Thursday


Pious Edward the Confessor
Built Westminster Abbey, yes sir.
But he did not, that saintly Ed,
Appoint a King when he was dead.
Harold and Wills both wanted the crown,
So William brought his team to town.
At Hastings, they battled, mob against mob.
William conquered and demanded the job.

William was good at wielding his power.
The Domesday Book and London's Tower:
William I did all these things
And fathered two of England's kings.
William II, the redheaded one,
Then Henry I, William's other son.
Then Stephen and Matilda, like a boxing bout,
Fought for the crown, 'til Stephen knocked her out.

When Stephen died (such a shame, boo hoo!),
Matilda's son was crowned Henry 2.
He changed the Law, but Thomas Becket
Opposed the Law and tried to wreck it.
The careless words which Henry bade
Caused Thomas Becket to be slayer.
You should hear that tale — it's gory!
But that, my friends, is a different story!

Back to our Kings and Queens for now:
The first Richard, then John I with his civil row.
John was smart, but the Lords were smarter;
They forced him to sign the Magna Carta.
John passed the crown to the next in line.
That's Henry III, who was only nine!
Edward I was the next to reign.
He did some good, but caused some pain.

Edward II got himself killed.
Then Edward III led on the battlefield.
He fought the French in the Hundred Years' War,
While Black Death killed the rich and poor.
Who's next on the throne, you query?
Richard II who was young and very
Cultured but weak. You can guess his fate.
The Lords forced him to advocate.

Up next: Henrys Four, Fiveand Six,
Then Edward IV in the regal mix.
Then there's the mystery of Ed Number Five,
Sent to the Tower, not since seen alive.
His uncle Rick killed him? Maybe!
And crowned himself Richard Number Three!
Remembered as a 'wicked snake',
History gives Richard an unfair shake.

Then came the Tudor queens and kings
Who did all sorts of royal things.
First Henry VII, then Henry Eight,
Whose reign was long and girth was great.
Henry's kids followed their dad.
Edward VI died when just a lad.
When 'Bloody Mary' became the Queen,
She used religion to act very mean.

Protestant people, she sent them to burn.
When Mary died, it was the Catholics' turn.
Elizabeth I was very exciting:
Her reign saw the Spanish armada and Shakespeare's writing.
The Church of England, she founded that.
Then Catholics lost their heads — and their hats.
James I tried to fill her shoes.
He prevented Guy Fawkes from lighting his fuse.

James was blessed with great ability
Which improved England's stability.
Then Charles I, with the things he said,
Made Parliament mad, so he lost his head.
Oliver Cromwell, you know his fate!
He gave England a taste of a King-free state.
When Ollie died, what did Parliament do?
They asked Charles to become King Charles II!

(These were the years, you may have learned,
When the Plague returned, and London burned.)
After Charles, James II, his brother,
Ruled. But one problem after another
Caused a revolt, so James had to go.
And William and Mary ran the show.
Then Queen Anne was the head of state.
Her reign was long. Her weight was great!

Then came the Germans — George the First
Was a mediocre king, but he could've been worse.
George II was the next to rule
And continued the Hanoverian school.
After him, there was George the Third.
He was mad, or so I've heard!
Then the prince became the King:
George IV, an extravagant thing!

When George passed, he left no heir,
So his brother was crowned and ruled with no flair.
William IV had good intentions;
His wife Adelaide deserves a mention.
Then Victoria took the throne,
And when Albert died, she ruled Britain alone.
In the longest reign of all monarchs, she
Ruled through the age of industry.

Those Victorians leaped ahead by streets
With their science and engineering feats.
Edward VII followed his mother,
Then George V, and then another
Edward, this time Number Eight.
But he abdicated to marry his mate.
George VI reigned next and when he died,
Around the world, people mourned and cried.

His daughter, Elizabeth, was overseas
In a hotel in the top of the trees.
It has been said, by those at the scene:
'She arrived a princess and departed a Queen.'
She was crowned in '53,
As Elizabeth II but who will be
The future King, the future Queen,
The future King of England?


Copyright © 2004 Guy Fox History Project Limited. All rights reserved.
www.guyfox.org.uk