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went on an expedition to Ireland, when he came back to England. Accompa nied by Archbishop Arundel, another exile, he landed July 4, 1399, with a few armed men, at a seaport on the Humber, where they were immediately joined by the influential northern family of Percy. Followers flocked to them until their number swelled to 60,000, while Edmund, Duke of York, uncle of the King, who was acting as Regent, also turned against his master.

A fortnight passed before Richard heard of what was going on. He was so perplexed that he remained still longer in Ireland, but his troops steadily deserted, and he was persuaded to leave his hiding-place by Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who turned him over to Henry of Lancaster. The King was brought to London, where, under compulsion, he resigned his crown, and the next day, September 30, was formally deposed by the Lords and Commons on the charge of misgovernment. When this was done, Henry of Lancaster claimed the crown, on the ground of being a descendant of Henry III., and the fact that he was already actual master of the realm. Archbishop Arundel conducted him to the throne, and the people who had swarmed into Westminster Hall greeted him with applause. Thus Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster and son of John of Gaunt, became King of England in 1399, as Henry IV. Richard had rebuilt Westminster Hall, and the first Parliament which met there did so to depose him. He was confined in Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire, where he died after Henry's accession. There is reason to believe that his death was due to violence or starvation, which might have been voluntary or forced upon him.

From the twelfth century to the latter part of the fourteenth, three written languages were used in England: Latin by the clergy and learned men, French among the aristocracy, and English among the common people. Old English, which one could hardly recognize in these days, speedily disappeared. The fad of using a foreign language died out during the reign of Edward III., and the English tongue was established in courts of law in 1362. You often hear the expression "King's English," which meant the form of the language which was used at court, in distinction from the various dialects used in the rural districts.

up for so many centuries,
Mention has been made
The best known of the
Geoffrey of Monmouth,
The thirteenth-century

The Old English Chronicles, which had been kept came to an end in 1154, the year of Stephen's death. of the book of travels written by Sir John Mandeville. historians were William, the monk of Malmesbury, and a Welsh monk who wrote the History of the Britons. writers include Matthew Paris, a monk of St. Albans, who wrote a good history of his own times. In addition, there were many romances, devotional works, and songs composed during the thirteenth century. The leading poets of the

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England-Canterbury Tales


age were Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gower, both of whom wrote in the new English of the court, which had become the standard national language. Chaucer's greatest poem is the unfinished "Canterbury Tales," which consisted of a series of stories, represented as told by a party of pilgrims, while on their way to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury.

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E are now to study one of the most absurd and inexcusably criminal episodes in the history of England. The solitary redeeming feature about it is that it affected the upper classes only, and the losses, deaths, and disasters fell upon them, where they ought to have fallen; for men who play the fool should suffer the consequences of their folly. The episode to which I refer is known as the "Wars of the Roses," and, in order to understand it, you must keep a number of historical facts in mind.

Now, you have just learned that Henry IV. of Bolingbroke was elected king in 1399. He was not the legal heir, because Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, was descended from an older branch of the family, and his claim therefore was superior to that of Henry, who, I repeat, was elected king, being chosen by a special Act of Parliament. Edmund Mortimer was a young child, and the people had had enough of boy kings, so they willingly assented to a setting aside of the regular succession, and the choice of a man as their ruler. When Henry IV. came to the throne, the wretched dethroned king, Richard, was pining in Pontefract Castle. Almost immediately the new monarch learned of a plot to release Richard and restore him to power. The conspiracy was readily crushed, and a month later Richard was found dead in his apartments. As I have said, there can be little doubt that he was put to death by order of Henry, who had his body brought to London and exposed to public view, in order that the people might not make any mistake in the matter.

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