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canonical institution to the English primate. Stigand therefore made up his mind to do without it, and fulfilled all the duties of his office without troubling himself any farther about the successor of St. Peter and nominee of the German Cæsar. But William had more wisdom. He stationed his favourite theologian, Lanfranc, the best scholar and most eloquent teacher of the age, at the apostolical court; and in a very short time there was no more obedient subject or warm supporter of the Duke of Normandy than Nicholas the Second of Rome.
§ 23. Meantime Edward, the king-monk, softened towards his countrymen as his end approached. Perhaps he saw the perils that hung over them from the violence and harshness of his Norman kinsman. He saw Harold's character rising every day, and on his death-bed got so far over his repugnance to the son of Godwin, that he named him to the bystanders as the person to whom he left the crown. This was so natural a course of proceeding, that his appointment was ratified at once by the national voice; and Harold, on the day after Edward's death, was publicly declared king of England, and crowned in Westminster Abbey by Stigand, the Archbishop, who at that very moment was at open enmity with the Pope. There could be no real grief for the loss of so useless a sovereign as Edward, but it was felt that he had acted as a defence against the storm which all men saw was about to burst upon the realm; and when the English spirit of ecclesiastical independence was exchanged in a few years for the slavish submission which characterized the early Norman occupation, the follies and even the faults of the last legitimate king were lost in the remembrance of his monastic virtues. His indolence, cowardice, and neglect of all the duties of his station were elevated by priestly adulation into almost supernatural graces. Popular affection, as we shall see in a future page, in the same manner clothed the son of Cerdic with political virtues to which he could make no pretence. Statements were pertinaciously made within a year of his death of the amount of English liberties under his administration; and
DEATH OF EDWARD.
documents, at a later period called the Laws of King Edward, were forged by patriotic antiquarians, professing to contain the Anglo-Saxon laws and customs of his time, and deriving a more binding authority by being published in his name. The greatness of his ancestors and the cruelty of his successors were equally favourable to the reputation of one of the weakest of our ante-Norman kings; and while, on the one side, he escaped from the intrusive clergy the title of Saint, and from the English, his contemporaries, the less complimentary nickname of the Frivolous or Simple (as the blunt simplicity of the Gauls would have called him), he is still known in our almanacs as Edward the Confessor, as if his peaceable demise before the days of trial had been the only cause of his not earning the martyr's crown on behalf of the Romish Church, to which the amalgamated peoples had become equally devoted.
LANDMARKS OF CHRONOLOGY.
838. Ethelwolf, son of Egbert, assumes the sovereignty of all England, with the kingdom of Wessex. 853. Ethelwolf grants the tithes of England to the Church.
857. Death of Ethelwolf, who is succeeded by his sons Ethelbald, Ethelbert, Ethelred, and Alfred. 872-897. Alfred the Great, and his sanguinary contests with the Danes.
890. Alfred divides the kingdom into
991. The first land-tax in England; and figures of arithmetic first introduced in England. 993-1008. Repeated invasions of the Danes. Ethelred orders a general massacre, when their countrymen invade the kingdom, and after levying heavy contributions, subdue a great portion of the kingdom. 1013. Sweyn, the Danish sovereign, invades England, and after repeated victories is proclaimed king.
1014. Canute, son of Sweyn, proclaimed king.
the Danes, Scotch, and Welsh. 945. Edmund I. gives Cumberland and Westmoreland to Malcolm, King of Scots, for his assistance against the Danes.
951. Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury. 955. Edred, the first who was styled King of Great Britain. 960. Dunstan made Archbishop of 1051. William, Duke of Normandy, Canterbury.
1049. Banishment of Earl Godwin, and the forfeiture of his estates.
975-8. Controversies between the re
visits King Edward, and receives a promise that the crown should descend to him. 1066. Harold, son of Earl Godwin,
elected to the crown.
gular and the secular clergy
1028-1033. Canute takes the title of King of England, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and acquires the surname of Great. 1042. Edward the Confessor succeeds to the crown.
THE NORMAN OCCUPATION.
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.
FRANCE -Philip I., the Fair.
POPES.-Alexander II.; Gregory VII. (Hildebrand); Victor III.
§ 1. Retrospect of the Saxon rule, and of the general condition of society. § 2. Existing remains of the Saxon period. § 3. Etymology of the names of places. § 4. Accession of HAROLD, and claims of WILLIAM of Normandy, who assembles his fleets and armies.§ 5. Harold's preparations for resisting the Norman invasion. Invasion of Tostig and Harold Hardrada. Battle of Stamford Bridge.§ 6. The Norman invasion. William lands near Pevensey Castle. Anecdotes of the Saxons and Normans.-§ 7. Battle of Hastings. Death of Harold. § 8. Reflections on the battle and its consequences. Coronation of William. Massacre attending it.— § 9. William's arrival in London, and his proceedings for subduing and reconciling the people.-§ 10. The widow of God win and mother of Harold takes refuge in Exeter. Siege of Exeter, and flight of Harold's mother.-§ 11. Resistance made to the Normans, but without combination or military shill. Their devastating career and ferocious cruelty. Resistance of the Saxon clergy.-§ 12. Further inundations of the Normans. § 13. Introduction of the feudal system. The whole kingdom divided among the Conqueror's retainers in manors-in-chief. Ceremony of receiving the feud.-Amount of a knight's fee. Number of knights' fees.-§ 14. Privileges of the Norman nobility, and their abuses.-§ 15. The general survey of England begun, called Doomsday. The nobility and serfs.§ 16. King William's military array. Despotism of the times.— § 17. War with France, and death of William. His character.
§ 1. THE Romanized Briton, the Saxon, and the Dane had now settled down into an undistinguishable people throughout
the south of England. In the north there was still a Danish spirit kept alive by frequent immigrations of the original stock; but the language was everywhere radically the same, the habits not more different than may now be found in distant districts, the government universally acknowledged, and the laws, both Saxon and Danish, administered on fixed and intelligible principles. Our national pride is apt to make us look back on the period of undisputed Saxon superiority as the palmiest state Old England knew. But a little closer inquiry reveals the disagreeable features of that peculiar era, and makes us look with less displeasure on the next great incident in our history, which for a long time placed the Saxons in a subordinate position, and changed the whole character of the land. It was high time for a change; for if we consider the situation of affairs during the reign of Edward the Confessor, and the dispositions and habits of the people since the first occupation of the soil, we shall see that, without some intermixture of new elements, nothing was to be hoped in the way of cultivation or advancement.
RETROSPECT OF SAXON RULE.
The five or six hundred years of troubles and fights among the small potentates of the Heptarchy, interspersed with Danish invasions and disputed successions to the crown, had been a period of deterioration in many respects. When a great proprætor lived in the mansion near the camp, surrounded by the villas and gardens of his officers; when justice was administered according to the practice of the Roman courts, and the franchises and privileges granted to the rising towns were guaranteed by the irresistible authority of the master of fifty legions, the amenities of society and security of life and property were greater than in any period of the succeeding occupation. The great cities fell into ruin when the eagles were withdrawn; the villas were buried in the soil, and are every day discovered by the plough and pickaxe, and thrown open with their treasures of art and elegance to the admiration of the present time; the roads became choked, the
rivers overflowed their banks, the forests resumed their reign; and at the most flourishing date we have traversed the inhabitants were scattered in miserable hamlets, bound to the soil by the debasing institution of slavery. Towns themselves were not worthy of the name, for the number of heads of free families was so small as to reduce us to the conclusion that even within the walls serfdom was almost universal. Dover, for instance, is mentioned as having only forty-two residents, Bedford nine, St. Albans forty-six, and Bristol ten.
The land had got into few hands. We have seen half the kingdom divided between the five members of one family; and though they of course did not occupy, nor in a legal sense hold the whole of those domains in personal property, there were immense tracts of country dedicated to their use, and held by their retainers, while the franklins-who were the squires, or country gentlemen of the time-held their estates subject to some acknowledgment either in money or service to the king. Surrounded by their numerous dependents-their house-servants and farm-labourers—these freeholders of the Saxon blood led a life of the most coarse enjoyment, unrestrained by the presence of the Saxon prior or parish priest, who was, if possible, beneath the laymen in knowledge and refinement. Vast festivals, where oxen and sheep, and goats and deer smoked upon the rough board, were followed by drinking bouts such as amazed the visitors from any other nation, except the Danes, who excelled the thirstiest of the Saxons in the quantity they could swallow. Cudgel-playing, wrestling, chasing the boar, breaking each other's heads, and occasionally taking each other's lives, diversified their orgies; but the national vice, brutal and unconcealed, because not considered degrading, was intoxication. Animal courage, a spirit of personal independence, and a determination not to be tyrannized over, were the counterbalancing virtues to those savage characteristics; but little was to be expected from a people who considered eating and