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Unformatted text preview: this violent revolution, every disorder or oppression met with rigorous punishment.t His army in particular was governed with severe discipline; and notwithstanding the insolence of victory, care was taken to give as little offence as possible to the jealousy of the vanquished. The king appeared solicitous to unite in an amicable manner the Normans and the English, by intermarriages and alliances; and all his new subjects who approached his person were received with affability and regard. No signs of suspicion appeared, not even towards Edgar Atheling, the heir of the ancient royal family, whom William confirmed in the honours of earl of Oxford, conferred on him by Harold, and whom he affected to treat with the highest kindness, as nephew to the Confessor, his great friend and benefactor. Though he confiscated the estates of Harold, and of those who had fought in the battle of Hastings on the side of that prince, whom he represented as an usurper, he seemed willing to admit of every plausible excuse for past opposition to his pretensions, and he received many into favour, who had carried arms against him. He confirmed the liberties and immunities of London and the other cities of England; and appeared desirous of replacing every thing on ancient establishments. In his whole administration, he bore the semblance of the lawful prince, not of the conqueror; and the English began to flatter themselves, that they had changed, not the form of their government, but the succession only of their sovereigns, a matter which gave them small concern. The better to reconcile his new subjects to his authority, William made a progress through some parts of England; and besides a splendid court and majestic presence, which overawed the people, already struck with his military fame, the appearance of his clemency and justice gained the approbation of the wise, attentive to the first steps of their new sovereign. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 140 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 But amidst this confidence and friendship, which he expressed for the English, the king took care to place all real power in the hands of his Normans, and still to keep possession of the sword, to which, he was sensible, he had owed his advancement to sovereign authority. He disarmed the city of London and other places, which appeared most warlike and populous; and building citadels in that capital, as well as in Winchester, Hereford, and the cities best situated for commanding the kingdom, he quartered Norman soldiers in all of them, and left no where any power able to resist or oppose him. He bestowed the forfeited estates on the most eminent of his captains, and established funds for the payment of his soldiers. And thus, while his civil administration carried the face of a legal magistrate, his military institutions were those of a master and tyrant; at least of one, who reserved to himself, whenever he pleased, the power of assuming that character. By this mixture, however, of vigour and lenity, he had so soothed King’s return to the...
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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