Infomotions, Inc.The Leading Facts of English History / Montgomery, D.H. (David Henry), 1837-1928

Author: Montgomery, D.H. (David Henry), 1837-1928
Title: The Leading Facts of English History
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): parliament; england; king; henry; edward; reign
Contributor(s): Scott-Moncrieff, C. K. (Charles Kenneth), 1889-1930 [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 178,658 words (longer than most) Grade range: 11-14 (high school) Readability score: 52 (average)
Identifier: etext17386
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.

The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Leading Facts of English History, by D.H.

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Leading Facts of English History

Author: D.H. Montgomery

Release Date: December 25, 2005  [eBook #17386]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


This eBook was produced by Nathan Kennedy.

The Leading Facts of History Series

The Leading Facts of English History

by D. H. Montgomery

"Nothing in the past is dead to the man who would learn how the
present came to be what it is." -- Stubbs, "Constitutional History of

Revised Edition

Ginn and Company
Boston - New York - Chicago - London

Copyright, 1887, 1889, 1898, 1901, 1912, by D.H. Montgomery
Entered at Stationers' Hall
All Rights Reserved

The Athenaeum Press
Ginn and Company - Proprietors - Boston - U.S.A.

I dedicate this book
to the memory of my friend
who generously gave time, labor
and valuable suggestions
toward the preparation of the first edition
for the press


Most of the materials for this book were gathered by the writer during
several years' residence in England.

The attempt is here made to present them in a manner that shall
illustrate the law of national growth, in the light thrown upon it by
the foremost English historians.  The present edition has been
carefully revised throughout, and, to a considerable extent,

The authorities for the different periods will be found in the
Classified List of Books in the Appendix; but the author desires to
particularly acknowledge his indebtedness to the works of Bright,
Brewer, Gardiner, Guest, Green, Lingard, Oman, and Traill; to the
source books of Lee and of Kendall; and to the constitutional
histories of Stubbs, Hallam, May, and Taswell-Langmead.

The author's hearty thanks are due to the late Professor W. F. Allen,
of The University of Wisconsin; Professor Philip Van Ness Myers, of
College Hill, Ohio; Professor George W. Knight, of Ohio State
University; and to a number of teachers and friends for many valuable
suggestions which they have kindly made.

David H. Montgomery


Leading Dates  xviii
I. Britain before Written History began
II. The Geography of England in Relation to its History
III. Roman Britain; A Civilization which did not civilize
IV. The Coming of the Saxons[1]; the Coming of the Normans
V. The Norman Sovereigns[1]
VI. The Angevins, or Plantagenets; Rise of the English Nation[1]
VII. The Self-Destruction of Feudalism
VIII. Absolutism of the Crown; the Reformation; the New Learning[1]
IX. The Stuart Period; the Divine Right of Kings versus the Divine
   Right of the People
X. India gained; America lost--Parliamentary Reform--Government by the
A General Summary of English Constitutional History
Constitutional Documents
Genealogical Descent of the English Sovereigns[2]
A Classified List of Books
Special Reading References on Topics of English History

[1] Each of these six Periods is followed by a General Reference
Summary of that period.  See pp. 43, 71, 141, 174, 230, 316
[2] For special Genealogical Tables see pp. 124, 140, 161, 172, 179,
207, 323

Suggestions to Teachers

The writer of this brief manual is convinced that no hard-and-fast
rules can be laid down for the use of a textbook in history.  He
believes that every teacher will naturally pursue a system of his own,
and that by so doing he will get better results than if he attempt to
follow a rigid mechanical course which makes no allowance for
individual judgment and gives no scope to originality of method.

The author would simply suggest that where time is limited it might be
well to omit the General Reference Summaries (see, for instance,
p. 43) and to read the text as a continuous narrative.  Then the
important points in each day's lesson might be talked over at the end
of the recitation or on the following day.

On the other hand, where time permits a thorough course of study, all
of the topics might be taken up and carefully examined, and the
General Reference Summaries may be consulted by way of review and for
additional information.  The pupil can also be referred to one or more
books (see the Classified List of Books in the Appendix) on the
subjects under consideration.

Instead of the teacher's asking a prescribed set of routine questions,
the pupil may be encouraged to ask his on.  Thus in undertaking the
examination of a given topic--say, the Battle of Hastings (SS69-75),
the issue of the Great Charter (SS195-202), or "The Industrial
Revolution" and Watt's invention of an improved Steam Engine
(S563)--there are five inquiries which naturally arise and which
practically cover the whole ground.

These are: 1. When did the event occur?  2. Where did it occur?
3. How did it occur?  4. What caused it?  5. What came of it?  It will
soon be seen that these five questions call attention first to the
chronology of he event, secondly to its geography, thirdly to the
narrative describing it, fourthly to its relations to preceding
events, and fifthly to its relations to subsequent events.

The pupil will find that while in some instances he can readily obtain
answers for all of these inquiries,--for example, in the case of the
Great Charter,--in other instances he will have to content himself
with the answer to only a part of the questions, perhaps, in fact, to
only a single one; nevertheless the search will always prove
instructive and stimulating.  Such a method of study, or one akin to
it, will teach the pupil to think and to examine for himself.  It will
lead him to see the inevitable limitations and the apparent
contradictions of history.  It will make him realize, as pehaps
nothing else can, that the testimony of different writers must be
taken like that of witnesses in a court of justice.  He will see that
while authorities seldem entirely agree respecting details, they will
generally agree in regard to the main features of important events.
Last of all, and best as well as last, these five questions will be
found to open up new and broader fields of inquiry, and they may
perhaps encourage the pupil to continue his work on some subject in
which he becomes interested, beyond the limits of the textbook and the

Pursued in this way, the study of history will cease to be a dry
delving for dead facts in the dust of a dead past.  It will rouse
thought, it will quicken the pulse of an intellectual life, and it
will end by making the pupil feel the full force of the great truth:
that the present is an outgrowth of the past, and that it is only when
we know what men have done, that we can hope to understnad what they
are now doing.
                                                D. H. M.

Leading Dates

(The most important constitutional dates are marked by an asterisk)

   55. B.C. Caesar lands in Britain (S18)
  449. A.D. Coming of the Saxons (S36)
  878. Alfred's Treaty of Wedmore (S56)
 1066. Battle of Hastings (S74)
*1100. Henry I's Charter of Liberties (S135)
*1164. Constitutions of Clarendon (S165)
*1190. Rise of Free Towns (S183)
 1204. John's Loss of Normandy (S191)
*1215. John grants Magna Carta (SS198, 199)
*1265. De Montfort's Parliament (S213)
*1279. Statute of Mortmain (S226)
 1282. Conquest of Wales (S218)
*1295. First Complete Parliament (S217)
*1297. Confirmation of the Charters (S220)
 1336. Rise of Wool Manufacture (S236)
 1338. The Hundred Years' War (S237)
 1346. Batty of Cr'ecy; Cannon (S238)
*1350. Origin of Trial by Jury (S176)
 1378. Wycliffe's Bible; Lollards (S254)
 1381. Revolt of the Labor Class (S251)
 1390. Chaucer writes (S253)
*1393. Great Act of Praemunire (S243)
 1455. Wars of the Roses (SS299, 316)
 1477. Caxton introduces Printing (S306)
 1485. Battle of Bosworth Field (S315)
 1497. Cabot discovers America (S335)
 1509. The New Learning (S339)
*1534. The Act of Supremacy (S349)
 1536. The Monasteries destroyed (S352)
*1549. Protestantism established (S362)
*1554. Mary restores Catholicism (S370)
 1558. Rise of the Puritans (S378)
 1559. Act of Uniformity (S382)
 1582, 1605. Bacon's New Philosophy (S393)
 1587. Mary Queen of Scots executed (S397)
 1588. Destruction of the Armada (S400)
 1588. Rise of the English Navy (SS401, 408)
 1589(?). Shakespeare's First Play (S392)
 1601. The First Poor Law (SS403, 607)
 1604. The "Divine Right of Kings" (S419)
 1607. Virginia permanently settled (S421)
 1611. The "King James Bible" (S418)
 1622. First Regular Newspaper (S422)
*1628. The Petition of Right (S433)
 1642. The Great Civil War (S441)
*1649. Charles I beheaded; the Commonwealth established (SS448, 450)
 1651. Navigation Act (S459)
 1660. Restoration of Monarchy (S467)
*1660. Abolition of Feudal Dues (S482)
 1665. The Plague in London (S474)
 1666. Great Fire in London (S474)
 1670. Secret Treaty of Dover (S476)
 1673. The Test Act (S477)
 1678. The Disabling Act (S478)
*1678. Rise of Political Parties (S479)
*1679. Habeas Corpus Act (S482)
 1684. Newton's Law of Gravitation (S481)
 1685. Monmouth's Rebellion (S486)
 1687. Declaration of Indulgence (S488)
 1688. The Great Revolution (S491)
*1689. The Bill of Rights (S497)
*1689. Mutiny Act, Toleration Act (S496)
 1690. Battle of the Boyne (S500)
 1694. National Debt; Bank of England (S503)
*1695. Liberty of the Press (SS498, 556)
 1697. Peace of Ryswick (S502)
*1701. Act of Settlement (S497)
*1707. England and Scotland united (S513)
 1713. Peace of Utrecht (S512)
 1720. The South Sea Bubble (S536)
*1721. Rise of Cabinet Government (S534)
 1738. Rise of the Methodists (S546)
 1748. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (S542)
 1751-1757. English Conquests in India (S544)
*1759. The English take Quebec (S545)
*1776. American Independence (S552)
*1782. American Independence acknowledged (S553)
 1784. Mail Coaches begin to run (S566)
 1785. "Industrial Revolution"; Canals; Watt's Steam Engine (S563)
 1796. Vaccination introduced (S537)
 1799. First Savings Bank (S621)
*1800. Great Britain and Ireland united (S562)
 1805. Battle of Trafalgar (S557)
 1807. Steam Navigation begins (S565)
 1812. War with America (S558)
 1815. Battle of Waterloo (S559)
 1819. The Six Acts (S571)
 1829. Catholic Emancipation (S573)
 1830. First Passenger Railway (S584)
*1832. Great Suffrage Reform (S582)
*1835. Municipal Reform (S599)
 1837-1911. Colonial Expansion (S618)
*1838-1848. Rise of Chartrists (S591)
 1839. Postage Reform (S590)
 1845. First Telegraph (S614)
 1845. Irish Famine (S593)
 1846. Repeal of the Corn Laws (S594)
 1857. Rebellion in India (S597)
 1858. Jews enter Parliament (S599)
 1859. Darwin's Evolution (S606)
 1861. The Trent Affair (S598)
 1866. Permanent Atlantic Cable (S595)
 1867. Second Suffrage Reform (S600)
 1869. Partial Woman Suffrage (S599)
 1869. Free Trade established (S594)
 1870. The Education Act (S602)
*1870. Civil Service Reform (S609)
 1870. Irish Land Act (S603)
 1871-1906. Trades Unions Acts (S616)
 1884. Third Suffrage Reform (S600)
*1888, 1894. Local Government Acts (S608)
 1899. The Boer War (S623)
*1906. Labor enters Parliament (S628)
 1908. Old-Age Pensions (S628)
 1910. Imperial Federation (S625)
*1911. Parliament Act; Salary Act (S631)



"This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of ewar;
This happy breed of men this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."
                        Shakespeare, "Richard II"


1. The Earliest Inhabitants of England.

England was inhabited for many centuries before its written history
began.  The earliest races that possessed the country were stunted,
brutal savages.  They used pieces of rough flint for tools and
weapons.  From flint too they produced fire.  They lived by hunting
and fishing, and often had no homes but caves and rock shelters.

Following the Cave-Men came a race that had learned how to grind and
polish the stone of which they made their hatchets, knives, and
spears.  This race cleared and cultivated the soil to some extent, and
kept cattle and other domestic animals.

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.

2. The Britons

Finally, a large-limbed, fair-haired, fierce-eyed people invaded and
conquered the island.  They came from the west of Europe.  They made
their axes, swords, and spears of bronze,--a metal obtained by melting
and mingling copper and tin.  These implements were far superior to
any made of stone.

The new people were good farmers; they exported grain, cattle, and
hides to Gaul (France), and mined and sold tin ore to merchants who
came by sea from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.

This strong and energetic race, known as Celts, eventually called
themselves Britons.  By the time they had adopted that name they had
made a great step forward, for they had learned how to mine and
manufacture iron,--the most useful metal known to man; from it they
forged scythes, swords, and spears.

Such were the people Caesar met when he invaded Britain, fifty-five
years before the beginning of the Christian era.  The great Roman
general called the Britons "barbarians"; but they compelled him to
respect them, for they were a race of hard fighters, who fearlessly
faced even his veteran troops.

3. The Religion of the Britons; the Druids.

The Britons held some dim faith in an overruling Power and in a life
beyond the grave.  They offered human sacrifices to that Power, and
when they buried one of their warriors, they buried his spear with him
so that he might fight as good a battle in the next world as he had
fought in this one.

Furthermore, the Britons had a class of priests called Druids, who
seem to have worshiped the heavenly bodies.  These priests also acted
as prophets, judges, and teachers.  Caesar tells us that the Druids
instructed the youth about the stars and their motions, about the
magnitude of the earth, the nature of things, and "the might and power
of the immortal gods."

More than this, the Druids probably erected the massive stone columns
of that strange stucture, open to the sky, whose ruins may still be
seen on the lonely expanse of Salisbury Plain.  There, on one of the
fallen blocks, Carlyle and Emerson sat, when they made their
pilgrimage to Stonehenge[1] many years ago, and discussed the life
after death, with other questions of Druid philosophy.

[1] Stonehenge: This remarkable structure is believed to be the
remains of a pre-historic monument to the dead, which was, perhaps,
used also as a place of worship.  It stands on Salisbury Plain about
nine miles northeast of the city of Salisbury.  (See map facing
p. 38.)  It consists of a broken circle of huge upright stones, some
of which are still connected at the top by blocks of flat stones.
Within this circle, which is about one hundred feet in circumference,
is a circle of smaller stones.  The structure has no roof.  The recent
discover of stains of bronze or copper on one of the great stones,
seven feet below the surface, strengthens the theory that Stonehenge
was constructed by the race who used bronze implements and who were
later known as Britons (S2).  Consult Professor C. Oman's "England
before the Norman Conquest"; see also R. W. Emerson's "English
Traits," and O. W. Holmes's fine poem on the "Broken Circle,"
suggested by a visit to Stonehenge.

4. What we owe to Prehistoric Man.

We have seen that the Romans called the Britons "barbarians" (S2).
But we should bear in mind that all the progress which civilization
has since made is built on the foundations which those primitive races
slowly and painfully laid during unnumbered centuries of toil and

To them we owe man's wonderful discovery of the power to produce
fire.  To them we are indebted for the invention of the first tools,
the first weapons, and the first attempts at architecture and
pictorial art.  They too tamed the dog, the horse, and our other
domestic animals.  They also discovered how to till the soil and how
to mine and manufacture metals.  In fact those "barbarians" who lived
in "the childhood of the world," and who never wrote a line of
history, did some things equal to any which history records, for out
of wild plants and trees they developed the grains and fruits which
now form an indispensable part of "our daily bread."

Finally, through their incessant struggles with nature, and incessant
wars among themselves, those rude tribes learned to establish forms of
self-government for towns or larger districts.  Many of their salutary
customs--their unwritten laws--still make themselves felt in the
world.[1] They help bind the English nation together.  They do even
more than that, for their influence can be traced in the history of
newer nations, which, like the American republic, have descended from
the great mother-countries of Europe.

[1] For example, parts of the "Common Law" can be traced back, through
English "dooms" (decisions or laws), to prehistoric times.  See
E. A. Freeman in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (10th edition, VIII,
276).  The New England "Town Meeting" can be likewise traced back to
the German ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons.

[Figures: Carved bone, flint dagger, and bronze spearhead]


"Father Neptune one day to Dame Freedom did say,
`If ever I lived upon dry land,
The spot I should hit on would be little Britain.'
Says Freedom, `Why that's my own island.'
O, 't is a snug little island,
A right little, tight little island!
Search the world round, none can be found
So happy as this little island."
                                        T. Dibdin


5. Geographical Names given by the Britons and the Romans

The steps of English history may be traced to a considerable extent by
geographical names.  Thus the names of most of the prominent natural
features, the hills, and especially the streams, originated with the
Britons.  They carry us back to the Bronze Age (S2) and perhaps
earlier.  Familiar examples of this are found in the name Malvern
Hills, and in the word Avon ("the water"), which occurs in
Stratford-on-Avon, and is repeated many times in England and Wales.

The Roman occupation of Britain is shown by the names ending in
"cester" or "chester" (a corrupton of castra, a military camp).  Thus
Leicester, Worcester, Dorchester, Colchester, Chester, indicate that
these places were walled towns and military stations.

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.
[2] As this Period necessarily contains references to certain events
which occurred in later history, it may be advantageously reviewed by
the pupil after he has reached an advanced stage in his course of

6. Saxon and Danish Names.

On the other hand, the names of many of the great political divisions,
especially in the south and east of England, mark the Saxon
settlements, such as Essex (the East Saxons), Sussex (the South
Saxons), Middlesex (the Middle or Central Saxons).  In the same way
the settlement of the two divisions of the Angles on the coast is
indicated by the names Norfolk (the North folk) and Suffolk (the South
folk).  (See map facing p. 24.)

The conquests and settlements of the Danes are readily traced by the
Danish termination "by" (an abode or town), as in Derby, Rugby,
Grimsby.  They occur with scarcely an exception north of London.  They
date back to the time when King Alfred made the Treaty of Wedmore
(S56), A.D. 878, by which the Danes agreed to confine themselves to
the northern half of the country.  (See map facing p. 32.)

7. Norman Names.

The conquest of England by the Normans created but few new names.
These, as in the case of Richmond and Beaumont, generally show where
the invading race built a castle or an abbey, or where, as in
Montgomeryshire, they conquered and held a district in Wales.

While each new invasion left its mark on the country, it will be seen
that the greater part of the names of counties and towns are of Roman,
Saxon, or Danish origin.  With some few and comparatively unimportant
exceptions, the map of England remains to-day in this respect what
those races made it more than a thousand years ago.

8. Climate.

With regard to the climate of England,--its insular form, geographical
position, and its exposure to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream
give it a temperature generally free from great extremes of heat or
cold.  On this account, it is favorable to the full and healthy
development of both animal and vegetable life.

Nowhere is greater vigor or longevity found.  Charles II said that he
was convinced that there was not a country in the world so far as he
knew, where one could spend so much time out of doors comfortably as
in England.

9. Industrial Division of England.

From an industrial and historical point of view, the country falls
into two divisions.  Let a line be drawn from Hull, on the northeast
coast, to Leicester, in the Midlands, and thence to Exmouth, on the
southwest coast.  (See map on p. 10.)  On the upper or northwest side
of that line will lie the coal and iron which constitute the greater
part of the mineral wealth and form the basis of the manufacturing
industry of England; here too are all the largest towns except London.

On the lower or southeast side of the line there will be a
comparatively level surface of rich agricultural land, and most of the
fine old cathedral cities with their historic associations; in a
world, the England of the past as contrasted with modern and
democratic England, that part which has grown up since the
introduction of steam.

10. Eastern and Western Britain compared.

As the southern and eastern coasts of Britain were in most direct
communication with the Continent, and were first settled, they
continued until modern times to be the wealthiest, most civilized, and
progressive part of the island.  Much of the western portion is a
rough, wild country.  To it the East Britons retreated, keeping their
primitive customs and language, as in Wales and Cornwall.

In all the great movements of religious or political reform, up to the
middle of the seventeenth century, we find that the people of the
eastern half of the island were usually on the side of a larger
measure of liberty; while those of the western half were generally in
favor of increasing the power of the King and the Church.

11. Influence of the Island Form on the Roman Invasion

Geologists tell us that Great Britain was once connected with the
mainland of western Europe.  It was fortunate for Britain that this
connection was severed and that it became an island.  We see an
illustration of this advantage in the case of the Roman invasion.  It
was easy for the Romans to march great armies into Gaul and take
complete possession of that country, but it was with no little
difficulty that they sent fleets across the tempestuous waters of the
Channel.  This may have been one reason why they never succeeded in
permanently establishing their language and their laws in the island
of Britain.  It is true that they conquered and held it for several
centuries, but they never destroyed its individuality,--they never
Latinized it as they did France and Spain.

12. Influence of the Island Form on the Saxon Invasion.

In like manner, when the northern tribes of Europe overran the Roman
Empire, they found themselves, in some measure, shut out from Britain
by its wall of sea.  The Jutes, Saxons, and Angles could not enter it
in countless hordes, but only in small numbers and by occasional
attacks.  Because of this, the invaders could only drive back the
Britons by slow degrees, and they never entirely crushed them.

Again, the conquerers could not build up a strong, united kinigdom,
but they had to content themselves with establishing a number of petty
kingdoms which were constantly at war with each other.  Later, the
whole of England became subject to a sing sovereign.  But the chief
men of the separate kingdoms, which had now become simply shires or
counties, retained a certain degree of control over the government.
This prevented the royal power from becoming the unchecked will of an
arbitrary ruler.  Finally, it may be said that the isolation of
England had much to do with the development of the strong individual
character of its people.

13. Influence of the Island Form on the Danes and Normans.

In the course of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries the Danes
invaded England, but the sea prevented their coming all at once and
with overwhelming force.  They got possession of the throne (S63) and
permanently established themselves in the northern half of the
country.  The English, however, held their own so well that the Danes
were eventually compelled to unite with them.  Even when the Normans
invaded England and conquered it (SS74, 107), they felt obliged to
make many concessions to both the English and the Danes.  The result
was that every invasion of the island ended in a compromise, so that
no one race ever got complete predominance.  In time all the elements
mingled and became one people.

14. Influence of the Channel in Later History.

Furthermore, the immense protective value of the Channel to England
may be traced down to our own day.  In the great crisis when Simon de
Montfort was fighting (1264) to secure parliamentary representation
for the people (S213), King Henry III sought help from France.  The
French monarcy got a fleet ready to send to England, but bad weather
held it back, and Henry was obliged to concede De Montfort's demands
for reform.[1]

[1] W. Stubb's "Select Charters," p. 401

Again, when the Spanish Armada swooped down upn England (1588) a
terrible tempest dispersed a part of the enemy's fleet.  Many of the
vessels were wrecked (S399) and only a few were left to creep back,
crippled and disheartened, to the ports of Spain.  When Queen
Elizabeth publicly thanked the leaders of her valiant navy for what
they had done to repel the Spanish forces, she also acknowledged how
much England owed to the protective power of wind and wave.

The same elements taught Napoleon a lesson which he never forgot.  He
had carefully planned an expedition against England (S557), but
violent and long-continued storms compelled him to abandon the
hazardous undertaking (1804).  The great French commander felt himself
invincible on land, but he was obliged to confess that "a few leagues
of salt water" had completely out-generaled him.

In fact, ever since England organized a regular navy (1512) the
encircling arms of the ocean have been her closest and surest friend.
They have exempted her from keeping up a large standing army and so
preserved her from the danger of military despotism at home.  They too
have made her the greatest sea power,[1] and, at the same time, the
greatest colonizing power[2] the world has yet seen.  They have also
made her the greatest commercial power on the globe.[3]

[1] The English navy far outranks that of any other nation in the
number of its warships.
[2] The English colonial possessions and "spheres of influence" cover
an area of more than 11,400,000 square miles.  (See map between
pp. 422, 423.)
[3] The total commerce of the United Kingdom in 1910 was nearly
912,000,000 pounds and that of the British Empire exceeded
1,990,680,000 pounds.

It is true that the use of steam for vessels of war has diminished the
natural protective service of the Channel, since a hostile fleet can
now move against England in almost any weather.  Still, the "silver
streak," as the English call that waterway, will always remain, in
some degree, a defense against sudden invasion, except, of course,
from a squadron of military airships.

15. England as a Commercial Center.

In closing this period, the position of England, with respect to
facilities for commerce, deserves particular attention.  In the first
place the country has many excellent harbors; next, it is situated in
the ocean which is the great highway between the two continents having
the highest civilization and the most constant intercourse.  Finally,
a glance at the maps on pages 185 and 420 will show that
geographically England is located at about the center of the land
masses of the globe.

It is evident that a large island so placed stands in the favorable
position for easy and rapid trade communications with every quarter of
the world.  For this reason England has been able to attain, and thus
far to maintain, the highest rank among maritime and commercial
powers.  It is true that since the opening of the Suez Canal (1869)
the trade with the Indies, China, and Japan has considerably changed.
Many cargoes of teas, silks, spices, and other Eastern products, which
formerly went to London, Liverpool, or Southampton, to be reshipped to
different countries of Europe, now pass by other routes direct to the
consumer.  Furthermore, it is a question what effect the completion of
the Panama Canal will have on English trade in parts of the Pacific.
But for the present England retains her supremacy as the great carrier
and distributor of the productions of the earth,--a fact which has had
a very decided influence on her history, and on her relations with
other nations, both in peace and war.

[Industrial Map of England (S9)]


"Force and Right rule the world: Force, till Right is ready."

ROMAN BRITAIN, 55 B.C.; 43-410 A.D.


16. Europe shortly before Caesar's Invasion of Britain.

Before considering the Roman invasion of Britain let us take a glance
at the condition of Europe.  We have seen that the tribes (S2) of
Britain, like those of Gaul (France), were not mere savages.  On the
contrary, we know that they had taken more than one important step in
the path of progress; still the advance should not be overrated, for
north of the shores of the Mediterranean there was no real

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.

17. Caesar's Campaigns.

Such was the state of Europe when Julius Caesar, who was governor of
Gaul, but who aspired to be ruler of the world, set out on his first
campaign against the tribes north of the Alps (58 B.C.).

In undertaking the war he had three objects in view: First, he wished
to crush the power of those restless hordes that threatened the safety
of the Roman Republic.  Next, he sought military fame in the hope that
it would make him supreme ruler of that Republic.  Lastly, he wanted
money to maintain his army and to bribe the party leaders of Rome to
help him carry out his political plans.  To this end he compelled
every tribe which he conquered to pay him tribute in cash or slaves.

18. Caesar reaches Boulogne and crosses over to Britain, 55 B.C.

In three years Caesar had subjugated the enemy in a succession of
victories, and a great part of Europe lay helpless at his feet.  Late
in the summer of 55 B.C. he reached Boulogne on the coast of Gaul.
Standing there, he could see the gleaming chalk cliffs of Britain, so
vividly described in Shakespeare's "King Lear."[1]

[1] Shakespeare's "King Lear," Act IV, scene vi.

While encamped on the shore he "resolved," he says, "to pass over into
Britain, having had trustworthy information that in all his wars with
the Gauls the enemies of the Roman commonwealth had constantly
received help from thence."[2]

[2] Caesar's "Gallic War," Book IV.

Embarking with a force of between eight and ten thousand men[3] in
eighty small vessels, Caesar crossed the Channel and landed not far
from Dover, where he overcame the Britons (S2), who made a desperate
resistance.  After a stay of a few weeks, during which he did not
leave the coast, he returned to Gaul.

[3] Caesar probably sailed about the 25th of August, 55 B.C.  His
force consisted of two legions, the 7th and 10th.  A legion varied at
different times from 3000 foot and 200 horse soldiers to 6000 foot and
400 horse.

19. Caesar's Second Invasion of Britain.

The next year (54 B.C.), a little earlier in the season, Caesar made a
second invasion with a much larger force, and penetrated the country a
short distance north of the Thames.  Before the September gales set
in, he reembarked for the Continent, never to return.

The total results of his two expeditions were a number of natives
carried as hostages to Rome, a long train of captives destined to be
sold in the slave markets, and some promises of tribute which the
Britons never fulfilled.  Tacitus, the Roman historian, says Caesar
"did not conquer Britain; he only showed it to the Romans."

20. The Third Invasion of Britain by the Romans, 43 A.D.

For nearly a hundred years the Romans made no further attempt on
Britain, but in 43 A.D. the Emperor Claudius invaded the island.
After nine years' fighting, he overcame Caractacus, the leader of the
Britons, and carried him in chains to Rome.  The brave chief refused
to beg for life or liberty.  "Can it be possible," said he, as he was
led through the streets, "that men who live in such places as these
envy us our wretched hovels!" "It was the dignity of the man, even in
ruins," says the Roman historian, "which saved him."  The Emperor,
struck with his bearing and his speech, ordered him to be set free.

21. The Romans plant a Colony in Britain, Llyn-din.

Meanwhile the armies of the Empire had established a strong colony at
Colchester in the southeast of Britain.  (See map facing p. 14.)
There they built a temple and set up the statue of the Emperor
Claudius, which the soldiers worshiped, both as a protecting god and
as the representative of the Roman Empire.

The army had also conquered other places.  One of these was a little
native settlement on a bend in the Thames where the river broadened
slightly.  It consisted of a few miserable huts and a row of
intrenched cattle pens.  It was called in the British tongue Llyn-din
or the Fort-on-the-pool.  This name, which was pronounced with
difficulty by Roman lips, eventually became known wherever ships sail,
trade reaches, or history is read,--London.

22. Expedition against the Druids.

But in order to complete the conquest of the country, the Roman
generals resolved to crush the power of the Druids (S3), since these
priests exhorted the Britons to refuse to surrender.  The island of
Anglesey, off the northwest coast of Wales, was the stronghold to
which the Druids had retreated.  (See map facing p. 14.)  As the Roman
soldiers approached to attack them, they beheld the priests and women
standing on the shore, with uplifted hands, uttering "dreadful prayers
and imprecations."

For a moment the Roman troops hesitated; then they rushed upon the
Druids, cut them to pieces, and cast their bodies into their own
sacred fires.  From this blow Druidism as an organized faith never
recovered, though traces of its religious rites still survive in the
use of the mistletoe at Christman and in May-day festivals.

23. Revolt of Boadicea (61).

Still the power of the Latin legions was only partly established, for
while the Roman general was absent with his troops at Anglesey, a
formidable revolt had broken out in the east.  A British chief, in
order to secure half of his property to his family at his death, left
it to be equally divided between his daughters and the Emperor.  The
governor of the district, under the pretext that Boadicea, the widow
of the dead chief, had concealed part of the property, seized the
whole of it.

Boadicea protested.  To punish her presumption, the Romans stripped
and scourged her, and inflicted still more brutal and infamous
treatment on her daughters.  Maddened by these outrages, Boadicea
appealed to her countrymen for vengeance.  The enraged Britons fell
upon London, and other places held by the Romans, burned them to the
ground, and slaughtered many thousand inhabitants.  But in the end
Roman forced gained the victory, and Boadicea took her own life rather
than fall into the hands of her conqueror.

The "warrior queen" died, let us trust, as the poet has represented,
animated by the prophecy of the Druid priest that,--

        "Rome shall perish--write that word
           In the blood that she has spilt;--
         Perish, hopeless and abhorred,
           Deep in ruin, as in guilt."  [1]

[1] Cowper's "Boadicea."

24. Christianity introduced into Britain.

Perhaps it was not long after this that Christianity made its way to
Britain; if so, it crept in so silently that nothing certain can be
learned of its advent.  The first church, it is said, was built at
Glastonbury, in the southeast of the island.  (See map facing p. 38.)
It was a long, shedlike structure of wickerwork.  "Here," says an old
writer,[1] "the converts watched, fasted, preached, and prayed, having
high meditations under a low roof and large hearts within narrow

[1] Thomas Fuller's "Church History of Britain."

At first no notice was taken of the new religion.  It was the faith of
the poor and the obscure, and the Roman generals treated it with
contempt; but as it continued to spread, it caused alarm.

The Roman Emperor was not only the head of the state, but the head of
religion as well.  He represented the power of God on earth: to him
every knee must bow (S21).  But the Christians refused this homage.
They put Christ first; for that reason they were dagerous to the
state, and were looked--[SECTION MISSING]--rebels, or as men likely to
become so.

25. Persecution of British Christians; [SECTION MISSING]
last of the third century the Roman Emperor   /                \
root out this pernicious belief.  The first  |                  |
He refused to sacrifice to the Roman         |                  |
                                             |                  |
But the ancient historian[2] says, with      |      SECTION     |
executioner who struck "the wicked stroke    |      MISSING     |
rejoice over the deed, for his eyes dropped  |                  |
together with the blessed martyr's head      |                  |
later the magnificent abbey of St. Albans    |                  |
commemorate him who had fallen there.         \________________/

[2] Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of Britain," completed about the
year 731.
[3] St. Albans: twenty miles northwest of London.  (See map facing
p. 16.)

26. Agricola builds a Line of Forts (7 [END OF LINE MISSING]

When Agricola, a wise and equitable Roman ruler, became governor of
Britain he explored the coast, and first discovered Britain to be an
island.  He gradually extended the limits of the government, and, in
order to prevent invasion from the north, he built a line of forts
(completed by Antoninus) across Scotland, from the mouth of the river
Forth to the Clyde.  (See map facing p. 14.)

From this date the power of Rome was finally fixed.  During the three
hundred years which followed, the surface of the country underwent a
change.  The Romans cut down forests, drained marshes, reclaimed waste
land, and bridged rivers.  Furthermore they made the soil so
productive that Britain became known in Rome as the most important
grain-producing and grain-exporting province in the Empire.

27. Roman Cities; London; York.

Where the Britons had once had a humble village enclosed by a ditch
and protected by a stockade, the Romans built the cities of Chester,
Lincoln, London, York, and other towns, protected by massive walls and
towers of stone.  These places have continued to be centers of
population ever since.

London early became the Roman commercial metropolis, while the city of
York in the north was made the military and civil capital of the
country.  (See map facing p. 14).  There the Sixth Legion was
stationed.  It was the most noted body of troops in the Roman army,
and was called the "Victorious Legion."  It remained there for upwards
of three centuries.  There, too, the governor resided and administered
justice.  For these reasons York got the name of "another Rome."

The city had numerous temples and public buildings, such as befitted
the Roman capital of Britain.  There an event occurred in the fourth
century which made an indelible mark on the history of mankind.
Constantine, the subsequent founder of Constantinople, was proclaimed
Emperor at York, and through his influence Christianity became the
established religion of the entire Roman Empire.[1]

[1] Constantine was the first Christian Emperor of Rome.  The
preceding emperors had generally persecuted the Christians.

28. Roman System of Government; Roads.

During the Roman possession of Britain the country was differently
governed at different periods, but eventually it was divided into five
provinces.  These were intersected by a magnificent system of paved
roads running in direct lines from city to city, and having London as
a common center.  (See map facing p. 14.)

Over these road bodies of troops could march rapidly to any required
point.  By them, and by similar roads, leading through France, Spain,
and Italy, officers of state, mounted on relays of fleet horses, could
pass from one end of the Empire to the other in a few days' time.
(See map below, and that facing p. 14.)

So skillfully and substantially were these highways constructed, that
modern engineers have been glad to adopt them as a basis for their
work.  The four chief Roman roads[1] continue to be the foundation,
not only of numerous turnpikes in different parts of England, but also
of several of the great railway lines, especially those from London to
Chester and from London to York.

[1] The four chief roads were: (1) Watling Street; (2) Icknield
Street; (3) Irmin Street; and (4) The Fosse Way.  (See map facing
p. 14.)

29. Roman Forts and Walls Defenses against Saxon Pirates.

Next in importance to the roads were the fortifications.  In addition
to those which Agricola had built (S26), either Hadrian or Severus
constructed a wall of solid masonry across the country from the shore
of the North Sea to the Irish Sea.  This wall, which was about
seventy-five miles south of Agricola's work, was strengthened by a
deep ditch and a rampart of earth.  (See map facing p. 14.)

It was furthur defended by square stone castles built at regular
intervals of one mile.  Between them were stone watchtowers, used as
sentry boxes; while at every fourth mile there was a stone fort,
covering several acres and occupied by a large body of troops.

But the northern tribes were not the only ones to be guarded against;
bands of pirates prowled along the east and south coasts, burning,
plundering, and kidnaping.  These marauders came from Denmark and the
adjacent countries (S37).

The Britons and Romans called them Saxons, a most significant name if
it refers to the stout sharp knives which made them a terror to every
land on which they set foot.  To repel them, the Romans built a strong
chain of forts along the coast, extending from the Wash on the North
Sea to the Isle of Wight on the south.  (See map facing p. 14.)

The greater part of these Roman walls, fortifications, and cities have
perished.  But those which remain justify the statement that "outside
of England no such monuments exist of the power and military genius of

30. Wherein Roman Civilization fell Short.

But this splendid fabric of Roman power signally failed to win the
support of the majority of the Britons.  Civilization, like truth,
cannot be forced on minds unwilling or unable to receive it.  Least of
all can it be forced by the sword's point and the taskmaster's lash.

In order to render his victories on the Continent (S17) secure, Caesar
butchered thousands of prisoners of war, or cut off the right hands of
the entire population of large settlements to prevent them from rising
in revolt.

The policy pursued in Britain, though very different, was equally
heartless and equally fatal.  There were rulers who endeavored to act
justly, but such cases were rare.  One of the leaders of the North
Britons said, "The Romans give the lying name of Empire to robbery and
slaughter; they make a desert and call it peace."

31. The Mass of the Native Population Slaves; Roman Villas.

It is true that the chief cities of Britain were exempt from
oppression.  They elected their own magistrates and made their own
laws.  But they enjoyed this liberty because their inhabitants were
either Roman soldiers or their allies, or Romanized Britons.

Outside these cities the great mass of the native Britons were bound
to the soil and could not leave it, while a large proportion were
absolute slaves.  Their work was in the brickyards, the quarries, the
mines, or in the fields or forests.

The Roman masters of these people lived in stately villas adorned with
pavements of different-colored marbles and beautifully painted walls.
These country houses, often as large as palaces, were warmed in
winter, like our modern dwellings, with currents of heated air.  In
summer they opened on terraces ornamented with vases and statuary, and
on spacious gardens of fruits and flowers.[1]  On the other hand, the
laborers on these great estates lived in wretched cabins plastered
with mud and thatched with straw.

[1] More than a hundred of these villas or country houses, chiefly in
the south and southwest of England, have been exhumed.  Some of them
cover several acres.

32. Roman Taxation and Cruelty.

But if the condition of the British servile classes was hard, many who
were free were but little better off, for nearly all that they could
earn was swallowed up in taxes.  The standing army of Britain, which
the people of the country had to support, rarely numbered less than
forty thousand.  Great numbers of Britons were forced into the ranks,
but most of them appear to have been sent away to serve abroad.  Their
life was one of perpetual exile.  In order to meet the civil and
military expenses entailed upon him, every farmer had to pay a third
of all that his farm could produce, in taxes.  Furthermore, he had to
pay duty on every article that he sold, last of all, he was obliged to
pay a duty or poll tax on his own head.

On the Continent there was a saying that it was better for a property
owner to fall into the hands of savages than into those of the Roman
assessors.  When they went round, they counted not only every ox and
sheep, but every plant, and registered them as well as the owners.
"One heard nothing," says a writer of that time, speaking of the days
when revenue was collected, "but the sound of flogging and all kinds
of torture.  The son was compelled to inform against the father, men
were forced to give evidence against themselves, and were assessed
according to the confession they made to escape torment."[1]

[1] Lactantius, cited in Elton's "Origins of English History,"
p. 334.  It should be noted, however, that Professor C. Oman in his
"England before the Norman Conquest," pp. 175-176, takes a moer
favorable view of the condition of Britain under the Romans than that
which most authorities maintain.

So great was the misery of the land that sometimes parents destroyed
their children, rather than let them grow up to a life of suffering.
This vast system of organized oppression, like all tyranny, "was not
so much an institution as a destitution," undermining and
impoverishing the country.  It lasted until time brought its revenge,
and Rome, which had crushed so many nations of barbarians, was in her
turn threatened with a like fate, by bands of northern barbarians
stronger than herself.

33. The Romans compelled to abandon Britain, 410.

When Caesar returned from his victorious campaigns in Gaul in the
first century B.C., Cicero exultantly exclaimed, "Now let the Alps
sink! the gods raised them to shelter Italy from the barbarians; they
are no longer needed."  For nearly five centuries that continued true;
then the tribes of northern Europe could no longer be held back.  When
the Roman emperors saw that the crisis had arrived, they recalled
their troops from Britain in 410  The rest of the Roman colonists soon

At this time we find this brief but expressive entry in the
"Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (SS46, 99): "After this the Romans never ruled
in Britain."  A few years later this entry occurs: "418.  This year
the Romans collected all the treasures in Britain; some they hid in
the earth, so that no one since has been able to find them, and some
they carried with them into Gaul."

34. Remains of Roman Civilization.

In the course of the next three generations the political and social
elements of Roman civilization in Britain seem to have disappeared.  A
few words, such as "port" and "street," which may or may not have been
derived from the Latin, have come down to us.  But there was nothing
left, of which we can speak with absolute certainty, save the material
shell,--the walls, roads, forts, villas, arches, gateways, altars, and
tombs, whose ruins are still seen scattered throughout the land.

The soil, also, is full of relics of the same kind.  Twenty feet below
the surface of the London of to-day lie the remains of the London of
the Romans.  In digging in the "City,"[1] the laborer's shovel every
now and then brings to light pieces of carved stone with Latin
inscriptions, bits of rusted armor, broken swords, fragments of
statuary, and gold and silver ornaments.

[1] The "City": This is the name given to that part of central London,
about a mile square, which was formerly enclosed by Roman walls.  It
contains the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, and other very
important business buildings.  Its limit on the west is the site of
Temple Bar; on the east, the Tower of London.

So, likewise, several towns, long buried in the earth, and the
foundations of upwards of a hundred country houses have been
discovered; but these seem to be about all.  If Rome left any traces
of her literature, law, and methods of government, they are



"The happy ages of history are never the productive ones." -- Hegel

449(?) A.D.


36. The Britons beg for Help; Coming of the Jutes, 449 (?).

The Britons were in perilous condition after the Romans had left the
island (S33).  They had lost their old spirit (SS2, 18).[2]  They were
no longer brave in war or faithful in peace.  The Picts and Scots[3]
attacked them on the northwest, and the Saxon pirates (S29) assailed
them on the southeast.  These terrible foes cut down the Britons, says
an old writer, as "reapers cut down grain ready for the harvest."

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.
[2] Gildas, in Bohn's "Six Old English Chronicles"; but compare
Professor C. Oman's "England before the Norman Conquest," pp. 175-176.
[3] The Picts and Scots were ancient savage tribes of Scotland.

At length the chief men wrote to the Roman consul, begging him to help
them.  They entitled their piteous and pusillanimous appeal, "The
Groans of the Britons."  They said, "The savages drive us to the sea,
the sea casts us back upon the savages; between them we are either
slaughtered or drowned."  But the consul was busy fighting enemies at
home, and he left the groaning Britons to shift for themselves.

Finally, the courage of despair forced them to act.  They seemed to
have resolved to fight fire with fire.  Acting on this resolution,
they accordingly invited a band of sea rovers to come and help them
against the Picts and Scots.  The chiefs of these Jutes[1] or Saxon
pirates did not wait for a second invitation.  Seizing their
"rough-handled spears and bronze swords," they set sail for the
shining chalk cliffs of Britain, 449(?).  They put an end to the
ravages of the Picts and Scots.  Then instead of going back to their
own country, they took possession of the best lands of Kent and
refused to give them up.  (See map opposite.)

[1] The Jutes, Saxons, and Angles appear to have belonged to the same
Teutonic or German race.  They inhabited the seacoast and vicinity,
from the mouth of the Elbe, northward along the coast of Denmark or
Jutland.  These tribes which conquered England, and settled there,
remained for a long time hostile to each other, but eventually, they
united and came to be known as Anglo-Saxons or English.  (See map

37. The Saxons and Angles conquer Britain.

The success of the first band of sea robbers in Britain (S36)
stimulated other bands to invade the island (477-541).  They
slaughtered multitudes of Britons and made slaves of many more.  The
conquerors named the parts of the country which they settled, from
themselves.  Each independent settlement was hostile to every other.
Thus Sussex was the home of the South Saxons, Wessex of the West
Saxons, Essex of the East Saxons.  (See map opposite.)  Finally, a
band of Angles came from a little corner, south of the peninsula of
Denmark, which still bears the name of Angeln.  They took possession
of all of eastern Britain not already appropriated.  Eventually, they
came to control the greater part of the land, and from them, all the
other tribes, when fused together, got the name of Angles or English
(S50).  (See map opposite.)

38. Resistance made by the Britons; King Arthur.

Meanwhile the Britons had plucked up courage and made the best fight
they could.  They were naturally a brave people (SS2, 18).  The fact
that it took the Saxons more than a hundred years to get a firm grip
on the island shows that fact.  The legend of King Arthur's exploits
also illustrates the valor of the race to which he belonged.
According to tradtion this British Prince, who had become a convert to
Christianity (S25), met and checked the invaders in their isolent
march of triumph.  The battle, it is said, was fought at Mount Badon
or Badbury in Dorsetshire.  There, with his irresistable sword,
"Excalibur," and his stanch British spearmen, Arthur compelled his
foes to acknowledge that he was not a myth but a man[1] able "to break
the heathen and uphold the Christ."

[1] See "Arthur" in the "Dictionary of National British Biography";
and Professor Rowley in Low and Pulling's "Dictionary of English
History," p. 434.  See also Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the
Britons" and Tennyson's "Idylls of the King."

39. The Saxons or English force the Britons to retreat.

But though King Arthur may have checked the pagan Saxon invaders, he
could not drive them out of the country.  They had come to stay.  On
the other hand, many Britons were forced to take refuge among the
hills of Wales.  There they continued to abide.  That ancient stock
never lost its love of liberty.  More than eleven centuries later
their spirit helped to shape the destinies of the New World.  Thomas
Jefferson andseveral of the other signers of the Declaration of
American Independence were either of Welsh birth or of direct Welsh

40. Gregory and the English Slaves.

The next period, of nearly eighty years, is a dreary record of
constant battles and bloodshed.  Out of this very barbarism a
regenerating influence finally arose.

In their greed for grain, some of the English tribes did not hesitate
to sell their own children into bondage.  A number of these slaves,
exposed in the market place in Rome, attracted the attention of a monk
named Gregory.

Struck with the beauty of their clear, ruddy complexions and fair
hair, he inquired from what country they came.  "They are Angles"
(S37), was the dealer's answer.  "No, not Angles, but angels,"
answered the monk; and he resolved that, when he could, he would send
missionaries to convert a race of so much promise.[2]

[2] Bede's "Ecclesiastical History."

41. Coming of Saint Augustine, 597.

When Gregory (S40) became Pope he fulfilled his resolution, and sent
Augustine with a band of forty monks to Britain.  In 597 they landed
on the very spot where the first Saxon war band had set foot on
English soil nearly one hundred and fifty years before.  Like Caesar
and his legions, Augustine and his monks brought with them the power
of Rome.  But this time that power did not come armed with the sword
to force men to submit or die, but inspired with a persuasive voice to
cheer them with new hope.

41. Augustine converts the King of Kent and his People (597).

The English at that time were wholly pagan, and had, in all
probability, destroyed every vesetige of the faith for which the
British martyrs gave their lives (S25).  But the King of Kent had
married a French princess who was a devout Christian.  Through the
Queen's influence, the King was induced to receive Augustine.  He was
afraid, however, of some magical practice, so he insisted that their
meeting should take place in the open air and on the island of
Thanet.  (See map facing p. 32.)

The historian Bede tells us that the monks, holding a tall silver
cross and a picture of Christ in their hands, advanced and saluted the
King.  Augustine delivered his message, was well received, and invited
to Canterbury, the capital of Kent.  There the King became a convert
to his preaching, and before the year had passed ten thousand of his
subjects had received baptism; for to gain the King was to gain his
tribe as well.

43. Augustine builds the First Monastery.

At Canterbury Augustine became the first archbishop over the first
cathedral.  There, too, he established the first monastery in which to
train missionaries to carry on the work which he had begun (S45).
Part of the original monastery of St. Augustine is now used as a
Church of England missionary college, and it continues to bear the
name of the man who brought Christianity to that part of Britain.  The
example of the ruler of Kent was not without its effect on others.

44. Conversion of the North.

The north of England, however, owed its conversion chiefly to the
Irish monks of an earlier age.  They had planted monasteries in
Ireland and Scotland from which colonies went forth, one of which
settled in Durham.  Cuthbert, a Saxon monk of that monastery in the
seventh century, traveled as a missionary throughout Northumbria, and
was afterward recognized as the saint of the North.  Through his
influence that kingdom was induced to accept Christianity.  Other
missionaries went to other districts to carry the "good tidings of
great joy."

In one case an aged chief arose in an assembly of warriors and said:
"O king, as a bird flies through this hall in the winter night, coming
out of the darkness and vanishing into it again, even such is our
life.  If these strangers can tell us aught of what is beyond, let us
give heed to them."

But, as Bede informs us in his history of the English CHurch (S99),
some of the converts were too cautious to commit themselves entirely
to the new religion.  One king, who had set up a large altar devoted
to the worship of Christ, set up a smaller one at the other end of the
hall to the old heathen deities, in order that he might make sure of
the favor of both.

45. Christianity organized; Labors of the Monks.

Gradually, however, the pagan faith was dropped.  Christianity was
largely organized by bands of monks and nuns, who had renounced the
world in order to lead lives of self-sacrifice and service.  They
bound themselves by the three vows of obedience, poverty, and
chastity, and the monastic law forbade them to marry.  Monasteries
existed or were now established in a number of places in England.[1]

[1] For instance, at Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, off the coast of
Northumberland (see Scott's "Marmion," Canto II, 9-10), at Wearmouth
and Jarrow in Durham, at Whitby on the coast of Yorkshire, and at
Peterborough in Northamptonshire.  (See map facing p. 38.)

The monasteries were educational as well as industrial centers.  The
monks spent part of each day in manual toil, for they held that "to
labor is to pray."  They cleared the land, drained he bogs, plowed,
sowed, and reaped.  Another part of the day they spent in religious
exercises, and a third in writing, translating, and teaching.

Each monastery had a school attached to it, and each had, besides, its
library of manuscript books and its room for the entertainment of
travelers and pilgrims.  In these libraries important charters granted
by the King and important laws relating to the kingdom were preserved.

46. Literary Work of the Monks.

It was at the monastery of Jarrow[2] that Bede wrote in rude Latin the
Church history of England.  It was at that in Whitby that the poet
Caedmon composed his poem on the Creation, in which, a thousand years
before Milton, he dealt with Milton's theme in Milton's spirit.

[2] Jarrow, Whitby, etc.; see note 1, above.

It was at the great monasteries of Peterborough and Canterbury that
the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" was probably begun (S99).  It was the
first history of England written in English, and the one from which we
derive very important knowledge of the period extending from the
beginning of the Christian era down to a time nearly a hundred years
after the Norman conquest of the island.  Furthermore we find that the
history of the country was written by the monks in the form of
independent narratives, some of which are of very great value as
sources of information.[1]

[1] See six extracts from the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," in
E. K. Kendall's "Source-Book of English History," chaps. ii and iii;
also William of Malmesbury's "Conquered and Conquerors" (1066) and
Matthew Paris's "England in 1257," in the same book, pp. 41 and 78.
See also Bogn's "Six Old English Chronicles."

47. Influence of Christianity on Society.

But the power of Christianity for good was not confied to the
monasteries; the priests took their part in it.  Unlike the monks,
they were not bound by monastic rules, though they were forbidden to
marry.  They lived in the world and worked for the world, and had an
immense social influence.  The Church, as a rule, in all forms of its
activity took the side of the weak, the suffering, and the oppressed.
Slavery was then the normal condition of a large class, but when the
Church held slaves it protected them from ill usage.  It secured
Sunday for them as a day of rest, and it often labored effectually for
their emancipation.

48. Political Influence of Christianity, 664.

More than this, Christianity had a powerful political influence.  A
great synod or council was held at Whitby, on the coast of Yorkshire,
664, to decide when Easter should be observed.  Delegates to that
meeting were sent from different parts of the country.  After a
protracted discussion all the churches finally agreed to accept the
Roman custom.  This important decision encouraged a spirit of true
religious unity.  The bishops, monks, and priests who gathered at
Whitby represented Saxon tribes which were often bitterly hostile to
each other (S37), but their action on the Easter question united them
in a certain way.  It made them feel that they had a common interest,
that they were members of the same Church, and that, in that Church,
they were laboring for the same object.  The fact that they bowed to
one supreme spiritual authority had a political significance.  It
suggested that the time might be coming when all the conflicting
tribes or petty kingdoms in Britain would acknowledge the authority of
one King, and form one English nation.

49. Egbert becomes King of Wessex, and Overlord of the Whole Country,

Somewhat more than a hundred and sixty years later a great step was
taken toward the accomplishment of the political union of the
different sections of Britain.  By the death of the King of Wessex
(S37), Egbert, a descendant of Cerdic, the first chief and King of
that country, succeeded to the crown.  He had spent some time in
France at the court of Charlemagne and had seen that great ruler make
himself master of most of western Europe.  Egbert was not content to
remain simply King of Wessex.  He resolved to make himself master of
the whole country.  He began a series of wars by which he, at length,
compelled all the other Saxon Kings to acknowledge him as their
Overlord.  That title marks the beginning, in 829, of a new period in
the history of the island.

50. How Britain got the Name of England.

In making himself supreme ruler over the entire English population of
Britain, Egbert laid the foundations of what was finally to become the
"Kingdom of England."  Several causes contributed to this change of
name.  We can trace the process step by step.  First, the people of
Kent and the great council held at Whitby (SS42, 48) laid the
cornerstone of the National Church; next, the people of Wessex
furnished the National Overlord (S49); finally, the preponderance of
the people called Angles (S37) furnished the National Name of
Angle-Land or England.

It is a fact worthy of notice, in this connection, that from Egbert as
a royal source every subsequent English sovereign (except the four
Danish Kings, Harold II, and William the Conqueror) has directly or
indirectly descended down to the present time.  (See Table of Royal
Descent in the Appendix, p. xlii.)

51. Alfred the Great.

Of these sovereigns the most conspicuous during the period of which we
are writing was Alfred.  He was a grandson of Egbert (S49).  He was
rightly called Alfred the Great, since he was the embodiment of
whatever was best and bravest in the English character.  The keynote
of his life may be found in the words which he spoke at the close of
it, "So long as I have lived, I have striven to live worthily."

52. Danish Invasion.

When Alfred came to the throne (871) the Danes, or Northmen, as they
were often called, were sweeping down upon the country.  A few months
before he became King, he had aided his brother in a desperate
struggle with them.  In the beginning, the object of the Danes was to
plunder, later, to possess, and finally, to rule over the country.
They had already overrun a large portion of England and had invaded
Wessex or the country of the West Saxons.  (See map facing p. 30.)
Wherever their raven flag appeared, destruction and slaughter

53. The Danes or Northmen destroy the Monasteries.

These terrible pirates despised Christianity.  They scorned it as the
weak religion of a weak people.  They hated the English monasteries
most of all and made them the especial objects of their attacks (SS43,
45, 46).  Many of these institutions had accumulated wealth, and some
had gradually sunk into habits of laziness, luxury, and other evil
courses of life.  The Danes, who were full of the vigorous virtues of
heathenism, liked nothing better than to scourge those effeminate
vices of the cloisters.

From the thorough way in which they robbed, burned, and murdered,
there can be no doubt that they enjoyed their work of destruction.  In
their helplessness and terror, the panic-stricken monks added to their
usual prayers, this fervent petition: "From the fury of the Northmen,
good Lord deliver us!"  The power raised up to answer that
supplication was Alfred the Great.

54. Alfred's Victories over the Danes: the White Horse.

After repeated defeats Alfred finally drove back these savage hordes,
who thought it a shame to earn by sweat what they could win by blood.

In these attacks Alfred led one half the army and his brother Ethelred
led the other.  They met the Danes at Ashdown Ridge in Berkshire.
(See map facing p. 32.)  While Ethelred stopped to pray for success,
Alfred, under the banner of the "White Horse,"--the common standard of
the English at that time,--began the attack and won the day.

Tradition declares that after the victory he ordered his army to
commemorate their triumph by carving that colossal figure of a horse
on the side of a neighboring chalk hill, which still remains so
conspicuous an object in the landscape.  It was shortly after this
that Alfred became "King of the West Saxons"; but the war, far from
being ended, had in fact but just begun.

55. The Danes compel Alfred to retreat.

The Danes, reenforced by other invaders, overcame Alfred's forces and
compelled him to retreat.  He fled to the wilds of Somersetshite, and
was glad to take up his abode for a time, so the story runs, in a
peasant's hut.  Subsequently he succeeded in rallying part of his
people, and built a stronghold on a piece of rising ground, in the
midst of an almost impassable morass.  There he remained during the

56. Alfred's Great Victory; Treaty of Wedmore, 878.

In the spring Alfred marched forth and again attacked the Danes.  They
were intrenched in a camp at Edington, Wiltshire.  He surrounded them,
and starved them into complete submission.  They had to confess that
Alfred's muscular Christians were more than a match for the most
stalwart heathen.  The Danish leader swore to maintain a peace, called
the Peace or Treaty of Wedmore.  (See maps facing p. 32 and p. 38.)
More than this, the discomfited warrior sealed the oath with his
baptism,--an admission that Alfred had not only beaten him but
converted him as well.

By the Treaty of Wedmore, 878, the Danes bound themselves to remain
north and east of a line drawn from London to Chester, following the
old Roman road called Watling Street.   All south of this line,
including a district around London, was recognized as the dominions of
Alfred, whose chief city, or capital, was Winchester.  (See map facing
p. 32.)

By this treaty the Danes got much the larger part of England (called
the Danelaw), but they acknowledged Alfred as their Overlord.  He thus
became, in name at least, what his predecessor, Egbert (S49), had
claimed to be,--supreme ruler of the whole country, though the highest
title he ever assumed was "King of the Saxons or English."

57. Alfred's Laws; his Translations.

Alfred proved himself to be more than mere ruler, for he was also a
lawgiver and teacher as well.  Through his efforts a written code was
compiled, prefaced by the Ten Commandments and ending with the Golden
Rule.  Referring to this introduction, Alfred said, "He who keeps this
shall not need any other law book."

Next, that learning might not utterly perish in the ashes of the
abbeys and monasteries which the Danes had destroyed (S53), the King,
though feeble and suffering, set himself to translate from the Lating
the "Universal History of Orosius," and also Bede's valuable "Church
History of England."

58. Alfred's Navy.

Alfred, however, still had to fight against fresh invasion by the
Danes, who continued to make descents upon the coast, and even sailed
up the Thames to take London.  The English King constructed a superior
class of fast-sailing war vessels from designs made by himself.  With
this fleet, which may be regarded as the beginning of the English
navy, he fought the enemy on their own element.  He thus effectually
checked a series of invasions which, if they had continued, might have
reduced the country to barbarism.

59. Estimate of Alfred's Reign.

Considered as a whole, Alfred's reign (871-901) is hte most noteworthy
of any in the annals of the early English sovereigns.  It was marked
throughout by intelligence and progress.

His life speaks for itself.  The best commentary on it is the fact
that, in 1849, the people of Wantage, his native place, celebrated the
thousandth anniversary of his birth,--another proof that "what is
excellent, as God lives, is permanent."[1]

[1] R. W. Emerson's "Poems."

60. St. Dunstan's Three Great Reforms (960-988).

Long after Alfred's death, St. Dunstan, then Archbishop of Canterbury
and head of the English Church, set out to push forward the work begun
by the great King.  He labored to accomplish three things.  First, he
sought to establish a higher system of education; secondly, he desired
to elevate the general standard of monastic life; finally, he tried to
inaugurate a period of national peace and economic progress.

He began his work when he had control of the abbey of Glastonbury, in
the southwest of England.  He succeeded in making the school connected
with that abbey the most famous one in the whole kingdom (S45).  He
not only taught himself, but, by his enthusiasm, he inspired others to
teach.  He was determined that from Glastonbury a spirit should go
forth which should make the Church of England the real educator of the
English people.  Next, he devoted himself to helping the inmates of
the monasteries in their efforts to reach a truer and stronger
manhood.  That, of course, was the original purpose for which those
institutions had been founded (S45), but, in time, many of them had
more or less degenerated.  Every athlete and every earnest student
knows how hard it is to keep up the course of training he has resolved
upon.  The strain sometimes becomes too great for him.  Well, the monk
in his cell had found out how difficult it was for him to be always
faithful to his religious vows.  St. Dunstan roused these men to begin
their work anew.  He re-created monasticism in England, making it
stricter in discipline and purer in purpose.

Last of all, the Archbishop endeavored to secure greater freedom from
strife.  He saw that the continued wars of the English were killing
off their young men--the real hope of the country--and were wasting
the best powers of the nation.  His influence with the reigning
monarch was very great, and he was successful, for a time, in
reconciling the Danes and the English (SS53, 56).  It was said that he
established "peace in the kingdom such as had not been known within
the memory of man."  At the same time the Archbishop, who was himself
a skillful mechanic and worker in metals,[1] endeavored to encourage
inventive industry and the exportation of products to the Continent.
He did everything in his power to extend foreign trade, and it was
largely through his efforts that "London rose to the commercial
greatness it has held ever since."[2]  Because of these things, one of
the best known English historians,[3] speaking of that period,
declares that Dunstan "stands forth as the leading man in both Church
and State."

[1] The common people regarded his accomplishments in this direction
with superstitious awe.  Many stories of his skill were circulated,
and it was even whispered that in a personal contest with the Evil
One, it was the foul fiend and not the monk who got the worst of it,
and fled from the saint's workshop, howling with dismay.
[2] R. Green's "English People."
[3] E. A. Freeman's "Norman Conquest," I, 65.

61. New Invasions; Danegeld (992).

With the close of Dunstan's career, a period of decline set in.  The
Northmen began to make fresh inroads (S53).  The resistance to them
became feeble and faint-hearted.  At last a royal tax, called
Danegeld, or Dane money (992), was levied on all landed property in
England in order to buy off the invaders.  For a brief period this
cowardly concession answered its purpose.  But a time came when the
Danes refused to be bribed to keep away.

62. The Northmen invade France.

The Danish invasion of England was really a part of a great European
movement.  The same Northmen who had obtained so large a part of the
island (S56) had, in the tenth century, established themselves in

There they were known as Normans, a softened form of the word
"Northmen," and the district where they settled came to be called from
them Normandy.  They founded a line of dukes, or princes, who were
destined, in the course of the next century, to give a new aspect to
the events of English history.

63. Sweyn conquers England; Canute[1] (1017-1035).

Early in the eleventh century Sweyn, the Dane, conquered England
(1013), and "all the people," says the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (S99),
"held him for full king."  He was succeeded by his son Canute (1017).
He could hardly be called a foreigner, since he spoke a language and
set up a government differing but little from that of the English.

[1] "Cnut," a shortened form of Canute.

After his first harsh measures were over he sought the friendship of
both Church and people.  He gave the country peace.  Tradition reports
that he rebuked the flattery of courtiers by showing them that the
inrolling tide is no respecter of persons; he endeavored to rule
justly, and his liking for the monks found expression in his song:

        "Merrily sang the monks of Ely
         As Cnut the King was passing by."

64. Canute's Plan; the Four Earldoms.

Canute's plan was to establish a great northern empire embracing
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and England.  To facilitate the government of
so large a realm, he divided England into four districts,--Wessex,
Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria--which, with their dependencies,
embraced the entire country.  (See map facing p. 38.)

Each of these districts was ruled by an earl[1] invested with almost
royal power.  For a time the arrangement worked well, but eventually
discord sprang up and imperiled the unity of the kingdom.  After
Canute's death two of his sons divided England between themselves;
both were bad rulers.

[1] Earl ("chief" or "leader"): a title of honor and of office.  The
four earldoms established by Canute remained nearly unchanged until
the Norman Conquest, 1066.

65. Restoration of the Saxon or English Kings; Edward the Confessor

On the occasion of the Danish conqueror Sweyn (S63), Ethelred II, the
English King, sent his French wife Emma back to Normandy for safety.
She took her son, Prince Edward, then a lad of nine, with her.  He
remained at the French court nearly thirty years, and among other
friends to whom he became greatly attached was his second cousin,
William, Duke of Normandy.

The oppressive acts of Canute's sons (S64) excited insurrection
(1042), and both Danes and English joined in the determination to
restore the English line.  They invited Prince Edward to accept the
crown.  He returned to England, obtained the throne, and pledged
himself to restore the rights of which the people had been deprived.
By birth King Edward was already half Norman; by education and tastes
he was wholly so.

It is very doubtful whether he could speak a word of English, and it
is certain that from the beginning he surrounded himself with French
favorites, and filled the Church with French priests.  Edward's piety
and blameless life gained for him the title of "the Confessor," or, as
we should say to-day, "the Christian."

He married the daughter of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, the most powerful
noble in England.  Godwin really ruled the country in the King's name
until his death (1053), when his son Harold (S67) succeeded him as

66. Edward the Confessor builds Westminster Abbey.

During a large part of his reign the King was engaged in building an
abbey or monastery at the west end of London, and hence called the
Westminster.[2]  He had just completed and consecrated this great work
when he died, and was buried there.  We may still see a part of the
original building in the crypt or basement of the abbey, while the
King's tomb above is the center of a circle of royal graves.

[2] Minster: a name given originally to a monastery; next, to a church
connected with a monastery; but now applied to several large English

Multitudes made pilgrimages to King Edward's tomb, for the Pope had
enrolled him among the saints.  Even now a little band of devoted
Catholics gather around his shrine every year.  They go there to show
their veneration for the virtues and the piety of a ruler who would
have adorned a monastery, but had not breadth and vigor to fill a

67. Harold becomes King (1066).

On his deathbed, King Edward, who had no children, recommended Harold,
Earl of Wessex, as his successor (S65).  But the Normans in France
declared Edward had promised that his cousin William, Duke of Normandy
(S65), should reign after him.  The Witan, or National Council of
England (S81), chose Harold.  That settled the question, for the
Council alone had the right to decide who should rule over the English
people.  Harold was soon afterward crowned (January 16, 1066).

68. Duke William prepares to invade England (1066).

William, Duke of Normandy, was getting ready for a hunting expedition
when the news was brought to him of Harold's accession (S67).  The old
chronicler says that the Duke "stopped short in his preparations; he
spoke to no man, and no man dared speak to him."  Finally he resolved
to appeal to the sword and take the English crown by force.

During the spring and summer of that year, he occupied himself in
fitting out a fleet to invade England, and his smiths and armorers
were busy making lances, swords, and coats of mail.  The Pope favored
the expedition and presented a banner blessed by himself, to be
carried in the attack; "mothers, too, sent their sons for the
salvation of their souls."

69. The Expedition Sails (1066).

William sailed on his great expedition in the autumn with a fleet of
several hundred vesseles and a large number of transports.  The Duke's
ship, with the consecrated banner at the masthead, led the fleet.

His army consisted of archers and cavalry.  Its strength has been
variously estimated at from 14,000 men up to 60,000.  They were partly
his own subjects, and partly hired soldiers, or those who joined for
the sake of plunder.  William also carried a large force of smiths and
carpenters, with timber ready cut and fitted to set up a wooden

70. William lands at Pevensey.

The next day the fleet anchored at Pevensey, on the south coast of
England, under the walls of an old Roman fortress which had stood, a
vacant ruin, since the Saxons stormed it nearly six hundred years
before.  (See map facing p. 38.)  Tradition says that as William
stepped on shore he stumbled and fell flat with his face downward.
"God preserve us!" cried one of his men; "this is a bad sign."  But
the Duke, grasping the pebbles of the beach with both his outstretched
hands, exclaimed, "Thus do I seize the land!"

71. King Harold in the North.

There was, in fact, no power to prevent him from establishing his
camp, for King Harold (S67) was in the north quelling an invasion
headed by the King of the Norwegians and his brother Tostig, who hoped
to secure the throne for himself.  Harold had just sat down to a
victory feast, after the battle of Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire, when
news was brought to him of the landing of William.

It was this fatal want of unity in England which made the Norman
Conquest possible.  If Harold's own brother, Tostig, had not turned
traitorously against him, or if the north country had stood squarely
by the south, Duke William might have found his fall on the beach an
omen full of disaster.

72. What Duke William did after Landing.

As there was no one to oppose him, William made a fort in a corner of
the old Roman wall at Pevensey (S70), and then marched to Hastings, a
few miles farther east, where he set up a wooden castle on that hill
where the ruins of a later stone castle may still be seen.  Having
done this, he pillaged the country in every direction.

73. Harold marches to meet William.

King Harold, having gathered what forced he could, marched to meet
William at a place midway between Pevensey and Hastings, about five
miles back from the coast.  Harold had the advantage of a stockaded
fort he had built; William, that of a body of cavalry and archers, for
the English fought on foot with javelins and battle-axes mainly.  The
Saxons spent the night in feasting and song, the Normans in prayer and
confession; both were eager to fight.

74. The Great Battle of Hastings, 1066.

On the morning of the 14th of October the fight began.  It lasted
until dark, with heavy loss on both sides.  At length William's
strategy carried the day, and Harold and his brave followers found to
their cost that then, as now, it is "the thinking bayonet" which
conquers.  The English King was slain and every man of his chosen
troops with him.  A monk who wrote the history of the period of the
Conquest, says that "the vices of the Saxons had made them effeminate
and womanish, wherefore it came to pass that, running against Duke
William, they lost themselves and their country with one, and that an
easy and light, battle."  Doubtless the English had fallen off in many
ways from what hey had been generations earlier; but the record at
Hastings shows that they had lost neither strength, courage, nor
endurance, and a harder battle ws never fought on British soil.

75. Battle Abbey; Harold's Grave; the Beyeu^x Tapestry.

A few years later, the Norman Conqueror built the Abbey of Battle on
the spot to commemorate the victory by which he gained his crown.  He
directed that the monks of the abbey should chant perpetual prayers
over the Norman soldiers who had fallen there.  Here, also, tradition
represents him as having buried Harold's body, just after the fight,
under a heap of stones by the seashore.  Some months later, it is said
that the friends of the English King removed the remains to Waltham,
near London, and buried them in the church which he had built and
endowed there.  Be that as it may, his grave, wherever it is, is the
grave of the old England.  Henceforth a new people (though not a new
race, for the Normans originally came from the same Germanic stock as
the English did) (S62) will appear in the history of the island.

Several contemporary accounts of the battle exist by both French and
English writers, but one of the best histories of it is that which was
wrought in colors by a woman's hand.  It represents the scenes of the
famous contest on a strip of canvas known as the Bayeux Tapestry
(S155), a name derived from the French town where it is still

76. Close of the Period; what the Saxon Conquest of Britain had

The death of King Harold ends the Saxon or English period of history.
Before entering upon the reign of William the Conqueror let us
consider what that period had accomplished.  We have seen that the
Jutes, Saxons, and Angles (SS36, 37) invaded Britain at a critical
period.  Its original inhabitants had become cowed and enervated by
the despotism and the worn-out civilization forced on them by the
Romans (SS30-32).

The newcomers brought that healthy spirit of barbarism, that
irrepressible love of personal liberty, which the country sorely
needed.  The conquerors were rough, ignorant, cruel; but they were
vigorous, fearless, and determined.

These qualities were worth a thousand times more to Britain than the
gilded corruption of Rome.  But in the course of time the Saxons or
English themselves lost spirit (S36).  Their besetting sin was a
stolidity which degenerated into animalism and sluggish content.

77. Fresh Elements contributed by the Danes or Northmen.

Then came the Danes or Northmen (SS52, 63).  They brought with them a
new spirit of still more savage independence which found expression in
their song, "I trust my sword, I trust my steed, but most I trust
myself at need."

They conquered a large part of the island, and in conquering
regenerated it.  So strong was their love of independence, that even
the lowest classes of farm laborers were quite generally free.

More small independent landholders were found amongh the Danish
population than anywhere else; and it is said that the number now
existing in the region which they settled in the northeast of England
is still much larger than in the south.  (See map facing p. 32.)
Finally, the Danes and the English, both of whome sprang from the
North Germanic tribes (S36), mingled and becames in all respects one

78. Summary: What the Anglo-Saxons accomplished.

Thus Jutes, Saxons, Angles, and Danes, whom together we may call the
Anglo-Saxons,[1] laid the corner stone of the English nation.  However
much that nation has changed since, it remains, nevertheless, in its
solid and fundamental qualities, what those peoples made it.

[1] Anglo-Saxons: Some authorities insist that this phrase means the
Saxons of England in distinction from those of the Continent.  It is
used here, however, in the sense given by Professor Freeman, as a term
describing the people formed in England by the union of the Germanic
tribes which had settled in the island.

They gave first the language, simple strong, direct, and plain--the
familiar, everyday speech of the fireside and the street, the
well-known words of both the newspaper and the Bible.

Next they established the government in its main outlines as it still
exists; that is, a king, a legislative body representing the people,
and a judicial system embodying the germ, at least, of trial by jury

Last, and best, they furnished conservative patience, persistent
effort, indomitable tenacity of purpose, and cool, determined
courage.  These qualities have won glorious victories on both sides of
the Atlantic, not only in the conflicts of war, but in the contests of
peace, and who can doubt that they are destined to win still greater
ones in the future?


This section contains a summary of much of the preceding period, with
considerable additional matter.  It is believed that teachers and
pupils may find it useful for reference on certain topics
(e.g. feudalism, etc.) which could not be conveniently treated in
detail in the history proper.

I. Government.  II. Religion.  III. Military Affairs.  IV. Literature,
Learning, and Art.  V. General Industry and Commerce.  VI. Mode of
Life, Manners, and Customs

I. Government

79. Beginning of the English Monarchy.

During the greater part of the first four centuries after the Saxon
conquest Britain was divided into a number of tribal settlements, or
petty kingdoms, held by Jutes, Angles, and Saxons, constantly at war
with each other.  In the ninth century, the West Saxons, or
inhabitants of Wessex, succeeded, under the leadership of Egbert, in
practically conquering and uniting the country.  Egbert now assumed
the title of Overlord or Supreme Ruler of the English people.  In time
Britain came to be known, from the name of its largest tribe, the
Angles, as Angle-Land, or England.  Meanwhile the Danes had obtained
possession of a large part of the country on the northeast, but they
eventually united with the English and became one people.

80. The King and the Witan.

The government of England was vested in an elective sovereign,
assisted by the National Council of the Witan, or Wise Men.  It is an
open question where every freeman had the right to attend this
national council,[1], but, in practice, the right became confined to a
small number of the nobles and clergy.

[1] Professor Stubbs and Freeman take opposite views on this point.

81. What the Witan could do.

1. The Witan elected the King (its choice being confined, as a rule,
to the royal family).  2. In case of misgovernment, it deposed him.
3. It made or confirmed grants of public lands.  4. It acted as a
supreme court of justice both in civil and criminal cases.  (See the
Constitutional Summary in the Appendix, p. ii, S3.)

82. What the King and Witan could do.

1. They enacted the laws, both civil and ecclesiastical.  (In most
cases this meant nothing more than stating what the custom was, the
common law being merely the common custom.)  2. They levied taxes.
3. They declared war and made peace.  4. They appointed the chief
officers and bishops of the realm.

83. Land Tenure before the Conquest.

Before they invaded Britain the Saxons and kindred tribes appear to
have held their lands in common.  Each head of a family had a
permanent homestead, but that was all.[1]  "No one," says Caesar, "has
a fixed quantity of land or boundaries to his property.  The
magistrates and chiefs assign every year to the families and
communities who live together, as much land and in such spots as they
think suitable.  The following year they require them to take up
another allotment.

[1] Tacitus ("Germania") says that each house "was surrounded by a
space of its own."

"The chief glory of the tribes is to have their territory surrounded
with as wide a belt as possible of waste land.  They deem it not only
a special mark of valor that every neighboring tribe should be driven
to a distance, and that no stranger should dare to reside in their
vicinity, but at the same time they regard it as a precautionary
measure against sudden attacks."[2]

[2] Caesar, "Gallic War," Book VI.

84. Folkland.

Each tribe, in forming its settlement, seized more land than it
actually needed.  This excess was known as Folkland (the People's
land,[3] and might be used by all alike for pasturing cattle or
cutting wood.  With the consent of the Witan, the King might grant
portions of this Folkland as a reward for services done to himself or
to the community.  Such grants were usually conditional and could only
be made for a time.  Eventually they returned to the community.

Other grants, however, might be made in the same way, which conferred
full ownership.  Such grants were called Bocland (Book land), because
conveyed by writing, or registered in a charter or book.  In time the
King obtained the power of making these grants without having to
consult the Witan, and at last the whole of the Folkland came to be
regarded as the absolute property of the Crown.

85. Duties of Freemen.

Every freeman was obliged to do three things: 1. He must assist in the
maintenance of roads and bridges.  2. He must aid in the repair of
forts.  3. He must serve in case of war.  Whoever neglected or refused
to perform this last and most important of all duties was dclard to be
a "nithing," or infamous coward.[4]

[4] Also written Niding.  The English, as a rule, were more afraid of
this name than of death itself.

86. The Feudal System (see, too, the Constitutional Summary in the
Appendix, p. iii, S5).

The essential principle of the feudal system was the holding of land
on condition of military or other service.  It appears to have
gradually grown up in England from grants made by the King.  In
addition to the Eorls (earls)[1] or nobles by birth, there gradually
grew up a class known as Thanes (companions or servants of the King),
who in time outranked those who were noble by birth.  He would
frequently have occasion to give rewards to the nobles and chief men
for faithful service and for deeds of valor.  As nearly all his wealth
consisted in land, he would naturally give that.  To this gift,
however, he would attach a condition.  On making such a grant the King
required the receiver to agree to furnish a certain number of fully
equipped soldiers to fight for him.  These grants were originally made
for life only, and on death of the recipient they returned to the

[1] The Saxons, or Early English, were divided into three classes:
Eorls (they must nut be confounded with the Danish jarls or earls),
who were noble by birth; Ceorls (churls), or simple freemen; and
slaves.  The slaves were either the absolute property of the master,
or were bound to the soil and sold with it.  This latter class, under
the Norman name of villeins, became numerous after the Norman Conquest
in the eleventh century.  The chieftains of the first Saxon settlers
were called either Ealdormen (aldermen) or Heretogas, the first being
civil or magisterial, the latter military officers.  The Thanes were a
later class, who, from serving the King or some powerful leader,
became noble by military service.

Next, the nobles and other great landholders, following the example of
the King, granted portions of their estates to tenants on similar
conditions, and these again might grant portions to those below them
in return for satisfactory military or other service.

In time it came to be an established principle, that every freeman
below the rank of a noble must be attached to some superior whom he
was bound to serve, and who, on the other hand, was his legal
protector and responsible for his good behavior.  The man who refused
to acknowledge his duty to serve a lord or superior was looked upon as
an outlaw, and might be seized like a robber.  In that respect,
therefore, he would be worse off than the slave, who had a master to
whom he was accountable and who was accountable for him.

Eventually it became common for the small landholders, especially
during the Danish invasions, to seek the protection of some
neighboring lord who had a large band of followers at his command.  In
such cases the freeman gave up his land and received it again on
certain conditions.  The usual form was for him to kneel and, placing
his hands within those of the lord, to swear an oath of homage, saing,
"I BECOME YOUR MAN for the lands which I hold to you, and I will be
faithful to you against all men, saving only the service which I owe
to my lord the King."  On his side the lord solemnly promised to
defend his tenant or vassal in the possession of his property, for
which he was to perform some service to the lord.

In these two ways, first, by grant of lands from the King or a
superior, and, secondly, by the act of homage (known as commendation)
on the part of the recipient when he had given up lands on condition
of protection and had received them back again, the feudal system (a
name derived from feodum, meaning land or property) grew up in
England.  Its growth, however, was irregular and incomplete; and it
should be distinctly understood that it was not until after the Norman
Conquest in the eleventh century that it became fully establised.  It
should also be distinctly understood that William the Conqueror made a
most important change in this system by requiring the tenants of all
the great landholders, as well as their masters, to swear direct
obedience to him (S121).

87. Advantages of Feudalism.

This system had at that time many advantages.  1. The old method of
holding land in common was a wasteful one, since the way in which the
possessor of a field might cultivate it would perhaps spoil it for the
one who received it at the next allotment.  2. In an age of constant
warfare, feudalism protected all classes better than if they had stood
apart, and it often enabled the King to raise a powerful and
well-armed force in the easiest and quickest manner.  3. It cultivated
two important virtues,--fidelity on the part of the vassal, protection
on that of the lord.  It had something of the spirit of the Golden
Rule in it.  Its corner stone was the faithfulness of man to man.
Society had outgrown the outward forms of feudalism, which like every
system had its drawbacks, but it would seem as though it could never
wholly outgrow the feudal principle.

88. Political Divisions; the Sheriff.

Politically the kingdom was divided into townships, hundreds
(districts furnishing a hundred warriors, or supporting a hundred
families), and shires or counties, the shire having been originally,
in some cases, the section settled by an independent tribe, as Sussex,
Essex, etc.

In each shire the King had an officer, called a shire reeve or
sherrif,[1] who represented him, collected the taxes due the Crown,
and saw to the execution of the laws.  In like manner, the town and
the hundred had a headman of its own choosing to see to matters of
general interest.

[1] Reeve: a man in authority, or having charge of something

89. The Courts.

As the nation had its assembly of wise men acting as a high court, so
each shire, hundred, and town had its court, which all freemen might
attend.  There, without any special judge, jury, or lawyers, cases of
all kinds were tried and settled by the voice of the entire body, who
were both judge and jury in themselves.

90. Methods of Procedure; Compurgation.

In these courts there were two methods of procedure; first, the
accused might clear himself of the charge brought against him by
compurgations[1]; that is, by swearing that he was not guilty and
getting a number of reputable neighbors to swear that they believed
his oath.

If their oaths were not satisfactory, witnesses might be brought to
swear to some particular fact.  In ever case the value of the oath was
graduated according to the rank of the person, that of a man of high
rank being worth as much as that of twelve common men.

91. The Ordeal.

Secondly, if the accused could not clear himself in this way, he was
obliged to submit to the ordeal.[2]  This usually consisted in
carrying a piece of hot iron a certain distance, or in plunging the
arm up to the elbow in boiling water.

[2] Ordeal: a severe test or judgment

The person who underwent the ordeal appealed to God to prove his
innocence by protecting him from harm.  Rude as both these methods
were, they were better than the old tribal method, which permitted
every man or every man's family to be the avenger of his wrongs.

92. The Common Law.

The laws by which these cases were tried were almost always ancient
customs, few of which had been reduced to writing.  They formed that
body of Common Law[3] which is the foundation of the modern system of
justice both in England and America.

[3] So called, in distinction from the statute laws made by

93. Penalties.

The penalties inflicted by these courts consisted chiefly of fines.
Each man's life had a certain "wergild" or money value.  The fine for
the murder of a man of very high rank was 2400 shillings; that of a
simple freeman was only one twelfth as much.

A slave could neither testify in court nor be punished by the court;
for the man in that day who held no land had no rights.  If a slave
was convicted of crime, his master paid the fine, and then flogged him
until he had got his money's worth out of him.  Treason was punished
with death, and common scolds were ducked in a pond until they were
glad to hold their tongues.  These methods of administering justice
were crude, but they had the great merit of being effective.  They
aimed to do two very necessary things: first, to protect the community
against dangerous criminals; secondly, to teach those criminals that
"the way of the transgressor is hard."

II. Religion

94. The Ancient Saxon Faith.

Before their conversion to Christianity, the Saxons worshiped Woden
and Thor, names preserved in Wednesday (Woden's day) and Thursday
(Thor's day).  The first appears to have been considered to be the
creator and ruler of heaven and earth; the second was his son, the god
of thunder, slayer of evil spirits, and friend of man.

The essential element of their religion was the deification of
strength, courage, and fortitude.  It was a faith well suited to a
warlike people.  It taught that there was a heaven for the brave and a
hell for cowards.

95. What Christianity did.

Christianity, on the contrary, laid emphasis on the virtues of
self-sacrifice and sympathy.  It took the side of the weak and the
helpless.  The Church itself held slaves, yet it labored for
emancipation.  It built monasteries and encouraged industry and
education.  The church edifice was a kind of open Bible.

Very few who entered the sacred building then could have spelled out a
single word of either the Old or New Testament, even if they had then
been translated from Latin into English; but all, from the poorest
peasant or the meanest slave up to the greatest noble, could read the
meaning of the Scripture histories painted in brilliant colors on wall
and window.

The church, furthermore, was a peculiarly sacred place.  It was
powerful to shield those who were in danger.  If a criminal, or a
person fleeing from vengeance, took refuge in it, he could not be
seized until forty days had expired, during which time he had the
privilege of leaving the kingdom and going into exile.

This "right of sanctuary" was often a needful protection in an age of
violence.  In time, however, the system became an intolerable abuse,
since it enabled robbers and desperadoes of all kinds to defy the
law.  The right was modified at different times, but was not wholly
abolished until 1624, in the reign of James I.

III. Military Affairs

96. The Army.

The army consisted of a national militia, or "fyrd," and a feudal
militia.  From the earliest times all freemen were obliged to fight in
the defense of the country.  Under the feudal system, every large
landholder had to furnish the King a stipulated number of men, fully
equipped with armor and weapons.  As this method was found more
effective than the first, it gradually superseded it.

The Saxons always fought on foot.  They wore helmets and rude,
flexible armor, formed of iron rings, or of stout leather covered with
small plates of iron and other substances.  They carried oval-shaped
shields.  Their chief weapons were the spear, javelin, battle-ax, and
sword.  The wars of this period were those of the different tribes
seeking to get the advantage over each other, or of the English with
the Danes.

97. The Navy.

Until Alfred's reign the English had no navy.  From that period they
maintained a fleet of small warships to protect the coast from
invasion.  Most of these vessels appear to have been furnished by
certain ports on the south coast.

IV. Literature, Learning, and Art

98. Runes.

The language of the Saxons was of Low-German origin.  Many of the
words resemble the German of the present day.  When written, the
characters were called runes, mysteries or secrets.  The chief use of
these runes was to mark a sword hilt, or some article of value, or to
form a charm against evil and witchcraft.

It is supposed that one of the earliest runic inscriptions is the
following, which dates from about 400 A.D.  It is cut on a drinking
horn,[1] and (reproduced in English characters) stands thus:


        I, Hlewagastir, son of Holta, made the horn

[1] The golden horn of Gallehas, found on the Danish-German frontier.

With the introduction of Christianity the Latin alphabet, from which
our modern English alphabet is derived, took the place of the runic
characters, which bore some resemblance to Greek, and English
literature began with the coming of the monks.

99. The First Books.

One of the first English books of great value was the "Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle," a history covering a period beginning 1 A.D. and ending in
1154.  The work was probably written by the monks in Canterbury,
Peterborough, and other monasteries.  It may be considered as an
annual register of iportant events.  Thorpe says of it, "No other
nation can produce any history written in its own vernacular, at all
approaching the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" either in antiquity,
truthfulness, or extent, the historical books of the Bible alone

Though written in prose, it countains various fragments of poetry, of
which the following (rendered into modern English), on the death of
Edward the Confessor (1066), may be quoted as an example:

"Then suddenly came                     On Harold's self,
 Death the bitter                       A noble Earl!
 And that dear prince seized.           Who in all times
 Angels bore                            Faithfully hearkened
 His steadfast soul                     Unto his lord
 Into heaven's light.                   In word and deed,
 But the wise King                      Nor ever failed
 Bestowed his realm                     In aught the King
 On one grown great,                    Had needed of him!"

Other early books were Caedmon's poem of the Creation, also in
English, and Bede's "Church History" of Britain, written in Latin, a
work giving a full and most interesting account of the coming of
Augustine and his first preaching in Kent.  All of these books were
written by the monks in different monasteries.

100. Art.

The English were skillful workers in metal, especially in gold and
silver, and also in the illumination of manuscripts.[1]  Alfred's
Jewel, a fine specimen of the blue-enameled gold of the ninth century,
is preseved in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.  It bears the
inscription: "Alfred me heht gewurcan," Alfred caused me to be worked
[or made].

[1] These illuminations get their name from the gold, silver, and
bright colors used in the pictures, borders, and decorated letters
with which the monks ornamented these books.  For beautiful specimens
of he work, see Silvestre's "Pale'ographie."

The women of that period excelled in weaving fine linen and woolen
cloth and in embroidering tapestry.

101. Architecture.

In architecture no advance took place until very late.  The small
ancient church at Bradford-on-Avon in the south of England belongs to
the Saxon period.  The Saxon stonework exhibited in a few buildings
like the church tower of Earl's Barton, Northamptonshire, is an
attempt to imitate timber with stone, and has been called "stone
carpentry."[2]  Edward the Confessor's work in Westminster Abbey was
not Saxon, but Norman, he having obtained his plans, and probably his
builders, from Normandy.

[2] See Parker's "Introduction to Gothic Architecture" for
illustrations of this work.

V. General Industry and Commerce

102. Farms; Slave Trade.

The farming of this period, except on the Church lands, was of the
rudest description.  Grain was ground by the women and slaves in stone
hand mills.  Late, the mills were driven by wind or water power.  The
pricipal commerce was in wool, lead, tin, and slaves.  A writer of
that time says he used to see long trains of young men and women tied
together, offered for sale, "for men were not ashamed," he adds, "to
sell their nearest relatives, and even their own children."

VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs

103. The Town.

The first Saxon settlements were quite generally on the line of the
old Roman roads.  They were surrounded by a rampart of earth set with
a thick hedge or with rows of sharp stakes.  Outside this was a deep
ditch.  These places were called towns,[1] from "tun," meaning a fence
or hedge.  The chief fortified towns were called "burghs" or
boroughs.  Later on, this class of towns generally had a corporate
form of government, and eventually they sent representatives to
Parliament (S213).

[1] One or more houses might constitute a town.  A single farmhouse is
still so called in Scotland.

104. The Hall.

The buildings in these towns were of wood.  Those of the lords or
chief men were called "halls," from the fact that they consisted
mainly of a hall, or large room, used as a sitting, eating, and often
as a sleeping room,--a bundle of straw or some skins thrown on the
floor serving for beds.  There were no chimneys, but a hole in the
roof let out the smoke.  If the owner was rich, the walls would be
decorated with bright-colored tapestry, and with suits of armor and
shields hanging from pegs.

105. Life in the Hall.

Here in the evening the master supped on a raised platform at one end
of the "hall," while his followers ate at a lower table.

The Saxons were hard drinkers as well as hard fighters.  After the
meal, while horns of ale and mead were circulating, the minstrels,
taking their harps, would sing songs of battle and ballads of wild

Outside the "hall" were the "bowers," or chambers for the master and
his family, and, perhaps, an upper chamber for a guest, called later
by the Normans a sollar, or sunny room.

If a stranger approached a town, he was obliged to blow a horn;
otherwise he might be slain as an outlaw.

Here in the midst of rude plenty the Saxons, or Early English, lived a
life of sturdy independence.  They were rough, strong, outspoken, and
fearless.  Theirs was not the nimble brain, for that was to come with
another people (the Normans), though a people originally of the same
race.  The mission of the Saxons was to lay the foundation; or, in
other words, to furnish the muscle, grit, and endurance, without which
the nimble brain is of little permanent value.

106. Guilds.

The inhabitants of the towns and cities had various associations
called guilds (from gild, a payment or contribution).  The object of
these was mutual assistance.  The most important were the Frith guilds
or Peace guilds and the Merchant guilds.  The former constituted a
voluntary police force to preserve order and bring thieves to

Each member contributed a small sum to form a common fund which was
useed to make good any losses incurred by robbery or fire.  The
association held itself responsible for the good behavior of its
members, and kept a sharp eye on strangers and stragglers, who had to
give an account of themselves or leave the country.

The Merchant guilds were organized, apparantly at a late period, to
protect and extend trade.  After the Norman Conquest they came to be
very wealthy and influential.  In addition to the above, there were
social and religious guilds, which made provision for feasts, for
maintenance of religious services, and for the relief of the poor and
the sick.


"In other countries the struggle has been to gain liberty; in England,
to preserve it." -- Alison



Building the Norman Superstructure -- The Age of Feudalism

Norman Sovereigns

William I, 1066-1087
William II, 1087-1100
Henry I, 1100-1135
Stephen (House of Blois), 1135-1154

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation will be found in the
Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others are in

107. William marches on London; he grants a Charter to the City.

Soon after the great and decisive battle of Hastings (S74), WIlliam
the Conqueror advanced on London and set fire to the Southwark
suburbs.  The Londoners, terrified by the flames, and later cut off
from help from the north by the Conqueror's besieging army, opened
their gates and surrendered without striking a blow.  In return,
William, shortly after his coronation, granted the city a charter, by
which he guaranteed to the inhabitants the liberties which they had
enjoyed under Edward the Confessor (S65).

That document may still be seen among the records in the Guildhall, in
London.[2]  It is a narrow strip of parchment not the length of a
man's hand.  It contains a few lines in English, to which William's
royal seal was appended.  It has indeed been said on high authority
that the King also signed the charter with a cross; but no trace of it
appears on the parchment.  The truth seems to be that he who wielded
the sword with such terrible efficiency disdained handling the pen

[2] See Constitutional Documents in the Appendix, p. xxxiii.

108. The Coronation; William returns to Normandy.

On the following Christmas Day (1066) William was anointed and crowned
in Westminster Abbey.  His accession to the throne marked the union of
England and Normandy (S191).  (See map facing p. 54).  He assumed the
title of "King of the English," which had been used by Edward the
Confessor and by Harold.  The title "King of England" did not fully
and finally come into use until John's accession, more than a hundred
and thirty years later.  William did not remain in London, but made
Winchester, in the south of England, his capital.  In the spring
(1067) he sailed for Normandy, where he had left his queen, Matilda,
to govern in his absence.

While on the Continent he intrusted England to the hands of two
regents, one his half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, the other his
friend William Fitz-Osbern; the former he had made Earl of Kent, the
latter Earl of Hereford.

During the next three years there were outbreaks and uprisings in the
lowlands of Cambridgeshire and the moors of Yorkshire, besides
incursions of both Danes and Scots.

109. William quells Rebellion in the North (1068).

The oppresive rule of the regents (S108) soon caused a rebellion, and
in December William returned to England to put it down.  He found the
task a hard one.  The King of Denmark made it all the harder by
sending over a powerful fleet to held the English.  William bribed the
Danish commanders and they "sailed away without striking a blow."
Then, little by little, he brought the land to obedience.  By forced
marches in midwinter, by roads cast up through bogs, and by sudden
night attacks William accomplished the end he sought.

But (1068) news came of a fresh revolt in the north, accompanied by
another invasion of foreign barbarians.  Then William, roused by
terrible anger, swore by the "splendor of God" that he would lay waste
the land.

He made good his oath.  For a hundred miles beyond the river Humber in
Yorkshire he ravaged the country, burning villages, destroying houses,
crops, and cattle, and reduced the wretched people to such destitution
that many sold themselves for slaves to escape starvation.  Having
finished his work in the north, he turned toward the ancient Roman
city of Chester, in the west, and captured it.  (See map facing
p. 38.)

110. Hereward (1091).

Every part of the land was now in William's power except an island in
the swamps of Ely, in the east of England.  There the Englishman
Hereward, with his resolute little band of fellow countrymen,
continued to defy the power of the Conqueror.  (See map facing p. 38.)
"Had there been three more men like him in the island," said one of
William's own soldiers, "the Normans would never have entered it."
But as there were not three more, the Conquest was at length

111. Necessity of William's Severity.

The work of death had been fearful.  But it was better that England
should suffer from these pitiless measures than that it should sink
into anarchy, or into subjection to hordes of Northmen (S53).  For
those fierce barbarians destroyed not because they desired to build
something better, but because they hated civilization and all its

Whatever William's faults may have been, his great object was to build
up a government better than any England had yet seen.  Hence his
severity, hence his castles and forts, by which he made sure of
retaining his hold upon whatever he had gained.

112. William builds the Tower of London.

We have seen that William gave London a charter (S107); but
overlooking the place in which the charter was kept, he built the
Tower of London to hold the turbulent city in wholesome restraint.
That tower, as fortress, palace, and prison, stands as the dark
background of most events in English history.

It was the forerunner of a multitude of Norman castles.  They rose on
the banks of every river, and on the summit of every rocky height,
from the west hill of Hastings to the peak of Derbyshire, and from the
banks of the Thames to those of the Tweed.  Side by side with these
strongholds there also rose a great number of monasteries, churches,
and cathedrals.

113. William confiscates the Land; Classes of Society.

Hand in hand with the progress of conquest, the confiscation of land
went on.  William had seized the lands belonging to Harold (S67) and
those of the chief men associated with him, and had given them to his
own followers in England.  In this way, all the greatest estates and
the most important offices passed into the hands of the Normans.  The
King made these royal grants on the express condition that those who
received them should furnish him a certain number of armed men
whenever he should demand them.

Two great classes of society now existed in England.  First, the
leading Norman conquerors, who, as chief tenants or landholders under
the Crown, and as peers of the realm, had the title of barons.  They
numbered about fifteen hundred, and, as we have just seen, they were
all pledged to draw their swordss in behalf of the King.  Secondly,
the English who had been reduced to a subordinate state; most of these
now held their land as grants from the Norman barons on condition of
some kind of service.  A majority of these men were no longer entirely
free, while some were actual slaves.  The greater part of this servile
class were villeins or farm laborers (S150).  They were bound to the
soil, and could be sold with it, but not, like the slaves, separately
from it.  They could be compelled to perform any menial labor, but
usually held their plots of land and humble cottages on condition of
plowing a certain number of acres or doing a certain number of days'
work in each year.  In time the villeins generally obtained the
privilege of paying a fixed money rent, in place of labor, and their
condition gradually improved.

114. How William distributed his Gifts.

Yet it is noticeable that when William granted estates to his Norman
followers (S113), he was careful not to give any baron too much land
in any one county or shire.  His experience in Normandy had taught him
that it was better to divide than to concentrate the power of the
great nobles, who were often only too ready to plot to get the crown
for themselves.

Thus William developed and extended the feudal system of land
tenure,[1] already in existence in outline among the Saxons (S86),
until it covered every part of the realm.  He, however, kept this
system strictly subordinate to himself, and we shall see that before
the close of his reign he held a great meeting by which he got
absolute control over it (S121).

[1] See, too, the Constitutional Summary in the Appendix, p. v, S6.

115. The Three Counties Palatine.

The only exceptions which William made in these carefully restricted
grants were the three Counties Palatine,[1] which he created.  They
bordered on Wales in the west, Scotland in the north, and the English
Channel in the southeast.  To the earls of these counties of Chester,
Durham, and Kent, which were especially liable to attack from Wales,
Scotland, or France, William thought it expedient to give almost royal
power, which descended in their families, thus making the title
hereditary.  (See map facing p. 436.)

[1] Palatine (from palatium, palace): having rights equal with the
King in his palace.  The county of Chester is now Cheshire.  Durham
bordered on Northumberland, then opposed to William.  Shropshire was
practically a fourth County Palatine until Henry I.  Later, Lancaster
was added to the list.

116. How William stopped Assassination; the Law of Englishry; Gregory

The hard rule of the Norman nobles caused many secret assassinations.
To put a stop to these crimes, William enacted the Law of Englishry.
It compelled the people of the district where a murder was perpetrated
to pay a heavy fine for every Norman so slain; for it was assumed that
every man found murdered was a Norman, unless proof could be brought
to the contrary.

While these events were taking place in England, Hildebrand, the
archdeacon who had urged the Pope to favor William's expedition
against England (S68), ascended the papal throne, under the title of
Gregory VII.  He was the ablest, the most ambitious, and, in some
respects, he most farsighted man who had been elected supreme head of
the Catholic Church.

117. State of Europe; Gregory's Scheme of Reform.

Europe was at that time in a condition little better than anarchy.  A
perpetual quarrel was going on between the feudal barons.  The Church,
too, as we have seen (SS53, 60), had temporarily lost much of its
power for good.  Pope Gregory conceived a scheme of reform which he
intended should be both wide and deep.

Like Dunstan (S60), he determined to correct the abuses which had
crept into the monasteries.  He resolved to have a priesthood who
should devote themselves body and soul to the interests of the Church;
he resolved to bring all society into submission to that priesthood;
finally, he resolved to make the priesthood itself acknowledge him as
its sole master.  His purpose in this gigantic scheme was a noble one;
it was to establish the unity and peace of Europe.

118. The Pope and the Conqueror, 1076.

Pope Gregory looked to William for help in this matter.  The
Conqueror, who was a zealous Catholic, was ready to give that help,
but with limitations.  He pledged himself to aid in reforming the
English Church, which had enjoyed "an insular and barbaric
independence."  He undertook to remove inefficient men from its high
places.  The King also agreed to do something that had never been done
before in England, namely, to establish separate courts (S151) for the
trial of Church cases (SS164, 165).  Finally, he agreed to pay the
customary yearly tax to Rome, called "Peter's pence."

But Pope Gregory was not satisfied.  He demanded that the Conqueror
should do him homage for his crown, and should swear "to become his
man" (S86).  This William respectfully, but decidedly, refused to do,
saying that as no "King of the English before him had ever become the
Pope's man, so neither would he."  In taking this action the King
declared himself to be an obedient and affectionate son of the "Holy
Catholic Church."  But at the same time he laid down these three rules
to show that he would not tolerate any interference with his power as
an independent English sovereign:

1. That no Pope should be acknowledged in England, or letters from the
Pope received there, without his sanction.
2. That no national synod or meeting of churchmen (S48) should enact
any decrees binding the English Church, without his confirmation.
3. That no baron or officer of his should be expelled from the Church
without his permission.[1]

[1] Taswell-Langmead's "English Constitutional History," p. 59;
Professor W. Stubb's "Constitutional History of England," I, 286.

It is noticeable that Pope Gregory never seems to have censured
William for the position he took,--perhaps because one brave man
always understands and respects another.

Yet a little later than this (1077), when Henry IV, Emperor of
Germany, refused to comply with certain demand made by Gregory VII,
the German monarch had to submit.  More than this, he was compelled to
stand barefooted in the snow before the Pope's palace, waiting three
days for permission to enter and beg forgiveness.

119. William a Stern but Just Ruler; the Jews; the New Forest.

Considering his love of power and strength of will, the reign of
William was conspicuous for its justice.  He was harsh, but generally
fair.  He protected the Jewish traders who came over to England in his
reign, for he saw that their commercial enterprise and their financial
skill would be of immense value in developing the country.  Then too,
if the royal treasury should happen to run dry, he thought it might be
convenient to coax or compel the Jews to lend him a round sum.

On the other had, the King seized a tract of over sixty thousand acres
in Hampshire for a hunting ground, which he named the New Forest.[1]
It was said that William destroyed many churches and estates in order
to form this forest, but these accounts appear to have been greatly
exaggerated.  The real grievance was not so much the appropriation of
the land, which was sterile and of little value, but it was the
enactment of the savage Forest Laws.  These ordinances made he life of
a stag of more value than that of a man, and decreed that anyone found
hunting the royal deer should have both eyes torn out (S205).

[1] Forest: As here used, this does not mean a region covered with
woods, but simply a section of country, partially wooded and suitable
for game, set apart as a royal park or hunting ground.  As William
made his residence at Winchester, in Hampshire, in the south of
England (see map facing p. 38), he naturally took land in that
vicinity for the chase.

120. The Great Survey; Domesday Book, 1086.

Not quite twenty years after his coronation William ordered a survey
and valuation to be made of the whole realm outside of London.  The
only exceptions were certain border counties on the north were war had
left little to record save heaps of ruins and ridges of grass-grown
graves (S109).

The returns of that survey were known as Domesday or Doomsday Book.
The English people said this name was given to it, because, like the
Day of Doom, it spared no one.  It recorded every piece of property
and every particular concerning it.  As the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle"
(S46) indignantly declared, "not a rood of land, not a peasant's hut,
not an ox, cow, pig, or even a hive of bees escaped."

While the report showed the wealth of the country, it also showed thje
suffering it had passed through in the revolts against William.  Many
towns had fallen into decay.  Some were nearly depopulated.  IN Edward
the Confessor's reign (S65) York had 1607 houses; at the date of the
survey it had but 967, while Oxford, which had had 721 houses, had
then only 243.

The census and assessment proved of the highest importance to William
and his successors.  The people indeed said bitterly that the King
kept to book constantly by him, in order "that he might be able to see
at any time of how much more wool the English flock would bear
fleecing."  The object of the work, however, was not to extort money,
but to present a full and exact report of the financial and military
resources of the kingdom which might be directly available for revenue
and defense.

121. The Great Meeting; the Oath of Allegiance to William, 1086.

In the midsummer following the completion of Domesday Book, William
summoned all the barons and chief landholders of the realm, with their
principal vassals or tenants, to meet him on Salisbury Plain,
Wiltshire.[1]  It is said that the entire assemblage numbered sixty
thousand.  There was a logical connection between that summons and the
great survey (S120).  Each man's possesions and each man's
responsibility were now known.  Thus Domesday Book prepared the way
for the action that was to be taken there.

[1] See map of England facing p. 436.  Wiltshire is in the south of
England.  Alfred had established the seat of government at Winchester
in Hampshire, but under Edward the Confessor and Harold it was
transferred to Westminster (London); the honor was again restored to
Winchester by William, who made it his principal residence.  This was
perhaps the reason why he chose Salisbury Plain (the nearest open
region) for the great meeting.  It was held where the modern city of
Salisbury stands.

The place chosen was historic ground.  On that field William had once
reviewed his victorious troops.  Toward the north of the widespread
plain rose the rugged columns of Stonehenge (S3), surrounded by the
burial mounds of prehistoric peoples.  On the south rose the fortified
hill of Old Sarum, scarred by British and by Roman entrenchments.
William probably made his headquarters in the Norman castle then
standing on that hill.  On the plain below were the encampments of all
the chief landholders of England.

122. The Oath of Allegiance.

There William the Conqueror finished his work.  There not only every
baron, but every baron's free vassal or tenant, from Cornwall to the
Scottish borders, bowed before the King and swore to be "his man"
(S86).  By that act England was made one.  By it, it was settled that
every landholder in the realm, of whatever condition, was bound first
of all to fight in behalf of the Crown, even if in so doing he had to
fight against his own lord.[1]  The barons broke this oath in the next
reign (S130), but the moral obligation to keep it still remained

[1] See SS86, 150; see also the Constitutional Summary in the
Appendix, p. v, S6.  Even if the men should disregard this oath of
allegiance, they could not help feeling that the principle it
represented had been acknowledged by them.

123. What William had done.

A score of years before, William had landed, seeking a throne to which
no law had given him any claim whatever (S67).[2]  But Nature had
elected him to it when she endowed him with power to take, power to
use, and power to hold.  Under Harold, England was a kingdom divided
against itself (S71).  It was fortunate for the country that William
came; for out of chaos, or affairs fast drifting to chaos, his strong
hand, clear brain, and resolute purpose brought order, beauty, safety,
and stability.  We may say, therefore, with an eminent Fernch
historian, that "England owes her liberties to her having been
conquered by the Normans."[3]

[2] "William, in short, had no king of right to the crown, whether by
birth, bequest, or election." (E. A. Freeman's "Short History of the
Norman Conquest," p. 65.)
[3] Guizot; see also note 1 on page 64.

124. William's Death (1087).

In less than a year from that time, William went to Normandy to quell
an invasion led by his eldest son, Robert.  As he rode down a steep
street in Mantes, his horse stumbled and he received a fatal injury.
He was carried to the priory of St. Gervase, just outside the city of

Early in the morning he was awakened by the great cathedral bell.  "It
is an hour of praise," his attendant said to him, "when the priests
give thanks for the new day."  William lifted up his hands in prayer
and expired.

125. His Burial (1087).

His remains were taken for interment to St. Stephen's church, which he
had built in the city of Caen, Normandy.  As they were preparing to
let down the body into the grave, a man suddenly stepped forward and
forbade the burial.  William, he said, had taken the land, on which
the church stood, from his father by violence.  He demanded payment.
The corpse was left on the bier, and inquiry instituted, and not until
the debt was discharged was the body lowered to its last resting

"Thus," says the old chronicle, "he who had been a powerful king, and
the lord of so many territories, possessed not then of all his lands
more than seven feet of earth," and not even that unttil the cash was
paid for it.  But William's bones were not to rest when finally laid
in the grave, for less than five centuries later (1532) the French
Protestants dug them up and scattered them.

126. Summary (1066-1087).

The results of the Norman Conquest may be thus summed up:

1. The Conquest was not the subjugation of the English by a different
race, but rather a victory won for their advantage by a branch of
their own race.[1]
2. It found England a divided country (S71); it made it a united
kingdom.  It also united England and Normandy (SS108, 191), and
brought the new English kingdom into closer contact with the higher
civilization of the Continent.  This introduced fresh intellectual
stimulus, and gave to the Anglo-Saxon a more progressive spirit.
3. It modified the English language by the influence of the
Norman-French element, thus giving it greater flexibility, refinement,
and elegance of expression.
4. It substituted for the fragile and decaying structures of wood
generally built by the Saxons, Norman castles, abbeys, and cathedrals
of stone.
5. It hastened influences, which were already at work, for the
consolidation of the nation.  It developed and completed the feudal
form of land tenure, but it made that tenure strictly subordinate to
the Crown, and so freed it, in great measure, from the evils of
Continental feudalism (SS86, 150).
6. It reorganized the English Church and defined the relation of the
Crown to that Church and to the Pope (S118).
7. It abolished the four great earldoms (S64), which had been a
constant source of weakness, danger, and division; it put an end to
the Danish invasions; it brought the whole of England under a strong
monarchical government, to which not only all the great nobles, but
also their vassals or tenants, were compelled to swear allegiance
(SS121, 122).
8. It made no radical changes in the English laws, but enforced
impartial obedience to them among all classes.[2]

[1] It has already been shown that Norman, Saxon, and Dane were
originally branches of the Teutonic or German race. (SS36, 62).
[2] Professor E. A. Freeman, who is the highest authority on this
subject (see especially his "Short History of the Norman Conquest"),
holds the view that the coming of William was, on the whole, the
greatest advantage to England.  Nearly all leading historians agree
with him; for a different view consult Professor C. Oman's "England
before the Norman Conquest," pp. 648-651.

William Rufus[3]--1087-1100

[3] William Rufus: William the Red, a nickname probably derived from
his red face.

127. William the Conqueror's Bequest (1087).

William the Conqueror left three sons,--Robert, William Rufus, and
Henry.  He also left a daughter, Adela, who married a powerful French
nobleman, Stephen, Count of Blois.  On his deathbed (S124) William
bequeathed Normandy to Robert.  He expressed a wish that William Rufus
should become ruler over England, while to Henry he left five thousand
pounds of silver, with the prediction that he would ultimately be the
greatest of them all.

Before his eyes were closed, the two sons, who were with him, hurried
away,--William Rufus to seize the realm of England, Henry to get
possession of his treasure.  Robert was not present.  His recent
rebellion (S124) would alone have been sufficient reason for alloting
to him the lesser portion; but even had he deserved the scepter,
William knew it required a firmer hand than his to hold it.

128. Condition of England.

France was simple an aggregation of independent and mutually hostile
dukedoms.  The ambition of the Norman leaders threatened to bring
England into the same condition.  During the twenty-one years of
William the Conqueror's reign, the Norman barons on the Continent had
constantly tried to break loose from his restraining power.  It was
certain, then, that the news of his death would be the signal for
still more desperate attempts.

129. Character of William Rufus.

Rufus had his father's ability and resolution, but none of his
father's conscience.  As the historian of that time declared, "he
feared God but little, man not at all."  He had Caesar's faith in
destiny, and said to a boatman who hesitated to set off with him in a
storm at his command, "Did you ever hear of a king's being drowned?"

130. His Struggle with the Barons.

The barons broke the solemn oath which they had taken in the previous
reign (S122) to be faithful to the Crown.  During the greater part of
the thirteen years of the new King's reign they were fighting against
him.  On William's part it was a battle of centralization against
disintegration.  He rallied the country people to his help--those who
fought with bows and spears.  "Let every man," said the King, "who
would not be branded infamous and a coward, whether he live in town or
country, leave everything and come to me" (S85).

In answer to that appeal, the English people rallied around their
Norman sovereign, and gained the day for him under the walls of
Rochester Castle, Kent.  Of the two evils, the tyranny of one or the
tyranny of many, he first seemed to them preferable.

131. William's Method of raising Money; he defrauds the Church.

If in some respects William the Conqueror had been a harsh ruler, his
son was worse.  His brother Robert had mortgaged Normandy to him in
order to get money to join the first crusade (S182).  William Rufus
raised whatever funds he desired by the most oppressive and
unscrupulous means.

William's most trusted counselor was Ranulf Flambard.  Flambard had
brains without principle.  He devised a system of plundering both
Church and people in the King's interest.  Lanfranc, Archbishop of
Canterbury, died three years after William's accession.  Through
Flambard's advice the King left the archbishopric vacant and
appropriated its revenues to himself.  He practiced the same course
with respect to every office of the Church.

132. The King makes Anselm Archbishop (1093).

While this process of systematized robbery was going on, the King
suddenly fell ill.  In his alarm lest death was at hand, he determined
to make reparation to the defrauded and insulted priesthood.  He
invited Anselm, the abbot of a famous monastery in Normandy, to accept
the archbishopric.  Anselm, who was old and feeble, declined, saying
that he and the King could not work together.  "It would be," said he,
"like yoking a sheep and a bull."

But the king would take no refusal.  Calling Anselm to his bedside, he
forced the staff of office into his hands.  Anselm became the champion
of the freedom of the Church.  But when the King recovered, he resumed
his old practices and treated the Archbishop with such insult that he
left the country for a time.

133. William's Merit; his Death.

William II's one merit was that he kept England from being devoured
piecemeal by the Norman barons, who regarded her as a pack of hounds
in full chase regard the hare that is on the point of falling into
their rapacious jaws.

Like his father, he insisted on keeping the English Church independent
of the ever-growing power of Rome (S118).  In both cases his motives
were purely selfish, but the result to the country was good.

His power came suddenly to an end (1100).  He had gone in the morning
to hunt in the New Forest (S119) with his brother Henry.  He was found
lying dead among the bushes, pierced by an arrow shot by an unknown

William's character speaks in his deeds.  It was hard, cold, despotic,
yet in judging it we should consider the woulds of that quaint old
writer, Thomas Fuller, when he says, "No pen hath originally written
the life of this King but what was made with a monkish penknife, and
no wonder if his picture seems bad, which was thus drawn by his

134. Summary.

Notwithstanding William's oppression of both Church and people, his
reign checked the revolt of the baronage and prevented the kingdom
from falling into anarchy like that existing in France.

Henry I--1100-1135

135. Henry's Charter of Liberties.

Henry, third son of William the Conqueror, was the first of the Norman
kings who was born and educated in England.  Foreseeing a renewal of
the contest with the barons (S130), he issued a Charter of Liberties
on his accession, by which he bound himself to reform the abuses which
had been practiced by his brother William Rufus.  The charter
guaranteed: (1) The rights of the Church (which William Rufus had
constantly violated); (2) the rights of the nobles and landholders
against extortionate demands by the Crown; (3) the right of all
classes to protection of the old English customs or laws.

The King sent a hundred copies of this important document to the
leading abbots and bishops for preservation in their respective
monasteries and cathedrals (S45).

As this charter was the earliest written and formal guarantee of good
government ever given by the Crown to the nation, it marks an
important epoch in English history.  It may be compared to the
statements of principles and pledges issued by our modern political
parties.  It was a virtual admission that the time had come when even
a Norman sovereign could not dispense with the support of the
country.  It was therefore an admission of the truth that while a
people can exist without a king, no king can exist without a people.

Furthermore, this charter established a precedent for those which were
to follow, and which reached a final development in the Great Charter
wrested from the unwilling hand of King John somewhat more than a
century later (S198).  Henry further strengthened his position with
his English subjects by his marriage with Maud, nice of the Saxon
Edgar, a direct descendant of King Alfred (S51).

136. The Appointment of Bishops settled.

King Henry also recalled Anselm (S132) and reinstated him in his
office.  But the peace was of short duration.  The Archbishop
insisted, as did the Pope, that the power of appointment of bishops
should be vested wholly in Rome.  The King was equally determined that
such appointments should spring from himself.  Like William the
Conqueror (S118), he declared: "No one shall remain in my land who
will not do me homage" (S86).

The quarrel was eventually settled by compromise.  The Pope was to
invest the bishop with ring and crosier, or pastoral staff of office,
as emblems of the spiritual power; the King, on the other hand, was to
grant the lands from which he bishop drew his revenues, and in return
was to receive his homage or oath of allegiance.

This acknowledgement of royal authority by the Church was of great
importance, since it gave the King power as feudal lord to demand from
each bishop his quota of fully equipped knights or cavalry soldiers
(SS150, 152).  This armed force would usually be commanded by the
bishop in person (S140).

137. Henry's Quarrel with Robert; the "Lion of Justice."

While this Church question was in dispute, Henry had still more
pressing matters to attend to.  His elder brother Robert (SS124, 127)
had invaded England and demanded the crown.  The greater part of the
Norman nobles supported this claim, but the English people held to
Henry.  Finally, in consideration of a heavy money payment, Robert
agreed to return to Normandy and leave his brother in full possession
of the realm.  On his departure, Henry resolved to drive out the
prominent nobles who had aided Robert.  Of these, the Earl of
Shrewsbury, called "Robert the Devil," was the leader.  With the aid
of the English, who hated him for his cruelty, the earl was at last
compelled to leave the country.

He fled to Normandy, and, in violation of a previous agreement, was
received by Henry's brother Robert.  Upon that, Henry declared war,
and, crossing the Channel, fought (1106) the battle of Tinchebrai,[1]
by which he conquered and held Normandy as completely as William, Duke
of Normandy, had conquered England forty years before.  The King
carried his brother captive to Wales, and kept him in prison during
his life in Cardiff Castle.  This ended the contest with the nobles.

[1] Tinchebrai, Normandy, in the region west of Caen and Avranches.
(See map facing p. 54.)

By his uprightness, his decision, his courage, and by his organization
of better courts of law (S147), Henry fairly won the honorable title
of the "Lion of Justice"; for the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" says, "No
man durst misdo against another in his time."[2]

[2] See, too, the Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix,
p. vi, S7.

138. Summary.

The three leading points of Henry I's reign are: (1) the
self-limitation of the royal power embodied in his Charter of
Liberties; (2) the settlement of old disputes between the King and the
Church; (3) the banishment of the chief of the mutinous barons, and
the victory of Tinchebrai, with its important results.


139. The Rival Candidates.

With Henry I's death two candidates presented themselves for the
throne,--Henry's daughter, Matilda (for he left no lawful son), and
his nephew, Stephen.  In France the custom of centuries had determined
that the crown should never descend to a female.  It was an age when
the sovereign was expected to lead his army in person, and it
certainly was not expedient that a woman should hold a position one of
whose chief duties she could not discharge.  This French custom had,
of course, no force in England; but the Norman nobles must have
recognized its reasonableness; or if not, the people did.[1]

[1] Before Henry's death, the baronage had generally sworn to support
Matilda (commonly called the Empress Matilda, or Maud, from her
marriage to the Emperor Henry V of Germany; later, she married
Geoffrey of Anjou).  But Stephen, with the help of London and the
Church, declared himself "elected King by the assent of the clergy and
the people."  Many of the barons now gave Stephen their support.

Four years after Stephen's accession Matilda landed in England and
claimed the crown.  The east of England stood by Stephen, the west by
Matilda.  For the sake of promoting discord, and through discord their
own private ends, part of the barons gave their support to Matilda,
while the rest refused, as they said, to "hold their estates under a
distaff."  In the absence of the Witan or National Council (S80),
London unanimously chose Stephen King (1135).

The fatal defect in the new King was the absence of executive ability.
Following the example of Henry (S135), he issued two charters or
pledges of good government; but without power to carry them out, they
proved simply waste paper.

140. The Battle of the Standard (1135).

David I of Scotland, Matilda's uncle, espoused her cause and invaded
England with a powerful force.  He was met at North Allerton, in
Yorkshire, by the party of Stephen, and the battle of the Standard was

The leaders of the English were both churchmen, who showed that they
could fight as vigorously as they could pray (S136).  The standard
consisted of four consecrated banners, surmounted by a cross.  This
was set up on a wagon, on which one of the bishops stood.  The sight
of this sacred standard made the English invincible.  (See map facing
page 436.)

After a fierce contest the Scots were driven from the field.  It is
said that this was the first battle in which the English peasants used
the long bow; they had taken the hist, perhaps, from the Norman
archers at the battle of Hastings (SS73, 74).  Many years later, their
skill in foreign war made that weapon as famous as it was effective

141. Civil War (1138-1153).

For fifteen years following, the country was torn by civil war.  While
it raged, fortified castles, which, under William the Conqueror, had
been built and occupied by the King only, or by those whom he could
trust, now arose on every side.  These strongholds became, as the
"Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (S99) declares, "very nests of devils and dens
of thieves."  More than a thousand of these castles, it is said, were
built.  The armed bands who inhavited them levied tribute on the whole
country around.

Not satisfied with that, these miscreants seized those who were
suspected of having property, and, in the words of the "Chronicle,"
"tortured them with pains unspeakable; for some they hung up by the
feet and smoked with foul smoke; others they crushed in a narrow chest
with sharp stones.  About the heads of others they bound knotted cords
until they went into the brain."  "Thousands died of hunger, the towns
were burned, and the soil left untilled.  By such deeds the land was
ruined, and men said openly that Christ and his saints were asleep."

The sleep, however, was not always to last; for in the next reign,
Justice, in the person of Henry II, effectually vindicated her power.
The strife for the crown continued till the last year of Stephen's
reign.  Then the Church came to the rescue, and through its powerful
influence the Treaty of Wallingford (in Berkshire) was made.  By that
treaty it was agreed that Matilda's son Henry should succeed Stephen.

142. Summary.

Stephen was the last of the Norman kings.  Their reign had covered
nearly a century.  The period began in conquest and usurpation; it
ended in gloom.  We are not, however, to judge it by Stephen's reign
alone, but as a whole.

This considered, it shows at least one point of advance over the
preceding period,--the triumph of the moral power of the Church over
feudal discord.  But Stephen's reign was not all loss in other
respects, for out of the "war, wickedness, and waste" of his
misgovernment came a universal desire for peace through law.  Thus
indirectly this weak King's inefficiency prepared the way for future


I. Government.  II. Religion.  III. Military Affairs.  IV. Literature,
Learning, and Art.  V. General Industry and Commerce.  VI. Mode of
Life, Manners, and Customs

I. Goverment

143. The King.

We have seen that the Saxons, or Early English rulers, in the case of
Egbert and his successors, styled themselves Kings of the West Saxons
or of some other division of that race, and that finally they assumed
the broader title of "Kings of the English," or leaders of the entire
race or people (S49).  The Norman sovereigns made no immediate change
in this title, but as a matter of fact William, toward the close of
his reign, claimed the whole of the country as his own by right of

For this reason he and his Norman successors might properly have
called themselves "Kings of England," that is, supreme owners of the
soil and rulers over it; but this title of territorial sovereignty was
not formally assumed until about fifty years later, in John's reign.

144. The Great Council.

Associated with the King in government was the Great or Central
Council, made up of, first, the earls and barons; and secondly, of the
archbishops, bishops, and abbots; that is, of all the great
landholders holding directly from the Crown.  The Great Council
usually met three times a year,--at Christmas, Easter, and
Whitsuntide.  All laws were held to be made by the King, acting with
the advice and consent of this Council,--which in the next century
first came to be known as Parliament (1246, 1265, 1295),--but
practically the King alone often enacted such laws as he saw fit
(SS213, 217).

When a new sovereign came to the throne, it was with the consent or by
the election of the Great Council, but their choice was generally
limited to some one of the late King's sons, and unless therer was
good reason for making a different selection, the oldest was chosen.
Finally the right of imposing taxes rested, theoretically at least, in
the King and Council, but, in fact, the King himself frequently levied
them.  This action of the King was a cause of constant irritation and
of frequent insurrection.

145. The Private or King's Council.

There was also a second and permanent council, called the King's
Council.  The three leading officers of this were: first, the Chief
Justice, who superintended the execution of the laws, represented the
King, and ruled for him during his absence from the country; secondly,
the Lord Chancellor (so called from cancelli, the screen behind which
he sat with his clerks), who acted as the King's adviser and
confidential secretary, and as keeper of the Great Seal, with which he
stamped all important papers;[1] thirdly, the Lord High Treasurer, who
took charge of the King's revenue, received all moneys due the Crown,
and kept the King's treasure in the vaults at Winchester or

[1] The Lord Chancellor was also the "Keeper of the King's
Conscience," because intrusted with the duty of redressing those
grievances of the King's subjects which required royal interference.
The Court of Chancery (mentioned on page 73, note 1) grew out of this

146. Tallies.

All accounts were kept by the Treasurer on tallies or small sticks,
notched on the opposite sides to represent different sums.  These were
split lengthwise.  One was given as a receipt to the sheriff, or other
person paying in money to the treasury, while the duplicate of this
tally was held by the Treasurer.  This primitive method of keeping
royal accounts remained legally in force until 1785, in the reign of
George III.

147. The Curia Regis,[2] or the King's Court of Justice.

The Chief Justice and Chancellor were generally chosen by the King
from among the clergy; first, because the clergy were men of
education, while the barons were not; and next, because it was not
expedient to intrust too much power to the barons.  These officials,
with the other members of the Private Council, constituted the King's
High Court of Justice.

[2] Curia Regis: This name was given, at different times, first, to
the Great or National Council; secondly, to the King's Private
Council; and lastly, to the High Court of Justice, consisting of
members of the Private Council.

It followed the King as he moved from place to place, to hear and
decide cases carried up by appeal from the county courts, together
with other questions of importance.[1]  In local government the
country remained under the Normans essentially the same as it had been
before the Conquest.  The King continued to be represented in each
county by an officer called the sheriff, who collected the taxes and
enforced the laws.

[1] The King's High Court of Justice (Curia Regis) was divided, about
1215, into three distinct courts: (1) the Exchequer Court (so called
from the chequered cloth which covered the table of the court, and
which was probably made useful in counting money), which dealt with
cases of finance and revenue; (2) the Court of Common Pleas, which had
jurisdiction in civil suits between subject and subject; (3) the Court
of King's Bench, which transacted the remaining business, both civil
and criminal, and had special jurisdiction over all inferior courts
and civil corporations.
   Later, a fourth court, that of Chancery (see S145, and note 1),
over which the Lord Chancellor presided, was established as a court of
appeal and equity, to deal with cases where the common law gave no

148. Trial by Battle.

In the administration of justice, Trial by Battle was introduced in
addition to the Ordeal of the Saxons (S91).  This was a duel in which
each of the contestants appealed to Heaven to give him the victory, it
believed that the right would vanquish.  Noblemen[2] fought on
horseback in full armor, with sword, lance, and battle-ax; common
people fought on foot with clubs.

[2] See Shakespeare's "Richard II," Act I, scenes i and iii; also
Scott's "Ivanhoe," Chapter XLIII.

In both cases the combat was in the presence of judges and might last
from sunrise until the stars appeared.  Priests and women had the
privilege of being represented by champions, who fought for them.
Trial by Battle was claimed and allowed by the court (though the
combat did not come off) as late as 1817, in the reign of George III.
This custom was finally abolished in 1819.[3]

[3] Trial by Battle might be demanded in cases of chivalry or honor,
in criminal actions, and in civil suits.  The last were fought not by
the disputants themselves but by champions.

149. Divisions of Society.

The divisions of society remained after the Conquest very nearly as
before, but the Saxon orders of nobility, with a few very rare
exceptions, were deprived of their rank and their estates given to the

It is important to notice here the marked difference between the new
or Norman nobility and that of France.

In England a man was considered a noble because, under William and his
successors, he was a member of the Great or National Council (S80),
or, in the case of an earl, because he represented the King in the
government of a county or earldom.

His position did not exempt him from taxation, nor did his rank
descend to more than one of his children.  In France, on the contrary,
the aristocracy were noble by birth, not office; they were generally
exempt from taxation, thus throwing the whole of that burden on the
people, and their rank descended to all their children.

During the Norman period a change was going on among the slaves, whose
condition gradually improved.  On the other hand, many who had been
free now sank into that state of villeinage (S150) which, as it bound
them to the soil, was but one remove from actual slavery.

The small, free landholders who still existed were mostly in the old
Danish territory north of Watling Street (see map facing p. 32), and
in the county of Kent on the southeast coast of England.

150. Tenure of Land in the Norman Period; Military Service, Feudal
Dues, National Militia, Manors and Manor Houses.

All land was held directly or indirectly from the King on condition of
military or other service.  The number of chief tenants who derived
their title from the Crown, including ecclesiastical dignitaries, was
probably about fifteen hundred.  These constituted the Norman barons.
The undertenants were about eight thousand, and consisted chiefly of
the English who had been driven out from their estates.

Every holder of land was obliged to furnish the King a fully armed and
mounted soldier, to serve for forty days during the year for each
piece of land bringing 20 pounds annually, or about $2000 in modern
money[1] (the pound of that day probably representing twenty times
that sum now).  All the chief tenants were also bound to attend the
King's Great or National Council three times a year,--at Christman,
Easter, and Whitsuntide.

[1] This amount does not appear to have been fully settled until the
period following the Norman kings, but the principle was recognized by

Feudal Dues or Taxes.  Every free tenant was obliged to pay a sum of
money to the King or baron from whom he held his land, on three
special occasions: (1) to ransom his lord from captivity in case he
was made a prisoner of war; (2) to defray the expense of making his
lord's eldest son a knight; (3) to provide a suitable marriage portion
on the marriage of his lord's eldest daughter.

In addition to these taxes, or "aids," as they were called, there were
other demands which the lord might make, such as: (1) a year's profits
of the land from the heir, on his coming into possession of his
father's estate; this was called a relief; (2) the income from the
lands of orphan heirs not of age; (3) payment for privilege of
disposing of land.[1]

[1] The clergy, being a corporate and hence an ever-living body, were
exempt from these last demands.  Not satisfied with this, they were
constantly endeavoring, with more or less success, to escape ALL
feudal obligations, on the ground that they rendered the state divine
service.  In 1106, in the reign of Henry I, it was settled, for the
time, that the bishops were to do homage to the King, i.e. furnish
military service for the lands they received from him as their feudal
lord (S136).

In case of an orphan heiress not of age, the feudal lord became her
guardian and might select a suitable husband for her.  Should the
heiress reject the person selected, she forfeited a sum of money equal
to the amount the lord expected to receive by the proposed marriage.
Thus we find one woman in Ipswich giving a large fee for the privilege
of "not being married except to her own good liking."  In the
collection of these "aids" and "reliefs," great extortion was often
practiced both by the King and the barons.

Besides the feudal troops there was a national militia, consisting of
peasants and others not provided with armor, who fought on foot with
bows and spears.  These could also be called on as during the Saxon
period (S96).  In some cases where the barons were in revolt against
the King, for instance, under William Rufus (S130), this national
militia proved of immense service to the Crown.

The great landholders let out part of their estates to tenants on
similar terms to those on which they held their own, and in this way
the entire country was divided up.  The lowest class of tenants were
the common agricultural laborers called villeins,--a name derived from
the Latin villa, meaning a country house or farm.  These villeins, or
serfs, held small pieces of land on condition of performing labor for
it.  They were bound to the soil and could be sold with it, but not,
like slaves, apart from it.  They were not wholly destitute of legal

Under William I and his successors, all free tenants, of whatever
grade, were bound to uphold the King,[2] and in case of insurrection
or civil war to serve under him (S122).  In this most important
respect the great landholders of England differed from those of the
Continent, where the lesser tenants were bound only to serve their own
masters, and might, and in fact often did, take up arms against the
King.  William removed this serious defect.  By doing so he did the
country an incalculable service.  He completed the organization of
feudal land tenure, but he never established the Continental system of
feudal government.  (See, too, the Constitutional Summary in the
Appendix, p. v, S6.)

[2] See the Constitutional Summary in the Appendix, pp. iii-v, SS5, 6.

The building is Ludlow Castle, Shropshire.  Manor houses proper, as
distinct from castles, existed in England at least from the thirteenth

(See Gibbin's "Industrial History of England" and Cheyney's
"Industrial and Social England")

The inhabitants of a manor, or the estate of a lord, were: (1) the
lord himself, or his representative, who held his estate on condition
of furnishing the King a certain number of armed men (SS113, 150); (2)
the lord's personal followers, who lived with him, and usually a
parish priest or a number of monks; (3) the farm laborers, or
villeins, bound to the soil, who could not leave the manor, were not
subject to military duty, and who paid rent in labor or produce; there
might also be a few actual slaves, but this last class gradually rose
to the partial freedom of villenage; (4) certain free tenants or
"sokemen," who paid a fixed rent either in money or service and were
not bound to the soil as the villeins were.

Next to the manor house (where courts were also held) the most
important buildings were the church (used sometimes for markets and
town meetings); the lord's mill (if there was a stream), in which all
tenants must grind their grain and pay for the grinding; and finally,
the cottages of the tenants, gathered in a village near the mill.

The land was divided as follows: (1) the "demesne" (or domain)
surrounding the manor house; this was strictly private--the lord's
ground; (2) the land outside the demesne, suitable for cultivation;
this was let in strips, usually of thirty acres, but was subject to
certain rules in regard to methods of tillage and crops; (3) a piece
of land which tenants might hire and use as they saw fit; (4) common
pasture, open to all tenants to pasture their cattle on; (5) waste or
untilled land, where all tenants had the right to cut turf for feul,
or gather plants or shrubs for fodder; (6) the forest or woodland,
where all tenants had the right to turn their hogs out to feed on
acorns, and where they might also collect a certain amound of small
wood for feul; (7) meadow land on which the tenants might hire the
right to cut grass and make hay.  On the above plan the fields of
tenants--both those of villeins and of "sokemen," or tenants who paid
a fixed rent in money or service--are marked by the letters A, B, C,

If the village grew, the tenants might, in time, purchase from the
lord the right to manage their own affairs in great measure, and so
become a Free Town (S183).

II. Religion

151. The Church.

With respect to the organization of the Church, no changes were made
under the Norman kings.  They, however, generally deposed the English
bishops and substituted Normans or foreigners, who, as a class, were
superior in education to the English.  William the Conqueror made it
pretty clearly understood that he considered the Church subordinate to
his will, and that in all cases of dispute about temporal matters, he,
and not the Pope, was to decide (S118).  During the Norman period
great numbers of monasteries were built.

In one very important respect William the Conqueror greatly increased
the power of the Church by establishing ecclesiastical courts in which
all cases relating to the Church and the clergy were tried by the
bishops according to laws of their own.  Persons wearing the dress of
a monk or priest, or those who could manage to spell out a verse of
the Psalms, and so pass for ecclesiastics, would claim the right to be
tried under the Church laws, and, as the punishments which the Church
inflicted were notoriously mild, the consequence was that the majority
of criminals escaped the penalty of their evil doings.  So great was
the abuse of this privilege, that, at a later period, Henry II made an
attempt to reform it (S164); but it was not wholly and finally done
away with until the beginning of the nineteenth century.

III. Military Affairs.

152. The Army.

The army consisted of cavalry, or knights, and foot soldiers.  The
former were almost wholly Normans.  They wore armor similar to that
used by the Saxons.  It is represented in the pictures of the Bayeux
Tapestry (S75, 155), and appears to have consisted of leather or stout
linen, on which pieces of bone, or scales, or rings of iron were
securely sewed.  Later, these rings of iron were set up edgewise, and
interlinked, or the scales made to overlap.  The helmet was pointed,
and had a piece in front to protect the nose.  The shield was long and

The weapons of this class of soldiers consisted of a lance and a
double-edged sword.  The foot soldiers wore little or no armor and
fought principally with long bows.  In case of need, the King could
probably muster about ten thousand knights, or armed horsemen, and
a much larger force of foot soldiers.  Under the Norman kings the
principal wars were insurrections against William I, the various
revolts of the barons, and the civil war under Stephen.

153. Knighthood.[1]

Candidates for knighthood were usually obliged to pass through a long
course of training under the care of some distinguished noble.  The
candidate served first as a page, or attendant in the house; then, as
a squire or attendant, he followed his master to the wars.  After
seven years in this capacity, he prepared himself for receiving the
honors of knighthood by spending several days in a church, engaged in
solemn religious rites, fasting, and prayer.

[1] Knighthood: Originally the knight was a youth or attendant.
Later, the word came to mean an armed horse soldier or cavalier who
had received his weapons and title in a solemn manner.  As a rule,
only the wealthy and noble could afford the expense of a horse and
armor; for this reason chivalry, or knighthood, came to be closely
connected with the idea of aristocracy.  In some cases soldiers were
made knights on the battlefield as a reward for valor.

The young man, in the presence of his friends and kindred, then made
oath to be loyal to the King, to defend religion, and to be the
champion of every lady in danger or distress.  Next, a high-born dame
or great warrior buckled on his spurs, and girded the sword, which he
priest had blessed, to his side.  This done, he knelt to the prince or
noble who was to perform the final ceremony.  The prince struck him
lightly on the shoulder with the flat of the sword, saying: "In the
name of God, St. Michael,[2] and St. George [the patron saint of
England], I dub thee knight.  Be brave, hardy, and loyal."

[2] St. Michael, as representative of the triumphant power of good
over evil.

Then the young cavalier leaped into the saddle and galloped up and
down, brandishing his weapon in token of strength and skill.  In case
a knight proved false to his oaths, he was publicly degraded.  His
spurs were taken from him, his shield was reversed, his armor broken
to pieces, and a sermon preached upon him in the neighboring church,
proclaiming him dead to the order.

IV. Literature, Learning, and Art

154. Education; Use of Seals or Stamps.

The leaning of this period was confined almost wholly to the clergy.
Whatever schools existed were connected with the monasteries and
nunneries.  Oxford had begun to be regarded as a seat of leaning
(1120).  The instruction was given by priests, though some noted
Jewish scholars may have had pupils there.  Very few books were
written during this period.  Generally speaking, the nobility
considered fighting the great business of life and cared nothing for
education.  They thought that reading and writing were beneath their
dignity, and left such accomplishments to monks, priests, and
lawyers.  For this reason seals or stamps having some device or
signature engraved on them came to be used on all papers of

155. Historical Works; the Bayeux Tapestry.

The chief books written in England under the Norman kings were
histories.  Of these the most noteworthy were the continuation of the
"Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" in English (S99) and the chronicles of William
of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon in Latin.[1]  William's book and
the "Saxon Chronicle" still continue to be of great importance to
students of this period.  Mention has already been made of the Bayeux
Tapestry (S75), a history of the Norman Conquest worked in colored
worsteds, on a long strip of narrow canvas.

[1] Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Britons" belongs to this
period.  It abounds in romances about King Arthur.  Tennyson based his
"Idylls of the King" on it.

It consists of a series of seventy-two scenes, or pictures, done about
the time of William's accession.  It was probably intended to decorate
the cathedral of Bayeux, in Normandy, France, where it was originally
placed.  Some have supposed it to be the work of his Queen, Matilda.
The entire length is two hundred and fourteen feet and the width about
twenty inches.  It represents events in English history from the last
of Edward the Confessor's reign to the battle of Hastings.  As a guide
to a knowledge of the armor, weapons, and costume of the period, it is
of very great value.  The tapestry is preserved at Bayeux.

156. Architecture.

Under the Norman sovereigns there was neither painting, statuary, nor
poetry worthy of mention.  The spirit that creats these arts found
expression in architecture introduced from the Continent.  The castle,
cathedral,  and minster, with here and there an exceptional structure
like the Tower of London, London Bridge, and the Great Hall at
Westminster, built by William Rufus, were some well-known Norman
buildings which mark the time.  All were of stone, a material which
the Normans generally preferred to any other.  Aside from Westminster
Abbey, which, although the work of Edward the Confessor, was really
Norman, a fortress or two, like Coningsborough in Yorkshire, and a few
churches, like that at Bradford-on-Avon, the Saxons had erected little
of note.

The characteristics of the Norman style of architecture was its
massive grandeur.  The churches were built in the form of a cross,
with a square, central tower, the main entrance being at the west.
The interior was divided into a nave, or central portion, with an
aisle on each side for the passage of religious processions.  The
windows were narrow, and rounded at the top.  The roof rested on round
arches supported by heavy columns.  The cathedrals of Peterborough,
Ely, Durham, Norwich, the church of St. Bartholomew, London, and
St. John's Chapel in the Tower of London are fine examples of Norman

The castles consisted of a square keep, or citadel, with walls of
immense thickness, having a few slitlike windows in the lower story
and somewhat larger ones above.  In these buildings everything was
made subordinate to strength and security.  They were surrounded by a
high stone wall and deep ditch, generally filled with water.  The
entrance to them was over a drawbridge through an archway protected by
an iron grating, or portcullis, which could be raised and lowered at
pleasure.  The Tower of London, Rochester Castle, Norwich Castle,
Castle Rising, Richmond Castle, Carisbrooke Keep, New Castle on the
Tyne, and Tintagel Hold were built by William or his Norman

The so-called Jews' houses at Lincoln and St. Edmundsbury are rare and
excellent examples of Norman domestic architecture.  Although in many
cases the Norman castles are in ruins, yet these ruins bid fair to
stand as long as the Pyramids.  They were mostly the work of
churchmen, who were the best architects of the day, and knew how to
plan a fortress as well as to build a minster.

V. General Industry and Commerce

157. Trade.

No very marked change took place in respect to agriculture or trade
during the Norman period.  Jews are mentioned in a few cases in Saxon
records, but they apparently did not enter England in any number until
after William the Conqueror's accession.  They soon got control of
much of the trade, and were the only capitalists of the time.

They were protected by the Kings in money lending at exorbitant rates
of interest.  In turn, the Kings extorted immense sums from them.

The guilds (S106), or associations for mutual protection among
merchants and manufacturers, now became prominent, and in time they
acquired great political influence.

VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs.

158. Dress.

The Normans were more temperate and refined in their mode of living
than the Saxons.  In dress they made great display.  In Henry I's
reign it became the custom for the nobility to wear their hair very
long, so that their curls resembled those of women.  The clergy
thundered against this effeminate fashion, but with no effect.  At
last, a priest preaching before the King on Easter Sunday, ended his
sermon by taking out a pair of shears and cropping the entire
congregation, King and all.

By the regulation called the curfew, a bell rang at sunset in summer
and at eight in winter, which was the government signal for putting
out lights and covering up fires.  This law, which was especially
hated by the English, as a Norman innovation and act of tyranny, was a
necessary precaution against fire, at a time when London and other
cities were masses of wooden hovels.

Surnames came in with the Normans.  Previous to the Conquest,
Englishmen had but one name; and when, for convenience, another was
needed, they were called by their occupation or from some personal
peculiarity, as Edward the Carpenter, Harold the Dauntless.  Among the
Normans the lack of a second, or family, name had come to be looked
upon as a sign of low birth, and the daughter of a great lord
(Fitz-Haman) refused to marry a nobleman who had but one, saying, "My
father and my grandfather had each two names, and it were a great
shame to me to take a husband who has less."

The principal amusements were hunting, and hawking (catching birds and
other small game by the use of trained hawks).

The Church introduced theatrical plays, written and acted by the
monks.  These represented scenes in Scripture history, and, later, the
careers of the Vices and the Virtues were personified.

Jousts and tournaments, or mock combats between knights, were not
encouraged by William I, or his immediate successors, but became
common in the period following the Norman Kings.  On some occasions
they were fought in earnest, and resulted in the death of one, or
more, of the combatants.


"Man bears within him certain ideas of order, of justice, of reason,
with a constant desire to bring them into play...; for this he labors
unceasingly."--Guizot, "History of Civilization."



Consolidation of Norman and Saxon Interests--Rise of the New English

Henry II, 1154-1189
Richard I, 1189-1199
John, 1199-1216
Henry III, 1216-1272
Edward I, 1272-1307
Edward II, 1307-1327
Edward III, 1327-1377
Richard II, 1377-1399

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.

159. Accession and Dominions of Henry II.

Henry was just of age when the death of Stephen (S141) called him to
the throne.

From his father, Count Geoffrey of Anjou, a province of France, came
the title of Angevin.  The name Plantagenet, by which the family came
to be known later, was derived from the count's habit of wearing a
sprig of the golden-blossomed broom plant, or Plante-gene^t, as the
French called it, in his helmet.

Henry received from his father the dukedoms of Anjou and Maine, from
his mother Normandy and the dependent province of Brittany, while
through his marriage with Eleanor, the divorced Queen of France, he
acquired the great southern dukedom of Aquitaine.

Thus on his accession he became ruler over all England, and over more
than half of France besides, his realms extending from the borders of
Scorland to the base of the Pyrenees.  (See map facing p. 84.)

To these extensive possessions Henry added the eastern half of
Ireland.[1]  The country was but partially conquered and never justly
ruled.  The English power there remained "like a spear-point embedded
in a living body," inflaming all around it.[2]

[1] Ireland: The population of Ireland at this time consisted mainly
of descendants of the Celtic and other prehistoric races which
inhabited Britain at the period of the Roman invasion.  When the
Saxons conquered Britain, many of the natives, who were of the same
stock and spoke essentially the same language as the Irish, fled to
that country.  Later, the Danes formed settlements on the coast,
especially in the vicinity of Dublin.
   The conquest of England by the Normans was practically a victory
gained by one branch of the German race over another (Saxons, Normans,
and Danes having originally sprung from the same Teutonic stock or
from one closely akin to it, and the three soon mingled); but the
partial conquest of Ireland by the Normans was a radically different
thing.  They and the Irish had really nothing in common.  The latter
refused to accept the feudal system, and continued to split up into
savage tribes or clans under the rule of petty chiefs always at war
with each other.
   Thus for centuries after England had established a settled
government, Ireland remained, partly through the battles of the clans,
and partly through the aggressions of a hostile race, in a state of
anarchic confusion which prevented all true national growth.
[2] W. E. H. Lecky's "England in the XVIIIth Century," II, 102.

160. Henry II's Charter and Reforms.

On his mother's side Henry was a descendent of Alfred the Great (S51);
for this reason he was hailed with enthusiasm by the native English.
He at once began a system of reforms worthy of his illustrious
ancestor.  His first act was to issue a charter confirming the Charter
of Liberties or pledges of good government which his grandfather,
Henry I, had made (S135).  His next was to begin leveling to the
ground the castles unlawfully built in Stephen's reign, which had
caused such widespread misery to the country[3] (S141).  He continued
the work of demolition until it is said he destroyed no less than
eleven hundred of these strongholds of oppression.

[3] Under William the Conqueror and his immediate successors no one
was allowed to erect a castle without a royal license.  During
Stephen's time the great barons constantly violated this salutory

The King next turned his attention to the coinage.  During the civil
war (S141) the barons had issued money debased in quality and
deficient in weight.  Henry abolished this dishonest currency and
issued silver pieces of full weight and value.

161. War with France; Scutage (1160).

Having completed these reforms, the King turned his attention to his
Continental possessions.  Through his wife, Henry claimed the county
of Toulouse in southern France.  To enforce this claim he declared

Henry's barons, however, refused to furnish troops to fight outside of
England.  The King wisely compromised the matter by offering to accept
from each knight a sum of money in lieu of service, called scutage, or
shield money.[1]  The proposal was agreed to (1160), and in this way
the knights furnished the King the means to hire soldiers for foreign

[1] Scutage: from the Latin scutum, a shield; the understanding being
that he who would not take his shield and do battle for the King
should pay enough to hire one who would.  The scutage was assessed at
two marks.  Later, the assessment varied.  The mark was two thirds of
a pound of silver by weight, or thirteen shillings and fourpence
($3.20).  Reckoned in modern money, the tax was probably at least
twenty times two marks, or about $128.

Later in his reign Henry supplemented this tax by the passage of the
Assize of Arms, a law which revived the national militia (SS96, 150)
and placed it at his command for home service.  By these two measures
the King made himself practically independent of the barons, and thus
gained a greater degree of power than any previous ruler had

162. Thomas Becket.

There was, however, one man in Henry's kingdom--his Lord Chancellor
(S145), Thomas Becket--who was always ready to serve him.  At his own
expense the Chancellor now equipped seven hundred knights, and,
crossing the Channel, fought valiantly for the suppression of the
rebellion in Toulouse (S161) in the south of France.  (See map facing
p. 84.)

Shortly after Becket's return from the Continent Henry resolved to
appoint him Archbishop of Canterbury.  Becket knew that the King
purposed beginning certain Church reforms with which he was not in
sympathy, and declined the office.  But Henry would take no denial.
At last Becket consented, but he warned the King that he should uphold
the rights of the clergy.  He now became the head of the Catholic
Church in England.  He was the first man of English birth called to
that exalted position since the Norman Conquest.

This promotion made a decided change in Becket's relation to the King.
So long as he was Chancellor he was bound to do what the King ordered,
but as soon as he was made Archbishop he became the servant of the
Church.  Again, on his assumption of this sacred office Becket
underwent a remarkable charge of character.  He had been a man of the
world, fond of pomp and pleasure.  He now gave up all luxury and show.
He put on sackcloth, lived on bread and water, and spent his nights in
prayer, tearing his flesh with a scourge.

163. Becket's First Quarrel with the King.

The new Archbishop's presentiment of trouble soon proved true.  Becket
had hardly taken his seat when a quarrel broke out between him and the
King.  In his need for money Henry levied a tax on all lands, whether
belonging to the barons or to churchmen.  Becket opposed this tax.[1]
He was willing, he said, that the clergy should contribute, if they
desired to do so, but not that they should be compelled to pay the

[1] See page 76, note 1, on Clergy.

The King declared with an oath that all should pay alike; the
Archbishop vowed with equal determination that not a single penny
should be collected from the Church.  From that time the King and
Becket never met again as friends.

164. The Second Quarrel.

Shortly afterward, a much more serious quarrel broke out between the
King and the Archbishop.  Under the law made by William the Conqueror,
the Church had the right to try in its own courts all offenses
committed by monks and priests (S118).  This privilege, in time, led
to great abuses, since even in cases of the commission of the gravest
crimes the Church had no direct power to inflict the penalty of
death.  On the contrary, the heaviest sentence it could give was
imprisonment in a monastery, with degradation from the clerical
office; while in less serious cases the offenders generally got off
with fasting and flogging.

On this account some criminals who deserved to be hanged escaped with
a comparatively slight penalty.  Such a case now occurred.  In one
instance a priest had committed an unprovoked murder.  Henry commanded
him to be brought before the Kings' court; Becket interfered, and
ordered the case to be tried by the bishop of the diocese.  The bishop
simply sentenced the murderer to lose his place for two years.

165. The Constitutions of Clarendon, 1164.

The King determined that such flagrant disregard of justice should no
longer go on.  He called a council of his chief men at Clarendon, near
Salisbury, in Wiltshire, and laid the case before them.  He demanded
that in future the state or civil courts should be supreme, and that
in every instance their judges should decide whether a criminal should
be tried by the common law of the land or handed over to the Church

He furthermore required that the clergy should be held strictly
responsible to the Crown, so that in case of dispute the final appeal
should be neither to the Archbishop nor to the Pope, but to himself.
In this respect he went even farther than William the Conqueror had
done (S118).  After protracted debate the council, composed of a
committee of bishops and barons, passed the measures which the King
demanded.  The new laws were entitled the Constitutions of Clarendon.
They consisted of sixteen articles which clearly defined the powers
and jurisdiction of the King's courts and the Church courts.  Their
great object was to secure a more uniform administration of justice
for all classes of men.  (See the Constitutional Summary in the
Appendix, pp. viii and xxxii.)

Becket, though bitterly oppsed to the new laws, finally assented, and
swore to obey them.  Afterward, feeling that he had conceded too much,
he retracted his oath and refused to be bound by the Constitutions.
The other Church dignitaries became alarmed at the prospect, and left
Becket to settle with the King as best he might.  Henceforth it was a
battle between the King and the Archbishop, and each resolved that he
would never give up until he had won the final victory (S170).

166. The King enforces the New Laws; Becket leaves the Country.

Henry at once proceeded to put the Constitutions of Clarendon into
execution without fear or favor.  A champion of the Church of that day
says, "Then was seen the mournful spectacle of priests and deacons who
had committed murder, manslaughter, robbery, theft, and other crimes,
carried in carts before the comissioners and punished as thogh they
were ordinary men."[1]

[1] William of Newburgh's "Chronicle."

Furthermore, the King sems now to have resolved to ruin Becket or
drive him from the kingdom.  He accordingly summoned the Archbishop
before a royal council at Northampton to answer to certain charges
made against him.  Becket answered the summons, but he refused to
acknowledge the jurisdiction of the council, and appealed to the
Pope.  "Traitor!" cried a courtier, as he picked up a bunch of muddy
rushes from the floor and flung them at the Archbishop's head.  Becket
turned and, looking him sternly in the face, said, "Were I not a
churchman, I would make you repent that word."  Realizing, however,
that he was now in serious danger, he soon after left Northampton and
fled to France.

167. Banishment versus Excommunication (1164).

Finding Becket beyond his reach, Henry next proceeded to banish the
Archbishop's kinsmen and friends, without regard to age or sex, to the
number of nearly four hundred.  These miserable exiles, many of whom
were nearly destitute, were forced to leave the country in midwinter,
and excited the pity of all who saw them.

Becket indignantly retaliated.  He hurled at the King's counselors the
awful sentence of excommunication or expulsion from the Church
(S194).  It declared the King accursed of God and man, deprived of
help in this world, and shut out from hope in the world to come.  In
this manner the quarrel went on with ever-increasing bitterness for
the space of six years.

168. Prince Henry crowned; Reconciliation (1170).

Henry, who had long wished to associate his son, Prince Henry, with
him in the government, had him crowned at Westminster by the
Archbishop of York, the bishops of London and Salisbury taking part.

By custom, if not indeed by law, Becket alone, as Archbishop of
Canterbury, had the right to perform this ceremony.

When Becket heard of the coronation, he declared it an outrage both
against Christianity and the Church.  So great an outcry now arose
that Henry believed it expedient to recall the absent Archbishop,
especially as the King of France was urging the Pope to take up the
matter.  Henry accordingly went over to the Continent, met Becket, and
persuaded him to return.

169. Reneral of the Quarrel; Murder of Becket (1170).

But though the Archbishop and the King had given each other the "kiss
of peace," yet the reconciliation was on the surface only; underneath,
the old hatred smoldered, ready to burst forth into flame.  As soon as
he reached England, Becket invoked the thunders of the Church against
those who had officiated at the coronation of Prince Henry.  He
excommunicated the Archbishop of York with his assistant bishops.

The King took their part, and in an outburst of passion against Becket
he exclaimed, "Will none of the cowards who eat my bread rid me of
that turbulent priest?"  In answer to his angry cry for relief, four
knights set out without Henry's knowledge for Canterbury, and brutally
murdered the Archbishop within the walls of his own cathedral.

170. Results of the Murder.

The crime sent a thrill of horror throughout the realm.  The Pope
proclaimed Becket a saint with the title of Saint Thomas.  The mass of
the English people looked upon the dead ecclesiastic as a martyr who
had died in the defense of the Church, and of all those--but
especially the laboring classes and the poor--around whom the Church
cast its protecting power.

The great cathedral of Canterbury was hung in mourning; Becket's
shrine became the most famous in England.  The stone pavement, and the
steps leading to it, still show by their deep-worn hollows where
thousands of pilgrims coming from all parts of the kingdom, and from
the Continent even, used to creep on their knees to the saint's tomb
to pray for his intercession.

Henry himself was so far vanquished by the reaction in Becket's favor,
that he gave up any further attempt to formally enforce the
Constitutions of Clarendon (S165), by which he had hoped to establish
a uniform system of administration of justice.  But the attempt,
though baffled, was not wholly lost; like seed buried in the soil, it
sprang up and bore good fruit in later generations.  However, it was
not until near the close of the reign of George III (1813) that the
civil courts fully and finally prevailed.

171. The King makes his Will; Civil War.

Some years after the murder, the King bequeathed England and Normandy
(SS108, 159) to Prince Henry.[1]  He at the same time provided for his
sons Geoffrey and Richard.  To John, the youngest of the brothers, he
gave no territory, but requested Henry to grant him several castles,
which the latter refused to do.  "It is our fate," said one of the
sons, "that none should love the rest; that is the only inheritance
which will never be taken from us."

[1] After his coronation Prince Henry had the title of Henry III; but
as he died before his father, he never properly became king in his own

It may be that that legacy of hatred was the result of Henry's unwise
marriage with Eleanor, an able but perverse woman, or it may have
sprung from her jealousy of "Fair Rosamond" and other favorites of the
King.[1]  Eventually this feeling burst out into civil war.  Brother
fought against brother, and Eleanor, conspiring with the King of
France, turned against her husband.

[1] "Fair Rosamond" [Rosa mundi, the Rose of the world (as THEN
interpreted)] was the daughter of Lord Clifford.  According to
tradition the King formed an attachment for this lady before his
unfortunate marriage with Eleanor, and constructed a place of
concealment for her in a forest in Woodstock, near Oxford.  Some
accounts report that Queen Eleanor discovered her rival and put her to
death.  She was buried in the nunnery of Godstow near by.  When
Henry's son John became King, he raised a monument to her memory with
the inscription in Latin:
                "This tomb doth here enclose
                 The world's most beauteous Rose--
                 Rose passing sweet erewhile,
                 Now naught but odor vile."

172. The King's Penance (1173).

The revolt against Henry's power began in Normandy (1173).  While he
was engaged in quelling it, he received intelligence that Earl Bigod
of Norfolk[2] and the bishop of Durham, both of whom hated the King's
reforms, since they curtailed their authority, had risen against him.

[2] Hugh Bigod: The Bigods were among the most prominent and also the
most turbulent of the Norman barons.

Believing that this new trouble was a judgment from Heaven for
Becket's murder, Henry resolved to do penance at his tomb.  Leaving
the Continent with two prisoners in his charge,--one his son Henry's
queen, the other his own,--he traveled with all speed to Canterbury.
There, kneeling abjectly before the grave of his former chancellor and
friend, the King submitted to be beaten with rods by the priests, in
expiation of his sin.

173. End of the Struggle of the Barons against the Crown.

Henry then moved against the rebels in the north (S171).  Convinced of
the hopelessness of holding out against his forces, they submitted.
With their submission the long struggle of the barons against the
Crown came to an end (SS124, 130).  It had lasted nearly a hundred
years (1087-1174).

The King's victory in this contest was of the greatest importance.  It
settled the question, once for all, that England was not, like the
rest of Europe, to be managed in the interest of a body of great
baronial landholders always at war with each other; but was henceforth
to be governed by one central power, restrained but not overridden by
that of the nobles and the Cuhrch.

174. The King again begins his Reforms (1176).

As soon as order was restored, Henry once more set about completing
his legal and judicial reforms (S165).  His great object was to secure
a uniform system of administering justice which should be effective
and impartial.

Henry I had undertaken to divide the kingdom into districts or
circuits, which were assigned to a certain number of judges who
traveled through them at stated times collecting the royal revenue and
administering the law (SS137, 147).  Henry II revised and perfected
this plan.[1]

[1] This was accomplished by means of two laws called the Grand Assize
and the Assize of Clarendon (not to be confounded with the
Constitutions of Clarendon).  The Assize of Clarendon was the first
true code of national law; it was later expanded and made permanent
under the name of the Assize of Northampton.  (See the Constitutional
Summary in the Appendix, p. vii, S8.)

In addition to the private courts which, under feudal law, the barons
had set up on their estates (S150), they had in many cases got the
entire control of the town and other local courts.  There they dealt
out such justice or injustice as they pleased.  The King's judges now
assumed control of these tribunals, and so brought the common law of
the realm to every man's door.

175. Grand Juries.

The Norman method of settling disputed was by Trial by Battle, in
which the contestants or their champions fought the matter out either
with swords or cudgels (S148).  There were those who objected to this
club law.  To them the King offered the privilege of leaving the
decision of twelve knights, chosen from the neighborhood, who were
supposed to know the facts.  (See the Constitutional Summary in the
Appendix, p. vi, S8.)

In like manner, when the judges passed through a circuit, a grand jury
of not less than sixteen was to report to them the criminals of each
district.  These the judges forthwith sent to the Church to be
examined by the Ordeal (S91).  If convicted, they were punished; if
not, the judges considered them to be suspicious characters, and
ordered them to leave the country within eight days.  In that way the
rascals of that generation were summarily disposed of.

Henry II may rightfully be regarded as having taken the first step
toward founding the system of Trial by Jury, which England, and
England alone, fully matured.  That method has since been adopted by
every civilized country of the globe.  (See the Constutional Summary
in the Appendix, p. vii, S8.)

176. Origin of the Modern Trial by Jury, 1350.

In the reign of Henry's son John, the Church abolished the Ordeal
(S91) throughout Christendom (1215).  It then became the custom in
England to choose a petty jury, acquainted with the facts, whoch
confirmed or denied the accusations brought by the grand jury.  When
this petty jury could not agree, the decision of a majority was
sometimes accepted.

The difficulty of securing justice by this method led to the custom of
summoning witnesses.  These witnesses appeared before the petty jury
and testified for or against the party accused.  In this way it became
possible to obtain a unanimous verdict.

The first mention of this change occurs more than a hundred and thirty
years later, in the reign of Edward III (1350); and from that time,
perhaps, may be dated the true beginning of our modern method, by
which the jury bring in a verdict, not from what they personally know,
but from evidence sworn to by those who do.

177. The King's Last Days.

Henry's last days were full of bitterness.  Ever since his memorable
return from the Continent (S172), he had been obliged to hold the
Queen a prisoner lest she should undermine his power (S171).  His sons
were discontented and rebellious.  Toward the close of his reign they
again plotted against him with King Philip of FRance.  Henry then
declared war against that country.

When peace was made, Henry, who was lying ill, asked to see a list of
those who had conspired against him.  At the head of it stood the name
of his youngest son, John, whom he trusted.  At the sight of it the
old man turned his face to the wall, saying, "I have nothing left to
care for; let all things go their way."  Two days afterward he died of
a broken heart.

178. Summary.

Henry II left his work only half done; yet that half was permanent,
and its beneficent mark may be seen on the English law and the English
constitution at the present time.

When he ascended the throne he found a people who had long been
suffering the miseries of a protracted civil war.  He established a
stable government.  He redressed the wrongs of his people.  He
punished the mutinous barons.

He compelled the Church, at least in some degree, to acknowledge the
supremacy of the State.  He reformed the administration of law;
established methods of judicial inquiry which gradually developed into
our modern Trial by Jury; and he made all men feel that a king sat on
the throne who believed in a uniform system of justice and who
endeavered to make it respected.

Richard I (Coeur de Lion)[1]--1189-1199

179. Accession and Character of Richard I.

Henry II was succeeded by his second son, Richard, his first having
died during the civil war (1183) in which he and his brother Geoffrey
had fought against Prince Richard and their father (S171).  Richard
was born at Oxford, but he spent his youth in France.

[1] Richard Coeur de Lion: Richard the Lion-Hearted.  An old
chronicler says that the King got the name from his adventure with a
lion.  The beast attacked him, and as the King had no weapons, he
thrust his hand down his throat and "tore out his heart."  This story
is not without value, since it illustrates how marvelous legends grow
up around the lives of remarkable men.

The only English sentence that he was ever known to speak was when he
was in a raging passion.  He then vented his wrath against an
impertinent Frnchman, in some broken but decidedly strong expressions
of his native tongue.  Richard has been called "a spendid savage,"
having most of the faults and most of the virtues of such a savage.

The King's bravery in battle and his daring exploits gained for him
the flattering surname of Coeur de Lion.  He had a right to it, for he
certainly possessed the heart of a lion, and he never failed to get
the lion's share.  He might, however, have been called, in equal
truth, Richard the Absentee, since out of a nominal reign of ten years
he spent but a few months in England, the remaining time being
consumed in wars abroad.

180. Condition of Society.

Perhaps no better general picture of society in England during this
period can be found than that presented by Sir Walter Scott's novel,
"Ivanhoe."  There every class appears.  One sees the Saxon serf and
swineherd wearing the brazen collar of his master Cedric; the pilgrim
wandering from shrine to shrine, with the palm branch in his cap to
show that he has visited the Holy Land; the outlaw, Robin Hood, lying
in wait to strip rich churchmen and other travelers who were on their
way through Sherwood Forest.  He sees, too, the Norman baron in his
castle torturing the aged Jew to extort his hidden gold; and the
steel-clad knights, with Ivanhoe at their head, splintering lances in
the tournament, presided over by Richard's brother, the traitorous
Prince John (S177).

181. Richard's Coronation.

Richard was on the Continent at the time of his father's death.  His
first act was to liberate his mother from her long imprisonment at
Winchester (S177); his next, to place her at the head of the English
government until his arrival from Normandy.  Unlike Henry II, Richard
did not issue a charter, or pledge of good government (S160).  He,
however, took the usual coronation oath to defend the Church, maintain
justice, make salutary laws, and abolish evil customs; such an oath
might well be considered a charter in itself.

182. The Crusades (1190); how Richard raised Money.

At that period all western Europe was engaged in the series of wars
known as the Crusades.  The object of this long contest, which began
in 1096 and ended in 1270, was to compel the Saracens or Mohammedans
to give up possession of the Holy Land to the Christians (S186).
Immediately after his coronation, Richard resolved to jion the King of
France and the Emperor of Germany in the Third Crusade.  To get money
for the expedition, the King extorted loans from the Jews (S119), who
were the creditors of half England and had almost complete control of
the capital and commerce of every country in Europe.

The English nobles who joined Richard also borrowed largely from the
same source; and then, suddenly turning on the hated lenders, they
tried to extinguish the debt by extinguishing the Jews.  A pretext
against the unfortunate race was easily found.  Riots broke out in
London, York, and elsewhere, and hundreds of Israelites were brutally

Richard's next move to obtain funds was to impose a heavy tax; his
next, to dispose of titles of rank and offices in both Church and
State, to all who wished to buy them.  Thus, to the aged and covetous
bishop of Durhap he sold the earldom of Northumberland for life,
saying, as he concluded the bargain, "Out of an old bishop I have made
a new earl."

He sold, also, the office of chief justice to the same prelate for an
additional thousand marks (S161, note 1), while the King of Scotland
purchased freedom from subjection to the English King for ten thousand

Last of all, Richard sold cities and town, and he also sold charters
to towns.  One of his courtiers remonstrated with him for his greed
for gain.  The King replied, "I would sell London itself could I find
a purchaser rich enough to buy it."

183. The Rise of the Free Towns.

Of all these devices for raising money, that of selling charters to
towns had the most important results.  From the time of the Norman
Conquest the large towns of England, with few exceptions, were
considered part of the King's property; the smaller places generally
belonged to the great barons.

The citizens of these towns were obliged to pay rent and taxes of
various kinds to the King or lord who owned them.  These dues were
collected by an officer appointed by the King or lord (usually the
sheriff), who was bound to obtain a certain sum, whatever more he
could get being his own profit.  For this reason it was for his
interest to exact from every citizen the uttermost penny.  London, as
we have seen, had secured a considerable degree of liberty through the
charter granted to it by William the Conqueror (S107).  Every town was
now anxious to obtain a similar charter.

The three great objects which the citizens of the towns sought were:

(1) To get the right of paying their taxes directly to the King.
(2) To elect their own magistrates.
(3) To administer justice in their own courts in accordance with laws
made by themselves.

The only way to gain these privileges was to pay for them.  Many of
the towns were rich, and, if the King or lord needed money, they
bargained with him for the favors they desired.  When the agreement
was made, it was drawn up in Latin and stamped with the King's seal
(S154).  Then the citizens took it home in triumph and locked it up as
the safeguard of their liberties, or at least of some part of them.

Thus, the people of Leicester, in the next reign, purchased from the
Earl of Leicester, their feudal lord, the right to decide their own
disputes.  For this they payed a yearly tax of threepence on every
house having a gable on the main street.  These concessions may seem
small, but they prepared the way for greater ones.

What was still more important, these charters educated the citizens of
the day in a knowledge of self-government.  The tradesmen and
shopkeepers of these towns did much to preserve free speech and equal
justice.  Richard granted a large number of these town charters, and
thus unintentionally made himself a benefactor to the nation.[1]

[1] Rise of Free Towns: By 1216 the most advanced of the English towns
had become to a very considerable extent self-governing.  See
W. Stubbs's "Constitutional History of England."

184. Failure of the Third Crusade.

The object of the Third Crusade (S182) was to drive the Mohammedans
from Jerusalem.  In this it failed.  Richard got as near Jerusalem as
the Mount of Olives.  When he had climbed to the top, he was told that
he could have a full view of the place; but he covered his face with
his mantle, saying, "Blessed Lord, let me not see thy holy city, since
I may not deliver it from the hands of thine enemies!"

185. Richard taken Prisoner; his Ransom (1194).

On his way home the King fell into the hands of the German Emperor,
who held him captive.  His brother John (S177), who had remained in
England, plotted with Philip of France to keep Richard in prison while
he got possession of the throne.  It is not certainly known how the
news of Richard's captivity reached England.  One account relates that
it was carried by Blondel, a minstrel who had accompanied the King to
Palestine.  He, it is said, wandered through Germany in search of his
master, singing a song, which he and Richard had composed together, at
every castle he came to.  One day, as he was thus singing at the foot
of a tower, he heard the well-known voice of the King take up the next
verse in reply.

Finally, Richard regained his liberty (1194), but to do it he had to
raise an enormous ransom.  Every Englishman, it was said, was obliged
to give a fourth of his personal property, and the priests were forced
to strip the churches of their jewels and silver plate.

When the King of France heard that the ransom money had at length been
raised, he wrote to John, telling him that his brother was free.
"Look out for yourself," said he; "the devil has broken loose."
Richard generously pardoned his treacherous brother; and when the King
was killed in a war in France (1199) John gained the throne he
coveted, but gained it only to disgrace it.

186. Purpose of the Crusades.

Up to the time of the Crusades, the English, when they entered upon
Continental wars, had been actuated either by ambition for military
glory or desire for conquest.  But they undertook the Crusades from
motives of religious enthusiasm.

Those who engaged in them fought for an idea.  They considered
themselves soldiers of the cross.  Moved by this feeling, "all
Christian believers seemed redy to precipitate themselves in one
united body upon Asia" (S182).  Thus the Crusades were "the first
European event."[1]  They gave men something noble to battle for, not
only outside their country, but outside their own selfish interests.

[1] Guizot's "History of Civilization."

Richard, as we have seen, was the first English King who took part in
them.  Before that period England had stood aloof,--"a world by
itself."  The country was engaged in its own affairs or in its
contests with France.  Richard's expedition to the Holy Land brought
England into the main current of history, so that it was now moved by
the same feeling which animated the Continent.

187. The Results of the Crusades: Educational, Social, Political.

From a purely military point of view, the Crusades ended in disastrous
failure, for they left the Mohammedans in absolute possession of the
Holy Land.  Although this is the twentieth century since the birth of
Christ, the Mohammedans still continue in that possession.  But in
spite of their failure these wars brought great good to England.  In
many respects the civilization of the East was far in advance of the
West.  One result of the Crusades was to open the eyes of Europe to
this fact.  When Richard and his followers set out, they looked upon
the Mohammedans as barbarians; before they returned, many were ready
to acknowledge that the barbarians were chiefly among themselves.

At that time England had few Latin and no Greek scholars.  The
Saracens or Mohammedans, however, had long been familiar with the
classics, and had translated them into their own tongue.  Not only did
England gain its first knowledge of the philosophy of Plato and
Aristotle from Mohammedan teachers, but it also received from them the
elements of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and astronomy.

This new knowledge gave a great impulse to education, and had a most
important influence on the growth of the universities of Cambridge and
Oxford, though these institutions did not become prominent until more
than a century later.

Had these been the only results, they would still, perhaps, have been
worth all the blood and treasure spent by the crusaders in their vain
attempts to recover the permanent possession of the sepulcher of
Christ; but these were by no means all.  The Crusades brought about a
social and political revolution.  They conferred benefits and removed
evils.  When they began, the greater part of the inhabitants of
western Europe, including England, were chained to the soil (S150).
They had neither freedom, property, nor knowledge.

There were in fact but three classes, who really deserved the name of
citizens and freemen; these were the churchmen (comprising the clergy,
monks, and other ecclesiastics), the nobles, and the inhabitants of
certain favored towns.  The effect of the Crusades was to increase the
number of this last class.  We have seen that Richard was compelled,
by his need of money, to grant charters conferring local
self-government on many towns (SS182, 183).  For a similar reason the
great nobles often granted the same powers to towns which they
controlled.  The result was that their immense estates were broken up
in some measure.  It was from this period, says the historian Gibbon,
that the common people (living in these chartered towns) began to
acquire political rights, and, what is more, to defend them.

188. Summary.

We may say in closing that the central fact in Richard's reign was his
embarking in the Crusades.  From them, directly or indirectly, England
gained two important advantages: first, a greater degree of political
liberty, especially in the case of the towns; secondly, a new
intellectual and educational impulse.


189. John Lackland; the King's Quarrels.

When Henry II in dividing his realm left his youngest son, John,
dependent on the generousity of his brothers, he jestingly gave him
the surname of "Lackland" (S171).  The nickname continued to cling to
him even after he had become King of England and had also secured
Normandy and several adjacent provinces in France.

The reign of the new King was taken up mainly with three momentous
quarrels: first, with France; next, with the Pope; lastly, with the
barons.  By his quarrel with France he lost Normandy and the greater
part of the adjoining provinces, thus becoming in a new sense John
Lackland.  By his quarrel with the Pope he was humbled to the earth.
By his quarrel with the barons he was forced to grant England the
Great Charter.

190. Murder of Prince Arthur.

Shortly after John's accession the nobles occupying a part of the
English possessions in France expressed their desire that John's
nephew, Arthur, a boy of twelve, should become their ruler.  John
refused to grant their request.

War, ensued, and Arthur fell into the hands of his uncle John, who
imprisoned him in the castle of Rouen, the capital of Normandy.  A
number of those who had been captured with the young prince were
starved to death in the dungeons of the same castle, and not long
after Arthur himself mysteriously disappeared.  Shakespeare represents
John as ordering the keeper of the castle to put out the lad's eyes,
and then tells us that he was killed in an attempt to escape.[1]  The
general belief, however, was that the King murdered him.

[1] Shakespeare's "King John," Act IV, scenes i and iii.

191. John's Loss of Normandy (1204).

Philip, King of France, accused John of the crime, and ordered him as
Duke of Normandy, and hence as his feudal dependant (S86), to appear
at Paris for trial.  John refused.  The court met, declared him a
traitor, and sentenced him to forfeit all his lands on the Continent.

John's late brother, Richard Coeur de Lion (S185), had built a famous
stronghold on the Seine to hold Rouen and Normandy.  He named it
"Saucy Castle."  King Philip vowed in Richard's lifetime that he would
make himself master of it.  "I would take it," said the French King,
"were its walls of iron."  "I would hold it," retorted Richard, "were
its walls of butter."  Richard made his word good, and kept the castle
as long as he lived; but his successor, John, was of poorer and meaner
stuff.  He left his Norman nobles to carry on the war against Philip
as best they could.  At last, after much territory had been lost, the
English King made an attempt to regain it.  But it was too late, and
"Saucy Castle" fell.  Then the end speedily came.  Philip seized all
Normandy and followed up the victory by depriving John of his entire
possessions north of the river Loire.  (See map facing p. 84.)

192. Good Results of the Loss of Normandy.

Thus after a union of nearly a hundred and forty years Normandy was
finally separated from England (S108).  From that time the Norman
nobles were compelled to choose between the island of England and the
Continent for their home.  Before that time the Norman's contempt for
the Saxon was so great, that his most indignant exclamation was, "Do
you take me for an Englishman?"

Now, however, shut in by the sea, with the people he had hitherto
oppressed and despised, the Norman came to regard England as his
country, and Englishmen as his countrymen.  Thus the two races, who
were closely akin to each other in their origin (S126), found at last
that they had common interests and common enemies,[1] and henceforth
they made the welfare of England their main thought.

[1] Macaulay's "England"; also W. Stubb's "Early Plantagenets,"
p. 136.

193. The King's Despotism.

Hitherto our sympathies have been mainly with the kings.  We have
watched them struggling against the lawless nobles (S173), and every
gain which they have made in power we have felt was so much won for
the cause of good government.  But we are coming to a period when our
sympathies will be the other way.  Henceforth the welfare of the
nation will depend largely on the resistence of these very barons to
the despotic encroachments of the Crown.[2]

[2] Ransome's "Constitutional History of England."

194. Quarrel of the King with the Church (1208).

Shortly after his defeat in France (S191), John entered upon his
second quarrel.  Pope Innocent III had commanded a delegation of the
monks of Canterbury to choose Stephen Langton archbishop in place of a
person whom the King had compelled them to elect.  When the news
reached John, he forbade Langton's landing in England, although it was
his native country.

The Pope forthwith declared the kingdom under an interdict, or
suspension of religious services.  For two years the churches were
hung in mourning, the bells ceased to ring, the doors were shut fast.
For two years the priests denied the sacraments to the living and
funeral prayers for the dead.  At the end of that time the Pope, by a
bull of excommunication (S167), cut off the King as a withered branch
from the Church.  John laughed at the interdict, and met the decree of
excommunication with such cruel treatment of the priests that they
fled terrified from the lnd.

The Pope now took a third and final step; he deposed John and ordered
Philip, King of France, to seize the English Crown.  Then John,
knowing that he stood alone, made a virtue of necessity.  He knelt at
the feet of the Pope's legate, or representative, accepted Stephen
Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, and promised to pay a yearly tax
to Rome of one thousand marks (about $64,000 in modern money) for
permission to keep his crown.  The Pope was satisfied with the victory
he had gained over his ignoble foe, and peace was made.

195. The Great Charter.

But peace in one direction did not mean peace in all.  John's tyranny,
brutality, and disregard of his subjects' welfare had gone too far.
He had refused the Church the right to fill its offices and enjoy its
revenues.  He had extorted exhorbitant sums from the barons.  He had
violated the charters of London and other cities.  He had compelled
merchants to pay large sums for the privilege of carrying on their
business unmolested.  He had imprisoned men on false or frivolous
charges, and refused to bring them to trial.  He had unjustly claimed
heavy sums from villeins, or farm laborers (S113), and other poor men;
and when they could not pay, had seized their carts and tools, thus
depriving them of their means of livelihood.

Those who had suffered these and greater wrongs were determined to
have reformation, and to have it in the form of a written charter or
pledge bearing the King's seal.  Stephen Langton, the new archbishop,
was likewise determined.  He no sooner landed in England than he
demanded of the King that he should swear to observe the laws of
Edward the Confessor (S65), a phrase[1] in which the whole of the
national liberties was summed up.

[1] Not necessarily the laws made by that King, but rather the customs
and rights enjoyed by the people during his reign.

196. Preliminary Meeting at St. Albans (1213).

In the summer (1213) a council was held at St. Albans, near London,
composed of representatives from all parts of the kingdom.  It was the
first assembly of the kind on record.  It convened to consider what
claims should be made on the King in the interest of the nobles, the
clergy, and the people at large.  A few weeks later they met again, at
St. Paul's in London.

The deliberations of the assembly took shape probably under Archbishop
Langton's guiding hand.  He had obtained a copy of the charter granted
by Henry I (S135).  This was used as a model for drawing up a new one
of similar character, but in every respect fuller and stronger in its

197. Battle of Bouvines; Second Meeting of the Barons (1214).

John foolishly set out for the Continent, to fight the French at the
same time that the English barons were preparing to bring him to
terms.  He was defeated in the decisive battle of Bouvines, in the
north of France, and returned to England crestfallen (1214), and in no
condition to resist demands at home.  Late in the autumn the barons
met in the abbey church of Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, under their
leader, Robert Fitz-Walter, of London.  Advancing one by one up the
church to the high altar, they solemnly swore that they would oblige
John to grant the new charter, or they would declare war against him.

198. The King grants the Charter, 1215.

At Easter (1215) the same barons, attended by two thousand armed
knights, met the King at Oxford and made known their demands.  John
tried to evade giving a direct answer.  Seeing that was impossible,
and finding that the people of London were on the side of the barons,
he yielded and requested them to name the day and place for the
ratification of the charter.

"Let the day be the 15th of June, the place Runnymede,"[1] was the
reply.  In accordance therewith, we read at the foot of the shriveled
parchment preserved in the British Museum, "Given under our
the meadow called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the 15th
of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign."

[1] Runnymede: about twenty miles southwest of London, on the south
bank of the Thames, in Surrey.

199. Terms and Value of the Charter, 1215; England leads in
Constitutional Government.

This memorable document was henceforth known as the Magna Carta,[2] or
the Great Charter,--a term used to emphatically distinguish it from
all previous and partial charters.

[2] Magna Carta: Carta is the spelling in the medieval Latin of this
and the preceding charters.  (See the Constitutional Documents in the
Appendix, p. xxix.)

It stipulated that the following grievances should be redressed:
First, those of the Church; secondly, those of the barons and their
vassals or tenants; thirdly, those of citizens and tradesmen;
fourthly, those of freemen and villeins or serfs (SS113, 150).

Such was the first agreement entered into between the King and all
classes of his people.  Of the sixty-three articles which constitute
it, the greater part, owing to the changes of time, are now obsolete;
but three possess imperishable value.  These provide:

(1) That no free man shall be imprisoned or proceeded against except
by his peers,[1] or the law of the land.
(2) That justice shall neither be sold, denied, nor delayed.
(3) That all dues from the people to the King, unless otherwise
distinctly specified, shall be imposed only with the conselt of the
National Council (S144).

This last provision "converted the power of taxation into the shield
of liberty."[2]

[1] Peers (from Latin pares): equals; this clause secures a fair and
open trial.
[2] Sir J. Mackintosh's "History of England."  This provision was
dropped in the next reign (see W. Stubb's "Constitutional History of
England"); but after the great civil war of the seventeenth century
the principle it laid down was firmly reestablished.

Thus, for the first time, the interests of all classes were protected,
and for the first time the English people appear in the constitutional
history of the country as a united body.  So highly was this charter
esteemed, that in the course of the next two centuries it was
confirmed no less than thirty-seven times; and the very day that
Charles II entered London, after the civil wars of the seventeenth
century, the House of Commons asked him to confirm it again (1660).
Magna Carta was the first great step in that development of
constitutional government in which England has taken the lead.

200. John's Efforts to break the Charter (1215).

But John had no sooner set his hand to this document than he
determined to repudiate it.  He hired bands of soldiers on the
Continent to come to his aid.  The charter had been obtained by armed
revolt; for this reason the Pope opposed it.  He suspended Archbishop
Langton (S196), and threatened the barons with excommunication (S167),
if they persisted in enforcing the provisions of the charter.

201. The Barons invite Louis of France to aid them (1215).

In their desperation,--for the King's hired foreign soldiers were now
ravaging the country,--the barons dispatched a messenger to John's
sworn enemy, Philip, King of France.  They invited him to send over
his son, Prince Louis, to free them from tyranny, and become ruler of
the kingdom.  He came with all speed, and soon made himself master of
the southern counties.

202. King John's Death (1216).

John was the first sovereign who had styled himself, on his great
seal, "King of England,"[1] thus formally claiming the actual
ownership of the realm.  He was now to find that the sovereign who has
no place in his subjects' hearts has small hold of their possessions.

[1] The late Professor E. A. Freeman, in his "Norman Conquest," I, 85,
note, says that though Richard Coeur de Lion had used this title in
issuing charters, yet John was the first king who put this inscription
on the great seal.

The rest of his ignominious reign was spent in war against the barons
and Prince Louis of France.  "They have placed twenty-five kings over
me!" he shouted, in his fury, referring to the twenty-five leading men
who had been appointed to see that the Great Charter did not become a
dead letter.  But the twenty-five did their duty, and the war was on.

In the midst of it John suddenly died.  The old record said of
him--and said rightly--that he was "a knight without truth, a king
without justice, a Christian without faith."[2]  The Church returned
good for evil, and permitted him to be buried in front of the high
altar of Worcester cathedral.

[2] The late Professor W. Stubbs, of Oxford, says, in his "Early
Plantagenets," p. 152: "John ended thus a life of ignominy in which he
has no rival in the whole long list of our sovereigns....He was in
every way the worst of the whole list: the most vicious, the most
profane, the most tyrannical, the most false, the most short-sighted,
the most unscrupulous."  A more recent writer (Professor Charles Oman,
of the University of Oxford), says of John, "No man had a good word to
say for him...; he was loathed by every one who knew him."

203. Summary.

John's reign may be regarded as a turning point in English history.

1. Through the loss of Normandy, the Norman nobility found it for
their interest to make the welfare of England and of the English race
one with their own.  Thus the two peoples became more and more united,
until finally all differences ceased.

2. In demanding and obtainign the Great Charter, the Church and the
nobility made common cause with all classes of the people.  That
document represents the victory of the entire nation.  We shall see
that the next eighty years will be mainly taken up with the efforts of
the nation to hold fast to what it had gained.

Henry III--1216-1272

204. Accession and Character.

John's eldest son, Henry, was crowned at the age of nine.  During his
long and feeble reign of fifty-six years England's motto might well
have been the warning words of Scripture, "Woe to thee, O land, when
thy king is a child!" since a child he remained to the last; for if
John's heart was of millstone, Henry's was of wax.

Dante in one of his poems, written perhaps not long after Henry's
death, represents him as he sees him in imagination just on the
borderland of purgatory.  The King is not in suffering, for as he has
done no particular good, so he has done no great harm.  He appears "as
a man of simple life, spending his time singing psalms in a narrow

That shows one side of his negative character; the other was his love
of extravagance, vain display, and instability of purpose.  Much of
the time he drifted about like a ship without compass or rudder.

205. Reissue of the Great Charter.

Louis, the French prince who had come to England in John's reign as an
armed claimant to the throne (S201), finding that both the barons and
the Church preferred an English to a foreign king, now retired.
During his minority Henry's guardians twice reissued the Great Charter
(S199): first, with the omission of the article which reserved the
power of taxation to the National Council (S199, No. 3); and,
secondly, with an addition declaring that no man should lose life or
limb for hunting in the royal forests (S119).

On the last occasion the Council granted the King in return a
fifteenth of their movable or personal property.  This tax reached a
large class of people, like merchants in towns, who were not
landholders.  On this account it had a decided influence in making
them desire to have a voice in the National Council, or Parliament, as
it began to be called in this reign (1246).  It thus helped, as we
shall see later on, to prepare for a very important change in that

[1] The first tax on movable or personal property appears to have been
levied by Henry II, in 1188, for the support of the Crusades.  Under
Henry III the idea began to become general that no class should be
taxed without their consent; out of this grew the representation of
townspeople in Parliament.

206. Henry's Extravagance.

When Henry became of age he entered upon a course of extravagant
expenditure.  This, with unwise and unsuccessful wars, finally piled
up debts to the amount of nearly a million of marks, or, in modern
money, upwards of 13,000,000 pounds.  To satisfy the clamors of his
creditors, he mortgaged the Jews (S119), or rather the right of
extorting money from them, to his brother Richard.

He also violated the chaters and treaties in order to compel those who
benefited from them to purchase their reissue.  On the birth of his
first son, Prince Edward, he showed himself so eager for
congratulatory gifts, that one of the nobles present at court said,
"Heaven gave us this child, but the King sells him to us."

207. His Church Building.

Still, not all of the King's extravagance was money thrown away.
Everywhere on the Continent magnificent churches were rising.  The
heavy and somber Norman architecture, with its round arches and
square, massive towers, was giving place to the more graceful Gothic
style, with its pointed arch and lofty, tapering spire.

The King shared the religious enthusiasm of those who built the grand
cathedrals of Salisbury and Lincoln.  He himself rebuilt the greater
part of Westminster Abbey (S66) as it now stands.  A monument so
glorious ought to make us willing to overlook some faults in the
builder.  Yet the expense and taxation incurred in erecting the great
minster must be reckoned among the causes that bred discontent and led
to civil war (S212).

208. Religious Reformation; the Friars, 1221; Roger Bacon.

While this movement, which covered the land with religious edifices,
was in progress, religion itself was undergoing a change.  The old
monastic orders had grown rich, indolent, and corrupt.  The priests
had well-nigh ceased to do missionary work.  At this period a reform
sprang up within the Church itself.  On the Continent two new
religious orders arose, calling themselves Friars, or Brothers.  They
first came to England in 1221.  These Brothers bound themselves to a
life of self-denial and good works.  Some labored in the outskirts of
towns among the poor and the sick and called them to hear the glad
tidings of the teachings of Christ.  From their living on charity they
came to be known as "Beggin Friars."

Others, like Roger Bacon at Oxford, took an important part in
education, and endeavored to rouse the sluggish monks to make efforts
in the same direction.  Bacon's experiments in physical science, which
was then neglected and despiseed, got him the reputation of being a
magician.  He was driven into exile, imprisoned for many years, and
deprived of books and writing materials.

But, as nothing could check the religious fervor of his mendicant
brothers, so no hardship or suffering could daunt the intellectual
enthusiasm of Bacon.  When he emerged from captivity he issued his
great book entitled an "Inquiry into the Roots of Knowledge."[1]  It
was especially devoted to mathematics and the sciences, and deserves
the name of the encyclopedia fo the thirteenth century.

[1] Bacon designated this book by the name of "Opus Majus," or
"Greater Work," to distinguish it from a later summary which he alled
his "Opus Minus," or "Smaller Work."

209. The "Mad Parliament"; the Provisions of Oxford (1258).

But the prodigal expenditure and mismanagement of Henry kept on
increasing.  At last the burden of taxation became too great to bear.
Bad harvests had caused a famine, and multitudes perished even in
London.  Confronted by these evils, Parliament (S205) met in the Great
Hall at Westminster.  Many of the barons were in complete armor.  As
the King entered there was an ominous clatter of swords.  Henry,
looking around, asked timidly, "Am I a prisoner?"

"No, sire," answered Earl Bigod (S172); "but we must have reform."
The King agreed to summon a Parliament to meet at Oxford and consider
what should be done.  The enemies of this assembly nicknamed it the
"Mad Parliament" (1258); but there was method and determination in its
madness, for which the country was grateful.

With Simon de Montfort, the King's brother-in-law, at their head, they
drew up a set of articles, called the Provisions of Oxford, to which
Henry gave an unwilling assent.  These Provisions practically took the
government out of the King's inefficient hand and vested it in the
control of three committees, or councils.  (See Summary of
Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. x, S11.)

210. Renewal of the Great Charter (1253).

Meanwhile the King had been compelled to reaffirm that Great Charter
which his father had unwillingly granted at Runnymede (S198).
Standing in St. Catherine's Chapel within the partially finished
church of Westminster Abbey (S207), Henry, holding a lighted taper in
his hand, in company with the chief men of the realm, swore to observe
the provisions of the covenant.

At the close he exclaimed, as he dashed the taper on the pavement,
while all present repeated the words and the action, "So go out with
smoke and stench the accursed souls of those who break or pervert this

There is no evidence that the King was insincere in his oath; but
unfortunately his piety was that of impulse, not of principle.  The
compact was soon broken, and the lnd was again compelled to bear the
burden of exorbitant taxes.  These were extorted by violence, partly
to cover Henry's own extravagance, but also to swell the coffers of
the Pope, who had promised to make Henry's son, Prince Edward, ruler
over Sicily.

211. Growing Feeling of Discontent.

During this time the barons were daily growing more mutinous and
defiant, saying that they would rather die than be ruined by the
"Romans," as they called the papal power.  To a fresh demand for money
Earl Bigod (S209) gave a flat refusal.  "Then I will send reapers and
reap your field for you," cried the King to him.  "And I will send you
back the heads of your reapers," retorted the angry Earl.

It was evident that the nobles would make no concession.  The same
spirit was abroad which, at an earlier date (1236), made the
Parliament of Merton declare, when asked to alter the customs or laws
of the country to suit the ordinances of the Church of Rome, "We will
not change the laws of England."  So now the were equally resolved not
to pay the Pope money in bahalf of the King's son.

212. Civil War; Battle of Lewes (1264).

The crisis was soon reached.  War broke out between the King and his
brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester (S209), better
known by his popular name of Sir Simon the Righteous.

With fifteen thousand Londoners and a number of the barons, he met
Henry, who had a stronger force, on the heights above the town of
Lewes, in Sussex.  (See map facing p. 436.)  The result of the great
battle fought there was as decisive as that fought two centuries
before by William the Conqueror (S74), not many miles distant on the
same coast.

213. De Montfort's Parliament; the House of Commons, 1265.

Bracton, the foremost jurist of that day, said in his comments on the
dangerous state of the times, "If the King were without a bridle,
--that is, the law,--his subjects ought to put a bridle on him."

Earl Simon (S209) had that "bridle" ready, or rather he saw clearly
where to get it.  The battle of Lewes had gone against Henry, who had
fallen captive to De Montfort.  By virtue of the power he now
possessed, the Earl summoned a Parliament.  It differed from all
previous Parliaments in the fact that now, for the first time,
representatives of the boroughs or principal towns (S103) were called
to London to join the earls, barons, and clergy in their

Thus, in the winter of 1265, that House of Commons, or legislative
assembly of the people, as distinguished from the House of Lords,
originated.  After it was fully and finally established in the next
reign (S217), it sat for more than three hundred years in the chapter
house[1] of Westmister Abbey.  It showed that at last those who had
neither land nor rank, but who paid taxes on personal property only,
had obtained at least temporary representation in Parliament.

[1] The building where the governing body of an abbey transacts

When that principle should be fully recognized, the King would have a
"bridle" which he could not shake off.  Henceforth Magna Carta (S199)
would be no longer a dead parchment promise of reform, rolled up and
hidden away, but would become a living, ever-present, effective
truth.  (See SS261, 262, and Constitutional Summary in the Appendix,
p. x, S11.)

From this date the Great Council or Parliament of England (S144)
commenced to lose its exclusive character of a single House consisting
of the upper classes only.  Now, it gave promise of becoming a true
representative body standing for the whole nation.  Thus De Montfort
began--or at least tried to begin--what President Lincoln called
"government of the people, by the people, for the people."  But it
should be distinctly understood that his work had the defects of a
first attempt, and that it did not last.  For, in the first place, De
Montfort failed to summon all who were entitled to have seats in such
a body; and secondly, he summoned only those who favored his policy.
We shall see that the honor of calling the first full and free
Parliament was reserved for Edward I.  Thirty years later, he summoned
that body, which became the final model of every such assembly which
now meets, whether in the Old World or the New (S217).

214. Earl Simon's Death (1265).

But De Montfort's great effort soon met with a fatal reaction.  The
barons, jeolous of his power, fell away from him.  Prince Edward, the
King's eldest son, gathered them round the royal standard to attack
and crush the man who had humiliated his father.  De Montfort was at
Evesham, Worcestershire (see map facing p. 436); from the top of the
Bell Tower of the Abbey he saw the Prince approaching.  "Commend you
souls to God," he said to the faithful few who stood by him; "for our
bodies are the foes'!"  There he fell.  He was buried in Evesham
Abbey, but no trace of his grave exists.

In the north aisle of Westminster Abbey, not far from Henry III's
tomb, may be seen the emblazoned arms of the brave Earl Simon.  But
England, so rich in effigies of her great men, so faithful, too, in
her remembrance of them, has not yet set up in the vestibule of the
House of Commons, among the statues of her statesmen, the image of him
who took the first actual step toward founding that House in its
present form.

215. Summary.

Henry III's reign lasted over half a century.  During that period
England, as we have seen, was not standing still.  It was an age of
reform.  In religion the "Begging Friars" were exhorting men to better
lives.  In education Roger Bacon and other devoted scholars were
laboring to broaden knowledge and deepen thought.

In political affairs the people now first obtained a place in
Parliament.  Their victory was not permanent then, but it was the
precursor of the establishment of a permanent House of Commons which
was to come in the next reign.

Edward I--1272-1307

216. Edward I and the Crusades.

Henry's son, Prince Edward, was in the East, fighting the battles of
the Crusades (S182), at the time of his father's death.  According to
an account given in an old Spanish chronicle, an enemy attacked him
with a poisoned dagger.  His wife, Eleanor, saved his life by
heroically sucking the poison from the wound (S223).

217. Edward's First "Complete or Model Parliament," 1295.

Many years after his return to England, Edward convened a Parliament,
1295, to which representatives of all classes of freemen were
summoned, and from this time they regularly met (S213).  Parliament
henceforth consisted of two Houses.[1]  This first included the Lords
and Clergy.  The second comprised the Commons (or representation of
the common people).  It thus became "a complete image of the nation,"
"assembled for the purposes of taxation, legislation, and united
political action."[2]  This body declared that all previous laws
should be impartially executed, and that there should be no
interference with elections.[2]  By this action King Edward showed
that he had the wisdom to adopt and perfect the example his father's
conqueror had left him (S213).  Thus it will be seen that though Earl
Simon the Righteous (SS212, 213, 214) was dead, his reform went on.
It was an illustration of the truth that while "God buries his
workers, he carries on his work."

[1] But during that period of the Commonwealth and Protectorate
(1648-1660) the House of Lords did not meet (S450)
[2] Stubb's "Early Plantagenets" (Edward I).  See also the Summary of
Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xi, S12.
[3] The First Statute of Westminster.

218. Conquest of Wales, 1282; Birth of the First Prince of Wales.

Henry II had labored to secure unity of law for England.  Edward I's
aim was to bring the whole island of Britain under one ruler.  On the
west, Wales only half acknowledged the power of the English King,
while on the north, Scotland was practically an independent
sovereignty.  The new King determined to begin by annexing Wales to
the Crown.

He accordingly led an army thither, and after several victorious
battles, considered that he had gained his end.  To make sure of his
new possessions, he erected along the coast the magnificent castles of
Conway, Beaumaris, Harlech, and Carnarvon, all of which he garrisoned
with bodies of troops ready to check revolt.

In the last-named stronghold, tradition still points out a little dark
chamber in the Eagle Tower, more like a state-prison cell than a royla
apartment, where Edward's second son was born (1284).  Years afterward
the King created him the first Prince of Wales (1301).  The Welsh had
vowed that they would never accept an Englishman as King; but the
young Prince was a native of the soil, and certainly in his cradle, at
least, spoke as good Welsh as their own children of the same age.  No
objection, therefore, could be made to him; by this happy compromise,
it is said, Wales became a principality joined to the English

[4] Wales was not wholly incorporated with England until more than two
centuries later, namely in 1536, in the reign of Henry VIII.  It then
obtained local self-government and representation in Parliament.

219. Conquest of Scotland (1290-1296); the Stone of Scone.

An opportunity now presented itself for Edward to assert his power in
Scotland.  Two claimants, both of Norman descent, had come forward
demanding the crown.[1]  One was John Baliol; the other, Robert Bruce,
an ancestor of the famous Scottish King and general of that name, who
will come prominently forward in the next reign.  He decided in
Baliol's favor, but insisted, before doing so, that the latter should
acknowledge the overlordship of England, as the King of Scotland had
done to William I.

[1] Scotland: At the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, Scotland
was inhabited by a Celtic race nearly akin to the primitive Irish, and
more distantly so to the Britons.  In time, the Saxons from the
Continent invaded the country, and settled on the lowlands of the
east, driving back the Celts to the western highlands.  Later, many
English emigrated to Scotland, especially at the time of the Norman
Conquest, where they found a hearty welcome.
   In 1072 William the Conqueror compelled the Scottish King to
acknowledge him as Overlord, and eventually so many Norman nobles
established themselves in Scotland that they constituted the chief
landed aristocracy of the country.  The modern Scottish nation, though
it keeps its Celtic name (Scotland), is made up in great measure of
inhabitants of English descent, the pure Scotch being confined mostly
to the Highlands, and ranking in population only as about one to three
of the former.

Baliol made a virtue of necessity, and agreed to the terms; but
shortly after formed a secret alliance with France against Edward,
which was renewed from time to time, and kept up between the two
countries for three hundred years.  It is the key to most of the wars
in which England was involved during that period.  Having made this
treaty, Baliol now openly renounced his allegiance to the English
King.  Edward at once organized a force, attacked Baliol, and at the
battle of Dunbar (1296) compelled the Scottish nobleman to acknowledge
him as ruler.

At the Abbey of Scone, near Perth, the English seized the famous
"Stone of Destiny," the palladium of Scotland, on which her Kings were
crowned.  (See map facing p. 120.)  Carrying the trophy to Westminster
Abbey, Edward enclosed it in that ancient coronation chair which has
been used by every sovereign since, from his son's accession (1307)
down to the present day.

220. Confirmation of the Charters, 1297.

Edward next prepared to attack France.  In great need of money, he
demanded a large sum from the clergy, and seized a quantity of wool in
the hands of the merchants.  The barons, alarmed at these arbitrary
measures, insisted on the King's confirming all previous charters of
liberties, including the Great Charter (SS135, 160, 199).  This
confirmation expressly forbade that the Crown should take the people's
money or goods except by the consent of Parliament.  Thus out of the
war England gained the one thing it needed to give the finishing touch
to the building up of Parliamentary power (SS213, 217); namely, a
solemn acknowledgement by the King that the nation alone had the right
to levy taxes.[1]  (See Summary of Constitutional History in the
Appendix, p. xi, S12.)

[1] Professor Stubbs says in his works (i.e. "Constitutional History
of England," and "Select Charters"), that the Confirmation of the
Charters "established the principle that for all taxation, direct and
indirect, the consent of the nation must be asked, and made it clear
that all transgressions of that principle, whether within the latter
of the law or beyond it, were evasions of the spirit of the
Constitution."  See also J. Rowley's "Rise of the English People."

221. Revolt and Death of Wallace (1303).

A new revolt now broke out in Scotland (S219).  The patriot, William
Wallace, rose and led his countrymen against the English,--led them
with that impetuous valor which breathes in Burns's lines:

                "Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled."

Fate, however, was against him.  After eight years of desperate
fighting, the valiant soldier was captured, executed on Tower Hill in
London as a traitor, and his head, crowned in mockery with a wreath of
laurel, was set on a pike on London Bridge.

But though the hero who perished on the scaffold could not prevent his
country from becoming one day a part of England, he did hinder its
becoming so on unfair and tyrannical terms.  "Scotland," says Carlyle,
"is not Ireland.  No; because brave men arose there, and said,
`Behold, ye must not tread us down like slaves,--and ye shall
not,--and ye cannot!'"  But Ireland failed, not for any lack of brave
men, but for lack of unity among them.

222. Expulsion of the Jews, 1290.

The darkest stain on Edward's reign was his treatment of the Jews
(S119).  Up to this period that unfortunate race had been protected by
the Kings of England as men protect the cattle which they fatten for
slaughter.  So long as they accumulated money, and so long as the
sovereign could extort from them whatever portion of their
accumulations he saw fit to demand, they were worth guarding.  A time
had now come when the populace clamored for their expulsion from the
island, on the ground that their usury and rapacity was ruining the

Edward yielded to the clamor, and first stripping the Jews of their
possessions, he prepared to drive them into exile.  It is said that
even their books were taken from them and given to the libraries of
Oxford.  Thus pillaged, they were forced to leave the realm,--a
miserable procession, numbering some sixteen thousand.  Many perished
on the way, and so few ventured to return that for three centuries and
a half, until Cromwell came to power, they disappear from English
history (S458).

223. Death of Queen Eleanor.

Shortly after this event, Queen Eleanor died (S216).  The King showed
the devoted love he bore her in the beautiful crosses of carved stone
that he raised to her memory, three of which still stand.[1]  These
were erected at the places where her coffin was set down, in its
transit from Grantham, in Lincolnshire, where she died, to the little
village of Charing (now Charing Cross, the geographical center of
London).  This was the last station before her body reached its final
resting place, in that abbey at Westminster which holds such wealth of
historic dust.  Around Queen Eleanor's tomb wax lights were kept
constantly burning, until the Protestant Reformation extinguished
them, nearly three hundred years later.

[1] Originally there were thirteen of these crosses.  Of these, three
remain: namely, at Northampton, at Geddington, near by, and at
Waltham, about twelve miles northeast of London.

224. Edward's Reforms; Statute of Winchester (1285).

The condition of England when Edward came to the throne was far from
settled.  The country was overrun with marauders.  To suppress these,
the Statute of Winchester made the inhabitants of every district
punishable by fines for crimes committed within their limits.  Every
walled town had to close its gates at sunset, and no stranger could be
admitted during the night unless some citizen would be responsible for

In addition, both sides of the main roads were cleared of bushes in
order that desperadoes might not lie in wait for travelers.
Furthermore, every citizen was required to keep arms and armor,
according to his condition in life, and to join in the pursuit and
arrest of criminals.

225. Land Legislation, 1285, 1290.

Two very important statutes were passed during this reign, respecting
the free sale or transfer of land.[1]

[1] These laws may be regarded as the foundation of the English system
of landed property; they completed the feudal claim to the soil
established by William the Conqueror.  They are known as the Second
Statute of Westminster (De Donis, or Entail, 1285) and the Third
Statute of Westminster (Quia Emptores, 1290).  See S264 and Summary of
Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xi, S11.

The effect of these statutes was to confine the great estates to the
hands of their owners and direct descendants, or, when land changed
hands, to keep alive the claims of the great lords or the Crown upon
it.  These laws rendered it difficult for landholders to evade their
feudal duties to the King (S150) by the sale or subletting of
estates.  Hence, while they often built up the strength of the great
families, they also operated to increase the power of the Crown at the
very time when the growing influence of Parliament and the people was
beginning to act as a check upon the royal authority.

226. Legislation respecting the Church; Statute of Mortmain, 1279.

A third enactment checked the undue increase of Church property.
Through gifts and bequests the clergy had become owners of a very
large part of the most fertile soil of the realm.  No farms, herds of
cattle, or flocks of sheep compared with theirs.  These lands were
said to be in mortmain, or "dead hands"; since the Church, being a
corporation, never let go its hold, but kept its property with the
tenacity of a dead man's grasp.

The clergy constantly strove to get these Church lands exempted from
furnishing soldiers, or paying taxes to the King (S136).  Instead of
men or money they offered prayers.  Practically, the Crown succeeded
from time to time in compelling them to do considerably more than
this, but seldom without a violent struggle, as in the case of Henry
II and Becket (S165).

On account of these exemptions it had become the practice with many
persons who wished to escape bearing their just share of the support
of the King, to give their lands to the Church, and then receive them
again as tenants of some abbot or bishop.  In this way they evaded
their military and pecuniary obligations to the Crown.  To put a stop
to this practice, and so make all landed proprietors do their part,
the Statute of Mortmain was passed, 1279.  It required the donor of an
estate to the Church to obtain a royal license, which, it is perhaps
needless to say, was not readily granted.[1]

[1] See p. 76, note 1, on Clergy; and see Summary of Constitutional
History in the Appendix, p. xi, S11.

227. Death of Edward I.

Edward died while endeavoring to subdue a revolt in Scotland, in which
Robert Bruce, grandson of the first of that name (S219), had seized
the throne.  His last request was that his son Edward should continue
the war.  "Carry my bones before you on your march," said the dying
King, "for the rebels will not endure the sight of me, alive or dead!"

Not far from the beautiful effigy of Queen Eleanor in Westminster Abey
(S223), "her husband rests in a severely simple tomb.  Pass it not by
for its simplicity; few tombs hold nobler dust."[2]

[2] Goldwin Smith's "History of the United Kingdom."

228. Summary.

During Edward I's reign the following changes took place:

1. Wales and Scotland were conquered, and the first remained
permanently a part of the English kingdom.
2. The landed proprietors of the whole country were made more directly
responsible to the Crown.
3. The excessive growth of Church property was checked.
4. Laws for the better suppression of acts of violence were enacted
and rigorously enforced.
5. The Great Charter, with additional articles for the protection of
the people, was confirmed by the King, and the power of taxation
expressly acknowledged to reside in Parliament only.
6. Parliament, a legislative body now representing all classes of the
nation, was permanently organized, and for the first time regularly
and frequently summoned by the King.[1]

[1] It will be remembered that De Montfort's Parliament in 1265 (S213)
was not regularly and legally summoned, since the King (Henry III) was
at that time a captive.  The first Parliament (consisting of a House
of Commons and House of Lords, including the upper Clergy), convened
by the Crown, was that called by Edward I in 1295 (S217).

Edward II--1307-1327

229. Accession and Character.

The son to whom Edward I left his power was in every respect his
opposite.  The old definition of the word "king" was "the man who
CAN," or the able man.  The modern explanation usually makes him "the
chief or head of a people."  Edward II would satisfy neither of these
definitions.  He lacked all disposition to do anything himself; he
equally lacked power to incite others to do.  By nature he was a
jester, trifler, and waster of time.

Being such, it is hardly necessary to say that he did not push the war
with Scotland.  Robert Bruce (S227) did not expect that he would; that
valiant fighter, indeed, held the new English sovereign in utter
contempt, saying that he feared the dead father, Edward I, much more
than the living son.

230. Piers Gaveston; the Lords Ordainers; Articles of Reform.

During his first five years of his reign, Edward II did little more
than lavish wealth and honors on his chief favorite and adviser, Piers
Gaveston, a Frenchman who had been his companion and playfellow from
childhood.  While Edward I was living, Parliament had with his
sanction banished Gaveston from the kingdom, as a man of corrupt
practices; but Edward II was no sooner crowned than he recalled him,
and gave him the government of the realm during his absence in France,
on the occasion of his marriage.

On Edward's return, the barons protested against the monopoly of
privileges by a foreigner, and the King was obliged to consent to
Gaveston's banishment.  He soon came back, however, and matters went
on from bad to worse.  Finally, the indignation of the nobles rose to
such a pitch that at a council held at Westminster the government was
virtually taken from the King's hands and vested in a body of barons
and bishops.

The head of this committee was the King's cousin, the Earl of
Lancaster; and from the Ordinances or Articles of Reform which the
committee drew up for the management of affairs they got the name of
the Lords Ordainers.  Gaveston was now sent out of the country for a
third time; but the King persuaded him to return, and gave him the
office of Secretary of State.  This last insult--for so the Lords
Ordainers regareded it--was too much for the nobility to bear.

They resolved to exile the hated favorite once more, but this time to
send him to that "undiscovered country" from which "no traveler
returns."  Edward, taking alarm, placed Gaveston in Scarborough
Castle, on the coast of Yorkshire, thinking that he would be safe
there.  The barons besieged the castle, starved Gaveston into
surrender, and beheaded him forthwith.  Thus ended the first favorite.

231. Scotland regains its Independence; Bannockburn, 1314.

Seeing Edward's lack of manly fiber, Robert Bruce (S229), who had been
crowned King of the Scots, determined to make himself ruler in fact as
well as in name.  He had suffered many defeats; he had wandered a
fugitive in forests and glens; he had been hunted with bloodhounds
like a wild beast; but he had never lost courage or hope.  On the
field of Bannockburn, northwest of Edinburgh (1314), he once again met
the English, and in a bloody and decisive battle drove them back like
frightened sheep into their own country.  (See map facing p. 120.)  By
this victory, Bruce reestablished the independence of Scotland,--an
independence which continued until the rival kingdoms were peacefully
united under one crown, by the accession of the Scottish King, James,
to the English throne (1603).

232. The New Favorites; the King made Prisoner (1314-1326).

For the next seven years the Earl of Lancaster (S23) had his own way
in England.  During this time Edward, whose weak nature needed some
one to lean on, had got two new favorites,--Hugh Despenser and his
son.  They were men of more character than Gaveston (S230), but as
they cared chiefly for their own interests, they incurred the hatred
of the baronage.

The King's wife, Isabelle of France, now turned against him.  She had
formerly acted as a peacemaker, but from this time she did all in her
power to make trouble.  Roger Mortimer, one of the leaders of the
barons, was the sworn enemy of the Despensers.  The Queen had formed a
guilty attachment for him.  The reign of Mortimer and Isabelle was "a
reign of terror."  Together they plotted the ruin of Edward and his
favorites.  They raised a force, seized and executed the Despensers
(1326), and then took the King prisoner.

233. Deposition and Murder of the King (1327).

Having locked up Edward in Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, the barons
now resolved ot remove him from the throne.  Parliament drew up
articles of deposition against him, and appointed commissioners to
demand his resignation of the throne.

When they went to the castle, Edward appeared before them clad in deep
mourning.  Presently he sank fainting to the floor.  On his recovery
he burst into a fit of weeping.  But, checking himself, he thanked
Parliament through the commissioners for having chosen his eldest son
Edward, a boy of fourteen, to rule over the nation.

Sir William Trussel then stepped forward and said: "Unto thee, O King,
I, William Trussel, in the name of all men of this land of England and
Speaker of this Parliament, renounce to you, Edward, the homage [oath
of allegiance] that was made to you some time; and from this time
forth I defy thee and deprive thee of all royal power, and I shall
never be attendant on thee as King from this time."

Then Sir Thomas Blount, steward of the King's household; advanced,
broke his staff of office before the King's face, and proclaimed the
royal household dissolved.

Edward was soon after committed to Berkeley Castle,[1] in
Gloucestershire.  There, by the order of Mortimer, with the connivance
of Queen Isabelle, the "she-wolf of France," who acted as his
companion in iniquity (S232), the King was secretly and horribly

[1] Berkeley Castle is considered one of the finest examples of feudal
architecture now remaining in England.  Over the stately structure
still floats the standard borne in the Crusades by an ancestor of the
present Lord Berkeley.

234. Summary.

The lesson of Edward II's career is found in its culmination.  Other
sovereigns had been guilty of misgovernment, others had put unworthy
and grasping favorites in power, but he was the first King whom
Parliament had deposed.

By that act it became evident that great as was the power of the King,
there had now come into existence a greater still, which could not
only make but unmake him who sat on the throne.

Edward III--1327-1377

235. Edward's Accession; Execution of Mortimer.

Edward III, son of Edward II, was crowned at fourteen.  Until he
became of age, the government was nominally in the hands of a council,
but really in the control of Queen Isabelle and her "gentle Mortimer,"
the two murderers of his father (S233).

Early in his reign Edward attempted to reconquer Scotland (S219), but
failing in his efforts, made a peace acknowledging the independence of
that country.  At home, however, he now gained a victory which
compensated him for his disappointment in not subduing the Scots.

Mortimer was staying with Queen Isabelle at Nottingham Castle.  Edward
obtained entrance by a secret passage, carried him off captive, and
soon after brought him to the gallows.  He next seized his mother, the
Queen, and kept her in confinement for the rest of her life in Castle
Rising, Norfolk.

236. The Rise of English Commerce; Wool Manufacture, 1336.

The reign of Edward III is directly connected with the rise of a
flourishing commerce with the Continent.  In the early ages of its
history England was almost wholly an agricultural country.  At length
the farmers in the eastern counties began to turn their attention to
wool growing.  They exported the fleeces, which were considered the
finest in the world, to the Flemish cities of Ghent and Bruges.  There
they were woven into cloth and returned to be sold in the English
market; for, as an old writer quaintly remarks, "The English people at
that time knew no more what to do with the wool than the sheep on
whose backs it grew."[1]

[1] Thomas Fuller.  This remark applies to the production of fine
woolens only.  The English had long manufactured common grades of
woolen cloth to some extent.

Edward's wife, Queen Philippa, was a native of a French province
adjoining Flanders, which was also engaged in the production of
cloth.  (See map facing p. 128.)  She used her influence in behalf of
the establishment of woolen factories at Norwich, and other towns in
the east of England, in 1336.  Skilled Flemish workmen were induced to
come over, and by their help England successfully laid the foundation
of one of her greatest and most lucrative industries.

From that time wool was considered a chief source of the national
wealth.  Later, that the fact might be kept constantly in mind, a
square crimson bag filled with it--the "Woolsack"--became, and still
continues to be, the seat of the Lord Chancellor in the House of

237. The Beginning of the Hundred Years' War, 1338.

Indirectly, this trade between England and Flanders helped to bring on
a war of such duration that it received the name of the Hundred Years'

Flanders was at that time a dependency of France (see map facing
p. 128), but its great commercial towns were rapidly rising in power,
and were restive and rebellious under the exactions and extortion of
their feudal master, Count Louis.  Their business interests bound them
strongly to England; and they were anxious to form an alliance with
Edward against Philip VI of France, who was determined to bring the
Flemish cities into absolute subjection.

Philip was by no means unwilling to begin hostilities with England.
He had long looked with a greedy eye on the tract of country south of
the Loire,[2] which remained in possession of the English kings, and
only wanted a pretext for annexing.  Through his alliance with
Scotland, he threatened to attack Edward's kingdom on the north.
Again, Philip's war vessels had been seizing English ships laden with
wool, so that intercourse with Flanders was maintained with difficulty
and peril.

[2] Names Aquitaine (with the exception of Poitou).  At a later period
the province got the name of Guienne, which was a part of it.  (See
map facing p. 128.)

Edward remonstrated in vain against these outrages.  At length, having
concluded an alliance with Ghent, the chief Flemish city, he boldly
claimed the crown of France as his lawful right,[1] and followed the
demand with a declaration of war.  Edward based his claim on the fact
that through his mother Isabelle he was nephew to the late French
King, Charles IV, whereas the reigning monarch was only cousin of that
monarch.  To this the French replied that since their law excluded
women from the throne, Edward's claim was worthless, because he could
not inherit the crown of France from one who could not herself have
worn it.

[1] Claim of Edward III to the French Crown

                          Philip III (of France)*
                        H                              |
                    Philip IV                    Charles, Count of
                   (1285-1314)                    Valois, d. 1325
                        H                              H
        ==========================------             Philip VI
        H          H        H          |            (of Valois)
    Louis X    Philip V  Charles IV  Isabelle       (1328-1350)
 (1314-1316) (1316-1322) (1322-1328) m. Edward II      H
        H                            of England        H
     John I                            |             John II
 (15 No.-19 Nov. 1316)             Edward III       (1350-1364)
                                  of England, 1327

*The heavy lines indicate the direct succession.

238. Battle of Cr'ecy; the "Black Prince," 1346.

For the next eight years, fighting between the two countries was going
on pretty constantly on both land and sea, but without decisive
results.  Edward was pressed for money and had to resort to all sorts
of expedients to get it, even to pawning his own and the Queen's
crown, to raise enough to pay his troops.  At last he succeeded in
equipping a strong force, and with his son, Prince Edward, a lad of
fifteen, invaded Normandy.

His plan seems to have been to attack the French army in the south of
France; but after landing he changed his mind, and determined to
ravage Normandy, and then march north to meet his Flemish allies, who
were advancing to join him.  King Edward halted on a little rise of
ground not far from Cr'ecy (or Cressy), near the coast, on the way to
Calais.  There a desperate battle took place.  (See map facing
p. 128.)

The French had the larger force, but Edward the better position.
Philip's army included a number of hired Genoese crossbowmen, on whom
he placed great dependence; but a thunderstorm had wet their
bowstrings, which rendered them nearly useless, and, as they advanced
toward the English, the afternoon sun shone so brightly in their eyes
that they could not take accurate aim.  The English archers, on the
other hand, had kept their long bows in their cases, so that the
strings were dry and ready for action (S270).

In the midst of the fight, the Earl of Warwick, who was hard pressed
by the enemy, became alarmed for the safety of young King Edward.  He
sent to the King, asking reenforcements.

"Is my son killed?" asked the King.  "No, sire, please God!"  "Is he
wounded?"  "No, sire."  "Is he thrown to the ground?"  "No, sire; but
he is in great danger."  "Then," said the King, "I shall send no aid.
Let the boy win his spurs[1]; for I wish, if God so order it, that the
honor of victory shall be his."  The father's wish was gratified.
From that time the "Black Prince," as the French called Prince Edward,
from the color of his armor, became a name renowned throughout Europe.

[1] Spurs were the especial badge of knighthood.  It was expected of
every one who attained that honor that he should do some deed of
valor; this was called "winning his spurs."

The battle, however, was gained, not by his bravery, or that of the
nobles who supported him, but by the sturdy English yeomen armed with
their long bows.  With these weapons they shot their keen white arrows
so thick and fast, and with such deadly aim, that a writer who was
present on the field compared them to a shower of snow.  It was that
fatal snowstorm which won the day.[2]  We shall see presently (S240)
that the great importance of this victory to the English turned on the
fact that by it King Edward was able to move on Calais and secure
possession of that port.

[2] The English yeomen, or country people, excelled in the use of the
long bow.  They probably learned its value from their Norman
conquerors, who empoyed it with great effect at the battle of
Hastings.  Writing at a much later period, Bishop Latimer said: "In my
tyme my poore father was as diligent to teach me to shote as to learne
anye other thynge....He taught me how to drawe, how to laye my bodye
in my bowe, and not to drawe wyth strength of armes as other nacions
do, but wyth strength of the bodye.  I had bowes broughte me accordyng
to my age and strength; as I encreased in them, so my bowes were made
bigger, and bigger, for men shal neuer shot well, excepte they be
broughte up in it."  The advantage of this weapon over the steel
crossbow (used by the Genoese) lay in the fact that it could be
discharged much more rapidly, the latter being a cumbrous affair,
which had to be wound up with a crank for each shot.  Hence the
English long bow was to that age what the revolver is to ours.  It
sent an arrow with such force that only the best armor could withstand
it.  The French peasantry at that period had no skill with this
weapon, and about the only part they took in a battle was to stab
horses and despatch wounded men.
   Scott, in the Archery Contest in "Ivanhoe" (Chapter XIII), has
given an excellent picture of the English bowman.

239. Use of Cannon, 1346; Chivalry.

At Cre'cy (S238) small cannon appear to have been used for the first
time in field warfare, though gunpowder was probably known to the
English friar, Roger Bacon (S208), a hundred years before.  The object
of the cannon was to frighten and annoy the horses of the French
cavalry.  They were laughed at as ingenious toys; but in the course of
the next two centuries those toys revolutionized warfare (S270) and
made the steel-clad knight little more than a tradition and a name.

In its day, however, knighthood (S153) did the world a good service.
Chivalry aimed to make the profession of arms a noble instead of a
brutal calling.  It gave it somewhat of a religious character.

It taught the warrior the worth of honor, truthfulness, and courtesy,
as well as valor,--qualities which still survive in the best type of
the modern gentleman.  We owe, therefore, no small debt to that
military brotherhood of the past, and may join the English poet in his
epitaph on the order:

        "The Knights are dust,
         Their good swords rust;
         Their souls are with the saints, we trust."[1]

[1] Coleridge; see Scott's "Ivanhoe."

240. Edward III takes Calais, 1347.

King Edward now marched against Calais.  He was particularly anxious
to take the place: first, because it was a favorite resort of
desperate pirates; secondly, because such a fortified port on the
Strait of Dover, within sight of the chalk cliffs of England, would
give him at all times "an open doorway into France."

After besieging it for nearly a year, the garrison was starved into
submission and prepared to open the gates.  Edward was so exasperated
with the stubborn resistance the town had made, that he resolved to
put the entire population to the sword.  But at last he consented to
spare them, on condition that six of the chief men should give
themselves up to be hanged.  A meeting was called, and St. Pierre, the
wealthiest citizen of the place, volunteered, with five others, to go
forth and die.  Bareheaded, barefooted, with halters round their
necks, they silently went out, carrying the keys of the city.  When
they appeared before the English King, he ordered the executioner, who
was standing by, to seize them and carry out the sentence forthwith.
But Queen Philippa (S236), who had accompanied her husband, now fell
on her knees before him, and with tears begged that they might be
forgiven.  For a long time Edward was inexorable, but finally, unable
to resist her entreaties, he granted her request, and the men who had
dared to face death for others found life both for themselves and
their fellow citizens.[1]  Calais now became an English town and the
English kept it for more than two hundred years (S373).  This gave
them the power to invade France whenever it seemed for their interest
to do so.

[1] Froissart's "Chronicles."

241. Victory of Poitiers (1356).

After a long truce, war again broke out.  Philip VI had died, and his
son, John II, now sat on the French throne.  Edward, during this
campaign, ravaged northern France.  The next year his son, the Black
Prince (S238), marched from Bordeaux into the heart of the country.

Reaching Poitiers with a force of ten thousand men, he found himself
nearly surrounded by a French army of sixty thousand.  The Prince so
placed his troops amidst the narrow lanes and vineyards, that the
enemy could not attack him with their full strength.  Again the
English archers gained the day (S238), and King John himself was taken
prisoner and carried in triumph to England.  (See map facing p. 128.)

242. Peace of Bre'tigny, 1360.

The victory of Poitiers was followed by another truce; then war began
again.  Edward intended besieging Paris, but was forced to retire to
obtain provisions for his troops.  Negotiations were now opened by the
French.  While these great negotiations were going on, a terrible
thunderstorm destroyed great numbers of men and horses in Edward's

Edward, believing it a sign of the displeasure of Heaven against his
expedition, fell on his knees, and within sight of the Cathedral of
Chartres vowed to make peace.  A treaty was accordingly signed at
Bre'tigny near by.  By it, Edward renounced his claim to Normandy and
the French crown.  But notwithstanding that fact, all English
sovereigns insisted on retaining the title of "King of France" down to
a late period of the reign of George III.  France, on the other hand,
acknowledged the right of England, in full sovereignty, to the country
south of the Loire, together with Calais, and agreed to pay an
enormous ransom in pure gold for the restoration of King John.

243. Effects of the French Wars in England.

The great gain to England from these wars was not in the territory
conquered, but in the new feeling of unity they aroused among all
classes.  The memory of the brave deeds achieved in those fierce
contests on a foreign soil never faded out.  The glory of the Black
Prince (SS238, 241), whose rusted helmet and dented shield still hang
above his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral,[1] became one with the glory
of the plain bowmen, whose names are found only in country

[1] This is probably the oldest armor of the king in Great Britain.
See Stothard's "Monumental Effigies."

Henceforth, whatever lingering feeling of jealousy and hatred had
remained in England, between the Norman and the Englishman (S192), now
gradually melted away.  An honest, patriotic pride made both feel that
at last they had become a united and homogeneous people.

The second effect of the wars was political.  In order to carry them
on, the King had to apply constantly to Parliament for money (SS217,
220).  Each time that body granted a supply, they insisted on some
reform which increased their strength, and brought the Crown more and
more under the influence of the nation.  (See Summary of
Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xii, S13.)

The it came to be clearly understood that though the King held the
sword, the people held the purse; and that the ruler who made the
greatest concessions got the largest grants.

It was also in this reign that the House of Commons (SS213, 217, 262),
which now sat as a separate body, obtained the important power of
impeaching, or bringing to trial before the upper House, any of the
King's ministers or council who should be accused of misgovernment
(1376).  (See S247, and Summary of Constitutional History in the
Appendix, p. xii, S13.)

About this time, also, statutes were passed which forbade appeals from
the King's courts of justice to that of the Pope,[1] who was then a
Frenchman, and was believed to be under French political influence.
Furthermore, all foreign Church officials were prohibited from asking
or taking money from the English Church, or interfering in any way
with its management.[2]

[1] First Statute of Provisors (1351) and of Praemunire (1353)
(S265).  The first Statute of Praemunire did not mention the Pope or
the Court of Rome by name; the second, or Great Statute of Praemunire
of 1393, expressly mentioned them in the strongest terms.  See
Constitutionals Documents in the Appendix, p. xxxii.
[2] Statute of Provisors (1351), and see S265.

244. The Black Death, or Plague, 1349.

Shortly after the first campaign in France, a frightful pestilence
broke out in London, which swept over the country, destroying upwards
of half the population.  The disease, which was known as the Black
Death, had already traversed Europe, where it had proved equally

"How many amiable young persons," said a noted writer of that period,
"breakfasted with their friends in the morning, who, when evening
came, supped with their ancestors!"  In Bristol and some other English
cities, the mortality was so great that the living were hardly able to
bury the dead; so that all business, and for a time even war, came to
a standstill.

245. Effect of the Plague on Labor, 1349.

After the pestilence had subsided, it was impossible to find laborers
enough to till the soil and shear the sheep.  Those who were free now
demanded higher wages, while the villeins, or serfs (S113), and slaves
left their masters and roamed about the country asking for pay for
their work, like freemen.

It was a general agricultural strike, which lasted over thirty years.
It marks the beginning of that contest between capital and labor which
had such an important influence on the next reign, and which, after a
lapse of more than five hundred years, is not yet satisfactorily

Parliament endeavored to restore order.  It passed laws forbidding any
freeman to ask more for a day's work than before the plague.  It gave
the master the right to punish a serf who persisted in running away,
by branding him on the forehead with the letter F, for "fugitive."
But legislation was in vain; the movement had begun, and statutes of
Parliament could no more stop it than they could stop the rolling of
the ocean tide.  It continued to go on until it reached its climax in
the peasant insurrection led by Wat Tyler, under Edward's successor,
Richard II (S251).

246. Beginning of English Literature, 1369-1377.

During Edward's reign the first work in English prose may have been
written.  It was a volume of travels by Sir John Mandeville, who had
journeyed in the East for over thirty years.  On his return he wrote
an account of what he had heard and seen, first in Latin, that the
learned might read it; next in French, that the nobles might read it;
and lastly he, or some unknown person, translated it into English for
the common people.  He dedicated the work to the King.

Perhaps the most interesting and wonderful thing in it was the
statement of his belief that the world is a globe, and that a ship may
sail round it "above and beneath,"--an assertion which probably seemed
to many who read it then as less credible than any of the marvelous
stories in which his book abounds.

William Langland was writing rude verses (1369) about his "vision of
Piers the Plowman," contrasting "the wealth and woe" of the world, and
so helping forward that democratic outbreak which was soon to take
place among those who knew the woe and wanted the wealth.  John
Wycliffe (S254), a lecturer at Oxford, attacked the rich and indolent
churchmen in a series of tracts and sermons, while Chaucer, who had
fought on the fields of France, was preparing to bring forth the first
great poem in our language (S253).

247. The "Good Parliament" (1376); Edward's Death.

The "Good Parliament" (1376) attempted to carry through important
reforms.  It impeached (for the first time in English history)[1]
certain prominent men for fraud (S243).  But in the end its work
failed for want of a leader.  The King's last days were far from
happy.  His son, the Black Prince (S238), had died, and Edward fell
entirely into the hands of selfish favorites and ambitious schemers
like John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.  Perhaps the worst one of this
corrupt "ring" was a woman named Alice Perrers, who, after Queen
Philippa was no more (S240), got almost absolute control of the King.
She stayed with him until his last sickness.  When his eyes began to
glaze in death, she plucked the rings from his unresisting hands, and
fled from the palace.

248. Summary.

During this reign the following events deserve especial notice:

1. The acknowledgment of the independence of Scotland.
2. The establishment of the manufacture of fine woolens in England.
3. The beginning of the Hundred Years' War, with the victories of
Cre'cy and Poitiers, the Peace of Bre'tigny, and their social and
political results in England.
4. The Black Death and its results on labor.
5. Parliament enacts important laws for securing greater independence
to the English Church.
6. The rise of modern literature, represented by the works of
Mandeville, Langland, and the early writings of Wycliffe and Chaucer.

Richard II--1377-1399

249. England at Richard's Accession.

The death of the Black Prince (SS238, 241, 247) left his son Richard
heir to the crown.  As he was but eleven years old, Parliament
provided that the government during his minority should be carried on
by a council; but John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (S247), speedily
got the control of affairs.

He was an unprincipled man, who wasted the nation's money, opposed
reform, and was especially hated by the laboring classes.  The times
were critical.  War had again broken out with both Scotland and
France, the French fleet was raiding the English coast, the national
treasury had no money to pay its troops, and the government debt was
rapidly accumulating.

250. The New Tax; the Tyler and Ball Insurrection (1381).

In order to raise money, the government resolved to levy a new form of
tax,--a poll or head tax,--which had been tried on a small scale
during the last year of the previous reign.  The apttempt had been
made to assess it on all classes, from laborers to lords.

The imposition was now renewed in a much more oppressive form.  Not
only every laborer, but every member of a laborer's family above the
age of fifteen, was required to pay what twould be eequal to the wages
of an able-bodied man for at least several days' work.[1]

[1] The tax on laborers and their families varied from four to twelve
pence each, the assessor having instructions to collect the latter
sum, if possible.  The wages of a day laborer were then about a penny,
so that the smallest tax for a family of three would represent the
entire pay for nearly a fortnight's labor.  See Pearson's "England in
the Fourteenth Century."

We have already seen that, owing to the ravages of the Black Death,
and the strikes which followed, the country was on the verge of revolt
(SS244, 245).  This new tax was the spark that caused the explosion.
The money was roughly demanded in every poor man's cottage, and its
collection caused the greatest distress.  In attempting to enforce
payment, a brutal collector shamefully insulted the young daughter of
a workman named Wat Tyler.  The indignant father, hearing the girl's
cry for help, snatched up a hammer, and rushing in, struck the ruffian
dead on the spot.

Tyler then collected a multitude of discontented laborers on
Blackheath Common, near London, with the determination of attacking
the city and overthrowing the government.

John Ball, a fanatical priest, harangued the gathering, now sixty
thousand strong, using by way of a text lines which were at that time
familiar to every workingman:

                "When Adam delved and Eve span,
                 Who was then the gentleman?"

"Good people," he cried, "things will never go well in England so long
as goods be not in common, and so long as there be villeins (S113) and
gentlemen.  They call us slaves, and beat us if we are slow to do
their bidding, but God has now given us the day to shake off our

251. The Great Uprising of the Laboring Class, 1381.

Twenty years before, there had been similar outbreaks in Flanders and
in France.  This, therefore, was not an isolated instance of
insurrection, but rather part of a general uprising.  The rebellion
begun by Tyler and Ball (S250) spread through the southern and eastern
counties of England, taking different forms in different districts.
It was violent in St. Albans, where the peasants, and farm laborers
generally, rose against the exactions of the abbot, but it reached its
greatest height in London.

For three weeks the mob held possession of the capital.  They pillaged
and then burned John of Gaunt's palace (SS247, 249).  They seized and
beheaded the Lord Chancellor and the chief collector of the odious
poll tax (S250).  They destroyed all the law papers they could lay
hands on, and ended by murdering a number of lawyers; for the rioters
believed that the members of that profession spent their time forging
the chains which held the laboring class in subjection.

252. Demans of the Rebels; End of the Rebellion.

The insurrectionists demanded of the King that villeinage (S113)
should be abolished, and that the rent of agricultural lands should be
fixed by Parliament at a uniform rate in money.  They also insisted
that trade should be free, and that a general unconditional pardon
should be granted to all who had taken part in the rebellion.

Richard promised redress; but while negotiations were going on,
Walworth, mayor of London, struck down Wat Tyler with his dagger, and
with his death the whole movement collapsed almost as suddenly as it
arose.  Parliament now began a series of merciless executions, and
refused to consider any of the claims to which Richard had shown a
disposition to listen.  In their punishment of the rebels, the House
of Commons vied with the Lords in severity, few showing any sympathy
with the efforts of the peasants to obtain their freedom from feudal

The uprising, however, was not in vain, for by it the old restrictions
were in some degree loosened, so that in the course of the next
century and a half, villeinage (S113) was gradually abolished, and the
English laborer acquired that greatest yet most perilous of all
rights, the complete ownership of himself.[1]

[1] In Scotland, villeinage lasted much longer, and as late as 1774,
in the reign of George III, men working in coal and salt mines were
held in a species of slavery, which was finally abolished the
following year.

So long as he was a serf, the peasant could claim assistance from his
master in sickness and old age; in attaining independence he had to
risk the danger of pauperism, which began with it,--this possibility
being part of the price which man must everywhere pay for the
inestimable privilege of freedom.

253. The New Movement in Literature, 1390 (?).

The same spirit which demanded emancipation on the part of the working
classes showed itself in literature.  We have already seen (S246) how,
in the previous reign, Langland, in his poem of "Piers Plowman," gave
bold utterance to the growing discontent of the times in his
declaration that the rich and great destroyed the poor.

In a different spirit, Chaucer, "the morning star of English song,"
now began (1390?) to write his "Canterbury Tales," a series of stories
in verse, supposed to be told by a merry band of pilgrims on their way
from the Tabard Inn in Southwark, London, to the shrine of St. Thomas
Becket in Canterbury (S170).

There is little of Langland's complaint in Chaucer, for he was
generally a favorite at court, seeing mainly the bright side of life,
and sure of his yearly allowance of money and daily pitcher of wine
from the royal bounty.  Yet, with all his mirth, there is a vein of
playful satire in his description of men and things.  His pictures of
jolly monks and easy-going churchmen, with his lines addressed to his
purse as his "saviour, as down in this world here," show that he saw
beneath the surface of things.  He too was thinking, at least at
times, of the manifold evils of poverty and of that danger springing
from religious indifference which poor Langland had taken so much to

254. Wycliffe; the First Complete English Bible, 1378.

But the real reformer of that day was John Wycliffe, rector of
Lutterworth in Leicestershire and lecturer at Oxford (S246).  He
boldly attacked the religious and the political corruption of the
age.  The "Begging Friars," who had once done such good work (S208),
had now grown too rich and lazy to be of further use.

Wycliffe, whose emaciated form concealed an unconquerable energy and
dauntless courage, organized a new band of brothers known as "Poor
Priests."  They took up and pushed forward the reforms the friars had
dropped.  Clothed in red sackcloth cloaks, barefooted, with staff in
hand, they went about from town to town[1] preaching "God's law," and
demanding that Church and State bring themselves into harmony with it.

[1] Compare Chaucer's
        "A good man ther was of religioun,
         That was a poure persone [parson] of a town."
                        Prologue to the "Canterbury Tales" (479)

The only complete Bible then in use was the Latin version.  The people
could not read a line of it, and many priests were almost as ignorant
of its contents.  To carry on the revival which he had begun, Wycliffe
now began to translate the entire Scriptures into English, 1378.  When
the great work was finished it was copied and circulated by the "Poor

But the cost of such a book in manuscript--for the printing press had
not yet come into existence--was so high that only the rich could buy
the complete volume.  Many, however, who had no money would give a
load of farm produce for a few favorite chapters.

In this way Wycliffe's Bible was spread throughout the country among
all classes.  Later, when persecution began, men hid these precious
copies and read them with locked doors at night, or met in the forests
to hear them expounded by preachers who went about at the peril of
their lives.  These things led Wycliffe's enemies to complain "that
common men and women who could read were better acquainted with the
Scriptures than the most learned and intelligent of the clergy."

255. The Lollards; Wycliffe's Remains burned.

The followers of Wycliffe were nicknamed Lollards, a word of uncertain
meaning but apparantly used as an expression of contempt.  From having
been religious reformers denouncing the wealth and greed of a corrupt
Church, they seem, in some cases, to have degenerated into socialists
or communists.  This latter class demanded, like John Ball (S250),
--who may have been one of their number,--that all property should be
equally divided, and that all rank should be abolished.

This fact should be borne in mind with reference to the subsequent
efforts made by the government to suppress the movement.  In the eyes
of the Church, the Lollards were heretics; in the judgment of many
moderate men, they were destructionists and anarchists, as
unreasonable and as dangerous as the "dynamiters" of to-day.

More than forty years after Wycliffe's death (1384), a decree of the
Church council of Constance[1] ordered the reformer's body to be dug
up and burned (1428).  But his influence had not only permeated
England, but had passed to the Continent, and was preparing the way
for that greater movement which Luther was to inaugurate in the
sixteenth century.

[1] Constance, in southern Germany.  This council (1415) sentenced
John Huss and Jerome of Prague, both of whom may be considered
Wycliffites, to the stake.

Tradition says that the ashes of his corpse were thrown into the brook
flowing near the parsonage of Lutterworth, the object being to utterly
destroy and obliterate the remains of the arch-heretic.  Fuller says:
"This brook did conveeey his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn
into the narrow sea, and that into the wide ocean.  And so the ashes
of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which is now dispersed all
the world over."[2]

[2] Thomas Fuller's "Church History of Britain."  Compare also
Wordsworth's "Sonnet to Wycliffe," and the lines, attributed to an
unknown writer of Wycliffe's time:
        "The Avon to the Severn runs,
         The Severn to the sea;
         And Wycliffe's dust shall spread abroad,
         Wide as the waters be."

256. Richard's Misgovernment; the "Merciless Parliament."

Richard had the spirit of a tyrant.  He declared "that he alone could
change and frame the laws of the kingdom."[3]  His reign was unpopular
with all classes.  The people hated him for his extravagance; the
clergy, for failing to put down the Wycliffites (SS254, 255), with the
doctrines of whose founder he was believed to sympathize; while the
nobles disliked his injustice and favoritism.

[3] W. Stubb's "Constitutional History of England," II, 505.

In the "Merciless Parliament" (1388) the "Lords Appellant," that is,
the noblemen who accused Richard's counselors of treason, put to death
all of the King's ministers that they could lay hands on.  Later, that
Parliament attempted some political reforms, which were partially
successful.  But the King soon regained his power, and took summary
vengeance (1397) on the "Lords Appellant."  Two influential men were
left, Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of
Hereford, whom he had found no opportunity to punish.  After a time
they openly quarreled, and accused each other of treason.

A challenge passed between them, and they prepared to fight the matter
out in the King's presence; but when the day arrived, the King
banished both of them from England (1398).  Shortly after they had
left the country Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, Duke of
Lancaster, died.  Contrary to all law, Richard now seized and
appropriated the estate, which belonged by right to the banished

257. Richard deposed and murdered. (1399).

When Bolingbroke, now by his father's death Duke of Lancaster, heard
of the outrage, he raised a small force and returned to England,
demanding the restitution of his lands.

Finding that the powerful family of the Percies were willing to aid
him, and that many of the common people desired a change of
government, the Duke boldly claimed the crown, on the ground that
Richard had forfeited it by his tyranny, and that he stood next in
succession through his descent from Henry III.  But in reality Henry
Bolingbroke had no claim save that given by right of conquest, since
the boy Edmund Mortimer held the direct title to the crown.[1]

[1] See Genealogical Table, under No. 3 and 4, p. 140

The King now fell into Henry's hands, and events moved rapidly to a
crisis.  Richard had rebuilt Westminster Hall (S156).  The first
Parliament which assembled there deposed him on the ground that he was
"altogether insufficient and unworthy," and they gave the throne to
the victorious Duke of Lancaster.  Shakespeare represents the fallen
monarch saying in his humiliation:

        "With mine own tears I wash away my balm,[2]
         With mine own hand I give away my crown."

[2] "Richard II," Act IV, scene i.  The balm was the sacred oil used
in anointing the King at his coronation.

After his deposition Richard was confined in Pontefract Castle,
Yorkshire, where he found, like his unfortunate ancestory, Edward II
(S233), "that in the cases of princes there is but a step from the
prison to the grave."  His death did not take place, however, until
after Henry's accession.[1]  Most historians condemn Richard as an
unscrupulous tyrant.  Froissart, who wrote in his time, says that he
ruled "fiercely," and that no one in England dared "speak against
anything the King did."  A recent writer thinks he may have been
insane, and declares that whether he "was mad or not, he, at all
events acted like a madman."  But another authority defends him,
saying that Richard was not a despot at heart, but used despotic means
hoping to effect much-needed reforms.[2]

[1] Henry of Lancaster was the son of John of Gaunt, who was the
fourth son of Edward III; but there were descendents of that King's
THIRD son (Lionel, Duke of Clarence) living, who, of course, had a
prior claim, as the following table shows:

                                Edward III
                        [Direct descendant of Henry III]
     1             2            3   |           4              5
   |               |            |               |                |
 Edward, the   William, d.   Lionel, Duke  John of Gaunt,     Edmund
Black Prince   in childhood. of Clarence  Duke of Lancaster  Duke of
   |                            |               |             York
 Richard II                Philippa, m.   Henry Bollinger
                        Edmund Mortimer  Duke of Lancaster,
                                |            afterward
                        Roger Mortimer       Henry IV
                         d. 1398-1399
                        Edmund Mortimer
                        (heir presumptive
                        to the crown after
                          Richard II)

[2] See Gardiner, Stubbs, and the "Dictionary of English History."

258. Summary.

Richard II's reign comprised:

1. The peasant revolt under Wat Tyler, whic hled eventually to the
emancipation of the villeins, or farm laborers.
2. Wycliffe's reformation movement and his complete translation of the
Latin Bible, with the rise of the Lollards.
3. The publication of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," the first great
English poem.
4. The deposition of the King, and the transfer of the crown by
Parliament to Henry, Duke of Lancaster.

General Reference Summary of the Angevin, or Plantegenet, Period

I. Government.  II. Religion.  III. Military Affairs.  IV. Literature,
Learning, and Art.  V. General Industry and Commerce.  VI. Mode of
Life, Manners, and Customs.

I. Government

259. Judicial Reforms.

In 1164 Henry II undertook, by a series of statutes called the
Constitutions of Clarendon, to bring the Church under the common law
of the land, but was only temporarily successful.  By subsequent
statutes he reorganized the administration of justice, and laid the
foundation of trial by jury.

260. Town Charters.

Under Richard I many towns secured charters giving them the control of
their own affairs in great measure.  In this way municipal
self-government arose, and a prosperous and intelligent class of
merchants and artisans grew up who eventually obtained important
political influence in the management of national affairs.

261. Magna Carta, or the Great National Charter.

This pledge, extotrted from King John in 1215, put a check to he
arbitrary power of the sovereign, and guaranteed the rights of all
classes, from the serf and the townsman to the bishop and baron
(S199).  It consisted originally of sixty-three articles, founded
mainly on the first royal charter (that of Henry I), given in 1100

Magna Carta was not a statement of principles, but a series of
specific remedies for specific abuses, which may be summarized as

1. The Church to be free from royal interference, especially in the
election of bishops.
2. No taxes except the regular feudal dues (S150) to be levied, except
by the consent of the Great Council, or Parliament.
3. The Court of Common Pleas (see p. 73, not 1) not to follow the
King, but to remain stationary at Westminster.  Justice to be neither
sold, denied or delayed.  No man to be imprisoned, outlawed, punished,
or otherwissssse molested, save by the judgment of his equals or by
the law of the land.  The necessary implements of all freemen, and the
farming tools of villeins, or farm laborers (S113), to be exempt from
4. Weights and measures to be kept uniform throughout the realm.  All
merchants to have the right to enter and leave the kingdom without
paying exorbitant tolls for the privilege.
5. Forest laws to be justly enforced.
6. The charter to be carried out by twenty-five barons together with
the mayor of London.

This document marks the beginning of a written constitution, and it
proved of the highest value henceforth in securing good government.
It was confirmed thirty-seven times by subsequent kings and
parliaments, the confirmation of this and previous charters by
Edward I in 1297 being of especial importance.

262. Rise of the House of Commons.

In 1265, under Henry III, through the influence of Simon de Montfort,
two representatives from each city and borough, or town, together with
two knights of the shire, or country gentlemen, were summoned to meet
with the Lords and Clergy in the Great Council, or Parliament; but the
House of Commons did not become a permanent body until the Model
Parliament of 1295 was summoned.  From that time the body of the
people began to have a permanent voice in making the laws.

Later in the period the knights of the shire joined the
representatives from the towns in forming a distinct body in
Parliament, sitting by themselves under the name of the House of
Commons.  They asserted their right to assent to legislation, and
(1376) they exercised hte right of impeaching before the House of
Lords government officers guilty of misuse of power.  Somewhat later
(1407) they obtained the sole right to originate "Money Bills," that
is, grants or appropriations of money for public purposes or for the
King's use.

263. New Class of Barons.

Under Henry III other influential men of the realm, aside from the
barons, who were tenants in chief, began to be summoned to the King's
council.  These were called "barons by writ."  Later (under Richard
II), barons were created by open letters bearing the royal seal, and
were called "barons by patent."[1]

[1] This is the modern method of raising a subject (e.g. the poet,
Alfred Tennyson) to the peerage.  It marks the fact that from the
thirteenth century the ownership of land was no longer considered a
necessary condition of nobility; and that the peerage was gradually
developing into the five degrees, which were completed in 1440, in the
following ascending order: barons, viscounts, earls, marquises, dukes.

264. Land Laws.

During this period important laws (De Donis, or Entail, and Quia
Emptores) respecting land were passed, which had the effect of keeping
estates in families, and also of preventing their possessors from
evading their feudal duties to the King.  At the same time the Statute
of Mortmain (a restriction on the acquisition of land by the Church,
which was exempt from paying certain feudal dues) was imposed to
prevent the King's revenue from being diminished.

II. Religion

265. Restriction of Papal Power.

During the Angevin period the popes endeavored to introduce the canon
law (a body of ordinances consisting mainly of the decisions of Church
councils and popes) into England, with the view of making it supreme;
but the Parliament of Merton refused to accept it, saying, "We will
not change the laws of England."

The Statute of Mortmain was also passed (SS226, 264) and other
measures (Statutes of Provisors and Statute of Praemunire) (S243),
which forbade the Pope from taking the appointment of bishops and
other ecclesiastics out of the hands of the clergy; and which
prohibited any appeal from the King's Court to the Papal Court.
Furthermore, many hundreds of parishes, formerly filled by foreigners
who could not speak English, were now given to native priests, and the
sending of money out of the country to support foreign ecclesiastics
was in great measure stopped.

During the Crusades two religious military orders had been
established, called the Knights Hospitalers and the Knights Templars.
The object of the former was, originally, to provide entertainment for
pilgrims going to Jerusalem; that of the latter, to protect them.
Both had extensive possessions in England.  In 1312 the order of
Templars was broken up on a charge of heresy and evil life, and their
property in England given to the Knights Hospitalers, who were also
called Knights of St. John.

266. Reform.

The Mendicant or "Begging Friars" began a reformatory movement in the
Church and accomplished much good.  This was followed by Wycliffe's
attack on religious abuses, by his complete translation of the Bible,
with the revival carried on by the "Poor Priests," and by the rise of
the Lollards.  Eventually severe laws were passed against the
Lollards, partly because of their heretical opinions, and partly
because they became in a measure identified with socialistic and
communistic efforts to destroy rank and equalize property.

III. Military Affairs

267. Scutage.

By a tax called scutage, or shield money, levied on all knights who
refused to serve the King in foreign wars, Henry II obtained the means
to hire soldiers.  By a law reviving the national militia, composed of
freemen below the rank of knights, the King made himself in a
considerable measure independent of the barons with respect to raising

268. Armor; Heraldry.

The linked or mail armor now began to be superseded by that made of
pieces of steel joined together so as to fit the body.  This, when it
was finally perfected, was called plate armor, and was both heavier
and stronger than mail.

With the introduction of plate armor and the closed helmet it became
the custom for each knight to wear a device, called a crest, on his
helmet, and also to have one called a coat of arms (because originally
worn on a loose coat over the armor).

The coat of arms served to distinguish the wearer from the others, and
was of practical use not only to the followers of a great lord, who
thus knew him at a glance, but it served in time of battle to prevent
the confusion of friend and foe.  Eventually, coats of arms became
hereditary, and the descent, and to some extent the history, of a
family can be traced by them.  In this way heraldry may often prove
helpful in gaining knowledge of men and events.

269. Chivalry; Tournaments.

The profession of arms was regulated by certain rules, by which each
knight solemnly bound himself to serve the cause of religion and the
King, and to be true, brace, and courteous to those of his own rank,
to protect ladies (women of gentle birth), and succor all persons in
distress.  Under Edward III the system of knighthood and chivalry
reached its culmination and began to decline.

One of the grotesque features of the attack of France was an
expedition of English knights with one eye bandaged; this half-bling
company having vowed to partially renounce their sight until they did
some glorious deed.  The chief amusement of the nobles and knights was
the tournament, a mock combat fought on horseback, in full armor,
which sometimes ended in a real battle.  At these entertainments a
lady was chosen queen, who gave prizes to the victors.

270. The Use of the Long Bow; Introduction of Cannon; Wars.

The common weapon of the yeomen, or foot soldiers, was the long bow.
It was made of yew-tree wood, and was the height of the user.  Armed
with this weapon, the English soldiers proved themselves irresistable
in the French wars, the French having no native archers of any

Roger Bacon is supposed to have known the properties of gunpowder as
early as 1250, but no practical use was made of the discovery until
the battle of Cre'cy, 1346, when a few very small cannon are said to
have been employed by the English against the enemy's cavalry.  Later,
cannon were used to throw heavy stones in besieging castles.  Still
later, rude handguns came slowly into use.  From this period kings
gradually began to realize the full meaning of the harmless-looking
black grains, with whose flash and noise the Oxford monk had amused

The chief wars of the time were the contests between the kings and the
barons, Richard I's Crusade, John's war with France, resulting in the
loss of Normandy, Edward I's conquest of Wales and temporary
subjugation of Scotland, and the beginning of the Hundred Years' War
with France under Edward III.

The navy of this period was made up of small, one-masted vessels,
seldom carrying more than a hundred and fifty fighting men.  As the
mariner's compass had now come into general use, these vessels could,
if occasion required, make voyages of considerable length.

IV. Literature, Learning, and Art

271. Education.

In 1264 Walter de Merton founded the first college at Oxford, an
institution which has ever since borne his name, and which really
originated the English college system.  During the reign of Edward
III, William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, gave a decided impulse
to higher education by the establishment, at his own expense, of
Winchester College, the first great public school founded in England.
Later, he built and endowed New College at Oxford to supplement it.

In Merton's and Wykeham's institutions young men of small means were
instructed, and in great measure supported, without charge.  They were
brought together under one roof, require to conform to proper
discipline, and taught by the best teachers of the day.  In this way a
general feeling of emulation was roused, and at the same time a
fraternal spirit cultivated, which had a strong influence in favor of
a broader and deeper intellectual culture than the monastic schools at
Oxford and elsewhere had encouraged.

272. Literature.

The most prominent historical work was that by Matthew Paris, a monk
of St. Alban's, written in Latin, based largely on earlier chronicles,
and covering the period from the Norman Conquest, 1066, to his death,
in 1259.  It is a work of much value, and was continued by writers of
the same abbey.

The first English prose work was a volume of travels by Sir John
Mandeville, dedicated to Edward III.  It was followed by Wycliffe's
translation of the Bible into English from the Latin version, and by
Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," the first great English poem.

273. Architecture.

Edward I and his successors began to build structures combining the
palace with the stronghold.[1]  Conway and Carnavon Castles in Wales,
Warwich Castle, Warwickshire, and a great part of Windsor Castle on
the Thames, twenty-three miles west of London, are magnificent
examples; the last is still occupied as a royal residence.

[1] The characteristic features of the Edwardian castles are double
surrounding walls, with numerous protecting towers, and the omission
of the square Norman keep.

In churches, the massive architecture of the Normans, with its heavy
columns and round arches, was followed by the Early English style or
the first period of the Gothic, with pointed arches, slender,
clustered columns, and tapering spires.  Salisbury Cathedral is the
grandest example of the Early English style.

Later, the Decorated Style was adopted.  It was characterized by
broader windows, highly ornamented to correspond with the elaborate
decoration within, which gave this style its name; this is seen to
advantage in Exeter Cathedral, York Minster, and Merton College Chapel
at Oxford.

V. General Industry and Commerce

274. Fairs; Guilds.

The domestic trade of the country was largely carried on during this
period by great fairs held at stated times by royal license.  Bunyan,
in "Pilgrim's Progress," gives a vivid picture of one of these centers
of trade and dissipation, under the name of "Vanity Fair."  Though it
represents the great fair of Sturbridge, near Cambridge, as he saw it
in the seventeenth century, yet it undoubtably describes similar
gatherings in the time of the Plantagenets.

In all large towns the merchants had formed associations for mutual
protection and the advancement of trade, called merchant guilds.
Artisans now instituted similar societies, under the name of craft
guilds.  For a long time the merchant guilds endeavored to shut out
the craft guilds,--the men, as they said, "with dirty hands and blue
nails,"--from having any part in the government of the towns.  But
eventually the latter got their full share, and in some cases, as in
London, became the more influential party of the two.  There they
still survive under the name of the "City Companies."

275. The Wool Trade.

Under Edward III a flourishing trade in wool grew up between England
and Flanders.  The manufacture of fine woolen goods was also greatly
extended in England.  All commerce at this period was limited to
certain market towns called "staples."

To these places produce and all other goods for export had to be
carried in order that the government might collect duty on them before
they were sent out of the country.  If an Englishman carried goods
abroad and sold them in the open market without first paying a tax to
the Crown, he was liable to the punishment of death.  Imports also
paid duties.

276. The Great Strike.

The scarcity of laborers caused by the ravages of the Black Death
caused a general strike for higher wages on the part of free
workingmen, and also induced thousands of villeins to run away from
their masters, in order to get work on their own account.  The general
uprising which a heavy poll tax caused among the villeins (S150), or
farm laborers, and other workingmen, though suppressed at the time,
led to the ultimate emancipation of the villeins by a gradual process
extending through many generations.

VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs

277. Dress; Furniture.

During most of this period great luxury in dress prevailed among the
rich and noble.  Silks, velvets, scarlet cloth, and cloth of gold were
worn by both men and women.  At one time the lords and gallants at
court wore shoes with points curled up like rams' horns and fastened
to the knee with silver chains.

Attempts were made by the government to abolish this and other
ridiculous fashions, and also to regulate the cost of dress according
to the rank and means of the wearer; but the effort met with small
success.  Even the rich at this time had but little furniture in their
houses, and chairs were almost unknown.  The floors of houses were
strewn with rushes, which, as they were rarely changed, became
horribly filthy, and were a prolific cause of sickness.

278. The Streets; Amusements; Profanity.

The streets of London and other cities were rarely more than twelve or
fifteen feet wide.  They were neither paved nor lighted.  Pools of
stagnant water and heaps of refuse abounded.  There was no sewage.
The only scavengers were the crows.  The houses were of timber and
plaster, with projecting stories, and destructive fires were common.
The chief amusements were hunting and hawking, contests at archery,
and tournaments.  Plays were acted by amateur companies on stages on
wheels, which could be moved from street to street.

The subjects continued to be drawn in large measure from the Bible and
from legends of the saints.  They served to instruct men in Scripture
history, in an age when few could read.  The instruction was not,
however, always taken to heart, as profane swearing was so common that
an Englishman was called on the Continent by his favorite oath, which
the French regarded as a sort of national name before that of "John
Bull" came into use.


"God's most dreaded instrument,
 In working out a pure intent,
 Is man--arrayed for mutual slaughter."

The Self-Destruction of Feudalism

Baron against Baron

The Houses of Lancaster and York (1399-1485)

House of Lancaster (the Red Rose)       House of York (the White Rose)
Henry IV, 1399-1413                     Edward IV, 1461-1483
Henry V, 1413-1422                     +Edward V, 1483
*Henry VI, 1422-1461                    Richard III, 1483-1485

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.
*Henry VI, deposed 1461; reinstated for a short time in 1470.
+Edward V, never crowned.

279. Henry IV's Accession.

Richard II left no children.  The nearest heir to the kingdom by right
of birth was the boy Edmund Mortimer, a descendant of Richard's uncle
Lionel, Duke of Clarence.[2]  Henry ignored Mortimer's claim, and
standing before Richard's empty throne in Westminster Hall (S257),
boldly demanded the crown for himself.[3]

[2] See Genealogical Table on page 140.
[3] "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I, Henry of
Lancaster, challenge this realm of England and the Crown, with all the
members and the appurtenances, as that I am descended by right line of
blood, coming from the good King Henry III, and through that right
that God of his grace hath sent me, with help of kin and of all my
friends to recover it, the which realm was in point to be undone by
default of government and undoing of the good laws."

The nation had suffered so much from the misgovernment of those who
had ruled during the minority of Richard, and later by Richard
himself, that they wanted no more boy kings.  Parliament, therefore,
set aside the direct line of descent and accepted Henry.  But the air
was full of tumultuous passion.  The Lords were divided in their
allegiance, some stood by the former King, others by the new one.  No
loess than forty noblemen challenged each other to fight, and civil
war seemed imminent.[1]

[1] J.F. Bright's "History of England," I, 276.

280. Conspiracy in favor of Richard.

The new King had hardly seated himself on the throne when a conspiracy
was discovered, having for its object he release and restoration of
Richard, still a prisoner in Pontefract Castle.  The plot was easily
crushed.  A month later Richard was found dead (S257).

Henry had his body brought up to London and exposed to public view in
St. Paul's Cathedral, in order that not only the people, but all
would-be conspirators might now see that Richard's hands could never
again wield the scepter.

There was, however, one man at least who refused to be convinced.
Owen Glendower, a Welshman, whom the late King had befriended,
declared that Richard was still living, and that the corpse exhibited
was not his body.  Glendower prepared to maintain his belief by arms.
King Henry mustered a force with the intention of invading Wales and
crushing the rebel on his own ground; but a succession of terrible
tempests ensued.

The English soldiers got the idea that Glendower raised these storms,
for as an old chronicle declares: "Through art magike he [Glendower]
caused such foule weather of winds, tempest, raine, snow, and haile to
be raised for the annoiance of the King's armie, that the like had not
beene heard of."[2]  For this reason the troops became disheartened,
and the King was obliged to postpone the expedition.

[2] Holinshed's "Chronicle."

281. Rovolt of the Percies; Bold Step of the House of Commons, 1407.

The powerful Percy family had been active in helping Henry to obtain
the throne,[3] and had spent large sums in defending the North against
invasions from Scotland.[4]  They expected a royal reward for these
services, and were sorely disappointed because they did not get it.
As young Henry Percy said of the King:

        "My father, and my uncle, and myself,
         Did give him that same royalty he wears;
         And,--when he was not six-and-twenty strong,
         Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
         A poor, unminded outlaw sneaking home,--
         My father gave him welcome to the shore:
                .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
         Swore him assistance and perform'd it too."[1]

[3] Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, with Henry Percy, Earl of
Northumberland, and his son, Sir Henry Percy, or "Hotspur" (S257).
[4] See the "Ballad of Chevy Chase."
[1] Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Part I, Act IV, scene iii.

But the truth is, King Henry had little to give except promises.
Parliament voted money cautiously, limiting its supplies to specific
purposes.  Men of wealth, feeling anxious about the issue of the
King's usurpation,--for such many regarded it,--were afraid to lend
him what he required.

In 1406 the House of Commons (SS213, 217) took a very decisive step.
It demanded and obtained first, the exclusive right of originating all
"Money Bills," or in other words, of making all grants of money which
the King asked for.  This practically gave the people the control of
the nation's purse.[2]  Secondly, the Commons demanded and obtained
from the King that he should not in any way interfere with the right
to deliberate what action they should take in regard to making such
grants of money.  Besides being held in check by the House of Commons,
the King was hampered by a council whose advice he had pledged himself
to follow.  For these reasons Henry's position was in every way

[2] This right of originating "Money Bills" had been claimed as early
as the reign of Richard II, but was not fully and formally recognized
until 1407.  See Taswell-Langmead's "English Constitutional History,"
p. 260, and Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xii,

He had no clear title to the throne, and he had no means to buy
military support.  In addition to these difficulties, he had made an
enemy of Sir Henry Percy.  He had refused to ransom his
brother-in-law, a Mortimer,[3] whom Glendower had captured, but whom
the King wished well out of the way with others of that name.

[3] Sir Edmund Mortimer: He was uncle to the Edmund Mortimer, Earl of
March, who was heir to the crown.  See Bailey's "Succession to the
English Crown."

Young Percy proved a dangerous foe.  His hot temper and impetuous
daring had got for him the title of the "Hotspur of the North."  He
was so fond of fighting that Shakespeare speaks of him as "he that
kills me osme six or seven dozen of scots at a breakfast, washes his
hands, and says to his wife, Fie upon this quite life! I want
work."[1]  This "fire eater," with his father, his uncle (the Earl of
Worcester), the Scotch Earl of Douglas, and, last of all, Owen
Glendower, now formed an alliance to force Henry to give up the

[1] Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Part I, Act II, scene iv.

282. Battle of Shrewsbury (1403).

At Shrewsbury, on the edge of Wales, the armies of the King and of the
revolutionists met.  A number of Henry's enemies had sworn to single
him out in battle.  The plot was divulged, and it is said that
thirteen knights arrayed themselves in armor resembling the King's in
order to mislead the assailants.  The whole thirteen perished on that
bloody field, where fat Sir John Falstaff vowed he fought on Henry's
behalf "a long hour by Shrewsbury clock."[2]

[2] Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Part I, Act V, scene iv.

283. Persecution of the Lollards; Statute of Heresy; the First Martyr

Thus far Henry had spent much time in crushing rebels, but he had also
given part of it to burning heretics.  To gain the favor of the
clergy, and so render his throne more secure, the King favored the
passage of a Statute of Heresy.  The Lords and bishops passed such a
law (to which the House of Commons seems to have assented).[3]  It
punished the Lollards (S255) and also all others who dissented from
the essential doctrines of Rome with death.

[3] See Stubb's "Constitutional History of England," III, 32.

William Sawtrey, a London clergyman, was the first victim under the
new law (1401).  He had declared that he would not worship "the cross
on which Christ suffered, but only Christ himself who had suffered on
the cross."  He had also openly denied the doctrine of
transubstantiation, which teaches that the sacramental bread is
miraculously changed into the actual body of the Saviour.  For these
and minor heresies he was burned at Smithfield, in London, in the
presence of a great multitude.

Some years later a second martyrdom took place.  But as the English
people would not allow torture to be used in the case of the Knights
Templars in the reign of Edward II (S265), so but very few of them
seem to have believed that by committing the body to the flames they
could burn error out of the soul.

The Lollards, indeed, were still cast into prison, as some of the
extreme and communistic part of them doubtless deserved to be (S255),
but we hear of no more being put to cruel deaths during Henry's reign,
though later, the utmost rigor of the law was again to some extent

284. Henry's Last Days.

Toward the close of his life the King seems to have thought of
reviving the Crusades for the conquest of Jerusalem (S182), where,
according to tradition, an old prediction declared that he should
die.  But his Jerusalem was nearer than that of Palestine.  While
praying at the tomb of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey
(S66), he was seized with mortal illness.  His attendants carried him
into a room near by.

When he recovered consciousness, and inquired where he was, he was
told that the apartment was called the Jerusalem Chamber.  "Praise be
to God," he exclaimed, "then here I die!"  There he breathed his last,
saying to his son, young Prince Henry:

                                "God knows, my son,
        By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways,
        I met this crown; and I myself know well
        How troublesome it sat upon my head;
        To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
        Better opinion, better confirmation;
        For all the soil of the achievement[1] goes
        With me into the earth."

[1] "Soil of achievement": stain or blame by which the crown was won.
Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Part II, Act IV, scene iv.

285. Summary.

At the outset of his reign Parliament showed its power by changing the
succession and making Henry King instead of young Edmund Mortimer, the
direct hereditary heir to the crown.  Though successful in crushing
rebellion, Henry was obliged to submit to the guidance of a council.

Furthermore, he was made more entirely dependent on Parliament,
especially in the matter of supplies, than any previous King, for the
House of Commons now got and held control of the nation's purse.  For
the first time in English history heresy was made punishable by death;
yet such was the restraining influence of the people, that but two
executions took place in Henry IV's reign.

Henry V--1413-1422

286. Lollard Outbreak at Henry's Accession.

Henry's youth had been wild and dissolute, but the weight of the crown
sobered him.  He cast off poor old "Jack Falstaff"[1] (S282) and his
other roistering companions, and began his new duties in earnest.

[1] Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Part II, Act V, scene v, beginning, "I
know thee not, old man."

Sir John Oldcastle, or Lord Cobham, was at this time the most
influential man among the Lollards (SS255, 283).  He was brought to
trial and convicted of heresy.  The penalty was death; but the King
granted him a respite, in the hope that he might recant, and Oldcastle
managed to escape from prison (1414).

Immediately after, a conspiracy was detected among the Lollards for
seizing the government, destroying the chief monasteries in and about
London, and raising Oldcastle to power.  Henry attacked the rebels
unawares, killed many, and took a large number of prisoners, who were
executed on a double charge of heresy and treason.  Several years
afterwards Oldcastle was burned as a heretic.

287. Report that Richard II was alive.

A strange report now began to circulate.  It was said that Richard II
(S257) had been seen in Scotland, and that he was preparing to claim
the throne which Henry's father had taken from him.  To silence this
seditious rumor, the King, it is said, exhumed Richard's body from its
grave in the little village of Langley, Hertfordshire.  At any rate, a
dead body, reputed to be Richard's, was brought to London and propped
up in a chair, so that all might see it.

In this manner the King and his court escorted the corpse in solemn
procession to Westminster Abbey, where it was reinterred among the
tombs of the English sovereigns.  With it he buried once for all the
troublesome falsehood which had kept up insurrection, and had made the
deposed King more feared after death than he had ever been during

288. War with France (1415).

To divert the attention of the nation from dangerous home questions
likely to cause new plots and fresh revolts (SS286, 287), Henry now
determined to act on his father's dying counsel and pick a foreign
quarrel.  The old grudge against France, which began with the feuds of
Duke William of Normandy before he conquered England, made a war with
that country always popular.  At this period the French were divided
into fierce parties that hated each other even more, if possible, than
they hated the English.  This, of course, greatly increased the
chances of Henry's success, as he might form an alliance with one of
these factions.

The King believed it a good opportunity to get three things he
wanted,--a wife, a fortune, and the French crown.  The King of France
and his most powerful rival, the Duke of Burgundy, had each a
daughter.  To make sure of one of them, Henry secretly proposed to
both.  After long and fruitless negotiations the French King declined
to grant the enormous dowry which the English King demanded.  The
latter gladly interpreted this refusal as equivalent to a declaration
of war.

289. The Great Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

Henry set to work with vigor, raised an army, and invaded France.  He
besieged Harfleur, near the mouth of the Seine, and took it; but his
army suffered so much from sickness that, after leaving a garrison in
the place, he resolved to move north, to the walled city of Calais.
It will be remembered that the English had captured that city nearly
seventy years before (S240), and Henry intended to wait there for
reenforcements.  (See map facing p. 128.)

After a long and perilous march he reached a little village about
midway between Cre'cy and Calais.  There he encountered the enemy in
great force.  Both sides prepared for battle.  The French had fifty
thousand troops to Henry's seven or eight thousand; but the latter had
that determination which wins victories.  He said to one of his nobles
who regretted that he had not a larger force:

                        "No, my fair cousin;
        If we are marked to die, we are enough
        To do our country loss; and if we live,
        The fewer men, the greater share of honor."[1]

[1] Shakespeare's "Henry V," Act IV, scene iii.

A heavy rain had fallen during the night, and the plowed land over
which the French must cross was so wet and miry that their heavily
armed horsemen sank deep at every step.  The English bowmen, on the
other hand, being on foot, could move with ease.  Henry ordered every
archer to drive a stake, sharpened at both ends, into the ground
before him.  This was a substitute for the modern bayonet, and
presented an almost impassable barrier to the French cavalry.

As at Cre'cy and Poitiers, the English bowmen gained the day (SS238,
241).  The sharp stakes stopped the enemy's horses, and the blinding
showers of arrows threw the splendidly armed knights into wild
confusion.  With a ringing cheer Henry's troops rushed forward.

                "When down their bows they threw,
                 And forth their swords they drew,
                 And on the French they flew:
                     No man was tardy.
                 Arms from the shoulder sent;
                 Scalps to the teeth they rent;
                 Down the French peasants went:
                     These ere men hardy."[2]

[2] These vigorous lines, from Drayton's "Ballad of Agincourt" (1606),
if not quite true to the letter of history (since it is doubted
whether any French peasants were on the field), are wholly true to its

When the fight was over, the King asked, "What is the name of that
castle yonder?"  He was told it was called Agincourt.  "Then," said
he, "from henceforth this shall be known as the battle of Agincourt."
This decisive victory made the winner feel sure that he could now hold
his throne in spite of all plots against him (S288).

290. Treaty of Troyes, 1420; Henry's Death.

Henry went back in triumph to England.  Two years later, he again
invaded France.  His victorious course continued.  By the Treaty of
Troyes (1420) he gained all that he had planned to get.  He obtained
large sums of money, the French Princess Catharine in marriage, and
the promise of the crown of France on the death of her father, Charles
VI, who was then insane and feeble.  Meantime Henry was to govern the
French kingdom as regent.

Henry returned to England with the bride he had won by the sword, but
he was soon recalled to France by a revolt against his power.  He died
there, leaving an infant son, Henry.  Two months afterward Charles VI
died, so that by the terms of the treaty Henry's son now inherited the
French Crown.

291. Summary.

The one great event with which Henry V's name is connected is the
conquest of France.  It was hailed at the time as a glorious
achievement.  In honor of it his tomb in Westminster Abbey was
surmounted by a statue of the King, having a head of solid silver.
Eventually the head was stolen and never recovered; the wooden statue
still remains.  The theft was typical of Henry's short-lived victories
abroad, for all the territory he had gained was soon destined to be
hopelessly lost.

Henry VI (House of Lancaster, Red Rose)--1422-1461

292. Accession of Henry; Renewal of the French War.

The heir to all the vast dominions left by Henry V was proclaimed King
of England and France when in his cradle, and crowned, while still a
child, first in Westminster Abbey and then at Paris.

But the accession to the French possesions was merely an empty form,
for as Prince Charles, the son of the late Charles VI of France,
refused to abide by the Treaty of Troyes (S290) and give up the
throne, war again broke out.

293. Siege of Orleans.

The Duke of Bedford[1] fought vigorously in Henry's behalf.  In five
years the English had got possession of most of the country north of
the Loire.  They now determined to make an effort to drive the French
Prince south of that river.  To accomplish this they must take the
strongly fortified town of Orleans, which was situated on its banks.
(See map facing p. 84.)

[1] During Henry's minority, John, Duke of Bedford, was Protector of
the realm.  When absent in France, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, acted
for him.

Forts were accordingly built around the place, and cannon planted to
batter down its walls (S239).  Six month later, so much progress had
been made in the siege, that it was plain the city could not hold out
much longer.  The fortunes of Prince Charles seemed to depend on the
fate of Orleans.  If it fell, nothing, apparently, could save France
from yielding to her conqueror.

294. Joan of Arc, 1429-1431.

At this juncture Joan of Arc, a peasant girl of eighteen, came forward
to inspire her despairing countrymen with fresh courage.  She believed
that Heaven had called her to drive the English from the land.  The
troops rallied round her.  Clad in white armor, mounted on a white war
horse, she saved Orleans; then she led the troops from victory to
victory, until she saw Prince Charles triumphantly crowned in the
Cathedral of Rheims.  (See map facing p. 128.)

Her fortunes soon changed.  Her own people basely abandoned her.  The
unworthy King Charles made no attempt to protect the "Maid of
Orleans," and she fell into the hands of the infuriated English, who
believed she was in league with the devil.  In accordance with this
belief Joan was tried for witchcraft and heresy at Rouen, and
sentenced to the flames.  She died (1431) as bravely as she had
lived, saying in her last agonies that her celestial voices had not
deceived her, and that through them she had saved France.

"God forgive us," exclaimed one of Henry's courtiers who was present,
"we are lost! We have burned a saint!"  It was the truth; and from the
martyred girl's ashes a new spirit seemed to go forth to bless her
ungrateful country.  The heart of the French people was touched; they
rose and drove the English invaders from the soil of France.

Before Henry VI reached his thirtieth year the Hundred Years' War with
France, which Edward III had begun (S237), was ended (1453), and
England had lost all of her possessions on the Continent, except a
bare foothold at Calais, and that was destined to be lost a few
generations later (S373).

295. Henry VI's Character and Marriage.

When Henry became of age he proved to be but the shadow of a King.
His health and character were alike feeble.  At twenty-five he married
the beautiful and unfortunate French Princess, Margaret of Anjou, who
was by far the better man of the two.  When years of disaster came,
this dauntless "Queen of tears" headed councils, led armies, and ruled
both King and kingdom.

296. Poverty of the Crown and Wealth of the Nobles.

One cause of the weakness of the government was its poverty.  The
revenues of the Crown had been greatly diminished by gifts and grants
to favorites.  The King was obliged to pawn his jewels and the silver
plate from his table to pay his wedding expenses; and it is said on
high authority[1] that the royal couple were sometimes in actual want
of a dinner.

[1] Fortescue, on the "Government of England" (Plummer).

On the other hand, the Earl of Warwick and other great lords had made
fortunes out of the French wars,[2] and lived in regal splendor.  This
Earl, it is said, had at his different castles and his city mansion in
London upwards of thirty thousand men in his service.  Their livery,
or uniform, a bright red jacket with the Warwick arms--a bear erect
holding a ragged staff--embroidered on it in white, was seen, known,
and feared throughout the country.

[2] First, by furnishing troops to the government, the feudal system
having now so far decayed that many soldiers had to be hired;
secondly, by the plunder of French cities; thirdly, by ransoms
obtained from noblemen taken prisoners.

Backed by such forces it was easy for the Earl and other powerful
lords to overawe kings, parliaments, and courts.  Between the heads of
the great houses quarrels were constantly breaking out.  The safety of
the people was endanged by these feuds, which became more and more
violent, and often ended in bloodshed and murer.

297. Disfranchisement of the Common People, 1430.

With the growth of power on the part of the nobles, there was also
imposed for the first time a restriction on the right of the people to
vote for members of Parliament.  Up to this period all freemen might
take part in the election of representatives chosen by the counties to
sit in the House of Commons.

A law was now passed forbidding any one to vote at these elections
unless he was a resident of the county and possessed of landed
property yielding an annual income of forty shillings (S200).[1]
Subsequently it was further enacted that no county candidate should be
eligible unless he was a man of means and social standing.

[1] The income required by the statute was forty shillings, which,
says Freeman, we may fairly call forty pounds of our present money.
See E.A. Freeman's "Growth of the English Constitution," p. 97.

These two measures were blows against the free self-government of the
nation, since their manifest tendency was to make the House of Commons
represent the property rather than the people of the country (S319).
(See, too, Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xiii,

298. Cade's Rebellion (1450).

A formidable rebellion broke out in Kent (1450), then, as now, one of
the most independent and democratic counties in England.  The leader
was Jack Cade, who called himself by the popular name of Mortimer
(S257, note 1, and S279).  He claimed to be cousin to Richard, Duke of
York, a nephew of that Edmund Mortimer, now dead, whom Henry IV had
unjustly deprived of his succession to the crown.

Cade, who was a mere adventurer, was quite likely used as a tool by
plotters much higher than himself.  By putting him forward they could
judge whether the country was ready for a revolution and change of

Wat Tyler's rebellion, seventy years before (S250), was almost purely
social in its character, having for its object the emancipation of the
enslaved laboring classes.  Cade's insurrection was, on the contrary,
almost wholly political.  His chief complaint was that the people were
not allowed their free choice in the election of representatives, but
were forced by the nobility to choose candidates they did not want.
Other grievances for which reform was demanded were excessive
taxastion and the rapacity of the evil counselors who controlled the

Cade entered London with a body of twenty thousand men under strict
discipline.  Many of the citizens sympathized with Cade's projects of
reform, and were ready to give him a welcome.  He took formal
possession of the place by striking his sword on London Stone,--a
Roman monument still standing, which then marked the center of the
ancient capital,--saying, as Shakespeare reports him, "Now is Mortimer
lord of this city."[1]

After three days of riot and the murder of the King's treasurer, the
rebellion came to an end through a general pardon.  Cade, however,
endeavored to raise a new insurrection in the south, but was shortly
after captured, and died of his wounds.

[1] "Now is Mortimer lord of this city, and here, sitting upon London
Stone, I charge and command that, at the city's cost, this conduit
runs nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign; and now it
shall be treason for any man to call me other than Lord Mortimer."
--Shakerspeare's "Henry VI," Part II, Act IV, scene vi.
   It is noticeable that the great dramatist expresses no sympathy in
this play with the cause of the people.  In fact he ridicules Cade and
his movement.  In the same spirit he does not mention the Great
Charter in his "King John," while in his "Richard II" he passes over
Wat Tyler without a word.  Perhaps the explanation may be found in the
fact that Shakespeare lived in an age when England was threatened by
both open and secret enemies.  The need of his time was a strong,
steady hand at the helm; it was no season for reform or change of any
sort; on this account he may have thought it his duty to be silent in
regard to democratic risings and demands in the past (S313, note 2).

299. Wars of the Roses, 1455-1485.

The real significance of Cade's insurrection is that it showed the
widespread feeling of discontent caused by misgovernment, and that it
served as an introduction to the long and dreary period of civil
strife known as the Wars of the Roses.

So long as the English nobles had France for a fighting ground, French
cities to plunder, and French captives to hold for heavy ransoms, they
were content to let matters go on quietly at home.  But that day was
over.  Through the bad management, if not through the positive
treachery, of Edmund, Duke of Somerset, the French conquests had been
lost.  Henry VI, a weak king, at times insane, sat on the English
throne (S295), while Richard, Duke of York, a really able man and a
descendant of the Mortimers (see table, p. 161), was, as many
believed, unlawfully excluded from it.

This fact in itself would have furnished a plausible pretext for
hostilities, even as far back as Cade's rising.  But the birth of a
son[2] to Henry (1453) probably gave the signal for the outbreak,
since it cut off all hopes which Richard's friends may have had of his
peaceful succession.

[2] Prince Edward.  See Genealogical Table, p. 161, under Henry VI.

300. The Scene in the Temple Garden.

Shakespeare represents the smoldering feud between the rival houses of
Lancaster and York (both of whom it should be remembered were
descendants of Edward III)[1] as breaking into an angry quarrel in the
Temple Garden, London, when Richard, Duke of York, says:

        "Let him that is a true-born gentleman,
         And stands upon the honor of his birth,
         If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
         From off this brier pluck a white rose with me."[2]

To this challenge John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset,[3] a descendant of
the house of Lancaster, who has just accused Richard of being the
dishonored son of a traitor, replies:

        "Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer,
         But dare maintain the party of the truth,
         Pluch a red rose from off this thorn with me."

A little later on the Earl of Warwick rejoins:

                                "This brawl to-day,
         Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden,
         Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
         A thousand souls to death and deadly night."[4]

[1] Table showing the descendants of Edward III, with reference to the
claims of Lancaster and York to the crown:

                        Edward III
     |                          |                       |
 Lionel, Duke of     John of Gaunt, Duke of        Edmund, Duke of
Clarence (3d son)      Lancaster (4th son)          York (5th son)
     |                      -----------------           |
  Philippa                  |               |     Richard, Earl of
     |                  Henry IV    +John, Earl   Cambridge, m.
  --------------            |       of Somerset   Anne Mortimer
  |            |        Henry V             |
Edmund    Anne Mortimer     |             ---------------
Mortimer  m. Richard,   Prince Edward,    |             |
(Earl of  Earl of       b. 1453; killed  John,       Edmund,
March)    Cambridge (s.   at battle of  Duke of      Duke of
d. 1424   of Edmund,      Tewkesbury,   Somerset,    Somerset
          Duke of York)     1471        d. 1448
         *Richard, Duke
            of York
        Edward IV (1461-1483)

*Inherited the title of Duke of York from his father's brother,
Edward, Duke of York, who died without issue.  Richard' father, the
Earl of Cambridge, had forfeited his title and estates by treason, but
Parliament had so far limited the sentence that his son was not
thereby debarred from inheriting his uncle's rank and fortune.
Richard, Duke of York, now represented the direct hereditary line of
succession to the crown, while Henry VI and his son represented that
established by Parliament through the acceptance of Henry IV (S279).
+John, Earl of Somerset, was an illegitimate half brother of Henry
IV's, but was, in 1397, declared legitimate by act of Parliament and a
papal decree.

[2] Shakespeare's "Henry VI," Part I, Act II, scene iv.
[3] John, Duke of Somerset, died 1448.  He was brother of Edmund, Duke
of Somerset, who was slain at St. Albans, 1455.
[4] Shakespeare's "Henry VI," Part I, Act II, scene iv.

301. The Real Object of the Wars of the Roses.

The wars, however, did not directly originate in this quarrel, but
rather in the strife for power between Edmund, Duke of Somerset
(John's brother), and Richard, Duke of York.  Each desired to get the
control of the government, though at first neither appears to have
openly aimed at the crown.

During King Henry's attack of insanity (1453) Richard was appointed
Protector of the realm, and shortly afterward the Duke of Somerset,
the King's particular favorite and chief adviser, was cast into prison
on the double charge of having culpably lost Normandy and embezzled
public moneys.

When Henry recovered (1455), he released Somerset and restored him to
office.  Richard protested, and raising an army in the north, marched
toward London.  He met the royalist forces at St. Albans; a battle
ensued, and Somerset was slain.

During the next thirty years the war raged with more or less fury
between the parties of the Red Rose (Lancaster) and the White Rose
(York).  The first maintained that Parliament had the right to choose
whatever king it saw fit, as in Henry IV's case (S279); the second
insisted that the succession should be determined by strict hereditary
descent, as represented in the claim of Richard.[2]

[2] See Genealogical Table, p. 161.

But beneath the surface the contest was not for principle, but for
place and spoils.  The great nobles, who during the French wars (S288)
had pillaged abroad, now pillaged each other; and as England was
neither big enough nor rich enough to satisfy the greed of all of
them, the struggle gradually became a war of mutual extermination.

It was, to a certain extent, a sectional war.  Eastern England, then
the wealthiest and most progressive part of the country, had strongly
supported Wycliffe in his reforms (S254).  It now espoused the side of
Richard, Duke of York, who was believed to be friendly to religious
liberty, while the western counties fought for the cause of Lancaster
and the Church.

302. The First Battles (1455-1460).

We have already seen (S301) that the first blood was shed at
St. Albans (1455), where the Yorkists, after half an hour's fighting,
gained a complete victory.  A similar result followed at Bloreheath,
Staffordshire (1459).  In a third battle, at Northampton, the Yorkists
were again successful (1460).  Henry was taken prisoner, and Queen
Margaret fled with the young Prince Edward to Scotland.  Richard now
demanded the crown.  (See map facing p. 172.)

Henry answered with unexpected spirit: "My father was King, his father
also was King.  I have worn the crown forty years from my cradle; you
have all sworn fealty to me as your sovereign, and your fathers did
the like to my fathers.  How, then, can my claim be disputed?"  After
a long controversy, a compromise was effected.  Henry agreed that if
he were left in peaceable possession of the throne during his life,
Richard or his heirs should succeed him.

303. Battles of Wakefield and Towton (1460-1461).

But Queen Margaret refused to see her son, Prince Edward, thus tamely
set aside.  She raised an army and attacked the Yorkists.  Richard,
Duke of York, whose forces were inferior to hers, had entrenched
himself in Sandal Castle near Wakefield, Yorkshire.  Day after day
Margaret went up under the walls and dared him to come out.

At length, stung by her taunts, the Duke sallied from his strongold,
and the battle of Wakefield was fought (1460).  Margaret was
victorious.  Richard was slain, and the Queen, in mockery of his
claims to sovereignty, cut off his head, decked it with a paper crown,
and set it up over the chief gate of the city of York.  Fortune now
changed.  The next year (1461) the Lacastrians were defeated with
great slaughter at Towton, Yorkshire.  The light spring snow was
crimsoned with the blood of thirty thousand slain, and the way strewn
with corpses for ten miles up to the walls of York.

The Earl of Warwick (S296), henceforth popularly known as "King
Maker," now place Edward, eldest son of the late Duke of York, on the
throne, with the title of Edward IV (S300, table).  Henry and Margaret
fled to Scotland.  The new government summoned them to appear, and as
they failed to answer, proclaimed them traitors.

Four years later Henry was taken prisoner and sent to the Tower of
London (S305).  He may have been happier there than battling for his
throne.  He was not born to reign, but rather, as Shakespeare makes
him say, to lead a shepherd's life, watching his flocks, until the
peacefully flowing years should--

        "Bring white hairs unto a quiet grave."[1]

[1] See Henry's soliloquy on the field of Towton, beginning,
                "O God! methinks it were a happy life
                   To be no better than a homely swain."
                        Shakespeare's "Henry VI," Part III,
                                Act II, scene v

304. Summary.

The history of the peiod is one of loss to England.  The brilliant
French conquests of Henry V (SS289, 290) slipped from the nerveless
hands of his son, leaving France practically independent.  The
people's power to vote had been restricted (S297).  The House of
Commons had ceased to be democratic even in a moderate degree.  Its
members were all property holders elected by property holders (S297).
Cade's rebellion was the sign of political discontent and the
forerunner of civil war (S298).

The contests of the parties of the Red and White Roses drenched
England's fair fields with the best blood of her own sons.  The reign
ends with King Henry in prison, Queen Margaret and Prince Edward
fugitives, and the Yorkist, Edward IV, placed on the throne by the
help of the powerful Earl of Warwick (S296).

Edward IV (House of York, White Rose)--1461-1483

305. Continuation of the War; Barnet; Death of Henry; Tewkesbury

During the whole of Edward IV's reign (S303) the war went on with
varying success, but unvarying ferocity, until at last neither side
would ask or give quarter.  Some years after the accession of the new
sovereign, the Earl of Warwick (S296) quarreled with him, thrust him
from the throne, and restored Henry VI (S303).

But a few months later, at the battle of Barnet, near London (1471),
Warwick, who was "the last of the great barons," was killed, and
Henry, who had been led back to the Tower of London again (S303), died
one of those "conveniently sudden deaths" which were then so common.

The heroic Queen Margaret (SS295, 303), however, would not give up the
contest in behalf of her son's claim to the crown.  But fate was
against her.  A few weeks after the battle of Barnet her army was
utterly defeated at Tewkesbury (1471), her son Edward slain, and the
Queen herself taken prisoner.  (See map facing p. 172.)

She was eventually released on the payment of a large ransom, and
returned to France, where she died broken-hearted in her native Anjou,
prophesying that the contest would go on until the Red Rose,
representing her party, should get a still deeper dye from the blood
of her enemies.

306. The Introduction of Printing, 1477.

But an event was at hand of greater importance than any question of
crowns or parties, though then none was wise enough to see its real
significance.  William Caxton, a London merchant, had learned the new
art of printing with movable type[1] at Bruges in Flanders (now
Belgium).  When he returned to his native country, he set up a small
press within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

[1] The first printing in Europe was done in the early part of the
fifteenth century from wooden blocks on which the words were cut.
Movable types were invented about 1450.

There, at the sign of a shield bearing a red "pale," or band, he
advertised his wares as "good chepe."  He was not only printer, but
translator and editor.  King Edward gave him some royal patronage.
His Majesty was willing to pay liberally for work which was not long
before the clergy in France had condemned as a black art emanating
from the devil.  Many, too, of the English clergy regarded it with no
very friendly eye, since it threatened to destroy the copying trade,
of which the monks had well-nigh a monopoly (S154).

The first printed book which Caxton is known to have published in
England was a small volume entitled "The Sayings of the Philosophers,"
1477.[1]  This venture was followed in due time by Chaucer's
"Canterbury Tales" (S253), and whatever other poetry, history, or
classics seemed worthy of preservation; making in all nearly a hundred
distinct works comprising more than eighteen thousand volumes.

[1] "The dictes or sayengis of the philosophres, enprynted by me
william Caxton at westmestre, the year of our lord MCCCCLxxvii."

Up to this time a book of any kind was a luxury, laboriously "written
by the few for the few"; but from this date literature of all sorts
was destined to multiply and fill the earth with many leaves and some
good fruit.

Caxton's patrons, though few, were choice, and when one of them, the
Earl of Worcester, was beheaded in the wars, Caxton said, "The ax did
then cut off more learning than was left in all the heads of the
surviving lords."  Towards the close of the nineteenth century a
memorial window was placed in St. Margaret's Church within the abbey
grounds, as a tribute to the man who, while England was red with
slaughter, introduced "the art preservative of all arts," and
preservative of liberty no less[1] (S322).

[1] "Lord! taught by thee, when Caxton bade
        His silent words forever speak;
     A grave for tyrants then was made,
        Then crack'd the chain which yet shall break."
                        Ebenezer Elliott, "Hymn for the Printers'
                                Gathering at Sheffield," 1833

307. King Edward's Character.

The King, however, cared more for his pleasures than for literature or
the welfare of the nation.  His chief aim was to beg, borrow, or
extort money to waste in dissipation.  The loans which he forced his
subjects to grant, and which were seldom, if ever, repaid, went under
the name of "benevolences."  But it is safe to say that those who
furnished them were in no very benevolent frame of mind at the time.

Exception may perhaps be made of the rich and elderly widow, who was
so pleased with the King's handsome face that she willingly handed him
a 20 pounds (a large sum in those days); and when the jovial monarch
gallantly kissed her out of gratitude for her generosity, she at once,
like a true and loyal subject, doubled the donation.  Edward's course
of life was not conducive to length of days, even if the times had
favored a long reign.  He died early, leaving a son, Prince Edward, to
succeed him.

308. Summary.

The reign was marked by the continuation of the Wars of the Roses, the
death of King Henry VI and of his son, with the return of Queen
Margaret to France.  The most important event outside of the war was
the introduction of the printing press into England by William Caxton.

Edward V (House of York, White Rose)--1483

309. Gloucester appointed Protector.

Prince Edward, heir to the throne, was a lad of twelve (S307).  His
position was naturally full of peril.  It became much more so, from
the fact that his ambitious and unscrupulous uncle, Richard, Duke of
Gloucester, had been appointed Lord Protector of the realm until the
boy should become of age.  Richard protected his young nephew as a
wolf would protect a lamb.

He met the Prince coming up to London from Ludlow Castle, Shropshire,
attended by his half brother, Sir Richard Grey, and his uncle, Lord
Rivers.  Under the pretext that Edward would be safer in the Tower of
London than at Westminster Palace, Richard sent the Prince there, and
soon found means for having his kinsmen, Grey and Rivers, executed.

310. Murder of Lord Hastings and the Two Princes.

Richard shortly after showed his object.  Lord Hastings was one of the
council who had voted to make him Lord Protector, but he was unwilling
to help him in his plot to seize the crown.  While at the council
table in the Tower of London Richard suddenly started up and accused
Hastings of treason, saying, "By St. Paul, I will not to dinner till I
see thy head off!"  Hastings was dragged out of the room, and without
either trial or examination was beheaded on a stick of timber on the
Tower green.

The way was now clear for the accomplishment of the Duke's purpose.
The Queen Mother (Elizabeth Woodville, widow of Edward IV) (S305) took
her younger son and his sisters, one of whom was the Princess
Elizabeth of York, and fled for protection to the sanctuary (S95) of
Westminster Abbey, where, refusing all comfort, "she sat alone, on the
rush-covered stone floor."  Finally, Richard half persuaded and half
forced the unhappy woman to give up her second son to his tender care.

With bitter weeping and dread presentiments of evil she parted from
him, saying: "Farewell, mine own sweet son! God send you good keeping!
Let me kiss you once ere you go, for God knoweth when we shall kiss
together again."  That was the last time she saw the lad.  He and
Edward, his elder brother, were soon after murdered in the Tower, and
Richard rose by that double crime to the height he coveted.

311. Summary.

Edward V's nominal reign of less than three months must be regarded
simply as the time during which his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester,
perfected his plot for seizing the crown by the successive murders of
Rivers, Grey, Hastings, and the two young Princes.

Richard III (House of York, White Rose)--1483-1485

312. Richard's Accession; he promises Financial Reform.

Richard used the preparations which had been made for the murdered
Prince Edward's coronation for his own (S310).  He probably gained
over an influential party by promises of financial reform.  In their
address to him at his accession, Parliament said, "Certainly we be
determined rather to adventure and commit us to the peril of our
lives...than to live in such thraldom and bondage as we have lived
long time heretofore, oppressed and injured by extortions and new
impositions, against the laws of God and man, and the liberty, old
policy and laws of this realm, wherein every Englishman is

[1] Taswell-Langmead's "Constitutional History of England."

313. Richard III's Character.

Several attempts have been made of late years to defend the King
against the odium heaped upon him by the older historians.  But these
well-meant efforts to prove him less black than tradition painted him
are answered by the fact that his memory was thoroughly hated by those
who knew him best.  No one of the age when he lived thought of
vindicating his character.  He was called a "hypocrite" and a

We must believe then, until it is clearly proved to the contrary, that
the last of the Yorkist kings was what common report and Shakespeare
have together represented him,[2]--distorted in figure, and with
ambition so unrestrained that the words the great English poet has
seen fit to put into his mouth may have really expressed Richard's own

        "Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
         Let hell make crookt my mind to answer it."[1]

[2] In this connection it may be well to say a word in regard to the
historical value of Shakespeare's utterances, which have been freely
quoted in this book.  He generally followed the Chronicles of Hall and
Holinshed, which constitute two important sources of information on
the periods of which they treat; and he sometimes followed them so
closely that he simply turned their prose into verse.  Mr. James
Gairdner, who is a high authority on the Wars of the Roses, calls
Shakespeare "an unrivaled interpreter" of that long and terrible
conflict.  (See the preface to his "Houses of Lancaster and York.")
In the preface to his "Richard III" Mr. Gairdner is still more
explicit.  He says: "A minute study of the facts of Richard's life has
tended more and more to convince me of the general fidelity of the
portrait with which we have been made familiar by Shakespeare and Sir
Thomas More."  On Shakespeare's faithful presentation of history see
also A.G.S. Canning's "Thoughts on Shakespeare," p. 295; the
Dictionary of National (British) Biography under "Holinshed"; Garnett
and Gosse's "English Literature," Vol. II, p. 68; and H.N. Hudson's
"Shakespeare's Life and Characters," Vol. II, pp. 5-8.  See, too,
S298, note 1.
[1] Shakespeare's "Henry VI," Part III, Act V, scene vi.

Personally he was as brave as he was cruel and unscrupulous.  He
promoted some reforms; he encouraged Caxton in his great work (S306),
and he abolished the forced loans ironically called "benevolences"
(S307), at least for a time.

314. Revolts; Buckingham; Henry Tudor.

During his short reign of two years, several revolts broke out, but
came to nothing.  The Duke of Buckingham, who had helped Richard III
to the throne, turned against him because he did not get the rewards
he expected.  He headed a revolt; but as his men deserted him, he fell
into the King's hands, and the executioner speedily did the rest.

Finally, a more formidable enemy arose.  Before he gained the crown
Richard had cajoled or compelled the unfortunate Anne Neville, widow
of that Prince Edward, son of Henry VI, who was slain at Tewkesbury
(S305), into becoming his wife.  She might have said with truth,
"Small joy have I in being England's Queen."  The King intended that
his son should marry Elizabeth of York, sister to the two Princes he
had murdered in the Tower (S310).  By so doing he would strengthen his
position and secure the succession to the throne to his own family.
But Richard's son shortly after died, and the King, having
mysteriously got rid of his wife, now made up his mind to marry
Elizabeth himself.

The Princess, however, was already betrothed to Henry Tudor, Earl of
Richmond, the engagement having been effected during that sad winter
which she and her mother spent in sactuary (S95) at Westminster
Abbey, watched by Richard's soldiers to prevent their escape (S310).
The Earl of Richmond, who was an illegitimate descendant of the House
of Lancaster (see the Genealogical Table, p. 172), had long been
waiting on the Continent for an opportunity to invade England and
claim the crown.

Owing to the enmity of Edward IV and Richard toward him, the Earl had
been, as he himself said, "either a fugitive or a captive since he was
five years old."  He now determined to remain so no longer.  He landed
(1485) with a force at Milford Haven, in Wales, where he felt sure of
a welcome, since his paternal ancestors were Welsh.[1]

Advancing through Shrewsbury, he met Richard on Bosworth Field, in

[1] Descent of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond:

Henry V (House of Lancaster) married Catharine of France, who after
   |       his death married Owen Tudor, a Welshman of Anglesey
Henry VI                          |
             Edmund Tudor (Earl of Richmond) married Margaret
                Beaufort, a descendent of John of Gaunt, Duke
                of Lancaster [she was granddaughter of John,
                 Earl of Somerset; see p. 161]
                Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond (also called
                        Henry of Lancaster)

315. Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485.

There the decisive battle was fought between the great rival houses of
York and Lancaster (S300).  Richard represented the first, and Henry
Tudor, Earl of Richmond, the second.  The King went out the evening
before to look over the ground.  He found one of his sentinels
slumbering at his post.  Drawing his sword, he stabbed him in the
heart, saying, "I found him asleep and I leave him asleep." Going back
to his tent, he passed a restless night.  The ghosts of all his
murdered victims seemed to pass in procession before him.  Such a
sight may well, as Shakespeare says, have "struck terror to the soul
of Richard."[2]

[2] Shakespeare's "Richard III," Act V, scene iii.

At sunrise the battle began.  Before the attack, Richard, it is said,
confessed to his troops the murder of his two nephews (S310), but
pleaded that he had atoned for the crime with "many salt tears and
long penance."  It is probably that had it not been for the treachery
of some of his adherents the King would have won the day.

When he saw that he was deserted by those on whose help he had
counted, he uttered the cry of "Treason! treason!" and dashed forward
into the thick of the fight.  With the fury of despair he hewed his
way into the very presence of Henry Tudor, and killing the standard
bearer, flung the Lancastrian banner to the ground.  But he could go
no further.  Numbers overpowered him, and he fell.

During the battle Richard had worn his crown.  After all was over, it
was found hanging on a hawthorn bush[1] and handed to the victor, who
placed it on his own head.  The army then gathered round Henry Tudor
thus crowned, and moved by one impulse joined in the exultant hymn of
the Te Deum.[2]  Thus ended the last of the Plantagenet line (S159).
"Whatever their faults or crimes, there was not a coward among

[1] An ancient stained-glass window in the east end of Henry VII's
Chapel (Westminster Abbey) commemorates this incident.
[2] "Te Deum laudamus" (We praise thee, O God): a Roman Catholic hymn
of thanksgiving, now sung in English in the Episcopal and other
[3] W. Stubb's "Constitutional History of England."

316. End of the Wars of the Roses (1485); their Effects.

With Bosworth Field the Wars of the Roses ceased (SS299, 300).  During
the thirty years they had continued, fourteen pitched battles had been
fought, in a single one of which (Towton) (S303) more Englishmen lost
their lives than in the whole course of the wars with France during
the preceding forty years.  In all, eighty princes of the blood royal
and more than half of the nobility of the realm perished.

Of those who escaped death by the sword, many died on the scaffold.
The remnant who were saved had hardly a better fate.  They left their
homes only to suffer in foreign lands.  A writer of the day[4] says,
"I, myself, saw the Duke of Exeter, the King of England's
brother-in-law, walking barefoot in the Duke of Burgundy's train, and
begging his bread from door to door."

[4] See the "Paston Letters."

Every individual of two families of the great houses of Somerset and
Warwick (SS296, 300) fell either on the field or under the
executioner's ax.  In tracing family pedigrees it is startling to see
how often the record reads, "killed at St. Albans," "slain at Towton,"
"beheaded after the battle of Wakefield," and the like.[5]

[5] Guest's "Lectures on English History."

When the contest closed, the feudal baronage was broken up (SS113,
114, 150).  In a majority of cases the estates of the nobles either
fell to the Crown for lack of heirs, or they were fraudulently seized
by the King's officers.  Thus the greater part of the wealthiest and
most powerful aristocracy in the world disappeared so completely that
they ceased to have either a local habitation or a name.

But the elements of civil discord at last exhausted themselves.
Bosworth Field was a turning point in English history.  When the sun
went down, it saw the termination of the desperate struggle between
the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster; when it ushed in
a new day, it shone also on a new King, Henry VII, who introduced a
new social and political period.

317. Summary.

The importance of Richard's reign is that it marks the close of the
Wars of the Roses.  Those thirty years of civil strife destroyed the
predominating influence of the feudal barons.  Henry Tudor (S314) now
becomes the central figure, and will ascend the throne as Henry VII.

General Reference Summary of the Lancastrian and Yorkist Period

I. Government.  II. Religion.  III. Military Affairs.
IV. Literature, Learning, and Art.  V. General Industry and Commerce.
VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs

I. Government

318. Parliament and the Royal Succession.

The period began with the parliamentary recognition of the claim to
the crown of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, son of John of Gaunt, Duke of
Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III.  By this act the claim of Edmund
Mortimer, a descendant of Edward III by his third son, Lionel, Duke of
Clarence, was deliberately set aside, and this change in the order of
succession eventually furnished an excuse for civil war.[1]

[1] Before the accession of Henry III, Parliament made choice of any
one of the King's sons whom it considered best fitted to rule.  After
hat time it was understood that the King's eldest son should be chosen
to succeed him; or incase of his death during the lifetime of his
father, the eldest son of the eldest son; and so forward in that
line.  The action taken by Parliament in favor of Henry IV was a
departure from that principle, and a reassurtion of its ancient right
to choose and descendant of the royal family it deemed best.  (See
Genealogical Table, p. 140.)

319. Disfranchisement of Electors; Benevolences.

Under Henry VI a property qualification was established by act of
Parliament which cut off all persons from voting for countyy members
of the House of Commons who did not have an income of forty shillings
(say 40 pounds, or $200, in modern money) from freehold land.  County
elections, the statute said, had "of late been made by a very great,
outrageous, and excessive number of people...of which the most part
were people of small substance and of no value."

Later, candidates for the House of Commons from the counties were
required to be gentlemen by birth, and to have an income of not less
than 20 pounds (or say 400 pounds, or $2000, in modern money).  Though
the tendency of such laws was to make the House of Commons represent
property holders more than the freemen as a body, yet no apparent
change seems to have taken place in the class of county members

Eventually, however, these and other interferences with free elections
caused the rebellion of Jack Cade, in which the insurgents demanded
the right to choose such representatives as they saw fit.  But the
movement appears to have had no practical result.  During the civil
war which ensued, King Edward IV compelled wealthy subjects to lend
him large sums (seldom, if ever, repaid) called "benevolences."
Richard III abolished this obnoxious system, but afterward revived it,
and it became conspicuously hateful under his successor in the next

Another great grievance was Purveyance.  By it the King's purveyors
had the right to seize provisions and means of transportation for the
King and his hundreds of attendants whenever they journeyed through
the country on a "royal progress."  The price offered by the purveyors
was always much below the real value of what was taken, and frequently
even that was not paid.  Purveyance, which had existed from the
earliest times, was not finally abolished until 1660.

II. Religion

320. Suppression of Heresy.

Under Henry IV the first act was passed by Lords and clergy,
apparently with the assent of the House of Commons, for punishing
heretics by burning at the stake, and the first martyr suffered in
that reign.  Later, the Lollards, or followers of Wycliffe, who appear
in many cases to have been socialists as well as religious reformers,
were punished by imprisonment, and occasionally with death.  The whole
number of martyrs, however, was small.

III. Military Affairs

321. Armor and Arms.

The armor of the period was made of steel plate, fitting and
completely covering the body.  It was often inlaid with gold and
elegantly ornamented.  Firearms had not yet superseded the old
weapons.  Cannon were in use, to some degree, and also clumsy handguns
fired with a match.

The long bow continued to be the chief arm of the foot soldiers, and
was used with great dexterity and fatal effect.  Targets were set up
by law in every parish, and the yeomen were required to practice
frequently at contests in archery.  The principle wars were the civil
wars and those with France.

IV. Literature, Learning, and Art

322. Introduction of Printing; Books.

The art of printing was introduced into England about 1477 by Caxton,
a London merchant.  Up to that time all books had been written on
either parchment or paper, at an average rate of about fifty cents per
page in modern money.  The age was not favorable to literature, and
produced no great writers; but Caxton edited and published a large
number of works, many of which he translated from the French and

The two books which throw most light on the history of the times are
the "Sir John Paston Letters" (1424-1506), and a work by Chief Justice
Fortescue on government, intended for the use of Prince Edward (slain
at Tewkesbury).  The latter work is remarkable for its bold
declaration that the King "has the delegation of power from the
people, and he has no just claims to any other power than this."  The
chief justice also praises the courage of his countrymen, and declares
with honest pride that "more Englishmen are hanged in England in one
year for robbery and manslaughter than are hanged in France in seven

323. Education.

Henry VI took a deep interest in education, and founded the great
public school of Eton, which ranks next in age to that of Winchester.
The money for its endowment was obtained by the appropriation of the
revenues of alien or foreign monasteries which had been erected in
England, and which were confiscated by Henry V.  The King watched the
progress of the building from the windows of Windsor Castle, and to
supplement the course of education to be given there, he furthermore
erected and endowed the magnificent King's College, Cambridge.

324. Architecture.

There was a new development of Gothic architecture in this period, the
Decorated giving place to the Perpendicular.  The latter derives its
name from the perpendicular divisions of the lights in the arches of
the windows.  It marks the final period of the Gothic or Pointed
style, and is noted for the exquisite carved work of its ceilings.
King's College Chapel, Cambridge, St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and
Henry VII's Chapel (built in the next reign), connected with
Westminster Abbey, are among the most celebrated examples of this
style of architecture, whic his peculiar to England.

The mansions of the nobility at this period exhibited great elegance.
Crosby Hall, London, at one time the residence of Richard III, was one
of the best examples of the "Inns" of the great families and wealthy
knights.  The Hall was pulled down in 1903, but it has been reerected
on the Chelsea Embankment, on the Thames.

V. General Industry and Commerce

325. Agriculture and Trade.

Notwithstanding the Civil Wars of the Roses, agriculture was
prosperous and foreign trade largely increased.  The latter was well
represented by Sir Richard Whittington, thrice mayor of London, who,
according to tradition, lent Henry V large sums of money, and then at
an entertainment which he gave to the King and Queen in his city
mansion, generously canceled the debt by throwing the bonds into the
open sandalwood fire.  There is a fine fresco, representing this
scene, in the Royal Exchange, London.

Goldsmiths from Lombardy had now settled in London in such numbers as
to give the name of Lobard Street to the quarter they occupied.  They
succeeded the Jews in the business of money lending and banking, and
Lombard Street still remains famous for its bankers and brokers.

VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs

326. Dress.

Great sums were spent on dress by both sexes, and the courtiers'
doublets, or jackets, were of the most costly silks and velvets,
elaborately puffed and slashed.  During the latter part of the period
the pointed shoes, which had formerly been of prodigious length,
suddenly began to grow broad, with such rapidity that Parliament
passed a law limiting the width of the toes to six inches.

At the same time the court ladies adopted the fashion of wearing horns
as huge in proportion as the noblemen's shoes.  The government tried
legislating them down, and the clergy fulminated a solemn curse
against them; but fashion was more powerful than Church and Parliament
combined, and horns and hoofs came out triumphant.

                     EIGHTH PERIOD[1]

        "One half her soil has walked the rest
         In poets, heroes, martyrs, sages!"
                                        O. W. Holmes

                Political Reaction--Absolutism of the
        Crown--The English Reformation and the New Learning

Crown or Pope?

House of Tudor (1485-1603)

Henry VII, 1485-1509
Henry VIII, 1509-1547
Edward VI, 1547-1553
Mary, 1553-1558
Elizabeth, 1558-1603

[1] Reference Books on this period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.

327. Union of the Houses of Lancaster and York.

Before leaving the Continent Henry Tudor (S314) had promised the
Yorkist party that he would marry Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward
IV (see Genealogical Table, p. 179), and sister to the young Princes
murdered by Richard III (S310).  Such a marriage would unite the rival
houses of Lancaster and York, and put an end to the civil war.

A few months after the new King's accession the wedding was duly
celebrated, and in the beautiful east window of stained glass in Henry
VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey, the Roses are seen joined; so that,
as the quaint verse of that day says:

                "Both roses flourish--red and white--
                 In love and sisterly delight;
                 The two that were at strife are blended,
                 And all old troubles now are ended."

Peace came from the union, but it was peace interrupted by
insurrections which lasted for several years.

                Origin of the House of Tudor

                        Edward III
     1       2         3     |          4             5
     |       |         |                |             |
  Edward  William, Lionel, Duke  John of Gaunt,  Edmund, Duke of York
 (the Black  no    of Clarence,    Duke of            |
  Prince)   issue  from whom      Lancaster      /-----------------\
     |            descended in       |      Edward, Duke of   Richard,
 Richard II       the fourth      Henry IV  York, no issue    Earl of
                  generation         |                      Cambridge,
                  *Richard,       Henry V (Catharine,       m. Anne  
                  Duke of York     |       his widow,  Mortimer, great-
                      |         Henry VI   married     granddaughter of
       ---------------------              Owen Tudor,   Lionel, Duke of
       |                   |         a Welsh gentleman) Clarence; their
    Edward IV        Richard III             |              son was
       |                            Edmund Tudor, Earl of   Richard,
  ---------------------------      Richmond, m. Margaret   Duke of York
  |            |            |      Beaufort, a descendant
+Edward V  +Richard,    Elizabeth  of John of Gaunt, Duke
          Duke of York  of York,   of Lancaster, see 
                       m. Henry VII    pages 161, 172
                      (of Lancaster)        |
                                       Henry (Tudor) VII (formerly
                                Earl of Richmond), m. Elizabeth of
                                York, thus uniting the House of
                                Lancaster (Red Rose) and York
                                (White Rose) in the new royal
                                        House of Tudor

*Inherited the title Duke of York from his uncle Edward. See No. 5.
+The Princes murdered by Richard III.

328. Condition of the Country; Power of the Crown.

Henry, it is said, had his claim to the throne printed by Caxton, and
distributed broadcast over the country (S306).  It was the first
political appeal to the people made through the press, and was a sign
of the new period upon which English history had entered.  Since
Caxton began his great work, the kingdom had undergone a most
momentous change.

The leading nobles, like the Earl of Warwick (SS296, 303), were, with
few exceptions, dead.  Their estates were confiscated, their thousands
of followers either buried on the battlefield or dispersed throughout
the land (S316).  The small number of titled families remaining was no
longer to be feared.  The nation itself, though it had taken
comparatively little part in the war, was weary of bloodshed, and
ready for peace on any terms.

The accession of the Welsh house of Tudor (S39) marks the beginning of
a long period of almost absolute royal power.  The nobility were too
weak to place any check on the King.  The clergy, who had not
recovered from their dread of Lollardism (SS255, 283) and its attacks
on their wealth and influence, were anxious for a strong conservative
government such as Henry promised.  The House of Commons had no clear
united policy, and though the first Parliament put certain restrainst
on the Crown, yet they were never really enforced.[1]  The truth is,
that the new King was both too prudent and too crafty to give them an
opportunity.  By avoiding foreign wars he dispensed with the necessity
of summoning frequent Parliaments, and with demanding large sums of
money from them.

[1] At the accession of Henry VII, Parliament imposed the following
checks on the power of the King: (1) No new tax to be levied without
consent of Parliament; (2) No new law to be made without the same
consent; (3) No committal to prison without a warrant specifying the
offense, and the trial to be speedy; (4) Criminal charges and
questions of fact in civil cases to be decided by jury; (5) The King's
officers to be held responsible to the nation.

By thus ruling alone for a large part of the time, Henry got the
management of affairs into his own hands, and transmitted the power to
those who came after him.  In this way the Tudors with their
successors, the Stuarts, built up a system of "personal sovereignty"--
or "one-man power"--unchecked by constitutional restraints.  It
continued for a hundred and fifty years, when the outbreak of the
great Civil War brought it to an end forever.

329. Growth of a Stronger Feeling of Nationality.

It would be an error, however, to consider this absolutism of the
Crown as an unmitigated evil.  On the contrary, it was in one
important direction an advantage.  There are times when the great need
of a people is not more individual liberty, but greater national
unity.  Spain and France were two countries consisting of a collection
of petty feudla states.  Their nobility were always trying to steal
each other's possessions and cut each other's throats.

But the rise in each country of a royal despotism forced the turbulent
barons to make peace, and to obey a common central law.  By this means
both realms ultimately developed into great and powerful kingdoms.

When the Tudors came to the throne, England was still full of rankling
hate engendered by the Wars of the Roses (S299).  Held down by the
heavy hand of Henry VII, and later, by the still heavier one of Henry
VIII, the country learned the same salutary lesson of growth under
repression which had benefited Spain and France.

Henceforth Englishmen of all classes no longer boasted that they
belonged to the Yorkist or the Lancastrian faction (S300), but began
to pride themselves on their loyalty to Crown and country, and their
readiness to draw their swords to defend both.[1]

[1] But the passage of Poyning's Act (1494) in Ireland prohibited the
Irish Parliament from passing any law which did not receive the
sanction of the English Council.  This act was not repealed until

330. Henry's Methods of raising Money; the Court of Star Chamber.

Henry's reign was in the interest of the middle classes,--the farmers,
tradesmen, and mechanics.  His policy was to avoid heavy taxation, to
exempt the poor from the burdens of state, and so ingratiate himself
with a large body of the people.

In order to accomplish this, he revived "benevolences" (SS307, 313),
and by a device suggested by his chief minister, Cardinal Morton, and
hence known and dreaded as "Morton's Fork," he extorted large sums
from the rich and well-to-do.[2]

[2] Those whose income from land was less than $2, or whose movable
property did not exceed 15 pounds (Say 150 pounds and $1125 now), were
exempt.  The lowest rate of assessment for the "benevolences" was
fixed at twenty pence on the pound on land, and half that rate on
other property.

The Cardinal's agents made it their business to learn every man's
income, and visit him accordingly.  If a person lived handomely, the
Cardinal would insist on a correspondingly liberal gift; if, however,
a citizen lived very plainly, the King's minister insisted none the
less, telling the unfortunate man that by his economy he must surely
have accumulated enough to bestow the required "benevolence."[3]  Thus
on one prong or the other of his terrible "fork" the shrewd Cardinal
impaled his writhing victims, and speedily filled the royal treasury
as it had never been filled before.[4]

[3] Richard Reed, a London alderman, refused to contribute a
"benevolence."  He was sent to serve as a soldier in the Scotch wars
at his own expense, and the general was ordered to "use him in all
things according to sharp military discipline."  The effect was such
that few after that ventured to deny the King what he asked.
[4] Henry is said to have accumulated a fortune of nearly two millions
sterling, an amount which would perhaps represent upwards of
$90,000,000 now.

But Henry VII had other methods for raising money.  He sold offices in
Church and State, and took bribes for pardoning rebels.  When he
summoned a Parliament he obtained grants for putting down some real or
pretended insurrection, or to defray the expenses of a threatened
attack from abroad, and then quietly pocketed the appropriation,--a
device not altogether unknown to modern government officials.

A third and last method for getting funds was invented in Henry's
behalf by two lawyers, Empson and Dudley, who were so rapacious and
cut so close that they were commonly known as "the King's skin
shearers."  They went about the country enforcing old and forgotten
laws, by which they reaped a rich harvest.

Their chief instrument for gain, however, was a revival of the Statute
of Liveries.  This law imposed enormous fines on those noblemen who
dared to equip their followers in military garb, or designate them by
a badge equivalent to it, as had been the custom during the late civil
wars (S296).

In order to thoroughly enforce the Statute of Liveries, Henry
organized the Court of Star Chamber, so called from the starred
ceiling where the tribunal met.  This court had for its object the
punishment of such crimes committed by the great families, or their
adherents, as the ordinary law courts could not, or through
intimidation dared not, deal with.  It had no power to inflict death,
but might impose long terms of imprisonment and ruinous fines.  It,
too, first made use of torture in England to extort confessions of

Henry seemed to have enforced the Law of Livery against friend and foe
alike.  Said the King to the Earl of Oxford, as he left his castle,
where a large number of retainers in uniform were drawn up to do him
honor, "My lord, I thank you for your entertainment, but my attorney
must speak to you."  The attorney, who was the notorious Empson,
brought suit in the Star Chamber against the Earl, who was fined
fifteen thousand marks, or something like $750,000, for the incautious
display he had made.

331. The Introduction of Artillery strengthens the Power of the King.

It was easier for Henry to pursue this arbitrary course because the
introduction of artillery had changed the art of war.  Throughout the
Middle Ages the call of a great baron had, as Macaulay says, been
sufficient to raise a formidable revolt.  Countrymen and followers
took down their tough yew long bows from the chimney corner, knights
buckled on their steel armor, mounted their horses, and in a few days
an army threatened the holder of the throne, who had no troops save
those furnished by loyal subjects.

But since then, men had "digged villainous saltpeter out of the bowels
of the harmless earth" to manufacture powder, and others had invented
cannon (S239), "those devilish iron engines," as the poet Spenser
called them, "ordained to kill."  Without artillery, the old feudal
army, with its bows, swords, and battle-axes, could do little against
a king like Henry, who had it.  For this reason the whole kingdom lay
at his mercy; and though the nobles and the rich might groan, they saw
that it was useless to fight.

332. The Pretenders Symnel and Warbeck.

During Henry's reign, two pretenders laid claim to the crown: Lambert
Symnel, who represented himself to be Edward Plantagenet, nephew of
the late King; and Perkin Warbeck, who asserted that he was Richard,
Duke of York (S310), who had been murdered in the Tower by his uncle,
Richard III.  Symnel's attempt was easily suppressed, and he commuted
his claim to the crown for the position of scullion in the King's

Warbeck kept the kingdom in a turmoil for more than five years, during
which time one hundred and fifty of his adherents were executed, and
their bodies exposed on gibbets along the south coast of England to
deter their master's French supporters from landing.  At length
Warbeck was captured, imprisoned, and finall hanged at Tyburn.

333. Henry's Politic Marriages.

Henry accomplished more by the marriages of his children and by
diplomacy than other monarchs had by their wars.  He gave his daughter
Margaret to King James IV of Scotland, and thus prepared the way for
the union of the two kingdoms in 1603.  He married his eldest son,
Prince Arthur, to Catharine of Aragon, daughter of the King of Spain,
by which he secured a very large marriage portion for the Prince, and,
what was of equal importance, the alliance of Spain against France.

Arthur died soon afterward, and the King got a dispensation from the
Pope, granting him permission to marry his younger son Henry to
Arthur's widow.  It was this Prince who eventually became King of
England, with the title of Henry VIII, and we shall hereafter see that
this marriage was destined by its results to change the whole course
of the country's history.

334. The World as known at Henry's Accession (1485).

The King also took some small part in certain other events, which
seemed to him, at the time, of less consequence than these matrimonial
alliances.  But history has regarded them in a different light from
that in which the cunning and cautious monarch considered them.

A glance at the map (opposite) will sho how different our world is
from that with which the English were acquainted when Henry was
crowned.  Then the earth was generally supposed to be a flat body
surrounded by the ocean.  The only countries of which anything was
certainly known, with the exception of Europe, were parts of western
Asia, together with a narrow strip of the northern, eastern, and
western coasts of Africa.  The knowledge which had once existed of
India, China, and Japan appears to have died out in great measure with
the travelers and merchants of earlier times who had brought it.  The
land farthest west of which anything was then known was Iceland.

335. First Voyages of Exploration; the Cabots, 1497.

About the time of Henry's accession a new spirit of exploration sprang
up.  The Portuguese had coasted along the western shores of Africa as
far as the Gulf of Guinea, and had established trading posts there.
Later, they reached and doubled the Cape of Good Hope (1487).
Stimulated by what they had done, Columbus, who believed the earth to
be round, determined to sail westward in the hope of reaching the
Indies.  In 1492 he made his first voyage, and discovered a number of
the West India Islands.

Five years afterward John Cabot, a Venetian residing in Bristol,
England, with his son Sebastian, persuaded the King to aid them in a
similar undertaking.  They sailed from that port.  On a map drawn by
the father after his return we read the following lines: "In the year
of our Lord 1497, John Cabot and his son Sebastian discovered that
country which no one before his time had ventured to approach, on the
24th June, about 5 o'clock in the morning."  That entry is supposed to
record the discovery of Cape Breton Island; a few days later they set
foot on the mainland.  This made the Cabots the first discoverers of
the American CONTINENT.

As an offset to that record we have the following, taken from the
King's private account book: "10. Aug. 1497, To him that found the new
isle 10 pounds."

Such was the humble beginning of a series of explorations which gave
England possession of the largest part of North America.

336. Henry VII's Reign the Beginning of a New Epoch.

A few years after Cabot's return Henry laid the corner stone of that
"solemn and sumptuous chapel" which bears his own name, and which
joins Westminster abbey on the east.  There he gave orders that his
tomb should be erected, and that prayers should be said over it "as
long as the world lasted."

Emerson remarks in his "English Traits" that when the visitor to the
Abbey mounts the flight of twelve black marble steps which lead from
it to the edifice where Henry lies buried, he passes from the medieval
to the beginning of the modern age,--a change which the different
style of the architecture distinctly marks (S324).

The true significance of Henry's reign is, that it, in like manner,
stands for a new epoch,--new in modes of government, in law, in
geographical discovery, in letters, art, and religion.

The century just closing was indeed one of the most remarkable in
history, not only in what it had actually accomplished, but still more
in the seed it was sowing for the future.  The celebrated German
artist Kaulbach, in his fresco of "The Age of the Reformation," has
summed up all that it was, and all that it was destined to become in
its full development.

Therein we see it as the period which witnessed the introduction of
firearms, and the consequent overthrow of feudal warfare and feudal
institutions; the growth of the power of royalty and of nationality
through royalty; the sailing of Columbus and of Cabot; the revival of
classical learning; the publication of the first printed book; and
finally, the birth of Martin Luther, the monk who broke away from the
Catholic Church, and persuaded many people to become Protestants.

337. Summary.

Looking back, we find that with Henry VII the absolutism of the Crown,
or "personal monarchy," began in England.  Yet the repressive power of
that "personal monarchy" procured peace for the English people and,
despite "benevolences" and other exactions, they grew into a stronger
national unity.

Simultaneously with this increase of royal authority came the
discovery of a "New World," in which England and her colonies were to
have the chief part.  A century will elapse before those discoveries
begin to bear fruit.  After that, our attention will no longer be
confined to the British Islands, but will be fixed as well on that
western continent where British enterprise and English love of liberty
were destined to find a new and broader field of activity.

Henry VIII--1509-1547

338. Henry's Advantages.

Henry VIII was not quite eighteen when he came to the throne.  The
country was at peace, was fairly prosperous, and the young King had
everything in his favor.  He was handsome, well educated, and fond of
athletic sports.  His frank disposition won friends everywhere, and he
had inherited from his father the largest private fortune that had
ever descended to an English sovereign.  Intellectually, he was in
hearty sympathy with the revival of learning, then in progress both on
the Continent and in England.

339. The New Learning; Colet, Erasmus, More.

During the greater part of the Middle Ages the chief object of
education was to make men monks, and originally the schools
established at Oxford and Cambridge were exclusively for that
purpose.  In their day they did excellent work; but a time came when
men ceased to found monasteries, and began to erect colleges and
hospitals instead.[1]

[1] In the twelfth century four hundred and eighteen monasteries were
founded in England; in the next century, only about a third as many;
in the fourteenth, only twenty-three; after that date their
establishment may be said to cease.

In the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries William of
Wykeham and King Henry VI built and endowed colleges which were
specially designed to fit their pupils to live in the world and serve
the state, instead of withdrawing from it to seek their own salvation.

These new institutions encouraged a broader range of studies, and in
Henry VI's time particular attention was given to the Latin classics,
hitherto but little known.  The geographical discoveries of Henry
VII's reign, made by Columbus, Cabot, and others (S335), began to
stimulate scientific thought.  It was evident that the day was not far
distant when questions about the earth and the stars would no longer
be settled by a text from Scripture which forbade further inquiry.

With the accession of Henry VIII education received a still further
impulse.  A few zealous English scholars had just returned from Italy
to Oxford, full of ardor for a new study,--that of Greek.  Among them
was a young clergyman named John Colet.  He saw that by means of that
language, of which the alphabet was as yet hardly known in England,
men might put themselves in direct communication with the greatest
thinkers and writers of the past.

Better still, they might acquire the power of reading the Gospels and
the writings of St. Paul in the original, and thus reach their true
meaning and feel their full influence.  Colet's intimate friend and
fellow worker, the Dutch scholar Erasmus, had the same enthusiasm.
When in sore need of everything, he wrote in one of his letters, "As
soon as I get some money I shall buy Greek books, and then I may buy
some clothes."  The third young man, who, with Erasmus and Colet,
devoted himself to the study of Greek and to the advancement of
learning, was Thomas More, who later became Lord Chancellor (SS145,

The three looked to King Henry for encouragement in the work they had
undertaken; nor did they look in vain.  Colet, who had become a doctor
of divinity and a dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, encountered a
furious storm of opposition on account of his devotion to the "New
Learning," as it was sneeringly called.  His attempts at educational
reform met the same resistance.

But Henry liked the man's resolute spirit, and said, "Let others have
what doctors they will; this is the doctor for me."  The King also
took a lively interest in Erasmus, who was appointed professor of
Greek at Cambridge, where he began his great work of preparing an
edition of the Greek Testament with a Latin translation in parallel

Up to this time the Greek Testament had existed in scattered
manuscripts only.  The publication of the work in printed form gave an
additional impetus to the study of the Scriptures, helped forward the
Reformation, and in a measure laid the foundation for a revised
English translation of the Bible far superior to Wycliffe's (S254).
In the same spirit of genuine love of learning Henry founded Trinity
College, Cambridge, and at a later date confirmed and extended
Cardinal Wolsey's endowment of Christ Church College, Oxford.

340. Henry against Luther.

The King continued, however, to be a staunch Catholic, and certainly
had no thought at this period of doing anything which should tend to
undermine the authority of that ancient form of worship.  In Germany,
Martin Luther was making ready to begin his tremendous battle against
the power and teachings of the Papacy.  In 1517 he nailed to the door
of the church of Wittenberg that famous series of denunciations which
started the movement that ultimately protested against the authority
of Rome, and gave the name of Protestant to all who joined it.

A few years later Henry published a reply to one of Luther's books,
and sent a copy bound in cloth of gold to the Pope.  The Pope was so
delighted with what he termed Henry's "angelic spirit" that he
forthwith conferred on him the title of "Defender of the Faith."  The
English sovereigns have persisted in retaining this title to the
present time, though for what reason, and with what right, even a
royal intellect might be somewhat puzzled to explain.

With this new and flattering title the Pope also sent the King a
costly two-handed sword, intended to represent Henry's zeal in smiting
the enemies of Rome.  But it was destined by fate to become to tsymbol
of the King's final separation from the power that bestowed it (S349).

341. Victory of Flodden (1513); "Field of the Cloth of Gold" (1520).

Politically, Henry was equally fortunate.  The Scotch had ventured to
attack the kingdom during the King's absence on the Continent.  At
Flodden, on the borders of Scotland and England, they were defeated by
the Earl of Surrey, with great slaughter.  (See map facing p. 120.)
This victory placed Scotland at Henry's feet.[1]

[1] See Scott's "Marmion."

The King of France and the Emperor Charles V of Germany now vied with
each other in seeking Henry's alliance.  The Emperor visited England
in order to meet the English sovereign, while the King of France
arranged an interview in his own dominions, known, from the
magnificence of its appointments, as the "Field of the Cloth of Gold."
Henry held the balance of power by which he could make France or
Germany predominate as he saw fit.  It was owing to his able
diplomatic policy, or to that of Cardinal Wolsey, his chief
counsellor, that England reaped advantages from both sides, and
advanced from a comparatively low position to one that was fully
abreast of the foremost nations of Europe.

342. Henry's Marriage with his Brother's Widow.

Such was the King at the outset.  In less than twenty years he had
become another man.  At the age of twelve he had married at his
father's command, and solely for political and mercenary reasons,
Catharine of Aragon, his brother Arthur's widow (S333), who was six
years his senior.  Such a marriage was forbidden, except in certain
cases, by the Old Testament and by the ordinances of the Roman
Catholic Church.

The Pope, however, had granted his permission, and when Henry ascended
the throne, the ceremony was performed a second time.  Several
children were the fruit of this union, all of whom died in infancy,
except one daughter, Mary, unhappily fated to figure as the "Bloody
Mary" of later history (S374).

343. The King's Anxiety for a Successor; Anne Boleyn.

No woman had yet ruled in her own right, either in England or in any
prominent kingdom of Europe, and Henry was anxious to have a son to
succeed him.  He could not bear the thought of being disappointed; in
fact he sent the Duke of Buckingham to the block for casually saying,
that if the King died without issue, he should consider himself
entitled to receive the crown.

It was while meditating this question of the succession, that Henry
became attached to Anne Boleyn, one of the Queen's maids of honor; she
was a sprightly brunette of nineteen, with long black hair and
strikingly beautiful eyes.

The light that shone in those eyes, though hardly that "Gospel light"
which the poet calls it,[1] was yet bright enough to effectually clear
up all difficulties in the royal mind.  The King now declared that he
felt conscientiously moved to obtain a divorce from his old wife, and
to marry a new one.  In that determination lay most momentous
consequences, since it finally separated England from the jurisdiction
of the Church of Rome.

[1] "When love could teach a monarch to be wise,
     And Gospel light first dawned from Bullen's [Boleyn's] eyes."

344. Wolsey favors the Divorce from Catharine.

Cardinal Wolsey, Henry's chief counselor,--the man who thought that he
ruled both King and Kingdom,[2]--lent his powerful aid to bring about
the divorce, but with the expectation that the King would marry a
princess from France, and thus form an alliance with that country.  If
so, his own ambitious schemes would be forwarded, since the united
influence of the two kingdoms might elevate him to the Papacy.

[2] The Venetian ambassador in a dispatch to his government, wrote of
Cardinal Wolsey: "It is he who rules both the King and the entire
Kingdom.  At first the Cardinal used to say, `His Majesty will do so
and so'; subsequently he went on, forgetting himself, and commenced
saying, `We shall do so and so'; at present (1519) he has reached such
a pitch that he says, `I shall do so and so.'"

When Wolsey learned that the King's choice was Anne Boleyn (S343), he
fell on his knees, and begged him not to persist in his purpose; but
his entreaties had no effect, and the Cardinal was obliged to continue
what he had begun.

345. The Court at Blackfriars (1529).

The King had applied to the Pope to annul the marriage with Catharine
(S342) on the ground of illegality; but the Emperor Charles V, who was
the Queen's nephew, used his influence in her behalf.  Vexatious
delays now became the order of the day.  At last, a court composed of
Cardinal Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio, an Italian, as papal legates,
or representatives, was convened at Blackfriars, London, to test the
validity of the marriage.

Henry and Catharine were summoned.  The first appeared and answered to
his name.  When the Queen was called she declined to answer, but
throwing herself at Henry's feet, begged him with tears and sobs not
to put her away without cause.  Finding him inflexible, she left the
court, and refused to attend again, appealing to Rome for justice.

This was in the spring (1529).  Nothing was done that summer, and in
the autumn, the court, instead of reaching a decision, dissolved.
Campeggio, the Italian legate, returned to Italy, and Henry, to his
disappointment and rage, received an order from Rome to carry the
question to the Pope for settlement.

346. Fall of Wolsey (1529).

Both the King and Anne Boleyn believed that Wolsey had played false
with them.  They now resolved upon his destruction.  The Cardinal had
a presentiment of his impending doom.  The French ambassador, who saw
him at this juncture, said that his face had shrunk to half its size.
But his fortunes were destined to shrink even more than his face.

By a law of Richard II no representative of the Pope had any rightful
authority in England[1] (S265).  Though the King had given his consent
to Wolsey's holding the office of legate, yet now that a contrary
result to what he expected had been reached, he proceeded to prosecute
him to the full extent of the law.

[1] Act of Praemunire.  See S243 and Summary of Constitutional History
in the Appendix, p. xiii, S14, and p. xxxii.

It was an easy matter for him to crush the Cardinal.  Erasmus said of
him, "He was feared by all, he was loved by few--I may say by nobody."
His arrogance and extravagant ostentation had excited the jealous hate
of the nobility; his constant demands for money in behalf of the King
set Parliament against him; and his exactions from the common people
had, as the chronicle of the time tells us, made them weep, beg, and
"speak cursedly."

Wolsey bowed to the storm, and to save himself gave up everything; his
riches, pomp, power, all vanished as suddenly as they had come.  It
was Henry's hand that stripped him, but it was Anne Boleyn who moved
that hand.  Well might the humbled favorite say of her:

        "There was the weight that pulled me down.
                ... all my glories
         In that one woman I have lost forever."[1]

[1] Shakespeare's "Henry VIII," Act III, scene ii.

Thus deprived of well-nigh everything but life, the Cardinal was
permitted to go into retirement in the north; less than a twelve-month
later he was arrested on a charge of high treason.  Through the irony
of fate, the warrant was served by a former lover of Anne Boleyn's,
whom Wolsey, it is said, had separated from her in order that she
might consummate her unhappy marriage with royalty.  On the way to
London Wolsey fell mortally ill, and turned aside at Leicester to die
in the abbey there, with the words:

                        "...O, Father Abbot,
        An old man, broken with the storms of state,
        Is come to lay his weary bones among ye:
        Give him a little earth for charity!"[2]

[2] Shakespeare's "Henry VIII," Act IV, scene ii.

347. Appeal to the Universities.

Before Wolsey's death, Dr. Thomas Cranmer, of Cambridge, suggested
that the King lay the divorce question before the universities of
Europe.  Henry caught eagerly at this proposition, and exclaimed,
"Cranmer has the right pig by the ear."  The scheme was at once
adopted.  Several universities returned favorable answers.  In a few
instances, as at Oxford and Cambridge, where the authorities
hesitated, a judicious use of bribes or threats soon brought them to
see the matter in a proper light.

348. The Clergy declare Henry Head of the Church, 1531.

Armed with these decisions in his favor, Henry now charged the whole
body of the English Church with being guilty of the same crime of
which Wolsey had been accused (S346).  The clergy, in their terror,
made haste to buy a pardon at a cost reckoned at nearly $5,000,000 at
the present value of money.

They furthermore declared Henry to be the supreme head on earth of the
Church of England, adroitly adding, "in so far as is permitted by the
law of Christ."  Thus the Reformation came into England "by a side
door, as it were."  Nevertheless, it came.

349. Henry marries Anne Boleyn; Act of Supremacy, 1534.

Events now moved rapidly toward a crisis.  In 1533, after having
waited over five years, Henry privately married Anne Boleyn (S343),
and she was soon after crowned in Westminster Abbey.  When the Pope
was informed of this, he ordered the King, under pain of
excommunication (S194), to put her away, and to take back Queen
Catharine (S345).

Parliament met that demand by passing the Act of Supremacy, 1534,
which declared Henry to be without reservation the sole head of the
Church, making denial thereof high treason.[1]  As he signed the act,
the King with one stroke of his pen overturned the traditions of a
thousand years, and England stood boldly forth with a National Church
independent of the Pope.[2]

[1] Henry's full title was now "Henry VIII, by the Grace of God, King
of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and of the
Church of England, and also of Ireland, on earth the Supreme Head."
[2] Attention is called to the fact that a controversy, more or less
serious in its character, had been going on, at intervals for nearly
five hundred years, between the English sovereigns (or the barons) and
the popes.  It began with William the Conqueror in 1076 (S118).  It
was continued by Henry I (S136), by Henry II (SS163-170), by John
(S194), by the barons under Henry III (S211), by the Parliament of
Merton (S211), by Edward I (S226), and it may be said to have
practically culminated under Henry VIII in the Act of Supremacy of
1534 (S349).  But after the formal establishment of Protestantism by
Edward VI in 1549 (S362) we find the Act of Supremacy reaffirmed, in
slightly different form, by Queen Elizabeth in 1559 (S382).  Finally,
the Revolution of 1688 settled the question (S497).

350. Subserviency of Parliament.

But as Luther said, Henry had a pope within him.  The King now
proceeded to prove the truth of Luther's declaration.  We have already
seen (S328) that since the Wars of the Roses had destroyed the power
of the barons, there was no effectual check on the despotic will of
the sovereign.  The new nobility were the creatures of the Crown,
hence bound to support it; the clergy were timid, the Commons anything
but bold, so that Parliament gradually became the servile echo and
ready instrument of the throne.

That body twice released the King from the discharge of his just
debts.  It even exempted him from paying certain forced loans which he
had extorted from his people.  Parliament also repeatedly changed the
laws of succession to the Crown to please him.  Moreover it promptly
attainted and destroyed such victims as he desired to put out of the
way (S351).  Later (1539) it declared that proclamations, concerning
religious doctrines, when made by the King and Council, should have
the force of acts of Parliament.  This new power enabled Henry to
pronounce heretical many opinions which he disliked and to punish them
with death.

351. Execution of More and Fisher (1535).

Thomas Cromwell had been Cardinal Wolsey's private secretary; but he
had now become chief counselor to the King, and in his crooked and
cruel policy reduced bloodshed to a science.  He first introduced the
practice of condemning an accused prisoner without any form of trial
(by Act of Attainder), and sending him to the block[1] without
allowing him to speak in his own defense (S356).  No one was now safe
who did not openly side with the King.

[1] Act of Attainder.  See Constitutional Documents in Appendix,
p. xxxii.

Sir Thomas More, who had been Lord Chancellor (S339), and the aged
Bishop Fisher were executed because they could not affirm that they
conscientiously believed that Henry was morally and spiritually
entitled to be the head of the English Church (S349).

Both died with Christian fortitude.  More said to the governor of the
Tower with a flash of his old humor, as the steps leading to the
scaffold shook while he was mounting them, "Do you see me safe up, and
I will make shift to get down by myself."

352. Destruction of the Monasteries; Seizure of their Property,

When the intelligence of the judicial murder of the venerable
ex-chancellor reached Rome, the Pope issued a bull of excommunication
and deposition against Henry (S194).  It delivered his soul to Satan,
and his kingdom to the first invader.

The King retaliated by the suppression of the monasteries.  In doing
so, he simply hastened a process which had already begun.  Years
before, Cardinal Wolsey had not scrupled to shut up several, and take
their revenues to found Christ Church College at Oxford.  The truth
was, that, in most cases, monasticism "was dead long before the
Reformation came to bury it" (S339, note 1).  It was dead because it
had done its work,--in many respects a great and good work, which the
world could ill have spared (SS43, 45, 46, 60).  The monasteries
simply shared the fate of all human institutions, however excellent
they may be.

                "Our little systems have their day;
                 They have their day and cease to be:
                 They are but broken lights of Thee,
                 And Thou, O Lord, art more than they."[1]

[1] Tennyson's "In Memoriam."

Henry, however, had no such worthy object as Wolsey had.  His pretext
was that these institutions had sunk into a state of ingnorance,
drunkenness, and profligacy.  This may have been true of some of the
smaller monasteries, though not of the large ones.  But the vices of
the monasteries the King had already made his own.  It was their
wealth which he now coveted.  The smaller religious houses were
speedily swept out of existence (1536).  This caused a furious
insurrection in the North, called the "Pilgrimage of Grace" (1537);
but the revolt was soon put down.

Though Parliament had readily given its sanction to the extinction of
the smaller monasteries, it hesitated about abolishing the greater
ones.  Henry, it is reported, sent for a leading member of the House o
Commons, and, laying his hand on the head of the kneeling
representative, said, "Get my bill passed by to-morrow, little man, or
else to-morrow this head of yours will come off."  The next day the
bill passed, and the work of destruction began anew (1539).  Property
worth millions of pounds was confiscated, and abbots like those of
Glastonbury and Charter House, who dared to resist, were speedily

[1] The total number of religious houses destroyed was 645
monasteries, 2374 chapels, 90 collegiate churches, and 110 charitable
institutions.  Among the most famous of these ruins are Glastonbury,
Kirkstal, Furness, Netley, Tintern, and Fountains abbeys.

The magnificent monastic buildings throughout England were now
stripped of everything of value, and left as ruins.  (See map
opposite.)  The beautiful windowes of stained glass were wantonly
broken; the images of the saints were cast down from their niches; the
chimes of bells were melted and cast into cannon; while the valuable
libraries were torn up and sold to grocers and soap boilers for
wrapping paper.

At Canterbury, Becket's tomb (S170) was broken open, and after he had
been nearly four centuries in his grave, the saint was summoned to
answer a charge of rebellion and treason.  The case was tried at
Westminster Abbey, the martyr's bones were sentenceeed to be burned,
and the jewels and rich offerings of his shrine were seized by the

Among the few monastic buildings which escaped was the beautiful abbey
church, now the cathedral of Peterborough, where Catharine of Aragon
(S345), who died soon after the King's marriage with her rival, was
buried.  Henry had the grace to give orders that on her account it
should be spared, saying that he would leave to her memory "one of the
goodliest monuments in Christendom."

The great estates thus suddenly acquired by the Crown were granted to
favorites or thrown away at the gambling table.  "It is from this
date," says Hallam, "that the leading families of England, both within
and without the peerage, became conspicuous through having obtained
possession of the monastery lands."  These were estimated to comprise
about one fourth of the whole area of the kingdom.

353. Effects of the Destruction of Monasteries.

The sweeping character of this act had a twofold effect.  First, it
made the King more absolute than before, for, since it removed the
abbots, who had held seats in the House of Lords, that body was made
just so much smaller and less able to resist the royal will.

Next, the abolition of so many religious institutions necessarily
caused much misery, for the greater part of the monks and all of the
nuns were turned out upon the world destitute of means.  In the end,
however, no permanent injury was done, since the monasteries, by their
profuse and indiscriminate charity, had undoubtably encouraged much of
the very pauperism which they had relieved.

354. Distress among the Laboring Classes.

An industrial revolution was also in progress at this time, which was
productive of widespread suffering.  It had begun early in Henry's
reign through the great numbers of discharged soldiers, who could not
readily find work.

Sir Thomas More had given a striking picture of their miserable
condition in his "Utopia," a book in which he urged the government to
consider measures for their relief; but the evil had since become much
worse.  Farmers, having discovered that wool growing was more
profitable than the raising of grain, had turned their fields into
sheep pastures; so that a shepherd with his dog now took the place of
several families of laborers.

This change brought multitudes of poor people to the verge of
starvation; and as the monasteries no longer existed to hold out a
helping hand, the whole realm was overrun with beggars and thieves.
Bishop Latimer, a noted preacher of that day, declared that if every
farmer should raise two acres of hemp, it would not make rope enough
to hang them all.  Henry, however, set to work with characteristic
vigor and made away, it is said, with great numbers, but without
materially abating the evil (S403).

355. Execution of Anne Boleyn; Marriage with Jane Seymour (1536).

Less than three years after her coronation, the new Queen, Anne Boleyn
(SS343, 349), for whom Henry had "turned England and Europe upside
down," was accused of unfaithfulness.  She was sent a prisoner to the
Tower.  A short time after, her head rolled in the dust, the light of
its beauty gone out forever.

The next morning Henry married Jane Seymour, Anne's maid of honor.
Parliament passed an act of approval, declaring that it was all done
"of the King's most excellent goodness."  It also declared Henry's two
previous marriages, with Catharine and with Anne Boleyn, void, and
affirmed that their children, the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, were
not lawfully the King's daughters.  A later act of Parliament gave
Henry the extraordinary power of naming his successor to the crown.[1]
A year afterwards Henry's new Queen died, leaving an infant son,
Edward.  She was no sooner gone than the King began looking about for
some one to take her place.

[1] By his last will he made Mary and Elizabeth heirs to the crown in
case all male and female issue by himself or his son Edward failed
(S361).  Henry's eldest sister, Margaret (see No. 3 in Genealogical
Table on page 207), was passed by entirely.  But long after Henry's
death, Parliament set his will aside (1603) and made James I (a
descendent of Margaret) King of England.

356. More Marriages (1540).

Thomas Cromwell, the King's trusted adviser (S351), succeeded in
persuading his master to agree to marry Anne of Cleves, a German
Protestant Princess.  Henry had never seen her, but her portrait
represented her as a woman of surpassing beauty.

When Anne reached England, Henry hurried to meet her with all a
lover's ardor.  To his dismay, he found that not only was she
ridiculously ugly, but that she could speak--so he said--"nothing but
Dutch," of which he did not understand a word.  Matters, however, had
gone too far to retract, and the marriage was duly solemnized (1540).
The King obtained a divorce within six months, and then took his
revenge by cutting off Cromwell's head.  What is more, he cut it off
by virtue of that very Act of Attainder which Cromwell had used so
unscrupulously in Henry's behalf (S351).

The same year (1540) Henry married Catharine Howard, a fascinating
girl still in her teens, whose charms so moved the King that it is
said he was tempted to have a special thanksgiving service prepared to
commemorate the day he found her.

Unfortunately, Catharine was accused of having been guilty of
misconduct before her marriage.  She confessed her fault, but for such
cases Henry had no mercy.  The Queen was tried for high treason, and
soon walked that fatal road in which Anne Boleyn had preceded her

Not to be baffled in his matrimonial experiments, the King took
Catherine Parr for his sixth and last wife (1543).  She was inclined
to be a zealous Protestant, and she too might have gone to the block,
on a charge of heresy, but her quick wit came to her rescue.  She
flattered the King's self-conceit as a profound theologian and the
compliment saved her life.

357. Henry's Action respecting Religion.

Though occupied with these rather numerous domestic infelicities,
Henry was not idle in other directions.  By an act known as the Six
Articles, or, as the Protestants called it, the "Bloody Act," or the
"Whip with Six Lashes" (1539), the King established a new and peculiar
form of religion.  In words, at least, it seemed to be practically the
same as that upheld by the Pope, but with the Pope left out.[1]

[1] The Six Articles: The chief article ordered that all persons who
denied the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation should be burned at
the stake as heretics and that all their possessions should be
forfeited to the Crown.  The remaining five articles affirmed the
obligation of all persons to accept and obey certain other Catholic
doctrines under pain of punishment for felony, if they refused.

Geographically, the country was about equally divided between
Catholicism and Protestantism.  The northwestern half clung to the
ancient faith; the southeastern half, including most of the large
cities where Wycliffe's doctrines had formerly prevailed was favorable
to the Reformation.

On the one hand, Henry prohibited the Lutheran or Protestant doctrine
(S340); on the other, he caused the Bible to be translated (SS254,
339), and ordered a copy to be chained to a desk in every parish
church in England (1538); but though all persons might now freely read
the Scriptures, no one but the clergy was allowed to interpret them.
Later in his reign, the King became alarmed at the spread of
discussion about religious subjects, and prohibited the reading of the
Bible by the "lower sort of people."

358. Henry versus Treason.

Men now found themselves in a strange and cruel delimma.  If it was
dangerous to believe too much, it was equally dangerous to believe too
little.  Traitor and heretic were dragged to execution on the same
hurdle; for Henry burned as heretics those who declared their belief
in Protestantism, and hanged or beheaded, as traitors, those who
acknowledged the authority of the Pope and denied the supremacy of the
King (S349).

Thus Anne Askew, a young and beautiful woman, was nearly wrenched
asunder on the rack, in the hope of making her implicate the Queen in
her heresy.  She was afterward burned because she insisted that the
bread and wine used in the communion service seemed to her to be
simply bread and wine, and not in any sense the actual body and blood
of Christ, as the King's statute of the Six Articles (S357) solemnly

On the other hand, the aged Countess of Salisbury suffered for
treason; but with a spirit matching the King's, she refused to kneel
at the block, and told the executioner he must get her gray head off
as best he could.

359. Henry's Death.

But the time was at hand when Henry was to cease his hangings,
beheadings, and marriages.  Worn out with debauchery, he died at the
age of fifty-six, a loathsome, unwieldy, and helpless mass of
corruption.  In his will he left a large sum of money to pay for
perpetual prayers for the repose of his soul.  Sir Walter Raleigh said
of him, "If all the pictures and patterns of a merciless prince were
lost in the world, they might all again be painted to the life out of
the story of this king."

It may be well to remember this, and along with it this other saying
of one of the ablest writers on English constitutional history, that
"the world owes some of tis greatest debts to men from whose memory it
recoils."[1]  The obligation it is under to Henry VIII is that through
his influence--no matter what the motive--England was lifted up out of
the old medieval ruts, and placed squarely and securely on the new
highway of national progress.

[1] W. Stubbs's "Constitutional History of England."

360. Summary.

In this reign we find that though England lost much of her former
political freedom, yet she gained that order and peace which came from
the iron hand of absolute power.  Next, from the destruction of the
monasteries, and the sale or gift of their lands to favorites of the
King, three results ensued:

1. A new nobility was in great measure created, dependent on the
2. The House of Lords was made less powerful by the removal of the
abbots who had had seats in it.
3. Pauperism and distress were temporarily increased.
4. Finally, England completely severed her connection with the Pope,
and established for the first time an independent National Church,
having the King as its head.

Edward VI--1547-1553

361. Bad Government; Seizure of Unenclosed Lands; High Rents;
Latimer's Sermon.

Edward, son of Henry VIII by Jane Seymour (S355), died at sixteen.  In
the first part of his reign of six years the goverment was managed by
his uncle, the Duke of Somerset, an extreme Protestant, whose
intentions were good, but who lacked practical judgement.  During the
latter part of his life Edward fell under the control of the Duke of
Northumberland, who was the head of a band of scheming and profligate

They, with other nobles, seized the unenclosed lands of the country
and fenced them in for sheep pastures, thus driving into beggary many
who had formerly got a good part of their living from these commons.
At the same time farm rents rose in somee cases ten and even twenty
fold,[1] depriving thousands of the means of subsistence, and reducing
to poverty many who had been in comfortable circumstances.

[1] This was oweing to the greed for land on the part of the
mercantile classes, who had now acquired wealth, and wished to become
landed proprietors.  See Froude's "England."

The bitter complaints of the sufferers found expression in Bishop
Latimer's outspoken sermon, preached before King Edward, in which he
said: "My father was a yeoman [small farmer], and had no lands of his
own, only he had a farm of three or four pounds [rent] by year, and
hereupon tilled so much as kept half a dozen men; he had walk
[pasture] for a hundred sheep, and my mother milked thirty kine.

"He was able and did find the King a harness [suit of armor] with
himself and his horse, until he came to the place where he should
receive the King's wages.  I can remember that I buckled his harness
when he went into Blackheath Field.  He kept me to school, or else I
had not been able to have preached before the King's majesty now.  He
married my sisters with five pounds [dower] ... apiece.  He kept
hospitality for his poor neighbors, and some alms he gave to the poor.

"And all this he did off the said farm, where he that now hath it
payeth sixteen pounds a year or more, and is not able to do anything
for his prince, for himself, nor for his children, or give a cup of
drink to the poor."  But as Latimer patheticall said, "Let the
preacher preach till his tongue be worn to the stumps, nothing is

[1] Latimer's first sermon before King Edward VI, 8th of March, 1549.

362. Edward establishes Protestantism, 1549.

Henry VIII had made the Church of England independent of the Pope
(S349).  His son took the next great step, and made it practically
Protestant in doctrine.  At his desire, Archbishop Cranmer compiled a
book of Common Prayer in English.  It was taken largely from the Roman
Catholic Prayer Book, which was in Latin (1549).  The first Act of
Uniformity, 1549 (reenacted 1552), obliged all churches to use the new
English Prayer Book, thereby, (for the time) establishing a modified
form of Protestantism throughout England (S405).[2]

[2] On the Church of England, see Macaulay's "England," I, 40-42.

Edward's sister, the Princess Mary, was a most devout Catholic.  She
refused to adopt the new service, saying to Bishop Ridley, who urged
her to accept it as God's word, "I cannot tell what you call God's
word, for that is not God's word now which was God's word in my
father's time."  It was at this period (1552) that the Articles of
Religion of the Church of England were first drawn up; but they did
not take their final form until the reign of Elizabeth (S383).

363. King Edward and Mary Stuart.

Henry VIII had attempted to marry his son Edward to young Queen Mary
Stuart, a daughter of the King of Scotland, but the match had been
broken off.  Edward's guardian now insisted that it should be carried
out.  He invaded Scotland with an army, and attempted to effect the
marriage by force of arms, at the battle of Pinkie (1547).

The English gained a decided victory, but the youthful Queen, instead
of giving her hand to young King Edward, left the country and married
the son of the King of France.  She will appear with melancholy
prominence in the reign of Elizabeth.  Had Mary Queen of Scots married
Edward, we should perhaps have been spared that tragedy in which she
was called to play both the leading and the losing part (SS394-397).

364. Renewed Confiscation of Church Property; Schools founded.

The confiscation of such Roman Catholic church property as had been
spared was now renewed (S352).  The result of this confiscation and of
the abandonment of Catholicism as the established form of worship was
in certain respects disastrous to the country.  In the general
break-up, many who had been held in restraint by the old form of faith
now went to the other extreme, and rejected all religion.

Part of the money obtained from the sale of church property was
devoted, mainly through Edward's influence, to the endowment of
upwards of forty grammar schools, besides a number of hospitals, in
different sections of the country.  But for a long time the
destruction of the monastic schools (SS45, 60), poor as many of them
had become, was a serious blow to the education of the common people.

365. Edward's London Charities; Christ's Hospital.

Just before his death Edward established Christ's Hospital, or home
for the support and education of fatherless children, and refounded
and renewed the St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew hospitals for the sick
in London.  Thus "he was the founder," says Burnet, "of those houses
which, by many great additions since that time, have risen to be
amongst the noblest of Europe."

Christ's Hospital was, perhaps, the first Protestant charity school
opened in England; many more were patterned on it.  It, and others
like it, are known as "Blue-Coat Schools," from the costume of the
boys,--a relic of the days of Edward VI.  This consists of a long,
blue coat, like a monk's gown, reaching to the ankles, girded with a
broad leather belt, long, bright yellow stockings, and buckle shoes.
Most of the boys go bareheaded winter and summer.

An exciting game of football, played in the schoolyard in this
peculiar medieval dress, used to seem strangely in contrast with the
sights of modern London streets.  It was as though the spectator, by
passing through a gateway, had gone back over three centuries of
time.  Coleridge, Lamb, and other noted men of letters were educated
there, and have left most interesting reminiscences of their school
life, especially Lamb, in his delightful "Essays of Elia."  Late in
the nineteenth century this famous institution was removed to the
country, and part of the site of the ancient school is now covered
with a great business structure.

366. Effect of Catholicism versus Protestantism.

Speaking of the Protestant Reformation, of which Edward VI may be
taken as a representative, Macaulay remarks that "it is difficult to
say whether England received most advantage from the Roman Catholic
religion or from the Reformation.  For the union of the Saxon and
Norman races, and the abolition of slavery, she is chiefly indebted to
the influence which the priesthood in the Middle Ages exercised over
the people" (S47); "for political and intellectual freedom, and for
all the blessings which they have brought in their train, she owes the
most to the great rebellion of the people against the priesthood."

367. Summary.

The establishment of the Protestant faith in England, and of a large
number of Protestant charity schools known as Edward VI's or
"Blue-Coat Schools" may be regarded as the leading events of Edward's
brief reign of six years.


368. Lady Jane Grey claims the Crown.

On the death of King Edward, Lady Jane Grey, a descendant of Henry
VII, and a relative of Edward VI, was persuaded by her father-in-lawe,
the Duke of Northumberland, to assume the crown, which had been left
to her by the will of the late King.

Edward's object in naming Lady Jane was to secure a Protestant
successor, since his elder sister, Mary, was a zealous Catholic, while
from his younger sister, Elizabeth, he seems to have been estranged.
By birth, though not directly by Henry VIII's will, Mary was without
doubt the rightful heir.[1]  Queen Mary received the support of the
country, and Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Lord Dudley, were
arrested and sent to the Tower of London.

[1] Table showing the respective claims of Queen Mary and Lady Jane
Grey to the crown.  By his last will Henry VIII left the crown to
Edward VI, and (in case he had no issue) to his daughters, Mary and
Elizabeth, followed by the issue of his sister Mary.  Edward VI's will
undertook to change this order of succession.

                        Henry VII
     1             2        |               3           4
     |             H                        |           |
Arthur, b. 1486  Henry VIII             Margaret     Mary, m.
d. 1502, no        H                        |      Charles Brandon
issue       =======================     James V of      |
            H         H           H       Scotland,  Frances
        Mary, b.   Elizabeth,  Edward VI,  d. 1542  Brandon, m.
    1516, d. 1558   b. 1533,    b. 1538,    |        Henry Grey
                    d. 1603     d. 1553  Mary Queen     |
                                         of Scots,   JANE GREY,
                                         b. 1542,     m. Lord
                                         d. 1587  Guilford Dudley,
                                            |      beheaded 1554
                                    James VI of Scotland
                                     and I of England,
                                        crowned 1603

369. Question of Mary's Marriage; Wyatt's Rebellion (1554).

While they were confined there, the question of the Queen's marriage
came up.  Out of several candidates for her hand, Mary gave preference
to her cousin, Philip II of Spain.  Her choice was very unpopular, for
it was known in England that Philip was a selfish and gloomy fanatic,
who cared for nothing but the advancement of the Roman Catholic faith.

An insurrection now broke out, led by Sir Thomas Wyatt, the object of
which was to place the Princess Elizabeth on the throne, and thus
secure the crown to Protestantism.  Lady Jane Grey's father was
implicated in the rebellion.  The movement ended in failure, the
leaders were executed, and Mary ordered her sister Elizabeth, who was
thought to be in the plot, to be seized and imprisoned in the Tower

A little later, Lady Jane Grey and her husband perished on the
scaffold.  The name JANE, deeply cut in the stone wall of the
Beauchamp Tower,[1] remains as a memorial of the nine days' Queen.
She died at the age of seventeen, an innocent victim of the greatness
which had been thrust upon her.

[1] The Beauchamp Tower is part of the Tower of London.  On its walls
are scores of names cut by those who were imprisoned in it.

370. Mary marries Philip II of Spain (1554); Efforts to restore

A few months afterward the royal marriage was celebrated, but Philip
soon found that the air of England had too much freedom in it to suit
his delicate constitution, and he returned to the more congenial
climate of Spain.

From that time Mary, who was left to rule alone, directed all her
efforts to the restoration of the Catholic Church.  Hallam says her
policy was acceptable to a large part of the nation.[2]  On the other
hand, the leaders in Scotland bound themselves by a solemn Covenant
(1557) to crush out all attempts to reestablish the Catholic faith.
Through her influence Parliament repealed the legislation of Henry
VIII's and Edward VI's reigns, in so far as it gave support to
Protestantism.  She revived the persecuting statutes against heretics
(S283).  The old relations with the Pope were resumed but the monastic
lands were left in the hands of their new owners (S352).  To
accomplish her object in supporting her religion, the Queen resorted
to the arguments of the dungeon, the rack, and the fagot, and when
Bishops Bonner and Gardiner slackened their work of persecution and
death, Mary, half crazed by Philip's desertion, urged them not to stay
their hands.

[2] See A. H. Hallam's "Constitutional History of England," and
compare J. Lingard's excellent "History of England," to the same

371. Devices for reading the Bible.

The penalty for reading the English Scriptures, or for offering
Protestant prayers, was death.  In his autobiography, Benjamin
Franklin says that one of his ancestors, who lived in England in
Mary's reign, adopted the following expedient for giving his family
religious instruction.  He fastened an open Bible with strips of tape
on the under side of a stool.  When he wished to read it aloud he
placed the stool upside down on his knees, and turned the pages under
the tape as he read them.  One of the children stood watching at the
door to give the alarm if any one approached; in that case, the stool
was set quickly on its feet again on the floor, so that nothing could
be seen.

372. Religious Toleration unknown in Mary's Age.

Mary would doubtless have bravely endured for her faith the full
measure of suffering which she inflicted.  Her state of mind was that
of all who then held strong convictions.  Each party believed it a
duty to convert or exterminate the other, and the alternative offered
to the heretic was to "turn or burn."

Sir Thomas More, who gave his life as a sacrifice to conscience in
Henry's reign (S351), was eager to put Tyndale to the torture for
translating the Bible.  Cranmer (S362), who perished at Oxford (1556),
had been zealous in sending to the flames those who differed from
him.  Even Latimer (S361), who died bravely at the stake, exhorting
his companion Ridley (1555) "to be of good cheer and play the man,
since they would light such a candle in England that day as in God's
grace should not be put out," had abetted the kindling of slow fires
under men as honest and determined as himself but on the opposite

In like spirit Queen Mary kept Smithfield, London, ablaze with
martyrs, whose blood was the seed of Protestantism.  Yet persecution
under Mary never reached the proportions that it did on the
Continent.  At the most, but a few hundred died in England for the
sake of their religion, while Mary's husband, Philip II, during the
last of his reign, covered Holland with the graves of Protestants, who
had been tortured and put to cruel deaths, or buried alive, by tens of

373. Mary's Death (1558).

But Mary's career was short.  She died (1558) near the close of an
inglorious war with France, which ended in the fall of Calais, the
last English possession on the Continent (S240).  It was a great blow
to her pride, and a serious humiliation to the country.  "After my
death," she said, "you will find Calais written on my heart."  Could
she have foreseen the future, her grief would have been greater
still.  For with the end of her reign the Pope lost all power in
England, never to regain it.

374. Mary deserving of Pity rather than Hatred.

Mary's name has come down to us associated with an epithet expressive
of the utmost abhorrence (S342); but she deserves pity rather than
detestation.  Froude justly says, "If any person may be excused for
hating the Reformation, it was Mary."

Separated from her mother, the unfortunate Catharine of Aragon, when
she was only sixteen, Mary was ill-treated by Henry's new Queen, Anne
Boleyn, and hated by her father.  Thus the springtime of her youth was

Her marriage brought her no happiness; sickly, ill-favored, childless,
unloved, the poor woman spent herself for naught.  Her first great
mistake was that she resolutely turned her face toward the past; her
second, that she loved Philip II of Spain (S369) with all her heart,
soul, and strength; and so, out of devotion to a bigot, did a bigot's
work, and earned that execration which never fails to be a bigots
reward.  But the Queen's cruelty was the cruelty of sincerity, and
never, like her father's hangings, beheadings, and burnings (S358),
the result of tyranny, indifference, or caprice.  A little book of
prayers which she left, soiled by constant use and stained with many
tears, tells the story of her broken and disappointed life.

375. Summary.

This reign should be looked upon as a period of reaction.  The
temporary check which Mary gave to Protestantism deepened and
strengthened it.  Nothing builds up a religious faith like martyrdom,
and the next reign showed that every heretic that Mary had burned
helped to make at least a hundred more.


376. Accession of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, the last of the Tudor family, was the daughter of Henry
VIII and Anne Boleyn (S349).  At the time of Mary's death she was
living in seclusion in Hatfield House, near London, spending most of
her time in studying Greek and Latin authors.  When the news was
brought to her, she was deeply moved, and exclaimed, "It is the Lord's
doings; it is marvelous in our eyes."  Five days afterwards she went
up to London by that road over which the last time she had traveled it
she was being carried a prisoner to the Tower (S369).

377. Difficulty of Elizabeth's Position.

An act of Parliament declared Elizabeth to be the true and lawful heir
to the crown[1] (S355); but her position was full of difficulty, if
not absolute peril.  Mary Stuart of Scotland, now by marriage Queen of
France (S363),[2] claimed the English crown through descent from Henry
VII.  She based her claim on the ground that Elizabeth, the daughter
of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was not lawfully entitled to the
throne, because the Pope had refused to recognize Henry's second
marriage (S349).  Both France and Rome supported Mary Stuart's claim.

[1] See Genealogical Table, p. 207.
[2] After Elizabeth, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, stood next in order
of hereditary succession.  See Table, p. 207.

On the other hand, Philip II of Spain (SS370, 374) favored Elizabeth,
but solely because he hoped to marry her and annex her kingdom to his
dominions.  Scotland was divided between two religious factions, the
Catholics and the Protestants, and its attitude as an independent
kingdom could hardly be called friendly.  The Catholics in the greater
part of Ireland were in a state bordering on rebellion, and were ready
to join in any attack on an English sovereign.

378. The Religious Problem.

But the religious problem was more dangerous than any other, for
England itself was divided in its faith.  In the north, many noble
families stood by the Catholic faith, and hoped to see the Pope's
authority fully and permanently restored (S352).  In the towns of the
southeast, a majority favored the Church of England as it had been
organized under the Protestant influence of Edward VI (S362).[1]

[1] See Goldwin Smith's "England."

Within these two great parties there were two more, who made up in
zeal and determination what they lacked in numbers.  One was the
Jesuits; the other, the Puritans.  The Jesuits were a new Roman
Catholic order (1540), banded together by a solemn oath to restore the
complete power of the Church and to extend it throughout the world.
Openly or secretly their agents penetrated every country, and their
opponents declared that they hesitated at nothing to gain their ends.

The Puritans were the extreme Protestants who, like John Calvin of
Geneva and John Knox of Edinburgh, were bent on cleansing or
"purifying" the reformed faith from every vestige of Catholicism.
Many of them were what the rack and the stake had naturally made
them,--hard, fearless, narrow, bitter.

In Scotland the Puritans had got possession of the government, while
in England they were steadily gaining ground.  They were ready to
recognize the Queen as head of the Church of England, they even wished
that all persons should be compelled to worship as the government
prescribed, but they protested against what they considered the
halfway form of Church which Elizabeth and the bishops seemed inclined
to maintain.

379. The Queen's Choice of Counselors.

Elizabeth's policy from the beginning was one of compromise.  In order
to conciliate the Catholic party, she retained eleven of her sister
Mary's counselors.  But she added to them Sir William Cecil (Lord
Burghley), who was her chief adviser,[2] Sir Nicholas Bacon, and,
later, Sir Francis Walsingham, with others who were favorable to the
Protestant faith.

[2] See Macaulay's essay on "Lord Burghley."

On his appointment, Elizabeth said to Cecil, "This judgment I have of
you, that you will not be corrupted with any gifts, that you will be
faithful to the State, and that without respect to my private will you
give me that counsel which you think best."  Cecil served the Queen
until his death, forty years afterward.  The almost implicit obedience
with which Elizabeth followed his advice sufficiently proves that
Cecil was the real power not only behind, but generally above, the

380. The Coronation (1559).

The bishops were Roman Catholics, and Elizabeth found it difficult to
get one to perform the coronation services.  At length one consented,
but only on condition that the Queen should take the ancient form of
coronation oath, by which she virtually bound herself to support the
Roman Catholic Church.[1]  To this Elizabeth consented, and having
consulted an astrologer, Dr. Dee, he named a lucky day for the
ceremony, and she was crowned (1559).

[1] By this oath every English sovereign from William the Conqueror to
Elizabeth, inclusive, and even as late as James II, with the single
exception of Edward VI, swore "to preserve religion in the same state
as did Edward the Confessor."  The form of the coronation oath was
changed to support Protestantism by the Revolution of 1688.  Finally,
under George V, in 1910, the phraseology of the oath was modified by
Act of Parliament in order to make it less objectionable not only to
English Catholics, but to a large majority of the people of the

381. Changes in the Church Service (1559).

The late Queen Mary (S373), besides having repealed the legislation of
the two preceding reigns, in so far as it was opposed to her own
strong religious convictions (S370), had restored the Roman Catholic
Latin Prayer Book (S362).  At Elizabeth's coronation a petition was
presented stating that it was the custom to release a certain number
of prisoners on such occasions.  The petitioners, therefore, begged
her Majesty to set at liberty the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark,
Luke, and John, and also the apostle Paul, who had been for some time
shut up in a strange language.  The English Book of Common Prayer
(S362), with some slight changes, was accordingly reinstated,
Parliament repealed the laws by which the late Queen Mary had
practically restored the Roman Catholic religion, and it authorized
the publication of a new and revised edition of the English Bible

382. New Act of Supremacy; Act of Uniformity; High Commission Court, 1559.

No sooner was the Queen's accession announced to the Pope than he
declared her illegitimate (SS349, 355), and ordered her to lay aside
her crown and submit herself to his guidance.  Such a demand was a
signal for battle.  However much attached a large part of the nation,
especially the country people, may have been to the Catholic religion
of their fathers (S370), yet the majority of them were loyal to the
Queen and intended to stand by her.

The temper of Parliament manifested itself in the immediate
reenactment of the Act of Supremacy.  It way essentially the same,
"though with its edge a little blunted," as that by which Henry VIII
had freed England from the dominion of the Pope (S349).  It declared
Elizabeth not "supreme head" but "supreme governor" of the Church.
Later, the act was made more stringent (1563).

To this act, every member of the House of Commons was obliged to
subscribe; thus all Catholics were exclued from that body.  The Lords,
however, not being an elective body, were excused from the obligation
at that time (S478).

In order to enforce the Act of Supremacy, Parliament passed a new Act
of Uniformity (S362), which ordered the minister of every congregation
in England, whether Catholic or Protestant, to use the services laid
down in the recently established Book of Common Prayer, and to use no
other.  In fact the law forbade the holding of any other service, even
in a room with closed doors.  In case he failed to obey this law he
would be severely punished, and for a third offense would be
imprisoned for life.  The same act imposed a heavy fine on all persons
who failed to attend the Established Church of England on Sundays and

The reason for these stringent measures was that in that age Church
and State were everywhere considered to be inseparable.  No country in
Europe--not even Protestant Germany--could then conceive the idea of
their existing independently of each other.  Whoever refused to
support the established form of worship, whatever that might be, was
looked upon as a "rebel" against the government.

In order to try such "rebels" Parliament now gave Queen Elizabeth
power to organize the High Commission Court.[1]  By that Court many
Catholics were imprisoned and tortured for refusing to comply with the
new Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, and later on about two hundred
priests and Jesuits were put to death on charges of treason.  A number
of Puritans, also, were executed for publishing books or pamphlets
which attacked the government, and others were cast into prison or
banished from the realm.

[1] High Commission Court: so called because originally certain church
dignitaries were appointed commissioners to inquire into heresies and
kindred matters.  See, too, Summary of Constitutional History in the
Appendix, p. xiv, S15.

383. The Thirty-Nine Articles (1563); the Queen's Religion.

Four years later, the religious belief of the English Church, which
had been first formulated under Edward VI (S362), was revised and
reduced to the Thirty-Nine Articles which constitute it at the present
time.[1]  But the real value of the religious revolution which was
taking place did not lie in the substitution of one creed for another,
but in the new spirit of inquiry, and the new freedom of thought,
which that change awakened.

[1] But the Clerical Subscription Act (1866) simply requires the
clergy of the Church of England to make a general declaration of
assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Prayer Book.

As for Elizabeth herself, she seems to have had no deep and abiding
convictions on these matters.  Her political interests practically
compelled her to favor Protestantism, but to the end of her life she
kept up some Catholic forms.  Though she upheld the service of the
Church of England, yet she shocked the Puritans by keeping a crucifix,
with lighted candles in front of it, hung in her private chapel,
before which she prayed to the Virgin as fervently as her sister Mary
had ever done.

384. The Nation halting between Two Opinions.

In this double course she represented a large part of the nation,
which hesitated about committing itself fully to either side.  Men
were not wanting who were ready to lay down their lives for
conscience' sake, but they do not appear to have been numerous.

Some sympathized at heart with the notorious Vicar of Bray, who kept
his pulpit under the whole or some part of the successive reigns of
Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, changing his theology with
each change of rule.  When taunted as a turncoat, he replied, "Not so,
for I have always been true to my principles, which are to live and
die Vicar of Bray."[2]

[2]     "For this as law I will maintain
            Until my dying day, sir,
         That whatsoever king shall reign,
            I'll be Vicar of Bray, sir."

Though there was nothing morally noble in such halting between two
opinions, and facing both ways, yet it saved England for the time from
the worst of all calamities, a religious civil war.  Such a conflict
rent France in pieces, drenched her fair fields with the blood of
Catholics and Protestants, split Germany and Italy into petty states,
and ended in Spain in the triumph of the Inquisition and of
intellectual death.[1]

[1] S. R. Gardiner's "History of England"; consult also J. F. Bright's
"History of England" and L. Von Ranke's "History of England."

385. The Question of the Queen's Marriage.

Elizabeth showed the same tact with regard to marriage that she did
with regard to religion.  Her first Parliament, realizing that the
welfare of the country depended largely on whom the Queen should
marry, begged her to consider the question of taking a husband.  Her
reply was that she had resolved to live and die a maiden queen.  When
further pressed, she returned answers that, like the ancient Greek
oracles, might be interpreted either way.

The truth was that Elizabeth saw the difficult of her position better
than any one else.  The choice opf her heart at that time would
probably have been Robert Dudley, her "sweet Robin," the handsome but
unscrupulous Earl of Leicester; but, as he called himself a
Protestant, she knew that to take him as consort would be to incur the
enmity of the Catholic powers of Europe.  On the other hand, if she
accepted a Catholic, she would inevitably alienate a large and
influential number of her own subjects.

In this delimma she resolved to keep both sides in a state of hopeful
expectation.  Philip II of Spain, who had married her sister Mary
(S370), made overtures to Elizabeth.  She kept him waiting in
uncertainty until at last his ambassador lost all patience, and
declared that the Queen "was possessed with ten thousand demons."

Later, the Duke of Anjou, a son of Henry II of France, proposed.  He
was favorably received, but the country became so alarmed at the
prospect of having a Catholic King, that Stubbs, a Puritan lawyer,
published a coarse and violent pamphlet denouncing the marriage.[2]
For this attack his right hand was cut off; as it fell, says an
eyewitness,[3] he seized his hat with the other hand, and waved it,
shouting, "God save Queen Elizabeth!"  That act was an index to the
popular feeling.  A majority of the people, whether Catholics or
Protestants, stood by the Crown even when they condemned its policy,
determined, at all hazards, to preserve the unity of the nation.  That
spirit of intense loyalty and love of country without regard to creed
or calling found perfect expression in Shakespeare's utterance:

        "This England never did, nor never shall,
         Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.
         .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
         Come the three corners of the world in arms,
         And we shall shock them: nought shall make us rue,
         If England to itself do but rest true."[4]

We shall see that this feeling showed itself still more unmistakably,
when, years later, men of all classes and of widely different
religious views rose to destroy the Armada,--that great fleet which
Spain sent to subjugate the English realm (SS398-401).

[2] Stubbs's pamphlet was entitled "The Discovery of the Gaping Gulf,
wherein England is likely to be swallowed up by another French
marriage, unless the Lords forbid the bans by letting her see the sin
and punishment thereof."
[3] Camden's "Annals," 1581.
[4] Shakespeare's "King John," Act V, scene vii; written after the
defeat of the Armada.

386. The Queen a Coquette.

During all this time the court buzzed with whispered scandals.
Elizabeth was by nature an incorrigible coquette.  Robert Dudley, Earl
of Leicester, the Earl of Essex, and Sir Walter Raleigh were by turns
her favorites.  Over her relations with Dudley there hangs the
terrible shadow of the suspected murder of his wife, the beautiful Amy

[3] See the "De Quadra Letter" in Froude's "England."

Elizabeth's vanity was as insatiable as it was ludicrous.  She issued
a proclamation forbidding any one to sell her picture, lest it should
fail to do her justice.  She was greedy of flattery even when long
past sixty, and there was a sting of truth in the letter which Mary
Queen of Scots wrote her, saying, "Your aversion to marriage proceeds
from your not wishing to lose the liberty of compelling people to make
love to you."

387. Violence of Temper; Crooked Policy.

In temper Elizabeth was arbitrary, fickle, and passionate.  When her
blood was up, she would swear like a trooper, spit on a courtier's new
velvet suit, beat her maids of honor, and box Essex's ears.  She wrote
abusive and even profane letters to high Church dignitaries,[1] and
she openly insulted the wife of Archbishop Parker, because she did not
believe in a married clergy.

[1] For the famous letter to the bishop of Ely attributed to
Elizabeth, see Hallam's "Constitutional History of England," Froude,
or Creighton; but the "Dictionary of National Biography" ("Elizabeth")
calls it a forgery.

The age in which Elizabeth reigned was preeminently one of craft and
intrigue.  The Kings of that day endeavored to get by fraud what their
less polished predecessors got by force.  At this game of double
dealing Elizabeth had few equals and no superior.  So profound was her
dissimulation that her most confidential advisers never felt quite
sure that she was not deceiving them.  In her diplomatic relations she
never hesitated at an untruth if it would serve her purpose, and when
the falsehood was discovered, she always had another and more
plausible one ready to take its place.  In all this her devotion to
England stands out unquestioned and justifies the saying, "She lived
and lied for her country."

388. Her Knowledge of Men; the Monopolies.

The Queen's real ability lay in her instinctive perception of the
needs of the age, and in her power of self-adjustment to them.
Elizabeth never made public opinion, but watched it and followed it.
She knew an able man at sight, and had the happy faculty of attaching
such men to her service.  By nature she was both irresolute and
impulsive; but her sense was good and her judgment clear.  She could
tell when she was well advised, and although she fumed and blustered,
she yielded.

It has been said that the next best thing to having a good rule is to
know when to break it.  Elizabeth always knew when to change her
policy.  No matter how obstinate she was, she saw the point where
obstinacy became dangerous.  In order to enrich Raleigh and her
numerous other favorites, she granted them the exclusive right to deal
in certain articles.  These privileges were called "monopolies."

They finally came to comprise almost everything that could be bought
or sold, from French wines to secondhand shoes.  The effect was to
raise prices so as to make even the common necessaries of life
excessively dear.  A great outcry finally arose; Parliament requested
the Queen to abolish the "monopolies"; she hesitated, but when she saw
their determined attitude she gracefully granted the ptition (S433).

389. The Adulation of the Court.

No English sovereign was so popular or so praised.  The great writers
and the great men of that day vied with each other in their
compliments to Elizabeth's beauty, wisdom, and wit.  She lived in an
atmosphere of splendor, of pleasure, and of adulation.  Her reign was
full of pageants, progresses, or journeys made with great pomp and
splendor, and feasts, like those which Scott describes in his
delightful novel, "Kenilworth."

Spenser composed his poem, the "Faerie Queen," as he said, to extol
"the glorious person of our sovereign Queen."  Shakespeare is reported
to have written the "Merry Wives of Windsor" for her amusement, and in
his "Midsummer Night's Dream" he addresses her as the "fair vestal in
the West."  The translators of the Bible spoke of her as "that bright
Occidental Star," and the common people loved to sing and shout the
praises of their "good Queen Bess."  After her death at Richmond, when
her body was being conveyed down the Thames to Westminster, one
extravagant eulogist declared that the very fishes that followed the
funeral barge "wept out their eyes and swam blind after!"

390. Grandeur of the Age; More's "Utopia."

The reign of Elizabeth was, in fact, Europe's grandest age.  It was a
time when everything was bursting into life and color.  The world had
suddenly grown larger; it had opened toward the east in the revival of
classical learning; it had opened toward the west, and disclosed a
continent of unknown extent and unimaginable resources.

About twenty years after Cabot had discovered the mainland of America
(S335), Sir Thomas More (SS339, 351) wrote a remarkable work of
fiction, in Latin (1516), called "Utopia" (the Land of Nowhere).  In
it he pictured an ideal commonwealth, where all men were equal; where
none were poor; where perpetual peace prevailed; where there was
absolute freedom of thought; where all were contented and happy.  It
was, in fact, the Golden Age come back to earth again.

More's book, now translated into English (1551), suited such a time,
for Elizabeth's reign was one of adventure, of poetry, of luxury, of
rapidly increasing wealth.  When men looked across the Atlantic, their
imaginations were stimulated, and the most extravagant hopes did not
appear too good to be true.  Courtiers and adventurers dreamed of
fountains of youth in Florida, of silver mines in Brazil, of rivers in
Virginia, whose pebbles were precious stones.[1]  Thus all were
dazzled with visions of sudden riches and of renewed life.

[1] "Why, man, all their dripping-pans [in Virginia] are pure gould;
... all the prisoners they take are feterd in gold; and for rubies and
diamonds, they goe forth on holydayes and gather 'hem by the
sea-shore, to hang on their children's coates."--"Eastward Hoe," a
play by John Marston and others, "as it was playd in the Blackfriers
[Theatre] by the Children of her Maiesties Revels." (1603?)

391. Change in Mode of Life.

England, too, was undergoing transformation.  Once, a nobleman's
residence had been simply a square stone fortress, built for safety
only; but now that the Wars of the Roses had destroyed the old feudal
barons (SS299, 316), there was no need of such precaution.  Men were
no longer content to live shut up in somber strongholds, surrounded
with moats of stagnant water, or in meanly built houses, where the
smoke curled around the rafters for want of chimneys by which to
escape, while the wind whistled through the unglazed latticed windows.

Mansions and stately manor houses like Hatfield, Knowle, parts of
Haddon Hall, and the "Bracebridge Hall" of Washington Irving,[2] rose
instead of castles, and hospitality, not exclusion, became the
prevailing custom.  The introduction of chimneys brought the cheery
comfort of the English fireside, while among the wealthy, carpets,
tapestry, and silver plate took the place of floors strewed with
rushes, of bare walls, and of tables covered with pewter or woooden

[2] Aston Hall, Birmingham, is the original of Irving's "Bracebridge
Hall."  It came a little later than Elizabeth's time, but is
Elizabethan in style.

An old writer, lamenting these innovations, says: "When our houses
were built of willow, then we had oaken men; but, now that our houses
are made of oak, our men have not only become willow, but many are
altogether of straw, which is a sore affliction."

392. An Age of Adventure and of Daring.

But they were not all of straw, for that was a period of daring
enterprise, of explorers, sea rovers, and freebooters.  Sir Walter
Raleigh planted the first English colony in America, which the maiden
Queen named Virginia, in honor of herself.  It proved unsuccessful,
but he said, "I shall live to see it an English nation yet"; and he

Frobisher explored the coasts of Labrador and Greenland.  Sir Francis
Drake, who plundered the treasure ships of Spain wherever he found
them, sailed into the Pacific, spent a winter in or near the harbor of
San Francisco, and ended his voyage by circumnavigating the globe.
(See map facing p. 222.)  In the Far East, London merchants had
established the East India Company, the beginning of English dominion
in Asia; while in Holland, Sir Philip Sydney gave his lifeblood for
the cause of Protestantism.

393. Literature and Natural Philosophy.

It was an age, too, not only of brave deeds but of high thoughts.
Shakespeare, Spenser, and Jonson were making English literature the
noblest of all literatures.  Furthermore, Shakespeare had no equal as
a teacher of English history.  His historical plays appealed then, as
they do now, to every heart.  At his touch the dullest and driest
records of the past are transformed and glow with color, life,
movement, and meaning.[1]  On the other hand, Francis Bacon, son of
Sir Nicholas Bacon, of Elizabeth's council, was giving a wholly
different direction to education.  In his new system of philosophy,[2]
he taught men that in order to use the forces of nature they must
learn by observation and experiment to know nature herself; "for,"
said he, "knowledge is power."

[1] On the value of Shakespeare's Historical Plays, see S298, note 1;
S313, note 2; and S410.
[2] In his tract on "The Greatest Birth of Time," in 1582.

394. Mary Queen of Scots claims the Crown (1561).

For England it was also an age of great and constant peril.
Elizabeth's entire reign was undermined with plots against her life
and against the life of the Protestant faith.  No sooner was one
conspiracy detected and suppressed than a new one sprang up.  Perhaps
the most formidable of these was the effort which Mary Stuart, Queen
of Scots, made to supplant her English rival.  Shortly after
Elizabeth's accession, Mary's husband, the King of France, died.  She
returned to Scotland (1561) and there assumed the Scottish crown, at
the same time asserting her right to the English throne.[3]

[3] See Genealogical Table (p. 207).  Mary's claim was based on the
fact that the Pope had never recognized Henry VIII's marriage to Anne
Boleyn, Elizabeth's mother, as lawful, while she, herself, as the
direct descendant of Henry's sister, Margaret, stood next in

395. Mary marries Darnley; his Murder.

A few years later Mary married Lord Darnley.  He became jealous of
Rizzio, her private secretary, and, with the aid of accomplices,
seized him in her presence, dragged him into an antechamber, and there
stabbed him.  The next year Darnley was murdered.  It was believed
that Mary and the Earl of Bothwell, whom she soon married, were guilty
of the crime.  The people rose and cast her into prison, and forced
her to abdicate in favor of her infant son, James VI, who eventually
became King of England and Scotland (1603).

396. Mary escapes to England (1568); plots against Elizabeth and

Mary escaped and fled to England.  Elizabeth, fearing she might pass
over to France and stir up war, confined her in Bolton Castle,
Yorkshire.  During her imprisonment in another stronghold, to which
she had been transferred, she was accused of being implicated in a
plot for assassinating the English Queen and seizing the reins of
government in behalf of herself and the Jesuits (S378).

It was, in fact, a time when the Protestant faith seemed everywhere
marked for destruction.  In France evil counselors had induced the
King to order a massacre of the Reformers, and on St. Batholomew's Day
thousands were slain.  The Pope, misinformed in the matter, ordered a
solemn thanksgiving for the slaughter, and struck a gold medal to
commemorate it.  Philip II of Spain, whose cold, impassive face
scarcely ever relaxed into a smile, now laughed outright.  Still more
recently, William the Silent, who had driven out the Catholics from a
part of the Netherlands, had been assassinated by a Jesuit fanatic.
Meanwhile the Pope had excommunicated Queen Elizabeth (1570) and had
released her subjects from allegiance to her.  A fanatic nailed this
bull of excommunication to the door of the Bishop of London's palace.
This bold act, for which the offender suffered death, brought matters
to a crisis.

Englishmen felt that they could no longer remain halting between two
opinions.  They realized that now they must resolve to take their
stand by the Queen or else by the Pope.  Parliament at once retaliated
against the Pope by passing two stringent measures which declared it
high treason for any one to deny the Queen's right to the crown, to
name her successor, to denounce her as a heretic, or to say or do
anything which should "alienate the hearts and minds of her Majesty's
subjects from their dutiful obedience" to her.  Later, the
"Association," a vigilance committee, was formed by a large number of
the principal people of the realm to protect Elizabeth against
assassination.  Not only prominent Protestants but many Catholic
noblemen joined the organization to defend the Queen at all hazards.

397. Elizabeth beheads Mary, 1587.

The ominous significance of these events had their full effect on the
English Queen.  Aroused to a sense of her danger, she signed the
Scottish Queen's death warrant, and Mary, after nineteen years'
imprisonment, was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle.[1]

[1] Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire, demolished by James I.

As soon as the news of her execution was brought to Elizabeth, she
became alarmed at the political consequences the act might have in
Europe.  With her usual duplicity she bitterly upbraided the minister
who had advised it, and throwing Davidson, her secretary, into the
Tower, fined him 10,000 pounds, the payment of which reduced him to

Not satisfied with this, Elizabeth even had the effrontery to write a
letter of condolence to Mary's son, James VI, declaring that his
mother had been beheaded by mistake! Yet facts prove that Elizabeth
had not only determined to put Mary to death, but that she had urged
those who held Mary prisoner to kill her privately.[2]

[2] See "Elizabeth" in the "National Dictionary of (British)

398. The Spanish Armada.

Mary was hardly under ground when a new and greater danger threatened
the country.  At her death, the Scottish Queen, disgusted with her
mean-spirited son James,[3] bequeathed her dominions, including her
claim to the English throne, to Philip II of Spain (S370).  He was
then the most powerful sovereign in Europe, ruling over a territory
equal to that of the Roman Empire in its greatest extent.

[3] James had deserted his mother and accepted a pension from

Philip II, with the encouragement of the Pope, and with the further
help of the promise of a very large sum of money from him, resolved to
invade England, conquer it, annex it to his possessions, and restore
the religion of Rome.  To accomplish this, he began fitting out the
"Invisible Armada," an immense fleet of warships, intended to carry
twenty thousand soldiers, and to receive on its way reenforcements of
thirty thousand more from the Spanish army in the Netherlands.

399. Drake's Expedition; Sailing of the Armada (1588).

Sir Francis Drake (S392) determined to check Philip's preparations.
He heard that the enemy's fleet was gathered at Cadiz.  He sailed
there, and in spite of all opposition effectually "singed the Spanish
King's beard," as he said, by burning and otherwise destroying more
than a hundred ships.

This so crippled the expedition that it had to be given up for that
year, but the next summer a vast armament set sail.  Motley[1] says it
consisted of ten squadrons, of more than one hundred and thirty ships,
carrying upwards of three thousand cannon.

[1] Motley's "United Netherlands," II, 465; compare Froude's
"England," XII, 466, and Laughton's "Armada" (State Papers),
pp. xl-lvii.

The impending peril thoroughly roused England.  Both Catholics and
Protestants rose to defend their country and their Queen.

400. The Battle, 1588.

The English sea forces under Lord High Admiral Howard, of Effingham, a
zealous patriot, with Sir Francis Drake, who ranked second in command,
were assembled at Plymouth, watching for the enemy.  Whe nthe
long-looked-for Spanish fleet came in sight, beacon fires were lighted
on the hills to give the alarm.

 "For swift to east and swift to west the ghastly war flame spread;
  High on St. Michael's Mount it shone: it shone on Beachy Head.
  Far on the deep the Spaniard saw, along each southern shire,
  Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of fire."
                                              --Macaulay's "Armada."

The enemy's ships moved steadily toward the coast in the form of a
crescent seven miles across; but Howard, Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh, and
other noted captains, were ready to receive them.  With their
fast-sailing cruisers they sailed around the unwieldy Spanish
warships, firing four shots to the enemy's one, and "harassing them as
a swarm of wasps worry a bear."  Several of the Spanish vessels were
captured and one blown up.  At last the commander sailed for Calais to
repair damages and take a fresh start.  The English followed.  When
night came on, Drake sent eight blazing fire ships to drift down among
the Armada as it lay at anchor.  Thoroughly alarmed at the prospect of
being burned where they lay, the Spaniards cut their cables and made
sail for the north.

401. Destruction of the Armada, 1588; Elizabeth at Tilbury and at
St. Paul's.

They were hotly pursued by the English, who, having lost but a single
vessel in the fight, might have cut them to pieces, had not
Elizabeth's suicidal economy stinted them in body powder and
provisions.  Meanwhile the Spanish fleet kept moving northward.  The
wind increased to a gale, the gale to a furious storm.  The commander
of the Armada attempted to go around Scotland and return home that
way; but ship after ship was driven ashore and wrecked on the wild and
rocky coast of western Ireland.  On one strand, less than five miles
long, over a thousand corpses were counted.  Those who escaped the
waves met death by the hands of the inhabitants.  Of the magnificent
fleet which had sailed so proudly from Spain only fifty-three vessels
returned, and they were but half manned by exhausted crews stricken by
pestilence and death.  Thus ended Philip II's boasted attack on

When all danger was past, Elizabeth went to Tilbury, on the Thames
below London, to review the troops collected there to defend the
capital.  "I know," said she, "that I have but the feeble body of a
woman, but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England too."
Unhappily the niggardly Queen had half starved her brave sailors, and
many of them came home only to die.  None the less Elizabeth went with
solemn pomp to St. Paul's Cathedral to offer thanks for the great
victory, which was commemorated by a medal bearing this inscription:
"God blew with his winds, and they were scattered."  The date of the
defeat of the Armada, 1588, was a turning point in English history.
From that time England gradually rose, under the leadership of such
illustrious commanders as Drake, Blake, and Nelson, until she became
what she has ever since remained--the greatest sea power in the world
(SS459, 557).

402. Insurrection in Ireland (1595).

A few years later a terrible rebellion broke out in Ireland.  From its
partial conquest in the time of Henry II (S159), the condition of that
island continued to be deplorable.  First, the chiefs of the native
tribes fought constantly among themselves; next, the English attempted
to force the Protestant religion upon a people who detested it;
lastly, the greed and misgovernment of the rulers put a climax to
these miseries.  Sir Walter Raleigh said, "The country was a
commonwealth of common woe."  What made this state of things still
more dangerous was the fact that the Catholic rulers of Spain
considered the Irish as their natural allies, and were plotting to
send troops to that island in order to strike England a deadly side
blow when she least expected it.

Elizabeth's government began a war, the object of which was "not to
subdue but to destroy."  The extermination was so merciless that the
Queen herself declared that if the work of destruction went on much
longer, "she should have nothing left but ashes and corpses to rule
over."  Then, but not till then, the starving remnant of the Irish
people submitted, and England gained a barren victory which has ever
since carried with it its own curse.

403. The First Poor Law (1601).

In Elizabeth's reign the first effective English poor law was passed.
It required each parish to make provision for such paupers as were
unable to work, while the able-bodied were compelled to labor for
their own support.  This measure relieved much of the distress which
had prevailed during the three previous reigns (S354), and forms the
basis of the law in force at the present time (S607).

404. Elizabeth's Death (1603).

The death of the great Queen (1603) was as sad as her life had been
brilliant.  Her favorite, Essex, Shakespeare's intimate friend, had
been beheaded for an attempted rebellion against her power.  From that
time she grew, as she said, "heavy-hearted."  Her old friends and
counselors were dead, her people no longer welcomed her with their
former enthusiasm.  She kept a sword always within reach.  Treason had
grown so common that Hentzner, a German traveler in England, said that
he counted three hundred heads of persons, who had suffered death for
this crime, exposed on London Bridge.  Elizabeth felt that her sun was
nearly set; gradually her strength declined; she ceased to leave her
palace, and sat muttering to herself all day long, "Mortua, sed non
sepulta!" (Dead, but not buried).

At length she lay propped up on cushions on the floor,[1] "tired," as
she said, "of reigning and tired of life."  In that sullen mood she
departed to join that "silent majority" whose realm under earth is
bounded by the sides of the grave. "Four days afterward," says a
writer of that time, "she was forgotten."

[1] See in the works of Delaroche his fine picture of "The Death of
Queen Elizabeth."

One sees her tomb, with her full-length, recumbent effigy, in the
north aisle of Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey, while in the
south aisle he sees the tomb and effigy of her old rival and enemy,
Mary Queen of Scots (S397).  The sculptured features of both look
placid.  "After life's fitful fever they sleep well."

405. Summary.

The Elizabethan period was in every respect remarkable.  It was great
in its men of thought, great in its literature, and equally great in
its men of action.  It was greatest, however, in its successful
resistance to the armed hand of religious oppression. "Practically the
reign of Elizabeth," as Bishop Creighton remarks, "saw England
established as a Protestant country."[2]

[2] See "The Dictionary of English History" ("The Reformation"),
p. 860.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 gave renewed courage to the
cause of the Reformation, not only in England, but in every Protestant
country in Europe.  It meant that a movement had begun which, though
it might be temporarily hindered, would secure to all civilized
countries, which accepted it, the right of private judgment and of
liberty of conscience in matters of religion.

General Reference Summary of the Tudor Period (1485-1603)

I. Government  II. Religion  III. Military Affairs.  IV. Literature,
Learning and Art.  V. General Industry and Commerce.  VI. Mode of
Life, Manners, and Customs

I. Government

406. Absolutism of the Crown; Free Trade; the Post Office.

During a great part of the Tudor period the power of the Crown was
well-nigh absolute.  Four causes contributed to this: (1) The
destruction of a very large part of the feudal nobility by the Wars of
the Roses.[1] (2) The removal of many of the higher clergy from the
House of Lords.[2] (3) The creation of a new nobility dependant on the
king. (4) The desire of the great body of the people for "peace at any

[1] In the last Parliament before the Wars of the Roses (1454) there
were fifty-three temporal peers; at the beginning of the reign of
Henry VII (1485) there were only twenty-nine.
[2] Out of a total of barely ninety peers, Henry VIII, by the
suppression of the monasteries, removed upwards of thirty-six abbots
and priors.  He, however, added five new bishops, which made the House
of Lords number about fifty-nine.

Under Henry VII and Elizabeth the courts of Star Chamber and High
Commission exercised arbitrary power, and often inflicted cruel
punishments for offenses against the government, and for heresy or the
denial of the religious supremacy of the sovereign.

Henry VII established a treaty of free trade, called the "Great
Intercourse," between England and the Netherlands.  Under Elizabeth
the first postmaster-general entered upon his duties, though the post
office was nott fully established until the reign of her successor.

II. Religion

407. Establishment of the Protestant Church of England.

Henry VIII suppressed the Roman Catholic monasteries, seized their
property, and ended by declaring the Church of England independent of
the Pope.  Thenceforth he assumed the title of Supreme Head of the
National Church.  Under Edward VI Protestantism was established by
law.  Mary led a reaction in favor of Roman Catholicism, but her
successor, Elizabeth, reinstated the Protestant form of worship.
Under Elizabeth the Puritans demanded that the National Church be
completely "purified" from all Catholic forms and doctrines.  Severe
laws were passed under Elizabeth for the punishment of both Catholics
and Puritans who failed to conform to the Church of England.

III. Military Affairs

408. Arms and Armor; the Navy.

Though gunpowder had been in use for two centuries, yet full suits of
armor were still worn during a great part of the period.  An improved
matchlock gun, with the pistol, an Italian invention, and heavy cannon
were introduced.  Until the death of Henry VIII foot soldiers
continued to be armed with the long bow; but under Edward VI that
weapon was superseded by firearms.  The principal wars of the period
were with Scotland, France, and Spain, the last being by far the most
important, and ending with the destruction of the Armada.

Henry VIII established a permanent navy, and built several vessels of
upwards of one thousand tons register.  The largest men-of-war under
Elizabeth carried forty cannon and a crew of several hundred men.

IV. Literature, Learning, and Art

409. Schools.  The revival of learning gave a great impetus to
education.  The money which had once been given to monasteries was now
spent in building schools, colleges, and hospitals.  Dean Colet
established the free grammar school of St. Paul's, several colleges
were endowed at Oxford and Cambridge, and Edward VI opened upwards of
forty charity schools in different parts of the country, of which the
Christ's Hospital or "Blue-Coat School," originally established in
London, is one of the best known.  Improved textbooks were rpepared
for the schools, and Lily's "Latin Grammar," first published in 1513
for the use of Dean Colet's school, continued a standard work for over
three hundred years.

410. Literature; the Theater.

The latter part of the period deserves the name of the "Golden Age of
English Literature."  More, Sydney, Hooker, Jewell, and Bacon were the
leading prose writers; while Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe, and Jonson
represented the poets.

In 1574 a public theater was erected in London, in which Shakespeare
was a stockholder.  Not very long after, a second was opened.  At both
these, the Globe and the Blackfriars, the great dramatist appeared in
his own plays, and in such pieces as "King John," "Richard the Third,"
and the Henrys, he taught his countrymen more of the true spirit and
meaning of the nation's history than they had ever learned before.
His historical plays are chiefly based on Holinshed and Hall, two
noted chroniclers of the period.

411. Progress of Science; Superstitions.

The discoveries of Columbus, Cabot, Magellan, and other navigators,
had proved the earth to be a globe.  Copernicus, a Prussian
astronomer, now demonstrated the fact that it both turns on its axis
and revolves around the sun, but the discovery was not accepted until
many years later.

On the other hand, astrology, witchcraft, and the transmutation of
copper and lead into gold were generally believed in.  In preaching
before Queen Elizabeth, Bishop Jewell urged that stringent measures be
taken with witches and sorcerers, saying that through their demoniacal
acts "your Grace's subjects pine away even unto death, their color
fadeth, their flesh rotteth."  Lord Bacon and other eminent men held
the same belief, and many persons eventually suffered death for the
practice of witchcraft.

412. Architecture.

The Gothic, or Pointed, style of architecture reached its final stage
(the Perpendicular) in the early part of this period.  The first
examples of it have already been mentioned at the close of the
preceding period (S324).  After the close of Henry VII's reign no
attempts were made to build any grand church edifices until St. Paul's
Cathedral was rebuilt by Wren, in the seventeenth century, in the
Italian, or classical, style.

In the latter part of the Tudor period many stately country houses[1]
and grand city mansions were built, ornamented with carved woodwork
and bay windows.  Castles were no longer constructed, and, as the
country was at peace, many of those which had been built were
abandoned, though a few castellated mansions like Thornbury,
Gloucestershire, were built in Henry VIII's time.  The streets of
London still continued to be very narrow, and the houses, with their
projecting stories, were so near together at the top that neighbors
living on opposite sides of the street might almost shake hands from
the upper windows.

[1] Such as Hatfield House, Knowle Hall, Hardwick Hall, and part of
Haddon Hall; and, in London, Crosby Hall and other noble mansions.

V. General Industry and Commerce

413. Foreign Trade.

The eographical discoveries of this period gave a great impulse to
foreign trade with Africe, Brazil, and North America.  The wool trade
continued to increase, and also commerce with the East Indies.  In
1600 the East India Company was established, thus laying the
foundation of England's Indian empire, and ships now brought cargoes
direct to England by way of the Cape of Good Hope.

Sir Francis Drake did a flourishing business in plundering Spanish
settlements in America and Spanish treasure ships on the sea, and Sir
John Hawkins became wealthy through the slave trade,--kidnaping
negroes on the coast of Guinea, and selling them to the Spanish West
India colonies.  The domestic trade of England was still carried on
largely by great annual fairs.  Trade, however, was much deranged by
the quantities of debased money issued under Henry VIII and Edward VI.

Elizabeth reformed the currency, and ordered the mint to send out coin
which no longer had a lie stamped on its face, thereby setting an
example to all future governments, whether monarchical or republican.

VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs

414. Life in the Country and the City.

In the cities this was an age of luxury; but on the farms the laborer
was glad to get a bundle of straw for a bed, and a wooden trencher to
eat from.  Vegetables were scarcely known, and fresh meat was eaten
only by the well to do.  The cottages were built of sticks and mud,
without chimneys, and were nearly as bare of furniture as the wigwam
of an American Indian.

The rich kept several mansions and country houses, but paid little
attention to cleanliness; and when the filth and vermin in one became
unendurable, they left it "to sweeten," as they said, and went to
another of their estates.  The dress of the nobles continued to be of
the most costly materials and the gayest colors.

At table a great variety of dishes were served on silver plate, but
fingers were still used in place of forks.  Tea and coffee were
unknown, and beer was the usual drink at breakfast and supper.

Carriages were seldom used, except by Queen Elizabeth, and most
journeys were performed on horseback.  Merchandise was also generally
transported on pack horses, the roads rarely being good enough for the
passage of wagons.  The principal amusements were the theater,
dancing, masquerading, bull and bear baiting (worrying a bull or bear
with dogs), cockfighting, and gambling.

Ninth Period[1]

"It is the nature of the devil of tyranny to tear and rend the body
which he leaves."--Macaulay

Beginning with the Divine Right of Kings and Ending with the Divine
Right of the People

King or Parliament?

House of Stuart (1603-1649, 1660-1714)

James I, 1603-1625
Charles I, 1625-1649
"The Commonwealth and Protectorate," 1649-1660
Charles II, 1660-1685
James II, 1685-1689
William and Mary,[2] 1689-1702
Anne, 1702-1714

[1] Reference Books on this Period will be found in the Classified
List of Books in the Appendix.  The pronunciation of names will be
found in the Index.  The Leading Dates stand unenclosed; all others
are in parentheses.
[2] House of Orange-Stuart.

415. Accession of James I.

Elizabeth was the last of the Tudor family (S376).  By birth, James
Stuart, only son of Mary STuart, Queen of Scots, and great-grandson of
Margaret, sister of Henry VIII, was the nearest heir to the crown.[3]
He was already King of Scotland under the title of James VI.  He now,
by act of Parliament, became James I of England.  By his accession the
two countries were united under one sovereign, but each retained its
own Parliament, its own National Church, and its own laws.[4]  The new
monarch found himself ruler over three kingdoms, each professing a
different religion.  Puritanism prevailed in Scotland, Catholicism in
Ireland, Anglicanism or Episcopacy in England.

[3] See Genealogical Table, p.207.
[4] On his coins and in his proclamations James styled himself King of
Great Britain, France, and Ireland.  But the term "Great Britain" did
not properly come into use until somewhat more than a hundred years
later, when, by an act of Parliament under Anne, Scotland and England
were legally united.
The English Parliament refused to grant free trade to Scotland and
denied to the people of that counttry, even if born after James I came
to the English throne (or "Post Nati," as they were called), the
rights and privileges possessed by natives of England.

416. The King's Appearances and Character.

James was unfortunate in his birth.  Neither his father, Lord Darnley,
nor his mother had high qualities of character.  The murder of Mary's
Italian secretary in her own palace, and almost in her own presence
(S395), gave the Queen a shock which left a fatal inheritance of
cowardice to her son.  Throughout his life he could not endure the
sight of a drawn sword.  If we can trust common report, his personal
appearance was by no means impressive.  He had a feeble, rickety body,
he could not walk straight, his tongue was too large for his mouth,
and he had goggle eyes.  Through fear of assassination he habitually
wore thickly padded and quilted clothes, usually green in color.  He
was a man of considerable shrewdness, but of a small mind, and of
unbounded conceit.  His Scotch tutor had crammed him with much
ill-digested learning, so that he gave the impression of a man
educated beyond his intellect.  His favorites used to flatter him by
telling him that he was the "British Solomon"; but the French
ambassador came nearer to the mark when he called him "the wisest fool
in Christendom."

The King wrote on witchcraft, kingcraft, and theology, and composed
numerous commonplace verses.  He also wrote a sweeping denunciation of
the new plant called tobacco, which Raleigh (S392) had brought from
America, and whose smoke now began to perfume, or, according to James,
to poison, the air of England.  His Majesty had all the superstitions
of the age, and one of his earliest acts was the passage of a statute
punishing witchcraft with death.  Under that law many a wretched woman
perished on the scaffold, whose only crime was that she was old, ugly,
and friendless.

417. The Great Puritan Petition (1603).

During the latter part of Elizabeth's reign, the Puritans (S378) in
England had increased so rapidly that Archbishop Whitgift told James
he was amazed to find how "the vipers" had multiplied.  The Puritans
felt that the Reformation had not been sufficiently thorough.

They complained that many of the forms and ceremonies of the Church of
Engalnd were by no means in harmony with the Scriptures.  Many of them
wished also to change the Episcopal form of Church government, and
instead of having bishops appointed by the King, to adopt the more
democratic method of having presbyters or elders chosen by the

While James was on the way from Scotland to London to receive the
crown, the Puritans presented the "Millenary Petition" to him.  It was
so called because it purported to have a thousand signers.  The
ministers presenting it asked that they might be permitted to preach
without wearing the white gown called a surplice, to baptize without
making the sign of the cross on the child's forehead, and to perform
the marriage ceremony without using the ring.  Bishop Hooker and Lord
Bacon had pleaded for a certain degree of toleration for the Puritans.
They even quoted the words of Christ: "He that is not against us is
for us."  But the King had no patience with such a plea.

418. Hampton Court Conference (1604).

The King convened a conference at Hampton Court, near London, to
consider the Petition, or rather to make a pedantic display of his
own learning.  The probability that he would grant the petitioners'
request was small.  James had come to England disgusted with the
violence of the Scotch Presbyterians or Puritans (S378), especially
since Andrew Melville, one of their leading ministers in Edinburgh,
had seized his sleeve at a public meeting and addressed him, with a
somewhat brutal excess of truth, as "God's silly vassal."[1]

[1] Gardiner in the "Dictionary of National (British) Biography,"
"James I," thinks that by "silly" Melville meant "weak."  But that is
not much improvement.

But the new sovereign had a still deeper reason for his antipathy to
the Puritans.  He saw that their doctrine of equality in the Church
naturally led to that equality in the State.  If they objected to
Episcopal government in the one, might they not presently object to
royal government in the other? Hence to all their arguments he
answered with his favorite maxim, "No bishop, no king," meaning that
the two must stand or fall together.

At the Hampton Court Conference all real freedom of discussion was
practically prohibited.  The Conference, however, had one good result,
for the King ordered a new and revised translation of the Bible to be
made (SS254, 357).  It was published a few years later (1611).  This
translation of the Scriptures excels all others in simplicity,
dignity, and beauty of language.  After more than three hundred years
it still remains the version used in the great majority of Protestant
churches and Protestant homes wherever English is spoken.

James regarded the Conference as a success.  He had refuted the
Puritans, as he believed, with much Latin and some Greek.  He ended by
declaiming against them with such unction that one enthusiastic bishop
declared that his Majesty must be specially inspired by the Holy

He closed the meeting by imprisoning the ten persons who had presented
the petition, on the ground that it tended to sedition and rebellion.
Henceforth, the King's attitude toward the Puritans (S378) was
unmistakable.  "I will make them conform," said he, "or I will harry
them out of the land" (S422).

Accordingly, a law was enacted which required every curate to accept
the Thirty-Nine Articles (S381) and the Prayer Book of the Church of
England (S381) without reservation.  This act drove several hundred
clergymen from the Established Church.

419. The Divine Right of Kings, 1604; the Protest of the Commons;

As if with the desire of further alienating his people, James now
constantly proclaimed the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings.  This
theory, which was unknown to the English constitution, declared that
the King derived his power and right to rule directly from God, and in
no way from the people.[1]  "It is atheism and blasphemy," he said,
"to dispute what God can do, ... so it is presumption and high
contempt in a subject to dispute what a king can do."

[1] James's favorite saying was, "A Deo rex, a rege lex" (God makes
the king, the king makes the law).  He boasted that kings might, as he
declared, "make what liked them law and gospel."

In making these utterances James seems to have entirely forgotten that
he owed his throne to that act of the English Parliament which
accepted him as Elizabeth's successor (S415).  In his exalted position
as head of the nation, he boasted of his power much like the dwarf in
the story, who, perched on the giant's shoulders, cries out, "See how
big I am!"

Acting on this assumption, James levied customs duties on goods
without asking the consent of Parliament; violated the privileges of
the House of Commons; rejected members who had been legally elected;
and imprisoned those who dared to criticize his course.  The contest
was kept up with bitterness during the whole reign.

Toward its close James truckled meanly to the power of Spain, hoping
thereby to marry his son Charles to a Spanish princess.  Later, he
made a feeble and futile effort to help the Protestant party in the
great Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), which had begun between the
Catholics and Protestants in Germany.  The House of Commons implored
the King not to humiliate himself and the nation at the feet of
Spain.  The King replied by warning the House not to meddle with
matters which did not concern them, and denied their right to freedom
of speech.  The Commons solemnly protested, and James seized their
official journal, and with his own hands tore out the record of the
protest (1621).

Yet, notwithstanding his arbitrary character, James was easily managed
by those who would flatter his vanity.  For this reason he was always
under the control of worthless favorites like Carr, Earl of Somerset,
or Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.  These men were the secret power
behind the throne, and they often dictated the policy of the Crown.

420. The Gunpowder Plot (1605).

The King's arbitrary spirit angered the House of Commons, many of whom
were Puritans (S378).  They believed that the King secretly favored
the Roman Catholics; and for this reason they increased the stringency
of the laws against persons of that religion.  To vindicate himself
from this suspicion, the King proceeded to execute the new statutes
with rigor.  As a rule, the Catholic were loyal subjects.  We have
seen that when Spain threatened to invade the country, they fought as
valiantly in its defense as the Protestants themselves (SS399, 400).
Many of them were now ruined by enormous fines, while the priests were
driven from the realm.

One of the sufferers by these unjust measures was Robert Catesby, a
Catholic gentleman of good position.  He, with the aid of a Yorkshire
man, named Guy Fawkes, and about a dozen more, formed a plot to blow
up the Parliament House on the day the King was to open the session
(November 5, 1605).  Their intention, after they had thus summarily
disposed of the government, was to induce the Catholics to rise and
proclaim a new sovereign.  The plot was discovered, the conspirators
were executed, and the Catholics treated with greater severity than
ever (S382).

421. American Colonies, Virginia, 1607.

A London joint-stock company of merchants and adventurers, or
speculators, established the first permanent English colony in
America, on the coast of Virginia, in 1607, at a place which they
called Jamestown, in honor of the King.  (See map facing p. 222.)  The
colony was wholly under the control of the Crown.

The religion was to be that of the Church of England.  Most of those
who went out were described as "gentlemen," that is, persons not
brought up to manual labor.  Fortunately the eneergy and determined
courage of Captain John Smith, who was the real soul of the
enterprise, saved it from miserable failure.

Negro slavery, which in those days touched no man's conscience, was
introduced, and by its means great quantities of tobacco were raised
for export.  The settlement grew in population and wealth, and at the
end of twelve years (1619) it had secured the privilege of making its
own local laws, thus becoming practically a self-governing community.

422. The Pilgrims; the New Power.

The year after the Virginia legislature was established, another band
of emigrants went out from England, not west, but east; not to seek
prosperity, but greater religious freedom.  James's declaration that
he would make all men conform to the Established Church, or drive them
out of the land, was having its due effect (S418).

Those who continued to refuse to conform were fined, cast into filthy
prisons, beaten, and often half starved, so that the old and feeble
soon died.  Strange to say, this kind of treatment did not win over
the Puritans to the side of the bishops and the King.  On the
contrary, it set many of them to thinking more seriously than ever of
the true relations of the government to religion.

The result was that not a few came to the conclusion that each body of
Christians had the right to form a religious society of its own,
wholly independent of the state.  That branch of the Puritans (S378)
who held this opinion got the name of Independents, or Separatists,
because they were determined to separate from the Established Church
of England and conduct their worship and govern their religious
societies as they deemed best.

In the little village of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire (see map opposite),
Postmaster William Brewster, William Bradford, John Carver, and some
others, mostly farmers and poor men of the neighborhood, had organized
an independent religious society with John Robinson for its minister.
After a time they became convinced that so long as they remained in
England they could never be safe from persecution.  They therefore
resolved to leave their native country.  They could not get a royal
license to go to America, and for this reason they emigrated to
Holland, where all men were free to establish societies for the
worship of God in their own manner.  With much difficulty and danger
they managed to escape to that country.

After remaining in Holland about twelve years, a part of them
succeeded in obtaining from King James the privilege of emigrating to
America.[1] A London trading company, which was sending out an
expedition for fish and furs, agreed to furnish the Pilgrims passage
by the Mayflower, though on terms so hard that the poor exiles said
the "conditions were fitter for thieves and bondslaves than for honest

[1] See "Why did the Pilgrim Fathers come to New England?" by Edwin
D. Mead, in the New Englander, XLI, 711.

These Pilgrims, or wanderers, set forth in 1620 for that New World
beyond the sea, which they hoped would redress the wrongs of the Old.
Landing at Plymouth, in Massachusetts, they established a colony on
the basis of "equal laws for the general good."  Ten years later, John
Winthrop, a Puritan gentleman of wealth from Groton, Suffolk (see map
opposite), followed with a large number of emigrants and settled
Boston (1630).  During the next decade no less than twenty thousand
Englishmen found a home in America.  But to the little band that
embarked under Bradford and Brewster in the Mayflower, the scene of
whose landing at Plymouth is painted on the walls of the Houses of
Parliament, belongs the first credit of the great undertaking.

Of that enterprise one of their brethren in England wrote in the time
of their severest distress, with prophetic foresight, "Let it not be
grievous to you that you have been instruments to break the ice for
others; the honor shall be yours to the world's end."  From this time
forward the American coast south of the Bay of Fundy was settled
mainly by English emigrants, and in the course of a little more than a
century (1620-1733), the total number of colonies had reached
thirteen.  Thus the nation of Great Britain was beginning to expand
into that *greater* Britain which it had discovered and planted beyond
the sea.

Meanwhile a new power had arisen in England.  It was mightier even
than that of kings, because greater for both good and evil.  Its
influence grew up very gradually.  It was part of the fruit of
Caxton's work undertaken nearly two centuries earlier (S306).  This
power appeared in the spring of 1622, under the name of the _Weekly
News_,--the first regular newspaper.

423. The Colonization of Ireland (1611).

While the colonization of America was going on, King James was himself
planning a very different kind of colony in the northeast of Ireland.
The greater part of the province of Ulster, which had been the scene
of the rebellion under Elizabeth (S402), had been seized by the
Crown.  The King now granted these lands to settlers from Scotland and
England.  The city of London founded a colony which they called
Londonderry, and by this means Protestantism was firmly and finally
established in the north of the island.

424. The "Addled Parliament"; the New Stand taken by the House of
Commons (1610-1614).

The House of Commons at this period began to slowly recover the power
it had lost under the Tudors (S350).  James suffered from a chronic
lack of money.  He was obliged to apply to Parliament to supply his
wants (1614), but that body was determined to grant nothing without
reforms.  It laid down the principle, to which it firmly adhered, that
the King should not have the nation's coin unless he would promise to
right the nation's wrongs.

After several weeks of angry discussion the King dissolved what was
nicknamed the "Addled Parliament," because its enemies accused it of
having accomplished nothing.  In reality it had accomplished much for
though it had not passed a single bill, it had shown by its determined
attitude the growing stregnth of the people.  For the next seven years
James ruled without summoning a Parliament.  In order to obtain means
to support his army in Ireland, the King created a new title of rank,
that of baronet,[1] which he granted to any one who would pay
liberally for it.  As a last resort to get funds he compelled all
persons having an income of forty[2] pounds or more a year, derived
from landed property, to accept knighthood (thus incurring feudal
obligations and payments [S150]) or purchase exemption by a heavy

[1] Baronet: This title (S263, note 1) does not confer the right to a
seat in the House of Lords.  A baronet is designated as "Sir,"
e.g. Sir John Franklin.
[2] This exaction was ridiculed by the wits of the time in these

        "He that hat forty pounds per annum
         Shall be promoted from the plow;
         His wife shall take the wall of her grannum*--
         Honor's sold so dog-cheap now."

The distraint of knighthood, as it was called, began at least as far
back as Edward I, 1278.
*Take precedence of her grandmother.

425. Impeachment of Lord Bacon (1621).

When James did finally summon a Parliament (1621), it met in a stern
mood.  The House of Commons impeached Lord Bacon (S393) for having
taken bribes in lawsuits tried before him as judge.  The House of
Lords convicted him.  He confessed the crime, but pleaded extenuating
circumstances, adding, "I beseech your lordships to be merciful unto a
broken reed"; but Bacon had been in every respect a servile tool of
James, and no mercy was granted.  Parliament imposed a fine of 40,000
pounds, with imprisonment.  Had the sentence been fully executed, it
would have caused his utter ruin.  The King, however, interposed, and
his favorite escaped with a few days' confinement in the Tower.

426. Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Meanwhile Sir Walter Raleigh (S392) had been executed on a charge of
treason.  He had been a prisoner in the Tower for many years
(1603-1616), accused of having plotted against the King.[3] Influenced
by greed for gain, James released him to go on an expedition in search
of gold to replenish the royal coffers.  Raleigh, contrary to the
King's orders, came into collision with the Spaniards on the coast of
South America.[1]  He failed in his enterprise, and brought back
nothing.  Raleigh was especially hated by Spain, not only on account
of the part he had taken in the defeat of the Armada (S400), but also
for his subsequent attacks on Spanish treasure ships and property.

[3] At the beginning of the reign two plots were discovered: one,
called the "Main Plot," aimed to change the government and perhaps to
place Arabella Stuart, cousin of James, on the throne.  The object of
the second conspiracy, called the "Bye Plot," was to obtain religious
toleration.  Raleigh was accused of having been implicated in the Main
[1] It is said that James had treacherously informed the Spanish
ambassador of Raleigh's voyage, so that the collision was inevitable.

The King of that country now demanded vengeance, and James, in order
to get a pretext for his execution, revived the sentence which had
been passed on Raleigh fifteen years before.  He doubtless hoped that,
by sacrificing Raleigh, he might secure the hand of the daughter of
the King of Spain for his son, Prince Charles.  Raleigh died as Sir
Thomas More did (S351), his last words a jest at death.  His deeper
feelings found expression in the lines which he wrote on the fly leaf
of his Bible the night before his judicial murder:

        "Even such is Time, that takes in trust
            Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
         And pays us but with age and dust;
            Who in the dark and silent grave,
         When we have wandered all our ways,
         Shuts up the story of our days.
         Buy from this earth, this grave, this dust,
         My God shall raise me up, I trust!"

427. Death of James.

James died suddenly a few years later, a victim of sloth, drunkenness,
and gluttony.  He had taught his son, Prince Charles, to believe that
the highest power on earth was the royal will.  It was a terrible
inheritance for the young man, for just as he was coming to the
throne, the people were beginning to insist that their will should be

428. Summary.

Three chief events demand our attention in this reign.  First, the
increased power and determined attitude of the House of Commons.
Secondly, the growth of the Puritan and Independent parties in
religion.  Thirdly, the establishment of permanent, self-governing
colonies in Virginia and New England, destined in time to unite with
others and become a new and independent nation,--the American

Charles I--1625-1649

429. Accession of Charles; Result of the Doctrine of the Divine Right
of Kings.

The doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, which had been so zealously
put forth by James (S419), bore its full and fatal fruit in the career
of his son.  Unlike his father, Charles was by nature a gentleman.  In
his private and personal relations he was conscientious and
irreproachable; in public matters he was exactly the reverse.

This singular contrast--this double character, as it were--arose from
the fact that, as a man, Charles felt himself bound by truth and
honor, but, as a sovereign, he considered himself superior to such
obligations.  In all his dealings with the nation he seems to have
acted on the principle that the people had no rights which kings were
bound to respect.

430. The King's Two Mistakes at the Outset.

Charles I began his reign with two mistakes.  First, he insisted on
retaining the Duke of Buckingham, his father's favorite (S419), as his
chief adviser, though the Duke was, for good reasons, generally
distrusted and disliked.  Next, shortly after his accession, Charles
married Henrietta Maria, a French Catholic princess.  The majority of
the English people hated her religion, and her extravagant habits soon
got the King into trouble.

To meet her incessant demands for money, and to carry on a petty war
with Spain, and later with France, he was obliged to ask Parliament
for funds.  Parliament declined to grant him the supply he demanded
unless he would redress certain grievances of long standing.  Charles
refused and dissolved that body.

431. The Second Parliament (1626); the King extorts Loans.

Necessity, however, compelled the King to call a new Parliament.  when
it met, the Commons, under the lead of Sir John Eliot and other
eminent men, proceeded to draw up articles of impeachment, accusing
the Duke of Buckingham of mismanagement (SS243, 425).  To save his
favorite from being brought to trial, the King dissolved Parliament
(1626), and as no supplies of money had been voted, Charles now
proceeded to levy illegal taxes and to extort illegal loans.  Sir John
Eliot, Sir Edmund Hampden, cousin of the famous John Hampden (S436),
and Thomas Wentworth refused (1627) to lend his Majesty the sum asked
for.  For this refusal they were thrown into prison.  This led to
increased agitation and discontent.  At length the King found himself
again forced to summon Parliament; to the Parliament, Eliot and
Wentworth, with others who sympathized with them, were elected.

432. ThePetition of Right, 1628.

Shortly after assembling, the House of Commons, led by Sir Thomas
Wentworth and John Pym, drew up the Petition of Right, which passed
the Lords and was presented to the King for his signature.  The
Petition was a law reaffirming some of the chief provisions of the
Great Charter, which the nation, more than four centuries earlier, had
extorted from King John (S199).  It stipulated in particular, that no
taxes whatever should be levied without the consent of Parliament, and
that no one should be unlawfully imprisoned for refusing to pay such
taxes.  In the petition there was not an angry word, but as a member
of the Commons declared, "We say no more than what a worm trodden upon
would say if he could speak: I pray thee tread on me no more."

433. Charles signs the Petition of Right, 1628; but he revives

Charles refused to sign the Petition; but finding that money could be
got on no other terms, he at length gave his signature, 1628.[1] But
for Charles to pledge his royal word to the nation meant its direct
and open violation.  The King now revived the "monopolies," which had
been abolished under Elizabeth (S388).

[1] Petition of Right: See Summary of Constitutional History in the
Appendix, p. xvi, S17, and p. xxix.

By these grants certain persons bought the sole right of dealing in
nearly every article of food, drink, fuel, and clothing.  The Commons
denounced this outrage.  One member said: "The `monopolists' have
seized everything.  They sip in our cup, they sup in our dish, they
sit by our fire."

434. Eliot's Remonstrance (1629).

Sir John Eliot (S431) drew up a remonstrance against these new acts of
royal tyranny, but the Speaker of the House of Commons, acting under
the King's order, refused to put the measure to vote, and endeavored
to adjourn.

Several members sprang forward and held him in his chair until the
resolutions were passed, which declared that whoever levied or paid
any taxes not voted by Parliament, or attempted to make any change in
religion, was an enemy to the kingdom.  In revenge Charles sent Eliot
to close confinement in the Tower.  He died there three years later, a
martyr in the cause of liberty.

435. The King rules without Parliament; "Thorough."

For the next eleven years (1629-1640) the King ruled without a
Parliament.  The obnoxious Buckingham (S431) had led an expedition
against France which resulted in miserable failure.  He was about
setting out on a second expedition to aid the Huguenots, who had
rebelled against the French King, when he was assassinated (1628).
His successor was Sir Thomas Wentworth, who later (1640) became Earl
of Strafford.  Wentworth had signed the Petition of Right (S432), but
he was now a renegade to liberty, and wholly devoted to the King.  By
means of the Court of Star Chamber (S330) and his scheme called
"Thorough," which meant that he would stop at nothing to make Charles
absolute, Strafford labored to establish a complete despotism.

Archbishop Laud worked with Strafford through the High Commission
Court (S382).  Together, the two exercised a crushing and merciless
system of political and religious tyranny; the Star Chamber fining and
imprisoning those who refused the illegal demands for money made upon
them, the High Commission Court showing itself equally zealous in
punishing those who could not conscientiously conform to the
Established Church of England.[1]

[1] To strengthen the hands of Archbishop Laud and to secure absolute
uniformity of faith, Charles issued (1628) a Declaration (still found
in the English editions of the Book of Common Prayer), which forbade
any one to understand or explain the Thirty-Nine Articles (S383) in
any sense except that established by the bishops and the King.

Charles exasperated the Puritans (S378) still further by reissuing
(1633) his father's Declaration of Sunday Sports, which had never
really been enforced.  This Declaration encouraged parishioners to
dance, play games, and practice archery in the churchyards after
divine service.  Laud used it as a test, and turned all clergymen out
of their livings who refused to read it from their pulpits.  When the
Puritans finally got the upper hand (1644) they publicly burned the

436. "Ship Money"; John Hampden refuses to pay it, 1637.

To obtain means with which to equip a standing army, the King forced
the whole country to pay a tax known as "ship money," on the pretext
that it was needed to free the English coast from the depredations of
Algerine pirates.  During previous reigns an impost of this kind on
the coast towns in time of war might have been considered legitimate,
since its original object was to provide ships for the national

In time of peace, however, such a demand could not be rightfully made,
especially on the inland towns, as the Petition of Right (S432)
expressly provided that no money should be demanded from the country
without the consent of its representatives in Parliament.  John
Hampden, a wealthy farmer in Buckinghamshire, refused to pay the
twenty shillings required from him.  He did not grudge the money, but
he would not tamely submit to have even that trifling sum taken from
him contrary to law.  The case was brought to trial (1637), and the
corrupt judges decided for the King.

437. Hampden and Cromwell endeavor to leave the Country.

Meanwhile John Winthrop with many other Puritans emigrated to America
to escape oppression.  According to tradition John Hampden (S436) and
his cousin, Oliver Cromwell, who was a member of the last Parliament,
embarked on a vessel in the Thames for New England.  But it is said
that they were prevented from sailing by the King's order.  The two
friends remained to teach the despotic sovereign a lesson which
neither he nor England ever forgot.[1]

[1] Macaulay's "Essay on Hampden," Guizot's "English Revolution," and
other well-known authorities, relate the proposed sailing of Hampden
and Cromwell, but several recent writers question its truth.

438. The Difficulty with the Scottish Church (1637).

The King determined to force the use of a prayer book, similar to that
used in the English Church (S381), on the Scotch Puritans.  But no
sooner had the Dean of Edinburgh opened the book than a general cry
arose in the church, "A Pope, a Pope! Antichrist! Stone him!" When the
bishops endeavored to appease the tumult, the enraged congregation
clapped, stamped, and yelled.

Again the dean tried to read a prayer from the hated book, when an old
woman hurled her stool at his head, shouting, "D'ye mean to say
mass[1] at my lug [ear]?" Riots ensued, and eventually the Scotch
solemnly bound themselves by a Covenant to resist all attempts to
change their religion.  The King resolved to force his prayer book on
the Covenanters[2] at the point of the bayonet.

[1] Mass: here used for the Roman Catholic church service.
[2] The first Covenanters were the Scottish leaders, who, in 1557,
bound themselves by a solemn covenant to overthrow all attempts to
reestablish the Catholic religion in Scotland; when Charles I
undertook to force the Scotch to accept Episcopacy the Puritan party
in Scotland drew up a new covenant (1638) to resist it.

But he had no money to pay his army, and the "Short Parliament," which
he summoned in the spring of 1640, refused to grant any unless the
King would redress the nation's grievances.

439. The "Long Parliament," 1640; Impeachment of Strafford and Laud;
the "Grand Remonstrance."

In the autumn Charles summoned that memorable Parliament which met in
November of 1640.  It sat almost continuously for thirteen years, and
so got the name of the "Long Parliament."[3] This new Parliament was
made up of three parties: the Church of England party, the
Presbyterian party, and the Independents (S422).  The spirit of this
body soon showed itself.  John Pym (S432), the leader of the House of
Commons, demanded the impeachment of Strafford (S435) for high treason
and despotic oppression.  He was tried and sentenced to execution.
The King refused to sign the death warrant, but Strafford himself
urged him to do so in order to appease the people.  Charles,
frightened at the tumult that had arisen, and entreated by his wife,
finally put his hand to the paper, and thus sent his most faithful
servant to the block.

Parliament next charged Archbishop Laud (S435) with attempting to
overthrow the Protestant religion.  It condemned him to prison, and
ultimately to death.  Next, it abolished the Star Chamber and the High
Commission Court (S435).  It next passed the Triennial Act,[1] a bill
requiring Parliament to be summoned once in three years, and also a
statute forbidding the collection of "ship money" unless authorized by

[1] The Triennial Act was repealed (in form only) in 1664; it was
reenacted in 1694; in 1716 it was superseded by the Septennial Act

Under the leadership of Pym, it followed this by drawing up the "Grand
Remonstrance,"[2] which was printed and circulated throughout the
country.  The "Remonstrance" set forth the faults of the King's
government, while it declared utter distrust of his policy.  Cromwell
did not hesitate to say that if the House of Commons had failed to
adopt and print the "Remonstrance," he would have left England never
to return.  The radicals in the House next made an ineffectual attempt
to pass the "Root and Branch Bill," for the complete destruction--
"root and branch"--of the Established Church of England.  Finally, the
House enacted a law forbidding the dissolution of the present
Parliament except by its own consent.

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xvii,

440. The King attempts to arrest Five Members (1642).

The parliamentary leaders had entered into communication with the
Scots and so laid themselves open to a charge of treason.  It was
rumored, too, that they were about to take a still bolder step and
impeach the Queen for having conspired with the Catholics and the
Irish to destroy the liberties of the country.  No one knew better
than Charles how strong a case could be made out against his frivolous
and unprincipled consort.

Driven to extremities, Charles determined to seize the five members,
John Pym, John Hampden (SS432, 436), and three others, who headed the
opposition.[3] The King commanded the House of Commons to give them up
for trial.  The request was not complied with and the Queen urged
Charles to take them by force, saying, "Go along, you coward, and pull
those rascals out by the ears!"  Thus taunted, the King went on the
next day to the House of Parliament with a company of soldiers to
seize the members.  They had been forewarned, and had left the House,
taking refuse in the "city," which showed itself then, as always, on
the side of liberty (S34, note 1).  Leaving his soldiers at the door,
the King entered the House of Commons.  Seeing that the five members
were absent, the King turned to the Speaker and asked where they
were.  The Speaker, kneeling before the King, answered, "May it please
your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this
place but as this House is pleased to direct me."  Vexed that he could
learn nothing further, Charles left the hall amid ominous cries of
"Privilege! privilege!"[1]

[3] The full list was Hampden, Pym, Hollis, Haselrig, and Strode, to
which a sixth, Mandeville, was added later.  Copley's fine painting of
the "Attempted Arrest" is in the Boston Public Library.[1] Privilege:
the privilege of Parliament to debate all questions exempt from royal

441. The Great Civil War, 1642-1649, between the King and Parliament.

The King, baffled in his purpose, resolved to coerce Parliament by
military force.  He left London in 1642, never to return until he came
as a prisoner, and was delivered into the custody of that legislative
body that he had insulted and defied.  Parliament now attempted to
come to an understanding with the King.

There was then no standing army in England, but each county and large
town had a body of militia, formed of citizens who were occasionally
mustered for drill.  This militia was under the control of the King.
Parliament insisted on his resigning that control to them.  Charles
refused to give up his undoubted constitutional right in the matter,
and raised the royal flag at Nottingham, August, 1642.  Parliament
then organized an army of its own, and the war began.

442. Cavaliers and Roundheads.

It opened in the autumn of that year (1642) with the battle of
Edgehill, Warwickshire, and was at first favorable to the King.  On
his side were a majority of the nobility, the clergy and the country
gentlemen.  They were mainly members of the Church of England and were
known collectively as Cavaliers, from their dashing and daring
horsemanship.  Their leader was Prince Rupert, a nephew of Charles.[1]

[1] See "A charge with Prince Rupert," _Atlantic Monthly_, III, 725.

On the side of Parliament were the shopkeepers, small farmers and
landowners, with a considerable number of men of high rank; as a rule
they were Puritans (S378).  The King's party nicknamed them
"Roundheads," because, despising the long locks and effeminate
ringlets worn by the Cavaliers, they cut their hair short so that it
showed the shape of the head.[2]  Essex and Fairfax were the first
leaders of the "Roundheads"; later, Cromwell became their commander.

[2] "Those roundheaded dogs that bawled against bishops," said the

443. How the Country was divided; Rise of Political Newspapers.

Taking England as a whole, we may say that the southeastern half, that
is, what was then the richest part of England, with London and most of
the other large towns, was against the King, and that the southwestern
half, with most of the North, was for him.  (See map opposite.)  Each
side made great sacrifices in carrying on the war.  The Queen sold her
crown jewels, and the Cavaliers melted down their silver plate to
provide money to pay the King's troops.

On behalf of the People's army Parliament imposed heavy taxes, and
levied now for the first time a duty on domestic products, especially
on ales and liquors, known as the "Excise Tax."  Furthermore, it
required each household to fast once a week, and to give the price of
a dinner to support the soldiers who were fighting against the King.

Parliament also passed what was called the "Self-denying Ordinance"
(1644) (repeated in 1645).  It required all members who had any civil
or military office to resign, and, as Cromwell seaid, "deny themselves
and their private interests for the public good."  The real object of
this measure was to get rid of incompetent commanders, and give the
People's army (soon to be remodeled) the vigorous men that the times

With the outbreak of the war great numbers of little local newspapers
sprang into short-lived existence in imitation of the first
publication of that sort, the _Weekly News_, which was issued not
quite twenty years before in the reign of James I (S422).  Each of the
rival armies, it is said, carried a printing press with it, and waged
furious battles in type against the other.  The whole country was
inundated with floods of pamphlets discussing every conceivable
religious and political question.

444. The "New Model"; Death of John Hampden; the Solemn League and
Covenant (1642-1645).

At the first battle fought, at Edgehill, Warwickshire (1642), Cromwell
saw that the Cavaliers (S442) had the advantage, and told John Hampden
(SS436, 440) that "a set of poor tapsters [drawers of liquor] and town
apprentices would never fight against men of honor."  He forthwith
proceeded to organize his regiment of "Ironsides," a "lovely company,"
he said, none of whom swore or gambled.

After the first Self-denying Ordinance was passed (S443), Cromwell and
Fairfax formed a new People's army of "God-fearing men" on the same
pattern, almost all of whom were Independents (S439).  This was called
the "New Model" (1645) and was placed under the joint command of the
men who organized it.  Very many of its officers were kinsmen of
Cromwell's, and it speedily became the most formidable body of
soldiers of its size in the world,--always ready to preach, pray,
exhort, or fight.[1]

[1] "The common soldiers, as well as the officers, did not only pray
and preach among themselves, but went up into the pulpits in all
churches and preached to the people."--Clarendon, "History of the
Rebellion," Book X, 79.

Meanwhile John Hampden (SS436, 440) had been mortally wounded in a
skirmish at Chalgrove Field, Oxfordshire.  His death was a terrible
blow to the parliamentary army fighting in behalf of the rights of the

[2] See Macaulay's "Essay on Hampden."  Clarendon says that Hampden's
death produced as great consternation in his party "as if their whole
army had been cut off."

Parliament endeavored to persuade the Scotch to give their aid in the
war against the King.  The latter finally agreed to do so (1643) on
condition that Parliament would sign the Solemn League and Covenant
(S438).  Parliament signed it, and so made the Scotch Presbyterian
worship the state religion of England and Ireland (1647).  In reality
only a small part of the English people accepted it; but the charge
forced a large number of Episcopal clergymen to leave their parishes.

445. Marston Moor and Naseby, 1644, 1645.

On the field of Marston Moor, Yorkshire, 1644, the north of England
was conquered by Cromwell with his invincible little army.  The
following year Cromwell's "Ironsides," who "trusted in God and kept
their powder dry," gained the decisive victory of Naseby, 1645, in the
Midlands.  (See map facing p. 252.)  After the fight papers belonging
to the King were picked up on the battlefield.  They proved that
Charles intended betraying those who were negotiating with him for
peace, and that he was planning to bring foreign troops to England.
The discovery of these papers, which were published by Parliament, was
more damaging to the royal cause than the defeat itself.

446. The King and Parliament.

Standing on the walls of the ancient city of Chester, Charles saw his
last army utterly routed (1645).  Shortly afterwards he fled to the
Scots.  Oxford, the King's chief city in the Midlands, surrendered to
Fairfax (1646).  The first civil war was now practically over.  The
Scots gave up the King (1647) to the parliamentary commissioners, and
he was taken to Holmby House, Northamptonshire.  There Cromwell and
the army made overtures to him, but without effect.  He was then
brought by the Parliamentary or People's army to Hampton Court, near

Here, and elsewhere, the army again attempted to come to some definite
understanding with the King, but all to no purpose.  Politically
speaking, Charles was his own worst enemy.  He was false to the core,
and, as Carlyle has said: "A man whose word will not inform you at all
what he means, or will do, is not a man you can bargain with.  You
must get out of that man's way, or put him out of yours."

447. The Second Civil War (1648); Pride's Purge (1648); the "Rump

After two years spent in fruitless negotiations, Charles, who had fled
to Carisbrooke Castle in the Isle of Wight, made a secret treaty with
the Scots (1648), promising to sanction the establishment of the
Scotch Presbyterian Church in England (S444), if they would send an
army into the country to restore him to the throne.[1]

[1] When Cromwell found out that Charles had resolved to destroy him
and the Independent army, he apparently made up his mind to put the
King to death.   See Lord Broghill's story in S. R. Gardiner's
"History of the Great Civil War," III, 259.

The Scots marched into England, the Royalists rose to aid them, and
the second civil war began.  It speedily ended in the utter defeat of
the King's forces.  The People's army now vowed that they would bring
the King to justice.  To this neither the Presbyterians in the House
of Commons nor the members of the House of Lords would agree.

Colonel Pride then proceeded (1648), as he said, to purge the "Long
Parliament" (S439) by driving out all who were opposed to this
measure.  Cromwell had no part in Pride's expulsion of members, though
he afterwards expressed his approval of it.  Those who remained were a
small body of Independents only (SS422, 439).  They did not number
sixty; they became the mere tool of the Parliamentary or People's army
and were called in derision the "Rump Parliament."

448. Execution of King Charles, 1649.

This so-called "Rump Parliament" named one hundred and thiry-five
persons to constitute a high court of justice to try the King on a
charge of treason against the nation; the chief judge or presiding
officer was John Bradshaw.  Less than half of these judges were
present throughout the trial.  Of those who signed the death warrant
Oliver Cromwell was one.  Prince Charles, the King's son, then a
refugee in France, made every effort to save his father.  He sent a
blank paper, bearing his signature and seal, to the judges, offering
to bind himself to any conditions they might insert, provided they
would spare his father's life; but no answer was returned.

The King was brought into court in Westminster Hall, London; a week
later the trial was over.  The judges pronounced sentence of death on
"Charles Stuart, King of England," as a "tyrant, traitor, murderer,
and public enemy."

Throughout the trial Charles bore himself with dignity and
self-possession.  The crisis had brought out the best elements of his
nature.  He was beheaded January 30, 1649, in London in front of the
royal palace of Whitehall.  "A great shudder ran through the crowd
that saw the deed, then came a shriek, and all immediately dispersed."
Tradition declares that Cromwell went secretly that night to see the
beheaded corpse.  He looked steadfastly at it, shook his head, sighed
out the words "Cruel necessity!" and departed.[1]

[1] S. R. Gardiner's "Great Civil War," III, 604; and see in
Delaroche's works the picture of Cromwell looking at the King's

449. Summary.

The whole of Charles I's reign must be regarded as a prolonged
struggle between the King and the nation.  Under the Tudors and James
I the royal power had been growing more and more despotic, while at
the same time the progress of the Protestant Reformation and of
Puritanism had encouraged freedom of thought.

Between these opposite forces a collision was inevitable, since
religious liberty always favors political liberty.  Had Charles known
how to yield in time, or been sincere in the concessions which he did
make, all might have gone well.  His duplicity was his ruin.  Though
his death did not absolutely destroy the theory of the Divine Right of
Kings, yet it gave it a blow from which it never recovered.

The Commonwealth and Protectorate--1649-1660

450. Establishment of the Commonwealth, or Republic, 1649.

While the crowd that had witnessed the execution of Charles I was
leaving the spot (S448), the remnant of the House of Commons met.
This "Rump Parliament" (S447), composed of only about fifty members,
claimed the right to act for the whole nation.  A few days later it
abolished the House of Lords as "useless and dangerous."  Next, for
similar reasons, it abolished the office of king, and declared that
"The People are, under God, the origin of all just power."

England was now a commonwealth or republic, governed, in name at
least, by a Council of State.  Of this Council John Bradshaw (S448)
was president, and the poet Milton was foreign secretary, while
General Fairfax with Oliver Cromwell had command of the army.  The
real power was in the army, and the true head of the army was
Cromwell.  Without him the so-called republic could not have stood a

451. Radical Changes.

All members of the House of Commons, with those who held any civil or
military office, were required to swear allegiance to the Commonwealth
"without King, or House of Lords."  The use of the English church
service was forbidden, and the statues of Charles I in London were
pulled down and demolished.

The Great Seal of England (S145) had already been cast aside, and a
new one adopted, having on one side a map of England and Ireland, on
the other a representation of the House of Commons in session, with
the words, "In the first year of freedom, by God's blessing restored

[1] 1648 Old Style would here correspond to 1649 New Style. (See S545,
note 2.)

452. Difficulties of the New Republic.

Shortly after the establishment of the Commonwealth, General Fairfax
(S442) resigned his command, and Cromwell became the sole leader of
the military forces of the country.  But the new government, even with
his aid, had no easy task before it.

It had enemies in the Royalists, who, since the King's execution, had
grown stronger; in the Presbyterians, who hated both the "Rump
Parliament" (S450) and the Parliamentary army; finally, it had enemies
in its own ranks, for there were half-crazy fanatics.  "Levelers,"[1]
"Come-outers,"[2] and other "cattle and creeping things," who would be
satisfied with nothing but destruction and confusion.

[1] "Levelers": a name given to certain radical republicans who wished
to reduce all ranks and classes to the same level with respect to
political power and privileges.
[2] "Come-outers": those who abandoned all established ways in
government and religion.

Among these there were socialists, or communists, who, like those of
the present day, wished to abolish private property, and establish "an
equal division of unequal earnings," while others declared and acted
out their belief in the coming end of the world.  Eventually Cromwell
had to deal with these crack-brained enthusiasts in a decided way,
especially as some of them threatened to assassinate him in order to
hasten the advent of the personal reign of Christ and his saints on

453. The Late King's Son proclaimed King in Ireland and Scotland;
Dunbar; Worcester (1649-1651).

An attempt of the English Puritan party (S378) to root out Catholicism
in Ireland (1641) had caused a horrible insurrection.  The Royalist
party in Ireland now proclaimed Prince Charles, son of the late
Charles I, King.  Parliament deputed Cromwell to reduce that country
to order, and to destroy the Royalists.  Nothing could have been more
congenial to his "Ironsides" (S445) than such a crusade.  They
descended upon the unhappy island (1649), and wiped out the rebellion
in such a whirlwind of fire and slaughter that the horror of the
visitation has never been forgotten.  To this day the direst
imprecation a southern Irishman can utter is, "The curse of Cromwell
on ye!"[3]

[3] At Drogheda and Wexford, Cromwell, acting in accordance with the
laws of war of that day, massacred the garrisons that refused to

Several years later (1653-1654), Cromwell determined to put in
practice a still more drastic policy.  He resolved to repeople a very
large section of southern Ireland by driving out the Roman Catholic
inhabitants and giving their lands to English and Scotch Protestants.
It seemed to him the only effectual way of overcoming the resistance
which that island made to English rule.  By the use of military power,
backed up by an Act of Parliament, his generals forced the people to
leave their houses and emigrate to the province of Connaught on the
west coast.  Part of that district was so barren and desolate that it
was said, "it had not water enough to drown a man, trees enough to
hang him, or earth enough to bury him."  Thousands were compelled to
go into this dreary exile, and hundreds of families who refused were
shipped to the West Indies and sold to the planters as slaves for a
term of years,--a thing often done in that day with prisoners of war.

In Scotland also Prince Charles was looked upon as the legitimate
sovereign by a strong and influential party.  He found in the brave
Montrose,[1] who was hanged for treason at Edinburgh, and in other
loyal supporters far better friends than he deserved.  The Prince came
to Scotland (1650); while there, he was crowned and took the oath of
the Covenant (S438).  It must have been a bitter pill for a man of his
free and easy temperament.  But worse was to come, for the Scottish
Puritans made him sign a paper declaring that his father had been a
tyrant and that his mother was an idolater.  No wonder the caricatures
of the day represented the Scots as holding the Prince's nose to a
grindstone.  Later, Prince Charles rallied a small force to fight for
him, but it was utterly defeated at Dunbar (1650).

[1] See "The Execution of Montrose," in Aytoun's "Lays of the Scottish
Cavaliers." Prince Charles basely abandoned Montrose to his fate.

Twelve months afterward, on the anniversary of his defeat at Dunbar,
the Prince made a second attempt to obtain the crown.  At the battle
of Worcester Cromwell again routed his forces and brought the war to
an end.  Charles escaped in Shropshire, where he hid for a day in an
oak at Boscobel.  After many narrow escapes he at length succeeded in
getting out of the country.

454. Cromwell expels Parliament.

Cromwell now urged the necessity of dissolving the "Rump Parliament"
(S450) and of electing a Parliament which should really represent the
nation, reform the laws, and pass a general act of pardon.  In his
despatch to the House of Commons after the victory of Worcester, he
called the battle a "crowning mercy."  Some of the republicans in that
body took alarm at this phrase, and thought that Cromwell used it to
foreshadow a design to place the crown on his own head.  For this
reason, perhaps, they hesitated to dissolve.

But at last they could not withstand the pressure, and a bill was
introduced (1653) for summoning a new Parliament of four hundred
members, but with the provision that all members of the present House
were to keep their seats, and have the right to reject newly elected

Cromwell, with the army, believed this provision a trick on the part
of the "Rump" (S450) to keep themselves in perpetual power.

Sir Harry Vane, who was a leading member of the House of Commons, and
who had been governor of the colony of Massachusetts, feared that the
country was in danger of falling into the hands of Cromwell as
military dictator.  He therefore urged the immediate passage of the
bill as it stood.  Cromwell heard that a vote was about to be taken.
Putting himself at the head of a squad of soldiers, he suddenly
entered the House (1653).  After listening to the debate for some
time, he rose from his seat and charged the Commons with injustice and
misgovernment.  A member remonstrated.  Cromwell grew excited, saying:
"You are no Parliament! I say you are no Parliament!"  Then he called
in the musketeers.  They dragged the Speaker from his chair, and drove
the members after him.

As they passed out, Cromwell shouted "drunkard," "glutton,"
"extortioner," with other opprobrious names.  When all were gone, he
locked the door and put the key in his pocket.  During the night some
Royalist wag nailed a placard on the door, bearing the inscription in
large letters, "The House to let, unfurnished!"

455. Cromwell becomes Protector; the "Instrument of Government"

Cromwell summoned a new Parliament, which was practically of his own
choosing.  It consisted of one hundred and thirty-nine members, and
was known as the "Little Parliament."[1]  The Royalists nicknamed it
"Barebone's Parliament" from one of its members, a London leather
dealer named Praise-God Barebone.  Notwithstanding the irregularity of
its organization and the ridicule cast upon it, the "Barebone's
Parliament" proposed several reforms of great value, which the country
afterwards adopted.

[1] A regularly summoned Parliament, elected by the people, would have
been much larger.  This one was chosen from a list furnished by the
ministers of the various Independent churches (S422).  It was in no
true sense a representative body.

A council of Cromwell's leading men now secured the adoption of a
constitution entitled the "Instrument of Government."[1]  It made
Cromwell Lord Protector of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

[1] "Instrument of Government": The principal provisions of this
constitution were: (1) the government was vested in the Protector and
a council appointed for life; (2) Parliament, consisting of the House
of Commons only, was to be summoned every three years, and not to be
dissolved under five months; (3) a standing army of thirty thousand
was to be maintained; (4) all taxes were to be levied by Parliament;
(5) the system of representation was reformed, so that many large
places hitherto without representation in Parliament now obtained it;
(6) all Roman Catholics, and those concerned in the Irish rebellion,
were disfranchised forever.

Up to this time the Commonwealth had been a republic, nominally under
the control of the House of Commons, but as a matter of facct governed
by Cromwell and the army.  Now it became a republic under a Protector,
or President, whowas to hold his office for life.

A few years later (1657), Parliament offered the title of King to
Cromwell, and with it a new constitution called the "Humble Petition
and Advice."  The new constitution provided that Parliament should
consist of two houses, since the majority of influential men felt the
need of the restoration of the Lords (S450).  For, said a member of
"Barebone's Parliament," "the nation has been hopping on one leg"
altogether too long.  Cromwell had the same feeling, and endeavored to
put an end to the "hopping" by trying to restore the House of Lords,
but he could not get the Peers to meet.  He accepted the new
constitution, but the army objected to his wearing the crown, so he
simply remained Lord Protector.

456. Emigration of Royalists to America.

Under the tyranny of the Stuart Kings, John Winthrop and many other
noted Puritans had emigrated to Massachusetts and other parts of New
England.  During the Commonwealth the case was reversed, and numbers
of Royalists fled to Virginia.  Among them were John Washington, the
great-grandfather of George Washington, and the ancestors of
Jefferson, Patrick Henry, the Lees, Randolphs, and other prominent
families, destined in time to take part in founding a republic in the
New World much more democractic than anything the Old World had ever

457. Cromwell as a Ruler; Puritan Fanaticism.

When Cromwell's new Parliament (S455) ventured to criticize his
course, he dissolved it (1654) quite as peremptorily as the late King
had done (S431).  Soon afterwards, fear of a Royalist rebellion led
him to divide the country into eleven military districts (1655), each
governed by a major general, who ruled by martial law and with
despotic power.  All Royalist families were heavily taxed to support
Cromwell's standing army, all Catholic priests wre banished, and no
books or papers could be published without permission of the

Cromwell, however, though compelled to resort to severe measures to
secure peace, was, in spirit, no oppressor.  On the contrary, he
proved himself the Protector not only of the realm but of the
Protestants of Europe.  When they were threatened with persecution,
his influence saved them.  He showed, too, that in an age of bigotry
he was no bigot.  Puritan fanaticism, exasperated by the persecution
it had endured under James and Charles, often went to the utmost
extremes, even as "Hudibras"[1] said, to "killing of a cat on Monday
for catching of a rat on Sunday."

[1] "Hudibras": a burlesque poem by Samuel Butler (1663).  It
satirized the leading persons and parties of the Commonwealth, but
especially the Puritans.

It treated the most innocent customs, if they were in any way
associated with Catholicism or Episcopacy, as serious offenses.  It
closed all places of amusement; it condemned mirth as ungodly; it made
it a sin to dance round a Maypole, or to eat mince pie at Christmas.
Fox-hunting and horse-racing were forbidden, and bear-baiting
prohibited, "not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave
pleasure to the spectators."

In such an age, when a man could hardly claim to be religious unless
he wore sad-colored raiment, talked through his nose, and quoted
Scripture with great frequency, Cromwell showed exceptional moderation
and good sense.

458. Cromwell's Religious Toleration.

He favored the toleration of all forms of worship not directly opposed
to the government as then constituted.  He befriended the Quakers, who
were looked upon as the enemies of every form of worship, and who were
treated with cruel severity both in England and America.  He was
instrumental in sending the first Protestant missionaries to
Massachusetts to convert the Indiands, then supposed by many to be a
remnant of the lost tribes of Israel; and after an exclusion of many
centuries (S222), he permitted the Jews to return to England, and even
to build a synagogue in London.

On the other hand, there are few of the cathedral or parish churches
of England which do not continue to testify to the Puritan army's
destructive hatred of everything savoring of the rule of either Pope
or bishop.[1] The empty niches, where some gracious image of the
Virgin or the figure of some saint once looked down; the patched
remnants of brilliant stained glass, once part of a picture telling
some Scripture story; the mutilated statues of noted men; the tombs,
hacked and hewed by pike and sword, because they bore some emblem or
expression of the old faith,--all these still bear witness to the fury
of the Puritan soldiers, who did not respect even the graves of their
ancestors, if those ancestors had once thought differently from

[1] But part of this destruction occurred under Henry VIII and Edward
VI (SS352, 364)

459. Victories by Land and Sea; the Navigation Act (1651).

Yet during Cromwell's rule the country, notwithstanding all the
restrictions imposed by a stern military government, grew and
prospered.  The English forces gained victories by land and sea, and
made the name of the Protector respected as that of Charles I had
never been.

At this period the carrying trade of the world, by sea, had fallen
into the hands of the Dutch, and Amsterdam had become a more important
center of exchange than London.  The Commonwealth passed a measure
called the "Navigation Act"[2] (1651) to encourage British commerce.
It prohibited the importation or exportation of any goods into England
or its colonies in Dutch or other foreign vessels.

[2] The Navigation Act was renewed later.  Though aimed at the Dutch,
this measure damaged the export trade of the American colonies for a

Later, war with the Dutch broke out partly on account of questions of
trade, and partly because Royalist plotters found protection in
Holland.  Then Cromwell created such a navy as the country had never
before possessed.  Under the command of Admiral Blake, "the sea king,"
and Admiral Monk, the Dutch were finally beaten so thoroughly (1653)
that they bound themselves to ever after salute the English flag
wherever they should meet it on the seas.  A war undertaken in
alliance with France against Spain was equally successful.  Jamaica
was taken as a permanent possession by the British fleet, and France,
in return for Cromwell's assistance, reluctantly gave the town of
Dunkirk to England (1658), and the flag of the English Commonwealth
was planted on the French coast.  But a few years later (1662), the
selfish and profligate Charles II sold Dunkirk back to Louis XIV in
order to get money to waste on his pleasures.

460. Cromwell's Death; his Character (1658).

After being King in everything but name for five years, Cromwell died
(September 3, 1658) on the anniversary of the victories of Dunbar and
Worcester (S453).  During the latter part of his career he had lived
in constant dread of assassination, and wore concealed armor.  At the
hour of his death one of the most fearful storms was raging hat had
ever swept over England.  To many it seemed a fit accompaniment to the
close of such a life.

In one sense, Cromwell was a usurper and a tyrant; but, at heart, his
object was his country's welfare.  In such cases the motive is all in
all.  He was a lonely man of rough exterior and hard manner.[1]  He
cared little for the smooth proprieties of life, yet he had that
dignity of bearing which high moral purpose gives.  In all that he did
he was eminently practical.  In an age of isms, theories, and
experiments, he was never confused and never faltered in his course.
To-day a colossal bronze statue of the great soldier and ruler stands
in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament, where the English people,
more than two hundred and forty years after his burial, voted to erect

[1] Cromwell was always a lonely man, and had so few real friends that
Walter Scott may have expressed his true feeling when he makes him say
in his novel of "Woodstock": "I would _I_ had any creature, were it
but a dog, that followed me because it loved me, not for what it could
make of me."

461. The Times needed Such a Man.

There are emergencies when an ounce of decision is worth a pound of
deliberation.  When the ship is foundering or on fire, or when the
crew have mutinied, it will not avail to sit in the cabin and discuss
how it happened.  Something must be done, and that promptly.  Cromwell
was the man for such a juncture.  He saw clearly that if the country
was to be kept together, it must be by decided measures, which no
precedent, law, or constitution justified, but which stood justified
none the less by exigencies of the crisis, by his own conscious
rectitude of purpose, and by the result.

If there is any truth in Napoleon's maxim, that "The tools belong to
him that can use them," then Cromwell had a God-given right to rule;
for, first, he had the ability; and, next, though he used his power in
his campaign in Ireland (S453) with merciless severity, yet the great
purpose of his life was to establish order and justice on what seemed
to him the only practical basis.

462. Summary.

Cromwell's original object appears to have been to organize a
government representing the will of the nation more completely than it
had ever been represented before.  He strongly favored the restoration
of the House of Lords, he endeavored to reform the laws, and he sought
to secure religious toleration for the great body of Protestants.  One
who knew Cromwell intimately said, "A larger soul, I think, hath
seldom dwelt in a house of clay, than his was."

Circumstances, however, were often against him; he had many enemies,
and in order to secure peace he was obliged to resort to the exercise
of absolute power.  Yet the difference in this respect between
Cromwell and Charles I was immense: the latter was despotic on his own
account, the former for the advantage of those he governed.

RICHARD CROMWELL--September 3, 1658-April 22, 1659

463. Richard Cromwell's Incompetency.

Richard Cromwell, Oliver's eldest son, now succeeded to the
Protectorate (S455).  He was an amiable individual, as negative in
character as his father had been positive.  With the extreme Puritans
(S457), known as the "godly party," he had no sympathy whatever.
"Here," said he to one of them, pointing to a friend of his who stood
by, "is a man who can neither preach nor pray, yet I would trust him
before you all."  Such frankness was not likely to make the new ruler
popular with the army, made up of men who never lacked a Scripture
text to justify either a murder or a massacre.  Moreover, the times
were perilous, and called for a decided hand at the helm.  After a
brief reign of less than eight months the military leaders requested
Richard to resign, and soon afterwards recalled the "Rump Parliament"

464. Richard retires.

The Protector retired not only without remonstrance, but apparently
with a sense of relief at being so soon eased of a burden too heavy
for his weak shoulders to carry.  To the people he was hereafter
familiarly known as "Tumbledown-Dick," and was caricatured as such on
tavern signboards.

The nation pensioned him off with a moderate allowance, and he lived
in obscurity to an advanced age, carrying about with him to the last a
trunk filled with the congratulatory addresses and oaths of allegiance
which he had received when he became Protector.

Years after his abdication it is reported that he visited Westminster,
and when the attendant, who did not recognize him, showed him the
throne, he said, "Yes; I have not seen that chair since I sat in it
myself in 1659."

465. The "Convention Parliament."

The year following Richard Cromwell's withdrawal was full of anxiety
and confusion.  The army of the Commonwealth had turned Parliament out
of doors (1659).  There was no longer any regularly organized
government, and the country drifted helplessly like a ship without a

General Monk, then commander in chief in Scotland, now marched into
England (1660) with the determination of calling a new Parliament,
which should be full, free, and representative of the real political
feeling of the nation.  When he reached London with his army, the
members of the "Rump Parliament" (S447) had resumed their sessions.

At Monk's invitation the Presbyterian members, whom Colonel Pride had
driven from their seats eleven years before (S447), now went back.
This assembly issued writs for the summoning of a "Convention
Parliament" (so styled because called without royal authority), and
then dissolved by their own consent.  Thus ended that memorable "Long
Parliament" (S439), which had existed nearly twenty years.  About a
month later the Convention, including ten members of the House of
Lords, met, and at once invited Charles Stuart, then in Holland, to
return to his kingdom.  He had made certain promises, called the
"Declaration of Breda,"[1] which were intended to smooth the way for
his return.

[1] The Declaration of Breda, made by Charles in Holland (1660)
promised: (1) free pardon to all those not excepted by Parliament; (2)
liberty of conscience to all whose views did not disturb the peace of
the realm; (3) the settlement by Parliament of all claims to landed
property; (4) the payment of arrears to Monk's army.

466. Summary.

Richard Cromwell's government existed in name only, never in fact.
During his so-called Protectorate the country was under the control of
the army of the Commonwealth or of that "Rump Parliament" which
represented nothing but itself.

The period which elapsed after Oliver Cromwell's death was one of
waiting and preparation.  It ended in the meeting of the free national
Parliament, which put an end to the republic, and restored royalty in
the person of Charles II.

CHARLES II--1660-1685

467. The Restoration of Monarchy; Accession of Charles; a New Standing
Army, 1660.

The English army heard that Charles was coming, with sullen silence;
the ex-members of the "Rump Parliament" (S465), with sullen dread; the
rest of the nation, with a feeling of relief.  However much they had
hated the despotism of the two Stuart Kings, James I and Charles I,
four fifths of the people stood ready to welcome any change which
promised to do away with a government maintained by bayonets.

Charles II was received at Dover with the wildest demonstrations of
joy.  Bells pealed, flags waved, bonfires blazed all the way to
London, and the King said, with characteristic irony, "It must have
been my own fault that I did not come before, for I find no one but
declares that he is glad to see me."

The existence of the late Republic and the Protectorate (SS450, 455)
was as far as possible ignored.  The House of Lords was restored
(SS450, 455).  The new reign was dated, not when it actually began,
but from the day of Charles I's execution twelve years before.  The
troops of the Commonwealth were speedily disbanded, but the King
retained a picked guard of five thousand men, which became the nucleus
of a new standing army.

468. The King's Character.

The sovereign who now ascended the throne was in every respect the
opposite of Cromwell.  Charles II had no love of country, no sense of
duty, no belief in man, no respect for woman.  Evil circumstances and
evil companions had made him "a good-humored lad but hard-hearted
voluptuary."  For twelve years he had been a wanderer, and at times
almost a beggar.  Now the sole aim of his life was enjoyment.  He
desired to be King because he would then be able to accomplish that

469. Reaction from Puritanism.

In this purpose Charles had the sympathy of a considerable part of the
people.  The Puritan faith (S378), represented by such men as Hampden
(S436) and Milton (S450), was noble indeed; but unfortunately there
were many in its ranks who had no like grandeur of soul, but who
pushed Puritanism to its most injurious and offensive extreme.  That
attempt to reduce the whole of life to a narrow system of sour
self-denial had at last broken down.

Now, under the Restoration, the reaction set in, and the lower and
earthly side of human nature--none the less human because it is at the
bottom and not at the top--seemed determined to take its full
revenge.  Butler ridiculed religious zeal in his poem of "Hudibras"
(S457), which ever courtier had by heart.  Society was smitten with an
epidemic of immorality.  Profligacy became the fashion in both speech
and action, and much of the popular literature of that day will not
bear the light.

470. The Royal Favorites.

The King surrounded himself with men like himself.  This merry gang of
revelers vied with each other in dissipation and in jests on each
other.  Charles's two chief favorites were the Earl of Rochester, a
gifted but ribald poet, and Lord Shaftesbury, who became Lord
Chancellor.  Both have left on record their estimate of their royal
master.  The first wrote on the door of the King's bedchamber:

        "Here lies our sovereign lord, the King,
            Whose word no man relies on;
         He never says a foolish thing,
            Nor ever does a wise one."

To which Charles, on reading it, retorted, "'Tis true! because while
my words are my own, my acts are my ministers'."

A bright repartee tells us what the second favorite thought.  "Ah!
Shaftesbury," said the King to him one day, "I verily believe you are
the wickedest dog in my dominions." "Yes, your Majesty," replied
Shaftesbury, "for a SUBJECT I think perhaps I may be."

471. The Clarendon Ministry; Punishment of the Regicides.

From a political point of view, the new reign began decently and ably
under the direction of the Earl of Clarendon as leading minister or
adviser to the King.  The first act of Charles's first Parliament was
to proclaim a pardon to all who had fought against his father in the
civil war.  The only persons excepted wre the members of that high
court of justice (S448) which had sent Charles I to the block.  Of
these, ten were executed and nineteen imprisoned for life.  Most of
the other regicide judges were either already out of the country or
managed to escape soon after.

Among these, William Goffe, Edward Whalley, and Colonel John Dixwell
took refuge in Connecticut, where they remained concealed for several
years.  Eventually the first two went to Hadley, Massachusetts, where
they lived in seclusion in the house of a clergyman until their death.

The bodies of Oliver Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and Pride, all of
whom had served as judges in the trial and condemnation of Charles
(S448), were dug up from their graves in Westminster Abbey and hanged
in chains at Tyburn.[1] They were then buried at the foot of the
gallows along with he moldering remains of highway robbers and
criminals of the lowest sort, but Cromwell's head was cut off and set
up on a pinnacle of Westminster Hall.[2]

[1] Tyburn: near the northeast entrance to Hyde Park, London.  It was
for several centuries the chief place for the public execution of
[2] It has since been questioned whether Cromwell's body was disposed
of in this manner or whether another body, supposed at that time to be
his, was dealt with as here described.  See the "Dictionary of
National (British) Biography," under "Oliver Cromwell."

472. Religious Persecution; Covenanters; Bunyan.

The first Parliament that met (1661) commanded the common hangman to
publicly burn the Solemn League and Covenant (S444); it restored the
Episcopal form of worship and enacted four very severe laws, called
the "Clarendon Code," against those Nonconformists or Dissenters who
had ejected the Episcopal clergy (S444).[1]

[1] The chief Nonconformists then were: (1) the Presbyterians; (2) the
Independents, or Congregationalists; (3) the Baptists; (4) the Society
of Friends, or Quakers.  Originally the name "Nonconformist" was given
to those who refused to conform to the worship of the Church of
England, and who attempted to change it to suit their views or else
set up their own form of faith as an independent church.  The name
"Nonconformist" (or Dissenter) now applies to any Protestant outside
the Established Church of England (SS496, 498).

The first of these new laws was entitled the "Corporation Act"
(1661).  It ordered all holders of municipal offices to renounce the
Covenant[2] which had been put in force in 1647, and to take the
sacrament of the Church of England.  Next, a new Act of Uniformity
(1662) (S382) enforced the use of the Episcopal Prayer Book upon all
clergymen and congregations.  This was followed by the Conventicle
Act[3] (1664), which forbade the meeting of any religious assemblies
except such as worshiped according to the Established Church of
England.  Lastly, the Five-Mile Act (1665) forbade all dissenting
ministers to teach in schools, or to settle within five miles of an
incorporated town.

[2] Covenant: the oath or agreement to maintain the Presbyterian faith
and worship.  It originated in Scotland (S438).
[3] See, too, on these acts, the Summary of Constitutional History in
the Appendix, p. xix, S20.

The second of these stringent retaliatory statutes, the Act of
Uniformity, drove two thousand Presbyterian ministers from their
parishes in a single day, and reduced them to the direst distress.
The able-bodied among them might indeed pick up a precarious
livelihood by hard labor, but the old and the weak soon found their
refuge in the grave.

Those who dared to resist these intolerant and inhuman laws were
punished with fines, imprisonment, or slavery.  The Scottish
Parliament abolished Presbyterianism and restored Episcopacy.  It vied
with the Cavalier or King's party in England in persecution of the
Dissenters,[4] and especially of the Covenanters (S438).

[4] The Scottish Parliament granted what was called the "Indulgence"
to Presbyterian ministers who held moderate views.  The extreme
Covenanters regarded these "indulged Presbyterians" as deserters and
traitors who were both weak and wicked.  For this reason they hated
them worse than they did the Episcopalians.  See Burton's "Scotland,"
VII, 457-468.

Claverhouse, who figures as the "Bonny Dundee" of Sir Walter Scott,
hunted the Covenanters with bugle and bloodhound, like so many deer;
and his men hanged and drowned those who gathered secretly in glens
and caves to worship God.[1]  The father of a family would be dragged
from his cottage by the soldiers, asked if he would take the test of
conformity to the Church of England and the oath of allegiance to King
Charles II; if he refused, the officer in command gave the order,
"Make ready--take aim--fire!"--and there lay the corpse of the rebel.

[1] See the historical poem of the "Maiden Martyr of Scotland," in the
collection of "Heroic Ballads," Ginn and Company.

Among the multitudes who suffered in England for religion's sake was a
poor tinker and day laborer named John Bunyan.  He had served against
the King in the civil wars, and later had become converted to
Puritanism, and turned exhorter and itinerant preacher.  He was
arrested, while preaching in a farmhouse, and convicted of having
"devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to church."

The judge sentenced him to the Bedford county jail, where he remained
a prisoner for twelve years (1660-1672).  Later on, he was again
arrested (1675) and sent to the town jail on Bedford Bridge.  It was,
he says, a squalid "Denn."[2]  But in his marvelous dream of "A
Pilgrimage from this World to the Next," which he wrote while shut up
within the narrow limits of that filthy prison house, he forgot the
misery of his surroundings.  Like Milton in his blindness, loneliness,
and poverty, he looked within and found that

        "The mind is its own place, and in itself
           Can make a heaven of hell."[3]

[2] "As I walk'd through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a
certain place where there was a Denn, and I laid me down in that place
to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream."--"The Pilgrim's
Progress," 1678.
[3] "Paradise Lost," Book I, 253.

473. Seizure of a Dutch Colony in America (1664).

While these things were going on in England, a strange event took
place abroad.  The Dutch had established a colony on the Hudson River.
It was on territory which the English claimed (S335), but which they
had never explored or settled.  The Dutch had built a town at the
mouth of the Hudson, which they called New Amsterdam.  They held the
place undisturbed for fifty years, and if "Possession is nine points
of the law," they seem to have acquired it.  Furthermore, during the
period of Cromwell's Protectorate (S455), England had made a treaty
with Holland and had recognized the claims of the Dutch in the New

Charles had found shelter and generous treatment in Holland when he
needed it most.  But he now cooly repudiated the treaty, and, though
the two nations were at peace, he treacherously sent out a secret
expedition to capture the Dutch colony for his brother James, Duke of
York, to whom he had granted it.

One day a small English fleet suddenly appeared (1664) in the harbor
of the Dutch town, and demanded its immediate and unconditional
surrender.  The governor was unprepared to make any defense, and the
place was given up.  Thus, without so much as the firing of a gun, New
Amsterdam got the name of New York in honor of the man who had now
become its owner.  The acquisition of this territory, which had
separated the northern English colonies from the southern, gave
England complete control of the Atlantic coast from Maine to northern

474. The Plague and the Fire, 1665, 1666.

The next year a terrible outbreak of the plague occurred in London,
1665, which spread throughout the kingdom (S244).  All who could, fled
from the city.  Hundreds of houses were left vacant, while on hundreds
more a cross marked on the doors in red chalk, with the words "Lord
have mercy on us," written underneath, told where the work of death
was going on.[1]

[1] Pepys writes in his "Diary," describing the beginning of the
plague: "The 7th of June, 1665, was the hottest day I ever felt in my
life.  This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or
three houses with a red cross upon the door, and `Lord have mercy upon
us' writ there, which was a sad sight."--Pepys, "Diary," 1660-1669.
Defoe wrote a journal of the plague in 1722, based, probably, on the
reports of eyewitnesses.  It gives a vivid and truthful account of its

The pestilence swept off over a hundred thousand victims within six
months.  Among the few brave men who voluntarily remained in the
stricken city were the Puritan ministers, who stayed to comfort and
console the sick and dying.  After the plague was over, they received
their reward through the enforcement of those acts of persecution
which drove them homeless and helpless from their parishes and friends

The dead cart had hardly ceased to go its rounds, when a fire broke
out, 1666, of which Evelyn, a courtier who witnessed it, wrote that it
"was not to be outdone until the final conflagration of the world."[1]
By it the city of London proper was reduced to ruins, little more
being left than a fringe of houses on the northeast.

[1] Evelyn's "Diary," 1641-1705; also compare Dryden's poem "Annus

Great as the calamity was, yet from a sanitary point of view it did
immense good.  Nothing short of fire could have effectually cleansed
the London of that day, and so put a stop to the periodical ravages of
the plague.  By sweeping away miles of narrow streets crowded with
miserable buildings black with the encrusted filth of ages, the
conflagration in the end proved friendly to health and life.

A monument near London Bridge still marks the spot where the flames
first burst out.  For many years it bore an inscription affirming that
the Catholics kindled them in order to be revenged on their
persecutors.  The poet Pope, at a later period, exposed the falsehood
in the lines:

        "Where London's column pointing toward the skies
         Like a tall bully lifts its head and lies."[2]

[2] "Moral Essays," Epistle III.

Sir Christopher Wren, the most famous architect of the period, rebuilt
the city.  The greater part of it had been of wood, but it rose from
the ashes brick and stone.  One irreparable loss was the old Gothic
church of St. Paul.  Wren erected the present cathedral on the
foundations of the ancient structure.  On a tablet near the tomb of
the great master builder one reads the inscription in Latin, "Reader,
if you seek his monument, look around."[1]

[1] "Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice."

475. Invasion by the Dutch (1667).

The new city had not risen from the ruins of the old, when a third
calamity overtook it.  Charles was at war with France and Holland.
The contest with the latter nation grew out of the rivalry of the
English and the Dutch to get the exclusive possession of foreign trade
(S459).  Parliament granted the King large sums of money to build and
equip a navy, but the pleasure-loving monarch wasted it in
dissipation.  The few ships he had were rotten old hulks, but half
provisioned, with crews ready to mutiny because they could not get
their pay.

A Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames.  It was manned in part by English
sailors who had deserted in disgust because when they asked for cash
to support their families they got only worthless government tickets.
There was no force to oppose them.  They burned some half-built
men-of-war, blockaded London for several weeks, and then made their
own terms of peace.

476. The "Cabal" (1667-1673); Treaty of Dover, 1670; the King robs the
Exchequer (1672).

Shortly after this humiliating event the enemies of Clarendon drove
him from office (S471).  The fallen minister was accused of high
treason.  He had been guilty of certain arbitrary acts, and, rather
than stand trial, he fled to France, and was banished for life.  He
sent a humble petition to the Lords, but they promptly ordered the
hangman to burn it.  Six years later the old man begged piteously that
he might "come back and die in his own coutnry and among his own
children."  Charles refused to let him return, for Clarendon had
committed the unpardonable offense of daring to look "sourly" at the
vices of the King and his shameless companions flushed "with insolence
and wine."  Charles now formed a new ministry or "Cabal,"[1]
consisting of five of his most intimate friends.  Several of its
members were notorious for their depravity, and Macaulay calls it the
"most profligate administration ever known."[2]  The chief object of
its leaders was to serve their own private interests by making the
King's power supreme.  The "Cabal's" true spirit was not unlike that
of the council of the "infernal peers" which Milton portrays in
"Paradise Lost," first published at that time.  There he shows us the
five princes of evil, Moloch, Belial, Mammon, Beelzebub, and Satan,
meeting in the palace of Pandemonium to plot the ruin of the world.[3]
he chief ambition of Charles was to rule without a Parliament; he did
not like to have that body inquire too closely how he spent the money
which the taxpayers granted him.  But his lavish outlays on his
favorites made it more and more difficult for him to avoid summoning a
Parliament in order to get supplies of cash.  At length he hit on a
plan for securing the funds he wanted without begging help from

[1] This word was originally used to designate the confidential
members of the King's private council, and meant perhaps no more than
the word "cabinet" does to-day.  In 1667 it happened, however, by a
singular coincidence, that the initial letters of the five persons
comprising it, namely, (C)lifford, (A)shley-Cooper [Lord Shaftesbury],
(B)uckingham, (A)rlington, and (L)auderdale, formed the word "CABAL,"
which henceforth came to have the odious meaning of secret and
unscrupulous intrigue that it has ever since retained.  It was to
Charles II's time what the political "ring" is to our own.
[2] Macaulay's "Essay on Sir William Temple."
[3] Milton's "Paradise Lost," Book II.  The first edition was
published in 1667, the year the "Cabal" came into power, though its
members had long been favorites with the King.  It has been supposed
by some that the great Puritan poet had them in his mind when he
represented the Pandemonic debate.  Shaftesbury and Buckingham are
also two of the most prominent characters in Dryden's noted political
satire of "Absalom and Achitophel," published in 1681; and compare
Butler's "Hudibras."

Louis XIV of France, then the most powerful monarch in Europe, wished
to conquer Holland, with the double object of extending his own
kingdom and the power of Catholicism.  He saw in Charles the tool he
wanted to gain this end.  With the aid of two members of the "Cabal,"
Charles negotiated the secret Treaty of Dover, 1670.  Thereby Louis
bribed the English King with a gift of 300,000 pounds to help him
carry out his scheme.  Thus, without the knowledge of Parliament,
Charles deliberately sold himself to the French sovereign, who was
plotting to destroy the political liberty and Protestant faith of

In addition to the above sum, it was furthermore agreed that Louis
should pay Charles a pension of 200,000 pounds a year from the date
when the latter should openly avow himself a Roman Catholic.  Later
(1671), Charles made a sham treaty with Louis XIV in which the article
about his avowing himself a Catholic was omitted in order to deceive

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xix,

True to his infamous contract, Charles provoked a new war with the
Dutch, but found that he needed more money to prosecute it
successfully.  Not knowing where to borrow, he determined to steal
it.  Various London merchants, bankers, and also persons of moderate
means had lent to the government sums of money on promise of repayment
from the taxes.

A part of the national revenue amounting to about 1,300,000 pounds, a
sum equal to at least $10,000,000 now, had been deposited in the
exchequer, or government treasury, to meet the obligation.  The King
seized this money,[2] partly for his needs, but chiefly to squander on
his vices, and to satisfy the insatiate demands of his favorites,--of
whom a single one, the Duchess of Portsmouth, had spent 136,000 pounds
within the space of a twelvemonth! The King's treacherous act caused a
financial panic which shook London to its foundatyions and ruined
great numbers of people.

[2] "`Rob me the Exchequer, Hal,' said the King to his favorite
minister in the `Cabal'; then `all went merry as a marriage
bell.'"--Evelyn's "Diary."

477. More Money Schemes; Declaration of Indulgence; Test Act, 1673.

By declaring war against Holland Charles had now fulfilled the first
part of his secret treaty with Louis (S476), but he was afraid to
undertake the second part and openly declare himself a convert to the
Church of Rome.  He, however, did the next thing to it, by issuing a
cautiously worded Declaration of Indulgence, 1673, suspending all
penal laws affecting the religious liberty of Protestant Dissenters
(SS382, 472) and Roman Catholics.  Under cover of this act the King
could show especial favor to the Catholics.  Parliament issued such a
vigorous protest, however, that the King withdrew the Declaration.

Parliament next passed the Test Act,[1] 1673, requiring every
government officer to acknowledge himself a Protestant according to
the rites of the Church of England.  Charles became alarmed at this
decided stand, and now tried to conciliate Parliament, and coax from
it another grant of money by marrying his niece, the Princess Mary, to
William of Orange, President of the Dutch republic, and head of the
Protestant party on the Continent.

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xix,

478. The So-Called "Popish Plot"; the Exclusion Bill, and Disabling
Act, 1678.

While the King was playing this double part, a scoundrel, named Titus
Oates, whose hideous face was but the counterpart of a still more
hideous character, pretended that he had discovered a terrible plot.
He declared that the Catholics had formed a conspiracy to burn London,
massacre the inhabitants, kill the King, and restore the religion of

The news of this alleged discovery caused an excitement which soon
grew into a sort of popular madness.  The memory of the great fire
(S474) was still fresh in people's minds.  In their imagination they
now saw those scenes of horror repeated, with wholesale murder added.
Great numbers of innocent persons were thrown into prison, and many

As time went on, the terror seemed to increase.  With its increase,
Oates grew bolder in his accusations.  Chief Justice Scroggs showed
himself an eager abettor of the miserable wretch who swore away men's
lives for the sake of the notoriety it gave him.  In the extravagance
of his presumption Oates even dared to accuse the Queen of an attempt
to poison Charles.  The craze, however, had at last begun to abate
somewhat, no action was taken, and in the next reign Oates got the
punishment he deserved--or at least a part of it (S485).

An attempt was now made (1679) to pass a law called the "Exclusion
Bill," debarring Charles's brother James, the Catholic Duke of York,
from succeeding to the crown; but though voted by the Commons, it was
defeated by the Lords.  Meanwhile a second measure, called the
"Disabling Act," had received the sanction of both Houses, 1678.  It
declared Catholics incapable of sitting in either House of Parliament
(S382); and from this date they remained shut out from all legislative
power and from all civil and corporate offices until 1829, a period of
over a century and a half (S573).

479. Rise of Permanent Political Parties, 1678; the King revokes City

It was about this time that the names "Whig" and "Tory" (changed after
1832 to Liberal and Conservative) (S582) began to be given to two
political parties, which soon became very powerful, and practically
have ever since divided the government of the country between them.

The term "Whig" was originally given by way of reproach to the Scotch
Puritans, or Covenanters, who refused to accept the Episcopacy which
Charles I endeavored to impose upon them (S438).  "Tory," on the other
hand, was a nickname which appears to have first been applied to the
Roman Catholic outlaws of Ireland, who were regarded by Elizabeth and
by Cromwell as both robbers and rebels (S453).

The name of "Tory" was now given to those who supported the claims of
the King's brother James, the Roman Catholic Duke of York, as
successor to the throne; while that of "Whig" (or "Country Party") was
borne by those who were endeavoring to exclude him (S478), and secure
a Protestant successor.[1]

[1] Politically, the Whigs and Tories may perhaps be considered as the
successors of the Roundheads and Cavaliers of the civil war, the
former seeking to limit the power of the Crown, the latter to extend
it.  At the Restoration (1660), the Cavaliers were all-powerful; but
at the time of the dispute on the Exclusiiion Bill (1679), the
Roundhead, or People's party, had revived.  On account of their
petitioning the King to summon a new Parliament, by means of which
they hoped to carry the bill shutting out the Catholic Duke of York
from the throne, they were called "Petitioners," and later, "Whigs";
while those who expressed their abhorrence of their efforts were
called "Abhorrers," and afterwards, "Tories."  The more radical Whigs
came to be known as the "Country Party," and at least one of their
most prominent leaders, Algernon Sidney, was in favor of restoring the
republican form of government in England.

The excitement over this Exclusion Bill (S478) threatened at one
period to bring on another civil war.  In his fury against the Whigs,
Charles revoked the charters of London and many other cities, which
were regranted only on terms agreeable to the Tories.  An actual
outbreak against the government would probably have occurred had it
not been for the discovery of a new conspiracy, which resulted in a
reaction favorable to the Crown.

480. The Rye-House Plot (1683).

This conspiracy, known as the "Rye-House Plot," had for its object the
murder of Charles and his brother James at a place called the Rye
House in Hertfordshire, not far from London.  It was concocted by a
number of violent Whigs, who, in their disappointment at their failure
to secure the passage of the Exclusion Bill (S478), took this method
of gaining their ends.

It is said that they intended placing on the throne James, Duke of
Monmouth, a natural son of Charles, who was popularly known as the
"Protestant Duke."  Algernon Sidney, Lord Russell, and the Earl of
Essex, who were prominent advocates of the Exclusion Bill (S478), were
arrested for participating in the plot.  Essex committed suicide in
the Tower; Sidney and Russell were tried, convicted, and sentenced to
death on insufficient evidence.  They died martyrs to the cause of
liberty,--Russell, with the fortitude of a Christian; Sidney, with the
calmness of a philosopher.  The Duke of Monmouth, who was supposed to
be implicated in the plot, was banished to Holland (S486).

481. The Royal Society (1662).

Early in this reign the Royal Society was established for purposes of
scientific research.  In an age when thousands of well-informed people
still cherished a lingering belief that lead might be changed into
gold; that some medicine might be discovered which would cure every
disease, (including old age, that worst disease of all); when every
cross-grained old woman was suspected of witchcraft, and was liable to
be tortured and hanged on that suspicion,--the formation of an
association to study the physical facts was most significant.

It showed that the time had come when, instead of guessing what might
be, men were at last beginning to resolved to know what actually is.
In 1684 an English mathematician and philosopher demonstrated the
unity of the universe by proving that the same law which governs the
falling of an apple also governs the movements of the planets in their
orbits.  He published his great work on this subject a few years

It was with reference to that wonderful discovery of the all-pervading
power of gravitation, which shapes and holds in its control the drop
of dew before our eyes, and the farthest star shining in the heavens,
that the poet Pope suggested the epitaph which should be graven on the
tomb of the great thinker in Westminster Abbey:

        "Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night;
         God said, `Let Newton be!' and all was light."

482. Chief Political Reforms; Abolition of Feudal Dues, 1660; the
Habeas Corpus Act, 1679.

As the age did not stand still with respect to progress in knowledge,
so it was not wholly unsuccessful in political progress.  A great
reform inaugurated in the outset of Charles's reign was the abolition,
1660, of the King's right to feudal dues and service, by which he was
accustomed to extort as much as possible from his subjects[1] (S150),
and the substitution of a fixed yearly allowance, raised by tax, of
1,200,000 pounds on beer and liquor.[2] This change may be considered
to have practically abolished the feudal system in England, so far as
the Crown is concerned, though the law still retains some remnants of
that system with respect to the relation of landlord and tenant.[3]

[1] See Blackstone's "Commentaries," II, 76.
[2] This tax should have been levied on the landed proprietors who had
been subject to the feudal dues, but they managed to put it on beer
and spirits; this compelled the body of the people to bear the burden
for them.
[3] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xviii,

The second great reform measure was the Habeas Corpus Act,[4] 1679,
which provided that no subject should be detained in prison except by
due process of law, thus putting an end to the arbitrary confinement
of men for months, and years even, without conviction of guilt or even
form of trial.

[4] Habeas Corpus (1679) (you may have the body): This writ is
addressed by the judge to him who detains another in custody,
commanding him to bring him into court and show why he is restrained
of his liberty.  The right of Habeas Corpus was contained in germ in
the Great Charter (S199, Article 2); and see Summary of Constitutional
History in the Appendix, p. xix, S21, and p. xxxii.

483. Death of Charles.

The reign came suddenly to an end (1685).  Evelyn, one of the
courtiers of the day, tells us in his "Diary" that he was present at
the palace of Whitehall on Sunday morning, the last of January of that
year.  There he saw the King sitting in the grand banqueting room,
chatting gayly with three famous court beauties,--his special
favorites,--while a crowd of richly dressed nobles were gathered
around a gambling table heaped with gold.  Six days after, as he
expresses it, all was "in the dust."

Charles died a Roman Catholic, his Catholic brother James (S478)
having quietly brought a priest into the King's chamber in time to
hear his confession and grant him absolution.  Certainly few English
rulers ever stood in greater need of both.

484. Summary

The chief events of the period were the persecution of the Puritans,
the Plague and Great Fire of London, the Secret Treaty of Dover, the
Test Act, the Disabling Act, the so-called "Popish Plot," the
Rye-House Plot, the Dutch Wars, the Abolition of Feudal Dues, the
Habeas Corpus Act, the rise of permanent Political Parties, and
Newton's Discovery of the Law of Gravitation.  Aside from these, the
reign presents two leading points: (1) the policy of the King; (2)
that of the nation.

Charles II, as we have seen, lived solely to gratify his inordinate
love of pleasure.  For that, he wasted the revenue, robbed the
exchequer, and cheated the navy; for that, he secretly sold himself to
France, made war on Holland, and shamefully deceived both Parliament
and people.

In so far, then, as Charles II had an object, it began and ended with
himself.  Therein he stood lower than his father, who at least
conscientiously believed in the Divine Right of Kings (S429) and their
accountability to the Almighty.

The policy of the nation, on the other hand, was divided.  The Whigs
were determined to limit the power of the Crown, and secure at all
hazards a Protestant successor to the throne.  The Tories were equally
resolved to check the growing power of the people, and preserve the
hereditary order of succession (then in the Stuart family) without any
immediate regard to the religious question involved in the Exclusion
Bill (S478).

Beneath these issues both parties had a common object, which was to
maintain the National Episcopal Church and the monarchical system of
government.  Whigs and Tories alike detested the principles of the
late Commonwealth period.  They preferred to cherish patriotism
through loyalty to a personal sovereign rather than patriotism through
devotion to a democratic republic.

James II--1685-1689

485. James II; his Proclamation; his Two Objects; Titus Oates again.

James, Duke of York, brother of the late Charles II, now came to the
throne.  He at once issued a Proclamation pledging himself to
"preserve the government in both Church and State as it is now by law
established."  This solemn declaration was welcomed as "the word of a
king," but unfortunately that king did not keep his word.  His first
great ambition was to rule independently of Parliament, so that he
might have his own way in everything; his second, which was, if
possible, still nearer his heart, was to restore the Roman Catholic
religion in England (SS370, 382, 477).

He began that restoration at once; and on the Easter Sunday preceding
his coronation, "the worship of the Church of Rome was once more,
after an interval of a hundred and twenty-seven years, performed at
Westminster with royal splendor."[1]

[1] Macaulay's "England."

Not long afterwards James brought the miscreant Oates to trial for the
perjuries he had committed in connection with the so-called "Popish
Plot" (S478).  He was found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for
life; in addition he was publicly whipped through London with such
terrible severity that a few more strokes of the lash would have ended
his worthless life (1685).  But in the next reign Oates was liberated
and a pension was granted him.

486. Monmouth's Rebellion; Sedgemoor, 1685.

At the time of the discovery of the Rye-House Plot (S480) a number of
Whigs (S479) who were implicated in the conspiracy fled to Holland,
where the Duke of Monmouth had gone when banished.  Four months after
the accession of James, the Duke, aided by these refugees and by a
small force which he had gathered in the Netherlands, resolved to
invade England and demand the crown.  He believed that a large part of
the nation would look upon him as representing the cause of
Protestantism, and would therefore rally to his support.  He landed at
Lyme on the coast of Dorsetshire (1685), and there issued an absurd
proclamation declaring James to be a usurper, tyrant, and murderer,
who had set the great fire of London (S474), cut the throat of Essex
(S480), and poisoned Charles II!

At Taunton, in Somersetshire, a procession of welcome, headed by a
lady carrying a Bible, met the Duke, and presented him with the book
in behalf of the Protestant faith.  He received it, saying, "I come to
defend the truths contained in this volume, and to seal them, if it
must be so, with my blood."  Shortly afterwards he proclaimed himself
sovereign of Great Britain.  He was popularly known as "King
Monmouth."  Many of the country people now joined him, but the Whig
nobles (S479), on whose help he had counted, stood aloof, alienated
doubtless by the ridiculous charges he had made against James.

At the battle of Sedgemoor, in Somersetshire (1685), "King Monmouth,"
with his hastily gathered forces, was utterly routed.  He himself was
soon afterwards captured, hiding in a ditch.  He desired to be taken
to the King.  His request was granted.  When he entered his uncle's
presence, he threw himself down and crawled to his feet, weeping and
begging piteously for life--only life--on any terms, however hard.

He denied that he had issued the lying proclamation published at Lyme;
he denied that he had sought the crown of his own free will; finally,
in an agony of supplication, he hinted that he would even renounce
Protestantism if thereby he might escape death.  James told him that
he should have the service of a Catholic priest, but would promise
nothing more.  Monmouth groveled and pleaded, but the King's heart was
like marble, and he turned away in silence.  Then the Duke, seeing
that all his efforts were vain, rose to his feet and regained his

He was forthwith sent to the Tower, and shortly afterwards to
execution.  His headless body was buried under the communion table of
that little chapel of St. Peter within the Tower grounds, where the
remains of Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More, and many
other royal victimsf, are gathered.  No sadder spot exists on earth,
"since there death is associated with whatever is darkest in human
nature and human destiny."[1]

[1] Macaulay's "England."

After Monmouth's death there were no further attempts at insurrection,
and the struggle at Sedgemoor remains the last encounter worthy of the
name of battle fought on English soil.

487. The "Bloody Assizes" (1685).

The defeat of the insurgents who had rallied under Monmouth's flag was
followed by a series of trials known, from their results, as the
"Bloody Assizes" (1685).  They were conducted by Judge Jeffreys,
assisted by a band of soldiers under Colonel Kirke, ironically called,
from their ferocity, "Kirke's Lambs."  Jeffreys was by nature cruel,
and enjoyed the spectacle of mental as well as bodily anguish.  As he
himself said, he delighted to give those who had the misfortune to
appear before him "a lick with the rough side of his tongue,"
preparatory to roaring out the sentence of torture or death, in which
he delighted still more.

All who were in the remotest way implicated in the late rebellion were
now hunted down and brought to a trial which was but a mockery of
justice.  No one was permitted to defend himself.  In fact, defense
would have been useless against the blind fury of such a judge.  The
threshold of the court was to most that crossed it the threshold of
the grave.  A gentleman present at one of these scenes of slaughter,
touched with pity at the condition of a trembling old man called up
for sentence, ventured to put in a word in his behalf.  "My Lord,"
said he to Jeffreys, "this poor creature is dependent on the parish."
"Don't trouble yourself," cried the judge; "I will soon ease the
parish of the burden," and ordered the officers to execute him at

Those who escaped death were often still more to be pitied.  A young
man was sentenced to be imprisoned for seven years, and to be whipped
once a year through every market town in the county.  In his despair,
he petitioned the King to grant him the favor of being hanged.  The
petition was refused, but a partial remission of the punishment was at
length gained by bribing the court; for Jeffreys, though his heart was
shut against mercy, always had his pockets open for gain.  Alice
Lisle, an aged woman, who, out of pity, had concealed two men flying
from the King's vengeance, was condemned to be burned alive; and it
was with the gratest difficulty that the clergy of Winchester
Cathedral succeeded in getting the sentence commuted to beheading.

As the work went on, the spirits of Jeffreys rose higher and higher.
He laughed, shouted, joked, and swore like a drunken man.  When the
court had finished its sittings, more than a thousand persons had been
brutally scourged, sold as slaves, hanged, or beheaded.  The
guideposts of the highways were converted into gibbets, from which the
blackened corpses swung in chains, and from every church tower in
Somersetshire ghastly heads looked down on those who gathered there to
worship God; in fact, so many bodies were exposed that the whole air
was "tainted with corruption and death."

Not satisfied with vengeance alone, Jeffreys and his friends made
these trials a means of speculation.  Batches of rebels were given as
presents to courtiers, who sold them for a period of ten years to be
worked to death or flogged to death on West India plantations; and the
Queen's maids of honor extorted large sums of money for the pardon of
a number of country schoolgirls who had been convicted of presenting
Monmouth with a royal flag at Taunton.

On the return of Jeffreys to London after this carnival of blood, his
father was so horrified at his cruelty that he forbade him to enter
his house.  James, on the contrary, testified his approval by making
Jeffreys Lord Chancellor of the realm, at the same time mildly
censuring him for not having shown greater severity!

The new Lord Chancellor testified his gratitude to his royal master by
procuring the murder, by means of a packed jury, of Alderman Cornish,
a prominent London Whig (S479), who was especially hated by the King
on account of his support of that Exclusion Bill (S478) which was
intended to shut James out from the throne.  On the same day on which
Cornish was executed, Jeffreys also had the satisfaction of knowing
that Elizabeth Gaunt was burned alive at Tyburn, London, for having
assisted one of the Rye-House conspirators, who had fought for
Monmouth at Sedgemoor, to escape.

488. The King makes Further Attempts to reestablish Catholicism;
Second Declaration of Indulgence (1687); Oxford.

An event occurred about this time which encouraged James to make a
more decided attempt to restore Catholicism.  Henry IV of France had
granted the Protestants of his kingdom liberty of worship, by the
Edict of Nantes (1598).  Louis XIV deliberately revoked it (1685).  By
that shortsighted act the Huguenots, or French Protestants, were
exposed to cruel persecution, and thousands of them fled to England
and America.

James, who, like his late brother Charles II, was "the pensioned slave
of the French King" (S476), resolved to profit by the example set him
by Louis.  He did not expect to drive the Protestants out of Great
Britain as Louis had driven them from France, but he hoped to restore
the country to its allegiance to Rome (SS370, 382, 477).  He began by
suspending the Test Act (S477) and putting Catholics into important
offices in both Church and State.[1]  He furthermore established an
army of 13,000 men on Hounslow Heath, just outside London (1686), to
hold the city in subjection in case it should rebel.

[1] The Dispensing Power and the Suspending Power were prerogatives by
which the King claimed the right of preventing the enforcement of such
laws as he deemed contrary to public good.  A packed bench of judges
sustained the King in this position, but the power so to act was
finally abolished by the Bill of Rights (1689).  See S497 and top of
page xxxii, Article XII.

He next recalled the Protestant Duke of Ormonde, governor of Ireland,
and put in his place Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel, a Catholic.  Tyrconnel
had orders to recruit an Irish Roman Catholic army to aid the King in
carrying out his designs (1687).  He raised some soldiers, but he also
raised that famous song of "Lilli Burlero," by which, as its author
boasted, James was eventually "sung out of his kingdom."[2]

[2] Lord Wharton, a prominent English Whig (S479), was the author of
this satirical political ballad, which, it is said, was sung and
whistled from one end of England to the other, in derision of the
King's policy.  It undoubtably had a powerful popular influence in
bringing on the Revolution of 1688.
        The ballad began:
                "Ho, Brother Teague, dost hear de decree?
                   Lilli Burlero, bullen a-la,
                 Dat we shall have a new deputie,
                   Lilli Burlero, bullen a-la."
        The refrain, "Lilli Burlero," etc. (also written
"Lillibullero"), is said to have been the watchword used by the Irish
Catholics when they rose against the Protestants of Ulster in 1641.
See Wilkins's "Political Songs," Vol I.

Having got the courts completely under his control through the
appointment of judges in sympathy with Jeffreys (S487) and with
himself, the King issued a Declaration of Indulgence similar to that
which his brother Charles II had issued (S477).[1]  It suspended all
penal laws against both the Roman Catholics on the one hand, and the
Protestant Dissenters (S472) on the other.  The latter, however,
suspecting that this apparently liberal measure was simply a trick to
establish Catholicism, refused to avail themselves of it, and
denounced it as an open violation of the Constitution.

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxi,

James next proceeded, by means of the tyrannical High Commission
Court, which he had revived (S382), to bring Magdalen College, Oxford,
under Catholic control.  The President of that college having died,
the Fellows were considering the choice of a successor.  The King
ordered them to elect a Catholic.  The Fellows refused to obey, and
elected a Protestant.  James ejected the new President, and drove out
the Fellows, leaving them to depend on the charity of neighboring
country gentlemen for their support.

But the King, in attacking the rights of the college, had "run his
head against a wall,"[2] as he soon discovered to his sorrow.  His
temporary success, however, emboldened him to reissue the first
Declaration of Indulgence (1688).  Its real object, like that of the
first Declaration (S477), was to put Roman Catholics into still higher
positions of trust and power.

[2] "What building is that?" asked the Duke of Wellington of his
companion, Mr. Croker, pointing, as he spoke, to Magdalen College
wall, just as they entered Oxford in 1834.  "That is the wall which
James II ran his head against," was the reply.

489. The Petition of the Seven Bishops, 1688.

James commanded the clergy throughout the realm to read this
Declaration (S488) on a given Sunday from their pulpits.  The clergy
were by nature conservative.  They still generally upheld the theory
of the "Divine Right of Kings" and of "Passive Obedience."  A majority
of them taught the doctrine which James I had proclaimed: "God makes
the King; the King makes the law; his subjects are bound to obey the
law" (SS419, 429).  Now, however, nearly all of them revolted.  They
felt that to comply with the mandate of the King would be to strike a
blow at the supremacy of the Church of England.  In this crisis the
Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by six bishops, petitioned the
King to be excused from reading it from their pulpits.  The King
refused to consider the petition.  When the day came, hardly a
clergyman read the paper, and in Westminster Abbey the entire
congregation rose in a body and left rather than listen to it.
Furious at such an unexpected result, James ordered the refractory
bishops to be sent to the Tower and kept prisoners there.

The whole country now seemed to turn against the King.  By his
obstinate folly James had succeeded in making enemies of all classes,
not only of the Whig Roundheads (S479) who had fought against his
father in the civil war, but also of the Tory Cavaliers (S479) who had
fought for him, and of the clergy who had taught the duty of obedience
to him.

One of the bishops sent to the Tower was Trelawney of Bristol.  He was
a native of Cornwall.  The news of his imprisonment roused the rough,
independent population of that country.  From one end of it to the
other the people were now heard singing:

     "And shall Trelawney die, and shall Trelawney die?
      There's thirty thousand Cornishmen will know the reason why."

Then the miners took up the words, and beneath the hills and fields
the ominous echo was heard:

     "And shall Trelawney die, and shall Trelawney die?
      There's twenty thousand underground will know the reason why."

When the seven bishops were brought to trial the popular feeling in
their favor was so strong that not even James's servile judges dared
use their influence to convict them.  After the case was given to the
jury, the largest and most robust man of the twelve rose and said to
the rest: "Look at me! I am bigger than any of you, but before I will
bring in a verdict of guilty, I will stay here until I am no thicker
than a tobacco pipe."  That decided the matter, and the bishops were
acquitted (1688).  The news was received in London like the tidings of
some great victory, with shouts of joy, illuminations, and bonfires.

490. Birth of a Prince; Invitation to William of Orange (1688).

But just before the acquittal an event took place which changed
everything and brought on the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688,--for such
was the title which was solemnly given to it after William and Mary
had come to the throne (SS491, 494).

Up to this time the succession to the throne after James rested with
his two daughters,--Mary, who had married William, Prince of Orange
(S477), President of the Dutch republic, and resided in Holland; and
her younger sister Anne, who had married George, Prince of Denmark,
and was then living in London.  Both of the daughters were zealous
Protestants, and the expectation that one of them would receive the
English crown on the King's death had kept the people quiet while
James was endeavoring to restore Catholicism.

But while the seven bishops were in prison awaiting trial (S489) the
alrming intelligence was spread that a son had been born to the King
(1688).  If true, he would now be the next heir to the crown, and
would in all probability be educated and come to power a Catholic.
This prospect brought matters to a crisis.

Many people, especially the Whigs (S479), believed the whole matter an
imposition, and it was reported that the young Prince was not the true
son of the King and Queen, but a child that had been smuggled into the
palace to deceive the nation.  For this report there was absolutely no
foundation in fact.

On the very day that the bishops were set at liberty (S489) seven of
the leading nobility and gentry, representing both the Whigs and the
Tories (S479),[1] seconded by the city of London, secretly sent a
formal invitation to William, Prince of Orange, "the champion of
Protestantism on the Continent and the deadly foe of James's ally, the
King of France."  Admiral Herbert, disguised as a common sailor, set
out on the perilous errand to the Prince.  The invitation he carried
implored William to come over with an army to defend his wife Mary's
claim to the English throne, and to ensure "the restoration of English
liberties and the protection of the Protestant religion."

William decided to accept the invitation, which was probably not
unexpected on his part.  He was confirmed in his decision not only by
the cordial approval of the leading Catholic princes of Europe,
except, of course, Louis XIV of France, but also by the Pope himself,
who had more than once expressed his emphatic disgust at the foolish
rashness of King James.[2]

[1] The seven gentlemen who signed in cipher the secret letter to
William, Prince of Orange, were Henry Sidney, brother of Algernon
Sidney (S480); Edward Russell, a kinsman of Lord Russell, beheaded by
Charles II (S480); the Earl of Devonshire, chief of the Whig party;
Lord Shrewsbury; Danby, the old Tory minister of Charles II; Compton,
Bishop of London, whom James II had tyrannically suspended; and Lord
Lumley.  See the letter in J. Dalrymple's "Memoirs of Great Britain,"
II, Appendix, p. 228.
[2] Bright's, Guizot's, Lingard's, and Von Ranke's Histories of

491. The "Glorious Revolution of 1688; William comes, James goes.

William's ship, which led his fleet, displayed this flag.


He landed with 14,000 troops on the shore of Torbay, Devonshire.  (See
map facing p. 334.)  It was the fifth and last rgeat landing in the
history of England.[1]  He declared that he came in the interest of
his wife Mary, the heir to the throne (S477), and in the interest of
the English nation, to secure a free and legal Parliament which should
decide the question of the succession.  James endeavored to rally a
force to resist him, but Baron Churchill, afterwards Duke of
Marlborough (S509), and the King's son-in-law, Prince George, both
secretly went over to William's side.

[1] The first being that of the Romans, the next that of the Saxons,
the third that of St. Augustine, the fourth that of William he
Conqueror, the fifth that of the Prince of Orange.

His troops likewise deserted, and finally even his daughter Anne went
over to the enemy.  "Now God help me!" exclaimed James, in despair;
"for my own children forsake me!"  The Queen had already fled to
France, taking with her her infant son, the unfortunate Prince James
Edward, whose birth (S490) had caused the revolution.  Instead of a
kingdom, he inherited nothing but the nickname of "Pretender," which
he in turn transmitted to his son.[2]  King James soon followed his

[2] Prince James Edward Stuart, the so-called "Old Pretender," and his
son, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the so-called "Young Pretender."
See, too, Genealogical Table, p. 323.

As he crossed the Thames in a boat by night, James threw the Great
Seal of State into the river, in the vain hope that without it a
Parliament could not be legally summoned to decide the question which
his adversary had raised.[3]  The King got as far as the coast, but
was discovered by some fishermen and brought back.  William
reluctantly received him, and purposely allowed him to escape a second
time.  He reached France, and Louis XIV, who had long had the
treacherous King in his secret pay, received him at the court of
Versailles.  There could be now no reasonable doubt that James's
daughter Mary (S477) would receive the English crown.

[3] On the Great Seal of State (S145).

492. Character of the Revolution of 1688.

Never was a revolution of such magnitude and meaning accomplished more
peacefully.  Not a drop of blood had been shed.  There was hardly any
excitement or uproar.  Even the bronze statue of the runaway King was
permitted to stand undisturbed in the rear of the palace of Whitehall,
London, where it remains to this day.

The great change had taken place thus quietly because men's minds were
ripe for it.  England had entered upon another period of history, in
which old institutions, laws, and customs were passing away and all
was becoming new.

Feudalism had vanished under Charles II (S482), but political and
religious persecution had continued.  In future, however, we shall
hear no more of the revocation of city charters or other punishments
inflicted because of political opinion (SS479, 487), and rarely of any
punishment for religious dissent.

Courts of justice will undergo reform.  They will cease to be "little
better than caverns of murderers,"[1] where judges like Scroggs and
Jeffreys (SS478, 487) browbeat the prisoners, took their guilt for
granted, insulted and silenced witnesses for their defense, and even
cast juries into prison under penalties of heavy fines, for venturing
to bring in verdicts contrary to their wishes.[2]

[1] Hallam's "Constitutional History of England," p. 138.  Hallam also
says that the behavior of the Stuart judges covered them "with
infamy," p. 597.
[2] See Hallam, and also the introduction to Professor Adams's "Manual
of Historical Literature."  For a graphic picture of the times, see,
in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," Christian's trial before Lord

The day, too, had gone by when an English sovereign could cast his
subjects into fetid dungeons in the Tower and leave them to die there
of lingering disease, in darkness, solitude, and despair.  No future
king like the marble-hearted James II would sit in the court room at
Edinburgh, and watch with curious delight the agony inflicted by the
Scotch instruments of torture, the "boot" and the thumbscrew, or like
his grandfather, James I, burn Unitarian heretics at the stake in
Smithfield market place in London (S518).

For the future, thought and discussion in England were to be in great
measure free, as in time they would be wholly so.  Perhaps the coward
King's heaviest retribution in his secure retreat in the royal French
palace of Versailles was the knowledge that all his efforts, and all
the efforts of his friend Louis XIV, to prevent the coming of this
liberty had absolutely failed.

493. Summary.

The reign of James must be regarded as mainly taken up with the
attempt of the King to rule independently of Parliament and of law,
and, apparently, he sought to restore the Roman Catholic faith as the
Established Church of England.

Monmouth's rebellion, though without real justification, since he
could not legitimately claim the crown, was a forerunner of that
memorable Revolution which invited William of Orange to come to the
support of Parliament, and which placed a Protestant King and Queen on
the throne.

WILLIAM AND MARY (House of Orange-Stuart)--1689-1702

494. The "Convention Parliament"; the Declaration of Right. 1689.

After the flight of James II, a "Convention Parliament" met, and
declared that, James having broken "the orginal contract between king
and people," the throne was therefore vacant.  The Convention next
issued a formal statement of principles under the name of the
"Declaration of Right," 1689.[1]

[1] It was called a "Convention Parliament" because it had not been
summoned by the King (S491).  Declaration of Right: see Summary of
Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxii, S24.  On the
coronation oath see S380, note 1.

That document recited the illegal and arbitrary acts of the late King
James II, proclaimed him no longer sovereign, and resolved that the
crown should be tendered to William and Mary.[2]  The Declaration
having been read to them and having received their assent, they were
formally invited to accept the joint sovereignty of the realm, with
the understanding that the actual administration should be vested in
William alone.

[2] William of Orange stood next in order of succession to Mary and
Anne (provided the claim of the newly born Prince James, the so-called
"Pretender," was set aside [SS490, 491]).  See Genealogical Table,
p. 323.

495. Jacobites and Nonjurors (1689).

At the accession of the new sovereigns the extreme Tories (S479), who
believed the action fo the Convention unconstitutional, continued to
adhere to James II as their lawful King.  Henceforth this class became
known as "Jacobites," from Jacobus, the Latin name for James.  They
were especially numerous and determined in the Highlands of Scotland
and the south of Ireland.  They kept up a secret correspondence with
the refugee monarch, and were constantly plotting for his restoration.

About four hundred of the clergy of the Church of England, including
the Archbishop of Canterbury and four more of the famous seven bishops
(S489), with some members of the universities and also some Scotch
Presbyterians, refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and
Mary.  They became known on this account as the "Nonjurors," and
although they were never harshly treated, they were compelled to
resign their positions.

496. The Mutiny Act and the Toleration Act, 1689.

We have seen that one of the chief means of despotism on which James
II relied was the organization of a powerful standing army (S488),
such as was unknown in England until Cromwell was compelled to rule by
military force (S457).  Charles II had perpetuated such an army
(S467), but it was so small that it was no longer formidable.

It was now evident that owing to the abolition of the feudal levies
(SS150, 482) a standing army under the King's command must be
maintained, especially as war was impending with Louis XIV, who
threatened by force of arms and with the help of the Jacobites (S495)
to restore James II to the English throne.  To prevent the sovereign
from making bad use of such a power, Parliament passed a law called
the "Mutiny Act," 1689, which practically put the army under the
control of the nation,[1] as it has since remained.  Thus all danger
from that source was taken away.

[1] The Mutiny Act provides: (1) that the standing army shall be at
the King's command--subject to certain rules--for one year only; (2)
that no pay shall be issued to troops except by special acts of
Parliament; (3) that no act of mutiny can be punished except by the
annual reenactment of the Mutiny Bill.

James's next method for bringing the country under the control of Rome
had been to issue Declarations of Indulgence (S488).  It was generally
believed that his object in granting these measures of toleration,
which promised freedom to all religious beliefs, was that he might
place Roman Catholics in power.

As an offset to these Declarations, Parliament now passed the
Toleration Act, 1689, which secured freedom of worship to all
religious believers except "Papists and such as deny the Trinity."
This measure, though one-sided and utterly inconsistent with the
broader and juster ideas of toleration which have since prevailed, was
nevertheless a most important reform.  It put an end at once and
forever to the persecution which had disgraced the reigns of the
Stuarts, though unfortunately it still left the Catholics, the
Unitarians, and the Jews subject to the heavy hand of tyrannical
oppression,[1] and they remained so for many years (SS573, 599).

[1] In 1663 Charles granted a charter to Rhode Island which secured
religious liberty to that colony.  It was the first royal charter
recognizing the principle of toleration.

497. The Bill of Rights, 1689, and Act of Settlement, 1701.

Not many months later, Parliament embodied the Declaration of Right
(S494), with some slight changes, in the Bill of Rights, 1689,[2]
which received the signature of the King and became law.  It
constitutes the third and last great step which England has taken in
making anything like a formal WRITTEN Constitution,[3]--the first
being Magna Carta, or the Great Charter (S199), and the second the
Petition of Right (S432).  The Habeas Corpus Act (S482) was contained,
in germ at least, in Magna Carta (S199 (2)); hence these three
measures, namely, Magna Carta, 1215; the Petition of Right, 1628; and
the Bill of Rights, 1689 (including the Act of Settlement to be
mentioned presently), sum up the written safeguards of the nation, and
constitute, as Lord Chatham said, "The Bible of English Liberty."

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxii,
S25, and p. xxxi.
[3] It should be borne in mind that a large part of the English
Constitution is based on ancient customs or unwritten laws, and
another part on acts of Parliament passed for specific purposes.

With the passage of the Bill of Rights,[4] the doctrine of the Divine
Right of Kings to govern without being accountable to their subjects
(SS419, 429), which James I and his descendants had tried so hard to
reduce to practice, came to an end forever.

[4] For summary of the bill, see Constitutional Documents in the
Appendix, p. xxxi.  For the complete text, see Taswell-Langmead's
"Constitutional History of England" or Lee's "Source Book of English

The chief provisions of the Bill of Rights were:
  (1) That the King should not maintain a standing army in time of
peace, except by consent of Parliament.
  (2) That no money should be taken from the people save by the
consent of Parliament.
  (3) That every subject has the right to petition the Crown for the
redress of any grievance.
  (4) That the election of members of Parliament ought to be free from
  (5) That Parliament should frequently assemble and enjoy entire
freedom of debate.
  (6) That the King be debarred from interfering in any way with the
proper execution of the laws.
  (7) That a Roman Catholic or a person marrying a Roman Catholic be
henceforth incapable of receiving the crown of England.

Late in the reign (1701) Parliament reaffirmed and still further
extended the provisions of the Bill of Rightss by the Act of
Settlement, which established a new royal line of sovereigns confined
exclusively to Protestants.[1]  This Act with the preceding one may be
said to have introduced that principle of the British Constitution
which has been called "The Reign of Law."  It practically abolished
the principle of a fixed hereditary succession and reestablished in
the clearest and most decided manner the right of the nation to choose
its own rulers.

[1] Compare S349, note 2.  The Act of Settlement (see p. xxxii of
Appendix) provided that after Princess Anne (in default of issue by
William or Anne) the crown should descend to the Electress Sophia of
Hanover, Hermany, and her PROTESTANT DESCENDANTS.  The Electress
Sophia was the granddaughter of James I.  She married Ernest Augustus,
Elector (or ruler) of Hanover.  As Hallam says, she was "very far
removed from any hereditary title," as, aside from James II's son
(S490), whose legitimacy no one now doubted, there were several who
stood nearer in right of succession.

According to that measure, "an English sovereign is now as much the
creature of an act of Parliament as the pettiest taxgatherer in his
realm";[2] and he is dependent for his office and power on the will of
the people as really, though of course not as directly as the
President of the United States.

[2] Green's "Short History of the English People" and Bryce's
"American Commonwealth."

Finally, the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, by restricting
the royal succession to Protestants, made it henceforth
unconstitutional for the Crown to permit or invite the Papal Power to
take any recognized part in the government of England.  The enactment
of these two measures, therefore, effectually put an end to that great
conflict between England and Rome which had been going on, in some
form, for more than six hundred years (S349, note 2).

To-day entire harmony exists.  Catholics and Protestants "work
together for good" in Parliament, in the Cabinet, in the Courts of
Justice, in the Universities, in the Army and Navy, in the service of
the Press, and in private life.[1]

[1] The names of many eminent Catholics might be cited, such as
Professor Lingard, the historian (1851), the late Lord Chief Justice
Russell, the late Lord Acton, Professor of History at Cambridge, and
the late Sir Francis Burnand, editor of _Punch._

498. Further Benefits of the Revolution.

Foremost in the list of other benefits which England gained by the
Revolution of 1688 should be placed: 1. The Toleration Act already
mentioned (S496), which gave a very large number of people the right
of worshiping God according to the dictates of conscience, and which
was the stepping-stone to later measures that completed the good work
of extending religious liberty in England (SS573, 599).
  2. Parliament now established the salutory rule that no money should
be voted to the King except for specific purposes, and it also limited
the royal revenue to a few years' supply instead of granting it for
life, as had been done in the case of Charles II and James.  Later the
supply was limited to an annual grant.  As the Mutiny Act (S496) made
the army dependent for its existence on the annual meeting and action
of the House of Commons, these two measures practically gave the
people full control of the two great powers,--the purse and the
sword,--which they have ever since retained.
  3. Parliament next enacted that judges should hold office not as
heretofore, at his Majesty's pleasure, but during good behavior (or
until the death of the reigning sovereign vacated their commissions).
This took away that dangerous authority of the King over the courts of
justice, which had caused so much oppression and cruelty.
  4. But, as Macaulay remarks, of all the reforms produced by the
change of government, perhaps none proved more extensively useful than
the establishment of the liberty of the press.  Up to this time no
book or newspaper could be published in England without a license.[2]
In the period of the Commonwealth John Milton, the great Puritan poet,
had earnestly labored to get this severe law repealed, declaring that
"while he who kills a man kills a reasonable creature,...he who
destroys a good book [by refusing to let it appear in print] kills
reason itself."[3]  But under James II, Chief Justice Scroggs had
declared it a crime to publish anything whatever concerning the
government, whether true or false, without a license.  During that
reign there were only four places in England--namely, London, Oxford,
Cambridge, and York--where any book, pamphlet, or newspaper could be
legally issued, and then only with the sanction of a rigid inspector.

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxiii,
[3] Milton's "Areopagitica," or "Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed

Under William and Mary this restriction was removed.  Henceforth men
were free not only to think, but to print and circulate their thought
(subject, of course, to the law of libel and sedition).  They could
thus bring the government more directly before that bar of public
opinion which judges all men and all institutions.

499. James II lands in Ireland (1689); Act of Attainder; Siege of

But though William was King of England, and had been accepted as King
of Scotland, yet the Irish, like the Scotch Highlanders, refused to
recognize him as their lawful sovereign.  The great body of Irish
population was then, as now, Roman Catholic.  But they had been
gradually dispossessed of their hold on the land (SS159, 402, 453),
and the larger part of the most desirable portion of the island was
owned by a few hundred thousand Protestant colonists.

On the other hand, James II had, during his reign, put the civil
government and the military power in the hands of the Catholics.  The
Earl of Tyrconnel (S488) now raised the standard of rebellion in
Ireland in the interest of the Catholics, and invited James II to come
over from France (S491) and regain his throne.  The Protestants of the
north stood by William of Orange (S491), and thus got that name of
Orangemen which they have ever since retained.  James landed in
Ireland in the spring (1689) with a small French force lent him by
Louis XIV (S491).

He established his headquarters at Dublin.  Not long afterwards he
issued that great Act of Attainder (1689) which summoned all who were
in rebellion against his authority to appear for trial on a given day,
or be declared traitors, hanged, drawn, and quartered, and their
property confiscated.[1]  Next, the Protestant city of Londonderry
(S423) was bebesieged (1689).  For more than three months it held out
against shot and shell, famine and fever.

[1] Attainder (S351): This act contained between two and three
thousand names.  It embraced all classes, from half the peerage of
Ireland to tradesmen, women, and children.  If they failed to appear,
they could be put to death without trial.

The starving inhabitants, exceeding thirty thousand in number, were
finally reduced to the last extremities.  Nothing was left to eat but
a few miserable horses and some salted hides.  As they looked into
each other's hollow eyes, the question came, Must we surrender? Then
it was that an aged clergyman, the venerable George Walker, one of the
governors of the city, pleaded with them, Bible in hand, to remain

That appeal carried the day.  They declared that rather than open the
gates to the enemy, they would perish of hunger, or, as some voice
whispered, that they would fall "first on the horses and the
hides,--THEN ON THE PRISONERS,--then--ON EACH OTHER!"  But at this
moment, when all hope seemed lost, a shout of triumph was heard.  An
English force had sailed up the river, broken through all
obstructions, and the valiant city was saved.

500. Battle of the Boyne, 1690; Treaty of Limerick.

A year later occurred the decisive battle of the Boyne,[1] 1690, at
which King William commanded in person on one side, while James II was
present on the opposite side.  William had a somewhat larger force and
by far the greater number of well-armed, veteran troops.  The contest
ended with the utter defeat of James.  He stood on a hill at a safe
distance, and when he saw that the battle was going against him,
turned and fled to France.  William, on the other hand, though
suffering from a wound, led his own men.  The cowardly behavior of
James excited the disgust and scorn of both the French and Irish.
"Change kings with us," shouted an Irish officer later, to one of
William's men, "change kings with us, and we'll fight you over again."

[1] Fought in the east of Ireland, on the banks of the river of that
name.  (See map facing p. 358.)

The war was brought to an end by the treaty of Limerick (1691), when
about ten thousand Irish soldiers who had fought for James, and who no
longer cared to remain in their own country after their defeat, were
permitted to go to France.  "When the wild cry of the women, who stood
watching their departure, was hushed, the silence of death settled
down upon Ireland.  For a hundred years the country remained at peace,
but the peace was that of despair."[1]  In violation of that treaty, a
severe act was passed against Roman Catholics; they were hunted like
wild beasts, and terrible vengeance was now taken for that Act of
Attainder (S499) which James had issued.  Furthermore, England
selfishly closed her own ports and those of her colonies against Irish
products; this policy starved the industry of that unfortunate island.

[1] Green's "Short History of the English People."

501. Massacre of Glencoe (1692).

Fighting against William and Mary had also been going on in Scotland;
for Claverhouse, or "Bonny Dundee" (S472), was an ardent adherent of
James II and vowed, "Ere the King's crown shall fall, there are crowns
to be broke."[2]  But the Jacobites, or adherents of James (S495), had
been conquered, and a proclamation was sent out commanding all the
Highland clans to take the oath of allegiance before the beginning of
the new year (1692).

[2] Scott's Poems, "Bonny Dundee."

A chief of the clan of the Macdonalds of Glencoe, through no fault of
his own, failed to make submission within the appointed time.  Scotch
enemies of the clan told the King that the chief had refused to take
the oath, and urged William "to extirpate that set of thieves."  The
King signed an order to that effect, without clearly understnading
what was intended.

Thereupon the Scotch authorities sent a body of soldiers to Glencoe,
who were hospitably received by the Macdonalds.  After stopping with
them a number of days, they rose before light one winter morning, and,
suddenly attacking their friendly hosts, murdered all the men who did
not escape, and drove the women and children into the snowdrifts to
perish of cold and hunger.

They finished their work of destruction by burning the cabins and
driving away the cattle.  By this act, Glencoe, or the "Glen of
Weeping," was changed into the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  The
blame which attaches to William is that he did nothing toward
punishing those who planned and carried out the horrible massacre.

502. La Hogue; the Peace of Ryswick, 1697.

The English naval commander, Admiral Russell, like many of William's
pretended friends and supporters, had been engaged in treasonable
correspondence with James II.  If the latter succeeded in recovering
his crown, the Admiral hoped to bask in the sunshine of royal favor;
but he later changed his mind and fought so bravely in the sea fight
off La Hogue that the French supporters of James were utterly beaten.

King William, however, continued his Continental wars for the next
five years, until, by the Peace of Ryswick, in Holland, 1697, Louis
XIV bound himself to recognize William as King of England, the
Princess Anne[1] as his successor, to withdraw all support from James,
and to place the chief fortresses of the Netherlands, or Low
Countries, in the hands of the Dutch garrisons.  The Peace of Ryswick
marked the end of the conspiracy between Louis and the Stuarts to turn
England into a Roman Catholic country dependent on France (SS477,
488).  When William went in solemn state to return thanks for the
conclusion of the war, it was to the new cathedral of St. Paul's,
which Wren had nearly completed (S474), and which was then first used
for public worship.

[1] The second (Protestant) daughter of James II.  See Genealogical
Table, p. 323.

503. The National Debt, 1693; the Bank of England, 1694.

William had now gained, at least temporarily, the object that he had
in view when he accepted the English crown.  He had succeeded in
drawing the English into a close defensive alliance against Lois
XIV,[2] who, as we have seen, was bent on destroying both the
political and the religious liberty of the Dutch as a Protestant
people (S476).

[2] Guizot's "History of Civilization," chap. xiii.

William's wars had compelled him to borrow large sums from the London
merchants.  Out of these loans sprang the permanent National Debt.
That debt was destined to grow from less than a million of pounds to
so many hundred millions that all thought of ever paying it has long
since been given up.  Furthermore, it became necessary to organize a
Banking Company, 1694, for the management of this collosal debt;
together the two were destined to become more widely known than any of
William's victories.

The building erected by that Company covers not far from four acres of
land in the very heart of London.  In the first room which one enters
stands a statue of the King, bearing this inscription: "To the memory
of the best of Princes, William of Orange, founder of the Bank of
England,"--the largest and most important financial institution in the

504. William's Death.

King William hasd a brave soul in a feeble body.  All his life he was
an invalid, but he learned to conquer disease, or at least to hold it
in check, as he conquered his enemies.  He was worn out by overwork,
sickness, and the cares of office.  If he could have been assured of
the safety of his beloved Holland, death would have been welcome to
one who had so long been stretched "upon the hard rack of this tough
world."  He was never popular in England, and at one time was kept
from returning to his native country only through the earnest
protestation of the Lord Chancellor, who refused to stamp the King's
resignation with the Great Seal (S145).

There were plots to assassinate him, and many who pretended to be
friends were treacherous, and only wanted a good opportunity to go
over to the side of James II.  Others were eager to hear of his death,
and when it occurred, through the stumbling of his horse over a
molehill, they drank to "the little gentleman in black velvet," whose
work underground caused the fatal accident.

505. Summary.

William's reign was a prolonged struggle for the great Protestant
cause and for the maintenance of political liberty in both England and
Holland.  Invalid as he was, he was yet a man of indomitable
resolution as well as indomitable courage.

Though a foreigner by birth, and caring more for Holland than for any
other country in the world, yet, through his Irish and Continental
wars with James II and Louis XIV, he helped more than any other man of
the seventeenth century, Cromwell alone excepted, to make England


506. Accession and Character of Anne.

William (S504) left no children, and according to the provisions of
the Bill of Rights (S497)[1] the Princess Anne, younger sister of the
late Queen Mary, now came to the throne.  She was a negative
character, with kindly impulses and little intelligence.  "When in
good humor she was meekly stupid, and when in ill humor, sulkily
stupid."[2]  But if there was any person duller than her Majesty, that
person was her Majesty's husband, Prince George of Denmark.  Charles
II, who knew him well, said, "I have tried Prince George sober, and I
have tried him drunk, and drunk or sober, there is nothing in him."

[1] See the Bill of Rights (third paragraph) on page xxxi of the
[2] Macaulay's "England"; and compare Stanhope's "Reign of Anne."

Along with the amiable qualities which gained for the new ruler the
title of "Good Queen Anne" her Majesty inherited the obstinacy, the
prejudices, and the superstitions of the Stuart sovereigns.  Though a
most zealous Protestant and an ardent upholder of the Church of
England, she declared her faith in the Divine Right of Kings (SS419,
429), which had cost her grandfather, Charles I, his head, and she was
the last English sovereign who believed that the touch of the royal
hand could dispel disease.

The first theory she never openly proclaimed in any offensive way, but
the harmless delusion that she could relieve the sick was a favorite
notion with her; and we find in the London _Gazette_ (March 12, 1712)
an official announcement, stating that on certain days the Queen would
"touch" for the cure of "king's evil," or scrofula.

Among the multitudes who went to test her power was a poor Lichfield
bookseller.  He carried to her his little half-blind, sickly boy, who,
by virtue either of her Majesty's beneficent fingers or from some
other and better reason, grew up to be known as the famous author and
lexicographer, Dr. Samuel Johnson.[2]

[2] Johnson told Boswell, his biographer, that he remembered the
incident, and that "he had a confused, but somehow a sort of solemn
recollection of a lady in diamonds and a long black hood."--Boswell's

507. Whig and Tory; High Church and Low.

Politically, the government of the country was divided between the two
great parties of the Whigs and the Tories (S479), since uscceeded by
the Liberals and Conservatives.  Though mutually hostile, each
believing that its rival's success meant national ruin, yet both were
sincerely opposed to despotism on the one hand, and to anarchy on the
other.  The Whigs (S479), setting Parliament above the throne, were
pledged to maintain the Act of Settlement (S497) and the Protestant
succession; while the Tories (S479), insisting on a strict, unbroken
line of hereditary sovereigns, were anxious to set aside that act and
restore the excluded Stuarts (S494).

The Church of England was likewise divided into two parties, known as
High Church and Low Church.  The first, who were generally Tories,
wished to exalt the power of the bishops and were opposed to the
toleration of Dissenters (S472); the second, who were Whigs as a rule,
believed it best to curtail the authority of the bishops, and to
secure to all Trinitarian Protestants entire liberty of worship and
all civil and political rights and privileges.  Thus to the bitterness
of heated political controversy there was added the still more acrid
bitterness of theological dispute.

Addison illustrates the feeling that then prevailed by an amusing
story of an earlier occurrence.  A boy who had lost his way in London
was called a "popish cur" by a Whig because he ventured to inquire for
Saint Anne's Lane, while he was cuffed for irreverence by a Tory when,
correcting himself, he asked bluntly for Anne's Lane.

The Queen, although she owed her crown mainly to the Whigs (S479),
sympathized with the Tories (S479) and the High Church, and did all in
her power to strengthen both.  As for the leaders of the two parties,
they seem to have looked out first for themselves, and afterwards--
often a long way afterwards--for their country.  During the whole
reign they were plotting and counterplotting, mining and undermining.
Their subtle schemes to secure office and destroy each other become as
incomprehensible and fathomless as those of the fallen angels in
Milton's vision of the bottomless pit.

508. The War of the Spanish Succession, 1702.

Anne had no sooner come to the throne than war broke out with France.
It had its origin in the previous reign.  William III had cared little
for England compared with his native Holland, whose interests always
had the first place in his heart.  He had spent his life battling to
preserve the independence of the Dutch republic and fighting Louis XIV
of France, who was determined, if possible, to annex the Netherlands,
including Holland, to his own dominions (S502).

During the latter part of William's reign the French King seemed
likely to be able to accomplish his purpose.  The King of Spain, who
had no children, was in feeble health, and at his death it was
probable that Louis XIV's grandson, Philip of Anjou, would receive the
crown.  If that happened, Louis XIV, who was then the most powerful
prince in Europe, would obtain the control of the Spanish dominions,
which, besides Spain, comprise a large part of the Netherlands,[1]
parts of Italy, and immense provinces in South America.  The
possession of such an empire would make Louis irresistible in Europe,
and the little, free Protestant states of Holland could not hope to
stand before him.

[1] The whole of the Netherlands at one time belonged to Spain, but
the northern part, or Holland, had succeeded in establishing its
independence, and was protected on the southern frontier by a line of
fortified towns.

Not long afterwards, the King of Spain died and bequeathed the crown
to Philip of Anjou.  When Philip left Paris for Madrid, Louis XIV
exultingly exclaimed, "The Pyrenees no longer exist."  That was simply
his short way of saying, Now France and Spain are made one, and
FRANCE is that one.[2]

[2] When Philip of Anjou went to Spain, Louis XIV, by letters patent,
conditionally reserved the succession to the Spanish throne to France,
thus virtually uniting the two countries, so that the Pyrenees
Mountains would no longer have any political meaning as a boundary
between the two countries.

Louis at once put French garrisons in the border towns of the Spanish
Netherlands, and he thus had a force ready at any moment to march
across the frontier into Holland.  Finally, on the death of the royal
refugee, James II (S9491), which occurred shortly before King
William's death, Louis XIV publicly acknowledged the exiled monarch's
son, James Edward, the so-called "Old Pretender" (SS490, 491), as
rightful sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

This effectually roused the English people; they were prepared for
hostilities when William's sudden death occurred (S504).  Immediately
after Anne came to the throne (1702) war with France was declared, and
since it had grown out of Louis's designs on the crown of Spain, it
was called the "War of the Spanish Succession."

The contest was begun by England, mainly to prevent the French King
from carrying out his threat of placing the so-called "Pretender," son
of the late James II, on the English throne and so overturning the
Bill of Rights (S497) and the Act of Settlement (S497), and thereby
restoring the country to the Roman Catholic Stuarts.  Later, the war
came to have two other important objects.  The first of these was to
defend Holland, now a most valuable ally; the second was to protect
the colonies of Virginia and New England against the power of France,
which threatened, through its own American colonies and through the
extensive Spanish possessions it expected to acquire, to get control
of the whole of the New World.[1]

[1] At this time England had twelve American colonies extending from
New England to South Carolina, inclusive, with part of Newfoundland.
France and Spain claimed all the rest of the continent.

Thus England had three objects at stake:
  (1) The maintenance of Protestant government at home.
  (2) The maintenance of the Protestant power of Holland.
  (3) The retention of a large part of the American continent.

For this reason the War of the Spanish Succession may be regarded as
the beginning of a second Hundred Years' War between England and
France (S237),[2] one destined to decide which was to build up the
great empire of the future in the western hemisphere.[3]

[2] During the next eighty years fighting was going on between England
and France, directly or indirectly, for a great part of the time.
[3] Seeley's "Expansion of England."

509. Marlborough; Blenheim, Gibraltar, and Other Victories

John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough (S491), commanded the English and
Dutch forces, and had for his ally Prince Eugene of Savoy, who led the
German armies.  The Duke, who was known in the enemy's camps by the
flattering name of "the handsome Englishman," had risen from
obscurity.  He owed the beginning of his success to his good looks and
a court intrigue.  In politics he sympathized chiefly with the Tories
(S479), but his interests in the war led him to support the Whigs

He was avaricious, unscrupulous, and teacherous.  James II trusted
him, and he deceived him and went over to William (S491); William
trusted him, and he deceived him and opened a treasonable
correspondence with the dethroned James; Anne trusted him, and he
would undoubtedly have betrayed her if the so-called "Pretender"
(SS490, 491) had been able to bid high enough, or if he could have
shown him that his cause was likely to be successful.  In his greed
for money the Duke hesitated at nothing; he took bribes from army
contractors, and robbed his soldiers of their pay.[1]

[1] See Hallam, Macaulay; and Thackeray's "Henry Esmond."

As a soldier, Marlborough had no equal.  Voltaire says of him with
truth that "he never besieged a fortress which he did not take, nor
fought a battle which he did not win."  This man, at once so able and
so false, to whom war was a private speculation rather than a contest
for right or principle, now opened the campaign.  He captured those
fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands which Louis XIV had garrisoned
with French troops to menace Holland, but he could not induce the
enemy to rish a battle in the open field.

At length, Marlborough, by a brilliant movement (1704), changed the
scene of the war from the Netherlands to Bavaria in southern Germany.
There, at the little village of Blenheim,[2] he, with Prince Eugene,
gained a victory over the French which saved Germany from the power of
Louis XIV. (See map opposite.)  England, out of gratitude for the
humiliation of her powerful enemy, presented the Duke with the ancient
royal Park of Woodstock, near Oxford, and built for him the palace of
Blenheim, which the architect called "the biggest house for the
biggest man in England."  It is still occupied by descendants of the
Duke's family.  A few days before the battle of Blenheim, a powerful
English fleet had attacked and taken Gibraltar (1704).  England thus
gained and still holds the command of the great inland sea of the
Mediterranean.  In the course of the next five years Marlborough
fought three great battles,[3] by which he drove the French out of the
Netherlands once for all, and finally beat them on a hotly contested
field in northern France.  The power of Louis XIV was now so far
broken that England no longer felt any fear that he would overcome her
colonies in America (S508).

[2] Blenheim: The palace grounds are nearly twelve miles in
circumference.  The Marlborough family hold Blenheim on condition that
they present a flag every year (August 2) to the English sovereign at
Windsor Castle.
[3] Ramillies (1706); Oudenarde (1708); Malplaquet (1709).

510. The Powers behind the Throne; Jennings against Masham.

But if the Duke of Marlborough was remarkable, so too was his wife.
While the war was going on, the real power of the Crown, though it
stood in Anne's name, was practically in the hands of Sarah Jennings,
Duchess of Marlborough, who held the office of Mistress of the Robes.
She and the Queen had long been inseparable, and it was her influence
that cause Anne to desert her father (S491) and espouse the cause of
William of Orange.

The imperious temper of the Duchess carried all before it, and in her
department she won victories which might well be compared with those
the Duke, her husband, gained on the field of battle.  In time her
sway over her royal companion grew to be so absolute that she seemed
to decide everything, from questions of state to the cut of a gown or
the color of a ribbon.  Finally, it became a common saying that "Queen
Anne reigns, but Queen Sarah governs."[1]

[1] For years the Queen and the Duchess corresponded almost daily
under the names of "Mrs. Morley" (the Queen) and "Mrs. Freeman" (the
Duchess), the latter taking that name because, she said, it suited the
frank and bold character of her letters.

While the Duchess continued in power, she used her influence to urge
forward the war with France undertaken by England to check the designs
of Louis XIV on Spain and Holland, and also to punish him for his
recognition of the claim of the Pretender to the English crown
(S491).  Her object was to advance her husband, who, as commander in
chief of the English and Dutch forces on the Continent, had won fame
and fortune,--the first by his splendid ability, the second by his
unscrupulous greed (S509).

After a number of years, the Queen and the Duchess quarreled, and the
latter was superseded by her cousin, a Mrs. Masham (1711), who soon
got as complete control of Anne as the former favorite had possessed.
Mrs. Masham was as sly and supple as the Duchess had been dictatorial
and violent.  She was cousin to Robert Harley, a prominent Tory
politician (S479).  Through her influence Harley now became Prime
Minister in everything but name.  He succeeded in putting a stop to
further fighting, and Marlborough was ordered home in disgrace on a
charge of having robbed the government.  Thus it was, as Hallam
remarks, that "the fortunes of Europe were changed by the insolence of
one waiting woman and the cunning of another."[1]

511. Dr. Sacheverell (1710).

An incident occurred about this time which greatly helped the Tories
(S479) in their schemes.  Dr. Sacheverell, a violent Tory and High
Churchman (S507), began preaching a series of vehement sermons in
London condemning the Whig policy which called for the reopening of
the war.  He also endeavored to revive the exploding theory of the
Divine Right of Kings (S419, 429), and declared that no tyranny on the
part of a sovereign could by any possibility justify a subject in
resisting the royal will.  The Whig leaders brought the preacher to
trial for alleged treasonable utterances (1710).  He was suspended
from his office for three years, and his book of sermons was publicly
burned by the common hangman.

This created intense popular excitement; Sacheverell was regarded as a
political martyr by all who wished the war ended.  A reaction against
the Government set in; the Whigs (S479) were driven from power, and
the Tories passed two very harsh laws[2] against Dissenters (S472),
though they were repealed a few years later.  The Duchess of
Marlborough had to leave her apartments in the palace of St. James,
and in her spite broke down marble mantels and tore off the locks from
doors.  Mrs. Masham's friends, the Tories (S479), or peace party, who
had now triumphed, prepared to put a complete end to the fighting.

[2] These were the Occasional Conformity Act and the Schism Act

512. The Peace of Utrecht, 1713.

Not long after this change a messenger was privately dispatched to
Louis XIV to ask if he wished for peace.  "It was," says the French
minister, "like asking a dying man whether he would wish to be
cured."[3]  Later, terms were secretly agreed upon between the Tories
(S479) and the French, and in 1713, in the quaint Dutch city of
Utrecht, the allies, together with France and Spain, signed the treaty
bearing that name.

[2] Morris's "The Age of Anne."

By it Louis XIV bound himself:
 (1) To acknowledge the right of England to limit the succession to
the crown to Protestant sovereigns (S497).
 (2) To compel Prince James Edward, the so-called "Pretender" (SS490,
491) to quit France.
 (3) To renounce the union of the crowns of France and Spain; but
Philip was to retain the Spanish throne (S508).
 (4) To cede to England all claims to Newfoundland, Acadia, or Nova
Scotia, and that vast region known as the Hudson Bay Company's

Next, Spain was to give up:
 (1) The Spanish Netherlands to Austria, an ally of Holland, and grant
to the Dutch a line of forts to defend their frontier against France.
 (2) England was to have the exclusive right for thirty-three years of
supplying the Spanish-American colonists with negro slaves.[1]

[1] This right (called the "Assiento," or Contract) had formerly
belonged to France.  By its transfer England got the privilege of
furnishing 4800 "sound, merchantable negroes "annually," "two thirds
to be males" between ten and forty years of age.

This trade had long been coveted by the English, and had been carried
on to some extent by them ever since Sir John Hawkins entered upon it
in Queen Elizabeth's reign.  Sir John grew very rich through his
traffic in human flesh, and he set up a coat of arms emblazoned with a
slave in fetters, so that all might see how he had won wealth and

513. Union of England and Scotland, 1707.

Since the accession of James I (1603), England and Scotland had been
ruled by one sovereign, but each country retained its own Parliament
and its own forms of worship.  In 1707 the two countries were finally
united under the name of Great Britain.

The Established (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland and the Scottish
laws were to be preserved.  The independent Parliament of Scotland was
given up, and the Scotch were henceforth represented in the English
Parliament by sixteen peers chosen by members of the Scottish peerage
at the summoning of every Parliament; and by forty-five (now seventy-
two) members returned by Scotland to the House of Commons.

With the consummation of the union between the two countries Great
Britain adopted a new flag, the Union Jack, which was formed by the
junction of the red cross of St. George of England and the white cross
of St. Andrew of Scotland.[1]

[1] After Ireland was united to Great Britain (1800) the red cross of
St. Patrick was added to the flag (1801).  The first Union Jack was
the work of James I, whose usual signature was Jacques (hence "Jack"),
French for James.

514. Literature of the Period; the First Daily Paper.

The reign of Anne has been characterized as one of corruption in high
places and of brutality in low, but in literature it takes rank next
to that of Elizabeth (S393).  There was indeed no great central
luminary like Shakespeare, but a constellation of lesser ones,--such
as Addison, Defoe, and Pope.  They shone with a splendor of their
own.  The lurid brilliancy of the half-mad satirist Dean Swift was
beginning to command attention; on the other hand, the calm, clear
light of the philosopher John Locke was near its setting.

Aside from these great names in letters, it was an age generally of
contented dullness, well represented in the good-natured mediocrity of
Queen Anne herself.  During her reign the first daily newspaper
(SS422, 443) appeared in England,--the Daily Courant (1703); it was a
dingy, badly printed little sheet, not much bigger than a man's hand.
The publisher said he made it so small "to save the Publick at least
one half the Impertinences of Ordinary News-Papers."

Perhaps it was well this journal set up no greater pretensions, for it
had to compete with swarms of abusive political pamphlets, such as
Swift wrote for the Tories and Defoe for the Whigs (S479).  It had
also to compete with the gossip and scandal of the coffeehouses and
the clubs; for this reason the proprietor found it no easy matter
either to fill it or to sell it.

A few years later (1711) a periodical appeared, called the Spectator.
It was published daily, and Addison, its chief contributor, soon made
it famous.  Each number consisted of an essay hitting off the follies
and foibles of the age, and it was regularly served at the breakfast
tables of people of fashion along with their tea and toast.

One of the greatest merits of the Spectator was its happy way of
showing that wit and virtue are after all better friends than wit and
vice.  Neither this little magazine nor the newspapers of that time
dared to publish a single line of parliamentary debate.  But they
marked the humble beginning of that vast organized power, represented
by the daily press of London, which discusses everything of interest
throughout the world.

515. Death of the Queen.

The ingratitude of public men and the furious quarrels of politicians
so teased and vexed the Queen that she at last fell into a fatal
illness.  Her physician wrote to Dean Swift, "I believe sleep was
never more welcome to a weary traveler than death was to her."  When
she laid down the scepter (1714) she left no heir to the throne, and
so the power of the Stuarts (S415) came to an end.

According to the terms of the Act of Settlement (S497) the crown now
passed to George, Elector of Hanover, a Protestant descendant of James
I of England.  (See Table, p. 323.)  James Edward, son of James II,
believed to the last that his half-sister, Queen Anne, would name him
her successor;[1] instead of that it was she who first dubbed him the
"Pretender" (S491).

[1] Anne and the so-called "Pretender" were children of James II by
different mothers.

516. Summary.

The whole reign of Anne was taken up with the strife of political
parties at home, and the War of the Spanish Succession abroad.  The
Whigs (S479) were always intriguing through the Duchess of Marlborough
and other leaders to keep up the war and to keep out the so-called
"Pretender"; the Tories (S479), on the other hand, were just as busy
through Mrs. Masham and her coadjutors in endeavoring to establish
peace, and with it the Divine Right of Kings (SS419, 429).

The extreme Tories hoped for the restoration of the Roman Catholic
Stuarts in the person of James Edward, the so-called "Pretender."  The
War of the Spanish Succession resulted in the defeat of Louis XIV and
the confirmation of that Act of Settlement (S497) which secured the
English crown to a Protestant prince.


1603-1714 (Commonwealth, 1649-1660)

I. Government. II. Religion. III. Military Affairs. IV. Literature and
Learning. V. General Industry and Commerce.  Vi. Mode of Life,
Manners, and Customs

                        I. Government

517. The Divine Right of Kings; the Civil War; the "Glorious
Revolution" of 1688.

The period began with the attempt of James I to carry out his theory
that the King derives his right to rule directly from God, and in no
wise from the people.  Charles I adopted this disastrous theory, and
was supported in it by Manwaring and other clergymen, who declared
that the King represents God on earth, and that the subject who
resists his will, or refuses a tax or loan to him, does so at the
everlasting peril of his soul.

Charles I's arbitrary methods of government and levies of illegal
taxes, with the imprisonment of those who refused to pay them, led to
the meeting of the Long Parliament and the enactment in 1628 of the
statue of the Petition of Right, or second great charter of English

The same Parliament abolished the despotic courts of Star Chamber and
High Commission, which had been used by Strafford and Laud to carry
out their tyrannical scheme called "Thorough."

Charles I's renewed acts of oppression and open violation of the laws,
with his levies of "ship money," led to the Grand Remonstrance, an
appeal to the nation to support Parliament in its struggle with the
King.  The attempt of the King to arrest five members who had taken a
prominent part in drawing up the Remonstrance brought on the Civil War
and the establishment of the Commonwealth.  The new republic was
utterly opposed to the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings.  It
declared "the People are, under God, the origin of all just power."
Eventually Cromwell became Protector of the nation, and ruled by means
of a strong military force.

On the restoration of the Stuarts, Feudal Tenure and the Right of
Purveyance were abolished by Parliament (1660).  Charles II endeavored
to rule without Parliament by selling his influence to Louis XIV, by
the secret Treaty of Dover.  During his reign, the Habeas Corpus Act
was passed and feudalism was practically abolished.

James II endeavored to restore the Roman Catholic religion.  His
treatment of the University of Oxford, and imprisonment of the Seven
Bishops, with the birth of a son who would be educated as a Roman
Catholic, caused the Revolution of 1688, and placed William and Mary
on the throne.

Parliament now, 1689, passed the Bill of Rights, the third great
charter for the protection of the English people, and later confirmed
it, 1701, by the Act of Settlement, which secured the crown to a line
of Protestant sovereigns.  The Mutiny Bill, passed at the beginning of
William III's reign, made the army dependent on Parliament.  These
measures practically put the government in the hands of the House of
Commons, where it has ever since remained.  The Long Parliament had
passed a Triennial Act (1641) requiring a new Parliament to be
summoned within three years from the dissolution of the last
Parliament, which was to sit not longer than three years.  This law
was repealed in 1664 and reenacted under William III in 1694.
William's wars caused the beginning of the National Debt and the
establishment of the Bank of England.

In the reign of Anne, 1707, Scotland and England were united under the
name of Great Britain.  During her sovereignty the permanent Whig and
Tory parties, which came into existence in the time of Charles II,
became especially prominent.  They have since continued to divide the
parliamentary government between them,--the Whigs seeking to extend
the power of the people; the Tories, that of the Crown and the
Church.  After the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832 (S582) the Whigs
took the name of Liberals and the Tories that of Conservatives.  The
system of Cabinet Government, which now prevails, took its rise in
1721 under Robert Walpole, seven years after Anne's death (S534).

                        II. Religion

518. Religious Parties and Religious Legislation.

At the beginning of this period we find four religious parties in
England: (1) the Roman Catholics; (2) the Episcopalians, or supporters
of the National Church of England; (3) the Puritans, who wised to
remain members of that Church, but who sought to "purify" it from
certain Roman Catholic customs and modes of worship; (4) the
Independents, who were endeavoring to establish independent
congregational societies.  In Scotland the Puritans established their
religion in a Church governed by elders, or presbyters, instead of
bishops, which on that account got the name of Presbyterians.

James I persecuted all who dissented from the Church of England; and
after the Gunpowder Plot the Roman Catholics were practically deprived
of the protection of the law, and subject to terrible oppression.  In
James's reign Bartholomew Legate, a Unitarian, was burned at West
Smithfield Market, London (1612), for denying the doctrine of the
trinity.  He was the last English martyr.  Charles I greatly
exasperated the Puritans in the English Church by his Declaration of
Sports, which recommended games in the churchyards after service on
Sunday.  Clergymen who refused to read the Declaration to their
congregation were dismissed from their places.

During the period of the Civil War and the Commonwealth,
Presbyterianism was established as the national worship of England and
Scotland by the Solemn League and Covenant.  A great many Episcopal
clergymen were deprived of their parishes.  At the Restoration several
laws against the Scotch Covenanters and other Dissenters were
enforced, and retaliatory legislation drove two thousand clergymen
from their parishes to starve.  On the other hand, the pretended
Popish Plot caused the exclusion of Roman Catholics from both houses
of Parliament, and all persons holding office were obliged to partake
of the sacrament according to the Church of England.  James II's
futile attempt to restore Catholicism ended in the Revolution and the
passage of the Toleration Act, granting liberty of worship to all
Protestant Trinitarians.  Stringent laws were passed against Catholics
(1700), but they were not regularly enforced.  Under Anne the
Occasional Conformity Act (1711) and the Schism Act (1714) were aimed
at Dissenters.  The first of these laws punished officeholders who,
during their term of office, should attend any dissenting place of
worship; the second forbade any person's keeping a public or private
school unless he was a member of the Church of England.  Both laws
were repealed a few years later (1718).

                III. Military Affairs

519. Armor and Arms.

Armor still continued to be worn in some degree during this period,
but it consisted chiefly of the helmet with breastplates and
backplates.  Firearms of various kinds were in general use; also hand
grenades, or small bombs, and the bayonet.  The chief wars of the
period were the Civil War, the wars with the Dutch, William's war with
France, which extended to America, and the War of the Spanish

                IV. Literature, Learning, and Art

520. Great Writers.

The most eminent prose writers of this period were Sir Walter Raleigh,
Lord Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, John Bunyan, Bishop Hooker, Jeremy
Taylor, John Locke, Hobbes, Dean Swift, Defoe, and Addison; the chief
poets, Shakespeare and Jonson (mentioned under the preceding period),
Milton, Dryden, Pope, Butler, and Beaumont and Fletcher, with a class
of writers known as the "Comic Dramatists of the Restoration," whose
works, though not lacking in genius, exhibit many of the worst
features of the licentious age in which they were produced.  Three
other great writers were born in the latter part of this period,--
Fielding, the novelist, Hume, the historian, and Butler,[1] the ablest
thinker of his time in the English Church,--but their productions
belong to the time of the Georges.

[1] Bishop Butler, author of "The Analogy of Religion" (1736), a work
which gained for him the title of "The Bacon of Theology."

521. Progress in Science and Invention.

Sir Isaac Newton revolutionized natural philosophy by his discovery
and demonstration of the law of gravitation, and Dr. William Harvey
accomplished as great a change in physiological science by his
discovery of the circulation of the blood.  The most remarkable
invention of the age was a rude steam engine, patented in 1698 by
Captain Savery, and so far improved by Thomas Newcomen in 1712 that it
was used for pumping water in coal mines for many years.  Both were
destined to be superseded by James Watt's engine, which belongs to a
later period (1765).

522. Architecture.

The Gothic style of the preceding periods was followed by the Italian,
or classical, represented in the works of Inigo Jones and
Sir Christopher Wren.  It was a revival, in modified form, of the
ancient Greek and Roman architecture.  St. Paul's Cathedral, the
grandest church ever built in England for Protestant worship, is the
best example of this style.  Many beautiful manor houses were built in
the early part of this period, which, like the churches of the time,
were often ornamented with the exquisite wood carving of Grinling
Gibbons.  There were no great artists in England in this age, though
Charles I employed Rubens and other foreign painters to decorate the
palace of Whitehall and Windsor Castle.

523. Education.

The higher education of the period was confined almost wholly to the
study of Latin and Greek.  The discipline of all schools was extremely
harsh.  Nearly every lesson was emphasized by a liberal application of
the rod, and the highest recommendation a teacher could have was that
he was known as "a learned and lashing master."

                V. General Industry and Commerce

524. Manufactures.

Woolen goods continued to be a chief article of manufacture.  Silks
were also produced by thousands of Huguenot weavers, who fled from
France to England in order to escape the persecutions of Louis XIV.
Coal was now extensively mined, and iron and pottery works were giving
industrial importance to Birmingham and other growing towns in the

525. Commerce.

A permanent English colony was established in America in 1607, and by
1714 the number of such colonies had increased to twelve.  During a
great part of this period intense commercial rivalry existed between
England and Holland, each of which was anxious to get the monopoly of
the colonial import and export trade.  Parliament passed stringent
navigation laws, under Cromwell and later, to prevent the Dutch from
competing with English merchants and shippers.  The East India and
South Sea companies were means of greatly extending English commercial
enterprise, as was also the tobacco culture of Virginia.

526. Roads and Travel.

Good roads were still unknown in England.  Stagecoaches carried a few
passengers at exorbitant rates, requiring an entire day to go a
distance which an express train now travels in less than an hour.
Goods were carried on pack horses or in cumbrous wagons, and so great
was the expense of transportation that farmers often let their produce
rot on the ground rather than attempt to get in to the nearest market

In London a few coaches were in use, but covered chairs, carried on
poles by two men and called "sedan chairs," were the favorite
vehicles.  They continued to be used for a century after this period
closes.  Although London had been in great part rebuilt since the
Great Fire (1666), the streets were still very narrow, without
sidewalks, heaped with filth, and miserably lighted.

527. Agriculture; Pauperism.

Agriculture generally made no marked improvement, but gardening did,
and many vegetables and fruits were introduced which had not before
been cultivated.

Pauperism remained a problem which the government had not yet found a
practical method of dealing with.  There was little freedom of
movement; the poor man's parish was virtually his prison, and if he
left it to seek work elsewhere, and required help on the way, he was
certain to be sent back to the place where he was legally settled.

                VI. Mode of Life, Manners, and Customs

528. Dress.

In the time of Charles II and his successors the dress of the wealthy
and fashionable classes was most elaborate and costly.  Gentlemen wore
their hair long, in ringlets, with an abundance of gold lace and
ruffles, and carried long, slender swords, known as rapiers.
Sometimes indeed they outshone the ladies in the splendor of their
costume, and in one instance the bride at a wedding burst into tears
because her gorgeously dressed husband looked so much handsomer than
she did that all eyes were fixed on him alone.  Later on, large
flowing wigs came into fashion, and no man of any social standing
thought of appearing without one.

In Queen Anne's reign both ladies and gentlemen powdered their hair.
The ladies also painted their faces and ornamented them with minute
black patches, which served not only for "beauty spots," but showed,
by their arrangement, with which political party they sympathized.

529. Coffeehouses.

Up to the middle of the seventeenth century ale and beer were the
common drink of all classes; but about that time coffee was
introduced, and coffeehouses became fashionable resorts for gentlemen
and for all who wished to learn the news of the day.  Tea had not yet
come into use; but, in 1660, Pepys says in his diary: "Sept. 25.  I
did send for a cup of tee, a China drink, of which I never had drank

530. The Streets of London.

No efficient police existed in London; at night the streets were
infested with brutal ruffians, and, as late as Queen Anne's time, by
bands of "fine gentlemen" not less brutal, who amused themselves by
overturning sedan chairs, rolling women downhill in barrels, and
compelling men to dance jigs, under the stimulus of repeated pricks
from a circle of sword points, until the victims fell fainting from
exhaustion.  Duels were frequent, on the slightest provocation.
Highwaymen abounded both in the city and without, and, unless one went
well armed, it was often dangerous to travel any distance in the

531. Brutal Laws.

Hanging was the common punishment for theft and many other crimes.
The public whipping of both men and women through the streets was
frequent.  Debtors were shut up in prison, and left to beg from
passers-by or starve; and ordinary offenders were fastened in a wooden
frame called the "pillory" and exposed on a high platform, where they
were pelted by the mob with mud, rotten eggs, and other unsavory
missiles.  In some cases their bones were broken with clubs and
brickbats.  The pillory continued in use until the accession of
Victoria in 1837.


"The history of England is emphatically the history of progress.  It
is the history of a constant movement of the public mind, of a
constant change in the institutions of a great society."--Macaulay

India Gained; America Lost--Parliamentary Reform--Government by the

The House of Hanover (1714) to the Present Time

George I,    1714-1727    William IV,  1830-1837
George II,   1727-1760    Victoria,    1837-1901
George III,  1760-1820    Edward VII,  1901-1910
George IV,   1820-1830    George V,    1910-

532. Accession of George I.

As Queen Anne died without leaving an heir to the throne (S515),
George, Elector of Hanover, in accordance with the Act of Settlement
(S497), now came into possession of the English crown.  (See
Genealogical Table opposite.)  The new King had no desire whatever to
go to England.

As he owed his new position to Whig legislation (S479), he naturally
favored that party and turned his back on the Tories (S479), who,
deprived of the sunshine of royal favor, were as unhappy as their
rivals were jubilant.  The triumphant Whigs denounced "the shameful
Peace of Utrecht" (S512).  Next, they impeached the three fallen Tory
leaders,[2] of whom Harley was the chief (S510), on a charge of
treason.  The indictment accused them of having given back to
Louis XIV, in the late war, more captured territory than was
necessary.  Furthermore, they were said to be guilty of having
intrigued to restore the House of Stuart with the design of making the
"Pretender" King (SS490, 491).  Harley was sent to the Tower of London
for a time; he was then acquitted and released.  Meanwhile his two
indicted associates had fled to France.

[2] The three Tory leaders were Harley, now Earl of Oxford (S510),
St. John (Viscount Bolingbroke), and Butler (Duke of Ormonde).
Bolingbroke and Ormonde fled to Frnce, where the first entered the
service of the "Pretender," but he was ultimately permitted to return
to England.  Ormonde never came back.  Harley, as stated above, was
sent to the Tower; while there he secretly wrote to the "Pretender"
(S490), and offered him his services.

Later, the Whigs repealed two harsh religious statutes (S511) directed
against Dissenters (S472), which the Tories and the High Churchmen had
enacted in the previous reign for the purpose of keeping themselves in

The House of Hanover, also called Brunswick and Guelf

                        James (Stuart) I of England
                  |                                       I
              Charles I                     Elizabeth, m. Frederick,
                  |                         Elector-Palatine,* and
  -------------------------------           later King of Bohemia
  |                |            |                         I
Charles II      James II      Mary, m.        Sophia, m. the Elector
                   |        William II of      of Hanover+
 -----------------------      Orange                      I
 |           |         |        |             George, Elector of
Mary, m.    Anne    James    William III of   Hanover, became
William III        Edward    Orange, became   George I of England,
of Orange,         Stuart,   William III of              1714
afterward          (the so-    England,                   I
William III        called "Old     1689               George II
of England         Pretender,                             I
                b. 1688,                     Frederick, Prince of
                 d. 1765                     Wales (died before
                     |                       coming to the throne)
                Charles Edward                            I
           Stuart (the so-called     ============================
           "Young Pretender"),       I          I               I
           b. 1720, d. 1788      George IV     William IV    Edward,
                                                          Duke of Kent,
                                                            d. 1820
*Elector-Palatine: a prince ruling over the                     I
 territory called the Palatinate in                         Victoria
 western Germany, on the Rhine.                                 I
+Elector of Hanover: a prince ruling over the              Edward VII
 province of Hanover, a part of the German                      I
 Empire, lying on the North Sea.  The elector               George V
 received his title from the fact that he was
 one of a certain number of princes who had
 the right of electing the German Emperor.

533. Character of the New King.

The new sovereign was a selfish, coarse old man, who in private life
would, as Lady Montagu said, have passed for an honest blockhead.  He
neither knew anything about England, nor did he desire to know
anything of it.  He could not speak a word of the language of the
country he was called to govern, and he made no attempt to learn it;
even the coronation service had to be explained to him as best it
might, in such broken Latin as the ministers could muster.

Laboring under these disadvantages he wisely declined to take any
active part in the affairs of the nation.  He trusted everything to
his Whig friends (S532) and let them, with Sir Robert Walpole at their
head, manage the country in their own way.

Forunately, the great body of the English people were abundantly able
to take care of themselves.  A noted French writer said of them that
they resembled a barrel of their own beer, froth at the top, dregs at
the bottom, but thoroughly sound and wholesome in the middle.  It was
this middle class, with their solid practical good sense, that kept
the nation right.

They were by no means enthusiastic worshipers of the German King who
had come to reign over them, but they saw that he had three good
qualities: he was no hypocrite, he did not waste the people's money,
and he was a man of unquestioned courage.  But they also saw more than
this, for they realized that though George I might be as heavy, dull,
and wooden as the figurehead of an old-fashioned ship, yet, like that
figurehead, he stood for something greater and better than himself,--
for he represented Protestantism, with civil and religious liberty,--
and so the people gave him their allegiance.

534. Rise of Cabinet Government; the First Prime Minister.

The present method of Cabinet Government dates in great part from this
reign.  From the earliest period of English history the sovereign was
accustomed to have a permanent council composed of some of the chief
men of the realm, whom he consulted on all matters of importance
(SS144, 145).  Charles II, either because he found this body
inconveniently large for the rapid transaction of business, or because
he believed it inexpedient to discuss his plans with so many, selected
a small confidential committee from it (S476).  This committee met to
consult with the King in his cabinet, or private room, and so came to
be called "the Cabinet Council," or briefly, "the Cabinet," a name
which it has ever since retained.

During Charles II's reign and that of his immediate successors the
King continued to choose this special council from those whom he
believed to be friendly to his measures, often without much regard to
party lines, and he was aways present at their meetings.  With the
accession of George I, however, a great change took place.  His want
of acquaintance with prominent men made it difficult for him to select
a Cabinet himself, and his ignorance of English rendered his presence
at its meetings wholly useless.  For these reasons the new King
adopted the expedient of appointing a chief adviser, or Prime
Minister, who personally chose his own Cabinet from men of the
political party to which he belonged.

Sir Robert Walpole, who held this office of chief adviser for more
than twenty years (1721-1742), is commonly considered to have been the
first actual Prime Minister, and the founder of that system of Cabinet
Government which prevails in England to-day.  He was a master hand at
managing his fellow ministers in the Cabinet, and when one of them,
named Townshend, aspired to share the leadership, Walpole said to him,
"The firm must be Walpole and Townshend, not Townshend and Walpole."
But later (1741) a minority in the Lords protested "that a sole or
even First Minister is an officer unknown to the law of Britain,
inconsistent withthe Constitution of this country, and destructive of
liberty in any government whatsoever." Then Walpole thought it
expedient to disclaim the title; but many years later the younger Pitt
declared (1803) that there ought to be "an avowed minister possessing
the chief weight in the Council" or Cabinet, and that view eventually
prevailed.[1] The Cabinet, or "Government," as it is usually
called,[2] generally consists of twelve or fifteen persons chosen by
the Prime Minister, or Premier,[3] from the leading members of both
houses of Parliament, but whose political views agree in the main with
the majority of the House of Commons.[4]

But this system, as it now stands, was gradually developed.  It had
advanced to such a point under the dictatorial rule of Sir Robert
Walpole that George II, chafing under the restriction of his power,
said bitterly, "In England the ministers are King." George III,
however, succeeded, for a time, in making himself practically supreme,
but Cabinet Government soon came to the front again, and, under
William IV, the Prime Minister, with his Cabinet, ceased to look to
the sovereign for guidance and support, and became responsible to the
House of Commons (provided that body reflects the public opinion of
the nation).

[1] Feilden's "Constitutional History of England," Taswell-Langmead's
"English Constitutional History," and A.L. Lowell's "The Government of
England," 2 vols.
[2] "The Cabinet, the body to which, in common use, we have latterly
come to give the name of Government." Encyclopaedia Britannica (10th
edition, VIII, 297).
[3] "Premier": from the French premier, first or chief.
[4] The existence of the Cabinet depends on custom, not law.  Its
three essential characteristics are generally considered to be: (1)
Practical unanimity of party; (2) Practical unity of action under the
leadership of the Prime Minister; (3) Collective responsibility to the
party in the House of Commons which represents the political majority
of the nation.  Its members are never OFFICIALLY made known to the
public, nor its proceedings recorded.  Its meetings, which take place
at irregular intervals, according to pressure of business, are
entirely secret, and the sovereign is never present.  As the Cabinet
agrees in its composition with the majority of the House of Commons,
it follows that if the Commons are Conservative, the Cabinet will be
so likewise; and if Liberal, the reverse.  Theoretically, the
sovereign chooses the Cabinet; but practically the selection is now
always made by the Prime Minister.  If at any time the Prime Minister,
with his Cabinet, finds that his political policy no longer agrees
with that of the House of Commons, he and the other members of the
Cabinet resign, and the sovereign chooses a new Prime Minister from
the opposite party, who forms a new Cabinet in harmony with himself
and the Commons.  If, however, the Prime Minister has good reason for
believing that a different House of Commons would support him, the
sovereign may, by his advice, dissolve Parliament.  A new election
then takes place, and according to the political character of the
members returned, the Cabinet remains in or goes out of power.  The
Cabinet, or Government, now invariably includes the following

 1. The First Lord of the Treasury (usually the Prime Minister).
 2. The Lord Chancellor.
 3. The Lord President of the Council.
 4. The Lord Privy Seal.
 5. The Chancellor of the Exchequer.
 6. The Secretary of State for Home Affairs.
 7. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
 8. The Secretary of State for the Colonies.
 9. The Secretary of State for India.
10. The Secretary of State for War.
11. The First Lord of the Admiralty.

In addition, a certain number of other officers are frequently
included, making the whole number about twelve or fifteen.

535. The "Pretender"; "The Fifteen" (1715); the Septennial Act (1716).

The fact that George I exclusively favored the Whigs exasperated the
opposite, or Tory, party.  The Jacobites or extreme members of that
party (S495), in Scotland, with the secret aid of many in England, now
rose, in the hope of placing on the throne James Edward Stuart, the
son of James II.  He was called the "Chevalier"[1] by his friends, but
the "Pretender" by his enemies (SS490, 491, 512).  The insurrection
was led by John, Earl of Mar, who, from his frequent change of
politics, had got the nickname of "Bobbing John." Mar encountered the
royal forces at Sheriffmuir, in Perthsire, Scotland (1715), where an
indecisive battle was fought, which the old ballad thus describes:

   "There's some say that we won, and some say that they won,
    And some say that none won at a', man;
    But one thing is sure, that at Sheriffmuir
    A battle there was, which I saw, man."

[1] The Chevalier de St. George: After the birth of the "Chevalier's"
son Charles in 1720, the father was known by the nickname of the "Old
Pretender," and the son as the "Young Pretender." So far as birth
could entitle them to the crown, they held the legal right of
succession; but the Revolution of 1688 and the Act of Settlement
barred them out (S497).

On the same day of the fight at Sheriffmuir, the English Jacobites
(S495), with a body of Scotch allies, marched into Preston,
Lancashire, and there surrendered, almost without striking a blow.

The leaders of the movement, except the Earl of Mar, who, with one or
two others, escaped to the Continent, were beheaded or hanged, and
about a thousand of the rank and file were sold as slaves to the West
India and Virginia plantations (S487).  The "Pretender" himself landed
in Scotland a few weeks after the defeat of his friends; but finding
no encouragement, he hurried back to the Continent again.  Thus ended
the rebellion known from the year of its outbreak (1715) as "The

One result of this  was the passage of the septennial Act (1716),
extending the duration of Parliament from three years, which was the
longest time that body could sit (SS439, 517), to seven years (since
reduced to five years).[2] The object of this change was to do away
with the excitement and tendency to rebellion at that time, resulting
from frequent elections, in which party feeling ran to dangerous

[2] The Triennial Act (SS439, 517) provided that at the end of three
years Parliament must be dissolved and a new election held.  This was
to prevent the sovereign from keeping that body in power indefinitely,
contrary, perhaps, to the political feeling of the country, which
might prefer a different set of representatives.  Under the Septennial
Act the time was extended four years, making seven in all, but the
sovereign may, of course, dissolve Parliament at any time.  In 1911
the Parliament Act (S631) limited the duration of Parliament to five

536. The South Sea Bubble, 1720.

A few years later a gigantic enterprise was undertaken by the South
Sea Company, a body of merchants originally organized as a company
trading in the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  A Scotchman
named Law had started a similar project in France, known as the
"Mississippi Company," which proposed to pay off the national debt of
France from the profits of its commerce with the West Indies and the
country bordering on the Mississippi River.

Following his example, the South Sea Company now undertook to pay off
the English National Debt (S503), mainly, it is said, from the profits
of the slave trade between Africa and Brazil.[1] Sir Robert Walpole
(S534) had no faith in the scheme, and attacked it vigorously; but
other influential members of the Government gave it their
encouragement.  The directors came out with prospectuses promising
dividends of fifty per cent on all money invested.  Everybody rushed
to buy stock, and the shares rapidly advaced from 100 pounds to 1000
pounds a share.

[1] Loftie's "History of London"; and see S512.

A speculative craze followed, the like of which has never since been
known.  Bubble companies sprang into existence with objects almost as
absurd as those of the philosophers whom Swift ridiculed in
"Gulliver's Travel's," where one man was trying to make gunpowder out
of ice, and another to extract sunbeams from cucumbers.

A mere list of these companies would fill several pages.  One was to
give instruction in astrology, by which every man might be able to
foretell his own destiny by examining the stars; a second was to
manufacture butter out of beech trees; a third was for a wheel for
driving machinery, which once started would go on forever, thereby
furnishing a cheap perpetual motion.

A fourth projector, going beyond all the rest in audacity, had the
impudence to offer stock for sale in an enterprise "which shall be
revealed hereafter." He found the public so gullible and so greedy
that he sold 2000 pounds worth of the new stock in the course of a
single morning.  He then prudently disappeard with the cash, and the
unfortunate investors found that where he went with their money was
not among the things to "be revealed hereafter."

The narrow passage leading to the London stock exchange was crowded
all day long with struggling fortune hunters, both men and women.
Suddenly, when the excitement was at its height, the bubble burst, as
Law's scheme in France had a little earlier.

Great numbers of people were hopelessly ruined, and the cry for
vengeance was as loud as the bids for stock had once been.  One
prominent government official who had helped to blow the bubble was
sent to the Tower.  Another committed suicide rather than face a
parliamentary committee of investigation, one of whose members had
suggested that it would be an excellent plan to sew the South Sea
directors up in sacks and throw them into the Thames.

537. How a Terrible Disease was conquered, 1721, 1796.

But among the new things which the people were to try in that century
was one which led to most beneficient results.  For many generations
the great scourge of Europe was the smallpox.  Often the disease was
as violent as the plague (S474), and carried off nearly as many
victims.  Medical art, seemed powerless to deal with it, and even in
years of ordinary health in England about one person out of ten died
of this loathsome pestilence.  In the early part of George I's reign,
Lady Mary Montagu, then traveling to Turkey, wrote that the Turks were
in the habit of inoculating their children for the disease, which
rendered it much milder and less fatal, and that she was about to try
the experiment on her own son.

Later, Lady Montagu returned to England, and through her influence and
example the practice was introduced there, 1721.  It was tried first
on five criminals in Newgate who had been sentenced to the gallows,
but were promised their freedom if they would consent to the
operation.  As it proved a complete success, the Princess of Wales,
with the King's consent, caused it to be tried on her daughter, with
equally good results.

The medical profession, however, generally refused to sanction the
practice, and the clergy in many cases preached against it as an
"invention of Satan, intended to counteract the purposes of an
all-wise Providence."  But through the perseverance and good sense of
Lady Montagu, with a few others, the new practice gradually gained
ground.  Subsequently Dr. Jenner began to make experiments of a
different kind, which led, late in the century (1796-1798), to the
discovery of vaccination, by which millions of lives have been saved;
this, and the discovery of the use of ether in our own time (S615),
may justly be called two of the greatest triumphs of the art of

538. How Sir Robert Walpole governed.

We have seen that Sir Robert Walpole (S534) became the first Prime
Minister in 1721, and that he continued in office as head of the
Cabinet, or Government, until near the middle of the next reign.  He
was an able financier, and succeeded in reducing the National Debt
(S503).  He believed in keeping the country out of war, and also, as
we have seen, out of "bubble speculation" (S536).  Finally, he was
determined at all cost to maintain the Whig party in power, and the
Protestant Hanoverian sovereigns on the throne (SS515, 532).

In order to accomplish these objects, he openly bribed members of
Parliament to support his party; he bought votes and carried elections
by gifts of titles, honors, and bank notes.  He thus proved to his own
satisfaction the truth of his theory that most men "have their price,"
and that an appeal to the pocketbook is both quicker and surer than an
appeal to the principle.  But before the end of his ministry he had to
confess that he had found in the House of Commons a "boy patriot," as
he sneeringly called him, named William Pitt (afterward Earl of
Chatham), whom neither his money could buy nor his ridicule move
(SS549, 550).

Bad as Walpole's policy was in its corrupting influence on the nation,
it as an admission that the time had come when the King could no
longer venture to rule by force, as in hte days of the Stuarts.  It
meant that the Crown no longer possessed the arbitrary power it once
wielded.  Walpole was a fox, not a lion; and "foxes," as Emerson tells
us, "are so cunning because they are not strong."

539. Summary.

Though George I did little for England except keep the "Pretender"
(S535) from the throne by occupying it himself, yet that was no small
advantage, since it gave the country peace.  The establishment of
Cabinet Government under Sir Robert Walpole as the first Prime
Minister, the suppression of the Jacobite insurrection, the disastrous
collapse of the South Sea Bubble, and the introduction of vaccination
are the principle events.

                        George II--1727-1760

540. Accession and Character.

The second King George, who was also of German birth, was much like
his father, though he had the advantage of being able to speak English
readily, but with a strong German accent.  His tastes were far from
being refined and he bluntly declared, "I don't like Boetry, and I
don't like Bainting." His wife, Queen Caroline, was an able woman.
She possessed the happy art of ruling her husband without his
suspecting it, while she, on the other hand, was ruled by Sir Robert
Walpole, whom the King hated, but whom he had to keep as Prime
Minister (SS534, 538).  George II was a good soldier, and decidedly
preferred war to peace; but Walpole saw clearly that the peace policy
was best for the nation, and he and the Queen managed to persuaded the
King not to draw the sword.

541. The War of Jenkins's Ear (1739).

At the end of twelve years, however, trouble arose with Spain.
According to the London newspapers of that day, a certain Captain
Jenkins, while cruising, or, more probably, smuggling, in the West
Indies, had been seized by the Spaniards and barbarously maltreated.
They, if we accept his tory, accused him of attempting to land English
goods contrary to law, and searched his ship.  Finding nothing against
him, they vented their rage and disappointment by hanging him to the
yardarm of his vessel until he was nearly dead.

They then tore off one of his ears, and bade him take it to the King
of England with their compliments.  Jenkins, it is said, carefully
wrapped up his ear and put it in his pocket.  When he reached England,
he went straight to the House of Commons, drew out the mutilated ear,
showed it to the House, and demanded justice.

The Spanish restrictions on English trade with the Indies and South
America[1] had long been a source of ill feeling.  The sight of
Jenkins's ear brought matters to a climax; even Sir Robert Walpole,
the Prime Minister, could not resist the clamor for vengeance, and
contrary to his own judgment he had to vote for war (S538).

[1] By the Treaty of Utrecht one English ship was allowed to carry
slaves once a year to the colonies of Spanish America (S512, note 1).

Though Jenkins was the occasion, the real object of the war was to
compel Spain to permit the English to get a larger share in the
lucrative commerce, especially the slave trade, with the New World.
It was another proof that America was now rapidly becoming an
important factor in he politics of Great Britain (SS421, 422).

The announcement of hostilities with Spain was received in London with
delight, and bells pealed from every steeple.  "Yes," said Walpole,"
they may ring the bells now, but before long they will be wringing
their hands." This prediction was verified by the heavy losses the
English suffered in an expedition against the Spanish settlement of
Carthagena, South America.  But later the British commander, Commodore
Anson, inflicted great damage on the Spanish colonies, and returned to
England with vessels laden with large amounts of captured silver.

542. War of the Austrian Succession, 1741; Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle,

On the death of Charles VI, of the House of Austria, Emperor of
Germany, his daughter Maria Theresa succeeded to the Austrian
dominions.  France now united with Spain, Prussia, and other European
powers to overturn this arrangement, partly out of jealousy of the
Austrian power, and partly from desire to get control of portions of
the Austrian possessions.  England and Holland, however, both desired
to maintain Austria as a check against their old enemy France, and
declared war, 1741.

During this war George II went over to the Continent to lead the
English forces in person.  He was not a man of commanding appearance,
but he was every inch a soldier, and nothing exhilarated him like the
smell of gunpowder.  At the battle of Dettingen, in Bavaria, he got
down from his horse, and drawing his sword, cried: "Come, boys, now
behave like men, and the French will soon run."

With that, followed by his troops, he rused upon the enemy with such
impetuosity that they turned and fled.  This was the last battle in
which an English king took part in person.  It was followed by that of
Fontenoy, in the Netherlands (Belgium), in which the French gained the
victory.  After nearly eight years fighting the treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748, secured a peace advantageous for England.

543. Invasion by the "Young Pretender"; "The Forty-Five."[1]

[1] "The Forty-Five": so called from the Scotch rising of 1745.

While the War of the Austrian Succession was in progress, the French
encouraged James II's grandson, Princle Charles Edward, the "Young
Pretender" (S535), to make an attempt on the English crown.  He landed
(1745) on the northern coast of Scotland with only seven followers,
but with the aid of the Scotch Jacobites (SS495, 535) of the Highlands
he gained a battle over the English at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.
Emboldened by his success, he now marched into Derbyshire, England, on
his way to London.  He hoped that as he advanced the country would
rise in his favor; but finding no support, he retreated to Scotland.

The next year he and his adherents were defeated, with great slaughter
by "Butcher" Cumberland, as the Scotch called him, at Culloden, near
Iverness (1746).  (See map facing p. 120.)  The "Young Pretender" fled
from the battlefield to the Hebrides.  After wandering in those
islands for many months he escaped to France through the devotion and
courage of the Scottish heroine, Flora Macdonald.  When he left the
country his Highland sympathizers lost all hope.  There were no more
ringing Jacobite songs, sung over bowls of steaming punch, of "Wha'll
be king but Charlie?" "Over the Water to Charlie," and "Wae's me for
Prince Charlie"; and when (1788) Prince Charles Edward died in Rome,
the unfortunate House of Stuart, which began with James I (1603),
disappeared from English history.[2]

[2] Devoted loyalty to a hopeless cause was never more truly or
pathetically expressed than in some of these Jacobite songs, notably
in those of Scotland, in honor of Prince Charles Edward, the "Young
Pretender," of which the following lines from "Over the Water to
Charlie" are an example:
                "Over the water, and over the sea,
                 And over the water to Charlie;
                 Come weal, come woe, we'll gather and go,
                 And live or die with Charlie."
                                        Scott, "Redgauntlet"

544. War in the East; the Black Hole of Calcutta; Clive's Victories;
     English Empire of India, 1751-1757.

The English acquired Madras, their first trading post in India, in the
reign of Charles I (1639).  Later, they obtained possession of Bombay,
Calcutta, and other points, but they had not got control of the
country, which was still governed by native princes.  The French also
had established an important trading post at Pondicherry, south of
Madras, and were now secretly planning through alliance with the
native rulers to get possession of the entire country.  They had met
with some success in their efforts, and the times seemed to favor
their gaining still greater influence unless some decided measures
should be taken to prevent them.

At this juncture Robert Clive, a young man who had been employed as
clerk in the service of the English East India Company, but who had
obtained a humble position in the army, obtained permission to try his
hand at driving back the enemy.  It was a work for which he was
fitted.  He met with success from the first, and he followed it up by
the splendid victory of Arcot, 1751, which practically gave the
English control of southern India.  Shortly after that, Clive returned
to England.

During his absence the native prince of Bengal undertook an expedition
against Calcutta, a wealthy British trading post.  He captured the
fort which protected it (1756), and seizing the principal English
residents, one hundred and forty-six in number, drove them at the
point of the sword into a prison called the "Black Hole," a dungeon
less than twenty feet square, and having but two small windows.

In such a climate, in the fierce heat of midsummer, that dungeon would
have been too close for a single European captive; to crowd it with
more than sevenscore persons for a night meant death by all the
agonies of heat, thirst, and suffocation.  In vain they endeavored to
bribe the guard to transfer part of them to another room, in vain they
begged for mercy, in vain they tried to burst the door.  Their jailers
only mocked them and would do nothing.

When daylight came the floor was heaped with corpses.  Out of the
hundred and forty-six prisoners only twenty-three were alive and they
were so changed "that their own mothers would not have known them."[1]

[1] Macaulay's "Essay on Clive."

When Clive returned he was met with a cry for vengeance.  He gathered
his troops, recovered Calcutta, and ended by fighting that great
battle of Plassey, 1757, which was the means of permanently
establishing the English empire in India on a firm foundation.  (See
map opposite.)

545. The Seven Years' War in Europe and America, 1756-1763.

Before the contest had closed by which England won her Asiatic
dominions, a new war had broken out.  In the fifth year, 1756, of the
New Style[2] of reckoning time, the aggressive designs of Frederick
the Great of Prussia caused such alarm that a grand alliance was
formed by France, Russia, Austria, and Poland to check his further
advance.  Great Britain, however, gave her support to Frederick, in
hope of humbling her old enemy France, who, in addition to her
attempts to oust the English from India, was also making preparations
on a grand scale to get possession of America.

[2] The New Style was introduced into Great Britain in 1752.  Owing to
a slight error in the calendar, the year had, in the course of
centuries, been gradually losing, so that in 1752 it was eleven days
short of what the true computation would make it.  Pope Gregory
corrected the error in 1582, and his calendar was adopted in nearly
every country of Europe except Great Britain and Russia, both of which
regarded the change as a "popish measure."  But in 1751,
notwithstanding the popular outcry, September 3, 1752, was made
September 14, by an act of Parliament, and by the same act the
beginning of the legal year was altered from March 25 to January 1.
The popular clamor against the reform is illustrated in Hogarth's
picture of an Election Feast, in which the People's party carry a
banner, with the inscription, "Give us back our eleven days."

Every victory, therefore, which the British forces could gain in
Europe would, by crippling the French, make the ultimate victory of
the English in America so much the more certain; for this reason we
may look upon the alliance with Frederick as an indirect means
employed by England to protect her colonies on the other side of the
Atlantic.  These colonies now extended along the entire coast, from
the Kennebec Riber, in Maine, to the borders of Florida.

The French, on the other hand, had planted colonies at Quebec and
Montreal, on the St. Lawrence; at Detroit, on the Great Lakes; at New
Orleans and other points on the Mississippi.  They had also begun to
build a line of forts along the Ohio River, which, when completed,
would connect their northern and southern colonies, and thus secure to
them the whole country west of the Alleghenies.  They expected to
conquer the East as well, to erase Virginia, New England, and all
other English colonial titles from the map, and in their place to put
the name New France.

During the first part of the war, the English were unsuccessful.  In
an attempt to take Fort Duquesne, General Braddock met with a crushing
defeat (1756) from the combined French and Indian forces, which would
indeed have proved his utter destruction had not a young Virginian
named George Washington saved a remnant of Braddock's troops by his
calmness and courage.  Not long afterwards, a second expedition was
sent out against the French fort, in which Washington led the
advance.  The garrison fled at his approach, the English colors were
run up, and the place was named Pittsburg, in honor of William Pitt,
later, Lord Chatham, Secretary of State, but virtually Prime Minister
(S534) of England.

About the same time, the English took the forts on the Bay of Fundy,
and drove out several thousand French settlers from Acadia, or Nova
Scotia.  Other successes followed, by which they obtained possession
of important points.  Finally, Canada was won from the French by
Wolfe's victory over Montcalm, at Quebec, 1759.[1] where both gallant
soldiers verified the truth of the words, "The paths of glory lead but
to the grave,"[2] which the English general had quoted to some brother
officers the vening before the attack.  This ended the war.

[1] See "Leading Facts of American History," in this series, S142.
[2] "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
     And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
     Await alike the inevitable hour;
     The paths of glory lead but to the grave."
                                Gray, "Elegy" (1750)
"I would rather be the author of that poem," said Wolfe, "than to have
the glory of beating the French to-morrow."  Wolfe and Montcalm were
both mortally wounded and died within a few hours of each other.

Spain now ceded Florida to Great Britain, so that, when peace was made
in 1763, the English flag waved over the whole eastern half of the
American continent, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi.  Thus,
within a comparatively few years, England had gained an empire in the
east (India) (S544) and another in the west (America).

Six years later (1769) Captain Cook explored and mapped the coast of
New Zealand, and next the eastern coast of the island continent of
Australia.  Before the middle of the following century both these
countries were added to the possessions of Great Britain.  Then, as
Daniel Webster said, her "morning drum beat, following the sun and
keeping company with the hours," literally circled "the earth with one
continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England."

546. Moral Condition of England; Intemperance; Rise of the Methodists,

But grand as were the military successes of the British arms, the
reign of George II was morally torpid.  With the exception of a few
public men like Pitt, the majority of the Whig party (S479) seemed
animated by no higher motive than self-interest.  It was an age whose
want of faith, coarseness, and brutality were well protrayed by
Hogarth's pencil and Fielding's pen.

For a long time intemperance had been steadily on the increase; strong
drink had taken the place of beer, and every attempt to restrict the
traffic was met at the elections by the popular cry, "No gin, no
king." The London taverns were thronged day and night, and in the
windows of those frequented by the lowest class placards were
exhibited with the tempting announcement, "Drunk for a penny; dead
drunk for twopence; clean straw for nothing." On the straw lay men and
women in beastly helplessness.

Among the upper classes matters were hardly better.  It was a common
thing for great statesmen to drink at public dinners until one by one
they slid out of their seats and disappeared under the table; and Sir
Robert Walpole, the late Prime Minister of England (S534, 538), said
that when he was a young man his father would say to him as he poured
out the wine, "Come, Robert, you shall drink twice while I drink once,
for I will not permit the son in his sober senses to be witness of the
intoxication of his father."[1]

[1] Coxe's "Memoirs of Walpole" and Lecky's "England."

Such was the condition of England when a great religious revival
began, 1738.  Its leader was John Wesley.  A number of years earlier,
while a tutor at Oxford, he and his brother Charles, with a few
others, were accustomed to meet at certain hours for devotional
exercises.  The regularity of their meetings, and of their habits
generally, got for them the name of "Methodists," which, like "Quaker"
and many another nickname of the kind, was destined to become a title
of respect and honor.

At first Wesley had no intention of separating from the Church of
England, but labored only to quicken it to new life; eventually,
however, he found it best to begin a more extended and independent
movement.  The revival swept over England with its regenerating
influence, and was carried by Whitefield, Wesley's lifelong friend,
across the sea to America.  It was especially powerful among those who
had hitherto scoffed at both Church and Bible.  Rough and hardened men
were touched and melted to tears of repentance by the fervor of this
Oxford graduate, whom neither threats nor ridicule could turn aside
from his one great purpose of saving souls.

Unlike the Church, Wesley did not ask the multitude to come to him; he
went to them.  In this respect his work recalls that of the "Begging
Friars" of the thirteenth century (S208), and of Wycliffe's "Poor
Priests" in the fourteenth (S254).  For more than thirty years he rode
on horseback from one end of England to the other, making known the
glad tidings of Christian hope.  He preached in the fields, under
trees which are still known by the expressive name of "Gospel Oaks";
he spoke in the abandoned mining pits of Cornwall, at the corners of
the streets in cities, on the docks, in the slums; in fact, wherever
he could find listening ears and responsive hearts.

The power of Wesley's appeal was like that of the great Puritan
movement of the seventeenth century (SS378, 417).  Nothing more
effective had been heard since the days when Augustine and his band of
monks set forth on their mission among the barbarous Saxons (S42).
The results answered fully to the zeal that awakened them.  Better
than the growing prosperity of extending commerce, better than all the
conquests made by the British flag in the east or west, was the new
religious spirit which stirred the people of both England and
America.  It provoked the National Church to emulation in good works;
it planted schools, checked intemperance, and brought into vigorous
activity whatever was best and bravest in a race that when true to
itself is excelled by none.

547. Summary.

The history of the reign may be summed up in the great Religious
Movement begun by John Wesley, which has just been described, and in
the Asiatic, Continental, and American wars with France, which ended
in the extension of the power of Great Britain in both hemispheres,--
in India in the Old World and in North America in the New.

                        George III--1760-1820

548. Accession and Character; the King's Struggle with the Whigs.

By the death of George II his grandson,[1] George III, now came to the
throne.  The new King was a man of excellent character, who prided
himself on having been born an Englishman.  He had the best interests
of his country at heart, but he lacked many of the qualities necessary
to be a great ruler.  He was thoroughly conscientious, but he was
narrow and stubborn to the last degree and he was at times insane.

[1] Frederick, Prince of Wales, George II's son, died before his
father, leaving his son George heir to the throne.  See Genealogical
Table, p. 323.

His mother, who had seen how ministers and parties ruled in England
(S534), resolved that her son should have the control.  Her constant
injunction to the young Prince was, "Be King, George, be King!" so
that when he came to power George was determined to be King if
self-will could make him one.[2]

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p.xxv, S28.

But beneath this spirit of self-will there was a moral principle.  In
being King, George III intended to carry out a reform such as neither
George I nor George II could have accomplished, supposing that either
one had possessed the desire to undertake it.

The great Whig (SS479, 507) families of rank and wealth had now held
uninterrupted possession of the government for nearly half a century.
Their influence was so supreme that the sovereign had practically
become a mere cipher, dependent for his authority on the political
support which he received.  The King was resolved that this state of
things should continue no longer.  He was determined to reassert the
royal authority, secure a government which should reflect his
principles, and have a ministry to whom he could dictate, instead of
one that dictated to him.

For a long time he struggled in vain, but at last succeeded, and found
in Lord North a Prime Minister (S534) who bowed to the royal will, and
endeavored to carry out George III's favorite policy of "governing
for, but never by, the people." That policy finally called forth
Mr. Dunning's famous resolution in the House of Commons (1780).  It
boldly declared the King's influence "had increased, was increasing,
and ought to be diminished." But his Majesty's measures had other
consequences, which were more far-reaching and disastrous than any one
in the House of Commons then imagined.

549. Taxation of the American Colonies.

The wars of the two preceding reigns had largely increased the
National Debt (S503), and the Government resolved to compel the
American colonies to share in a more direct degree than they had yet
done the constantly increasing burden of taxation.  England then, like
all other European countries, regarded her colonies in a totally
different way from that in which she considers the colonies she now

It was an open question at that time whether colonial legislative
rights existed save as a matter of concession or favor on the part of
the Home Government.  It is true that the Government had found it
expedient to grant or recognize such rights, but it had seldom defined
them clearly, and in many important respects no one knew just what the
settlers of Virginia or Massachusetts might or might not lawfully

[1] Story's "Constitution of the United States."

The mother country, however, was perfectly clear on three points:

1. That the American colonies were convenient receptacles for the
surplus population, good or bad, of the British Islands.
2. That they were valuable as sources of revenue and profit,
politically and commercially.
3. That, finally, they furnished excellent opportunities for the
King's friends to get office and make fortunes.

Such had long been the feeling about India, and such too was the
feeling, modified by difference of circumstances, about America.

Politically the English colonists in America enjoyed a large measure
of liberty.  So far as local legislation was concerned, they were in
most cases preactically self-governing and independent.  So, too,
their personal rights were carefully safeguarded.  On the other hand,
the commercial policy of England toward her colonies, though severely
restrictive, was far less so than that of Spain or France toward
theirs.  The Navigation Laws (S459) compelled the Americans to confine
their trade to England alone, or to such foreign ports as she
directed.  If they sent a hogshead of tobacco or a barrel of salt fish
to another country by any but an English or a colonial built bessel,
they were legally liable to forfeith their goods.  On the other hand,
they enjoyed the complete monopoly of the English tobacco market, and
in certain cases they received bounties on some of their products.
Furthermore, the Navigation Laws had not been rigidly enforced for a
long time, and the New England colonists generally treated them as a
dead letter.

When George III came to the throne he resolved to revive the
enforcement of the Navigation Laws, to build up the British West
Indies, and to restrict the colonial trade with the Spanish and French
West Indies.  This was done, not for the purpose of crippling American
commerce, but either to increase English revenue or to inflict injury
on foreign rivals or enemies.

Furthermore, British manufacturers had at an earlier period induced
the English Government to restrict certain American home
manufactures.  In accordance with that policy, Parliament had enacted
statutes which virtually forbade the colonists making their own woolen
cloth, or their own beaver hats, except on a very limited scale.  They
had a few ironworks, but they were forbidden to erect another furnace,
or another mill for manufacturing iron rods or plates, and such
industries were declared to be a nuisance.

William Pitt, who later became Lord Chatham (S538), was one of the
warmest friends that America had; but he openly advocated this narrow
policy, saying that if British interests demanded it he would not
permit the colonists to make so much as a "horseshoe nail." Adam
Smith, an eminent English political economist of that day, vehemently
condemned the British Government's colonial mercantile system as
suicidal; but his condemnation came too late to have any effect.  The
fact was that the world was not ready then--if indeed it is yet--to
receive the gospel of "Live and let live."

550. The Stamp Act, 1765.

In accordance with these theories about the colonies, and to meet the
pressing needs of the Home Government, the English ministry proceeded
to levy a tax on the colonies (1764) in return for the protection they
granted them against the French and the Indians.  The colonists,
however, had paid their full proportion of the expense of the French
and Indian wars out of their own pockets, and they now felt abundantly
able to protect themselves.

But notwithstanding this plea, a form of direct tax on the American
colonies, called the stamp tax, was brought forward in 1765.  The
proposed law required that a multitude of legal documents, such as
deeds, wills, notes, receipts, and the like, should be written upon
paper bearing stamps, purchased from the agents of the Home
Government.  The colonists, generally, protested against the passage
of the law, and Benjamin Franklin, with other agents, was sent to
England to sustain their protests by argument and remonstrance.  But
in spite of their efforts the law was passed, and the stamps were sent
over to America.  The people, however, refused to use them, and
serious riots ensued.

In England strong sympathy with the colonists was expressed by William
Pitt (Lord Chatham), Burke, Fox, and generally by what was well called
"the brains of Parliament." Pitt in particular was extremely
indignant.  He urged the immediate repeal of the act, saying, "I
rejoice that America has resisted."

Pitt further declared that any taxation of the colonies without their
representation in Parliament was tyranny, and that opposition to such
taxation was a duty.  He vehemently insisted that the spirit shown by
the Americans was the same that had withstood the despotism of the
Stuarts in England (S436), and established the principle once for all
that the King cannot take his subject's money without that subject's
consent (S436).  So, too, Fox ardently defended the American
colonists, and boldly maintained that the stand they had taken helped
"to preserve the liberties of mankind."[1]

[1] See Bancroft's "United States," III, 107-108; "Columbia University
Studies," III, No. 2, "The Commercial Policy of England toward the
American Colonies"; Lecky's "American Revolution"; and C. K. Adams's
"British Orations."

Against such opposition the law could not stand.  The act was
accordingly repealed (1766), amid great rejoicing in London; the
church bells rang out in triumph, and the shipping in the Thames was
illuminated.  But the good effect on America was lost by the passage
of another act which maintained the unconditional right of Parliament
to legislate for the colonies, and to tax them, if it saw fit, without
their consent.

551. The Tea Tax and the "Boston Tea Party," 1773, with its Results.

Another plan was now devised for getting money from the colonies.
Parliament enacted a law (1767) compelling the Americans to pay taxes
on a number of imports, such as glass, paper, and tea.  In opposition
to this law, the colonists formed leagues refusing to use these taxed
articles, while at the same time they encouraged smugglers to land
them secretly, and the regular trade suffered accordingly.

Parliament, finding that this was bad both for the government and for
commerce, now abolished all of these duties except that on tea
(1770).  That duty was retained for a double purpose: first, and
chiefly, to maintain the principle of the right of Great Britain to
tax the colonies; and, next, to aid the East India Company, which was
pleading piteeously for help.

In consequence mainly of the refusal of the American colonies to buy
tea, the London warehouses of the East India Company were full to
overflowing with surplus stock, and the company itself was in a
half-bankrupt condition.  The custom had been for the company to bring
the tea to England, pay a tax on it, and then sell it to be reshipped
to America.  To aid the company in its embarrassment, the Government
now agreed to remit this first duty altogether, and to impose a tax of
only threepence (six cents) a pound on the consumers in America.

In itself the threepenny tax was a trifle, as the ship-money tax of
twenty shillnigs was to John Hampden (S436); but underlying it was a
principle which seemed to the Americans, as it had seemed to Hampden,
no trifle; for such principles revolutions had been fought in the
past; for such they would be fought in the future.

The colonists resolved not to have the tea at any price.  A number of
ships laden with the taxed herb arrived at the port of Boston.  The
tea was seized by a band of men disguised as Indians, and thrown into
the harbor, 1773.  The news of that action made the King and his
ministry furious.  Parliament sympathized with the Government, and in
retaliation passed four laws of such severity that the colonists
nicknamed them the "Intolerable Acts."

The first law was the "Boston Port Act," which closed the harbor to
all trade; the second was the "Regulating Act," which virtually
annulled the charter of Massachusetts, took the government away from
the people, and gave it to the King; the third was the "Administration
of Justice Act," which ordered that Americans who committed murder in
resistance to oppression should be sent to England for trial; the
fourth was the "Quebec Act," which declared the country north of the
Ohio and east of the Mississippi a part of Canada.[1] The object of
this last act was to conciliate the French Canadians, and secure their
help against the colonists in case of rebellion.

[1] Embracing territory now divided into the five states of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, with eastern Minnesota.

Even after Parliament had enacted these four drastic measures a
compromise might have been effected, and peace maintained, if the
counsels of the best men had been followed; but George III would
listen to no policy short of coercion.  He meant well, but his brain
was not well balanced, he was subject to attacks of mental
derangement, and his one idea of BEING KING at all hazards had become
a kind of monomania (S548).  Pitt condemned such oppression as morally
wrong, Burke denounced it as inexpedient, and Fox, another prominent
member of Parliament, wrote, "It is intolerable to think that it
should be in the power of one blockhead to do so much mischief."

For the time, at least, the King was as unreasonable as any of the
Stuarts.  The obstinacy of Charles I cost him his head, that of James
II his kingdom, that of George III resulted in a war which saddled the
English taxpayer with an additional debt of 120,000,000 pounds, and
forever detached from Great Britain the fairest and richest dominions
that she ever possessed.

552. The American Revolution; Independence declared, 1776.

In 1775 war began, and the stand made by the patriots at Lexington and
the fighting which followed at Concord and Bunker Hill showed that the
Americans were in earnest.  The cry of the colonists had been, "No
taxation without representation"; now they had got beyond that, and
demanded, "No legislation without representation." But events moved so
fast that even this did not long suffice, and on July 4, 1776, the
colonies, in Congress assembled, solemnly declared themselves free and

As far back as the French war there was at least one man who foresaw
this declaration.  After the English had taken Quebec (S545), an
eminent French statesman said of the American colonies with respect to
Great Britain, "They stand no longer in need of her protection; she
will call on them to contribute toward supporting the burdens they
have helped to bring on her; and they will answer by striking off all

[2] This was Vergennes; see Bancroft's "History of the United States."

This prophecy was now fulfilled.  After the Americans had defeated
Burgoyne in 1777 the English ministry became alarmed; they declared
themselves ready to make terms; they offered to grant everything but
independence;[3] but they had opened their eyes to the facts too late,
and nothing short of independence would now satisfy the colonists.
Attempts were made to open negotiations with General Washington, but
the commander in chief declined to receive a letter from the English
Government addressed to him, not in his official capacity, but as
"George Washington, Esq.," and so the matter came to nothing.

[3] This was after France had recognized the independence of the
United States, 1778.

553. The Battle of Yorktown; the King acknowledges American
     Independence, 1782.

The war against the rebellious states was never really popular in
England.  From the outset great numbers refused to enlist to fight the
Americans, and spoke of the contest as the "King's War" to show that
the bulk of the English people did not encourage it.  The struggle
went on with varying success through seven heavy years, until, with
the aid of the French, the Americans defeated Lord Cornwallis at
Yorktown in 1781.[1] By that battle France got her revenge for the
loss of Quebec in 1759 (S545), and America finally won the cause for
which she had spent so much life and treasure.

[1] It is pleasant to know that a hundred years later, in the autumn
of 1881, a number of English gentlemen were present at the centennial
celebration of the taking of Yorktown, to express their hearty good
will toward the nation which their ancestors had tried in vain to keep
a part of Great Britain.

George III could hold out no longer; on a foggy December morning in
1782, he entered the House of Lords, and with a faltering voice read a
paper in which he acknowledged the independence of the United States
of America.  He closed his reading with the prayer that neither Great
Britain nor America might suffer from the separation; and he expressed
the hope that religion, language, interest, and affection might prove
an effectual bond of union between the two countries.

Eventually the separation proved "a mutual advantage, since it removed
to a great extent the arbitrary restrictions on trade, gave a new
impetus to commerce, and immensely increased the wealth of both

[2] Goldwin Smith's lectures on "The Foundation of the American
Colonies." In general see "Lecky's American Revolution," and the
"Leading Facts of American History" or the "Student's American
History," in this series.

554. The Lord George Gordon Riots (1780).

While the American war was in progress, England had not been entirely
quiet at home.  A prominent Whig leader in Parliament had moved the
repeal of some of the most severe laws against the Roman Catholics.[3]
The greater part of these measures had been enacted under William III,
"when England was in mortal terror" of the restoration of James II
(S491).  The Solicitor-General said, in seconding the motion for
repeal, that these lwas were "a disgrace to humanity." Parliament
agreed with him in this matter.  Because these unjust acts were
stricken from the Statute Book, Lord George Gordon, a half-crazed
fanatic,[1] who was in Parliament, led an attack upon the government

[3] The worst of these laws was that which punished a priest who
should celebrate mass, with imprisonment for life.  See
Taswell-Langmead's "English Constitutional History," p.627, and
compare J.F. Bright's "History of England," III, 1087.
[1] Gordon seems to have been of unsound mind.  He used to attack both
political parties with such fury that it was jocosely said there were
"three parties in Parliament--the ministry, the opposition, and Lord
George Gordon."

For six days London was at the mercy of a furious mob of 50,000
people, who set fire to Catholic chapels, pillaged many dwellings, and
committed every species of outrage.  Newgate prison was broken into,
the prisoners were released, and the prison was burned.  No one was
safe from attack who did not wear a blue cockade to show that he was a
Protestant, and no man's house was secure unless he chalked "No
Popery" on the door in conspicuous letters.  In fact, one individual,
in order to make doubly sure, wrote over the entrance to his
residence: "No Religion Whatever." Before the riot was subdued a large
amount of property had been destroyed and many lives sacrificed.

555. Impeachment of Warren Hastings (1788).

Six years after the American Revolution came to an end Warren
Hastings, Governor-General of India, was impeached for corrupt and
cruel government in that distant province.  He was tried before the
House of Lords, gathered in Westminster Hall.  On the side of Hastings
was the powerful East India Company, ruling over a territory many
times larger than the whole of Great Britain.  Against him were
arrayed the three ablest and most eloquent men in England,--Burke,
Fox, and Sheridan.

"Raising his voice until the oak ceiling resounded, Burke exclaimed at
the close of his fourth great speech, `I impeach Warren Hastings of
high crimes and misdemeanors.  I impeach him in the name of the
Commons of Great Britain, whose trust he has betrayed.  I impeach him
in the name of the English nation, whose ancient honor he has
sullied.  I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose
rights he has trodden under foot, and whose country he has turned into
a desert.  Lastly, in the name of human nature itself, in the name of
both sexes, in the name of every age, in the name of every rank, I
impeach the common enemy and oppressor of all!'"

The trial was continued at intervals for over seven years.  It
resulted in the acquittal of the accused (1795); but it was proved
that the chief business of those who went out to India was to wring
fortunes from the natives, and then go back to England to live like
"nabobs," and spend their ill-gotten money in a life of luxury.  This
fact, and the stupendous corruption that was shown to exist,
eventually broke down the gigantic monopoly, and British India was
thrown open to the trade of all nations.[1]

[1] See Macaulay's "Essay on Warren Hastings"; also Burke's

556. Liberty of the Press; Law and Prison Reforms; Abolition of the
     Slave Trade.

Since the discontinuance of the censorship of the press (S498), though
newspapers were nominally free to discuss public affairs, yet the
Government had no intention of permitting any severe criticism.  On
the other hand, there were men who were determined to speak their
minds through the press on political as on all other matters.  In the
early part of the reign, John Wilkes, an able but scurrilous writer,
attacked the policy of the Crown in violent terms (1763).  Some years
later (1769), a writer, who signed himself "Junius," began a series of
letters in a daily paper, in which he handled the King and the "King's
friends" still more roughly.  An attempt was made by the Government to
punish Wilkes and the publisher of the "Junius" letters, but it
signally failed in both cases.  Public feeling was plainly in favor of
the freest political expression,[2] which was eventually conceded.

[2] Later, during the excitement caused by the French Revolution,
there was a reaction from this feeling, but it was only temporary.

Up to this time parliamentary debates had rarely been reported.  In
fact, under the Tudors and the Stuarts, members of Parliament would
have run the risk of imprisonment if their criticisms of royalty had
been made public; but now, in 1771, the papers began to contain the
speeches and votes of both Houses on important questions.  Every
effort was made to suppress these reports, but again the press gained
the day.  Henceforth the nation could learn how far its
representatives really represented the will of the people, and so
could hold them strictly accountable,--a matter of vital importance in
every free government.[3]

[3] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxvi,

Another field of reform was also found.  The times were brutal.  The
pillory still stood in the center of London;[4] and if the unfortunate
offender who was put in it escaped with a shower of mud and other
unsavory missiles, instead of clubs and brickbats, he was lucky
indeed.  Gentlemen of fashion arranged pleasure parties to visit the
penitentiaries for women to see the wretched inmates whipped.  The
whole code of criminal law was savagely vindictive.  Capital
punishment was inflicted for about two hundred offenses, many of which
would now be thought to be sufficiently punished by one or two months'
imprisonment in the house of correction.

[4] The pillory (S531) was not abolished until the accession of Queen

Not only men, but women and children even, were hanged for pilfering
goods or food worth a few shillings.[1] The jails were crowded with
poor wretches whom want had driven to theft, and who were "worked off"
on the gallows every Monday morning in batches of a dozen or twenty,
in sight of the jeering, drunken crowds who gathered to witness their
death agonies.

[1] Five shillings, or $1.25, was the hanging limit; anything stolen
above that sum in money or goods might send the thief to the gallows.

Through the efforts of Sir Samuel Romilly, Jeremy Bentham, and others,
a reform was effected in this bloody code.  Next, the labors of the
philanthropic John Howard, and later of Elizabeth Fry, purified the
jails of abuses which had made them not only dens of suffering and
disease, but schools of crime as well.

The laws respecting the pubishment for debt were also changed for the
better, and thousands of miserable beings who were without means to
satisfy their creditors were set free, instead of being kept in
useless lifelong imprisonment.  At the same time Clarkson,
Wilberforce, Fox, and Pitt were endeavoring to abolish that relic of
barbarism, the African slave trade.  After twenty years of persistent
effort both in Parliament and out, they at last accomplished that
great and beneficent work in 1807.

557. War with France (1793-1805); Battle of the Nile; Trafalgar, 1805.

Near the close of the century (1789) the French Revolution broke out.
It was a violent and successful attempt to destroy those feudal
institutions which France had outgrown, and which had, as we have
seen, disappeared gradually in England after the rebellion of Wat
Tyler (SS250, 252).  At first the revolutionists received the hearty
sympathy of many of the Whig party (S479), but after the execution of
Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette,[1] England became alarmed not
only at the horrible scenes of the Reign of Terror but at the
establishment of the French democratic republic which seemed to
justify them, and joined an alliance of the principal European powers
for the purpose of restoring monarchy in France.

[1] See "Death of Marie Antoinette," in Burke's "Reflections on the
French Revolution."

Napoleon had now become the real head of the French nation, and seemed
bent on making himself master of all Europe.  He undertook an
expedition against Egypt and the East, which was intended as a
stepping-stone toward the ultimate conquest of the English empire in
India, but his plans were frustrated by Nelson, who completely
defeated the French fleet at the battle of the Nile (1798).

With the assistance of Spain, Napoleon next prepared to invade
England, and was so confident of success that he caused a gold medal
to be struck, bearing the inscription, "Descent upon England." "Struck
at London, 1804." But the English warships drove the French and
Spanish fleets into the harbor of Cadiz, and Napoleon had to postpone
his great expedition for another year.[2] In the autumn of 1805, the
French and Spanish fleets sallied forth determined to win.  But Lord
Nelson, that frail little man who had lost his right arm and the sight
of his right eye fighting his country's battles, lay waiting for them
off Cape Trafalgar,[3] near by.

[2] In 1801 Robert Fulton, of Pennsylvania, proposed to Napoleonthat
he should build warships propelled by steam.  The proposal was
submitted to a committee of French scientists, who reported that it
was absurd.  Had Napoleon acted on Fulton's suggestion, his descent on
England might have been successful.
[3] Cape Trafalgar, on the southern coast of Spain.

Two days later he descried the enemy at daybreak.  Both sides felt
that the decisive struggle was at hand.  With the exception of a long,
heavy swell the sea was calm, with a light breeze, but sufficient to
bring the two fleets gradually within range.

                "As they drifted on their path
                 There was silence deep as death;
                 And the boldest held his breath
                        For a time."[4]

[4] Campbell's "Battle of the Baltic," but applicable as well to

Just before the action Nelson ran up this signal to the masthead of
his ship, where all might see it: "England explects Every Man to do
his Duty." The answer to it was three ringing cheers from the entire
fleet, and the fight began.  When it ended, Napoleon's boasted navy
was no more.  Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London, with its tall
column bearing aloft a statue of Nelson, commemorates the decisive
victory, which was dearly bought with the life of the great admiral.

The battle of Traflagar snuffed out Napoleon's projected invasion of
England.  He had lost his ships, and their commander, in his despair,
committed suicide.  The French Emperor could no longer hope to bridge
"the ditch," as he derisively called the boisterous Channel, whose
waves rose like a wall between him and the island which he hated
(S14).  A few years later, Napoleon, who had taken possession of Spain
and placed his brother on the throne, was driven from that country by
Sir Arthur Wellesly, destined to be better known as the Duke of
Wellington, and the crown was restored to the Spanish nation.

558. Second War with the United States, 1812-1815.

The United States waged its first war with Great Britain to gain an
independent national existence; in 1812 it declared a second war to
secure its rights upon the sea.  During the long and desperate
struggle between England and France, each nation had prohibited
neutral powers from commercial intercourse with the other, or with any
country friendly to the other.

Furthermore, the English Government had laid down the principle that a
person born on British soil could not become a citizen of another
nation, but that "once an Englishman always an Englishman" was the
only true doctrine.  In accordance with that theory, it claimed the
right to search American ships and take from them and force into their
own service any seaman supposed to be of British birth.  In this way
Great Britian had seized more than six thousand men, and
notwithstanding their protest that they were American citizens, either
by birth or by naturalization, had compelled them to enter the English

Other points in dispute between the two countries were in a fair way
of being settled amicably, but there appeared to be no method of
coming to terms in regard to the question of search and impressment,
which was the most important of all, since though the demand of the
United States was, in the popular phrase of the day, for "Free Trade
and Sailors' Rights," it was the last which was especially emphasized.

In 1812 war against Great Britain was declared, and an attack made on
Canada which resulted in the American forces being driven back.
During the war British troops landed in Maryland, burned the Capitol
and other public buildings in Washington, and destroyed the
Congressional Library.

On the other hand, the American navy had unexpected and extraordinary
successes on the ocean and the lakes.  Out of fifteen sea combats with
approximately equal forces, the Americans gained twelve.  The contest
closed with the signal defeat of the English at New Orleans, when
General Andrew Jackson (1815) completely routed the forces led by Sir
Edward Pakenham, brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington.  The right
of search was thenceforth dropped, although it was not formally
abandoned by Great Britain until more than forty years later (1856).

559. Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

In the summer of 1815, the English war against Napoleon (S557), which
had been carried on almost constantly since his accession to power,
culminated in the decisive battle of Waterloo.[1] Napoleon had crossed
the Belgian frontier in order that he might come up with the British
before they could form a junction with their Prussian allies.  All the
previous night rain had fallen in torrents, and when the soldiers rose
from their cheerless and broken sleep in the trampled and muddy fields
of rye, a drizzling rain was still falling.

[1] Waterloo, near Brussels, Belgium.

Napoleon planned the battle for the purpose of destroying first the
English and then the Prussian forces, but Wellington held his own
against the furious attacks of the French.  It was evident, however,
that even the "Iron Duke," as he was called, could not continue to
withstand the terrible assaults many hours longer.

As time passed on, and he saw his solid squares melting away under the
murderous French fire, as line after line of his soldiers coming
forward silently stepped into the places of their fallen comrades,
while the expected Prussian reenforcements still delayed their
appearance, the English commander exclaimed, "O that night or Blucher
would come!" At last Blucher with his Prussians did come, and as
Grouchy, the leader of a division on which Napoleon was counting, did
not, Waterloo was finally won by the combined strength of the allies.
Not long afterwards Napoleon was sent to die a prisoner on the
desolate rock of St. Helena.

When all was over, Wellington said to Blucher, as he stood by him on a
little eminence looking down upon the field covered with the dead and
dying, "A great victory is the saddest thing on earth, except a great

With that victory ended the second Hundred Years' War of England with
France, which began with the War of the Spanish Succession (1704)
under Marlborough (S508).  At the outset the object of that war was,
first, to humble the power of Louis XIV that threatened the
independence of England; and, secondly, to protect those American
colonies which later separated fromthe mother country and became,
partly through French help, the republic of the United States.

560. Increase of the National Debt; Taxation.

Owing to these hundred years and more of war (S559) the National Debt
of GReat Britain and Ireland (S503), which in 1688 was much less than
a million of pounds, had now reached the enormous amount of over nine
hundred millions (or $4,500,000,000), bearing yearly interest at the
rate of more than $160,000,000.[1] So great had been the strain on the
finances of the country, that the Bank of England (S503) suspended
payment, and many heavy failures occurred.  In addition to this, a
succession of bad harvests sent up the price of wheat to such a point
that at one time an ordinary-sized loaf of bread cost the farm laborer
more than half a day's wages.

[1] Encyclopaedia Britannica, under "National Debt."

Taxes had gone on increasing until it seemed as though the people
could no longer endure the burden.  As Sydney Smith declared, with
entire truth, there were duties on everything.  They began, he said,
in childhood, with "the boy's taxed top"; they followed to old age,
until at last "the dying Englishman, pouring his taxed medicine into a
taxed spoon, flung himself back on a taxed bed, and died in the arms
of an apothecary who had paid a tax of a hundred pounds for the
privilege of putting him to death."[1]

[1] Sydney Smith's Essays, "Review of Seybert's Annals of the United

561. The Irish Parliament; the Irish Rebellion (1798).

For a century after the battle of the Boyne (S500) Ireland can hardly
be said to have had a history.  The iron hand of English despotism had
crushed the spirit out of the inhabitants, and they suffered in
silence.  During the first part of the eighteenth century the
destitution of the people was so great that Dean Swift, in bitter
mockery of the government's neglect, published what he called his
"Modest Proposal." He suggested that the misery of the half-starved
peasants might be relieved by allowing them to eat their own children
or else sell them to the butchers.

But a new attempt was now made to improve the political condition of
the wretched country.  That distinguished statesman, Edmund Burke
(S550), had already tried to secure a fair measure of commercial
liberty for the island, but without success.  Since the reign of Henry
VII the so-called "free Parliament" of Ireland had been bound hand and
foot by Poynings's Act (S329, note 1).  The eminent Protestant Irish
orator, Henry Grattan, now urged the repeal of that law with all his
impassioned eloquence.  He was seconded in his efforts by the powerful
influence of Fox in the English House of Commons.  Finally, the
obnoxious act was repealed (1782), and a, so-called, independent Irish
Parliament, to which Grattan was elected, met in Dublin.

But although more than three quarters of the Irish people were
Catholics, no person of that faith was permitted to sit in the new
Parliament or to vote for the election of a member.  This was not the
only injustice, for many Protestants in Belfast and the north of
Ireland had no right to be represented in it.  Such a state of things
could not fail to excite angry protest, and Grattan, with other
Protestants in Parliament, labored for reform.  The discontent finally
led to the organization of an association called the "Society of
United Irishmen." The leaders of that movement hoped to secure the
cooperation of Catholics and Protestants, and to obtain fair and full
representation for both in the Irish Parliament.  A measure of
political reform was secured (1793), but it did not go far enough to
give the relief desired.

Eventually the Society of United Irishmen became a revolutionary
organization which sought, by the help of the French, to make Ireland
an independent republic.  The sprigs of shamrock or shamrock-colored
badges displayed by these men gave a new significance to "the wearing
of the green."[1] By this time many Protestants had withdrawn from the
organization, and many Catholics refused to ask help from the French
revolutionary party, who were hostile to all churches and to all

[1] See a quotation from the famous Irish song, "The Wearin' o' the
Green," in the "Shan Van Vocht," in the "Heroic Ballads," published by
Ginn and Company.

Then a devoted band of Catholics in the south of Ireland resolved to
rise and, trusting to their own right arms, to strike for
independence.  A frightful rebellion broke out (1798), marked by all
the intense hatred springing from rival races and rival creeds, and
aggravated by the peasants' hatred of oppressive landlords.  Both
sides perpetuated horrible atrocities.  The government employed a
large force of Orangemen,[2] or extreme Protestants, to help suppress
the insurrection.  They did their work with remorseless cruelty.

[2] Orangemen: the Protestants of the north of Ireland, who had taken
the side of William of Orange in the Revolution of 1688-1689 (S499).
They wore an orange ribbon as their badge, to distinguish them from
the Catholic party, who wore green badges.

562. Union of Great Britain and Ireland, 1800; Emmet.

Matters now came to a crisis.  William Pitt, son of the late Earl of
Chatham (S550), was Prime Minister.  He believed that the best
interests of both Ireland and England demanded their political union.
He devoted all his energies to accomplishing the work.  The result was
that in the last year of the eighteenth century the English Government
succeeded, by the most unscrupulous use of money, in gaining the
desired end.  Lord Cornwallis, acting as Pitt's agent, confessed with
shame that he bought up a sufficient number of members of the Irish
Parliament to secure a vote in favor of union with Great Britain.  In
1800 the two countries were joined--in name at least--under the title
of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland."[3]

[3] The first Parliament of the United Kingdom met in 1801.

Pitt used all his powerful influence to obtain for Ireland a full and
fair representation in the united Parliament (1801).  He urged that
Catholics as well as Protestants should be eligible for election to
that body.  But the King positively refused to listen to his Prime
Minister.  He even declared that it would be a violation of his
coronation oath for him to grant such a request.  The consequence was
that not a single Catholic was admitted to the Imperial Parliament
until nearly thirty years later (S573).

Two years after the first Imperial Parliament met in London the Irish
patriot, Robert Emmet, made a desperate effort to free his country
(1803).  To his mind the union of England with Ireland was simply "the
union of the shark with its prey." He staked his life on the cause of
independence; he lost, and paid the forfeit on the scaffold.

But notwithstanding Emmet's hatred of the union, it resulted
advantageously to Ireland in at least two respects.  First, more
permanent peace was secured to that distracted and long-suffering
country.  Secondly, the Irish people made decided gains commercially.
The duties on their farm products were removed, at least in large
degree, and the English ports hitherto closed against them were thrown
open.  The duties on their manufactured goods seem to have been taken
off at that time only in part.[1] Later, absolute freedom of trade was

[1] See May's "Constitutional History of England," Lecky's "England in
the Eighteenth Century"; but compare O'Connor Morris's work on
"Ireland, from 1798 to 1898," p.58.

563. "The Industrial Revolution" of the Eighteenth Century; Material
     Progress; Canals; the Steam Engine, 1785.

The reign of George III was in several directions one of marked
progress, especially in England.  Just after the King's accession the
Duke of Bridgewater constructed a canal from his coal mine in Worsley
to Manchester, a distance of seven miles.  Later, he extended it to
Liverpool; eventually it was widened and deepened and became the
"Manchester and Liverpool Ship Canal." The Duke of Bridgewater's work
was practically the commencement of a system which has since developed
to such a degree that the canals of England now extend nearly 5000
miles, and exceed in length its navigable rivers.  The two form such a
complete network of water communication that it is said no place in
the realm is more than fifteen miles distant from this means of
transportation, which connects all the large towns with each other and
with the chief ports.

In the last half of the eighteenth century James Watt obtained the
first patent (1769) for his improved steam engine (S521), but did not
succeed in making it a business success until 1785.  The story is
told[1] that he took a working model of it to show to the King.  His
Majesty patronizingly asked him, "Well, my man, what have you to
sell?" The inventor promptly answered, "What kings covet, may it
please your Majesty,--POWER!" The story is perhaps too good to be
true, but the fact of the "power" could not be denied,--power, too,
not simply mechanical, but, in its results, moral and political as

[1] This story is told also of Boulton, Watt's partner.  See Smile's
"Lives of Boulton and Watt," p.1.  Newcomen had invented a rude steam
engine in 1705, which in 1712 came into use to some extent for pumping
water out of coal mines.  But his engine was too clumsy and too
wasteful of fuel to be used by manufacturers.  Boulton and Watt built
the first steam-engine works in England at Soho, a suburb of
Birmingham, in 1775; but it was not until 1785 that they began to do
sufficient business to make it evident that they were on their way to

Such was the increase of machinery driven by steam, and such were the
improvements made by Hargreaves, Arkwright, and Crompton in machinery
for spinning and weaving cotton, that much distress arose among the
hand spinners and hand weavers.  The price of bread was growing higher
and higher, while in many districts skilled operatives working at home
could not earn by their utmost efforts eight shillings a week.  They
saw their hand labor supplanted by great cotton mills filled with
machinery driven by "monsters of iron and fire," which never grew
weary, which subsisted on water and coal, and never asked for wages.

Led by a man named Ludd (1811), the starving workmen attacked a number
of these mills, broke the machinery to pieces, and sometimes burned
the buildings.  The riots were at length suppressed, and a number of
the leaders executed; but a great change for the better was at hand,
and improved machinery driven by steam was soon to remedy the evils it
had seemingly created.  It led to an enormous demand for cotton.  This
helped to stimulate cotton growing in the United States of America as
well as to encourage the manufacture of cotton in Great Britain.

Up to this period the north of England had remained the poorest part
of the country.  The population was sparse, ignorant, and
unprosperous.  It was in the south that improvements originated.  In
the reign of Henry VIII, the North fought against the dissolution of
the monasteries (SS352, 357); in Elizabeth's reign it resisted
Protestantism; in that of George I it sided with the so-called
"Pretender" (S535).

But steam transformed an immense area.  Factories were built,
population increased, cities sprang up, and wealth grew apace.
Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Leicester, Sheffield, and
Liverpool made the North a new country.  (See Industrial Map of
England, p.10.)  Lancashire is the busiest cotton-manufacturing
district in Great Britain, and the saying runs that "what Lancashire
thinks to-day, England will think to-morrow." So much for James Watt's
POWER and its results.

564. Discover of Oxygen (1774); Introduction of Gas (1815).

Notwithstanding the progress that had been made in many departments of
knowledge, the science of chemistry remained almost stationary until
(1774) Dr. Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, the most abundant, as
well as the most important, element in nature.

That discover "laid the foundation of modern chemical science." It
enlarged our knowledge of the composition of the atmosphere, of the
solid crust of the earth, and of water.  Furthermore, it revealed the
interesting fact that oxygen not only enters into the structure of all
forms of animal and vegetable life, but that no kind of life can exist
without it.  Finally, Priestley's great discovery proved to be of
direct practical utility, since the successful pursuit of innumerable
trades and manufactures, with the profitable separation of metals from
their ores, stands in close connection with the facts which his
experiments with oxygen made known.

As intellectual light spread, so also did material light.  In London,
up to near the close of the reign of George III, only a few feeble oil
lamps were in use.  Many miles of streets were dark and dangerous, and
highway robberies were frequent.  At length (1815) a company was
formed to light the city with gas.  After much opposition from those
who were in the whale-oil interest the enterprise succeeded.  The new
light, as Miss Martineau said, did more to prevent crime than all the
Government had accomplished since the days of Alfred.  It changed,
too, the whole aspect of the English capital, though it was only the
forerunner of the electric light, which has since changed it even

The sight of the great city now, when viewed at night from Highgate
archway on the north, or looking down the Thames from Westminster
Bridge, is something never to be forgotten.  It gives one a realizing
sense of the immensity of "this province covered with houses," which
cannot be got so well in any other way.  It bring to mind, too, those
lines expressive of the contrasts of wealth and poverty, success and
failure, inevitable in such a place:

        "O gleaming lamps of London, that gem the city's crown,
         What fortunes lie within you, O lights of London town!
         .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
         O cruel lamps of London, if tears your light could drown,
         Your victims' eyes would weep them, O lights of London town."[1]

[1] From the play, "The Lights of London."

The same year in which gas was introduced, Sir Humphry Davy invented
the miner's safety lamp.  Without seeking a patent, he generously gave
his invention to the world, finding his reward in the knowledge that
it would be the means of saving thousands of lives wherever men are
called to work underground.

565. Steam Navigation, 1807, 1819, 1840.

Since Watt had demonstrated the value of steam for driving machinery
(S563), a number of inventors had been experimenting with the new
power, in the hope that they might apply it to propelling vessels.  In
1807 Robert Fulton, an American, built the first successful steamboat,
and made the voyage from New York to Albany in it.  Shortly afterwards
his vessel began to make regular trips on the Hudson.  A number of
years later a similar boat began to carry passengers on the Clyde, in
Scotland.  Finally, in 1819, the bold undertaking was made of crossing
the Atlantic by steam.  An American steamship, the Savannah, of about
three hundred tons, set the example by a voyage from the United States
to Liverpool.  Dr. Lardner, an English scientist, had proved to his
own satisfaction that ocean steam navigation was impracticable.  The
book containing the doctor's demonstration was brought to America by
the Savannah on her return.

Twenty-one years afterward, in 1840, the Cunard Company established
the first regular line of ocean steamers.  They sailed between England
and the United States.  Since then fleets of steamers ranging from two
thousand to more than forty thousand tons each have been built.  They
now make passages from continent to continent with the regularity of
clockwork, and in fewer days than the ordinary sailing vessels
formerly required weeks.  The fact that during a period of more than
seventy years one of these lines has never lost a passenger is
conclusive proof that Providence is on the side of steam, when steam
has men that know how to handle it.

566. Literature; Art; Education; Travel; Dress.

The reign of George III is marked by a long list of names eminent in
letters and art.  First in point of time among these stands Dr. Samuel
Johnson, the compiler of the first English dictionary worthy of the
name, and that on which those of our own day are based to a
considerable extent.  He was also the author of the story of
"Rasselas,"--that notable satire on discontent and the search after
happiness.  Next stands Johnson's friend, Oliver Goldsmith, famous for
his genius, his wit, and his improvidence,--which was always getting
him into trouble,--but still more famous for his poems, and his novel,
"The Vicar of Wakefield."

Edward Gibbon, David Hume, author of the well-known "History of
England," and Adam Smith come next in time.  In 1776 Gibbon published
his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which after more than a
hundred years stands the ablest history of the subject in our
language.  In the same year Adam Smith issued "An Inquiry into the
Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," which had a great effect
on legislation respecting commerce, trade, and finance.  During this
period, also, Sir William Blackstone became prominent as a writer on
law, and Edmund Burke, the distinguished orator and statesman, wrote
his "Reflections on the French Revolution."

The poets, Burns, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, with Sheridan, the orator
and dramatist, and Sterne, the humorist, belong to this reign; so,
too, does the witty satirist, Sydney Smith, and Sir Walter Scott,
whose works, like those of Shakespeare, have "made the dead past live
again." Then again, Maria Edgeworth and Jane Austen have left
admirable pictures of the age in their stories of Irish and English
life.  Coleridge and Wordsworth began to attract attention toward the
last of this period, and to be much read by those who loved the poetry
of thought and the poetry of nature; while, early in the next reign,
Charles Lamb published his delightful "Essays of Elia."

In art we have the first English painters and engravers.  Hogarth, who
died a few years after the beginning of the reign, was celebrated for
the coarse but perfect representations of low life and street scenes;
and his series of Election pictures with his "Beer Lane" and "Gin
Alley" are valuable for the insight into the history of the times.

The chief portrait painters were Reynolds, Lawrence, and Gainsborough,
the last of whom afterwards became noted for his landscapes.  They
were followed by Wilkie, whose pictures of "The Rent Day," "The
Reading of the Will," and many others, tell a story of interest to
every one who looks at them.

Last came Turner, who in some respects surpassed all former artists in
his power of reproducing scenes in nature.  At the same time, Bewick,
whose cuts used to be the delight of every child that read "Aesop's
Fables," gave a new impulse to wood engraving, while Flaxman rose to
be the leading English sculptor, and Wedgwood introduced useful and
beautiful articles of pottery.

In common-school education little advance had been made for many
generations.  In the country the great mass of the people were nearly
as ignorant as they were in the darkest part of the Middle Ages.
Hardly a peasant over forty years of age could be found who could read
a verse in the Bible, and not one in ten could write his name.

There were no cheap books or newspapers, and no proper system of
public instruction.  The poor seldom left the counties in which they
were born.  They knew nothing of what was going on in the world.
Their education was wholly of the practical kind which comes from work
and things, not from books and teachers; yet many of them with only
these simple helps found out two secrets which the highest culture
sometimes misses,--how to be useful and how to be happy.[1]

[1] See Wordsworth's poem "Resolution and Independence."

The ordinary means of travel were still very imperfect.  Stage-coaches
had been in use for more than a hundred and fifty years.  They crawled
along at the rate of about three miles an hour.  Mail coaches began to
run in 1784.  They attained a speed of six miles an hour, and later of
ten.  This was considered entirely satisfactory.

The close of George III's reign marks the beginning of the present
age.  It was indicated in many ways, and among others by the declining
use of sedan chairs, which had been the fashion for upwards of a
century, and by the change in dress.  Gentlemen were leaving off the
picturesque costumes of the past,--the cocked hats, elaborate wigs,
silk stockings, ruffles, velvet coats, and swords,--and gradually
putting on the plain democratic garb, sober in cut and color, by which
we know them to-day.

567. Last Days of George III.

George III died (1820) at the age of eighty-two.  During ten years he
had been blind, deaf, and crazy, having lost his reason not very long
after the jubilee, which celebrated the fiftieth year of his reign
(1809).  Once, in a lucid interval, he was found by the Queen singing
a hymn and playing an accompaniment on the harpsichord.

He then knelt and prayed aloud for her, for his family, and for the
nation; and in closing, for himself, that it might please God to avert
his heavy calamity, or grant him resignation to bear it.  Then he
burst into tears, and his reason again fled.[1] In consequence of the
incapacity of the King, his eldest son, the Prince of Wales, was
appointed regent (1811), and on the King's death came to the throne as
George IV.

[1] See Thackeray's "Four Georges."

568. Summary.

The long reign of George III covered sixty very eventful years.
During that time England lost her possessions in America, but gained
India and prepared the way for getting possession of New Zealand and
Australia.  During that period, also, Ireland was united to Great
Britain.  The wars with France, which lasted more than twenty years,
ended in the great naval victory of Trafalgar and the still greater
victory on the battlefield of Waterloo.  In consequence of these wars,
with that of the American Revolution, the National Debt of Great
Britain rose to a height which rendered the burden of taxation
well-nigh insupportable.

The second war with the United States in 1812 made America independent
on the sea, and eventually compelled England to give up her assumed
right to search American vessels.  The two greatest reforms of the
period were the abolition of the slave trade and the mitigation of the
laws against debt and crime; the chief material improvement was the
extension of canals and the application of steam to manufacturing and
to navigation.  The "Industrial Revolution" transformed the North of

                        GEORGE IV--1820-1830

569. Accession and Character of George IV.

George IV, eldest son of the late King, came to the throne in his
fifty-eighth year; but, owing to his father's insanity, he had
virtually been King for nearly ten years (S567).  His habits of life
had made him a selfish, dissolute spendthrift, who, like Charles II,
cared only for pleasure.  Though while Prince of Wales he had received
for many years an income upwards of 100,000 pounds, which was largely
increased at a later period, yet he was always hopelessly in debt.

Parliament (1795) appropriated over 600,000 pounds to relieve him from
his most pressing creditors, but his wild extravagance soon involved
him in difficulties again, so that had it not been for help given by
the long-suffering taxpayers, His Royal Highness must have become as
bankrupt in purse as he was in character.

After his accession matters became worse rather than better.  At his
coronation, which cost the nation over 200,000 pounds, he appeared in
hired jewels, which he forgot to return, and which Parliament had to
pay for.  Not only did he waste the nation's money more recklessly
than ever, but he used whatever political influence he had to
opposesuch measures of reform as the times demanded.

570. Discontent; the "Manchester Massacre" (1819).

When (1811) George, then Prince of Wales, became regent (S567), he
desired to form a Whig ministry, not because he cared for Whig
principles (S479), but solely because he would thereby be acting in
opposition to his father's wishes.  Finding his purpose impracticable,
he accepted Tory rule (S479), and a Cabinet (S534) was formed with
Lord Liverpool as Prime Minister.  It had for its main object the
continued exclusion of Catholics from representation in Parliament

Lord Liverpool was a dull, well-meaning man, who utterly failed to
comprehend the real tendency of the age.  He was the son of a commoner
who had been raised to the peerage.  He had always had a reputation
for honest obstinacy, and for little else.  After he became Premier, a
prominent French lady, who was visiting England, asked him one day,
"What has become of that VERY stupid man, Mr. Jenkinson?" "Madame,"
answered the unfortunate Prime Minister, "he is now Lord Liverpool."[1]

[1] Earl's "English Premiers," Vol. II.

From such a Cabinet or Government, which continued in power for
fifteen years, nothing but trouble could be expected.  The misery of
the country was great.  Food was selling at famine prices.  Thousands
were on the verge of starvation, and tens of thousands did not get
enough to eat.  Trade was seriously depressed, and multitudes were
unable to obtain work.  Under these circumstances, the suffering
masses undertook to hold public meetings to discuss the cause and cure
of these evils; but as violent speeches against the Government were
often made at the meetings, the authorities dispersed them on the
ground that they were seditious and tended to riot and rebellion.

Many large towns at this period had no voice in legislation.  At
Birmingham, which was one of this class, the citizens had met and
chosen, though without legal authority, a representative to
Parliament.  Machester, another important manufacturing town, now
determined to do the same thing.  The people were warned not to
assemble, but they persisted in doing so, on the ground that peaceful
discussion, with the election of a representative, was no violation of
law.  The meeting was held in St. Peter's Fields, and, through the
blundering of a magistrate, it ended in an attack by a body of troops,
by which many people were wounded an a number killed (1819).

571. The Six Acts (1819); the Conspiracy.

The bitter feeling caused by the "Manchester Massacre," or "Peterloo,"
as it was called, was still further aggravated by the passage of the
Six Acts (1819).  The object of these severe coercive measures was to
make it impossible for men to take any public action demanding
political reform.  They restricted freedom of speech, freedom of the
press, and the right of the people to assemble for the purpose of open
discussion of the course taken by the Government.  These harsh laws
coupled with other repressive measures taken by the Tories (S479), who
were still in power, led to the "Cato Street Conspiracy." Shortly
after the accession of George IV a few desperate men banded together,
and meeting in a stable in Cato Street, London, formed a plot to
murder Lord Liverpool and his entire cabinet at dinner at which all
the ministers were to be present.

The plot was discovered, and the conspirators were speedily disposed
of by the gallows or transportation, but nothing was done to relieve
the suffering which had provoked the intended crime.  No new
conspiracy was attempted, but in the course of the next ten years a
silent revolution took place, which, as we shall see later, obtained
for the people that fuller representation in Parliament which they had
hitherto vainly attempted to get (S582).

572. Queen Caroline.

While he was Prince of Wales, George IV had, contrary to law,
privately married Mrs. Fitzherbert (1785),[1] a Roman Catholic lady of
excellent character, and possessed of great beauty.  Ten years later,
partly through royal compulsion and partly to get money to pay off
some of his numerous debts, the Prince married his cousin, the
Princess Caroline of Brunswick.  The union proved a source of
unhappiness to both.  The Princess lacked both discretion and
delicacy, and her husband, who disliked her from the first, was
reckless and brutal toward her.

[1] By the Royal Marriage Act of 1772, no descendant of George II
could make a legal marriage without the consent of the reigning
sovereign, unless twenty-five years of age, and unless the marriage
was not objected to by Parliament.

He separated from her in a year's time, and as soon as she could, she
withdrew to the Continent.  When he became King he excluded Queen
Caroline's name from the Prayer Book, and next applied to Parliament
for a divorce on the ground of the Queen's unfaithfulness to her
marriage vows.

Henry Brougham, afterwards Lord Brougham, acted as the Queen's
counsel.  No sufficient evidence was brought against her, and the
ministry declined to take further action.  It was decided, however,
that she could not claim the honor of coronation, to which, as Queen
Consort, she had a right sanctioned by custom but not secured by law.
When the King was crowned (1821), no place was provided for her.  By
the advice of her counsel, she presented herself at the entrance of
Westminster Abbey as the coronation ceremony was about to begin; but,
by order of her husband, admission was refused, and she retired to
die, heartbroken, a few days after.

573. Three Great Reforms.

Seven years later (1828) the Duke of Wellington, a Tory (S479) in
politics, became Prime Minister.  His sympathies in all matters of
legislation were with the King, but he made a virtue of necessity, and
for the time acted with those who demanded reform.  The Corporation
Act (S472), which was originally passed in the reign of Charles II,
and had for its object the exclusion of Dissenters (S472) from all
town or corporate offices, was now repealed; henceforth a man might
become a mayor, alderman, or town officer, without belonging to the
Church of England.  At the same time the Test Act (S477), which had
also been passed in Charles II's reign to keep both Catholics and
Dissenters out of government offices, whether civil or military, was
repealed.  As a matter of fact "the teeth of both acts had long been
drawn" by by an annual Indemnity Act (1727).[1]

[1] This act virtually suspended the operation of the Corporation Act
(S472) and the Test Act against dissenters so that they could obtain
civil offices from which these two acts had excluded them.

In 1829 a still greater reform was carried.  For a long period the
Catholic Association had been laboring to obtain the abolition of the
laws which had been on the statute books for over a century and a
half, by which Catholics were excluded from the right to sit in
Parliament.  These laws, it will be remembered, were enacted at the
time of the alleged Popish Plot, and in consequence of the perjured
evidence given by Titus Oates (S478).[2] The King, and the Tory party
marshaled by the Duke of Wellington, strenuously resisted the repeal
of these statutes; but finally the Duke became convinced that further
opposition was useless.  He therefore suddenly changed about and
solely, as he declared, to avert civil war, took the lead in securing
the success of a measure which he heartily hated.

[2] See Sidney Smith's "Peter Plymley's Letters."

But at the same time that Catholics were admitted to both Houses of
Parliament, an act was passed raising the property qualification of a
very large class of small Irish landholders from 2 pounds to 10
pounds.  This measure deprived many thousands of their right to vote.
The law was enacted on the pretext that the small Irish landholders
would be influenced by their landlord or their priest.

Under the new order of things, Daniel O'Connell, an Irish gentleman of
an old and honorable family, and a man of distinguished ability, came
forward as leader of the Catholics.  After much difficulty he
succeeded in taking his seat in the House of Commons (1829).  He
henceforth devoted himself, though without avail, to the repeal of the
act uniting Ireland with England (S562), and to the restoration of an
independent Irish Parliament.

574. The New Police (1829).

Although London had now a population of a million and a half, it still
had no effective police.  The guardians of the peace at that date were
infirm old men, who spent their time dozing in sentry boxes, and had
neither the strength nor energy to be of service in any emergency.
The young fellows of fashion considered these venerable constables as
legitimate game.  They often amused themselves by upsetting the sentry
boxes with their occupants, leaving the latter helpless in the street,
kicking and struggling like turtles turned on their backs, and as
powerless to get on their feet again.

During the last year of the reign Sir Robert Peel got a bill passed
(1829) which oganized a new and thoroughly efficient police force,
properly equipped and uniformed.  Great was the outcry against this
innovation, and the "men in blue" were hooted at, not only by London
"roughs," but by respectable citizens, as "Bobbies" or "Peelers," in
derisive allusion to their founder.  But the "Bobbies," who carry no
visible club, were not to be jeered out of existence.  They did their
duty like men, and have continued to do it in a way which long since
gained for them the good will of all who care for the preservation of
law and order.

575. Death of the King (1830).

George IV died soon after the passage of the new Police Bill (1830).
Of him it may well be said, though in a very different sense from that
in which the expression was originally used, that "nothing in his life
became him like the leaving of it." During his ten years' reign he had
squandered enormous sums of money in gambling and dissipation, and had
done his utmost to block the wheels of political progress.

How far this son of an insane father (S567) was responsible, it may
not be for us to judge.  Walter Scott, who had a kind word for almost
every one, and especially for any one of the Tory party (S479), did
not fail to say something in praise of the generous good nature of his
friend George IV.  The sad thing is that his voice seems to have been
the only one.  In a whole nation the rest were silent; or, if they
spoke, it was neither to commend nor to defend, but to condemn.

576. Summary.

The legislative reforms of George IV's reign are its chief features.
The repeal of the Test and Corporation acts and the grant to Catholics
of the right to reenter Parliament were tardy measures of justice.
Neither the King nor his ministers deserve any credit for them, but,
none the less, they accomplished great and permanent good.

                        WILLIAM IV--1830-1837

577. Accession and Character of William IV.

As George IV left no heir, his brother William, a man of sixty-five,
now came to the throne.  He had passed most of his life on shipboard,
having been placed in the navy when a mere lad.  He was somewhat rough
in his manner, and cared nothing for the ceremony and etiquette that
were so dear to both George III and George IV.  His faults, however,
were on the surface.  He was frank, hearty, and a friend to the
people, to whom he was familiarly known as the "Sailor King."

578. Need of Reform in Parliamentary Representation.

From the beginning of this reign it was evident that the great
question which must soon come up for settlement was that of
parliamentary representation.  Large numbers of the people of England
had now no voice in the government.  This unfortunate state of things
was chiefly the result of the great changes which had taken place in
the growth of the population of the Midlands (or the central portion
of England) and the North (S563).

Since the introduction of steam (S563) the rapid increase of
manufactures and commerce had built up Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield,
Manchester, and other large towns in the iron, coal, pottery and
manufacturing districts. (See Industrial Map of England, p.10.) These
important towns could not send a member to Parliament; while, on the
other hand, many places in the south of England which did send members
had long ceased to be of any importance.  Furthermore, the
representation was of the most haphazard description.  In one section
no one could vote except substantial property holders, in another none
but town officers, while in a third every man who had a tenement big
enough to boil a pot in, and hence called a "Pot-walloper," possessed
the right.

To this singular state of things the nation had long been
indifferent.  During the Middle Ages the inhavitants often had no
desire either to go to Parliament themselves or to send others.  The
expense of the journey was great, the compensation was small, and
unless some important matter of special interest to the people was at
stake, they preferred to stay at home.  On this account it was often
almost as difficult for the sheriff to get a distant county member up
to the House of Commons in London as it would have been to carry him
there a prisoner to be tried for his life.

Now, however, everything was changed; the rise of political parties
(S479), the constant and heavy taxation, the jealousy of the increase
of royal authority, the influence and honor of the position of a
Parliamentary representative, all conspired to make men eager to
obtain their full share in the management of the government.

This new interest had begun as far back as the civil wars of the
seventeenth century, and when Cromwell came to power he effected many
much-needed reforms.  But after the restoration of the Stuarts (S467),
the Protector's wise measures were repealed or neglected.  Then the
old order, or rather disorder, again asserted itself, and in many
cases matters became worse than ever.

579. "Rotten Boroughs."

For instance, the borough or city of Old Sarum, in Wiltshire, which
had once been an important place, had, at an early period, gradually
declined through the growth of New Sarum, or Salisbury, near by.  (See
map, p.436.) In the sixteenth century the parent city had so
completely decayed that not a single habitation was left on the
desolate hilltop where the caste and cathedral once stood.  At the
foot of the hill was an old tree.  The owner of that tree and of the
field where it grew sent (1830) two members to Parliament,--that
action represented what had been regularly going on for something like
three hundred years!

In Bath, on the other hand, none of the citizens, out of a large
population, might vote except the mayor, alderman, and common
council.  These places now got the significant name of "rotten
boroughs" from the fact that whether large or small there was no
longer any sound political life existing in them.  Many towns were so
completely in the hands of the squire or some other local "political
boss" that, on one occasion when a successful candidate for Parliament
thanked the voters for what they had done, a man replied that he need
not take the trouble to thank them; for, said he, "if the squire had
zent his great dog we should have chosen him all one as if it were
you, zur."[1]

[1] See Hindon, in Murray's "Wiltshire."

580. The Great Reform Bill.

For fifty years after the coming in of the Georges the country had
been ruled by a powerful Whig (SS479, 548) monopoly.  Under George III
that monopoly was broken (S548), and the Tories (S479) got possession
of the government.  But whichever party ruled, Parliament, owing to
the "rotten-borough" system, no longer represented the nation, but
simply stood for the will of certain wealthy landholders and town
corporations.  A loud and determined demand was now made for reform.
In this movement no one was more active or influential among the
common people than William Cobbett.  He was a vigorous and fearless
writer, who for years published a small newspaper called the Political
Register, which was especially devoted to securing a just and uniform
system of representation.

On the accession of William IV the pressure for reform became so great
that Parliament was forced to act.  Lord John Russell brought in a
bill (1831) providing for the abolition of the "rotten boroughs" and
for a fair system of elections.  But those who owned or controlled
those boroughs had no intention of giving them up.  Their opponents,
however, were equally determined, and they knew that they had the
support of the nation.

In a speech which the Reverend Sydney Smith made at Taunton, he
compared the futile resistance of the House of Lords to the proposed
reform, to Mrs. Partington's attempt to drive back the rising tide of
the Atlantic with her mop.  The ocean rose, and Mrs. Partington,
seizing her mop, rose against it; yet, notwithstanding the good lady's
efforts, the Atlantic got the best of it; so the speaker prophesied
that in this case the people, like the Atlantic, would in the end
carry the day.[1]

[1] Sydney Smith's "Essays and Speeches."

When the bill came up, the greater part of the Lords and the bishops,
who, so far as they were concerned personally, had all the rights and
privileges they wanted, opposed it; so too did the Tories (S479), in
the House of Commons.  They thought that the proposed law threatened
the stability of the government.  The Duke of Wellington (S573) was
particularly hostile to it, and wrote, "I don't generally take a
gloomy view of things, but I confess that, knowing all that I do, I
cannot see what is to save the Church, or property, or colonies, or
union with Ireland, or, eventually, monarchy, if the Reform Bill

[2] Wellington's "Dispatches and Letters," II, 451.

581. The Lords reject the Bill; Serious Riots (1831).

The King dissolved Parliament (S534, note 2); a new one was elected,
and the Reform Bill was passed by the House of Commons; but the upper
House rejected it.  Then a period of wild excitement ensued.  The
people in many of the towns collected in the public squares, tolled
the church bells, built bonfires in which they burned the bishops in
effigy, with other leading opponents of the bill, and cried out for
the abolition of the House of Lords.

In London the rabble smashed the windows of Apsley House, the
residence of the Duke of Wellington.  At Nottingham the mob fired and
destroyed the castle of the Duke of Newcastle because he was opposed
to reform.  In Derby a serious riot broke out.  In Bristol matters
were still worse.  A mob got possession of the city, and burned the
Bishop's Palace and a number of public buildings.  The mayor was
obliged to call for troops to restore order.  Many persons were
killed, and four of the ringleaders of the insurrection were hanged.
All over the country shouts were heard, "The Bill, the whole Bill, and
nothing but the Bill!"

582. Passage of the Great Reform Bill, 1832; Results.

In the spring of 1832 the battle began again more fiecely than ever.
Again the House of commons voted the bill, and once again the House of
Lords defeated it.

Earl Grey, the Whig Prime Minister (S479), had set his heart on
carrying the measure.  In this crisis he appealed to the King for
help.  If the Tory Lords would not pass the bill, the King had the
power to create a sufficient number of new Whig Lords who would.
William refused to exercise this power.  Thereupon Earl Grey, with his
Cabinet (S534), resigned, but in a week the King had to recall them.
Then William, much against his will, gave the following document to
his Prime Minister:

    "The King grants permission to Earl Grey, and to his Chancellor,
    Lord Brougham, to create such a number of Peers as will be
    sufficient to insure the passing of the Reform Bill--first calling
    up Peers' eldest sons.
                                "William R., Windsor, May 17, 1832"[1]

[1] "First calling up Peers' eldest sons": that is, in creating new
Lords, the eldest sons of Peers were to have the preference.  William
R. (Rex, King): this is the customary royal signature.  Earl Grey was
the leader of that branch of the Whig party known as the "Aristocratic
Whigs," yet to him and his associate Cabinet minsiters the people were
indebted for the great extension of the suffrage in 1832.

But there was no occasion to make use of this permission.  As soon as
the Lords found that the Cabinet (S534), with Earl Grey at the head,
had actually compelled the King to bow to the demands of the people,
they withdrew their opposition.  The "Great Charter of 1832" was
carried, received the royal signature, and became law.

The passage of this memorable act brought about these beneficent

   (1) It abolished nearly sixty "rotten boroughs" (S579).
   (2) It gave every householder who paid a rent of ten pounds in any
town a vote, and largely extended the list of county voters as well.
   (3) It granted two representatives to Birmingham, Leeds,
Manchester, and nineteen other large towns, and one representative
each to twenty-one other places, all of which had hitherto been
unrepresented, besides granting fifteen additional members to the
   (4) It added, in all, half a million voters to the list, mostly men
of the middle class, and it helped to purify the elections from the
violence which had disgraced them.[1]

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p.xxvi,

Before the passing of the Reform Bill, and the legislation which
supplemented it, the election of a member of Parliament was a kind of
local reign of terror.  The smaller towns were sometimes under the
control of drunken ruffians for several weeks.  During that time they
paraded the streets in bands, assaulting voters of the opposite party
with clubs, kidnaping prominent men and confining them until after the
election, and perpetrating other outrages, which so frightened
peacable citizens that often they did not dare attempt to vote at all.

Finally, the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832 effected, in its own
way, a change which was perhaps as momentous as that which the
Revolution of 1688 had accomplished.[2] That, as we have seen (S497),
made the King dependent for his crown on his election to office by
Parliament.  On the other hand, the Reform Bill practically took the
last vestige of real political authority from the King and transferred
it to the Cabinet (S534), who had now become responsible to the House
of Commons, and hence to the direct will of the majority of the
nation.  But though the Sovereign had laid down his political scepter,
never to resume it, he would yet, by virtue of his exalted position,
continue to wield great power,--that of social and diplomatic
influence, which is capable of accomplishing most important results
both at home and abroad.  To-day then, though the King still reigns,
the People, and the People alone, govern.

[2] Compare the three previous Revolutions represented by (1) Magna
Carta (S199); (2) De Montfort's House of Commons (S213); (3) the Civil
War and its effects (SS441, 450, 451).

583. Abolition of Slavery, 1833; Factory Reform, 1833-1841.

With the new Parliament that came into power the names of Liberal and
Conservative began to supplant those of Whig and Tory (S479), for it
was felt that a new political era needed new party names.  Again, the
passage of the Reform Bill (S582) changed the policy of both these
great political parties.  It made Liberals and Conservatives bid
against each other for the support of the large number of new voters
(S582 (4)), and it acted as an entering wedge to prepare the way for
the further extension of suffrage in 1867 and 1884 (S534),
representing the Commons, had gained a most significant victory; and
further reforms were accordingly carried against the strenuous
opposition of the King.

Buxton, Wilberforce, Brougham, and other noted philanthropists secured
the passage through Parliament of a bill, 1833, for which they, with
the younger Pitt, had labored in vain for half a century.  By this act
all negro slaves in the British West India colonies, numbering about
eight hundred thousand, were set free, and the sum of 20,000,000
pounds was appropriated to compensate the owners.

It was a grand deed grandly done.  Could America have followed that
noble example, she might thereby have saved a million of human lives
and many thousand millions of dollars which were cast into the gulf of
civil war, while the corrupting influence of five years of waste and
discord would have been avoided.

But negro slaves were not the only slaves in those days.  There were
white slaves as well,--women and children born in England, but
condemned by their necessities to work underground in the coal mines,
or to exhaust their strength in the cotton mills.  They were driven by
brutal masters who cared as little for the welfare of those under them
as the overseer of a West India plantation did for his gangs of black
toilers in the sugar-cane fields.  On investigation it was found that
children only six and seven years of age were compelled to labor for
twelve and thirteen hours continuously in the factories.  In the coal
mines their case was even worse.  All day long these poor creatures
sat in absolute darkness, opening and shutting doors for the passage
of coal cars.  If, overcome with fatigue, they fell asleep, they were
cruelly beaten with a strap.[1]

[1] See Gibbin's "Industrial History of England," E.F. Cheyney's
"Industrial History of England," and Mrs. E. B. Browning's poem,
"The Cry of the Children."

Parliament at length turned its attention to these abuses, and passed
acts, 1833, forbidding the employment of women and young children in
such work; a later act put an end to the barbarous practice of forcing
children to sweep chimneys.

584. The First Steam Railway, 1830; the Railway Craze; the Friction
     Match, 1834.

Ever since the application of steam to machinery, the inventors had
been discussing plans for placing the steam engine on wheels and using
it as a propelling power in place of horses.  Macadam, a Scotch
surveyor, had constructed a number of very superior roads made of
gravel and broken stone in the south of England, which soon made the
name of "macadamized turnpike" celebrated.

The question then arose, Might not a still further advance be made by
employing steam to draw cars on these roads, or, better still, on iron
rails? The first locomotives built were used in hauling coal at the
mines in the North of England.  Puffing Billy, the pioneer machine
(1813), worked for many years near Newcastle.  At length George
Stephenson, an inventor and engineer, together with certain
capitalists, succeeded in getting Parliament to pass an act for
constructing a passenger railway between Liverpool and Manchester, a
distance of about thirty miles.

When the line was completed by Stephenson, he had great difficulty in
getting permission to use an engine instead of horse power on it.
Finally, Stephenson's new locomotive, The Rocket,--which first
introduced the tubular boiler, and employed the exhaust, or escaping,
steam to increase the draft of the fire,--was tried with entire

[1] Stephenson's Rocket and Watt's stationary steam engine (S563) are
both preserved in the South Kensington Museum, London.  The boiler of
the Rocket was traversed by a number of tubes communicating with the
smoke pipe.  The steam, after it hada done its work in the cylinders
of the engine, escaped with great force through the smoke pipe and so
created a very powerful draft.  Without these two important
improvements the locomotive would probably never have made an average
speed of more than six or seven miles an hour.

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was formally opened in the autumn
of 1830, and the Duke of Wellington, then Prime Minister, was one of
the few passengers who ventured on the trial trip.  The growth of this
new mode of transportation was so rapid that in five years from that
time London and the principal seaports were connected with the great
manufacturing towns, while local steam navigation had also nearly
doubled its vessels and its tonnage.

Later on (1844-1847), Stephenson might easily have made himself "rich
beyond the dreams of avarice,"--or at least of the avarice of that
day.  All he had to do was to lend the use of his name to new and
doubtful railway projects; but he refused on the ground that he did
not care "to make money without labor or honor." Meanwhile the whole
country became involved in a speculative craze for building railways.
Scores of millions of pounds were invested; for a time Hudson, the
so-called "Railway King," ruled supreme, and Dukes and Duchesses, and
members of Parliament generally, did homage to the man whose schemes
promised to cover the whole island with a network of iron roads, every
one of which was expected to be as profitable as a gold mine.  These
projects ended in a panic, second only to that of the South Sea Bubble
(S536), and thousands found that steam could destroy fortunes even
faster than it made them.

Toward the close of William's reign (1834-1835) a humble invention was
perfected of which little was said at the time, but which contributed
in no small degree to the comfort and convenience of every one.  Up to
this date two of the most important of all civilizing agents--fire and
light--could be produced only with much difficulty and at considerable

Various deviced had been contrived to obtain them, but the common
method continued to be the primitive one of striking a bit of flint
and steel sharply together until a falling spark ignited a piece of
tinder or half-burned rag, which, when it caught, had, with no little
expense of breath, to be blown into a flame.  The progress of
chemistry suggested the use of phosphorus, and after years of
experiments the friction match was invented by an English apothecary,
who thus gave to the world what is now the commonest, and perhaps at
the same time the most useful, domestic article in existence.

585. Summary.

William IV's short reign of seven years was marked (1) by the great
Reform Bill of 1832, which, to a great extent, took Parliament out of
the hands of rich men and "rotten boroughs" and put it under the
control of the people; (2) by the abolition of slavery in the British
colonies, and factory reform; (3) by the introduction of the friction
match, and by the building of the first successful line of steam


586. The Queen's Descent; Stability of the Government.

As William IV left no child to inherit the crown, he was succeeded by
his niece, the Princess Victoria, daughter of his brother Edward, Duke
of Kent. (See Genealogical Table, p.323.) In her lineage the Queen
represented nearly the whole past sovereignty of the land over which
she reigned.[1] The blood of both Cerdic, the first Saxon king, and of
William the Conqueror,[2] flowed in her veins,--a fact which
strikingly illustrates the vitality of the hereditary and conservative
principles in the history of the English Crown.

[1] The only exceptions are the four Danish sovereigns and Harold II.
[2] See Genealogical Table of the Descent of English Sovereigns in the

The fact stands out in stronger relief if we call to mind what England
had passed through in that intervening period of time.

In 1066 the Normans crossed the Channel, invaded the island, conquered
its inhabitants, and seized the throne.  In the course of the next
five centuries two kings were deposed, one died a captive in the Tower
of London,[3] and the Catholic religion, as an established Church, was
supplanted in England by the Protestant faith of Luther.

[3] Namely, Edward II (S233), Richard II (S257), and Henry VI (S305).

Somewhat less than a hundred years after that event, Civil War broke
out in 1642; the King was dethroned and beheaded, and in 1648 a
republic established.  The monarchy was restored in 1660, only to be
followed by the Revolution of 1688, which changed the order of royal
succession, drove one line of sovereigns from the land, and called in
another from Germany to take its place.  Meanwhile the House of
Commons had gained enormously in political power, and Cabinet
Government had been fully and finally established (S534).  In 1832 the
Reform Bill was passed, by which the power of the people was largely
extended in Parliament; the two great political parties had been
reorganized; yet after all these events, at the end of more than ten
centuries from the date when Egbert first became Overlord of all the
English, in 829 (S49), we find England governed by a descendant of her
earliest rulers!

587. The Power of the House of Commons and of the Cabinet fully and
     finally recognized.

Queen Victoria was but little over eighteen when called to the
throne.  At her accession a new order of things began.  The Georges
insisted on dismissing their Cabinet ministers, or chief political
advisers, when they pleased, without condescending to give Parliament
any reason for the change.  We have seen too that William IV tried to
do the same thing, but had to acknowledge that he was beaten (S582).
William's unsuccessful attempt was never repeated.  The last vestige
of "personal government,"[1] that is, of the determination of the
Crown to act contrary to the will of the majority of the nation, as
expressed by the Cabinet, died with the late King.

[1] See the reign of Victoria in McCarthy's "History of Our Own

With the coronation of Victoria the principle was established, once
for all, that henceforth the Sovereign of the British Empire cannot
remove the Prime Minister or his Cabinet (S582) without the consent of
the House of Commons; nor, on the other hand, would the Sovereign now
venture to retain a ministry which the Commons refused to support.[2]
This limitation of the prerogatives of royalty emphasized the fact
that the House of Commons had practically become the ruling power in
England; and since that House is freely elected by the great body of
the people, in order that it may declare and enforce their will, it
follows that the government of the realm is essentially democratic.
In fact, so far as reflecting public opinion is concerned, no republic
in the world is more democratic.

[2] In order to guard herself against any political influence adverse
to that of the Cabinet (S582), and hence of the majority of the House
of Commons, the Queen was compelled to consent (1841) that the
Mistress of the Robes, or head of her Majesty's household, should
change at the demand of the incoming Prime Minister; and it was
furthermore agreed that any ladies under her whose presence might be
politically inconvenient to the Prime Minister, should retire "of
their own accord." In other words, the incoming Prime Minister, with
his Cabinet, has the right to remodel the Sovereign's household--or
any other body of offices--in whatever degree he may think requisite,
and the late Prince Albert could not even appoint his own private
secretary, but much to his chagrin had to accept one appointed for him
by the Prime Minister.  See May's "Constitutional History of England"
and Martin's "Life of the Prince Consort."

Custom, too, has decided that the Sovereign must sanction every bill
which Parliament approves and resolves to make law.  Queen Anne was
the last occupant of the English throne who ventured to veto a bill,
by refusing to assent to it.  That was in 1707, or more than two
hundred years ago, and there is little probability that any wearer of
the crown will ever attempt to do what she did.  In fact, an able and
authoritative English writer has not hesitated to declare that if the
two Houses of Parliament should agree to send the reigning Sovereign
his own death warrant, he would be obliged to sign it, or abdicate.[1]

[1] See Bagehot's "The English Constitution."

An English sovereign's real position to-day is that of a person who
has much indirect influence and but little direct power,--far less in
fact than that of the President of the United States; for the latter
can veto a bill, and can remove any or all of his cabinet officers at

588. The House of Lords in the Past and To-day.

A change equally great was taking place with respect to the Peers, or
Lords.[2] As that body has played a most important part in the
government of England and still retains considerable influence, it may
be well to consider its history and present condition.

[2] Peers (from the Latin pares, equals): The word first occurs in an
act of Parliament, 1321,--"Pares et proceres regni Angliae spirituales
et temporales."  The name Peers, referring to the House of Lords, is
here limited, as it has been ever since, to the higher clergy (now
consisting of certain bishops) and to the hereditary nobility.

It will be remembered that the peerage originated with the Norman
Conquest.  William rewarded the barons, or chief men, who fought under
him at Hastings[3] with grants of immense estates, which were given on
two conditions: one of military service at the call of the Sovereign
(S150); the other their attendance, when required, at the Great or
Royal Council (S144), an advisory and legislative body which contained
the germ of what later came to be called Parliament.

It will thus be seen that the Conqueror made the possession of landed
property directly dependent on the discharge of public duties.  So
that if, on the one hand, the Conquest carried out the principle

            "That they should take who have the power,
                  And they should keep who can,"[1]

on the other, it insisted on the higher principle that in return for
such *taking* and *keeping* the victors should bind themselves by oath
to help defend the kingdom, and to help govern it.

[1] Wordsworth's "Rob Roy's Grave."

In later reigns the King summoned other influential men to attend
Parliament.  To distinguish them from the original barons by land
tenure, they were called "barons by writ" (S263).  Subsequently it
became customary for the Sovereign to create barons by letters patent,
as is the method at present (S263).

Edward I, 1295, is generally considered to have been the "Creator of
the House of Lords" in the form in which it has since stood.[2] From
his time the right to sit in the House of Lords was limited to those
whom the King summoned, namely, the hereditary Peers (save in the case
of a very limited number of life Peers), and to the upper clergy.

[2] W. Stubb's "English Constitutional History," II, 184, 203; also
Feilden's "Short Constitutional History of England," pp. 121-122.

The original baronage continued predominant until the Wars of the
Roses (S316) destroyed so many of the ancient nobility that, as Lord
Beaconsfield says, "A Norman baron was almost as rare a being in
England then as a wolf is now." With the coming in of the Tudors a new
nobility was created (S352).  Even this has become in great measure
extinct.  Perhaps not more than a fourth of those who now sit in the
House of Lords can trace their titles further back than the Georges,
who created great numbers of Peers in return for political services
either rendered or expected.

Politically speaking, the nobility of England, unlike the old nobility
of France, is strictly confined and strictly descends to but one
member of the family,--the eldest son receiving the preference.  None
of the children of the most powerful Duke or Lord has, during his
father's life, any civil or legal rights or privileges above that of
the poorest and most obscure native-born day laborer in Great

[1] Even the younger children of the Sovereign are no exception to
this rule.  The only one born with a title is the eldest, who is Duke
of Cornwall by birth, and is created Prince of Wales.  The others are
simply commoners.  See E.A. Freeman's "Growth of the English

The whole number of Peers is about six hundred.[2] They own a very
large part of the land of England[3] and possess all the social and
political influence naturally belonging to such a body.  Yet
notwithstanding the exclusive and aristocratic spirit of this long-
established class, it has always been ready to receive recruits from
the ranks of the people.  For just as any boy in America feels himself
a possible senator or President, so any one born or naturalized in
England, like Pitt, Disraeli, Churchill, Nelson, Wellesley, Brougham,
Tennyson, Macaulay, Lord Lyndhurst,[4] and many others, may win his
way to a title, and also to a seat in the House of Lords, since brains
and character go to the front in England just as surely as they do
everywhere else.

[2] The full assembly of the House of Lords would consist of five
hundred and sixty-two temporal Peers and twenty-six spiritual Peers
(archbishops and bishops).
[3] So strictly is property entailed that there are proprietors of
large estates who cannot so much as cut down a tree without permission
of the heir.  See Badeau's "English Aristocracy."
[4] J.S. Copley (Lord Lyndhurst), son of the famous artist, was born
in Boston in 1772.  He became Lord Chancellor.  All of the eminent men
named above rose from the ranks of the people and were made Peers of
the realm, either for life or as a hereditary right; and in a number
of cases, as the elder Pitt (Earl of Chatham), Wellesley (Duke of
Wellington), Disraeli (Earl of Beaconsfield), Copley (Lord Lyndhurst),
they received seats in the House of Lords.

In their legislative action the Lords are, with very rare exceptions,
extremely conservative.  It is a "galling fact"[5] that they have
seldom granted their assent to any liberal measure except from
pressure of the most unmistakable kind.  They opposed the Habeas
Corpus Act under Charles II, Catholic Emancipation in 1829, the Great
Reform Bill of 1832, the Education Bill of 1834, the repeal of the
Corn Laws in 1846, the admission of the Jews to Parliament in 1858,
and they very reluctantly consented to the necessity of granting later
extensions of the elective franchise.

[5] See A.L. Lowell's "The Government of England," I, 414, 422.

But, on the other hand, it was their influence which compelled John to
sign Magna Carta in 1215; it was one of their number--Simon de
Montfort, Earl of Leicester--who called the House of Commons into
being in 1265; and it was the Lords as leaders who inaugurated the
Revolution of 1688, and established constitutional sovereignty under
William and Mary in the place of the despotic self-will of James II.
Again, it was Lord Derby, the Prime Minister, and Mr. Disraeli, later
known as Lord Beaconsfield, who, as leaders of the Tory, or
Conservative, Party, felt obliged to carry the Reform Bill of 1867, by
which the right to vote was greatly extended among the people (S600).

Seven hundred years ago the House of Lords was the only legislative
and executive body in the country; now, nearly all the most important
business of Parliament is done in the House of Commons (consisting of
some six hundred and seventy members), and the Lords cannot vote a
penny of money for any purpose whatever unless Commons first passes a
bill to that effect (S281).  Thus taxation, which is generally
regarded as the most important of all measures, has passedf from the
Lords to the direct representatives of the people.

At one time certain impatient Radicals in the House of Commons
denounced the Peers as "titled obstructionists." In fact, late in the
nineteenth century (1894) a resolution to put an end to their
obstructive power was carried in the Commons (when half the members
were absent) by a majority of two.  But the vote was not taken
seriously, and the Lords were not called upon to go out of business.
The upper House has continued, on occasion, to exercise its
constitutional righ of vetoing bills sent up to it by the House of
Commons, though since 1860 it has rejected but one "Money Bill"
(1909), and that only temporarily (SS629, 631).[1] Since then the
Liberal Party has demanded more strenuously than ever that the veto
power of the Lords should be either greatly limited or abolished
altogether (SS629, 632).

[1] As far back as 1671, the House of Commons resolved "that in all
aids given to the King by the Commons, the rate or tax ought not to be
altered by the Lords." In 1678 they emphatically repeated this
resolution.  In 1860 when the Lords rejected a "Money Bill" (for the
repeal of paper duties) the Commons vigorously protested, declaring
that they regarded the exercise of that power by the upper House with
"particular jealousy." From that time the Commons were careful to
include all the financial measures of the year in one bill, which the
Lords "were forced to accept or reject as a whole."  See
H.S. Feilden's "Short Constitutional History of England," pp. 114-115,
and A.L. Lowell's "The Government of England," I, 400-401.

The House of Lords always includes a number of members eminent for
their judicial ability, some of whom have been created Peers for that
reason.  This section acts as the National Court of Appeal and sits to
decide the highest questions of constitutional law.  In this respect
it corresponds to the Supreme Court of the United States.

589. The Queen's Marriage (1840).

In her twenty-first year, Queen Victoria married her cousin, Prince
Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a duchy of Central Germany.  The Prince
was about her own age, of fine personal appearance, and had just
graduated from one of the German universities.  He was particularly
interested in art and education, and throughout his life used his
influence to raise the standard of both.

590. Sir Rowland Hill's Postal Reforms, 1839.

The preceding year Sir Rowland Hill introduced a uniform system of
cheap postage.  The rate had been as high as a shilling for a single
letter.[1] Such a charge was practically prohibitive, and, as a rule,
no one wrote in those days if he could possibly avoid it.  Sir Rowland
reduced it to a penny (paid by stamp) to any part of the United
Kingdom.[2] Since then the government has taken over all the telegraph
lines, and cheap telegrams and the cheap transportation of parcels by
mail (a kind of government express known as "parcels post") have
followed.  They are all improvements of immense practical benefit.

[1] An illustration of the effects of such high charges for postage is
related by Coleridge.  He says that he met a poor woman at Keswick
just as she was returning a letter from her son to the postman, saying
she could not afford to pay for it.  Coleridge gave the postman the
shilling, and the woman told the poet that the letter was really
nothing more than a blank sheet which her son had agreed to send her
every three months to let her know he was well; as she always declined
to take this dummy letter, it of course cost her nothing.  See
G.B. Hill's "Life of Sir Rowland Hill," I, 239, note.
[2] The London papers made no end of fun of the first envelopes and
the first postage stamps (1840).  See the facsimile of the ridiculous
"Mulready Envelope" in Hill's "Life of Sir Rowland Hill," I, 393.

591. Rise of the Chartists (1838-1848).

The feeling attending the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832 (S582)
had passed away; but now a popular agitation began which produced even
greater excitement.  Although the act of 1832 had equalized
parliamentary representation and had enlarged the elective franchise
to a very considerable degree, yet the great body of workingmen were
still shut out from the right to vote.  A Radical Party called the
"Chartists" now arose, which undertook to secure further measures of

They embodied their measures in a document called the "People's
Charter," which demanded:

1. Universal male suffrage.
2. That the voting at elections should be by ballot.
3. Annual Parliaments.
4. The payment of memebers of Parliament.
5. The abolition of the property qualification for parliamentary
6. The division of the whole country into equal electoral districts.

[1] Property qualification: In 1711 an act was passed requiring
candidates for election to the House of Commons to have an income of
not less than 300 pounds derived from landed property.  The object of
this law was to secure members who would be comparatively free from
the temptation of receiving bribes from the Crown, and also to keep
the landed proprietors in power to the exclusion of rich merchants.
This law was repealed in 1858.

The Chartists held public meetings, organized clubs, and published
newpapers to disseminate their principles, but for many years made
very little progress.  The French revolution which dethroned King
Louis Philippe (1848) imparted fresh impetus to the Chartist
movement.  The leader of that movement was Feargus O'Connor.  He
formed the plan of sending a monster petition to Parliament,
containing, it was claimed, nearly five million signatures, praying
for the passage of the People's Charter.

A procession of a million or more signers was to act as an escort to
the document, which made a wagonload in itself.  The Government became
alarmed at the threatened demonstration, forbade it, on the ground
that it was an attempt to coerce legislation, and organized a body of
250,000 special policemen to preserve order.

The Duke of Wellington took command of a large body of troops held in
reserve to defend the city; and the Bank of England, the Houses of
Parliament, the British Museum, and other public buildings were made
ready to withstand a siege.

It was now the Chartists' turn to be frightened.  When they assembled
(1848) on Kennington Common in south London, they numbered less than
thirty thousand, and the procession of a million which was to march
across Westminster Bridge, to the Houses of Parliament, dwindled to
half a dozen.  When the huge petition was unrolled it was found to
contain only about a third of the boasted number of names.  Further
examination showed that many of the signatures were spurious, having
been put down in jest, or copied from gravestones and old London
directories.  With that discovery the whole movement collapsed, and
the House of Commons rang with "inextinguishable laughter" over the
national scare.

Still the demands of the Chartists had a solid foundation of good
sense, which the blustering bravado of the leaders of the movement
could not wholly destroy.  Most, if not all, of the reforms asked for
were needed.  Since then, the steady, quiet influence of reason and of
time has compelled Parliament to grant the greater part of them.[1]

[1] Sir Thomas Erskine May, in his "Constitutional History of
England," says: "Not a measure has been forced upon Parliament which
the calm judgment of a later time has not since approved; not an
agitation has failed which posterity has not condemned."

The printed or written ballot has been substituted for the old method
of electing candidates by a show of hands or by shouting yes or no,--
a method by which it was easy to make blunders, and equally easy to
commit frauds.  Every voter must now have his name and address
registered in a printed list.  Every voter, too, casts a secret ballot
and so safeguards his political independence (S609).  The property
qualification has been abolished (S591, note 1), so that the day
laborer may now run for Parliament.  He is sure, too, of being well
paid, for Parliament voted (1911) to give 400 pounds a year to every
member of the House of Commons.  The right of "manhood suffrage" has
been greatly extended, and before the twentieth century has advanced
much farther every man in England will probably have a voice in the

592. The Corn Laws (1841).

At the accession of the Queen protective duties or taxes existed in
Great Britain on all imported breadstuffs and on many manufactured
articles.  Sir Robert Peel, the Conservative Prime Minister (1841),
favored a reduction in the last class of duties, but believed it
necessary to maintain the former in order to keep up the price of
grain and thus encourage the English farmers.  The result of this
policy was great distress among the poorly paid, half-fed workingmen,
who could not afford to buy dear bread.  A number of philanthropists
led by Richard Cobden and John Bright organized an Anti-Corn Law
League[1] to obtain the repeal of the grain duties.

[1] Corn is the name given in England to wheat or other grain used for
food.  Indian corn or maize cannot be grown in that climate, and is
seldom eaten there.

At the same time, Ebenezer Elliott, the "Corn-Law Rhymer," gave voice
to the sufferings of the poor in rude but vigorous verse, which
appealed to the excited feelings of thousands in such words as these:

                "England! what for mine and me,
                 What hath bread tax done for thee?
                 .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
                 Cursed thy harvest, cursed thy land,
                 Hunger-stung thy skill'd right hand."

When, however, session after session of Parliament passed and nothing
was done for the relief of the perishing multitudes, many began to
despair, and great numbers joined in singing Elliott's new national

                "When wilt Thou save the people?
                    O God of mercy! when?
                 Not kings or lords, but nations!
                    Not thrones and crowns, but men!
                 Flowers of thy heart, O God, are they!
                 Let them not pass, like weeds, away!
                 Their heritage a sunless day!
                    God save the people!"

Still the Government was not covinced; the Corn Laws were enforced,
the price of bread showed no signs of falling, and the situation grew
daily more desperate and more threatening.

593. The Irish Famine, 1845-1846.

At last the Irish famine opened the Prime Minister's eyes (S592).
When in Elizabeth's reign Sir Walter Raleigh brought over the cheap
but precarious potato from America and planted it in Ireland, his
motive was one of pure good will.  He could not foresee that it would
in time become in that country an almost universal food, that through
its very abundance the population would rapidly increase, and that
then, by the sudden failure of the crop, terrible destitution would
ensue.  Such was the case in the summer of 1845.  It is said by
eyewitnesses that in a single night the entire potato crop was smitten
with disease, and the healthy plants were transformed into a mass of
putrefying vegetation.  Thus at one fell stroke the food of nearly a
whole nation was cut off.[1]

[1] O'Connor's "The Parnell Movement."

In the years that followed, the famine became appalling.  The starving
peasants left their miserable huts and streamed into the towns for
relief, only to die of hunger in the streets.

Parliament responded nobly to the piteous calls for help, and voted in
all no less than 10,000,000 pounds to relieve the distress.[2]
Subscriptions were also taken up in London and the chief towns, by
which large sums were obtained, and America contributed shiploads of
provisions and a good deal of money; but the misery was so great that
even these measures failed to accomplish what was hoped.  When the
famine was over, it was found that Ireland had lost about two million
(or one fourth) of her population.[3] This was the combined effect of
starvation, of the various diseases that followed in its path, and of

[2] Molesworth's "History of England from 1830."
[3] The actual number of deaths from starvation, or fever caused by
insufficient food, was estimated at from two hundred thousand to three
hundred thousand.  See the Encyclopaedia Britannica under "Ireland."
[4] McCarthy's "History of Our Own Times," Vol. I.

594. Repeal of the Corn Laws, 1846-1849; Free Trade established, 1869.

In the face of such appalling facts, and of the bad harvests and
distress in England, Sir Robert Peel (S592) could hold out no longer,
and by a gradual process, extending from 1846 to 1849, the obnoxious
Corn Laws were repealed, with the exception of a trifling duty, which
was finally removed in 1869.

The beginning once made, free trade in nearly everything, except wine,
spirits, and tobacco, followed.  They were, and still are, subject to
a heavy duty, perhaps because the government believes, as Napoleon
did, that the vices have broad backs and can comfortably carry the
heaviest taxes.  A few years later (1849) the old Navigation Laws
(S459) were totally repealed.  This completed the English free-trade
measures.  But, by a singular contrast, while nearly all goods and
products now enter England free, yet Australia, Canada, New Zealand,
and the Union of South Africa--in a word, all the great self-governing
English colonies--continue to impose duties on imports from the mother
country (S625).

595. The World's Fair (1851); Repeal of the Window and the Newspaper
     Tax; the Atlantic Cable, 1866.

The great industrial exhibition known as the "World's Fair" was opened
in Hyde Park, London (1851).  The original plan of it was conceived by
Prince Albert.  It proved to be not only a complete success in itself,
but it led to many similar fairs on the part of different nations.
For the first time in history the products and inventions of all the
countries of the globe were brought together under one roof, in a
gigantic structure of glass and iron called the "Crystal Palace,"
which is still in use for exhibition purposes at Sydenham, a suburb of

The same year (1851) the barbarous tax on light and air, known as the
"Window Tax,"[1] was repealed and the House Tax (which is still in
force) was substituted for it.  From that date the Englishman, whether
in London or out, might enjoy his sunshine, when he could get it,
without having to pay for every beam,--a luxury which only the rich
could afford.

[1] This tax, which took the place of the ancient Hearth Tax
(1663-1689), was first imposed in 1695.

A little later (1855) a stamp tax on newspapers, which had been
devised in Queen Anne's time in the avowed hope of crushing them out,
was repealed.  The result was that henceforth cheap papers could be
published, and the workingman, as he sat by his fireside, could inform
himself of what the world was doing and thinking,--two things of which
he had before known almost nothing, and cared, perhaps, even less.

To get this news of the world's life more speedily, England had
established the first line of Atlantic steamers (S565); next, the
first Atlantic cable, connecting England with America, was laid
(1858).  It soon gave out, but was permanently relaid not long
afterwards, in 1866.  Since then a large part of the globe has been
joined in like manner,[1] and the great cities of every civilized land
are practically one in their knowledge of all important events.  So
many improvements have also been made in the use of electricity, not
only for the transmission of intelligence, but as an illuminator, and
more recently still as a motive power, that it now seems probable that
"the age of steam" will be superseded by the higher "age of

[1] There are now over 250,000 miles of submarine electric cables in
operation in the world.

596. The Opium War (1839); the War in the Crimea (1854).

For nearly twenty years after Victoria's accession no wars occurred in
her reign worthy of mention, with the exception of that with China
(1839).  At that time the Chinese Emperor, either from a desire to put
a stop to the consumption of opium in his dominions, or because he
wished to encourage the home production of the drug, prohibited its
importation.  As the English in India were largely engaged in the
production of opium for the Chinese market,--the people of that
country smoking it instead of tobacco,--the British government
insisted that the Emperor should not interfere with so lucrative a
trade.  War ensued.

The Chinese, being unable to contend against English gunboats, were
soon forced to withdraw their prohibition of the foreign opium
traffic.  The English government, with the planters of India, reaped a
golden reward of many millions for their deliberate violation of the
rights of a heathen and half-civilized people.  The war opened five
important ports to the British trade, and subsequent wars opened a
number more on the rivers in the interior.  This action, with the
later aggressions of other European powers, roused an intensely bitter
feeling among large numbers of the Chinese.  Their hatred of
foreigners finally led to a desperate but unsuccessful attempt (1900)
to drive all Europeans and Americans, including missionaries, out of
the country.

Eventually, the pressure of the great powers of Europe and the
diplomatic influence of the United States induced China to grant the
"Open Door" to the demands of foreign trade.  Later, England and China
made an agreement (1911) which bids fair to stop the exportation of
opium to that country.

Next, Turkey declared war against Russia (1853).  The latter Power had
insisted on protecting all Christians in the Turkish dominions against
the oppression of the Sultan.  England and France considered the
Czar's championship of the Christians as a mere pretext for occupying
Turkish territory.  To prevent this aggression they formed an alliance
with the Sultan, which resulted in the Russo-Turkish war, and ended in
the taking of Sebastopol by the allied forces.  Russia was obliged to
retract her demands, and peace was declared (1856).

597. The Great Rebellion in India, 1857.

The following year, 1857, was memorable for the outbreak of rebellion
in India.  The real cause of the revolt was probably a long-smothered
feeling of resentment on the part of the Sepoy, or native, troops
against English rule,--a feeling that dates back to the extortion and
misgovernment of Warren Hastings (S555).  The immediate cause of the
uprising was the introduction of an improved rifle using a greased
cartridge, which had to be bitten off before being rammed down.

To the Hindu the fat of cattle or swine is an abomination, and his
religion forbids his tasting it.  An attempt on the part of the
British Government to enforce the use of the new cartridge brought on
a general mutiny among three hundred thousand Sepoys.  During the
revolt the native troops perpetrated the most horrible atrocitise on
the English women and children who fell into their hands.  When the
insurrection was finally quelled under Havelock and Campbell, the
English soldiers retaliated by binding numbers of prisoners to the
mouths of cannon and blowing them to shreds.  At the close of the
rebellion, the government of India was wholly transferred to the
Crown, and later the Queen received the title of "Empress of India"

598. Death of Prince Albert; the American Civil War, 1861.

Not long after the Sepoy rebellion was quelled, Prince Albert (S589)
died suddenly (1861).  In him the nation lost an earnest promoter of
social, educational, and industrial reforms, and the United States a
true and judicious friend, who, at a most critical period in the Civil
War, used his influence to maintain peace between the two countries.

After his death the Queen held no court for many years, and so
complete was her seclusion that Sir Charles Dilke, a well-known
Radical, suggested in Parliament (1868) that her Majesty be invited to
abdicate or choose a regent.  The suggestion was indignantly rejected;
but it revealed the feeling, which quite generally existed, that "the
real Queen died with her husband," and that only her shadow remained.

In the spring of the year 1861, in which Prince Albert died, the
American Civil War broke out between the Northern and Southern
States.  Lord Palmerston, the Liberal Prime Minister, preferred to be
considered the minister of the nation rather than the head of a
political party.  At the beginning of the war he was in favor of the
North.  As the conflict threatened to be bitter the Queen issued a
proclamation declaring her "determination to maintain a strict and
impartial neutrality in the contest between the said contending
parties." The rights of belligerents--in other words, all the rights
of war according to the law of nations--were granted to the South
equally with the North; and her Majesty's subjects were warned against
aiding either side in the conflict.

The progress of the war caused terrible distress in Lancashire, owing
to the cutting off of supplies of cotton for the mills through the
blockade of the ports of the Confederate States.  The starving
weavers, however, gave their moral support to the North, and continued
steadfast to the cause of the Union even in the sorest period of their
suffering.  The great majority of the manufacturers and business
classes generally, and the nobility, with a few exceptions,
sympathized with the efforts of the South to establish an independent
Confederacy.  Most of the distinguished political and social leaders,
in Parliament and out, with nearly all the influential journals, were
on the same side, and were openly hostile to the Union.[1]

[1] Lord John Russell (Foreign Secretary), Lord Brougham, Sir John
Bowring, Carlyle, Ruskin, and the London Times and Punch espouses the
cause of the South more or less openly; while others, like
Mr. Gladstone, declared their full belief in the ultimate success of
the Confederacy.  On the other hand, Prince Albert, the Duke of
Argyll, John Bright, John Stuart Mill, Professor Newman, Lord
Palmerston, at least for a time, and the London Daily News defended
the cause of the North.  After the death of President Lincoln, Punch
manfully acknowledged (see issue of May 6, 1865) that it had been
altogether wrong in its estimation of him and his measures; and
Mr. Gladstone, in an essay on "Kin beyond Sea" in his "Gleanings of
Past Years," paid a noble tribute to the course pursued by America
since the close of the war.

Late in Autumn (1861) Captain Wilkes, of the United States Navy,
boarded the British mail steamer Trent, and seized two Confederate
commissioners (Mason and Slidell) who were on their way to England.
When intelligence of the act was conveyed to President Lincoln, he
expressed his unqualified disapproval of it, saying: "This is the very
thing the British captains used to do.  They claimed the right of
searching American ships, and taking men out of them.  That was the
cause of the War of 1812.  Now, we cannot abandon our own principles;
we shall have to give up these men, and apologize for what we have

The British Government made a formal demand that the commissioners
should be given up.  Through the influence of Prince Albert, and with
the approval of the Queen, this demand was couched in most
conciliatory language.  Slidell and Mason were handed over to Great
Britain, and an apology was made by Secretary Seward.

During the progress of the Civil War a number of fast-sailing vessels
were fitted out in England, and employed in running the blockade of
the Southern ports, to supply them with arms, ammunition, and
manufactured goods of various kinds.  Later, several gunboats were
built in British shipyards by agents of the Confederate government,
for the purpose of attacking the commerce of the United States.  The
most famous of these vessels was the Alabama, built expressly for the
Confederate service by the Lairds, of Birkenhead, armed with British
cannon, and manned chiefly by British sailors.

Charles Francis Adams, the American Minister at London, notified Lord
Palmerston, the Prime Minister, of her true character.  But Palmerston
permitted the Alabama to leave port (1862), satisfied with the pretext
that she was going on a trial trip.[1] She set sail on her career of
destruction, and soon drove nearly every American merchant vessel from
the seas.  Two years later (1864) she was defeated and sunk by the
United States gunboat Kearsarge.  After the war the Government of the
United States demanded damages from Great Britain for losses caused by
the Alabama and other English-built privateers.

[1] The Queen's advocate gave his opinion that the Alabama should be
detained, but it reached the Foreign Secretary (Lord Russell) just
after she had put out to sea.

A treaty was agreed to by the two nations; and by its provisions an
international court was held at Geneva, Switzerland (1872), to deal
with the demands made by the United States on Great Britain.  The
court awarded $15,500,000 in gold as compensation to the United
States, which was duly paid.  One very important result of this
decision was that it established a precedent for settling by
arbitration on equitable and amicable terms whatever questions might
arise in future between the two nations.[1]

[1] This treaty imposed duties on neutral governments of a far more
stringent sort than Great Britain had hitherto been willing to
concede.  It resulted, furthermore, in the passage of an act of
Parliament, punishing with severe penalties such illegal shipbuilding
as that of the Alabama.  See Sheldon Amos's "Fifty Years of the
English Constitution, 1830-1880."

599. Municipal Reform (1835); Woman Suffrage; the Jews.

Excellent as was the Reform Bill of 1832 (S582), it did not go far
enough.  There was also great need of municipal reform, since in many
cities the taxpayers had no voice in the management of local affairs,
and the city officers sometimes spent the income of large charitable
funds in feasting and merrimaking while the poor got little or

A law was passed (1835) giving taxpayers in cities (except London)
control of municipal elections.  By a subsequent amendment, the ballot
in such cases was extended to women,[2] and for the first time perhaps
in modern history partial woman suffrage was formally granted by
supreme legislative act.  A number of years later the political
restrictions imposed on the Jews were removed.

[2] Woman suffrage in municipal elections was granted to single women
and widows (householders) in 1869.  In 1870 an act was passed enabling
them to vote at schoolboard elections, and also to become members of
such boards.  By act of 1894 women were made eligible to sit and vote
in district and parish councils (or local-government elections).

There was a considerable number of Jews in London and in other large
cities who were men of wealth and influence.  They were entitled to
vote and hold municipal office, but they were debarred from election
to Parliament by a law which required them to make oath "on the faith
of a Christian."  The law was now so modified (1859) that a very
prominent Jew, Baron Rothschild, took his seat in Parliament.  Finally
the Oaths Act (1888) abolished all religious tests in Parliament.

600. Second and Third Reform Acts, 1867, 1884; County and Parish
     Councils (1884, 1894).

In 1867 the pressure of public opinion moved Mr. Disraeli (later Lord
Beaconsfield), a member of Lord Derby's Conservative Cabinet (S479),
to bring in a second Reform Bill (S582), which became law.  This bill
provided "household suffrage." It gave the right to vote to all male
householders in the English parliamentary boroughs (that is, towns
having the right to elect one or more members to Parliament), who paid
a tax for the support of the poor, and to all lodgers paying a rental
of 10 pounds yearly; it also increased the number of voters among
small property holders in counties.[1]

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p.xxvi,
S31.  Lord Derby held the office, but Mr. Disraeli was really Prime

There still remained, however, a large class in the country districts
for whom nothing had been done.  The men employed by the farmers to
till the soil were wretchedly poor and deplorably ignorant.  Joseph
Arch, a Warwickshire farm laborer, who had been educated by hunger and
toil, succeeded in establishing a national union among men of his
class (1872).  In 1884 Mr. Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister,
secured the ballot for agricultural laborers by the passage of the
third Reform Act, which gave all residents of counties throughout the
United Kingdom the right to vote on the same liberal conditions as the
residents of the towns.

It is estimated that this last law added about two and a half millions
of voters; this gave one voter to every six persons of the total
population, whereas, before the passing of the first Reform Bill in
1832, thre was not over one in fifty.  When the new or so-called
"People's Parliament" convened (1886), Joseph Arch and several other
candidates took their seats in the House of Commons as representatives
of classes of the population who, up to that date, had no voice in the
legislation of the country.

The next step may bring universal "manhood suffrage." The County
Council and Parish Council acts (1888, 1894) greatly extended the
power of the people in all matters of local government, so that now
every village in England controls its own affairs.

601. Compulsory Church Rates abolished; Disestablishment in Ireland

While these great reforms were taking place with respect to elections,
others of great importance were also being effected.  From its origin
in 1549 the established Protestant Church of England (S362) had
compelled persons of all religious beliefs to pay rates or taxes for
the maintenance of the Established Cuhrch in the parish where they
resided.  Methodists, Baptists, and other Dissenters (SS472, 496, 507)
objected to this law as unjust, since, in addition to the expense of
supporting their own form of worship, they were obliged to contribute
toward maintaining one with which they had no sympathy.  So great had
the opposition become to paying these "church rates," that in over
fifteen hundred parishes in England (1859) the authorities could not
collect them.  After long debate Mr. Gladstone carried through a bill
(1868) which abolished this mode of taxation and made the payment of
these rates purely voluntary.[1]

[1] Church rates were levied on all occupiers of land or houses within
the parish.  The Church of England is now supported by a tax on
landowners, by its endowments, and by voluntary gifts.

A similar act of justice was soon after granted to Ireland (1869).[2]
At the time of the union of the two countries in 1800 (S562), the
maintenance of the Protestant Episcopal Church continued to remain
obligatory upon the Irish people, although only a small part of them
were of that faith.  Mr. Gladstone, now Liberal Prime Minister,
succeeded in getting Parliament to enact a law which disestablished
this branch of the National Church and left all religious
denominations in Ireland to the voluntary support of those who
belonged to them.  Henceforth the English Protestants residing in that
country could no longer claim the privilege of worshiping God at the
expense of his Roman Catholic neighbor.

[2] The Disestablishment Bill was passed in 1869 and took effect in

602. The Elementary Education Act, 1870.

In 1870 Mr. Forester, a member of Mr. Gladstone's Liberal Cabinet
(SS534, 601), succeeded in passing a measure of the highest
importance, entitled The Elementary Education Act.  This act did not
undertake to establish a new system of instruction, but to aid and
improve that which was then in use.  In the course of time, however,
it effected such changes for the better in the common schools that it
practically re-created most of them.

It will be remembered that before the Reformation the Catholic
monasteries took the leading part in educating the children of the
country (SS45, 60).  The destruction of the monasteries by Henry VIII
(S352) put a stop to their work; but after Henry's death, his son,
Edward VI, established many Protestant schools (SS364, 365), while
tohers were founded by men who had grown suddenly rich through getting
possession of monastic lands.  These new schools did good work, and
are still doing it; but they seldom reached the children of the poor.
Later on, many wealthy persons founded Charity Schools to help the
class who could not afford to pay anything for their tuition.  The
pupils who lived in these institutions (of which a number still exist)
were generally obliged to wear a dress which, by its peculiarity of
cut and color, always reminded them that they were "objects of public
or private benevolence." Furthermore, while the boys in these
institutions were often encouraged to go on and enter Grammar Schools,
the girls were informed that a very little learning would be all that
they would ever need in the humble station in life to which Providence
had seen fit to call them.

Meanwhile, the Church of England, and other religious denominations,
both Catholic and Protestant, established many common schools (1781-
1811) for the benefit of the poor.  The cost of carrying them on was
usually met by private contributions.  All of these schools gave some
form of denominational religious instruction.  As the population
increased many more schools were required.  At length Parliament began
(1833) to grant money to help the different religious societies in
maintaining their systems of instruction.  When able, the parents of
the children were also called on to pay a small sum weekly.  In 1870
the Liberal Government took hold of the education question with great
vigor.  It provided that in all cases where the existing Church of
England or other denominational schools were not able to accomodate
the children of a given district, School Boards should be established
to open new schools, which, if necessary, should be maintained
entirely at the public expense.  In these "Board Schools," as they
were called, no denominational religious instruction whatever could be

This very important act "placed a school within the reach of every
child," but, except in very poor districts, these schools were not
made free schools; in fact, free schools, in the American sense,
cannot be said to exist in Great Britain.  Later on (1880) compulsory
attendance was required, and subsequent acts of Parliament (1902,
1904) transferred the management of these schools from the School
Boards to the Town and County Councils.[1]  Again, these new measures
make it practicable for a boy or girl, who has done well in the
primary course, to secure assistance which will open opportunities for
obtaining a higher education.  Thus, as a recent writer declares,
"There is now a path leading from the workman's home even to the

[1] But many men and women who belong to the Dissenting Denominations
complain that the Educational Acts of 1870-1904 compel them to pay
taxes for the support of a great number of public elementary schools
which are under the control of the English Church, and furthermore,
that teachers who are members of Dissenting societies, such as the
Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, etc., can seldom, if ever, get
appointments in the class of schools mentioned.  Quite a number of
these Dissenters who call themselves "Passive Resisters" have refused
to pay the school tax and have had their property seized or have been
sent to jail year after year.
[2] A.L. Lowell's "The Government of England," II, 323.

Meanwhile (1871) the universities and colleges, with most of the
offices and professorships connected with them, were thrown open to
all persons without regard to religious belief; whereas, formerly, no
one could graduate from Oxford or Cambridge without subscribing to the
doctrines of the Church of England.

603. The First Irish Land Act, 1870.

In 1870, the same year that the Government undertook to provide for
the education of the masses (S602), Mr. Gladstone, who was still Prime
Minister and head of the Liberal Party (S601), brought in a bill for
the relief of small Irish farmers, those who had to support themselves
and their families from the little they could get from a few hired
acres.  Since the union (S562) much of the general policy of England
toward Ireland had been described as "a quick alternation of kicks and
kindness." Mr. Gladstone did not hesitate to say that he believed the
misery of the island sprang mainly from its misgovernment.  He thought
that the small farmer needed immediate help and that it was the duty
of the Liberal Party to grant it.

The circumstances under which the land was held in Ireland were
peculiar.  A very large part of it was owned by Englishmen whose
ancestors obtained it through the wholesale confiscations of James I,
Cromwell, and later rulers (SS423, 453).  Very few of these English
landlords cared to reside in the country or to do anything for its
improvement.  Their agents or overseers generally forced the farm
tenants to pay the largest amount of rent that could be wrung from
them, and they could dispossess a tenant of his land whenever they saw
fit, without giving a reason for the act.  If, by his labor, the
tenant made the land more fertile, he seldom reaped any additional
profit from his industry, for the rent was usually increased, and
swallowed up all that he raised.  Such a system of extortion was
destructive to those who tilled the soil, and if it brought in more
money for the landlord, it produced nothing but misery and discontent
for his tenant.

Mr. Gladstone's new law endeavored to remedy these evils by the
following provisions:

1. In case a landlord ejected a rent-paying tenant, he was to pay him
   damages, and allow him a fair sum for whatever improvement he had
2. It secured a ready means of arbitration between landlord and
   tenant, and if a tenant failed to pay an exorbitant rate he could
   not be hastily or unjustly driven from his farm.
3. It made it possible for the tenant to borrow a certain sum from the
   government for the purpose of purchasing the land in case the owner
   was willing to sell.

604. Distress in Ireland; the Land League (1879).

The friends of the new Irish land law hoped it would be found
satisfactory; but the potato crop again failed in Ireland (1876-1879),
and the country seemed threatened with another great famine (S593).
Thousands who could not get the means to pay even a moderate rent were
now forced to leave their cabins and seek shelter in the bogs, with
the prospect of dying there of starvation.

The wrected condition of the people led an number of influential
Irishmen to for a Land League (1879).  This organization sought to
abolish the entire landlord system in Ireland and to secure
legislation which should eventually give the Irish peasantry
possession of the soil they cultivated.

In time the League grew to have a membership of several hundred
thousand persons, extending over the greater part of Ireland.  Finding
it difficult to get parliamentary help for their grievances, the
League resolved to try a different kind of tactics.  Its members
refused to work for, buy from, sell to, or have any intercourse with
landlords, or their agents, who extorted exhorbitant rent, ejected
tenants unable to pay, or took possession of land from which tenants
had been unjustly driven.  This process of social excommunication was
first tried on an English agent, or overseer, named Boycott, and soon
became famous under the name of "boycotting."

As the struggle went on, many of the suffering poor became desperate.
Farm buildings belonging to landlords and their agents were burned,
many of their cattle were horribly mutilated, and a number of the
agents shot.  At the same time the cry rose of "No Rent, Death to the
Landlords!" Hundreds of Irish tenants now refused to pay anything for
the use of the land they cultivated, and attacked those who did.

Eventually the lawlessness of the country compelled the Government to
take severe measures.  It suppressed the Land League (1881), which was
believed to be responsible for the refusal to pay rent, and for the
accompanying outrages; but it could not extinguish the feeling which
gave rise to that organization, and the angry discontent soon burst
forth more violently than ever.

605. The Second Irish Land Act (1881); Fenian and Communist Outrages.

Mr. Gladstone (S603) now succeeded in carrying through a second Irish
Land Law (1881) (S603), which he hoped might be more effective in
relieving the Irish peasants than the first had been.  This measure
was familiarly known as the "Three F's,"--meaning Fair rent, Fixity of
tenure, and Free sale.  By the provisions of this act the tenant could
appeal to a board of land commissioners appointed to fix the rate of
his rent in case the demands made by the landlord seemed to him

Next, he could continue to hold his farm, provided he paid the rate
determined on, for a period of fifteen years, during which time the
rent could not be raised nor the tenant evicted except for violation
of agreement or persistent neglect or waste of the land.  Finally, he
could sell his tenancy whenever he saw fit to the highest bidder.
This law was later amended and extended in the interest of the peasant
farmer (1887).

The year following the passage of this second Land Act, Lord Frederick
Cavendish, chief secretary of Ireland, and Mr. Burke, a prominent
government official, were murdered in Phoenix Park, Dublin (1882).
Later, members of the Fenian society, and of other secret
organizations sympathizing with the small Irish farmers, perpetrated
dynamite outrages in London and other parts of England for the purpose
of intimidating the Government.  These acts were denounced by the
leaders of the Irish National Party.  They declared that "the cause of
Ireland was not to be served by the knife of the assassin or by the
infernal machine."

Notwithstanding the vindictive feeling caused by these rash deeds,
despite also the passage of the Coercion Bill (1887), the majority of
the more intelligent and thoughtful of the Irish people had faith in
the progress of events.  They believed that the time would come when
their country would obtain the enjoyment of all the political rights
which England so fully possesses.  It will be seen (S620) that about
ten years later they did gain a very important extension of the right
of local self-government.[1]

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p.xxvii,

606. The Darwinian Theory of Evolution, 1859; the Persistence of

In the progress of science the Victorian period surpassed all previous
records in England except that made by Sir Isaac Newton's discovery of
the law of gravitation (S481).  That great thinker demonstrated in
1684 that all forms of matter, great or small, near or distant, are
governed by one universal force of attraction.  In like manner the
researches and investigations of the nineteenth century led to the
conviction that all forms of life upon the earth obey a universal law
of development.  By this law the higher are evolved from the lower
through a succession of gradual but progressive changes.

This conception originated long before the beginning of the Victorian
era, but it lacked the support of carefully examined facts, and most
sensible men regarded it as nothing more than a plausible conjecture.
The thinker who did more than any other to supply the facts, and to
put the theory, so far as it relates to natural history, on a solid
and lasting foundation, was the distinguished English naturalist,
Charles Darwin.[1]

[1] Alfred Russel Wallace, also noted as a naturalist, worked out the
thoery of evolution by "natural selection" about the same time, though
not so fully, with respect to details, as Darwin; as each of these
investigators arrived at his conclusions independently of the other,
the theory was thus doubly confirmed.

On his return (1837) from a voyage of scientific discovery round the
world, Darwin began to examine and classify the facts which he had
collected, and continued to collect, relating to certain forms of
animal life.  After twenty-two years of uninterrupted labor he
published a work in 1859, entitled "The Origin of Species," in which
he aimed to show that life generally owes its course of development ot
the struggle for existence and to "the survival of the fittest."

Darwin's work may truthfully be said to have wrought a revolution in
the study of nature as great as that accomplished by Newton in the
seventeenth century.  Though it excited heated and prolonged
discussion, the Darwinian theory gradually made its way, and is now
generall received, though sometimes in a modified form, by practically
every eminent man of science throughout the world.

After Mr. Darwin began his researches, but before he completed them,
Sir William Grove, an eminent electrician, commenced a series of
experiments which resulted in his publishing his remarkable book[2] on
the connection of the physical forces of nature.  He showed that heat,
light, and electricity are mutually convertible; that they must be
regarded as modes of motion; and, finally, that all force is
persistent and indestructible, thus proving, as Professor Tyndall
says, that "to nature, nothing can be added; from nature, nothing can
be taken away." Together, the work of Darwin and Grove, with kindred
discoveries, resulted in the theory of evolution, or development.
Later on, Herbert Spencer and other students of evolution endeavored
to make it the basis of a system of philosophy embracing the whole
field of nature and life.

[2] "The Correlation of the Physical Forces" (1846).

The Victorian period was also noted for many other great names in
science, philosophy, literature, and art.  The number was so great
that it would manifestly be impracticable to devote any adequate space
to them here.[1]

[1] It will be sufficient to mention the novelists, Dickens,
Thackeray, Bronte, and "George Eliot"; the historians, Stubbs, Hallam,
Arnold, Grote, Macaulay, Alison, Buckle, Froude, Freeman, and
Gardiner; the essayists, Carlyle, Landor, and De Quincey; the poets,
Browning and Tennyson; the philosophical writers, Hamilton, Mill, and
Spencer; with Lyell, Faraday, Carpenter, Tyndall, Huxley, Darwin,
Wallace, and Lord Kelvin in science; John Ruskin, the eminent art
critic; and, in addition, the chief artists of the period, Millais,
Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Watts, and Hunt.

607. The Queen's Two Jubilees; Review of Sixty Years of English
     History (1837-1897).

Queen Victoria celebrated the fiftieth year of her reign (1887); ten
years later (1897) the nation spontaneously rose to do honor to her
"Diamond Jubilee." The splendid military pageant which marked that
event in London was far more than a brilliant show, for it
demonstrated the enthusiastic loyalty of the English people and of the
English colonies.

The real meaning of the occasion is best sought in a review of the
record of those threescore years.  They were, in large degree, a
period of progress; perhaps, in fact, no similar period in European
history has been so "crowded with benefit to humanity."

When Victoria came to the throne in her nineteenth year (1837) she
found the kingdom seething with discontent, and the province of Canada
approaching rebellion.  In business circles reckless speculation and
the bursting of "Bubble Companies" had been followed by "tight money"
and "hard times." Among the poor matters were far worse.  Wages were
low, work was scarce, bread was dear.  In the cities half-fed
multitudes lived in cellars; in the country the same class occupied
wretched cottages hardly better than cellars.[2]

[2] See Cobbett's "Rural Rides, 1821-1832."

The "New Poor Law" (S403),[3] which went into effect in 1834, or
shortly before the Queen's accession, eventually accomplished much
good; but for a time it forced many laborers into the workhouse.  The
result aggravated the suffering and discontent, and the predominant
feeling of the day may be seen reflected in the pages of Dickens,
Carlyle, and Kingsley.[1]

[3] The "New Poor Law": Between 1691 and 1834 the administration of
relief for the poor was in the hands of justices of the peace, who
gave aid indiscriminately to those who begged for it.  In 1795 wages
for ordinary laborers were so low that the justices resolved to grant
an allowance to every poor family in accordance with its numbers.  The
result of this mistaken kindness was speedily seen; employers cut down
wages to the starvation point, knowing that the magistrates would give
help out of the poor fund.  The consequence was that the tax rate for
relief of the poor rose to a degree that became unbearable.
The "New Law" of 1834 effected a sweeping reform: (1) it forbade
outdoor relief to the able-bodied poor, and thus, in the end,
compelled the employer to give better wages (but outdoor relief is now
frequently granted); (2) it restricted aid to that given in
workhouses, where the recipient, if in good health, was obliged to
labor in return for what he received; (3) it greatly reduced the
expense of supporting the poor by uniting parishes in workhouse
"unions"; (4) it modified the old rigid Law of Settlement, thereby
making it possible for those seeking employment to take their labor to
the best market.
[1] See Dickens's "Oliver Twist" (1838), Carlyle's "Chartism" (1839),
and Kingsley's "Yeast" and "Alton Locke" (1849).

Notwithstanding the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832 (S582),
political power was still held chiefly by men of property who
distrusted the masses of the people.  They feared that the widespread
distress would culminate in riots, if not in open insurrection.

The Chartist movement (S591) which speedily began (1838) seemed to
justify their apprehension.  But the dreaded revolt never came; the
evils of the times were gradually alleviated and, in some cases,
cured.  Confidence slowly took the place of distrust and fear.  When,
in June (1897), the Queen's "Diamond Jubilee" procession moved from
Buckingham Palace to St. Paul's, and thence through some of the
poorest quarters of London, none of the dense mass that filled the
streets cheered more lustily than those who must always earn their
daily bread by their daily toil.

The explanation of that change was to be found in the progress of good
government, the extension of popular rights, and the advance of
material improvements.  Let us consider these changes in their natural

608. Further Extension of the Right to Vote, 1832-1894.[2]

We have already described the far-reaching effects of the Reform Bill
(S582) of 1832, which, on the one hand, put an end to many "rotten
boroughs," and on the other, granted representation in Parliament to a
number of large towns hitherto without a voice in that body.  Three
years later (1835) came the Municipal Reform Act.  It placed the
government of towns, with the exception of London,[1] in the hands of
the taxpayers who lived in them.

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p.xxvi,
[1] The ancient city of London, or London proper, is a district
covering about a square mile, and was once enclosed in walls; it is
still governed by a lord mayor, court of aldermen, and a common
council elected mainly by members of the "city" companies,
representing the medieval trade guilds (S274).  The metropolis outside
the "city" is governed by the London County Council and a number of
associate bodies, among which are the councils of twenty-eight
metropolitan boroughs.

This radical measure put a stop to the arbitrary and corrupt
management which had existed when the town officers elected themselves
and held their positions for life (S599).  Futhermore, it prevented
parliamentary candidates from buying up the entire municipal vote,--a
thing which frequently happened so long as the towns were under the
absolute control of a few individuals.

A generation passed before the next important step was taken.  Then,
as we have seen, the enactment of the Second Reform Bill (1867) (S600)
doubled the number of voters in England.  The next year an act reduced
the property qualification for the right to vote in Scotland and
Ireland; thus the ballot was largely increased throughout the United

The Third Reform Act (1884) (S600) granted the right to vote for
members of Parliament to more than two million persons, chiefly to the
farm laborers and other workingmen.  Since that date, whether the
Liberals or the Conservatives[2] have been in power, "the country," as
Professor Gardiner says, "has been under democratic influence."

[2] The Whigs (S479) included two elements, one aristocratic and the
other radical.  After the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832 they took
the name of Liberals; and the Tories (S479), who found their old name
unpopular, adopted that of Conservatives.

But though these acts wrought an immense change by transferring
political power from the hands of the few to the greater part of the
nation, further progress in this direction was destined to come soon.
Originally the government of the shires, or counties, was in the hands
of the people; they gradually lost it, and the wealthy landed
proprietors obtained control.  The Local Government, or County
Councils, Act (1888) restored the power in great measure to those who
had parted with it, by putting the management of county affairs under
the direction of the County Councils elected by the householders of
the counties or shires.  These Councils look after the highways, the
sanitary condition of the towns, the education of children, and the
care of the poor.

Six years later (1894) the principle of self-government was carried
almost to the farthest point by the passage of the Parish Councils
Bill.[1] This measure did for country villages and other small places
what the Local Government Act did for the counties.  It gave back to
the inhabitants of the parishes certain rights which they had once
possessed, but which had gradually come under the control of the
squire, the parson[2], and a few privileged families.

[1] Parish: This name was given originally to a district assigned to a
bishop or priest; at present it generally refers simply to the area
which was formerly contained in such a district.
[2] The squire was the chief landholder in a village or parish; the
parson, the minister of the parish church.

Now every man and woman who has resided in the parish for a
twelvemonth has the right not only to vote for the members of the
Parish Council but to run as candidate for election to that body.  The
village parliament discusses all questions which are of public
interest to the parish.  It is in some respects more democratic even
than a New England town meeting, since it gives women a voice, a vote,
and opportunity to hold office.  Its work supplements that of the
County Councils and of Parliament.

609. Overthrow of the "Spoils System"; the Army; the "Secret Ballot,"

Meanwhile reforms not less important had been effected in the
management of the civil service.  The ancient power of the Crown to
give fat pensions to its favorites had been pared down to very modest
proportions, but another great abuse still flourished like an evil
weed in rich soil.

For generations, public offices had been regarded as public plunder,
and the watchword of the politicians was, "Every man for himself, and
the National Treasury for us all." Under this system of pillage the
successful party in an election came down like a flock of vultures
after a battle.  They secured all the "spoils," form petty clerkships
worth 100 pounds a year up to places worth thousands.

About the middle of the last century (1855) an effort was made to
break up this corrupt and corrupting system, but the real work was not
accomplished until 1870.  In that year England threw open the majority
of the positions in the civil service to competitive examination.
Henceforth the poorest day laborer, whether man or woman, might, if
competent, ask for any one of many places which formerly some
influential man or political "boss" reserved as gifts for those who
obeyed his commands.

The next year (1871) the purchase of commissions in the army was
abolished.[1] This established the merit system in the ranks, and now
military honors and military offices are open to all who can earn

[1] Up to 1871 an officer retiring from the army could sell his
commission to any officer next below him in rank who had the money to
buy the position; whereas under the present system the vacancy would
necessarily fall to senior officers in the line of promotion.  In the
year following this salutary change the entire British army was

The Registration Act of 1843 required every voter to have his name and
residence recorded on a public list.  This did away with election
frauds to a large extent.  It was supplemented in 1872 by the
introduction of the "secret ballot" (S591).  This put an end to the
intimidation of voters and to the free fights and riots which had so
frequently made the polls a political pandemonium.  The Bribery Act of
1883 was another important measure which did much toward stopping the
wholesale purchase of votes by wealthy candidates or by powerful

610. Reforms in Law Procedures.

During Queen Victoria's reign great changes for the better were
effected in simplifying the laws and the administration of justice.
When she came to the throne the Parliamentary Statutes at Large filled
fifty-five huge folio volumes, and the Common Law, as contained in
judicial decisions from the time of Edward II (1307), filled about
twelve hundred more.  The work of examining, digesting, and
consolidating this enormous mass of legislative and legal lore was
taken in hand (1863) and has been slowly progressing ever since.

The Judicature Acts (1873, 1877) united the chief courts in a single
High Court of Justice.  This reform did away with much confusion and
expense.  But the most striking changes for the better were those made
in the Court of Chancery (S147) and the criminal courts.

In 1825 the property belonging to suitors in the former court amounted
to nearly forty millions of pounds.[1] The simplest case might require
a dozen years for its settlement, while difficult ones consumed a
lifetime, or more, and were handed down from father to son,--a legacy
of baffled hopes, of increasing expense, of mental suffering worse
than that of hereditary disease.

[1] See Walpole's "History of England," Vol. III.

Much has been done to remedy these evils, which Dickens set forth with
such power in his novel of "Bleak House."  At one time the prospect of
reform seemed so utterly hopeless that it was customary for a prize
fighter, when he had got his opponent's neck twisted under his arm,
and held him absolutely helpless, to declare that he had his head "in

611. Reforms in Criminal Courts and in the Treatment of the Insane.

In criminal courts an equal reform was effected, and men accused of
burglary and murder are now allowed to have counsel to defend them,
and the right of appeal is secured; whereas, up to the era of
Victoria, they were obliged to plead their own cases as best they
might against skilled public prosecutors, who used every resource
known to the law to convict them.

Great changes for the better have also taken place in the treatment of
the insane.  Until near the close of the eighteenth century this
unfortunate class was quite generally regarded as possessed by demons,
and dealt with accordingly.  William Tuke, a member of the Society of
Friends, inaugurated a better system (1792); but the old method
continued for many years longer.  In fact, we have the highest
authority for saying that down to a pretty late period in the
nineteenth century the inmates of many asylums were worse off than the
most desperate criminals.

They were shut up in dark, and often filthy, cells, where "they were
chained to the wall, flogged, starved, and not infrequently
killed."[2] Since then, mechanical restraints have, as a rule, been
abolished, and the patients are generally treated with the care and
kindness which their condition demands.

[2] Encyclopaedia Britannica (10th and 11th editions) under

612. Progress in the Education of the Masses.

We have seen that since 1837 the advance in popular education equaled
that made in the extension of suffrage and in civil service reform.
When Victoria began her reign a very large proportion of the children
of the poor were growing up in a stat bordering on barbarism.  Many of
them knew little more of books or schools than the young Hottentots in

The marriage register shows that as late as 1840 forty per cent of the
Queen's adult subjects could not write their names in the book; by the
close of her reign (1901) the number who had to "make their mark" in
that interesting volume was only about one in ten.  This proves, as
Lord Brougham said, that "the schoolmaster" has been "abroad" in the

The national system of education began, as we have already seen, in
1870 (S602).  Later, the Assisted Education Act (1891) made provision
for those who had not means to pay even a few pence a week for
instruction.  That law practically put the key of knowledge within
reach of every child in England.

613. Religious Toleration in the Universities; Payment of Church Rates

The universities felt the new impulse.  The abolition of religious
tests for degrees at Oxford and Cambridge (1871) threw open the doors
of those venerable seats of learning to students of every faith.
Since then colleges for women have been established at Oxford and in
the vicinity of Cambridge, and the "university-extension"
examinations, with "college settlements" in London and other large
cities, have long been doing excellent work.

The religious toleration granted in the universities was in accord
with the general movement of the age.  It wil be remembered that the
Catholics were readmitted to sit in Parliament (S573) late in the
reign of George IV (1829), and that under Victoria the Jews were
admitted (1858) to the same right (S599).  Finally Mr. Bradlaugh got
his Oaths Bill passed (1888), and so opened PArliament to persons not
only of all religious beliefs but of none.

In the meantime the compulsory payment of rates for the support of the
Church of England had been abolished (1868) (S601); and the next year
(1869) was made memorable by the just and generous act by which
Mr. Gladstone disestablished the Irish branch of the English Church

614. Transportation and Communication.

When the Queen ascended the throne (1837), the locomotive (S584) was
threatening to supersede the stagecoach; but the progerss of steam as
a motor power on land had not been rapid, and England then had less
than 200 miles of railway open;[1] but before the end of her reign
there were nearly 22,000 miles in operation, and there are now
24,000.  At first, the passenger accommodations were limited.  Those
who could indulge in such luxuries sometimes preferred to travel in
their own private carriages placed on platform cars for
transportation.  For those who took first-class tickets there were
excellent and roomy compartments at very high prices.  The second
class fared tolerably well on uncushioned seats, but the unfortunate
third class were crowded like cattle into open trucks, without seats,
and with no roofs to keep the rain out.  But time remedied this.  Long
before the Queen celebrated her first Jubilee (S607) the workingman
could fly through the country at the rate of from thirty to fifty
miles an hour, for a penny a mile, and could have all the comforts
that a reasonable being should ask for.

[1] A part of what is now the London and Northwestern Railway.

Cheap postage (S590) came in (1840) with the extension of railways,
and in a few years the amount of mail carried increased enormously.
Every letter, for the first time, carried on it a stamp bearing a
portrait of the young Queen, and in this way the English people came
to know her better than they had ever known any preceding sovereign.
The London papers now reached the country by train.

The Telegraph began to come into use in January, 1845, between the
railway station at Paddington, a western district of London, and
Slough, near Windsor.  The government eventually purchased all the
lines, and reduced the charge on a despatch of twelve words to
sixpence to any part of the United Kingdom.  The Telephone followed
(1876), and then Wireless Telegraphy (1899).

615. Light in Dark Places; Photography; the New Surgery (1834-1895).

The invention of the friction match, 1834 (S584), the abolition of the
tax on windows (1851) (S595), with the introduction of American
petroleum, speedily dispelled the almost subterraneous gloom of the
laborer's cottage.  Meanwhile photography, which began to be used in
1839, revealed the astonishing fact that the sun is always ready not
only to make a picture but to take one, and that nothing is so humble
as to be beneath his notice.

News came across the Atlantic from Boston, 1846, that Dr. Morton had
rendered surgery painless by the use of ether.  Before a year passed
the English hospitals were employing it.  Sir James Y. Simpson of
Edinburgh introduced chloroform (1847).  These two agents have
abolished the terror of the surgeon's knife, and have lengthened life
by making it possible to perform a class of operations which formerly
very few patients had been able to bear.

A score of years later Sir Joseph Lister called attention to the
important results obtained by antiseptic methods in surgery; next came
(1895) the introduction from Germany of the marvelous X ray, by whose
help the operator can photograph and locate a bullet or other foreign
substance which he is endeavoring to extract.  Together, these
discoveries have saved multitudes of lives.

616. Progress of the Laboring Classes; Free Trade, 1846.

At the date of the Queen's accession a number of laws existed
restricting the free action of workingmen.  Only three years before
Victoria's coronation six poor agricultural laborers in Dorsetshire
were transported (1834) to penal servitude at Botany Bay, Australia,
for seven years, for peacefully combining to secure an increase of
their wages, which at that time were only six shilling a week.  In
fact, the so-called "Conspiracy Laws," which made Labor Unions liable
to prosecution as unlawful, if not actually criminal organizations,
were not wholly repealed until after the opening of the twentieth

Meanwhile Parliament passed the Trade Union Acts, in 1871 and 1876,
which recognized the right of workingmen to form associations to
protect their interests by the use of all measures not forbidden by
the Common Law.[1] In 1906 the persistent political pressure of
organized labor induced a Liberal Cabinet (of which Sir Henry
Campbell-Bannerman was Prime Minister) and the invariably Conservative
House of Lords to pass a still more important act.  That measure
exempted Trade Unions from liability to pay damages for a certain
class of injuries which they might commit in carrying on a strike.[2]
During the above period of more than thirty years the unions have
gained very largely in numbers and in financial as well as political
strength.  On the other hand they now have to contend with the radical
Socialists who are seeking to convert England into a republic in which
the government would carry on all industries and would prohibit
private individuals from conducting any business whatever.

[1] One result of the organization of Trades or Labor Unions has been
the shortening of the hours of labor.  In 1894 the Government
established an eight-hour day for workingmen in dockyards and in
ordnance factories.
[2] The Trade Disputes Act of 1906.  This forbids any suit for tort
against a Trade Union.  See A. L. Lowell's "The Government of
England," II, 534; and S. Gompers in _The Outlook_ for February, 1911,
p. 269.

The unions will accomplish more still if they succeed in teaching
their members to study the condition of industry in England, to
respect the action of those workers who do not join associations, and
to see clearly that "if men have a right to combine," they must also
"have an equal right to refuse to combine."

In 1837 the English Corn Laws (S592) virtually shut out the
importation of grain from foreign countries.  The population had
outgroiwn its food supply, and bread was so dear that even the
agricultural laborer cried out.   "I be protected," said he, "but I be
starving." The long and bitter fight against the Corn Laws resulted
not only in their gradual abolition, 1846, but in the opening of
English ports to the products and manufactures of the world.  With the
exception of tobacco, wines, spirits, and a few other articles, all
imports enter the kingdom free.

But though Great Britain carries out the theory that it is better to
make things cheap for the sake of those who buy them, than it is to
make them dear for the sake of those who produce them, yet all of the
great self-governing English colonies impose protective duties[1] even
against British products (S625).  One of the interesting questions
suggested by the Queen's "Diamond Jubilee" (1897) (S607) was whether
England's children in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada would take
any steps toward forming a commercial fre-etrade union with the mother
country.  More than ten years later that point still remained under
discussion (S625).

[1] Except in certain cases, where the colonies, e.g. Canada, grant
preferential duties, or practical free trade, in certain articles
exported to the British Isles.

617. The Small Agricultural Holdings Act; the Agricultural Outlook.

Through the influence of the greatly increased popular vote, which
resulted from the Third Reform Act (S600), the farm laborers made
themselves felt in the House of Commons.  They secured the passage of
the Small Agricultural Holdings Act (1892).  This gave those who
worked on the land the privilege of purchasing from one to fifty
acres, or of taking it on lease if they preferred.[2] But,
notwithstanding the relief granted by this measure, the agricultural
problem is to-day one of the most serious England has to solve.  Just
as New England now depends in large measure on the West for its food
supply, so the British Isles depend in great measure on America for
breadstuffs.  Thousands of acres of fertile soil have gone out of
cultivation in the eastern half of the island, mainly because the
farmers cannot compete with foreign wheat.

[2] The Small Agricultural Holdings Act enables the County Council
(S600) to acquire, by voluntary arrangement, suitable land for the
purpose of reletting or reselling it to agricultural laborers and men
of small means.  Under certain safeguards the Council may advance up
to three fourths of the purchase money.

The Royal Agricultural Commission, in a report made a number of years
ago (1897), could suggest no remedy, and believed matters must grow
worse.  A leading English journal,[3] in commenting on the report,
said, "The sad and sober fact is that the English farmer's occupation
is gone, or nearly gone, never to return."

[3] The Bristol _Times and Mirror_, August 5, 1897.

The continued agricultural depression ruined many tillers of the soil,
and drove the rural population more and more into the already
overcrowded towns.  There they bid against the laboring men for work,
and so reduced wages to the lowest point.  If they failed to get work,
they became an added burden on the poor rates, and taxes rose

Should no remedy be found, and should land in England continue to go
out of cultivation, it is difficult to see how the majority of
proprietors can resist the temptation to break up and sell their
estates.  The tendency of an important act of Parliament (1894) is
believed by many to work in the same direction.[1]  It imposes an
inheritance tax on the heirs to landed property, which they find it
hard to meet, especially when their tenants have abandoned their
farms rather than try to pay the rent.

[1] The Consolidated Death Duties Act.

To-day a few thousand wealthy families hold the title deeds to a large
part of the soil on which more than forty millions live.  Generally
speaking, the rent they demand does not seem to be excessive.[2] It is
an open question whether England would be the gainer if, as in France,
the land should be cut up into small holdings, worked by men without
capital, and hence without power to make improvements.

[2] This is the opinion of the Royal Commission; but Gibbins's
"Industry in England" (1896), p. 441, takes the opposite view.

618. The Colonial Expansion of England.

Meanwhile, whether from an economic point of view England is gaining
or losing at home, there can be no question as to her colonial
expansion.  A glance at the accompanying maps of the world (see double
map opposite and map facing p. 420) in 1837 and in 1911 shows the
marvelous territorial growth of the British Empire.

When Victoria was crowned it had an area of less than three million
square miles; to-day it has over eleven million, or more than one
fifth of the entire land surface of the globe.  England added to her
dominions, on the average, more than one hundred and forty-five
thousand square miles of territory every year of Victoria's reign.

Canada's wonderful growth in population and wealth is but one
example.  Australia began its career (1837) as a penal colony with a
few shiploads of convicts; now it is a prosperous, powerful, and loyal
patr of the Empire (S545).  Later than the middle of the nineteenth
century, New Zealand was a mission field where cannibalism still
existed (1857); now it is one of the leaders in English civilization.

Again, when Victoria came to the throne (1837) the greater part of
Africa was simply a geographical expression; the coast had been
explored, but scarcely anything was known of the country back of it.
Through the efforts of Livingstone and those who followed him (1840-
1890), the interior was explored and the source of the Nile was
discovered (1863).  Stanley undertook the great work on the Congo
River and the "dark continent" ceased to be dark.  Trade was opened
with the interior, and the discovery of diamond mines and gold mines
in South Africa (1867, 1884) stimulated emigration.  Railways have
been pushed forward in many directions (S622), new markets are
springing up, and Africa, once the puzzle of the world, seems destined
to become one of the great fields which the Anglo-Saxon race is
determined to control, if not to possess.

On the other hand, the British West Indies have of late years greatly
declined from their former prosperity.  The English demand for cheap
sugar has encouraged the importation of beet-root sugar from Germany
and France.  This has reduced the market for cane sugar to so low a
point that there has been but little, if any, profit in raising it in
the West Indies;[1] but fruit is a success.

[1] See Brooks Adams's "America's Economic Supremacy."

619. England's Change of Feeling toward her Colonies.

One of the most striking features of the "Diamond Jubilee" celebration
(S607) was the prominence given to the Colonial Prime Ministers.
There was a time, indeed, when the men who governed England regarded
Canada and Australia as "a source of weakness," and the Colonial
Office in London knew so little of the latter country that it made
ridiculous blunders in attempting to address official despatches to
Melbourne, Australia.[2] Even as late as the middle of the last
century Disraeli, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, wrote to Lord
Malmesbury in regard to the Newfoundland fisheries, "These wretched
colonies will all be independent, too, in a few years, and are a
millstone around our necks."

[2] See Traill's "Social England," VI, 684.

Twenty years afterwards Disraeli, later Lord Beaconsfield, declared
that one of the great objects he and his party had in view was to
uphold the British Empire and to do everything to maintain its unity.
That feeling has steadily gained in power and was never stronger than
it is to-day.  Canada, Australia, and the other governing colonies
(S625) have since responded by actions as well as words, and "Imperial
Federation" has become something more than a high-sounding phrase
(SS625, 626).

620. The Condition of Ireland; International Arbitration.

But to make such federation harmonious and complete, the support of
Ireland must be obtained.  That country is the only member of the
United Kingdom whose representatives in Parliament refused, as a rule,
to take part in the celebration of the Queen's reign.  They felt that
their island had never been placed on a true equality with its
stronger and more prosperous neighbor.  In fact, the Royal Commission,
appointed to inquire into the relative taxation of England and
Ireland, reported (1897) nearly unanimously that "for a great many
years Ireland had paid annually more than 2,000,000 pounds beyond her
just proportion of taxation."[1] It has been estimated that the total
excess obtained during the Queen's reign amounted to nearly
100,000,000 pounds.

[1] McCarthy's "History of Our Own Times," V, 487.

Mr. Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister (1893) made a vigorous
effort to secure "Home Rule" for Ireland.  His bill granting that
country an independent Parliament passed the House of Commons by a
very large majority, but was utterly defeated in the House of Lords.
Five years later (1898) Lord Salisbury, the Conservative Prime
Minister, passed a bill which, though it did not give Ireland "Home
Rule," did give it local self-government on the same popular
foundation on which it rests in England (S608) and Scotland.
Mr. Bryce, the British Ambassador at Washington, recently said (1911)
that he was convinced that the condition of the people of Ireland had
greatly improved and was "still advancing," and that "before long
nearly all the land wouyld belong to the cultivators" (S605).

The recognition of the principle of international arbitration by
England in the Alabama case (S598), in the Bering Sea Seal Fisheries
dispute (1893), in the Venezuela boundary controversy (1896), and in
the Newfoundland Fisheries case (1910) proved that the English people
saw that the victories of peace are worth as much to a nation as the
victories of war.  The Hague Peace Conference Treaty, ratified by
Great Britain with the United States and the leading nations of Europe
and the Far East (1899), provided for the establishment of a permanent
Court of Arbitration at The Hague between all of the great powers
which signed it.  All appeals to it, however, are entirely voluntary.

Ten years earlier, a proposition to establish such a court for the
purpose of strengthening the cause of international peace would have
been looked upon as "a splendid but delusive dream."  To-day many of
the ablest men on both sides of the Atlantic believe that the time is
not far off when England and America will agree to settle by
arbitration all questions which diplomacy cannot deal with, which may
arise between them.  Sir Edward Grey, Secretary for Foreign Affairs in
Mr. Asquith's Liberal Cabinet, fears that the continued expenditure on
larger and larger armaments "will end in international revolution."
On the other hand, those who are constantly advocating the building of
more and bigger battleships admit that the Peace Party presents strong
arguments in support of its views, and that "the war against war" is
making progress.

621. Death of Gladstone; the Cabot Tower; Centennial of the First
     Savings Bank, 1899.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gladstone, the great Liberal leader, died, full of
years and honors, at his residence, Hawarden Castle, in North Wales
(1898).  The "Grand Old Man"--as his friends delighted to call him--
was buried in that Abbey at Westminster which holds so much of
England's most precious dust.  His grave is not far from the memorial
to Lord Beaconsfield, the eminent Conservative leader, who was his
lifelong rival and political opponent.

In the autumn (1898) the Cabot monument was opened at Bristol.  It is
a commanding tower, overlooking the ancient city and port from which
John Cabot (S335) sailed in the spring of 1497.  The monument
commemorates that explorer's discovery of the mainland of the New
World.  An inscription on the face of the tower expresses "the earnest
hope that Peace and Friendship may ever continue between the kindred
peoples" of England and America.

In May of the next year, 1899, the one hundredth anniversary of the
establishment of savings banks in Great Britain was celebrated.  Near
the closing year of the eighteenth century, 1799, Reverend Joseph
Smith, Vicar of Wendover in Buckinghamshire, invited the laborers of
his parish to deposit their savings with him on interest.  "Upon the
first day of the week," said he, quoting St. Paul's injuction, "let
every one of you lay by him in store."[1] He offered to receive sums
as small as twopence.  Before the end of the year he had sixty
depositors.  Eventually the government took up the scheme and
established the present system of national postal savings banks.

[1] The quotation is from I Corinthians xvi, 2.

They have done and are doing incalculable good.  At present there are
over eleven million depositors in the United Kingdom.  Most of them
belong to the wage-earning class, and they hold more than 212,000,000
pounds.  In this case certainly the grain of mustard seed, sown a few
generations ago, has produced a mighty harvest.

622. England in Egypt; Progress in Africa.

While busy at home, the English had been busy outside of their
island.  Five years after the opening of the Suez Canal (1869), Lord
Beaconsfield, then the Conservative Prime Minister, bought nearly half
of the canal property from the Governor of Egypt.  Since then England
has kept her hand on the country of the Pharaohs and the pyramids, and
kept it there greatly to the advantage of the laboring class.

About ten years later (1881), Arabi Pasha, an ambitious colonel in the
native army, raised the cry, "Down with all foreigners--Egypt for the
Egyptians!" Lord Wolseley defeated Arabi's forces, and the colonel was
banished from the country.

Two years afterwards (1883) a still more formidable rebellion broke
out in the Sudan,--a province held by Egypt.  (See map facing p. 428.)
The leader of the insurrection styled himself the Mahdi, or great
Mohammedan Prophet.  Then (1884) Gladstone sent General Gordon to
withdraw the Egyptian troops from Khartoum, the capital of the Sudan.
The Mahdi's forces shut up the heroic soldier in that city, and before
help could reach him, he and all his Egyptian troops were massacred.
No braver or truer man ever died at the post of duty, for in him was
fulfilled Wordsworth's eloquent tribute to the "Happy Warrior."[1]

[1] See Wordsworth's poems "The Happy Warrior."

Many years later, Lord Kitchener advanced against the new Mahdi, and
at Omdurman his terrible machine guns scattered the fanatical
Dervishes, or Mohammedan monks, like chaff before the whirlwind.  The
next autumn (1899) the British overtook the fugitive leader of the
Dervishes and annihilated his army.

Since then British enterprise, British capital, and American inventive
skill have transformed Egypt.  The completion of the great dam across
the Nile, at Assouan (1902), regulates the water supply for lower
Egypt.  The creation of this enormous reservoir promises to make the
Nile valley one of the richest cotton-producing regions in the world.

The "Cape to Cairo" railway, which is more than half finished, is
another British undertaking of immense importance.  (See map
opposite.)  When ready for traffic, through its whole length of nearly
six thousand miles, besides its branch lines, it will open all Eastern
Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Mediterranean, to the spread
of commerce and civilization.

623. The Boers; the Boer War, 1899; Death of Queen Victoria (1901).

The history of the British in South Africa has been even more tragic
than their progress in Egypt (S622).

In the middle of the seventeenth century (1652) the Dutch took
possession of Cape Colony.  (See map opposite.)  Many Boers, or Dutch
farmers, and cattle raisers emigrated to that far distant land.  There
they were joined by Huguenots, or French Protestants, who had been
driven out of France.  All of them became slaveholders.  Early in the
nineteenth century (1814) England purchased the Cape from Holland.
Twenty years later the English Parliament bought all the negroes held
by the Boers and set them free.

Eight thousand Boers, disgusted with the loss of their slaves and with
the small price they had received for them, left the Cape (1836) and
pushed far northward into the wilderness.  Crossing the Orange River,
they founded the "Orange Free State." Another party of Boers, going
still further north, crossed the Vaal River (a tributary of the
Orange) and set up the Transvaal, or "South African Republic," on what
was practically a slaveholding foundation.  Later (1852), England, by
a treaty known as the Sand River Convention, virtually recognized the
independence of the settlers in the Transvaal, and two years
afterwards made a still more explicit recognition of the independence
of the Orange Free State.

The Zulus and other fierce native tribes bordering on the Transvaal
hated the Boers and threatened to "eat them up." Later (1877), England
thought it for her interest, and for that of the Boers as well, to
annex the Transvaal.  The English Governor did not grant the Boers the
measure of political liberty which he had promised; this led to a
revolt, and a small body of English soldiers was beaten at Majuba Hill

Mr. Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister, did not think that the
conquest of the Transvaal, supposing it to be justifiable, would pay
for its cost, and he accordingly made a treaty with the people of that
country (1881).  Lord Beaconsfield thought this policy a serious
mistake, and that it would lead to trouble later on.  He said, "We
have failed to whip the boy, and we shall have to fight the man." The
Gladstone Treaty acknowledged the right of the Boers to govern
themselves, but subject to English control.  Three years later (1884)
that treaty was modified.  The Boers declared that the English then
gave up all control over them, except with regard to the power to make
treaties which might conflict with the interests of Great Britain.
But this statement the English Government emphatically denied.[1]

[1] The preamble of the Convention or agreement made between England
and the Boers in 1881 at Pretoria, the capital of the Transvaal,
secured to the Boers "complete self-government, subject to the
suzerainty of her Majesty," Queen Victoria.  In the Convention of
1884, made at London, the word "suzerainty" was dropped; but
Mr. Chamberlain, Colonial Secretary of Great Britain, contended that
it was implied or understood.  This interpretation of the agreement
President Kruger of the South African or Boer Republic absolutely

The discovery of diamond fields in Cape Colony (1867) and of the
richest gold mines in the world (1884) in the Transvaal stimulated a
great emigration of English to South Africa.  In a few years the
"Outlanders"--as the Boers called all foreigners--outnumbered the
Boers themselves.  The "Outlanders," who worked the gold mines and
paid nearly all the taxes, complained that the laws made by the Boers
were unjust and oppressive.  They demanded the right to vote.  The
Boers, on the other hand, refused to give them that right, except
under arduous restrictions, lest the foreigners should get the upper
hand in the Transvaal Republic, and then manage it to suit themselves.

Things went on from bad to worse.  At length (1895) a prominent
Englishman of Cape Colony, Dr. Jameson, armed a small body of
"Outlanders," who undertook to get by force what they could not get by
persuasion.  The Boers captured the Revolutionists and compelled some
of the leaders to pay, in all, about a million dollars in fines.
Dr. Jameson was sent to England and imprisoned for a short time.  A
committee appointed by Parliament investigated the invasion of the
Transvaal and charged Cecil J. Rhodes, then Prime Minister of Cape
Colony, with having helped on the raid.  From this time the feeling of
hatred between the Boers and the "Outlanders" grew more and more
intense.  Lord Salisbury, the Conservative Prime Minister, believed,
with his party, that the time had come for decisive action on the part
of the Government.  The fires so long smoldered now burst into flame,
and England resolved to fight to maintain her authority in the

War began in the autumn of 1899, and the Orange Free State united with
the Transvaal against Great Britain.  (See map facing p. 428.)  The
Boers took up arms for independence.  The English forces under Lord
Roberts began fighting, first in behalf of the "Outlanders," next to
keep the British Empire together, and, finally, "to extend English
law, liberty, and civilization."

Mr. Chamberlain, who was in Lord Salisbury's Cabinet (S534), agreed
with his chief that the sword must settle the question, but he said
that the contest in South Africa would be "a long war, a bitter war,
and a costly war." Events proved the truth of part of his prediction.
The contest was certainly "bitter," for it carried sorrow and death
into many thousand homes.  It was "costly," too, for the total expense
to England amounted to nearly 200,000,000 pounds.

England finally overthrew and formally annexed (1901) the two Boer
republics, aggregating over one hundred and sixty-seven thousand
square miles.  But to accomplish that work she was forced to send two
hundred and fifty thousand men to South Africa,--the largest army she
ever put into a field in the whole course of her history.  The great
majority of the English people believed that the war was inevitable.
But there was an active minority who insisted that it was really
undertaken in behalf of the South African mine owners.  They did not
hesitate to condemn the "Jingo" policy[1] of the Government as
disastrous to the best interests of the country.  In the midst of the
discussion Queen Victoria died (January 22, 1901).  The Prince of
Wales succeeded to the crown under the title of King Edward VII.

[1] Lord Beaconsfield, the Conservative Prime Minister (1874-1880),
made several petty wars in South Africa and in Afghanistan.  A popular
music-hall song glorified his work, declaring:
                "We don't want to fight, but by Jingo, if we do,
                 We've got the ships, we've got the men,
                 We've got the money, too."

624. Summary.

Queen Victoria's reign of sixty-three years--the longest in English
history--was remarkable in many ways.

The chief political events were:

1. The establishment of the practical supremacy of the House of
   Commons, shown by the fact that the Sovereign was now obliged to
   give up the power of removing the Prime Minister or members of his
   Cabinet without the consent of the House, or of retaining them
   contrary to its desire.
2. The broadening of the basis of suffrage and the extension of the
   principle of local self-government.
3. The abolition of the requirement of property qualification for
   Parliamentary candidates; the admission of Jews to Parliament; and
   the overthrow of the Spoils System.
4. The repeals of the Corn Laws; the adoption of the Free-Trade
   policy; and the Emancipation of Labor.
5. The Small Agricultural Holdings Act; the Irish Land Acts; the
   abolition of Church rates; and the disestablishment of the Irish
   branch of the Church of England.
6. The arbitration of the Alabama case.
7. The progress of transportation and of the rapid transmission of
   intelligence was marked by the extension of railways to all parts
   of hte British Isles and to many other parts of the Empire; the
   introduction of the telegraph and the telephone; the laying of the
   Atlantic cable; the introduction of penny postage; the rise of
   cheap newspapers, of photography, of wireless telegraphy, and of
   the use of electricity to drive street cars and machinery.
8. The progress of education was marked by the establishment of
   practically free elementary schools, free libraries, and the
   abolition of religious tests in the universities.
9. The progress of science and philosophy was shown by the
   introduction of painless and also of antiseptic surgery, the use of
   the German X ray, and the rise and spread of the Darwinian theory
   of Evolution.
10. Other events having far-reaching results were the terrible Irish
    famine, the Opium War, the Crimean War, the rebellion in India,
    the Trent affair, the war in the Sudan, and the great Boer War.
11. Finally, we see the important work accomplished in India, Egypt,
    and other parts of Africa; the acquisition of the control of the
    Suez Canal; and the great expansion of the power of the Empire in
    Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

                        EDWARD VII--1901-1910

625. End of the Boer War (1902); Completion of Imperial Federation,

Not long after Edward VII came to the throne the Boers (S623) laid
down their arms (1902) and recognized the King as their true and
lawful Sovereign.  The announcement set the "joy bells" ringing all
over Great Britain.

Under Edward VII the Crown became the center of a greart movement for
more complete Imperial Unity.  We have seen that the process of
forming a federation of Great Britain and her widely scattered
colonies had made good progress under Victoria (SS618, 619).  She had
seen the creation of the Dominion of Canada (1867), the Dominion of
New Zealand (1875), and the consolidation of the six Australian
colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia (1901).  Nine years later
(1910) the four states which had been the scene of the Boer War (S623)
were consolidated in like manner and received the name of the Union of
South Africa.[1]  Boer and Briton seem now to have made up their minds
to live together as one family, and, as farmers and stock raisers,
they will work out their destiny on the land.  Speaking of the
political significance of this event, a prominent official in South
Africa said, "Without the influence of King Edward I, I do not think
the union could have been effected."

[1] The Union of South Africa is formed of the states of the Cape of
Good Hope, the Transvaal, and the Orange Free State.  Lord Gladstone,
son of the late W.E. Gladstone, was appointed Governor of the new
Commonwealth, and General Botha, who had commanded in the Boer army,
was made Prime Minister.

The establishment of the Union of South Africa completed the framework
of the Imperial Federation (SS618, 619).  Admiral Mahan, of the
American navy, classes the expansion of the British Empire with that
of the expansion of the United States, and declares that it ranks as
one of the foremost facts of "contemporaneous history."  The
Commonwealth of Australia and the Union of South Africa (with the
Dominion of New Zealand) mark the southern limit of the Imperial
Federation.  The Dominion of Canada marks its northeren limit.  (See
map facing p. 422.)

All these British possessions enjoy a degree of self-government which
falls but little short of entire independence.  In fact, commercially
they are independent, for, as we have seen (S616), while England
maintains free trade, her colonies still keep up a strict protective
tariff and impose duties even on British imports.  Notwithstanding
this difference, all the colonies are loyal subjects of the English
Crown, and all stand ready to defend the English flag.

626. The League of Empire.

While this successful movement toward Imperial Federation was going
on, the organization of the League of Empire had been formed (1901) to
cooperate with it and strengthen it.

The League is nonpolitical and nonsectarian.  It aims to unite the
different parts of the Imperial Federation by intellectual and moral
bonds.  It appeals to the whole body of the people of the Empire, but
it deals especially with the children in the schools.  It endeavors to
educate them in the duties of citizenship, and it calls on them to
salute the national flag as the symbol of patriotism, of unity, and of
loyalty.  A little later, Empire Day was established (1904) as a
public holiday to help forward the work of the League.  King Edward
gave it his hearty encouragement, and it is celebrated throughout the
British Isles and the self-governing colonies of the Imperial

627.  The King's Influence in Behalf of Peace.

While seeking to make all England and English dominions in one spirit,
King Edward constantly used his influence to maintain peace both at
home and abroad.  He was a man whose natural kindliness of heart
endowed him with the double power of making and of keeping friends.
Furthermore, he was a born diplomatist.  He saw at once the best
method of handling the most difficult questions.  Those who knew him
intimately said that "he always did the right thing, at the right
time, in the right way."

To a great extent he was a creator of international confidence.  In
his short reign he succeeded in overcoming the old race feeling which
made England and France regard each other as enemies.  Again, Russia
and England had been on unfriendly terms for nearly two generations,
but the King, by his strong personal influence, brought the two
countries to understand each other better.

He saw that Europe needed peace.  He saw that the outbreak of a
general war would strike the laboring man a terrible blow, and would
destroy the fruits of his toil.  When he ascended the throne (1901)
the contest with the Boers in South Africa was still going on.
General Botha, one of the Boer leaders, publicly stated that the King
did everything in his power to secure the establishment of an
honorable and permanent peace between the combatants.  More than that,
even, he was in favor of granting a large measure of self-government
to the very people who had only just laid down the arms with which
they had been fighting him.

But the King's influence for good was not limited to the Old World.
It extended across the Atlantic.  Mr. Choate, who was formerly our
ambassador to England, said that Edward VII endeavored to remove every
cause of friction between Great Britain and America.  While he lay on
a sick bed he signed a treaty relating to the Panama Canal, which made
"it possible for the United States to construct the waterway and to
protect it forever."[1]

[1] This was the treaty repealing the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850.
See the address of Honorable Joseph H. Choate before the New York
Chamber of Commerce, June 2, 1910.

628. The Politcal Battle in England; Labor gets into Parliament, 1906.

But the King's success in international politics did not secure peace
in the field of home politics.  Organized labor had long been bent on
pushing its way into Parliament.  In a few cases, like that of Joseph
Arch (S600), it had elected a representative,[2] but these were
scattered victories which made no great impression.

[2] Besides Joseph Arch, such men as John Burns and J. Keir Hardie.

The real upheaval came in the General Election of 1906.  That contest
wrought a silent revolution.  Up to that date, with very few
exceptions, the wealthy class was the only one which had been
represented in the House of Commons.  Furthermore, it cost a good deal
of money for any candidate to get into the House, and as members drew
no pay, it cost a good deal more money to remain there.

In 1906 the Liberal Party and the Labor Party gained a sweeping
victory over the Conservative Party, and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman,
the Liberal Prime Minister, came into power, 1906-1908.  Out of the
six hundred and seventy members who had been elected to the House of
Commons, fifty-four came from the ranks of the workingmen,--those to
whom life means an unending struggle to live.[3]  The combined Labor
voters sent these men to represent them in Parliament, and then raised
a fund to meet the expense of keeping them there.[4]

[3] John Burns, who was one of the earliest workingmen to enter
Parliament as a Labor leader, said of himself, "Came into the world
with a struggle, struggling now, with prospects of continuing it."
[4] But later, the Court of Appeal (S588) decided that the Labor Party
could not legally compel any member of the Labor Union to contribute
to this fund against his will.  Now (1911) Parliament pays all members
of the Commons (see S591).

These "Laborites," as they are popularly called, claim that their
influence secured the passage of the Old Age Pensions Act (1908), for
the relief of the aged and deserving poor; the Act for Feeding
Destitute School Children; and the Act establishing Labor Exchanges
(1909) throughout the country to help those who are looking for work.

The entrance of the working class and of the Socialists into
Parliament marks the transference of power from the House of Commons
directly to the mass of the people.  Public opinion is now the real
active force in legislation, and the lawmakers are eager to know what
"the man in the street" and the "man with the hoe" are thinking.

This closeness of touch between Parliament and People has evident
advantages, but it also has at least one serious drawback.  In times
of great public excitement it might lead to hasty legislation, unless
the House of Lords should be able to interpose and procure the further
consideration of questions of vital importance which it would be
dangerous to attempt to settle offhand (S631).

629. The Budget; Woman Suffrage; the Content with the Lords.

Mr. Asquith, the Liberal Prime Minister,[1] found that the Government
must raise a very large amount of money to defray the heavy cost of
the old-age pensions (S628) and the far heavier cost of eight new
battleships.  Mr. Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or
Secretary of the Treasury, brought in a Budget[2] which roused excited
and long-continued debate.  The Chancellor's measure called for a
great increase of taxes on real estate in towns and cities where the
land had risen in value, and on land containing coal, iron, or other
valuable minerals.[3]

[1] Mr. Asquith succeeded Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the Liberal
Prime Minister (S628), who died in the spring of 1908.
[2] The official estimate of the amount of money which the Government
must raise by taxation to meet its expenses for the year, together
with the scheme of taxation proposed, are called the Budget.
[3] In all cases where the owner of the land had himself done nothing
to produce the rise in value, the Chancellor called that rise the
"unearned increment," and held that the owner should be taxed for it
accordingly.  Most great landowners and many small ones execrate the
man who made a practical application of this unpalatable phrase.

The House of Commons passed the Budget (1909), but the House of Lords,
which includes the wealthiest landowners in the British Isles,
rejected it.  They declared that it was not only unjust and
oppressive, but that it was a long step toward the establishment of
socialism, and that it threatened to lead to the confiscation of
private property in land.  A bitter conflict ensued between the two
branches of Parliament.

This contest was rendered harder by the actions of a small number of
turbulent women, who demanded complete suffrage but failed to get it
(SS599, 608).[1] Adopting the methods of a football team, they
endeavored to force themselves into the House of Commons; they
interrupted public meetings, smashed winows, assaulted members of the
Cabinet, and, in one case, tried to destroy the ballots at the
polls,--in short, they broke the laws in order to convince the country
of their fitness to take part in making them.  Over six hundred of
these offenders were put in prison, not because they asked for "Votes
for Women," but because they deliberately, persistently, and
recklessly misconducted themselves.

[1] The great majority of woman suffragists refused to adopt these
violent methods.

630. A New Parliamentary Election; the Lords accept the Budget.

The rejection of the Budget by the House of Lords (S629) caused a new
Parliamentary election (1910).  The Liberal Party with the Labor Party
again won the victory, but with a decidedly diminished majority.
Mr. Asquith, the Liberal Prime Minister, declared that the policy of
the Liberal Government forbade any concessions whatever to the Lords.
The Lords thought it unwise to carry the contest further, and when the
new Parliament met they bowed to the inevitable and reluctantly voted
to accept the Budget,--land taxes and all.[2]

[2] The Liberal Party in power threatened, in case the Lords continued
to refuse to accept the Budget, that they would either request the
King to create a sufficient number of Liberal Peers to carry it
(S582), or that they would make the country go through another

631. New Warships; a New Domesday Book; Death of King Edward.

This acceptance of the Budget made the Government feel reasonably sure
that it would get the 16,000,000 pounds required to pay for eight new
battleships (S629).  It also encouraged the War Department to spend a
considerable sum in experimenting with military airships as a means of
defense against invasion.  Great Britain, like Germany, believes that
such vessels have become a necessity; for since a foreigner flew
across the Channel and landed at Dover (1909), England has felt that
her navy on the sea must be supplemented by a navy above the sea.  Two
of these government airships are now frequently seen cricling at
express speed around the great dome of St. Paul's.

The Government also began preparations for the compilation of a new
Domesday Book (S120), which should revalue all the land in the British
Isles, in order to establish a permanent vasis for increased
taxation.[1]  The House of Commons furthermore took up the debate on
adopting measures for limiting the power of Lords to veto bills passed
by the Commons.  While they were so engaged King Edward died (May 6,
1910); his son was crowned in 1911, with the title of George V.

[1] The last general valuation of the land was made in 1692; it was
then fixed at 9,000,000 pounds.  The land tax, based on this
valuation, has yielded about 2,000,000 pounds annually.  The
Government expects that the new valuation will yield much more.

In the summer of 1911 Mr. Asquith, the Liberal Prime Minister, after
prolonged and heated discussion, forced the House of Lords to accept
the Veto Bill, which is now law.  He did this by using the same threat
which enable Earl Grey to carry the Reform Bill of 1832 (S582).  The
Veto Act makes it impossible for the House of Lords to defeat any
Public Bill which the House of Commons has passed for three successive
sessions, extending over a period of not less than two years.  This
momentous Act was passed at a critical time when the great Dockers
Strike had practically closed the port of London, and had cut off the
chief food supply of the city.  A little later, the Prime Minister
passed the Salary Bill, which pays the members of the House of Commons
400 pounds annually (S591).  Next, the Government passed (1911) the
Workmen's Compulsory Insurance Bill against sickness and
unemployment.  The worker and his employer contribute small sums
weekly, the Government gives the rest.  The law has an excellent

632. General Summary of the Development of the English Nation.

Such is the condition of the English nation in the twentieth century
and in the reign of King George V.  Looking back to the time when
Caesar landed in Britain, we see that since that period an island
which then had a population of a few thousand "barbarians" (SS4, 18)
has gradually become the center of a great and powerful empire (SS14,

The true history of the country began, however, not with Caesar's
landing, but with the Saxon invasion in 449, about five centuries
later.  Then the fierce blue-eyed German and Scandinavian races living
on the shores of the Baltic and North Seas took possession of Britain.
They, with the help of the primitive British, or Celtic, stock, laid
the foundation of a new nation.  Their speech in a modified form,
their laws, and their customs became in large degree permanent.

Later, missionaries from Rome converted this mixed population to the
Christian faith.  They baptized Britain with the name England, which
it has ever since retained (S50).

In the eleventh century the Normans, who sprang originally from the
same stock as the Northmen and Saxons, conquered the island.  They
grafted onto the civilization which they found there certain elements
of Continental civilization (S126).  Eventually the Saxon yeoman and
the Norman knight joined hands and fortunes, and became one people

This union was first unmistakable recognized in the provisions of
Magna Carta (S199).  When in 1215 the barons forced King John to grant
that memorable document they found it expedient to protect the rights
of every class of the population.  Then nobles, clergy, farmers,
townsmen, and laborers whether bond or free, stood, as it were,
shoulder to shoulder.

The rise of free towns marked another long step forward (S183).  That
movement secured to their inhabitants many precious privileges of
self-government.  Then the Wat Tyler insurrection of a subsequent
period (S251) led gradually to the emancipation of that numerous class
which had long been in partial bondage (S252).

Meanwhile the real unity of the people clearly showed itself at the
time when the Crown began to tax the poor as well as the rich.  The
moment the King laid hands on the tradesman's and the laborer's
pockets they demanded to have their share in making the laws.  Out of
that demand, made in 1265, rose the House of Commons (SS213, 217).  It
was a body, as its name implies, composed of representatives chosen
mainly from the people and by the people.

Next, after generations of arduous struggle, followed by the King's
grant of the Petition of Right (S432) and then by the great Civil War
(SS441, 450), it was finally settled that the House of Commons, and
the House of Commons alone, had complete power over the nation's
purse.  From that time the King knew, once for all, that he could not
take the people's money unless it was granted by the people's vote

After the flight of James II Parliament passed the Bill of Rights in
1689 and in 1701 the Act of Settlement (S497).  These two
revolutionary measures wrought a radical change in the government of
England.  They deliberately set aside the old order of hereditary
royal succession and established a new order which made the King
directly dependent on the people for his title and his power to rule
(S497).  About the same time, Parliament passed the Toleration Act,
which granted a larger degree of religious liberty (S496), and in 1695
the House of Commons took action which secured the freedom of the
press (S498).

Less than thirty years afterwards another radical change took place.
Hitherto the King had appointed his own private Council, or Cabinet
(S476), but when George I came to the htrone from Germany he could
speak no English.  One of the members of the Cabinet became Prime
Minister in 1721, and the King left the management of the government
to him and his assoaciates (S534).

Two generations later another great change occurred.  Watt's invention
of a really practical steam engine in 1785, together with the rapid
growth of manufacturing towns in the Midlands and the North of
England, brought on an "Industrial Revolution" (S563).  A factory
population grew up, which found itself without any representation in
Parliament.  The people of that section demanded that this serious
inequality be righted.  Their persistent efforts compelled the passage
of the great Reform Bill of 1832.  That measure (S582) broke up the
political monopoly hitherto enjoyed in large degree by the
landholders, and distributed much of the power among the middle

The next important change took place at the accession of Victoria
(1837).  The principle was then finally established that the ruling
power of the government does not center in the Crown but in the
Cabinet (S534).  Furthermore, it was settled that the Prime Minister
and his Cabinet are responsible solely to the House of Commons, which
in its turn is responsible only to the expressed will of the majority
of the nation (S587).

In the course of the next half century the Reform Bills of 1867 and
1884 extended the suffrage to the great majority of the population
(S600).  A little more than twenty years later, in 1906, the combined
Liberal and Labor parties gained an overwhelming victory at the
polls.  This secured the workingmen fifty-four seats in Parliament
(S628), whereas, up to that time, they had never had more than three
or four.  It then became evident that a new power had entered the
House of Commons.  From that date the nation has fully realized that
although England is a monarchy in name, yet it is a republic in fact.
The slow progress of time has at length given to the British people--
English, Scotch, Welsh, and Irish--the great gift of practical
liberty; but along with it, it has imposed that political
responsibility which is always the price which must be paid for the
maintenance of liberty.

633. Characteristics of English History; the Unity of the
     English-Speaking Race; Conclusion.

This rapid and imperfect sketch shows what has been accomplished by
the people of Britain.  Other European peoples may have developed
earlier, and made, perhaps, more rapid advances in certain forms of
civilization, but none have surpassed, nay, none have equaled, the
English-speaking race in the practical characer and permanence of its

Guizot says[1] that the true order of national development in free
government is, first, to convert the natural liberties of man into
clearly defined political rights; and, next, to guarantee the security
of those rights by the establishment of forces capable of maintaining

[1] Guizot's "History of Representative Government," lect. vi.

Nowhere do we find better illustrations of this truth than in the
history of England, and of the colonies which England has planted.
For the fact cannot be too strongly emphasized that *in European
history England stands as the leader in the development of
constitutional Government* (SS199, 497).  Trial by jury (S176), the
legal right to resist oppression (S261), legislative representation
(SS213, 217), religious freedom (S496), the freedom of the press
(S498), and, finally, the principle that all political power is a
trust held for the public good,[1]--these are the assured results of
Anglo-Saxon growth, and the legitimate heritage of every nation of
Anglo-Saxon descent.

[1] Macaulay's "Essay on Sir Robert Walpole."

It is no exaggeration to say that the best men and the best minds in
England, without distinction of rank or class, are now laboring for
the advancement of the people.  They see, what has never been so
clearly seen before, that the nation is a unit, that the welfare of
each depends ultimately on the welfare of all, and that the higher a
man stands and the greater his wealth and privileges, so much the more
is he bound to extend a helping hand to those less favored than

The Socialists, it is true, demand the abolition of private property
in land and the nationalizing not only of the soil but of all mines,
railways, waterworks, and docks in the kingdom.  Thus far, however,
they have shown no disposition to attain their objects by violent
action.  England, by nature conservative, is slow to break the bond of
historic continuity which connects her present with her past.

"Do you think we shall ever have a second revolution?" the Duke of
Wellington was once asked. "We may," answered the great general, "but
if we do, it will come by act of Parliament." That reply probably
expresses the general temper of the people, who believe that they can
gain by the ballot more than they can by an appeal to force, knowing
that theirs is

            "A land of settled government,
             A land of just and old renown,
             Where freedom broadens slowly down,
             From precedent to precedent."[2]

[2] Tennyson's "You Ask Me Why."

It is impossible for the great majority of Americans not to take a
deep interest in this movement, for we can never forget that English
history is in a very large degree our history, and that England is, as
Hawthorne likes to call it, "our old home."

In fact, if we go back less than three centuries, the record of
America becomes one with that of the mother country, which first
discovered (SS335, 421) and first permanently settled this, and which
gave us for leaders and educators Washington, Franklin, the Adamses,
and John Harvard.  In descent by far the greater part of us are of
English blood or of blood akin to it.[1] We owe to England--that is,
to the British Isles and to the different races which have met and
mingled there--much of our language, literature, law, legislative
forms of government, and the essential features of our civilization.
In fact, without a knowledge of her history, we cannot rightly
understand our own.

[1] In 1840 the population of the United States, in round numbers, was
17,000,000, of whom the greater part were probably of English
descent.  Since then there has been an enormous immigration, 40 per
cent of which were from the British Isles; but it is perhaps safe to
say that three quarters of our present population are those were were
living here in 1840, with their descendents.  Of the immigrants (up to
1890) coming from non-English-speaking races, the Germans and
Scandinavians predominated, and it is to them, as we have seen, that
the English, in large measure, owe their origin (SS37-39, 126).  It
should be noted here that the word "English" is used so as to include
the people of the United Kingdom and their descendants on both sides
of the Atlantic.

Standing on her soil, we possess practically the same personal rights
that we do in America; we speak the same tongue, we meet with the same
familiar names.  We feel that whatever is glorious in her past is ours
also; that Westminster Abbey belongs as much to us as to her, for our
ancestors helped to build its walls and their dust is gathered in its
tombs; that Shakespeare and Milton belong to us in like manner, for
they wrote in the language we speak, for the instruction and delight
of our fathers' fathers, who beat back the Spanish Armada and gave
their lives for liberty on the fields of Marston Moor and Naseby.

Let it be granted that grave issues have arisen in the past to
separate us; yet, after all, our interests and our sympathies, like
our national histories, have more in common than they have apart.  The
progress of each country now reacts for good on the other.[2]

[2] In this connection the testimony of Captain Alfred T. Mahan, in
his recent work, "The Problem of Asia," is worth quoting here.  He
says (p. 187), speaking of our late war with Spain: "The writer has
been assured, by an authority in which he entirely trusts, that to a
proposition made to Great Britain to enter into a combination to
constrain the use of our [United States] power,--as Japan was five
years ago constrained by the joint action of Russia, France, and
Germany,--the reply [of Great Britain] was not only a positive refusal
to enter into such a combination [against the United States], but an
assurance of active resistance to it if attempted...Call such an
attitude [on the part of England toward the United States] friendship,
or policy, as you will--the name is immaterial; the fact is the
essential thing and will endure, because it rests upon solid

If we consider the total combined population of the United States and
of the British Empire, we find that to-day upwards of 150,000,000
people speak the English tongue and are governed by the fundamental
principles of that Common Law which has its root in English soil.
This population holds possession of more than 15,000,000 square miles
of the earth's surface,--an area much larger than that of the united
continents of North America and Europe.  By far the greater part of
the wealth and power of the globe is theirs.

They have expanded by their territorial and colonial growth as no
other people have.  They have absorbed and assimilated the multitudes
of emigrants from every quarter of the globe that have poured into
their dominions.

The result is that the inhabitants of the British Isles, of Australia,
of New Zealand, of a part of South Africa, of the United States, and
of Canada practically form one great Anglo-Saxon race,[1] diverse in
origin, separated by distance, but everywhere exhibiting the same
spirit of intelligent enterprise and of steady, resistless growth.
Thus considered, America and England are necessary one to the other.
Their interests now and in the future are essentially the same.  Bothe
contries are virtually pledged to make every effort to maintain
liberty and self-government, and also to maintain mutual peace by

[1] Such apparent exceptions as the Dutch in South Africa, the French
in Canada, and the Negroes in the United States do not essentially
affect the truth of this statement, since in practice the people of
these races uphold the great fundamental principles on which all
Anglo-Saxon government rests.

In view of these facts let us say, with an eminent thinker[2] whose
intellectual home was on both sides of the Atlantic: "Whatever there
be between the two nations to forget and forgive, is forgotten and
forgiven.  If the two peoples, which are one, be true to their duty,
who can doubt that the destinies of the world must be in large measure
committed to their hands?"

[2] Dean Farrar, Address on General Grant, Westminster Abbey, 1885.

         General Summary of English Constitutional History[1]

[1] This Summary is inserted for the benefit of those who desire a
compact, connected view of the development of the English
Constitution, such as may be conveniently used either for reference,
for a general review of the subject, or for purposes of special
study. --D.H.M.

For authorities, see Stubbs (449-1485); Hallam (1485-1760); May (1760-
1870); Amos (1870-1880); see also Hansard and Cobbett's "Parliamentary
History," the works of Freeman, Taswell-Langmead (the best one-volume
Constitutional History), Feilden's Manual, and A. L. Lowell's "The
Government of England," 2 vols., in the Classified List of Books
beginning on page xxxvi.

The references inserted in parentheses are to sections in the body of
the history.

1. Origin and Primitive Government of the English People.

The main body of the English people did not originate in Britain, but
in Northwestern Germany.  The Jutes, Saxons, and Angles were
independent, kindred tribes living on the banks of the Elbe and its

They had no written laws, but obeyed time-honored customs which had
all the force of laws.  All matters of public importance were decided
by each tribe at meetings held in the open air.  There every freeman
had an equal voice in the decision.  There the people chose their
rulers and military leaders; they discussed questions of peace and
war; finally, acting as a high court of justice, they tried criminals
and settled disputes about property.

In these rude methods we see the beginning of the English
Constitution.  Its growth has been the slow work of centuries, but the
great principles underlying it have never changed.  At every stage of
their progress the English people and their descendants throughout the
globe have claimed the right of self-government; and, if we except the
period of the Norman Conquest, whenever that right has been
persistently withheld or denied, the people have risen in arms and
regained it.

2. Conquest of Britain; Origin and Power of the King.

After the Romans abandoned Britain the English invaded the island
449(?), and in the course of a hundred and fifty years conquered it
and established a number of rival settlements.  The native Britons
were, in great part, killed off or driven to take refuge in Wales and

The conquerors brought to their new home the methods of government and
modes of life to which they had been accustomed in Germany.  A cluster
of towns--that is, a small number of enclosed habitations (S103)--
formed a hundred (a district having either a hundred families or able
to furnish a hundred warriors); a cluster of hundreds formed a shire
or county.  Each of these divisions had its public meeting, composed
of all its freemen or their representatives, for the management of its
own affairs.  But a state of war--for the English tribes fought each
other as well as fought the Britons--made a strong central government
necessary.  For this reason the leader of each tribe was made king.
At first he was chosen, at large, by the entire tribe; later, unless
there was some good reason for a different choice, the King's eldest
son was selected as his successor. Thus the right to rule was
practically fixed in the line of a certain family descent.

The ruler of each of these petty kingdoms acted as commander-in-chief
in war, and as supreme judge in law.

3. The Witenagemot, or General Council.

In all other respects the King's authority was limited--except when he
was strong enough to get his own way--by the Witenagemot, or General
Council.  This body consisted of the chief men of each kingdom acting
in behalf of its people.[1] IT exercised the following powers: (1) It
elected the King, and if the people confirmed the choice, he was
crowned.  (2) If the King proved unsatisfactory, the Council might
depose him and choose a successor.  (3) The King, with the consent of
the Council, made the laws,--that is, he declared the customs of the
tribe.  (4) The King, with the Council, appointed the chief officers
of the kingdom (after the introduction of Christianity this included
the bishops); but the King alone appointed the sheriff, to represent
him and collect the revenue in each shire.  (5) The Council confirmed
or denied grants of portions of the public lands made by the King to
private persons.  (6) The Council acted as the high court of justice,
the King sitting as supreme judge.  (7) The Council, with the King,
discussed all questions of importance,--such as the levying of taxes,
and the making of treaties; smaller matters were left to the towns,
hundreds, and shires to settle for themselves.  After the
consolidation of the different English kingdoms into one, the
Witenagemot expanded into the National Council.  In it we see "the
true beginning of the Parliament of England."

[1] The Witenagmot (i.e. the Meeting of the Witan, or Wise Men, S80),
says Stubbs ("Select Charters"), represented the people, although it
was not a collection of representatives.

4. How England became a United Kingdom; Influence of the Church and of
   the Danish Invasions.

For a number of centuries Britain consisted of a number of little
rival kingdoms, almost constantly at war with each other.  Meanwhile
missionaries from Rome had introduced Christianity, 597.  Through the
influence of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury (668), the
clergy of the different hostile kingdoms met in general Church
councils.[2]  This religious unity of action prepared the way for
political unity.  The Catholic Church--the only Christian Church
(except the Greek Church) then existing--made men feel that their
highest interests were one; it "created the nation" (S48).

[2] This movement began several years earlier (S48), but Theodore of
Tarsus was its first great organizer.

This was the first cause of the union of the kingdoms.  The second was
the invasion of the Danes.  These fierce marauders forced the people
south of the Thames to join in common defense, under the leadership of
Alfred, King of the West Saxons.  By the Treaty of Wedmore, 878, the
Danes were compelled to give up Southwestern England, but they
retained the whole of the Northeast.  About the middle of the tenth
century, one of Alfred's grandsons conquered the Dnaes, and took the
title of "King of England."[1] Later, the Danes, reenforced by fresh
invasions of their countrymen, made themselves masters of the land;
yet Canute, the most powerful of these Danish kings, ruled according
to English methods.  At length the great body of the people united in
choosing Edward the Confessor king (1042-1066).  He was English by
birth, but Norman by education.  Under him the unity of the English
kingdom was, in name at least, fully restored.

[1] Some authorities consider Edgar (959) as the first "King of all
England."  In 829 Egbert, King of the West Saxons, forced all the
other Saxon Kings of Britian to acknowledge him as their "Overlord"

5. Beginning of the Feudal System; its Results.

Meantime a great change had taken place in England with respect to
holding land (SS86, 150).  We shall see clearly to what that change
was tending if we look at the condition of France.  There a system of
government and of land tenure existed known as the Feudal System.
Under it the King was regarded as the owner of the entire realm.  He
granted, with his royal protection, the use of portions of the land to
his chief men or nobles, with the privilege of building castles and of
establishing courts of justice on these estates.  Such grants were
made on two conditions: (1) that the tenants should take part in the
King's Council; (2) that they should do military service in the King's
behalf, and furnish besides a certain number of fully armed horsemen
in proportion to the amount of land they had received.  So long as
they fulfilled these conditionms--made under oath--they could retain
their estates, and hand them down to their children; but if they
failed to keep their oath, they forfeited the land to the King.

These great military barons or lords let out parts of their immense
manors,[2] or estates, on similar conditions,--namely (1) that their
vassals or tenants should pay rent to them by doing military or other
service; and (2) that they should agree that all questions concerning
their rights and duties should be tried in the lord's private
court.[3] On the other hand, the lord of the manor pledged himself to
protect his vassals.

[2] Manor (man'or): see plan of a manor (Old French manoir, "a
mansion") on page 75, the estate of a feudal lord.  Every manor had
two courts.  The most important of these was the "court baron."  It
was composed of all the free tenants of the manor, with the lord (or
his representative) presiding.  It dealt with civil cases only.  The
second court was the "court customary," which dealt with cases
connected with villeinage.  The manors held by the greater barons had
a third court, the "court leet," which dealt with criminal cases, and
could inflict the death penalty.  In all cases the decisions of the
manorial courts would be pretty sure to be in the lord's favor.  In
England, however, these courts never acquired the degree of power
which they did on the Continent.
[3] See note above, on the manor.

On every manor there were usually three classes of these tenants:
(1) those who discharged their rent by doing military duty; (2) those
who paid by a certain fixed amount of labor--or, if they preferred, in
produce or in money; (3) the villeins, or common laborers, who were
bound to remain on the estate and work for the lord, and whose
condition, although they were not wholly destitute of legal rights,
was practically not very much above that of slaves (S113).

But there was another way by which men might enter the Feudal System;
for while it was growing up there were many small free landholders,
who owned their farms and owed no man any service whatever.  In those
times of constant civil war such men would be almost in daily peril of
losing, not only their property, but their lives.  To escape this
danger, they would hasten to "commend" themselves to some powerful
neighboring lord.  To do this, they pledged themselves to become "his
men," surrendering their farms to him, and received them again as
feudal vassals.  That is, the lord bound himself to protect them
against their enemies , and they bound themselves to do "suit and
service"[1] like the other tenants of the manor; for "suit and
service" on the one side, and "protection" on the other, made up the
threefold foundation of the Feudal system.

[1] That is, they pledged themselves to do suit in the lord's private
court, and to do service in his army.

Thus in time all classes of society became bound together.  At the top
stood the King, who was no man's tenant, but, in name at least, every
man's master; at the bottom crouched the villein, who was no man's
master, but was, in fact, the most servile and helpless of tenants.

Such was the condition of things in France.  In England, however, this
system of land tenure was not completely established until after the
Norman Conquest, 1066; for in England the tie which bound men to the
King and to each other was originally one of pure choice, and had
nothing directly to do with land.  Gradually, however, this changed;
and by the time of Edward the Confessor land in England had come to be
held on conditions so closely resembling those of France that one step
more--and that a very short one--would have made England a kingdom
exhibiting all the most dangerous features of French feudalism.

For, notwithstanding certain advantages,[2] feudalism had this great
evil: that the chief nobles often became in time more powerful than
the King.  This danger now menaced England.  For convenience Canute
the Dane had divided the realm into four earldoms.  The holders of
these vast estates had grown so mighty that they scorned royal
authority.  Edward the Confessor did not dare resist them.  The
ambition of each earl was to get the supreme mastery.  This threatened
to bring on civil war, and to split the kingdom into fragments.
Fortunately for the welfare of the nation, William, Duke of Normandy,
by his invasion and conquest of England, 1066, put an effectual stop
to the selfish schemes of these four rival nobles.

[2] On the Advantages of Feudalism, see S87.

6. William the Conqueror and his Work.

After William's victory at Hastings and march on London (SS74, 107),
the National Council chose him sovereign,--they would not have dared
to refuse,--and he was crowned by the Archbishop of York in
Westminster Abbey.  This coronation made him the legal successor of
the line of English kings.  In form, therefore, there was no break in
the order of government; for though William had forced himself upon
the throne, he had done so according to law and custom, and not
directly by the sword.

Great changed followed the conquest, but they were not violent.  The
King abolished the four great earldoms (S64), and restored national
unity.  He gradually dispossessed the chief English landholders of
their lands, and bestowed them, under strict feudal laws, on his
Norman followers.  He likewise gave all the highest positions in the
Church to Norman bishops and abbots.  The National Council now changed
its character.  It became simply a body of Norman barons, who were
bound by feudal custom to meet with the King.  But they did not
restrain his authority; for William would brook no interference with
his will from any one, not even from the Pope himself (S118).

But though the Conqueror had a tyrant's power, he rarely used it like
a tyrant.  We have seen[1] that the great excellence of the early
English government lay in the fact that the towns, hundreds, and
shires were self-governing in all local matters; the drawback to this
system was its lack of unity and of a strong central power that could
make itself respected and obeyed.  William supplied this power,--
without which there could be no true national strength,--yet at the
same time he was careful to encourage the local system of self-
government.  He gave London a liberal charter to protect its rights
and liberties (S107).  He began the organization of a royal court of
justice; he checked the rapacious Norman barons in their efforts to
get control of the people's courts.

[1] See SS2, 3 of this Summary.

Furthermore, side by side with the feudal cavalry army, he maintained
the old English county militia of foot soldiers, in which every
freeman was bound to serve.  He used this militia, when necessary, to
prevent the barons from getting the upper hand, and so destroying
those liberties which were protected by the Crown as its own best
safeguard against the plots of the nobles.

Next, William had a census, survey, and valuation made of all the
estates in the kingdom outside London which were worth examination.
The result of this great work was recorded in Domesday Book (S120).
By means of that book--still preserved--the King knew what no English
ruler had known before him; that was, the property-holding population
and resources of the kingdom.  Thus a solid foundation was laid on
which to establish the feudal revenue and the military power of the

Finally, just before his death, the Conqueror completed the
organization of his government.  Hitherto the vassals of the great
barons had been bound to them alone.  They were sworn to fight for
their masters, even if those masters rose in open rebellion against
the sovereign.  William changed all that.  At a meeting held at
Salisbury, 1086, he compelled every landholder in England, from the
greatest to the smallest,--sixty thousand, it is said,--to swear to be
"faithful to him against all others" (S121).  By that oath he "broke
the neck of the Feudal System" as a form of government, though he
retained and developed the principle of feudal land tenure.  Thus at
one stroke he made the Crown the supreme power in England; had he not
done so, the nation would soon have fallen prey to civil war.

7. William's Norman Successors.

William Rufus has a bad name in history, and he fully deserves it.
But he had this merit: he held the Norman barons in check with a stiff
hand, and so, in one way, gave the country comparative peace.

His successor, Henry I, granted, 1100, a Charter of Liberties (S135,
note 1) to his people, by which he recognized the sacredness of the
old English laws for the protection of life and property.  Somewhat
more than a century later this document became, as we shall see, the
basis of the most celebrated charter known in English history.  Henry
attempted important reforms in the administration of the laws, and
laid the foundation of that system which his grandson, Henry II, was
to develop and establish.  By these measures he gained the title of
the "Lion of Justice," who "made peace for both man and beast."
Furthermore, in an important controversy with the Pope respecting the
appointment of bishops (S136), Henry obtained the right (1107) to
require that both bishops and abbots, after taking possession of their
Church estates, should be obliged like the baron to furnish troops for
the defense of the kingdom.

But in the next reign--that of Stephen--the barons got the upper hand,
and the King was powerless to control them.  They built castles
without royal license, and from these private fortresses they sallied
forth to ravage, rob, and murder in all directions.  Had that period
of terror continued much longer, England would have been torn to
pieces by a multitude of greedy tyrants.

8. Reforms of Henry II; Scutage; Assize of Clarendon; Juries;
   Constitutions of Clarendon.

With Henry II the true reign of law begins.  To carry out the reforms
begun by his grandfather, Henry I, the King fought both barons and
clergy.  Over the first he won a complete and final victory; over the
second he gained a partial one.

Henry began his work by pulling down the unlicensed castles built by
the "robber barons" in Stephen's reign.  But, according to feudal
usage, the King was dependent on these very barons for his cavalry,--
his chief armed force.  He resolved to make himself independent of
their reluctant aid.  To do this he offered to release them from
military service, provided they would pay a tax, called "scutage," or
"shield money" (1159).[1] The barons gladly accepted the offer.  With
the money Henry was able to hire "mercenaries," or foreign troops, to
fight for him abroad, and, if need be, in England as well.  Thus he
struck a great blow at the power of the barons, since they, through
disuse of arms, grew weaker, while the King grew steadily stronger.
To complete the work, Henry, many years later (1181), reorganized the
old English national militia,[2] and made it thoroughly effective for
the defense of the royal authority.  For just a hundred years (1074-
1174) the barons had been trying to overthrow the government; under
Henry II the long struggle came to an end, and the royal power

[1] Scutage: see S161.  The demand for scutage seems to show that the
feudal tenure was now fully organized, and that the whole realm was by
this time divided into knights' fees,--that is, into portions of land
yielding 20 pounds annually,--each of which was obliged to furnish one
fully armed, well-mounted knight to serve the King (if called on) for
forty days annually.
[2] National militia: see SS96, 140.

But in getting the military control of the kingdom Henry had won only
half of the victory he was seeking; to complete his supremacy over the
powerful nobles, the King must obtain control of the administration of

In order to do this more effectually, Henry issued the Assize of
Clarendon (1166).  It was the first true national code of law ever put
forth by an English king, since previous codes had been little more
than summaries of old "customs." The realm had already been divided
into six circuits, having three judges for each circuit.  The Assize
of Clarendon gave these judges power not only to enter and preside
over every county court, but also over every court held by a baron on
his manor.  This put a pretty decisive check to the hitherto
uncontrolled baronial system of justice--or injustice--with its
private dungeons and its private gibbets.  It brought everything under
the eye of the King's judges, so that those who wished to appeal to
them could now do so without the expense, trouble, and danger of a
journey to the royal palace.

Again, it had been the practice among the Norman barons to settle
disputes about land by the barbarous method of Trial by Battle (S148);
Henry gave tenants the right to have the case decided by a body of
twelve knights acquainted with the facts.

In criminal cases a great change was likewise effected.  Henceforth
twelve men from each hundred, with four from each township,--sixteen
at least,--acting as a grand jury, were to present all suspected
criminals to the circuit judges.[3] The judges sent them to the Ordeal
(S91); if they failed to pass it, they were then punished by law as
convicted felons; if they did pass it, they were banished from the
kingdom as persons of evil repute.  After the abolition of the Ordeal
(1215), a petty jury of witnesses was allowed to testify in favor of
the accused, and clear them if they could from the charges brought by
the grand jury.  If their testimony was not decisive, more witnesses
were added until twelve were obtained who could unanimously decide one
way or the other.  In the course of time[1] this smaller body became
judges of the evidence for or against the accused, and thus the modern
system of Trial by Jury was established about 1350.

[3] See the Assize of Clarendon (1166) in Stubbs's "Select Charters."
[1] The date usually given is 1350; but as late as the reign of
George I juries were accustomed to bring in verdicts determined partly
by their own personal knowledge of the facts.  See Taswell-Langmead
(revised edition), p.179.

These reforms had three important results: (1) they greatly dimished
the power of the barons by taking the administration of justice, in
large measure, out of their hands; (2) they established a more uniform
system of law; (3) they brought large sums of money, in the way of
court fees and fines, into the King's treasury, and so made him
stronger than ever.

But meanwhile Henry was carrying on a still sharper battle in his
attempt to bring the Church courts--which William I had separated from
the ordinary courts--under control of the same system of justice.  In
these Church courts any person claiming to belong to the clergy had a
right to be tried.  Such courts had no power to inflict death, even
for murder.  In Stephen's reign many notorious criminals had managed
to get themselves enrolled among the clergy, and had thus escaped the
hanging they deserved.  Henry was determined to have all men--in the
circle of clergy or out of it--stand equal before the law.  Instead of
two kinds of justice, he would have but one; this would not only
secure a still higher uniformity of law, but it would sweep into the
King's treasury may fat fees and fines which the Church courts were
then getting for themselves.

By the laws entitled the "Constitutions of Clarendon," 1164 (S165),
the common courts were empowered to decide whether a man claiming to
belong to the clergy should be tried by the Church courts or not.  If
they granted him the privilege of a Church-court trial, they kept a
sharp watch on the progress of the case; if the accused was convicted,
he must then be handed over to the judges of the ordinary courts, and
they took especial pains to convince him of the Bible truth, that "the
way of the transgressor is hard." For a time the Constitutions were
rigidly enforced, but in the end Henry was forced to renounce them.
Later, however, the principle he had endeavored to set up was fully

[2] Edward I limited the jurisdiction of the Church courts to purely
spiritual cases, such as heresy and the like; but the work which he,
following the example of Henry II, had undertaken was not fully
accomplished until the fifteenth century.

The greatest result springing from Henry's efforts was the training of
the people in public affairs, and the definitive establishment of that
system of Common Law which regards the people as the supreme source of
both law and government, and which is directly and vitally connected
with the principle of representation and of trial by jury.[3]

[3] See Green's "Henry II," in the English Statesmen Series.

9. Rise of Free Towns.

While these important changes were taking place, the towns were
growing in population and wealth (S183).  But as these towns occupied
land belonging either directly to the King or to some baron, they were
subject to the authority of one or the other, and so possessed no real
freedom.  In the reign of Richard I many towns purchased certain
rights of self-government from the King.[1] This power of controlling
their own affairs greatly increased their prosperity, and in time, as
we shall see, secured them a voice in the management of the affairs of
the nation.

[1] See S183.

10. John's Loss of Normandy; Magna Carta.

Up to John's reign many barons continued to hold large estates in
Normandy, in addition to those they had acquired in England; hence
their interests were divided between the two countries.  Through war
John lost his French possessions (S191).  Henceforth the barons shut
out from Normandy came to look upon England as their true home.  From
Henry II's reign the Normans and the English had been gradually
mingling; from this time they became practically one people.  John's
tyranny and cruelty brought their union into sharp, decisive action.
The result of his greed for money, and his defiance of all law, was a
tremendous insurrection.  Before this time the people had always taken
the side of the King against the barons; now, with equal reason, they
turned about and rose with the barons against the King.

Under the guidance of Archbishop Langton, barons, clergy, and people
demanded reform.  The Archbishop brought out the half-forgotten
charter of Henry I (S135, note 1).  This now furnished a model for
Magna Carta, or the "Great Charter of the Liberties of England."[2]

[2] Magna Carta: see SS195-202; and see Constitutional Documents,

It contained nothing that was new in principle.  It was simply a
clearer, fuller, stronger statement of those "rights of Englishmen
which were already old."

John, though wild with rage, did not dare refuse to affix his royal
seal to the Great Charter of 1215.  By doing so he solemnly
guaranteed: (1) the rights of the Church; (2) those of the barons;
(3) those of all freemen; (4) those of the villeins, or farm
laborers.  The value of this charter to the people at large is shown
by the fact that nearly one third of its sixty-three articles were
inserted in their behhalf.  Of these articles the most important was
that which declared that no man should be deprived of liberty or
property, or injured in body or estate, save by the judgment of his
equals or by the law of the land.

In regard to taxation, the Charter provided that, except the customary
feudal "aids,"[3] none should be levied unless by the consent of the
National Council.  Finally, the Charter expressly provided that
twenty-five barons--one of whom was mayor of London--should be
appointed to compel the King to carry out his agreement.

[3] For the three customary feudal aids, see S150.

11. Henry III and the Great Charter; the Forest Charter; Provisions of
    Oxford; Rise of the House of Commons; Important Land Laws.

Under Henry III the Great Charter was reissued.  But the important
articles which forbade the King to levy taxes except by consent of the
National Council, together with some others restricting his power to
increase his revenue, were dropped, and never again restored.[1]

[1] See Stubbs's "Select Charters" (Edward I), p.484; but compare note
    I, p.443.

On the other hand, Henry was obliged to issue a Forest Charter, based
on certain articles of Magna Carta, which declared that no man should
lose life or limb for hunting in the royal forests.

Though the Great Charter was now shorn of some of its safeguards to
liberty, yet it was still so highly prized that its confirmation was
purchased at a high price from successive sovereigns.  Down to the
second year of Henry VI's reign (1423) we find that it had been
confirmed no less than thirty-seven times.

Notwithstanding his solemn oath (S210), the vain and worthless
Henry III deliberately violated the provisions of the Charter, in
order to raise money to waste in his foolish foreign wars or on his
court circle of French favorites.

Finally (1258), a body of armed barons, led by Simon de Montfort, Earl
of Leicester, forced the King to summon a Parliament at Oxford.  There
a scheme of reform, called the "Provisions of Oxford," was adopted
(S209).  By these Provisions, which Henry swore to observe, the
government was practically taken out of the King's hands,--at least as
far as he had power to do mischief,--and entrusted to certain councils
or committees of state.

A few years later, Henry refused to abide by the Provisions of Oxford,
and civil war broke out.  De Montfort, Earl of Leicester, gained a
decisive victory at Lewes, and captured the King.  The Earl then
summoned a National Council, made up of those who favored his policy
of reform (S213).  This was the famous Parliamnet of 1265.  To it De
Montfort summoned: (1) a small number of barons; (2) a large number of
the higher clergy; (3) two knights, or country gentlemen, from each
shire; (4) two burghers, or citizens, from every town.

The knights of the shire had been summoned to Parliamnet before;[2]
but this was the first time that the towns had been invited to send
representatives.  By that act the Earl set the example of giving the
people at large a fuller share in the government than they had yet
had.  To De Montfort, therefore, justly belongs the glory of being
"the founder of the House of Commons." His work, however, was
defective (S213); and owing, perhaps, to his death shortly afterwards
at the battle of Evesham (1265), the regular and continuous
representation of the towns did not begin until thirty years later.

[2] They were first summoned by John in 1213.

Meanwhile, 1279-1290, three land laws of great importance were
enacted.  The first limited the acquisition of landed property by the
Church;[3] the second encouraged the transmission of land by will to
the eldest son, thus keeping estates together instead of breaking them
up among several heirs;[1] the third made purchasers of estates the
direct feudal tenants of the King.[2] The object of these three laws
was to prevent landholders from evading their feudal obligations;
hency they decidedly strengthened the royal power.[3]

[3] Statute of Mortmain (1279): see S226; it was especially directed
    against the acquisition of land by monasteries.
[1] Statute De Donis Conditionalibus or Entail (Westminster II) (1285):
    see S225.
[2] During the same period the Statute of Winchester (1285)
    reorganized the national militia and the police system (S224).

12. Edward I's "Model Parliament"; Confirmation of the Charters.

In 1295 Edwrad I, one of the ablest men that ever sat on the English
throne, adopted De Montfort's scheme of representation.  The King was
greatly pressed for money, and his object was to get the help of the
towns, and thus secure a system of taxation which should include all
classes.  With the significant words, "That which toucheth all should
be approved by all," he summoned to Winchester the first really
complete or "Model Parliament" (S217),[4] consisting of King, Lords
(temporal and spiritual), and Commons.[5] The form Parliament then
received it has kept substantially ever since.  We shall see how from
this time the Commons gradually grew in influence,--though with
periods of relapse,--until at length they have become the controlling
power in legislation.

[4] De Montfort's Parliament was not wholly lawful and regular,
because not voluntarily summoned by the King himself.  Parliament must
be summoned by the sovereign, opened by the sovereign (in person or by
commission); all laws require the sovereign's signature to complete
them; and, finally, Parliament can be suspended or dissolved by the
sovereign only.
[5] The lower clergy were summoned to send representatives to the
Commons; but they came very irregularly, and in the fourteenth
centrury ceased coming altogether.  From that time they voted their
supplies for the Crown in Convocation, until 1663, when Convocation
ceased to meet.  The higher clergy--bishops and abbots--met with the
House of Lords.

Two years after the meeting of the "Model Parliament," in order to get
money to carry on a war with France, Edward levied a tax on the
barons, and seized a large quantity of wool belonging to the
merchants.  So determined was the resistance to these acts that civil
war was threatened.  In order to avert it, the King was obliged to
summon a Parliament, 1297, and to sign a confirmation of all previous
charters of liberties, including the Great Charter (S202).  He
furthermore bound himself in the most solemn manner not to tax his
subjects or seize their goods without their consent.  Henceforth
Parliament alone was considered to hold control of the nation's purse;
and although this principle was afterwards evaded, no king openly
denied its binding force.  Furthermore, in Edward's reign the House of
Commons gained (1322), for the first time, a direct share in
legislation.  This step had results of supreme constitutional

13. Division of Parliament into Two Houses; Growth of the Power of the
    Commons; Legislation by Statute; Impeachment; Power over the Purse.

In Edward III's reign a great change occurred in Parliament.  The
knights of the shire (about 1343) joined the representatives from the
towns, and began to sit apart from the Lords as a distince House of
Commons.  This union gave that House a new charactyer, and invested it
with a power in Parliament which the representation from the towns
alone could not have exerted.  But though thus strengthened, the
Commons did not venture to claim an equal part with the Lords in
framing laws.  Their attitude was that of humble petitioners.  When
they had voted the supplies of money which the King asked for, the
Commons might then meekly beg for legislation.  Even when the King and
the Lords assented to their petitions, the Commons often found to
their disappointment that the laws which had been promised did not
correspond to those for which they had asked.  Henry V pledged his
word (1414) that the petitions, when accepted, should be made into
laws without any alteration.  But, as a matter of fact, this was not
effectually done until the close of the reign of Henry VI (about
1461).  Then the Commons succeeded in obtaining the right to present
proposed laws in the form of regular bills instead of petitions.
These bills when enacted became statues or acts of Parliament, as we
know them to-day.  This change was a most important one, since it made
it impossible for the King with the Lords to fraudulently defeat the
expressed will of the Commons after they had once assented to the
legislation which the Commons desired.

Meanwhile the Commons gained, for the first time (1376), the right of
impeaching such ministers of the Crown as they had reason to believe
were unfaithful to the interests of the people.  This, of course, put
an immense restraining power in their hands, since they could now make
the ministers responsible, in great measure, for the King.[1]

[1] But after 1450 the Commons ceased to exercise the right of
impeachment until 1621, when they impeached Lord Bacon and others.

Next (1406), the Commons insisted on having an account rendered of the
money spent by the King; and at times they even limited[2] their
appropriations of money to particular purposes.  Finally, in 1407, the
Commons took the most decided step of all.  They boldly demanded and
obtained *the exclusive right of making all grants of money* required
by the Crown.[3]

[3] This right the Commons never surrendered.

In future the King, unless he violated the law, had to look to the
Commons--that is, to the direct representation of the mass of the
people--for his chief supplies.  This made the will of the Commons
more powerful than it had ever been.

14. Religious Legislation; Emancipation of the Villeins;
    Disfranchisement of County Electors.

The Parliament of Merton had already (1236) refused to introduce the
canon or ecclesiatical law (S265).  In the next century two very
important statutes relating to the Church were enacted,--that of
Provisors (1350)[4] and the Great Act of Praemunire,
1393,[1]--limiting the power of the Pope over the English Church.  On
the other hand, the rise of the Lollards had caused a statute to be
passed (1401) against heretics, and under it the first martyr had been
burned in England.  During this period the villeins had risen in
insurrection (1381) (SS250-252), and were gradually gaining their
liberty.  Thus a very large body of people who had been practically
excluded from political rights now began to slowly acquire them.[2]
But, on the other hand, a statute was enacted (1430) which prohibited
all persons having an income of less than forty shillings a year--or
what would be equal to forty pounds at the present value of money--
from voting for knights of the shire (S297).  The consequence was that
the poorer and humbler classes in the country were no longer directly
represented in the House of Commons.

[4] Provisors: this was a law forbidding the Pope to provide any
person (by anticipation) with a position in the English Church until
the death of the incumbent.
[1] Praemunire: see Constitutional Documents, p. xxxii.  Neither the
law of Provisors nor of Praemunire was strictly enforced until
Henry VIII's reign.
[2] Villeins appear, however, to have had the right of voting for
knights of the shire until the statute of 1430 difranchised them.

15. Wars of the Roses; Decline of Parliament; Partial Revival of its
    Power under Elizabeth.

The Civil Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) gave a decided check to the
further development of parliamentary power.  Many noble families were
ruined by the protracted struggle, and the new nobles created by the
King were pledged to uphold the interests of the Crown.  Furthemore,
numerous towns absorbed in their own local affairs ceased to elect
members to the Commons.  Thus, with a House of Lords on the side of
royal authority, and with a House of Commons diminished in numbers and
in influence, the decline of the independent attitude of Parliament
was inevitable.

The result of these changes was very marked.  From the reign of
Henry VI to that of Elizabeth, a period of nearly a hundred and forty
years, "the voice of Parliament was rarely heard." The Tudors
practically set up a new or "personal monarchy," in which their will
rose above both Parliament and the constitution;[3] and Henry VII,
instead of asking the Commons for money, extorted it by fines
enforcedby his Court of Star Chamber, or compelled his wealthy
subjects to grant it to him in "benevolences" (S330)--those "loving
contributions," as the King called them, "lovingly advanced"!

[3] Theoretically Henry VII's power was restrained by certain checks
(see S328, note 1), and even Henry VIII generally ruled according to
the letter of the law, however much he may have violated its spirit.
It is noticable, too, that it was under Henry VIII (1541) that
Parliament first formally claimed freedom of speech as one of its
"undoubted privieges."

During this period England laid claim to a new continent, and
Henry VIII, repudiating the authority of the Pope, declared himself
the "supreme head" (1535) of the English Catholic Church.  In the next
reign (Edward VI) the Catholic worship, which had existed in England
for nearly a thousand years, was abolished (1540), and the Protestant
faith became henceforth--except during Mary's short reign--the
established religion of the kingdom.  It was enforced by two Acts of
Uniformity (1549, 1552).  One effect of the overthrow of Catholicism
was to change the character of the House of Lords, by reducing the
number of spiritual lords from a majority to a minority, as they have
ever since remained (S406, note 2).

At the beginning of Elizabeth's reign the Second Act of Supremacy
(1559) shut out all Catholics from the House of Commons (S382),
Protestantism was fully and finally established as the state
religion,[1] embodied in the creed known as the Thirty-Nine Articles
(1563); and by the Third Act of Uniformity (1559) very severe measures
were taken against all--whether Catholics or Puritans--who refused to
conform to the Episcopal mode of worship.  The High Commission Court
was organized (1583) to try and to to punish heretics--whether
Catholics or Puritans.  The great number of paupers caused by the
destruction of the monasteries under Henry VIII and the gradual decay
of relations of feudal service caused the passage of the first Poor
Law (1601) (S403), and so brought the Government face to face with a
problem which has never yet been satisfactorily settled; namely, what
to do with habitual paupers and tramps.

[1] By the Third Act of Uniformity and the establishment of the High
Commission Court (S382).  The First and Second Acts of Uniformity were
enacted under Edward VI (S362).

The closing part of Elizabeth's reign marks the revival of
parliamentary power.  The House of Commons now had many Puritan
members, and they did not hesitate to assert their right to advise the
Queen on all questions of national importance.  Elizabeth sharply
rebuked them for presuming to meddle with questions of religion, or
for urging her either to take a husband or to name a successor to the
throne; but even she did not venture to run directly counter to the
will of the people.  When the Commons demanded (1601) that she should
put a stop to the pernicious practice of granting trading monopolies
(S388) to her favorites, she was obliged to yield her assent.

16. James I; the Divine Right of Kings; Struggle with Parliament.

James began his reign by declaring that kings rule not by the will of
the people, but by "divine right." "God makes the King," said he, "and
the King makes the law" (S419).  For this reason he demanded that his
proclamations should have all the force of acts of Parliament.
Furthermore, since he appointed the judges, he could generally get
their decisions to support him; thus he made even the courts of
justice serve as instruments of his will.  In his arrogance he
declared that neither Parliament nor the people had any right to
discuss matters of state, whether foreign or domestic, since he was
resolved to reserve such questions for the royal intellect to deal
with.  By his religious intolerance he maddened both Puritans and
Catholics, and the Pilgrim Fathers fled from England to escape his

But there was a limit set to his overbearing conceit.  When he
dictated to the Commons (1604) what persons should sit in that body,
they indignantly refused to submit to any interference on his part,
and their refusal was so emphatic that James never brought the matter
up again.

The King, however, was so determined to shut out members whom he did
not like that he attempted to gain his ends by having such persons
seized on charges of debt and thrown into prison.  The Commons, on the
other hand, not only insisted that their ancient privilege of
exemption from arrest in such cases should be respected, but they
passed a special law (1604) to clinch the privilege.

Ten years later (1614) James, pressed for money, called a Parliament
to get supplies.  He had taken precautions to get a majority of
members elected who would, he hoped, vote for him what he wanted.  But
to his dismay the Commons declined to grant him a penny unless he
would promise to cease imposing illegal duties on merchandise.  The
King angrily refused and dissolved the so-called "Addled Parliament."[1]

[1] This Parliament was nicknamed the "Addled Parliament," because it
did not enact a single law, though it most effectually "addled" the
King's plans (S424).

Finally, in order to show James that it would not be trifled with, a
later Parliament (1621) revived the right of impeachment, which had
not been resorted to since 1450.[2] The Commons now charged Lord
Chancellor Bacon, judge of the High Court of Chancery, and "keeper of
the King's conscience," with accepting bribes.  Bacon held the highest
office in the gift of the Crown, and the real object of the
impeachment was to strike the King through the person of his chief
official and supporter.  Bacon confessed his crime, saying, "I was the
justest judge that was in England these fifty years, but it was the
justest censure in Parliament that was these two hundred years."

[2] See S13 of this Summary

James tried his best to save his servile favorite, but it was useless,
and Bacon was convicted, disgraced, and partially punished (S425).

The Commons of the same Parliament petitioned the King against the
alleged growth of the Catholic religion in the knigdom, and especially
against the proposed marriage of the Prince of Wales to a Spanish
Catholic princess.  James ordered the Commons to let mysteries of the
state alone.  They claimed liberty of speech.  The King asserted that
they had no liberties except such as the royal power saw fit to
grant.  Then the Commons drew up their famous Protest, in which they
declared that their liberties were not derived from the King, but were
"the ancient and undoubted birthright and inheritance of the people of
England." In his rage James ordered the journal of the Commons to be
brought to him, tore out the Protest with his own hand, and sent five
of the members of the House to prison (S419).  This rash act made the
Commons more determined than ever not to yield to arbitrary power.
James died three years later, leaving his unfortunate son Charles to
settle the angry controversy he had raised.  Macaulay remarks that
James seems to have been sent to hasten the coming of the Civil War.

17. Charles I; Forced Loans; the Petition of Right.

Charles I came to the throne full of his father's lofty ideas of the
Divine Right of Kings to govern as they pleased.  In private life he
was conscientious, but in his public policy he was a man "of dark and
crooked ways."

He had married a French Catholic princess, and the Puritans, who were
now very strong in the House of Commons, suspected that the King
secretly sympathized with the Queen's religion.  This was not the
case; for Charles, after his peculiar fashion, was a sincere
Protestant, though he favored the introduction into the English Church
of some of the ceremonies peculiar to Catholic worship.

The Commons showed their distrust of the King by voting him the tax of
tonnage and poundage (certain duties levied on wine and merchandise),
for a single year only, instead of for life, as had been their
custom.  The Lords refused to assent to such a limited grant,[1] and
Charles deliberately collected the tax without the authority of
Parliament.  Failing, however, to get a sufficient supply in that way,
the King forced men of property to grant him "benevolences," and to
loan him large sums of money with no hope of its return.  Those who
dared to refuse were thrown into prison on some pretended charge, or
had squads of brutal soldiers quartered in their houses.

[1] See Taswell-Langmead (revised edition), p. 557, note.

When even these measures failed to supply his wants, Charles was
forced to summon a Parliament, and ask for help.  Instead of granting
it, the Commons drew up the Petition of Right[2] of 1628, as an
indignant remonstrance, and as a safeguard against further acts of
tyranny.  This Petition has been called the "Second Great Charter of
the Liberties of England." It declared: (1) That no one should be
compelled to pay any tax or to supply the King with money, except by
order of act of Parliament. (2) That neither soldiers nor sailors
should be quartered in private houses.[3] (3) That no one should be
imprisoned or punished contrary to law.  Charles was forced by his
need of money to assent to this Petition, which thus became a most
important part of the English constitution.  But the King did not keep
his word.  When Parliament next met (1629), it refused to grant money
unless Charles would renew his pledge not to violate the law.  The
King made some concessions, but finally resolved to adjourn
Parliament.  Several members of the Commons held the Speaker in the
chair by force,--thus preventing the adjournment of the House,--until
resolutions offered by Sir John Eliot were passed (S434).  These
resolutions were aimed directly at the King.  They declared: (1) that
he is a traitor who attempts any change in the established religion of
the kingdom;[4] (2) who levies any tax not voted by Parliament; (3) or
who voluntarily pays such a tax.  Parliament then adjourned.

[2] Petition of Right: see S432, and Constitutional Documents,
[3] The King was also deprived of the power to press citizens into the
army and navy.
[4] The Puritans had come to believe that the King wished to restore
the Catholic religion as the Established Church of England, but in
this idea they were mistaken.

18. "Thorough"; Ship Money; the "Short Parliament."

The King swore that "the vipers" who opposed him should have their
reward.  Eliot was thrown into prison and kept there till he died.
Charles made up his mind that, with the help of Archbishop Laud in
Church matters, and of Lord Strafford in affairs of state, he would
rule without Parliaments.  Strafford urged the King to adopt the
policy of "Thorough"[1] (S435); in other words, to follow the bent of
his own will without consulting the will of the nation.  This, of
course, practically meant the overthrow of parliamentary and
constitutional government.  Charles heartily approved of this plan for
setting up what he called a "beneficent despotism" based on "Divine

[1] "Thorough": Strafford wrote to Laud, "You may govern as you
please....I am confident that the King is able to carry any just and
honorable action thorough [i.e. through or against] all imaginable
opposition." Both Strafford and Laud used the word "thorough," in this
sense to designate their tyrannical policy.

The King now resorted to various unconstitutional means to obtain
supplies.  The last device he hit upon was that of raising ship
money.  To do this, he levied a tax on all the counties of England,--
inland as well as seaboard,--on the pretext that he purposed building
a neavy for the defense of the kingdom.  John Hampden refused to pay
the tax, but Charles's servile judges decided against him, when the
case was brought into court (S436).

Charles ruled without a Parliament for eleven years.  He might,
perhaps, have gone on in this way for as many more, had he not
provoked the Scots to rebel by attempting to force a modified form of
the English Prayer Book on the Church of that country (S438).  The
necessities of the war with the Scots compelled the King to call a
Parliament.  It declined to grant the King money to carry on the war
unless he would give some satisfactory guarantee of governing
according to the will of the people.  Charles refused to do this, and
after a three weeks' session he dissolved what was known as the "Short

19. The "Long Parliament"; the Civil War.

But the war gave Charles no choice, and before the year was out he was
obliged to call the famous "Long Parliament" of 1640.[2] That body met
with the firm determination to restore the liberties of Englishmen or
to perish in the attempt. (1) It impeached Strafford and Laud, and
sent them to the scaffold as traitors.[3] (2) It swept away those
instruments of royal oppression, the Court of Star Chamber and the
High Commission Court (SS330, 382). (3) It expelled the bishops from
the House of Lords. (4) It passed the Triennial Bill, compelling the
King to summon a Parliament at least once in three years.[4] (5) It
also passed a law declaring that the King could not suspend or
dissolve Parliament without its consent. (6) Last of all, the Commons
drew up the Grand Remonstrance (S439), enunciating at great length the
grievances of the last sixteen years, and vehemently appealing to the
people to support them in their attempts at reform.  The Remonstrance
was printed and distributed throughout England.[1]

[2] The "Long Parliament": it sat from 1640 to 1653, and was not
finally dissolved until 1660.
[3] Charles assured Strafford that Parliament should not touch "a hair
of his head"; but to save himself the King signed the Bill of
Attainder (see p.xxxii), which sent his ablest and most faithful
servant to the block.  Well might Strafford exclaim, "Put not your
trust in princes."
[4] The Triennial Act was repealed in 1664 and reenacted in 1694.  In
1716 the Septennial Act increased the limit of three years to seven.
This act is still in force.
[1] The press soon became, for the first time, a most active agent of
political agitation, both for and against the King (S443).

About a month later (1642) the King, at the head of an armed force,
undertook to seize Hampden, Pym, and three other of the most active
members of the Commons on a charge of treason (S449).  The attempt
failed.  Soon afterwards the Commons passed the Militia Bill, and thus
took the command of the national militia and of the chief fortresses
of the realm, "to hold," as they said, "for King and Parliament." The
act was unconstitutional; but, after the attempted seizure of the five
members, the Commons felt certain that if they left the command of the
militia in the King's hands, they would simply sign their own death

In resentment of this action, Charles now (1642) began the great Civil
War.  It resulted in the execution of the King, and in the temporary
overthrow of the monarchy, the House of Lords, and the Established
Episcopal Church (SS450, 451).  In place of the monarchy, the party in
power set up a short-lived Puritan Republic.  This was followed by the
Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell (which claimed to be republican in
spirit) and by that of his son Richard (SS455, 463).

20. Charles II; Abolition of Feudal Tenure; Establishment of a
    Standing Army.

In 1660 the people, weary of the Protectorate form of government,
welcomed the return of Charles II.  His coming marks the restoration
of the monarchy, of the House of Lords, and of the National Episcopal

A great change was now effected in the source of the King's revenue.
Hitherto it had sprung largely from feudal dues.  These had long been
difficult to collect, because the Feudal System had practically died
out.  The feudal land tenure with its dues was now abolished,--a
reform, says Blackstone, greater even than that of Magna Carta,--and
in their place a tax was levied for a fixed sum (S482).  This tax
should in justice have fallen on the landowners, who profited by the
change; but they managed to evade it in great measure, and by getting
it levied on beer and some other liquors, they forced the working
classes to shoulder the chief part of the burden, which they carried
until very recently.[2]

[2] See S34 of this Summary.

Parliament now restored the command of the militia to the Kign;[3]
and, for the first time in English history, it also gave him the
command of a standing army of five thousand men,--thus, in one way,
making him more powerful than ever before (S467).

[3] See Militia Bill, S19 of this Summary.

On the other hand, Parliament revived the practice of limiting its
appropriations of money to specific purposes.[4] It furthermore began
to require an exact account of how the King spent the money,--a most
embarrassing question for a man like Charles II to answer.  Again,
Parliament did not hesitate to impeach and remove the King's ministers
whenever they forfeited the confidence of that body.[1]

[4] See S13 of this Summary.
[1] See S13 of this Summary (Impeachment).

The religious legislation of this period marks the strong reaction
from Puritanism which had set in. (1) The Corporation Act (1661)
excluded all persons who did not renounce the Puritan Covenant and
partake of the Sacrament according to the Church of England, from
holding municipal or other corporate offices (S472). (2) The Fourth
Act of Uniformity (1662)[2] required all clergymen to accept the Book
of Common Prayer of the Church of England (S472).  The result of this
law was that no less than two thousand Puritan ministers were driven
from their pulpits in a single day. (3) The Conventicle Act (S472)
followed (1664).  It forbade the preaching or hearing of Puritan
doctrines, under severe penalties. (4) The Five-Mile Act (1665) (S472)
[3] prohibited non-conforming clergymen from teaching, or from coming
within five miles of any corporate town (except when traveling).

[2] The First and Second Acts of Uniformity date from Edward VI (1549,
1552), the Third from Elizabeth (1559) (SS362, 382, 472).
[3] The Five-Mile Act (1665) excepted those clergymen who took the
oath of nonresistance to the King, and who swore not to attempt to
alter the constitution of Church or State.  See Hallam's
"Constitutional History of England."

21. Charles II's Cabinet; the Secret Treaty of Dover; the Test Act;
    the Habeas Corpus Act; Rise of Cabinet Government.

Charles II made a great and most important change with respect to the
Privy Council.  Instead of consulting the entire Council on matters of
state, he established the custom of inviting only a few to meet with
him in his cabinet, or private room.  This limited body of
confidential advisers was called the "Cabal," or secret council

Charles's great ambition was to increase his standing army, to rule
independently of Parliament, and to get an abundance of money to spend
on his extravagant pleasures and vices.

In order to accomplish these three ends he made a secret and shameful
treaty with Louis XIV of France, 1670 (S476).  Louis wished to crush
the Dutch Protestant Republic of Halland, to get possession of Spain,
and to secure, if possible, the ascendancy of Catholicism in England
as well as throughout Europe.  Charles, who was destitute of any
religious principle,--or, in fact, of any sense of honor,--agreed to
publicly declare himself a Catholic, to favor the propagation of that
faith in England, and to make war on Holland in return for very
liberal grants of money, and for the loan of six thousand French
troops by Louis, to help him put down any opposition in England.  Two
members of the "Cabal" were acquainted with the terms of this secret
Treaty of Dover.  Charles made a second secret treaty with Louis XIV
in 1678.

Charles did not dare to openly avow himself a convert--or pretended
convert--to the Catholic religion; but he issued a Declaration of
Indulgence, 1672, suspending the harsh statutes against the English
Catholics (S477).

Parliament took the alarm and passed the Test Act, 1673, by which all
Catholics were shut out from holding any government office or position
(S477).  This act broke up the "Cabal," by compelling a Catholic
nobleman, who was one of its leading members, to resign.  Lather,
Parliament further showed its power by compelling the King to sign the
Act of Habeas Corpus, 1679 (S482), which put an end to his arbitrarily
throwing men into prison, and keeping them there, in order to stop
their free discussion of his plots against the constitution.[1]

[1] See Habeas Corpus Act in Constitutional Documents, p.xxxii.

But though the "Cabal" had been broken up, the principle of a limited
private council survived, and long after the Revolution of 1688 it was
revived and the Cabinet, under the lead of Sir Robert Walpole, the
first Prime Minister,[2] in 1721, became responsible for th epolicy of
the sovereign.[3] At present, if the Commons decidedly oppose that
policy, the Prime minister,[2] in 1721, became responsible for the
policy of the sovereign.[3] At present, if the Commons decidedly
oppose that policy, the Prime Minister, with his Cabinet, either
resigns, and a new Cabinet is chosen, or the Minister appeals to the
people for support, and the sovereign dissolves Parliament and orders
a new parliamentary election, by which the nation decides the
question.  This method renders the old, and never desirable, remedy of
the impeachment of the ministers of the sovereign no longer
necessary.  The Prime Minister--who answers for the acts of the
sovereign and for his policy--is more directly responsible to the
people than is the President of the United States.

[2] See S27 of this Summary.
[3] The real efficiency of the Cabinet system of government was not
fully developed until after the Reform Act of 1832 had widely extended
the right of suffrage, and thus made the government more directly
responsible to the people (S582).

22. The Pretended "Popish Plot"; Rise of the Whigs and the Tories;
    Revocation of Town Charters.

The pretended "Popish Plot" (1678) (S478) to kill the King, in order
to place his brother James--a Catholic convert--on the throne, caused
the rise of a strong movement (1680) to exclude James from the right
of succession.  The Exclusion Bill failed; but the Disabling Act was
passed, 1678, excluding Catholics from sitting in either House of
Parliament; but an exception was made in favor of the Duke of York
(S478).  Henceforward two prominent political parties appear in
Parliament,--one, that of the Whigs or Liberals, bent on extending the
power of thepeople; the other, that of the Tories or Conservatives,
resolved to maintain the power of the Crown.

Charles II, of course, did all in his power to encourage the latter
party.  In order to strengthen their numbers in the Commons, he found
pretexts for revoking the charters of many Whig towns (S479).  He then
issued new charters to these towns, giving the power of election to
the Tories.[4] While engaged in this congenial work the King died, and
his brother James II came to the throne.

[4] The right of election in many towns was then confined to the town
officers or to a few influential inhabitants.  This continued to be
the case until the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832.

23. James II; the Dispensing Power; Declaration of Indulgence; the
    Revolution of 1688.

James II was a zealous Catholic, and therefore naturally desired to
secure freedom of worship in England for people of his own faith.  In
his zeal he went too far, and the Pope expressed his disgust at the
King's foolish rashness.  By the exercise of the Dispensing Power[1]
he suspended the Test Act and the Act of Uniformity, in order that
Catholics might be relieved from the penalties imposed by these laws,
and also for the purpose of giving them civil and military offices,
from which the Test Act excluded them (S477).  James also established
a new High Commission Court[2] (S488), and made the infamous Judge
Jeffreys the head of this despotic tribunal.  This court had the
supervision of all churches and institutions of education.  Its main
object was to further the spread of Catholicism, and to silence those
clergymen who preached against that faith.  The King appointed a
Catholic president of Magdalen College, Oxford, and expelled from the
college all who opposed the appointment.  Later, he issued two
Declarations of Indulgence, 1687, 1688, in which he proclaimed
universal religious toleration (S488).  It was generally believed that
under cover of these Declarations the King intended to favor the
ascendancy of Catholicism.  Seven bishops, who petitioned for the
privilege of declining to read the Declarations from their pulpits,
were imprisoned, but on their trial were acquitted by a jury in full
sympathy with them (S489).

[2] New High Commission Court: see S19 of this Summary.

These acts by the King, together with the fact that he had greatly
increased the standing army, and had stationed it just outside of
London, caused great alarm throughout England (S488).  The majority of
the people of both political parties (S489) believed that James was
plotting to "subverty and extirpate the Protestant religion and the
laws and liberties of the kingdom."

[3] See the language of the Bill of Rights (Constitutional Documents),
p. xxxi.

Still, so long as the King remained childless, the nation was
encouraged by the hope that James's daughter Mary might succeed him.
She was known to be a decided Protestant, and she had married William,
Prince of Orange, the head of the Protestant Republic of Holland.  But
the birth of a son to James (1688) put an end to that hope.
Immediately a number of leading Whigs and Tories (SS479, 490) united
in sending an invitation to the Prince of Orange to come over to
England with an army to protect Parliament against the King backed by
his standing army.

24. William and Mary; Declaration of Right; Results of the Revolution.

William came; James fled to France.  A Convention Parliament[4] drew
up a Declaration of Right which declared that the King had vacated the
throne, and the crown was therefore offered to William and Mary
(S494).  They accepted.  Thus by the bloodless Revolution of 1688 the
English nation transferred the sovereignty to those who had no direct
legal claim to it so long as James and his son were living (S490).
Hence by this act the people deliberately set aside hereditary
succession, as a binding rule, and revived the primitive English
custom of choosing a sovereign as they deemed best.  In this sense the
uprising of 1688 was most emphatically a revolution (S491, 492).  It
made, as Green has said, an English monarch as much the creature of an
act of Parliament as the pettiest taxgatherer in his realm (S497).
But it was a still greater revolution in another way, since it gave a
deathblow to the direct "personal monarchy," which began with the
Tudors two hundred years before.  It is true that in George III's
reign we shall see that power temporarily revived, but we shall never
hear anything more of that Divine Right of Kings, for which one Stuary
"lost his head, and another his crown." Henceforth the House of
Commons will govern England, although, as we shall see, it will be
nearly a hundred and fifty years before that House will be able to
free itself entirely from the control of either a few powerful
families on the one hand, or that of the Crown on the other.

[4] Convention Parliament: it was so called because it was not
regularly summoned by the King,--he having fled the country.

25. Bill of Rights; the Commons by the Revenue and the Mutiny Act
    obtain Complete Control over the Purse and the Sword.

In order to make the constitutional rights of the people unmistakably
clear, the Bill of Rights, 1689,--an expansion of the Declaration of
Right--was drawn up (S497).  The Bill of Rights[1] declare: (1) That
there should be no suspension or change in the laws, and no taxation
except by act of Parliament. (2) That there should be freedom of
election to Parliament and freedom of speech in Parliament (both
rights that the Stuarts had attempted to contrl). (3) That the
sovereign should not keep a standing army, in time of peace, except by
consent of Parliament. (4) That in future no Roman Catholic should sit
on the English throne.  This last clause was reaffirmed by the Act of
Settlement, 1701 (S497).[2]

[1] Bill of Rights: see Constitutional Documents, p. xxxi.
[2] See, too, Constitutional Documents, p. xxxii.

This most important bill, having received the signature of William and
Mary, became law.  It constitutes the third great written charter or
safeguard of English liberty.  Taken in connection with Magna Carta
and the Petition of Right, it forms, according to Lord Chatham, *the
Bible of English liberty* (S497).

But Parliament had not yet finished the work of reform it had taken in
hand.  The executive strength of every government depends on its
control of two powers,--the purse and the sword.  Parliament had, as
we have seen, got a tight grasp on the first, for the Commons, and the
Commons alone, could levy taxes; but within certain very wide limits
the personal expenditure of the sovereign still practically remained
unchecked.  Parliament now, 1689, took the decisive step of voting by
the Revenue Act (1) a specific sum for the maintenance of the Crown;
and (2) of voting this supply, not for the life of the sovereign, as
had been the custom, but for four years (S498).  A little later this
supply was fixed for a signle year only.  This action gave to the
Commons final and complete control of the purse (SS498, 588).

Next, Parliament passed the Mutiny Act (1689) (S496), which granted
the King power to enforce martial law--in other words, to maintain a
standing army--for one year at a time, and no longer, save by renewal
of the law.  This act gave Parliament complete control of the sword,
and thus finished the great work; for without the annual meeting and
the annual vote of that body, an English sovereign would at the end of
a twelvemonth stand penniless and helpless.

26. Reforms in the Courts; the Toleration Act; the Press made Free.

The same year (1689) Parliament effected great and sorely needed
reforms in the administration of justice (S492).

Next, Parliament passed the Toleration Act, 1689 (S496).  This measure
granted liberty of worship to all Protestant Dissenters except those
who denied the doctrine of the Trinity.[1] The Toleration Act,
however, did not abolish the Corporation Act or the Test Act[2]
(SS472, 477), and it granted no religious freedom to Catholics.[3]
Still, the Toleration Act was a step forward, and it prepared the way
for that absolute liberty of worship and of religious belief which now
exists in England.

[1] Freedom of worship was granted to Unitarians in 1812.
[2] The Act of Indemnity of 1727, and passed from year to year,
suspended the penalties of the Test and the Corporation Acts; they
were both repealed in 1828.
[3] Later, the fear that James II might be invited to return led to
the enactment of very severe laws agaisnt the Catholics; and in the
next reign (Anne's) the Act of Occasional Conformity and the Schism
Act were directed against Protestant Dissenters.

In finance, the reign of William and Mary was marked by the practical
beginning of the permanent National Debt in 1693 and by the
establishment in 1694 of the Bank of England (S503).

Now, too, 1695, the English press, for the first time in its history,
became, in large measure, free (SS498, 556), though hampered by a very
severe law of libel and by stamp duties.[4] From this period the
influence of newspapers continued to increase, until the final
abolition of the stamp duty (1855) made it possible to issue penny and
even halfpenny papers at a profit.  These cheap newspapers sprang at
once into an immense circulation among all classes, and thus they
became the power for good or evil, according to their character, which
they are to-day; so that it would be no exaggeration to say that back
of the power of Parliament now stands the greater power of the press.

[4] Debates in Parliament could not be reported until 1771 (S556), and
certain Acts (1793, 1799) checked the freedom of the press for a
time.  See May's "History of England."

27. The House of Commons no longer a Representative Body; the First
    Two Georges and their Ministers.

But now that the Revolution of 1688 had done its work, and transferred
the power of the Crown to the House of Commons, a new difficulty
arose.  This was the fact that the Commons did not represent the
people, but stood simply as the representative of a small number of
rich Whig landowners.[1] In many towns the right to vote was confined
to the town officers or to the well-to-do citizens.  In other cases,
towns which had dwindled in population to a very few inhavitants
continued to have the right to send two members to Parliament, while,
on the other hand, large and flourishing cities had grown up which had
no power to send even a single member (S578).  The result of this
state of things was that the wealthy Whig families bought up the votes
of electors, and so regularly controlled the elections (S538).

[1] The influence of the Whigs had secured the passage of the Act of
Settlement which brought in the Georges; for this reason the Whigs had
gained the chief political power.

Under the first two Georges, both of whom were foreigners, the
ministers--especially Sir Robert Walpole, who was the first real Prime
Minister of England, and who held his place for twenty years (1721-
1742)--naturally stood in the foreground.[2] They understood the ins
and outs of English politics, while the two German sovereigns, the
first of whom never learned to speak English, neither knew nor cared
anything about them.  When men wanted favors or offices, they went to
the ministers for them (S538).  This made men like Walpole so powerful
that George II said bitterly, "In England the ministers are king"

[2] See S21 of this Summary.

28. George III's Revival of "Personal Monarchy"; the "King's Friends."

George III was born in England, and prided himself on being an
Englishman.  He came to the throne fully resolved, as Walpole said,
"to make his power shine out," and to carry out his mother's constant
injunction of, "George, be King!" (S548).  To do this, he set himself
to work to trample on the power of the ministers, to take the
distribution of offices and honors out of their hands, and furthermore
to break down the influence of the great Whig families in Parliament.
He had no intention of reforming the House of Commons, or of securing
the representation of the people in it; his purpose was to gain the
control of the House, and use it for his own ends.  In this he was
thoroughly conscientious, according to his idea of right,--for he
believed with all his heart in promoting the welfare of England,--but
he thought that welfare depended on the will of the King much more
than on that of the nation.  His maxim was "everything for, but
nothing by, the people." By liberal gifts of money,--he spent 25,000
pounds in a single day (1762) in bribes,[3]--by gifts of offices and
of honors to those who favored him, and by taking away offices,
honors, and pensions from those who opposed him, George III succeeded
in his purpose.  He raised up a body of men in Parliament, known by
the significant name of the "King's Friends," who stood ready at all
times to vote for his measures.  In this way he actually revived
"personal monarchy"[4] for a time, and by using his "Friends" in the
House of Commons and in the Lords as his tools, he made himself quite
independent of the checks imposed by the Constitution.

[3] Pitt (Lord Chatham) was one of the few public men of that day who
would neither give nor take a bribe; Walpole declared with entire
truth that the great majority of politicians could be bought,--it was
only a question of price.  The King appears to have economized in his
living, in order to get more money to use as a corruption fund.  See
May's "Constitutional History."
[4] "Personal monarchy": see S15 of this Summary.

29. The American Revolution.

The King's power reached its greatest height between 1770 and 1782.
He made most disastrous use of it, not only at home but abroad.  He
insisted that the English colonists in America should pay taxes,
without representation in Parliament, even of that imperfect kind
which then existed in Great Britain.  This determination brought on
the American Revolution--called in England the "King's War" (SS549-
552).  The war, in spite of its ardent support by the "King's
Friends," roused a powerful opposition in Parliament.  Chatham, Burke,
Fox, and other able men protested against the King's arbitrary
course.  inally, Dunning moved and carried this resolution (1780) in
the Commons: "Resolved, that the power of the Crown has increased, is
increasing, and ought to be diminished" (S548).  This vigorous
proposition came too late to affect the conduct of the war, and
England lost the most valuable of her colonial possessions.  The
struggle, which ended successfully for the patriots in America, was in
reality part of the same battle fought in England by other patriots in
the halls of Parliament.  On the western side of the Atlantic it
resulted in the establishment of national independence; on the eastern
side, in the final overthrow of royal tyranny and the triumph of the
constitution.  It furthermore laid the foundation of that just and
generous policy on the part of England toward Canada and her other
colonies which has made her mistress of the largest and most
prosperous empire on the globe.[1]

[1] The area of the British Empire in 1911 was nearly 12,000,000
square miles.

30. John Wilkes and the Middlesex Elections; Publication of
    Parliamentary Debates.

Meanwhile John Wilkes (S556), a member of the House of Commons, had
gained the recognition of a most important principle.  He was a coarse
and violent opponent of the royal policy, and had been expelled from
the House on account of his bitter personal attack on the King.[2]
Several years later (1768) he was reelected to Parliament, but was
again expelled for seditious libel;[3] he was three times reelected by
the people of London and Middlesex, who looked upon him as the
champion of their cause; each time the House refused to permit him to
take his seat, but at the fourth election he was successful.  A few
years later (1782) he induced the House to strike out from its journal
the resolution there recorded against him.[4] Thus Wilkes, by his
indomitable persistency, succeeded in establishing the right of the
people to elect the candidate of their choice to Parliament.  During
the same period the people gained another great victory over
Parliament.  That body had utterly refused to permit the debates to be
reported in the newspaperes.  But the redoubtable Wilkes was
determined to obtain and publish such reports; rather than have
another prolonged battle with him, Parliament conceded the privilege
(1771) (S556).  The result was that the public then, for the first
time, began to know what business Parliament actually transactaed, and
how it was done.  This fact, of course, rendered the members of both
Houses far more directly responsible to the will of the people than
they had ever been before.[1]

[2] In No. 45 of the _North Briton_ (1763) Wilkes rudely accused the
King of having deliberately uttered a falsehood in his speech to
[3] The libel was contained in a letter written to the newspapers by
[4] The resolution was finally stricken out, on the ground that it was
"subversive of the rights of the whole body of electors."
[1] The publication of Division Lists (equivalent to Yeas and Nays) by
the House of Commons in 1836 and by the Lords in 1857 completed this
work.  Since then the public have known how each member of Parliament
votes on every important question.

31. The Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, 1884; Demand for "Manhood

But notwithstanding this decided political progress, still the
greatest reform of all--that of the system of electing members of
Parliament--still remained to be accomplished.  Cromwell had attempted
it (1654), but the Restoration put an end to the work which the
Protector had so wisely begun.  Lord Chatham felt the necessity so
strongly that he had not hesitated to declare (1766) that the system
of representation--or rather misrepresentation--which then existed was
the "rotten part of the constitution." "If it does not drop," said he,
"it must be amputated." Later (1770), he became so alarmed at the
prospect that he declared that "before the end of the century either
the Parliament will reform itself from within, or be reformed from
without with a vengeance" (S578).

But the excitement caused by the French Revolution and the wars with
Napoleon not only prevented any general movement of reform, but made
it possible to enact the Six Acts and other stringent laws against
agitation in that direction (S571).  Finally, however, the
unrepresented classes rose in their might (SS580-582), and by terrible
riots made it evident that it would be dangerous for Parliament to
postpone action on their demands.  The Reform Bill--the "Great Charter
of 1832"--swept away the "rotten boroughs," which had disgraced the
country.  It granted the right of election to many large towns which
had hitherto been unable to send members to Parliament, and it placed
representation on a broader, healthier, and more equuitable basis than
had ever existed before (S582).  It was a significant fact that when
the first reformed Parliament met, composed largely of Liberals, it
showed its true spirit by abolishing slavery in the West Indies.  It
was followed by the Municipal Reform Act of 1835 (S599).  Later
(1848), the Chartists advocated further reforms (S591), most of which
have since been adopted.

In 1867 an act (S599), scarcely less important than that of 1832,
broadened representation still further; and in 1884 the franchise was
again extended (S599).  A little later (1888) the County Council Act
reconstructed the local self-government of the country in great
measure.[2] It was supplemented in 1894 by the Parish Council Act
(S600).  The cry is now for unrestricted "manhood suffrage," on the
principle of "one man one vote";[1] woman suffrage in a limited degree
has existed since 1869 (S599).

[2] The "Local Government" Act: this gives to counties the management
of their local affairs and secures uniformity of method and of
[1] That is, the abolition of certain franchise privileges springing
from the possession of landed property in different counties or
parliamentary districts by which the owner of such property is
entitled to cast more than one vote for a candidate for Parliament.

32. Extension of Religious Liberty; Admission of Catholics and Jews to
    Parliament, Free Trade.

Meanwhile immense progress was made in extending the principles of
religious liberty to all bodies of believers.  After nearly three
hundred years (or since the Second Act of Supremacy, 1559), Catholics
were admitted in 1829 to the House of Commons (S573);and in the next
generation, 1858, Jews were likewise admitted (S599).  The Oaths Act
of 1888 makes it impossible to exclude any one on account of his
religious belief or unbelief (S599).

Commercially the nation has made equal progress.  The barbarous Corn
Laws (SS592, 594) were repealed in 1848, the narrow protective policy
of centuries abandoned; and since that period England has practically
taken its stand on unlimited free trade with all countries.

33. Condition of Ireland; Reform in the Land and the Church Laws;
    Civil-Service Reform; Education.

In one direction, however, there had been no advance.  Following the
example of Scotland (S513), Ireland was politically united to Great
Britain (S562); at the beginning of the century when the first
Imperial Parliament met (1801), but long after the Irish Catholics had
obtained the right of representation in Parliament, they were
compelled to submit to unjust land laws, and also to contribute to the
support of the Established (Protestant) Church in Ireland.  Finally,
through the efforts of Mr. Gladstone and others, this branch of the
Church was disestablished (1869) (S601); later (1870, 1881, 1903),
important reforms were effected in th eIrish land laws (SS603, 605,

To supplement the great electoral reforms which had so widely extended
the power of the popular vote, two other measures were now carried.
One was that of Civil-Service Reform, 1870, which opened all
clerkships and similar positions in the gift of the government to the
free competition of candidates, without regard to their political
opinions (S609).  This did away with most of that demoralizing system
of favoritism which makes government offices the spoils by which
successful political parties reward "little men for little services."
The "secret ballot," another measure of great importance, followed
(1872) (S609).

The same year, 1870, England, chiefly through Mr. Forster's efforts,
took up the second measure, the question of national education.  The
conviction gained ground that if the working classes are to vote, then
they must not be allowed to remain in ignorance; the nation declared
"we must educate our future masters." In this spirit a system of
elementary government schools was established, which gives instruction
to tens of thousands of children who hitherto were forced to grow up
without its advantages (S602).  These schools are not yet entirely
free, although the legislation of 1891-1894 practically puts most of
them on that basis.

England now has a strong and broad foundation of national education
and of political suffrage.

34. Imperial Federation; Labor enters Parliament; Old Age Pensions;
    Budget of 1910; Veto Power of the Lords.

The defeat of the Boers in the Great Boer War (1899-1902) led to the
completion of the scheme of Imperial Federation, by the establishment
of the Union of South Africa (1910) as the fourth of the self-
governing colonies, of which Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are
the other three.

In 1906, in the reign of Edward VII, organized Labor secured for the
first time adequate representation in Parliament, through the
overwhelming victory gained at the elections by the combined Liberal
and Labor parties (S628).  The "Laborites," as they are popularly
called, claim that their influence obtained the passage of the Old Age
Pensions Act of 1908.

Two years later the Liberal Government compelled the Lords to accept a
Budget calling for an enormous increase of taxes imposed in large
measure on land and incomes and levied partly for the purpose of
paying the new pensions (SS629, 630).

The death of Edward VII, in the spring of 1910, brought George V to
the throne.  He came at a critical time.  Mr. Asquith, the Liberal
Prime Minister, was then demanding that the veto power of the House of
Lords should be limited or practically abolished so that in future the
House of Commons should be distinctly recognized as the dominant
factor in the government (S631).

In the summer of 1911 Mr. Asquith succeeded in passing his Veto Bill
restricting the power of the House of Lords, and making it impossible
for that body to resist any measures the Commons should resolutely
resolve to carry.  He also passed the Salary Bill, by which members of
the House of Commons are paid 400 pounds annually.  Later, in 1911, he
passed the Workmen's Compulsory Insurance Bill against sickness and
unemployment.  The worker contributes a small sum weekly, his employer
does the same, and the Government gives the rest.  The law applies to
many millions of people and it is expected to do great good.

These facts show that while England remains a monarchy in name, it has
now become a republic in fact.  A sovereign reigns, but the People
rule.  The future is in their hands.


Abstract of the Articles of Magna Carta, 1215.

1. "The Church of England shall be free, and have her whole rights,
and her liberties inviolable." The freedom of elections of
ecclesiastics by the Church is confi