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pope Urban, of which Peter the Hermit, a bold enthusiast, was the origin. Robert was the first who engaged in it, and for that purpose mortgaged the dukedom of Normandy to his brother Rufus for three years, on his advancing him ten thousand marks of silver, which sum was partly raised by inelting down the gold and silver ornaments in churches. In this reign Westminster-hall was first built, and London-bridge rebuilt, the former structure having been so slight as to be carried away by the floods. William, after a reign of 43 years, was killed by an arrow as he was hunting one morning in the New Forest. The information given him by a monk some time before in the same forest, and which he rashly slighted, seems to prove that he fell by design, and not by accident. The whipping and banging William de Aldery his relation, (though he constantly professed his innocence) was no small reproach to the character of Rufus. He died in 1100, and was succeeded by his brother.
4. Henry I. sirnamed Beauclerc, succeeded to the crown. He granted a charter in favour of the people and recalled Anselm, who at first was of great use, but differing from him about investitures, disturbances ensued. The unfortunate Robert, to whom absence was always to be fatal, returving now from his crusade, re-asserted his claim to the throne, and was again induced to accept à compromise. As if born to be the tool of others, the pope prevailed on him to take up arms against his brother: war ensued. Robert being defeated, was committed prisoner to the castle of Cardiffe ; in which wretched state he continued many years. Henry is said to have burnt out his eyes and to have treated him with many indignities. This king married Maude, daughter of Margaret queen of Scotland, a woman of many virtues. He died in the 36th year of his reign, and 68th of his age, having surfeited himself with eating lampreys, at Lyons, near Rouen, in Normandy. His body was brought over to England, and buried at Reading. He was succeeded by his nephew Stephen, third son of his sister Adela, by the earl of Blois. He left 100,0001. in cash, besides plate and jewels to an immense value.
The lords had sworn in two parliaments, fidelity and allegiance to his daughter Maude and her heirs; but afterwards preferred one who bad as little regard to oaths as they had themselves, though in other respects a good prince.
5. Stephen, third son of Stephen earl of Blois, and Adela daughter to William I. (as his elder brother Theobald had done,) laid claim to the crown, and the Scots supported the pretensions of the empress Maude. Nor was this the only source of his troubles : for his clergy set up a separate interest against him, disowning their subjection to him, and threatening to make their appeal to the court of Rome. His life was spent in war.
He exacted no subsidies from his people, nor exercised any cruelties against the nobles, notwithstanding their continual defection and rebellions. He died in 1154, without issue, in the 50th year
of his age, after a reign of 18 years. With him ended the Norman line.
From the termination of William the Conqueror's reign to the present time, the people still continued to have no resource against the execution of the most sanguinary laws. The exorbitant power of the king, and its frequent abuses, at length roused a spirit of opposition, which was at once determined and irresistible. But as his feudal demesnes were large, and his influence extended over a great number of vassals, the great barons and their dependants did not think themselves sufficiently formidable to oppose his authority, without securing the co-operation of the other land-holders. They therefore held out to the commons the most advantageous inducements, by promising to stipulate with the king for a redress of all public grievances, and an augmentation of their common privileges.
V. The plantagenets.
1. Henry II. and first of the line of Plantagenet, succeeded by adoption and agreement. In his reign the kingdom was divided into six parts, and three itinérant justices, an officer much older than this reign, appointed to each of them, to punish such as should be found guilty of murder and other crimes, by the verdict of twelve men. The criminal was imprisoned, banished, or condemned to lose a leg, but was not put to death. In this reigui the pretensions of the clergy were carried to an insufferable height, by Thomas à Becket, a most turbulent man, who was made archbishop of Canterbury by the king. The broils they occasioned, brought on the murder of the bishop, and the excommunication of the king. In 1170 Henry associated his son Henry with him in the crown rather than in thegorernment; for though he was crownedking, he was never permitted to act as king. This gave rise to several disturbances; for the French King prevailed upon the son to make war upon the father, which he did repeatedly, till a fever, said to have been occasioned by excessive grief, caused his death. The story of Rosamond called the fair, a daughter of lord Clifford, is interwoven with tlie history of this reign, with circumstances of a nature peculiarly romantic. She being dearly beloved by the king, and persecuted by Eleanor his queen, was artfully concealed by her royal paramour in a laby. rinth at Woodstock, to which no one had the clue but himself. Jealousy and revenge were too ingenious for love, and a visit from the wife was fatal to the mistress. Henry died in 1189, in the 35th year of his reign, and 57th of his age, and was succeeded by his son.
2. Richarol I. sirpamed Cæur de Lyon, wasted all the treasures left by his father, and what he could obtain by the sale of crown-lands and by extortion, in the crusade or Holy War. Having in this enterprize offended the duke of Austria, ke was, on his return home in disguise through the dominions of that prince, discovered and taken prisoner, and an imniense sum of money
demanded and raised for his ransom. England was again exhausted in carrying on a ruinous war against the king of France. Having reigned 9 years, and almost 8 months, he died in the 45111 year
in 1199, of a wound in his armi by an arrow, shot by Bertram de Gourdon, from a castle i Normandy. - The king himself not only pardoned Bertram, but ordered a sum of money to be given him. After the king's death, he was flead alive, and hanged.
3. John, the youngest son of Henry II. succeeded to the exclusion of his nephew, prince Arthur, then only 13 years of age. The kingdom was again shaken with civil commotion; and the unfortunate young prince being taken prisoner, was basely murdered; most proba. bly by his uncle's own haud. His death, however, contribuled as little to the repose, as to the credit of the king. In Runninede, between Windsor and Stanes, in 1215, the great foundation of English liberty was laid. There the reluctant king John, after having repeatedly disregarded the former solicitations of the barons, was compelled to sign Magna Charta, and the Charter of the Forest. The arm of force and terror, which his barons held over his head, was strengthened by the claims of justice. As all the kings froin the conquest bad solemnly sworn at ibeir coronation to revive the laws of Edward the Confessor, the barons conceived themselves justified, when their adherents were sufficiently strong and numerous, in demanding from John, by the power of the sword, the full execution of his promise.
The provisions of Magnia Charta enjoined, that one weight and one measure should be used throughout the kingdom ;-gave new encouragements to commerce, by the protection of foreign merchants :-prohibited all delay is the administration of justice ;-fixed the court of Common Pleas, at Westminster, that the parties in a law-suit might no longer be harassed with following the king from place to place;-established annual circuits of judges; and confirmed the liberties of all cities and districts. It protected every freeholder in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property. This wis the first general opposition successfully made against arbitrary power, and those rights were acknowledged and established, which the English had enjoyed before the Conquest.
John had scarcely signed it, but he retracted, and called upon the pope for protection, when the barons withdrew their allegiance from John, and transferred it to Lewis, the eldest son of Philip Augustus, king of France. This gave umbrage to the pope; and the barons being apprehensive of their country becoming a province to France, returned to John's allegiance; but he was unable to protect them, till the pope refused to confirm the title of Lewis. Jobn passed a law at Hastings, commanding all ships to strike to the English flag, on pain of forfeiture of ships and goods, and inprisonment of the crew as guilty of treason. He died in 1216, in the 18th year of his reigo,
and 46 of his age, just as he had a glimpse of resuming his authority.
4. Henry III. who succeeded his father, was but nine years of age. The earl of Pembroke was appointed his guardian; and the pope taking part with the young prince, the French were defeated and driven out of the kingdom, and their king obliged to renounce all claims to the crown of England. Henry died in 1272, the 64th year of his age, and 56th of his reign, which was uncomfortable and inglorious; and yet to the struggles of his reign, the people in a great measure owe the liberties of the present day. In his time, and in oue year, the pope sent over 300 Italian priests
into England, and received a sum of money which exceedjed the annual revenue of the crown.
5. Edward I. returning to England, on the news of his father's death, invited all those who held of his crown in capite, to his coronation dinner, which consisted of 278 bacon hogs, 450 högs, 440 oxen, 430 sheep, 22,6000 hens and capons, and 13 fat goats. Alexander III. king of ScotJand, was at the solemnity, and on the occasion 500 horses were let loose, for all that could catch them to keep them.
Edward was a brave and politic prince, and being perfectly acquainted with the laws, interests, and constitution of the kingdom, his reformation of the laws, has justly given him the title of the English Justinian. He died in 1307, in the 69th year of his age, and 35th of his reign.
6. Edward II, son of the preceding king; showed an early disposition to encourage favourites: but Gaveston, his chief minion, a Gascon, being banished by his father Edward, he ascended the throne with great advantages. He recalled Gaveston, and loaded him with honours; and married Isabella, daughter of the French king, who restored to him part of the territories which Edward I. had lost in France. The barons, however, obliged him once more to banish his favourite, and confirm the Great Charter. King Robert Bruce recovered all Scotlaud, excepting the castle of Stirling ; near to whiels, at Bannockburn, Edward in person received the greatest defeat England ever suffered, in 1314, Edward II. was most barbarously murdered in Berkley