| 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 |
HENRY VII.—THE STORY OF A MAKE-BELIEVE PRINCE
 WITH Henry Tudor a new race of kings began to reign in
For more than three hundred years the kings of England had
been Plantagenets. Henry II. was the first of the
Plantagenets, and he took his name from Geoffrey of Anjou
who used to wear a piece of planta genista in his cap. With
Richard III. the last of the Platagenets died, for Henry
VII., though a Plantagenet on his mother's side, was a Tudor
on his father's side, and it was from his family that Henry
took his name.
The Tudors were Welsh and claimed to be descended from the
ancient British princes who, you remember, were driven into
Wales when the Saxons took possession of England.
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last of the Wars of the
Roses. Henry Tudor, who was the Red Rose Prince, married
Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV. and sister of the
little princes who were murdered in the Tower. She was the
White Rose Princess, but by marrying Henry she became the
Red Rose Queen, and the differences between the House of
Lancaster and the House of York, between the Red Rose and
the White, ought to have been quite forgotten.
But Henry himself could not entirely forget these quarrels
which had been so bitter. There were many
 people in England
who still belonged to the White Rose party. Although they
had hated Richard they were not pleased to see a Red Rose
king upon the throne. So Henry VII. was hardly crowned
before rebellions against him began.
Soon after Henry VII. was crowned, a
handsome boy and a
priest landed in Dublin.
This boy called himself the Earl of Warwick.
He was, he said, the son of that
Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV., who was murdered in
the Tower by being drowned in a cask of wine. The priest, he
said, was his tutor. Ever since the death of his father, the
Earl of Warwick had been kept a prisoner. But now, he said,
he had escaped in some wonderful manner.
The simple Irish people believed this story. They knew
nothing of Henry and had no reason for either hating or
loving him. But they did love the House of York, for the
Earl of Warwick's grandfather had at one time governed
Ireland in the name of the King, and, having governed well,
the people remembered and loved him.
So now they welcomed this young prince with great joy.
Edward, Earl of Warwick, as he called himself, was gay and
young and handsome, and he gained the love of the Irish so
much that they resolved to crown him King.
This was done with great rejoicing in Dublin. But they had
no crown, so the priest took the golden crown from the
statue of the Virgin Mary which was in the church, and put
it upon the boy's head. Then, wearing this crown and dressed
in beautiful robes, the new King was carried through the
streets on the shoulders of a great strong Irish chieftain,
while the people shouted, "Long live King Edward VI.!"
Having been crowned in Ireland,
"Edward VI." thought
 he would next conquer England. So he sailed across the Irish
Sea and landed in England with a small army of wild Irishmen
Meanwhile Henry VII. had heard of these doings in Ireland
and had not been idle. He brought the real Earl of Warwick
out of the Tower where he had been kept prisoner ever since
he had been quite a tiny boy. Dressed in fine clothes and
riding upon a splendid horse, the real earl was slowly led
through the streets of London. From the Tower to St. Paul's
and back again by another way, he was led so that all the
people might see him.
The young earl had spent all his life in prison. It must
have been a wonderful thing for him to come out into the
open streets, to see the blue sky and the houses and the
trees, the great procession of soldiers and knights in
glittering armour and gorgeous clothes, and the people, men,
women, and children, crowding in the streets, all eager to
see him. And, having been led out, having seen for once all
the life and stir of the great city, the poor young prince
was taken back again to his dull, quiet prison, while the
King marched with his army to fight the pretended earl.
The two armies met at a place called Stoke. Very few English
had joined the pretender, for they were quite sure that the
earl whom they had seen riding through the streets of London
was the real earl and that this one was only a make-believe.
The pretender's soldiers were soon defeated, for most of
them were wild Irishmen badly armed; and wearing no armour,
they were no match for Henry's well-armed and well-trained
The pretender was taken prisoner, and so was the priest who
was with him. They confessed that the prince was no prince
at all, but a boy called Lambert Simnel,
 the son of a baker.
The priest who was a Yorkist, or White Rose man, hated
Henry, and finding that the boy Lambert was clever as well
as handsome, he taught him how to behave as a prince ought.
He told him stories of the Duke of Clarence and of Richard
III. so that he might pretend to be what he was not.
Henry did not kill Lambert Simnel as many kings who reigned
before him would have done. Instead he gave him a
punishment, which, had Lambert indeed been a prince, would
have been a very dreadful one. He was sent into the King's
kitchen to be a scullery boy and to help the cooks.
This boy, who had worn a crown and royal robes, who had been
carried through the streets shoulder high while the people
cheered him as their King, was a few days later turned into
a kitchen drudge, to be ordered about by the cooks and set
to do the meanest kinds of work.
But Lambert Simnel behaved himself so well that the King
soon took him out of the kitchen and made him a kind of
page. He had then to look after the King's falcons.
All great people kept falcons in those days. They were used
for hunting, and were trained to fly up in the air to catch
and kill other birds.
A great deal of time and money was spent on falcons. They
had hoods of velvet and jewels, and gold and silver chains.
Lambert must have found his new work much more pleasant than
helping the cooks in the hot kitchens.
The priest who had taught Lambert Simnel was allowed to go
free, but some of the nobles who had helped him were
beheaded, and others were made to pay large sums of money.
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