English Language and History .com is a collection of two-minute tales drawn from history, myth and fiction. Each tale is accompanied by word games testing grammar and expression, based on textbooks used in British schools from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Latest
The Voyage of ‘Golden Hinde’
two-part story
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Elizabethan adventurer Sir Francis Drake combined sailing round the world with really annoying the King of Spain.

IT was no secret in Elizabeth I’s reign that King Philip of Spain coveted her crown.

He had never understood why it passed from his late wife, Mary, to her half-sister Elizabeth and not to him, and he resented Elizabeth giving refuge to dissidents fleeing bloody persecution in the Spanish Netherlands.

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Six Posts
The Spanish Armada
Music: William Byrd
Philip of Spain’s attempt to teach Elizabeth I a lesson did not go as planned.

KING Philip II of Spain was a Catholic, and the husband of Queen Elizabeth I’s half-sister Queen Mary I.

He did not approve of Elizabeth’s Protestant beliefs, and thought she had no right to sit on his late wife’s throne.

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Mary Queen of Scots
two-part story
Music: George Frideric Handel
Henry VII’s great-granddaughter Mary never grasped that even royalty must win the people’s respect.

JAMES V of Scotland enraged his uncle, Henry VIII of England, by refusing to support the spread of Protestantism, and paid for it with defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542. James died shortly after, leaving his crown to his infant daughter Mary, barely a week old.

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The Re-rediscovery of America
Music: Matthew Locke
John Day of Bristol did not want Christopher Columbus to labour under a misapprehension.

ON 24th June 1497, the Feast of St John the Baptist, Venetian captain John Cabot and his crew of Englishmen landed at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, after leaving Bristol aboard the ‘Matthew’ towards the end of May. Cabot did not venture far inland or found any settlements, but took careful notes and charted the coastline.

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Flodden Edge
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
The Scots paid a heavy price for honouring their ‘Auld Alliance’ with France.

EARLY in the 16th century, Pope Julius II of Rome and King Louis XII of France were at war, and King Henry VIII of England had sided with the Pope. So Louis begged the Scottish King James IV to invade England, reminding him of the ‘Auld Alliance’, the Scots’ long-standing friendship with France.

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Sir Walter Raleigh
Music: William Byrd
Sir Walter’s dizzy life brought him fame and fortune in dangerous places, the most dangerous of which was Court.

WALTER Raleigh’s soldiering in Ireland, putting down the Desmond Rebellions, so impressed Queen Elizabeth I that in 1584 she engaged him to organise the founding of a gold-mining colony at Roanoke Island in the New World.

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Merchants of Muscovy
Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff
In 1553, Richard Chancellor set out on a perilous voyage to Russia in order to bypass the Hanseatic League’s single market.

ON 10th May 1553, Sir Hugh Willoughby and his pilot Richard Chancellor set out in three ships for the Arctic Ocean beyond Norway. At that time, European merchants from modern-day Holland to Poland ran a single market monopolising trade with Russia, and a competing route promised rich rewards for England’s wool industry.

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All Posts
Tagged Tudor Era (9 posts)
page 1
1 The Voyage of ‘Golden Hinde’
Elizabethan adventurer Sir Francis Drake combined sailing round the world with really annoying the King of Spain.
2 Mary Queen of Scots
Henry VII’s great-granddaughter Mary never grasped that even royalty must win the people’s respect.
3 Merchants of Muscovy
In 1553, Richard Chancellor set out on a perilous voyage to Russia in order to bypass the Hanseatic League’s single market.
4 Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter’s dizzy life brought him fame and fortune in dangerous places, the most dangerous of which was Court.
5 Cvthbertvs
Henry VIII’s experts declared that saints were nothing special, but St Cuthbert had a surprise for them.
6 Flodden Edge
The Scots paid a heavy price for honouring their ‘Auld Alliance’ with France.
page 2
7 The Re-rediscovery of America
John Day of Bristol did not want Christopher Columbus to labour under a misapprehension.
8 The Nine-Day Queen
Lady Jane Grey’s accession was almost instantly overturned.
9 The Spanish Armada
Philip of Spain’s attempt to teach Elizabeth I a lesson did not go as planned.

Word Play: Verb or Noun?

Use each of the words below once as a noun and once as a verb:

Gas. Return. Research.

New Stories
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
To the poor of England, the Worcestershire man gave affordable pots and pans, and to all the world he gave the industrial revolution.
After Louis XIV’s grandson Philip inherited the throne of Spain, the ‘Sun King’ began to entertain dreams of Europe-wide dominion.
New Puzzles
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Try writing complete sentences using these nouns as either the subject or the object of a verb.
Try writing complete sentences using these verbs in either the active or the passive voice.
Polyword ‘Teem’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FISH and finish with CAKE.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FLAG and finish with POLE.
Do you know ‘princes and princesses, kings and queens’ (7 letters), and ‘jump up and down on one foot’ (3 letters)?
Do you know ‘part of a fish’ (3 letters), and ‘heart of the matter’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
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History (359)
Fiction (77)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: ‘Countdown’ letters game Games with Words

numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Maths Gym Mental arithmetic