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grasp of the spar which supported him, and, commending his com. panion to the Almighty, went to the bottom. Bérauld, the poorest of the number shipwrecked, in his sheepskin doublet, supported himself on the surface of the water, and was the only one who again beheld the morning light; he was picked up by some fisher

He outlived the disaster, and from him were learned the details of the event.

Thierry, p. 143. EDICT AGAINST LOVE-LOCKS. Henry, after his successful campaign in Normandy, returned to England, in his personal appearance at least an altered man. The Anglo-Normans had adopted the picturesque Saxon fashionwhich, however, was confined to persons of high rank,-of wearing their hair long, and flowing in ringlets on their shoulders; and the king was remarkable for the luxuriance and beauty of his lovelocks, which he cherished with peculiar care, no doubt with the laudable desire to conform to the

tastes of his queen, the daughter of a Saxon princess. His courtiers imitated the royal example, which gave great scandal to the Norman clergy.* One day, while the king was in Normandy, he and his train entered a church, where an ecclesiastic of the name of Serlo, Bishop of Seez, took up his parable on the sinfulness of this new fashion, which, he protested, was a device of the evil one to bring souls into everlasting perdition; compared the mustached, bearded, and long-haired men of that age to filthy goats,” and, in short, made so moving a discourse on the unloveliness of their present appearance, that the King of England and his courtiers melted into tears; on which Serlo, perceiving the impression which his eloquence had made, drew a pair of scissors out of his sleeve, and, instead of permitting their penitence to evaporate in a few unmeaning drops, persuaded his royal and noble auditors to prove the sincerity of their repentance by submitting their ringlets to his discretion, and brought his triumph to a climax by polling the king and congregation with his own hands.t After Henry had thus submitted his flowing ringlets to the reforming shears of Serlo, he published an edict commanding his subjects to follow his example.

Agnes Strickland's Queens, vol. i., p. 146.


* It is very remarkable what excessive pains were employed to prevail on the young men to part with their locks. In the council held at London, by the Archbishop Anselm, A.D. 1102, it is enacted, that those who had long hair should be cropped so as to show part of the ear and the eyes. From the apparently strange manner in which this fashion is coupled in Edmer, p. 81, one might be led to suspect it was something more than mere spleen that caused the enactment.

Hardy: note to Malmsbury, p. 484. † Perhaps to this act may be attributed the fashion of wearing wigs; for in Stephen's reign we first find them mentioned; and it is not unlikely but the profusion of flowing locks, left as a mark of the preacher's eloquence upon the floor of the church, may have furnished some cunning coiffeur with the idea of restoring them to the heads of their former possessors in another form. Certain it is that but & few months had elapsed before long hair again graced the heads of the courtiers, and Serlo and his sermon were forgotten.

Book of Costume, p. 48.

DEATH OF HENRY I. About the latter end of August, 1135, he was seized with a violent illness, which carried him off in seven days. It is said he was the occasion of it himself, by eating to excess of some lampreys, of which he was very fond. He was then at the Castle of Lyon, near Rouen, a place he much delighted in. His body was cut in pieces in order to be embalmed, after the rude manner of those days, because he was to be buried in England, in the Abbey of Reading*

Rapin, p. 199. PERSON AND CHARACTER. He was of middle stature, exceeding the diminutive, but exceeded by the very tall; his hair was black, but scanty near the forehead ; his eyes mildly bright, his chest brawny, his body fleshy. He was facetious in proper season, nor did multiplicity of business cause him to be less pleasant when he mixed in society. Not prone to personal combat, he verified the saying of Scipio Africanus, “My mother bore me for a commander, not a soldier;" wherefore he was inferior in wisdom to no king of modern time, and,

as I may almost say, he clearly surpassed all his predecessors in England, and preferred contending by counsel rather than by the sword.

Malmsbury, p. 476.

CHRONICLE. Parliaments are said to have originated in this reign. Henry, on his accession, granted a charter to London, which seems to have been the first step towards rendering this city a corporation. Among the physical phenomena, it may be mentioned that there was a plague in the year 1112, and in October, 1114, the water was so low in the Thames that people could not only ride through betwixt the bridge and the tower, but great numbers of men and boys passed it there on foot, the water hardly reaching up to their knees.

FROM 1135 to 1154–18 YEARS, 10 MONTHS, 23 DAYS.

FEUDAL CASTLES. It was in this reign those numerous castles were built, the ruins of which are still to be found in various parts of England. To secure his tottering throne, Stephen made many impolitic grants to

* Gervaise, of Canterbury, gives us the barbarous manner of embalming the king's body. They cut great gashes in his flesh with knives, and then powdered it well with salt, wrapped it up in tanned ox hides to avoid the stench, which was so infectious, that a man who was hired to open his head died presently after. Upon the suppression of the abbeys, his bones were thrown out to make room for a stable of horses-the monastery is now a dwelling-house.

the clergy and nobility, equally destructive to his own authority and the public peace. The clergy, who in those days could hardly be considered subjects of the crown, only bound themselves to ob serve their oaths of allegiance as long as they were protected in their ecclesiastical usurpations. The barons, in return for their submission, required the right of fortifying their castles and putting themselves in a posture of defence. All England was immediately filled with these fortresses, which the noblemen garrisoned either with their vassals, or with licentious soldiers who flocked to them from all quarters. Unbounded rapine was exercised upon the people for the maintenance of the troops; and private animosities, which had with difficulty been

restrained by law, now breaking out without control, rendered England a scene of uninterrupted violence and devastation. Wars between the nobles were carried on with the utmost fury in every quarter ; the barons even assumed the right of coining money, and of exercising, without appeal, any act of jurisdiction; and the inferior gentry, as well as the people, finding no defence from the laws during this total dissolution of the sovereign authority, were obliged, for their immediate safety, to pay court to some neighbouring chieftain, and to purchase his protection, both by submitting to his exactions, and assisting him in his rapine upon others. The aristocratical power which is usually so oppressive in the feudal governments, had now risen to its utmost height during the reign of a prince, who, though endowed with vigour and abilities, had usurped the throne without the pretence of a title, and who was necessitated to tolerate in others the same violence to which he himself had been beholden for his sovereignty.

Hume, p. 355.
After many struggles to maintain his usurped

throne against the just claims of Matilda (daughter of Henry I.), Stephen was taken prisoner, and laid in irons at Bristol. Matilda was crowned, but her prosperity was of short duration. Not keeping on good terms with the clergy, her rival was soon re-instated in his authority; and she was obliged to take refuge in Oxford, where she hoped to remain till succours arrived from Normandy. Stephen laid close siege to the place, and the queen, afraid of falling into his hands, took advantage of a dark night and made her escape, accompanied with only four attendants, who, like herself, the better to elude the sentinels, the ground being covered with snow, clothed themselves in white. She passed the Thames on the ice, and walked above six miles on foot, with the snow beating in her face all the way: in spite of these difficulties she came to Abingdon, and rode the same night to Wallingford. During these conflicts the condition of the people were deplorable in the extreme: no security either for their property or persons. The woods were filled with ferocious banditti; and such were the dangers to which the inhabitants were continually exposed, that every night when they closed their doors and windows, it was customary to put up a short prayer against thieves

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and robbers. “The castles of the nobility were become receptacles of licensed robbers, who sallying forth day and night, committed spoil on the open country, on the villages, and even on the cities; put the captives to torture in order to make them reveal their treasures; sold their persons to slavery, and set fire to their houses after they had pillaged them of everything valuable. The fierceness of their disposition leading them to commit wanton destruction, frustrated their rapacity of its purpose; and the persons and property even of the ecclesiastics, generally so much revered, were, at last, from necessity, exposed to the same outrage which had laid waste the kingdom. The land was kept untilled; the instruments of husbandry were destroyed or abandoned ; and a grievous famine, the natural result of these disorders, affected equally both parties, and reduced the spoilers as well as the defenceless people to the most extreme want and indigence.

Hume, vol. i., p. 360. DEATH OF STEPHEN. He died of the cholic and piles at Canterbury, where he had come to have an interview with the Earl of Flanders, buried by the side of his queen and son Eustace, in the Abbey of Feversham, which he had founded. His body lay there till the suppression of the monasteries, when, for the sake of the leaden coffin where it was enclosed, it was taken up, and thrown into the next water.

Rapin, p. 210.

He was

PERSON AND CHARACTER. He was tall and well-proportioned, of a handsome commanding countenance, extremely active and affable, possessing great courage and considerable abilities, though not endowed with a sound judgment; and still more to his credit, his reign, notwithstanding the dangers with which he was continually surrounded, was not tarnished with any of those shocking acts of cruelty and revenge so frequent among princes of this age. Kings of England, p. 20.

CHRONICLE. 1136, a great fire in London, from Ludgate to St. Paul's Church; London Bridge, which was of timber, was also burnt. Stephen abolishes Dane Gelt for ever. June 3, 1137, Cathedral of Rochester burnt, as was also, the next day, nearly the whole City of York and its cathedral, with thirty-nine churches; and on the 27th the City of Bath was nearly destroyed by fire. Battle of the Standard, August 22, 1138. Matilda declared queen 7th April, 1141. 1148, a new crusade undertaken. More abbeys were erected in this reign than in 100 years before; and there were no fewer than 1500 strongly fortified feudal castles.

TROM 1154 to 1189—34 YEARS, 7 MONTHS, 12 DAYS.

THOMAS À BECKET. The famous Thomas à Becket, the first man of English extraction who had, since the Norman conquest, risen to any share of power, was the son of a citizen of London, by a Syrian woman, whose father had taken the elder Becket prisoner while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. * He was brought up to the bar, where he acquired great fame for his learning and abilities; and having acquired the friendship of the primate Theobald, he was promoted to the rich Archdeaconry of Canterbury. The primate afterwards recommended him to the king, who, admiring his spirit and abilities, promoted him to the dignity of chancellor, one of the first offices in the kingdom. He was now not only one of the most learned and powerful men of his day, but the most gay and accomplished. Fitz-Stephen, his secretary and historian, as a proof of his elegant way of living, gives the following curious account of the superb manner in which he entertained his guests. He commanded his servants to cover the floor of his dining-room with clean straw, or hay, every morning in winter, and with fresh bulrushes, or green branches, for every day in summer, that such of the knights who came to dine with him as could not find room on the benches might sit down and dine comfortably on the floor, without spoiling their fine clothes. A great number of knights were retained in his service; the greatest barons were proud of being received at his table, or his floor; and the king himself frequently vouchsafed to partake his entertainments. As his way of life was splendid and opulent, his amusements and occupations were also of this gay and chivalrous description, common to the age in which he lived. His leisure hours he employed in hunting, hawking, gaming, and horsemanship; he risked his life on several military encounters, and engaged in single combat Engelsorda, a famous French knight, dismounted him with his lance, and gained his

* The Emir had a daughter, who saw and pitied the captive. Pity, in this instance, proved akin to love ; and under the influence of these tender feelings she contrived to set hiin frec. Gilbert returned to England, leaving his benefactress behind, pining in sorrow for his loss, which at last grew so unsupportable that she determined to seek him througla the world. She went to the nearest port, embarked on the sea--the words “ London” and “ Gilbert" being all the direction she had to guide her. The first sufficed to carry her to the English capital ; but when there she could only wander from street to street, repeating, with touching pathos, the other, “Gilbert ! Gilbert !" How the fond, single-hearted girl succeeded in finding Gilbert the story sayeth not; but she did find him, and was rewarded for all her trouble-obtained the fruition of all her hopes. The yeoman welcomed her with tears of joy, had her immediately baptised, and was then united to her in marriage—the son of the tair pagan and the yeoman was the far-famed Thomas à Becket.

Old England, vol. ii., p. 103. A very clever picture on this subject was lately exhibited in the Royal Academy.

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