Michael Drayton.

The complete works of Michael Drayton, now first collected (Volume 2) online

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aiul lose their ancient Laws. The Norman in this narroiv jnnch,
not so willinghj, as luisely, granted the desire: ami hostages given
on both sides, the Kentish men direct the Normans to Eochester,
and deliver them the County and the Castle of Dover. Hither
is commonly referred the retaining of ancient liberties in
Kent. Indeed it is certain that special customs they have
in their Gavelkind (although now many of their gentlemen's
possessions^ are altered in that part) svffering for Felony
without forfeiture of estate, and such like, as in particular,
with many other diligent traditions you have in Lamhard's
Perambulation : yet the report of Thomas Spot is not, me-
thinks, of clear credit, as well by reason that no warrant of
the historians about the Conquest affirms it (and this Monk
lived under Edward I.) as also for his comnaixture of a
fauxete about Villenage, saying it was not in England before
that time, which is apparantly false by divers testimonies.
Gij: Jjeop (says King/?ie's Laws) pyjice on Sunnan bse^. be hij-
HlafOjibej- ha^yc j-y he ppeo ;* and, under Edward the Con-
fessor, Ci)orolB of J3rucl3cnale grants to the Abbey of Croiv-
land his Manor of Spalding, with all the appurtenances, sci-
licet^ Colgvinnm. j^roipositum meum, et totam sequclam suam, cum
omnibus bonis et catcdlis, quce habet in dicta Villa, &c. Item
Hardingum Fah'um et totam sequelam suam ; and the young
wench of Andever, that Edgar was in love with, was a Niefl
But for Kent, perhaps it might be true, that no villeins were in
it, seeing since that time it hath l)een adjudged in our Law,^
that one born there could not without cognizance of record
be a Villein.

' Stat. .31. Ilni. 8. cap. 3.

* If a Villein work on J^zmday by his lord's command, he shall be

- Colfjrin my bailiff and his issue, with all goods and chattels, &c.

3 Itin. Cornub. 30. Ed. 1. Fillenagc 46. et Mich. 5. M. 2. MS. in
Bibliothec. Int. Tempi, cas. John de Oarton.

VOL. 11. 19


V38. And foremost ever plac'd wJien they shall reckon' d he.

For this honour of the Kentish, hear one^ that wrote it
about Hen. II. Enudus (as some copies are, but others,
' Cinidus ; and perhaps it should so be, or rather Cnudvs, for
King Cnut ; or else I cannot conjecture what) quanta virtute
Anglorum, Dacos Banosqud fregerit motilsqiie compesciicrit No-
ricorum, vel ex eo persjncuum est, quod oh egrerjim virtutis meritum
qiiam ibidem potenth et jMtenter exercuit, Cantia Nostra, primse
Cohortis honorem et primus Congressus Hostium usque in
hodiernum diem in omnibus prmliis obtinet. Provincia qudque
Severiana, quce moderno usu et nomine ah incolis Wiltesira vo-
catur, eddem jure sibi vemlicat Cohortem subsidiariam, adjedd
sibi Devonia et Cornubia.* Briefly, it had the first English
King, in it was \X\q first Christianitij among the English, and
Canterhmj then honoured with the Metropolitic See : all
Avhich give note of honourable prerogative.

745. Grim Godwin but the while seems grievously to low'r.

That is Godu'in-sands, which is reported to have been the
patrimony^ of that Godwin Earl of Kent, under Edward the
Confessor, swallowed into the Ocean by strange tempest
somewhat after the Conquest, and is now as a floating Isle
or Quicksand, very dangerous to sailors, sometime as fixed,
sometime moving, as the Muse describes.

1 Joann. Sarisbur. De Nugis Curial. 6. cap. 18.

* What performance King Cmit did among the Danes and Nor-
wegiaiiH l)y Ennl'ish valour, is apparant in tliat until this day, the
Kentish men for tlicir singular virtue then shown, have prerogative
always to he in the Vant-gard ; as WUtskire, Devonnhhr, and Corn-
loitll ill the Rere.

^ Hect. Boeth. Hist. Scotic. 12. et Jo. Twin. Albionic. 1.

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Online LibraryMichael DraytonThe complete works of Michael Drayton, now first collected (Volume 2) → online text (page 21 of 21)