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Questions from the History of England. 267 acquainted with any book, whose contents require to be well stored in the memory. If a person reads with a pencil in his hand, and writes down short questions respecting the principal facts, without any answers, he will then, after he has finished a certain portion of his book, find, by looking at his questions, whether he possesses a real knowledge of the contents of his book, or not.
In what year did William the Conqueror come to England ? What part of the world did he come from? In what part of England did he land? Who was King of England at the time? Was a battle fought? Where? How did William behave to the English? What cruel act did he do in the County of Northamberland ? How many sons had William ? What were their names? Do you remember any anecdote respecting these brothers?
How did the eldest son behave to his father?
What dreadful consequence had almost followed, from the eldest son's rebellious conduct ? . .
What amusement was the King particularly fond of?.
. What tyrannical act did he commit to enable him to pursue this amusement ?
Where did William die, and what was the cause of his death?
In what year was this?
STORIES FROM THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND. In the short account given of the History of England, in Steady's Letters, we have, of course, only mentioned some of the principal facts connected with the history of our country. There are many very interesting accounts which larger histories supply us with, but which our friend Steady did not think it necessary to make his son acquainted with. I intend occasionally to offer my readers some of these accounts, and this will give a sort of filling új) to the sketch given in the letters. If our readers remember the dates of the different kings, and such particulars, they will know exactly in what part of the history to put the stories, and will see their propriety, and suitableness to their own times; for we need not think it necessary to be so particular in all these matters as if we were speaking to persons who were wholly ignorant of the subject. We do not intend to take the stories in any particular order, but just as they occur to us; our readers will know to what part of the history they belong.
EXTRACT FROM LORD CLARENDON'S HISTORY
. OF THE REBELLION. .This unparalleled murder and parricide (the beheading of Charles the First), was committed upon the 30th of January, in the year 1649, in the forty and ninth year of bis age, and when he had such excellent health, and so great vigour of body, that when his murderers caused him to be opened (which they did ; and were some of them present at it with great curiosity) they confessed and declared " that no man bad ever all his vital parts so perfect and unhurt; and that he seemed to be of so admirable a composition and constitution, that he would probably have lived as long as nature
Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion. 267 could subsist. His body was immediately carried into a room at Whitehall, where he was exposed for many days to the public view, that all men might know that he was not alive. And he was then embalmed, and put into a coffin, and so carried to St. James's, where he likewise remained several days. They who were qualified to order his funea ral, declared that he should be buried at Windsor in a decent manner, provided that the whole expence should not exceed five hundred pounds”. The Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hertford, the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, who had been of his bedchamber, and always very faithful to him, desired those that governed that they might have leave to perform the last duties to their dead master, and to wait upon him to his grave; which, after some pauses, they were permitted to do, with this condition, that they should not attend the corpse out of town, since they resolved it should be privately carried to Windsor, without pomp or noise, and that they should then have timely notice, that, if they pleased, they might be at his interment.”. And accordingly, it was committed to four of those servants who had been by them appointed to wait upon him during his imprisonment, that they should convey the body to Windsor; which they did. And it was that night placed in
that chambér which had usually been his bed· chamber : the next morning. it was carried into the
great hall, where it remained till the Lords came; who arrived there in the afternoon, and immediately went to Colonel Whitchcot, the Governor of Windsor Castle, and shewed the order they had from the Parliament to be present at the burial; which he admitted; but, when they desired that his Majesty might be buried according to the form of the Common Prayer-book, and that the Bishop of London might be there to officiate, he positively and roundly refused to consent to it; and said " It: was not lawful; and that the Common Prayer-book was put down, and he would not suffer it to be used in that garrison where he commanded ;” nor: could all the reasons, persuasions, and entreaties, prevail with him to suffer it. Then they went into: the church to make choice of a place for burial. But when they entered into it, which they had been so well acquainted with, they found it so altered and transformed, all inscriptions, and those landmarks pulled down, by which all men knew every particular place in that church, and such a dismal change over the wbole, that they knew not where they were, nor was there one officer that had belonged to it, or knew where our Princes, had used to be interred. At last there was a fellow of the town who undertook to tell them the place, where, he said, “ there was a vault in which King Harry the Eighth, and Queen Jane Seymour were interred." As near that grave as could conveniently be, they caused the grave to be made. There the King's body was laid, without any words, or other ceremonies than the tears and sighs of the few.beholders. Upon the coffin was a plate of silver, fixed with these words only, King CHARLES, 1648. When the coffin was put in, the black velvet pall that had covered it, was thrown over it, and the earth thrown in; which the Governor staid to see perfectly done, and then took the keys of the church.
“ Upon the return of King Charles the Second, about ten years after the murder of his father, it was generally expected that the body should be re. moved from that obscure burial, and with such ceremony as should be thought fit, should be solemnly deposited with his royal ancestors in King Henry the Seventh's Chapel in Westminster Abbey. And the King himself intended this, and spoke often of it, as if it were only put off till some circumstances and ceremonies in the doing of it might be settled. But, by degrees, the discourse of it was diminished, Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion. 269 as if it were laid aside upon some reasons of State, the ground whereof several men guessed at according to their fancies, and thereupon cast those reproaches upon the Statesmen as they thought reasonable, when the reasons which were suggested by their own imaginations did not satisfy their understandings.
“For the satisfaction and information of all men, I choose, in this place, to explain that matter, which, it may be, is not known to many; and at that time was not, for many reasons, thought fit to be published. The Duke of Richmond was dead before King Charles the Second returned; the Marquis of Hertford died a short time after, and was seldom out of his lodging after his Majesty came to Whitehall :, the Earl of Southampton and the Earl of Lindsey went to Windsor, and took with them such of their old servants as had attended them at the burial of the King, and as many others as they remembered had been then present, and were still alive; who all amounted to a small number; there being, at the time of the interment, great strictness used in admitting any to be present, whose names were not included in the order which the Lords had brought. In a word, the confusion they had, at that time, observed to be in the church, and the small alterations which were begun to be made towards decency, so totally perplexed their memories, that they could not satisfy themselves in what place, 'or part of the church the royal body was interred: yet, where any agreed upon this, or that place, they caused the ground to be opened at a considerable distance, and, upon such enquiries, found no cause to believe that they were near the place; and, upon giving this account to the King, the thought of that Temoval was laid aside.” ..