PRICE: THREE PENCE
A Humorous History of England
The essentials of England's History Told in Rhyme
Light and Amusing
Told and Pictured by C. Harrison.
With Forty Eight Illustrations
(Poorness of Blood.)
IN MEN AND WOMEN,
by the late DR. ANDREW WILSON.
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A HUMOROUS HISTORY OF ENGLAND
TOLD AND PICTURED by C. HARRISON
Published by WARRICK & BIRD, 4, Nile Street, London, N.1. 1920.
Preface "Arms and the man" was Virgil's strain; But we propose in lighter vein To browse a crop from pastures (Green's) Of England's Evolution scenes. Who would from facts prognosticate The future progress of this State, Must own the chiefest fact to be Her escalator is the Sea.
Prehistoric Historians erudite and sage, When writing of the past stone age, Tell us man once was clothed in skins And tattooed patterns on his shins. Rough bearded and with shaggy locks He lived in dug-outs in the rocks. Was often scared and run to earth By creatures of abnormal girth: Mammoths and monsters; truth to tell We find their names too long to spell. He joined in little feuds no doubt; And with his weapons fashioned out Of flint, went boldly to the fray; And cracked a skull or two per day.
Druids We read of priests of Celtic day, Ancient Druids, holding sway By smattering of Occult law And man's eternal sense of awe. Stonehenge They used Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain Reputed Prehistoric Fane; Note each megalithic boulder; No Monument in Europe's older.
Phoenicians Merchant explorers of that day, Hustling Phoenicians, came this way To ship tin ore from Cornish mines Three thousand years before these lines. But still in spite of petty strife Man lived what's termed the 'simple life' Julius Caesar Till Julius Caesar in five-five B.C. 55 With his galleys did arrive. He wrote despatches of the best, 'Veni, Vidi' and the rest, Sending the news of victory home; And flags then fluttered high in Rome. His 'photo' one plain fact discloses He brought in fashion Roman noses. Of this great General 'tis allowed The best 'Life' is by J. A. Froude. Boadicea Boadicea earns our praise. A.D. 62 First woman leader in those days; For Freedom strove all she could do, 'Twas lost in A.D. sixty-two. Agricola Then came Agricola one day And gained a battle near the Tay. He started trimming up this isle, And laid out roads in Roman style. East, North, South, West, it's safe to say His handiwork is traced to-day. The Natives too were taught to know By busy merchants' constant flow The wisdom that great Empire held; Their ignorance was thus dispelled. Romans left About four hundred-ten A.D. A.D. 410 The Romans left sans ceremonie. Can it be wondered at when Rome Was needing help 'gainst Huns at home. Our antiquarians often find The relics which they left behind; A Villa here and pavement there, Coins galore and Roman ware.
Anglo-Saxons And so we run our flippant rhymes A.D. 430 Right on to Anglo-Saxon times. Hengist and Horsa with their men Came from their Jutish pirate den, Jutes And paid us visits in their ships Bent on their ruthless looting trips. And Angles landing in the Humber Gave that district little slumber. They plundered morning, noon, and night, Were rough, uncouth, and impolite, No 'By your leave' or 'S'il vous plait' They came to rob, remained to prey. Horsa Horsa was slain in four-five-five, 455 Leaving Hengist still alive To live out his allotted term, Surviving partner of the Firm. King Arthur Time has many a fable wound About King Arthur's table round, Where Knights quaffed cordials, wines and ales, And told their little fairy tales. Augustine About six hundred years A.D. 597 To teach us Christianity Came Augustine. Wondrous Story; Canterbury's Pile his glory. Heptarchy Called 'Heptarchy' the seven Saxon 827 States each other made attacks on; After four hundred years they'd striven They coalesced in eight-two-seven.
Alfred Of good King Alfred we've all heard 872-901 How when hiding he incurred A lady's anger for not taking Care of Cakes which she was baking. (Most probably she left the King While she went out a-gossiping.) Before he died in nine-nought-one, Old England's Navy had begun. He laid a tax on every town To aid his fleet to gain renown. He was the best of Saxon Kings And did a lot of useful things; Built Oxford with its noble spires And mapped out England into Shires.
Danes In seven-eight-three first came the Danes 783 Who caused the Saxons aches and pains. They sailed right up our rivers broad, Putting the natives to the sword. "Danegeld" For centuries our sadly fated 991 Towns by them were devastated. Etheldred the 'Unready Toff' By 'Danegeld' tries to buy them off.
Canute Two hundred years the raiding Danes 1014-1036 Came over. Then their Canute reigns. We'll merely mention that he tried An object lesson with the tide. Hardicanute Hardicanute, sad to confess, 1039-1041 Died from drinking to excess. He couldn't conquer love of wine And with him went the Danish line.
Edward Edward the Confessor staid the Confessor The Saxon line renewed. Remade 1041-1066 At Westminster the Abbey grand, And signed the first 'Will' in this land. And since his time ('tis not refuted) Scores of Wills have been disputed. Ah! legal quibbles such as these Mean Lawyers waxing rich on fees.
Harold Harold last of the Saxon line 1066 At Hastings made an effort fine And lost his life—it was to be, Crushed by the men of Normandy. From Scandinavia they'd come, And made fair Normandy their home; William the Whence William spying out our shore, Conqueror Oliver-Twist-like, wanted more. 1066-1087 In ten-six-six he won the day In that tough fight out Hastings way. Of course, no record in our reach, Depicts 'ole Bill' thus on the beach.
William the But one thing's certain. Camera men, Conqueror If only they'd existed then, 1066-1087 Would have journeyed many a mile To 'snap' King William's happy smile. They made him King and schoolbooks say He ruled with arbitrary sway; Demanding with sharp battle axes Instant payment of big taxes. Curfew And p'raps it's just as well to tell He introduced the Curfew Bell; So at the early hour of eight Each doused his glim, raked out his grate. In bed at eight P.M. each day Life was but sombre, dull and grey; No cutting fancy ball room capers, No Cinemas or evening papers. He was a bully it is true, But to allow him his just due He made reforms; he also took In hand the bulky Doomsday book.
In William's time we're glad to write People began to be polite; Ladies curtseyed to their beaux, Who smartly raised their gay chapeaux. The Jews The Jews he introduced from Spain Bringing much knowledge in their train Of Arts and Science; but 'Longshanks' Expelled them with no word of thanks. Feudalism These were the well known Feudal days, Tenants were slaves in many ways To mighty Lords who owned the land And ruled them with an iron hand. Not free from duties were the Lords, The King could call upon their swords And men to fight in time of need. So feudal laws of old decreed.
William Rufus William Rufus or the 'Red' 1087-1100 In ten-eight-seven ruled instead; This may be; but we know, alack, Though he was red his deeds were black. Crusades The first Crusade in ten-nine-five, 1095 A million men, a very hive, Swarm to the East, the Holy plain From the Mohammedans to gain.
Henry I. Henry the First, of wisdom rife, 1100-1135 Saxon Matilda makes his wife, Saxon and Norman line uniting, A learned chap who loved not fighting.
Stephen Stephen of Blois ascends the throne 1135-115 And 'gainst Matilda holds his own; Grandson of the Conqueror; Died in eleven-fifty-four.
Henry II. Henry the Second claims our rhyme 1154-1189 'The hardest worker of his time'; A wiser King we never had Nor father with his sons so bad. Becket This the first 'Plantagenet' King With Becket strove like anything; Church v. Which should be Master, Church or Crown Crown Pull-King Pull-Bishop; both went down. Thomas was murdered by four Knights On steps of Altar—Sorry wights: With bleeding feet the King atones By pilgrimage to Becket's bones. Despite his struggles with the Church He knocked the barons off their perch, Fifteen hundred Castles razing In a manner quite amazing. Law Trial by jury further grows; The King's Court in this reign arose; Our Parliaments from this proceed And all our other Courts indeed. Linen Linen's first used in twelve-five Woollens alone in vogue before. Glass Windows In eleven-eight-nought first came to pass The novelty of window glass. And doubtless playful little boys Full of children's simple joys, Cracked as our youngsters often do With stones or ball a pane or two. Richard Coeur de Lion from one Crusade Coeur de Lion Returning was a prisoner made. 1189-1199 But Blondel played an Air he knew, The King joined in; Voila the clue. This catchy tune in a pleasant key Opened the door to liberty.
John And so we'll quickly journey on 1199-1216 Until we reach the reign of John; A King whose list of crimes was heavy; He treated badly his young 'Nevvy'. Magna Charta He signed the Magna Charta. Yes; 1215 In twelve-fifteen, but we may guess With much ill grace and many a twist; For King John wrote an awful fist. John loses Normandy to France And by this beneficial chance In England comes amalgamation; Normans and Saxons form one Nation Robin Hood And now we come to Robin Hood, The Forest bandit of Sherwood, A popular hero much belauded But not by folks whom he'd defrauded. There's no need to descant upon His boon companion 'Little John'; Or 'Friar Tuck' so overblown He tipped the scale at fifteen stone.
Henry III. And what of Henry number Three, 1216-1272 The King who suffered poverty? It's very awkward we must own To be 'hard up' when on a Throne;
To have to scrape up an amount To pay the butcher on account, Or ask a dun in Kingly way To kindly call some other day. Coinage In twelve-five-seven it is stated 1257 Gold was coined and circulated, Ha'pence and farthings just before; In those times worth a great deal more. Langton The Bible which from over seas Died 1228 Had no chapters and no verses Was by Archbishop Langton's skill Divided as we use it still.
Why was it Henry III. allowed At court a huge rapacious crowd To drain his coffers nearly dry Flattering with cajolery?
Astrology Many simple folk, (it's queer) Used to patronise the seer And pay cash down for magic spell Perchance a Horoscope as well. Or open wide at special rate That musty tome the Book of Fate; Or seek the Philtre's subtle aid To win the hand of some fair maid. We mus'nt miss the Troubadours Who went forth on their singing tours, Twanging harps and trilling lays To maids of medieval days. And Oh! the right good merry times With Maskers, Mummers and the Mimes, Hobby horses gaily prancing, Bats and Bowls and Maypole dancing. When folks would take a lengthy journey To see the Knights at Joust or Tourney: Or watch the early English 'Knuts' Show their skill at Archery butts. Then come gloomy History pages On torture of the Middle ages; The clanking fetters grim and black, The thumbscrew and the awful rack, The horrors of the dungeon deep Beneath the moat or castle keep, Rusty locks and heavy keys And—let us change the subject, please. First House of Commons twelve-six-five, At Westminster they all arrive. Simon de Simon de Montfort was the man Montfort Who 'engineered' this useful plan. 1265 And we can picture these M.P.s Newly fledged and ill at ease Doing their level best to try To catch the embryo speaker's eye.
Edward I. Edward First 'Longshanks' nicknamed 1272-1307 For his lengthy stride far-famed. Here he is in twelve-seven-two Bounding along with much ado. A Soldier, Statesman and a King His lofty ideals picturing That England, Scotland, Wales all three, United should one country be.
First Prince In twelve-eight-two annexes Wales; of Wales Where afterwards no strife prevails. 1282 He promised a Prince with English So gave his new-born speechless son.
Edward I. Next Scotland Edward tries to tackle 1272-1307 No easy task the Scotch to shackle; (continued) Wallace and Bruce resistance make, The King dies ere he gains the stake. In Edward's reign some author writes They first used candle dips for lights; And coal came in about this date Mixed (as to-day) with lots of slate.
So Monarchs, Barons, Dukes and Knights Warmed their toes with Derby Brights; But those in hovels had the smuts Arising from cheap Kitchen Nuts. Roger Bacon Roger Bacon (ob. twelve-nine-three) 1293 Versed was in arts of alchemy; Gunpowder's composition knew; And many another chemic brew. Many Mortmain Acts are passed; Six centuries these efforts last To stop the hungry Hierarchy Devouring all the Squirearchy. Lollards Lollards in thirteen-seven arose 1307 Popish rituals to oppose; John Wycliffe gives to old and young The Bible in the vulgar tongue. With John of Gaunt's protection strong He dared to preach 'gainst cleric wrong; Precursor of the Reformation To liberal thought attuned the nation.
Edward II. Edward the Second with his minions 1307-1327 Governs badly these dominions His son a man of different mould Edward III. Was Edward Three, both wise and bold. 1327-1377 Through clinging to their French domains Our Kings are French through many reigns And Edward fighting in this cause French Wars Commenced a hundred years of Wars. A century's struggle. For our pains Only Calais town remains. A century after this 'twas lost, In Mary's reign. Oh! what a frost. Weaving In thirteen-three-one England's taught 1331 Weaving by men from Flanders brought. Ryghte goode cloth with lots of 'body' The world was then not up to 'shoddy.' Blanket of Bristol in this year Invented blankets for our cheer; And since that time its been our boast Our beds have been as warm as toast. Edward 'Black Prince' One-three-four-six, A brave and noble warrior, 'licks' Crecy The valiant French in Crecy's fray; 1346 Cannon first used upon this day, Causing panic with their rattle; But the Yeomen win the battle, For, flicking arrows from their bows They 'filled the air as when it snows.' Thereon the English Calais seize And of the channel hold the keys; The Spanish pirates bend the knee Then Edward III's 'King of the sea.' Parliament Lords and Commons from this date 1376 Have their meetings separate, The Commons first a Speaker make The Chancellors the Woolsack take. Ten lady members have the Lords But doubtless fearful of their words, Or thinking it not orthodoxy, They only let them vote by proxy. While Church and Barons have their squabbles The House of Commons more power nobbles; On laws and taxes dares speak out And give the Pope the right-about.
Leasing Leasing or Farming, we are taught, Was introduced 'bout twelve-nought-nought; The Feudal system's weakened and The Tenants 'usufruct' the land. On various counts the serfs go free And work for wages (Edward Three). The Black Death and the foreign wars In labour ranks commotion cause; Strikes and craftsmen's combination Then arise among the nation; These movements preached by one John Ball, Who, born too soon, was hanged withal.
Richard II. Now comes the Second Richard's reign. 1377-1399 It is recorded very plain That he was full of discontent Quarrelling with his Parliament.
Poll Tax With his taxes super-sated 1380 The peasants grew exasperated; They threw their spades and pitchforks down And marched as rebels into town. Thirteen-eighty's Poll taxation Puts equal tax on all the nation; Lays seven thousand peasants dead; Wat Tyler and Jack Straw at head. Praemunire Praemunire Act is passed To check the Papal Bulls at last. Chaucer Chaucer the Poet this same year Makes Pilgrimage to Becket's bier.
Age of This was the age, aye verily, Chivalry Of ryghte goode noble chivalry, When Knights went forth through storm and stress To rescue beauty in distress.
Or sallied out in valiant way A monster dragon for to slay, Or with lance or trusty blade Defend from harm the hapless maid.
Henry IV. Henry Four, called 'Bolingbroke' 1399-1413 In Richard's wheel puts many a spoke; Compels him to resign the throne Which thereupon he makes his own. Through John of Gaunt, Lancastrian famed, His title to the crown he claimed; The Parliament confirms his right And thus he's king without a fight. In this reign persecution's turned Lollards Against the Lollards—Cobham's burned. 1401 Incredible! The records show A statute 'de Comburondo.'
Henry V. From fourteen-thirteen, Henry Five, 1413-1422 For many years with France did strive; His Widow founds the Tudor House By taking Owen for her spouse.
Henry VI. Henry Six, next in our rhymes, 1422-1461 For fifty years had troublous times; Wars of Roses, Wars with France, The poor man never had a chance. Joan of Arc Joan of Arc the peasant Maid 1430 Inspired the French with Mystic aid; Disunited, we make peace, All France but Calais we release. Constantinople Constantinople's seized by Turks 1453 Causing Greek Scholars (with their works) To fly to Italy; and thence Learning's reborn—'The Renaissance.'
Edward IV. In Edward Fourth, fourteen-six-one 1461-1483 The House of York obtains the Throne. He wins at Towton's bloody fray, No quarter given on that day. Guy, Earl of Warwick in these frays Was always turning different ways; Barnet On Barnet Field he met his doom 1471 The Rose of York's now well abloom. The Barons, Church and Commons fall, The King emerges Boss of all. Benevolences he exacts, An early form of Super Tax. Earl of 'Kingmaker' was Earl Warwick styled Warwick With his manner scarcely mild He set Kings up and bowled them down Playing at ninepins with the Crown.
Wars of Roses White and Red Rose warring madly 1485 Bled the country very sadly, Three-and-thirty years contending; At Bosworth Field we see the ending. Printing First in fourteen-seventy-three 1473 We print from type in this Countree. Now it is that time's first measured By monster watches greatly treasured. Thomas Parr this centurie His hundred-fifty years did see; But Henry Jenkins, so 'tis said, In age was seventeen years ahead. Hoary patriarchs were these Retaining p'raps their faculties; What a comfort 'tis to mention Neither drew the old age pension.
Printing started through the Nation A taste for higher education; Here is a citizen at home; Note his very brainy Dome.
Richard III. Richard (Crookback) in fateful hour 1483-1485 Smothered his nephews in the Tower, He murdered them the Crown to gain; A heavy price for three years' reign. The Scutcheon's blotted terribly Of this King Richard number Three, For it seems his recreation Was ordering decapitation. 1485 On Bosworth Field when sorely pressed He made a bid th'uncommonest 'My kingdom for a horse' he cried; No offers coming, there he died.
Henry VII. Lancastrian Richmond wins the fight 1485-1509 And to make his title right Elizabeth of York espouses, Thus uniting the two Houses. This Henry Seven of Tudor line To misers' habits did incline; Twelve millions stated to possess, A tidy little fortune! Yes! Star Chamber Much he managed to extort By means of a Star Chamber Court From the rich nobles; A new wile For adding to the kingly pile. With cash in hand he could attain His wish as Autocrat to reign; As sole possessor of the guns The King no risk from rebels runs.
Columbus Columbus, full of travellers' lore, 1498 By going West sought India's shore; But found America's wondrous land; His 'exes' paid by Ferdinand. Of voyagers we've now a lot Vasco da Gama and Cabot, Who sailed from Bristol, whence it grew Bristolians claim this fine cuckoo.
Henry VIII. Now Henry Eight comes on the screen, 1509-1547 A stalwart youth, aetat. eighteen; With youthful hope the nation's buoyed; Only, alas! to be destroyed.
Henry VIII. This King Henry number Eight 1509-1547 Six times tried the married state; (continued) And certainly of all the Kings Spent the most on wedding rings. But to search through old Archives For tales of Henry and his wives And all their little tiffs to trace We cannot spare the time or space. Yet there are some who fain would sing The praises of this rotund King; But as a husband we're afraid His category's lowest grade. He wielded harsh the despot's power, And packed his wives off to the Tower; Consigned them to a fate most dreaded; Two, alas! he had beheaded.
Henry VIII. (continued)
Reformation Martin Luther, fifteen-one-seven, 1517 Sows his Reformation leaven; It finds a culture medium here In the 'New Learning's' atmosphere. Of this New Learning More's the chief, Utopia's Author, He's 'mid grief Beheaded, saying cool and calm, 'Cut not my beard, that's done no harm.' His friend Erasmus, Logic's Master, Trimmed his sails and 'scaped disaster. A third, Dean Colet who St. Paul's School London into being calls. Wolsey In fifteen-thirty Wolsey great, 1530 A Cardinal and Man of State, From Butcher's son had risen high. Reader! consult your Shakespeare nigh. Blamed by some; by others praised; He fell; but still the pile he raised Most nobly graces Hampton Court. Give Wolsey then a tender thought. His main ambition that the King Should be supreme in everything; Thomas And Thomas Cromwell followed suit Cromwell To make his master absolute Head of the Church within his realm. These two most able at the helm; But not with skill enough endued To 'scape their King's ingratitude. Despotical the King's power grew. He's England's Pope by Act of Su- Premacy; as, to gain divorce, The foreign Pope is banned perforce. 1537 Now Bluff King Harry gives the Monks A series of most awful funks; Three thousand odd of their domains He 'collars' for his Courtiers' gains.
Edward VI. Edward Six to the throne succeeds 1547-1553 A pious youth of goodly deeds; One, well known in the Capital, The Blue Coat School (Christ's Hospital).
Mary Queen Mary One, in Smithfield Square, 1553-1558 At Oxford, Gloucester and elsewhere, Burned poor Martyrs by the score; The Romish faith she would restore.
Elizabeth Hail now to thee our good Queen Bess, 1558-1603 Garbed in the puffed and padded dress, Farthingale and starched up frills, Meaning heavy laundry bills. Od's Bodikins; what monstrous ruffs, What gowns of rich embroidered stuffs Piped and scolloped, trimmed with furs, And shaped like huge gasometers. Now we've warfare of the Creeds, For their thoughts all Europe bleeds; Each party seeks by force to make The other side its faith forsake. Spain the Great Power of those days In these contentions first part plays.
Drake Drake at bowls on Plymouth Hoe Left his game to meet this foe And came home laden we are told With seachests full of Spanish gold. Armada In fifteen-eight-eight Armada strong 1588 From Spain to squash us comes along; Which Howard, Frobisher and Drake And stormy weather overtake.
Shakespeare And in these epoch making days 1564-1616 Shakespeare wrote and staged his plays; Weaving a thread whose magic strands Entwine all English-speaking lands. Fifteen-eight-seven Scots' Queen Mary Lost her head through fate contrary. When Henry Eight had robbed the Church 'Twas found the poor were in the lurch; Poor Law A law was passed about this date To place the poor upon the rate.
Sir Walter Sir Walter Raleigh, best of Knights, Raleigh The first to taste the keen delights 1552-1618 Of the enchantress so serene, The Ryghte Goode Ladye Nicotine. No information's yet to hand Concerning Raleigh's favourite brand; Tobacco Was it coarse-cut shag which burns The tongue, or birdseye or returns?
Queen Good Queen Bess we understand Elizabeth Had crowds of suitors for her hand; And here we beg to give a view Of suitors waiting in a queue.
Queen As time rolled on this Good Queen Bess Elizabeth Lost somewhat of her sprightliness; (continued) She got into a nervous state Was mopish and disconsolate. Now, as everyone will own, Had 'Iron Jelloids' been but known In Bess's time; why, it's conceded 'Twas just the Tonic that she needed. East India The great 'John Comp'ny' now began Company Its fine career without a plan. 1600 Great! The Elizabethan Age. In History's book a glorious page.
Somewhere or other we've heard snuff Came in the days of frill and ruff; And here's a noble ill at ease Giving the first recorded sneeze.
James I. James Six of Scotland, miscalled a 'fule' 1603-1625 As James One of England comes to rule. Gramercy! 'tis a canny thing To be a 'double-barrelled' King. The son of Mary Queen of Scots Of learning he had lots and lots, Writing sundry ponderous books 'Gainst 'bacca, witches and their spooks. James thought his kingly power divine And, loathing Puritanic 'whine,' He vowed to make them all comply Or else he'd 'know the reason why.' Pilgrim Fathers His persecution to escape 1620 Some Zealots in the 'Mayflower' shape Their course for an uncharted world Where Freedom's Flag could be unfurled. These 'Pilgrim Fathers' found a state 'New England,' blessed with happy fate. Folks have called the first King James Most uncomplimentary names; To wit 'a sloven' and 'a glutton'; Perhaps his weakness was Scotch Mutton. And as to gluttony, 'Gadzooks'! If what we read in History books Is true, they all were trenchermen; There were no diet faddists then. It startles us, one must declare, To read their breakfast bill of fare; All 'Kynes' of ale, some highly spiced And divers meats, roast, boiled and sliced. In James' reign a man could get For money down a coronet And titles with the greatest ease Like folks to-day buy soap and cheese. Harvey Yet a learned time; for Harvey shows That blood's not stagnant, but it flows; Lord Bacon 'Experiment!' Lord Bacon cries 'There is no progress otherwise.'
5th November Of troubles James had quite a lot, 1605 For instance the Gunpowder Plot. It fizzled out but left to-day A liking for Firework display.
So rockets with their sweeping curves, Crackers which upset the nerves And squibs with their infernal din To this date owe their origin.
Charles I. His son Charles One we understand 1625-1649 Ruled England with a grasping hand; For he was never loth to levy Taxes burdensome and heavy. He moved in an expensive set, Was always heavily in debt; In fact this monarch with his frills Was snowed up to the neck with bills. He was courtly, graceful, distingue, And when the scaffold came his way 'He nothing common did or mean Upon that memorable scene.' He had a very taking way And made his taxed up subjects pay; And over taxing it is said This Monarch fairly lost his head. Petition of The 'Petition of Right' a famous Act, Right—1628 The Commons from the King exact; Giving the subject on his own A remedy against the throne. First In sixteen-hundred-twenty-one Newspaper Our first news-sheet began its run; 1621 For twenty years 'twas going strong Then the first Censor came along. This journal cribbing from the Dutch Lacked the smart journalistic touch; And also photographic views, 'Sporting pars' and 'Stop-press News.'
Cotton Cotton first came from India's shore 1630 In sixteen-thirty, less or more; Where for three thousand years it grew, Also in Egypt and Peru. Grim reading is the note confessing Gangs went out for Navy pressing, Forcing many a timid knave To spend his life on ocean wave. Ship Money Charles raises the ship money tax; 1636 He thought he only had to 'ax'; When Hampden strenuously objected, The King was very much affected. Strafford Earl Strafford ('Thorough') in his pride 1641 'The King shall rule the Commons' cried; The Commons would not brook such stuff And cut his head off. 'Quantum Suff.' The 'Grand Remonstrance' is put forth By the Commons who are wrath With the King's despotic ways Quite unsuited to these days. The King tries hard to put in jail Five Members but without avail; Hollis, Strode, Haslerig and Pym And Hampden (we must mention him); They're guarded from the Royal hands By Watermen and City Bands. The 'die is cast' and Civil War For seven long years the Nation tore.
Civil Wars Cromwell greatest of the foemen 1642-1648 With his faithful English Yeomen; These 'Roundheads' sober, grim, religious To 'Cavaliers' gave blows prodigious. Their character's seen in the cry 'Trust God and keep your powder dry.' Naseby The Cavaliers and Roundheads fought 1645 In many a field, 'till Naseby brought To Generals Cromwell and Fairfax A crowning victory, though not 'pax.' The King's beheaded, but the State Experiences no headless fate; A commonwealth's forthwith proclaimed And Cromwell's soon Protector named. Dunbar In sixteen-fifty Dunbar sees 1650 The Royal Scots brought to their knees; Worcester And in the second Worcester fight 1651 Cromwell for good asserts his might. And there are those who love to tell About that day at Boscobel When Charles the Second's Majestye Found itself doubly 'up a tree.' And now we meet that quiet man Known as the early Puritan; Mild and placid in his talk, Calm and measured in his walk.
Commonwealth Oliver Cromwell bluff and bold, 1649-1660 Was cast in Nature's sternest mould, Lacking maybe the courtly grace And proud of warts upon his face. He fought the Irish and the Scotch And with his navy beat the Dutch Let all his faults condoned be, He kept us up on land and sea.
Commonwealth He seemed to like bold argument (continued) And wordy wars with Parliament; He made things lively we infer Frequently at Westminster.
With M.P.s he had many a bout And one day cleared the whole lot out; Locked the door and took the key; Those not the days of 'Wait and See.'
Charles II. Cromwell's death brings Restoration 1660-1685 And Charles Two lands 'mid acclamation. After his leaps from twig to twig He now has 'Otium cum Dig.' In merry Charles the Second's age Woman first acted on the stage; The King encouraged much this vogue He was a pleasure seeking rogue. 'He never said a foolish thing, Nor did a wise one'; this the King Countered with 'My words my own My acts my ministers' alone'; 1662 In sixteen-six-two year of grace, Charles taxed every fire-place; And citizens who couldn't pay Shivered and grumbled as to-day. These were the times of Musketeers And proud and dashing Cavaliers; When words were few and tempers hot And duels fought out on the spot.
John Bunyan The tinker preacher Bunyan wrote The 'Pilgrim's Progress' we still quote, The prison bars no barrier wrought To lowly Bunyan's lofty thought. Milton In stately language Milton's muse 1678 The Bible story doth diffuse; From 'Paradise Lost' we get our view Of Adam and Eve and Satan too. The Reverend Titus Oates, a scamp, Egregious Popish plots did vamp, Lied roundly for dishonest gains, Got Cat-o'-nine-tails for his pains. Habeas Corpus The 'Habeas Corpus' best of laws 1679 Shields us from prison without cause; 'Twas passed in sixteen-seventy-nine, And means 'Produce him here,' in fine. Van Tromp Admiral Van Tromp, Dutchman bold, With broom at masthead, so 'tis told, The Channel sailed, suggesting he's Swept all the English from the seas. Blake But Blake laughed loud and spread his sails Nought the Dutchman now avails; For he got an awful shocker Right to Davy Jones' locker. But though the Dutch failed to invade, They were not disinclined to trade; So we get 'Hollands,' cheese and hams Fresh from the land of Dykes and Dams. Peace of Breda For fifteen years these Navies fought, 1667 'Till sixteen-six-seven respite brought; The Peace of Breda then succeeded; New York to England was conceded. Plague In sixty-five the Plague appears Fire of London And then the Fire; two awful years 1665-1666 For London—And if more you'd know Consult the Pages of Defoe.
James II. When Charles Two died his brother James 1685-1688 Soon put the country into flames; Papistry he would advance, And for that purpose leagued with France. In sixteen-eight-eight his bigot zeal Religious Test Act would repeal; Seven bold Bishops who defied To the Tower were sent and tried. The country raised a hue and cry So off to France the King doth fly.
William III. His place is filled by William Three 1689-1702 His son-in-law from Dutch countree. This Orange sprig most brave of men With Mary reigns and all things then Went well with us. Macaulay's page Hails him as Hero of the age. In this reign of William Three, Laws were harsh 'gainst burglary; For they'd a very drastic way And hanged the 'Bill Sykes' of that day. National Debt In sixteen-nine-four we have heard 1694 The National Debt was first incurred; To careful folk who would invest 'Twas not devoid of interest. Another National Debt we owe To Iron Jelloids which the foe Depression's worries keep at bay And drive our nervous fears away. Bill of Rights The 'Bill of Rights,' a Charter grand, 1689 In sixteen-eight-nine frees this land From all encroachments of the Crown Hoi Polloi are no longer down.
Queen Anne Good Queen Anne we know is dead; 1702-1714 She reigned twelve years but it is said 'Mrs. Morley,' Marlborough's wife Ruled her more than half her life. Marlborough This was the Duke of Marlborough's day, Who beat the French in every fray; Known for his famous victories At Blenheim and at Ramillies. In seventeen-seven by statute passed English and Scotch unite at last; 'One coinage and one Parliament' Both Nations ever since content. About this time, so runs the story, Much is heard of 'Whig and Tory'; And shortly after there was rife Many a sign of party strife. Dr. Watts Good Dr. Watts' moral lays 1674-1748 Were much reputed in these days; And still we lisp at Mother's knee 'How doth the little Busy Bee.' Pope Pope, letter-writer and great poet, 1688-1744 Most quotable of all (ye know it), At Twickenham penned his caustic verse Epigrammatic, smooth and terse.
George I. The House of Stuart being ended, 1714-1727 George of Hanover (descended From daughter of King Jamie One) Comes over to ascend our throne. Of English George knew not a word, Most awkward, not to say absurd, At Cabinet Councils to preside; So from this time the practice died.
George II. His son George Two succeeding then 1727-1760 In person fought at Dettingen. Both these Kings had various fights In Scotland with the Jacobites. William Tull brings in Post Chaises; Now the people ride like 'blazes.'; Many can't for they're in trouble, Ruined by the South Sea Bubble. Wesleys John and Charles Wesley, men of mind, 1703-1791 Revive Religion in Mankind. Founding a Church both broad and low, One-seven-three-nought A. Domini. Beginning as an office clerk, Clive As soldier Clive soon made his mark, 1746 And conquered India for this Nation; Self 'stounded at his moderation. Bridgwater, Gilbert, Brindley, three Great Engineers this Centurie, Canals Useful canals in England made, The flowing arteries of trade. Quebec General Wolfe seventeen-five-nine 1759 Captures Quebec—a victory fine, And Canada's the splendid prize For old 'John Bull' to colonise.
George III. And now of Georgey number Three: 1760-1820 Ut mulus obstinatus he Had full sixty years of reign And a big family to train.
Georgian We will but very lightly scan Times The customs known as 'Georgian'; The times of powdered Belles and Beaux; Patches, paint and furbelows; Of beauteous maids and gallants gay And merry routs at Ranelagh; Gaming parties, cards or pool And 'Fops' of the Beau Brummel School.
When rank and fashion History tells All took their cures among the Wells; And sipped in manner hesitating Daily doses nauseating. But we know better how to act Our cures we purchase more compact For in the Chemists' you can see 'Iron Jelloids' priced at 'One and Three.' Lord 'Periwig' and gay 'Fallal' In Sedan Chairs frequent the Mall. 'Taxis' and 'Tubes' we beg to state Came in at a much later date. When Brummel, the historic Beau, Made laws for dress and outward show; Whose vests were poems, whose coats were dreams Of gorgeous beauty, so it seems; Who figured in the public gaze A 'Star turn' with his courtly ways; Who fixed the style of a cravat, Lord of Appeal anent a hat. And My Lord Chesterfield was quite The model of the most polite Wrote famous letters. It's a shame, A settee has usurped his name. Dr. Johnson And Dr. Johnson at his ease 1709-1784 Sipped his tea at the 'Cheshire Cheese,' Or at the 'Mitre' of renown, Spreading his wit throughout the Town. Garrick When Garrick as the 'Moody Dane' Drew the Town to Drury Lane, Mrs. Siddons Sarah Siddons was all the rage Tragedy Queen of every age. Highwaymen armed to the teeth Waited for prey on Hounslow Heath; Per contra the Highwayman's pate Was oft strung up at Tyburn Gate. Capt. Cook It's only right a History book 1728-1779 Should mark the feats of Captain Cook; So jot it down in these our Rhymes That round the World he sailed three times. Inventions These are the days of much invention 1767 The 'Spinning Jenny' we will mention; The 'Cotton Mule' and 'Power Loom'; For Authors' names there's lack of room. Adam Smith In his book 'The Wealth of Nations' 1766 Adam Smith shows the relations Governing the Art of Trading; With influences far pervading. 'Man buys as cheaply as he can And sells as dearly, that's his plan.' 'Supply Demand each other feed Dearer markets cheap ones bleed.' Jenner Jenner brings in vaccination, 1796 Boon to every generation; By similar methods now devised Many an ill is exorcised.
American War In seventeen-sixty and fifteen 1775 Our Taxes raise the Yankees' spleen. 'Unrepresented, you've no right To tax us, therefore we will fight.' Washington, Franklin and the rest Formed a Republic quite the best; We've long been friends. Let us rejoice; But at the time we had no choice.
French In France in times of Louis Seize (says) Revolution Oppression dire through countless days Roused Revolution with its tears Mainly through books with wrong ideas. Napoleon I. From Revolution's putrid mess 1793-1815 A Conqueror's born, quite conscienceless, Millions of men and women died Victims to Napoleon's pride. He plunged all Europe into Wars His own ambition the sole cause. England as usual did her 'bit' And 'Boney' Europe had to quit. During these years of storm and stress Two noble pilots we possess 'Chatham and Son' (Pitt is their name), Illustrious on the scroll of fame. Nelson 1805 Here we must our homage pay To Nelson of Trafalgar Day; Wellington To Wellington the same is due, Who crowned his fame at Waterloo.
And 'Shiver my timbers,' 'Heave ahoy,' The Tar, those times a breezy boy With shiny hat and pigtail long And love for lass and glass and song. Discovery of About this date Electric Force Electric Force Dawns on mankind. Before, of course, In Lightning it was all about, With noise enough to be found out. Coelo eripuit fulmen, 'Twas said of Franklin, as ye ken. Philosopher of bygone age Accept our homage on this page. But who'd have thought it that Galvani When making soup, (this is no blarney) By his power of observation On a frog's legs' oscillation Should find how by chemic ways Electric currents we can raise? To call him 'great' is no flattery; He set us on the wondrous battery. This simple little frog, Heigh Ho! The frog who would a-wooing go; Thy part in electricity Is unmatched eccentricity. This new discovered fact, of course, Leads to the Telegraph of Morse, The Motor and Electric Light The Telephone and more in sight.
Ireland Of Ireland but a word or two. Celts were her people and they knew Not benefit of Roman Ruling; Young Europa's Infant Schooling. In century five St. Patrick great Converts them to the Christian state; And from this Western Isle afar, English and Scotch converted are. Danes and Two hundred years from nine-nought-nought Ireland Danes raiding Erin trouble brought; And left them in chaotic state No longer masters of their fate. In those days 'twas 'Woe to the weak,' Saxons and Danes had made us squeak, Then came the Normans in great force And civilised us in due course. They tried the same with Ireland green; But only sowed a feud between The land they'd conquered and Erin, Leading to endless quarrelling. England accepts the Reformation, Catholic still the Irish nation Cromwell Sees Cromwell with them battle join Boyne And William beat them at the Boyne. William Pitt in eighteen-nought-nought Ireland and England's welfare sought Act of Union By 'Act of Union' which he passed; 1800 But still the wretched squabbles last.
George IV. Now come George Four and Will his brother; William IV. With these two kings we need not bother; The first a gourmand, bon viveur, The next a sailor, bluff, sans peur. Trevithick, Newcomen, and Watt Are names will never be forgot; For their crude engines were the source Of man's control of Steam's wild force. Steam By eighteen-thirty man has tamed 1830 Steam to his use; and widely famed Was puffing 'Rocket' with the power Of doing thirty miles an hour. Steam prompts man to make machines And Factories rise with all that means; Divided more and more is labour Each man leans more on his neighbour. For twenty million pounds the nation Buys our slaves' emancipation. Reform Act In eighteen-three-two, happy year, The great Reform Act doth appear. Steam vessels the Atlantic cross. The penny post comes into force. And double knocks bring joys and thrills Sometimes cheques, more often bills. Corn Law The Corn Law duty's brushed away, Repeal 18 Hence we enjoy cheap bread to-day.
We fain would linger, but alas, These are the periods we must pass. So gentle reader do not grin At sight of cumbrous crinoline. Victoria Since Queen Victoria's palmy days 1837-1901 Woman has altered all her ways. In those days she was meek and mild And treated almost like a child; Was brought up in a narrow zone; And couldn't call her soul her own. She vegetated, 'tis well known Under the 'cloche' of Chaperone. Woman's But now the 'Franchise' she obtains, Status And her own property retains. What a difference from then, She 'carries on' just like the men. And now at Westminster we see A lady sitting as M.P.
Darwin Charles Darwin offers us a Key 1809-1882 To help unlock the mystery Of Evolution's wondrous span From Protoplasm up to Man. Livingstone The traveller, great Scotch Livingstone, 1813-1873 Wandered o'er Afric's trackless Zone; Where no white man had ever trod Teaching the blacks the Word of God. Crimean War English, French and Turks unite 'Gainst Russia in Crimean fight. Indian Mutiny The Indian Mutiny now arose, 'Fat' was the cause that led to blows. Atlantic Cable With efforts many men most able Lay the great Atlantic Cable. Suez Canal Lesseps unites for you and me The Medit'ranean and Red Sea. Education Act The Education Act proposes To make us all as wise as Moses; In eighteen-seven-nought it passed, But each is learning to the last. Ballot Act A couple of years from this we note 1872 The Ballot Act gives secret vote; Before this Act, e'en since we fear, Folks sold their votes for draughts of beer.
Edward VII. Edward Seven, 'Peacemaker' named, 1901-1910 His efforts to this end far famed. We know it was no idle chance His 'Entente cordiale' with France. True friendship and the peace we want The outcome of this grand Entente. Though not accented in our rhyme We've been fighting all the time; And it's a fact which must be stated Our chief opponent (so 'twas fated) Wars with Our nearest neighbour o'er the Sea France Whose 'No' is 'Non'; whose 'Yes' is 'Oui'; Like two schoolboys always sparring Eight hundred years together warring; From Hastings unto Waterloo We'd battles with the brave 'Mossoo.' Now Honi soit qui still y pense; Hurrah for England! Vive la France!
And here we come to end our rhymes We've reached the present stirring times, When one and all lent helping hand To keep secure the Motherland. When men went forth to fight the foe And women took to spade and hoe, And donning smocks of nattiest styles, Worked on the land for Farmer Giles. Now three cheers for the dainty maids, Government clerks of different grades;
Nor are we likely to forget Our debt to the Munitionette. The We seem to have subdued the Hun Present Time And so farewell (our task is done) To Anzacs-Indians-Poilus-Yanks— Italians-Belgians-Japs-and-Tanks.
Concerning MEN and TONICS
by the late DR. ANDREW WILSON.
"Many a man feels so thoroughly out of sorts, and thinks himself so dreadfully ill, that he is rather surprised when the doctor tells him there is not really anything seriously the matter with him at all; that he just needs a tonic, and should put the brake on as regards work, worry, or late hours.
"It is this 'run-down-ness,' 'out-of-sorts-ness,' 'below-par-ness,' which lead to all kinds of fanciful fears, such as having Brain Fag, Neurasthenia, and other conditions startling by name at least.
"Now I have found the form of Iron Jelloids put up with Quinine (called Iron Jelloids No. 2A), to be an excellent Tonic in all such cases. When a man or youth feels out-of-sorts, and is not so ill as to require medical advice, he cannot do better than try a Fortnight's Treatment of Iron Jelloids No. 2A, as a suitable and effective remedy.
For DEBILITY, WEAKNESS and NERVINESS, Men find the Ideal Tonic and Restorative in Iron Jelloids No. 2A.
For ANAEMIA in Men and Women (shown by breathlessness on slight exertion, pallor, depression and weakness) Doctors have for many years prescribed the well-known Iron Jelloids No. 2.—there is nothing better.
A Ten Days Treatment (price 1/3) will convince you.
Mr. J. R. PENNINGTON, Chemist, late of Worksop, writes:—"I always handle Iron Jelloids with pleasure as my customers are invariably satisfied with them."
Reliable Tonic for Men IRON JELLOIDS No. 2A. For Anaemia in Men & Women IRON JELLOIDS No. 2. For Growing Children IRON JELLOIDS No. 1.
Of all Chemists. A Ten Days Treatment 1/3. Large size 3/-
Manufactured by The Iron Jelloid Co., Ltd., 189, Central Street, London, E.C.1. England.
Transcriber's Note Details of minor typographical corrections and retained mis-spellings are provided in the source of the associated html version.