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Unformatted text preview: the administration of justice, and his compiling for that purpose a body of laws, which he collected from the laws of Ethelbert, Ina, and Alfred. This compilation, though now lost (for the laws that pass under Edward’s name were composed afterwardsy ) was long the object of affection to the English nation. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 111 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 Edward the Confessor was the first that touched for the king’s evil: The opinion of his sanctity procured belief to this cure among the people: His successors regarded it as a part of their state and grandeur to uphold the same opinion. It has been continued down to our time; and the practice was first dropped by the present royal family, who observed, that it could no longer give amazement even to the populace, and was attended with ridicule in the eyes of all men of understanding. HAROLD
Harold had so well prepared matters before the death of Edward, 1066. January. that he immediately stepped in to the vacant throne; and his accession was attended with as little opposition and disturbance, as if he had succeeded by the most undoubted hereditary title. The citizens of London were his zealous partizans: The bishops and clergy had adopted his cause: And all the powerful nobility, connected with him by alliance or friendship, willingly seconded his pretensions. The title of Edgar Atheling, was scarcely mentioned: Much less, the claim of the duke of Normandy: And Harold, assembling his partizans, received the crown from their hands, without waiting for the free deliberation of the states, or regularly submitting the question to their determination.z If any were averse to this measure, they were obliged to conceal their sentiments; and the new prince, taking a general silence for consent, and founding his title on the supposed suffrages of the people, which appeared unanimous, was, on the day immediately succeeding Edward’s death, crowned and anointed King, by Aldred, archbishop of York. The whole nation seemed joyfully to acquiesce in his elevation. The first symptoms of danger, which the king discovered, came from abroad, and from his own brother, Tosti, who had submitted to a voluntary banishment in Flanders. Enraged at the successful ambition of Harold, to which he himself had fallen a victim, he filled the court of Baldwin with complaints of the injustice, which he had suffered: He engaged the interest of that family against his brother: He endeavoured to form intrigues with some of the discontented nobles in England: He sent his emissaries to Norway, in order to rouze to arms the free-booters of that kingdom and to excite their hopes of reaping advantage from the unsettled state of affairs on the usurpation of the new king: And that he might render the combination more formidable, he made a journey to Normandy; in expectation that the duke, who had married Matilda, another daughter of Baldwin, would, in revenge of his own wrongs, as well as those of Tosti, second, by his counsels and forces, the projected invasion of England.a The duke of Normandy, when he first received intelligence of Harold’s intrigues and accession, had been move...
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- Spring '08