| 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 |
EDWARD IV.—THE STORY OF THE KING-MAKER
 EDWARD IV. now felt quite sure of the throne, and he married
secretly a beautiful lady called Elizabeth Woodville. When
this marriage became known, the Earl of Warwick was very
angry, because he thought the King should have married some
one more great and powerful.
The Earl of Warwick himself was so great and powerful that
he was called the King-maker, and he had done much to make
Edward soon acted in many ways which displeased the earl,
and they quarrelled, and plots were formed to drive Edward
from the throne. Among the people who plotted against him
was the Duke of Clarence, King Edward's own brother.
At last the Earl of Warwick became so angry with Edward that
he took him prisoner, and shut him up in a castle called
Middleham. So there were two kings in England, both of them
The King-maker, having made and unmade the King, now ruled
the country himself for a year. He really had intended to
make the Duke of Clarence king, but he found that even he
was not powerful enough to do that.
In about a year's time Warwick set Edward free again and,
strange to say, they made up their quarrels, and were
friends once more.
 But in a very short time they again quarrelled; so badly this
time that the Earl of Warwick, who had fought so hard for
the White Rose of York, forsook it and joined the Red Rose
of Lancaster. He went to France, where Margaret and her son
were, and offered to help them to conquer England and placed
Henry again on the throne.
So one morning Edward awoke to hear the Red Rose war-cry,
and two friends, running into his room, begged him to fly.
"For," they said, "even in your own army we know not who is
true and who is false, many like Warwick having turned
Hardly waiting to dress, without money or armour, Edward
threw himself upon his horse and rode as fast as possible to
the coast. There he found some ships, and with a few friends
and two or three hundred faithful soldiers, he sailed over
They were very poor, had no money nor goods nor indeed
anything except the clothes they wore. Edward, who had one
day been King of England, Wales and Ireland, found himself
the next a homeless, penniless wanderer. And Warwick, in
little more than a week, had deposed the King whom he had
helped to set on the throne, and had place Henry VI. once
Henry was brought out of prison and dressed in beautiful
robes, and, riding upon a splendid horse, was led through
the town, while the people cheered and shouted, "God save
the King! Long live King Harry!" Did he remember that the
last time he rode through the same streets it had been as a
wretched prisoner, bound and disgraced by the very man who
now set him again on the throne? And did he remember that
the people, who now cheered, had then cursed and laughed at
Although Henry was once more on the throne, he
 could not
rule. He was like a wooden doll in the hands of a clever man
such as the Earl of Warwick, and it was the earl and the
Duke of Clarence who ruled.
Henry would have been far happier had he been left alone to
his books and prayers. He loved peace, yet he was made the
cause of war by the proud and powerful men and women around
Edward had been obliged to fly from the country penniless
and almost friendless, yet he did not despair. He persuaded
the Duke of Burgundy to help him, and soon returned to
England with and army.
No sooner had he landed than people began to flock to him.
By the time he reached Barnet, near London, he had a large
army. Many who had joined Warwick now forsook him and
returned to Edward, among them Edward's own brother, the
Duke of Clarence, who brought twelve thousand men with him.
There seemed to be no faith nor loyalty in those days. It
was hard to know who was friend and who was foe.
At Barnet, on Easter Day, 14th April 1471 A.D., another
terrible battle was fought. What made it more terrible was
that it was begun and ended in a thick mist. In the white
dimness, which wrapped both armies, it was difficult to know
the Red Roses from the White, and indeed at one time the Red
Roses fought against themselves. King Edward's men wore a
golden sun embroidered upon their coats. The Duke of
Oxford's men, who were fighting for King Henry, wore a
golden star. In the mist the Red Rose soldiers, mistaking
the star for the sun, attacked the Duke of Oxford's men,
thinking that they were King Edward's men, and killed many
From dawn to midday the battle raged. Then the Earl of
Warwick's army broke and fled, leaving the
 White Rose
victorious. The great King-maker was found dead upon the
field, and Edward IV. was once more King.
On the very day of this battle Queen Margaret and her son,
who was now about eighteen, landed in England. They had
hoped to find Warwick victorious, and Henry on the throne.
Instead they found Warwick dead, his army shattered, and
Edward on the throne.
But Margaret was as bold as ever. She marched through
England, gathering soldiers as she went, and at Tewkesbury
another great battle was fought. Here again the Red Rose was
utterly defeated, and Margaret and her son were taken
Prince Edward was led before King Edward. The King looked
fiercely at the young and handsome Prince. He hated him more
than he had ever hated his poor, weak, gentle father.
"How dare you come into my kingdom to stir up my people to
rebellion?" he asked.
"It is not your kingdom, but my father's," replied Prince
Edward proudly. "You are a traitor. I should sit where you
are. You should stand before me as a subject."
Then King Edward, pale with rage and hate, struck the boy in
the face with his steel-gloved hand. The Dukes of Clarence
and Gloucester, the King's brothers, dragged the Prince away
and stabbed him to death.
Queen Margaret was put in prison, and a few days later King
Henry died mysteriously in the Tower of London. Many people
thought that he was murdered by King Edward's brother,
Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
At last it seemed as if all Edward's enemies were either
dead or in prison, and that he might really rule in peace.
The Red Rose party was for the time utterly
 crushed; some of
the great nobles even were seen barefoot in rags, begging
for bread from door to door.
Edward never quite forgave his brother, the Duke of
Clarence, for having, at one time, sided with Warwick.
Clarence, too, was jealous of the Queen Elizabeth and her
relatives, many of whom had the chief posts at court, so he
quarrelled with them and with his brother the King.
At last, an old wizard prophesied that some one whose name
began with "G" would bring about the death of King Edward
and the ruin of his house. The Duke of Clarence was called
George, and King Edward made the prophecy an excuse for
shutting him up in the Tower. He never came out again.
It is supposed that he was murdered, some say by being
drowned in a cask of wine by the order of his brother, the
Duke of Gloucester.
Edward IV. died in 1483 A.D. He was brave, but cruel and
revengeful, handsome but wicked, caring little for the
happiness of his people, and his reign was dark with many
battles and murders. He had ruled for twenty-two years,
during twelve of which King Henry still lived.
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