| Our Island Story|
|by H. E. Marshall|
|A child's history of England from earliest legendary times delightfully retold. Beginning with the stories of Albion and Brutus, it relates all the interesting legends and hero tales in which the history of England abounds through the end of the reign of Queen Victoria. Ages 9-12 |
MARY I.—HOW THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH BECAME A PRISONER
 QUEEN MARY thought that her sister, the Princess Elizabeth,
had a part in the plot to put her from the throne, so, as
soon as it began, she sent some gentlemen with soldiers to
take her prisoner.
These gentlemen arrived late in the evening at the house
where the Princess was living.
"Tell the Princess," they said to her lady-in-waiting who
met them, "that we must see her at once. We come from court
with a message from the Queen."
The Princess was ill and in bed, but the lady took the
message to her.
"Go back to the gentlemen," said the Princess, "say to them
that I welcome them, but as it is so late, I trust that they
will wait to speak with me until the morning."
"No, we must see the Princess at once," replied the
gentlemen when they received this answer, and without
waiting for more, they followed the lady into Princess
She was very much surprised, and angry too, when she saw
them. "Is there so much haste that you cannot wait until
morning?" she asked.
"We are sorry to see you so ill," replied the gentlemen,
somewhat ashamed of themselves.
 "And I am not glad to see you here at this time of
night," returned the Princess.
"There is no help for it," said the gentlemen. "We are sent
by the Queen, and her message is that you must come to her
"Certainly, I shall be very pleased to obey," replied
Elizabeth, "but you can see for yourselves that I am not
well enough to come at present."
"We are very sorry," replied the gentlemen, "but you must
come. Our orders are to bring you dead or alive."
This made the Princess very sad, for she now felt sure that
she had reason to be afraid of her sister, the Queen. She
tried very hard to make the gentlemen go away, but they
would not. At last, after a great deal of talking, she
agreed to go with them next morning.
When the time came Princess Elizabeth was so ill that she
fainted several times as she was being led out of the house.
All her servants, crying bitterly, gathered to say good-bye
to her. They loved their mistress very much, and they did
not know what was going to happen.
When Elizabeth arrived at court, she was not allowed to see
the Queen, but was shut up in her room, and kept a prisoner
there for a fortnight. Gentlemen of the court came and
talked to her, trying to make her confess that she had
helped in the rebellion against the Queen. But she said
always that she knew nothing of it, and had ever been true
to her sister. Then one day they told her that she was to be
taken to the Tower.
The Princess became very much afraid. She knew what a
dreadful place the Tower was—what fearful things happened
there, and how few people who once went in ever came out
alive. She begged and prayed not to be taken there.
 "I am true to the Queen," she said, "in thought, word and
deed. It is not right that she should shut me up in that sad
But the lords replied, "There is no help for it. The Queen
commands and you must obey."
So a boat was brought and the Princess was rowed down the
Thames to the Tower. It was a dreary morning. Sky and river
were grey, and the rain fell fast. As the boat went slowly
on, the Princess sat silent and sorrowful, deep in thought.
At last the boat stopped. The lords stepped out, and the
Princess, awakened from her sad thoughts, looked up. But
when she saw that the boat had stopped at the gate of the
Tower called the Traitors' Gate, she sat still.
"Lady, will you land?" said one of the lords.
"No," answered Elizabeth, "I am no traitor."
"Lady, it is raining," said another of the lords, as he
tried to put his cloak round her to shelter her. But the
Princess dashed it back with her hand. Then rising, she
stepped on shore, saying as she did so, "Here landeth, being
a prisoner, as true a subject as ever stood upon these
When the Princess reached the courtyard, she would go no
farther, but sat there upon a stone. Not all the entreaties
of the lords could move her. Through the cold and wet of the
dreary morning she sat in that grim courtyard.
"Lady, you will do well to come in out of the rain," said
the Governor of the Tower. "You are but uncomfortable
"Better to sit here than in a worse place," relied the
Princess, "for I know not where you will lead me."
Then one of her own servants, kneeling beside her, burst
 "Why do you weep for me?" said Elizabeth. "You should rather
comfort me and not weep." But she rose and went sadly into
the Tower. Then the doors were locked and barred. The
Princess was a prisoner at last.
A close prisoner Elizabeth was kept. Very few of her own
servants were allowed to be with her. But one of the
servants of the Tower had a little son about four years old.
He used to come to see the Princess and bring her flowers,
and they soon became great friends. But when Elizabeth's
enemies heard of this, they thought that she would try to
send messages to her friends by this little boy. So, one
day, they caught him and promised to give him apples and
figs if he would tell them what the Princess said to him,
and what messages she sent to her friends.
But although the boy was so young, he understood that these
men must be the enemies of the Princess, and he would not
tell them anything, if indeed he had anything to tell. They
talked for a long time, but could learn nothing from him.
"Please, my lord," said the little boy at last, "will you
now give me the apples and figs you promised?"
"No, indeed," replied the gentleman, "but you shall have a
whipping if you talk to the Princess any more."
"I shall bring my lady more flowers," replied the little boy
But his father was told that he must now allow his son to
run about the Tower any longer, and next day the Princess
missed her little friend. But presently she saw him peeping
through a hole in the door, and when he saw that no one was
near he called to her, "Lady, I can bring you no more
Then the Princess smiled sadly but said nothing. She
that unkind people had taken even this one little friend
The Princess lived in constant fear of her life. After a
time she was removed from the Tower, and was sent from
prison to prison. It was no wonder that one day, hearing a
milkmaid singing gayly, Elizabeth said she, too, would
rather be a milkmaid and free, than a great Princess and a
At last she was allowed to go to Hatfield, a house near St.
Albans, which now belongs to the Marquis of Salisbury. There,
carefully watched and guarded, she lived until Mary died.
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