history of england_david hume

He governed the kingdom of kent fifty years and dying

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Unformatted text preview: ay entirely without the bounds of his jurisdiction.a The marriage of Ethelbert with Bertha, and much more his embracing Christianity, begat a connexion of his subjects with the French, Italians, and other nations on the continent, and tended to reclaim them from that gross ignorance and barbarity, in which all the Saxon tribes had been hitherto involved.b Ethelbert also enacted,c with the consent of the states of his kingdom, a body of laws, the first written laws promulgated by any of the northern conquerors; and his reign was in every respect glorious to himself, and beneficial to his people. He governed the kingdom of Kent fifty years; and dying in 616, left the succession to his son, Eadbald. This prince, seduced by a passion for his mother-in-law, deserted for some time the Christian faith, which permitted not these incestuous marriages: His whole people immediately returned with him to idolatry. Laurentius, the successor of Augustine, found the Christian worship wholly abandoned, and was prepared to return to France, in order to escape the mortification of preaching the gospel without fruit to the infidels. Mellitus and Justus, who had been consecrated bishops of London and Rochester, had already departed the kingdom;d when Laurentius, before he should entirely abandon his dignity, made one effort to reclaim the king. He appeared before that prince; and throwing off his vestments, showed his body all torn with bruises and stripes, which he had received. Eadbald, wondering that any man should have dared to treat in that manner a person of his rank, was told by Laurentius, that he had received this chastisement from St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, who had appeared to him in a vision, and severely reproving him for his intention to desert his charge, had inflicted on him these visible marks of his displeasure.e Whether Eadbald was struck with the miracle, or influenced by some other motive, he divorced himself from his mother-inlaw, and returned to the profession of Christianity:f His whole people returned with him. Eadbald reached not the fame or authority of his father, and died in 640, after a reign of twenty-five years; leaving two sons, Erminfrid and Ercombert. Ercombert, though the younger son, by Emma, a French princess, found means to mount the throne. He is celebrated by Bede for two exploits, for establishing the fast of Lent in his kingdom, and for utterly extirpating idolatry; which, notwithstanding the prevalence of Christianity, had hitherto been tolerated by the two preceding monarchs. He reigned twenty-four years; and left the crown to Egbert, his son, who reigned nine years. This prince is renowned for his encouragement of learning; but infamous for putting to death his two cousin-germans, sons of Erminfrid, his uncle. The ecclesiastical writers praise him for his bestowing on’ his sister, Domnona, some lands in the Isle of Thanet, where she founded a monastery. The bloody precaution of Egbert could not fix the crown on the head of his son, Edric. L...
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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 .

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