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Unformatted text preview: vernment — King’s return to Normandy — Discontents of the English — Their insurrections — Rigours of the Norman government — New insurrections — New rigours of the government — Introduction of the feudal law — Innovation in ecclesiastical government — Insurrection of the Norman barons — Dispute about investitures — Revolt of prince Robert — Doomsday book — The New forest — War with France — Death — and character of William the Conqueror Nothing could exceed the consternation which seized the 1066. Consequences English, when they received intelligence of the unfortunate battle of the battle of Hastings of Hastings, the death of their king, the slaughter of their principal nobility and of their bravest warriors, and the rout and dispersion of the remainder. But though the loss, which they had sustained in that fatal action, was considerable, it might have been repaired by a great nation; where the people were generally armed, and where there resided so many powerful noblemen in every province, who could have assembled their retainers, and have obliged the duke of Normandy to divide his army, and probably to waste it in a variety of actions and rencounters. It was thus that the kingdom had formerly resisted, for many years, its invaders, and had been gradually subdued, by the continued efforts of the Romans, Saxons, and Danes; and equal difficulties might have been apprehended by William in this bold and hazardous enterprize. But there were several vices in the Anglo-Saxon constitution, which rendered it difficult for the English to defend their liberties in so critical an emergency. The people had in a great measure lost all national pride and spirit, by their recent and long subjection to the Danes; and as Canute had, in the course of his administration, much abated the rigors of conquest, and had governed them equitably by their own laws, they regarded with the less terror the ignominy of a foreign yoke, and deemed the inconveniences of submission less formidable than those of bloodshed, war, and resistance. Their attachment also to the ancient royal family had been much weakened by their habits of submission to the Danish princes, and by their late election of Harold, or their acquiescence in his usurpation. And as they had long been accustomed to regard Edgar Atheling, the only heir of the Saxon line, as unfit to govern them even in times of order and tranquillity; they could entertain small hopes of his being able to repair such great losses as they had sustained, or to withstand the victorious arms of the duke of Normandy. That they might not, however, be altogether wanting to themselves in this extreme necessity, the English took some steps towards adjusting their disjointed government, and uniting themselves against the common enemy. The two potent earls, Edwin and Morcar, who had fled to London with the remains of the broken army, took the lead on this occasion: In concert with Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, a man possessed of great authority, and of ample revenues, they procla...
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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