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Cornell University Library 
DA 32.T73 1909 

Advanced history of Great Britain from t 

3 1924 027 974 678 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



An Elementary History of England 

With 88 Illustrations, Tables, Maps, and Plans. 

T. P. TOUT, M.A., 

Professor of Medieval and Modern History in the 

"University of Manchester, 



Principal of the Boys' High School, Brooklyn, 

New York. 

Crown 8vo, JO-YS 

An Atlas of English History 



With 66 Maps and 22 Plans of Battles, etc. 
Small 4to, $1-50 





By T. F. tout, M.A. 






All rights reserved 


Pbbpacb .... 

< • V 

List of Bibliogbaphies 


List of Maps and Plans 


List op Genealomcal Tables 


Table op Kinhs and Queens . 


List op the Chibp Ministeies 


1689 '. 






Up to 55 B.C. 

Chapter I. 

Prehistoric and Celtic 

1 330 B.C. 

The Palseolithio Age 

The Neolithic Age . 

The Iberians 

The Celts . 

The Bronze and Iron Ages 

The Voyage of Pytheas 

55 B.C. -449 A.D. Chapter II. Roman Britain 

55-54 B.C. Julius Caesar's Invasions of Britain 
43-85 A.D. The Eoman Conquest of Britain . 
85-410. Roman Bule in Britain 
78-85. Julius Agrioola 

The Two Eoman Walls 
Roman divisions of Britain . 
The garrison and the roads 
Roman Civilisation .... 
The Romano-British Church 
Decay of the Roman Power 
The Barbarian Invasions . 
410. End of the Roman Power in Britain 
410-449. The Plots, Soots, and Saxons 

Permanent results of Roman Rule in Britain 













449-607. Chapter III. The English Conquest of 
Southern Britain . 

The Jutes, the Saxons, and the Angles 

The beginnings of England 

The Jutish Settlements 

The Saxon Settlements 

The Anglian Settlements 

The fate of the Britons 

The Welsh . 

The beginnings of Scotland 

Conversion of the Picts and Soots . 

Why England became the strongest 

597-821. Chapter IV. The Early Overlordships 
and the Conversion of the English to 
Christianity . 

The-first steps toward English Unity 
The Heptarchy 
The first English Overlords 
The Celtic Church . 
Pope Gregory the Great 
597. The Landing of Augustine . 

The Conversion of Kent and Essex 
627, The Conversion of Edwin . 
627-685, The Northumbrian Overlordship . 

Aidan and the Scottish Mission 
626-655. Penda of Meroia 

Conversion of the rest of England . 
Dispute between the Roman and the Celtic 
Churches .... 
664, Synod of Whitby 
668-690. The work of Theodore of Tarsus . 
716-821. The Overlordship of Meroia 

802-899. Chapter V. The West Saxon Overlord^ 
ship and the Danish Invasions . 



The rise of Wessex .... 

The Eeign of Egbert 

Beginnings of the Danish Invasions 

The Eeign of Ethelwulf 

The Norse Migrations 

The Sons of Ethelwulf 

Settlements in England and the continent 

Wessex saved by Alfred 

Alfred and Guthrum's Peace 

The Dane law ..... 

West Saxon Supremacy under Alfred 

Alfred's Reforms .... 







Chapter VI. The Successors of Alfred 
and the Beginnings of the English 
Monarchy ..... 

Edward the Elder, tlie first King of the English 

The sons of Edward the Elder 

Athelstan .... 

The Battle of Brunanburh . 

Edmund the Magnificent . 

Reign of Edred ..... 

The Reigns of Edwy and Edgar 

Archbishop Dunstan 

The Reign of Edward the Martyr . 









978-1042. Chapter VII. The Decline of the English 

Kingdom and the Danish Conquest 57-6i 

978-1016. Reign of Bthelred, the Unready 57-59 

Renewal of Danish Invasions 57-58 

1002. The Massacre of St. Brioe's Day 58 

1013. The Invasion of Swegen .... 58 

1016. The Struggle of Onut and Edmund Ironside 59 

1017-1036. Cnut, King of Denmark, Norway, and England 59-60 

The Great Earldoms . 60 

1035-1042. Eeigns of the Sons of Gnut . 61 

1042-1066. Chapter VIII. The Reigns of Edward 
the Confessor and Harold 

1042. Accession of Edward the Confessor 

Normandy and the Normans 

The House of Godwin 

Harold, Earl of the West Saxons . 
1066. The Death of Edward the Confessor 

Harold made King .... 

Harold defeats Harold Hardrada . 

Landing of William of Normandy 

Battle of Hastings ' . 





449-1066. Chapter IX. English Life before the 
Norman Conquest . 

Agriculture and land tenure 

Thegns, Ceorls, and Theows 



Pood and Drink 

Architecture .... 

Laws ..... 

The Shires .... 





Hundreds and Townships . 
Law Courts ... 


The King's Officers . 

Prithborh and Tithing 

The King ..... 


The Witenagemot .... 
The Church ..... 


Language and Literature . 

Books recommended for the further study of the 


Period ...... 



1066-1087. Chapter I. William I. the Conqueror 

1066-1071. The Norman Conquest 
1071. Hereward subdued . 

The Establishment of Feudalism 
William and the Norman Barons 
The Palatine Earldoms 
The Forests . 
1076. The Baronial Eevolt 
1079. Eevolt of Robert suppressed 
William and the English . 
1086. The Domesday Book 
1086. The Oath at Salisbury 

The Normans and the Church 
William as overlord of Britain 
Foreign PoUoy of William . 

1087-1100. Chapter II. William II. Rufus 





The Sons of William the Conqueror 

Baronial Revolt 

Revolt of Robert Mowbray . 

Ranulf Flambard 

Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury 

William 11. and Anselm 

William 11., Scotland and Wales 

Conquest of Cumberland 

William 11. and Normandy 

The First Crusade . 

Death of Rufus 
















1100-1135. Chapter III. Henry I. 

Early Measures of Henry i. 
Henry i. and the Normans 
1101. Robert's revolt 













Fall of Robert of BeU^me . 

Battle of Tinohebray 

Quarrel of Henry and Anselm 

Henry i. Scotland and Wales 

Henry and Louis vi. . . . . 

Roger of Salisbury and the Administrative System 

The Loss of the White Ship 

Normandy and Anjou 

Death of Henry i. . 


1135-1154. Chapter IV. Stephen of Blois 

1135. Accession of Stephen 
1138. Battle of the Standard 

Beginnings of Civil War 

The Rivalry of Stephen and Matilda 

Desolation of England 

Geofirey of Mandeville 
1141. The Battle of Lincoln 
1158. The Treaty of Wallingford . 
1154. The Death of Stephen 



1154-1189. Chapter V. Henry II. of Anjou . 

Character of Henry 11. . 

The Restoration of Order . 

Thomas Beoket .... 
1164. The Constitutions of Clarendon and the quarrel of 

Henry and Beoket 
1170. Murder of Backet .... 

Period of Amalgamation between Normans and 
English ..... 
1166. Henry's Reforms. The Assize of Clarendon 
1176. The Assize of Northampton 

The Grand Assize . 
1181. The Assize of Arms .... 
1184. The Assize of Woodstock . 

Henry 11., Wales and Scotland 

The Norman Conquest of Ireland . 

The Angevin Empire 

Henry 11. and his family . 
1159. The War of Toulouse 

The Wars of 1173 and 1174 

Henry's Foreign Alliances 

Rebellions of his Sous 
1189. Henry's Death .... 

1 16-130 








1189-1199. Chapter VI. Eichard I. Coeur de Lion 

Character of Richard i. 


Richard and the Third Crusade 
Richard's Captivity in Germany 








1189-1194. England during Eiohard's Absence 
1194-1199. England from 1194-1199 . 
1199. Eiohard's last Wars and Death 

1199-1216. Chapter VII. John Lackland 

Accession and Character of John . 
Arthur of Brittany .... 
The Loss of Normandy and Anjou 

1214. Battles of La Eoohe au Moine and Bouvines 
1205. The Disputed Election at Canterbury 

1207. Appointment of Langton . 
Quarrel of John and Innocent iii. . 

1208. The Interdict .... 

1209. The Excommunication 
1213. John becomes the Pope's Vassal . 

1213-1216. Quarrel between John and his Barons 

1215. The Great Charter .... 
Eenewal of the War of King and Barons . 

1216. Death of John .... 

1066-1216. Chapter VIII. Feudal Britain . 

The Importance of the Norman Conquest 
Britain and the Continent . 
The King and the Great Council 
Local Government . 
Earls, Barons, and Knights 
The Manorial System 
Towns and Trade 
Fashions of Living . 
Pood and Dress 
Norman Castles 
Norman Churches . 
The Beginnings of Gothic Architecture 
New Monastic Movements . 
Twelfth-Century Eenaissance 
Latin Literature 
English and French Literature 
Books recommended for the further study of the 
Period ..... 





1 37-145 









1216-1272. Chapter I. Henry III. 

1216. Accession of Henry in. .... 
1216-1217. Conflict between William Marshall and Louis of 
France ..... 


















The Battle of Linooln and the Treaty of Lambeth 

The Eule of William Marshall 

The Rule of Hubert de Burgh 

The Bule of Peter des Roches 

The Personal Rule of Henry 

The Allen Invasion — Provencals, Savoyards and 

Romans ..... 
Edmund Rich and Robert Grosseteste 
Henry's Foreign Failures . 
The Poitevins in England . 
Rise of the Principality of North Wales . 
Simon of Montfort in Gasoony 
Edmund, King of Sicily; and Richard, King of 

the Romans .... 
Political Retrogression and National Progress 
The Mad Parliament 
The Provisions of Oxford 
The Treaty of Paris . 
The Beginning of the Barons' War 
The Mise of Amiens 
The Battle of Lewes 
The Rule of Earl Simon 
The Parliament of 1265 
The Revolt of the Marchers 
The Battle of Evesham 
The Royalist Restoration . 
The Treaty of Shrewsbury . 
The End of the Reign 

1272-1307. Chapter II. Edward I. 









Character and Policy of Edward i. . 
The Government during Edward's Absence 
The First Welsh War 
The Conquest of the Principality . 
Settlement of the Principality 
Edward's Legislation 

Trials of the Judges and Expulsion of the Jews 
Scotland under Alexander iii. 
The Maid of Norway 
The Scottish Claimants 
Accession of John Balliol . 
England and France 
The French and Scottish Wars 
The Model Parliament 
The Conquest of Scotland . 
Clerical Opposition under Winohelsea 
Baronial Opposition under Norfolk and Hereford 
Confirmatio Cartarum 
Scottish Rising under Wallace 
Battle of Falkirk .... 
Edward's Reconciliation with Prance and the 
Church ...... 
















Reconciliation with the Barons 
1303-1306. The Second Conquest of Scotland 

1306. Rising of Robert Bruce 

1307. Death of Edward i. . 





1307-1327. Chapter III. Edward II. of Carnarvon . 198-204 

1307-1809. Edward ii. and Gaveston . 

1310-1311. The Ordinances and the Lords Ordainers . 

1312. The Murder of Gaveston . 
1307-1314. Robert Bruce conquers Scotland . 
1314. The Battle of Bannookburn 

Thomas of Lancaster 
1322 The Battle of Boroughbridge and the Parliament 
of York ..... 
1322-1326. The Rule of the Despensers 

Isabella and Mortimer 
1326-1327. The Pall of Edward ii. . 








1327-1377. Chapter IV. Edward III. 












The Rule of Isabella and Mortimer 

Treaty of Northampton 

Accession of Philip vi. in Prance . 

Character and Policy of Edward iii. 

David Bruce and Edward Balliol . 

Battle of Halidon Hill 

David finally established in Scotland 

Causes of the Hundred Years' War 

Chief Peatures of the Struggle 

The Netherlandish Campaigns 

The Battle of Sluys . 

War of the Breton Succession 

The Invasion of Normandy 

The Battle of Cr^cy . 

Calais, Auberoche, Neville's Cross, and La Roche 

Derien .... 
The Black Death . 
The Black Prince in Aquitaine 
The Battle of Poitiers 
The Treaties of Brfitigni and Calais 
The Civil War in Castile . 
The Battle of NAjera 
The Revolt of Aquitaine 
PaU of the English Power in Prance 
The Statute of Labourers . 
Anti-Papal Legislation 
Edward iii. and his Parliaments . 
Edward's Pamily Settlement 
The Court and Constitutional Parties 




210-21 1 







1876. The Good Parliament 

1876-1877. John of Gaunt and John Wyolifle , 

1377. Death of Edward in. 



1377-1399. Chapter V. Richard II. of Bordeaux . 228-237 




The Eule of John of Gaunt 

The Papal Schism .... 

The Teaching of WyclifEe . 

Causes of the Peasants' Eevolt 

The Peasants' Revolt and its Suppression 

The Baronial Opposition and Thomas of 

Gloucester .... 

The Attack on and Defeat of the Courtiers 
The Merciless Parliament and the Lords Appellant 
The Great Truce and the French Marriage 
The Boyalist Beaction 
The Banishment of Norfolk and Hereford 
The Lancastrian Bevolution 
The Deposition of Bichard ii. 



1S16-1399. Chapter VI. Britain in the Thirteenth 

and Fourteenth Centuries . . 238-253 

Mediaeval Civilization 

The King .... 

The ParUament of the Three Estates 

Convocation .... 

The House of Lords 

The House of Commons 

The King's Council and the Lav? Courts 

The Church and the Papacy 

St. Francis and the Mendicant Friars 

The Franciscans and Dominicans in England 

The Universities 

Gothic Architecture 

The Concentric Castle 

Arms and Armour . 

Chivalry and the Orders of Knighthood 

Cosmopolitan and National Ideas . 

Latin Literature. Matthew Paris 

French Literature. John Froissart 

English Literature. Geoffrey Chaucer 

William Langland . 

John Wyolifie and the Begiiming of Modern 

English Prose , . > 

Books recommended for the further study of the 

Period .... 













1399-1413. Chapter I. Henry IV. 

1399. The Constitutional Bsvolution 

The Ecclesiastical Reaction 

Henry iv.'s Character and Difficulties 

Eichard ii.'s Death . 

Owen Glendower 
1403. Kevolt of the Peroies 

Gradual Collapse of the Risings 

Henry iv. and France 

The Beauforts and the Prince of Wales 






1413-1432. Chapter II. Henry V. 



Early Measures of Henry V. 

Oldoastle and the Lollard Rising . 

Renewal of the Claim to the French Throne 

First Expedition — Harfleur, Aginoourt 

The Council of Constance . 

The Conquest of Normandy 

The Treaty of Troyes 

Battle of Beaug6 .... 

Third Expedition. Death of Henry 



142S.1461. Chapter III. Henry VI. 










Regency of Bedford Established . 

Bedford's Work in France . 

Gloucester as Protector of England 

The Siege of Orleans 

The Mission of Joan of Arc 

Battle of Patay. Coronation of Charles vi. 

Martyrdom of Joan of Arc . 

Coronation of Henry vi. at Paris , 

Congress of Arras and Death of Bedford . 

The Peace and War Parties in England . 

The Truce of Tours and the French Marriage 

Deaths of Gloucester and Beaufort 

The Loss of Normandy and Gascony 

The Battle of Castillon and the End of the 

Hundred Years' War 
Murder of Sufiolk .... 
Revolt of Jack Cade 
The Position of Eichard Duke of York 
Beginning of the Wars of the Roses 
Characteristics of the Wars of the Eoses . 
The House of Neville 













Reoonoiliation and the Renewal of the Strife 
York claims the Throne .... 
The Pall of Henry vi. . . . . 

Battles of Wakefield, Second St. Albans, and 
Mortimer's Gross ..... 
Edward of York chosen King 




1461-1483. Chapter IV. Edward IV. 



Edward iv. and the Yorkist Party 
The Battle of Towton 
Triumph of Edward iv. . 
The Nevilles and the Woodville Marriage 
Robert Welles and Robin of Redesdale 
Alliance of Warwick and Margaret 
The Restoration of Henry vi. 
The Battle of Tewkesbury . 
Edward iv., Burgundy, and Prance 
Home Policy of Edward iv. 
1478 and 1483. Death of Clarence and Edward iv. 





1483-1485. Chapter V. Edward V. and Richard III. 295-299 

1488. Accession of Edward v. 

The Deposition of Edward v. 
Richard ni. and Buckingham 
1483-1485. Richard iii.'s Policy 

The Beauforts and the Tudors 
1486. The Battle of Bosworth and 
Richard iii. 

the Death of 



1399-1485. Chapter VI. Britain in the Fifteenth 

Century ..... 300-307 

The Constitution in the Fifteenth Century 
The Church. The Universities and Learning 
Prosperity of the Pifteenth Century 
The Towns and Trade 
Late Perpendicular Architecture 
Armours and Weapons 
Literature — Poetry — Prose 
The Invention of Printing. William Oaxton 
Scotland in the Pifteenth Century 
The End of the Middle Ages 
Books recommended for the further study of the 
Period ...... 










1485-1603. THE TUDORS 
1485-1509. Chapter I. Henry VII. • 

Character of Henry vii. 

Continuanoe of the old Party Struggles . 

Lord Level's Rising . • • ' 

Lambert Sinmel's Imposture 

The , Breton Succession, and the Treaty of 

Staples . . . . • 

Perkin Warbeck's Imposture 

The Cornish Eising, and the Execution of 

Warbeok and Warwick 

1496 and 1S06. The Magnus Interoursus, and the Malus 


The European Political System . 

1601. The Spanish Alliance 

1503. The Scottish Marriage 

Henry's Domestic Policy. His Ministers 
Eeduction of the Power of the Nobles 
Welshand Irish Policy 
1494. Poynings' Law .... 









1509-1529. Chapter II. Henry VIII. and Wolsey 






Character of Henry viii. 

Execution of Bmpson and Dudley 

The King's Ministers. Else of Wolsey . 

Foreign Politics .... 

Henry joins the Holy League 

War all over Europe 

Battles of the Spurs and Plodden . 

Peace with Prance and Scotland . 

The Young Princes .... 

Eivalry of Charles v. and Francis i. 

Wolsey's Foreign Policy. The Balance of Power 

The Field of the Cloth of Gold 

War with Prance .... 

The Triumph of Charles, and the French Alliance 

The Fall of Buckingham 

The King and the Commons 

The Eenascenoe .... 

State of the Church .... 

The Oxford Reformers 

Erasmus and More .... 

Wolsey and the Church 

The Beginnings of the Eeformation , 

Luther, Zwingle, and Calvin 

Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn 











The Origin of the Divorce Question 
The Decretal Commission . 
The FaU of Wolsey , 



1529-1547. Chapter III. Henry VIII. and the Be 
ginning^ of the Reformation 

Progress of the Divorce Question . 
Henry viii. and his Subjects 
1629-1636. The Reformation Parliament 

Henry Supreme Head of the Church 
1632-1634, The Separation from Home 
Oranmer and the Divorce . 
Henry viii. and Protestantism 
The Resistance to the Supremacy . 
The Charterhouse Monks and Reginald Pole 
1536. More and Fisher Executed . 
Cromwell Vicar-General 
State of the Monasteries 
1636. The Suppression of the Smaller Monasteries 
1636. The Pilgrimage of Grace . 
1636-1639. The Suppression ot the Greater Monasteries 

The English Bible and the Growth of Reforming 

Opinions .... 

The King and his Wives 
1638-1547. Conspiracies 

1639. The Six Articles .... 
1840. Anne of Cleves and the Fall of Cromwell . 
1540-1647. The Reactionary Period 
1642-1646. War with Scotland . 

1644. War with Prance .... 
1546-1647. The New Wave of Reformation 

Catharine Howard and Catharine Parr 
The Pall of the Howards . 
Henry vm. and Ireland 
1636. Union of England and Wales 
















1547-1553. Chapter IV. Edward VI. 




Somerset becomes Protector 

Invasion of Scotland. Battle of Pinkie . 

Postponement of the Scottish Reformation 

Loss of Boulogne .... 

Progress of the Reformation. First Prayer-Book 

The Devonshire Rebellion . 

Ket's Rebellion 

Pall of Somerset .... 

The Ascendancy of Warwick 

Influence of the Foreigner Reformers 

The Second Prayer-Book of Edward vi. . 

The Forty-two Articles 







Failure of the King's Health 
Edward's Device for the Succession 
Queen Jane and Queen Mary 



1553-1558. Chapter V. Mary 








Accession of Mary . 

The Work of Edward's Eeign Undone 

The Spanish Marriage 

Eestoration of the Papal Supremacy 

The Marian Persecution 

Martyrdom of Eidley, Latimer and Oranmer 

Want of Toleration in the Sixteenth Century 

Isolation of Mary .... 

War between France and the Empire 

England at War with France 

Death of Mary . . . • 








Chapter VI. 
of Scots 

Elizabeth and Mary Queen 





Character and Policy of Elizabeth 
The Queen's Ministers 
Leicester and the Courtiers 
The Elizabethan Settlement of the Church 
The Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity 
The Thirty-nine Articles 
Archbishop Parker . 
Elizabeth and the Eoman Catholics 
Geneva and the Calvinists . 
The Puritans and the Elizabethan Settlement 
Parker's Advertisements 
The Separatists 
1676 and 1583. Archbishops Grindal and Whitgift 
1593. Hooker's " Ecclesiastical Polity " . 

John Knox on the Scottish Eeformation 

Mary Queen of Scots 

The Counter Eeformation . 

The Treaty of Le Cateau-Cambr^sis 

Philip II. and the Counter Eeformation 

Francis 11. and his Queen . 

Eivaby of Mary and Elizabeth 

The Loss of Le Havre 

Mary Queen of Scots in Scotland 

The Darnley Marriage 

Murder of Eicoio 

Murder of Darnley . 

Deposition of the Queen of Soots . 

Mary's Flight to England . 

Mary's Imprisonment 

The Eevolt of the Northern Earls . 

The Bull of Excommunication 












The Bidolfi Plot .... 

Philip II. and the Revolt of the Netherlands 

The Seminary Priests 

The Jesuit Invasion 

The Bond of Association 

The Babington Conspiracy , 

Execution of Mary Queen of Soots 




1587-1603. Chapter VII. The Latter Years of the 
Reign of Elizabeth 

The Relations between England and Spain 

Anglo-Prenoh Interference in the Netherlands 

The Anjou Marriage Scheme 

Leicester in the Netherlands 

Spain and the Indies 

The Beginnings of English Maritime Enterprise 

Chancellor's Voyage 

Protestantism and Maritime Adventure 

Hawkins and the Slave Trade 

Drake's Voyage round the World . 

The Breach between England and Spain . 

Philip's Plans for Invading England 

The Spanish Armada 

The Battle ofE Gravelines . 

Results of the Protestant Victory . 

Henry rv., king of France . 

The War with Spain 

The Capture of Cadiz 

The First Attempts at English Colonies . 

Ireland under Mary Tudor 

Shane O'Neill and Elizabeth 

Ireland and the Counter-Reformation 

The Desmond Rebellion and the Plantation of 

Munster ..... 
The Irish Revolt under Hugh O'Neill 
Essex in Ireland .... 
Mountjoy suppresses the Rebellion 
Steps towards British Unity 
The Cecils, Essex, and Raleigh 
Continued Persecution of Puritans and Catholics 
Elizabeth and her Parliaments 
1697 and 1601. The Monopolies Contest 
1603. Death of Elizabeth 
















1485-1603. Chapter VIII. England under the Tudors 408-418 

The Beginnings of Modem Times . 
The Tudor Monarchy 
Parliament under the Tudors 
Harmony between Crown and Parliament 
The King and his Ministers 




The Oounoil 

The Star Chamber and its Victims 
Local Government . 
Military Weakness of the Crown . 
Social and Economic Changes 
The Poor Laws 

Increase of Refinement and Luxury 
Education and Travel 
Benascenoe Architecture . 
Other Arts . . . • 

Early Tudor Literature 
The Beginnings of Elizabethan Literature 
Spenser and the Poets 
The First Public Theatres . 
Marlowe and the Early Dramatists 
Shakespeare and his School 
Elizabethan Prose . 
Books recommended for the further study of the 
Period ...-•• 




1603-1714. THE STEWARTS . 
1603-1635. Chapter I. James I. 

The Union of the English and Scottish Crowns 
Failure of James' Projects for more complete 

Union ..... 
Completion of the Conquest of Ireland 
1610. The Plantation of Ulster . 
1607 and 1632. Beginnings of English Colonies — Virginia and 

1620-1629. The Plantation o£ New England '. 

1600. The Beginnings of the East India Company 
1623. The Amboyna Massacre 

The Stewarts and Parliament 

Character of James i. . . . 

Eobert Cecil and his Enemies 

1604. The Hampton Comt Conference . 
Archbishops Bancroft and Abbot . 

1605. The Gunpowder Plot 
James and his Parliaments . 

1610. The New Impositions and the Great Contract 
1614. The Addled Parliament 

James's Family and Favourites 
Kobert Ker. George Villiers 
James's Foreign Policy 
1617-1618. Ealeigh's Last Voyage and Execution 

1618. The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War . 
1622-1623. James's efforts to restore the Elector Palatine 













Failure of the Spanish Marriage . 

James's Third Parliament . 

The Pall of Baoon . 

James's Fourth Parliament and Death 

1625-1649. Chapter II. Charles I. 













Character of Charles i. . . . 

The War with Spain and Charles's First 

Parliament .... 

Home and Foreign Policy . 
The French War and Charles's Second Parliament 
The Forced Loan and Darnell's Case 
Charles's Third Parliament and the Petition of 

Bight ..... 

Murder of Buckingham 
Dissolution of Charles's Third Parliament 
Charles's Arbitrary Enle 
Charles's Expedients for raising Money . 
Ship Money. Hampden's Case 
Charles's Ejcclesiastical Policy 
Archbishop Laud and the Puritans 
The Victims of Charles's Policy . 
Thomas Wentworth 
The Scottish Prayer-book . 
The National Covenant 
The First Bishops' War . 
The Short Parliament 
The Second Bishops' War . 
The Great Council at York 
Meeting of the Long Parliament . 
Attainder of Strafford 
Bemedial Measures of the Long Parliament 
The Boot and Branch Bill . 
The Incident 

The Irish Eebellion .... 
The Grand Remonstrance . 
The Division of ParUament into Two Parties 
The Attack on the Five Members . 
The Bupture between King and Parliament 
The Eoyalist and Parliamentarian Parties 
The Campaign of Edgehill and Brentford . 
Boyalist Successes .... 
First Battle of Newbury . 
Cromwell and the Eastern Association 
The Cessation, and the Solemn League and 

Covenant ..... 
Benewed Fighting. Battle of Marstou Moor 
The Destruction of Essex's Army and the Bising 

of Montrose .... 

The New Model and the Self-Denying Ordinance 
The Battle of Naseby 
The Battle ^f Philiphaugh . 





















Charles surrenders to the Soots 
Presbyterians and Independents . 
Parliament and the Army . • , V, u 

Charles intrigues with the Army and the Presby- 
terians . . • • • 
The Second Oiyil War . •,,',-, 
The Triumph of the Independents and the Execu- 
tion of Charles i. . 





1649-1660. Chapter III. The Commonwealth and 

the Protectorate . . . 462-472 

1649. Establishment of the Commonwealth . . 462 

Difficulties of the New Government . . 463 

1649-1650. Cromwell's Conquest of Ireland . . 463 

1649-1651. Charles 11., King of Soots .... 464 

1650-1651. Battles of Dunbar and Worcester . . . 464 

1652-1653. The Dutch War ..... 465 

1653. The Expulsion of the Rump . , . 465 

The Little Parliament .... 466 

The Instrument of Government . . . 466 

1663-1658. Cromwell as Protector .... 467 

1655. The Major-Generals .... 467 

Cromwell's Puritan State Church . . . 468 

Cromwell's Foreign Policy .... 469 

1655. The French Alliance . . . . , 469 

1655, 1658. Jamaica, and the Battle of the Dunes . . 469 

1657. The Humble Petition and Advice . . . 470 

1658-1659. The Protectorate of Biohard Cromwell . . 470 

The Hump Restored . . . . 471 

1669. A Presbyterian Revolt Suppressed . . . 47 1 

1660. Monk declares for a Free Parliament . . 471 

1660. The Declaration of Breda and the Restoration of 

Charles 11. . ■ . . . . 422 

1660-1685. Chapter IV. Charles II. 






Work of the Convention 

The Restoration Settlement of the Church 

The Clarendon Code 

The Reaction against Puritanism . 

The Restoration in Scotland 

The Restoration in Ireland . 

The Restoration and Foreign Policy 

The Rivalry of England and Holland 

The Dutch War 

Growth of the American Colonies 


New York and New Jersey . 


The Pall of Clarendon 

The Cabal . 






1668. The Triple Alliance .... 

1670. The Treaty o£ Dover 

1672-1673. The Dutch War .... 

1678. The Declaration of Indulgence, the Test Act, and 
the ]?all of the Cabal 

1673-1678. The Ministry of Danby 

1678. The Treaty of Nijmegen 

1678-1679. The Popish Plot .... 

1679. The Habeas Corpus Act, and the Exclusion BUI 
1679. Whigs and Tories. High Church and Low Church 

1679. Battle of Bothwell Bridge . 

1680. The Lords reject the Exclusion Bill 

1681. The Oxford Parliament 
1688. The Rye House Plot 

1682-1685. The Tory Eeaction, and the Death of Charles ii, 



1685-1688. Chapter V. James II. 





Character of James 11. . 

The First Parliament of James 11. 

Argyll's Rebellion .... 

Monmouth's Rebellion 

Breach between James and the Tories 

The Dispensing and the Suspending Powers 

The Court of High Commission 

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes 

Tyrconnell in Ireland 

The Declaration of Indulgence 

The Invitation to William of Orange 

The Pall of James 11. . . . 

The Convention and the Declaration of Right 



1689-1702. Chapter VI. William III. and Mary . 496-510 








The Accession of William and Mary and the Bill 
of Rights . . . . . . 

The Mutiny Act and the Revenue . 

The Toleration Act ..... 

The Low Church Triumph and the Schism of 
the Non-Jurors ..... 

James's Power upheld in Ireland . 

Siege of Derry and the Battle of Newtown Butler 

Battle of the Boyne .... 

The Protestant Conq[uest of Ireland 

The Revolution in Scotland 

Battle of KUliecrankie 

The Massacre of Glencoe . 

The War against France 

Battles of Beaohy Head and La Hougue 

Peace of Byswiok 

Financial Policy 

Death of Queen Mary 













The Bond of Association . 

The First United Whig Ministry . 

Beginnings of Cabinet Government 

The Darien Scheme 

The Spanish Partition Treaties 

The Failure of the Partition Treaties 

The Tory Reaction . 

The Act of Settlement 

The Constitutional Limitations in the Act of 

The Grand Alliance and the Death of William iii, 




1702-1714. Chapter VII. Queen Anne 










Character of Queen Anne . 

The Rule of Marlborough and Godolphin 

The War of the Spanish Succession 

The Early Campaigns of the War . 

The Methuen Treaty 

The Battle of Blenheim 

Victories of the Allies 

The Battle of Almanza 

Battles of Oudenarde and Malplaquet 

Battle of Brihuega . 

Party Contests 

Marlborough's Whig Ministry 

The Impeachment of Dr. Sacheverell 

The Tory Ministry . 

The Treaty of Utrecht 

End of the Age of Louis siv. 

The Tory Ministry and the Protestant Succession 

The Pall of Oxford and the Death of Queen Anne 

Strained Relation between England and Scotland 

The Act of Security ..... 

The Flying Squadron and the Negotiations for 

the Union ...... 

The Parliamentary Union of England and 

Scotland ..... 


Chapter VIII. 

Great Britain under the 

Colonial and Commercial Development . 

Results of the Growth of Trade on England 


The Poor and the Poor Law 

London and the Towns 





Natural Science . . 












Architecture . . . . 

Painting, Sculpture, and Music 
The Drama . . . , . , 

Milton and the Poets < . . , . 

Dryden and the Poetry o£ the Bestoration ' 
Establishment of Modern Prose Style 
Books recommended for the further study of the. 
Period . ... 




RACY .... 536-641 

1714-1727. Chapter I. George I. 











The Accession of George i. . 

The Long Whig Bule 

The Law and Custom of the Constitution 

The Cabinet System 

The Supremacy of the Cornmons . . 

The Whig Aristocracy 

The Jacobites 

The Riot Act ... 

The Highlands of Scotland . 

The Jacobite Eising . 

Battle of Sheriffmuir and Collapse of the Rebellion 

The Septennial Act . 

The Whig JMinistry . 

The Whig Schism . 

The Peerage Bill 

Foreign Policy and Alberoni 

Battle of Cape Passaro 

The South Sea Bubble 

The Bursting of the Bubble 

Walpole Prime Minister 

Death of George i. . 

1727-1760. Chapter II. George II. 



George 11. and Caroline of Anspach 
Character and Policy of Walpole . 
Parliamentary Management 
Walpole the First Prime Minister . 
The Opposition to Walpole . 
The " Patriot Whigs " 
The " Boys " and William Pitt 
Bolingbroke and the New Tories . 
The Failure of Walpole's Excise Scheme 
The Porteous Riots in Edinburgh . 








172S and 1731. The Two Treaties of Vienna . 
1738. The Third Treaty of Vienna 

Outbreak of War with Spain 

The War of the Austrian Succession 

The Pall of Walpole 

The Carteret Ministry 

The Pelham Ministry 

Battle of Dettingen .... 

Battle of Pontenoy .... 

Jacobite Revolt and the Young Pretender 

The March to Derby 

Battles of Falkirk and Culloden 

The Subjugation of the Highlands 

The Treaty of Aachen 

Pelham's Domestic Reforms 

The Newcastle Ministry and the Whig Schism 

William Pitt and the Whig Opposition 

The Duke of Devonshire's Ministry 

The Pitt-Newcastle Ministry 

Origin of the Seven Years' War 

Commercial and Colonial Rivalry of France and 
England .... 

European Traders in India under the Mogul 
Empire . . . . . 

Dupleix's Plans .... 

England and France in India 

Olive and the Siege of Arcot 
17S7 and 1760. The Battles of Plassey and Wandewaish 

France and England in North America . 

Fort Duquesne .... 

The European Coalition against Prussia and 
England . 

British Disasters 

Pitt as the Inspirer of Victory 

The Conquest of Canada 

Death of George ii. 
























1760-1789. Chapter III. George III. and the War 
of American Independence 




Character and Policy of George iii. 

George ni. and Pitt 

Pitt driven from Office 

The Bute Ministry and the Peace of Paris 

George in. and Foreign Politics . 

The Resignation of Bute 

The Grenville Ministry 

Wilies and the " North Briton " . 

The Stamp Act and the Fall of Grenville 

The Rockingham Ministry . 

The Chatham Ministry 

The Renewal of the Wilkes Troubles 





Burke and Junius . 
1768-1770. The Grafton Ministry 
1770-1782. The North Ministry 

Origin of the American Bevolution 
1768-1770, Townshend's Customs Duties and the American 
Resistance .... 

1773. Lord North and the Tea Duty 
Failure of Conciliation 

1775. Beginning of the War. Lexington and Bunter'i 

Hill . • . . . 

1776. The Declaration of Independence . . . 
Characteristics of the American. War 

1777. The Capitulation of Saratoga 
1778-1780. The European Attack on Britain . 

Chatham and American Independence 

1778. Death of Chatham .... 

1781. Yorktown and the End of the American War 

1782. Bodney restores British Naval Supremacy 
Warren Hastings restores British Supremacy in 

India .... 

1780. The Gordon Blots . 

Ireland imitates America . 
1782. The Legislative Independence of Ireland 

1782. The Second Bockingham Ministry . 
Burke and Economical Eeform 

1782-1783. The Shelbume Ministry 

1783. The Treaty of Versailles 
1783. The Coalition of Pox and North . 

1783. The Coalition Ministry 
Pox's India Bill 

1783-1801. William Pitt's Ministry 

Character and Policy of the Younger Pitt 

1784. Pitt's India Bill and Warren Hastings 
Pitt's Foreign Policy 

1788. The Eegency Question 






Chapter IV. George III. The French 
Revolution and the Irish Union 

France before the Bevolution 

Voltaire and Rousseau 

The Meeting of the States General 

The New Constitution and its PaUure 

The Reign of Terror 

Europe at War with the Revolution 

England and the French Revolution 

The Reaction and Pitt 

England joins the War against the Revolution 

The Suspension of Cash Payments . 

The Revolutionary War at Sea ■ 

Buonaparte in Egypt 

The Battle of the Nile 






1799. The Mysore War ... 
1799-1801. The War of the Second Coalition . 

1800-1801. The Battle of Marengo, and the Treaty of 
LunSville ...... 

The Arrtied Neutrality and the Battle of 
Copenhagen .... 

1801-1802. The Addington Ministry and the Treaty of Amiens 

The Pilot that weathered the Storm 
1782-1800. Ireland under Grattan's. Parliament 

The United Irishmen and the French Bevolution 

1793-1794. The Belief Act, and the Government of Lord. 

Fitzwilliair. ..... 

1798. Irish Behelljon ..... 

Pitt's Irish Policy . 

1800. The Union . 

1801. Failure of. Catholic 

Resignation of Pitt 

Emancipation and the. 










1802-1820. Chapter V. George III. and Napoleon . 607-625 




















The Eupture of the Treaty of Amiens 

The Napoleonic War 

Emmet's Bebellion 

Wellesley establishes -British Supremacy in India 

Pitt's Second Ministry 

The Volunteer Movement . 

The Army of England, and the Supremacy of the 

Seas ..... 

Battle of Trafalgar .... 
The Third Coalition and its Failure 
Death of Pitt .... 

Ministry of All the Talents 
Death of Fox . . 

The Resignation of GrenviUe 
The Long Tory Rule 
The Conduct of the War . 
The Treaty of Tilsit . . . . 

The Continental System 
The Spanish Rising against Napoleon 
Arthur Wellesley' s Conquest of Portugal 
The Failure of Sir John Moore 
The War between France and Austria 
Walcheren and Wagram 
The Battle of Talavera . . ' 

Torres Vedras and Busaco . . [ 

Fuentes de Ofioro and Albuera 
The Bussian, German, and Spanish National 

Revolts .... 
The Fall of Napoleon . . '. 

The War with the United States . 
The Hundred Days . 
Battle of Waterloo ..." 













1815. The Congress of Vienna 

1815-1820. England after tlie Peace 

1820. Death of George in. 


1714-1820. Chapter VI. Great Britain during the 
Eighteenth Century: The Industrial 

Revolution ..... 626-639 

Commercial Ascendency of Great Britain . . 626 

The Age of Inventions .... 626-627 

Roads, Turnpikes, and Tramways . . 627-628 

Navigable Bivers and Canals . . . 628 

The Factory System and the Industrial Revolution 628-630 

The Agrarian Revolution .... 630-631 

Pauperism and the. Corn LavfS . . , 631 

The " Age of Reason " .... 632 

The Methodist Movement .... $32-633 

The Evangelical Movement . . (533-634 

Religion in Scotland . . . , 634 

Humanitarianism and Philanthropy . . 634-635 

Social Life ...... 635 

Art . ... . . . .636 

Poetry and the Drama . . . . . . 637 

Prose ...... 637-638 

The Romantic Revival .... 638-639 

Books recommended for the further study of the 

Period ... . . 639 

1820-1901. NATIONALITY AND DEMOCRACY . 642-727 

1820-1830. Chapter I. George IV. 





Accession of George iv. . 

The Trial of Queen Caroline 

The Oato Street Conspiracy 

The Old and the Nevir Tories 

The Canningites admitted to Office 

Canning's Foreign Policy . 

The Holy Alliance .... 

The Revolt of the Spanish Colonies and the 

Monroe Doctrine .... 
Canning and the Greek Insurrection 
Battle of Nav^rino .... 
Peel's Reforms as Home Secretary 
Huskisson'S Commercial and Financial Reforms 
Canning's Ministry and Death 
The Goderioh Ministry 
The Wellington Ministry . . . 

The Catholic Association and the Clare Bleotipn 









1B29. Catholic Emancipation 

Wellington's Foreign Policy 
1830. Death of George iv. . 

18304837. Chapter II. William IV. . 

Democracy and Nationality 
1830. Bevolutions on the Continent 

The Agitation for Parliamentary Keform 
1830. William iv. and the Grey Ministry 

The Need for Parliamentary Keform 

The Reform Movement under George iv. 
1831-1832. The Struggle for Reform . 
1832. The First Reform Act passed 

Irish Repeal and the Tithe War 
1832-1835. Other Reforms 

Palmerston's Foreign Policy 
1834. The Melbourne Ministry 

Peel and the Conservative Party 
1837. Death of William iv. 






Chapter III. 
stou . 

Victoria — Peel and Palmer- 

Separation of England and Hanover 

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert . 

The Changed Conception of the Work of the 

Monarchy and House of Lords . 
Socialism and Chartism 
Melbourne's Ministry 
Conservative Reaction 
Foreign Policy of the Peel Ministry 
Young Ireland. Peel's Irish Policy 
The Corn Laws and Popular Unrest 
The Anti-Oorn Law League 
Peel and Free Trade 
The Failure of the Irish Potato Crop 
The Repeal of the Corn Laws 
Fall of Peel .... 
Peelites, Protectionists, Liberals, and Radicals 
The Russell Ministry 
The Irish Famine and its Conseq[uenoes 
The Year of Revolutions 
Chartism and Young Ireland 
Palmerston's Foreign Policy 
1851 and 1852. Dismissal of Palmerston and RUssell 
1852. The First Derby-Disraeli Ministry . 
The Aberdeen Coalition Ministry . 
Nicholas i. and the Eastern Question 
Origin of the Crimean War 
The Crimean War . 
Palmerston's First Ministry 





















The Second Derby-Disraeli Ministry 

The Second Palmerston Ministry . 

Italian and German Unity 

The American Civil War 

Palmerston's Foreign Policy 

The Death of Palmerston and its Eesults 



Chapter IV. 

Victoria — Gladstone and 















Beginning of the Transition to Democracy 

The Kussell Ministry and the Eeform Bill 

The Third Derby-Disraeli Ministry 

The Second Eeform Act 

The Fenians ... 

The First Gladstone Ministry 

Disestablishment of the Irish Church 

Irish Land System . 

The First Irish Land Act . 

The Education Act and Other Eeforms 

The Pranoo-German War and its Eesults 

Gladstone's Foreign Policy 

Fall of Gladstone . 

The Disraeli Ministry 

The Home Eule Movement 

The Eusso-Turkish War . 

The Treaties of San Stefano and Berlin 

The Dual Contest in Egypt 

FaU of Beaconsfield 

The Second Gladstone Ministry 

Its Irish Policy 

Egypt and the Sudan 

The Death of Gordon 

The Third Eeform Act 

The First Salisbury Ministry 

The Third Gladstone Ministry 

Home Eule and the Break-up of the Old Parties 




1886-1901. Chapter V. Victoria- 
the Empire . 

-Home Rule and 

. 686-694 

1886-1892. The Salisbury tTniomst Ministry ... 686 

The Plan of Campaign .... 686 

1888-1889. The Parnell Commission .... 687 

1890-1891. Pamellites and Anti-Parnellites . . . 687 
1886-1892. Foreign Policy. The Triple and the Dual 

Alliances . . . . . . 688 

1887. The Queen's Jubilee .... 688 

1892-1894. The Fourth Gladstone Ministry ... 689 

1893. The Lords Eejeot the Home Eule Bill . .689 

Filling up the Cup .... 689 




1891-1895. The Eosebery Ministry 
1895-1901. The Third Salisbury Ministry 

Armenia and Crete. Other Foreign Troubles 
1896-1899. The Conquest of the Sudan 

1898. Fashoda . . . • • 

Troubles in the Par East . . • 

1897 and 1901. The Diamond Jubilee and the Death of Queen 

Victoria ....-• 


18204901. Chapter VI. The United Kingdom in 

the Nineteenth Century . . . 695-708 

Increase of the Functions of the State 

Central Government 

Local Government .... 

The Army and the, Navy . 

The Church ..... 

The Traotarian Movement and its Eesults 

The Protestant Nonconformists 

The Roman Catholics 

The Established Church and the Free Church in 

Scotland ..... 
Material Wealth .... 
Steamboats ..... 
Steam Railways and other Inventions 
Social and Industrial Progress 
Architecture ..... 
Painting, Music, and Sculpture 
Natural Science .... 
Poetry and Prose .... 
Education ..... 









1820-1901. Chapter VII. British India in the Nine 
teenth Century 



1848 and 1846. 

1849 and 1852. 




The Indian and Colonial Empires . 

The Condition of British India 

The Condition of the Indian Vassal States 

The Governorship of Lord WiUiam Bentinck 

The Afghan War .... 

The Conquest of Sind and the First Sikh War 
Annexations of the Punjab and of Lower 
Burma .... 

Dalhousie's Doctrine of Lapse 
Lord Canning and the Indian Mutiny 
End of the East India Company . 
Second AfghAn War .... 
India at the End of Victoria's Reign 






1783-1901. Chapter VIII. The British Colonies in 

the Nineteenth Century . . 719.727 

British Colonies in the Latter Part of the 

Eighteenth Century . . . . 71Q 
Oplonial Expansion during the EeTolutionary 

and Napoleonic Wars .... 720 

Oeoay of the West Indies .... 720-721 

The Enaigration Movement . . ', 721 

Phases of Colonial Policy . . . ! 721 

W40-1856. Growth of Colonial Independence . . 722 

Colonial Federation .... 733 

The North American Colonies . . 727 

1867. The Dominion of Canada . . . .' 723 

1901. The Commonwealth of Australia . , . 723-724 

South Africa . ... 724 

The Boer B«publios .... 724 

The Band Mines and the Struggle of Boer and 

Outlander . . »2i; 

1899. The Boer War ...'.'. 726-727 

The Establishment of English Supremacy . 727 

Books recommended for the further study of the 

Period . . . . . . 727.728 


Books reoommended for the further study of the Period, up 


to 1066 


Books reoommended for the further study of the Period, 

1066-1215 ...... 


Books recommended for the further study of the Period 

1215-1399 ...... 


Books reoommended for the further study of the Period 



Books reoommended for the further study of the Period 

1485-1603 ...... 


Books reoommended for the further study of the Period 

1603-1714 ...... 


Books reoommended for the further study of the Period 

1714-1820 ...... 


Books reoommended for the further study of the Period 




Roman Britain ...... 

South Britain after tlie English Conquest (about 607) 

Map showing position of Nectansmere 

The Welsh and English Lands in OfEa's Time 

The Voyages and States of the Norsemen up to the Tenth Century 

England after Alfred and Guthrum's Peace, 886 

England at the Death of Edward the Confessor 

The Battle of Hastings ..... 

The New Forest ...... 

England and Wales during the Norman Period 

Plan of Christ Church, Canterbury .... 

France in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, showing the 

Continental Dominions of the Norman and Angevin Kings 
The Crusade of Richard i. . 
Plan of Ch§,teau Gaillard . . 

The Battle of Lewes . ... 

The Battle of Evesham ..... 

Wales and: the March, showing the growth of the power of 

Llewelyn (1246-1267) 

Wales and the March between the Conquest under Edward i. and 

the Union under Henry viii. " . ... 

English King's Dominion in Prance in the Thirteenth Century 
The Battle of Bannookbum ..... 
Northern England and Southern Scotland in the Fourteenth 

Century ....... 

The Cr6cy Campaign, 1346 ..... 

The Battle of Crfey ...... 

The Battle of Poitiers ...... 

The English Dominions in France after the Treaties of Br^tigni 

and Calais (1860) ...... 

Some forms of Mediaeval Architecture 

The Agincourt Campaign ..... 

The Battle of Agincourt .... 

France in 1429 ....... 




The Battle of Towton . . . . . . .286 

England, 1377-1509, illustrating the Wars of the Eoses . . ago 

The French and Netherlandish Borders in the Sixteenth Century 321 
The Battle of Ploddeu . . . . . .322 

Europe at the Time of Charles v. . . . . . 324 

English Bishoprics under Henry viii. . . 342 

The Battle of Pinkie . . . . . . -353 

Scotland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries . 382 

The Netherlands in the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century 387 

Voyages and Settlements of the Sixteenth Century . . 395 

The Course of the Spanish Armada ..... 398 

Ireland under the Tudors . . . 403 

Ireland in the Seventeenth Century .... 422 

England and Wales during the Great Civil War — 

1. May, 1643 . . . . 454 

2. November, 1644 . . . . ^cc 

The Battle of Marston Moor ...... 456 

The Battle of Naseby .... . . ^rg 

The English Colonies in North America under Charles 11. . . 480 

The South of England, 1685-1689 . . .491 

The Battle of Blenheim . . . . ?I4 

Europe in 1718 ... . . cjn 

Scotland and the North of England, illustrating the Jacobite 

Risings of 1689, 1715, and 1745-1746 . . . 557 

New England and New France, 1755-1783 
The Thirteen Colonies in 1765 
The Battle of Trafalgar 
Europe in 1810 
The Battle of Waterloo 
Europe after the Congress of Vienna (1815) , 
Map to illustrate the Industrial Revolution . 
The Neighbourhood of Sebastopol 
Egypt and the Sudan . 
India in 1906 .... 
South Africa in 1899 . 
The British Empire in the Early Twentieth Century 



The Chief Northumbrian Kings 

The Danish Kings .... 

The House of Godwin . 

The House of Leofrie .... 

The Old English Kings of the House of Oerdio 

The Norman and Early Angevin Kings 

The Proven9als and Savoyards 

The House of Lusignan 

The Earls of Gloucester 

The Last Welsh Princes 

The Scottish Kings, showing the Chief Claimants in 1290 

The French Kings of the Direct Oapetian Line, showing Edward 

nil's claim 
The English Kings from John to Richard ii. 
The House of Lancaster, including the Beauforts 
The Valois Kings of !E'rance, and the Valois Dukes of Burgundy 
The House of York, including the Mortimers and Staffords 
The Nevilles . 
The Greys and WoodvUles 
Charles v. and the Hapshurg Kings of Spain 
The Howards and Boleyns 
The Dudleys .... 
The House of Tudor .... 
The Cromwell Family 
The Spanish Succession, 1700 
The Stewart Kings in Scotland and England 
The Bourbon Kings of France 
The Buonaparte Family 
The Pitts and Grenvilles 
The House of Brunswick-Hanover . 













^thelfrith, 393-617 
Edwin, 627-6S3 . 
Oswald, 635-642 . 
Oswiu, 655-671 
Eogfrith, 671-685 . 





Peuda, 626-655 
Bthelbald, 716-757 
Ofia, 757-796 
Cenulf, 796-821 . 




Egbert, 802-839 ..... 
Ethelwulf, 839-858 .... 

Ethelbald, Ethelbert, and Ethelred, 858-871 . 
Alfred, 871-899 ..... 




Edward the Elder, 899-924 
Athelstan, 924-940 
Edmund, 940-946 . 
Bdred, 946-955 . 
Edwy, 955-959 . . 
Edgar the Peaceful, 959-975 
Edward the Martyr, 975-978 
Ethelred the Unready, 978-1016 
Edmund Ironside, 1016 . 
Cnut, 1017-1035 . 
Harold Harefoot, 1035-1040 
Harthaonut, 1040-1042 . 
Edward the Confessor, 1042-1066 
Harold, son of Godwin, 1066 
















William i., the Conqueror, 1066-1087 
William ii., Kufus, 1087-1100 . 
Henry i., 1100-1135 
Stephen, 1135-1154 








Henry 11., of Anjou, 1154-1189 
Biohard i., 1189-1199 
John, 1199-1216 . 
Henry in., 1216-1272 
Edward i., 1272-1307 
Edward 11., 1307-1327 
Edward in., 1327-1377 
Eiohard 11., 1377-1399 




Henry iv., 1399-1413 
Henry v., 1413-1422 
Henry vi., 1422-1461 

and 1470-1471 



Edward iv., 1461-1470 . 
and 1471-1483 
Edward v., 1488 . 
Eiohard m., 1483-1485 . 




Henry vii., 1485-1509 
Henry vm., 1509-1547 
Edward VI., 1547-1553 
Mary, 1553-1558 . 
Elizabeth, 1558-1603 




James i., 1603-1625 
Charles i., 1625-1649 
The Commonwealth, 1649-1653 . 
and 1659-1660 . 
Oliver Cromwell, Protector, 1653-1658 
Eiohard Cromwell, Proteotor, 1658-1659 
Charles 11., 1660-1685 
James n., 1685-1688 
William m., and Mary 11., 1689-1694 1 
William m., 1689-1702 . . ] 

Anne, 1702-1714 . 

5 1 1-523 



George I., 17U-1727 
George ii., 1727-1760 
George III., 1760-1820 
George iv., 1820-1830 
William iv., 1830-1837 
Victoria, 1837-1901 
Edward vii-, 1901 . 



{UP TO 1066) 


Chief Dates: 

? 330 B.C. The voyage of Pytheas. 

1. There are few sxirviving written records of the doings of man in 
the British Islands which are mnch earlier than the Christian era. 
Yet the modern sciences of geology, arohseology, and philology prove 
that these islands had been the dwelling-place of human beings for 
many centuries previous to that period. The earliest certain evidence 
of the existence of man in Britain is derived from 
the discovery of large numbers of rudely shaped flint uthle Abb " 
implements. Some of these have been found in the 
gravels of river drifts, and others in the caves where early man 
made his dwelling. A few skulls, discovered along with such primi- 
tive tools, show that the dwellers in this remote age were of a low 
intellectual type. Yet the survival of a rude but spirited drawing 
of a horse on a flat piece of bone indicates that these savages had 
the rudiments of an artistic sense. The age in which they lived is 
called the palxoUthic, or old stone age. There is little proof that 
the men of this age had any connection with the later races which 
successively inhabited Britain. 

2. Many ages passed away, and more abundant evidence is found 
of the existence of man in Britain. We pass from the palseolithic 
to the neolithic, or new stone age, where the roughly 
fashioned tools of the primitive race were replaced by jj^^j^ ^' 
more carefully constructed implements of smooth 
polished stone. Such neolithic tools include arrow-heads, sharp 
enough to transfix an enemy, axe-heads called celts, scrapers, knives, 



dress-fasteners, and saws. The oare of the men of this period for 
their dead is indicated by the solidly bnilt harrowt of long oval 
shape, wherein huge stones, piled np to form a sepulchral chamber 
for a whole clan, were then covered in with great mounds of 
earth. Numerous remains of the dead found in these resting- 
places suggest that the men of the new stone age were short in 
stature, swarthy in complexion, and had long narrow skulls of the 
type called doliehocephalie. To these people has been 

S*® , sometimes given the name of Iberians, because they have 

Iberians. ^ ^ jt • • i • -l -l* 

been thought akin to the Basques, the original inhabi- 
tants of Iberia or Spain, and some philologists have believed that a 
few words of their tongue stUl lurk in some of our most ancient 
place-names. However these things may be, there is good reason 
to believe that the blood of this ancient race still flows in the veins 
of many of those now dwelling in our land. 

3. The Iberian inhabitants of Britain were ultimately attacked 
by a stronger and more ingenious ra«e called the Celts. This 
people belonged to the great Arycm family, whose 
language was the origin of nearly all the civilized 
tongues of Europe, and of those of a considerable part of western 
Asia. Their physical characteristics were very different from those 
of their short and swarthy predecessors. They were tall, fair- 
skinned, with red or yellow hair, and their skulls were broader, 
shorter, and more highly developed, belonging to the type called 
hrachycephalic. They came to Britain in two great waves of migra- 
tion. The earlier Celtic wave deposited in our islands the races 
called Goidelic, or Oaelic, which are now represented 
Gofdels ^y ^^^ Irish, the Scottish Highlanders, and the Manx- 

men. The second migration was that of the Bryihonic 
peoples, who were the ancestors of the Britons, afterwards called 
the Welsh, as well as of the Bretons of Brittany and 
Bpythons. *^® Comishmen. In each case the incoming race took 
possession of the richer and more fertile southern and 
eastern parts of our island, and drove the previous inhabitants into 
the mountains of the west and north. The Goidels forced the 
Iberians back into these regions, and were then in their turn pushed 
westwards and northwards by the incoming Britons. By the time 
that our real knowledge begins, the Britons had occupied the whole 
of the south and east, and the mass of the Goidels had been driven 
over sea to Ireland, and to the barren mountains of the north be- 
yond the Forth and the Clyde. There was stUl, however, a strong 
Goidelic element along the western coasts of southern Britain, 


especially in the south-west peninsula, which now makes Cornwall 
and Devonshire, in south Wales, and in the lands round the 

4 It is to these western and northern lands that we must look 
if we would study the older populations of the British islands. 
The Goidels, when driven into the west, seem to have become 
amalgamated with the Iberians whom they had earlier pushed into 
those regions. The result of this was the development 
there of two physical types which have survived to our gamaUon" of 
own days. The incoming Celt is still represented Iberians 
in Ireland, Wales, and the Scottish Highlands by ^^^'^^^s- 
occasional tall, fair men ; but the most usual type in those districts 
is that of a short, dark-haired, dark-complexioned race, which is 
probably largely derived from the blood of the pre-Celtic inhabi- 
tants of our land. But for both types alike, the Celtic language 
and the Celtic institutions became universal. There was, and is, 
however, a great difference between the GroideTic speech of the 
earlier Celtic migration, still spoken by some of the Irish, Manx, 
and Scottish Highlanders, and the Brythonic tongue of the later 
immigrants, stQl surviving in Welsh and Breton, and, till the nine- 
teenth century, in Cornish. 

5. Civilization now steadily progressed, though it is almost im- 
possible to say for certain whether the next great steps forward were 
the work of the earlier or of the later race. The people's increasing 
care for the dead led them to erect huge circles of great stones, each 
resembling the stone chamber of the barrow, stripped of its mound 
of earth, and piled up in magnificent order in mighty 
mejfaZi^ic monuments. Of these, Avebury in northern JJo^uments. 
Wiltshire, and Stonehenge on Salisbury plain, are the 
most famouB examples. After the coming of the Celts the fashion 
of burial changed. Instead of the long barrow, destined to receive 
the remains of many warriors, short round harrows, each the grave 
of a particular chieftain or of his kin, became so usual as to be ex- 
tremely numerous. In these were deposited the bodies, or some- 
times the burnt ashes, of the dead, and along with them were put 
implements of stone and bronze, ornaments of gold, jet, amber, 
and glass, and pottery, made by hand, and unglazed, but rudely 
ornamented, and polished by hard rubbing. 

6. When this stage had been attained, the stone The Bronze 
age was over, and the period was reached when the andiron 
use of metals was known. This marked an enor- ^®*" 
mous advance of civilization. First came the bronze age, which 


was vdtunately succeeded by the iron age, which lias been going on 
ever since. The Goidel came to Britain in the age of bronze, 
and at the beginning of the iron age the Britons of the newer 
Celtic migration had become the masters of the southern part of 
our island, to which they had given the name of Britain. 

7. The Celts were the first inhabitants of our island to attain 
a respectable level of civilization. They wore clothes, used metal 

weapons, and delighted in gold and glass ornaments, 
^.^r'^ Celtic They tilled the ground, opened up tin and lead mines, 

and began to trade with their neighbours. They were 
brave, high-spirited, and enterprising ; had a real love of beautiful 
things, and delighted in war and battle. They were split up into 
different tribes, each of which had its own king, though occasionally 
several tribes would join together under a common king, especially 
in times of danger. The Celts were fickle and quarrelsome, and 
seldom remained permanently under any other ruler than the 
chief of their own tribe or clan. The gentry went to battle in war- 
chariots, drawn by horses, which they managed with extraordinary 
skill. They protected themselves by bronze helmets and body 
armour, often beantifully enriched by ornament. Their weapons 
were the sword, the buckler, the dart, and the axe. The Celts wor- 
shipped many gods, and sought to propitiate them by human sacri- 
fices. They held in great honour their priests, who were called 
Druids, and who also were the poets, prophets, and judges of the 
people. The chief wealth of the nation lay in their flocks and 
herds, and the population lived for the most part in scattered home- 
steads. They erected, however, as refuges in times of war, great 
earthworks called dtms. Favourite sites for these fortresses were 
the summits of high hills, from which they could overlook the 
countryside. The majority of the Britons lived upon the uplands, 
as the river valleys were swampy, unhealthy, and hard to cultivate ; 
but some of them were fishermen or watermen, like the dwellers 
in the lake villages discovered near Glastonbury. There was 
enough intercourse between tribe and tribe for rough trackways to 
be marked out over the downs and hills from one settlement to 

8. Though the Druids composed verses, wherein they com- 
memorated the deeds of great men, and set forth the laws and 
The voyage ''''isdom of their ancestors, the Britons had no books, 
of Pytheas, so that no account of them from their own noint 

of view has been handed down to us. The earliest 
information that we have of the Britons comes from the travellers' 


tales of Greek explorers from the Mediterranean. Somewhere 
about 330 b.c, some merchants of the G-reek colony of Massilia 
(now called Marseilles), in the south of Graul, sent a mathematician 
named Pytheas to explore the lands on the Atlantic coast of 
Europe in the hope of opening up a trading connection with them. 
Among other countries Pytheas visited Britain, sailing through the 
Channel and all up the eastern coast, and setting down his observa- 
tions of the country and its people in writings of which, unluckily, 
only fragments have come down to us. From the voyage of 
Pytheas a trading connection between Britain and the commercial 
cities of the Mediterranean was opened up, which soon became 
important. There were also close dealings between the Britons 
and their Celtic kinsmen the Gauls, their nearest continental neigh- 
bours; Many Gauls settled in southern Britain, and stUl further 
raised its standard of refinement. The tin, lead, amber, and pearls 
of the Britons found a ready market in cities like Massilia, and by 
this means some vague knowledge of the existence of Britain 
became spread among civilized people. So active did commerce 
become that the Britons struck coins of gold and tin, which were 
rudely fashioned after the models of the Greek monies of the 
period. So intercourse increased and civilization grew until, nearly 
three hundred years after the voyage of Pytheas, the advance 
of the Koman Empire brought Britain into the ftiller light of 

ROMAN BRITAIN (55 B.C.-449 A.D.) 

Chief Dates : 

SS-S4 B.C. Julius Caesar's expeditions to Britain. 

43 A.D. Claudius begins the Roman conquest of Britain. 

78-85. Government of Agricola. 

122. Hadrian's Wall built. 

297. Diocletian reorganizes the British provinces. 

410. Withdrawal of the Roman legions. 

1. Ix the generations preceding' the Christian era the Romans 
established their dominion over the whole of the lands surrounding 

the Mediterranean, the centre of the civilization of 
Cffisar's First ^^® ancient world. The last step of this conquest 
Expedition was the subjugation of Gaul by Graius Julius Caesar, 
t°^''Jta'n. between 58 and 50 B.C. Brought by his triumphant 

progress to the shores of the Channel, Csesar learnt 
that the Britons had afforded refuge to the fugitives from his arms 
in G-aul, and believed that their sympathy with their continental 
brethren would make it harder for the Romans to keep Gaul 
quiet. Accordingly he resolved to teach the Britons the might 
of the Roman power, and in 55 B.C. he led a smaU expedition 
over the straits of Dover, and successfully landed it in Kent, 
despite the vigorous resistance which the Britons offered to his 
disembarkation. Csesar found, however, that the Britons were 
stronger than he thought, and that he had not brought enough 
troops to accomplish anything great against them. For the few 
weeks that he remained in Britain, he did not venture far from 
the coast. Before long he returned to Gaul, convinced that he 
must wipe out his failure by conducting a stronger army to England 
as soon as he could. 

2. Next year, 54 B.C., Csesar landed in Britain for the second 
time. He then took with him more than twice as many soldiers as 
on the previous occasion. Having established a camp on the coast, 


he marched boldly into the interior. He was opposed by Cassivel- 
launus, Idng of the tribes dwelling on the north bank of the 
Thames. The light-armed Britons shrunk from a 
pitched battle with the Romans, and failed to prevent J">'"s^ 
them from forcing their passage over the Thames, second Ex- 
But their swift war-chariots hung upon the Roman pedltionto 
line of march, threatened to destroy Csesar's camp on fl g {?' 
the coast, and prevented him from winning any very 
striking triumphs. However, some of the British tribes were jealous 
of Cassivellaunus. Conspicuous among these were the Trinovantes, 
his eastern neighbours, dwelling in what is now Essex. This tribe 
sent envoys to Caesar, and submitted to him. Alarmed at this 
defection, Cassivellaunus also made his peace with the Roman 
general, and agreed not to disturb the Trinovantes. Some of the 
tribes promised to yield up hostages and to pay tribute to the 
Romans. Thereupon Csesar went back to the continent. He had 
not even attempted to conq^uer Britain, but he had taug-ht the 
Britons a lesson, and had prevented them from harming the 
Roman power in Graul. The most enduring result of Csesar's visits 
is to be found in the description of Britain and the Britons which 
he wrote in his famous Commentaries. This is the first full written 
account of our island that has come down to us. With it the 
continuous history of our land beg-ins. 

3. For ninety years after Csesar's landing no Roman troops were 
seen in Britain. Increased commerce followed upon the greater 
knowledge which Romans and Britons now had of 
each other. The Trinovantes, who remained true to Britain, 
the Roman connection, profited by it to make them- 54 B.C.— 
selves masters of most of south-eastern Britain. Their ' ' 

power came to a head under their king Cunobelinus, the Cymbeline 
of Shakespeare and romance. He struck coius which closely 
imitated those of the contemporary Romans, made Camulodunum 
(Colchester) his capital, and felt himself strong enough to throw off 
Roman control. One of his brothers, disgusted at being supplanted, 
appealed to the Romans for help, but his valiant son Caraotacus 
continued his policy after his death. Thus strained relations en- 
sued between the Romans and the Trinovantes. The promised 
tribute was not paid ; Gaulish rebels were encouraged, and Gaulish 
fugitives from Roman rule received once more a welcome. 

4 The renewed hostUity of the Britons to Rome convinced the 
Emperor Claudius that the only way of making Gaul secure was 
by oonq^uering Britain. Accordingly, in 43 A.D., Claudius sent 


a strong army to the island, under Aulus Plautius. With his 

-,u n landinff the systematic Roman cono[uest of Britain 

Tn© Roman ° ^ _ - at. j. /~n j • 

conquest of began. Plautius soon made suoh progress that Olaucaus 

Britain. himself visited the countiy, and witnessed his soldiers 

taking by storm Caraotaous' sti-onghold of Camulodunum, which 
soon became a Eoman colony — ^the first in Britain. 
Plautius, When Plautius returned to Rome in 47, he had made 
43-47 A.D. himself master of the south and midlands as far as 
the Humber and the Severn. The next governor, Ostorius Scapula 
Otis (47-62), strove to subdue the Silures and Ordovices, 
Scapula, the fierce tribes that dwelt in the hills of southern and 
47-52. central Wales, among whom Caraotaous found a refuge 

after the conquest of his own district. The Eoman general defeated 
Caractacus in a pitched battle, and forced him to flee northwards 
to the Brigantes of the modern Yorkshire. Surrendered by these 
to the Romans, the British king was led in triumph through Rome. 
His brave and frank bearing won the favour of Claudius, who per- 
mitted him to end his days in honourable retirement. But the 
conquest of the Welsh hills was not lasting, and all the Romans 
could do was to establish a ring of border garrisons at Deva 
(Chester), Virooonium (Wroxeter), and Isoa Silurum (Caerleon-on- 
Usk), whereby the wild mountaineers were restrained. 

5. The Roman conquest of Britain was further advanced by 
the governor, Suetonius Paullinus (59-62), who in 61 completed 
Suetonius *^® subjugation of the hiU-tribes of the west by the 
Paullinus, reduction of Mona or Anglesey, the last refuge of 
59-62. ^jjg Druids. A sang-uinary insurrection of the Iceni, 

the clan inhabiting what is now Norfolk and Suffolk, recalled 
Paullinus. The Icenian King, Prasutagos, who had ruled under 
Roman over-lordship, made the Emperor his co-heir, jointly with 
his two daug'hters. On his death the Romans took possession of 
his lands, brutally ill-ti'eated his daughters, and cruelly scourged his 
widow, Boudicca (Boadioea), who strove to maintain their rights. 
The indignant tribesmen took advantage of the governor's absence 
to rise in revolt. Camulodunum was stormed, and all the Romans 
witliin it put to the sword. A like fate befell Yerulamium (St. 
Albans), the seat of Roman government, andLondinium (London), 
the chief commercial centre of Britain. The legion that held the 
northern frontier hurried southwards, but was out to pieces by the 
Iceni in the open field. At last Paullinus, fresh from his triumph 
at Mona, marched eastward at the head of the strong force which 
had held down the disturbed western frontier. Defeated in a 


pitched battle, Boudicoa avoided captivity and shame by drinking 
off a bowl of poison. The suppression of the rebellion completed 
the reduction of aU Britain south of the Humber and east of the 
Dee and Usk. But the mountaineers of what is now called Wales 
took advantage of Paullinus' withdrawal to renew their freedom, 
and for many years the Roman advance northwards and westwards 
was stayed. 

6. The next forward movement was under Julius Agricola, a 
famous statesman and general, who was governor of Britain from 
78 to 85. Agrioola's son-in-law, the famous historian, j-a&a% 
Tacitus, wrote a life of his father-in-law in such detail Agpieola, 
that we learn more of his doings in Britain than of '^^'^^• 
those of any commander since Julius Cassar. Agrioola's first 
military exploit was to complete the subjugation of the hill-tribes 
of the west. Thereupon he turned his arms northwards and sub- 
dued the fierce Brigantes, establishing a new camp at Eburaoum 
(York), which soon became the chief centre of the Roman power. 
Within the next few years he seems to have advanced stiU further 
northwards, until he found a natural barrier in the narrow isthmus 
which separates the Firth of Forth and Clyde, where he erected a 
line of forts. Not contented with this, Agricola advanced beyond 
this Hue into the mountains of northern Scotland, whose wild in- 
habitants, called then the Caledonians, opposed him vigorously 
under their chieftain Galgacus. At last, in 84, Agricola won a 
victory over Galgacus at an unknown place called Mons Ch'aT^ius. 
After this he circumnavigated the north coast of Scotland with a 
fleet, and even talked of cono[uering Ireland. Next year, however, 
he was recalled, and liis successors took up a less enterprising 
policy. Even more important than Agrioola's victories were the 
efEorts he made to civilize the Britons and spread Roman fashions 
among them. The sons of the chieftains learned to speak Latin, 
adopted the Roman dress, and followed their conquerors' habits of 

7. South Britain remained hard to hold. A revolt annihilated 
the legion stationed at York, and about 122 the wise Emperor 
Hadrian, abandoning the northern regions, which jy^^ ^^^ 
Ag-ricola had claimed as part of the province, erected Roman 

a solid wall of stone, fortified by frequent forts, to walls, 
form a scientific frontier for the region solidly held by the 
Romans. The line chosen for this purpose ran from the mouth 
of the Solway to the mouth of the Tyne — roughly speaking, from 
Carlisle to Newcastle — a distance of more than seventy mUes. If 


the still narrower frontier-line from Clyde to Forth were too 
remote to be held with safety, the limits thus chosen were the best 
that could be found. After nearly seventeen centuries the sub- 
stantial remains of this great work, stretching across the high hills 
that separate the valleys of the Tyne and the Solway, still con- 
stitute by far the most majestic memorial of the Eoman power 
in Britain. In 143, LoUius Urbicus, the governor of Britain 
under the Emperor Antoninus Pius, went back to the limits once 
conquered by Agrioola, and erected a new boundary waU between 
the Forth and the Clyde. Built of sods laid on a basement of stone, 
the northern wall of Antoninus was a much less solid structure than 
the wall of Hadrian. It soon became unimportant, as the Eomans 
made few attempts to occupy the barren moorlands that take 
up most of the region between the two walls. Occasionally the old 
aggressive spirit revived, and notably between 208 and 211, when 
the able Emperor Septimius Severus spent four years in Britain, 
and, like Agricola, waged fresh campaigns against the Caledonians. 
On his death, at Eburacum, the Roman energies relapsed, and thus 
the wall of Hadrian became the permanent frontier of Roman 

8. Roman rule, thus established by Agricola and Hadrian, 
lasted in Britain for more than three hundred years. At first 
Roman Roman Britain consisted of a single province, ruled, 

divisions of like all the frontier districts, by a legate of the 
Britam, Emperor. Severus divided the country into two 

provinces, called Upper and Lower Britain {Britannia Superior 
and Britannia Inferior), whose boundaries are not at all clear. 
At last, the famous emperor, Diocletian, the second founder of the 
Roman Empire, included Britain, about 297, in his general scheme 
for the reorganization of the provinces. The number of British 
provinces was increased to four, Britannia Prima, Britannia Se- 
cunda, Flavia Csesariensis, and Maxima Csesariensis. To these a 
fifth, Valentia, was afterwards added. We are almost entirely in the 
dark as to the situation of these provinces. A special novelty of 
Diocletian's reforms was the bringing together of neighbouring 
provinces into larger administrative divisions, called Dioceses and 
PrsetorianPrsifectures. All British provinces were joined together 
in the diocese of Britain, ruled by a vicar, while the diocese of 
Britain was but a part of the great praetorian prsef ecture of the 
G-auls which extended over the whole of the west. This system 
lasted as long as the Roman power. 

9. The Roman occupation of Britain was mainly military. The 



land was strongly held by a garrison of three legions, each con- 
sisting of about 6000 regular troops, aU Boman citizens. 
One legion, the Sixth, had its headquarters at "^^l^^ 
Eburacum, -while the Second was quartered at Isoa 
Silurum, and the Twentieth at Deva, in positions which they had 
held from the first century .onwards. Besides these regular troops, 
a large number of irregular auxiliaries garrisoned the wall oi 
Hadrian and the detached forts of the north. Both legions and 
auxiliaries were largely recruited on the continent, and most 
Britons who wished to serve the emperor were drafted to fight 
upon the Rhine or the Danube. Well-constructed roads, paved 
with stone, ran straight from garrison to garrison, and also served 
as avenues of commerce. The most famous of the 
Roman roads of Britain was the Wailing Street, which ^oads" 
ran from the coast at Dubr» (Dover) to Londinium, 
and thence by Yeralamium to Viroconium, from which point a 
branch went south to Isoa, while the main road proceeded to Deva, 
where it sent a branch to Segontium (Carnarvon). From Deva, 
Watling Street was continued eastwards to York, and thence to 
the frontier. The Urmine Street, the central part of the road that 
connected Eburacum with Lindum (Lincoln), Camulodtmum, and 
Londinium, was only less famous ; while the Watling Street was 
crossed diagonally by a third great artery, called the Fosse Way, 
which went from Lindum to Isca Dumnoriorum (Exeter). A 
fourth road, named Akeman Street, connected Camuloduniun and 
Verulamium with the watering-place of Aquae Sulis (Bath). 

10. Along the chief routes grew up walled towns, which, at 
least in the south and east, were not wholly military in character. 
Under the strong Roman peace, marshes were drained, jfnman 
forests cleared, and commerce furthered. Britain be- civilization 
came one of the chief granaries of Europe, and its '° Britain, 
iron, tin, and lead mines were extensively developed. Salt-works 
were opened, and pottery and fine glass were made. Many Roman 
oflScials, soldiers, and traders spread the use of the Latin tongue, 
and, at least in the southern and eastern parts of the province, the 
upper classes among the Britons themselves learnt to talk Latin, 
and were proud to be considered as Romans. But the Romans 
never romanized Britain as they had romanized Gaul. The best 
proof of this is the fact that the Celtic tongue continued to be 
spoken by the mass of the people, as is shown by its contiuuance 
in Wales to this day. In Gaul, on the other hand, the use of Latin 
became universal, and quite displaced the ancient Gaulish language. 


11. During the fourth century Christianity became the religion 
of the Romans, and Constantino, the first Christiaa emperor 
The Romano- (306-337), first took uplthe government of the Empire 
Brftish™*""' at Eburacmn, where his father had died. Even before 
Church. this there had been Christians in Britain, and during 
the last persecution of the Christian Church by the Emperor 
Diocletian (284-305), several British martyrs gave up their lives 
for the faith. The most famous of these was Alban, slain at 
Verulamium, where in after years a church was erected in his 
honour that gave the Roman city its modern name of St. Albans. 
During the fourth century we know that there were bishops at 
Londinium, Isca, and Eburacum, many churches and monasteries, 
and an active and vigorous ecclesiastical life. The British Church 
became strong enough to send out missionaries to other lands, of 
whom the next famous were St. Patrick, who completed the con- 
version of the Irish to the faith, and St. Ninian, who first taught 
the Caledonians, or Piots, the Christian religion. Britain even had 
a heretic of its own in Pelagius, who denied the doctrine of original 
sin, and made himself very famous all over the Roman world as the 
foe of St. Augustine, the great African father. From the British 
Church is directly descended the "Welsh Church, and less directly 
the Churches of Ireland and Scotland. By its means civilization was 
extended into regions which, though inaccessible to the Roman 
arms, were brought by Roman missionaries into the Christian fold. 

12. Gradually the Roman Empire decayed, and Britain suffered 
much from its growing weakness. Towards the end of the third 

century the legions garrisoning distant provinces grew 
the Roman "^^ of hand, and, without regard for the central power 
power in in Italy, made and unmade emperors of their own. 

Thus in 287, Carausius, a Roman admiral, allied him- 
self with bands of pirates, received the support of the soldiers, 
seized the government of Britain, and strove to make himself 

master of the whole Roman world. He conquered 


287-293 ' P^'^t of northern Gaul, but in 293 was slain by his 
and own chief minister, Alleotus, who ruled over Britain 

293-29I' until he was slain in 296. It was to put down such 
disorders that Diocletian carried out his reforms in 
the administration, and Constantino, succeeding after a time to 
Diocletian's power, continued his general policy, though he took up 
a different line as regards religion. The reforms of Diocletian and 
the recognition of Christianity by Constantine kept the Roman 
Empire together for a century longer. 





Principal Roads sliouyn by 

stouter lines thus:' ^■— 

Forests tt^^ Marshes... 


13. Fresh troubles soon arose, which fell with special force on a 
remote province like Britain. Despite the frontier wall, bands of 

fierce Caledonidus, by this time more often called Picis, 
Barbarian raided at their will the northern parts of the province, 
and the ' Swarms of Irishmen, then generally called Scots, 
efforts to similarly plundered the western coasts and efEect«d 
ttiem off. 1^'^S'® settlements in regions so wide apai-t as Cornwall, 

Wales, and Galloway. An even worse danger came 
from the east, where swarms of pirates and adventurers from North 
Germany, called Saxons by Romans and Britons, devastated the 
coasts of the North Sea and Channel. To ward off these invaders 
the Romans set up a new military organization. A new military 
officer was appointed, called Count of the Saxon Shore (Gomes Uteris 
Saxonici), whose special duty it was to protect the region specially 
liable to these invasions. A series of forts, stretching from the 
Wash to Sussex, formed the centres of the Roman defence against 
the pirates; and the majestic ruins of Rutupiae (Richborough) 
in Kent, Anderida (Pevensey) in Sussex, and Gariannonum (Burgh 
Castle) in Sufiolk, show the solid strength of these last efforts to 
uphold the Roman power. At the same time the northern defence 
was reorganized, and the troops garrisoning the wall of Hadrian 
were put under another high military officer, called the Duke of the 
Britains (Dux Britanniarum), whOe the legionary army in its camps 
was commanded by the Count of the Britains {Comes Britanniai-um). 
AH these military changes date from the reign of Diocletian, and 
were parts of his great scheme for reinvigorating the empire. 

14. Early in the fifth century the Roman Empire upon the con- 
tinent was overrun by fierce German tribes, anxious to find new 

homes for themselves. The settlement of the Franks 
drawal of ^'^ northern Gaul cut off Britain from the heart of the 
the Roman empire, and Rome and Italy itseK were threatened, 
ifu)""^' With the Germans at the gates of Rome, it became 

impossible for the emperors to find the men and money 
necessary for keeping up their authority in a distant land like 
Britain. After 410, the year which saw the sack of Rome by 
Alaric the Goth, the Romans ceased to send officials and troops 
to Britain. Henceforth the Britons were left to look after them- 
selves, and their entreaties to the emperors to help them in their 
distress were necessarily disregarded. 

15. Roman rule had, however, lasted so long in Britain that 
the upper classes at least considered themselves Romans, and 
strove to carry on the government after the Roman fashion. To 

-449-] SOMAN BRITAIN 1 5 

them it did not seem that Britain had ceased to be Roman : but 
rather that they as Romans had to carry on Roman rule them- 
selves, without the help of the emperor or the other 
districts of the empire. It was soon found, however, j^eft fo''th°"^ 
that the Britons were not romanized enough to be own re- 
able to maintain the Roman system. The leaders did sourees, 

, " 4il 0—41419 

not work together, and gradually the old Celtic tribal 

spirit revived in a fashion that made united action and organized 

government very difficult. 

16. Before long southern Britain began to split up iuto little 
tribal states, and this break up of unity made it possible for the 
barbarians, who had been withstood with difficulty aU ~j^ „, ^ 
through the previous century, to carry everything Sects, and 
before them. The Piots crossed the Roman wall, and Saxons, 
plundered and raided as they would. The Scots from Ireland 
estabKshed themselves along the west coast, and besides other 
settlements, effected so large a conquest of the western Highlands 
and islands outside the northern limits of the old provinces that 
a new Scotland grew up on British soil. Even more dangerous 
were the incursions of the Saxon invaders in the east. These were 
no longer simply plunderers, but, like the Pranks and Goths on 
the continent, wished to establish new homes for themselves in 
Britain. Before their constant incursions the Britons were 
gradually forced to give way. Within forty years of the with- 
drawal of the last Roman governors, the process of German 
conquest had begun. 

17. The barbarian conquest went on gradually for about a 
century and a half, and by the end of it nearly every trace of 
Roman influence was removed. The ruius of Roman pg_~,__ent 
towns, villas, churches, and public buildings ; the stiU results of 
abiding lines of the network of Roman roads ; the con- Koman rule 
tinuance of the Christian faith among the free Britons ; 

a few Roman words stUl surviving in the language of the Celtic- 
speaking Britons, and a few place-names (such as street from strata) 
among their Teutonic supplanters, were almost all that there was 
to prove the abiding traces of the great conquering people which 
had first brought our island into relation with the main stream of 
ancient civilization. 



BRITAIN (449-607) 

Chief Dates : 

449. Jutes establislied in Kent. 
S16. Battle of Mount Badon. 
577. Battle of Deorham. 
607. Battle of Cheater. 

1. The Teutonic invaders, who began to set up new homes for 
themselves in Britain after the middle of the fifth century, came 

from northern Germany. Their original homes were 
conquest°of ° along the coasts of the North Sea, the lower courses 
Southern of the Elbe and Weser, and the isthmus that connects 
Britain. ^j^^ Danish peninsula with Germany. Though all 

were very similiar in their language and manners, they were divided 
into three difflerent tribes — ^the Jutes, the Saxons, and the Angles. 

Of these the Jutes were the least important, though 
The Jutes. ^j^^^ ^^^^ ^-^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^-^^ ^ ^^^ island. They are 

generally said to have come from Jutland, the Danish peninsula, 
which used to be explained as meaning the land of the Jutes. 
But there are difficulties in the way of accepting this view, and 
some people now believe that the Jutes came from the lower 
Weser, to the west of the other colonizers of Britain. 
The Saxons came from the lower Elbe, and were so 
numerous a group of tribes that before long nearly all the peoples 
of North Germany were called Saxons. The Angles 
A »le lived to the north of the Saxons, in the region now 

called Holstein. So many of them crossed over to 
Britain that their name soon disappeared from Germany altogether. 
2. Each of the invading tribes included many small states, ruled 
by petty kings or by elected magistrates, called aldermen. The new- 
comers had no common name and no common interests. Each little 
group lived in a vUlage apart from their neighbours, and aU of them 
were very warlike, fierce, and energetic. They had dwelt farther 


away from the Bomans than the other barbarian invaders of the 
empire, and were therefore much less influenced by Roman civi- 
lization than nations like the Franks and the Groths. .jj^g jnstjtu. 
For that reason they remained heathens, worshipping tions of the 
Woden, Thor, and the other battle-loving gods of the Invaders, 
old Germans. They had little of the respect for the Roman 
Empire which made the Teutonic conquerors of Gaul and Italy eager 
to be recognized by the emperors, and quick to learn many of the 
Roman ways. It resulted from this that they made a much cleaner 
sweep of Roman institutions than did their brethren on the conti- 
nent, and that the more since the Britons fought against them more 
vigorously and for a longer time than the Romans of Gaul or Italy 
against their invaders. Yet their conquest of Britain is but a part 
of that general movement called the Invasion of the Barbarians, 
or the Wandering of the Nations, which everywhere broke down the 
Roman power in western Europe. In fact, this was done more 
completely in Britain than anywhere else. 

3. The invaders of Britain had no common name for themselves. 
Since the fourth century the Romans and Britons had called them 
all Saxons, and to this day the Celtic peoples of the j^^ begin- 
land, the Welsh, the Irish, and the Highland Scots, nlngs of 
stUl continue the Roman custom in their own tongues. England. 
But when the invaders had settled in Britain, and had begun to find 
the need of a common word to describe them all, they used the 
word Angle as a general name. Angle is only another form of 
English, and as this has remained ever since the name of all the 
new settlers and their descendants, it is perhaps better for us to 
call them English from the first. They are, however, sometimes 
styled the Anglo-Saxons — that is, the people formed by the union 
of the Angles and Saxons. For convenience' sake we shall use 
the word " English " in this broader sense, and keep the term 
" Angle " for the tribes who shared with the Jutes and Saxons in 
the conquest of Britain. The parts of Britain in which the new- 
comers, whether Angle Jute, or Saxon, settled, were henceforth 
England— thsA is, land of the English— and they were the fore- 
fathers of most modern Englishmen. As time went on, however, 
many people of British descent began to speak the English tongue 
and regard themselves as English ; and nowadays a great many 
Englishmen are in no wise descended from the old English. 

5. We know very little of the fashion in which the English 
tribes came to Britain. There are famous legends of some aspects 
of the conquest, but it is impossible to say whether they are true 



or not, as they are first told many hundred years after the event. 
There is a well-known story of the first settlement of the new- 
comers in Britain. Yortigern, one of the British kings, we are 
told, foUowed the fashion of the Komans of the continent, who 
caUed in German warriors to help them to fight against their 
enemies. Attracted by the high pay that he offered, a tribe of 
Jutes, headed by their dukes, the brothers Hengist 
lnKentr449, and Horsa, came to the aid of Vortigern against 
and the Isle picts and Scots. But when they had done their work, 
of Wight. ijigtead of going home, they resolved to settle in the 
land of the Britons. In 449 they chased away the Britons, and 
established themselves in Kent, which thus became the first English 
settlement in Britain. Before long Kent became a kingdom, and 
Hengist and Horsa were its first kings. Some years later another 
Jutish settlement was effected in the Isle of Wight and on the south 
coast of what is now called Hampshire. These were the only 
Jutish conquests, and the very name of Jute was soon forgotten. 
Though Kent long remained a separate kingdom, the Jutes of 
Wight became absorbed in the larger population of Saxon settlers 
who established themselves all around them. 

5. The Saxons conquered and settled southern and south-eastern 
Britain. The first Saxon settlement was made in 477, when a chief- 
tain named .ffiUe set up the kingdom of SMSsea; — that 
seUle^ents. i^' South Saxony— in the district that is represented 
by the later county of the name. A very famous 
incident of iEUe's conq[uest was the storming of the old Koman 
fortress of Anderida (Pevensey), one of the strongholds set up 
in the fourth century to protect the south coast from the 
Saxon pirates. At last it was to succTimb to the fierce 
' ■ assaults of their descendants. Before long, M\^% and 
his men had set up new homes for themselves in the land of their 
choice. The great and pathless oak forest of the Weald cut them 
off from the Jutes, who settled to the east and west, and from 
other Saxon tribes that later sailed up the Thames and established 
the little kingdom of Bwrvey to their north. A more 
important conq[uest began in 495, when the Saxon 
chiefs, Cerdio and his son Cynric, landed at the head of Southampton 
water and began the kingdom of Wessex, or West Saxony. This 
was originally confitned to part of what is now Hamp- 
wessex, shire, but it gradually extended its limits, absorbing 
the Jutish kingdom of Wight and the Saxon kingdom 
of Surrey, and gaining still greater advantages at the expense of 


the Britons of the upper Thames and lower Severn valleys and of 
the regions of downs and hills that stretches from Hampshire west- 
wards. Thus, unlike Kent and Sussex, which remained in their 
original limits, the history of Wessex is from the beginning a 
history of constant expansion. 

6. Other Saxon kingdoms were established on the eastern coast 
of England. The East Saxons set up the kingdom of Essex, and 
the Middle Saxons that of Middlesex, a petty state 

that owed its sole importance to containing within Middlesex 
its limits the great trading city of London, whose 
commercial prosperity was checked rather than destroyed by the 
wave of barbarian conc[uest. Ultimately, however, Middlesex 
became absorbed in Essex, just as its southern neighbour, Surrey, 
was swallowed up in Wessex. Here the Saxon invasion was stayed. 

7. The conquest of the east, the midlands, and the north was 
the work of the Angles. To the north of Essex, Anglian swarms 
peopled the lands between the great fens of the Ouse 

vaUey and the coast of the North Sea. This region seUltmen^s. 
became the kingdom of Bast Anglia, or East England, 
and was divided geographically into a northern and southern 
portion, whose names are preserved in the modern counties of 
Norfolk — ^that is, land of the North folk— and Suffolk, 
the land of the South folk. Other Anglian bands made f ngjin. 
their way up the Trent valley, and gradually set up a 
series of small states in Middle England, extending southwards 
from the Humber to the northern boundaries of the Saxon settle- 
ments in the Thames valley. The history of these districts is 
very obscure, and is not preserved, as in the Saxon lands further 
south, by the names and limits of the modern shires. Of the many 
Anglian kingdoms of the midlands one only survived, and ulti- 
mately absorbed aU the others. This was the little uerciaand 
kingdom of Mercia — that is, the March or boundary the midland 
land — set up in the upper Trent valley, and stretching kingdoms, 
over the rough hill-land of Cannock chase towards the middle Severn 
valley, where the Britons long held their own. North of the 
Humber two weU-defined Anglian kingdoms grew up. 
These were Deira, or the southern kingdom, which jj^j^ j^y 
roughly corresponds to the modern Yorkshire, and the 
more northerly state of Bernicia, which stretched along the east coast 
from the Tees to the Firth of Forth, which was founded, it is said, 
by Ida in 547. Both these kingdoms had as their western boun- 
dary the wild uplands of the Pennine chain and its northern 


continuation, the Ettriok Forest. THs tangle of hiUs and moors was 
difficult for the invaders to traverse, and long protected the freedom 
of the Britons of the west coast between the Clyde and the Dee. 

8. It took nearly a hundred and fifty years before the English 
settlements were completely established. The Britons, who fonght 

very stubbornly to protect their liberties, remembered 
istte^of tti'e so much of the Roman discipline and organization that 
English they remained formidable foes to a series of disorderly 

conquest. tribes, each consisting of a small number of warriors 
fighting for their own hands. The English brought over with them 
their wives and families, and aimed not simply at conquering their 
enemies, but sought to establish new homes for themselves. They 
brought with them their Teutonic speech, the parent of our English 
tongue. They preserved the manners, institutions, and religion 
which they had followed in their original homes in northern Germany. 

9. The best and bravest of the Britons withdrew before the 
English and joined their brethren, who still remained masters 

in the hills of the west. Such as remained in 
theBrUons ^^ ®^* ^^^ south, as slaves and dependants of the 

conc[uerors, gradually lost their ancient tongue and 
institutions, and became one with the invaders. It shows how 
thorough the conquest was that the Christian religion, professed 
by all the Britons, was entirely rooted out in all the districts where 
the English established themselves. Luckily for the English, the 
Britons seldom acted together for any long time. The wiser 
Britons held fast to the Roman tradition of unity, and set up war- 
leaders who might take the place of the sometime Roman governors. 
The most famous of these was the great Celtic hero, King Arthur, 
Arthur and whose mighty victories stayed for a time the advance 
Mount of the English, and perhaps saved the Britons of the 

Badon, 516. ^^^^ ^^^^ 1^^ f^^g pf ^j^gjj. brethren of the east. The 

best known of Arthur's battles was fought at a place called Mcrtis 
Badonicus or Mount Badon, in about 516. Its situation is quite 
uncertain, but it is most probably to bo found somewhere in 
the south-west, possibly at Badbviry in Dorsetshire. It seems 
that Arthur's triumph was over the West Saxons, whose 
advance was stayed for nearly sixty years. But the Britons only 
united when compelled to do so to meet the English attacks. 
They split up into little tribal states, and, if the English had not 
themselves also been disunited, the invaders could have probably 
driven their foes into the sea. As it was, many of the more 
strenuous Britons scorned to live any longer in the land which 


they shared with their Saxon enemies. There was so large an 
emigration of Britons to the Gaulish peninsula of Armorica, 
that that land obtained the new name of Brittamy or Tj,e eml- 
Britain, and to this day a large part of the inhabitants gration to 
of this little Britain beyond the sea continue to ^'''*tany. 
speak a Celtic tongue, very similar to the Welsh or Cornish, which 
their forefathers took with them to G-auI when they fled from the 
Saxon conquerors. Their withdrawal made easier the work of the 
English, and it speaks well for the toughness of the British 
resistance that so much of the island remained in their hands. 

10. For about a century fresh swarms of English came to 
Britain from beyond sea. After that the migration ceased, but 
the stronger of the English kingdoms continued to j],g Bpjtons 
advance westwards at the expense of the Britons. The become the 
EngHsh did not call the Britons by that name, but de- W^^'^h. 
scribed them as the Welsh — ^that is, as the foreigners, or the speakers 
of a strange tongue. Gradually the Britons, who in the sixth 
century were still proud to call themselves Romans, took the 
name of the Cymi-y, or the Comrades, by which the Welsh are still 
known in their own language. A Welsh monk named Gildas, who 
lived in the sixth century, has written a gloomy picture of the state 
of Britain during the period of the English conquest. The heathen 
English were cruel and bloodthirsty ; but the Welsh were quarrel- 
some and divided, and Gildas regarded their defeat as the just 
punishment of their sins. 

11. The warfare between Welsh and English still went on, and 
at last the Welsh received a rude shock from two English victories, 
which cut the British territories into three parts, and ^^ ^^^^ ^^ 
destroyed any hopes of future Celtic unity. The the period 
West Saxons gradually made their way westward from ''^j?,"^"^'l 
their original settlement in Hampshire, and in 577 

Ceawlin, the West Saxon king, won a great battle over the Welsh 
at Deorham (Dyrham), in Gloucestershire, which led to their 
conquest of the lower Severn valley. Thirty years after this (607) 
the Bernician king, ^thelfrith, won a corresponding victory at 
Chester, which ptished forward the northern Anglian settlements 
to the Irish Channel, and transferred the lands between Eibble and 
Mersey from British to English hands. Up to these days the 
Welsh had ruled over the whole west from the Clyde to the 
English Channel. Henceforth they were out up into three groups. 
Of thege the northernmost was called Cv/mbria or Cumberland — 
that is, land of the Cymry or Welsh. This stretched from the 


Clyde, the northern limit of the Britons, to the Rihhle, and was 
separated from Bernioia and Deira by the Pennine chain. The 
modern county of Cumherland still preserves for a 
Cumbpia. ^^^^ ^^ ^y^ ^^^^ j^g ancient name. Enclosed within 
this region was a colony of GoideUc Picts, in the extreme south- 
west of the modern Scotland, which derived from its Groidelic 
inhabitants its name of Galloway. 

12. The central and chief British group of peoples is repre- 
sented by the modern Wales, and by a large stretch of land to the 
eastward, including the valley of the middle Severn, which has 

since become English by a slow process of conquest 
North Wales. ^^^ absorption. Split up among several rival kings, 
this district lost, through its want of unity, some of the im- 
portance which it gained by its size and by the inaccessibility of 
its mountains. In early days the whole region was described as 

North Wales — ^that is, Wales north of the Bristol 
And West Channel. This was to distinguish it from West Wales, 

the country still held by the Britons in the south- 
west peninsula. Separated from North Wales by the West Saxon 
victory of Deorham, West Wales still included the whole of Corn- 
wall and Devonshire, and a good deal of Somerset. Both in 
North and West Wales there were occasional colonies of Groidelic- 
speaking Scots or Irish, who have left memorials of this tongue in 
the Irish inscriptions, written in a character called Oyham, found 
in many parts of Wales and Cornwall. 

13. Thus was the old Roman diocese of Britain ujie(^ually divided 

between the English and the Welsh. The great part of the district 

north of the Forth and Clyde was in the hands of the Picts — a race 

doubtless identical with the ancient Caledonians, and apparently 

„, „, ^ made up of Goidelio tribes with a large Iberian inter- 

The Picts. 

mixture. But in the north-western parts of the 

modern Scotland the Picts had been driven out by immigrant 

Scots from Ireland, who had set up an independent kingdom of 

the Scots in the western Highlands and islands, 

running inland as far as the chain of liills called Drum- 
alban, which forms the watei'shed of the eastern and western 
seas. From these the north-west of Britain first got the name 
of Scotland, or land of the Scots ; but at first this term was 

only given to a very small fragment of the modern 
to^um a, Scotland. Soon, however, the Scots began to influence 

the Plots. Up to the sixth century the Picts, alone 
of the Celts, still remained heathen ; but Columba, the greatest of 



after the English Conqaest 
(about 607.) 


the Irish saints, settled down in a monastery in the little island of 
lona, among the British Scots, and devoted the rest of his life, 
until his death in 597, to the conversion of the Picts. Two and a 
half centuries after the Picts had learnt their faith from the Soots, 
they obtained a Scot for their king. In 844 Kenneth Mac Alpine 
(that is, son of Alpine), King of the Scots, succeeded through his 
Union of the mother to the Pictish kingdom beyond Drumalban. 
Picts and His successor continued to rule Pictland as well as 
Scots. Scotland, and as they were Scots by race, and the 

difference between the two peoples was not very great, Picts and 
Scots were gradually fused into one people. The result was that 
the whole of the population north of Forth and Clyde acquired 
the name of Scots, and their country was called Scotland. For 
many centuries, however, the Irish continued to be called Scots, 
until at last confusion was avoided by the term becoming gradually 
restricted to their brethren in northern Britain. 

14. By the end of the sixth century the British islands 
were settling down into something like their modern divisions. 

There was an England, much smaller than modern 
of England, England, though extending further northwards to the 
Wales, Scot- Firth of Forth, and gradually making its way west- 
IrelanX"* ward at the expense of the Welsh. There was a Wales, 

much bigger than the modern Wales, but cut into 
three portions by the fights at Chester and Deorham, with the result 
that the largest of the three, represented by the modern Wales, 
became in a special sense the representative of the ancient Britons. 
There was a new Scotland, comprising the lands beyond Forth and 
Clyde, and Ireland, though still a land of Scots, became quite 
separated from it. 

15. In aU these districts, Anglian and Saxon, British and 
Goidelic, the land was split up into many small states, constantly 
Why Eng- ^^ ^^^' ^*^ ^^"^ other, and filling the country with 
land be- ceaseless confusion. While the Celtic states, owing to 
strongest ^^^ strength of the tribal system, seldom showed any 

tendency to be drawn together, the English tribes, 
on the contrary, began almost from the beginning to unite with 
each other, and so bring about the beginnings of greater unity. 
The Celts were Christians, and infinitely more civilized and culti- 
vated than their enemies ; but they lacked the political capacity and 
persistent energy which made the English stronger in building up 
a state. The result was that supremacy fell more and more into 
English hands. Wliile the struggles of Celtic chieftains resulted 


in notliing at all save bloodshed and confusion, the e(jually cruel 
fighting between the English tribes led to the absorption of the 
weaker into the stronger kingdoms, and so prepared the way for 
the growth of English unity. This tendency became the more 
active when the conversion of the English to Christianity gave 
them a common faith and a common Church organization. In the 
next chapter we shall see how the early steps towards English unity 
were made, and how the English became Christians. 


CHRISTIANITY (597-821). 

Chief Dates : 

S97. Death of St. Columba and landing of St. Augustine. 

627. Conversion of Edwin. 

664. Synod of Whitby. 

668. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterburj'. 

685. Death of Ecgfrith. 

757- Death of Ethelbald of Meicia. 

796. Death of OfEa. 

821. Death of Cenulf. 

1. We have seen kow numerous were tlie kingdoms set up by the 
English, who conc[uered southern Britain. The settlement was, 

however, hardly completed when a strong tendency 
steps to- towards amalgamation set in among them. In aU 
wards Eng- oases the union of kingdoms was due to conquest hy a 
lish Unity. stronger and more vigorous king. It was rarely, how- 
ever, that such a monarch was able to eflect a complete suhjection 
of his weaker neighbours. In most instances he was content with 
forcing his defeated enemy to acknowledge his superiority, and 
perhaps to pay him tribute. Thus more frec[uent than downright 

conquests of one kingdom by another *as the establish- 
Q„t^^^. ment of such overlordships on the part of a more 
ships of one vigorous state over feebler kingdoms. Of brief duration 
state over ^^^ indefinite meaning, these overlordships were of 

importance in preparing the way to more complete con- 
c^uest. By these processes the original kingdoms of the settlers 
were by the early part of the seventh century reduced to seven in 

number. These were the states long known as the 
He^t^arehv Septarchy, a word intended to mean a land divided 

into seven kingdoms. In reality, however, the " Hep- 

tarchic " states represent not the first but the second stage of the 


history of the English, in. Britain. They were Northumbria, Mercia, 
Wessex, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, and Snssex, and among them 
the first three were very much stronger than the last four. 

2. Northumbria, or Northumberland — that is, the land north 
of the Humber — ^was formed by JEtheHrith, king of Bernicia 
(593-617), conquering his southern neighbours in 

Deira, and driving their king into exile. It was the The stpongep 
great power gained by ^thelfrith after this victory Nopthumbria 
which enabled him to defeat the Welsh at Chester, and imdep 
add the lands between Ribble and Dee to his kingdom. 593-617 
But he had so much to do fighting the Welsh and 
Soots that he had little leisure to concern himself with the affairs 
of his southern neighbours. 

3. In the south, Ceawlin, king of the West Saxons (560-693), 
played rather earlier a similar part to that of JEthelfrith in 
the north. Wessex had long been extending itself 

beyond its original scanty limits. It absorbed the under 
Jutish kingdom of Wight and the Saxon kingdom of Ceawlin, 
Surrey ; but its main advance was at the expense of 6O-593. 
the Welsh. By this time the districts now comprised in Wiltshire, 
Berkshire, and Dorsetshire had been added to Cerdic's original 
kingdom. Moreover, for a time, Wessex crossed the middle and 
upper Thames, and extended into midland districts that finally 
became Mercian. The victory of Deorham made Gloucestershire 
and part of Somerset included within Wessex, so that Ceawlin 
is as much the creator of the later Wessex as ^thelfrith is of 

4. More than a generation after this, a similar process in the 
midlands created a third great English state iu Mercia. Up to the 
days of its king, Penda (626-655), Mercia was only uepeia undep 
a little AngHan kingdom in the upper Trent valley. Penda, 

By a series of successful wars, Penda destroyed the " 
power of nearly all the other Anglian monarchs in middle England. 
Moreover, he wrested from the West Saxons some of their conquests 
from the Welsh in the lower Severn valley, and took from the Nor- 
thumbrians a good deal of what ^thelfrith had won at Chester. 
The result of his work was to create a greater Mercia that included 
the whole of middle England. So completely was this conquest 
effected that the very names and boundaries of the kingdoms 
conquered by Penda became almost forgotten. 

5. Northumbria, Mercia, and Wessex became the three great 
English states ; but the little kingdoms of the south-east. Bast 


Anglia, Essex, Kent, and Sussex, were so well established and 
so clearly marked out by natural boundaries tiat tiiey long 
The king- continued to maiutain their individuality. Downright 
doms of the conquest was here extremely difficult, but the abler 
south-east, jjjjjgg succeeded in turn in setting up an overlord- 
ship over their neighbours. Sussex and Essex were too weak to 
accomplish anything, but one vigorous king gave to Kent, and 
another procured for East Anglia, a brief period of supremacy. 
Profiting by the confusion that fell over Wessex after Ceawlin's 
Ethelbert death, Ethelbert, king of the Kentishmen, defeated 
and Red- his West Saxon neighbours and ruled as overlord 
wald, 616. p^gj. ^jj^g kingdoms of the south-east. His power is 
shown by the fact that he was the first English king who had 
any dealings with the continent, choosing as his wife, Bertha, the 
daughter of one of the Frankish kings ruling over G-aul. On 
Ethelbert's death in 616, his power passed to Redwald, the king 
of the East Anglians. To Ceawlin, Ethelbert, and Kedwald the 
name of Bretwalda, or ruler of the Britons, has sometimes been 
given by later writers. It has, of course, no appropriateness 
except in the case of the conqueror of the Britons at Deorham, but 
it shows the impression left by their power. 

6. Though planted for a century and a half in a land once 
Christian, the English still remained heathens at the end of the 

sixth century. They scorned to accept the religion 
Church °^ ^^® conquered Britons, and the Welsh had no wish 

to share with their hated supplanters the benefits 
of their faith. Yet the Welsh were ardent Christians, and the 
Welsh Church attained the highest of its power and influence by 
this period. It was the g-reat age of the Welsh saints, such as 
David, the founder of the bishopric of St. David's; Daniel, first 
bishop of Bangor ; Dyvrig, bishop of LlandafE, and Kentigern, first 
bishop of G-lasgow, then a British town, and afterwards the founder 
of the see called from his disciple and successor, St. Asaph. Even 
more flourishing was the state of the Church in Ireland, where 
Columba, the missionary of the Picts and the founder of the abbey 
of lona, was the greatest of a long catalogue of Irish saiuts. 
Celtic Britain was, however, so far cut off from the continent that 
it developed during these years a type of Christianity of its own, 
differing in some respects from the Church of the western world, 
which was attaining increased unity and vigour under the supre- 
macy of the popes or bishops of Rome. The Celtic Church took 
little heed of what the Roman Church was doing. It celebrated 


the Easter feast according to a difEerent calculation from that which 
was accepted on the continent. It was so much influenced by the 
monastic movement that the bishops of the Church, especially in 
Ireland, became in practice subordinate to the abbots, who, though 
simple priests, ruled over the great houses of religion that Celtic 
piety had established. Thus Columba, priest and abbot only, 
governed all the churches of the Scots of the Highlands and also 
over his converts the Picts. His death in 597 is doubly memorable 
because in that same year the first effort was made to preach 
Christianity to the English. 

7. Bertha, the wife of Ethelbert of Kent, was, like all the 
Franks, a Christian, and a Christian bishop went over with her to 
Kent as her chaplain. For his wife's use Ethelbert 

set apart a church, deserted since the English con- Ethelbe^f ^ 
quest, which still remained erect in the old Roman 
city of Durovernum, from which Ethelbert ruled over the Kentish- 
men, and which the English now called Canterbury — that is, the 
borough of the Kentishmen. But though tolerant to his wife's 
faith, he showed no disposition to embrace it. 

8. The power of Home stiU counted for much, and the Roman 
Empire, after it had ceased to rule the West, still went on in the 
East, though the emperors had abandoned Italy, and Gregory the 
now lived at Constantinople. Their withdrawal made Great and 
the pope the greatest man in Rome, and by this time Augustine, 
the influence of Rome in the West meant that of the Roman 
bishop even more than that of the emperor. It happened that 
one of the greatest of all the popes was ruling the Church while 
Ethelbert was king of Kent. This was Gregory i., or the Great, 
whose high character, strong will, and profound earnestness did 
much to extend permanently the iufluence of the Roman see over 
Christendom. Gregory still looked upon Britain as part of the 
Roman Empire, and was pained that a once Christian province had 
fallen largely into the hands of heathen barbarians. Accordingly 
he set Augustiue, abbot of a Roman monastery which Gregory 
himself had founded, at the head of a band, of monks, and in- 
structed them to make their way to Britain and preach the gospel 
to the English heathens. In 597 Augustine and his companions 
landed in Kent, at Ebbsfleet in Thanet, where it was believed that 
Hengist and Horsa had landed a century and a half earlier. 
Ethelbert welcomed the missionaries, and allowed them to preach 
freely to all who chose to listen to them. Meanwhile the monks 
lived at Canterbury, hard by the king's court, and before long the 


example of their pious and unselfish lives induced Ethelbert and 
The conver- '^°®* °^ ^* subjects to receive baptism. After the 
siou of king's conversion Augustine crossed over to G-aul, 

Kent, 597, whence he soon came back to England as archbishop 
ssex. ^^ ^^ English Church. He built his cathedral at 
Canterbury, which, as the capital of the iirst Christian king among 
the English, remained ever after the chief bishopric of the English 
Church. Before long another bishopric was set up at Rochester, 
which, as its name shows, was also an old Roman city, and before 
long the new faith spread beyond Kent to the dependent kingdom 
of Essex, over which Ethelbert's influence was strong. The East 
Saxon bishopric was set up at London, the commercial capital of 
the land since Roman times. 

9. Before long the East Angles began to turn Christians also, 
but their king, Redwald, though professing the Christian faith, 
The convep- ^° continued to worship idols. Redwald was a strong 
sion of ruler, and after Ethelbert's death the overlordship of 
^'^rt'th' ^^^' south-eastern Britain passed over to him. He gave 
supremacy shelter to Edwin, son of the king of Deira, whom 
of Nopthum- ^theKrith of Bernicia drove out of his home when 

he united the northern kingdoms with Northumbria. 
.Slthelfrith went to war against Redwald when he refused to yield 
up the fugitive, but at a battle on the Idle, near Retford, JEthel- 
frith was slain. Thereupon, with Redwald's help, Edwin made 
himself king over aU Northumbria. He married the daughter of 
Ethelbert of Kent, whose name was Ethelburga. Being a Christian 
this lady took with her to her husband's court at York a 
Christian monk, called Paulinus, as her chaplain. Before long the 
influence of his wife and Paulinus prevailed over Edwin, and in 
627 the Northumbrian king received baptism from Paulinus, who 
was soon consecrated archbishop of York. In a short time most of 
Beginnings ^^^^^ '^^ '^'^^ o^^^ '^ '^'^ ^6w faith. This triumph 
of the Nor- was the more important since the newly converted ruler 
thumbpian soon proved a mighty warrior. When Redwald died, 
p. j]^^jj^ became the strongest of the kings of the Eng- 
lish. Under him a more real overlordship over the lesser kingdoms 
was set up than that which had prevailed under any earlier 
monarchs. To him and his two successors the title of Bretwalda 
was also sometimes given. ' 

10. Augustine was already dead, but Paulinus was one of his 
followers, and his conversion of the Deirans was the greatest result 
of the mission which his master had led from Rome to England. 


To have done so much in so short a time might well seem to be 

a great success ; but Pope Gregory had formed even more ambi' 

tious schemes for Augustine than the good monk was 

able to carry out. Gregory expected Augustine to suece^ss°of ^ 

convert aU the English, to make friends with the the Augus- 

British Christians, and to set up two archbishops and *'"'*" 

twenty-four bishops, under whom the whole Church of 

Britain was to be governed. But Augustine had only taught Chris- 
tianity to the little kingdoms of the south-east, and, though he met 
some of the Welsh bishops at a conference, he had been unable to 
establish friendly relations with them. They rejected his claims 
to be their superior, and Augustine, denouncing them as schismatics 
who stood outside the true Church, prophesied terrible disasters if 
they would not join with him in converting the English. The 
victory of the heathen .ffithelfrith over the Welsh a few years later 
at Chester seemed to the Christians of Kent only a fulfilment of 
Augustine's prophecy. Under these circumstances there was no 
chance of carrying out Gregory's scheme for bringing aU the 
Churches of Britain into one fold. 

11. Even in Kent and Essex many fell away from the faith 
after Augustine's death. The English converts found that the 
Christian missionaries wished them to give up many penda and 
of their old customs, and held up to their admiration the heathen 
humble and weak saints whom they despised as ''s^'^tion. 
useless for fighting. A great heathen reaction arose, and the old 
king of the Mercians, Penda, whose victories had made him master 
of central England, made himself the champion of the grim gods 
of pagan Germany. The power of the Christian king, Edwin, had 
grown so great that aU his neighbours were afraid of him, and 
Penda hated Edwin both as a Christian and as the enemy of Mercia. 
Edwin had also won victories over the Welsh, and harried the 
Welsh king, Cadwallon, so much that he forgot his Christian faith, 
and made a league with the heathen Penda against the Northum- 
brians. It was the first time that Englishmen and Battle of 
Welshmen had fought on the same side, after nearly Heathfleld, 
two centuries of bitter hostility. The combination 

was irresistible. In 633 Penda and Cadwallon defeated and slew 
Edwin at the battle of Heathfield, in southern Yorkshire. 

12. For a year Welsh and Mercians cruelly devas- Oswald of 
tated Northumbria. Christianity was almost blotted Northum- 
out, and Paulinus fled to Kent, where he died bishop *"■'*• 

of the little see of Rochester. In 635, however, a saviour arose 


for the north in Oswald, the son of the mighty JEthelfrith, who, 
on Edwin's accession, had been driven into exile among the 
Scots of Britain. In a battle at Heavenfield, near the Roman wall, 
Oswald overthrew the British king, and henceforth reigned as king 
over the Northumbrians. Cadwallon was the last British king who 
was able to seriously check the course of the English conquest. After 
his death the "Welsh of Cumbria were forced to accept Oswald as 
their lord. Thus, though Penda was still xmsubdued, the son of 
JEthelfrith succeeded to most of the power of his rival Edwin. 

13. Oswald was as good a Christian as Edwin, and, after his 
accession, the new faith was once more preached in Northumbria. 
Aldan and ^"^* Oswald had learnt his religion after a different 
the Scottish fashion from that in which his predecessor had been 
mission. taught. He had been instructed in the faith at 
lona, the great Scottish island monastery where the successor of 
Columba still ruled over the Churches of the north ; and when he 
became king, Scottish monks from lona came at his bidding into 
Northumbria, and took up the work laid down by the Roman mis- 
sionaries. Their chief, Aidan, became bishop of the Northumbrias, 
and set up his cathedral in the little island of Lindisfarne, ofE the 
coast of Bernicia. Before long his zeal and piety had won most 
of Bernioia to the Christian faith. 

14. The work of Oswald and Aidan was soon out short. In 642 
there was a fresh war with the Mercians, and Penda slew Oswald 

at the battle of Maserfleld, near Oswestry. Again there 
Oswiu^" was a period of terrible confusion in Northumbria, 

but again a strong king was found in Oswald's brother 
Oswiu, who in 655 defeated and killed Penda at Winwood. On 
the Mercian's death the Northumbrian overlordship, which had 
gone on fitfully despite the victories of the heathen king, was 
established on a more solid basis than ever. It lasted for the rest 
of Oswiu's reig-n, and also for that of his son and successor, 
Ecgfrith. During this period the conversion of the English was 
completed, and the Church established on a firm and solid footing. 

15. Even during Penda's lifetime the Christian missionaries 
had no need to despair. Though no saint like Oswald, Oswiu was 
The final ^ good friend of the Christians, and even in Mercia 
oonvepsion the new religion had made such progress that in his 
of Nopthum- old age Penda had been compelled to tolerate it. 

Penda's son and successor was a Christian, and wel- 
comed the Scottish and Northumbrian missionaries that Oswiu 
sent to his people. The most famous of these was Ceadda, or 


Chad, who became famous as the apostle of Mercia and the patron 
saint of the Mercian bishopric at Lichfield. Though an English- 
man, Chad had been brought up by Scottish monks, and thus was 
friendly to the customs of the Celtic Church. 

16. By this time the other English kingdoms had become 
Christian also. Some of them were converted by Scottish mis- 
sionaries ; others by Roman teachers from Kent or the _, 
continent. Thus East Anglia was won over by Felix, eonversion 
a Burgundian ; "Wessex by Birinus, a E.oman ; while °^ '•'^ ^^^^ 
Gedd, a brother of Chad, had revived the waning °^ ^"Sf'^'"'*- 
faith of the East Saxons ; and Wilfrid of Eipon, a Northumbrian 
monk who was an eager friend of the Roman usages, converted 
the South Saxons, the last Englishmen to give up their ancient 
gods. But there was no order or method in this piecemeal process 
of conversion. Each state had its own bishop, whether it was a 
great state like Mercia, or a little state like Sussex. The 
successor of Augrustiae at Canterbury, though still called arch- 
bishop, had small power outside Kent, and was in practice little more 
than bishop of the Kentishmen. AU over the north and midlands 
there were eager champions both of the Roman and of the Scottish 
Easter, and it seemed as if the war between Christian and heathen 
was only to be succeeded by war between the two rival forms of 

17. Oswiu was only a rough warrior, but he saw the need of 
stopping the conflict of Scot and Roman, and in 664 summoned 
a synod, or Church council, of both parties in the 

Church to Streoneshalch, on the coast of Deira, better ^y°|jy 664. 
known by its later Danish name of Whitby. His object 
in doing this was that he might hear what was to be said in favour of 
their teaching, and so make up his mind as to which form of the faith 
he should adopt. The chief point of dispute was the right time of 
celebrating Easter. WiKrid of Ripon upheld the Roman usage ; 
the Scottish bishop Colman, Aidan'a successor at Lindisfarne, 
pleaded for the traditions of Columba, and Chad of Lichfield 
sought to mediate between the two. At last Oswiu declared in 
favour of the Roman Easter, whereupon Colman and the Scots 
withdrew to lona. Oswiu was strong enough to make aU England 
accept his decision, and this secured that English Christianity 
should follow Rome and not lona. This was a good thing, for 
though the Scottish monks were the saintUest of men and the best 
of missionaries, their Church had more faith and enthusiasm than 
order or method. In declaring for the Roman Easter, Oswiu 



prevented the English Church being cut off from the Church of 
the world at large. He secured for England the priceless blessings 
of order and ciTilization, which were in those days represented by 
Rome. Before long the Roman Easter was accepted even by the 
Scots and Britons. Thus all the Churches of the British Islands 
were brought into the same system. 

18. Four years after the synod of Whitby, a Grreek, Theodore 
of Tarsus, a native of the city where St. Paul had been bom, 
Th k f ^^^ ^^^ from Rome as archbishop of Canterbury. 
Theodore Theodore was a much wiser and stronger man than 
of Tarsus, any of the other early bishops of the English. He 

made friends with Oswiu, and after that king's death 
in 671, became equally intimate with his son Bcgfrith. Archbishop 
for more than twenty years, Theodore was able, before his death in 
690, to organize the English Church in a very satisfactory fashion. 
He divided all England into bishoprics, and set up several different 
bishops in each of the three great kingdoms. He forced every 
bishop in England to pay obedience to the archbishop of Canter- 
bury, who in those days was the only archbishop in the land. He 
set up schools for the training of the clergy, and took care that 
each bishop should have a number of priests and monks to work 
xmder him. It has sometimes been said that Theodore divided 
England into parishes, each under its priest ; but this was done 
very gradually, and not until long after Theodore's day. Theodore 
also provided that the clergy of the English Church should meet 
from time to time in national councUs. This was very important, 
since it brought Englishmen, subject to different kings, into close 
contact with each other. Thus Theodore united England under a 
single Church long before she had become united into a single 
kingdom. He could not have done his work so effectively but for 
the power of the Northumbrian kings, whose overlordship was a 
real step towards political unity. 

19. From Theodore's time onward, the English Church pros- 
pered greatly. It soon became unnecessary for England to get its 
The glories ^i^^iops from abroad, and Theodore's successors were 
of the Old nearly aU EngHshmen. During the eighth century 
^"sHsh the Church of England became a pattern to all the 

West. It sent out missionaries who made Germany a 
Christian land, the chief of these being Boniface, the first archbishop 
of Mainz, who did for the German Church what Theodore did for the 
Church of England. Famous monasteries and schools arose in Eng- 
land, and especially in Northumbria, which were flUed with learned 


and pious men. In one monastery at "WMtby, ruled by a royal 
abbess named Hilda, dwelt Caedmon, a poor lay brother, whose 
rare gift for song made him the greatest of the old English poets. 
In another, Jarrow-on-the-Tyne, lived the monk Bede, the first 
English historian, whose Ecclesiastical History of the English People 
tells us nearly aU that we know of our history up to his own life- 
time. Auother distinguished EngKshman of those days was Egbert, 
bishop of York, who won back for his Church the position of an 
archbishopric, which it had held under Paulinus, though for many 
centuries the archbishops of York were bound to profess obedience 
to the archbishops of Canterbury. Under Egbert the schools of 
York became very famous, and one of their disciples, Alcuin, was 
so well known for his learning that he was called from York 
to Graul to be the head of the school which Charles the Great, 
the famous king of the Franks, set up in his palace. Thus 
England, which previously had been barbarous and ignorant, 
became, after its conversion, a centre of light and learning to all 
western Europe. 

20. The eighth century was the great age of the Northiunbrian 
Church, but the Northumbrian political supremacy had utterly 
passed away. Oswiu was the last Northumbrian king 
to be caUed Bretwalda, though his son Ecgfrith (671- g^f -685* 
686) was not much less powerful than his father. In and the fall 
685, however, Ecgfrith tried to conquer the Plots, but of Northum- 
was defeated, and met his death at the battle of supremacy. 
Nectansmere. None of his successors were strong 
enough even to rule his own kingdom. 




Oswald. Oswiu. 



21. Mercia soon stepped into the place of supremacy left vacant 
by the fall of Northumbrian greatness. Ever since the victories 
of Penda she had been a great state, 'though over- The Mercian 
shadowed by the superior power of the Northumbrians, overlord- 
For the greater part of the eighth century Mercia ^'"P' 
was by far the strongest of all the English kingdoms. During most 


of tliis period she was ruled by two great kings, each of whom 
Under reigned for an exceptionally long period. The first of 

Ethelbald, these, Ethelbald (716-757), became so powerful that 
716-757. j^g ^^ j^p^ content to be called king of the Mercians, 
but styled himself "king of all the South EngKsh." Under his 

Sketch Map showing position of Nectansmere. 

successor, OfEa the Mighty (757-796), the Mercian supremacy 
attained its culminating point. Offa drove the 
75'?-796*' Northumbrians out of the lands that now form 
southern Lancashire, and incorporated them with his 
kingdom. He conquered from the West Saxons all their territories 
north of the Thames, which henceforward remained the boundary 
of the two states. He made Shrewsbury an English town, driving 
the Welsh from the middle Severn valley, and digging, it is said, 
a deep ditch and mound, called Offds Dyke, between the mouth of 
the Dee and the mouth of the Wye, to separate Mercia and Wales. 
He slew the king of the East Angles, and annexed Kent. He 
appointed two sons-in-law as dependent kings over Wessex and 
If orthumbria. In every way he exercised more authority over the 
rest of England than any king before his days. He was one 
of the few Old English kings powerful enough to have much 




influence beyond sea. The great Frankish king, Charles the 
Great, was his friend, and often corresponded with him. Though 
a fierce warrior, like all the great Mercians, OfEa was a good friend 
of the Church, and built the abbey of St. Alban's in honour of 

Emery ^ydltte^ &>:.. 

the first British martyr. OfBa thought it unworthy of the great- 
ness of Mercia that it should be subject to an archbishop who 
lived outside Mercia. He therefore persuaded the pope to make 
Lichfield, the chief Mercian see, an archbishopric. If this plan 
had succeeded, each of the three chief states of England would have 


had an archbishop of its own, for Northmnbria had its primate 
at York, and Canterbury, cut off from ruling the Midlands, would 
soon have become the archbishopric of the West Saxons only. 
The result of this would have been to destroy the unity of the 
English Church as established by Theodore. Luckily Offa's plan 
did not last long, for only one archbishop ever sat at Lichfield. 

22. Offa's successor, Cenulf (796-821), was less powerful than 
he, and was so much afraid of the persistent hostility of Canterbury 
that he gave up the plan of making Lichfield an arch- 
793-821 bishopric. When Cenulf died, Meroia fell into anarchy, 

and the fall just as Northumbria had done after the death of 
orMercia. Ecgfrith. Supremacy depended mainly on the character 
of the king, and no kingdom had the good luck to have an 
uninterrupted succession of kings strong enough to rule their 
naighbours. But each fresh overlordship was a fresh step towards 
the unity of England, and Offa had done much towards it by 
breaking down the power of the lesser kingdoms. The smaller 
" heptarchic " states had by this time ceased to have amy real 
independence. Only the three great states counted any longer. 
Of these Northumbria and Mercia had exhausted themselves, so 
that soon after CenuK's death supremacy once moi'e passed south- 
wards, when the supremacy of Wessex succeeded upon that of the 
midland and the northern kingdoms. 



Chief Dates : 

802. Accession of Egbert. 

825. Battle of EllaDdune. 

858. Death of Ethelwulf. 

871. Alfred's year of battles. 

878. Treaty of Chippenham. 

886. Alfred and Guthrnm's Peace. 

899. Death of Alfred. 

911. Normandj'' established. 

1. DiTBixG the Northumbrian overlordship Wessex was steadily 
making its way westwards at the expense of the "West Welsh, and 
eastwards at the cost of the little Saxon and Jutish 
kingdoms of the south-east. Its progress was stayed ^^ '''^^ °*^ 
for a, time when its neighbour, Mercia, replaced 
Northumbria as the supreme state among the English. During 
this period Wessex was forced to surrender to Mercia the West 
Saxon lands north of the Thames and its supremacy over Kent 
and the little kingdoms of the south-east. On the west, however, 
Wessex did not cease its gradual conquests over the West Welsh. 
It was during the eighth century that Wessex added to its posses- 
sions all that is now Somersetshire and the south-east pai'ts of 
Devonshire, including Exeter and Crediton. 

2! The worst blow to West Saxon, power was when Offa set 
up his son-in-law as its king, and drove beyond the seas the .Sithel- 
ing (prince) Egbert, who was forced to live many xhe reign 
years as an exile at the court of Charles the Great, of Egbert, 
the king of the Franks. When Egbert was still with 802-839. 
Charles, the great Erankish king was crowned Roman emperor at 
Home on Christmas Day, 800, by the pope. Two years later, after 
his rival's death, Egbert was called home to be made king of the 
West Saxons (802). A skUful statesman and a bold warrior, he 
employed the first years of his reign in waging war against the 



West Welsh, whose power he broke for ever, conquering' all 
Devonshire up to the Tamar, and forcing the still unsubdued 
Comishmen to pay him tribute. After Cenulf's death in 821, 
Mercia fell into such confusion that Egbert was tempted to attack 

it. In 825 he defeated the Mercians at a great battle 
of the'wfs\ ^^ Ellandune (Ellingdon near Swindon), in Wiltshire. 
Saxon supre- The Mercian supremacy collapsed in that single day, 
maey, 825. ^^^ henceforth Egbert was overlord, or Bretwalda, 
over all the English and most of the Welsh. Kent, Sussex, 
Essex were reconquered by Wessex; East Anglia, in its hatred 
of Mercia, wiUingly yielded to West Saxon supremacy ; the Nor- 
thumbrians submitted as soon* as a West Saxon army approached 
their southern frontier; and the Welsh of North Wales were 
forced to make humble submission. Thus began that West Saxon 
overlordship out of which ultimately grew the tmited English 

3. Despite all his triumphs, Egbert did not die in peace. 
Though no foes ventured to stand up against him in Britain, new 
„ . , enemies came from beyond the sea, whose ravages 

of the soon threatened to undermine the West Saxon power. 

Danish in- After some centuries of rest, fresh swarms of Teutonic 

barbarians began to seek for spoil in the lands which 
had once acknowledged Rome as their master. These were the 
fierce pirates known in England as Danes, in Germany as East- 
men, and Gaul as the Northmen. They came from Scandinavia, 
both from Norway and from Denmark. These regions were at 
this period much in the same condition as North Germany had 
been four centuries before, when it sent the Angles and Saxons to 
the shores of Britain. The country was too poor and remote to 
satisfy the wants of its inhabitants, who gradually got into the 
habit of seeking plunder and adventure at the expense of more fertile 
and sunny districts. The road by land southwards to the continent 
was blocked by the armies of Charles the Great, so the Norsemen 
took to the sea, and sought out the coasts of Britain and Ireland 
as places where booty might be won at no great risk to themselves. 
Greedy, ferocious, but terribly efficient, they could generally break 
down the resistance offered to them. They were still heathens, 
and took special delight in plundering Christian churches and 
monasteries. Before Offa's death they had begun to devastate 
Northumbria. In the latter years of Egbert they ventured to 
attack Wessex itself. The Cornish Welsh were so afraid of Egbert 
that they gladly made common cause with the new-comers. 


Egbert's last victory was gained at Hengston Down, in East Corn- 
wall, over a joint force of Danes and Cornislinien. 

4. Two years afterwards, in 839, the great king died, leaving to 
Ids pious and gentle son, Ethelwulf (839-858), the task of dealing 
with these terrible foes. Ethelwulf was a weU-mean- yjjg reign of 
ing king, but he was not strong enough to uphold Ethelwulf, 
West Saxon supremacy against such formidable rivals. ^^^'^S^- 
He gained some victories over them, but the pirates soon found that 
they had only to persevere in their incursions to obtain what they 
sought. At first they had come in summer-time as plunderers, and 
were content to sail home in aulTimn, with their ships laden with 
booty, that they might revel in their own homes all through the dark 
and long northern winter. Before long they began to winter in 
England, and thereby found that the land was a pleasanter place to 
live in than their own country. Thus, like the English before 
them, they ceased to be mere plunderers, and began to wish to 
make settlements. 

5. Great chang-es in Scandinavia soon increased the desire of the 
Danes to win new homes outside their mother-oouutry. Up to this 
time Danes and Norsemen had been split up into a ^j^g Norse 
large number of little states, ruled by petty chieftains, migpations 
called mrfe. But now some of the chieftains proved °'^ ^^ ninth 
themselves stronger than their rivals, fought against 

them, and conquered them after the same fashion in which some 
of the English kingdoms were constantly bringing their weaker 
neighbours into subjection. Before long there was a single king 
governing all Norway, another all Denmark, and another aU 
Sweden. The most famous of these was Harold Fairhair 
(860-872), the first king of all Norway. So sternly did Harold 
rule over the cpnquered tribes that the freedom-loving Norse- 
men bitterly resented his supremacy. As they were unable to 
overthrow him in his own land, many of them abandoned their 
native valleys, and sought out new abodes for themselves in the 
lands which they had already got to know during their plundering 
expeditions. Thus the latter part of the ninth century saw a 
great Norse inigration, which profoundly affected the whole of 
western Europe. The first places chosen for these new settlements 
were the islands that were nearest to the coasts of Norway. After 
this fashion Iceland, hitherto almost uninhabited, became a Norse 
island, and ultimately the special home of the bravest, strongest, 
and most typical of the Scandinavian race. Some of the Norsemen 
made their way beyond Iceland, settled in Greenland, and sent 




out explorers, who discovered, six centuries before Columljus, tlie 

continent of North 
America. The dis- 
tricts at which they 
touched, which were 
afterwards called New 
England, they called 
VMand, the land of 
the vine. 

6. More important 
for us than the move- 
ment westward was 
the migi-ation south- 
ward, which now 
made the 'Faroe 
Islands, OrTcney and 
Shetland the homes 
of Norse settlers. Be- 
fore long the hardy 
seamen made their 
way to the coasts of 
Britain. They estab- 
lished themselves on 
the mainland of the 
extreme north, driv- 
ing out the Celts from 
the northern parts of 
the modern Scotland, 
and estabKshing the 
Norse tongue and the 
Norse people in. Caith- 
ness and Sutherland. 
This latter district, 
the south land, marked 
the southern limit of 
their settlements on 
the mainland. But 
along' the western sea- 
board of Scotland the 
Norsemen penetrated 
very much further. 
They settled in the 


Hebrides, and pushed their way from island to ishind until they 
had conquered the Isle of Man. Ireland, which had learnt nothing- 
from the Romans save the Christian faith, and had „^ „ 

, »~— - ^Jjg NOFS6 

stood outside the rang-e of the English conquest, was settlements 
now at last brought into the general current of great '" Celtic 
European movements by the establishment of Norse ^° ^' 
settlements upon its coasts. However, in Ireland, as in the 
Hebrides and southern islands, the invaders did not utterly dis- 
place the former inhabitants as the English had done in south- 
eastern Britain, and the Norse in Orkney, Shetland, and Caithness. 
Side by side with the new Danish states, the old Celtic tribal 
states still lived on ; and perpetual wars were waged for many 
centuries between the new-comers and the older inhabitants. 

7. At last South Britain itself was exposed to the Norse 
migration. The dependent kingdoms of the north-east of England 
were not strong enough to resist it, and before long 

East Anglia, southern Northumbria, and the northern settlements 

parts of Mercia were conquered by the Danes. Nor in England 

were the British islands alone exposed to Danish settle- and the 

ment. Other swarms of Norsemen sought out new 

abodes on the Continent. A Swedish chief, named Rurik, conquered 
the Slavs on the east of the Baltic, and laid the foundations of the 
modern Russia. In the next generation they set up a Scandi- 
navian state upon the north coast of Gaul, which took the name of 
Normandy, or land of the Northmen. 

8. Wessex was the last English state to feel the impact of the 
victorious Scandinavians. Yet even in Ethelwulf 's lifetime Danish 
armies had taken up their winter quarters within his 
dominions, as, for example, in 855, when the Northmen o„^;i^essex. 
settled for the cold season in Sheppey, an island ofi 

the coast of Kent, which had now virtually become a part of the 
West Saxon realm. During the short reigns of Ethelwulf's sons 
the full force of the Norse migration threatened Wessex with the 
fate of East Anglia and Mercia. 

9. Ethelwulf died in 858, and was succeeded by Ms four sons in 
succession. After the Frankish fashion, he divided his dominions, 
making his eldest son, Ethelbald, king of the West j^e sons of 
Saxons, while Ethelbert, the second, became under- Ethelwulf, 
king of Kent. But after a short reign of two years ^°°'^^^- 
Ethelbald died, whereupon Ethelbert became king of Wessex from 
860 to 866. He was in turn succeeded by Ethelred, king of Wessex 
from 866 to 871. On Ethelred's death, Alfred obtained possession 


of tte throne, and ruled until 899. During the first three of these 
reigns the Danes perpetually troubled Wessex ; but it was not 
untU the last year of Ethelred's reign that they began the 
systematic conquest of that kingdom. Ethebed, a, strenuous and 
mighty warrior, withstood the invaders with rare spirit and with 
partial success, and was ably supported by his younger brother, 
Alfred's t^^e ^theling Alfred. In one memorable year, 871, the 

year of West Saxons fought nine pitched battles against the 

battles, 871. jjangs. The most famous of these was the battle of 
Ashdown on the Berkshire downs, where the invaders were so 
rudely repulsed that they withdrew for a time to their camp at 
Reading. Within a fortnight, however, they resumed the attack, 
and, after another fierce fight, Ethelred died, worn out with the 
strain and exposure involved in the resistance to them. Alfred, his 
feUow-worker, then a young man of twenty-three, at once assumed 
the monarchy of the West Saxons. He assailed the Danes so 
fiercely that they were glad to make peace and withdraw over the 
Thames. Eor the next few years they left Wessex to itself. 
During tliis period they completed the conquest of Mercia by 
dividing its lands amongst their leaders. When this process was 
once accomplished, Wessex was once more to feel the weight of 
their power. 

10. In January, 878, the Danes again invaded Wessex. They 
were led by a famous chieftain, Guthrum, and fought under a 
Alfred saves hanner bearing the sign of a raven. It was unusual 
Wessex, in those days to fight in winter, and Alfred was un- 
*^^" prepared for their sudden onslaught. He was driven 

from Chippenham, where he was residing, and forced to withdraw, 
while the enemy overran his kingdom. But even in this crisis he 
kept up his courage. With a little band he made his way by wood 
and swamp to Athelney, an island amidst the marches of Mid 
Somerset, at the confluence of the Tone and Parret. There he 
btiilt a fort, from which he kept fighting against the foe. Before 
long he was able to abandon his refuge and gather an army roimd 
him. In May he defeated Guthrum in a pitched battle at Edington 
in Wiltshire. The Danes fied in confusion to Chippenham, where 
they had entrenched a camp, and were pursued and besieged by 
Alfred. After a fortnight's siege, Guthrum was willing to make 
peace with his enemy. The Danes " swore mighty oaths that they 
would quit Alfred's realm, and that their king should receive 
baptism." Alfred stood godfather to Guthrum, and entertained 
him at Wedmore, in Somerset, for twelve days. For this reason 


the treaty between Alfred and the Banes is often called the treaty 
of Wedmore. By it the Danes not only agreed to withdraw from 
Wessex; they left southern and western Meroia in the hands of 
AKred, and contented themselves with the northern and eastern 
districts of Meroia, where they had already made an efEeotive 
settlement. But they kept their hold over Essex and London, and 
besides this, were rulers over eastern Meroia, East AngUa, and 
Northiunbria. Thus Alfred saved Wessex from the Danes, and in 
saving his own kingdom, he preserved all England from becoming 
a merely Danish land. 

11. For a season there was peace between Alfred and the 
Danes. Seven years later more fighting broke out, and Alfred once 
more proved victorious. In 886 Gruthrum was once Alfred and 
more forced to make a disadvantageous peace, by Guthpum's 
which he yielded up London and its neighbourhood to ^^ace, 886. 
the "West Saxons. By the second treaty, called Alfred, and 
Guthrum's Peace, the boundary between Alfred's kingdom and the 
lands of the Danes was fixed as follows : It went up the Thames as 
far as the river Lea, then up the Lea to its source, and thence to 
Bedford, from which town it continued up the Ouse to WatUng 
Street. Beyond that it is not known for certain where the dividing- 
line ran, but it is often thought that it followed the old Soman 
road as far as Chester, which thus became the northern outpost of 
Alfred's kingdom. Thus West Saxon Mercia formed a great 
triangle, whose base was the Thames, whose other sides were the 
Watling Street and the Welsh frontier, and whose apex was the old 
Koman city of Chester. Within these limits Alfred ruled as he 
pleased. But the tradition of independence was still strong in 
Mercia, and Alfred thought it wise to set up a separate government 
for that part of the midland kingdom which now belonged to him. 
He made Ethelred, a Mercian nobleman, alderman of the Mercians, 
and ensured his fidelity by marrying him to his own daughter, 
Ethelflaed. Before long the many princes of Wales submitted to 
his overlordship, and promised to be as obedient to him as were 
Ethelred and his Mercians. Alfred thus ensured West Saxon 
supremacy over all southern Britain that was not governed by the 

12. North of the boundary line the Danes still remained 
masters. They ruled the country after the Danish fashion, divided 
the lands among themselves, and forced the English The Dane- 
to work for them. The Danish districts were called law. 

the Danelmo, because they were governed according to the law of 




the Danes. But tlie Banelaw did not long keep itself distinct from 
tke rest of England. The Danish conquerors were few in nmnher, 


after Alfred & Guthrum's Peace 

Danish and Norse ^^ 

Celtic ^M 

irvMii-M^i^^X^cA The Fiue Danish Boroughs...* 



Emery WaiSer ec, 

and not very different, either in language or in manners, from the 


English, among' whom they lived. They soon followed Guthrum's 
example, and became Christians. When they had renounced their 
old heathen gods, the chief thing that separated them from the 
English disappeared. G-raduaUy they abandoned their own tongue 
and used the language of the English, which was not very unlike 
their own speech. The result was that English and Danes in the 
Danelaw were joined together in a single people, difiering only 
from their West Saxon neighbours in the south because they still 
retained something of the fierceness and energy of the Danish 
pirates from whom some of them were descended. Eor many 
generations the mixed Danes and English of the north and mid- 
lands remained more warlike and vigorous than the sluggish West 
Saxons of purer English descent. Finally, however, it only 
became possible to distinguish the Danelaw from the rest of the 
country by the oeourrenoe of certain Scandinavian forms in place- 
names such as "by," "ness," "force," "thwaite," and the like. 
Wherever such forms cluster thickly, as in Yorkshire and the 
northern midlands, there we know that the Danes had at one time 
settled most numerously. 

13. Though the men of the Danelaw were better fighters, the 
greater civilization of the West Saxons still enabled them to 
exercise influence over the ruder north country. More- 
over, while Wessex remained under Alfred and his restoration 
successors a single state ruled by a strong king, the of West 
Danelaw was broken up into many petty states, each supremacy, 
governed by its own jarl, or alderman. This division 
of the Danish power made it easy for AMred to restore his overlord- 
ship over northern and eastern England, so that before he died he 
held q^uite as strong a position as ever Egbert had done. Thus the 
West Saxon supremacy, threatened with destruction by the Danish 
invasion, was restored on a broader basis after a very few years. 
The Danes had destroyed the old local lines of kings, whom Mercians 
and East Anglians had so long obeyed. This made it easier for the 
West Saxon kings to exercise authority over the north and east 
than had been the case in earlier times. Alfred had, in. fact, done 
more than revive the overlordship of Egbert. He laid the founda- 
tions of that single monarchy of all England which was soon to 
become a reality under his son and grandson. " He was," says 
the English Chronicle, " king over the whole kin of the English, 
except that part which was under the sway of the Danes." But 
he stiU generally called himself " king of the West Saxons," like 
his predecessors. His self-restraint was wise, for the old English 


local feeling still remained very strong, and tlie new blood in the 
Danelaw did something to strengthen it. 

14. Alfred took care to prevent the renewal of Danish invasions 
by devising improved ways of marshalling the "fyrd," or local 
Alfred's militia, in which every free man was bound in those 
military days to serve. This force he divided into two parts, 
reforms. « g^ ^^^^ always half were at home and half were on 
service." He also increased the number of fortresses in England. 
Moreover, he saw that the best way of keeping the Norsemen out 
of his kingdom was by building ships and trying to defeat the 
enemy at sea, so as to prevent them landing at all. He caused a new 
type of ships to be made, which were bigger and stronger than the 
fraU craft of the Danes. Yet aU his pains could not prevent his 
kingdom being assailed once more by a chieftain named Haesten, 

who, being driven from the continent in 892, tried to 
His wars ' o ^ 

■with efEect a regular conc[uest of Wessex. After a good 

Haesten, fleal of bloodshed, Haesten withdrew baffled. After 

his failure little is heard of fresh Danish invasions for 
the best part of a century. There was plenty of fighting, between 
English and Danes, but the Danes against whom Englishmen had 
to contend were the Danes settled in England. The great period 
of Danish settlement was at last over, not only in Britain, but also 
Beginnings '^^ ^^ continent. There, in 911, the Norsemen, 
of Nor- under the leadership of a sea-king named Eolf , made 

mandy, 911. ^jjeji- last and most famous conquest in the lower part 
of western France, on both sides of the lower Seine. From them 
the land took its name of " Normandy," or " land of the Northmen,'' 
and its people were called Normans, a softened form of Northmen. 
But just as the Norsemen in England quickly become English, so 
did their kinsfolk in France quickly become French. We shall 
see later how important these Normans became in English history. 

15. In resisting the Danes, Alfred won great fame as a warrior.- 
But there were many soldiers in that age of hard fighting who 
Alfred's approached Alfred in military reputation. It is his 
peaceful peculiar glory that he was as strenuous and successful 
reforms. :^ ^j^g ^^^ ^^ peace as in the arts of war. He stands 
far above the mere soldier-king by his zeal to promote good laws, 
sound administration, and the prosperity and civilization of his 
people. He found England in a terrible state of desolation after 
the Danish invasions. He laboured with great zeal and no small 
measure of success to bring back to the land the blessings of peace 
an^ prosperity. He collected the old laws by which the West 


Saxons had long been ruled, and put them together in a convenient 
form, long famous as the laws of Alfred. He encouraged trade, 
repeopled London, which the Danes had left desolate, and was 
a, special friend to merchants and seafarers. He encouraged sailors 
to explore distant seas and teU him the results of their inq^uiries. 
He corresponded with the pope and many foreign kings, and sent 
gifts to foreign Churches, including the distant Christian Church 
of India. Yet his own country was always foremost in his mind. 
In England he restored the churches and monasteries that had 
been destroyed by the Danes, and strove to fill them with well- 
educated priests and monks. In his early years he had been 
appalled at the ignorance of his clergy. " There was not one priest 
south of the Thames," said he, " who could understand the Latin 
of the mass-book, and very few in. the rest of England." To spread 
knowledge among those who did not understand Latin, he caused 
Several books of importance to be translated, among them being 
Bede's Ecclesiastical Sistory and a treatise by Pope Gregory the 
Grreat on Pastoral Care. Moreover, he ordered the compilation of 
an English Chronicle, in which was set down aU that was then 
known of the history of the English people, and which, continued 
in various monasteries up to the twelfth century, became from that 
time onward the chief source of our knowledge of Old English 
history, and the most remarkable of the early histories which any 
European people possesses written iu its own language. He set up 
schools in the royal court, after the example of Charles the Great. 
As he found few West Saxons able to co-operate with him in these 
learned labours, he welcomed to his coast scholars from foreign 
lands, from Meroia, from Wales, and from the continent. The 
most famous of these was a Welshman named Asser, who became 
bishop of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, and afterwards wrote Alfred's 
life. Alfred's work was the more remarkable since he was 
constantly troubled by a painful Ulness, and never succeeded in 
winning many eifioient fellow- workers among his sluggish fellow- 
countrymen. Even more wonderful than what he did was the 
spirit in which he worked. His character is among the noblest 
and purest in aU history. He was truth-telling, temperate, 
virtuous, high-minded, pious, liberal, and discreet, the 
friend of the poor, and so eager to uphold justice that Arfped,°899. 
he often administered the law himself, and always 
kept a watchful eye on the decisions of his judges. He died in 
899, amidst the lamentations of his subjects, and has ever since 
been known as King Alfred the Great. 



ARCHY (899-978) 

Chief Dates : 

899-924. Reign of Edward the Elder. 

924-940. ReigQ of Athelstan. 

940-946. ReigQ of Edmund the Magnificent, 

946-955. Reign of Edred. 

955-959- Reign of Edwy. 

QS9-97S- Reign of Edgar. 

975-978. Reign of Edward the Martyr. 

1. AxrRED was suooeeded by liis eldest son, Edward, called 
Edward the Elder, who had already been associated in the govern- 
Edwapd the ™ent during his father's lifetime. Though carefuUy 
Eldep, educated, Edward showed no trace of his father's love 

899-924. £qj, ^Jj^q ^j^g q£ peace. He was, however, as strenuous 
a warrior as ever Alfred had been. He worthily carried on the 
great king's work of bringing together England into a sing-le 
state. In this he was much helped by his brother-in-law, Ethelred 
of Mercia, and, after his death, by his sister Ethelflaed, whom he 
continued in the government of Mercia with the title of the Lady 
of the Mercians. Edward and his sister waged constant war 
against the Danes. They strengthened their frontier both against 
the Danes and the Welsh by building or restoring " boroughs," or 
fortified towns, from which they mig-ht attack the enemy in his own 
lands. A further step soon followed when the West Saxons and 
Mercians overstepped the line drawn by Alfred, and gTaduaUy 
conq[uered the Danelaw after much hard fighting. The most 
famous of these contests centred round the district dependent on 
the Five Banish Boroughs of Derby, Stamford, Nottingham, 
Leicester, and Lincoln. At the moment of their final contest 
Ethelflaed died. She had shown as much warlike skill as her 
brother, and had loyally worked with him. Edward felt so much 
stronger than Alfred that he appointed no successor to his sister, 


but took over the government both of Danish and of English Mercia 
into his own hands. He next assailed East Anglia, and easily- 
subdued it. Then came the turn of Northumbria, in which Deira, 
or Yorkshire, was ruled by a Danish jarl, while Bernioia, which 
had escaped Norse oonq^uest, was governed by an independent 
English alderman. Edward prepared for his northern advance by 
building a fresh line of fortresses from Chester eastwards along 
the line of the Mersey. In 923 he made his first conquest of 
Northumbrian territory by taking possession ' of "Manchester in 

2. By this time the rulers of Britain perceived that there was no 
use in fighting against the great "West Saxon king. Immediately on 
the conquest of Mercia the kings of the "Welsh and all ^^ ^ 
their people sought Edward as their lord. At their firJt Mn'g ^ 
head was Howel the Good, the famous law-giver, and of the 

the most distinguished of the "Welsh princes for many '^"^"^''' ^^4. 
generations. " And in 924," says the Chronicle, " then chose him 
for father and lord the king of the Scots and the whole nation of 
the Scots, and all those who dwell in Northumbria, whether 
English or Danes, and also the king of the Strathclyde "Welsh and 
all the Strathclyde "Welsh." This was the culminating act of 
Edward's reign. He died before the end of 924, when still a young 
man. Conscious of his increasing power, he was not content to 
call himself king of the "West Saxons as AKred had done. He 
preferred to describe himself as king of the English, or king of 
the Anglo-Saxons — that is, of the two races of Angles and Saxons 
which we collectively call the English. From his day onward the 
monarchy of England, though often threatened, became a perma- 
nent thing. Thus the "West Saxon overlordship grew into the 
kingdom over aU the English. 

3. Three sons of Edward the Elder now ruled successively over 
the English. Of these, Athelstan, the eldest, was as vigorous a 
warrior as his father. He put an end to the dynasty of 

Danish princes that had hitherto reigned in Deira, and 924^949 "' 
added that district to the dominions directly governed 
by him. He ruled, we are told, over all the kings that were in 
Britain. So firmly did his power seem established that foreign 
princes sought his alliance, and the greatest rulers of the age were 
glad to marry themselves or their kinsfolk to Athelstan's sisters. 
The empire of Charles the G-reat had now broken up, and separate 
kingdoms had arisen for the East and the "West Franks, out of 
which the later kingdoms of Germany and France were soon to 


arise. Henry the Fowler, king of the Bast Pranks, or Germans, 
married his son Otto to Athelstan's sister Edith. This was the 
Otto who afterwards became the Emperor Otto the Great, the 
reviyer of the Roman Empire and the founder of the great German 
monarchy, which annexed, so to say, the title of Roman emperors 
for itself. Other sistei-s of Athelstan were married to Charles the 
Simple, king of the West Pranks, or French, and to Hugh, duke 
of the French, whose son, called Hugh Capet, finally put an end to 
the rule of the Carolings, or descendants of Charles the Great, 
and begun the Capetian dynasty which ruled over France as long 
as France retained the govemm.ent of kings. The result of all 
these alliances was that no Old English king was so well known on 
the continent as Athelstan. 

4. In 937 jealousy of their West Saxon overlord drew the 
dependent rulers of Britain into a strong coalition against him. 
The battle '^^® leaders of this were Constantine, king of Scots, 
of Brunan- the Danish kings of Dublin, and some of the Welsh 
Duph. princes. But Athelstan met the confederate army and 
crushed it at Brunanburh, a place probably situated in the north-west 
of England, though its exact site is unknown. This fight is com- 
memorated in a magnificent war-song given in the English Chronicle. 
It ensured peace for the rest of Athelstan's lifetime. Three years 
later he died, in 940. Men called him Glorious Athelstan. He 
made many good laws, and was a great friend of the Church. 

5. Athelstan's younger bi'other, Edmund, who had shared in 
the glory of Brunanburh, then became king. He was soon con- 
Edmund the fronted by revolts of the Danes of northern Mercia 
Magnificent, and Deira. But he easily reconquered both the Five 

Danish Boroughs and Danish Yorkshire. He then 
took Cumberland from its Welsh princes and gave it to Malcolm, 
king of Scots, "on the condition that he should be his feUow- 
worker as weU by sea as by land." For these exploits he was 
called the Magnificent, or the Deed-Doer. His career was cut 
short in 946 through his murder by an outlaw. 

6. Edmund left two sons, named Edwy and Edgar, but they 
were young cliildi-en, and no one thought of making either of them 

king. The nobles turned rather to their uncle Edred, 
946^955. *^^ youngest of Edward the Elder's sons, who was at 

once chosen king. Unlike his two brothers, Edred 
was weak in health and unable to play the warrior's part. But he 
was prudent enough to put the management of his affairs into the 
hands of the wisest man in all England. This was Dunstan, abbot 


of Grlastonbnry, who was already famous for having' reformed the 
lax state of the monks under his charge, and who now showed that 
he was a shrewd statesman as well as a zealous ecclesiastic. Under 
his guidance the West Saxon monarchy continued in its career 
of victory under its sickly king, though, as a rule, in those days 
a weak ruler meant an xmlucky reign. Once more Northumbria 
was oonc[uered from the Danes in 954, and with this event the 
unity of England seemed accomplished. Proud of Ms great power 
Edred was no longer content to call himself king of the English. 
He sometimes styled himself emperor, hing, and Csesar of Britain, 
as if to the English monarchy he had added the dominion over all 
the island. These titles must not be taken too seriously, yet they 
show that the aim now before the West Saxon house was nothing 
less than supremacy over all the Bi-itish isles. Thus under Edred 
the work began by Alfred was completed. It was rendered the 
easier by the fact that Danes and English of the Danelaw had by 
this time become blended into a single people. Dunstan was wise 
enough to allow the men of the north country to retain their own 
laws and be ruled by their own earls. It was the best way to make 
them obedient to their West Saxon king. But the gi-eat difierence 
of temper between north and south still remained, and there soon 
arose an opportunity for it to assert itself. 

7. Edred died in 955, and his nephew Edwy, though hardly yet 
a man, was chosen king as the oldest member of the royal house 
available. Under him troubles soon began. The young 

king quarrelled with Dunstan, and drove him iato 95^959 
banishment. The abbot was popular among the 
Northumbrians and Mercians, though he had many enemies among 
the West Saxon nobles who swayed the mind of the young king. 
It is very likely that after Dunstan's exile the rule of Edwy over 
the Northumbrians and Mercians became more severe than the 
mild government of Edred. Anyhow, Mercia and Northumbria 
rose in revolt, and declared that they would no longer have Edwy 
to reign over them. They then chose as their king the .^theHng 
Edgar, Bdwy's younger brother. England was now so far united 
that even those who wished to divide it could only iind a king in 
the sacred royal house of Wessex: 

8. Edgar easily became king of the north and midlands. He 
at once recalled Dunstan from exUe, and made him Edgar the 
bishop, first of Worcester, and afterwards of London Peaceful, 
as weU. For the rest of his life Edwy reigned 859-975. 
over Wessex alone. His early death in 959 resulted, however, in 


tke reunion of England. Thereupon the West Saxons cliose Edgar 
as tlieir king. From that day till his death Edgar ruled over aU 
England, and, alone of the great West Saxon kings, ruled without 
the need of fighting for his throne. For that reason men called him 
Edgar the Peaceful. Again, as under Edred, Dunstan became the 
king's chief adviser. He was made archbishop of Canterbury, and 
the crown became powerful and the country prosperous under his 
strong but conciliatory government. A great proof of Dunstan's 
willingness to make sacrifices to keep the peace was to be seen in 
the dealings between England and Scotland. In the weak days 
of division the Scots had taken possession of the border fortress 
of Edinburgh, hitherto the northernmost Northumbrian town. 
To avoid war and obtain the goodwill of the Scots, Edgar yielded 
up to their king the Northumbrian district called Lothian. Up 
to now the Scots had been Highland Celts, but since Edmund's 
cession of Cumbria the Scottish kings had had Welsh subjects. 
Now they had English subjects also. And before long the English 
element grew, until the modern Scottish Lowlands became EngHsh- 
speaking and very like England, and only the Highlands retained 
the Celtic tongue and manners of the old Scots. 

9. The kings and chieftains of Britain gladly acknowledged the 
overlordship of a monarch so just and strong as Edgar. It is said 
Edgar as ^^^* "'^ °^^ occasion he went to Chester, where he met 
emperor of six under-kings, who all took oaths to be faithful to 

n. j^jj^ . ^^^ ^^^ ^jj^g gj^ kings rowed their overlord in a 

boat up the Dee to the Church of St. John's, outside the walls. The 
six were the king of Scots, liis vassal the king of Cumberland, the 
Danish king of Man, and three Welsh kings. Even the Danish 
kings who ruled over the coast towns of Ireland submitted them- 
selves to his dominion. It was no wonder that Edgar, like Edwy, 
took upon himself high-sounding titles. He called himself emperor, 
Augustus, and Basileus of Britain. Under him the process that 
begins with Alfred attains its culminating point. Edgar was the 
most mighty of English kings before the Norman conquest. 

10. At home Edgar ruled sternly, but so justly, that the only 
fault that his subjects could find with him was that he loved 
Dunstan foreigners too much.- The chief event of this time was 
and the a religious revival, which Dunstan did much to foster. 
revival"""^ Despite AKred's strenuous efforts at reform, the Church 

remained corrupt and sluggish. In particular, the 
monasteries were in a very lax state. Dunstan was first famous 
as the reformer of his own abbey of Glastonbury. He became 


more eager for reform after ]iis exile. When abroad lie had seen 
the good results whioh had happened from a monastic revival that 
had already been brought about on the continent. Brought back 
to power, he strove with all his mig-ht to revive in England the 
spirit of the austere Benedictine rule which derived its name from 
St. Benedict of Nursia, the father of all later monasticism, who 
lived in the sixth century, and whose sygtem St. Augustine had 
first introduced into this country. Dunstan was anxious to make 
the easy-going monks of England live the same strict life of 
poverty, chastity, and obedience which St. Benedict had enjoined, 
and wliioh he had seen in operation during his banishment. More- 
over, he felt sure that the career of the monk was higher and nobler 
than that of the secular clerk, who held property, married, and 
generally lived a self-indulgent and easy-going life. By this time 
many of the monasteries of earlier days had been changed into 
what were called churches of secular canons — ^that is to say, they 
were served by clergymen who did not take the monastic vows, 
but lived in the world side by side with laymen. Dunstan was 
disgusted at the lax ways of the secular canons, and did his best 
to drive them out of their churches, and put Benedictine monks in 
their place. But the canons were often men of high birth, and 
had powerfvil friends among the nobles, who disliked Dunstan's 
poUcy even in matters of state. Hence the attempt to supersede 
canons by monks met with much opposition, and Dunstan, who 
was a very prudent man, took care not to go too far in upholding 
the monks. Yet he managed to establish monks in his own 
cathedral of Christ Church, Canterbury, which henceforth remained 
a Benedictine monastery until the E,eformation. Some of his 
fellow-workers were less cautious than Dunstan, and the struggle 
of monk and canon led to almost as much fighting as the contest 
between the West Saxons and the Mercians. As long as Edgar 
lived, however, Dunstan managed to keep the two parties from 
open hostilities. 

11. Edgar died in 975, and with him ended the greatness of the 
West Saxon house. He left two sons by difEerent mothers. Their 
names were Edward and EtheLtred. North and south, Edward the 
friends of monks and friends of canons, (juarreUed as to Martyp, 
which of the two boys should become king. For the 975-978. 
moment the influence of Dunstan secured the throne for Edward, 
the elder son. For four years the great archbishop went on ruling 
the kingdom as in the days of Edgar. But his task was much 
harder now that he was virtually single-handed. In 978 the young 


king- was stabbed in the back, it was believed, at the instigation of 
his step-mother, who wished her own son, Ethelred, to mount the 
throne. This cruel death gave Edward the name of Edward the 
Martyr. His half-brother, Ethelred ii., succeeded to the throne 
prepared for him by his mother's crime. 

12. Dunstan's last important public act was to crown the new 
monarch. Soon afterwards the great archbishop withdrew from 
political affairs, and devoted what life was stiU. left to 
DUnstam °^ ^^^ *° '^'^ government of the Church and the carrying 
on of tlie monastic revival. He lived long enough to 
see the peace, which Edgar and he had upheld, utterly banished 
from the land, and to witness the ruin of the religious reforma- 
tion amidst the tumults of a dreary period of civil strife and 
renewed invasion. He was the first great English statesman 
who was not a king and a warrior. In after days monks, who 
wrote his life, gloriflied him as the friend of monks with such exces- 
sive zeal that the wise statesman, who did so much to bring about 
the unity of England, was hidden underneath the monastic zealot 
and the strenuous saint. Yet, both as a prelate and as a politician, 
Dunstan did a great work for his country. In him the impulse to 
union and civilization, whichbeg-an with Alfred, attained its highest 
point. He closes the great century which begins with the treaty of 
Cliippenham, and ends with the murder of Edward the Martyr. 



Chief Dates: 

978-1016. Eeign of Ethelred the Unready. 

1002. Massacre of St. Brice's Day. 

1013. Swegen's conquest of England. 

1016. Eivalry of Edmund Ironside and Cnut. 

1017-1035. Eeign of Cnut. 

103S-1037. Eegency of Harold Harefoot. 

I037-1040. Eeign of Harold Harefout. 

1040-1042. Eeign of Harthacnut. 

1. The long reign of Etkelred 11. (978-1016) was a period of 
ever-deepening confusion. At first the king was a boy, and the 
nobles managed things as they wished. But after Ethelred the 
Ethelred became a man things grew steadily worse. Unready, 
The son of Edgar had none of the great qualities of 978-1016. 
his race. Quarrelsome, jealous, and suspicious, he was always 
irritating his nobles by trying to win greater power for himself. 
Yet he was too weak and foolish to know what to do with the 
authority which he inherited. In scorn men called him Ethelred 
the Unready — ^that is, the Redeless, the man without rede, or good 
counsel. Under his nerveless sway the unity of the kingdom began 
to break up. Local jealousies and pei'sonal feuds set the great men 
by the ears, and the guiding hand of a wise monarch was no longer 
to be expected. 

2. To make matters worse the Danish invasions soon began 
again. Wow that the Danes in England had become Englishmen, 
their kinsfolk beyond sea, learning the helplessness of Renewal of 
the land, again began to send plundering expeditions the Danish 
to its shores. Ethelred was too cowardly and lazy to iivasions. 
meet the pirate hordes with an adequate force of armed men. He 
persuaded his nobles to impose a tax on land, whereby a large sum 
of money was collected to buy them off. The Danes took the bribe 
and departed, but naturally they came again and wanted more. 



Before long Danegeld, so this tax was called, was regularly levied, 
but every year the horrors of Danish invasion became 
worse and worse. As another means of conciliating the 

Danes, Etlielred married Emma of Normandy, the daughter of the 

duke of the Normaoas, who was himself a Norseman by descent, 

and the ally of the Danish kings. 

3. In the same year as his marriage, Etlielred, with equal folly 
and treachery, ordered all the Danes that happened to be living in 
England to be put to death. The day chosen for this evil deed 
Massacre of '^^^ ®*- Brice's Day, November 13, 1002. Tidings of 
St. Brice's the massacre only served to infuriate the Danes in 
Day, 1002. Denmark ; and Swegen, their king, resolved to revenge 
his slaughtered countrymen by undertaking a regular conquest of 
Ethelred's kingdom. The state of the Scandinavian north was 
different from what it had been in the days of Alfred. There was 
now a strong king ruling aU Denmark, and another ruling all 
Norway. In earlier days the Danes came in comparatively small 
and detached bands, whose greatest hope was to conquer and colonize 
some one district of England. It was now possible for the king 
of all Denmark to invade England with an army big enough 
to tax all the resoui-ces of the ooxmtry. In 1003 Swegen carried 
out his threat. He came to England with a large fleet and 
army, and set to work to conquer it. Ethelred made few 

attempts to organize resistance to him, and, though 
Invaffons some districts fought bravely and checked the Danish 

advance, there was no central force drawn from the 
whole country capable of withstanding the foe. For the next ten 
years England suffered unspeakable misery. One famous incident 
of the struggle was the cruel death of the archbishop of Canter- 
bury, .ffilfheah, or Alphege, whom the Danes, after a drunken 
revel, pelted to death with bones because he would not con- 
sent to impoverish the poor husbandmen who farmed his lands 
by raising from them the heavy ransom demanded by the in- 
vaders. Alphege was declared a saint, and Ms memory long held 
in honour. 

4. At last Englishmen began to see it was no use resisting 
Swegen, or in upholding so wretched a king as Ethelred. In 1013 
The rule of ^^^^ Danish king again appeared in England, and easily 
Swegen, conquered the greater part of the country. There- 
1013-1014. ^ppj^ Ethelred fled to Normandy, the country of his 
wife. His withdrawal left Swegen the real ruler of England. Had 
he been a Christian, the English might well have chosen him as 


their king. As it was, some districts still resisted when Swegen 

died in 1014 

6. The Danish soldiers chose Swegen's son Cnut as their king. 

Cnut was as good a soldier as his father. Moreover, he was a 

Christian and a wise and prudent man. But the ^^, , .. 
Tn T 1 _L'n i J n .1 . 1 -. 1 . 1 ,. Etnelreas 

English still regretted their old king, and some of return, 

them fooUshly asked Ethelred to come back from Nor- l"!*- »•"<* 

mandy and take up his kingship again. Ethelred re- ' 

turned, and war went on between him and Cnut until 1016, when 

Ethelred died. 

6. Ethelred's successor was a man of very different stamp. 
Edmund, his son before his marriage with Emma, was a strenuous 
warrior, so valiant and persistent that men called him -,. _iyj,]_„ 
Edmund Ironside. In him Cnut found a worthy foe, of Edmund 
and a mighty struggle ensued between the two rivals, Ironside and 
which made the year 1016 as memorable in military ' 
history as the " year of battles " in the midst of which Alfred 
mounted the throne. Six pitched battles were fought, the most 
famous of which was one at Assandun (now Ashington), in Essex, 
in which Cnut won the day. In the long run neither side obtained 
a complete triumph over the other, and before the end of the year 
the two kings met at Olney, an island in the Severn, near 
G-loucester, where they agreed to divide England between them. 
By the treaty of Obiey, Cnut took Northumbria and Mercia, and 
Edmund, Wessex. A little later Edmund diedj and in 1017 the 
nobles of Wessex, weary of fighting, chose Cnut as their ruler. 

7. Cnut thus became king, first of part and then of the whole 
of England, very much as Edgar had done. Though his real 
claim to the throne was not the choice of the people, 

but his right as a conquerer, he soon proved himself < 017-1035 
an excellent king. Under him the prosperity of 
Edgar's days was renewed. He sent home most of his Danish 
troops, chose English advisers, and married Emma, Ethelred's 
widow, so as to connect himself as closely as possible with the 
West Saxon royal house. He promised Danes and English in 
England to rule according to King Edgar's law. But Cnut was 
king of Denmark as well as of England, and a few years later 
became king of Norway also. Visions of a great northern empire 
rivalling the realm of the German emperors, who stUL called them- 
selves emperors of Eome, may well have floated before his mind. 
But he was wise enough to make England, not Denmark, the centre 
of his power. Kough as England then was, Scandinavia was still 


ruder. It was still largely heathen ; and the only way in which the 
power of Cnut could be kept together there was for him to use 
English bishops and monks to help him in civilizing and teaching 
the faith to his born subjects in the north. But though English- 
men thus foimd new careers in the service of their conqueror, the 
cares of his great empire compelled Cnut to absent himself from 
England for long periods. Besides necessary journeys to his 
northern kingdoms, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, whence he 
wrote a touching letter to his subjects, declaring that he had 
" vowed to live a right life in aU things, to rule justly and piously, 
and to administer just judgment to all." He steadily lived up to 
the high ideal thus set out before him, and in every way proved 
himself to be one of the best of our kings. He was enabled to 
rule his realm strongly, as he kept up a sort of standing army in a 
force of two or three thousand House carles, or palace guards, whom 
he paid well and kept under discipline. It was dangerous to rebel 
against a monarch with such a force always ready at his disposal. 

8. Early in his reign Cnut divided England into four parts. 
One of these, Wessex, he kept for himself, but the other 

three, Mercia, Northumberland, and East Anglia, he 
earldoms handed over to be governed by great earls, or, as they 

had been called in earlier days, aldermen. Before his 
death he seem.s also to have assigned Wessex to an earl. For this 
important post he chose a wealthy, eloquent, and shrewd English- 
man named Godwin, whom he married to a lady of the Danish 
royal stock, and to whom he showed many other signs of favour. 
As long as Cnut lived these great earls remained faithful to him, 
but their establishment was a dangerous experiment. They wei-e 
necessarily entrusted with a great deal of power. When they had be- 
come well established in their jurisdictions they made themselves the 
centres of the old local traditions that still remained strong, despite 
a century and a half of centralization. Things grew worse when 
son succeeded father in the earldoms as in the ancient sub-king- 
doms that had preceded them. Finally, the great earldoms revived 
in fact, if not in name, the separatist feelings of Mercia, North- 
umbria, and Wessex. The next half -century showed the realm of 
Edgar gradually splitting up into its ancient threefold division. 

9. Cnut died in 1035. He left two sons, Harold, the firstborn, 
and Hartliaenut, liis son by Emma of Normandy. A meeting of 
the wise men took place at Oxford to decide how the succession 
was to be settled. Party feeling ran high, and Leofric, earl of 
Mercia, stood in fierce antagonism to Godwin, earl of Wessex. 


Grodwin and the "West Saxons wished to make Harthacnut king, 
but he was away in Denmark, and this fact played into the hands 
of Leofric, who was supported by north and midlands „ , ^ „ 
in his efforts to uphold the cause of Harold. Finally, foot and 
as a compromise, it was agreed to make Harold regent of Harthacnut, 
all England, on behalf of himself and his absent brother. 
This suggests that a division of the kingdom was contemplated, 
but for more than a year England had no king at all. However, 
Harthacnut abode obstinately in Denmark, and neither Godwin 
nor Emma could long maintain the rights of an absentee claimant. 
In 1037 Harold was definitely chosen king. He drove Emma out 
of the country, and reigned untU his death in 1040. Harthacnut 
was then at Bruges, in Flanders, where his mother lived, and was 
waiting with an army in the hope of invading England. He was at 
once sent for, and elected king of aU England. He showed great 
sternness to his enemies, casting his dead brother's body into a 
sewer, and levying heavy taxes on those who had resisted his 
authority. He was much under Emma his mother's influence, and 
to please her called home from Normandy her son by King Ethelred, 
whose name was Edward. However, Harthacnut proved a bad 
ruler, and, says the Chronicle, "' did nothing like a king during his 
whole reign." In 1042 he died suddenly at the wedding-feast of 
one of his nobles. With him expired ignominiously the Danish 
line of kings which had begun so weU with his father. The 
influence of Emma and G-odwin secured the succession for his 
half-brother Edward, and Englishmen rejoiced that the son of 
Ethelred had obtained his true natural right to the throne of his 


Cnut, m. (2) Emma of Normandy. 

I (2) 

Haroi-d Hakefoot. Harth.^cnut. 


AND HAROLD (1042-1066) 

Chief Dates : 

1042. Accession of Edward the Confessor. 

1052. Godwin's return from exile, and death. 

1064. Harold's Welsh war. 

1066. Jan. 5, Death of Edward the Confessor. Jan. 6,, Accession of 

Harold, son of Godwin. Sept. 25, Battle of Stamford Bridge. 

Oct. 14, Battle of Hastings. Dec. 25, Coronation of William 

the Conqueror. 

1. Edwakd, the new king, was nearly forty years old when he was 
called to the throne of his ancestors. Driven from England as a 
rh raeter mere child, he had been brought up ia his mother's 
and pule of land of Normandy, and was Norman rather than 
Edward the English in speech, manners, and tastes. A pious, 
affectionate, gentle, weU-eduoated man, his outlook on 
life was that of the cultivated Norman cleric rather than that 
of the hard-flghting English warrior-king. His austerity and 
religious zeal gave him such a reputation for sanctity that he was 
canonized after his death, and became famous among royal saints as 
Edward the Confessor. But he was of weak health, feeble character, 
and somewhat ohUdish disposition. He was too old and sluggish 
to learn anything fresh, and too wanting in self-confidence to be 
able to live without favourites and dependants. Under such a 
weakling the government of the country passed largely into the 
hands of the great earls, such as Siward of Northumbria, Leofrio 
of Mercia, and, above all, Godwin of Wessex. It was Godwin who 
had secured Edward his throne, and for long the king leant upon 
his strong and resolute counsel. Godwin's chief helpers were his 
vigorous young sons, chief among whom were Harold and Tostig, 
who held dependent earldoms under their father. Godwin's 
daughter Edith became King Edward's wife, and for a time all 
seemed to go weU. But Edward had little sympathy with his wife's 
strenuous kinsfolk, and gradually gave his chief confidence to 



Korman clerks, soldiers, and adventurers, wlio crossed over to 
England, hoping to win a career in a country wiose monarch was 
so devoted to Normans and Norman ways. Thus it happened 
that England, which had withstood successfully all foreign influence 
when ruled by her Danish sovereigns, was threatened with some- 
thing like foreign domination as the result of the restoration of the 
old line of kings. 

2. The Normans had many great qualities that explain Edward's 
devotion to the land of his mother's kinsfolk. Though little more 
than a hundred years had passed since E.0K and his Normandy 
followers had established themselves in their new and the " 
homes in northern France, the Norman duchy had Normans, 
already won a notable place for itseM in western Europe. The same 
ready sympathy for the people among whom their lot was cast, 
which had rapidly made Englishmen of the Northmen of the 
Danelaw, had made Frenchmen of the Northmen on the banks 
of the Seine. They had dropped their old tongue and spoke French. 
They had adopted French customs and manners. But like the 
Anglo-Danes of England, the Normans retained much of the 
energy and fierceness of their pirate ancestors. They were more 
active, enterprising, and vigorous than most Frenchmen. They 
took up with every new movement, were great champions of the 
growing authority of the Church, and were learning the newest 
fashions of fighting, ruling, and holding land. Their duke, though 
a subject of the French king, was quite as powerful as his master, 
and was generally strong enough to restrain his turbulent, unruly 
subjects. The duke of the Normans at that time was Edward's 
cousin William. William had come to the throne as a child with 
a disputed title. But he had from earliest manhood shown so 
much activity and skill that he had put down the revolts of his 
fierce nobles, and made himself almost a despot. The gentle 
English king always looked up greatly to his stem cousin, and 
gladly took his advice. 

3. From the beginning of the reign many Normans were raised 
by royal favour to eminent positions in Church and State in Eng- 
land. They were not always the best of their class, for 

Edward had very Uttle discrimination ia his friend- ^n !„ "f™^"^ 
ships. One Norman friend of Edward's was a bishop, 
" who,'' said the English chronicler, " did nought bishop-like ; " 
and a Norman raised by Edward to an English earldom became 
infamous in his new home as the " timid earl." Highest in rank 
among Edward's Norman favourites was Eobert, abbot of Jumieges, 


who, to the disgust of Englishmen, was made archbishop of Canter- 
bury. After ten years the Normans had won so many places and 
estates that a loud outcry was raised against them. Godwin and 
his sons, who gradually lost all influence over the king, made them- 
selves the spokesmen of the national hatred of the foreigners. In 
1051 they gathered together an army and prepared to drive the 
Normans from court. But the old jealousy of Wessex and 
its earl was stUl strong in the north and midlands. Siward of 
Northumbria and Leofric of Mercia took sides with Edward and 
his Normans against the house of Godwin. Godwin could not at 
And the '^'^ moment resist such odds. His army melted away ; 

exile of he and his sons were banished, and his daughter was 

1 0M '"' ^^'ok by her husband into a nunnery. Soon after, as 

if to complete the Norman triumph, William, duke 
of Normandy, came to England with a great company of French- 
men, and was royally received by his cousin. Edward, who had 
no children and no near relations, seems to have promised William 
to make him his successor to the throne. Thus the permanence of 
Norman influence seemed assured. 

4 Godwin and Harold did not remain long in exile. In 1052 
they gathered together a fleet and an army, sailed up the Thames, 
The return ^^^ beset London. Edward and his Normans collected 
and death another army to withstand them ; but the English 
?n?9"^^'"' P*'opl6 were so strongly on Godwin's side that even 

Edward's soldiers were loath to fight for him. They 
said to each other that they ought not to fight against their ow-n 
countrymen, and insisted upon negotiating with the invaders. 
Edward was powerless in their hands, as there were not enough 
Normans to make a good show in a battle. The result was that 
Godwin and Harold were restored to their earldoms, " as fully and 
freely as they had possessed them before." " And then," writes the 
English chronicler, "they outlawed all the Frenchmen who had 
judged unjust judgments and had given ill counsel, save only such 
as they agreed upon whom the king liked to have with him and 
were true to his people." Archbishop Robert and two other 
Norman bishops escaped with difSoulty beyond sea ; and English- 
men were appointed as their successors, the new archbishop's name 
being Stigand. Edith came back from her cloister to her husband's 
court. The threatened tide of Norman invasion was driven back 
for the rest of Edward's lifetime. 

5. Godwin died soon after his restoration, and Harold then 
became earl of the West Saxons. He was a brave warrior and a 


shrewd and self-seeking statesman, strong enongh to dominate the 
will of his weak brother-in-law and control his policy. When 
Earl Siward died Harold made his brother Tostig Harold, earl 
earl of Northumbria in his place, while his younger of the West 
brothers, Grnrth and Leofwine, were made earls of East Faxons. 
Anglia and Kent. Two-thirds of England was now directly ruled 
by the house of Godwin. After this Leofric of Meroia was the only 
great earl who was independent of Harold. He soon died, but his 
son ^Ifgar secured the succession to Mercia, and tried to strengthen 
himself by making an alliance with his "Welsh neighbours. The 
Welsh were excellent soldiers, but as a rule they were too much 
divided under the rule of rival kings, and too jealous of each 
other to be able to make headway against the English. It 
happened, however, at this time that a very powerful Welsh prince, 
Griffith ap Llewelyn — that is, "son of Llewelyn," had defeated 
all his rivals, and had made himself king over all Wales. Griffith 
married Earl .SlMgar's daughter, Ealdgyth, and became Ms close 
friend ; but iElfgar soon died, and the Mercian alliance profited 
him very little. At last, in 1064, Harold led an army into Wales, 
and overran the country. The Welsh suffered so cruelly that 
they abandoned their own king, and made their submission to 
Harold. Soon Griffith was murdered by some of his own subjects, 
and Harold divided Ms dominions among Bleddyn and EMwaUon, 
two representatives of a, rival family. Eor the first time since the 
days of OfEa, the English boundary was pushed westwards at the 
expense of the Welsh as far as the Clwyd, the Radnor moors, and 
the TTsk. Harold MmseM married Griffith's widow, the daughter of 
the Mercian earl. Her brother Edwin, now earl of Mercia, was not 
strong enough to give Harold any trouble. 





King Harold. 

m. Ealdfcyth, 

dau, of .aSlfgar. 





Leofwine. Edith, 

m. Edwakd the 




ni. (1) Griffith ap 
Llewelyn ; (2) Hakold, 
son of Godwin. 


6. Tte only foes Harold now feared were those of his own house- 
hold. His brother Tostig ruled so badly over the Northumbrians 

that they rose in revolt against him, and forced Edward 
Edward the *« banish him. They chose as his successor Morcar, 
Confessor, the brother of Edwin of Mercia. It was the greatest 
1066. yA.'OTf that Harold's power had received, and was the 

more formidable since the king's health was now brealdng up. 
Since the expulsion of the Normans, Edward had withdrawn him- 
self more and more from politics. His chief interest now was in 
building a new monastery dedicated to St. Peter on a marsh hard 
by the river Thames, some distance to the west of London, in a 
region which took from the king's foundation its later name of 
Westmuister. He just lived long enough to witness the com- 
pletion of the magnificent church which Norman craftsmen had 
erected for him in honour of his favourite saint. On Innocents' 
Day, December 28, the abbey church was dedicated, but Edward 
was too iU to be present. He died on January 5, 1066, and the very 
next day was buried behind the high altar of St. Peter's Church. 
Miracles, it was believed, were worked by his remains as attestation 
of his claims to sanctity. 

7. The same day that Edward was buried, Harold was chosen 
king, and crowned in the new abbey. For many years he had been 
The reign king in aU but name, and it seemed the easiest course 
of Harold, to give him the office which his ambition had doubt- 
1066. jggg long coveted. But though the old English throne 
was in a sense elective, the choice of Harold constituted a real 
revolution. Save in the case of the Danish kings, the Witenagemot, 
or Council of the Nobles, had never gone outside the sacred house 
of Cerdic in their choice of the ruler. All that election had really 
meant hitherto was some liberty of deciding which member of the 
royal house should mount the throne, and this freedom of choice 
was limited in substance to preferring a brother of the late king 
who was old enough to govern, to his children who were still under 
age. Even the election of Cnut was no real exception, since it 
was simply the recognition of the power of a foreign conqueror. 
But Harold was in possession of power, and it is hardly likely that 
the Witenagemot had much really to say in the matter. The 
nearest heir to the dead king was his great-nephew, Edgar the 
^theling, a grandson of Edmund Ironside, a mere boy, and very 
little known. Practically the same course was pursued as in France, 
where in 987 Hugh Capet, the greatest of the French nobles, was 
made king in preference to the heir of the house of Charles the 


Great. French history showed that Hugh, though the strongest of 
dukes, was the weakest of kings. It was the same with Harold. 
He had not the mysterious dignity which came from membership 
of the sacred royal house. His brother earls were jealous of him, 

England at the death 
of Edward the Confessor, 

English Miles 

House of Oodivin.. 
Houae of Leofric... 

Other Families 


EmeryWalkcr sc 

and thought themselves as good as he was. Thus the election of 
Harold proved a failure ; and with aU his energy and strenuousness 
he was not able to hold his newly won throne for a year. 

g. William of Normandy had not forgotten the promises made 


him by Edward in 1061. Two or three years before his accession 
Harold had been shipwrecked, in France. The lord of the dis- 
trict where the wreck had taken place threw him 
Nopiimndv's ™^° prison. William procured his release, and enter- 
prepara- tained him with great kindness at his court. However, 
tions for before he allowed Harold to go home, William had 
forced him to take an oath that he would help him to 
become king of England after Edward's death. The Norman duke 
now claimed the crown as King Edward's heir, and denounced 
Harold as a perjurer for breaking his oath. He began at once 
making preparations for invading England, and many adventurers 
from aU parts of Prance joined with his Norman subjects in 
an expedition which held out great prospects of glory, pay, and 
booty. Moreover, the pope gave his support to the expedition. 
Stigand, the archbishop of Canterbury, had taken the place of 
Robert of Jumieges without asking the pope's permission, and had 
offended Rome by other irregularities. All therefore who joined 
William were looked upon as fighting for the cause of the Church. 

9. Before William's expedition was ready another trouble came 
upon England. Tostig, the sometime earl of Northumbria, hear- 
Tostig and ^'^8' °' ^^ brother's elevation to the throne, was 
Harold anxious to win his earldom back by force. With this 
Hardpada. object he made an alliance with the king of the Nor- 
wegians, Harold Hard/rada — ^that is, Hard rede, or Stern in Counsel. 
Hardrada was a true descendant of the Norse pirates, and had had 
adventures and expeditions in many lands. He gladly took up 
Tostig's cause, hoping, perhaps, that i£ successful he might, Kke 
Cnut, rule over England as well as his own land. In September 
the fleet of Harold and Tostig sailed up the Humber. Earl Morcar 
came to defend his earldom, and his brother Edwin joined him 
with the Mercian levies. But they were defeated by the invaders 
at Pxdford, and on September 20 the victors took possession of 

10. When the Norwegians landed, Kong Harold was in the south, 
waiting anxiously lest William shoiild cross the Channel. He at 
Battle of ^^'^^ proceeded northwards, and joined his forces with 
Stamford those of the northern earls. On his arrival Hardrada 
s" t^25 ^^^ Tostig took up a position at Stamford Bridge on 

the Derwent, a few miles east of York. On Sep- 
tember 25 Harold fell stoutly upon them. The English won a com- 
plete victory. Tostig and the Norwegian king were slain, and the 
survivors of the northern host gladly made peace, and returned 


Home. It was the last of the great Norse invasions, and the defeat 
of so famous a hero as Hardrada proved once more the skill of 
Harold as a soldier. 

11. Three days after the battle of Stamford Bridge, William 
of Normandy crossed the Channel. Landing at Pevensey ia 
Sussex, he made Hastings his headquarters, and set np Landing of 
there a wooden castle. On news of his arrival reaching William, 
York, Harold at once hnrried southwards to meet the ^^P*- 28. 
Norman invasion. But Edwin and Morcar did not foUow him, 
though he had saved the latter his earldom. Very few of the heroes 
of Stamford Bridge accompanied Harold against his new enemy ; 
and he paused in London while the levies of the south country 
poured in to reinforce his scanty ranks. Tidings came that the 
Normans were horribly wasting the lands near the coast, and Harold 
resolved to march out of London and give battle to them. He 
led his troops to within seven ntiles of Sastings, when he 
halted, took up a strong position on the hill, on which the town of 
Battle now stands, and passed the night of October 13. The place 
was far removed from human habitations, and had not even a name. 
For that reason the fight which was to be fought next day took its 
name from Hastings, the nearest town. 

12. Early on the morning of October 14 the English saw WiUiam 
and his Normans arrayed on another ridge, some distance to the 
south of the hill on which they were posted. The Battle of 
great battle began soon afterwards. It was a struggle, Hastings, 
not only between two nations, but between two different ^'^^- ^^• 
schools of warfare. After the fashion of both English and Danes, 
Harold's army fought on 'foot. The best soldiers, iaoluding 
Harold's house-carles and parsonal followers, were arrayed on the 
top of the hiU, facing southwards towards the enemy. They were 
armed with helmets and long coats of chain-mail, and their chief 
weapons were axes, broadswords, and heavy javelins, which they 
hurled at the enemy. They stood shoulder to shoulder in close 
array, and protected themselves with their long, kite-shaped shields, 
which interlocked with each other so as to form a shield-wall, 
which it was difficult for the enemy to break through. On the two 
wings of the main array, where the precipitous nature of the 
ground made a frontal attack very difficult, were stationed the 
swarms of iQ-oovered but zealous countryfolk, who had flocked to 
the king's standards to defend their country against the foreigner. 
Harold ordered his troops to maintain their close order, and on 
no account to break their ranks by pursuing the enemy. 


13. The Normans prepared to fight after the newer fashion 
which had recently grown up in France. The infantry, mostly 
The early archers, were sent on in advance to wear down the 
stages of enemy by volleys of arrows. But their shafts had 
the flght. ^^^ ij^ig glfgg^_ ^^^ ^jjg siiield-waU stiU remained 

unbroken on the crest of the hiU. Then came the turn of the 
cavalry, in whom William placed his chief confidence. The best 
soldiers of the Norman host fought on horseback, wearing helmets 
and armour very similar in pattern to that of the English, and pro- 
tecting themselves by great shields, also of the same type as those 
of their foes. Their chief weapon was a long lance, but they also 
used swords at close quarters. In the centre of the Norman line 
was Duke WiUiam with his brothers, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, a 
hard-fighting prelate, and Robert, count of Mortain. Around him 
were his Normans, and against them the shield-waU of Harold. 
The right and left wings of WUliam's army were held by his French 
and Breton mercenaries ; these were opposed to the lightly armed 
levies on the wings of the English host. 

14 Time after time the Norman army charged on horseback up 
the slopes of the hUl. Each time they failed to break through the 
. impenetrable shield-wall, and retired discomfited to 

of William their original position. But William was a shrewder 
and the commander than the English king. His troops were 

Harold" better equipped, and more easily moved ; they could 

shift their position and method of attack at wiU; 
while all that the English could do was to stand firm in their ranks 
and await each fresh assault. Finding Harold's centre quite im- 
penetrable, William threw his main energy into assailing the lightly 
armed troops of the wings. His archers discharged repeated flights 
of arrows, which spread havoc among the unarmoured English 
peasantry ; and in order to lure them to break through their close 
formation, the Norman cavalry were ordered by their duke to pre- 
tend to run away. The English believed that they had gained the 
victory. Rashly breaking their ranks, they rushed down the slopes 
of the hill in pursuit. Then the Normans turned, and it was soon 
foujid that in open fighting the bravest of foot soldiers were no 
match agaiast the mail- clad horsemen. The Normans thus gained 
access to the crest of the hiU, and furiously attacked the tried troops 
on Harold's centre, who alone still maintained a semblance of 
order. The Norman archers now shot their arrows high into the 
air, so that they might fall on the English from above. Ono 
shaft struck Harold in the eye, and ho fell, bravely fighting to the 


last, close by his own standard. Witli him died his brothers Gnrth 
and Leofwine, and the bravest of his followers. The day was now 
won, and at nightfall the Normans pitched their tents upon the 
blood-stained field. In pious memory of his victory "William erected 
an abbey for monks on the site of the English lines, and called it 
the Ahhey of the Battle, a name which also attached itself to the 
little town that grew up round its walls. The high altar of the 

a. site of Abbey Church, the X marUs 

the position of High Altar/Harald's Standard.) 

EmcryWallEer sc. 


abbey church marked the spot on the crest of the ridge where 
Harold's banner had once stood. 

15. In the weeks succeeding the battle WiUiam busied himself 
with securing the strong places in the south-eastern coiinties. 
Edwin and Morcar at last appeared in London with 
their troops. The Witenagemot met and chose Edgar to London 
the ^theling as king of the English. Thereupon and eorona- 
the two earls went home with their men, leaving ^inj'^w, . 
London and the south to depend upon their own 
resources. WiUiam then advanced almost to the gates of London, 
but made no efEort to attack it. He next marched up the Thames 



valley as far as Wallmgfford, crossed the river, and approached 
London from the north, so as to cnt off all hope of succour in case 
the two earls once more changed their minds, and reassembled their 
levies. The best soldiers of Wessex and the south lay dead at 
Hastings, and there was no hope of opposing the conq[ueror without 
the help of the north and midlands. In these oiroumstances the 
West Saxon nobles thought further resistance useless. With Edgar 
at their head, they sought out William and accepted him, like another 
Cnut, as their king. On Christmas Day, December 25, WiUiam was 
crowned king in Westminster Abbey, which thus within a year 
of its completion saw two coronations and one royal burial. The 
first stage of the Norman conq[uest of England was completed when 
the duke of the Normans became the king of the English. 



Egbert, 802-839. 

Ethelwulf, 839-858. 



866-871. ■ 


Edwakd the Elder, 








Edith, m. 

Otto the Saxon, 

afterwards the 


Otto I. 

dau. m. 
Charles the 


kinft of the 



dau. m. 


of the 

Edward the Martyk, 

Edmund Irohside, 



Ethelred the Unready, 

978-1016, m. (2) Emma 

of Normandy. 

! L2) 


Edgar the 

Edward the Confessor, 

1042-1066, m. Edith, 

dau. of Godwin. 


St. Margaret, 

m. Malcolm Canmore, 

king of Soots. 

Matilda, m. Henrt I., 1100-1135. 

(See table on page 157.) 



1. BEroKE the Normaa ooactuest England stood qrnte isolated 
from the rest of the world. Not only was there little intercourse 
between our island and lands beyond sea; there 
were few dealings between different districts in Eng- Agpieultupe 
land, and each single gronp of villagers lived a life of tenure 
its own, self-sufficing and self-contained, and cut off before the 
from intercourse with any but its nearest neigh- gon^ggf 
hours. The English were a nation of farmers and 
herdsmen, tilling their iields and watching their cattle after the 
fashion of their forefathers, and dwe llin g either in scattered 
homesteads or in little villages, whose houses were placed to- 
gether for mutual protection, and surrounded by a quickset 
hedge. Land held by individuals was called folMand, when 
the title to its possession depended upon witness of the people 
and common fame. It was called hooTcland when the owner's 
claim to it was based upon a written document, a book or 
charter. Most free Englishmen held land of their own. But 
when harvest was over all the villagers had the right to feed their 
flock upon their neighbours' fields as weU as their own ; and there 
were wide commons and wastes which belonged to the community 
as a whole. The chief products of the soil were corn and grass, and 
custom prescribed a regular rotation of crops, which no husband- 
man dreamt of departing from. The land was ploughed by rude 
heavy ploughs drawn by teams of oxen, and every year a half or a 
third of the arable soil lay fallow. The richest and most thickly 
inhabited part of the country was the south-east, where the open 
downs afforded rich pasture for sheep, and the forests provided 
plentiful store of acorns and beechmast to fatten swine. But the 
whole land was scantily peopled, and England contained less than 
two million inhabitants. The rude system of agriculture with the 
wasteful fallows yielded a scanty return to the farmer's labour. 



Moreover, oommunioations were so difficult that a bad harvest in 
a district meant famine to its inhabitants, even if there were 
plenty a few shires off. Each farmer grew enough to support his 
own household, and was independent of fairs and markets, except 
for a few luxuries. 

2. The nobles possessed great influence, and held great tracts of 
land scattered over the country, which were cultivated by their serfs 
Thegns ^^^ dependants. The most important of the nobles 
ceorls, and were called the king's thegns, or servants. The service 
theows. q£ ^j^g crown was thought in itself to ennoble ; the king's 
thegns received grants of land from their master, and were bound to 
fight his battles for him. They attended his councils, helped him in 
the government, and often became so powerful that they were a source 
of trouble and danger to him. In later Anglo-Saxon times the 
nobles became increasingly important. In many cases the smaller 
freemen, or ceorls, found it hard to make their Hving, and had 
a difficulty in resisting the greediness of the great landlords, who 
wished to make them their dependants. Many surrendered their 
estates to a neighbouring noble, and took them back to be held of 
him in return for protection. This was particularly the case in 
Wessex and the south. In Northumbria and the Danelaw there 
was still a large class of small free landkolders up to the days of 
the Norman conquest. But even there the great nobles had the 
preponderating influence. Men who did not possess land were com- 
pelled to choose a lord to be answerable for them in the law courts. 
The lowest class of the community were bond-slaves, called theows. 
These were bought and sold in the markets like cattle. Poor men 
sometimes sold themselves in order to avoid starvation, and others 
became slaves of those to whom they owed money. There was a 
brisk slave trade, especially from Ireland, and slaves were perhaps 
the most important article of merchandise. 

3. There was little trade and towns were few. The English were 
not strenuous enough to make great gains by commerce, and the 

self-sufficing life of each family made it unnecessary 
to go often to market. The result of this was that 
most of the towns were more important as fortresses than as 
commercial centres. Surrounded by a ditch and earth- works, and 
fenced about with timber stockades, they were more defensible 
than the houses of the nobles scattered over the country, or than 
the ordinary village packed thickly together behind its quickset 
hedge. Stone walls were almost unknown even for towns, and 
stone houses were also very rare. Most of the people dwelling 


within the towns' earthen ramparts were farmers living on the 
land, who huddled together for protection from Danes, robbers, 
and turbulent nobles. Some of the greater towns were on Roman 
sites, like London, Chester, York, or Iiincoln. Others became 
important as chief residences of kings, such as Tamworth, the royal 
city of the Mercians, Canterbury, the home of the kings of Kent, 
and Winchester, the favourite abode of the West Saxon royal house. 
Others grew up round famous churches and monasteries, such as 
Peterborough or Lichfield. But it was characteristic of the old 
English dislike of town life that most of the bishops lived not in 
the chief towns, but in country places that owed their whole im- 
portance to their being the bishop's residence. In Trance and 
Italy every important town had its bishop as a matter of course. 
Some towns united these various elements, as, for example, York, 
a Roman city, a strong fortress; tie sometime residence of Nor- 
thumbrian kings, and the seat of the northern archbishopric. 
London was by far the most important commercial town. It had 
been so in Roman days, and was so again by the time that the 
English became Christians. Desolated by the Danes, Alfred again 
filled it with inhabitants. Edward the Confessor preferred it to 
Winchester, and the royal palace that grew up hard by the great 
abbey of Westminster made it in Norman times the seat of 
government as well as a great commercial centre.- When London 
submitted to WiUiam the Norman, the whole country accepted him. 
as its king. 

4. Even the houses of the wealthy were made of wood, and so 
roughly put together that hangings of tapestry were necessary to 
keep out draughts. Glazed windows were almost 
unknown, and when the openings in the walls were 
closed with wooden shutters the interiors must have been dark 
and depressing. The chief feature of a nobleman's house was 
the great hall, where the lord and his dependants lived and 
feasted, and where the majority of the inmates slept on the ground. 
There were no chimneys. A big fire blazed in the middle 
of the floor, and the smoke found its way out through a hole 
in the roof. Yet there was plenty of good cheer, 
hard drinking, and coarse revelry, aU of which men ^°°nk*""* 
loved even more than fighting. The nobles amused 
themselves with hunting and hawking ; and when indoors listened 
to songs and stories, watched jugglers and tumblers, guessed 
riddles, and played chess. The chief luxuries were foreign silk, 
Unen cloth, quaint jewellery, and jugs and vessels made of silver 


and glass. These latter were so curiously fasMoned that they 
would not stand upright, so that the reveller had to empty his 
cup before he could set it down. The chief sweetmeat was 
honey, for sugar and spices were rare, and costly foreign luxuries. 
The women were engaged in spioniug, weaving, and embroidery. 
Most clothing was made of wooUen cloth, which the women spun 
and wove from the fleeces of their own sheep. The people 
drank mead, made from fermented honey, and sweet thick beer, 
brewed from malt without hops. In the south some wine was 
made, and the rich used also wine imported from France. Food 
consisted chiefly of barley bread, oat cakes, and the flesh of oxen 
and swine. At the approach of winter most of the live-stock was 
killed, and the people lived on salt flesh until the spring allowed the 
grass to grow, and fattened the half- starved flocks and herds that 
had escaped the autumn slaughtering. 

5. There were so few large rooms that meetings and councils 
commonly took place in the open air. Even the churches were 

small rude structures of wood. Stone churches were 
f ''pl''*^°' the exception, though some of them have come down 

to our own days. They were described as being built 
"after the Roman fashion." They were small in size, roughly 
finished, with round arches and narrow, round, or triangular- 
shaped windows. Some of the towers were elaborately ornamented 
with patterns marked out in stone. They were often used as 
fortresses and meeting-places as well as for worship. It was quite 
a revolution in English building when Edward the Confessor's 
Norman craftsmen erected Westminster Abbey on a scale almost 
as large as the present church, though much less lofty. 

6. The laws of the old English were short and simple. Few 
new laws were passed, and kings like Alfred, who were famous as 

legislators, did little more than collect in a convenient 
form the traditional customs of the race. The greater 
part of the Anglo-Saxon codes is taken up with the elaborate 
enumeration of the money penalties which could atone for almost 
every offence. Even murder could be bought off by a payment 
in money. The price paid for a man's life was called his wergild. 
It varied according to the rank of the person slain. At one end of 
the scale was the wergild of the king and archbishop, and at the 
other that of the common freemen. The sum thus paid went to the 
kinsfolk of the murdered person. Very often, however, the kins- 
men took the law into their own hands, and executed summary 
vengeance upon the manslayer. 


7. The land was divided into shires, hundreds, aad town- 
ships. The orig'in of the shires difEei-ed in various parts of the 
country. Some of them represent the lesser king- 
doms which were gradually absorbed in larger ones as s r s. 
English unity grew. Kent, Sussex, Essex, Middlesex, and Surrey 
have stiU. the boundaries of the little kingdoms from which they 
took their names. Torkshire is a somewhat smaller Deira, with 
a new name taken from its chief town. Northumberland is 
what is left of Bernioia, after Lothian had been given to the 
Scots, and other districts put under the government of the 
bishop of Durham. East Anglia is represented by the two 
shires of Norfolk and Suffolk, names which indicate the division 
of the East Angles into a northern and a southern people. 
The West Saxon shires are different in origin. That kingdom 
became so large that some sort of subdivision of it was found 
necessary. By the ninth centiiry most of the West Saxon shires 
had come into existence. They are sometimes said to represent the 
lands held by different tribes of the West Saxons. It is more 
likely that they owe their existence to divisions of the kingdom 
between different members of the royal family, who held sub- 
kingdoms xmder a chief king. Beyond Wessex, Cornwall represents 
the old kingdom of the West Welsh, which was absorbed in Wessex 
by the tenth century. The midland or Mercian shires are later in 
origin, and were artificial in character. Each of them (except 
Rutland) takes its name from the county town, and in nearly 
every case that town is, or was, the real centre of the life of the 
district. They were probably created at the time of the conquest 
of Mercia and the Danelaw by Alfred and his successors. Some 
of the east midland shires may be Danish in origin. 

8. The shire was divided into smaller districts, called Ivumd/reds, 
except in the Danelaw, where they are generally called Wapentakes. 
They vary very much in size in various parts of the Hundreds 
country ; those in the south being, as a rule, smaller and town- 
and therefore more numerous than those of the north. ®" P^" 
Each hundred in its turn consisted of a number of townships, or 

9. Both shires and hundreds each had a moot, or court, of their 
own. Both shire moot and hwndred moot were attended by four 
men and the reeve, or chief officer of every town- 
ship within it. Besides these, the thegns, landholders, 
and other persons of importance had the right to be present. 
Lawsuits were dealt with first by the hundred, and afterwards 


by tL.6 shire. The method of trial was very rigid and formal. 
Everything depended on the suitors saying the right word or 
doing the right thing at the proper moment. If a man were 
accused of a crime he answered it by producing com/pwrgaton — ^that 
is, persons of good character, who, knowing the person and the 
district, took oath that in their opinion he was guiltless of the 
ofience. Another way of clearing an accused person was by 
the ordeal, or appeal to the judgment of Grod. The suspected 
criminal grasped hot iron or was thrown into water. It was 
believed that if he were innocent a miracle would be wrought ; 
the iron would not burn or the water drown. The whole body of 
suitors and members formed the judges, so that justice must have 
been of a very rough-and-ready sort. Besides these local popular 
courts, kings and great lords also had courts of their own, where 
they exercised jurisdiction over their dependants and servants. 
As time went on many nobles received special grants of jurisdiction 
over their lands, which had the effect of removing their tenants 
from the sphere of the hundred court altogether. But the shire 
court always remained of great importance. It was not only a 
court of justice, it was also the means of governing the country, 
and those attending it took advantage of its periodic meetings to 
transact aU sorts of business with their neighbours. Its activity 
kept vigorous the local life, but also made it more difficult to 
induce the men of various shires to work together for the general 
projB.t of the nation. 

10. The king was the head of the people, and surrounded by 
every form of respect. His chief officers were the alder'men, called, 

from Cnut's time onward, the earls. An earl or 
offl^eps^^ alderman seems to have been set over every shire. 

But it became customary to assign several shires to 
the same alderman, and this habit received a further extension in 
Cnut's great earldoms, which in practice revived the old kingdoms 
under a new name. The earls thus became such dignified persons 
that they could not spend their time going round to the various 
shires and holding shire moots. A new officer, called the shire 
reeve, or sheriff, seems to have been created as the earls withdrew 
from the administration of their shires. By the Norman period the 
working head of the shire was the sheriff and not the earl. But 
the earl continued the natural commander of the fyrd, or military 
levy of the shire. This consisted of all the landowners, who were 
bound to provide themselves with arms and ^erve the king in the 
defence of the country. 


11. The administrative machiaery was very simple. The local 
courts and the great landlords had to see that the law was observed. 
If a landholder broke the law, his land oonld be seized Frithborh 
as a pledge of his making amends. The lords were and 
responsible for landless men and others who had t"''''"^. 
become their subjects. Moreover, the whole nation was divided 
into frithhorhs, or tiihings — ^that is, into groups of ten men, who 
were mutually made responsible for each other's doings, and com- 
pelled to pay the fines of their erring associates. Tet the land 
was full of disorder ; outlaws and robbers lurked in every moor 
and forest, and increasing difficulty was found in making the 
nobles obey the king. 

12. The central power was vested in the king. He had a small 
revenue, and, xintil Cnut's house-carles, no standing force of soldiers 
at his disposal. Yet if he were a strong man he could 
generally enforce his will. If he were weak, every 

great man took the law into his own hands, and the country was 
plunged into confusion. There was no popular council of the 
nation to correspond with the local moots. But a gathering of 
magnates met together at the chief festivals of the (jhurch, and gave 
the king their advice. This body was called the Witenagemot — ■ 
that is to say, the Council of the Wise Men. It in- 
cluded aU the earls, archbishops, bishops, the chief agemot^"' 
abbots, and sometimes "Welsh kings and other subject 
princes. Besides these the Mthelings, or near kinsmen of the king, 
sat in it, as also a number of king's thegns. These latter, who 
were more dependent on the king, were generally numerous 
enough to outvote the official leaders of Church and State. The 
Witenagemot assented to the passing of new laws, ratified royal 
grants of public lands, elected the kings, and discharged the general 
functions of a great council of the nation. We have no evidence, 
however, that it acted as a real check on the monarch. If the ruler 
were strong, he could have his own way; if he were weak, the 
different members each took their own course. The Witan were 
useless in moments of trouble to the kingdom. 

13. The Church held a great position, but after the days of 
Dunstan it was afflicted with the same deadness that had gradually 
seized upon the State. The bishops were very great ,^^ church 
and powerful personages ; but there were so few men 

fit for high rank in the Church that the custom grew up of giving 
more than one bishopric to the same individual. The chief ecclesi- 
astics of the eleventh century were politicians rather than teachers 


of tke people. They advised the king in the Witenagemot, sat 
with earl and sheriff in the shire moot, and took a leading share 
in the government of the oonntry. The monasteries became 
increasiagly stagnant. Great movements profoundly influenced 
the Church on the continent, but the English Church was quite 
indifferent to them. Like the English State, it stood apart from 
the rest of the world. Though the pope was treated with great 
respect, and every archbishop went to Rome to receive from his 
hands the palUtim, a stole that marked the dignity of the arohi- 
episcopal office, there was no country in Europe where the Boman 
Church had less real power, or took less part ia the daily life of the 
local churches. Thus the Anglo-Saxon Chtirch corresponded in its 
sluggishness, as in its independence, to the Anglo-Saxon State. 

14. Language and literature reflect the same characteristics. 
Though Latin was the tongue of the Church and of most learned 
Language books, the old English language had a greater place 
and litera- in letters than had the vernacular speech of the 
*'"''®' continent. We have seen how Alfred busied himself 

with translating books from Latin into English. The English 
Chronicle, which the same great king began, was still kept up in 
various monasteries, and stands quite by itself as a contemporary 
history written in the speech of the country. The noble songs 
it contains, as, for example, that of Brunanburh, show that the 
poetic spirit had not yet left the English people. But the great 
age of Anglo-Saxon poetry was over. Homilies, translations of 
Scriptare, lives of saints, collections of medical prescriptions and 
lists of leading plants, now formed the bulk of the literary output. 
Alfred himself complained that whereas foreigners had of old come 
to Britain to get learning from the English, the English had now 
to get their knowledge abroad, if knowledge they would have at all. 
The language was rapidly changing. Not only did many new words 
come in with the Danes, but the English tongue was throwing off 
its old inflections, and becoming more like modern English. In 
letters, as in so many other ways, Anglo-Saxon England had worn 
itseK out. The new blood brought in by the Danes did not do very 
much to restore it. It needed the stern discipline of the Norman 
conquest to restore the vitality of the sluggish race, and direct 
England into new channels of progress. 

Books Recommended fok the Fukthee Study of Book I 

For Prehistoric Britain, W. Boyd Dawkins' Early Man in Britain and 
B. C. A. Windle'a Ranains of the Prehistoric Age in England. For Celtic 


Britain, J. Rhys' Critic Britain; and, for the Church, H. Zimmer's Celtic 
Church in Britain and Ireland, translated by A. Meyer, and E. J. I^ewell's 
History of the Welsh Church. For Roman Britain, Haverfield's map of Roman 
Britain in Oxford Historical Atlas • Mommsen's Roman History, vol. v.' ch. v., 
translated by Dickson ; and Scarth's Homan Britain. For Early English history 
a brilliant but somewhat imaginative account is contained in J. R. Green's 
MaMng of England and Conquest of England. For institutions, W. Stubbs' 
Constitutional History/ of England, vol. i. chaps, i.-lx. For social and economic 
history, Social England, by various writers, vol. i., especially the illustrated 
edition ; and W. Cunningham's Growth of English History and Commerce 
during the Early and Middle Ages, pp. 1-128. For the whole period, the 
Political History of England, edited by W. Hunt and R. L. Poole, vol, i, 
(to 1066), by T. Hodgkin. 






Chief Dates: 


Accession of William i. 


English revolts. 


Hereward subdued. 


Revolts of Earls Ealph and Roger. 


Battle of Gerberoy. 


Domesday Book. 


Death ofWilliam i. 

1. The coronation of "William was succeeded by a few months of 
peace so profound that it looked as if England had been completely 
gg^ply subdued, and that the king would have no more trouble 

policy of with his new subjects than Cnut had had. William 
William I. gave himself out as the lawful successor of Edward 
the Confessor. Those who had fought for the usurper Harold 
were traitors, and had forfeited their lands for their treason. It 
was natural that WiUiam should hand over their estates to his 
Norman followers. But Englishmen who had not been in arms 
against him were allowed to continue in their possessions, and nearly 
all the old officers in Church and State were kept on. Edwin and 
Morcar stUl governed the midlands and north. The king brought 
in no new laws, upheld the old courts, and pi'omised to rule as 
Edgar and Cnut had governed. 

2. Despite William's fair words and acts, the English soon 
found that he had very different ideas as to how a king should 
The English govern his country from those of any of his pre- 
pevolt of decessors. In particular, he was not likely to follow 
l"^^- the example of Edward the Confessor, and be content 

with a nominal superiority over earls like Edwin and Morcar. 


Bitter experience in. Normandy had taught him to distrust the great 
nobles, and he had also to satisfy the swarm of Norman adven- 
turers who had helped him, and who were by no means content 
with the small reward meted out to them after Hastings. Before 
long nothing but the fierce will of the king kept the English nobles 
from rebeUing, or his Norman followers from robbing the conquered 
people of their lands and offices. In 1067, however, William was 
forced to revisit Normandy. He left the government in the hands 
of his brother. Bishop Odo of Bayeux, and of William Fitzosbern, 
a great Norman noble. These men began to oppress the English 
terribly, and encourage the greedy Normans to seize their lands 
and buUd castles upon them. Only the south had reaUy felt the 
weight of the Norman power. The lands north of the Thames had 
submitted, and had not been conquered. They at once rose in 
revolt against the misdeeds of William's regents. The king came 
back from Normandy and discovered that his conquest of England 
had only been begun at Hastings. For the next five years he was 
busily engaged in putting down rebellions, and subduing England 
piece by piece. It was not till 1071 that the process was completed. 

3. AU through these years the English were constantly in revolt. 
They fought bravely; but their leaders were incompetent, and ' 
were always quarrelling with each other. Moreover, The corn- 
different parts of the country did not work together, pletion of 
One district rebelled and was subdued, and then the conquest 
next region rose in rebellion. It was, therefore, 1067-1071. 
possible for the Normans to put down piecemeal these piece- 
meal rebellions. Had the English shown as much union as their 
enemies, they might well have avenged the death of Harold. As 
it was, whenever the Normans conquered a district, they erected 
in it a castle, whose garrison kept down the English in obedience. 
Even if another revolt broke out, the Normans could take refuge 
behind the walls of the castle until the king was able to come up 
and release them. The English, unaccustomed to fortresses, had 
few means of capturing these new strongholds. Before long the 
whole land was covered with Norman castles. 

4. The extremities of the country, the north and the west, were 
the most difficult to conquer. The men of the south-western shires 
rose in rebellion in 1068, and called in the sons of ^he conquest 
Harold, who had taken refuge in Ireland, to help of the West 
them. But before the end of the year the king cap- ^""^ ^'"'"'• 
tured Exeter, and put down the western revolt for good. William 
had harder work in the north ; but even here the divisions of the 


enemy greatly helped his progress. Edwin and Morcar more than 
once headed a revolt. But they were not strong or resolute enough to 
prove successful leaders, and were divided between their anxiety not 
to compromise themselves fatally with William, and their conviction 
that William's supremacy meant the loss of the great position so 
long enjoyed by the house of Leofric. After a half-hearted attempt 
they made their submission to William, who treated them with 
remarkable leniency. ISTor was the north country more fortunate 
when Edgar the ^theling appeared among them, and they chose 
him as their king. Edgar had, however, one powerful backer in 
his brother-in-law, Malcolm Canmore (or Big Head), the most 
powerfid king the Scots had yet had; and the Northumbrians 
expected much from him in their struggles against William. 
The Danes, however, were also called upon to help them, and 
Malcolm was so jealous of the Danes that he gave the rebels little 
help. A Danish fleet appeared in the Humber, and lent its 
powerful aid to the English. The Danes joined with the best of 
the northern rebels, Waltheof, earl of Huntingdon, and son of 
Siward, the sometime earl of Northumbria. But after WiUiam 
came up, the Danes withdrew to their ships, and Waltheof made 
liis submission. William treated him with marked favour, and 
reinstated him in his earldom. But the king wreaked a terrible 
revenge on the rebel country. He laid waste the whole land 
from the Humber to the Tees. Many years afterwards all Tork- 
shire stUl lay desolate and untiUed. It was an awful example of 
the ruthlessness of WUliam, and effectually stopped future re- 
bellion in the north country. 

5. In 1070 the last English revolt against WiUiam broke out 
in the district bordering on the Wash. Driven out of the open 
Herewapd country, the rebels took refuge in the Isle of Ely, a 
subdued, real island in those days, and surrounded on every 
side by a wilderness of fen and morass. At the 
head of this gallant band was a Lincolnshire thegn, named 
Hereward, whose wonderful deeds of daring made him the hero 
of the English. Among others who joined him were Edwin 
and Morcar, who had learned too late that their hesitating policy 
was of no avail against the power of William. For long the Ely 
fugitives defied the power of WiUiam ; but at last the king made 
his way to their camp of refuge by building a hard causeway over 
his fens, so that his soldiers could attack Hereward's position. In 
1071 Ely was captured. Hereward reconciled himself to William, 
and was kindly treated by him. So faithful was he henceforth that 


Williain gave Mm a high command in the army, with which two 
years later the king oonctuered Maine. Edwin was murdered by his 
men during the siege of Ely, but Morcar submitted, and was also 
pardoned. Gentle to the leaders, "William was inexorable to the 
common rebels. But he had taught the English their lesson. 
Henceforth neither he nor his sons had anything to fear from them. 
6. During the years of confl[uest nearly all the leading English 
lost their lands and offices. Waltheof was the only English earl 
now left, and such Englishmen as still held estates xhe estab- 
were, as a rule, poor and insignificant. Their sue- lishraent of 
cessors in property and power were WiUiam's Norman feudalism, 
followers, who soon formed a new foreign aristocracy of land- 
holders. They did not, however, hold their estates in the same 
fashion as their English predecessors. After the system already 
prevalent in Normandy, William granted lands to his followers on 
condition of their serving him in his wars. Already before the 
conc[nest the English kings had looked to their thegns, or personal 
followers, for help in fighting their battles. But what was pre- 
viously the exception now became the general rule. The result was 
the general establishment in England of what was called/ewdaKsm., 
or the feudal system. Under it William, as king, was lord of the 
whole land, and his followers held their estates of him as his vassals, 
or subjects. A piece of land was called a fief, and the person 
receiving it took an oath to be faithful to his lord, called the oath 
oi fealty, or fidelity. Those who took this oath also did homage — that 
is to say, they promised to become the men, or vassals, of their lord. 
Ultimately the whole country was divided into hnight's fees, each 
knight's fee being sufficient land to support the knight, or heavily 
armed horsemen, on whom, after Hastings, the strength of every 
army depended. Thus there grew up the system of military 
tenures, or tenure by knight service, whereby the landholders paid 
their rent to the king by equipping and paying for knights to fight 
for him. The most important of the nobles held their lands 
directly of the king, and bound themselves to supply him with a 
lai-ge number of knights. They were called the king's tenants in 
chief, or tenants in capite, and were about fifteen hundred in 
number. Often they were called ba/rons, from a word which 
originally meant man, but which soon became equivalent to land- 
holding nobleman. But each tenant in chief granted out a large 
part of his land to vassals of his own, who were called sub-tenants, 
or mesne (that is, mediate) tenants. These were, in their turn, bound 
to fight for their immediate lord, and it was only with their help 


that the tenants in chief could fidfil their feudal obligations to the 
king. Sometimes the sub-tenants, in their turn, granted out their 
lands to minor sub-tenants, so that many links were forged in the 
feudal chain. Though some of the lesser landlords continued to be 
English, the majority of those to whom by this system military 
power was entrusted were Normans. The mass of the English sank 
to the bottom of the social scale. They became the dependants of 
the Norman barons, and lost their tradition of freedom as they 
grew accustomed to serve foreign masters. 

7. Soon a great division of interests began to show itself between 
William and the Norman barons. William and his nobles were at 
William and °^^ ^'°- bringing in the feudal system of land tenure, 
the Norman But the barons were not contented with this. They 
barons. wished to extend into England the system which 
prevailed in Normandy, whereby each feudal landlord was like a 
little king over his own estate. William wished to be a strong 
monarch, ruUng with the help of his barons, but never allowing 
them to set up their will against his. The nobles, on the other 
hand, looked with great alarm on the establishment of a royal 
despotism. They were willing to acknowledge the king as their 
superior lord, provided that in practice he delegated aU his power 
to the great landlords. They cared nothing for the unity of the 
kingdom, or the prosperity of the people. They thought of nothing 
but their own estates, and they bitterly resented all attempts to 
restrain their liberty of ruling their vassals after their own fashion, 
even when the attempt came from the king himself. 

8. William did all that he could to prevent the Norman barons 
from becoming too powerful. He put an end to the great earldoms 
which, since the days of Cnut, had threatened to revive the old 
kingdoms. Even the earldoms over one county he looked upon 
with suspicion, and took care that only the most faithful of his 

followers should be advanced to these dignities. He 
earldoms "^ ^^ anxious to prevent the growth of great local 

powers, and, luckily for him, he found that the chief 
Anglo-Saxon landlords had held widely scattered estates. He took 
care that the estates of the Norman barons should, like those of their 
predecessors, be distributed over different parts of England. A 
baron tvho held lands in Cornwall, Norfolk, and Yorkshire was 
less dangerous than one whose whole estate was concentrated in one 
of those counties. Pew exceptions were made to this general rule ; 
and the chief of these were in the border districts, where military 
nefcassities made it desirable that there shovild be a strong local 


earl, able to protect the boundary from the invasion of foreigners 
■with the help of his local levies. On this account there grew up 
on the Welsh and Scottish borders powers afterwards known as the 
Palatine Earldoms. In these regions the great feudal landlord was 
allowed to play the part of a petty king. The palatine earl raised 
the taxes, ruled the local army, made laws, set up law courts, and 
gave judgments in them according to his own pleasure. Nothing 
bound him to the king save Ms oath of fealty and act of homage : 
for most purposes he was an independent prince. Earldoms of 
this sort grew up on the Welsh frontier, at Chester, Shrewsbury, 
and Hereford, though the latter two were of brief duration. 
Moreover, on the Scottish border, the bishop of Durham was 
similarly invested with such great power over his extensive estates 
that his bishopric practically became a palatine earldom like those 
of the west. If such powers had to be established, they were less 
dangerous in the hands of a priest, who could not be the founder 
of a legal family, than in those of a layman, whose children 
succeeded to him by hereditary right. This process of reasoning 
accounts also for the establishment of Odo of Bayeux as earl of 
Kent with hardly less authority than that of the border earls. 

9. In one part of his dominions William's power was particularly 
oppressive. Like aU his race, he was a mighty huntsman, and he 
set apart great forests all over England, where 
husbandry had to stand aside in order that he might 

chase deer freely. " He made," says the English chronicler, 
" great forests for the deer, and passed laws for them that whoso- 
ever killed a hart or a hind should' be blinded. As he forbade 
killing deer, so also did he forbid slaying boars : and he loved the 
tall deer, as if he had been their father." The most famous of 
WiUiam's forests was the district still called the New Forest in 
Hampshire. Henceforth the forests were treated as exempt from 
the ordinary law. In them the king's wiU was almost unrestrained. 
For generations the English had no more real grievance than the 
cruel forest laws of the Normans. 

10. The Norman barons watched with great discontent the anti- 
feudal policy of the Conc[ueror. Before long they formed schemes 
to overthrow him, and strove to make common cause ^he baronial 
with the few English nobles that were still left. In revolt of 
1075 Eoger, earl of Hereford, associated himself with ^°''^- 
Ralph, earl of Norfolk, in a plot against the king, and the two 
invited Waltheof to join them. Their plan was to dethrone William, 
and divide England into three parts, ruled severally by one of 


ttemselves, the cMef of whom was to bear the title of king. It was 
practically a proposal to go back to the state of things imder 
Harold. "Waltheof was now earl of Northumberland and married 
to the Conqueror's niece Judith. He refused to have anything to 
do with the conspiracy, though he thought himself bound in 
honour not to reveal to the king what the two earls had suggested 
to him. Before long earls Ralph and Roger rose iu rebellion, but 
were easily subdued. Ralph fled to the continent, and Roger lost 
his earldom and was imprisoned for life. No later earls of Here- 
ford were allowed to exercise the palatine privileges which Roger 
had enjoyed. A sterner fate was meted out to Waltheof, whose 
wife told William of his negotiations with the rebels. Waltheof 
confessed that he knew of their designs, and thereupon William 
beheaded biTn as a traitor. Thus perished the last of the Eng- 
lish earls. Henceforth the Norman traitors could not obtain even 
the partial support of men of native birth. Yet for the next 
hundred years there was a continued struggle between the Norman 
feudal party and the Norman king. Whenever the ruler was 
weak or embarrassed, there was sure to be a rising like that of 
Ralph and Roger. But though the barons sometimes won a 
temporai-y triumph, the final victory was with the king. 

11. Very soon the barons had another chance of attacking the 
monarchy. William's eldest son, Robert, was an open-handed, good- 
Rebellion tempered soldier, eager for personal distinction, but 
of Robert, weak, easily led, and impolitic. In 1077 Robert rose in 

revolt against his father, and found support from 
many of the barons, both in Normandy and in England. The 
Conqueror's strong hand prevented any fighting in England, but 
in Normandy Robert waged war against his father, with the help 
of the Trench king. In 1079 WUliam besieged his son in Gerberoy, 
on the eastern frontier of Normandy. In a souffle that ensued 
Robert wounded Ms father with his own iand ; but WiUiam loved 
his children fondly, and soon forgave him and restored him to 

12. The disloyalty of the Normans led William and his suc- 
cessors to rely more and more upon the English. The English 

soon found that the barons were their worst oppressors, 
the Engirsh? WiUiam, though terrible when opposed, was anxious 

that those who obeyed him should be justly governed 
and live in peace. No such thoughts of policy or prudence checked 
the rapacity and violence of the Norman barons. Before long the 
English began to look up to their foreign king for protection 


against the nobles. Thus WiUiam cleverly played off the two 
nations against each other. "Without the Normans he could never 
have subdued the English. When they were put down, he used 
the English to keep his overpowerful countrymen in check. In 
the same way he claimed every right of the old English kings, and 
added to them every power which the Norman diikes exercised in 
their own country. This combination of the national position' of the 
English king, and the feudal status of the Norman duke, gave 
William a position of very great authority; the more so as the 
chief checks on both powers were no longer operative. William was 
the first English king who was strong enough to control the whole 
of the land. Though his power destroyed liberty, it made order 
possible. And the great want of England in those days was a 
strong government, keeping good peace. Such a rule William pro- 
vided for England, but the country had to pay heavily for it. He 
was the first king to raise much money by direct taxation, and his 
subjects groaned under his exactions. " The king and his chief 
men," wrote the English chronicler, " loved overmuch to amass 
gold and silver. The king made over the lands to him who offered 
most and cared not how his sheriffs extorted money from the 
miserable people.'' Yet the same authority recognized the benefits 
of his rule. " He was a stern and wrathful man, and none dui-st 
do anything against his pleasure. The good order which he 
established is not to be forgotten. He was a very wise and a 
very great man." 

13. In 1085 William ordered an inquiry to be made as to the 
wealth and resources of England. His object was to find out how 
many taxes he could raise from his subjects without jj,g Domes- 
altogether ruining them. " He sent," said the day Book, 
chronicler, "his men into every shire, and caused 
them to find out how much land it contained, what lands the 
king possessed therein, what cattle there were, and how much 
revenue he ought to receive. So narrowly did he cause the 
survey to be made that there was not a single rood of land, nor 
was there an ox or a cow or a pig passed by that was not set 
down in his book." In 1086 information thus collected was put 
together in the famous Domesday Book. Its exactness gave much 
offence to the tax-hating Englishmen; but WiUiam's inqtiiries 
have this great advantage to us, that they enable us to draw a 
picture of the England of his day such as we can form of no 
other country at so remote a period. Even after fifteen years 
of peace the desolating work of the Conqueror's early years stiU 


left its mark. Very commonly tte value of land and property 
was less than in King Edward's days. In some districts, notably 
in Yorkshire, great tracts stUl remained waste. 

14. Soon after the commissioners had done their work, William 
summoned a great moot, or council, at Salisbury. " There," 
The oath at ^^1^ *^^ chronicler, " there came to him aU the land- 
Salisbury, holders in England, whose soever vassals they were, 
1086. ^^^ they all became his men, and swore oaths of 

loyalty to him that they would be faithful to him against all 
other men." In this fashion William maintained his hold over the 
under-tenants, who held their land of the great barons. There 
was a danger lest their immediate lord should usurp such authority 
over them that they would be expected to follow him, even when 
he waged war against the king. The Salisbury oath bound all 
men of substance to put their duty to the king above their duty 
to their immediate lords. 

16. The conquest afEected the Church as profoundly as the State. 
Sent to England with the pope's blessing, William did his best to 
Lanft-anc carry out the pope's wishes and make the English 
and the Church like the Church on the continent. He de- 

Church, prived Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, of his oflce, 

and appointed as his successor Lanfranc, abbot of the monastery 
of St. Stephen's at Caen, which William himself had founded. 
Lanfranc was an Italian lawyer from Pavia, who made his way to 
Normandy to push his fortune. Seized with a sudden religious 
impulse, he forsook the world and became a monk at a new 
monastery called Bee. The fame of his learning and piety soon 
made Bee a famous place, and before long Lanfranc was made its 
prior, the chief ofGioer after the abbot. He became William's 
friend, and was called away by him to Caen, and afterwards to 
Canterbury. William and Lanfranc henceforth worked har- 
moniously together for the reform of the English Church. They 
gradually filled up the bishoprics and abbeys with Normans, so 
that in Church as in State all the high places in England went 
to the foreigners. Up to now many bishops lived in the country, 
far away from such towns as England then possessed. The 
Norman bishops transferred their residences to the leading towns 
of their dioceses, as, for example, the bishops of Lichfield went to 
Chester, the bishops of Dorchester in Oxfordshire removed to 
Lincoln, and the bishops over Northumbria and East Anglia took 
up their abodes in Durham and Norwich. In their new sees they 
built magnificent cathedrals after the Norman pattern which 


Edward the Confessor had first introduced into England at West- 
minster. More learned, energetic, and vigorous than their 
English predecessors, the Norman prelates did much to reform the 
English Church. They made the clergy more hard working, better 
educated, and more zealous. 

16. The Normans brought in the new ideas as to how the Church 
should be goremed, which had been growing up on the continent, 
but were quite unknown in England. These views, 

first taught by the monks of Cluny in Burgundy, trandiife" 
were now upheld by the famous Hildebrand, arch- movement 
deacon of Rome, who, soon after William's accession, |ngiand^ *° 
became pope as Gregory vii. Horrifled at the world- 
liness of the clergy, and of the power which lay rulers of evil 
life exercised over the Church, Hildebrand wished to separate 
the Church as strictly as he could from the State. He waged war 
against simowy, or the selling of benefices for money or corrupt 
consideration. He taught that the clergy should, like monks, 
refrain from marriage, for if they had families of their own there 
was danger lest they should be too much mixed up in worldly 
affairs, and should aim at advancing their children and handing on 
their benefices to them rather than devote themselves to advancing 
the cause of the Church. He saw everywhere cruel kings and 
princes dominating the Church and oppressing the clergy, and 
thought that the best remedy for this was to claim for the Church as 
complete a freedom as was possible from the secular power. With 
that object he prohibited secular rulers from continuing the old 
custom of investing or conferring on bishops and abbots a ring 
and staff, which were looked upon as the symbols of their ecclesi- 
astical office. In carrying out this object he fell into a fierce 
conflict with the emperor, Henry iv., who refused to surrender his 
ancient rights. This struggle, called the Investiture Contest, lasted 
nearly fifty years, and iiiled all Germany and Italy with coiifusion. 
It was soon clear that Hildebrand, in trying to reform the Church, 
was likely to set up an ecclesiastical despotism which in the long 
run was more dangerous than even the despotism of kings and 
emperors. But the fuU results of this were not yet seen, and most 
of the more high-minded and enthusiastic reformers were on the 
side of the pope. .: 

17. William and lanfranc were quite in agreement with 
Hildebrand. To keep^ the Church apart from the world, WiUiam 
passed a new law separating the courts of the Church from the 
courts of the nation, and enacting that every bishop shoxdd 


henceforth try his clergy in his own ecclesiastical court, and not 
in the hundred or shire court. Lanfranc held a series of councils, 
in which he introduced into England the pope's laws 
tlon ot against simony, and for the first time ordered that 

Church and no clergyman should marry. From aU this it resulted 
tate. ^j^^^ |.j^g Church and State in England were separated 

clearly from each other ; the courts and law of the Church were 
strengthened, and the pope's power over England was greatly 
increased. All these changes made the Church stronger, though 
it also became less national. William, as the ally of the Church, 
profited by its strength, and his close friendship with Lanfranc 
and the reformers did much to increase the royal power. G-regory 
was so well satisfied with William that he took no steps to 
prevent him from investing his bishops in the fashion that was 
not allowed to the emperor. For the moment the friendship of 
William and Lanfranc united the Church with the State. 

18. There was danger, however, in the background. The clergy 
were constantly claiming more and more authority, and some 
. , ... of them spoke as if kings and princes only existed in 
posed on ec- order to carry out the orders of popes and prelates, 
clesiastlcal William himself was aKve to the danger of clerical 

usurpations, and sought to strengthen himself against 
them by keeping up the traditions of English independence. He 
ordered that no pope should be obeyed in England until the king 
had recognized him. He would not allow Church councils to 
meet or pass canons, or Church laws, without his sanction. He 
prohibited the introduction of papal hulls, or letters, into England 
unless he approved of them. When Gregory vii. requested 
WiUiam to do homage to the Eoman Church, he refused to obey 
him, on the ground that no previous English king had ever per- 
formed such an act. Thus in the Church as in the State, 
William' strove to limit the action of the forces that he himself had 
brought into the country. The pope, like the barons, was useful 
to the king in establishing his hold over England ; but both were 
dangerous if not kept within strict bounds. The reign of William's 
sons showed the wisdom of the Conqueror in watching narrowly 
the power of the Church. 

19. Master of England, William strove to revive the English 
William as overlordship over the rest of Britain which Edgar 
overlopd of and Cnut had exercised. Malcolm Canmore's support 
Britain. ^^ Edgar the .Sltheling gave the English king a good 
excuse for attacking Scotland. In 1072 William crossed the 


border, and advanced to Abernethy, on the Tay. There Malcolm, 
despairing of resistance, went to meet him, and did homage to him 
as his lord. The Welsh were also brought under WUliam's power. 
Defeated and divided since Harold's days, they were kept in check 
by the border earldoms, and could offer no effective resistance. 
William accordingly pushed Harold's conq[uests still further west- 
wards. He went on pilgrimage to St. David's, and built a castle at 
Cardiff. Like Edgar, he established relations with some of the 
Danish princes in eastern Ireland, and thought of crossing over 
St. George's Channel and cono[uering that land. Never had an 
English king exercised wider power. Like Cnut, he was lord of 
all Britain, and also governed great continental possessions. 

20. The union of England and Normandy under one ruler 
made foreign poKcy more important than ever it had been before. 
William had plenty of feuds with his French neighbours William's 
and many designs to extend his Norman dominions, foreign 
He was glad to get the help of the English to carry out P°'"'y' 
these enterprises, and within a few years of the completion of the 
conctuest we find Englishmen loyally fighting William's battles in 
France. To the south-west of Normandy was the county of Maine, 
whose capital is the city of Le Mans. It had long been an object 
of Norman ambition to conquer this district. In 1073 William 
succeeded in effecting this purpose. The army which conquered 
Maine was largely composed of Englishmen, among them being the 
gaUant Hereward. William was often on xmfriendly terms with 
his overlord. King Philip i. of France, who was jealous of his over- 
mighty vassal's power. Philip gladly intrigued with his barons 
against William, and gave ■ help to Eobert in the days of his 
rebellion. At last, in 1087, there was open war between the two 
kings. The English king headed a raid from Normandy up the 
Seine vaUey, and took possession of the town of Mantes. He set 
the town on fire, and rode out on horseback to witness the ruin 
that he was working. His horse stumbled and threw him from the 
saddle. He was now an old man and very stout, so that the heavy- 
fall caused him a fatal injury. Borne by his followers to Rouen, 
he died on September 9, and was buried in his own favourite 
foundation of St. Stephen's at Caen. Stern and cruel though he 
had shown himself, he was, after his own lights, a just and religious 
man. With all his faults, he did much good to England. His 
reforms changed the whole course of our history. 

WILLIAM II., RUFUS (1087-1100) 

Chief dates : 

1087. Accession of William ii. 

1088. Revolt of the Norman barons. 
loSg. Death of Lanfranc. 

1093. Anselm made Archbishop of Canterbury. 

1095. The First Crusade. 

1097. The exile of Anselm. 

iioo. Death of William ii. 

1. By his wife, Matilda of Flanders, William the Conqueroi" left 
three sons, Robert, William, and Henry. As the firstborn. 
The sons of Robert was his father's natural successor. But he had 
William the forfeited William's favour by his rebellion, and the old 
Conqueror, -^jj^g feared lest, under Robert's weak and sluggish 
rule, the feudal barons should upset aU his plans for the continuance 
of a strong monarchy. Normandy was a strictly hereditary fief, 
and the Conqueror neither could nor would prevent Robert from 
succeeding to it. But England was the conquest of his own hand, 
and just as he had claimed its throne as the nominee of the 
Confessor, so he professed to. have- some right of disposing of 
the succession. On his death-bed he had expressed a wish that his 
second son, WUliam, should become the next king of England, and 
sent him to England with a letter to Lanfranc. The archbishop, 
faithful as ever to his master's policy, used all his great influence 
to carry out the dead ruler's wishes. The young prince strove 
to purchase the people's good-will by releasing some of his 
father's captives, among them being Morcar, the sometime earl of 
Northumbria, and Odo, bishop of Bayeux, whom he restored to his 
earldom of Kent. All turned out as the Conqueror had wished. 
No opposition was raised to William's accession, and on September 
26, 1087, Lanfranc crowned him king in Westminster Abbey. 

2. In person the new king was stout and strong, with red hair 
and a ruddy complexion. On this account men called him Bufus, 
or the Red King. In character he was a coarse copy of his father. 

-I09S.] WILLIAM //., RUFUS 95 

He had the strong will, the high courage, the shrewd percep- 
tion of his own interest, and the fierce resolution to rule England 
after his own fashion that distinguished the Con- character 
queror. He was a faithful son, a gallant soldier, of William 
and a bountiful master to his servants. But he had ^"f"^- 
none of his father's higher qualities, such as piety, sense of duty, 
and love of justice. His life was foul, his passions unbridled, his 
cruelty and avarice unchecked by pity or fear. One of the wickedest 
men who have ever filled the throne, he was nevertheless a strong and 
capable king. Under Lanfranc's influence he began to reign well. 
3. It was at once clear that WiUiam would be an active king, 
and the barons soon began to regret that they had lost theii- 
chance of being ruled by a weakling like his brother. Tj,e baronial 
In 1088 they rose in revolt in favour of Robert, revolt 
Though Robert sluggishly stayed in Normandy, and o» 1"°°' 
gave them no help, their rebellion was a formidable one. Odo of 
Bayeux, regardless of his nephew's recent mercy, put himself at 
their head, and aU over the country the barons plundered the 
king's subjects and laid waste their lands. In his distress William 
turned to the English. He promised them better laws than they 
had ever had before, and declared that he would not tax them 
unjustly or carry out the forest laws oppressively. A great force 
of Englishmen then flocked to the king's banners, and drove 
Bishop Odo to take refuge in his strong castle of Rochester. 
After a long siege Rochester was subdued, and Odo was deprived 
of his earldom and banished from England for good. Thanks to 
English help, William put down the rebeUion, and some of the 
greatest barons in England shared Odo's fate. Those who. stiU 
retained their estates soon found that the tyranny of Rufus bore 
more hardly upon them than even the strong rule of his father. 
But they were powerless to resist him to any good purpose. Once 
in 1095 Robert Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, i._„ni. .» 
plucked up courage to take up arms against the king. Robert 
WiUiam hurried to the north, and shut up his Mowbray, 
rebellious vassal in his castle at Bamburgh. As he 
could not reduce the stronghold, William built a castle over against 
it, which he called Mahioisin, or Evil Neighbour, and went back to 
the south. Mowbray soon ventured to leave his castle, whereupon 
the garrison of Malvoisin fell upon him and took him prisoner. 
Mowbray forfeited his immense estates and was imprisoned for 
Ufe. The feudal party, thoroughly cowed, remained quiet for the 
rest of Rufus's reign. 

96 WILLIAM II., RUFUS [1089- 

4 As long as Lanfranc lived, Rnfus was restrained from his 

evil courses by his old friend's wise advice. But Lanfranc died in 

1089, and henceforth the king chose counsellors of a very different 

stamp. His favourite minister was now Ranulf Flam- 

Fl^nbard ^^^"^ — ^^^ ^^' ^'^ Torch — a sharp-witted and un- 
scrupulous Norman clerk, who rose from a low station 
by his readiness to suggest clever ways of fllling the king's 
treasury. Finally, Eanulf was appointed to the rich bishopric of 
Durham. He was called the king's Justiciar, and in his hands the 
office so named became a permanent post. William i. had appointed 
regents to govern during his absences abroad, and had called them 
justiciars. But henceforth the justiciar acted in the king's 
presence as well as when he was beyond sea. From Flambard's 
time the justiciar was the prime minister and chief helper of the 
Norman sovereigns. 

5. Flambard showed great ingenuity in using the king's feudal 
rights over his vassals as pretexts for extortion. Thus when a 

tenant in chief died the king as his lord had the right 
extortions °^ exacting a relief, or money payment, from the heir 

before he handed over to him his father's estate. In 
the same way the king had the right of levying aids, also money 
payments, from his vassals when he had any special occasion. He 
also was in the habit of acting as guardian over tenants who were 
not of fuU age, and of demanding a sum of money from tenants 
who wished to marry, and had to obtain their lord's consent before 
they ventured to do so. All these feudal dues, as they were called, 
had been levied by the Conqueror in a moderate and reasonable 
spirit. Flambard and William crushed the barons by exacting 
outrageous sums as reliefs or aids. They wasted the estates of 
minors, cut down their woods, and handed over to them lands so 
pillaged and tenants so impoverished that their property was a 
burden rather than a, benefit. The penniless and disreputable 
courtiers of the king were enriched by being married to unwilling 
heiresses. The heavy hand of Flambard lay upon every baron in 
England. Though they chafed under the burden, they dared not 
throw it off. Nor were the English much better situated. The 
weight of taxation was far more oppressive than under the Con- 
queror, and Rufus, though protecting the people from the barons, 
was intolerably capricious in all his dealings with them. 

6. Rufus was even more shameless in maltreating the ecclesi- 
astics than in robbing the lay barons. He scofPed at religion, and 
delighted to oppress its ministers. A bishopric or an abbey seemed 

-I093.] WILLIAM II., RUFUS 97 

to him to be just like a lay fief, except that the defenceless cha- 
racter of the clergyman who held it made it easier to roh him with 
impunity. One of the royal rights which William 
most abused was called the regale, by which the king fh'^ch*"'h 
had the custody of the lands of all vacant bishoprics. 
The idea was that the king would protect the estate from violence, 
and hand it over in good condition to the new bishop when he was 
appointed. William resolved to keep rich bishoprics vacant as long 
as possible, so that he might keep the rents of the lands of the see 
for as long a period as possible. Accordingly, when Lanfrano died, 
the king prevented the appointment of a new archbishop for four 
years, during which period he plundered and mismanaged the 
archbishop's estates so as to get all he could out of them. So long 
as William was healthy and well, he persisted in his evil courses ; 
but in 1093 he was prostrated by a violent fever, and feared that he 
was going to die. He was then smitten with repentance for all the 
evil that he had done, and in particular for his oppressions of the 
Church. He resolved, by way of atonement, to fill up at once the 
archbishopric of Canterbury, and he chose the best possible priest 
available to occupy the great office. 

7. At that time Lanfranc's old monastery of Bee was ruled over 
by the abbot Ansebn of Aosta. The son of a nobleman in the 
Alpine valley of Aosta, Anselm's outward history was , , 
curiously similar to that of Lanfranc. Like Lanf ranc, archbishop 
he crossed the Alps and sought a career in Normandy, of Canter- 
where he was impelled by an outburst of religious ' 

zeal to forsake the world to become a monk at Bee. There he won 
by his writings a reputation which far exceeded the literary 
fame of Lanfranc, and was venerated for a sanctity to which the 
hard and lawyer-like friend of the Conqueror had but few pre- 
tensions. In an age of brutal violence and cunning self-seeking, 
the gentle, compassionate, and kindly nature of Ansebn was the 
more beautiful because of its rarity. He was now becoming an old 
man, and heard with alarm that the repentant king was wishing to 
raise him to the see of Canterbury. He was, he said, a, weak old 
sheep, who should not be yoked to a fierce young bull like the 
English king. But Anselm, who happened to be in England at 
the time, was forced to appear at the bedside of the sick king, and 
UteraUy compelled to accept the perilous preferment. 

8. Anselm had not wished to be archbishop ; but having re- 
caived the office, he was resolved to discharge all its duties to the 
utmost of his capacity. Very soon William recovered, and fell 


g8 WILLIAM 11, RUFUS [1093- 

baok on his old courses of extortion, profanity, and profligacy. 
Anselm was horrified at the wickedness that went on unrestrained 
Quarrel of ^^ court, and wished to summon a council of bishops 
Anselm and to devise means for reforming the morals of the 
king and his friends. At the same time he strove 
to put an end to the scandal caused by the prolonged vacancies of 
bishoprics and abbeys. Rufus was moved to extreme anger. He 
refused to allow the reforming council to meet, and bitterly re- 
pented that he had weakly raised Anselm to the primacy. " What 
are the abbeys to you ? " he cried. " Are they not mine ? " " The 
abbeys are yours," replied Anselm, " to protect, and not to destroy. 
They belong to Grod, and their revenues are intended to maintain 
God's ministers, not to support your wars." Meek and gentle 
though he was, Anselm was strong enough to withstand William 
to his face, and a complete breach between them soon followed. 

9. At this time there were two rival popes in Christendom. 
Urban 11. was generally acknowledged by the Church, but the 
The Council investiture contest was stUl raging between Papacy and 
of Rocking- Empire, and the emperor had set up as a rival to 

am, . ■[jrban a partisan of his own named Clement. Anselm 
asked leave of William to go to Rome to receive the pallium ' from 
Urban. WUliam answered that he did not recognize either Urban 
or Clement as pope, and refused Anselm permission to leave the 
country. In 1095 a great council met in the royal castle of 
Rockingham in Northamptonshire to discuss the rival claims of 
pope and king on the allegiance of the archbishop. WUliam 
declared that he would deprive Anselm of his archbishopric if he 
persisted in obeying the pope, whom the king had not acknow- 
ledged. The majority of the bishops were on the king's side, and 
advised Anselm to submit. The lay nobles were friendly to Ansebn, 
and the king dared not carry out his threat. The council broke up 
without coming to any conclusion, but the resolution of the primate 
had won a moral victory over the time-serving of the bishops and 
the impotent violence of the king. 

10. During the next two years the relations of king and arch- 
bishop became worse and worse. The original cause of dispute 
was ended when Rufus suddenly acknowledged Urban, and, though 
not permitting Anselm to go to Rome for his pallium, allowed him 
to receive it from a papal legate who brought it from Rome. But 
fresh difficulties arose : Anselm would not pay the large sums of 

' For the pallium, see page 80. 

-1097-] WILLIAM II., RUFUS 99 

money which William required him to contribute to the expenses 
of his campaigns. He irritated William by sending to a Welsh war 
a contingent of soldiers which the king thought too Anselm 
small in numbers, and too ill-equipped for the work, driven into 
When the king appealed to his own court to settle ^^*'^> 1097. 
this dispute, Ansehn declared that the matter must be referred to 
the pope. In 1097, upon this appeal, he withdrew to Rome, and 
WiUiam at once laid violent hands upon his estates. The arch- 
bishop remained in exile for the rest of the reign. Alone of the 
king's subjects, he had dared to resist his will. 

11. The dispute between Church and State did little to check 
the prosperous course of the king's affairs. Master of England, 
Rufus threatened the independence of Scotland and 

Wales even more signally than his father had done. Cumberland 
In 1092 he conquered Cumberland, which had hitherto and death of 
been an independent state, tracing back its origin to the c,t,-amme 
old kingdom of the Strathclyde Welsh. Cumberland 
was made a new English county, and Carlisle, now an English 
city, became in the next reign the seat of a new bishopric. In 
1093 there was war between William and Malcolm Canmore. Mal- 
colm invaded England, but lost his life at Alnwick. His reign 
is of the greatest importance in Scottish history. The rude High- 
land chieftain had been tamed into civilized ways by his saintly 
wife Margaret, the sister of Edgar the JEtheling. Through 
Margaret's influence English fashions of life were spread through- 
out the Celtic kingdom. Her influence lived on during the reigns 
of her sons, and as Scotland became more English, it was inclined 
to be more friendly with the English kings. 

12. Even more notable was the advance of the English power in 
Wales, though here it was brought about after a different fashion. 
The Welsh princes remained as fiercely Celtic as Yba Norman 
before, and WiUiam himself did not manage to subdue conquest of 
the stronger of them in any real fashion. But many South Wales. 
Norman adventurers, debarred by Ruf us's strong hand from ruling 
England as they wished, swarmed over the boundary-line, and, 
fighting for their own hands, carved out with their swords new 
lordships for themselves at the expense of the Welsh. Soon all 
eastern and southern Wales was overrun by Norman barons, who 
set up castles to hold the lands they had conquered. Thus arose 
what was afterwards called the lordships marcher, or border lord- 
ships of Wales. These were small feudal states, ruled almost 
indspendently by great Norman families, and owing little but bare 

lOO WILLIAM 11, RUFUS [1095- 

allegfiance to the Eng'lish king, who permitted their establishment 
because it was a cheap way of occupying his restless barons and 
keeping the Welsh in check. Prominent among these feudal states 
were the palatine earldom of Pembroke, the lordships of Glamorgan, 
Brecon, and Montgomery. Only amidst the hills of Snowdon did 
the Welsh succeed in maintaining their independence. 

13. The separation of England and Normandy hardly lessened 
William's importance in continental affairs. Robert's weakness 

made his government of Normandy a sorry failure. 
Nopmandv -^^ ^*^ ioon. in such dire distress for money that he 

sold the Cotentin and the Avranohin, the western 
districts round the towns of Coutances and Avranches, to Henry, 
the youngest and wisest of the Conqueror's sons. When William 
in his turn invaded Normandy, Robert bought off his hostility by 
yielding to him also a large tract of territory in the east. Maine 
revolted from Robert, and once more was ruled by her own line of 
counts. Sometimes William and Robert acted together. They 
grew jealous of Henry's power in the Cotentin, and united for a 
moment to drive him out. Before long, however, the prudent 
Henry found his way back ag-ain. 

14. In 1095 Urban 11. urged all Europe to join in a holy war 
to rescue the sepulchre of Christ and the other holy places in 
The First Palestine from the yoke of the Mohammedans. 
Crusade, Palestine had been ruled by the Mohammedans for 

many centuries, but so long as its masters were the 
Arabs, Christian pilgrims were still permitted to visit the spots 
consecrated by Christ's presence. Recently, however, the Turks, 
» fierce race of barbarians from central Asia, had made them- 
selves the greatest power in the Mohammedan world, and had 
taken possession of Syria. Their fanaticism put all sorts of diffi- 
culties in the way of the pilgrims, and their complaints at last 
moved the pope to take up their cause. He promised the favour 
of the Church and all sorts of spiritual privileges to aU who would 
join in the holy war. Those who agreed to go wore a cross sewn 
upon their garments, and the holy war was called a Crusade. It 
was just the sort of enterprise to appeal to a time when the warrior 
and the monk represented the two types of life that were most 
generally esteemed. All Europe sent its chivalry to fight against 
the infidel at the command of the pope. The First Crusade, 
as it was called, was a wonderful success. The Turks were 
expelled from the Holy Land, and Godfrey of Boulogne was 
established in 1099 as Christian king in Jerusalem. 

-I loo.] 



15. Robert of Normandy was anxious to go on crusade, but lie 
had no money to equip himseK or his followers for the expedition. 
In 1095 William advanced him a sufficient sum, and ™.,,. 
Robert handed over to him Normandy as a pledge gains Nor- 
that he would repay it. This prudent bargain allowed mandy and 
Robert to win glory in Palestiue while WiUiam ruled '^^' 
Normandy. Among Robert's companions in the holy war was 
Edgar the .Sltheling. Meanwhile WiUiam's stern government 
soon restored order in Normandy. He won back Le Mans, and 
went to war against Prance. His success enchanoed his -reputation, 
and, to the alarm of the French king, 
Duke "William of Aquitaine, anxious, 
like Robert, to go on crusade, offered 
to pledge his great duchy to him 
in return for the necessary funds. 
Visions of a power in Trance ex- 
tending from the Channel to the 
Pyrenees floated before William's 
eyes ; but before he could take any 
steps to realize his dreams he was 
suddenly cut off. On August 2, 1100, 
he went to hunt in the New Forest. 
There an arrow drawn by an unknown 
hand pierced biTn to the heart. The 
courtiers scattered, and next day 

some foresters bore the corpse to Winchester on a cart, and it was 
laid, without service or ceremony, in a tomb in the minster. A 
stone, called Rufus's stone, marks the place where the tyrant was 
traditionally said to have met his death. William, says the English 
chronicler, " was loathsome to all his people and abominable to 
G-od, as his end shewed, for he departed in the midst of his 
unrighteousness without repentance or atonement." 



HENRY I. (1100-I135) 

Chief dates : 

1100. Accession of Henry i. 
1102. Fall of Robert of Belleaie. 

1106. Battle o£ Tinchebray. 

1107. Eeconciliation of Henry anl Anselm. 
1120. Lisa of the White Ship. 

1 13s. Death of Henry i. 

1. Henuy, the dead king's younger brother, was a member of the 
hunting party in which Eufus met his fate. Without a moment's 

delay, he hurried to Winchester, secured the royal 
and early treasure, and procured his election as king by the 
measures of handful of magnates who happened to be there. 
ffoo^ ' Thence he hastened with all speed to London, where, 

on August 5, the fourth day after the New Forest 
tragedy, he was crowned as king. 

2. Immediately after his coronation, Henry issued a Charter of 
Liberties, wherein he sought to win the favour of every class by 
Henry's promising to reign after a better fashion than his 

Charter of brother. To the Church, suffering from Rufus's 
Liberties, constant encroachments on her liberties, he promised 
freedom of election to all bishoprics and abbeys, and declared 
that henceforth he would not sell or favour the revenues of vacant 
sees. To the barons he annotineed that he would not insist on 
the unreasonable reliefs, excessive marriage fines, oppressive ward- 
ships, and other exactions of his brother's days. To the nation at 
large he offered the abrogation of "aU the evil customs whereby 
the realm has unjustly been oppressed," and the renewed enjoy- 
ment of the laws of Edward the Confessor. He stipulated that he 
would take care that his barons gave the same concessions to 
their tenants as he himself had given to his tenants in chief. Only 
in respect to the forests would Henry yield nothing. Besides 
issuing this charter, Henry imprisoned Kanulf Flambard in the 
Tower of London, wrote at once to Anselm to urge him to i-eturn 

I102.] HENRY I. 103 

to England, and married Edith, daughter of Malcolm Canmore and 
St. Margaret, and sister to Edgar, the reigning king of Soots. 
In all these acts Henry posed as the friend of the English and the 
foe of the feudal baronage. His marriage with a descendant of 
the West Saxon kings was particularly popular, though to please 
the Normans he changed the lady's name to Matilda, or Maud, the 
name of his mother. She soon became loved as the good Queen 
Maud. But the Normans sneered at Henry's affectation of Eng- 
lish ways, and derided him and his wife by nicknaming them 
Godric and Godiva. 

3. Within a few weeks of his brother's accession, Robert of 
Normandy came back from the Holy Land, having won great glory 
by his exploits as a crusader. He resumed the p ji „ f 
government of Normandy, which again fell into the Robert's 
disorder which it needed a strong hand like that of revolt, 
Henry to check. Kanulf Elambard escaped from the 

Tower, and told Robert that the Norman barons were eager to put 
bim on the English throne in place of Henry. Accordingly, in 
1101, Robert collected an army and landed at Portsmouth in quest 
of his brother's crown. But the English rallied around their king, 
and Ansehn, now back in England, marshalled all the forces of 
the Church on the same side. Robert saw that the good will of the 
barons availed binn nothing against such odds. He was the last 
man in the world to persevere in a hopeless enterprise. He gladly 
accepted Henry's proposal to hold a personal interview. When 
they met the brothers made friends. Robert agreed to yield up his 
claim on England on consideration of Henry giving him a pension, 
and surrendering to him his lands in the Cotentin. 

4. Abandoned by Robert, the Norman barons in England were 
now exposed to the wrath of King Henry. The fiercest, strongest, 
cruellest of them was Robert of Belleme, who added _. . ,, - 
to vast dominions in Normandy the lordships of Robert of 
Arundel and Chichester in Sussex, and the palatine Jfi',™®' 
earldom of Shrewsbury on the Welsh border. A 

mighty warrior, Robert had been one of the foremost of the 
Norman conquerors of Wales, and nearly all Mid Wales and much 
of South Wales was ruled by him and his brothers. In 1102 
Henry picked a quarrel with him, and Robert had to defend him- 
self. But his tyranny had made him odious to all ; the Welsh and 
English refused to fight for him, and the weak Duke Robert was 
easily persuaded by Henry to attack his possessions beyond sea. 
The king mMe himself master of Arundel and other castles of his 

104 HENRY I. tno2- 

enemy. Robert of Belleme strove to defend himself in his Shrop- 
shire estates. But Henry besieged the mighty new oastle which 
Robert had erected at Bridgnorth, on the Severn, and the townsmen 
compelled the garrison to surrender. Driven to a last refuge at 
Shrewsbury, the lord of Belleme was forced to make his submission. 
He was allowed to leave England for Normandy, but all his 
English lands were forfeited to the crown. Henry put an end 
to the palatine earldom of Shrewsbury, as the Conqueror had put 
an end to the palatine earldom of Hereford. The English were 
overjoyed at the fall of the tyrant. " Rejoice, King Henry," ran 
■' popular song that they sung, " and give thanks to the Lord Grod, 
for thou hast begun to reign freely now that thou hast cong^uered 
Robert of Belleme, and hast driven him from the boundaries 
of thy kingdom." Henceforth the feudal nobles were cowed, and 
Henry, having had good reason to distrust them, now gave his 
confidence to knights and clerks of lower birth, but of greater 
fidelity. Some of his ministers were even men of English origin. 

5. Henry was soon able to turn the tables on his brother. 
Robert found Normandy was gradually slipping away from him. 
Battle of Robert of Belleme, now limited to his Norman estates, 
Tinchebray, deprived him of many great tracts of territory. In 

two successive expeditions Henry conquered much of 
Normandy for himself. At last, in 1106, Henry made a final in- 
vasion of such of his brother's inheritance as still remained faithful 
to him. The decisive battle was fought at Tinchebray, where Robert 
lost both his dominions and his liberty. For the rest of his life he 
was kept in kindly custody in his brother's English castles, and 
died at Cardiff nearly thirty years later. His comrade on the 
crusade, Edgar the .^theling, and Robert of Belleme, were also 
taken prisoners at Tinchebray. Henry released them both from 
custody ; but while Edgar lived for the rest of his life in obscurity 
in England, Belleme plunged into fresh revolts that involved him 
in lifelong captivity. Henceforth Henry ruled Normandy as well 
as England, and the duchy, like the kingdom, was reduced to 
good order. 

6. Ansehn had loyally helped Henry against the barons, yet 
from the moment of his return a grave question of principle in- 
The Investl- ™1^^^ ^ lO'^B' dispute between the king and the aroh- 
ture Contest bishop. During his exUe, Amsebn had taken au 
ilni*?'.^^' active part in the famous Investiture Contest which 

*10o~llU/, 1.11 . 1 J 

was still raging between the pope and the emperor. 
He had attended a council in which prelates had been forbidden 

-1107.] HENRY I. 105 

to receive investiture from lajrmen, or even to perforin homage to 
ttem. Hitterto English, bishops, including Anselm. himself, had 
received investiture from the king and done homage to him without 
a scruple. Now Anselm refused to renew his homage to the new 
king, and declared that he could not countenance any bishops 
following the ancient custom. The dispute was carried on in a 
good-tempered way, and, though Henry and Anselm were quite 
firm on the matter of principle, neither party lost Ms respect for 
the other. At last, in 1103, Anselm withdrew from England to 
lay his difficulties before Pope Paschal 11., at Rome. The arch- 
bishop remained in exile until 1107. Then a satisfactory com- 
promise was arranged, by which he was allowed to return. Henry 
yielded one of the points at issue, but Anselm surrendered on the 
other. The king utterly renounced lay investitures, while the 
archbishop withdrew his objection to clerks performing homage to 
the king. Henry's change of front was intelligible, since lay 
investitures were hard to defend upon the principles which all men 
then accepted, for the ring and the stafE were admittedly symbols 
of spiritual dignity, and no lay prince had any authority to confer 
spiritual jurisdiction. But Henry regarded investiture as the 
means by which he asserted his authority as king over the prelates 
of his reahn. Anselm, by giving up his point about homage, 
enabled the king to maintain his hold over the higher clergy in a 
way less offensive to their scruples. Henceforth, in return for the 
abandonment of investitures, it was arranged that no bishop was to 
be consecrated or abbot enthroned until he had rendered homage to 
the king for his temporal possessions. Seemingly, the compromise 
was in favour of the Church, for Henry had given up lay investi- 
tures. But Henry might well maintain that he had surrendered 
the shadow and retained the substance. How fan the compromise 
would work depended upon the good sense and forbearance of future 
kings and prelates. But it gave peace for the time, and was so far 
looked upon as satisfactory that, more than fifteen years later, the 
original conflict between pope and emperor was ended upon the 
lines of the agreement of Henry and Anselm by the Concordat of 
Worms. But the dispute, which in England was amicably settled 
after five years of negotiations, had plunged aU Germany and Italy 
into confusion for nearly fltfty years. 

7. Master of Church and State alike, absolute lord of England 
and Normandy, Henry's power exceeded that of his brother 
and father. Scotland, ruled by the queen's brothers and nephew, 
was friendly and submissive, and so close were the relations of 

I06 HENRY I. [1107- 

the two courts that pushing' Norman adventurers began to in- 
sinuate themselves into the good wUl of the Scottish kings, and to 

receive so many lands and favours from them that 
ofNopman ^lie Scottish nobility became ultimately almost as 
influence Norman as the baronage of England. After 1124 
land ^°°' ^^^ ^"'S' °* ^°°*^ ^*^ David, Matilda's nephew, who 

had passed his youth at his aunt's court, and as the 
husband of Waltheof 's heiress, received Waltheof 's old earldom of 
Huntingdon. David was even more thoroughly normanized than 
his father, Malcolm, had been angUciaed. He had no scruple in 
frequently attending King Henry's court, or in performing homage 
to him. Norman ideals of warfare, law, government, and social life 
spread from his example over aU northern Britain. In this in- 
direct way a sort of Norman conquest of Scotland was gradually 
brought about ; but it was due, not to violence, but to the peaceful 
permeation of Norman influence. 

8. During the same years the more forcible Norman conquest 
of Wales which began under Eirfus was completed, save that the 

Welsh princes of G-wynedd, or North Wales — ^they no 
of The^ '°" longer were called kings — held their own amidst the 
Norman hills of Snowdon, where Henry was powerless to dis- 

South Wales ^°^^® them. In the conquests of the marchers, Henry 
" had little interest, for after the fall of Robert of 
BeUeme none of them were strong enough to threaten his power. 
Yet it was with his good will that Flemings were settled in the 
earldom of Pembroke, where their successors became so numerous 
that they drove out the Welsh speech from southern Pembroke- 
shire, and, adopting the English tongue, made that district the 
" Little England beyond Wales," which it stiU remains. More- 
over, a prudent ijiarriage secured to Henry's own family some of the 
chief spoils of conquest. The king married his favourite illegitimate 
son, whose name was Robert, to the daughter of Robert Fitzhamon, 
R be t f -^"^^ "^ Gloucester and conqueror of Glamorgan. 
Gloucester Robert inherited his father-in-law's possessions which 
?;'"* were erected by Henry into the earldom of Gloucester. 

This earldom of Gloucester, always including the great 
marcher lordship of Glamorgan, was henceforth one of the greatest 
of English dignities. Robert himself was a famous warrior and 
man of ability. He loved literature, and particularly history, and 
showed such sympathy for the legends of his Welsh subjects, that 
it was at his direction that a Welsh clerk, named GeofErey of 
Monmouth, wrote his History of Britain. This book made famous 

-II24.] HENRY I. 107 

all over Europe tte picturesque romance which Geoffrey palmed 
off as true history. 

9. After the conquest of Normandy, Henry had constant 

trouble with Prance, now ruled by Louis vi., a much more capable 

and powerful king- than his predecessor, Philip i. 

Duke Robert's son WiUiam sought to drive his uncle ?®".''^„l- *"^ 

J. i> -iLx ■» -1 Louis VI, 

out ot JS ormandy, and was supported by Louis, who 

was jealous of Henry's power. There was a good deal of fighting, 

in which Henry was generally successful. At last the chief source 

of danger was removed by the death of William. 

10. Li England Henry ruled as an absolute king, after the 
fashion of his father. He chose as his justiciar, or prime minister, 
a Norman priest named Roger, who became bishop 

of Salisbury. Roger was as devoted to the king's in- Salisbury 
terests as Plambard had been, but he was no mere and the 
extortioner, but an orderly-minded, careful, and uy™sy'|Jem 
prudent statesman with a genius for administration 
and organization. He set up a body of well-trained clerks and 
lawyers, whose help and advice enabled the king to govern 
his dominions better than they had ever been ruled before. Two 
great courts arose, each with its staff of trained officials, which 
divided between them the chief business of the crown. One of these, 
the Gwiia Regis, or King's Cowrt, was mainly a judicial body. It 
sat in judgment on cases where the tenants in chief were concerned, 
and on other cases which were transferred to it from the courts of 
the barons, or from the shire moots. It sent its judges, called 
justices, all over the country, to hold periodical circuits and try 
locally cases that it was not convenient to bring before the king's 
presence. It soon became a privilege to have a cause tried by the 
king's judges rather than in the local courts, and henceforth the 
Curia Regis proved a formidable rival to the ancient Anglo-Saxon 
moots as well as the private courts of the nobles. Side by side 
with this body was the Exchequer, served by officials called barons 
of the Exchequer. This assembly collected and controlled the vast 
revenue which Henry exacted, and in return for which the people 
got peaca and sound rule. Despite the heavy price they paid for it, 
the people gained by the process. The land became prosperous, 
and such good justice was done between man and man that the 
English called Henry the " Lion of Righteousness." 

11. Misfortunes clouded Henry's later days. His queen, 
■ Matilda, died, leaving him a son named WiUiam and a daughter 

named Matilda. The latter was married when a young girl to 

Io8 HENRY I. [1120- 

the Emperor Henry v., the same prince wto concluded with, the 
pope the Concordat of Worms. "William was drowned in 1120, 
The loss of 'w^hen returning from Normandy to England. The 
the White king's son sailed in a vessel called the White Ship. He 
Ship, 1120. gayg ^\q sailors so much wine that they became care- 
less, and kept a bad watch. Then the ship struck on a reef of rocks, 
and soon began to sink. A boat was got out, and WUliam and others 
embarked in it and rowed away from the wreck. But then he 
found that one of his sisters had been left behind, and returned to 
save her. When the boat came alongside, a rush of the panic- 
stricken crew swamped it and drowned the heir to the throne. 
The blow was a cruel one to Henry, and it is said that he never 
smiled again. 

12. Henry married a second wife named Adelaide of Louvain, 
but she brought him no children. In 1125 the Emperor Henry v. 

died, and his childless widow, Matilda, came back to 
and'Aniou England. Henry had resolved to make his daughter 

his heir. It was an unheard-of thing in those days 
for a woman to rule a race of warriors like the Normans, and 
Henry's barons were disgusted at the proposal. But they dared 
not withstand the king's will, and bit by bit they were cajoled or 
dragooned into taking oaths to recognize Matilda as Henry's 
successor. She found another husband in Geoffrey, count of 
Anjou, called G-eoffrey Plantagenet, because he wore a sprig of 
bloom, or planta genista, in his helmet as his cognizance. The 
county of Anjou was but a small district situated on the lower 
Loire, with Angers and Tours as its chief towns, and divided from 
Normandy by the county of Maine. Yet the race of counts that 
ruled this little territory was so fierce, enterprising, and able that 
Anjou was a much more important state than most lands of its 
size. Anjou and Normandy had long- been rivals, and the Nor- 
mans hated its people, who were called the Angevins, while the 
Angevins grudged the Normans the possession of Maine, which 
they thought ought to be theirs. Henry married Matilda to 
Geoffrey, hoping that the match would end the long fend between 
the two lands, and would ultimately unite the two countries. 
He was delighted when the young couple had children, and fore- 
saw the time when his grandson Henry would be lord of England, 
Normandy, and Anjou. 

13. Henry died in 1135, his end being hastened by an over- 
hearty meal of lampreys, which he ate contrary to the orders of 
his physician. He was buried in Reading Abbey, a monastery of 

-II25 ] 



his own foundation. He was a g-ood king, though personally he 
was as hard and selfish as ever Ruf us had been. But he was wise 

Emery Walker sc. 

enough to see that his interests req[uired that his dominions should 
enjoy peace and prosperity, if only because he could raise heavier 

no HENRY I. [1135. 

taxes from prosperous than from impoverished subjects. Unlike 
Ruf us, he kept his fierce passions in such check that he never did 
Death and cruel deeds save with a politio object. His subjects 
eharaeter of respected hiTn even though they feared him. The 
Henry I; English chronicler thus writes about him : " He was 

a good man, and there was great awe of him. No man durst misdo 
another in his time. He made good peace for man and beast. 
Whosoever bore his burden of gold or silver, no man durst say- 
ought to him but good." Under bim the full effect of the Con- 
queror's policy was worked out, and England became a peaceable, 
orderly state, ruled by a strong but wise despot. 

STEPHEN OF BLOIS (1135-1154) 

Chief dates: 

1135. Accession of Stepben. 
I138. Battle of the Standard. 
I141. Battle of Lincoln. 

1153. Treaty of Wallingford. 

1154. Death of Stephen. 

1. AMOif& the kinsfolk to whom Henry i. had given lands and 
power was his nephew, Stephen of Blois, a younger son of the 
powerful count of Blois, who ruled over the Loire Accession of 
country between Anjou and the domains directly Stephen of 
governed by the French king. Stephen's mother was Blois, 1135. 
Adela, a daughter of WiUiam the Conqueror. Henry i. had shown 
marked favour to his sister's sons. He had procured Stephen's 
marriage to Matilda, heiress of the rich county of Boulogne, and 
had obtained the important bishopric of Winchester for his younger 
brother Henry. During his lifetime Stephen had been unswervingly 
faithful to his uncle, and had joined with the other barons in taking 
oaths to acknowledge his cousin, the Empress Matilda, as Henry's 
successor. But he knew how unpopular among the barons was the 
prospect of being ruled by a woman and an Angevin, and on 
Henry i.'s death made a bold and successful attempt upon his crown. 
He hurried to England, and was welcomed by most of the barons. 
The wealthy citizens of London showed him marked good will, and 
his brother. Bishop Henry of Winchester, xised his powerful interest 
in his favour. Even the justiciar, B/Oger of Salisbury, forgot his 
pledges to his old master and declared for Stephe^ and his action 
brought all the justices and of&cials of the old kin^o take the same 
side. Accordingly Stephen was chosen king, and crowned by the 
archbishop of Canterbury, WiUiam of Corbeil. Like Henry i., he 
issued a charter, and tried to win to his side all sorts of supporters. 
His first charter was a, hasty affair, and couched in vagTie lan- 
guage. He soon supplemented it by a fuller one, in which he set 

112 STEPHEN OF BLOTS [1135- 

forth in detail the many liberties which he was willing to give to 
the Church. He promised to root out all injustice and extortion, 
Stephen's ^'i^ pledged himself to uphold the good old laws and 
Charters of customs of the realm. Though keeping for his use 
Liberties. ^j^g forests as they were under the two "Williams, he 
offered to relinquish the new ones created by Henry I. 

2. At first Stephen seemed to have won complete recognition 
as king. The barons of Normandy, hating the rule of the Angevin 
and his wife, recognized him as their duke. It was to no purpose 
that some of the English baronage, seeing that he was carrying 
on the same policy as that of Henry I., rose in revolt against him. 
He was equally successful in dealing with David, King of Scots, 
who in 1138 invaded the northern coxinties as the champion of 
Matilda. Thurstan, the old archbishop of Tork, stung to indignation 
at the merciless raiding of the Scots, summoned the levies of the 
north to repel them. The English met the Scots at Northallerton. 
Battle of the In the middle of their ranks was a cart, on which were 
Standard, placed the standard of the king and the banners of 
* ' ^®" the three most famous Yorkshire saints. The English 
fought on foot after the old fashion, but they broke the charge 
of King David's knights, and drove the Scots in disorder from the 
field. The fight was called the Battle of the Standard. 

3. Stephen was a man of very different mould from Henry i. 
Like Robert of Normandy, he was a gallant soldier and a kind, 
stenhen's open-hearted, chivalrous gentleman. Yet a worse man 
quarrel with of greater firmness and policy would have proved a 
Roger of better king. If Stephen's earlier years remained 

peaceful, the merit was due not to the sovereign, but to 
Koger of Salisbury and the tried ministers of Henry i. Unluckily, 
Stephen grew to mistrust the justiciar, and became jealous of the 
great power which he and his kinsfolk were wielding. Besides 
Roger's own high offices in Church and State, his son was 
treasurer and two of his nephews were bishops of Ely and Lincoln. 
Fearing lest so mighty a family should encroach still further on the 
royal dignitji Stephen in 1138 called upon Roger and his nephews 
to surrender their castles. The result was a complete breach 
between the k^^ and the powerful official class. Roger was 
driven from office, and no competent successor to him was found. 
Gradually the administrative system set up so laboriously under 
Henry began to grow weaker, and henceforth nothing prospered 
with Stephen. 

4. Robert, earl of Gloucester, was a partisan of Matilda, but he 


had been compelled to acknowledge Stephen after his father's 
death. Within a few weeks of Roger's disgrace he Beginnings 
landed in England, accompanied by the empress, who of civil 
now demanded Stephen's throne. CivU war at once ^^^' 
broke out, and went on with hardly a break for the rest of 
Stephen's reign. 

5. Stephen strove to withstand Matilda with the help of riemish 
mercenaries, hired with Henry i.'s gold. He never threw himself 
upon the people as Henry i. had done, and never The rivalry 
obtained much support from them. Matilda was of Stephen 
almost as badly ofE. Her only competent adviser was ^"^ Matilda. 
Robert of Gloucester, for the barons who professed to uphold her 
cause f oug'ht in reality for their own hands. Whichever side they 
championed, the barons had no wish for either Stephen or Matilda 
to win outright, but preferred that the civil war should go on as 
long as possible, so that they should make their profit from the weak- 
ness of both rivals. The result was that neither party was strong 
enough to defeat the other, and neither was able to control its 
followers or govern the territory which it held. The barons took 
advantage of the dispute to win for themselves the independent 
position which the first three Norman kings had denied them. 
England was plunged into indescribable anarchy and confusion, 
and the wretched peasantry suffered unspeakable misery. 

6. The English chronicler, who finally laid down his pen at the 
end of this reign, gives us a moving picture of the desolation of 
the country. " Every nobleman built a castle and 

held it against the king ; and they flUed the land with ^f Ingland. 
castles. When the castles were made, they filled them 
with devils and evil men. Then they took aU who had any 
property and put them in prison and tortured them to get their 
gold and silver. They taxed the villages, and when the wretched 
countrymen had no more to give them they bximt their villages. 
Then was com dear, and meat and cheese, for there was none 
in the land. Men starved for hunger, and some that were once 
rich men went about begging their bread. They robbed chtirches 
and churchmen, and though the bishops and clergy were ever 
cursing them, they oared nothing for their curses. The land was 
aU undone with their deeds, and men said that Christ and his 
saints slept." Another writer says that " there were as many 
kings, or rather tyrants, as there were lords of estates." 

7. A few greedy nobles profited by the necessities of the rival 
claimants to make their own profit out of both. Conspicuous 


114 STEPHEN OF BLOIS [1141- 

among these was Geoffrey of Mandeville, a cuaning, strong, and 
cruel self-seeker, who, by joining first one side and then the other, 

obtained from both grants of enormous estates and 
MandertlSe ^® recognition as earl of Essex. At last he overreached 

himself, and provoked Stephen to make a mighty 
effort to crash him. Geoffrey fled to the fens, the region once 
famed for the daring deeds of Hereward. He held his own there 
untU he was slain in a chance skirmish. His power perished with 
him, but there were plenty of others to take his place, though 
none could play his daring game so cleverly or so successfully. 

8. The course of the war between Stephen and Matilda had 
little effect on the country at large. Stephen's strongest partisans 
were the Londoners and the rich and populous shires of the south- 
east and south. Matilda's chief strongholds were Bristol and 
Gloucester, the main centres of the power of her brother. Earl 
Robert. The greater barons were largely on her side, among them 
The Battle being Robert's son-in-law, Randolph, earl of Chester, 
of Lincoln, In 1141 Robex-t and Randolph strove to relieve 

Lincoln, which Stephen was besiegiug. In a battle 
fought outside the town Stephen's army was overwhelmed and he 
himself taken prisoner. Many of the king's partisans fell away 
from him now that he was helpless. His own brother, Henry 
of Winchester, deserted him and declared to a council of barons, 
gathered in his cathedral city, that by the defeat of Lincoln 
God's judgment had been clearly shown to be against Stephen's 
claim to the throne. The barons then chose Matilda as their 
_ q[ueen, and she went to London to be crowned. But 

faUuret^ ^®^ ""^"^ *"■* haughty manner disgusted her best 

friends, and the Londoners, who always wished well 
to Stephen, rose in revolt and drove her from their city. A strong 
reaction ia favour of Stephen broke out. Henry of Winchester 
again changed sides, and in a battle fought at Winchester, Robert 
of Gloucester was taken prisoner in his turn. Matilda now had to 
lead her own side as best she could, while Stephen's cause was ably 
upheld by his heroic wife Matilda of Boulogne. Before long, how- 
ever, the two Matildas agreed to exchange Stephen and Robert 
for each other, and so the war went on as before. But the 
empress had lost her best chance, and in 1148 the death of her 
wise and strenuous brother ruined her last hopes. In despair 
she c[uitted England for Normandy, and Stephen henceforth reigned 
nominally as sole king. But the land remained in horrible con- 
fusion, and the broken-spirited monarch was far too weak to restore 


order. Only in the northern counties, where David, king of Soots, 
was in possession, was there any approach to good government. 
The Welsh profited by England's anarchy to throw off the yoke of 
the marcher lords. 

9. In 1153 Matilda's eldest son, Henry, landed in England to 
claim his mother's heritage. Though only twenty years old, he 
had made himself duke of Normandy. On his father's ^^^ Treaty 
death he had succeeded to Anjou, and a prudent of Walling-, 
marriage with Eleanor, heiress of Poitou and Aqui- ""'°> 1153. 
taine, the divorced wife of Louis vi. of Prance, had secured him 
the overlordship of aJl France from the Loire to the Pyrenees. 
Carefully trained in war and statecraft by his uncles Kobert and 
David, he proved himself a much more formidable enemy to 
Stephen than ever his mother had been. The king had no heart 
to struggle against his young rival, and the deaths of his high- 
souled queen and of his eldest son Eustace made him anxious to 
end his days in peace. Accordingly, he yielded to the advice of 
his wisest counsellors, and made terms with Henry by the treaty 
of Wallingf ord. By this it was arranged that Stephen was to go 
on reigning for the rest of his life, but that Henry was to succeed 
him to all Ms dominions. Henry remained in England for a time, 
and did his best to help his rival to pacify the kingdom. 

10. Soon after Henry's return to Normandy, Stephen died. 
His reign is only important because it showed what the rule of the 
barons really meant. The cruelties of the Conqueror jjeath of 
and his sons pale into nothingness as compared with Stephen, 
the horrors wrought in the name of this weU-meaning ii°*f 
king. Stephen's failure showed how vital to England's prosperity 
was that strong and ruthless despotism which the Norman kings 
had set up. The power of the crown was proved to be necessary, 
since it was the only way of saving England from anarchy. 

HENRY II. OF ANJOU (1154-I189) 

Chief dates: 

11S4. Accession of Henry ii. 

I159. War of Toulouse. 

1164. Constitutions of Clarendon. 

1 166. Assize of Clarendon. 

1170. Murder of St. Thomas. 

1171. Norman conquest of Ireland. 
1174. Feudal revolt suppressed. 
1181. Assize of Arms. 

1184. Assize of the Forest. 
I189. Death of Henry ii. 

1. On Stephen's death Henry of Anjou became Henry 11. according 

to the treaty of Wallingf ord. Under him the houses of Normandy 

and Anion, hitherto rivals and enemies, became nnited. 
and eharac- Moreover, through his mother, Matilda, queen of 

tap of Henry I., Henry was descended from the old English 

jfgf'^ ■' line of kings. He was one of the ablest of all our 
monarohs, and no ruler has left a deeper impress on 
our history. He was a strong, restless man, who worked so hard 
that he woidd never sit down except at meals and at council 
meetings. He had little respect for tradition, and was fond of 
making experiments iu government. A mighty warrior, he showed 
even more abUity as a statesman and a lawyer. He was well edu- 
cated, and amused himseK with reading as well as with hunting. He 
took no pains to win popularity, and was iadifEerent to royal pomp. 
Generally shrewd and prudent, he was at times swayed by fierce 
bursts of passion which made him the terror of all around him. 

2. Henry's first business was to put an end to the disorders of 
The restora- Stephen's reign and bring back England to the con- 
tlon of dition in which it was when Henry I. died. He sent 

order. Stephen's Flemish mercenaries back to their work- 

shops. He annulled his predecessor's lavish grants of land, and 
called upon the barons who had built castles without the king's 

II62.] HENRY n. OF ANJOU 11/ 

permission to destroy them at once. These strongholds were called 
adMlterine castles, and. the barons bitterly resented their destruction. 
Some tried to resist by force, but Henry easily put down their 
rebellions. He compelled Malcolm iv., king of Scots, who had 
recently succeeded his father David, to surrender the northern 
counties and pay him homage. He led an expedition against 
Wales, and though his troops fled from the Welsh in disgraceful 
panic, the Welsh prince Owen found it prudent to make peace 
with him. But Owen's success secured the freedom of Gwynedd, 
even though, with Henry's help, the lords marcher regained their 
power in the east and south of Wales. 

3. After a few years the administrative system of Henry i. was 
fully restored. The Curia Regis and Exchequer were again hard at 
work; justice was executed, and the reign of law 
upheld. In carrying out these changes, Henry's chief Bg°w^ 
helpers were Richard of Lucy and Robert, earl of 
Leicester, who divided between them the ofELce of justiciar. 
Nigel, bishop of Ely, Roger of Salisbury's nephew, became treasurer. 
Perhaps the king's most trusted oflcer was Thomas of London, the 
chancellor, called in later times Thomas Beoket. Thomas was the 
son of a London ip.erchant, and first became important as arch- 
deacon of Canterbury. He was as indefatigable a worker as Henry 
himself. Though an ecclesiastic, he seemed wholly devoted to the 
interests of the king. So convinced was Henry of his loyalty that 
in 1162 he procured his appointment as archbishop of Canterbury. 
Henry's wish in raising bi'm to this office was to have an arch- 
bishop of his own way of thinking. He was jealous of the growing- 
claims of the Church, and thought that the privileges claimed by 
ecclesiastics stood in the way of the extension of the royal power. 
He thought the best way to make his reforms acceptable to church- 
men was to have an archbishop by his side with whom he could 
work as cordially as William i. had worked with Lanfranc. 
Thomas took a very difEerent view of his new office. He hesitated 
to accept the post because, as he said, he knew that Hem-y's 
ecclesiastical policy would differ from that which as archbishop it 
would be his duty to uphold. Much to Henry's disgust he resigned 
the office of chancellor. As chancellor he had been the most 
zealous of servants of the king, but as archbishop he became a 
strenuous upholder of ecclesiastical privileges. He gave up his 
pompous and magnificent manner of life, and lived as strictly and 
austerely as a monk. He took Anselm as his model, and resolved 
to maintain strenuously all the rights of the Church. It was 

Il8 HENRY II. OF ANyOU [1162- 

inevitable, Tinder these oiroumstanees, that Henry and Thomas 
should soon quarrel. Disputes at once arose upon various grounds. 
Thomas complained that the king had appropriated some of the 
property of the archbishopric, and opposed a plan of Henry's for 
ohangiug the method of levying some taxes. Soon these quarrels 
sank into insignificance as compared with the question of the trial 
of criminous clerks. 

4. From early times the Church had had courts of its own 
under the control of the bishops. Ever since William the Con- 
queror's law separating the bishop's court from that 
and the ^^ ^'^ hundred, these ecclesiaBtical courts had been 

question of steadily increasing in importance. They administered 
T'°k"°"^ a special law of their own called Canon Law, whose 
chief source was the decrees of the popes. The anarchy 
of Stephen's reign had immensely increased the importance of the 
Church courts, for they continued their regular meetings when 
civil war had made irregular the sessions of the king's courts of 
justice. By this time the courts of the Church had become rivals 
to the courts of the State. They claimed to try not only all 
ecclesiastical suits, but all cases in which clergymen were concerned. 
It was thought to be against the privileges of the Church for a clerk 
to be brought before one of the king's courts. This claim was the 
more dangerous from the wide sense in which the word " clerk " was 
used. Not only persons in holy orders, bishops, priests, deacons, 
and sub-deacons, were clerks ; the term included a multitude of 
persons in minor orders, and a stUl larger number who had merely 
been set apart to the service of the Church by receiving the tonsure. 
In short, nearly every man who could read was called a clerh, and 
claimed as such the privilege of being tried in the Church court 
only. Things were made worse because the ecclesiastical judges 
were lenient to brother clergymen, and because they could inflict 
no harsher punishment than imprisonment. In those days death, 
mutilation, and torture were regarded as the appropriate penalties 
for more heinous crimes. 

6. To an order-loving king like Henry, the exemption of the 
clergy from the jurisdiction of his courts was most unpalatable. 
The dispute ^^ ^^^ brought several clerks before his own judges, 
between and was bitterly indignant when Thomas denounced 
Henry and j^^g action as a breach of the liberties of the Church. 
In great disgust, Henry summoned the bishops to 
meet at Westminster, and asked them whether in the future they 
were wiLL'cng to accept the old customs of the realm as they existed 

-1164] HENRY n. OF ANyoU II9 

in the days of his grandfather. The bishops agreed to this " saving- 
the rights of their order." Thereupon, Henry drew up in writing 
a list of these ancient customs which in January, 1164, was laid 
before a great council held at the king's hunting-lodge of Clarendon, 
near Salisbury. For this reason it was called the Constitutions of 

6. The sixteen articles of the constitutions covered the whole 
ground of the relations of Church and State. They provided that 
clerks accused of crimes should be brought before the _,. „ ,._ 
king's justices. If they could prove that they were tutions of 
clergymen they were to be sent to the Church courts Clarendon, 
to be tried ; if convicted, the ecclesiastical court was 

to degrade them from their orders, and then they were to be 
brought back to the king's court and to receive, as laymen, a lay- 
man's punishment. The Church courts were to be carefully 
watched, and their jurisdiction limited to strictly ecclesiastical 
matters. Moreover, the rules which William the Conqueror had 
drawn up to determine doubtful points between Church and State 
were to be reasserted. The compromise arranged between Henry i. 
and Anselm was reaffirmed, and bishops were to hold their lands 
like other barons. Appeals to Eome were not to be made without 
the king's consent, and prelates were to be elected in the king's 
chapel under the king's eye. 

7. After a momentary acquiescence, Thomas refused to accept 
the Constitutions of Clarendon, declaring them to be against the 
liberties of the Church. Henry was moved to deep xhotnas 
indignation, and resolved to niin him. Corn-tiers leaves 
were encouraged to bring lawsuits against him, and England. 
Henry called upon him to give an account of the money which he. 
had received when he was chancellor. The king's violence gave 
Thomas a better argument than he had previously had for rejecting 
the constitutions. If the king's courts could be made the instru- 
ment for ruining the king's enemies, it was not unreasonable that 
the Church should strive to protect her clergy from such unright- 
eous bodies. As in the days of Anselm, most of the bishops were 
on the kiag's side, and begged Thomas to submit. In the Council 
of Northampton, October, 1164, the archbishop met Henry face to 
face and refused to surrender. The justiciar declared Thomas 
a traitor, whereupon the archbishop appealed to the pope and 
withdrew. A few days later he sailed in disguise to Prance. The 
angry king banished all his kinsfolk from England. 

8. For six years Thomas remained abroad and carried on 

I20 HENRY n. OP ANJOU [1164- 

a violent controversy witli the king. He was disgusted to find 
that the pope, Alexander in., gave him only a lukewarm support. 
-,. , Alexander himself was engaged at the moment in 

return to a great q[uarrel with the powerful Emperor Frederick 
England, Barbarossa, who had driven him from Italy to France. 
In Ms distress the pope was anxious not to hreak 
utterly with so mighty a prince as Henry, and did what he could 
to smooth matters over. Henry, on his part, was desirous of avoiding 
a breach with the pope. Gradually he became more reasonable, 
and after years of exile even Thomas was less stifE in his attitude. 
At last, in 1170, a vague agreement was patched up. Henry and 
Thomas met in France ; they said not a word about the Constitutions 
of Clarendon, but the king promised to restore the archbishop and 
his friends, and to be guided by his counsel in future. On Decem- 
ber 1, 1170, Thomas returned to England and took up his abode 
at Canterbury. During the negotiations for his restitution fresh 
causes of difficulty had arisen. The king's eldest son, Henry, was 
now a young man, and the king, following a custom usual in France, 
resolved to have him crowned during his own lifetime, so that the 
prince might learn the business of kingcraft under his father's 
eye, and share with him the heavy task of governing his vast 
dominions. The younger Henry's coronation took place on Whit 
Sunday, 1170. To crown the king was one of the most cherished 
rights of the archbishop of Canterbury, but, as Thomas was still 
abroad, Roger, archbishop of York, a close supporter of the king, 
had performed the ceremony. Thomas bitterly complained of this 
as a violation of the privileges of Canterbury, and excommunicated 
Archbishop Roger and all the bishops who took part in the cere- 
mony. Matters stood thus when Thomas returned to England. 
It is strange that Henry should have omitted to make terms with 
Thomas in this matter, but he probably thought that their agree- 
ment to let bygones be bygones included the question of the corona- 
tion as well as the Constitutions of Clarendon. He was at once 
disappointed in this hope. No sooner was Thomas established at 
Canterbury than he renewed the excommunication of the offending 

9. Henry was moved to a characteristic outburst of temper 
Murder of when he learned that the archbishop's return meant 
Thomas, a new quarrel. "What fools and dastards have I 

• nourished in my house," he cried, "that not one 

of them will avenge me on one upstart clerk ? " Four knights 
took Henry at his word, and rode straightway to Canterbury, 




whioli they reached on Decemher 29. They made their way 
to the archbishop's chamber and bade him forthwith obey the 
king's order and absolve the exoommiuiioated bishops. Thomas 
declared that he was only obeying 
the pope, and gave the knights 
no satisfaction. They left biTn 
in a rage, and the archbishop 
went into the cathedral, whero 
the terrified monks were singing 
vespers. Meanwhile the knights 
put on their armour and, accom- 
panied by a band of soldiers, fol- 
lowed Thomas into the chnrch. 
The archbishop's attendants 
would have closed the door which 
led from the cloister into the 
north transept. Thomas forbade 
them to do this, and moved 
slowly up the steps into the 
choir, as the four knights burst 
into the building. They cried, 
" Where is the traitor P " 
Thomas then returned to the 
transept, crying, " Here am I ; 
not traitor, but archbishop and 
priest of G-od." A fierce alter- 
cation followed, but soon the 
knights drew their swords and 
slew him as he stood. His last 
words were, " For the Name of Jesus and in defence of the 
Church, I am ready to embrace death." 

10. The cruel murderers of Thomas had done the worst service 
they could to their master. Against the living archbishop Henry 
had been able to contend on equal terms, but he was c.arinrAT.a.- 
powerless to hold his own against the outburst tionofSt. 
of popular indignation which attended their deed Thomas of 
of blood. Men forgot that the cause for which Canterbury. 
Thomas had died was not the cause of the Church, but the cause 
of the see of Canterbury over its rival York. They hailed the 
dead archbishop as a martyr who had laid down Ms life for the 
sake of justice. Stories were spread of his sanctity and devout- 
ness. It was believed that miracles were wrought by his mangled 

' X P/ace where St. Thomas tuas slain. 

(The buildings are mainly of later date 
than 1170.) 

122 HENRY II. OF ANJOU [1166- 

remaias. Pilgrims flocked from all Christendom to do honour 
to the martyr's tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. Alexander iii., who 
had neglected him in his life, declared him a saint after his death. 
All went iU with Henry until he solemnly renounced the 
Constitutions of Clarendon, bought off the -threatened censures of 
the pope by an unconditional submission, and purged himself of 
complicity in Thomas's death. As the last sign of his penitence 
Henry himself went on pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas, 
and was scourged with rods as a penance for his hasty words. In 
the broader c[uestion of the treatment of criminous clerks the 
martyred archbishop secured a substantial victory. Prom that 
time till the Kef ormation the ecclesiastical courts remained the sole 
tribunals in which a clerk could be condemned. All that Henry 
gained was that henceforth all persons accused of crimes were in 
the first instance brought before the king's tribunals ; but any 
criminal who could prove that he was a clergyman, was allowed 
what was called benefit of clergy, and the king's courts had no more 
to say to him. It shows how widespread was clerical privilege that 
the proof of clergy required was ability to read Latin. Despite 
all Henry's power the Church remained a state within the State, 
and the strongest of his successors was warned by the great king's 
failure to respect those inordinate privileges of the clergy for which 
Thomas thought he had laid down his life. 

11. The long struggle with Archbishop Thomas quickened rather 
than slackened Henry's zeal to improve the government of his 
Henry's dominions. Hitherto he had been content to restore 

reign as a the system of Henry I. Now that he had accomplished 
period of -tj^^t, he began to devise new laws of his own. Henry i. 
tion between ^^^ done a great work, but in his scheme the old 
Normans popxilar institutions of Anglo-Saxon times and the new 
and English, monarchical institutions of the Norman kings had 
not been completely welded into a single scheme. It was the 
special work of Henry 11. to put an end to this double system. His 
reign has been called a period of amalgamation, because he joined 
together what was best in old and new alike. Before he died the 
old local courts of the shire and hundred were closely bound 
together with the new royal courts administered by the king's 
officials. Not only was there an amalgamation of English and 
Norman institutions ; the English and Norman races, which had 
hitherto stood apart from each other, were similarly united by 
community of interests and frequent intermarriages. We have the 
testimony of one of Henry's ministers that the two peoples were 

-I176.] HENRY II. OF ANJOU 123 

already so indistinguisliable that no one knew trlio was a Norman 
or who was an Englishman by race. The higher classes still spoke 
French, and French Christian names alone were popular. But 
these French-speaking Englishmen were becoming English in feel- 
ing, and as the old Norman families died out, new ones arose who 
had neither estates nor kinsmen in Normandy, and were sometimes 
purely English in. blood. 

12. Henry 11. was one of the greatest legislators in English 
history. The most important of his laws are called Anises, and 
the first of these was the Assize of Cla/rendon, drawn up jj,e Assize of 
in that same Wiltshire hunting-lodge that had witnessed Clarendon, 
the beginning of Henry's struggle with Beoket. The ®" 
Assize of Clarendon completed the con^stitution of the new judicial 
system, towards which things had been drifting since the reign of 
Henry i. By it the king's justices were directed to go on circuit 
throughout the country, and visit every shire in turn and try 
criminals. At their coming each county court was to choose a 
committee of landholders, which was to bring before it aU persons 
suspected of criminal ofEenoes within the shire. This body was 
called a jury because its members were sworn (jiorati) to accuse 
truly. It was called a jury of presentment because it presented 
criminals for trial before the justice. The justice represented the 
new jurisdiction of the crown, the jury the old popular court of the 
shire. Their combination in this judicial system proved permanent. 
The modem Grand Jury still continues to discharge the work of 
Henry's juries of presentment, and to this daythe king's ^jje Assize of 
judges go on oirouit to each shire after the fashion Northamp- 
systematized by the Assize of Clarendon. Ten years *°"' *^'°- 
later the Assize of Clarendon was reissued in the Assize of North- 
a/mpton, which imposed severer penalties on ofEenders. 

13. Another law of Henry's, the Grand Assize oi xnic&rtain date, 
extended the jury system from criminal to civil cases. Since the 
Norman conquest, the ordinary way of deciding dis- 
putes about land was by trial by battle. The idea was AssiM.*"*^ 
that the two claimants should fight out their claims 

with each other, and that God would work a miracle by giving the 
victory not to the better warrior, but to the man with the better 
claim. So crude a system now seemed impious to the clergy and 
foolish to the lawyer. The Grand Assize gave claimants to estates 
the opportunity of referring their claim to the decision of a jury, as 
an alternative to the barbaric custom of trial by battle. This was 
welcomed as an especial boon to the weak and feeble. 

124 HENRY II. OF ANJOU [1166- 

14 Another famous law of Henry's was tte Assize of Arms of 
1181, by which the old English national militia of the fyrd was 
The Assize revised and organized. By it every freeman was re- 
ef Arms, cLuired to provide himself with arms of a kind suitaMe 
^^®^- to his estate, so that he might when called upon defend 

the country from invasion or assist in putting down rebellion. This 
assize made the feudal service of the barons less important. Long 
before this the kings had established the custom of levying taxes 
called scutage, or shield-money, from the military 
tenants, whereby they paid to the crown sums of money 
instead of serving personally. With this money the king was able 
to hire professional soldiers, who fought better than the barons. 
But the mercenaries were expensive and unpopular, and after the 
Assize of Arms Henry employed them for foreign service only, 
and depended chiefly on the fyrd for home service. Despot 
though he was, he was popular enough to be able to trust the 
EngKsh people to bear arms, even though those arms might be used 
against him. 

15. In 1184 Henry issued the Assize of Woodstock, or the Assize 
of the Forest. He was an indefatigable hunter, and his chief object 
The Assize of ^^® *° protect the game which he preserved for his 
Woodstock, sport. Moreover, Kke his predecessors, Henry regarded 

the forests as the districts specially subject to his 
arbitrary control. This assize accordingly was very severe, and shows 
Henry's government at its worst. It was the first formal code of 
regulations drawn up for the forests, and something was gained 
when even a severe law was set up in place of the royal caprice 
which had hitherto alone regulated them. A system of forest 
courts was established analogous to those of the rest of the country. 
Even in the forests Henry fotmd scope for his favourite system of 

16. Henry 11. won back the authority over Britain as a whole 
which his grandfather had exercised. The lords marcher in Wales 
Henry II 's regained the position which had been threatened under 
relations to Stephen ; but the princes of Gwynedd, though acknow- 
Wales and ledging Henry as their overlord, were able in practice 

to keep him at arm's length. Thrice Henry led ex- 
peditions to the wilds of Snowdon, but not one of them was really 
successful. The result of this was that North Wales remained a 
strong and nearly independent national Welsh state ; but Welsh 
and marcher lords alike looked up to Henry as supreme. Under 
him the Welsh bishops finally accepted the claims of the archbishop 

-Ii88.] HENRY II. OF ANJOU 125 

of Canterbury to be their metropolitan. In 1188 Arobbishop 
Baldwin traversed Wales from end to end to preach a new 
cmsade. Scotland, even more than "Wales, felt the weight of 
Henry's arm. We have seen how he compelled Malcolm iv. to 
surrender the advantages won by David under Stephen. Mal- 
colm's brother and successor, William the Lion, was a warlike and 
powerful kiag. In 1173 he united with Henry's foreign and 
baronial enemies in a great attack on his power. Taken prisoner 
at Alnwick, he was forced, as the price of his release, to sign the 
ignominious treaty of Falaise ; by this he fully accepted Henry as 
liege lord of Scotland, and admitted English garrisons into Edin- 
burgh and other chief towns of his realm. 

17. Henry ii.'s reign is remarkable for the extension of the 
Norman power to Ireland. Ireland, which in the days of Anglo- 
Saxon barbarism had been the most civilized country ~ , ^ 

in western Europe, had now faUen far away from its period of 
ancient glory. The land was divided among many Irish inde- 
petty kings, who were always waging war against each 
other. 'Though one of these claimed to be overlord of the whole 
land, he had little real power. The old Celtic system, by which 
the chief of each tribe really ruled over his clansmen, stiU prevailed, 
and kept back the poHtioal development of the island. Danish 
chieftains bore rule over coast towns, such as Dublin, Cork, and 
Limerick, and added a new element to the general confusion. The 
Church was as disorganized as the State. 

18. The q^uarrels of the Irish with each other first gave the 
Normans a pretext for establishing themselves in Ireland. The 
heroes of the Norman conquest of Ireland were the ^jjg uorman 
Norman marchers of South Wales, who extended their conquest of 
power over the island by the same devices that had 'reland. 
secured for their grandfathers the richer parts of South Wales. 
Dermot, king of Leinster, was driven in 1166 from his dominions, 
and rashly invited some of the Norman lords of South Wales to 
help him to win them back. At their head was Richard of Clare, 
surnamed Sironghow, lord of Chepstow and palatine earl of 
Pembroke. He restored Dermot to his kingdom, married his 
daughter, and seized upon his dominions after his death. Other 
Norman adventurers followed his example, and added to the con- 
fusion of Ireland by setting up small feudal lordships in the districts 
which they had won by their swords. Henry ii. had no part in 
their conq^uests, but he became alarmed lest they should establish 
a power dangerous to himself. In 1171 he betook himself to 

126 HENRY 11. OF ANJOU [1159- 

Ireland, in order to establish his authority over Irish, Dane, and 
Norman ahke. None dared resist him. The native Irish welcomed 
him as their protector against the new-comers from Wales, and the 
Normans submitted because they had not sufficient strength to 
withstand him. In these circumstances it was easy for Henry 
to obtain acknowledgments of his supremacy from all the chief 
powers in Ireland. He added to his titles that of lord, of Ireland, 
and set up an English government iu Dublin. He introduced 
Norman ecclesiastics, who strove to reorganize the Irish Church 
after the Roman pattern. English traders established themselves 
in the towns, and strong castles kept the fertile plains in subjection. 
But the Irish clans held their own amidst the mountains and bogs, 
and everywhere Henry's influence was very superficial. In this 
fashion Henry carried out in a way the dreams of Edgar and 
"WUliam i. He was the first English king who was in any sense 
lord of aU the British islands. 

19. By inheritance and marriage Henry was suzerain over all 
western France. From his father came the county of Anjou 

and Touraine; Normandy and Maine he inherited 
EmDire^^ from his mother; his marriage made him duke of 

Aquitaine. His wife, Eleanoi:, was the heiress of the 
old line of the dukes of Ao[uitaine, whose authority extended over 
all south-western France, from the river Loire to the Pyrenees, and 
from the Bay of Biscay to the mountains of Auvergne and the 
Cevennes. The northern part of this region was the county of 
Poitou, whose capital was Poitiers. More to the south lay Gruienne 
and Gascony, of which the chief towns were Bordeaux and Bayonne. 
Over the whole of this region the French kings had never exercised 
any substantial authority, and even the dukes of Aquitaiue were little 
more than its overlords. Heal power belonged to the turbulent 
feudal nobles, whose constant feuds with each other, and with the 
towns, kept the whole land full of violence and bloodshed. Never- 
theless it was a rich and vigorous region, differing so widely from 
northern France that its inhabitants looked upon both king of 
Paris and dukes of Eouen as foreigners. South of the Dordogne 
the people spoke the Gascon or Provencal tongue, which was a 
different language from the French of the north. They cherished 
dearly their local independence, and even a strong ruler like Henry 
was not able to subject them to the severe discipline which had 
made England peaceable and law-abiding. 

20. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a woman of vigorous character and 
unrulv disTJOsition. She had married Henrv because she had been 

-II74-] HENRY 11. OF ANJOU 12/ 

at variance with, her first husband, Lonis vii. of France, who had 
wedded her for the sake of her dominions. Before long she quar- 
relled with Henry also, and inspired her sons to join Henry II 
with her former husband in attempts to overthrow and his 
their father. It was easier for her to do this, since *i^"i*'y- 
Henry was an affectionate father, and anxious to share with his sons 
the government of his dominions. We have seen how he crowned 
his eldest son Henry king in 1170, and proposed to make him his 
partner in power. He wished to establish the younger sons also 
in the government of some outlying portion of his dominions. 
Kichard, the second son, was made duke of Aquitaine, and showed 
great valour and energy in his efforts to reduce his mother's in- 
heritance to some sort of order. GeofErey, his third son, married 
the heiress of Brittany^ and the lands under Henry's overlordship 
were stiU further extended when Greoffirey became reigning count of 
Brittany under his father's supremacy. John, the youngest and 
best beloved of Henry's sons, was married to the heiress of the 
great Gloucester earldom, and sent to rule Ireland. But none of 
Henry's sons were worthy of their father's generosity ; their con- 
stant intrigues and rebellions embittered the last years of his life. 

21. Neighbouring princes were extremely jealous of Henry's 
great position, and did their best to undermine his power. Among 
his chief enemies was the count of Toulouse, the here- Henry's 
ditary rival of the duke of Aquitaine, and against him foreign 
Henry waged, in 1159, a war called the war of Toulouse ; Po"cy. 
later on he compelled the count of Toulouse to do homage to him. 
The count of Toulouse was only saved from destruction by the help 
afforded him by Louis vii. of France, against whom 75,3 ^^p of 
Henry had scruples in waging war because Louis was Toulouse, 
hisoverlord. Inthehopeof keepingupfriendlyrelations "°^' 
with France, Henry married his eldest son to Louis's daughter ; 
but Louis was as treacherous as Henry's own children. During the 
period when the outcry against Henry as the cause of St. Thomas's 
death had turned publio opinion against him, Louis made an 
aUianoe with the young king and his brothers Richard and Geoffrey. 
This grew into a great confederation of all the English king's 
enemies. William of Scotland, as we have seen, joined the league, 
and the feudal barons, both in England and Normandy, jj,g ^^ps of 
though afraid to attack Henry so long as he was at peace, 1 1 73 and 
eagerly availed themselves of his difficulties with his ^174. 
children and foreign neighbours to unfurl once more the banner 
of baronial independence, In 1173 and 1174 the great struggle 




William I's Posessions in France- 
County of Anjou..^ 

Corrti'nental Lands of Stephen 
Inheritance of Eleanor of Aquitame 

County of Brittany .._ 

French King's Domain in 1185 c^^ 

Boundary of French Monarchy 

Emery ^VaIl^cr sc. 


-1 189.] HENRY II. OF ANJOU 1 29 

between Henry and his enemies extended from the Tweed to the 
Pyrenees. Henry was everywhere victorious. We have seen how 
he crushed William of Scotland and forced him to sign the 
hxmiiliatiag' treaty of Falaise. Louis of France failed in his 
iuvasion of Normandy, and the fleet with which the younger Henry 
set out to iavade England was scattered by a storm. The fidelity of 
the official class, and the loyalty of the English people, made it an 
easy matter for Henry to suppress the baronial rebellion. Over 
his nobles his triumph was a permanent one ; the rising of 1173 
and 1174 was the last of the many feudal revolts against the 
national monarchy which had begun a hundred years earlier with 
the rebellions of earls Ralph and Roger against WiUiam i. 

22. For the next few years Henry ruled in peace. With wonder- 
ful magnanimity he forgave his rebellious children, and restored 
them to their governments. He was now one #f the Henry's 
greatest kings in Christendom, and foreign princes foreign 
eagerly sought his alliance. He married his daughters ^'''^n^^s. 
to the kings of Castile and Sicily, the count of Toulouse, and to 
Henry the Lion, the greatest of the German dukes and the rival 
of the mighty Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. By these alliances, 
and by other means, Henry obtained powerful support against his 
natural enemy the king of France. He established friendship 
which long outlasted his life with Castile, the chief Spanish king- 
dom, with Germany, and with Flanders. For the rest of the Middle 
Ages there was a traditional friendship between England and these 
three lands, just as there was a traditional enmity with France. 
Thus the foreign policy of the Angevin king coloured the foreign 
policy of England for several centuries. 

23. The folly and wickedness of his children cast a gloom over 
the last years of Henry's life. The young King Henry went to 
war with his brother Richard, and forced the old king .pj^^ pgu.,. 
to take up arms on behalf of the latter. In the course Uons of 

of the struggle the young king expired in 1188. Henry's 
Geoffrey of Brittany died two years later, in 1186 ; 
but Richard still gave him plenty of trouble. In 1189 Richard 
once more rose in revolt, and made a close alliance with the son of 
Louis VII., Philip 11., called Augustus, who became king of Prance 
in 1180. It was a grievous disappointment to Henry that his 
youngest son, John, who had hitherto remained faithful, joined his 
brother in this rebellion. After this Henry had no heart to fight 
against his treacherous sons. Smitten with a mortal illness, he 
threw himself on Ms bed, and cried, " Let things go as they will ; 

13° HENRY II. OF ANJOU [1189. 

I care no more for myself or for anythmg else in the world." A 
few days later he died, on July 7, mnrmtiring, " Shame, shame on 

a conquered king." Here Henry was unjust to him- 
death 1 189 ®®^ ' ^^ work was far from being undone, even by the 

treachery of his own sons. He had established the 
unity of England on so firm a basis that it could not be shaken 
even by the incompetence of those who came after him. 


Chief dates : 

1 189. Accession of Eichard i. 

I189-1192. Richaid on Crusade. 

1194. Richard's release and second visit to England. 

1199. Death of Eichard i. 

1. RioHAKD OP Aquitaine Succeeded without difficulty to all his 
father's dominions. Despite his treachery to his father, he was 
not without noble qualities, and shed hitter tears 
when he heard of Henry's miserable end. Brought R^^ardT °^ 
up amidst the constant tumults of his mother's in- 
heritance, he became a consum.mate warrior and a famous knight. 
He was taU and handsome, with fair hair and blue eyes. Well 
educated, he could, it was said, talk Latin better than an arch- 
bishop. He loved poetry, and was himself a poet, while among- 
his friends was Bertrand de Bom, the greatest of the troubadours, 
or poets, of southern France. He had ability enough to make him 
a good ruler ; but he cared little for extending his power over his 
dominions, and threw his whole soul into the quest of personal 
adventures. He was the least English of our kings, and during 
his reign of ten years only paid two short visits to England. 
During those years his exploits as a warrior made him the hero of 
all Christendom, and gained him his surname of Eichard the Lion 
Heart. But the personal adventures of the king go on quite 
different lines from the history of his kingdom. 

2. When Richard became king, aU Europe rang with the preach- 
ing of a new crusade. The Christian kingdom of Jerusalem, estab- 
lished by the First Crusade, had long fallen into evil „. , , , 
mi on jiTi.^-.. Ricnapd and 

days. The energy of the western lords of Syria the Third 

withered away amidst a tropical climate and oriental Crusade, 
surroundings. For a time the Crusaders held their 
own because of the divisions of their Mohammedan enemies. At last 
a great Mohammedan state grew up in Syria, whose head was the 





Stiltan Saladin. In 1187 Saladin won a great victory over the 
Christians, and wrested from them Jerusalem itseK. The crusading 
kingdom was reduced to a few seaport towns, and would clearly be 
destroyed altogether unless Christendom united iu a great crusade 
to restore it. The new expedition, called the Third Crusade, was 
preached with energy and success. Frederick Barbarossa, the old 
emperor, and Philip Augustus, the young kiug of France, both took 
the cross. To Richard the crusade offered the chance of personal 

The Crusade of Richard I. 

Outward route shown thus:-... > 
Homeward ,f ,, ,, ^. 

adventure and military distinction such as he loved. He went to 
England, was crowned king, and used every means to raise money 
to e(iuip himself and his followers on the crusade. He sold to the 
highest bidder the chief offices of Church and State in England. 
WiUiam Longohamp, bishop of Ely, a foreigner by birth, bought 
the offices of chancellor and justiciar. He allowed William of Scot- 
land to renounce the hard conditions of the treaty of Falaise in 
return for a money payment. So eager was he to amass treasure 
that he declared that he would have sold London could he have 
found a purchaser. Then he started for Palestine, and England saw 
no more of him for five years. Richard travelled to the Holy Land 
by way of France. At Marseilles he took ship for the East, but 
tarried on his way in Sicily and Cyprus, where he married his wife 
Berengaria of Navarre. In 1191 he landed near Acre, the chief 


port of the crusading kingdom, and a place which still held out 
against Saladin. Philip Augustus had arrived there before him, and 
the two kings soon forced Acre to surrender. Prom Acre Richard 
marched towards Jerusalem, and arrived within twelve miles of the 
holy city ; but bad weather prevented further progress, especially 
as the French and English elements in the army were quarreUing 
bitterly with each other. Philip Augustus was already jealous of 
his old ally, and hTirried back to Europe to profit by his absence. 
In these circumstances aU Richard's personal heroism could not 
procure complete success to his cause. In 1192 he made a truce 
by which the Christians were consoled in some measure for the 
loss of Jerusalem by the condition that pilgrims were allowed free 
access to the holy places. 

3. Richard then started to return to Europe ; news reached him 
that Philip Augustus was so hostile that the direct route back 
through France was unsafe. Richard therefore Kiohard's 
determined to travel by way of Germany. To avoid captivity in 
attention he went in disguise, accompanied by only a "^'''"s.ny. 
few followers ; but he soon attracted notice, and near Vienna was 
arrested by Leopold, duke of Austria, an old crusader with whom 
he had quaiTelled in the Holy Land. The supreme ruler of Ger- 
many was now the Emperor Henry vi., son of Frederick Barbarossa, 
who had died on the crusade. Henry vi. hated Richard because 
he had given a refuge to his brother-in-law, Henry the Lion, 
whom Frederick Barbarossa had expelled from Germany. He 
welcomed the accident which had brought Richard within Leopold's 
power, and soon the Atistrian duke handed Richard over to the 
emperor's direct custody. Henry kept Richard in prison until he 
agreed to pay the enormous ransom of £100,000 — a sum almost 
amotinting to two years of the royal revenue, at a time when the 
people were taxed to the uttermost. Besides this, Richard was 
forced to surrender his kingdom to the Emperor, and receive 
it back as a fief of the empire. In compensation for this humi- 
liation Henry granted Richard the kingdom of Burgundy, or 
Aries — a grant which meant nothing at all, as Henry had little 
power over that district. Meanwhile strenuous efforts were made 
to raise the king's ransom. Every landholder was called upon to 
pay a fourth of his income, and the very chalices in the churches 
were melted down to make up the sum. By 1194 the money was 
paid, and Richard was free to go home. 

4 During the five years of Richard's absence there had been 
much confusion and some civil war in England. Yet it was a 


remarkable testimony to the abiding strength of Henry 11. 's 
administrative system that the machinery of government continued 
_ . to work even in the absence of the sovereign. Bishop 

during Longchamp, the justiciar ,was not a successful minister. 

Richard's He offended the barons by his pride and his foreign 
tl89-l 194 '"'^y^' ^"^'^ '''^^y called on Earl John, the king's younger 
brother, to help them to drive him from power. 
Longchamp could not resist the force they brought against him, 
and was forced in 1191 to quit the realm. At that moment 
Walter of Coutances, archbishop of Rouen, came back from 
crusade with a letter from Richard, nominating him as justiciar. 
The barons accepted the king's candidate, and the archbishop 
ruled England peaceably for two years. But when Richard's 
captivity was known, Philip of France invaded Normandy, and 
tried to capture Rouen. John allied' himself with the French 
king, and rose in revolt against Richard. It is good evidence 
that the archbishop of Rouen was a wise minister, that he drove 
Philip out of Normandy, put down John's revolt, and raised the 
king's ransom. 

6. In 1194 Richard again appeared in England. His second 
visit was almost as short as his first, and, as before, he devoted 
England most of his energy to raising money. He generously 

from 1194 forgave his treacherous brother, but was eager to have 
to 1199. reveng'e on the French king, who had striven to rob 

him of his dominions when he was the emperor's captive. Leav- 
ing his comrade on the crusade, Hubert Walter, archbishop of 
Canterbury, as justiciar, Richard soon left England, and was never 
seen there again. He spent the rest of his life in waging war 
against the French king, and left the whole administration of 
England in the hands of the justiciar. Hubert Walter was a 
nephew of Ranulf Glanville, justiciar of Henry 11., and had been 
weU trained in the work of administration. He was powerful 
enough to make several improvements in the administrative 
system, and was ingenious in devising expedients to supply Richard 
with money for fighting his battles. In 1198 he imposed such 
burdens upon the people that they could bear them, no longer. 
When called upon to f ui-nish knights to fight for Richard in Prance, 
the barons resisted. Hugh of Avalon, bishop of Lincoln, a saintly 
man who had once been a hermit, made himself the spokesman 
of the opposition. He declared that he would rather go back to 
his old hermit's life than lay fresh burdens on the tenants of his 




after resigned office. His successor was a layman, Geoffrey Fitz 
Peter, earl of Essex. 

6. During- aU these years Rickard was doing his best to break 
down the power of Philip of Prance, and achieved a fair measure of 
success. To protect Rouen and Normandy from in- Ri-hard's 
vasion he built a new castle on a chalk cliff dominat- last wars 
ing the Seine, near the town of Les Andelys. It was ^"'1 death, 
a large and well-planned structure, and it was built 
within twelve months. Proud of his skill as an engiaeer, Richard 
cried, " Is not this a fine saucy baby of mine, this child of a year old P " 
Prom this jest Richard's 
castle took its name of Cha- 
teau Gaillard — ^that is, Saucy 
Castle. Gallant soldier though 
he was, Richard's campaigns 
were somewhat unfruitful. 
His energies were consumed 
iu petty wars which had no 
real influence on events. In 
one of these he met his death 
in 1199. A vassal of Richard's, 
lord of Chains, near Limoges, 
discovered a treasure buried 
in the earth. Richard claimed 
the find for himseM, on the 
ground that, as treasure-trove, 
it belonged to him as over- 
lord. His vassal resisted, and 
Richard went in person to be- 
siege the castle of Chains, 
which the rebel held against 
him. One day, as the king 

was watching the progress of the siege, he was struck in the breast 
by the bolt of a crossbow. The wound was treated by so unskUful 
a surgeon that the flesh mortified. As Richard lay dying the 
castle was taken, and the soldier who had shot him was brought 
captive before him. " What have I done to thee," said the dying 
king, " that thou shouldst slay me ? " " Thou hast slain," answered 
the archer, " my father and two of my brothers ; tortiu-e me as thou 
wilt, I shall die gladly since I have slain thee." Richard ordered 
the man to be set free. He then gathered his barons round him, 
and urged them to accept John as his successor. He died on 

Emerv Walker ac. 


April 6, 1199, and, in spite of his commands, the crossbowman 
was cruelly put to death. Though he had done so little for 
England, Richard's reputation as a warrior long kept his memory 
green. Apart from his personal exploits, the importance of his 
reign rests in the fact that it proved that the foundations of the 
system of Henry 11. had been so carefully laid that the ministers 
were able to rule England in peace, despite Richard's absence and 

JOHN LACKLAND (1199-1216) 

Chief dates : 

1199. Accession of John. 

1204. Loss of Nonnandy. 

1208. England put under Interdict. 

1213. John's submission to Innocent iii. 

1215. The Great Charter. 

1216. Death of John. 

1. On Eiohaxd's death. Jolin hurried to England, and easily got him- 
self accepted as king. He was not the nearest heir by birth, for 
his elder brother, G-eoffrey of Brittany, had left a son 
named Arthur. Many who distrusted John wished j/hn^i?99°^ 
that Arthur should succeed Richard. But Arthur was 
a boy, and it was quite in accordance with old English precedent 
that his uncle, who was a grown man, should be preferred to him. 
Philip of Prance, ever anxious to make mischief in the AngeTin 
dominions, supported Arthur's cause ; but Queen Eleanor, though 
now very old, used all her influence against her grandson, and in 
favour of her youngest son. On May 27 John was crowned in 
"Westminster Abbey by Hubert Walter. 

2. John's previous career was ominous for the future. "When 
sent as a young man to rule Ireland, his petulance and folly had 
so disgusted the Irish chieftains that Henry ii. was 
compelled to withdraw from him the government of pae^gp!^' 
the island. We have seen already his treachery and 
ingratitude to his father and elder brother. Able, like all the 
Angevins, and capable, on occasion, of energetic action, both aS a 
warrior and statesman, he wrecked his whole career by the narrow 
selfishness which sacrificed aU his highest interests to gratify the 
caprice of the moment. His life was foul ; he was cruel, treacherous, 
and deceitful ; he could be bound by no promise, and kept stead- 
fast in no course of action. The liistory of WUliam Rufus had 
shown that a bad man might be a competent king. As a man, John 


138 JOHN LACKLAND [1199- 

was not much worse than Rufus ; as a king, he was utterly lacking 
in that intelligent sense of self-interest which gave purpose to 
Rufus's wickedest acts of tyranny. From the heginning of his reign 
he was only saved from disaster by the restraining influence ex- 
ercised over him by three wise advisers. His mother, Eleanor, 
secured his succession to the whole of the Angevin Empire. 
Hubert Walter, the archbishop of Canterbury, kept up some sort 
of terms between him and the Church. The justiciar, Geoffrey Eitz 
Peter, managed, despite many obstacles, to carry on the internal 
government of England on the Unes laid down by Heruy 11. As 
time went on the removal of these three faithful friends left John 
free to follow his own caprice, and in each case his personal action 
involved him in humiliation and disaster. The death of Eleanor 
was quickly followed by the loss of Normandy. The death of 
Hubert Walter soon led to a mortal quarrel with the Church. 
When Fitz Peter died John blundered into a quarrel with his 
English subjects which cost him his greatest and last humiliation. 
Round these three great calamities the history of his reign centred. 
The Angevin Empire, which had survived the neglect of Richard, 
was destroyed by the active tyranny of John. 

3. It was with great difficulty that Eleanor had succeeded ia 
winning over all the Angevin dominions in France to John's side. 
John and ®^^ '^^'^ helped by the treachery of Philip 11., who 
Arthur of took up arms on Arthur's behalf, but kept all the con- 
Bplttany. quests he made for himself. This annoyed Arthur's 
friends so much that they made terms with John, and finally, 
in 1200, Philip himself recognized his rival as his brother's heir. 
Within a few months of this recognition John's folly and greed 
compelled him to fight once more for his dominions. He repudiated 
his rich wife Isabella of Gloucester, and married Isabella of 
Angouleme, the heiress of the county of that name. Isabella was 
betrothed to Hugh of Lusignan, count of La Marche, the most 
powerful of the lords of Poitou, who was bitterly incensed at losing 
both the lady and her possessions. He called upon the barons of 
Poitou to help bim ; many of these had grievances of their own 
against their capricious sovereign, and they wiUingly appealed to 
Pliilip II. as overlord to protect them from the lawless acts of their 
immediate lord. After long delays Philip accepted their appeal, 
and in 1202 summoned John to Paris to answer the complaints 
brought against him. John refused to appear, and the court of the 
French king condemned him to lose aU his lands in France. Philip 
at once invaded Normandy, in the hope of enforcing the sentence 


in person. He recognized Arthur of Brittany as lord of Ao[uitaine 
and Anjon, and invited him to conquer his inheritance. Arthur, 
though only fifteen years old, showed gallantry and resolution. He 
invaded Poitou, and took possession of Mirebeau, one of its chief 
strongholds. His grandmother, Eleanor, who was in the town, was 
forced to take refuge in the castle, where she was strictly blockaded 
by her grandson. John himself came to his mother's rescue, 
defeated Arthur's troops, and took his nephew prisoner. Arthur 
was imprisoned at Eouen, and was murdered in 1203 by his uncle's 
orders. Next year old Queen Eleanor died, and John's cause 
speedily collapsed. 

4. Philip II. threw all his energies into the conquest of 
Normandy. John remained inactive at Eouen, and seemed un- 
moved by his rival's successes. " Let Philip go on,'' The loss of 
he said; "whatever he takes, I shall retake it in a Normandy 
single day." At last Phffip besieged Chateau GaiUard. a-ndAnjou. 
Richard's favourite castle held out gallantly for eight months, and 
its reduction was one of the greatest feats of military engineering of 
the time. John made but feeble efforts to succour the garrison, and 
in April, 1204, Philip captured the place by assault. Normandy was 
now open to attack, and many of its barons, disgfusted with John's 
slackness, made common cause with the French king. With the 
surrender of Rouen in June, the whole of the duchy passed into 
Philip's hands. Next year Philip established his power over the 
greater part of Poitou. Anjou was overrun with equal ease, and 
by 1206 John's authority over Prance was limited to the lands 
south of the Charente. 

5. For the rest of his reign John made half-hearted and gene- 
rally unsuccessful attempts to reconquer his father's lands, and the 
levity and instability of the Poitevin barons gave him 

many chances of turning the tables on Philip. His l^ Roche au 
most serious attempt was made in 1213, when he Moine and 
managed to win back much of the ground lost in lai'I °^^' 
Poitou and Anjou. His nephew Otto, son of his 
sister and Henry the Lion, who had been brought up at his court, 
was now Roman emperor, through the support of Pope Inno- 
cent in. Otto, however, soon quarrelled with the pope, and as 
John was also on bad terms with Rome, uncle and nephew worked 
closely together. As Philip of France was the close ally of Inno- 
cent, Otto and John formed a great league of excommunicated 
princes against him. In 1214, while Otto carried on the war in the 
northern frontier of France, John went to Anjou and besieged the 


castle of La Eoohe au Moine, on the Loire. Louis, Philip 11. 's 
eldest son, led an army to its relief, and a battle seemed imminent, 
but at the last moment John shirked an engagement, and fled to 
the south. In the same year Otto was defeated by Philip in a 
great battle at Bouvines, near Tournai. This double disaster broke 
up the coalition. It secured the establishment of Philip's power 
in Anjou and Poitou, and for the rest of his life domestic concerns 
occupied John too fully to allow hiTn to contend any longer against 
his adversary. Henceforth the northern parts of the Angevin 
empire were permanently annexed to France. Though the circum- 
stances of their loss was very disgraoeftd to John, yet the separa- 
tion of England and Normandy proved, in the long run, a good 
thing for France and England. The two countries were bound to 
remain separate and independent nations, and it was best for both 
that they should be so. Philip's conquests so immensely increased 
the strength of France that henceforward the French monarchy, 
so feeble under the early Capetians, became one of the greatest 
states of Europe. It was also a gain to England that Normandy 
should no longer be under the rule of the English king. Up to 
then many English barons had had estates in both countries, and 
the consequent division of their interests made it hard for them to 
become good Englishmen. They had now to choose between 
France and England. Those who had their main estates in 
England lost their Norman possessions, so that their sole interests 
were for the future on this side of the channel. Thus the separa- 
tion of the kingdom and the duchy was another step forward in the 
growth of English unity and English national feeling. The 
Norman aristocracy of England had no longer any reason for acting 
otherwise than as Englishmen. 

6. In 1206 Hubert Walter, the wise archbishop of Canterbtuy, 
died. His death removed a powerful check from the king, and a 
The disDuted dispute about the succession soon led John into a 
election at fierce conflict with the Church. The right of electing 
?9n^^'''"""^' ^^^ hishop rested with the chapter of his cathedral, 
and the Benedictine monks of the cathedral of Christ 
Church, Canterbury, had an undoubted legal claim to choose the 
new archbishop. But the monks were apt to take a narrow view 
of their duty, and to forget that the selection of the head of the 
English Church was a business that concerned the whole country. 
As a matter of fact, the king had always a large share in deciding 
who was to be archbishop, and the tendency was to reduce what 
was called the canonical election by the chapter to the mere form 

-I207.] JOHN LACKLAND 141 

of the monks accepting the king's nominee. On this occasion, 
however, the monks of Christ Church ootJd not agree among each 
other or with the king. The yoTinger brethren, thinking of the 
interests of their monastery, rather than the interests of the 
Church as a whole, elected as archbishop their sub-prior Reginald, 
a boastful and commonplace monk, with no claim to so distin- 
guished an office. They did not ask John's permission to proceed 
to election, and made their choice in the utmost secrecy. They 
sent Reginald to Rome to get the paZZiitm. from the pope, and told him 
to say nothing about their action. Reginald, however, was so pleased 
with his new dignity that he could not keep it to himself. News of 
the monks' hasty choice soon reached John, who in great anger 
ordered the chapter to choose one of his ministers, John de Grey, 
bishop of Norwich, who was a mere politician. Some of the monks 
consented to do this from fear of the king, and soon G-rey also was 
urgiag the pope to give him the palliutn as the rightly elected 

7. As supreme head of the Church the popes had long claimed 
a voice in the appointment of the chief ecclesiastical dignitaries. 
A disputed election such as this always gave them a 

special opportunity of interfering with effect. The procures 
Roman see was now held by Innocent iii., who was Langton's 
perhaps the most powerful of aU the popes of the ^gnt 1207 
Middle Ages. He was eager to extend his influence in 
every direction, and being a high-minded and honourable man, 
was anxious that the best possible person should become archbishop 
of Canterbury. He soon convinced himself that both Reginald 
and John were unfit for so great a burden. He summoned repre- 
sentatives of the chapter to Rome, and advised them to pass over 
both candidates and make a fresh election. He recommended them 
to choose Stephen Langton, an Englishman by birth, and a famous 
theologian, who was then living at Rome as a cardinal of the 
Roman Church. The monks could not resist papal pressure, 
and elected Langton. Thereupon Innocent gave him the pallium, 
and consecrated him bishop with his own hands. 

8. Langton was likely to be a much better archbishop than the 
foolish monk and the greedy worldling respectively favoured by 
chapter and king. Buthowever wise Innocent's appoint- Quarrel of 
ment was, it was a dangerous thing that the head of John and 
the EngUsh Church should be forced upon the country I°"oeent III. 
by the pope, and wiser kings than John might weU have hesitated 
to accept the nomination from Rome. There is no need, however, to 

142 JOHN LACKLAND [1208- 

suppose that deep motives of policy and a high-minded desire to 
resist papal aggression moved John to resist Innocent's nominee. 
John's sole wish was to get as archbishop a dependant who would 
help him to plunder and oppress the Church. But, whatever his 
motives, he would not give way to the pope, and as Innocent was 
equally unbending, a fierce conflict broke out between them. Mean- 
while the church of Canterbury remained vacant, for Innocent 
would not recognize Grey, and John would not allow Langton 

to enter the country. After a year Innocent put Eng- 
T?'^ '?poR \wi^ under an interdict. An interdict was one of the 

severest punishments which the Church could inflict. 
By it aU public worship was forbidden ; churches were closed ; no 
beE was tolled ; the dead were buried in unconsecrated ground 
without any religious rites ; it was a favour that the dying were 
admitted to the last sacraments, and baptism allowed to the new- 
born child. Men thought that God's favour was withdrawn from a 
land under interdict, and in that age of faith the loss of the con- 
solations of the Church was a thing grievous to be borne. John, 
who was as godless as William Hufus, cared little for the interdict. 
He was strong enough to force many of the clergy to continue their 
services and ignore the pope's orders. Those priests who obsei-ved 
the interdict were driven into banishment. A year passed by, 
John's ex- ^^^ John remained as obstinate as ever. In 1209 
communica- Innocent excommunicated John ; that is to say, he 
tion, 1209. refused to allow him to participate in any of the ser- 
vices of the Church. The king was as careless of excommunica- 
tion as he had been of the interdict, and Innocent was forced to 
seek a more effective weapon against him. As head of the Church 
the pope had long claimed the power of declaring that princes who 
were foes to the Church had ceased to reign over their dominions. 
By virtue of this Innocent had ah-eady deposed John's nephew, 
Otto. In 1212 he declared that if John resisted any longer he 
would deprive him of his throne. Innocent called upon John's 
enemy, Philip II., who was now a close friend of the papacy, to 
execute the sentence. PhiKp willingly accepted the commission, 
and prepared to invade England. 

9. John was seriously alarmed, and sought to buy off the 
John's sub- pop^'s hostility by an offer to accept Langton as 
mission to archbishop. Innocent insisted on a more abject sub- 
Jo^o"^"'" mission, and John, in despair, yielded to all his 

demands. In 1213 there came to Dover a papal envoy 
named Pandulf, appointed to reconcile John to the Church if he 


fulfilled the hard conditions imposed upon him. John agreed to 
recognize Langton as archbishop, to restore to their benefices the 
partisans of the pope whom he had banished, and to surrender his 
crown to the triumphant pope. Two days later he received it back 
again from Pandulf, on promising to be the pope's vassal for the 
future. Like any other feudal vassal, he took an oath of fealty to 
Innocent as to his suzerain, and performed the humiliating act of 
homage to the pope's representative. Moreover, he agreed to pay 
henceforth a tribute of 1000 marks a year to the Roman see. 

10. Thus John became the vassal of the pope, as Kichard had 
become the vassal of the emperor. To the men of the time there 
seemed little that was humiliating in both acts ; to . j^ ^ 
moderns both seem equally disgracefid. As regards comes the 
their consequences, there was all the difierence in the J'^^^p' °' 
world between the two surrenders. The emperor's 

power was small, and constantly growing less. He had no means of 
enforcing his lordship over England, so that Richard's surrender 
was a mere form which even the emperor did not care to revive, 
and which was soon forgotten. The pope had more influence in 
every country in western Europe than the king, and he had in the 
clergy permanent agents of his will. To the enormous ecclesias- 
tical authority exercised by the pope in England after the Norman 
conquest was now added political supremacy as overlord. Hence- 
forth England was regarded as depending on Rome in the same 
way that Grascony depended on Prance, or Wales on England. 
John, however, thought little of the ultimate consequences of his 
act, for to him it was but a move in the game. Henceforth he had 
the pope on his side, and having by his surrender stopped the 
French invasion, he was in a position to renew the attacks on 
France, which ended so disastrously, as we have seen, at La Roche 
au Moine and Bouvines. Luckily he was turned from this purpose 
by a quarrel with his subjects. 

11. From his accession John had ruled England capriciously 
and tyrannically, and had offended many of the most powerful of 
his barons. It was, however, no new thing for king ^.^^ breach 
and nobles to be at variance. Since the days of the between 
conquest the king always relied upon his people as a ^?''" ^''^^ 
whole to support him against aristocratic revolt. But 

times had changed since the reign of Henry 11. Cut off from 
Normandy, the barons now thought mainly of England, and were 
rapidly forgetting the feudal tradition which had made it the 
ambition of each one of them to be a little king over his own 

144 JOHN LACKLAND [1213- 

estate. The baronial leaders were still tarbulent and seMsh in their 
policy, but their object was henceforward not to upset the central 
government so much as to take a prominent share in its ad- 
ministration. Their aims were henceforward so far national that 
there was no reason why Englishmen should not support them. 
Moreover, John had ruled so badly that the people might weU 
support any party which aimed at reducing his authority. 

12. John's excessive demands for foreign service first fired the 
indignation of his barons. In 1213 many refused to follow him to 
Progress of Poitou, and in 1214 the same magnates declined to 
the quarrel, pay a scutage which he demanded. While the king 
1213-1215. ^^g abroad the barons met in council, and Langton 
laid before them Henry i.'s charter of liberties, and advised 
them to obtain a similar document from John. Up to 1213 the 
prudent rule of the justiciar, Fitz Peter, had partly checked 
John's tyranny ; but the justiciar now died, and John, with 
characteristic ingratitude, rejoiced at the removal of the restraint 
which G-eoffrey had imposed upon him. During John's long absence 
abroad the barons organized resistance. When he returned in 1214, 
he came back disgraced and vanquished. Finding that there was 
no chance of exacting concessions by peaceful means, the barons took 
arms and went to war against their sovereign. Every one now 
deserted John, save a few faithful nobles like William Marshall, 
earl of Pembroke, who believed that they were bound to support 
the king, even when he was a bad one. John's main reliance was 
upon his foreign favourites and mercenary soldiers imported from 
abroad to overawe his kingdom. With such backing it was im- 
possible for John to hold out long against his subjects, and he soon 
yielded as abjectly to his barons as he had formerly surrendered to 
the pope. On June 15, 1215, he met the baronial leaders at a 
meadow on the banks of the Thames, between Windsor and Staines, 
called Eunnymede. There he sealed the articles of submission 
which the barons had drawn up for his acceptance. 

13. This document is famous as Magna Carta, or the Great 
Charter, and is justly regarded as marking the beginnings of 
The Great English liberty. Prom the conq^uest to this date the 
Charter, Norman kings had reigned as despots. The union of 

• all classes against John now forced the king to agree 

that his authority should be limited. The clauses of the charter 
were to some extent modelled on that of Henry i., but there was a 
great difEerenoe between a charter granted with the king's goodwill 
and a charter imposed on a reluctant king at the point of the sword. 

-I2i6.] JOHN LACKLAND 145 

Moreover, the charter o£ 1215 was a much fuUer dooument than 
that of 1100. It contamed few novelties, but clearly stated the 
customs of the realm in the days of Henry 11. It promised free- 
dom to the English Church, and especially freedom to chapters to 
elect their bishops. A large number of clauses carefully limited 
the rights of the crown to exact feudal dues from the barons, and 
the barons were similarly required to treat their own tenants 
leniently. London and the towns were to have their liberties 
preserved ; merchants had freedom to trade in times of peace. No 
new aids or taxes were to be levied by the king without the con- 
sent of the great council of barons. Justice was to be denied to 
no man, and no freeman was to be imprisoned or outlawed, save 
according to the judgment of his peers and the law of the land. 

14. John accepted the barons' demands without the least intention 
of keeping his word. His object was to gain time, and, as soon as 
he could, he repudiated his promise. He persuaded _ 
Innocent in. that the charter was against the interests the war of 
of the Bioman Church because it reduced the power of •^'"^ *id 
the pope's vassal. In conseq[uence of this Innocent 
issued a bull declaring the document invalid. John then raised an 
army of foreign mercenaries, and went to war against the barons. 
For once he showed energy and activity. Before long he pressed 
the nobles so hard that they were forced to call in foreign aid. 
They requested Louis of France, who had defeated John at La Roche 
au Moine, to come over and help them and be their king. Louis 
at once accepted their offer, and landed in England. Even with 
his aid the barons had still a hard task before them. The pope 
excommunicated Louis, and few of the clergy dared to support 
him, while many of the officials of the school of 
Henry 11. faitlifuUy rallied round the king. However, j^^n 12I6 
on October 19, 1216, John died suddenly in the midst 
of the struggle. He was the worst of English monarohs, and his 
persistent ill fortune was entirely his own faidt. It was no wonder 
that men called him, in shame, John Lackland. With him the 
Norman despotism came to an end. It had done its work in 
making England peaceable and united, and was no longer needed. 


1. The chief resiilts of the Norman coiic[iiest were to stimulate the 
energy of England, to promote its unity, and to break down the 

. • wall of separation that had hitherto divided it from 

tance (rf the ^^^ ^^^^ "^ the world. In a lesser degree the Normans 
Norman exercised a similar influence over the non-English 

a°l°Bpftain?'" ^^^ °* *^^ British Islands. They made EngUsh- 
speaking Scotland a feudal land as much as England. 
Though their influence was more superficial in Celtic districts, they 
made their power felt in Celtic Scotland, in Wales, and in Ireland. 
Reduced to a common subjection under their restless and masterful 
Norman lords, the Irish and the Welsh, like the English, lost some- 
thing of their ancient freedom, and were for the first time brought 
into more than nominal dependence upon an English king. Thus 
the Norman conquest, which finally brought about the union of 
England, did much to prepare the way for the later union of the 
British Isles. While, however, Norman and Englishman were 
amalgamated by the twelfth century into a single people, Celtic 
tribalism and Norman feudalism lay too far asunder to be capable 
of fusion. It resulted from this that Norman influence over 
Celtic lands ever remained what it originally was in England — ^that 
is, the rule of the alien based simply upon military force. Eor 
that reason it was more superficial than was the case in England. 
Nevertheless, the history of the British Islands would have been 
very different had there not been Norman conquests of Scotland, 
Wales, and Ireland, as well as of England. To all these countries 
alike the conquest marks the chief turning-point of their history. 

2. We have seen how the Norman kings completed the estab- 
lishment of the feudal system of land tenure in England. In so 
doing, they brought our country into line with the general civi- 
lization of that mediseval Europe of which England soon became 
one of the important powers. Henceforward the isolation of 
Anglo- Saxon England was replaced by openness to new ideas, and 


constant participation in all the great movements of the time. 
While Anglo-Saxon England lived its life apart in sluggish 
indifference to the world beyond, Norman and Angevin 
England stood in the forefront of every great Euro- deah^ngs** 
pean movement. Its kings were as powerful across between 
the sea as in Britain. Its feudal institutions were Britain and 
those of the western world. Its knights lived the same nent. 
life and fought after the same fashion as the warriors 
of the continent. Englishmen took their full share in the crusades 
and the other international movements of the time. This communion 
of sympathy was even greater in the domain of ideas than in the 
world of action. We shall see this in detail when we study the new 
position of the English Church. 

3. The vital fact of the Norman and Angevin periods was the 
permanent establishment of the centralized despotism of the king. 
The only real checks to the caprice of the monarch Thekinir 
were the nobles and great ecclesiastics, and even these and tlie 
had little power to control the king, save by directly Great 
waging war against him. The place of the Witei lageniot 
as the council of the nation was now taken by the Great Covmcil, 
which did not differ very greatly from it in constitution or powers. 
It was composed, during the twelfth century, of all the tenants in 
chief of the crown, but in practice only the more important tenants 
were in the habit of attending it. It agreed to new laws and to 
extraordinary taxes; but, lite the Witenagemot, it seems seldom 
or never to have ventured to resist the wishes of a strong king. 
Even more under the monarch's control were the courts composed 
of oificials appointed by him, such as the Curia Regis and the 
Exchequer, of which we have spoken elsewhere. In both of them 
the chief ministers of the crown had seats. Besides the Justiciar, 
the regent in the king's absence, and the prime minister when he 
was in England, the king's chief ministers were the Chancellor, who 
was a sort of secretary, issuing all writs and documents, and the 
Treasurer, who controlled the finances. It was generally thought 
best to give these ofB.ces to ecclesiastics, who were better educated 
than laymen, and were not able to hand on their powers to their 
families. The offices of state, held by lay lords, such as the military 
dignities of Marshal and Constable, became hereditary. 

4 The local courts of the Shire and Hundred were stiU con- 
tinued. Thoiigh the feudal courts of the gfreat landlords often 
usurped the jurisdiction of the hundred, the shire moot remained 
a strong body, though it also became in practice a court of the 

148 FEUDAL BRITAIN [io66- 

landlords. The circuit and jury system of Henry 11. brought it 
into close relations with the central government, and the kings 
found it very useful as a means of raising money and 
government °* ascei-taining public opinion. The immense revenue 
of the crown was mainly derived by taxes on land. 
It was collected by the Sheriffs of the shires, who went twice a year 
to the Exchequer at Westminster to present their accounts and 
pay over the money they had raised. They were the chief agents 
of the king in dealing with the local government, and had much 
more power and importance than before the conquest. 

5. Great as were the changes brought about by Norman in- 
fluence, the vast majority of Englishmen still lived a Ufe not very 
Earls different from that of their ancestors before the 

barons, and conquest. Land remained the chief source of wealth, 
knights. g^jj^ nearly everybody depended on agriculture for his 

livelihood. Like the Anglo-Saxon thegns, the Norman nobles 
owed their importance to their being possessors of large landed 
estates. Though the kings looked with suspicion upon the political 
ambitions of the barons, they put no obstacles in the way of the 
accumulation of great estates under a single hand. War, however, 
and the unhealthy conditions of life made the duration of a baronial 
house extremely short. By the beginning of the thirteenth century 
there were few Norman houses left which could boast an uninter- 
rupted descent from those who came over with the Conqueror. 
This was particularly the case with the earldoms, whose possessors 
still formed a small and powerful class at the head of the aristocracy. 
Next to them came the greater harons, who included aU tenants in 
chief important enough to be summoned to the king's council by a 
special writ. By the thirteenth century, these were not more than 
a hundred in number. The lesser harons were the tenants in chief, 
who were called to the king's councils by general wi-its addressed 
to the sheriff of each county. They ultimately became combined 
with the mesne tenants, to form the lesser nobility, or knighthood, 
which plays in medissval history the same part as that taken by the 
country gentr'y of more modern times. Properly, a hniglii was a 
fully armed and mounted soldier who had been solemnly admitted 
to the use of arms by his older and tried comrades. The greatest 
kings and soldiers were proud to be dubbed knight by some famous 
warrior; but every landowner of a fair-sized estate was, by the 
thirteenth century, compelled by the king to become a knight, so 
that a knight often meant simply a smaller landlord. 

6. The estates of the nobles and gentry were divided into 


mmwrs, wMcli were all much of the same type. Each manor had 
its lord, who controlled all the land and exercised jiirisdiotion 
in his manorial court oyer his tenants. Sometimes 
the lord had special rights of jurisdiction, as, for ex- gy^tera"'"''^' 
ample, the trial of criminals. In this case, he also held 
a court-leet, in which these powers were exercised. If the lord were 
a great man, he held many manors scattered all over England, and 
was in conseq^uence seldom in residence. His'i steward, or repre- 
sentative, then acted on his behalf, while in any case his bailiff 
looked after the details of cultivation and the management of the 
estate. There was probably a haU. where the lord could reside 
with his family and servants. The land was divided into two 
parts. First, there was the demesne, or home farm of the lord, 
which was cultivated by his baUiffi for him, by the help of the 
villagers, who were compelled to work on their lord's . . 

estate for a certain number of days in the year. The 
rest of the manor was divided among the villagers, most of whom 
belonged to the villein class. The villeins were serfs, bound to the 
soil, who could not move from the estate of their lord. In some 
ways they were not badly ofE. Each had his cottage and little 
patch of ground, from which he could not be turned ofi so long as 
he performed the services of his lord. Though they had no luxuries, 
the villeins seem to have had in ordinary times plenty of meat, 
bread, and ale, and enough warm wooUen clothing to keep out the 
cold. They were, however, exposed to the caprice of their lords, 
and, though not called upon to perform military service, were the 
first to STiffer whenever war broke out. Though the Norman 
conquest increased the number of villeins, there was this compen- 
sation—that the absolute slavery which was common in early 
England died out during the Norman period. 

7. There was little variety in the cultivation of the soil. The 
ploughs were heavy, and were drawn by several yoke of oxen. 
The old succession of corn-crops and fallow still went 
on. The lands tilled by the tenants were not grouped hifsbandry. 
together in compact holdings, but were scattered in 
long narrow strips all over the manor. This was also the case 
with the lord's demesne. In most other ways the Anglo-Saxon 
system was continued. There was still a large extent of common 
land, and after harvest any tenant could still pasture his cattle 
on the arable fields. The farmer's object was still to raise enough 
corn and meat to keep himself and his family through the winter. 
Though trade and markets were becoming more important, there 


was little interoonrse between various districts. The estabUsliment 
of the strong Norman despotism greatly added to the happiness 
of the ordinary man, who oonld till his fields and go about his 
business in comparative safety. 

8. Towns and trade received an immense impetus as a result of 
the Norman conquest. Towns not only became bigger and richer ; 

they ceased to be mainly the homes of husbandmen or 
To^ras and refugees in time of war, and henceforth were centres 
of trade and industry. The merchants of the chief 
towns formed societies called Merchant-guilds, and in many places 
the merchant-guild secured a monopoly of trade for its members, 
as well as virtual control of the government of the borough. The 
Norman trader was as restless and energetic as the Norman soldier, 
and since Edward the Confessor's days many Normans had settled 
down in English towns, and actively busied themselves in commerce. 
The father of St. Thomas of Canterbury was, for example, a Norman 
who had established himself in London and won a high position for 
himself in the city. After the conquest Jews began to take up 
their abode in the greater English towns, and made much profit for 
themselves as money-lenders. In this business the Jews had a 
practical monopoly, since the law of the Church for- 
bade all Christians to lend money on usury. They 
were unpopular, and were often cruelly persecuted. They were 
forced to wear a distinctive dress, and live in a special part of 
the town, called a Jewry. But they generally enjoyed the king's 
protection, because they could afford to pay heavily for it. Gradually 
they obtained special laws, courts, and recognized customs of their 
own. They were much richer than the Christians, and were 
among the first private people who buUt stone houses to live in. 

9. Even before the conquest London was the most important 
town in England; Prom Edward the Confessor's time omvard, the 
London and "ourt made Westminster its chief centre, and it followed 
other chief from this that London gradually became a recognized 

°^"^" capital. It received many liberties by royal charters, of 

which the most important was one issued by Henry i. Its citizens 
took an active part in politics, and their zeal in supporting Stephen 
and in opposing John were especially noteworthy. Under Richard i. 
London obtained the right of choosing its own mayor, and was 
lienceforth self-governing in every respect. The country towns 
were contented to obtain from the king charters which extended to 
them privileges which were already possessed by the Londoners. 

rinnsnicnmiK nmci-ncf -i^Tift-m xtavo "Vm-V +.lio ^q.-i^i+qI r»-P +1,q rl/^■»»^-■^^ . 


Exeter, the chief town of the west ; Bristol, the most important 
port after London ; and Norwich, the leading manufacturing city. 
Among the ports, those of the south-east coast were particularly 
conspicuous. They were called the Cinque Ports, because they were 
originally five in number. They formed a confederation among 
themselves, and showed great activity. When war arose, the ships 
of the Cinque Ports formed a large part of the royal navy. The 
most famous of them was Dover, the chief port of passage between 
England and the continent. As the Norman power was extended 
over Wales and Ireland, towns grew up for the first time in those 
countries xmder the protection of the Norman lords. Despite the 
great development of town life, the English were still not very 
energetic iu commerce. What foreign trade there was remained in 
the hands of foreigners. It was for that reason that the Great 
Charter laid special stress upon protecting foreign merchants, and 
giving them free access to England in. peace time. 

10. Life was stiU simple, primitive, and hard. Even the king 
and the great nobles had no high standard of comfort. There was 
little money in the country, and a great man could 

only support his numerous train of followers by wan- Kyf^l""^ °^ 
dering ceaselessly from one of his estates to another. 
When the produce of one estate was eaten up, the magnate went 
on to the next, for it was easier for men to move about than 
it was for produce to be carried for long distances. Kings and 
nobles were thus forced to change their abode so often that it was 
never worth while to collect much furniture or make their dwellings 
comfortable. Houses were stUl mainly built of wood, and the 
castles, erected for military purposes, were cramped and dark places 
to live in. There was much dirt and overcrowding among most 
orders of society, and only the great had any chance of privacy. 
Men huddled together to sleep in the same room in which they 
lived or ate. There were few amusements, and scanty means of 
keeping out the cold of winter. 

11. Despite these disadvantages, the Normans brought in a 
more refined way of living than that which had prevailed before the 
conquest. They cooked their food more delicately, 

and despised the gross feeding and heavy drinking of j°essf " 
the EngUsh. They also brought in new methods of 
dress, which were especially exemplified by the profligate dandies 
of WiUiam Kufus's court, whose rich mantles, embroidered tunics, 
and long shoes, curling up to a point, were bitterly denounced by 
An Helm and the zealous ecclesiastics. Normans cut their hair short, 

152 FEUDAL BRITAIN [1066- 

and sliaved tlieir faces, so that to tlie English they ail looked like 
priests. Married -womeii wore a wimple and veil, and dressed very 
much as nuns stiU do. Unmarried women and men went bare- 
headed, though in stormy weather travellers would protect them- 
selves hy low round hats. Foreign luxuries were more common 
than formerly, and furs were used by the wealthy of both sexes. 
The weapons and armour of warriors long remained similar 
to those used by the Normans in the battle of Hastings. By 
the tweKth century horses as well as men-at-arms were protected 
by armour. The knight's hauberh of chain-mail was supplemented 
by other trapping's to protect him better from attack. The helmet, 
hitherto open, save for a nasal, protecting the nose, became an 
elaborate structure, closed by a grating, or visor, with holes for 
the eyes and mouth. Under the helnaet was worn a skull-cap of 
steel, covered by a hood of maU, protecting the head and neck. 

12. The towns and villages were stUl rude collections of wooden 
and mud huts, but great care was taken in the erection of castles, 

churches, and monasteries. The first Norman castles 
casS" were hastily built structures of wood, raised upon a 

lofty artificial mound of earth, which was surrounded 
by a deep ditch and defended by a thick palisade. Soon stone 
castles began to be erected. These were of two types. In 
both, the defences centred round a great tower, called the heep. 
Sometimes the keep was a high square tower built of solid stone 
with walls of enormous thickness, and roofed either with wood or 
by vatilts of stone, so that the whole area within its walls served 
for habitation or storage. Sometimes the keep was more lightly 
erected on the top of an artificial mound of earth, which was not 
strong enough to bear the ponderous weight of the former variety. 
This latter species was called the shell-hoep, and was often hexagonal 
or polygonal in shape. In this the exterior wall of the tower served 
only as a curtain, and the buildings were roughly erected in wood 
or stone within its area. The White Tower of the Tower of London, 
and Rochester Castle, are famous instances of the sq^uare keep, 
while the keeps of Lincoln and Carisbrooke exemplify the shell-keep. 
In each type of castle there were exterior defences, enclosing a 
wide area by stone walls, high earthworks, and deep ditches fiUed 
with water. Later on, the Norman builders sometimes erected 
round, instead of square keeps, as, for example, at Pembroke, or at 
Conisborough, near Donoaster, in Yorkshire, where the huge round 
tower is further strengthened by buttresses, and its interior is 
richly fitted up and adorned. Wherever the Normans went they 

-12 16.] FEUDAL BRITAIN 153 

built their fortresses, so that the march of Wales, even more than 
England, became pre-eminently a land of castles. The famous 
Chateau Gaillard, built by Kiohard i. in Normandy, was the most 
elaborate castle of its day (see ground plan on page 135), and pre- 
pares the -way for the magnificent and complicated fortresses of the 
thirteenth century. 

13. The Norman style ofarcliUecture, roughly illustrated by their 
military buildings, attained its richer and more artistic develop- 
ment in the solemn and mighty churches which the 
piety of the new-comers erected in every part of the „jJu™]ies 
land. Edward the Confessor's, abbey of Westminster 
shows that this fashion had begun before the conquest. The 
removal of the cathedrals from the country to the great towns, and 
the wonderful development of monastic life which followed the 
conquest, gave many opportunities for erecting Norman churches 
in every part of England. The nave of Durham Cathedral, com- 
pleted by Eanxdf Flambard, and the cathedral of Norwich, erected 
by bishop Herbert of Losinga, represent the earlier Norman 
type ; while the naves of the cathedrals of Peterborough and Ely 
illustrate the richer Norman of the twelfth century. Both are 
characterized by the prevalence of the round arch and by massive 
solemnity of proportion, while in the later examples there is much 
barbaric richness of decoration. They belong to the Bomanesqwe 
type of architecture which the Romans bequeathed to all Europe. 

14. The Eomanesque bxdlders were unable to erect vaults of 
stone over large or high buildings. About the middle of the 
twelfth century successful experiments in the art of ™j^ j^ - 
vaulting large spaces resulted in the Gothic style of nings of 
architecture, which began to replace the Romanesque. Gothic 
The earliest Gothic buildings were erected in France. t„pg_' ^''' 
There was no sudden change from the old to the 
newer style. Gothic grew gradually out of the older Romanesque, 
and we can trace, especially in the buildings of Henryji.'s time, how 
the one style fades into the other. Examples of the transition are 
to be seen in the choir of Canterbury Cathedral, built by a French 
arcliiteot soon after the murder of St. Thomas, and in the great 
abbeys erected to accommodate the Cistercian and other new 
orders, conspicuous instances of which are the picturesque ruins of 
Fountains or KirkstaU in Yorkshire. In these round arches, after 
the Norman fashion, are found side by side with the pointed arch 
of the later style. The Gothic vault is largely employed, and the 
general structure is lighter and more masterly than that of the 

154 FEUDAL BRITAIN [1066- 

Worman builders. When, tlie Gothic style had attained its full 
proportions, the pointed arch replaced the round Norman arch. 
The first truly Gothic building erected in England was the choir 
of Lincoln Cathedral, built by its bishop, St. Hugh, at the very 
beginning of the thirteenth century. 

15. "We have already seen that a remarkable development of 
monastic life followed the Norman cono[uest. In the abbey of 
New monas- Battle, erected on the site of his victory over Harold, 
tic move- the Conqueror set a model which his followers faith- 
ments. fully adopted. New monasteries rose up all over the 

land, and many French houses of religion received great estates in 
England. At first the new abbeys aU followed the rtile of St. 
Benedict. Early in the twelfth century fresh monastic types were 
brought from the continent into England. Conspicuous among 
these were the Cistercians, or White Monks, who sought 
to save themselves from the temptations of the Bene- 
dictine houses by extreme asceticism of life, by withdrawing from 
the haunts of man and setting up their abbeys in the wilderness, 
and by eschewing all pomp and ornament even in the conduct 
of Divine worship and the building of their habitations and 
churches. For this reason the Cistercian monks chose for their 
abodes remote districts, such as the hiUs of Yorkshire and the 
mountains of Wales. About the same time there came to England 
the Canons Regular, who, while living the life of 
Regular. monks, strove to do also the work of clerks, and 
busied themselves with teaching and preaching as well 
as with meditation and prayer. Another new monastic type was 
that of the Military Orders, which were set up as the result of the 
Crusades. The chief of these were the knights of the Temple and 
the knights of St. John. These orders lived, when at peace, the 
life of the canons regular, but their special mission 
tapy Orders ^** ^° fight the heathen and the infidel, and in par- 
ticular to defend the sepulchre of Christ from the 
assaults of the Mohammedans. In them the two great types of 
the Middle Ages, the warrior and the monk, were curiously com- 
bined. All these new orders took deep root in England, notably 
during the anarchy of Stephen's days, when men, despairing of 
this world, were fain to turn to the cloister for refuge. As a result 
of the monastic movement, a great religious revival ai-ose. Even 
more conspicuously important than those in England were the 
monastic and religious movements which followed in the train 

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-I2i6.] FEUDAL BRITAIN 1 55 

lands the Norman priests and monks eradicated the last traces 
of the ancient independence of the Celtic chniohes, and brought 
in the Roman types of ecclesiastical life, organization, and art, 
for which they had already secured a paramoimt position in 

16. The twelfth century saw the best results of the improve- 
ments in government and civilization and the revival of religion 
which followed upon the Norman conquest. The life ,^^ Twelfth 
of learning and study again became possible. At first Century Re- 
the chief teachers and students came, like Lanf ranc and "aissance 
Anselm, from the monasteries. Before long, however, beginnings 
the love of knowledge spread to secular clerks, and of Univer- 
even to laymen. Masters or teachers collected round ^ ®^' 
them bands of eager students of philosophy, philology, and litera- 
ture. So numerous did these groups of teachers and students 
become that permanent schools grew up at various centres. Before 
long the teachers in each place became an organized society or 
corporation, with special privileges and strong position. These 
organized schools were called Universities, a word which means 
simply a corporation. The most famous university in the west was 
that of Paris, to which students flocked from every part of Europe. 
In the course of the reign of Henry 11. an English university arose 
at Oxford, one of the most important towns of the south midlands. 
It was not, however, until the thirteenth century that the univer- 
sities became ftJly organized and played a great part in the history 
of thought and learning. As time went on, even the households 
of kings and great nobles became centres of study and intellectual 
interest. Robert of Gloucester, as we have seen, did much for 
historical learning in his day. The court of Henry 11. was a 
famous home of intellectual activity and literary composition. 

17. Latin was stUl the universal language of scholars, the clergy, 
and statesmen. In it all serious books were written, and all legal 
documents, state papers, and diplomatic correspon- 
dence drawn up. It was the everyday speech of Latmlitera- 
clergy and scholars, and aU lectures at the universities 

were given in it. Most of the best writing set forth by EngKsh- 
men was in this tongue, notably the chronicles and histories, which 
during the twelfth century attained a high level of thought and 
style, as is shown by WiUiam of Malmesbury, WiUiam of New- 
burgh, Roger of Hoveden, and many others. Men read the Latin 
classics eagerly, and based their style upon them, as was notably 
the case with WiUiam of Malmesbury. Even a great romancer Kke 

156 FEUDAL BRITAIN [1066- 

Geoffrey of Monmouth composed his book in Latin, and gave it 
out to he a serious history. 

18. The English tongue was not much affected in form or 
Yocabulary by the Norman conquest. The effect of the coming 
English and °^ ^'^ Norman was, however, that fewer books were 
French written in it. For example, the English Chronicle, 

literature, ^i^igi^ -j^^^ j^gen kept up since Alfred's days in some of 
the great monasteries, was after the conquest continued at Peter- 
borough only, and ceased even there by the end of the reign of 
Stephen. Latin was now used where English had often been em- 
ployed earlier. English lost even more ground, however, as a spoken 
tongue than as a written language. The Normans brought French 
with them, and down to the thirteenth century French continued 
to be the ordinary vernacular speech of the ooiirt, the nobles, and 
the mass of the landed classes. The lighter popular literature, 
which was written to amuse lords and ladies, was henceforth largely 
composed in French also. The result was that English became 
the spoken language of peasants and the poor. There was no longer 
a literary standard, such as that which has been set at the "West 
Saxon court, and everybody spoke and wrote in the dialect of his 
native district. There were three chief dialects, corresponding 
roughly to the three Ang-lo- Saxon great kingdoms of Northumbria, 
Mercia, and Wessex. Of these, the southern dialect was the most 
like the old English of the West Saxon court. The northern dialect 
was marked by a certain number of Danish and Norwegian words. 
It was the beginning of the Lowland Scots of a later age, as well as 
of the popular dialects of the north of England. The midlcmd 
dialect is more important to us, because it is the source of the 
standard English which all write and speak nowadays. In all these 
varieties there was a movement towards the cutting down of cases 
and inflexions, and the simplification of grammatical forms, so that 
the language — now called Middle English — forms a sort of bridge 
between the old English of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman days 
and the modern English which we now use. 









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158 FEUDAL BRITAIN [1216. 

Books Reoosimended fok the Furthek Study of Book II., 1066-1216. 

Good detailed accounts of the history of the whole period can be found in 
H. W. C. Davis' England under the Normans and Angevins, and in G. B. 
Adams' History of England, 1066-1215 (Longmans' "Political History o£ 
England," vol. iii.). Stubbs' Constitutional History of England, vol. i. chaps. 
ix. to xiii., contains the most authoritative account of the constitutional 
development of the period. Useful biographies of important characters are 
Freeman's William the Conqueror and Mrs. J. R. Green's Henry II., both in 
Macmillan's " Twelve English Statesmen series." R. W. Church's Life of St. 
Anselm gives a picturesque delineation of the life and times of the greatest 
English churchman of the period, and the story of Becket can be read in J. 
Morris' Life and Martyrdom of St. Thomas Bechet. For general Church history, 
W. R. W. Stephens' History of the English Church, 1066-1272, is useful, and 
Miss Kate Norgate's England under the Angevin Kings and John Lackland are 
valuable from the accession of Henry 11. onwards, and Stubbs' Early Plan- 
tagenets (Longmans' "Epochs of Modern History ") gives a masterly account 
of the Angevin period on a small scale. T. A. Archer's Crusade of Richard I, 
sets forth from translated extracts of contemporary writers a good account of 
the Third Crusade. Miss Mary Bateson's Medimval England, 1066-1350, parts 
i. and ii., give an admirable picture of the social life of the period. Barnard's 
Companion to English History (Middle Ages) contains a series of usefid 
articles on trade, social life,' architecture, warfare, art, learning, etc. The 
maps in Poole's Oxford Historical Atlas are of importance for the study of 
British historical geography. 




HENRY III. (1216-1272) 

Chief dates : 

1216. Accession of Henry in. 

1217. Battle of Lincoln. 

1219. Death of William Marshall. 

1232. Fall of Hubert de Burgh. 

1242. Battle of Tailleboiirg. 

1248. Simon of Montfort, governor of Gascony. 

1258. Provisions of Oxford. 

1259. Treaty of Paris. 

1264. Battle of Lewes. 

1265. Montfort's Parliament and the Battle of Evesham. 
1267. Treaty of Shrewsbury. 

1272. Death of Henry iii. 

1. John's eldest son was only niae years old at his father's death, 
but the dead king's friends at once proclaimed him as Henry iii. 
Griialo, the pope's legate, procured for him the ™j^ -. 
support of the Church, and showed that John's sur- between 
render to the pope was a reality by taking on him- William 
self the supreme direction of the kingdom. Gualo ^^^ Louis 
worked in close harmony with the leader of Henry's of France, 
English partisans, William Marshall, an aged baron ^^'®' ^^Vl. 
of unblemished honour, who had married Strongbow's daughter, 
and thus become earl of Pembroke and lord of Strongbow's 
great possessions in Wales and Ireland. Pembroke was appointed 
B/uler of the King and Kingdom, a title which was practically 
equivalent to that of regent. The prudent measures taken by 
Gualo and Pembroke soon began to increase the party of the 


l60 HENRY HI. [1217- 

little king. The robelliotis barons had taken up arms to secure 
the privileges contained in the Great Charter. Reversing the policy 
of Innocent III., Grualo now allowed Pemhroke to issue a con- 
firmation of the charter in Henry's name. This wise step cut the 
ground from under the feet of the partisans of Louis. Those who 
had hated John the most had no ill will to the monarchy, and the 
innocent boy on the throne was in nowise responsible for the 
crimes of his father. Gradually the friends of Louis fell away 
from him and declared for Henry. The feeling grew that it was 
a dangerous thing for England to be ruled by a prince who would 
one day be king of France ; but the chief thing that weighed with 
the deserters was their knowledge that the pope and the Chuxoh 
had declared against Louis. Even Philip 11. of France dared not 
give any help to his son, because he was afraid of provoking a 
quarrel with the pope. In these circumstances Louis steadily lost 
ground. In 1217 Marshall defeated him in a pitched battle in the 

streets of Lincoln. Later on in the year a fleet sailed 
The Battle from France, bringing him reinforcements ; but Hubert 
and the ' "i® Burgh, the justiciar, met the French fleet off 
Treaty of Sandwich, and utterly destroyed it. It was useless 
1217 ^°^ Louis to persevere any longer. In September, 

1217, he made the treaty of Lambeth with William 
Marshall, by which he agreed to leave England. No sooner had 
he gone than Magna Carta was once more reissued, in what was 
substantially its permanent form. Besides this, a Forest Charter 
was also published by the king, which mitigated the severity of 
Henry ii.'s Assize of Woodstock, and laid down the great principle 
that no man was to lose life or Hmb for bi-each of the forest 

2. WiUiam Marshall continued to rule England till his death 
in 1219. He had put an end to the civil war and restored the 
The rule monarchy, but he did not venture to interfere with 

of William the supremacy of the pope, and was much hampered 
Marshall, \,j the fact that he was obliged to trust the greedy 
and Hubert foreigners who had been the chief supporters of John, 
de Burgh, On his death no new regent was appointed. At first 
1219-1232. ^j^g pope's legate practically acted as regent. The 
legate was now that Pandulf who had received John's submission 
in 1213. His constant interference in the details of government 
provoked much resentment in England, and at last Archbishop 
Langton went to Rome and persuaded the pope to recall him. 
Prom that time there was no regular papal leg-ate in England, save 

I234-] HENRY III. l6l 

the archbishop of Canterbury himself. Langton henceforward 
did his best to restore peace and prosperity to England, and 
worked well with Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar, who, after 
Pandulf's recall, was the chief ruler of England. Hubert was a 
capable and vigorous man ; he made it his chief object to restore 
the system of strong rule which had prevailed under Henry ii. 
Many difficulties stood in his way. During the long civil war the 
feudal party had revived, and Hubert, like Henry ii., at his 
accession was obliged to put down adulterine castles and compel 
the nobles to obey the law. Ati even graver trouble arose from 
John's foreign friends. The chief of these were Peter des Roches, 
a native of Poitou, who was bishop of Winchester, and a mercenary 
soldier, Falkes of Breaute, who had fought John's battles so well 
that the late king had given him enormous territories. In 1224 
Falkes rose in revolt, but Hubert captured and destroyed his chief 
castle at Bedford and drove him into exUe. With the fall of 
Falkes the reign of the foreigners was over, and the government 
of England again fell into English hands. Disgusted with his 
rival's success, Peter des Roches left England to go on crusade. 

3. In 1227 the pope declared that Henry was old enough to 
govern his kingdom ; and Langton died in 1228. Hubert continued 
to act as justiciar tiU. 1232 ; but his severity raised up _. r n r 

a host of enemies against him, and he gradually lost Hubert, 
the support of the yoxmg king. At last Peter des *^^^> *"'' 
Roches returned to England, and cleverly brought of Peter 
about his fall. Henry dismissed the faithful Hubert, des Roches, 
and persecuted him with much ingratitude. Peter des 1232-1234. 
Roches succeeded Hubert as justiciar, but held power for only 
two years. He gave the chief offices of the state to his friends and 
kinsfolk from Poitou, and soon excited the bitterest indignation 
among the English barons. Richard Marshall, earl of Pembroke, 
the son of the late regent, made himself the spokesman of the 
barons' discontent, and finally headed a revolt against the justiciar. 
Peter maliciously revenged himself by stirring up a rebellion against 
Richard in his Irish estates. Richard was forced to go to Ireland, 
where he was treacherously slain; but Henry was horrified when 
he heard of the justiciar's deceit, and was easily persuaded by 
Edmund Rich, a saintly scholar who had just become archbishop 
of Canterbury, to drive Peter and his Poitevins from office. 

4. With the fall of the bishop of Winchester, the first period of 
Henry ni.'s reign comes to an end. During all these years Henry 
had been either a minor or xinder the control of one powerful 


1 62 HENRY in. [1234- 

mind which he covild not easily resist. For eighteen years, then, 
the personal authority of the king was small. This circumstance 
Growth of helped to spread the notion of a limited monarchy, 
limited with which was combined the Tiew that the natural 

monapchy. jjglpers and advisers of the crown were the great 
barons who sat in the royal co^lncil. We already seem far away 
from the Angevin despotism. Though the charters were often 
broken in their details, the spirit of them had begun to enter into 
English political life. 

6. With the fall of Peter des Roches, Henry iii. personally 
undertook the government of the country. The king was resolved 
The ner- ^^^^ henceforth he would submit to no master. He 
sonal pule of would be his own prime minister, holding in his own 
^^^y^ho hands all the strings of policy, and acting through 
subordinates, whose duty was to carry out their 
master's orders. Under such a system the justiciarship practically 
ceased to exist, for Des Roohes's successor, Stephen Segrave, was 
a mere lawyer who never aspired to be chief minister. Before 
long the justiciar had become a simple president of the law courts. 
"Unluckily, Henry iii. was not hard-working or possessed of suffi- 
cient strength of wiU to mle England effectively. He possessed, 
indeed, some noble and many attractive qualities ; his private life 
was pure ; his piety was sincere ; he was well educated and loved 
fair churches, beautiful sculpture, and richly illuminated books. 
Born and brought up in England, he was proud of his English 
ancestors, was devoted to English saints, and gave his children 
English names like Edward and Edmund. Nevertheless, Henry 
showed less sympathy with English ways than many of his foreign 
predecessors. Too feeble to act for himself, too suspicious to trust 
his barons, he leant upon the support of foreign favourites and 
kinsmen. From 1234 to 1258 he sought to rule England through 
foreign dependants. The work of Hubert seemed altogether un- 
done when swarm after swai-m of aliens came from abroad, and 
obtained place and power beyond their deserts through the weak 
complacency of the king. 

6. The new alien invasion began soon after Henry's marriage in 
The alie ^'^^ yntOci. Eleanor, daughter of the count of Provence 

invasion. and sister to Margaret, wife of Louis ix., who in 1226 
The Pro- succeeded his father, Lotiis viii., the sometime invader 
Savoyapdsf °* England, to the French throne. Eleanor's mother 
was a daughter of the count of Savoy, and her numerous 
Savoyard uncles, having but a slender endowment in their own 




mountain land, made tlieir way to England to share King 
Henry's boxinty. It soon became known that Henry was willing' 
to welcome any attractive foreign adventurer of high birth, and 
many such flocked to the land of promise. Among them was 
Simon of Montfort, son of a famous Simon of Montfort who had 
been a chief instnunent in extending North French and orthodox 
influence over the hei'etical Albigenses of southern France, and who 
had won for himself by his sword the county of Toxdouse, and 
quickly lost it again. From his mother the elder Simon inherited 
a claim of the earldom of Leicester. The younger Simon per- 
suaded his brothers to make over their pretensions to him, and 
went to England to demand the Leicester titles and estates. Henry 
recognized Simon as earl of Leicester, married him to his sister, 
and lavished on him many marks of favour. 


count of Savoy. 


m, Raymond Berengar, 

connt of Provence. 

Boniface of Savoj', 

archbishop of 


Other sons and 


m. Louis IX., 

king of France 

Philip HI. of 

m. Henry iii. 
of England . 

Edward i. 

m. Richard of 
Cornwall, king 
of the Romans. 



m. Charles of 

Anjou, king 

of Sicily. 

7. Another foreign element that weighed with increasing force 
on England was the power of the pope. The successors of Inno- 
cent III. pressed stiU further the exalted claims of their 
predecessor. They declared that it was their right to no^ans. 
appoint their nominees to any bishopric or benefice. 
At their caprice they issued what were called papal provisions, by 
which the rights of electors, or patrons, were put aside in favour 
of the pope's nominee. The result of this was that a swarm of 
Italian and French priests were established by the pope in English 
benefices, and grew rich on the spoils of the English Church with- 
out attempting to do the work of their offices. Besides this, the 
pope claimed the right of taxing the Church at his will. About 
this time papal taxation became more severe on account of a quarrel 
which broke out between Pope Gregory ix. and the Emperor 

164 HENRY III. [1234- 

I'rederick 11. Frederick 11., the son of Henry vi., had been 
made emperor by Innocent in., after the fall of Otto iv. He 
was now waging deadly war against the papacy, and Gregory 
looked upon the English Church as a sure source of supplies to 
ec[uip armies to fight the emperor. Though Henry had married 
his sister to Fi-ederiok 11., and was on friendly terms with him, he 
dared not resist the pope's demands. Things became worse in 
1237, when the pope sent to England the first legate despatched 
from Rome since the days of Pandulf. This legate, a cardinal 
named Otto, made himself unpopular both by his strictness in 
reforming abuses and by the zeal with which he furthered his 
master's interests. In 1238 he visited Oxford, where a great 
school or university had recently sprung up. An affray broke out 
between the legate and the scholars, and the latter forced the 
pope's representative to take refuge in a church steeple rmtil the 
king could send soldiers to effect his release. At last Otto went 
back to Bome, leaving very bitter memories behind him. 

8. The gentle Archbishop Edmund did all that he could to save 
the clergy from the exactions of pope and king. Though high- 
Edmund minded and well-meaning, he was not strong enough 
Rich and to grapple with the difficult task before him. In 1240 

Robert jjg left England in disgust, and soon afterwards died 


abroad. His reputation for holiness was such that he 

was soon canonized as St. Edmund. His successor at Canterbury 
was a man of very different stamp. The new archbishop was 
Boniface of Savoy, one of the queen's uncles. He owed his office 
entirely to the favour of the king and pope, and made no effort to 
protect the clergy from them. In these circumstances the leader- 
ship of the clergy passed to Robert Grrosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, 
a famous writer, a saintly man, and the most practical reformer of 
Church abuses of his day. Innocent iv., Gregory ix.'s successor, 
made even severer demands on England than his predecessor. In 
1245 he deposed Frederick from the empire, and persecuted him 
relentlessly till his death in 1250. Frederick was the last of the 
great emperors of the Middle Ages, and his fall marked the end 
of the long struggle between papacy and empire, which began 
with the investiture contest between Gregory yii. and Henry iv. 
Grosseteste continued his protest, and even ventured to withstand 
Innocent iv. face to face. Nothing, however, came from his 
complaints. However much the clergy grumbled, Henry gave 
them no help, and they were forced to pay whatever the pope 

-1258.] HENRY III. 165 

9. As Henry m. grew older he felt the disgrace of his father's 
failure to retain the Angevin Empire abroad. In 1230 he led an 
expedition to recover Poitou, but obtained nothing by Henry's 
his attempt. In 1242 he again went in person to foreign 
prosecute his rights to the Angevin inheritance which ^^""''^s. 
was fast slipping away owing to the growing power of Louis ix. 
The French monarch was a high-minded and conscientious king, as 
wise as he was good, and so universally admired and beloved that 
after his death he was canonized as St. Louis. But he was anxious 
to extend his authority and complete the work of his grandfather, 
Philip II. With this object Louis made one of his brothers count 
of Poitou and of Toulouse, and thus threatened the last hopes of 
Henry in Poitou. But the barons of Poitou were even more afraid 
of the growth of the French power than was the English king, and 
now turned to Henry and besought him to save them from French 
domination. At their head was Hugh of Lusignan, count of 
La Marohe, the mighty Poitevin baron, whose rage at John's 
abduction of Isabella of Angouleme had given the signal for the 
conquests of Philip 11. Hugh of La Marche was now Henry iii.'s 
step-father, for on John's death Isabella had gone back to France 
and married her old lover. She added her appeals to those of her 
second husband, and Henry, always dutiful to his family, willingly 
listened to his mother's entreaties. But when Henry got to Poitou, 
he found that Hugh and Isabella had no real care for his interests, 
and simply used him as a tool to prosecute their grievances ag'ainst 
the French king. He learnt how impossible it was to build upon 
Poitevin promises. The army of Louis ix. defeated his troops at 
Taillehourg, near Saintes, and drove him in panic flight to Bordeaux. 
The expedition was an utter failure, and henceforth Louis's brother 
ruled Poitou as he would. On his death Poitou became part of 
the direct domains of the French king. 

10. The chief result of the expedition was the ruin of the house 
of Lusignan. The numerous children of Hugh and Isabella, 
finding that they had no prospects in France, crossed ^he Poite- 
over the Channel and threw themselves on the bounty vins In 

of their half-brother. Henry welcomed them warmly, "^ ^" ' 
and loaded them with grants aaid presents. He married one of them, 
WiUiam of Valence, to the heiress of the Marshalls, earls of Pem- 
broke, whose house had recently died out in the male line. Another 
brother, Aymer, a violent and incompetent man, became bishop of 
Winchester. Henry's half-sisters found husbands among the richest 
of the earls. Henceforth the Poitevin half-brothers of the king 

l66 HENRY in. ['246- 

rivalled the Savoyard imoles of the queen in wealth, pride, and 

11. The government of England by Henry and his foreign 
friends was not only expensive and unpopular, but weak and in- 
Ri e of the efiective. Though the people paid heavy taxes, good 
Principality order was not maintained. Under a feeble king like 
of North Henry, the princes of North Wales became very power- 
Wales, j^ ^^^ extended their power to the south at the 
expense of the lords marcher. Since the days of Griffith ap 
Llewelyn no Welsh prince had been as mighty as Llewelyn ap 
lorwerth. He joined with the barons in wresting Magna Carta 
from John, and took advantage of the troubles of Henry's minority 
to push his dominions from the Dovey to Carmarthen Bay. Though 
married to Henry's sister, he was constantly at war with his brother- 
in-law. Under his grandson, Llewelyn ap Grif&th, who became 
prince in 1246, the Welsh principality became even stronger. 

12. Henry's remaining dominions in France were, like Wales, 

slipping away from his control. All that now i-emained of the 

„. . inheritance of Eleanor of Aquitaine was Gascony, but 

Montfort In even in Gasoony Henry's power was very small. The 

Gaseony, nobles behaved like independent princes, and great 
1248-1252 X- ' o 

towns like Bordeaux were becoming little republics 

which cared nothing for the commands of their duke. Things got 

to such a pass that even Henry saw that something had to be done. 

In 1248 he made his brother-in-law, Simon of Montfort, governor, 

or seneschal, of Gaseony, and gave him full power to reduce the 

unruly Gascons to obedience. Simon threw himself into the mde 

task with wonderful ability and energy. He restored order, but 

showed little regard for impartiality or justice. The Gascons 

sent piteous complaints against him to England. Henry listened 

to their murmurs, and gradually withdrew his confidence from 

Simon. Profoundly irritated at this shabby treatment, Simon 

resigned his office in disgust in 1252. Henceforward he became 

Henry's bitter enemy. Returning to England, he put himself 

at the head of the opposition which the king's fatuous government 

had created. 

13. For many years many protests had been raised against 
Henry's misrule, but, for want of competent leaders, nothing had 
come out of these efforts. For a time Henry's younger brother, 
Richard, earl of Cornwall, had led the baronial opposition ; but 
Richard now married Sanohia of Provence, the queen's younger 
sister, and reconciled himself with the court. The failure of all 

-1258.] HENRY III. 167 

attempts to check him encourag-ed Henry to adopt a more adven- 
turous policy. His children were growing up, ajid he wished to 
establish them in life. To his elder son, Edward, he 
made over the earldom of Chester which had recently Edmund, 
lapsed to the king's hands, all his lands in Wales, sicUy; and 
and the duchy of Gasoony. Edmund, his second Richard. 
son, was still unprovided for, and Henry eagerly oJeRomans 
grasped at a chance of establishing him in a foreign 
kingdom which the pope now offered. After the death of 
Frederick 11., the popes continued to wage unrelenting war against 
his children. They were particularly anxioiis to prevent the 
kingdom of Sicily, which Frederick had ruled, remaining united 
with Germany and the empire. Accordingly the pope offered to 
make Edmund king of Sicily, and Henry greedily swallowed the 
tempting bait. Edmund, who was a mere boy, remained in 
England, but Henry allowed the pope to wage war in Sicily in 
Edmund's name, and promised to defray the expenses. This 
was not the only foreign kingdom which Henry's kinsfolk 
obtained. In 1257 Richard of Cornwall was elected emperor after 
the death of Frederick 11. 's son. His title was disputed, and 
as he was never crowned by the pope, he was called king of the 

14 Each new adventure of Henry and the pope imposed a fresh 
burden upon Englishmen. The taxes became heavier, and the 

king's misgovemment steadily became worse. Henry's _ .... . 

■ 1 XI. • ■ -n 1 J • j.1. Political pe- 

misrule was the more grievous, since England m other tFogresslon 

ways was full of life and progress. It was the time of and 

the great religious revival which saw the establishment ^pQ^f'g 

of the Mendicant Friars, whose two chief orders, the 

Dominicans and the Franciscans, came to England in 1221 and 1224. 

It was a time of remarkable intellectual progress, of the growth of 

the universities, yrhetQ flourished many famous scholars, philosophers, 

and theologians. It was the time when mediaaval art attained its 

highest development in the growth of Gothic architecture. The 

country was becoming increasingly wealthy through the spread of 

manufactures and convmerce, and towns and town life became more 

important than they had ever been before. It was now also that 

English national sentiment was becoming conscious of itself. In 

every direction there was rapid progress, but political progress was 

stayed by the incompetence of the king and his advisers. But the 

day of reckoning was now at hand. Led by Earl Simon, the barons 

at last knew what they wanted. In 1258 the storm of indignation 

1 68 HENRY in. [1258- 

burst, and drove Henry and his favourites from the position which 
they had so long misused. 

15. The crisis was hastened by the enormous demands of the 
pope for the prosecution of the war waged for Sicily in Edmund's 
The Mad name. Henry could only satisfy the pope by raising 
Parliament, fresh taxes, and to do this he had to obtain the 
*25^- consent of the barons. In a council, or as it was 
now called, a parliament, at Westminster, the barons utterly 
refused to give the king any money, and forced him to consent to 
a drastic reform of the government. In June a second parliament 
met at Oxford. Taking advantage of a summons for an expedition 
against the Welsh, the barons came arrayed for war and attended 
by their armed followers. The king's friends called this assembly 
the Mad Parliament, but the barons knew very well what they were 
doing. A committee of twenty-four, chosen in equal proportions 
by king and barons, laid before the Oxford parliament an elaborate 
scheme for the future government of the realm. The new con- 
stitution was called the Provisions of Oxford, and readily adopted 
by the barons. By it a standing cowncil of fifteen was established, 
by whose advice and consent Henry was henceforth to exercise all 
his authority. All aliens were to be expelled from oflce and new 
ministers were appointed under stringent conditions. To save the 
barons the expense of attending frequent parliaments, a body of 
twelve was appointed to represent the whole nobility. This was to 
meet three times a year and to discuss public affairs with the 
committee of fifteen. 

16. The Provisions of Oxford carried to a still fui-ther point the 
idea of limited and constitutional monarchy first expressed in the 
The Pro- Great Charter. Every royal power was to remain 
visions of unimpaired, but henceforth it was to be exercised not 
Oxford. ^y. ^}^g king in person, but by a committee of the 
barons. The feudal tradition, when each baron's dearest wish was 
to. break down the monarchy and reign like a king over his own 
lands, was thus quite forgotten. The scheme was quite effective to 
check the autocracy of the crown. The danger was lest it should 
set up in the place of the Angevin despotism a narrow baronial 
oUgarohy, as careless as the king had been of the welfare of the 
country as a whole. There was no time, however, to think of 
future dangers at the moment. Headed by William of Yalence, 
the king's half-brother, the foreigners steadily resisted the new 
scheme. They were soon overpowered and driven into exile; 
Henry and his eldest son were forced to take oaths to observe the 

-1259.] HENRY III. 1 69 

Provisions. Next year, when King Richard came back to England, 
he was not allowed to land vintil he took the same oath. Thus 
the fifteen tritunphed over all opposition. Henceforth they, and 
not Henry, were the real rulers of England. 

17. One result of the baronial victory was the abandonment 
of Henry's ambitious schemes of foreign domination. His son 
Edmimd renounced his phantom kingdom of Sicily, jjig Treaty 
and the pope found a more competent instrument for of Paris, 
his purpose in Charles of Anjou, a younger brother 12S9. 

of Louis IX. Charles, who had married the youngest sister of 
Queen Eleanor, had already won for himself her father's county of 
Provence. In 1265 he established himself in Naples and Sicily, 
and was the ancestor of a long line of kings ruling over southern 
Italy under the pope's supremacy. In 1259 Henry went to Paris, 
where he concluded a permanent peace with the king of France. 
By this treaty 0/ Taris he renounced aU his claims over Normandy, 
Aujou, and Poitou, retaining only the Channel Islands, a fragment 
of the Norman duchy, over which the English kings still ruled 
because they were stronger by sea than the French. Besides this, 
Henry agreed to perform homage to Lotus for the duchy of Gascony, 
which remained under its English dukes. Louis was so anxious 
to make peace that he voluntarily handed over to Henry some pa,rts 
of Gascony which were actually in his possession and also paid him 
a considerable sum of money, nominally to eq[uip knights to fight 
on a crusade. This treaty was the first peace made between 
England and France since Philip 11. 's conquest of Normandy. It 
failed, however, to establish permanent friendship between the two 
countries. So long as Gascony remained ruled by dukes who were 
also English kings, real cordiality between them was impossible. 

18. In England the fifteen ruled for some years in Henry's 
name, but they governed in such a selfish and narrow way that 
murmurs, almost as loud as the old outcry against k e k- 
Henry, arose against them. Earl Simon of Leicester up of parties 
took broader views than most of the barons, but he f otmd and the 

it very difficult to make the other nobles accept his of f^e 
policy. After all he was a newcomer and a foreigner, Bapons' 
and with all his greatness he was so masterful and ^ap, 1259- 
overbearing that he was not easy to work with. The 
majority of the barons deserted his leadership for that of Richard of 
Clare, earl of Gloucester, the most powerful of the earls of English 
birth. Gloucester was a much less able man than Simon, and looked 
with suspicion upon his rival. From their disputes arose a division 

I/O ffENRY ///. [1259- 

in the baronial ranks, which gave Henry iii. a good chance to win 
back power. Henry himself was not clear-sighted enough to make 
the most of his opportunities ; but Edward, his eldest son, now a 
grown man, did much to compensate for his father's weakness. 
The king's son put himself at the head of a popular royalist party, 
and showed himself more disposed to trust the people than 
Gloucester. It was plain that he had no sympathy with Henry's 
past misdeeds, and that under him there would be no danger of 
the domination of foreign favourites. In fact, Edward stood 
to the royalist party as his imcle Leicester stood to the 
baronial oligarchy. For a time Edward and Simon worked well 
together, but they were too much like each other to agree long. 
Ultimately Edward proved himself Simon's most deadly enemy. 
He persuaded many of the barons to desert to the royalist side, 
and in particular won over from the opposition the fierce and 
warlike lords of the Welsh March, of whom, as earl of Chester, he 
was the natural leader. By 1263 the royalist party had become 
so strong that Henry repudiated the Provisions, and shook himself 
free of the control of the fifteen. He persuaded the pope to annul 
the Provisions, and absolve him from the oath which he had taken 
to observe them. This growth of the royalist power forced the 
barons to unite again, and their reunion was easier since Earl 
Richard of Gloucester died, and Ms young son. Earl Gilbert of 
Gloucester, was a devoted follower of Montf ort. Open hostilities 
broke out between the king and the barons, which were called the 
Barons' War. In this struggle both parties were so evenly matched 
that neither could obtain a victory over the other. The best way 
out of an impossible situation seemed to be to appeal to the 
arbitration of some impartial outsider. Accordingly, in December, 
1263, the two parties arranged to submit aU disputes between them 
to the judgment of Louis ix. 


Isabella of Angouleme. 
m, (1) John, King of England. 
(2) Hugh of Lusignan, count 
of La Marche. 

(1) m (2)J (i) (2) 

Henry iii. Richard, William of Valence, Aymer of Other sons 
king of king of m. heiress of the Valence, and daughters 

England. the Komans. Marshalls, carls bishop of settled or 

of Pembrolic. Winchester, married in 

Aymer of Valence, 
earl of Pembrolce, 


-1264.] HENRY III. 171 


Henry i. 

earl of Gloucester, d. 1147. 

carl of Gloucester. 

I i 

Amicia, Isabella of Gloucester, 

m. liichdrd of Clare. m. King John. 

Gilbert of Clare, 
carl of (Aoucester. 

. I 

Ricbard of Clnre, 
earl of Gloucester, d. 1262, 

Gilbert of Clare, 

earl of Gloucester, d. 1295, 

m. Joan, daughter of Edward i. 

.. i i ^1 I 

Gilbert, Eleanor, Margaret, another 

earl of Gloucester, m. Hugh le Despenser m. Peter of Gaveston. daughter, 
d. 1314. the younger. 

The names in italics are not referred to in the text. 

19. The king of France was the justest of kings ; but, after all, 
he was a king, and naturally prejudiced in favour of a sovereign 
waging war agaiust his subjects. In January, 1264, _j^ failure 
he issued his decision in a document called the Mise of the Mlse 
of Amiens, which pronounced the Provisions invalid, of Amiens, 
mainly because the pope had already condemned them. 
This judgment was too one-sided to be accepted, and the barons, 
headed by Leicester, resolved to continue the war. In taking this 
step Simon deliberately broke his pledged word, but he was not 
more forsworn than the king, who had so solemnly promised to 
abide by the Provisions. Though deserted by many of his 
followers, Simon did not lose heart. The defection of his allies 
gave him almost uncontrolled power over the baronial party, and 
he now showed himself as good a general as he had been a states- 
man. War was renewed, and at first the royalists gained some 
successes. At the head of their victorious troops, Henry and 
Edward marched triumphantly through Kent and Sussex, and at 
last took up their quarters at Lewes, where, on May 14, the decisive 
battle of the campaign was fought. 


HENRY in. 


20. Tlie royalist army was holding the town, of Lewes, which is 
situated on a sort of peninsula on the rig'ht bank of the i-iver Ouse. 
The Battle Early in the morning, Montf ort's army advanced from 
of Lewes, the north and made their way over the open chalk- 
1264. downs which encompassed Lewes on three sides. 

Simon's hope was to surprise the royalists in their camp, but they 
obtained information of his approach, and swarmed out of the 
town to meet him. The baronial troops moved in two great 
divisions along two spurs of the downs, separated by a valley. 
Their best soldiers were on the right wing, and their left wing 
largely consisted of the Londoners, who were ardent partisans of 
Earl Simon. Edward, who commanded the right wing of the 
royalists, attacked the Londoners with such fury that he drove 

jimery Walker sc. 

them in confusion many miles from the field. During his absence, 
however, Montfort with his right wing had captured Lewes town, 
utterly defeated the king's troops, and taken prisoners Henry and 
his brother, the king of the Romans. "When Edward returned from 
the pursuit it was too late to renew the conflict. Next day the 
king's son surrendered, so that the barons won a complete triumph. 
21. The victors drew up a new plan for the government of the 
country, called the Mise of Lewes. By it the king's power was 
The rule handed over to a committee of nine, and Henry and 
of Earl Edward were forced to swear to observe its provisions. 

In reality, however, Montfort now governed England. 

His position was much stronger than it had been in 
the early years of the struggle, and for the first time he was able 


-126s.] HENRY TIL 1 73 

to enforce his policy upon all his party. His position, however, 
was still very difllcTilt. The lords of the "Welsh March were still 
in arms for the king, and the pope was Henry's warm partisan. 
Queen Eleanor and her kinsfolk assembled an army on the French 
coast, and waited for an opportunity of invading- England. 

22. Montfort saw that the best way of resisting the formidable 
forces opposed to him was to oaU upon the people as a whole to rally 
round him. With this object he summoned, in Ytia Parlia- 
January, 1266, a parliament which, unlike the Parlia- ment of 
ment of 1258, was not a mere council of barons. He ^^^^' 
called upon every shire, city, and borough in England to elect two 
representatives who were to join with the barons and bishops in 
their deliberations. This action of Montfort's has made the 
ParliaTnent of 126S very famous in our history. It has been called 
the first Souse of Commons, and Montfort has been named the 
creator of the Souse of Com,mons. Neither of these claims can be 
justified. It was no new thing to call upon the shires to send their 
representatives to treat with the king or his ministers. The policy 
of electing representatives of the shires began when Henry 11. 
instituted the system of grand juries, and sent his justices to trans- 
act business with them. It was only a small step forward when, 
instead of the king's representative dealing with each shire in turn, 
representatives of all the shires were joined together in a single 
assembly, and brought face to face with the king in person. This 
was first done, so far as we know, under John iu 1213. Under 
Henry m. it became a common custom for the king to call together 
such representatives, or, as they were called, Imights of the shire, 
and to take their advice or listen to their complaints. Moreover, 
when the king wanted to get money from the merchants, or advice 
on matters of trade, he had already more than once summoned 
representatives of the cities and boroughs. Nevertheless, Mont- 
fort's Parliament does mark a real advance. It was a new thing 
to join both the shire and borough representatives in a single 
gathering. Moreover, Montfort did not summon this parliament 
merely to raise taxes, and to discuss matters of little importance. 
His object was to take the people into partnership with him, and 
find out their real views as to the government of the country. 
Thus, while the barons of 1258 acted as if none but the magnates 
had any voice in matters of politics, Montfort allowed commons as 
well as lords a voice in high matters of state. Since Magna Carta 
the king's power had been limited. It was the glory of Montfort 
that he was the first man to see that the power of the crown should 

1/4 HENRY III. [1265- 

be controlled, not only by the barons and bishops, but also by the 
lesser land-owners, the men of business, and the smaller people as 
weU. Nevertheless, Montfort's Parliament was but the expedient 
of the moment. We must wait for a generation before the rival 
and disciple of Montfort, Edward, the king's son, established the 
popular element on a firm basis. 

23. Earl Simon's rule lasted only a few months. His fierce and 
overbearing temper, and the deep differences of policy between him 

and such of the magnates as still adhered to liim, made 
of the permanent co-operation between him and the barons 

Marchers, impossible. Gilbert of Clare was now old enough to 

shake off the fascination which had bound him to 
Simon in earlier years. He quarrelled first with Simon's sons, who 
had aU the defects and little of the greatness of their father. Then 
he broke violently with Simon himself, and raised the standard of 
revolt in liis lordship of Griamorgan. The marchers, whom Simon 
had never been able to subdue, rallied round him, and Simon was 
forced to proceed to the west to wage war against Grloucester and 
his friends. He took with him Henry and Edward, both of whom 
were still practically prisoners. One day, however, Edward, who 
was allowed the diversion of hunting, escaped from his guards and 
joined Grloucester. By this time a strong band of exiles, headed 
by William of Valence, had landed in South Wales and added their 
forces to those of Edwai'd and Gloucester. Simon strove to create 
a diversion by making a close alliance with Llewelyn of Wales, but 
the Welsh prince gave him little real help. Llewelyn had already 
profited by the civil war to conquer many of the lordships marcher, 
and he would not stop adding to his territories to fight Montfort's 
battles. Before long Montfort was forced to recross the Severn, 
closely followed by Edward and the marchers. On August 4, 
126.5, a decisive battle was fought at Evesham in Worcestershire. 

24. Evesham, like Lewes, stands on a peninstila, and is almost 
encircled by a wide curve of the Avon. Simon and his war-worn 
The Battle ''^"^^ were resting in the town when Edward occupied 
of Evesham, the narrow neck of land which lies a little to the north 

between the two reaches of the stream. This cut 
off aU prospect of escape by land, especially as Gloucester with a 
strong force occupied the village of Bengeworth on the left bank, 
which was connected with Evesham by the only bridge on that 
part of the river. Simon saw that Edward had outgeneralled him, 
yet could not but admire his adversary's skill in warfare. " By 
the arm of St. James," he declared, " they come on cunningly ; yet it 


HENRY in. 


is from me that they have learnt their order of battle. God have 
mercy on onr sonls, for our bodies are the lord Edward's." The 
battle then began, and Montfort's troops, though fighting bravely, 
were overpowered. Montf ort himself perished in the fight, but his 
memory lived long in the hearts of Englishmen, who worshipped 
him as a saint and martyr, and believed that he had laid down his 

ane^y Walker sc 


Ufe for the cause of justice and religion. The best of Simon's 
work survived the battle of Evesham. His victorious nephew 
learnt well the lesson of his career, and the true success of the 
martyred earl was the future Edward i. 

25. Edward now restored his father to liberty and the throne. 
There was a greedy scramble for the spoils of victory, and the 
grreatest'of these, the forfeited earldom of Leicester, The Royalist 
went to Edmund, the king's younger son, who soon Restoration, 
also became earl of Lancaster and Derby. But the 1265-1267. 
victors' resolve to deprive their beaten foes of their estates drove 
the vanquished into fresh revolts, and for two years there was stiU 
much fighting in England. At last the chief rebels were forced to 
defend themselves behind the strong walls of Kenilworth Castle. 
There were two parties among the royalists ; one, led by the cruel 
marchers, thought of nothing but spoils and vengeance, while the 




other, headed by Grloucester, recommended moderation in victory. 
At first Edward favoured the former, but he now adopted 
Gloucester's milder policy, and drew up the Dictum, de Kenilworth, 
which allowed rebels to redeem their estates by paying a fine 
assessed at five years' value of their lands. In 1266 the defenders 
of Kenilworth were admitted to these terms, and in 1267 a few 
desperate partisans, who stiU held their own amidst the fens of the 
Isle of Ely, were also forced into submission. 

26. England was thus restored to peace, but Llewelyn ap Griffith 
still remained under arms. Even Edward was now tired of fighting. 
The Treaty ^"■'^ ^ September, 1267, gave Llewelyn liberal terms 
of Shrews- of peace in the treaty of Shrewshui-y. By it Llewelyn 
bupy, 1267. ^j^g recognized as prince of Wales, and as overlord of 
all the Welsh magnates. Many of his conquests were definitely 




L— — 1 Llewelyn 's lands at his acoeSsToh 1246. r ^ 

i i he Fpu 



3 Chester 

__ — -| Land held by other Welsh Princes in j-j 
1 ,' i 1 1 l2<iB and brought more or /efis under / /"'^'"'^ 
Llewelyn's control by 1267. ^^'"^ \y 



—,^^,— Marcher lands occupied by Llewelyn, / 
Y "- ^\ ""rf assigned to him by the Treaty of \ 
'"" ' ''^ Shrewsbury 1267, y 

1 1 Marcher Lordships remaining outside / : , 
1 1 Llewelyn's power in 1267. / 





'/i\ XA"^ 

, Hereford ( 

^^^j-u^ ^ 

\) (BJJEOON ) 

^ ) 

<^^PEMBROKE r^^ 

•f ] fiBoS%)^ 





LLEWELYN (1246-1267). 

ceded to him, including the four cantreds of the vale of Clwyd, 
over which Edward himself had claims. Alone of Montfort's 
friends, Llewelyn came out of an unsuccessful struggle upon terms 
which are seldom obtained even by a victor in the field. 

27. The rest of Henry iii.'s reign was as peaceful as the middle 
part had been stormy. The old king was practically replaced by 

-1272] HENRY III. ly^ 

liis wise son, and Edward was shrewd enough to rtile the land after 
a fashion more in accordance with the ideas of Earl Simon than 
with those of his father. Before long things hecame jjjg g^j qj 
so quiet that Edward was able to leave England and the reign, 
go on a crusade. Ever since the Third Crusade the 1267-1272. 
Christiam kingdom in Palestine had been steadily decaying, and it 
was clear that unless a new holy war were preached, it would soon 
be completely overwhelmed. Louis ix. undertook to lead a crusade 
in person, but instead of going to the Holy Land, he turned his 
arms against Tunis, where he died in 1270. Soon afterwards 
Edward arrived of£ Tunis, only to find that Louis was dead, and his 
son, Philip III., had concluded a truce with the Mohammedans. 
Disgusted by what he regarded as treason to Christendom, he made 
his way to Palestine, where he remained tiU 1272. He was the 
last of the great crusaders, and even his fire and courage could do 
little to uphold the crusading kingdom, which a few years later was 
altogether destroyed. Edward was still away in the East when 
Henry iii. died, in November, 1272. The old king was buried in 
Westminster Abbey, which he had rebuilt in honour of St. Edward, 
his favourite saint. During his lifetime the old Norman despotism 
had faded slowly into the national and constitutional monarchy 
which Simon had begun, and which Simon's conqueror was soon to 


EDWARD I. (1272-1307) 

Chief Dates : 

1272. Accession of Edward i. 

1274. Edward's coronation. 

1277. The first Welsh War. 

1279. Statute of Mortmain. 

1282-1283. Conquest of North Wales. 

1285. Statutes De Bonis and of Winchester. 

1290. Statute Quia Emptores. 

1292. John Balliol, king of Scots. 

1295. The Model Parliament. 

1296. First conquest of Scotland. 

1297. Confirmatio Cartarum. 

1298. Battle of Falkirk. 

1303-1304. Completion oE seeond conquest of Scotland. 

1306. Revolt of Robert Bruce. 

1307. Death of Edward i. 

1. Edwaed I. was thirty -ttree years old when he became king-, and 
the broad lines of his policy had already been formed in the rude 
Charaetep school of the Barons' War. He was wise enough to 
and policy profit by his experience, and his love of strong rule 
or Edward I. g^^^ efficiency, his courage, energy, and honesty stand 
in strong' contrast to the weakness and incompetence of his father. 
Edward loved power too much to part with it willingly, but he saw 
that if he wished to be a successful ruler, he must make his policy 
popular. For this reason he strove to carry out the great idea of 
Earl Simon of taking' the people into a sort of partnership with 
him. The residt was that his people trusted and followed him. 
Edward found that he could thus get more of his own way than by 
constantly wrangling with his subjects. His remarkable personal 
gifts made it easy for Mm to win respect and love. He was of 
elegant build and lofty stature, an eloquent speaker, a consummate 
swordsman, and a mighty hunter. He was hot-tempered and 
passionate, and when moved to wrath was sometimes hard and 
almost cruel. He committed many deeds of violence in his youth, 

1277.] EDWARD I. 1 79 

but he learned to oiirb his impetuous temper, was proud of liis 
straightforwardness, and boasted that he always kept his word. 
Yot Edward had a oiirious narrowness of temper, which made him 
sometimes look at the letter rather than the spirit of his promises. 
An enemy said of him that he called prudence the treachery 
whereby he advanced, and believed that whatever he liked was 
lawful. He was hard-working', clear-headed, and practical. His 
family life was unstained. He was a loyal friend, and was siucerely 
religious. With all his faults he was the greatest of all his house. 

2. Edward was proclaimed king during his absence. A regency 
was appointed whose chief members were Walter Grey, archbishop 
of York, and Kobert Burnell, a Shropshire clerk, who 

was already the new king's most intimate confidant, ment during 
and was soon made his chancellor and chief minister. Edward's 
They kept England in such unbroken peace that there foyl-f 274 
was no need for Edward to hasten his return. He 
tarried for more than a year in Trance, and paid a prolonged visit 
to Gascony. At last, in August, 1274, he crossed over to England, 
and was crowned king. 

3. Edward's first trouble came from Wales, where the treaty of 
Shrewsbury had not brought enduring- peace. The brilliant success 
of the Welsh arms and diplomacy seems somewhat to xhe first 
have t^^rned Llewelyn's brain. Yisions of a wider Welsh war, 
authority constantly floated before the Welsh prince, l^''- 

and he dreamed of driving the Saxons out of Wales and making 
himself an independent ruler. Accordingly, when the regents of 
the new king required him to take an oath of fealty to Edward, he 
answered them with all sorts of pretexts and delays. There were 
many other subjects of contention, and both English and Welsh 
complained that the treaty of Shrewsbury had not been jiroperly 
executed. Even after Edward's return Llewelyn continued to 
evade the performance of his feudal duty. At last he declared 
that he dared not leave Wales to perform homage unless Edward 
sent his brother, Earl Bdrnxind of Lancaster, to Wales as a hostage 
for his safety. Llewelyn also strove to stir up dissension in 
Edward's realm by posing as the disciple of Simon of Montfort, 
and in 1275 sought for Montfort's daughter Eleanor as his wife. 
However, on her way to Wales Eleanor was captured by Edward's 
sailors, and kept in restraint at court. Edward at last lost all 
patience, and in 1277 led an army to North Wales, blockaded 
Llewelyn in Snowdon, and forced liim to make his submission by 
the treaty of Conway. This treaty deprived Llewelyn of all that 

l80 EDWARD I. [1277- 

he had won at Shrewsbury, and reduced him to the position of a 
petty North Welsh chieftain, strictly dependent on his English 
overlord. Next year he was allowed to marry Eleanor of Montf ort ; 
Edward was not inclined to treat him severely if he accepted his 
position of dependence. 

4 For the next few years Edward strove with aU his might to 
establish English law in the districts ceded to him by Llewelyn. 
_ __^. J His own attitude was unsympathetic to the Welsh, and 
Welsh his agents were often brutally harsh. A loud outcry 

troubles, aa'ainst the king's rule arose from his new subiects, and 

1277-1282 00 13 • 

especially from those of the four cantreds of the vale of 
Clwyd. They called upon Llewelyn to help them, and Llewelyn's 
brother David, who in 1277 had been on Edward's side, reconciled 
himself with his brother. A revolt of the four cantreds broke out 
suddenly in the spring of 1282. Llewelyn and David gave active 
assistance to the rebels, and almost simultaneously another rising 
took place in South Wales. 


prince of North Wales under Henry n. 




d. 1240, m. (2) daughter of John. 

I (2 j 

Griffith. Da^id, 

I d. 1246. 

Llewelyn, David, Roderick. 

d. 1282. d. 1283. | 


Sir Owen of Wales 
(time of Edward iii.). 

(The names in italics are not referred to in text ; Welsh princes 
in small capitals.) 

5. Edward led a second expedition against Llewelyn in the 
summer of 1282. Again the rebel prince was shut up in Snowdon, 
but he managed to break his way through the English troops and 
excite a fresh revolt on the upper Wye, where he was slain on 
December 11, at the battle of Orewyn Bridge. David, now prince 
of Wales, held his own in the mountains for another year ; but at 




last he was tracked and captured. In October, 1283, he was 

executed as a traitor at Shrewsbury, This was the 

end of the native prinoipaUty of "Wales. It is often quist of the 

called the conquest of "Wales, but it was in reality Pplnci- 

only the conquest of Llewelyn's principality. The iloirjooo 

marches of "Wales remained under their feudal lords 

until the sixteenth century. 

6. In 1284 Edward drew up the Statute of Wales. He declared 

^_^ EmeryWallEeT s 

iTIie Ptincipality I I The smaller marcher lordships 

'^jlWlTho-Palatme counties vMiFnrjilvh shire grountf 

Modern boundary befuieen England & Wales ........ 


that the principality of "Wales, hitherto feudally subject to him, 
was henceforward to be directly ruled by him, and drew up a 
scheme for its future government. He divided it into five counties 
^Aaglesey, Carnarvon, Merioneth, Cardigan, and Carmarthen 

l82 EDWARD I. [1275- 

— and added a new county, Flintshire, to the earldom of Chester, 
which was now permanently in the king's hands. In each of the 
The Settle- ^^^ shires the English system of local government was 
mentof the set up, though such Welsh laws as Edward thought 
Princl- reasonable were allowed to continue. In all the details 

pallty,1284. ^^ ^^^ settlement Edward strove to deal fairly with 
the Welsh, though he never understood them well enough to 
respect their feelings. To secure his conquest Edward surrounded 
Snowdon with a ring of fortresses, which still, in their ruin, bear 
witness to the solidity of their work. Round each castle, such as 
Carnarvon and Conway, grew up a, little English town whose in- 
habitants might help the soldiers of the castle to keep the Welsh in 
check. In one of Edward's new strongholds, that of 
Carnarvon, Carnarvon, his son, the future Edward II., was bom. 
prince of jn 1301 this Edward was made prince of Wales by his 
^ ^' ■ father. After this it gradually became the fashion to 
create the king's eldest son prince of Wales. That custom has 
lasted down to our own day. 

7. Though Edward was an able soldier, his greatest strength 
was as a lawgiver and administrator. Intent as he was on his 
Edward's conc[uest of the Principality, he was even more busily 
legislation, engaged, during the first half of his reign, in drawing 
1274-1290. ^p ^ remarkable series of new laws and in striving 
with all his might to see them carried out in practice. With all 
their importance Edward's laws do not contain very much that is 
novel or original. They owe their fame to the care with which he 
discerned the practical needs of his people and the skill with which 
he engrafted into our permanent constitiition the best results of 
the age of unrest and revolution in which he had grown up. His 
reign has been called a period, of definition, by which it is meant 
that he made clear points that were formerly doubtful, and selected 
from the rich store of precedents, furnished by the age of the 
Barons' War, the institutions which his keen eye saw were of most 
value to himseM and his subjects, and the most likely to bring about 
the permanent welfare of England. Between 1275 and 1290 a 
series of great laws passed in review every branch of both the local 
and central administration, and made their permanent mark in 
English history. In the later years of his reign we shall see the 
same statesmanlike policy of definition applied to the constitution, 
which under his guidance took the form which it has retained ever 

8. On reaching England Edward made Bishop BurneU his 

-1284.] EDWARD I. 183 

chancellor, and retained Mm in that office imtil his death in 1292. 
Much of the legislation of the period is doubtless due to the -wisdom 
of the chancellor, though Edward must not he denied ct t t f 
a fuU share of the credit. In 1275 the first of the West- 
great laws of the reign was passed in the statute of minster I , 
Westminster the First. It was mainly aimed at strength- 
ening the king's government and ensuring peace and strong 
rule ; but it re-enacted many of the best provisions of the Great 
Charter and provided for the freedom of elections to parliament. 
Part of the statute included a permanent grant to Edward and his 
successors of a duty on every sack of wool and every bundle of 
sheepskins and leather sent out of the country. This 
was called the Old and Great Custom. It was hence- The Great 
forth an important source of revenue, and it was a proof 
of the growing wealth and prosperity of the country that the kings 
were able in the future to derive a large portion of their income 
from a tax on trade. 

9. In 1278 Edward passed the statute of Gloucester, which 
ordered an inquiry into all law courts and jurisdictions held by 
the feudal barons, and sought to limit their number. Tjjg statute 
Commissioners went through the country to every of Glouees- 
franchise, and demanded by what warranty the holder ^^^' '^'°' 
of it exercised his right. For this reason the letters issued by 
Edward's commission were called writs of quo warranto. Edward's 
object was to break down the power of the nobles, and make every 
court depend on the crown. But his barons bitterly resented his 
action as an attack upon their privileges. It was said that when 
the commissioners asked Earl Warenne by what right he held 
his courts, the earl bared his sword and haughtily declared that 
this weapon was his authority. " My ancestors came over with the 
Conqueror," said Warenne, " and won their lands with their sword, 
and with the same sword will I defend them against all who wish 
to take them from me." These fierce words voiced the opinion of 
the barons, and Edward was wise enough not to force them to 
extremities. He suffered many franchises to remain that he would 
gladly have abolished ; but he took care to create no fresh ones, and 
saw that all the lords were thoroughly obedient to him. 

10. In 1279 Edward passed the statute of Mortmain. Lands 
which went to the Church were said to have fallen xhe Statute 
into the dead hand, or in Latin, in mortua manu, of Mopt- 
and the statute forbade any further grants of lands •"^'"' ^279. 
to the Church without the king's leave. Edward's motive 

1 84 EDWARD I. [1284- 

was partly to prevent an increase of the wealth and power of 
the Church, and partly to prevent more lands f aUing' to clerical 
owners, who were not so well able to fight his battles as the lay 
barons. His action was resented by the stricter churchmen, and 
in particular by the archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop 
at the time was John Peckham, a Franciscan friar, and a very 
busy, weU-meaning, and active man, who was so eager for 
the rights of the Church that he was constantly causing great 
irritation to Edward by his claims. More than once there seemed 
to be a good chance of a conflict between Edward and Peckham 
breaking out, such as had raged between Henry 11. and Arch- 
bishop Thomas. But Edward's prudence and Peokham's fear of 
his sovereign continued to keep matters at peace. On the whole, how- 
_. ever, the advantage was with the king, who would not 

speete give up the statute of Mortmain, and who in 1285 

Agatis, passed a law called Circmnspecte Agatis (act cautiously), 

by which he forced the Church courts to confine them- 
selves to business that was strictly ecclesiastical, and not to en- 
croach upon the jurisdiction of the law courts of the crown. Yet, 
powerful as he was, Edward could not prevent the popes nomi- 
nating whom they would to great places in the English Church. 
Peckham himself had been appointed by papal provision, and 
Edward could never persuade the pope to allow the Chancellor 
Burnell a richer bishopric than his see of Bath and Wells. Edward 
was, however, strong enough to put a practical end to the pope's 
exercising any rights as overlord of England by virtue of King 
John's submission in 1213. He refused to pay the tribute John 
had promised, and the popes were wise enough not to press for it. 

11. In 1285 Edward passed two famous laws, called the statute 
of WestTninster the Second and the statute of Winchester. The 

former made important changes in the land laws. One 
Statutes of q£ j^g clauses was called De Bonis Conditionalibus^tli&i 
minster II. is, " concerning gifts on condition." Its effect was 
8^"* to make it easier for a landholder to entail, or settle, his 

1285° ^ ^^' ^^^^ npon a particular line of his descendants for ever. 

In practice, however, this custom of tying up lands 
from generation to generation was found to work badly, and the 
judg'es interpreted Edward's law in such a fashion that it lost its 
worst sting. It had, however, some effect towards creating the 
English custom of settling lands strictly on the eldest son, which 
has proved more profitable to a few great houses than to the king 
or country. The statute of Winchester aimed at putting down riots 

-1290.] EDWARD I. 185 

and violence by making each Hundred responsible for aU breaches 
of the peace within its limits, and by providing for the proper 
arming and calling out of the fyrd, or, as it soon became called, the 
militia. It was in a sense a new version of Henry 11. 's Assize of 
Arms brought up to date. 

12. The last great law of the reign was the statute of West- 

tninster the Third, passed in 1290, and often called from its opening 

words. Quia Umptores. It allowed any landholder to ctotute of 

sell his land if he wished it, but enacted that the West- 

buyer shoTild not be the vassal of the man of whom minster III., 

1 290. 
he had acciuired the land, but stand in the same 

relation to the lord of the seller as the seller had stood himself. 

The effect of this was, in the long run, to bring most landholders 

under the direct lordship of the crown, and so still further to 

weaken the position of the barons. 

13. Despite Edward's new laws, the government was only 
properly carried on when the king was himseK in England. 
Between 1286 and 1289 foreign troubles carried both 

Edward and BurneU to Gascony. During their J^'^J^i*^ 
absence the judges sold verdicts for money, and the i289, and ' 
ministers were so corrupt and oppressive that Edward, expulsion of 
on his return, appointed a special commission to hear jggo ^' 
the numerous complaints brought against them by his 
subjects. All the judges but four were heavily fined and dismissed 
from office. Soon after this stern act, Edward issued orders that 
all Jews should be expelled from England. The Jews had come 
to England about the time of the Norman conc[uest, and had 
shown such skill in business as to make much money for them- 
selves. They were unpopular as foreigners and as unbelievers, 
and also because they were in the habit of lending money at high 
rates of interest. They were, however, favoured by the kiags, and 
were glad to pay highly for the royal protection. Grradually, how- 
ever, the feeling against them became very bitter. Edward was 
brought over by it to withdraw his support from them. In 1290 
he drove them from the land altogether. 

14 In 1286 Alexander iii. king of Scots died, the last male 
representative of the old Une of Scottish monarchs. With him 
ended a long and prosperous period for Scotland, c„oti„nj 
during which the various nations which were ruled under 
by the Soots king were gradually becoming blended Alexander 
together into a single people. The elements which 
made up the Scottish kingdom were even more various than those 

1 86 EDWARD I. [1286- 

whioh were brought together in Edward's realm. The original 
Scots were the Celtic-speaking Highlanders, who dwelt amongst 
the mountains of the north and west. Their territory did not, 
however, extend further south than the Clyde and the Forth, 
which were the original southern limits of the Scottish kingdom. 
But we have seen how by the conc[uest of Stratholyde, or 
Cumbria, a Welsh population in the south-west of the modern 
realm was brought under the rule of the Scottish king, so that 
his rule extended over the Clyde to the Solway and the Esk. We 
have also seen how from the cession of the English district of 
Lothian, originally the northern part of Northumbria, the 
dominions of the Scottish king had been extended towards the 
south-east from the Forth to the Tweed. To these new districts 
and new peoples brought under his sway must be added the Danes 
and Norsemen, who had largely displaced the Celtic inhabitants 
in the western and northern islands and in the extreme north, 
and the Norman nobles who had become the chief landed 
proprietors since the twelfth century. By this time the 
Welsh, the Normans, the English, and the Danes were sufficiently 
united with the Celts for all to call themselves Soots. The most 
important and populous part of the country was in the south or 
Lowlands, which spoke a form of the old speech of Northumbria, 
which was soon to be called the Scots tongue. The original Scots 
were henceforth called Highlanders, and their language more often 
called Gaelic than Scots. The Highlanders were very like their 
near kinsmen the Irish, and were stiE for many centuries to be 
governed after the old Celtic fashion, by which each tribe was 
practically ruled by its clan chieftain. On the other hand, English 
and Norman influence had made most of the Lowlanders almost 
Englishmen. The Welsh of the south-west were rapidly losing 
their old nationality and becoming English in speech and 
institutions. The Danes of the north, cut off from their kinsfolk 
in Scandinavia, since the Norse invasions had come to an end, were 
also becoming Anglicized. Up the east coast English influence 
gradually penetrated over the Forth and Tay, or to the low and 
fertile region between the mountains and the sea, far beyond 
Aberdeen, and almost up to Inverness. The result was that 
English-speaking Scotland was become very extensive. But all 
the various races dwelling in Scotland were ruled by one king, and 
were becoming equally proud of the name of Soot. For a century 
their rulers had lived on good terms with the English monarchs, 
but this happy period now ended. 





Malcolm Canmoee, 
d. 1093, m. St. Margaret, sister to Edgar ^theling. 

David i., 

carl of Huntingdon, 

m. Henry i. 

William the Lion, 

Alexander ii., 

Alexandek III.. 

m. Eric of Norway. 



the Maid of Norwav, 

d. 1290. 

carl of Huntingdon. 

m. Alan of Galloway. 

m. John Balliol, 

John Balliol, 

king of Scots, 



Edwakd Balliol, 

nominal king of 

Scots, 1332-1338. 

m. Eobert Bruce, 

Eobert Bruce 
the claimant. 

Robert Bruce, 
earl of Carrick. 

Robert i. Bkuce, 

king of Scots, 


David ii. Bkuce. 


ui. Walter Stewart 

of Scotland, from 

whom the Stewarts 

are descended. 

(Scottish kings in small capitals ; names in italics not mentioned in text.) 

15. Alexander iii.'s nearest heir was Margaret, his daughter's 
daughter, a, young girl, called the Maid of Norway, because her 
father was Eric, king of that country. Proclaimed Tj,e uajd 
queen of Scots on Alexander's death, she remained of Norway, 
in Norway under her father's care, while her realm 1286-1290. 
was ruled by a regency, which found it hard to keep the country 
in good order. Edward, who watched Scottish affairs carefully, 
saw in a female reign the best prospects of extending his power 
over the north. He proposed that his eldest surviving son, 
Edward of Carnarvon, should marry the little queen, and thus 
bring about the union of the two lands. On his pledging liimself 

l88 EDWARD I. [1290- 

that the two kingdoms should each retain their own laws and 
customs even if the marriage resulted in their being joined xinder 
a common sovereign, the Scots cheerfully accepted his plan. In 
1290 the treaty of Brigham was signed embodying these conditions. 
It was the wisest scheme that could he devised for bringing about 
the peaceful unity of Britain. Unluckily, the Maid of Norway died 
in the course of the same year on her journey from Norway to 

16. A swarm of claimants now arose to the Scottish throne. 
As none had a clear title, and several had eager supporters, it looked 

as if the sword alone wotdd settle the question of the 
™°. , succession. The Scots were alarmed at the prospect 
to the of a long and bloody civil war, and resolved to get out 

Scottish of the difficulty by calling on Edward to decide which of 

1290-1292.' ^^^ candidates had the best right. Edward willingly 

agreed to undertake this course. He required, how- 
ever, that all the Scottish barons and all the claimants should take 
an oath of fealty to him as overlord of Scotland before he began 
to examine the question. He gladly welcomed so good an oppor- 
tunity of settKng the relations of the two kingdoms which had 
remained somewhat doubtful since Richard I. remitted to WiUiam 
the Lion the hard conditions of the treaty of Palaise. Though 
every subsequent Scottish king had done homage to the English 
king, yet each of them possessed large estates in England, and it 
was not always clear whether their submission was for their English 
estates or for the Scottish throne. As Scotland grew stronger her 
kings beoame more unwilling to acknowledge their subjection to a 
foreign king, and the good understanding that had prevailed for so 
long between them and their southern neighbours had made the 
English kings see no reason in pressing their claim. However, 
circumstances had now changed. If Edward did not arbitrate, 
there was the certainty of Scotland falling into terrible confusion. 
The claimants, in their anxiety to curry favour with Edward, were 
the first to submit. The chief nobles followed, and Edward there- 
upon undertook to try the great suit for the succession. 

17. The pleas were examined by 104 judges, of whom 24 were 
chosen by Edward and 40 by each of the two claimants whose 
Accession rights seemed the nearest. These were John BaUiol, 
of John lord of Galloway, and Robert Bruce, lord of Annan- 
fpn?"'' ^^^^' -^°^^ °^ these were descended on the female side 

from David, earl of Huntingdon, BaUiol being the 
grandson of his eldest daughter, Margaret, and Bruce the son of 

-I293.] EDWARD I. I89 

his second daughter, Isabella. BaUiol's claim was based upon his 
representing the elder branch, wlule Bruce's title rested on the fact 
that he was a generation nearer Earl David. The judges went into 
the case with great care and impartiality, and finally adjudged 
the crown to BaUiol. The decision was announced on November 
30, 1292, at Berwick-on- Tweed, then a Scottish town. BaUiol at 
once did homage to Edward, and was crowned king of Scots. The 
question seemed peaceably settled, and Edward won great reputa- 
tion for justice in his conduct of the case. 

18. Eresh trouble at once fell upon Edward ; this time from 
France. All through his reign there had been constant bickering 
between Edward an.d the French kings. There were England 
great difficulties in carrying out the treaty of 1259, and France, 
and the irritation caused to the French by Edward's 1259-1293. 
position in Grascony was increased when his queen, Eleanor of 
Castile, inherited through her mother the county of Ponthieu on 
the lower Somme, so that Edward's position in France was thereby 
strengthened. All through the reign of Philip iii., who succeeded 
his father St. Louis iu 1270, the relations of the two countries were 
strained; but in 1279 both kings agreed to make the treaty of 
Amiens, by which Edward's position in Grascony was improved and 
his wife put in possession of Ponthieu. Philip iv., who became king 
of France iu 1285, was a stronger king than his father, and was 
eager to undermine Edward's hold over the French fiefs, by pushing 
his power as suzerain to the uttermost. Matters were made worse 
by quarrels between English and French seamen, which grew so 
bitter that the French hanged some EngKsh mariners to the yard- 
arms of their ships, with dogs hung up beside them, " as if they made 
no difference," said an indignant chronicler, " between a dog and 
an Englishman." This so enraged the English shipmen that in 
1293 they challenged the French to fight a pitched battle, in which 
the latter were defeated with great slaughter. The beaten sailors 
besieged Philip it. with their complaints, and Philip summoned 
Edward to his court at Paris to answer for the behaviour of his 
subjects. Edward sent his brother Edmund, earl of Lancaster, as his 
agent, but Edmund was too simple to be a good negotiator. Philip 
persuaded him to give up Grascony to him just as a form, and on 
condition of its being soon restored. But when the time of restitu- 
tion came, Philip's agents kept a tight hold over the whole of the 
duchy. Edward, seeing that his brother had been tricked, angrily 
broke off negotiations, and went to war with the French. 

19. Philip IV. prepared to invade England, and sought to stir 

I go 



iip Edward's enemies to make common cause against him. At 
French instigation the Welsh rose in revolt, and forced Edward to 
divert to their subjection an army collected to recover Gasoony. It 

EraeryTallfcr sc. 

Boundary of Lands nominally allowed to Henry III. in 1259 — . 

lands secured by Edward I. in 1279 - . M£J 

Lands surrendered by Edward I. in 1279 ., '^ 1 

ENGU3n king's dominions in feance in the thieteenth cuntuey. 

was only after hard fighting, in the course of which Edward 
himself ran great personal risk, that the Welsh rebellion was put 
down. Then Philip stirred up an even more effective enemy to 

-1295.] EDWARD I. I9I 

Edward in Scotland, whei-e thing's had been going badly since John 
Balliol's succession. Now that Edward's authority over Scotland 
had been recognized, Scotsmen, beaten in the local ^^^ French 
law courts, appealed to Edward's courts and asked and Scottish 
him to do them justice. It was a regular thing ^^"^f',,-- 
for a suzerain to receive appeals from his vassal's 
courts, and Edward had suffered much from the way in which 
Philip IV. of France had encouraged his vassals in Gasoony to 
take their appeals to Paris. He saw no harm, therefore, in allowing 
the Scots to come to his court, and was probably surprised when 
the Soots nobles grew indignant at the practice. But there had 
been no precedents for such appeals from Scotland to England in 
the past, and the Scots declared that they would allow Edward no 
such power. As John BaUiol seemed weak and hesitating, the 
nobles deprived him of nearly aU his authority, and entrusted it to 
a committee of twelve, like the council of fifteen of the Provisions 
of Oxford. The new government broke off all relations with 
Edward, and concluded a close alliance with the French. 

20. Edward met this combination of enemies by forming an 
alliance with the emperor, the count of Flanders, and other friends 
of England abroad. But he chiefly relied upon the j^^^ Model 
good will of his own subjects, and the step he now Parliament 
took to win his people to his side was ever memorable <>' '295. 
in the history of the growth of our constitution. Already on 
many occasions he had summoned representative parliaments like 
Montfort's famous assembly of 1265 ; but never had there been 
assembled so fidl and popular a parliament as that which Edward 
gathered together in 1295. Not only did he convoke the earls 
and barons, the bishops and abbots. Beside them came two 
knights from every shire, and two citizens and burgesses from 
every city and borough. A new element was also introduced in 
the appearance of representatives of the lower clergy, in the persons 
of deans and archdeacons, one proctor, or representative, of every 
cathedral chapter, and two proctors for the parish clergy of every 
bishopric. Thus each of the three estates, or class divisions, into 
which society was then divided — the barons, the clergy, and the 
commons — ^had every chance of making their wishes felt. Later 
times have called this parliament the Model Parlicmient, because 
it, much more than the Parliament of 1265, was the type upon 
which all later parliaments of England were based. And its 
assembly is the more important since Edward deliberately called 
it as a means of taking his people into partnership in a great crisis. 

192 EDWARD I. [1295- 

" What touches all," said he, in his letters, or writs, of summons, 
" should be approved of all. It is also very clear that common 
dangers should he met by measures agreed upon in common." It 
is from this moment that the parliamentary constitution of England 
was completed. "What with Simon of Montf ort was the expedient 
of a moment, became henceforth with Edward i. a permanent 
principle of policy. 

21. Edward's parliament voted large sums of money which 
enabled him to crush the Welsh revolt, ward offl any prospect of 
_. invasion, and send an army to win back Gascony. But 
quest of it was evident that Philip would not be beaten until the 
Scotland, Scots had been taught to respect the power of Edward. 

Accordingly, in 1296 Edward led an army into Scotland, 
and resolved to pxmisli John BaUiol as he had formerly punished 
Llewelyn of Wales. BaUiol made a poor resistance, and after a 
very little fighting, surrendered his crown to Edward. The sub- 
jection of Scotland was thus apparently effected with infinitely 
greater ease than the conquest of the Principality. Edward 
treated Scotland as he had treated Wales. He declared Scotland 
annexed directly to his crown, and appointed English nobles to 
rule the realm in his name. He wandered through the land 
and received the homage of thousands of Scottish landholders. 
He transferred the sacred stone, seated on which the Scottish 
kings had been wont to be crowned at Scone, to Westminster 
Abbey, where it ultimately became the base of the coronation chair 
of the English kings. After this easy conquest of a kingdom he 
hoped to devote all his resources to the recovery of Gascony. 

22. New troubles arose in his own realm, which once more 
forced Edward to postpone his purpose. This time his own clergy 
The elerleal ^^^ barons played the game of the enemy. The 
opposition trouble with the clergy began when Robert Winchel- 
undep gea, who had succeeded Peckham as archbishop of 

Canterbury, refused to allow Edward to raise any 
more taxes from ecclesiastics, on the ground that the pope, Boni- 
face Yiii., had issued a bull, called Clericis laicos, which forbade 
the clergy to pay any taxes to secular princes. In great disgust 
Edward declared that, if the clergy would not help to support the 
state, the state should not protect them. He declared all the 
clergy outlaws, and announced that he would punish no man who 
did injury to a priest. 

23. It was now the turn of the barons to resist. Edward wished 
to send many of his chief lords to Gascony, while he himself went 

-1297.] EDWARD I. I93 

to fight against Philip iv., in Flanders, whose oonnt was his ally. 
Headed by. Humphrey Bohim, earl of Hereford, constable of 
England, and BiOger Bigod, earl of Norfolk, marshal ^^ 
of England, a large section of the barons decUned baronial 
to go to Gascony unless the king accompanied them, opposition 
In 1297 there was a hot dispute between Edward "Jik^and"' 
and the earls at the parliament at Salisbury. "Ton Hereford, 
shall go to G-ascony," said Edward to Norfolk, the ^^^^' 
marshal, " whether I go or not." On the marshal persisting in his 
refusal, the king burst into a passion. " By God, Sir Earl," he 
cried, " you shall either go or hang." " By the same oath," answered 
Norfolk, " I will neither go nor hang." The two earls gathered 
an army round them, and made common cause with Winchelsea. 
In great disgust Edward went to Flanders to fight against Philip, 
leaving his chief nobles behind him. He could send no real help 
to Gascony. He only raised money to pay his troops by im- 
posing taxes of his own arbitrary will. He seized all the merchants' 
wool and forced them to pay a heavy duty, caUed the Maletote, or 
evil toll, before he would surrender it. As soon as he was beyond 
sea, the two earls marched to London and easily forced the weak 
regency, of which the boy, Edward of Carnarvon, was the nominal 
head, to submit to their will. It was now agreed that conflrmatio 
a fresh confirmation of Magna Carta and the Charter Cartapum, 
of the Forest should be issued in Edward's name, to ^^^'^' 
which new articles were to be appended by which the king 
promised to renounce the Maletote, and never in the future to raise 
similar aids or taxes save with the consent of parliament. This 
Confirmatio Cartarum was sent over to Edward in Flanders, and 
very unwiUingly he gave his consent to it. It was an important 
epoch in the growth of our constitution. Though the earls were 
greedy and pedantic, and Winchelsea thought more of the privi- 
leges of the Church than the Kberties of the realm, Edward in his 
need had acted as a mere tyrant, and it was necessary that his 
power should be checked. 

24 Terrible news from Scotland showed that the king had 
yielded none too soon. With all his ambition and violence, 
Edward stiU wished to rule Scotland well, but many ^^^^ Scottish 
of those who governed that kingdom in his name were rising under 
cruel and greedy men, and the Scots hated English ^^l'^^^' 
domination even when it was fair and just. Their 
subjection had been due to the foUy of their king and the haH- 
heartedness of the chief Scottish nobles, most of whom submitted 

194 EDWARD I. [1297- 

because th.ey possessed estates in England wliioli they did not wish 
to lose by oflending' Edward. It was otherwise with the mass of 
the Soots people, who were indignant because their national in- 
dependence was destroyed and. their country trampled upon by the 
foreigner. Within a few months there were popular risings all over 
the country, and soon an able leader to the insurgents was found 
in Sir William Wallace of Elderslie, not far from Glasgow. In 
1297 Wallace gathered a gallant army round him, and offered battle 
to Earl Warenne, Edward's aged and easy-going governor of 
Scotland. At Stirling Bridge, near the abbey of Cambuskenneth, 
Warenne was out-generaUed by Wallace and utterly defeated. 
Before the end of the year aU Scotland threw off the English 
yoke, and Wallace spread desolation over the English border. 

25. Edward hurried back from Flanders, where he had done 
very little against Philip. In 1298 he once more led an army into 
Battle of Scotland, and engaged Wallace in battle at Falhirh 
Falkirk, on July 22. The English army fought on horseback, 

after the fashion that had prevailed ever since the 
battle of Hastings, though Edward had learnt from his Welsh war 
the wisdom of combining archers with the cavalry, so as to wear 
down the foe from a distance. Most of the barons and knights of 
Scotland were holding aloof from Wallace, or were actually on 
Edward's side, so that the Scottish hero had to trust to those 
Scots who were not rich enough to fight on horseback. But 
Wallace had the eye of a good general, and saw that his only chance 
of victory was to keep his troops closely together. He planted his 
infantry, whose chief arm was the pike, in dense squares or circles. 
For a long time the stubborn pikemen resisted the repeated rushes 
of Edward's knights, but the king cleverly broke through their 
ranks by constant flights of arrows; and then the cavalry rode 
through the gaps and dispersed the Scottish squares with great 
slaughter. Wallace fled to France, and once more it seemed as if 
Scotland were at Edward's feet. 

26. A renewal of Edward's domestic troubles, and the continued 
struggle with Philip iv., destroyed the king's hopes of completing 
Edward's *^® conquest of the north. He soon saw that he could 
reeoneilia- ^"^ fight both France and Scotland at the same time, 
tion with and in 1299 made peace with Philip, and, being now a 
the Church, widower, married the French king's sister Margaret 

as a pledge of better relations for the future. Even 
then PhUip retained for several years the greater part of Gascony, 
but luckily for Edward, the Frejich king quarrelled with the 

-'304-1 EDWARD I. 


imperious Pope Bonifaoe vm., and soon found it necessary to buy 
Edward's friendship by surrendering him Gascony. By 1303 
Philip had ruined Boniface and broken down the overwhelming' 
power of the papacy. In 1305 a Gascon subject of Edward's 
was chosen pope by Philip iv.'s good wUl, and took the name 
of Clement v. This unworthy pontiff deserted Italy and tarried 
in France, finally taking up his abode at Avignon, on the Rhone, 
and doing complacently the will of the mighty French king. He 
was only iess subservient to Edward, and abandoned Archbishop 
Winchelsea to the king's anger. Winchelsea was driven into 
exile, and with his fall Edward became once more master over the 
English Church. Long before that the bxdl Clericis laicos had 
been given up, and Edward's persecution of Winchelsea had 
a sinister appearance of mere revenge. 

27. Prance was thus conciliated and the clerical opposition 
crushed. While these processes were going on, Edward was also 
breaking down the baronial opposition which had _. 
triumphed over him in 1297. Despite his agreement baronial 

to confirm the charters, his troubles with the barons opposition 
went on for several years, and effectively prevented ""' '* ^ " 
the united effort of all England, which alone could complete the 
work began at Falkirk. Edward was very sore at being forced to 
give up so much power, and behaved almost as badly as his father 
had done in regarding the letter rather than the spirit of his con- 
cessions. Disgusted at his narrow spirit, the barons refused to 
follow him to Scotland until he had really carried out his promises. 
In 1300 he was forced to accept another series of additions to the 
charters, contained in a document called ArticuU super Cartas, 
which ordered a survey of the forests to be made, in order to check 
the king's encroachments on freemen's rights by extending the 
boundaries of the forests, within which he had more power than 
over the rest of his realm. Edward resented the attempt to limit 
his authority over the forests with extreme bitterness, and struggled 
as long as he could. In 1301 he made a further submission, but 
even after that he induced Clement v. to free him from his oath, 
though, to his credit be it said, he made no use of the papal dis- 
pensation. The long struggle taught him that it was only by 
yielding to his barons that he could subdue Scotland. 

28. At last, in 1303, Edward was able to throw all his efforts into 
this long-delayed work. In 1304 he conquered Stirling, and at 
last saw Scotland at his feet. Wallace now came back to the scene 
of his former triumphs, but was not able to effect much against 

ig6 EDWARD I. [«305- 

Edward. He was taken prisoner, and in 1306 beheaded as a traitor 
at London. Fierce and cruel though he had been, Ms courage 
and daring had made him the idol of his country- 
conqueTof men. When the nobles despaired of freedom, Wal- 
Scotland, lace organized revolt and kept alive the spirit of 
1303-1305. ii](,grty Tjie work that he did survived his apparent 

29. Edward had drawn up a plan for the government of Scotland, 
under which the land was to be divided into four parts, each of 
The rising which was to be under two justices, one a Soot and 
of Robert the other an Englishman; whUe the king's nephew, 
Bruce. 1306. j^j^ ^f Brittany, was to be warden of all Scotland. 
But the new system had hardly begun when a fresh revolt compelled 
Edward to begin the work of conquest all over again. Robert 
Bruce, earl of Carrick, grandson of the unsuccessftd. claimant, had 
generally been a supporter of Edward, and had taken a prominent 
part in establishing the new constitution. He had a great foe 
in John Comyn of Badenoch, the hereditary rival of his house. In 
1306 the two enemies agreed to make peace and meet at Dumfries 
to discuss their future action. There Bruce suddenly fell upon 
Comyn and treacherously murdered him. Despairing of Edward's 
pardon, he fled to the hUls, and finding the people rallying round 
him, he dexterously posed as the champion of Scottish inde- 
pendence, and renewed Ms house's claim to the tMone. The Scots 
were glad to follow any leader against the hated English, and 
Bruce, though treacherous and seK-seeking, soon showed that he 
had the ability and courage necessary to rule a people struggling 
for freedom. In a few months he was crowned king at Scone, and 
for the third time Edward had to face the prospect of conquering 
afresh the stubborn nation that had so long defied Ms efforts. 

30. Edward was now nearly seventy years of age, and his health 
had latterly been broken ; but Ms courage was as Mgh as ever, and 
Death of ^^ resolved to conquer Scotland for the tMrd time. In 
Edward I., 1307 the old king was once more on the border, but Ms 
1307. infirmities made it impossible for Mm to move quickly. 
The effort proved too much for Ms declining strength, and on 
July 7 he died at Burgh- on- Sands, almost the last village on 
the English border. With him perished the last hope of con- 
quering Scotland, but though the oMef ambition of Ms life was 
thus a failure, he had done a, great work for England. The con- 
queror of Wales, the framer of a whole series of great laws, the 
maker of our mediaeval constitution, he had turned the French 

-I307-] EDWARD I. 1 97 

king- from his dearest purpose, cvirbed tie fierce baronage, and even 
set some limits to the claims of the Ch\irch. He was the first 
real Englishman to reign after the Norman conquest, and the 
creator of the modern English nation as well as of the modern 
English state, though he could not effect his piirpose of bringing 
all our island nnder his own domination. That his own realm 
should henceforth be roled after a constitutional fashion, and not by 
despotic caprice, seemed assured when even the stubborn will of 
Edward was forced to give way to his subjects. The best guarantee 
for the permanence of the charters and of the popular parliament 
lay in the fact that they were wrested not only from a capricious 
despot like John, or a weakling like Henry iii., but also from a 
strong and powerful king like Edward i. 


Chief Dates : 

1307. Accession of Edward ii. 

1311. The Ordinances drawn up. 

1312. Death of Gaveston. 
1314. Battle of Cannookburo. 
1322. Battle of BoroQghbridge. 

1326. Landing of Isabella. 

1327. Deposition of Edward ii. 

1. Edttard op Carnauvon was twenty-ttree years old wlien he 

became king. Tall, graceful, and handsome, he looked almost as 

„ . , „ fine a man as his father, but an utter lack of serious 

Edward II. . 

and purpose blasted his whole career. It was to no purpose 

Gaveston, that Edward I. had carefully trained his son both in 
1307 . . • 

military science and in business ; the youth showed 
no taste for anything but his own amusements. The old king was 
bitterly disgusted, and attributing his son's levity to the influence 
of a Gascon knight, Peter of Gaveston, with whom he had been 
educated, he banished the foreign favourite early in 1307. But 
as soon as his father was dead, Edward recalled Gaveston, and, 
despite his having solemnly promised his dying father to persevere 
in it, abandoned the campaign against the Scots. In every way 
he reversed the policy of Edward I., and at once embarked upon a 
course of action that ultimately involved himself in ruin and 
wrought terrible havoc to his kingdom. Though there have been 
worse kings than Edward 11., there have been none so negligent 
and light-minded. 

2. Under Edward i. the barons had been discontented vidth the 
growing power of the crown, but had been restrained in their 
iJaveston's opposition by the strong will and wise policy of the 
exile and king. With the accession of Edward 11. the baronial 
recall, opposition at once revived, and soon proved as for- 

midable to the monarcny as in the days of Henry iii. 
The barons' disgust of Edward's affection for Gaveston gave them 


their first pretext for revolt, and they had the people with them in 
their aversion to the favourite. Gaveston was quick-witted and a 
good soldier, but his head was turned by his sudden elevation, and 
he had an unhappy knack of sharp and bitter speech that mortally 
offended the barons. Before long Edward made him earl of 
Cornwall and married him to his niece, the sister of the young 
Earl Gilbert of Gloucester. In 1308 a parliament of barons met 
and forced the king to drive him into exile. Edward strove to 
lighten his misfortunes by appointing- him governor of Ireland, and 
set to work at once to intrigue for his return. In 1309 the king 
shrewdly adopted a long series of reforms, which a parliament of the 
three states urged upon him. In return for these concessions, the 
parliament allowed Edward to bring his friend back to England. 
But the leading barons refused to be bound by the acts of this 

3. In 1310 another baronial assembly resolved to punish the 
king for restoring his favourite by compelling him to appoint a 
committee of barons to draft ordinances for the 

future government of his realm. In a vain hope of nances and 
saving Gaveston, Edward agreed to this proposal, the Lords 
Accordingly, a body of twenty-one Lords Ordainers ?rfo'?qi'i' 
was appointed from the earls, barons, and bishops. 
In 1311 they drew up the Ordinances. By them Gaveston was to 
be banished for life, the great offices of state were to be filled up 
with the advice of the barons, and the king was not to go to war, 
raise an army, or leave the kingdom without their permission. It 
was a complete programme of limited monarchy, but no word was 
said as to the commons and clergy. To the ordainers parliament 
stiU meant a parliament of barons. 

4. Gaveston went into exile for the second time, but early in 
1312 Edward recalled him. Thereupon the ordainers raised an army 
and besieged Gaveston in Scarborough Castle. After ^1,6 murder 
a short siege Gaveston surrendered, and the barons of Gaveston, 
agreed to spare his Ufe. Not long after he was brutally * 3' 2" 

put to death by the earl of Warwick, the most rancorous of his 
enemies, who thought himself free to slay the favourite because he 
had not been a party to the promise to spare his Ufe. The king 
was bitterly incensed at the treachery which had lured his favourite 
to death, and feebly strove 'to revenge him. Ultimately he 
was forced to give way, and leave power , in the hands of the 

5. It was high time that the king and barons made peace, for 




during their dissensions Robert Bruce tad been establishing his 
power over the whole of Scotland. When Edward i. died, Bmce's 
position was stiU. doubtful ; but when the new king 
gave up fighting the war in person the chances of the 
Scots grew brighter. Between 1307 and 1314, Bruce 
conquered nearly all Scotland. He won over most of 
the Scottish barons to his side, and gradually captured 
the strong castles which Edward i. had established 
to keep the Scots in subjection. The chief of the few castles 




master of 



A. Brace's Army 

b. Pits dug by Bruce... 

C. English Caualry — 

D. English Infantry. ... 

Walker Br Cockerell sc. 


that stUl remained in English hands was Stirling, a place of great 
military importance, because it commanded the lowest bridge over 
the Forth, by which the easiest road between the Lowlands and 
the Highlands passed. At last Bruce besieged Stirling, and pressed 
the garrison so hard that they agreed to surrender if they were 
not relieved by St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1314. 

6. If Stirling feU, the last vestige of English rule in Scotland 

Battle of ""'^s destroyed, and even Edward felt that he must 

Bannock- make an effort to avoid such a calamity. King and 

"™' • barons accordingly joined to raise a great army, and set 

off to relieve Stirling before the appointed day. The mighty host 


was more formidable in appearance than in reality. The presence 
of the king- prevented any real general from being- appointed, and 
the barons, still sulky and discontented, fought with undisguised 
reluctance. The English army moved so slowly that it only reached 
the neighbourhood of Stirling on June 23. Next day Bruce 
resolved to fight a battle to prevent the sieg-e being raised, and 
marshalled his forces at Bannockhwm, a few miles to the south of 
Stirling. As at Falkirk, the Scots fought on foot and the English 
on horseback. Taught by Wallace's failure, Bruce took every 
precaution to protect his soldiers from the English attack. His 
spearmen were mustered in dense squares, and pits were dug- 
before his lines and covered lightly over with turf. Edward ii. 
neglected all the precautions that had won his father victory. No 
effort was made to combine the archers with the men-at-arms, and 
the English relied entirely upon the shock of a cavalry charge. 
But the foremost of the English ranks plunged blindly into the 
concealed pits, and those who escaped this snare found themselves 
unable to penetrate the squares of Scottish pikemen. Soon the 
whole English army was in a state of wild confusion. The few who 
fought bravely, conspicuous among whom was the young earl of 
Gloucester, perished on the field. The majority fied disgracefully, 
and Edward ii. set the example of cowardice to his army. Bruce 
won a complete victory. Stirling Castle opened its gates to him, 
and Scottish independence was fully vindicated. 

7. The disaster of Bannockburn made Edward more dependent 
upon his barons than ever. For the next few years power remained 
with the ordainers, but the ordainers proved as in- 
competent as Edward to govern England. Their Lancaster 
wisest councillor. Archbishop Winohelsea, was now 

dead, and their leader was Edward's cousin, Thomas, earl of 
Lancaster, the son of Earl Edmund, brother of Edward i. Earl 
Thomas was by far the most powerful and wealthy of the English 
earls. By inheritance and marriage he united under his control 
the resources of five earldoms. He had been a capable leader of 
opposition, but his ability was small; he was greedy, selfish, and 
domineering, and knew better how to humiliate the king than to 
rule the country. He made few attempts to save the northern 
counties from the frequent forays with which the Scots now 
insulted the weakness of England. The country was full of tumult 
and private war, and as Lancaster's weakness became known, even 
Edward plucked up courage to assert himself. 

8. New favourites had caused Edward to forget G-aveston. 


These were the two Hugh Despensers — ^father and son. They 
were at least English noMemen, and not foreign upstarts like 
The fall of Grareston ; but the barons soon showed that they 
Lancaster, could hate a renegade as bitterly as they had ever 
^^^^* hated an alien adventurer. They strongly resented the 

titles, estates, and favours which Edward conferred on his new 
friends. In pai'tioular they took alarm when the younger 
Despenser, who, like Graveston, had married a sister of the earl of 
Grloucester slain at Bannockburn, strove to obtain for himself the 
position of earl of GHoucester, vacant since Ms brother-in-law's 
death without male heirs. By 1321 the Despensers were strong 
enough to make the barons very anxious to mete out to them the 
fate of Gaveston. Headed by Lancaster, parliament sentenced 
them to banishment. The loss of his favourites inspired Edward 
with an energy rarely to be found in him. In 1322 he took up 
arms on their behalf, and recalled them from beyond the sea. The 
barons made a poor fight, and before long Lancaster was defeated 
and taken prisoner at the haitle of Boroughhridge, in Yorkshire. A 
few days later he was tried and executed at his own castle of 

9. From the faU of Lancaster to 1326 the Despensers ruled 
England. They were shrewd enough to profit by the errors of 
The Parlla- ^^^ ordainers, and professed to be the friends of the 
ment of Commons. Immediately after Lancaster's death, 
York, 1322. they held a parliament at York, which revoked the 
ordinances as infringing the rights of the crown, and because they 
were drawn up by a council of barons only. This parliament 
laid down the important principle, that matters which are to be 
established for the estate of our lord the king and for the estate 
of the realm, shall be treated in parliament by a council of the 
prelates, earls, and barons, and the commonalty of the realm. 
This is the most important constitutional advance made under 
Edward 11. Henceforth no law could be regarded as valid unless 
it had received the consent of the Commons. 

10. Despite this wise beginning, the rule of the Despensers 
broke down as signally as that of Lancaster. They were utterly 
The rule unable to guard the north of England from the 
of the devastating inroads of Eobert Bruce, and in 1322 made 
?322-l"326^' ^ ti'^o® ■"^i^li him which practically recognized him 

as king of Soots. The favourites thought more of 
winning territory and wealth for themselves than of the good 
government of the kingdom. The elder Hugh became earl of 


Winoliester, and his son aoq^uired the power and many of the 
estates, though not the title, of earl of Gloucester. Their covetous- 
ness and pride made them generally hated, and their foUy prevented 
them from taking proper measures to protect themselves. They 
soon excited the enmity of all classes against them. 

11. Among the many persons whom the Despensers ofEended 
was the queen, Isabella of France, a daughter of Philip the Fair. 
Seeing that she was not strong enough to induce her 

husband to dismiss his favourites, she cleverly dis- MorUiMr 
sembled her wrath, and, in 1325, persuaded her husband 
to allow her to visit France, then ruled by her brother, King 
Charles iv. With her went her eldest son, Edward of Windsor, 
who was appointed by his father duke of Aquitaine, and com- 
missioned to do homage for that duchy on behalf of the king of 
England. At Paris Isabella made friends with some of the exiled 
members of Lancaster's party, at whose head was Roger Mortimer 
of Wigmore, the most powerful of the barons from the March of 
Wales, who was eager to be avenged on the Despensers and obtain 
restoration to his estates. At Mortimer's advice, Isabella refused 
to return to England as long as the Despensers remained in power. 
Soon the scandal caused by the queen's open affection for Mortimer 
induced Ejng Charles to send her out of France. Therefore she 
went to Hainault, where she betrothed her son to Philippa, daughter 
of the count of Hainault, and obtained from him enough soldiers 
and money to make it possible for her to invade England and drive 
her husband from the throne. 

12. In September, 1326, Isabella, Mortimer, and the young 
Edward landed at Orwell, in Essex, declaring that they had come 
to avenge the murder of Lancaster, and to drive the The fall of 
Despensers from power. England was so tired of Edward II., 
Edward and his favourites, that men of all ranks •'•''^°"">'^'- 
flocked eagerly to the camp of the queen. The chief barons, 
including Henry of Lancaster, the brother and heir of Earl 
Thomas, declared in her favour. The Londoners mxirdered 
Edward's ministers, and opened their gates to his enemies. 
Against these powerful forces Edward n. cotdd do nothing. He 
fled to the west, accompanied by the Despensers, and rapidly 
followed by Isabella and Mortimer. The elder Despenser was 
taken and slain at Bristol, and his son was hanged at Hereford. 
The king strove to take refuge in the younger Hugh's G-lamorgan- 
shire estates, but he was soon tracked out and brought prisoner 
to London. Early in 1327 parliament met at Westminster. It 


recognized Edward of Aquitaine as Edward ill., and forced the 
old king- to resign tte crown to Ms son. Next year the deposed 
monarch was cruelly murdered at Berkeley Castle, in Grloucester- 
shire. He was the most worthless of our kings, and richly 
deserved deposition, yet few beneficial changes have been brought 
about with more manifest self-seeking than that which hurled him 
from power. The angry spite of the adulterous queen, the fierce 
rancour and greediness of Roger Mortimer, and the cowardice of 
the lesser agents of the revolution can inspire nothing but disgust. 
Am^ong Edward's foes, Henry of Lancaster alone behaved as an 
honourable gentleman. But though his wrongs were ostentatiously 
put forward, he was, Kke the young duke of Aquitaine, a mere tool 
in the hands of Isabella and her paramour. Yet the ostentatious 
care shown to make parliament responsible for the change of ruler 
showed that even the weak reign of Edward 11. had done some- 
thing to strengthen the fabric of the English constitution. 


EDWARD III. (1327-1377) 

Chief dates : 

1327. Accession of Edward iii. 

1328. Peace of Northampton. 
1330. Fall of Mortimer. 
1333. Battle of Halidon HiU. 

1337- Beginning of Hundred Years' War. 

1340. Battle of Sluys. 

1346. Battles of Cr6cy and Neville's Cross. 

1348. Outbreak of the Black Death. 

13SI. Statute of Provisors. 

13S3. Statute of Praemunire. 

1356. Battle of Poitiers. 

1360. Treaties of Bre'tigni and Calais. 

1367. Battle of Ndjera. 

1369. Renewal of the Hundred Tears' War. 

1371. Clerical ministers removed from office. 

1376. The Good Parliament. 

1377. Death of Edward iii. 

1. Edwabd III. was only fifteen years old when lie became king, 

and for three years Isabella and Mortimer ruled ia his name. 

Nominally power went to the council, of which Henry .p^^ ^.^^j^ ^^ 

of Lancaster, now restored to his brother's title and Isabella and 

estates, was chairman. Troubles at once arose, both Moptlmep, 

with Scotland and Prance. Robert Brace's fightingr 

days were over, but he took advantage of the revolution in England 
to send an army across the border. Though a great force was 
gathered together to repel the Soots, the English dared not risk a 
battle, and soon began to negotiate for peace. In 1328 this 
resulted in the treaty of Northanvpton, by which England with- 
drew all claim to feudal superiority over Scotland, recognized 
Robert Bruce as king of Scots, and agreed to the marriage of his 
son David to Joan, Edward's infant sister. The treaty excited great 
indignation, and men called it a shameful peace, but it is difficult 
to see on what other terms an agreement could have been made. 


206 EDWARD III. [1327- 

There was not the least chance of driving Robert Bruce from the 
throne which he had so laboriously won for himself. To continue 
the war was useless, and its only result would have been to expose 
the northern counties of England to constant Scottish invasions. 
Yet the formal surrender of Edward l.'s claims over Scotland cost 
much to a proud and high-spirited nation. The humiliation was the 
worse since it was only by concessions almost as hard that Isabella 
and Mortimer manag-ed to secure peace with France. During the 
troubles that preceded the faU of Edward of Carnarvon, Charles iv. 
had taken possession of Gascony, on account of which nominal war 
had broken out between the two countries. The English were 
as little able to recon(iuer Gascony as to win back Scotland, and 
here again Isabella and Mortimer accepted inevitable facts, though 
they were more fortunate than in their dealings with the northern 
kingdom, since they obtained a partial restoration of Gascony 
before they would agree to conclude peace. This was done by the 
treaty of Paris of 1327. From this time the English duchy of 
Gascony was cut down to narrow limits, centring round the cities 
of Bordeaux and Bayonne. Next year, 1328, Charles iv. died, having 
been the third son of Philip iv. to reign in succession over France 
and die without male heirs. Immediately the French barons 
recognized the nearest male heir, Philip, count of Valois, the son of 
Charles, count of Valois, a brother of Philip iv., as King Philip vi. 
It had already been laid down in France, when Philip the Fair's 
eldest son died, leaving a daughter, that women were excluded from 
the succession. Accordingly the accession of Philip vi. went 
almost as a matter of course. Isabella, however, who was Charles's 
sister, protested against the Valois succession. She recog-nized 
that France must have a king, and did not claim the throne for 
herself. However, she maintained that a woman, though incapable 
of reigning, might form the " bridge and plank " through which 
her son, Edward iii., might succeed. The French barons rightly 
regarded this as a dangerous claim. Its effect would have been, 
whenever a king died without a son, to transfer the throne to 
some foreign prince, whose descent could be traced to a lady of the 
royal house. The French were not willing to hand over their 
throne to a foreign sovereign, and Isabella's claim on her son's 
behalf was c[uietly pushed aside. She was quite unable to do more 
than protest, and in 1329 her son virtua,Uy recognized the lawful- 
ness of Philip's position by performing hQmag'e to him for 

'329-] EDWARD III. 20/ 


Hugh Capet, 



Henry i., 


Philip r., 


Louis vi., 

Louis vir., 

Philip ii., Augustus, 

Louis viii., 

^ I I 

Louis ix., Charles of Anjou, 

m. Margaret of Provence, King of Sicily, 

1226-1270. m. Beatrice of Provence, 

I d. 1286. 
Philip hi., 
the Bold, 

Philip iv., Charles, Count of Valois. 

the Fair, ) 

1286-1314. Philip vi., of Valois, 

I 1328-1360. 

i \ i i 

Louis x.. Pbilip v., Charles iv., Isabella, 

1314-1316. 1316-1322. 1322-1328. m. Edward ii. 

of England. 

Edward iii. 

French kings mentioned in the text in small capitals ; all names not 
mentioned in the text in italics, 

2. The home government of Isabella and Mortimer was as 
unsuccessful as their foreign policy. Mortimer thought of nothing 
save of acquiring a great position for himself. His ambition was 

208 EDWARD III. [1329- 

to unite the whole of the Welsh March tinder his sway, and he 
received the title of earl of the March of Wales, or, more shortly. 
The fall of 6*^1 °* March. For a time he vigorously stamped out 
Moptimer, aU attempts to oppose him. His last triiunph was 
1330. j^ 1330, when he put to death Edmund, earl of Kent, 

Edward i.'s son by his second wife, who had convinced himseK that 
his brother, Edward 11., was stUl aUve, and strove to bring about 
his restoration to the throne. Edward iii. was now becoming a 
man, and was keenly alive to the humiliation involved in his 
dependence on his mother and her paramour. Henry of Lancaster 
was equally indignant at his exclusion from all real share of power. 
Accordingly, in 1330, a conspiracy was arranged to drive Mortimer 
from the position which he had usurped. A band of soldiers was 
introduced through a secret passage into Nottingham Castle, 
where Mortimer and the queen were staying. The favourite was 
arrested and soon afterwards hanged. Isabella was henceforward 
excluded from any share iu public afEairs. With their fall the real 
reign of Edward iii. begins. 

3. Edward iii. was not a great man like Edward i., but he won 
a conspicuous place in history by the extraordinary activity of his 
Character temperament, and the vigour and energy with which 
and policy of he threw himself into whatever work he set himself to 
Edward III. ^^ -g-g ,jeijg]i-(;e J jj^ hunting and toxirnaments, was 
liberal, easy of access, good tempered, and kindly. He was not 
only a consummate knight, but a capable soldier, with the general's 
eye that takes in the points of a situation at a glance. His weak 
points were his extravagance, his love of frivolous amusement, his 
self-indulgence, and his disregard for his plighted word. His main 
ambition in life was to win fame and glory abroad, but he ruled 
England creditably, and made many concessions to his subjects' 
wishes in order to obtain supplies for carrying on his foreign wars. 
Like Edward i., he attempted far more than he was able to carry 
through ; but it was only at the very end of his reign that his 
subjects realized that the popular and glorious king had failed in 
his chief ambitions. 

4. In the early years of his personal rule, Edward's chief object 
was to win back for England something of the greatness it had 
David Bruce acquired under Edward i. He was bitterly irritated 
and Edward at the establishment of Scottish independence, and 
Balllol, before long fortune gave him a chance of upsetting in 

-1333. j^jj^ indirect way the treaty of Northampton. Robert 
Bruce died in 1329, and was succeeded by his son David, Edward iii.'s 

-1333J EDWARD III. 209 

brother-in-law, who was a mere boy. Under his weak govern- 
ment tronbles soon broke out in Scotland. A large number of 
Scottish barons who had opposed Robert Bruce had been driven 
into exile when Robert became king. They were called the Dis- 
inherited,, and they saw in the minority of King David a chance of 
winning back their estates by force. At their head was the son of 
the deposed King John, Edward Balliol, who had not forgotten his 
father's claim on the Scottish throne. Edward in. gave them no 
direct help, as he feared to break wantonly the treaty of Northamp- 
ton. However, he made no effort to prevent the Disinherited from 
collecting a little army, with which they invaded Scotland in 1332, 
under the command of Edward Balliol. The invaders won a 
decisive victory over the army of King David at Dupplin Moor 
near Perth. A few weeks later Balliol was crowned king of Scots 
at Scone. He gained recognition by Edward as king of Soots through 
promising to hold Scotland of him, and to cede him. Berwick. The 
party of David, however, was not entirely crushed, and before the 
end of the year they surprised Balliol at Annan, and drove him 
back into England. His reign only lasted four months. 

5. Edward in. now openly took up BaDiol's cause, and in 1333 
invaded Scotland to restore his vassal to his throne. His first step 
was to besiege Berwick, and the Scots forced Edward 
to fight a battle before he could secure the town, jjn] J333 
This fight was fought at Halidon Sill, a short 
distance west of Berwick. The English men-at-arms dismounted 
and fought on foot after the Scottish fashion. Their tactics 
proved signally successful. The Scots were beaten, and next 
day Berwick opened its gates, to be for the rest of its history an 
English frontier town. Edward's action now showed that Balliol 
was but a tool in his hands. In 1334 he restored his namesake to his 
throne, but only on his agreeing to cede to England the whole of 
Lothian and the eastern part of Galloway. Any faint chance that 
Balliol had of success was completely destroyed by Edward's 
greediness. The Scots hated him as the betrayer of his country, 
and the English treated him as the puppet of their king. For 
many years he strove to make himself I'eal master of that part of 
Scotland which Edward permitted him to claim. David was sent 
to Prance for safety, but most Scots stiU upheld him against the 
two Edwards. At no time did either Edward Balliol David finally 
or the King of England efEectively possess the Scottish established 
lands they claimed as theirs. But their efPorts to m Scotland, 
establish themselves involved the north in many years of bloodshed 





and misery. At last, after Edward iii.'s breach with France, 
David returned to Scotland and made himself king over the whole 
country. Thus Edwaid iii. failed as signally as his grandfather 
in his efforts to conc[uer Scotland. 

6. During the years of Edward's attempt on Scotland the 

EmeryWalkcr s 


relations of England and France became increasingly unfriendly. 
Causes of Edward complained that Philip vi. kept David at his 
the Hundred court, and openly took the side of the Scots against 
Years' War. ^j^g EngHsh. There were other difficulties about 
Gascony, where Philip vi., like Philip iv., was doing what he 
could to lessen the power of Edward as duke. It was, in fact, 
the impossible position of Edward in Grascony which caused the 
fundamental difference between the two nations. Edward could 
not abandon his ancient patrimony, and Philip could not give 
up the policy of every king since St. Louis of gradually absorbing 

-I337-] EDWARD III. 211 

the great flefs in the royai domain. Besides this, there were 
many seoondaxy causes of the war. One of these was Philip's 
support of the Scots. Another canse of dispute arose from 
the rival interests of England and France in Flanders. This 
county, though nominally a fief of France, was largely hostile to 
the French king. Flanders in those days was the chief manu- 
facturing district in northern Europe, and its chief towns, Ghent, 
Bruges, and Ypres, were the best customers that England had. 
England in the fourteenth century was a purely agricultural and 
pastoral land. Its chief product was wool, which was exported to 
Flanders to he woven into cloth in its populous clothing towns. 
The great Flemish towns had liberties so extensive that they were 
virtually independent, both of their immediate master the count 
of Flanders, and of his overlord, the king of France. The count 
of Flanders called in the help of Philip vi. to subdue his unruly 
townsmen, and these in their turn appealed to Edward for help. 
The leader of the Flemish citizens was James van Artevelde of 
Ghent. He saw that the best hopes of Flemish municipal inde- 
pendence lay in a close alliance with England, and was eager to win 
over Edward to his side. Under his guidance the towns of Flanders 
drove away their count, and made a treaty with England. Philip 
deeply resented Edward's interference with his Flemish vassals. 
He was still more angry when Edward added to the Flemish alliance 
a close friendship with the Emperor Louis of Bavaria and the chief 
imperial vassals of the Netherlands. Louis of Bavaria, who had 
married Queen Philippa's sister, was now engaged in a fierce 
strugg'le with the Avignon popes, who had excommunicated and 
deposed him. Tet, in 1338, Edward visited Louis at Coblenz, on the 
Hhine, where he made a close alliance with him, and was appointed 
the emperor's vicar in the Netherlands. Thereupon the count of 
Hainault and Holland, brother-in-law of king and emperor alike, 
the duke of Brabant, and other Netherlandish vassals of Philip, 
took Edward's pay and agreed to help him against France. This 
aUiance intensely annoyed the pope, who had long been making 
strenuous efforts to bring about peace. But the popes were now 
Frenchmen, and thought by England to be prejudiced in favour of 
France, so that the chief result of their interference was to make 
the papacy disliked in England. Besides all these troubles, there 
were many commercial disputes, and French and English sailors 
were already contending with each other at sea, as they had done 
in 1293. 

7. Under these circumstances both countries slowly drifted into 

212 EDWARD III. [1339" 

war, and the first open hostilities took place in. 1337. When war 
had already become inevitable, Edward iii. immensely complicated 
The chief *^^ situation by reviving the claims on the French 
features crown which Isabella had advanced on his behalf at the 
ofiB time of the accession of Philip of Valois. At first 

these claims were not very seriously meant, and it is 
a mistake to suppose that they were the chief cause of the war. It 
was not until 1340 that Edward assumed the title of King of 
France, and then he did so simply to please the Flemings, who had 
scruples in fighting their feudal overlord, which disappeared 
when they pursuaded themselves that Edward, and not Philip, was 
the real king of France. From that moment, however, Edward's 
pretensions became more important. The persistence of Edward 
and his successors in maintaining the claim made real peace 
impossible for many generations. The result was that the war 
which now began is known in history as the Snndred Years' War. 
Though fighting did not go on all that time without a break, 
England and France were for more than a hundred years generally 
unfriendly, and nearly always actually at war with each other. 
Even when peace was made, the claim was not dropped, and every 
English king down to George iii. called himself king of France, 
and quartered on his shield the KLies of France with the Kons of 
England. Edward's claim did not seem so unreasonable then as it 
seems to modern eyes, but the French rightly resisted it, as his 
success would have meant the subjection of their land to the rule 
of a foreigner. 

8. War on a great scale began in 1339, when Edward led an 
English army to the Netherlands, and strove, with the help of his 
TheNethep- ^l®™'^^ ^^^ imperial aUies, to invade the northern 
landish frontiers of France. Neither Edward nor Philip 
Campaigns, ventured to fight a pitched battle, and Edward's 
1339-1340. German confederates were more anxious to take his pay 
than to do him real service. The only result of Edward's Nether- 
landish campaigns was to exhaust his resources and diminish his 

9. The most decisive fighting during these wars was at sea. 
The French had planned a great invasion of England, and though 
The Battle this came to nothing, they collected a powerful fleet, 
of Sluys, which, in 1340, strove to prevent Edward's returning 

to the Netherlands to renew the campaign. The result 
of this was a great sea fight off the Flemish port of Sluys, in 
which the French navy was absolutely destroyed. This battle put 




an end to all schemes of invasion, and gave tke Englisli for many 
years the oommand of the Channel. Henceforward Edward boasted 
that the king of England was lord of the sea. Yet even the glory 
of Sluys did not help Edward in his land campaign. Before the 
end of 1340 he made a truce with the French and returned to 
England. Though his people had granted him large supplies, he 
was almost bankrupt. He unfairly laid the blame of this on his 
ministers, the chief of whom was John Stratford, Archbishop of 

EmeryValker sc 


Canterbury. On his return to England he drove Stratford from 
power, and appointed an entirely new body of ministers. 

10. Before the truce expired a fresh cause of difference arose 
between Edward and Philip. There was a disputed succession to 
the Duchy of Brittany, between John of Montf ort and v\rar of 
Charles of Blois. As Philip supported the claims of the Breton 
Charles of Blois, Edward upheld those of Montfort. succession. 
Both kings went to Brittany to uphold their respective champions, 
and there fought campaigns that were almost as futile and expen- 
sive as the campaigns in the Netherlands. In 1345 direct war was 
renewed, and at first the chief fighting was in Gascony. Both 
countries frittered away their strength in desultory warfare, and 
very little came of it. 

11. More serious results followed in 1346. In that year Edward 
led a great English army into Normandy, and took with him 




Lis eldest son, Edward, Prince of Wales, a youth of sixteen, after- 
wards famous as the Black Priuce. In July the English landed 
The In- *"* ^^ Hougue in the Cotentin, and marched through 

vasion of Normandy, plundering and devastating, and only 
Normandy, meeting with serious resistance at Caen, which they 
^^*^* captured. Thence they struck the left bank of the 

Seine, and advanced up the river almost to the gates of Paris. Philip 
gathered together a numerous force for the defence of his capital, 
and Edward was forced to retreat northwards, closely followed by 
the French king. At last he reached the river Somme, but he 
found the bridges guarded by the French, and was unable to get over 
the stream. There was grave danger of his being driven into a 
comer between the Somme and the sea, when he luckily discovered 
a ford, called Blanchetaque, by which the Somme was crossed. 
12. The French were so close on Edward's heels that he was 

Battle of 



English Mile 
S '6. 

English dismounted men at arms...^m 

English archers :•.:•.■.■.: 

French cavalry J3 

French infantry in rear El] 

Genoese crossbowmen g|^^ 

Emery Walker Bc. 

obliged to turn and fight a battle in his own inheritance of Ponthieu. 
Tha Battle He took up a strong position on a low hiU, with his 
of Crdcy, right resting on the little town of Crecy, and his left 
1346. on the viQage of Wadicourt. After the fashion learnt 

in the Scottish wars, the English knights and men-at-arms sent 
their horses to the rear and fought on foot, standing in close array. 

i346.J EDWARD III. 215 

and divided into three great divisions. Two of ttese were stationed 
on the crest of the hill, while the third was posted in the rear 
in reserve, under the king in person. The archers, who since 
Halidon HiU. had been regarded as a very important element in 
the English army, were posted on the wings of each of the three 
divisions. The French took up their position on an opposite hiU, 
separated from the English by a shallow waterless depression 
called the Valine aiix Clercs. Their mimbers were mnch greater 
than those of the English, but they were much worse commanded 
and worse discipUned. They still fou.ght in the old feudal fashion, 
set little store on their infantry, which they placed in the rear, 
and threw their main effort in a cavalry charge. The battle began 
in the afternoon of August 26. The French, who had marched 
all the way from Abbeville, were already weary, but their leaders 
were so confident of victory that they insisted upon attacking the 
English at once. The first hostilities proceeded from the advance 
of a force of Genoese crossbowmen, who were ordered to shoot their 
bolts against the English lines to prepare their way for the cavalry 
charge. But the crossbows had an inferior range to the English 
long bows, and, to make matters worse, the evening sun was 
shining behind the English lines right in the faces of the G-enoese, 
many of whose weapons had, moreover, been made useless by a 
recent shower, which had wetted their strings. The result was 
that few bolts from the crossbowmen reached the English ranks, 
whilst the arrows of our archers soon threw the Genoese back in 
confusion. By this time the French cavaby had grown impatient 
of waiting. At last they rushed fiercely through the ranks of the 
xtnluoky crossbowmen and made their way through the valley 
towards the EngKsh lines. Again the archers threw the enemy 
into confusion, and though they made repeated charges, few of the 
French succeeded in crossing lances with the enemy. At one point 
only did they get near their goal, and that was on the English right, 
where the Prince of Wales was in command. A timely reinforce- 
ment saved the position, and the French retreated, protected, as 
the English boasted, by the rampart of the dead they left behind 
them. It was the greatest victory of the age, and won for the 
English a great reputation as warriors. Moreover, it proved 
conclusively that disciplined infantry could withstand a cavalry 
charge, and so taught all Europe the superiority of the tactics 
which the English had adopted. 

13. So war-worn were the victors that all the immediate profit 
they could win was the power to continue undisturbed their march 

2l6 EDWARD III. [1346- 

to the sea coast. Instead, however, of retimxiiig to England, 
Edward laid siege to Galois, the most northerly town of the French 
Calais king's dominions. He persevered in this siege for more 

Aubepoehe, than a year, and in 1347 the famine-stricken burgesses 
Neville's ^f Calais were compelled to open their gates to him. 
La°Ro'ehe'* For more than two hundred years Calais remained an 
Derien. English town, and was of great importance, both as a 

1346-1347. fortress through which an English army might at any 
time be poured into France, and as a warehouse through which the 
weavers of Flanders were to draw their supplies of raw wool. 
Creoy and Calais were not the only triumphs of this glorious time. 
Edward's cousin, Henry, earl of Lancaster, son of the Earl Henry 
we have already mentioned, won decisive victories in Gasoony at 
Auberoche and Aiguillon. David, king of Scots, who invaded 
England when Edward was fighting the Crecy campaign, was 
defeated and taken prisoner at the hattle of Neville's Cross, 
near Durham. In 1347 Charles of Blois was beaten and captured 
in the battle of La Roche Derien, which secured for a time the 
establishment of Montfort's cause in Brittany. Tet in the midst 
of his career of conquest Edward concluded a new truce in 1347. 
His want of money and the need of repose account for this halt in 
the midst of victory. Tet the necessity of the truce showed that 
Edward had embarked upon a course far beyond his capacity. 
However many battles he might win, it was clear that he could 
never conquer aU France. 

14. Up to this point Edward's reign had been a time of great 
prosperity. Edward had, it is true, dissipated his i-esouroes in 
The Black fighting the French and the Scots, but the country 
Death, 1348- was sufficiently wealthy to bear its burdens with- 

out much real suffering. A war waged exclusively 
abroad did little direct harm to England, and offered a lucrative, 
if demoralizing, career to the soldiers, who received high wages and 
good hopes of plunder in the king's foreign service. The war was 
popular, and the English supremacy at sea did much to promote 
our foreign trade. But in 1848 a pestilence, known as the Black 
Death, which had already devastated eastern and southern Europe, 
crossed over the Channel and raged with great virulence in Eng-- 
land until 1349. It is sometimes thought that a third of the 
population died of the Black Death, and the results of the visita- 
tion changed the whole character of English history. 

15. The horrors of the plague could not destroy Edward's 
satisfaction in his victories. In the midst of the visitation, he 


celebrated by magnificent feasts and entertainments tte establish- 
ment of the Order of the Ga/rter, the first and most famous 
of those orders of knighthood which delighted the ™j^ Black 
chivalry of the fourteenth century. Neither the Prince In 
plague nor the truce entirely stopped the war, and there Aquitaine, 
was much fighting, though most of it was indecisive 
and on a small scale. GrraduaUy the main scene of operations 
shifted to the south, and in 1S5S Edward sent the Black Prince to 
Gascony, which then became the chief theatre of events. In 1355 
the Black Prince led a successful raid up the Garonne valley and 
penetrated as far as the shores of the Mediterranean. He re- 
turned loaded with plunder and glory, and, in 1356, started from 
Bordeaux in a similar marauding expedition over central France. 
Accompanied by tie best knights of England and Gascony, he 
marched as far as the Loire, and then began to make his way back 
with his booty. Philip ti. had died in 1350, and his son, John, 
now ruled over France. The French king was as gallant a knight 
as the Black Prince, and pursued his foe with a great army in the 
hope of intercepting his retreat. Just as at Crecy, ten years before, 
the prince found himself forced to fight a battle with weary troops 
against enormous odds. 

16. The scene of the action was a few miles south of Poitiers, 
on the banks of the little river Miausson. As at Crecy, Edward 
resolved to fight on the defensive; he stationed his Battle of 
army on the side of a hill which sloped down on the Poitiers, 
left towards the marshes of the Miausson. Some l^""- 
distance in front of the English position, a long hedge and ditch 
afforded an additional means of protection. It was broken by a gap, 
through which a farmer's track connected the fields on either side 
of it. The French had now learnt the English fashion of fighting 
on foot, but they did not fully understand English tactics, and took 
no pains to combine archers and orossbowmen with their men-at- 
arms. They mustered in four lines on the northern side of the 
hedge, and each line in succession strove to make its way through 
to attack the English on the further side. But the hedge 
was lined in force by the English archers, who shot down the 
enemy as they made their way in close order to the gap in it. How- 
ever, the French fought desperately, and for long the fight was 
doubtful. A dexterous manoeuvre on the part of Edward at last 
secured him the victory. He ordered the Captal de Buoh, the best 
of his Gascon leaders, to march, under cover of a hiU, round the 
French position, and attack the enemy in the rear. This settled 


EDWARD 111. 


the hard-fougM day. Surroimded on every side, tke French 
perished in the ranks or sin-rendered in despair. Among the 
prisoners was king John himself. Soon afterwards he was led 

Battle of 



Engrlish Mile 

The Anglo- Gascon army ^M 

English archers at the hedge Xxx 

Flank march of the Capta! de Buch... -^- 
The French army I I 

Emery VMlcer sc. 

in triumph through the streets of London, and joined the king 
of Soots in the Tower. 

17. The captivity of the king threw Prance into a "desperate 
plight. Charles, duke of Normandy, son of King John, acted as 
The treaties J'6g'6"^t, but the nobles and commons did exactly what 
of Bpetigni they liked, and soon reduced France to a terrible oon- 
and Calais, dition of anarchy. In 1359 John made the treaty of 
London with Edward iii., by which he surrendered to 
Edward in full sovereignty nearly all the lands which Henry 11. had 
ruled in France. But the French would not accept so hximiUating 
a treaty, and Edward led a new invasion out of Calais to compel 
them to agree to his terms. During the winter and spring of 1360 
Edward marched at his will all over northern France, and attempted 

-1366.] EDWARD III. 219 

tte siege of Paris. His success in maintaiimig himself in their 
country showed the French that it was no use resisting any longer, 
and his failure to effect permanent conquest taught Edward the 
necessity of abating some of his demands. Accordingly negotia- 
tions were renewed, and in May, 1360, preliminaries of peace were 
arranged at Br^tigni, near Chartres, which took their final form in 
the treaty of Calais of October. By this John was released in 
return for an enormous ransom. Edward abandoned Ms claim to 
the French crown on condition of receiving Calais and Ponthieu 
and the whole of Aquitaine, including Poitou and the Limousin. 
The EngKsh rejoiced at the conclusion of so brilliant a peace, and 
the French were glad to be delivered from the long anarchy. 

18. It was easier to make peace than to carry out the treaty. 
King John, who had been liberated, found it impossible to raise 
his ransom from his impoverished subjects, and was _. 
annoyed to find that one of Ms sons, left as hostage for tion of the 
Ms return, had broken Ms word and fled to France, treaty of 
Thereupon he honourably returned to Ms captivity, ^ ^'^' 
and died in England in 1364 Charles of Normandy now became 
Charles v. He was less cMvalrous and heroic, but more prudent, 
than Ms father. Under Ms rule France recovered from the worst 
horrors of the evil days after Poitiers. His cMef trouble was with 
the disbanded soldiers, who, losing their occupation with the peace, 
had organized themselves into formidable armies under generals of 
their own choice, and carried on wax on their own account. 

19. A civil war in CastUe gave Charles the opporttmity of 
persuading the Free Com/panies, as they were called, to abandon 
France for more distant lands. A revolt had broken The civil 
out in that country against its king Peter, infamous war in 

in Mstory as Peter the Cruel. The rebels had set up Castile. 
Ms half-brother, Henry of Trastamara, as their king, and Henry, 
despairing of Ms position, appealed to Charles v. for help. Bertrand 
du GuescHn, a Breton nobleman who had won a great reputation 
during the succession war in Ms native duchy, welded the scattered 
companies into an army and led them over the Pyrenees. English 
as well as French mercenaries gladly joined under Ms banner, and, 
with his help, Henry drove Ms brother Into exile and became, in 
1366, Henry 11. of Castile. The deposed tyrant went to Bordeaux, 
where, since 1363, the Black Prince had lived as prince of Aquitaine, 
for Edward iii. had created Ms new possessions into a principality 
and conferred it on his son, in the hope of conciliating the Gascons by 
some pretence of restoring their independence. Peter easily 

1369.] EDWARD in. 221 

persuaded tie prince to restore him to Ms throne by force, and, in the 
spring of 1367, Edward made his way with an army through the 
pass of Roncesvalles in the hope of reconquering Cas- xhe Battle 
tile for his ally. Beyond the Ebro at the village of of Najera, 
Ndjera, on AprU 3, he met Henry of Trastamara and ^^®^" 
Du Guesclin in battle, and won a complete victory over them. 
After this he restored Peter to the Castilian throne and returned 
to Aquitaine. But during the campaign the prince contracted the 
beginnings of a mortal sickness and lost the greater part of his 
army from disease. Henceforth misfortune dogged his whole career. 
In 1368 Henry of Trastamara returned to Spain, defeated and 
killed Peter, and established himself permanently as king of Castile. 
Thus the whole work of the prince in Spain was undone. 

20. Up to the time of his Castilian expedition, the Black Prince's 
rule in Aquitaine had been fairly successful. It was popular with 
the towns, and especially with those like Bordeaux The revolt 
and Bayonne, which had been for a long time subject of Aquitaine, 
to the English dukes. His court at Bordeaux was one ^369. 

of the most brilliant and magnificent in Europe. Yet Edward 
could never win over the newly ceded districts, which had abandoned 
their French nationality with great reluctance, and were eagerly 
awaiting an opportunity for revolt. He looked with suspicion 
upon the great lords, and gave them much offence by limiting their 
privileges and excluding them from his oonfldence. Things became 
worse when the expenses of the Spanish campaign compelled Edward 
to impose fresh taxes on the Gascons. In 1368, he obtained from 
the estates of Aquitaine a new hearth-tax. The mass of the people 
paid this willingly, but the greater feudatories availed themselves of 
its imposition as a pretext for revolt. They appealed to Charles v. 
against the tax, and Charles accepted their appeal, declaring 
that his rights as overlord stiU remained, because all the formalities 
which should have followed the treaty of Calais had not been com- 
pleted. Cited before the Parliament of Paris ia 1369, the Black 
Prince replied that he would answer the summons with hehnet on 
his head and sixty thousand men at his back. His father re- 
assumed the title of king of Prance, and war broke out again. 

21. The new struggle was fought with very different results from 
those of the earKer campaigns. Under the guidance of Charles v. 
and Bertrand du Guesclin, the French were much more wisely 
directed than before. They had learned from their failures how to 
defeat the English tactics, and they had the great advantages of 
always taking the offensive and having the people of the country 

222 EDWARD III. [1369- 

actively on their side. Du Guesclin's policy was to avoid pitched 

battles and encourage the English to waste their resources in 

fruitless forays. The Black Prince's health was now 

the English ®° ^^^ ^^^ ^^ could not mount his charger, but directed 

power in his army from a horselitter. His last martial exploit 

France, ^g^g ^j^g recapture, in 1370, of Limoges, which had 

1369-1377 jr ' ' o » 

thrown of£ the English yoke. The whole popu- 
lation was put to the sword, and a few gentlemen alone were 
saved for the sake of their ransoms. Next year he went back to 
England for good. His successors were eq[ually unfortunate. In 
1373 his brother, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, marched with 
an army from Calais to Bordeaux, devastating France from end to 
end. John could not force the French to fight a battle, and before he 
reached Ms destination half his army had perished of hunger and cold, 
and in petty warfare. With the help of their CastiUan allies the 
French defeated the English navy, and, by depriving their enemies 
of the command of the sea, made it very difficult for theia to keep 
up communications between England and the armies in France. 
Among the most conspicuous of the French leaders was Sir Owen 
of Wales, a grand-nephew of Llewelyn ap Griffith, who posed as 
lawful prince of Wales, and sought to stir up revolt against Edward 
in his native land. After a few years of fighting, the English 
dominions in France were reduced to a few coast towns, and at last, 
despairing of success, Edward III. made a truce with the French, 
which lasted just long enough to allow him to end his days in 
peace. The only towns of importance stUl remaining in English 
hands were Calais, Cherbourg, Brest, Bayonne, and Bordeaux. The 
wave of French national feeling which had swept the English out 
of the acquisitions made in 1360 had almost engulfed Edward's 
hereditary possessions in Gasoony. Crecy and Poitiers were com- 
pletely avenged. 

22. At home, as abroad, there is the same contrast between the 
later and the earlier part of Edward iii.'s reign. The days of 

prosperity ended, as we have seen, with the Black 
h?Eng°and? '^^^^'^ of 134S and 1349 ; and, when the people had 

partially recovered from the first visitation of the 
plague, others befel them that were scarcely less severe. The years 
1362 and 1369 almost rivalled the horrors of the earlier outbreak. 
Great changes resulted from these plagues. The population de- 
clined so greatly that there were not enough labourers left to till 
the fields, or enough priests remaining to administer spiritual con- 
solations to the dying. The immediate result of this was that 

-1377-] EDWARD III. 223 

every sort of wages rose. The increased sums paid to workers had 
the effect of raising the prices of most commodities. Yet the 
plagne had so much diminished the prosperity of the country that 
men found themselves hardly able to pay the prices and wages 
which they were accustomed to. In those days, if anything went 
wrong it was thought the business of the state to jj^ 
set it right, and ^parliament, in 1351, passed u law Statute of 
called the statute of Labourers, which enacted that Labourers, 

. 1351 

both prices and wages should remain as they had been 
before the pestilence. It was found impossible to carry out this 
law. Labourers would not work unless they were paid the wages 
they asked for, and employers preferred to break the statute 
rather than see their crops perish in their fields for lack of harvest- 
men. AH that laoddholders could do was to grow those crops which 
needed little labour. Corn-growing was therefore abandoned for 
sheep-farming and cattle-raising, and thus the amount of employ- 
ment in the country became permanently less. Besides this, much 
dissension arose between employers and their workmen. The 
labourers complained of the harshness and cruelty of their masters, 
and the masters of the idleness and greediness of the workmen. 
The struggle of classes which resulted from this culminated, as we 
shall see, in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. 

23. The spirit of unrest was everywhere in the air, and the 
same generation that saw the social and economic changes 
which resulted from the Black Death, witnessed the 
beginning of religious discontent that soon threatened "n^ Avignon 
to break up the majestic unity of the Western Church, the Statutes 
From 1305 to 1377 the popes lived at Avignon, and of Provisors 
were generally French men under the control of the ^ j ^" 
French king. The English hated the French so 
much that they looked with distrust upon French popes. Even 
under Henry lii. there had been a great outcry against papal 
exactions, and this outcry became much stronger when there was 
a danger lest the money raised by the pope from English benefices 
found its way, indirectly, into the pockets of our French enemies. 
The system of papal provisions, by which the pope appointed his 
nominees to English benefices, had long excited deep discontent. 
In 1351 a law was passed called the statute of Provisors, which 
attempted to get rid of the abuse. It was followed in 1353 by 
another anti-papal measure, the statute of Prxmumire, which 
was so called from the first word of the Latin writs issued to 
enforce the law. It forbade, under heavy penalties. Englishmen 

224 EDWARD III. [134°- 

carrying lawsuits out of the ooxuitry, and though the papal court 
was not specially mentioned, the measure was clearly aimed against 
it. If these laws had been strictly carried out, the papal authority 
in England would have been almost destroyed, but parliaments 
were content with making their protest, and Edward himself set 
the example of disregarding his own laws by asking the pope to 
make his friends bishops by the way of papal provision. There 
was no real desire to question the papal power as long as the popes 
did not go too far. Yet, however obedient most Englishmen still 
were to the pope's spiritual authority, they utterly repudiated the 
claims to feudal supremacy over England which the popes still made 
by virtue of John's submission. Edward ill. absolutely refused 
to pay the tribute which John had offered to Innocent III., and in 
1366 parliament declared that neither John nor any one else could 
put England into subjection without the consent of the people. 
The same rising national spirit which resented the interference of 
a foreign ecclesiastic with English affairs inspired the statute of 
1362, which made English instead of French the language of the 
law courts. The tongue which, since the Conquest, had almost 
ceased to be the language of courts and nobles, was, as a result of 
the hatred of aU things French, brought back into greater favour. 
The age of Edward in. was the age of Chaucer and Gower and 

24 The reign of Edward in. was not marked by any great 
changes in the constitution. Parliaments met very often, and the 
Edward III. king's need for money to carry out his foreign wars 
and his Par- made him willing to abandon many of his powers 
liampnts. jjj return for handsome subsidies. Thus, in 1340, 
Edward accepted a statute which abolished the royal right of 
laying at his discretion taxes called tallages upon the royal domain. 
In 1841, as a result of his conflict with Archbishop Stratford, 
Edward was forced to recognize the claim of members of the House 
of Lords to be tried by their peers. In the same year he allowed 
parliament to nominate his ministers and examine the accounts 
of the national revenue. On this occasion, however, as soon as 
parliament was dissolved, Edward coolly revoked these laws as 
trenching upon his prerogative, and succeeded in persuading the 
next parliament, which met in 1343, to repeal them. The French 
war was so popular that at first parliament had willingly granted 
Edward supplies to carry it on, and Edward was shrewd enough to 
consult the estates about his foreign policy, because he saw that if 
they made themselves responsible for it they could hardly refuse to 

-1376.] EDWARD III. 225 

pay its cost. In 1348, however, parliament answered his re(iTiest 
for advice about the war by declaring they were too ignorant and 
simple to be able to coiinsel him in such high matters. Alter the 
troubles of the Black Death, the war became less popular, and 
parliament joyfully hailed every effort made to procure peace. 

25. Edward and Philippa of Hainault were the parents of a 
large family, and the king's efforts to provide for his children 
without incurring too great expense for himself form Edward's 
an important element in his later policy. We have family 
seen how the prince of Wales was amply endowed settlement, 
with the new principality of Aquitaine. Besides this, the Black 
Prince held Wales, Chester, and Cornwall, while his marriage 
to his cousin, Joan of Kent, the heiress of Earl Edmund of Kent, 
executed in 1330, provided him with an additional English earldom. 
Edward introduced a new grade into the English peerage to 
increase the dignity of his son, by making the Black Prince 
(Zafee of Cornwall. It was by the creation of new duchies and 
by rich marriages that Edward iii. provided for his younger 
children. His second son, Lionel of Antwerp, married the heiress 
of the great Irish family of Burgh, earls of Ulster and Connaught, 
and was made duke of Clarence. After his marriage Lionel was 
sent to Ireland to represent his father. He found the English 
power at a low ebb, since Edward Bruce, brother of Eobert, king 
of Scots, had made a valiant attempt to set himself up as king of 
Ireland against Edward II. Bruce was soon slain in battle, but 
English influence never recovered the blow he had dealt to it. To 
revive it now Lionel passed the statute of Kilkenny in 1366, which 
strove to prevent the Norman settlers in Ireland from adopting 
Irish ways and making alliance with the native Irish chieftains. The 
law was a complete failure, and Lionel soon returned to England 
in disgust. He died soon after, leaving as his heiress a daughter, 
Phillipa, whose marriage with Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, 
great grandson of the traitor Roger, made the great west country 
house of the Mortimers the representatives of the second line of 
the descendants of Edward in. The king's third surviving son, 
John of Ghent, or G-aunt, was married to Blanche, heiress of her 
father. Earl Henry, the last of the old line of earls of Lancaster, 
and John was made duke of Lancaster. The eldest son of John 
and Blanche, Henry, earl of Derby, the future Henry iv., married 
one of the heiresses of the Bohuns of Hereford, and Henry's uncle, 
Thomas of Woodstock, afterwards duke of Gloucester, married 
the other Bohun heiress. Edward's family settlement is of great 


226 EDWARD HI. [i376- 

future importance, because it connected the royal family with many 
of the chief baronial houses, and apparently immensely increased 
its wealth and influence. Its ultimate result, however, was harmful 
to the power of the crown, as the descendants of Edward iii. forgot 
their kinship with the king, and adopted the policy of opposition 
with which the houses into which they intermarried had long been 

26. Pactions among his nobles and dissensions between Ms sons 
embittered the last years of Edward's reign. The Black Prince 
The court ^^^ John of Gaunt, who had disagreed with each 
and eon- other about the conduct of the war in Prance, ttans- 
stitutional ferred their rivalries to England, and became the 
parties. heads of sharply marked parties in the councU of 

the old king. The iU feeling which parliament had shown to the 
papacy in its legislation included within its scope the English 
church as well. The barons were jealous of the power of the 
higher clergy, and denounced their interference in politics. Up 
to this time some of the chief offices of state, such as that of 
chancellor, had almost invariably been held by a prominent bishop. 
However, in 1371, a group of courtiers procured the removal of the 
king's clerical ministers, and substituted laymen for them. The 
chief of the displaced ministers was William of Wykeham, bishop 
of Winchester. It was natural that he and the other bishops 
should be henceforward in opposition to the government. Before 
long Jolin of Gaunt became the leader of an anti-clerical court 
party, and for some years exercised a strong influence over his father, 
who was gradually falling into his dotage. John's chief helpers 
were Lord Latimer, a London merchant called Eiohard Lyons, and 
Alice Perrers, the greedy and unscrupulous mistress of the old 
king. Knowing that the higher ecclesiastics were bitterly opposed 
to him, John also struck up an alliance with a famous Oxford teacher 
named John Wycliffe, who had become conspicuous for his denun- 
ciation of the oorrt^tion of the clergy, and for teaching that 
priests should live lives of apostolic poverty and have nothing to do 
with politics. 

27. The rule of John of Gaunt and the courtiers was neither 
honest nor successful, and an active opposition was formed of which 
The Good the Black Prince and the Earl of March were the 
Parliament, leaders. Strong feeling arose in the country against 
^^•°- the men who had lost all France and brought Eng- 

land to bankruptcy and shame. This indignation found its expres- 
sion in a parliament which met in 1376, and became famous 3& the 

-1377-] EDWARD III. 227 

Oood, Parliament. Inspired by tlie Black Prince, the Earl Edmimd 
of March, and the bishops, the House of Commons made a vigorons 
attack on the courtiers. It chose as its speaker, or spokesman 
before the king. Sir Peter de la Mare, steward of the Earl of 
March, a man who had boldness enough to say what was in his 
mind regardless of the good-wiU of the great. It accused Latimer 
and Lyons of taking bribes, and the House of Lords condemned 
them to imprisonment. These are the first examples of the process 
called im/peachment, by which political offenders were accused by 
the Commons before the Lords. Parliament also removed Alice 
Perrers from court. 

28. In the midst of these proceedings the Commons lost their 
strongest support by the death of the Black Prince. Lancaster 
now resumed his influence ; the Good Parliament was 
dismissed, and, in 1377, a fresh parliament carefully Gaunt and 
packed with John's partisans reversed its acts. Parlia- John 
ment was thus silenced. The convocation of Canter- y^^"*?'. 
bury remained bitterly hostile to John. Accordingly 
the duke met its opposition by calling John WycUfEe to his aid. 
WycUfEe's denunciations of the rich land-holding prelates were 
answered by an accusation for heresy being brought against him. 
Summoned before Bishop Courtenay of London to answer the 
charge, WycUffe appeared in St. Paul's, supported by Lancaster 
and Henry Percy, one of Lancaster's chief friends. A violent 
scene took place in the cathedral between Lancaster and the bishop. 
The London mob took the part of Courtenay against the courtiers, 
and rose in a riot, pillaged John's palace, and forced Death of 
him to flee from London. Soon after this stormy Edward III., 
scene Edward lii. died, on June 21, 1377. As he lay ^^'''• 
dying his courtiers deserted him, and Alice Perrers took to flight 
after robbing him of the rings on his fingers. 


Chief Dates : 

1377- Accession of Eichard ii. 

1378. Tlie Papal schism. 

1381. Peasants' Revolt. 

1384. JJeath of Wycliffe. 

1388. The Merciless Parliament. 

1396. The Great Truce with France. 

1397. Richard's triumph over the Lords Appellant. 
1399. Deposition of Richard ii. 

1. As the Black Prince had died before his father, his only son, 
Eichard of Bordeaux, a boy ten years of age, succeeded Edward iii. 
The Rule 3,s Richard 11. No regent was appointed, but, as in 
of John the latter years of Henry iii.'s minority, the council 

or Gaunt. ruled in the king's name. This meant in practice 
that the preponderating influence was with John of Gaunt. The 
result was that the first few years of the new reign witnessed the 
continuance of the bad and unpopular government which had dis- 
graced the close of the reign of Edward iii. Heavy taxes were 
raised, but the people obtained little benefit from pajring them. The 
nobles quarrelled fiercely with each other, and, on the expiration of 
the truce with France, the French plundered the English coasts and 
tlireatened the land with invasion. Luckily, however, for England, 
Charles v. died in 1380. His son and successor, Charles vi., was 
a boy Kke Richard, and the French soon had reason to say with 
the English, " Woe to the land when the king is a child." For 
some years the Hundred Years' War was suspended by reason of 
the weakness of both England and France. 

2. It was a miserable time for Europe generally. In 1378 the 
papacy returned from Avignon to Rome, but the pope who had 
The Papal the courage to take this step died soon after he reached 
Schism and Italy. His successor, Urban VI., was an Italian, and 
Wycliire. likely to remain in Rome. Thereupon the French 
cardinals, who wished to keep the pope in their own country, 


denied the validity of TJrban's election, and ciose another pope, 
named Clement vii. Eviiope divided itself between the two popes, 
and as the Trench and Soots favoured Clement, the English 
supported Urban. The result of this Great Schism of the Papacy 
was to discredit the popes, who had already lost much ground 
d\iring the captivity at Avignon. The spirit of religious unrest 
that was already in the air spread widely, and led men to look 
closely into their beliefs. John WycKfEe had already made himself 
conspicuous as the ally of John of Gaunt against the over- wealthy 
prelates. Since the scene at St. Paul's in 1377, his views were be- 
coming more and more autagonistio to those professed by the Church . 
In the year of the schism he began to raise doubts as to the truth of 
the doctrine of transubsiantiaiion, or the change of the bread and 
wine in the Holy Communion into the Body and Blood of Christ, 
which the whole Church had accepted for many centuries. This 
open avowal of heresy lost Wycliffe the support of Lancaster and 
most of his powerful friends. Henceforth he sought to appeal 
to the people as well as to scholars and men of rank. He sent 
throughout the country disciples who were called his poor priests, 
and by this means his teaching was spread all over the land. Tip 
to now he had written in Latin for scholars, but he henceforth set 
forth his teaching iu English. He denied the authority of the 
papacy and of the clergy, and taught that dominion was founded 
on grace, by which he meant that power and property could only be 
rightly held by good men. He also encouraged men to seek for 
their religion in the Bible only. To make the Bible accessible, he, 
with the help of his friends, translated it from Latin into English. 
His teaching excited bitter hostility among the clergy, and in 
1382 his opinions were condemned by a council of English bishops. 
Wyclifle still had many friends, and was very dexterous in explaining 
away his opinions. He was therefore set free, and spent the rest 
of his life at his country living of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, 
where he died in 1384 His influence continued after his death. 
His followers, caRei Lolla/rds, or babblers, spread widely, and, for the 
first time since the establishment of Christianity in England, there 
were many men who disbelieved in the teaching of the Church. 

3. Pour years aft«r Richard's accession discontent came to a 
head in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. The causes of ^j^^ causes 
this rising were numerous. The deepest of them lay of the 
in the changes which had effected society since the Peasants' 
time of the Black Death. The demand for labour Revolt. 
was still great, and the free labourers, who could hire themselves 


out where they would, were bitterly discontented with the laws which 
tried to keep down their wages. They had formed associations to 
defeat the statute of Labourers, and for a generation there had been 
much quarrelling between them and their masters. The grievances 
of the free labourers were, however, small as compared with the 
troubles of the serfs or villeins. In Norman times the mass of the 
people had, as we have seen, become villeins. During the fourteenth 
century the number of villeins was steadily decreasing, as many ran 
away from their lords, and many were set free, since lords had 
found that it paid them better to cultivate their lands withf ree labour, 
while the Church taught that it was a meritorious act to enfran- 
chise a bondman. However, the strong demand for labour, which 
resulted from the decline of population after the pestilence, had 
retarded this movement towards freedom. When it became very 
difficult to obtain free labour, it was natural that the lords of serfs 
should exact to the uttermost the rights they still possessed of com- 
pelling their bondmen to work for them without pay. At the same 
time the villeins became more unwilling to give up so much of their 
time to their lords, when they saw that their free brethren could 
earn large wages without difficulty. The result was that the 
villeins were even more discontented than the free labourers, and 
both classes alike were ripe for revolt. Thus the unrest and dis- 
content of Edward iii.'s time stiLL continued. It was increased by the 
struggles in the boroughs between the craftsmen of the guilds and 
the rich merchants, who kept the government of the towns in their 
own hands, and ruled harshly in the interests of their own class. 
Old soldiers who had come back from the French wars told the 
poor English how the men of Flanders had shaken off the yoke of 
their count, and had, by union and detormination, won Kberty for 
themselves. The friars still wandered through the land, teaching 
that Christ and His apostles had had no property, and denouncing 
the oppressions of the rich. Wycliffe's " poor priests " were now 
also traversing the country, maintaining their master's doctrine 
of dominion founded on grace and declaring that it was the 
duty of a Christian to deprive unworthy men of their offices 
and lands. John Ball, an Essex priest, made himself the mouth- 
piece of this widespread discontent. " We are all come," said he, 
" from one father and one mother, Adam and Eve. How can the 
gentry show that they are greater lords than we?" On every 
side the old social order was breaking up, and men were ripe for 

4. Disgust at the bad government of John of Gaunt and the 


coimcil added political to social unrest. Heavy taxes were levied, 
though the people got nothing in return from them. Finally, in 
1381, the imposition of a new poll-tax — that is, a tax ™,^ 
levied on each individual in the community, brought the Peasants' 
discontent to a head. The Kentish men were among Revolt of 
the freest and most turbulent of Englishmen. There "^'• 
was no villeinage in Kent, but nowhere was the indignation at the 
badness of the government so deeply felt. Headed by Wat Tyler, 
the Kentish men refused to pay the poU-tax, rose in revolt, and 
marched in great numbers to London. At the same moment dis- 
turbances broke out all over England, as if in obedience to a common 
command. The most formidable were in the eastern counties, 
where the numerous serfs of great abbeys, lite Bury St. Edmunds 
and St. Albans, rose against th^ir monastic landlords and demanded 
their enfranchisement. Like the Kentish freemen, the villeins of 
the eastern shires also made their way to London. The rebels soon 
took possession of the capital, and wrought many outrages. They 
murdered some of the king's ministers, including the chancellor, 
Simon of Sudbury, the archbishop of Canterbury. They burned 
John of G-aunt's hoTise, the Savoy Palace in the Strand, and de- 
clared they would have no king named John. 

5. Eichard 11. was only sixteen years old, but he showed a 
courage and resolution that put to shame the weakness of his 
ministers. One day he met the rebels from the The sup- 
eastern counties at Mile End, agreed to give them pression of 
charters of freedom, and persuaded the majority to the revolt, 
go home. The Kentish men, however, remained in arms, and 
constantly perpetrated fresh outrages. Next day Eichard went 
with William Walworth, the mayor of London, to treat with 
them in Smithlield. Tyler, the rebel leader, behaved with great 
familiarity, but Eichard promised to accept most of his demands. 
Unluckily, one of the king's followers declared that Tyler was the 
greatest thief in Kent, and Tyler sprang upon him with his dagger. 
The mayor strove to protect the courtier, and a scuffle ensued 
between the two, in which Tyler was slain. The rebels drew their 
bows at the king, but Eichard, riding up among them, declared, 
" I will be your captain ; come with me into the fields, and you 
shall have all you ask." His presence of mind saved the situation, 
and gave time for the soldiers to surround the rebels and force 
them to lay down their arms. The troubles in London were thus 
ended, and all over the country the gentry, plucking up courage, 
set to work to put down the revolt systematically. The cruelties 


worked by tlie peasants in. their brief moment of trinnipli were now 
more than revenged on them by their victorious masters. Even 
the king took part in punishing the rebels. He put John Bail to 
death at St. Albans, and revoked the charters of freedom which 
he had issued on the grounds that they had been obtained by 
violence, and that he had no power to interfere with the lord's 
property over his serfs. When parliament met it approved the 
king's action, and declared that it would never agree to the libera- 
tion of the viUeins. However, a little later, the marriage of the 
king to Anne of Bohemia, daughter of the Emperor Charles rv., 
was made an excuse for extending a, general pardon to all the 
rebels. Despite the apparent failure of the peasants, the revolt 
was not entirely without fruit. It taught the government and 
the gentry that it was dangerous to press the tenants too much, 
and, though for a time it probably made the conditions of the 
vUleins worse, it led in the long run to the restriction of villeinage. 
Many landlords found that it was easier for them to set free their 
peasants and to accept money payment in lieu of their accustomed 
services. Within a hundred years of the Peasants' Revolt, vil- 
leinage had almost disappeared from England. Besides this 
something was done to remedy the misrule against which the 
Kentish men had so loudly protested. John of Gaunt was so 
unpopular that power shpped away quietly from him, and before 
long he betook himself to Spain, where he strove, with little result, 
to make himself king of Castile by reason of his marriage with 
Constance, the daughter of Peter the Cruel. His failure taught 
the king's council some measure of wisdom and prudence, and the 
country became somewhat better g'overned in the years succeeding 
the Peasants' Revolt. 

6. The good hopes excited by Richard's courage in 1381 were 
not borne out by the events of the next few years. With plenty 
Thebaronial °* ability, a strong will, and a high courage, Richard 
opposition showed a passionate and hasty temper, and a. greedi- 
and Thomas ness for power, which soon brought him into collision 
cester" ^*^ ^^ nobles. He was self-wiUed, crafty, and 

revengeful, and his love of pomp led him to waste 
large sums in keeping up an extravagant court. Distrusting the 
nobles, he gave his chief confidence to courtiers and favourites, 
who carried on the evil traditions of the court party which had 
excited the wrath of the Good Parliament. Prominent among his 
favourites was Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, whose ancestors had 
held that dignity since the days of Stephen, and whom Richard 


made duke of Ireland. His chief minister was the Chancellor, 
Michael de la Pole, earl of SufEolk, whose grandfather had heen a 
Hiill merchant, and who had obtained his wealth by trade. Oxford 
and Suffolk soon became very unpopular, partly through their own 
fault, and partly because they were looked upon as the causes of 
the weak government and unconstitutional rule which stUl went 
on. The greater part of the nobles disliked them exceedingly, and 
joined together to put an end to their power. Thus the party of 
constitutional opposition was reformed to meet the encroachments 
of the court party. Its leader was Thomas of Woodstock, duke of 
Gloucester, the youngest and most capable of the king's uncles. 
For the rest of his life Gloucester withstood Biohard 11. as Thomas 
of Lancaster had withstood Edward 11. 

7. Trouble began in 1386, when parliament demanded the dis- 
missal of the chancellor. Richard ordered parliament to mind its 
own business, and insolently said that he would not _, ^^ ^ 
dismiss the meanest scullion from his kitchen to please on the 

it. Thereupon the angry Commons impeached courtiers, 
Suffolk, and forced Richard to submit. A com- 1386-1387. 
mittee of eleven nobles was appointed for a year, with powers so 
extensive that they remind us of the lords ordainers of Edward ii.'s 
time. Richard was compelled to take an oath to accept any 
ordinances that the eleven might devise. For the moment the 
triumph of the opposition seemed complete. Their administration 
threw new vigour into the government. They revived the French 
war, and, in 1387, one of their number, Richard Pitzalan, earl of 
Arundel, won a victory over the French fleet, which saved England 
from a threatened French invasion. 

8. Richard was no weakling like Edward 11,, and soon began to 
take steps to win back his power. He released SufEolk, and took 
counsel with his judges as to the lawfulness of the _,, defeat 
committee of eleven. The judges declared that the of the 
commission was illegal because it infringed the royal courtiers, 
prerogative. By his orders the duke of Ireland raised 1^°°' 

an army, and civil war between the king and the opposition broke 
out. However, Richard had acted too hastily in assertion of his 
independence. In December, 1387, the barons scattered Yere's 
troops at Eadcot Bridge, over the upper Thames in Oxfordshire. 
When parliament met in February, 1388, the king was once more 
helpless in the hands of the opposition. 

9. The victors showed such ruthlessness that this parliament, 
which was altogether on their side, became known in history as the 


Merciless Parliament. In it an accusation of treason was raised by 
five baronial leaders against Snffiolk, Ireland, and other chief friends 

of the king-. The charge was technically called an 
less Pariia- "W^"-^ °f treason, and the five lords on that acoonnt 
ment and were called the Lords Appellant. At their head were 
the Lords Gloucester and Arundel, the hero of the recent victory 
1388 " °^®-'-' ^^ French. The other members were Thomas 

Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, Thomas Mowbray, earl 
of Nottingham, and Henry, earl of Derby, eldest son of John of 
Graunt, who availed himself of his father's absence in Spain to 
identify himself with the traditional policy of his mother's family, 
the old Une of earls of Lancaster. Parliament gladly accepted the 
appeal, and the lords condemned the courtiers as traitors. Suffolk 
and Ireland escaped punishment by flight abroad, but many minor 
royalist partisans were put to death. Eiohard avoided deposition 
by bending before the storm. He was, however, strictly subjected 
to a oouncU, and ia this body the Lords Appellant ruled supreme. 

10. Eichard never forgot nor forgave the humiliations inflicted 
on him by the appeUaaits. Experience had, however, shown him the 

uselessness of hasty action, and he quietly waited for 
prudence ^^ revenge. After more than a year he began to 

reassert himself. On May 3, 1389, he asked Grloncester 
in the connoU chamber how old he was, and was told that he was 
twenty-two. " Since I am of age," he replied, " I am old enough 
to rule my people. Hitherto I have lived under governance, now I 
will govern." He then dismissed the appellants from power, but 
he prudently called into office WiUiam of Wykeham, the old bishop 
of Winchester, and other magnates who sympathized with the con- 
stitutional party. With great wisdom he made no attempt to 
recall his exiled friends, and before long restored some of the 
appellants to their places on the council. John of Gaunt now came 
back from Spain. He had learnt discretion by experience, and gave 
his nephew good advice. So judicious was the policy of the crown 
that the appellants had no chance of withstanding Richard's action. 
For the next seven years quiet and good government was main- 
tained at home. Old laws, such as the anti-papal statutes of 
Provisors and Praemunire were revived, and useful new laws were 
passed. A truce was made with the French and Scots, so that 
England enjoyed peace, abroad as well as at home. 

11. During this period Richard's first wife, Anne of Bohemia, 
died without children. So friendly now were Richard's relations 
with France that, in 1396, he married Isabella, daughter of 


Charles vi., the French king, and made a truce for twenty-eight 
years. Though the new queen was only a child of seven, French 
influence henceforth became strong in Richard's 
councils. Always anxious to be a despot, Richard •jpuce'and 
became eager to abandon constitutional courses and the French 
make himself as thoroughly master of his subjects as marriage, 
was his father-in-law, the French king. 

12. The party of the Lords Appellant seemed hopelessly broken 
up. John of Gaiint's influence had brought Henry of Derby round 
to the court party, and Nottingham also had de- jhe royalist 
sorted his former friends. Grloucester, Warwick, and reaction, 
Arundel still persevered in their ancient policy, and '■^^'• 

with them was associated Arundel's younger brother, Thomas 
Fitzalan, archbishop of Canterbury, commonly called Archbishop 
Arundel. After nine years, Richard's wrath against the appellants 
was stiU unsatisfied, and in 1397, he thought he was strong enough 
to wreak his long-deferred vengeance. Rumours that Gloucester 
was plotting against him gave Richard an excuse for action. He 
suddenly arrested Gloucester, Warwick, and Arundel, and a group 
of royalist barons, one of whom was Nottingham, appealed the 
three prisoners of treason. Their trials took place in the parlia- 
ment which met in September. This body was carefully packed 
by the king, and overawed by a body of two thousand archers from 
Cheshire, wearing the king's cognisance of the white hart. The 
three lords were condemned as traitors, and Arundel was beheaded. 
His brother the archbishop was banished. Warwick was pardoned 
in return for an abject submission, and Gloucester was privately 
murdered at Calais, where he had been confined under Nottingham's 
charge. The acts of the Merciless Parliament were repealed, and 
the estates of the traitors divided among the king's friends. The 
turncoats, Derby and Nottingham, were rewarded for their com- 
plaisance by being made dukes of Hereford and Norfolk. The 
royalist restoration was completed at a second session of the 
parliament, held at Shrewsbury, when the king was granted a 
revenue for life, and a committee of eighteen persons appointed 
to deal, after the dissolution, with petitions which had not been 
answered dxiring the session. Richard's enemies saw in this latter 
step an effort of the king to carry on indefinitely the powers of 
this subservient parliament through the committee of eighteen, 
and believed that he was resolved to do without parliaments for the 

13. Richard's position was now so menacing that the new duke 


of Norfolk took the alarm. He told Hereford that Bichard had 
not yet forgiven them their share in the work of the appellants, and 
• h- "^S^^ him to unite with him against the king. Here- 
ment of ford told the whole story to Richard, and Norfolk de- 
Norfolk and clared that it was all an invention of Hereford's. A 
?398^°''^' deadly quarrel henceforth divided the two old associates, 
and they were ordered to prove their truthfulness by 
trial by battle. The fight was arranged to take place at Coventry 
on September 12, 1398. Just before the duel began, the king stopped 
the fight and banished both combatants, Hereford for ten years, 
Norfolk for life. But while Norfolk was treated with every severity, 
Hereford was still regarded with comparative favour. His term of 
exUe was cut down to six years, and he was promised that, in the 
event of his father dying, he should forthwith inherit the duchy 
of Lancaster. Thus even the appellants who had deserted their old 
side came within the scope of the king's vengeance. Richard's 
triumph was now complete. He ruled England with the help of 
flatterers and favourites, and declared " that the laws were in his 
mouth or in his breast, and that he alone could change the statutes 
of his realm." His Cheshire archers maltreated his subjects at 
their will, and a veritable reig-n of terror proclaimed the reality 
of the new despotism. When John of Gaunt died, early in 1399, 
Richard and the committee of parliament withdrew the permission 
granted to Hereford to receive his father's succession in his 

14. So secure did Richard now feel himself, that in May, 1399, 
he crossed over to Ireland, and busied himself with a vigorous 
The Lan- attempt to restore the waning power of England in 
eastpian that island. In July, Henry of Hereford and Arch- 

revolution bishop Arundel landed with a small force at Ravenspur, 
on the Humber. Henry declared that he had only 
come to claim his duchy and to drive away the favourites who had 
taught the king to play the despot. Many of the northern lords 
flocked to his standard, among them being Henry Percy, recently 
made earl of Northumberland, the old ally of John of Gaunt. Henry 
then marched southwards with a constantly increasing army. Before 
long he was joined by the regent, his uncle the duke of York. He 
captured Richard's chief ministers at Bristol and put them to death. 
With his growing power the invader enlarged his ambitions, and 
began openly to aim at the crown. Meanwhile Richard returned 
from Ireland and marched through North Wales to Conway. These 
tidings brought Henry northwards again to Chester. But Richard 


had alienated every class of Ms subjects as signally as Edward 11. 
had done. Finding that he had no backing, he submitted to his 
cousin at Flint, whence he was taken to London as a prisoner. 
Parliament then met, and Eiohard was forced to surrender the 
throne. Next day his abdication was read in parliament, which 
had assembled in a great hall before an empty throne. Henry of 
Lancaster sat in his place as duke, but before long he rose and 
claimed the throne, as being descended from Henry iii., and 
" through the right which God had given him^ by conquest, when 
the realm was nearly undone for default of governance." Parlia- 
ment rapturously applauded this, and he sat down on the throne as 
Henry rv. Next year it was given out that Richard had refused 
Ms food, and died of self-inflicted starvation in Ms prison at 
Pontefract. There is not much doubt but that Ms end was 
hastened by violence, but the circumstances of Ms murder were so 
obscure that Ms partisans long believed that he was still alive, and 
an impostor who assunaed Ms name was for a time treated as 
Eichard by the Scottish enemies of England. 



1. In the beginning of the thirteenth century the Angevin 
despotism was at the highest point of its power. It was broken 

down by the calamities of the reign of John, and re- 
civilifaMon plaoed by something quite different during the reigns 

of John's son and grandson. The fourteenth century 
saw the working out in detail of the principles laid down in the days 
of Henry iii. and Edward i. The result of this process was that 
England became a national state, governed by a strong monarch, 
who was in his turn controlled by a popular and representative 
parliament. The period which we now have to study is that of the 
formation of the English nation and of the English constitution. It 
was in these days when the state of society which we call Tnediseval 
reached its culminating point. Not only were the state and the 
constitution as vigorous as the times permitted : mediroval religion, 
science, Kterature, Ufe, trade, and society alike attained their 
highest perfection. 

2. In matters of state the king still governed the country, and 

was expected to use all the power which the constitution gave him. 

. . . The ministers of the crown were chosen by him, and 

were responsible to him alone. It was only when a 
weak or incompetent monarch was on the throne that the barons 
took the executive power out of his hands and transferred it to such 
a body as the Fifteen of 1258, the Lords Ordainers, or the Lords 
Appellant. Yet even an Edward i. was expected to rule with some 
regard to the opinion of his subjects, and in particular the views of 
the mighty barons who claimed to be the natural-born counsellors 
of the crown, and its partners and fellow-workers in determining 
the policy of the nation. After the reforms of Edward i. had de- 
stroyed the political power of feudalism, the barons found it in- 
creasingly expedient to work through the means of parliament. 


It is as the leaders of public opinion as expressed by parliament 
that the nobles now held the great position whioh they still 
retained in the English state. 

3. Parlia/ment in the early days of Henry iii. was merely 
another name for the Norman Great Council of the tenants-in- 
ohief. Since the days of Simon of Montfort it became The Parlla- 
usual to strengthen the baronial element by associating ment of 
■with it the representations of the shires and boroughs. *^^ Three 
After Edward i.'s time the only body to which the 

name of parliament rightly belonged was the representative 
assembly of the three estates, and after 1322 no law was regarded 
as valid unless it had been approved by this body. By the reign of 
Edward in. the lower clergy had ceased reg^ularly to send their 
representatives to parliament. This made it easy for the higher 
clergy, the bishops, and abbots, to take their places along with the 
secular magnates. The result was the creation of the modem 
House of Lords, which thus represented both the estate of the 
nobles and, to some extent, the estate of the clergy. The third 
estate now exclusively formed the House of Commons. Cut off 
from the assembly of the nation, the lower clergy were content to 
meet in their clerical assemblies, which were summoned for each 
province by the archbishops of Canterbury and York. These pro- 
vincial synods were called the convocations of Canter- 
bury and York. The king used them to raise taxes tion. 
from the clergy, but properly speaking they were no 
part of parliament. So long as the king got enough money from 
the olergy, he was indifferent whether it was voted him by an 
ecclesiastical or a political assembly. 

4. The Souse of Lords of the fourteenth century consisted of 
the lords spiritual and temporal. The former included all the 
archbishops and bishops, and a considerable number of 

abbots and priors, the heads of the more important If f ^ js^^ 
monasteries. For most of the middle ages the clerical 
members formed a majority of the House. The lay peers were, up 
to the reign of Edward in., either earls or barons. The earls were 
seldom more than a, dozen in number, and were in neai-ly every 
case men of vast wealth and territorial influence. They were the 
natural leaders of the baronage, and were still looked upon as 
officials as well as mere dignitaries. The lay barons of the four- 
teenth century were less than a hundred in number, and were 
always tending to become less numerous. Both earldoms and 
baronies ha4 beppjne by this time strictly hereditary. Under 


Edward iii. new grades of the peerage were added, such, as dmke, 
marquis, and viscount. This tended somewhat to depress the 
dignity of the earl, as he now ranked after the dnie and the 
marq^lis, and the number of earldoms became somewhat greater. 

5. The House of Commions consisted of two knights of the 
shire, chosen by the county court of each English oonnty, and 

of two citizens or iv/rgesses, elected by the courts of 
The House ^^^^ respective cities and boroughs. The two great 
' palatine counties of Cheshire and Durham sent no 
representatives, as they were so fully under the control of their 
earl and bishop that they were for most purposes outside England 
altogether. Under Edward iii. Lancashire also became a palatine 
county, but having already sent knights and burgesses to parlia- 
ment, it contiaued to do so as before. Wales, both the Principality 
and the March, was also unrepresented in parliament, save on two 
occasions under Edward 11. Though ruled by the English crown, 
Wales was no part of the English realm. In practice the sheriffs, 
who returned both the knights and the burgesses, had a good deal 
to do with determining which individuals should be chosen. The 
king decided which boroughs should be asked to appoint repre- 
sentatives, and as the sending of members was thought a burden 
rather than a privilege, towns were often anxious to avoid having to 
make an election. The result was that the number of boroughs was 
constantly iluctuating. As parliament became stronger, it suited the 
king's interest to summon burgesses from small places under his 
control, as he had power of influencing members so selected. Thus, 
even in early times there were many parliamentary boroughs which 
were not places of any importance. Both counties and boroughs 
paid wages to support the members they sent to parliament. The 
knights of the shire, who in praotice^epresented the country gentle- 
men or smaller landholders, were tne more important element of the 
House of Commons. They had greater wealth, a higher social 
position, and were more interested in public events. The citizens 
and burgesses were generally content to follow their lead. But even 
the knights were not always capable of independent action. As 
a rule, the opposition to the crown was stronger among the Lords 
than the Commons, and the Commons were largely in the habit of 
looking up to the peers for guidance. This is seen very clearly in 
the debates of the Good Parliament of 1376. 

6. The powers of parliament were very considerable. It was 
on the petition of the estates that the king drew up the statutes 
or acts of parliament, so that no new law could be promulgated 


except on their initiative. The Commons were especially con- 
cerned in the finances of the nation. As most taxes were paid 
by them, they were naturally anxious that they should 
have control over the king's expenses. By the four- pa^iament 
teenth century, it was considered unlawful for the king 
to raise general taxes which had not been granted by the Commons, 
though the clergy in their convocation also granted money payable 
by the clergy only. The Commons also had the right of petitioning 
the crown and unfolding all their grievances and complaints against 
the king's government. The Lords joined in most of this work, but 
they also exercised judicial functions, in which the Commons 
refused to take any part. A wise king took care to keep on friendly 
terms with his parliament, and even strong rulers were often forced 
to give up power that they cherished to please it. 

7. The old institutions of the twelfth century stiE went 
on, though with diminished vitality. Qreat Councils of the nobles 
still sometimes assembled, but as they could not 

grant money, they were of little use to the king, counen^^ 
More important than these occasional assemblies was 
the permanent council of the king, called sometimes the Consilium 
Ordina/rium, and later the Privy Council. This was a standing 
body of the king's ministers, judges, courtiers, and personal 
friends, which accompanied him in his constant journeys, and 
gave him advice as to the conduct of affairs of state. As many 
of its members were great barons and bishops, the king's council 
could sometimes take up a fairly independent Hue, though, it was 
mainly a consultative rather than a directing body. With the 
help of his council the king governed the country. As time went 
on the council began to encroach upon the powers of parliament. 
In particular, it exercised considerable judicial as well as adminis- 
trative authority. Though it was not supposed to legislate, it 
published ordinances that every one had to obey, and which were 
laws in everything but name. An able king made his council 
reflect his own will. Under a weak king or during a imnority, 
the council became the battle-ground of contending factions, and 
acted very much as it liked. 

8. The law courts took their modern shape by the time of 
Edward i. There were three common law courts, the King's 
Bench, the Court of Cormnon Pleas, and the Court of Exchequer. 
The first and third of these were descended from the Curia Kegis 
and Exchequer of Norman times, but they had ceased to be chiefly 
concerned with politics and finance, and were now mainly busy 



with. holding trials and pronouncing judgments. Cases which the 
common law could not deal with, or cases where the common law 
was too harsh and narrow, were referred to the Gowrt of Chancery 
under the Chancellor. This gradually became what was called a 
Court of Equity, wherein the rigid doctrines of the common 
lawyers were brought into harmony with men's natural sense of 
justice. All through this period the lawyers were powerful, rich, 
and numerous. In the thirteenth century many lawyers in the 
king's courts were clergymen. By the fourteenth the lawyers had 
become a lay profession, with a strong corporate spirit and fixed 
traditions of their own. G-reat schools of law grew up in London 
called the Inns of Court, which took the place of the universities as 
places of study for English law. Besides the king's lawyers and 
courts there were still the lawyers and 'courts of the Church, which 
exercised such extensive powers that the king and his lawyers 
looked upon them with the utmost suspicion. 

9. The religious and intelleotual movements of the twelfth 
century yielded their finest fruits during the period now before 
The Church ^^- T^® Church was at the height of its power 
and the and influence during the thirteenth century. Though 
Papacy. many individual churchmen, Kke Langton or Grosse- 
teste, were patriotic Englishmen, the Church as an institution 
was not national. It was the chief representative of that cosmo- 
politan ideal which still looked upon the nations of the civilized 
world as part of a single Christian commonwealth. Of this great 
power the pope was the recognized head, and for nations like 
England the only head, since the power of the emperor had 
never been real outside Germany and Italy, and after the fall of 
Frederick 11. had ceased to be effective even in those countries. 
The pope was the universal bishop of Christendom, and for 
England he was, for most of the thirteenth century, the feudal 
overlord as well. Though his unlimited authority, especially in 
politics, at last provoked a strong reaction, there was no one at this 
period who ventured to question his ecclesiastical omnipotence. 

10. A great religious revival in the early years of the thirteenth 
century emphasized the strength and authority which the Church 
„. „ . stiU exercised over men's minds. Like all mediaeval 
and the religious movements, it took the shape of a new develop- 
Mendicant ment of monastioism. Vast as had been the influence 
Friars. ^j ^^^^ Cistercians and Regular Canons in the monastic 
reformation of the twelfth century (see p. 164), the new orders had 
not escaped the dangers agaiast which their rules had been a 


protest, and their very wealth and authority exposed them to all 
the temptations of pride and worldliness. Against all the evil 
tendencies of the times a vigorous reaction was embodied ia the Ufe 
and work of St. Francis of Assisi. A young Italian gentleman, 
Francis forsook his father's heritage and devoted his life to the 
care of the poor, the sick, and the neglected. He gave out that he 
had wedded the lady Poverty as his bride, and taught the followers 
who soon gathered round him that they must UteraUy Uve, Kke 
Christ and the apostles, lives of absolute self-renunciation. He 
thus became the founder of a new order, to which he gave 
the name of the Friars, or brothers, or, as he called them in 
his humility, the Minorites, or Lesser Brethren. The fame of 
their leader also caused the saiut's followers to be called Frcmciscans, 
while the rough garb of undyed wool which they wore also led the 
people to speak of them as the Orey Friars. Francis' first principle 
was that of absolute poverty. The monks had taken the vow of 
poverty, but they interpreted it as meaning individual poverty, 
and the monastery could hold as much laud as it could get, though 
each monk could possess nothing. To Francis this was not enough, 
and he ordered his followers so to understand their vow that they 
were bound to corporate as well as iudividual poverty. They were 
therefore called the Mendicant Friars, because, having no goods of 
their own, they gained their bread by beggiag from the faithful. 
So beautiful was the character of St. Francis, and so wonderful the 
work of his followers, that many other orders of friars were formed 
upon the model which he suggested. The chief of these was the 
Order of Preachers, called the BlacTc Friars from the black hood 
they wore over their white dress, or the Dominicans, from their 
founder St. Dominic, a Spanish canon regular, who had devotpd 
his life to preaching the doctrines of the Church and winning 
back the heretic and the infidel to its fold. Inspired by Francis 
and Domioic, the Mendicant orders worked a wondrous change for 
the better iu the religious life of Europe. 

11. In 1221 the Dominicans first came to England, and in 1224 
they were followed by the Franciscans. They established their 
first convents at London and Oxford, and rapidly spread ^j^^ ppg^„. 
aU over the country. Their piety, devotion, and eiscans and 
sincerity soon won for them numerous disciples among Dominicans 
all ranks of EngKshmen. They laboured for the '"England, 
salvation of souls, the care of sickness, and the relief of distress. 
They ingratiated themselves with the rich as well as with the poor. 
Henry nr. and Edward i. selected friars as their confessors, and 


Simon of Modtfort and Grosseteste were among tteir chief 
supporters. A special field for their labour was the crowded 
suburbs of the greater towns, where the people lived in ignorance, 
squalor, and vice. They erected in the chief towns their spacious 
but plain churches, adapted for preaching to large congregations. 
Unlike the monks, who withdrew themselves from the world, they 
lived in the world and tried to make it better. They had many 
enemies, as for example the lazy parish clergy whose work they 
did, and the monks and canons who envied their zeal and popularity. 
As time went on they fell away from their early activity, and often 
became corrupt. Yet down to the time of the Eeformation the 
friars remained the chief teachers of religion to the poor. Hardly 
less important was their influence on the thought and learning 
of their age. Before long most professors of theology at the 
universities were Mendicant Friars. 

12. The universities, which began in the twelfth century, 
became exceedingly flourishing in the thirteenth. In the reign of 

Henry iii., Oxford became one of the chief centres of 
vepsities. study in Europe, and a second English university had 

arisen at Cambridge, though this was less important 
than Oxford for the rest of the Middle Ages. Paris stiU. remained 
the greatest university of the "West, and many English scholars 
still studied there. All classes of society were represented among 
the students. There were rich noblemen living in their own 
houses with a band of servants, while many scholars were so poor 
that they had to beg for their living. There was plenty of 
freedom and activity, but little order and discipline. All the 
scholars ranked as clerks, and had the privileges of clergy; but 
this did not prevent them rioting, drinking, and fighting with 
the townsfolk. All lectures were in Latin, and the teachers were 
those students who had completed their courses, and so became 
doctors or masters. There were four faculties, or branches of 
study — Theology, Law, Medicine, and Arts. Most scholars began 
with arts, that is, grammar, philosophy, and mathematics. It 
took seven years' study before a student could become a Master 
or Doctor of Arts, and then he was compelled to stay for a time 
at the university and teach others. Some Masters of Arts also 
studied in one of the other or higher faculties. 

13. After the coming of the friars, Oxford became much more 
important than before. In particular, the friars devoted themselves 
to the study of theology, which worldly men neglected in favour of 
law and medicine because these opened up better prospects of success 


in their careers. The chief thinkers in philosophy and theology were 
called schoolmen. Among them a large proportion came from 
Britain, such as Alexander Hales, Duns Scotus,William 
of Ockham, and Robert Kilwardby and John Peckham, schoolmen 
the two Mendicant friars who became in succession arch- 
bishops of Canterbury under Edward i. The example of Kilwardby 
and Peckham shows how the Universities opened up brilliant 
positions for poor men of ability. Never were men of learning more 
powerful and influential than in the great days of the schoolmen. 

14. As time went on, rich men gave lands and money to the 
universities to help forward poor students and unpopular studies. 
In particular, small societies were set up within the 
universities called colleges, where buildings were 

erected in which scholars could be supported while devoting them- 
selves to study. The first important college was Merton College at 
Oxford, set up by Walter of Merton, chancellor of Henry iii. In 
the fourteenth century there were many such foundations, both at 
Oxford and Cambridge. By this time the universities were losiug 
some of their first energy and freedom, but they still played a con- 
siderable part in the life of the nation. It was at Oxford that John 
Wyclifie first taught those new views about religion which were to 
make so great a stir aU over Christendom. But the times were not 
ripe for so thorough-going a reformer as Wyclifie, and the end of 
the fourteenth century saw the Church restored to much of its 
former power. 

15. Grothic architecture, Kke the universities, began in the 
twelfth century, and attained its full glory in the thirteenth. At 
first the English had built much upon the lines of Gothic 
those who had first created the Gothic style in Trance, archl- 

but under Henry iii. EngKsh Gothic struck out ways tectupe. 
of its own. The so-caUed Early English fashion of building, 
with its lancet windows, clustered shafts, scjuare east ends, and 
delicacy of detail is best exemplified iu Salisbury 
Cathedral, which altogether dates from the reign g^L^jj, 
of Henry iii. A comparison between it and the 
cathedral of Amiens, the chief work of contemporary French art, 
will well illustrate the difierenoe of plan and construction between 
English and French Gothic of the best period. Yet the French 
tastes of Henry in. have given us an opportunity of studying the 
French style in our own land. His favourite foundation of West- 
minster Abbey reproduced on English soil the towering loftiness, 
the vaulted roofs, the short choir, and the ring of absidal chapels 

'vIp ipinjiTBWiipip^ilijrT: i' - ' '', 


a. Anglo-Saxon. b. Norman. c. Early English, 

d. Geometrical Decorated. e. Flowing Decorated. f. Perpendicular. 

{From Parker's " Glossary of ArcKitecturs," 1850.) 


of the great Frencli minsters. As the century advanced some of 
the fashions of the French builders, notably as regards window- 
tracery, were taJsen up in England. The early days of 
Edward i. mark the beginning of the so-called Decorated "^°°^^'-^^- 
style. The earlier form of this, characterized by large windows 
adorned with elaborate tracery marked out in geometrical patterns, 
is well exemplified in the angel choir of Lincoln, built about 1280 
to contain the shrine of St. Hugh, who himself erected the westerly 
part of the choir of the same cathedral. Later Decorated is called 
flowing, because the patterns of the window-tracery take wavy or 
flowing lines, such as can be seen in the nave of York minster. 
In Exeter Cathedral, which is almost entirely of the Decorated 
period, we can best study the development in succession of both the 
geometrical and decorated types of tracery. Side by side with these 
changes, the building as a whole became more elaborately decorated, 
and the mouldings became enriched with carved flowers and delicate 
carved leafwork. As time went on the decoration became exces- 
sive, and masked or impaired the solidity of the constructive parts. 
When ornament thus became used for its own sake, 

Ann P617— 

the spirit of Gothic architecture was beginning to pendicular. 
decay. By the reign of Edward iii. the last and most 
peculiarly EngKsh type began. This is called the Perpendicular 
style, and is characterized by the great use made of right angles 
and upright lines, and in particular by the rigid and straight Knes 
of its window tracery. The arches became gradually flattened 
instead of pointed ; the windows and doors became square-headed ; 
and walls' were enriched by flat panelling instead of the arcading of 
the earlier styles. The earliest examples of Perpendicular are to 
be seen in the choir of Gloucester Cathedral and the nave of 
Winchester Cathedral, both buUt under Edward in., the latter by 
William of Wykeham. It is a noticeable feature of both these 
buildings that their architects did not erect them afresh, but recased 
and adapted the old Norman buildings, toning down and hiding 
the massive romanesque structure by their new work. 

16. Castle-building followed similar changes. The stern 
simplicity of the Norman castle had already given place to the 
newer style which began with Chateau- GaiEard in Normandy, and 
which is seen in its perfection in the castles such as •rj,e con- 
Carnarvon, Conway, Harlech, and Beaumaris, erected centple 
by Edward i. to ensure the subjection of the moun- castle, 
taineers of North Wales. The castles of this period were often biiilt 
after what is called the concentric fashion, and were characterized by 


auooessive lines of defence, each roughly radiating from a common 
centre. The keep, the special feature of Norman strongholds, was 
suppressed altogether, and replaced by many lofty towers erected 
along the lines of the successive circuits. The most perfect ex- 
ample of the type is perhaps found in the castle of CaerphiUy, erected 
by Grilbert, earl of Gloucester, Edward l.'s rival and son-in-law, in his 
Marcher lordship of Glamorgan. After this period castle-building, 
unlike church-building, became much less f req[uent. By the four- 
teenth century England had become so peaceable that noblemen 
had no longer any need to erect castles to live in, but could look to 
comfort and convenience as well as to safety from attack. The 
improved condition of society is seen in the greater stateliness and 
beauty of domestic and civil architecture, which were now far more 
important than in previous ages. 

17. Arms and armour became, like buildings, more complicated 
and costly. Great pains were taken to perfect the machines by 

which castles were assaulted, and ponderous instru- 
train and ments, such as the trebuchet, could hurl huge stones a 
the be- great distance by means of an elaborate system of 

ginnings puUeys and counterpoises. About the middle of the 

fourteenth century the use of gunpowder became 
known, and the earKest artillery was designed. These cannons were 
cumbrous and ineffective weapons, which, if sometimes dragged 
about on a campaign, as at Crecy, were more often used for siege 
purposes than in the open field. Armour changed greatly in 
character during the fourteenth century, as gradually solid plates 
of steel supplemented the chain-mail of the thirteenth century. 

The knight of the age of Edward in. covered his 
armour ""** "'^ ^^'^ with a breastplate of richly embossed and 

decorated steel, and wore brassards, cuissards,jamhards, 
and other plates of metal to protect his arms and legs. Over his 
armour he stUl donned a surcoat, which, having been long and 
loose in the thirteenth century, became short and close-fitting 
about the time of the advent of plate-armoux. On this and on 
his shield was embroidered or painted the knight's arms or device. 

Every knightly house possessed by the fourteenth 

century its hereditary arms, and a special science 
called heraldry grew up, which explained the differences between 

the arms of various noble families. The tournaments, 
ments. which, though condemned by the Church, remained 

very popular, kept the knight in exercise, and gave 
him chances of glory even in peace time. After Bannookburn 


and Creoy had rung the knell of the ancient fashion of fighting 
on horseback in the field, the old-fashioned tilting on horse- 
back with lances was still practised in the tournament. The 
tiltyard did much to spread the chivalry which was rj,jynirv 
so marked a feature of the age of Edward iii. This and the 
was further kept up by the orders of hnighthood, Orders of 
of which Edward's Order of the Garter was the first Knighthood, 
example. All knights belonged to an international brotherhood 
of arms, and if their pride of caste made them often contemptuous 
of the common people, it did good service in promoting kindly 
feeling between kings, barons, and simple country gentlemen. 
There was no royal caste in the fourteenth century, and the 
country squire, who was a knight, had much in common with his 
brother knight, the king or the great earl. Yet social distinctions 
no longer counted for much in serious warfare. The archer won 
battles more than the maU-olad knight and squire. 
Unlike the man-at-arms, the bowman went to the fight 
unprotected except by his steel cap and leather jerkin, and save for 
his long bow of yew and his arrows, a yard long, tipped vnth bright 
steel, his only weapons were his sword and buckler. The mobility 
thus gained compensated to some extent for the lack of protection 
afforded by body-armour. 

18. Much that we have described was common to all Western 
Christendom. Every country had its representative system of 
estates, its king and barons, its lawyers, churchmen, 
and friars. The universities knew no distinction of mopolitan 
nationality, and Gothic architecture, the baronial and the 
castle, the equipment of the warrior, and the brother- national 
hood of chivalry were shared equally by every nation 
with which Englishmen were brought into contact. Even the 
national movement was common to most of the kingdoms of the 
West, and the thirteenth century saw the growth of the Trench 
and Spanish as well as of the English and Scottish nations. Yet 
the result of the national movement was to separate one people 
from another, and with the fourteenth century a sharp line of 
demarcation began to be drawn between England and her neigh- 
botirs. The English and French states, very similar in the days 
of Edward I. and Philip the Eair, became quite different tinder 
Edward lii. and the early Yalois kings. The common English 
of the days of the Hundred Years' War hated the Trench with 
a hatred more deadly than was found among the cosmopolitan 
knightly class that took the lead in the fighting against the 


national enemy. In suet circumstances, though the bilingual 
habit long clave to the upper classes in England, the result of the 
process was in the long run the restoration of English to its 
position before the Conquest as the everyday language of all 
classes of Englishmen from king to peasant. Prom this flowed 
the marvellous development of English literature, which was one 
of the great features of the age of Edward in. 

19. The thirteenth century was not a very literary age. 
Though many books were written by Englishmen in Latin, French, 

and English, few of them had any serious pretensions 
lit t e ^° high literary rank. The grave Latin treatises 

produced by the scholars of the Universities was almost 
entirely destitute of any literary charm. It was a great age for 
science and philosophy, and men of learning cared nothing for the 
form of the matter that they produced in their books. The finest 
Latin literature was that of the chroniclers, and especially of the 
series of illustrious historians who made the Benediotine abbey of 
St. Albans the most continuous centre of historical composition in 

Britain. Of these, the best is Matthew Paris, who 
Paris'!^™ wrote the history of England up to 1258. He is, 

perhaps, the greatest historian of the Middle Ages, 
having a vivid though prolix style, a bold and independent judg- 
ment, an insatiable curiosity, and a sturdy English patriotism that 
makes him the forerunner of the national movements of the days 
of three Edwards. As the schoolmen became more powerful, even 
historical literature began to decline, and the chroniclers of the 
reign of Edward i. are but sorry successors to those of the days of 
Henry ii. and Henry iii. Things became better under Edward in., 
but for the most artistic presentations of that famous reign, we 
must go to those who wrote in French rather than in Latin. 

20. Never was French more used or better written in England 
than in the days of Henry in., in which reign French words first 

began to be used freely in the English language, which 
literature. since the Norman conquest had stubbornly refused 

them admission. Moreover, public proclamations and 
official letters, hitherto mainly issued in Latin, are often published 
in French, which by the time of the Hundred Tears' War began to 
rival Latin as the international tongue of the statesmen, diploma- 
tists, and lawyers. It also remained the most usual language in 
which men composed the light literature of song, romance, and 
chronicle, which was written to amuse the upper classes. The most 
vivid description of Edward nj.'s reign was written in French by 


the Hainault clerk, Joka Froissart, who spent many years at the 
court of his patroness and compatriot, Queen Philippa. Froissart 
had no care for accuracy, and was blind to the deeper john 
movements of the time; but in wealth of detail, in Froissart, 
literary charm and colour, and in genial appreciation 1 333-? 1404. 
of the externals of his age, he was unsurpassed. Nowhere else can 
be read so -vivid a picture of the courts, battles, tournaments, and 
feasts of the knights and barons of the Hundred Years' War. 

21. English literature was mainly represented during the thir- 
teenth century by a great mass of translations and adaptations, 
which showed that there was a public ready to read 
vernacular books, but not at home in the French literature 
language. Few continuous works of high merit were in the 
as yet written in the native tongue, but much evidence thirteenth 
of deep feeling and careful art lay hidden away in 
half -forgotten and anonymous lyrics, satires, and romances. The 
language in which these works were written was steadily becoming 
more like our modem EngKsh. The dialectical differences became 
less acute; the inflections began to drop away; the vocabulary 
gradually absorbed a large ronnance (French and Latin) element, and 
the prosody abandoned the forms of the West Saxon period for 
measures that show a close connection with the con- 
temporary poetry of France. With the age of literature 
Edward ni., the time of triiunphant English nation- in the 
ality, a really great literature in English was written, fourteenth 
While the Frenchman Froissart was the chief ''^"''"''y- 
literary figure of Edward lii.'s court in the middle period of his 
reign, his place during the last few years of it was occupied by 
Geoffrey Chaucer, the first real poet of the English Geoffrey 
literary revival. The son of a substantial London Chaucer, 
vintner, Chaucer held minor oifices at court, took part ' 1340-1400. 
in the several campaigns of the Hundred Years' War, and served 
in diplomatic missions to Italy, Flanders, and elsewhere. His early 
poems reflected the modes and metres of the current French tradition 
in an English dress. His Italian mission may have first introduced 
him to the famous Italian poets — Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio — 
whose works he admired and copied. In his Canterbury Tales, he 
produced the most consummate work which any Englishman ever 
wrote before the Elizabethan age. Though he was a court poet, 
writing to amuse lords and ladies, he depicted every phase of English 
life with unrivalled insight, knowledge of character, delicacy of 
humour, and profound literary art. 


22. Chaucer wrote in the tongiie of the southern Midlands, the 
region wherein were situated his native London.the two TJniTersities, 
The be- ^^® habitual residences of the court, the chief seats of 
ginnings parliaments and councils, and the most frequented 
of standard resorts of commerce. The later Middle English which 
English. Yig, used prepared the way for the Modern English of 
the sixteenth century. For the first time, a standard English 
language, the King's English, came into being, which largely dis- 
placed for literary purposes the local dialects which had hitherto 
been the natural vehicles for writing. The dialect of the south, 
the descendant of the tongue of the West Saxon court, became the 
language of peasants and artisans. That a greater future remained 
to the idiom of the north country was due to its becoming the 
speech of a free Scotland, the language in which John Barbour, 
archdeacon of Aberdeen, commemorated for the court of David 11. 
and Robert 11. the exploits of Robert Bruce and the heroes of 
the Scottish war of independence. The unity of England thus 
found another notable expression in the oneness of the popular 
speech, while the development of the northern dialect into the 
Lowland Scottish of a separate kingdom showed that,if England were 
united, English-speaking Britain remained divided against itself. 

23. Froissart and Chaucer show us the bright sides of the 
England of Edward iii. The social and economic troubles of the 
William years of strain and stress that succeeded the Black 
Langland, Death are shown in the Vision of Piers Plowman, the 
1330-1400. -w^ork of WiUiam Langland, a man from the March 
of Wales, who spent his Ufe mainly in London, and wrote in the 
language of the city of his adoption. His vigorous and purposeful 
verses set closely before us the miseries of the poor, the corruptions 
of the Church, the greediness of the lords and ladies, the unrest and 
discontent of the labouring classes, and the bitter indignation of 
the masses against the old social order which found its fullest 
expression in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. Though written in 
archaic diction and in the ancient alliterative metre, Langland, 
even more than Chaucer, reflected the modernity of his age. A 
John Wy- stiU more modern note was sounded by John WycUfie, 
eliSfe, 1384, the first Englishman to lead a revolt against the 
beeinnlriK teachings of the mediaeval Church. WycHfEe's early 
of modern writings were in Latin, and are altogether technical 
English and scholastic in their character. When, after the 
ppose. outbreak of the papal schism, he became an avowed 
heretic, he saw that it was not enough to have doctors and thiukers 


oa his side, but that he must make an appeal to the people of Eng- 
land. Accordingly he began to employ the English tongue, and, 
Torkshireman though he was, he wrote in the southern language of 
London and Oxford rather than in the dialect of his native north. 
In pithy Tigorous tracts and sermons, he strove to take the English 
people into partnership with him in his war against the old Church. 
Above aU, he inspired his followers to undertake a translation of 
the Bible into English, and probably carried out a part of the work 
■ with his own hands. WycUffe's English Bible, extensively cir- 
culated by his poor priests and other Lollard teachers, became 
widely read and eagerly studied. It stands to English prose as 
Chaucer's poetry stands to English verse. With these works the 
future of the English tongue was finally fixed, and in them the 
national movement of the fourteenth century found its fullest and 
completest expression. 

Books recommended for the Further Study of the Period 

The first four reigns of this period are covered by Tout's Bistort/ of 
England, 1216-1377 (Longmans' ' Political History of England," vol. iii.), and 
that of Richard ii.'s, by Oman's History of England, 1377-1485 ("Political 
History of England," vol. iv.). Stubbs' Constitutional History, vol. ii., 
exactly includes this portion of our history. Ecclesiastical History may be 
studied the later part of W. E. W. Stephens' History already referred to, 
and its continuation W. W. Capes' History of the English Church in the 
Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, For particular points the following may 
be consulted: G. W. Prothero's, or Charles Be'mont's Simon de Montfort 
(the latter in French) ; Little's Mediceval Wales; 0. M. Edwards'' Wales 
',(" Story of the Nations") ; Tout's Edward I. (Macmillan'a "Twelve English 
Statesmen'); Warburton's Age of Edward III. (Longmans' "Epochs of 
Modem History") ; E. L. Poole's Wydiffe (Longmans' " Epochs of Church 
History ") ; and G. M. Trevelyan's England in the Age of Wydiffe. The latter 
part of Miss Bateson's Mediceval England (" Story of the Nations ") illustrates 
the social history, for which also Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, 
and G. C. Macaulay's abridgment of Frolssart'S Chronicle in English (Mac- 
millan's " Globe Series "), may most profitably be consulted. Jusserand's 
English Wayfaring Life in the Fourteenth Century (translated by Lucy T. 
Smith), and the same writer's Piers Plowman, throw light on important aspects 
of the time. Cunningham's Growth of English Industry and Commerce : Middle 
Ages, shows the industrial development of the period. 














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HENRY IV. (1399-1413) 

Chief Dates : 

1399. Accession of Henry IV. / 

1400. Eevolt of Owen Glendower. 

1401. Statute de heretico comburendo, 
1403. Battle of Shrewsbury, 

1408. Battle of Bramham Moor. 
1413. Death of Henry iv. 

1. The Lancastrian reyolution of 1399 marks the end of tlie 
period which, had opened with the granting of Magna Carta and 
the begumings of the parliamentary system. That time had seen 
the growth of our system of limited monarchy and parliamentary 
control, and strong kings like Edward in. had sought to evade 
rather than deny their constitutional restrictions. Alone of the 
fourteenth-century kings, Eichard 11. had striven to break down 
the constitution and make himseM a despot. On his utter failure, 
the throne passed to the man whose previous career and ancestry 
alike compelled him to accept the constitution and rule England 
as a limited monarch. With Henry iv.'s succession, TheCon- 
the constitutional opposition, whose claims had so often stitutional 
been upheld by the House of Lancaster, motinted the Revolution 
throne. No one could be deceived either by Henry's oil399. 
pretence to inherit the throne from Henry in. or by his claim to 
possess it by right of conc[uest. The son of John of Gaunt was 
not even the nearest heir to Richard by blood, and the deposed 
king had acknowledged the earl of March, the grandson of Lionel of 
Clarence, as presumptive successor to the crown. But the growth 
of the parliamentary system had made the hereditary element less 


256 HENRY IV. [1399- 

important than ever. Henry owed his throne to the choice of par- 
liament, which sainted in him the avenger of the Lords Appellant, 
and expected him. to rule after a constitutional fashion. The first 
result of the revolution, then, was to secure the triumph of the 
constitutional cause. Henry iv.'s parliaments forced him to redress 
their grievances before they would grant him supplies, and under 
him the House of Commons secured for all time the exclusive right 
of initiating taxation. On more than one occasion the Commons 
forced him to nominate his council in parliament. If this custom 
had become permanent, his reign would have anticipated the modern 
system of cabinet government, by which the ministers, formally 
chosen by the king, are really subject to the approval of parliament. 
Moreover, not only Henry iv., but his son and grandson also ruled 
after this constitutional fashion. Under the Lancastrian kings the 
parliament attained the greatest power that it ever secured before 
quite modern times. 

2. Richard 11. had been careless of the Church as well as 
neglectful of the constitution. Under him LoUardy grew, though 
Th e le ^® ^^® ^^ LoUard; and he was bitterly opposed 
slastleal to the orthodox constitutional prelates, whose in- 
reaotion fluence had so long been thrown into the side of the 
of 1399. opposition. With Henry of Lancaster archbishop 
Arundel came back to England, and was restored to the throne of 
Canterbury. He was the strongest of the conservative prelates of 
his time, and soon made his influence felt against heretics and 
enemies of the Church. Moreover, Henry iv., a crusader in his 
youth, was the most devout and orthodox of kings. The result 
was that the Lancastrian revolution was as much an orthodox 
reaction from the lax and anti-clerical spirit that had prevailed at 
Richard's court, as it was a constitutional reaction from the late 
king's despotic ways. The change which secured the rights of 
parliament brought about the decline and fall of LoUardy. In 1401 
Archbishop Arundel carried through parliament a statute for the 
burning of heretics ((£e heretieo combwrendo), by which persons con- 
demned in the Church courts for false teaching were handed over to 
the sheriff of the county to be burnt alive. The first victim of the 
new policy was a Lollard priest named Sawtre. Before the king 
died, LoUardy had produced many martyrs ; and Wycliffe's teaching- 
was not firmly enough rooted to endure the fires of persecution. 

3. It was easier for Henry iv. to win the throne than to keep 
it. AU through his reign he was beset by troubles on every side. 
The enoroaohments of his parliaments and the resistance of the 

-I402-] HENRY IV. 


Lollards were not the worst of his diffiotdties. He had to face 
a constant series of conspiracies and revolts at home, the persistent 
hostility of the chief foreign powers, and the nnending „ 
jealousies of rival court factions. Though he had charaetep^ 
stooped to acts of treachery and violence, he was on and 
the whole a high-minded and well-meaning man, and "I'ffleultles. 
the death of Richard sat heavily upon his conscience. Though in 
the end he overcame his worst troubles, he wore himself out in the 

4. After the accession of the new king, parliament reversed the 
acts of the Parliament of 1397, and Eichard's friends were deprived 
of their new titles and estates. In disgust at this, the 
partisans of the late king formed a plot against his °?^* °' j 
successor. Their plan was to meet at Windsor on 

Twelfth Night, 1400, on pretence of holding a tournament. Then 
they were to seize the king and put him to death, and restore 
Richard to the throne. The design was betrayed, and the chief con- 
spirators fled to Cirencester, where the townsfolk forced them to 
surrender. The only important result of the conspiracy was that 
it taught Henry the danger of allowing Richard to remain alive. 
A short tune after its failure it was announced that Richard was 
dead at Pontef ract. 

5. Serious trouble soon broke out in Wales, where Richard's 
party was still strong, and where the tradition of national inde- 
pendence stiU Ungered. Difficulties began in a dis- 
pute between the Marcher baron. Lord Grey of Ruthin, ?,^®" 

- » J » Glendower. 

and a neighbouring Welsh landlord, Owen ap Griffith, 

lord of Glyndyvrdwy, on the upper Dee, commonly called Owen 

of Glendower. Grey had taken possession of certain lands which 

Owen claimed, and Owen, being refused all redress by the English 

law courts, recovered the districts by force of arms. His private 

war against Grey soon grew into a formidable rebellion. Before 

long Owen assumed the title of Prince of Wales, and set vigorously 

to work to restore the independence of his country. Every part of 

Wales rallied round him. Many of the castles of the king and his 

Marcher lords fell into his hands, and two expeditions led by 

Henry in person against him proved utter failures. At last, in 

1402, he occupied Ruthin, and took Grey, his enemy, prisoner into 

Snowdon. A few months later he defeated Sir Edmund Mortimer, 

a grandson of Lionel of Clarence, and uncle of Edmund, earl of 

March, at Pilleth, near Radnor, and also took him prisoner. A 

third royal expedition to Wales was as xmsuccessful as the two 


258 HENRY IV. [1403- 

previous ones. On Henry's retirement, Mortimer made peace 
with Owen, and married his daughter. It was now given out that 
the object of the allies was to restore King Richard if he were 
aliye, and, if not, to procure the accession of the earl of March, 
under whom Owen was to reign as prince of Wales. This union of 
the Welsh and the Mortimers threatened alike the English power 
in Wales and Henry's position iu England. 

6. Henry iv. was the less able to grapple with the Welsh revolt 
siuce foreign powers regarded him. with great hostility. The 
Revolt of French long refused to recognize him as king, and 
the Pepcles, there were fierce disputes about the return of Queen 
1403. Isabella, Kichard's widow, to France. The Scots were 
eciually hostile, and in 1402 invaded England, but were defeated by 
Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, at Swnibleton, where many 
Scottish lords were taken prisoners. Northumberland and the 
Percies had materially helped to gain Henry Ms throne, but they 
were discontented that the king allowed them less power than 
they had hoped, and threw a large share of the trouble and expense 
of fighting the Scotch and Welsh on to their hands. Northumber- 
land's son, Henry Percy, called Hotspur, by reason of his rash 
valour, was the brother-in-law of Edmund Mortimer, and was 
induced by him to make common cause with the Welsh. At last, 
in 1403, the Percies made peace with the Scots, rose suddenly 
against the king, and marched from the north to join the Welsh 
and the Mortimers. Henry resolved to crush the rebeUion before 
the Welsh and Percies united their forces, and was helped in this 
by Grlendower rashly choosing this moment to extend his power 
into South Wales. When Hotspur approached Shrewsbury on his 
way to join Owen, he found that the Welsh were far away, and 
that the border city was occupied by the king with a strong force. 
On July 21, the battle of Shrewsbury was fought at Berwick, three 
miles to the north of the town, on a site since marked by the 
church of Battlefield, erected by Henry in commemoration of the 
victory which he won. Hotspur was slain, his uncle, the earl of 
Worcester, and his ally, the Scotch earl of Douglas, were taken 
prisoners. A few weeks later Northumberland, who had remained 
in his Yorkshire estates, made his submission. For the moment 
the English rebellion seemed suppressed. 

7. Owen Glendower stiU remained in arms. A fourth expedi- 
tion of Henry proved as unsuccessful as the rest. Owen now made 
an alliance with the French, and a French fleet came to Carmarthen 
Bay to help him. He summoned a Welsh parliament, and 

-i408.] HENRY IV. 259 

transferred his obedience from the Roman pope acknowledged in 

England, to the Avignon pope recognized by the French. In 

1406 his cause was helped by a second revolt of - „j , 
-XT J.T. 1 1 n mi Gpattual 

JN orthTunberland. Thereupon Owen, Mortimer, and collapse 

Northumberland made a treaty by which they divided of the 
England iato three parts, of which each confederate '''^*°ss. 
took one as his share. Meanwhile Henry's troops put down 
Northumberland's rising at Shipton Moor, in. Yorkshire. North- 
umberland escaped, but Archbishop Sorope of York, who had 
joined him, was taken prisoner and executed, with complete dis- 
regard to the immunity of the Church from secular jurisdiction. 
Northumberland fled to Scotland, but in 1408 he once more 
appeared in the north, and again rallied a force round Mm. He 
was again defeated, at Bramham, Moor, in Yorkshire, and perished 
in the conflict. After his death Henry had no more trouble with 
his English enemies. Even Owen Glendower gradually began to 
lose ground. The king's son, Henry, prince of Wales, bit by bit 
conquered all southern and central Wales. However, Owen held 
out manfully in the north, and was still in arms at Henry iv.'s death. 
He was no longer a prince, but a fugitive in the mountains. In 
the days of his prosperity he had shown wonderful courage and 
skiU both in fighting the English and in building up his new 
principality. He now showed even more rare gifts in bravely 
coping with adversity. It was no wonder that he became the 
great hero of his countrymen. Wales was, however, once more in 
English hands, and stern laws kept its people in subjection. 

8. As Henry's domestic diflculties decreased, he gradually 
became able to take up a firmer position abroad. In 1406 a 
piece of good luck saved bim from further difficulties 
with the Scots. In that year James, the son of and^an'ee 
Robert lii., king of Scots, was captured by English 
sailors off Plamborough Head, as he was on his way to be edu- 
cated at the French court. Within a few months his father's 
death made Henry's captive king James I. He remained for 
nineteen years a prisoner in England, where his presence was 
a guarantee that the Soots could not infiict much harm on 
England. Henry was equally lucky in his dealings with France, 
when king Charles vi., Richard ll.'s father-in-law, went mad and 
was quite unable to restrain the fierce faction fights that now 
broke out between the two parties of the Burgv/ndians and the 
Armagnacs. The former faction was headed by the king's cousin, 
John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy and count of Flanders, who 

260 HENRY IV. [1406- 

was not only the mightiest noble in France but also aspired to the 
position of an independent prince. The rival party of the 
Armagnaos was led by the count of Armagnao, one of the greatest 
of the feudal lords of the south. The disputes between them soon 
reduced France to such a low condition that Henry had nothing 
more to fear from her hostility. Towards the end of his reign he 
was able to revenge himself for the French help given to Glen- 
dower by sending expeditions to France. These forces at one time 
helped the Armagnaos, at another the Burgundians, and thus 
increased the confusion in that country. 

9. Thus, after long struggles, Henry iv. established himself 
securely in his throne. But he wore himself out in the conflict. 
The Beau- ^^^ after 1406 was a broken-down invalid. His un- 
fopts and fitness to govern gave opportunity for court factions 
the prince to revive and struggle for power. Archbishop Arundel, 
01 Wales. ^jj^Q jj^^^ long been Henry's chief minister, represented 
the traditions of the Lords Appellant and the old constitutional 
party. He found bitter enemies in the Beauf orts, the half-brothers 
of the king. The Beauforts were the sons of John of Gaunt by 
Catharine Swynford, who became the duke's third wife after their 
birth. This marriage gave an excuse for Richard 11. legitimatizing 
Catharine's children, but Henry iv., when he confirmed this act, 
provided that they should not be regarded as competent to succeed 
to the throne. The eldest of the brothers, John, became earl of 
Somerset, while Henry became bishop of Winchester, and Thomas, 
the third, succeeded Arundel as chancellor in 1410. The Beauforts 
upheld the tradition of the courtiers with whom John of Gaunt 
had himself so long been associated. They had a powerful ally in 
Henry, prince of Wales, a high-spirited and able young man, 
who, when very young, had won much credit by the share he took 
in putting down the Welsh rising, but had caused some scandal by 
his wild and injudicious pursuit of amusement during his scan<7 
leisure. The prince was ambitious, and showed an eager desire to 
profit by his father's illness to get power into his own hands. 
Against him and the Beauforts Arundel strove to uphold the per- 
sonal authority of the sick king. The archbishop's dismissal and his 
replacement by Sir Thomas Beaufort was the work of the prince. It 
Death of ■"'as believed that the prince wished to procure his 
Henry IV., father's abdication, and the king was bitterly wounded 
1413. byhis son's conduct. Recovering his health somewhat, 

Henry restored Arundel to the chancellorship. Soon afterwards he 
grew Fprse again, and died in 1413, when only forty-six years of age. 











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Chief Dates : 

1413. Accession of Henry v 

1414. Oldcastle's Rising. 

1415. Battle of Agincourt. 
1417. End of the Papal Schism. 

1419. Conquest of Rouen. 

1420. Treaty of Troyes. 
1422. Death of Henry v. 

1. Henry v. was crowned king on Palm Sunday, 1413. '• As soon 
as he was crowned," wrote a chronicler, "suddenly he was 
Early changed into a new man, and all Ms intention was to 

measures of live virtuously." He had not shown much good 
Henry V. feeKng in his relations to his father, hut he was now 
eager to set his past aside, and to rule wisely as the chosen king of 
the whole nation. He strove to bury the old feuds by releasing his 
rival, the earl of March, from prison, and by erecting a sumptuous 
monument over the remains of Richard 11. in Westminster Abbey. 
In his anxiety to put a complete end to the Welsh revolt, he ofEered 
to pardon all the Welsh in arms against him, including Owen 
Glendower himself. This prudent policy proved completely suc- 
cessful. Owen scorned to accept pardon from his supplanter, and 
remained unconquered among the mountains. His followers, 
however, made their submission, and, on the chieftain's death soon 
afterwards, the Welsh troubles were completely ended. 

2. The only thing which Henry did that showed any spirit of 
revenge was his removal of Archbishop Arundel from the chancery. 

Henry Beaufort became chancellor in the archbishop's 
and the place, and remained the new king's chief adviser. 

Lollard Henry, however, continued to work cordially with 

1414,^' Arundel, especially when the archbishop attacked the 

Lollards. The most powerful supporter of the 
Lollards was Sir John Oldcastle, a knight from the Welsh March, 
who had become Lord Cobham by his marriage with a Kentish 
heiress. He was an old friend of the king, and had fought under 
him in several campaigns, but Henry's iierce orthodoxy made him 

1414] HENRY V. 263 

regardless o£ personal ties when he had to deal with heretics. 
Oldoastle was arrested, and convicted of heresy before Archbishop 
Arundel. Soon after his condemnation Oldcastle escaped from the 
Tower, and neither king nor archbishop could find out his hiding- 
place. The Lollards had long suffered severely from persecution, 
and in the fall of their leader their last hopes seemed to have 
vanished. In their despair they formed a plot to capture the king 
at Eltham, while a LoUard mob mustered in St. Giles' Tields, 
to the west of London, and sought to divert attention from the 
attack on Henry by an assault on the city. Henry's pi-omptitude 
easily frustrated the conspiracy. He left Eltham for London, and 
shut himself with an armed force within the capital. Next morn- 
ing, January 12, 1414, he surrounded the LoUard gathering at St. 
Giles' Fields, and easily frustrated their designs. Oldcastle fled to 
the March of Wales, where he lay hiding till 1417, when he was 
captured, taken to London, and hung as a traitor. With his execu- 
tion LoUardy almost disappeared from history. Though the LoUard 
leaders had shown great constancy in persecution, they were too 
few in numbers and held too extreme views to have much influence 
over the nation at large. Within a generation the LoUards were 
almost extinct. Thus the orthodoxy of the Lancastrian kings 
secured a complete triumph. 

3. Henry v. was above aU things a soldier, and his chief anxiety 
was to revive the foreign poUoy of Edward ill. He had good 
reason to resent the hostility of France to the House gengwal of 
of Lancaster, and the deplorable state of anarchy into the claim to 
which France had now fallen offered him a temptation, the French 
which he made no effort to resist, to profit by French '"•'°"®' 
misfortunes. His first parliament agreed with him that he 
should renew Edward in.'s claim to the French throne, though, 
even if Edward lli.'s title to France had been a just one, the heir 
of it was not the king, but the earl of March. Parliament made 
Henry a Uberal grant of money to enable him to enforce his claim. 
Besides this, it passed an act whereby the alien priories — ^that is, 
the smaU monasteries of foreign monks estabUshed on the EngUsh 
estates of French houses of religion — should be suppressed, lest the 
foreign inmates should send English money out of the country to be 
employed in making war against England. This law is worth 
remembering, because it marks the first occasion on which parlia- 
ment ventured to suppress reUgious houses and lay hands upon the 
property of the Church. Orthodox as were Henry and his parlia- 
ment, they had no great love of extreme ecclesiastical pretensions. 




4. In tte summer of 1415, Henry went down to Sonthampton 
to embark with his army to Prance. His departure was delayed 
Thefi t ^y *^® iasm& that his cousin Richard, earl of Cam- 
expedition bridge, the son of Edmund, duke of York, had joined 
to France, a plot to deprive the king of his throne, in favour of 
**^^" Edmund, earl of March, whose sister, Ajone, he had 

married. Earl Edmund, however, repaid Henry's generosity by 
refusing to join the conspirators, and repeating all that he knew to 
the king. Cambridge was arrested, and condemned to immediate 
execution, and March himself sat among his brother-in-law's 


EmerrValfccr :c. 

judges. Immediately afterwards the king and his troops crossed 
over to France, landing at the mouth of the Seine. 

5. In France, Henry's first step was to besiege Harfleiu', a town 
which was then the chief port on the north bank of the estuary. 

Harfleur made a heroic resistance, and the English 
Harfleur* ° suffered greatly from sickness during the long siege. 

When, late in September, the place at last surrendered, 
Henry's army was so much weakened that all he could do was to 
march northwards to Calais, by as direct a road as lay open to him. 
He proceeded along the Norman coast as far as the Lower Somme, 
where he reached the ford of Blanchetaciue, which Edward in. had 
crossed in 1346. There, however, he found that the French held 


the bank with such force that it was dangerous to attempt the 
passage. Acoordiagly, he marched past AbbeTille and Amiens, 
up the left bank of the Somme, which he at last succeeded in 
crossing a little higher up than Peronne. Here he again resumed 
his northward progress, which was uninterrupted untU he had safely 
crossed the Ternoise at Blangy, between Saint-Pol and Hesdin. 
Once over the river, he climbed up through narrow and deep-sunk 
lanes to the plateau which lies north of the stream, and took up 
his quarters at the viLLage of MaisonoeUes. There he perceived 
that his further movements was blocked by a great French army, 
which held the flat upland immediately to his north, between 
the villages of Trameoourt and Agineourt, now called Azincourt, 
whose hedges and enclosures formed natural limits to the battle 
ground to the oast and west. 

6. The war-worn English army had now the alternative of 
retreating, or of cutting its way through the superior forces of the 
enemy. Henry at once resolved to engage in bdttle, and The battle 
his soldier's eye saw at once that the narrow plateau on of Agin- 
which the French had elected to fight did not give court, 
them room enough to employ their superior numbers to advantage. 
By the morning of October 25, his troops were ready to fight a 
defensive battle after the accustomed fashion. Archers and men- 
at-arms were alike dismounted, and the former, placed on the wings 
of each of the three divisions of the army, provided themselves with 
stakes to form a palisade to protect them from the French charge. 
For some time they waited, hoping that the eneony would attack, 
but instead of this the French withdrew somewhat to the north. 
Thereupon Henry ordered the English to advance, and take up a new 
position between Agineourt and Tramecourt, within bowshot of 
the foe. This act of daring stirred up the f'rench to make their 
long-deferred attack. The bulk of their army was also dismounted, 
but cavalry forces occupied each wing, and these, galled by the 
English arrows, advanced, in the hope of riding down the English 
archers. Protected by their palisades, the English bowmen made 
light of the assault, and soon the French horsemen were retreating 
in confusion. By this time the French men-at-arms had drawn near 
to the English centre. The soft ground was muddy from recent 
rain, and the heavily armoured French, assailed by the archers on 
their flanks, found their action much impeded. Seeing that the 
enemy's forward movement was checked, the archers, flushed with 
victory, abandoned the palisades, and fell on the French with 
sword, axe, and mallet in flank and rear. Before long the whole 




Frenoh army was thrown into hopeless confusion, and the English, 
with slight loss, won an OTerwhehning victory. Next day, the 
conquerors renewed their march for Calais, and, within a few 
weeks, Henry marched in triumph through Londsn. 

dotted lines mark the hedges enclosing the villages ■ 

7. Agiuoourt won for Henry as great a position in Europe as 
ever Edward in. had enjoyed. One good result that flowed from 
The Council ^'^ 'vrzs,, that Henry was able to use his influence to 
put an end to the deplorable schism in the papacy, 
which, since 1378, had scandalized aU Europe. The 
Emperor Sigismund was very anxious to restore unity 
to the Church, but the first efforts to promote it had 
had the unfortunate result that a third pope was elected 
while the other two popes still remained in office. Sigismund visited 
England, where Henry gave him a royal welcome. Thaitks largely 
to their efforts, a General Council of the Chxirch met at Constance. 
At first, it seemed likely that the enmity of France and England 
would make peace hopeless among the assembled coTinciUors ; but 
at last the union of the English and Germans resulted in the 
deposition of all three popes, and the appointment of Martin v., a 
new pope whom aE. Europe recognized. The oouncU also tried to 

of Con- 
stance, and 
the end of 
the Schism 
in the 

■1420.] HENRY V. 267 

remedy the abuses of the Church. In this it was not very 
successful; but it burnt John Huss, a professor of the univer- 
sity of Prague, ia Bohemia, who had studied Wycliffe's writings, 
and had striven to establish ia his own land the views that the 
LoUards had upheld ia England. Thus the teaching of WyoHfEe 
was condemned on the Continent as well as in England. The 
Hussites, though they made a brave fight, were put down Uke the 
LoUards, and the orthodox party triumphed everywhere. 

8. The battle of Agincourt had not restilted in the capture of a 
siagle castle, and from 1415 to 1417 all the lands held by the 
English in northern France were Calais and Harfleur. ^j^g ^gj,. 
Hariieur itself, which Henry wished to make a second quest of 
Calais, was ia some danger. However, in 1417, Henry Normandy, 
led a second expedition into Prance, with which he set ~ ' 

to work to effect the conquest of Normandy. He met with fierce 
resistance at every step, but persevered with such energy, that, by 
1419, nearly the whole of the duchy was in his hands. The last 
place of importance that resisted hiTin was Eouen, which surrendered 
early in 1419, after a long and famous siege, which tried the skill and 
endurance of Henry's soldiers far more than the fight at Agincourt. 

9. Burgundians and Armagnaos continued their feuds even 
when the enemy was conquering their native country, and it was 
not untU all Normandy was in English hands that the i^^q treaty 
two factions made an effort to unite against the ofTpoyes, 
invader. At last, however, it was arranged that 1*20. 
Charles, dauphin of Vienne, the mad king's eldest son, who 
now led the Armagnaos, should hold a conference with Duke 
John of Burgundy, at Montereau on the Tonne. The meeting took 
place on the bridge, and was signalized by the treacherous murder 
of the duke by the Armagnaos. A great wave of feeUng now 
turned aU northern Prance from the bloodthirsty Armagnaos. 
Philip the Good, Duke John's son and successor, at once made a 
treaty of alliance with the English. Paris, where Burgundian 
feeling was very strong, gladly followed his lead, and in 1420 the 
treaty erf Troyes was signed between Henry and his French allies, 
by which the foreign invader assumed the new character of the 
partisan of the Burgundian faction. By it, Henry was to marry 
Catharine, the daughter of the mad King Charles vi., and to govern 
Prance, as regent, for the rest of his father-in-law's life. On 
Charles's death, Henry and his heirs were to succeed to the 
French throne, it being only stipulated that France should stiU be 
ruled by French laws and by French councillors. So bitter was 

268 HENRY V. [1421- 

the feeling' against the dauphin, that a large number of Frenchmen, 
and most Parisians, gladly welcomed the victor of Agincourt as 
their ruler. English arms had won Henry only one glorious Tictory 
and one proTince. The Burgundian alliance now opened up the 
prospect of his ruling over aU Prance. 

10. The treaty of Troyes was largely accepted in the north. 
However, south of the Loire, where Armagnac feeling predomi- 
The battle nated, Charles the Dauphin was still recognized, and 
of BaugS, Henry's pretensions were rejected. While Henry re- 
**^*- turned to England with his new queen, his brother 
Thomas, duke of Clarence, strove to extend the sphere of Anglo- 
Burgundian influence in Central France. In 1421 Clarence was 
defeated and slain, at Bauge, by a force of French and Scots. 

11. It was clear that much fighting would take place before 
the treaty of Troyes could be carried out. Henry at once led 

a third expedition into France, taking with him the 
pedition captive king of Scots in the hope that the Scots 

and death of would hesitate to fight against their own sovereign. 
^loo^ ^" Henry was welcomed by the Parisians as their future 

king, and had made some progress with his difficult 
task, when he was carried off by disease, at Vincennes, in August, 
1422, when only thirty-five years of age, and before disaster had 
checked his wonderful career of conquest. He was one of the 
greatest of our kings, an admirable soldier, an able general, a 
wise and conciliatory statesman, and a highminded, honourable 
gentleman. He was strict, austere, grave, and cold. His inten- 
tions were good, but he wanted insight, sympathy, and imagination. 
He found it easy to persuade himself that whatever he wished to 
do was right. Thus he was profoundly convinced that his pursuit 
of power and glory flowed altogether from his conviction of the 
lawfulness of his claims to the French crown. He was, however, 
wonderfully efficient in carrying out anything that he undertook. 
Though he could be cruel to those who stood across his path, he 
was, for the most part, a lover of justice, a kind master, merciful 
to defeated foes, and careful of the comfort and well-being of his 
soldiers and subjects. His piety was sincere, but showed an un- 
lovely side in his harshness to the Lollards. He was the only strong 
and popular king of the house of Lancaster, and Englishmen 
trusted him so entirely that he could afford to play the part of 
a constitutional ruler, since his parliaments always gave him all 
that he asked for. His glory, undimmed during his life, shone 
with even brighter lustre through the disasters of the next reign. 






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HENRY VI. (1422-1461) 

Chief Dates: 

1422. Accession of Henry vi. 

1429. Relief of Orleans. 

1431. Death of Joan of Arc. 

1435. Congress of Arras. 

1444. Truce of Tours. 

1447. Deaths of Gloucester and Henry Beaufort. 

1450. Revolt of Cade. 

1453. Battle of Castillon. 

14SS. Battle of St. Albans. 

1460. York claims the throne ; battle of Wakefield. 

1461. Deposition of Henry vi. 

1. On Henry v.'s death, Ms only son, a baby nine montlos old, 
succeeded liim as Henry vi. A few weeks later the little king's 
grandfather, Charles vi., died also. Henry was thereupon proclaimed 
Reeencvof ^^S oi Prance as well as England. It was hard 
Bedford enough, under any circumstances, to carry out the 

established, conditions of the treaty of Troyes, and this policy had 
now to be executed under the special difficulties of a 
long minority iu both realms. The English parliament made 
Henry's elder uncle, John, duke of Bedford, protector of Eng- 
land, and the king's chief councillor; but as John also became 
regent of France, it was provided that, in Ms absence, his younger 
brother, Humphrey, duke of Grloucester, should hold Ms English 
office. In reality, the royal power was put into the hands of the 
council," of wMch Grloucester was little more than the president. 

2. Bedford was a true brother of Henry v., and showed rare 
skill, devotion, and magnanimity in carrying out the hopeless 
,. ,, task wMch lay before him. He was wise enough to 
work in see that the only chance of making Ms nephew king 

France, of France lay in close alliance with Philip the Good 

1422-1428. g^jj^ ^jjg Biirgundian party. He showed such loyalty 
to Ms allies that, in Paris and aU other districts of northern 

I426-] HENRY VI. 27 1 

France where the Burgundians were influential, his nephew was 
accepted as king without difficulty. He further strengthened his 
position by an alliance with the duke of Brittany, who, after 
Biu'gundy, was the most powerful of the great French feudatories. 
All his exertions could not, however, prevent the proclamation of 
the dauphin as Charles vil. in central and southern France ; and, 
south of the Loire, the only district that acknowledged Henry as 
king was the scanty remnant of the English duchy of Aquitaine. 
Charles vii. was, however, hated for his share in the tragedy 
at Montereau; and his self-indulgent, lazy, and unenterprising 
character made him ill-fitted to play the part of a patriot king. 
His enemies called him, in derision, the " king of Bourges," and 
he seldom went far from the region of the middle Loire, where 
his best friends were to be found. Bedford and Burgundy 
now sought to extend their power. In 1423 they defeated the 
Armagnacs at Cravant, near Auxerre, in Burgundy, and in 1424 
won another brilliant victory at Verneuil, in upper Normandy. 
As the Scots continued to give much help to the French, Bedford 
released the captive James I., married him to Jane Beaufort, the 
daughter of the earl of Somerset, and sent him back to Scotland 
as the ally of the English. Bedford's prudent policy *as, how- 
ever, sorely hampered by the foUy of his brother Gloucester, who 
made himself the rival of Burgundy by marrying Jacqueline of 
Bavaria, a claimant to the county of Hainault, over which Duke 
Philip also had pretensions. The Anglo-Burgundian aUianoe 
seemed on the verge of dissolution, when Duke Humphrey invaded 
Hainault, and waged open war against Duke PhiUp. However, 
in 1426, Bedford managed to patch up peace between them, but 
it was long before the old cordiality between England and Bur- 
gundy was restored. The natural result of this was that the 
cause of King Henry made slow progress in France. Though 
Bedford and Burgundy could win battles, they were not strong 
enough to govern the country which they conquered. Northern 
France fell into a deplorable condition of weakness and confusion. 
Things were even worse in the regions which acknowledged 
Charles vii. The increasing weakness of the rival factions 
threatened all the land with the prospect of long years of anarchy. 
3. In England, Duke Humphrey gave almost as much trouble to 
Bedford as in the Netherlands. He was a showy, vain-glorious, 
seH-seeking man, who made constant efforts to win popularity. 
His only good point, however, was his love of letters and patronage 
of learned men. He was an incompetent poUtioian, and under 

272 HENRY VI. [1422- 

his presidency the council was rent asunder by the disputes 
of rival factions. Gloucester posed as the leader of the popular 
Gloueestep P^J^. while his uncle, Henry Beaufort, bishop of 
as Protector Winchester, carried on the traditions of the court 
of England, politicians with which the Beauf orts had been identified 
1422-1429. gjjjQe -the reign of Henry iv. Beaufort was a wiser 
statesman than his nephew, and had more influence in the council ; 
while Grloucester was popular with the commons, who called him, 
with little reason, the Good, Duke Smivphrey. The disputes between 
the two rivals destroyed the effectiveness of the council, and 
weakened the government of the country. More than once Bedford 
was forced to abandon his work in France, and betake himself to 
England to reconcile his brother and his uncle. He never succeeded 
in establishing real cordiality between them. When the pope made 
Beaufort a cardinal, Gloucester demanded that he should be driven 
from the council, siuce, as cardinal, he was the natural counsellor 
of the pope, and had, therefore, no place among the advisers of an 
English king. So troublesome did Gloucester remain, that, iu 
1429, it was thought wise to crown the little king. Henry was only 
seven, but, after this ceremony, it was imagined that he was com- 
petent th rule on his own account. Gloucester ceased to be pro- 
tector, and power fell more and more into the hands of Beaufort. 
His rival, however, was still strong enough to put grievous obstacles 
in the way of effective government. 

4. The restoration of the Anglo-Burgundian alliance, and the 
diminution of Gloucester's influence in England, enabled Bedford 
The siege ^° undertake fresh steps for the extension of his power 
of Orleans, in Prance. He now resolved to attempt the conquest 
1428. q£ ^jjg jg£^ bank of the Loire, where Charles's power 

chiefly centred. As a preliminary to this he began, in 1428, to 
besiege Orleans. This town, which is situated on the right bank 
of the Loire, commanded one of the few bridges that then spanned 
the rapid river. It was the natural gate of the south, and its 
reduction would have been a deadly blow to the fortunes of the 
king of Bourges. Charles, however, was quite unable to give any 
help to the hard-pressed garrison, and it looked as if Orleans would 
soon be forced to surrender to the Anglo-Burgundian alliance. 

6. At this moment of extreme depression in the fortunes of 
France, there occurred one of the most wonderful things in 
all history. One day there came to King Charles's court at Chinon 
a simple country girl, named Jeanne D'arc, or, as the English 
called her, Joan of Arc. She was a native of Pomremi, a 

-1429.] HENRY VI. 273 

village on the banks of the Mouse, on the borders of Champagne 
and Lorraine, and at the eastern extremity of the French king- 
dom. While tending her father's sheep in the fields, Tj,e mission 
she had long pondered over the evils which the war of Joan 
had brought upon Prance. At last, as she firmly of Are. 
believed, God revealed Himself to her va. visions, and bade her 
undertake the work of saving France from the foreigners, and 
restoring the blessings of peace. When first she told of her revela- 
tions every one mocked at her, but soon her faith won over many 
to believe in her mission. She was despatched right through the 
enemy's country, from Domr^mi to the king's court at Chiaon. 
" The King of heaven," said she to Charles, " bids me to tell you 
that you shall be anointed and crowned in the church of Reims, 
and that you shall be the deputy of the King of heaven, who is also 
King of France." Charles vii. 'had little belief in her words, but 
affairs were now so desperate that he let her do what she would. 
She donned armour like a man, and rode on a horse at 
the head of the garrison despatched to reKeve the force f Orleans 
at Orleans. At the end of AprU, 1429, Joan fought 
her way into Orleans, where her presence filled the discouraged 
soldiers with renewed hope. On May 7 she led an attack on the 
ToureUes — the strongest of the forts which the English had 
erected to ^hut in the beleagnered city. The ToureUes were taken, 
and, next day, the English abandoned the siege, and withdrew to 
the north of the Loire. A few weeks later Joan won 
a pitched battle over the English in the open field p^tay. 
at Patay. These successes broke the long tide of 
disaster, and the courage and faith of Joan again made Frenchmen 
have confidence in themselves and their country. 

6. Joan now bade the BngKsh quit France and recognize 
Charles as king. She fulfilled her promise by conducting Charles 
through the heart of the enemy's country to Keims, corona- 
where she stood by whUe he was crowned and anointed tion of 
king. Charles's position in the north was still so weak Charles vl . 
that he was forced to retreat beyond the Loire immediately after 
the ceremony. Yet from this moment his position in France was 
changed. Tip to now he had been the discredited leader of a 
faction ; henceforth he was the divinely appelated monarch, with 
an indefeasible claim to the obedience of aU Frenchmen. French 
patriotic feeUng, long suspended through the baleful effects of 
party strife, once more asserted itself in response to the teaching of 
the maid of Orleans. 





Gmery 10aCker,sc. 


I \ English Territory Hi French 

\ ■'■:! Territory other than English , French or Buraundian 
A Battlefields 

FRANCE IN 1429. 

-I43I-] HENRY VI. 


7. The first stage of Joan's work had now been accomplished ; 
but she did not regard her mission as completed until she had 
driven the EngHsh out of France. She therefore still Martyrdom 
remained with the army, and made desperate efforts to of Joan of 
win over the north to the patriotic cause. Victory, *''°' ^*3*- 
however, had made her over- confident. Her merit lay in her faith 
and inspiration. Now that, owing to her success, soldiers sought 
her advice on problems of generalship, she naturally made bad 
mistakes. She failed completely in an attack on Paris, and rashly 
threw herseK into Compiegne, a place which, stirred up by her 
patriotic influence, had thrown off the Bxirgundian yoke and was 
now besieged by Duke Philip. On May 23, 1430, she fell into the 
hands of the enemy as she was returning from an unsuccessful 
saUy on the defenders. After a long imprisonment, Joan was 
condemned, by a French ecclesiastical court, as a witch, and in 
1431 was burned to death at Rouen. She had done such great 
deeds that English and French alike believed that there was some- 
thing supernatural about her. But while French patriots were 
convinced that she was a maid sent from God, the English and 
Burgnndians professed that she was inspired by the devil. She 
died so bravely that the more thoughtful of her English foes were 
convinced of her nobiUty of purpose. " We are undone," said they, 
" for this maid whom we have burned is a saint indeed." 

8. The work of the maid of Orleans outlasted her martyrdom. 
The whole French people was now on the side of _ , 
Charles, and even the Burgundians who had done Joan of Henry VI. 
to death began to feel that their true position was that at Paris, 

of traitors in league with the national enemy. In **^1* 
the face of ever-increasing difficulties, Bedford struggled nobly 
to uphold the English power. As if to answer the hallowing of 
Charles at Reims, he brought King Henry to France, and sought 
to have him also crowned at the accustomed crowning-place. But 
the patriotic party was now so strong in Champagne that access 
to Reims was impossible, and, after long delays, Bedford was 
forced to be content with his nephew's coronation in the cathedral 
of Paris. An English bishop, Henry of Winchester, performed the 
ceremony, and even the faithful Parisians grew discontented at the 
prominence given to the young king's English councillors. 

9. The personal relations between Bedford and Burgundy now 
became strained. The death of Bedford's wife, who was Duke 
Philip's sister, broke the closest tie between them, and Bedford 
soon committed his one imprudence, that of marrying Jacquetta of 

2/6 HENRY VI. [I43S- 

Luxembtu'g-, a vassal of PMlip, without the duke's knowledge or 
permission. From that moment the EngKsh power in France 
rapidly declined. The end came the quicker since 
Arras, and ^^ intrigues of Duke Humphrey once more forced 
death of Bedford to revisit England. When he went back to 
^I^k""^' France he found that, outside Normandy and the 
neighbourhood of Paris, the English power was 
almost at an end. Duke Philip, now anxious to break with his 
English allies, summoned, in 1435, a general European Congress 
to meet at Arras, in the hope of making peace. There the English 
were offered the whole of Normandy and a large extension. of their 
Gascon duchy if they wotild conclude peace and renounce their king's 
claim to Prance. With great unwisdom, Bedford refused these 
terms. He withdrew from the congress, and died soon after. 
Burgundy then made peace with Charles, and, in 1436, Paris opened 
its gates to the national king. 

10. The war still lingered on for many years. Though success 
was hopeless, the English stiU struggled bravely, and the French 
Theneace ^®^® ^^^ ®° weak that their progress was compara- 
and war tively slow. Henry vi. was now reaching man's 
parties in estate. He was virtuous, intelligent, religious, and 
Englan . humble, but he was not strong enough, either in mind 
or body, to rule England effectively. The factious strife in his 
council went on as much as ever, and the parties of Gloucester and 
Cardinal Beaufort still contended for ascendancy. Beaufort was 
statesman enough to see that the wisest course for England was to 
conclude an honourable peace with France, which was stiU willing 
to make substantial concessions of territory in return for Henry's 
renunciation of his claim to the throne. Duke Humphrey bitterly 
opposed this pacific policy, and won a cheap popularity by 
denouncing all concessions, and clamouring for the continuance 
of the war. The young king was sincerely anxious for peace, and, 
as he g^ew up, his support gave Beaufort's party the ascendancy in 
the council. The indiscretion of Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester's 
wife, now brought about a further diminution of the duke's 
influence. The duchess of Gloucester, knowing- that her husband 
was next in succession to the throne if Henry should die, consulted 
witches and astrologers as to thg best way of hastening that event. 
By their advice she made an image of the king in wax, and melted 
it before a slow fire, believing that, as the wax melted away, so the 
king's life would waste away. In 1441 the duchess's childish form 
of treason was detected. Her accomplices were put to death, and 

-1447- J HENRY VI. 277 

Eleanor herself was imprisoned for life in the Isle of Man. Not 
daring to intervene, Duke Humphrey " took aU things patiently, 
and said little." Henceforth he had little influence, and chiefly 
busied himseE with his favourite pursuit of literature. 

11. In 1442 Henry came of age, and, guided by Beaufort's 
advice, pressed forward the poUcy of peace. William de la Pole, 
earl of Suffolk, a soldier who had fought bravely against 

the Trench, and a strong supporter of Cardinal Beau- The truce of 
fort, became the chief agent of the royal poUoy. In and the ' 
1444 he negotiated a short truce at Tours, by which a French 
marriage was arranged between Henry and Margaret w^prlage, 
of Anjou, the daughter of Rene, duke of Anjou, 
nominal king of SicUy and Jerusalem, and actual count of Provence 
and duke of Lorraine. The house of Anjou was a junior branch 
of the French royal house, and Rene's sister was the wife of 
Charles vii. In 1445, Margaret, a high-spirited girl of fifteen, was 
brought to England by Suffolk, and married to Henry. 

12. The marriage was not popular ; Margaret was poor, and did 
not even bring assured peace with France as her wedding portion. It 
was necessary to renew the truce from time to time, and j, x^ ^ 
the English were forced to purchase its continuance Gloucester 
by the surrender of the few posts they held in Maine and Beau- 
and Anjou, nominally to Margaret's father, reaUy to **""*' ***^* 
the French. Suffolk was now made a duke, and became the chief 
adviser of the king and queen. In 1447 he prociu-ed the arrest of 
Gloucester, who had bitterly opposed the French marriage. Soon 
after his apprehension Duke Humphrey died. He had long been 
in wretched health, and his death was in all probability due to natural 
causes. His friends, however, persisted in believing that he was 
murdered, and accused Suffolk of the crime. In the same year Ms old 
enemy. Cardinal Beaufort, died also. He was the shrewdest statesman 
of the age, and his poHoy, though unpopular, was undoubtedly the 
right one. His death left the chief burden of responsibility on Suffolk. 
His nephew, Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset, now represented 
the family tradition, and was Suffolk's most prominent ally. 

13. The weak point of Suffolk's position was that, though he 
had staked everything upon the French alliance, he had made no 
lasting peace. Yet he was so sure that peace would continue, that 
he neglected the commonest precautions for securing such pos- 
sessions as still remained in English hands. His ally Somerset, 
who was governor of Normandy, so grossly neglected his charge, 
that it was not unreasonable that- doubts should be oast upon his 

278 HENRY VI. [1449- 

honoiu-. Knowing ttat the EngKsh were in no position to resist, 
the French broke the truce in 1449, and invaded Normandy, 
which had been largely in English hands since its 
Normandy, conquest by Henry v. thirty years before. Somerset 
1449-1450, made a poor resistance, and, by 1450, the whole of 
and Gas- Normandy had passed over to the French. Next year 
'^° ' Gascony was attacked, and the last remnants of the 

A(juitanian inheritance renounced English sway when Bordeaux 
and Bayonne opened their gates to the oonq[ueror. 

14. There was, however, a great difference between G-ascony and 
Normandy. In Normandy the French came as deliverers, while in 
The Battle Gascony they came as conquerors. The men of the 
of CastiUon, south had no complaint against the rule of their English 
and the end J^jjeg^ and the government of Charles Vll. proved so 
Hundred harsh and unpopular that, in 1451, they rose in revolt. 
Years' War, John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, an aged hero who 
1453. iia,(j fought in every war since the rebeUion of Owen 
Glendower, was sent, in 1452, at the head of a considerable army 
from England, to assist the revolted Gascons. On his arrival nearly 
the whole of the district round Bordeaux returned to the English 
obedience. On July 17, 1453, Shrewsbury fought the last battle 
of the war at Castillon on the Dordogne. The French held a large 
entrenched and palisaded camp, defended by three hundred pieces of 
cannon. The Anglo-Gascon troops rashly charged these formidable 
earthworks, but were decimated by the enemy's fire before they 
reached the entrenchments. Shrewsbury himself was among the 
slain, and on that day the English dnohy of Gascony finally perished. 
This was the last act of the Hundred Years' War. Henceforth 
Calais alone represented the English king's dominions in France. 

15. The disasters in France created a strong feeling among the 
English against the incompetent statesmen who controlled her 
Murder of destinies. In the parliament of 1450, Suffolk was im- 
SufToIk, peached, anjd a long series of charges brought against 
1450. hiva.. He was accused of corruption and maladminis- 
tration, of betraying the kings' counsel to the French, and of 
conspiring to win the throne for his son. So loud was the outcry 
against him, that Henry vi. dared not protect his favourite minister. 
He declared the charges against him not proved, but strove to 
appease the Commons and keep the duke out of harm's way by 
banishing him from England for five years. As Suffolk was sailing 
towards Calais, his vessel was intercepted by a royal ship, called the 
Nicholas of the Tower, which was lying in wait for him. Carried 

-I4SO-] HENRY VI. 2jg 

on board the Nicholas he was greeted with the cry of " Welcome, 
traitor ! " and bidden to prepare for his end. Next day he was 
forced into a little boat, and an Irishman, " one of the lowest men 
in the ship," clumsily cut off his head with a rusty sword. The 
headless body was thrown upon the English coast, that all might 
see that not even the king's favour could save a man from the 
judgment of the commons of England. 

16. The murder of SufEolk by the king's own seamen showed 
that the government was unable to preserve order. A few weeks 
later the incapacity of the administration was further Revolt of 
proved by a formidable rising of the commons of Kent. Jack Cade, 
Led by an Irish adventurer, named Jack Cade, who ^*°"' 
gave out that he was an illegitimate son of the last earl of March, 
a formidable force of Kentish men marched towards London, and 
set up a fortified camp on Blackheath. They defeated the king's 
troops, and Henry was forced to flee before them from London to 
the midlands. On his retreat, the citizens opened their gates to the 
rebels. At first. Cade kept good order, but his followers soon got 
out of hand, slew the king's ministers, and began to rob the citizens 
of their property. Many of the Londoners now turned against 
them, and there was a formidable fight between the citizens and the 
rebels on London Bridge. At last, however, the Kentish men were 
persuaded to go home under promise of a general pardon. Cade 
now endeavoured to excite a fresh revolt in Sussex, but was slain 
by a Kentish squire. His death ended the rebellion. At first 
sight the revolt reminds us of the rising of 1381, but the only 
grievances of the commons of Kent in 1450 were political. Their 
rebellion was a protest against the maladministration which still 
prevailed at court. Even the fall of Suffolk had taught nothing to 
the king and his advisers, and the only way to clear the council of 
SufEolk's party seemed to be armed resistance. 

17. Cade had made use of the name of Mortimer ; and, soon after 
his death, the true heir of the Mortimers, Eichard, duke of York, 
came to London from his Irish estates, and assumed _. „nsition 
the leadership of the opposition. York was the only of Richard, 
son of Eichard, earl of Cambridge, whom Henry v. duke of 
had executed in 1415, and his wife, Anne Mortimer, °^ ' 
sister and heiress of Edmund, the last earl of March of his house. 
From his grandfather, Edmund of Langley, third surviving son of 
Edward ill., he inherited the duchy of York, but his real importance 
was due to his having inherited from his mother the earldoms of 
March and Ulster, with vast estates in the west of England and in 

28o HENRY VI. [145°- 

Ireland. Moreover, Anne Mortimer was the lieiress of Lionel, 
duke of Clarence, so that her son represented the elder line of the 
descendants of Edward iii. Neither York nor his friends, however, 
regarded him as a rival to Henry vi. as king. Duke Richard's 
object was rather to renew the poKcy of Thomas of Lancaster or 
Humphrey of Gloucester. He aimed at acting as the leader of the 
constitutional opposition, and his chief motive was to drive the un- 
popular courtiers from the king's council, and help Henry to rule 
more firmly. Henry and Margaret were, however, childless, and 
York was generally looked upon as the nearest heir to the throne. 

18. About the time York came back from Ireland, the French 
oonc[uest of Normandy oompaUed its discredited governor, Somerset, 
BeeinninK *° return to England. Despite his proved inoom- 
of the Wars petenoe and possible treachery, Somerset was cordially 
of the Roses, welcomed by king and queen, and forthwith put in the 
1450-1455. pi^(5Q which Suffolk had once occupied. York at once 
demanded the dismissal of Somerset from the king's counsels. 
The outcry against the unpopular duke was soon increased by 
the tidings of the loss of Gasoony, and the king, who was weak 
and peace-loving, might well have yielded to the storm. Margaret 
of Anjou, however, possessed the vigour and manliness which were 
so singularly wanting in her husband, though unluckily she never 
understood England, and thoug'ht only of protecting her friends 
against their enemies. Through her support Somerset's position 
remained unassailable. At last, ia 1452, York raised an army. 
He was, however, anxious to avoid civil war, and dismissed his 
forces on the king's pledging himseH that he should be admitted 
to the council, while Somerset should be imprisoned until he cleared 
MmseK of the accusations brought against him. Margaret pre- 
vented her husband from carrying out his promise, and York soon 
found that he had been tricked. In 1463 the king lost his reason. 
In the same year the birth of a son to Henry and Margaret — 
Edward, prince of Wales — out off York's prospects of a peacefiil 
succession to the throne, while the tidings of the battle of Castillon 
came to increase the distrust generally felt for the negligent 
government. For a time the council carried on the administration 
in the king's name, but in 1454 parliament insisted on the appoint- 
ment of a regent, and, to Margaret's disgust, the Lords chose 
York protector of England. Before the end of the year the king 
was restored to health, and York's protectorate was put to an end. 
Somerset was restored to power, and York was even excluded from 
the royal council. Irritated at this treatment, Duke Richard once 

-I45S-] HENRY VI. 281 

more appealed to arms. In 1455 lie defeated his enemies at the battle 
of St. Albans, where Somerset was slain and the king wounded 
and taken prisoner. His agitation once more robbed Henry of his 
reason, and for a second time Tork was made protector. 

19. The battle of St. Albans is generally described as marking 
the beginning of the Wars of the Eoses, so called in later days 
because the house of Tork had a white rose as its character - 
badge, and the house of Lancaster was thought to istlesofthe 
have a red rose. In reality the red rose was not used Wars of 
tiU. later, when it became the badge of the Tudors, who ^ °^^^' 
were the heirs of the Lancasters. The phrase Wars of the Eoses, 
then, is a misnomer ; but it is one so generally used that it may 
be allowed to stand. Whatever their name, these wars lasted for 
thirty years. It was not, however, a period of continued fighting, 
and affairs were not much more disorderly after the battle of 
St. Albans than before it. It was rather a period of short wars, 
divided by longer periods of weak government. The ultimate 
cause of the struggle was the inability of Henry vi. to govern 
England. Part of this was due to Henry's personal incompetence, 
but the root of the matter lay deeper. The long war with France 
had increased the greediness and ferocity of the English nobles, 
and now that they could no longer win booty and glory abroad, 
they began to fight fiercely with each other. Nothing but a strong 
king, able to enforce his wUl, cotild remedy this state of things. 
Since 1399, however, parliament had been so powerful that the 
crown had not enough power left to do its work. The Commons 
were not yet strong and coherent enough to take the lead, and 
parliamentary government meant, in practice, the rule of a tur- 
bulent nobility, which delighted in anarchy and was too proud to 
obey the law. The majority of the nobles were contented with 
the weak government of Henry, and even lent a steady support 
to Somerset. The Commons, on the other hand, longed for the 
restoration of order, and upheld the cause of Eichard of Tork 
because they thought him vigorous enough to put an end to the 
prevailing misgovernment. 

20. Though most of the nobles were Lancastrians, a few great 
houses supported the Torkists. Conspicuous among these was the 
junior branch of the great Torkshire family of the 
NeviUes, earls of Westmorland. The head of this ^notIUo! 
was Eiohard Neville, who became by marriage earl of 
Salisbury, and whose sister Cicely was the wife of Richard of 
Tork. His eldest son, also named Eichard NeviUe, became earl of 

282 HENRY VI. [1455- 

Warwiok by his marriage with the heiress of the Beauohamps. 
Both father and son had taken a prominent share in winidng the 
battle of St. Albans, and henceforward they were the chief sup- 
porters of the Torkists (see for the Nevilles table on page 294). 

21. The second protectorate of Tork was even shorter than the 
first. Early in 1456 the king regained his" wits, and York was 

forced to resign. The death of Somerset weakened the 
tion and the tL^ieen's party, and Henry, always honestly anxious to 
renewal of restore peace, allowed York to keep his place on the 
the strife, council. Both factions, however, bitterly hated each 

other, and every nobleman went about with a band 
of armed followers, even when attending royal councils. The 
country was hardly governed at all. Private wars became common, 
and the French commanded the Chamael and plundered the coasts. 
Amidst the general confusion Warwick showed himself the 
strongest man in England. In 1458 he gained a naval victory 
over the French which saved England from invasion. Soon after- 
wards he quarrelled with Margaret and withdrew to Calais, of 
which he was governor, leaving the queen supreme. Nest year 
(1459) Margaret strove to strengthen her position by an attack 
on Salisbury. War was at once renewed. Salisbury defeated 
Lord Audley, the queen's commander, at Blore Seath in Stafford- 
shire, near Market Drayton. Soon afterwards Warwick returned 
from Calais. The two Nevilles joined Richard of York at Ludlow 
the centre of the Mortimer estates. Thereupon the king proceeded 
to the Welsh March, and showed such activity that he scattered 
the Yorkist forces without having to fight a battle. York took 
refuge in Ireland, while Warwick and Salisbury fled to Calais. 
After this flight a packed paj^liament at Coventry attainted aU 
the Yorkist leaders. The triumph of the king seemed complete. 

22. Henry's sudden burst of energy did not last long. The 
next year, 1460, Warwick and Salisbury came back to Englaoad, 
York claims and with them came Edward, earl of March, the 
the throne, duke of York's eldest son. On July 10 they fought 

and won the battle of Northa/mpion, when Henry was 
taken prisoner. York now returned from Ireland, and, when parlia- 
ment assembled in October, claimed the throne as the nearest kin of 
Edward iii. through Lionel of Clarence. The lords of parliament 
courageously rejected this claim, but agreed to a compromise, which 
Henry, to spare further bloodshed, also accepted. By this Henry 
was to keep the throne tiU his death, but York was declared his 
successor, and was to act as protector for the rest of the king's life. 

-1461.] HENRY VI. 283 

23. After the battle of Northampton, Margaret had fled to 
Wales with her son Edward. She was bitterly indignant with her 
husband for his weak abandonment of the rights of The fall of 
their child, and resolved to carry on the struggle Henry VI., 
against Duke Richard. With that object she made 1460-1461. 
her way to Scotland, where she obtained substantial help at the 
price of the surrender of Berwick. She was still iu Scotland when 
the Lancastrian lords of Yorkshire rose in revolt against the rule 
of York. In December, Kiohard hurried to the north to suppress 
the rebellion. He kept his Christmas at his castle of Sandal, near 
Wakefield, which the enemy threatened to besiege. York scorned 
to be " caged like a bird," and on December 30 marched out of 
Sandal to ofEer battle to the superior forces of the Lancastrians. 
The fight which ensued, called the hattle of Wakefield, Battle of 
cost him his army and his Ufe. Salisbury, who was Wakefield, 
taken prisoner, was beheaded next day, and York's 1*60. 
younger son, the earl of Rutland, was butchered after the fight 
by one of the Lancastrian lords. Thereupon Margaret hurried 
from Scotland and joined her victorious partisans. At the head of 
the fierce warriors of the north, she made her way to London. As 
she approached the capital, Warwick went out to intercept her at 
St. Albans, taking the king with him. On February sg„_„ j 
17, 1461, the second battle of St. Albans was fought, in Battle of 
which Warwick was completely defeated and Henry fell St. Albans, 
into his wife's hands. The wild north countrymen were, 
however, so much out of hand that even the reckless Margaret feared 
to lead them on to London lest they should wreak such atrocities as 
should permanently alienate the citizens from her cause. While 
she hesitated, Edward, earl of March, now duke of York by his 
father's death, effectively rallied his party. A fortnight before 
Margaret's victory, he had scattered the Lancastrians of the west 
at the battle of Mortimer's Cross, near Leominster. Battle of 
Thereupon he hastened towards London at the head of Moptimep's 
a great army of Welshmen and Marchers from his own Cross, 1461. 
estates. He joined Warwick's beaten troops on the way, and nine 
days after the battle of St. Albans, took possession of London. 
Soon after, Warwick's brother, George Neville, bishop of Worcester, 
the Yorkist chancellor, declared to the citizens that Edward might 
rightly claim the crown. On March 4, Edward seated himself on 
the royal throne in Westminster HaU and asked the people if they 
would have him as king. A shout of " Yea, yea ! " rose from the 
assembly, and henceforth the pretender ruled as Edward iv. 





Eoger Mortimer, 

tst earl of March, d. 1330, 

great-grandfather of 

Edward hi. 
(See table on page 254). 



Edmund Mortimer, 
earl of March, d. 1381. 

Lionel of Antwerp, 

duke of Clarence, 

m. Elizabeth de 


m. Philippa. 

Edmund of 
duke of York, 
d. 1401. 



Eoger Mortimer, 
earl of March, 
d. 1398. 


Sir Edmund 

Mortimer, m. 

daughter of 

Owen Glendower. 

m. Henry 

" Hotspur." 

Edmund Mortimer 

earl of March, 

d. 1424. 

Thomas of Woodstock 

duke of Gloucester, 

m. heireas of 


m. Edmund Stafford^ 
great-grandparents of 
Henry Stafford, 
diike of Buckingham, 
d. 1483. 
Edward Stafford, 
duke of 
d. 1621. 

Anne Mortimer m. Eicbard, earl of 
d. 1415. 

Eichard, duke of York, m. Cicely Neville 

d. 1460. I (see table on page 294). 

Edward, earl 





of March, 

earl of 

duke of 

duke of 

m. Charles, 

Edwaed IV., 




the Eash 


d. 1460. 

d. 1478. 

Richard hi., 

duke of 

m. Elizabeth 

m. Isabella 





m. Annp! 

(see table 

(for her family 

(see table 


on page 269) 

see table on 

on page 294). 

(see table 

page 299). 

on page 294). 

Edwaed v., 

Eichard, duke 
of York, 
d. 1483. 



. Henry vii. 


Henry viii., 
(see table on page 419). 


m. Edward 


earl of 


Henry Courtenay 
marquis of Exeter 
d. 1538. 

Peisons not mentioned in the text in italics. 


EDWARD IV. (1461-1483) 

Chief Dates : 

1461. Accession of Edward iv. and battle of Towton. 
1464. Battles of Hedgeley Moor anid Hexham. 

1470. Bestoration of Henry vi. 

1471. Battles of Bamet and Tewkesbury. 
1475. Treaty of Picqnigni. 

1478. Death of Clarence. 
1483. Death of Edward iv. 

1. Edwabd IV. was only nineteen years old wten he became king, 
but had already shown himself to be a born general and leader of 
men. He was exceedingly tall and good-looking, and Edward IV 
his winning maimers made Mm personally popular. He and the 
was inclined to carelessness and seM-indulgence, but Yorkist 
whenever he spurred himself to take action, he showed P^^^' 
wonderful decision and vigour. Though pleasure-loving, greedy, 
and cruel, he was just the strong man needed to save England 
from anarchy. He owed his throne to his wisdom in the camp 
and in the cabinet, and few Englishmen concerned themselves as 
to whether he were the nearest heir of Edward iii. All those 
parts of England, and all those classes of society to which peace 
and good order mattered most were his partisans. The townsman, 
the trader, and the artisan, the whole of the south and east, then 
the richest part of the country, were in his favour. The Londoners 
strongly supported him. Besides these, Edward owed much of his 
triumph to the steady backing of Warwick, who, after his father's 
death, united in himself the Beauchamp and Montagu inheritances. 
Warwick had enormous estates all over the country, and could raise 
an army of his own tenants in the west midlands. Gentlemen of 
good estate thought it an honour to wear his livery and display his 
badge of the bear and ragged staff. Men called him the King- 
maker, because he had done so much to win Edward the crown. 
His services to Edward were even more signal than those which the 
Percies had rendered to Henry iv. Another great source of 




[146 I - 

strength to the new king were his own vast estates, and especially 
the enormous territories which he inherited from the Mortimers. 

2. Many still regretted the rule of Lancaster. There was 
stUl much sympathy for the gentle and unoffending king, and 
Battle of every tenant of the broad estates of the house of 
Towton, Lancaster felt personal devotion to his cause. Outside 

1461. jjjg hereditary lands, Henry's chief supporters were 

the fierce barons of the north, who had profited by his weakness 
to build up their own power. All the great names of the north 

Emery Walker sc 


country, such as CUflord and Percy, were on his side, including 
even the senior branch of the house of Neville, wliich held the 
earldom of Westmorland. The natural antagonism of the Princi- 
pality and the March made the Welsh good friends of Henry. 
Accordingly, when, after Edward's proclamation, Margaret hurried 
with her husband to the north, the Lancastrian partisans were 
still able to fight desperately. Edward at once followed Mar- 
garet to Yorkshire, and, on Palm Sunday, 1461, the decisive battle 
of the war was fought between the northern and southern armies 

-1464.] EDWARD IV. 287 

at Towton, three miles south of Tadcaster, in Yorkshire. The 
Lancastrians were stationed on the northern slope of the rising 
ground overlooking the depression called Towtondale, between the 
villages of Towton and Saiton. Their left extended to the main 
road from the south to Tadcaster and York, while their right 
stretched towards the Cook beck, a tributary of the Ouse. A 
blinding snowstorm blew into their faces, and almost prevented the 
armies seeing each other. On such a day there was little opportunity 
for manoeuvring, and even archery was ineffective. Nevertheless, 
Edward marshalled his inferior forces with such consummate skill 
that the Lancastrians lost the chief advantages derived from their 
strong position and numerical superiority. The southerners fought 
their way bit by bit up the slopes of the hiU, and finally drove the 
northerners in panic flight from the field. The slaughter was 
terrible. Many fugitives were drowned in the swollen Cock, and 
the snow along the York road was stained with their blood. Henry 
and Margaret fled to Scotland, and their open alliance with England's 
traditional enemies robbed them of their last chance of the throne. 

3. For the next niae years Edward iv. was monarch in fact as well 
as in name. He returned to London, and was crowned king. His 
brothers, G-eorge and Eichard, were made dukes of 

Clarence and Grloucester, and parliament attainted Edward IV 
Henry and the chief Lancastrian partisans. Even 
now Margaret did not lose heart. She sought help from the 
French as well as the Scots, and for the next four years her 
attempts to stir up risings in the north made Edward's throne 
insecure. The last of these efforts was in 1464, and was crushed 
by the Yorkist victories of Hedgeley Moor and Sexham. Henry vi., 
who had joined the rebels, narrowly escaped capture in the pursuit 
that followed the latter battle. The Scots now abandoned him, 
and made a long truce with Edward. For more than a year the 
deposed king hid himself away amidst the wild moorland that 
separates Lancashire and Yorkshire. At last he was captured near 
Clitheroe, in Ribblesdale, and taken to London. Misfortune and 
harsh treatment soon robbed him of his small wits ; but, as long as 
his son lived and was free, it was the obvious interest of Edward 
to keep him alive. 

4. No sooner had Henry's captivity secured the throne for 
Edward iv. than diflculties arose between the new king and his 
own partisans. Warwick expected to keep him in constant con- 
trol. The earl secured for his brother George the archbishopric 
of York, and placed his other brother, John, in the earldom of 

288 EDWARD IV. [1468- 

Northmnberlamd, forfeited by the Peroies through their obstinate 
adhesion to Lancaster. Now that peace was restored at home, 
The Nevilles ^°^^^^ policy again became important, and Warwick, 
and the adopting the traditions of the Beauf orts, urged Edward 

Woodville to make an alliance with France, which was then ruled 
marriage. ^^y. ^j^g crafty and politic Louis xi., who had succeeded 
his father, Charles vii., in 1461. Louis was anxious to win Edward's 
support, because he was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with 
the House of Burgundy, now ruled by Charles the Rash, son of 
Philip the Good. The Burgfundian power extended over the whole 
of the Netherlands, and its duke rivalled the king of France, 
and surpassed the emperor in wealth, power, and importance. 
Accordingly, Louis proposed that Edward should wed Bona of 
Savoy, the sister of his queen. Warwick eagerly supported this 
proposal, and prepared to embark for France to bring about the 
match. Before he could start, Edward publicly announced that he 
was already married. His wife was Elizabeth Woodville, daughter 
of Lord Rivers, and widow of Sir John Grey, who had perished, 
fighting for Lancaster, in the second battle of St. Albans. The 
lady was poor, and her family was insignificant, but her beauty 
attracted the king, who was very glad to inflict a public slight on 
the too-presmnptuous Warwick by ostentatiously putting him into 
a false position. Edward soon bfoke with the French and made an 
alliance with Chaxles of Burgxindy, who, in 1468, married Margaret, 
the king's sister. In his anxiety to free himself from the control 
of the Nevilles, Edward strove to ra;ise up in the kinsmen of 
the new queen a party devoted to himself and bitterly hostile to 
Warwick (see table on page 299). Her father became Earl 
Rivers, her brothers and sisters made rich marriages, and soon a 
family party arose whose wealth, arrogance, and want of ancestral 
dignity made them bitterly hated by the old nobles. 

5. Warwick lost all his influence at court, and his brother, 
the archbishop of Tork, was driven from the chancery. In deep 

disgust, the king-maker sought for an ally against the 
Welles and ^i^ST) ^nd found one in Edward's vain and worthless 
Robin of brother, George, duke of Clarence, who fxilly shared 
?Irq^^^'^' Warwick's jealousy against the queen's kinsmen. 

Warwick had no son, and his two daughters, Isabella 
and Anne, were Hkely to divide his great possessions. In 1470 
Warwick married Isabella, his elder daughter, to Clarence, and 
lured his son-in-law into treason by holding out hopes of putting 
him on his brother's throne. In 1469 Wanviok's kinsfolk and 

-1470.] EDWARD IV. 289 

dependents stirred up a popular rising against Edward. The 
rebels, commanded by a knight who took the false name of Bobin of 
Eedesdale, defeated the king's troops at Edgecote, near Banbury, 
and beheaded the c^ueen's father, whom they took prisoner. Edward 
was reduced to such, distress that he surrendered to Archbishop 
Neville, and remained for a time at the mercy of his foes. Next 
year (1470) the tide turned. There was another rising of the Neville 
partisans, headed by Sir Robert Welles. Edward put this down 
with, promptitude at Stamford, where the insurgents threw off their 
coats to run away with, such haste that men called the day Lose 
Coat Field. Welles, taken prisoner, confessed that there had been 
a plot to make Clarence king. Edward then sought to lay hands 
upon his enemies, and Warwick and Clarence took ship for Prance. 

6. Louis XI. gave the exiles a cordial welcome. The French 
king was anxious to weaken Charles of Burgundy by driving 
Edward from the throne, and was shrewd enough to Ajiionee of 
see that Warwick's best way of winning back his Warwick 
position in England was by effecting a reconciliation and Mar- 
between him and the Lancastrians. After much ^^^^ ' 
difficulty, Louis managed to make an alliance between Warwick 
and Margaret of Anjou, who, since her husband's captivity, had 
lived in France. It was arranged that her son, Edward, priace of 
Wales, should marry Anne Neville, Warwick's younger daughter, 
and Warwick promised henceforward to be faithful to Henry vi. 
Louis then ec[uipped a small expedition, and sent Warwick and 
Clarence to England. In September they landed at Plymouth, 
and, profiting by Edward's absence in the north, marched to 
London, and brought back Henry vi. from the Tower to the 
throne. Edward, unable to resist, fled to the Netherlands, where 
he took shelter with his brother-in-law, Charles the Rash. Thus 
Warwick once more proved his right to his title of king-maker. 
He was now monarch in all but name, for misfortunes had reduced 
Henry to permanent imbecility. The restored monarch was now, 
we are told, " like a sack of wool," and " as mute as a crowned calf." 

7. Henry's vi.'s nominal restoration to power lasted from 
October, 1470, to May, 1471. In March, 1471, Edward iv. landed 
at Ravenspur, on the Humber, where Henry of Therestora- 
Lancaster had landed in 1399. Englishmen who tlon of 
had been too apathetic to save him from his defeat, f^^^^.J!^'.' 
stood aside with equal indifference while he strove 

to win back power. At first Edward gave out that he had only 
returned to claim his father's duchy of York, but, as followers 





gathered round him, he openly announced that he wished to 
regain the throne. Before long he was joined hy his hrother 

Emery Walker sc 

Clarence, who saw that Warwick's aUiance with the Lancas- 
trians was fatal to his personal amMtions. The brothers then 

-I47I-] £DWARD IV. 29 1 

pushed south, for London, which opened its gates to them on 
April 11. Thereupon Henry vi. was put back in the Tower, and 
Edward was once more recognized as king. Edward then marched 
out of London, and on Easter Sunday, April 14, gave battle to 
Warwick at Barnet, ten miles to the north of the capital. The 
fight took place in a thick mist, so that everything depended 
upon hard hand-to-hand fighting. Warwick and his brother John, 
marquis of Montagu, were slain on the field, and the death of the 
king-maker consummated the triumph of the Yorkists. With aU 
his vigour and energy, Warwick had shown no striking capacity 
either as a soldier or as a statesman. His chief motive of action 
was the acquisition of power for liimself and his family. He is 
the last conspicuous embodiment of the great baronial class whose 
turbulence had reduced England to anarchy. 

8. Margaret, who had hitherto tarried in France, landed in the 
west' of England along with her son on the fatal Easter Day 
which witnessed the ruin of her cause. Yet even f j,g gattje 
now a considerable force from the south-west and ofTewkes- 
from Wales rallied round her. Edward hastened to bury, 1471. 
check her progress, and on May 4 the Lancastrians stood at bay at 
Tewkesbury. Edward easily won the day, and took Margaret and 
Edward prisoners. The young prince of Wales was barbarously 
butchered, and the same fate befel the duke of Somerset, the third 
head of the house of Beaufort who had lost his life in the civil 
wars. Margaret was taken by her captors to London, and was 
kept in prison for the next five years, after which she was suffered 
to go home to France to die. Immediately after Edward's arrival 
in London, it was given out that her husband had died in the 
Tower, " out of pure displeasure and melancholy." It was generally 
believed that he was murdered, and rumour made Edward's brother, 
Richard of Gloucester, specially responsible for the crime. In truth, 
after his son's death, Henry's life was no longer valuable to Edward, 
so he ordered him to be slain without delay. Of all the cruel deeds 
of this pitiless time none was more wanton than the death of the 
harmless and saintly king. 

9. Edward reigned in peace and without a rival for the rest of 
his Ufe. His position was much stronger than in the earlier period 
of his rule, and he soon felt himself able to revenge himself on 
Louis XI. for abetting Warwick. In 1475 he agreed to unite with 
his brother-in-law, Charles of Burgundy, in a combined attack on 
France. Parliament gladly voted a liberal subsidy, and Edward 
marpheS Pnt of Calais at the head of a large and brilliant force. 

292 EDWARD IV. [1475- 

Much to his disgust, Cliarles joined him, not -with an army, but 
almost alone. The duke of Burgundy had unwisely gone to war in 
Edward IV. Germany, though his French rival was still unheaten. 
Burgundy, ' Edward and Charles disliked each other already, and 
and France. Charles's lack of faith gave the English king a good 
excuse for deserting so untrustworthy an ally. Louis, eager to win 
England to his side, was lavish in promises, and at last the two kings 
held a meeting on the bridge of Pioquigni, a village on the Somme, 
between Abbeville and Amiens. So distrustful were they of each 
other that they kept themselves apart by a wooden partition, and 
talked through a grating. In the treaty of Picquigni Louis bought 
peace with England by the payment of a large sum of money, and 
a promise to marry his son to Edward's daughter. Edward then 
returned home, leaving Charles to his fate. Two years later, in 
1477, the rash duke of Burgundy was slain at the battle of Nancy, 
in the course of an unsuccessful war which he had foolishly pro- 
voked with the Swiss. Louis xi. now annexed Burgundy to 
France, but could not prevent the Netherlands going to Mary, 
Charles's daughter, though not by his English wife, Margaret of 
York. Mary married the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, and 
we shall soon hear again of her descendants. Even after this 
check, Louis xi. was so powerful that he had no longer any need 
to humour the king of England. Just before the death of both 
kings in 1483, Louis repudiated the marriage arranged at 
Picquigni, and ceased paying subsidies to keep England quiet. 
Edward was so much mortified that the French believed he died 
of grief at the news of this breach with France. But for his death 
a renewal of war would have probably ensued. 

10. Edward was the strongest ruler of England since Edward iii. 
He was popular with the people, and especially with the merchants. 
Home policy because he kept the nobles in good order and sternly 
of Edward put down private war. He ruled in a very different 

fashion from that of the Lancastrians. He looked 
on parliaments with suspicion, and summoned them as seldom 
as he could. When he wanted money he did not always go to 
parliament, but often asked his subjects to give him what was 
called a benevolence. This was nominally a free gift offered by 
the subject to the king, but in reality those who were asked to 
give a benevolence dared not refuse to pay it. Edward did not, 
however, risk the popularity which he loved by exacting too large 
sums from his subjects. 

11. Clarence soon began once more to excite the suspicions of 

-1483.] EDWARD IV. 293 

the king. He had been fully pardoned for his treachery in 1470. 
He was made earl of Warwick and Salisbviry, and hoped to secure 
for himself the whole inheritance of his father-ia- - ^^^ « 
law, the king-maker. He found, however, a rival for ciarenee, 
the Warwick estates in his yoiinger and abler brother, 1478, and 
Richard, duke of Gloucester. Anne Neville, War- Edward IV., 
wick's younger daughter, was the widow of the 
unfortunate son of Henry vi. In 1472 she was prevailed upon 
to marry Richard of Gloucester, the reputed murderer of her first 
husband. Henceforward the two brothers were rivals for the 
Neville and Beauchamp lands, and Clarence became very dis- 
contented when Edward assigned the larger portion of them to 
his brother. Things grew worse when Isabella Neville died, 
and Clarence sought to upset his brother's good understanding 
with France by a proposal, which came to nothing, that he should 
marry Mary of Burgundy, the heiress of Charles the Rash. 
Clarence now had against him the king, Gloucester, and the 
powerful kinsmen of the queen. In 1478 he was accused of 
treason, attainted in parliament, and condemned to execution. 
Edward was afraid to slay Clarence openly, and put him privately 
to death in the Tower. It was believed at the time that he was 
drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. Five years later, in April, 
1483, Edward iv. died. 





John Lord Neville of Eabv, 
d. 1388. 

Ralph Neoille, Ist Earl of Westmorland, 
A. 1425. 

John Neville, 

Richard Neville, 


ancestor of the 

earl of Salisbury, 

m. Richard, 

earlB of West- 


heiress of Montagus, 

duke of Tork 

morland, elder 

d. 1460. 

d. 1460 (see 

and Lancastrian 

table on 

branch of the 

page 284). 


Ricbard Neville, 

John Neville, 


earl of Warwick 



and Salisbury, the 

earl of 

bishop of 

king-maker, d. 1471 



m. heiress of 

and marquis 

and arch- 


f Montagu. 
. d) Edward, 

bishop of York. 


Anne, m 

m. George, 

prince of Wales, 

duke of Clarence. 

d. 1471, (2) Richard, 


duke of Gloucester, 
Richard ni., d. 1485. 





earl of 

countess of 



d. 1499. 

d. 1541. 
Eeginald Pole, 

cardinal and arch- 

bishop of Canterbury, 

d. 1558. 

Persons not mentioned in the text in italics. 


Chief Dates : 

1483. Eeign of Edward v. Accession of Richard iii. 
1485. Battle of Bosworth and death of Richard in. 

1. Edwaud IV. left two sons. The elder, wlio was only twelve years 
old, now became Edward v., and Ms younger brother, Richard, had 
already been made dnie of York. By the late king's 
will, the guardianship of the young king went to his ff^^'' " 
uncle, Richard, duke of Grlouoester, who was at once 
acknowledged as lord protector by the council. Richard had kept 
on good terms with the queen's kinsmen, and they doubtless expected 
to share power with him. The chief of the queen's family were her 
brother Antony WoodviUe, Earl Rivers, and her two sons by her first 
marriage, Thomas Grey, marquis of Dorset, and Sir Richard Grey. 
At the moment of his accession the young king was at Ludlow, in 
the custody of his uncle Rivers and his half-brother, Richard 
Grey. Fearful lest Gloucester should put an end to their influence, 
they formed a plan with the queen for Edward's immediate corona- 
tion, hoping that this would put an end to Gloucester's protectorate, 
and make the Woodvilles and Greys masters of the kingdom. The 
upstart kinsmen of the queen were, however, very unpopular, and 
were particularly disliked by the old nobles, whom they had driven 
from the court and council of the late king. The most important 
of the old nobles was Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, a 
descendant of Thomas of Woodstock, the son of Edward iii., and 
the representative of the great house of the Bohuns. Buckingham, 
though married to a sister of the queen, was bitterly opposed to her 
poKcy. He made common cause with Gloucester, and the two 
allies showed great vigour in striking against their enemies. As 
the young king was riding from Ludlow to London, escorted by 
Rivers and Richard Grey, Gloucester and Buckingham fell upon 
him, took Rivers and Grey prisoners, and secured the personal 



custody of Edward, wtom tkey brought to Loudon. In great 
alarm Queen Elizabeth fled for sanctuary to Westminster Abbey. 

2. Gloucester's first move was so successful that it encouraged 
him to go further and aim at the crown. He found a fresh 
The deposl- difficulty when some of the nobles, who had cordially 
tion of supported him against the Woodvilles, refused to join 

Edward V. ^i^ j^jj^ j^ ^^^ further step. At the head of this 
party was Lord Hastings, a prominent friend of Edward iv., and, 
up to now, a conspicuous ally of Gloucester. Gloucester showed 
the same vigour against Hastings that he had shown against the 
Woodvilles. On June 13 he accused Hastings of treason, during a 
meeting of the council. After a stormy scene, Gloucester struck 
his fist sharply on the table, whereupon soldiers rushed in, dragged 
Hastings out, and at once cut off his head on a log of timber. 
Rivers and Grey were now executed, and Dorset only saved his life 
by flight beyond sea. The queen was persuaded to surrender the 
duke of York to the protector, who forthwith shut him up in the 
Tower, where the king was already ia safe custody. The protector's 
next step was to win over the Londoners to his side. Next Sunday, 
June 22, his partisan, Dr. Shaw, brother of the mayor, delivered a 
sermon at St. Paul's on the text, " Bastard slips shaU not take deep 
root." The preacher declared that Edward iv. had made a contract 
to marry another lady before he had wedded Elizabeth Woodville, 
and that therefore his marriage with her was invalid. As a result 
of this, the young king and his brother were illegitimate. Doubts 
were also cast on the lawful birth of Edward vi. and Clarence, and 
the duke of Gloucester was declared to be the rightful heir to the 
crown. The Londoners heard this strange tale in silence; but, 
two days later, Buckingham repeated Shaw's statements in the 
Guildhall to the mayor and chief citizens. The majority of his 
audience was stiU unmoved, but a few of the retainers of the two 
dukes raised shouts of " King Richard ! " and their cry was sup- 
posed to be evidence that the city had declared itself in favour of 
the protector. Parliament met next day, and begged Richard to 
accept the throne. After a sham pretence of reluctance, Gloucester 
fell in with their wishes. On July 6 he was crowned Richard in. 
in Westminster Abbey. After this event nothing more is known 
as to the fate of the deposed Edward v. and his brother Richard 
of York. There is little doubt but that they were murdered in the 
Tower by their uncle's orders. 

3; In the sordid revolution which made Richard in. king, Buck- 
ingham had played the part of a king-maker. Richard now 


overwhelmed Mm with favours, and even promised to surrender to 
him the half of the Bohun estates which Henry iv., in the right of his 
mother, had brought to the crown. Yet Buckingham Riehard III. 
soon became discontented, and his inordinate ambition and Buck- 
made him look stiU higher. In August he fled from ingham. 
court, and raised the standard of revolt at Brecon. At first he thought 
of claiming the throne for himself, but in the end he was prudent 
enough to xinite with the remnants of the Lancastrian party, which 
was still strong in Wales. At the head of a considerable force of 
Welshmen, Buckingham marched as far eastwards as the Severn. 
But the river was in flood, and he could not effect a passage over it. 
This check soon proved fatal to his hopes. His forces melted away, 
and he was obliged to flee in disguise. Before long he was tracked 
to his hiding-place, and on November 2 was beheaded in the market- 
place of Salisbury. 

4. Early in 1484 Richard met his parliament. It attainted 
Buckingham and the other enemies of the king, and passed many 
useful acts, conspicuous among which was a statute Rjehapd 
declaring benevolences illegal. Its proceedings show III.'s policy, 
that Kiohard was making a bid for popular favour, 1483-1485. 
and striving to pose as a constitutional Yorkist king. He was 
anxious to remove the bad impression created by the crimes 
through which he had won his way to the throne, and he was 
so able a man that he might very well have become a good ruler 
and a useful king if he had had the chance of developing his polioy. 
However, his power rested on too narrow and personal a basis. He 
could not conciliate the Lamoastrians, and he had hopelessly set 
against himseK most of the supporters of York. He could expect 
no faithful service from the selfish nobles who had helped him to 
the throne, and constant intrigues and conspiracies made his position 
insecure. Moreover, domestic troubles further clouded his prospects. 
His only son and his wife died. Thereupon he thought of making 
his heir, Edward, earl of Warwick, the son of Clarence. Eichard 
also proposed to marry his own nieco Elizabeth, the daughter of 
Edward iv. and Elizabeth WoodviUe. Before this scheme could 
be carried out, a fresh revolt cost him his crown and his life. 

5. After the murder of Henry vi. and his son, the main branch 
of the house of Lancaster had become extinct. The only repre- 
sentative of the line of John of G-annt had now to be jug Rgau- 
sought in the house of Beaufort, whose legitimate forts and 
descent was more than doubtful. Even the iouse of theTudops. 
Beaufort was extinct in the mate line, when the last of the dukes 


of Somerset was put to death, on tlie battlefield of Tewkesbtiry. It 
was, however, still represented by the Lady Margaret Beaufort, 
daughter of John Beaufort, first duke of Somerset, and now the 
heiress of all the Beaufort claims. From her cradle the Lady 
Margaret had been a great heixess, and she had been married by 
Henry vi. to his half-brother, Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond. 
Richmond's father, Owen Tudor, was a Welsh gentleman who had 
neither high rank nor great possessions. He was good-looking, 
plausible, and attractive, and won the heart of Henry vi.'s mother, 
Catharine of France. To the great scandal of the court, Catharine, 
the widow of a king of England and the daughter of a king of 
France, took this Welsh squire for her second husband, and had by 
him two sons. The elder of these was the Edmund Tudor, earl of 
Richmond, who was married to the Lady Margaret, while the 
younger, Jasper, became earl of Pembroke. Edmund Tudor had 
long been dead, b\it his son by Margaret, Henry Tudor, inherited 
the earldom of Richmond, and was now, for the lack of a better, the 
only possible head of the house of Lancaster, to which all the 
Tudors were entirely loyal. Both Henry Tudor and his uncle 
Jasper had long been living in exile in Brittany. The split in the 
house of York, consequent on Richard's usurpation, had revived 
the hopes of the Lancastrians, so that Henry Tudor now became 
an important personage. Though Margaret was still alive, Henry 
was regarded as the only possible Lancastrian monarch. Bucking- 
ham, when he revolted from Richard, declared himself in favour 
of Richmond's claims to the throne, and, after Buckingham's fall, 
all who wished to put an end to Richard's power looked to the exUe 
in Brittany as the most likely instrument of their wishes. 
Prominent among Richard's supporters were the brothers Thomas 
and William Stanley, the heads of a rising house which had already 
attained a great position in south-west Lancashire. Like Bucking- 
ham, the Stanleys were disloyal to Richard, and Thomas, the elder, 
was now the husband of the Lady Margaret, Richmond's mother. 
While stUl remaining in Richard's confidence they intrigued with 
the Breton exiles. 

6. In 14S5, Richmond and Pembroke left Brittany 
of Boswopth ■^''■'' ^^iicS' where Charles vill., who had succeeded his 
and the father, Louis xi., in 1483, received them with favour, 

death of and helped them with men and money. In the sum- 
UsT'"'*"'" ^'^^ ^'^^y crossed over from Harfleur to Milford 
Haven, where they landed at the head of a small 
army. The Welsh flocked in large numbers to their countryman's 




standard, so that Henry Tudor was strong enough to march 
through Wales into the Midlands and challenge Richard's throne. 
On August 22 the decisive battle between Henry and Richard was 
fought at Market Bosworth, in Leicestershire. During the struggle 
WilUam Stanley deserted Richard for Henry, and this settled the 
fortunes of the day. Richard perished, fighting desperately to the 
last. When the field was won, Thomas Stanley, who had taken no 
part in the action, came up and joined the victor. At the end of 
the fight, the crown, discovered on Richard's body, was placed by 
Thomas Stanley on his stepson's head. Henceforth the Lancastrian 
exile was King Henry vii. 


Bichaid Woodville, eari Rivers, d. 1469, 

m. Jacquetta of Luxemburg, 

widow oE John, duke of Bedford. 

Anthony Woodville, 

earl Rivers, 

d. 1483. 



Thomas Grey, 

marquis of 

Dorset, d. 1501. 

EUzabeth Woodville, 

m. (1) Sir John Grej', 

d. 1461. 

(2) Edward iv., 

d. 1483. 




Sir Richard 


d. 1483. 

Edward v., 
d. 1483. 

Catharine Woodville, 
m. Henry Stafford, 
duke of Buckingham, 
d. 1483 (see table 
on page 284). 




duke of 


d. 1483. 

m. Henry 

Mary m. Charles Brandon, 
duke of Suffolk. 

Thomas Grey, 

marquis of 
Dorset, d. 1530 
(commander in 

Spain, 1612). 

Henry Grey, marquis of Dorset and 

duke of Suffolk, d. 1654, m. Frances Brandon. 

Henky viii. 

(see table on 

page 419). 

Lady Jane Grey. 

Lady Catharine Grey, 
Lord Beauchamp. 



1. The fifteenth century in England witnessed no great changes 

in the constitution. We have seen how, in the earlier part of it, 

The eon- ^^® Lancastrian rulers were so completely controlled 

stitution l>y their parliament that in a fashion their government 

in the seems to anticipate our modern cabinet system. But 

eenth ^-^^^ times were too rough to make such a method of 
century. . 

government practicable. The supremacy of parliament 

meant in effect the increase of the power of the nobility, and the 

rule of the nobles meant constant factions and threatened anarchy. 

The Lancastrian constitutional experiment perished in the Wars 

of the Roses, and the result of the failure was the restoration of 

a strong monarchy under Edward iv., who prepared the way for 

the stiU stronger rule of the Tudors. With the decay, alike in 

numbers and in power, of the baronial aristocracy, one characteristic 

feature of mediaeval English society was removed. 

2. The Church, like the nobility, had seen its best days. It 

had escaped the threatened danger of LoUardy, and seemed out- 

_. „, wardly as powerful as ever. Never was it more wealthy 

The Church. •/ a j j-j v, i, v. i 

or magnincent, and never did churchmen take a more 

prominent share in the national Hfe. But it had lost the old 

vigour and spiritual force which had marked the Church of the 

thirteenth century. Its characteristic leaders were political 

ecclesiastics, who spent their days in the service of the State, and 

received their reward from the wealth of the Church. In the 

days of St. Thomas of Canterbury it had been thought impossible 

for the same man to be archbishop of Canterbury and the king's 

minister. In the fifteenth century it became a regTilar custom to, 

make the southern primate lord chancellor. The State had no 

longer anything to fear from the restlessness or the encroachments 

of the Church, for the Church in its half-conscious weakness leant 

upon the support of the State, and had little wish to assert itself 

against the secular power. There was little energy and small wish 

for reform, though the abuses of the Church were great, and a few 

earnest men were still found who were anxious to make things 



better. It was not so much the corruption as the worldliness 
of the Church that was so conspicuous. There were few spiritual 
leaders of the people, and the most active and public-spirited of the 
bishops were those who lavished their wealth on pious foundations, 
on erecting magnificent colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and in 
building schodls to supply them with scholars. 

3. In the universities also there was the same want of life and 
freshness. After the silencing of WyolifEe, Oxford sank back into 
orthodoxy, but showed little energy and produced few ,^^ ^^_ 
noteworthy writers or thinkers. Both Oxford and varsities 
Cambridge were adorned with magnificent buildings, and learn- 
great and well-endowed colleges, and stately and well- ^^' 
stocked libraries. Conspicuous among these new foTindations were 
'Hew College, at Oxford, the creation of Bishop William of Wyke- 
ham, and King's College, at Cambridge, which was established by 
Henry VI. Both the bishop and the king founded great schools in 
connection with their colleges, to supply them with students. Wyke- 
ham thus set up Winchester school, and Henry vi. Eton. But 
though such measures rendered the means of study more accessible, 
the spirit that inspired study was seldom very strong. The best 
thought and literature were outside the universities, which remained 
the homes of the decaying scholasticism of the Middle Ages. 

4. Deficient as was the fifteenth century in strenuous purpose and 
high ideals, its history is in no wise altogether a history of decline. 
Despite the fierce fighting at home and abroad, Eng- ppojpgpjfy 
land did not altogether stand still. The quarrels of of the 
kings and nobles affected but little the life of the fifteenth 
ordinary man. Even during the Wars of the Hoses century, 
the simple Englishman managed to till his farm and seU his goods, 
with little regard to the clash of party strife. Farmers throve by 
reason of good harvests and improvements in cultivation. YiUein- 
age steadily died out because it was more profitable to cultivate the 
sou by means of free labour. In particular, the constant demand for 
English wool from the Netherlands made sheep-farming a profit- 
able business for farmer and landlord alike. All classes prospered 
through the increase of trade and the beginnings of our foreign 
commerce ; when Edward iv. began to bring back order and strong 
government, progress became rapid. Population increased greatly, 
though it was stiU not very high, and England probably numbered 
at the end of our period about four million inhabitants. 

5. In the towns trade was brisk and increasing. It was the 
time of the greatest influence of the craft-guilds. These were clubs 


or societies formed by meinbers of each of the chief trades practised 
within a town. They served as benefit societies to shield their 
members from misfortimes, and as social clubs which 
and trade' celebrated holidays by feasts, processions, and solemn 
services in church. Besides thus encouraging self- 
help and good-fellowship, they kept prices steady, watched over the 
quality of the articles produced, and protected the guild brethren 
from undue competition and the cutting down of profits. Foreign 
commerce was on the increase, and at last a fair proportion of it 
was faUing into English hands. In earlier days the Easterlings, 
or merchants from the Hanse towns of Northern Germany, the 
Venetians, and other Italians, had the bulk of English commerce 
in their own hands. Since the great naval victories of Edward in. 
Englishmen took more readily to the sea. Shipbuilding developed, 
and numerous commercial treaties opened up foreign ports to 
English enterprise. The English merchants formed societies for 
mutual assistance. Of these the most famous was the society of 
the Merchant Adventv/rers, which set up its factories in the Scan- 
dinavian kingdoms, and began to compete successfully with the 
Hanse merchants for the trade of the Baltic and North Sea. 
London was crowded with ships, and flourished exceedingly. Bristol, 
the chief western port, prospered on account of the Irish trade, and 
obtained a large share of the commerce with Iceland, whose stormy 
seas were a rare school of seamanship. The export of wool, still 
our chief product, was mainly conducted through Calais, the seat 
of the staple, and now a thoroughly English town. As the open 
door through which English wool was exported to the clothing 
towns of the Netherlands, it was as important in commerce as it 
was in politics as the gate which opened up Prance to the invasion 
of English armies. 

6. The increased prosperity of the towns and country alike was 
seen in the increasing number and splendour of the churches and 
Late Per- piiWic btdldings. A large number of stately and mag- 
pendicular nificent parish churches were erected all over the land, 
architee- They were built in the Perpendicular style of Gothic 
^''®' architecture, which continued to be the one fashion of 

building until the middle of the sixteenth century. The later Per- 
pendicular buildings were even moi-e costly and spacious than those 
of the reign of Edward in., and were infinitely more numerous. One 
feature of the style was the erection of beautiful and richly adorned 
towers ; others were the magnificent timber roofs, or the fantastic 
and elaborate stone vaulting, in which ornament and decoration 


were pursued for their own sake. The culmination of this is to be 
found in the fan tracery of the vaults of Henry vi.'s chapel of 
King's College, Cambridge, or Henry vii.'s chapel at the east end 
of Westminster Abbey, both charaoteristic buildings of the period. 
Though this style is less pure than the earlier Grothic, it is stiU 
very rich, impressive, and magnificent. Nor were churches, colleges, 
and monasteries the only structures which men now set up. Private 
houses were now built in a more durable and comfortable fashion, 
and even the warlike nobles gave up erecting gloomy 
castles for their abodes, preferring in their stead large, hu^lngj 
well - lighted, and roomy mansions, which, though 
following the liiies of the old castles, and capable of standing a 
siege, were built with a primary regard for the comfort of those 
living in them rather than with the view of keeping out the enemy. 
Magnificent specimens of the castellated mansions of the nobles of 
this period are to be seen in the ruined houses of Tattershall, in 
Lincolnshire, and Hurstmonceaux, in Sussex, both of which belong 
to the reign of Henry vi. They are both remarkable as being 
among the earliest brick buildings erected in England since Soman 
times. By the end of the century the fashion of building in brick 
had become common, and njade it easier to erect substantial houses 
in districts where stone was scarce or bad. 

7. New styles in dress and customs showed how general was the 
change of taste. Armour became more costly and elaborate than 
ever, and efforts were made to strengthen it in such 

a fashion as would protect the wearer from bullets and A'"'"""'' ^^^ 
arrows as well as from the thrust or cut of lance or 
sword. The use of firearms became more general, and light hand- 
guns, the predecessors of the later musket, were beginning to come 
into use. Tet the long-bow, now at its prime, was still generally 
preferred in England to these clumsy and uncertain weapons. It 
was abroad rather than at home that new experiments were now made 
in the art of war. The French adopted the use of artillery more 
readily than the English, and it was by reason of the excellence 
and number of their cannon that they discomfited the long uncon- 
querable English archer, notably at the battle of CastiQon, which 
closed the Hundred Years' War. 

8. The literature of the fifteenth century reflects the general 
character of the age. Since the death of Chaucer there was no 
more poetry of the highest rank, but the style of 

Chaucer was imitated by a whole school of versifiers, 

who wrote fluently, freely, and vigorously, though with little 


originality or artistic gift. The best poetry of the time is to be 
found in the large number of anonymous ballads, some of which 
are of a high order of excellence. Another feature was the growth 

of a popular drama, which was chiefly represented by 
fh^d'^ ^"'* religious dramas called Mysteries, or Miraele-plays, 

wherein enacted stories from Scripture, or sermons 
in verse, setting forth the mysteries of the faith. It became the 
custom for the townsmen to amuse themselves on holidays by 
witnessing miracle-plays of this kind, acted in temporary theatres 
erected in the streets and public squares. We have still extant the 
cycles of dramas that delighted the citizens of Chester, York, and 
Wakefield during this period. 

9. Prose was better than poetry. There was a larger reading 
public, but it was not very particular as to the quality of what it 

read so long as it was amusing or instructive. The 
monastic chronicles became few and feeble, as the 
vigour of the religious life declined ; but as a compensation great 
men began to employ private historiographers, who set down in prose 
or verse the deeds of their patrons. These men were sometimes the 
heralds or chaplains of their employers, and sometimes foreigners, 
especially Italians, who were brought into the country by noblemen 
and prelates anxious to show their sympathy for the vrider and 
f uUer literary movements of lands beyond the sea. Humphrey, duke 
of Gloucester, was the most bountiful and broad-minded of these 
noble patrons of letters. He had in his pay an Italian who called 
himself Titus Livius, and wrote at his master's bidding a Latin life 
of Henry v. The Percies employed an Englishman named John 
Harding to compose a metrical history of their house, wherein he 
took good care not to minimize the glories of the distiagnished family 
to which he owed his bread. It is a sign of the greater extension 
of knowledge and the spread of the practice of composition that we 
have for the first time collections of private and familiar correspond- 
ence, which give us a much more vivid idea of what ordinary men 
thought and said than can be gathered from the stifE and formal 
official letters of state which alone survive from earlier ages. 
Conspicuous among such collections are the Paston Letters, the 
correspondence of a pushing and rising family of Norfolk squires, 
which give us far the best picture that we have of the state of 
society during the Wars of the Roses. 

10. The increased demand for books led to the existence of a 
large class of scriveners and stationers, whose business was to copy 
out and sell volumes for which there was a constant popular 


demand. The skill shown by these men was great, and they mvdti- 

plied books with as much faithfulness and quickness as were possible, 

so long as every fresh example had to be written out by 

hand. But the impossibility of producing books by the ^^^s:^ 

laborious process of copying them out in manuscript 

set men's brains to work to devise means of multiplying them by 

mechanical devices. In the course of this century the invention of 

'printing was soon to make obsolete the painful art of the scrivener. 

11. The first books produced by mechanical means were what 
were called hloch-hoolcs. In these the matter which had to be 
reproduced was written on flat blocks of wood, and The Inven- 
then the rest of the surface of the block was out away tlon of 

so that the pattern written stood out in relief, and l'"""°8f- 
when smeared over with oily ink, could be pressed or printed upon 
pieces of paper, much as wood-cuts were mxiltiplied in later times. 
This method was only possible for short works of considerable 
circulation, since it was slow and costly, and the blocks were useless 
save for the one purpose for which they were designed. For about 
a century, however, block-hooles were the only alternatives to manu- 
scripts, until about the middle of the fifteenth century, the ingenuity 
of John Gutenberg, a citizen of Mainz, in Germany, devised the 
method of casting movable types in metal to correspond to the 
various letters and characters. These types could then be set up to 
represent any combination of letters, and when the copies needed 
were printed off, the type could be distributed and rearranged to 
make a fresh book. Gutenberg's great invention soon spread aU over 
Europe, and that the more rapidly since the first book he printed, 
a Latin Bible, issued in 1455, was of such extraordinary beauty as 
to rival or surpass the best type of manuscript. The result of the 
spread of printing was that books became suddenly cheapened and 
multiplied, and that a great impetus was given to reading and study. 

12. In Edward iv.'s time printing was brought into England 
by a Kentishman named "William Carton, a shrewd and successful 
merchant, settled for many years in Elanders, who ^jujg^jjj 
learnt in the Netherlands and in Germany the new caxton, 
art about which all interested in books were talk- theflpst 
ing. He bought types from a Flemish printer, and, p°,*"|p 
about 1474, produced with them at Bruges, in 
Flanders, the first printed books in English. These were a 
romance called a Mecuyell of the Histories of Troy, and a treatise 
on The Gamve and Play of Chess. In 1477, Caxton went back to 
England, and set up his press under the shadow of Westminster 


Abbey, where he printed and published many books, both in English 
and Latin. Caxton was not only a good business man but a com- 
petent scholar, who wrote prefaces to his books and translated 
many of them into English. Edward iv. and Richard iii. and 
the more cultivated nobles were his patrons. After his death 
in 1491, his press went to his pupil, Wynkyn de Worde. Other 
men followed their example, and before the end of the century, the 
art of printing was firmly established in England. So powerful 
was the press by this time, that the king and the Church would 
allow only those books to be printed which had obtained a licence. 

13. One feature of this period is the growth of an independent 
English-speaking state in Scotland. So constant was the hostility 
of the northern and southern kingdoms that it was 
In the ^° Prance rather than to its neighbour that the little 

fifteenth Scottish kingdom looked for support and guidance. It 
century. ^^g characteristic that, for example, Scottish buildings 
which in earlier ages had been erected after the same fashion as 
those in England, now followed the French rather than the 
English style. Thus there is hardly any Perpendicular Gothic 
in Scotland, though builders were as busy beyond the Tweed as 
in England during the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 
The Scottish churches of this time foUow in preference the Flam- 
boyant or late Gothic of Prance, which differs in some ways more 
widely from contemporary English art than any other mediaeval 
style. A comparison of the Flamboyant churches of Melrose or St. 
Giles, Edinburgh, with the English churches of the same date, will 
show how deeply divided against itself English-speaking Britain 
had become. It was the same with domestic architecture, where the 
Scottish barons erected for themselves imitations of Prench castles 
rather than English manor-houses. When in 1508 the art of 
printing was tardily introduced into Scotland, it was in Prance that 
the earliest Scottish printers learnt their craft. In law, in the 
same way, the Soots looked to Prance and the Roman Civil Law 
rather than to the customary law of England, which was originally 
common to all parts of the English-speaking race. In literature, 
also, the court speech of Edinburgh was, as we have seen, the old 
Northumbrian dialect, and not the Midland tongue which Caxton, 
like Chaucer, adopted as the most appropriate for English literary 
speech. Yet the ties of common langniage still counted for some- 
thing. James I., a cultivated and intelligent king, brought back 
from his long English captivity a sincere love for Chaucer's poetry, 
and wrote his own poem, called the Kingis Quhair, in the style of 


the southern master. From this time the fashion of Chaucer took 
a deep hold on Scottish men of letters. All through the fifteenth 
century Scots poets, Kke Robert Henryson, set forth in the northern 
form of English spirited imitations and adaptations of Chaucer's 
themes and metres, which show that there was more true poetic 
spirit to the north than to the south of the Tweed. The reigns 
of the early Stewart kings witnessed in this, and in many other 
ways, a wonderful growth of ciTilization, order, and prosperity. 
Historians of the school of Barbour described the stirring deeds of 
the heroes of the War of Independence, and a wandering minstrel 
called Blind Harry wrote a rude poetic romance on the exploits of 
Wallace, the great popular hero of the north. The same period 
also witnessed the establishment of three Scottish universities at 
St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, so that the northern scholar 
had no longer to leave his own land to obtain a learned education. 
Save in the wild Highlands beyond the Forth, where the un- 
changing Celtic civilization stiU went on without a rival, Scotland, 
like England, was becoming awake to the new issues that were 
soon to excite the interest of aU Europe. 

14. The changes which we have sketched show that fifteenth- 
century Britain was by no means standing still, though it was not 
now, as it had been, fully abreast of the Continent, jjieend 
Everywhere the Middle Ages were slowly dying away, of the 
It was an age of discoveries, of new inventions, of Middle 
greater love of knowledge, and of a wider interest in ®®^' 
man and nature. Before long, Coltimbus was to make his way to the 
new world called America. It was already the time of the Revival 
of Letters, or the Renascence — that is, the new birth of learning 
and thought. None of the new movements had as yet reached 
Britain, but elsewhere, and especially in Italy, there had been won- 
derful progress made in many directions. Even in ota* island 
some men were beginning to be interested in the new tendencies. 
Those who read deeply began to think for themselves. When men 
began to think for themselves, modern times were already at hand. 
Books kecommeuded fob the Further Study of the Period 1399-1485 

Oman's History of England, 1377-1485, in Longmans' Political History o£ 
England, vol. iv. ; Stubbs' Constitutional England, vol. iii., which includes 
the best survey of the political history of the period ; James Gairdner's Houses 
of Lancaster and York (Longmans' Epochs of Modem History) ; A. G. Bradley's 
Owen Glyndwr and C. L. Kingsford's Henry V, (both in Heroes of the Nations) ; 
Oman's Warwici; the King Maher, a spirited sketch (Maomillan's Men of 
Action). For Caxton and his successors, see E. G. Duff's Early Printed Boohs, 
ch. viii.-xi. The Paston letters, edited with valuable introductions by James 
Gairdner, throw a flood of light on the political and social history of the period. 


THE TUDORS (1485-1603) 


HENRY VII. (1485-1509; 

Chief Dates : 

1485. Accession of Henry vii. 

1487. Imposture of Lambert Simnel. 

1492. Treaty of Staples ; beginning of Warbeck's imposture. 

1494. Poynings' Law. 

1496. The Magnus Intercursus. 

1499. Execution of Warbeck and Warwick. 

1503. Marriage of James iv, and Margaret Tudor. 

1509. Death of Henry vii. 

1. Henry vii. had been schooled by his early trials in prison and 
exile to repress his feelings, and to regard his own interests as Ms 
primary care. Silent, cold, suspicions, and reserved, 
HenrvVlf ^^ ^^^ never able to make himself popular, though he 
delighted in fine clothes and the pageantry of his 
office. Prudent, careful, and politic, he was remorseless to those who 
stood in his way, though never capricious or bloodthirsty. Greedy 
as he was of wealth and power, he refused to regard himself as the 
mere chief of the Lancastrian faction, and did his best to make 
himseK king over the whole nation. One of his first acts was to 
marry the Lady EUzabeth of York, the daughter of Edward iv., 
and, by her brothers' disappearance, the nearest representative of 
the house of York. He hoped thereby that the friends of Edward 
IV., who had hated the usurpation of Richard, would thus become 
his supporters. Anyhow it was certaia that the children of Henry- 
and Elizabeth would have a clearer title to the throne than any 
king after Richard 11. 

2. The long faction fight could not be ended in s, day, and the 

-1487.J HENRY VII. 309 

first years of the new reign seemed but a continuation of the old 
struggles of the rival houses. Henry had to reward his followers, 
and though he deprived few Yorkists of their estates continuance 
and titles, the return of the Lancastrian exiles, and of the old 
the elevation of his friends and kinsfolk to high Party 
rank, natiu'aUy changed the balance of parties. The 
Yorkists at once sought to redress their fortunes by rebellion, and 
Henry vii. soon found, like Henry iv., that his real difficulty was 
not in conquering England, but in holding it. 

3. The first Yorkist rising was in 1486, when Lord Level and 
the StafEords, the kinsmen of the late duke of Buckingham, broke 
into rebellion at once in different parts of the country. 
They were easily put down. Without a leader, it was ^j"^** "'"iTrI 
hard for the Yorkists to act together. Their natural 
head was the wife of the Lancastrian king, while their nearest male 
representative, Edward, earl of Warwick, the son of the murdered 
Clarence and a daughter of the king-maker, was detained a close 
prisoner in the Tower by the suspicious Henry. 

4 Outside England, circumstances were more favourable to the 
Yorkists. Edward iv.'s sister, Margaret of Burg-undy, the widow 
of Charles the Rash, still possessed great iufluence in Lambert 
the Netherlands, and encouraged every plot against Simnel, 
the hated Tudors. Though Ireland was for all prac- l'*87. 
tioal purposes independent of England, and ruled by its own clan 
chieftains and feudal lords, yet the house of York, as heir of the 
Mortimers, had a strong position among the leading Irish families. 
There were many Irish barons eager to make loyalty to York an 
excuse for throwing off even nominal obedience to the English 
king. Chief among these was the earl of KUdai-e, the head of the 
Leinster branch of the great Norman house of Fitzgerald. Kildare 
had been made deputy, or governor, of Ireland by Richard iii., 
and was no friend to Henry Tudor. Though the new king had 
not ventured to take away from him his office, he had set over him 
as lord lieutenant his uncle, Jasper Tudor, now duke of Bedford. 
This so much irritated Kjldare that he gladly feU in with the 
scheme hatched by Margaret of Burgundy to supply the Yorkists 
with a pretext for a fresh rebellion. In 1487 there landed in 
Ireland a pretty boy, about twelve years old, accompanied by a 
priest, who gave out that the child was Edward, earl of Warwick, 
who, he said, had escaped from the Tower. The Fitzgeralds at 
once took up the cause of the youth, and had him crowned king in 
Dublin. ReaUy, the pretender was one Lambert Simnel, the son of 

3IO HENRY VII. [1487- 

an Oxford organ-maker. Having no true prince in -whose name 
they could fight, the Yorkists set up this impostor as their candidate 
for the throne. It was easy for Henry to defeat so transparent a 
fraud. He took the real Warwick out of prison, so that the 
Londoners could see for themselves that the boy-king in Ireland 
was a counterfeit. Before long, Simnel's friends were reinforced 
by the exile Lovel and a troop of German mercenaries, under 
Martin Sohwarz. They were now emboldened to cross the Channel 
and try their fortunes in England. But few English joined the 
motley host of Irish, Germans, and Yorkists. The invaders were 
easily defeated at the battle of Stoke, near Newark, and the pre- 
tended Warwick fell into the king's hands. Henry showed his 
contempt for the impostor by giving him a free pardon, and 
making him first turnspit in the royal kitchen. Henry was, how- 
ever, stiU so weak that he forgave Kildare, the real author of the 

6. During the first years of his reign, Henry had many troubles 
abroad. Besides the old duchess of Burgundy, both Scotland and 

France were unfriendly to him. To meet the hostility 
sueees?io°" °^ Charles viii. of France, Henry made an alliance 
and the with Duke Francis of Brittany, who was at war with 

treaty of his overlord. However, in 1488, Francis died, leaving 
1492. ^' ^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ °^y daughter named Anne. The 

French now sought to marry the Duchess Anne to 
their young king, Charles viii., and so unite Brittany and France. 
This alarmed the chief enemies of France, Ferdinand, king of 
Spain, and Maximilian of Austria, king of the Romans, who, by 
marrying the daughter of Charles the Rash, had established him- 
self as lord of the Netherlands. Henry ventured to ally himself 
with these pi-inoes against the French, and sent small forces to 
Flanders and to Brittany. The French now overran Brittany, 
and in 1491 Anne was married to Charles viii. Next year (1492) 
Henry levied a large army, and landed in France. Like Edward 
IV. in 1475, he showed little eagerness to fight, and wiUingly made 
peace with the French in the treaty of Mtaj>les, by which the 
French paid him a good round sum of money to ensure the with- 
drawal of his army. This inglorious retreat of Henry disgusted 
his allies without conciliating his enemies. 

6. The friendlessness of Henry outside his kingdom soon bore 
fruit in a new imposture, much more formidable than the weak 
attempt of Lambert Simnel. A little before the treaty of Etaples 
there landed in Ireland a youth of noble presence and attractive 

-1496.] HENRY VII. 3II 

manners, who declared that he was Bichard, duke of York, the 
yomigerof the sons of Edward iv. whom' Richard iii. had immured 
in the Tower. He said that he had escaped when his pe^ijin 
brother Edward v. was slain, and had now come to Warbeck, 
claim his inheritance. In truth, he was Perkin "War- 1492. 
beck, a native of Tournai, in the Netherlands, and inspired, like 
Simnel, by the bitter malice of Margaret of BurgTindy. Warbeok 
played his part so well that many people honestly believed in him, 
and for seven years he was a soiirce of constant anxiety to Henry vii. 

7. Moved by Henry's clemency on a former occasion, Kildare 
and the Fitzgeralds gave a colder welcome to Warbeok than 
to Simnel. The new impostor soon left Ireland. 

Charles viii. recognized him, and invited him to of If"**"" 
France, where many of the exiled Yorkists gathered William 
round him. Driven from France by the treaty of fllg'®^' 
Etaples, he found a refuge with Margaret of Burgundy, 
who declared him to be her nephew. Meanwhile, Yorkist con- 
spirators were active in England. In 1495 these were joined by 
Sir WUliam Stanley, who, with his brother, in 1485 made earl 
of Derby, had been chiefly instrumental in gaining Henry the 
throne. Like Hotspur under Henry iv., Stanley was discontented 
with the rewards given to him by the king, and was now eager to 
undo the work of his own hands. His plot was discovered ; he 
confessed his guUt, and was put to death. 

8. Disappointed at the failure of his friends, Warbeok strove to 
take his destinies in his own hands. Little success attended his 
gallant attempts. He failed to efEeot a landing in Kent ; 

another effort to win over Ireland was attended with exehision ^ 
indifferent success. Meanwhile, Henry had cultivated from 
the friendship of both Charles vni. and Maximilian geoOand"'^ 
with such success that the Continent was henceforth 
ba:^red to the impostor. James iv., king of Scots, was stiU Henry's 
enemy. In 1496 he invited Warbeck to Scotland, married him to 
his cousin, the Lady Catharine Grordon, and invaded the north of 
England, proclaiming that he was come to overthrow the usurper 
Henry Tudor, and uphold the just claims of Eichard iv. No 
English would join a pretender backed up by the Soots, and James 
was forced to retire without daring to fight a battle. Next year a 
threat of invasion from England compelled the king of Scot« to 
dismiss Warbeok from his country. Once more the impostor took 
refuge in Ireland, but soon found that his chance was as hopeless 
there as in the north. 

312 HENRY VII. [1496- 

9. In 1496 Henry vii. made the Scots inroad an excuse for 
exacting heavy taxes from his subjects. In 1497 the Cornishmen, 

who had no fear of the Scots, rose in revolt, and, 
The Cornish headed by a lawyer named Flammook, marched to 
""'^rf"^' ^*®^' London, and encamped on Blackheath, where, after 
execution hard fighting, they were scattered. Warbeck took the 
of Warbeek bold course of laiiding iu Cornwall, hoping that the 
Warwick inhabitants of that shire, inspired by the spirit which 
1499. had sent them to Blackheath, would welcome him, and 

rebel once more in his favour. He soon found enough 
followers to march eastward and besiege Exeter. Failing to capture 
the capital of the west, he resumed his eastern march as far as 
Taunton, where a royal army stopped his fxirther progress. Seeing 
that battle was inevitable the next day, Warbeck lost heart. 
Leaving his followers to their fate, he took sanctuary with the 
Cistercian monks of Beaulieu in Hampshire. The Cornishmen, 
abandoned by their leader, went back to their homes, and so the 
danger to Henry's throne was over. Before long Warbeck was 
persuaded to surrender, on the promise of his life being spared. 
He was imprisoned in the Tower, where he made friends with the 
captive earl of Warwick. In 1499 both Warbeck and Warwick 
were condemned and executed, on a charge of an attempt to seize 
the Tower and overthrow the king. Whether guilty or not, their 
removal deprived the Yorkist party of its last -sorry leaders, and 
firmly established Henry Tudor on the throne. The Wars of the 
Eoses were at last over. 

10. Henry had perceived that his chief danger from Warbeck 
came from the unfriendliness of foreign powers. He therefore 

strove to conciliate the chief princes of Europe, and 
Tlie Magnus ^g }jj^yg gggjj j^q^ successfvdly he had cut at the roots 
1496, and ' of the impostor's strength. The treaty of Etaples had 
tiie Maius driven Warbeck from France. It was a harder busi- 
1506.^" " ' ''^^^ ^° remove him from Flanders, since Maximilian 

declared that the dowager duchess was free to do what 
she liked in her own lands. Henry had, however, a useful weapon 
against him in the close commercial relations that stiU bound 
Flanders to England. By prohibiting all trade between the two 
countries, he soon persuaded Maximilian to keep Warbeck out of 
his dominions. In 1496 the relations between Maximilian and 
Henry were made very cordial by a treaty called the Magnus Inter- 
cwrsus, or Great Intercourse, by which trade was resumed, and both 
princes promised not to support each other's enemies. Ten years 


later, in 1506, Maximilian's son, the AroMiike PhUip, the real ruler 
of the Netherlands, was driven by bad weather to take refuge in 
an English port on his way to claim the throne of Spain. Henry 
treated Philip with aU honour, but would not sufEer him to 
continue his journey until he had signed a new treaty of commerce. 
This favoured English traders so much that the Flemings called 
it the M.alns Intercursus — ^that is, the Bad Intercourse. 

11. Foreign politics were more important than at an earlier 

time, since the leading monarchs of Europe were now so powerful 

that they had plenty of time to intervene in each other's 

affairs, and their mutual jealousies and aUiances led to J 

,, ' . . „ , , -,,,,_ European 

the beginning 01 what was called the European political 

Political System, in which the chief princes strove to system and 
maintain a balance of power between each other, and of power, 
prevent any one state from attaining such greatness 
as to make it dangerous to its neighbours. After the conquest of 
Brittany, Charles viii. of France invaded Italy in 1494, and made 
himself for a time king of Naples. This triumph was but short- 
lived, for the Italians contrived to drive bim out, and Ms rivals 
sided with them through their fear of the French. Conspicuous 
among the enemies of France were the Emperor "lvra.YiTini1ia.Ti i. 
and Ferdinand, king of Aragon. Maxiniilian was a vain, showy, 
and moneyless prince, whose power was not very great. Ferdinand 
of Aragon was the wisest and strongest king of his day. He had 
married Isabella, queen of Castile, and the union of the two chief 
kingdoms of the peninsula under this couple was the beginning of 
the great Spanish monarchy. 

12. Always suspicious of France, Henry made it the main 
object of his policy to win Ferdinand and Isabella to his side. He 
servilely followed their lead, and sought to marry his j),g Spanish 
eldest son, Arthur, prince of Wales, to their younger alliance, 
daughter, the Infanta Catharine of Aragon. After l^"'- 

five years' negotiations, the wedding was completed in 1501. Next 
year, however, Arthur died. Henry was so anxious to keep up the 
Spanish connection and to retain Catharine's liberal wedding 
portion in England, that he proposed that the widowed princess 
should marry his younger son Henry, who was now made Prince 
of Wales. As a marriage of a man to his brother's widow was 
prohibited by the Chtirch, Henry obtained from Pope Julius 11. a 
ddspensation which suspended the law in this particular case. Thus 
Catharine remained in England, though several years elapsed before 
she and Henry were actually united. Meanwhile the dependence 

314 HENRY VII. [1503- 

of Henry on Ferdinand continued. The Archduke Philip, who 
had married Catharine's elder sister, Joan, and so became king' of 
Castile on Isabella's death, died in 1506. Soon after his visit to 
England, Henry, already a widower, proposed to Ferdinand to 
marry Joan of Castile, though she was a madwoman. 

13. Moreover, in 1503, Henry vii. wedded his elder daughter 
Margaret to James iv., king of Soots, who had up to then been 
The Scottish generally hostile. Henry hoped to wean him from 
marpiage, that close connection with France that every Scottish 
1503. monarch had cultivated since the days of Edward i. 
Though the first hopes of this were disappointed, this marriage 
was so far successful that a hundred years later a descendant of 
James and Margaret united the English and Scottish thrones. 

14. Despite Henry vii.'s intrigues and alliances, the power of 
England abroad was still insignificant. It was something, how- 
Henry's ever, that the Tudor king had shown that England 
domestic had once more a foreign policy, and was no longer in 
policy. |.]j^g state of impotence and isolation which she had 
occupied during the Wars of the Hoses. Henry's best work, how- 
ever, was not abroad, but at home, where he gradually restored the 
royal power and put an end to the weak rule and confusion which 
/had culminated in the struggle of Lancaster and York. Though 
/he was a Lancastrian, he made no attempt to govern in the con- 
stitutional fashion of the three Henries who had preceded him. 
He preferred to base his rule on the model of Edward iv. He 
summoned parliament as seldom as he could, and did not scruple to 
disregard the law of Richard iii. by raising money by benevolences. 
He passed several wise laws, one of the most important being an 
act of 1495, by which it was declared that no one who obeyed the 
king who was reigning for the time being should be punished as a 
traitor, whether that king ruled with a good title or not. 

15. Henry vii. was fortunate in his ministers. His chief adviser, 
Cardinal Morton, who was both archbishop of Canterbury and lord 

chancellor, was much more of a statesman than an 
mtn^'teps ecclesiastic. Morton served the king too faithfully to 

be popular, and was particularly shrewd in filling the 
king's coffers by indirect devices that did not openly break the 
law. After his death, in 1500, Richard Pox, bishop of Winchester, 
was one of Henry's chief advisers, but the most trusted confidants 
of the king's latter years were two men of lower rank, Edmund 
Dudley and Richard Empson. Denounced by the people as Henry's 
"horse-leeches and skin-shearers," they managed to fill both the 

-iSog.] HENRY VII. 315 

king's pockets and their own by devices mucli more odions than 
any that Morton had indtilged in. Through their help, and 
through the rigid economy which never deserted him, Henry 
acoiuniilated a store of treasure such as no previous English king 
had gathered together. 

16. Englishnien could afford to submit to Henry's ex&,ctions, 
since he kept the land iu better order than it had known for a 
century. The chief trouble of fifteenth-century Re^uetion 
England had been in the inordinate power of the of the 
nobles. Henry was doing a service to the people as P,?™^®''.'?^ 
well as to the throne when he devoted his best energies 

to compeUing the turbulent nobles to obey the law Hke ordinary 
citizens. A chief means by which the nobles had defied the law was 
through the custom of livery and maintenance, whereby all who wore 
the badge or Kvery of a lord were bound to support him in all his 
quarrels, while the lord ia return was bound to maintain his livery- 
men. This meant that he was to back them up in whatever trouble 
beset them, and either to coerce the law-courts not to pass sentences 
against them, or, if they were condemned, to see that the sentences 
against them were not carried out. Many statutes had been passed 
making livery and maintenance unlawful, but none of them had 
succeeded, since they were carried out by those very courts which 
were so powerless against the great nobles. In 1487 Henry passed 
a fresh act against livery and maintenance, by which a new court was 
established to carry out the law. This court consisted of ministers 
of state of such high rank that they were not amenable to the 
pressure which the nobles were so often able to exert against the 
judge and jury of an ordinary assize court. This body was one 
source of the famous Star Chamber, which was to serve later 
monarchs in such good stead. Through this new court, Henry's 
statute was carried out so thoroughly that the abuses of livery and 
maintenance were speedily ended. The fate of the nobles ruined in 
attempts to resist Henry showed that the mightiest barons were no 
longer above the law. In thus breaking down the power of the 
aristocracy, Henry vii. laid solid foundations for that Tudor 
despotism which attained its culminating point under Henry vili. 
and Elizabeth. 

17. Henry vii. also did a little to extend strong government to 
Wales and Ireland. Proud of his Welsh descent, he Henry VII.'s 
called his eldest son after the famous British king Welsh and 
Arthur, and sent him to rule his principality from ''^^ Policy. 
Ludlow, the old home of the Mortimers. The council of advisers to 

3l6 HENRY VII. [1509- 

the young prince became the nucleus of the body which in the next 
reign became the Council of Wales. In Ireland more immediate 
steps were necessary, and after Warbeck's first attempted landing, 
Henry deprived Kildare of his deputyship, and sent Sir Edward 
Poynings to Ireland as his successor. A plain Englishman, 
superior to the local feuds of the land he ruled, Poynings passed in 
1494 the famous Irish act of parliament, called Poynings' Law, by 

which all English laws were declared to be of force in 
Law" 1494 Ireland, and the Irish parliament was forbidden to 

pass any measure until it had received the approval of 
the king's council in England. Thus Ireland was made definitely 
dependent on the English government of the day. Henry had not, 
however, power to go far in the direction thus defined by Poynings. 
Before long he again made Kildare his deputy, thinking that the 
cheapest way of keeping some sort of order was to invest one of 
the Irish magnates with the exercise of the royal authority. " AU 
Ireland," he was told, " could notrtde the earl of Kildare." Henry 
is reported to have answered, " Then let the earl of Kildare rule 
all Ireland." Thus Ireland still remained practically independent 
under its own clan chieftains and feudal barons. 

18. In this as in so many other matters, Henry vii. was only 
sowing that others might reap. But, when prematurely aged by 

the toils of statecraft, the first Tudor king died in 
Henry VII. 1509> lie tad established the infant dynasty on such a 

solid basis that his son and successor became from the 
moment of his accession one of the strongest of English monarohs. 


Chief Dates : 

1509. AccesBion of Henry viii. 

ISII. The Holy League. 

1513. Battles of the Spurs and Flodden. 

ISIS- Francis i., king of France ; Utopia published. 

1517. Beginning of the Eeformation in Germany. 

IS19. Charles v., emperor. 

IS21-1S2S. War with France. 

1521. Fall of Buckingham. 

1S2S. Battle of Paria. 

IS27. Henry appliss for a divorce. 

1529. Fall of Wolsey. 

1. Henky viii. was only eighteen years tdd when he succeeded 
his father as king of England. Tall, robust, and weU-built, with 
a round and fair-complexioned face, and short-cut, 
bright, auburn hair, Henry was the handsomest Henpy'vm°* 
sovereign in Christendom. He was a splendid athlete, 
an accomplished horseman, an enthusiast for the chase, and an 
excellent tennis-player. He looked every inch a king, with his 
stately form set off by gorgeous attire, glittering with jewels and 
gold. Though tenacious of his dignity, his friendly hearty manner 
won him the love of rich and poor aUke. Carefully educated by 
his father, he played and sang well, spoke several languages fluently, 
and delighted in the society of scholars. Though seemingly ab- 
sorbed in a round of pleasure and amusement, he never forgot that 
his real work was to rule England. His strength of will and 
stubbornness of pxirpose made him one of the very ablest of our 
kings. He knew what he wanted, and had few scruples as to how 
to get it. A shrewd judge of character, he chose his ministers 
well, and used them to the uttermost. He was selfish, greedy, 
hard-hearted, without the faintest gleato of pity or of softness. 
Ever stem and relentless, he became in later life a cruel and 
hateful tyrant; but he never quite lost the love of his subjects, 



and there always remained, amidst the worst excesses of his later 
life, some touch of his lionlike wiU and splendid force of purpose. 

2. Henry was the first king since Henry v. whose title no man 
seriously disputed. Inheriting the fruits of his father's painful and 

laborious poKcy, and the great store of treasure that 
of Empson the elder king had hoarded up, Henry aspired to play 
and Dudley, a leading part in European politics. He felt that he 

could take up a bolder and more popular line than 
Henry vii. He strove to win over the people to his side, while he 
completed his father's work of crushing the old nobility and the 
great churchmen, who had so long stood in the way of the royal 
power. His ambition was to rule England as a strong but popular 
and national despot, and his people, long accustomed to find in the 
king their best protection against aristocratic licence and misrule, 
gave him a hearty and ungrudging support. In his eagerness to 
win popular favour, he sent to the Tower Empson and Dudley, the 
hated agents of his father's grasping extortion. At first they were 
charged with tyrannising over the king's subjects in their collection 
of the taxes, but this true accusation was dropped for a foolish 
charge of treason and conspiracy against the king. Early in 1510 
parliament passed an act of attainder against them as traitors. A 
few months later both were beheaded on Tower HUl. 

3. Though remorselessly sacrificing to popular hatred the moat 
notorious of his father's subordinate agents, Henry continued in 

office the tried ministers who had really fashioned 
nSnistOTs^ Henry vii.'s policy. They were mainly bishops and 

nobles of high position, but of no great ability or 
energy. The foremost among them were Richard Fox, bishop of 
Winchester, and Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey. Fox was a good 
and pious man, but anxious to give up politics ; and Surrey, though 
a capable soldier, and the only conspicuous representative of the 
older nobles who remained unswervingly faithful to the king, was 
not clever enough to be able to give efiect to the ambitious schemes 
of his young master. To carry out these an abler and more 
strenuous helper was necessary, and Henry soon found a minister 
after his own heart in Thomas Wolsey. The son of a substantial 
Ipswich merchant, Wolsey early distinguished himself at Oxford, 

but soon abandoned the student's career to become 
Wolsev chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Fox, 

who thought well of him, gave him a footing at court, 
and under Henry vii. he had shown his capacity in several embassies. 
Under the young king he became dean of Lincoln and alpioner. 


Fox's gradual withdrawal from politics gave Wolsey his oppor- 
tunity, and the growing complication of foreign politics soon made 
him indispensable to Henry. In 1514 he became bishop of Lincoln, 
and, before the end of the year, archbishop of York. In 1516 he 
was made lord chancellor, and the pope sent him a cardinal's hat. 
For sixteen years Wolsey was supreme both in Church and State. 
Fresh preferment was heaped upon him, until he enjoyed the 
revenues of three or four bishoprics and of one of the richest 
abbeys in England. He lived on terms of intimate friendship with 
Henry, and though never gainsaying the fierce king's wishes, was 
able to control his policy as no other minister of the reign ever 
did. He was an indefatigable worker, and kept aU the business 
of the state under his own control. Equally competent to organize 
an army and to conduct a subtle diplomatic intrigue, he was alike 
able to formulate a great policy and to plod patiently through the 
dull details of administration. He afEected a pomp and ostentation 
such as the proudest nobles did not aspii'e to ; but he posed as the 
friend of the poor, listening patiently to their lawsuits, and dealing 
out to them even-handed justice. The great nobles both envied 
him and hated him, recognizing in him the chief instnunent em- 
ployed by the king for their abasement. He had few of the strict 
virtues of the churchman, though he was a munificent patron of 
learning, and wished to see the clergy better educated and more 
energetic. He had something of the pride, the greed, the ostenta- 
tion, and love of pleasure of his master ; but he had a clear vision 
of the right policy for his country, and without his rare gifts the 
young king's reign would have been shorn of much of its glory. 

4. The ability and energy of Wolsey were of special service to 
his master in the region of foreign politics. Under Henry vii. 
England had been of little account in European 
afPairs; and the old king's fidelity to the Spanish p^Jtif" 
aUiance had met with but scanty recompense from 
Ferdinand of Aragon. As in the days of Henry vii., the rivalry 
of Louis XII. of France and of Ferdinand of Spain was the 
central fact of the European situation, and Italy had become more 
than ever the prize of victory. Louis, as duke of Milan, was the 
chief power in Northern Italy, and Ferdinand, as king of Naples 
and SicUy, dominated the south of the peninsula. Both princes 
threw themselves into the complicated intrigues of the Italian 
statesmen, and shared their fears of the aggressions of the wise; 
strong, and wealthy republic of Venice. So far did this fear lead 
them, that ia 1508 Ferdinand and Louis forgot their rivalry for a 

320 HENRY Vin. AND WOLSEY [1511- 

moment, and united with the Emperor Maximilian i. in the Leagtie 
of Cambrai against Venice. This union of all the chief powers 
of the Continent had the efBect of isolating' England from aU 
opportunity of taking part in Continental politics. Nevertheless, 
Henry viii. kept on good terms with Spain, and within a few 
weeks of his accession, he carried out his long-deferred marriage 
with Catharine of Aragon, Ferdinand's daughter, and his brother 
Arthur's widow. For three years the continuance of the League 
of Cambrai made Henry powerless to take a line of his own. But 
the clever Yenetian statesmen began to play upon the jealousies of 
the ill-assorted coalition arrayed against them, and in 1511 they 
succeeded in breaking up the alliance altogether. Julius 11., the 
fierce and warlike pope, who had taken a prominent part in the 
league, became alarmed lest the destruction of Venice should be 
followed by the establishment of French rule in Italy. He per- 
suaded Ferdinand and Maximilian to break off their connection 
The Holv '^ii>- France, and to join in a new combination with the 
League, Venetians, whose object was to drive the French out 

ISll. of Italy. This league was called the Boily League, 

because the pope was at the head of it. 

5. Henry viil. was delighted that the break-up of the con- 
federates of Cambrai into two factions gave liiTn a chance of taking 
Henpyjoins ^P ^ ^^^ °f ^^ own. He joined the Holy Leagne, 
the Holy hoping to win glory for himself by gaining victories 
League. ^^^^ ^j^g French, and believing that with the help 
of Maximilian and Ferdinand he might again bring Normandy 
and Gascony under the English king's rule. Wolsey showed won- 
derful energy in raising armies to fight his master's battles, and in 
levying the sums of money necessary to equip and feed them. It 
was the first time that England actively entered into a general 
European war waged on the large scale of modem times. 

6. In 1512 there was fighting all over Europe. The Holy League 
drove the French out of Milan, and Ferdinand of Aragon con- 
The war in luered the little kingdom of Navarre, which was closely 
1512 and alHed to France. Henry sent his cousin, Thomas 
1513. Grey, marquis of Dorset, with a considerable army to 
the north of Spain, hoping that the Spaniards would co-operate 
with him in his attempt to win back Gascony, the ancient heritage 
of the English kings. But Ferdinand was biisy with Navarre, and 
left the English to look after themselves. The raw English troops 
were kept inactive ; and disgust at the weakness of their generals, 
and complaints of the badness of the food and drink supplied to 




them, soon drove them into mutiny. Dorset was forced by his own 
soldiers to return to England without accomplishing anything at 
all. It was a ludicrous result after all Henry's fine talk of foreign 

7. In 1513 Henry and Wolsey made fresh efforts to restore the 
credit of their arms. The king himself led an army through the 
open gate of Calais into the French king's lajids, and Battle of 
the needy emperor, who claimed to be Caesar Augustus, the Spurs, 
and lord of the world, appeared in the English camp, 1513. 
and greedily took English pay. Henry defeated the French at 
Gidnegatte with so much ease that the English called their victory 

Emery w^lkei sc. 

the Batile of the Spurs, since the enemy made more use of their 
spurs in their flight than of their swords in the struggle. This 
victory led to the capture of the towns of Th^rouanne and Tournai. 
"Wolsey, who had served aU through the campaign with but little 
regard to the peaceful character of a prelate, was now made bishop 
of Tournai as the reward of his efforts. 

8. After the ancient fashion, the French sought to weaken the 
English attack by stirring up their old allies the Scots to cross the 
Border. James rv., though Henry vill.'s brother-in- law, eagerly 




abandoned his new friendship with the English in favour of the 
traditional policy of the Scottish kings. About the time of the 

Battle of the Spurs he crossed the Tweed at the head 
Fie^Tsis. °^ ^ well-eq^uipped and gallant army, and easily 

captured many of the border castles. The earl of 
Surrey hastened to the north to expel the intruder. On Surrey's 
approach, James took up a strong position on Flodden Bdge, one 
of the northern offshoots of the Cheviot hills, a few miles south of 

EmeryWallteT si 

A. First position of the Scottish army. 

B. Second position of the Scottish army. 

C. Position of the two armies at the beginning of the battle. 

1. The Earl of Surrey. a. Borderers. 

2. The English left. b. King of Scots. 

xxxx Their flank charge c. Highlanders, 

during the battle. d. Scottish reserve. 

Coldstream. The deep and broad river Till protected his right 
flank, and a marsh made his left hard to get at. Surrey, who was 
on the opposite or east bank of the Till, was unable to attack with 
advantage, but by a clever march northwards he succeeded in 
crossing the TUl at Twizel Bridge, and put himself between the 
Scots army and Scotland. As Surrey moved northwards, James 


fooKshly abandoned Flodden Edge and stationed his army on 
Branxton Hill, a lower elevation, at some distance to the north. 
Surrey turned south to meet him, and on his approach, the Scots 
came down from the hill, and on September 9 the decisive battle 
was fought in the plain at its foot. The Scots king blundered to 
the last, and the four divisions into which his army was divided 
were stationed so far apart that they could do little to help each 
other. The struggle soon resolved itself into a fierce hand-to-hand 
fight. Though the borderers on the Scots' left carried aU before 
them, the English left easily scattered the Highlanders who fought 
on the Scots' right. In the centre there was a prolonged struggle 
between Surrey and James, but when the English left turned from 
the pursuit of the Highlanders and took James in flank and rear, 
all that the Scots could do was to sell their lives as dearly as 
possible. The northern army was utterly destroyed, and James, 
with the bravest of his nobUity, lay dead on the field. The 
victorious Surrey was rewarded by being made duke of Norfolk, a 
title which his father had forfeited by Ms support of Richard iii. 

9. Plodden Field was the only great exploit in the war. Henry 
was bitterly disappointed with the result of his intervention on the 
continent. He had got no help from his selfish allies, _ 

who only looked after their own interests, and he saw France and 
that it was hopeless to expect to win by English ^^°*|^"^' 
resources alone new victories that could match with 
Crecy and Agincourt. Louis xii., who had been finally driven out 
of Italy, was old and broken in health, and wishful to end his days 
in peace. Julius 11. was dead, and the new pope Leo x. was anxious 
not to risk the results of his victories by continuing the war. 
Moreover, after James iv.'s death, his widow, Margaret Tudor, 
ruled over Scotland in the name of her little son, and won over the 
country to the English side. It thus became easy for Henry to 
make peace with France and Scotland, and he had little scruple in 
throwing over his father-in-law, Ferdinand, who had helped him so 
badly. The peace with France was cemented by the marriage of 
Henry's younger sister, Mary, to Louis xil. With his two sisters 
reigning over the French and Scots, Henry came easily out of a 
war that had brought him more expense and worry than glory. 

10. For the next seven years England enjoyed unbroken peace. 
The special feature of this time was the dying offl 

of the older generation of rulers, in whose places ppfne°"_"^ 

arose young, vigorous, and able princes, of the same age 

and with the same ambitions as the king of England. Louis sii. 




died early in 1515, whereupon his widow speedily married her old 
lover, Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, the personal friend and 
boon companion of her brother. Francis i., Louis' cousin, became 
king of Prance. He was ambitious and warlike, and at once renewed 
the strugg-le for Milan, winning in. 1616 the great battle of 
Marignano, which restored him to the possession of that duchy, and 
forcing his enemies to make peace on terms that left Milan under 

Dominions of Charles V, (Spanish line).. 
Dominions of Ferdinand (German line).. 

Austrian Dominions of Charles gifien to r „ , ^ ^, _ . 

Ferdinand in 1521. f^'^Botindanj of the Empire.. 

Emery Wallcer sc. 

French rule. In 1516 Ferdinand of Aragon died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his grandson, Charles of Austria. Charles's mother was 
Joan, elder daughter and heiress of Ferdinand and Isabella, and 
his father, the Archduke PhOip, was the son and heir of the 
Emperor Ma ximili an and of Mary of Burgundy, the only daughter 
of Charles the Bold. On Ferdinand's death, Charles, who was 
already lord of the Netherlands, also became king of Spain and 
Naples and ruler of the great empire which Spanish adventm-ers 
were winning by the sword in the newly discovered continent of 




America. In 1519 tiie Emperor Maxiinilian died also, wkereupon 
Charles succeeded to Austria and the other hereditary domiaions of 
the Hapsbnrgs. 


Charles the Eash, 

duke of Burgundy, 

d. 1477 

(see table on page 269). 

Ferdinand, king m. Isabella, queen 

of Axagon, 
d. 1516 


Catharine of Aragon. 
m. (1) Arthur, prmce 
of Wales. 
(2) Henry viii. 

of Castile, 
d. 1504. 



Maximilian i., 
Roman emperor, 

m. Mary of 

Joan, queen m. Philip, archduke of Austria, 

of Castile. 

and Philip i. of Spain, 
d. 1506. 


Mary Tudor, 


m. Philip II., 

king of Spain. 


Charles v., 1519-1556, 

Roman emperor and 

king of Spain. 

d. 1558. 

Ferdinand i., Roman 

emperor (d. 1564), ancestor 

of the later emperors 

of the house of Austria. 

Philip ii. of Spain, 

Don John of Austria. 

Philip hi. of Spain, 1598-1621. 
Philip iv. of Spain, 1621-1665. 
Charles ii. of Spain, 1665-1700. 

11. The once great title of Roman emperor had now been borne 
for several generations by the head of the house of Austria. But 
every emperor was chosen by the Seven Electors, and „. , 
some of them were so much afraid of young Charles's Charles V. 
power that they hesitated to appoint him to succeed his and 
grandfather. Francis offered himseM as a candidate, '"^""'^ • 
but after a fierce contest, Charles was preferred. He was henceforth 
called the Emperor Charles v., though the title did little to iucrease 
his real resources. However, the ancient rivalries of the older 
rulers of Prance and Spain were at once renewed between these 
two ambitious sovereigns. For the rest of their lives Francis and 
Charles contested fiercely for the first place in Europe. All the 
lesser states of Europe ranged themselves aside with one or the 


other, though the more prudent began to feel that the right 
policy for them was to strive to set up some sort of balance 
between the two great powers. It was mainly through the long 

rivalry of Charles and Francis that the doctrine of the 
of PoweF?°^ Salcmce of Power was accepted as the basis of all 

European politics. It was thought to be the interest of 
every state to prevent any of its neighbours growing so strong that 
it could upset what was called the European Balance. The notion 
has prevailed more or less ever since, and most of the wars and 
treaties of the last four centuries have been directed to uphold the 
political equilibrium between the different states in Europe. 

12. Wolsey was strongly influenced by the notion of the 
political balance, and persuaded Henry that it was his interest to 
Wolsev's prevent either Francis or Charles having a decided 
foreign preponderance over the other. Wolsey also strove to 
policy. maintain peace between the rivals by threatening to 
throw the weight of England on to the side that began hostilities. 
For several years this policy succeeded, though it led to endless 
hollow and insincere intrigues, and made both parties look upon the 
English with suspicion. Moreover, after the contest for the 
empire, war became inevitable, so that after all Henry had to take 
a side. It speaks well for the way in which the reputation of 
England had revived that both Charles and Francis competed 
eagerly for her support. 

13. In 1520 Henry and Francis held a personal interview on 
the border between Calais and the French king's territory. Each 
The Field of ^^S showed such magnificence and splendoxir that 
the Cloth of men called the place of their meeting the Field of the 
Gold, 1520. (jiotji gf Qoi^_ Francis and Henry claimed to be Kke 
brothers in their affection, and wasted huge sums in giving 
elaborate entertainments to each other. There was, however, little 
reality in these solemn declarations, and very soon afterwards Henry 
held a leas ostentatious meeting with Charles v. at Gravelines, and 
came to an understanding with him. Wolsey stiU professed to 
mediate between the rivals, but Henry had deiinitely gone over to 
the emperor's side. He stiU hated the French as England's 
hereditary enemies, and wished well to Charles v., who ruled over 
countries bound to England by many ancient ties of friendship, 
and was himself the nephew of Queen Catharine. Despite the talk 
about upholding the balance, Henry threw his weight into the scale 
which soon proved to be the heavier one. 

14. Between 1521 and 1529 Charles and Francis were at war. 


Henry began as an active ally of Charles, and in 1522 and 1623 
EngHsL. armies invaded France from Calais, tke second of 
them being commanded by Henry's brother-in-law, wapw'th 
Sirffiolk, the husband of the widowed qneen of Prance. France, 
But neither expedition inflicted much harm on the 1S21-1525. 
French. As duriag the war of the Holy League, Henry had the 
mortification of seeing his enemies defeated by Ms ally, without 
being able himself to do anything efEeotive against them. Charles 
drove Francis out of Italy ; and when in 1525 the gallant chivalry 
of France again crossed the Alps and strove to win back Milan, 
Charles won a complete victory at Pavia and took his rival captive. 
16. The overwhelming defeat of the French made the prospect 
of a fresh English attack on France very hopeful, and for a 
moment there was talk of invading that country. 
However, Wolseyhad at last managed to make Henry of charles^'' 
believe iu the new theory of the Balance of Power, and the 
He urged that Charles's victory was so complete that Frfneh 
he seemed likely to be master of all Europe, and that 
his preponderance might well become dangerous to England if he 
were allowed to crush France altogether. Accordingly, Henry 
broke off his friendship with Charles and made peace with France. 
Francis, who was released from prison in 1526, again strove to 
win back his position in Italy. He would have been very glad 
of Henry's direct help, but the English, though professing great 
sympathy for him, left him to do all his fightiug for himself. 
The little princes of Italy, who Uke Henry were much afraid 
of Charles's power, formed a league to help him to drive the 
emperor from the peninsula. Clement vii., the pope, a nephew of 
Leo X., put himself at the head of this confederation. But the 
emperor proved irresistible. In 1527 he brutally sacked Rome and 
took the pope prisoner. All Europe was horrified, but the severe 
lesson showed the Italians tha.t Charles was their real master. 
Francis struggled on tiQ 1529, when he made the ipeace of Camhrai 
with Charles on terms that left the emperor supreme in Italy. 
Henry and Wolsey had done nothing to prevent Charles's triumph. 
With all their fine talk about holding the balajice between the 
rivals, they had not ventured to strike a blow to save France from 
humiliation. Wolsey s diplomacy was as inefEective as Henry's 
armies. It was useless for England to pose as the mediator of 
Europe, when it refused to throw its weight on the weaker side. 
It seemed almost as if the English were conscious that their power 
counted for so little, and believed that even if it had been turned 


against the emperor, it would Lave been imable to redress tte 

16. The old nobles envied Henry and Wolsey even their barren 
triiunphs on the contment, and stood aside in sullen isolation, 
Fall of Buck- a^igry that low-born men should Lave the king's chief 
Ingham, confidence, while they, wLose ancestors Lad ruled all 
^^^'" England, were quite witLout real power. TLe leader 
of tLe old Louses was Edward Stafford, duke of BuckingLam, son 
of tLe BuokingLam wLom BicLard in. put to deatL. He was a 
proud, vain, foolisL man, wLo was persuaded by false propLets tLat 
Henry would soon die and tLat Le Limself would become king, as 
one of tLe descendants of Edward in. He talked rashly about the 
king and the cardinal, and perhaps contemplated a real attack 
upon them. In 1521 Le was suddenly arrested and accused of 
treason. TLe lords condemned him to deatL witLout muoL real 
evidence. But tLe king said Le was guilty, and tLey were too 
timid or deferential to go against tLe king's wisLes. He was 
beLeaded as a traitor, and Lis fate frigLtened tLe proudest of tLe 
magnates into absolute subservience to tLe fierce and masterful king. 

17. Henry migLt safely humiliate tLe nobles so long as tLe 
people were on Lis side. But tLe cost of his expensive foreign 
The king policy and wasteful court revels Lad long ago ex- 
and the Lausted Lis fatLer's Loards of treasure, and tLe EngHsL 
commons. ting's ordinary revenue was so small tLat unusual 
expenses could only be met by fresL taxation. TLe House of 
Commons was loyal to tLe king, and in 1512 granted Lim all tLe 
money Le asked for to carry on tLe FrencL war. But in 1522 and 
in 1523 Henry made sucL vast demands upon Lis subjects that 
parliament began to grow restive. TLe EnglisL Lated notLiug 
so mucL as taxes, and wLile willing enougL tLat tLe king sLould 
flgLt tLe FrenoL, sLowed a strong disinclination to pay tLe ex- 
penses necessarily involved in sucL a policy. TLe parliament of 
1523 made a mucL smaller grant tLan tLe king Lad asked for, and 
only gave tLis after Wolsey Lad gone down to tLe Commons and 
lectured tLem on tLe necessity of supporting tLe king's government. 
So serious did tLeir attitude seem tLat for tLe six years tLat remained 
of Wolsey's ministry tLe king never summoned anotLer parliament. 
In 1525, wLen Le tLougLt of fitting out anotLer army, Le strove 
The to raise tLe money by what was called an Amicable 
Amicable Loan, in which every one was called upon to lend to 
Loan, 1525. ^-j^q king a sixth part of his income. There was a 
storm of resistance everywhere. It was said that Henry was 


reviving benevolences, which had been abolished under Kichard iii., 
and the only answer Wolsey could give was that Richard was a 
usurper and his laws invalid. A popular rebeUion was threatened, 
and Henry was forced to cancel the loan and take what money Ms 
subjects offered freely. The cardinal was regarded as responsible 
for his master's failure. Already bitterly hated by the nobles, 
Wolsey was henceforth equally disliked by the common people. 

18. New ideas were in the air, and beneath the seeming calm 

of the times the seeds of far-reaching changes were being sown. 

It was the time of the "Renascence — that is, of the 

revival or new birth of learning. Men, who in former „V?„™' „ 

° ' nascence. 

days had been content to take everything on trust, 
began to ask questions for themselves, and would believe in nothing 
that did not seem to them good and reasonable. The remarkable 
revival of arts and letters which had begun in Italy, gradually 
spread itself to lands like England, where old-fashioned notions 
had hitherto prevailed. Printing had now made books cheap and 
accessible, and scholars studied not only the schoolmen of the 
Middle Ages, but the classic literature of Greece and Rome. 
Indeed, a zeal for the study of Greek, a language little known 
in the Middle Ages, was a chief characteristic of what was called 
the New Learning. With the revival of antiquity came some 
sort of revival of the spirit of the ancient world. 

19. The institutions and ideas of the Middle Ages had brought 
about much good in their time, but many men had now lost faith lb 
them. The Church had been the greatest institution 

of the Middle Ages, but the Church had long been in f^e Church 
a state of decay. The papacy had ceased to be in any 
sense the religious centre of Christendom. The popes were stiU 
rich, powerful, and prominent, but it was as politicians or as 
patrons of the new learning, rather than as spiritual guides to 
the faithful, that they made themselves conspicuous. The chief 
popes, of the time were fierce warriors like Julius 11. or clever 
statesmen and lovers of art and literature like Leo x. The corrup- 
tion of the head was but a sign of the decay of the members. 
Gross abuses were common throughout the whole Church, but 
more harm perhaps was done by the wide spread of indifference 
and worldliness. The great ecclesiastics had but little of the true 
spirit of religion. Among the people there was much superstition 
and imgodliness, and but little real faith and earnestness. The 
clergy were largely indifferent or hostile to the movements for 
reform. They thought mainly of preserving their old privileges 

330 HENRY Vin. AND WOLSEY [1509- 

and their own wealth. They were getting quite out of touch with 
their flocks. Tet, despite the growth of the new spirit, the 
Church was still outwardly unshaken. It was as rich, as strong, 
and as proud as ever, and though earnest men denounced its 
corruptions, there were very few who disbelieved in its doctrines 
or wanted to change its system. 

20. The best minds in all countries were striving to make the 
new learning as widely spread as possible, and to get rid of the 

ignorance, superstition, and corruption which stood in 
reformers'^ the way of all reform. Since the reign of Henry vn., 

a little band of Oxford scholars had been upholding 
the new learning in England. Conspicuous among them was 
John Colet, who, after doing much for the revival of the study of 
Greek in Oxford, was made dean of St. Paul's in London. There 
he exercised immense influence by his preaching and life. Early 
in Henry viii.'s reign he set up a new school, called Et. Paul's 
school, in which boys were to be brought up in the spirit of the 
new learning. He was a straightforward, high-minded, and deeply 
religious man, who wished to make the clergy more active and 
better educated, but who had no desire to alter the doctrines or 
constitution of the Church. 

21. Among those whom Colet's example deeply influenced were 
the famous foreign man of letters, Erasmus of Rotterdam, who spent 

many years in England, and the brilliant young English 
and^Mope lawyer. Sir Thomas More. Erasmus was an enlightened 
but timid scholar, who laughed at bigotry and super- 
stition, and did good service for learning by his writings and by 
his edition of the Greek Testament. But he had little of the 
sturdy directness of spirit of Colet, and his thoughts were always 
for the little world of scholars and thinkers rather than for the 
people at large. More combined with the delicacy and insight of 
Erasmus some of the vigour and straightforwardness of Colet. It 
was a great disappointment to his student friends when he gave 
up the scholar's life to become a lawyer and a statesman. But his 
knowledge of practical afEairs gave him an insight into the roots of 
the evil that underlay the prosperity of the times, such as no mere 
Mope's scholar could ever possess. In his famous book Utopia, 

" Utopia," written in Latin and published in 1515, he described 
• with great clearness and spirit the evils of the age, 

and by way of contrast drew an imaginary picture of a perfect 
commonwealth, called Utopia, where everything was ordered for 
the best. In this ideal state there was none of the selfishness and 


greed for gain that he saw in the England aroxind him. Every 
man had enough and none more than enough. Men could think as 
they pleased and worship God as they Uked. They were interested 
in reading and improving their minds, and were not allowed to 
quarrel with each other. Very different from this, thought More, 
was the state of affairs in England. There the rich became richer 
and the poor poorer. Men unwilling to work, or for whom no work 
could be found, swarmed over the country as vagrants, thieves, and 
murderers. The hard laws that sent all felons to the gallows were 
useless to remedy this condition of things. The poor had nothing 
to do but to beg and rob, for grasping landowners had found out 
that it paid them better to turn their corn lands into pasture. 
Sheep, More said, were devourers of men, since fewer labourers were 
wanted to watch the great flocks of sheep that now pastured on 
lands which of old had been tilled to produce crops of corn. But the 
Flemish weavers paid a higher price for wool than the farmers 
could get for corn, and thinking of nothing but their own private 
gain, the landlords were stripping England of its inhabitants and 
the poor of their daily bread. 

22. Henry viii. and Wolsey never seriously grasped the need of 
such reforms as Colet and More described. But they were not 
imtouched by the better spirit of the times, and they 
sometimes turned half aside from their schemes of ^^ chupeh. 
selfish statecraft to strive feebly to make things 
better. More entered into Henry's service, and the king listened 
to his advice and treated biTn with great respect. Wolsey formed 
schemes to reform the Church, and obtained from Leo x., in 1618, a 
special appointment as papal legate, so that he could control the 
whole English Church by virtue of his representing the pope, and 
lord it even over the archbishop of Canterbury. He used his new 
power to dissolve several small and corrupt monasteries, and with 
their revenues he set up a great college at Oxford, which he called 
Cardinal College, and a noble school at Ipswich, his birthplace, to 
supply his Oxford coUege with weU-trained students. It was no 
new thing for great prelates and nobles to endow richly schools and 
colleges. But not even WiUiam of Wykeham and Henry vi. had 
designed their foundations on so magnificent a scale as Wolsey. 
However, he was so busy in other work that he never had time to 
carry out his plans properly. What he desired was wise and noble. 
Like Colet and More, he wished to reform the Church from within. 
He strove to improve education, to make the clergy work harder 
and avoid gross corruption. But he never set his own life in 


order, nor did lie even offer to resigTi tie many bishoprics whose 
revenues enabled him to live like a prince, but whose duties 
he never troubled himself about discharging. It rec[uired more 
unselfishness, more faith, and more hard work than Henry and 
Wolsey were able to give, before the abuses of the Church could 
really be set aright. 

23. On the continent, as in England, attempts were made to 
reform the Church from within. Erasmus, the friend of More and 

Colet, inspired those who wished to carry out such 
nin^-s^f the schemes, but, as in England, there was too much 
Reforma- selfishness and too little earnestness for them to 
*'°"'^^'^" prosper. At last a more rough and ready method 

was tried with greater success. In 1517 Martin 
Luther, a friar of Wittenberg, in Saxony, stirred up a great 
agitation against the sale of indulgences. These indulgences 
were remissions of the penance, which those who confessed and 
repented of their sins had imposed upon them by the authority 
of the Church. They were openly sold for money, and the sturdy 
friar became indignant that men should be encouraged to beHeve 

that a mere cash payment would do away with the 
f^fh"" ®^ results of sin. He taught that men were not 

made righteous by their good works, or formal acts, 
but by their faith in God, not by what they did, but by what they 
were. Finding that his teaching was condemned by Leo x., he 
began to denounce the power of the pope and the authority of the 
bishops. This was the beginning of the Reformation. In a. few 
years Luther led all North Germany to revolt against the papal 
authority and the system of the Mediaeval Church. His coarseness, 
his violence, his contempt for the past, his revolutionary ideas, 
frightened cautious reformers like Erasmus and More into be- 
coming lovers of the old ways. But the sturdy zeal of the Saxon 
friar accomplished the work that his more timid predecessors had 
failed to carry out, though it was done at the price of breaking 
, up the majestic unity of the Mediaeval Church, and with a haste 
and violence that destroyed what was good as well as what was 
merely corrupt and decayed. But if the work had to be done, 
Luther's way was the only practical method of doing it. It was 
in vain that the young Emperor Charles strove to silence the 
audacious heretic, and patch up peace with his captive Clement vii. 
on the basis of an alliance against the reformers. The spirit of 
Luther spread everywhere. His followers, called after 1529 
Protestants, could not be put down. 


24. Side by side ■with tte Lutheran reformation, Ulrioh Zwingle 
had started a similar movement among the Swiss at the foot of the 
Alps. And a few years later John Calvin, a French- 
man, began to do in Prance and French-speaking and"(Slv'n 
countries what Luther and Zwingle had done for the 
G-ermans. AH these leaders of the Reformation broke utterly with 
the old Church, and set up new Churches of their own, based on 
principles which they believed to be more like primitive Christianity 
than the Church of the Middle Ages. As they could not agree 
with each other, the quarrels between the different schools of 
reformers compUoated the strife of the old and the new faiths. 
Coming in the wake of many other far-reaching changes, the 
religious revolution called the Keformation completed the end of 
the Middle Ages, and ushered in the freer, wider life of modern 
times. But there was so much unrest, disturbance, and bitterness 
caused by the conflict of the old and the new, that men began 
sometimes to sigh for the days before the great changes began. 

25. Wben Luther first began to denounce the pope and the old 
Chxiroh, every one in England was horrifled at his boldness. Henry, 
who was proud of his knowledge of theology, wrote a 

book in Latin against the reformer, called the Defence jfnd'Luthep 
of (he Seven Sacraments, and Leo x. was so pleased with 
it that he gave Henry the style of Defender of the Faith, which 
curiously enough still remains among the titles of our English 
sovereigns. There were few Lollards left to welcome Luther as a 
new Wycliffe. Even the Englishmen who were fond of grumbUng 
about the wealth, privileges, and corruptions of the clergy, had no 
real quarrel with the Church, and Luther's methods had convinced 
reformers like More that the old ways were better than his. Gradu- 
ally, however, some young scholars went over to Germany and became 
ardent followers of Luther. Chief among these was the strenuous 
but bitter William Tyndall, who in 1525 published an English New 
Testament, that was eagerly circulated among the few English 
innovators, though condemned by the Church, which burned all the 
copies of it that could be found. But Wolsey found no trouble in 
silencing the majority of the English Protestants, and forced many 
to give up their new doctrines. For many years they were of no 
importance whatever. It was not through following in the foot- 
steps of Luther that the English Reformation began, but from the 
seE-will and violence of the king himseK. 

26. About the time that Henry broke with Charles v., he began 
to grow tired of his wife, the emperor's aunt. Catharine of Aragon 




of Aragon 
and Anne 

was six years the senior of her husband, and bad health already made 
her an old woman. All the children of the marriage were dead 
except one girl, the Lady Mary. Henry now per- 
suaded himself that the death of Catharine's other 
children was a proof that God was displeased at his 
breaking the law of the Church by marrying his brother 
Arthur's widow. Most Englishmen wished Henry to have a son, 
who might succeed peacefully to the throne, for there had been no 
instance of a woman ruling England, and it was feared that trouble 
might foUow if Henry died without a male heir. But the real 
cause of Henry's scruples was the appearance at court of Anne 
Boleyn, the Kvely and attractive daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, a 
Norfolk gentleman, who was connected with the great house of 
Howard by his marriage with Anne's mother, a daughter of the 
diike of Norfolk, who had won the battle of Flodden. With her 
the selfish king fell violently in love, and her charms made him 
eager to divorce Catharine, that he might make her his wife. 

John Howard, duke of Norfolk, Sir Geoffrey 

killed at Bosworth, 1485. Boleyn, mayor 
' I of London. 

Thomas, duke 

of Norfolk, 

d. 1554. 

Henry, earl 

of Surrey, 

beheaded 1547. 

Thomas, earl of Surrey, 
duke of Norfolk, d. 1514. 


Sir W. Boleyn. 

Sir Edward 

William, lord Elizabeth, m. Sir Thomas 

Howard of 

Catharine Howard, Charles, lord 
m. Henry viii. Howard of 

of Effingham 
(Admiral in 1588). 

Thomas, duke of Norfolk, 
beheaded 1572. 


earl of 

Anne Boleyii, 
m. Henry viir. 

Queen Elizabeth. 

Philip, ancestor 
of later dukes. 

Lord Thomas Howard, 
Admiral in the Azores, 1591. 
Names in italics not mentioned in text. 

27. In the Middle Ages a marriage sanctioned by the Church 
could not be dissolved. What was called a divorce meant declaring 
that a marriage had never been a valid one from the beginning. 
But the law of marriage was so complicated, and the Church 
courts were so corrupt, that it was not as a rule hard for a great 


prince like Henry to find excuses for such an amniUing of what 
seemed a lawful wedlook. Haviag resolved to get rid of his 
wife, Henry applied in 1527 to Clement vii. for a declaration that 
Ms marriage was invalid. It was a particularly awk- _,, nrlcin 
ward time to raise this question. Catharine was the of the 
emperor's aunt, and Charles v. had recently sacked divopce 
Rome and had taken the pope prisoner. He was 
therefore Clement's master, and was not likely to allow him to 
gratify the king of England, whose desertion of the imperial cause 
Charles had not yet forgiven. Moreover, in raising the question 
of a divorce at all, Henry seemed to be following Luther's example 
of questioning the power of the pope. The ordinary law of the 
Church declared the marriage unlawful. Nevertheless, Julius 11. 
had issued a dispensation, which made an exception from that law 
ia Henry's favour. In asking Clement to disregard that, Henry 
practically raised the question of whether Julius had power to 
dispense with the law of the Church in his favour. It is true 
that Henry tried to avoid that issue by suggesting that there 
were certain irregularities of form in Julius's dispensation which 
made it possible for that particular document to be put aside vrithout 
the general question of right being discussed. But plain men were 
sure to concern themselves with this problem, so that Clement was 
not only prevented from falling in with Henry's wish by fear of 
the emperor, but also by respect for the power of the office which he 
held. Neither party thought much of the wrongs of Catharine. 

28. Clement vii. thought that the best way out of his difficulties 
was to delay everything as long as he could. He was afraid to 
grant a divorce, but he did not want to quarrel with j^^ Decretal 
Henry, as he hoped that some day Henry and the king Commission, 
of France would release him from his dependence on ^528. 

the emperor. As a middle course, he agreed to appoint what was 
called a Decretal Commission, that is, he empowered a special court 
to find out whether the form of Julius's dispensation was, as Henry 
said, an irregular one, it being laid down that, if such were the case, 
the marriage was invalid. The court was to consist of two papal 
legates, who were to sit in England. One of them was Wolsey 
himself, and the other was Cardinal Campeggio, an Italian living at 
Rome, who had done so much service to Henry that he was allowed, 
after the evU fashion of the time, to hold the bishopric of Salisbury. 

29. It seemed a great triumph for Henry that the decision of 
his suit should be handed over to two of his dependents. But 
Campeggio was faithful to Clement, and took care to delay 

336 HENRY Vni. AND WOLSEY [1529- 

proceedings as much as lie coiild. He wasted a very long time in 
travelling to England, and it was not until the summer of 1529 that 
the legatine coiurt was opened in London. But it then 
J'gg^"*""^' seemed as if everything was nearly over. Catharine de- 
clared before the legates that she regarded herself as 
Henry's lawful wife, and refused to hide herself away in a convent, 
as had been suggested to her. She appealed to the pope in person, 
and the best of Englishmen sympathized strongly with her wrongs. 
30. Clement grew anxious after he had appointed the commis- 
sion that took the matter out of his own hands ; and the emperor 
The fall of ^^^ alarmed lest the legates should give a decision ia 
Wolsey, Henry's favour. Before very long the pope annulled 

' ^^^- the commission, and ordered the whole business to be 

gone over again at Rome. Henry was moved to violent anger, and 
made Wolsey the scapegoat of his failure. The cardinal's favour 
had long been declining. He had done his best to get Henry his 
divorce, but his desire had been that the king should marry a 
French princess, who would bind him more closely to the policy of 
Francis, and he did not like the notion of Henry wedding the giddy 
Anne Boleyn, who would bring biTn no strong continental alliance. 
But Henry's self-will had triumphed over his minister's opposition, 
though the king now trusted him so little that he kept bim in the 
dark as to much that was going on. He knew that Wolsey was 
hated by nobles and people alike, and was glad to get a fresh 
spell of popularity by throwing him over as he had thrown over 
Empson and Dudley. The new duke of Norfolk, Arme's uncle, 
hated the cardinal, and Anne herself believed Wolsey was to blame 
for the failure of the legatine court. All combined to attack 
the unpopular minister. Wolsey was driven from the chancellor- 
ship, and his property seized. His great foundations fell into 
Henry's hands, and the king made it a merit to refound the Oxford 
College on a smaller scale under the name of Christ Chwrch. 
Wolsey abjectly yielded to his enemies, and was finally allowed to 
retire to the north, where he threw himself with strange energy 
into the hitherto neglected duties of his archbishopric. But he 
soon began to intrigue for his return to power, whereupon he was 
arrested and brought back to London, to answer the charge of 
treason that Henry always brought against a fallen minister. But 
his health, long weak, broke down under the hardships of a winter 
journey, and he died at Leicester Abbey in November, 1630, lament- 
ing the instability of the favour of princes. With his fall ends 
the first part of his master's reign. 


THE REFORMATION (1529-1547) 

Chief Dates : 

1529. Meeting of the Seformation Parliament. 

1533. Act of Appeals. 

1534. -A^ot of Supremacy. 

IS3S- Execution of Fisher and More. 

1536. Dissolution of the lesser monasteries ; union of England and 


IS39- Dissolution of the greater monasteries and Six Articles Statute. 

1540. Execution of Cromwell. 

IS42. Battle of Solway Moss. 

1544- Capture of Boulogne. 

IS47- Death of Henry viii. 

1. In the years tliat followed the disgrace of Wolsey, Henry viii. 
still made it his maia business to get a divorce from Catharine of 
Ajragon. Wolsey's faUure had shown that there was ppn^-Bss of 
little use in trying to persuade the pope to annul the the divorce 
marriage, arid Henry now sought for stronger methods Question, 
of enforcing his will on Clement. He hoped great things from the 
aJliance with Trance, which remained as the chief legacy of the 
fallen cardinal, and imagined that Francis would really give him 
help in winning over the pope to his side. But Francis was only 
playing his own game. It was not his interest to quarrel with 
Home to please so uncertain an ally as Henry, and he saw that it 
was useless for him to attempt to drive Charles out of Italy, 
though it was only by expelling the emperor from the peninsula 
that Clement could be made a free man. Yet Henry persevered 
for years in this new policy, while he also strove to appeal from 
the pope to learned public opinion, by consulting the universities of 
Europe as to the validity of his marriage. However, the universities 
gave a divided answer, and in most oases said exactly what the 
rulers of the country in which they were situated told them, so 
that Henry got no good from this step. 

337 z 


2. Henry was gradually forced to see that if lie obtained Ms 
divorce, he must mainly rely upon himself and his own subjects. 
Henpv VIII ^^® ■'^^^ ^^^ most effective method of bringing' pres- 
and his sure on the pope was to show him that England was 
subjects. bacldng up his request. It was not hard for Henry to 
force the Church and the people of England to profess themselves 
in agreement with him. Men were still accustomed to look up to 
the king and take what he said as true. Henry had plenty of ways 
of dragooning his subjects into obedience, and did not scruple to 
use them. Convinced that he had a better chance of obtaining his 
own way if he made a show of consulting his people, Henry made 
a point for the rest of his reign of getting parliament, and in 
Church matters convocation, on his side. But it would be very 
wrong to think that this pretence of consulting the people and the 
Church meant anything real. Left to themselves. Englishmen 
would never have entered upon so bold a policy of change as that 
which Henry's self-wiU now induced him to undertake. He was 
already contemplating the withdrawal of English obedience from 
the papacy if Clement stiE held out. 

3. Soon after Wolsey's fall, parliament and convocation were 
assembled. Between 1529 and 1536 the same parliament continued 

to hold its sessions. Before it separated, it had enabled 
mation the king to break iinaUy from the Church of the 

Parliament, Middle Ages. Fear and self-interest made aU men 

seek to do the king's wUl. The chief danger of 
opposition came from the Church, but Henry persuaded parliament 
to pass various laws against ecclesiastical abuses in order to 
frighten the clergy. Then came a more crushing blow. Henry 
told the clergy that they had all broken the Statute of Prsemunire 
(see page 223) by acknowledging Wolsey as papal legate. What 
he said was quite true, but the statute of PrEemunire had long been 
neglected, and Henry himseK had been as guilty as anybody. 
However, the clergy were forced humbly to confess their error, and 
gladly bought their pardon of the king by paying him an enormous 
Henpv ^®" ^^^^ t^s '^^^ ^"^ enough. They were also forced 

Supreme to acknowledge that Henry was the Supreme Head of 
Read of the if^g Xlnglish Church. It was a vague phrase, which 

might mean anything or nothing. But Henry showed 
from the beginning that he meant to press the title to the utter- 
most. Before long the Royal Supremacy, henceforth the great 
doctrine of the English Reformation, was found incompatible with 
the papal supremacy, in which all men had hitherto firmly believed. 


4. Having shown himself master of his own clergy, Henry 
began to pass measures through parliament against the pope's 
power, hoping thus to frighten >n"Tn into granting a 

divorce. But Clement was as unahle as ever to do separation 
what the kiag wanted, and the only result of this policy from Rome, 
was that the pope's power in England was gradually ^°^^ °^*- 
out away. The &st step towards this was reviving the old laws 
against the pope, such as the statute of Prsemunire. New legislation 
soon followed. In 1532 Annates, or Mnt Fruits, that is, the pay- 
ment of the first year's revenue of a new benefice, which the clergy 
had hitherto made to the pope, were transferred to the crown. In 
1633 the Act of Appeals was passed, which forbade Englishmen to 
carry appeals from the English Chxirch courts to the court of the 
pope. Clement answered by affirming the lawfulness of Catharine's 
marriage ; and dying soon after, his successor, Paul in., threatened 
Henry with excommunication. Henry replied to these menaces by 
fresh laws against the papacy. In 1534 the separation from Rome 
was completed by the Act of Supremacy, which made it treason to 
deny that Henry was supreme head of the English Church. 

5. The archbishopric of Canterbury falling vacant, Henry 
appointed to that great office a Cambridge scholar named Thomas 
Cranmer. Cranmer was a pious, learned, and well- cpanmep 
meaning man, but he was weak and undecided, and and the 
soon proved himself a mere creature for carrying out olvoree. 
the strong king's will. Despairing of getting a divorce from 
Rome, Henry now secretly married Anne Boleyn. He forced con- 
vocation to declare Catharine's marriage void ; and the new arch- 
bishop held a court at Dunstable, in which he also solemnlydeclared 
the former marriage to be against God's law. As the Act of 
Appeals cut off the Roman jtirisdiction, the archbishop's court was 
now the highest Church cotirt for England. There was no longer 
any way of taking Catharine's case any further, and thus the great 
divorce suit was terminated after six years of delay. But the price 
Henry had paid was the breaking of the tie which had so long bound 
the English Church to the Churches of Christendom. Nominally, 
the breach with Rome left the English Church independent. 
Practically, it became absolutely subject to the fierce will of the 
king. The separation from Rome brought the Tudor despotism to 
its highest point. 

6. England was now as completely separated from Rome as 
were the Protestant churches of Germany. But Henry still 
looked with horror on Protestantism, and professed to make no 


ciianges in the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the English 
Church. He was proud of his middle way between the two ex- 
Henpy VIII tremes. He strove to prove his love for the old faith 
and Pro- by seeking out and hurniag to death all the English 
testantlsm. Protestants on whom he could lay his hands. But what- 
ever the king might profess, the abolition of the papal supremacy 
was a real revolution. It was not simply a political change, as 
Henry maintained. It was a religious change as well, when the 
English nation repudiated the authority to which it had looked up 
ever since it had become a Christian people. Other changes were 
sure to foUow, and however much Henry might hate Luther, 
common enmity to Home was bound sooner or later to bring all 
i-eformers together. 

7. The great majority of Englishmen passively accepted the 
long's policy ; but there were murmurs against it from the begin- 
The resist- ning' from a few high-minded and clear-sighted men, 
ance to the who realized more fully than most the true meaning of 
supremacy, ^j^g g^p j^j^^ Fisher, bishop of Rochester, an aged 
prelate of great learning and piety, protested from the beginning 
against the king's action. Sir Thomas More, who had become 
chancellor after Wolsey's faE, gave up his office and retired into 
private life rather than acknowledge the royal supremacy. They 
were not allowed to remain long undisturbed. Before the end of 
1633 a daughter, named Elizabeth, was born to Henry and Anne. 
As Catharine's child Mary was cut off from the succession when 
the marriage of her mother with Henry had been declared invalid, 
it was thought necessary to pass in 1534 an Act of Succession, 
settling the crown on the Kttle Lady Elizabeth and any other 
children there might be of the marriage of Henry and Anne. 
Moreover, a new Treasons Act was hurried through parliament, 
which made it treason to deny to the king any of his royal titles. 
It was not easy for those who gainsaid the king's policy to escape 
the consecLuences of these laws. 

8. More and Fisher were called before Archbishop Cranmer 
and asked to take the oath of succession, drawn up under the recent 
More and ^°*- '^^^J said that they would willingly accept Anne 
Fisher oppose Boleyn's children as future rulers of England, since an 
Henry. act of parliament was competent to alter the succession 
to the throne. But more than this was demanded of them. They 
were required to declare Anne Boleyn Henry's lawful wife, and to 
renounce the authority of the pope. These two things they declared 
they could not do with a good conscience. 


9. Other men of less position followed or anticipated their 
example. Conspiouons among these latter were many of the monks 
of the London Charterhouse, one of the best ordered 

of all the Eng-lish monasteries. Among other oppo- house '^'"" 
nents of the supremacy was Reginald Pole, a young monks and 
churchman, then studying in Italy, who, as the grand- Reginald 
son of George, duke of Clarence, brother of Edward iv., 
stood near to the throne (see table on page 294). Pole gave up 
his prospects of high preferment in England rather than renounce 
his faith. Appointed cardinal in 1536, he remained in esdle, 
constantly protesting against Henry's doings. 

10. Henry shut up in prison all opponents of the supremacy 
within his reach, and had no difficulty in procuring their con- 
demnation as traitors. In 1535 the victims of his „ 

policy suffered on the scaffold. The obscure monks of Fishep 
the Charterhouse were among the first to die. Fisher's executed, 
fate was soon settled by the rash kindness of the new 
pope, Paul III., who made him a cardinal. After this, Henry at 
once ordered him to be put to death. A few days later Sir 
Thomas More was also executed. The sacrifice of men so famous 
brought home to every one the relentless policy of Henry. The 
king had trampled on all opposition, and was more master of Eng- 
land than ever. 

11. Henry now resolved to work out to the uttermost the 
doctrine of the royal supremacy. He created a new minister, called 
the king's moar-general in matters ecclesiastical, and cromwell 
appointed to it one of Wolsey's former servants. This vieap- 

was Thomas Cromwell, the son of a fuller at Putney, s^"®''^'- 
In early life Cromwell had been driven from England for his bad 
conduct, and had wandered about Italy and the Netherlands, at one 
time serving as a soldier, but iinaUy taking to trade, and thriving 
so wen in it, that he came back home a wealthy and prosperous 
man. Wolsey took him into his service, and he was employed in 
suppressing the monasteries, from whose funds the cardinal hoped 
to endow his colleges at Oxford and Ipswich. After Wolsey's fall, 
Cromwell behaved with such discretion that he was regarded by the 
cardinal's friends as showing remarkable fidelity to his disgraced 
master, while he was at the same time craftily winning the king's 
favour. Yery soon Henry took him into his service, and at once 
f oimd in him just the man that he wanted. Cromwell was a strong-, 
able, and far-seeing- man, who had neither doubts or scruples, but 
devoted all his cunning and resource to carrying out the caprices 


of the despot. He was just the clever tool who eoiild strike the 
bold strokes that Henry was now meditating. Between 1535 and 
1539 he carried out such a revolutionary change, that the abolition 
of the papal power seemed but a small matter beside it. 

GmciyWallcct s(^ 

12. The monasteries had long fallen iato evil days. In the 

early Middle Ages they had done a great work in spreading religion 

and civilization (see pages 66, 164, and 243), but they 

monaster?^, ^"^ ^^^ *^^®^ °^* °* ^"^"^ ■^*^ ^'^^ ^Ams&. It had 
long been a rare thing to set up new religious houses. 


All through, the fifteeath century there had been plenty of liberal 
foundations, but the new establishments were colleges, schools, and 
houses of " secular " priests. Sometimes, as Wolsey's case showed, 
it was thought a wise thing to abolish monasteries in order to 
procure the money to build such new colleges. The old fervour of 
devotion that had ennobled the ancient abbeys had become so rare 
a thing, that the heroic self-sacrifice which had led the monks of the 
Lon'don Charterhouse to become willing martyrs for their faith, 
stood in marked contrast to the timidity and selfishness of the 
majority of the monasteries. The greater houses were often the 
abodes of formalism and dull respectabUity. In some houses there 
was gross corruption ; and this seems especially to have been the case 
in the smaller houses, which often were so poor that they could neither 
pay their way nor live according to their rule. Most men looked 
upon the monks with indifference. Pew were anxious to enter the 
monastic life. Though the orders were too timid to oppose actively 
the royal supremacy, they were the least national part of the Church, 
being bound closely to their foreign brethren, and being at all times 
good friends of the papacy. Thus their principles excited suspicion, 
while their helplessness made them easy victims, and their wealth 
excited the greed of the rapacious king and his minister. 

13. In 1535 Cromwell sent royal commissioners throughout the 
country to inquire into the state of the monasteries. The com- 
missioners worked actively and unscrupulously to get 

up a case against the monks, and reported to their s|j,n I'f'the^^ 
master that corruption and immorality were very wide- smaller 
spread among them. In 1536 parliament was induced monasteries, 
by their evidence to pass an Act abolishing all 
monasteries that had a revenue of less than £200 a year. Their 
goods were seized by the king ; and the ordinary Englishman found 
out for the first time that the old religion of the country was being 
undermined, when hundreds of ancient houses of religion were 
ruthlessly broken up, their inmates scattered, their churches pro- 
faned, and their lands squandered among greedy courtiers. 

14. The north of England was the part of the country least 
affected by the new ways. There the monks were stOl doing 
good service, and were still beloved and popular. The _,, 

sturdy north-country men broke into open revolt, to piigpimage 
show their detestation of the policy that led to the sup- of Grace, 
pression of the smaller monasteries. The first riots were 
in Lincolnshire, but the most formidable was in Yorkshire, where a 
great body of rebels gathered together at Doncaster under Robert 


Aske. The revolt was called the Pilgrimage of Grace, because the 
rebels resolved to march to London on pilgrunage to the king, 
hoping to persuade him to set back the Church in its old glory, 
to drive away upstarts Hke Cromwell from his councils, and 
to put the old nobles back in their natural places as Ms advisers. 
The duke of Norfolk, sent by the king to put down the revolt, 
persuaded the pilgrims to go home peaceably, and announced that 
the king would redress their grievances. This broke the back 
of the rebellion, but next year Henry made new riots a pretext for 
violating his promise, and for hunting down and putting to death 
the leaders of the rising. To prevent such revolts in the future, he 
set up at York a new court, called the Council of ihe North, which 
soon made the wild regions beyond the Humber as peaceable and as 
dependent on his will as the richer and tamer south country. 

16. The monasteries spared in 1536 soon met their fate. Crom- 
well's commissioners strove hard to persuade the different abbeys 

to surrender their property to the king ; when bribes 
sionofthe ^^^ entreaties were of no use, threats and violence 
gpeatep were unscrupulously employed. Some of the houses 

ISSfi^l'sag^^' ^^^^ °^* heroically, but Henry found it easy to trump 

up some charge against their inmates. Tor example, 
he accused the abbot of Glastonbury of stealing the plate of the 
abbey, and hanged him on a high hiU overlooking the whole 
countryside, as a warning of the fate of those who resisted the king. 
In three years nearly every abbey had submitted to the royal will, 
and in 1639 a new act was passed which finally gave the king all 
the abbey lands. There was much talk of employing the vast sums 
thus confiscated to the king for public purposes, such as for 
founding new bishoprics, reorganizing the navy, and defending 
our coasts against invasion. But about half of the abbey estates 
were squandered by the king on his friends and courtiers, or sold 
to speculators at low prices. Thus the fall of the monasteries had 
a great effect on the lives of the people. They not only lost their 
old houses of prayer, and were shocked by the king's carelessness 
of their most sacred beliefs ; they saw their easy-going old land- 
lords replaced by new men who, having paid for their lands, strove 
to get as high a rent as they could; and knowing and caring 
nothing for their tenants, took little interest in their welfare. 
The doles which the monks had scattered among the poor ceased, 
as did the kindly spirit they had often shown to their dependents. 
But the king gained what the people lost. The spoils of the 
monasteries enabled his courtiers to become the f oxmders of a new 


nobility devoted to the king, from whom their prosperity csune, 
and eager to help him ia his schemes. The House of Lords 
became, by the fall of the mitred abbots, an assembly with a strong 
lay majority, and more dependent on the king's wiU and less repre- 
sentative of the Chnroh. A mere trifle was kept for the Church, 
out of which six new bishoprics were set up at Chester, Gloucester, 
Bristol, Peterborough, Westminster, and Oxford (see map on page 
342). A few abbey churches were kept as the cathedrals of these 
new sees or to replace the chapters of the old sees that had hitherto 
been served by monks. A larger proportion of the spoil was spent 
on other public purposes, and in particular in building ships of 
war, erecting fortifications on the coast, and casting strong cannon 
to equip them. 

16. Other religious changes attended the suppression of the 
greater monasteries : images and relics were destroyed, the shrines 
of English saiuts broken up, and some of the old 

Church holidays were abolished. Cranmer and Crom- gibie and* 
well began to look upon the German Protestants as the growth 
their allies, and persuaded the kiug to give bishoprics of ^forming 
to lovers of new ways. The best of these Hugh Lati- 
mer, who was m.ade bishop of Worcester, had been the friend 
of some of the Protestant martyrs burned a few years earlier. 
It was another great change when Henry allowed English 
Bibles to be printed and circulated, and before long ordered that 
every parish church should possess a copy of an edition called the 
Great Bible which was issued by Cranmer himself. These versions 
all showed the influence of TyndaU's earlier work. Yet at the 
same time that Henry allowed them to circulate, he encouraged 
Charles v. to seek out TyndaU iu the Netherlands and execute him 
for heresy. Though the king was drifting towards Protestantism, 
Protestants were stiU hunted down and punished. While they were 
burned to death as heretics, the king still laid violent hands 
on aU friends of the pope who denied the Koyal Supremacy, and 
ruthlessly butchered them as traitors. 

17. The king's rule was becoming a bloody tyranny. Nothing 
stood in the way of his reckless will and his fierce desires. He 
soon grew tired of the giddy and foolish Anne Boleyn. ™. j^, 

He was disappointed that no son had been bom to and his 
them, and was irritated by her unseemly dealiugs with wives. 
the courtiers. Moreover, he fell iu love with a pretty lady about 
the court named Jane Seymour, and Anne now stood across his 
path much as the unhappy Cathariue of Aragon had once been ia 


the way of Anne herself. In 1536 Anne was accused of adultery, 
tried before a court presided over by her own uncle, and, though 
protesting her innocence, hurried to the scaffold. The very next 
day Henry married Jane Seymour. In 1537 Queen Jane gave 
him the long-hoped-for male heir, but she herself died soon after. 
Queen Catharine had died before Queen Anne, so that the little 
Edward, prince of Wales, was the undoubted heir of his father. 
The Lady Elizabeth, Queen Anne's daughter, was now pushed 
aside like the' Lady Mary. Before her mother's death, Cranmer 
had pronounced the marriage invalid, so that Elizabeth and Mary 
aKke were regarded as illegitimate. Queen Jane's brothers, the 
Seymours, remained high in Henry's favour, and generally sup- 
ported Cromwell and Cranmer in their forward reKgious policy. 

18. The reckless changes brought about in religion excited 
wide and increasing discontent. None now ventured on open 
Con- rebellion, for even signs of disagreement with the 
splraeies, king's policy invariably led to condemnation as a 

traitor. In 1638 Henry Courtenay, marq^uis of Exeter, 
a grandson of Edward iv. and the king's first cousin (see table on 
page 284), was executed on a charge of conspiracy which was in 
no way legally proved. At the same time, the brother and some 
of the kinsfolk of Cardinal Pole suffered a like fate. In 1541, 
Pole's mother, Margaret, countess of Salisbury, also perished on 
the scaffold. There was no evidence .that the aged lady had com- 
mitted treason. But it was enough that she was a daughter of the 
duke of Clarence and the mother of Cardinal Pole, who had long 
been doing his best to excite the Continent against Henry. 

19. The Tudor despotism was now at its height. The parlia- 
ment of 1539, which abolished the greater monasteries, passed a 
The Six statute that gave the king's proclamations the force 
Articles, of law, and thus practically surrendered to Henry the 
^^^^" parliamentary right of making new laws. But Henry, 
with all his self-will, was quick to perceive the signs of the times, 
and perhaps he had now grown tired of change, or was fearful of 
the consequences of further innovations. He induced the same 
parliament to pass the Bix Articles Statute, which showed very 
clearly that England had still no sympathy with the doctrines of 
the German Protestants. This law affirmed strongly the chief 
doctrines of the Medieeval Church. By its first clause, all who 
disbelieved in the doctrine of Transuhstantiation, or the change of 
the bread and wine of the Eucharist into the substance of Christ's 
natural Body and Blood, were liable to be burned as heretics. In 

-1540.] HENRY Vni. AND TffE REFORMATION 347 

the other articles, the celibacy of the clergy, the need of auricular 
(or private) confession to the priest, and the sufficiency for the 
laity of receiving the bread without the wine in the Holy Com- 
munion, were strongly affirmed. The Protestants, who had hoped 
for everything, gave way to despair when Henry had knotted this 
"whip with six strings," as they called it. The prisons were 
fflled with them. Latimer gave up his bishopric ; Cranmer, who 
had secretly married, sent his wife home to Germany. The 
reforming period of the reign was at an end. 

20. Cromwell saw that his influence was on the wane, and 
made a desperate effort to win back the' favour of his master. 
Henry had had little to do with foreign politics for 
many years. Charles and Francis aHke stood aloof cievesand 
from him, and more than once talked of ending their the fall of 
jealousies by joining together to bring back England jg^™^^"' 
to the old faith. Henry had therefore reason to fear . 
invasion, and had little hope of support from his old allies. Crom- 
well proposed that he should set off against the anger of Charles 
the friendship of the North German princes, who were mostly 
Protestants and all jealous of the emperor. Since Jane Seymour's 
death, Henry had remained a widower. Cromwell now proposed 
that he should marry Anne, sister of the duke of Cleves, a mighty 
priace on the Lower Rhine, who, though not a professed Lutheran, 
was inclined to favour the Protestants. This marriage, Cromwell 
believed, would bind Henry closely to the German princes, and 
give biTn powerful helpers against the emperor. The king rose 
eagerly to the proposal, and the marriage was agreed upon. But 
when Anne of Cleves came to England, the king found her duU, 
plain, and ignorant of any language that he knew. He accord- 
ingly turned against her from the first, and easily persuaded 
Cranmer to declare the marriage void on some frivolous pretext. 
At the same time, the North German princes would have nothing 
to say to his proposals of an alliance* The wrath of Henry, mad- 
dened by this double failure, fell on Cromwell with more crushing 
force than ever on Wolsey. Norfolk, as before, eagerly took 
advantage of the chance of ruining the upstart. Cromwell was 
arrested on a charge of treason and heresy. Parliament passed, 
without a murmur, an act of attainder. In 1540 the last strong 
minister of the reign lost his head on Tower HiU. On the very 
day of Cromwell's execution, Henry married for the fifth time. 
His new wife was Catharine Howard, Norfolk's niece. 

2L The fall of Cromwell stopped almost entirely the progress 


of the Reformation. Historians tave called the years between 1540 
and 1547 the reactionary period of Henry's reign, because the 

king, tired of the colossal changes which Cromwell 
tlonapy 3,nd Cranmer had brought about, went back to his 

pepiod, former love of ancient ways, and broke decisively with 

the new opinions toward which he had long been 
drifting. Norfolk, the queen's uncle, was now the chief lay noble 
in. the king's council. Along with Stephen Gardiner, bishop of 
Winchester, and Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, Norfolk headed 
the 'men of the old learning, who, though accepting the royal 
supremacy and the abolition of the monasteries, steadily set their 
faces against aU further change. The men of the new learning, best 
represented by the timid Cranmer and by the king's brothers-in 
law, the Seymours, were allowed to remain in the council, but were 
watched and suspected and excluded from aU real power. One of 
the signs of the times was the passing of a curious law, forbidding 
any but gentlemen to read the Bible in English. Another was the 
increased number of Protestants who were burned at the stake as 

22. Foreign policy, like ecclesiastical policy, went back on its 
old lines. Scotland had long given Henry a great deal of trouble. 
War with -^^^ sister Margaret, who ruled for a time after 
Scocland. Plodden, soon fell from power, and her son, James v., as 
1542-1545. j^g grew up to manhood, was gradually brought round 
to the French alliance that was ever popular beyond the Border. 
James also became as great a friend of the pope as he was of King 
Francis, and in both capacities gave his uncle much trouble. But 
James, though a brilliant and popular king, lost the love of his 
own nobles, who refused to fight for him. Accordingly, in 1642, 
the English gained an easy victory at Solway Moss. James, who 
was already broken in health, died soon after the battle, leaving the 
throne to his baby daughter Mary, henceforth known as Mary 
Queen of Scots. But the weak government of an infant queen 
gave Henry his opportunity. His brother-in-law, Edward Seymour, 
earl of Hertford, won a cheap reputation as a soldier by plundering 
and devastating the Lowlands. Henry professed now to wish for 
peace, and proposed to marry his son Edward to the little queen. 
But he took a strange way of winning his object, and Hertford's 
cruelties made the Scots look to France more than ever. 

23. Henry was soon involved in war with France as well as 
Scotland. This led him to patch up his old quarrel with Charles v., 
and, in 1541, Henry and Charles agreed upon a joint invasion of 


France. But Charles threw Henry over, and made a separate 
peace, leaving' Henry to fight single-handed against both the 
French and the Scots. In the course of the struggle ^^^j, ^j^j^ 
Henry captured Boulogne. This so annoyed the France, 
French that they prepared a great fleet and army to l^**- 
invade England. However, this proved a failure, and after fruit- 
less attempts to effect a landing for their army, the French were 
forced to retreat to their own harbours. Before the end of the 
reign? they were glad to make a peace which left Boulogne to Henry. 

24. The foreign war exhausted Henry's treasury. He had long 
ago squandered the lands of the monks, and was now so poor that 
he tried to set his finances straight by mixing copper _, 

with the silver which was coined into money at the wave of 
royal mint. But this debasing of the coinage did him reformation, 
little good, as every one began to demand higher prices 
for their goods, now that the shilling contained less than half 
silver and the rest base metal. In his need for money, Henry 
again turned greedy eyes on ecclesiastical property, and strove to 
make his policy of robbery more respectable by professing once 
more a great desire to purify and reform the Church. In 1545 
parliament gave him power to dissolve the chantries, foundations 
where priests offered masses for the repose of the souls of the dead, 
and those colleges, or corporations of clergy, which, not being 
monasteries, had escaped the clutches of Cromwell. 

25. Norfolk and his friends now steadily lost influence. In 
1542 Norfolk's niece. Queen Catharine, was executed, like her 
cousin Anne, on a charge of adultery, that was proved 

more clearly than most of the crimes which Henry Ho^ara"^ 
attributed to those who stood in. his way. Henry now and 
married his sixth and last wife, Catharine Parr, a Catharine 
bright young widow, who stood aside from politics, 
and showed such prudence that she managed to outlive her husband. 
Her brother was strongly on the reforming side, and joined with 
the Seymours and Cranmer in fresh efforts to oust the Howards 
and their friends from power. 

26. Henry's health was now breaking up, and it was clear that 
he would not live much longer. The two parties into which the 
council was divided contended fiercely for supremacy, _. . .. 
and the suspicious old tyrant inoHned more and more of the 

to the reformers. The imprudence of the Howards Howards, 
hastened on their downfall. Norfolk himself was bad- 
tempered, haughty, and incompetent. His eldest son, the earl of 


Surrey, was a gallant young nobleman of great aooomplislmients, 
and famous as a versifier and tie reformer of English, poetry. 
But he was as overbearing as his father, and rashly provoked the 
old king's anger by assuming arms that had once belonged to the 
crown. He was accused of aiming at the throne, thrown into 
prison, condemned as a traitor, and beheaded early in 1547. His 
father was included in the same accusation, and was also sentenced 
to death. He was only saved by Henry's dying before the time 
fixed for his execution. * 

27. The reign of Henry viii. saw important changes in the 
relations of England with the other parts of the British Islands. 

Like Edward I., Henry wished to be lord of the whole 
''^"^yy • of Britain and Ireland. His greediness and im- 
patience prevented him from doiag anything to end 
the hostility between England and Scotland. But both in Ireland 
and Wales he was able to accomplish something considerable 
towards efflecting his purpose. When he came to the throne, he 
found Ireland was practically independent and ruled by the Norman 
feudal lords of the centre and south, and by the native clan 
chieftains of the wilder north and west. The Fitzgeralds, earls 
of Kildare, were the most powerful of the Nonnan families, and 
it was only by making them viceroys that Henry was able to keep 
even a semblance of authority in the English pale. But at last the 
Fitzgeralds grew too insolent for the king to be able to endure 
them. In 1635 they rose in revolt, and Henry managed to break 
down their power. In the years that followed, he bribed the Irish 
lords by English titles and by dividing among them the lands of 
the Irish monasteries. This led them to accept, at least in name, 
the extension to Ireland of the doctriue of the Hoyal Supremacy. 
In recognition of his increased authority, Henry gave up the 
simple title of Lord of Ireland, borne by aU kings since Henry ii. 
Instead of this he called himself King of Ireland, a name that 
indicated a more direct and complete sway. But his policy only 
started that new conquest of Ireland which his great daughter 

28. Henry's efforts had more complete success in Wales. He 
set up a Cowncil of Wales at Ludlow, which secured good peace in 

„ the Principality and in the March aKke. There was 

England no longer any need to keep up this twofold distinction, 

and Wales, since the king had now become direct ruler of most of 

the Marcher, lordships through the dying out of the 

old feudal houses that once bore sway over them. A king, sprung 


from Welsh ancestors, saw it was both a good and a popular thingf 
to put an end to the humiliating dependence of Wales on England, 
that had lasted siaoe the conquest of Edward 1^ Accordingly, in 
1536, Henry divided all Wales into thirteen counties and incor- 
porated the whole with England. The Welsh shires now sent 
members to the English parliament, and had the same system of 
laws as England. The county palatine of Chester was also in- 
cluded in this legislation, and for the first time now became 
represented at Westminster. 


EDWARD VI. (1547-1553) 
Chief Dates : 

1547. Accession of Edward vi. ; Battle of Pinkie. 

1549. The first Prayer-book ; and the Devonshire and Norfolk revolts. 

1552. Second Prayer-book ; Execution of Somerset. 

1553. Death of Edward vi. 

1. Heney viii.'s only son, who now became Edward vi., was a 
sickly boy of ten, and much, too yotmg to rule on his own behalf. 

The old king, foreseeing a long minority, had drawn 
becomes ^P ^ scheme for a carefully balanced council of 

Ppoteetop, regency, in which the old and the new learning should 

be so eciually represented that things would not be 
likely to be altered until his son became a man and could 
decide for himself. The triumph of the new learning over the old 
learning just before Henry's death had, however, given such a 
strong position to the reformers that they were no longer content 
to bide their time. Anxious for the immediate possession of office, 
the reformers upset all Henry's plans, and made their leader Hert- 
ford, diike of Somerset and Lord Protector, with almost royal power, 
and with a council on which the reformers had the complete mastery. 
2. As the little king's nearest kinsman, Somerset seemed the 
most natural guardian of his nephew's throne. He had won 
jjjg popularity by reason of his gracious manners, sympathy 

chapactep for the poor, and skill as a soldier. Though he did 
and policy, not scruple to enrich himseK with Church property, 
he was more kindly and honest than most of the statesmen of his 
day. His chief objects as a ruler were to carry to completion the 
reforming movement that had already begun in the last years 
of Henry viii.'s reign, and to continue as well as he could the old 
king's foreign policy. But Somerset was not strong enough to 
accomplish this double task. Weak, obstinate, and unpractical, he 
never realized the necessity of doing one thing at the time. Within 
three years he had failed so utterly that he was driven from power 
in disgrace. 




3. Henry viii. had made peace with the French «iid Scots 
before his death, and conunon prudence should have induced 
Somerset to keep on good terms with both countries. 
Two circumstances, however, strongly impelled the vasionof 
Protector to take up a strong Kne as regards Scotland. Scotland, 
One was that the regency, which ruled Scotland in the *®*^' 
name of the little queen Mary, had persecuted the Scottish Pro- 
testants with such vigour that they had risen in revolt against the 
government, and, being overpowered, had appealed to England for 

A . First position of Englisb army. 

B. First position of Scottisli army. 
— Forward march of the Scots. 

D. Scottish position before the battle. 

Emery 7altcer sc. 

C. English position before tlie battle. 

1. Grey. 

2. Warwick. 

3. Somerset. 

assistance. The other was that Somerset was anxious to carry out 
Henry vill.'s policy of uniting the two realms by the marriage 
of Edward with the queen of Soots. Somerset was so eager in 
helping the Scottish Protestants that he did not see that he could 
not combine this course of action with the peaceful negotiations 
with the regency for the marriage of Edward and Mary. Before 
long his w^Jjt of tact again involved the two countries in a war, 


354 EDWARD VI. [1547- 

■wMoh long- postponed both, the Scottish Reformation and the 
reconciliation of the two British kingdoms. In September, 1547, 
Somerset invaded the Lothians, and on September 10 fought 
a battle against the Soots who had assembled an army to defend 

Ediabnrgh. Somerset held the high land on the 
Phikie° right bank of the Esk, while the Scots, posted on 

rising ground on the left bank, waited for his attack. 
After two days' inaction the Soots grew weary, and, crossing the 
Esk, advanced against the English position. The battle was 
fought near the village of Pinkie. At first the Scottish pikemen 
withstood and broke the shock of Lord Grey's cavalry, who 
rode down the hiU to meet them. But the presence of mind of 
John Dudley, earl of Warwick, saved the situation. He charged 
the victorious Scots with fresh troops, and soon put them into 
confusion. Complete victory attended the English arms, but the 
first use Somerset made of it was to desolate all south-eastern 
Scotland with fire and sword. His military triumph counted 
PostDone- ^°^ little as compared with the complete political 
mentor the failure which attended it. The Soots, angry at the 
Scottish invasion, saved their queen from the danger of be- 

,. coming the bride of the English king, by despatching 

her to France, where she was educated to be a French- 
woman, a Catholic, and a bitter enemy of England. For another 
ten years Scotland remained Catholic because the Reformation was 
identified with England. 

4. France, as usual, took up the Scottish cause, and continental 
war soon followed war within Britain. The French now attacked 

Botdogne, Henry viii.'s conquest, and, after a long siege, 
B 1 e captured it in 1648. Desultory war continued until 

after Somerset's fall, when peace was made both with 
France and Scotland on terms that undid the work of Henry viii. 
By it Boulogne remained in French hands. 

5. At home Somerset threw his chief energy into bringing about 
a further reformation of the Church. Cranmer, his chief adviser. 
Progress of ^^ ^^ *^^ *™® drifted far away from Henry viii.'s 
theEefopma- via media, and had become a disciple of the German 
tion. Lutherans. Royal visitors of the Church were sent 
throughout the land and instructed to break down images of 
saints, stone altars, and emblems that savoured of the ancient 
faith. Bishops of the old learning, like Bonner and Gardiner, 
struggled in vain against the visitors, and, before long, were im- 
prisoned and deprived of all power. A new standard of doctrine 

-1549-] EDWARD VI. 355 

was set forth in a Book of Somilies, written in English, which the 
more ignorant clergy, who could not preach sermons of their own, 
were instructed to read to their flocks as the official teaching of 
the Church. Soon parliament met, and by repealing the Six 
Articles statute and other laws of Henry viii., made further 
changes easier. Priests were allowed to marry, and fresh confisca- 
tions of Church property were ordered. Such colleges and chantries 
as Henry viii. had not time to suppress were aboKshed, and most 
of the money thus procured from the Church was squandered 
among Somerset's friends and councillors. The protector himself 
did not scruple to appropriate a good share of the spoU. A few 
hospitals and schools in connection with suppressed churches were 
suffered to remain, and Edward vi. has won the reputation, which 
is very little deserved, of beiag a liberal founder of hospitals and 
schools. He deserves little more credit for giving his name to 
such old schools as he allowed to survive the general ruin, than 
Henry viii. merited by continuing Wolsey's college at Oxford as 
a foundation of his own. 

6. The most important of the religious changes now brought 
about was the abolition of the Latin services of the Church and 
the setting up of an English Prayer-book. Under 
Henry viii. some progress had been made in that ppa«sr-^* 
direction, and Cranmer had been engaged since 1543 book of 
in drafting a form of common prayer in English. Edward VI., 
His labours culminated in the Act of Uniformity of 
1549, which enjoined that all churches should henceforward use the 
English services contained in the First Prayer-hooJc of Udw<wd VI. 
This was a very careful and reverent translation of the mediaeval 
Latin services into the vulgar tongue, with certain omissions and 
alterations and the combination of the numerous short forms 
of the older worship into the order for Morning and Evening 
Prayer. Cranmer, at his worst when his weakness made him the 
puppet of contending politicians, was at his best when engaged 
in this work. Though he had lost his faith in much of the ancient 
creed, his timid, scholarly, and sensitive mind clung to the old 
forms even when they had ceased to have their old meaning to him, 
while his exquisite literary sense made the new prayers models of 
pure and dignified English. In the Communion Service which 
was to replace the Latin mass, great care was taken to maintain 
ancient ceremonies and deal tenderly with conservative sentiment. 

7. Englishmen were no lovers of novelties, and the pains 
bestowed on making the new service seem like the old were 

3S6 EDWARD VI. [1549- 

thrown away on those who still oterished the ancient rites. When 
the Prayer-book was first read in a Devonshire village church, 
the congregation forced the priest to go back to his 
Devonshire Latin mass, declaring that the new service was like 
rebellion of a Christmas game. Then they rose in revolt after 
^^*^' the fashion of the Pilgrims of Grace. They demanded 

the restoration of the mass and the Six Articles, and found the 
south-west overwhelmingly on their side. 

8. The Devonshire revolt against the Prayer-book was only one 
of Somerset's difficulties. He was much troubled by opposition 

within the council, where he was soon found out to be 
of Thomas ^°° weak to play the part which Henry viii. himself 
Seymour, had found was all that he could do to fulfil. His own 

brother, Thomas Seymour, now Lord Seymour of 
Sudeley, an ambitious, rash, and foolish person, had intrigued 
against him, and early in 1549 the protector found it necessary 
to put him to death by an act of attainder. But the discontent 
among the people was even more formidable to him than the cabals 
of his rivals. While the conservative south-west was in arms against 
novelties, the reformers in the eastern counties, who had no com- 
The Norfolk plaints against Somerset's religious policy, set up 
rebellion of another rebeUion which had its centre round Norwich. 
1549. rjij^Q enclosure of commons, the turning of plough-land 

into pasture, and the greediness of the new landlords who had taken 
the place of the easy-going monastic proprietors, had borne hardly 
upon the Norfolk peasantry. Things were worse now than they 
had been thirty-five years before when More wrote his Utopia, and 
the new gospel had done nothing to better the position of the poor 
man. A quarrel between Robert Ket, lord of the manor of 
Wymondham, and a neighbouring landlord now set the whole 
countryside in a blaze. Before long Ket put himself at the head 
of a mob which pulled down fences round enclosures, and demanded 
that all villeins should be set free. An army soon collected under 
the popular leader, who held a sort of court under an oak tree called 
by him the Tree of Reformation on Mousehold Heath, near Norwich. 
He kept wonderful order among his followers, and sent up moderate 
demands to the council. Getting no answer, he took possession of 
Norwich, and defeated the king's troops. 

9. Somerset was eager to put down the Devonshire rebels, but 
he sympathized with the Norfolk men, though he was too weak to 
remedy their wrongs. Both revolts soon rose to a great head, 
ajid the protector was helpless to put them down. Public order 

-IS50-J EDWARD VI. 357 

had to be restored, and stronger men now pushed him aside. John 
Eussell, afterwards earl of Bedford, crushed the Devonshire revolt, 
while Warwick put down the eastern rebellion with pg^jj qj. 
fierce ruthlessness. A little later the council deprived Somerset, 
Somerset of the protectorate, and imprisoned him ' 

ia the Tower. So impotent did the fallen ruler seem that his 
enemies, with unusual leniency, soon released him from prison, 
and restored him to the council. 

10. Henceforth the council resolved to keep authority in its 
own hands. But if it were hard for Somerset to wield the power 
of a Henry, it was quite impossible for the greedy and 
self-seeking councillors to maintaia that strong rule ascendency 
which alone could save the state from confusion, of Warwick, 
GraduaEy John Dudley, the earl of Warwick, son of 15*9-1553. 
the minister of Henry vii., executed in 1510, worked his way into 
the first place. A successful soldier of overweening ambition, he 
professed a great zeal for reforming-the Church, and made himself 
the head of the resolute little party which looked upon the changes 
effected by Somerset as only small instalments of that com- 
plete reformation which they now desired to bring about. The 
misfortunes of continental Protestantism now played 
into their hands. Luther and Francis i. were both influence 
dead, and Charles v., who was trying hard to put down of the 
the German Keformation, seemed on the very point of foreign 
success. A swarm of exiles fled from hi? tyranny to 
England, whose leaders, Martin Buoer of Strassburg and Peter 
Martyr an Italian, were made professors of theology at Oxford 
and Cambridge. They became the chief teachers of the forward 
school in England, and soon had plenty of disciples. Cranmer 
himseK was now drifting away from Luther, and was inclining 
towards the more revolutionary teaching of the Swiss reformer 
Zwingle, who denied the Eeal Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. 
His chaplain, the learned Nicholas Ridley, an avowed ZwingUan, 
was made bishop of London in succession to Bonner, who was at 
last deprived of his see for resisting the Prayer-book, and kept, 
like Gardiner, in prison for the rest of the reign. Another new 
bishop was John Hooper of Gloucester, the first English Puritan, 
who long refused to wear the old episcopal vestments, regarding 
them as rags of popery. All these men looked up to Warwick 
to bring about innovations in the Church, and Warwick gladly 
furthered their wishes, since each fresh change meant new distribu- 
tions of Church property among h im self and his aUies. 

358 EDWARD VI. li5S2- 


Edmund Dudley, 


executed 1510. 

John Dudley, 

earl of Warwick, 1547, 

duke of Northumberland, 1651, 

executed 1553. 

I I I 

Ambrose Dudley, Robert Dudley, Guildford Dudlej', 

earl of Warwick. earl of Leicester, m. Lady Jane Grey, 

d. 1588. executed 1654. 

11. The scramble for Church property soon grew worse and 
worse. Many bishoprics were suppressed, including Henry tiii.'s 

new see of Westminster, and the revenues of those 
scramble suffered to remain were cut down. Laymen appointed 
for the themselves to ecclesiastical offices, and pocketed the 

the'church revenues without performing the duties. The colleges 

at Oxford and Cambridge were threatened, and it 
looked as if aU the lands of the Church would be filched from her. 

12. There was much discontent, but few ventured to speak. The 
best and bravest of the Protestants, Hugh Latimer, said that 
Execution things were worse than in the old days of popery, 
of Somerset, Deprived of his bishopric of Worcester in 1539, he 
1552. refused to accept another see, and devoted himself to 
preaching the new gospel with absolute honesty and rare freedom 
of speech. The young king gladly listened to his sermons, but he 
told the truth so fully that the coundl bade hiTn preach no more 
before the court. In their despair the people turned to the fallen 
Somerset as a deliverer. But he was far too deeply discredited to be 
able to stem the tide. His feeble efforts to win back power only led 
to the completion of his ruin. Early in 1652 he was beheaded as a 
felon, and Warwick, now duke of Northumberland, secured com- 
plete ascendency. He alone had the ear of the young king, and 
could carry everything as he would. 

13. Sweeping religious changes were now brought about. The 
Prayer-book of 1549 seemed to be too old-fashioned; it was re- 
vised in a more Protestant sense, and in 1552 a new 

Prayer- ^"^ "/ TJniformity required the use in churches of this 

book of Second Prayer-hook of Edward VI. The changes in 

l's52*'"^ ^'" ^^® Communion Office showed the great advance of 
Zwiiiglian doctrine, and tended to set aside the dogma 
of the Keal Presence which had been fully recognized in the earlier 

-I5S3-] EDWARD VI. 359 

book. But Crannier was still able to keep up no small meas\ire of 
the spirit of the earlier office, and of all the reforms of Edward's 
reign, his Prayer-book is among the most enduring and valuable. 
In most essentials the book of 1552 is the same as the present 
seryice-book of the English Church. 

14. Other great changes followed. The most important of these 
was the new Protestant form of doctrine embodied in the 'Forty-two 
Articles of Religion of 1553. Derived largely from the 
Lutheran confession of faith, these articles show much Forty-two 
more than the Prayer-book how the English Church Aptieles, 
had fallen in with the views of the continental re- ^^^^• 
formers. They are the basis of the Thirty-nine Articles, which 
under Elizabeth became the permanent standards of dogma in the 
English Church. 

15. AU seemed going well with Northumberland and the 
reformers. Edward, now sixteen years of age, was strongly on 
their side, and, young as he was, had already made it The failure 
clear that he had inherited some of the strong will and of Edward 
royal imperiousness of his father. A grave, precocious, ^"'^ health, 
and solitary boy, he had been overworked from his tenderest years, 
and had worried himself over problems of Church and State when 
other children were at their play. His delicate frame was unable to 
bear the strain put upon it, and he soon lay dying with consumption. 
He was much troubled by the dangers that he foresaw would assail 
Protestantism after his death. By law the next heir was his half- 
sister, the Lady Mary, the daughter of Catharine of Aragon. 
Though Mary had been, Kke her sister Elizabeth, declared illegiti- 
mate after her mother's divorce, she had been restored to her place 
in the succession. Parliament, foreseeing disaster if the succession 
were disputed, had passed an act empowering Henry The testa- 
VIII. to settle the future devolution of the crown by his ment of 
testament. Henry had drawn up such a will whereby '*^"''y ^ "'• 
he had arranged that his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, might 
both succeed in order of birth if Edward, the undoubted heir, died 
without children. Moreover, he provided that if these also died 
without heirs, the throne should next be settled upon the descendants 
of his younger sister Mary, duchess of Suffolk, passing thus over 
his elder sister Margaret, queen of Scots, whose representatives, 
being rulers of Scotland, Henry regarded as disq[ualifled from being 
kings of England. But these problems were as yet far in the 

16. Edward vi.'s zealotis Protestantism was very uneasy at the 

360 EDWARD VI. [1553- 

prospect of being succeeded by his sister. Mary was a bitter enemy 
of tte Eeformation, and had oluag to the mass despite Acts of 
„, ,, Uniformity and English Prayer-books. Under her the 
device light of the Gospel would be extiaguished, and Edward 

for the -^jras accordingly well pleased when Northumberland 

suggested an illegal plan for changing the succes- 
sion in the interests of Protestantism. Northumberland easily 
persuaded the masterful young king that, like his father, he also 
could assign the throne by testament. He induced him to set 
aside not only Mary, but Elizabeth, who had not shown hostility to 
the new system. In their stead, Edward beo[ueathed the throne 
to the Lady Jane Grey, the eldest child of Prances, duchess of 
Suffolk, the daughter of his aunt, Mary Tudor, and Charles Bran- 
don, her second husband. Lady Jane was a girl of about Edward's 
age, with something of her cousin's seriousness, and all his zeal for 
the Eeformation. But the chief reason for her advancement was 
that she had been married to Lord Guildford Dudley, one of 
Northumberland's sons. It is clear that the real motive of the 
duke was to reign through his daughter-in-law. 

17. Edward had hardly drawn up his will before he became 
worse, and died on July 6, 1553. For two days his death was kept 
Queen Jane secret, while Northumberland won over the councillors 
and Queen to give their support to the scheme. Then Lady 
Mary, 1553. ~ j^ne was proclaimed queen of England. But no one, 
save the zealous Protestants and Northumberland's greedy council, 
wished to have her as queen. All felt that Mary had the better 
title, and no one wished to continue the selfish Northumberland in 
power. Mary fled to the eastern counties, where the people, 
Protestants though they were, warmly supported her cause. 
Northumberland started from London to oppose her, but when he 
reached Cambridge his troops mutinied, and he was forced to give 
up the attempt. After a ten days' nominal reign, the unfortunate 
Lady Jane gave place to King Henry's daughter, amidst universal 

MARY (1553-1558) 

Chief Dates : 

ISS3- Accession of Mary. 

ISS4' Restoration of papal supremacj'. 

1555- Execution of Ridley and Latimer. 

1556- Execution of Cranmer. 

1558. Loss of Calais ; death of Mary. 

1. Maet, tie first queen regnant in England, was thirty-seven 
years old when slie ascended the throne. She was brave, honourable, 
and religious, but her health was broken and her Accession 
temper soured by the miserable life of self-suppression of Mary, 
which she had led. She had her full share of the fierce l^^^. 
Tudor will and character, and had ever remained true to her 
mother's memory and to the ancient faith. She had consilstently 
opposed the acts of her brother's ministers, and her accession 
was the more welcome since it involved the reversal of their 

2. Mary's first business was to undo the religious changes of her 
brother's reign. Norfolk, Gardiner, Bonner, and the other victims 
of Edward's ministers, were released from prison, and 
became her chief advisers. She showed no great Edward's 
vindictiveness against the friends of Lady Jane, and reign 
only Northumberland, with two of his subordinate """°°^- 
agents, atoned for their treason on the scaffold. Lady Jane and her 
husband were condemned to death, but were suffered to remain in 
prison. The Protestant bishops were driven from their sees, and 
foreign Protestants were ordered out of the realm. As Cranmer 
and the leading Protestants had become accomplices of Northumber- 
land, it was easy to attack them as traitors as weU as heretics. 
When parliament met, it declared Mary to be Henry's legitimate 
daughter, repealed Edward vi.'s acts concerning- religion, and 
restored the Six Articles, the mass, and the celibacy of the clergy. 


362 MASV [1554- 

The effect of this was to bring back the Church to the state ia 
which it had been at the death of Henry vill. So completely did 
the queen restore her father's legislation that she even assumed the 
title of Supreme Head of the Church. For more than, a year no 
further religious changes were effected. Yet the daughter of 
Catharine of Aragon had not much more love for the system of her 
father than for that of her brother. Her real wish was to make 
England as it had been before Henry questioned her mother's 
marriage. Politically, she wished to restore the imperial alliance ; 
ecclesiastically, she was eager to bring back the pope and the monks. 
But Gardiner and her ministers had been so long identified with 
Henry vni.'s policy that they thought the reaction had gone far 
enough. It required all the fierce persistency of the new queen to 
realize these objects. 

3. Parliament wished the queen to marry an English nobleman. 
But Charles v., who had always been her good friend, proposed 
The Spanish *° ^^^ ^^ ^ husband his eldest son, Philip, prince of 
marriage, Spain. Maryeagerlyfell in with the suggestion, though 
Philip was eleven years her junior, and there was a 
grave danger to English independence in the queen becoming the 
wife of the heir of Charles v. But Philip represented her.mother's 
family, and was already famous for his uncompromising zeal for the 
Roman Catholic Church. Thinking that her marriage with Tiinn 
would realize all her ambitions by one stroke, she disregarded the 
advice of council and parliament, and signed the marriage-treaty 
in January, 1554. The people's dislike of the Spanish marriage 
took shape in a series of revolts such as always attended an un- 
popular step on the part of a Tudor monarch. The most formidable 
of these was that led by Sir Thomas Wyatt, the gallant young son 
of Wyatt the poet, who raised Kent and Sussex against the Spanish 
match. At the head of a great following of disorderly Kentishmen, 
he marched to London, and occupied Southwark. There was a 
panic in the city, which was only appeased when the queen went 
down to the Guildhall and inspired the Londoners with some of her 
own courage. Before long, Wyatt was overpowered and captured. 
This second rising was dealt with more sternly than the attempt of 
Northumberland. Wyatt and other leading rebels were executed, 
and Lady Jane and Lord Guildford Dudley were put to death under 
their former sentence. The Lady Elizabeth, whose claims the 
rebels had upheld, was for a time imprisoned in the Tower. But 
Wyatt on the scaffold declared that she had no knowledge of the 
conspiracy, and Elizabeth was soon set free. Henceforward the 

-iSSS-l MARY 363 

daugtter of A Tine Boleyn scrupulously kept on good terms with 
her sister, and attended mass with a great show of devotion. Now 
that the revolt was suppressed, Philip came to England, and was 
married to Mary by Gardiner in Winchester Cathedral. 

4. Mary strove her utmost to bring about a reconciliation 
between England and the papacy. Though Gardiner had jBrst 
made his name by defending the royal supremacy 

under Henry viii., his experience under Edward vi. tionofthe 
seems to have convinced him that his old master's papal 
"middle way" led in practice to the Protestantism V^^^^^^' 
which he had always opposed. He was, therefore, 
willing to fail in with Ms mistress' plans. The chief opposition to 
Mary came from the lay nobles who had been enriched with the 
spoils of the monasteries. Knowing that the queen wished to bring 
back the monks as well as the pope, they trembled for their new 
estates, and refused to accept a papal restoration until they were 
assured that the abbey-lands would not be given back to the Church. 
When the pope had promised not to insist upon the restoration of 
the monasteries, all difficulties were removed. A new parliament, 
which met in November, 1554, repealed Henry viil.'s laws against 
Bome, declared unlawful the title of Supreme Head of the Church 
which Mary had borne since her accession, and restored the old laws 
against heresy. One of the acts of this parliament was the reversal 
of the attainder which in Henry viii.'s time had been passed against 
Cardinal Pole. Pole, now one of the leading advisers of the pope, 
had some time before been appointed papal legate, but had long 
been impatiently waiting beyond the Channel untU matters were 
ripe for his return. He was at last suffered to land in England, 
where Mary gave him the warmest of welcomes. A few days later, 
he solemnly pronounced the restoration of England to com- 
munion with the Eioman Church. Thus the resolute purpose of 
the queen destroyed the work of her father as well as that of her 
brother. It is significant that there was no such popular revolt 
against the restoration of the papacy as there had been against the 
Spanish marriage. 

5. There remained the punishment of those who refused to 
change their religion to please the queen. Many of the Protestant 
leaders under Edward vi. had escaped to the Con- -fjjg marian 
tinent. But the most prominent of the Edwardian persecution, 
bishops were awaiting in prison the moment of the lS°"-i558. 
queen's vengeance. The revival of the heresy laws by the last 
parliament enabled them to be dealt with. Early in 1555 Pole as 

364 MAJ?y [1555- 

legate set up a commission to try heretics, and on February 2, 
John Rogers, a prebendary of St. Paul's, who had taken a promi- 
nent part in translating the Bible iato English, was the first 
to lay down his life for his faith. His martyrdom was rapidly 
followed by that of the Puritan Bishop Hooper of Gloucester. 
Alone among the Protestant leaders, Hooper had refused to take 
part in Northumberland's effort to deprive Mary of her throne, 
but his loyalty availed bim nothing. He was condemned as a 
heretic, deprived of his bishopric, and burnt at Gloucester under 
the shadow of his own cathedral. A little later Bishop Terrar 
of St. David's was burnt at Carmarthen, the chief town of his 
diocese. He was one of the most obscure and harmless of the 
bishops, but this did not prevent his being singled out as an 

6. More prominent Protestant martyrs followed iu Latimer, 
Ridley and Cranmer. Like Hooper, Latimer had had no share iu 
Martyrdom Northumberland's treason, and was so generally re- 
ef Latimer speoted that he was long allowed to remain at large, and 
and Ridley, every chance was given him to escape to the continent. 
But he scorned to flee, and cheerfully journeyed to London to answer 
a charge of heresy. Ridley and Cranmer had been deeply implicated 
in Northumberland's conspiracy, but the queen preferred to keep 
them in prison until they might be punished as heretics rather 
than execute them earlier as traitors. In March, 1555, all three 
were sent to Oxford to dispute with Catholic divines on the doctrine 
of the mass. After many disputations and delays, a commission of 
bishops on October 1 sentenced Ridley and Latimer. A fortnight 
later they met their end with splendid courage. 

7. Cranmer still lingered for five months in his Oxford prison. 
He had been consecrated before the breach with Rome, and had 
The fate of duly received his pallium from the pope. He could not, 
Cranraep, therefore, be condemned so swiftly as the schismatic 
1556. bishops whose power the Church had never recognized. 
An archbishop could only be tried and deprived by the pope himself, 
and the papal court moved slowly. At last his condemnation and 
degradation were efieoted, whereupon the pope appointed Pole his 
successor as archbishop. In February, 1556, Cranmer's priestly 
gown was torn from him, and, clad as a layman, he was handed over 
to the sheriff for execution. He was an old man, and his character 
had always been feeble. At the last moment he was persuaded to 
recant, and his cruel enemies forced him to sign no less than seven 
forms of abjuration. But there was no mercy for the man who 

-i5S8.] MAJiy 365 

had divorced Catharine of Aragon, and, despite his submission, he 
was ordered to execution. On March 21, before the sentence was 
effected, he was taken to the uniTersity church to hear a sermon 
on the enormity of his offences. At its end he was called upon to 
read his recantation to the people. The timid scholar foirad his 
courage in the presence of death. " I renounce," he said, " and 
refuse aU such papers as I have written and signed with my 
hand since my degradation, wherein I have written many 
things untrue, and as my hand offended, my hand therefore shall 
be first burnt." He was at once hurried from the church 
to the stake. When the fire was lighted, he plunged his right 
hand into the flame, exclaiming, " This hand has offended." 
The courage of his end did something to redeem the weakness of 
his life. 

8. The five episcopal victims were the most conspicuous of the 
Marian martyrs. Though nearly three hundred other persons 
perished for their religion between 16S6 and 15S8, the ^j,g jgjggp 
great majority of them were obscure clergymen, victims of 
tradesmen, and workmen. Nearly aU the martyrs Pei'seeution. 
came from London and its neighbourhood. This was partly 
because Bonner, who was again bishop of London, and Pole, 
whose diocese included most of Kent, were the most active of the 
persecuting prelates. But the truth was that outside the home 
counties there were few Protestants to burn. The only other 
dioceses where victims were numerous were those of Norwich and 
Chichester (see map on page 342). Thus the limitation of the perse- 
cution to so short a time and so small an area made it the more 
severe. Sympathy vrith the brave deaths of the sufferers did more 
to set up a Protestant party in England than all the laws of King 
Edward or all the preaching of his divines. 

9. The fierce persecution of the Protestants has given Mary and 
her advisers an evil reputation in history which they do not alto- 
gether deserve. In the sixteenth century, as in the 

Middle Ages, it was stiU thought the business of the ^ep^tton"^ 
state to uphold religious truth and to put down false in the 
teaching by the severest means. To tolerate ej-ror sixteentli 
was regarded as a sin, and it was looked upon as some- 
thing like rebellion for a subject to reject the religion of his 
sovereign. Protestant and CathoUo kings aKke had sent those 
who disagreed with their doctrines to the scaffold. "We have seen 
how many were the victims of Henry viii.'s ecclesiastical policy. 
Edward vi. had burnt the extreme Protestants called Anabaptists, 

366 M^J?Y [IS53- 

and Calvin himself had condemned to death the Unitarian Ser- 
vetus. The faults of Mary and Pole were those of fanatics and 
enthusiasts, and not those of cruel or unscrupulous persons. Even 
Bonner was coarse and callous rather than vindictive or ill-natured. 
The real punishment of Mary and her friends was in their com- 
plete failure to stamp out their enemies by force. Fortunately for 
his reputation, Gardiner died in 1555, at the very heginning of the 

10. It was not only by repression that Mary strove to secure 
the triumph of her Church. She forced her parliament to restore 

firstfruits to the pope, and spent what money she 
of B^rv" could in reviving a few of the monasteries, including 

Westminster Abbey. Grave troubles at home and 
abroad soon distracted her energies into other channels. She had 
disputes with her House of Commons, which, for the first time 
under the Tudors, showed a disposition to oppose the government. 
There were several popular revolts, and some of the bolder Protestant 
refugees procured ships from France with which they practised 
piracy on the English coasts. The q[ueen's health became wretched, 
and her domestic Hfe was most unhappy. Pole was her only 
real friend, and Philip of Spain neglected her utterly until he 
wished to secure her help in the war which he was waging against 

11. Between 1552 and 1559 the last of the great struggles 
between France and the Empire was being fought. Henry ii., king 

of France since his father Francis's death in 1547, 
be^wee'' proved himseK as formidable to Charles and Philip as 
France and ever his father had been. After successfully saving 
the Empire, ^i^ German Protestants from Charles's designs against 

them, Henry allied himself with Pope Paul rv. to 
upset imperial domination in Italy. He succeeded so far that 
Charles v., crippled with gout and weary with his misfortunes, 
abdicated his dominions in 1556. His German possessions and the 
name of emperor went to his brother Ferdinand, king of Hungary 
and Bohemia, who became the founder of the junior or Austrian 
branch of the house of Hapsburg. Spain and the Indies, Italy, 
the Netherlands, and the county of Burgundy went to Mary's 

12. Philip II. of Spain" made a great effort to secure victory 
over France. In 1557 he persuaded Mary to take part in the 
struggle, and broke the back of the French resistance by his famous 
victory of St. Quentin. He restored the Hapsburg power in 

-ISS8-] MARY 367 

Italy by crushing Paul iv. as completely as his father had defeated 
Clement vii. Henceforth the papacy was reduced, like the other 
Italian states, to obey the ■wiU of Philip, who completely Eneland at 
dominated Italy. Deprived of temporal power, the war with 
popes were thrown back upon their ecclesiastical posi- fccJffccn 
tion, in the strengthening of which they could count 
on Philip's support. It was, however, a strange irony that Mary 
was forced by her Catholic husband to be a party to war against the 
pope, whom she had restored to the headship of the English Church. 
Beaten on the battlefield, Paul iv. revenged his defeat by accusing 
Cardiaal Pole of heresy and depriving him of his position as papal 
legate. The French also revenged themselves for Philip's triumphs 
at St. Quentin at the expense of Ms weak ally. In January, 1658, 
they stormed Calais, the last remnant of the triumphs 
of the Hundred Tears' War. The loss of Calais was °^^* j|gg 
the final blow to the unhappy Mary. She died 
November 17, 1658, and next day Cardinal Pole followed her to 
the tomb. Both died conscious of failure. The work to which 
they had devoted their lives was forthwith to be undone after their 



Chief Dates : 

1558. Accession of Elizabeth. 

1559. Acts ol Supremacy and Uniformity. 
1561. Mary Stewart returns to Scotland. 
1565. Parker's Advertisements. 

1568. Mary Stewart escapes lo England. 

1569. Revolt of the Northern Catholics. 

1570. The pope excommunicates Elizabeth. 
1572. The revolt of the Dutch from Spain. 
1576. Grindal, archbishop of Canterbury. 

1577-1580. Drake's voyage round the world. 

1579. The Union of Utrecht and the Desmond rebellion. 

1583. Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury. 

1584. The Bond of Association and the breach with Spain. 

1586. Babington's plot and the battle of Zutphen. 

1587. Execution of Mary Stewart. 

1. Elizabeth was just five Emd twenty when she became queen. 
Ste was tall and good-looking', with, strong features, a gi-eat hooked 
Character nose, fair complexion, and Ught auburn hair. Pos- 
and policy of sessed of a magnificent constitution, she worked as 
Elizabeth. liard at amusing herseH as on business of state. She 
inherited many of her father's kingly qualities, and made herself 
popular by her hearty friendly ways and by going on progress 
throughout the country and receiving the hospitality of the 
gentry. With Henry's love of power and instinct for command, 
she also inherited some of her father's coarseness and insensibility. 
She was unscrupulous, regardless of the truth, and even in small 
matters there was little that was womanly or sensitive about her. 
Selfish as she was, she had a fuU share of that fine Tudor instinct 
which identified itself with the country which she ruled, and she 
watched over the interests of England as she looked after her own 
personal afPairs. Though carefully educated, like all Henry's 
children, she was little influenced by the literary movements of 
her age, and, though forced as Anne Boleyn's daughter to take 


up the reforming side in religion, she was to a very smaE 
extent affected by religions feeling. Clear-headed, far-seeing, and 
competent, strong, conrageons, and persistent, her great delight 
was in exercising power, and she loved to rule so well that she 
would not share her authority even with a husband. To her 
father's strength and statecraft Elizabeth also added a large share 
of her mother's light and frivolous character. She was extremely 
vain, and enjoyed the grossest flattery. She loved gorgeous 
dresses, and as she grew old delighted to hide the ravages of time 
by false hair, paint, monstrous ruffs, and stiff farthingales. She 
found it hard to make up her mind in little matters, and found it 
politic seldom to show her full purpose in great ones. But she 
showed a rare consistency of purpose in carrying out for the forty- 
flve years of her reign the same general poUoy which she had 
marked out for herseK at the moment of her accession. Amidst 
the many trials of a period of revolution, she safely steered the 
ship of state through the breakers, and was able to enjoy during 
her declining years the calms that succeeded the storms of her 
middle life. Never a very attractive or amiable woman, she was 
one of the greatest of our rvilers, and in the worst trials of her 
reign she did not lose faith either in England or in herself. 

2. Like Henry viil., Elizabeth was her own chief minister, but 
few rulers have had more able statesmen to assist her in carry- 
ing out her ideas. To these she clave with such per- 
sistence that her servants grew old in her service, minister^? ^ 
and were unswervingly loyal to her, though she 
was niggardly in rewarding them, and callous in the extreme 
when policy made it expedient for her to shift the blame of an 
unpopular or risky act from herself to her helpers. The chief of 
her advisers was Sir William CecU, who, first as r^^ Cecils 
secretary of state and then as treasurer, served and the 
her with unostentatious fidelity from her accession "*cons. 
to his death in 1598, though his efforts to make her policy more 
Protestant and more uncompromising were constantly discouraged 
by her, and he received no higher reward than the barony of 
Burghley, which made him, as he said, "the poorest lord in 
England." With >n'm worked Ms brother-in-law. Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, the keeper of the Great Seal, whose long service was 
not even rewarded by the title of chancellor. OfBoe was almost 
hereditary, and Sir Kobert Cecil, Burghley's second son, was as 
prominent as the secretary of the queen's declining years as his 
father had been in the earKer part of her reign, while the lord 



keeper's brilliant amd ambitious son, Sir Francis Bacon, was 
bitterly disappointed that his cousin's jealousy excluded him from 

following' in the same way in his father's footsteps. 
Wising- Perhaps the ablest of Elizabeth's advisers was Sir 

Francis Walsingham, secretary of state from 1573 
to 1590, whose sincere but unscrupulous devotion to his mistress's 
interests enabled him to worm out the secrets of her enemies and 
conf o\md the plotters who were constantly striving to deprive her 
of her life and throne. 

3. Beside the plain and hard-working statesmen was the crowd 
of worthless courtiers, who amused the queen's leisure and glorified 
Leicester ^^^ beauty and wisdom. It was only in favour of 
and the these giddy pleasure-seekers that she broke through 
eouptisps. j^gj, ggjigral rule of parsimony, by lavishing grants and 
tities upon them. The chief among them was her old playfellow, 
Lord Robert Dudley, the younger son of the duke of Northumber- 
land, whom she loved for old association's sake as well as for his 
good looks, fine dress, and skill as a courtier. She made him eaxl 
of Leicester, and would have married him but for her resolve to 
live and rule alone. Down to his death in 1588 she never lost her 
devotion to him, and spoilt some of her boldest enterprises by 
entrusting them to his incompetent direction. 

4. The first task that lay before the queen was the settlement of 
the Church. She had seen how both Edward vi. and Mary had 

failed in their ecclesiastical policy because each had, 
Elizabethan though in different ways, taken up too extreme a line, 
settlement She had unbounded faith in her father, and experience 
rvi'^'^h clearly brought home to her the exceUence of the 

middle way that Henry viii. had pursued. Great 
difficulties, however, beset her on both sides. The Protestant 
exiles hurried back to England and clamoured for a reformation 
even more thorough-goiug than that of Edward vi. But the 
ministers and bishops of Mary were still in power, and the Catholic 
party was strongly backed up from abroad. Moreover, since 
Grardiner and Bonner abandoned the system of Henry viii., there 
were few prominent men left who believed in his particular policy. 
Elizabeth was forced, therefore, to ally herself with the Protestants 
in order to defeat the Catholios, and their support could only be 
gained by reverting mainly to the system of Edward vi. Finding 
convocation opposed to all change, she fell back on parliament, 
where, in January, 1669, she carried through new Acts of Supremacy 
and Uniformity, despite the opposition of the bishops. 


5. The Aot of Siyaremacy of 1559 followed the general Hnea 
of Henry viii.'s Aot of 1534, and completely renounced aU papal 
jurisdiction over England. Bnt Elizabeth cantiously 

dropped tie title of Supreme Head of the Church, and ^pr*macy 
was content to he described as "the only svpreme and 
Governor of this realm, as well in all spiritual or Unifopmtty, 
ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal." After 
this fashion the queen sought to prevent men thinking that she, 
like her father, claimed to exercise spiritual iurisdiction over the 
Church, as though she were its chief bishop. The new Act of 
Uniformity showed the same spirit of compromise. Koughly 
speaking, it restored the Second Prayer-book of Edward vi. as the 
future service-book of the English Church. Several significant 
changes were, however, made in it. The Comtmunion Office was so 
drawn up that both the Zwinglian doctrine of the Eucharist and 
the opposing doctrine of the Keal Presence might seem to be 
allowed, while the famous Ornaments Rubric was added, ordering 
that all ornaments of the Church should be retained as they were 
in the second year of Edward vi. 

6. So careful was Elizabeth to avoid committiag herself that it 
was not until 1563 that she allowed a new statement of doctrine to 
be drawn up. This was contained in the Thirty-nine 

Articles, based on the Forty-two Articles of 1553, but Thirty-nine 
these articles had been carefully revised with the view Articles, 
of making them less offensive to the friends of the old l^^^- 
faith. Such were the main outlines of the EUzabethan settlement 
of the Church. Though clothed for the most part in the forms 
of Edward vi., it was inspired by the spirit of Henry viii. rather 
than that of Somerset or Northumberland. Its defects were 
that it was a settlement of a politician rather than that of an eccle- 
siastic, and, that while hated by the Roman Catholics, it was only 
accepted as a first instalment pf change by the thorough-going 

7. Elizabeth had made up her mind that no further alterations 
should be made, and having fixed the form of her Church, she now 
strove to enforce obedience to it. Only one of the Arehbishop 
Marian bishops would accept her policy, and all the Parlter, 
rest were deprived of their sees. The majority, in- '5S9-157S. 
eluding Bishop Bonner, spent the rest of their lives in prison. In 
their place, Elizabeth appointed as many bishops of her own way of 
thinking as she could find. She was especially lucky in procuring 
a man after her own heart as Pole's successor at Canterbxiry. This 


was Matthew Parker, a wise and learned man, who, when deprived 
of his deanery of Lincoln under Mary, had preferred to live quietly 
in England rather than escape to the continent with the advanced 
reformers. Like Elizabeth, he looked on things from a purely 
English standpoint, and, after the queen, was the only prominent 
upholder of her middle way. In 1559 Elizabeth set up a permanent 
Court of Ecclesiastical Commission, called also the High Com- 
inission Court, of which Parker was the chief commissioner. Its 
object was to exercise the royal supremacy over the Church, and 
enforce the Elizabethan settlement on aU the clergy. 

8. EHzabeth insisted that aU her subjects should accept her 
creed and attend her Church, and gradually imposed fines and 
Elizabeth otlie^^ penalties on those who refused to do so. The 
and the friends of the pope who could not in conscience he 
Roman present at Protestant services, were branded as Popish 

Recusants, and their lot constantly became harder. 
At first, however, Elizabeth and Parker did not experience much 
trouble from the Eoman Catholics. Most of the parish clergy 
accepted the new settlement, though many were so disloyal to it 
that it was gradually found necessary to deprive a large number 
of their benefices. The majority of the friends of old ways were, 
however, too sluggish and inert to oppose the government 
effectively. The real trouble was not with the passive resistance 
of the old-fashioned clergy as much as with the unwillingness of 
the more ardent Protestants to accept the Elizabethan compromise. 

9. The leaders of the disaffected Protestants were the returned 
Marian exiles. Many of these had, during their banishment, 
Geneva become the disciples of the great French Protestant 
and the John Calvin, who, up to his death in 1564, reigned 
Calvlnlsts. ^^^ ^ despot over Church and state in the free city 
of Geneva, the chief stronghold of advanced Protestantism on 
the continent. There they had become enthusiasts for the rigid 
dogmatic system called Calvinism, which taught that God was 
a stem taskmaster, dealing out salvation and reprobation in 
accordance with His predestined decrees. The Church of Geneva 
had, moreover, abandoned the rule of bishops, and was governed by 
little councils of ministers, aU equal in rank, and named presbyters, 
so that this system was called Presbyterianism. Moreover, it 
rejected fixed forms of prayer like those of the English service- 
books, and worshipped God with the utmost simplicity of ritual, 
■while enforcing a rigid system of moral discipline over the whole 
congregation. From their profession of purity in doctrine, 


worship, and life, the English followers of Calvin were generally 
described as Puritans. 

10. To Calvin's followers ia England, Elizabeth's Church 
seemed far removed from the apostolic purity of the Church of 
Geneva. If at first they supported it, in the hope that 
Elizabeth, Kke Edward vi., would soon bring about puritans 
more changes, they became very discontented when and the 
they fotind that the queen had set her face against Elizabethan 
further innovations. They had no love of bishops, 

disliked set forms of prayer and elaborate ceremonies, and thought 
the special dress worn by the English clergy a relic of Roman 
CathoUe times. Many of the Puritan clergy obstinately refused 
to wear surplices when conducting divine worship, and neglected 
such forms as the use of the sign of the cross in baptism and 
kneeling to receive the communion. Their opposition was the 
more important since they included the majority of the active and 
high-minded Protestants, and it was only with their help that 
Elizabeth could fight the battle against Home. For this reason 
the queen was forced for the first few years of her reign to let 
them have their own way. As she grew stronger, she resolved to 
enforce the law. The repression of Puritanism began in 1566, 
when the archbishop issued a series of directions to the clergy, 
called Pa/rker's Advertisements, which ordered that the minister in 
aU churches should wear a surplice, and conform to the jj,g A^ver- 
other directions of the Prayer-book. Though the tisements, 
advertisements rather relaxed than changed the law, ^°°°- 
a storm of protest from the Puritans burst out against them. 
Nevertheless, Elizabeth and Parker persevered, and in 1566 about 
thirty clergymen, mainly in London, were deprived of their benefices 
for their obstinate refusal to wear the vestments enjoined by law. 
Embittered by the queen's action, the Puritans soon broadened the 
ground of their attack on the Church. Not content with simply 
rejecting ceremonies, they denounced the government of the 
Church by bishops, and demanded that the English Church should 
be made Presbyterian like the Church of G-eneva. The leader of 
this party was Thomas Cartwright, a professor of divinity at 
Cambridge, and a book called An Admonition to Parliament, 
written by two of his friends, explained his objections to the 
Prayer-book and episcopacy. 

11. Some of the clergy ejected for refusing to wear surplices 
were not content to abandon their teaching, and formed separate 
congregations of their own. These were called Seeta/ries, because 


they formed new sects, or Sepa/ratists, because they separated from 
the Church altogether. One of their leaders was Robert Brown, 

who taught that there should be no national organ iza- 
Separatists. ^°^ °^ religion, but that each congregation was a 

self-governing Christian Church. From him the 
Separatists were caRed Brownists, and from his teaching they got 
the name of Independents. They were the first Protestant Dis- 
senters in England, though for a long time they were few in 
number and bitterly persecuted. The mass of Puritans had, how- 
ever, no sympathy with the Separatists. They remained in the 
Church, and many of them held livings in it. Though always 
liable to be deprived of their benefices, many contrived to evade 
compliance with the hated ceremonies. For this reason they were 
called Nonconformists. But these early Nonconformists were dis- 
contented and disobedient Churchmen, not Dissenters. Separatists 
denounced them as " hypocrites, who strain at a gnat and swallow 
a camel." 

12. Parker died in 1575, and the new archbishop, Edmund 
Grindal, was much more friendly to the Puritans. After a few 

years he provoked the queen's wrath by refusing to 
Grfndal P^* down meetings of the Puritan clergy called 

1576, and Prophesyings, which Elizabeth disKked, because they 
Whltgift, encouraged the Zealots to resist her authority. In 

great anger, she suspended Grindal from his office, and 
soon afterwards he died in disgrace. In 1583 Elizabeth put into 
Grindal's post John Whitgift, an old enemy of Cartwright at 
Cambridge and a bitter enemy of the Puritans, though, like most 
of the Elizabethan bishops, he was a Calvinist in theology. Whit- 
gift's strenuous enforcement of conformity infuriated the Puritans, 
and increased the number of Separatists, who revenged themselves 
for their persecution by attacking the bishops in scurrilous 
pamphlets, called the Martin Marprelate Tracts. Though the 
attitude of Puritans and Separatists showed that Elizabeth's ideal 

„ , , of a united and submissive Protestant Church was but 

nookeF s 

" Eeelesiasti- ^ dream, the latter years of her reign saw a distinct 
cal Polity," strengthening of the Church and a weakening of ex- 
treme Puritanism. The close of the century was marked 
by the rise of a school of divines, whose teaching tended to draw a 
deeper Ene between the Church and the Puritans. The greatest 
of these was Richard Hooker, whose famous book on the Laws of 
JEcclesiastical Polity, published in 1593, showed that beautiful and 
seemly practices sanctioned by tradition were not to be rejected 


because not enjoined in tlie Soriptirres. Before long otiers went 
fnrtier tlian Hooker, and taught that a Church without bishops, 
such as the Puritans preferred, was no Church at all. Thus the 
system, which had begun as a politic compromise began to have 
defenders on grounds higher than expediency. Yet the Puritans 
remained a strong party in the Church, though it became increas- 
ingly difficult for them and their rivals to live side by side within 
the same communion. 

13. The period which saw Calvinism checked and limited in 
England witnessed the establishment of its absolute ascendancy in 
Scotland. For ten years after her daughter had been 

sent to Prance, Mary of G-uise had upheld a Prench 
and Catholic polioy in Scotland as successfully as Mary Tudor had 
upheld the Spanish and Catholic policy in England. The few 
pioneers of Scottish Protestantism were driven into exile. Among 
these was a priest named John Knox, whose fiery eloquence had 
made him a popular preacher of extreme Protestantism in England 
under Edward vi., though his stern Puritan principles led him to 
refuse the bishopric which was ofEered to him. On Edward vi.'s 
death he fled to Geneva, and strengthened his Puritanism at the 
feet of Calvin. When Elizabeth became q[ueen he wished to return 
to England, but she would not admit him because he had 
written a wild book called The Blast of the Trumpet against the 
Monstrous Regiment of Women, in which he denounced the rule 
of queens as contrary to the Scriptures. Thereupon Knox boldly 
returned to Scotland, where, despite Mary of Guise's efforts. 
Protestantism was beginning to make some headway. A league of 
Scots nobles, called the Lords of the Congregation, had been recently 
formed against the regent and the bishops. Knox now threw all 
his masterful energy and unconquerable will on the reforming side. 
A fierce fight between Mary of Guise and the lords of the congre- 
gation ensued. Though the people were strongly Protestant, the 
regent obtained troops from Prance, and pressed the rebels so hard 
that they were forced to appeal to Elizabeth for help. 

14. Elizabeth hated rebels and John Knox, but she saw the 
obvious advantange in winning over the Scots from Prance and the 
papacy, and, while professing not to approve of the jj,q 
Scottish revolt, she sent, in 1560, sufficient forces to Reformation 
Scotland to besiege the French in Leith. Mary of 'In Scotland. 
Guise now died, and before long the defenders of Leith signed the 
treaty of Edinburgh, by which both the English and French 
troops were to quit Scotland. As soon as foreign influence was 


removed, tte Soottisli Parliament abolished the power of the pope 
and accepted Eaiox's scheme for making the Church of Scotland 
correspond in all important points with the Church of Geneva. 
Popular tumults completed the destruction of the old Scottish 
Church. Churches and monasteries were burnt and pillaged, the 
mass violently suppressed, and the lands of the Church were seized 
by the victorious nobles. The only thing that Knox could not do was 
to persuade the Protestant lords to set aside a large share of Church 
property for the relief of the poor and the setting up of a school in 
every parish. The barons even grudged the scanty endowments left 
to the Protestant ministers. But however poor they were, Knox 
and his brother clergy henceforth exercised wonderful power over 
Scotland. The chief council of the Presbyterian Church, called 
the General Assembly, had more influence and better expressed the 
wishes of the people than the Scottish parliament. From the 
adoption of Presbyterianism the modern history of Scotland begins, 
for in welcoming the new faith the Soots nation first began to grow 
conscious of itself. Never were movements more strongly con- 
trasted than the short, swift, logical, destructive Reformation in 
Scotland and the political, compromising, half-hearted English 
Eef ormation, im.posed on a doubtful and hesitating people by the 
authority of the crown. But the movements had this in common, 
that in making Rome the common danger to both countries, it 
brought England and Scotland together in a fashion that had 
never been possible since Edward i.'s attacks on Scottish inde- 
pendence. Soon the old hostility began to abate between English 
and Scots, so that what had seemed to Henry viii. a qmie im- 
possible thing — the acceptance by England of the king of Scots 
as their ruler — was peacefully accomplished after Elizabeth's 

15. While Scotland thus became Presbyterian, her (jueen was 
growing up to womanhood as a Catholic and a Frenchwoman. 

Beautiful, accomplished, tactful, and fascinating, she 
of^Seots!^^" had rare capacity for commanding the sympathy and 

afEection of those who were brought into close relations 
with her. Different as she was from Elizabeth, there were yet as 
many points of comparison as of contrast between them. More 
straightforward and simple than her English rival, loving boldness, 
directness, and plain speaking, she rose superior to the petty 
vanities of Elizabeth, though she could not compete with her in 
persistency, hard work, and statecraft. Ambition and love of 
power were the guiding motives of both queens, though Mary was 


liable to be turned from Ler pxirpose by g^usts of passion to which 
the colder nature of Elizabeth was almost a stranger. Both were 
born to be leaders of religious parties, and Mary, though almost 
as destitute of deep religious feeling as her rival, had the 
loyalty to the old Church which a good soldier has to his general, 
and strove with aU her might to uphold its interests. It was her 
misfortune always to be the champion of the losing side, and thus 
to sacrifice her life in fighting impossible battles. In the cause of 
her Church and people she struggled with extraordinary courage 
and resource, and often with but little regard to honour or 
priuciple. She was no national queen Kke Elizabeth. When she 
came to Scotland her people were already hopelessly alienated from 
her creed and her French friends, and she was perforce compelled 
to play a more personal game than that of her rival. Tet the long 
struggle between them was not only the contest of rival queens ; it 
involved the last great struggle between the old and the new faiths 
of which circumstances had made them the champions. 

16. Even more than the preceding generation the age of 
Elizabeth is pre-eminently a period of religious conflict. Though 
Lutheranism had lost its early energy, Calvinism m^e 
was still in its full career of conquest. It had over- Counter- 
whelmed Scotland and threatened England. It was Keforma- 
making great strides in France, and becoming in- 
creasingly powerful in the Netherlands. But side by side with the 
growth of Calvinism the forces of Catholicism had revived. The 
laxity and corruption of the old Church, which had made easy 
the preaching of Luther, were swept aside by a great religious 
revival in Catholic lands, called the Counter-Reformation, or 
the Catholic Reaction. The papacy had reformed itself, and the 
popes were no longer politicians or patrons of art, but zealots and 
religious leaders. New religious orders had been set up to teach 
the old faith to the heathen, the heretic, or the indifPerent. Con- 
spicuous among these was the Order of Jesvs, set up in 1540 by the 
Spaniard, Ignatius Loyola, and already conspicuous all over Europe 
for its zeal, tact, and devotion, its iron discipline, its influence on 
the education of the youth, and its willingness to sacrifice everything 
to further the service of the Church. Jesidt missionaries soon 
became the most ardent and successful champions of the Counter- 
Reformation, while for those whom no argument would reach there 
was still the Inquisition, revived and reorganized, a Church court 
which sought out and tried heretics and handed them over to the 
state to burn them. The worst abuses of the Church had been 


removed, its f aitt defined, and its discipline improved by the Cowncil 
of Trent, which held its final sessions in 1563. Thus the reform of 
Catholicism and the counter growth of Calvinism had the result of 
dividing Europe into two religious camps, bitterly opposed to each 
other, and ready to plunge into mortal conflict. The consequence was 
that the next forty years saw religious strife taking the place of the 
old struggle of the nations for supremacy. National hatreds were 
almost forgotten in the fierce sectarian animosities that divided 
every nation in middle Europe into two factions, and soon was to 
bring about warfare in nearly every land. We shall never rightly 
understand the policy of Elizabeth if we do not realize that all 
her action, at home and abroad, was determined by her relation 
to the great struggle which was convulsing Europe. 

17. The point of European history in which the Counter-Refor- 
mation began to complicate the general course of poKtics coincided 
ThBtpeatv roughly with Elizabeth's accession. The war which 
of Le Cateau- Philip II. had waged with English help against 
Cambpssls. Prance stiU lingered on, but Philip had so fully 
secured victory that, in April, 1559. Prance was compelled to 
make peace. This was done in the treaty of Le Cateau-Cambresis, 
by which Spain finally obtained the chief control of Italy, but 
allowed the French to keep Calais, so that England had to pay the 
price of her ally's success. This peace marks the end of the long 
struggle for supremacy in Europe which had begun with the war 
of Louiis XII. against Maximilian and Perdinand, and had culminated 
in the rivalry of Francis i. and Charles v. Though the dominions 
of Charles v. were divided, Ms son, Philip of Spain, the lord of 
the most important of his possessions, was inoontestably the first 
power in Europe. The death of Henry 11. of France soon alter 
the conclusion of the treaty added still further to Philip's pre- 
dominance. There were no more strong kings of Prance for more 
than thirty years, during which period the three worthless sons of 
Henry 11. successively ruled. 

18. Among the motives for the conclusion of the treaty of Le 
Cateau was the recognition by both the French and Spanish kings 

that it was inexpedient for the two chief Catholic 
and the " monarohs to continue fighting when neither of them 
Counter- was able to stop the growth of Protestantism in his 
Uon ™* own dominions. Philip now set himself to work with 

a win to stamp out Calvinism in his Netherlandish 
possessions, while Francis 11. of France was, through his wife Mary 
Stewart, induced by her mother's kinsfolk, the house of Gruise, 


tte most strenuous upholders of Catkolioism in Franco, to take 
vigorous measures to suppress the Calvinists of France, who were 
more generally called Suguenots. National animosities, however, 
could not die down in a day, and Spain and Prance long pp^neis II 
remained so exceedingly jealous of each other that and his 
they found it impossible to work together for a common Queen. 
purpose. This was particularly fortunate for England since French 
illwill had by no meais ceased at the peace. Not content with 
her position as queen of France and Scotland, Mary Stewart 
assumed the title of queen of England, and strict Catholics were 
reminded that the pope had never sanctioned the marriage of 
Anne Boleyn to Henry viii., and that their daughter could never 
be therefore the legitimate queen of England. In Rivalry of 
the face of such a, challenge Elizabeth can hardly be Mary and 
blamed for helping the Scottish Protestants to establish ^^'^^°^''"- 
their supremacy. The result of the triumph of the Scottish 
Reformation was the practical destruction of Mary Stewart's 
power in her native land, since the Scots had eflected their 
revolution without seeking for or obtaining her good will, and 
the effect of their action was to set up a Calvinistic republic in 

19. Before many months, however, the sickly Francis 11. died, 
and his brother and successor Charles ix. was controlled by their 
mother, Catharine de' Medici, a cunning Italian, who 
feared the Guises, and sought to maintain the royal f,rLe 
power by balancing the Protestants against the Havre, 
CathoUos. Religious war broke out as the result of *^^^' 
this in France, and the Huguenots, who were but a minority of 
Frenchmen, were so soon beaten that they called upon Elizabeth 
for help. Elizabeth, though professing a great reluctance to help 
rebels, soon succumbed, as in Scotland, to the temptation of making 
her profit out of the divisions of her enemies. She sent some help 
to the Protestants, who in return put her in possession of Le 
Havre, which she hoped to hold as an equivalent for Calais. Un- 
luckily for her the French factions made peace, and in 1563 united 
to expel the English from their new foothold beyond the Channel. 
But the weak rule of Charles ix. and the continuance of religious 
struggles prevented France from inflicting harm on England. 
Moreover, French hostility to England made Philip 11. anxious to 
keep up his alliance with her, despite his disgust at the religious 
chano-es brought about after Elizabeth's succession. Thus Elizabeth 
was able to steer between the rivalries of the chief continental 


poTvers. The contiauaitioii of the old national animosities saved 
England from the greatest danger that she could enootmter — ^the 
danger, namely, of a combination of Catholic powers against her. 
With great s kill and cmming Elizabeth kept England as free as 
she coiild from the intrigues of the continent, and sought to work 
out her country's destinies after her own fashion. 

20. In 1561 Mary Stewart returned to Scotland. She had no 
prospects of power in France after her husband's death, and her 

bold spirit preferred to abandon the comfort and repose 
rfsTotl"^^" that the land of her adoption still offered the queen 
pestoped to dowager for the risks and excitement of attempting 
Scotland, to play the royal part in the co\mtry that hated her 

religion and rejected her authority. She was coldly re- 
ceived in Scotland, but she showed marvellous tact and self-restraint, 
and gradually won over many of the nobles to her side. She was 
content to let the couatry be ruled in her name by her brother, 
James Stewart, earl of Moray, an illegitimate son of James v. She 
accepted the establishment of Calvinism, and only required liberty 
to hear mass. The only person unmoved by her blandishments 
was Knox. He bitterly denovmced the services of the queen's 
private chapel. " One mass," he declared, " is more fearful to me 
than ten thousand armed enemies." 

21. Four years of inaction taught Mary that she had not much 
to hope for in Scotland. She was too ambitious to endure for 
TheDarnlev ®^®^ ^^® position of a nominal queen, and as she 
marriage, could not get real power in Scotland, she once 
1565. more began to make England the chief centre of her 
efforts. The English Roman Catholics were getting more and more 
disgusted with the rule of Elizabeth, and were hoping that Mary 
would some day become their queen and restore their faith. 
Mary was delighted to become their champion, and preferred to 
see Elizabeth driven from the throne by force to the remote chance 
of waiting for her death. In 1565 she declared to the world her 
interest in English affairs by choosing as her second husband 
her cousin, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, the son of the earl of 
Lennox, and near to the succession of the EngUsh throne, since 
his mother was the daughter of Margaret Tudor, the widow of 
James iv., by her second husband the earl of Angus. Darnley, 
who had been brought up in England, was a sort of leader of 
the English Catholics, and Elizabeth was so disgusted with the 
marriage, that she incited Moray and the Scots nobles to rise in 
revolt against it. Mary now felt strong enough to act for herself. 


She completed her marriage with Darnley, defeated Moray, and 
drove Iii'tti out of Scotland. 

22. Mary soon found that her husband was so foolish and 
treacherous that he was useless to help her to carry out her plans. 
She gradually gave her chief confidence to an Italian 

najned David Kiccio, whom she raised from the Rieeio 1566. 
position of one of the singing-men of her chapel to 
be her secretary. Darnley grew furiously jealous of the Italian 
upstart, and joined with some of the Scottish nobles in an intrigue 
against him. On March 9, 1566, while Riccio was supping with 
the queen at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, the conspirators 
suddenly burst into the room, dragged the shrieking secretary 
from her presence, and stabbed him to death in an ante-chamber. 
Stung to profound indignation by her favourite's miu-der, Mary 
kept her presence of mind with remarkable fortitude. She soon 
persuaded her weak husband to give up his associates and return to 
her side. Then she fell upon the murderers and drove them out of 
the country. Like Moray, they fled to England, where Elizabeth 
readily sheltered them. Three months after Kiccio's murder, 
Mary's only child was born, the future James vi. of Scotland and 
I. of England. 

23. Mary and Darnley soon began to quarrel again. The 
queen now found a stronger and more capable instrument of 
her ambition in James Hepburn, earl of Bothwell, a Mupjop nf 
ruffianly border noble of rare courage, energy, and Darnley, 
cleverness. Mary became his absolute slave, and 1567. 
scandal became busy with their names. Bothwell made it his 
object to get Darnley out of the way so that Mary might be 
free to marry him. Accordingly he met some of the discontented 
nobles at Craigmillar Castle, near Edinburgh, where they signed 
what was called the Bond of Craigmillar, by which the con- 
spirators pledged themselves to Darnley's death. Darnley, who 
was just recovering from a dangerous illness, now took up his 
quarters at a lonely house called the Kirh o' Field, a little to 
the south of Edinb^Irgh. On the night of February 9, 1567, 
the Kirk o' Field was blown up by gunpowder, and Darnley's 
body was found not far from the ruined house. There can be 
no doubt that Bothwell had accomplished the murder. What 
share Mary had in it is not easy to determine ; but it is probable 
that she both knew and approved of what Bothwell was doing, 
and it is certain that he in no wise forfeited her favour. 

24. Lennox, Darnley's father, accused BothweU of his son's 


mirrder, and Mary, ■who was forced to seem anxioas to avenge 
her husband's death, fixed a day for his trial. But good care was 
taken to make the proceedings a mere farce. Lennox himself was 

Emery Walker sc. 


afraid to appear, and no man ventured to give evidence against 
the queen's favourite. The court therefore acqxiitted Bothwell, 
and Mary made its action the excuse for once more Deposition 
giving him her open support. Even now she was oftlie 
afraid to wed herself to the man whom all suspected as ween of 
her husband's assassin. It was accordingly arranged ' 

that Bothwell should f aU upon her as she was riding from Stirling 
to Edinburgh and make a show of forcing her to become his wife. 
But the pretence was too transparent to deceive any one. All Scot- 
land rose in revolt against the queen and her ruffianly husband. 
Even the nobles who had helped Bothwell were delighted to have 
an excuse in his crime for attacking the royal power. It was to no 
purpose that Mary, for the first and last time in her life, showed 
a disposition to abandon her religion rather than give up the fierce 
noble who had won her heart. She attended Protestant sermons, 
and sought to put herseK at the head of the Protestant party. 
But the very soldiers she called upon to protect her from the rebels 
refused to strike a blow in her favour. At Carberry Sill, outside 
Edinburgh, her partisans deserted her, and she was taken prisoner 
by the rebel lords. BothweU fled from Scotland, and died a few 
years later. Mary was deprived of her throne, and her infant 
son proclaimed James vi. Moray and the Protestant exiles 
returned and assumed the government in his name. 

25. For nearly a year the deposed queen was kept a captive in 
the island-castle of Lochleven in Kinross-shire. But the victorious 
nobles soon began to quarrel among themselves, and ]|i__„.„ 

in 1568 the great Clydesdale house of Hamilton raised flight to 
a revolt in her favour. Mary escaped from Lochleven, England, 
and was once more at the head of an army. On May 13, 
however, she was defeated by Moray at Langside, near Glasgow. 
Unable to bear up any longer against her enemies in Scotland, 
Mary took the bold step of throwing herself upon the mercy 
of Elizabeth. She rode from the field of Langside to the Solway, 
crossed its waters in a fishing-boat, and landed in England, im- 
ploring her cousin's protection. From this moment a new stage in 
their rivalry began. The fugitive was henceforth to be a greater 
source of trouble to Elizabeth than ever she had been when 
mounted on the thrones of France and Scotland. 

26. Elizabeth was immensely embarrassed by Mary's appeal. 
She dared not ofEend her allies, the Scottish Protestants, by 
restoring the exiled queen, and she was equally afraid to let her 
escape to France, where her claims on England might once more 


be taken up. Yet slie was almost equaUy alarmed at the pros- 
pect of keeping Mary in England, where she would be at hand 

to be the centre of every CathoUc conspiracy, and 
Mary's Im- jjjjgjj^-t ^t any moment be raised from her prison to 

the throne. TJnder such circumstances Elizabeth found 
it easy to adopt the policy of hesitation and delay on which she 
was always w illin g to fall back. Her strongest reason for not 
helping Mary was the fatal business of the murder of Darnley. 
Accordingly, she announced that before taking any decided steps 
in the matter she must investigate the charges brought agaiast 
the q[ueen of Scots, and for that purpose she appointed a com- 
mission, at the head of which was the duke of Norfolk. Moray 
and the Protestant lords laid before this body all the evidence 
they could find as to Mary's guilt. Chief amongst it was a series 
of letters and love-poems, called the Casket Letters, because it was 
said that they had been found in a, casket at Carberry Hill, at the 
time immediately before Mary's deposition. If genuine, the casket 
letters were convincing proofs of Mary's guilt, but her friends 
have always declared them to have been forged by Moray and his 
friends. Anyhow, the commissioners never came to any decision 
in the matter. Elizabeth preferred that Mary should be neither 
condemned nor acquitted, but rather remain in captivity under 
a cloud, so that she might be used or condemned accordingly as 
future events might determine. Mary was therefore retained in 
honourable imprisonment in England, while Moray and the Scots 
lords went back home, secure of Elizabeth's support. 

27. Eighteen years of plots and rebeUions were Elizabeth's 
punishment for lacking courage to take a decided course. The 
The evolt H6xt year (1569) the Catholics of the north rose in 
of the revolt under the leadership of the two chief repre- 

northern ^ sentatives of the ancient noble houses that had so 
' ' long been their natural leaders. These were Thomas 
Percy, earl of Northximberland, and Charles Neville, earl of 
Westmorland. It was another Pilgrimage of Grace, and showed 
that the north country was still strongly in favour of the old 
religion. An unsuccessful effort was made to free the queen of 
Scots, which was defeated by Mary being moved to the midlands 
far beyond the northerners' reach. Then the earl of Sussex put 
down the insurrection, and soon drove the two earls to find a refuge 
in exile. The collapse of the rebellion immensely strengthened 
Elizabeth's position. For the rest of her reign none of her enemies 
succeeded in exciting an open rising. 


28. Other resources were still, toweTer, open to the foes of 
Elizabeth. In 1570 the regent Moray was assassinated in Scotland, 
and three years of civil war and confusion ensued. _, •, ,, ^ 
These did nothing, however, to help Mary's cause, and exeom- 

in 1573 another strong regent was found in the earl of municatlon, 
Morton, who successfully upheld Protestant ascendancy 
and good order in the name of the little James vi. Of more value 
to Mary than her brother's death was the intervention of the pope 
in her favour. The pope was now Pius v., an old Inquisitor, and 
a bitter, if high-minded, zealot for the Counter-Reformation. In 
February, 1570, Pius issued a bull excommunicating Elizabeth 
and deposing her from the throne. Parliament answered him by 
passing acts that made it treason to introduce papal bulls into the 
country or to become a convert to the Boman Catholic faith. 
Henceforward there was, as long as Elizabeth lived, war to the 
knife between England and Home. It was almost impossible for 
an Englishman to remain a good CathoUo and a faithful subject 
of Queen Elizabeth, and a series of Catholic plots to depose Eliza- 
beth and put Mary in her place, showed the result of the pope's 
action on the minds of the more zealous of his disciples. 

29. In 1571 a Florentine banker named RidoM, who had long 
resided in England, and was a secret agent of the pope and Philip 
of Spain, persuaded the duke of Norfolk to put himself 

at the head of a rebellion to release Mary Stewart and ,)i,S 1571 
restore Catholicism. Norfolk, a son of the poet earl 
of Surrey, was the only duke left in England, and, though he had 
always conformed to Elizabeth's Church, he was very lukewarm 
in his support of the Reformation, and was indignant that a man 
of his high rank should have so little power at court. He was 
tempted by the proposal that he should he married to Mary, who 
might then be restored to the Scottish throne and recognized as 
Elizabeth's successor. After trying for a time to reconcile loyalty 
to Elizabeth with the acceptance of this glittering prospect, the 
duke was talked over by RidoM into overt treason. But Cecil and 
his spies had discovered all about the plot, and iu 1572 Norfolk 
was convicted of treason and executed. For the next few years 
England enjoyed comparative peace. Despite the papal excom- 
munication, Elizabeth seemed stronger than ever. 

30. France, distracted by civil war, had. now dropped into a 
secondary position in politics. In 1572 Protestant Europe was 
horrified by the cold-blooded massacre of the French Protestants 
on St. Bartholomew's day, at the instigation of Charles ix. This 



was but an isolated act of cruel policy, and the French, monarchy, 
floating- helplessly between the CathoUo aud Protestant parties, 
was powerless to hurt England. Philip of Spain, as 
and «ie ' ^'^ avowed leader of Catholicism, was gradually be- 
revoltof coming the supporter of the English Catholics and 
t^^ Nethep- .(.jjg pj^g£ jjgpg j,f ^^ captive queen of Scots. But 

Philip's attention was much taken up with other 
matters, and he was stiU so jealous of Prance that he tried to 
keep on good terms with England. Philip had had to contend 
since 1572 with a formidable revolt in the Netherlands, where 
his attempts to make himself a despot and to crush out Pro- 
testantism had completely failed. For five years his ruthless 
general Alva had ruled the seventeen provinces of the Spanish 
Netherlands with an iron hand. But it was impossible by persecu- 
tion to change the faith of a whole nation, and the only result 
of Alva's repression was that Holland and Zealand, the most 
Protestant and energetic of the provinces, rose in revolt, and 
heroically defied the whole resources of the Spanish monarchy. 
Not only did Philip fail to put down the Hollanders; in 1576 
all the other provinces followed their example, and united in the 
Pacification of Ghent, by which the Catholic and Protestant dis- 
tricts alike agreed to protect their ancient political liberties from 
Philip. This comprehensive union did not last long, and Philip's 
illegitimate brother, Don John of Austria, who was now governor 
of the Netherlands, soon persuaded some of the southern provinces, 
which were mostly Catholic, to recognize Philip's rule on condition 
that he gave up his attacks on their political liberties. Thereupon 
the seven northern provinces, headed by Holland, formed in 1S79 
the union of Utrecht, by which they became a federal Calvinistio 
commonwealth under William, prince of Orange, as their siadt- 
holder, or governor. Such was the origin of the Dutch JRepuhlic 
of the Seven Provinces of the United Netherlands. As England 
sympathized strongly with the rebels, there was fresh reason for 
iU-will between EHzabeth and Philip. But neither dared attack 
the other yet. 

31. Elizabeth found compensation for these troubles in the 
increasing loyalty of her subjects, and their increasing willingness 
mug to accept her ecclesiastical policy. So feeble was the 

seminary position of Catholicism in England that the leaders 
priests. of -tjig Church took the alarm, and made a determined 

effort to rekindle the zeal of the English Romanists. A 
Lancashire priest named WiUiam Allen, who had forsaken his 


coxuitry ratier than reoognizo the royal supremacy, set up at 
Douai, within Philip's Netherlandish dominions, a college or 
seminary, to train young Englishmen for the priesthood, that they 
might return to their homes as missionaries of the old faith. The 

in the beginning of the 17th. Century 

(a) The Seuen United Prouinces 

(b) The Ten Southern Prouinces , 

(c) Land of the Generality, i.e. 
belonging to (b> but conqueretl 

Bmery Walker sc. 

college at Douai, soon transferred to Beims, in French territory, 
became very flourishing, and sent forth a stream of missionary 
clergy to England, where their energy gave new life to the 
Catholic cause. Up to this time many Soman Catholios had 
been content to attend the services of their parish churches, and 


to take little part in politics. The seminwry priests, as the 
pupils of the college were called, soon put an end to such laxity, 
and excited the alarm of the government. The severe laws passed 
in a panic in 1571 were employed against them, and in 1577 
Cuthbert Mayne, executed at Launceston for denying the royal 
supremacy and having a papal buU in his possession, was the 
first Catholic martyr which Douai sent forth. 

32. Three years later even greater fear was excited among 
the Protestants by the first appearance of the Jesuits in England 
..... T .* (1580). Their leaders were Robert Parsons, a subtle 

The Jesuit ^ ' ... ^T^^ 3 n 

invasion, and dexterous intriguer, and Hidmund Oampion, a 
1 580. high-souled enthusiast, who was careless about politics, 

and thought only of winning souls over to Ms Church. In great 
alarm fresh laws were passed against popish recusants, and a keen 
search made for the Jesuits, who wandered in disguise throughout 
the land, stirring up the zeal of their partisans. Parsons escaped 
to the continent in safety, but Campion was captujed. He could 
not be proved to be disloyal to Elizabeth, and was cruelly tortured 
in the hope of extracting some sort of confession from him. In 
due course he was convicted and hung as a traitor at Tyburn. He 
was as much a martyr as any of the Protestants who suffered under 
Mary. During the rest of Elizabeth's reign scores of Catholic 
priests and laymen incurred the fate of Mayne and Campion. 

33. The sanguinary persecution of the missionaries had a sort 
of justification in the fact that many of them, like Parsons, were 
The Bond of steeped to the lips in treason. Plot after plot was 
Association, framed to compass Elizabeth's death and bring Mary 
1584. -to t]ie throne. Philip of Spain gave help to the 
conspirators, and in 1584, on the failure of a scheme to murder 
Elizabeth, the Spanish ambassador was ordered to quit London. 
Burghley and Walsingham drew up a document called the Bond of 
Association, which all classes of Englishmen eagerly signed. The 
members of the bond pledged themselves to defend Elizabeth 
against her enemies, and bound themselves, in the event of her 
murder, to put to death any person on whose behalf the deed was 
committed. This meant that if Elizabeth were slain, the queen 
of Scots would be at once executed. In 1585 parliament legalised 
the association and passed fresh laws against the Catholics. It 
banished all Jesuits and seminary priests, and made the return of 
any one of them an act of treason. 

34. In 1586 a new plot was formed to murder Elizabeth. Its 
instigator was the seminary priest, John Ballard, and its instrument 


a foolish and vain young Catholic gentleman, named Anthony 
Babington. Bahington was so proud of his boldness that he 
rashly boasted of what he was going to do, and soon 
enabled Walsingham's spies to find out aU about the Babington 
conspiracy. At last Walsingham got into his hands conspiracy, 
letters of Mary written to Babington, in which she ^^^^• 
expressed her approval of the attempt to murder Elizabeth. Then 
he fell on Babington, and put him and his accomplices to death. 

35. The chief importance of the Babingrton conspiracy is that it 
supplied Walsingham with evidence of Mary's complicity in an 
assassination plot, and frightened Elizabeth, who had p. . *■ 
hitherto been afraid to proceed to extremities against of Mary 
Mary, into allowing the queen of Scots to be tried for Queen of 
treason. A court for the trial of Mary was held at ' 

Foiheringhay Castle, near Peterborough. Mary refused to answer 
before the court on the ground that as a crowned queen she was no 
subject of Elizabeth, and could not, therefore, commit treason 
against her. Nevertheless, she was, in October, 1S86, sentenced to 
the block as a traitor, though Elizabeth long delayed the execution 
of the sentence. ParKament urged her in strong terms to put Mary 
to death at once, but Elizabeth delayed until February, 1587, before 
she would allow anything to be done. Even after signing the order 
for her rival's death, she would not allow it to be sent down to 
Potheringhay, till at last the council, which fully shared the 
opinions of parliament, ordered Davison, the secretary of state, to 
despatch the warrant. On February 8, 1587, Mary was beheaded in 
the great hall of Potheringhay Castle, meeting her end with rare 
courage and dignity. Elizabeth loudly protested that the deed was 
not of her ordering, and ruined the unlucky Davison for breaking 
her commands. This she did partly to evade responsibility, and 
partly so as to give some specious excuse to her ally, James vi., for 
his mother's execution. But Elizabeth was the chief gainer by her 
rival's death. There was no longer any use in murdering the queen 
of England when her successor woxdd be the Protestant king of Scots. 
The worst of Elizabeth's troubles was over after the tragic fate 
of Mary Queen of Scots. 


ELIZABETH (1587-1603) 

Chief Dates : 

1588. Defeat of the Spanish Armada. 

1591. The fight of the Revenge. 

1596. The capture of Cadiz. 

1597' First Monopolies contest. 

1598. The Irish rebellion. 

1601. Second Monopolies contest. 

1603. Death of Elizabeth. 

1. DuaiNG the years of Mary's imprisonment England and Spain 
were slowly drifting into war. Philip was the instigator of 

every plot for the release of the captive queen, and 

relations England retaliated by giving as much help to the 

between Netherlandish rebels as Elizabeth would allow. More- 

f 5 ■ over, Philip sent, as we shall see, troops and priests to 

Ireland to stir up the Irish against England and Pro- 
testantism, while he kept up active intrigues in Scotland, and strove, 
though but to little purpose, to persuade James yi., who was now 
growing up to manhood, to take up the Catholic cause, and make 
efforts on behalf of his mother. There was even more friction 
between England and Spain by sea than by land, and each power had 
done so much harm to the other that in any ordinary times open 
war would certainly have ensued between them. Yet after nearly 
twenty years of ceaseless friction nominal peace still prevailed. 
This was partly due to the fact that both Elizabeth and PhUip were 
somewhat irresolute in temperament and too timid to run the 
risks which war involved. But the chief reason of the hesitation 
of Philip was the general political condition of Europe. Though 
nearly thirty years had elapsed since the outbreak of a national 
war like those which had been waged before 1559, yet the 
old jealousy between France and Spain was by no means dead. 
Philip was still afraid that if he attacked England, France would 
take advantage of his plight and f aU upon him with all her mig'ht. 


Thus it was that, though as the champion of Catholicism he would 
have dearly loved to conquer England, as the chief monarch of 
Europe he was so conscious of the risk to his authority that a flght 
with Elizabeth implied, that he stUl preferred to let things drift, 
and stiU professed to value English friendship after the feeling 
between the two countries had become very bitter. 

2. Philip had a special motive for hesitation in the revolt of the 
Netherlands. Thanks to Don John of Austria, he was making slow 
but steady progress in winning back his position over 

the southern and central provinces, though the north pp^°j, 
still defied his efiorts. Don John of Austria soon died, interven- 
but a worthy successor to hiTn was found in Alexander tion In the 
Parnese, duke of Parma, one of the best generals of i^nds. 
that age. His advance soon frightened both EKz^abeth 
and Henry in. of Prance, and dread of the imminent triumph of 
Spain brought about for the moment that alliance between England 
and France which Philip dreaded more than anything else. It was 
proposed in 1681 to cement this friendship by a marriage between 
Elizabeth and Francis, duke of Anjou, the younger brother of 
Henry in., who in 1574 had succeeded his brother Charles ix. as 
king of Prance. The scheme was the more formidable to Philip 
since it was hoped that Anjou would be accepted by both the 
Protestant and CathoHo Netherlanders as their ruler. Thus the 
result of the Anglo-French alliance was to be the estabKshment of 
a French prince on the ruins of the Spanish power in the Low 
Countries. It was as severe a blow as could be directed against 
Philip II. 

3. There had been constant talk of the marriage of Elizabeth 
ever since her accession. Her people, anxious that she should have 
a direct heir, had long urged her to choose a husband, r^^ Anjou 
and Elizabeth had so far gratified them that she marriage 
entered into numerous negotiations with a view to her f^g^™^' 
marriage, ifiough she had made up her mind never to 

share her throne with a husband. Now, when the queen was nearly 
fifty years of age, the most serious of her marriage projects was 
started. Anjou, an ugly, contemptible fellow, more than twenty 
years her junior, came to England, and Elizabeth received him as 
her future husband. Before long, however, realizing the folly of 
her position, she was glad to send off Anjou to the Netherlands, 
and showed an unwonted liberality in supplying him with men and 
money for carrying out his projects. Anjou's incompetence, how- 
ever, soon wrecked all the fine schemes formed by England and 


France to lay low the power of Philip. In a short time he was 
cLriven away by the Netherlanders themselves, and went back to 
France, where he soon died. Long before this, the fantastic notion 
of wedding him to Elizabeth had been quite forgotten. 

4 The chief importance of the Anjou marriage scheme was 
that it induced Elizabeth to take an actire part in supporting the 
Lei e te ' revolted Netherlanders against the king of Spain, 
the Nether- After Anjou's failure, Parma renewed his advance, 
lands, \ 586. and soon the provinces were reduced to the greatest 
straits. In 1584 their heroic leader, "William of Orange, was 
murdered by a Catholic fanatic. It was the same year in which 
Elizabeth expelled the Spanish ambassador for complicity in an 
assassination plot. In 1585 Parma captured Antwerp, and thus 
broke the back of the resistance of the southern provinces. In 
their despair the Netherlanders offered to make Elizabeth their 
ruler if she would protect them from Philip's assaults. Too 
prudent to accept this sovereignty, Elizabeth sent an army to help 
them, at the head of which she placed her favourite, the earl of 
Leicestei'. But Leicester was almost as incompetent as Anjou, and 
his arrival brought little relief. The most famous episode in his 
campaign was a fight against the Spaniards near Zutphen, in 
which his accomplished nephew, Sir Philip Sidney, the pattern 
Elizabethan gentleman, poet, romance-writer, courtier, and soldier, 
received his death-wound. Before the end of 1586 Leicester 
quarrelled with the Dutch and went back to England. Then 
came the Babington conspiracy and the execution of Mary Queen 
of Soots. At last even the sluggish Philip felt that the cup of 
English oifences was full to the brim, and prepared to wreak a 
signal vengeance upon the English heretics. 

5. A generation of conflict between Englishmen and Spaniards 
on the ocean made the long-delayed rupture more complete and 
more bitter. The discovery of America by Columbus 
th^i^H-"^ had opened up for Spain a mighty empire in Southern 
and Central America, and had forced a nation of 
soldiers and priests to produce, almost in its own despite, navi- 
gators, colonisers, and traders. The commercial position of Spaia 
was made much stronger when, in 1580, Philip conquered Portugal 
and its colonies, and so extended his power to Brazil and over the 
remnants of the great Eastern Empire which the Portuguese had 
set up, following on the tracks of Vasco da Gama, who had first dis- 
covered the sea-road to India and the East. At first the Spaniards 
and Portuguese had no rivals in their quest of wealth, conquest, 


and adventnie in strange lands. Least of all was competition to be 
expected from Eng-land, whose people, up to the middle of the 
sixteenth century, were distinguished neither for their seamanship, 
commerce, nor love of adventure. Englishmen remained what they 
had been in the Middle Ages, an easy-going, stay-at-home people, 
loving hard fig-hting and good living, but so indifferent to trade 
and money-making, that they were still content that the larger 
share of the external trade of their island should remain in the 
hands of foreigners. 

6. Signs of a new spirit of activity were dimly discernible 
in early Tudor times. The marvellous discoveries of Columbus 
and Yasco da Gama stirred the sluggish fancy of 

Henry vii., who» sent John Cabot, a Yenetian settled ginnings 
in Bristol, on a voyage to America, which resulted of English 
in the discovery of the coast of Labrador. Nothing maritime 
practical came of this, however, until the private 
enterprise of the merchants of Bristol, the adopted home of Cabot, 
sent out expeditions of discovery that won for England a small 
share in the Newfoundland fisheries and the trade with West 
Africa. Plymouth adventurers, conspicuous among whom was 
William Hawkins, opened out commerce between England and 
South America. In London, the Compcmy of Merchant Adven- 
turers, which, as the chief society of English traders, had long 
competed for the Baltic and Scandinavian markets with the 
German merchants of the Steelyard, showed, under the gtiidance of 
Sebastian Cabot, the son of the discoverer of Labrador, an enterprise 
foreign to earlier generations. In 1553, at Cabot's chancellor's 
suggestion, the first native English voyage of dis- voyage, 
covery was undertaken by Sir Hugh WiUoughby and 1553. 
his pilot, E/jchard Chancellor, who strove to open up new trading 
centres in northern and eastern lands, and to discover, if possible, 
a north-east passage to China throug-h the Arctic seas. lU luck 
attended this pioneer expedition, and only Chancellor with a few 
of the ships made any discovery of importance. He found his way 
into the White Sea, and opened up trading relations with Kussia 
of such importance that a Muscovy or Russia Company was started 
to work it. 

7. Though Chancellor's voyage was undei-taken under Mary, 
the new impulse which drove Englishmen to adventure and dis- 
covery was the direct result of the great stirring of men's minds 
that followed the Reformation. Though no theologians, and 
greedy, cruel, and reckless in their Uves, most of the English 


seamen were sound Protestants and great haters of the pope. 
Already in Mary's reign some of tie Protestant refugees took to 
Protes- *^® ®®^ ^^^ robbed their Catbolic feUow-coiuitrymen 

tantlsm and with special zest. A few years later the struggHng 
maritime Protestants of France and the Netherlands followed 

their example, and the water-beggars, as the Calvinist 
shipmen of Holland and Zealand were called, found an easy 
prey in the richly freighted galleons of Spain. Thus the Pro- 
testant sailors of England and HoUand aKke found that to plunder 
Spaniards was a shorter way to get rich than to trade honestly 
on their own account. Religious zeal made it a pious work to 
despoil the papist subjects of Philip 11. Moreover, the Spaniards 
kept their American colonies under strict control, and claimed 
an absolute monopoly of trade with them. The dearness which 
followed monopoly made the Spanish colonists themselves welcome 
any merchants daring enough to disregard the navigation laws 
and sell them the goods of which they had tirgent need. Hence 
smuggling commodities iuto Spanish colonies became another way 
of making money easily. The impulse to adventure had begun. 

8. The special want of the Spaniards iu America was that of 
labourers to work their mines and till their plantations. They 
Hawkins were too few and too proud to work themselves iu a 
and the tropical cUmate, and the native Americans of the 

slave-trade, "VVest India islands died ofB like flies when forced to 

labour for their new masters. John Hawkins, son of 
the William Hawkins of the reign of Henry viii., made voyages 
in his father's track, and soon learnt that an easy way to win riches 
was to kidnap or buy shiploads of strong and hardy negroes in 
West Africa, and sell them to the Spaniards in America and the 
West Indies. In 1562 and in 1564 Hawkins made two slaving 
voyages to the Guinea coast, and sold his human cargo to such 
profit in Hispaniola and Mexico that he came home a wealthy and 
a famous man. Philip 11. was much incensed at the daring heretic. 
When, in 1567, Hawkins attempted a third voyage on a larger 
scale, the Spanish officials would not allow him to transact business. 
Hawkins tried to force his wares upon the colonists, but was en- 
trapped into the narrow harbour of Vera Cruz in Mexico, and 
overborne by numbers. He lost most of his ships and profits, but 
returned safely to England, and showed the way to other adven- 
turers. He was the founder of the negro slave-trade which made 
possible the colonization of tropical America by a planter aristo- 
cracy cultivating its lands by black labour, and which for more 



tlian two hundred years was to be a source of immense gain to 
English merchants. Neither EngKsh nor Spaniards had the least 
care of the cruelty and wickedness of this traffic in human flesh. 

9. Hawkins was a mere man of business, though terribly 
efficient at his work. His example was soon followed by others, 

in some of whom his greedy commercial spirit was in 
voyage somewise ennobled by romantic love of adventure and 

round the a sort of crusading enthusiasm against the Spanish 
1577-1580 papists. Conspicuous among the higher sort of ex- 
plorers was Martin Probisher, a Yorkshireman who 
made three voyages to the frozen coasts of Labrador in the hope 
of finding a north-west passage to China, and Francis Drake, a 
Devonshire man and a kinsman of Hawkins, who, after having on 
a voyage to Panama climbed a hiQ from which he could look down 
on the Pacific, formed a resolution to sail an English ship upon 
that strange ocean which had hitherto been navigated by the 
Spaniards alone. With this object Drake set forth in 16V7 with 
a fleet of five small vessels, hoping to redeem his vow. He was 
away from England for three years, and met with countless perils 
from storms, mutinies, and the hostility of the Spaniards. He lost 
all his ships save his own vessel, the Pelican, which he rechristened 
the Oolden Kind. He crossed the South Atlantic, sailed through 
the dangerous straits of Magellan to the open Pacific, where he 
plundered the Spaniards at his will, and at last, loaded with 
precious booty, sailed westwards over the Indian Ocean, and safely 
got home in 1580 by way of the Cape of Good Hope, being the first 
captain who had sailed round the world and returned aUve to port. 
His success made him the hero of the moment, and Elizabeth, 
visiting the Golden Hind as it lay in the Thames at Deptford, 
dubbed him a knight on his own quarter-deck. 

10. The Spaniards rightly denounced Drake as a pirate, and 
demanded his surrender and the restitution of the property he had 

stolen. It was the time of the Jesuit invasion and 
between ''^ the Anjou marriage scheme, and Elizabeth was of no 
England mind to give up the adventurer to his enemies. She 

^"^ Spain, put off the Spaniards with fair words, and encouraged 

Drake as much as she could. New sources of offence 
now arose daily between the two countries. After the expulsion of 
the Spanish ambassador in 1584, Philip retaliated by confiscating 
all English ships and property fotind in his dominions. Drake 
and Frobisher were for the first time commissioned in the queen's 
service to make reprisals on Spanish ports. In 1585 they plundered 


Yigo, and led a fresh expedition to the West Indies. In 1587 
the execution of Mary Queen of Soots at leng^;h goaded Spain 
into open war, and in great indignation Philip prepared a fleet 
that would ayenge English insults to his coasts and his religion 
by pouring an army into their island. When his plans were still 
but half ready, Drake sailed into Cadiz harbour and sank or burnt 
his ships. Philip was more than CTer bent upon revenge, and 
fitted out another fleet which was to invade England in 1588. 

11. Philip's plan was to send his fleet to Flanders, whence it 
was to carry the duke of Parma's army over the narrow seas to 
England. It was hoped that on the landing of the , 
Spaniards the English Catholics would gladly join plans for 
with them in throwing off the yoke of the heretic invading 
queen, and William Allen, now made a cardinal, wrote ^"Sland. 
an exhortation to the English to accept Philip as the executor of 
Pius v.'s sentence of deposition. Philip's hands were set free by 
the death of Mary, whom he had always suspected by reason of her 
French connections. He claimed the English throne himself, as a 
nearer descendant of John of Gaunt than the Tudors. 

12. England had no regular troops to oppose the Spanish 
veterans, and her best chance was to meet her enemies at sea, where 
the English had so often beat-en the Spaniards in recent fjjg Spanish 
years that they had no great reason to fear them now. Armada, 
Since Henry vni.'s time the royal navy of England 1588. 

had been an efficient and growing force, and Hawkins, of late 
years Treasurer to the Navy, had built a large number of new 
ships, on better lines than any of the Spanish vessels. Lying 
lower in the water than the Spaniards, and with fewer " castles," or 
decks, piled up high fore and aft, the English vessels looked smaller 
than the Spanish, even when they were much of the same size. But 
they were easier to manage, more seaworthy, quicker, and better 
equipped than those of the enemy. Moreover, they were buUt to 
flght, and were not, like many of the Spaniards, mere transports 
crowded with soldiers, and ill found for a long voyage. Even the 
armed merchantmen which swelled the scanty numbers of the royal 
vessels were trained by a long career of privateering or piracy, and 
the crews, accustomed to the boisterous seas of the Atlantic fishing- 
grrounds, were much better sailors than their opponents. Both 
fleets alike were commanded by great noblemen, the Spaniards by 
the duke of Medina Sidonia, a young grandee vrith no great know- 
ledge of the sea, and the English by Lord Howard of Effingham, 
a cousin of the Norfolk beheaded in 1572. However, while the 


subordinate commanders on the Spamsh side were also noble- 
men wtose experience was on land and wiose skill that of the 
soldier, Lord Howard's immediate subordinates were practical 
seamen, who had already had long acquaintance with Spanish war- 
fare. Sir Francis Drake was second and John Hawkins third in 
command, while the largest ship in the fleet had as its captaia 
Martin Probisher, who, with Hawkins, was knighted during the 
struggle. A land army was hastily levied, the command over 
which Elizabeth insisted on giving to Leicester, whose last months 

of life were devoted to 
this supreme service to his 
mistress. Despite the 
efforts of Allen, Catholics 
joined with Protestants in 
resisting the invaders. It 
was no longer a war of 
religions, but a struggle 
between two nations. 

13. The Spaniards were 
impressed by the magni- 
tude of Philip's prepara- 
tions, and proudly styled 
their fleet the InmncihleAr- 
mada. Misfortune dogged 
its path from the begin- 
ning. Starting in May 
from Lisbon, it was driven 
back by rough weather and 
insufficient equipment into 
the ports of northern 
Spain, whence it did not 
finally sail until July. On 
July 19 the Armada en- 
tered the Channel, and 
was rapidly blown by a favourable south-wester towards the straits 
The Armada °^ Dover. The English admiral, who had waited for 
it in Plymouth Sound, allowed the enemy to pass 
his anchorage, whereupon he sailed out and closely 
hung upon the Spaniards' rear. A running fight ensued for 
the best part of a week. The EngUsh had the advantage 
of attacking on the windward side, and their greater power of 
sailing close to the wind enabled them to escape action at near 

Emery Walker sc. 

in the 


quarters, which, was what the Spaniards wanted. Ship after 
ship of the Armada was out off and captured by the English. 
The long- artillery fight used up the ammunition of both fleets. 
The English, however, could get fresh supplies from the shore, 
while the Spaniards had no such resource open to them. From 
the very beginning the Spaniards had the worst of the encounter, 
and at last oast anchor in Calais roads, fully conscious of failure. 

14. Lord Howard now began to adopt bolder tactics. He drove 
the enemy from their anchorage by sending fireships among them, 
which forced them to cut their cables to avoid being ,^^ 
burnt to pieces. Then, on July 29, the English bore battle off 
down on the Spaniards off Ch'avelines, where the Gravelines. 
decisive battle was waged for nine hours without intermission. 
The Spaniards were likely to do better in a regular engagement 
than in the preliminary skirmishing. They now fought with 
great courage, and though beaten in the end, were able to retreat in 
good order. But as the wind still blew from the south, Sidonia's 
only way of retreat was to sail northwards, and finally make his 
way home by doubling the north of Scotland. High gales proved 
fatal to many of the war-worn and storm-tried ships, and many 
wrecks strewed the western coasts of Scotland and Ireland. It 
showed rare tenacity among the Spaniards that Sidonia was able to 
bring back nearly half his fleet to Spain. 

15. Thus the attack on England utterly failed. The defeat 
of the Armada left England free to settle her own destinies for 
herself, and saved English Protestantism. By making 
England a great naval power, it prepared the way for of the 

our commerce and colonies. It made easy the union Protestant 
with Scotland and the conquest of Ireland, which "'^'■'"'y- 
were soon to come. Nor were its effects limited to England. It 
inflicted the greatest check ever encountered on the triumphant 
forces of the Catholic reaction. It secured the freedom of the 
Seven United Provinces, which, like the fate of England, had 
hitherto been trembling in the balance. It thus limited the 
Spanish Netherlands to the Catholic provinces of the south. 

16. Even in Prance the results of the Protestant victory were 
strongly felt. There the strife between Calvinists and Catholics 
had just reached its crisis. The weak Henry in. had „ .„ 
been repudiated by the extreme Catholics, who looked king of 
upon Philip of Spain as their leader, and hoped with France, 

his help to make Prance as strenuous in its devotion 

to the old faith as Was Spain itself. Henry was therefore forced 


to go over to the Protestants, and was soon afterwards murdered 
by a Catholic zealot. His death made his distant cousin, Henry, 
duke of Bourhon and king of Navarre, Henry iv. of France. Thus 
the house of Valois, which had reigned in Trance since 1328, gave 
place to the \ouie of Bov/rhon, which was henceforth to rule 
France as long as France was to be governed by kings. Henry iv., 
though the Protestant leader, was no bigot, but a clear-headed, 
selfish, and capable politician, who looked on religion much in the 
same way as Elizabeth did. He saw that as a Protestant he 
had no chance of ruling France, so he turned Catholic, and soon 
the French, weary of religious warfare, rallied round him. His 
conversion meant that France remained a Catholic country, but it 
was a liberal, tolerant Catholioism, very different from the bigoted 
faith of Spain. Henry gave the Protestants toleration by the 
edict of Nantes, showed that, like Elizabeth, he wished to be king 
over all his people, restored the declining fortunes of France, 
and gradually won back for it the first place in Europe. "With 
this object he formed a close alliance with the English queen 
against Spain, and for ten more years both powers were at war 
against Philip. In 1598 Philip made peace with France, and died 
shortly afterwards. With him ended the greatness of Spain. 

17. England and Spain continued fighting until after the 
death of Elizabeth. The main struggle was still at sea, where the 
The war efforts of England were not so successful as they had 
with Spain, been earlier. Thus, in 1589, Drake failed in an attack 
1589-1603. pjj Lisbon; and in 1591 an expedition sent to the 
Azores under Lord Thomas Howard was compelled to retreat 
before a stronger Spanish fleet. One of Howard's ships, the 
Th fl ht Revenge, commanded by Sir Richard Grrenville, was 
of the so slow in withdrawing that it was cut off from its 
"Revenge," fellows by the Spanish fleet. Thereupon GrenviUe 

formed the rash resolve to out his way iirough the 
whole of the enemies' squadron. He was soon assailed on every side, 
and, mortally wounded after a long resistance, was forced to sur- 
render. He showed such heroism that the fight of the Revenge was 
long remembered among the most brUliant deeds of English seamen. 

18. In 1595 Drake and Hawkins led a last expedition to the 
West Indies. The Spaniards were now used to the English way 
The capture "^ Ag'hting, and better prepared to meet it. Accord- 
of Cadiz, ingly the fleet captured no treasure and won few 

successes. Both Drake and Hawkins died at sea, and 
altogether the voyage was a failure. Next year Philip fitted out 


a new Ai-mada at Cadiz, whereupon Lord Howard of EfiBnghani 
and Robert Deverenx, earl of Essex, sailed to the Spanish port, 
destroyed the ships in harbour after a fierce fight, and took Cadiz 
itself by storm. This rude lesson kept the Spaniards quiet for some 
years, and, after Philip ll.'s death in 1598, the war languished for 
the rest of the reign. 

19. The last years of Elizabeth's reign saw the first attempts 
to found English colonies ia America. As early as 1583, Sir 
Humphrey Gilbert strove to plant an English 
settlement on the dreary coast of Newfoundland, but attempts 
failed utterly, and perished at sea on his way home, at English 
His half-brother. Sir Walter Ealeigh, the most colonies. 
briUiant and many-sided of the DeTonshire heroes of the reign, 
took up Gilbert's ideas, and between 1585 and 1590 made three 
attempts to set up an EngKsh colony in a part of the mainland 
of North America, which he called Virginia, in honour of the 
virgin queen. But Ealeigh was too busy pushing his fortunes 
at court to go himself to Virginia, and, without his guidance, the 
efEort came to nothing. When the queen died there was not a 
single EngKsh settlement on the American continent. 

20. Englishmen who wished to find a new home beyond sea 
obtained what they sought in Ireland rather than over the Atlantic. 
We have seen how, under Henry viil., the first ipeland 
English king of Ireland, vigorous efforts had been under 
made to make the rule of the English monarchs a Mary Tudor, 
reality, and the limited amount of success that had attended 
them. They were continued under his two daughters, and the 
first great extension of the Eng-lish power occurred under Mary, 
when the districts called Leix and Offaly, hitherto governed by 
Irish clan chieftains, were conquered by the queen's deputy, or 
governoi', the earl of Sussex, and were made, as the phrase went, 
shire-ground. By that it was meant that, as in Wales, the setting 
up of English law followed the establishment of new counties. 
The newly conquered Irish districts were called King's County and 
Queen's County, and their county towns Philipstown and Ma/ry- 
borough, in honour of Philip and Mary. This was the last advance 
of the English power in Ireland during the days when EngKsh 
and Irish, though divided by race and language, still agreed about 

21. Elizabeth extended to Ireland her EngKsh ecclesiastical 
poKcy, though there were few Protestants there, either among the 
native Irish or the Norman lords. She was so thrifty, and had so 



muoh to do at liome, tliat she was very anxious not to incur 
expense by pursuing^ an energetic policy in Ireland, and was wiUingf 
. to rule the island through the local chieftains, as her 

O'Neill and father had done. Quarrels among the O'Neills, the 
Elizabeth, chief native Irish sept, or family, in Ulster, soon made 
1558-1567. this idea impraotioable. The head of the O'Neills had 
been made earl of Tyrone by Henry viii. in the hope of winning 
him over to the English side. Shane O'Neill, the ablest andfiercest 
of his sons, was disgusted to find his father obtain from the English 
permission to make another of his children his successor as earl. 
He therefore rose in revolt, murdered liis brother, and drove his 
father out of the country. The O'Neills elected the victorious 
Shane as chief of the sept, or, as he was called, The O'Neill, and the 
successful rebel made himself absolute master of Ulster. Elizabeth 
strove in vain to treat with him, but Shane was so strong that he 
openly defied her ; and in 1667, the deputy. Sir Hemy Sidney, 
the father of Sir Philip, was compelled to wage war against 
him. Before long Shane was murdered by a rival clan which 
envied the power of the O'Neills. 

22. Sidney made Ulster shire-ground, and Walter Devereux, 
first earl of Essex, tried to establish a settlement of Protestant 
Ii-eland and "olo^^ts ™ Antrim, which was soon an utter failure, 
the Counter- Before long Ulster fell back into its old lawless freedom, 
Reforma- ^^^ Sidney's work seemed to be altogether in vain. 

A great change was now beginning to bring Irish 
politics into closer relations with the great world. Up to now 
Ireland had been qiute separated from aU European movements. 
But the constant trouble which Ireland gave Elizabeth tempted the 
queen's Catholic enemies to avail themselves of the Irish hatred of 
England and the English religion, and make their land a centre 
of the Counter-Eef ormation. The pope sent priests and the king of 
Spain sent soldiers to Ireland, and these kindled a new rebellion in 

1579. This was not, like the revolt of Shane O'Neill, 
The the work of a native clan. Its centre was the Muhster 

reb™Iion branch of the great Norman house of Fitzgerald, 
1579, and whose head was the earl of Desmond. Elizabeth put 
the Planta- down the revolt with great cruelty, and reduced the 
Munster. Desmond country to a desert. The rebels' lands were 

forfeited to the crown, and in 1584 a systematic 
attempt was made to establish English colonists in Munster. This 
was called the Plantation of Mxmster. The forfeited estates were 
divided among gentlemen adventurers, who were to let out their 


lands to English farmers. But most of the grantees remained in 
England, aiid sought to make profit out of their estates by hiring 
them out for as much rent as they could get. Few Englishmen 
would pay high rents for land in Ireland, where they stood a good 
chance of being murdered by the natives, and were certain to live 
rough and uncomfortable lives. * The result was that the Plantation 
of Munster proved a failure. A few poor gentlemen, one of whom 
was the poet Edmund Spenser, settled down in the old homes of 


the Desmonds, but the mass of the forfeited lands were g'ranted to 
Irishmen, who alone would offer the impossible terms demanded 
by their landlords. Before long rebellion made short work of the 
scattered English settlers, and the only real result of the move- 
ment was the establishment of some great English landlords in the 
estates once held by the Desmond family. 

23. The suppression of the Desmond revolt left Ireland in com- 
parative peace for twenty years. During this period bitter hatred of 


the Eng'lisli and the new zeal of the Irish for Catholicism were rapidly- 
breaking down the harriers which separated clan from clan and the 
The Irish ^^ Irish from the descendants of the Normans. When 
revolt of revolt again hroke out in 1598, it was not confined to 
a single family, race, or district. When the head of 
the O'Neills, Shane's nephew Huglf, earl of Tyrone, raised Ulster, 
he had among his supporters the rival clan of the O'DonneUs, 
because he was not like Shane fighting simply for his own clan, 
but for the pope and aU Ireland. Moreover, the rising spread to 
Muustsr, where the return of the exiled earl of Desmond gave the 
signal for a general revolt, which soon swept away the English 
colonists. Soon all Ireland was ablaze with rebellion. It was the 
first combined national and Catholic movement against English 

24. Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, the son of the would-be 
colonizer of Antrim, and the hero of the Cadiz expedition of 1596, 
Essex In ^^^ ^ gallant and showy young nobleman, and the 
Ireland, chief favourite of the old queen. Though his wayward- 
1599. jjggg jjj^^ already irritated his sovereign, she entrusted 
him, in 1599, with the difficult task of suppressing the Irish 
rising. Essex, however, managed matters very incompetently, and 

soon gave up the task in disgust. In 1600 a stronger 
suppresf '^^^'^ ^^ fouud in Charles Blount, lord Mount joy, 
the rebel- under whom the Irish resistance was gradually broken 
I'finn 1 Rnq down. Though a large Spanish force come to their help, 

Mountjoy's energy and ruthlessness finally prevailed 
over all opposition. The O'Neills held out longest, but about the time 
of Elizabeth's death, Mountjoy pressed them so hard that Tyrone was 
forced to make his submission. Thus Ireland was at last conquered ; 
but the cruelty of the process, largely the residt of the queen's 
over-thriftiness, left the bitterest memories beliind it. The Irish 
loathed the foreign yoke, and were only kept down by sheer force. 

25. While Ireland was thus conquered by Elizabeth, important 
steps were being taken to bring about the union of Britain. Wales, 
Stens united to England on equal terms by Henry vill., was 
towards under Elizabeth for the first time won over to Pro- 
British testantism by native bishops, of whom the most im- 
portant was WiUiam Morgan, bishop of St. Asaph, 

whose single-minded zeal procured the publication of a translation 
of the whole Bible into Welsh, so that it became easy to preach 
Protestantism with ofiect to the Welsh people in their own tongue. 
Moreover, the new friendship which common Protestantism had 


brougtt about between England and Scotland was working out its 
natural results. Though the will of Henry viii. had provided that 
the succession to the English throne should go to the descendants 
of his younger sister, Mary, duchess of SufEolk, no one paid any 
serious regard to the children of Lady Catharine Grey, Lady Jane's 
sister. It was generally agreed that when the old queen died, the 
next monarch would be the kiug of Scots, though Elizabeth herself 
was so jealous of power that she could never bear to have mentioned 
the question of the succession. 

26. The last years of the reign of Elizabeth were a period of 
wonderful prosperity. Britain was at peace; Ireland was being 
conquered ; the Spaniards were beaten, and the pope Tj,e Cecils 
and the Jesuits were no longer dangerous. The newly Essex, and 
found restlessness and energy which had disputed with Kaleigh. 
Spain the sovereignty of the seas, and won for England the 
beginnings of her commerce and maritime greatness, found other 
outlets in the most wondrous outburst of literature that Eng- 
land was ever to witness. Hardly moved by these new glories, 
Elizabeth grew old in increasing loneliness as her old favourites 
and ministers were taken away by death. Burghley, the last of 
the band, died in 1598, and was lucky in handing on his power to 
his son, Sir Robert Cecil. While Robert Cecil upheld the cautious 
views of his father, Essex and Raleigh represented the party that 
wished to prosecute the war with Spain with more activity than 
the prudent Cecils would aJlow. Essex, the favourite of the queen's 
old age, finally lost her favour by his incompetence in Ireland. On 
his return without leave from his Irish government, Elizabeth put 
him into prison. He was soon released, but ordered not to show 
himself at court. Like a spoilt child he fretted under his sovereign's 
displeasure. As he could not persuade Elizabeth to receive him 
again, he strove, in 1601, to excite a revolt among the Londoners, 
hoping thereby to drive the Cecils from power and compel the old 
queen to readmit him to his former position. Essex's attempt 
utterly failed, and he was convicted and executed as a traitor. 
The result of his foUy was to establish Robert Cecil more firmly 
than ever as chief minister until the old queen's death. 

27. As troubles from abroad lessened, Elizabeth had increased 
difficulties with her own subjects. Some of this was perhaps due 
to that arbitrary temper which resented all opposition as disloyalty, 
and continued measures barely justifiable in a time of great crisis 
when the crisis was almost over. Thus Whitgift continued to 
harry the Puritans as if their excesses were stiU a danger to 


Protestantism. Long after England had ceased to have any real 
need to fear the pope, the Roman Catholics were still persecuted 
almost as cruelly as in the days of the Hfe-and-death 
persecution struggle of the two faiths in the years immediately 
of Puritans succeeding the huU of Pius y. The prisons remained 
and crowded with popish recusants, and the ghastly execu- 

CathoUes. ^^^^ ^^ Catholic priests as traitors were still numerous. 
But, in addition to her old troubles, Elizabeth now had to face 
difficulties in dealiag with her parliaments. 

28. Like Henry viii., Elizabeth had striven to base her govern- 
ment on the support of parliament. Even under Mary the House 

.. , . of Commons had begun to show signs of restiveness, 
and hep and Elizabeth was soon to discover that the days of 

PapUa- her father were over, and that neither Lords nor 

ments. Commons would submissively ratify aU her commands. 

Her early parliaments gave her general support, and were liberal 
in making grants, but they irritated her by urging her to marry, 
to conciliate the Puritans, and take up a more Protestant foreign 
policy. She therefore resolved to have as little to do with parlia- 
ments as she could, and practised great parsimony so as to avoid 
frequent occasion for calling them together, so that there were 
only thirteen sessions of parliament during the forty-five years 
of her reign. Moreovei", she showed much skill in keeping the 
House of Commons in g'ood humour whenever she had occasion to 
assemble it. She increased her influence over it by creating a large 
number of new boroughs, mostly small places, which were sure to 
return any members that she selected. Sir Robert Cecil also, though 
her chief minister, remained a commoner, and sat in every parlia- 
ment, being perhaps the first English statesman who took great 
pains to manage the House of Commons and persuade it to uphold 
his policy. If parliament got out of hand, Elizabeth did not 
scruple to rebuke it, to silence it, or to send the leading commoners 
to the Tower. Such arbitrary action only increased the Commons' 
irritation, and made them excessively jealous of their rights. 

29. Elizabeth's tact and insight, and the Commons' confidence 
in her general policy, postponed serious conflict untU the concluding 
The MonoDo- "S^^'^^ °^ ^^^ reign. At last, in 1597, the Commons 
lies contest, se^it iip a grave remonstrance against the queen's over- 
1597 and lavish graoats of monopolies. A monopoly was the 

exclusive right to sell a certain article, so that the 
holder of the privilege could enrich himself by raising its price 
without fear of competition. Such an exclusive right given to an 


inventor or discoverer is common enough nowadays, and does 
more good than harm. But Elizabeth found that the grant of a 
monopoly was the cheapest way in which she could reward her 
favourites and courtiers, and she soon created so many monopolies 
in common articles of necessity that they became a serious burden 
to her people. Even the remonstrances of the parliament of 1597 
bore little fruit, and in 1601 a new parliament met and renewed 
the complaints of its predecessor