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laws, but his cruelty and blackness of heart created an undercurrent of implacable enmity toward him. Inquiries, too, began to be heard as to what had become of the two princes, and whispers of their horrible fate passed from lip to lip. Richard reigned only two years, during which several revolts broke out, but they were speedily crushed, and the executioner took care that the leaders should never be able to head another uprising.

Before Richard became King he persuaded or compelled the widow of that Edward (son of Margaret the Queen) who was killed at Tewkesbury, to become his wife. He meant that his own son should marry Elizabeth, the eldest sister of the two murdered princes, thereby strengthening the succession of his family to the throne. But the son died, the King "disposed" of his own wife, and then determined to marry the Princess Elizabeth himself. He, the murderer of her two brothers!

But the princess was already affianced to Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who had been patiently waiting for years to strike a blow for the crown which he claimed by virtue of his illegitimate descent from the House of Lancaster. Convinced that his opportunity had come at last, he landed with six thousand men at Milford Haven, Wales, in 1485, and pushed on against King Richard.

It was said of the Plantagenet line that, however great their faults, there was not a coward among them, and the bravery of Richard III. cannot be questioned. He met Henry, August 22d, 1485, at Bosworth Field, in Leicestershire, where the decisive battle was fought between the rival and pestilent houses of Lancaster and York. Richard strove with a skill and desperation that would have won the day, but for the treachery of many of his followers. At first, his army was twice as numerous as Henry's; but its disaffection more than equalized the strength of the combatants. Nothing daunted by desertions, Richard plunged into the thickest of the fight, and, catching sight of Henry among a group of his knights, strove furiously to reach him. He hewed down the Lancastrian standard-bearer, fiercely unhorsed a knight, and struck viciously at Henry himself, but Sir William Stanley parried the blow, and the swarming foes struck Richard from his horse and killed him as he lay on the ground.

After the battle the crown of Richard was found under a hawthorn bush where it had rolled. Picking it up, stained with blood as it was, Lord Stanley set it on the head of Henry amid cries of "Long live King Henry!" So, for the only time in English history, a king was killed and a king was crowned on the field of battle. On the same woful night a horse was led up to the church of the Gray Friars at Leicester, with a sack tied across its back. In this was the naked body of the last of the Plantagenet line, King Richard III., slain in the thirty-second year of his age, after a brief reign of only two years.

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England-Introduction of Printing


During the ferocious Wars of the Roses, which had lasted thirty years, fourteen battles and innumerable skirmishes were fought, with losses almost beyond estimate; eighty princes of the blood and more than half the nobility of the kingdom fell, and all to gratify the intriguing ambition of a few.

It is an inexpressible relief to turn aside from this record of brutality and crime to another revolution, infinitely further-reaching in its effects and of inestimable benefit to mankind. Printing, as you know, was invented in Germany. It was during the Wars of the Roses that it was introduced into EngThe man to whom the honor belongs was William Caxton, who was a poor peasant boy born in the village of Kent in 1422. At the age of seventeen he was apprenticed to Robert Large, a rich London mercer. At the death of the latter in 1441, Caxton went to Bruges, where some twenty years later he seems to have become governor of an association of English traders in foreign parts. He wrote an excellent hand, and the Duchess of Burgundy, who lived there, encouraged him to make copies of a book which he had translated. Over these copies Caxton toiled till his head ached and his eyesight grew dim. He knew a man named Colard Mansion, who had a small, crude printing-press in an old church tower, and to him Caxton turned in his difficulty, watching with open-eyed wonder the working of the press. The shrewd merchant saw what a great boon printing would be to his country, and, since it was at peace, he determined to take a printing-press thither. In a little nook, close to Westminster Abbey, he set up his printing-press about 1474, and pasted a notice on the door, inviting people to come and buy his books. In this little office Caxton toiled for many years at translating and printing.

There has been much speculation as to the first book printed by Caxton; but the first volume that it is known with certainty was published in England was the "Dictes and Notable Wise Sayings of the Philosophers," which was issued in 1477. All the eight fonts of type from which Caxton printed were what is known as Black Letter. Of the ninety-nine productions that it is certain came from his press, thirty-eight survive in single copies or fragments. He continued his work of translation and printing up to his death, which took place. near the close of 1491. How impressive is the contrast between the good done by this faithful, intelligent man and the ruin spread by the rioting, murdering barons!


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E have reached a turning-point in English history. Feudalism was dead, and the old England was passing away. The marriage of Henry VII. to the Princess Elizabeth, sister of the murdered princes and true heiress of the House of York, blended the white and the red roses and closed the civil war. The wedding took place a few months after the King's accession, and to-day in the east window of stained glass in the chapel of Henry VII., in Westminster Abbey, you may see the Roses joined. It is said, however, that the King's dislike of the House of York could never be fully overcome, and that he showed little affection for his wife.

With the House of Tudor there was ushered in a long period of almost absolute kingly power. The nobility were so few in number that they were no longer to be feared, and the clergy as well as the people welcomed strong, centralized, conservative government. No wonder that all were weary of the bloody strife, and glad to have one who ruled with a rod of iron. Although Parliament had put certain restraints on the crown, these were a dead letter. Henry was cunning and avaricious. By keeping out of foreign wars, he avoided the necessity of calling Parliament together and asking for grants of money. He strove to avoid taxing the poorer classes, since they were the most numerous, and he was anxious to hold his popularity with them. He revived the system of "benevo

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