history of england_david hume

He gave the city also power to elect and remove its

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Unformatted text preview: , in order to purchase the protection of that monarch. But though this story is told us, on plausible authority, by Matthew Paris,k it is in itself utterly improbable; except, that there is nothing so incredible but may be believed to proceed from the folly and wickedness of John. The monks throw great reproaches on this prince for his impiety and even infidelity; and as an instance of it, they tell us, that, having one day caught a very fat stag, he exclaimed, How plump and well fed is this animal! and yet I dare swear, he never heard mass.l This sally of wit, upon the usual corpulency of the priests, more than all his enormous crimes and iniquities, made him pass with them for an atheist. John left two legitimate sons behind him, Henry, born on the first of October, 1207, and now nine years of age; and Richard, born on the sixth of January, 1209; and three daughters, Jane afterwards married to Alexander king of Scots; Eleanor married first PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 306 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 to William Mareschal the younger, earl of Pembroke, and then to Simon Mountfort, earl of Leicester; and Isabella married to the emperor Frederic II. All these children were born to him by Isabella of Angoulesme, his second wife. His illegitimate children were numerous; but none of them were any wise distinguished. It was this king, who, in the ninth year of his reign, first gave by charter to the city of London, the right of electing annually a mayor out of its own body, an office which was till now held for life. He gave the city also power to elect and remove its sheriffs at pleasure, and its common-council-men annually. London bridge was finished in this reign: The former bridge was of wood. Maud the empress was the first that built a stone bridge in England. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 307 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 [Back to Table of Contents] APPENDIX II THE FEUDAL AND ANGLO-NORMAN GOVERNMENT AND MANNERS Origin of the feudal law — Its progress — Feudal government of England — The feudal parliament — The commons — Judicial power — Revenue of the crown — Commerce — The church — Civil Laws — Manners The feudal law is the chief foundation, both of the political government and of the jurisprudence, established by the Normans in England. Our subject therefore requires, that we should form a just idea of this law, in order to explain the state, as well of that kingdom, as of all other kingdoms of Europe, which, during those ages, were governed by similar institutions. And though I am sensible, that I must here repeat many observations and reflections, which have been communicated by others;m yet, as every book, agreeably to the observation of a great historian,n should be as complete as possible within itself, and should never refer, for any thing material, to other books, it will be necessar...
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