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Unformatted text preview: nce on each other, and set no bounds to their oppressions over the people. The castles of the nobility were become receptacles of licensed robbers, who, sallying forth day and night, committed spoil on the open country, on the villages, and even on the cities; put the captives to torture, in order to make them reveal their treasures; sold their persons to slavery; and set fire to their houses, after they had pillaged them of everything valuable. The fierceness of their disposition, leading them to commit wanton destruction, frustrated their rapacity of its purpose; and the property and persons even of the ecclesiastics, generally so much revered, were at last, from necessity, exposed to the same outrage, which had laid waste the rest of the kingdom. The land was left untilled; the instruments of husbandry were destroyed or abandoned; and a grievous famine, the natural result of those disorders, affected equally both parties, and reduced the spoilers, as well as the defenceless people, to the most extreme want and indigence. After several fruitless negociations and treaties of peace, which never interrupted these destructive hostilities, there happened at last an event, PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 201 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 which seemed to promise some end of the public calamities. 1140. Ralph, earl of Chester, and his half brother, William de Roumara, partizans of Matilda, had surprised the castle of Lincoln; but the citizens, who were better affected to Stephen, having invited him to their aid, that prince laid close siege to the castle, in hopes of soon rendering himself master of the place, either by assault or by famine. The earl of Glocester hastened with an army to the relief of his friends; and Stephen, informed of his approach, took the field with a 1141. 2d Feb. resolution of giving him battle. After a violent shock, the two wings of the royalists were put to flight; and Stephen himself, surrounded by the enemy, was at last, after exerting great efforts of valour, borne down by numbers, and taken prisoner. He was conducted Stephen taken to Glocester; and though at first treated with humanity, was soon prisoner. after, on some suspicion, thrown into prison, and loaded with irons. Stephen’s party was entirely broken by the captivity of their leader, and the barons came in daily from all quarters, and did homage to Matilda. The princess, however, amidst all her prosperity, knew, that she was not secure of success, unless she could gain the confidence of the clergy; and as the conduct of the legate had been of late very ambiguous, and showed his intentions to have rather aimed at humbling his brother, than totally ruining him, she employed every endeavour to fix him in her interests. She held a conference with him in an open plain near Winchester; where she promised upon oath, that, if he would acknowledge her for sovereign, would recognize her title as the sole descendant of the late king, and would again submit to the allegiance, wh...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08