A School History of England

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A textbook “written for all boys and girls who are interested in the story of Great Britain and her Empire”, embellished with 23 poems by Kipling and vibrant illustrations by Henry Ford. Fletcher supplied the historical material, while Kipling proofread and approved the text. The poems “[range] from the jingoistic to the riverine” and the text is “unremittingly, unapologetically anti-parliamentary and racist, with particular strains of anti-Irish sentiment, and deep commitment to the stratification of races.” It was condemned by J. Cathcart Watson, a Scottish member in the House of Commons, who sought it banned “in view of the very distinct libel on the Irish race contained in the book.” It was reissued in 1983 as Kipling’s Pocket History of England.[1]

A School History of England (1911) - cover.jpg

A School History of England (1911) - frontispiece.jpg

Emery Walker sc.






COPYRIGHT 1911 by C. R. L. Fletcher and Rudyard Kipling. All rights, including the right to reprint the poems in this volume, or any portions of them, are strictly reserved by the authors.


E. C. E. C.


This book is written for all boys and girls who are interested in the story of Great Britain and her Empire.

March, 1911.

The publishers desire to express their thanks to the Manager and officials of the United Services Museum, Whitehall, for their courtesy in giving facilities to the artist for making studies of the military and naval material in the museum.


chap.   page
I. From the Earliest Times to the Departure of the Romans 9
II. Saxon England 26
III. The Norman Kings, 1066–1154 47
IV. Henry II to Henry III, 1154–1272; the Beginnings of Parliament 62
V. The Three Edwards, 1272–1377 83
VI. The End of the Middle Ages; Richard II to Richard III, 1377–1485 97
VII. The Tudors and the Awakening of England, 1485–1603 111
VIII. The Early Stuarts and the Great Civil War, 1603–1660 140
IX. The Fall of the Stuarts and the Revolution, 1660–1688 163
X. William III to George II, 1688–1760; the Growth of Empire 177
XI. The American Rebellion and the Great French War, 1760–1815; Reign of George III 199
XII. George III to George V, 1815–1911 220


The River’s Tale 9
The Roman Centurion 19
The Pirates in England 26
The Saxon Foundations of England 31
What ‘Dane-geld’ means 39
William the Conqueror’s Work 46
Norman and Saxon 51
The Reeds of Runnymede 75
My Father’s Chair 81
The Dawn Wind 109
The King’s Job 111
With Drake in the Tropics 134
‘Together’ 138
Before Edgehill Fight 155
The Dutch in the Medway 168
‘Brown Bess’ 177
‘Twas not while England’s Sword unsheathed’ 199
After the War 202
The French Wars 218
The Bells and the Queen, 1911 222
Big Steamers 235
The Secret of the Machines 247
The Glory of the Garden 249


The Cave People To face page 11
The Landing of the Danes To face page 37
William I at Hastings To face page 43
Richard I in the Holy Land To face page 70
Edward III at Calais To face page 94
Richard II and Wat Tyler To face page 99
An Imaginary Map of America, 1500 After 109
With Drake in the Tropics To face page 134
Prince Rupert at Oxford, going to battle To face page 156
Waterloo, 7 p.m., June 18, 1815 To face page 217
A Glimpse of the Future To face page 248


The Landing of the Romans 17
The Building of the Wall 23
St. Augustine preaching to Ethelbert 34
The Murder of Becket 67
King John signs the Great Charter 74
Edward I's Wars with the Welsh—how the King shared the hardships of his men 84
English Archery wins at Agincourt 101
How Henry VIII had the Monks turned out of the Monasteries 119
Henry VIII sees that England has a good Fleet 122
At the time of the Armada—Elizabeth reviews the Troops at Tilbury 135
Brown Bess 178
Nelson shot at the Battle of Trafalar, October 21, 1803 213


Britain, to illustrate history from the Coming of the Romans to the Norman Conquest 25
France 93
Great Britain, to illustrate history from the Norman Conquest to the present day 142
Ireland 152
British Colonial Empire after the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713 187
Western Europe  End papers  
The World, showing the British Empire

The Glory of the Garden.

Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You'll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all,
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and ’prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:—‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick,
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardeners work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

Oxford: Horace Hart, Printer to the University

A School History of England (1911) - map.jpg

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

The author died in 1941, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.