
years elapsed before the hope of gain induced any of their
race to return to England, where they had been treated so
heaillesdy and had suffered so much.

If King Edward the First had been as bad a king to Chris-
tians as he was to Jews, he wonki have been badinfdeed.
But he was, in general, a wise and great monareh, under
wliom the coimtr}^ much impix>ved. He had no loi'o for the
Great Charter — few Kings had, through many many years
— but he had high qualities. The first bold object which he
conceived wlien he came home, was, to unite upder one Sover-
eign England, Scotland, and Wales ; the two last of which
countries had each a little king of its own, about whom the
peoi)le were always quarrelling and fighting, and makuig a
prodigious disturbance — a great deal more than he was



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EDWARD THE FIRKT, 153

worfii. In the eouroe of King EdwMd's reign he ^ras en-
gi^ied, besides, in a war wkh France. To make Ifaese quar-
rels dearer, we will separate their histoiies and take tliem
thus. Wales, fiist. France, seconds Scodand, thuxL

Llewellyn was the Prince of Wales* He had been on the
side of the Barons in the reign of the stupid old King, but had
afterwards sworn allegiance to him. When King Edward
came to the throne, Llewellyn was required to swear alle*
giance to him also ; which he refused to do. The King, being
crowned and in his own dominions, three times more required
Llewellyn to come and do homage; and three times more
Llewell^'n said he would rather not. He was going to be
■larrM to Eleahok de M onttort, a yonng lady of the family
nentioned in the last reign ; and it chanced tliat this ixmng
lady, coming fVx>ra France with ber youngest brother, Embaic,
was taken by an English ship, and was ordered by the Eng-
Ksh King to be detained. Uix>n this, the quarrel came to a
bead. The King went, with his fleet, to the coast of Walea,
where, so encompassing Llewellyn tliat he could only take
reftige in the bleak mountain region of Snowdon in which no
pr<y?isk>ns could reach him^ lie was soon starred into an apol-
ogy, an^ into a treaty of peace, and into paying the expenses
of the war. The King, however, forgave him some <rf the
Hardest conditioBS of the treaty, and consented to his mar-
riage. And he now thought he had reduced Wales to
obedience.

But, the Welsh, although they were naturally a gentle^
qutet, pleasant peo^ who liked to receive strangers in their
cottages among the mountains, and to set before them with
free hospitality whatever they had to eat and drink, and to
plaj to them on their harps, and sing Uieir nati>'e ballads to
^lem, were a people of great spirit when their blood was np.
Englishmen, after this affair, began to be insolent in Wales,
and to assume ike air of masters ; and the Welsh pride could
not blear it. Moreover, they bdieved in that imlucky old



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154 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

Merlin, some of whose tinlacky old prophecies somebody al-
way9 seemed doomed to remember when there was a diaooe
of its doing harm ; and just at this time some blind old gen-
tleman with a harp, and a long white beard, who was an ex-
cellent person, but had become of an unknown age and tedious,
burst out with a declaration that Merlia had predicted that
when English money had become round, a Prince of Wales
would be cix)wned in London. Now, King Edward had
recently forbidden the English penny to be cut into halves
and quarters for half^nce and farthings, and had actaallj in-
troduced a round coin ; therefore, the Welsh people said this
was the time Merlin meant, and rose accordingly.

King Edward had bought over Prince David, Llewellyn's
brother, by heaping favors upon him ; but he was the first to
revolt, being perhaps troubled in his conscience. Oae stormy
night, he surprised tlie Castle of Hawarden, in possession of
which an English nobleman had been left; killed the whole
garrison, and carried off the nobleman a prisoner to Snowdon.
Upon this, the Welsh people rose like one man. King Ed-
ward, with his army, marching from Worcester to the Menai
Strait, crossed it — near to where the wonderftd tubular iron
bridge now, in days so different, makes a passage for railway
trains — by a bridge of boats that enabled forty men to march
abreast. He subdued the Island of Anglesea, and sent his
men forward to observe the enemy. The sudden appearance
of the Welsh created a panic among them, and they fell bade
to the bridge. The tide had in the meantime risen and sepa-
rated the boats ; the Welsh pursuing them, they were driven
into the sea, and there they sank, in their heavy iron armor,
by thousands. After this victory Llewellyn, helped by tlie
severe winter-weather of Wales, gained another battle : boi
the King ordering a portion of his English army to advance
through South Wales, and catch him between two foes, and
Llewell^m bravely turning to meet this new enemy, he was
surpiised and killed — very meanl}', for he was unarmed and
defenceless. His head was struck off and sent to London,



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EDWARD THE FIRST. 155

where it was fixed up on the Tower, encircled with a wpeath,
some say of ivy, some say of willow, some sa}* of silver, to
make it look like a ghastly coin in ridicule of the prediction.

David, however, still held out for six months, though ea-
geiiy sought after by the King, and hunted by his ownr coun-
tinmen. One of them finally betra^^ed him witli his wife and
children. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quar-
tered ; and from that time this became the established pun-
ishment of Traitors in England — a punishment wholly without
excuse, as being revolting, vile, and cruel, alter its object is
dead : and which has no sense in it, as its only real degrada-
tioQ (and that nothing can blot out) is to the countr}' that
permits on any consideration such abominable barbarity.

Wales was now subdued. The Queen giving birth to a
young prince in the Castle of Carnarvon, the King showed
him to the Welsh people as their countryman, and called him
Prince of Wales ; a title that has ever since been borne b}'
the heir-apparent to the English Throne — which that little
Prince soon became, by the death of his elder brother. The
Kii^ did better things for the Welsh than that, by improving
their laws and encouraging their trade. Disturbances still
took place,, chiefly occasioned by the avaiice and pride of the
Knglish Lords, on whom Welsh lands and castles had been
bestowed : but they were subdued, and the countr}' never rose
again. There is a legend that to prevent the people (Vom
lieing incited to rebellion by the songs of their bards and
harpers, Edward had them all put to death. Some of them
may hare fallen among other men who held out i^ainst the
King ; but this general slaughter is, I think, a fancy of the
harpers themselves, who, I dare say, made a song about it
many years afterwards, and sang it by the Welsh fii'esides
notil it came to be believed.

The foreign war of the reign of Edward the First arose in
this way. The ci-ews of two vessels, one a Nonnan ship, and
tlie other an English ship, happened to go to the same place



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156 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

in tiieir boats to fill their casks with treBh water. Being
rough angr}^ fellows, the}* began to quarrel, and tlien to fight
— the English with their fists ; the Normans with their knives
-^ and, in the fight, a Norman was Idlled. The Norman crew,
instead of revenging themselves o^^on those English sailors
with whom they had quarrelled (who were too strong for
them, I suspect), took to their ship again in a great rage,
attacked the first English ship they met, laid hold of an unof-
fending merchant who happened to be cm board, and brutallj*
hanged him in the rigging of their own vessel with a dog at
his feet. This so enraged the English sailors that there was
no resti*aining them ; and whenever, and wherever, English
sailors met Norman sailors, they fell upon each other tooth
and nail. The Irish and Dutch sailors took part with the
English; the French and Genoese sailors helped the Nor-
mans ; and thus the greater part of the marinei*s sailing over
the sea became, in their way, as violent and raging as the sea
itself when it is disturbed.

Ring Edward's fame had been so high abroad that he had
been chosen to decide a difference between Franoe and anodier
foreign power, and had lived upon the Continent three years.
At first, neither he nor tlie Fi*enoh King Philip (the good
Louis had been dead some time) interfered in these quarrels ;
but when a fleet of eighty English ships engaged and utterly
defeated a Norman fleet of two hundred « in a pitched battle
fought round a ship at anchor, in which no quarter was given,
the matter became too serious to be passed over. King Ed-
ward, as Duke of Guienne, was summoned to present himself
l>efore tlie King of France, at Paris, and answer for the dam-
age done b}' his saibr subjects. At first, he s«at the Bishop
of London as his representative, and then his brother Edmckd,
who was married to the French Queen's mother. 1 am aSrsad
Edmund was an easy man, and aliowetl himself to be talked
over by his charming relations, the French court ladies ; at
all events, he was induced to give up his brother's thikedom
for forty days — as a n^ere foruL, the French King said, to



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EDWARD THE FIRST. 157

satisfy- his honor — and he was so very much astonished, when
the time was out, to find that the French King had no idea of
giving it up again, that I should not wonder if it hastened
his death ; which soon took place.

King Edward was a King to win his foreign dukedom back
again, if it could be won by ^nergj' and valor. He raised a
laige army, reno^inced his allegiance as Duke of Gnienne, and
crossed the sea to carry war into France. Before any im-
portant battle was fought, however, a truce was agi-eed ujwn
for two years ; and in the course of that time, the Pope ef-
fected a reconciliation. King Edward, who was now a wid-
ower, having lost his affectionate and good wife, Eleanor;
married the French King's sister, Margaret, and the Prince
of Wales was contracted to the French King's daughter,

ISABfXLA.

Out of bad things good things sometimes arise. Out of
this hanging of the innocent merchant, and the bloodshed and
strife it caused, there came ix) be established one of the
greatest powers that the English people now possess. The
preparations for the war being very expensive, and King Ed-
ward greatly wanting money, and being veiy^ arbitrary in his
ways of raising it, some of the Barons began firmly to opi>ose
him. Two of them, in particular, Humphrey Bohun, Earl
of Hereford, and Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, were so
stout against him that they maintained he had no right to
command tbem to head his forces in Guienne, and fiatl}- re-
fused to go there. '' By Heaven, Sir Earl," said the King to
the Earl of Hereford, in a great passion, " 30U shall either go
or be banged I " '' By Heaven, Sir King," replied the Earl,
" 1 will neither go nor yet will I be hanged ! " and both he
and the other Earl sturdily left tiie court, attended b}- many
Lords. The King tined every means of raising money.
He taxed the clei^, in spite of all the FoY>e said to the con-
trary ; and when the}' refused to pay, reduced them to sub-
mission, bj' saving Very well, then they had no claim upon
the government for protection, and any man might plunder



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158 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

them who would — which a good many men were verj* ready
to do, and very readily did, and which the clergy found too
losing a game to be played at long. He seized all the wool
and leather in the hands of the merdiants, promising to pay
for it some fine day ; and he set a tax upon the exportation
of wool, which was so unpopular among the traders that it
was called '' The evil toll." But all would not do. The
Barons, led bj' those two great Earls, declared an}^ taxes im-
l>osed without the consent of Parliament, unlawful ; and the
Parliament refused to impose taxes, until the King should
c*onfirm afresh the two Great Charters, and should solemnly
declare in writing, that there wivs no power in the country to
raise money from the people, evermore, but the power of Par-
liament representing all ranks of the people. The King was
veiy unwilling to diminish his own power by allowii^ this
great privilege in the Parliament ; but there was no help for
it, and he at last complied. We shall come to another King
by-and-by, who might have saved his head from rolling off, if
he had profited by this example.

The people gained other benefits in Parliament iVom the
good sense and wisdom of this King. Many of the laws were
much improved ; provision was made for the greater safety of
ti*avellei^, and the ai)prohension of thieves and murderers;
the priests wei*e prevented from holding too much land, and so
becoming top powerftil ; and Justices of the Peace were first
appointed (though not at fii*st under that name) in various
parts of the country.

And now we come to Scotland, which was the great and
lasting trouble of the reign of King Edward tiie First.

About thiiteen years after King Edward's coronation, Alex-
ander the Third, tlie King of Scotland, died of a fall from his
horse. Ue had been married to Margaret, King Edwaitl's
sister. All their <*iuldrcn being dea<l, the Scottish crown
became the right of a joung Princess only eight years old,
the daughter of Eaic, King of Norway, who had married a



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EDWARD THE flEST. 159

daoghter of the deceased sovereign. King Edward proposed,
that the Maiden of Norway, as this Pi'inoess was called,
should be engaged to be married to his eldest son ; but, un-
fbrtunately, as she was coming over to England she fell sick,
and landing on one of the Orkney Islands, died there. A
great commotion immediately began in Scotland, where as
many as thirteen noisy claimants to the vacant throne started
up and made a general confbsion.

King Edward being much renowned fbr his sagacity and
Jostlce, it seems to have been agreed to refer the dispute to
him. He accepted the trust, and went with an army to the
Border-land where England and Scotland joined. There, he
ealled upon the Scottish gentlemen to meet him at the Castle
of Norham, on the English side of the river Tweed ; and to
that Castle they came. But, before he would take any step
in the business, he required those Scottish gentlemen, one
and all, to do homage to him as their superior Lord ; and
when they hesitated, he said ^^ By holy Edward, whose cix>wii
I weiur, I will have . my rights, or I will die in maintaining
them I " The Scottish gentlemen, who had not expected this,
were (fisconeerted, and asked for three weeks to think about
it

At the end ot the three weeks, another meeting took place,
on a green plain on the Scottish side of the river. Of all the
eompetltors for the Scottish thirone, there were only two who
had any real claim, in right of their bmt kindred to the Royal
family. These were Johk Baliol and Bobbkt Bbucb ; and
the right was, I have no doubt, on the side of John Baliol.
At this particular meeting John BaUol was not present, but
Robert Bruce was; and on Robert Bruce being formally
asked whether he acknowledged the King of England for his
superior lord, he answered, plainly and distinctly. Yes, he did.
Next day, John BaUol appeared, and said the same. This
point settied» some aivangements were made for inquiring
into their titles.

The iaqatry occupied a pretty long tune — nM>re than a



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160 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

year. While it was going on, King Edward took the oppor*
tunity of making a journey through Scotland^ and calling upon
the Scottish people of all degrees to acknowledge themselves
his vassals, or be imprisoned until they did. In the mean*
while, Commissioners were appointed to oonduct the inquir}*,
a Parliament was held at Berwick about it, the two claimants
were heard at full length, and thei'e was a vast amount of
talking. At last, in the great hall of the Castle of Berwick,
the King gave judgment in favor of John Baliol : who, con-
senting to receive his crown by the King of England's favor
and permission, was crowned at Scone, in an old stone chair
which had been used fbr ages in the abbey there, at the cor*
onations of Scottish Kings. Then, King Edward caused the
great seal of Scotland, used since the late King's death, to
be broken in four pieces, and placed in the English Treasury;
and considered that he now had Scotland (according to the
common saying) under his thumb.

Scotland had a strong will of its own yet, however. Kmg
Edward, determined that the Scottish King should not forget
he was his vassal, summoned him repeatedly to come and
defend himself and his Judges before the English Parliament
when appeals from the decisions of Scottish courts of justice
were being heard. At length, John Baliol, who had no great
heart of his own, had so madi heart put into him by the brave
spirit of the Scottish people, who took this as a national insult,
that he refhsed to come any more. Thereupon, the King
further required him to help him in his war abroad (which
was then in prepress), and to give up, as security for his
good behavior in future, the three strong Scottish Castles of
Jedburgh, Roxborgh, and Berwick. Nothing of this being
done ; on the contrary, the Scottish people concealing their
King among their mountains in the Highlands and showing a
determination to resist ; Edward marched to Berwick with an
army of thirty thousand foot, and four thousand horse ; took
the Castle, and slew its whole garrison, and the inbalntants
of the town as well — men, women, and children. Lobo



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EDWARD THE FIRST. 161

Warrc5ne, Earl of Snrrey, then went on to tbe Castle of
Dunbar, before which a battle was fought, and the whole
Scottish army defeated with great slaughter. The victorj
being complete, the Earl of Surrey was left as Guardian of
Scotland ; the principal offices in that kingdom were given to
Englishmen ; the more powerful Soottish Nobles were obliged
to come and live in England ; the Scottish crown and sceptre
were brought away ; and even the old stone chsfir was carried
off and placed in Westminster Abbey, where you may see it
now. Baliol had tlie Tower of London lent him for a resi-
dence, with permission to range about within a circle of twenty
miles. Three yeeun aflerwiaxls he was allowed to go to
Normandy, where he had estates, and where he passed the
remaining six years of his life 5 far more happily, T dare say,
than he had lived for a long while in angrj* Scotland.

Now, there was, in the West of Scotland, a gentleman of
small fortune, named William Wallace, the second son of
a Scottish knight. He was a man of great size and great
strength ; be was very brave and daring ; when he spoke to
a body of his countrymen, he could ronse them in a wonderfhl
manner by the power of his burning words ; he loved Scotland
dearly, and he hated En^and with his utmost might. The
domineering conduct of the English who now held the places
of trust in Scotland nmde them as intolerable to the proud
Scottish people as they had been, under similar circumstances,
to the Welsh ; and no man in all Scotland regarded them
with so nrach smothered rage as William Wallace. One day,
an Englishman in office, little knowing what he was, affronted
Atm. Wallace instantly stnick him dead, and taking refuge
among the rocks and hills, and tliere joining with his country-
man, Sir William Douglas, who was also in arms against
King Edward, became the most i-esolute and undaunted
champion of a people struggling for their independence that
ever lived npon the earth.

The English Guardian of the Kingdom fled beA>re him,
and, thus encouraged, the Scottish people revolted every-

u



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162 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

where, and fell upon die fingiish withoat mercy. The Earl
of Surrey, by the King's oommands, raised all the power of
the Border-countiee, and two English armies poured into
Scotland. Only one Chief, in the face of those armies, stood
by Wallace, who, with a force of forty thousand men, awaited
tlie invaders at a place on the nv-er Forth, within two miles of
Stirling. Across the river there was only one poor wooden
bridge, called the briilge of Kildean — so narrow, that but
two men could cross it abreast. With hb eyes upon this
bridge, Wallace posted the greater part of his men among
some rising grounds, and waited calmly. When the English
army came up on the opposite bank of the river, messengers
were sent forward to offer terms. Wallaoe sent them baok
with a defiance, in the name of the freedom of SooUand*
Some of the olficers of the Earl of Surrey in command of
the English, with their eyes also on the bridge, adviseil him
to be discreet and not hasty. He, however, urged to imme*
diate battle by some other officers, and particularly by Ores-
siNGHAM, King Edward's treasurer, and a rash man, gave the
word of command to advance. One thousand English crossed



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