history of england_david hume

Z it is said that hubert his justiciary sent him over

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Unformatted text preview: eloved by his English subjects; and he is remarked to have been the first prince of the Norman PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 274 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 line that bore any sincere regard to them. He passed however only four months of his reign in that kingdom: The crusade employed him near three years; he was detained about fourteen months in captivity; the rest of his reign was spent either in war, or preparations for war, against France; and he was so pleased with the fame which he had acquired in the East, that he determined, notwithstanding his past misfortunes, to have farther exhausted his kingdom, and to have exposed himself to new hazards, by conducting another expedition against the infidels. Though the English pleased themselves with the glory which the Miscellaneous king’s martial genius procured them, his reign was very transactions if this oppressive, and somewhat arbitrary, by the high taxes which he reign. levied on them, and often without consent of the states or great council. In the ninth year of his reign, he levied five shillings on each hyde of land; and because the clergy refused to contribute their share, he put them out of the protection of law, and ordered the civil courts to give them no sentence for any debts which they might claim.y Twice in his reign he ordered all his charters to be sealed anew, and the parties to pay fees for the renewal.z It is said that Hubert, his justiciary, sent him over to France, in the space of two years, no less a sum than 1,100,000 marks, besides bearing all the charges of the government in England. But this account is quite incredible, unless we suppose that Richard made a thorough dilapidation of the demesnes of the crown, which is not likely he could do with any advantage after his former resumption of all grants. A king, who possessed such a revenue, could never have endured fourteen months captivity, for not paying 150,000 marks to the emperor, and be obliged at last to leave hostages for a third of the sum. The prices of commodities in this reign are also a certain proof, that no such enormous sum could be levied on the people. A hyde of land, or about a hundred and twenty acres, was commonly let at twenty shillings a year, money of that time. As there were 243,600 hydes in England, it is easy to compute the amount of all the landed rents of the kingdom. The general and stated price of an ox was four shillings; of a labouring horse the same; of a sow, one shilling; of a sheep with fine wool, ten-pence; with coarse wool, six-pence.a These commodities seem not to have advanced in their price since the conquest,NOTE [R] and to have still been ten times cheaper than at present. Richard renewed the severe laws against transgressors in his forests, whom he punished by castration and putting out their eyes, as in the reign of his greatgrandfather. He established by law one weight and measure throughout his kingdom.b A useful institution, which the mercenary disposition and necessities of his successor engaged him to dispense with for money. The disorders...
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