M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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Officers, among whom the conquered Lands were divided,
and who from thence became the Princes or Chiefs in the
feveral States. In procefs of time, the Britons having en-
tirely abandoned their Country, the Conquerors, finding
themfelves too few to cultivate the whole, fent for a great
number of Families from Germany, to whom the reft of
the Lands were given. Thefe diftributions were thus
made. The new King gave to thofe of his Followers,
who were diftinguifhed by their Birth, Services, or perfo-
nal Merit, fuch a portion of Land, on condition they ferved
the Crown on certain occafions ; which thefe parcelled out
again to others, with a relervation of fuch and fuch Ser-
vices to themfelves. Thefe two forts of Poffeffors were
called Thanes, that is, Servants: but the firft were diftin-
guifhed by the Title of King's Thanes, which anfwers to
that of the immediate Vaflalsof the Crown. Thefe, after
the Norman Conqueft, were called Barons, and afterwards
Peers of the Realm. For Earl and Duke were only ho-
norary Titles or names of Offices. It is not denied, the
King's Thanes were Members of the Wittena-Gemots :
but that the other Thanes were fo, is greatly difputed, as
will be feen in the DifTertation on the Government, Laws,
and Cuftoms of the Saxons. It fuffices at prefent, that
there was in each Kingdom an Aflembly of IFitan or
Wifemen, who, jointly with the King, regulated all im-
portant Affairs, made Laws and Ordinances, and impofed
Taxes. As nothing was decided but by the mutual con-
fent of the King and the Aflembly, their interefts not
being feparate, and their aims the fame, namely, the
good of the publick, this is a clear evidence, that the ef-
ience of the Government confifted in the ftrict union be-
tween King and People. If we look into the Hiftories of
the other European Kingdoms founded by the northern
Nations, we (hall rind the like Aflemblies under different
names . - Diets in Germany and Poland, and Cortex,,
V oiL

in Spain. It is not therefore ftrange, the Saxons fhould
eftabhfh in England the only form of Government known
to them.

After the Norman Conqueft thefe Aflemblies were called
Parliaments. If William the Conqueror continued them,
which perhaps is not very eafy to prove, it vVas not with
the fame Rights and Privileges they enjoyed under the
Saxon Kings. It is true, in the following Reigns, fome
traces of them

ig Keigns,
appear, which make it thought, they were
not entirely abolifhed. However, Parliaments were not-
frequent till King John, and Henry III, i n whofe Reign,
feveral affirm, and perhaps not without reafon, that t,he
Commons, for the firft time, fent Reprefentatives to Par-
liament. Probably, the Lords and Commons, after their
feparation, the time whereof is unknown, met in two dif-
ferent Houfes, fince the Englijh ftill call Houfes the two
Rooms, where they aflemble, though under the fame
Roof. They fay, the Upper Houfe, or Houfe of Lords,
and the Lower Houfe, or Houfe of Commons, to denote
what is exprefled in French by the word Chamber. It is
but fince the Reign of Edward I, fucceffor to Henry III,
that there has been an uninterrupted feries of Parlia-

After the Commons became a diftincl Houfe from the
Lords, they pretended to be the fole Reprefentatives of the
People, by whom they were chofen. The Lords could
pretend only to aft for themfelves, or for the Body of {he
Nobility, as making a confiderable part of the Nation.
However this be, the Barons, of whom very likely the
Parliament at firft confifted, loft by degrees many of their
antient Rights, and the Houfe of Commons came to be
confidered as the Guardians of the People's interefts. How-
ever, the Lords ftill retain very great privileges ; they are,
for inftance, the higheft Court of Juftice in the Kingdom ;
they have a power to bring in, approve, and throw out
Bills ; in a word, they always make an effential part of
the Parliament. The Bifhops and Abbots,* who had all
along a Right to fit in Parliament, had it continued to
them after the Conqueft. It cannot well be doubted that
they fate in the Wittena-Gemots, as King's Thanes, or
Barons, fince they were the immediate Tenants of the
Crown : but it is not fb certain, tlv.it they enjoyed this
Right, as Reprefentatives of the Clergv.

The Commons, as a confequence of their being the
Reprefentatives of the People, claim an undifputed Right
of laying Taxes, and granting Money to the King. So
that the Houfe of Lords in this cafe have no other p iwer
than to pafs, or throw out, the Bill, without offering to
make any alterations or amendments.

Thus, the two Houfes of" Parliament compofe the Body
of the Nation, jointly with the King, who is the Head.
The clofe and abfolutely neceflary union between the King
and the Parliament, appears in nothing fo much as in the
manner of making an Aft of Parliament, or Law. When
either of the two Houfes defigns to bring in a Bill ( for fo
is an Act called before it is paffed ) after examining and
debating every Claufe, it is fent to the other Houfe for
their approbation. If it partes there, it is brought to the
King for the Royal Affcnt, after which, and not before,
it has the form and force of a Law. But if either of the
Houfes throw it out, or the King refufes his affent, it comes
to nothing, as if it had never been mentioned. Nothing
more plainly demonftrates, that the effence of the Englijh
Government confifts in the union between the King and
his People. Take away this Union, and it becomes Con*
fufion and Anarchy.

Whether the Commons originally fate in Parliament,
or only fince the Reign of Henry III, it is certain, their
power by degrees is very much encreafed, to which the
maxim, that their Houfe folely reprefents the People, has
greatly contributed. This maxim was not yet eftablifhed
in the Reign of Henry VIII, fince we And he applied to the
Earons for a fupply of Money. But this is not the only
new Privilege they have acquired. Upon their feparation
from the Lords, the interefts of the two Houfes were not
the fame upon all occafions. They have had frequent con-
tefts concerning their refpeclive Rights.' But generally the
Commons had the advantage of the Lords ; and no won-
der, fince they alone difpofe of the Nation's Money.

On the other hand, as great alterations have happened
with regard to the Lords or Peers. Formerly all the im-
mediate Vaffals of the Crown were Barons, and, as fuch,
had a feat in Parliament. But now, as there are none of
thofe Lands that were called Fees of the Crown, the right
of fitting in the Houfe of Lords is annexed to the bare
honorary Titles of Duke, Marquifs, Earl, Vifcount and
Baron, which give thofe that are inverted therewith, no
power over the Shires, Cities, or Lands, whofe names
they bear, and which the King may beftow on whom he
pleafes. However, when once thefe Titles are conferred on
a Family, the Head cannot be deprived of his right to fit
in Parliament, unlefs he his been judicially condemned by
[ b ] his



his Peers, tor fome crime that renders him unworthy. But
it muft be obferved, it is in the King's power to extend or
limit, many ways, the right of fucceeding to thefe Ho-
nours ; fo that fometimes, though rarely, he extends it to
the female, in default of the male, Line. Though a Peer
only has a right to lit in the Houfe of Lords, the King
may, if he pleafes, call the Son of a Nobleman to the
Houfe of Peers in his Father's life-time. The inferior
Titles are always included in the fuperior , fo that every
Duke is at the fame time Marquifs, Earl, Vifcount and
Baron(i). Thus all the Lords are Baron?, and properly
as fuch, are Members of the Parliament, according to an-
tient ufaa;e. For before and long after the Conqueft, the
Lords of Parliament were confidered only as the King's
Thanes or Barons. For this reafon, the civil Wars in
the Reigns of King John and Henry III, are called, the
Barons Wars. The Title of Duke was firft conferred in
England, after the Conqueft, by Edward III, on his el-
deft Son, whom he made Duke of Comwal. The Title
of Marquifs is much later. In the time of the Saxons,
Earls or Counts were properly Governors or Chiefs of
Shires or Counties, fo called from them. William the
Conqueror having diftributed the Lands of the Englijh a-
mong his Followers, they on whom he conferred the Title
of Earl or Count, became really and truly Lords of thofe
Lands whofe Titles they bore, fo that they were heredi-
tary in their Families. Afterwards, but at what time is
not known, they loft this privilege, and the Title of Earl,
as was before obferved, is become only honorary. The
Vifcounts, under the Saxon Kings, were Lieutenants to
the Earls in their Counties. They difcharged the Office of
High-Sheriff, which is now left to inferior Officers, whilft
the Vifcounts are ranked among the Peers, and have even
the precedence of the Barons. This laft Title was for-
merly general, and included the whole Body of the Nobility
or Peers of the Realm, of whom the Upper Houfe of Par-
liament confifts. Next to thefe are what they call in
England, the Gentry, who, though diftinguifhed by fe-
veral Titles, as Knight, Efquire, &c. are all included in
the Body of the Commons, who in France are called,
the Third Eftate. From among thefe are chofen the
Knights of the Shires, Citizens and BurgefTes, who com-
pofe the Lower Houfe, to the number of five hundred and
thirteen : but it feldom happens that all are prefent, and
forty are fufficient to make a Houfe.

What has been faid fhows, how the two Houfes of Par-
liament are part of the Legislature, fince by them the Laws
are made with the Royal Aflent. Accordingly, the Parlia-
ment has ever been very careful to preferve its Privilege*,
and hinder the leaft breach, for fear of lofing them inien-
fibly, as it has happened in other Kingdoms. On the
other hand, moft of the Laws tend to maintain the Liberty
and Property of the Subjects, fo that they can be deprived
of them only by Law. There are abfolutely but two ways
to deprive the Englijh of their Liberties. Either by laying
slide Parliaments entirely, or by bribing the Members to
facrifice their Country to their ambition or avarice. Both
thefe methods have been tried more than once, and for fome
time with feeming fuccefs, but in the end have turned to

the Confufiun and Ruin ot the Pioicdiors. The Erg/i/h
have ever been extremely jealous of their Liberties, and
this jealoufy has frequently caufed violent motions in the
Kingdom, when they have (ecu or fufpected a tendency
to undermine their Privileges, and they have theieby
preferred the Conftitution of their Government in much
the fame ftate as in the beginning of the Monarchy.

In this Second Edition, the Tranflation, which in the
firft was not Co correct, is thoroughly reviled and compared
with the Original ; but if the Stile be not yet fo lively and
agreeable as fome could wifh, it muft be remembered that
a fine Stile cannot be expected from one who is fuppofed
to tranflate Mr. Rapin. For though he was a very judici-
ous, he was certainly no elegant, Writer. And pc.haps
it would be difficult to find a greater inftance of the power
of Truth on the minds of Men, than the univerfal ap-
probation given to a Hiftury penned in fo naked and un-
adorned a manner. Indeed, Hiftory does not require that
nicety of Expreffion, which is neceflary in other Works ;
but may be read with benefit, though it wants that Per-
fection. However this be, care has been taken in the
Tranflation to avoid all low expreilions, and to preferve
an even and unaffected Stile.

As it is armoft impoflible for a Foreigner not to fall into
fome little miftake, particularly as to our Cuftoms, Laws,
Names, Families, and the like, thefe are all carefully noted
and rectified.

Though Mr. Rapin depended not on any modern Hif-
torian in what pafled before Henry VIII, but confulted the
antient and cotemporary Writers, and .ccordingly placed
their Names in the Margin of hrs Manufcript, yet many
of thefe references are wanting, which happened, as he
fays himfelf, by the following accident. Having employ-
ed a young Man to tranferibe his Hiftory for the Prefs,
and ordering him to leave a Blank for fuch proper Names
as he could not readily read, the Blanks in the Body of
the Hiftory were filled up by the Author, whilft Thofe in
the Margin were forgot. This omiffion is with great la-
bour and pains fupplied in the Tranflation, and the Names
of the Authors every where quoted in the Margin.

As Mr. Rapin wrote his Hiitory for the inftruction of
Foreigners, he has pafled over in filence numberlefs Facts,
Particulars, and Circumftances, which, though of little
moment or ufe to a Stranger, may be agreeable, and even
neceflary to an EngUJhman. This want is in fome meafure
fupplied, at leaft as far as the intended compafs of the
Work would allow, by many additional Notes.

In a word, the Tranflator, in his eight years applicati-
on to this Work, has endeavoured to render it as ufeful as
he could to his Countrymen, and thinks himfelf obliged
publickly to acknowledge the afliitance he has received, in
this fecond Edition, from the Reverend Mr. Philip
M o r a n t, Minifter of the Englijh Church at Amjler-
dam, who, befides revifing the Sheets as they came from
Prefs, has been at the pains to compare every Paragraph
with the antient Hiftorians, and examine all the Quotati-
ons from the Faedera, and thereby been enabled to correct
fome miftakes, and add feveral Notes.

(i) This is not lb, unlefa they have had each Title diftinfliy conferred on them,
not Vifcounts.

There are few Dukea that are Marauifles, and many Earis

Omiffiom of the PRESS.

Page 270. Col. 2. Line 57. after abfolving, read John's Subjects from their Oath of Allegiance, and enjoining

them Page 697. Col. 1. Line 34, after the word [Reformation?] infert. [Is it all Chriftians in general agreeing

together, as by a fudden Infpiration, to reform the abufes ? J

N. B. The reft of the Errata will be printed at the end of Vol. II.


Some Particulars of the L I F E of

Mr. de Rapin Thoyras,

In a Letter to-—-*


I Imagined you would be furprized at my backward-
nefs to fecond your defig-n of writing the Life of
Mr. d e Rapin. This has given me fome con-
cern, for I wifh to be of your mind, but muft con-
fefs, I have hitherto been unrefolved. I know not
how the publick ftands affe£ted ; and though I fuppofed,
with yeu, that the World would be glad to be acquainted
with Mr. d e Rapin, I fhould think nothing can better
fatisfy their Curiofity, than his new Hiftory of England ; it
not being poflible, in my opinion, but in fo voluminous a
Work, an Author ( undefignedly ) draws his own Picture
himfelf, more to the Life than any other can do. If you
fay, this is not fufEcient, becaufe his Family and Actions
are not feen there; I anfwer, the two Panegyricks on
Mr. de Rapin, (in the xth Volume of the Bibliotheque
Germanique, and in the Hijioire Literaire of February
1726 ) feem to contain all that is proper to be faid on thefe
two heads. By this, you fee I have not the fame fcruple
concerning your prefent propofal, that thefe Panegyricks
may at leaft be re-publifhed and prefixed to his Hiftory of
England. Indeed I think it very requifite, and, what is
more, am refolved to publifh them my felf, with fome al-
terations, that is, of the two I defign to make on - Dif
courfe, borrowing from each what fhall occur to my mind,
without affefting either to fwerve from, or copy them, that
there may be room to infert fome particulars that are palled
over in filence. It may be, I fhall go too far, contrary to
my firft intention, but however, you may be allured, I
fhall fay nothing but what I have been fully informed of.
and what Mr. de R a pin's Family are ready to juitifj .
Ncverthelefs, as in all this my fole aim is to oblige you,
ufe this Letter as you pleafe ; fupprefs what you do not
like ; nay, if you think fit, be fatisfied with the Panegy-
ricks alone as firft publifhed, which perhaps would be beft.
But to begin.

Mr. de Rapin, counted among his Anceftors and
Relations many eminent Perfons as well of the Sword as
the Gown. His Family is originally from Savoy, where
it flourifhed time out of mind ( 1 ), and enjoyed feveral ho-
norable Pofts (2). As I am ignorant of their perfonal qua-
lities, I cannot fay whether it was through a wife precau-
tion, or to perpetuate an ill-grounded enmity, that a Bi-
fhop of Maurienne caufed to be ingraved, in the Epifco-
pal Palace, the following Infcription ftill to be feen, Ca-
veant SucceJJores no/hi a familii Rapinorum, i. e. Let our
Succeffors beware of the Rapins. On the other hand,
this Family pretends, that their external Luftre was im-
paired folely by their fteady adherence to the Laws of
Honour and Juftice. This is infinuated by the Author of

the following Verfes, which are not quoted for their Fte-

Pdur rt avoir fans befbin fu prendre,
On voit tomber cette maifon :
Si I' Effet cut fuivi fon notn r
Elle auroit de quoi fe defendre.

i. e. This Family, for being too honefl to invade the Pro-
perly of others, is gone to decay. Had they been given to
what their Name implies, they would have wherewithal i»
fupport themfelves.

But to draw nearer to Mr. DE R a P i n, I fhall pro-
ceed to four Brothers of that name, who fettled in France
in the Reign of Francis I. (3)

One, a Clergyman, was Almoner to Queen Catharine
de Medici, who defired him of the Duke of Savoy. He-
fides the Preferments he enjoyed in his own Country, he
was called the King's Orator, but what that means I can-
not tell.

His Brothers ( of whom but one has left Iffue ) were
all three Soldiers, and embraced the Reformed Religion ;
for the fake of which, very probably, they abandoned their

The eldeft was a Colonel of Foot, and Governor of
Montauban, with authority over the neighbouring Gover-
nors. His Name is among thofe of the Vifcounts, who
commanded the Troops of the Reformed in the Southern
Provinces of France. Letters, ftill extant, fhow how well
known he was to King Henry TV, to Lewis and Henry
Princes of Condi, to Admiral Chajlilhn, and many other
Perfons of the firft Quality.

All we know of one of his Brothers, called Peter, is,
that a Commiflion ol Captain of Horfe muft, by all cir-
eumftances, belong to him ; but of this we cannot be fure,
becaufe the Name is not expreffed.

Philibert, another Brother, was Gentleman to the Prince
of Condi, and afterwards his Steward (4). He had no lefs
reputation in military (5), than capacity in civil, affairs (6) ;
but both proved fatal to him, as they drew upon him the
enmity of the Catholicks, and particularly of the Parliament
of Touloufe (7), who caufed his head to be ftruck off at
the very time he was come, by the King's Order, to re-
gifter the Edi£l of Peace of 1568.

The French Hiftorians frequently fpeak of thefe two
Brothers. Father Daniel alone does not mention them,
and paffes over in fileace, this cruel execution (S). The
reafon does not appear at firft, for he cannot fay, this Sen-

ft) By the Titles of this Family it appears that the Rapint were Noble in the year 1150. The Blanches that are in Savoy pretend to a greater
Antiquity : But of that 1 can lay nothing.

(2) It is known in general, that fome of the Raptni at feveral times were Syndict of the Nobles of their Country; others were deputed by the Nobi-
lity to go in their Name ar.d do H. image to the Duke of Savoy their Sovereign.

(3) Between the Years 152c and lt,47.

(4) Maitre d- Hotel de fa Matfin, that is, he had the management of the Prince's Houfe in the higheft Senfe of the Word, and not as we under-
ftand tile Term Steward at prefent. (5) Sella ffrenuut, fays Tbuanut, lib. 32.

(6) In fne, Rapin ivat in great Repute amongfi bit own Party. The Ctnfpiratort of TouJoufe made choice of htm to treat in tbetr Name ivtrb Four-
quevaux, tc'btcb it a clear Evidence tbat be bad a Head ta manage, at -well at a Hand to ail. Annals of Touloufe, Ann. 1 ;6S. The Conference fpiker,
of in this Paflage, was held to fee whether there was any way of Accommodation between the two Parties j but it proved fruitless, and only ferved to ex-
alperate them more than ever. Shortly after a Battle was fought in the City, which lafted lome Days, wherein the PVoteftan s, who Were numerous
there, but however inferiour to the Catbolicki, loft three thoufand Men, and were in the end chafed out of the City. A folemn Pr -ceflvn was inft.tuted
In commemoration of this Event. When Peace was reftorcd, the Reformed complained ot this i'iocelT»>n, as a thing which revived the Memory or the
Troubles, whereupon it was prohibited tor the luture ; neverthelds it has been all along cor.tinucd ; only it was rcmuved trom the J2th of idtty, to the
17th, on fome pretence or other

(?) Homo belltt fuperiortbut clarut ob idque Tolofanit ini-ijut. Thuan. lib. 32.

(8) It might be allcdged there are no proofs of it. But fmce Tbuanut and Megerdi , with whom few Writers cm be compared for Faithfufnefs, fpealt
of it, it muft be inferred cither there were proofs in their Days, or they were wa. ranted by the Nim»r ulitbeis of the Fact. And what puts it out of all
queftiun is, that M- de la Faille, who writ Jaft at Tbohuji , the Annals ot tint C ty, o which he was Syndic, though he takes notice that trie Arret
againft Rapin is not te oe found (having been doubtlels raicd out of tht Regiftsra lot th; Parliament's Harwur) ye: lays mure of the Matter than all
thofe that went before him.



Some Particulars of the Life of Mr. de Ra p i n.

tence, how unjuft foever it may be fuppofed, is only a
private affair, which therefore he might omit if he pleafed ;
fince it is vifible, on the contrary, that fuch an Event,
rendered memorable (i) by its circumftances and confe-
quences, ought neceflkily to have place in Hiftory. But
when we confider, we find this able Hittorian has very
artfully managed this omiflion for two ufes ; firft, to ex-
tinguifh, as far as in him lay, all remembrance of a rage
which cafts a blemifh on the Papifts ; fecondly, to render
the Reformed odious, when he comes to fpeak of the ra-
vao-es committed by the Admiral's Army, fome time af-
ter^ about Touloufe, Mean while, with regard to thefe
ravages, he was not fo free as he defired, but was obliged
to fpeak of them in general terms, for he could not defcend
to particulars, without difcovering the connexion between
thefe ravages and Rapin's death, by which they were
both occasioned and juftjfied. But what he flightly men-
tions, Tbuanus (2) and Mezcrai relate more at large, and
fet in a true light. Mezerai, who is more circumftantial,
and informs us, there were then in Toulouje eight thoufand
regular Troops, which added to the great number of In-
habitants, deprived the Reformed of all hopes of becoming

matters of the City, fays exprefsly, that the Hugonots

fet fire to all the Lands and Houfe s of the Counfellors, on the
Ruins whereof the Soldiers writ with fmoaking Coals, R A-
pin's Rev e n g e.

Peter de Rapin, Baron of Mauvers, Son of PhiUbert,
was Governor of Mas-Granier, one of the Cautionary-
Towns granted to the Reformed in Guienne. He was a
Soldier from his youth, and attended King Henry IV in
all his expeditions. Mod part of that time, he received,
not a Farthing from his Eftate, which threw him into
great ftraits, as well as many others for the fame reafon.
The Kinghimfe'f Was in no better circumftances, as may
be inferred from his anfwer to Mr. de Rapin, who
having loft his Horfe, befought his Majefty to give him
wherewithal to buy another : / would, fays he, with all
?ny heart, but fee, I have fear ce a Shirt to my back. But
Mr. de Rapin's fufferings in the religious Wars were not
confined to what patted in the Army. He thrice faw his
Houfe burnt and battered down in his life, and every thing
plundered. It is true, he had amends made him the laft
time, as far as was poffible, and in a manner which muft
have been very agreeable to him : for the Catholick Gen-
tlemen of the Neighbourhood, by whom he was eftcemed
and beloved, meeting together, refolved to fupply him
with neceffaries to plough and fow his Lands ; and as thofe
troubles lafted but eight months, when they were ap-
peafed, he found a Crop ready, and all his Eftate, ex-
cept his Houfe, in as good condition as the moft diligent
Owner could have kept it. On another occafion, he had
a pleafure without any allay : upon a rumour of his death,
he read himfelf a Letter from Queen Mary de Medici, ex-
prefling her great forrow to his Family. He married a

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