history of england_david hume

1 the martial disposition of the princes in that age

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Unformatted text preview: ch the inhabitants, who had expelled count Hoei, their prince, had put into his hands. Henry returned to England the following year: The incursions of the Welsh then provoked him to make an invasion upon them; where the natural fastnesses of the country occasioned him great difficulties, and even brought him into danger. His vanguard, being engaged in a narrow pass, was put to rout: Henry de Essex, the hereditary standard-bearer, seized with a panic, threw down the standard, took to flight, and exclaimed that the king was slain: And had not the prince immediately appeared in person, and led on his troops with great gallantry, the consequences might have proved fatal to the whole army.g For this misbehaviour, Essex was afterwards accused of felony by Robert de Montfort; was vanquished in single combat; his estate was confiscated; and he himself was thrust into a convent. h The submissions of the Welsh procured them an accommodation with England. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 210 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 The martial disposition of the princes in that age engaged them 1158. to head their own armies in every enterprize, even the most frivolous; and their feeble authority made it commonly impracticable for them to delegate, on occasion, the command to their generals. Geoffrey, the king’s brother, died soon after he had acquired possession of Nantz: Though he had no other title to that county, than the voluntary submission or election of the inhabitants two years before, Henry laid claim to the territory as devolved to him by hereditary right, and he went over to support his pretensions by force of arms. Conan, duke or earl of Britanny (for these titles are given indifferently by historians to those princes) pretended that Nantz had been lately separated by rebellion from his principality, to which of right it belonged; and immediately on Geoffrey’s death, he took possession of the disputed territory. Lest Lewis, the French king, should interpose in the controversy, Henry paid him a visit; and so allured him by caresses and civilities, that an alliance was contracted between them; and they agreed, that young Henry, heir to the English monarchy, should be affianced to Margaret of France, though the former was only five years of age, the latter was still in her cradle. Henry, now secure of meeting with no interruption on this side, advanced with his army into Britanny; and Conan, in despair of being able to make resistance, delivered up the county of Nantz to him. The able conduct of the king procured him farther and more important advantages from this incident. Conan, harassed with the turbulent disposition of his subjects, was desirous of procuring to himself the support of so great a monarch; and he betrothed his daughter and only child, yet an infant, to Geoffrey, the king’s third son, who was of the same tender years. The duke of Britanny died about seven years after; and Henry, being mesne lord and also natural guardian to his son and daughter-...
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