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Unformatted text preview: in London, derived from its bad police, had risen to a great height during this reign; and in the year 1196, there seemed to be formed so regular a conspiracy among the numerous malefactors, as threatened the city with destruction. There was one William Fitz-Osbert, commonly called Longbeard, a lawyer, who had rendered himself extremely popular among the lower rank of citizens; and by defending them on all occasions, had acquired the appellation of the advocate or saviour of the poor. He exerted his authority, by injuring and insulting the more substantial citizens, with whom he lived in a state of hostility, and who were every moment exposed to the most outrageous violences from him and his licentious PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 275 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 emissaries. Murders were daily committed in the streets; houses were broken open and pillaged in day-light; and it is pretended, that no less than fifty-two thousand persons had entered into an association, by which they bound themselves to obey all the orders of this dangerous ruffian. Archbishop Hubert, who was then chief justiciary, summoned him before the council to answer for his conduct; but he came so well attended, that no one durst accuse him, or give evidence against him; and the primate, finding the impotence of law, contented himself with exacting from the citizens hostages for their good behaviour. He kept, however, a watchful eye on FitzOsbert; and seizing a favourable opportunity, attempted to commit him to custody; but the criminal, murdering one of the public officers, escaped with his concubine to the church of St. Mary le Bow, where he defended himself by force of arms. He was at last forced from his retreat, condemned, and executed, amidst the regrets of the populace, who were so devoted to his memory, that they stole his gibbet, paid the same veneration to it as to the cross, and were equally zealous in propagating and attesting reports of the miracles wrought by it.c But though the sectaries of this superstition were punished by the justiciary,d it received so little encouragement from the established clergy, whose property was endangered by such seditious practices, that it suddenly sunk and vanished. It was during the crusades, that the custom of using coats of arms was first introduced into Europe. The knights cased up in armour, had no way to make themselves be known and distinguished in battle, but by the devices on their shields; and these were gradually adopted by their posterity and families, who were proud of the pious and military enterprizes of their ancestors. King Richard was a passionate lover of poetry: There even remain some poetical works of his composition: and he bears a rank among the Provençal poets or Trobadores, who were the first of the modern Europeans, that distinguished themselves by attempts of that nature. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 276 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The H...
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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