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Lei?ox Library 




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. \^^': 

\>- - 

^»»»\ Vs »iv\\ , \ .r\ 

A N 


-^ ... 




V o il I. . 

Kec miniinum-meruere decus veftigia Graeca 

Auii deferere , & ^lebrare domeflica fa£ia. Hon. 


rintcd for Theophilus Barrois , Bookfellcr ^ 
quai des Auguflins. 



i HE editor cannot difmift a new edition of thii 
Pork , without expreiHnz the pleafure he feels in icf 
reception. It wbs at tirfl tishered into the world with nono 
K the ufual methods of awakening curiofity , or biaffing- 
Sie judgment. Its author, as well as its editor, was, 
ind itill continues ^ unknown. 1$ appeared trith very^ 
Attle fplendor , fcarce any expence was laid out in the* 
publieation , and that' praife was fiudiouily avoided 
K^hich was only to be caujght by purfuing. 

However, under all the(9 difadvantages , the work ha8i 
\icceeded beyond the editor's mod languine expe£la- 
tions , if he may judge from.the numbers which have been 
Ebld, and tlie commendations whkh have been given, 
^for can it be a circumflance of fmall pleafure to him « 
to think that a performance , calculated chiefly to difpel 
the prejudice ox party , and foften the malevolence of 
fadion , has had purchafers , at a time when almoil every 
new pi;d)lication that refpeds our hiilory or conftituttoa 
tends to flx the one and inflame the other* 

It is true , that but verv little of the merit is his own r 
and that he only applauds himfelf for triumphs which 
have been gjuned by another. However , he is willing 
to take to himfelf thofe advantages which are declined 
by the great perfonage who alone.has deferved them 5 foe 
the poor often, think themfelves very fine in thofo 
cloaths which are thrown aflde by their betters. 

But , to fpeak more particularly of my own part 
of the work , I am not a little proud in hearing that tho 
concluflon i^ not entirely ^ contemptible • and that it 
does not fall very far short of the beginning. It was 
my aim to obferve the perfpicuity and concifenefs of the 
original , and as his Lordship feems to have takf n Tacitus 
for his model , fo 1 tqok him for mine. It was , in fad « 
np eafy matter , in fuch a variety of materials as our 
hiftory affords , to reject trivial particulars, and yet pre- 
fer ve a concatenation of events; to crowd a multitude 
of ii€ts into fo fmall a Compais , and yet not give the 
iKTork the air of an index. In this , all who have hitherto 
abridged our hiflory have failed ; how far the prefent 
w^ork has fucceeded, poilerity mu(l be Jieft to judge. 
- The firft part of thefe letters , as we have formerly ob- 
fer-ved , were ^rrittea for the inflxu^on of a young man 

A 2 


«f quality , who was then at college -, the editor , tfaere< 
fore, is furprifed with an obje^on ufuall^made againft 
them , that ihey are rather above the capacity of bo3rs. If 
by boys be meant children , I grant it) the fa£U» ihript 
of ail ornament, may, perhaps be moil proper for them: 
but , on the contrary , thofe who are rifing up to 
inanhoodj should be treated as men, and no works pot 
into 'their hands, but fuch as are capable of exerciung 
.their capacity , and wiiich the moit mature judgment 
would approve. I am well aware, that many fchooi- 
matters will prefer any of thofe little hiftories of £ng« 
land that are writtea by way of (pieftion and anfwer, 
and tlunk their boys making great advances , while they 
are thus loading their memory , without ezercifing dieir 
indgmisnt : with thefe men no arguments will prevail ; 
and I can only difmi(s fuch with wishing that the pro- 
ftffors were as refpe^ble as the profeflion. 

Once more , therefore , I muft aflert , that , though the 
]K>ok is written to men, it will be a proper guide for 
the inftru^ion of boys. Maxima dcbctur pueris rcvcrtiuia , 
is true • as well with regard to the books they should 
read, as the examples they should fee. In this I flatter 
myfelf , .that they will find nothing here either to cor« 
rupt their morals or their ftyle; no flavish tenets that 
abridge freedom and increafe dependence*, no enthuii- 
aftic rants, that drive even-virtue beyond the line of duty« 
Scarce any opinions iare ' hazarded merely from their 
•legance or fingularity -, truth only feems to have guided 
the pen : and it is remarkable that many of the tenets in 
thefe letters,' that at firft publication feemedparadoxical , 
have been iince illuftrated by one of the xnpft elegant 
commentators upon our conititutioa \ . 

» Pr. Blackftone. 


H I _S T OR Y 
E N G L A N D» 



L E T T E R I. 
Dear Charles i 

X H E accounts I receive ' from Mr. ***** , your- 
tutor at Oxford, of your condufi and capacity, 
give me equal pleafure , both as a father and as a 
man. 1 own myfelf happy , in thinking that fociety 
Hvill one day reap the advantage of your improved 
abilities ; but 1 confefs myfelf vain , when 1 refleft 
on the care I have taken , and the honour I ihal^ 
perhaps , obtain from affifling their cultivation. Yes, 
my Charles, felf intereft thus mixes with almoft 
every virtue ; my paternal vanity is , perhaps , greater 
than my r^ards for fociety in the prefeat infiance ; 

A 3 


but you fhould conftder that the bad pride them^ 
felvesin their folly, but good minds alone are vain 
of t}ietr virtues. 

I need fcarcely repeat what J have fo often ob- 
ferved , that your adiduity for a few years , in the 
early period of life , will give eafe and happinefs to 
the fucceedinp : a life fpent in regularity and ft)idy , 
in college , will not only fumifh the miftd with pro- 
ber materials , but fit it , by habit, for future felicity, 
Mathematics will teach you to think with clofeneft 
and precifion , and the ancient poets will enlarge 
your imagination : from thefe two helps , and not 
from the fubtleties of logic , or metaphyseal pecu- 
lations , the mind is at once ftrengtnened ^a im- 
proved. Logic or metaphyfics may give the theory 
of risafoning ; but it is poetry and mathematics ^ tho* 
ieemingly oppofite , that pradically improve and fi^ 
us for every rational enquiry. . .1 

""Thefe were the ftudies 1 recommended as prlnci« 
pally conducive to your improvement , and your let^ 
ters alone are fufficient inftances of your complying! 
with my advice. I confefs my fears in giving any 
future inftruftions on fuch topics to one who feemj 
better converfant with them than his inftruftor : I 
therefore muft leave a fubjeft , where my fuperiority 
at leaft ma^ be contefted. 

But, after ail , my child, diefe ftudies are at beft' 
but ornaments of the mind , defigned rather to po- 
-lifh or to fit it for higher improvements , than asl 
material, to be employed in guiding our condua 
•as individuals, or members of fociety. There is, 
a field that, in fome meafure^ fiill lies untrodden 
Before you , and from that alone true wifdpm and 
real improvement can be expefied ; I mean hiAory. 
From niftory , in a great meafure , every advan-| 
tage that improves the gentlemaai or coimrm^ thct 


patriot « can be hoped for : it is that which mvA 
qualify you for becoming a proper member of the 
community ; for filling that ttation j in whidi you 
may hereafcer be placed, with honour; and for 
giving,as welt as deri vine, newlufire to thatiUnf* 
trious aflembly , to whi<£, lipon my deceafe, you 
have a right to be called. 

Yet, ftill , nothing can be more ufelels than hifio^ 
ry , in the manner in which it is generally ftudted^ 
where the memory is loaded with little more dian 
dates ^ names , and events. Simply to repeat the 
tranfadion b by fome thought fufncient for every 
pnrpoie ; and a youth , having been once appl^u^ed 
for his readihefi in this way, fancies himfelf a per- 
feft hUlorian* But the true ufe of hiftory does not 
confift in being able to fettle a genealogy , in quoting, 
the events of an obfcure reign , or the true epoch of 
a contefted birth ; this knowledge of fads hardlv 
deferves the name of fdence : true wifdom confm 
in tracing effeds to their caufes. To underiland 
hiftory is to nnderftand man , who is the fubjed. 
To ftndy hifloryis to weigh the motives, the opi* 
nions , the paflions of mankind , in order to avoid a 
fim'tlitude of errors in ourfelves , or profit by the 
wifdom of their exam pie. 

To ftudy hiftory in this manner may be begua 
at any age. Children can never be too foon treat* 
ed as men. Thofe maftcrs , who alledge the inca- 
pacity of tender youth , only tacitly reproach their 
own : thofe Vho are incapable of^teaching young 
minds to reafon , pretend that it is impoflible. The 
truth is , they are fonder of making their pupils 
talk well than think well; and much the greater 
fiumber are better qualified to give praife to a ready 
memory than a found judgment. The generality 
of mankind confider a multitude of -fads as' the 



real food of the mind, not as fubje^b proper u 
afford it exercife. From hence it proceeds , thai 
iiiAory, inftead of teaching us to know ourfelves, 
often only ferves to raife our vanity , by the applaufc 
of the ienorant ; or , what is more dangerous , hj 
the felf-oelufion of untried vanity. 

A {fuming ignorance is , of all difpofitions , the 
snofi ridiculous : for , in the fame proportion as the 
real man of wifdom is preferable to the unlettered 
ruAic, fo much is the ruftic fuperior to him , who 
without learning imagines himfelf learned. It were 
better that fuch a man had never read^ for then he 
might have been confcious of his weaknefi ; but the 
iialf-learned man , relying upon his ftrength , fel- 
dom perceives his wants till he finds his oeceptlon 
paft a cure. | 

Your ld>ours in hiftory have hitherto been rather 
confined to the words , than the b&s , of your hifl 
torical guides. You have read Xenojihon or Livy, 
rather with a view of learning the dea^ languages 
in which they are written , than of profiling by the 
inftrudions which they afford. The time is now 
come for difcontinuing the fiudy of words for 
things ; for exercifing your judgment , and giving 
more room to reafon than the fancy. 

Above all things , I would advife you to confult 
the original hiftorians in every relation. Abridgers, 
compilers , commentators , and critics , are in ge- 
neral only fit to fill the mind with unneceffary anec- 
dotes, or lead its refearchcs affray. In the im- 
nienfiiy of various relations , your care muff be ta 
feleft fuch as deferve to be known , becaufe they 
ferve to inftruft ; the end of your labour fliould 
not be to know in what year fools or favages com- 
mitted their extravagancies , but by wtat methods 
they emerged from barbsu'lty* The fame aeceflity 


there js for knowing the adions of the worthy- 
part of princes , alfo compds us to endeavour to 
iorget thofe of the ignorant and vulgar herd oF 
lungs f who feem only to flumber in a fear they 
were accidentally called to fill. In fhort , not die 
hiftory of kings'^, but of men, fhould be your prin- 
cipal concern ; and fuch an hidory is only to b& 
acqwred by confukine thofe originals who painted 
the times they lived in. Their fucceffors , who 
pretended to methodize their hiAories, have almoft 
univerfally deprived them of all their fpirit , and 
given us rather a dry catalogue of names , than an 
improving detail of events* In reality hiflory is 
precious or infignificant, not from the brilliancy 
of the events , the fingularity of the adventurer , or 
the greatnefs of the perfonages concerned , but 
from the fkill , penetration , and judgment of the 
obferver. Tacitus frequently complains of his 
want of materials , of the Uttlenefs of his inci« 
dents, of the weaknefs and villainy of his a6tors; 
yet , even from fuch indifferent iubje^b , he has 
wrought out the moft^pleafing and the moA infiruc- 
tive hiAory that ever was written : it will therefore 
be entirely the work of your own judgment to con- 
vert the generality of hiftorians to your benefit; 
they axv , at prefent , but rude materials, and require 
a fme difcernmem to feparate the ufeful from the; 
unneceiiary ^ and anal3rfe their different principles. 

Yet , miifcike me not : I would not have hiftory 
to confift of dry, {peculations upon fads , told with 
phlegm , and puruied without intereft and pailion ; 
nor would I have your reafon fatigued continually 
ia crirical refearches : all I require is , that the hif* 
torian would give as much exercife to the judg- 
ment as the imag^iation* It is as much his dut^ to 
fid the pbiloibpher , iSt poUticiag , in his narrativ«Sj| 


as to colle£^, materials • for narration. Wit^KMft a 
philofophical ikill in dircerning , his very narrative 
mufl be frequently falfe^ fabulous , and contradic- 
tory ; without, political fagacity , his charadeiis 
muft be ill drawn, and vice and virtue be diftributed 
without difcernment or candour. 

What hiftorian can render virtue fo amiable as 
J^enophon ? Who can interefl the reader fo much 
as Livy ? Salluft is an inftance of the moft delicate 
•exadnefs > and Tacitus of the moA iblid reflection : 
from a perfed acquaintance with thefe , the youth- 
ful fludent can acquire more knowledge of maidcind ^ 
a more perfed acquaintance with antiquity ,. and a 
jnore juu manner of thinking and expreffion^ than, 
|)erhaps , from any others of any age or country. 
rOther ancient hiitorians may be read to advance 
the Audy of ancient learning , but thefe flioutd be 
the ground -work of all your refearchps. With- 
out a previous acquaintance with thefe , you enter 
upon other writers improperly prepared ; until 
^thefe have placed you in a proper train of naora- 
lizing the incidents^ other- hiAorians may , per 
^aps> injure, but will not improve yon. Let me 
.therefore , at prefent , my dear Charles , intreat you 
to beftow the proper care upon thofe treafures of 
antiquity ; and by your letters every poft , com- 
municate to your fatlier , and your friend , the re- 
fult of your reflexions upon them. I am at a lofs, 
whether I ihall find more fatis&dion in hearing 
your remarks, or communicating my own ? How- 
ever , in which foever of them I ihall be employ ed» 
it will make my highefl amufement. Amufement is 
all that I can now expefi in life , for ambition has 
long forfaken me ; and , perhaps, my child , after all 
what your noble anceftor has obfeirved is mofi true : 
^if^lua all is dotu^ humaa life U^ at tie grcaufi ani 


fkeitfi^ but like a.froward child ^ thai miifl- be played 
with and humourtd a Utile to keep it quiit till it /aUs 
aflup , and tkm tht care is over, 


1 EKTiRELYacqutefce in your fcntiments, that 
univcrfal hiftory is a fubjed too extenfive for hu- 
man comprehension , and that he who would really 
reap the advantages of htflory muft be contented to 
bound his views. Satisfied with being fuperficially 
acquainted with the tranfadions* of many countries, 
the learner fhould place his principal attention only^ 
onafbw. • 

Your remarks on the Greek and Roman repub- 
lics fiir Yurpafs my expectations; you have juftly 
charafterifed them as the fineft inftances of political 
fociety that could be founded on the baiis of a 
falfe religion. Where religion is imperfeft , poli- 
tical fociety , and all laws enaded for its improve- 
ment , muft be imperfed alfo. Religion is but phi- 
lofophy refined, and no man could ever boaft an 
excellence in politics > whofe mind had not been 
previolifly opened and enlarged by the inftitutions 
of th^logy > an error in religion ever producing 
defeds in legtflation. 

Forgive me, dear Oiarles, if I once more con- 
gratulate myfelf upon the pleafure I exped from 
your future eminence. You are, now tindured witli 
univerfel hiftory , and are thoroughly converfant 
with that of Greece and Rome ; but there is another 
department of hiftory ffill remaining , and that 
much more important than any 1 have yet men* 
tioned; I mean the History of England. The 
hiftory of t]^ country is the proper ftudy ^f an 

A 6 


Englifhman; however, it peculiarly concerns diofiti 
who may , like you , one day have fuch an impor* 
tant chara&er to fuppoit in its adminiftration , and 
whofe own name , perhaps , may find a place in the 
hi/loric page. All who- are enamoured oi die liberty 
and the nappinefs which they peculiarly enjoy in this 
happy region , muft furely be defirous of knowing 
the methods by which fuch advantages were acqui- 
red; the progreilive fleps from barbarirvto focial 
refinement , trom fociety to the higheft- pitch oi 
well conflituted freedom. All Europe fiands in af> 
toiiifhment at the wifdom of our conftitution , and 
it would argue thehighefi degree ofinfeniibtHty in 
a* native of this country , and one too who from his 
birth enjoys peculiar privileges « to be ignorant of 
what others fo much admire. 

I fhall not rnfift upon a principal ufe to which 
fome apply the Englifh history, I mean that of 
making it the topic of common converfation ; yet, 
even from fuch a motive, though in itfelf trifling , 
no well-bred man can plead ignorance* Its greateft 
advantage, however, is, that a knowledge of the 
paft enables the attentive mind to underltand the 
prefent : our laws and cuftoms, our liberties and 
abufe of liberty , can fcarcely be underftood without 
tracing theni to their fource, and hiftory is the only 
channel by which we can arrive at what we fo 
eagerly purfue. 

But, were I to compare the hiftory of our own 
eountry , in point ot amufement , with that of 
others , I know of none , either ancient or inodern , 
that can vie with it in this refpeft. In other hif- 
tories , remote and extenfive connexions . interrupt 
the reader's intereft , and deftroy the. firaplicity of 
the plan. The hiftory of Greece maj^. bQ eafily di^ 
yidcd into feyen different hUlories p and into fq 


jnany it has aS^ually been divided : the hiftory of 
Rome^ from the time it begins to be authentic , is 
little elfe than an account otthe then known woild : 
but 4 in England , feparated , by its fituation, from 
the continent , the reader may confider the whole 
narrative , with all its viciilitudes , in one point of 
view ; it unites the phiiofopher's * definition of 
beauty , by being varioufly untfarm^ 

The Simplicity in an hifto_ty of our own country; 
is therefore excellent ; but I can direft to few wha • 
have improved the materials it affords with a proper 
degree ©f.afliduiry or fkill. The hiftorians , who 
have treated of this fub}e£( , have in general written 
for a party ; many , with an open avowal of their 
abufe. Some , who have had talents for this un^ 
dertakine , were unable to afford tlierafelves fiiffi- 
cient leiuire to polifh their work into the degree of 
requifite perfedion ; wlale others, who have la-, 
boured with fufficient affiduity , have been wofully^ 
deficient in point of fagacity , or proper fkill iiv the 
choice of thofe fafts they thought proper to relate.' 
Whatever has been known , aad not what was worth 
knowing , has been faithfully tranfcribed ; fo that 
the prelent. accounts of the country refemble the 
ancient face of the foil : here s^n* uncultivated forefl| 
there a defolate wild; and, in a very few places, a 
fpot o^ earth;*itdorned by art , aqd fmiUng with all 
the luxuriance of nature. To make hiftory, like 
the foil , truly ufeful , the obftacle^ to improvement 
muft be torn away , new aflSftances muft be acquired 
from art; nor jjan the work be deemed properly 
.fimflied , till the whole puts on firapUcity , unifor- 
mity, and elegance. As the cafe is at ptefent^Si^e 
muft read a-&rary , to accjuire a IsnoN^ledge of 

f Hntchefoju. . ^ . Jf 


Engliih hiAofy , and , after all , be contented to Tor* 
get more than we remember* 

The hiftory of England may be di^mled , properly 
enough » into three periods ; very different indeecf , 
with regard to their duration , but almoft of equal 
importance. The firft is from the commencement 
of oiir knowledge of the countty to its conquell 
by the Normans ; the fecond , ifrom the time of 
William the Conoueror to the alteration of the 
p confiiturion by the oeheading of King Charles I ; the 
hft contains the remaining period of our hiAory. 
It will at cmce appear , that fiich a divifipn is ex- 
tremely unequal : the firft departitaent may be faid 
' to extend to a period of more than a thoufiind years ; 
the fecond contains not lefs than feyen hundred, 
while the remaining does not take ijp two. Chro- 
siologifis , indeed >wouM divide it in a very diflferem 
manner ; however 9 I am rather inclined to this di- 
vifion , moire by the peculiar ufe which may be made 
of each perioa » than the mere regularity of rime. 
To confider the firft part with accuracy, belongs 
properly to the philofopher; the fecond is the bn-i 
finefs of him who would underftahd our confUtution, 
tnd is the proper ftudy of a legifl^or ; and the laft , 
of fudh as would be acquainted with the con- 
nexions and relatioht; in which we ftand with regard 
to our neighbours of the continent , and our foreign 
tnd domeSic trade , that is , in other words , to Ac 
merchant and politician. 

There is fcarce any other pailion, but that of 
curiofity , excited by a knowledge of the early 
part of our hiftory. We m«y go through the ao» 
"founts of that diftant aera with the fame impar- 
^lity with which we cortfider the original inhabi- 
tants of any other cbuntry , as the cuftoms of out 
firicifh anctfflors have fcarce any comiexi^ wivh 

i only^ 


ibm owii : but then , to fome minds , it niuft be 
a pleafifig dircfuifition to obferve tke human animal, 
by degrees , divefting himfelf of his native ferocity , 
and acquiring the arts of happinefs and peace ; to 
trace the fieps, by which he leaves his precariotis 
meal , acquired by the chafe , for a more certain , 
bur a- more laborious repaft, acquired firft by pafr 
turage, then by cultivatiod. 

After the conqueft, the irude outlines of pur 

fent conftitution began to be formed. Befon 

Norman Invasion , there might be fome cufioi 

fembling thofe at prefent in praf^ice ; but the 

-reafon of their continuance was , becaufe they had 

before been pradifed in conunon among the inva* 

•ders* At this period , therefore; an Englifhman 

•becomes interefied in the narrative; he perceives 

the life and the reafons of feveral laws, which 

now ferye to reftrain his coriduft , or preferve his 

property. The rights of our monarchs, the claims 

of foreign pojciitates, the ineffeftual {Iniggles for 

liberty-, and the gradual encroachments of ambn 

tion , thefe highly interefl him , as he in fome 

meafure owes to thefe tranfadions the happinefs he 


' But the laft period is, what is chiefly incuipbent 

upon ;ilmoft eyery man to be particnkrly cotrver* 

faitt ifl. Every perfon , redding here , has a ihare 

in the liberties of this kingdom ; as the generality 

of the people are ultimately invefted with the legi- 

llatioji. It Js therefore every man's duty to know, 

that conftitutifl^^ which , by his birth -right, he 

is called to d^HMF*^ freeholder, in a free king« 

dora , ihould c^Rmy be inftrufted in the original 

of that agreement by which he holds fo precious 

a tenure. . 


Thefe motives equally influence almofl every ranli 
of people ; but how much inore forcibly ihould they 
operate upon you , whofe honours , whofe troAs , and 
poiTeAions , are likely to be fo confiderable. Others 
may have their liberties to fupport. ; you muft fiif- 
tain your liberty , your property , and the dignity of 
your Aation. 1 mall , therefore , without farther 
preface, in fome future correfpondence , commuiii- 
the refult of my enquiries on this fubjed ; a 
St which , I own , has employed all the ieifure 
I to fpare from , I will not fay more important, 
more neceflary duties. I ihall endeavour , at 
once, to fupply the fa^s, and the neceflary confe- 
auences that may be deduced from them. I ihall 
ieparate all that can contribi«te nothing either to 
sunufement or ufe , and leave fuch to dull compilers, 
or fyfVematic writers of hiftory , whofe only boaft 
is, /0 l€av< nothing out, A more thorough knowledge 
of' the fubjed cannot be communicated without 
pain , nor. acquired without fludy : perhaps, too 
minute a fkill in this , or any one fubje^^ might 
difqualify the mind for other branches of fcience , 
jequally demanding pur care. Of whatever ufe it 
may be, I hope you will confider it as an inftance 
of m^y regard, though it fliould fail to add to your 
opimon 01 my fagacity. 



A HERE feems to be a natural tendency In every 
nation to run its antiquity a$ far back as poffible , 
and when once they have arrived at the regions# 
of fi&on, no bounds are fet to the wonders ot 
every narration. Were we to take our charaAer 
of the ancient inhabitants of this ifland from the kn 
gends , monuments , or traditions , which have been • 
left by thofe inhabitants themfelves , we might be 
apt to imagine, that arts, even in that early period ^ ' 
were cultivated , and fciences known , to fome de- 
gree ofperfeftion. The Druids, if we believe fome 
fragments of their own , underftood aftronomy and 
medicine , and gave leffbns in morality and meta- 
phyfics. But what credit can be given to the ac* 
counts of a barbarous people , told by themfelves ?- 
The knowledge and learning, indeed , of their priefts 
might be great , if compared with the almoA brutal 
fimplicity and ignorance of the reft of the people ; 
but it could not deferve the name of fcience, if 
put in competition with what was known and prac- 
tifed by their polite contemporaries of Greece and 

From the accounts of thofe fenCble writers , and 
not from _the fiditious abfurdities of the Druids 
themfelves , we are to eftimate this ancient people. 
All that we find related by credible witnciies and 
Sufficient authority, before the Romans entered this 
ifland , is , that the eoumry was filled with incredi- 
ble numbers of people , and their fields ftored with 
great plenty, of animals, favage anddomeftic. Their 
|oufes virere meanly built and fcattered , as if acd> 


dentally , over the country , without obfervance, dif- 
tance , or order. The only motives of diCir choice 
were the peculiar fenillty of (bme happy frot , or the 
convenience of wood and water. They lived upon 
milk and fleih procured by the chafe ; tor com was 
fcar^ely known among them. What cloaths they 
wore were fkins of beafts ; but a great part of their 
bodies were left always expofed to tkb injuries of 
weather, all that was naked being painted with blue. 
This cufiom of painting was univerfal among them , 
cither in order to ftrike terror in their enemies i 
or to defend the pores of the naked /kin from the in 
juries of the weather. 

Their towns > if a cotief^ion of huts could deferve 
that name , were moftly built upon the coafts , la 
places where Grangers generally reforted for the fake 
of commerce. The commodities exported were 
chiefly hides and tin ; and , probably , other fponta- 
neous produdions of the (oil, which required no 
art in the preparation. 

Their government , like that of the ancient Gauls, 
ConfiAed of feveral petty principalities , which feera 
to be the original governments of mankind , and de- 
duced from the natural right of paternal dominion : 
but whether thefe little principalities defcended by 
fucceffion , or whether the rulers were eleded by the 
confent of the people , is not recorded. Upon great 
or uncommon dangers, indeed , the chief commander 
of all their forces was chofen by common confent 
in a general affembly , as Caefar relates of Caffibelau- 
nus , upon his invafion. The fame was done upon 
their revolts agairtft the Roman colonies , under Ca- 
rafhicus and their Queen Boadicea ; for among thetn 
women were admitted lo their principalities, and 
general commands, by the right of fucceffion , meriti 
f)r nobility* \ 

Such were the cuAoms of the ancient Britons , and 
the fame may ferve for a defcription of every other 
barbarous nation of which we have any know4edee« 
Savag^man is an animal in almoft every country the 
fame ; and all the difference between nations refults 
from cnftoms introduced by luxury , or cuhivated 
by refinement. What the inhabitant of Britain 
was at that time, the inhabitant of South America, 
or Gafraria, may be at this day. But there was one 
CLiftom among the ancient inhabitants of this ifland , 
which feems peculiar to themfelves , and is not to 
he found in the accounts oflany other ancient or 
modern nation. The cuilom 1 mean, was a com* 
munity of wives, among certain numbers, and by 
common confent. Every man married , indeed , biit 
one woman « who was always after , and alone , ef- 
teemed his wife ; but it was ufual for five or Ax , 
ten, twelve , or more , either brothers or friends , as 
they could agree, to have all their wives in common. 
But this , though calculated for their mutual happi- 
nefs , ia fad proved their greateft difturbance ; and 
ve have fome inftapces , in which this community 
of wives produced diflenfions , jealoufies, and death. 
Every woman's children , however , were the pro- 
perty of him who married her ; but all claimed a 
ftare in the care and defence of the Whole fociety ^ 
fmce no man knew which was his own. 

To eftimate the wifdom of the people , we mufl 
examine the manners of their teachers. If th6 
laity were fo very barbarous , the Druids , their in* 
ftru^ors , muft have but few pretences to fuperioir 
refinement : yet , I know not how , we have dif- 
ferent and afmoft contradiftory accoonts of this 
extraordinary fraternity. They have been repre- 
sented , by fome , as perfons of learning , derived 
to them by long tradition. Their (kill confifted- 


quent tumults and maiTacres among each other j 
rendered them not only internall)Minhap|>y , but an 
eafy prey to each invader. Befioes , they irere Hi 
ftipplied ^ith arms, and thofe they had were only 
&ch as were no longer in ufe among the refined 
jsations of the continent. They fought in chario:s 
armed with fcythes , applied to the wbeeb. Thefe 
vere terrible without execution , and made rather to 
afloniili the rude and ignorant , than to break fuck 
ranks as were not to be daunted by the mere ap- 
pearance of danger. Their defenfive armour only 
cx)niiAed*^of a wicker iliield ; and they approached 
the enemy fhouting , clafliine their arms , and 
founding their trumpet , as if they defigned rather 
to terrify than deftroy. Their chariots generally 
attacked the enemy's cavalry ,• and from thefe they 
would frequently leap , and tight od foot , till , being 
fatigued or overpowered , they would refume their 
feats, and make the be^ retreat poffible. Unpo* 
liflied nations » diough diey have more fiercenefs 
in the onfet, never aft with that cool , perfever* 
ing refolution , which enfures viSory. This can 
be acquired only where difcipline and fubordina- 
tion have long prevailed ; ana a nation ^ however 
brfte , levied in hafle, will probably never make 
a figure agaiuA veteran troops , hardened by con« 
tention , or elated by long fuccefs. This was the 
difpofition of the inhabitants ; but the face of the 
country rendered them ftill more open to every in- 
vader : it was plain and open $ without towns , fi^r- 
trefles, or any place of retreat to fecure from an 
^ncmy , except what the forefts might happen to 
afford. In a word, the inhabitants were deflitute 
of all xveans of defence ,. but what their native cou- 
rage was able to fupply , or a love of liberty might 



* Sudii w^($' tbe vptopie and oiftoms of firitain i 
^hen the Romans firft invaded their 
iiland nnd^rth^ erifigOs of Julius Caefar; ^^"^ ^'^^^ 
the greatcft eomm^nder that ever led an ^* ^S* 
army. Wbcn I confider this great man , who had 
already beeir the conqueror of Gaul; when I refleft 
on- his courage, .his conduct, and perfeverance J- 
when I take into my view the troops he headed , 
inured ro difcipUn^ ^ and fighting in a manner with ~ 
which barbarous? nations were entirely unacquain- 
ted j wheo I -confider thcfe circumftances ,and com- 
pare them with, thofe of the Britons in the fame 
period , I feel a more than ufnal fliare of furprife 
at the bravery aijd condud with which thefe poor 
barbarians oppofed him. 

It wHs an eftabliihed maxim , lA the politics of 
Rome ^ to deem all auxiliaries as principals , and 
to ^low none to aflift the enemies of the rtate with 
iinpuijity. This was the pretence Caefar laid hold 
of to juftify his invafion of Engbnd , which was 
not only looked upon as an ally , biit likewife as 
an afy4am to the Gaulifli nations , which were" at 
that time enemies of Rome, This might , probably , 
be the ground of his invafion , but the plea fu re of 
conciaeft vas bis real motive. To extend the Roman 
empire , though already too extenfive to be go- 
verned y^as M thittime thought me moft glorious 
achievement of humanity. The reft -of Europe was , 
in fome ttieafiu'e, fubdued, and nothing left but 
countries; defolate with forefts and marfhes , and 
neither templing from their aopearance , nor afFor- 
ding any hopes of plunder. Heroifm was , at that 
time , the boaft of ambition : nor have mep , till 
very lately, be^n taught to confider conquerors 
with an eye of contempt or deteftation. Caefar was 

yoL. I, B 


refolved on beia^ a hero , and was more fend ( 
triumph .^tban of juftice. 

His forces were compofed of Gcrmtns , Bats 
irians » and Gauk, and veteran Roman legions. H 
fee diU from Gaul about midnight , and arrived o; 
the Britiih coaft the next afierMMHi. The Britons, 
vith their naked troops , made a brave oppofitioi 

Satnft this veteran army ! the cohflids betweti 
em were fierce and many, the loflbs were tnutua! 
and the fuccefs various. Caffibelaunus was chofe 
tteneial in chief of the Britifh forces; bnt even 
ferdgn invader was not fufRcient to keep the petn 
]irinces, who commanded die barbarous arm/ 
united. Diflenfion foon entered among then 
and fome , jealous of thefincerity of their general 
or envying his greatnefs, fled over to Oeiar, Tub 
mitted to the Romans, and claimed their protec 
don : odiers followed this bafe example , till Ca( 
fibelaunus , weakened by fo many defertions , rt 
folved upon making what terms he was able ». whik 
he had yet an opportunity. He fends to CsCar 
acknowledges the Roman power , screes upon i 
ceruin tribute ^ and delivers hoftages. Thus yi\ 
fee Britain , from the beginning , remarkable for id 
temal diflenfion ; and difienfioa ever ftrengtheo 
or invites the invader. 

The Romans were pteafed with the name of i 
new conqueft , and glad of endine an adventuri 
with honour , which at firft promiied only difiiciil 
ties and danger. But the extended foreft , and tfa^ 
tracklefs wild, was not a quarry for men intent 08 
fpoil, and raifed to greater expeftadons. Ravine 
therefore , rather difcovered than lubdued tb< 
fouthern parts of the ifiand , the Romans returnei 
imo Gaul, with theirirhole forces, and once morl 

tti ASEKtES Of LSTT£118« t^ 

tefcthciB/itons to their cuftoms, religkin t >iid lawi* 
By twd expeditipfis which Cefaf made into thit 
LAand, he racher eocreafcd the gloty than the do* 
minioos of Rome, and gave Britaiii the honouf of 
being the laft triumph of that mighty republiei 
which had before reduced the moft powerful king- 
doitis of the hdutaUe globe. . ' 

Whatever the tribute was « which they had 
contraded aonually to pay , we have matly reafons , 
from hiflory , to believe mey paid it but Very negU- 
gently. I mention this , as an infiance of the 
little faith which can be expeded from an extortel 
fubmiilion , while there is no longer a power to 
enforce <rf>edience. Upon the acceffion of Aifguftus, 
that, emperor had formed a defi^n of vifiting Bri- 
tain , but'was diverted from it by an unexpefiel 
revolt of the Pannonians. Some years after, he. 
again refumed his defign ; but , being met in his 
way by the Britiih ambafladors, promifing die ae- 
cuAomed tribute , and making the ufual fubmiOions , 
he a fecond time defifted. The year following » 
finding them unfiudiful to their promife , he pre- 
pared , a third time , for the invauon of this ifland^ 
but was prevented Crom putting his defign into 
execution , by their ambafladors , who averred his 
fiiry fiv their adulations and humility. The moft 
iavage ci^umries underfiand flattery afraoft as well 
as the moft polite , iince to be fulficiently fervile is, 
perhaps, the whole of the art, and the trueft me* 

Tiberius foIk>wed the maxims of Auguftus , antf; 
Vifely fudging the Roman empire already too ex- 
tenfive , made no attempt upon this ifland Some 
Roman foldiers being wrecked on, the Engliih 
coaft, the inhabitants not only affifted them with 
ihe greateft humanity , but fent them , in fafety , 

B % 


back to their geaeral. In confequence of Cue 

friendly difpodtions , there was a conftant inic 

coiirfe between the two nations ; the princip; 

Englifli nobility reforted to Rome, and fome re 

ceived their education there. 

. By thefe means the Britons began fenfibly o 

•improve. The firft art , which a favage people i 

generally taught by their politer netghbonrs, istla 

pi war. Though not wholly addided to the Roma 

manner of ^ghting , the Britons , however , adopte 

feveral of their improvements , both in their arir 

and their arrangement in the field. Their ferocir 

,to ftrangers was now alfo leiTened , and they fi:^ 

began to coin money, the oldeft Btitifh coin beis 

xhat of Comius, who learned a part of the Rom? 

.politencfs by a »efidencejn Csfar*s camp. The; 

ilill, however, continued to live as herdUnen ap 

hunters, and adhered tp their ufual fuperftidon> 

a manifeft inftanceof the coimtry .being , as yet 

but thinly inhabited. When we read , in Cafa; 

of the numbers of this people , and the vaft armif 

they brought into the field , I am apt to doubt hi 

Veracity. Such armies could fcarcely be leviec 

'(even now; and yet nothing is more certain, tha 

that Britain is at leaft ten times more populous noi 

'than it was at that time^ A nation of herdfmen an 

hunters can never be very populous; their fubfiftenc 

takes up a large traft of coumty , while the^hi^ani 

. man converts every part ^f nature to human ufe, an 

produces the greateft quantity of fubfiftence froi 

circumfcfibed'poffeffion. Thfc Roman hifiorian b 

increafed their numbers , only to increaie the luft 

of his glory ia fMb(4uiiig ,|b^m. . 

L E T T E R V- 

1 HE'iecond expedition into Britain was made 
iy Cbudius ^ under the conduft of Plaiuiiis , and 
purfued by Oftoriiis > and other Roman comman^ 
tiers, with the ufual fuccefs. It is true, j ^ 
there were many Britons, who preferred * '^^ 
their hardy fimplicity to imported elegance , and > 
rather than offer their necks to the Roman yotke > 
prefented their breafts to the fword. But, by de- 
grees, their fiercenefs was fubdued, or wholly 
(leftroyed ;* the foiuhern coaft , wirh all the adja- 
cent inland country , was fecured by the Conquerors , 
^vho took poffeflion by fortifying camps, building 
f^rtreffes , and planting colonies. The reft of the 
country feemed to look on , patiently waiting till 
it became their turn to be expelled from their pre- 
carious habitations, or to receive their emperious 
mafters. • -^ 

Profpctity , in general , breeds infolence ; the 
corruption, of the prsetors and* officers, that wera 
appointed to govefn this harafled people ^ once 
more roufed them into refentment. Caraftacus , 
general and king of the northern Britons , with 
inferior numbers, not only made a brave defence, 
l>ut often- feemed to claim a doubtful victory. A 
drawn battle might be confidered as a triumph , to 
a people only ufed to defeat. He continued nine 
years to hold out \ and threatened fatal dangers to 
the Roman colonies. At length , however , in a 
decifive battle, the Britons were totally defeated, 
and Caraftacus taken prifonner. His exclamation , 
when led in triumph through Rome , is *oo remark- 
^le to. be pafled over in filence. Obferving the 

B 3 


Xlcnce, fplendor , and lutory of that great cin 
* ! cried tie , b^fw is it pojpbUtihat piopU , jfojffip 
ff fitch magnifictnce ai honu , could tnvy mt an kmrk 
£OUag€ in Britain? 

Oae expiring eflfbrt more was made by the Bri- 
tons , to recover thetr Ubetty in the times of Nerc 
A, D. 78. I'^^^'"^' * ^1^^ general of the Romans 
* ^ ' yo\ts^ with the greateA part of hts force 

to fubdne the ifle of Anglefev , where die fuperili 
tions of the Druids were ftill pradifed with i 
their horrid circufflfknees ; the Briton^, prefumin 
upon his abfence, made a general infurredio 
under Boadicea, oueen of the Iceni, whom (b 
Romans had treated with ihocking indignities , cor 
demning her , for fome flight offence » to oe whippei: 
and her daughters to be ravifhed by the foldiery 
in revenge , therefore , at the head of a numeroti 
tirmy , ihe fell upon the Romans , wherever the) 
were defenceiefs , took their cafiles , dtflroyed li 
chief feats of their power at London and Veru' 
lam , and , fuch was the flaughter , that fevent) 
thoufand fell by this revolt, raulinus, however 
foon returned ^with his army , encountered tbi 
Britifh forces headed by their queen , overthrew 
their powers , and purfued his viftory withi 
daughter of eighty thouiand men , while the coii 
quered queen poifoned herfelf in difpair. Hen 
ended the liberties of Britain. All that now r; 
niaincd were fatisfied to exchange freedom for liie 
This was their lafl Aruggle t they now lofl, not onlj 
the hopes, hut even the defire » of ^indicating tbi 
privileges of nature. 

From this time the Romans feemed more defi 
|reu8 of fecuring what they pofTeiTed , than of mak 
uig new conquefb : they feparaced the Roman pro 
vince, by a waU> from the PiOsy their batbaron 


md refilefs neighbours; and attempred to huma-* 
Dtze thefiercenefsof thofe who acknowledged their 
power. The Ronian^ laMrs, and ci\/loin$ , habits and 
arms ^ htiguage and manners, baths' and feafb, 
Rudies and learning , were introduced and became 
eeneral. A condua fo prudent , which had beeif 
nril begun^Jby Agricola ,^was purfued by his fucce{^, 
fbrs with fo much fuccefs , that the Romans had 
little trouble afterwards in Britain » except in the 
defence of their northern frontier. 

Had Rome continued peaceable miflrefs of the 
world , the Britons 4 now almo^ perfedly civilized « 
might have found means of being happy. But V 
upon the divifions of the Roman empire , which 
was ruled by £i6lion , and governed by an info- 
lent foldiery , torn by f^dition at iiome, and fub* 
JeS to invaiion abr6ad , the Britiih legions were ^' 
at feveral times, called over into Oaul, and, with 
thenS', -great numbers' of the braveft of the Britifh 
youth* Thus we fee every piethod purfued , to 
weaken and render this once hardy people efib- 
minate. The arts of luxury were introduced to 
fofcen their minds ; they were denied the ufe of 
arms , which might fliU uphold their native bravery ; 
the flpwer of their youth were, at intervals , drained 
away , and thofe that remained were bred up in fer^ 
vitucie and fubjedion. All who had a paiiion for 
liberty were long fince deftroyed ; and none were 
fuffered to live, but fuch as had betrayed their 
country in the beginning , or had been too cowardly 
to refill an unjuft invafu>n. It is no wonder j there- 
fore, that , a? the Roman forces decrea&d in Bri-; 
tain , the Pi6b became more bold in their incur^ 
fions.- Tbefe , probably , were the defcendants of 
fuch Britons as once bravely exchanged their coqn* 
(ry for freedom , and croffiog the narrow fea « wbich 



the Romans could not guard, in little boats 
wicker covered with leather , they filled the cotintr 
-wherever tliey came, with fpoii, Slaughter, an 
defolation :' whsn repiilfed by fuperior nni»ber5| 
they ufiially retired loaded with fpoils , and watc^ 
«d for the ncu opportunity of invafion (wheti t!i 
Komans were drawn away ihto the remoter par 
of the ifland. ' 

. Thefe enterprifes were often repeated , and m 
often reprefled , till, in the reign of •Valentin: ^lif 
the younger, the* empire of Rome be^n to tremble 
for its capital. Myriads of barbarous nations , 
iinder the names of .Goths amd IVindals , invade! 
the dominion of this miflrefs of the world , wi:h 
terror, peiTeverance , arid rapirdity; All the Rom?.n 
JfgioBs w^re now, therefore, draWn fr^bm Britain, 
:ind ^U the Britons, whp were, fit -for military 
. lervice, we-ebro*(!ghtawav to relieve'tltt femp^or, 
Vho was purfued by the .Goths into-Pie^mojit , and 
. ihci;e befieged in Aquilca, a town he attempted to 

The Romans , now taking their laft leave of 
this province, left the Britons to their own govern- 
ment, and the choice of their own king?. Tor the 
exercife of their arms, and for repairing their ram- 
parts they gave them the beft inftru6^ioris fuch ter- 
riWe times would pei mit. Nothing ^an be" more 
afife6^ing than the pi(fture of Britairt at that period: 
though the Roman foldiery were drawn away , their 
families and defcendants were ftUl fpread over the 
.whole country , and left without a fingle perfon , of 
(X)ndu6l or courage, to defend them. The Britons 
who remained began to enter into frefli diflenfions 
•for fuperiority ; the enemy continued to pour in 
greater numbers than ever , from their native forefts 
- and mountains : famine > wth all its horrid attea- 

Satlts , of difeafe, robbery, and feditipn jincreafed 
the miferable pifture of the times : their vic8s , as 
Gildas, a cotemporary writer, obferves , kept pace. 
-with their calamities , the whole forming one de- 
teAable group of cowardice , cruelty', and diftrefs. 

In this terrible fituttion it was , that they im*- 
ploredthe afliftance of the Romans for a r^ v>. 
relief. Their letter upon this occafion '^' ^''44o* 
Aill remains iipon record : To Mtius , thrict ConfuU 
l^hc groans of the Britons. Driven by our barbarous 
enemy to thejea^ and from thence back upon the bar-* 
barlans , we have only left us the choke of a grave : 
either to be kiiled by the one ^ or to be drowned by the 
ether. The Romans , however , were unable to 
help themfelyes, much lefs capable of giving fuc- 
cour to fo remote , and , at prefent , fuch unfervicc- 
able allies. ^ 

Yet, amidft fuch calamities , this people feemed 
to have flill a peculiar happinefs in ftore ;- for they 
had , in general , embraced Chriflianity. At what 
time the Gofpel was firft preached in this ifland is 
not known, nor is it material to know : it is certain , 
that the oiiginal natives of Englao^d converted their 
pagan conquerors fome time after to the lights of 
revelation ;t and though this people received laws 
from others , they adorned them with the religion 
of truth. ' 

Arts, arms, and elegance, muft take their rifc,^ 
by flow degrees , in every country , and can never 
be, at once, introduced into it with fuccefs. AU 
the pai^ beflowed in Britiih * education , only 
ferved to render this people more miferable ; drefled 
them up. as viAims for every invader , and pltinged 
them in all the mifery of knowing happinefs with- - 
out being able to praftife refinement. The people 
pf a coimtry Jufi reclaimed from batbarity , in fpme 

B 5 


sneafure, reflemble the foil. The cultivation of a 
few years may be fufiicient to clear away the ob- 
ilacles to agriculture , but it requires feveral ^ges 
befere the land acquires a proper degree of fertility, 
llius ^11 the blood and trealure, which the Ro- 
aiaos loft in the conqueft of Britain , in the end only 
fervedto depopulate the country , and prepare it for 
Dew invaders. The Roman politics, fucceeded ia 
quelling Britiih courage; but the inhabitants, de- 
prived of that , feemed deftitute of every virtue. 


1 REMEMBER but few inAances in hifiory » where 
the conquerors did not excel the people conque- 
red in every virtue. Savage barbarity , or effe- 
minate luxury , have almoft ever been imputed to 
thofe countries "which were oblieed to admit a fo- 
reign invader. Tl^ere is a period between natural 
rudenefs and exceflive refinement, which (eems pe* 
culiarly adapted for conqueft and war , and iiu man- 
kind tor every virtuous and great acbievemenn 
In this ftate ot half-refinement, the Saxons were 
at the time in which the Britons were thus dif- 
trefled. This virtuous and warlike people had 
conquered wherever they came, and to them the 
'vi^retched remains of the forlorn Britons had re- 
courfe for protedion. 

As the conqueft of this ifland is generally im- 
puted to the Saxons as a piece of treacheify, and 
9t invafion of thofe rights they were only called in 
to proted , I ihall give the invitation they received 
from the Britons » as it hath b^en left us by \l^itri- 
chindus , a cotemporary hiftorian of credit ; and 
&pjn hence it m^y be judged what U^e ngjbttiM 

Britoni had afterwards to complain : n The poor 
» and (fiftrefled , Britons , almoft worn out by 
99 hoitile invafions , and haralTed by continual in* 
n curfions , arie humbly fuppliants to you , mod 
n valiant Saxons for fuccour. We arc pofiefTed 
» of a wide , extended , and a fertile country*;, 
» this we yield wholly to be at your devotion and 
19 command. *Beneath the wings of your valour 
» we feek for fafety , and fhall willingly undergo 
» whatever Xervices you may. hereafter be pleafed 
» to impofe. a 

The Saxens were one branch of thofe Gothic 
nations, which fwarming from the northern hive, 
came to give laws and liberty to the reft of Europe. 
A branch of thefe, ^nderthe name of Suevi, had, 
fome time before Caefar's invafion of Gaul , fub* 
dued and poflefled an exte^ifive empire in Germany. 
Thefc, for their ftrength and valour, were grown 
formidable to all the German nations. The Suevi 
were reckoned , by their neighbours , a people fcft 
whom the very immortal Gods were not a match 
in war. They were after divided into feveral na- 
tions , and each became famous for fubduing the 
countrywhich it mvaded. France, Germany, and 
England , were among the number of their con*, 

The Saxons were ht more poliihed than the 
ancient inhaUtants of Britain , thoujgh their acquire- 
ments were much inferior to the boafted refinements 
of Rome. They dreffed with foitie degree ot ele* 
gance,^a luxury which was unknown to the Bri* 
tons : the women ufed linen garments , trimmed 
and firiped with purple ; their hair was bound ia 
wreaths, or feU in curls upon their ihoulders; their 
arms were bare, and their bofoms uncovered ; 
faOuwa "nbkhy ia lomt meafure, feeoi peculiai: 

, B 6 


to the ladies of Britain to this day. Their, govern 
m'ents were entirely eledive , and nearly republtcar. ; 

. their commanders were chofen by merit , ami dii- 
miifled from duty when their authority was no longer 
needful. The cufiom of trying by twelve men i* 

' qf Saxon original ; flavery and bafe fubmiiHon 
was unknown among them, and they preferrei 
death to a ihameful exiflence. We are told , by 
Marcelimus , that a body of them being taken pri- 
foners by Symmaphus, the Roman, he defigned 
to exhibit them , in th^ amphitheatre , as gladiators, 

• for tiie entertalnement of the citizens of Rome. 
The morning , however , on which they w^re ex- 
pefted to perform , they were every one found dead 
in his prifon > each chufing rather a voluntary death , 
than to be the ignominious inftruments of brutal 
fatisfa^tion to their conquerors. The chadity of 
this peopie is equally remarkable , and to be with- 
out children was to be without praife :. but in 
war they chiefly excelled ; they had, ia fomc 
meafure , learned difcipline from the Romans^ whom 

. they had often conquered ; it wbs. their m^^^m to 
^eileem vi^ory as a doubtful- advantage, but courage 
as a i;ertain .good. A ;nation , however ^ entirely 
addided to war , mufl, cai)fequently, bj^^addifted to 
cruelty ; and thofe terrors , which a man is taught 
pot ta fear.-himfelf , he i% fcldom ^fr^id-of inflifting 
on fociety. The Saxons are repreftntad as a cruel 
patjon , but their c;nemies liay@ drawn thfcp^^yre. 

yprtlgern, who ha^d bj?en •ypt;e4.Jcigg of the 
diftreffed Brltpp^, eafily induced i)ip/p .ccj^pquerors 
to Jead him affiftance. - jiiey-c^trie- ciyer i«tp Bri- 
tain in gfeat numbers, ^mmanded, by Hengift and 
Hbrfa , of the, race of Od/n. They piarched again ft 
,^ ^ the Pifts, and, in conjun£iion with 

^, u. 449- the Bunik *rxos, dtft^t^i Aem io fe; 

veral encounters » obliging them to retreat int^ the 
moft northern. parts of the provitice. -The Saxony ,^ 
thus j6n4«ig themfelves. evidently the nioft power*' 
fill people wpon-tbe ifland, feeifted refolvea. to re* 
ward themfelves with thofe parts oFJt which wc^re 
moft to their liking. They, firft obtained confi^nfi 
from the Britons to fend over for more forces, un- . 
der a pretence- of guarding their frontier. Thefe 
feated themfelves in the northern provinces, and 
repreffed the incurfions of the Pifts and Scot;s with 
great bravery, and fuccefs. Thofe. nations were , 
therefore, obliged to bound their territories with the 
rough aad iqountainous <;ountries tliat Ire betweeif 
the tiro feas ; and fuch haye , ever fmce , continued 
the bopndaries.of EngUod^nd. Scotland. 4 . : 

The.province thus fecured from, the commoit 
enemy , diflecfions began to arife. between the Bri-* 
tons and their new allies. The $axons valued too 
highly. the affiance they had given ^ and tjie Brir 
tons, perhaps , pnder^rated what they had receiycd.. , 
In 5i..cpnteft.<rf,t^is .nature i^ is natural, to iinar 
glne, that the ilrqnger n<uion <fl^ways impofes law& 
our the ' weaker. < The Saxons . allared by . . the ^ fer- 
tile ' foil and .jthe- fpft clim.ate ^^ cpniinaedf to invite* 
greater miiiiWsifrOmithe continent ^ aiwi noy^ turrtcd- 
their arms upon thcTBritons, who vainly attempted 
to oppofe tbem* This contention was. flill more 
inflamed by. the. difference of their opinion in mat-- 
ters q(^ re^gip^,' the Saxons being}aUpagan$, and 
the Britops profeffing Ch^ifiianity. At . fuch < a' 
time«as, .tnis^a .CbriQi^n beio ^as< leraat^ to vin<»: 
dicate .the -rights ^ Chrifti^pity ; and^.pxob^ably,' 
merely-J^r this reafon, fiSion has (up-i AiD;K%6i 
plied rus with a a>a:iftian l^erp., Kine .. ' *? > :"; 
Arthur, the. Britifli , champion , is laid, to have 
.^orfled the Saxons ^I'twelyedifffpr^t engagemems j^ 


yet«iotwithftaiuting all his vidories, and whatever, 
bis proweft mif^t have peiformed, it did not ferve 
to refcue his countiy from its new pofleffors. The 
Saxons purfued their defigns with courage and 
fierceneis ; sew fwarms of their countryriten came 
conanualiy over« till, at lengthy in about a cen* 
tury and an half, they had fubdned the whole body 
of the province, and eftabliflied in it feven differenf 
kingdoms , which were , by the writers of thofe 
tines , flyled the Saxon Heptarchy. 
. The Britons, driven from their ancient poflef* 
rjf ry A fions,toefcape thefiiry oftheconque- 

' ' ' ^ * . rors , retired to the mountainous parts of 
Wales and Gmiwal ; countries barren and ddblate , 
but in fome meafu^e , furrounded by the fea , and 
totirards the land difficult of acceu. Some great 
colonies of them, wholly abandoning their native 
country , failed over to the ndghbouring fhores of 
France, where poffeffing new feats, they gave a 
new denoniunation to that peninfula, which iHU 
preferves the name and memory of Britaiti there , 
a name no Corner contimied at home. 

All the poflefBons of the Brkons now fell into 
the power of the conquerors , who began to lofe 
their natural fiercenefs , and foften into the luxu- 
ries of thofe they had invaded* Though con- 
^erors ever bring their own cuftoms among the 
people they fubdue, they , at the fame time , auume 
ibnte cufloms from thofe they have conquered. 
The Saxons now lofl all that fpirit of freedom 
ditir nation had been long £imoMS for, and, 
in imitation of the Britons th^feives , among 
whom ilavery was jpermitted fince the times of the 
ftomans , they mane the people of Aitain flaves. 
Thefe wretdies were ufed in tilling the ground , 
ftediag cattle, and otbn^ ftrvsit wotki; ^dming 


Dnt bads at a cenain yearly ftipend » but always 
held at the will and pleafure of the hmdlord; 
The children of this mireraUe people belonged 
to the foil , like the reft of the ftock or cattle 
upon it; and thus began yillanage hi England i 
an horrid cuftom , borrowed from the Romans 
originally, and derived now to the Saions by^ 
ricious imitation, 

The^Saxonsy now' no longer fearing domeftic 
foes s relaxed into luxuty and vice , and , finding 
no other enemies to fubdue , began to fight with 
each other. The princes of the feVen lungdoma 
they had ere&ed began mutuatly to emulate each 
other's power, and, for the fyzce of above two 
hundred years, all the mUery that ambition, trea** 
chery , or war, coiild bring upon a kingdom , was 
^e confequertce of their animofity. The difien* 
fions <^ petty princes are ever more dift'effful to 
a people , than the wars of extenfive empires; 
The hlftorians of this period are as barf)arous 
as the tranfadions they defcribe ; but it is fnffi* 
cient to know , that after many various events 
and revolutions between the feveral races of the 
heptarchy 41 Ecbert, defcended from the Weft- 
Saxon kings , partly 1^ jconqyeft, and*jJarthr by 
inheritance, became the firft fole monarch ot Eng- 
land. This was the name which the country 
DOW affumed , to ^f&ngxAih it ir<Mn the princi* 
pality of Wales , poffeffed by the ancient Britons ; 
aod item that part of the iftand north of the 
Tweed , pofifefled by the PiAs amd Scots , called 
Scotland. • 

No ^cuftoms , truly Britkh or Roitian , were now ♦ 
to be feen : the latiguaee of the country /which hsicf 
been either Lann or Celtic^ was difeontinued , and 
theSaaon olr £o^flionl}lHras fpokch. Die lamdj 


))efor6 divided into colomcs or. governments , was 
now camoned into iliires , with Saxon appellations to 
diflinguiili them. Their habits in peace , and arms in 
war, their titles of honour « laws, arid methods of 
trial, were all continued, as originally pradifed by 
ihe Suevi ; but tjieir commonyrealths were now no 
more : thefe wei e changed for defpotic and heredi- 
tary monarchies ; and their exemplary chaftity and 
their abhorrence of flavery , were quite forgotten. 
The conquerors were corrupted by profperify. They 
became Chriflians , indeed , by the preaching of 
Auftin the monk ; but this little improved their 
manners : twelve hundred Britifh monks , who 
lirould not acknowledge Auftin for a faint , are faid 
to have been (laughtered by order of thefe new con- 
verted Chriftians , in a field near Caerleon 
. Chriftianity , when erroneoufly taught , is even 
snore injurious to fociety than paganifm ; in all 
the facrifices to the Britiin idols , or the Saxon god 
■JiVoden , I have not read of fuch a multitude of 
vi^^iins ofFp^ed together. The devotion of this 
people , however , was equal to their ignorance. 
Their , kings , frequently abdicated the crown for 
ijie cowl; their queens thought it meritorious, tho' 
joined in wedlock , to continue in -virginity ; and 
feme for this erroneous pra£lice , after their death , 
.vere canonized as faints. 

. At this period, namely, the feventh century,' 
the arts and fciences , which had been before only 
known in Greece and Rome, were difTeminated 
over Europe, where, they fufficed, indeed, to rai{e 
the people above natural and favage barbarity , but. 
then they loft.their^a^n fplendor by the tranfplan- 
tation. The' Englifli , at the time I am now (peak- 
lag of, migiit be confidered as polite, if compared 
tp the nakf d Britons at the'invaiion of Casfar, The 

houfcs^ furniture ,.<Io9(|is » nieetingsv, Vind all the 
luxuries of. fenfe , were.aJmod as great then as tKey 
are at prefent; they werp .only incapable of fenti^i 
mental pleafure : ail t)ie leatiiiflg *of the times vr29 
configned to, the clergy ^ ^nd little could be expefted 
from* tl^eir efforts , fince .their, priacipal .t€TKt was to 
dlfcard ihe lights ot .reafpir* ,4rn '.ecjlipfe w»'4 even 
by th^ir, hillorians., taljced^of ]as dangerous .omea 
of threatened diflrefles ^ and ntagic was pot only Re- 
lieved po/Tible, but, what is mofe ftranfge , ther^ 
verQ (901^ who even, fancied they underftood^magic^ 
In fliort, this whofe period was tiffued over with 
ignor^ance , cruelty, and fuperftition ; and the king- 
dom fee^TJsd upitefl under one fnonarch , only the 
more reaxlUy , 19, admit a iiew invader. ; 

/'/.- -y,...- .♦ .^ .. .4'am» &c. \. I 
• :\. ••>; I ..■■•. i ■; • - " •* ' 

t ETTER VI I. • 

It might have reafonably been expefted ,' that a 
fortunate prince , as Ecbert had always been, ac 
the head of fo large united kingdom, after thft 
expuliioQ of the Pi&s-, Scots , and -Britons , fhoulrf 
not .oiJy have eifijoyied^thefrlutsof peace , but eveii 
have .left tranquiUtty and . happinefs to his moft 
diftaftt pofterity : 'yet, fudi is the inftability of 
liumap 'affairs, arid the.weaknefs of man's beft con- 
jefiures, that Ecbert was fcarcely fettled in. his 
throne , when the whole kingdom was alarmed by 
the approach of an unexpe£led enemy, j n Qjq 
fierce, barbarous , and brave. About ' ' <* 
this time a mighty fwaititi of ♦thofe nation^ which 
had poffeffed the cotmtries bordering on the Baltic , 
began , under the names of Danes and^ormans, to 
infeft the w^ilem coafls of Europe, filling the placet 

wherever they came wtib Ibughter and devaAatiofl. 
It is remarkable enou^ , thai the people whom they 
qioiled were no other, than colonies of their own 
comitryinen , who had migrated fome centuries be 
fire , and plundered thofe very countries where they 
were how themfelves phtndered in turn. The Nor- 
mans fell upon the northern coafls of France ; the 
Danes chiefly levcHed their fury at England , and 
f^ D A entering the Thames with an incredible 
^.^.9)2. nun^ber of Aips, carried away all that 
could neither be defended , nor withdrawn firom the 
fuddennefi of tfie invafion. 

The weak pppofition the Daiies tact wiilifrom 
die^EngUih, only ferved to invite them to renew 
their depredations, and makefrefh attempts the fuc- 
ceeding feaibn. The braveft blood of the EngUih 
had been already exhaufted in civil war , isnder the 
diflenfions of the Saxon heptarchy ;:and, when thofe 
Wars ^ere terminated, pilgrimages , penances , doif- 
ttt$ , and fuperfittions, ferved to enfeeble the remain* 
der. Thus the Saxons were become as unable to 
»ake oppofitiort againft the Danes , as the BritOBS 
were to oppofe the Saxons heretofore : they there- 
fore bought of their invaders with money; a remark- 
able inAance how much they had degenerated from 
ihdr warlikfc anceftors. The money which was 
thus extorted , only iacreafed the avarice and the 
flrength of the enemy. It was alfo raifed by the 
kings from exafiions on the pebple : this caufed 
aew difcontent , and ferved to haften the fiiB of 
their thrones , which already began to totter. 

This century , however , did not pais without va- 
rious fuccefs, and doubtfiil fortune , between the two 
contending nations. No lefs than twelve battles , 
?re faid to havt been fought in one year. The Danes 
divided their forcesintofeveral camps j removed diem 

£r6ffl one part of the country to another , as th<t 
were forced by oeccflity , iilvited by hopes of fpoil, 
or incluced by the weakaefs and divrfions of the ene- 
my. They fortified pofts and paflages, built cables 
for the detence of their borders , and the Whole couii- 
ffiy was, in fome meafure, covered with their rcn* 
doubts , the veftiges of which remain to this daj^ 
This manner of fortifying the country, and the dST- 
lerence of religion , feem to be the only cuftoms ia 
which the Danes differed from the Saxons they had 
invaded. They were both originally fro»the fame 
country , and thcir«ianner$ confequently the fame. 

The fimilitude>£ language , laws , and maimers; 
foon produced an imercourle between both nations ; 
and , tiiough they ftUl were enemies , the Danes 

trsdually^eg^n to mingle among the people of 
;ngland» and fubmit to the laws and kin« of the 
couiury tjiey had partly fohdned. But what con- 
cord could be expefied between Cbriftians, ts the 
En^ifli then were , and pagans , for fuch the Dmics 
ftiUcominued? Wherefore, though the Englilh, lii 
fome meafure , admitted the Danes, yet , ftill , they 
bated them : thii produced frequent contefts , which 
mofl frequently laid the country in blood. 

In this period of cruelty, jealoufv, and defola- 
tion , a man feemed raifed up to his bleeding couiv- 
try , to defend its rights , improve the age m whiA 
he Uved , and even to adorn humanity. ^ r) o-u- 
Alfred the Great was the fourth fon of * • >^ 
Ethelwolfe, king of England, and had received the 
earlier part of his education under the mfpeaionof 
pope Leo, in Rome, which was at that time the 
chirf feat of arts and learning in Eui-ope. Upon the 
death of his elder brother, Etheked, he was called 
to the Englifli throne, of which he was only nomi- 
nally put m poffeflion , the country being over-rwa 

i>y the Danes , who governed wkh criicky ^ntl pride* 
His r«ign began with wars; and be was forced 
into the field immediately upon his coronation. 
His firft battles were fought ^ith fuccdfs ; bur at 
length , being overpowered by a Daniih' combini- 
.lion , the unfonunate Alfred was obliged to fcek 
jfafety by flight. In this manner, being abandoned 
by the world , without >fuccoiir , and fearing an ene- 
dnpy in every face^ the royal fugitive was rdfolved pot 
toforfakc his country, as was ufuat with his pre- 
^leceflprs* He retired to the cottage of a cowherd, 
it? a folirary part of the country of So merfet , at the 
^confluence of the rivers Parret and Thonc : here he 
lived fix months as a fe^vant , and, as we are told , 
,was fom«times reproved for his indolence , by his 
:iiiifti:efsv the cow bend's: wife. The earl of Devon- 
'^lire was alone privy to«the place of his retreat ; and 
.happening to overthrow^ a body of the I>anes, ac- 
•quaimed Alfred jvith the news of his fiiccefs. 

Alfred nbw , therefore , began to confider how 
to turn t1j€ prefent confternation of the eneroy to 
his own advantage. He apprifed bis friends of the 
place of his retreat, and inftrufted them to be ready, 
with what troops they could raife , upon a minute's 
.Varning ; but ftill none was found who -would 
'undert^e to 'give intelligence of the forces or 
ppftur^ of the enemy. Not knowing, therefore-, 
whom to confide in, he undertook this dangerous 
tafk himfelf : in th© fimple drefs of a fhepherd , with 
an harp in his hand , he entered the Danilli camp , 
had admiilion to 'the principal generals , and was 
allowed to excel upon that inftriiment. He foon 
perceived that the enemies were divided among them- 
felves : he feifes the favourable moment, flics to the 
earl of Devonfliire , heads his troops , forces their 
pamps 9 gild gains a complete ..vidoty. 


'Alfred icnew the arts of negociation as 'wrell as 
thofe of war : he Tiad fiifficient addrefs to caufo 
himfelf to be acknowledged king fcy the Danes , as 
"ijirell as his own natural fubje6ts. London fliU 
remained to be fubdued : he bcfieged it, rook and 
fortifyed it in a manner which was then thought im- 
pregnable. He fitted out a fleet » kept the Danes in 
his dominions-under proper (ubjedion , and repreffed 
the invafions of others from abroad*' His: next 
care was to poliih that country by the arts of peace , 
-which he had fubdued by the arts of war. He iS' 
faid to have drawn up a body of laws; Rut thqfe' 
which remain to this day , under lits name , {certi 
to be no more than laws already praftifed Jn tha 
country by his Saxon anceftors , and to which , pr6- 
bably , he gave his faii6tion. The trialjj by juries,' 
mulcks and fines for offences, by fome afcribed tq 
hini,. are of*a n^ch more ancient date than.hl$ 
reig«»*It is fiifficient tQ obferve, that the .penjj 
laws of our anceftors were mild and humane; As.^ 
a nation becomes more polite, the penal, laws be- 
come .more numerous and fevere, till*, at length,' 
growing intolerable to the poor againft whom they 
are principaUy levelled, they throw oflF the yok^ 
of Legal: bondage., either by admitting a icipoiiG 
prinqe, ,v or. . by taking the government into' theiff 
own hands by military invafion. I remember fei^ 
great iiharaffers in ^ftdry, tjwtshftdjnqt a regard 
for the,fciences* Alfred is faid to^haye^ founded th^ 
• iiniveriity of Oxford , and fuppU^d it with books 
from Rome. Tli^ fpirit of fuperftition. had quitq 
fuppreffed all the* efforts of piiilofophy at this pe-^ 
riod. He is faid to have lamented , that no priefl , 
in all his dominions , underftood Latin. As for him , 
he knew it , and was alfo v^ell verfed in the geo- 
metry of thofe barbarous ages. He was an excel-^ 

tent titflortaa , made fome tranflations from the La* 
tilt which ftill fubfift « and it iS even faid chat he 
compofed fome excellent poems in the Saxon lan« 
guage. Thofe hours which he could take from 
rannefs , he gave to ftudy. He was a complete 
ceconomift , and th>) gave him an opportunity o( 
being liberal. His care even extended to the man- 
ner in which the people built their houfes. Before 
his time, the generality of the nartion made i\(ef 
moftly , of timber in building : Alfred having raifed 
hi^ palaces with brick* the nobility » by degrees j 
began to' imitate his example. 

Prom this time , though the re'gns immediately 
fticceeding are marked with ignorance , fuperftttioa 
and oHielty , yet « in general, hiftory puts on a form 
lefs (evere : the whole nation feemi to emeij^e into 
a greater degree of politenefs than it had before en* 
joyed. The coins of this period are better ftmck 
fhan thofe 6f preceding princes. The marine, in 
his time, feems firft to have given rife to our claim 
to the ocean. In fhort, from this period EnHslifli 
Idftory may properly be faid to commence , and out 
•conftittition to take its rife. We are conne&ci 
%rith the events previous to Alfred's reign only by 
inotives of curiofity ; but with thdfe that feUpw 
him by the more prevailing inducementt of in* 

This great man'died in the year 90b, in the fid 
jrear of nisage, after a rei^ of more than twen^- 
dght years; the firft part (pent in war and <&fireu» 
Ac latter in, peace and profperity. 


rliSTOMAOT and critics are fond of reprc(cnt!n| 
the period which facceeded Alfred as enrircly bai 
barotts ; yet there are many traces of both erudi 
tion and poUcenefs in thofe very ages which hav 
been particularly called obfcure. in the reign c 
his Aicceffor ^ tdward , we find gallantry , whic 
is one of the befl marks of politenefs in any cour 
try , not entirely unknown : his amours with Eg 
wina , who, though by bihh a fhepherd's daughtei 
received an education becoming a princefs, an 
at length , fubdned the heart of Edward , is a re 
markable inftance of the power the fair fex the 
enjoyed. In this reign « too, the univerfity c 
Cambridge was founded. The famous Scotus noui 
iihed at this time : a man whofe learning appeal 
amaung, even to an age which prides itfelf upo 
its erudition. 

In the rei^n of Athetfbn , who facceeded Ed 
ward , the Bible was trandated into Jt n ^^ 
Saxon ; a work which evinces how * ' ^ ^ 
juft the opinion is with regard to the religiQn , and tli 
learning of that age. Alliances alfo on the torn 
nent were formed by this monarch : it is faid li 
was equally feared by his neighbours , and lov< 
by the great^fl princ6 of Europe. 

Ve find little remarkable in the reign of Edmui 
I. but that die firft capital punifhment was inflitut 
by him. He had remarked, that fines and pecu 
ary pnnifhments were too gentle methods of treat! 
thoie who wereconvided of fobberias , who get 
rally were men who had nothirig to lofe; he th< 
^ orddredy that, 'mptip 6i toVticts » Hk oh 

4^ AI*fl.!$TORYK).FBl»Gf.AIfD, 
oi them fhould be condemned to the gatloMrs. TK 
was reckoned a very feverp^ time it vj! 
uiftitured. What would our anceftors fty , upon (ct 
ing the penal law now ufed by their pofterity ? 
, The death- of this monarch is,. too rennirka^f 
tb be pafled without notice. His virtues , abi! 
ties, wealth , and temperance^ promif.d a longanc 
happy reign ; when , oo a certain day , as he v:. 
foiemnizing a fc^ival in Gloucefterflure^ he faw : 
jnalefad^or , whofe name was t,eolf ( who had besr. 
baniilied the kingdom for his crimes ) ,* dtting at orif 
of the tables in ih^ hall where tlic king was at dir- 
ner. Enraged at fuch infolence , he conunancJ 
kim to be apprehended ; but perceiving him dra^r- 
ing his dagger, in order to defend himfelf , t..' 
is,ing flartedup in a tage* and. catching him byi.' 
liair., drageed him out of the hall, in the wcai 
tirae-^ Leolf, who had .drawn the dagger , lifcir: 
his arm , wijh a furious blow ^ilabbe^ tjie monan • 
tojche hearty, .who fell down on the.bofbm of iu' 
jnurderer. ' ' * 

^ vThe Canes , duripg thefe three reigns , were kep 
-within proper hquads : they frequently revolted 
^erc fubldiied I and treated with lenity by the cor 
querors. The monks now Degjwi to have .the 6 
Xe^ion. of aflfairs , and ^ co^ifequently , to €uifeebl< 
the.%e.,, . '*•.'>*• 

' Edred .fucceeded. ^Edm^ind^ ;aiid.began.Ivs rel 
Tj n /^ with . fdme . yiftories/ the Sco» 
j^.i^. 940. ^^^ D^nes , which the mpt^ks wer^ 
ftilful, aftribe'to the miraoulous int< 
jpofuion of heaven. Among the number*, Dunftai 
^bbot of Glaftpnbury., had peculiar. . influence o 
'the«nin4 9^1^^ credulous monarch ,\^nd ,^^ lepct 
fcccaine tbevdlreaor. of the affai^.s of tho^kingdo] 
^y^h© jxieans .the ppoks^,ajcqpired|fudb^,ij^^^^ 

W A SERIES or tETTERi ' 4^ 

ferved to retard the vigour of every future operation . 
againft tke P^oies. HovjoVer ,ihat whejr took from 
the real ftrei^rh of their .country , they returned- 
in appellations of honour and refped. Edred was 
fhled Monarch 0/ Albion ; and King of Britain ; and 
this at a period^ when his inonarcby was upon the 
very verge of ruin. . . 

the fpns of Edred: were fet afide « and Edwy , his' 
eldeft brother's fon, was [^aced on the ^ 
throne. At this time .the crown ap- '^•^•955* 
pears to have been, eledive 9 and thofe eleftions en* 
tirely influenced by the clergy. The fecular prieft- 
hood feems to hayie placed the crown upon this mo- 
narch's head in oppofition to the monks , who were 
then rifing into efleem among the people. Thus were 
tlie Engliih divided by religious difputes, and in- 
volved in all the finy of civil war , while the Danes 
were every hour growing in flrength and fending 
over frefli forces. The (eculars were poffeffed of 
the riches of the country , but the monks who op« 
pofed them , were in poiTeffion of the power, of 
working miratles. Crucifixes, altars, and even 
horfes were heard to harangue in defence of the 
monks , and inveigh againft the fecular clergy ; but 
particularly- Dunftan uie monk had no fmall power 
over the hofis of heaven : his illuminations were 
frequent , his temptations flrong » but he always re- 
fifled with bravery. The devil , fay the monks , and 
thatferioufly too, once tempted him in the fhape 
of a fine woman ; but the faint foon fent him off^ 
by catching him by the nofe , andleading him about 
for public derifion. Such (lories were then pro* 
pagatedj and , vphat is ftiU more extraordinary, were 
believed. I. am the more furprifed at the credu- 
lity of the times, as the people certainly were not 
deftitute of elafiical learning » aod fome &iU m <h« 

of pi«panng her for the king's reception. On \us 
;NTival, he feU at his vife's feet, coofeffing what 
he had done to be poflR^Qed of her charms ; con- 
jured her to conceal , as much as poflSible , her beanty 
fhom the king, who was but too fafceptible of pat- 
ijon. Eifrida promtfed compliance, but, proflipted 
•ithciir by vanity or revenge, adorned her perfon 
vidi the moft exquifice art , and called yp all her 
beauty unon this occafion. The event anfwered 
her expeaattons : Ae king no fooner faw , but he 
loved, and was inflantly refolved to^obtain her. 
The better to effed his defign, he concealed his 
fisnfations from the huiband, and took his leave 
with a feeming indilferenc^. Soon after Ediel- 
wolfe was fent to Nordiumberland , upon pre- 
tence of urgent ai&irs ; but be never perfornied 
the journey. : he was found murdered in a wood , 
by the king's command , who toc^ Eifrida to court , 
where their nuptials were celebrated widi the ufiui 

I have been the more expUcit in this ftory , as, 
in the firft place, it ferves to fliew that ladies were 
admitted to court in this early period t-h alfo de- 
monftrates , that men and women were never kept 
lepjarate in England, as in Spain and odier coun- 
tries : it ftijl Winces , that , however polite they 
miAt be at the time i am fpeakingof, there was 
fltu a favage air , that mixed in every adton , and 
fufficiently diitineutfhed diofe ages of barbarifm 
from die civilii^ed ages of Greece and Reme. But 
to fkamp the age wim ffill greater rudenefs , Edgar, 
who was thus guilty of murder ,' fi^rilege , and aduU 
tery, was placed among the number of fahits; by 
the monks who have written his hiilory. 

The defers of Edgai's government feu upon liis 
/^cccfipp ^the powet ^ tte mooks faiCr^aAdii an4 


thst of the ilate wits diitilnifhed In proportiofr.' 
Every provifioh for the (afety of the kingdom be- 
gan .to decline ; and the reniiflhefs of the Englifll 
made way for new incurfioiis of the Danes , who 
exa&ed exorbitant tributes from the ^ 
kings, and plundered the fubjefls at ^•^-97'!^ 
difcretion. . Edward the Martyr , who had not the 
leaft title to fo glorious an appellation , was crown- 
ed king by the fingle authority of DunAan , and 
confequ^ntly increafed monkifh power : he wa$ 
murdered by <vder of Elfrida, who feems to hav^ 
the higheft contraA , in ber own perfon , pf the 
greateft external charms , and the mofl odious in« 
ternal deformity. 

Ethelred II finding himfelf unable to oppofe 
tHfe Danes , compounded with them for his fafety * 
four^ (ffon after) being fhrengthened by analltancd 
with the Duke of Normandy, he laid a deteftable 
fcheme for nraflacreing all the Danes in the king« 
dom. This plot was carried on with fuch fecrecy , 
th^ it was executed in one day, and alt the Danes 
in England were deftroyed without j n _. 
mercy. A maffacre, fo cruel andper- - ' -Jooi, 
fidious , inftead of ending the long miferies of this 
wretched country, only made way for new and 
greater calamities than before. 

Swayne , king of Denmark , exafperated by the 
flaughter of his countrymea, and , among the reft, 
of his own fifter , who was beheaded in £thelred*s 
prefence^ foon after landing in England, and filled 
the whole kingdom wi^h the marks of an horrid 
vengeance , obliging Ethelred to fly to Normandy 
for relief. The Englifli unable to oppofe , yet 
iihwilling to fubmit , for a ihort time groaned un- 
der the Danish yoke y and again , upon an oppor- 
tunity given I called their banifhed monarch bact 

C 3 

to his throne. Edielr«d returned ,» but being a 
weak, as well as a crael prince » he loft the hearts 
of his fubjeds, and , with their love , all his suitho* 
rity. He never , therefore > could recover ftreogth 
enough to oppofe the forces and numbers • of the 
Danes ,re whom many of the Englifli nobles , as 
well as commonalty , had , in his abfence, fiibmitted. 

Swayne was the firft Danifh monarch who fwayed 
the Engliih fceptre , but he died before he coi^ bs 
faid to come to a peaceable enjoyment of wluit he 
had To hardly toiled for. His Ton » Canute » how* 
.^ n ,^.-; ever , achieved what the fether had 
j9. U. 1017. y^^^^ Edmund Ironfide, eleded by 
the Engliih, who was his rival in government , and 
who fucceeded Ethelred in this difputed fovereignty, 
continued , for a (hort time , to oppofe the progress 
of the Danifh conquefts with fuccefs ; but»*Canme 
gaining a bloody vidorv over the forces of tbis mo- 
narch, he was d>liged, firft to a divifion o£ the 
kingdom » and his untimely death » foon afier , cave 
Canute quiet and undifturbed poffeffion of the wEok. 

This fierce monarch cut off fome of the ro3ral 
Saxon line, and forced others into exile. He was 
at once king of England , Denmark , and Norway; 
and , from the extent of his dominion , perhaps , 
/ather than froiti ttie greatnefs of his mind, received 
from hiAorians the title of Canutt thi Gnat. The 
end of his life, however « was very different from 
the beginning : the firff part of it was marked with 
ipvaHon , rapine , and cruelty ; the latter was equal- 
ly remarkable for iuftice , humanity , and religpn. 
Upon a certain occafion , being dcfirous of mew- 
ing his flatterers how little he deferved the exagge« 
rated praife with which they loaded htm , he or- 
dered a chair to be broueht, and» feating him(jsl( 
#B the fea i(hore , where the tide was about to flow 1 

^e adrefled the feanii^ tsbisi maiacr : Ofid^ thou- ait 
ind^r, my dommian^' and tkt land wkkk J fit upon is 
miru i J charge thee , approach no further » nor done 
to wet thefiet of thy fovereigri^ The tide^ howler, . 
advanfiing a^^iiual, he t^trofd tobis coMittecs,.and 
obferved, that the titles of Lord and Mafier ooly 
be|oi\g/e4:tQ him whonv l>Qth« Oartk and feas were 
ready to. obey. - . . » ; .^ . * - 

Harold iHarefoot and Hardicanute , his Danish' 
fuccellors^ wer^ unwordiy of hini ; the &rik is re- 
markable for. no virtue , and the laiter is diAin* 
guiilied , principally , for his cruelty and avarice* 
This laft 9 dying fuddeoly , at a feau » left the Da- 
nish race o( kings fo hated , by their exadions and 
inipofitfon& on fhe people , that Edward , fiirnamed 
the ConfeiTor, of the Saxon raqe» found, both 
from Danes and Sa^ns^ an eafy ac- ^ n ,^ ^ 
ceflioa to the crown, ^' ^\ *^4i- 

Thus exjxired , not only the dominion » but aU 
attempts ot iavafioa from, the Panes for the &ture* 
Though their ravages had continued for above two 
bunded years, yet they left no change of laws » 
cuftoms , language , or religion. The many cafiles 
they had built , and the many families they left 
beliind them , ferved alone to dftfcover the places of 
their efltabliihmem. . After t^e acceiTion of Ed- 
ward the Confeffor tp ihe crown , the Eiigliih and 
Danes ».as if wearied with mutual flaughter ^ united 
in fupport of each other, formed ever ^fter but one 
people.. ,. 

The reign of Edward .the G>nfeflbr was long 
and happy. He bad lived long in Normandy » 
and , in feme meafure » adopted the languajge and 
learning of that country. His wars were iuccefs- 
ful, bi^tfa ia Sc«>tland and Wales, though masagfsd 


'hf his leaders , zni with his perfonal attendance 
The eafintt($ of his-dirpofition, however, toget^e 
with credoKty and* Aiperftitioa , paved the wzt 
for another invafion or this conntry , as if the Ecg- 
liih were deAined to be goTemed only by £oreJf,z 

Earl Godwin , by whofe intereft Edward hai 
come to the.croi»n, exerted all bis infiiience tc 
eilabliih his own foiii karold, as his (vtcccSor. 
•This coo powerful fubjed pret^nded^'to Itc mnd 
difpleafed with the favour fhewn by tteking to its 
Norman nobility, who came over , in nombcrs, 
to the Engliih court. Thefe difccMitents at lengrii 
produced an infurredion. Edward now gro\(a 
old, and indolent by nature , undertook to oppofe 
thofe diforders , rather by negociatton than arms. 
TriJaring wirh rebels is a certain- method of iff- 
creafing their power : by this means Harold gsmied, 
by degrees j the authority he contended^ for , and 
bad power iiifficlent to fettle the fiieceilion upon 
himfelf. ^- .. . 

WhUe Edward was thus- leaving his earthlj 
kingdom to contention and mifery , he was , in 
the mean time , bufily employed rn gainine , as he 
imagined, a^' heavenly one. ft was not lufficiem 
for him to afpire at all the virtues tieceifery for 
carrying him to heaven ; he deitred to be reckoned 
a faint of the firft order. He pretended to feveral 
revelations, was poffcfled of the gift of prophecy, 
and Mfas the firfl who touched for thofe fcrophu* 
lous diforders , which , from hence , have been de- 
nominated the King^s Evil. But what gained him 
a diftingui/hed place among the faints , was his 
continence, his refraining* from the woman to 
-whom he was adually married. It i^faid'be ef- 
poufed the beeutiful Editha , purely to ezercife his 


virtues , by withftanding a continual temptation. 
Thb , as we may fuppoie , left her to fterilitr ; and 
thus his leaving no ifliie was the caufe of num- 
borlerfs miferies which fell upon the kingdom fboii 
after his deceafe* 

Edward , as 1 obfenred , had no children. H^ 
feemed , however , defirous of leaving the crown 
to his nephew Edgar Atheling ; bnt didrufling 
his weakneffr to defend the title , and knowing the 
fireanh o( Harold, his opponent, he j ^ ' ^^,. 
left the fucceffion undecided. It is ^•-^•1066. 
probabhe^ however , this weak monarch was no way . 
lolicitoas who fucceeded in a government which 
he feemed himfelf to defpife, 


Upok the death of Edward, Harold now alledg' 
ed diatjie was appointed fucceflbr by ^ y, ,^ . 
wilL This was no more. than what ^--^^ xo66* 
the people of England had expeAed long before : 
his pretenfions were believed by (bme , and alloweti 
by all. He had fome right to a crown , hitherto 
eieftive , from his private virtues ; and he confir- 
med his rights by the mofi irrefiftible argument I 
his power. Thus .the monarch came to the thronei 
by the moft equitable of all titles ; I mean the 
confent of the people. 

His exaltation feemed to be only the commence*' 
meat of his calamities. His firft trouble was from , 
his own brother, who, being the elder, obtained 
affiftance from Norway , to fet up a title to thci 
Engjiih crowm Harold immediately levied a nu- 
merous army , and marched t6 mttt the Nbrwe^ 
gttns^ ^o, with a vaft force, had over-run adt 

C s 


die northern pans of the kingdom , and hail toti^ 
mitted incredible devaftatton.' Both armies fooa 
joined battle. The Norwegians » for feme time, 
brayely defended a bridge which lay bet%reeri them 
and the EngHfh ; but , at length , the Talour of 
Harold fin'mounted every obflacle. He pafled the 
bridge, renewed the affaidt , and, afier an obft* 
natc refiihnce, entirely routed the invaders. Tbeic 
bad never before been feen in England an eogag^ 
m^nt between two fuch nufnerous armies , each 
having no lefs than threefoore thoufaod men. The 
news of this vidory diffufed the greateft joy ovo 
the whole kingdom ; but their raptures were foon 
fuppreiTed by an information that WiUitm of 
e^«# «Q Normandy, furnamed the Conqueror* 

66 had landed at Haftings, with avaftbody 

'^ of dtfciplined veterans , and laid cbum to 

the Englifh crown. 

This prince was the natural fon of Albert duke 
of Ndrmandy : his mother's name was Arl^te, 
a beautiful maid of Falaize , -with whom Robert 
fell in love , as ihe ftood gasnog at hier door whilft 
ic pafled through the town. William , who was 
the offspring of this amour, owed his greatnefi 
io his birth , and his fortune to his perfonal me- 
rit. His. body was vigorous , his mind Capadious « 
^nd his courage not to be intimidated. His fa- 
ther Robert, growing old, and, as was ufual with 
princes of that age, fnperAittous « refolved upon 
a pilgrimage to the holy fepulchre at Jerufa- 
lem. The nobility uied every argument to diffinde 
|iim, but he perfiAed in his ikfign. He ihewed 
<hem William, whom, though ille^timate , he 
tbnderty loved , reepmmendiHg hiip to tbeii: care 
and loyalty. He then exa^cr their homage and 
kilty to this prince « who was not yet above tea 


years x)14 ; and then put hun under the tutebge ci 
the French King^ in.wlioin he placed the higheft 

Robert Toon after going into Afia » and dyings 
left his fon raiber inheritor of bis wi/hes than his 
crown. Our young foldier found himtelf expofed 
to many dangers, from his youth and inexperience p 
from the reproach of his birth p from a fufpeded 
guardian ^ a difputed tide , and a diflraded fiatehs 
However , he furmounted all with uncommon for^ 
titude, nor, till he had eftabliihed peace , order ^ 
and tranquillity , in his own kingdom , did he tura 
his ambitious views abroad. 
. It has been already faid , that Edward the Con» 
feiTor refided for a long time , at th« court of Robert 
duke of Normandy ; and upon this William ^ 
founded his claim. Whether gratitude might , 
have engaged this exiled prince to make Willliam^ 
his henefiaor^ fon , any promifes of the kinsdom 
of England » after his deceafe , is at this diftance 
of time viKertain : William, however, upon the 
death of Edward , immediately . made his preten- 
iions« and upon this former promife of Edward 
founded all the juftice of his . demand. To this 
be added » that Harold had himfelf afliired him of 
his intereft in the fuccedioo » when forced, upon the 
Norman coai| : he therefore fent to remind him of 
ful£Uing his engagements. 

Harold admitted of neither of thefe claims 9 
and refolved to defend , by his valour , what he 
had acquired fay his intrigues. He was at the . 
head of a large army lately vidorious, and now 
confident. He obferved , that he had been eleded 
by thofe who only had the power of placing kings 
on the throne, namely , by the people; ^and that 
he C9uld not feiiga his crowo withopt a breach o( 

C 4 


that truft .repofed in htm by his conftituents. Hi 
added to thefe reafons one^of Ml greater wei^i; 
he was pofleiTed of power , and knew bow to de- 
fend It. 

• Wiltiam , who bad bnded his army art HsSiop, 
irTSnifcx^ at 6xA made no appearance of invadio; 
any hoflile country , but rather of encamping in 
his own. But he was foon rouied from his iiP 
adivity by the approach of Rarold , who returned 
irom the defeat of the Norwegians , with all tk 
forces he had employed in that expedition , aod 
all he could invite or colled! in the countrr 
through, ^hich. be p;ifled. Thefe were in gene- 
ral 9 braVe , aftive, and valiant troops , in high fpi' 
fits, ftrongly attached to their king, and eager to 
enga^. The arnnr of William , on the other 
hand « confiAed of^the flower of all the continent: 
men of Bretagne , Brabant , Boulogne , Flanders , 
Poitou, Maine, Orleans, France, and Norman- 
dy, were united under his command. He hati 
long been familiar with conqueft , and his troops 
;were confident of his military capacity. Eng- 
land , never beforjj , nor ever fmce , faw two 
fuch armies drawn up tp difpute a crown. The 
day before the battle , William fent an offer to Ha- 
.told, to decide the quarrel between them hy finglc 
combat , and thus to fpare the blood of th«r peo- 
ple; but Harold refufed , and faid he would leave 
it to God to determine. Both armies , therefore , 
that night pitched in fight of each other , expeft- 
iiig the next terrible day with folicltude : the Eng- 
Jifh pafTed the night with fongs and feafting ; the 
Normans in devotions and prayer. 
' The next morning at fevcn , ais . foon as day 
.appeared, both armies drew up in array again^ 
each othcn* Harold- appeared- leading on ^ the 


centre of the Eagtiih army, on foot, that his 
men might be more encouraged by feeing their 
king expofed: to equal danger with themfelves. 
Wiliiam flight on^'hoiffeback', and commanded 
ibe .body or veferve. The Normans began the 
fight with their crofs bows : thefe at firft galled 
and fmprifed the Engliih , 'and, as their ranks 
were clofe , the arrows did great execution ; but 
when they xame to dofe fieht , the Normans were 
hewn down by the EngUOi bills , * which , of all 
weapons , infli£led the moft terrible and ^h^iftly 
wonnds. William , endeavouring to pierce their 
ranks, aflauked- them fo often , and with foch 
bravery 4 that he had three horfes. killed in the 
attempt. Perceiving that they flill continued 
impenetrable, he now pretended t6 fly : this drew 
the English from their ranks , and he was in* 
ftantly ready to take, advantage of their diforder; 
Upon a fignal given , the m>rmans returned to 
the charge with greater fiiiy than before, broke 
the Eng&h troops , and purfued them to a rifing 
ground. Harold now. flew firom rank to rank : 
though he had toiled all day , 'from* morning tiH 
now near night-fall i in the front of his Kentij^ 
men ; yet ftOl he continued , with miabated vi- 
gour to renew the fight, and exhort' his men 
by his voice and example. The day naw aeain 
Teemed to tiirh againfl the vigors, land the Nor« 
mans &11 in great numbers, ^he fiercenefs and 
obftinacy of this memorai^ ' battle was often 
renewed by the courage of the leaders, where* 
ever that of the foldiers began to flacken. Foc^ 
tune y at leiigth , determined a vidory that va^ 
loar was uiiable to decide : Harold > makmg a 
furious. onfet at the head of his troops » was mot 
into the brains by an arrow. All the couragil 


of the EngliA expired with their brave , bur m 
OS A ^^^^^^^^ }^^^* He feUwith hisfrori 

1066 ' ^^ ^^' haads fighting -for his country, 
amidfi the heaps of— flain, lb Asa \k 
royal corpfe couU hardly , after tlie hattle , be <£(* 
Jiaguiihed among the diwk 

This was the end of the Saxon taionarichy ii 
England , which had contimied for more than (a 
hundred years. Before the times of Alfred, lAn 
lungs feeme4 totally immerfed in ignorance; and, 
after hiai , taken up with comtattng Aiperib* 
don , or blindly obeying its diftates. As (or the 
Ctown » it waa rather bequeathed by its poffdEht n 
whom he thought firoper , thaa tranfmitted by he* 
Jteditary and natural fuccefli0n« As for the la«i 
«id ciiiloms of this race , they brought in maof 
of their own , and adopted feveral belongiM to tiK 
mcient Britoni and Romans , which they found in 
the eottimy upon their invafion. They aiTemeil 
the name of Kings » nay, fome of them took t^ 
Greek apoelladon of Bauleus ; titles imknown in (he 
country troin whence they came. Their earb wert 
icalled Dukes , or Duces : a name borrowed froc 
Ihe Romans, and fignifying Capcains* The lower 
daifes of people were boi^t tfad fold with tbe 
6rms tliey ctdtivated ; a cuffem irft introduced by 
the conquerors of the worM, and which fubfifts , ifl 
Arnie countries where the Roman laws condnue. 
ho this day. Thehr canon laws , alfo , at that dme 
trere often mixed wkh dbeir civil laws, and wer< 
equally coercive ; but thefe canon faiws had tbdi 
origin fi-om Rome , and the prtefts and nooks, 
^rho drew them np, generally had their education 
there. We muft not , therefore^ afcribe a1 tht 
iaws and enflpms , which at ifeit dme pnevaild 
ovor England 9 to « Saxon otigUal, iittce thej 


vere , in {ome cafes , derived from the firitonsand , 
Romans, But now aU thofe cudoim aod laws , of 
whatever original , were caft down into one com^ 
mon Bia& , and cemented by thofe of Norman in« ^ 
fiitutton. The whole face ot obUgatioi) was ckang* 
cd, and new manners and new forms obfervcdk 
The laws w«re improved ^ imt the tafte of the peo«» 
pie hr polite learning , arts , and philofof>h7 » fef 
more than four hun4r^ years to come » were fiili to 
condnue the fame. It is indeed furprifing » that » iii 
fuch a variety of events , fuch inodvatiotns m man* 
ners , and uich changes iii government , true pa* 
Uteneis never came, to be cultivated* Perhaps the 
reafon may be » that the people fuffsred thdmfelvet 
to be inflrnded. only by the clergy « dndthe elergy 
have a certain ^aodard qf potiteneft wfaioh they 
never go beyo^ , and at wHich they were arrived 
at the time we are ipeaking of. A m<»ik of th6 
tenth Ci^ncury , and a monk of the eiglMeentii ceifr 
tury , are equally enlightened ^ and equally fit tm 
promote die arts of happineft* ) 


WE n&w enter vpon Aat part of the EngtUli 
biflory which gives birth to our prefent happy con^ 
ftitution. Thofe laws which are fo much eftet^ 
mtd by the reft of Europe » thofe Hterties whidi 
are fo dear to us at home , beean to dawn af thil 
period. The EngUib » hitherto StmoA tmknown t^ 
the reft lef.tlie worlds hbgan » after this revDlttV 
ton 9 to make a confiderabie ftpire in Europe, 
The variety of difpiofitiGiis of ievera! fore^ 
cettoidKS, lieahg impevcecl here^ bkuded ktt^ la^ 


common national charader, and produced kntU 
ments of courage , freedom , refohition , and 

► Immediately after the viftory of HaAings, in 
which, it is faid, fixty thoufand Englifh were flain , 
the conqueror msircned towards London. He car- 
ried before him a fiandard which had been blefled 
by the Pope , and to this all the clergy quickly re- 
forted. The bifhops and magifirates of the metro- 
polis came out to meet him , and offered him a crown 
' which they no longer had in their power to reftife. 
William was glad of thus. peaceably being put in 
poffeffion of a throne which feveral of his predc- 
Ceffors had not gained but by repeated viftories : he 
tomplied with the terms , which were offered him , 
and, among thefe terAis , it is to be prefumed , the 
church's interefls were not forgotten. Though 
.William had it in his power to force pieople into 
a compliance with his views , yet he chofe to have 
their elefiipn of him confirmed as a voluntary 
gift of their own. .He knew himfetf to be their 
conqueror ; he defired to be thought their lawful 

Thus was William poffipfled of an idea of his 
power to enforce obedience , and the En^liih of 
then* generofity in having freely prefcnred him with 
a crown. Impreffed with fuch oppofite fentiments , 
the one was inclined to opprefs a people whom he« 
in h6t 9 thought incapable of refiftance ; and they , 
€n the other hand , were inclined to revolt againft 
him , whom they fancied to have received all autho- 
rity from their own. hands. Numberlefs , therefore , 
.were the infurredions of the Eiiglifh againft their 
new monarch; and every fiipreiied rebellion only 
gaye irefli infbnees of the conqueror's oildiiefi and 

humanity; The EngBifli were unwilling to pay any 
taxes to wards cfnric&tng thpfe tb^y now began to 
look upon as'conquerbrs; antf William was finder 
the moft (blemn engagements of providing for thoft 
adventurers who had left their native country to 
place him on. the throne. 

Htthecco WilUam had afied like one who wal 
rather the- filths than the invafcler of tht country ; 
when news wgs brou^ him , that a body of ^for- 
tluutttebn Sn^ifh, ailifted by the Danes, had fee 
upon the Norman garriibn m Yorck caftle, $nd 
put every man to the (word. After repeated re- 
bellions , which he had quelled before , and fuch 
frequent pardons » which were the confequence » he 
now fouM that nothing but rigour woukl do (or 
the future. He marched theretore to meet the 
enemy. Bought off the Danes for i dim of money; 
and tool a figtial reydngeiipoh the Northumbrians ^ 
unable tboppofe him. * ' '; . 

From this time he feems to have regarde«^ Eng- 
land rather as a coiiqueft than a juftly' acquired do- 
minion. His diffidence of the Englifh became more 
confpicuous every day , and his partiality to the 
Normans more galling : all -places of truft and 
confidence were taken from the one , and given to 
the other. From this time he thought only of efta- 
biifhing himfelf on die' throne ,. without nicdy 
examining, whether yie means ^ere confonant td 
juftice and bumsTnity. 

If hiftojrians , who feem parpal in other re- 
fpcds, are to be credited, England was then in t 
moft deplorable fituation. The Normans com* - 
mitted continual infults on the conquered people , 
and^hey feldom found any redrefs from their go- 
Tcmots*^ in' both' Cafes ^ ther^ore, they geuenaljf; 

rcvepgcd themfelves by private murders , and 2 ds/ 
feldom failed but the b9dies^o£.airaflinaLted Ki 
JDADS were found m the iwioods and higb-iravs] 
without any poffibUIty of bringing .the perpetratMi 
to iuftice* But wliat is reprefented as the p«.-c« 
liar grievance of the times , was , that the Engidj 
were deprived of arm$, and were forbid having soi 
lights in their houfes aft^ eight. o'iUock is ti^ 
evening. At this hour a bell was rung to waiil 
them to put out their fire and candle; and thi^. 
^nich was called the Curfew , is a cuftom vcrj 
common upon the continent ; but wasi very graur^! 
to the ears of this people. | 

Infurredions are ever the confequence of op-j 
prefTion, in a brave nation : William was. feasible i 
of this, and generally attempted to moderate tu 
cruel counfe^s of his countrymen by gentle trcij 
bent of the offenders, Edear Atheling , who hJ 
the bed fucce(five right to me crown , wasjunpn^i:' 
die number of thofe who experienced fais lenity i'-^ 
faith. This prince had gone over to the Scots 
and had periuaded their king to join hin with as 
army ^ in aflerting his right to the EngUfli croi^n. 
William met their forces in the northern parts d 
England, and , inAead of a battle > propofcd a ds* 
gociation. Peace wa> eftabliflied between the t^rc 
nations » and Edgar was included iu the treaty. H( 
continued from that time, to live as a private 
man , in opulence and fecurity ^ and paf][ed the rd 
of his life, perhaps, more h2U>pily thati if he y 
continued in the career of ambuion. 

William, having nothing at prefent to fear from 
war , turned all his thoughts to the arts of peace. 
He was not yqt fufficiently. arbitrary fo change all 
|he laws now in being, for thoCt of his Q^i 

country : he only made leverai innovations , and 
ordered all lav pleas, in die feverail comts^tobd 
made in the Norman laneuage. Tkefe precautions « 
indead of making the Korman' language the (!udy 
of all, confined the hv to the peculiar fiudy of a 
few. The Enetifh language ftill continued to he 
fpoken ; and luch was. the efteem it was held in , 
even (o early , that it began to be fpoken at the coutt 
of Scotland , and in federal adjacent countries : and, 
what is very remarkable , never was the French left 
engrafted upon our language , than at thb very time 
vhen they were our mafiers. 

William now thought proper to deprive bifhop^ 
of all judgment in civil caufes , which tliey had 
enjoy^ during the whole Saxon fuccedion , frnm 
their converfion to ChriAianity. He retrained the 
clergy to the,exercKe of their ecclefiaftlcal power 
alone. He endeavoured to abollAi trials by ordeat 
and camp fighu The ordeal trial , which had beetl 
a remainder o( Pagan fuperftitibn , and Aitl waS 
held in veneration by the Saxons ^ w^s either by 
fire or water. It was ufed in crimkial cafes where 
the fufpicions were Arong , but the proofs not evi« 
dent. In that of fire » the peiibn accufed was 
brought into an open plain , and feveral plough* 
ihares , heated red hot, were placed at equal inters 
vals before htm : over thefe he was to walk Mind* 
fold, and, if he efcaped unhurt , he was acquitted 
of the charge. In the other trial of water , the accu* 
fed was thrown boimd into the water : if he funk 4 
he was declared innocent; bnt if he fwam , guilty; 

The trial by camp fight was another inftance 
of the deplorable barbarity of the times. This 
was performed by fmgle combat , in lifts , appoint:* 
ed for that purpofe > between .the accufer Stfid ib4 

accufed : hethat, in fuch cafe /came off viAoria 
was deemed innocent ; and he who was cooquoe 
;f he Airvived his antagonists refentment in a 
field, was fure to faffer as a malsfiiAor feme n 
after. Both thefe trials this king aboliihed as 
chriftian and iinjuft , and reduced all crauies to z 
judgment of twelve men , of a rank nearly eqvi 
that of the prifonen This number was called 
jury, and this was a method of trial common to:i 
$axons and Normans long before , but cothm 
J>y him with all the fanAion of rojralty. 

Having continued ibirteen years in England, 
now thought of revifiting his native dominior 
but no fooner was his back turned than a sci 
confpiracy was fet on foot. This was more ter* 
ble 9 as it was carried on by the joint coanfelsi 
Normans as well aiEngUfh. Several lords, ofbc:: 
Yiations, jllready poiTeffed of opulence » were defircii 
p£ independence alfo, knd pretended many f^" 
vancets , or imagined themtplves aggrieved. T!:^ 
earl Walthof * wno had been formerly pardcr;i 
for a like offence , entered fecretly into a com^ 

g^ndence with Swayne , King of Denmark , ar: 
rone , King of Ireland. Their meafures weri 
conceived with caution , and purfued with lecrecv; 
but fome delays intervening were fatal to coun- 
ftls which were neceffarily entrufled to many 
the plot was difcovered fome days before the Dane 
arrived ; the heads of the confpiracy were taken 
and Fitz Auber, a noble Norman, and Walthof, 
yere beheaded on this occafion. Whether iB 
aft of rigour was executed by the king's coni' 
matid ^ fent over from Normandy , or by Odo, 
his brother, left behind « and naturally incL'ned to 
6yewy # is not apparent. Ho^Qvefjthcfe tvo 


rere the only noblemen executed in England 
during the reign of William the Conqueror , not- 
withmndtng To many revolt^ on their fide , and fo 
much power in him to TOnifli. 

Though good fortune teemed to attend this mo* 
narch thtislrar oa his reign , here the curt^dn may 
be drawn for the reft. His decline was marked 
with domeftic quarrels » which could nctdier end! 
in glory nor in g^in { his endeavours were oppofed 
by hts own fubjeds , for whom he had laboured 
with fuch perfeverance. He had four fons, Ro- 
bert, Richard^ lirilliaffl , and Henry, befides fe* 
veral daughters. The moft poignant of his dif« 
treffes niuft , therefore , come from Aat quarter 
wliere he le^ expeded an attack , and was leafli 
guarded to oppofe. His eldefi fon Robert , en« 
couraged by the King of France « pretended a rig^t 
to pofiefs Normandy 9 even during the life of his 
father^ William could pbce confidence in none 
but the Englifh , to bring this . unnatural fon to 
his duty ; and , drawing an army of EngUihmea 
together , hepafled over into Normandy, to put d 
ftop to the progrefs of fo unexpedea an infur- 
reoion. It is remarkable enoueh , that the fame 
commander, who formerly led over an army of 
Normans to conquer England , now returned with 
an army of English to iubdue Normandy. To re^ 
duce his fon , however . was found a much more 
difficult tafk than William had at firft expedecL 
Robert feemed to inherit, though not his father's 
virtues , at leaft his condud and intrepidity. He 
led on his troops with courage , and laid his am^ 
bufcadeS with fecrecy : in one of thefe, after he 
had killed part of ^ troop of Englifh , and put the 
reft to flight , he boldly advanced againft the mzxh 
body , where' WUUam commatidcd i& perfdn. By; 


« ftrange htMty of circumfiances » fkc fiicher i 
(pn were opposed , without koowtog each <xk 
WiHiam^ was now g^own old, and unable to > 
form thofe extraordinary feats , for which be « 
once fo £mous. The fon charged with fuch fen 
that bis aged father fell to the ground wkh ii 
blow : d^w would inevitably have been the a 
lequencf , 9nd the foo*s arm was juft lifted to Ad 
bis. father, had not William called out, andR: 
l^rt immediately recolle^d his father*9 voice. J 
once flung with a confcioafnefs of bis crime » 
bis duty , he leaped from his horfe , and raifcd i) 
fi^Uen monarch trom the ground ; then , proibs 
ing himfelf in his prefence , be aiked par^' 
for his offences, and promifed, for the 6iture,3 
adherence to his duty. The king , moved byi 
unp^rCe of nature , took once more his long ^ 
(on to his arms ; and the armies , fpedators of ib 
moving fcene » participated in their joy and tw» 

But this fubmiflion of Robert was of no i^ 
contbuance ; he once had tafied the fweets ci 
power y and knew not bow to.fubmit to fubordi^ 
tion : again » ijherefore , he revolted , and again va 
pardoned by his indulgent father. But the Freud* 
who infpired him to thefe ads of difobedience,aBi 
yr^r^ at befl ihAdious allies spsirticulprly felt ii>i 
xrehemencQ^of >^illiam's difpleafure. After he h^ 
adjufled the government ot England, to which 
was returned fome time before , he again led oi^ 
SL bfav.e ?wmy of Engliihmen into Normandy it 
^nt tp ipake die (|orm fall upon thofe who ve^ 

Erimsirily. thp difturfeers of his tranquillity. Tfe 
ing. qt JFrance rightly .<onfidcred , that this a; 
in^mient; ^ould qniyi be defigned againfl himfeit 
^nd mmf^H |q diy^:!. Uj kyi a .mic§ ,. ii:hipb ti 



agreed on ; but a jeft of the French king's ferved 
to renew hoftUitles. WUltam had been confined 
to his bed by an indKpofition , which , added to his 
netiinil corpulency , tkreatetfed the moft dangerous 
confequences. This was a (miatton which it was 
cruelty to ridicule ; however,- the Frenchman , with' 
a levity natural to his nation , obferved , that the 
king of England -was lying* if) of ^a big belly. 
This raifed Wilfi2im*s indignation to fuch a pitch » 
that be immediately took the field, where leaping'a' 
ditah ;'the> ponmel of rhd4addle bruifed his belly, 
and gave him a rupture. This ,n added to his former 
bad habit of body , brought on ^ mortification , of 
vhidi he died. 

The charafkev^ of prmcas are be A feen in their 
aftions, tiof is if neceffary to give an outline at* 
die end' of what the hiftorian has pahrted more 
ftrongty< ia JM nacnt^ion. There H icarce a great 
quaKcy which this monarch doe? not fcdm emi- 
nently to have poUetfed ; and , confidering the mo- 
rality of the firHes*, (tarce at good one in which he 
was entirely defiKrient. The only objeflions of 
any weij^tare hh a^rtce-^ and nis depopulating 
a part -of "his country , \h ^rder to nrake a foreft 
to hum in for his amu^<^ejtt. The avarice oif 
kings >>af that tifnd; was dHFerent firoVn wh3it-it is 
now. Kings acquired money then for^the ufes of 
die public; kings <atiqUire fortunes now only for 
diemfelves : the wars of the ftate -were then fup- 
plted by the treafures of' the crown ; the wars of 
the ftate at prefent aire fuppHed by finances appro* 
priated to that purpofe by the* people. His making 
Co ex«eaifve a; foreft can be ivindtcated only from 
the' bai4>arity <rf the times; -a methofi rather 1^ 
making his guilt general' /th?n of willing it away. 
Upoit tfae whole, howiytt ^BxtghnAfccmtd to im* 


prove by the conquefi « and loft neither ics naine^nfl 
Jts language. It increafed in flrepgth and nnm 
power; its laws became more numerous and n- 
tional; the manner of living, afnong the native*, 
nore elegant and expenfive ; aod^he TuperAuioa d 
the clergy leis grois and abfurd. 

L E T T E R X,I. 

X^cw nations have goae through more revohh 
ttons J few governments have appeared more uiv 
ftcadv , or fluduated more between prerogative and 

t Privilege , than this of Great Britain. The Erf 
ifh. have . been f^rpri/ed , betrayed , forced into 
fltuatlons little preferable to downright Havery; 
hut thofe convuluons , though tiiey have diiordered 
die frame, yet could not deftroy the principles of 
a free conftitution. 

We have feen the Norman alter the whole model 
of government , but he was unable to exttnguiili 
the Saxon fpirit of freedom which formed is 
ground -worK : on the contrary , the Normans, 
^nd other ftrangers who ietded here i were foos 
{bifed with a fpirit of liberty themfelves, inftead of 
being *<i]}l9 to, communioite their native principles 
of flavery^, , 

/ Williafn left three fons : Robert, te whom be 
bequeathed his dukedom of Normandy; WiUiam 
Rufus , who had the newly acquired kingdom of 
England; and Henry , who was put in pofleffion 
of part of his perfonal treafures. 

WilUian^ Rums, upon coming to the CfX)wn, 
rJ. n ,/^- had two very powerful parties to op- 
jtiJJ. io«7. p^jj. and to, humble. The nobilitv, 
jprho Aill afpired to the>iH$ 4^gUt« of fte<Qdctm.which 



they pc^effed under the S^xon kings ; and the xkr- 
gy , who deiired to ereft themfelves into a diftinft 
government, independenr of fecular powen One 
or the other of chofc claims gave rife to the infur- 
redions and difcontents of this reign. Nothing 
can be more eafy than to imagine , how ill a peo- 
ple, who thought themfelves free, muA brook a 
monarch who looked upon them as his property", 
by a fucceffion originally founded iu conqueft. 

Odo , his own uncle , was the firA to difpute 
his title ; but he was foon taken prifoner , and 
ibme time after contrived means of dying into 
Normandy, where he found protection and honour 
trom duke Robert. This was a fiifficient pretext 
for William to make war upon his brother : it was 
carried on with vigour and fuccefs. Henry, the 
third brother , was alfo involved in this war , fe^ ' 
parateiy , and upon his own account , having takenT 
up arms for not being paid the treafures bequeathed 
ium by his &ther. Thus were there three different 
armies, each exafperated againd the other, and 
each led on by one of thofe difunited brpthersw' 
Such an unnatural contefi,*as may be eafily con«- 
ceived , fcrved only to weaken themfelves , and 
ilrengthen their enemies. The Scots and Welch ," 
ihferefore, took this opportunity of making feveral 
incuriions upon the EngUAi » while William was 
thus purfuing conquefts that could end neither in 
advantage nor fame. To increafe the confufion ,' 
rhe .clergy loudly complained of encroachments^ 
upon their priyileges : the people murmured at 
every increafe of uieir taxes : Robert de Mowbray 
was a&ually taken prtfoner , while he commanded 
a fortrefs that had inaken off the royal authority^ 
What effe&s ihefe difcontents , which were in- 
crc^afed alfo by the king^s avarice , intemperance • 

Vot, I, • D 


and prodigality, nrighc have produced, is aocemii 
die moft melancholy were expeded : fafut nov/ 
uttention of all Europe was called one oh 
inoft remarkable events that htftory can produce, 
jncan the arming for the iirft crulade. 

Peter » furnamed the Hermit , who had behd 
with indignation , the cruel manner to wfaicn i 
infidels, who were in pofieffion of the Holv^ 
pulchre , treated the Chriftians who went on s 
grimages tliither, returned to Europe, refolveit 
infpire die princes of Chrifteadom with a zeal i 
its recovery. Bareheaded and barefoot , he :i 
veiled from court to court, preaching as he w:3 
and inflaming the zeal of every rank of pecN 
Pope Urban II preached the crufade lum(i:\ 
the counfel of Clermont ; and numberleis penV^ 
*«f all degrees and nations, ardenrly • emhraceii '^ 
caufe , and put en the -red crofs, cne badge ofr; 
profeffion. Among ) his number was Robert, (ii 
of Normandy : he was brave » zealous, for.ii 
jglory , and flill more fond of change* In order 
ftipply money to defray the^neceflary charges c 
expensive an undertaking , he offered to monrJ 
his dukedom with his brother for.afHpidated '^ 
William eagerly embraced the propofaL He va* 
Way foUicitous about raiftng the money aereed 
for he knew the riches of his clergy : heetilj 
therefore , of their murmurs , he rigotoufly li 
the whole, making ufe of the moft pious preti 
to cover his extortion. Thus fending his bro 
to the Holy Land, he took peaceable poSe&oi^ 
his dukedom. 

In this manner was Norm&ndy again uniteci I 
the En^fh crown ; and from this union afrenr; 
arofe tfaofe wars with France , which , -for wh/ 
centuries , contioued to depopulate both natloa 


without conducing in ths end to t}ie enrkfaing of 

WiUUm was^not a Uttl^ pleafe4 with this im^Ji- 
pe^ed acquiiitiQn ; and , as one fuccefs only pro* 
duces a deiire for more^ h^ began to conceive 
more extrnifive* (chemes of ambition. Poi<5loii and 
Gui^nne m^re offered to be mortgaged for tite fame 
reafons as Kormsindy. William immediately raifcd 
the neceflary fums, but death interrupted the pay- 
ment. Happening to hunt in tliat fored^ from 
whence his father had banlJfhed the hufbandman 
and le^l poffeflbr , he was accidentally ihot tjirou^ 
the heai't , with an arfow ^ hy one Tyrell ; he died 
in die forty fourth year of his age , had . « ,'. 
reigned twchre , and left a dominion * ' ^ ' 
which he had comribiitecl to extend , to impove" 
xifh , and enflaye. 

There were now two competitors for the crown : 
Robert , who was engaged in the Holy War ; and 
Ueniy , the y<oungett prother , who remained at 
home. The tight of fMccenfipn. was evidestly in 
favour of die firft^b^ tk^ latter ^a^ upon the 
/pot. .Nothing %2iB be a more evident inftance how 
litde hereditfiry fuccefllon was minded at that. time, 
than tl^t Henry's title prevailed ^ and that he was 
ele^ed by the joint acclamations of the people. 
"Vl^henever there is a difputed throne , die people 
generally regain their Ubierty. Henry, knowing 
the wea^nefs of his pretenfions to the crown , was 
refolved to ftrengthen hl^powepj by , gaining the 
affedions of • the people t he , thpr-efojre , once iQore 
confircned the ancient Saxon laws , ^nd indulged the 
clergy in all their |drmer privileges. 

Upon Robertas rqtura from the Holy. Laqd ; 
where he reftifed to be* crowned king of Jeru- 
salem;, he found himCc^f deprived » in his abfeqce,' 



of a kingdom which he confidered as his blnfaij 
His attempts , however , to recover it were wis 
fuccefs. This prince feemed only bom to k: 
iport of fortune : his braver)r , his generofiry,: 
a thotifand other good qualities , ot which h « 
poflefTed , fervcd to render him the dupe of every' 
ceiver , and the inftrument of oppofmg villainy 
one time we behold him profecuting his ureteric 
with (pint ; at another , dving up the juft c;* 
with vicious generofity. Thus , after a life i:: 
in toil , fatigue , and ambition , he found himfelf 
laft, utterly deprived , not only of his patricr 
dukedom, but of his fortune, his freedom, ' 

. friends. He faw Normandy fall to the contnir 
And , to add to his misfortunes , he at M ' 
£uiihed, for twenty-fix years of his life , a prill 
in Cardiff caftle, in Wales, where he die^ 
captivity. To want prudence is, in fome mealc 
to want virtue. 

Henry , having acquired poffcffion of Norniarf 
fnight now be faid to be mafter of a theatre r. 
many ^ fucceeding tragedy was to be perfonr 
and fooD his neighbour of France besan to t 
his jealoufy of fo powerful a rivaU i hofe «" 
now began which were to be fo fatal to cliftaBtP 

. terity. The ravages of the French were at 
negleded , and Henry remained a quiet fpe^lati 
England , as if unprovoked at their infolence 
foon he ihewed , that his unwillingnefs to enf 
was by no means the effeft of fear. He paffed ' 
Normandy with « powerful army , and offeree'' 
. enemy battle ; the challenge was foon accept? 
and a furious combat enfued. During the fig^'' 

, French i;avalier ^ named Crifpiin , perfonally atn 
cd the king o£ England, and' fthick him tvrict 
die bead , with fuch force , that all his aris 


Areatned with an efFufion from the wound. The 
king , however ) no way intimidated , continued the 
fiogle combat with refolution , and , fummoning ^11 
his ftreagth^ difchareed fiich a blow at his adver- 
sary , as threw 4iim from his horfe , io that he be- 
came the prifoner 'of the king's own hand. This 
decided the yi^ofy in favour of the Englifli , wlio 
purfued the French with great {laughter,* which 
haftened the peace that was conchided foon after.' 
Fortune now feemed to fmile upon Henry , and 
promifed a long fucceffion of felicity : he was in . 
peaceable poffeffion of two powerful -ftaies , and 
had a prince for undifputed heir, now arrived at 
his fixteenth year, a youth of great hopes : all his 
enemies were humbled , and many aaually in his 
own power : Matilda, his daughter, was married y 
to the emperor Henry IV, and he had the hearts^ 
of the greateft number of his fubjefe , particu- 
larly the Englifh. AH his profpefts , however , 
were at once^clouded by an unforefeen misfortune ; . 
an accident which tlnf^ured his remaining life 
with mifery. Henry , returning viftorious from 
abroad , brought with him -a numerous retinue of 
the chief nobility. In one of the veffels of the 
fleet , his fon , arid feveral young noblemen , his 
companions, went • together to render the paffage 
more agreeable. The young prince , defirous to 
be firft afhore , promifed the feamen a reward, if 
ihey came, in foremoft. This emulation was fatal 
to them all; the pilot ran the fliip upon a rock, 
and immediately Ihewas daflied to pieces. The 
prince, however , was put into the boat, and would 
liave efcapied , had he not been called back by the 
cries of Matilda , his fifter. He was now out ot dan- - 
get himfelf^ but could not leave her to periih : he 



prevailed upon the failors to row back to take ' 
in ; the approach of the boat giving others an 
portunity to attempt faving their lives , fe veral ler 
inalfo » fo that tne boat vras overloaded , and: 
except one , vent to the bottom. WTien-Hcnrv v 
informed of the c'ataftrophe of his only fon , b 
.vcred his face , and never laughed after* 

The reft of his life feems a mere blanH: ; his r.* 
lefs ambition had nothing now to toil for. ■ 
daughter, Matilda , however, becoming a wiu- 
he married her a fecond time to Geofiry of Pk: 

fenet, and , when brought to bed of a fon , n:::. 
lenry , he can fed the nobility to take an oarr. 
fiicceflion in her favour. The great men of t; 
times were resdy to fwear whatever the mona-^ 
commanded , but obferved it no longer than vl 
they were obliged to obey. He did not long!" 
rive this attempt to confirm this fucceflion : hedi: 

'jjy ^c ^^ *^ ^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^ forfeit, caufect: 
^.u. ii>5. gj^^ij^g lampreys, in the fixty-cig" 
year of his age, having reigned thirty-fix. 

It is ftrange , that hiflorians impute it as a t 
to feveval Engiifli nionarchs .of thofe times, r 
they came to the crown without hereditary ciai. 
lo fupport their title fthis is one of the feiilts. 
Jcdged againft Henry ; but it is none , if we confc 
the ufual fpirit of other fncceflions. 

During the reign of Henry , the barons and 
clergy were growing into pqwer : each was a pe 
tyrant over thofe who held under him. In ore!:'. 
therefore , to confirm privileges fo lately acquirec 
they joined in elefting a king , who^might o\re: 
them , and not to any previous claim , his prcrogs 
five and fcepter. With fuch intentions they pitcfc: 
*ipon Stephen , nephew to the dcceafed king; and, 3i 

for their oaths to Matilda, the biibops gave thenv 
abfolution. They could not, indeed, have made a 
properer choice than of htm vhom they eleded ; hue 
their conduft proceeded only from a concern for 
themfelves , and not for the people. Stephen was 
ready enough to conCent to jdl thisir exorbitant cle^ 
mands : he acknowbdged the crown as their gift « 
and not his jiaft inheritance <^ and confirmed all the 
immunines, privileges , and claims of the clergy. 

The ksngaom now began to wear the face of ait 
arifiocracy , in which the barons and clergy mieht 
be faid to command. They built caflles, fortified 
and garnfoned them with their own troops , from 
whence , when offended , they would bid their mo-« 
narch defiance. Of all miferies that ever afFeded 
kingdoms , an uncomrouled power among the great 
is certainly the moft affliftive. The tyranpy of a 
fingle monarch otAy fidU upon the narrow circle 
round him ; the arbitrary will of a number of de« 
legates falls moA heavily upon the lower ranks of 
people who have no redrefs. In fhort, the barons 
clamoured for their own privileses, the clergy for 
their own libertv,. but the people were ilaves. 

Stephen was ienftble of this , and , in order to di** 
minlih their power , poflefled hijnfeLf , by force , of 
fome of their #aftles , whkh were incompatible 
with tti« fafeiy of the kingdom. 

Thus we may difcern three different contending 
powers at this time ; the king and his followers , 
the barons and thdr adherents , and the clergy , 
affiled by the generality of the people : to thefe 
was foon added a fourth, Matilda , who claimed the 
crown in purfuance of Henry's command. This 
haughty woman , who had been wife to the emperor , 
and fiiU feemed to retain a confcioufnefs of her 

D.4-. ' 


^gnity , landed from Normandy , accompanied o" 
hy a few followers , and openly laid claim to 
crown. Mean time , Stephen , being infbnnd 
her arrival, flew to befiege Arundel , a c»ftle beiorc 
ing to rhe queen dowager , where Matilda had els 
lip her refidence. This fortrefs did not feecrj 
promife a Jong defence, and would have been i^:c; 
saken , had it not been reprefenced to him , that , » 
this was a caftle belonging to the queen dow;^r 
it would be an infringement of the refpeft due: 
her to attempt taking it by force. There v2$: 
fpirit of generofity prevalent in the times I ur, 
©f , which was unknown to their degenerate pof:: 
jity. Stephen permitted Matilda to come out, a: 
conveyed her m fafety to Briftol , another fortr:. 
equally ftrong with thatirom whence he permk: 
her to retire. 

It is a deplorable confideration , that our virtue^ 
often , inflead of being attended with happy conv 
quences , are found fatal to fucb as adhere to th: 
without deviation.' Matilda, owtn^ her freed' 
merely to the .generofity of the kmg , made r. 
other ufe of it but to levy an army iagainil ht. 
and this army » at length , .proved vidorious. Dr 
ing the continuance of this civil war , the whc: 
kingdom was divided ; pillage and» defolation wtn 
the confequence , whoever happened to be coi: 

It was at length , however , determined by i 
decifiye vidory obtained over the king. Thf 
troops he led were , in general , foreign merce 
naries » and commanded by tumultuous barons, 
more accuflomed to command than to conquer. 
His horfe gave way , and his infantry , being defr 
tute of their afTiflancq, foon followed theijc exam- 
ple ^ and deferted their king« All the race oftb 


Kormao conquerors vere brave: Stephen uokhov^* 
inghowto fly, was bft alone, and fought on foot 
in the midfl of the field of battle, aiTaulted by mv\* 
titudes, and ref»ftin^ ail their effons. with* afiontfh* 
ing valour. Had bb horfe il^'en/xaUied, he .might 
have come oiF vi^rkwi.^ He was laov^ hemmed 
in on ie very fide v but witb his^banf e-ax 9 (made way • 
for Come time:, that .'brtakingy: he then drew out btl 
fword^ and dealt his • J^kiwsi' ro|ind the. circle in 
which he was iaclofed.. At leni^th, 'after perform^ 
ing more than could naturally be eacpeded iirom a 
fingle arm , his fword flying in pieces , i?e was oblige- 
ed to furrender himfeif a . priibner. hi this man-* 
ner , he wia$ condtided. bv> the conqueror from the 
fields and igAomftniouity laid in irons/ 

Matilda yif^ now pfoclaiincd queeb , and , for 
feme time'^ ber^ on^^ was acknowledged by the ge* 
nerality.-ofplbe^addti' 'Bat^ ^s itit difdained to 
accept the-^adow of i;oyalty ^ which was all the 
barons and clergy intemied to grant, fhe difgufted 
them by her pride , and foon made thofe repent 
who had raifed- her by their levity. The bifhop 
of^incfaeftisr^feems^ at this time, to havp been 
pofiisfled of unbounded power.. He had- been 
chieiy inftrfvmencal in raiting her to "the throne ; 
he now, fhevefote,. levied an army, to convince- 
her, that it^^lisi: 110^ lefsm^his power to deprive her 
of a kiivgdbily item to pfat her in pdffeflioh'of it. 

He waS' fiicc#fsfiil int'his d^ns : 'Matilda was 
obliged to quit England once more , and Stephen 
was taHen from chains, and once more placed 
upon the throne. 

Agam put in pofleffion of this uneafy feat , he. 
ieemed to be exalted to give new infiances of his 
refufing the exorbitant demands of the barons and 
ihe clergy. He endeavoured to get the crown ta 

•^ D f 


devolve upon his Con ; but dus vas not complifi 
with by the bifliops. It is faid thougb k ias 
fcareeiy the appeafaoce of truth » itfaai he con^^:. 
them in one houfet and there threateii^ to deo: 
dicm , till they complied with his wilL This r? 
an exttaoidinary method of oibtidnine their coc 
ient, and feentincobfiAebt with bis uunl wiTdcc 
bis precautiottSy according 9 pvoved imCuccdstui^ 
and the arcbbifliopfcuttd means to eCcapn his gtur^ 
aBMl fly. into Normandy » ill order to bring nfs&i 
new iung^ and to raile a new in£urrefiieo. 

In confeqnencc o£ this biihop's intr^oea^ Hcniy- 
fon to the emprefsMatUda* andwhokKlbeeoloof 
acknowledged finr didte of NornUndy^ ibon laiKi& 
with a formidable army. The baiFons ever reS^ 
'tktkd regardkfe of their obligations , were agais c- 
vided upon this occafion^ Mida terrible dvH ^ 
thueatened the kiogdom aireib , wheto, happily tn 
the people , a trdce was nropofed between me oppe- 
fue powers : this pavea the way to ^.na»f^ kiur; 
peace. It was agreed that Stef^hen ihould enjoy 
the crown of England di^ng his lift » aAd ihi 
Henry ihonld be ackntrwkdged as his fn^cefof* b 
this, manner a civil war #as tdrmi^ed » vhic 
bad, for feme yedrs^ laid Etf^bnd in MftoA Tk 
aadon once more began* to #efpire 601I1 th«r caia* 
mitieS) and. Stephen's dtinkfoon put bis fvrA ir. 
poffeflion of a orown , wbiob , to tli^ fi>raief , hai 
afibrded only diiappointibeal , fttlgnc ^ and ds&ger, 


We hay^ hitherto feen xhe bazoos and clergy 
becoaniDg powerful in proportion to the weakneis 
of the monarch's title to the crown , an.d enriching 
diemfeives with the Spoils of <leprefled majeAy* 
Henry Phnmgenet had now every right , both 
from tfaeherdBtary facc^ffion and univerfal aflent, 
that could fix a monarch on his throne : con- 
iaous, therefore, of his flrength , he began to re« 
fcmethofe privileges which had been >■ *, , ,^, 
extorted from his prodfeccffor's weak- ^•^- "^^ 

He firfl commenced by demollihing thofe cafUeil 
which the barons and clergy had buih « and which 
only fenred as fanftuaries to gnHt , treafon , and 
detoichery : he difmiffed the foreign troops which 
had been mercenaries to his predecefibr, and, per- 
ceivin^the poverty of the crown » refumed all thofe 
hnds which properly belonged to it : he enaAed 
ibmelaws, by^wiiich the pe^de , in fome> meafure , 
became independent of their barons , by whom they 
wete rciaimascl as appurtenances t6 th^r eAates and. 

He gaVe eharlets to feveril towns , by whicK' 
die citizens claimed thdr fire^dbm and prrvile|es , 
independent of any fnperiior but him4hF. 7%efo 
charters may properly be <atled the ground worfe 
ef Engii& bbeny. The fkngglei>s ^retofore were ». 
whether a nrmiarchy , or an ariftocracy , ftould 
prevail ; whether the king , or the nobility, Only: 
but« by tins grants the loweft order of peop)6 
began to havb a juA value feir ttiemfi^ves ^ and tp 
daim die ft9p6^iOfifH tdt haatosiiyv Tlijns was thir 

feudal goyernment firfl impaired ; libcoy bepm m 
be diffuf'ed more equally upon every rgnk of peop':. 
and the kings became capable of levying arini:> 
iodepcndent of their vailkb. 

But,:thoiigh h«9 ia fome meauire , dtminiihci 
the power of the barons , by enlarging that t^cs 
people , ytc fltU there was a third power, nameh\ 
;he clergy , which daily erew ftronger , and , unir^i 
by one bond, purfuing the fame defign , w^re mai- 
ling large ftrides to independence, lie nnderroct 
to humble them alfo. He perceived the clergy wcrt 
refolved , not only to be exempt from £e uIlsI 
taxes of the Aate • but even its paQiflimeocs. Thsy 
had extorted aa immooity fVoai all but ecclefia:- 
tical cenfures in the preceding reign , ami con::- 
liued to maintatn thftt grdrit ia the prie(ent. li 
may eafily . be fuppofed , that . a law » which xhv< 
fcreeped their guilt, ferved but to encreafe it : ac- 
^ofdiogty > more, than an hundred, murders , npcn 
proof, were opouPitted by the dergy,- of.whicii 
not one ' was ^ptipiilied , even with: degradation. 
"V^hat. is .(till: npi,ore ^fioniihing , the btflibps ^ lofied 
in their ( h<^rrid iivhilgence. Among the mimbsr 
^. murder^s (Who ;w!et^ pardoned was. a clei^y- 
]|iai; pf !;he .di<i|f efe q£ Sflfum* The cdmpldbt was 
brought before the archbifhop's court, and the 
circnmi^aqces of his gqik appeared nioft atfodous. 
tiowQvctj the only poflidioient' decriaed- was v- that 
the murderer ihofild be<lep(jived.of hm beneAcet 
s^d confiaed.. to. a mo^dftery. The^kmgt, -^ruck 
with horror ai^ f^oh.iniuAlcQ^ repKoachdd.the arclh 
bifliop , wh0, on the other hands afisflted, that an 
ecclefiailiQ could^ npt be^ puntthed with. death', and 
that the king had-.i^o right to intermeddle in the 
stairs of the . church. This archbaOiop was* the 
4Qt9d Thopfias a jEleds.eft^ who had. been. ^dvstaced , 


by the king, to this high Aation from the meaneft 
obfcumy. He was a tnan of ftrong pa/&ons , great 
pride, and £"631 zeal , which had been 5 in the 
early part of life , fmothered in deep diflknulatian 
and apparent humility. He was , at this time , pof- 
feiTed at once of the chanceHoiiViip , of the arch« 
bifhopric. of Canterbury ^ and was legate to the 
holy fee. Thefe were gredt trufts ; but, what ren- 
dered hitn fltll more powerful , he either thought 
hhnfeif a faint , or afiefied to h6 thought fo : he 
wore fackloth next his fkin , and his equipage and 
diet were mean and fimple. So much power, pride , 
and feeming humility, united « were formidable; 
and fach Henry found them. 
. The king propofed , in a council of the nobles i 
ibat the biihops fhould not be permitted to go ta 
Rome i that rto fubjeft fhould appeal to the holy 
fee; that no officer of the crown mould be excom* 
municated , or fufpended , without the Sovereign's 
permiffioa ; and , laftly , (which was the great artide 
he aimed at );tlKit the clergy ihould be fubjed to 
the temporal judges, as well as the reft of his fub« 
fcSts. Such' p^A ppopoiitioi^ were agreed* to by all 
prefent ; even Becket hefitated fi&n his name; 
They wfcre referred next to thi pope foi^ his apprbba* 
tion : the pope difap proved of them all. Upon this, 
therefore , Becket declared his rbpenlance , for ha-* 
Tii^ complied* with the king in figning the confti- 
tutions of Clarendon, as they were caUed; and,* 
in order to ^arry on the farce, fufpended hsmfelf 9* 
as lipwor^hy to perform his fanG^oni , ttlll; the 
pope fliould: pleafe to abfolvehim. . \ ! 
..ThiS; pardon; he* quickly obtained, and ndw he 
fet no bounds- to his, obftinaey and ambition. Some 
hi{loriaa$: de&ribe Becket as a faint, and fome as 
a defigmni^ hypocrm^ neitb^r are> :pt^aUy,;ju% 


in their optmoos* He purfucd, with infieziiHlJftr 
what was in h& wrong , but what education , sri 
the manners of the tunes' had taught hini to 9c> 
lieve was right : hb errors were rather of jncf^ 
nent than of will. 

The kingwas refolred to humble a man who M< 
by hb authority , been lifted into power, and acts* 
feid him of embezzling flie pnbUc money, irliils 
chancellor. While the lodges were confnlticf, 
Becket Infolemly entered the council , with a crofa 
il) his hand, to intimidate his jtidges; bot, nnf' 
withflanding his boMnefs, he was condemned as t 
traitor , although be found means of afvoidiflf 
punifhment by efcapine into Flanders. 

The popes had lone been growira formhbble 
the kings of Englano. Alexander Hi immedi^y 
eipolifed Becket's quarrel, and brought the king to 
confem to a conference , which came to nodiing; 
another Aicceeded, but Wtth as little fuccefi ; athiH 
was propofed and accepted. The king , wearied 
•lit with the repeated threats of the pope , and tlie 
•kcomiHttnications of his clergy, coilfented toahooH 
4very tbixlg tb^^ haughty prelate demanded. Bo: 
when all tl^ articles were fetded , and Bucket va$ 
to give the king the kifi of peace , he t^ek it kto 
V» head tb fiiy, tbat it ^as for GodV honour :ttie 
ktrig infifted that this exprefion ftould be retrad- 
ed; Becket infifted opon ufing it : this ftneved 
the debate , and the conftrence ended c^ce more 
▼ithwK effefi. ^ 

At lengib, howtvtr, itetr afi imefVsd of feme 
years , they wefe r eesncited , and the ai^cy)iftop 
0iAdf his entry ktto London , amidft the icckfiia- 
fianw of the potmlaee. His priHe was n^w in* 
ereafed by f<iGC«a , and he irent ftofti totirn w> txm 
^ z f^n >6i txmmptul 4iii«aleade» Sol ht ir» 


fcarcely rcinAated in his power » when he begas 
to exert it to its utmoft extent : he folemnly ex* 
coirnnunicatedt^o lords who bad oppofed biniy and 
pdblinied the pope^s* letters for the fufpenfion of 
feveral bifhops who had fhewn tfaemfefves bts ene« 
inies. Tbe king, who was in Normandy, foon r& 
ceived infbn&acion of this prelate's pride and popu^ 
larity , aiid foon after the impendea biihops came 
over to by their complaints before him : tbrowhig 
themfelves at bis feet » they Implored his protedion , 
and enveighed againft thdr oppreffon Henry wa» 
now qoite exaiQperated by their complaints ; and , 
continiiaily uneafy from the repeated innftuices of 
Becket!s inaToknce , was heafd to (ay , i^ thin 
none to revenge their monarcffs eatife upon this aud4h 
&nisprieftF Thefe wovds Teamed to. arm the mod 
lefobse ef his attendax»^ ^ and finiif kni^ts , whofe 
names'^wvrd Hugh Norvii , Williaih Tiracy » Hugh 
Bnto, and Richard Fitznrfe, kaflened to Can^ 
terbmy i and,' entering the cathedral where 
Becket was ofEciixtin^ , with a few attendants ^ 
they beat out his brains » w'itb clubs, at the foot 
of thef altar. '. 

His death donfirinled thofe privileges . to Hit 
clei^y /^bidh his o'^pofition cotdd riot do* His 
refofutkm. disrin^ life ^. and his .refi^iation , whes 
(^ra^,^tsied mi hearts of t[h6 people.- He wiais 
lodced tifk)n>ail s mali'tyr v and the dergy w^ csLtt 
to oo^firir bs (B^&ity hy^ mir&des; "Sfkm the 
people ore refolvtad io tee ontades , they are ieM6m 
di^ffdmieA : it .wiis not iiifitiiettt that &is flirine 
l^a ]bwer of refloni% 'dead ihen to life ; it re^ 
ftored alfi> cbws i dogs dnd( hordes. It was re^ 
f^ted^'unA ftdoeved ,vj)iat be roft from hii eoffifli 
bcfece he was buribd^ to Itpit thtf tape^i de%iedl 
tit Usi An^ial^aBidy wdbcn fiie fncial isitt&AiBg 


was over, that he flretched forth his hand to hli 
the people. Thus Becket became a f^int, i 
Henry was fufpeded of being the author of i 

In order to divert the attention of the per 
from fufpicions of this nature , Henry u Adbrtook us 
conqueft of Ireland; a projeA formed fome yea>i 
before, but deferred on account. of bis' long p:> 
traded quarrel. The more readily to gain l': 
pope's approbation of his undertaking (for notkc: 
could then be achieved without the fiuidiona 
Rome), he cleared bimfelf , by oath, of being sij 
way privy to the aflaflination , and made a folen: 
vow to go barefoot to Becket^stomb, there to T^ 
xeive the difcipUne of the church. 

Thus fiirnifhed with pope Adrian's bull , whici 

f ranted him a kingdom which w;is not his to gir^. 
T fubdued Ireland with a rapidity equal to his mot 
fanguine hopes : but it was no hard no matter to coc 
quer a country which was at that, time barbaroUi 
and divided under different chie& , and each purfi:- 
iog different views and interefis.* 

But the happinefs this monarch received frofl 
this aoccflion of power , was fooh aUay^dby a con* 
{piracy in his' own £imily. Among the few vice 
of ' this monarch , uolimited gallantry .was oc. 
His queen was difagreeable , and.he was ialthlefs 
but, though an admirer of all the fex-, he fingles 
out, with particular aifedion, Rofamond Clifibrd. 
a lady of matchlefs beauty. Hiflorians and poes 
talk of the fair Rofamond m the.warmefl ftrainsof 
rapture : if what they, fay be true, neicer did Eng- 
land produce fo mudh beauty united ;withfo much 
igraoe before. He kept her oonc^aled in a lab}' 
Tuith at Woodftockl^ark; ahdi in Juer company, 
I^afled his hourt of vadaocy and pleaiurei^ M 


the queen at length canw to the. koowledg^ of this 
amour ^ and , purfuing her happy rival to her re- 
treat, gtnded, fay fome , by a clue of filk, flie h 
obliged her to take poifon. ^ 

As this vrzs an offence wBich the queen could 
not be forgiven , she was refolved not to forgive* 
Her fons were foon brought to share her refent- 
ments, and a confpiracy was fornfed, abetted by 
all the malecontents of the kingdom. To this 
unnatural combination , Henry oppofed his ufual 
pnidence and refolution : he (eemed on every fide 
affaulted, but every- where came off vi^orious. 
Afcribing , however , the oppofition of his own 
children to the indignation ot offended heaven , he 
was refolved , by an exemplary penance , to con- 
ciliate its fiivour. 

Now was the time ic which the clergy were to 
coiue off viSorious ; this was the feafon in which 
they were to reap the labours or their martyred 
defender ; and* by one weak afltion the king was .• 
now to cancel that firmnefs , which a great part of ^»i 
his life had been employed in bringing to ripeneis. 
Being come within fight of Canterbury , be walked 
barefoot to 'Becket's tomb , in extreme pain ; there 
he was fcourged by the monks , and fpent the whole 
night upon the pavement. The monks were thus 
reinftated again in all their claims, and the people 
involved in greater fuperftition than before. 

This penance, however, no way Terved to re- 
concile him to his family ; he even curfed their, 
ingratitude, and, wearied with domeflic conten- 
tion, refolved, at laft, to undertake a crufade. 
His fon Richard, however, ftill purfuing the die- AV 
tates of ambition rather than of nature , deprived 
him of all power to put this delign into execution, 
Pai&on ana dUappointement ^ therefore, began to 


• N 

make vifible depredations on his conAinitioD, v 
mark him for the grave : he fell ftck at Chinon . 
Toiiraina^ and, finding bis end approach, becaui^ 
himfelf to be carried ^in to the church , before \si 
altar, where he expired with fcarce a £ngle anei- 
daot to deplore his falK ' 


A?r H E N I compare the Engtilh , at this perioi. 
with the neighbouring nations , I can't avoid k* 
marking in them a peculiar degree of courage. 
flenerolity, and politenefsi They had, during t^ 
Saxon .kings, funk into bigotry and effemioaa: 
but a mixture of the Norman nercenefs improvec 
their charaders , and rendered them at once valiu! 
and merctfuh 

You have feen Henry , as well as all his hV 
man predcceffors , improve thofe good qualities fli 
his fubjeds , not lefs by influence than exampSft 
You have feen him' attempting to increafe tk 
freedom of the people by corporation charters , awl 
to diminifh thfe power of the barons by wcakcnir; 
the feudal government, by which the peafacs 
and hulbandmen were flavcs. In thcfe defigns be 
fucceeded ; bgt he failed in his endeavours of »ci^ 
fening the power of the clergy^ The kingdom, 
at his deceafe , therefore , afTtnned a different ap- 
pearance froTi\ what it wore iefore his acce/nor. 
The people now began to have fome , though kt 
a fmall ijiare of power ; the barons had fill] vaS 
atnhority , though lefs than formerly ; while thf 
dergy might be confidered as a body entirely (lif- 
ting from the reft- of die ccmmuniiy, governed by 


their own hvrs^ and profeffing fubjeAion only to 
the pope. 

In this (itnation were affairs , vhen Richard , 
ttefon of Henry, came by fucceffion j j^ "<> 
to the government., in which his ^' *^' ^^^9» 
reign made no material alteration. The prie^ 
teing the moft powerful body of men , it is not 
furprifing to find the king feconding their fchemes , ^ 
which perhaps he founcf h impomble to oppofe* 
Religion was then the pretext for every finifler 
a&'on , obedience to tbe chiirh the only rule of 
merit; and to oppofe the enemies of Chriftianity, 
vas preached up as an anfidote for evefy former 
tranfgreffion. The kingdom of Paleftine had been, » 
for fome time, the theatre of war, and had drained ^^^J 
Europe of its moft chofen troops , which feH like 
leaves in aatumn , either by peftilence , famine , of 
the fword. In this quarrel the dergy found i^eans 
to embark the king , by awakening his ambition , 
and ftrcngthemng his nattrral fuperftition. A ro« 
maneic defire for ftrange adventures , and an fm* 
moderate zeal for the external parts of Chrifliani*' 
ty , were the ruling paffions of the times , and they 
eafiiy became the ruling paffions of Richard. 

Imprefled with a defire of refcuine the Hoi/ 
Land from the infidels , he left England , and with 
a numerous army pafTed throi^h France, took Cy- 
prus from a Chriman prince , landed in Palei!ine , 
overcame Saladine with a flanghter of forty thoii- 
Tand Saracens , took feVeral cities fr&m the infi-' 
<Jels, and gained much reputation for'conduft anrf 
perfonal bravery ; yet ,' after all, heracquired no reaf 
advantages fbr himfelf , or the caufe in which he 
Was engaged. Having concluded a trtice for threel 
years wuh'Salaine , he fet (kil for his return ; bat , 


(lis fliips being difperfed by a tempeft ^ he ▼.'^ 
obliged to bnd upon the coa&s of Italy ^ where ^ pi: 
filing his way homeward by iand.> he was arreiiL: 
by the duke of AuAria , and put into the power c 
the cniperor.3 who cruelly and ungeneroufly c. 
tained niip a prifoner , upon the fligbceft and xn... 
trivial pretences. ^ 

lo the mean time England had been left unu.' 
t^c government of two prelates , die bifliop^ 
Durbam , and Longchamp , bifliop of Ely. T 
clergy^ fole poiTelTors and rulers of the kingdoo:, 
might have given what laws they thought proper; 
but there is a fatality in the affairs of men ^ thai, 
when they are deftitute of foreign enemies , the* 
generally make foes of each other. The governors, 
now .without rivals in the temporal intereA^ di* 
agreed among thcmfelv^ss , and thus weakened th^ 
power of the clergy* Jolm, brother to Richard. 
who long had afpired to the crown , fomented thi 
jealoufy among the clergy, and, putting hmk^ 
at the head of the temporal lords ^ increafed the : 
authority by the addition of his own. He hearc 
of the imprifonment.of his brother with fecret Is- 
tisfad^ion, and ufed all his intereft to continue his 

The Englifh, notwith {landing thefe ungenerous 
efforts, continued faithful to their king : his brave- 
ry and generofuy had fecured the. hearts of the 
people, and the caufe he foKght for engaged the 
affection of the clergy. The monafleries , tliere- 
fore , ftrained their finances .to raife a fum to pro- 
cure his releafe, and the churches gave up thdr 
treafures upon promife of having them reilored up- 
on his return. By thefe efforts Richard at length 
procured his liberty : the cmjperotj either afhamei 


of his own bafenefs , or fearing the refentment of 

the German princes , agreed upon his releafe for 

a large ranfotn , and England once more faur her 

brave monarch return , crowned with conqueft , afr^J* ' * 

ter nattiberlefs viftories , di&retks , and furmounted^ * ^*** ' 


The generofity of tMs prince was equal to his 
valour: he knew that his brother John had^ in his' 
abfence , attempted to fupplant him in the throne y 
he had an exad information of all his intrigues with 
the French , who had long endeavoured to biaft 
his laurels and Interrupt hisconqueAs; yet, upon 
John's fubmiffiou' , he generoufly forgave him all : 
J wish, cried he^ taking his brother by the handj 
/ msh I could as eafily forgift your offences, as you 
will my pardon. This condefcenfion was not loft 
upon a man whofe heart , though naturally bad , 
was not dead to all the fentiments of humanity. 
From this time John fervid him with fidelity , and 
did him noble fervices in his battles with the French^ 
nrhich followed foon after. 

While Richard was engaged upon rhe comi-V 
nont in a French warj an infiirredion .was fiaj*- .•«w<* * 
prefied at London , which , choi^h hut flightiy men- # " 
tioned by hifiorians , iliould be. particularly, marked *^* \ 
by fiich as would trace the conflibtion. . WiU 
liara Fitzoftorn , commonly baHed Longbeard , is 
reprefented at once as a man hraveaodenxerprifing^ 
He had long been an advocate tot the poor 
and-m^aneft of the 4}eQfiIe{ ajidthad gained the 
hearts of the populace ^r^o hfi^' him in .6^trenu? 
veneration. . Upon . inflidiog a n^w tax , tho har- 
then o£ which was to fall eourely on the poor>, 
he raifed an.infnrredion of.the people, /w^ch. the % 
aichbifhop was , ac ffi-ft » tmable to appeafe. The WA> % 


principal citizens being called^ upon this occafion , 
to arms, Longbeard was at length hard prefled, 
■■^ «iid obliged to take refuge in one of the churches 
{"^V * ^Jbut no lanftuary -could fcreen this felf^elegated 
"'^^^^^^rhampion ; he was ieifed., conirided, and, with 
'^ nine of his accomplices , hanged in chains.. This 

'^HrzssticBiA inftance of the people's ftraggling for 
privileges as a bod^ di£itnft from the barons and 
' clergy. Longbeard may be confidered as die fir (I 
-^ Vidim to that untameable fpirit, which ever fince 
., bas afiuated this people in fupport of their privi- 
^ ' kges , and prompted them to the rights of Jiumanity. 
' Upon a review of the reft of his reiga ^ we find 
^ the inonarch almoft always in the field, or intent i 
upoa fchemes to fupply his warlike exf^ditions. 
If > indeed, « it. were juit to afcribe his misfortunes 
to his incenfed father^s. maledi&ion, we might be 
* apt tofufped^ it, in. fome meafure, a^ the caufe. 

"" iHowever , after a reign of ten years , thus pafled in 
.tnrbulence and fruitlefs vidory , he died of a wound 
received from an arrow at the fiege . of Gbaluz. 
-I-While bci wasyet alive , the fnldier , by whofe band 
^iAtm 4ie died, was brought before him : the kingflern- 
^ l3 '^y d^™nded the reafouvwhy he fought his life? 
y^*^* Aiy fatfur and my brothers J tepVicd the undaunted 
•fofdier, t&td by your hand ^heaven has given me the 
^ppbrumity of a }uft and giarious revenge. The dy- 
eing monarch , no way exafperated at this reply , 
obferved, that the centinel had done his duty , or- 
.dered him a prefent, and for^ve him. But the 
flemiih general, who commanded.under Rielnrd , 
'«ras unacquainted wi^b (uch generofity : infiead of 
^complying with the kitig, hevfetfedthd- miferable 
irretch, and, affet Richard's death ,. coinmantkd 
Jiim , m Ills, preftnce , to be Head alive,- 


rVie principal aflions of this prince were 'ge« 
avkS and brave« 1 know not what pleafure Ka« 
L , that fo frequently injudicious hiftorian , can « 
:e in leffening the virtues of the race- of Nor- ^*;^ 
XI ittonarchs. Among other fauhs afcribed to 
chard » he accufes him of pride ; yet it appears 
bore the admonition of his inferiors with gentle^* 
fs and good humour. The eafme& of his dif- 
(fition ^ as well as the delicacy of his wit, are 
•parent from the quickneis oi his replies, h is 
id^ that, being one day admoniihedj by an oh^ 
lire monk , to part with his three daughters , by 
hich he meant his pride, his luft^ and his ava« 
ce ; he wittily made anfwer , that he defired no- 
ling iii^re, and had already pitched upon jpro- 
er hufbaods for their difpofal : he refolded to 
'ive his pride to the Templars, his avarice to the 
4otiks, and^ as for his luft ^ the Clergy fhould 
hare that among them. Such infolent advice, 
rom a. churchman > at this day^ would be ac« 
ended with > very different reply. 


X HE wars that *were now kindled up between 
England and France, continued to ^ ^^ iioo^ 
depopulate both countries , without * * 9'* 
making., in the end^ ^y nsatetial alteration, Johii 9 . 
the brother and fucceflbr of Richard , purfued 
them with unahating vigour* We may re^rd 
thefe , and fuch like. commocioQS , among CbtiffiaH 
princes » as peftilences , which lay whole provinces 
wafte , without making any change in their limits,, \ 
their nianhers, or gorernmem, V»; 'i 


U^4lr J^o^o y who was furnamed Lackland , was in i^ 

poflefl€d«of the mofl extenfive dofnlnion of a: 

/ prince in Europe. Befides the lands left him j 

Jj^#ciftir fucccfRon,he had wrefted Bretagne finam Aiihu' 

' his nephew ^ whofe right it was. However , Jch: 

by thus pretending to what was not jufily fais,> 

the end loft even what he had. 

Having made himfeif mafter <^ Bretagne, ri 
unfortunate Arthur alfo feti into his power, h 
caufed him to be confined in a lower , snd vr 
became of him was never after explained to !- 
puhlic fatisfaflion. John was fufpeaed « and i?- 
-whhoin reafon, of the. death of his nephew, h 
tnade fome efforts to wipe off the odious ilain,yi 
without effed. Happily for the inftrudionAf fuar* 
princes, this crime only opened a way to \- 
future ruin ; and having begun his reign by bei< 
the enemy of mankind in profperity, the wkf 
• world y in the end, feemed to turn their back upc: 
him in his diftrefs. The power of the nobility i^ 
j France was now exerted , with juflke, againAhiic 

« MM thofe affeniblies of noblemen, each of which va^, 
i f^-^- at that time ^ the petty lawlefs tyrant of his t- 
^ t pendents , in this inftance , at leaft , undertook :: 
puftlfh the guilty. Confiance , the unfortuna:; 
» . Diother of the murdered prince » flew for protedioa 

to the peers, and im{^red rcdrefe. The kmi 
England was fummoned to appear ; he refulei 
and the peers of France confifcated all the Ian 
i , and ppffeifions whrch were held under that crow 

• This- confifcation was foon attended wi(h vigoroi 
effofts to put.ii into execution. Jolm, at ooq 
f both' weak and cowardly , a tyrant when uooppofedi 
' / ( butrtimoroufi in danger , fuffered himfelf tamely d 
'^ be {^ripped of them all* He fucceflively loft m 

- mand/i 


maedy^ Touraine, and Poitou , and then fled back 
to England , to make himfelf hated and defpifed. 

Hitherto , however , he was only contemptible 
to his neighbour princes ; he ftitl bad fome ex* 
pe6tations from the *eAeem and aSe£^ion'of bis na- 
tural fiibjefis : but he foon fhewed , that aU his fkill 
was oiily to make himfelf enemies , whom he wanted 
abilities to reconcile. The clergy had , for fon^e 
time , aded as a feparate body ^ and had their elec- 
tions of each oifier generally confirmed by the 
pope. The eledion of archbifhops bad , for fome 
time y been a continual fubjed of difpute between 
the fuffragan biiliops and the Auguiline monks , 
and both had precedents to confirm their preten- 
fiotis. l^ngs being in this fituation, the arch* 
bifkop of Canterbury happened to die > and the Au-* 
guftine monks ^ in a private manner, made choicp 
of Reginald , their lub - prior. The biflxops ex- 
claimed at this as invading their privileges , and 
here was likely to begin a theological conieft. A 
politic prince would have managed the quarrel in 
iuch a manner, as to let the body of the clergy thus 
grow weaker by divifidn : but John was not a po- 
litic prince ; he immediately fided with the iuf- 
fragan biihops , and the bilhop of Norwich was 
unanimously chofen. To decide the differences , ztt 
appeal was made to the pope. Innocent III who 
tkn filled the chair , poiTeffed an unbounded fhare 
of power, and his talents were equal to the vene- 
ration he was held in : he vacated both claims ^ and 
efljoined the monks to chufc Stephen Langton , an 
Englifhman , then at the court of Rome. Jphit 
knew how to oppofe, though not to nejgotiate : he 
received the pdpe's decree with a degree of ungo* 
veriied fury , and returned the pope a letter fSecl 

Vol. U E 


with abufe. Innocent , in return j nut the wbole 
kingdom of England under an intetdia, and forbade 
the king's fubjeOs longer to obey him. Thefe ec- 
clefiafli^ thunders w^e , ai that time, truly for* 
midable; and the more fo , as the executioh ot tfaea 
vns committed to Philip Ai^uftus , king of Fraoce, 
an ambitious and a politic prince. To him th: 
pope gave the kingdom of England, asapcrpenial 
inheritance, affuring him of a remifSion of' all hii 
fins 9 if he happened to fucceed in coDquering u. 
He granted to all who embarked in this caufe alfo m 
fame indulgences as were ufually eiven to fach 2s 
went upon a crdade. Philip immediate^ embraced 
the offer : not content with depriving John of ius 
continental dominions, he devoured, iaiou^inationT 
the kingdom of England, .alfo. By his prepanuioDS 
it: was evident how defirous he wa$.ta (iicceedin 
this undertaking : the fliips., of which bis flee: 
vfSA toconfift, came together to the moucfa of the 
Seine , whilft the princes , his vaffala , coUeAdLtbeir 
forces to the fhorc from all parts <^ the coumry* 
' His army was numerous » .and the: difisohtems ot 
the Engiini were equivalent toi thpu^nds iDore> 
Philip was ready , therefore , to fot &il ,,;uid John, 
OB his^ part, made mu' expiring, effort- toireoeive 
him. All hated as. he was, the natural enmity be- 
tween the French and the EngHih, the name.of a 
king , and fome temainsog ihare . of power , put him 
a» the head of an army of fixty thoufand mea, 
with which he adytanced to Doven 
' Europe regarded fuch important preparations 
with impatience , and the iieciiixre blow was foon 
expededL The pope was: too reined: a politician 
for both ; and took upon^ himfelf what he pretended 
to- have defigned for. Philip>. This fingular nego- 
tiation was executed by Pandulph , as tli) pope's 

iw'A §mit:§ 6fiirrtM 9^ 

le^te t6 Wf^n^ attd^ Ehgt^t!; He p^ttei' tKrougR* 
France, where he behelcf Philip's great' afinatneiit, 
and 'bi^ly coiftittenttfed^ his . zetf artd dflige^oce ; 
frdnr t£i»dc« h^ w^Ht ov^ to D6vbt , under pre^ 
reac^ of rieieotlatiftg #Iih 'the barohs in- favour of 
Afl Rretfch king,- and had^a Conference With Jdhri 
npoh.hi^art^val; He tHclffe rej)re&nted the nUm- 
Iwr ©ftberen^my, th* hatred of many oFhis oW 
fobje^^ h<er intimated, that there was but ode 
xf^y t6 ftfc^ef^ liirttfeTf froit! iifipending danger', 
Which v^'ft6 ptit' hiinffilf under the pobe^s pro- 
feaioll^, i^Boyasa^kind'arid'-iifei'criful fatliei', wa^ 
ftilVWll««g*<)'r«feiVe hinV'td his bbfort. 

Jcfetf wa¥ f6d nfticK tnthitidattfd'by the ' apparent* 
dai^- itefii' tb einBface^ every' mean's of offered 
feftiy:* Me'torif^tt^t^ the legate's reinonftrancesi 
irid rtJ'o&^ea^'to perfbtirti what the pope ilioula 
iirfpcribr H^vilft^ thus' ^orn to perform he kiiew* 
n6^ ^atV ^^ artfiil ItaKan fo well managed thd 
baiV)i»%i* ihfitfiltfatfed the' king, that he took the* 
foll<)fi^({ririg'e*ffa'ott!Rrtafy oath , beforfe all the people i' 
kn^liK^'u^oVif'hisr'khdes", and putting his handi 
bttisreeti' tHbft* df Uie legate . 

n I,j6Kn, by* the grace of God , King of Enjg-: 
wMatta^artd Eord of Irdarid , in order to" expiate* 
» my ^Tttt^ , frdm Hiy owh free will , artd the ad-1 
» Vtfcedf iity baronisy give' to the church of Rome V 
n ' to* pOpfe Ittribcfent , attd his* fuCceflbf s , the kiiig- 
jj'dotai^ of.Englahd, and all pther prerogatives of 
I) my' cfbwfti I will hereafter hold them a^ the 
It pope's vaffal. I will be' faithful to God, to' 
» the^'cMtirch' of Rome , and to the pope my ma(^ 
» ter , and hi^ fucceffors legitimately eleaed. I*^ 
» pt^rrtFfe to pay him a tribute of a thoufand^ 
» marks' yearly, to vit , feVfen huhdred for the' 

E a; ' 


n kingdom of England , and three hundred for 
» Ireland a 

* By this mean conceflion John fecured has 
crown from a foreign invafion, but became ef' 
fednally contemptible in the eyes of his people: 
lliU, however, he was not hated by his fubie&; 
their hatred onlv was wanting to fmk him into 
complete wretchednefs. After being expofed to 
fo many difgracefol humiliations , he now thought, 
at the expence of his honour , to fpend the remain- 
ing years of his Ufe in tranquilli^ ; but , in pro- 
portion as he loft the efteem of the Engliih, he 
toft their affedions alfo« The former monarchs 
fnpported their power by a nice oppofition of the 
clergy and the barons : when they intended to 
humble the nobility » they granted new privileges 
to the church; when they defired to leflen Ac 
power of the clergy , they gave greater force to the 
temporal interefts. John was ignorant of the 
manner of conducing this oppofition : he had of* 
fended the clergy, and increafed their power , with- 
out makine them his friends ; he haa it only left 
now to onend his barons > to render himfelf ob- 
noxious to every order of people. His former pufilia- 
oimity foon gave this powerful body hopes of ex* 

EeAing a renewal of thofe powers of which ^ey | 
ad been deprived in the preceding reign : tfaey ; 
demanded 9 therefore , the re-eftablimment of their 
ancient privileges , and John believed himfelf aa- 
thorifed to refufe them. This created new dif- 
iTenfions : the king , with a ftrange perverfenefs , 
in turn , demanded their affiftance lor the recovery 
Nof his loft dominions on the continent , and they 
i^fufed to follow him. Their refufal was fooa 
fpllowed by more open a£b of hoftility : they 
formed a confederacy ^ and i at an appoidted meet* 

ing, forced the king to grant all their demands ^ 
and iign that charter by which the Eng!iih are 
fetd to hold their liberties at this day. 

The barons and the clergy by this feemed the 
only governors of the kingdom : the commonalty 
had no ihare in the legiflatnre ; they Wefe paffetl v 
away, with the lands on which they were DOrn', 
by their haugh^ poffeflbrs ; they were reckoned 
only as the iheep , oxen ^ and other moveable pof- ^Y n 
feilions , which were npon the eftate : the guar- 
dian of an heir was to preferve the lands entire , 
and , to ufe the words t)f the Magna Charta , fine 
deftruBlone & vaflo homhtum vtl rtrum j without de- 
imidion^ or wafte of the men or the things tlpoti 
it. The king , the barons , and the clergy , were 
all, in reality, enemies to public liberty .* their 
parties were fo many fa6lions in tfte nation , fub»- 
Verfive of the rights of mafltind. How they , ia 
their turn , helped to eflablish liberty , you shall 
fee in my future correfpondence. 

This charter was , in faft , giving the J>arons a 
definitive judgment upon whatfbever they thought 
proper to reprefent as a grievance : they were to 
prefer their complaints to the king , and he was , in 
ferty days, to give them fatisfa£lion, or they were 
legaily impowered to command it. This was an 
infringement of the prerogative , which he com-^ 
plied with through fear , an4> as foon as he was at 
liberty , he retra&ed all he had agreed to : he loudly 
coroDlained of the force with which if had been 
exaaed, and he demanded juftice from the pope 
his new mai!er« 

The pope, who had lately excommunicated the 
king J now excomtfiunicated the batons : the bst* 
rons, exafperated, did exadly what the pope had 
fonnerly done upon a like occafion ; ,tliey offered 



tbe craw^ of England ^to FraiH:e* PhtUp , erer 
^eady to profit by iHiefe cqmniocio^ , accepted thek 
offer with joy ; .but , fearjng the pope's .dilpleafure , 
jf'Jie aflumed a fide to what was ik>w confidered 
■^ a paifiiBQny pf tihe holy fee , he prevailed upon 
|the ^arons to ele^ Jiis (on Lewis. To <bis lea]|ue 
of.tjbLe barons with Finance, tlie city of L<H^on 
^ent its-aififlaoce. Welhouldbe carehil to obferve 
je very beginning <^ power among the comaions of 
jE^g^d, and thi> feeras to; be one of the rooft ob- 
vious inihnces. Tiis noble city was the-^tft that 
icscd itfdf from feudal government , and ventured 
jLo follow Ipaderspf ks own appointmeat.: infhort, 
^t majr, Stt this peri(^, be looked upon as a little 
jrepublic , fighting between tbe povers of ariAo- 
.jCracy , ireprefemed in the barons , a^id of defpotim > 
>fluraed byjtbejking. 

In the o^Q^n tirni^, the army of Lewis , which 
(Wasqall^doyfr to th^jafiiftanceof tbe barons, dom- 
xnitted ftrahge diford^rs ; while , on the o^her hand , 
ijh^ army fSK /phii ., .which , like the .former , was 
jnoftly comppCed of fof eigners , was &i\\ more in- 
iblent aivd fit\d§ciQU5. Never was England in a 
jnore dejp}or^ble copdicion : the Jbad two armies of 
Jiungry foreigners inhetbow.els, ravagin^be coun- 
Ttry HI a mercilefs manner , and threatening mint 
.ySvichfqeyer pr.oye4 viftorious. John was , at 
jiength , dcpofed by his haroas ♦ and Lewrii folemnly 
^pyrnii 9t L(Hido9. The new inonarch then firft 
ithoiigfai of having the pope's dnftion to hts claim* 
The DOf^e ^ii^tfid in council tke )iaftice of a caufe 
which fcarcely deferved a moment% heikasion; 
rsfrh^ John led bis karaffed arm^jr from city to 
^ityj^ diArufling ^v<en bis moft ialthiFul a;dh^refits. 
Pky ttoi proicixrcd fridnd^. which profperity could 
jQPt pso(^e};aQd now. thu barons were /finicfc .witb 

bme remorife to fee their native country , by their 
Procurement ^ thus laid deiblate , and .their king a 
wanderer : but what added to their afflidions was^ • 

hat their fervices were hitherto flighily repaid by 
he new-<rowhed monarch , and from a know- 
edge of )m difpofition , they could hope for no 
ncreafe of future fevours. It was even reported 
imong th^ , that his intentions were to baniih 
hem for their difloyalty to their former fovercign , *' 
though exerted in nis own favour. Whatever their 
motives might be , forty barons addreffed letters of 
fubmi/Rve fuit to king John; the pope alfo held 
the ]uftice of his daim in fufpenfe ; a gleam of diF- 
tant profperity Teemed to brighten his affsurs : but, 
while the conjefture feemed big with new events » 
the death of both the pope and of John decided 
the conteft. This monarch .died in the fifty-firft , 
year of his. age , after a reign of more than leven- 
teen years , fpent in wars without fuccefs, and ex- 
ertions of power without incjeafe of audiority« 

L E T T E R X y. 


JtIad Lewis , who was crowned Idng , diflem- t — 
b'ed till poffefTed of uncontr ouled power, he mighc ^c#^^ 
have retained the crown ; but the barons wanted 
a monarch fubfervient to their power ^ and Lewis 
refufed a kingdom upon fuch conditions. 

They now^ iliererore, turned from the French • 
intruder to the young monarch » from whom they, /H*f» 
expe^ed greater condefcenlion. ^ ' 

Henry III , appointed fucceflbr to the crown by, 
John his father , was but ten years <^( j jy ^^ 
age , when made king, aod the earl of -^•>^' * *^* 



Pembroke was , by mutual confent, conAituted his 
guardian. The inconftancy of the Engliih was 
xiow more than ever apparent : Lewis was , in 

^ fome meafure , forfaken by his new fubjefts , and , 

t/lM^M^after a defeat , obliged to relinquifli all pretenfions 

to the kingdom. What the barons, however, had 

hoped from the king's tender age , didnot anfwer 

r^. their expedations. The earl of Pembroke, who 

f^Si^ governed his Honage , made a .powerful iotereft 
^ith the clergy, and, by their means, ferved to 
balance the ftate, 
♦ - While Henry ^^ed under the direftion of others , 

the power of the, barons feemed to have been kept 
xmdet : he had the clergy for him , and confequent' 
ly the people, and thele two were equivalent to 
all the nobility. But ^ as foon as Henry came to 
take the reigns into his own hands, numberlefs 
infm'jredions and calamities were the refult of 
his obftinacy, fojly, and yice.^lnfioite were the 
^ftruggles for power between the barons and the 
king. Henry's luxury and profiifenefs continually 
rendered hlni ,a petitioner to the afleroblies of ba* 
rons for money ( for now the kings began to afk 
money inftead of ftien ) , and they as conftantly de- 
manded a confirmation of thpfe privileges which 
had been granted them under the reign of his pre- 
decefTor. ^ - 

In order to render himfelf independent of them; 

^ ~* * he found a thoufat\d ridiculous pretences for rai- 
ilng money without their afliAance. He would 
invite himielf to the houfes of his fubjefts , and 
always expeded a prefent at, the door; he extorted 
from the Jews , wherever he found them, without 
ly remorie; he even fcrupled npt to defraud 
'nors of their lawful inheritances ^ to which he 


bad been left proteftor : while the people had the 
mortification to fee thofe fnnis lavifbed uporv tinde* 
ferving favourites^ foreigners without merit , Arum* 
j>ets , flatterers , and aU the vermin of a vicious 

But all his estadions were not fuflScient to fup- 
ply his prodigally ; he ftill wanted money, he ftill 
was obliged to have recourfe to his barons » and 
yet be Jtin defired to be abfolute : the barons i 
on die contrary , who -had long aimed at indepen- 
dence » and wb> detefled his cowardice and luxury , 
refiifed his requeft. Though no monarch was more 
timid in dinger, none was more prefumptuous 
in proiperity : he threatened them , for renifing , 
with his fevere difpleafure ^ and ftrengthened him- 
fetf by the affiftance of the pope j in order to plun^ 
der die kingdom. 

Wbilft tne Englifh were complaining of die 
avarice of their king, and his pfonifion to foreign 
favourites, .the pope's legate made his triumphal 
entry to rob them of what the king had not laid 
haloids on. The interefts of the clergy and of the 
pope were formerly one, but they now began to 
flow in divided channels. The riches , which fome 
years before fettled in their monafteries at home , 
were drained off to enrich a diftant kingdom, 
alrea^ too luxurious. The clergy , therefore » 
juftly dreaded the arrival of an extraordinary le* 
gate , whofe only aims were direded \ij^ avarice 
and extordon. They expoftulated , but in vain , 
to the king , againft this unneceflary ambaflador 
from the head of the church : the king hpned to 
reap fome private advantage from his arrival, and 
he was but little concerned for public grievailces. 
b every demand the king made for himfelf « thef 


lecmt would take cvc to inakp ope tor die pope 
alio : be evea propofed dM< die aionks fboiildijgii 
their ooiBes to notes , wiiere a bSaok was teft for 
ft^ iisn fyodicA, The cxadioiis , thiK 4aily com- 
snittcd opoa the chnrdicSy compefled tlie oi^^ops 
^/^ to carry their coinpb^ to die pMc himself; but 
"#K ibe ]wg flill Tiiidif;wi 4c 1^^ s ^^oiuhi^ A( 
leflgth, the fxe^aifis, qwte |ir^ witb ifae ricpe^t^ 
demsm^ of the k)$9^9 who dvl^ 1^ 6^aui o^w 
pme:a for gettiiig sm»»fm refalved IP m^er apd 
cojsiicler ^ ibflpwe rctn^ tp ^p^xcfki bif» .rapaaQ% 
They accordliigly ^i^ii^ledy W b^w} iSparoe bewa 
to complai^ci to e^cb <xhP'of tbeioii^es ibfy iuf-« 
ier^ , wbeo the leg^t^ eat^erpd the ^iSnx^ 
d^m^d for vfiOKp monfj : tbU tbqr wfmmA ^ W 
^ 9^ttjnfila|ioa of iin{i!Ki(ib;iV:e and e^qrmii « iMid (bey 
^44Apgit gave^ bim a blunt deniaL The le^jitp , bowg dif^e 
^ ^ppolate^^ for 4^^ 4)qi« Ic;^ tbe affennUy ^ find 
Hr^t to pillage the Scotch clergy wj^i b«t^ proi^ 
|e$s of Oicc^fsu 

An accideat Iiappened ^bpyt this tioie « which 
{(ryes as a ib^ong u^Oaace of di.e fi^bmi^ipQ ikfk 
Mople yielded to tb^ pov^ of Romf. Some, bi^ 
{oels indMC^d the l&^e to t?ke Oa(£:>F4 IP bid 
way ; h^ w^^ received with al} ibe grapdfi*ir m4 
m^^ificciic^, which, b<m bi$ eb^^, be,hi4 
a n^ht to expe& A$ ^e luxiiry id which thf:^ 
lulian dignitanes liy^d, wgs great , fever^tl fchplw:^ 
^the upiverfity, wh}l^ tKp Icg^t^'s diwwr w» 
prpparinjf entered hij Wtpbjpn* incited by .oi»rrre$ 
of curipl^ty or hunger* Wliile th^y here apd there 
gdpired th^ opulencp and lv)xury of aU they &w» 
9^ ppor Iriflx icboUr v^wwd tp hejjreM wm 
the 9oq1^ : the ^ap]( . iaftaad pf givi^ aa %hP4» 

an adion which £0 provoked a Welih {Indent vho 
was prefent , that, liaying a bow in his hand , he 
ihot the cook dead with an arrow. The legate, 
hearing the tumult, retired in a fright to the tower 
of the church , where he remained till night-falU 
As foon as he thought he might retire with fafetv« 
he baflened to the king , and complained of this 
outfage : Ae king , with hks ufual meannefs , flew 
into a violent pamon , arid ofiened to give immedbte 
iatisfiidioo , by putting the offenders todeadi* The - 
legate, at firft , feemed to infift upon vengeance ; hot » 
at length , was appeafed by proper fubmtflion from 
the imiverfity : aU the fcholars of that fchool which 
had offended htm , were ordered to be Aripped of 
their gowns » and to walk barefoot, with halters 
^hcnt their necks , to the legate's boufe , and humbly 
^«^rave pardon and abfolmion. It would be no eafy 
matter to bring the fiudents of Oxford to fuch an 
humiliadoa at prefent. 

tn this manner this bratal and capricious tjrrant 
went on , leago^d with the pope againft his own do** 
miniofis.-He had now neither barons nor clergy 
in hb intereft , and owed all his Atpport to the au** 
diorky of the papal and royal names. The pope 
continued to make reiterated demands upon tnd 
clergy , and the king ^ould beg from hisfnbjeds at 
their own houfes , as if he had been afking charity. 
Atone time he would get money ^ by pretending to 
take die crufade ; at another he would prevail , by 
eoing to re-conquer his dominions in France : again ^ 
be wofdd extort aid , under pretext of portioning 
a relation; and he would fi-equently aiture his pai^ 
liament of barons , that , though he had hitherto 
heaved n'nwoithily , yet , upon being fupplied once 
snore vtth fropfr idflinee^ lie would refenB> 

E 6 


and give univerfal fatlsfaftion. Thus he drewfonit 
various fums^ which , without fhame , he beftovd 
upon flatterers , panders to his pleafiires , or an 
my of foreigners 9 which he kept to intimidate Im 
native dominions. 

, At length , however , the parliament , far'giied 
with his un performing promifes , refolved to refufe 
his demands for the future : they therefore entered 
into an aflbdation , and the city of London was io* 
vited to accede. At. the head of this powerful com 
bination was the earl of Leicefter , the king*s bro- 
ther-in-law , who had rifen into power merely by 
his mailer's profufenefs. The king , by a ftrange 
abfiirdity of thinking, as he became more f^^^ 
and unpopular , increafed his demands for freili 
«^^ fuppUes. He was worded in France, and obliged 
to purchafe a ihameful truce; he was conquered 
by the Welfli , and became contemptible to Scot- 
land : yet Aill he continued to narafs his ova 
fubjefls with his ufual extortion , as if he defign^^ 
to create in them that awe with which he fuledto 
imprefs his enemies. The barons , finding hlo 
incorrigible , after an experience of near forty years, 
at length ihook oiF their allegiance , and fent the 
king notice that they renounced the fealty they 
owed him , and now confidered him only as die 
common eneiiiy of mankind. 

Both fides were now up in arms , and the coun' 
try again became the tneatre of civil daughter. 
The hrft advatxtages in this conteft were in &' 
' vour of .^he kine. .He was a coward in danger* 
and fhewed himielf a tyrant in vidory. Fluuie<l 
with the fuccefs with which his arms had been 
)uft crowned , he refolved to march direftly to 
Jjondon. He made no doubf but the city> '^^' 


timtdated by h:s late advantages, would declare in 
his favour ; and, had he formerly- behaved with 
paternal indulgence « perhaps his prefent hopes 
would not have been gronndlefs ; but a remem* 
braace of his former ill ufege repreiled their loy- 
alty. InAead of opening their gates to receive a 
conqueror » thev fent forth an army to cq^pofe his 
entry. Henry Aopped his forces in a panic, and 
returned to meet the earl of Leicefler , who ad- 
vanced with his army near Lewe^; in the county of 

All hopes of reconciliation being now laid afide; 
nothing was thought of but the decifion of the 
fword* The earl adyancing with his army, drew 
up in order i>f batrle near the king , who prepared j 
thooeh with reludance « to receive him. The battle 
was begun by prince Edward , the king's fon , who 
attacked the Londoners with great fury , and drove 
them off the field of battle : on the oth«r hand , the 
kine*s body of forces were defeated, after a fhort 
reiiAance , by the earl of Leicefter, His majeAy , 
vho commanded them in jperfon, gave no infknces 
of valour , but tamely funered himfelf to be taken 
prifoner; which foon pared the way for the defeat 
of the whole army, and prhxe EdwardTs furrender* 
ing at dtfcretion. 

The king and the prince being thus prifoners; 
the barons took all advantages that the mod re* ' 
fined policy could fu^geft. Thejr knew how to 
operate upon the king s pufillanimity , and obliged ' 
him to fend letters to all the governors of th<^ 
kingdom , to renounce their obedience , and fur- 
render his caAles to the conquer(M'S. They who 
drew their fword againft their king , fiiys the pro- 
verb » ihottld fling the fcabbard away. The barons^ ^ 


with this in viewr , were refolved entirely to nevr 
model the conftitution , for they now knew that a 
compofitlon with the royal captive was impoflible ; 
and at this period we muA fix the date of Englifh 
liberty. The privileges of the king , the barons , 
tnd the clergy , were but different modes of various 
Uiurpatiops ; the cotanionalty had little or nofhare 
in tlie legiilature , and only looked tamrfy on , or 
were led to flaughter , widiout hopes of ikaring the 
rewards of viftory.. 

The barons and clergy , however, now faw; that 
|he government could not readily be transferred , 
without fome greater power than they were at pre* 
6nt poffefled of. Tl»e dethroning a king , the re- 
{ifting a pope , were adions that they coald not de^ 
fend upon the principles of the times : they called 
« in, therrfore, an aid till now entirely unknown 
Hi the w<^rld; they called in the fandion of the 
people, Tte authority of the, barons , cle*gy , 
and the people of EngUnd , were fet to oppofe the 
royal and papal authority. And here I cannot 
hut admire the flrange concurrence of circam- 
flaoces which brougHf' tlds firft dawn of liberty 
Im6 being. To effed this, it was &e& ncceflary 
Aat England fhould be pofTefTed of a comefted fo- 
reign dpminion ; that the king fhonld teive fre* 
f uent necefliiies for money to preferve it ; that this 
tiieceflarily ihould produce a dependence upon the 
karoos and clergy , and that this dependence jhocdd 
pvc then in return, a {hare of power : it was nc- 
ceflary , that the interefh of the clergy fhould be 
ieparated irom thofe of the crown , and fhould 
concur in the oppofitton : in ihort , il was necef« 
iarv that the powers on both fides ihould be fo ex« 
fmj balanced > that ib finall a weight as that of 


the people , as it was then confidered , (hould be 
throwq in to turn the fcale. 

A parliament was called, in which the king 
was obliged to give orders^ that four knights from 
each country fhould fiyt in order to repretent their 
fei^edive fhires, and deliberate lor the general be* 
sent of tb^ people. This is the firft rode outline 
of an EnghAi houfe of commons. The .people had 
been gaining fomp confiileration iince the diminu- 
tion of the feudal laws , and the eftabliihment of 
corporation chaners , by which men were« in fome 
meafure, refcued from the power of their mailers, 
and permitted to improve a fpirit of freedom in 
towns. As ^n% ipcrenfed , the mimber of thefe 
little republics ( if I may fo call them ) increafed ; 
and w« fiqd them , dt the pcefent peripd » of iCott- 
Sequence enough to be adopted into a partnerihip 
of the legiflatioo. But thefe priyileges were grant- 
ed by the barons merely to confirm ibeir pwo ^ 
9nd y could they have now agreed among tbem- 
&lve$« they niight have continued in poffafion ot~ 
all (he authority of the kingdom , apd the conftitii- 
tion might thu3 fettle into a confirmed ariflocracy ; 
but they grew jealous of* each other's power; 
they began to fear the earl of l^eicefter , who had 
abrogated kindly authorir^, and was intent only 
upon cAabliilxing defpotiim. This produced uew 
ftruggles , and thefe ended once more in the rcRjO' 
ration of d^e king and his ^mily : the earlofLei«; 
Ce^er was defeated and flain upon ^he field of ba(«. 
fie. Henry , who had been led about as a captive ^ 
and always txp^Ud in the front pf that army which' 
M dethroned him > was once more fet at liberty 
by his vidoribus fon Edward ; atid though > to the 
end q£ )ifp^ h& perfevered in lus forxper, follies , 


yet the people retained that fhare b£ liberty which 
they had acquired in the turbulent parts of his 
reign. A (pirit of liberty had Doir diffufed itfelf 
from the incorporated towns through the whole- 
mafs of people , and ever after blazed forth at con- 
venient (eafons : afterwards , whoever loft, tH*ey were 
furc to be gainers; and if in the contefl they laid 
down their lives, and fuffered all the hardfhips of 
war , yet they confidered thofe calamities a$ trivial » 
if liberty were left improved and better fecured to 
their pofterity* 


At the death of Henry III, Edward, his fort 

apid fucceiTor, was employed in the holy wars, iii 

^ji n ••*-- which , though he gained nothing to 
Ji.u. 1271. ^y^^ ^^fg j.^^ ^y^g j^^ foiiglit, he 

acquired the cbarafler of an excellent general and 
an intrepid foldier. As he xame to an uncUfputed 
throne, the oppofite interefts w(^re proportionably 
feeble : the barons w«re exhaufted hy mutual dil- 
fenfions^^ the clergy hated the pope > aiid the people, 
as is evident from fome infurredioi» at that time , 
were sot much fatisfied with the clergy. It was na- 
tural to fqppofe, that a politic and a conquering 
prince would take this opportunity of giving the 
royal prerogative its former fplendor and authority. 
However , he was fatisfied with moderate power, 
and only laboured to be terrible to his enetnies. 

The Welih had long enjoyed their own laws 
and cufloms. They were the only remains of the 
ancient Britons , and had fiill preferved their free- 1 
iom and their country imcontaminated by fot 


reign invafions. Incapable., however , of reftiling 
their eneiaies in the' plain , their chief defence was 
in their inacceflible mountains , thofe natural bul- 
warks of their country. Whenever England was 
diflurbcd by fstdions at home , or its troops called 
off to wars abroad , the Welfh would continually 
pour in their irregu^Jar troops, and lay the opevt 
country wafte. No fituation can be worfe, than 
that of feveral petty principalities bordering upon 
each other , under different commanders , and purfin- ^ 
ing different interefts. Senfible of this , Edward led 
a powerful army againft Lewellyn , their king : he 
had frequently before been chaflifed, and obliged to 
beg peace, but was ever ready to ieize an opportunity 
of making an. advantageous wan' Upon the approaeh 
of Edward, he took refuge among the inacteffible 
mountains of Snowden, and there maintained his 
port without danger. The king of England , not 
difcouraged by the difficulty of the fituation , was 
refolved to invert his army , by fecuring all the 
avenues hy which he might efeape. Pofted as 
Lewellyn was , he might certainly have haraffed 
his enemies without ever himfelf being defiroyed*, 
had not a trifling vifiory over a body of his be* 
fiegers induced nim to come down and face the 
enemy upon more equal terms. A fmall advantage 
gained ^2S interpreted as the beginning of the com- 
pletion of Merlin's prophecy , in which he was to 
poffeis the whole kingdom without a rivaL Flatter- 
ed with fuch expedatipns , he defcends into the 
plain , without confidering the inequality of his 
forces. The Wellh and the Englilh now , for the laft ' 
time, cl^^w up againrt each other. Lewellyn, afteir 
having performed all that courage and defperation 
could infpire, found himfelf j 9t laft, fataBy de-. 


:ceivtd : he was killed vpon the field of faatde, sk 
his forces utterly routed. With him eicpired :s 
diAindicm of his oation : it was foon after unitd 
to the kingdom of England , made a prindpalitv, 
and given to the eldeft Ton to the crown. Foret^i 
conquefts might add to the glory, hot the prcfw 

'added to the felicity of the kingdom. The Weli 
were now blended with their conquerors^ and,:: 
the revolution of a few age$ , all national animofm* 
was entirely forgotten. 

His native dominions being thus freed from cvwr 
invader, the kifig foon had an oppbrtunity lo'f 
creafe his power, by the difieniion of his ncij;'r/ 
hours. The crown of Scotland , after the dea-^ 

•of Alexander the Tliird , became deftltute ofa- 
apparent heir, John Bruce and Robert Ballc- 
divided all the fufFrages of the kingdom. A or^ 
rwar impended ; and nothing but an umpire , ^?' 
pointed by mutual confent, could * determine tii« 

' conteft without blood. For this purpofe , by ^ 
fatal miftake in the politics of the Scots , Edward 
was chofen , accepted the mediation with pleafwr?^ 
came to Norham , and, from being chofen uffl- 
•pirc , claimed a fuperiority over the coumry wboi* 
crown had been fubmittcd to his decifion, a"^ 
afferted his right to the government. To ^^ 
the appearance of juftice , however , after long ^^ 
liberations , in which great care was taken to '^^ 
culcate his right to the crown of Scotland , he fi^^d 
'fialiol on the throne , lefs as king than as a v^^^ 
«f England. 

The firft flep taken by Edward , after plaff^^ 
Baliol on the throne , waS fufficient to convince 
the Scots pf his intentions to ftretch his fupe"^^ 
f»rerogative to the utmoftf A merchant of G^ 

.I.N A^ERI£5PFi.«T:T'EJlS. ii-s 

coigne pr^fentiscl a petition to him , in^lytng thit 
A)exana«r » late king of S^otknd , was inoebtod 
to him a certain fum, Aill unpaid, hotwtthflaadiQg 
all his foUcitations to the new king for pay- 
ment. Edward eagerly embraced this opportunity 
of exexcifing his new i^ght, and fummoned the 
kinj^ of Scotland to appear »t Weflminfter, to 
anfwer, in perfon, to the complaint which was 
brought aeainfl him by. the merchant. Upon fub- 
je6ls equally trivial he fent fix difEecent fununon^t 
at distent times , in one year ; {o that the Scots - 
king foon pierceived himfelf only poflefTed of the 
name without the authority. Willing , therefore , 
to fhaki? off fo troublefome a mafier , Baliol re- 
volted 5 and procured the popeV abfolution for the 
infra6^ion oi Jiis former oaths of homage. Edward 
now offered the crown to Bruce , who accepted it 
with yoy ; ;and thus a ftrong party of the Scots 
was added in ftrength^ning jthe English king to fofe- 
dnc their native ^ouiury. Edward , ^t the head 
of a jDiimerous irmy , marched inijo ^e country : 
niimberlefs wete the viftories gained on one fide 
and theoth;:r, in which the conquerors acquired 
much honour , but either country lofi the braveft 
of its fuhjefts. But wars like thefe , though mi- 
nutely refeited by evcxy hiftorian ,;are fgarce worth 
treafunng in any memory , but that of an heraJtl 
or aqtiquartan. The whole may be cooprifed in 
the foUpwing fhprt defcription : one barbarous na^ 
tion meets another in fome plain, generaiily by 
mutual appolntmqit: little ar;c^ evolution, evafion^ 
or fubterfuge , was praftifed or known ; they rulfaed. 
upon each other , and numbers and tumult ge- 
nerally decided the yiftory. The revolutions of the 
^overp^nent , and not the deicription of battles 
fought ja thefe reigns, ferve x^ a49C^ tb^.page jcf 

bffldry. At one (ciCoa Scotland ^as brought c 
the loweft degree of humiliation , and Edward hsi 
laid a plan , vifhxch probabry he ever had in visw, 
of uniting it , as a conqueft , to the cfo-^n of 
England. But his fcheme proved abortive *, tlu 
tihie of that kingdom's deliverance tras at hand 
they found fafety in defpair, and, upon the klnp 
return to England , they once more fallied do^r: 
from their mountains upon th^ Ertglifh army wbic 
he had left , and gained a complete viftory. 

This was terrible news to Edward , who h^ 
already built upon that kingdom as his own. ft 

-was now implacably exafperated againft the Sco^, 
and refolved to take a fignal vengeance r to tHii 
purpofe, hefummoncd all the vaflais of the crown, 
withoot diAin£tion, to be ready at a time and place 
particularly appointed. His intention was , to marcli 
into the heart of that kingdom , and deftroy it, to 
life his own expreffion > frpm fea to fea. He fooc 
faw bimfelf at tne head of the fineft army Englari 
had ever produced : the Scots trembled at ^ 
approach, but death Aopped the courfe of his In- 
tended devaftations. » _ 

As foon as he perceived that his diforder was to 

. be fatal, he fent for the prince his fon, whom li 
had appointed to fucceed him, and, taking him by 
the hand> earneftly recommended , with bis dyir§ 
:breatii , three things : he firft enjoined him not » 
recal Gaveftone , a flatterer , who he knew -veouW 
poifoiT his principles; he next defif ed , that li5 
heart might be fent to the holy fepulchre ; an:l) 
thirdly , he rccommanded him to profecute the \^ar 
with the Scots , rill he had entirely fubducd tlienij 
defiring his bones might be carried about at ^* 
head of the army, the more effeftually to &i^ 
terror into the enemy he had fo often fiibdued. 


. England began to erow .truly formidable under 
tills reign' : the oppoution of the barons was but 
feeble and ilUfupported ; the monarch vas»in fome 
meafure , abfolute, though he was prudent enough 
never to exert his power. He is accufiSd of feverity , . 
ajid it Is probable he might have exerted juftice 
with too heavy an hand ; yet it flioul J be particu* 
larly remarked, that he was the firft who began to 
difpenfe indifcriminate juftice. Before him, the 
people who rofe in infifrreftions were punifhed in 
the jnoft fevere manner , by the fword or the gib- 
bet , while the nobilitv , who were almoft always 
refraftory , were treated with a degree of lenity which 
enicouraged future difobedience : a fmall fine , which* 
in hS, , only fell upon their poor dependents « gen&- 
tally wiped off their offences. Edward punifhed 
bo A with equal feverity. 

However , .lej us here remark the alterations 
in the fpirit of the times. The Englifli , now in- 
corporated with, their fierce Norman conquer{>]«» 
were no longer the tame confenting people they 
formerly appeared » and always were prepared to 
reafon with that authority which they could not 
refift. With tliis fpirit of oppofition a fpirit of 
cruelty aifo feemedf to enter : regardlefs of their 
own lives , the people did not feem very folicitous 
about thfi lives of others. The penal laws now 
began to affume more rigour : in the times of Wil- 
liam the Conqueror » it yir^s a lanr , tlia^ no man 
ihould be punished with death ; but that law was 
at prefent quite> laid afide , and feyer^il crimes w<^re, 
rendered papi^. 

But what gave the reign of Edward a true value 
with ppfterity , was the degree of power the people 
began to amime during this period. The clergy^ 


and the bafons he confidered ^ in fome meafure , as 
rivals ; and , to weaken their force , he gave autho- 
rity to the commons : a law was enafied , by which 
no • tax could be levied without their con(cnt. His 
intentions ^ere to render himfelf abfolute by di?L' 
adiftance ; and , it is but too probable , he migbt 
have become fp « had he lived to put his deflgns is 
execution : but he died at a time newas besinoirg 
to throw off parliamentary reftridions , and left th: 
people a fhare of authority , which had been given 
them for yery different purpofes than the promotion 
of liberty. The moft healing medicines are ofieo 
cttraftied from poifons. In fliort, whatever Edward'j 
chancer was as a man , as a king, he was of in- 
finite fervice to his country. 


JrT wifs long an opinion of the Erfgli/li , and 
grounded on obfervations made from the days d 
king Arthur 9 that between two valiant and able prin- 
ces in this nation , thei^ always intervened a king 
of left fenfe and courage , mains fuffifant de fens & uc 
prouejfe. That there was fometliing in the remark^ 
you have hitherto fe^n in feveral fucceflions. 

No monarch could come to a crown with more 
j4iD I'^OT ^^'^^'^^ig^o*^^ ^'^'^os than Edward II; 
-^ • 3^» an army prepared' for vi6lory J a peo- 
ple united , and an undiiputed fucceflion. But he 
foon gave reafons to" fear his future conduft , by 
the commencement of his reign. Regardlefs ot 
his father's dying admonition^ , he diicontinucd 
the war with Scotland, and recalled Gaveflone^ his 
favourite, frorii exile. 


Gaveflooe was a foreigner by birth, adorned 
with every accompltfhmem of perfon*and mind^ 
that could create affedicm , but deftitute of thofe 
qualities of heart and underAanding that ferve to 
procure eAeem. He was beautiful , witty , brave , 
but at the fame tiin^ , vicious , effeminate , and 
(iebauched : he bad affifled in all Edward's youth- 
ful extravagancies and pleafures ; had heed , to ufe 
a Latin expreffion , his arblttr ele^anttarun ; and 
thus hadfecured this young voluptuous monarch's 

A prudent king may have private friends , but 
ftiould never retain a public favourite ; royal fa- 
vour fhould fhine with indifcriminate luftre, and 
the monarch ihould ever guard againft raifine 
thofe he moft loves to the higheft preferment! la 
being thus blaffed by his attedions , he will pro- 
bably be induced to reward talents unequal to the . 
burthen of affiilrs 5 or impatient of the fatigues of 
applicauon. Such was the cafe of Edward , with 
regard to his new favourite :, he loaded him with; 
favours 9 at a time when he was. giving up his title 
to the fovereigjity of Scotland, which, had been ioi 
hardly earned by his predeceffor. 

The barons, at this, time, were not fo entirely 
humbled , hut that they refented a condud fo in^ 
juriousto the interefb of the kingdom as Mreli as. ' 
their own. Gavefione's pride , nis being a fo- 
reigner , his iiifolence^ foon ndfed a fhx)ng par^ 
againft. him : an army was fimned to oppofe his 
adminiflratioh : Gaveitone was taken and beheaded^ 
vithout even the formality of y trial. Thus yoa^ 
perceive a fpirit. of cruelty beginning to enterr 
tie nation. The death of Gaveftone was proba-r 
% 9 fupported by piecedems. found in the fo^^ 


mer reign. The fucccffors of Edward the Fir 
oopbd after him in • his faults alone. The vic^ 
of conquering monarchs and great kings are eve- 
iwoft dangerous , becaufe they moft generally pro- 
duce imicatioB. 

From this time the fcafTolds were drenched vicii 
Englilh blood i each party , as it happened to prove 
vidcorious , brought ttielr prifoners , as traitors, to 
the block or the sibbet : never was (o much \Aoc: 
fptlt in a juridical manner in. England, as in ths 
hideous reign. The Scots, during thefe florm^;, 
endeavoured to fortify their government : tliey 
conquered the Englifh in more than one battle. 
Robert Bruce ,*betng made king , became povsrtu': 
from the divifions of the EngUih , who pretender 
to be his malders* 

Edward , in the mean time , feemed only intefi: 
on profecuting his plcafures, or becoming formi- 
dable to his own fiibjcfts. The mutual faacreif 
between him and the bargns feemed daily to m* 
creafe ; or, in other words , as he ftill became mor: 
defpicable in the eyes of the people , the barons , 
lately depreffed, grew into power. His fupinenefs 
gave them an opportunity of executing all their 
deflgns, fo that at ,la(l he fuffcfed himfeif to be 
taken a prifoner; but he was foon after rdeafedi 
upon a promife of future amendment. A certai!! 
niHnher of the barons were admitted into his coiui* 
cil , and he gave his word to perform nothing with- 
out their confent and approbation : but he ^4, 
dnly born for misfortunes. This monarch , of aaj 
eafy natiire , and who, probaWy , if born in a pi' 
▼ate fiation , would have been confidered as a wi 
thy man , could not live without a favourite. Ii 
the place which Gaveflone held in his affefti< 



Hugh Spencer , a youth of great addrefs and many 
dccoinpiiihments 9 fucceeded. This young gentle- 
man no way imimidated hy the misfortunes of 
Gavdione, in fimilar circumflances purfued his 
condud in every particular : he even ii^cnt beyond 
him in pride, avarice, anfl prodigality. An uni- 
verfal difcontent foon became vifibie : all the vices 
of the* king x^ere imputed to young Spencer alone , 
and his own were enough to fmk him into ruifl« 
The barons, therefore, once more combined to 
deftroy this favourite , who was , in reality , with- 
out a prote6ior : they therefore banished him and 
his &ther out of the kingdom , with great threats ,' 
if ever he attempted to return. This indignity to 
the king feemed to toufe him from his former 
lethargy : the queen alfo , a bold , haughty woman , 
endeavoured to Simulate him to revenge. She had 
received an a{&ont on a pilgrimage to Canterbury , 
by being denied admittance, by ihc governor, into 
the caftle of Leeds, on the way. She therefore 
perfuaded Uer weak Confort, that the prefent con- 
junfture was very favourable for freeing himfelf 
from the power of the baroits, and that punifli- 
ing the governor of Leeds would intimidate* them 
fo far as to prevent any future oppofition. Her 
advice was embraced with avidity : the king raifed 
an army without oppofition ^ he befieged the cafile 
of Leeds ; the governor was taken , and the queea 
now had an opportunity of fatiating her revenge ^ 
by having him beheaded* 

Succefs only feemed to pufli this weak prince 
''on to new violence : he beueged the caftles of fe- 
veral other barons , and became mader of them 
with equal eafe. To complete his contempt for 
all former compafts , he recalled his young favou- 
rite , Spencer, ont;c more from bamihment. We 

You I. ^ 


nay eafily ..upon this occafion , perceive how mvi 
the barons were declined from that degree of powet 
diey poflefled two .or three reigns before. He 
monarch » at prefent , that oppreflTed them , wsj 
voluptuous , ignorant , and a coward . in the g^ 
neral opinion of the people*; yet , feeble as he vas, 
the barons were fcarce able to reftfl him : the power 
of the people was now grown truly formidable, 
tnd Edward had addrefs enough to procure a pan 
of them to fecond his pretenfions. The king not, 
therefore , in the meridian of power , profecutrt 
the moft rigorous meafures : the queen, cruel bj 
nature , ana Spencer » his favourite , aduated by r^ 
venge , ftimuiated him to numbertefs z9s of (evemy 
Among others who perifhed in the oppofition , n 
Thomas , earl of Lancafter. This nobleman U 
Hlways been fignalized for his valour amone ^\ 
confederate loros , and was a peculiar oppoier oi 
. the growing power of ihe family of the Speoccn. 
He was taken fighting , at the head of a body oi 
forces, which he had , m vain , endeavoured to nil)' 
He had no great hopes to expeft any favour froo 
judges who were his enemies from perfonal mo 
fives : he was condemned to be quartered as i 
traitor ; but , fl'on\ a regard to his ftation , tht 
Vmg changed his punifhment to beheading. ^^ 
this manner nine other lords were executed ^ 
Tofk, as a terror to the kingdom; but thcfe tct' 
rbrs could not fecure a monarch who was in bifl> 
felf contemptlWe, Whatever might have been tb? 
earl of Lancafter's (eal charader , his death 1^6 '' 
uncertain » whether he i^ed with views to f 
btmfelf created kinc , or was only /thie champio'* 
of public liberty. However thstf be , the people >Jj 
general had his memory in great veneration, ^ 
Zonildered him 4s a martyr* We may by this ^^ 


vhat fide in this quarrel was dboufed hjr the dergj t 
iiumediately after che eari^s death, latracles vero 
faid to be wrought at his tomh» add ereiy preteml" 
ed miracle of this kiod was prodiiAiTC of a thou* 
iaod enemies to the king. 

The £ivourite Spencer and his fiither ftiU gave 
ao unbounded fcope to iheir revenge : not content 
with putting to de^ the heads of the oppofiM 
parry , with depriving others of their eftates , and* 
with condemning great nunibers to perpetual ba* 
nifhment « th^y were refolved to level their rag« 
againA Roger Mortimer, now aAually in thefe 
cuflody , and confined within the Tower. Thelie 
were few circumfianees that could apparently 
fcreen Vim from their refentment ; he nad been 
openly in arms » and aAive in the oppofition ; he 
had no charader to render his punifhment unpo« 
pular , and none that he knew to intercede for hiitt 
with the kin£ ; yet he found his puniilimcnt re« 
mitted, to his ailoniihmeiif , notwithfianding all 
the folicitations of his enemies to the contrary. 
The queen was falkn in love with this youth » 
and uled 9II her intereft to procure his pardon ! an 
intimacy had aduaily commenced between them ; 
aad this protection , with which he was publtckly 
honoured by her, drew down the refentment of 
the two favourites, tn this oppofition of interefis » 
Edward feemed entirety pafii ve ; he wiihed to oblige 
both parties , and .one day |ave orders to fcreen 
young Monimer fi'om purfuit , and the next , to 
lecure him wherever he could be deteded : the feeble 
king knew not how to refiiie any requeft, whea 
I be loved thofc who made the demand. 
I A diflenttoQ thus between two parties , who 
I ihared the afi^edions of the king « mufi foon ter-* 
minatie. ia tfasi diinttfion^ of eiuier. To get tbq 



oueen removed , the Spencers contrived .to pei'-j 
liiade her to go upon a certain negoeiation to the 
court of her brother, the kiiig of France. With 
this propofal , though from her enemies i the queen 
readily complied ; flie forefa^ it would give her 
an unconrrouled liberty of enjoying the company 
cf her gallant, and might give her power of being 
revenged upon his oppreflors. Charles the Fair, 
who was at this time upon the throne of France , 
purfued the politics of every wife king : he encou- 
raged the queen , his fifler , to oppofe Edward , her 
husband; and thus, by dividing his enemies, he 
hoped to weaken them. Thus heartened, flie loudly 
^ envetghed againft the favourites of the king , levied 
troops in France to oppofe their power , and with 
this army landed in England , where her expe6b- 
tions were anfwered , in being joined by a powerful 
hody of malecontents. Mortimer , her lover , was 
with her at the head of thef<^ troops ; at the fame 
time that the favourite Spencer was the heart of 
the oppofite party. 

Edward was little able to withftand his enemies : 
all his endeavours toTaife troops proved ine£Fefiual: 
none would venture to expofe themfelves in the 
icing's defence, for they faw that an ignominious 
(death muA he the confequence of a defeat and 
ingratitude of vLftory. The; queen took Spencer , 
the father , ac Briftoi. This gentleman , fourlcore 
and ten years old , had pa^ed a youth of tiranquilo 
iity and reputation ; he had been efteeihed and 
jloved by all the kingdom, but his fond compliance 
with l)is fon's ambition , involved his old age in 
the turbulence of faSion e he was immediately 
hanged pp in his armour , without even the forma- 
lity of a trial. His uhhappy fon did not i6ng fur- 
jriye him : he was taken, with a few moxt^ at^ 


tendiog the king their mafter , into an obfcure con* 
.Vent ifl Wales. Revenge , and not juflice > prompt* 
td aJl tbte punifhments of this reign. The queeri 
had not patience to .flay till the meeting of a pv** 
Jiament to deftroy her enemy ; ilie ordered nim 
to be produced before the inuilting populace > en** 
joyed herfelf the pleafure of feeing him led to the 
place of execution » where he was hanged on a 
gibbet fifty feet hi^ Several other lords fharej 
his &ktc , all deferving pity indeed , had they not 
formerly juftified this inhumanity by fetting a cruel 

The unhappy king now abandoned, iaw him« 
felf in the power of nis enemies^ without a fingla 
friend to fland between him and univerfal reproach : 
be was conduced to the capital » amidft the. infults 
and reproaches of his fubiefis ; confined in the 
Tower » judged by the parliament , and folemnly 
depofed. He was affigned a penfion for his fup* 
port ; his fon , a youm of fourteen , was crowned 
king, and the queen appointed regent during his 

Tlie depofed monarch but a fhort time furvived 
his misfortunes : he was fent from prifon to prifon 
a wretched outcafl , and the fport of his mercenary 
keepers : in thefe journeys they made him fuffer all 
the indignities that cruel and ingenious villany 
couldi devife : among others , it is faid , they 
fhaved him for fport in the open fields , ufiiig 
water from the neighbouring altch. The genius 
of the people muft furely have fufFered a gradual 
deterioration., or they would never have permitted 
the venerable head of majefty » a monarch , whof« 
greateft fauk was the violence of his friendfhips, 
CO be ufed with fo much indignity. What firni- 


ncfs foeyer the depofed prince liad hitherto 

-in his misfornmes , tt ie(t him upon diis occa(i< 
ke looked upon his mercilefs tniulters with an 
of fallen majefly , and fhed a torrent of teat 
the cruelty of his dtath alone was wanting to t< 
minate a life of complete mifery. The laft ph 
of his imprifonmcnt was Berkeley- caftle : here 
was kept totally def^icute of all the comforts , ai 
alihoft all the neceffaries of life. But thefe miftr'u 
were ndt long to continue : the rwo keepers , ti 
tering his apartment one night as he lay in bed, 
Aifle his cries , covered his face with a pillow , ai 
then , with a crueky not to be paralleled , thnii 
an horn pipe up his body , througn which they 
a red-hot irqn « and burnt his bowols : his hoi 
ihrieks, however, were heard at a diflance ftoi 
the caAle , and , though dil po/Tible care was take 
to conceal it ♦ his murder was foon after difcoyen 
by one 6f the accomplices. Misfortunes like his 
muft ever create pity , and a punifhment , fo difpro- 
portionate to his guilt ^ in fome meafure foftens die 
ieverityt>f reproach. 


Vr E now begin to have f6me faint idea of 
die origin of our prefent happy conftifution ; 
and « as I am %oing to lead to a reign which 
gave new ftrer.gth to ihe people , permit me to 
entertain you a moment with the fpirit of think- 
J n i^a-y ^"8 ^" *^ nation, at the junQure I 
>«. u.^ 327. ^^ fpeaking of. By the continual 
admiflion of foreigners, in feveral of the prece- 
ding reigns J the nuoaber of the commons was 

In a series of letters, h? 

fnrprifingly incrcafed ; and . the introdufiion of 
fome new manufadlures , the making of vax>Ilea 
cloths and ^is^ for ihiUnce', Aill decreafed th^ 
reticue of the nobles , and threw greater numbers 
of the inhabitants into chartered towns > Th^ 
barons , however , fliil continued to refide at their 
caftles in the country , gave laws to the plants 
around them, and exerciled a defpotic authority 
over all their dependents. The clergy hadj for 
feme time , been at variance with the pope , and 
this diflention contributed to Arip the mauc of fanc- 
tity from both : the divifion ot the^ diurch was a 
moft certain means of rendering it contemptible, 
fince ail its-ftrength lay only in the influence U 
had over the minds of its votaries. But there 
was another princTiple , which had been , for fome 
time , operating , and which j in time, promifed to 
be a certain means of diminiihing the power of 
the barons and the clergy; I mean a diminution 
of perfonal frvice in war. In former times , every 
Vaflal was to aj)pear , at the command of his lord, 
with horfe attendants j and all the apparatus ne- 
ceffary for a -campaign. If the nobility o*r vaffals , 
of the crown refufed to march , the kmg was un« 
able to compel them. In this manner , a combina* 
tion of the nobility had it ever in their power to 
give laws to the crown , becaufe they were not 
only the deliberating power, butgihe ading power 
alfo : but , from the increafe of the people , from, 
the more extenfive ufe of money tnftead of barter , 
and from the number of independent foreigners, 
ready to accept pay ; from thefe caufcs , I fay , the 
kings began to levy armies wiihout the affiftance 
of the nobility. Monarchs now only wanted mo- 
ney to be at the' head of armies as numerous and 
powerful as they thought proper : wherever money * 

F 4 

was, there lay power.; and the people., by traffic 
and jnduilrjT, beginning to grow ricb, they were 
nece'/Tarily admitted into fome ihare in the legifla- 
tnre. Thus we fee the nobility , the clergy, and 
the people , different from what they ^ere two or 
three reigns before this ; and the 'ftrength of the 
king did not fufFer a lefs mutation. Former mo- 
narclfi might be confidered only as the firft aad 
moA powerful baron of the lancf : a baron iras in 
miniature , what the king was in the gre^. The 
monarch had fcarce any real power but what he 
derived from his own crown -lands and vaflals: 
when he was refolved to exen his ftrengthi he 
could only command his own tenants *> and thofe 
who held immediately under him : the barons were 
fummoned , indeed; but^ if they were dtfpleafed, 
they might refufe their afTiftance, and ?ll their de- 
. pendents were obliged to imitate their example; 
thefe acknowledged fubjedion , not to the king, 
but their own mafter ; and nothing but a civil war 
with the refraftory nobleman could bring him to 
]iiftice. But the face of the old conAitution was 
now beginning to be changed : every order in the 
Aate beg^n to have a mutual dependence on each 
other ; the power of the king to extend to ihe 
htgheft and the loweA of his fubjefts ; and oppofuc 
-intereAs to concur for the benefit of alL 

This change of government feemed to influ- 
ence the man nets of the nation ; a fpirit of gal- 
lantry prevailed , which , probably , took its firft 
rife in thofe eaAern countries , which had long 
been famous for every hixurious refinement, Hil- 
torians reprefent the kingdom as immerfed in de- 
bauchery and licentioufnefs ; that lad es , laying 
afide their modeAy , feemed to glory in the lofs of 
, tlieir virtue. Nothing , fay tliey , was more comt 

jnon 3 than to fee them ndrttz in troops to the 
tournament, drefTed like cavaliers^ with fwords 
by their fides, thfeirhttrfes adorned with rich trap- 
pings , and behaving ^ith more than rnafculii)^ ef- 
frontery. Vfnkaiever 'monks may obferve upotf 
this fubjeft, this aukwardly gallant behaviour, in 
fome nfieafure , exprefled a degree of growing ele- 
gance in the tinies , and fhewed that the people 
were emerging from primitive barbarity. 

Undor Edward III , the conftitution of our par- 
liaments , and the whole* frame of our government » 
became reduced into a better form. A fpirit of 
liberty breathes III all his laws ; yet no king ^ 
knew how to make himfelf more abfolute, A$ 
the father loft his crown and his life , in the moil^ 
miferable manner^ by fuffering himfelf to be go- 
verned by his minifters , and proteding them front 
the refentments of the people ; fo the fon very early 
exerted his own authority » and freed himfelf froni 
the guardianihip , or rather fubje&ion ^ of his mo- 
ther , the queen , and her pafamour ^ who had long 
oppreffed the nation , and diihonoured him , by their 
fcandalous conduft. Mortimer wa5 dragged fromt 
the queen's apartment » in the moft ignominious 
manner , while ihe implored all the while that 
they iB^ould fpare the gentle Mortimer. But th6 
young king was deaf to her intrea'ties ; the pity, 
wMch fhe once refufed her unhappy 'husband waft 
now denied her : the parliamenf condemned Mor* 
timer to die , without being permitted to plead , as 
he had ferved Spencer fometime before. He fell 
by the hands of the hangman; and Ifabetla was 
confined to the caftle of Kifings ^ with a penfion 
of three thoufand pounds a jyear. Her confine- 
ment was fevere , though ihe iuirvived her dif^mce 
twenty fiye years » and / abandoned to nnhreifi^ 


contempt , wept in foUtnde rather her misformfl^j 
diai» her vices. 

Edward III well knew , that a conquering mo- 
narch was fitteft to pleafe a warlike, people. The 
Scots had long triumphed with impunity ; be 
thereibre began his reign by reducing them to the 
moft diftrefsful circumflances , and once more 
brought them to acknowledge -his foverdgnty over 
their crown* But he was foon drawn off from 
thefe conquefts to objeds of greater vifiories ; z 
new fcene began to be opened in France; ssd 
.Europe , in fuTpenfe » be^an to doubt whether Ed* 
ward's claims to that kmgdoofrwere fecured to 
him by right of inheritance , or by the rights d 
conqueift. France , at that time , was by no means 
fo extenfive as at prefent : it comprehended neither 
Dauphin^ , nor Provence , nor Franche-Comt^ It 
was rendered fiill mofe feeble from the nature of 
its government : feveral powerful ne^hbours, who 
pretended to be vaiTals ot that crown , rather ferved 
to weaken than flrengthen the monarch. 

The people of that kingdom were unhappy i 
from their mutual divifions; and the king, at thx 
time » was ftill more (o^ The three foas (^ Phiiip 
the Fair, in f^U parliament ^ accufed their wives <x 
adultery ; they were each condemned , and ordered 
to be imprifoned for life. Lewis Huttin , die eldeft 
fon > cauted his wife to be flrangled : her foveis 
died by a new kind of puniihmem ; they were flead 

After the death of Lewis Huttin y king of France; 
a queflion arofe about the validity of d^ Salic law; 
a bw made in the eariy period of the French ino* 
sarchy , importiiig that no woman fhould rule. 
As this is afubjeaof fome import^mce in the £sg- 
lifh hi^ry» it is necefliuy tpesypatiateherealktk* 

They had hitherto never enquired , in France » 
whedier a female could fucceed in the kingdoni* 
Laws are only made to regulate what may happen 
by what has happened already , and, as an inAance 
of thb kind bad never occurred , there were no laws 
to direA them* Precedents « in lefler inftances » 
vere the only guides in fuch a circumfbnce ; but 
thefe precedents had varied with the occafion. The 
parliament of France had often adjudged the fuccef* 
Son to wwen^ as Artois was formerly ^iven to a 
female ^ in prejudice of the male heir : the Tuccef* 
fion of Champagne had been , on fome occafions , 
eiven to the daughters, and , on others , they were 
neld unqualified to fucceed. We thus fee that 
right changed with power ; and juAke , in fuch a 
cafe , was either unknowp or difregarded, 
. Lewis' Huttio left an only daughter, and two 
brothers : the elder , Philip *the Tall , aflumed the 
crown , in prejudice of Huttin's daughter , and at« 
tempted to cover lus ufurpanon by the Salic kw« 
The younger brother, Charles !he Fair, jealous 
of his elder brother's fortune, oppofed his nreten* 
fions , and aflerted the daughter's right to uicceed* 
This caufe was carried before the French paHhi« 
ment , and decided in £ivour of Philip. This 
monarch enjoyed the crown but a ihort time« 
and, dying, left only daughters to fucceed him, 
Charles the Fair , however , was now of a ^Kffer 
rent fentiment from what he had been formerly ; 
he now maintained the law for the exclufion of 
iemales , becaufe it made in his favour. He feized 
the. crown without oppofition , and enjoyed it for 
fome time, but, dying, left his wife with child. 
As there. was aew no apparent heir, the next heiy^ 
to the crown wat to be rejgcnt , atid rwo perfon$ 
9fiiprted ibehr daim vpon i3m o«c«fion t Bdvant m 


had laid his claim , as bebg , by his mother Habelb^ 
who was daughter of Philip the Fair , and fifter to 
the three laA ktn^s of France , rightfiol heir to the 
crown. Philip ot Valois, on the other hand, had 
feized upon it , as being the next heir by the male 
fucceffion. The claims of PhiUp were prefened; 
lie was confiituteid regent of France , and , the 
Gueen being unfortunately brought - to - bed of a 
daughter , he was unanimoufly eleded, king* He 
was crowned by his fubjefb with univcria^ fatis- 
iaflion , had the appellation of PhiUp the. Porta* 
irate given -hink; and to this he added thofewhidr 
miglit merit good fortune , yirtue and juftice. 
Among other inAances of his felicity^ he mieht 
reckon that of the homage paid him by Edward, his 
rival, which he came to offer at Amiens : however, 
this homage was foon followed by a war , and EA- 
ward difputed that crown , of which he bad jufr 
before decfared Idmfelf the vafTal. 

A brewer 5it Ghent was one of thofe who gave 
the greateA af&ftance^ to Edward in this war , and 
determined him ta aSume the title of King of 
France. This citizens name was James Ardevet^ 
grown too powerful for a fubjeft, and one of thofe, 
according to Machiavel« whom kings ought to 
fatter or deflroy. Thus affifted^ Edward made a 
powerful invafion. Upon landing , he was challeng- 
ed by Philip to try their fortune upon equal teriosi 
in (ome appointed plain. Edward accepted the 
challenge , tor in every adion this prince affe^ed 
the hero ; but , fome obilacles intervening , the war 
was profecuted in the ufoal manner , by taking 
every advantage where it happened to offer. 

In thefe hattles there is little material for io- 
ftruflian , nor can they afford any thing more in- 
ceirtainingt than th^ hiftory of a marking party 


in one of our modern gazettes. It is fulHcient to 
obferve, that feveral ikirmiflies only drew on the 
great and deciiive vidory of Crefly, which every 
honefi EngUfhman boafb of to this hour. In 
this memorable battle , Philip w^ at the head of^ 
an hundred thoufand men^ and Edward only of 
thirty thoufand. The Black Prince , his fon , as 
yet but a youdi of fifteen » commanded the firfl 
Kne of the Engliih army ; the fecond was con- ' 
duded by the earls of Northampton and Arundel ( 
and the body of referv^ was headed by the king ia 
perfon. He and the Prince of Wales had that 
morning received the facrament with great devo- 
tion, and his behaviour denoted the calm intiie" 
pTdity of a man refolved on conqueft or death« 
The army being thus arranged , the king rode from 
rank to rank > with a chearful countenance ; bade 
his foldiers remember the honour of their country^ 
vhile his eloquence animated the whole army to a 
degree of enthufiaftic expeftation. To oppofe the 
Engltih , Philip had drawn up his formidable army 
in three divtuons alfo ; the firft commanded by. 
John <^ Luxemburgh , the blind king of Bohe- 
mia ; the fecond was led by the count of Aten^on ;; 
and Philip , in perfon , commanded the body of 
referve. This was the firft battle that the Black 
Prince had feen ; but he now appeared foremofi in 
the very fhock , and continued for fome time , to 
turn the fortune of the' day ; but his courage wouhl 
have been foon opprefied by numbers « had not tKe 
earl of Northampton come to his relief. The 
very thickeft of tiie battle was now gathered round 
him , and the valour of a boy filled even veterans 
with aftonifliment : but their lurprife at hts courage 
could iiof but grve. way to their lean for hiis pei;' 


fop ; apprehenfive that Come misfortune might hap* 

Cn to him in the end » they fpnt the king word to 
fien to the prince's relief. Edvard, who had 
all this time, viewed the engagement from a wind- 
mill , with great deliberation aiked if his fon wa 
dead ; and , bein^ anfwered i that he (till lived aod 
was giving aftoniihing inflanees of valour , Tka 
uU my generals , cried the king , that ht shall Imt 
no ajpftanet from me : the honour of Ms day shallU 
his , and he shall he indehud to his own merit alone fo 
viSory. Upon this occafion thirty thonfand of die 
French were killed on the field of battle » and the 
day after they experienced another defeat. This 
viaory is partly afcribed to £Mir pieces of artiileryi 
which the Enaliih firft made ufe of here» and tlte 
vfe of which nad been but lately difcovered. Ed- 
ward » after two vidories gained in two days, took 
Calais J of which the Engliih remained in pofleiSoa 
two hundred and ten years. 

This war which was at once carried on in three 
different counties in France , thinned the inhabi- 
tants of the invaded country , aind drained that of 
the invaders. But a deflrudion fiill more terri- 
ble than that of war , contributed » at diis time , 
to defolate the wretched inhabitants of Europe. 
A peflilence more terrible than any mentioned in 
former hiftorv , which had already almoft difpeo- 
. pled Afia and Africa » came to fettle upon the wef* 
tQn world , with, increafed malienity. The fourth 
part of the people were cut off by ft : in London 
It raged with fuch. violence, that in one year's 
ipace there were buried , in Charterhoufe church- 
yard , above fifty thoufand perfons. It was in rhe 
midft of this terrible fcounse of nature » Aat the 
ambitioa of Bdwaxd aod Philip were Mnendifig 

for new conquefts, and adding to the calami* 
ties of mankind Thefe ravages , however , were 
fikncly repaired by commerce and induflry ; thofe 
arts , which were then defpifed by princes » wer« 
laying the feeds of future opulence and increafed 
poptiiation. Thefe arts were travelling, gradually , 
from Italy , and had begun to find harbour in Eng- 
land : the refinements and the pleafures of fenai 
every day began to improve , but intelledual refine* 
ment was yet unknown; fenfual enjoyments muft 
ever be canied to fome hei^, before mankind can 
find leifure to tafie entertainments of a more deli* 
cate nature. • 

During the Englifh viflories on the continent , 
the Scots ever wUlrng to embrace a fiivourable op- 
portunity of «>pine or revenge , invaded England 
with a numerous army. This unexpefied invafion » 
at fuch a jun&ure , alarmed the £ngUAi'> but^ 
however « was not capable of diiheartening them. 
Lionel 9 Edward's fon , who was left guardian of 
England during his father's abfence , was yet bat a 
boy , incapable of commanding an army ; but the 
vi^ories on the continent even feemed to infpire 
women with ardour. Philtpjpa » Edward's queen g 
took upon her tb repulfe the enemy , in perioo : to 
that end, beading the troops drawn together from 
all parts , with wonderful expedition , Sxt marched 
diredl^ againft the Scots > ami oifered them baxtl^. 
The -Scotch king was no lefs impatient to engage ; 
be imagined a viflory would h\Gziy agiainft un^if- 
ciplinea troops > and headed by" a woman t but ho 
was mUerablv deceived ; he had not only die nior-. 
tificatiotn ro K>fe the day , Jbnit to be made a prifoner. 
by the hands of the fndisW 

Thefeconqpdls abroad were, iipweyeri no way, 
favourable to th^ caife of libeny at Eocne* Asttei 


kin| became yiftorious, he neceflkrily fncreafed k 
independence. The barons, clergy, and peoDle. 
balanced each other's j>ow6r ; the royal poi^er aloce 
was gfx>wing beyond its bounds. Yet £dward ^ 
too (enfible a monarch to give open dUguft ; he vai 
onhr laying a foundation of defpotifin for his fuc- 
cefllor to build upon; and, had he been of eqosl 
capacity with his father , he might have fdzed upo: 
public libeny with impunity. But I have trac^ 
grefled the bounds of a letter, without coming ro 
the conclufion of this prince's reign ; I mofi ther^j 
lore refer you to my next. ^ 


Vr E have already feen how unjufily the people 
dxftributed titles to kings , before they have deier* 
ved them : we have feen the fecond Edward 
called the Father of his country , in the beginolcj 
of his reign ; and yet fell , in the end, a mifcrahfe 
Sacrifice to its refemtment ; we have feen Philip ct 
Valois , furnamed the Fortunate , upon coming to 
the crown , fuffering the mod fignal defeats, foffi^ 
time after. 

John fucceeded Philip in the throne of France, 
but had his pretenfions conteiled by Edward tbe 
Black Prince , who commanded the army of te 
father. This young prince's gallantry, braveiy, 
and modefty , had won the affeftions of his loj' 
diers , and he almoft became invincible at their 
lead. John , in the mean time , was at the head 
lof a divided and fadious nobility ; the governDedi 
0f France being under this John » exadfy vl^ 

that of Eoghnd had been und«r a prince of tkt. 
fame naxne feme reigns before. They had their 
parliaments of barons , defpotic over their own 
hereditary po/Teffions; ^nd they obliged John of 
France- to jjcn a charter , very much refembling 
the Magna Charta , which had been figned by the 
Engliih monarch. The warlike refources of France 
and Enghnd were , therefore , at this time very 
unequal. John was at the head of a nobility which 
acknowledged no fubordination amongft each other : 
they led their dependent flaves to the fight , and 
obeyed fuperior command only as it fuited their in* 
- cUnation : their king might more judly be faid to 
command a number of fmall armies under diftind 
kaders , than one vaft machine operating with uni* 
formity and united force. The French barons paid 
their own foldiers , punifhed their tranfgreffions , and 
rewarded their fidelity. But very different were tht 
forces of England : the main body of the Englifh 
army was compofed of the people , indifcriminately 
levied 4 paid by the king> and regarding him as 
the fource of preferment or difgrace. Inftead of 
perfonal attendance , the nobility contributed fup« 
plies in money ; and there was only fuch^a number 
of nobles in the army , .as might keep the fpirit oi 
honour alive , ^without diminifhing military fubor* 
dlnation . 

With an army thus compofed , the Black Prince 
advanced to Poii^ters , and ravaged a country thstt 
once belonged .to his anceftors. King John , at 
the head of fixty thoafand men , came up fo give 
him battle. The Englifh army was in fuch a fitua* 
tion , that he might readily have ftarved it into any 
terms he thought proper ; but he was impatiei|t 
of fuch a delay. Both generals coaiatttj:cd uopa*^ 


donable faults; the one in being led thus into a 
defile , the other in not taking a proper advantage 
of the fituation. But at this age , we mwft not ex- 
peSt Caefars or Hannibals to eondu61 armies ; igno- 
rant generals were oppofed by generals fiill more 
kriorant. The battle of Poi^Viers, which foon 
followed , very much refembled that of CreflTy : 
the fuperior difcipline of the Englifh army came 
©fF viiflorious ; the flower of the French were cut 
ofF^ and the4cing, being wounded in the face, was 
taken prifoner. A particular worth notice is , 
that he furrendered himfelf to one of his own fulx- 
je6^s, whom he had formerly banifhed , and who 
now fought fcr his enemies. Of four fons the 
king of France had with him ,abt three eldeft 
qufckly fled , and , by thetr cowardice 5 co'ntributed 
to the defeat of the army : his fourth and youngeft 
fbn , as yet but thirteen years old , ftill fought by 
his father , fluck near him in all the viciflitudes of 
the fleid , and at length , was takex} prifoner by his 
£de. This is a remarkable inflance of the educa- 
non princes then gave their children. 

This'vidory was in a great meafure owing td 
the valour of the filack Prince ; but his 'modefly , 
after conqueft , was flill morie remarkable. In the 
inofl humble manner he remonflrated with his royal 
captive , who was complaining of his misfortunes ; 
that ftiU he had the comfort left to refled, that 
diough he lofl the vidory , yet his courage deferred 
. it, and^ that a fubmiflive deference to his per(bn 
ftoiild never be wanting to make him forget his 
captivity. In April following the prince arrived 
in England , bringing his prifoner with him , enter- 
ing into London in a remarkable manner : the 
fni)ce, upon the kft^ rode a little black horfe, while 


the royal prifon^r was mounted on a ftately wbit< 
charger, remarkable for its. furniture and beauty. 

Two kings , priibners in the fame court , at th^ 
fame ti^e> were confidered as glorious conqueiU; 
but all that England gained by them was onljf 
glory. Whatever was acquired iji trance witU 
all the fplendors of triumph, was fuccefTively , and , 
in a manner, filently loit, without even the morti* 
ficat'on of a defeat. The treaties that were mad< 
with the. captive kings, as may be eafily imagined « 
were highly to the advantage of the conquerors j 
but thofe treaties were no longer obferved , tbaQ 
while the Engliih had it in their oower to enforce 
obedience. It is true , John hela to his engage* 
ments as far as was iir his power ; but by being k 
prifoner he loft his authority , and his misfortunes 
rendered him contemptible. Upon his return from 
captivity , he not only found himfelf without 
finances , but at the head of an exhaufled (late, folf 
diers without difcipline , and peafants without law* 
One of the chiefs of the banditti , upon this occa« 
fioh, afiumed the title of The Fncnd of God ^ and 
the Enerny of Mankind. A citizen of Sens , Vailed 
John of Grouge , alfo got himfelf, by nieans : of 
fobbeties , to 1^ acknowledged king , and caufed^ 
many calamities by his devaflations, as the real 
king hid caufed by his misfortunes. Such was 
t^e ftate of France upon the arrival of John from 
England ; yet fuch was the abfurdity of this mo- 
narch , that he immediately prepared for a crufade 
into the Holy Land , before he was fcarce rirplaced 
on his throne. Had his exhaufted fubje^s been 
able to (urnifli him out for his chimerical projed « 
it is probable he would have £One through with it^ 
but their miferies were fucli , aSs to be even inca- 
pable of paying his ranfom ; upon which he agsun 


i^etumed to^ England , where he died in lefi than 
a yean It*is {aid his paflTion for the countefs of 
Salisbury was the real cauCe of this journey i and, 
indeed, his age^ he being near Hxty , when men 
too often indulge this prepofterous paffion., and 
^he gallantry of the tines, feems to countenance this 

If England , during thefe fhining revolutions , 
gained any real advantage, it was only that of hav- 
ing a fpirit of elegance and honour now difFufed 
through every rank of people. The raeaneft Ibl- 
«Iier now began to follow his leader from love , and 
nol compuluon ; he was brave from fentiment alone, 
and had the honour of his country, beating at his 
iieart , even though in the humbled ftatlon. This 
was the time when chivalry w^s at the higheft> and 
all the fuccefles p£ England , at this period , were 
owing to a concurrence of circumAances not much 
regarded by hiAdrians : A romantic nation was hi 
»n by a romantic tang. 

The fpirit of chivalry , in fome meafure ^ ferved 
to foften the ferocity of the age ; it was a mixture 
of lo^e , eenerofity , and war.. You have already 
feen that the fons of princes and the nobility^ inftead 
of being bred to arts , or poliihed by the fciences , 
^re brought into the field at an earlv age , and in- 
flruded in no other arts but thofe of arms. - 
. This inflru6tion confiAed in little more than 
merely how to fit on horfeback , to wield the lance , 
to run at the ring , to flouriih at a tournament » to 
fill at the feet of a miftrefs , and attain fuch accom* 
plifhments as inured their bodies to bear the fa« 
tigues of a campaign. The rules of tadics^ of 
incampments, of ftratageras, of fortifications, were 
fcm little minded by any« 

Charles the Wife , of France , foon therefore $ 
by a finely conducted policy , regained whatever 
was loft by John , his predeceflbr* Edward the 
Black Prince , emaciated by a lingering confump- 
tion , died at the palace of Wedminfter , in the 
forty-fixth . year of his age. England began to 
wear a face of difcontent : the public treafure was 
lavifhed without any advantage to the kingdom ; 
the fubje^ laboured under numberlefs grievances ; 
in ihort, the kingdom feemed now to feel, that a 
nation might be at once very vidorious and very 
unhappy. But to complete their miferies 9 Edk. 
ward , their king j waj now no longer what he. was 
in the earlier parts of his reign : he was funk into 
unmanly indolence > and gave himfelf up to the en* 
joyment of loofe defire, in the arins of a £ivourite 
concubine > called Alice Ferrers. His parliament 
made freqaent remonflrances againfl this bafe oIh 
iirion of himfelf. The parliaments ^ at this time ; 
were not , as formerly , factions ready to opprefs 
public liberty , but affemblies of wile and good 
men, fedulous for the common welfare , and ofwif- 
dom equal to the reditude of their intentions : 
they • frequently remonftrated againft the king's 
and his minifters conduft ; they, at one time, had 
influence fufficient to get his concubine removed , 
but he foon took her back , for thf paffions of aee 
are incurable. In her company he forgot all the 
burdens , duties , and fatigues of ftate , and left the 
kingdom to be plundered by a rapacious miniftr^r. 
He did not live 10 feel the confequences of his 
bad conduft : he^died at Shene , in Surry , deferted 
by all , even by thofe who had formerly grown ricl^ 
by his bounty. Richard II , fon of the Black Prince , 
was appointed his fucceflbr, and came to govern 


a difcontented people j a rapacious minifiry , and as 
tiripoverifheL itate. Thelc were the calamities coc- 
fequent upon the errors of tbe preceding rei^r. 
Edward III efcaped them , but they fclk heavi!} 
Vfon Richard , his fucceiTor. 


a. HE fauUs of conquerors « as I have alreidj 
obferved , generally tall upon their fucceto 

'^ D tTf ^^^'^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ *^ throne of iJ 
^ ' ^>'7' grandfiither, when yet but eleven, 
and found the people difcontented and poor. Tbc 
gentry were , in fad , lusturtous ; a fpirit of pro- 
fufion had entered with the fpirit of gailantiy: 
this neceflarily produced indolence and rapacm' 
amo^ig the higher orders of the kingdom /and their 
vants muA neceflarily produce an opprei&on of tk 

The regents , however , appointed during the 
Icing^s minority , feemed no yay folicitous ro ap- 
peaie thefe munnurings. The duke of Lancailer, 
better known by the name of John of Ghaunt, 
in the very beginnings digufted the people, by 
Tobbine two knights of a prisoner , which they 
had taken in war ; and , at the fame time , feve* 
ral expeditions againft the French and Scots 
happened to be carried on without fuccefs. But 
a new engagement entered into by the crown, 
of aififting Portugal , at a time when the govero- 
inent was infultcd by nearer enemies » railed 
the people's indignation. To fupport this unne- 
ceflary aliance • a iubfidy wa3 to be levied by a 
' f oil-tax, payable by aU above the age of fifteen: 

this, at iafi» nufed the peoi>le*s refciuxnqat into an 

Notwithftandiag the numbers who by war, by 
a refidence tn tpwus , and by other means ^ had be* 
come free, yet there were dill multitudes in the 
country who had lands in villanage, tluc, as yet^ 
were only (laves to the lords from wiiom cbey held. 
Thefe men had feen thg charms of liberty » from 
its effeds upon others; ^nd they panted for freedom 
themlelves. The luxury and opulence which they 
faw others enjoy , but for which they toiled , be» 
came an incentive to them to ftruggle for libeny 
alfo. Several of thefe had become opulent enough 
to purcfa^fe their freedom , but , by an un^uft aft 
of parliam^t , thofe purchafes were declared of 
no validity. This xhe peafants confidered as an in- 
iraftion of the laws of humanuy ; and fuch indeed 
it afhiaBy was. A' parliament of lords , and rich 
commoners, in this inftance , feemed to have no re* 
gard for the rights of men whom they confidered as 
flaves 9 as if fome orders of mankind were held 
even too vile to find juftice. The mmds of t.)^ 
people were , therefore , thu^ prepared for fedition » 
when the manner of coUeding the poll - tax pro* 
voked them to open revolt. 

We have in preceding reigns , perceived popu- 
lar ipfurredions 4>njy in the towns ; we now find 
th^ fpirit of feditious liberty fpreading into the 
country. Citizens at firfi began to perceive their 
own &rength, and next the fame manner of think* 
mg is embraced by the peafanc , whom the feverity 
ot the laws had annexed to the foil. We now be* 
gin to £tid a. knowledge of the rights of humanity 
diffufed even to the very lowed of tSe people ^ 
and ^exerting itfelf in rude and teritble ettoris for 


The prefent iafurreftion began in EfleXj what 
a report was induftrioufly fpread , implying is 
the peafants were doomed to death ; that it 
houles would be burned , and their farms plunders. 
The country people , alarmed at this intelligecctj 
i4>fe in their own aefence , and , their numbers cc> 
tinually increafing, they advanced near Londoners 
the number of an hunffl*ed*thoufand , with banci^ 
difplaycd. At the head of this undifciplined cc: 
courfe was one Walter, by trade a tyler. Hev 
t>n^ of thofe hardy fpirits fo frequently found aiscr; 
the common Engliin , ready to face any dare^: 
and fupport every calamity. In exacting the pc> 
tax he had refufed to pay for his daughter, alk::; 
ing that fhe was under the age mentioned in r-; 
ad of parliament. The brutal colieAor infnlti 
^pon her being a fulUgrown woman , and, in orccr 
to afcertain his ailertions, proceeded to ads of i: 
decency : tbts provoked the father to fuch a de- 

free , that he itruck him dead at one blow wiif 
is hammer. Wat Tyler was therefore confider:: 
ias a champion in the caufe , and appointed fyok^ 
man to the people. It is eafy to ima^ne the t 
borders committed by fuch a tumultuous affemblv 
they burned and pillaged wherever they came , 12c 
revenged their former miferies upon their maftas, 
the gentry , to whom they no longer acknowledge!! 
fubjedion. After having entered the Tower, tn^ 
murdered fuch as they regarded as enemies, they 
divided themfelves in bodies , and took up the* 
^quarters in different parts of the environs of tk 
icity. At length , Richard , riding towards Smith 
field , invited them to a conference , in order ro 
.know and remove their grievances. Wat Tyler 
iud entered Smithfield , when the king's knigi: 
delivered the royal meiTage , without aligiiting, no: 



feagining he fliould ftand' upon ceremony : but 
this haughty dennigogue, ^hpfe prkle began to 
nfe with Ims exaltation , was 'fo oftndcd at thiS' 
want of reCp^a , thai he was'gbing to kiil him ,:if 
tlie king, who ^ds himfelf advancing , had not or^ 
dered him to difmount. In Wat Tykf*s conference 
▼itb the king, being bodi on hbrfeback, he madd 
feveral propoials, t^hich, though ceiUiired by hifto- 
f'ans as extravagant , in reality breathe nothing but 
common jufiice. He defired that alt ilaves iliouid 
fee fet free , and that all commonages fhould be open 
to the poor as, weH as the rich. • While he m^de 
jliefe demands , he now aiid then lifted up his fword 
in a menacifyg manner; which tnfotence fd r^sitd 
^le indignatiotf o( William Walworth , mayor of 
London^ who attended, the king, that, without 
conffdering <o what danger he expofed his mafler , 
he ftunned -Tyler with a blow of hi§ mace , and 
Sir Philpot-, riding Vi^^ thruft his fworcT'th rough his 
body. HiS), followers , feeing their leader on the 
ground, eocoi;iraged each other to revenge h^ 
death, and theif bow^ ^r^ndw^ bent for* execu- 
tion , when. Richard, thoiigh not ({uite fix teen 
ycarsof age, inftead-^f flyiilg , rode up to the rebels ; 
with admirable conftancy and prefence of mind ^ 
crying otat wish a refolute roice, fFhat^ my liegcs'^ 
will youdhtn kUl your king? Bt not concerned for the 
lofs )ofyour leader ; I myfelfwUnow he your general : 
follow me into' the field ^ ana you shall have whatever 
y^udefiru . | i - 

The rebels im»ie(tiately defifled ; they followed 
the king, as if medismically ;and the ne^ct day 
received a charter of freedom, and a general paH 
don. But ifeefe wet*e only ejttorted grants; they 
were foon retraced]; Ae ringleaders of the rebels 

YOL. \ ^ ft 


Uoa wercaried^ coavifiwl of creaibo, Mid-^aec 
without mcicjr. The tafurrefiioas. of die harca 
•gaand their king « hUWriins talk of trith ao gm 
d^ree of uumofinr ;. the infwrafii^i of tlie pi^ 
beians agaiaft the hatonsi ia the vrefeot.cnfe, tf 
branded with all the TiridefiGe oT repmcb. Tb 
puniihrnent of thia infiiigeat faeroas is geaenilf 
filled cruelty ; the puniflunent of meA who foa^ 
for naciye ueedom is called juftiee ; but we mo 
be coQceiited with tatch ffiifreprefentattoiis of fii^i 
lillphilorophers can be found to write bitkon. 

We now fee the firft WBong flep in BicbrA 
COndtiA. He firamed the rebeb a charter*^ J^ viiid 
be gave the Taad^n of yuftice to diek datai; te 
ftofl revoked this charter » which was mpaamif 
denyinc that juAice they demanded^' Bj tbar 
means lie diifipated # indeed , the eombioaSMm fo 
chat time i but. their hatred remained » oad w«s pt«* 
Buated by the feverity of puniOutieDt. 

By this means Richaid had eSefteMdl|r alieaofel 
the afiedioas of the lower ordera.€»f peome ;. it aof 
only remained to make the parliameothis enefma 
Beane come to his/erenaeenth year » bet b e gan mm 
plaialy to diiicovef bis taeUnaodBS i wbkhhad k> 
therto b<cn reib'aiaed by the authority txf bis g(^ 
*irernors^ He bad been bred 19 amidft flatterers} 
who jiever ventured so cpntfoul bis vill; be bi 
leen the Ubeities taken by Edward lU over tt 
i(^ib|e&s » auid be fancied he Aight.jmittte him a 
Atm» But Richard was not the conqueror of Fsmce 
a»dSeotUod(h^ lM» basdd by the poor:».andeD- 
IHcd by rhite ipuardiatis of great power .^ who fr 
ere^y defircd ht$ fcrown : pv^ry errors dier efore^ in 
^e fcondufi of afcinjgfo fituatedrimiiil be. attended 
With dangeious and violefll e^da^ His faidolaice 
in xefreiunB^ tlio invaiion ot the iScots^ and the 


flodunations of Fraace , were fuflkieat to pwt dif« 
guft la Ns ^onduJS.^ All his fiiults trere exagg^^ 
rated, and his behaytour, even when riffht, pub- 
Ucljr r<tp>raved. -Uaaecufiomed lo cootroiU, be lai4 
a fcheme of becoming abfobte , and govenibig widH 
out bis parUainent^s aflifianc^ or aoVice. IXnUtnz « 
however « to colour his arbitranr Droccediag wzth 
the app^rance of juflice , he aikea the opinion of 
the fi^ges : their opinions have been too often 
found to be influenced bjr intereft ; thejr gave it as 
thdr opinion y that the lone was d)ove lanr. Yet, 
perhaps « they might have oeen direded by ancient 
Ws ; but coflom had introduced new modes of 
thiolung , a^d they did noc pay a juft deference to 
her power. This fenience the lords oppoied by 
declarations ; and , offering, various realons » were 
mnckly at the bead of forty choufand men to fecoMod 
their acguments : but , what had ftiU ^ater weight ^ 
they mreatened to chuie a new. king, which fo. 
operated upon the king's natutal pufilbnimity ^ihsi 
he.confented to cfaai^ Us &TOonte mtnifiers » whd 
had advtfed him to eattetid the royal presogativee 
he xetiewed his ooronation oath* arid the fame 
formalities were ufed as at die commencement of a 
new reien* • 

We nave ieen numberleis of tbefe iniurreflions 
without atsy apparent .confeiiuettce ; the king cir^* 
ounibibed in one J«ign^ ana permitted to itui^e at 
Uber^ in another : the only tecret ^ at that time, 
&r a king to become defpodc , was to be ever in 
the field; a warlUus prince might command the 
Bobili^, as tbev were obliged to follow him in hie 
campaigns; and .he miebt command the people » 
^om uiat fondaefs which the vulgar have for a 
cooipieror. Richard , however , was no way war- 
like ; but y being bred up in the luxury and {»ide— 

^f a court, ftillexpcfted deference and obedience; 
which could, at mat time, hd^ obtained only by 
inerit in war. 

Hxving , by the removal of his favourites , ren- 
idertpd himfelt ftill more feeble- than before, he no\ir 
ratf into profufion , and endeayouring to forget his 
real weaknefs in extravagance and luxury; Such 
expences neceflTarily created new demands upon 
the people , and they were bold enough to refufe ; 
this neceiTa'rily produced new infurred^ions , and 
reiterated punifhments on the part of the king. 
Punilhment and arbitrary proceeding generally pro- 
duce, but a temporary and fetal fecurity ; Richard , 
however , infenfible of this , imagined that now was 
the time to render himfeif defpotic ^ and had even 
influence fufficient to prevail upon a parliament, 
called in the year 1397, to Jtiftify his pretenfions. 
By this mercilefs fcffion feveral of the nobility 
loft their lives ; the archbifliop of Canterbury 
was tanifhed , the earl of Arundel put tk> death , 
and the earl of "Warwick fentenced to quit the 

Every thing feemed to contribute to fupport the 
kng in the acqnijiition of his new-created power. 
The moft forward to.oppofe his defigns had fuf- 
fered death or •bamfliment; iand they who flill re- 
mained, were bribed to acquiefce, by penfions , 
grants, and places. The great officers of the 
crown , the governors of the towns and counties , 
were all devoted to his intereft : yet alt this was 
but a dec-itfnl fecurity ; this was a power founded 
upon intereft or terror alone, and not upon afJ 
^eftion ; the people hated him ,'• and the gpneraJ 
lity of the nobles only obeyed him through coni 


In this manner did this giddy monarch fujBfe/ 
fciWelf to be deluded by vain hopes , and eviery 
day gave, feme new. iniiance of ftraimng the royal 
prerogative beyond what it could boar ; but foon an 
opportunity ottered to indluce the people to refufe 
a bi'md obedience to his unjufl command^ , and fo 
convince Wm of his former errors. A charge hajJ- 
pening to be exhibited by the duke of Hereford 
againft the duke of Norfolk, for having fpoken 
fediiious words againft his inajefty,,in a private 
converfation ; for want cf fu3icient proof to fup- 
port the accufation , it was decreed by the lords 
in parliament , that the difpute fliould be decided 
by fingle combat, .according to the laws of chivalry, 
Ail! in fafhion. The time and the place were ap- 
pointed .for the determining this aflair> and the 
coin}>atants met accordingly. It may not be ainifs 
to defcribe the ceremonies upon that occa£on» * 

Hereford the challeitger ^ fir A appeared , on si 
white courter , gaily caparifoned, armed at all 
points , with his drawn fword in his hand. When 
he approached the liils,, the m<frefchal demanded , 
who he was? To which he anfwered, » I am Henry 
w of Lancafter, duke of Hereford , come. hither , 
" according to my di;ty , againft Thomas Mow- 
» bray, duke of Norfolk , a falfe traitor to God , 
V the. king , the realm , and me «. Then , takirg 
the oath that his quarrel was juft and true, h&de- 
fired to enter the lifts ; which being granted , l>e 
fheathed his fword , pulled down his beaver ^ cro/Ted 
liimfel^ on the forehead , feized his lance , pailcd 
the barrier , alighted and fat down in a chair o( 
green velvet , placed at one end of the. lifts. He 
had fcarce taken his feat when the king came 
into the fields whh great pomp ,. attended by the 
peeri , the. count of St. Pol , who came from France 
G 3 


M purpofe to fee tlits famous trial ; and teft An 

Imi men at arm) to prevent tumiihrand cffilBrb 

ance. His AiajefljT , oetiig feated in fcis dnir ci 

'ftate , the king at arms prochimed « thsit none h\ 

filth as ^irere appotmedto marfllal die field, ftoc' 

>|lrefiim« to tonch the lifli , upon fMun w <feat^ 

'Then another herald proclaimed srt6ttd\ « BehoL 

91 here Henry of Lancafter , dt/ke of Hereford , 

')» who has entered the lifts, to perform his lievor 

'•» againft Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfeft. 

">» on pain of hetng counted felfe and reci^eaot c 

The duke of Norfolk immedhtehr ^appeared Id 

arms , moanted upon a barbed liorfe , with a coa: 

^farms of crtmfon velvet, embroidered with liors 

of filvef and mulburry-trecs ; and ; having taken te 

• oath before the conftable and marefchal , eotereJ 

the ^ fields exclaiming aloud, n God defond ih: 

91 r'ttht f cc -Alighting from Ids horfe, he placed 

himlelf in a chair of crimfbn velvet.^ oppoute to 

his antagonift , at the other end of the Ints*^ Aen 

'the marefchal , having meafured their lances , A- 

livered one to tlie challenger ,' and fent a kni^ 

with the other to the duke of Norfolk; and pro- 

ehmari6n was made that they fhould prepare fo 

the combat. They imme<fiately Counted thdr 

horfes, then clofcd their beavers , fixed their lances 

on the refts ; and , the trumpets founding a charge, 

riie duke of Hereford began his career with great 

' violence , but, before he could join his antagonift) 

the king threw down his warder, and the'leralds 

interpofcd. Richard ordered their lancfts* to be 

taken away , and banifhed the duke of Hereford 

for ten years ,' and the duke of Norfolk for life. 

Nothing could be a ftronger proof of that iinac* 

c^ountable error which ever attended this king's 

defigns , than this behaviour : the ooc was CW' 

imoci to'^f vithoiH bMg chargMl with iiqr 
offiencc , and the other without beisg conviAed of 
any crioie. The whole hing4oin was difplcafed 
at the difdppoietmem; and this deteroiioaiioo 9 ta 
thele ferocious times , even feemed to at^ne oow* 
ardice in the king. The duke of Norfolk wae 
overwbefaned with grief and defpondence at the 
judgment awarded agatoft hint : he retired to Vop- 
nice , where , in a little time , he died of forrow 
iQid ehapin. Heiei^d* 00 the eontrary , bore his 
iate with great refignation , and behaved with fueh 
Tcfyc&fyl fubmiffioQ, when he went to take his 
leavfs » that the Mug remitted four years of his 
exile. Up^ this he withdrew to Parb». where he 
met wi(h a fevourabie reception from the French 
king. snd» in all probabilinr, would have married 
the only daughter of the duke ht Berry ^ had not 
the match been interrupted by the interpofiiion of 
Richard » who fenc the earl of Stdisbniy, as his 
amMfkioff to repreiem Hereford as a»peiibn who 
ha4 been ftoilty of treafonable praAiocSt and tp 
9ff\m the f rench court , diat he would never he 
pernuited %p return, to his own coontry.. The 

Cinces of the blood, olamied at this declaration., 
oke off the match abruptly; and, when Here- 
ford expoAulated with them on the fobjeft, made 
hinv accpiainted with their reafons for retrafiing 
^e aflent they had already given to his propofi£ 
Such complicated iniuries could not fail to aggra- 
vate th^ refemmeDt of the duke againft Richardl, 
which, be had hitherto conce^ded ; and thiefe , pro* 
bahLy 9 6ffi corned his thoughts upon acquiring 
the crown of Euglsnd; No man could be better 
qualified for a pro)efi of this nature than the duke 
of Her^^for^ J he was oool, cautious, difcernin^, 
and refolute ', he had diftinguiihed himfelf by his 

G 4 


coarage, both at home and abroad : be was 
idol of the foldiery , and the fevourire of the peop'c 
he was immcofely rich , and , by blood or alliiD", 
/conntdcd with all the 'nobkiHeii in England. Th: 
*greatefl part of the kingdom not only murmured 
out loud y exclaimed againft the fentence of banifs- 
•ment which had been denounced againft bin-, 
and ardently wiflied fpr an opportunity of doi« 
him jufltce. 

It was not long before they were gratified in tb 
panicular. His father , ihe duljie of tantafter , <iy 
'ing in February , the baniihed duke of Herefor- 
:ot)ght to have' fucceeded to his titles anH e/lace, bj 
♦Tirciie of his hereditary right , as w6ll as of ths 
'letters patent which he had obtained ^ even a^'' 

his fentence , at Coventry ; but Richard ^ notwith- 
'ftanding his former grants , allured by the greatnc^ 
.•of ihe prize, by a fentence no lefs nnjuft than an- 
'Yicious , feized the decCafed-duke's efFe^s and eftacd 
<ahd decreed that the fon's banlfhindnr fhould be p^^ 
<pe<uaL The la^> and liberties of the peapre ^erc 
•jrfbw in a nfioft ddpborhble "ftatie :' there was fcafc« 
ra man in the kingdom • !able , though aU ^urerfc^ffl* 
. ing'i to oppofe the arbitrary power ufurped by t^* 
•king. Finding^^ himfelf above all reflraint , he gf^ 
♦himfelf up to a foft and effeminate life , regardlefs 

of the good of the public. His miniflers , not to 
.be behind'their monarch, gave little attention to 
-bufinefs, but fawrwithoot- any concern ; the Enj- 
,lifh. nation! fall into'thelutmott cbpfeinpts\ la thts 

fituation the people naturally turned their eyes upon 
<«he banifhed duke ^.as' theoiiiy pttfMfrom whoiu 
ithey' could cxpe£i redrtefs :* he was ftiitiblated by 
•private injuries, and had alliance and intereft to 

give weight to hfe meafures. The malecontents 

IN A*SERIES OF letters; r53 

nly -waited for the abfence of the king , to put 
lefemeafurei into execution. ^ . 

Por this an occafion foon offered. The* earl of 
-iarche , ptefumprive heir of the crown, haviiig" 
»een appointed the king's lieutenant in Ireland , 
vas flaln , in a fkirmifli , by the native Irifh ; and 
l.ichard was fo incenfe^d at this, that, with a na- 
nerous army , he went over to revenge his death in 
3erfon, The duke of Lancafter (for this was iKe 
Itle yg^hich the duk« of Hereford afTumed after his 
father's death ) being informed of Richard's depar- 
ture from England , with ihrje fmalL veffels , landed 
at Rsiiirenfpur, in YfiykfliireTat firft onlypretcndiog 
that his*fole aim was to obtain juftice. The earl of 
Northumberland , who had long been' a malecon- 
tent ^ and Henry Percy, His fon , lurilamed Hotfpur , , 
immediately joined him with fome troops : after this 
junftion, the concourfe of people coming to lift 
imder his banner was fo great , that , in a few days , 
his army was threefcore thoufand ftrong : fo eager - 
were the nobles and people to put themlelves under 
the protedion of a prince who allured them wiA 
the profpeA of freedom. • 

\7hilft thefe things were^tranfafting in England; 
Richard was in Ireland in perfea fecurity : the 
contrary ^inds, which condnued to blow^ above - 
three weeks , hindered his receiving anv news 4>{ 
the rebellion in his native dominions; but, whea 
he heard of it , he immediately itnprifoned the 
duke of tancafter^s brothers , iwhom he had taken 
over. with him, and refplved to go immcdiate)y 
into England , to fight the enemy « t yei^, ever 
. wav^ine in. his xef^ilutions^, he was perfuaded *ta 
flay fome time longer , tilf he codd prepare ftip^ 
: to'^^tianlpbhf aH His forces at oiice^JlfJ^^^^ 
mBpt^tJd ito ruin ; W* &^^^ g England h^o. 


affinnbled aa amy of ferty thcufmi mte, vi 
upon finding die luitc dUi net retwa ^io heai ikt 
•t the^tme appointed » difperfecl* SkfaaMy hofi 
erer, landed in Engkind, amd ioon peroeifedte 
unhappy fitnation : he fiitr hmiclf in the wM ct 
wm enrae^ people » none of whom he ceaU teiy 
on ; forfaken by thofe who , tn the fan -ihine « 
f ower f contritHited to Chi Ms foiiies. Thns , w. 
knowing whom to tnift « or where to turn » he (zt 
no other hopes of fafety » hiit to throw i^nicVft 
the genercfiiy of his enemy : he ilierefere ientbiB 
word 9 that he was ready tia iiihmit tt> whaterv 
terms he thoti|^ proper to OBefcrHie , and A» Ik 
earneftiy deftred a confreflce. For diB purpo*: 
the duke of Lancafter appointed a cariBe wolff 
about ten miles of Chefler, where he dune', net'> 
day , whh his whole army. Richard , who the df 
.before had been brought faitfaer alooe , deinyin; 
hts rtvri's approach worn the %;iUs , tpeitt fit>^ 
to receive mm 4 whHe the duke , after ibn^ 
.ceremony , entered the dbftle in complete anao^f 
•<only his head was hare in oompliment to thefiBo 
king. The king, approachiK, reoeiv«d hnn ^ 
the ffliutation ot, Cou/ht vf hMcafter. you m v^^' 
C0m i at Irhidi the duke^ bowing thiwe wits 10 
the ground, replied in iditfe terms r> My hrd ^^ 
4ang , I am amt {cromr ihiM yaa vppoitatd^ iwjn^t 
your peapk fay j yarn havtfcrvne^iimitiimnty fearsp- 
. 4^ern€d with rigour and iamfcrr^n , fo ^hm 'iky *^ 
^&y lU fatisfied ^mh yvAr amduA^ ha ^ fi^ /!hp 
^•Cod, IwUl hdp yctt to ^ovtrn^ikem ieiierfor iheimi 
'fo xome. To thas declaration , >d)e long rflade^' 
/iOthe^ anfwer , hut, F^ir mufii^ifimst kipta^yatt 
« pleafis ms likewife, 

* The king w«s fiaon taught tb leelthie^avietd^<l 
fituasiofn : he waa^^ trhiiliphiiMly^ ihaanglmiV 

Iff A5Ml*SQrttTTtRJL iw 
J ^miift m H>4»iif ^M^uWEc of {tcopte^ v^o 
cuf^ btm« ai|4 e^oUed ^ ilukei^ Lone Uvv tte 
good AAe of Laoca^ , our deliTier«rT wm d» 
g«imal <;ry • tHit « foir th^ kiiig« to uic the «aif> 
|»b9^ iffprds of tl^ fOH » N»9t ^tM G^dU^fi hmu 
After ^h rcpeatiBd i«idigpiaof » Jic was coofintd 
^dpfe prifooor in the Tpvert fbcrt « jf |H>ffible, to 
wdcreo AiU a gnto^r vjM^ctjr of fludj^ intoUam 

«ad flagcapc cciHO^pu yna^j^y Ridiard-, thm 
|mhi^^» b^99 to lofe hU fpifUs/rkiilii$|)owcr; 
aor wa$ dioro aw. great ibai^ of policy required no 
iodo^ l»a to vefign Ut erown* Upon thia refig^ 
nation tbe dufce of I-^^siftcr founded kh flr<mgeA 
dakn^ hitf , iviHii^ .to 6>rti& bii preieofioaf widb 
every wpearaace pf luftice , the^^pwrfianieat was foM 
indueed to povfym his c\muh Th» Wmg «ra# fe^ 
lonnly denofed, and tWdid^e of inncidter ekfied 
^Us ^d, by tl^etttVeiof Henry IV* Tlmshegaii 
the copi^ l^nr oen the ho^i^ of Yeri^ and La»> 
fafi«r»w|ki4>f^fi^^y^fti9f&ert ^ -> ,,^^ 
debited d^ |ungdo« with Uood ; ^'^' '3^9* 
yet which co^trihu^, in th|Bend» IttgpiVeAm^ 
and iMHiiiftanfiy to the fouftiiaiinn 

rV viftfitovs loraialitks ioc often «fed % 
wmces onkr to ooyor impottAioe or .ImpoAofO. 
iienry Ae romtfa, loMiwuig die io|nftice of his 
oitk CO the crown » was at laft detsemined to giise bia 
^ovoontioo 4dl poffible fiileaiinij^. A peculiar oH waa 
iiibdnpon this occafion ; be amAidgi^at devotion ; 
and:^e9!^^ afiinn dhewed wkh i^m nneb httiniUqir 

156 AUtiUtblLV&PEH^pAifti^ 

NotwitMhitdiog, th^TtMity of%i94MeV'«^ 
ever paifM ht took to itKriire if , mis cdntrovenrf 
by fome y and a xonfpiracy was feon fermcd tf 
replace Richard on the threne. This was fifoje^ 
by ieverai noblemec, aad the particulars of the 
icheme were conunkted to writing , each being p 
vided. with a copy « iighed by- his •co4f|derat&<. 
Among other conlpiratorsithediike of Aimerlcvas 
4Kie ; and he had tia^n one of M coiifiihAtion , ^Het 
it> was refoWeds that the kki^ihiiuki bj^affitffi^ 
^ Oxford, at a .tournament; biit, when that op- 
potttmity offered ,he was mifling ;imdng the noic 
«er. It happened « at that time, hie wasvifitio; 
4iis father , the duke of York , and , ^ttii»g at din; 
ner, let fall a pap^r from hb bofom^ vidichj^ 
hthtr took up and examinedi The dbkb,>iB<liR; 
the eoDtencs to be a conjuration agtfnftU'h^Dungt 
li£p,-flew with the utmofi expedtti^ toM^lndfori 
to infoi*m«his mefe'fty of the«pk3^'f Ih^ '(o^^i'^^ 
ing his fathes's irttehnoo i-went by* a (horter waf , 
and obtained his pardon before his father*s arrivali 
^bo , foott after coming , produced the paper viii> 
the confpirators names. Henrys ^ farmed at thif 
intelligence , ufed the mofl vigorous efforts^todifp^ 
the riling fiorm. 

The confpiraiDis ha4,<b5t'ti|fs/ti9e, drefled up 
•ne of Richard's fervants, named Mmxd]in,^^ 
royal robes , giving out , that he was the depo(^ 
Idng ,'* who , ' Iiavtag ' efc^pefll?lfi^Mf yiifbn- , ^^ 
come to 'implooe the affiftance of hts 4^;e6b. Fi? 
as a paffion for which the &iglifh have, ever hcc& 
remarkable; nEiaiefly in difiim was fofficient f^ 
excite all their -loyalty and eompaffion ^ and tber 
ifocked ins great ht^mbir^ 70Qiid<«the'. co^irin; 
leadefSi Their sif«i|r i&ltf >?b#ame )€6«fietefable>» 
and encamped near Cirenctfl^v fvMeMiacftkvie^ 

ftfcik.:sp:cbeir head qa^rters in that dty : but diey 
werefo carelefs , or ^nn^r , that thcjr 
negl^Sed to place proper guards at the gates ati4 
the avenues of the place. This the mayor fooa 
€>bferved , and , aflemDiing four Handred men in tbt 
night , he fecnred. the gates, fo as to eYclnde the 
troops that were encamped tHthout tht * walls \ 
and then attlurked tfad ehieft- within* The duke of 
Surry and >earl of Salisbury , two of the principj^. 
con^ptravirfiy were taken, after an obftinate de** 
fence, and beheatded on thefpot^ by the mayor's 
order ; while the duke of Exeter , and earl of 
Gbucefler , two more of the party , efcaped over 
the tops of chehonfes imto the camp , with a vie^ 
to ilorm the town at the head x>f their forces : hue 
tbey foiinct die 'tents and baggage abandoned I^ 
the ibldi^rsv who ^ : hearing the nolle and tumuk 
widiiit ^ had JooncludM:that:a' party of the king^ 
army hid:- privately ^entered , 'and , from ' this per^- 
fua&>n, &d with the utmoft precif5itation. The 
two lords, ^rceiving it out of their power to 
execute i their defign , parted , the better* to^make 
their efcape-^ byt, they had die misfortune to be 
taken ^ and ,^ Shortly after , lofl their heads upon th% 
fcaffidd; .••. ' . . • ^. •" \ .'.'. « . 

If we compart .this times , t^h^cK^I now attempt 
to ^be yoii anridea^of , with Aofo of king John ^' 
ot «hofe 43iii Ifome^neigfiSu before him* , we ifaail f nd a 
gneat change, with refptfdrto'tke infurgent ba^ 
rons; In the-'former- period they made fi'eqitent 
infurredions., were often: takea in. open rdKlHon^ 
hot asr fieqisenlsy t>ai9doiied; in dta fmrlod now 1« 
vie#,- they were feldvii^. taken, withonti TufTenng 
the i]tanoft^a%olir oCtheriawi THisi'plainly'fhevts 
hoJr. tniMib ti^ i^omtnoMmiinmnrmm fadhtm 
the conrfe oi a ooyple of centuries* This tevoltti 

(vrbc i 


«MMi of power is, n ow r iilifllu iJutg» nmofakmif^ 
rkmB : as the poqrfc ^qgsn to ihare ^ihe gpvcif 
flMnt with the aofaks » dbe kiM was fixed opoa ait 
dnf d petfim » to iecu^ tke huanoe ; aori bocfa vor 
ooowfued to mafae kia fceat t ftov a feakmiy <' 
Oich odiflr« ^oMomai were diereftre now execuf 
od, not to pet^ ntbiitntm , bor afie0dingifebje&. 
nnd none fait kuagi-were coofidcrod of teespt fnn 
. foud laws. . 

In lU pnol>sMUty » the ill fueoeft of aUs caw* 
haAoDed Aicha«d% end. One of Aoft i 
tfaaa are found in erery oourt, ttady tf 
oomntt the moft horrid crtflMs for reward, atf 
down to ahephice of thia oolertiwaie monardi'i 
HMfinemeet , and « wiah ewht wiher ToUotret)* 
wfhed tnao hit aps^rtflaeBt. The fciflg « aooclad>« 
aheir defign waa^to take away his Ttfe*^ aafeM 
ep ietl it as dearly as he cbidd : he wceAed a. aoll4 
£tisi one of the muitderers , and 4bon'«liid bt 
mf ithe .numlfer deiad at his feet, hut he. was « 
length overfiowcfcd , and ArodL dcaddry the Uov^ 
n bntfAe^ac. Thus died the .unfortHnate RiclvHi 
ao' tlie tbirtTHhird year of his ag^ , ifthtie compa&o 
Ibr his fiitterirlgs and death inde more oonverts a 
his £|rnily and caufe , than ever his moft mBntoif 
«ys e&ions dirihg Ufe had igahfced him* 
'. The death of Rachard was; wry ftaionaUe tf 
his fitecdTor. The hhig of Fiaaee : had ajhsii^ 
awlfed^ vaft armameot , in onbr to tofflsce i^ 
firao&d monaroh; aiid ^o mnch was Henry tc^ 
jnbed Jtt>his intentaMS, that he ordei^ the wM 
wf Aiwpdd «e ahtt oren ihoecriefiaftica of^ P^ 
^mae. The paepara^tonsr. oif France miglit hx» 
oaotrybnted <io rha&en die HM of SichM ; ^ 
ito < MeM aio <a w Bail|M a tiwa Jiilw -Fro^^ oeM, i^ 


Jt fhougbts of the invafioa wen laid afide , « tmce 
fi^r e^bt^and- twenty yean was conchided betweea 
the imo CfowDf , and it was agreed dut queeft 
ITabel , wiiQ^ had been mamed to Rkhard , but 
whofe marriage had never heea ODnftMiinatcd » 
ibeidd retura to France her native oountiy. 

A kingdom , like En^bnd , at that dme dfvided 
iaitfdf, aodfiirroiuideabyeneiai(QSoitefvery4ide» 
could not exped a peace of any continnance t ae* 
cordingly the Scots began to gnrt new difinrib- 
ancet; and.^ when Ac armiea of Endand weio 
marched northward, in order $a flippole ibeir is* 
vafiona » the WeUh ^ofe to vindicate th^ aneieor 
liberties. Owen dendoor , a «anie aaumg tbo^ 
peofde of that couotry jefpeSed even to.thi$ dm » 
Jed them on » and gained teverat vi^riea ; but hia 
fiicceffes we«e only oalculated to procuve a tenipo<» 
rary «riuiiiph , and 4io lading ai^amage. Whatevor 
bonom dieEngUih lofton meiCdeof wales« thw 
gained on that of Scotland. The hifiories of thole 
aia»es are fiUed -with the petty vifiories and^k^^ts 
OB eldier iide;.bttt» asahey neither (ervodto dter 
Bor tmnsfer fower , 4hey icarce deferve aflaee ill 
the chronicle of a hingaoai» 

While Uaoty was employed ia thofe nnavwliiir 
campaigns « a -auNre migevous ftom albeaienia 
hiei 4fom his own fiib^oos. Ue daimed the pni- 
ibnoss 4hat were taken from 4he SfK>ts hy >the earl 
<^'North»niher]aad» for hUnfelf* while the «ni» 
Mdhed with 'viAary , and coofiderteg hinUelf » 
die r^pportiiig coluimi'of Ueonr's thf^oncv^ j«fin»tiMl 
4ii5 .demand. A fch^me waa bid^ in which the 
.Scots and Welib were to combine ^heiv foreas;» 
and ?affift ^Korthnmherhnd in; dklraiin( MnrtinMr^ 
4a:«the tr^ heir itoahe E^gU^^tbr^e* Aa-fsM^^ 
ther^se^ as Aft Mnfedemtes weif jfciWMed, t^ 

Percies of Northumberland fuddenly appeared i 
arms in the Nbrth;' but the earl himleif fi- 1 
ill J his brother and fon inarched with his troop> ! 
join the Wclfh, whp were adranc^d as far J 
Shropihire. Upon the jun^ion of thefe two :• 
mies , they publiflied a manifefto , which compli > 
cd of many real grievances « and aggravated oth;'^- 
Henry, who had received no intolUgence oftfci" 
defigns , was extremely furprifed at the news 
this rebellion; but, fortunately, having an arr 
in readtnefs, he marched towards Shrewsbury" 
meet the rebels , who were there encamped, tf 
coming up to them , propofals for a mediaii* 

I were offered , and fuch favourable terms promifc:! 
that it was thought it would end in a reconci- 
tion ; but diftrdl on both fides foon broke oiFti^ 
treaty , and the battle foon began. In this Herr. 
obtainied a compleie viftory ; and Hotfpur, the er. 
of Northumberland's fon , fo renowned for fomer 
fuccefles , was ilain. Mean time the earl of ^o^ 
thumberland , being recovered , was advancing vii: 
a body of troops to reinforce the army of the wa.? 
contents , and take upon him the cominand ; Iwt . 
hearing by the way of his fon's and brother's mi/ 
fortune, he difmiffed his troops, not daring » 

« keep the field with fo few forces before a vido- 
rious army. The king , to terminate this troubl^ 
ibme affair as foon as poffible , promifed the carl aft 
abfolute pardon , in cafe he cAeyed without deby. 
menacine him with mter ruin , fhould he refiifc A' 

'profferecTftvour. The earl, finding himfclfwiA- 
"Out refource, chofe rather to throw himfelf iipoo 
the king's mercy , than lead a precarious and indi* 
gent lift ia exile ; he dierefore repaired to Yofk; 
and threw hiipfelf at the kln^s feet, who punSii- 
idly perfdhned kb promtfe. Probably, he utougH 


the cnminal was already ^ufficienriy puniihed in th^ 
death or his Ton and brother* : * * 'I 

The eiLtindton of one rebcUiop only feemed to 
give rife to .new. The archbifhop of York , bein^ 
diiTat^gfied , and eager to revenge the king's dearer , 
by whom he was promoted , entered into a confe* 
deracy , with fome other lords , to dethrone Henry. 
Northumberland , ' though pr.rdoned , was agaiii 
among the number :, they were , however , once 
more prematurely difcOvered ^ and mod ofthe con- 
fpirators died by the hands of the executioner ; but 
Northumberland fhaJd thetgood fornine to efcape 
into Scoijand. • '.^i/ t « *• • • 

While, tjiclkingdom was. thus toriSi by faftion , 
and threatened with foreign invafions , a ftill more 
terrible calamity threatened 'it from the clergy. 
Since WlcklifFe puHiflied his opinions ,' about the 
end of the reigtt of: Edward III, his dod^rine w^ 
fo Spread; thit the: clcpgy! were in continual appre- 
heoiionS/of tt^. prevailing. Henry .w«as now td 
catch at every a^ftance 4- in : order >toi ftrgnstheii 
his ufurped power' : among dtkers, that of thfc 
clergy was not ^to b^ dfefpifed ; (he therefore earheft- 
ly recommended to his* parliament thd care of the 
church's confer ration. 'How relu6^ant fdevcr the 
houfe of commons might be to perfecme a {t& 
whofe only crime was /error , the credit of thb 
court, and the cabals of the. clergy ^ obtained, ^ 
length * an a<3: for the burning obftlnate l^eiietici. 
Thi^ flatpte war lio f<>onerip4Sed,? than Wiiltaifi 
Sawfre, a fe>lk)wer <Jf Wi^kliffe, was burned altveV 
by virtue of tbe. king's wtir» delivered to the mayor 
of London. This was the firft man in Englahd 
who, fuffcred death for the /ake of religion ; 
but f the fires once kindled , the clergy would not 

^$ AN mrrOKT OP EftGLAND. 

fufr^r,A<i9 iboD m b« tittifigiriflied ? dieyitaA 
perceived , that a power of bitrnii^ t lioir . ciksm 
moiiUi revive iba| tenporal power which dieypft 
iefled about three centuries before : ia this t&ef 
were nor oiiftakcoi they agiio, hf-Actt ineaa, 
renewed their priftine authority , bat with this tf 
fercnc^ » that ^ » in the times of the Sazoo ^ 
farchv , their power was founded in-the love cf tir 
people^ in the prefeot cafe» it had its origin 
avholly to their fears* - 

. By thefe «ieans Henry fnrmoqmed all his o(» 
hies , aqd the kingdom enjoyed trattquiUity. Heiid 
nothing to ftar from France, diftraded by itS0« 
snteAine divifions ; the WelAi fued for peace; lit: 
veeent of Scotbnd dread^ a rupture with Englaod 
)elt Henry ihould fend home the hing ^^Scothnrf 
whom he bad made his prtfoner » and uius tenmfifi 
the r^ent*s delegated power : add to this, ^ 
jnalecootents in Endand were too inoon6denbfc» 
•ttempt any thing forther agaioft the govemsa^' 
During, this calm , the king endeavoured to efice 
§ht trnpreflioiis of ieverity , which lips condoft b| 
made upon the people , by xflGefting a popuhriiy aa< 
regard for the welfare ot the fubjed ; a never lai^ 
ins method to conciliate the aifEDftion of the &f 
H/n tsi livour of their fovere^. While he tbtf 
laboured 9 not without fuccefs, to retrieve die repu* 
.«ition.he had loft « hisfon, the orince of WaieS) 
jkcmc^ bent upon incurring. pi^lic aveffion:b( 
^ve a loofe to ail kinds of debauchery , and ^ti 
Jisrrounded by a crew of profl)^te wretches, whd 
jnade a prafiice of committing 'tne moft ilkgal aft 
=of violence. The father was extremely nwrtlfied 
jat this, degeneracy in his eldeft fon , who had ai- 
j-eady exhibited rc^>eated prodfii of his valour, cofl* 

duA f and generofity ; viftues which be npw ieeined 

llr A SSR1SS or LETTEftl i«, 

to reaoutic€ ; %hUe the Iplenetic and gloomy 
trefl^Hed at the profptft of hts fucceedins to the 
throne. Nevenhelefs, in the midft of niefe ex* 
tefks^ ^ noblenefs of hiti heart feemed , at ii|<« 
terva^ , to eiiiei« from the ^Ipli in which it was 

eaged. Olie ox his diffolnte companions , having 
n brought to trial for fome mifdemeanor , was 
condeiiinea , notwithAandifig ail the intereA he could 
make in his £iVottr ; and he was fo exafpersted tc 
the idue of the trial, that h^flruch the judge upoa 
the bench* This magiftrate , whofe name was 
Sir ll^tttiom Gafcoijtne » beb«Ted with the dignity 
that became his once; he forthwith ordered the 
prince to beeommitted to prifon; M^hen this tran(* 
adion was reported to the king , who was an et- 
cellent fudgis of mankiiid « he coutd not help ex* 
claiaiing , in a traafport of joy , Happy is the king 
who has a magiArate endowed wiiii courage to 
execute die laws upon iiich an offender ; flill more 
hapmr in having » ibn irilUng to fttbAilt to fuA 

This, In fid, is one of the firfl great inftances 
we read in the En^lifli hiilory , of a magiArate doing 
loAice in oppofition t^ power. The government 
was now much changed from what it was in the 
times even of Richard , when indges were bof 
the mtniAers of royal caprice. 

Kenry did not long out-live Ais tranfafiion. Per- 
ceiving his end approach , he difpofed his inind to 
the duties of devotion , «id took the crofs , fMy 
determined to conftcratethe remaining part of his 
life in ^Hting the caufe of die pilgrims to Jerufa* 
lem , which wasat that time cotiAdered as the caufe 
of heaven.' This is not the firft inAance we Jiave 
feen of princes endeavouring to Arike up a baiv- 
gaia with Pvovideace^ and.prom^ng to pei%>rm 

theffl. Tht& reiga was begun in acfempdoK t^ 

extirpate the berefy of Wickliffe. Joho Okkafiki 
baron of Cobham , waft the inoft ceofidetaUe pro* 
tpdor of this fe&; he was the king's daoicftki 
and ftood highly in ht$ fiivour* The archbiflnf 
of Canterbury , therefore « undertook to prejudice 
him in the royal opinion ,.and endeavoared to per 
fuade the youn^ monarch that fifc nod ogpt 
were the only inftruments capable of &Ting » 
heretic from future damnation ; and that Oii- 
caftle*s opinions deferved the fevereft punifhmeos 
of die law. The kine was , at length, perfiiadd 
to talk with Oldcafile in private, and, 6nM 
him immovable, gave him up to the fury of 
his enemies. Per&cutioo ever produces ^hofe cranes 
which it endeavours to atH>liiK. Oldcaftle vas 
Condemned , but , efcaping , w^s obliged to becoflie, 
in fad , that guiltv perfon which thev had at 6A 
feilfely repreientea hiin : he headed a body d 
malecontents , and refufed to be amenable to the 
royal power* This unhappy onn ^ after a J^mf 
of^diftreffe*, at length fell inap ttie power, of hiS 
^nemi^s'i and never did the cruelty of man invent j 
or the crimes of the delinquent diaw dow«, more 
torments than he was made to enduse : he ms 
huns up with a chain by the middle^ and by aik>« 
fire burned , or rather roafted alive. 

Such /pedactes as thefe .muft naturally produce 
a difgufi in the people both to the govemmeni 
and to the clergy ; but i toturn Aelr minds fi^m thefe 
hideous fpedaqles , Henry was refolved to takfl 
advantage of the troubles in which FratKe was, 
afthat timje* involved. Qiarles, who was then 
king of France, was (uhk& to frequent fits of lu* 
nacy , which totally diiquaUfied him ^om reign* 
log I in thefe imervals die aialHtioq^ of his ymk 

sffd courtiers Imd room for exertion , and thty gtci^ 
Mwerfel from ^the weaknefs of their king. Ifa* 
MisL , of Bstyafia , his queen , was at the head of 
one faftiod*; the duke of Burgundy of another ; 
the flidion of the children of the duke of Orliani 
was oonfiderable; that only whi<;h held to thd 
king wds feeble. Eakdi of thefe , as thty iiajH 
peued to prei^tl » branded their captives with m6 
names of traf i<>f9 , and the gibbets were at^ once 
hoag with' eke bodies of the accafed and the ac^ 
eufers. . 

This Was thought a mo(t fiivourable opportnni^ 
tf to refcue , from France » thofe grants that had 
formerly been ^ven up bjr treaty : Henry, there^ 
iore , invaded mat kingdom with an irmy of fifty 
thou&ftd men« He took Harilear , and advanced 
iato < country already rendered defolate by faftions, 
and which he iiow totally laid ^afte by a foreigh in- 
vafion : but, tho* the enemy made but a feeble re- 
fiftance , yet the ctinfiate feemed to fight for them ; a 
conta^ous dyfenfry carried off three parts 6f Hen- 
rf$ fcMiers* Iti uich a fittiation he had recourse 
to ati estpedient irommon endugh i#the barbarous 
times 1 ;hii deferibing ; he challenged the dauphiti 
to fif^ combat, -ottering to ftake hii pretenfions 
oa the event. This challenge , as might naturally 
be expefi^d , was re/efted ; and the French , though 
difagreeiiig internally, now feemed united at the 
appearance of fdreign danger. 

Hetiiy fdon began to repent of hfs rafli Jnroad 
into a country, where difeafe'^ and a powerful ar- 
ray , tvtty moment threatened deftrudion ; and , 
thercftwrt , thought 6( retiring to Calais. .In this 
retreat « Whi<*h was at once both painful and dan- 
geroos , Henry took every tfiethod io infplre his 
troops ^riih oonrage aail perfeverance , atfd flieirdd 

them , in himfelf » an example of patience and 
fignation« In the mean time the French ara:< 
was drawn up to obdrud his paflage , nor was thr; 
any poilibtUcy of his paffing them without a k 
tie » yet even that could promife but fmall hou 
of vidory : his army was wafted with difejife , th^ 
ipirtts worn down with fatigue , deftitute of prori- 
(iops , and but nine thoufand in number ^ to tuft: 
the /bock of an enemy ammounting to an huopi^ 
;md fifty thoufand. 1 his difparity , as it raiu 
the courage of the French , fo it impreflc^i t < 
JEnglifli with terror. So confident were the f rcri 
leaders of fuccefs , that they began to treat for tli: 
ranfom of tlieir.prifoncrs. On the X5ih of O^tolw. 
.2415 )! tlie two armies drew up in battle array 
early in the morning , near tlie caftle of Azincooi 
Anarrow ground , nanked on one .fide by a woo:. 
on the other by a rivulet, was. to be the fcene. 
adion. The conftablc of France commanded ut 
French, and Henry with Edward duke of York, 
the Englifli. Both armies « for fome time k::: 
.filenily gazing at each otl^er, as if afraid to bcgic 
which Henry perceiving , with a chearful count; 
jiance, cried out. My triends, fince they wilU-^ 
begin , let us fet them the example ; come on , si:^ 
.the Bleffed Trinity be our proreaion ! And nowi3> 
whole army fet forward with a iliout. The Fren. 
Hill continued to wait their approach with intrep 
dity , when the Engliih archers let fly a fhowero; 
arrows, three fiS^t long» .\^hich did gfeat execu- 
tion. The French cavaliy ii,dvancing* to r,epel thd^' 
two huxidred bowmen, whf^.lay till tbea concealed. 
!rifing' on a /iiclden, let <}y among them. Tix 
Engluli , feeing their coi^fufiop , now thi:ew by ihei: 
arrows , and fell upon them ifword in-hand : thoud 
4iofeebledby difeaie^yet they irecompenfed the detd 
.■■■■-■','*. ^ fcj 


by valour. The French at firft rcpulfcd the af- 
iaiiants ; but they , refolving to conquer or die , 
again hurft in upon the enemy , with fuch impe* 
tuofity that they gave way : in the mean time , a 
body of Engliih horfe , which had been concealed 
in a neighbouring wood, rufliing out, flanked the 
French tn&ntry; and now a &tal diforder began 
to enfue. 

The firft line of the enemy being thus routed , 
the fecond line began to march up to interrupt the 
progrefs of viftory. Henry, therefore , alighting from 
his horfe , prefented himielf to the enemy , with an 
undaunted countenance ; and. at the head of his 
men , fought on foot, encouraging feme, and afHft- 
ing others. Eiehteen French cavaliers , who were 
refolved to kill him or die in the attempt, nifhing 
forth together, advanced , and one of them ftunncd 
him with a blow of his battle-axe ; they then fell 
cpon him in a body , and he was juft going to fink 
onder their blows, when David Gam, a valiant 
Welchman , and two more of the fame country , 
came to his aid : they foon turned the attention 
of the French from the king; but, being over-: 
powered themfelves, they fell dead ar his feet; 
The king had now recovered his fenfes , and , 
more help coming in , the eighteen Frenchmen were 
all ilain ; upon which he knighted the brave 
Welchmen who had bravely fallen in hb de« 
fence. The heat of the battle flill increafine , his 
courge feemed to increafe; and now the tfaickeft 
of the battle was gathered round his perfon : his 
brother being fallen down by his fide , ftunned 
vith the blow of a club , he covered him for a 
while; but receiving another blow himfelf , it 
threw him on his knees : he foon , however, re- 

-Sol. I, H 


covered , and his valour feemedto iofpire hb tfocff 
'with fury ; chey ran headlong upon die eiieaiy»aoi| 
by an unexpeded attack » put them^into iodidifc' 
der chat theur leaders could never after bring diei 
to the charge. The dufce of Alen^n ^ who coa 
manded the fecond line « feeing it By , refialvedlf 
one de(perate (Iroke to retrieve the day , or 6ili 
the attempt : wherefore running up to kiflj 
Henry , and crying aloud that he was the diik«tt 
Alen^on , he difchargcd fuch a blow on his haii 
that it carried off a part of the king's helmett 
Henry not havine being able to ward off the blow, 
foon returned it , oy ftriking the duke to the ground; 
and he was foon lulled by the furroundiqe crowd, 
all the kin^*s efforts to Uve him from their &rf 
bekig inefite^ual. 

The two firft lines being thus difperfed, tk 
third refuted to affiff them > and marched off widi* 
our flighting. The king, therefore^ thinking hun- 
ielf thus fure of vifiory , was. furprifed widi « 
account that his baggaee was plundering by rbe 
enemy : juff (buck with an apjnrehenfion dut tk 
Crench had rallied ^ and being fenfible thar tk 
number of his prifoners was greater than dm d 
Kis army , he raihly ordered aU the prifoners toU 
put to death ; which order was accordingly exe* 
Oited. This feverity tarnifhed the glory which hs 
vi^ry would otherwife have acquirea; but all the 
heroi(m« and all the virtues of that age , are tinfiurel 
with barbarity. 

This viAory , however great it may appwr, va 
rather offentatious than , ufeful : it acquired the 
English glory , but not dominion ; and while it fa* 
ded Henry's intereA more firmly in the hearts d 
his fub]e&« it only ferved to infpire.bim with aiove 
of new conquefts. With this view^ therefore^ k 

returned to Eflgiand , in order to procure new flores 
of men and money. ^ ' 

The war between the fWo kingdoms , from this 
period , feemed to be cafi ied on rather by negocia* 
dons, treaCons, plots, and fomented. jealoufie!^, 
than by tbe force of arms. France was but as one 
Yaft theatre of crimes, murders, punishments, and 
devaAbtioii» : the duke of Orleans was aflailinated 
by the duke of Burgundy, and he, in his tuns t 
fell by the treachery of^the dauphin; while the 
fon , defiriig to revenue his father's death , acknow- 
ledge Henry as lawful heir to the crown , and a 
treaty was concluded between Henry and the young 
duke of Burgundy at Troyes , by which he was 
acknowledged heir to the crown of France , after 
the death of Qiarles , who (Ull reigned, though , 
by ins difeafes , rendered totally incapable of bu«- 
finefi. Catharine, the French kings daughter^ 
was given to Henry in marriage ; and it was re- 
folved , that the dauphin fhould be brought to ail 
account for the murder of the late duke of Bur- 
gundy. Things being adjufted in this manner^ 
Henry entered die city of Paris without oppofition , 
2n& Aiere condufied the government at his plea« 
fure ; while the feeble Charles was attended as a 
king indeed, but with fcarce even the liif%rty of a 

The dauphin*, in the mean time f wandered 
about , a ftranger in his own dominions , while 
Henry returned to London , to raife new fubfidies 
and new troops , to fecure his late conquefls. His 
prefetfce , as might be expeded , infpired his fub- 
, )eds with )oy ; hut they , at the fame time , could 
not be much pteafed with a conqueft , which feemed 
likely to transfer the^feat of empire* from among 
them, The parliament | upon various pretences^ 

H % 


tefufed him z fupply «qual to his demands : bof^ 
ever « he again fet fail with a n^vraifed annvyaa 
the dauphia, upoo his appearance, thought & 
again to retire, Henry then entered Paris, ad 
while Charles had but a fmall court , he vas » 
tended with a very magnificent one. On Whidi» 
day they dined together in public , the two kings at 
the two c^ueens with their crowns on their heads; 
Charles , indeed , receiving apparent homage , k 
Henry commanding with abfolute authority. Ma 
this he prepared to fiop the progrefi of the eneonr, 
who had already taken fome towns ; but wfailft k 
flattered himfelf with a fpeedy viftory , he was 3^ 
tacked with a fiftula , which the phyficians rm 
at that time too unfkilful to treat widi judffBat 
He died at the caftie of Vincennes, with the faoe 
intrepidity with which he lived, and was buried tf 
.Wcftminfter - abbey* His reign, during the fhotf 
time he lived, which was but tbirty-four years, w» 
rather fplehdid than ferviceable ; the treafures oi 
liis native country were laviihed upon conqueli 
that to them were unprofitable. His military hm 
acquired him the reputation of every other gooJ 
^quality ; he &vourea the clergy, and they haven- 
turnea the debt to his memory. In general, the good 
or the cjKoneous conduSofaprince,a.ppearsradier 
Sifter hi^'aeath than during his life- time ; s^od the 
fucceffors of imprudent kings are often taxed witi 
errors not their own , as we ihall prefently fe. 
^e died , however, fortunate , by falling in the midfl 
4Df his triumphs, and leaving his fubje£ts with repu' 
tati<>n» Charles , who died two moniths ^fier hint 
iinifl^^ed a. wretched reign , lofig pad in phrenzy,aod 
writh contempt , branded by all France , and leayinj 
(he oigft xniferable fubjeos upon earth. 



' V R triumphs sit ttiis time in France produced 
Tcarce any good efFeds at home : as we grew 
warlike , we became brutal ; and « panting after fo- 
reign polTeffions , we forgot the arts of cultivating 
thofe that lay nearer home. Our language , infteaa 
of improving , was daily becoming more barbarous ; 
Langland and Chaucer, about a century before , 
feemed to have draWn it from obfcurity, and en- 
riched it with new terms and combinations ; but it 
was now relapfed into its former groflnefsL, and no 
poet or hiftorian of note was born in this calami-: 
t6us period. 

Henry VI , fucceflbr to Henry V , was not quite a 
year ola when he came to the throne; ^ jy j ..^- 
and his relations began foon after • • 4 • 
to dispute the government during his minority; 
The duke of Bedford was appointed , by parlia-; 
ment , protedor of England, defender of t)ie church, 
and firft counfellor ot the king; his brother, the 
duke of Gloucefter, was to govern in his abfence, 
while he conducted the French war ; but feveral 
others afpired at this poft as well as he. The fe- 
cond rank in every kingdom , as being the moft 
powerful, is generally the moft envied fituation. 
The firft ftep his enemies took to render the duke of 
Cloucefler odious, was to accufe his wife, the 
diichefs , of witchcraft. She was charged with con- 
verfing with one Sir Roger Bolingbroke, a prieff ,' 
and reputed necromancer , and one Mary Gurde- 
main , who was faid to be a witch : it was aflerted 
that with their affiftance , fhe njade a figure of the 
king in wax; diis,the accufers faid, was placed be« 
fore a gentle fire, and, as the wax difTolved , the 

H 3 


kin^*s ftrength was wafted; and , upon it^ total 
difloliuion, his Ufewas to j>e at ail end. This 
charee BoUngbroke utterly denied ; but the duchefs 
(onfeffed that flae had defired the womto to make 
a philtre to fecure the afiedtons of the duke her 
hufband. Neither their, innocence nor her rank , 
could proted them : ihe was condemned to penance 
tnd perpetual emprifonment , Bolingbroke was 
hanged , and the woman burnt in Smithheld. 

Henry , during thefe conteilb with his minifters. 
Was , at ^r(l , from age , incapable of condu6tin^ 
the reins of government; and, when he became 
adult J he was equally incapable from ignc^rance 
and inibecillity. Whether it was that his governors 
had kept him in ignorance 9 in order to prolong their 
own power, or whether he was naturally weak, 
iiiftory does not clearly determine. The earl of 
Suffolk , one of tbofe who fhared the power at that 
time, thoiigln the beft way of managing the king 
would be (to marry him to a woman who was her- 
self capable iof reigning alone. He had dill another 
motive, wftich was to create a new power to oppofe 
the duke of Gloucefter, who was nis enemy, and 
an ob/lacle in the road to his ambuion : for this pur^ 
pofe , he fixed upon Margaret of An)ou , daughter 
of Ren6 , king of" Sicily , and niece of the king of 
France. Jfbe was a princeis of uncommon reiol» 
£on , and great pienetratioB , but entirely withom 
iEbrtune ; for which it was faid her other good 
^uahties were fufHcient to atone. This n^arch the 
duke of Gloucefter vainly oppoTed ; the rilatch went 
-forward, and the new queen fnewed her refentmenf , 
by proving a formidable enemy , willing and able 
to undo him. 
She £rft began her reign with i^moriiig him 

finom the council board. To palliate this pro^ 
ceeding^ peHbos werefuborned to accufe him of 
cruelqr aad injuilice : to thefe accufartions he 
pleaded his innocence » with fuch force of evi- 
dence , that the conncil , though confifting of his 
enemies ^ were obliged to acquit htm. Still, how 
ever , the queen , bent upon his ruin , ordered him 
to be apprehended , and accufed before the parlia- 
ment , limuacMied for this pnrpofe. As the people 
thought him innocent « it was expefted he would 
come off now as he had before ; but , on the day 
he was to make' his defence , he was found dead in 
bis bed , though without any figns of violence upon 
his body. 

This death rendered the Queen. and the king 
equally odious : the queen eipecially was charged 
with the murder, and the dignity of her ftatlon 
»nly ferved to render her a more confpicuous objeft 
of reproach. But what {till contributed to render 
^e people dikontented with the adminifiration » 
was the indifferent fuccefs of their arms in 
France. Triumphs and concfuefts were ever a 
means of repremng the difcontents of the people ; 
but the prefent government, to their quarrels at 
home ^ added the misfortune of being defeated 

Upon the death of Henry V , the dauphin oF 
France aflerted his claim to the throne of that 
kinedem under the title of Charles VII. Nothing 
could be more deplorable than his fituation upon 
coming to the crown « of which he was only the 
nominal pofieffor. The Engliih were maAers of 
almoft all France. Henry Vi was folemnly in<- 
vefted with regal power , by legates from Paris. 
Jhe duk^ of Bedford, with « numerous army 



in the heart of the kingdom, confirmed his claim; 
and the duke of Burgundy was fteady io the 
Engliili alliance. Wherever Charles attempted to 
face the enemy, he was overthrown; lie could 
fcarcely rely on the friends next his perfon,andbis 
authority was infulced , even by his own fervaots, 
In this muation, nothing but miraculous affiflance, 
or pretended miracles , could fave him. To the h& 
expedient he had recourfe , and it fully anCwered his 
intentions. The French, from a vanquiihed nation, 
are fnddenly going to be vi£torloiis ; and the Eng- 
liih , who had hitherto been deemed invincible , arc 
goine every where to be worfled, and , at length j 
totally driven out of the kingdom. 

A gentleman , on the frontiers of Lorraine, whofe 
name was Baiidricourt , was the perfon wiio M 
refolved to put this happy impofiure into pradice* 
He fixed upon the fervant-maid of an inn for this 
purpofe ,- and flie was inftruSed at once to perform 
the duties of a warrior and a prophetefs : this yn$ 
Joan of Arc , the renowned maid of Ori^ns ; a 
woman of mafculine ftrengih and courage , pr^ 
tending to be but eighteen , but , in reality , .twentv- 
feven years old. She equipped hetielf in toe 
arms and habit of a man , and it was given out 
that fhe was infpired : fhe was brought before the 
king , examined by the dodors of the univerfity , 
and they , either deceived , or willing to affiil the 
impofture , affirmed that her commiffion was fi-om 
heaven. The vulgar, as ready to give credit to 
infpiration as to witchcraft , eafily came into th^ 
impoAure , and acquired new hopes and confidence 
of fuccefs. 

. The.Endifh were, at that time,- befteging the 
city of Orleans » Charleses U& refowce , and were 

upon the point 'of becoming maflers of it : Joan 
undertook to raife the fiege ; and to render herfelf 
the more remarkable, ordered a fword to be brought 
ber £tom the tomb of a knight buried in the church 
of Fierbois. She addrefied thefoldiers as a mefienger 
from heaven , and aflured them , that Providence 
would ftrenethen their arms. She marched at their 
head , and delivered Orleans ; routed the EnelijQi 
wherever they oppofed; prophefied that, the king 
Ihould be crowned at Rheims, and fhe herfeff. 
aifiAed at the folemnity which fhe had foretold : 
fhe was prefent at the coronation , holding in her 
hand the fiandard under which ihe had beeiv fy 
often viftorious. 

This chain of fuccefles , and the dignity which 
bis bte coronation gave the French kine , now. 
entirely turned the icale in his favour j tne Eng- 
liAi loft the kingdom by the fame methods the 
Frendi had loft it before : while Charles united 
his forces and proceeded with difpatch , they were 
miarreling among themfelves ^ and lofine the fea- 
10ns of iuccefs. In the midft of the kmg*s good 
fortune 9 however, Joan of Arc , his brave cham* 
pion > was taken prifoner , as fhe was proceding the 
rear of her men in a retreat. The joy of the Eng- 
iifti upon this occafion is not to be exprefled ; and 
the duke of Bedford , then- general , thought no 
method could be fo proper to reftore their loft 
courage , as to profecute his prifoner for witchcraft** 
It is a difagreeable refledion upon human nature , 
that judges almoft ever determine on the fide of 
authority : fhe was found ^iity by feveral bifhops 
and doaors of the vniverfity of Paris. She wa^ 
at rfirft condemned as a forcerefs and an hereticV 
«|d enjoiined to live , by way of penance , .upon 
bread and ifWiTf dnd to rcm^ in prifon for Im; 


fom^tixne after , under colour of her reIaipftog« 
ilic was publickly burnt for a witch, SuperAitioa 
adds virulence to the natural cruelty of mankifld; 
and this cruel fentence (erved only to infiame the 
hatred between the contending powers « without 
mendiiig the caufe of the Engliih. In vain die 
brave Talbot and his fon ftrove to maintain the 
declining intereft of the Englifli in France : in die 
year 14379 the French king made his triumphaot 
jcntry into Paris, and^ in a fequel of thirteen years 
more the Englifh were entirely l>anifhed horn 
France ; they were only left in poflef&on of CaUis 
«nd Gulenne , and loft for ever all the fraiis of the 
victories of Crefly , Poidiers, and Azincourt. Such 
is the end of ambition ! the only confequences of 
their conquefts there , were to deliige that kingdom 
with the blood of its flaughtered inhabitants , and 
tbeic own. 

It may eadly be fuppofed , that the lofles of die 
feriLlUh in France , and the divifions of their rubs 
at home , muft raife £ifiioas. In this period of 
calamity , a new interefi was revived , which feemeil 
to have lain dormant in the times ofproQ>erityai)d 
triumph : the duke of York began to thinlL of af* 
fcrting his right to the crown of England. TJiis 
nobleman was defcended, by the motber's (ide» from 
l.ionel , ojie of the fons of Edward UJ. The teijo- 
ing king was defended from John oi Qhaunt , z 
fon df the fame Edward, but younger than Lionel: 
thus the duke of York's claim w»as prier to that 
.•of Henry, The enfign of the diike .was a white 
toie , that of Henry a red. Tiiis gave name to die 
two boufes ^ whofe contentions were about 10 drenicb 
-Ae kingdom with flai ght^er. 

The duke of Suffolk and thc^ qu^tn "were now 
tit the Jiead cf ai^airs ^ and pmi^^i iJl ihin^* wuh 

uoliimted authority. As he had made his ^«ray to 
power by the blood of Glouceiler , he was refolved 
to eflablUh hiinfelf by the ufual refources of ty* 
ranny , by cruelly to his infenors , and. flattery to 
the qneen. This nnjuft and ill managed power 
firft drew againft him the oppofition cf the duke 
of York : perhaps the caufe of the public was the 
only motive for his firft refifiance. Almoft every 
mafecoment has fome real » and fome fiflitious 
caufes of complaint :'he therefore had recourfe to 
parliament , and accitfed the duke of Suffolk as 
the iburce of all the nation's difgraces in France* 
This accufation might have been &lfe ; but the 
real ^motive, which was Suffolk's power, apd the 
cruel ufe he made of it » was left unmentioned » 
although it was true. The court, to cpntent the 
people, condemned him to baniihment^ and he 
embarked in a little veffel to take his paflage to 
France ; but he could not efcape his deftiny. He 
was met in his paflage by an Ei^iih man of war % 
the captsun , having a mind to fearch the fiup the 
duke was in, and, finding him there, ordered hii 
head to be ftruck of without fnrrher delay. There 
is little in the tranfadions of thefe times to intereft 
us on die fide of either party : we fee crimes on both 
iides , and fcarce a flunbg chatader or a virtue to 
animate the narrative. 

By the death of die duke cf Suffolk , his rival ; 
of York , £rw himfelf rid of a potent enemy , and 
found the difcontems of the people ^ainfl die admi* 
niftration Jaily increafe. Among riie infuiveAioriiS 
of tiiefe luilu^py times , was that lieaded 1^ Jack 
Cade , whokd a tunraltuous body of forces to Lon*« 
don , to redrefs their grievances , and there beheaded 
the Lord IVeafurer. The government might re»- 
4i|r fmmw ihc 4iMfeffieft4ef 


reception from the city of JLondon , who opene] 
their gates to him : howevjer, upon the lung*s pro- 
clamation , his adherents , after a day or two, wer; 
dtfperfed , and he himfelf taken and flain. In the' 
mean time, the duke of York fecretly fomemei 
ihefe difturbances , and , pretending to eipoofe the 
caufe of the people » wrote to the king from his re- 
treat in Wales > advifing a reformation in dse minir- 
try* His letters of expoftnlation were foon backed 
by an army ; he marched up to London , bm fo«») 
an unexpeded repnlfe from the city^ which ihut is 
gates upon btm. In this dilemma he offered to ^' 
band his army , if the duke of Somerfet , who vs 
tt diat time the envied oVjeSt in power , fliouU 
be fent to the Tower : this requeft was keming^ 
complied with , contrary to his expedatien ; and 
now , coming to court to accufe him in perfon , he 
was furprifed to fee the duke of Somerfet , who was 
hid behind the hangings , fuddeniy come forth, and 
retorting the accufation upon him. York no^ 
perceived his danger , a«d reprefled the impetnofity 
of his accufation. As foon as he left the prefence, 
the king commanded him to be apprehended; b\rt 
fuch was the duke's authority , or fuch the timidity 
of the king's council , that they fuffered him to 
retire , upon promifing {triSt obedience for die 

This reconciliation was only temporary r he BW 
a^ired at the crown , and , the king falling \\\, by 
his intrigues , he had fufficient art to be taken into 
the nijmb^r of the privy council. Thi»«was a fetal 
blow to Henry's interefli : the duke of York, n^"" 
let into a ihare of the authority , and fecure of the 
aSeSio'ns of the people , carried all beford hitn. 
The duke of Somerfet was fent to the Tower , and 
thf .parliament declared his rival- prote&or^'of^be 

Makn. This pover the duke of York for fome 
time enjoyed without comroul ; till the unhappy 
king, recovering from his di2ziners, as if awaking 
from a dream , perceived , with furprife , that he 
was firipped of his authority. Margaret , his cfueen , 
did aill in her power to rouze him to afenfeof his 
fimation : he therefore began by depofing the duke 
from his power , who infbntly had recoune to arms. 
The impotent monarch, tbus obliged to take the 
field, was dragged after his army to the battle 'of 
Su Albans , where he was routed by the duke of 
York , and Somerfet , his general , was flain^ The 
king , beine wounded , and hiding himfelf in a cot^ 
tage near the field of batde , was taken prifoner , 
and treated with feeming refped : from thence 
he was brought alon^; , in triumph , to London ; 
and the duke permitting him fUU to enjoy the 
title of king, referved to himfelf that of pro- 
tedor , in which confifled all the power of the 

Henry was now but a prifoner, treated with the 
forms of royalty ; yet , indolent and (ickly as he 
was, the title alone feemed fufEcient for him. At 
lafl, his friends induced once more to re-aflert 
his prerogative , the duke of York again retired » 
V) refifl the defigns of the queen. Miitual dif- 
trufl once more brought their arms to the field » 
and the fate of the kingdom was to be decided by 
the fword. On the king's fide , the queen feemed 
the only a^ing^ generu : fhe ranged the army 
in battalia, gave die neceflary orders, while the 
poor. king was. led about , from place to place, an 
iovoltmtary fpedaf or of thofe mafrtia) preparations* 
The army on the oppoftte fide was, in the abfence 
of the duke of York , commanded by the earl of 
^Warwick > the moft celebrated «fleral of bUl 


age ; a man formed for times of trouble ; eztremel; 
artful, and extremely brave; equally ikikiilis 
council and the field; and born to give and to tab' 
away kingdoms at pleafure. After many battbj 
without effefty and defigns without conieqaencc, 
both armies , at laf|j met on a plain near Nor* 
thampton : the queen's army confifted of five^ 
twenty thoufand men» the army of Warwick d 
forty thoufand. Never was greater animofity be* 
tween the chie6 of an army before ; both pretendio; 
to fight for the king , wfaoie authority they eqoally 
attempted to deftroy. While the queen went aboat 
from rank to rank , the king Aaid in his tent , ^' 
ing the iiTue of the battle with female doubts ao^ 
apprehenflbns. Both fides fought five hours viib 
tnfi utrooft obfiinacy , but -the good fortune oftlK 
carl of Warwick was fuperiorto that of tbe queen; 
file was conquered , ana had the misfortune to fo 
the king taken prifoner in his tent. Thus Henry 
was once more brought back in triumph to ^ 

A parliament was now called to ave a face to 
this iuccefsful rebellion. The duke of York) 
though formerly contented with the title of pro- 
tefior , now. claimed the crown. Our profpeft 
widen as we rife. The caufe. of Henry and the duke 
was folemnly debated in the houfe of peers : ead 
Side produced their reafons for or againft the con* 
Queron Tliis was the firift time that a true ip^rit 
lif liberty ever appeared to exert it&lf in Engiai?^) 
and in which viOory did not determine every '^ 
quiry. The duke of York , though a conqueror, 
could not entirely gain bis caufe t it was deter* 
mined that Henry ihwM pofiefs the throne duriot 
life , and that the didce of York flioold be bis Tuc 
fcflbr / to «h« «ti^iMliiGan of like fttoc« «f V^ 

The queen, to all appearance, feemed now ut^ 
terly destitute of every refource ; but , though ihe 
had loft all , flie yet retaiaed her native perfeverance 
and intrepidity. She was a woman of a great mind , 
and fome faiucs ; but ambitioa feemed to be what 
called tbem into a£lion« fieing now a fugitive , 
dlftant from the capital , oppofed by a vifiorious 
army^ and a confummate general » ihe ftill tried 
every refource to repair her difaftrous ctrcumftances? 
fhe flew to Wales', animated her old friends, ae« 
quired new , and raifed an army to defend hor 
caufe. She J and lier old enemy , the duke <>f York « 
once more met upon Wakeaeld Green « near the 
cafile of Sandal : foctune this day turned ^le vie* 
tory on her fid« ; the duke of York was flain ; the 
duke of Rutland , his fecond fon , fell in the flight ; 
and the father's head « being cut off, was fixed upoa 
the walls of York. 

Margaret , being-^ now vif^orious , marched top 
wards London., in order to give the king Ubertyv 
The earl of Warwick , who now was at the heaA 
of the Yorkifls , flill commanded an army , lii 
whlcli he led about the captive king , to give m 
fandion to his attempt. Another batde was to 
drench the kingdom with the blood of its inba<» 
bitants : the queen and the eacl . metv near S^ 
Albans , where the queen was once again vifie^ 
rious ; fhe had the pleafure to fee the ^neral , by 
whom ihe was once defeated , now fly m bis turn ; 
and, what added tojierglory^ fhe had;the (anam 
to releafe the king her husbuid from bis caput* 
yity. Her triumph was g^at^ though comami* 
hated with cruelty ; but it was 0f -fhort .cootinu* 
ance. The jcity of I^ndon was to be ^pined , hm 
Warwick had already feoured it in his istereflsi: 
thedtiiens aUb fe^ied^ xumultuems amy ^ mA 


refufed to open their gates upon her fummons. h 
the mean time , Warwick aflembled the people la 
St. JohnVfields , and, fhewing them the Ion of tli: 
late duke of York , demanded , whether they chof« 
to have him or Henry for their king ? Upon which 
the people crying out A York ! an aflembly was 

auickly callccf , and the young duke being prefent, 
iey clefted him king , by the name of Edward IV, 
ancf condufted him , with great ceremony , to the 
I>alace where Henry ufed to lodge when within the 
walls of the city. 
. In the mean time queen Margaret coUefied a 

Sjireat army in the nonh , amounting to fixty-thoa- 
and men at arras. She was now to ftrAe her 
ftrongeft blow. The command of this army was 
given to a perfon who afted under her direSions, 
On the other fide , Warwick condofted young Ed- 
ward, at the head of forty- thoufand men, to oppofc 
Iter. Both fides, at length, metnearSahton,inthg 
county of York. Never was England depopulated 
tgr To terrible a day. What a dreadful fight to b^ 
hold almoft an hundred thoufandmen, of the feme 
country, fighting to fatisfy the empty ambition of 
one or two weak and empty wretches, murderinj 
each other for an idiot ana a boy ; the conteft only 
which fhould wear a crown with diamonds , or 
wield a gewgaw fceptre ! Strange infatuation ! yet, 
fuch as it was , not lefs than fi^rty thoufand men vere 
left dead in the field , in afferting this difpute. 
Warwick gained a complete viftory : Edward IV 
jwas eftabliflied on the throne, and Margaret of Afl- 
jou was abandoned. She fled , for nrotefiion , to 
Scotland , with her fon and husband, in order to 
attempt new defigns for the recovery of her king- 
dom. Edward now took down the head of hb 
fkAct &om the walls of York» and pu^ up the 


licads of the conquered generals in its flead. Eac6 
prty , as ir happened to be vidoridus, thus called 
in the executioner to complete the tragedy beguij 
in the field ; and our cruelty to each other , in civil 
cfifcords , is what has imprefled foreigners with aii 
idea of Engliih cruelty. 

Though wretched as this reign was , yet the art 
of printing , which was introduced into it at that 
time, Teemed to make amends for a part of ity ca- 
lamities. William Caxton , a mercer , was the firft 
who praftifed the art at London; he tranflated 
fome books himfelf from the French , and printed 
the tranflations of others. Among the writers df 
that urns were lord Rivers and earlTiptoft, whofe 
labours , however , never ventured higher than tran- 
flation. To judge of the learning of thofe times 
by the works ot the laity in the vulgar tongue, we 
fhall entertain the moft defpicabie opinion of it ; 
yet , when I read the Latin produftions of fome of 
die priefts of that period , I cannot avoid allowing 
the authors no fm?ll (hare of erudition. The truth 
is, learning was feparated from the purpofes of 
common life at that time, but by no means unknown 
or negleSed by the clergy , as we are taught to 
believe by men who fecm ycry little acquainted * 
with -writers of that period. , - ' 


Vt H I C H ever fide was viftorious in thefis 
dmes of civil flaughter , it was always ready to 
confirm its in)u{}ice with the fhew of authority. 
The parliament ufually followed the conqueror , 
and fixed him upon the throne , when he had an 
army to back- his pretenfions, Edward was , im:* 


mediately upon hts vidory , confirmed by theif 
unanimous approbation » while Henry and his queen 

J n A "^^^ ^^ ^®^^ ^^^ ^^^ rcfources in 
jt. u. I40I. p^nce and Scotland. No calamirv 
was able to abate Margaret's perfeverance : though 
fo often overcome , yet fhe was once more refolvedj 
to enter England with five thoufand men^ granted 
her by the French lune^ bringtne the unfonunatej 
Henry with her to enforce her claims. Her ufualj 
ill fortune attended her; her little fleet was diiperf-j 
cd by a tempeft , and fhe herfelf entered the Tweed 
with no (mall difliculty. Again, however, fhe of-| 
iered her enemy battle ^ and was again defeated, near 
Hexham. The lofs of this, battle feemed to deprive 
* her of every refource : fhe and her husband were 
now obliged to find fafety in a feparate fiight, with- 
out attendants , and without even the neceffaries of 
life. The weak , unfortunate monarch , almofl al- 
ways imprudent , and confequently unfuccefsful > 
thought he could lie concealed in England : his error 
was foon attended with the obvious consequences ; { 
he was taken prifoner , carried to London with ig- 
nominy , and confined in the Tower. 

Margaret was rather more fortunate ; for fhe e(^ 
caped , with the dukes of Somerfet and Eiceter « 
out of the kingdom', and retired to her father , whoj 
thougli very poor , flrove , as well as he could , to 
fupply her with the- mere necefiarles of life. You 
. are not to fu(H>ofe the miferies of the great , at thofe 
times , were nftitious , as we find them at prefent ; 
they , in reality , endured every calamity that po- 
verty now infliSs on tihe oblcureft of wretches. 
Philip de Comines fays^ that he faw the duke of 
Exeter following the duke of Burgundy « equi- 

i^age , barefoot , and ferving for his livelihood as 
botmao. This was a Arange fttuation for « lord , 


^ho had conduced armies, and was allied to kings 
and princes : but the times were barbarous ; the 
princes on the coaft of Negroland experience fuch 
rcverfesr of fortune at this very day. ' 

Edward , being now , by means of Warwick , . 
fixed upon the mrone , reigned in peace and fecur 
rity. A fpirit of gallantry reigned in his court , 
mixed with cruelty » which feemed the diftinguiihT 
ing feature of thofe times of difcord. In the very 
fame place which one day fmoaked with blood ,. si 
pageant or a mafk appeared the day following ; s^id 
the king would at once gallant a miflrefs and in« 
fped^ an execution. 

As his amours , however , were likely to diflatis^T , 
his fubje^s , the earl of Warwick advifed him to 
marry ; and , with his Confent , went over to France 
to procure him Bona of Savoy , and the match was 
accordingly , by his means , ^concluded. But whiU^ 
the earr was haftening the . negotiation in France, 
the king himfelf put an efFe6lual flop to it at home , 
by marrying Elizabeth Woodville , with whom he 
bad fallen in love , and whom he had vainly flrove 
to debauch ; having thus given "Warwick real caufe 
of offence , he was refolved to widen the breach by 
driving him from the council We^^re apt to hate 
the man we have offended , as much as the man wliQ 
has offended us : Edward was no eflablifhedl 
in fecurity by Warwick , than he began to be un- 
gratefuL Warwick , whofe prudence was equal to 
hi> b^-avery , foon made ufe of both to affift his re-, 
venge ! he reduced Clarence , the king's brother, ahd, 
to confirm him in his interefls , made him his foa- 
m-law ; and now , finding his plot ready for exe- 
cution , he flies into open rebellion. , Vengeance 
feemed to be the only motive' he had in view : plots^ 
truces y ftratagems ^and negotiations « foliowed each 


other in a rapid fucceflion. But Warwick , looj 
acauainted with intrigue and diffiniulation , vas 
at laft , too Aibtile for the young king : invitirt 
him 9 by a feemine promife of compofitlon , to bi 
houfe, he threw Edward off his guard; and Wr- 
wick > feizing the opportunity , made him a pri* 

Nothing now appeared that could oppofe ^ar* 
wick's defigns ; he therefore disbanded his troops 
as unneceflary^ and Edward was configned to ^ 
Ciiftody of the archbifhop of York. But foon a 
accident happened that overthrew all Warwick's 
expedations : Edward's behaviour , in confinement) 
was fo very obliging , that he got leave , upon foait 
occaiions , to hunt in a park adjoining to the pl3C( 
of his confinement ; from thence he one day made 
his efcape , by the affiflance of a couple of ^ 
firiends , and « contrary to all expeSation ^ mhsif 
repaired to York. 

• Fortune feemed to declare for Edward; where 
fore marching fome troops to London , the citizetf 
immediately declared in his favour. It is furpni*; 
ing to think , how one party is feen this day at k 
head of numerous forces, while the next we heboid 
It abandoned, and the adverfe party triumpH 
without a rivaf ; a firone proof of the fluduatin] 
difpofition of the Engliih. Edward now commac^ 
ded a numerous army , while Warwick , and hii 
brother Clarence, were attended by a few. Tfe 
kinjg, refolving to. take the advantage of their weit 
ne(^j after having defeated a party commanded ^ 
ford Wells, and cut off his head, the ufual m^ 
thod of treating the prifonefs of either party , ^ 
marched to give them battle. In this emm 
jthey had no other courfe to take , but to emWI 
ia order to fcreen themfelves from impending <i^ 

gcr. Having atrlved fafely in France, they now 
were reconciled to queen Margaret , their former 
«nemy ; and , returning from France , Warwick 
once more faw himfelf at the head of no. lefs thaa 
iixty thoufand men. 

It was now become Edward's turn to fly the king- 
dom ; and ^ efcaping the dangers of the enemy , of 
the fea , and of pirates , he landed fafeiy in Holland. 
Warwick , in the mean time » advanced to London ^ 
and once more poor pa$ye Henry was releafed 
from prifbn , and placed upon an ufelefs throne* 
Warwick was received , among the people , by rho 
name of king maker ; a parliament was dlied , and 
Henry's right confirmed. 

Edward y though an exile in Holland , had many 
pardzans at home ; and , after an abfence of about 
nioe months , once more landed at Ravenfpur , 
where Henry IV liad landed upon a fmiilar oc- 
caiion. Though at firfl he was coldly received 
by the Englifh , yet his army increafed upon its 
march, and his moderation and feigned humility 
ffiU added to the number of his partizans. Lon* 
don, at this time* evpr ready to admit the moft 
powerful , opened her gates , and Henry was ag^n 
taken from his throne to be fent back to his ol4 * 

Warwick at laft found his party begin to decline ; 
and Clarence , the king's brother , on whom he 
had the greateft dependence , changed to the other 
fide. In this flate of uncertainty , he knew na 
other expedient than to hazard a battle : be knew 
his forces to be inferior , but he was confcious of 
the fuperiority of his own generalflup. With this 
refolution he marched from St. Albans , and hav- 
ing advaoced to Barnet, vi^in ten miles of Lon- 
don , he mef Edward > who was marching down 


vrith a defign to fight him. Warwick aod B- 
vard were the two moil renowned generals i 
their age , and now was to be ftruck the iled£ft 
blow , that was either to fix Edward on the throne, 
Or to overthrow his pretentions for ever. The un- 
fortunate Henry was dragged along ro be a fpe^ 
tator of the engagement ; happy ia his taxsd 
itnbecillity , which feemed to opiate all his affic* 

The batde began early in the mornings vi 
Tafted till noon : never did two armies fight wiili 
greater obflinacy and bravery; not honour, k 
ufe , depended upon the ifTut: of the contefi. Tk 
example of Warwick inCpired his troops wi<b more 
than common refolution; and the vidory, fori 
while , feemed to declare for him : but his ancy, 
by reafon of a flight miA> happened to miibkei 
Body of their own forces for that of the enemy* 
&ll furioufly upon them , and this fatal error tmni 
the fortune of the day. Warwick did all tint 
experience, conduft, or valour, could fuggeft,to 
retrieve the miflake , but in vain. Finding , there* 
fore , all hopes gone ^ he was reiblved to fell )& 
Cfe dearly to the conquerors ; and rushing , on 
foot as he was , into the midft of bis enemies , be 
fell covered all over with wounds. Thus died Af 
ambitious Warwick, who had made and vaimi<^ 
kings at pleafure , vet who never feemed to afpirf 
at regal dignity nimfelf. Ten thoufand o{ bi^ 
arm^ fhared the fame fate with^ him, the kis; 
iaving ordered that no quarter ihould be gives. 
Margaret , who was ever fruitful in refources 
was, at this time, returning from France, viA 
her fon the prince of Wales , where fhe bad beefl 
negotiating a new fupply*. She had fcarce. time ttt 

Ttfrefh hcrfelf from the fatigues of her voyage, wheft 
(he received the fatal news of the death of the brav« 
Warwick , who was then her only defender. Though 
ihe had Mtherto bravely withfiood all the attacks 
of fortune , this was too violent a fliock for nature 
to fupport :her grief now , for the firft time, foun4' 
way in a torrent of tears ; and , yielding to her 
tiahappy fate , ihe took fanftuary in an abbey ia 

She had not been here long , when fhe found 
ibme (ciir friends Aitl willing to aflTiA her fallen 
hopes* The duke of Somer(et , the earl of Pem-^ 
broke , and one or two lords more , came to offer 
her dneir lives and fortunes : a dawn of hope was 
fuffidenc to raife her courage , and her numerous 
misfortunes gave way to the flattering profped of 
another trial. She iiad now fought battles in al- 
inoft «very province in England. Tewkesbury-park 
was the laft fcene that terminated her attempts. 
The duke of Somerfet headed her army ; a man who 
bad fhared her dangers » and had ever been fteady ia 
her caufe* He was valiant, generous^ and polite, 
but raih and headArong. When Edward firft attacked 
him in his intrenchments , he repulfed him with fuck 
vigour , that the enemy retirea with precipitation ; 
Somerfet^ fuppofing them routed , immediately pur- 
fued^ and ordered lord Wenlock to fupport him, 
while be charged ; but this lord difobeyed his in* 
)un6^ions3 and the forces of Somerfet were over* 
powered by numbers^ Somerfet now , finding aH 
gone , was unable to govern his rage : he had de- 
pended upon Wenlock ; but when he beheld him 
tna^ve , in the very place where he had firft drawn 
up his men , giving way to his tranfport, with his 
heavy banle-axc in both hands ^* he ran upon thi; 


'^ n • coward , and with one blow diM 
A.D. 1471. out his brainy. 
. After the battle , the queen , torpid with grtefi, 
was taken prtfoner » and afteiwards had the niiferj 
of finding her fen , the prince of Wales , mxht 
iame condition. But tlus noUe yodth was net 
long in bondage : being brought into die vifiorii 
pretence, he appeared before him with andannicil 
majeft v. Edward , furprifed at the boy's behaviour, 
afked htm how he durft enter into his domiimnK 
without leave i I have entered the dom'mhns of ^ 
fnher^ replied the prince, 10 revenge hw injuria, 
4nd to redrt^s my own. The barbarous fflooarch) 
enraged at his intrepidity , ftruck htm on the moadt 
with bis gantlet : this teemed to be the figoal ^ 
his death ; Gloucefter, Clarence ;, and others, like 
wild beafts , rufhing upon the unarmed youth a 
once , ftabbed hhn to the heart with their^ daggei^ 
When the governors of a kingdom behave thusi 
IRrhat muft be the behaviour of the people ? T^ 
complete the tragedy., Henry himfelf, who bi 
long been the paffive fpe6btorof all thefe cruelties, 
was now thought' unfit to live. The duke d 
Gloucefier , afterwards named Richard III or the 
Crouch^back« entering his chamber alone, I^a^ 
dered him in cold blood. Of all thofe that were 
taken , none were fufFered to furvive but Margaret 
herfelf. It was , perhaps , expef^ed that ihe wouiii 
))e ranfomed by the king of France > and in this 
fhey were not deceived : Lewis XI paid the kiflj 
pf England fifty thoufand crowns for her freedom. 
^hus Margaret of Anjou ,* having fuftaincd the 
caufe of her husband in twelve battles , after having 
iTurvived her fi)rtune and her children , <fied a few 
vcars after i^ pi*Vacy lA France , very miferabte 

.«rA.5«nEy OF LETTERS. t9t 

bdecdytiiat with Qo other claims to our pity^ cjc- 
cept her coaiage and her diftreffes. 

Of all (people the Engliik are the inoft:coiii« 
paf&onats ; a. chrooe ratted upon cruelty nevec 
wanted enemies among them , and nothing could 
ever have been inore ridiculous , than attemptiqg ta 
govern fuqh fub|e£b as the Englijfh by die hand,o£ 
me ezecmioner. The heads of either hi&ion feemed 
to haye beea isfenfible of this, truth » and it waa 
their ill fudged, puniflunenu , whidi » by turns j; 
plunged -them into new diftreffes. A tyrant^ how«r 
ever » . when once drenched in blood , knows not 
when . to ^ve oyer. Edward , being now freed 
&om great «neanes » turned to the puoifliment of 
thofe of lefler -note : the gibbets were hung with 
his adverikies, and. their eftates confiTcated to his 

Yet, while he was thus rendering hirafelf terri- 
ble. oa the. one hand , he was immerKd in gallantry; 
on the other. Nature , it feems , was not un&your<* 
able to bim in this reined , for he was univerfally, 
allowed to be tlie molt beautiful man of his time. 
The court feemed willing to countenance thofe de^ 
baucheries ki wbkh they had a diare ; and the 
clei^y , as they them&lves praiftifed every fpecies of 
lewdne(swith impunity > were ever ready to lei)d«b-» 
folution to all; his fiiilings. The truth is , enor« 
mods vices had been of Iktefb common , that.adul- 
tery was held but a very flight offence : among the 
number of bis miftrefles was the wife of one Shore jt 
a woman of exquifite beauty and good fenfe, but 
who had not virtue enough to withftand the temp*: 
tation& of a beautiful man and a monarch. 

England now enjoying a temporary calm, the 
king thought the heft way to^fHi^ratiate himfelf 
with, the pe<)ple his right to hia doe? 

Yquu 1 

insttos in France , mkoKh the infilrrcaiods ti b 
filther had contributed tp sDienate in the Ibrmtfi 
Ittign : this pnopolai was Aire of pieafing .the Eo{< 
Hih Y vho ever appeared more fond jof fpieadid du« 
Aiefulacquifictons. Toprofecyfctbisickemeythcre- 
fere , he (em off ko his aUy , the dukcof Burgiiodj, 
t reinfercentent of chnee ihoafoisd men , and Iboo 
ifier paffed over hiaiiidfat thcii^d nf a numerous 
anny* Lewis Kl; ' then king of France^ was , viii) 
vaaioA , alarmed at this forinidable invafi^ : lie 
found -himfeif uoafole to refift fi> powerful an ana- 

{[onift , and therefore had recourle to treaty. This 
ucceeded better than arms. The two king:» had sn 
interview at the bridge of Perpi^nan , and , upon tlic 

Cyment of a fltpuiated fum^ Ldward led historces 
ck to Englatul.' The Ec^lifii king wanted to re- 
turn home to hb miilreffes , to fpend upon them tiie 
nonev he had gotten ; and the" Ft^such monarch 
hopeu to be able 'to f efiife thofe fums which he kd 
enly given a promife to pay. 

Edward returned to renew his cruelty and his 
cxcefles. Hi^ brother Clarence , who had ailified 
him in gaining the ciown, had been ^ for foine 
dme, treated with indifference and difirefpeft : t\ui 
Clarence thought an Ui rccoofpenfc for his former 
fervices , and ocen save him^ die liberty of Id' 
vedive in tte king^ abfence. In this poflure of 
things, the kuig^happened to kill a favourite deer 
' belonging to Mr. Thomas Burdet , a friend of dtf 
duke's : posr Burdet dropping fame hafty ex* 
pretfions againfl the king , was fentenced- to die , 
msd executed in two days after. The duke of 
Clarence, upon the death of his friend , vented 
liis grief in renewed reproaches againfi his brother: 
the king J unmirj(iful of the ties ^ of kindred, or 
the debt of gratitude^by which he wai bound, hai 


liim arraiened , condemned , and executed ; he vat 
Cisctthered tna butt of MalmCey wine. W^hen mem 
arriire at a oenain. flatioo of gi;eati}efs^ their reeardt 
are diilipated on too great a number rof obje^ tm 
feel parental a£fe&ion : rhe ties of 0atnre are oalf. 
ilrong wifii thofe who.havfi but fesr friends pr few 
dept^ndents* i 

The ^eft of Edward's life val fpeat in riot and 
debauchery ; in gratifications ihat are pleafiog .onljr 
to the narrow .mind ; in u(iele(s treaties , in whi<m 
he was ever deceived ; and in empty threats againft 
the iDona;rch who had deceivtid him. His^p^rliar 
nienty naw merely the nunifter of his .will, c<m* 
fented to a war with France 5 at a time when ittwaa 
impodibie it could fiscceed : all the Jonds unani* 
moufly declared » that they thought it both|«A and 
necdBary. ; The people (eiemed equally jpleafed at 
die prolpeiS of a war, wtucb mighty in (ome mea« 
fure , alleviate their .domeilic jcalamities. Great prc« 
parations were made on every (ide ; but Edw^aal 
died in the mtdA of ali his expedations. Thedui- 
rafter of this prince is. eafily iimimed op ; hi&godl 
tjualiti^ wet« courage aad beauty ; . his bad ijuaUs 
ti cs * e very vice. 


iJL'O K Ri P -as the taft reigo was , you mwft pfC» 
pare for events in the next fiill more heinous* 
Edward left two fons , the eldeft of whom , a boy 
between twelve and thirteen , was proehimed king, 
hy the name of Edward V. ihe j j^ q 
queen , his mother, b^mg herfelf ^'^' '4^3* 
-utP^Aj nofed sunoag the ucmility > ileemed willijig 


to hide the meanoe(s of her former conduioa amoo^fi 
a. number of new promotions; this, as might lu* 
Yucally be expeded » was difpleafing to the old no- 
bility ; and the duke of Gloucefter , a moafler bod 
for the cruelty of his heart , and the deformity oik 
body , fomented their difcontents. Having gained 
over lord Hafiings , the duke of Buckingham , and 
fome other lords , to his interefis » he made them i 
long fjpeech , tending to ihew the danger that hun$ 
over their hauls, if the queen fhould have the govern* 
• ment in her hands : he enlarged upon the uftu-padons 
€»£ her family » and the lengths they would be ape 
to run upon being invefted with the fupreme power. 
In fliort , he fpared neither diffimulation nor arnfice, 
nor oaths , to get the guardianfhip of the minority i 
mnd the cuflody of the king's perfon. 

Hisfirft-fiep, after beine declared protedoroi 
die kingdom y was to get the kine's brother alfo 
a boy of about feven , who , with the queen liis 
mother , had taken fanduary in Weftminfter-abbey. 
The queen forefaw the dangers which threateoett 
h^r fiimiiy; and, parting with her child, clafped 
»hiffl , with the laft embrace , to her breaft , and took 
leave of him with a Aiower of tears. Hie dub 
of Gloucefter, on the other hand » took his nephew 
in his arms, and^ clafping him with feigned afec- 
tion , declar^ » that , while he hunfelf was alive , tbe 
child fhould never want a parent. The your; 
king , finding that he was to have the pleaiore ^ 
His Drother's .company ^ was greatly rejoiced , ^th- 
ont Gonfidering the fatal intention of thefe prep> 
rations^ . A £sW) days after , the prote^or , upon : 
pretext of guarding then^ fron^ danger , conveyed 
them both to the T]ower» 

Having thus fecured their perfons^ the proteftor'i 
IJCxt ftep was to fpread a report of their iUegia- 

Aacy; iand, by pretended obftacles, to put off 
the day of the young kitig*s corot)atioD« Lord 
Stanley , jl man df deep penetratio,n , was the firfl 
to dkclofe his fears ot the protedor\ havine ill 
defigns : he communicated his fufpicions to lord 
Haitinra^ who was firmly attached to the young 
king. Perhaps this lord's wifhes, that fuch a pro- 
)e6^ might not be true influenced his judgment, 
and confirmed him in his fecurity. Soon* how- 
ever, Catesln^, a vile creature of the protedor's^ 
was fent to tound him , and try whether he could 
not be brought over to • fide with the projeded 
ufiirpation : HaAings appeared immoveable in his 
adherence to the king , and his death was there* 
fore refolved on. 

With this defign, the proteftor next day called 
a council in the Tower, under pretence of expe- 
diting the coronation. He came thither liimfelf 
at' nine o'clock in the morning, with a chearfiil 
countenance , fainting the members with the uu 
moft affability, and with demonfirations of un- 
ufual good humour ; then , going out for a short 
time, he defired his abience might not interrupt the 
debates. In about an hour he returned again , quite 
altered , knitting his brows , biting his lips , and 
shewing ,. by frequent alterations of his looks , fome 
inward perturbation. A filence enfued for fome 
time, and the lords looked upon each other, not 
"without reafon , expefiing fome horrid cataftrophe* 
At length he broke the dreadful filenee. My lords , 
he faid , what punishment do. th€y deferve Mfho have 
confpired againfi my life ? This redoubled the afto- 
nishment.of the affembly, and the. filence conti- 
nuing, lord Hafiings at length made anfwer , 
That whoever did fo , deferved to be puniflied as a 
traitor : upon which , the protefior 9 with a flern 

1 3 


^umwa4Ke, barkig his withered ;irixi» cried cue; 
S^e iuhai ihe forcerefs my (fuetn^fifier , and that wretch » 
fikore's v^fs 9 havi d0nc by tfUir vAtchfrafis ! Their 
fpelis have reduced my armj0 this condition y and my 
if hole b^dy.WQkli have fuffcred ike fame calam'iiy^ hut 
for a timely dtteffion* The amazement of the 
council feemed to increafe at tbis terrible accufa- 
tion , and k>rd Ha/^ing^ a^in faid « I? they, have 
($6mmittcd fiich a crime » they^ deferve punishments If ! 
cried the pnoteflor, with a lotid voice ; £>o/? thou 
4M/wtr me with IFS: ? / tell tine ^ that ihcy have 
eonfphed my death ; and that th^u^ traitor , an^an aC" 
tainplKe in their crime. Thus having, faid , he flruck 
.*b« table twice with his hand , and the room was 
inftantly fi led with armed nien. / arrejl thee. , con- 
tinues 'he , turntng to Hafiings , for high treafon ; 
and^ at the fame tiiae> delivered the cuAody 
of the ibkUers. 

Th^ councilr-room was now filled with tuinult; 
and ^ tboogb no refcue was offered » yet the foldiets 
caufcd a bufile , as if they appr. bended danger. 
One of them narrowly miffed cleaving lord Stan- 
ley's head with a battle - ax , but he efcaped by 
ihrinking under the table. In all probability , the 
fellow had orders for this attempt ; fo that , when 
Stanley fhould be thus killed , his death might be 
afcribed to the tumult caufed by an intended refcue. 
However , efcaptng the blow ^ he was arrefted by 
the proteftor's order , who was well apprifed of his 
attacliment to the young king. As for lord Haft- 
sngs 4 he was forced to make a ihort confeiBon to 
the next prieft tliat was at hand ; the prote6io?' 
crrying out, by St. Paul, that he would not dine 
.till he had feen his head taken off. He was accor- 
^ngly hurried out to the little green before the 

To^er chaflelv^^d tlcere beheaded on a log of wood 
thsic acoid<^maKy lay dtere* 

Bnt ndt thote ala»e of his council were thnis fer- 
karoiifly treaied ; on the very* fame day a fimiiaf 
^gedy i^as afied at Poniefrad caAle « ^ere tbm 
carl Rivers 9 the moft polite sisd gallant man of th« 
if;e in. which fte'Rvedy and lord Grey, were both 
beheaded hy a decree ef that vei^fame cbuncil , the 
nemb^rs/or which were nbw* iff filch datiger thentki 
felves. A plot ^rnmA the king was the pretext f6# 
Iheir execution ; hot > in reality, they, died as being 
the only obftacles to prevent his derfraaSon. 

The protcflor,' having thus got rid of thofe he 
moft feared , undertoc^ to pttnifh even the leall 
dangerous : Jane Shore , the late king's miftrefs j 
Was an enemy too humble for hini to ftsar any thing 
from her attempts ; yet , sw fke bad been accufed m 
witchciiaft, of whidi- ail the worM iaw {he -wid 
innfocent , he thonght propel to puniflx her for &uk$ 
ef wjitsh ihe was reany guiwy. Thiy nnhappy 
woman had bieen deluded formerly from her hni- 
land , one Sho^ , a goldfmirh , in Lombard-flreet ^ 
and continued with Edward the moft gurhlefs miiV 
trefs in his .luxurious and abandoned court : shb 
cv)6r interceded for the diftreffed , ^nd was ever ap- 
plied to 23 z mediator for mercy. She was char** 
table 9 generoTKGi ; and pleafing in converfation ; htt 
wit and her beabty were faid to be irrefiftihle* 
Being blanrdefs in other refpcfts , the proteftor or- 
dered het to be fned for incontinency , for having 
left her husband to live in adultery with another* 
It is poffible , that the people were not difpleaied at 
feeing again reduced to her former meannefs , a per* 
fon who had for a whifc been raifed above them ; 
add eojoyed ^U the favours of the king. Her guib 

I 4 


iras too notorious to be denied ; sbe acknovledeetf 
At charge , and ^^s condemned to walk barefoot 
throogji the citj|r , and to do penance in St. Paul's 
churth in a white sheet » with a wax taper In her 
hand , before thou&nds of fbedators. She fivccl 
above forty years afier this lentence , reduced to 
lhe mod extreme wretchednefs. An hiiiorian , in die 
feien of Henry VII , aiTcires us; that he £lw her 
gathering herbs in a ^Id near the dty , to fnpply 
aer nightly meat ; a Arange employment for one 
who once had been the favourite of a court, and 
the miftrefs of a king. 

' The proteftor now began to lay afide his pre- 
tended regard for the fons of the hte king , and to 
afpire to the throne more openly. To elted this , 
the dttke of fiuckingham , who by promifes and 
bribes was devoted to his interefls, tried every art 
to infufe into the' people ah opinion of the baflardy 
of the late king , and that of his children. Dr. 
Sliaw , a popular preacher , was faired to harangue 
the people from St. Paul's crofs , to the fame pur- 
pofe* The preacher , after having difplayed the in- 
continence of the queen » inftftea upon the illega- 
lity of the young king's title , and the virtues ot 
'the proiedor. // is he ^ continued the fycopham, 
Vfho aarrks in his face ^ in his foul ^ the image of virm^ 
and the marks of a true defcenu Still , however , 
the people conti ued filent , each fearing to begin 
the cry of King Richard , or deteffing the tendency 
©f his fermon. The duke of Buckinghaim , there- 
fore , next undertook to perfuade ihem in his turn. 
His fpeech turned upon the calamities of the laA 
reign, and the baftardy of the prefent pretender. 
JSe Teemed apprehenfive , indeed, that thp proteSor 
^ottld not be prevailed upon to accept the crown t 


>ut lie hoped chat the people would take, evcfy ma- 
hod to perfuade him. He cpncluded by^ defiling 
iwery man to fpeakhis real (entiment^ , and to give 
k poAtiye anfwer , whether they would have th^ 
jToung baftard or the virtuous protedor i A. filence 
hr fome time enfued; but> at. length, fome of 
he duke's own ferv^nts, who had. flipped in a"- 
mong the prefs , cried out , Long live king Richr 
u-d^!. This cry was feconded by fome of the. citir 
tens wiio were previouily bribed ; and the mob at 
the door , a defpicable elds of people , ever pleaifed 
writh novelty , repeated th^ cry , and , throwing up 
their caps , cried out, A Richard ! A Richard I The 
duke, now taking. the advantage of this faint ap- 
probation , next cby , at the head of the mayor 
and. aldermen, went to, wait upon the proteapr 
with offers of the crown. Richard, with his ufual 
hypocrify , appeared to the crowd in the gallery, be- 
tween two bishops, and , at firft , pretended to be 
furprifed at the CQncourfe. When he was informed 
that dieir bufineis was to offer him the crown » 
he declined accepting it , alledging his love for the 
late king his brouier , and his affeftion for the chil- 
dren nnder his care. Buckingham , feeming dif> 
pleafed with this anfwer, muttered fome words to 
himfelf ^ and, at length , plainly told him , that all 
the people had determined upon making him king ; 
that they had now proceeded too far to recede, and. 
therefore were reiblved , in cafe of his refufal , to 
offer it where it should meet with a more ready ac- 
ceptance« This was a refolution which the pro- 
tedoi^s tendemefs for his people could not permit 
him to fee executed. / j[ee , cried he , in a modefl 
tone 9 I fee the kingdom h refolyed to bad me with 
freferments ^ mefual to my ^^Umes or my choice ^ 


ytt fitce it Is my duty to obty the diBaus ofafitefto^ 
pie , 1 will graeioufly accept their peduom /, thre- 
fbrg^ from this moment , enter tipon the got^emmeni c; 
England and France , with a refoimaon to defend tht 
one « artd to fuhdue the other. Ine crowd betug dios 
ji D 1 ^ difmified, each returned home , pon- 
^ '• dering upon the proceedings or tbe 
day , and making foch remarks , as paffion » intezd^, 
or prudence, might fuggeft. 

One crime ever draws on others ; for rfurpf 
tion naturally requires fecurity : as fooa , there* 
fore , as he was fixed upon the throne , Ridiard 
fcnt the governor of the Tower orders to put ths 
two young princes to death. There was yet ons 
man leit in the kingdom, who had virtue enough to 
refufe being made the inftniment of a tyraot's 
cruelty : the governor of the Tower , wfaofe name 
Was BlackenbiiYy , fubmiffively anfwered , that fee 
could not imbrue his hands in their blood. A m 
inftrument, however, was not lone wanting : one 
Xames Tyrrel was employed , and fent to command 
the Tower for one night. Tyrrel , that very night » 
whilft all were afleep , went to the chamber where 
Ae two young princes lay ; here the murderer, 
lor (bme time, hefitated in his bafe dedgn , Arud, 
as it is faid , with thS innocence of their looks ; 
tut « habit getting the better of remorfe, he at laft 
Anothered them between two pillows , and caufcd 
them to be buried under a little flair- cafe , near 
where they lay. Vengeance, though late, followed 
this execrable wretch : he was executed for this 
ft£b in the fucceeding reign , conMing his crime, 
and the manner of its execution. 
' ^ The warlike fpirit firft excited by the- cOnqueft 
of France., and then kept up By the long* civil 
.war , feemed to have banished every fentiment of 

m A SERIES 6P tEtTERS. 209 

^ratuc from- the kingdom : croeliy and executions 
were groVn fa common , that the people now be- 
came- Similiar ^th* blood and death : fcarce a noble* 
family in th^e kingdom which was not thinned by 
ihcfe terrible difleiifioni. The t\ergy feemed , at 
this time , quite; fepafated from= the iSity j they fel- 
dom'fuJFered for treafon, and were bur little con- 
verfaar in the bloody politico of the times. As for 
arts , fciences , and commerce , they were totally 
negleded. In all this carnage and defolation , one 
power was imperceptibly gaining ground ; as the 
lords were declining , the commons wfere coming 
into authority : not fo much expofed as the for- 
mer to the tempefts of regal refentment, they con- 
tinued to increafe in wealth ahd favour , and found* 
£ifety in their bumble flation. 


1 HC RE IS fomewhat that peailiarfy' ftrikes the 
imagination In tlie tranfaftidhs of this and thc^ 
preceding reign ; I have therefore treated theiA withf 
more than imial prolixity. Our tragic poets feem 
to have been fenfible how liiuch- thefe ftrange in- 
ftantes of depravjTtion were fafceptible of a poetic 
drefs. Every pifture of the times is marked with 
Arong lines , like an African profped » where all is 
vaft , wild, and terrible. 

Richard had , at length , ^dfed through every 
oBflacle to the throne, and i^oV Began , aifter the 
nfiial mannet^ of ail ufurp^rs , to ifrengrfien, by 
his:iH-eot power, his foreign alliances. Seiifible 
alfo or the influentc of pageantry and shew upon 
fhe oKrttfeof tftfe pebj^le-^'hi-eaored^htrnfelf to M 

I 6 


crowned firft at London , and then at YorL The 
clergy be endeavoured to fecure in his interefis, 
by threat indulgences ta them , and by his own b) • 
pocruical behaviour. 

But» while he endeavoured to eflabUsh his power, 
be found it undermining on a fide from whence he 
l^A expeded it : the duke of Buckingham , vbo 
bad been the principal tnftrument in placing hun 
upon the throne , now began to expsfi the reward 
of his adherence. Richard , indeed , had given hia 
feveral pofts and governments , but denied him a 
moiety of the confifcared hnds of Hereford , to 
which he had feme family claims. Very great obli- 
gations between two friends, on eidier fide , gene* 
rally end in difguft : Buckingham fuppofed that his 
iervices could never be over-rewarded; while Ri- 
chard, on the contrary, was willing to curb his 
defires, which feemed to increafe by gratification. 
Soon therefore , the duke was difgufted with the 
new monarch , and as foon conceived a fchemefor 
depriving him of the crown ; doubtful » for a 
while , whether he should put in for the crown him- 
felf , or fet up another. The latter opinion pr^ 
veiled, and he was refblved to declare. for Heoryi 
earl of Richmond , then an exile in Brieitagne. 
Henry of Richmond , was one of thofe who had 
the good fortune to furvive the numerous maffacres 
of the preceding reigns : he- was the only remaining 
branch of the houfe of Lancafter : he was defcead* 
ed from John of 9haunt, but by the female line; 
bis right to the throne was very doid>tfiii,butthe 
crimen of the ufurper Arengthehed.bis cfi^ims. He 
bad' long lived in exile, aiid was (ui^e delivered up 
to the amba{radors of £dwardIV, and was jufiupoA 
the point of being bcoiil^ l^ack Uf Eogjands ^* 


foffer a cniel death , when the prince , who had 
deilyered him up ^ repented of whsit he had done , and 
took him from the amhafladors juft as he was 
broueht on fhip-board. This was tlie yoiitb whom 
the mike of Buckingham pitched upon to dedlrone 
the tyrant , and a negotiation was Commenced be-, 
tween them for that purpofe, 

Richard , in the mean time , either informed by 
his creatures , or made diAruflful by confcious guilt ^ 
fufpefted a confpiracy , and could not avoid think- 
ing Buckingham among the number of the con- 
fpirators. Imprefled with thefe fufpidons, he 
came to a rerolutton offending for him to courts 
and the duke's refufing to come confirmed him in 
his belief; but he had foon a plain convidion of 
his treachery , for word was broiight that the duke, 
of Buckingham was up in arms. The duke » 
haying found that he could diflembte with Richard, 
no longer , had drawn together fome WeUh forces > 
and began to march to the weflem ihore, where he 
had appointed young Richmond to land : Richard ^• 
however « no way difmayed at the approaching^ 
danger , prepared to meet him with the few forces 
he then had m readinefs. However, fortune feemed 
to favour the ufarper , and render his preparations 9, 
for this time, needlefs. As Biickiiigham was ad- 
vancing, by hafly marches, towards Gloucefter^ 
where lie defigned to pafs the Severn , juft then the 
river was fwiulen to iuch a degree , that the coun- 
try, on both fides, was deluded, and ^ven the. 
tops of mountains covered with water. It held 
ten days , during which the Welfh army could: 
neither jpafs the river , nor fubfift on the otner fide ,. 
where they found nothing but defolation : at length ,, 
compelled by hunger, after having fuffered a thpii- 
r^nd hardibips ^.tbjKy i^ di^p^rfed » and rcturoe^ 


home , notwithftandine the duke^s intreades to 
file contrary. In this belplefs Atuation , the duke , 
after a moment's refledion , thought the propere^ 
place of fsifety he could fix upon was at uie houre 
€>( one Banni fter , who had been his fervant , and 
who had received repeated' obligations from his 
fimsily. No maxim was ever more juft , than 
that there is no ftiendfhip among tlie wicked : 
Buckingham had himfelf been fim falfe to his 
ling , and after to Richard', the creature of his 
own ppwer ; how then could he exped fidefity from 
Others ? A large reward was fet upon the duke's 
head : the villain Bannifter, unable to refid fo great 
si temptation , went and betrayed his mafter to the 
fteriff of Shropfhirfe , who (urrounding the houfe 
y»hh armed men« feized the duke in a peafant's 
drefs « and conduced him to Shrewfbury , where he 
Was beheaded, without the form of a trial or 

In the mean time , Richmond landed in Eng^ 
land , but , finding his hopes fruftrated by the 
cataflrophe of Buckingham , he haftily fet fail 
again > and returned for Eretagne. Richard , thus 
freed from the impending danger, gave a loofe to 
lii-uelty , the favourite paffiori of his breaft. In or- 
der to expedite his revenge, he gave one Afhton 
an unbounded commiflion to cond<;mn and execute, 
upon the fpot, fuch as were deemed by him guilty 
or even fufpeded of guilt. A cruel king never 
wants a bloody miniver : Afliton executed his 
commiflion with the utmoft rigour ^ putting hur* 
bands to death in thOi prefehce o( their own wives , 
ahd children before the eyes of their parents. It 
ii faid, that this exeprable wretch , Being filiated 
l^a beautiful woraap to reteafe her hiifband, who 
^9S a prifoiier tpoh fufplcion , he consented; iipod 


lier promifing to grant him a favour of anothes 
nature : fcarce had the poor creature indulged hfs 
brutal defire , when he fought her out , and pointed 
to her huiband , whom » in the mean time , he had 
given orders fhould be hanged upon a neighbouring 

Still, however, the authority of a parliament 
vas wanting to give fandion to the injjufiice of 
Richard's proceedings ; but , in thefe times of vice 
and fcrvilhy , that was foon procured. The par- 
liament approved his proceedings; confirmed the 
illegitimacy of Edward's children ; pafied an aft 
of attainder againft the earl of Richmond , ^d 
all his adherents ; and feemed , upon the whole ^ 
moredifpofed to flavery , than he to be a tyrant.) 
One thing more was yet wanting to complete his 
iecurity , the death of his rival: to efFe£^ this , he 
fent ambafladors to the duke of Bretagne, with: 
vhom Richmond had taken ihelter, feemingly 
upon buCnefs of a public nature , but , in reality ^> 
to treat with Landais , that prince's prime minifter ,. 
and CO induce him to deliver up Richmond. The 
minifter was bafe enough to enter into the nego*^ 
tianon ; but Richmond , having had timely notice ,( 
fled away into France , and had juA reached the" 
limits ot that kingdom » when his purfuess came* 
up with him. 

Richard , finding his defign of feiang his ene- 
my's perfon without fucce& , as his power became 
more precarious ,. became every day more fufpi-' 
dous and more^ cruel. Lord Sianfey , who wtas* 
now married to the wido^ of Edward IV ^ fell' 
ilrongly under his fufpicion ;. and , to fecuis hig) 
ftdelity , he took the fon as an hoflage for. his &- 
diet's good behavicmr. He now alfo refolved'to. 
aei lid efi iw jnrefem? qacenL^. ia order to nssnry^lite 


•wn niece ; & match from which he expcded i 
dbrive feveral advantages. The ladjr he was the 
married to was formerly the wife of the your^ 
prince of Wales , that was murdered hj hiin 21 
Tewkeibury. It is no flight indication of. the bar- 
barity of the times » to find a woman thus takin; 
the murderer of her hufl>and for her fecond lor;:. 
She felt , however , the coniequences of her io- 
gratitude of the deceafed prince , in the inhumanity 
of the prefent : Richard treated her with fo mvc't 
contempt and indifference , that fhe died of grief. 
according to his defire. But his wifhes were not 
crowned jirlth fucceft in his applications to b 
niece : ihe treated his vile paffion wkh retaliate 
contempt and juft deteftation. 

In the perplexity caufed by this unexpefted r^ 
fiifal ,. it was that he received the news of Rich- 
mond's being once more landed at Milford-haven, 
with an intent to deprive him of the crown ; but 
being informed that he brought with him but m 
tboufand men » he feemed to defpife the effort , and I 
iffued orders to oppofe him with the greateft cooN | 
ne(s and intrepichty. Richard was pofleffed of cou- 
rage and military condud, and thefe were his only ^ 
virtues. Having heard that Richmond was marcb- 
ing with his little army to London , he was re* 
folved to meet him on the way , and end the ^re- 
tenfions of the one , or the other , by a battle 1 
Richmond , though Very much inferior in nomber, | 
was nor leis defirous of engaging ; fo that the turo 
armies foon met at Bofworth-field , to dctermifle a 
difpute that had now, for more than thirty years » 
drained England of its brav^ft fubjefb. 

Richard perceiving his enemy advance, ^ew 
np^hb army, confiffing of about thirteen thoufani 
men ,, in, oidcr of baitto : be gave the comrwi ^ 


the Van- guard. to. the duke of Norfolk, and le^ 
tbe main body himfelf , with the crown on his 
head ^ either dfefigning by this to infpire the enemy 
with awe , or to render himfelf confpicuous to his 
own- army. The earl of Richmond ,. who had. cot 
half the number of men , drew up his forces alfb 
in rwo lines , the earl of Oxford commanding the 
^rik , Md ;he himfelf the fecond : lord Stanley , in 
the mean time, pofted himfelf on one flank between 
the twQ armies , and his brother took his (iation ia 
the other , which was oppofite. Richard , feeing 
him tbus in a fituation equally convenient for ^in-; 
ing either army , immediatefy fent him orders to 
ioin hiai , which the other reujfmg , he gave inftant 
command for beheading lord Stanley's K>n , whom 
he had kept as an hoAage ; but being perfuaded to 
poftpone the execution till after the fight , he com* 
plied, and immediately ordered the trumpets to 
(ound to battle. The two armies approaching each 
other, the battle- began with a fliower of arrows^ 
and foon thq two ranks began to clofe : this was 
what Stanley expefted , who immediately, profiting! 
himfelf of the occafion , joined the line of Rich- 
mond , and turned the fortune of the day. In the 
mean while , Richard fpurred up his horfe in the 
thictceft of the fight , and Richmond quitted his 
ftation behind , to encourage his troops by his pre-. 
fence in the front. Richard, perceiving him , was 
willing to end all by one blow ; and , with the fury 
of a lion , flew through thoufands to attack him. 
He flew Sir William iBrandon , the Carl's flandard* 
bearer , who had attempted to flop his career; Sir 
John Cheney , having taken Brandon's p'ace , was 
thrown to the ground ; Kichmond , in the mean 
time, flood to oppofe him., but the crowd inter- 
poiiqg, they were fepar^ted^ Richard noyr, there;< 


fore , ifrcm tb infpire his troops at anotlier qoartfr 
But , at laft , perceiving his army every where jif/:i 
ing or flying , and novr finding that siU was gone,! 
Ke rufhed with a loud {hour , inro the mi 'I 
of the enemy » and there met a hetrer dear^ ttznh'i 
afiions had merited. After the battle his body bei.>*; 
found' am (dft a heap of Slaughter, Arrpped n^eij 
covered over with wounds , and the eyes frightfully | 
ftaring, it was thrown acrofs an horfe , the hsaJ 
knging down on one fide and the legs on the otkr, 
and fo carried to Leicefter. It lay there two days, 
ixpofed to public view , and then was buried ^tJi 
4)ot farther ceremony. 

Richard's crown being found , by one of the M- 
dBers , in the field of battle , was immediately phcti 
ji D \ % upon the head of ihe conqueror : tte 
. I4<>5* whole army, as if infpired, with one 
♦oice, cryed out. Long live king Henry! Tb 
tnded the bloody reien of Richard ; and by Hj 
dieath , the race of the Plantagenet kings, diar W 
Been in poffeflion of the crown during the fpaccot 
three hundred and thirty years, became extioS. 
Thus ended- alfo the conte(ts between the houfesof 
York and Lancafter, which had, for thirty years, 
Been as a peflilence to the kingdom, and ^n whicli 
Ikbove an hundred thoufand men loft their lives, 
either by the executioner , or on the field of battle. 

Thefe difTenfions had reduced the kingdoin to a 
ftate of almoil fa vage barbarity : laws, arts, and com- 
merce , were entirely negleded' for the prafilce o( 
arms ; and to be a conqueror was fufficient, in the 

?^es of tlie people , to ftand for every other virtue, 
hey had , as yet , no idea of pacific government, 
flor could lend applaufe to thofe who cultivated it, 
And , except pnly in their gallantry to the fiir fex, 
drey little (fiffered from the ancient painted iiihabi* 


tants of the ifland. In thefe wars the women* 
though never Co formidable , or never fo adive , uoh 
lefsaccufed of ^itchcrafr, t(^erfe exempted from ca- 
pital punifhments , which probably proceeded from 
a fpifit of g^Uamry « the lingle virtue of the times. 
As for the clergy , they were enarely diflinfl from 
the laity , both in cuAoms , conftitutions » and 
learning : they were governed by the civil law t, 
drawn up by one of the Roman emperors^ 
whereas ^tbe laity was governed by the common 
hv« which was traditioufly delivered tp them fron 
their anceftors. The clergy •( however we may be 
told to the contrary ) underftood a^d wrote Latia 
tolerably welt ; the laity , on the other hand , under- 
ftood no Latin , but applied themfelves wholly to 
French , when they afpired to the charadier of po- 
litenefs,. The clergy , as a body, Utrlc interefted 
themfelves in the civil pol'ty » and perhaps were no« 
difpleafed to fee the laity , whom they cqnfidered not 
as fellow- fubjefts , but rivals for power', weakening 
themfelves by continual contefts ; the laity regarded 
the dergy with blind veneration , and this venera- 
tion leuened their regard for their king. In fhort, 
as there was no virtue among the individuals of 
the nation, the government was like a fisverift - 
conflitution , ever fubje6t to ferment and diforder* 
France ferved , for a while » as a drain to the peo» 
cant humours ; but , when that was no longer open , 
the diforder feemed to increafe in the internal part 
of the conftitutioa , and produced all the horrors 
of civil war. 



It was in this ftate of the tiatioil that the eari r 
Richinood, who took the name of Hearv VII. 
came to the throne. You are now to behold once 
the greateft revdlutions that ever was Gibught about 
in any kingdom , effeded by the prudence > demeo' 
cy, and perfeverance of one great prince :s^o2itio: 
of tumult Induced to civil fubordtoation ; ao ic- 
folent and faftious ariftocracy humbled ; wife lavs 
enafted; commerce reftored, and the peaceful 2.*8 
rendered amiable to a people , for whom before var 
only had charms. In a word, you are now to tun 
to a period , where the whole government feemsto 
put on a new form ; and to view the afHons of s 
king , if not the greateft , at leaft the moft ufefdj 
that ever f^t upon the Britiih or any other throne. 
Hitherto you have only read the hiftory of a bar- 
barous nation , obeying with reludance , and go- 
verned by caprice : you are henceforth to vie? 
more refined politics , and better concerted fcheffles; 
to behold human wifdom , as if roufed from her 
lethargy of thirteen hundred years , exerting every 
4irt to reduce the natural ferocity of the people , ani 
to introduce happincfs. 

Henry's firft care upon coming to the thronf 
was to marry the princefs Elizabeth , daughter :l 
Edward IV , and thus unite the interefls of th: 
houfes of LancaAer and York : but , leA the people 
ihoijld fuppofe he claimed the crown 4ipon the 
ilrength of this alliance, he deferred her corona- 
tion till two^ years after , by which he made evi' 
dent the priority -of his own claim. His reign 
happily commenced with an obedience to the laV 

Ihat had been hitherto unknown in EnghmL An 
^d had been paiTed , in the preceding reign , for 
4he attainder of his fiends and followers : this aft 
Aill continued in force , and many members of that 
houfe , by which it was to be repealed , were thofe 
who were mentioned m the attainder. To fuffer 
fuch to join in repealing that ftatute , would be ad« 
mitdng them fudges in their own caufe , to which 
Henry -bravely and juAly obje&ed ; they were , 
therefore,, obliged to leave the houfe, till an aft 
was paffed to reverfe their attainder. 

BeSfore his reign « it was ufual , when any perfoii 
was attainted » to take away his life , and give away 
his fortune to fome court favourite : Henry wifely 
perceived that this had two bad effefts ; it firft ex- 
cited refentment by its cruelty, and, in the. next 
place y only made the favourite too powerful for fub- 
jeftion. This prudent monarch took a better me- 
thod to repreis tumult and rebellion : he deprived 
fuch as were caught in arms of their eflates and 
fortunes , and thete he referved for die ufe of the 
crown, ^y this means he deprived them of the 
power to injure him , and he-Arengthened the finewli 
of government by enriching the crown. A great 
part of the miferies of his predeceiTors proceeded 
from their poverty , and the ooulence of^the nobi* 
lity. Henry faw that money ^kme could turn the 
fcale of power into his own hands , and therefore 
hoarded up all the confifca(ions of his enemies witjk 
the utmoft Irugality. Avarice , upon thefe motives., 
b not only excuiable, but praife worthy ; it is not 
meannefs > but ceconomy ; and , whatever hiftoriai:(s 
tdl us of liberali^ in a king , it is , at beft , z mif- 
placed virtue. Such liberalities are» in general!, 
^xtoned from, the poor ,; the indufisious ^ and the 


ufeful ; and beftoved , as rewards upon the ri< 
and powerful , and infinuating ; upon the fyco' 
phants of a court , and flatterers of debaucher 
nenry was different from his predeceflbrs ia this r? 
fpe& ; he gave away few rewards to the cournn 
about hts petfon , and none but the poor fhared hi 
benefa6(tons. He-releafed all the prifoncrs fordcb: 
in his dominions » whofe deb:s did not amount r) 
forty ihillings , and paid the creditors from rhe 
royal coffers. His oeconomy rendered hini not only 
ufeful to the poor, but enabled him to be jnA to his 
own creditors, cither abroad or at home. Thofe 
fums which he borrowed from the ciry of London, 
or any of his fiibje^s , he repaid at the appointed 
Hay , with the utmoft pun6(uality ; and thus , as he 
|;rew juR in his own dominions , he became refpec' 
lable abroad. 

• Immediaiely after his marriage with Elizabeth ♦ 
fie iffued out a general pardon to all fuch as choi'e 
to accept it; but thofe lords who had been the 
favourites of the laft reign , and long ufed to tur- 
tulertce, rcfufed his proffered tendernefs , andflar 
"TO arms. Lord Lovel , Humphrey and Thomas 
iStafford , place;) themfelves at the head of this in- 
•furreftion : Henry fent the duke of Bedford to op- 

{ofe the infnrgents , with orders to try what might 
6 the effeds'of a proffered pardon, previous to 
his attempts to reduce them. The duke pundualy 
obeyed his inftrudions » but the rebels feemeci 
to liften to no accommodation : but ^ contrary to 
aiU expefiat'on , lord Lovel , apprehenfiftve of bting 
deferted by his followers , firft ftewed them th« 
example, and fled away to Flanders. The rebel 
«army , now without a leader » fubmltted to the 
vnercy ot tht kingy which they recchred, Tbc 


Staffords, wbo were in the mean tifse befi^kig 
Worcester , hearing of the furrender of their con- 
federates » attempted to take fanduary in a church 
vhich ha4 no privileges to proteft them : being 
taken from thence, the eldeft of the brothers wa» 
executed » the oth^r received a pardoiu 

But the people were become (6 turbulent 
and fai^ioiJS , by a iomg courfe of civil war 4 
that no governor £ould rule them , oor atiy l^ing 
pleai'e. One rebellion feemed extinguiihed oni/ 
to give rite to another : the king kepjt , at that 
time » a foQ of the duke of Clarence , who had 
been formerly drowned m a butt of wine , as ha9 
been mentioned » a prifoner in the Tower. Thi$ 
poor youth, who was {fyled the carl of ISTarwick* 
had long been a flraager to liberty ; be wasunac^ 
quaint jd with men and things » and fo/licrle con* 
yeriant with common Ufe , from his long and ear^ 
coafincment, that he knew not th^ difference^ 
to uije the words of the hidorians, between a duck 
and an hen. Thi^ unhappy boy , harmlefs as h« 
was, was made an inftrument to deceive the people 
A p^ieA of Oxford, had trained up one Lam* 
bert Simndi, a baker's fon ^ to coiiaterfec tho 
perfoii of this earl ; ^nd inAnided him to talk 
Hpon fbm^ fids, and occnrrences relative to tbs 
court of king Edward. Thus , having .nrepar«d 
him for his purpofe , he fet out for Irelana, iudg« 
ing that the propereft theatre to open the fcene* ' 
The plot unfolded to his wtih : Simnel was received 
and proclaimed king of Ireland ; and he was con* 
duded , by the .people and judges, witb great pomp 
to the caftle , where he was treated conformably ta 
ias pretended birth and difltndtion. 

The king^Quld not avoid being troubled at tfait 
impoftore^ becauieiie iavr bus jnothec-ia-lapw 44 


die bottom of ir : he iras rcfolvied , therdbre , t 
rake the advice of his council upon this occado: 
who 9 afte^ due deliberation , determined upon ccc 
fining the old queen to a monaftenr ; but , :^ 
wipe off the afperfion of treafon from one r 
^hom he was fo near\]r allied ^ he gave out i^ 
ihe was* thus punifhed for having formerly dd 
vered up the princefs » her daughter , to kii^j 
Richard. The people , is ufual / murmiffed u^ 
this occafion ; but |he king , unmindful of tbe>' 
idle clamours, peril Aed in his refolution^ and il:e 
remained in confinement till ihe died , which c^ 
not happen till ieveral years after. The next refo 
hition of the king*s council was to ihew tbs 
carl of Warwick « who was ftill confined in ib*; 
Tower , pubUckly to the people : in confeaueoceoi 
this , he was led through the principal xtreets at 
London » and conduAed, in a lolemn proceffioo, 
to St. Paul's 9 where great numbers were affemblecl 
to iiiee him. Still , however » they proceeded at 
Dublin to honour their pretended monarch » 20^1 
he was crowned , with great folemnity , in pr«-' 
fence of the earl of Kildare , the Chancellor, aodl 
other officers of ftate. Such impofitions upon m 
people were very frequent, at that time, in fev^j 
ral pans of Europe : Lorraine , Naples , and Por'| 
tugsu, had their hnpoflors, who continued fort , 
long time to deceive without detefiion. In fe^tj 
the inhabitants of every country were fo mud. 
confined to the limits or their own peculiar ; ' ^ 
of abode, and knew fo little of what was ps 
in the reft of the world around them , that no 
was more eafy. than to deceive. King Simnel, ] 
ing now joined by lord Lovel , and one or t 
lords more of the dtfcontehted .parnr , refolvedl 
fttft over into £ng^d.,. and accordmgly landed I 


lancafhire : from Aence he inarched to York, 
expeding the country would rife and join htm as 
he paiTed alone. But in this he was deceived ; 
and he Toon had the mortification to find , that the 
king himfelf was coming up with a fuperior force to 
give himi battle. The event of the contefl was fuch 
as might have been expeded ; the earl of Lincoln p 
wKo commanded for Simnel , was overthrown and 
ilain in battle, and the impoflor himfelf taken pri- 
foner. Henry , had now an Opportunity of fliewing 
the humanity and the greatnefs of his mind : Sim- 
nel was pardoned , and given a mean employment 
ia the king's kitchen , and afterwards' preferred to 
be one of his falconet^ , in which poft he died. 
As for the prieA, his inArudor, he was made a 
prifoner for life. 

Things being thus adjuAed , we may turn to 
France, which had long been the grave of the 
Englifh , who yet coveted nothing fo much as 
to continue the war there. Henry had all along 
perceived the futility of conquefts upon the con- 
tinent 9 conquefis that could produce no other ad- 
vantage, than military glory; but, while he in- 
ternally defpifed fuch perniciotis triumphs , he was 
obliged, in order to gain popularity , to counte- 
nance them. He therefore often 'pretended , that 
he was going to ravifh his kingdom once more 
from the ufurper , and to Jay all France in blood ; 
but, in faft , he had nothing farther from his heart. 
As fiir as negotiations and threats went 3 he did all 
that lay- in his power to keep the jarring flates of 
that kingdomi nearly balanced, and ponfequently 
feeble ; but , as for fuccdurs of men and money , 
he too well knew - the value of botb to exhauft 
them J in the manner of his predeceffprs , upon focli 
vain projefts, • \ 

youi £ 


The parliament , however , was taught to bf 
lieve, that he intended fomethin^ confidenb:( 
againft France ; and they , ever chearful when Frani! 
was to he oppofed , furniiUed him with the nece^ 
.fary fupplies. But money was, at that time, mu 
eaUly granted tiian levied in England. A new Id- 
furredion arofe when the fupplies came to be coi- 
leded , and the earl of Northumberland was Bid 
by the mob ofYorkfliire, while he attempted to 
enforce obedience to the laws. The mutineer 
did not ftop there ; by the advice of one Joha-i' 
Chamber, an incendiary, they fct Sir John Egr^ 
mont at their head , and. marched towards Loq^gi 
to give the king battle : the confequence of this 
rafli ftep was the (defeat of the rebels , and the deatii 
of John-a-Chamber , their ringleader. It was De- 
cenary to treat this man with rigour, to induce a 
more ready compliance with the future grants of psi* 
.liament, and prevent all infurredions on the faice 
occafion ; for now people feemed continually more 
iviUing to revolt than to pay their taxes. 

One would not have imagined , by the fuccei 
of Simners impoflure , that it could have produced 
imitations ; but the old duchefs of Bursundy , (is 
to Edward IV,' finding the former Kaud had ds- 
ceived fo many , was refolved to profed a net 
fcheme , with more art and greater plaufibility. Ste 
firft fpread a report, that the young duke of Yorkj 
faid to have been murdered in the Tower, v» 
fiill alive ; and foon a youth made his appearanoe 
that took upon him the title of the duke of Yoi 
The perfon pitched ,upon to play this part wjs 
called Perkin Warbeck, the fbaof a Fleaiifh/<w, 
a youth of a beautiful perfon ^ good underjftaodingi 
and poffefling fomething in his carriage' and juafr 
JOer far above his birth of circum^aaces. 11^ 

king of France , ever attentive to Cow the feeds of 
dhrifion in England , received him at his court , 
and gave him proper encouragement ; but ^ at the 
inrerceffion of Henry , difmifled him , upon the. 
profpeS of a peace. Having quitted France , Per* 
kin went to leek prote£iion from the duchefs of 
Burgundy , taking the ereateft care to conceal hi$ 
former acquaintance. At their firft meeting , the 
duchefs pretended much dlfpleaAire at his afTij- 
rance , in afiuming the title bf her nephew ; but 
foon after , as if brought over by convfdion , flie 
owned him for the duke of York , and gave him 
a guard fuitable to • that dignity. The Englifh , 
ever ready to revolt , gave credit to this new im- 
pofture 9 and the young man's prudence , conver- 
fation , and deportment , ferved to confirm what 
dieir credulity had begun. AU fuch as were dif. 
gufted with die king prepared to join him ; but par- 
ticularly thofe that were formerly Henry's fevourites, 
and had contributed to place him on the throne, 
thinking their fervices could never be fufficiently 
repaid , were now the chief h^ads of the confpi- 
«5cy. Thefe ^ere joined by numbers , fome greedy 
of novelty , fome blindly attached to their leaders, 
and fome induced^ by their defperfte fortunes, to 
wifti for a change. 

Whilftthe king's enemies were thus combining 
to involve the kingdom in its former calamities , 
he himfelf was no lefs intent upon preventing the 
impending danger; He endeavoured to undeceive 
the people, firft by fhewing that the duke of York 
was really dead , and by puniAing his murderers , 
and next iry tracing Pet kin , the impoftor , to his 
primitive meannefs. The laft of thele projeds va$ 
not cafily executed; for Warbeck*s parents and, 
place of abode were fo well concealed , thatJt vrzs 

K a 


almofi impofTible to come to a knowledge of tbeo; 
But Henry , at lengtli, won over Sir Robert Clif- 
ford, who was then accompanying the impoUct 
in Flanders » and had been entrufted with his as: 
the duchefs's fecrets. From Clifford the kicj 
learned , not only their defigns , but the names 
of the confpirators , and had feveral of tbein| 
arrefted. His former lenity « however 5 did noi 
exempt him from frefli ingratitude : he found tlu: 
the lord high chamberlain , brother -to the famoj^ 
jord Stanley , who had been lately created nr. 
pf D^rby 9 was among the number of thofe vlij 
now had confpired aeainft him. Though tliis 
nobleman had been loaded with &vaurs , and V2> 
even then pofleffed of an immenfe fortune, yet» 
ilill diiTatisfi^d , he fought more from his coun- 
try's calamities. He was therefore arrefted by the 
king's order , and , confeffine his crime , was fen- 
tenced to fuffer that death ne fo juftlv merited 
ypu have hitherto obferyed how difficult it was dj 
rule the Enriiih a^ this time; each province feemed 
defirous of placing fome particular family upoa 
the throne, and more ^gerly took up arms, tiis: 
willingly difpofed themfelyes^ to legal fubordlQi- 
lion. To mix lenity lyitb juftice, upoa prop^ 
occafions , reciuiVed a very nice difcernment ; Henry 
ihewed bis judgment in this particular. Wk^- 
ever a confpirsjtor took wp Jtrms againft him, ftom 
a confcientious adherence to principle > and from 2 
love of the houfe of York , he generally founJ 
pardon ; but, if the only ipotive of his confpirin? 
wjj^ a love of change , or ^n ilficit deiire to fub- 
vert tbofe Jaws by which he was governed 9 b^ ^^ 
then treated with more feverity. 

While Warbeck's adherents were thus dirap* 
pointed in £i;^nd , he himfelf attempted laadl} 


m Kent ; but , being beat off from that coafl by tho 
inhabitants , he went from thence to Ireland ; find*. 
log his hopes fruftrated there alfo , he went next to 
try his fuccefs io Scotland. Here his fortune be- 
gan to mend ; James jlll , who was then king of 
that country, received him very favourably, ac- 
knowledged his pretenfions to be juft, and {boa 
after gave him , in marriage , a daughter of the 
earl of Huntley, one of the moft beautiful and 
accompliDied ladies of her time. But not <Jbn- 
tent with thefe inftances of favour , he was rc- 
folved to attempt fetting him upon the throne of 
England^ It was expefted , that, upon Perkin's 
flrft appearance in that kingdom, all the friends of 
the houfe of York would rife in his favour ; upOtt 
this ground , therefore , the king of Scotland en- 
tered the country with a ftrong army, and pro-^ 
claimed the young adventurer wherever he went ; 
hut , Contrary to expeflation , he found none to 
Second his claims ; and , thus difappointed , he 
again retreated back to Edinburgh , wnere he con* 
tinued to refide , till , upon the , conclufion of a 
treaty of peace between the two kingdoms , he was 
once more obliged to leave Scotland , and to feek 
for a new proteSor. 

Perkin had now , for the fpace of five years ; 
continued to alarm the king ; he had been acknow- 
ledged ih France , Flanders , Ireland , and Scot- 
land , as lawful heir to the Britifli crown , and had 
made fome bold attempts to fecond his pretenfions* 
The time , at length , came , that he was to aft 
the fame charaSer in England , which he haS per- 
formed elfewhere with fo much fuccefs. Some 
months before this there had been an infurreftion 
in Cornwall : the inhabitants of that diftant country, 
»pon levying the taxes granted by parliament. ^ 

K 3 


refufed to contribute to expences which vere 6f 

fiiced for the defence of an oppofite part of the 

kingdom. Every infurredion now was followed 

with a pro]ed of dethroning the king; theyther^ 

fore marched , with one Flammock , a Uwyer, 

Bodcly , a carrier > and lord Audley , at their head, 

dire(511y to London , and encamped upon Black- 

beath. There the king's forces furround^d and 

attacked them : the battle was bloody ; two thou* 

/and of thefe poor deluded wretches were kiOei 

upon the fpot , and the reft forced to furrender st 

difcretion. Lord Audley , and one or two of iheir 

ringleaders , were executed ; but the reft , to il« 

number of four thoufand , were difmiffed home again 

in fafeiy. But this moderation had not the proper 

cfTe^ upon minds too ignorant for gratitude; 

they attributed the king's clemency to tear, and, 

upon returning home, induced their friends to be* 

lieve that the whole kingdom was ready to riie 

to vindicate their quarrel. It was now , therefcre, 

determined to fend for Perkin Warbeck, who was 

then in Ireland, to put himfelf at their head 

Perkin did not he(itate to accept their invitation; 

and , taking upon him .the command , chofe for 

his privy council one Hern , a broken mercer ^ 

Skelton, a taylor, and Aft ley, a fcrivener. He 

publiilied a proclamation alfo againft Henry , Ir. 

which he took the title of Richard IV , and, hav- 

^ig drawn together a body of three thoufand mer;, 

attempted to ftorm the city of Exeter, but without 


Henry , having received advice of his proceed- 
ings, faid merrily , that he ihould now have the 
plea Aire of vifiting a perfon whom he had long 
wiflied to fee , and then took the neceflary mea* 
fures to oppofe him. Perkin » on the other baoj^ 

;;1N A SERIES OF LlfeTTERS: iif 

feeing that the king was marching to attack him , 
loA al) courage , and « in the night, took fanduary 
in the monafiery of Bewiey. Soon after, upon 
promife of a pardon, he furrendered himfelf to 
the king , and was confined in the Tower ; but ^ 
efcaping from thence, and finding it impradtica* 
h\e 16 get out of the kingdom , he again took fanc- 
tuary in the monailery of Bethlem. The prior o( 
this houfe gave him up to the king, upon promife 
of a pardon ; and Perkin was now. a fecond timd 
conHned in the Tower : but , plotting , even there , 
againft the king , he and the earl of Warwick » 
being convided of defigns to kill the ^ •j 
keeper of the Tower , and fo efcape , * ' '499* 
were both put to death. 

There was as yet , in Henry's reign , nothing 
but plots , treafons , infurredlions , ingratitude , im« 
pofture , and punlfhments. You have feen feveral 
of thefe fbmenters of treafon brought to juflice ^ 
yet hifinitely greater numbers pardoned ; but there 
was a wide difference between the punifhraents of 
this , and the arbitrary fentences of the reigns 
preceding. The courts of judicature now fat upoa 
every criminal, uninfluenced by the royal autho* 
rity ; and fcarce one perfon was punifhed for trea- 
fon , but fuch as would , at prefent,have received the 
fame rigorous treatment. A king, who can reign 
without ever punifhing ,. is happy ; but that mo- 
narch mufl certainly be undone, who, through 
fear, or ill-timed 4enity, fuffers repeated guih to 
efcape without notice. When a country becomes 
quite illicit , pimifliments then , like the loppines 
in a garden , only ferve to flrengihen the ilocK , 
and prepare for a new- harveft of virtues. 

K 4 . 


JL»ET US now exhibit that T>art of Henry V reign ic 
which he moA deferves our adsniration , in wbkn 
we fhall fee him as the friend of peace, and die 
fined politician. Indeed , no man loved peace mor: 
;]ian he , and much' of the ilI-«^ of his fubje^> 
arofe from his attempts to reprefs their inclinatioi 
for war. The ufua) preface to his treaties V3S, 
That , when Chrift came into the world , peacs 
was fung; and , when he went out of the world, 
peace was bequeathed. He had no ambition to ei- 
tend his power,. except only by treaties, andbr 
wifdom; by thefe he rendered nimfclf much more 
formidable to his neighbours , than his predece^ois 
had done by their vi^ories. They were (om^- 
ble only to their own fubjeds , Henry was dreadd 
by rival kings. 

He all along had two points principally in view; 
one to depress the nobility and clergy , and ik 
other to humanize and raife up the populace* 
From the ambition of the former , and the blir: 
dependence of the latter , all the troubles in fo!- 
mer reigns arofe; every nobleman was poflcffedd 
a certain number of fubjefts , over whom he ^ 
an abfolute power, and,, upon every occafior- 
could influence numbers to join in revolt and dii- 

* , He firft, therefore, confidered, that' giving A^fc 
•petty monarchs a power of felling their eftates;, 
which before they had not a right to do,wou^^i 
greatly weaken their intereft. With tWs vie* 


le got an aft paffed , in which the nobilitjr were 
granted a power of alienating their poffeflions ; a 
law infinitely pleafing to the commons , nor was it 
difagreeable even to the nobility , fince they thus 
had an immediate refourfe for fupplying the wafte 
of prodigality , and the demands of their creditors* 
The blow reached their pofterity alone, but they^ 
were too ignorant to be fenfible of remote fufFer- 

His next fcheme was to prevent their giving 
liveries to many hundreds of dependents , who 
ferved like ilandme forces , to be ready at the fum*. 
mens of their loro. By an ad pa/Ted in his reign ; 
none but menial fervants were permitted to wear a 
livery , under fevere penalties ; arid this law he took 
care to enforce with the utmofl rigour. It is tol(| 
us by Bacon, that the king, one day paying a 
vifit to the earl of Oxford , was entertained by 
him with all poffible fplendor and magnificenceJ 
When the kine was ready to depart, he faw. 
tanged , on both fides , a great number of men ; 
dreffed up in very rich liveries, apparently to do 
him honour. The king , furprifed at fuch a nuin- 
ber of domeftics , as he thought them, cried out^ 
What , my lord of Oxford , are all thefe fine fellows 
your menial fervants ? The earl , not perceiving the 
king's drift , anfwered , with a fmile , that they 
were only men whom he kept in pay to do him 
honour upo» fuch occafions. At this the king 
flatted a little, and&id. By my faith ^ my lord ^ I 
thank you for your good cheer ; hut Imuft notfufferto 
have the taws broken : my attorney-general muft talk 
with you. ' TliQ hiflorian adds , that the king 
eiafted a feyere fine for this tranfgrefTion of the 

It has been already obferved what a pervened uie 
was made of monaAeries « and other places appro- 
priated to religious worfliip, by the number of cri- 
minaU who took refuge in them. This privilege 
the clergy afium^d as their undoubted right; 2d 
thofe places of pretended fandity were becomejt^'e 
abode of murderers , robbers , and confpirators. 
Witches and necromancers were the only perfons 
who coutd not avail themfelves of the advantages 
of the fecurity thefe afforded : they whofe crimen 
were only fiaitious , were the only people who bad 
not the benefit of fuch a retreat. Henry vM a)' 
his intereft with the pope to abolifh theie fanftw- 
ries , but without efFed ; all that he could procure 
was, that, if thieves, murderers, or robbers, re- 
giftered as fan£^uary-men , fhould (ally out and com' 
init freih offences , and retreat again , in fuch ca/e5, 
they might be taken out of the fanftuary , ini ^^' 
livered up to juflice. 

Henry politiCRlly pretended the utmofl fubirii- 
Con to all the pope s decrees , and fhewedthe great- 
eft refpeft to the clergy , but flill was guided hj 
th^m in no Angle inftance of his condud. ^^ 
pope, at one time , was fo far impofed uponby iii^ 
fceming attachment to the church , that he even 
invited him to renew the crufades for recoverinj 
the Holy Land. Heary*s anfwer deferves tq ^ 
remembered : he aiTured his hoUnefs , that co 
prince in Cbriftendom would 1>e more formrA 
than he to undertake fo glorious and neceffary afl 
expedition; but, as his dominions lay very dift«« 
from Conflantinople , it would be better to appjf 
to the kings of France and Spain for their aP' 
ance ; and that , he would come to their aid hif 
{t\fi as fion as ali iht dsfferencts bttwecn the Or'if^ 


princes were brought to an end* This was , at once ^ 
a polite reflifal and an oblique reproach. 

Henry had feen the fatal confequencies of having 
favourites , and therefore refolved to have none ; 
he even excluded, from his privy-council , all fuch 
as ^ by their titles or fortune , might attempt to go^ 
vern him , inflead of executing his intentions. His 
council was compofed of private men , who had 
learning and wifdom to advife , but neither influ- 
ence nor ambition to govern. ^ 

But, while he was thus employed in lowering 
his nobility and clergy , he was ufing every art to 
extend the privileges of the people. In former 
reigns they were hire to fufFer , on whatever fide 
they fought, if they had the misfortune to lofe the 
viftory : this rendered each party defperate , in cafes 
of civil war ; and this was the caufe of fuch ter- 
rible flaughters. He therefore produced the paffing 
of an aft, by which it was eftablifhed, tnat no 
perfon fhould be impeached or attainted for af* 
fifling the king for the time beings or, in otheif 
worcb , him whp fhould be then adually on the 
throne. This excellent ftatnte ferved to reprefs 
the deftre of civil war , as feveral would naturally 
take arms in defence of that fide on which they 
were certain of lofing nothing by a defeat, and 
their numbers would intimidate infureents. 

But his greateft efforts were direded to promote 
trade and' commerce , becaufe this naturally intro- 
duced a fpirit of liberty among the people , and dif^ 
engaged them from their dependence on the nobi-« 
lity. Before this happy sra all our towns owed 
their original to fome flrong caflie in the neighbour- 
hood , wherd fome great lord generally refided ; and 
thefeaVfo ^ere made ufe of as prifons for all forts 
of criminals^ In ihis alfo there was generally a 

K 6 


garrifon , or a number of armed men , vho dc'^ 
pended on the noblenun*s bounty for fupport.Tk 
number of thefe , of courfe , drew^ all the artificers, 
viduallers, and ihop-keepers , to fettle in fomepbce 
adjacent, in order to furnifh the lord and his at. 
tendants with what necelTaries they wanted. The 
farmers alfo and huikandmen , in the neighbour- 
hood , built their houfes there , to be proteSed agalnil 
the numerous gangs of robbers that hid themielves 
in the woods by oay , and infeAed the country bv 
night J who were called Robertfmen. Henry, oo 
the other hand , endeavoured to bring the to«'o$ 
from fuch a neighbourhood , by inviting the iob* ' 
bitants to a more commercial fituation* He at- 
tempted to teach them frugality and payment of 
debts , the life and foul of indullry , by his owi 
example ; and never omitted t^e rights of com- 
merce in all his treaties with foreign princes. 

About this time the whole worla feemed to ifli* 
prove : Sweden , France « and Spain , enjoyed ex* 
cellent monarchs , who encouraged and proteM 
the rifing arts. The Portuguefe had failed round 
the cape of Good Hope , and Columbus had madfi 
the difcovery of America : Henry , in imitation oi 
them , gave a patent to fome BriAol and Portu- 
guefe merchants to go in queft of new countries. 
But an accident gave him a i>etter opportunity o( 
improving commerce , than his mofl; fanguine hopei 
could have afpired to : the king of Spain and bis 
queen , being upon their return to their own domi- 
nions , after the condufton of a fuccefsful war in 
Holland , were driven by a ilorm , on the coalls 
of England. As foon as Henry had nojtice of iheir 
arrival , he received them both with marks of the 
JGncereft friendihip and refped, meditating , in thfi 
jneah time 9 how to make his fubjeSs reap fome ad- 


vantage from the accident. He therefore treated 
them with a fplendor which was by no means 
agreeable to his own nature ; and while he kept 
them thus entertained with a round of pageantry 
and amufements ,- he ccTncluded a treaty of com- 
merce., whicb has, even to this day , continued to 
be beneficial to liis pofterity. 

Havine thus at length feen his country civilized i 
the people pay their taxes without infurred^ions j 
the nobility learning a juft fubbrdination , the laws 
alone fuffered to inflid punifhment , towns begaa 
to feparate from the caftles of the nobility, com- 
merce every day encreafed ; foreigners either feared 
England , or fought its alliance ; and the fpirit of 
&^on was happily extingutfhed at home. He was 
at peace with all Europe , and he had iflued out a 
general pardon to his own fiibjedis. It was in this 
fttuation of things that he died , of the gout in his 
ftomach, having lived fifty- two years, and reigned 
twenty-three. Since the time of Alfred, England 
had not feen fuch another king. He rendered his 
fubjeds powerful and happy , and wrought a greater 
change in this kingdom , than it was pofiible to ex- 
peft could be effcded in fo fhort a time. If he had 
any fault , it was , that , having begun his, reign 
with oeconomy , as he grew^ old , his defires feemed 
to change their objeA^ fi-om the ufe of money, to 
tlie pleafure of hoarding it ; but we can eafily cx- 
cufe him , as he only faved for the public , the royal' 
coffers being then the only treafury of the ftate ; 
and , in proportion to the king's finances , the pub* 
lie might be faid to be either rich or indigent* 



JNlVER did a prince come to the throne viti^ 
a conjunfiure of ib many fortunate .circumfbncd 

'v# D » fft *" ^** favour as Henry VIII , vbo 
^. x^, 1509, ^^^ j^^ yp^j^ j^^ jj^^ g^^gyn, 

stent of the kingdom. His' prudent &ther left biij; 
a peaceable kingdom , prudent minifters , and a wc!' 
ftored treafury. All faftions were exiinguiihd . 
and all divifions united in his perfon : he by tli( 
£ither*s fide claimed from the houfe of Lancafler, 
and by the mother's from the houfe of YorL He 
was at peace with all Europe, and his fubjefts wtrt 
every day growing more powerful and more veaithy : 
commerce and arts had been introduced in the tor- 
mer reien , and they feemed to find in £n£lan<l a 
£LVOurable reception. The young king himfeii 
was beautiful in perfort', expert in polite exercifes, 
and loved by his fubjefts. The old kine,whovas 
himfelfa fcholar, had him infiruded in all thelearo- 
xng of the times ; fo that he was petfeftly verfedlfl 
fchool divinity at the age of eighteen. 

Yet J fi'om this beginning , you muft not exped 
to read fh^ hifiory of a good prince. All thefe 
advantages were either the gift of nature, or for* 
tune f or of his father : with all thefe luppy ^; 
lents, Henry VIII wanted the two great rcqui* 
$tes in forming every good charaAer , wifdom 
and virtue. The learning he had , if it might be 
called by. that name, ferved only ta inflame bis 

Eride , but not controul his Ticious affeftions. The 
>ve of his fub)e6ts was tefiified by their adulations, 
and ferved as another meteor to lead him aflray. 
His vaft wealth , inftead of relieving his fiibjeSs, 
or increafing bis power, only contributed tofup'. 


ply his debaucheries, or gratify the rapacity of the 
miniflers of his pleafure. But happy, for him , had 
his faults refted liere : he was a tyrant; humanity 
takes the alarm at his cruelty , and, whatever for« 
tunate events might have been the confequence of 
his defigns , no good man but mufl revolt at the 
means he took for their. accomplifhment. 

The firft aft of injuftice which marked his reieif 
was his profecution of Empfom and Dudley , the 
judges whom his father had conftituted to enquire 
into cafes of treafon , and levy fines proportionable 
to the offence* Their condua was examined , but , 
nothing being found againft them that could 
amount to a capital convi6Hon , a falfe accufatioil 
was produced , and they were convided of having 
plotted againft the new king , and received fentence 
to be beheaded , which was executed accordingly. 

Thefe two judges had been long hated by the 
people , though apparently without caufe ; they 
only put the laws in execution againft criminals , 
and , inftead of their lives , deprived the guilty of 
their fortunes. This adion of an unjuft compile 
ance vitb popular clamour , was followed by ano^ 
^er ftill more detrimental to the nation , yet more 
pleafing to the people : the fpirit of chivalry and 
conqtieft was not yet quite extinguHhed in the na- 
tion; France was ftill an objett of defire, and 
Henry was refolved once more to ftrike at the 
crown. It was in vain that one of his old pru* 
dent counfellors objeded , that conqnefts on the 
continent would only be prejudicial to the king* 
dom f and that England » from its fituation , was 
not deftined for extenfive empire; the young king^ 
deaf to all remonftrances , and perhaps infpired by 
the voice of the people , refolved to lead an army 
into that kingdom. The confequence of the cam^ 

paign was a ofeiefs viftory and an empty tminpli 
The French fled without fighting ; a truce was coc- 
eluded between the two kings ; and Henry returns 
home to diflipate , in more peaceable follies , thete 
fums that had been amaiTed for very different par* 
pofes by his father. 

But while he thus changed from one pkafurets 
another , it was requifite to find oat a minifter id 
favourite who would take care of the kingdom 
Indifferent princes ever attempt to rule , and art 
ruled by favourites; and foon a proper pcrio: 
was found to anfwer the king's intention in i^ 
particular : the man I mean was the famous car- 
dinal Wolfey ; and , as a great part of his reigi 
was ruled by him , his hiftory may , with propriety, 
make a part in that of his mafter. Thomas "^'oi 
fey was the fon of a private gentleman ( and noto! 
a butcher , as is commonly reported ) in Ipfvidi: 
he was fent to Oxford lb early, that he ^^5 
a bachelor at fourteen , and from that time calieii 
the boy bachelor. He rofe^ by degree, upo^ 
quitting college , from one prefefifcent to anotbff, 
till he was made reftor of Lymington by theBi»' 
<fuis of Dorfet , whofe children he had inftruftec 
He had not long refided at this livings when one 
of the juftices of the peace put him in the ftecks> 
for being drunk and raifmg difturbances at a neigh- 
bouring fair. This difgrace , however , did no: 
retard his promotion ; he rofe by degrees , till hf 
was , at laft , intrufled with negotiating an intended 
marriage between Henry Vll and Margaret o 
Savoy. His difpatch , upon that occafion , pr^ 
cured him the deanery of Lincoln ; and in this 
fituation it was that Henry VIII , pitched upon 
liim as a favourite, and entfuftcd him with the ad* 
«iixuAratioA of afiairs. Prefently after. diis, beii^S 


jntrodaced at court , he was made privy counfellor , 
and, as fuchj had an opportunity of ingratiating 
liiinfelf With the king , who found him at once fub- 
miflive and enterprifing. Wolfey fung , laughed , 
danced , with every libertine of the court ; and 
bis houfe was the Icene of all the king^s criminal 
pleafures and amours. To fuch a weak and vicious 
monarch as Henry , qualities of this nature were 
highly- pleafing , and WoKey was made his prime 
jninifter , and managed the whole kingdom at his 
pleafure. The people faw , with indignation , the 
new favourite's mean condefcenfions to the king , 
and his arrogance to themfelves. They had long 
regarded the vicious infolence and unbecoming 
fplendor of the clergy with envy and deteAation , 
and-Wolfey's greatned ferved to bring a new odium 
upon that body, already too much the objed of 
the people^s diflike. 

wolfey had fome talents as a minifler, but his 
failings out-balanced them , being exceflively re* 
Vengeful, ambitious., and intolerably proudL A- 
mong other inftances of his ambition , he afpired at 
the popedom* Ferdinand, who was then emperor 
of Germany , promifed him his intereft to procure 
it, and this confequently attached the Englifh mt- 
nifter more clofeiy to the emperor : this monarch 
was then at war with France , and each power (o' 
licited the alliahce of England. It was the inte- 
reft of the Eftglifh calmly to look on as fpedators 
of the quarrel , and fuffer its rivals in power to 
grow weak by their mutual animofity : Wolfey , 
however , preferring his own intereft to that of his 
country or his mafter, engaged in a league againfl: 
France. Soon after however, the pope dying,- 
and the emperor failbg in his promife ^ Wolfey ,( 


in revenge , induced his mafter to change fides , an 
aiSft France again A Ferdinand 

A vifiory over the Scots , rather oftentatioos thr 
ufeful , ferved , in ibme meafure « to reprefs 
difcontents of the people during this mal-admi 
ftration of the ecdefiaftical favourite : this vidory 
was obtained by the earl of Surry over James it' 
of Scotland; it was fought at Floddea field, sgc' 
the Scots , upon this occafion , loft the flower or 
their nobility and gentry « and James , their kinj 
was flain in battle. 

Succefs ever ferves to fiop the murmurings ef 
the Engliih , and no nation can better endure to 
be fplendidly miferable. Wolfey now became ; 
cardinal, grew every day more powerful , and mor? 
defirous of power : the pope was fenfible oth$ 
influence over the king , and therefore created Ei: 
his legate in England. The pontiff's defign wa5 
to make hini thus inftrumental in draining the king- 
dom of money , upon pretence of employing it ir. 
a war againft the Turks, but, in reality , to tiil 
his own coffers. In this he fo well ferved the court 
cf Rome , that he , fome time after , made him le- 
gate for life : he was now, threrefore, at once.s 
legate , a cardinal , a bifliop , a prime minifier , and 
' pofTeffed of numberlefs church benefices ; yet j ftiii 
unfatisfied , he defired greater promotions. He 
therefore procured a bull from the pope , impof 
ering him to make knights and counts , to leeiumate 
baftardsjto give degrees in arts, law, phytic > and 
divinity , and grant all forts of difpenfations. So 
much pride and power could not avoid giving high 
offence to the nobility ; yet none dared to vent their 
•indignation , fo greatly were they in terror of bis 
yinai£tive temper. The duke of Buckingham , loo 

kf him who loft his life in the reign of Richard 
m, was the only perfon who had rcfolution enough 
to complain. His threats were foon Conveyed to 
A^olfey by an informer , who was not flow to ac* 
cufe the duke of high-treafon. The fubflance of 
his impeachment was, that he had confuted a for* 
tune-teller concerning his fuccedion to the crown > 
and had aiTe&ed to make himfelf popular. This 
was but a weak pretext to take away the life of a 
nobleman , whole father had died in defence of the 
late king : however , he was condemned to die as a 
traitor. When the fentence. was pronouncing 
againft him, and the high fleward came to men* 
tion the word traitor, the unhappy prifoner could 
no longer contain : My lords ^ cried he to his 
judges , I am no traitor ; and ^ for what you have nox(^ 
done againflme, take my fincere for^xventfs : as for my 
H^ i I thijik It is not worth petitioning for ; may God 
forgive you^ and pity m€ I He was foon after executed 
on Tower hill. 

Every \\A man muft feel the higheil indignatroif 
at (o unmerited a punifhment. In me former reign ^ 
the few that perifhed under the hand of the execu* 
tioner were really culpable ; but here we fee a no* 
bleman'slife taken away , only for his diflike of aif 
afpiring and licentious u{^flart. It is thi» cruelty of 
punifhing without guilt, and not the number o£ 
executions in a reign , that diflinguifhes it into a ty- 
rannical or merciful one. Perhaps there were more 
executions under Henry. VII, than his fuccefTor; 
and vet the firfl was a juft and merciful prince « the 
latter an arbitrary and mercilefs tyrant. 

By this time all the immenfe treafures of the 
late king were quite exhaufted on empty pageants ^ 
guilty pleafures, or vain treaties and expeditions. 
Wolfey was a proper inftrumcnt to fupply the king 


with money , which now began to be wantec; 
this he extorted by the oaftie of a benevolence 
Henry minded not by what methods it wasraifec. 
provided he bad but the enjoyment of it. Ho^ 
ever , his niiniAer met fome oppofition in his £^ 
tempts to levy thofe un voluntary contributions 
having exafted a confiderable Uibfidy from th^ 
clergy , he next addreffed himfelf to the houfe ct 
commons , but they only granted half the fuppb 
he demanded. The cardinal was highly onendcc 
at their parfimony , and defired to be heard in \U 
houfe; but as this would have deftroyed the'rery 
form and cbnflitution of that auguft body, tky 
replied, that none could be admitted to^reafc 
there but fuch as were members. This was the 
£rA attempt made , in the prefcnt reign , to render 
the king mafler of the debates in parliaroect : 
Wolfey firft paved the way , and , unfortunately 
for the kingdom , the king too well improved upon 
his defign. 

Wolley was , foon after , raifed to ftiU greater 
dignities than before : he Was , at once , archbiilxf 
of York , bifliop of Durham , abbot of St. Alban's, 
a cardinal , legate for life , lord chancellor of Et.i- 
land , prime minider , and favourite , and catered 
or feared by all the powers of Europe t he now, 
therefore^ undertook more openly to render the kin; 
independent of his parliament , and levied the ki 
fidy granted by them for four years, and confe* 
quently to be paid at four different times, all at 
once« Againfl this the poor , who were the greatell 
fufferers , mofl loudly exclaimed ; but he difre- 
carded their clamoin-s , fecure in die king's appro- 
bation and the pope's protedion. ' 

Thefe proceedings only paved the way to ffil 
greater extortions : Wolfey was too haughty i« 

be refufed in his demands by the houfe of commons, 
and determined to levy money by the king's au- 
thority alone. This' was deemed a breach of the 
Magna Charta , and the people abfolutely refufed to 
comply. Even a general rebellion threatened to 
enfue. The king , finding what was likely to be 
the confequences of the cardinaTs precipitate mea- 
fures , pretended they were carf ied on without his 
authority; bur, at the* fame time , demanded from 
the people a benevolence , which was only an ar- 
tifice to extort mpney under a different name. The 
people feemed fenfible of the king^s art, and the 
citizens of London refufed to give the benevolence 
demanded : their example was followed by the 
country, and an univerfal defe^^ion feemed to pre- 
vail. The king , apprehenftve of bad confequences 
by perfijfting in his demand , thought proper to re-» 
trad for this time , and wait 9 mpr^ favourable op« 
portunity of oppreilion. 

You now find the people labouring uuder a very 
different form of oppreilion from that in the reigns 
preceding Henry VIL In thofe earlier times their 
mifertes chiefly arofe frpm the licentioufnefs of the 
nobility; in this reign they proceeded from the 
nfurpations of the king^ before Henry VII had 
balanced the government, the people often dif- 
charged their t^xes by ^n infurreSion ; but now. 
that the prejfeht Henry hiad deftroyed that balance 
again , the people were obliged to pay taxes tha( 
were npt dije. In fhort, they now feemed ias mi- 
ferable as wheii jtheir great reftorer had bropght 
diem firom ansurcfay ; ^n arbitrary king , an avari- 
cious pppe J a revengeful favourite , a luxurious 
clergy , all confpired to harafs them : yet , duritig 
this whole reign , there was no rebellion ; not from 
the jufUce of the king's adminiftration « nor frofl| 


the love the people had to their fovereign ; buthsp 
pily for the reigning tyrant , he enjreyed the effcvt 
of his predeceuor's prudence , not his owo. 


A S , in a (amity , the faults and the irnpert!* 
nence of fervants are often to be afcribed to the; 
maAer ; fo , in a ftate , the vices and the infolen:. 
of favourites fhould be juftly attributed to the In 
vrho employs them. The pride of Wolfey va 

Sreat , but his riches were ftill-greater ; and , in or- 
er to have a pretext for amauing fuch fums , h; 
undertook to found two new colleges at Oxford , b 
which he received every day frem grants fromi^i 
pope and the king. To execute his (cheme* he ob-l 
tained a liberty of fnpprefling feverai monafteriesj 
and converting their funds to the benefit of his in-i 
tended fcheme. Whatever might have been th; 
pope's inducement to grant him thefe privileges, 
nothing could be mote fatal to the pontiff's intere/ls;! 
for Henry was thus himlelf taught to imitate aH 
terwards what he had feen a fubjed perform witb* 
out crime or dinger. I 

Hitherto the adminiftration of afiairs was carried' 
on by Wolfey alone : as for the king, he loft ui 
the embraces of his miftrefies all the complaints o:{ 
the nation , and the cardinal undertook to keep him 
ignorant J in order to mainiain his own authority. 
Bur now a period approached, that wai to put an I 
end to this minifter's exorbitant power : one of the 
mod extraordinary and important revolutions that 
ever employed the attention of man , was now ript 
-for execution. But^ to have a' clear idea <^thii 


jrand reformation , it will be proper to take a cur- 
fory view of t}ie.flate of the church . _ 
It that time, and obferve by what -^•'5«7« 
feemingly contradiSory means Providence produces 
the happieft events. 

The church. of Rome had now, for more than 
a thoufand years , been corrupting the facred doc* 
trines of Chriftianity , and converting into a tem- 
porality the kingdom of another world. The 
popes were frequently found at the head of their 
own armies , fighting for their dominions with the 
arm of flefb, and forgetting, in cruelty and im«" 
moral politics , all the pretended fanftity of their 
charaaer. They had drained other kingdoms of 
tbeir ireafures upon the moft infemous pretexts , 
and were proud of fitting at Rome , in their own 
coudua, an example, of refined pleafure andftiidied 
luxury. The cardinals, prelates, and dignharies 
ofihe church , lived and were fer ved like voluptuous 
princes , and -fome jof them were foiind to poffefi; 
eight or nine bifhoprics at a time. Wherever the 
church governs , it exerts its power with cruelty ; 
and to their luxury thefe great ones added the 
crime of being tyrants too. 

As (or the inferior clergy , both popiOi and pro-' 
teflam writers exclaim againft their diiTolute and 
abandoned morate, Theypublickly kept rfiiftrefles ; 
and bequeathed to their baftards whatever they were 
able to fave from their pleafures , or extort from 
the poor. There is flill to be feen , fays a fine 
writer , a will made by a bifhop of Cambray , in 
which be fets afide a certain fum for the baflards he 
has had Already , and thofe winch , by the blejjing of 
God , he may ^et happen to have. In many parts of 
England and Germany the people obliged the 
}m&$. 10 .have coxicubinds , fo that the laity might 

keep their wives in greater fecurity ; while the pocr 
lahourious peafaot and artizan fav all the fruits . 
their toll go , not to clothe and nsaintaiii their or 
little families , but to pamper men who infulted r. 
defpired them. 

But the vices of the clergy were not greater tk 
their ignorance ; few of them knew the mea&i:^ 
of their own Latin mafs : they were chiefiy er 
ployed in finding out witches, and exordfingtr 
.pouefTed. But what mofi increafed the hatred 
the people againft them , was the felling pardo: 
and abfolutions for fm at certain ftated prices. > 
deacon , or fubdeacon , who ihould commit mr; 
der, was abfolved from his crime, and allowed :> 
poffefs three benefices , upon paying twenty cro«n> 
A bifhop or an abbot might commit murder for tr 
pounds. Every crime had its Aated price , and £- 
folutions were given, not only for fins already coir- 
mitted , but for fuch as ihould be committed hr^ 
after. The wifefl of the people looked with filer: 
deteflation on thefe imoofitions, and the ignoran: 
whom nature feemed to have formed for flavcry , b"* 
gan to open their eves to fuch glaring ai^urdities 

There arofe , at laA , a champion to refcue k- 
man nature from its degeneracy. This was tJit 
^mous Martin Luther. Leo X being employeii 
in building the church of St. Peter's at Rome , i" 
the year 15 19, in order to procure money fore* 
rying on this projefi, he gave a commiffion forfel 
ing indulgences , or in other words , a deliveranc: 
from the pains of purgatory , either for one's ie' 
or other friends. There were every where ftors 
opened where thefe were fold; but in gei 
xal they were to be had at taverns and fuch liiJ 
places. Thefe indulgences were granted to theDc- 
xninican friars to be difbibuted by them ^ wheresi 


iic Auguftine friars had been in polTei&on of the 
diilribution of them time out of mind before* 
Martin Luther was an Augufline monk » and one 
of thofe who refented this transferring the iale of 
indulgences to another order. He began to fhew 
his indignation , by preaching againft their efficacy : 
oppofition fgon drove hini turther than he firft in- 
tended to go, and, now the veil was lifted ^ he pro- 
ceeded to examine the authority of the pope him- 
felf. The people , who had long groaned under the 
papal tyranny , heard his difcourfes with pleafure > 
and defended him againfl the authority and machi- 
nations of the church of Rome. Frederic » elec» 
tor of Saxony , furnamed the Wife , openly pro- 
teSed hiiB. Luther as openly declaimed againfl 
the number of facraments , reducing the feven held 
hy the church of Rome , firft to three, and after- 
wards to two : from thence he proceeded to exa- 
mine the do^lrine of tranfubflantiation , to fliew 
the folly ^f f^ippofing a purgatory , and the dange- 
rous confequence of celibacy among the clergy. 

The pope ifliied out hi$ bulls againft Luther ;» 
and the Dominican friars procured his books to be 
burned. Luther abufed the Dominicans , and bold-^ 
ly, in the flreets of Wirtemberg , burned the bull 
of the pope. In <the mean time the difpute wass 
carried on by writings on either fide : Lutner ^ tho* 
oppofed by the pope ^ the cardinals , and all the 
body of the cler^ , fupponed his caufe fingly and 
with fuccefs. If indeed we look into his works ac 
this day ,v we ihall fipd them triBing and unfatif- 
fadory enoaigh ; but. then he had only ignorance 
to contend with , and , ill as he wrote , they an- 
fwered flill worfe. Opinions are inculcated upon 
the minds qf the publick , rather by fortitude and 
perfeverance, th^ by flrengjtb of r^afoning or beauty) 
Vol. t L. 


•f though 9 *<t<l no >">* i"^ niore fomnde a^ 
Qiore perieTeranoe than lie. 

In tbif diipute ir Vas the fiitt ^ Henry VIII. 
tir be ^one ot the chainpions. His fecher , who hn 
given him the education of a Molar , permitted 
him to be inftrn^d in fcheol divinity , which then 
tompo&d the learnii^ of die times. He was, 
therefore , J«riHing to give the world a demonfira- 
tion of his abilities m thb refpeft , and ^efired tbe 
pope's permiflion to read the works of Lmber, 
which had been forbidden to be read under pain d. 
excommunication. Having readily obts^ned this 
requefi, the king defend^ the 4even isenimems. 
from St. Thomas Aauinas, and ihewed fome ikii! 
in fchool divinity , though it is thou^t that Wo- 
fey had the chief hand in 4ire6ting flim« A book 
being thus iiniAied in hafte> it was fent to Ronie 
for the pope's approbation : the pope , raviihed wsii 
its eloouence and depth , compared the woit ro 
that or St. Auguftine or St. Jerome , and gave 
Henry th6 title o( Difefider ofikeFMk^ little fuf> 
pd^ng that Henry was foon going to be ot^ of the 
snoft terriUe enemies diat ever thdehntdipfRosie 
had yet met with. 

Befides thefe caufes which centribttted to render 
die Romifh church odious or contemptible, there 
were Aill others proceeding fr<^m political motives, 
Clement VII had fucceeded Leo / and , the heredi* 
tary animoflt^ betweeii the emperor ai^d the oope 
breaking out into a war , Clement was imprifone^ 
in the caftle of St. Angelo, and, with thirteen 
cardinals befide , kept In cuftody for his ranfom. 
As the demands of the emper^ were exorbi- 
tant , Henry undertook to riegotliite for the 
pO|>e , and procured a treaty in his favour ; but his 
jb(>)ine6 » m the mean dQie ^ oomipting Ims ^uardSf 


lid the phi fortune to efcape from confinement^ 
ind IdRt dte treaty unfiniffaed , btat fent Henry a 
letter of itianks for his meduitton. The condud 
of the emperor ihewed Henry that the pope might 
be tn^reo with impunity ; and the behaviour of 
rhe pope mantfi^fled but little of that fanAity or in* 
Fallibility' to which the pontifi pretended. Be* 
fides , nsr he had obliged the pope, he fuppofed that 
be mighty upon any emergency » exped a return 
of favour. 

It was in this iituation of the church and of the 
pope , that a new drama was going to be performed ^ 
which was to change the whole fyftem of Europe. 
Henry had now boen married eighteen years to 
Catharine of Arragon, who had been brought 
over ftom Spain to marry his eldeft brother , prince 
Arthur , who died fome momhs after his cohabi»> 
ration with her. Henry had three children by this 
!ady^ one of whom was ftill living, while fheher* 
felf was efleemed for her virtue and the gentlenefi 
of her difpofition. The king though he felt no 
teal paffion , either for the qualifications of her 
mind or perfon, yeTFor a long tune broke our into 
no flagrant contempt : he ranged from beauty to 
beauty in th c court, and his title and authority al- 
ways proctfred htm a ready compliance from fe- 
male frailty. It happened at length , that, among the 
m<uds of honour that then attended the queen , there 
was one AmiaBuUen, the daugther of a eentlemaa 
ofdiftindion, tbo* not of the nobility. Her beauty 
furpaiTed what had hitherto appeared at his vo- 
luptuous court ; her features were regular , mild , 
and attradive ; her flature elegant , though below 
the middle fize ; while her wit and vivacity even 
exceeded the allurements of her peribn. The 
king,. -who oeter reftrvoed one pamon which kt 


tliod of temporifing- higbly difguAed the kingt}^ 
be endeavoured to conceal his refentment.'heoo^ 
only looked out for feme man of equal abificies n 
lad ait , and it was not long before accident thr^ 
in hts way one Thomas Cranmer, of greater alx 
lities than the former, and rather more imezrir 
Ciranmer was a dodor of divinity , and a profeflo^ 
Cambridge , but had loft his place upon marryiri 
contrary to the inftitutes o£ me canon law, vhic: 
enjoined him celibacy. He had travelled into Gt\' 
many , where he read Luther*$ works , and en- 
braced his dodrine ; and , upon his return , was d:* 
tor to the fons of a gentleman , wha one night hap- 
pened to entertain two of the principal men oft(t 
court. Cranmer , being afked his opinion of tbi 
king's divorce, which was then the topic ofti:^ 
converfation , delivered himfelf in fo learnd i 
manner, that the king was foon informed o(^ 
abilities , and ordered him to follow the court 

The king's refemmeht now appeared more op 
ly againft the cardinal. The attorney-general va 
ordered to pi^pare a bill of indi&nenc againft ^^ 
•nd foon after he himfelf was ordered to refigotli« 
great feal. Crimes are readily found againft a msj 
when he is hated, and the cardinal was fentcnced 
to be excluded from the protedion of the la*'^ 
As foon as he was out-lawed, the king commantle. 
him to retire to a country^houfe^ and direficd tk 
Ml invenfory of his goods ihould be taken , wW 
contained immenfe riches acquired by various tne- 
thods6f guilt arid extortion': of fine holland alone 
there were found in his houfes a thoufand pi«eS| 
which may ferve to give an idea^ of the reft of d^ 
wealth. The parliament confirmed the fcntenc* 
-of the courts » and he was fent an exile to his coua* 
try-fe^t , there to wait die lung's difpo£d of ^ 

IN A SERIES 01^ LETTEft^. ,14? 
gorlation ; and thus he argued , temporifed , pro* 
mifed , recanted , and di(puted , hoping that the ~ 
king's paffion ixrould never hold out during the te- 
dious courfe of an ecclefiaftical controverfjr. Tn 
this he was miflaken; Henry tiad h^een taught to 
argue as well as he , and quickly found , or wrcfted , 
many texts of fcripture to favour his opinions and hi* 
paflions. To his arguments he added threats , which 
probably had greater influence : the pope was affu- 
red , that the Englijfh were already but too much dif* 
pofed to withdraw their obedience from the holy 
fee , and , that , if he continued to refufe , the whole 
country would readily follow their monarch's ex- 
ample , and exclude themfelves irom his protec- 
tion. The king even propofed to his holinefs , 
whether , . if he were denied the putting away his 
prefeat queen , he might not have a difpenfation to 
rrarry two wives* at a time ? The pope , though his 
meahires were already taken not to grant thfe buU^ 
yet ftill feemed unrefolved , as if waiting for more 
full and authentic information. 

During thefei,follici rations , on which Henry's 
happinefi feemed to depend , he expeded , in his 
favourite Wolfey , a warm defender , and a. fteady 
adherent ; but in this he was miflaken. Wolfey 
feemed to be in pretty much fuch a dilemma as 
the pope himfelf. On the one hand , he was to 
pleale his mafler the king , from whom he had re^ 
ceived a thoufand marks of favour ; on the othet . 
hand , he could not difoblige the pope , whdfe fer- 
vant he more immediately was , and who had 
power to punifli his difobedience. In this dilemma , 
he chofe to fland neuter : though, of all maiikind, 
he was the moft haughty , he on this occafioii gave 
way in all things to his colleague cardinal Cam- 
pegio , fent by the pope from Italy. WolfeJ^'s m«- 

L 3 . 


prefent marriage canvafled in the different ^mivier' 
iities of Europe. It was very extraordiuacy to fee 
the king on one fide folicitipg the univeriities to be 
favoiir^le to his pa(lion« and on the other the em* 
peror prefling them to incline to his aunt : Henry 
liberally rewarded thofe dolors who declared in his 
fevour , and the emperor granted benefices to fuch 
as voted on his fide of the debate. Time has dil- 
covered thefe intrigues. In one of Henry's ac- 
count-books we find the diiburfements he made upon 
thefe occafions : to a fubdeacon he gave a crown , 
to a deacon two crowns, and fo of the reft, to 
each in proportion to his confequence. The per- 
fon who bribed upon thefe occafions , however , ex- 
cufed himfelf by declaring , that he never paid the 
money till after the vote was given. Henry at 
length prevailed ; his liberalities were greater than 
thofe of his rival , as he was moft interefted in the 
iuccefs of the debate : all the colleges in Italy and 
France unanimoufly declared his prefent marriage 
againfl all law , divine and human , and that there- 
fore it was not at firft in the power of the pope to 
grant a difpenfation. The only places where it was 
mofi warmly oppofed , were at Cambridge and Ox- 
ford : thefe univerfities, it feem, had, even then, 
.more freedom and integrity than were to be found 
elfewhere ; but zt lafi they alfo concurred in tke 
fame opinion. 

The agents of Henry were not co^itent with the 
fufFrages of the univeriities J the Opinions of the 
Rabbins were alfo demanded, butd^y ^ereeafily 
bought up in his favour. Thus fortified , the king | 
was refolved to oppofe even the pope himfelf, fcr | 
his pafiion by no means could brook the delays ai>d 
fubterfuges of the holy fee : being , therefore , 
fupported by his clergy , and authorized by the vpL. 

verfities ; having feeh the pope formerly degraded by 
a lay monarch , and Luther's do£lrine followed by 
thoufands ; and yet ftill further inftigated W the 
king of France , he without further difpeniation , 
annulled his marriage with queen Ca* ^ n ~t^^, 
tharine , and Cranmer^ now become * ' "'* 
an grcSbifliop , pronounced the decree.. 

The queen , during this conteft, always fupport* 
ed her rights with refolution , and yet with modefly : 
at length, however, having- found the inutility of 
further Tefiftance, flie retired to the country, wIfh-N ' 
out once offering to complain : fhe faw the power of 
her rival, and yielded without murinuring. Anna 
Bullen had already confented to marry the king » 
and even fhared hisijed two months before his Car- 
riage with Catharine was diffolved. Though her 
prudence and her virtue demanded efteem in the 
forftier parts of her conduft, yet fhe now for a 
moment forgot the ties of each, and gave a loofe 
- to lier triumph. She paffed through London with 
a magnificence greater than had ever been, known 
before ; the ftreets were flrewed , the walls were 
hung , the conduits run with wine , while fhe and 
bet corpulent lover rode through the city like the • 
heroine and knight of a romance. 

In the mean time , the pope, now thought him- 
felf obliged to hold no m^alures with the king : 
and, being (o frightened by the menaces of the 
emperor , publiflied a femence , declaring quee« 
Catharine ^lone to be Henry's lawfiil wife , and re- 
quiring him to take her again , with a denunciation 
of ccnfures in cafe of refufal. When Henrjr re- 
ceived news of the fentence given againft* him at 
Rome , he was convinced that no mcafures could be 
kept with the holy fee , and therefore no longer de- 
layed to execute his long meditated fcheme of fe« 

L % 


parattng entirely from the church of Rome. The 
parfiament was at his devotion ; a part of the clergy 
was for him , as they had already declared agunil 
the pope, when they had decreed in favour of the 
divorce; the people were flattered with the expeo 
tationi of being rid of the burthen of theirtaxes; 
and ftich as were difpleafed to fee Italian wlho^ 
hold Engltih church preferments , expeded their 
downfal : in ihort, all things confpirea to co-ope* 
rare with his defigns ; he ^ therefore , at once order' 
cd himfelf to be declared by his clergy Head of 
f^ f> ...-^ ^^c Church. The parlianient con- 
^. dJ. 1534. g^^gj ^j^jjj ^.^jg^ ^^ aboliOied aU the 

authority of the pope in England , the tribute of 
Peter-pence , and the collation to ecclefiaftical bene- 
£ces. The people came into die king's projefi 
With joy, and took an oath , called the oath of Su- 
premacy • all the credit of the pope , that had'fub* 
Med for ages » was now at cnce overthrown ^ihid 
few except thofe who held to the religious honfes, 
fcemed diflatisfed. They who believed Aat if 
W<ould have been dangerous to break witfr rhe pope , 
weve now convinced that it could be efie^d'with 
Impunity;, and it was foon perceived, that all an* 
thortty, which is not fepported by power, is no* 
tMag but an empty name. 



XN th!$ mwaoer iMCgan the refotmation sn Eog* 
land >aii4 fay (ofih wptn&ng mstl^is Providence 
bronight.^bQiit itft clle%ift9 as rf to mock human fa^ 
gacity. Let us now perufe its progrefi, and foU 
^w this^priciofua inoilard) through his various 
proje&S > cruelties « and iflco»Me»cies; T^e par'- 
liameiM were .now emirely dependent upon the 
king : they had ^ bom the beginmng , (vkd with him 
in hi» (^pftratixig from the church o( Rome , and 
coniequendy were noir obitged to comply with all 
hi9 other meafures^ia ocder to ilrengtiKro the new 
irell(>raiaetafl. . 

. lienry was .very iefifihle that the parliament was » 
«ven fifoni motives of tntereft, entirely devoted to 
him y andtht.refore be wasrefolved to make ufe of the 
opportunity, ?.fid render btrnfelfabfohite. He there- 
fore elofed with the parliament againA the monks « 
aod availed himfelf of the liatred which that body 
incarred.^ by their fuppre/Hon : the parliament at 
firft begam by examtnin^ the abuiies pradifed in mo- 
iiafteries,.and , finding fome, condemned all : but, 
•while they were employed in foppreffingthem, Hen- 
jy was bufy in deiboying the power of the fitp^ 
preflbrs. Thi$ was the origin of the unlimited 
power he now afluroed : his parliament at differ- 
ent times , paiTed every ibtute be thought proper to 
propofir, how abfurdfoever ; and many of them 
were in £aA , marked with the higheA abfurdiiies. 
They teAtfied their fatisfa^ion not only for what 
lie had done ^ but alfo for whatever he had intended 
to do : tkty enaAed, that the itmc obedience 
fhould be paid to the king^s proclamation as to aa 

L 6 


a^ of parliameot , which was deAroying all their 
power at one blow ; they declared their readinef^ 
to believe , not only what had been direded , but 
whatever the king fhould dite&. , in matters of re)r* 
gion , for the future : but , to crowri all , they 
enad^ed that the king Should not pay his 4ei^, and 
that fuch as had been paid by him , fhouid refund 
the money. • - 

Being thus empowered to a6l as he thought 
proper, he went vigoroufly to work in the fup- 
preilion of monaAeries , colleges , and religious 
houfes. Cambridge and Oxfora , without any re- 
gard to their antiquity , Shared the fame fate with 
the reft, and the leftures were for a time difcon- 
tinued , and the revenues confifcated. To recon- 
cile the people to thefe proceedings, Henry took 
care to have the counterfeit reliqiies expofed , the 
icandalous lives of the friars and tiuns m^de pub* 
lie , and all their debaucheries detef^ed. 'Vt^hatever 
had ferved to engage the people in fuperflition , 
was publickly burnt ; but what grieved the people 
moft to iee were the bones oi Thom^as Becket ^ 
the faint of Canterbury , burnt in public , and his 
rich flirine, in which" there- was a diamond olT gr^at 
Value , confifcated among the common phinder* 
The people looked on with filent horrer 4 afraid to 
rebel, equally detefting the vices of the tnojiks'aad 
the impiety of the king. ' " 

But though the king had entirely feparated him- 
felf from Rome, yet he was by no means willing to 
be a follbwer of Luther. The invocation of faints 
was not yet abolifhed by him , but only refttainedr 
he ordered the- bible to be translated into the vulgar 
tongue, but not put into the hands of the laity, k 
^as a capital crime to believe in the pope's liiprer 


maty , and yet equally heinous to be of the reform- 
ed religion , as praOifed in Germany. His opi- 
nions in religion were delivered in a la^r, which, 
from its horrid confequenQss was termed the Bloody 
Statute; by which it was ordained , that whoever 
by word or writing denied tranfubi^antiation y that , 
whoever maintained that the communion in both 
kinds was nacefTary , or that i^was lawful for priefls 
to marry, or that vows of chaftity could innocently 
be broken , or that private maffes were unprofitable , 
or that auricular confeifion was unnecefTary , 
iliould be burnt or hanged as the court fhould de* 
termine. ^ . 

The kingdom , at that time , was , in fome mea*^ 
fure divide4 between the followers of Luther and 
the adherents to the pope : this ftatute with Henr 
ry's former decrees , in fome meafure excluded both 9 
and therefore opened a wide fiteld for perfecuiion. 

Thefe perfecutions , however^ were preceeded by 
one. of a different nature, arifing' neither from reli* 
gious nor poljiical caufes , but tyrannical caprice. 
Anna.BuUen, his queen, was herfelf of the Luthe- 
ran perAiafion , and had. greatly favoured that par- 
ty : thefe attachments foop created her ienemies , who . 
only. waited fon^c favourable occafion to deftroy her 
crcdiii with the king ; ;and that Qccafion prefented 
itfelfbut too <bon* The king's paffion was, b^^ 
this ti^e , quite exhaufied; the only defire he ever 
had for Jher was. that brutal appetite which enjoy- 
ment foon deftr»ys : he was fallen in lo^e, if we 
may call it loye ^ once more, with Jane Seymour, a 
maid of honour to the queen. 

Af {qw as^ the queen^S; enemies . perceived tb& 
kin^,df%«ft,i!th9y: fooft gaye him an opportunity 
to gr^ti£y his accwfmg her of fiia-r 
drji jnt»gtteij(iVJtb.k^..dQmeAii:^i vhich ^i^ciifatioit 


was eagerly caught up by the king. AU bis paf- 
fions were in extreme; he immedtateiy flew to 
parliament, and had her accnfed of adultery and 
inceft with her own brofher. This ^(kunent, who 
had long iliewnthemfelvesthe^tiflaiditiiniftersofaH 
his paHTions condemned the (meen^and her brother > 
without ever knowing on wliat fouodami^ the fea* 
tence was grounded. 

Her brother , lord Rochfon , was beheaded , 
thouch there was not tho lec^ proof of his guile ; 
one Norris and Bf«reton were hanged for only hav« 
ing paid her fach compUments , as would now 
merely pafs for galantry and innocent aoiuiement : 
Smeton , a nmfieiafli , was comiieited to adcnowledge 
his having received favoiifS Irom* hec^ and he was 
then hanged without an opportunity of 4ieing coo- 
fronted with the queen. 

Upoft fuch flight fufpicions was this unhappy 
i(ueen fent to the Tower, tn order to wait the ex- 
ecution of her femence. She who had been once 
the envied objed of royal favour , was now going 
to give a new inftanceof the capneioufnefs of for- 
tune ? fke was ever of a chearful dtfpofitton » tind 
her eafy levities, i>ei4iaps « difgofted the gloomy ty* 
ffant. She had diflribmed in the laft year of her 
life « not lefs than fifteen thoufaod pounds among 
the poor, and was at onee their prote&or and dar- 
Hag. Upon being condoded to her priA>ii, ihe 
fct down to addrefe the king, by letter ,fi>r mercy, 
sa this shesinftfled upon her innocefice in the flrong- 
eft terms : You have rmfid me , faid she , from pn* 
V4cy to make me a lady-; from a Iddy yom made med 
emmtefs ; from a eouniefs to a ^ueen ^ 4nd f$om a ^ueen 
i shalL shortly hevome a faints On the- morning of 
her execution , flie fent for Mr. Kiogftoa , the 
keeper ol die Tow^yio whett'^tipMi^ ^omerUg 

the prifoir, Ihe faid , Mr. Klngfhn , / hear I am not 
to die nil noon , and I am/brry for u^fbrithQuehtt^ 
be dead hefort Ms time , and free frem a life^ofp^^ 
The keeper attempting to comfort her , by affuring 
her the pain would be very Uttle^ ihis replied, I have 
heard me executioner is very expert , and ( elafping her 
neck with her hands , laughing ) / have but a Uuk 
neck. Kingffott, who giVes this slcce«iiM, continues 
to obfierre , that he had feen manry men and women 
executed , but never one whofe fortitude ^as e^ial 
to hers; She was beheaded foon after , j t\ ^ 
May 19, beliavintt with the utmoflde- ^* ^' ^ J3^* 
cencyaAd refoluttonu 

Anna BuUen feemed to be guiky of no other 
errme than that of having furvived the king's a£^ 
fedioos: many crowned heads had ahready beeit 
put to death in England , but thid was the dtA 
royal execution upon a icafFoid. Henry ordered 
his psirliament to give hioi a divorce, between hev 
femenoe «nd execution, thus to ba^dize Eliza-* 
betb , the only child he had l^y her , as he had 
already bafiardized Mary j his only child by queeH 

The very next day after her exeirution he married 
Jane Seymour, who died the year foUo^iiig, after 
having been deiivericd of a fon* 

In die mean time the fires in Smithfield began t& 
hhze ; thofe who adhered to the pope; or thofe 
who followed Luther , wete equally the ob)eds of 
royal rettgeaace aad ecdeitafticaV perfecutioo. 
Thomas O-onrwel, railed by the kingV caprice 
from a UackCmich's fen to be a royal £ivourite ( (of 
tyrants ever ratfe thetr favourites from the lowefl" 
of the people), and Cranmer , now became arch* 
failhop of Canterbunr* with aU their'mfbt affified 
die ffrfsmiMioo : biwB^ Gosdioer » luid the dukeoig 


. Norfolk , on the other hand , vrere for leading the 
king back to his former fuperftitions , with every 
art , and Cromwell fell a facrifice to their intrigues; 
bm the duke and blfhop did not fucceed. Unhap- 
pily for his fubjeds , the king became an equal 
perfecutor of the two religions propofed for his ac« 

It was now that England faw a fpedacle to 
ftrike the boldeft with horror ; a company of peo- 
ple condemned and executed all together, feme 
for being ftedfaft to the pope , and others for ad- 
hering to Luther ; among this number were Dr. 
Robert Barnes , Thomas Gerrard , and Williani 
Jerom , for being Lutherans ; Buttolph , Danepllfs , 
Phil pot , and Brinholm , for continuing to acknow- 
ledge the pope. Thefe were all burnt together, 
without ever being permitted to plead their own 
caufe , or feven to know their crimes or their ac- 
cufers. The people in the North , indeed , during 
thefe times of cruelty , ventured to rife in^ebellion ; 
but by the means of the duke of Norfolk they were 
foon brought to fubmiilion. 

During thefe tranfaftions , Henry contraded a 
rj jy ^ new marriage with Anne of Cleves, 
^^ ' being induced by her pidure , in 
>xrhich it feems the painter had flattered her. He 
found her very different from what his paflion hatj 
expefted , but married her from political motives. He 
could not, however , long bear the uneafinefs of being 
married for life , to a woman whofe corpulence » it 
feems , gave him difguft ; he therefore refolvcd to 
have once more a divorce from his parliament, which 
he found it no difficult matter to obtain. Among 
other reafons to cancel his efpoufals , he declared , 
that he had not given an inward confent to the 
marriage , without which it was affirmed that his 

profViifes couM not be obligatory : he added , that, 
as h« was refolved not to confummate the marriage, 
and to have legitimate iffue , fo it was proper to give 
him a queen by whom he might accomplifli thefe 
intentions. Thefe reafons were thought good ; vir- 
tue and )uftice had been long banifbed from the fer* 
vile parliament, ^ 

He took , for a fifth wife , Catharine Howard , the 
duke of Norfolk's niece : in this match he feemed 
to be perfefliy happy , and even ordered his confef- 
for td draw itp a particular form of thankfgiving for 
the blefllirrgs he enjoyed in a faithfiil wife. The 
queen', it feems , pretended to the fame affeftion 
for him ; but , alas ! his amiable days were lone 
over ; he was now almoft cboaked with fat , and had 
contrafted a morofe air , very improper for infpirine 
affection. The queen had aftually commitred thote 
iewdneffes before marriage , of which Anna Buliea 
had formerly been falfely accufed ; but thefe-crimes 
did by no means defcrve death , nor even a divorce , 
fince her fidelity to him after marriage was all 
that the mof^ fcrupulous delicacy could reqtiire : 
Henry , however , confidered her former inconllancy^ 
as a capital offence; and not yet ^^^ ^ ic^a' 
fatiated with blood , this queen was * ^ > 54*,« 
executed on Tower-hill. 

All this was terrible , but (KU the king was re*»' 
folved to be peculiarly cruel : though branded with 
three divorces , and flained with the blood of two 
wives , he Qrd^ed a liw to be ena^ed , equally re- 
markable for its abfurdity and impoflibTlity , namely , 
' That , whatever perfin knew of the intrigues of a queen , 
should reveal it on pain of high treajfbn ; or if any 
woman ^ not a virgin , should pre fume to marry the king 
ofEndand^ she should he guilty of high treajon I One 
^oula think that Jt were impofTiUe to procure a 


boiy of men capaUrof giTing iWifiiaii to fdcli in^ 
fcrutabltf abfurdidcs, ana yei lay claim to reafon. 
It was pleaiamly (aid ( for evca tbofe ttoios of flaogh^ 
tcr could not iv ppMi& rUKculc ) that the king , ac- 
cording to that natut«» could only marry awidoir. 
HfS next and laA n^ife a&ually was a ^i^dow » Catba* 
.4 D »<^i ""^ Parr, widow of lord I^timer^ 
^' ' ^^>' and fh« wa^ a Clearer of the refer- 

She was, however j to proceed iinrh great can* 
tion : the king prided himfetf aiuch on his /kill 
in theolofiy, anti it might be iatal to difpute' with 
Jiini npon religion , as file had feen in the cafe o( 
one Lambert « fome time before. It feems diis 
man had dented tranfubfiamiation , which Henry 
had ordered to be believed ; the king, hearin£ 
that he was to be tried a^ WeftminAer for this of- 
fence , which was capital , undertook , himfclf , te 
jdifpute the point with htm in- public. Letters 
were written to^many of the biihops and nobility 
to be preil^nt upon th4S extraordinary occafioa; 
and , on the day prefixed ♦ there was a great con- 
courfe in the hall. Lambert Hood alone wlthcTut 
a fecond ; the king was furrounded with a crowd 
of flatterers , who ai>plauded all be faid , and aver- 
|-ed that his arguments were . iavincible ; they 
j(»xtoUed klm- above idll-tke divines of the age> and 
at once confirmed his prido and his prejudices The 
A-erutt of the argument was , that Lambert had his 
choice, ekher to abjure bis- opinions, or to be burnt 
as aa obftipate heredck. Lambert cbofe to die ra- 
ther than forego what he had confidered as the 
truth , and the*fentence was foon after executed 
in Smithfield. When his legs and thighs were burnt 
4>fft there not being fire enough to confume the 
jT^fi • two of the officers J raUIoj liis ]^dy up with 

tlieir halberts, puihed it Aom the flames, where H ^ 
was foon confumed to aihes* 

It was not Without reafoa , therefore t that tlie 
prefect queen concealed her (entiments, and be- 
haved wkh ca^itton ; upon this account ihe durft 
not intercede for three proteAann , who were burnt 
at Windfor juft after her marriage : Aie once, ii2>- 
deed , attempted to argue with the king , but it 
had like to have coft her her life ; wherefore , af- 
terwards, ihe fuffered the divines on each fide to 
difpute , and the executioner to deftroy. During 
thefe tranfa£l:lons the king woirld frequently at- 
TemUe the houfes of parliament, and harangue 
them with florid orations « in which he would aver , 
•that never prince had a greater aiFe£tion for his 
people, or was more beloved by them. In eveiy 
paufe of his difcourie , fome of ht$ creatures , nedr 
his perfon , would begin to applaud ; and this was 
followed by loud acckmations from the reft of the 

It is f indeed ^ aflontfliing , to what a pitch of 
cruelty he Attained , and to what a ftate of fervility 
bid pe<^le : I can account for either in no other 
manner , than that religious difputes had now fo di- 
vided the people , and fet one againA the other , that 
the king , availing himCelf of the univerfal weak* 
nefs which was produced by univerial diflbntions^ 
became tlie tyrant of alL 

But nature, at laft, feemed kindly wiUtne to 
rid th^ world of a mOafter that man wa^ unable to . 
defiroy. Henry had been troubled , for fome time, 
with a diforder in his leg , which was now grown 
very paiofnl : this , added to his monArous corpti* 
lency, which rendered him unable to Air, made 
iiiin more furious than a chaieed lion :^ he became 
i^oward and luitradable'^ none dared to appro»A 


him without trembling. He bad been erer icrtt 
and fevere , he was now outrageous : flattery had 
corrupted. all hts fenfes; he deemed it an un- 
pardonable crime to controvei't thofe opinionis 
which hehimfelf was changing every hour. His 
courtiers , contending among themfelves , and con- 
fpiring the death of each other , had no inclination 
lo make an enemy of him. Thus he continued , 
for four years , the terror of all , aiid the tormentor 
of himfelf. At length his end approached ; he per- 
ceived that he had not lone to live , his fat increaungi 
and his leg growing woric. He had already flaugh- 
tered feveral favourites , raifed from obfcure Na- 
tions to fhare his dignities and his cruelty; More, 
Fifher , Cromwell , and others, died upon the fcaf- 
fold , and Wolfey prevented it by his own death : 
he was refolved to make on6 vi61im more before 
he left the world , and that was the duke of Nor- 
folk , who had formerly fuppreffed a rebellion ex- 
cited againft him, and, who had, alt along, beea 
the vigilant miniftfer of his commands. Tlids no- 
bleman had , outwardly , complied with the reform 
mation , but , in his heart, favoured the pope : the 
king knew this, and- only wanted a pretext to 

{►ut him and his fon , the tfarl of Surry , to death, 
t was no difficult matter to find one ; the fon had 
nfed the arms of Edward the confeffor in his ef- 
cidcheon , and the father had left a blank fpace in 
his own where they might be inferted. This was 
all the crime alledged againft th'fcm', but it wasfuf- 
ficient when the king gaye his opinion that it was 
his will they fhouldcfie. The earl of Surry was 
beheaded upon Tower-hill , and a warrant was fent 
to the Lieutenant of the Tower to cut off the duke 
of Norfolk's head in two days ; this fentence 
>was juft upon the point of being executed , whea 


the king's own death gave him an unexpeded re- 
prieve. Henry had been fuiFered to languifh with- 
out any of his domeAics having the courage to warn 
him oi his approaching end ; they who had ever 
come near him with trembling , now dreaded to give 
him this friendly admonition. At length Sir An- . 
thony Denny had the charity to inform him of his 
fituation : he thanked jhis courtier for his friendly 
admonition , and foon after expired , full of forroMT 
for bis' former guilt , and with all the horrors of apr 
proaching difTolution. 

Some fovereigns have been tyrants from contradic- 
tion and revolt, fome from being niifled by fa- 
vourites, and fome from a fpririt of party j but 
Henry was cruel from difpofition alone , cruel in the 
government , cruel in religion , and cruel in his fa- 
mily; yet, tyrant as he was, he died peaceably z 
natural death, while Henry VI, the moft harmlefs 
of all monarchs , was dethroned , imprifoned / and 
afTaflinated^ It is a folly and a wickednefs to fay , 
that good or bad alliens are their own recompenfe 
here: true is thetloftrine of holy writ; The wicked 
have their good things in this life ,,the virtuous muft 
look for them in another. ' 

Our divinel have taken much pains to vindicate 
the charafter of this vicious prince, as if his con^ 
duS and our reformation were , in fa6t , united : no- 
thing can be more abfurd than this , as if the moft 
noble defigns were not often brought about by the 
tnoA vicious inftruments ; we fee even the cruelty 
and injuftice of m^fi employed in our holy re^^ 



The alterations, lo the reign of Henry » were 
father reparations from the pope, dian a refor- 
mation of religious abufes : in die reign of his fuc- 
r^ n «« /c ceffor Edward S^£ his fon by Jane 
ji. u. 1540- Seymour, and heir to Aecw>wn, the 
crron of Rome 9 in reality, b^an to be reforned. 
This prince was but nine years old when he afcend- 
ed the throne of his father, and the htflory of kis 

{government is rather a detail of the methods pur- 
ued by his governors to reform the abufes of reli* 
gion , than a feries of politics or war; and their 
cliara&ers, rather than his, ibould be the objed of 
the hiAorian's refearch. 

The duke of Somerfet was made proteSor of 
the minority , and thus engrofled. the whole admi- 
Btftration ; die reft of the cotmcil , which were 
Joined with him , either fided with his views , or 
snefFeftually oppofed them. To' ftrengthen his 
power he marched againfi the Scots who had in- 
vaded England • which was their coigftant pradice 
whenever they faw the country employed in fiidion 
and difpute : a flight viftory , gained by him upon 
this occafion , acquired him popularity and power. 
I have more than once remarked ^ that , to have 
pined the hearts of the Englifh , it was reauiiite to 
be a conqueror. But to this charafier domerfet 
kidded virtues of a much more amiable kind : he was 
humble , civil , affiible , courteous to the meanneft 
fuitor , and all the aftions of his life were dirededby 
motives of religion and honour : he , at the fame 
time, had learned to look with.cont^mpt and detef- 
tation on the errors and corruptions of die church of 


Rome , and was confequently the warm friend of 
^rchbiAiop Oanmer, who now jindertook to make 
a real reformation , which Henry VIII only pre* 
tended to do. 

You have feen,in Henrjr*$ reign , that the only^ 
alterations he made in religion ^ were fuch as either 
faronredhis paffions, orincreafed his power. T1iu$ 
all his fub)e£b were under a peculiar renraint , which 
opon his deatH was no longer continued; each 
took the liberty of ipeaking his thought upon reli- 
gion , though the laws of the laft reign-were ftlll in 
force. In this divifion of opinions, at it may eafily 
he fuppofed, the reformers prevailed, for tney had 
the prote6^or of their party : to that end , therefore , 
they procured a general vifitation of churches, and 
reformed numbenefs abufes that were almoft held 
facredby prefcription. it was left to people's Choice 
to go to confeflion , whit:h had hitherto been deemed 
an indifpenfaUe duty /or to negledl that pradice. It 
was ordered^ that all images ihould foe taken out of 
churches, prieAs were allowed to jnarry , the old 
mafs was abolifhed^ and a new liturgy drawn up 4 
nrhich retrenched feveral abufes in the fervice of the 
:hurch ,Md which is the feme with that now ufed j^ 
>ating afew ^Iterations. 

Thefe reformations were evidently calculated 
or the benefit of the fubjeft; burftill the popifh 
lergy, who either were expelled their monafte*^ 
ies , or had refufed to conform , ftirred up the 
reople to riie in rebellion againft then?. We may 
Lidge from th^ number of places in which infur- 
e£liorts were made, that thofe reformations were 
,y no tneans received with univerfal fattsfadion; 
n^crc were , ?t once , infurreftipns in Wiltflilre , 
iifleJt, Hampfhire, If em, Gloucefterfhire , Suf- 
>lJc , Warwicklhirei Effcx , Hertfofd/hire , Lciceft 


terfliire , Rutlandihire , and Worcefterfhire ; anJ 
the flames of war were rekindling through the 
whole kingdom. The proteftor, who both 'by 

Erinciple and inter efl was friend to the popu- 
ice , did every thing to redrefs their grievances, 
and by that means (lopped their fury for a while. 
In faa « they had feveral complaints that were 
founded in juilice : the nobility were become pof- 
feflbrs of the forfeit lands which belonged to the 
clergy , and indead of leaving them to be culti- 
vated by the poor, as formerly, inclofed them for 
the purpofes of pleafure and magnificence. This 
neceiTarily drove numbers ,befides the dejeded friars, 
to the utmoft ftraits ; ^but , to add to their mif- 
fortunes , an a6k was pafTed againfl them , the mofl 
fevere that had hitherto been known in England : 
it was enafted , that , if any perfon fliould loiter , 
without offering himfelf to work, for three days 
together, he ihall be adjuged a flave for two 
years to the firft informer , and fliouM be marked 
on the breafl with the letter V , or vagabond , im- 
printed with an hot iron. It is not to be wondered 
it , therefore , that there fliould be a general infui« 
reftion of the people , when fuffering fuch fevere 
oppreffions. • ■ 

. But all the proteftor's promifes and endeavours 
could not effeftually redrefs their grievances , he 
therefore was obliged to have recourfe to violence. 
Thefe were not the compaft bodies of men that 
yre have feen in former rebellions, headed by forae 
difcontented or ambitious courtier, and led on 
!with cpnduS and'fuccefs; Henry VII had ejQFec- 
tually fgppreffed all fuch ; thefe were now only 2 
tumultuous rabble^ without' arms' and without dif« 
cipline, led pn by fome.obfcute defperado ; un- 
f^afonable in their deinand$ , and divided amoni 



tech other : the unhappy wretches were thertfbrA 
eafily overthrown ; aboVe a thoufand of .them were 
Hain near Exeter by lord Ruffel , and two thoufand 
more near Norwich by the earl of Warwick. 

Tho kingdom was now again inclining to ait 
ariftocracy : the noljjlity , by the late increafe of 
their pofief&ons , were grown powerful , -and op- 
preffed the people at pleafure. They nOw begail 
to find , that they had a feparate intereft from thab 
of the commons ) and confpired to carry on their 
power by union amonj^ themtelves , while the reft of , 
the kingdom Was divided. The duke of.Soraerfet | 
however , oppofed this projeft , as he was ever z 
favourer of the people ; and it was incumbent there- 
fore to deftroy his power before they could efta- 
bHfli their own. With this view , they placed the 
eirl of Warwick , afterwards made duke of Nor* 
thumberland , at their head , and began by fpread- 
ing reports to deftroy the proteftor's tepu ration ^ 
they next won over the common council of Londoil 
to favour their projefts , and laftly had him accufed 
of high treafon. The intereft of the prote61or was 
overpowered by that of his rival - j ty 
he was condemned, and loft his head ' *55^* 

upon Tower-hilU 

Itx aH thisftruggle for |)owef , the young kiiigj 
by reafon of his age , was barely paffive : he was 
only made the executor of the refeiitment and am- 
bition of the contending minifters , as either hap- 
pened to prevail ; and at one time figned the order 
for execution. on this fide, at another time on that, 
but «ver with tears in his eyes. A tendernefs. ot 
difpofition was one of the amiable youth's con- 
fpicuous qualities : tothefe were added a fagacityfar 
furp^iffing his years , ^nd learning that amazed alt 
fuch as happen^ to conterfe with him* Wbexy 

Vox. I. M 


thei^ignity of the throne was to be fupperted, U 
behaved like a man ; aqd , at other times , was gentle 
and affable as became his zge.. In ihort, he had 
fuch great qualities , or was (aid to have fuch » that 
mankind had reafon to lament his ihort continuance 
among them. It is very pr<^ble , however, that 
flattery would have contributed to dedroy thofe ta- 
lents » as it had thofe of his father ; for few princes, 
except his lather , had received more flatteiy than he« 
[j n f He died of a defluxion upon his lungs ^ 
-rff* i^'. 1S5J. j^jj iezth being haftened by medicines 
given by a woman who confidently pretended fhe 
tould cure him. His death made way for another 
fcene of horrid barbarity , in which the kingdom 
was to be ruled by a weak and bigotted womaa « 
who \ras herfelf ruled by mercilqfs prieAs, who re- 
ceived their orders from the court of Rome. 


lou have hitherto feen die fuccefflon to th€ 
throne of England , pardy obtained Ijy lineal 
defcent , and partly by the aptitude for government 
in the perfon chofen : neither wholly hereditary, 
nor quite eleftive , it has ever made anceftry the 
pretext of right , but » in faftj the confent pf the 
people fued for the Aipport of thefe.pretenfions. 
And this is the heft fpecies of fucceflion that can 
be conceived : it prevents that ariftocracy > which 
is ever the refult of a government entirely cleftive ; 
and that tyranny which is too often >dlabli£hed 
"ftrhere there is never an infringement upon heredi 
tary claims. 

. 'W'heneyer a monarch of England happened to 
be arbitrary, he generally confidered the kingdom 
^s bis property, and not hiaiftlt^as a fervant of 


•the kingdom. In fuch cafes it^was natural far 
him y at his dec^afe^ to bequeath his dominions as 
he thought pigpen Henry. » in cpnfoffhity to this 
pra£dce^ oiade a will ^ in which he fettled the fut- 
.ceffi(m merely according to hts ufual caprice;: 
Edifirard Vt w^ firft nominated to fucceed him » 
•whoft reign you haire jiift feen; then Mary, his 
eidcft daughter by Catharine of Spsun, but with a 
maflrof fpecial condefcen&on ^ by which he wouM 
intimate her illegitimacy } the next that followed 
was Elizabeth » his daughter by Anna fiullen, with 
the iame marks cff her jftot :being legitimate : aft#r 
his own chUdren his fifter's cnildrect were mention* 
ed 9 his youngeft fifter the dnchefs of Suffolk's ifiue 
were preferred before hi$ elder fiAer the queen of^ 
S(H>tland'9 , which preference was thought by all to 
. be neither founded in juflice nor fupported by reafon* 

Edward VI < as has been feen j fucceeded him. 
He aUb made a Will, in which he gave the kingdbih 
awi^ from Mary and Elizabeth to the duchefs of 
Sufi^'s. daughter, the lady Jane Grey,, a girl 0f 
fixteWi^By thcfe difpofitionsitbire were, after the 
;4eath' of. young Bdward, nolefs than foucprincefijes 
tiwho ^ouldlay xlaim io^the crown : Mary , who was 
firft upoii the -trill, ittdbeen declared iUegitimans 
Jby parliament » and- mat aft was < never repealed.; 
•ttie' fame could be alledged againft Elizabeth , bnt 
ihe had another foundauon by being reftored to her 
rights in ber father's reign : the queen of Scotland » 
defended from Henry^s eUeft kfter, could pleadf 
.^e itfe^iti^acy.ofhis; two daughibers; and Jane 
jGj^ey might allfidge the will of tli^ lafl king in. her 
^voiir; . 

In ,Ae lafl^ rei^ the earl of Warwi'^k was re- 
^snafkable for fuppreffipg an infiirrection of the 
people 9. and aftenKtards .tor being a favourite o£4ie 



king, then made duke ofNorthinHberland, nextfct 
overturning the duke of Somerfet , his rival, and at 
length for purfuing the meafures of ttie man whom 
he had deftroyed; he nowbegan'to conceive hopes 
of fecuring the crown in his own family , and wkh 
this view matched the lord Guilford Dudley , his 
fon , \^ith lady Jane Grey , whom by his intereft [^ 
lioped to fettle on the throne. He was hated by the 
people for his cruelties, as much as the young lady 
was loved for her virtues ; and this was the greateft 
Obftacie to his defip. I have been more proline 
than ufual upon t^is topic o^ the fucoeffion , but 
you ihould attend to it with care , in order to have a 
clear idea of the prefeift and the Aicceeding reigns. 

Immediately upon the death of the young king^* 
' but two competitors put up for the crown : 
•Mary, relying upon the juftice of her precen- 
fions; and Jane (Jrey, fupported by the duke of 
Northumberland 9 her father-in-law. Maty MFas 
flrongly bigotted to the popifh fuperftitions : having 
been bted.up in reftraint, ihe was refervedand 
gloomy >• flie had, even during the life of her fa- 
rther , the refolution to maintain her fetititnents 
and cieremonies , and refufed to comply >)vttli his 
new inftitutions : her 2eal had rendered her cruel , 
-and ihe was not only blindly* attached to her reU* 
gious opinions , but even to the popiih clei^ ik4io 
maintained them. On the other hand^ Jane Grew 
was attached to the reformers : though yet but fix- 
iteen. her judgincntiiad attained fuch a degree of 
• perfeaion** JW ft w eiijoy in their inioi« advanced age. 
-^All hii^oriaiis agi^e', tUatthe f<»lidity.of her under-^ 
landing , improved by continual application ^ .ren* 
<lered her the wonder of h^r agfi. Afcfaam., tutor 
to Elizabeth', informs us r that* coming oac^ ^ 
^ait upon her at her Ruber's hoiifc: xa UicQl^er- 

QurCjhe found her reading Plato*s works in Creek » 
when all the reft of the^ family were hunting in tba 
park. He feemed furprifed at her helng the only 
per/on ahfent from the diverfions abroad , but ihe 
aflured him, that Plato was an higher amufement ta 
her than the mofi ftudied refimmenu of fenfuatpteafure^ 
It was philofephy, and not ambition, for which 
flie feemed born : when her ambitious father-in-- 
law came to inform her of her advancement to the 
throne , fhe hear<I the news with forrow , and ac« 
cepted the proffered honour with reluflance. How- 
ever, the intreaties of her friends » and the author 
rity of her' hu&and « at length reconciled her to 
her fortune : flie was removed to the Tower, and 
foon after proclaimed at London , while the people 
fhewed few of thofe marks of fatisfadion which 
ufually accompany a ceremony of this kind; 

Jane was proclaimed by the council ^ but the 
people wej;e for Mary : the men of r, . ,_ ,^^^ , 
Suft)ljc rofein her favour, Norfolk ^""^y ^^' '"3-< 
ibon joined her , and lord Haftiags , with four thou-i 
fandmen ^ which w^e raifed to oppofe her, revolted 
to her fide; It was ip yam that the duke of Nor-; 
tfaumberland attempted to lead his army againft 
them this foldiers deferted on the march ; he toUnd 
lilmfelf abandoned ; and foon after the council it« 
ielf , which he once governed , now freed from re«^ 
ilraint, declared againft him. Jane., who had but. 
ju ft been crowned , now faw heffelf ftripped of her, 
ciigniues^ and^ wittputany reluSance, laid dowrt. 
an « honour which. ihe -wjas at firft compelled to ac- 
cept ,. and, whicH fte be|d but liin^ days, Her fa- 
ther „ thie duke of Suffolk,, delivered up the Tower, 
of which he had the comipand ; and her father-in- 
law , the duke of Northumberland , being prevented 
i>om flying out of the, kingdom , pretended to 
- / ' '• - ^M 3 ■ 


be pleafed at MarV*s fucecfs , and was the firft to 
ffine up his cap wncn fhe was prochdtned in Gam' 


Mary now entered Loirdon, and, wfthont the 
leaft ^nufioir of Mood, Czw herfetf joyfully pro- 
claimed , and peaceably fettled on the throne. 
This was' a; junfture that feemed favourable to 
Britifh happinefs and liberty ; a queen , ^iHiofe 
rights were the moft equitable , in fome meafure 
defied by the people ; the ariftocracy of the laft 
reign almoft wholly fupprefTed; the houfe of com** 
moQs , by this means , reinAated in their former 
authority ; the pride of the der^ btiml)led , and 
their vices detefled; together with peace abroad, 
and almofl unanimity at home. This was the 
flittering profped upon Mary*s ac&effion, but fooiT 
this pleaiing phantom was diflblved : Mary was 
cruel , and a nigot ; fbe gave back dieir fermer 
power to her clergy,^ and the kingdom was^ once 
snore , involved in the horrors from whence it had 
lately been extricated. '- 

The queen had promifed to the men of Sn^lk; 
who firft declared in her favoui' , that fhe would 
fuffer religion to remain in the fitnation in* which 
ihe found it. This promife , however , fhe by no 
means intended to perform. Political cruelty ever 
precedes religious : fhe h^d refolved on a change 
of religion : but , before fhe perfecuted heredcs , 
who were as yet her friends , it was necefTary to 
get rid qf fome of the late council , who were , in 
reality , her enemies. Th^ duke of Northumber- 
land was the 6r& objefi of royal vengeance ;* and 
not indeed without reafon. It is inftruftive enongjh 
' to obferve the viciffitudes of fortune : the duke 
of Norfolk was now taken trom his prifon in the 
Tower , if 6x as judge upon the duke of Nortbumr 

berland , who had kept him there. The accufedf 
made a very fldlfiil defence , but what could that 
avail in a court predetermined to condemn him ? He 
▼as capitally convided, and foon after executed ;' 
Sir John <Jates , and Sir Thomas Palmer , who had 
aififted in his projeds , fharing in his punifhment* 

While theie were fallitig as viftims to their am^ 
bitioa^ the queen's miniflers were, •in the meaii 
time , carrying on a n'e^otiation of marriage be- 
tween her and Philip , king of Spain. The peo-. 
b(^ thought th<ey faw that thi^ would be a fatal 
blow to their liberties , and therefore loudly mur- 
mured againft it ; bgt when they found the treaty 
adually concluded , they could no longer contain. 
Sir Thomas Wyat , a Roman cathoBc , at the 
head of four thoufaitd infurgents , marched from 
Kent to Hyde-Park , and entered the city in hope^ 
of fecuring the Tower : but his ralhnefs undicl 
him ; as he pafled through the narrow flreets , cart^ 
was taken by the earl of Pembroke , to block uo 
the way behind him ^Ijy fortification^ thrown acroAt 
the ftreets, and guards were placed at all the 
avenues to prevent his return. This unhappy mai| 
pafled boldlv forward , and was now ready to reap 
the fruits of nis undertaking , when , to his aflonifh* 
snent ,'he found that he could neither proceed nor 
yet Mzke a good retreat. He now , too late , per* 
ceived his o^n teiperity , and , lofing all courage 
in the exigency , he furrendered at difcretion. la 
the mean time, the duke of Suffolk had endeavoured 
to foment the infurreftion , but without fuccefs ; 
he was taken prifoner alfo , and deAined for the 
common flaughter. Accordingly , Wyat , the duke 
of Suffolk , Sir John Throgmorton , and fiftv- 

M4 ^' 



eight more were executed ; but what nifed d£ 
compaflion of the people mofi of all, was the exe« 
cution of lady Jane Grey and her huiband Guil* 
ford Dudley , who were involved in this calamity. 

Two days after Wyat was taken , lady /aae 
and her hufhand were ordered to prepare for death : 
lady Jane , who had long before feen the threatened 
blow , was np ways furprlfed ajt the meffage , but 
i)ore it with heroic refolution ; and , being informed 
that fke had three days to prepare for death , flie 
ieemed difpieafed at fo lon^ a delay. Guilford 
Dudley was the firA that (uffered. As the kdy 
was conducted to execution , the officers of the 
Tower met her on the way , bearing the headleis 
body of her huiband , Areaming with blood « in or- 
der to be interred in the chapel in the Tower : Ihe 
looked on the corpfe without trembling, and only, 
with a figh , deiired to proceed. She teAified , to 
the lafl moment of her fufFeriogs , great conflancy, 
great piety , and an immoveable adherence to the 
reformation. This was the third queen who died 
by the hands of the executioner in Engbnd. 

The enemies of the ilate being thus fupprefled i 
the theatre was now opened tor. the pretended 
enemies of religion. The queen was freed from 
—aiL^ppil^enfions of an infurreftion , and therefore 
began by aflembling a corrupt parliament , which 
was to countenance her future cruelties. . The no- 
bility , whofe only religion feeme3 that of the 
prince who governed , were eafily gained over , and 
the houfe of commons feemed paffive in all her 
proceedings. She began by giving orders for the 
fuppreflion of all married bifliops and priefts ; the 
wafs was direfted to be reftored ; the pope's au- 
thority was re-eftablij(lied ^ with fome rcftriiUonsi 


Sht Ws/&gainft heretics were renewed; and the 
church and its privileges put upon the (ame foun* 
dation in which they were before the. alteration of 
Henry VIIL 

This was kindling up the fires of perfecutiotf 
a new : at the head of mefe meafures were Gardi- 
ner, biihop of Winchefter , and Bonner, bifhop 
of London. Poole, the pope's legate., a great 
part of whofe life was fpent in Italy , feemed too 
niuch oiyilized in that country , then the moft po« 
lite in Europe, to be acceflary to the meafures noniPi 
purfued. Gardiner began this bloody fcene with 
Hooper and Rogers : Hooper had been bifliop of 
Gloucefter ; Rogers was a clergyman who had 
fhone amongftute taoA diftinguifhed of the pro^ 
teftants. He was prebendary of St. Paul's , and 
refufed aH fubmiffion tothechur^hof Rome, which 
he looked iipoti as.antichriftiiin,;They wer^ con*, 
demned by cosimiffioners appointed^ ^ 
by the queen , with the chancellor at ' ^" '^?* 
the head of them. Rogers fuffered in Smithfield; 
iWhen he was brought to the flake j he had it in his 

Ewer to fave himfelf , by recanting his opinions ; 
t neither hopes nor fears could prevail upon hiih 
to defett his religion. When the faggots were 
placed around him , he feemed no way daunted at the 
preparation , but cried out 9 J refign my life with Jay ^ 
jn ufimony of the do^rint of Jefus. Hooper had his 
pardon offered him upon the lame terms , but he 
refufedit with equal indignation. This old mar* 
ty r , who was executed at Gloucefter , was three 
quarters of an hour in torment ; the fire , either 
from matice or negledt , had not been fuffidently 
kindled , fo that his legs and thighs were firft burnt, 
and one €f his hands £oped off before he expired* 

M I 


Saunders and Taylor ^^ two other ciergymeif; 
whofe zeal had been difiinguiined in cweryms oa 
the reformation , were tne next that tiawsrsiL 
Taylor was put into a pitch barrel , and , befote the 
£re was kindled , ^ iaftgot from an unknown hand 
was thrown at his head^ which made it ftream virb 
blood : ftill > however, he continued undaunted, 
finging the xxxift pfalm in Englifh , which one of 
tbe f[}eAators obferylng, hit him a blow on the fide 
of the head , and commanded him to piay in Latin : 
he then continued a few minutes fibnt, only with 
his eyes ftedfii(lly fixed upon heaven , when one of 
the guards , either through impatience or compaf" 
fion, ftruck him down with his halbert^ and thus 
delivered him from a world of padn to a life of im? 
sn6rtal happinefs. 

The death of thefe only ferved to kicreaie tlie 
favage appetite of the moniks and nopifh hifliopi 
£>r freih flaughter. Bonner « bloated at Mce with 
rage and luxury , let loofe his vengeance without 
reftraint ; while the queen » by letters , eidioned 
him to purfue the pious work without pity or in- 
terruption : and now Ridley , hi/hop of London^ 
and the venerable Latimer, bifhop of Worcefter, 
were to receive the martyt's crown. Ridley was 
one of the ableft champions of the reformation.; 
his piety , learning , and lolidity of judgment , were 
admired by his friends and dreaded^ by his enemies. 
The night before his execution he invited the 
mayor of Oxford and his wife to fee him die; 
and , when he faw them melted into tears , he him- 
felf appeared quife unmoved , heaven beine his fe- 
cret fupporter and comforter in this hour of agony. 
When he came to the (lake where' he was to be 
burnt « he found bis ^ frteiid LatMe^ ^ipc be- 

fore him , aqd began to comfort him in his fuFer* 
ings , Mrhile Latimer was as ready to return the 
kind office. A furious biggot afcended to preach to 
them , before the execution of their fentence : 
Ridley gave a (erious attention to |he fermon , and 
offered to anfwer it, but this he was not allowed to- 
do. At length the fire was fet to the pile; Latimer 
was foon out of pain, but "Ridley continued much 
longer « his legs being confumed before the fire 
reached his vitals. 

Cranmer , whom yon have feen already fo zea« 
lous in the reformation , ^was the next perfonage 
of note that was burnt : he had this ^ jy ^^ 
peculiar aggrayatipn of his calamity, ' ''55*^ 
that he was prevailed upon to abjure his principles, 
and fign hi$ recantation , by the of pardon. 
Being, notwithfianding this, brought to th^ ftake, 
his confufion and fhame were there ine;tpre{&ble : 
there he retraced all that their &lfe promifes had 
made him abjure ; and refolving that the hand which 
had figned fhould firA fuffer , he held it out , with 
an intrepid countenance « in the flames , till it drop^ 
jped 6S, frequently crvipg put, in the midft of his 
agoi^y , (hat uiiworthy hand J 

Bonner feemed now fatisfied, not with fingle 
deaths , but fent men in whple companies to the 
f|ame$; women themfelves were not fpared. But 
the cru6lty ^ent yet further : a woman, condemned 
for herefy , was delivered of a child in the midft of 
the flames ; fome of the fpefiators humanely fnatched 
It out; the majgiftrate, who was a papiit , ordered 
it to be flung in again ^ and it was there confumed- 
^ith the mother. The perpetrafort of fiicli afiions 
i^ere no longer human ; they muft have forfeited all 
pretentions to the name, for heU itfelf could h» 
/^uUgrofnothingmprBa^ficipH^} . » 


But, they were not content with punUliiog th^ 
living alone , their vengeance extended even to the 
*dead : Bucer and Fagius , two German divines , 
who had been dead fome years before » were cited, 
very formally to appear and give an account of 
their faith; in default of their appearance, their 
bodies were taken from their graves , and being 
hung upon a gallows were confumed to afbies. The 
wife of Peter Martyr , who himfelf had the pru- 
dence to efcape^ was dug up like the former , and 
fcuried in a aung-hilL In fhort, the perfecutions 
of the priefts and friars went fuch lengths , that 
the very magiflrates , who had at firA been inftm- 
iiients of their cruelty , at laft refufed to affift at 
the punifhing of heretics for the future , tiU a court, 
fomewhat refembling the tnquifition , was efta- 
bliflied , which contmued the daughters without 
remorfe. In this reign five bifhops , twenty-one 
minifters , and above eight hundred others , went 
to the flames in maintenance of the truth; num- 
bers died in prifon j aiid feveral by whips and tor- 
tures were fofced to abjure. ' " ■ 
i Yet AiU in this difmal fituation with refped to 
religion ^ the temporal concerns of the nation were 
condufled with very little better fuccefs. Calais > 
which had' long been poffeffed by the Engliih, and 
wa& a curb to the ambition of France, was taken 
in this reign by the duke of Guife , and all the 
EngKfh driven out of it , as the great Edward had 
driven the French out two hundred years before* 
The queen ^wa? only bent on ruining proteibnts ». 
and took no care K> dfefend her dominfons. 
i Philip'i her huA>and, feeiHed no way pleafed witk 
lus alhance. The queen fome time after their tiiar- 
iaa^e.,..was delivered of a fejlfe conception. This 
created difgufl in him; he- 'therefore quitted Eoft^ 

IN A SERIES OP letters/ 17^ 

land , to purfue his own fchemes in Flanders , leavr 
ing the qufeen fufficiently mordfied at j « lc^t' 
his coldnefs , of which he gave repeat- ' ' ^''* 
cd proofs. 

The lofs of Calais^ and the difappointement wittt 
regard to her pregnancy, foon excited miirmurs 
among the people. The proteftants now exerted 
their infhience .in cxpofing the weatnefs of the go- 
vernment and the cruelty of the council ; but nd 
perfon had a greater ihare of reproach than the 
queen , and none felt it fo feverely. The houfe 
of commons , that had hitherto been all ^long fa 
fubmiffive, now alfo teftified their diipleafure, and 
re&fed to grant a fubfidy , diough ihe cotidefcended 
to lay the bad ftate of her affairs before them# 
During thefe mortifications her health fenfibly de- 
clined : flie was naturally melancholy and fullen^ 
and her repeated difappointements increafed her diC- 
temper. She had been ill attended durinfg her pre- 
tended pregnancy, having committed herfelf to the 
care of a woman , and negleSed the advice of her 
phyficians. After having been for fome time af- 
flifted with the dropfy , this dfforder carried her off 
in the forty-third year of her age , after a reign of 
about five years. Had* fhe been born at any other 
period , fhe might have been a good princefs, but 
her zeal for religion was louder than the calls off hu^ 
manity, Henry VIII , her father , afted like a ty- 
rant and a perfecutor from vicious motives , and he 
knew it : Mary was both a tyrant and a perfecutor 
from motives of virtue , anid flic was never uo); 

*.i 1*. ..'..'.-. 5 > 


Vr ERB ve to adopt the maxim of (bme, thai 
^vil;Day be done for the ptodudioQ of good, one 
niignt Ay i that the perfecutions in Mary's reiga 
were permitted on\y to bring the kingdom over to 
^e pr^teftant relidon* Noming could preach (o 
f £feaually agsunft the cruelty and th^ vices of tbe 
monks , as the actions of the monks themfelves : 
vrherever heretics were to be burnt, they were alvays 
present , rejoicing at the fpedacle « infulting the ^- 
cn , and jtreqiiently the firft to thruft the flaming 
brand againft the faces of the condemned. The 
Engliih were ^fie^ually converted by fuch fights 
a^tnefe* To bring any people over to any ofmon, 
it is onl^r neceflary to perfecute inftead of attempting 
to convbce. The people had formerly embra^cedthe 
reformed r^Ugipn from fear ; they were now inter* 
nally proteftants from inclination. 

We have hitherto feen England , like the element 
that furrounds it , ever unfettled and flormy ; ever 
iiokine under foreign invafion or domeftic difputes: 
it had felt a ihort interval of happinefs • indeea , un- 
der Henry VII, but his iiKceflbrs toon difturbed 
ihat felicity, and laid the country once more in blood. 
^At length the genius of the people prevailed over 
all oppofition , and England was now about to make 
its. own happinefs » and to fet mankind an example 
of induftry, cominerce, freedom, learning, opu- 
Jefice , induftry. 

To Mary fucceeded her fiAer Elizabeth , who was 

Jan. IS, iss8. "nanimouflydeclaredcmeenatthe 

' ' '' accuftomed places , and with the 

acclamations of the people. Elizabeth had her 

educatifa in that beft of fcboola^ the ichool of ad- 


irerfity. As .during the Ufe of ber fifter , who had 
no cmldren , ihe was next.h^r to the throne , and 
at the fame time was known to he of thfs proteftanc 
religion , ihe was obnoxious tp the reigning tyrant 
for two reafon$ : it was feared ihe migjit ^pire to 
the throne during her fifler's life » bm it w»s ftiU 
;nore reaibnably appr<ihended , that ihe wpuU* if 
ever ifa& caine to |hc crown , naal^e s^a uinov^tioii 
in that rel^ion which Mary toctk £>fl»M(:h mins to 
e(tabltfh« The hiihops who had shed fuck -z d^ 
luge of blood, forefawtbis, ^nd often told Mary, 
that her deftroying mfmner heretics was of no ad* 
vantage to the^iHtiS > ^nlefs she tacked the prin-» 
cipal heretic ; that it was to iio purpofe Iq lop oC 
the brandi^ while th^ body of the tre^ was m^er« 
jed to fland. Mary faw and ^crknowle^^ied the iuf« 
^ee oftb^ir obif rvations , Cjpnfiaed her fifier with 
'proper gtiardf* and only waited fpr fprnii new infur- 
reiSKon , or fpme faypqrjkble prete?Et to d/^roy ber t 
her own de^th prevented the perpetration of her 
meditated cruelty , and Elizabeth W9S taken from 
prifon to be 6x^ uppn a throne. 

Elizabeth had made proper u(e of Her f^m^xit^ 
ment : being debarred the enjpy^ie^t >of ptea* 
fures al»t>ad , sh^ sought fpf knowledge at hooie^; 
^e cukivaiied her under Aai?diag » le^r^jod thp lafi- 
guages and fciences; bui, of aB <he arts m whic^ 
8he«KceIled, her m ^i k^iPg feir wWt her fifter:» 
of not oifending the pyiplfis » of b^ng '^ eAdsm with 
the proteflaots i of diffemUing and learning to r^igl^» 
were the greateft. 

This virgin monarch, whok memory Ym^TXxgt 
fiill reveres with gcatjeude ^nd reif«a« Wts/Shmoe 
prodaimed qiie^n, when Philip <^$p«tfi, whp^ 
had l^n niarrie4 tp Wry > .to wh^ ifvcv teAUedi 
an iiieUn^iiuni . i/» ill^^4 ^ iw^ Imii^JMlPi 

ridge. What political monvcs Elizabeth migbt 
have againft this match, is uncertain; but cenain 
it is , she neither liked the perfon nor the religion of 
fcer admirer ; she was wiltmg at once to enjoy the 
pleafure of independence and the vanity of nume- 
rous foUicitations. 

She had ever refol ved upon reforming the church ; 
€Ven in the reftraints^of a prifon; and , upon com* 
ibg to the throne , she immediately fet about that 
great defign. The people were now almoft wholly 
ef the proteftant religion ; the ill u(e the papifts 
had made of their power , in the laft reign , had to- 
tally undone their caufe : a religion marked with 
cruelty , tydhiny , and perfecution , was not a religioa 
-for the people of England. She began , dierefore^ 
•in imitation of the deceafed queen, to forbid all 
meddling with controyerfy in the pulpit , and all in- 
novations of the edablished rights , except.tkit the 
fervice- should be performed in the vulgar tongue, 
till a parliament should determine the proper modes 
of worship. The parliament foon met , and the re- 
formation was finished , and religt<m eftablished in 
the maniier we enjoy it at prefent. 
* The oppofition which was made to ^hefe reli- 
rgtons efiablishments was but, weak : a conference of 
ninedofiors on each fide was propofed and" agreed 
to : they were to difpme publickly on either fide 
^f the queftion and it was refolved that the people 
should hold wirfi that which came off with vtflory. 
fjf /> i<6f I^ft>ntations of thiskind are never at- 
• ^ • tended with conviftion to either party; 
-fo much is to be faid on either fide , and fo wide 
is the field that both fides hav«| t^ range in, that 
each generally lofes his ftrength itfvain prepararions, 
-and iffeffefhial pte^clng , before lie is properly iaid 
*iaiiegin4he eflgagem^c* Tbe^oftfcrd&cei^^therefore, 

jbme to nothing : the- papifts declared , that is was 
not in their power to difpiue a fecond time upon to-* 
pics in which they had' gained a former viftory un« 
der queen 'Mary ; and the proceftants afcribed their 
caution to their fears. Of nine tboufand four hun< 
dred beneficed- clergymen , which were in the whole 
kingdom , only fourteen bishops, twelve archdeacons, 
ifteen heads of colleges, and about eighty of the 
parochial clergy , chofe to quit their preferments 
rather than tl^ir religion. Thus England changed 
its belief in religion four times fince Henry VIIL 
Strange, (ays a foreign writer, that a people who 
are forefolute, should be guilty of fo muciiincoa* 
ihncy I that the fame people , who this day pub- 
lickly burnt heretics j should the next not only think 
them guiltlefs , but conform to their opinions ! 

Elizabeth was now fixed upon a proteftant throne; 
while. all the neighbouring nations were open or 
fecret enemies ; France , Scotland , Spain , the pope ; 
vere all combined aeainft her; her fubief^s of 
Ireland were concealed enemies , and the catholic 
party in England , though not fo numerous as for- 
merly , was not yet entirely fuppreffed : thefe were 
the dangers she md to fear, nor had she one friend 
to aflift her upon an emergency. In this fituation j 
therefore , she could hope for no other refource » 
but what proceeded from thei afedUon of her own 
fttbieds', and the wifdom of her adminification. ' 
To make herfelf beloved by the people i and , at. 
the fame time, feared by her courtiers ^ were the 
governing maxims of her condu6^. She was £ni^ 
gal of the public treafure , and fliU more fpartng 
in her rewards to her favourites : this at once kept 
the people in fpirits , and kept the great too poor 
to shake off lawful fubjediom She diftribu^ 

both rewards and punishments with impanbHtjr) 
knew when to flatter and when to upbraid ; cool4 
diflemble 6ibmifiion , but preferve hei: prerogatives r 
in short she feemed to have ftudied the people she 
was to govern , and often to have flattered their 
fellies in order to fecure thei^ hearts. 

Her chief minifler was Robert Dudley , fon to 
the late duke of Northumberland , whom the queen 
feemed to regard 4from capricious motives , as be 
had neither abilities nor virtue; but to mak^ 
amends , the two favourites^ next in power were 
Bacon and Cecil, men of great capacity and infinite 
application* They regulated the fiiaances, and di* 
Ttcted the political meafures xksi were followed 
with fo much fuccefs. 

Mary Stewart , queen of France ind Scotland, 
g^ve the firfl alarm to this ftate of tranquillity , by 
taking the title of queen of England; and her 
canfe was fupported by the popiih fadiony whicb 
Aill wanted to make new diihirbances. The 
throne of Elizabeth was not yet perfe&ty fixed i 
and the intrigues of religion could ftiH ovennni 
it : ifae , therefore, was not remifs in fending a& 
^ army into Scotland^ an4 forcing the French troops 
" out of that kingdom , by a treaty ^ned to that 
cffed. Sootr^after the king of France died, and 
Elizdbeth forced her rival td renounce die tide 
of queen of England , Kwhick flie had affumed. 
She went 'yet flill farther; ihe encouraged die 
parliament of Scotland to introduce the reformat 
tiont into that country : her intrigues fncdeeded , 
and ihe thus gained ovjsr a flediaft friend in the 
Scots , from whom the Engliih had , till then « 
only received repeated afis of enmity and tU« 

IW A SERIES Of letters; a»j, 
This tempefl was fcafoe allayed, whaa PhSip 
Spain gave n^w alarms. As long as he Jiad 
irs from the power of the queen <x Scots « by; 
r unioii with Fraiif e , he was flill attached to • 
lizabeth; hat» when , by the death of the king. 
* Fratice her hu/band , fhe was again reduced to 
r primitive weakness , his fealoufy then began 
to fall upon Elizabeth. With this view he en« 
couraged the infurredions and difcontents in Tre-* 
land , and Elizabeth with equal care fupprefled 
them. He fupported, in France, a league made 
to exclude the royal family from the throne ; 
Elizabeth proteded the oppofite fide. He op* 
prefied the people of HollaiHl with cruelty and i» 
juftice ; Elizabeth fupported the|n from finking 
under his power. Thus , on every fide, flie guarded 
effthe dangers that threatened her, and foon after, 
in her turn , prepared to ad offenfively againft her 

But the cares of'wardid not reprefs her affiduity 
in the ^dmrniftratiofi of juiKee at home : she wa$ 
refehred to iihew riiie Romafv catholic p^rty an ex* 
ample of moderation , which they might admiite hot 
could not imitate. The monks , who were difpof- 
fefied of th^lir m<^afteries « had beei| afligned pen- 
£ons /which were to be paid by the poflemH-s or the 
forfeited lands. Thefe payments were entirel^r 
negleded , and thofe unhappy men , who had been 
educated iti iolitude and lenorance , were now ftarvr 
ing in old-ase •, too much difreganM by th^ pro^ 
teftatits , ^nd too ntimerous to find reliel from thol# 
of their 'pwn perfua(ion« Eltzabedi ordered that 
dieir penfions should be paid with punftuality and 
juftice , and fatis&dton made Sot all arrears unjuftly; 


' la order the tnore to ingratiate herlblf with the 
people , she vifited Camhridge and Oxford j and 
flnaae.each a Latin {peecH, and shewed » by her 
dtfcdurfe and condua, a jegard for tbofe femioa- 
Ties of learning , which had l^en fuppreffed by her 

She not onlv afFefted this obliging carriage to 
her inferiors , out alfo behaved in fomething of 2 
romantic ftrain to the courtiers next her perfon. 
The gallantries of the court were conduced ac- 
cording to the rules of chivalry : every damfelhad 
her knight : Dudley , who was now become earl 
of Leicefter, was generally the queen's; but all 
writers agree , that ner pamon for him never pro- 
ceeded beyond the bounds of Platonic affefiion. 
When her commons, in a dutiful manner, repre- 
fented to her how much the fafety of the lungdom 
depended upon her marrying , slie thanked them la 
an obliging manner , and aflured them she was 
now become the yrife of her people ,.and would be 
pleafed at haying it inscribed on her,pmb. That 
Iiaving reigned with equity^j^ sl^ -liy^ lUad died i 
yirgim .• ,:'■ ''.. . '. ' 


A HE indent ferocity of the English was not 
yet ^quite reclaimed : the barjbiarous method of 
lixifig the motoarch upon the throne, by executions 
performed upon the icaffold, was not quit^^.done 
liway : the only difference feemed to be , th^t for- 
merly , thofe who were obnoxious to the crown, 
fell witho^t any legal trial; but now they fell with 
all the forms , yet aU the feyerity , of juilic^ 


\rhile Elizabeth was thus atteoipting to fettle 
religion , to efiablish the power^ and humble the 
enemies of her country , she at die fame time waft 
guilty of fome iqftances of cruelty , which , thoi^ 
coloured with the pretext of law , could only be 
the effe6k of the yet uncivilized difpofition of the 
times. The catholics held meetings to reftore their 
religion by open force : the countefs. of Lenox ^ 
Arthur Poole , and others , began to form fadions 
in the kingdom ; their plottings, however , were 
difcovered^ and, upon their own confeiHon, they 
were coAdemned ; but the queen , in confideration 
of their. illufirioiis defcent, forgave their offence^ 
A fift^r of the late Jane Grey ,: however, though 
lefs guUty ftact with lefs cleniency : she bad mar- 
ried the e^rl of Pembroke, without leave from the 
court; this was coi^fidered as an high oKFence , and 
the earl and she were committed to the Tower; 
After a long imprifonment he was obliged te for- 
fake her ; and she , loaded with the misfortune » 
<iied in confinement. ^ . , 

But this only prepared the, way for a ciuekyof 
a more . heinous pature , which gave ^the i werld A 
difagreeable remembrance of the tranfadtons cc^m- 
mitted in the reign of h^r father. Mary, <{ueen of 
Scots^, had lopg renounced her title to thecrowa 
of England, but not her claim pf fucceeding to the 
throne : this renunciation, however^ being ex- 
torted from her by EUzabeh , Mary took every mcf 
thod of di&urbing her in the qij^i^t poiTeffiop of th# 
crowp»:an^ yet%^ve every mark ^pf reconciliatioflii 
and fmcere amity. There ' were 5 in fji^ » many cir- 
cumfti^tu!^ tot contribute to th^k mutual .diflUte : 
the |e^p^ of aeighboinring crpvrns ,. i^e oppofitioa 
of relig^p9, of wit, and of beauty; Mary, left 
pow^r fidikfs abTpliii^, \^& ppU^^, was howevcf; 


EUzalbeth's fuperior in perfonal clpmis, and tloi 
«lone ferved to enflame their animofity. The quecfi 
of Scotland encouraged the catholic h&ion in Eng- 
land ^ while Elizabeth ) with ftill more fuccefsjo* 
tneftted' the ptoteftant partv .among the SSots. Marj 
had now» for fome time , thoughts of marrying a f^ 

. iDond huibandi after the death of the French king; 
EKxftbeth , on the other htmd, who had no thoughs 
of marri^e herfelf, ftrove hy every art, to prevent 
diis tnamage» as she confidered that it vouldbe 
Arengthening* the power of her rival. With this 
iriew she wrote Mary a letter » in which, after mi- 
fiy infincere protefiations of ftiendsfaip , At begeed 
that Mary would not offer to marry till her conlent 
should firft be obtained. This unreafonable requet 
tiOt a little difturbed the queen of Scotland, but, 
fimrinfc to offend her potent rival, she pretended to 

^comply : in feeret, however, she was refolved to 
marry the earl of Darnly , he4l%elation , who had 
the merit of being a catholic, fike herfelf; b(it, 
perhaps , whofe greateft recommendation was the 
See df' Ms perfdn , 'WhUh was lafge and comely. 
Tb6 pirty gahied by Elizabeth in Scotland, tried 
every imea(ure to {Prevent her defign. It was aei- 
tated , whether the queen could mitry without the 
vonfent of the Aates : feveral of the nobility rofe in 
«rlns t6 prevent it \ the ambaf&dors of England 
«iade daily remonftranees upon its impropriety, bm 
till ii) viain ! Maty , to cut snort theiir proceedings, 

•liad the marriage folemniieed in her own chapel, 
> ^ n ..i^- a^d banished the obpofers by a fdewft 
.^•-D-i565. ^at^ftheftdtes. ' - 

• All 'hitherto apjieafed .fortu'nate fot Mary; her 
%netnie$ banished 4 her rival- defeated ; and herfe^i 
^Arried to tht mah she loved : Jretthis was but: 
Ibttcffing ealin j (^ foon , ^whether fkom the capi> 


eloafaefs of her temper , or from what other caufe 
I will not pretend to determine ^ lord Darniy ^ not* 
vithdanding the elegance of his perfon , became 
intirely. diiagreeabie to her. She had* conceived 
fuch an avemon to him, that it was foon obvious » 
even to the people ; and flie took every method vb 
mortify him in the eyes of the publi^k. Her vices 
were the caufe of all her misfortunes : there was 
at that time in her court one David Rizzio \ the 
fon of a mufician at Turin , who had followed the 
ambaflador from that court into Scotland. As he 
underftood mufick to perfedion , and fung a good^ 
bafsy he was introduced into the queen's concert, 
who was fo taken with him , that fhe defired the 
ambaffador, upon his departure , to leave Riazto 
behind. The excellence of his voice foon pro- 
cured hun greater familiarities : the ({ueen loved 
him , confided in him , and ever kept him next her 
perfon. The new king « who only had the name, 
could not without jealoufy , fee this infinuating 
foreigner receive all the queen's fiivours , while he 
was treated only with contempt. Stung at once 
with envy^ rage, and refentment, he at length 
refolved to murder the man he could not equal , 
and confulted with fome lords about the method 
of accomplifhing his cruel defigp. Men in power 
ever find accomplices in their gnilt > twio other lords 
and he fettled it , that the murder should be com- 
mitted before the face of the queen , as a punifh- 
ment for her fcandalous condud. Thus prep«tfed , 
they were informed that Rizzia was , at that very 
inftant > in die queen's chamber ; lord Darniy ted 
the way^ conducing the afTaffins up by a piivate 
Aair-*cafe» and entered the queen-s chamber , who 
jras at uUe with. her ikvoiurite IUz2io^ Damljf; 


Aood for fome time leaning upon the back of her 
chair. His fierce looks j and unexpeded intrudon, 
in {ome meafure alarmed the queen , who , how- 
ever 9 kept filence , not daring to call out : a little 
after, lord Ruthven , one of the murderers, and 
George Douglas , entered abruptly , all in arms^ 
' «nd attended with more of their accomplices. 
The queen could no longer refrain , but afked the 
reafon of this bold intrbfion ; Ruthven made her 
sio anfwer , but ordered Rizzio to quit a place of 
which he was unwonhy. Rizzio now fsw that he 
was the objed of their vengeance , and , trembling 
with fear , took hold of the queen*s robes to put 
liimfelf under her protection , who, on her part, 
dkove to interpofe between the aflaflins and him : 
•Douglas, in the mean time, hadjeached the unfor* 
tunate Rizado » and, taking a dagger from the king^s 
fide , drew it, and , while the queen filled the room 
with her cries, he plunged it, in her. prefence, into 
Rizzio's bofom. She was five months gone with 
child, and this horrid fcene had fuch an efied upon 
'the fruit of her womb,' that it is faid her child, 
•who was afterwards king JamesI , could never ven- 
,^re to look upon a drawn fword without fliuddering* 
Thus ended Rizzio , a man who has been more 
' fpoken of ^ than perhaps any other who rofe from (o 
mean a fiation. What his other talents to pleaie 
-might have been, is unknown ; but certain it is, 
thatfeveral indications* of his fkill in mufick remain 
,cvfin to the prefent time ; all thofe pleafing Scotch 
airs, which Mefetin fuch a peculiar tafle, bcinj 
: tiniverfally allowed to be of his compofition. 
• Thi» wa$ but a temporary check upon Mary's 
I powpc ; fhe refumed her authority , by the influence 
\pi.hc^ jcharias upon the earl 'her hufl^and, wh« 


^aveupthe murderers of Rizzio to her refentment , 
but they had previoufly efcaped into England. One 
criminal engagement » however , was fcarcely got 
over , when Mary fell into a fecond : the earl of ■ 
Bothwell now began to hold the fame place in her 
affeftions that Rizzio had formerly^ pottefTed. This 
new amour was attended with jiKt^ore terrible 
confequences than the former ; iXyimuiband fell a 
viftim to it. His life was firft attempted by poi- 
fon , but the flrength of his conAitution faved him , 
for a Ihort time , only to fell by a more violent 
death : he was Arangled by night , the houfe in 
which |he fad was committed being {)lown up with 
gun-powder, in order to perfuade the people that 
his death was accidental ; but his fhirt not being 
fmged 9 and his flippers, found near him j toeether 
with blue marks round his neck, foon conhrmed^ 
the fufpicion of his real murder. His body was 
buried near that of Rizzio , among tjie Scottiilt 

AH orders of the flate , the whole body of the peo- 
ple , accufed Bothwell of this aflafTmation , and 
at laft demanded juflice upon him from the queen, 
for the late murder , openly arraigning him of the 
guilt. In this uniyerfal demand for juAice , the 

Sueen ^ deaf to the murmurs of her people, deaf to 
le vpice of decency , married the murderer of her ' 
hufband, and prevailed upon him to divorce his 
former wife to make way for this fatal alliance. 

Bothwell was poflefled of all the infolence which 
attends great crimes : he .aflembled the principal 
lords of we flate , and compelled them to fign an in- 
flrument, purporting-, that they fudgtd uthtquetn's 
inure fi to marry Bothwell , as he had lain with her 
againft her will, Thefe tranfafiions excited the 
whole kingdom of Scotland to reilflance , and Mary « 


abandoned by her followers , was obliged to give 
herfelf up as a prifoner to the confederacy, fioih- 
well fled to the Orkney iflands. The queen , be- 
ing confined in Lochlevin cafile , was compelled to 
rengn the crown to her Ton , as yet a child ; but 
fhe was permitted to nominate a regent. She 
turned her ?y*8i>P<>" ^^^ ^^^ of Murray , who 
was then in trSjt , and appointed him , ^xpeding 
that he would defend her caufe , and reftore her. 
In this , however, ihe was entijely miftaken ; Mur- 
ray , upon his arrival, inftead of comforting her^ 
as he formerly ufed , loaded her with reproaches, 
which reduced her afmoft to defpair. The calami- 
ties of the great , however juftly deferved , excite 
pity and create friends; an army of fornr thoufand 
men declared in bet favour, and ihe elcaped from 
prifon to put herCelf at their head. But this was 
only to encounter new misfortunes ; flie was met 
by a body of but four thoufand men , commanded 
■ by the new regent , and was totally defeated. To 
avoid falling into the hands of her enemies , fhe 
fled towards the borders of England. Elizabeth, 
being informed of her misfortunes and her retreat, 
at firft granted her an honourable reception , and 
ordered her to be lodged at a gentleman's houfe, 
where fhe was treated with proper dienity. Not- 
withAanding tliis kindnefs, she re&fed^to fee her 
until she had iuAified herfelf from the reproaches 
with which she was branded. By this means Eli- 
zabeth in a manner declared. her&lf umpire of the 
differences between the two bartie^ ^ and each ac- 
cordingly pleaded their caiue before her ; Mary 
by her emiflaries , ^dd Murray the regent « in per- 
fon. k was the queen of England's duty to pro- 
teft , and not to examine , her royal fugitive : how- 
ever , sb9 lengthened out the pleadings on both 


fides, and enjoyed the pleafure of feeing her rival 
humbled without pafiing any definitive fentence^ 
Mary privately complained of her unworthy treat- 
n^ient and long clelay ; thefe complaints were car- 
ried to Elizabeth, which ended in thii queen of 
Scots being fent a prifoner to Tutbury caftle. 

The difafters of the crown of Scotland fell upon 
the people , divided as they were into fadions , and 
animated with mutual animofity. The regent 
attempting to quell them, was himfelf flain , and 
the affaffins , pretending to a6l in the name of their 
imprifoned queen , made an incurfion into Eng- 
land, and committed fome ravages on thefrontief 
countries, Elizabeth , with an army , quickly re- 
preffed thefe invaders, and procured the earl of 
Lenox, father to the late king , to be elefted 
in his room. In the mean time , while she was' 
employed in bringing Scotland to meafures , she 
found hcrfelf attacked , in her own dominions, by 
a confpir^y. The pope in order to aflift the re- 
bels , procured a bull to be fixed up in feveral 
places in London , whereby he excommunicated 
Elizabeth , and abfolved her fubjefts from their . 
oaths of allegiance. This bull was fixed up by 
John Felton, grand-uncle to him whom we are 
shoi;ily to fee aft anoth'er defpe^rate parr. John 
Felton , when he was told that the government 
was in purfuit of him, difdained to fly : he waited 
with intrepidity till he was taken , and then boldly 
confeffed the fad of which he was charged, and 
gloried in the commiffion the might have received 
pardon upon acknowledging his crime , but he re- 
fufed it, and was hanged near the place, meeting 
death with a refolution that aflonished even the 
brave. What noble aftioris. might not fuch a mt\^ 

N a 


feiave been capable of, had it su firA received a rigtit 

^ The(e £6Ebrts, m farour of the queen of Scots, 
ipnly feryed ^o hi^en her ruin. The two queens 
entered into v^irious negotiations and frivolous trea* 
ties; the one attempting to humble her prifoner, 
i^e other with fruitlefs pride, attempting to pre- i 
tferve the iuAr^ of fallexi majefty. Scotland, in the 
mean time , ftreamed with blood : the papifls aixi 
fhe prpteAams carried on a civil war^ Tne arch- 
bishop of St. Andrew's , one of the warmeft parti- 
psans of Mary , was taken in arms ^ and executed 
upon the depofition of bis confeffor , who fw^e that 
. jtlus prelate had privately cpnfeffed ^t he was an 
ft^icompliice in the murder of Darnly. 

The ereatefi misfortunes of Mary rather pro- 
ceeded trom her friends than enemies. The duke 
iDf Norfolk « who profeiTed a friendship for her, 
expeded« by Ker means, to rife to the British 
jrhron^ : he, therefore , privately negotia^d a mar- 
fiage with her, and she^ on the other nand , at- 
tempted to breajc o^ that which she had already 
contraded with Bothwell. He formed a party in 
London, feeble i^ideed; but he expefted aififbmce 
from the intrigujes of the pope » and the arms of 
$pain. He was himfelf a wea^ man , and his plots 
were but shallow ; the fpies of Elizabeth difcovered 
ih^m all : he wa$ arrefted , accufed , condemned , 
und executed. This nobleman's blood only con- 
jtrihuted to ^fien the chains of the unfortunate 
Miiry ; yet ftill she conceived hopes froin foreign 
alliances , which feldom are of any weight in do- 
m^tdc difpM.tes. She had the league in France in 
fier iavourV the pope, the Spaniards and the je« 
ti^Pf pkf P^^ ^^y bop^d to he r^injft^te^ ii^ her 

fN A 5EftlES OF LETTER^, i^t 

former power, but to have the crown of Englandy 
to which she laid claim as her birth-right , addeo 
to her own. In purfuance o£ thefe defigns^ a new 
confpiracy was formed, fourteen^ of the confpirator* 
executed , and, laft of all , Mary was brought to 
a trial , befote a queen who had no other right to 
be her Judge but that"of power. Forty-tWo niemy 
bers of parEament , and five judges , were fent ta 
examine her in prifon : she protefied againft theiir 
right , yet made a defence : they had originally vlq 
foundation in juftice to try her, in J they carriedi 
on her ac(fufation with only a show of equity. Irt 
short, after an fmprifonment of efghteen years, tbij* 
unhappy princefs was brought to thel block , and 
beheaded in one of the roonls of her a jy g 
prifon, which had been hung in black * • ^5 7' 
tor the occafiom This adion fiained the rcign o^ 
Elizabeth withfuch colours, that neither her difH^ 
mulation , nor the prdifperity of her reign, Gould 
ever wafh away: her lubje3s> while they found 
themfehres happy , attempted to excufe her conduff ^ 
but confcience internaHy condemned her cruelty » 
and time , that fpeak^ plain , at laft declares her guilt* 
In treating the anions of mankind, we atmoftever 
find both hdes culpable ; and fo it was here : Mary , 
who was a murderer and aduhreft, died hy the 
orders of Elizabeth^ wlio was at once cruel sndt 
vnj uit; 


X tt E confthution of England took a long (eries 
of years to fettle into form ,. nor eve» yet was 
its ftrufture entirely compleated : the monarchs ftill 
prefcrved a degree of ancient pride , and often were 
guilty of tn)ufUce and tyntnny , without being called 

N 3 


to an account. Had tBe adions of Elizabeth , 
^hich are now the fubje£l of our praife, been per- 
formed by one of our prefeni monarchs , they would 
le fufiicient to caufe his expulfion. There is fome- 
thing lucky in every great reign , like this in view; 
its luflre is rather owing to the indifferent periods 
that preceed it^ than to its own intrinfic value. 
Elizabeth left her kingdom , it muA be owned , ia 
a better Aate than fhe fbund it ; but her adtons 
Should neither be the fubjefl of our praife , nor the 
^bjed of our imitation. 

We fee a mixture of cruelty and gallantry in all 
the tranfadions of thefe times : while Elizabeth 
was thus plotting the death of Mary, flie was, at 
the fame time, employed in a treaty of marriage 
with the young duke of Anjou. This, however, 
came to nothing , the queen refoiving to enjoy that 
power uncontrouled , which her fub)e£ls had not 
yet learned to atrldge. 

But , though file difliked an hufband , yet none 
more palfionately defired to have a lover. It is 
thought , indeed , her affedions were confined to 
Platonic wiflies only, and her age, forfhe now be- 
gan. to decline, feemed to favour the fuppofition; 
but the choice of her favourites countenanced the 
contrary report , and her forrow for the earl of Lei- 
cefter, who died about this time, confirmed it. But 
one favourite always made room for another , am 
De vereux , earl of Eflex , fucceeded Dudley , earl o£ 
Leicefler. This nobleman was young, adive, am- 
buious , witty, and handfome :-in the field an( 
at court he ever appeared with fuperior luftre. Ifl 
all the mafques which were then performed , the 
earl and Elizabedi were generally coupled as part' 
ners \ and» although ihe was almofl fixty , and he ool 


. half ib old , yet flattery had taught her to forgtt thef 

difprit'y of age : the world told her fhe was flill 

beautiful and young, and iKe was inclined to think 

fo. This young earl's intereft in the queen's heart , 

as may naturally be expeded , promoted his intereAs 

in the flate : he conduced aU tnings without a rival , 

and , wherever be went , he acquired a degree of 

. unbounded popularity. Young and unexperienced 

. as he was » he at lengtn began to fancy the ap- 

. plaufe of the people given to his merits, and not 

to hh favour : thus poflefled of a falfe opinion of 

, his own fecurity , to ufe.the words of the poet , h« 

kicked down the ladder by which he rofe ; he be- 

S[an to defpife the aueen , and was heard to drop 
ome expreilions , tttat he thought her , in fpite of 
flattery , both old and ugly. Her remonftrances , 
on this occafion , were fuch as might have been 
cxpefted from a difappointed girl , very angry , yet 

. wiihing for a vindication. She gave him , in a 
paflion , a box on the ear ,. pardoned him^ employed 
him i . he aggin tranfgrefied , . and flie again par- 
doned the oScnce. Secure in her aiFefiions, he 
at length proceeded to aftuab difobedience ; vhis 
former favpur had gained him enemies , his prefenp. 
infolence loft him the friendship of the queen ; 
he was condemned to retirement, when he might 

. have been capitally convifted. He now came to 
a fenfe of his mifcondu^^ , and was refolved to try 

. the long unpraSifed arts that bad at firft brought 
him into favour. Immediately after fentence , when 
he was preparing for retirement into the country , 
he firft aiTured the queen , that he could never be 
happy till he again faw thofe eyes which were 
vfed to shine upon him with fuch.luf^re; that, 

,/xn expeflance ot that happy moment, like another 

N 4 - 


Nebuchadnezzar, he would dwell with the beads 
of the field, and be wet with the dew of heaven, 
till she again propitiouily took pity on his fiifFer- 
ings. This romantic mefiage ieemed peculiarly 
pleafing to the queen ; she thought him fmcere 
from the confcioufnefs of her own fmcerity : she 
replied, that, after fome time, when convinced 
of his humility , fomething perhaps might be ex* 
peded from her lenity. This hope of pardon 
made him think flightly of his guilt : his pride 
once more increafmg with his fuccefs , he laid de- 
figns of deftroying his rivals in power , and fecur- 
ing the perfon of the queen. With this refolu- 
tion, he imprifoned the queen*s mefTengers, headed 
a few malecontems , add marched through the city, 
exhorting the citizens to arms , and crying out , For 
the queen ! for the queen ! During a loi}g march , 
not one citizen thought prpper to join him , though 
numbers, led by curiofity, ran to fee him pafsby. 
In this difappointment , word was brought that he 
was proclaimed a traytor; upon which he made one 
effort more to excite an iniurredion , but without 
fuccefs : he therefore now refolvcd to return to his 
cwn houfe , but found the flreets fecured by a great 
chain , and a guard of foldiers. As he faw no other 
way to force his paflage, but by an attack upon the 
guards , he immediately fell on , attended by his fol- 
lowers , but was beat back and wounded in the 
thigh. He then went down to the water-fide, and 
putting himfelf and his retinue on board fmall boats , 
he efcaped to his houfe, which he fortified in the 
he& manner he could. The houfe was foon invefled 
by die lord admiral , and the earl and his followers 
were obliged to delfver themfelves up : the earl of 
Southampton was a cpmpanion in his guilt > and 


his misfortunes ; they were foon aft^r troiight t& 
their trials, and condemned to die. 'W^hen the day 
of h'S death came^ the queen appeared irrefolutej 
she fent an order to flop the execution , and foon "" 
after ordered it to proceed. However roroanticr it 
may feem 9 she felt in her bofom all the fluctuations 
of love and refentment , and was irrefolute which 
paifion to obey : her refentment , at kft ^ prevailed ; 
he was exeaned fix days after his fen- . jy ^ 
tence , and died with penitence and * ' **^^^* 

Thus died a favourite who had merits hut 
did not owe his rife to them : he was gallant , ro- 
mantic , and oftentatious : his genius for shows ,' 
and thofe pleafures that carry an image of war, 
was as remarkable as his fpirrt'in the profeffioa 
itfelf ; and , had he been pofleiFed of humility equal 
to his abiliiresy he at kft might have mounted si 
throne inftead of a fcaffold. The queen , at ffrft, 
carried her refentment fo hr « as to have a fermoti 
preached at St. Paul's crofs to blacken his memo-^ 
ry : his haughty behaviour ,-and unreguarded ex- 
preffions, had entirely alienated her a^dions^ and 
imprinted an afperity , which , it feems » even ht» 
death couM not foften^. 

With the death of this fiivourite , Elizabeth^ 
pleafures feemed to expire ; she afterwards went 
through the bufinefs of the ftate merely ftom habit, 
but her happinefs was no more. Hiflforians are 
fond of reprefentin^ all their charaders without 
paffion , and to give to every adion of the great eirfier 
political or national motives ; they therefore treat 
the queen's affcftion as a faWe : but many of the 
aAions of her life appear didated by reieirtment 
or regard, nor ever had woman a greater variety 
4}£ caprice : the great feel as the reft of mankind, 

N 5 


and her padions \vere particularly violent and lafl' 
ing. She lived but a Hiort time after the death of 
Eliex , and had the mortification of being forfakea 
by moft of her courtiers before fhc died , who now 
drove to court the favour of king James » whom 
ili6 had appointed her fucceffor. She died in the 
A n wA^rn feveniietli year of her age , and die 
ji.JJ. 1603. forty-fifth of her reign. Her charac- 
ter differed with her circumftances ; in the begin- 
ing of lier reien fhe was moderate and humble. 
towards the end haughty and fevere ; fhe was in- 
debted, to her good fortune that her minifters were 
excellent 9 but it was owing to her want of wifdom^ 
that her favourites , who were chofen more imme- 
diately by herfelf , were unworthy. Tho* fhe was 
pofTeiled of excellent fenfc, yet ihe never had the 
difcernment to difcover that fhe wanted beauty : to 
flatter her charms , even at the age of fixty-five , 
was the fureA wa^ of gaining her intereft and efleem. 
phe Mras greater m her public than her private cha- 
ncer, and they mofl difliked and feared her who 
were placed next her perfon. But whatever might 
have been the queen's charader, the charader of 
her people ^ at that period , demands our'praife and 
imitation. Permit me to referve that glorious pic- 
ture of genius firuggling to get free from barbarity > 
to the lucceeding letter. 

Letter xxxvii. 


H A T E V E R punifhments or cruelties were 
exerted in this reign , they moftly fell upon the 
great ; but never was the people of England more 
happy internally » or more formidable abroad , than 
during this period. The vices and virtues of a nation 
;are ottejn wholly .^fcribed to th& mooarilh ifho rulei 


them 'y but fuch influence extends only to a narrow 
r fphere :^ no fingle reign , however good , nor indeed 
any fuccedion of virtuous reigns, can give happi- 
nefs , morals 9 and a'rts , a general fpread , unlefs the 
people be pre - difpofed for the reception. From 
Nerva to Antoninus, what a noble lucceffion of 
Roman emperors ! and yet , even uader them , 
Rome was declining fail into barbarity. It was not 
owing to Elizabeth alone that England enjoyed all 
irs'prefent happinefs; the people, ^s if fpontahe* 
• oufly , began to exert their natiVe vigour , and every 
art and every genius put forth all their powers. 

The Englifli Were put in poffeflion of neither 
■new nor fplendid acquifitipns , nor had they fuch 
great influence in foreign courts ; but l:ommerce 
grew up among them , and , almoft without a pro- 
teftor , flourifhed witlf vigour. The people now 
began to know their real element , and this ren- 
dered them more happy than the foreign conquefts , 
or the former viftories, of the celebrated kings : 
a nation , which was once fubjeft to every inva- 
sion , and the prey of every plunderer , now be- 
came powerful , polite , laborious, and enterprifing. 
The newly fuccefsful voyages of the Spaniards 
and Portuguefe excited their emulation : they 
£cted out feveral expeditions for dlfcovering a noK- 
thern paflage to China, and, though difappointed 
in their aim , their voyages were not wholly fruit- 
lefs. Drake and Cavendifh furrounded the globe, 
and difcovered flcill and courage fuperior to thofe 
very nations which had firft fhewed them the way. 
The famous Sir Walter Raleigh , without any affift- 
ance from the government, colonized new Eng- 
land. Thefe expeditions at length formed oile of the 
moft powerful marines of Europe, and they were 
^le to oppofe4h& fleet of Spsuo , called by the boaft* 

N 6 


ing title of the Invincible Armada, with an hundred 
ihips. When this fleet of Spain had been deftroyed » 
partly by tempefis , and partly by condud , theEng- 
fifli remained mafters at Tea* This fuperiority vas 
constantly increafing , till another viaory , gained 
over the fleet of Philip III , gained them a naval fo- 
vereignty, which they have ever fince inviolably 

treferved , and which has been fcarce ever moleficd 
y a competitor. 

But external commerce was not more cultivated 
than internal manufadures : feveral of the Fie* 
snings, who were perfeciited from their own coun- 
try » by the bad condud of Spain , found an afylum 
in Enghind : thefe more than repaid the protec- 
tion they found, by the arts wnich they intro- 
duced , and the indufiry which was thms propagated 
by their example* 

Thus far in the uCefut arts r but , in the polite 
arts ,, England excelled all the world ; fo that 
nany writers fix the Auguflan age of literature to 
that period.' The dtfputes , caufed by the reforma- 
tion of religion , had retarded the jprogrefs of our 
language among the powerful , yet ipread a love of 
literature among the lower orders of the fiate» 
The people now begaa to Iparn to read , and the 
Bible « translated into the vulgar tongue , was not 
only ferviceable in improving their morals , but 
their tafle. The perfecution of Mary was > how- 
ever , of great detriment to the language : the re- 
formers , being driven into foreign countries , on 
their return , introduced into their fermons a Ian** 
guage compounded of thofe dialefb which they had 
acquired abroad , and the language of England was 
a6lually in a flate of barbarity when Elizabeth 
came to the throne. Latin fermons were in fafhion^ 
and few of the nobility had eitjier the courage » oc 

the tafie, to declare themfelves the patrons d 


Either the fortune or the difcernenient of Eliza- 
beth made Parker archbifliop of Canterbury ; and 
he fet himfelf afliduouily to reform the corruptions 
of ftyle , both by precept and example : for this 
purpofe he reviewed and correded the Englifh 
tranilation of the Bible, "and printed it with royal 
magnificence. His own Ayle had all the eloquence 
of the times ; it was manly and concife , but want* 
ed fmoothnefs. 

The earl of Effex ^ a iketch of whofe hiflory 
you have feen , was himfelf one of the greateft Im- 
provers of our language ; his education had freed 
him from the technical t^rbarides of the fchools » 
and his ftyle ran on unembarrafled by the fiiffnefs 
of pedantry. His letters ( particularly that which 
he wrote from Ireland to the queen ) are regarded as 
models of iine writing to this day. Sir Walter 
Raleigh has the reputation of being one of the 
improvers of our lan^^ge, and none can conteft 
with him the honour of being foremoil in the im- 
provement of our hiftory. Hooker , the author of 
the Ecclefiaftical Polity , was the firft. Engliihman 
whofe flyle, upon theological fubje6ls , does honour 
to his memory as a fchoTar and a gentleman : but 
what particularly deferves notice , is , that a man , 
like him , bred up in poverty , and feclufion from 
the polite , fhould exprefs himfelf in *a more modern 
and elegant manner than his contemporary authors ^ 
Sidney or Raleigh , who were bred at court. 

i fliall mention only one profe writer more , the 
greateft and wifeft of all our Englifli philofophers » 
and perhaps the greateft philofopher among men : 
I need hardly mention the name of Francis £acoa^ 


lord Verulam : his ftyle is copious and corred , and 
his learning only furpaiTed by his genius. 

Among the poets, two of particular note attraft 
out attention , Spenfer and Shnkefpear : to attempt 
an encomium of either is needle(s ; all praifc muft 
be too low for their merits ^ or unneceflary to make 
them more known. 

In fhort , the Englifh now began to rival the Spa- 
niards , who , at that time , aimed at' univerfal mo- 
narchy , both in arts and arms : the city of London 
became more large and more beautiful ; the people 
of the country began to confider agriculture as one 
of the moft ufefuland honourable emoloyments; 
the Englifli were in power , tile fecond nation in 
Europe , and they were , fliortly , to become the 
greateft , by becoming the moft free. 

During this reign , a few fuffered death for their 
religious opinions : but we may venture to affert, 
that they raifed the difturbances by which they fuf- 
fered ; for thofe who lived in quiet ^«re permitted 
to enjoy their opinions under the neceffary. reftraints. 

If we look through hiftory , and conhder the rife 
of kingdoms , we fliall not find, in all its volumes, 
fuch an inftance of a nation becoming wife , power- 
ful , and happy , in fo fhort a time. The fource of 
our felicity began- in Henry VII, and , though re- 
prefled by the intervening tyrannies, yet , before the 
end of Elizabeth's reign, who was only his grand- 
daughter , the people became the moft poliflied and 
the moft happy people upon earth. Liberty* it is 
true^ as yet continued to fluftuate : Elifabeth kne\r 
her own power, and often ftretched it to the ^^ery 
limits of defpptifm : but, when commerce was in- 
troduced , liberty neceflariiy emered iii its train ; 
/or there never was a nation perfeftly commercial 
and perfeftly dtfpoiic. 



JL O U are now to turn to a reign , which , thoiigfi 
not (plendid , was ufeful : the Engl ifli only wanted 
a feafon of, peace to bring thofe arts to perfedlioa 
which were planted in the preceding reign. Na 
monarch was fonder of peace than James I , who- 
fucceeded Elizabeth; and none ever en joyed, a reigrr 
of more lafting tranquiility.'^Hiftorians , for what 
reafon I knpw not, are fond of defcribing this mo* 
narch's tran(a£^ions with ridicule ; but, for my own 
part, I cannot avoid giving juft applaufe both to 
his wifdom and felicity. 4ii 

King Tames came to the throne with the un5v6f *' 
fal approbation of all orders of the ftate : for , ifi his 
perfon was united every claim to the crown , that 
either defcent , bequefl , or parliamentary fanAion 
could confer; But , on his firfl arrival, it was rea* 
dily feen , that he by no means approved of the 
treatment of his mother , Mary queen of Scots , and 
not only refufed to weslr mourning hinifelf for the 
late* queen, by whom fhe had been beheaded ; but 
alfo denied admiiHon to any who appeared ia 
mourning upon her account. 

Upoii a review of his conduft, there are few of 
this monarch's aftions that do not feem to fpring 
from motives of juftice and virtue; his only error 
ieems to confiA in applying the defpotic laws and 
maxims of the Scottifli government to the English 
conftitution , which was not fufceptible of th§m. 
He began his reign by a laudable attempt to unite 
both the kingdoms into one ; but this the jealoiify 
of the English prevented : they were apprchenfive , 
that, the poAs and employ ments ^ which were la 


the gift of the coort , might be conferred on the 
Scotch , vbom they were , as yet , taught to regard 
as foreigners. By the repulfe in this tnftance, he 
found the people he came to govern very different 
from thofe he had left, and perceived fliat the li- 
berty and the fpirit of the Englifli coald not be re- 
Arained by the ihadows of divine right and paflive 

He now , therefore , attempted to corred his firft 
mifiake , and to perufe the English laws , as he had 
formerly done mofe of his own country, and by 
tbefe he was refolved to govern. He was in this 
fecond attempt difappointed in his aim. In a go- 
vernment foflufluating as that of England, cuftom 
was ever deviating from law , and what was ena6t- 
C0 in one reign , was contradidedj by precedent in 
another : the laws and the manners of Eneland 
were, at^his particular jundare, very di&rent 
from each other. The laws had all along de- 
clared in £ivour of an unlimited prerogative i 
the prefent manners , on the contrary , were formed 
by inftruments and upon principles of liberty. 
All the kings and queens before him , except fucti 
as were weakened by inteftine divifions, or the 
dread of approaching invafion ^ ifTued rather com- 
mands than received advice from their parliament. 
James was early fenfible of their condud in this 
rcfpe&. , and ftrove to eftablish the prerogative upon 
the laws , unmindful of the alteration of manners 
among the people, who had , in the reign of queen 
Mary, got an idea of their own power, of which, 
when the majority are once fenfible , they never 
defiA from defending. 

Nuihberlefs , therefore , were the difputes be- 
tween the king and his parliamem , during this 

whole reign; one attempting to keep the royal 
fplendor unfuUied , the other aiming at leffening 
tJae dangerous part of prerogative ; the one labour- 
ing to preferve the Jaws and inftitutions of former 
reigns , the other ftedfeft in aflerting the inherent 
privileges of mankind. Thus we fee virtue was 
the caijfe of the diffenfion on either fide ; and the 
principles of both , though feemingly oppofite , 
were , in feft , founded either in law or in reafon. 
W^hen thd parliament would not grant a fubfidy, 
James had examples enough , among his predeceflTors, 
to extort a benevolence. Edward TV, Henry VIII, 
and others , had often done this ; and he was en- 
titled , undoubtedly , by precedent , to the fame pri- 
vilege. The houfe of commons , on the other hand , 
who began to find themfelves the proteftors of the* 
people, and not the pafHve inflruments of the 
crown, juftly confidered, that this extorted bene- 
volence might , at length , make the fovereign en- 
tirely independent of me parliament, and therefore 
complained againfl it , as an infringement of their 
privileges. Thefe attempts of the crown , and thofe 
murmurings of the people continued through this 
whole reign , and firft gave rife to that fpirit of party 
which has ever fince lubfifted in England; the one 
ftde declaring for the king's prerogative , the other 
for the people's liberty. 

Whenever the people, as I have already obfervedj; . 
get fight of liberty , they nev^r quit the view : the 
commons , as majr naturally be expeded in the pre- 
fent jun^ure, gained ground, even though de- 
feated ; and the monarch , notwithflanding his 
profedions and refoUitions- to keep his prerogative 
untouched , was every day loling fomc fmall part 
cf his authority. HiAorians are apt to charge 
$his to his imhecillity ; but it , in reality , aroe 


from the fpirit of the times : the cler^ , who kd 
returned from banishment duridg the lafl reign , hid 
difleminated republican principles among their hear- 
ers , and no art nor authority could check its growth } 
fo that , had the mofi aftive , or the moft diligent mc 
narch upon earth, been then feated on the throne, 
yet he could not have prefcrved the ancient privi- 
leges of English monarchy unimpaired. 

The clemency and the juAice of this monarches 
reign early appeared from that fpirit of moderatiofl 
which he shewed to the profeflbrs of each rehgion. 
The minds of the people had been long irritated 
againft each other , and each-party perfecuted the re^, 
as it happened to prevail : James wifely obferved, 
that men should be punished only for adions , and 
not for opinions ; each party murmured againft him, 
and the univerfal complaint of every fed was the 
beft argument of his moderation towards alL 

Yet , mild as he was , there was a projeft con- 
trived , in the very beginning of his reign , for the 
re-eftablishment of popery, which feemed to be 
even of infernal extradion : a more horrid or 2 
more terrible fcheme never entered into the human 
mind ; the maflacre of St. Bartholomew , in Prance, 
in which fixty thoufand prdtefiants were murdered 
in cold blood , was , in reality , not fo dreadful The 
catholics of England had expefted fome condefcen- 
iions from the king , which he was unwilling to 
grant : this refufal determined them to uke different 
roeafures for the eflablishment of their religion and 
their party ; they were refolved xo cut off the king 
and both houfes of parliament at one blow. The 
houfe where the parliament of England iits, is built 
on arched vaults , and in thefe the papifts were de- 
termined CO lay gun*powder, in order to blow np 
. the king and all tbemembers of both houfes at their 


-mext fitting. For this deed of defperation a number of 
-perfons united, among which were Robert Cateiby , 
Thomas Piercy , kinfman to the earl of Northum- 
i>er!and ; John Grant , Ambrofe Rookwood , Chrif- 
topher Wright, Francis Tresham, Guy Fawkes, 
and Everard Digby. How hotrid foever the con- 
trivance , yet every member f^med faithful and 
fecret in the leagi^ and , about two months before 
the fitting of parliament, they hired the cellar un- 
der the parliament houfe » and bought a quantity 
of coals with which it, was then filled, as iFfor 
their own ufe : the pext thing done was to convey , 
privately , thirty-fix barrels of gun-powder, whith 
bad been purchafed in Holland , and which were 
covered under the coals /and faggots. The day 
for the fitting of the parliament approached ; never 
was treafon more fecret, ot ruin more apparently 
inevitable : the confpirators expected the day with 
impatience , and gloried in their meditated guilt. 
A remorfe of private friendship faved the kingdom, 
when -att the ties , divine and human , were too 
weak to fave it : Thomas Piercy conceived a de- 
fign of faving the life of the lord Monteagle , his 
intimate friend and companion, # About ten ^ays 
before the fitting ,, this nobleman , upon his return 
home , received a letter from a perfoh unknown , 
the meffen^er making off as foon as he had deli- 
vered it ; the letter was to this cSeQ. : Stay away 
from ihis parliament ^ for God and .man iav€ concurred * 
to punish the wickedncfs of the times. Think not Jlightly 
cfthis warning; though the danger does not appear 9 yet 
they shall receive a terrible blow , Viithout knowing from 
.whence it comes. The danger will be pafl as foon as you 
have burnt this letter ^ andthiscounfeLmaydoyou good^ 
hut cannot do you harm. The contents of this my(^ 
terlous letter furprif^d.aad puzzled the nobleniaii 


to whom it was addreiid : he communicated it in- 
ftantly to the fecretary of ftate ^ and the fecretary 
shewed it to the council ; none of them were ca- 
pable of comprehending the meaning of it , and they 
refolved to communicate it to the king. In this 
wniverfal agitation between doubt and apprehetifion , 
the king was the firft who penetrated the meaning of 
its fatal contents ; he conclud€# that fome fudden 
danger was preparing by means of gim- powder. 
The lord chamberlain fent proper perfons , the very 

Nov. u i60K. "'*8^'' ^^^""'^ '^"^ ^1!""8 of parlia. 
' * ^ menr , to examine the vaults above- 
mentioned : there the whole train of powder was 
difcovered , and a man in a cloak and boots , with 
a dark lanthom in his hand , preparing for the 
dreadful attempt; this was Guy Fawkcs, who paff- 
ed for Piercy*s fervant. The atrocioufnefs ot his 
guilt infpired him with refolution, and, with an 
undaunted air^ he told them» that, had he blown 
them and himfelf up together ^ he had been happy. 
He obftinately refiifcd to name his accomplices ; the 
fight of the rack, however, at length brought him 
to a confefTion, No natioif fears death Ie(s man the 
English , but none dread torments more. 

The eonfpirators , who had prepared atl things 
to fecond the mine at Weftminftcr , finding their 
plot difcovered, fled different ways to aflemble their 
catholic friends , whom they expeAed to rife in 
their defence ; bur > the country being every where 
alarnfed againft them , they were at fift forced , to 
the ifumber of about an hundred , to Aop at an 
houfe in Warwickshire , where they were refolved 
to fell their lives dearly. A fpark of fire happening 
to fall among fbme sun-powder that was laid to 
dry, it blew up, and fo maimed the principal con - 
fpirators , that the furyivors refolved to open the 

gate , and fally through the multhude that fur- 
rounded the houfe. Some inftantly were flain with 
a thoiifand wounds ; Catefby , Piercy , and Winter , 
(landing back to back , fought long and defperately » 
till , in the end , the two firft fell covered with 
blood , and the other was taken alive. Such as 
iurvived the {laughter w^re tried and convi^d ; 
feveral fell juft vidims to jufiice , and others expe- 
rienced the king's mercy. Two jefuits , Garnet 
and Oldcorn , whp were privy to the plot , fufFered 
with the reA : the king maintained, that they 
were punifhed juftly ; but , by their own party ,' 
they were regarded as martyrs to religion , though 
without ground , for James was too humane to 
condemn any upon fuch flight motives as thofe of 
opinion. ^ 

The difcoveryand extindion of thisconfpiracyj 
which was entirely owing to the wifdom of the 
king , gained him the love of his fubjeds , tboug|i 
it had but little influence over his parliament, in 
extorting fuppiies. His defire of peace witli fo«: 
reign flates diminifhed his authority at home ^ 
for , though he talked boldly of his prerogative ini 
parliament > yet , unlike fome of his predeceflbrs , 
he had no flanding army to back his pretentions : 
his fpeeches, which were rather arguments in fa« 
vour of royal authority than directions or advice ^ 
only put both houfes upon arguing with him in 
his own vay> but not upon complying with his 
requefts. They refiifed him fuppiies, when they 
knew it could be done with impunity. His lifep'^ 
r^iity ;ind his indigence fpon forced him to con- 
defcenfions , which , when once granjted , could 
never be again recalled : thus , while he thought 
himfelf enlareing the royal prerogativp , he vas » iflf 
reality , abridging it 00 fiVcry fidp, 


Pcthaps the oppofition this king met with from 
Iiis parliament was the motive of his encouraging 
favourites , -who mkht help him to reduce them to 
his meafures : his nrft choice was fixed upon Ro- 
bert Carr, who, from a private gentleman, wai 
brought up » through all the gradations of preferment , 
till created earl of Somerfet. An amour between this 

!;entleman and the countefs of Effex , one of the 
ewdeA , yet fineft , woman of her time , at laft termi- 
nated in his difgrace : his friend , Sir Thomas Over- 
bury, had declared againfi his marrying this lady, 
who was efpoufed to another : this advice procured 
the rcfentment of Somerfet , and the hatred of the 
coutitefs. The king , by falfe pretences , was infti- 
gated to confine Sir Thomas in the Tower, and here 
the earl and the countefs caufed him to be poifoned. 
When this tranfaSion came to the king's know- 
ledge, he delivered him to public juftice, by which 
he was condemned ; but he received the royal par- 
don, though he ever after continued in disgrace. 

His next , and greateft favburite , was George 
Villars , afterwards duke of Buckingham , whofc 
perfon and beauty firft drew the king's attention 
and regard* This nobleman was the firfl who was 
ever created a duke in England without being al- 
lied to the royal iimily : it maybe reckoned among 
the moft capricious circumftances of this reign ^ that 
a king, who was bred a fcholar , fhould chufe, for 
his favourites , the moft illiterate of his courtiers ; 
that he , who trembled at a drawn fword , fhould 
lavlfh fiivours on one who promifed to be the hero of 
a romance. Buckingham firft infpired young prince I 
Charles, whb was afterwards' famous for his mif- 
fortunes and death , with a defire of igoing difguifed 
into Spain, to court the Infanta: their adyenturef 


ki this romantic expedition could fill novels , and 
bve aftually been made/ the fubjeft of many. 
Charles was the knight-errant , and Buckingham 
Ibrved under him. as iquire : they fet out poft, and 
|rayelled through France vndei' the names of Jack 
\ad Tom Smith. They appeared at Paris in large 
lufhy periwigs , which fhadowed their faces. They 
rere received in Spain^with all pofTible refpeft ; but 
iuckingham jfilled the whole court with intrigues , , 
idventures , ferenades , and jealouiy* To make the 
blly complete , he fell in love with the duchefs of 
Dlivarez , the prime minifter's wife , and infulted 
the prime minifter. Thefe levities were not to b« 
mdured at fuch a court as that of Spain, where 
jealoufy is fo prevalent , and decorum lo neceffary ; 
the match was broke off , and the prince was per« 
;initted to return in fafety. 

I A match for this prince was foon after negotiated 
vith Henrietta , the daughter of Henry IV , of 
France , and this met with better fuccefs than the 
former : Charles had feen this princefs , when he 
pafTed through that kingdom in difguife ; he ad- 
mired her beauty, and tronr every quarter was in- 
formed of her fenfe and difcretion. A difpenfatioti 
was got from the pope for her marrying a protef- 
tant prince, but king James died before the con- 
fummation of the nuptials. 

Were we to take the charader of this monarch 
as defcribed by Rapin , we Aiould confider him as 
one of the worft of princes, even while he pretepds 
to defend him. It is this injudicious hidorian's 
method , wherever he finds a good charafter among 
our kings , to load it with reproach ; wherever he 
meets a bad one « to extenuate its ^ guilt; fo that^ 
every monarch is levelled by him to one common 
fiandard o£ mdiSt^fUx^iHU renS^ks li^oa parti-. 

cular fa^s are fimilar to his charafters : whatever 
other liUlorians have laid down as motives, he 
undertakes to contradid, and fancies that he thus 
acquires an air of impartiality. In the prefent in- 
^ance , he Arongly infinuatcs throughout ^ that 
James was a papift , with no better proofs than his 
being ever a favourer of toleration : he had but juft 
be fere blamed Mary , and with reafon , for her im- 

Elacable partiality , yet he condemns James only 
ecaufc he was impartial. To this monarch the 
Englifli are indebted for that noble freedom of opi- 
nion they have fince enjoyed ; a benefit of which 
narrow-minded bigots have too often ftrove to de- 
prive them. 

With regard to foreign negotiations , James nei- 
. ther underftpod nor cultivated them ; and , perhaps , 
in the government of fuch a kingdom as England , 
domeftic politics alone are requifite. His reien was 
marked with none of the fplendors of triumph , nor 
no new conquefts or acquifitions : but the arts were 
neverthelefs filently and happily going on to im- 
provement ; reafon was extending its influence , and 
fhewing mankind a thoufand errors in religion and 
government that had been rivetted by long prefcrip- 
^ tion. People now no longer joined to fome popu- 
lar leader,*- but each began to think for himfelf; 
the reformation had introduced a fpirit of liberty , 
i . even while the conftitution and the laws were built 
'r'i^ iipon arbitrary power. James taught them, by his 
own example , to argue upon thefe topics ; he fet 
up ibe divine authority of kings againft the natural 
privUep^es of the people: the fubjed began in con* 
troveriy J and it jw^as foon found Hhat the monarch's 
^was the weakcA fide* 

^^ , rCND 07 THE MIBSS^ VCLVfA^ 


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