Page images

France were lost, except CALAIS, which, however, was taken by the French after a seige of eight days, in the reign of Mary, 1558.

7. Relate the history of Sir Thomas Overbury.

Sir Thomas Orerbury, principally known by the tragic circumstance of his death, was the tutor and councillor of Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, the worthless favourite of James I. Carr had been loaded with favours by the king, and created Viscount Rochester. Having fallen in love with the wife of the Earl of Essex, he conceived the plan of obtaining a divorce for her from her husband. This plan was opposed by Overbury, who, declining to go to Russia, was committed to the Tower, and then, by the king's assistance, a divorce was obtained, and Carr was made Earl of Somerset. The countess, desiring revenge on Overbury, engaged her uncle, the Earl of Northampton, and her husband, in the design of poisoning Overbury, who died suddenly. His sudden death, and the baste with which he was buried, attracted much suspicion. The truth did not come out for some time, till disclosed by an apothecary. The accomplices were all brought to trial and condemned. The earland countess, after some years' imprisonment, were released with a pension, and passed the remainder of their lives in infamy and obscurity.

[ocr errors]

8. Sketch the life of Oliver Cromwell. What children had he, and what became of them?

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, was the son of Robert Cromwell, a brewer at Huntingdon, where Oliver was born, April 25, 1599. Having been educated at the free-school of that city, and at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, he became a law student at Lincoln's Inn. Here, however, he did not remain long; as in his twentyfirst year he married and settled at Huntingdon.

He was elected member of parliament for Huntingdon in 1628. In 1640 he represented Cambridge. In his parliamentary career he was remarkable rather for his business-like habits and energy of character, than for elegance of language or gracefulness of delivery. When it was resolved to levy forces to oppose the king, Cromwell received a commission to raise a troop of horse at Cambridge, of which he, of course, had the command. Ile soon distinguished himself by his courage and military skill, especially at the battle of Marston Moor in 1644, and soon after won the decisive victory of Naseby. He was a member of the High Court of Justice for the trial of Charles I., and signed the warrant for his execution. In August, 1649, he was named lord licutenant and commander-in-chief in Ireland, stormed Drogheda, and put to death the whole garrison ; and soon after Wexford. He was appointed lord general, and set out for Scotland. On the 3rd September, 1650, he totally defeated the Scots at the battle of Dunbar. Charles having marched into England, Cromwell followed him, and on the 3rd September, 1651, won the decisive battle of Worcester. Cromwell took up his residence at Hampton Court in the following month. He was created “Lord Protector” in 1653. He showed himself equal to the hard task he had undertaken, by sharp decisive means keeping down plotting royalists, and intractable levellers. He did not succeed with his parliaments, and had to rule mostly withont them. At last, carc, anxiety and growing perplexities, wore him out; he became gloomy and suspicious; was overwhelmed by sorrow at the death of his favourite daughter Elizabeth, Lady Claypole; fell sick, and died about a month after her, September 3rd, 1658, the anniversary of his two victories of Dunbar and Worcester.

Cromwell married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir James Bourchier. He had three sons and four daughters : Oliver, who was killed in battle, 1648; Richard, who succeeded his father, and Henry, made Governor of Ireland in 1654, and died at Cambridge 1674; Elizabeth, afterwards Mrs. Claypole, who died in 1658; Bridget, married Ireton, and secondly Fleetwood, and died in 1681; Mary, Viscountess Fauconbridge, died 1712, and Frances, Lady Russell, died 1721.

9. Explain fully how George I. derived his title to the crown.

George 1. was the son of Sophia, daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of James I. It was provided by the Act of Settlement passed in 1701, which was afterwards confirmed by the Treaty of Union, 1707, that on the death of Anne the crown should pass to the Princess Sophia of Hanover and her issue, and that all the descendants of the House of Stuart who were not Protestants should be excluded. George I., therefore, ascended the throne as the representative of Sophia.


[ocr errors]

10. Give an count of the principal legislative enactments from 1828 to 1858 inclusive.

A.D. Repeal of thc Test and Corporation Acts

1828 Roman Catholic Relief Bill

1829 Reform Bill passed

1832 Act for the Abolition of Slavery in the British Colonies 1833 Poor Law Bill

1834 Bill for the Reform of Municipal Corporations

Bill for the Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths 1836
Act for the Commutation of Tithes in England and

Act substituting Transportation for the punishment of
Death in cases of Forgery, Burglary, &c.

1837 Sir Robert Peel's Bank Bill

1844 Total Repeal of the Corn Laws

1846 Act passed establishing a General and a Local Board of Health

1848 Repeal of the Navigation Laws

1849 The India Bill passed (by which the East India Company ceased to have a political existence)..

1858 Bill for the Admission of Jews into Parliament:: 1858

[ocr errors]

11. Sketch the life of one of the following :- Sir Walter Raleigh, Strafford, Ridley, Milton, Bacon, Addison, Warren Hastings, or the Duke of Wellington.

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, the great minister of Charles I., and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was born in London, in 1593. He studied at Cambridge, married in 1611, was knighted, and travelled on the Continent. He was returned to Parliament as member for Yorkshire in 1614, and the next year was named custos rotulorum for the West Riding. He sat in several parliaments for Yorkshire, and took part with the opponents of the Court. In 1628 his course was changed. He went over to the side of the King and was created Baron Wentworth, then Viscount, Lord President of the Council of the North, and in 1629 Privy Councillor. As President of the North he exercised arbitrary power, and violated the petition of right, and his love of power still unsatisfied, he was made, by his own desire, Lord Deputy of Ireland, in July, 1633. His government there was despotic and cruel. Ireland, however, owes to him the introduction of the growth of flax, and the establishment of the linen manufacture. In July, 1639, Wentworth was created Earl of Strafford, and received the title of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was soon after recalled to command against the Scots, but he effected nothing. He took his seat in the House of Lorals in 1610, and was immediately impeached of high treason. He was committed to the Tower, and in March, 1641, his trial began-one of the most memorable of State trials. For seventeen days, we are told, he, unaided against thirteen accusers, who relieved one another, argued the charges which they bronght forward. He closed his eloquent defence on 13th April. The attainder was hurried on, and passed on 21st, but the King refused his consent. He, however, afterwards signed the warrant, and Strafford was beheaded on Tower Hill, May 12th, 1641.

12. What were the causes which led to the war between America and Great Britain ?

There were several causes which led to the war between Great Britain and America. (1.) In order to check the prevalence of smuggling, whereby the revenue suffered considerably, both at home and abroad, ships of war were stationed on the coasts; this the colonists resented, because of the greatness of their gains by illicit traffic carried on with the West Indies. (2.) In 1764, the English government imposed duties on several articles of American trade, and a Stamp Act was passed (1765) to charge the colonists with stamp duties the same as England. The Americans were enraged at this, and, after a debate in the House of Commons, the act was repealed. (3.) In 1767, the English parliament passed a bill for levying import duties in America on glass, paper, painter's colours and tea; these the colonists resolved not to pay. (4.) Because of the misconduct of the Americans in refusing to pay the duties, a bill was passed (1774) to close the port of Boston, and another, which provided that henceforth the Council of Massachusetts should be appointed by the crown and not elected by the people. A war ensued, and the independence of the Thirteen United States was afterwards acknowledged by treaty and they became a Republic, governed by an elective President.

IV. Geography of Europe and of the British Isles. 1. What sense do A Gulf is a part of the sea extending into the land and almost you attach to the surrounded by it. following geogra

A Bay is also a part of the sea extending into the land, and

the only difference, if any, is that it has a wider opening. phical terms, and

Promontory is an elevated cape. which, if any, are Cape is a portion of land stretching into the sea and appearing synonymes?

to terminate in a point.

Headland is an elevated cape. Gulf, bay, promon

Savannahs are large sandy plains in North America. tory, cape, head

Steppes are sandy plains which sometimes afford tolerable land, savannahs,

pasture. They are found principally in Russia, the largest steppes, desert, extending from the Ural to the Volga. pampas, landes,

Desert is a waste or barren tract of land. There are several

in North America. watershed, affluent, quicksands.

Pampas are the vast plains of South America, extending from Patagonia over many miles. The north part of these plains is rich in tropical palms; the central part is grassy ground; and the south part is swampy, covered with shingle.

Landes, barren sandy heaths north of the Adour in the department of Landes, S. W. of France.

Watershed is elevated land which divides one basin from another ; also called waterparting.

Affluent is a small river which joins a larger one.

Quicksands are shoals or ridges of sand of a shifting or loose nature.

[ocr errors]

The following, it may be seen, are as nearly as possible synonymes :

(a) Gulf and Bay.
(b) Promontory, Cape and Headland.
(c) Savannahs. Steppes and Pampas.
(d) Deserts and Landes.

[blocks in formation]

(1) The Thames rises in Gloucestershire, flows eastward between Berks, Surrey and Kent on the south, and Oxford, Buckingham, Middlesex and Essex on the north, and falls into the North Sea. Tributaries.-N. Churnet, Wainrush, Evenlode, Cherwell,

Colne, Brent, Lea and Roding. S. Cole, Kennet, Wey,

Mole, Darent and Medway.
County Towns.-(1) London, (2) Oxford, (3) Guildford,

(4) Maidstone, (5) Hertford, (6) Reading.
(2) The Serern rises in Montgomeryshire, and flows through
that county, Shropshire, Worcester and Gloucester, into the
Bristol Channel.
Tributaries.-E. The Terne, Upper and Lower Avon,

Leyden, Chelt, and Frome. W. Wye, Usk and Taff. County Towns.-(7) Gloucester, (8) Worcester, (9) Shrews

bury, (10) Monmouth.
(3) The Prent rises in the north of Staffordshire, flows
through Derby, Nottingham and Lincoln, and unites with the
Ouse to form the Humber.
Tributaries.- N. and W. the Dove, Derwent, Idle, Tarn.

S. Tame and Soar.
County Torens.-(11) Stafford, (12) Derby, (13) Notting-

ham, (14) Lincoln.
(4) The Great Ouse rises in the south of Northamptonshire,
and flows through Buckingham, Bedford, Huntingdon, Cam-
bridge and Norfolk, into the Wash.

Tributaries.- Ivel, Cam, Larke, Ouse, Stoke, and Nar.
County Towns.-(15) Buckingham, (16) Huntingdon, (17)

Bedford, (18) Cambridge.
(5) The Mersey rises in the north of Derbyshire, and flows
mostly between the counties Chester and Lancaster, and ex-
pands into the Irish Sea.

Tributaries.-Irwell and Weaver.
County Torns.-(19) Chester, (20) Lancaster.

3. Describe any

The Alps are the most remarkable mountains in Europe, two of the priu

whether in regard to extent or elevation ; they form a crescent

shaped chain which extends from the Mediterranean, between cipal mountain

the Gulfs of Lyons and Genoa on the west to the plains of ranges of Europe. Hungary on the east, nearly 600 miles in length. Mont Blanc,

which attains 15,744 feet, is the culminating point of the Alps and of all Europe. The other principal summits are Mont Rosa, Finisteraarhorn, Mont Viso and Ortler Spitz. The higher Alps present, in their magnificent glaciers, innumerable cascades, which are precipitated from their summits, and the forests and meadows which cover their flanks, the most imposing and picturesque scenery in Europe. The largest rivers of Europe, inclnding the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Inn, Drave, Save and Po, rise in the Alps or their subordinate ranges.

The Pyrenees are between France and Spain, extending from Cape Creux, on the Mediterranean in the east, to near Fuenterrabia on the west, a distance of 270 miles. Next to the Alps, the Pyrenees are in general the highest mountains of Europe. On the north side the mountains send off numerous offsets,

which cover part of the French departments, and the descent is
more gradual at the west than at the east extremity. Snow lies
deep in the mountains during a great part of the year, and is
perennial on the higher points. Corn grows in some of the
upper valleys and maize is also cultivated. The bear is found
in the high desert regions near the snow line, and the lynx
ascends to 8,300 feet. The principal summits are Maladetta,
11,168 feet, Mont Perdu and Pic du Midi.

Baltic: Neva, Southern Dwina or Dana, Niemen, Vistula,
Oder, Dal, Indal, Gidea, Umea, Pitea Lulea, Tornea.

Adriatic : Adige, Po.
Caspian: Ural, Volga, Terek and Kur.

4. What are the principal tributaries of the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Caspian Seas? 5. Describe fully any English county with which you may be most familiar. What are respectively the largest and smallest English counties?

Cornwall is enclosed on all sides by the sea, except on the cast, where it is mostly separated from Devonshire by the river Tamar. Its surface is intersected, from west to east, by a ridge of rugged and bleak hills, and scantily timbered, but it has some fertile valleys. Shores greatly indented by inlets of the sea, the principal of which are St. Ives and Padstow harbours, and on the English channel St. Blazey Bay, Falmouth Harbonr, and Mounts Bay, between the promontories of the Lizard and Land's End. The climate is mild, especially in winter, but damp with cloudy and frequent rain, yet it is salubrious. Myrtles and some other plants of South Europe flourish in the open air, but fruits do not ripen well. Corn and potatoes are the chief crops, but agriculture has lately improved. The pilchard fishery is actively carried on. The great metallic district extends from Dartmoor, in Devonshire, on the east, to Land's End on the west. Silver, lead, zinc, iron, manganese, antimony, cobalt and bismuth, are also found in various localities. Soapstone and porcelain clay are extensively shipped from Cornwall for the Potteries. The principal towns are Bodmin, Truro, Launceston, Falmouth, Penrhyn, and Penzance. The district contains many Druidical remains. It was made a separate British kingdom in 446, by Vortigern, but was afterwards overrun by the Saxons, and it was included in the kingdom of Wessex. King Arthur was a native of Tintagell Castle. Cornwall was created a duchy in the person of the Black Prince, and is now held by the Prince of Wales.

The largest county is York, 5981 square miles, and the smallest is Rutland, 152 square miles.

[ocr errors]

6. What are the principal seaport towns of France ? Describe the course of the Rhone.

Calais, Bonlogne, Havre, Cherbourg, Brest, Nantes, Rochelle,
Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulon, Nice.

The Rhône rises in Switzerland in the Rhône glacier, on the
west of Mount St. Gothard, between Mounts Furka and Grimsel,
flows south-west past Brieg and Sion to Martigny, where it turns
sharply to the north-west and enters the Lake of Geneva, near
its south-east extremity. At Geneva, it leaves the lake and
takes a south-west direction, forming a boundary between Italy
and the French department Ain. At Seyssel, it becomes navi-
gable; its course is now west to Lyons, where it receives the
Saône, and it then flows nearly due south past St. Genis, Vienne,
Tournon, Valence, Avignon, Beaucaire to Arles, where it
separates into several branches, forming a delta called the Ile
de la Camargue, and enters the Gulf of Lyons.

« PreviousContinue »