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Unformatted text preview: , to retire, without committing farther hostilities, into Denmark.u Cospatric also, in despair of success, made his peace with the king, and paying a sum of money as an atonement for his insurrection, was received into favour, and even invested with the earldom of Northumberland. Waltheof, who long defended PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 146 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 York with great courage, was allured with this appearance of clemency; and as William knew how to esteem valour even in an enemy, that nobleman had no reason to repent of this confidence.w Even Edric, compelled by necessity, submitted to the Conqueror, and received forgiveness, which was soon after followed by some degree of trust and favour. Malcolm, coming too late to support his confederates, was constrained to retire; and all the English rebels in other parts, except Hereward, who still kept in his fastnesses, dispersed themselves, and left the Normans undisputed masters of the kingdom. Edgar Atheling, with his followers, sought again a retreat in Scotland from the pursuit of his enemies. But the seeming clemency of William towards the English 1070. New rigors of leaders proceeded only from artifice, or from his esteem of the government. individuals: His heart was hardened against all compassion towards the people; and he scrupled no measure, however violent or severe, which seemed requisite to support his plan of tyrannical administration. Sensible of the restless disposition of the Northumbrians, he determined to incapacitate them ever after from giving him disturbance, and he issued orders for laying entirely waste that fertile country, which, for the extent of sixty miles, lies between the Humber and the Tees.x The houses were reduced to ashes by the merciless Normans, the cattle seized and driven away; the instruments of husbandry destroyed; and the inhabitants compelled either to seek for a subsistence in the southern parts of Scotland, or if they lingered in England, from a reluctance to abandon their ancient habitations, they perished miserably in the woods from cold and hunger. The lives of a hundred thousand persons are computed to have been sacrificed to this stroke of barbarous policy,y which, by seeking a remedy for a temporary evil, thus inflicted a lasting wound on the power and populousness of the nation. But William, finding himself entirely master of a people, who had given him such sensible proofs of their impotent rage and animosity now resolved to proceed to extremities against all the natives of England; and to reduce them to a condition, in which they should no longer be formidable to his government. The insurrections and conspiracies in so many parts of the kingdom had involved the bulk of the landed proprietors, more or less, in the guilt of treason; and the king took advantage of executing against them, with the utmost rigour, the laws of forfeiture and attainder. Their lives were indeed commonly spared; but their estates were confiscated, and either annexed to the royal demesnes, or conferred with the most profuse bounty on the Normans and other foreigners.z While the king’s declared intention was to depress or rather entirely extirpate the English gentry,a it is easy to believe that sc...
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