1066 and All That
Walter Carruthers Sellar and Robert Julian Yeatman

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1066 and All That
A Memorable History of England

Comprising All the Parts You Can Remember Including One Hundred and Three Good Things, Five Bad Kings, and Two Genuine Dates

Copyright © 1931 by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
Copyright Renewal, © 1958 by Robert Julian Yeatman


Chapter XXXIBluff King Hal

He also invented a game called “Bluff King Hal” which he invited his ministers to play with him. The players were blindfolded and knelt down with their heads on a block of wood; they then guessed whom the King would marry next.



The Restoration

Henry wanted the Pope to give him a divorce from his first wife, Katherine. He wanted this because

  1. she was Arrogant.
  2. he had married her a very long time ago.
  3. when she had a baby it turned out to be Broody Mary, and Henry wanted a boy.
  4. he thought it would be a Good Thing.
The Pope, however, refused, and seceded with all his followers from the Church of England. This was called the Restoration.
Chapter XXXIIEdward VI and Broody Mary Edward VI was only a boy and consequently was not allowed to have his reign properly, but while he was sitting on the throne everyone in the land was forced to become Protestant, so that Broody Mary would be able to put them to death afterwards for not being Roman Catholics. A good many people protested agains this treatment and thus it was proved that they were Protestants, but most of the people decanted and were all right.
Chapter XXXIIIThe Great Armadillo

The Spaniards complained that Captain F. Drake, the memorable bowlsman, had singed the King of Spain’s beard (or Spanish Mane, as it was called) [...] and sent the Great Spanish Armadillo to ravish the shores of England.

The Queen of Hearts

As Mary had already been Queen of France and Queen of Scotland many people thought that it would be unfair if she was not made Queen of England as well. [...] Elizabeth, however, learning that in addition to all this Mary was good-looking and could play on the virginals, recognized that Mary was too romantic not to be executed, and accordingly had that done.

Chapter XXXIVJames I. A Tidy King He also tried to straighten out the memorable confusion about the Picts, who, as will be remembered, were originally Irish living in Scotland, and the Scots, originally Picts living in Ireland. James tried to make things tidier by putting the Scots in Ulsters and planting them in Ireland, but the plan failed because the Picts had been lost sight of during the Dark Ages and were now nowhere to be found.
Chapter XXXVBlood and Ironclads

When Charles I had been defeated he was brought to trial by the Rump Parliament—so-called because it had been sitting for such a long time—and was found guilty of being defeated in a war against himself, which was, of course, a form of High Treason. He was therefore ordered by Cromwell to go and have his head cut off (it was, the Roundheads pointed out, the wrong shape, anyway).



Chapter XXXVIIIThe Bank of England

It was Williamanmary who first discovered the National Debt and had the memorable idea of building the Bank of England to put it in. The National Debt is a very Good Thing and it would be dangerous to pay it off, for fear of Political Economy.



Test Paper IV

Up to the End of the Stuarts
  1. Deplore the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, stating the day and month (but not, of course, the year) usually assigned to it.
  2. Examine the state of mind of
    1. Charles I, half an hour after his head was cut off.
    2. Charles II, half a moment after first sighting Nell Gwyn.
  3. Why on earth was William of Orange? (Seriously, though.)
Chapter XXXIXAnne. A Dead Queen Besides being dead she was extremely kind-hearted and had a very soothing Act passed called the Occasional Conformity Act which said that people only had to conform with it occasionally: this pleasant trait in her character was called Queen Anne’s Bounty.
Succession of Wars

Probably the Wars could never have been fought properly but for the genius of Marlborough, who could always remember which side the Bavarians and the Elector Pantomime of the Rhine were supposed to be on: this unique talent enabled him to defeat his enemies in fierce battles long before they could discover which side he himself was on. [...]

In this reign also occurred the memorable Port Wine Treaty with Portugal, directed against Decanters (as the Non-Conformists were now called), as well as a very clever act called the Schism Act which said that everybody’s religion was to be quite different from everybody else’s.

Chapter XLIVThe Boston Tea-Party One day when George III was insane he heard that the Americans never had afternoon tea. This made him very obstinate and he invited them all to a compulsory tea-party at Boston; the Americans, however, started by pouring the tea into Boston Harbour and went on pouring things into Boston Harbour until they were quite Independent, thus causing the United States.
Chapter XLVIIIWellington When Napoleon made his troops march all the way to Moscow on their stomachs they got frozen to death one by one, and even Napoleon himself admitted afterwards that it was rather a Bad Thing.

After losing this war Napoleon was sent away by the French, since he had not succeeded in making them top nation; but he soon escaped and returned just in time to fight on the French side at the battle of Waterloo. This utterly memorable battle was fought at the end of a dance, on the Playing Fields of Eton, and resulted in the English definitely becoming top nation.

Chapter XLIXThe Tractarian Movement

The Industrial Revelation would never have occurred but for the wave of great mechanical Inventors, e.g. Arkwright, who invented the Spinning Jenny, or unmarried textile working girl; subsequently, however, this kind of work was done by mules, the discovery of a man called Crompton. Other benefactors were Sir Isaak Watts who invented steam-kettles, Sir Robert Boyle who had them legalized,1 and finally Robert Louis Stevenson, who put wheels on to them, thereby inventing Railway trains, steam-rollers and other tractarian engines.

1 Boyle’s Law: (“Watts pots never boyle”).



Munroe Doctrine This was known as the Munroe Doctrine and proves that it is wrong for anyone to have wars in North or South America (except the United States Marines).
Chapter LDeath of George IV

Besides gentlemen, George IV had invented Regent Street, the Regent Canal, etc., before he came to the throne, and afterwards he invented the Brighton Marine Aquarium. He was thus a Bad Thing.

Chapter LIWilliam IV. A Sailor King The marine tendency of George IV was inherited by his brother William IV, who was known as the Sailor King on account of his readiness to create any number of piers at moments of political crisis.
Chapter LIIQueen Victoria. A Good Queen

Finding herself on the throne, Queen Victoria immediately announced her intention of being Good and plural but not amused. This challenge was joyfully accepted by her subjects, and throughout her protracted reign loyal and indefatigable attempts to amuse her were made by Her Majesty’s eminently Victorian ministers and generals.

Chapter LVIFresh Attempts to Amuse the Queen. Wave of Justifiable Wars

All these attempts having failed, news was brought to the Queen that the Fiji Islands were annexed to the British “by the desire of the inhabitants.” At this point, according to some (seditious) historians, Her Majesty’s lip was observed to tremble.

Compare to:

Little Paul



Chapter LVIIQueen Victoria’s Jamboree Finally, all attempts (even by Gladstone and Disraeli) to amuse her, and to prevent her being good, having failed, the Queen held a Jamboree in Westminster Abbey and Crowned Heads and Oriental Patentees from all parts of the world came to acknowledge publicly the Good Queen’s Victory over all her ministers and generals.
Chapter LIXWave of Inventions The reign of Queen Victoria was famous for the numerous discoveries and inventions which happened in it. One of the first of these was the brilliant theory of Mr. Darwin propounded in his memorable works, Tails of a Grandfather, The Manx Man, Our Mutual Friends, etc. This was known as Elocution or the Origin of Speeches and was fiercely denounced in every pulpit.



There was also in Queen Victoria’s reign a famous inventor and poet called Oscar Wilde [...]; he made himself memorable by inventing Art, Asceticism, etc., and was the leader of a set of disgusting old gentlemen called “the naughty nineties.”

But most memorable of all were the McCanical inventions of the age, nearly all of which were kinds of Progress and invented by Scotsmen and Bad Things. Amongst these were Bicycles which caused Tricycles, coasting, bloomers, etc., and Roads (invented by Lord Macadam and his son Lord Tarmac) for them to go along. Other inventions were Thermometers (invented by Lord Farqualqhounheit) which caused Temperatures, inflolqhuouenza, etc.; Telegrams which caused betting, Bismark, etc.; Mackintoshes (invented by another Scottish nobleman whose name is now forgotten); and the memorable line invented by Mr. Plimsoll (see diagram below).

Most of these inventions, however, were too numerous to be mentioned.

Mr. Plimsoll’s Invention

Oscar Wilde



Chapter LXEdward VII. Almost a Monarch [...] Edward VII smoked cigars, was addicted to entente cordials, married a Sea-King’s daughter, and invented appendicitis.
Chapter LXIThe Great War King Edward’s new policy of peace was very successful and culminated in the Great War to End War. This pacific and inevitable struggle was undertaken in the reign of His Good and memorable Majesty King George V and it was the cause of nowadays and the end of History.
Causes of the Great War The Great War was between Germany and America and was thus fought in Belgium, one of the chief causes being the murder of the Austrian Duke of Sarajevo by a murderer in Servia.
The Peace to End Peace

Though there were several battles in the War, none were so terrible or costly as the Peace which was signed afterwards in the ever-memorable Chamber of Horrors at Versailles, and which was caused by the only memorable American statesmen, President Wilson and Col. White House, who insisted on a lot of Points, including

  1. That England should be allowed to pay for the War: this was a Good Thing because it strengthened British (and even American) credit;
  2. that the world should be made safe for democracy i.e. anyone except pillion-riders, pedestrians, foreigners, natives, capitalists, communists, Jews, riffs, R.A.F.S., gun-men, policemen, peasants, pheasants, Chinese, etc.;
  3. that there should be a great many more countries: this was a Bad Thing as it was the cause of increased geography;
  4. the Freedom of the Seas: this was a Good Thing as it did not apply to Britain or America (or Switzerland);
  5. that the Kaiser should be hanged: this was a Good Thing as it was abandoned, together with Mr. Lloyd George, the Irish Question, etc.

text checked (see note) Apr 2006

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