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in comparison to him. A violent altercation took place betwixt Percy and the bishop; the former insisting that Wycliffe should sit, the latter that he should stand, during the examination. The dispute became so violent that the assembly broke up abruptly, and no further attempt was afterwards made to prosecute Wycliffe. He retired to his living at Lutterworth, where he died, in the year 1384. His followers were called Lollards, and rapidly increased after his death. *

Kings of England, p. 67. GEOFFREY CHAUCER. Neither where the fader of English poesie was born, nor his profession, nor his origin, are certainly known. His workis are so impregnated with old French and old English, that they are not easily understood. His principal performances are the Assemblees of Foules, the Complaint of the Black Knight, and the Canterbury Tales. Pope has given a beautiful version of his Wife of Bath, January and May, and some other of his stories. Edward allowed him twenty marks yearly, equal to £200 present money, and a pitcher of wine daily. He appears to have been a dextrous courtier ; filled several important offices about the king, and aequired great wealth. Johnson says, Chaucer was “the first of our versifiers who wrote poetically.”

Kings of England, p. 55. DEATH OF EDWARD III. Edward, like many other great men, lived too long for his own glory and fame. In his old age he fell desperately in love with Alice Pierce, one of the ladies of the bed-chamber to Queen Philippa. The money raised for the war was lavished on this mistress. His whole time was taken up in endeavouring to please and procure her diversions. To consummate his folly, he held a tournament in Smithfield, where Alice Pierce, to whom he had given the name of Lady of the Sun, appeared by his side in a triumphant chariot, attended by many ladies of quality, each leading a knight by his horses bridle. He only survived the death of the Black Prince about a year. Alice, his favourite, attended him in his last illness; and when she saw Edward dying, seized every thing of value she could find, even to the rings on his finger, and withdrew. The last word the king pronounced was the name of Christ. He died at Shene, now Richmond, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Kings of England, p. 56.

The tenets he taught were these :--That the bread and wine in the sacrament of the altar still continued to be bread and wine after the consecration of the priest; that the worship of images was idolatry and a great sin; that pilgrimages, penances, and confessions to the priest were not at all necessary to salvation, but only a good life. He also denied the supremacy of the pope, and contended that the bible alone is sufficient to direct a Christian in the conduct of his life; and that all other rules, instituted and preached in the monasteries, add no more to the perfection of Christianity than whiteness to a wall. Kings of England, p. 67.

PERSON AND CHARACTER. He was very tall, but well shaped, and of so noble and majestic an aspect that his very looks commanded respect and veneration; affable and obliging to the good, but inexorable to the bad. There are few princes to be met with in history in whom were so well mixed the duties of a sovereign with those of an honest man.

CHRONICLE. 1327. Gunpowder invented by Swarth, a monk of Cologne. 1331. The art of weaving cloth was brought from Flanders to England by John Kemp, to whom Edward granted his protection, and at the same time invited over fullers, dyers, &c. 1333. The Battle of Haledon. August, 1349. The plague, which had raged for some time in Asia and part of Europe, spread itself into France, and from thence into England, where it made its first appearance in Dorsetshire, and then spread all over the kingdom, and carried off one half the nation. London especially felt its violence, where in one year 50,000 persons were buried in one churchyard, now the Charter-house. Its ravages were chiefly among the lower orders, for the wealthy, shutting themselves up in their castles, escaped the infection. 1361. A great plague in England, which between January and July took off in London 57,374 persons, and among them Henry, Duke of Lancaster. 1371. The Charterhouse

in London finished by Sir Walter Manny. The magnificent castle of Windsor was built by Edward III. The architect was the celebrated William Wickham, the founder of Winchester College. The mode of conducting the undertaking illustrates the manners of the age. Instead of engaging workmen by contracts and wages, the king assessed every county in England to send him a certain number of masons, tilers, and carpenters, as if he had been levying an army.

The first toll we read of in England for mending the highways was imposed in this reign, and was for repairing the road betwixt St. Giles's and Temple Bar.

The contrast betwixt the price of labour and the rewards of military service is singular. A reaper, in the first week of August, was not allowed above two-pence a day, nearly sixpence present money; in the second week a third more. A master carpenter was limited through the whole year to threepence a day, a common carpenter to twopence, money of that age. Wages were fixed by Act of Parliament. If a man boarded with his employer one-third of his wages was the price of his subsistence. But what is remarkable, the pay of a common soldier was sixpence a day, equivalent to five shillings present money. Soldiers were then enlisted only for a very short time. One successful campaign, by pay and plunder, and the ransom of prisoners, was supposed to be a small fortune to a man, and enabled him to live idly the rest of his life.

The use of the French language in pleadings and public deeds

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abolished. Many laws were enacted to restrain luxury of living. No man under a hundred pounds a year was allowed to wear gold, silver, or silk in his clothes. Servants were also prohibited from eating flesh, meat or fish above once a day. No one was allowed, either for dinner or supper, above three dishes in each course, and not above two courses; and it is likewise expressly declared that soused (pickled) meat is to count as one of these dishes.

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REIGN OF RICHARD II.
FROM 1377 to 1399-22 YEARS, 3 MONTHS, 8 DAYA.

THE POLL-TAX INSURRECTION.
There happened at this time (1381) great commotions among the
lower ranks of people, by which England was nearly ruined without
resource ; rebellion was stirred up, and it is marvellous from what
a trifle the pestilence raged. In the counties of Kent, Essex, Sussex,
and Bedford, the services of the common people to their lords are
more oppressive than in any other part of the kingdom. * The
evil disposed in these districts began to rise, saying, they were too
severely oppressed; that at the beginning of the world there were
no slaves, that they were men formed after the same likeness with
their lords, who treated them as beasts. This they would not
longer bear, but had determined to be free, and if they laboured or
did any other work for their lords, they would be paid for it. A
crazy priest, in the county of Kent, called John Ball, who for his
absurd preaching had been thrice confined in the prison of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, was greatly instrumental in inflaming
them with those ideas. These misguided men had leader called
Wat Tyler, and with himn were Jack Straw (another disorderly
priest), and John Ball; these three were their commanders, but the
principal was Wat Tyler; this Wat had been a tiler of houses, a
bad man, and a great enemy to the nobility.t In a few days a

* They were bound by law and custom to plough the lands of gentlemen, to harvos. the grain, to carry it home to the barn, to thrash and winnow it: they were also bound to harvest the hay and carry it home.

Froissart. Lingard, treating on this insurrection, relates the following as the immediate cause of Wat Tyler becoming the leader of the rebels :-" The poorer classes, still smarting under the exactions of the late reign, were by the imposition of the new tax (three groats on every male or female above fifteen years of age) wound up to a pitch of inadness. Thus the materials had been prepared, it required but a spark to set the whole country in a blaze. In a few days all the commons of Essex were in a state of insurrection, under the command of a profligate priest, who had assumed the name of Jack Straw. The men of Kent were not behind their neighbours in Essex; at Dartford one of the collectors had demanded the tax for a young girl, the daughter of a tyler; her mother maintained that she was under the age required by the statute. This the collector disputed, and was proceeding to maintain his claim in a most insulting inanner, when her father, who had just returned from work, with a stroke of his hammer, beat out the offenders brains. His courage was applauded by his neighbou ; they swore they would protect him from punishment, and by threats and promises secured the co-operation of all the villages in the western division of Kent."

force of nearly a hundred thousand men was collected, which marehing along like a tempest, ravaging and destroying, soon drew near to London. They were at first stopped in their progress into the city by London Bridge, which was strongly guarded by the mayor and the loyal citizens, but they were soon obliged to give way, and the insurgents were permitted to pass in small bodies composed of their different villages. Their first work was to set fire to the king's prison, the marshalsea, and release the prisoners; they next fired the Duke of Lancaster's magnificent palace on the banks of the Thames, the Savoy ; they then plundered and burnt the house and hospital of the Knights IIospitallers at Clerkenwell; they afterwards paraded the streets and killed every Fleming they could find, whether in church, house, or hospital, not one escaped death. Towards evening they fixed their quarters in a square called St. Catherine's, before the Tower, declaring that they would not depart thence until they should obtain from the king everything they wanted. Richard in answer to this promised to meet them on the morrow in a field at Mile-end, when he would hear their grievances and redress them, although he had been advised by some of his council to arm the principal citizens, and during the night to fall upon these wretches who were in the streets, and amounted to sixty thousand, while they were asleep and drunk, for then they might be killed like flies, not one in twenty among them having arms.

On the morrow, according to his promise, the king met them in a handsome meadow at Mile-end, where in the summer time people go to amuse themselves. Immediately on his arrival he rode fearlessly into the midst of the mob, and, having heard their de"mands, graciously granted them, promising to confirm the same by letters patent with his seal : this having satisfied the people, they dispersed in quiet to their homes. But Wat Tyler and the more desperate of the rebels, during the time of the conference at Mile-end, broke into the Tower, and beheaded the Lord Chancellor and several others, and, placing their heads on pikes, carried them in triumph about the streets, and then fixed them on Londonbridge. *

Froissart, vol. i., p. 660. DEATH OF WAT TYLER. The next morning Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, and John Ball, and the worst part of their associates, to the amount of some twenty thousand, having remained in the city all night feasting and rioting, holding a consultation in Smithfield, where, every Friday, the horse market is held,t were suddenly come upon by the king, who was riding that way attended with about sixty followers. On seeing the king Wat Tyler commanded his men to remain quiet, while he went forward to speak with him; accord

That the head of the archbishop might be better known, the hat or bonnet which he wore was nailed to the skull.

Walsingham, + Smithfield at this time was a field without the city walls, used by the citizens as a place for executions, tournaments, and festive pageants.

Stowe.

ingly he spurred his horse, and came so close to the king that his horse's head nearly touched him ; during the conference, which was very brief, the tyler having demanded the king's sword from a squire who bore it, and being refused, swore, in a violent passion, “ he would have his head before he eat again;" the king, growing angry, said to the mayor of London, William Walworth, who at that moment advanced with twelve of the aldermen and principal citizens, who were armed under their robes, “ Lay hands on him.” Upon this, Walworth drew a kind of scimetar (a short and broad back sword, being towards the point like a Turkish scimetar) which he wore, and struck the tyler such a blow on the head that felled him to his horse's feet. When he was down he was surrounded on all sides, so that his men could not see him, and one of the king's squires, called John Standwick, leaped from his horse, and drawing a handsome sword thrust it into his belly, and thus killed him. His men advancing saw their leader dead, when they cried out, “ They have killed our captain : let us march to them and slay the whole.” With these words they drew up in a sort of battle array, each man having his bent bow before him. The king certainly hazarded much by this action, but it turned out fortunate, for when the tyler was on the ground he left his attendants, ordering not one to follow him. He rode up to these rebellious fellows, and said to them, “Gentlemen, what are you about? You shall huve no other captain but me; I am your king, remain peaccable.

When the greater part of them heard these words they were quite ashamed, and those inclined to peace began to slip away, Richard led the rest into the fields at Islington, where, being joined by a large body of the loyal citizens, who came from all quarters to his support, he was enabled to intimidate, and, without spilling blood, to subdue them. Thus did these people disperse and run away on all sides, and

the king and his lords returned to London in good array. John Ball and Jack Straw were found hidden in an old ruin, thinking to steal away, but this they could not do, being betrayed by their own men. The and the lords were well pleased with their seizure; their heads were cut off, as was that of Tyler, and fixed on London-bridge, in place of those of the gallant men whom they had beheaded. When the princess, the king's mother, saw the king, she was mightily rejoiced, and said, “Ha, ha ! fair son, what pain and anguish have I not suffered for you this day.' “Certainly, madam,” replied the king,

I am well assured of that; but now rejoice and thank God, for it behoves us to praise him, as I have this day regained my inheritance, and the kingdom of England, which I had lost.Richard, at this time, was in his sixteenth year. Froissart, vol. i., p. 666.

66

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* In a few days after the suppression of this insurrection the king, finding himself fully restored to his power, revoked all the charters of freedom and pardon which he had granted, and commissions were issued to the judges to go into the different counties to try the delinquents. These commissions were executed with so much severity, especially by-Sir Robert Tressillian, Chief Justice of the 1

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