history of england_david hume

Pll v5 generated january 22 2010 195

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Unformatted text preview: ials by combat, and lodging the king’s retinue. These, with a confirmation of the privileges of their court of Hustings, wardmotes, and common PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 194 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 halls, and their liberty of hunting in Middlesex and Surrey, are the chief articles of this charter.h It is said,i that this prince, from indulgence to his tenants, changed the rents of his demesnes, which were formerly paid in kind, into money, which was more easily remitted to the Exchequer. But the great scarcity of coin would render that commutation difficult to be executed, while at the same time provisions could not be sent to a distant quarter of the kingdom. This affords a probable reason, why the ancient kings of England so frequently changed their place of abode: They carried their court from one palace to another, that they might consume upon the spot the revenue of their several demesnes. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 195 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 [Back to Table of Contents] VII STEPHEN Accession of Stephen—War with Scotland—Insurrection in favour of Matilda—Stephen taken prisoner—Matilda crowned—Stephen released—Restored to the crown—Continuation of the civil wars—Compromise between the king and prince Henry—Death of the king In the progress and settlement of the feudal law, the male succession to fiefs had taken place some time before the female was admitted; and estates, being considered as military benefices, not as property, were transmitted to such only as could serve in 1135. the armies, and perform in person the conditions upon which they were originally granted. But when the continuance of rights, during some generations, in the same family, had, in a great measure, obliterated the primitive idea, the females were gradually admitted to the possession of feudal property; and the same revolution of principles, which procured them the inheritance of private estates, naturally introduced their succession to government and authority. The failure, therefore, of male-heirs to the kingdom of England and dutchy of Normandy, seemed to leave the succession open, without a rival, to the empress Matilda; and as Henry had made all his vassals in both states swear fealty to her, he presumed, that they would not easily be induced to depart at once from her hereditary right, and from their own reiterated oaths and engagements. But the irregular manner, in which he himself had acquired the crown, might have instructed him, that neither his Norman nor English subjects were as yet capable of adhering to a strict rule of government; and as every precedent of this kind seems to give authority to new usurpations, he had reason to dread, even from his own family, some invasion of his daughter’s title, which he had taken such pains to establish. Adela, daughter of William the conqueror, had been married to Stephen, count of Blois, and had brought him several sons; among whom, Stephen and Henry, the two youngest, had been invited ov...
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