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doms, yet, nominally at least, dependent only
upon the sovereign.



nisiic to



342



WINCHESTER.



Analogies Such a state of things was not uncommon

abroad.

upon the continent. Take one example out of
many. Tournai, in the midst of Flanders, owed
no obedience to the Count. Baldwin could
make nojoyeuse entree within the walls. Saving
its own rights and privileges, it acknowledged
only the king of the Franks ; but that saving
was a very large one ; his sovereignty did not
amount to much more, than that they acknow-
ledged him when his protection was desired.

Winchester was the proper constitutional
capital of the Empire. Far more extensive
was the city than at the present day ; being
one of the few localities which not only have
escaped the general plethora, but have even
fallen away. Caer-Guent, for the Saxons fully
recollected its British name, retained the in-
TradHions of signia of government. There was the royal

Winchester. >

treasury ; and many a tradition was attached
to the antient castle in which Arthur had held
his court traditions fully living in mind and
memory, before they became the subjects of
written romance or history. We are not un-
willing to believe that the round table sus-
pended in the hall until recently mistaken for
the chapel of the castle, may have existed
before Geoffry of Monmouth gave that form to
the British legends which diffused them amongst
so many distant nations and tongues.
London. London possessed the character of a free

city. Its constitution had, however, sustained



LONDON. 343

some alteration in the days of Canute. It
should seem that the Danes had engrafted a
colony of their own upon the English com-
munity. So large a number of the Lithsmen. Affected by

f ' Danish

or Danish soldiers, established themselves there, *
that one of the municipal courts acquired the
Danish name of the Husting ; a term, which
in the devious course of language has been so
entirely diverted from its primitive signification
as to mean, not the court, but any scaffold or
dais where elections are held. Of the interior
government of London city, we can only say
that the distinctions between the rectores or
aldermen, and the commonalty, are distinctly
marked. Proud and warlike, and defended by
the Roman wall, of which the last fragment
has just been saved from destruction, the citi-
zens rejoiced in their privileges, rendering them
a species of independent, though subordinate,
community. Amongst other rights, London Privileges or
acted apart from Wessex or Mercia in electing
or recognising the king. Of this right an ex-
ceedingly curious vestige remains in force to the
present day, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen
being always required to concur, as essential
parties, in the act of recognising and proclaim-
ing the accession of the new monarch.

We have no direct notice in the Anglo-
Saxon annals of the privileges or rights of the
Cinque Ports ; but the Anglo-Saxon constitu-
tion of their Court of Guestling, their Parlia-



344 WESSEX.

cinque Ports, meut if we may so call it, the naval services
which they rendered, and the great and inde-
pendent privileges which they enjoyed, as soon
as our legal history properly begins, can scarcely
leave any doubt but that, at this period, they
formed a federative community.

10. When Canute assumed the government,
he appears to have retained the kingdom of
Wessex more immediately in his own hands ; but
before the close of his reign, it had become
the Earldom of Godwin. Possibly, however,
under the Danish king, he did not hold it with

Diversity what may be termed a uniform authority. This

of races in

great dominion consisted of three integral por-
tions, all designated as Wessex in ordinary
language, but governed with some diversity as
to rights, and more arising from the variety of
races it contained. A large proportion, towards
the west, was yet British, very unbroken and
unmixed in the extreme west, but shading off
as you travelled eastward, ceasing, perhaps, on
the borders of Dorset and Somerset. Until the
battle of Gavelford, the Britons had been able
to make a steady resistance, and the British
line of Princes of Dyvnaint, or Devonshire,
indepen- a nd Cemau, or Cornwall, can be traced from

dence of old

population. Q era j nt ap Erbin, lamented in the elegy of
Llewarch Hen, to the reign of Athelstan,
when the Regulus of West Wales became the
liegeman of the Basileus of Britain. It is,
of course, quite impossible to discover the exact



BURGH-LEAGUES. 345

boundaries and the different dominions, but per-
haps even at a later period, the boundary be-
tween the two nations was the river Exe, on
this side English land, on the other Wales.

Exeter enjoyed privileges nearly equal to Exeter -
London ; it appears that others of the cities
were scarcely inferior, and that no taxation
could be levied upon them, unless they jointly
assented to the grant. Perhaps the burghs of
Wessex and others formed a league. In the
north, there was certainly a powerful associa-
tion, called the jive or the seven burghs
Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and
Stamford to which York and Chester were
afterwards added. It seems, as before noticed,
that this federation originally consisted of five ;
but when two others were conjoined, they were
generally called by their nominal number of
Five Boroughs, and sometimes Seven Boroughs,
according to their real one. The Cinque ports
afford a familiar example of the retention of an
appellation derived from number, after it has
ceased to be strictly appropriate. Lincoln, the
chief of the five burghs, was governed by
twelve hereditary Lawmen. This is a Danish
term, and shows a Danish local government, Lincoln
which subsisted throughout the whole of the
reign of the Conqueror. It is more remarkable,
that, notwithstanding the political cessation of
the Danish authority, and in spite of the Con-
quest, the inhabitants of Lincoln continued in



346 KENT.

alliance with the Danish kings, so much so
that a treasure belonging to the Scandinavian
monarch was permanently deposited there
either concealed from the Norman, or so well
guarded that the Norman dared not attack the
hoard.

11. At the other extremity of Wessex, Kent
retained its ancient boundaries since the first
foundation of the kingdom ; and even the divi-
sion of the country into East and West Kent,
or rather into the countries of the East Kentish
men and West Kentish men, has existed from
immemorial antiquity, though probably not ex-
actly according to the modern boundary. A
species of peculiar dignity seems to have been
attached to this first seat of Anglo-Saxon
power. From the reign of Egbert, the king-
dom of Kent became an integral portion of the
empire of Wessex, forming, nevertheless, an
apanage held by the heir apparent to the
crown ; a separate, though subordinate king-
dom, accepting the laws of Wessex upon such
terms as appeared expedient to its own legis-
lature, and, without doubt, retaining also all
those traditional customs which formed the
surrey. great basis of its common law. Surrey, or
the Suthriga, which may be obscurely but dis-
tinctly traced as a separate kingdom, (though
the foundation charter of Chertsey Abbey alone
testifies the existence of Frithewald, its first
known Subregulus,) and the adjoining kingdom



NOETHUMBRIA. 347

of the South Saxons, seem to have become, in
some degree, annexed to Kent ; the traditions
of history, if not its more authentic memorials,
seem to point out that the Earldom of Kent
was the earliest, and, as it were, the favourite
dignity which Godwin possessed. Of the other Hampshire,
portions of Wessex Proper, Hampshire, peopled
by the Jutes and Goths, Berks, and Wilts, and
Somerset, we can, anterior to the Danish Con-
quests, ascertain that they were subject to
subordinate chieftains ; but these had all dis-
appeared, and Godwin ruled with immediate
authority over this, the centre of the Earldom.

12. When we speak of Northumbria, we
must, in the first instance, entirely divest ourselves
of the idea of the modern county bearing that
name, and consider the country so designated,
as extending from the Trent and Humber up
to the Firth of Forth on the north, and to
the boundaries of Mercia and the kingdom of
Strath-Clyde on the west. Upon the first set-
tlement of the Angles, it became divided into
Deira, which included modern Yorkshire, and
possibly the bishoprick of Durham, and Ber-
nicia, all to the north of the Tees. Both
became subjected to Ethelfrith, but they never
seem to have been united into one sovereignty.
The indiscriminate employment by the early
historians of the term Northumbria, to desig-
nate both portions of the country, throws great
obscurity upon a history, of which, after the



348 THE NORTH.

bright era of Bede, so few memorials are pre-
served. A line of Danish Kings became firmly
established : in no portion of England did their
race become more predominant, and it always
continued more distinctly separated than any
other from the rest of the empire. As an
earldom, the succession began after the death
of Eric, and Oswulf appears as the first Earl
of Bernicia, or Northumbria, north of the Tyne.
Upon the death of Oswulf, Edgar, with the
assent of the great council, divided his earl-
dom into two : from the Humber to the Tees
was bestowed upon Oslac, who was girt with
the sword of the earldom from the Tees,
northward, as it should seem, perhaps to the
Firth of Forth, was bestowed upon Eadulf
Evilchild ; whilst Lothian was granted to Ken-
neth, King of the Scots, to be held by homage,
a transaction of which more hereafter.

Uchtred, married to Elfgiva, the daughter of
King Ethelred, received the investiture of the
whole of his father's earldom from the king,
who added thereto the Earldom of York ; but
u P on ms death they became divided. Northum-
bria proper ultimately vested in Oswulf, whilst
Deira became the Earldom of Siward, in right
of Elfleda, the daughter of Aldred, Uchtred's
eldest son. The fabulous genealogies of the
north describe Siward as the son of a bear, a
myth which at least describes his prowess and
his ferocity. A Dane he certainly was, but,
as we shall afterwards see, he showed great



YORK. 349

fidelity to the Confessor. The remoteness of thii
these earldoms from the seat of government, region '
and the rugged character of the country itself,
encouraged the national spirit of independence.
The obedience rendered to .the king was perhaps
little more than nominal, and if the Conquest
had not soon transferred the supremacy into
more vigorous hands, it is probable that North-
uinbria, like Scotland, would again have become
a realm claiming independence, and rivalling
the supreme monarch of the empire.

York, the birthplace of Constantine, evi- York,
dences now, even by the one mult-angular
tower, its Roman dignity ; but we believe that
in case of all the burghs, the Danish influence
was very overwhelming. They became nation-
alized as Danes, and of this also we find a
singular proof in the privileges enjoyed by the
Danish Burgh of Grimsby. However difficult RJ [ the
it maybe to discover amidst the traditions of G
romance the real history of its founder, Grime,
and the protection given by him to Havelok, the
child of the Danish King, this now deserted
port, which, in the twelfth century, was still the
great emporium of the Baltic trade, enjoys, even
at this moment, an exemption from toll at the
port of Elsinore, in proof and testimony of its
antient Danish consanguinity.

13. Legends and poems are almost the EastAnglift -
only memorials we possess of East Anglia.
The Danes, under Guthrun, effecting a com-
plete conquest, divided the land, and settled



350 EAST ANGLIA.

the country ; and concurrently with the memo-
rable treaty which fixed the boundaries of the
Danelagh, G-uthrun, or G-orp, was confirmed in
the possession of East Anglia, to be held as a
laen of the crown of Wessex. After the ces-
sation of the line of Danish Kings, we find it
held by Athelstan, distinguished either by the
Anglo-Saxon title of Ealdorman, or the desig-
nation of Semi-rex, descriptive, no doubt, of
his great authority. Under Cnut it was erected
into an earldom ; Thurkell, upon whom he be-
stowed it, appears as the most successful and
the most ferocious of the Danish chieftains.
The pirates of Jomsburg were celebrated for
their stern and unsparing valour, and Thurkell
did not belie the reputation of his compeers.

14. In speaking of Scotland, it is very
important, in the first place, to recollect that at
this period no such country properly existed.
The Anglo-Saxon or English kingdom of Ber-
nicia included the whole of the Lothians ; and
the royal seat of Kenneth M'Alpine, over what-
ever dominions he may have ruled, was beyond
the Tweed. Colonies of Scandinavians were
established in Caithness and Sutherland, and,
as before mentioned, the British kingdom of
Strath-Clyde extended, as its name indeed im-
ports, to the river from which it is denomi-
nated, far into the heart of the modern Scotland.
From the reign of Athelstan, we find the Kings
of Scotland as the liegemen of the mouarchs of



POLITICAL STATE OF SCOTLAND. 351

Britain, a tie often disputed, but never entirely

cast off. The rebellion of the Scots, which drew conquest b

the Danes.

down upon them the vengeance of Canute, was
speedily followed by the submission of the
Scottish Reguli. Malcolm and two other kings,
described by the obscure and probably cor-
rupted appellations of Maelboethe and Jemarch,
performed homage to the Dane, who effected
a total subjugation of the Scottish race and
country.

I shall not here deduce with minuteness the Political

dependence

transmission of exerted authority and obedi- ^
ence rendered, nor the difficulties which have
been raised against the Scottish subjection to
the British Crown, nor the answers which can
be fairly given to the objections suggested by
feelings which must in every way be honoured
and respected, however unsupported by the
facts of history ; but the last transactions be-
tween an Anglo-Saxon monarch and the Scots
are those which perhaps display most clearly
the relations between the two crowns. Edward
the Confessor, in the popular elegy which
laments his death, was celebrated as the ex-
alted ruler of heroes, the lord of the Britons,
the Welsh, and the Scots ; and the authority
of the most pacific of our English monarchs
was never disputed by his vassals. The throne Macbeth.
of Scotland had been usurped by Macbeth, to
the prejudice of Malcolm Canmore. He claimed
the aid of his superior, which was readily

VOL. III. A A



352 NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN

granted ; a fleet and army, despatched by the
Confessor, under the command of Siward, Earl
of Northumberland, advanced to the north.
Macbeth was powerfully aided by the North-
men ; but the English forces gained the victory,
and the result of the expedition enabled the
Earl of Northumbria to fulfil the behest of his
sovereign. Malcolm was appointed King of
the Scots, pursuant to the commands of Ed-
ward, and from his lord he received investiture
of Scotland, to hold under the Anglo-Saxon
Crown.

. 15. From the Dee to the Clyde constituted
the kingdom of Cumbria, or the Northern Britons.
Strath-Clyde, properly so called, extended from
the Upper Forth and Loch Lomond on the
north, to the Kirshope, the Eden, and the Sol-
way on the south ; and from the Irish Sea and
Firth of Clyde, which washed its western
shores, it ranged eastward to the limits of the
Merse and Lothian, including Galloway, or the
country of the Southern Picts, the latter being,
however, a distinct though subject dominion.
Cumbria. The Southern Cumbria included the modern
Cumberland, Westmoreland, and a portion of
Yorkshire, Leeds being the original frontier
town between the British and Anglo-Danish
territories. This, the ancient and most bril-
liant seat of the British power, is almost
effaced from our annals. Here, in Reged and
Strath-Clyde, we must locate the fabled Court



CUMBRIA. 353

of Arthur ; and the traditions still floating in
the recollections of the last generation, and the
tales ascribed to the earthworks and fortresses
where the Round Table was held, alone con-
nects the country with the race which has en-
tirely disappeared. Alcluid, or Dumbarton,
continued to be the seat of a British monarchy,
until the repeated incursions of the Danes in-
volved the northern Oymri in the same mis-
fortunes which had been sustained by their
Saxon enemies. Alliance by marriage as well umon of

North Cum

as conquests subjected the northern Cumbria g" a t ,^
to the Scottish Kings. Of these princes,
Eocha, whose name is softened into Eugenius,
and in whom we must, under either disguise, dis-
cover the more familiar name of Owen, appears
in the most memorable battle of Brunnaburgh,
when the combined Reguli of the north en-
deavoured to free themselves from their depend-
ence upon the Anglo-Saxon empire. Athelstan
triumphed ; but instigated by the Danes, the
Scoto-Cumbrian Kings continued their attempts
to release themselves from the Saxons. In these
conflicts they failed : the victory gained by
Edmund over Donald, the son of Eugenius,
placed Strath-Clyde, wasted and depopulated,
entirely in his power.

The transactions which ensued afford a most conduct of

the English

important insight into the policy of the Anglo- Klns -
Saxon empire. Master of the vacant throne,
Edmund might have retained possession, or

AA 2



354 POSITION OF

granted Strath-Clyde to a favourite or a fol-
lower ; but, yielding to the principle of lineage
and blood, he restored the crown to the Scottish
dynasty. Cumbria was re-granted to Malcolm I.
as a benefice, upon condition that he should
co-operate with the monarch of Britain by sea
and land, and most particularly against the
Danes. This engagement was ratified by .an
oath of fealty ; but a singular rule of succes-
sion, established at an earlier period, received a
new sanction. Cumbria was immediately vested
in the Tanaist, or the son, designated in the life-
time of his father as his successor. For it had
been established that the dominion of the Scots
and of the Cumbrians should never be united
in the same person, although the kingdoms
should remain in the same family : Cumbria
thus bearing the same relation to the Scottish
crown which Wales, nominally at least, bears
to the kingdom of England.
or The refusal of Malcolm III, to contribute

the Danes to

to the payment of the Danegeld, alleging that
he was only bound to render military service,
was punished by the ravages of Ethelred. The
accession of Canute afforded to Duncan, the
Regulus of Cumbria, a reason for throwing off
his allegiance to the English crown. But the
Dane invaded Scotland : a peace was concluded
upon condition that the Regulus of Cumbria
should perform homage to the sovereign of
Britain and his successors. Malcolm Canmore



SCOTLAND. 355

became King of Cumbria, when his father Dun-
can obtained the Scottish crown. In his per-
son, until the birth and majority of Prince
David, the antient rule of succession was sus-
pended ; and under the reign of the Confessor,
the whole of these territories were vested in
the Scottish Sovereign, whose distance from the
seat of government, as well as his power,
tempted him to be the rival rather than the
subject of the Anglo-Saxon King.



356
CHAPTER VIII.

THE CONQUEBOE, FROM HASTINGS TO THE CORONATION.




1066.

1. UPON Harold's death, the several com-
ponent members of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy
reverted to that species of constitutional inde-
pendence, which in every case ensued upon the
vacancy of the crown ; but, of course, with the
aggravation resulting from the previous condi-
tion of the realm. The community of inter-
est, imperfect even in prosperous times, had
been greatly diminished by adversity. Poverty
weakens all moral authority, even the powers
of affection and of love. Northumbria, which
had gradually been drifting away from the Basi-
leus, scarcely ever recognized the son of Grod-
win. In Mercia, loyalty was not ardent ; and
of Wessex, and that portion of the Danelagh
annexed thereto, we can speak more positively.
A large party amongst the English considered
that they had obtained their liberation from a
usurper; and the first immediate consequence
resulting from the battle of Hastings, was, at
least in appearance, the restoration of the right
royal line.

Whether Edwin and Morcar were actually



CLAMS TO THE THRONE. 357

engaged in the fatal conflict, cannot be ascer-
taiued. At all events, they drew off their forces
immediately, and advanced to London. Un-

the throne.

questionably the strength and importance of
the city tended to protect its constitutional
rights ; but it is remarkable that the pre-emi-
nence of the citizens, in having the right of
making the first choice, does not seem to have
been contested. Immediately upon their arrival,
the earls, or one of them, for the details of their
conduct are involved in perplexity, laboured to
obtain the throne. Claims to the royal autho-
rity, as it has been held by the line of Cerdic,
these Mercian Earls had none : like Harold, they
would have been usurpers, and yet usurpers
from necessity ; but they were wise and valiant,
fair to behold, and pleasant in speech, possess-
ing the strong arm and the liberal hand, with
some of the good, and many of the specious
qualities which reap the immediate harvest of
popularity. They tried their chance, but failed.
Edgar Atheling was safe within the city. What R^ ant in
the age of the child was, we have no exact Edgar "
account. We can ascertain, however, from au-
thentic records, that distinguished, recognized,
and respected by the Normans as the Atheling,
he was alive ninety -three years after the date
of the Conquest. At this period, therefore,
could he be more than ten years old ? In-
fant as he was, however, he was proclaimed
Basileus of England by the authority of the



358 CHOICE OF EDGAK.

1066 Eectores and Potentes then in the city ; an



obscure hint, but indicating, when compared
with other conflicting accounts, the great dif-
ference of opinion which subsisted.

it should seem that the Proceres, properly

ing s party >

so called, in whose rank Edwin and Morcar
were included, would have opposed the choice ;
but the Bishops, including the two Primates,
Stigand of Canterbury and Aldred of York, as
well as William the Bishop of London, all ad-
vocated the Atheling, and succeeded. In after
life, Edgar exhibited a singular combination of
courage and humility, of rashness and wisdom ;
but now what could he be otherwise than the
shadow of a king ? and the royal authority, at
a time when, of all others, it required personal
efficacy and energy, could only have been exer-
cised by Regents in his name. Yet that name
afforded the means of embodying the sentiments
HiBpopuia. of hope and expectation. The fragment of the
old ballad calls him England's darling : it was
the common belief that he would win the land ;
and, from the first moment of his proclamation,
he was acknowledged, at least, throughout the
whole of the Danelagh. Fidelity and unity of
purpose might, humanly speaking, even still
have averted the immediate subjugation of the
English ; but their measures were so unwise,
so feeble, that even the black monks of Peter-
borough, that great stronghold of old English
feeling, bear record with sorrow, that their fur-



MILITARY OPERATIONS. 359

ther spirit of opposition to William was a visi-
tation for their sins. Every effort they made
to extricate themselves from the meshes of the
net, only entangled them more and more.

2. Military operations, always difficult por-
tions of historical narrative, if it be desired to give
a distinct and clear idea of their succession, are
peculiarly so during the middle ages. Where a
science exists, you may connect insulated facts,
and correct discrepancies by its theory, but
there was then no science of war. The pre-
datory character of the warfare renders the line
of march undefined. The want of accurate
topographical knowledge in the Chroniclers, en-
creases the obscurity ; for no one can clearly
describe any transaction connected with topo-
graphy, unless he clearly understands the
country which he describes.

I shall, therefore, in this narrative, relate Whenc9

derived.

the military transactions of this reign, after
instituting the best comparison I can effect be-



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