THE General History OF ENGLAND AS WELL Ecclesiastical as Civil. From the Earliest Accounts of Time, To the Reign of his Present Majesty King WILLIAM. Taken from the most ANTIENT RECORDS, MANUSCRIPTS, and HISTORIANS. Containing the LIVES of the KINGS, and MEMO­RIALS of the most EMINENT PERSONS both in CHURCH and STATE: With the Foundations of the NOTED MONA­STERIES, and both the UNIVERSITIES.



LONDON, Printed for Henry Rhodes in Fleetstreet, Iohn Dunton in [...], Iohn Salusbury in Cornhil, and Iohn Harris in [...] MDCXCVI

Collegium Emmanuelis Cantabrigiae

To the Right Honourable THOMAS Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery; Baron Herbert of Caerdiff; Lord Rosse, Par, Marmion, St. Quintin and Shurland; Lord Privy-Seal; Lord Lieutenant of the County of Wilts, and South-Wales; and One of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council.


IT having been usual to dedicate Works of publick Use and Be­nefit to great Persons, eminent for Vertue, Learning and Nobility, I think my self happy under the Obligation of that Custom; since it somewhat excuses, as well as encourages my Pre­sumption, to lay this Performance at your Lord­ship's Feet.

[Page ii]I am sure it could not be honoured with a more agreeable Name:

A Name so universally known, that all Men acknowledg your Lordship to be signally endued with those excellent Qualities, which render you not only a great Master in the most useful Parts of Learning, but likewise incline you to a gene­rous Encouragement of all those who have any pretence to them. Which Favour, your Lordship having been pleased to confer on me, among se­veral others of greater Merit, gives me the more Confidence to address this first Volume of our English History to your Lordship's Patronage: for as no Person hath been more conversant in things of this Nature than your self; so I know none more able to make a right Judgment of them.

And tho I will not affirm this to be an Exact Hi­story according to the strict Rules of Art, yet if I were conscious to my self, that it was wholly unworthy your Acceptance, I should derogate very much from that Respect which is so justly due to your Lordship's Character.

But if the not Writing any thing which I did not believe to be true, nor the concealing any thing useful to the World, that is so, might qualify me for an Historian, perhaps then I may have some pretence to that Title. However, your Lordship will here meet with a faithful Account of all the chief Actions and Revolutions, that [Page iii] have happened in this Kingdom down to the Nor­man William. As first, the Conquest the Ro­mans made of that part of Britain we now call England; then their quitting it after a long Pos­session, in order to secure their Empire at Home from the Insults of so many barbarous Nations: after which followed the calling in of the Sax­ons to assist the Britains. And lastly, from the formers quarrelling with the latter, ensued their total Expulsion out of the best and most fertile parts of this Island.

As for the Invasions by the Danes under King Cnute, and by the Normans under King William, commonly called the Conqueror; though it must be granted, that these Princes were victorious by their Arms, yet was not this Nation subdued by either of them so entirely, as that its Sub­missions could properly be stiled Conquests, but rather Acquisitions gained by those Princes upon certain Compacts between them and the People of England; both Parties standing obliged in so­lemn Oaths, mutually to perform their parts of the Agreement, as will be clearly seen in the Se­quel of this History.

Yet I doubt not but in these great Revoluti­ons, your Lordship will take notice, that the People of this Kingdom were never overcome by Strangers, till their Luxury softning their warlike Tempers, and producing a careless Administration of their Affairs, had made them an easy Prey to their Invaders: This I observe not to reproach, [Page iv] but to warn our Nation, lest by the like Miscar­riages they should incur the like Punishments.

I have now no more, but to beg your Lord­ship's Acceptance of this Dedication, as a Tri­bute justly yours, by reason of those great Obli­gations, for your so freely communicating to me some part of your uncommon Knowledg, when­ever I have had the Happiness of your excellent Conversation;

An Honour, which engages me to own my self, with the utmost Respect,

Your Lordship's most humble and most obedient Servant, James Tyrrell.


THO it hath been a general Complaint of the most Learned and Judicious Men of this Nation, that we have ex­treamly wanted an exact Body of English History in our own Language, for the Instruction and Benefit of our Nobility and Gentry, together with others who would be glad to understand by it the Original Constitutions and Laws of their own Coun­try; yet since perhaps some ordinary Readers may be inclined to think this Work unnecessary, because it hath been already performed by so many diffe­rent Hands; I shall therefore in the first Place say somewhat to obviate and remove this seeming Objection.

THOSE that are any thing conversant in our Historians, do know that the Writers in English, especially of this Period now publish'd, are not ma­ny. As for Caxton, Fabian, and others of less Note, (who are very short, and now read but by few) I shall pass them by, and only mention Grafton and Hollingshead, the former of whom lived in the Reign of Henry VIII. and the latter in that of Queen Elizabeth. And of these I need not say much: for tho they contain a great deal of Matter, very curious and fit to be known, especially relating to the Times wherein they lived, yet not only their dry and uncouth way of Writing, and dwelling so long on the ex­ploded Fables of Geoffrey of Monmouth, but the stuffing of their Histo­ries with divers mean and trivial Relations unworthy the Dignity of their Subject, have rendred their Labours tedious, and in a great measure unuse­ful to their Readers.

BVT as for Stow and Speed, who wrote in the time of King James the First, 'tis true the former of them is not so long and tiresom in Geoffrey's Stories, as those abovementioned; and it must be confessed that Mr. Speed was the first English Writer, who, slighting Geoffrey's Tales, immediately fell upon more solid Matter; giving us a large Account of the History of this Island during the Time of the Roman Emperors, and English Saxon Kings; and had he not, by making his Reader follow those Emperors in all their Foreign Wars and Expeditions, wherein Britain was no way concerned, he had rendred his Work less Irksome, and more Profitable than now it is.

BVT notwithstanding both these Writers had many choice Collections of Noble Manuscripts relating to our English History, and might have had the View of several others if they would have been at the Pains of seeking af­ter [Page vi] them; yet it must be owned they did not make that Improvement of those Opportunities as might have been expected from such great Assistances; there being not much to be found material [...] either of them, but what was in the other Histories before published: though this must be allowed in their Com­mendation, that they are both of them (especially the former) commonly right in their Ch [...]onologi [...], and the latter has given us a choice Coll [...]ction of the Antient C [...]ins of the Roman Emperors, as well as of the English Saxon Kings; an [...] has been also more exact than any oth [...]r Writer, in his Account of their Wives and Issue.

AND as for those who wrote in the Time of K. Charles the First, viz. Mr. Daniel, and Sir Richard Baker; the Relations they have afforded us of those Kings, are rather short Abstracts of their Reigns, than just Hi­stories, it not being their Design to write at large of that Period we here treat of.

BVT since the Restoration of K. Charles the Second, there are several who have undertaken this Province, the first of whom was Mr. Milton; and it must be acknowledged, that he wrote this English Saxon History with Judgment, though not with that [...] and [...]ctness as we may see he did his other Works of a different Nature; since either through want of Opportunity to consult Antient Manuscripts, (several of which have been published since he wrote) or else by not making use of those Authors he might have had, and by confining himself too much to the relating of Military Matters, and almost wholly neglecting Ecclesiastical Affairs, or looking into those things which he by way of Contempt called Cathedral Registers; as also by omitting the giving us any Account of the An [...]ient Saxon Laws, and Original Constitutions of this Kingdom; he has thereby rendred that Work much more dry and imper­fect than otherwise no doubt it would have been from such a Pen as his.

THE next that succeeded him in this Labour was Mr. Sammes, who had a fair Opportunity of improving his History, by amending Mr. Milton's Omissions; but instead of this, by indulging himself too much in the Rela­tion of, and giving Credit to Geoffrey of Monmouth, and White (that called himself Basingstoke) their old Stories, and by making long and unnecessary Excursions on the Antiquity and Original of the Greeks, Ro­mans and Saxons, as likewise of their Religion and Manners (things alto­gether foreign to this Subject) tho he hath shewn a great deal of Reading, yet having been all the while very short in that which ought to have been the main Business of his History, he hath thereby spoiled a Noble Design.

'TIS true, the Learned Dr. Howell, in the second and third Volumes of his General History, hath given us a faithful Account of the Affairs of Britain, from the Coming in of the Romans, as far as the Norman Con­quest; and hath also a very elaborate Discourse of their Civil Policy and Laws: and had that Work been done by it self, and not involved in such large Volumes, (but written in a more Chronological Method) and had he not laid the History of each Kingdom of the English Saxon Heptarchy sepa­rately and apart, which makes him often guilty of divers unnecessary Repe­titions; that Work would have proved much more useful than now it is: which being observed by many others besides my self, hath caused a certain Cler­gy-man (as I hear) to undertake the Epitomizing of that whole Work, which would be very useful to those ordinary Readers who cannot well purchase these larger Volumes.

BVT since these Learned and Ingenious Authors have in some Point or other here mentioned been deficient in this Vndertaking, I found it requisite [Page vii] (for the making a full and compleat History of the Affairs contained in this Volume) rather wholly to erect a new Edifice, than to be at the Trouble of al­tering of theirs; and therefore have thought it necessary to draw this Work afresh from the same Originals from which they had taken theirs. To which I have also added several other material Passages, that either they wanted the Happiness of seeing, or else would not be at the Pains and Ex­pence I have been at to peruse; not but that I must own my self much be­holding to them for divers Choice Remarks and Observations; which, not to be thought guilty of Plagiary, I have noted in the Margin by the Initial Letters of their Names; and have likewise sometimes taken their Transla­tions of a few diverting Legends or Stories, to spare my self the Trouble of making them anew: and even these I have also compared with the Originals, and corrected the Stile, as well as the Sense, in divers Places.

BVT I cannot here omit taking notice (among other Writers) of the first Part of Dr. Brady's compleat History of England, which, tho it com­prehends the same Period of Time as this we now present you with; yet seeing he hath there rather chosen to give us an Account of the Political Govern­ment, and Laws of the German and English Saxons, than to write an En­tire History of those Times; I beg his Pardon, if I do not take it as to that part for so compleat a History as he is pleased to intitle it: however, it must be confessed he hath taken much Pains, and shewn a great deal of reading in that Volume; and I could have wished I might have been able to say, he had been also as careful of the just Rights and Liberties of his Country, (which he has done all he can to depress) as he has been in asserting an Imaginary Right of Lineal Succession in our Kings long before the Con­quest; and that before that time as well as after, the Commons had no Representatives in Parliament; both which Assertions we shall make bold to examine in our ensuing Introduction. And (tho I have otherwise a great Value for his Learning, yet) I hope neither he himself, nor any one else who has a real Concern for the publick Good, will take it amiss if I differ from him, where the Truth of our History, as well as our Antient Laws and Con­stitutions will justify me, in contradicting some Assertions, which he has with so great an Assurance published to the World.

AND thus having acquainted you with the Defects of these Writers in their several Vndertakings, and the Reasons why it was necessary to compile a new History; I shall now shew you what Method I have followed, and what Authors I have made use of, in the Performance of it.

AS for the first Book, it is no other than an Epitome of Geoffrey of Monmouth's pretended British History; and if it had not been more for the Diversion of the younger sort of Readers, and that the Work would have been thought by some others to be imperfect without it, I should have been much better satisfied in wholly omitting it; yet I hope it will neither prove te­dious nor unuseful, since it may sometimes be of Advantage to know Legends as well as true History; or else which way can one tell how to pass a just Cen­sure on them?

NOR can we positively affirm, that every thing contained in that Book of his is absolutely false; for he, being a Person well vers'd in the History of his own Countrey, could not but give us all he knew concerning it, though in­terspersed with so many notorious Fables of his own, which he seemeth to have interwoven, the better to connect those broken Remains of old Times: But since no Man can easily at this distance distinguish Truth from [Page viii] Falshood, he ought to be dealt with as we do with those who would impose counterfeit Coin upon us; in refusing the whole Sum, where the greatest part of it is so plainly discernable to be false.

HERE by the way I must ingenuously own a small Mistake I have committed in the first Book of this Volume; where speaking somewhat in Defence of this Author, that he was not the first Inventor of the Story of Brutus, it being also found in Nennius who lived long before him, and from whom I then supposed Henry of Huntingdon to have borrowed it; I now perceive upon better Information, that Geoffrey and H. Huntingdon were not only Co­temporaries, but the latter in that part of his English History still in Ma­nuscript, (viz. in the Second of his Epistle, dedicated to one Gwarin a British or Welsh Nobleman) confesses, that in his Journey to Rome, staying some time by the Way at the Abbey of Bec, he there found a large Book of this Geoffrey's, (whom he also calls Arthur) who had copiously and diligently wrote the British History; though in the common printed Copies we find no more, than that travelling to the Place abovementioned, he had there met with a certain Volume, in which were divers things relating to the British History not before known, but yet without naming the Author.

THIS I thought good to advertise the Reader of, because those Sheets were wrought off before ever I was sensible of my Mistake.

AS for my second Book, I can only tell you it is a true and just Translation of the British History from all the Greek and Roman Authors I could meet with that have treated of it; from whom also I have given you a Description of the Manners and Customs of the Antient Britains: and tho I grant this has been already attempted by one Daniel Rodgers, whose Papers are in the Cottonian Library, and is fully performed by Mr. Camden in his Introducti­on to his Britannia, and likewise by Mr. Speed before his History; yet I have my self compared them with the Originals, and added some Remarks, which I thought were further necessary to be known.

I have begun this Part with Caesar's Relation, as I found it in his Commentaries concerning his two Expeditions into Britain; and have ended with the last of the Greek and Roman Historians, viz. Zosimus, Orosius, and Aurelius Victor.

AND whereas others who have undertaken this Province, have used the Liberty of Epitomizing or enlarging those Passages they have cited from the Greek and Latin Authors; I have thought fit faithfully to translate them, except in some of their long-winded Orations; which, to avoid Prolixity, I thought it better to abridg, as not believing those Orations to have been de­liver'd in those Circumstances in which they are now dress'd.

AND tho I do not pretend to have added much to what Mr. Camden and Mr. Milton have already collected from those Writers relating to the History of Britain; yet I hope I have from several Verses of the Poet Clau­dian, as also by the Assistance of those great Masters in Antiquity, the Lord Primate Usher, the Reverend Dr. Stillingfleet, now Lord Bishop of Wor­cester, and Dr. Lloyd, now Lord Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield, not only illustrated, but settled divers things relating to that part of our Ecclesiastical, as well as Civil Affairs, not commonly taken notice of be­fore.

IN the beginning of the third Book, I have from Mr. Sheringham's Trea­tise De Origine Gentis Anglorum, as also from other Authors, given you, in order to our English Saxon History, a more Exact Account of the Origi­nal of those Nations, which (when they came over into England) were com­prehended [Page ix] under the General Name of Saxons, than hath been hitherto pub­lished in our own Language.

AFTER which I have given you a Relation of the Manner of their coming over hither, and the Ground and Occasion of their quarrelling with the Britains, from Gildas, Bede and Nennius.

BVT as for the Time of their erecting themselves into an Heptarchy, since it is not to be learnt from Bede, who is wholly silent of what the Saxons did here from their first entrance to the Propagation of Christianity, which he made it his Business chiefly to treat of; I have taken it from the Saxon Annals, as well as other later Authors that have mentioned any thing of it; though as to the whole Period of Time contained in this Book, it must be confessed it was when Letters were not in use amongst them, and therefore could only be convey'd down by Tradition, which makes us here be beholding to the Annals abovementioned, or to some Antient Memoirs, which tho now lost, were cer­tainly seen by those Writers, who have gathered from them.

INDEED I was somewhat perplexed what Method to take in digesting the History of seven concurring Kingdoms; since, which way so ever I engaged, I found it attended with some Inconveniences.

WILLIAM of Malmesbury, and several other Authors, as well in La­tin as English, I know thought it best to give us this History digested under each respective Kingdom apart; but then there is this Exception against that way of Writing, that without Chronological Tables, or frequent turn­ing backward and forward, one cannot understand the Synchronisms of the several Kings Reigns, or the Time wherein they lived, so as to compare them with others their Cotemporaries.

BESIDES which, there is also a necessity of an unnecessary Repetition of the same Wars or Transactions, as well under the History of the King that made, as of him who suffered that Invasion; this appeareth in Speed, and Dr. Howel. 'Tis true, Mr. Speed thought of a good Method to help this, by supposing so many successive Monarchs to have been always in Eng­land, from the Time of Hengest to K. Egbert, under whose several Reigns he also reduces whatsoever Actions happened in the rest of all the other subordi­nate Kings then Regnant. This I confess had been a very good Expedient to avoid the Difficulties abovementioned, were it as just as it seems specious: but upon Examination it will be found, that tho Bede as well as the Saxon Annals, have given us a Series of all those Supream Kings, whom some of the Modern Writers are pleased to call Monarchs; yet, as I have sufficiently shewn in this ensuing History, they could by no means deserve that Title; since it may be clearly seen by any one who will peruse Mr. Speed, that there were sometimes Intervals of ten or twenty Years, before such a victorious Prince could make all the rest by the Terror of his Arms submit themselves to him; which yet they never all did till the Reign of King Egbert, without preserving entire all their Royal Rights and Prerogatives over their own Subjects.

AND besides, this Power owing its Original wholly to Force, and not to a Lineal Succession or Election over the rest of those Princes upon whom it was usurped, was without any Just or Legal Right, and consequently lasted no longer than the Success, or at farthest the Life-time of such a Conquering Prince; and then it was for a time Extinct, until some other of the Seven by the like success of his Arms, could set up for the same Power and Greatness.

SO that at length we found, that the best way of Writing this History was to follow the plain and natural Method of our Saxon Annals, not only as the most easy for our selves, but also for the Reader.

[Page x]AND tho perhaps an Objection may be made against this Method, viz. That the crowding of so many different Actions done in several Places, and under several Kings, renders the Work perplexed and difficult to be remembred, which I grant is in part true; yet to obviate this, I have at the end of each of the ensuing Books (except the last) presented you with exact Chronological Tables, not only of the Names of all the Kings contained under each Peri­od, but also in what Year of our Lord they began and ended their Reigns; so that the Reader by casting his Eye upon any one of them, may easily find what Kings lived and reigned together, and consequently in which of their Reigns any Action related in the History was performed. And now,

TO come to the fourth Book, Bede being the most antient Author that gives us an Account of what was done in this Period, and out of whom the Saxon Annals themselves have borrowed almost the greatest part of what they relate, concerning those early Times of Christianity; I have therefore wholly confined my self to him, without having recourse to these Annals, or any other, unless it be where I find they relate any Action of which he has been wholly silent. But in this Period, I cannot but mention Stephen Eddi, or Heddi, a Monk; who, as Bede tells, was one of the first Masters for Singing in the Northumbrian Churches; and having been invited by Wilfred Arch­bishop of York out of Kent for that purpose, had so great a Veneration for his Memory, that he wrote his Life in Latin, in a Stile somewhat better than could be expected from that Age: this Treatise having continued in Manu­script in the Library of Sir Jo. Cotton, and also of that of Salisbury, has lately been published by the Learned Dr. Gale, in his last Volume of English Wri­ters; and to which I must own my self beholding for many choice Passages re­lating to the Ecclesiastical, as well as Civil State in those Times: this Author flourish'd cotemporary with Bede, in the Reign of Osric King of Northum­berland, and died about Anno. Dom. 720.

BVT indeed as for the last forty Years, or thereabouts, viz. from the Time when Bede ceased to write, which was Anno Dom. 637. we have been forced to make use of the Annals, or else of those of later Writers that have made any Additions to them.

WHICH Annals, since I found them the Store-house, or Repository, from whence most (if not all) of our Latin Historians, as well those that wrote before, as since the Conquest, have borrowed the earliest Accounts of our Eng­lish Saxon Affairs; I have by the advice of Persons of much greater Learn­ing and Judgment than my self, rather chose to translate and give you them almost entire, as I find them in the Edition lately published, than to (do as most other Writers) cite them at second Hand; not that I have omitted setting down whatsoever any other Authors have added to these Annals by way of Improvement or Illustration.

WHEREFORE to avoid stuffing my Margins with unnecessary Quotations, I desire my Reader once for all, to observe, that wheresoever he shall find the Lines Comma'd, (unless they be before some Speeches or Laws) they always denote the Saxon Annals, whether expresly mentioned or not, as also in all other places, tho not Comma'd, where no other Writer is cited.

BVT if some think I have inserted too many Names of Authors into the Body of this History, and that it had been better omitted there, and put in­to the Margin, or bottom of the Pages; to this I answer, that intending faithfully to translate these Annals, and to make such frequent use of them as I have done, there could be no way to distinguish them from other Writers, but either by Letters in the Margin, or else by setting them in a different Cha­racter. [Page xi] But as the former would have been a constant and unsightly clog to the Margin, so the other would have looked as unhandsome in the Body, and especially at the latter end of the Work, where these Annals alone take up several whole Pages.

AND tho in my Citations of Authors I have seldom quoted the Page, yet having taken what I write from those who have wrote in a Chronological Me­thod, the Reader by turning to the Years of our Lord, may easily find what he looks for, making some small allowance for different Accounts; and where other Authors have not taken that Course, I have there quoted the Chapter or Book, and in matters of greater Moment the very Page.

BVT that even the Annals themselves do vary from each other in Account of Time, often one, and sometimes two or three Years, that is to be ascribed either to the fault of the several Amanuenses, or else to the different Cal­culations of those Monks, who drew them up in the Form we now have them, as any may easily perceive that will give himself the Trouble to compare the various Readings of the several Copies of these Annals, lately published at Oxford by the Ingenious Mr. Edmund Gibson.

IN the fifth and sixth Books, as I have endeavoured faithfully to translate the same Annals, so I have also used that Liberty, as not slavishly to con­fine my self to the very Words themselves, when either the Obscurity or Vn­couthness of the Phrase would not bear a literal Translation, but I thought I could give them a better turn.

AND here, as also in the two preceding Books, I have often added by way of Illustration to the Text, the present proper Names of Places in a Parenthesis immediately after the obsolete Saxon ones, as also the Titles of the Ealdormen, or Earls, Bishops and Abbots, out of Florence of Worcester, and other Authors, where the Annals have only given their bare Names, without telling us to what Places they belonged; and here likewise I would note, That in all Saxon words, where the Letter (C) is made use of, it is always pro­nounced like (K), there being no K in that Language. And as for the Saxon Names of Men made use of in the Annals, I have as near as I could faith­fully kept to the Saxon Original, tho they often differ very much in their way and manner of spelling them from that of those Latin Authors that tran­slate them.

HAVING thus given you a short Account of the several Books into which I have divided this Volume, I will now proceed to acquaint you with the rest of my Authors from whom I have collected it; nor will I give you only their Names, which has been done by so many already, but a brief Censure of them and their Works, and in what Time they wrote, being such as lived either before or after the Conquest: Of the former sort there are but few, since from Bede to Asser. Menev. there flourish'd no general Hi­storian; for William of Malmsbury himself confesses, that after Bede, all liberal Studies more and more declining, those that followed spent their Lives in Idleness or Silence: yet during even that Period, there were some Writers of this kind, viz. certain Monks in the greater Monasteries, whose business it was to set down in short, by way of Annals, the most remarkable Passages of their own Times in their own Language; nay, Learning was in that King's Reign fallen to so low an Ebb,Vid. Append. 3. ad vit. Alfredi. that even King Alfred tells us in his Preface to the Saxon Version of Gregory's Pastoral, That ‘in the beginning of his Reign, there were few on this side Humber who could understand their own Prayers, much less turn a piece of Latin into Eng­lish, and where then were our supposed flourishing Vniversities?’

[Page xii]AND I shall here begin with Asserius Menevensis, who was so called be­cause he was a Monk of Menevia or St. Davids. This was he who being sent for by King Alfred out of Wales, assisted him in his Studies, and besides taught his Children, and others of the Nobility, Latin: after this King Al­fred sent him with others to fetch Grimbald out of Flanders into England; Vid. Gorcelin in vit. Grim­baldi. and after the Schools were opened at Oxford, the latter there professed Divi­nity, and the former Grammar and Rhetorick, as you may find in the Annals of Hyde, cited in the ensuing History.

THIS Monk, being Learned above the Age in which he lived, first wrote the Annals that go under his Name; which having long continued in the Cottonian and other Libraries in Manuscript, have been lately published by the Learned Dr. Gale, in his last Volume of Historians printed at Oxon. After these Annals, it is certain Asser also wrote the whole History of King Alfred's Life, under the Title of de Gestis Regis Aelfredi, which were first published by the Reverend Arch-bishop Parker, in Saxon Characters, according to the Copy now in the Cottonian Library, and was also again put out by Mr. Camden in another Edition at Frankford. But it must be con­fessed there is some difference between these two Copies concerning the Vniver­sity of Oxford, which is taken notice of in this Work in its proper Place; but that the Annals abovementioned were written before his History of King Alfred's Life,Page 491. Edit. Camden. is plain, for he there refers you to those Annals, which he has also inserted in the Life almost word for word. But tho the for­mer of these is continued to the Death of King Alfred, and the latter as far as the 14th Year of the Reign of K. Edward the Elder: yet it is evident that he himself wrote neither the one nor the other after the Year 893, being the 45th of King Alfred's Age; and this appears from the Life it self, in which the Author particularly mentions it, nor could he extend the Annals any farther, because they were written before he wrote the Life. This I ob­serve to let the Reader understand, that whatever he finds farther in the Annals or Life, (the Substance of both which I have given him in this Volume) were continued by some other Hand; and as for the Annals they sufficiently de­clare it; for towards the latter end, under Anno Dom. 909. you may meet with this Passage, hoc Anno Asserius Episcopus Scireburnensis obiit, which was no other than our Author himself: yet this must be farther observed of him, that he was so extreamly negligent in his Account of Time, that he begins the first Year of King Alfred's Reign, sometimes at one Year of our Lord, and sometimes at another, so that no Man can tell by him when it commenced.

BVT why he left off Writing so many Years before King Alfred died, and never finish'd his Life though he survived him nine Years, I confess I know not; unless being preferred, about the Time when he had finish'd it, to the Bi­shoprick of Shireburne, he left the King's Service, and going to reside at his own See had other Business on his Hands than Writing. And that the same Asser who taught King Alfred, was also by him made Bishop of Shire­burne, appears from this King's Preface to the Saxon Translation of St. Gregorie's Pastoral, in which he tells you, he was assisted by Plegmund his Archbishop, and Asser his Bishop, to whom the said King in his Will, (af­ter the Archbishop and some other Bishops) bequeathed a 100 Marks, by the Title of Asser Bishop of Shireburne: from whence it is manifest, that the same Person who was King Alfred's Instructor, was also Bishop of Shireburne; which Bishoprick was certainly bestowed on him after he had done Writing, since tho he mentions the Abbeys of Banwell, Ambresbury, and Exceter, to [Page xiii] have been bestowed upon him by the King, yet he is utterly silent of his be­ing made Bishop, which he would not surely have omitted, if he had been then so preferred; but how long he held this Bishoprick we can say little po­sitively, because we do not find when it was first given him; but as for the time of his Death, not only the Annals that go under his Name, but the Saxon Chronicle also, places it under Anno 909. So that I think there can be no reasonable cause to doubt of that.

BVT what should lead such a careful Chronographer as Florence of Wor­cester into so great a Mistake, as to place this Bishop's Death under Anno 883, I know not, unless he had some other Copies of the Saxon Annals by him than are now extant, but the Fasti of the Saxon Kings and Bishops pub­lish'd by Sir H. Savil, at the end of William of Malmesbury, and other Writers are guilty of the like Mistake, making this Asser to have succeeded Sighelm Bishop of Shireburn, and to have died Anno 883; whereas it ap­pears from our Annals, that Sighelm (whom William of Malmesbury makes to be the same Person with the Bishop abovementioned) this very Year carried King Alfred's Alms to Rome, De Gest. Pon [...]. lib. 2. and afterwards went himself as far as India: however this Mistake of Florence, as also the pretended Autho­rity of our Welsh Chronicle, hath (as I suppose) led divers other Learned Men (and particularly Bishop Godwin, and Arch-bishop Usher) into a Belief of two Assers both Bishops, the one of whom died Anno 883, and the other to have been Arch-bishop of St. Davids, and to have succeeded Novis: who (according to the Chronicle of that Church publish'd in the 2d Volume of Anglia Sacra) died Anno 872; and there immediately follows under Anno 909, Asserius Episcopus Britanniae fit, which must certainly be an Errour in the Monk that wrote this Chronicle; for Asser himself in his Life of King Alfred, tells us of Hemeid Prince of South-wales, That & Nobis Archiepiscopum Propinquum meum & me expulit, viz. from the Church of St. Davids: which word Nobis, the Learned Dr. Gale reads Novis, and so makes it good Sense, that otherwise seems Non-sense in the printed Copies. The false reading of which Word, as well as this Chronological mistake of Florence abovementioned,Script. Britan. Cent. 2. cap. 25. led Bale into the belief that the Arch-bishop above­mentioned must have been that Asser, whom Caradoc's Chronicle (publish'd by Dr. Powel) makes to have died Anno Dom. 906. and which Authority led the Lord Primate Usher into that small Mistake in his Index Chronologi­cus, at the end of his Britan. Eccles. Antiquitat. of supposing this Asser to have been the Author of the History of King Alfred, and not he who was Bishop of Shireburn.

AND the right reading of this word Nobis in Asser, also proves the falshood of that Welsh Annal but now mentioned: for if Novis was ex­pell'd his Bishoprick not long before Asser was sent for by King Alfred, which was about Anno 885. then Novis could not be dead in Anno 872. as that Chronicle makes him; nor yet could Asser succeed Novis, Anno Dom. 909. for then there would have been a Vacancy of near 40 Years in that See, where­as the Saxon Annals rightly place the Death of our Asser Bishop of Shire­burn under this very Year.

SO that upon the whole Matter, it is the Judgment of the Reverend and Learned the now Lord Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, ‘That there ne­ver was but one Asser, who was also Bishop of Shireburn; and that as for this Asser Bishop of St. Davids, he had never any Being in Na­ture, but in the Brain of some ignorant Monks, who would for the Honour of their Church have made this Asser to have been Bishop, not only of [Page xiv] St. Davids, but of Britain, contrary to the Truth of all Chronology, as well as Matter of Fact.’

I have no more to remark of this Asser, but that Ingulph not only says he was Bishop of Shireburn, but also Abbot of Bangor, which I find not related by Asser himself, nor by any other Author; and therefore I look upon it as a Mistake either in Ingulph or his Transcriber, in writing Bangor in­stead of Banwell, which was one of those Abbeys that Asser says King Al­fred bestowed upon him.

FROM this Asser to Ethelwerd, who calls himself Quaestor, (i. e. Treasurer) and wrote in the beginning of the Reign of King Edgar, being descended from the Saxon Blood-Royal by King Alfred his Great-Grandfa­ther, there flourished no Historian; nor are we indeed so much the better for him as I could wish, for unless it be in the right settling of the Reigns and Deaths of some of our Saxon Kings, who lived not long before him, (about which the several Copies of the Saxon Annals do differ) there is not much to be learnt from him but what is in the Annals themselves, or else in the last mentioned Author: from both which one may perceive that he had borrowed the most part of what he there writes. So that partly from the affected Obscu­rity of his Stile, and partly from the bad Copy from which it was printed, (be­ing that which is now in the Cottonian Library) in many Places we do not understand his meaning; but as far as we are able to do it, we have given you a true Account of what he has added to this History.

BVT either from the Laziness or Ignorance of the Monks, who were al­most the only Writers of that Age, from the Time that Ethelwerd left off, to some Years after the Conquest, we meet with no Historians, except Osbern and another Monk, that is Anonymous; the former of whom writing the Lives of St. Dunstan and St. Alphege, has afforded us some Passages rela­ting to this History, as has also the latter in his Life of St. Dunstan, which is still in Manuscript in the Cottonian Library: But as for Osbern, he is published in the first Volume of Anglia Sacra. And from these that Age gives us none, unless the Author (whose Name we know not) that wrote that short Account of the Times immediately preceding the Reign of Edward the Confessor, called Encomium Emmae, until Ingulph Abbot of Croyland finished the History of that Abbey about the latter end of the Reign of William the First. And tho he did not take upon him to write a History of more Af­fairs than those of his own Monastery, yet he hath by the by interspersed ma­ny considerable Passages relating to the Publick Transactions of this King­dom, which I likewise have here inserted.

FROM him to Eadmerus we find no Historian; and He, only relating the Ecclesiastical History during the Reign of William the First, and his Sons William Rufus and Henry, is of no use to us in this Volume here published.

IN the beginning of the Reign of Henry the First, we find a most La­borious and Diligent Chronologer, viz. Florence of Worcester, who conti­nuing and enlarging the History of Marianus Scotus, hath among the va­rious Transactions of the rest of Europe, given us at the end of almost every Year out of the Saxon Annals, an exact Account of the Affairs of England; to which he hath also added divers very curious Memoirs and Illustrations of his own: and besides what is printed, there is also in Manuscript in the Bod­leian Library, a fair and perfect Copy of this Author, which once belonged to the Monastery of St. Edmundsbury, to which I have been much beholding, not only for some things concerning that Abbey, but also for several choice Passages relating to this our History, which are neither to be found in the [Page xv] printed Editions of this Author, nor any where else that I know of; therefore where-ever the Reader shall meet with any thing cited from Florence which is not found in Print, he may be assured it is in that Manuscript, under the Year there set down in the Margin: this I mention, that the Reader may not be startled, if he does not find the Passage I cite in the printed Copies, since I had not always time to compare them together.

FLORENCE was immediately followed by Simeon of Durham, who did not only Copy from him, but also added several Remarkable things particu­larly relating to the Northumbrian Kingdom, as well before as after it came under the Government of Earls. Tho Mr. Selden in his Preface to the De­cem-scriptores, will not allow this Simeon to have been the Author of this Work, but that he was a Plagiary, and stole it from Turgot a Monk of the said Church, who was also afterwards ordained Bishop of St. Andrews in Scotland; and Simeon only adding some things to it of his own, took the whole Honour to himself: his History reaches no farther than 1129. but was continued by John Prior of Hagulstad to Anno 1154.

TO whom we may adjoin Richard (a Monk of the same Monastery) his History of the Church of Durham, who has interspersed many excellent Pas­sages concerning the same Northern Story. Here likewise we may add the Chronicle of the Abbey of Mailross, which tho wrote by the Abbot of Dun­draimon, was certainly collected out of some much antienter Annals of that Monastery which was then destroyed; and these together with the last mentioned Authors, have helped us to make up the Succession of the Northumbrian Kings after Eardulf, that was expelled his Kingdom Anno 806. from whom our common Writers suppose there was an Interregnum for the space of above sixty Years, tho by those above-named it appears to have been otherwise, as you may see in the Tables at the end of the last Book.

AFTER these flourished William of Malmesbury, who finished his Hi­story in the Reign of King Stephen; but certainly he began it long before, viz. in the Reign of Henry the First. To which Learned Monk, being one of the best Writers both for Judgment and Stile of that Age, I must own my self obliged for the best and choicest Passages in this Volume.

TO him succeeded Henry Arch-Deacon of Huntington, who wrote a History of the Kings of England, as well before as after the Conquest, and retiring to Rome lived there for some time for that purpose. He deduced his History almost to the end of K. Stephen, and writing most commonly by way of Annals, transcribed many things out of Florence of Worcester; and was of that great Reputation, that Geoffrey of Monmouth, who was his Cotemporary, recommends the English History to be written by his Pen, as he does the British to be continued by Caradoc of Lancarvon, who wrote a Welsh Chronicle as far as his own Time; the Substance whereof I have here likewise given you, as it was put out by Dr. Powell, to which I have al­so added several remarkable Passages that were designed in a new Edition of the same Work, to be published from the Manuscripts of the Learned An­tiquary Mr. Robert Vaughan, by Mr. Ellis late of Jesus College in Oxon, but which were never finished. And I have likewise inserted divers choice Notes, that I gathered from another Manuscript of the same Au­thor's, relating to the Chronology and Actions of the British Princes, which he wrote for the Satisfaction of the Lord Primate Usher, and from him is now in my Possession. And I suppose no Ingenious British Antiquary will think this Performance unnecessary, since he will here find the Substance of all that is contained in Caradoc's Chronicle, together with a great many consi­derable [Page xvi] Additions from the Manuscripts abovementioned, as also some others gathered from two MS. Copies of the Chronicles of Wales, the one in the Cottonian Library, the other in the Exchequer, written at the end of one of the Volumes of Doomesday; for the perusal of which I stand obliged to the Reverend Dr. Gale.

H. Huntingdon was followed by Rog. Hoveden a secular Priest of Oxford, and was Domestick Clerk or Secretary to Henry the Second; he seems to have chiefly transcribed from Simeon of Durham, as to the Affairs before the Conquest, as he does from William of Malmesbury and other Authors, as well as his own Observations for those that occur'd afterwards to his own Time, continuing his History to the beginning of King John's Reign.

THE next we come to, are those Authors contained in that noble Volume, called the Decem-Scriptores, such as Ailred, Abbot de Rievalle, who wrote concerning the Kings of England so far as King Henry the 2d. in whose Time he lived; as also concerning the Life and Miracles of Edward the Confessor, from whom I have taken divers memorable Passages relating to the Life of that King, as well as to his Predecessors, omitting his Fables and Legends in which he does too much abound.

AFTER him follows Radulphus de Diceto Dean of St. Pauls, London, who flourished in the Reign of King John, about the Year 1210. he was e­steemed a very accomplished Historian, and an indefatigable Collector in his Time of things not only before, but after the Conquest.

I have also taken some few Passages from William Thorn a Monk of Canterbury, who wrote an entire History of the Affairs of his own Mo­nastery of St. Augustin down to the beginning of King Richard the Se­cond, in whose Reign he lived.

AFTER whom we had for a long time no printed Historians of the Times before the Conquest, till that in the Decem-Scriptores, which goes under the Name of John Brompton Abbot of Jorvaulx in Richmondshire; tho Mr. Selden has shewn us in his Preface to that Volume, that he was rather the Purchaser, than Author of this Chronicle, which he left to his own Abbey: he is supposed to have lived in the time of Edward the Third, but the Hi­story concludes with the Death of Richard the First.

BVT the said Reverend Dr. Gale farther observes of him, ‘That he intended to continue Geoffrey of Monmouth, as appears in the Pre­face, and in Col. 1153. as also that he took much from Benedictus Abbas (still in Manuscript in the Cottonian Library) and not from Roger Hoveden; for where a Fault or Omission is found in Benedictus, the same is here found also, but not so in Hoveden: e. g. Benedictus wanted the Seal of the King of Sicily, and so did Bromton, till it was added from some other Copy, and not out of Hoveden, for the Seals differ, and some Copies of Hoveden have it not at all. And tho the Compiler of this History seems to have lived in the Time of Richard I. as himself seems to intimate, yet Col. 967. it mentions Richard the Third, which must have been added to continue down the Genealogy of our Kings, as is often done in antient Chronicles by some later Hand. But the Learned Doctor farther supposes this Chronicle to have been written by one John Brompton, who (as the Doctor found in an old Manuscript Year-Book, or Collection of Reports of the Reign of King Edward the First) was a Justice Itinerant about that Time; which Conjecture is also confirmed by his careful inserting the Antient Saxon Laws into this Chronicle: This as it was not done by any before him, so neither does it savour of the Monk.’

[Page xvii]THIS is the more worthy taking notice of, because Sir William Dugdale hath omitted this John Brompton in his Catalogue of Judges Itinerant, at the end of his Origines Juridiciales.

TO this Historian succeeds Henry de Knyghton Canon of Leicester, who wrote his History de Eventibus Angliae, beginning with King Edgar, and ending with the Reign of Richard the Second.

BVT the Reader may be pleased to take notice, that in these two last Au­thors are found many Passages which are in none of the more Antient Writers; and since most of them relate to Customs and Terms that had their Original after the coming in of the Normans, therefore they may with good Reason be suspected to have been borrowed from some common Stories or Traditions that then passed up and down for current.

NOR can we here omit several other Pieces of less Bulk and Note, pub­lished since that Volume last mentioned, containing the Chronicles and Hi­stories of divers Cathedrals and Abbeys, such as are the Annals of the Abbey of Winchester, &c. which have been published from the Cottonian and o­ther Libraries, in Monasticon Anglicanum, and the first Volume of Anglia Sacra, lately published by the late Learned and Industrious Mr. Wharton.

TO these likewise may be added the Histories of the Monasteries of Ely and Ramsey, as also of Glastenbury, by William of Malmesbury, from whom we have taken several Things, not only relating to that Abbey, but the General History of England: nor can I omit the History of John of Wal­lingford, whom Matthew Paris mentions in his Lives of the Abbots of St. Albans; as the 21st Abbot of St. Albans, he wrote the History of the Kings of England as far as the 42d of King Henry the Third; the first Part of which down to the Norman Conquest, hath been published in the aforesaid last Volume at Oxford by the Learned Dr. Gale. From all which last menti­oned, tho mingled with abundance of Monkish Trash, we have here and there excerpted several excellent Remarks.

WE have also sometimes made use of Ranulph Higden his Polychronicon, who was a Monk of Chester, the first Part of which is published also by the said Dr. Gale as far as the Conquest; and Matthew a Monk of Westmin­ster, his Flores Historiarum: these Authors being Cotemporaries, and collecting to the Reign of Edward the Third, from all the rest of the Anti­ent Writers abovementioned, I have seldom used but as subsidiary Helps, when the Passages they relate are not to be found any where else, several other Authors they borrowed from, being now lost, or very rare to be met with.

HAVING now done with our printed Authors, I proceed to those that continue still in Manuscript, in the Bodleian and Cottonian Libraries; and also in those of Lambeth, Gresham's College, and the Heraulds Office; such as are John of Tinmouth his Historia Aurea, Johannes Castorius (in English, Beaver) his History of the Kings of England, and John Rouse of Warwick his Collections on the same Subject; together with above forty or fifty nameless Authors which I have perused, to see what I could find in any of them that had not been taken notice of by others: but how little they have answered in my Expectations, the small Additions I have made from them I hope will satisfy the unprejudiced Reader; and for any that are other­wise, if they please to take the same Pains that I have done, I wish their Labours may be better requited.

BVT as for the Extracts of Ecclesiastical Canons and Laws, which I have inserted at the end of divers King's Reigns, I have faithfully transcribed [Page xviii] them ou [...] of Sir Henry Spelman's first Volume of British Councils, and Mr. Lambard's Archaionomia, under their respective Years; and have also compared and corrected them in a great Part from the Manuscript Notes of the Learned Junius, at the end of the Cambridg Edition of Bede, which is in the Bodleian Library; or else by another Latin Manuscript Version of the Industrious Mr. Somner's. And I do not know of any other Saxon Laws, unless there be some of King Cnute's, which remain as yet in Manuscript un­translated in the Bodleian Library, as also in the Hands of Dr. Gale, as I am well informed: I hope they may be one day added to a new Edition of Mr. Lambard's most useful Work.

THVS having gone through all the chiefest English Historians, both in Print and Manuscript, that I know of, relating to the Times before the Con­quest, which I think are as many, and of as good Credit as any Countrey in Europe can shew in the like space of Time; it may be expected I should say something in their Vindication, since I find they have been attacked in a post-humous Treatise, long since written by a Learned Civilian, Sir Thomas Craig, Vid. Hollin­shea [...]. Lib. 1. in Latin, in answer to what Mr. Hollingshead has published concern­ing the Homage that was due from the Kings of Scotland to those of Eng­land; and is lately translated into English by the Ingenious Mr. Ridpath: and as I shall here faithfully give you his Arguments against the Antiquity and Credit of our Writers, so I hope I shall return such Answers to them as will satisfy all impartial Readers.

HIS first Objection is, ‘That from the Death of Bede, (whose Credit, he says, he will every where preserve entire,) the English have no certain Hi­story nor Writer to the Reign of King Henry the First, except that Frag­ment of Ethelwerd's;Scotland's So­veraignty asser­ted, p. 39, 40. for (says he) I do not acknowledg that Fragment of Ingulphus, who preceded Ethelwerd twenty Years, as an History; nor Asserius Menevensis, who wrote only concerning the Transactions of his own King Alfred. And lest he should be thought to affirm any thing rashly,Lib. 1. fol. 23. ‘He brings William of Malmesbury to witness the Matter, saying, That all the Memorials of Transactions from the Death of Bede to his own Time, which was in the Reign of Henry I. about 1142. were utter­ly lost; nor was there any who followed that Study, or indeavoured to pur­sue the thread of History till himself.’

NOW to give an Answer to this Learned Advocate, and take him Point by Point as he goes on; in the first Place I am sorry to find a Person, other­wise every ways Able and Skillful in his own Profession, so ignorant in our English Historians, since if he had not been so, he could not have committed almost as many Mistakes as he hath wrote Lines: for in the first Place he calls Ingulph and Ethelwerd two Fragments, whereas if he had been pleased to have looked upon either of them, he would have found them entire Pieces so far as they went, (and we call Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Salust, Livy, Histo­rians, not Fragments, altho each of them be imperfect) only the Edition that was then published of Ingulph wanted the Laws of William the Conqueror, Vid. Vol. 1. Script. Ang. Edit. Oxon. and some few Sheets at the Conclusion, which have been since added.

AND whereas he says, that Ingulph preceded Ethelwerd twenty Years, he is so far from being in the right of that, that the direct contrary is true; for Ingulph lived and wrote above one hundred Years after Ethelwerd had finished his History with King Edgar's Reign, whose Eulogy he only gives us in barbarous Verse.

[Page xix]AND as for what the Advocate says concerning William of Malmesbury, he much misrepresents the Sense of this Author, who does not affirm that there were no Memorials from the Death of Bede to his Time, but the con­trary; for he mentions the Saxon Annals in his Proem in these words, Sunt sanè quaedam vetustatis Indicia, patrio Sermone, & chronico more per annos Domini ordinata: also in his Book de Antiquitate Glastoniae (published by Dr. Gale, as above) he citeth them as good Authority, Tradunt Annales bonae credulitatis, &c. Nay, Sir Thomas Craig himself (I suppose through Forgetfulness) has allowed no less than three Writers of part of our History, who lived before Malmesbury, as you may see above: and therefore he must also be understood only in this Sense, that till himself there was none had undertaken an entire Latin Body of English History; for he, distinguish­ing between an History and Annals, did not reckon (it seems) these Saxon Annals as such, though he often mentions them by the Name of the English Chronicles; being, as I said before, the ground-Work upon which that Author, as well as others that followed him, built their History: and these Annals re­maining in Manuscript till long after Sir Thomas Craig's Death, gave him perhaps occasion to affirm in the same Place, ‘That there is nothing of cer­tainty to be found in the British History from 734. which was the Year of Bede's Death, to the Year 957. but all things were founded upon the Rumours of Antient Men, and it may be old Wives Fables, which being collected together into one Book, and put in a Latin Dress, made up as it were the shadow of a History, from whence Hollingshead does nevertheless bring most certain Arguments to establish his fictitious Homage.’

THIS Point concerning the Homage I shall not take upon me here to decide: but tho I confess there is no express mention of it in the Annals, Florenc. An. Dom. 921.943. yet I must needs say there is somewhat to be met with in them that comes very near it; for under Anno 924. they relate thus of King Edward the Elder, ‘That the King and whole Nation of the Scots chose him in Patrem & Domi­num, in the Latin Version, i. e. for their Father and Lord; which is word for word the same with the Saxon Original, which I omit because not com­monly understood or read in that Character.’ But because he supposes that Florence of Worcester was the first Author that wrote this Homage and Fealty, Craig. ubi su­pra. p. 47. therefore he must be the first that ever mentioned the Submission of the Scotish King to the King of England: I desire those of Sir Thomas his Opinion to tell me, tho the formal Ceremonies of Homage and Fealty (which in different Ages and divers Countries, even where the Feudal Law was obtained, were very different) were not brought up till after the Norman William came hither; yet what could those words in Patrem & Dominum signify, but such an Acknowledgment or Dependance upon a Superior Lord as was tantamount? And it is the more remarkable, because this is mentioned above 20 Years before. The same Annals relate, that King Edmund the Younger, Son to King Edward, bestowed Cumberland upon Malcolm King of Scots, viz. Anno 945. on condition, that he should serve him in his Expeditions by Sea and Land, for which alone the Scotish Writers will allow this Homage to have been due.

AND in the Year following we find in the same Annals, that K. Eadred, Brother to Edmund, having reduced all Northumberland into his Power, (which then took in almost all the Low-Lands of Scotland, as far as Edin­burgh) thereupon Scoti etiam ei juramenta praestiterunt, sese velle qui [...]quid is vellet, i. e. the Scotish Nation (by which I suppose must be un­derstood [Page xx] the King as well as the People) took an Oath to King Eadred to perform whatsoever he should please to command them. But that Florence of Worcester understood this to be an Oath of Fealty, appears by his Para­phrase of these words in the Annals thus, & Edredus à Scotis, ut sibi fide­les essent, juramentum accepit.

BVT that, if not Homage, yet somewhat very like it, was rendered in that Age by the Kings of Scotland to those of England, for the best part of what is now called the Lowlands, may appear from the Testimony of John of Wal­lingford, Pag. 545. who in his History relates, that Keneth King of Scots received Lothian from King Edgar under the Condition of doing Homage to him­self and his Successors: which, if it had not then the direct Ceremony of Ho­mage, which perhaps came in with the Normans, yet that it was somewhat very near it,Lib. 4. cap. 24. John Fordun the antientest Scotish Historian, acknowledges in these words, That King Edmund (viz. of England) gave the Province of Cumberland to Malcolm King of Scots, sub fidelitate Juramenti; and it was afterwards agreed between the said King Edmund and King Malcolm, that Prince Indulf his next Heir, and all the future Heirs of Scotland successively, should pay to King Edmund and his Successors for the same, Ho­magium, & fidelitatis Sacramentum: so that if our English Writers have been mistaken in calling that Submission, which the Kings and Princes of Scotland then payed to England, Homage, you may here see the most An­tient Scotish Historian guilty of the same Error: which was indeed an Oath of Fidelity, if not the same, yet very like what the Scotish Kings afterwards took when they did Homage to our Kings of England after the Conquest.

HAVING said thus much, I shall now leave it to the Reader's Judgment, when he has gone through our Annals, to consider, whether this Author's Censure of our English History, from the Year 734. when Bede ended his, to the Year 957. be just, that they were only things, as he says, founded upon the Rumours of Antient Men, and it may be old Wives Fables, and so being collected together in one Book, dress'd up in Latin, made up as it were the shadow of a History.

AS also whether what Florence is cited by the Author to say, ‘That after Bede's Death the English History ceased, and that for his own part he had left things to Posterity, either as he found them in the Text of the English Chronicles, or as he had them from the relations of Men worthy of Credit,Idem. pa. 41. or heard and saw them himself; deserves that rash Cen­sure, not only concerning these Annals now published, but of Florence him­self, viz. as to what concerned the Text of the English Chronicles, he mentioned them that he might deceive his Reader with the greater Fa­cility: whereas Florence was accounted always a Writer of unquestionable Diligence and Veracity, as appears by the several Testimonies of Learned Men before his History.’

BVT the reason of this Author's Triumph before the Victory, was, that he did not believe any such thing as a Saxon Chronicle could be found; for says he immediately after,Id. ibid. ‘If there were any Chronicles of those Times, see­ing Florence lived about the Year 1148. they must still remain in the Archives, which hitherto no English Author did ever alledg, or hath been able to demonstrate; for that Chronicle, as is observed by the Prologue, did only set down the number of Years.’ And so he proceeds to invalidate the Credit of Florence of Worcester, as if he had had no Voucher to war­rant his Chronicle.

[Page xxi]BVT I hope this Translation I here present you with, will satisfy all or­dinary Readers, that the Saxon Annals do contain much more than the bare numbers of Years, and the Edition first published by Mr. Wheelock in Saxon and Latin from two Copies in Sir Robert Cotton's, and Bennet Col­lege Libraries, have long since convinced all Learned Men, that we really had such Monuments in our Archives, which have been also farther con­firmed as to the Truth of it, from two other Manuscript Copies, given by Arch-bishop Laud to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and lately published together with those abovementioned, by the aforesaid Mr. Edmund Gibson; most of which Copies belonged to several antient Monasteries, and I doubt not but many more of them were lost at their Dissolation in Henry the Eighth's Time, or carried over Seas; for we find Lazius in his Book de Mi­gratione Gentium, quotes several of them. And it's evident that our Annals sometimes follow not Tradition only, but also old written Histories, and perhaps Latin Writers, as may appear by the Actions of Athelstane and Eadmund, An. 938, and 942. But for the support of their Authori­ty I refer the Reader to this Author's own Country-man John Fordun, where he tells us in his Prologue to his Scotish History, ‘He had heard it was very well ordered in England, that every Monastery of Royal Foundation should have its particular Writer, who was Chronologically to set down all the Memorable things which happened in each King's Reign, either in their own or Neighbouring Kingdoms; and that at the next Great Council af­ter the Death of every respective King, each of those Chronographers met there, and produced whatsoever they had so remarked; and that some of the most discreet Persons in the said Council who were best skilled in such Matters, being chosen for that purpose, should examine those Memorials, and by comparing them together should extract a brief Chronicle from them all, which was to be preserved in the Libraries of those Monasteries, as Au­thentick Annals to be relied on by Posterity, that so the remembrance of those publick Affairs of the Kingdom might not be lost, or devoured by the Rust of Time.’

WHICH Passage had Sir Thomas Craig but carefully considered, he would have had no reason to doubt whether we had had any Chronicles of those times remaining in our Archives, and whether William of Malmes­bury, and all the rest of our Historians, have blindly followed Florence of Worcester into an Error,Id. p. 47. as Cattel do their Leader that break over a Ditch.

BVT if our Saxon Annals were not a good Foundation for succeeding Hi­storians to build upon, I desire to know what Credit the Antient Greek and Roman Authors can claim with Men of that scrupulous Temper, since they had nothing but such short Annals or Chronicles preserved in their Archives, (besides Traditions, and the common Fame of their Ancestors) from whence to compose the particular Histories of those Common-Wealths they treat of; such as were the Libri Lintei preserved in the Capitol, from whence Livy drew the most antient Memorials for the writing his Roman History.

AND tho there is some difference to be found between the several Copies of these Annals as to the Calculation of Years, and some particular Mat­ters that are sometimes inserted in one, and omitted in another; yet the In­genious Author of the Preface before it, has given the World a satisfactory Answer as to this Matter, which is, ‘That as to the general Affairs of the whole Kingdom they all agree well enough, tho indeed as to foreign Trans­actions, [Page xxii] or some few Passages relating to their own private Monasteries, there may be some Additions that are not to be met with in the rest; as may be observ'd from those called the Canterbury and Laudean Copies in the Bodleian Library.’

SO I shall leave it upon the whole Matter to the Reader to consider, whe­ther the Author has made good his Challenge, viz. That the English were not able to produce one approved Writer of their own Countrey, who composed any Story or History from the Death of Bede, to the Time of Henry the Second, tho I suppose he meant the First, however it is unluckily printed twice the Second in one Page.

BVT to come to this Author's second Objection against our English Hi­storians, the substance of which is, ‘That the Writers as well before as af­ter the Conquest were Monks, who being dead to the World, have no right of giving a Legal Evidence, it being expresly forbid by the Canon Law to concern themselves in secular Matters; and also that by reason of their so­litary Lives, they ought very seldom to be entrusted in publick Affairs, seeing they are no competent Judges concerning them: for it was not very probable that either the Secrets of Princes, or things belonging to the State, were ever communicated to them, otherwise than by common Report, seeing they were kept at the greatest distance from all manner of Action, and do oftentimes embrace things doubtful as certain, and Fictions for Matter of Fact; and that therefore this feigned Homage must of neces­sity fall to the Ground, for which there is no better Evidence than that of a Monk; for it will not be admitted as a good Conclusion, that because a Monk says so, therefore it is true.’

THIS Argument may as easily be retorted upon him thus, That as a thing is not true because a Monk writes it, so neither is it false for that reason alone; for tho Monks are by the Canon Law forbid medling with Secular Affairs, and may not perhaps be admitted for good Witnesses in Civil Causes, yet is this but a meer Cavil as to the Point in Question, since that was not the intent of the Canon to forbid them the writing either of Civil or Ecclesiastical Histories; and Bede himself (whose Credit this Author says he will not im­pair) was a Monk, as were also Marianus Scotus (whom he alloweth and would have to be taken for his own Countrey-Man) Sigebertus, Herman­nus Contractus, and almost all the Famous Chronographers of those Times, who flourished in our Neighbouring Nations as well as our own; and that they were not of such retired Lives as not to have Memorials sent them of publick Actions, appears by the aforesaid Citation out of Fordun, concern­ing the manner of writing our English Annals in the Monasteries, which, as he tells us, were supervised afterwards by some appointed of the Great Coun­cil of the Kingdom. And that some of the Monks after the Conquest were in great Reputation for their faithful Accounts, appears by the great Cre­dit given to Florence of Worcester and William of Malmesbury in those times; the last of whom dedicated his History to Robert Earl of Gloucester Natural Son to King Henry the First: and Matthew Paris was of so great Esteem, that we learn from himself, that King Henry the Third gave him particular Directions for inserting into his History several con­siderable Passages relating to his own Reign: so far were the Princes of that Age from being of this Author's Opinion, that Monks were no wise fit to write History, nor to be credited when they had done.

[Page xxiii]BVT if no Credit must be given to the Memorials of Monks, I desire to know, what will become of the so much talked of Scotish Annals that were kept in the Isle of Jona or Ilcomhil, and of their famous Book of the Abbey of Pasely, from whence Hector Boethius pretends to have derived the principal Matters that make up the first part of his History? Nay, what will become of their most creditable Writer John Fordun, who bottoms much of his History on the Legends of S. Brendane, and others?

NOR is there any difference that I know of between these Books now mentioned and our Saxon Annals, but that these are to be seen (I mean the Originals) in our Libraries, and are also published both in Saxon and Latin, and are here translated into English in this ensuing History, whilst theirs are not; and if Hector Boethius ever saw them, is more than we can be sure of, since a most Reverend Doctor (and now Bishop of our Church) hath produced very good Reasons to render it highly suspicious,Vid. Dr. Stil­lingfleet Antiq. of the British Church. Pref. pag. 39, 40. that there never were any such Books at all; and if so, I wonder what will become of the Credit of all their Antient Scotish History, and their long Bedroll of Kings before Fer­gus the Second.

AS for the rest of this Author's Objections, I shall be very short in my Answers to them.

THE third of which is, that our Authors are not to be credited, be­cause they are English-men. If this were of any weight, I might turn his own Cannon upon him, and tell him, no more are his Writers who deny this Homage, because they are Scots-men: and if neither are to be be­lieved, I would fain have any Learned Gentleman of that Nation to shew me a Foreign Historian who lived near those Times, that denied there was any such thing.

AS for his last, that they were Enemies, it is yet more trivial; since I have here made use of no Authorities but what were written before the Con­quest, when there was no War at all between the two Nations, but rather a strict Amity or League against their Common Enemy the Danes; or else from Florence of Worcester and William of Malmesbury, Authors that lived and wrote (as hath been already shewn) in the very Times when those Homages they mention were done; which whether they were for Scotland it self, or else for Northumberland and Cumberland, which they then held of the Kings of England, shall be further considered in my next Volume, if God shall permit me to finish it.

BVT I desire the Reader to take notice, that finding the English-Saxon Chronicle to be very dry in many places, it giving us only an account of the Succession of their Kings, and the Battles they fought against one another, without ever telling us what were the Grounds of their falling out; the Monks of those Times, for want of Civil Affairs, or (as we call them) those of the Cabinet, filling up their Annals only with Fighting and Devotion, I saw it necessary for me to pursue in great part the Method that Bede had laid down throughout the whole Work, and to insert some things relating to Ecclesiastical Affairs, to make this History more useful, as well as diverting, to all sort of Persons.

AND therefore being sensible of the near Conjunction of the Civil with the Ecclesiastical State, which were often united into one Mycel-Synod, or Great Council of the whole Nation, wherein were made not only Civil Laws, but also Ecclesiastical Canons or Constitutions, respecting Religion and Discipline, as well as Reformation of Manners, I have set down both [Page xxiv] the one and the other whenever I thought they contained any Matter of more than ordinary Notice: and as for those Synods or Councils which were wholly Ecclesiastical, though I have not always expresly given you all the Canons they made, yet I have not failed to refer the Reader for his farther Satis­faction, to that rich Treasury of this kind of Knowledg, Sir Henry Spelman's first Volume of Councils.

TO which I have likewise not only added the Succession of some Bishops, and Abbots, as far as I have found them in the Saxon Annals, but have inserted from William of Malmesbury and other Writers, whatever I could find relating to them, or any other of the same Order, remarka­ble for Learning or Piety; especially the Arch-bishops of Canterbury and York, whose Successions I have often supplied from other Authors, wherein the Annals were silent.

NOR have I omitted the Foundations of the greater Monasteries, as I met with them in the Annals, no more than the other Foundations of the same kind set down in Monasticon Anglicanum, yet still confining my self to such of them as were valued at 500 l. per annum or more, at the time of their Dissolution. And I hope no Man that is a Lover of Anti­quity, or the Honour of his Nation, will look upon this as needless, any more than the Foundations of our two famous Universities, of which I have here given you the earliest Accounts I can find.

NEITHER do I suppose it will prove tedious, if I have here likewise put down the Stories of some Miracles related by Bede and other Monks, since I have done it with Moderation, and where the Contexture of this Work would have seem'd Lame and Imperfect without it; and I only give them you just as I find them, leaving every one to make what Judgment he pleases of them.

I confess I am not satisfied that divers of those Relations swallowed by Bede and other Authors of Note, are true, they having been since discovered by Men of great Learning and Judgment, to carry evident Marks of Forgery along with them; such as is that of Joseph of Ari­mathea his Preaching the Gospel in England, which hath been examined with great Accuracy by the Reverend and Learned Dr. Stillingfleet, now Lord Bishop of Worcester, Chap. 1. in his Origines Britannicae; so that though I have both from him, and others, said somewhat upon that Subject, yet I must still refer the Reader to the Book it self, if he desires farther Satis­faction either in gratifying his Curiosity, or informing his Judgment.

BVT to the foregoing Relations, I must needs here add that of the Martyrdom of St. Alban, which though the Learned Author last named, in his second Chapter of his said Book, hath with great Learning proved it, if not true, yet at least probable; I hope he will not take it amiss if I farther examine the Certainty of this Story: for notwithstanding it be set down in the old Roman Martyrologies, and his Suffering here is also mentioned by Constantius, Presbyter, who lived above one hundred Years before Bede, from whom I have borrowed this; yet I must Ingenuously con­fess, I do not see how it can consist with the Ecclesiastical or Civil History of those Times,Lib. 1. c. 6. in which it is supposed to have happened. For Bede pla­ces the Suffering of St. Alban during the Persecution of Dioclesian, and after the Recovery of Britain from the Vsurpation of Allectus.

WHEREAS it is evident from Chronology, that Carausius the Vsur­per, having Anno Dom. 286. rebelled against the Roman Emperors, held [Page xxv] Britain under his Power for near seven Years, and then was murdered by the Vsurper Allectus, who also governed near three Years longer, till a­bout the middle of the Reign of the Emperor Dioclesian; who having con­stituted Constantius Chlorus, Caesar, sent Asclepiodotus as his Lieute­nant into Britain, (being then part of his Share, as were all the Provinces on this side the Alpes) in the Year 295. and he having slain Allectus in Battel, governed here some short Time, till Constantius himself coming over in Person, reigned as Caesar or Augustus so long as he lived: Du­ring all which Revolutions we do not read of any Persecution in Britain, as the Learned Mr. Dodwell in his Dissertationes Cyprianae has very well observed,Dissert. Cypr. 11. de paucita­te Martyrum, §. 75. and consequently St. Alban could not suffer Martyrdom be­tween the Years 303. and 305. or at any other Time where the Roman Martyrologies place it.

AND this I think is clear from the Testimonies of two Author of un­questionable Credit, who lived in the very Time when this (if at all) must have happened. The first of these is Eusebius, Cap. 13. who in his eighth Book of Ecclesiastical History, giving a Character of Constantius the Emperor, hath these words, viz. ‘He always shewed himself most benign and affable towards all Men, which appeared by this, that he was no ways partaker of the Persecution raised against us (i. e.) Christians: but having pre­served the Worshippers of the true God free and unhurt from all Accu­sations, and not having so much as destroyed the Buildings of our Churches, or acted any thing against those of our Religion, he at last attained a quiet and happy End.’ To which we may also add another Passage in his first Book, cap. 8. but it being more tedious, and not so ex­press and full as the Place now cited, I therefore omit it.

TO whom we may also subjoin Lactantius, who in his Treatise de Mortibus Persecutorum, differs indeed from Eusebius about his demo­lishing the Christian Churches, yet he agrees with him in the main, that no Christians suffered Death in Constantius his Division or Share of the Empire. This Author's words I have thus translated. ‘But Constantius, lest he should seem to dissent from the Edicts of the greater Emperors, tho he permitted the Meeting-places of the Chri­stian Assemblies, that could be rebuilt, to be pulled down, yet he still preserved the true Temple of God, which is in the Bodies of Men, safe and inviolate.’ Lib. 1. And this is farther confirmed by Optatus de Schis­mate, as also by Zozomen in his Ecclesiastical History,Lib. 2. who both reciting the Address of the Donatists to the Emperor Constantine, do acknowledg that his Father never shed the Blood of any Christian.

AND even this small difference between these two Authors may be thus reconciled, by supposing that tho he connived at the destroying of the Chri­stian Churches by the vulgar Pagans, yet he no ways commanded it, much less approved of it when it was done. So that there could be no Persecution in Gaul or Britain, (both which were part of his Province) during the Time that he continued either as Caesar or Emperor, and the Persecution ceased Anno Dom. 308. not long before his Death.

[Page xxvi]BVT since a Learned and Ingenious French-man, Theodorus Ru­inartus, in his Preface to a late Treatise, entituled, de Actibus Mar­tyrum, put out with a new Edition of this Work of Lactantius in Hol­land, hath endeavoured to justify the Martyrologies against this Opinion of Mr. Dodwell's, I think it very convenient to take some notice of what he there alledges; and his chief Argument against these plain Authori­ties, is, that the Emperor Maximian was in Gaul during some part of this Persecution, and that then the Power of Constantius being only as Caesar, was suspended by the Presence of the Emperor himself; and consequently the Persecution was carried on in that part of the Empire, notwithstanding Constantius his private dislike of it, or perhaps oppo­sing it as much as he durst.

BVT in return to this seeming Argument, we shall first observe, that nei­ther Eusebius nor Lactantius, mention any Persecution in Gaul or Britain during all this Time, which it is highly probable they would have done, had it been carried on with the like Fury in these as it was in the other parts of the Empire. So that I do not find this Author clearly makes out, that the Emperor Maximian was in Gaul during this Persecuti­on, by any other Testimonies than those Martyrolgies themselves, whose Credit we have just reason to question.

BVT suppose I should admit there was a Persecution in Gaul at the same Time as he affirms, what will this concern Britain, where it is certain from the Authority abovementioned, that the Power of Constan­tius was never abrogated, or suspended by any of the other Emperors? But if it appears there was no such Persecution in Gaul as he pre­tends, can one with reason believe that there should be any at that Time in Britain, which lay so much more remote, and out of the View or Notice of those persecuting Emperors? But Michael Alford in his British Annals, being sensible of the great Improbability of this Persecution between the Years 303, and 305. when upon Constantius's be­ing declared Emperor, all Authors agree the Persecution ceased all o­ver the Empire; he therefore antedates the Time of it to the Year 287, when he supposes that St. Alban, after he had been kept six Months in Prison, suffered Martyrdom, viz. in the beginning of the Reign of Di­oclesian and Maximian; and for this he cites an antient Manuscript Co­py of Bede which he had seen, as also the Authority of Matthew Paris in his History,An. 1257. An. 794. and Matthew Westminster, who both follow an old Martyrologist cited by Capgrave, as much antienter than Bede.

TO this Opinion we reply, that in the first place it does not appear by any Authority, but this Writer's bare conjecture, that there was any Persecuti­on in Britain or Gaul at the beginning of the Emperors Reigns above mentioned, but rather the contrary, since Eusebius expresly tells us, that Dioclesian was so far from persecuting, that he favoured and employed the Christians in all Offices both Civil and Military, till after the Per­sian War, which was toward the latter end of his Reign. Nor in­deed could this Persecution have happened under the Vsurpations of Carausius and Allectus here in Britain, seeing they were always engaged in defending themselves against the Roman Emperors, and therefore [Page xxvii] could not be at leisure to persecute Men for Religion during such un­settled Times.

AND as for the Authority of these Martyrologies which this Au­thor urges for the Truth of this Persecution, viz. That they are some of them very Antient, the Originals of them being about 900 Years old: I doubt this will be so far from supporting their Credit, that it will rather be instrumental to destroy it, since it is very well known that it was about the end of the fifth, or beginning of the sixth Century, that this trick of forging the Lives and Sufferings of Saints came first in Fashion, and so was carried on in those dark Times for near 500 Years following, as the Reverend Dr. Burnet (now Bishop of Sa­lisbury) has learnedly proved in his Preface to his Translation of the aforesaid Treatise of Lactantius.

NOR did the Monks fail of finding their Account in this Design, since nothing contributed more than this and such like Legends, to the worshipping of the Reliques of Saints, and going on Pilgrimages to their Tombs: Which Superstition, how much it advanced the worldly Power and Grandeur of the Clergy of those Times, he must be a great Stranger to the Ecclesiastical as well as Civil History of those Ages, not to under­stand.

HAVING now, I hope, gone through all those things I thought neces­sary to advertise the Reader of, I have little else remaining, but to ask his Pardon for not adding in the Margin some short Notes or Contents of what is in the Body of the Work; which tho I confess several Histo­rians have done, yet I thought it might very well be spared here: First, Because in my Opinion it spoils the Beauty of the Margin; and besides, this Volume being written in an exact Chronological Order, it will be ve­ry easy for the Reader, (if he will but please to remember near the Year about which any thing he would find, happened) to satisfy himself in the Matter he would know, by turning over but two or three Pages: and further, the Years of our Lord standing in Roman Figures in the Margin, do in many Places fill that Space which those Contents usually take up. But if these Reasons by some may not be thought sufficient, a good Friend of mine has been at the Pains, for your sake, as well as my ease, to make an exact Table to the whole Work, by which I am confident you cannot miss readily finding out any thing whatsoever you have a desire to be satisfied in, that is contained in this Volume, either as to Persons, Places or Things.

I have endeavoured to make this History as diverting as I could by variety of Matter, as also by inserting into it whatsoever Relations I met with in our old Historians, that were not utterly improbable; and therefore I hope the Reader will not be uneasy, because all the parts thereof are not kept up alike pleasant and agreeable, since the dry­ness of the Matter, and the barrenness of those few Authors I find in some Periods, will not always equally afford it; any more than it can be expected, that in a long Journey it should be alike pleasant Travelling through dark and narrow Lanes, as over a free and open Champaign.

[Page xxviii]THERE is one thing more I must needs stand obliged to you in for your Pardon, and that is, the many Errata's you will find in the first four Books; for being out of Town when near half of it was wrought off, I could not supervise it my self: and though I committed the Correction of those Sheets to a Person on whom I could (as I have done before) safely rely for his Ability and Faithfulness in the discharge of that Trust; yet no Man is able to judg of the Author's Sense so well as himself, nor consequently to mend it, if any where too Obscure or Mistaken; and I cannot, as I would, answer so well for the Care of my Amanuensis in his Writing or Pointing: and I must add this also, that some Printers are not always so careful as they should be to amend their own Faults, tho never so exactly Corrected by those to whom their Sheets were en­trusted for that Purpose.

THE General Introduction TO THE Whole Work.

SINCE the late Learned Doctor Howell and Doctor Brady, the former in his Second and Third Parts of his General History of the World, and the latter in his General Preface, and First Book of his Compleat History of England, have given us a large Account of the Political Government and Laws in this Part of our Island we now call England, during the time of the Roman Emperors, as also of our English-Saxon Kings, as far as the Norman Conquest; this Undertaking of Mine would look very imperfect, if I should not in some measure follow their Method, and prefix before it something of the like nature.

I have therefore made bold to borrow from Mr. Selden, and those other Authors who have written on this Subject, whatsoever I thought was necessary to carry on the same Design; and also added those Things that I found they have either omitted or mistaken, and which required more largely to be treated of, in order to render this Work as use­ful as possible I could for a matter of so great Importance.

TO begin then with the Government of the Britains before the Ar­rival of Julius Caesar into this Island: Of which we have scarce any Account but what can be gathered from Geoffrey of Monmouth, which is so uncertain and fabulous, that there is little reliance upon what he says, save that in the general it was governed by Kings, and often canton'd into several Kingdoms: for that it was ever under one Monarch, as he frequently affirms, I have very good reason to doubt; it being not only contrary to the Genius and Custom of the British Nation, (where all the Male Issue inherited alike) to suffer the Eldest Son to go away with the whole Inheritance, but likewise it is di­rectly opposite to Caesar's Account of this Island when he came first hither, which he says he found divided into several distinct Principalities and States.

BUT if any Part of Geoffrey's Relation be true, that is most likely to be so which he gives us of the Laws of Molmutius, viz.

THAT the Temples of the Gods had this Privilege, That whatever guilty Persons should fly to them, they should be secure from their Pro­secutors; because we find that Custom very antient, not only amongst the Greeks and Romans, but indeed all other Nations, the Jews not ex­cepted.

[Page xxx]NEXT, That the publick Ways leading to the said Temples, and the Cities wherein they were, should be free and safe. And,

LASTLY, That such a Proportion of Land should maintain so many Ploughs for the Encouragement of Husbandry; which was very natu­ral in a Countrey, where not only the Soil, but the Laziness of the Inhabitants, rendr [...]d it more apt for Grazing than Tillage

BUT I cannot forbear observing how little stress is to be laid on Geoffrey's Account of the Laws of those British Princes, since he has the Confidence to tell us of another Sett of Laws supposed to be made by Queen Martia, which, he says, being afterwards translated by King Alfred out of the British Lang [...]age, were by him inserted into his Bo­dy of Saxon Laws, under the Title of Me [...]rchen-Lage. The Falshood of which Derivation Mr. Camden has very well discovered, by shew­ing, That this Word had not its Original from Queen Martia, but from the Saxon Word Mearc, signifying a Limit or Boundary; from whence the Mercian Kingdom had its Name, and was so called from its Situation, as being circumscribed by the other Kingdoms of the Heptarchy.

BUT as for the British Government that succeeded upon the Romans deserting of this Island, we can say no more of it, than that it was Regal; but that it was all subject to one Monarch, I no where find. For tho it appears from Gildas and Nennius, that Vortigerne was made King not long after the Romans leaving it, yet does it not follow from thence, that there were no more Kings than he at the same time; since it seems very unlikely, that all Britain (properly so called) which in the time of the Romans was divided into so many distinct Pro­vinces, each of which had their particular Praefects or Deputies, should so unanimously agree in the Choice of this Vortigerne, whom Geoffrey preposterously relates to have been then Count of the Gewises, when indeed there were no such People of that Name in Being, till the erecting of the West-Saxon Kingdom; those People being then (and not before) so called from one Gewis, an Ancestor of Hengist. And Gildas, who lived within fourscore Years after the Reign of this Vortigerne, tells us of no less than four distinct Kings reigning together in this Part of the Island, and mentions not a Word of its ever being other­wise.

BUT that the Titles of those Kings who reigned here during the first Wars between the Britains and the Saxons, were oftner by Election than Succession, may appear not only from Geoffrey himself, but also from Gil­das and Nennius, who are Authors of better Credit; and they relate Vortimer the eldest Son of Vortigerne, to have been elected upon his Father's Deposition, King of the Britains; and after his Death, and the second Desertion of Vortigerne, that Aurelius Ambrosius was elected first General, and some time afterwards King of the Britains.

NOR can we believe that these Kings were Absolute or Despotick Monarchs, since we find that Government unsutable to the Temper of the British Nation, both then, and in succeeding times; having not only frequently cast off the Government of the Roman Emperors, but also of their own Kings, for their cruel Tyranny and Oppression.

AND that this way of the Election of one supream King over the rest, was after often used by the Britains, you will find in the History it self; not but that it must be confessed, that the several petty Kingdoms o [...] [Page xxxi] Principalities which the Britains still possessed, and that go under the Name of North and South-Wales, did commonly descend, and were divisable among the several Sons of the deceased Prince, tho it was with great Inequality and Confusion; which often produced frequent Civil Wars between the Contending Competitors, and became the Ruin of them all at last.

BUT to pass from these British Princes, and the manner of their Go­vernment, as well before the coming in, as after the Desertion of the Romans, and which (tho not in its due order of Time) I have here put together, that the Reader might have a full View of it all at once. I proceed now to the Civil and Military A [...]ministration of the Romans whilst they continued Masters of this Part of Britain.

JVLIVS Caesar, when he had rather view'd than conquer'd this Island, left it, upon the Delivery of some Hostages, and the Promise of send­ing over more into Gaul, together with a certain Tribute to the Senate and People of Rome, neither of which the Britains ever perform'd; but during the Civil Wars, which not longer after ensued, they re­covered their antient Liberty, which for divers Years they enjoyed, till the Emperor Claudius, at the Instigation of one Bericus a Fugitive, and upon a Pretence of their denying the Romans to trade here, sent over first Aulus Plautius as his Lieutenant, and then following pre­sently afterwards himself in Person, made the Britains (I mean the greatest part of them) partly by Force, and partly by Fear, sub­mit themselves to his Empire; tho in a great measure under the Re­giment of their own Kings, who only paid Tribute, and received Roman Garisons, and suffered them to erect Colonies where they pleas'd: during which time the Government of the Romans was rather Mili­tary than Civil, the People living after their own Laws.

NOR were the Britains wholly subdued by them, till upon their Insurrection under Queen Boadicia in the Time of Nero, when Paulus Suetonius being Legate or Lieutenant here, reduced them (tho with great difficulty) under the Roman Yoke.

BUT the Civil Wars that afterwards happened upon the Death of Nero, hindred their entire Conquest, until such time as the Em­peror Vespasian sent over that famous Commander Agricola to be his General here; who in a few Years, having laid aside their petty Kings, brought it into the Form of a Province under the Roman Go­vernours, sometimes stiled Presidents, sometimes Consulares, and some­times Legati or Procuratores, as the Emperor's Commission, or the various Appellations of the Roman Historians are pleased to en­title them.

AND then it was, I suppose, this Part of the Island was first divided into several Praefectships or Governments, tho how many they were, cannot be ascertained; only we find from the Breviary of Sextus Ru­fus, that in the Reign of Constantine it was parcell'd into these four for its better Administration, viz. Britannia prima, De [...]is Nomi­ni [...]us, vid. Pan­cirol. ad N [...]t. imperii Occi­dent. & Cam­den. Brit. which is con­jectured to have been that Part of the Countrey lying from the Gal­lic Sea to the River Thames and the Mouth of the Severn; Britan­nia secunda, which reached from the Severn to the Irish Sea; Flavia Caesariensis, which was enclosed by the Rivers Thames, Severn and Humber; and Maxima Caesariensis, lying betwixt Humber and Hadri­an's Wall; to which was afterwards added by Theodosius the Elder, [Page xxxii] the Province of Valentia, so called from the Emperor Valentinian; and which, having been taken out of Maxima Caesariensis, lay betwixt the Wall of Hadrian, and the Friths of Glotta and Bodotria, which now are those of Edinburgh and Dunbritton.

EACH of which Provinces were under their particular Magistrates, some whereof had the Title of Consulares, and others of Praesides: all which, according to the Notitia Romani Imperii, were by Con­stantine's new Constitutions, made subject to the Vicarius of Britain, as he was to the Praefectus Praetorii of Gaul, who was one of the Four Praefecti of Constantine's Erection.

THIS Vicar of Britain had also several inferiour Officers under him for the Civil Administration; as first, he had his Princeps or Lieu­tenant out of the Agentes in rebus, that is, from the Chief of the A­gents, Solicitors, or Attorney-Generals: he had also from the Duce­narii, or Society of the Emperors Pursuivants, a Cornicularius, i. e. one that wrote and published the Sentences and Decrees of the Presidents and other Magistrates, and had his Name from Cornu a Horn, by the sounding whereof he is supposed to command silence in the Court; then two Numerarii, i. e. Clerks Accountants, who did set down all the Sums of the publick Revenues; then a Commenta­riensis, i. e. the Jailor or Keeper of the Prison, and was so called from the Commentaria, or Kalendars which he kept of the Prisoners, and delivered to the Judges: then certain Officers called ab Actis, who were Publick Notaries, that wrote Testaments, Contracts and other Instruments, which were signed before by the Judg or Pre­sident, and attested by him, that so after the Death of the Party they might remain Authentick: then other Clerks or Secretaries de Curâ, or de Curâ Epistolarum, who wrote and sent the Letters and Dis­patches of the Governours of Provinces to the Emperor, or to each other.

BESIDES whom, the Vicarius himself, (and, I suppose also, each of the Presidents) had his Adjutorem, i. e. his Coadjutor, in case of Sickness, or necessary Absence; as likewise Subadjuvas, Under-Assistants, or Assistants to the Adjutor: and, in short, certain other Officers called Singulares, from the particular Civil Imployments they had, who seem'd to have been Prosecutors, Informers, or Serjeants; not to mention others of more inferiour Rank, as Apparitors, Sum­moners, or Messengers. This was the Civil Court of the Vicarius, or Deputy of Britain, under the Praefectus Praetorii of Gaul, who had the Power to reverse his Judgments and Decrees.

THE Ensigns of his Government were a Draught of those Five Parts of Britain before-mentioned,Vid. Pancirol. in Notit. Im­perii. expressed in the Forms of seve­ral Buildings, with the Superscription of their Names placed on the Triangular Form of the Island, as if they had comp [...]ehended the whole Island; the Book of their Instructions covered with Green, and the Commission in a gilt Cover, with several Letters inscribed on the Book, the Signification of which is unnecessary to be here in­serted; but you will find this, as also a Draught of these Insignia themselves, in the above-cited Pancirollus.

BESIDES these general Presidents, there were likewise Courts in all the great Cities, Municipia, or Colonies of each Province, which had their several Officers and Magistrates according to the Model of Rome [Page xxxiii] it self, who heard Causes, and administred Justice to the particular Districts belonging to them, much after the same manner as the Par­liaments in France do at this day.

HAVING thus concluded their Civil Administration, we now come to the Military, which was executed by Three Chief Officers un­der the Magister Militum of the West, and they were these, viz. the Comes Britanniarum, Comes Littoris Saxonici, and the Dux Britan­niarum; whose several Charges, and the Tracts subjected to each of their Commands, may be best discerned by the Names of those Towns where their Under-Officers and Forces are said to have had their Head-quarters. The first of these, viz. the Count of Britain, is thought to have had his Command over the Inward or Middle Part of the Island, because the two others are known to have had theirs over the Northern or Maritime Parts thereof; but the Notitia assigns not any Forces to the former, nor mentions any Places under his Command, because, as Pancirollus writes, the whole Island was then almost over­run by Barbarians.

BUT as for the Comes Littoris Saxonici, so called in the Declension of the Roman Empire, from the charge or Care he had to suppress the Saxon Pirates, who often landing on the Eastern Parts of Britain, (ly­ing over against Germany) committed great Ravages there; he had eight Praepositi, and one Tribune under him, that were Leaders of di­vers Cohorts, consisting of Gauls, Germans, and other Foreign Nati­ons, who quartered in several Towns all along the Coasts, from Sussex, as far as the remotest part of Norfolk: for the Names of whom, with the Places where they lay, I shall refer you to the Notitia Imperii Occidentalis, or (if you had rather have them in English) to Mr. Sel­den's Titles of Honour, and Dr. Howell's second Part, and third Chap­ter, of his General History.

THE like I may also say of the Forces under the Dux Britannia­rum, or General of Britain, whose Army, had it then been really in being, was sufficient to have suppressed both the Picts and Scots; for they consisted of no less than fourteen Praefects or Praepositi of Horse and Foot, whose Names, and Places where they quartered (extending from Lincolnshire through all the Northern Counties, as far as the Pictish Borders, and so round about by Lancashire into North-Wales) you may find in the Authors abovementioned.

BUT as for the several Ensigns of these three chief Military Officers, they being much what the same with those of the Vicarius Britanniae, viz. The Figures of certain Towns, with their Names set over them, together with their Commissions, contained in Books of different co­loured Covers, with the Emperor's Images set by them on Pillars, I will leave it to those who take more Pleasure than I do in such Curiosities.

ALL these Comites and Duces were equal in Power, and only sub­ordinate to the Vicarius Britanniae; the Forces under their Command were not only dispersed through the Municipia or Free Colonies, which the Romans planted here, and were governed by their own Civil Ma­gistrates in Imitation of Rome their Mother-City, but were also gari­son'd in divers Towns, Castles and Forts, all along the Roman Li­mits, thereby to discover the Motions of the Neighbouring Nations; several of which being intended only at first for their Military Camps, [Page xxxiv] by degrees grew up into Cities, and are known at this day by the Name of Chesters; such as are West-Chester on the River Dee, Portchester in Hampshire (now destroyed,) Chester in the Street in Northumberland, with several others of less note near the Picts Wall; as also in the Inland Parts of England, ending in the word Cester, as Leicester, Cirencester, &c. all which owe their Original to the Latin Name Castra.

HAVING now dispatched the British and Roman Polity, I come to the main part of Design, which is, to give a brief Account of the Civil Government that the English Saxons established in this part of our Island, which they called England, who consisting of several Tribes or Nations inhabiting different Countries, yet all speaking the same Language, came over hither at several Times under their particular Leaders; and as soon as they had expelled the Britains, they did with­in the space of about a hundred Years,The Heprar­chy. erect seven distinct Kingdoms, though not of equal Extent; the Names of which, (notwithstanding they are set down in the History it self, yet having not given you the particular Catalogue of the several Counties they contained, because their Dominions were not then divided into those Districts as they were afterwards,) I have reserved to this place.

1st. Kingdom.THE first Kingdom, being that of Kent, consisted only of that County and Surrey.

2d. Kingdom.THE second, viz. that of the South-Saxons, contained Sussex and Surrey, or at least great part of it.

3d. Kingdom.THE third was the Kingdom of the West-Saxons, and contained Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Berk­shire. But as for that Countrey called Cornwall, I shall not reckon it here, because it was for a long Time after governed by its own Prin­ces, and not brought under the West-Saxon Dominion till long after

4th. Kingdom.THE fourth was that of the East-Saxons, which contained Essex, Middlesex, and part of Hertfordshire.

5th. Kingdom.THE fifth was that of the Northumbers, which contained Lanca­shire, Yorkshire, the Bishoprick of Duresme, Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, and part of Scotland, as far as Edinburgh Frith.

THIS Kingdom after the Death of Ida, was divided into two parts; the first whereof, containing all the Countries lying on this side the River Tyne, was called the Kingdom of Deira; and that on the other side of it was called Bernicia, and so continued for several Descents, till King Oswy, about the Year 643. upon the Murder of King Oswin his Cousin, again reduced them into one; and they continued thus united till such time as the Southern Provinces were overrun by the Danes, as the more Northern were by the Scots, and have ever since remained part of that Kingdom: and hence it is the Low-Lands of Scot­land, (that is, all the Countrey from the River Tyne, to the Friths of Edinburgh and Dunbritton,) antiently spoke the English Saxon Tongue, which in succeeding Times was changed into that English Dialect they call the Modern Scotch; and consists of the old Saxon, with no little mixture of the Danish Language: this, I suppose, proceeded from the great Conquests, and settling so many of that Nation in those Nor­thern Parts.

THIS is in great measure confirmed by John of Wallingford, (pub­lish'd by the Learned Dr. Gale) where he relates,545. that Keneth King of Scots received Lothian from King Edgar, under the Condition [Page xxxv] of a Homage from himself and his Successors Kings of Scotland, to the King of England, as also that the People of that Countrey should en­joy their Laws and Customs, as also the use of the English Tongue.

BUT as for the true and genuine Scotish, which they now call the Speech of the Highlanders, because by them only spoken at this day, it is no other than the antient Irish, which the Scots brought over with them from thence, when they first came over to inhabit there, as you will find in the Beginning of Bede's History.

THE sixth Kingdom was that of the East-Angles, 6th. Kingdom. which contained Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgshire, with the Isle of Ely.

THE seventh was that of the Mercians, containing Gloucestershire, 7th. Kingdom. Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Huntingtonshire, Bedfordshire, Bucking­hamshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, Che­shire, and part of Hertfordshire.

BUT as for the Names of the Kings who reigned in each of these Kingdoms, till they were all brought under that of the West-Saxons, I shall refer you to the Tables at the end of the third, fourth and fifth Books of this Volume, wherein you have at one view all the Kings that succeeded in each of those Periods, as also those of that part of Britain we now call Wales; and for the more exact Chronology of the first British Princes, I must own my self obliged to the exact account of the Right Reverend the present Lord Bishop of Bangor, who I hope one day will let the World see some of his Learned Labours on that Subject.

THIS is a short Scheme of the several Kingdoms, into which that Part of Britain we now call England, was divided in the Saxon Times.

I should next proceed to the particular Laws and Forms of Govern­ment in each respective Kingdom; but since we have no Remains of those left us for want of Letters, before the Preaching of Christianity here, we can only say in the general, that without doubt each of these Kingdoms had its own particular Laws and Customs; and tho they might perhaps differ one from the other in some Points, yet they all agreed in the main, as to the most Material and Fundamental Con­stitutions of their Government, and long received Laws and Customs before ever they arrived in England, as proceeding from the same Com­mon Ancestors.

AND tho the English-Saxons were not immediately derived from the Germans but Goths, as you will find in the third Book of this Vo­lume; yet since even the Germans themselves were derived from the same Gothick Original, with all the rest of those Northern People, as the Sweeds, Danes and Norwegians, as appears by the Agreement of their Language, Customs and Laws; I shall therefore suppose that in the main likewise they agreed with the Antient Germans, as they are de­scribed by De moribus Germanorum. Tacitus, in their Laws, Manners, and Religion; and there­fore I shall from him give you some of the most considerable of them, as they are collected by Mr. Selden in his Learned Treatise, called; Jani Anglorum Facies altera.

THE first of which is, In conciliis Rex vel Princeps, prout Aetas 1 cui (que) prout Nobilitas, prout Decus Bellorum, prout Facundia est, audi­untur, Auctoritate suadendi magis quàm jubendi potestate. Si displicuit [Page xxxvi] Sententia, fremitu aspernantur; sin placuit, frameas concutiunt. Hono­ratissimum assensûs Genus est Armis laudare. Which for the Benefit of the Common Readers, I will take upon me to translate into Eng­lish, viz.

‘IN their Councils the King, or some principal Person, according to every one's respective Age, Nobility, Reputation in Arms, or Elo­quence, are heard, rather by the Authority of Perswading, than the Power of Commanding: if their Opinions displeased them, they shewed their dislike by their Clamour; but if they approved of what was spoken, they struck their Launces one against another. This was thought the most Honourable way of giving their Assent to ap­prove by Arms.’

2 THE second is, Eliguntur in iisdem Conciliis Principes, qui Jura per pagos vicos (que) reddunt. Centeni singulis ex plebe Comites Consilium simul & Auctoritas adsunt, viz.

‘IN those Councils such chief Men are Elected, as judge Causes in Towns and Villages. A hundred Assessors chosen out of the com­mon People are added to each of them, as well for Counsel as Au­thority.’ From whence Mr. Selden here supposes our Hundreds had their Original; which antiently consisted of the Masters of one hun­dred Families.

3 THE third goes on thus, Nihil publicae vel privatae Rei nisi Armati agunt, sed Arma sumere non antè cuiquam moris, quam Civitas suffecturum probaverit. Tum in ipso Concilio, vel Principum aliquis, vel pater, vel propinquus, scuto frameâ (que) Juvenem ornant: haec apud illos Toga, hic primus juventae honos: ante hoc Domus pars videntur, mox Reipublicae, viz.

‘THEY transact nothing either of Publick or Private Concern without their Arms: but it was not a Custom for any to assume those Arms, before the Common-Wealth had approved of his Abi­lity. Then in this very Council, either one of the principal Men, or his Father, or his near Kinsman, adorned the Youth with the Shield and Lance. This served them instead of a Gown, and was the first Honour of their Youth: before they only seemed as part of the Family, but now they became a Member of the Common-Wealth.’ And here Mr. Selden discovers the first Footsteps of Knighthood.

4 THE fourth is, Insignis Nobilitas, aut magna patrûm merita, Prin­cipis dignationem, etiàm Adolescentulis assignant; viz.

‘EMINENT Nobility, or the signal Merits of their Ancestors, do advance even these young Men to the Degree and Honour of being a chief Man.’

FROM hence we may observe, that all Nobility among the anti­ent Germans was at first Military, as being derived from the Noble and Valiant Acts of their Ancestors in War; and thence proceed all the present Ensigns of it; videlicet, the Shield, on which our Coats of Arms are now depicted; as also the Helmet and Crest that stand for an Ornament over them: for until some Brave and Worthy Act was performed, it was not lawful among the Germans for a young Warriour to paint any Device upon his Shield, which was only Personal to himself, and extended not to his Posterity.

5 THE fifth is, That Dotem non Vxor Marito, sed Vxori Maritus offert, viz.

[Page xxxvii] ‘THE Husband settles a Dower upon the Wife, and not, vice versâ, the Wife upon the Husband.’ Which shews the Antiquity of Dowe [...] among the Germans and English-Saxons; and as Mr. Selden upon this Law observes, it was called antiently MORGANGHEB among them.

THE sixth shews, that Accisis Crinibus, nudatam adulteram coram 6 propinquis expellit domo Maritus, ac per omnem vicum verbere agit, viz.

‘FOR Adultery, the Husband turned the Wife out of his House in the presence of her Relations, having first cut off her Hair, and be­ing then strip'd, whip'd her through the Town.’

BUT the Severity of this Punishment, if ever it was in use here, was quite abolished by the English-Saxons, as you will find from the Laws about it.

THE seventh is, that Haeredes, successores (que) sui cui (que) Liberi: & nullum 7 Testamentum, viz.

‘EVERY Man's Heirs and Successors are his Children; and no Testament is allowed.’

BUT in this the English-Saxon Law differed much from those of the Germans; for it was lawful in England for Men of Quality to dis­pose of their Land by Will (if they pleased) provided it were Bocland, (that is Free-Tenure grantable by Deed) as you may find by some Laws in the ensuing Volume; otherwise in Lands held in Socage, every Man's Sons inherited all alike: But this law was changed after the Conquest, and no Will could be made of Lands held by Military Service, but they descended entirely to the eldest Son: which Law continued so low as the Reign of King Henry the 8th, 32 Hen. VIII. Cap. 1. when the Statute was first made, which gives the Tenant by Knights Service, Power to bequeath his Estate by Will, provided there were enough left to perform the Service.

THE eighth says, that Suscipere Inimicitias, seu patris, seu propinqui,8 quàm amicitias, necesse est, viz.

IT is absolutely necessary to continue the Enmities of a Father, or near Kinsman, as well as Friendships.

FROM whence, as Mr. Selden well observes, arose those Family-Quarrels, called in the North of England, DEADLY FEUDS, (which you will also find mentioned in the ensuing Collection of Saxon Laws) and which are continued in Scotland even to this Day.

BUT to proceed with Tacitus, he says, Nec implacabiles durant: Lui­tur enim etiam homicidium certo Armentorum as Pecorum numero, recipít (que) satisfactionem universa Domus, viz.

‘THAT they do not remain implacable; for the Homicide is re­compensed with a certain Number of great and small Cattel, and the whole Family thereupon receives Satisfaction.’

THIS Custom continued long not only among the Germans, but al­so English-Saxons; The Price of Blood being to be redeemed at a certain Rate, according to each Man's Condition, which you will hereafter often find in the said Laws to be mentioned under the Title of WIRE­GILD: and in the Laws of King Aethelstan you will meet with the particular Prices of each Man's Head, from the Clown even to the King himself; the Estimation of whose Life is likewise there set down, thô at a much higher Rate (as it ought to be) than that of other Mens. But of this we shall speak more anon.

[Page xxxviii] 9 THE ninth Law bears, that Frumenti modum Dominus, aut pecoris, aut vestis Colono injungit, viz.

‘THE Lord of the Soil prescribes to the Husbandman, what quantity of Corn, Cattel, or Clothes he shall pay him.’

FROM whence we may take notice of the Antiquity of Rent re­served upon Farms, which was chiefly in Provision, and not in Mo­ney, as it continued for a long Time after the Conquest here in Eng­land, and remains so in Scotland even to this Day.

HAVING thus done with the Laws, we shall next descend to the People who practised them.Adam. Bre­mens. Hist. Eccles. Brem. & Hamburg. cap. 5. ex Bib­liothecâ Hen­ric. Ranzovii. The antient Saxons, as Adam of Bremen from Einhardus relates, were like the Germans, divided into these four sorts, viz. Noblemen, Freemen, Slaves that were Manumized, and lastly, those that continued Slaves: But Nithard. p. 4. Nithardus speaking of his Time, makes them but of three sorts, scilicet, Ethelings, Frilingues, and Lazzi, that is, Noblemen, Freemen, and Slaves: and it was established as a Law among them, that none of these should transgress the Bounds of their own Condition, by matching with those who were either a Degree above, or below them.

THIS Custom was also long observed in England after the Con­quest,Vid. Mag. Charta, C. 6. & Merton. C. 7. and gave Original to those Statutes of Mag. Char. and Merton, by which the Lord was to lose the Benefit of his Wardship, in case he mar­ried the Ward to his Disparagement, that is, To the Daughter of a Vil­lain, or a Tradesman, in case that the Kindred complained of it.

BUT before we come to treat of the several Degrees of People a­bovementioned, it is fit we should say something of the Head of the Saxon Common-Weal, viz. their King; who though he was chosen in all the Kingdoms of the Heptarchy, out of the Blood-Royal of Wo­den, their first Leader of this Gothick Colony into Europe, as appears by their Pedigree at the end of the Book; yet were they at first no better than Generals in War,Bede Eccles. Hist. Li. 5. Cap. 12. and in time of Peace they had little or no Power, as we may see in Bede.

FOR he speaking of the Province of the Hither (i. e. East) Frize­land, (from whence he supposes our Saxon Ancestors to have come, and to which the two Hewalds, the White and the Black, went to preach the Gospel, and were there martyr'd for their Pains) he hath this re­markable Passage, Non enim habent Regem iidem antiqui Saxones, sed Satrapas plurimos suae Genti praepositos, qui ingruente Belli Articulo mit­tunt aequalitèr sortes, & quemcunque sors ostenderit, hunc tempore Belli Ducem omnes sequuntur, & huic obtemperant; peracto autèm Bello, rursum aequalis potentiae omnes fiunt Satrapae: i. e. ‘For the Antient Saxons (says he) have no King, but several Noblemen of their own Nation set over them, who on the breaking out of any War, cast Lots, and on whomsoever the Lot happened to fall, all the People during that War, follow and obey him as their General; but when the War was over and at an end, all these Lords again became of equal Power.’

AND it is likewise very observable, that neither Bede nor any other German Author, who relates the Story of the Saxons being invited by the Britains over hither, ever mention their being sent by any of their Kings, but only by the Saxon Nation in general: and if it continued thus in Bede's Time, it ought reasonably to be concluded, that it was [Page xxxix] likewise so before their coming over, unless any Man can shew me some better Authority than ever I have yet met with to the contrary.

AND that this likewise continued so, not only in Bede's Time, but many Years after, may appear from this Testimony of Johan. Pomarius in his Saxon Chronicle, which, tho written in Latin, yet not being able as yet to procure the sight of it, I shall give you what he says almost to the same effect out of Verstegan's Restitution of decayed Intelligence;Verstegan. Chap. 3. pag. 68, 69. ‘As for the General Government of the Countrey, they ordained twelve Noble-men, chosen from among others for their Worthiness and Sufficiency. These in the Time of Peace rode their several Circuits, to see Justice and good Customs observed; and they often of Course, [...]t appointed Times, met all together, to consult and give Order in Publick Affairs; but ever in Time of War one of these twelve was chosen to be King, and so to remain as long only as the War lasted; and that being ended, his Name and Dignity of King also ceased, and he became as before: and this Custom continued among them until the Time of their Wars with the Emperor Charles the Great, at which time, Wittekind one of the Twelve as aforesaid, a Nobleman of Angria in Westphalia, bore over the rest the Name and Authority of King; and he being afterwards by the means of the said Emperor converted to the Faith of Christ, had by him his mutable Title of King turned into the induring Title and Honour of Duke; and the eleven others were in like manner by the said Emperor advanced to the honourable Titles of Earls and Lords, with Establishment for the continual remaining of these Titles and Dignities unto them and their Heirs; of whose Descents are since issued the greatest Princes at this present in Germany.

FROM what now I have given you, I think nothing is more evident than that the Government of the Antient English Saxons was rather Ari­stocratical than Monarchical: and admitting they allowed the King they had set over them somewhat more Power than those Noblemen abovementioned, by whom they where governed in their own Coun­trey in time of Peace; yet was this Power of theirs far short of that absolute Dominion which Dr. Howell in his Discourse of the Polity of the English-Saxons supposes, (tho without any just Ground,Dr. Howell's General History, Part. 4 Fol. 272.) that these Kings enjoyed, and therefore he would have it, ‘That the Govern­ment was Monarchical, and that not only in respect of the parti­cular Kingdoms during the Heptarchy, which had their peculiar Kings, but even of the whole Body of the Nation, which was usually commanded by one of the Seven; of all which Bede takes notice in his Time.’

BUT if every one of these Kings were no more a Monarch, than he who was sometimes Supream or Chief above the Rest, I doubt he will fall very short of that Title, which is not found either in Bede, or in the Saxon Annals, or yet in any other Antient Writer before the Conquest, until the Time of King Edred,

BUT I have said enough to confute this Notion, I hope, in the Pre­face.

THE Doctor's next Argument is from the Nature of the Monarchy, which he says, ‘We must believe at the first followed the Condition of the Tenure, absolute Conquests and Territories,Id. ibid. both got and held by the Sword alone, usually producing absolute Governments, [Page xl] which many times either by reason of the infirm Foundation laid by the Conquerors themselves, the Humour of the People not induring such Subjection, or other Accidents, change into more Moderate and less Arbitrary. That Hengest, Aella, and the other Captains, where they first erected their Dominations, governed their Souldiers, whom now being Kings they called Subjects, with as great Autho­rity, and as full Command as formerly, we little doubt.’

IN answer to this, and to shew you, that notwithstanding what this Author hath alledged, we have still great reason to doubt the Truth of it, as being founded on no Authority, but rather the quite contrary appears; I shall therefore only desire the Reader in the first place to take notice, that it is no good Argument at all to say, that because the Saxon Princes were Conquerors by the means of their Followers, therefore they must have submitted themselves absolutely to their Dominion, when the War was over.

FOR the better Proof of which, I would farther intreat the Reader to observe;

FIRST, That those Princes or Generals over the English-Saxons; (thô all of them were descended from Woden their Common Ancestor,) knew no such Power as that of Kings of Home, (according to Bede;) or if we believe Pomarius, the Title of King lasted at the most no longer than the War: nor could those Princes be made Kings by their own Nation before they came over, since being only meer Souldiers of For­tune, they had as yet conquered no Dominions, from whence they could receive that Denomination: so that then it must fall out, that they could only be so by the Election of their Souldiers and Followers, that came over along with them; which may be also proved from the ensuing Annals themselves.

FOR first they call Hengest and Horsa the two Brothers, who came over hither only Heretogan, i.e. Leaders or Captains of the Jutes that accompanied them, as you may see An. 449. of these Annals.

NOR secondly, do they begin the Reign of Hengest till the Death of Horsa his Brother, Anno 455. six Years after his coming over: so that it is plain he could have no other Right to his Kingdom of Kent, but the free Election of the People that came over with him, or else followed him not long afterwards.

THE like I might say of all the rest of the Kingdoms of the Hep­tarchy for the same Reason, were there no express Authorities to prove it, which yet also are not wanting.

FOR as to the Kingdom of the West-Saxons, (which afterwards swallowed up all the rest) our Annals, Anno 495. tell us ‘Of Cerdic, and Cynric his Son, their landing in Britain with five Ships, and having fought with the Britains, they about six Years after their coming over, upon their conquering the Countrey of the West-Saxons, became their first Kings: which is further confirmed under Anno 519. where it is expresly related, that Cerdic and Cynric then began their Reigns over the West-Saxon Kingdom. So likewise in Anno 547. it is there said, that Ida began first to reign; from whom is derived the Royal Stock of the Northumbrian Kings.’

AND yet we find from Nennius and Malmesbury, and all our other Hi­storians who treat of this Matter, that Octa and Ebusa, Son and Nephew to Hengest, had landed in the Northern Parts of England not long after [Page xli] Hengest himself; and having conquered those Countries, they and their Descendants ruled there for near 100 Years, tho without the Title of Kings, but only as subordinate Lords or Earls under the Kings of Kent, till this Ida obtained the Kingdom; but whether by Succession or E­lection, William of Malmesbury cannot tell us, but rather inclines to the latter: and tho it be true, that these Annals mention no other King­doms of the Heptarchy than these three last; yet it appears from very good Testimonies in the ensuing History, that Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgshire, being the Countrey of the East-Angles, were conquered by them under several petty Princes, that ruled there long before Vffa, who was made the first King of that whole Countrey.

THE like I may say for the Mercian Kingdom, where Creoda, or Crida, began his Reign about Anno 585. above 60 Years after the East-Angles first settled in those Parts.

HAVING now, I hope, sufficiently proved this Point against the Learned Dr. Howell, I think it will plainly follow, that all those Kings above-mentioned could have no other Title to their Crowns besides Election, who from Captains and Generals in time of War, became Kings in time of Peace over the Countries they had conquered.

I will here therefore leave it to the Impartial Reader, to consider; whether what Dr. Howell asserts is at all likely to be true, viz. ‘That the Power of these Kings commencing by the Sword, was as abso­lute in Time of Peace as in that of War: for we plainly see, that these were a free People, and it is in no ways probable that they should, contrary to the Genius of so noble and free a Nation, submit themselves to the absolute Dominion of one Man, who owed his delegated Power to themselves.’

BESIDES this, the original Constitution of all these several King­doms speaks the quite contrary; for we find in the following History, frequent mention made of great Councils of the Wites, i. e. the chief, or wise Men of the whole Kingdom, which Councils were established to curb the exorbitant Power of their Kings; since by these they were elected, and by these too they were likewise often deposed, when ever their Tyranny rendered them insupportable; as you will see in several Instances when you peruse the following Books in this Volume.

AND thus having traced as far as we are able the Original of the first English-Saxon Kings, we shall now in the next Place treat of the manner of their Succession to the Crown, which some of our Modern Authors fancy to have been by a Lineal Succession, because we find the Son to have often succeeded the Father in most of these Kingdoms for several Descents. But if this should be granted, yet is it no good Argu­ment to prove a Lineal Succession by Blood: for tho I am sensible that the Saxon Annals, as well as all other Historians, are very obscure in this Point, not declaring which way those Princes came to the Crown, whether by Succession or Election, because it was omitted in the old Saxon Annals out of which they wrote, and which we find very short in that particular; yet this will by no means warrant those Kingdoms to have been only Successive, as some Men fondly suppose; seeing we may observe, that in the German Empire, (which every one knows to be Elective) the Son hath succeeded the Father, or a younger Brother the Elder, for above 150 Years, ever since the Time of the Emperor Ferdinand Brother to Charles the Fifth; however I hope no Body will [Page xlii] have the Confidence to affirm, that the Empire hath been only Succes­sive, and not Elective all this while.

THE same I may say concerning the Succession of our English-Saxon Kings, in which tho we find the Son often succeeded the Father, or one Brother another, yet does not this prove that the Succession went by right of Inheritance, as it does at this day.

I MAY say the like as to Denmark and Sweden, the latter of which has been by Succession but little above fourscore Years from Charles the Ninth; and as for the former, it has become so even in our own Memories: and yet for many Successions in both these Kingdoms, he that was the next Heir by Lineal Descent, was most commonly cho­sen King after the Death of his Father, Uncle or Brother; but before this Election he could claim no Legal Right to the Crown by the Laws of these Kingdoms, of which I shall give you divers Instances. And I think we may affirm this of all the Kingdoms of the Saxon Heptarchy; where tho the Mycel-Gemots commonly obliged themselves to choose one of the Blood-Royal, and the next Heir rather than any other, pro­vided he were equally fit to govern, especially if he were recommended or designed for Successor by the Will of the last King; however in this they took a great Latitude, as will evidently appear in the pursuit of this Discourse.

BUT I must confess the manner how the Saxon Kings came to the Throne is but darkly expressed by the words FENG to RICE in Saxon, in Latin Regnum capessit, which we have commonly rendered, succeeded in, or to the Kingdom: yet those words do not signify any Lineal Succession, but are often promiscuously used, when the next Successor could have no Title but Election, as shall be farther shewn by and by.

NOW the best way to prove this, I think, will be briefly to survey the Successions of each Kingdom, and the several Breaches and Altera­tions that were made therein, upon this supposed Lineal Succession. And first,1. Kent. to begin with the Kingdom of Kent, of which we indeed have scarce any more than the bare Names of the Kings, with but ve­ry little of their Actions, for about four Descents, till Ethelbert the first Christian King there began to reign, only that the Son still succeed­ed the Father.

SO likewise from this Ethelbert to Earcombert his Grandson, for two Descents more we find the like seeming Lineal Succession; yet for all this doth it not therefore follow, that there might not have been either elder Brothers, or the Sons of them, who were excluded during that Time; seeing that we only meet with the next Successor mentioned, without telling us whether there were not such Heirs put by: for un­der the Year 640. we learn from our Annals, that Earcombert King of Kent succeeded Eadbald his Father abovementioned, who yet left an elder Son named Ermenred, that according to the Course of Lineal De­scent ought to have succeeded to the Kingdom before his younger Bro­ther Earcombert: Vid. Florence of Worcester's Genealogy of the Kentish Kings at the end of his Chro­nicle, pag. 689. and Will. of Malmes [...]ury, Lib. 1. p. 10, 11. but whether he was disinherited by his Father, or rejected by the People, our Annals mention not, only that this Ermen­red left two Sons, who afterwards were made away by one Thunor, Servant to King Earcombert.

AFTER him Egbert his Son succeeded, leaving a Son called Eadric, yet he did not succeed as he ought to have done (according to our Mo­dern Opinions) by Hereditary Right, but Lothaire his Uncle, that kept [Page xliii] the Kingdom twelve Years from him: But whether he came in by the Testament of his Brother, or Election of the People, or by both, neither Bede nor any other Author give us an Account; tho it must be confessed, that this Eadric was discontented at his being thus put by, and therefore fled to the South-Saxons, and joined with them who were then in actu­al War against Lothaire; who happening to be worsted in the Fight where this Eadric commanded, and dying of the Wounds he therein received, Eadric succeeded, but whether by Right of Lineal Descent, or Election, is no where said: Nor doth his thus making War upon his Uncle prove his Right, since we find that King Edward the Elder suffered the like Disturbance from Prince Vide Saxon Annals, Anno 901, 902. Ethelwald, the Son of King Ethelred his Father's elder Brother, as you will see in the beginning of the Reign of that King, which ended not but with the Life of the said Prince Ethelwald, who pretended to the Crown.

NOR were Foreign Princes any better satisfied with Eadric's Right; for William of Malmesbury tells us, that Ceadwalla made War upon him,Ibid. and destroyed his Countrey, to revenge the Death of King Lothaire his Predecessor.

BUT after this Eadric, two Princes, called Webba and Seward, held the Kingdom, which must certainly have been by Election, because it is not related, whether they were of the Royal Family or no; but they reigned not long, for Whitred Brother to Eadric succeeded them: after whom this Kingdom seems to have gone in a Lineal Succession for three Descents, as far as to his Sons Eadbert, Ethelbert, and Alric; tho these Prin­ces might have been also elected, for ought we know to the contrary, for they all reigned successively after each other: But whether any of these left Sons is uncertain, for Malmesbury tells us, ‘That after them the Kentish Royal Family decaying, any bold Aspirer, whom Wealth or Faction made formidable, obtained that Crown, but how?’— Most Likely by the Election of their Great Councils, for Usurpations by Force could not well be practised in Kingdoms where (there being no standing Army) the King in great measure depended on the general good Will of the People.

BUT as for the next Kingdom, viz. that of the South-Saxons, 2. South-Saxons. there is so little said of them by any of our Historians, and they were so soon swallowed up by the Kingdom of the West-Saxons, that we can only guess they succeeded to the Crown, but it is most probable, that it was after the same manner as the Kings did in all the other Kingdoms.

I should next treat of the Kingdom of the West-Saxons, according to the course of Time wherein it begun, but I intend to reserve that to the last, because it is from them that all our English-Saxon Kings de­scended, till the Conquest.

AND therefore I will now give you a brief Succession of the Kings of the East-Saxons, 3. East-Saxons. where they seem to have followed in a Lineal De­scent, till Sebert, the first Christian King; and he dying, as Bede relates,Bede Lib. 2. Cap. 5. & Flor. Wig. pag. 690. left his three Sons joint Heirs of his Kingdom, tho we can find no more than the Names of two of them, viz. Sexred and Seward, who being both slain in Battel against the West-Saxons, Sigbert, the Son of Se­ward, succeeded him.

THIS I remark to shew you, that this Kingdom did not always go according to a Lineal Succession, for all the three Brothers were Heirs alike: and that the Testament of the King alone had not the Power to [Page xliv] do this without the concurring Assent of the Great Council of the Kingdom, I shall prove when I come to discourse of the Succession of the West-Saxon Kings; since it is most reasonable to suppose the same General Laws or Constitutions concerning it to have been in use among them all, until any one can prove the contrary.

I have no more to say concerning these Kings of the East-Saxons, but that after the Death of King Sebbi or Sebba, Ibid. Cap. 12. we are informed by Bede, that Siggard and Swithered his two Brothers, reigned jointly after him, which I observe only the further to make good the former Instance, of more Heirs than one at a Time.

4. Nor­thumbers.AND now I come to the Kingdom of the Northumbers, the Lineal Succession whereof being so often broken, and so very perplexed, it would be tiresome to give you all the particular Instances in which the next Heirs by Descent were put by, and other Princes of the Blood more remote chosen by the People in their Rooms: so that from Ida their first King for near three hundred Years, we shall scarce ever find that Crown settled in any one Family for above three Descents, but that it was still translated to some other Prince of the Blood Royal,Vid. The Gene­alogies of the Saxon Kings at the end of Florence of Worcester. which seems to have been the most general Rule they observed, as any one may see, who will please to consult their Pedigree at the end of Flo­rence of Worcester.

AND indeed the frequent Rebellions of this Nation against their Kings, and the Deposing of them so as they did, being not only observed, but frequently blamed by William of Malmesbury and our other Antient Historians, I shall not draw any Precedents from thence, but such as we find in the very beginning of this Kingdom, and before that People were infected with that turbulent Humour of casting off their Kings whenever they displeased them.

Lib. 1. Cap. 3.TO begin with Ida their first King, 'tis true William of Malmesbury will not affirm, whether he made himself King by his own Power, or else became so by Consent of the People, because he owns it to be very much in the dark; yet Henry Huntington is positive, that he was chosen to this Dignity by the Consent of the Great or chief Men: but after his Death, tho a Prince of great Merit, the Kingdom became divided, and Adda his Son only obtained the Kingdom of Bernicia, whilst Aella, the Son of Yffi, of the same Royal Lineage, succeeded him in that of Deira, which how it could be unless by Election, I do not understand.

See Florence in the Place a­bove cited.NOR did any of the Sons of Adda succeed him in that Kingdom, but three other Princes, viz. Glappa, Theodulf, and Frethulf, whose Relation to the Northumbrian Blood Royal, our Authors do not declare, nor yet how they stood in Consanguinity to each other; only they say that after them, Thedorick first, and then Ethelrick, the Sons of Ida, succeeded in the Bernician Kingdom, which how they could do other­wise than by Election I do not find.

Flor. Ibid.AND note, that these six Princes last mentioned, governed Bernicia, whilst Aella being yet alive still reigned in Deira; nor did he, for all he ruled above thirty Years, long secure the Kingdom to his Son Eadwin; for he was soon expelled by Ethelfrith, the Son of King Ethelrick, who forced him to fly his Countrey, whilst he commanded both Nations for several Years, till being at last overcome and slain in Battel by Redwald King of the East-Angles; Eadwin again recovered not only his own Kingdom, but that of Deira also.

[Page xlv]BUT yet he did not enjoy what he had thus obtained many Years, for he lost his Life in a fight with Penda King of the Mercians, and then Osric his Cousin-German succeeded him in Deira, whilst Eanfrid, the Son of Ethelfrith, was made King of Bernicia; but he soon after be­ing killed by Cadwallo King of the Britains, Oswald his Brother succeeded him, who being also slain by the said Penda, Oswin his younger Bro­ther was made King, whilst Oswy, the Son of Osric, reigned in Bernicia, and having cruelly murdered Oswin, made himself Master of both King­doms; but whether it was done by the Power of the Sword, or by Election, since our Authors are silent in this Matter, I will not deter­mine. I have only set down the Succession of these first Kings, to shew that there was not often any Hereditary Lineal Right to the Crown observed among them.

AS for the Kingdom of the East-Angles, 5. East-Angles. the Antient Annals and Histories of that Countrey having been all destroyed by the Danes, we have little more than the Names and Successions of their Kings left us, nor yet of those higher than Vffa, (tho it is certain the East-Angles had fixed themselves in those Parts long before he began to reign) and those but very lame and defective: For from Ethelbert who was murde­red by King Offa, for above threescore Years, we have no Account of what Kings reigned in that Kingdom; and it is certain, that upon the Death of Offa and his Son Egfert, the People of the East-Angles freed themselves from the Mercian Yoke; but about the Year 855. (as As­ser in his Annals, and Florence of Worcester assure us) Edmund, (after called the Martyr) being then but fifteen Years old, was Elected and Crowned King of the East-Angles by the general Consent of the Peo­ple of that Kingdom; but they do not inform us who was his Father; yet if we may give Credit to John of Tinmouth in his Sanctilogium, he makes him to be the Son of one Alcmond a Nobleman of the Blood Royal.

I have given you this Instance, to let you see that they were no Strangers to Elective Kings; for if his Blood alone would have fixed in him any Title, there would have been no need at all of his Electi­on: but this King being afterwards murdered by the Danes, they al­so seized on his Kingdom, and held it till it was reconquered by King Edward the Elder.

NOR have we much to remark of the manner of the Succession of the Mercian Kings;6. Merci­ans for tho the Son very frequently succeeded the Fa­ther, or one Brother or Cousin to another, yet it is as certain that it must have been chiefly by an Elective Right, notwithstanding the Annals and our Historians do not expresly mention it: Florence Wig. p. 691. For Beornred having in the Year 755. treacherously slain Ethelbald King of the Mercians, Offa a young Man of the Blood Royal, raising Forces against him, and having driven him out of the Kingdom, he was, as Pag. 852. printed at the end of Script. post Bedam. Ingulph relates, made King in his room by the General Consent of the Nobles of Mer­cia; or as Anno 758. Matthew Westminster words it, ‘He was by the unanimous Consent of the Clergy and Laiety of that Kingdom, Elected and Crowned King; which without doubt was done in a Great Council of that Nation, for we find that to secure the Crown to his own Family, Page 26. Matthew Paris in his Life of King Offa, tells us, that in a Great Council assembled at Calcuith, Anno 787. he caused Egfrid his eldest on, a comely and valiant Youth, to be crowned King, who [Page xlvi] jointly reigned with him as long as he lived: and that this could not be done without the Consent and Election of this Great Council, appears by the twelfth Law or Decree made therein,Vid. Sir Henry Spelm. Co [...]cil. Vol. 1. Anno 787. entituled, De ordinatione Regum, viz. ‘That at the Election or Ordination of Kings, no Man should permit the Assent or Vote of evil Men to prevail, but Kings shall be lawfully Elected by the Clergy and Elders, (i.e. chief Men of the King­dom) and not begotten of Adultery or Incest, because an Adulterer, according to the Canons, cannot arrive to the Priesthood; so neither can he be the Lord's Anointed and Heir of his Countrey, or King of the whole Kingdom, who is not begot of Lawful Matrimony.’

FROM hence the Reader may observe, that he who is appointed to be Elected, is also called Haeres Patriae, to let us see, that he who was to come in by an Elective Right, was also accounted the Right Heir of the Kingdom.

AFTER Egfrid succeeded Kenwulfe, who certainly came in by Election, being himself very remote from the Crown; for William of Malmesbury says,Lib. 1. he was in the fifth Descent from Cenwalch the Brother of Penda, one of the first Mercian Kings; a Title too stale in that Age to give a Right without a new Election, since his Predecessor King Offa could not be admitted to obtain the Crown without it, tho he was in Blood almost as near to it,Vid. Chroni­con Saxoni­cum, Anno DCCLV. where his Pedigree is set down. being in the fifth Descent from Wibba or Wippa, who was the Father of the aforesaid Penda.

BUT were there no other Proof of this, the Decree of the Council abovementioned sufficiently evinces this Kingdom to have been elective at that Time.

TO Kenwulf abovementioned, succeeded Kenelme a Child, and he is the first Example of an Infant's succeeding when there was a Male Heir of full Age alive,Vid. William Malm. Lib. p. 33. viz. Ceolwulf the Brother of the said Kenwulf; which I suppose proceeded from the great Love they bore to their late deceased King, and some Aversion they had to his Brother, as you will see by and by.

BUT if John of Tinmouth in his Historia Aurea, (still in Manu­script in several Libraries) may be credited, tho he wrote long after those Times, yet out of antient Manuscripts not now extant, he says expres­ly, Kenelmum aetate parvulum, sed animo & pietate magnificum, ad Re­gem elegerat Amor Populi sui, i. e. the Love of the People had elected Kenelm to be their King, tho an Infant in Years, yet remarkable for Spirit and Piety.

BUT King Kenelme being murdered by his Sister Quendride, and she frustrated in her expectations of the Crown, our Annals tell us, that then Ceolwulf was advanced to it, (without making any mention at all of King Kenelme) and the next Year expelled his Kingdom by the Faction and Contrivance of Bernulph a potent Nobleman, but how­ever no way related to the Blood-Royal, and so consequently could have no other Title or Pretence but Election, however unjustly he came by it.

THE like I may say of his Successors Ludican, Wiglaff, Bertwulf, and Burhed; the former of whom was only a remote Kinsman of Ber­nulph's, and the three latter were all of them of quite different Fami­lies: but as for Ceolwulf, who was the last that bore the Title of King of Mercia, he deserves not to be mentioned, being only for a Time made King by the Danes to serve their turns, and was quickly after de­posed by them. I have but lightly run over the Succession of these [Page xlvii] Kings, and refer you for the farther Proof to the following History, where you will find all the Authors fairly quoted.

BUT now I come to the Succession of the Kings of the West-Saxons, 7. West-Saxons. from whom our English Monarchs derive their Pedigree to this Day: and therefore I shall be the more particular in my Quotations out of the Antient Authors concerning the Right which those Princes had to the Crown, and the manner how they attained it.

AS for Cerdic, and his Son Cynric, the first Kings of the West-Saxons, it is certain that they had not the title of Kings before they came over, which the Annals place under Anno 495. as we have already observed: nor is it likely that they claimed by any other Title than the Election of their Followers, because we find by the same Annals, that it was above twenty Years before they took upon them the Name of Kings; for An. 519. they say, Hoc Anno Cerdicus & Cynricus Occidentalium Saxonum Regnum susceperunt; à quo usque die regnavit Occidentalium Saxonum proles Regia. This Year Cerdic and Cynric began to reign over the West-Saxons, and from that Time the Royal Race of the West-Saxons have reigned to this day.

BUT it must be confessed, that the Crown from Cerdic to Ceawlin went lineally in three Descents from Father to Son; however this doth not prove but that it might also have been Elective for the Reasons at first given.

THE same may likewise be said for Ceolric and Ceolwulph the Ne­phews of Ceawlin: but that the former of these came in by Election is apparent; for upon Ceawlin's being expelled the Kingdom, Cwichelme Vid. Rad. de Diceto, Anno 593. his Brother ought to have succeeded him in case he had no Sons, as we do not read he had: and yet notwithstanding Ceolric was made King, and this Cwichelme died in the same Year with his Brother, viz. DXCIII. as you may see in the Annals.

AND to Ceolwulf succeeded Cynegils, Son of Ceol, Vid. Annal. Saxon. An. 611. Brother to the King last mentioned; and that he also came in by Election is highly pro­bable, because another Cwichelme who was his Brother was made Part­ner with him in the Kingdom, which could not have been done by his sole Authority, his own Power at that Time not being absolute.

THIS Cwichelme Lib. 1. cap. 2. William of Malmesbury makes to be his Brother; but Florence of Worcester, and Matthew Westminster, call him his Son: but let him have been whether you please, it is certain here was no Mo­narchy, the Kingdom being divided between two who had equal Power. But Cwichelme dying before Cynegills his Brother or Son, the latter left the Kingdom to Cenwalch his Son; tho if Cwichelme was his Son, then Cuthred his Nephew, the Son of Vid. Flor. Wig. An. 666. and the Pedi­gree at the end of the 4th Book. Cwichelme, ought by right of Blood to have succeeded his Father.

BUT this King dying without any Issue, Vid. William Malmesb. Lib. 1. pag. 13. left the Kingdom to Sex­burge his Consort by his Testament.

AND tho this Example may seem to make good Dr. Brady's asser­tion, viz. that the West-Saxon Kings might bequeath the Crown to whom they would, yet that they could not do this without the Con­sent of the Estates of the Great Council of the Kingdom, I hope I shall fully make out before I have done.

BUT this Queen Sexburge dying, or being deposed, as Flor. Hist. Anno 672. Matth. West­minster relates, after somewhat more than a Year's Reign; Aescwin a re­mote Kinsman succeeded her, tho he was six Degrees off from Cerdic the [Page xlviii] first King; and therefore he is not likely to have had any better Title than his Predecessors, for the Reason already given under the Kings of Mercia; and if that will not satisfy, then I say Centwin his Successor was much nearer to the Crown than he, being younger Son to Cynegils, who had reigned within two Successions before, as you may see by the Pe­digree at the end of the fourth Book, where are exactly set down either from the Annals, or Antient Manuscripts, in what manner these se­veral Kings stood related to each other.

BUT before the Death of Aescwin, it seems by the Saxon Annals, Anno 785. That Ceadwalla, a Prince of the Blood Royal, taking Arms, began to contend for the Crown of that Kingdom, tho he was very far removed from it, being descended from Cutha the younger Son of Ceawlin.

Vid. Annal. Saxon. Anno 693.TO Ceadwalla succeeded Ina, to whom that King upon his going to Rome left the Crown, tho he was no nearer to it than his Predecessor, being descended from Cuthwin, the youngest Son of Ceawlin abovemen­tioned, and could for certain have had no other Right than that of Election, because Cenred his Father was alive at the same time, as you may see in the Vid. 1st Vol. of Sir Henry Spelman's Councils, as al­so the ensuing History. Preface to this King's Laws, where he is expresly so called.

BUT as for the five next Princes, viz. Athelhard, Cuthred, Sigebyrht, Cy­newulf, and Bryhtric, it is most probable that they neither could have any other Title than Election, since being only Kinsmen and not Sons to each other, it is very unlikely that so many of them should have died without leaving any Son to succeed them: which is also as good as confessed by William of Malmesbury, in these words, Nam & ipse Brihtricus, & caeteri infra Inam Reges, licet naturalium splendore glori­antes, quippe qui à Cerdicio originem traherent, non parum tamen à linea Regiae stirpis exorbitaverant; i. e. For tho Brihtric himself, and the rest of the Kings since Ina, tho boasting of their Royal Lineage, as draw­ing their Origine from Cerdic, yet did they not a little deviate from the right Royal Line, that is, they were not Lineal Heirs by Blood: and if so, what other Right could they have except that of Election by the People? Therefore since neither our Annals, nor any other Au­thor that I know of, have given us their Pedigrees, I have been forced to set down the Names of these last five Kings by themselves, with­out being able to shew you what Relation they had to each other.

BUT as for Cynewulf, that he could have no Title to the Crown but what Election gave him, it is certain; for our Annals inform us under Anno 755. ‘That he with the Wife and Noble Men of the West-Saxons, deprived King Sigebert of the whole Kingdom for his Cruelty and Injustice.’ And certainly then the same Authority that Deposed the one, must also Elect and set up the other; since he could by no means succeed him as his Heir, because we find in the same Annals, Anno 755. ‘That Cyneheard the Brother of the late King Sigebert, con­spiring against King Cynewulf, set upon him in a certain Woman's House at Merton in Surrey, and there slew him; and was at last also killed himself: after whom Bryhtric began to reign, who was in a Right Line descended from Cerdic.

BUT we are now come out of the Dark into clearer Times; for K. Egbert succeeding Bryhtric, came in by Election, being, as our Annals [Page xlix] likewise inform us, four Descents removed from Ingilds the Brother of King Ina; and that his best Title was Election, appears from the Te­stimonies of our most antient Historians, viz. Ethelwerd, who says ex­presly, Itá (que) ordinatur Egberht super-Occidentales Saxones in Regnum;E [...]helwerdi Hist. Lib. 3. cap. 2. this must signify, that he was set over the Kingdom. And further to confirm that, Ordinatur here signifies the same with Eligitur: see the Law abovementioned concerning the Election of the Mercian Kings; the Title of it in Sir Henry Spelman's first Volume of Councils,Fol. 292. is, de Ordinatione Regum, i.e. of the Election of Kings.

AND that by this word Ordinatur, cannot be meant any Lineal Suc­cession in Ethelwerd, will further appear from him, where he says,Lib. 4. Cap. 1. Post Obitum Athulfi Regis, ordinati sunt filii ejus in Regnum; which must be understood either an Appointment by the Father's Will, or else a new Election, since these Sons of King Aethelwulf could never be thus appointed or ordained Kings by the Law of Lineal Succession, be­cause each of these Brothers, except the Eldest, left Sons.

BUT William of Malmesbury does likewise as good as own,Lib. 2. Cap. 1. that King Egbert came in by Election, when he says, that upon the Death of Brytrich, Egbert at the frequent Solicitations of his Countrey-men coming over into Britain; Móx (que) imperare jussus, Patriae Desideriis sa­tisfecit, being immediately commanded to reign, did thereupon sa­tisfy the Desires of his Countrey. Now I would fain know, if he had come in by virtue of a Lineal Descent, why he should have needed the being commanded to reign, since he ought rather to have com­manded their Allegiance as his Due?

AND either to this Time, or rather to the latter end of this King's Reigny (as you may find in the ensuing History) I suppose may be re­ferred what the Author of the Mirror of Justices, in the very begin­ning of the Book, says concerning the first Election of a King to reign over the rest of the Saxon Sovereign Princes, viz. ‘That forty of them made him to swear, that he would maintain the Holy Christian Faith with all his Power, and govern his People according to Right, with­out regard to any Person: and that he should be liable to suffer Right, (i. e. Judgment) as well as others of his People.’

THIS Passage, tho it be accounted by some of but a doubtful Au­thority, because of the forty Princes abovementioned, whereas we ne­ver read of above seven or eight Saxon Kings to have reigned at once, and those [...]oo were by this Egbert reduced to three besides himself; viz. the East-Angles, Mercia, and Northumberland; yet if by the Princes here mentioned, we understand not Sovereign Princes, but Ealdormen of Counties and Great Cities, who (as Mr. Selden shews us in his Ti­tles of Honour) are commonly stiled in the old Saxon Charters Princi­pes, and by this Author in his French Original, rendred Princes;Selden. Tit. Hon. Fol. 502. last Edition. these meeting together in a Great Council, did, as the chief Magistrates of the Cities and Counties from whence they came,The Division of England into Counties was much more an­tient than King Alfred. injoin the King this Oath which was taken at the General Council mentioned in the ensu­ing History under Anno 803, or else 828. This Passage in the Mirrour of J [...]stic [...]s, if it were taken out of some old Saxon Monument now lost, (as I have great reason to believe it was, since the Laws which he here relates concerning King Alfred, are admitted by the Learned Author of the Notes upon his Life, printed at Oxford, Aelfredi Magnì Vita, Fol. 82. to have been transcribed by him from some Antient Commentaries of that King, [Page l] which Laws he there a little after recites:) I say, this Passage may serve as a great Proof, not only of this King's Election to be the Chief or Supream King of all England, but also it gives us the Original Contract, if I may so call it, which he then entred into with this Nation, at the time of his Election and Coronation.

TO Egbert succeeded Athelwulf his Son; who, though I grant it is no where said that he was Elected, yet if his Father were so (as it is most evident he was) it is not likely that the Kingdom should become Successive in one Descent, especially if we consider the manner of all his five Sons coming to the Kingdom, either in his Life-time, or after him.

Vid. Annal. Saxon. & Flor. Wig. An. 636.FOR as to Athelstane his eldest Son, on whom he bestowed (almost as soon as he came to the Crown) the Kingdom of Kent, with the South and East-Saxons, I have proved in the ensuing History from Flor. Hist. Anno 637. Matthew Westminster and other Authors, that he was Illegitimate, and so could have no Legal Right of Succession: nor does it seem probable, he should be set over those Kingdoms by his Father without any previous Election, or Consent of those People.

AND as for his other four Legitimate Sons, Ethelbald, the Eldest of them, did by the General Consent of the King and the whole Nation, (which amounts to an Election) Vid. Annal. Asserii, Anno 855. pag. 56. edit. per Doct. Gale, & De Ge­stis Aelfredi, pag. 3. divide the Kingdom with his Fa­ther, he himself enjoying that of the West-Saxons, whilst his Father ruled over the rest. And by the virtue of his Testament, confirmed likewise by the General Consent of the Kingdom, Ethelbald remained only King of the West-Saxons, whilst Ethelbert his second Brother reign­ed in Kent, as also over the East and South-Saxons, which had been his Brother Aethelstane's share, who died without Issue for ought we can find.

BUT after King Ethelbald's Death, Ethelbert succeeded in the whole Kingdom; and he likewise dying, Ethelred his Brother succeeded him, after whose Death also Alfred the youngest Brother came to the Throne.

THIS short Account is the Truth of the Matter of Fact; yet there re­quires a great deal to be said to have it well understood; since Dr. Bra­dy in his true and exact History of the Succession of the Crown, Vol. 1. of his Introduction, will needs derive the whole Right which these Prin­ces had to the Kingdom, from the Entail of it by their Father's Will a­bovementioned; and if the Testament of a King then Regnant could dispose of the Crown to the prejudice of the Right Heirs by Lineal Descent, I desire this Learned Antiquary to satisfy us how this could consist with his supposed Right of Lineal Succession at the same Time?

BUT the Truth is, this worthy Doctor, as well as the Author of the great Point of Succession discussed, here deal with us like some crafty. Witnesses, who indeed speak the Truth, but not the whole Truth, if they find it will make against them. For the Doctor in the first Place conceals, and the nameless Author of the other Pamphlet, either wil­fully or ignorantly, positively denies, that King Alfred's three elder Brothers, who reigned before him, left any Issue Male; whereas it is most certain that two of them, if not all Three, left Sons behind them: for Athelm and Aethelwold, Vid. Testa­ment. Alfredi Regis. (to whom King Alfred by his Testament be­queaths divers Lands therein mentioned, under the Title of his Bro­ther's Sons) are supposed by the Learned Author of the Notes upon his Life, to have been the Children of King Ethelbald his eldest Bro­ther, [Page li] tho whether they were so or no I will not be so confident as to affirm. But that they were either the Sons of Ethelbald or Ethelbert is most certain, and consequently they ought to have reigned before him who was but their Uncle.

AS for King Ethelred, he had also two Sons if no more, viz. Alfred, supposed to be Grandfather to Elthelwerd the Historian, and Oswald, whom Mr. Speed, in the Reign of this King, says was a Witness to his Father's Charter to the Abbey of Abington: but the Author of the Notes to King Alfred's Life being convinced of this,Fol. 19. to solve an Ob­jection so directly contrary to the received Hypothesis of a Lineal Succes­sion, is feign to take refuge in a supposed Arbitrary Power the English-Saxon Kings had of disposing of their Kingdom as a Fee-Simple: which is such a Conceit, that if he would but have been pleased to put down the first seven or eight Lines of King Alfred's Testament, instead of that Scrap he has there given us of it, it would have sufficiently con­futed that Assertion. Therefore since he has been so fair as to give us this Testament at full length in the second Appendix to the said Life, I will make bold to transcribe so much as will be enough to evince the contrary, and leave the Reader to consult the rest at his leisure.

Testamentum Alfredi Regis.

Printed also at the end of Asser de Gestis Alfredi. EGO Aelfredus Divino Munere, labore ac studio Athelredi Archiepisco­pi, nec non totius West-Saxoniae Nobilitatis Consensu paritèr & Assensu, Occidentalium Saxonum Rex, quos in testimonium meae ultimae Volantatis complementi, ut sint advocati in disponendis pro salute Animae meae, Regali Electione confirmo, tàm de hereditate, See the Trans­lation of this Will at the end of K. Alfred's Life. quam Deus ac Principes eum senio­ribus populi misericorditèr ac benignè dederunt, quàm de haereditate, quam pater meus Aethelwulfus Rex nobis tribus fratribus delegavit, videlicet Aethelbaldo, Aetheredo, & Mihi; ità quod qui nostrum diutius foret su­perstes, Ille totius Regni Dominio congauderet.

NOW I would gladly be satisfied from the Author abovementioned, in these three Points, if King Aethelwulf had full Power to bequeath the Kingdom to his Sons, and to turn it from a Fee-Simple into a Fee-Tail;

FIRST, Why K. Alfred in the very first Line of this Testament calls himself King of all West-Saxony by the Divine Donation, and the As­sent and Consent of the whole West-Saxon Nobility, if he had not been Elected, or at least Confirmed by them in the Possession of the Crown, so bequeathed to him by his Father?

SECONDLY, When he here summoned them to be Witnesses to the compleating and confirming of this his last Will, why he distin­guishes that private Inheritance which he had given him by the Grace of God, and the Favour and Bounty of his Nobility and People, from that publick Inheritance which his Father had bestowed on him and his two Brothers, so that the longest Liver of them should enjoy the whole Kingdom? But,

THIRDLY, if his Father's Testament alone could have given his Bro­thers and him an absolute Right to the Kingdom, how came it to pass that he stiles himself King by the Assistance of Arch-Bp Athelred, with the Assent and Consent of the whole West-Saxon Nobility? and what ne­cessity was there for him to summon them only to be Witnesses thereof, [Page lii] if their Confirmation were no ways necessary thereunto? I fear he will not be able to answer these Queries, unless he will grant that this last Will of King Alfred wanted as much their Confirmation, as that of his Father had done before.

‘AND this may be plainly proved, not only from the beginning of the Will it self, but also from an Agreement therein recited to have been made between the three Brothers abovementioned; by Virtue of which they dying, the whole Inheritance of King Ethelwolf his Fa­ther was devolved upon him by a certain Charter made in the Mycel Gemote, or General Council of the Kingdom, at Langdene; which being read before the Witnesses, (i.e. all the Estates) of all West-Saxony, they unanimously declared, that they knew of none who had a juster Title than himself.’ And yet you must not forget, that both his said elder Brothers had left Children behind them.

WHEREUPON the said Estates farther declared thus, Ecce jam habes tuam hereditatem iterum in Manibus tuis. Nunc de Bonis & Pos­sessionibus conde Testamentum tuum; lega, & dona tuo proximo sanguini vel Amicis tuis & Cognatis sicut tibi placuerit. To which the King re­plied, Et Omnes illi firmit [...]tem irrevocabilem mihi fecerunt, & subscrip­serunt, ipsos nunquam hereditatem meam alicui homini alitèr pervertendo daturos, praeterquam cui Egomet legabo die proximo jam instante.

FROM whence it is most evident, that it was to the Consent of the Estates of the Kingdom that King Alfred owed the Power of making this his last Will, and of bequeathing only the private Inheritance which his Father and Brothers had left him; and where, tho he dis­poses of the several Lands therein mentioned, first to his eldest Son Edward, then also to his younger Son, whom he does not name, and his two Nephews and others; yet he pretends to make no Bequest of the Crown, which one would think he would by no means have o­mitted, had he had any such unlimited Prerogative abstracted from the Consent of the Kingdom, to have disposed of, or entailed it, as his Father had done before him, tho not without or against the said Consent, to which it appears every one of his Predecessors chiefly owed his Title.

NOW give me leave to draw two Conclusions from the whole Will, which I have almost translated verbatim at the end of King Alfred's Life in the following History.

FIRST, That it was then indeed in the Power of the King to make his Will, and bequeath his Kingdom; but how? with the Consent and Assent of the Estates; and the Person or Persons to whom it was thus entailed, came in successively by virtue of such Designation: and there­fore De Gestis Alsredi. Asser very well and justly calls King Athelwolf's Will, Heredita­riam, vel Commendatoriam Epistolam, i. e. a recommendatory Letter to the Estates of the Kingdom to elect his Sons; but if no such Bequest was made, and so confirmed as aforesaid, then the Estates of the King­dom were at liberty to choose the Eldest Son, or next Brother or, Kins­man, if he were of fit Age and Capacity, for their Sovereign; nay, the King's Testament or Adoption preceding, a meer Stranger to the Royal Blood might be capable of succeeding, provided he also had the Election or Confirmation of the Great Council of the Kingdom, as I sup­pose Queen Sexburgha the Wife of King Cenwalch had; and as you will further find Harold, the Son of Harl Godwin, obtained, towards the end of this Volume.

[Page liii]SECONDLY, That the Person so designed was called the Heir of the preceding King, and enjoyed the Inheritance thus acquired Jure Haere­ditario, i. e. by Hereditary Right, tho he was not the next Heir in Blood to him that went before him, as is clearly manifest from this Testament it self, wherein King Alfred plainly distinguishes between the Dominions which he and his Brother King Ethered were to conquer, and those that came to him Jure Haereditario, i. e. by Hereditary Right, viz. by Vir­tue of his Father King Ethelwulf's Will; therefore when the Crown fell to King Alfred by virtue of that Entail, Abbot Ailred expresly says, ad Eum totum Regnum jure Haereditario transiit, De Genealog. Regum Ang. Col. 351. &c. And yet King Al­fred could not be Lineal Heir to his Brothers, since they both left Sons behind them, as hath been already observed.

AND in the same Sense King Edward the Confessor, in the Preface to his Charter to the Abbey of Westminster (which you may find at large in Monast. Anglican.) having recited the Miseries the Nation had under­gone from Wars raised by Strangers,1 Vol. pag. 59. which were to that extremity, Adeo ut pene periclitata sit haereditaria Regum Successio, magnúm (que) esset interstitium inter fratrem meum Edmundum, qui Patri meo successit, mé (que) habitum sit; invadentibus Regnum Sweyno, & Cnuto filio ejus, &c. where you may observe he calls his own Succession to his Brother, Hae­reditaria Successio; and yet his Brother left a Son behind him, who was Living when he was chosen King. Thus also Eadmerus relates, that Duke William claimed the Crown of England, Jure Haereditario, Hist. Ecclesi. pag. 5. from King Edward the Confessor's Testament; but certainly the Duke could have no pretence to it by Right of Blood, being no ways descended from the English-Saxon Kings.

SO that it is a manifest Errour in some of our Modern Writers of the Succession, who will needs understand these words, jus Haereditari­um, to have been used in the same Sense in those, as they have been taken in later Ages, since the Crown came to be claimed by a Li­neal Descent of Blood: But indeed Eadmerus his Sense of these words is most agreeable to the Civil Law, wherein he is called HAERES EXASSE; who comes in as Heir by Testament to the whole Inheritance, tho no way related to the Testator; for that Law describes an Heir thus, Haeredis significatione, omnes significari Successores, etsi verbis non expressi: And therefore our Bracton derives the word Haeres, ab Haere­ditamento; for says he, Inheritance is a Succession to all the Right which the Predecessor (he does not say Ancestor) enjoyed: from whence you may observe, that in Bracton's Time, this word Haeres was not even by our Law limited only to an Heir by Blood or Descent.

HAVING said thus much of our Saxon Kings Accession to the Throne, as far as King Alfred; I shall in the next Place proceed to give you the Succession of all the rest, down to the pretended Conquest, from the most Antient Authors who lived either a good while before, or else not long after that Time, before Men's Minds became prejudiced by those Notions of Lineal Succession, which began to be in Vogue about the Time of Edward the Third, when the Crown had descended from Father to Son for four Descents, tho not without somewhat that was tantamount to an Election in that Prince himself.

TO King Alfred succeeded his Son King Edward the Elder, who, not having the Crown bequeathed to him as his Father had, viz. by Will, [Page liv] confirmed by an Act of the Great Council, was fain to be Elected, as Ethelwerd expresly tells us in these words,Chron. Ethel­werdi. Lib. 3. Ca. 3. An. 901. Successor equidèm Monarchiae post filius supra memorati Regis coronatur, ipse Stemmate Regali, à Prima­tis ELECTVS Pentecostis in die: that is, afterwards Edward the Son of the abovementioned King, being Successor of the Monarchy, was Crowned; and being descended of the Blood Royal, was Elected by the Chief Men of the Kingdom on the day of Pentecost, (i. e. Whitsunday).

AFTER this Edward's Decease, Aethelstan his Son succeeded him, whom most Antient Writers, as well in Print as Manuscript, relate to have been begot of a Concubine, and therefore could have no Legal Right: and tho William of Malmesbury endeavours to palliate it, yet he is almost forced to confess it at last by saying, Sed Ipse praeter hanc No­tam (si tamen vera est) nihil ignobile habuit, i. e. that he had no other Mark of ill upon him but this, if it were true.

BUT tho Dr. Brady will have this Prince to have succeeded wholly by virtue of his Father's Will,Lib. 2. Cap. 6. and cites William of Malmesbury for it, who, he says, has these words in the History of Edward the Elder, Jussu Patris in Testamento Aethelstanus in Regem acclamatus est; by the Command of his Father, in his Will, Aethelstan was proclaimed King; yet he might have been so fair and ingenuous as to have given us the words that are in the very beginning of this Chapter in the same Au­thor, viz. Itá (que) magno Consensu Optimatum ibidèm Athelstanus ELEC­TVS, apud Regiam Villam quae vocatur Kingston Coronatus est; i. e. That thereupon by the General Consent of the Chief Men or Estates of the Kingdom, Athelstan being Elected, was Crowned at the Royal Town of Kingston: but this did not agree with the Doctor's Hypothesis, and so I suppose he thought it best to leave it out.

THIS Passage was borrowed by William of Malmesbury from a much Antienter Author, viz. the Compiler of the Saxon Annals, who under Anno 925. expresly tells us, That he was Electus in Regem, & apud Cingestune Consecratus, Elected King, and Anointed at Kingston: from both which it appears, that the Election and Consecration were then two different Actions.

AFTER Athelstan, succeeded Edmund his Brother, and indeed ought to have been King before him, he being Legitimate, whereas the other was only a Natural Son.

BUT he dying, and leaving two Sons behind him, Edwy and Edgar, neither of them, but Edred, King Edmund's younger Brother, was ad­vanced to the Throne; which how it could be done unless by Election, I confess I do not understand: and therefore this might be omitted as to this Prince, as well as the Coronation of King Edgar, and other of our English-Saxon Kings are both by our Annals and Antient Historians; for I must own I cannot find that the word Electus is used in his Advance­ment to the Throne: for Ethelwerd tells us expresly, ejus Successor extitit Eadred in Regnum, Ethelwerdi Histor. Cap. 7. suus quippe frater; that Eadred his Successor obtained the Kingdom, because he was his own Brother.

AND in this he is followed by Florence of Worcester, who expresses it thus, Edredus proximus haeres fratris succedens, Regnum suscepit; Edred succeeding as next Heir to his Brother, enjoyed the Kingdom.

Dr. Brady in his above-cited Treatise, will needs solve this open Breach of a Lineal Succession, by the Nonage of King Edmund's Sons, and the Nation's then being under great Difficulties. The former of these [Page lv] I grant to be a good Excuse, but as for the latter it was not at all true; since King Edmund, by subduing both Northumberland and Cumberland, driving the Danes out of the one, and delivering the other to the King of Scots, to be enjoyed as his Vassal, had thereby sufficiently settled the Peace of the Nation: so that let the Doctor take his choice, and either allow this King to have succeeded by Election, or else if by Succession, it was no Lineal one, as the Doctor would maintain, because these Hi­storians tell us, he succeeded his Brother as next Heir, when at the same time they confess too, that he left two Sons behind him; and if the Na­tion's lying then under great Difficulties, will be a good Warrant to set by a Right Heir, I desire he would be pleased to satisfy me, why it may not always be a justifiable Reason to make a Breach upon the Suc­cession in the like Cases?

AS for Edwy, Nephew to this King, indeed I do not find any thing mentioned in the Annals or other printed Authors of his Election; yet the Antient Manuscript Life of Arch-bishop Odo, now in the Otho. D. 12. Cottoni­an Library, and which seems to have been written by some Monk not long after that Time, says expresly, Edwigus Filius Aedmundi in Regem ELECTVS est. Nor indeed could he succeed as Heir to his Uncle, for his Lineal Right was before him: nor does the Expression commonly used in the Saxon Annals, viz. FENG to RICE, (which is rendered in the Latin by capessit Regnum) signify any thing concerning the manner of this or any other King's coming to the Crown. ‘These being,True and exact History of the Succession of the Crown, so. 3, 9. as the Doctor himself acknowledges, the usual Saxon and Latin words, by which the Succession is expressed, being variously rendered by Transla­tors, by Regnum capessit, successit, or Electus est: and thus we like­wise find the same words are used in the Annals to express King Aethel­stan's and Eadred's, nay Harold's Accession to the Throne, tho it is evi­dent none of them could claim by any Lineal Succession.’

AND these are not the only words made use of in the Saxon Chronicle when an Election is signified; for An. 1015, we find these words concern­ing the Election of K. Edmund Ironside, that the Wites or Wise Men who were at London, and the Citizens, Gecuron, Eadmund to Cynge, i. e. chose Edmund King. So likewise Anno 1036. concerning the Election of Harold Harefoot, that all the Thanes North of Thames, and the Seamen of London, Gecuron Harold, to rule over all England: the same word we also find Anno 1066. where after the words FENG to RICE abovementioned, these likewise follow, and eac men Hine haer to Gec [...] ­ron; i. e. all Men Elected him, viz. Harold, to the Crown.

AND that there may be no dispute about the meaning of this word Gecuron, we find it often used in these Annals for the Election of the Pope, as e. g. Anno 1054. upon the Death of Pope Leo, Victor waes gecuron to Papan. So likewise Anno 1057. upon the Death of Victor, waes Stephanus Gecoren to Papan; and I think the Doctor might with as much appearance of Truth have maintained, that the Saxon word Gecaron here rendred by the Latin Electus in these Annals, signified not the Election, but Re­cognition of the Pope; as to assert (as he does) with so much Con­fidence, that Eligerunt in all Historians signifies no more than Recogno­verunt, when used concerning our English Saxon Kings; i. e. the Sub­jects acknowledged, owned or submitted to him as their King,Vid. Exact Hi­story of the Suc­cession p. 7, 9. as he says concerning King Edgar and others.

[Page lvi]BUT King Edwy being cast off by the Mercians and Northumbers, our Annals inform us, that Eadgar Aetheling (FENG TO RICE, i. e.) succeeded to the Mercian Kingdom, which yet was no otherwise than by Election; for an Antient Manuscript Life of Arch-bishop Dunstan, written before the Conquest, and now in the Cleopatra. B. 13. Cottonian Library, shews us plainly, that both the Mercians and Northumbers Elected him for their King: the words are these, Hoc ità (que) Omnium Conspiratione relicto, eligêre sibi, Domino dictante, Eadgarum ejusdem Germanum in Regem; i. e. This King Edwy by the Consent of all Men being thus deserted, they chose, the Lord directing them, Eadgar his Brother for their King.

AND hereupon the Kingdom becoming divided between him and the King his Brother, that Division was also confirmed by a publick Act of the Estates, as the same Author testifies; Sic (que) Vniverso populo testante, Publica Res Regum ex Definitione Sagacium segregata est, ità ut famosum Flumen, Thamensis Regnum disterminavit Amborum; tunc Ed­garus à praedicto populo sic sortitus ad Regnum, &c. i. e. So that all the People being Witnesses, each of these King's shares were apportioned and set out by the Decree of the Wites or Wise Men; and the Noble River of Thames was the Boundary of both their Kingdoms; then Edgar was advanced to the Kingdom by the aforesaid People.

BUT Edwy dying not long after, the same Author relates of this Edgar, that Regnum illius velut aequus haeres ab utró (que) populo ELECTVS, suscepit; that is, that upon his Death Edgar as Right Heir being Elected both by Clergy and Laity, succeeded to his Kingdom.

FROM whence we may observe, that the same Person who is here called the Right Heir, yet needed an Election upon his Brother's Death to confirm his Title, and gain him an Admission to the Throne of the whole Kingdom; which is also confirmed by Florence of Worcester, whose Citation the Doctor himself here makes use of thus, Ab omni Anglorum populo Electus, Regnum suscepit; which shews that a new Election by all the People of England was necessary, tho he was King of part of it before.

AFTER the Death of King Edgar, our Historians tell us, there was a Contest between Prince Edward, and his Brother Ethelred, concerning their Succession to the Crown; which, says William of Malmesbury, was set on foot by Elfrida the Wife of King Edgar, and Mother-in-Law to Edward; which divers of our Authors tell us, was because those of her Faction pretended that Egelfrida, the Mother of Prince Edward, was never married to King Edgar; for otherwise there could have been no Colour why the elder Son should not be preferred before the Young­er, especially since he was also recommended by his Father's Will: and indeed it is left very much in the dark, whether the Lady last men­tioned were ever Edgar's lawful Wife or not: For the Annals, and more Antient Historians, are wholly silent in it; nor does any Wri­ter make mention of that Lady as King Edgar's Wife, till John of Wal­lingford, who lived in the Reign of King Henry the Third.

BUT be it as it will, whether Prince Edward was Legitimate or not, his Father however had left him (as Florence of Worcester says) Heir of his Kingdom, as well as of his Vertues; yet we also learn from Simeon of Durham, Sim. Dunelm. 975. that Quidam Regis filium Edwardum, Quidam illius fratrem eligerunt, Ethelredum; quam ob causam Archipraesules Dunstanus & Os­waldus cum Co-episcopis, Abbatibus, Ducibus (que) quamplurimis in unum [Page lvii] convenerunt, & Edwardum, ut pater ejus praeceperat, eligerunt, electum consecrarunt, & in Regem unxerunt. ‘Some Elected Edward the King's Son Edmund, some his Brother Ethelred; wherefore the Arch-Bishops, Dunstan and Oswald, with the Bishops, Abbots, and very many No­blemen being gathered together, Elected Edward, (as his Father had commanded) then Consecrated and Anointed him King.’

THIS shews it so plain from the Doctor's own Translation of the words, that Prince Edward (notwithstanding his Father's Will) was first Elected, and then Anointed King, that I needed not have added any further Remark to it, had he but faithfully rendred the Latin Text as he ought to have done; but he has unhappily left out one material small word, and that is Electum, that so the unwary Reader might not observe that those Kings were first Elected, before they could be Anointed.

BUT I have not yet done with this Prince, nor with the Doctor, for John of Tinmouth in his Historia A [...]rea (now in Manuscript in the Lambeth Library) tells the Story of this Election thus:

EDGARO Rege mortuo, & Edwardo ad Regnum relicto, dum quidam principes acquiescere nollent, Dunstanus arrepto Crucis Vexillo in medio constitit, Edwardum illis ostendit, elegit, sacravit; that is, King Edgar being Dead, and Edward left Heir of the Kingdom, whilst some of the Chief Men would not Consent to it, Arch-Bishop Dunstan taking up the Banner of the Cross, placed him in the midst, and shewing him to them, he Elected, and then Consecrated him.

SO that I will leave it to the impartial Reader to judg, whether these words Eligerunt and Electum, here signify no more than recognoverunt, ‘As the Doctor will have them, i. e. they acknowledged, owned, submitted unto him as their King, as his Father had commanded,True and exact History of the Succession, &c. Fol. 7. and by Will appointed, as the Doctor has been pleased to Paraphrase it.’ But I would advise him in the next Edition of this Treatise, or any o­ther he writes upon this Subject, to shew us an Example out of any Antient Roman Authors, nay, any Glossary of the more barbarous Ages, where the word Electus or Eligerunt, signifies Recognition.

FOR as to all his Instances out of his own Glossary at the end of his Introduction, instead of Presidents, I may boldly say they are only meer Cavils against the Right and Manner by which the Kings or Bishops he there mentions came to obtain their Thrones or Sees;Pag. 37. for that the Monks who wrote of them, ever meant by such their expressions that they were truly Elected, he himself cannot deny, which also proves the Falshood of that his Assertion, wherein he affirms, ‘That the old Monks said every one was ELECTED, that had not an HEREDI­TARY Title;Ibid pag. 38. and tho he was set up by the ART or VIOLENCE of a Faction, or obtained the Crown by Force and Arms without Ti­tle, yet according to them he was ELECTED, when as the PEOPLE only received and submitted unto them when they could not help it, and it may be because there was much Shouting, and many Accla­mations at his Reception.’

BUT I hope the Presidents I have here now given will evince the con­trary, since of all the Kings that have been already mentioned to have been Elected, I desire him to shew me one, concerning whom the word Election can mean no more than a bare Recognition or Acclamation of the People, when they first received and submitted to them; whereas in­deed [Page lviii] they were then solemn and deliberate Acts of Choice by the whole Estates of the Kingdom.

BUT since the Instances that the Doctor brings for this his Opinion are all after his Conquest, when he fancies the Nation totally subdued, and their Liberties lost; I shall reserve the Consideration of the Force of those Authorities till my Introduction before my next Volume, if God shall grant me Life to finish it.

BUT to return from whence some perhaps may think this too long a Digression.

KING Edward being murdered by the Instigation of his Mother, Ethelred his Brother succeeded him; and tho the Doctor again seems to put some stress on the words FENG to RICE, as if he had come in by Lineal Succession, yet that he was also Elected as well as his Brother, I desire he would consult the Antient Annals of the Monastery of Thor­ney in the Cottonian Library,Bibliothec. Cotton. Nero. cap. 7. great part of which is written in Saxon Letters, and either some time before, or else not long after the Con­quest, and there under Anno 978. he will find these words, Eadwardus Rex occiditur, Atheldredus eligitur, that King Edward was killed, and Ethelred Elected.

Id. sub. Effigie Claudii. A. 3.AND for a Proof of this, there is in the same Library the form of the Coronation of that King and his Queen, which hath these words in it.

i. e. the Ld. or Prince to be elected; whence the Spanish and Italian Titles of Seignior. SENIOREM per manus producant Duo Episcopi ad Ecclesiam, & Clerus hanc decantet Antiphonam, duobus Episcopis praecinentibus.

FIRMETVR manus tua, ut supra versic.

GLORIA Patri, &c, perveniens Rex ad Ecclesiam prosternat se coram Altare, ut hymnizetur.

TE Deum Laudamns; Te Dominum consitemur.

QVO finito tenus ymnizato, Rex erigetur de Solo, & AB EPISCOPIS ET A PLEBE ELECTUS. Haec tria se servaturum jura promittat, & clara Voce coràm Deo omní (que) Populo dicat. Haec tria populo Christiano, & mihi subditis in Christi promitto nomine,

IMPRIMIS, ut Ecclesia Dei, & omnis populus Christianus veram pa­cem nostro arbitrio in omni tempore servet.

SECVNDO, Vt Rapacitates, & omnes Iniquitates omnibus gradibus interdicam.

TERTIO, Vt in omnibus Juditiis aequitatem & misericordiam prae­cipiam, ut mihi & vobis indulgeat suam misericordiam clemens & miseri­cors Deus, qui vivit, &c. His peractis omnes dicant, Amen.

AND for a farther Confirmation of the Truth of this Oath, there is also an Antient Saxon Copy of it, together with a Latin Version which differs but little from that now cited, and is said to be that Oath which Arch-Bishop Dunstan administred to this King at Kingston on the Day of his Coronation; at the end of which Oath it is also specified, that so long as the King observes it, he will thereby obtain both Earthly Glory, and also God's Mercy; so if he breaks it, he will still pass from bad to worse, as well in respect of himself, as People, unless he repent. This you will find printed both in Saxon and Latin, in the second Book of King Alfred's Life,Cleopatra. B. 13. printed at Oxford from an Antient Manuscript in the Cottonian Library.

[Page lix]I shall not trouble you with a verbal Translation of all this long Oath; only observe thus much, that hereby it appears plainly that King Ethelred had been before Elected by the Clergy and Laity, in order to be crowned King; which is further confirmed by that old Saxon imper­fect Ritual of the Coronation of the English Saxon Kings and Queens, part of which Mr. Selden hath given us in his Titles of Honour, Seld. Tit. Hon. pag. 116. where in the Prayer upon the Anointing we find these words, Respice propi­tius ad preces nostrae humilitatis, & super hunc famulum tuum illum quem supplici Devotione in Regem ANGLORUM vel SAXONUM pa­ritèr ELIGIMVS, Benedictionum tuarum Dona multiplica;Id. pag. 140. as also what follows in the same Chapter, in the Blessing after the Coronation, in giving him the Scepter. Benedic, Domine, hunc PRE-ELECTVM Prin­cipem, qui Regna omnium Regum à saeculo moderaris. Amen.

NOW from both these Places above quoted, we may safely conclude, that an Election did most commonly precede the Coronation of our English Saxon Kings; which I think is made so evident by these Au­thorities, that it needs no farther Enlargement; nor should I trou­ble my self about it were it not to expose the Obstinacy of some Men, as well as to continue the Series of this Succession (which perhaps would seem lame to others without it) down to the Conquest.

TO go on therefore where we left off, after the Death of King Ethel­red, the Saxon Annals tell us, that Omnes Proceres, qui in Londonia erant, & Cives, eligerunt Eadmundum in Regem, i. e. All the Chief Men, (or Witan, as it is in the Saxon, i. e. Wise Men) that were at London, and the Citizens, chose Edmund for their King; and yet he was his Fa­ther's eldest Son, tho whether Legitimate or not is uncertain: for we do not find any antient Author till after the Conquest, that men­tions Ethelred's being married to the Mother of this Prince; and if he was not, this Son of his could have no other Title but Election. This is also confirmed by Ingulph, who says, Cui (Ethelredo) successit in Reg­num, Londonensium & West-Saxonum Electione, Ingulph. fol. 507. b. lin. 5. Filius ejus primogenitus Edmundus, &c. i. e. Edmund his eldest Son succeeded his Father Ethel­red, by the Election of the Londoners and West-Saxons, in the King­dom.

BUT tho our Saxon Annals are silent of it, yet an Antient Manu­script Chronicle, wrote about the Time of the Conquest, now in the Cottonian Library, relates,Otho. D. 7. that about the same Time that King Ed­mund was thus Elected, Episcopi, Abbates, qui (que) Nobiliores Angliae Ca­nutum in Regem eligere, the Bishops, Abbots, and several of the Chief Men of England chose Cnute for their King; which is also confirmed by Florence of Worcester in these words under this very Year. Post cujus mortem maxima pars Regni tàm Clericorum quàm Laicorum in unum con­gregati, pari consensu Cnutonem in Regem eligerunt, & ad eum Suthampto­niam veniens pacem cum eo pepigerunt, & fidelitatem jurabant; i. e. after whose Death (viz. of King Ethelred) the greatest part of the King­dom, as well of the Clergy as Laity, being met together, chose Cnute for their King; and coming to Southampton made Peace with him, and swore Fidelity; but he there says nothing of his Coronation.

THESE Testimonies concerning Ethelred and Edmund being thus plain, I confess Dr. Brady has been so just as to cite them, and fairly to translate that Passage in Ingulph by the word Election, whereas it [Page lx] should have been Recognition, if it had suited with his Hypothesis; as he does also that of Florence of Worcester, rendring the word Eligerunt, by chose him King: if therefore it were a true Election in one case, then surely it must be so in the other, for the same Reason.

BUT the nameless Author of the Great Point of Succession discuss'd, tho he does wilfully conceal all the printed Authorities above menti­oned,Page 5. yet being hard press'd with this Passage of King Cnute, has no other way to evade it, but by saying, ‘That Canutus, by the Terror of his Arms, having the greatest part of the Island, at his Devotion, forced them to acknowledg and receive him for their King, which they being under an apparent Force, could not refuse to do.’

THE falseness of which Assertion I will not go about to prove in this Place, but refer the Reader to the ensuing History, where he will find that the Persons abovemention'd, were not so forced by the Ter­ror of his Arms, as to acknowledg him for their King, since London (then, as still) the Capital City of the Nation, with many others of the Nobility, had before Chosen King Edmund, who by their Assistance was strong enough immediately after his Election to fight the Danes at the great Battel at Assendune; and therefore if voluntarily, yet it was treacherously done of them, to quit the Prince who ought to have been Elected, and to choose a Stranger and an Invader over his Head: and whether the Gentleman this Author writes against, had ridiculously called King Cnute's Accession to the Throne an Election, as he would have it, I shall leave to the impartial Reader's Judgment.

AFTER the Death of King Cnute, our Annals relate, that at a Wi­tena-Gemot or Great Council being held at Oxford, Leofricus Comes, & omnes propè Thani à Boreali parte Thamisis, & Nautae de Lundonia eli­gerunt Haroldum in Regem totius Angliae, dum ejus Frater Hardcnutus esset in Denmearcia, i.e. Leofric the Earl, and almost all the Thanes North of the Thames, and the Sea-men of London, chose Harold King of all England, whilst his Brother Hardecnute was in Denmark; which is also confirmed by Fol. 509. a Line 2. Ingulph, and Lib. 2. c. 12. William of Malmesbury, who far­ther report, ‘That the English had a Mind to chuse Edward the Son of Ethelred, or at least Hardecnute the Son of Cnute by Emme his Wife, the Widow of King Ethelred, who was then in Denmark.

BUT Henry of Huntington says expresly, Haroldus filius Cnuti in Re­gem Electus est. But Radulphus de Diceto is yet more express as to this Election of Harold, as appears by this Passage under An. 1038. Haroldus Rex Merciorum & Northymbrorum, ut per totam regnaret Angliam, à Principibus & omni Populo Eligitur, i. e. Harold King of the Mercians and Northumbers, that he might reign over all England, is Chosen by the chief Men and all the People: whence you may observe, that tho he were then King of the Mercians and Northumbers, yet that still needed a new Election to make him King of all England.

NOW if this were so, as the Doctor himself has ingenuously cited it in his said Treatise; I desire he would let us know, where was then the Right of Lineal Succession, when the People of England would fain have chosen Edward, who could not be Right Heir of the Crown so long as the Children of his Elder Brother were alive, tho then in Exile? nor could Hardecnute have any Right so long as Harold his Elder Brother was alive; whom also, as our Historians relate, his Father had appointed Successor at his Death, tho whether that be true or no, is much to be doubted.

[Page lxi]BUT the Author of the aforementioned Great Point of Succession, &c. (to evade this Proof of Harold's Election) will have all this Point in Controversy to have been, who had the most Right, and best Title to the Crown of those two, Harold or Hardecnute, and that Earl God­win objected Harold's Illegitimacy, and the Will of the deceased, King, of all which there is not one word mentioned in any of our most An­tient Historians, only he cites a Scrap in the Margin, as he thinks, ou [...] of Brompton, (but it should be Simeon of Durha [...], for no such thing is to be found in the former Author) viz. That Harold—quasi just us haeres coepit regnare, nec tamen ità potentèr ut Canutus, quia justior haeres expectabatur Hardicanutus, i. e. as just Heir, but yet not so abso­lutely as Cnute, because the juster Heir (S [...]il. H [...]rdecanute) was ex­pected, which he is pleased to call him, because he falsly supposes that none could have a Right to the Crown but one of Queen Emma's Chil­dren. But this Writer cunningly leaves out the preceding Words with a dash, because they make against him, which I shall here add, [...], consentientibus quamplurimis MAJORIBVS natu A [...]glia, quasi Justus haeres, &c. So that it seems his Right to reign, proceeded from the Con­sent of the Estates of the Kingdom.

SO that granting, as this Author supposes, That Hardecnute had been left Heir by his Father. King Cnute's Testament, yet you see this could only give him a Precedency of being first Proposed, and Elected.

HAROLD dying after a few Years Reign, Hardecnute was sent for out of Elanders to succeed him; yet this could not be as his Heir, being but of the half Blood, and his supposed Brother only by his Father's side: and therefore Henry of Huntington says expresly,Lib. 6. p. 365. that Post Mor­tem Harolds Hardecnute filius Regis Cnuti illicò susceptus est, & ELECTVS in Regeni ab Anglis, & DACIS, i. e. After the Death of Harold, Harde­cnute the Son of King Cnute was presently received, and Elected King by the English and Danes.

HARDECNVTE dying suddenly after, about two Years Reign, the abovecited Antient Chronicle in the Cottonian Library,Otho D. 7. proceeds to tell us, that Mortuo Hardecanuto, Eadwardus Annitentibus maximè Comite Godwino & Wigornensi Livingo, levatar Londoniae in Regem, i. e. that Hardecnute being dead, Edward by the Assistance chiefly of Earl Godwin, and Living Bishop of Worcester, was advanced to the Throne at London.

WILLIAM of Malmesbury words it thus, speaking of Earl Godwin, Lib. 2. cap. 13. Nec mora, congregato concilio Londoniae, rationibus suis explicitis; Regem effecit. From whence it appears, that by Godwin's means he was made King at a Common-Council of the Kingdom.

BUT Ingulph is yet more express, who says,Pag. 895. Post ejus (S [...]il. Harde­canuti) obitum, Omnium Electione in Edwardum concordatur, maximè cohortante Godwino Comite. i. e. that after the Death of Hardecnute, it was unanimously agreed upon to Elect Prince Edward; Earl Godwin chiefly advising it.

AND Henry Huntington goes yet a step higher, and writes thus, Edwardus cum paucis venit in Angliam,Lib. 6. p. 365. & Electus est in Regem ab omni populo. Prince Edward coming into England with but a few Men, was Elected King by all the People: which is also confirmed by an Antient Manuscript Chronicle of Thomas of Chesterton Canon of Litchfield, in the Cottonian Library, who under Anno 1042. says thus,Cleopatra. C. 3. Edwar­dus [Page lxii] filius Athelredi Regis, ab omni Populo in Regem Electus, & Consecra­tus est.

BUT the Doctor very cunningly conceals all this concerning his E­lection,Lib. 6. cap. 9. and only gives us a shred out of Guilielmus Gemeticensis in these words, Hardecanutus Edwardum totius Regni reliquit haeredem; that is, left Edward Heir of the whole Kingdom: but so far indeed the Doctor is in the Right,Page 8. ‘That he could be no other than a Testamentary Heir, there being other Heirs of the Right Line, both of Saxon and Danish Blood before him.’ But it may well be doubted, whether the Author last mentioned, being a Foreigner, may not be mistaken, if he means the words haeredem reliquit, for a Bequest by Will, since no English Histo­rian that I know of mentions any such thing: and indeed it is highly im­probable that this Prince made any Will at all, since all Writers agree that he died suddenly at a Drunken Feast, in the very Flower of his Age; and as it is not likely he made any Will before, so it was impossible he could do it at his Death.

BUT this Election of King Edward farther appears, from the mean and abject Carriage which this Prince shewed, (as you will find Wil­liam of Malmesbury) towards Earl Godwin, when he was so far from claiming the Crown, that he only desired he would save his Life, till the Earl encouraging him, put him in hopes of obtaining the Kingdom upon Promise of marrying his Daughter; which he would never have done, had he had so [...]air a Pretence as the last Will of his Bro­ther Hardecnute to recommended him to the favour of the Estates of the Kingdom; and if that alone would have done, to what purpose should he need afterwards to be Elected?

‘THIS is in part acknowledged by the Doctor; but to palliate it, he will have Godwin, (a Council being immediately called) by his Reason and Rhetorick to make him King; (it seems then he was to be made so) but he dares not say one word of his Election, for fear it would be­tray the Cause which he has so strenuously laboured to advance.’

AND therefore he thinks he has now nothing more to do, but to expose and ridicule the Legend of the Abbot of Rievalle in making Edwards the Confessor to be elected King in his Mother's Womb: which tho I grant to be as absurd as to drink Prince of Wales his Health before he is born, yet the Abbot had certainly no ground for this Story, unless he had been sufficiently convinced that this was an Elective Kingdom in the Time of King Ethelred his Father.

BUT if the Reader desires further Satisfaction concerning the Cir­cumstances of this King's Election, I shall refer him to the Antient An­nals of the Church of Winchester, which I have faithfully transcribed out of the first Volume of Monasticon Anglicanum, and inserted into this Volume under Anno 1041. where he will find the whole History of this Prince's Election and Coronation, written by a Monk of that Church not long after the Conquest; these Annals are also in Manuscript in the Cottonian Library, to which I must likewise by the Favour of its ho­nourable Possessor, own my self highly obliged for several considerable Remarks in this History of the Succession of our Saxon Kings.

BUT to draw to a Conclusion upon this Subject; King Edward (as appears by our Annals) in the Year 957, sent over for his Cousin Prince Edward, Col. 189. n. 20. sirnamed the Out-Law, Son of King Edmund, out of Hungary, as Simeon of Durham relates, Illum se Regni haeredem constituere, that [Page lxiii] he might appoint him Heir of the Kingdom: which had been a very idle Thing had the Kingdom been Hereditary, and that it had been his undoubted Right by Proximity of Blood.

THIS Prince dying soon after his coming over, we no where find, that King Edward ever offered to do the like for his Cousin Edgar Athe­ling; but on the contrary forgetting his own Family, Ingulph tells us, that the Year before his Death,Fo. 512. n. 40. he sent Robert Arch-Bp of Canterbury his Ambassadour, to let William Duke of Normandy know, Illum designa­tum esse sui Regni successorem, that he had appointed him Heir of his Kingdom: which relation tho I have proved to be false as to Arch-bi­shop Robert, towards the end of this ensuing History; yet might it be true in the main, and some other Bishop might have gone over to Duke William on that Message; but however, for all this, King Edward after­wards adopted Earl Harold upon his Death-bed, for which we have very good Authority, since our Saxon Annals testify it in these words,Page 172. Tunc Haroldus Comes capessit Regnum, sicut Rex ei concesserat, omnés (que) ad id Eum eligebant, & consecratus est in Regem in Festo Epiphaniae, which was the same day that King Edward was Buried.

THIS is also confirmed by the History of the Abby of Ely, writ­ten not long after the Conquest, and lately published by the Learned Dr. Gale, Quo (Scil. Edwardo) tumulato, Lib. 2. cap. 43. fol. 515. subregulus Haraldus Godwini Ducis Filius, quem Rex antè suam Decessionem Regni Successorem eligerat, à totius Angliae Primatibus ad Regale Culmen ELECTVS est, Die eodem ab Aldredo Eboracensi Archiepiscopo in Regem honorificè consecratus; which also agrees with Florence of Worcester, and Simeon of Durham under Anno 1066. almost in the very same words,Page 5. and by Eadmerus (who lived not long after the Conquest) in these words, Juxtà quod Edwardus ante mortem statuerat, successit HARALDVS.

FROM all which remarkable Testimonies I shall draw these two Conclusions.

FIRST, That this Testamentary Designation of Harold by King Edward for his Heir, was not sufficient alone to make him King, but it also required a subsequent Election of the Estates of the Kingdom.

SECONDLY, That there is an apparent Distinction here made be­tween his Election and Consecration.

AND I think this enough, had I no more to say, to settle this Point; but to let the Reader know the utmost that may be objected against these Authorities, I must freely confess, that divers Writers of good Credit and Reputation, who lived after the Conquest, viz. Ingulph of Croyland, William of Malmesbury, Ailred Abbot of Rievalle, and Henry of Huntington, look upon this Donation of King Edward as a meer Pretence, invented by the English in Prejudice of the Norman Duke.

BUT how they will be able to answer those plain and full Authori­ties I have before cited, I know not: for William of Malmesbury him­self was also forced to confess, that King Harold claimed not only by virtue of Edward's Designation, but by the Election of the Great Coun­cil of the Kingdom, as appears by this Memorable Passage,VVill. Malmesbur. de Gestis An­glorum Lib. 2. Fol. [...]5. viz. Ille (scilicet Haraldus) in his Answer to William then Duke of Normandy, de puellae nuptiis referens, de Regno (addebat) praesumptuosum fuisse, quod abs (que) generali Senatûs & Populi Conventu & Edicto, alienam illi haereditatem juraverit, i. e. ‘That Harold, speaking of the Mar­riage [Page lxiv] of the Duke's Sister, further added, that it was a very pre­sumptuous thing to swear away another's Inheritance to him, with­out the General Act and Appointment of the Senate and People, that is, the Nobility and Commons.’

THIS shews, that it would have been a most notorious Falshood for Harold thus to have gone about to impose upon Duke William, had there never been any such thing as a Real and Solemn Election, which our abovementioned Authors have related.

Dr. Brady's Answer to Ar­gum. Antinor­man. fol. 238.NOR is Dr. Brady's Objection against this at all material, in saying, that those who thus set him up, were only a Court Faction, for the Peo­ple all England over could never have notice to come to, or send their Re­presentatives to such a Solemnity, as to elect and crown him King in four and twenty Hour's Time; and therefore should his Election be granted, he could not be chosen by the People, who had neither Notice nor Know­ledg of it, but only received and submitted to him as their King.

NOW in answer to this I need only say, that if the Doctor would have been so fair as to have consulted Sir Henry Spelman's first Volume of Councils, or the first Volume of Monasticon Anglicanum, he would have found in both of them, (in the Charters of the Foundation of the Abby of Westminster, and the History of that Church printed in the Latter) that it was not (as he says) never to have been imagined; for it was really true, that the Estates of the Kingdom did meet a little before Christmass, (secundùm Morem, according to Custom) and not only so, but were expresly summoned to be present at the Great Solemnity of the Consecration of that Abbey, which was, as our Annals inform us, on St. Innocent's day, and the King dying on the Twefth-day following, this Great Council (which certainly was a full one) was so far from be­ing then Dissolved, that it chose Harold for their succeeding King, as the said Annals relate: The nicety of the Dissolution of a Parliament upon the King's Decease not being at that time known.

I think this is sufficient to answer all that the Doctor has, or I sup­pose can say upon this Head; therefore I will now leave it to the Reader to consider, how far any of his Assertions are true.

AS first, ‘Whether the sure Rule of Succession was either Right of Blood?’ True and exact History of the Succession, Fol. 7.

OR Secondly, ‘Whether the bare Nomination or Appointment of the preceding King, was then thought and allowed as Cause suffici­ent for the Father to prefer his Brother's Son before his own, or a Bastard before his Lawful Issue, or that the Instances which he hath produced will be able to make it out; or else whether those very In­stances, which I have here set in their true Light, do not directly evince the contrary?’

THIRDLY, Whether from this foregoing History of the Succession, it appears also to be true what he asserts, viz. ‘That from Egbert the first Saxon Monarch,Id. Fol. 9. to Ethelred the last by Right of Blood, we do not read of many Elections for the space of two hundred and sixteen Years; and that those we meet with are bound and limited by Proxi­mity of Blood, or Nomination of the Successor by the Predeces­sor, and that where the word Election or any thing in that Sense is used, it signifies only a Recognition and Submission?’ And I will now leave it to the Reader's Judgment, if I have not given sufficient Instances to the contrary in every one of these Particulars, there being [Page lxv] not above two Kings in all this long Series of more than two hundred and sixty Years, concerning whom I have not brought express Testi­monies from Authors of undoubted Credit both in Print and Manu­script, of their Election by the Estates of the Kingdom. Or,

FOURTHLY, Whether his last Assertion be any truer than the former, viz. ‘That the Danish Kings,Id. ibid. after Sweyn had conquered the Kingdom, (whose best Title was the Sword) either brought hither the Custom of the Predecessor, naming or giving the Kingdom to the Successor, as probably it might have been practised in their own Kingdoms, or used it as they found it here practised by the Saxon Kings?’ Or whether the Authorities I have already cited do not ex­presly prove, that every one of the three Danish Kings came in by E­lection, and that Harold Harefoot was the only Prince of those Three, who could make any pretence to it by Testament?

AND as for the Saxon Kings that reigned before them, how far they by their last Wills alone could dispose of, or entail the Crown, with­out the concurrent Assent and Consent of the Great Council of the Kingdom, I refer the Reader to that part of King Alfred's Will, I have here made use of for his farther Satisfaction, if he have still any doubt left about it.

I have now dispatched this exact and faithful History of the Suc­cession of our English Saxon Kings, in which I am not conscious to my self that I have either added or diminished any thing material to, or from the Authors which I have made use of; I desire to be believed that I have not wrote this to prove, that the Succession to the Crown ought at this day to be Elective in the same manner as it was before the Conquest, but only to obviate and remove the false Opinions or Prejudices of some Men, who by the plausible Representations of the Doctor and others, have been so far prepossessed as to believe, that an Hereditary Succession to the Crown hath been as Antient as the Monarchy it self; whereas we find that Sweden and Denmark have from Elective become Hereditary Kingdoms in a much less space of Time: And I suppose no Man of those Countries would asperse any Writer there, of being an Enemy to Monarchy for asserting so evident a Truth; and therefore I hope I may find the same fair Quarter at Home, notwith­standing the Doctor's Insinuations before his abovecited History of the Succession of the Crown, That none but Papists, Fanaticks, or Common-Wealth's Men, (a List of whose, Works he there gives us) would dare to write for, or maintain this Opinion. But if Parsons the Jesuit has hap­pened in his Discourse of the Succession, to write some Truths concern­ing it, I am no more to be thought Jesuitical for following (not him, but) the Authors from whom he took them; than I should be if I had wrote a Mathematical Dissertation founded upon Demonstrations from Euclid, which had been before made use of by Tacquet, or any other Learned Jesuit, that has wrote upon that Subject.

AFTER the Election, I shall say somewhat of the Coronation of our English Saxon Kings, which sometimes was performed on the same Day on which they were Elected, and sometimes several Days, nay, Months after, as appears by the Coronation of King Edward the Confessor; who tho he were Chosen King in June not long after his Brother Hardecnut's Decease, yet was he not Crowned till the Easter [Page lxvi] following, as you will find in the Saxon Annals under the Years 1041, 1042. But Harold his Successor (to make the Crown the surer) was Elected and Crowned the same Day. This Solemnity of the Corona­tion, was most commonly performed by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, yet was it not at first done in the Church, but in the open Air; thus the Kings Athelstan, Edmund, and Edred, are expresly mentioned by our Historians to have been Crowned in the Market Place of Kingston upon Thames: and I suppose the like had been used in the Coronation of former Kings, since it is not taken notice of as an Innovation.

BUT to say somewhat of the forms of those Crowns which our Kings then wore, it appears from their Coins that they were at first no other than Diadems like those of the Greek Emperors in that Age, and from whom they were borrowed: thus Offa King of the Mercians is Graven on his Coin with a Diadem of Pearls about his Head;Vid. Ante Vitam Ael­fred. R. Tab. 4. & ante Camden. Bri­tan. Tab. but our great King Alfred has no more than a bare Head-band, or Circle, which seems to have been tied behind, as you may see in his Coins. And tho I confess there is also a Coin of one K. Egbert with a Coronet of Rayes upon his Head; yet that this was not of our K. Egbert, but ra­ther of him that was King of Northumberland, who began to reign An. 867, I rather incline to believe. As for King Edward the Elder, he has in his Coins only a kind of Diadem upon his Helmet, King Athel­stàn, Edmund and Eadred his Brothers being the first of our West-Sax­on Kings, who wore Crowns with three Rayes, or Points higher than the rest; and therefore I look upon it as a Fiction in them who will needs have it, that K. Alfred was Crowned with a Crown wrought with Flow­er de Lices; because such a Crown was kept among the Regalia at West­minster before our late Civil Wars, in a Box, upon whose Cover was this Inscription,Vid. Vitam Aelfredi. pag. 158. Haec est Principalior Corona cum qua Coronabantur Reges, Aelfredus, Edwardus, &c. Which having been the Crown of Edward the Confessor, it was very easy for the Monks of that Church who kept those Regalia in after times, to inscribe what they pleased upon this Box, since it added so much to the Antiquity and Reputation of this Crown: and I am the more inclined to this Opinion, because I find King Cnute, and Edward the Confessor, to be the first Kings who wore Diadems adorned with Flower-de-Lices, as appears by their Coins.

I shall in the next Place say somewhat of the Titles by which our West-Saxon Kings stiled themselves in their Laws and Charters; and to begin with King Egbert, (however Supreme he were over all the rest of the Kings then reigning in England, yet we cannot find that he stiled himself more than, Rex West-Saxonum in any of his Charters; for as for Laws we have none of his left us. The like I may say for his Succes­sors Ethelwolf, and his Sons and Grandsons, as far as King Athelstan, who for ought I can find was the first Prince that upon his Victories over the Danes and Scots, changed his Title of Rex West-Saxonum, or Anglorum alone, which was used by his Predecessors, to this that follows, Ego Aethelstanus Rex Anglorum, per omnipotentis Dextram totius Britanniae Regno sublimatus, as you will find it in his Charter in William of Malmes­bury, de Gestis Pontif. as also in the same Place you will find this King's Title to have somewhat varied;Li [...]. 4. pag. 363.364. pub­ [...]h'd by Dr. Gale. for on a rich Box, or Shrine, given by this King to keep the Relicts of the Saints in, was engraven this Inscrip­tion, Ego Aethelstanus totius Britanniae & multarum nationum in circuitu [Page lxvii] positarum Imperator, &c. which Title was also made use of by his Bro­ther King Edmund, only instead of Imperator, he stiles himself Guber­nator & Rector, as appears by his Charter to the Church of Glastonbury, set down by the same Author above-mentioned, in his Pag. 318. published in the same Vol. by Dr. Gale. Antiquity of the Church of Glastonbury, which was also used by King Edgar, tho with some difference, who instead of Rector & Rex, stiled himself totius Albionis Basileus in divers Charters; but this proceeded from the corrupt Stile of that Time, or else the particular Fancy of the Clerk or Monk who drew the Charter: And tho instead of this word Basileus, King Ethelred his Son again made use of Rex, yet the rest of the Title remained the same, and was also continued by King Knut; however he sometimes stiled himself Rex totius Albionis Insulae, & aliarum Nationum plurimarum. What Titles his Sons had I do not find, because I have not seen any of their Charters; only we may here observe, that several Kings before Cnute, stiled themselves Kings not only of Albion, or Britain, but of several other Nations round about, by which could only be meant that Superiority they assumed at that time over the Kings of Scotland, Wales and Northumberland, before that Country was reduced into the form of a Province, and was governed by Earls.

I now come, in the next place, to give you an Account of the chief Powers and Prerogatives of our English-Saxon Kings; some of which I find set down in our Saxon Annals at the end of the Year 693, at the Council of Becanceld, where the Arch-bishop of Canterbury thus defines them in his Decree at the Conclusion of that Council. Regum est, says he, constituere Comites, Duces, Vice-Comites, & Judites; it is the Office of Kings to constitute Earls, Ealdormen, Sheriffs and Judges.

TO which we may also add the Power of Coining Money, which being then the Prerogative of the Crown, was granted by Charter to the Arch-bishops of Canterbury and York, as likewise to the Abbots of Medeshamsted or Peterborough, and to several other Abbies; as may be seen in Monasticon Anglicanum, as well as in the Annals themselves. Some In­stances of which I have given you in the ensuing History, not omitting some of the Coins which are still preserved in Cabinets, some of whose Figures are to be found in the Collection of Saxon Coins before King Al­fred's Life, as also before the new Edition of Camden's Britannia.

BUT that any of those Kings had Power by their own Royal Pre­rogative, to enhance or debase the intrinsick Value of the Money, coined either in their own or other Mints, I can no ways believe, since such a Prerogative would have highly tended to the Loss and Defrauding of the Subject, for which that Power was never designed; nor do I find our Kings ever assumed this Prerogative to themselves, till later Ages. And in Confirmation of this the Sect. 3. Mirror of Justices recites it as an old Law of the Saxon Times, that no King of this Realm could change, embase, or enhance his Money, or make other Coin than of Silver, san's l'assent de touts ses Counties, i. e. without the Assent of Parliament; as Sir Edward Coke in his second Institutes, hath on very good grounds interpreted this Expression, in that Author Andrew Horne, Artic. super Chartas, cap. 20. p. 576. who lived in the Reign of King Edward I.

TO these we may further add, that of pardoning Offendors their Lives in several Cases, such as striking in the King's Palace, &c. which he might also take in Case of Homicides; but still reserving the Wiregilds, [Page lxviii] or Compensations that were to be made to the Friends or Relations of the Parties slain, which it was not in his Power to release, as ap­pears by several Passages in our Saxon Laws, some of which I have in­serted in this Volume; whence, I suppose, are derived the Appeals of the Wife, Son, or Brother, in Cases of Murder at this day.

BUT as for the Power of making War or Peace, since I find little said of it in our Histories, I shall not be positive in asserting any thing concerning it: only shall observe, that in every Peace made by the King upon Payment of Money, the Consent of the Estates of the Kingdom was required; for Taxes could not be raised without it, as you will find in our Annals under the Years 994, 1002, 1006, 1011, when that extraordinary Tax of Danegelt was raised to be paid to the Danes for purchasing a Peace of them. And as for the Power of making Foreign War, that could also signify little, since those Kings had not the Prerogative of raising Money without the Consent of their People, any more than our Kings have at this day: nor were their Re­venues so much in Money, as in Provisions for their Houshold.

NOR can I omit here taking notice, that the English Saxon Kings wanted one great Prerogative, which ours exercise at this day, viz. the power of granting away the Demesnes of the Crown, even to pious Uses, without the Consent to the great Council of their Kingdoms: and of this we find a remarkable Instance in Sir H. Spelman's first Vol. of Councils,Pag. 340. where Baldred King of Kent had given the Mannor of Mallings to Christ-Church in Canterbury; but because the chief Men of his Kingdom (i. e. the Great Council) had not consented to it, it was revoked until K. Egbert afterwards by the Consent of his WITTENA GEMOT made a new Grant thereof: and this was also the reason why the Foundations and Infeodations of Abbies were always confirmed and attested by all the Estates as well Spiritual as Temporal, as you will find by most of their Charters in Monast. Anglican. of which I have inserted some Ex­amples in the History it self; so that I shall leave it to the Reader's Consideration, whether those Princes that could not dispose of their Crown-Lands without the Consent of the Great Council of the King­dom, could without the like Consent dispose of the Crown it self as they pleased, as Dr. Brady in his Pag. 7, 8. History of the Succession, &c. asserts, tho without any just Grounds, as hath been already proved.

BUT those Kings great Prerogative chiefly consisted in giving their Sanction to all Laws that were made, as well relating to Civil as Ecclesiastical Matters, that did not concern Doctrines of Faith: but this is still to be so understood, that this Prerogative could never be exerted without the Advice and Consent of the Mycel-Gemot, or Great Council of the Realm; at which, tho they were often first drawn up into Form, and then proposed by the King, yet was their Authority also necessary for the enacting of those Laws, without which they could no ways oblige the Subject, as shall be further shewn towards the end of this Discourse.

BUT since I have given you so large an Account how our Kings then obtained the Crown, it may perhaps be expected I should say some­what now concerning the manner of their losing it, sometimes by other ways than Death.

IN order to this I desire the Reader would observe, that not only in England, but in all the Kingdoms of Europe, that were raised upon the [Page lxix] Ruins of the Roman Empire after the Gothic Model, the same mix'd manner of Succession, partly by Testament, partly by Election, did in those days chiefly prevail: Of which Monsieur Mezeray himself is so sensible, that in his Abridgment of the At the end of the Reign of K. Clotair II. tit. Moeurs & Constumes. History of France, he freely owns, ‘That during the Kings of the first Race, they were still chosen out of the Royal Family; but that there were three Conditions re­quired to it. (1.) Birth, (thô whether they were legitimate or no it matter'd not). (2.) The last Will of the Father. (3.) The Con­sent of the Great Men, or Estates of the Kingdom; and the last of these (says he) almost ever followed the two former.’ Moreover, that in all those Kingdoms, where this way of Election was in use, their Kings were so far from being absolute Monarchs, that they were ac­countable for their Tyranny, or Male-Administration, to the Estates of the Kingdom, and were by them liable to be deposed for the same: Of which (were it to my present purpose) I could give you frequent Ex­amples, not only in Denmark and Sweden, in both which Kingdoms that Law was in force till within this last Century, when they became suc­cessive in a Lineal Descent, by an Act of all the Estates; but also in Castile and Arragon, and even in that of France it self (as much as she takes upon her to be Absolute at this day): and for the Proof of this I shall refer you to any French History. Those famous Examples of the last Childerick's being Deposed by the great Council, or Assembly of the Estates of France, who elected Pepin King in his room; and also their setting aside Charles Duke of Lorrain, tho the undoubted Heir of the Crown by Blood, only for his supposed Enmity to the French Nation, and their choosing Hugh Capet for their King, from whom all the Kings of France from that time have been (so far as we know) lineally descended, renders this a Truth too notorious to be denied.

THIS I have here mentioned, that so you may not wonder if in the ensuing History you meet with divers Examples of the English Saxons deposing their Kings; since the same Custom did in those Ages prevail in all those Kingdoms, as a part of their Original Constitution.

AND for farther Proof of this, tho I could bring several Instances from the Mercians and Northumbers, yet because the latter were look'd upon as of a Rebellious Disposition against their Princes; and for the former it may be said, that those they expelled were Usurpers, and not lawful Kings; I shall therefore content my self with mentioning but two Examples concerning our West-Saxon Kings, which you will find hereafter more at large: The first is that of Sigebert, who (as the Saxon Annals inform us Anno 752.) for his unryhtum Daedum, i.e. illegal Practices, or (as Hen. Huntington paraphrases it) for his Oppression, and wresting the Laws to his own Advantage, was by all the Wites, or Wise and Great Men of West-Saxony, deprived of his Kingdom, and Cenwolf his Kinsman was by them elected in his room. Vid. Hoveden, pars p [...] or, p. 42 [...]. The next is that of King Edwy, who for his loose and irregular Life (tho chiefly for perse­cuting the Monks) being cast off or deposed by the Mercians and Nor­thumbers, his Brother Edgar was chosen to succeed him; but yet the Kingdom was divided, and Edwy had only West-Saxony for his share. And both this Deposition and Division were confirmed by an Act of the Estates of the whole Kingdom, as I have already shewn.

BUT whether this was lawfully and rightfully done for any real Breach of their Original Contract, it is none of my Business here to decide; [Page lxx] it is sufficient to shew, that the Estates of those Countries then judged so; not that I maintain the Law is, or ought to be so at this day; but that it was so before the Conquest, pray consider this Law, which tho found among those that go under the Title of Edward the Confessor, yet was certainly much more Antient, as containing not only the Office of an English King, but what he was to suffer in case he omitted that Duty: I shall give it you from the Latin Original in Pag. 345. Hoveden and Pag. 138. Lambard, in these words, Rex qui est vicarius summi Regis, ad haec est constitutus, ut Regnum terrenum, & Populum Domini, & super omnia sanctam veneretur ejus Ecclesiam, & regat, & ab injuriosis defendat, & maleficos ab ea evellat, & destruat, & penitùs disperdat; Quod nisi fecerit, nec Regis Nomen in eo constabit, i.e. not so much as the Name of a King shall remain to him. Here you see not only the Substance of this Original Contract, but also the Penalty annex'd to it, if it were broken.

AND that there was such a thing as an Original Compact or Contract between the People of England and the Ancestors of those Kings, ac­cording to which they were to govern, and upon the non-performance of which, they were liable to forfeit or lose their Crowns, I think may farther be proved, tho what the particular Heads of it were we cannot now exactly tell, unless they were those mentioned in the Oath, recited in the Mirror at the Election of the first Saxon Sovereign, (whe­ther he were Egbert, or any other) which indeed amounts to a Con­tract; but there was also a Compact of the like Nature in the Kingdom of the West-Saxons before King Egbert's Time as well as after; for how else could the Great Council of the Kingdom proceed against King Sigebert or Edwy, if there had not been then some known Laws or Constitutions, upon the Violation of which they were judged unca­pable to govern any longer? And tho the chief Heads of that Contract may have been comprized in King Ethelred's Coronation-Oath, which I have already given you; [the first Article of which is, to preserve the Holy Church, and all Christian People in true Peace at all Times; the second, To restrain all Violence and Injustice in all sorts of People, (which comprehends any raising of Taxes by the King's Officers con­trary to Law); and the third, To observe Equity and Mercy in all his Judgments, by which the King is withheld from taking away any of his Subjects Lives arbitrarily, as also from pardoning notorious Offenders against the State at his meer Pleasure; so that the Religion, Estates and Lives of his People were by this Oath well secured:] I say, tho these are the chief Heads of this Contract, yet that this was much more An­tient than the Ceremony of a Coronation, may appear from hence.

THAT Kingly Government is this Island was never Absolute nor Despotical, but always limited by Laws; and if limited, then those Laws must have been the Bounds or Conditions of that Limitation; and if there was from the beginning, or first Institution of the Govern­ment, a constant certain great Council ordained, whose Business it was to observe, that the King did not transgress the due Bounds of his Power; that Council (so long as the Kingdom continued Elective) had likewise Authority to call him to Account for his Male-Administra­tion.

BUT since the Preaching of Christianity did no ways alter the Ori­ginal Constitution of Government in all those seven Kingdoms above-mentioned, it follows, that there must have been an Original Contract [Page lxxi] precedent to the entrance of that Religion: And it did not commence from the Coronation of our Kings, as some have imagined, and conse­quently from their taking an Oath at that Time to observe the Laws of the Kingdom; because both the one and the other was much later than the Preaching of the Gospel it self: for this Ceremony of a Coronati­on, as Mr. Selden learnedly proves,Seld. Tit. Ho [...]. c. 8. so. 131. began no earlier in the West than with Charles the Great, his receiving his Imperial Crown from the Hands of the Pope; and this Ceremony he also shews us, was bor­rowed from the Greek Emperors, who about Justinian, or his Successor Justin's Time,Ibid. fol. 110. first introduced their Unction and Coronation by the Patriarch of Constantinople, as he there makes out from a Passage of the Learned Onuphrius in these words,De Comitiis Imperatoriis c. 2. Constantinopoli vel sub Justinia­no, vel post ejus statìm Obitum, Electioni Imperatoris additum, ut quam primùm Imperator renuntiatus esset, à Patriarchâ Constantinopolitano in magna Bizantii Basilica Oleo Unctus, Diademate Aureo redimeretur.

AND therefore what we find in our Saxon Chronicles, or any other Historians, concerning the Coronation of our English Saxon Kings, must all of them have commenced since that Time.

NOW the Emperor Charles's Coronation above mentioned, falling out in the Year 800, it is plain that the Coronation of our Kings could not be antienter than that Time, which was near 450 Years after the Arrival of the Saxons in England, and settling Kingly Government here, and above 200 Years after the Preaching of Christianity; so that this Coronation Oath seems to have been only a constant Renovation or Confirmation of this Original Contract, at every new King's first Accession to the Throne, and must have had (if at all) its Original long before that Time.

AND this also appears from the Instance of King Sigebert above­mentioned, who was deprived of his Kingdom for the Breach of this Contract, above forty Years before there was either any Emperor or King formally Crowned in these Western parts of Europe.

TO all which we may farther add, that if our Annals and Histori­ans may be credited, it does not appear that several of our Danish Kings, tho they were solemnly Elected, were ever Crowned at all: For as for King Cnute, whose Election is mentioned in Florence of Wor­cester, and other Authors, to have been by many of the Bishops and No­bility at Southampton, Anno Dom. 1015. yet are they all (except Abbot Brompton's Chronicle, which relates, that he was Crowned by Living A.Bp of Canterbury) silent as to his Coronation, only that upon their swear­ing Fealty to him, it is said he likewise swore to them, Quod secundùm Deum & seculum, fidelis esset eis Dominus, i.e. that according to the Laws of God and Man, he would be a faithful Lord to them. So likewise af­ter the Death of Edmund Ironside, the Author of Encomium Emmae, says ex­presly, that he was Elected King by the whole English Nation; but that he was not admitted without a new Compact, both Florence and Roger Hovenden inform us in these words, viz. That when they had a­gain accepted of him for their King, and had sworn Fealty to him; he likewise again pledged his Faith to them in this Form, Accepto pig­nore de manu, sua nuda, cum juramentis à Principibus Danorum, i. e. they received a Pledg or Promise from his bare or naked Hand, together with the Oaths given by the chief Men of the Danes; who it seems swore on the King's behalf, that he would observe the Conditions he had made before with them.

[Page lxxii]BUT as for the Coronation of his Son Harold Harefoot, that is ex­presly denied by the said Author of Encomium Emmae; for he says that Elnoth (or Agelnoth) Arch-bishop of Canterbury flatly refused to crown him, because he said he had taken an Oath not to anoint him King so long as the Children of Queen Emma were alive; and that laying down the Crown and Scepter upon the High Altar, he straitly forbad all the Bishops to crown Harold, which so incensed him, that he thenceforth despised his Episcopal Benediction.

BUT whether this Author (who yet lived in that very Time) might not write this out of Hatred to Harold's Memory, as well as out of Love to Queen Emma and her Children, I will not take upon me to de­termine, since no Historian besides himself makes any mention of it; for the antient History of Ramsey Abby, written some time after the Conquest, and now lately publish'd by Dr. Gale, says expresly in the Title to Chapt. 94. That Harold was Consecrated (i.e. Anointed) King.

BUT that the English Nation before the Conquest, believed that their Kings were obliged to govern them by Law, (i.e. according to the original Compact) and that their Allegiance to them was then looked up­on as wholly due on that Account, our Annals seem to justify, Anno Dom. 1014, when the English Wites, or Wise Men, both of the Clergy and Laity, after the Death of Sweyn King of Denmark, sent over a Mes­sage to King Ethelred, being then retired into Normandy, whereby they assured him. ‘That no Prince was dearer to them than their own natural Lord; always provided, Gif He hi rihtlicor healdan wolde thonne He aer dyde, (as it is in the Saxon) i.e. if he would govern them more rightly (i.e. according to Law) for the future than he had done be­fore: whereupon he promised to be a faithful Lord to them, (i.e. a Prince keeping his Oath and Promise) and redress all their Grievances, if on their parts they would return to their Allegiance. And thus by giving mutual Assurances, he came Home and contracted a new Friendship or League with his People.’

HAVING now got over these great Points of the manner of Suc­cession, and Deprivation of our Saxon Kings; I shall next as briefly as I can run through all those Orders and Degrees of Men that did con­stitute this Common-Weal.

THE first Degree of Men beneath that of Kings, was that of Aethe­ling, Aetheling. or Prince of the Blood Royal, being derived from the Saxon word Aethel, which signifies Noble, and Ing, which being added to it, signifies one derived from Royal Blood, as appears by the Terminati­ons of Names in the Saxon Genealogies, set down in our Annals under Anno 449. and in several other Places, and was common not only to the King's Eldest Son, but to all others nearly related to the Blood Roy­al; and was a meer honorary Title, without any Power or Jurisdiction annexed to it that I know of, unless the King was at any time pleased to bestow it. Nor can I here omit giving you the Names of two other prin­cipal Offices or Dignities of the Kingdom, the one of which was Mili­tary, the other Civil, the former in Saxon was called CYNINGS HOLD, in Latin Princeps Militiae, General of the King's Forces. i.e. General of all the King's Forces in times of War: and thus we find King Alfred in his Will bequeaths a Legacy to Earl Ethelred his Son-in-Law, whom he denotes by this Title, Ethelredo Principi meae Militiae.

[Page lxxiii]THE other, viz. the Great Civil Officer, was that of Chancellour, Chancellor. so called from the barbarous Latin word Cancellare, from his cancelling or striking out what he pleased in Men's Grants and Petitions. And as for his Power, we find it thus expressed in Ingulf, Hist. Ingulph. Fol. 36. Edit. Oxen. (upon K. Edward the Elder's ha­ving made his Cousin Turketule Chancellor) Quaecún (que) negotia temporalia, vel spiritualia Regis Judicium expectabant, illius consilio (tam sanctae fidei, & tam profundi ingenii tenebatur) omnia tractarentur, & tractata irre­fragabilem sententiam sortirentur: from whence we may observe, that the King did not only in that Age determine Civil, but Spiritual Causes too in his own Person, and had his Chancellor for his Assistant in his Judgments; which being so given, irrefragabilem sententiam sortirentur, i.e. they obtained an uncontroulable Sentence, beyond which there then lay no Appeal: and this I suppose was done in that great Court we now call the King's Bench; for as for the Court of Chancery in Causes relating to Equity, Sir Edward Coke tells us in his 4th Institutes,Page 8. that there are no Precedents of it before the Reign of King Henry VI.

BUT that it was the business of the Chancellor to draw up the King's Charters, and also to sign them, before the Conquest, you will find at the end of the last Charter of King Edward the Confessor to the Abbey of Westminster, in the first Volume of Sir H. Spelman's Councils, where Aelfgeat a Notary signs it, vice Reynbaldi Regis Edwardi Cancellarii.

THE next Degree was that of Ealdorman, Ealdorma [...]. which was not only Titular as to the Person, but an Office, and signified, as you will find all along in our Annals, those great Magistrates under the King, who being cal­led in Latin Subreguli, Principes & Consules, in some of our Antient Char­ters; and sometimes in Saxon, Cynings, i.e. petty Kings, had the sub­ordinate Government of Cities, Counties, and often too of whole Pro­vinces, in all Affairs both Civil and Military, and were of much greater Power before King Alfred's Reign than afterwards; for whereas before his Time they had the chief Authority in all Places belonging to their Jurisdiction, they seem after the word Eorle came in use with the Danes, to have lost much of their Power, tho they still retained the Title. And it is observed by Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary,Gloss. tit. Al­dermannus, Fol. 25. that he who was called the Ealdorman of the County, signified in the Laws of King Athelstane something between the Earl and the Sheriff, and there­fore seems to have been him who under the Earl governed the County or Province, and was his Deputy or Judg in the County Court in his Absence. For in those Laws the Value of an Arch-bishop and Earl's Head, is set at fifteen thousand Thrimsaes; whereas the Bishop's and Ealdorman's was but at eight thousand.

YET notwithstanding this Title did not cease to be esteemed very honourable many Years after that Time; for we find in Camden's Bri­tannia, that the Tomb of Ailwin, founder of the Abby of Ramsey, Hunting­tonshir [...]. was inscribed with the Title of Ealdorman of all England; which, as Mr. Selden says, could only mean, that he was somewhat like the Antient Chief Justiciary of England, Ti [...]s of [...]o­no [...]r, Chap. 5 Fol. 505. or Chief Director of the Affairs of the whole Kingdom, or Viceroy, Regiae dignitatis consors & nomi­nis, or half Cyning, as the [...]. Lib. d [...] Ramsey pub­lish'd by D [...]. Gale. Book of Ramsey has it.

NOT but that this word was also of a much more inferior Signifi­cation, seeing we find frequent mention in the Laws of Edward the Confessor, Spelm. Glos Tit. Alde­mannus. as well as in those Kings immediately after the Con­quest, of Aldermannus Hundredi, seu Wapentachii, as also of Alder­mannus [Page lxxiv] Civitatis, vel Burgi, whence the Title of our present Aldermen of Cities and great Towns are derived, (tho of a far different Significa­tion, as well as a much later Institution:) and this I suppose happened by reason of the Paucity of words in the Saxon Tongue, which called Grave Men, distinguished by any Office or Dignity, by the Title of Ealdormen, because they were at first bestowed on Men of elder Years; tho afterwards,Cap. 35. tit. Geref. as the Auctuary to King Edward's Laws informs us, they were not so stiled propter senectutem, cum quidam Adolescentes essent; sed propter sapientiam. Therefore I cannot forbear taking notice, that whereas Bede speaking of K. Oswald's sending (ad Majores natu Scotorum) to the Elders of the Scots for Bishops,Hist. Eccles. Lib. 3. Cap 3. & Vid. Lib. 1. Cap. 13. King Alfred in his Translation of Bede, calls them, the Ealdormen of the Scots, that is, the Great or Chief Men of that Nation. I must here beg the Reader's Pardon, for a Mistake I have committed in the rendring of that Passage into English in the ensuing History; for not having the Saxon Version by me, but only a Latin Copy, when I wrote it, nor having then consulted Mr. Selden, to whom I confess my self much beholden for this Criticism; I have there translated the words Majores Natu, Scotish Bishops, because I thought it most proper for them to be sent to about an Affair concerning Re­ligion.

I have no more to say on this Head, only that I have left this word Ealdorman, so often used in our Annals, untranslated: for tho I grant he is frequently stiled Dux, or Comes, in Latin, yet it would not bear being rendred Duke or Earl in English, because that those Titles are not only very different, but were unknown in our Saxon Tongue, till many Years after that Government was setled in England.

I come now to the Title Earl, or Eorle, which being altogether Da­nish, Eorle. was not commonly used here till the Reign of King Cnute, tho we now and then find it mentioned in our Annals before his Time; but as for its Power and Authority, it being much what the same with that of Ealdorman abovementioned, I think I need say no more of it, only that neither of them were then Hereditary, nor descended to Sons or Brothers, tho they often continued in the same Family, when the King was pleased so to confer it: And both the Title and the Office were li­able to be forfeited upon any great Male-Administration, as you will find in divers Instances in this Book.

THE next Title and Office I shall mention, is, that of Heretoch, which was wholly Military;Heretoch. and, as Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary supposes,Tit. Holde. was the same with that of the Holde, or Commander in War, mentioned in the Laws of King Athelstan; because his Wiregild is made equal to that of a High-Gerife, viz. four thousand Thrym­sa's.

THIS Heretoch seems to have been somewhat like our Lord-Lieute­nant of a County at this Day; and was chosen for some extraordinary Occasion, as upon a sudden Invasion or Expedition against the Scots or Welshmen: Which being over, their Commission also ceased, but they themselves were still had in high Esteem and Honour, if they had pru­dently and couragiously discharged that great Trust. And as the same Author observes, in some Antient Charters, (I suppose whilst the Ealdorman exercised the whole Power of the County, as well Civil as Military) the same Title of Ealdorman signified the latter Dignity; of which he gives us this Instance, from a Charter out of the Antient Book [Page lxxv] of the Church of Worcester, where Earl Aelfhere is stiled Mercna Here­togan.

BUT in the Time of Edward the Confessor (and I suppose also be­fore) they were certainly distinguished,Tit. de Her [...] tochiis. as appears by the Thirty fifth Auctuary of that King's Laws; where after the Offices of the Ealdor­men, and Greve, the Duty of Heretochs is thus described, which I will give you here in English. ‘And there were other Powers and Dig­nities constituted through all the Provinces and Counties of the whole Kingdom, which were by the English called Heretochs, to wit, No­ble, Wise, Faithful, and Stout Barons. These sate our Armies in Battel Array, and raised others as they thought fit for the Honour of the Crown, and Service of the Kingdom. They were elected by the Common-Council for the publick Benefit of the Realm in all Provinces and Counties at a full Folk-mote, as the Sheriffs of the same also were, and ought to be: And in every County there was always one Heretoch thus elected, to conduct the Militia of his County, ac­cording to the King's Orders, for the Honour and Profit of the Crown of the said Kingdom, whenever there was Occasion.’

FROM whence we may observe, That before, as well as sometime after the Conquest, when this Auctuary was made, the King had not the Nomination either of the Heretoch or Sheriff, which were then the two Great Officers of the County, the one Military, the other Civil.

HAVING thus dispatched the Military, I proceed to the Civil Ma­gistrate, viz. the Sheriff; in Saxon, Scire-Gerefa, Sheriff. (or more contractedly Greve in the Laws of King Edward) who is called by Ethelwerd, Ex­actor Regius, (i.e. the King's Receiver). This Officer,Lib. 3. An. 787. as Asser shews us in his Life of Alfred, before that King made his new Reformation of the Kingdom, was appointed by the Ealdorman, and therefore called Vice-Dominus, and was much what the same with our Vice-Comes, or Sheriff, at this Day: But whether he had the Title of Sheriff before, as well as after that Alteration by King Alfred, I will not determine.

BUT it appears by both these Latin Titles, that he was the Officer, who instead of the Ealdorman, or Earl, sat as Judge in those we now call the County-Court, and Sheriff's Tourn. But these being so well known at this Day, I shall not further enlarge, only that this Officer was also to answer to the King's Exchequer for all Fines, Amerciaments, and other Duties arising out of the County; the third Penny of which the Earl had granted him by the King, pro sustentatione Dignitatis.

AND now I come at last to that great extensive Dignity of a Thane, Thane. called in Saxon Thegne, being derived from the old word Theowian, to serve; because they that had this Honour conferred on them, were at first the King's Officers or Servants, and in our Antient Latin Char­ters, subscribed by the Name of Ministri Regis, and are called in the Version of our Saxon Annals, as also in Florence of Worcester, Ministri Regii; not that they were really always the King's Domestick Ser­vants, tho they were so originally; on whom he likewise bestowed se­veral Lands in lieu of those Services, (Wages in Money being not then in use) which Lands descended to their Heirs, if the King pleased.

THIS Title of Thane was of two sorts, the one Spiritual, the other Temporal; the former were called in Saxon, Messe-Thegnes, i.e. Mass-Thanes, Priests, or Parsons of Churches, and other dignified [Page lxxvi] Clergy-Men; of whom I shall now say nothing, but that they were then of so great Note, that in our Saxon Laws they are ranged before the Werold-Thegnes, i. e. Temporal Thanes, and their Weregilds rated at the same Value with them, viz. two thousand Thrymsa's.

‘AND tho the word denoted a Servant or Minister in general, (and so divers had the Title as it were meerly Officiary and Personal) yet as Mr. Selden informs us,Tit. of Honours, Fol. 507, 508. those that were the King's immediate Te­nants of fair Possessions, which they held by personal Service, as of his Person, (or as we say by Grand-Serjeanty, or Knight's Service in chief) were, I conceive, the Thanes that had the Honorary Dignity, and were part of the greater Nobility of that Time; howsoever those Officiary Dignities of Holde and Highgereue, had then precedence of them: that is, they were all the King's Feudal Thanes, and the Land held so was called Tainland or Vid. Notas ad Eadmerum pag. 170. Thaneland, as afterwards the Lands held that made a Baron were called a Barony, as also they are called to this day. This Title continued all the Saxon times until the coming in of the Normans, and it was in some use also after that Time, and then was succeeded by that of Barons. This Title being of Norman Extraction, we rarely meet with it before the Conquest.

THERE were also besides these Chief Thanes, others who were cal­led middle or under Thanes, being the same with the less sort of Barons, or Lords of Mannors, who holding of other great Lords, and not of the King, were those that after the Conquest were called Vavasors; in­ferior to whom there were likewise a third Sort, who seemed to have been made up of the least or meanest Degree of Gentry or Freeholders, which were then all one; none but the Gentry or less Nobility then enjoying Lands by Freehold Tenure. And in this sense is to be under­stood that Law of King Cnute, Cap. 52. whereby it is appointed, ‘That if the Master of a Family (who by that Law was to have all his Houshold under his Pledg) were accused of suffering any of them by his Pri­vity to escape, being guilty of any Crime, he was then to wage Law with five other Thanes, (i. e. in Latin Nobilibus) himself making the sixth.’ Now it was impossible that there should be so many Chief Thanes, who held immediately of the King in any one Hundred or Tything, out of which those Thanes, or Gentlemen that were to make this Purgation, were to be taken.

BUT of all these Thanes, or less Nobility, I shall speak more at large by and by, when I come to consider the Members that composed the Mycel-Gemot, or Common-Council of the Kingdom, of which these made up the great and principal Part.

AND next to them I find another Title, tho not commonly used, yet as antient as the Laws of King Ina, as also mentioned in several o­ther King's Laws,Sithcund-Man. viz. a Sithcund Man, who if he refused his Service in the Army, or a Military Expedition, he forfeited his Land.

THIS Name Mr. Somner in his Glossary derives from Sith, or Giseth, Comes, vel Socius, a Ruler or Governour; and Cund, Kind, as it signifies the Condition and Quality of any one; and Mon, Man, that is, a sort of Comes, Governour, Judg, or Praefect: he was esteemed equal to a Thane, by the valuation of his Life in Aethelstan's Laws.

THIS Comes is not to be taken in that Sense, as if he was a Count or Lord, (as now understood) being only a Comes, or Companion in re­spect of those of his own Rank or Degree, and interpreted by Mr. [Page lxxvii] Lambard by Custos-paganus, Lamb. Explic. Verb. pag. 5. and so seems to have been the chief Man or Captain in a Town or Village, and was to head all those he brought with him from thence into the Field; and therefore the Penalty was the more severe on him if he ran away, lest he should infect others by his bad Example.

SINCE I have been so large in this Introduction, I have chosen but slightly to mention these Dignities and Offices; for they having been so learnedly and fully handled by Mr. Selden in his Titles of Honour, Cap. 5. as also by Dr. Brady in his first Part of the Saxon History, and by Dr. Howel in his Discourse of the Polity of the English Saxons, Part 4. Ch. [...]. I shall refer the Reader to them for his farther Satisfaction, and will only speak of two Degrees of Men more, of whom it seems (being below their No­tice) they give us but a short Account.

THE first is that of Ceorle, or Countrey-man,Ceorle▪ (from whence our word Carle or Churle is derived); indeed he could not be possessed of what was called Bockland, or Free-land conveyable by Deed; but how­ever he was as free as to his Person and Property as the greatest Thane of them all. And therefore we find in the Laws of King Alfred, di­vers pecuniary Penalties enacted against those who should commit A­dultery with a Country-man's Wife, or should endeavour to vitiate the Chastity of his Servant or Slave; or should break the Peace by fighting, either in his House or Yard. And as for his Person, by the last of those Laws it is appointed, what Satisfaction in Money shall be paid by any who wound or maim him, even to Nail of his little Finger. And this Law as equally extended to him, as to those of the greatest Quality. And because the Nobility or Gentry were too apt to abuse these poor Countrymen who were their Tenants and Vassals, the thirty first Law of King Alfred ordains, what Satisfaction a Man was to make for any ways injuring and misusing a Ceorle's Man, by binding him, beating him, or cutting off his Hair; Frolicks, I suppose, too often then in fashion among some ill-natured domineering Gentlemen; which made this merciful and good King provide such a necessary Law for their fu­ture Security.

AND further to prove their Freedom, it is likewise enacted in the Laws of King Ina, that if a Ceorlesman should refuse going out to War, he was to forfeit thirty Shillings; which shews, that he was such a Man as was to have Weapons of his own for the Defence of himself and Service of his Country: Which is also required by the Laws of Edward the Confessor, in Title Greve. Compleat Histo­ry, pag. 65. And therefore Dr. Brady is very much out, in limiting the Title of Freemen, mentioned in King Edward's LL. Edward [...] Cap. 35. Laws, only to such as were Tenants by Military Service; for that Law says no such thing, but only that all the Freemen in the whole Kingdom, according to their several respective Estates, Goods, and Possessions, and to their Fees and Tenements, ought to have Arms, and keep them rea­dy for the Defence of the Kingdom, &c. Where you may observe, that all Estates, Goods and Possessions, of what kind soever, do hereby ca­pacitate Men to keep Arms, and consequently give them the Title of Freemen; and therefore are not limited to Tenants by Knights Service alone. As also appears from the Assize of Arms appointed by King Henry the Second.Vid. Hovede [...].

[Page lxxviii]THE highest Degree of these Ceorles, were those called Liberi Soc­manni, Socmen. i. e. Free Socmen, so called from Soc, which in the Saxon Tongue signifies a Plow. Of these we find no mention till the Laws of Edward the Confessor, Cap. 12. where the Manbote (i. e. Satisfaction for a Servant slain) is by Danelage (i. e. the Danish Law) due from a Villane or Villager, and a Socman twelve Ores; from a Freeman three Marks: Not that this Socman here, put as distinct from Freeman, was really a Slave, but only as Freemen were then taken properly for Gentlemen or Freeholders; for that these Sockmen were free as to their Persons, tho not Lands, ap­pears by the old Natura Brevium, Cap. de Brev. de Recto. where it defines a Socman to be such a Tenant, who holds of the King, or any other Lord, Lands and Tene­ments by Villain or base Services; and was privileged in this manner, that none could eject him from those Lands and Tenements, so long as he could do the Services belonging to the same.

THIS I have taken notice of, because Dr. Brady, in his Preface before his Norman History, as also indivers other Places of his Works, has la­boured all he can to make the Condition of the common People of this Kingdom (before the Conquest, as well as after) to have been little bet­ter than that of Slavery, and seems to repine very often that it is not so still, as I could easily shew if I would go about it.

BUT certainly those could not be Slaves who had Slaves under them, and were entrusted with the highest Badg of Freedom, not be­ing forced or pressed thereunto, viz. a voluntary Service in War, which the greatest were alike subject to with these for the Defence and Safety of the Kingdom,Vid. LL. Ed­wardi Confess. Cap. 35. and which was part of the old Oath of Fidelity that was taken, as well before as after his pretended Conquest.

BUT before I dismiss this Subject, I cannot omit taking notice, that the Laws or Rules of Gentility were not so strictly observed under the English Saxon, as afterwards they were under the Norman Kings; for Mr. Seld [...]n hath given us a Law of King Athelstane, Tit. Honour, Ch. 5. Fo. 515. which he took from an Antient Manuscript in the Library at St. James's, in these words, Si Villanus excrevisset, ut haberet plenariè V. Hidas terrae suae propriae, Ec­clesiam & Coquinam, Timpanarium, & Januam & Sedem & Sunderno­tam in Aula Regis, deinceps Taini Lege dignus sit. ‘Which is also con­firmed by Mr. Lambard, Apud Lam­bard in Itine­rar, Cantii, pag. 552, 553. in his Itinerary of Kent, concerning the same Law, and is there set down in Saxon, which I shall here translate thus; That if a Ceorl or a Country-man so thrived, that he had fully five Hides of his own Land, a Church, a Kitchin, a Bell-house, a Bo­rough-gate with a Seat, and any distinct Office in the King's Court, then was he thenceforth of equal Honour or Dignity with a Thane. Where by the Church, the Kitchin, the Bell-house, the Borough-gate, with a Seat, &c. Mr. Selden understands, ‘The State or Fashion of a Lord of that Time, in having a Church for his Family and Tenants, in keeping a Court for them, (which may well be meant in the Burh­gate setl, or Town-gate with a Seat) and in keeping a House or Enter­tainment competent to that Dignity, which may be understood in the Cycenan and Belhuis, i.e. Kitchin and Bell-house. The Bell-house may denote the Hall, which was the place of ordinary Diet and En­tertainment in the Houses of Lords. It may well so signify, if the Saxons used the like Reason in imposing the Name on the Lord's Hall, as some say the Italian, Spanish, and French have done, in cal­ling it Tinello, Tinello, and Tinel; which in our Laws also is re­tained [Page lxxix] in Tinel le Roy, for the King's Hall. They would have it therefore so named, because the Tin, or tinkling of a Bell at the Times of Dinner and Supper were signified by it.’

BUT Sundernota, mentioned in the Latin Copy of this Law, seems to denote the distinct Office which he was to hold in the King's Court to make him equal to a Thane. And it is also observable, that by the same Laws of King Athelstane abovementioned, such a Ceorlsman so ad­vanced, and having five Hides of Land, (ad Vtwarum Regis) that is, as Mr. Selden in the same place interprets, held by Knights Service, Si oc­cidatur, reddentur 2 Millia Thrymsarum; so that his Wiregyld shews him to have been every way equal to a Thane.

BUT the most considerable Observation that may be made from this Law, is, that V. Hides of Land were at that time reckoned a suffici­ent Estate to constitute a Thane. But as to the Quantity of Land that then went to make a Hide, it was sometimes more and sometimes less, according to the Goodness or Quality of the Soil; but was certainly no more than what one Plow could well manure, together with Pasture, Meadow, and Wood, competent for the Maintenance of that Plow, and the Servants of the Family. So that the Estate of such a Thane could not be much more than what an ordinary Gentleman has at this day.

NOR can I here pretermit what follows in the same Law above re­cited, where after having shewn us by what means an Under Theyn might come to be a Chief Thane, and from thence attain to the Dignity of an Earl, it thus proceeds. ‘And if a Merchant so thrived, that he had passed thrice over the wide (or broad) Sea, by his own Cun­ning, (or Craft as it is in the Saxon) he was thenceforth a Thane's Right-worthy, i. e. was every way equal to him.’ Where you may observe that Wealth and Industry conferred Nobility in the Saxon Times as well as at this Day.

I come now to the lowest Rank of Men, viz. that of Slaves, Slaves. who were called in Latin Servi, and in Saxon Freortorlings; and there were two sorts of them, viz. such as were Personal, possessing no Estates,Vid. Aelfric. Gloss. Saxonic but all that they earn'd was their Lords, by whom therefore they were main­tained. The others were Praedial, such as were of Servile Condition and Original, but possessed their small Holdings and Goods at the Will of their Lord, doing all those Servile Countrey Works that were set them; and from thence in the more modern Norman Dialect were cal­led Villains, from those Villages where they lived and wrought: But before as well as after the Conquest, that the Latin word Villanus did not signify a Villain or Servant, I could prove from many Instances, both out of Records and Histories, if I thought it would not be too tedious in this Place.

AS for the Original of these Slaves among the Saxons, there is some doubt about them; some supposing them to have been derived from the remainder of those meaner sort of Britains, who were either taken Pri­soners, or else never forsook the Land, and so their Lives being saved, they were made servile by their Conquerors; or else such as were de­scended from those who came over in the nature of Slaves to the Eng­lish Saxons that first landed here: but it is not much material how they began, since they might proceed from both, or either of these Origi­nals; [Page lxxx] nor had their Lords Power of Life or Death over them, for if they killed any of them, they were to pay the Value of their Heads to the King.

THESE Slaves, if they were set free at any time by their Masters, were what the Romans called Liberti, and in Saxon Freolaetan; but being then resolved into the Body of Ceorles, or Countrey-men, they did not, as among the Romans, constitute any new Order of Men.

HAVING now gone through all the Sorts and Degrees of Men, who either lived in, or were maintained out of the Countrey; I shall in the next Place say somewhat of another distinct Body of Men, called in Saxon Burh-witan, Burh witan, i. e. Citizens and Towns­men. or Burh-wara, that is, Citizens or Townsmen, who had Privileges peculiar to themselves, and living in Cities or great Towns, were governed by their own particular Magistrates called Eal­dormen, or Portgerefan, i. e. Port-Reeves, assisted by the Chief Men of the Place,Vid. Aelfric, Gloss. Saxonic called in Saxon, Yldist-Burh-wara, who were much the same with what we now call Aldermen or Common-Council Men; for as for the Title of Mayor, it came not in use here till long after the Conquest.

BUT as for these Magistrates and Members of Cities and Towns, I shall speak more by and by, when I come to treat of the constituent Parts of the Great Council of the Kingdom.

FROM the different Orders of Men, we shall now descend to speak of the different Courts where these Persons abovementioned,Different Courts. (all ex­cept the Villains) were bound to appear, and there either to do or re­ceive Justice; for which it will be necessary to look back to the Reign of King Alfred, who after the first Invasion of the Danes, when he be­gan to resettle the Kingdom, found his Subjects so far corrupted by a long and hazardous War, that all Places being full of Robberies and Murders, there was an absolute necessity for the making of more severe Laws to restrain them; so that (omitting the Division of Counties or Shires, which I shall speak to hereafter) he Canton'd his Kingdom, 1st. into Trihings or Lathes, 1. The Court of Trihings or Lathes. as they are still called in Kent and other Places, consisting of three or four Hundreds; in which the Freeholders being Judges,Lambard. de priscis Anglor. Legibus. Fol. 135. such Causes were brought as could not be determined in the Hundred Court: concerning the Proceedings in which Court of the Trihing or Lathes, you may see divers Precedents in Sir William Dug­dale's Chap. 12 Fol. 26. 2. The Hun­dred Court. Origines Juridiciales.

NEXT to which there was also the Hundred-Court, in Saxon Hun­dred-Gemot, and in Latin Centuriata, ‘Because it originally consisted of an hundred Hides of Land, as an Hide usually of an hundred Acres, or else because super decem Decanos, & centum Friburgos judi­cabat, that is, it had Jurisdiction over ten Decennaries, or an hundred Friboroughs.’

THIS Court before the Conquest was held twelve times a Year, and afterwards was increased by Henry I. to once a Fortnight, and then by Henry the Third reduced to once in three Weeks.

Dugdale's Ori­gin. Juridic. Cap. 11. ‘IN this Court antiently, Vnus de melioribus qui vocatur Alderman­nus, one of the principal Inhabitants, called the Alderman, together with the Barons of the Hundred (id est, the Freeholders) was Judg, as may seem by the Ex Regist. de Ely, in Bibl. Cotton, sub Effigie Titi. [...]. 1. F. 6. b. Register of Ely, which saith, that Aegelwynnu [...] Aldermannus venit ad Ely, & infrà Cimeterium ad Aquilonalem portam [Page lxxxi] Monasterii, tenuit placitum cum toto Hundredo: Ibid. Fol. 5. b. & Fol. 7. a. & Fol. 13. b. And the Witness of Contracts and Purchases, then were Testimonio Hundredi. Here, not only Temporal Causes, but Ecclesiastical were handled; the Alderman, or principal Judg, being such a one as Dei Leges & homi­num jura studebat promovere, who studied to promote the Laws of God and Man, the Bishop or Arch-Deacon sitting therein, with the said Alderman: Which Jurisdiction so continued until the beginning of William the Conqueror's Reign, that he by a special Precept did in­hibit,Cart 2. R. 2. m. 12. n. 5. per inspex. Quod nec Episcopus, net Archidiaconus de Legibus Episcopalibus amplius in Hundredo placitum teneat.

BUT the lowest of these Inferior Courts, was that of the Decennary, or Tything, The Decen­nary, or Ty­thing Court. which yet was the greatest Bridle upon the Inferiour sort of People; ‘For by virtue of this Law of King Alfred, every English Free­man, as Ingulph tells us, ought to be in some Hundred or Tything, (I mean, whosoever was of full twelve Years of Age);Vid Leg. Ca­nut. cap. 19. and if any one should be suspected of Larceny or Theft, he might in his own Hundred or Ward, being either condemned, or giving Security, (in some Manuscripts it is being acquitted) either incur or avoid the de­served Penalty.’ William of Malmesbury adds to this, ‘That he that could not find Security, was afraid of the Severity of the Laws; and if any guilty Person, either before his giving Security or after, should make his Escape, all of that Hundred and Tything should incur the King's Fine.’

HERE we have the Original of Decennaries, or Fribourgs, Vid. Leges Edwardi. cap. 27. in which every Man was to be bound for others as well as himself, viz. Masters for their Servants, Husbands for their Wives, and Children, before they had attained the Age of Fourteen; as also the Housholder for his Guests. All which ten Persons being thus bound one for another, were united under one Head, called a Tythingman, and in some places a Bors­holder; for BORGH signifies a Surety or Pledg, and FRI is all one as Free. From whence comes our word NEIGHBOVRS, that is, those that are Near-Pledges.

BUT that this Law concerning the Decennaries or Tythings, was not only made for the meer Vulgar or ordinary sort of People, but that the Chiefest of the Nobility, and even the Arch-Bishops and Bishops them­selves were alike subject to it,Vid. Lambard. LL. Edward, Cap. 16. will appear by that Law of Edward the Confessor, confirmed by King William I. whereby all Arch-Bishops Bishops, Earls and Barons, and all those that had Courts of Sac. Soc. and Theam, &c. swore to keep their Knights, and all other Servants there mentioned in their Frithborg, (i. e. Franc-pledg) for whom these Lords or Masters themselves were to be Sureties: so that if any of them offended, their Lords were obliged to do right in their Courts. And by the Laws of Cnute, every Thane or Gentleman of Estate,Cap. 50. was to have his Family under his own Pledg; and if any of them were ac­cused, he was to answer for him in the Hundred Court, i. e. was to compel him to appear. And the Lord was also to be answerable for him, if he escaped; so that all the Privilege that Noblemen and Gen­tlemen had above the common Men, was, that they were not bound one for another, so as to be part of any Decennary or Tithing; but each of them was Head of his own Friburgh, and his Family was as it were a distinct Tithing of it self.

[Page lxxxii]I observe this, to let the Reader understand, that how severe soever this Law was, it was no Badg of Slavery or Subjection upon the com­mon People, for even the best Men in the Kingdom were alike subject to it: Neither was it brought in, or increased, in Rigour by the Norman Conquest, as some, with greater Prejudice than Truth, have maintained; since the Normans as well as the English, were all under one and the same Law as to this Point.

THE Laws of this Court of the Tithing, were these;

FIRST, That if any one offended, and failed to appear, the other Sureties were bound to have him forth-coming to Justice.

SECONDLY, But if the guilty Party fled, he should not be any where received without a Testimonial from the Tithing from whence he came: So that a Man being out of any Tithing, if he were received in any Town, the whole Town was in the King's Mercy. But by the Laws of King Edward, Cap. 20. the Decennary was allowed one and thirty Days to bring the Offender to Justice, that so he might make Satisfaction, either by his Goods or Body.

THE third was, that if he could not be found, then the Tithingman or Borsholder, taking with him two of the best of his own FRIBVRGH, and of the three neighbouring FRIBVRGHS nine, (to wit, of each the chief Tithingman, and two others of the best Note) and there be­fore the King's Justice (if he could) he was to purge himself by Oath of the Offence and Flight of the Criminal: But if he could not, he with his own FRIBVRGH was to restore the Loss out of the Goods of the Party, if they were sufficient, or otherwise out of his own, and those of his FRIBVRGH.

LASTLY, If the Neighbouring FRIBOVRGS would not be their Compurgators, then they were to swear for themselves, that they were therein no ways Guilty; and that so soon as ever they could find him, they would bring the Offender to Justice, or else discover where he was.

THERE were many other particulars concerning this Matter which I pass over, that I may not be thought too prolix; but these are the most material.

The Rise of Court-Ba­rons. Vid. Leges Edw. Conf. apud Lamb. F. 132. a.BUT besides this Caution concerning Pledges, they were also the first Foundation of Court-Barons, who were under the Thane, or Baron, (i.e) the Lord of the Mannor, (as their Head) and he was to undertake for every one of his Tenants, and to satisfy for the Offences of each Man.

BY these Friburghs or Pledges, together with their Borsholders, were all Civil Actions, as of Debt, Trespass, Detinue, or the like, (which arose betwixt any of their Township) determined; but when there was a Cause that concerned Men residing in several Seigniories, then it was transmitted to the next superior Jurisdiction, viz. the Hundred-Court, (in some Places called the Wapentake.)

The Scire­mote, or Sh [...]riff's Tourn. Vid. Dugd. Juridical. Orig. c. 13. fol. 28.THERE still remain behind two very considerable Courts, both held by the Sheriff; ‘The former of which was antiently called Sciremote, (i. e. the meeting of the Inhabitants of the Shire) and was held twice in the Year, long before the Norman Conquest, as appeareth from sundry Testimonies Leges Ed­gari ( [...]enes Lamb.) cap. 5. fol. 80.; but since that, the Shireeve's Turn, from the French word Tour, in Latin Vice, and in English Turn. Herein sate together the Bishop of the Diocess, and the Earl or Eolderman, [Page lxxxiii] in Shires that had Eoldermen;Leges Canuti (ibid) c. 17· Fol. 108. a. Selden's Tit. of Honour, part 2. cap. 5. and Sect. 5. Fol. 628, 130. and the Bishop and Shireeves in such Counties as were committed to Shireeves, for many Ages in the Sax­ons Times, as from these Laws from King Edgar to Canutus, cited in the Margin, doth appear, to the end they might determine as well of what concerned Ecclesiastical as Civil Matters: the words of this last King's Law run thus; Ex Vid. Jani Angl. &c. omni Comitatu, bis quotannis conven­tus agitor, cui quidem illius Dioecesis Episcopus & Senator intersunto: quorum Alter Jura Divina, humana alter populum edoceto.

IN every County let there be twice a Year an Assembly of the People, whereat the Bishop of the Diocess and the Earl shall be present, the one to direct in Divine, the other in humane Matters.

‘WHICH so continued (the Bishop and Earl sitting therein toge­ther) until King William the Conqueror in a full Convention of his Arch-bishops, Bishops, Abbots and Temporal Lords, commanded, that Cart. 2. R. 2. per Inspex. m. 12. Ecclesiastical Matters should thenceforth be handled by the Bishops in Courts of their own, and not any more be discust amongst Secular Affairs.’

IN this Court (as well as in that of the Country) according to the Laws of King Henry I. these Persons following were to be present, as may appear by this Clause, Intersint autèm Episcopi, Comites, LL. Henry I. cap. 7. Vicedomi­ni, Vicarii, Centenarii, Aldermanni, Preafecti, Praepositi, Barones, Vavas­sores, Tungrevii, & caeteri terrarum Domini diligentèr intendentes, nè ma­lorum Impunitas, aut Gravionum pravitas, vel Judicum subversio solita miseros laceratione confiniant.

AGANTVR itâ (que) primò debita verae Christianitatis Jura; secundò, Regis placita; postremò Causae singulorum dignis, satisfactionis expleantur. Scil. Eccle­siastical Causes and Pleas of the Crown in the Turn; but Private Causes in the County Court, Vid. Coke's 4th. Instit. 259, 260. where you will find that,

THE Tourn is a Court of Record holden before the Sheriff, the An­tient Institution thereof was before Magna Charta to hear and deter­mine all Felonies (Death of Man excepted) and Common Nusances:Page 260. See the Stat. Mag. Chart. c. 17. and the Exposition of the same in the 2d. Instit.

THE Stile of this Court is, Curia Visus Franc. Domini Regis apud B. coram Vicecomite in Turno suo, &c. ibid.

THE reason of which is, because in this Court the Pledges or Sure­ties of every Decennary or Tithing were entred before the Court-Leets were taken out of it, and granted to particular Lords of Mannors, which Sir H. Spelman in his Glossary supposes to have been done in the Reign of King Alfred;Verb. Laeta. but since I find nothing concerning these Court-Leets till after the Conquest, I shall defer the farther treating of them to that time.

I have no more to say of this Court, but that it was also called the Folcmote, and in which, by Edward the Confessor's Laws, all Freemen were to take the Oath of Allegiance or Fidelity to the King,Vid. LL. Ed­wardi, c. 35. as appears by the Law it self; Omnes Proceres Regni, milites & Liberi Homines to­tius Regni BRITANNIAE facere debent Fidelitatem Domino Regi in Pleno FOLCMOTO coràm Episcopis Regni, &c.

YOU will likewise find in the same Law (just preceding this) an ex­traordinary Assembly of this Folcmote upon any sudden Danger, which met on ringing of the Bells, called in English Motbel; and there they were to consult how to prevent the Danger.

[Page lxxxvi] The County Court. Vid. Dugdale ut Supra. ibid. ‘THE second of these Courts was called the County-Court, and was also very Antient, and to be held once every Month by the Shireeve, as from K. Edward the Elder's Leges Ed­wardi Senioris apud Lamb. c. xi. Fol. 51. a. Videsis etiam Leges Canuti cap. 17. apud Lamb. Fol. 108. a. Laws appeareth—Praepositus quís (que) ad quartam circitèr quam (que) septimanam, frequentem populi concionem ce­lebrato: cuí (que) jus dicito aequabile, Lites (que) singulas (cum dies condicti ad­venerint) dirimito.

‘EVERY Shireeve shall convene the People once a Month, and do equal Right to all, putting an end to Controversies at Times appointed.’

TO this Court were antienly Appeals made from the Hundred-Court, as appears by the Laws of Canutus — Et nemo na­mium capiat in Comitatu vel extra Comitatum, priusquam ter in Hun­dredo suo rectum sibi perquisierit:Cap. 39. apud Brompt. Col. 924. & apud Lamb. Fol. 108. a. n. 18. Vid. Spelm. Gloss. vocab. Comitatus Curia. si tertia vice rectum non habeat, eat quarta vice ad Conventum totius Comitatus quod Anglicè dicitur Scyre­mot, &c. No Man by a Distress shall compel another to the County-Court, unless he have thrice complained in the Hundred-Court; But if he have not Right the third Time, he may then sue in the County-Court, which is called the Scyregemot.

AND besides (says Sir William Dugdale) Vid. Lib. rub. in Scacc. Fol. 26. inter Leges Hen. 1. Regis placita & Causa singulorum debita; verae Christianitatis jura, were first determined here; where interesse debent Commissarii, Episcopi, Comites, & Ecclesiae potestates, (and the Presbyter Ecclesiae, as well as quatuor de Melioribus villae, were obliged to attendance) qui Dei Leges, as well as Seculi ne­gotia, justâ consideratione definirent.’

AND a little after he further proceeds thus, Now let us see of what things the Sheriff here antienly held Plea: —Ad Vicecomites perti­nent ista (saith Glanvile) Placitum de Recto, de liberis Tenementis, per Breve Domini Regis,Glanvil. Lib. 1. Cap. 4. ubi Curia Dominorum probatur de Recto defecisse; Placitum de Nativis, sed per Breve Domini Regis.’

ID est, It belongeth to the Shireeve to hold Plea in this Court upon a Writ of Right concerning Freehold, in Cases where the Lord of the Mannor (wherein the Land lieth) hath not done Justice; as also to hold Plea concerning Bondmen, but by the King's Writ.’

I shall say no more of this Court, but refer the Reader to the said Book (from whence I have taken most of those things I have here given you concerning all these Courts);Vid. Dugdale Origin. Jurid. wherein he may find at large how great the Power of this Court was, not only before but after the Conquest: And I have also reserved the treating of these two Courts by themselves, because tho the 3 former are supposed by some to be of K. Alfred's Erection upon his new Reformation of the Kingdom, but these two were not so; for notwithstanding Ingulf tells us, that this King Alfred first divided the Provinces of England into Counties, yet we find Mr. Selden Learnedly makes it out,Selden's Tit. of Honours, chap. 5. Fol. 509, 510. ‘That Alfred was not the first that divided the Kingdom into Shires or Counties; for (saith he) be­fore Alfred's Time, those Provinces had their Ealdormen in them: Thus we read of Ethelwolfus Barocensis Pagae Comes, and Ceorle Dom­naniae Comes, and Eanulf Somersetensis Pagae Comes; for the Earldoms of Barkshire, Devonshire and Somersetshire under King Ethelwolf, Fa­ther to King Alfred, are remembred in Asserius Menevensis, that lived in King Alfred's Time. Two of them are also in Lib. 3. cap. 3. Ethelwerd, a Writer of the Saxon Times, besides Osric Dorsetum Dux, for Eolder­man of Dorset; E [...]lchere or Alchere was at the same Time Ealdorman of Kent, and Auda or Wuda of Surrey, as we have it in Hoveden, [Page lxxxv] Huntingdon, and in that Asserius also. And Ingulphus hath the Char­ter of King Ethelbald's Foundation of Crowland, whereunto the Comites of Leicester and of Lincoln both subscribe.’

TO which I may also add divers Examples that you will meet with of the same kind in the following History, out of the Saxon Annals.

HAVING thus dispatched these inferior Courts, I come now to the chiefest, (next to that of the Great Council of the Kingdom) viz. that which was called Curia Domini Regis, Curia Do­mini Regis. ‘Because oftentimes (as Sir Wil. Dugdale informs us) the King himself sate here in Person, having several Justices, à latere suo residentes, as Lib. 3. C. 10. Bracton expresseth it;Dugdal. Ori­gin. Juridical. Cap. 17. F. 38. and in his Absence, the Ealdorman, or Chief Justiciary of all England, sup­plied his Place.’

CONCERNING this Court, tho we have not many Memorials left of it before the Conquest, yet it was certainly at that Time in Being, since it seems to have been then the Great Court of all Appeals, as well Criminal as Civil, long after the Conquest, before the Court of Common-Pleas was taken out of it: for here it was that K. Alfred is supposed to have re-heard and examined the false Judgments of his inferior Judges in the Hundred, and County-Courts; and here it was also that he con­demned above forty of them to be executed in one Year, for their er­roneous Sentences in Matters of Life and Death,Cap. 5. as you will find in the Mirror of Justices.

I need say no more of this Great Court, whose Power now resides in that of the King's-Bench and Common-Pleas, neither the Chancery nor Exchequer having then any Being; the former of which commenc'd long after the Conquest, and the latter was erected by King William the First.

I have but two Observations to make concerning our Antient English Saxon Courts of Justice; the FIRST of which is, that strict Union there then was as well in the Folk-mote and County-Court, as in the Hundred-Court, between the Ecclesiastical and Civil State; in both which the Bishop and the Sheriff sitting together, all Causes both Spiritual and Secular were equally, and at one time, dispatched to the great Ease and Satis­faction of the Subject, who were taught by the Bishop in the Folk-mote what was their Duty towards God and the Church, as they were by the Ealdorman or Sheriff what Common Laws they were bound to ob­serve, in order to their Honest and Peaceable Living one among ano­ther: a Custom, which when reading of Books was not generally in use among the Laiety, was absolutely necessary for the acquainting them with their Duty; in imitation of which I suppose our Common Charges at Assizes and Sessions are continued to this Day.

THE SECOND is, the great Ease the Subject must needs find in ha­ving Justice administred to him in smaller Actions, in the Court of De­cenary or Tything, even at their own Doors; or else in Appeals and greater Actions at the Court of the Trihing or Lathe; from whence they might re­move it to the County-Court; and if they thought themselves aggrieved there, then they might bring it before the King himself, or his chief Justiciary, in the Great Court abovementioned. An Admirable and an Excellent Constitution this! whilst the Laws of England were few, easy and plain, before the Partiality and Corruption of Countrey Juries came in, and the bandying and Factions of Rich and Powerful Men in [Page lxxxvi] the Countrey against each other, together with the vast varieties of Determinations of Cases in Law, had rendered those inferior Courts not only perplexed, but unsafe and vexatious to the Subject.

The Great Council, or Parlia­ment.I come now to the Supream Court of the whole Kingdom, called in Saxon the Wittena-Gemot, or Mycel-Synoth; in Latin Magnum, or Com­mune Concilium Regni, the Great or Common-Council of the Kingdom, consisting of the King and the three Estates, which we now call our Parliament; which Court the Author of the Mirror of Justices expresly tells us, ‘That King Alfred ordained for a perpetual Custom, that twice in the Year, or oftner, in Time of Peace, if Business so required, they should assemble at London to treat of the good Government of God's People, and how Folks should be restrained from Offending, and live in Quiet, and should receive Right by certain Antient Usages and Judgments, &c. From whence you may observe, that in this Author's Time, (viz. that of Edward I.) it was held for Law, ‘That the great Council of the Kingdom antiently met of Course twice in the Year, without any express Summons from the King; and this it seems was afterwards altered to thrice in the Year, viz. at the three great Feasts of Christmass, Easter, and Whitsontide, when the King met his Estates with great Solemnity, wearing his Crown upon all solemn Days of Entertainment; and when the Feasting was over, they fell to dispatch the publick Affairs,Vid. Vol. 1. Council. An. 851. Fol. 347. as Sir H. Spelman well observes.’

THESE stated Councils which were then held ex More (as our Hi­storians term it) i. e. according to antient Custom, continued long after the Conquest, as shall be farther shewn hereafter: but if this Council happened to meet at any other extraordinary Time, then the King's special Summons was requisite, as you may find in Ingulf un­der Anno Dom. 948. where he tells us, King Edred summoned the Arch-bishops, Bishops, and all the Proceres, and Optimates (i. e. Chief Men of the Kingdom) to meet him at London at the Purification of the Virgin Mary. Whence we may observe, that this Summons was thus issued, because this Council was extraordinary, as not being held ex more, at any of the usual great Feasts abovementioned.

CONCERNING the Original of this great Assembly, since Sir Robert Filmer in all his Works,Pag. 116, 117, 118. and particularly in his Patriarcha; and Dr. Johnston in his Excellency of Monarchical Government, ‘Would have this (as well as all our other Liberties and Privileges) to have been only Royal Abatements of Power,Vid. Introduct. and Fol. 127, 128. and gracious Indulgences and Condescensions of our Kings for the Benefit and Security of the Sub­ject; who were pleased to condescend to call some Persons of each of the three Estates (it being left to their Discretion whom to summon, and whom not); and tho many of our Kings have made use of such great Assemblies to consult about important Affairs of State, and by their Consent and Approbation, to make Laws as well as (at their Prayers and Petitions) to redress their just Grievances, yet they owed their being to our first Monarchs, since till about the time of the Conquest there could be no General Assembly of the Estates of the whole King­dom, because till those Times we cannot learn it was entirely united into one; but it was either divided into several Kingdoms, or go­verned by several Laws.’

I confess this looks at first like a specious Hypothesis, and may serve perhaps to prevail upon some ignorant and unwary Readers, who will not, [Page lxxxvii] or cannot give themselves the trouble of searching to the Bottom, to find out the Truth of things. But I desire the Favour of those who believe and maintain this Opinion, to answer me these few Queries.

FIRST, How it came to pass that in all the Kingdoms of Europe, erected out of the Ruines of the Roman Empire, (as well as those that were not, but yet had been constituted according to the same Gothick Model) the like General or Great Council of Estates, consisting of the same Degrees and Orders of Men, were to be found in every one of those Kingdoms? To begin with Sweden and Denmark, and then go on to the Kingdom of Germany, now called the Empire, and so into France, and from thence into Spain, among all the petty Kingdoms that then composed that Monarchy (taking Portugal, if you please, into the Account); you will find that the Estates of all those Kingdoms (as representing the whole Body of the same) consisted of the Clergy, Nobility, and Deputies of Cities and great Towns; which is briefly comprized by this single Verse of Gonterus, an old German Poet, con­cerning the Estate of the Empire in his Time,

Praelati, Proceres, missis (que) potentibus Vrbes.

SECONDLY, How it happened, that in all the Kingdoms of the English-Saxon Heptarchy, the first Founders of which came out of Frizeland, Westphalia, Holstein and Jutland, the like Great Councils, consisting of the King, the Clergy and Nobility, came to be instituted in each of them? For as to the Representatives of Cities and Towns in England, since the Framers of the abovementioned Hypothesis deny their appearance here, I shall say nothing as yet.

THIRDLY, Whether it be probable, that without a General Agree­ment of Laws and Manners with those People of Germany, from whence these English-Saxons came, they should by a sort of Natural and Unac­countable Sympathy, fall of themselves into the very same Political Form and Constitution?

FOVRTHLY, Whether Princes were above a thousand Years ago, so much more Ignorant of the Arts of Government, and so little Ambi­tious of Riches and Power, that they should all agree within a Century of Years, to set up one uniform Model of Government, and admit the People into a share of their Power, especially into that Grand Prero­gative of laying Taxes; which most Princes now do all they can to per­form by their own absolute Will?

FOR as to that of understanding their Subjects Grievances, they might either not take notice of them at all, or else, if they would, might have found out a more easy Method to come to the Knowledg of them, than by Summoning the Clergy, Nobility, and People of a whole Kingdom at once, to acquaint them therewith.

FIFTHLY, How it came to pass, that in all those Countries (so long as they continued Elective) the States exercised the same Power of Deposing their Kings for Tyranny or Male-Administration? Does this look like a precarious and dependent Power? And,

LASTLY, Whence happen'd it, that in France and England (and I believe I could shew the same in other Countries too) the Estates of the Kingdom met twice in the Year, according to Custom, at a certain Time and Place, without any Summons from the King?

[Page lxxxviii]NOW when the Gentlemen who maintain the Hypothesis above­mentioned, shall return a fair and satisfactory Answer to these Queries, I shall not only willingly submit to their Judgments, but give them my Thanks for their better Information; but till then I think it is much more agreeable to good Sense, as well as Matter of Fact, to maintain, that those Orders and Degrees of Men that did constitute the Great Councils, were more Antient than Kingly Government, nay Christia­nity it self among them, as appears by those Testimonies I have pro­duced out of Bede and other Authors; from all whom it plainly appears, that the first Princes in all those Governments were originally Elected, of which I hope I have given undeniable Instances, out of our own as well as Foreign Histories: and certainly that which gives Being to a Thing, must be prior in Nature to that which is produced from it.

HAVING now done with the Original, I shall next proceed to the Constituent Parts of this Mycel-Synoth, or Wittena-Gemot; the last of which words is derived from the Saxon word Wites, or Witen, i.e. Sapientes, or Wise-Men;Glossary, Fol. 66. and tho Dr. Brady in his Glossary will have this word most­ly to signify Noblemen, or Great Lawyers, yet I do not find he brings any good Authority for his so doing: For granting it is true, Wite sig­nifies a Wise-Man, however it no ways proves that all Wisemen must be Lawyers, much less that those Lawyers were Noblemen; and since he himself does not extend this Wisdom only to Knowledg in the Laws, I need not say any more to it.

AS for the rest of his Authorities in this Page, whereby he would prove that divers things were done by the Decrees of these Wisemen or Lawyers, they sufficiently answer themselves; since it appears even by his own shewing, that these Sapientes were the Bishops, Abbots, Aldermen and Thanes; and when he makes it out that every one of these Orders of Men were Noblemen, or Lawyers, I shall come over to his Opinion.

AS for what he says in the next Page, where he gives us the Inter­pretation of those words of Bede, Principibus, & Consiliariis, by Eal­dormannum and Witum; they are yet less to the purpose, since a Man might be a very good Counsellor, and yet at the same Time no great Lawyer.

BUT the Author's seeming stabbing Proof is out of Asser, in his Life of King Alfred, Id. Fol. 67. ‘Who admiring the Ignorance of his Earls and Praefects, commanded them either forthwith to lay down their Pla­ces of Judicature, or else to apply themselves SAPIENTIAE Studiis, to the Study of Knowledg, or of the Law. Here we see again (says he) who had the Title of SAPIENTES, namely the Judges, that is, the COMITES, PRAEPOSITI, & MINISTRI, or Thegnes; for these last were the Seminary of Nobility, or Great Officers, Civil, Military, and Ecclesiastick amongst the Saxons.

‘NOW I desire the Reader to observe, that admitting we should take the word Studia SAPIENTIAE here, for the Knowledg of the Law, does it therefore follow, that all that studied it must be Lawyers by Profession? when it is very certain that the Study of the Law was not then, nor long after, a Trade, as it is now; since all the Freeholders or Thegnes, after­wards called Barons, were (as well as Ealdormen) required to have a competent Knowledg of the Laws of their Country; or else how could they either plead their own, or try each others Causes in the Hundred [Page lxxxix] and County-Courts (as they are in the Cap. 1. Laws of K. Henry 1. recited to have done) before the Profession of Counsellors came up?’ Or how could they sit, and judg Causes in the County-Court, or Folc-mote, when every Thegne, or Gentleman in the County, was capable of being chosen Sheriff, and of sitting Judg in those Courts, many Ages before the Office of an Vnder-Sheriff was heard of?

AND as for the Auctuary to the 35th Law of Edward the Confessor, Id. ibid. Lamb. fol. 147. wherein the HERETOCHS are called BARONES, NOBILES, & insignes SAPIENTES, there can be nothing urged less to purpose; for then (according to the Doctor) they must have had all great Titles, and have been chosen Generals in War, and Leaders of Armies; and Pray why? because they were SAPIENTES, i. e. Great Lawyers. But the Doctor had the good luck to find once in his Life, that Studia Sapi­entiae, for want of a better Expression, signified the Study of the Law, and therefore the word SAPIENTES and WITES, where-ever he meets with them in our Saxon Laws, or Great Councils, must (forsooth) sig [...]ify Lawyers or Judges: And his Design in it is evident, that he might thereby confound the Law-makers with the ordinary Counsellors or Advisers, whom those Law-makers might often imploy in the drawing of the Laws; but he is indeed at last so modest as to tell us, ‘That at this day the Judges, and King's Counsel, and other great Lawyers that sit in the Lord's House, are assistant to the Parliament when there is occasion.’ But that he would here as well as elsewhere insinuate, that no body else had any more right to appear there than they; you may see more plainly in his Notes to his Fol. 85. Compleat History of England, where upon the words Sapientes or Witen made use of in the Saxon Laws, he says, ‘That if they only signified Men skilled in the Laws, then were none of the Temporal Nobility present at the ma­king of those Laws, unless perhaps they were the Lawyers meant by that word, as being many of them Judges and Justiciaries at that time, But yet he is at last forced (with Justice) in the same place to acknowledg, upon the words, that Witan, Sapientes or wise Men, must be taken for, or meant of the Bishops and Nobility, or else they were not present at the making of these Laws; which no Man can believe, that considers how many Ecclesiastical Laws there are a­mongst them, and Laws relating to the Worship of God, and a holy Life, that were never made without at least the Advice of the Bishops.’

IT is well my Lords the Bishops were concern'd here, or else sure he would never have been so free as to make the word Witan signify not only great Lawyers, but Divines too: and thus by the same liberty of paraphrasing, studia Sapientiae may signify the Study of Divinity.

BUT enough of these Trifles; for the Author himself hath some Lines above in the same Notes, granted as much as I can desire, because he confesses, ‘That in our Saxon Laws, the Sapientes or Witan were divers times taken for the whole Baronage, or Nobility, as I may so say: And in this sense it is used in the 49th Chapter of the Preface to Alured's Laws.’ And I desire the Doctor to shew me any Instance out of the Saxon Laws or Annals, if he can, where the words Witan, or Witena-Gemot are used in any other sense. But what was the true meaning of that word Baronage we shall reserve to another place; it suffices at present to let you see he owns they were somewhat more than [Page xc] great Lawyers; and that it comprehended others besides Noble-men by Birth, I shall prove by and by.

IN the mean time I shall shew, by what Words and Phrases the Witena Gemot, Witena Gemot. consisting of these Wites, is called in the Latin Version of our Annals, as also of our Historians who have wrote in the same Language.

Concilium Procerum, vel Prima­tum.IN the first of these it is rendered Concilium PROCERVM, how truly, I have said somewhat in the Preface: by Florence of Worcester in his Version of the same Annals, it is commonly render'd Concilium PRIMATVM, and sometimes, but more rarely, PROCERVM. But when this Author would distinguish the Laity from the Clergy at these Assemblies,Laity and Clergy. he words it thus, ARCHIEPISCOPOS, EPISCOPOS, ABBATES, & Angliae OPTIMATES; sometimes thus, EPISCOPOS, & DVCES, nec non & PRINCIPES, & OPTIMATES Gentis Angliae.

AS for the Signification of all these Words, I shall give it you anon; only thus much may be agreed upon, that besides the Arch-bishops, Bi­shops, and Abbots, the chief or best Men of England were present and assisted at these Councils, and who, as appears by the Subscriptions to several Saxon Councils and Charters, were either the Ealdormen, who writ themselves in Latin, sometimes Sub-Reguli, but more often Duces, or Comites, of whom we have already spoken enough: But this I would have remembred, that the Office of Ealdormen not being then heredita­ry, it was bestowed for Merit; and Nobility by Blood was no necessary Condition to it, since their Places in this great Assembly were only ra­tione Officii, and not by Right of Inheritance as at this day.

THE next Order, whose Subscriptions we find at the Conclusion of such Councils and Charters,Thanes. are the Thanes; the highest Degree of which was called Thanus Regius, the King's Thane, because he held im­mediately of him; and tho I grant it answered the Title or Dignity of the greater Barons after the Norman Conquest, yet however nei­ther Mr. Selden, nor any other Learned Antiquary that I know of, does any where exclude the two other Degrees of Thanes, viz. the Middle and Lesser, from appearing, and having places in those great and gene­ral Councils, as well as the chief Thanes themselves.

AND besides these, we find at the end of several Charters, others who write themselves Milites, Milites. who, I suppose, ought to be rendered Knights; but whether they were Thanes that held by any Military Te­nure, or such as held their Lands in Allodio, that is, freely, under no Services, I will not here take upon me to determine.

THESE are the only Degrees mentioned at the end of those Councils and Charters above-mentioned.

BUT perhaps it will now be told me, that according to my own shewing, there were no Commons summoned to these Assemblies; since neither in the Titles before those Councils, nor at the Conclusions of them is there any mention made of this Order of Men now called Commons, distinct from that of the Bishops and great Noble Men; and therefore from hence Dr. Brady in his Answer to Mr. Petyt, Dr. Brady's Introduct. fol. 6, & 7. will have none but Bishops and great Noble-men to have had any thing to do there: and to make this seem the more plausible, he renders that great Council, where Plegmund Arch-bishop of Canterbury, Vid. Antiquit. Britan. Matth. Parkeri Ar­chiep. Cant. together with King Ed­ward the Elder presided, viz. CONCILIVM MAGNVM EPISCO­PORVM, [Page xci] ABBATVM, FIDELIVM, PROCERVM, POPVLORVM IN PROVINCIA GEWISORM, &c. in these words, A great Council of the Bishops, Abbots, Tenants in Capite or Military Service, Noble-men, and People in the Province of the West-Saxons.

AND here, before I go any further, I would desire the Doctor to answer these two Questions.

FIRST, By what Authority he here translates the word Fideles, Te­nants in Capite, or Military Service? since I am sure he is not able to prove from any History or Record, that this Tenure had any being in England at that time.

SECONDLY, How he can make it out, that the word Proceres al­ways signifies great Noble-men by Birth? without which Supposition all he is able to say on this Subject will fall to the Ground.

BUT the Doctor thinks he has a great Advantage from what Arch­bishop Parker says in the same Page;Dr. Brady, ut sup. EDWARDVS REX SYNO­DVM PRAEDICTAM NOBILIVM ANGLORVM CONGREGA­VIT, CVI PRESIDEBAT PLEGMVNDVS, i. e. King Edward cal­led the foresaid Synod of the English Nobility, wherein Plegmund presi­ded. Here he thinks he hath a strong hold, and therefore says, ‘That this Author tells us the meaning of the long Title of this Synod, which just before he had mentioned, viz. that the Bishops, Abbots, FIDELES, Proceres, & POPVLVS, were all NOBILES, NOBLE-MEN, that is, the Ecclesiasticks and Laicks, or the Bishops, and Lay-Nobility, and not the Vulgus, Commons, or ordinary sort of People.’

SO then, according to the Doctor's Construction, all the fore-going Relation of the Members of this Council was a jumbled heap of Tau­tologies, of Noble Tenants in Capite, Noble-men, and Noble People.

BUT I must needs acknowledg that he is so far in the right, that by these words Nobilium Anglorum, are not meant the vulgar, mean or ordinary sort of People, or the Mob, (as they are now con­temptuously term'd) for certainly they had never any thing to do in those August Assemblies: Nor does Mr. Petyt, or my self maintain any such thing; and yet for all this I think we may affirm, that all the Members that appeared there, were not Noble-men, or Great Lords only, in the sense they are now taken.

FOR to begin with the word Nobilis, Nobilis. which the Doctor so much in­sists on, it is his own too narrow Conception of that Title which has been, I think, one main Cause of the greatest part of the Quarrel be­tween Mr. Petyt and him; for in all the Counties of Europe, except England, it is very well known, that the word Nobilis includes not only Noble-men of Title, such as Dukes, Marquesses, &c. but also all Gen­tlemen of Families who are well born, and do not exercise Mechanick Trades. Thus Nobilezza in Italian, and Noblesse in French, compre­hends the less as well as the greater Nobility. So likewise the word Aedelmen, among the Germans, comprehends all sorts of Noble-men, as well those of Title as others,Tit. Ad [...]lingi, p. 10. which is owned by Sir H. Spelman in his Glossary in these words, Anglorum Legibus Adelingos dici pro Nobilibus in genere, qui omnes nobiles Aedelmen vocant, à Saxonico Aedel, nobilis. ‘And so it was here in England long after the Conquest, as well as before, when Knights and Gentlemen were reckoned inter Nobiles minores, be­fore the Title of Noble-men began to be appropriated to the higher Nobility or Peers only; which is also owned by Dr. Brady in his Preface [Page xcii] to his Compleat History, where he tells us of Lands held by Knights Service, as well in the Hands of the lower sort of Noblesse, as of the greater Noble-men.’

AND this being so, I shall easily prove, that all the rest of the words insisted upon by the Doctor, do not signify only great Lords and Noble­men by Birth:Proceres. To go on therefore to the next word Proceres, that nei­ther this does signify only Men Noble by Birth. Isidore (an antient Spanish Author) in his Origines, Lib. 9. cap. 4. says thus, Proceres sunt Principes Ci­vium, that is, the chiefest of Subjects or Citizens. And the Learned Du-Fresne also tells us in his Glossary,Page 420. Proceres appellabantur, qui in Civita­tibus praecipuos Magistratus gerebant; that those were called Proceres, who were the chief Magistrates or Rulers in Cities; and certainly these could scarce ever be Noble-men by Birth.

Primates.AND as for the word Primates, it signifies no more than Principal or Chief Men, however born; and that it was understood no otherwise among our English-Saxons, appears from Aelfric's Glossary above-men­tioned, at the end of Somner's Saxon Dictionary, where he renders the words Primates, vel Primores Civitatis, seu Burgi, by YLDEST BVRH­WARA, i. e. the Chief Magistrates in a City or Town, who were then Persons of very considerable Note in the Nation, as I shall prove further by and by.

Optimates.I come now to the word Optimates, which signifies no more than the better sort of Men, and not always Noble-men and great Lords, much less as confined to the King's Thanes, or Tenants in Capite only; since the same Du-Fresne in his Glossary defines Optimates to be Vassalli Barones, qui ab ullo Domino ratione Hominii nudè pendent, that is, the Feudatory Barons that meerly depend on any Superiour Lord by reason of their Homage; which tho spoken in relation to France five or six hundred Years ago, yet was certainly used in the same sense, and no otherwise in England, as well before as after that time, and did include all the Inferiour as well as Superiour Thanes, such as were the only Freeholders in those Ages.

[...]rincipes.BUT for the word Principes, he that understands any thing of the Latin Tongue, knows, that it doth not always signify Princes, or Men Noble by Birth, but any Chief or Principal Man, remarkable by Place, Office or Dignity; and therefore we often read in Livy, and other Latin Authors, of Principes Civitatis: and in the above-cited Laws out of Tacitus, de moribus Germanorum, it is plain, that the word Princeps, or Principes in the plural, signified no more than chief or considerable Men among the Germans, by reason of their Office, or present Dignities, without any respect to their Birth. And in this sense, I suppose, every Member of Parliament may at this day be reckoned inter Principes, among the most considerable or chief Men of the Kingdom.

BUT the Doctor lays a great stress upon a Passage out of two Manu­script Malmesburies, Dr. Brady's Introduct. fol. 7. one in the Bodleian Library, cited by Sir William Dugdale, and the other in the Treasury of the Records of the Church of Canterbury, cited by Sir Henry Spelman, who both report of this very Council, that Edward the Elder Congregavit Synodum Senatorum Gentis Anglorum, cui praesidebat Plegmundus, &c. i. e. convened a Synod of the Senators (in Saxon the Aldermen) of the English Nation, that is, such as were usually called to such Councils, which were only the Nobiles and Great Men.’

[Page xciii]IN Answer to this I must refer the Doctor again to good old Livy, where he will find that the Roman Senators were not all Noble by Birth, for they were tàm Patricii, quàm Plebeii Ordinis.

BUT when Mr. Petyt cites William of Malmesbury, for calling a Saxon Wittena Gemote, Generalis Senatus & Populi Conventus, to distin­guish the lesser Nobility from the greater, the Doctor replies,Id. ibid. ‘There is no heed to be taken how our old Monks and Historians stiled the Saxon Wittena Gemotes, or their great and Common-Councils, for the same Authors expressed them sometimes one way, sometimes another; nor were they ever exact and curious in observing and no­ting the Title, or the Constituent Parts or Members of them.’

‘FROM whence I cannot but observe the Doctor's great Partiality for his own Opinion; for whenever William of Malmesbury in the Manuscript above-cited, mentions the word Senatores, it must with him immediately signify nothing less than Great Noblemen, or what we now call Peers; but when the same Author mentions the lower degree of Men (whom we now call Commons) as a distinct Order from the Great Lords, or Senators, then presently he is with the Doctor, a trifling old Monk, very little curious in observing the Constituent Parts or Members of our Saxon Great Councils.’

HAVING thus shewn some of Dr. Brady's erroneous and inconside­rate Glosses concerning the English-Saxon Nobility before the Conquest, which he vainly supposes to have been the same as it is at this day; I shall now endeavour to settle some truer Notions relating to those Great Councils, which as to the Lay-Members, besides the Ealdormen above-mentioned, I conceive, consisted of the whole Body of Thanes, or Free-holders, who were then all Gentlemen either by Birth or Estates; for I have already proved from the Laws of King Athelstan, that a meer Ceorl's Man, if he had purchased five Hides of Thane Land, did thereby become equal in all respects to a Thane.

NOW if the word Thane before the Conquest signified the same with the word Baro, which came into common use after that time, as Sir Henry Spelman and Mr. Selden both grant it did; and Mr. Camden in his Introduction to his first Edition of his Britannia in 4o, is yet more express as to this word Baro, as you may see by this remarkable Passage; Verùm Baro ex illis nominibus videatur quae tempus paulatìm meliora, & molliora reddidit, nam longò post tempore, non milites, sed qui LIBERI erant DOMINI, & Thani Saxonibus dicebantur Barones vocari coeperunt, nec dum magni honoris erant, paulò autem posteà (viz. some time after the Conquest) eò honoris pervenit, ut nomine Baronagii Angliae omnes quodammodo Regni Ordines continuerentur: tho it must be confest that Mr. Camden, because he found this Passage had given some Offence to the higher Nobility, he in his next Edition in Folio, restrained it by adding the word Superiores before Ordines, as if none but the higher Barons might be thought to have once made part of the Baronage of the Kingdom. And likewise Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary under the Title of Barones Comitatus, i. e. the Barons of Counties,Spelm. Gloss. tit. Barones Comitatus. (who are fre­quently mentioned in the Laws of our first Norman Kings) has this remarkable Passage, and he being so great a Man, I shall not offer to abridg it.


[Page xciv] HOC Nomine, scilicet, Barones Comitatus (saith he) contineri vide­tur Antiquis paginis, omnis Baronum feodalium species, in uno quovis Co­mitatu degentium: Proceres nempè & Maneriorum Domini, nec non liberè qui (que) Tenentes, hoc est, fundorum proprietarii, Anglicè FREEHOLDERS. —Notandum autèm est, liberè hos Tenentes, nec tàm exiles olìm fuisse, nec tàm Vulgares ut hodiè deprehenduntur: nam Villas & Dominia, in minutas haereditates nondùm distrahebant Nobiles; sed (ut vidimus in Hi­berniâ) penès se retinentes, agros per precarios excolebant & adscriptitios. Vid. LL. Edw. Confess. cap. 15. Quod per Hundredum colligerentur (46 Marcae) & Sigillo alicujus Baronum Comitatus sigillarentur, & ad Thesaurum Regis deportarentur. In Domesd. habiti sun [...] Barones Comi­tatus; Magnates & Nobiles, qui in Curiis praesunt Comitatuum, hoc est, ipsarum Curiarum Judices, quos Hen. 1. LL. suarum, cap. 30. esse liberè Tenentes Comitatûs demonstrat. Regis (inquit) Judices sunt Baro­nes Comitatus, qui liberas in eis terras habent, per quos debent causae singulorum alterna prosecutione tractari. Which I shall give you thus in English. ‘Under this Title of Barones Comitatus, seems to be contained in our antient Writers all sorts of Feudal Barons dwelling in any one County, viz. the chief Men and Lords of Mannors, as also all free Tenants, that is, Proprietors of Lands, in English, FREE-HOLDERS. And it is also to be considered, that these free Tenants were not antiently so mean and pitiful, as they are accounted at this day: For Gentlemen had not as yet parcell'd out their Town­ships and Lordships into small Estates, but (as we see in Ireland) keeping them themselves, by their hired Servants and Villains, hus­banded their own Lands. In the Laws of Edward the Confessor, cap. 15. it is appointed, that 46 Marks should be collected out of the Hundred, and sealed up with the Seal of one of the Barons of the County, and be lodged in the King's Treasury. In Dooms­day Book, those Noblemen and Gentlemen are called Barons of the County, who presided in County-Courts, that is, who were Judges of those Courts, whom Hen. 1. in the 30th Chapter of his Laws, shews to be the free Tenants of the County. The King's Judges, says he, are the Barons of the County, who have Freehold Lands in them, by whom the Causes of each of them ought to be tried and adjudged in their respective turns.’

‘AND there also immediately follows in the same Law of Henry the First, another Clause, whereby Villains, and all such mean and beg­garly Fellows, called there Cocsetti or Perdingi, are not to be reckoned amongst the Judges of the Laws; for they neither in the Hundred, nor in the County, forfeit their own Money, nor that of their Masters.’

THIS, I think, is sufficient to prove, that all such base and indigent People, such as Dr. Brady calls Tag, Rag and Bobtaile, were excluded from having any thing to do in these inferior Courts; and if so, then much more to be sure were they shut out of the most August Assembly of the Kingdom, the Wittena-Gemot, Mycel-Synoth, or what we now call the Parliament.

AND this I have brought to shew, that I do as much disown the Thoughts of introducing any Degrees or Orders of Men, (less than those of Quality or Estates) into the Great Councils of those Times, as the Doctor himself does.

[Page xcv]BUT in the first part of his Compleat History he asserts,Compleat Hist. Fol. 69, 70. that not only the King's Thanes, but also all the Middle and Lesser Thanes were both after, as well as before the Conquest, Military Men, who held their Lands by Military or Knight's Service, which he would prove from the Heregeat, or Heriots, that by the Laws of King Cnute, were to be paid to their Lords by their Heirs, in Horses and Money, and certain Arms. ‘Well, let this for once be admitted, but I would then have the Doctor never to urge Military or Knight-Service, as a Badg of the Norman Conquest any more; and in the next Treatise which he shall please to publish, I would desire him to make it out, that none but the King's Thanes, (who were all one with his Tenants in Capite, after the Conquest) had any Place in the Great Council of the Kingdom, for without this, he does nothing: yet thus much I must say for him, that in the beginning of his Answer to Mr. Petyt, Answer to Mr. Petyt's Rights of the Commons in Folio. p. 10. he seems to be somewhat more good-natured, making the Saxon Wittena Gemotes more large and diffusive; for in them he owns, were Arch-Bishops, Bishops, Masse-Thegnes, or Dignified and Great Clergy-Men, Aldermen, or Comites, King's Gereves or Praepositi, King's Thegnes, Thanes, or Ministers, his Counsellors, Judges or Magistrates. Where tho he confounds the King's Judges and Counsellors, (whose Presence there was not abso­lutely necessary, as not being any constituent Parts or Members there­of) with the Bishops, Aldermen, and Thanes, without whose Consent no Laws could be made; yet he grants us enough in reckoning other Thanes and Magistrates to have had Places there, besides the King's, and who I conceive had a Right to appear there without any particular Summons to each of them; and sure all these were not Tenants in Ca­pite.

NOW having laid down, and I hope established a true Notion what sort of Men then constituted the greater part of the Wittena-Gemotes of those Times; I come to the next Degree or Order of Men, who then most properly represented the Commons of England, Deputies of Cities and Great Towns. Procuratores. viz. the De­puties of Cities and Great Towns: and tho I confess these are not or­dinarily mentioned in any of the Antient Saxon Laws or Charters, yet that they were comprehended sometimes under the Title of Procurato­res, I am very well satisfied, as appears from the Annals In Bibl. Cot­ton. Tiber. C. 4. of Winchel­comb, wherein there is a Charter of Kenwulf King of the Mercians, bearing date Anno Dom. 811. where all the Orders of Men summoned to be present at that Assembly, are thus particularly recited by that King, viz. Merciorum Optimates, Episcopos, Principes, Comites, PRO­CVRATORES, meós (que) propinquos, nec non Cuthredum Regem Cantuari­orum, át (que) Suthredum Regem Oriental. Saxon. cum omnibus qui Testes nostris Synodalubus conciliabulis aderant.

NOW I would be gladly informed by any Man, well conversant in Antiquity, what the word Procuratores could here signify after Comites, unless it were the Deputies or Representatives of the Cities and Towns of Mercia?

THE like word is also found in a Charter of King Athelstan's, dated Anno 931. of certain Lands granted to the Abbey of Abington; which Charter is entred in the great Register that belonged to that Abbey, and is now in the Cottonian Library, and concludes thus,Claudius. B. 9. Cap. 5 [...]. Haec Charta in Villa Regali quae Aetwelope nuncupatur, Episcopis, Abbatibus, Ducibus, patriae Procuratoribus, Regiâ dapsilitate ovantibus perscripta est.

[Page xcvi]BY which Patriae Procuratoribus abovementioned, I know not what else can be understood, but the Deputies or Representatives of the Ci­ties and Chief Towns, who then sent Members to those General Coun­cils.

THO of what sort of Men these Procuratores or Deputies of Cities and Towns then consisted, I confess it is hard at this distance of Time to determine; when the Original Records of those Councils wherein they appeared are lost, and that we have so obscure a mention made of them in the Saxon Laws and Charters. But if I may take the Liberty to guess, there were not so many Citizens chosen for each City as at this Day; but only their Chief Magistrates, Rulers, or Aldermen, (which were single Persons, and not many, for there was then but one Alder­man in a Town) or else such as were called Port-Gerefas, (now Port-Reves in divers Places) who might appear for them of Course, or be constantly Chosen on purpose: but if the Charter of King Athelstan abovecited be true, (as I see no reason to question its Authority) it ap­pears, that the ordinary Boroughs were then represented by two Bur­gesses in Parliament, as at this Day.

BUT that these, as well as the Magistrates and most considerable Citizens might then all pass, and be included under the General Name of Witan, or Wites, called in Latin Sapientes, I have the Authority of the Learned Du Fresne, Tome 3. pag. [...]00. who in his Glossary assures us, that antiently among the Lombards, Sapientes in Italia appellabantur Civitatum Primarii, quorum consilio Respublicae gerebantur, i. e. that among the Lombards in Italy, the Chief Citizens were called Wise-Men, by whose Counsel publick Affairs were transacted: and for this he cites Hieron. Rubeus, who in his History of Ravenna under Anno 1297. hath this remarkable Pas­sage concerning these Sapientes; (says he) Sed longè anteà illud nomen obtinuit in aliis Longabardarum civitatibus, ut colligere licet ex Ottone, & Acerbo Morena in Historia Rerum Lundevetium; which Authority tho fetch'd as far as Italy, is very pertinent to prove the same Title to have been in use among the English Saxons of the same Age with the Lom­bards, since (as Grotius hath learnedly proved in his Preface to his Gothic History) the Lombards were but one Stirp or Tribe of those Antient Gothes, from whom (as I have already proved in the beginning of the third Book of this Volume) the English Saxons were also derived.

BUT that these Citizens of Cities, in those Times, might deserve the Name of Wites or Sapientes, as well for their Prudence as Riches, appears from the Charter of K. Edward the Confessor, in the great Chartu­lary of the Abby of Westminster, Faustina. A. 3. Fol. 97. now to be seen in the Cottonian Li­brary, which begins thus, Edward Cing gret Willem and Leodtan, & Aelfy Porte-Reven, and alle mine Burh-Thanes on LVNDEN Frind­lic; this tho Saxon, yet being so near the English of our own Times, I need not translate, only I desire the Reader to take notice, that the Citizens of London were then so considerable, as in this Charter to have had the Title of Thanes, as they were often called Barones de London in our Antient Historians after the Conquest.

AND as for the City of Canterbury in those Times, it had not only a Chief Magistrate, called in Latin Praepositus, in Saxon Port-Gerefa, as Mr. Somner in his Antiquities of Canterbury informs us;Pag. 64, 65. but also in the same Place he has given us a Saxon Deed, written some Years before the Conquest, and containing an Exchange of certain Lands and Houses in [Page xcvii] that City, made between the Family, (i. e. Monks of the Cathedral Church) and the Crihtan of that City, being Merchants or Chapmen; and you have already seen, that a Merchant having thrice passed the Seas, was accounted equal to a Thane: and can any one then reasonably doubt, that Persons of that Wealth and Dignity were not capable of being chosen Representatives of their Cities, in the Saxon Great Councils?

NOR can I forbear citing, before I close up this Subject, that re­markable Authority out of In Bib. Cot­ton. Fausti­na. A. 3. Sulcardus's Manuscript Chartulary of the Abby of Westminster, where there is entred a Charter of King William the First, bearing date An. Dom. 1071. And after the King had subscribed his own Name to it with the Sign of the Cross, there are added many of the Bishops, Abbots, and Temporal Nobility; and then instead of cum multis aliis, this Clause is subjoined, viz. In the Mar­gin of the Book there is this Note in a more Modern Hand, Nota hic, hos omnes convo­cari à Rege suâ Auctori­tate, ad causas Religionis tractandas, tàm nobiles de clero quàm Principes Reg­ni, cum aliis inferioris gradus; con­ventio quo­rum videtur esse Parlia­mentum: from whence it ap­pears, that this Notator took this Assembly for a Parlia­ment of those Times. Multis praetereà illustrissimìs Virorum personis, & Regni Principibus diversi Ordinis omissis, qui huic Confirmationi piissimo affectu Testes & Fautores fuerunt: Hii autèm illo tem­pore à Regiâ potestate è deversis Provinciis & Vrbibus, ad Vniversalem Syno­dum pro causis cujuslibet Christianae Ecclesiae audiendis & tractandis, ad prae­scriptum Celeberrimum Coenobium, quod Westmonasterium dicitur, convo­cati. i. e. ‘Besides many other very Eminent Persons and Chief Men of the Kingdom of divers Orders being omitted, who with most pious Affection, were Witnesses and Approvers to this Confirmation; and these were summoned at that Time by the Royal Authority, from divers Provinces and Cities, to the General Synod held at the Famous Abby of Westminster, for the hearing and determining of the Causes of each Christian Church.’

‘THIS is an Authority which seemed so convincing, that Sir William Dugdale hath made use of it in his Origines Juridiciales, to prove the Antiquity of the Commons of England in Parliament; yet Dr. Brady in the Conclusion of his Answer to Mr. Cook's Argumentum Antinormani­cum, accuses that Gentleman of being both Ignorant and Mistaken in the meaning of Cities and Provinces, and the Persons that came from them, whom he indeed would have to be not any Representatives of Counties and Cities, but only Deans, Arch-Deacons, and other dig­nified Persons and Church-Officers, as well of the Laity as Clergy, who were summoned by the King to this Synod, from Provinces and Cities, to advise and inform the King of the Conveniency of the Places, whither the Bishops Sees then about to be removed from Villages to Cities, were to be transferred.’

BUT since there is not one word in this Charter said of any such Thing, and that Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary renders the word Provincia for a County, and not a Bishop's See; I my self not now having leisure to pursue such Niceties, shall refer the Curious for their farther Satisfaction to the eighth Dialogue of Bibliotheca Politica, Bibliothec. Politic. pag. 567, 568. where they may read whatsoever he has said against it sufficiently answered.

THESE are the only Authorities I shall make use of at this Time, to prove that the Cities and Boroughs had then their Delegates or Re­presentatives in the Saxon Witena-Gemotes.

I will now conclude this Point with the Judgment of that Learned Antiquary Mr. Lambard, Archeion. p. 256, 257, &c. who certainly understood the Constitution of this Antient Government, as well at least, if not better, than Dr. Brady; and he tells us,

[Page xcviii] ‘THAT whereas in the beginning of each Law, (viz. those made by the Saxon Kings he there mentions) all the Acts are said to pass from the King and his Wise Men both of the Clergy and Laity, in the Body of the Laws, each Statute being thus, And it is the Advice of our Lord, and his Wise-Men: So as it appears that it was then a re­ceived Form of Speech, to signify both the Spirituality and the Laity (that is to say, the greater Nobility, and the less, or Commons) by this one word Witan, i. e. Wise-men.

‘NOW as those written Authorities do undoubtedly confirm our Assertion of the Continuance of this manner of Parliament, so is there also unwritten Law or Prescription, that doth no less infallibly uphold the same. For it is well known, that in every Quarter of the Realm, a great many Boroughs do yet send Burgesses to the Parlia­ment, which are nevertheless so Of which sort are Gatton in Surrey, besides several Bo­ro [...]ghs in De­vonshire, Com [...], and other Cou [...]i [...]s. antient, and so long since decayed, and gone to nought, that it cannot be shewed, that they have been of any Reputation at any time since the Conquest, and much less that they have obtained this Privilege, by the Grant of any King suc­ceeding the same. So that the Interest which they have in Parliament groweth by an antient Usage before the Conquest, whereof they cannot shew any beginning: which thing is also confirmed by a con­trary Usage in the self-same thing; for it is likewise known, that they of Antient Demesne, do prescribe in not sending to the Parliament, for which reason also they are neither Contributors to the Wages of the Knights of Shires, neither are they bound by sundry Acts of Par­liament, tho the same be generally penn'd, and do make no Exceptions of them. But there is no antient Demesne, saving that only which is described in the Book of Doomsday, under the Title of Terra Regis, which of necessity must be such as either was in the Hands of the Conqueror himself, who made the Book, or of Edward the Confessor, that was before him. And so again, if they of antient Demesnes have ever since the Conquest prescribed not to elect Burgesses to Parlia­ment, then (no doubt) there was a Parliament before the Conquest, to the which they of other Places did send their Burgesses.’

I shall here crave leave to add one Record, tho after the Conquest, in Confirmation of what Mr. Lambard hath here learnedly asserted; for that several Boroughs claimed to send Members to Parliament by Pre­scription in the beginning of the Reign of Edward the Third, appears by a Rot. Pat. 17. Ed. 3. pars 1. m. 20. Petition put in to that King An. 17 Edw. 3. wherein the Burgesses of the Town of Barnstaple in Devonshire, set forth, that it being a free Borough, had by Charter from King Athelstan, among other Privileges, a right of sending two Burgesses to all Parliaments for the said Borough; upon which the King and his Council ordered a Writ of Inquiry, which certainly would never have been done, if Dr. Brady's Notion were true, that the Cities and Boroughs never sent any Representatives to Parlia­ment but once in the 49th of Hen. 3. and then no more till the 18th of Edward the First, which was but a little above 50 Years to the time of this Petition, which being within the Memory of so many then living, the King and his Council would never have ordered a Writ of Inquiry about such a vain and idle Pretence.

FROM all which, I think, it may safely be concluded, that this Learned Antiquary above-mentioned, I mean Mr. Lambard, did not without good Authority believe, that not only the Great Lords or Peers, [Page xcix] but also the Inferiour Nobility, and Representatives of Cities and Towns, were included under the word Witan; and likewise that those Places claimed that Privilege by Prescription.

I shall therefore desire the Doctor, that when he writes next upon this Subject, he will please to crave in Aid some Gentlemen of the Long Robe of his Opinion, to help him to answer this Argument of Mr. Lam­bard from general Prescription; as also what hath been already said concerning this matter in the same Dialogue of Bibliotheca Politica above-mentioned, beginning at pag. 483, and ending at pag. 593, inclusively: and if he can then with his Assistances prove all our antient Lawyers to have been mistaken in this memorable Point, I shall own my self to have been so too. But I desire this may be taken notice of, that no Prescription whatsoever in Law can be laid of later Date, than the first Year of King Richard the First, which began almost fourscore Years before the 49th of Hen. 3. when he fancies the Commons were first summoned to Parliament.

BUT that I may be as brief as I can, I shall reduce what I have further to say upon this Head, to a few Queries. As,

FIRST, Whether in all the Kingdoms of Europe of the Gothic Mo­del, beginning with Sweden and Denmark, and ending with Scotland, there can be shewn any of them wherein the Cities and Great Towns, either had not, or at least not till of Modern Times, their particular Re­presentatives in the Common Councils, or Assemblies of the Estates in those Kingdoms?

SECONDLY, Why in England alone, whose King was not more Absolute than in other Neighbouring Kingdoms, and which was framed after the same Gothic Constitution, its Cities and antient Boroughs (which were in those Times very considerable for Strength, Trade and Wealth, and guarded by so many Laws made in the Saxon Times) should not be thought considerable enough to have any Delegates in the Common Council of the Kingdom, till so long after the Conquest, as the 49th of Hen. 3. which (if we may believe the Doctor) was also intermitted from that time for above the space of twenty Years, till the 18th of King Edward the First?

BESIDES which, I would also propose these farther Queries concern­ing the Antiquity of the Commons in general. As,

FIRST, If Clerus and Populus signify in our Antient Authors the Clergy and Laity, which the Doctor asserts, and I will not oppose; then I would ask him, why (the same word Clerus including the infe­riour Clergy, viz. Deans, Arch-deacons, &c. as well as the superiour, viz. Arch-bishops and Bishops, &c. assembled in our Great Councils or Synods) the word Populus must not be allowed the same Latitude of Signification, and extend to the Gentry, or less Nobility, together with the chief Citizens and Burgesses, by a like Parity of Reason? un­less he can make it out, that Clerus must be understood in a very compre­hensive sense, and Populus in a very contracted and narrow one, only to mean Great Lords and Noblemen of the higher Rank.

SECONDLY, I would desire to know of him what the words Po­pulus and Populi shall signify, when put after and distinct from the words Proceres, Optimates, Senatores, or Senatus, &c. when these words oc­cur in several antient Charters of our English-Saxon Kings, as well as [Page c] Historians that make any mention of the Great Councils, unless they mean the People or Commons distinct from the Great Lords? Of which I shall here set down a few Instances out of many, both from Charters, Laws and Historians.

THE first whereof is found in the Charter of King Ethelred, con­taining a Grant and Confirmation of several great Privileges to the Mo­nastery of Wolverhampton, Vid. Monastic. Anglican. vol. 1. fol. 988. col. 2. which concludes in these words, Haec De­creta sunt Sigerici Archiepiscopi in placito coràm Rege Ethelredo, & Ebo­racensi Archiepiscopo, & omnibus Episcopis, Abbatibus Regionis Britanniae, seu Senatoribus, Ducibus, & Populo Terrae.

THE next is, the third Charter of King Edward the Confessor to the Abbey of Westminster, made in a Great Council of the Kingdom, which was held in the last Year of his Reign,Vid. Spelm. Concil. f. 625. and concludes thus, Hanc igitùr Chartam meae Donationis & Libertatis, in die Dedicationis praedictae Eccle­siae, recitari jussi, coràm Episcopis, Abbatibus, Comitibus, & omnibus Opti­matibus Angliae, omníabque; Populo audiente & vidente.

NOW from both these Charters it seems evident, that by the word Populus, the Representatives of Cities and Boroughs are here meant and understood, who were present at the sealing of them, as well as the greater Nobility, viz. the Senators, Ealdormen and Earls, and the lesser Nobility, viz. the Thanes, or Freeholders, included under the Title of Optimates, since the meer Vulgar or Mob could never be ad­mitted into the Place of the Great Council as Witnesses to the solemn reading and sealing of those Charters.

MY third Instance shall be that famous Law concerning the Grant of Tithes by King Ethelwolf, Anno Dom. 855. which is cited in the Lamb. LL. Edw. Regis, cap. 8. Laws of Edward the Confessor, and confirmed by King William the First, un­der the Title de Apibus, & de aliis minutis Decimis, wherein it is thus expressed, Haec (scilicet, these Tithes) concessa sunt à Rege, Baronibus, & Populo. Here it is plain, that the word Populus must signify a di­stinct Order or Degree of Men from that of the Barones.

THIS Law of King Edward the Confessor being urged by Mr. Petyt in his Rights of the Commons asserted, the Doctor passes over in si­lence; but when the ingenious Author of Argumentum Anti-Norma­nicum, makes use of the same Authority, the Doctor can no longer contain himself,Answer to Ar­gument. Anti- [...]orman. fol. 297. but in his Answer to that Book, tells him (after an insulting diminutive Reflection upon his Person) that, ‘He thinks this Law was made in King Edward's days, and was piping-hot when the Conqueror came in, but (he says) it will prove otherwise upon Examination of it, and also doubtful, whether there was ever such a Law or not made by a Saxon Monarch or King.Lamb. ibid. For after the Law hath enumerated the manner of Tithing in very many things both great and small, requiring an exact Tenth to be paid for most of them; it says, That he which detains the Tenth, if need be, may be forced to Payment by the Justice of the Bishop and King; and then immediately follow these words, Haec autèm praedicavit Beatus Augustinus, & concessa sunt à REGE, BARONIBVS & POPVLO: Sed posteà Instinctu Diaboli multi eam (viz. decimam) detinuerunt, &c. These things St. Augustine preached up, and they were granted by the King, Barons and People, &c.’

THE rest of the Latin he there cites being not to the Point in Dis­pute, I pass over; yet I cannot but observe, that from hence the Doctor [Page ci] believes he hath got a notable Advantage over him, for he thus pro­ceeds.

‘HENCE 'tis evident, that these Concessions of Tithes were made in the time of St. Augustine, Arch-bishop of Canterbury, sent hither from Rome in the Reign of Ethelbert King of Kent; for the words, & concessa sunt à REGE, BARONIBVS ET POPVLO, can relate to no other than the words immediately preceding, haec enim praedi­cavit Beatus Augustinus. And the words next following them do al­so prove the same; sed posteà Instinctu Diaboli, Multi eam detinue­runt, &c. which was after they were granted by the King, Barons, and People: so that this was at most but the Confirmation of a Law made by King Ethelbert; and how, and by what words the Legisla­tors were expressed near 500 Years after the Law made, and how they were rendred in Latin after the coming in of the Normans, tran­siently and without Design to give an Account of them, cannot be of much Value to prove who they were; and that the Laws of King Edward were made, or at least translated into Norman Latin after the Conquest, appears by the words, Comites, Barones, Milites, Servi­entes, Servitium, Villanus, Catalla, manutenere, all Norman words, and not known here till their coming hither. He that will assert any thing from a single uncouth Expression in one Case, and upon one Occasion only, brings but a slender Proof for what he says.’

THESE are the Doctor's own words which I have transcribed al­most Verbatim, that I may do not prejudice to the Force of his Argu­ment, which in short depends upon this single false Supposition, viz. that the Compiler or Drawer up of King Edward's Laws, imagined that this Law concerning Tithes was made by King Ethelbert, and was af­terwards confirmed by King Edward near 500 Years after the Law was made, when none could tell by what words the first Legislators were express'd.

BUT if this now should happen to prove otherwise, all that the Doctor has said on this Subject will by an unlucky Mischance fall to the Ground.

AND I shall shew here, that first of all his Argument is not cogent, that because the words, & concessa sunt à Rege, Baronibus & Populo, immediately follow those aforegoing, viz, Haec enim praedicavit B. Au­gustinus; therefore this Law could be made by no other than K. Ethelbert, since the words are put indefinitely, without mentioning any King in particular.

FOR St. Augustine might preach up Tithes, and yet the Law where­by they were given to the Clergy might be made many Years after; and that this was so, will appear by a brief History of the Matter of Fact. For first there is not, (nor I believe ever was) any Law extant of King Ethelbert concerning Tithes, nor is so much as mentioned by any Writer or Historian that I know of: the first Law, or Canon we find for the paiment of them, being that of the Council or Synod of Cal­cuithe, held under King Offa, Anno Dom. 536. and which, either be­cause it was only an Ecclesiastical Canon, or else because it was not made in a General Council of the whole Kingdom, was not of any U­niversal Obligation, (at least as a Temporal Law) before that famous Grant of Tithes made by King Ethelwolf upon his going to Rome, and confirmed as a General Law at a Council held at Winchester after his re­turn, [Page cii] Anno Dom. 855. and at which not any of the Bishops and Great Lords were present, but an infinite Number of other faithful Subjects, (or Commons as we now call them), I shall shew more at large by and by; and to this, and not to any Law of King Ethelbert's, I doubt not but the Compiler of these Laws of King Edward had respect, when he tells us that Tithes were granted A REGE, BARONIBVS, & PO­PVLO, that is, by the King, Barons, and People of all England, and not by those of one petty Kingdom, (as Kent was in the Time of King Ethelbert) whose Laws could never oblige the whole English Nation; and therefore the words that follow, viz. sed posteà, &c. must also refer to the Time of making this Law by King Ethelwolf, and not to this ima­ginary Grant of King Ethelbert, which the Compiler of these Laws knew nothing of.

THIS being so, I think all the rest the Doctor says signifies but lit­tle; for he is much mistaken notwithstanding he so positively affirms, that all those words he there mentions, were not known here till the coming over of the Normans; since he might have found, if he had pleased, the words Comes and Miles in the singular Number in the Sub­scriptions of divers Charters and Laws before the Conquest, and the word Comites in the Body of the very Charters themselves; for which I shall only refer him to the first Volume of Sir Henry Spelman's Coun­cils, as well as those in Monasticon Anglicanum.

Baro.AS for the word Baro, I grant it did not come into Common or Le­gal use till after the Time he mentions; yet that it was sometimes used before, I shall refer him to Asserius his Annals, which however it was continued by another Hand till the beginning of the Reign of K. Edward the Elder, yet that it was wrote before the Conquest, there is no doubt to be made of it; and in the very last Page of those Annals he may find the Names of the Barones Normannorum, (as he calls them) who are there related to have been slain.

Villanus.AS for Villanus used for a Ceorle's Man, or Country-Man, you may see an Example of the use of that word in King Athelstan's Law above-cited: and the Doctor himself mentions Terra Villanorum, i. e. Lands of Villanes or Villagers before the Norman Times.Compleat Hist. p. 67.

AND as for the rest of the words, viz. Servientes, Servitium, Ca­talla, and Manutenere, I confess they are not to be met with in the Latin Versions of the Saxon Laws made before the Conquest; but I would fain know why they might not have been in use before that Time, tho they are not there mentioned? I am confident no impartial Reader will grant that a Negative Argument is any good Proof to the contrary.

BUT should I own that the words (Barones, and all the rest of them there cited by the Doctor) were not commonly in use till after the Con­quest, yet that would do him but little Service; for admit that this Law was only briefly recited by the Collector of them in the Form there set down, it will be all one, for the People or Commons were repre­sented in the Time of Henry the First, (when these Laws were drawn up in the Form we now have them) or else they could never have been mentioned in this Law as a distinct Order of Men, by a Writer who certainly lived long before the 49th of Henry III. since this Law is found thus worded in Roger Hoveden's Copy of King Edward's Laws, which was written by him (being Secretary to Henry II.) above a hundred Years before the Commons (according to the Doctor's Hypo­thesis) [Page ciii] were ever heard of: So that unless he can prove that Henry III. was before Henry II. I think he will but Aethiopem lavare.

BUT indeed if this single uncouth Expression (as the Doctor calls it) had been found in one Case, and upon one Occasion only, I confess it might have been as slender a Proof as he would have it: but when I have not only given him frequent Instances of the use of this word in our Anti­ent Charters and Laws, as contradistinct from all the rest of the Orders abovementioned, I think that Pretence will stand him in little stead; and if these are not yet sufficient, I will superadd a few more from our Antient Historians to the same purpose.

FIRST, From William of Malmesbury and Henry Huntington, who both agree almost in the same words, concerning the Deposition of Si­gebert King of the West-Saxons for Tyranny and Cruelty, Anno 754. Huntington expresses it thus, viz. Sigebertus Rex in principio secundi Anni Regni sui, cum incorrigibilis Superbiae & Nequitiae esset, congregati sunt PROCERES & POPVLVS totius Regni, & providâ Deliberati­one Omnium expulsus est à Regno. Kinewulf verò Juvenis egregius de Regiâ stirpe, ELECTVS est in Regem.

SECONDLY, From Ailred Abbot of Rievalle, who in his Life of Edward the Confessor, giving an Account of the manner of that King's being Elected in his Mother's Womb, tells us,Decem-Scrip­tores, fol. 372. that Ethelred his Father having convened a Great Council for the appointing a Successor, pro­ceeds thus; Fit Magnus coràm Rege Episcoporum, Procerúm (que) Conventus, Magnus Plebis Vulgì (que) Consensus. Wherein he makes a plain Distinction between the Assembly of the great Noble Men, or Proceres, from the Consent of the Commons here, called Plebs and Vulgus.

AND tho I grant with the Doctor, this Story of King Edward's Election in his Mother's Womb to have been but a Fiction; yet it is certain, that this Abbot then spoke according to his Belief of the man­ner of Electing a King in those Times, and truly sets down the Parties whose Presence and Votes were necessary for the compleating of such an Election, or else he must have spoke as much by way of Prophecy concerning this Matter, as King Ethelred and the Estates of the King­dom had done about K. Edward's being Elected in his Mother's Womb. And the Reader may remember that these Authors abovecited, lived and wrote many Years before the 49th of Henry III. when the Doctor supposes the Commons were first summoned to Parliament; and there­fore could not be corrupted with the Notions (not to say Prejudices) of those who wrote after that Time.

BUT I know the Doctor has a Subterfuge, as he thinks for these plain and full Authoriries, and that is, that by the Populus, Plebs and Vulgus mentioned as you have heard, the King's Thanes, or less Barons as they were called after the Conquest, who were all Tenants in Capite, are hereby only to be understood; and that no other but they had any Right to be present, and vote in the Great Councils of the Kingdom; and this he has endeavoured to make good in his Answer to Mr. Petyt's abovesaid Treatise.

BUT since the Doctor's Authorities do there relate to the Times after his Conquest, (concerning which I shall not now say any thing) I will content my self at present with asking him only these two Questions▪

[Page civ]FIRST, How he will prove, that none but the Persons he there men­tions, appeared in those Councils, since we cannot trace any Footsteps in our most Antient Laws or Historians of his Tenants in Capite, being the only Constituent Parts of the Saxon Witena-Gemotes?

‘AND it was indeed very unlikely they should, if we consider the many Free-Tenants who before the Conquest held in Allodio without any Military Services;Tit. Alodium. and this, as Sir Henry Spelman well observes, was opposed to Feud or Fee, in the Antient Version of King Canutus his Laws,Cap. 75. where it is called in Saxon, Bockland; and in the Laws of King Alfred, Terra Haereditaria, Cap. 36. and seems to be the same with our Fee-Simple, which might be made over to Strangers without any Li­cence from the Lord of whom such Land was held.’

OF which sort of Men there is also frequent mention in Doomsday Book, under the Title of Alloarii and Allodiarii, and of whom it is there also often said, Potuit ire cum terrâ quo voluit, or potuit se vertere ad a­lium Dominum. Of these there were certainly many more before the Conquest than afterwards, when I own the greatest part of the King­dom was in a few Years parcell'd out into Knights Fees.

SECONDLY, I desire to be informed how our Great Councils could consist of such a multitude of Persons, as I find in Antient Charters and Historians to have appeared at those Assemblies, not only before, but long after the Conquest? But of the Period before that Time, (and which I treat of in this Volume) I shall give these remarkable Instances.

THE first is out of an Antient Manuscript in the Cottonian Library, concerning the League between Alfred and Godrun the Dane, Sub effigie Claudii, D. 2. F. 8. which be­gins thus, Circà Annum Salvatoris nostri DCCCLXXVI. in Magno Con­cilio sive Mycel-Gemot, Aluredus Rex Anglorum & Godrunus Rex Anglo-Danorum, & Omnes Angligenae Sapientes, & omnis populus qui in Anglia mansit, Pacis agenda sive foedus constituerunt, & Juramento confirmaverunt pro seipsis & Junioribus suis Ingenitis. Wherein this is worth obser­ving, that by the Angligenae Sapientes here mentioned, the greater Wites or Noblemen are understood, and by Populus, the Representatives of the inferior People or Commons.

THE next is, that at the end of King Ethelwolf's Charter of Tythes, Anno 855. where you will find after the Subscriptions of the Bishops, Earls and other Great Men,Vid. Spelm. Co [...]cil. f. 350. or Thanes, to this Law, these following Parties are mentioned, Aliorúmque Fidelium infinita Multitudo, qui om­nes Regium Chirographum laudaverunt, Dignitates verò sua Nomina sub­scripserunt.

FROM whence you may observe, that tho only the Dignified Per­sons subscribed their Names, yet all the rest of this Multitude had a Right to approve, and give their Consents to what was there transacted: But it cannot be imagined, that this Charter would ever take notice of the Approbation of the meer Rabble without, however they might shew a Joy and Satisfaction at what was there done by their Hollowing and Shouting.

AND this I conceive to be the Reason why these Councils often met in the open Air, when the Weather would permit, because no one Room could easily hold them; as appears by the Conclusion of King Edgar's Charter to Ely Abby, bearing date at Wulsamere, An. Dom. 970. Apud Wlsamere (says the Record) non clàm in angulo, Charta antiq. in Turri Lond. B. sed sub Dio, pa­làm evidentissimè, scientibus totius Regni mei Primatibus; who were not [Page cv] only Primates Rega, the King's Tenants in Capite, but Primates Regni, the principal or most considerable Men of the Kingdom.

I could give several more Instances to prove, that our Antient Witena-Gemotes consisted of a much greater number than the Doctor's Tenants in Capite, which in the time of his Conqueror were not five or six hun­dred Persons, and might not be half that number in the time of Edward the Confessor. But since the rest of my Authorities fall out in the fol­lowing Period, I shall reserve them to the next succeeding Volume. These are sufficient I think, to make out that long before the time the Doctor allows, the Commons had their Representatives in the Great Coun­cils by those of their own Order; but whether by Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, as now at this day, I do not affirm.

BUT to pass from Charters to the Laws themselves, that prove the English-Saxons Witena Gemotes, to have then consisted of a great mul­titude of People, I shall only instance in the famous Charter of Athel­wolf's concerning Tithes, Anno Dom. 855. which being confirmed into a Law at the Common-Council at Winchester, there is both in the Copy of this Charter in Ingulph, as also in that in Sir H. Spelman's first Volume of Councils, this Conclusion (after the Subscriptions of Arch-bishops, Bishops, Earldormen, and others) in these words, Aliorum (que), Fidelium infinita multitudo, qui omnes Regis Chirographum laudaverunt, Dignitates verò sua nomina subscripserunt, i. e. there were besides a great multitude of faithful Subjects, who all approved of the Royal Subscriptions; but the Dignities, i. e. the dignified Persons alone subscribed their Names.

NOW I would fain be satisfied from the learned Doctor, or any other who shall next undertake this Controversy, who this infinita Fi­delium multitudo were, that are here said to have approved of this Charter, unless they were the whole Body of the inferiour Nobility, or Freeholders of the Nation, together with the Deputies of Cities and Boroughs, on whose behalf the Dignities are said to have subscribed their Names? since it had been very ridiculuos for this Charter to have mentioned the Assent or Approbation of the Mob, or meer Vulgar that only looked on at this Assembly, or to have taken particular notice that these had not subscribed their Names, but only the Persons of great Dignity.

I come next to consider in whom the Legislative Power, or that of Enacting and Repealing Laws, did then as well as now consist.

‘Dr. Johnston in his Excellency of Monarchical Government, Chap. 24. and other high Assertors of the Royal Prerogative, think they have done enough to prove, that the Power of enacting Laws resided wholly in the English-Saxon Kings; and for this they cite the Vid. LLeg. Regum Inae, Aelfredi, Ae­thelstani, Ed­gari, &c. Vid. Spelm. Concil. vol. 1. fol. 552. Titles or Pre­faces to several Laws, wherein the King by the Advice of his Bishops, and Wites, or Wise-men, strictly charges and commands such and such Laws to be observed; and sometimes he does it in his own Person without mentioning any of them, as may be seen in the Preface to the Laws of King Cnute, and other Places.’

I shall not dispute the Truth of any of the Authorities these Gentle­men produce, but freely confess that the King, as Head of the Body Po­litick or Common-weal, is often mentioned, as if he himself made such and such a Law; as we say at this day the Statutes of King Charles the [Page cvi] First, or Second, tho every body knows that those Laws were enacted with the Consent and Authority of Parliament.

SO under our English-Saxon Kings, tho the King's Authority gave Sanction to the Law, and he might propter Excellentiam Personae, fre­quently bid and command in his own Person, yet it was still in such a manner as was consistent with the settled and received Constitution of the Kingdom, which I dare maintain hath not been altered in this Point since that time. Some few Authorities of this sort I will here set down, collected out of the same Books these very Gentlemen have made use of, to which I will also add some antient Charters of indisputable Credit.

THE first shall be from the Laws of King Ina, which you may see in the Preface to Sir Henry Spelman's Councils,Tom. 1. fol. 219. where in a Mycel Synod several Ecclesiastical as well as Civil Laws were made to these ends, viz. ad Concordiam publicam promovendam, per Commune Concilium, & Assen­sum Episcoporum, Principum, Procerum, Comitum, & omnium Sapientum Seniorum, & Populorum totius Regni. And as for the Conclusions of King Alfred's Laws, which Pag. 193. Dr. Johnston urges for the King's sole Power in making Laws; they rather make against than for his Opinion, for he there shews us, that this King having commanded his Laws to be written, those that he liked not, he with the Council of his Wites re­jected, and those he liked, he bad, or commanded to be holden; where I desire the Reader to take notice, that he neither rejected nor command­ed these Laws, but MID MINRA WITENA GETHEAT, in Saxon, that is, with the Consent of his Witena, or Council of Wise-men, whose Consent and Approbation was certainly necessary in those Laws, as appears by these very words at their Conclusion, which the Doctor himself hath thus translated out of Saxon; I Alfred King of the West-Saxons, shewed all these (Laws) to all my Wites (i. e. Council of No­bility, or Wise-Men) and they said they all liked (or were pleased) they should be holden.

AND that the Saxon word GETHEAT signifies somewhat more than bare Counsel or Advice, you may see in the Title to King Athelstan's Laws,Vid. Chronic. Brompt. fol. 848. which is thus, Haec sunt Judicia quae Sapientes Exoniae, Consilio Adelstani Regis instituerunt, & iterùm apud Fueresham, & tertiâ vice apud Thundresfeldium, ubi hoc definitum simul & confirmatum est.

HERE you may observe, that the Sapientes, the Wites, or Wise-men, are said to institute or make these Judgments or Laws by the Advice of the King, and not He by theirs.

THIRDLY, I will present you with the Title of King Ethelred's Laws,Brompt. ut supr. col. 893, 894. (as you may see in the same Author) and there we meet with these words, Hoc est Concilium quod Ethelredus Rex, & Sapientes sui condixe­runt ad Emendationem & Augmentum Pacis, omni Populo apud Wode­stocam in Mercena Landa, id est, in terra Mercenorum.

FOURTHLY, To another Body of Laws made by the same King Ethelred, Idem fol. 895. you will find this Title, Hae sunt Leges quas Ethelredus Rex, & Sapientes sui constituerunt apud Venetyngum, ad Emendationem Pacis & Faelicitatis Incrementum.

BY these two last Titles prefixt to King Ethelred's Decrees, the Rea­der may please to take notice, that Concilium in the first of them does not there signify barely Advice or Counsel, (tho if it did only do that [Page cvii] it would make but little to these Gentlemens purpose) but it must (and can do nothing else here than) intend and mean the Laws and Statutes which were made in this Great Assembly, not by King Ethel­red alone, but by him and his Wise-men: this you find in both of them; for what is called Concilium in the former, the latter Title calls Leges, and were all enacted by the joint and unanimous Consent of the King and his Great Council.

I shall now proceed to give you a few Instances from antient Charters: And the first is that out of the great Register of Abingdon above-cited, which being thus,Bibl. Cotton. sub Effig. Claud. B. 9. cap. 31. Ego Ecberht Rex Occidentalium Saxo­num cùm Licentia & Consensu totius Gentis nostrae, & Vnanimitate om­nium Optimatum, &c.

FROM whence I shall observe, that as antient as the time of King Egbert, the whole English-Saxon Nation, as well as the chief Men of it, are said to give not only their Consent, but their License to this Char­ter, without which the Authority of the King, and the Unanimity of these chief Men would have signified little.

THE second Charter is that of King Cnute to the Abbey of Briadri­cesworth (afterwards called St. Edmundsbury) now in the Office of the King's Remembrancer of the Exchequer, the beginning of which runs thus, Rot. Cart. 4. E. 3. m. 24. n. 58. Ego Cnute Rex totius Albionis Insulae, & aliarum Natio­num plurimarum, in Cathedrâ Regali promotus, The same Ex­pressions as to the enacting part, as well as all the Parties that gave their Assent, you may also find in K. Edward the Confessor's last Charter to the Abby of West­minster. vid. Sir Hen. Spel­man's 1st vol. of Councils, ad finem. cum Concilio & Decreto Archiepiscoporum, Episcoporum, Abbatum, Comitum, aliorúm (que) omnium Fidelium elegi sanciend.

THIS Charter is the more remarkable, because made by a Prince who came in partly by Force, and therefore one might have thought he would have exerted a more absolute Power in making Laws by his sole Authority; and yet we find him so far from pretending to do that, that he grants this Charter not only by the Consent, but by the Decree of the Arch-bishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, and all his other faithful Subjects; which word (in the Latin, Fideles) tho Dr. Brady understands it only of Military Tenants in Capite, yet I doubt not but it is there to be taken in a much larger sense, and must compre­hend all the lesser Thanes, or Freeholders above-mentioned, as also the Deputies or Representatives of Cities and Towns: of which Fideles Sir Henry Spleman understands omnes qui in Principis alicujus ditione sunt, vulgò subjecti: Hi sunt qui in Historiis dicuntur Fideles Regis. And also in the same sense it is to be understood in the Oath of Fidelity taken antiently in the Court-Leets, as the same Author shews us,Spelm. Gloss. f. 225. col. 1. Tu J. S. jurabis quod ab ista die in anteà, eris Fidelis & Legalis Domino nostro Regi, & suis Haeredibus; & Fidelitatem & Legalitatem ei porta­bis de vita & membro, & de Terreno honore, & quod tu eorum Malum aut Damnum nec noveris, nec audiveris, quod non defendes (id est, prohibes) pro posse tuo, &c.

AND tho I grant this word (Fideles) is after the Conquest frequent­ly used for a Military Tenant or Vassal, yet does it likewise even then often extend further than to Tenants in Capite only, as I am able to prove from the very Authorities he gives us in his own Glossary, under the Title Fideles, were it now worth while to dispute that Point. But in the mean time it lies upon him to make out, that the Fidelium Mul­titudo mentioned in King Athelwolf's Charter abovecited, and the Om­nium [Page cviii] Fidelium in these, were no other than his Tenants in Capite, which when ever he does, (to make use of his own Phrase) Erit mihi Magnus Apollo.

I could also give you some Instances to the same Effect out of the Saxon Annals under the Years 994, and 1002. in both which it is said ex­presly, THA GAEREDDE SE KYNG AND HIS WIT AN; that is, it was Decreed by the King and his Wites or Wisemen, to make Peace with the Danes, and to raise a Tax for that end.

SO that to conclude, I think this Dispute about the King's Authori­ty in making of Laws, may easily be reconciled to that which the two Houses of Parliament now exercise, that is, the King makes the Laws, yet by and with the Assent of the Lords and Commons, as is declared in the Year-Book of Edward the Third. 22 Edw. 3. f. 3. a. b. And if such their Assent be absolutely necessary, can any Man in reason deny their Authority to be Essential in the making of these Laws?

AND therefore Bracton understood well enough what he wrote, when he tells us, Cam Legis Vigorem habeat Quicquid de Consilio & Con­sensu Magnatum, & Reipublicae Communi sponsione, Authoritate Principis praecedente, jaste fuerit Definitum & Approbatum; i. e. ‘That whatso­ever hath been rightly decreed and approved of by the Advice and Consent of the Chief Men, and the General Agreement of the Com­mon-Wealth, the Prince's Authority preceding, carries thenceforth the Force of a Law.’

WHEREBY it appears that in this Great Man's Time, the King gave his Consent to Laws first, by ordering them to be drawn up by his Council, and proposed to the Parliament when they met; and that it was in their Power either to accept or refuse them, as we see it is in Charters and Acts of Pardon at this Day, when they are Passed and Confirmed by both Houses; and for this see the Preface to the Statute of Westminster the Third.

AS for the Judicial Power of this Witena-Gemote, in Banishing great and notorious Offenders against the King and Kingdom, whose Crimes were either not directly Treason according to the strict Letter of the Law, or else their Persons being too great for any other less Court of Judicature; you may find divers Examples in our Annals and Histori­ans, viz. under the Years 1048, 1052, 1055. But I do not find any great Lord or Nobleman condemned to Death, or attainted by Autho­rity of this Council, till long after the Conquest.

HAVING now shewn the Antient Authority of the Estates of the Kingdom to have been always necessary and concurrent, (I do not say co-ordinate) with that of the King, and also what other Powers they constantly then used; in the next Place I come to observe the near Con­junction and Union of both Church and State in their Mycel-Synods or Witena-Gemotes; which lets us see what kind of Supremacy our Eng­lish-Saxon Kings then exercised in Church Matters, as also who they were that at that Time made Ecclesiastical as well as Civil Laws: and I shall give it you in the Words of a very Learned Lawyer lately deceased,Observations on the Ecclesiasti­cal Jurisdiction of the Kings of England, pag. 13, 14, &c. I mean, Mr. Joseph Washington, since I own I am not able to mend what hath been wrote by so excellent a Pen: his words are these.

‘IN the second Place, (for in the precedent Pages he had given some Instances before the entry of the Saxons, (which being not to my [Page cix] present Design I omit) to make appear in some Measure how the Law stood in those Times with respect to the King's Supremacy;) I will exhibit (says he) a very few Instances of the Saxon Times, during the Heptarchy. The Reader may consult many more at his Leisure.’

‘NO marvel if we find this People submitting to nothing in Reli­gion, but what was ordained by themselves; De Majoribus Omnes, Tacit. de Mo­rib. German. Cap. 11. was one of their Fundamental Constitutions before they came hither, and it is continued here to this Day. And Matters of Religion were amongst their Majora, even before they received Christianity.’

‘ACCORDINGLY Edwin King of Northamberland, habito cum Sa­pientibus Consilio, renounced his Paganism, and he and they embraced the Christian Faith. This is described in Bede and Huntington, Vid. Bede Eccl. Hist l. 2. c. 13. Hunting. l. 3. f. 188. to have been done in such an Assembly of Men, as the Parliaments of those Days are generally mentioned to consist of.’

‘AFTER the Christian Religion had spread among the Saxons, the Bishops and Clergy frequently held Synods without the Laity for Church-Visitation,Vid. Spel. Concil. ubi­cun (que). and made Constitutions for the Regulation of the Clergy, which they obeyed and submitted to by reason of their Oath of Canonical Obedience: but as nothing transacted in those Assemblies of the Clergy bound the People, so can no Instance be produced of the Clergy's being bound by any Act of the King, not assented to in the Provincial Synods of those Times.’

THESE Synods may easily be distinguished from our Mycel-Synods or Witena-Gemotes, not only by the Matters transacted in them, but by the Persons that therein presided, and subscribed them, viz. the Pope's Legate, or else the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury or York, and the Bishops, Abbots, &c. without the Names of any Temporal Persons present thereat, when they were meer Ecclesiastical Synods; but if they were mixt as well for Temporal as Ecclesiastical Matters, both the King and Arch-Bishop are said to preside, otherwise the King alone: and before the Union of the Heptarchy into one Kingdom, these Synods were com­monly held in the Dominions of that King who was then most Pow­erful, so that the lesser or weaker Princes were fain to appear therein in Person, or by their Deputies; but if they did not appear there, nor yet send any Deputies, those Councils were looked upon as to all Temporal and Ecclesiastical Matters, no other than particular Synods, or Councils of those Kingdoms wherein they were held, or whose Kings consented to them; for which I could give you several Instances were it not to avoid being tedious; but for this I refer the Reader to the first Volume of Sir H. Spelman, as also to divers Charters in Monast. Anglican. and Ingulf; some of which are taken notice of in this Introduction, and the following History. This I thought fit to superadd, the better to explain what our Learned Author hath said upon this Point.

BUT notwithstanding he there further observes, ‘That the Clergy themselves, both as to Doctrine, Discipline, and Ceremonies, were bound by the Publick Laws of the Kingdom, enacted in the Great Councils of the Nation; concerning which he gives us these ensuing Instances.’

‘IN the Year 673. Concilium Herudfordiae celebratum est sub initio primi Anni Lotharii Regis Cantiae, praesidente Theodoro Cantuariae Archiepiscopo. Mat. Westm. fol. 122, 123. At this Council (says Matthew Westminster) were [Page cx] present Episcopi Angliae, & Reges, & Magnates Vniversi: where Theo­dore proposed decem Capitula, out of a Book of Canons before them all, which were there assented to, and subscribed. The first was con­cerning the Observation of Easter; the ninth; that the Number of Bishops should be increased,Spelm. Concil. Vol. 1. Pag. 152, 153. crescente Fidelium numero. The rest were concerning Bishops, Bishopricks, Monks, Marriage, Fornication, &c.’

‘THE Presence of the Bishops and all the Magnates, makes this As­sembly appear to have been a Parliament of those Times. What Or­ders of Men were comprehended under the word Magnates, is not material to our present purpose. The Great Councils that made the Laws, and without whom no Laws were made, are frequently so described by our Antient Historians.

BUT without all peradventure these Magnates were Laymen, and that is enough for my Point.

THEN the same Author goes on in these words, ‘In the Year 692. Ina King o [...] the West-Saxons, enacted many Constitutions for the Go­vernment of the Church, as De Formula vivendi Ministrorum Dei. De baptizandis Infantibus. De Opere in die Dominico. De Immunitate Fani, &c. The Preface to which Law runs thus, Ego Inas Dei beneficio Occiduorum Saxonum Rex, suasu & Instituto Cenredi Patris mei, & Heddae & Erkenwaldi Episcoporum meorum, Omnium Senatorum me­orum, & natu Majorum Sapientum Populi mei, in magnâ Servorum, Dei frequentiâ, religiosè studebam tùm animorum nostrorum saluti, tùm communi Regni nostri conservationi, ut legitima nuptiarum foedera, &c. Here the King, his Bishops, all his Senators, the Natu majores & Sa­pientes of his People, (which are Descriptions of the Laity in the Par­liaments of those Times) and a great Number of God's Servants, (by which the Clergy are meant) make Ecclestastical Laws: This was a Parliament, Ibid. fol. 182, 183, &c. as appears not only by the Presence of the Laity, but by many Temporal Laws enacted at the same Time.’

‘IN the Year 694. Concilium Magnum Becanceldae celebratum est, praesidente Withredo Rege Cantiae, nec non Bertualdo Archiepiscopo Britanniae, cum Tobiâ Episcopo Roffensi, Abbatibus, Abbatissis, Presby­teris, Diaconibus, Ducibus, Satrapis, &c. All these paritèr tractabant, anxie examinabant de statu Ecclesiarum Dei, &c. Here the King's Le­gislative Power in Ecclesiastical Matters exerted it self, not Personally, but in this Great Council. They do all Enact, Statuimus, decerni­mus, praecipimus. For when the King himself is spoken of, the sin­gular Number is used, Nullus unquàm habeat Licentiam accipere ali­cujus Ecclesiae vel Familiae Monasterii Dominium, Ibid. p. 189, 190. quae à meipso vel Ante­cessoribus meis, &c.’

‘A Council was held at Berghamstede, Anno quinto Withredi Regis Cantiae, i. e. Anno Christi 697. Sub Bertualdo Archiepiscopo Cantua­riensi, praesentibus Gysmundo Episcopo Roffensi, & omnibus Ordinibus Gentis illius, cùm Viris quibusdam militaribus. In quo de moribus cave­tur ad Ecclesiae cognitionem plerúm (que) pertinentibus. These Ordines Gen­tis illius, seem by the Preface to these Laws, to be meant of the Or­dines Ecclesiastici Gentis illius; but withal, that they cum viris utí (que) militaribus humanissimè & Communi Omnium Assensu has Leges de­crevere. Ibid. p. 194. So that these Ecclesiastical Laws were enacted by the Assent of the Viri Militares, as well as of the King and the Clergy.

[Page cxi] ‘A Council was held at Cloveshoe, sub Cuthberto Doroberniae Archie­piscopo, praesentibus (praetèr Episcopos, Sacerdotes & Ecclesiasticos quam­plurimos) Aedelbaldo Merciorum Rege cum suis Principibus & Ducibus, Anno Dom. 747. In quo decernebatur de unitate Ecclesiae, Spelm. Concil. p. 242, &c. de statu Chri­stianae Religionis, & de Concordiâ & Pace, &c.’

‘In the Year 787. Concilium Legatinum & Pananglicum was held at Calcuith, in which many Canons were made de fide primitùs susceptâ retinenda, aliís (que) ad Ecclesiae regimen pertinentibus. This Council was held coràm Rege Aelfwaldo, & Archiepiscopo Eanbaldo, & omnibus Episcopis & Abbatibus Regionis, seu Senatoribus & Ducibus, & Populo Terrae. After these Ecclesiastical Laws had been thus enacted by Aelfwald King of Northumberland, the Legats carried them into the Council or Parliament of the Mercians, where the glorious King Offa, cum Senatoribus Terrae, unà cum, &c. convenerat. There they were read in Latin and Teutonick, that all might understand, and all pro­mised to observe them; and the King and his Princes, Spelm. Concil. vol. 1. f. 291, 292, &c. the Arch-bishop and his Companions, signed them with the sign of the Cross.’

‘MANY Instances of this kind might have been added, as parti­cularly that of the Council at Hatfield, Anno 680, wherein the Ca­nons of five General Councils were received, which was a Witèna-Gemot, a Conventus Sapientum; but I spare time, and am indeavour­ing only to open a Door.’

‘BY these Instances it is apparent, that the same Body of Men that enacted the Temporal Laws of the Kingdom did in the very same Councils make Laws for the Government of the Church. Indeed, the whole Fabrick of the English-Saxon Church was built upon Acts of Parliament; nothing in which the whole Community was concern'd, was enacted, decreed, or established, but by that Authority. For whoso reads impartially the Histories of those Times, and compares them with one another, will find, that as most of those antient Councils, commonly so called, were no other than (to speak in our Modern Language) Parliaments; so not any thing whatsoever in Religion, obligatory to the People, whether in Matters of Faith, Discipline, Ce­remonies, or any Religious Observances, was imposed, but in such Assemblies as no Man can deny to have been Parliaments of those times, that has not a Fore-head of Brass. For the Presence not of the Kings only, but of the Duces, Principes, Satrapae, Populus Terrae, &c. shews sufficiently, that neither the Kings and the Clergy, without the concurrent Authority of the same Persons that enacted Temporal Laws, could prescribe General Laws in Matters of Religion. I do not dispute what Orders of Men among the Saxons were described by Duces, Principes, &c. but sure I am, that they were Lay-men, and as sure, that they assented to, and confirmed those Laws, without whose Assent they were no Laws: so that the Kings of those Times had no greater Legislative Power in Ecclesiastical Matters than in Temporal.

‘THE tearing the Ecclesiastical Power from the Temporal, was the great Root of the Papacy: It was that mounted it to this heighth; those Powers never were distinct in England, nor most other Nations, till that See got the Ascendant. And it is strange Inconsistency to ar­gue one while, that whatever the Pope de facto, formerly did by the Canon Law, that of Right belongs to our Kings; and another while, [Page cxii] that the several Acts that restore the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction to the Crown, are but declarative. It shews how little the Supremacy is un­derstood by Modern Assertors of it, and how little they are acquain­ted with the Antient Government of England.

‘THE third Period of Time to be considered, shall be from the uni­ting of the several Kingdoms of the Saxons under one Monarchy to the Norman Conquest.’

‘IN this Division we find a Letter from Pope Formosus to King Ed­ward the Elder, wherein the Pope complains, that the Country of the West-Saxons had wanted Bishops for seven whole Years: Upon the Receipt of this Letter, the King calls Synodum Senatorum Gentis An­glorum, who being assembled, singulis tribubus Gewisiorum (i. e. West-Saxonum) singulos constituerunt Episcopos, Spelm. Concil. 387, 388. & quod olìm duo habue­runt, in quinque divisêrunt.

‘THE Ecclesiastical Laws of King Edward the Elder, and Guthrun the Dane, begin with this Proemium: Haec sunt Senatus-consulta ac Instituta, quae primò Aluredus & Guthrunus Reges, deindè Edwardus & Guthrunus Reges, illis ipsis temporibus tulêre, cum pacis foedus Daci & Angli ferierunt. Quaeque posteà à sapìentibus (Tha Witan) saepiùs recitata át (que) ad Communem Regni utilitatem aucta át (que) amplificata sunt. The Titles of some of these Laws are, De Apostatis, De Correctione Ordinatorum, (i. e.) Sacris Initiatorum, De Incestu, De Jejuniis, &c. all of Ecclesiastical Cognizance, or at least of after-times so reputed. These are called Senatus-consulta, than which a more apposite word could scarce have been used for Acts of Parliament, and were assented to by the Witen;Spelm. Concil. 390, &c. from which word the Saxon Term for Parliaments, Witena-Gemot, is derived.’

‘A Concilium celebre was held under King Athelstan, in quo Leges plurimae, tùm Civiles, tùm Ecclesiasticae, statuebantur. It's true, the Civil Laws are omitted, and Sir Henry Spelman gives us an Account only of the Ecclesiastical Laws made at this Assembly, which conclude, Decreta, Acta (que) haec sunt in celebri Gratanleano Concilio, cui Wulfel­mus interfuit Archiepiscopus, Spelm. Concil. 396, &c. & cùm eo Optimates & Sapientes ab Athel­stano evocati frequentissimi.

‘KING Edmund held a Council Anno 944. where many Ecclesia­stical as well as Secular Laws were made, as De Vitae castitate eorum qui sacris initiantur; De Fani instauratione; De pejerantibus; De iis qui barbara factitarunt Sacrificia, &c. And this Council is expressed to have been Conventus tàm Ecclesiasticorum, Spelm. Concil. fol. 419, &c. quàm Laicorum; celebris tàm Ecclesiasticorum, quàm Laicorum frequentia.

‘I will give no more Instances before the Conquest, tho numbers are to be had which lie scattered up and down in the Monkish Histories, which being compared with one another, will sufficiently disclose what I assert. For sometimes Laws that concert Temporal Affairs, as well as Ecclesiastical, are said to have been made by such a King in one Author, which very Laws another Historian tells us were made in the Great Council, for which yet they have no uniform, appropriated Expression, Term, or Denomination: Just as we in common Par­lance say, King Edward the Third, or King Henry the Seventh made such a Law, which yet every Man understands to have been made in Parliament, because else it were not a Law.’

[Page cxiii]SO far have I made bold with the words of this Learned Gentleman: I shall now, by way of Confirmation to what he hath said, observe, from Mr. Lambard's Edition of his English-Saxon Laws (which was a different Copy from that,Lamb. Archai­onomia, f. 57. & dein. from whence Sir Henry Spelman published his Councils) that our Saxon Laws both Ecclesiastical and Civil, were made by one and the same Authority, as appears by the Preface to the Laws of King Edmund, which we find runs thus, Aedmundus Rex ipso solemni Paschatis Festo, frequentem Londini tàm Ecclesiasticorum quàm Laicorum Coetum celebravit, &c. So likewise in the Laws of King Edgar, Id. fol. 62. the Preface of which is thus, Leges quas Edgarus Rex frequenti Senatu, ad Dei Gloriam, & Reipublicae utilitatem, sancivit. In the Saxon Ori­ginal thus, MID HIS WITENA GEHEAHTE GERAED, that is, with the Council of his Wise-men he established. The Laws of King Cnute likewise begin thus, Consultum quod Canutus Anglorum,Id. fol. 97. Dacorum, & Norwegiorum Rex, ex Sapientûm Concilio sancivit. (Note, the words in the Saxon are the same as above.)

I could illustrate this further by several more Instances out of the same Volume, were I not afraid of having already trespassed too much upon you; only I desire you would please to take notice, that in each Body of these above-mentioned Laws, the Ecclesiastical precede, and then the Civil or Temporal follow, tho being both made at the same time, in the same Council, and by the joint Authority of the same Parties.

BUT now to add one thing more from the said Author, Mr. Wash­ington, which is, ‘That Bishopricks and other Ecclesiastical Dignities were in the Saxon Times (commonly) conferred in Parliament; we have the Testimony of Ingulphus, who was Abbot of Crowland in King William the Conqueror's Reign; à multis annis retroactis nulla erat Electio Praelatorum merè libera & Canonica: sed omnes Dignitates tàm Episcoporum, quàm Abbatum, Regis Curia pro suâ complacentiâ con­ferebat: that is, says he, that for many Years past, there was no Electi­on of Prelates absolutely free and Canonical:’ But all Dignities both of Bishops and Abbots, were conferred by the King's Court (i. e. the Great Council of the Kingdom, as I shall prove by and by) according to their good Pleasure.

AFTER which, the Person so elected, being first consecrated, the King invested him with the Temporalties, per traditionem Baculi & Annuli, as you will find in the same Author.

AND that this Custom was very antient will appear by the Election of Wilfrid to be Bishop of Hagulstade, In vitâ Wil­fridi, cap. 11. edit. per Rev. Dom. Dr. Gale fol. 46. Anno 666. for Stephen Heddi expresly tells us in his Life, Reges deindè Concilium cum sapientibus suae Gentis post spatium inierunt, quem eligerent in sedem vacantem, &c. Re­sponderunt Omnes uno Consensu, Neminem habemus meliorem & digniorem nostrae Gentis, quàm Wilfridum Presbyterum & Abbatem. Then the two Kings (i. e. of Northumberland) after some time held a Council with the Wise-men of their own Nation, to consider whom they should choose to fill up the vacant See, &c. and they all unanimously answered, We have none fitter nor more worthy in our Nation, than Wilfrid the Presbyter and Abbot; and thereupon being presently elected, he was consecrated Bishop.

THE next Authority of much what the same time you may find in an antient Manuscript-Life of St. Erkenwald in the Cottonian Library,Claudius A. 5. where are these words, Contigit autèm Episcopus Londonicae sedis, Cedda [Page cxiv] migravit ad Dominum, consensu verò Sebbae Regis, & vocabulo universae plebis, vir Domini Erkenwaldus in Cathredrâ Pontificali sublimatus est, i. e. but it happened, that Cedda Bishop of London deceasing, Erkenwald, that holy Man, by the Consent of King Sebba, and the Nomination of all the People, was promoted to the Episcopal Throne.

BUT long after this, as a Nameless Author of the Manuscript-Life of St. Dunstan informs us,Bibl. Cotton. Vitellius D. 17. he was made Bishop after this manner, viz. Postea, Anno 958. factus est magnus sapientûm Conventus, in loco, qui voca­tur Bradanforde, & eo omnium ex electione ordinatus est Dunstanus ad Episcopum Wigornensem. To wit, that afterwards, scilicet, in the Year 958. a Great Council of the Wise-men of the Kingdom, was held at Bradanforde, and there by the Election of them all Dunstan was ad­vanced to be Bishop of Worcester, &c. and then the King finding how well he discharged that Trust, the same Author tells us, that he com­mitted to him the Church of London, then void by the Death of its Pastor, or Bishop.

THIS Nomination of the King's must be understood in the same sense with that which went before, as well as with what immediately follows, viz. that Brihthelm, Arch-bishop of Canterbury, being depriv'd, a little after he retired to his Monastery, and then Rex, scilicet, Edgarus, ex Divino respectu, & Sapientûm Consilio, constituit Dunstanum ad su [...]m praedicta Ecclesiae Sacerdotem; King Edgar, both from a Divine respect, and from the Counsel of his Wise-men, constituted Dunstan chief Bishop of that Church.

THE next Example we have, is that of St. Wulstan, Bishop of Worcester, who (as it is related by a Monk of that Church in his Ma­nuscript-Life of that Saint, about Anno 1170.) being sent for on pur­pose to be made a Bishop, he gives us the manner of his being elected thus, Sanctus ergò ad Curiam exhibitus, jubetur suscipere Donum Episcopa­tûs; contrà ille niti, & se tanto honori imparem (cunctis reclamitantibus) clamitare, adeò concors populus in unam venerat sententiam, ut non peccaret qui diceret in tot corporibus in hoc duntaxat negotio unam conflatam esse Ani­mam. This holy Man being called before the Great Council, (for so Curia in this place is certainly to be understood) he was commanded to accept the Gift of a Bishoprick; but he endeavoured all he could to wave the Acceptance of it, alledging, that he was altogether unfit for so great an Honour; but the whole Assembly not admitting his Excuse, they all unanimously came to this Resolution, that one should not have told a Lie who had said in this particular Affair, that one Soul had ani­mated so many Bodies.

SO that it was not without very good Cause, that Matthew Paris tells us concerning this Bishop's Election,Mat. Paris. fol. 20. there concurred Plebis Petitio, Vo­luntas Episcoporum, Gratia Procerum, Regis Authoritas.

HAVING thus given you so many good Authorities from antient Manuscripts and approved Historians of the Power of those Great Councils in the Election of Bishops, I shall only add a few more from our Saxon Annals.

THE first is under Anno 970, which relates, that then Oskytel, Arch-bishop of York deceased, who had been by the Consent of King Edward the Martyr, and all his Wise-men, consecrated Arch-bishop of that See.

THE next is under Anno 994. and there we read, that Sigeric the Arch-bishop deceasing, Aelfric Bishop of Winchester was elected in his [Page cxv] room on Easter-day at Ambresbury, by King Aethelred, and all his Wise-men; from whence it appears, that not only the King, but the Great Council of the Kingdom had a share in this Election.

I could give you also several Instances in the said Annals of divers Abbots elected in the same Assemblies to the greater Monasteries; but I hope what I have done already is sufficient to my present Purpose, and therefore shall leave it to the Reader's Judgment to consider, whether, when these Annals and Historians inform us, that Rex constituit such and such a Man to be Bishop or Arch-Bishop of such or such a See, it is not to be understood in the same Sense as we have already observed from Mr. Washington's said Treatise; that when this or that King is said to have made such or such a Law, it is still to be understood as made in Parliament?

I shall now say somewhat of the same Great Council's Power in the Deprivation of Bishops, of which I shall not trouble you with many, but they shall be such Examples as are of undeniable Authority.

THE first is from Osbern in his Life of Arch-Bishop Dunstan, lately printed in the first Volume of Anglia Sacra, concerning the Deprivation of Arch-Bishop Brihthelme abovementioned in these words, Bryhtelmus post paucos suscepti Pontificatus dies, cogitans quod ad tantam rem minùs esset Idoneus, jussus à Rege & Omni populo discedere, discessit, at (que) ad re­lictam nuper Ecclesiam non sine Verecundia rediit, i. e. Bryhtelme within a few Days after he had received his Bishoprick, not thinking with himself that he was fit for so great a Charge, being commanded by the King and all the People to quit it, departed, and returned to the Church he had lately left, though not without Shame.’

BUT that John of Wallingford was very well satisfied, that this Arch-Bishop was deprived by the Lay, as well as Spiritual part of the Great Council, appears by his Chronicle, where having set forth his unfi [...]ness by reason of his too great Easiness and Softness of Temper, he proceeds thus, Rex Edgarus eadem via quâ ascenderat, fecit eum descen­dere; nam Concione super hoc eodem facta, objecit Bryhthelmo plura Ca­pitula, nimiam ipsius remissionem morum argumenta, & condictione & Assensu Baronum suorum ad curam Solius Dorcasinae Ecclesiae relabi fecit, that is, ‘King Edgar made him to go down the same way he got up; for a Council being called for this very Matter, he objected several Articles against this Bryhtelme, shewing his too great Easiness and Remissness in Discipline; and thereupon by the Appointment and Assent of his Barons, he caused him to retire to the Cure of his for­mer Church of Dorchester. By which it is evident, that this Author (living in the Reign of Henry the Third) was very well satisfied that the Temporal as well as the Spiritual Barons, were concerned in this Deprivation.

‘I was likewise from the Authority of the Saxon Annals, as also of William of Malmesbury, about to have here also added the Deprivation of one Siward, who is reported by the Annals, An. 1043. to have been privately Consecrated to the See of Canterbury, with the King's good liking, by Arch-bishop Eadsige, and who then laid down that Charge: and of which Siward, Lib. 1. de Pont. William of Malmesbury farther tells us, that he was afterwards deprived for his Ingratitude to Arch-Bishop Eadsige, in denying him necessary Maintenance: but since there is no such Person as this S [...]ard in the Catalogues of the Arch-bishops of [Page cxvi] Canterbury, and that upon a more nice Examination, I find in the Learned Mr. Wharton's Treatise,Vid. Ang. Sa­cra, Vol. 1. Pag. 107. De Successione Archiepis. Cantuar. that this Siward (who was also Abbot of Abingdon) was never Conse­crated Arch-Bishop, but only Chorepiscopus, or Substitute to Arch-bi­shop Eadsige; who was then unable to perform his Function by reason of his Infirmities: which upon a review of this Passage in William of Malmesbury, I find also confirmed by him, in calling him no more than Successor Designatus, and who being put by for his Ingratitude, was preferred no higher than to be Bishop of Rochester; but this is denied by the abovecited Mr. Wharton, who says expresly, that this Siward Abbot of Abingdon, and Substitute to the Arch-bishop, was never Bishop of that See, but died at Abingdon of a long Sickness before Arch-Bishop Eadsige. So much I thought fit to let the Reader know, be­cause in this History under Anno 1043, being deceived by the express words of the Annals, I have there made this Siward to have been Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and deprived for his Ingratitude to his Prede­cessor, which I am (upon better Consideration) now convinced to have been a Mistake.

I shall conclude with our Saxon Annals, which under the Year 1052. relate, that Earl Godwin having in a Great Council held at London, purged himself and his Sons of the Crimes laid to their Charge; and being thereupon restored, Arch-Bishop Robert the Norman, his Enemy, (having just before fled away into his own Country) was not only by a Decree of this Council banis [...]ed, but also deprived of his Arch-bishoprick; and Stigand then was advanced to that See in his stead, which certainly was done by the same Authority as deprived the former: and if so, then I think none can deny but that Power might also have deprived any other inferior Bishop; and yet we do no where find there was any Schism in England among the Clergy at that Time, be­cause these two Primates of the Church had been deprived without their own Consent, by the Lay, as well as Spiritual part of the Great Council.

HAVING now finished all I had to say concerning the Power of the King, and the Witena-Gemote in Ecclesiastical Matters, I would not be thought to assert that they have the like Authorities in Matters of meer Spiritual Cognizance, since I am very well satisfied of the Primi­tive Institution of the Episcopal Order, from the first Preaching of Christianity in the Time of the Romans, to the Restoration of it in this Island upon the Conversion of the Saxons; which is not liable to be abrogated by any Temporal Power, and which has been continued a­mong the Britains or Welsh, without any Interruption from thence, even to our own Times.

‘BUT as for the Ecclesiastical Power, it was at first settled under the two Arch-bishops of Canterbury and York, who had then no Jurisdiction or Preheminence the one over the other; the former being Primate of the Southern, as the latter was of the Northern parts of England: only I cannot but observe,Vid. Lam­bard's Peram­b [...]lat. of Kent, Pag. 340. that the Church of St. Martin's without the City of Canterbury, was (till after the Conquest) the See of a Bishop, called in Latin Core Episcopus, who (always remaining in the Countrey) supplied the Absence of the Metropolitan, that for the most part followed the Court; and that as well in governing the Monks, as in [Page cxvii] performing the Solemnities of the Church, and in exercising the Authority of an Arch-Deacon;’

AND no doubt had also the Episcopal Powers of Ordination and Confirmation, or else he could have been no Bishop. I observe this to let you see, that the English were not then so strictly tied up as not to al­low of more than one Bishop in one City.

BUT since I have chiefly designed to speak of Civil Affairs, I shall not here meddle with the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Bishops or their Courts, or the Officers belonging to them, but will leave them to those to whose Province it does more peculiarly appertain.

HAVING thus dispatched what I had to say concerning the Synods and Great Councils of the Kingdom in the Saxon Times, I shall in the next Place treat of the English Laws before the Conquest;Of the Eng­lish Laws before the Conquest. and they were of two kinds, viz. either the particular Customs or Laws of the several divisions of the Kingdom in which those Customs were in use; or else such Additions to, or Emendations of them, as were made from time to time by the Great Council of the whole Kingdom, concerning the Punishment of Crimes, the manner of holding Men to their good Behaviour, or relating to the Alteration of Property either in Lands or Goods; with divers other particulars, for which I refer you to the Laws themselves, as I have extracted them from Sir Henry Spelman and Mr. Lambard, their Learned Collections: and some concerning each of these particulars, I have given you in the following Work.

BUT to shew you in the first place the Original of the Saxon Custo­mary Laws,The Origi­nal of the Saxon Customary Laws. they were certainly derived from each of the Great Nati­ons that settled themselves in this Island before the Heptarchy was redu­ced into one Kingdom; but indeed after the Danes had settled them­selves here in England, we find they were divided into these three sorts of Laws, in the beginning of Edward the Confessor's Reign, according to the several parts of the Kingdom wherein they prevailed; as,

1. MERCHEN-LAGE, or the Mercian Law, 1. Merchen-Lage. which took place in the Counties of Glocester, Worcester, Hereford, Warwick, Oxon, Chester, Salop and Stafford.

2. WEST-Saxon-Lage, or the Law of the West-Saxons, 2. West-Saxon-Lage. which was in use in the Counties of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Berks, Southampton, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwal; I mean that part of it which spoke English, the rest being governed by their own (i. e.) the British Laws.

3. DANE-Lage, 3. Dane-Lage. or the Laws which the Danes introduced here into those Counties where they chiefly fixed, viz. in those of York, Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton, Bucks, Hertford, Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Cambridg.

BUT as for Cumberland, Northumberland, and Westmoreland, I sup­pose they are omitted in this Catalogue, because in the Times not long before the Conquest, the first was under the Power of the Scots, and consequently under their Laws, as the two latter were under that of their own Earls, who ruled those Counties as Feudatary Princes under the Kings of England; tho thus much is certain, that the Danish Laws took Place there as well as in Yorkshire.

BUT after King Edward the Confessor came to the Crown, he reduced the whole Kingdom under one General; for thus says Ranulph Higden, [Page cxviii] as he is cited by Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary, Tit. Lex. Ex tribus his Legibus, Sanctus Edwardus unam Legem Communem edidit, quas Le­ges Sancti Edwardi usque hodie vocant. Brompton says the like, Iste Su­pradictus Rex Sanct. Ed. Conf. dictus est Edwardus Tertius, qui Leges Communes Anglorum Genti tempore suo ordinavit; quia proantè Leges ni­mìs partiales editae fuerant. But Roger Hoveden carries them up higher in his History of Henry the Second, for he says, Quod istae Leges primùm inventae & institutae erant tempore Edgari Avi sui; sed postquam Edwar­dus venit ad Regnum, Consilio Baronum Angliae, Legem per 48. Annos sopit [...]m excitavit, excitatam reparavit, reparatam decoravit, decoratam con­firmavit; confirmata verò vocata est Lex Edwardi Regis, non quià ipse in­venisset eam prius, sed cum praetermissa fuerat, & Oblivioni penitùs data è Diebus Avi sui Edgari, qui primus Inventor ejus fuisse dicitur us (que) ad sua tempora, quià justa & honesta erant, è profundo Abysso extraxit, & eam revocavit, & ut suam observandam tradidit. But the true Reason why it is called the Common Law, is, because it is the Common or Muni­cipal Law of this Kingdom; so that Lex Communis, or Jus Patriae, is all one with Lex Patriae, or Jus Patrium: and it is also called the Com­mon Law in other Countries, as Lex Communis Norica, Burgundica, Lombardica, &c. And from this latter they were so called by William the First, in his Confirmation of them.

HAVING now given you the Original of our Laws in General, we will next proceed to shew you what they were in particular, as far as they concern those two great Branches of all Municipal Laws, viz. the Civil or the Criminal: The former o [...] which concerns Lands and Goods, and the latter the Nature and Punishments of Criminal Offences.

The Civil Laws.TO begin with the former as far as it concerns Lands, I shall satisfy my self with what Dr. Brady hath with great Industry and Exactness extracted in the first part of his Compleat History of England, out of those Learned Authors you will find there cited in the Margin,Dr. Brady's Compleat Hist. Fol. 66, 67. which is as follows.

‘Mr. Somner says, there were but two sorts of Tenures here in the Saxon times before the Conquest;Gavelkind, Fol. 11. K. Edw. Sen. cap. 11. Bocland and Folkland, to which two all other sorts of Land might be reduced. Bocland, as Gloss. in verbo Terrâ ex Scripto. Bocland and Folkland, what? Lam­bard says, was Free and Hereditary, and was a Possession by Writing, the other without. That by Writing was possessed by the Free or Nobler sort; that without, called Folkland, was holden by paying Annual Rent, or performance of Services, and was possessed by the Rural People, Rusticks, Colons or Clowns; in those Times these Writings Spelm. Concil. Fol. 310. An. 800. Concil. Clove­sho. C. 2, 3, 6. were called in Latin, Libelli Terrarum, Landboc's and Telligraphia, and Livery and Seizin was then made and given, by Somner. ut [...]up. pag. 12, 13. delivery of a Turf taken from the Land with the Writings: This was called Terra Testamentalis, & hereditaria, Land Inheritable, and devisable by Will, unless the first Purchaser or Acquirer, by Writing or Witness, had prohibited it; and then it could not be sold or dis­posed of from the LL. A [...]u­vid. Cap. 37. Bocland and Allodium. nearest Kindred. This Bocland was of the same Nature with Allodium in Doomsday, holden without any Pai­ments, nor chargeable with Services to any Lord or Seignory; and though the Name was almost quite lost, yet the thing remained un­der the Name of Allodium, and the Lands possessed by the Allodiarii frequently mentioned in Doomsday.

[Page cxix]I have been the more exact in putting down this Passage, because it plainly proves, from the learned Doctor's own shewing, that if the greatest part of the Lands before the Conquest, held by Men of any Quality, were Bocland, Compl. Hist. pag. 66, 67. and that this Bocland was the same (as he grants) with Lands held in Allodio; (and I have already proved that such Lands were held without any Paiments or Services, other than such publick Taxes as were imposed by the Great Council of the Kingdom; that is, Danegelt, with such other Duties as all Lands whatsoever were liable to:) then is it also as evident that these Lands, which were far the greatest part of the Lands in the Kingdom, were not held by Knight's Service, and consequently their Owners could not be Tenants in Capite, as this Author is pleased in other Places to suppose; and there­fore these Tenants in Allodio could never be so represented by such Mi­litary Persons, as that they alone could either make Laws for them, or lay Taxes on their Estates, without their Consents either by themselves or Representatives in the Great Councils or Parliaments of those Times; and therefore such free Tenants must have either appeared for themselves in Person, or have chosen others to represent them.

AND if any Man doubt whether these Lands held in Allodio, were before the Conquest the greatest part of the Lands of the Kingdom; I must refer them for their Satisfaction to Mr. Somners and Mr. Tay­lor's Treatises upon Gavelkind, Pag. 603. as also to Mr. Lambard's Discourse of the Customs of Kent, at the end of his Perambulation of that County; who there fully prove, that the Antient Bocland descending to all the Male Issue alike, was not meer Socage Tenure, but Allodial. 2dly, That this was the general Tenure of all Lands not held by Knights Service before the Conquest, (as well Gavelkind as others) and that not only at the Common Law, but confirmed by divers Saxon Kings; as by that Law of King Edmund, Si quis intestatus obierit, Liberi ejus haere­ditatem aequalitèr dividant: So likewise by the 68th and 75th Laws of King Cnute, as also by those of Edward the Confessor, confirmed by Wil­liam the Conqueror, Cap. 36. And therefore Mr. Somner in his said Treatise of Gavelkind, farther proves, that this was a Liberty left to the Kentish Men by William the Conqueror, when all the rest of England changed its Antient Tenure; and Mr. Taylor in his History of Gavelkind, Chap. 6, 7, 8. hath proved this to have been a general Cu­stom, not only in Kent, but in Wales and several parts of England.

I shall not any further pursue what the Doctor has said of Lands holden by Military Service before the Conquest, or of the Herriots or Reliefs that were due upon them, which were payable out of the Feudal Lands of the Ealdormen, middle and less Thanes; but shall refer you to the Laws of King Cnute, and those of the Confessor, the former of which you will find at the end of his Reign in the ensuing Volume, wherein is set down what the Heirs of each of those Feudatary Tenants were to pay to their Lords at the Death of their Ancestors.

BUT that these could not be near all the Lands of England, appears by what hath been already said of Lands held in Allodio. And I have known some Learned Antiquaries, who have not without good Cause believed that all Tenure by Knight-Service in England, was derived from the Danes and Norwegians, who upon their Conquests and settling here, first brought in that sort of Tenure out of Denmark and Norway; from whence the English Saxon Kings might by Degrees impose it upon se­veral [Page cxx] Lands by them granted to their Ealdormen or Earls, and chief Thanes, by Military or Knights Service, who likewise granted them to their inferiour Thanes under the like Tenures; and yet it would have been very unreasonable that such inferior Thanes should have so far been deprived of their antient English Freedom, as that the Earls and King's Thanes should have it in their Power to make what Laws, and impose what Taxes they pleased upon them as their under Tenants, with­out their Consent.

AND if meer Tenure alone could have done this, I would fain know why the English Kings before the Conquest, by the same reason might not as well have made Laws, and taxed their Tenants in Capite without their Consent, as these could have done their Tenants that held under them? But this is altogether false in Matter of Fact, as all the Histories of those Times shew; Danegelt it self being first imposed by the Consent of the King and his Wites, Anno 994. as appears by the Saxon Annals.

NOT but that I grant all the Lands of England were then held un­der those three great Services called in Latin Trinoda Necessitas, viz. 1. Expedition (that is, the finding of Men to defend the Kingdom in case of Invasion.) 2. The Repair of Bridges; and, 3. Fortifying of Castles; from which even Lands granted to the Church were not ex­empted, as appears by the Charters to several Monasteries. But these were Services due, and to be performed by the Common Law and Custom of the Kingdom, and did not concern one sort of Tenure more than another.

I have no more to observe concerning this Bocland, but that it passed by Deed,Ingulph. Hist. fol. 508. called by Ingulphus, Chirographa, until the Confessor's time, and was confirmed by the Subscriptions of the Fideles, or Subjects there pre­sent, with golden Crosses, and some other holy Marks; only this me­thinks ought not to be passed over, that the Ceremony of Livery or Seizin of Lands is very antient, as appears by the Charter of Ceadwalla, King of the West-Saxons (preserved among the Evidences belonging to the Arch-bishop of Canterbury) in the Year DCLXXXVII. made to Theodore then Arch-bishop of that See, of certain Lands with this Sub­scription, Ad cumulum autèm Confirmationis, ego Cedwalla Cespitem terrae praedictae supèr sanctum Altare Salvatoris posui, & propriâ manu, pro ig­norantia Literarum, signum sanctae Crucis expressi & subscripsi: that is, ‘For the farther Confirmation thereof, I Ceadwalla have put this said Turf of Earth upon the holy Altar, and for want of Learning, have with my own Hand made and subscribed the Sign of the holy Cross.’ The like also hath Camden out of a Patent made by Withered King of Kent, Vid. Camd. Brit. in Can­tio. to a Nunnery in the Isle of Thanet. So much for Bocland.

CONTRARY to which was that called Folkland, which Sir Henry Spelman says,Folkland. Spelm. Gloss. [...]it. Folkland. was Terra popularis, scilicet, quae jure communi possidetur, vel sine scripto; that is, Land belonging to the ordinary sort of People, which they enjoyed of common Right, without any Writings or Deeds, as we see in Copy-hold Lands at this day, for which the Tenants have seldom any other Evidences than the Copy of the Court-Rolls of the Mannor; which Copy-hold Lands were antiently either held by Sock­men (that is, Free-men holding by the Plow) to perform mean and villain Services, or else by those who were Villains appendant to the Mannor.

[Page cxxi]THESE might be ousted of their small Estates at the Will of the Lord,Tenants in Antient De­mesne. which a Farmer could not be so long as he honestly performed his Services; and these were they, who after the Conquest were called Tenants in Antient Demesne, either of the King, or of some other Lord, as you will find in the old Natura Breviam. Cap. Breve de Recto.

‘OF the like sort also, as Dr. Brady very well informs us,Compleat. Hist. fol. 67, 68. were Lands and Possessions mentioned by other Names in our Saxon Laws, as Gaffolland, Rent-Land, or Farm-Land, Foedus Alured, Saxon Te­nures. and Guthr. c. 2. Gafogyldenhus, an House yielding or paying Rent, or Gable. LL. Inae, c. 6. There are also mentioned Inland, Inland. Utland or Out­land. or the Lords De­mesnes, which he kept in his own Hands, and Neatland, which is called Vtland, or Outland, in Lamb. Per­amb. Kent, p. 495. Byrthric's Will; Terra Villanorum, and was let out to Country-men, or Villagers, Aegder of Thegnes in­landge, of Neatland, i. e. either of the Lords or Thanes Inland, or Demesnes, or else the Country-mans, Villagers, or Villan's Land,1 Edit. Spelm. Gloss. in verb. Gafolland, Neatland, and Vtland, as Gavelk. p. 14, 115. Mr. Somner truly informs us, were opposed to Inland, Spelm. Gloss. in verbo. or Demesne-Lands, and were Lands granted out for Rent, or Service, or both, and reducible to Folkland; and 'tis very probable they were the same, or of the same Nature; for that in the Laws where they are mentioned, it appears they were always occupied by Ceorls, Churles, Country-men, Colons or Clowns;The Names of ordinary People. by Ge­bures, Boors, Rustics, Plough, or Husbandmen; or by Neates, and Geneates, Drudges, Villanes, or Villagers. These three Saxon words being almost of the same Signification, tho very different in Sound, were always applied to the ordinary sort of People, called by us Folk at this day.’ Thus far the Doctor, which I will not contradict, tho he here makes all Ceorles Men to have been meer Drudges, which was not so, since those that held Land by Socage-Services, were as free as to all things else from the Power of their Lords, as our Tenants are at this day.

BUT I desire by the way, that this may not be unobserved, that I can no where find the word Colonus used for a Husbandman or Clown, in any of our antient Saxon Laws,Spelm. Gloss. in verb. tho Sir Henry Spelman gives us some Examples of the use of it in the German Laws, there signifying Liberi Ecclesiastici, quos Colonos vocant, and the King had also his Coloni; but this learned Author supposes that these Coloni answered our Sockmen, who were certainly Freemen and not Villains. Nor did Villanus signify a Villain, but a Country-man or Villager in general, till after the Con­quest; and then it was not from the Latin but French Idiom, that a Villain came to signify a Slave or Drudg.

HAVING now given you what I thought fit to say concerning the several Tenures, and ways of Conveyance of Lands in the Saxon Times, I shall proceed in the next place to discourse somewhat of the manner of the disposing of their Goods and Personal Estates, which they might do either by Deed or last Will in Writing, as at this day: But if they happened at any time to die intestate, then their Goods were equally divided between the Wife and Children of the Deceased; tho by a Law of King Edmund, the Relict, or Widow, was to have half her Husband's Goods, yet by the Laws of Edward the Confessor, it was de­clared, that in case any one died Intestate, then the Children were equally to divide the Goods; which I take to be understood with a Salvo of the [Page cxxii] Wife's Dower or Portion. As yet therefore the Ordinaries had nothing to do with the Administration, for Goods passed by Descent as well as Lands, and upon this Custom the Writ de Rationabili parte Bonorum was grounded at the Common Law, as well for the Children as the Wife's Part,F.N.B. p. 122. according as by the Body of the Writ may appear.

THE antientest Will that Mr. The Original of Ecclesiast. Jurisdict. of Testaments, set out by Dr. Lit­tleton, fol. 5. Selden says he hath observed before the Conquest, is, one of King Edgar's time, which Mr. Lambard Peramb. Cant. p. 548. has given us in his Perambulation of Kent, and that is of one Brithric, a Gentleman, or Thane, and his Wife Elswithe, wherein they devised both their Lands and Goods, and also gave his chief Lord and the Lady his Wife several noble Legacies to prevail with him that his Will might stand good. By which it should seem the Lands bequeathed were Feu­dal Lands (held by Knights Service) which could not be alienated without the Lord's Consent. But Mr. Selden there further takes no­tice, ‘That the Protection or Execution of this Testament, as well as the Probate, were within the Jurisdiction of the Lord's Court; and that especially because divers Lords of Mannors have to this day the Probate of Testaments by Custom continued, against that which is otherwise regularly settled in the Church.’

BUT as for Intestates Goods, he says, ‘The Disposition or Admini­stration of them was in the Saxon times in the chief Lord of him that died,Selden ut sup. fol. 15, 16. cap. 1. in case the Intestate were an immediate Tenant, and died at home in Peace: But in case he were no Tenant, or died in his Lord's Army, then it was (it seems) as other Inheritance, under the Juris­diction of that Temporal Court within whose Territory the Goods were. This may be proved out of the Laws of that Time, which ordain, that upon the Death of an Intestate, whom they call CWIALE AWE, the Lord Canuti Leg. cap. 68. is only to have the Heriots due to him, which are also appointed by Ejusdem Leg. cap. 68. the Laws of the same time, that by his (the Lord's) Advice or Judgment, his (the Intestate's) Goods be di­vided among his Wife and Children, and the next of kin, according as to every one of them of right belongs; that is, according to the nearness of Kindred, if no Children, or Nephews from them be: for it must, I suppose, be understood, that the Succession was such, that the Children excluded all their Kindred, and of their Kindred the next succeeded, according to that in Tacitus De Moribus Germanorum. of his Germans, whose Customs were doubtless mixed with our English-Saxons; Haeredes, says he, successorés (que) sint cui (que) liberi, & nullum Testamentum. But it seems Christianity afterwards brought in the free Power of making Testaments amongst them, Si liberi non sunt, proximus gradus in pos­sessione, Fratres, Patrui, Avunculi.

‘BUT this is express'd only in case the Tenant died at home, and in Peace; for if he died in his Lord's Canut. Legi­bus, cap. 75. Army, both the Heriot was forgiven, and the Inheritance both of Goods and Lands was to be divided as it ought, which was, it seems, by the Jurisdiction of the Temporal Court, within whose Territory the Death (of the Intestate) or Goods were; for in that case, it is not said, that the Lord's Judg­ment was to be used, but that the Heirs should divide all; or, as the words in the Confessor's Law are, habeant Leg. Edw. Confess. cap. de Hereto­chiis. Haeredes ejus pecuniam & terram ejus sine aliqua Diminutione, & rectè dividant inter se; where the Right of the Heir both to Lands and Goods is expresly designed, but the Judg that should give it them, not mentioned. Therefore it seems, [Page cxxiii] it remained as other Parts of the Common Law, under the Tem­poral Jurisdiction, as by the F. S Instit. de bonorum possessione. Civil Law it was under the Praetors. Thus far this learned and great Author.

FROM whence we may make this Note, that the Probate of Wills was a Matter of Civil Cognizance before the Conquest, and for some time after, till, the Canon Law being more generally received in England, the Bishops Courts took this Power to themselves, supposed by Mr. Sel­den, in his 6th Chapter of his said Treatise, to be about the time of Henry the Second.

WE shall now, in the last place,Criminal part of the English Saxon Laws. go on to the Criminal part of the English-Saxon Laws, viz. the manner of Trial, Judgment and Execu­tion pass'd and inflicted on Offenders in those Times.

ALL Trials for Criminal Matters were then either in the Court-Leets, the Sheriffs-turn, or the County-Courts, All Trials in Court-Leets, Sheriffs-turn, or County-Courts. in which last the greater Offenders were commonly tried, and that most antiently by Witnesses and Juries, as at this day: for we find in the Mirror of Justices, Mirror, Cap. 5. Sect. 1. that King Alfred commanded one of his Justices to be put to death for passing Sentence upon a Verdict corruptly obtained, upon the Votes of the Jurors, whereof three of the Twelve were in the Negative. And the same King put another of his Justices to death for passing Sentence of Death upon an Ignoramus return'd by the Jury.

BUT the first Law we read of that defined the Number of Jury­men to be Twelve, The Number of Jury-men to be Twelve. was that of Aetheldred I. above two hundred Years before the Conquest, which says, In singulis Centuriis, &c. in English thus, In every Century or Hundred, let there be a Court, LL. Sax. Lamb. and let Twelve Antient Freemen, together with the Lord of the Hundred, be sworn that they will not condemn the Innocent, nor acquit the Guilty.

BUT whether there were any such thing as a Grand Jury or In­quest, we do not particularly find,Grand Jury. only we may reasonably conclude there was, because in the same Mirror we read that a Justice suffered Death for passing Sentence only upon the Coroner's Record; and ano­ther Justice had the same Punishment for condemning one without any preceding Appeal or Indictment.

YET the first time that we find any mention of a Jury by Mens Peers or Equals, is in the Agreement between Alfred and Guthrune the Dane, in these words in English, viz. ‘That if a Lord or a Baron be accused of Homicide, he shall be acquitted by twelve Lords;K. Alured. Concil. Brit. fol. 492. but if of inferiour Rank, he shall be acquitted by eleven of his Equals, and one Lord.’

BUT in Cases very doubtful, and where there was not sufficient Evidence by Witnesses, but only strong Presumptions of Guilt,Ordeal, what, and what [...] Trial. Somn. Gloss [...]r. in verbo Or­deal. in the times after King Alfred, Trials by Ordeal came in, which Somner in his Glossary says was derived from Or a Negative, or Privative, and Dal, which signifies Distinction, or Difference, that is, without any Distincti­on or Difference, and imports a just, impartial Judgment: it was of two sorts, by Fire or Water; by Fire, when the Person accused carried in his bare Hand a red-hot Iron some few steps; which, if it weighed but one Pound, was called single Ordeal, and so double, or treble, ac­cording to the Pounds the Iron weighed: or when he walked bare-foot, and blindfold, over and between certain red-hot Plow-shares, placed at a stated distance; if in doing this the Party was burnt, he was pronounced [Page cxxiv] Guilty; if not, he was accounted Innocent. Water-Ordeal was either when they cast the accused into Water, and if they did swim, were adjudged Guilty; if they sunk, Innocent: or else their Hands and Arms were put sometimes up to the Wrist,LL. Longob. lib. 1. tit. 9. c. 39. Glanv. lib. 14. cap. 1. in fine. sometimes up to the Elbow in boiling-hot Water; if they were scalded, they were esteemed Guilty; if not, Innocent. The Noble and Freemen were tried by Fire-Ordeal, the Peasants and Servants by Water Ordeal.

A great Example of the former you will find towards the latter end of the sixth Book,Fol. 79. concerning the putting of Queen Emma, Mother of Edward the Confessor, to this Fire-Ordeal by Plow-shares, upon suspi­cion of Incontinency with Ailwyn Bishop of Winchester: but indeed this Story is very improbable for several reasons; for first, the Crime she stood accused of could be no more than simple Fornication, which was then as well as now within the Cognizance of the Church, and for which no higher Punishment than the common Penance was inflicted. And further,See the Hist. Anno 1042. we find this Queen to have fallen into the King's Displeasure in the first or second Year of his Reign, and being not long after restored to his Favour, we do not read she was ever after questioned: and as for Robert, Arch-bishop of Canterbury, who is said to have been one of her chief Prosecutors, it is certain he was not consecrated to that See till about seven or eight Years after. Besides all which, Bishop De Praesul. p. 89, 90. Godwin in his Account of this Arch-bishop, further proves from Florence of Worcester, and William of Malmesbury, that Bishop Ailwin was dead Anno 1047, a Year before ever Robert was made Arch-bishop; and therefore this learned Author does wholly deny the reality of this Story. But to return again to our Ordeal.

THE first mention made thereof as we meet with, was at the Coun­cil of Mentz, and afterwards in the Council of Triers; but we have no Foot-step thereof in our English Laws, till it was brought into this Nation by the Council of Berkhamstead, under Bertwald Arch-bishop of Canterbury, Anno 647; and it after became inserted into those of King Athelstan, LL. Aethelst. Can. 23. tho it was certainly in use before that time.

I have little more to add concerning this way of Trial by Ordeal, but that it was under the Government of the Clergy, who never permitted it to be put in Execution but when they were present. And sometimes it was performed with the great Solemnity of receiving the Holy Eu­charist, especially if the suspected Person was of their Order and Function; and if the Party was cast, he was to suffer as Guilty.

THIS way of Trial by Ordeal continued long after the Conquest, but at last it was forbid by the Pope's Decree; and we have now no Remainders of it left, unless it be in the Country Peoples trying of Witches, who being tied with their Thumbs and Toes together, and so flung into the Water, if they sink, are accounted Innocent; if they swim, Guilty: but indeed if this Ordeal, either by Fire or Water, was performed by the help of the Devil, one would wonder it should ever be introduced, especially with such solemn Prayers and Prepara­tions, as you may find in Lambard's Explications of Law-terms, and in Matthew Parker Arch-bishop of Canterbury his Antiquities of the British Church. Vita Roberti Archiep. And on the other side, if it was assisted by a Divine Power, it is as wonderful how it came to be forbid by the Pope, as wholly unlawful.

[Page cxxv]BUT besides these ways of Trial abovementioned, upon more slight Suspicions, our English Saxon Ancestors were used to content them­selves with a Voyer dire, or the Oath of the Party suspected, and the concurring Testimony of other Men; the first attesting his own Inno­cency, the other attesting their own Consciences for the Truth of the former Testimony; and therefore were, and still are called Compurgators. Their number was more or less, and of greater or less Value, accord­ing as the Offence, or the Party suspected was of greater or less Con­cernment.

AND as for the way of Trial by single Combat or Duel, tho some Writers suppose it to have been in use before the Conquest, yet since I meet with no mention of it either in our Historians or Laws, I shall de­fer discoursing of it till I come to the next Volume.

HAVING now dispatched this Head concerning Trials, I'll proceed to the Judgments and Penalties that were inflicted on Persons for several Offences. And first I shall consider those against Almighty God, as Sacrilege,Sacrilege. which you will find upon the first introducing of Christianity to have been appointed by the Pope, as also by the Laws of King Eg­bert, either in making satisfaction of nine times the Value, or in case of Inability, to pay that Sum in Stripes; for not then, nor long af­ter was it punishable with Death:De Gestis Pontificum, l. 1. for William of Malmesbury tells us, that Theodered, the good Bishop of London, in the Reign of King Athel­stan, fell short of one thing, viz. That he caused certain Thieves to be hanged, who had robbed St. Edmunds Church in Suffolk, and were there held by some invisible Power, insomuch that they could not go away with what they had stolen, but were all taken and executed accordingly; for which piece of Severity he was much blamed.

THE next Offence was Working upon Sundays, Sabaoth-breaking▪ which by the Laws of King Ina, was punishable by Fine, if the Criminal were a Freeman; and by Whipping if he were a Bond-Servant.

BUT as for Blasphemy, Cursing or Swearing, either they were Crimes the Saxons were not guilty of, or else they inflicted no Punishments on those who were culpable of them; for I find no mention of them in the Saxon Laws.

AS for the Offences against both God and Man, I will first begin with Adultery and Fornication, and these were Capital amongst the Saxons: Adultery and Forni­cation. for by the Laws of Withred King of Kent, if a Military Man should (after that Council was ended, despising the King's Law, and the Judici­al Sentence of the Bishop's Excommunication) be taken in Adultery, he should pay to his Lord an hundred Shillings. ‘But afterwards by the Laws of King Cnute, a Wife found guilty of Adultery, should have her Nose and Ears cut off, and the Man was Fined or Banished: and by those of King Alfred, the Man convicted of Adultery with another's Wife, should pay to the Husband so abused, a Fine sutable to the Estate and Quality of him that was so injured.’

THE highest Offence against Man alone was Treason,Treason. and the Punish­ment for this Offence I find set down in the 4th Law of K. Alfred to this effect, viz. ‘That if any one by himself, or any other Person should attempt against the King's Life, he should lose his Life and Goods; or in case he will purge himself, he was to do it according to the Valuation of the King's Head.’ But in this the King had no greater a Prerogative [Page cxxvi] than divers other of his Subjects; for the same Law doth inform us, ‘That it ordained in all Judgments concerning other Men, whether Noble or Ignoble, whosoever should Conspire against his Lord, should lose both his Life and Estate, or else pay the Valuation of his Lord's Head.’

Coining and Clip­ping.I come next to the Coining and Clipping of Money, which was not ori­ginally such an Offence as was punish'd by Death; for the first Law that made it so was that of Ethelred, whereby it is left to the King's discre­tion, either to fine, or put to Death such Merchants as imported false Money; and all Port-Reeves of Towns who should be Accessary to it were made liable to the same: but for all this it was not even after the Conquest punishable by Death, but amputation of the Right Hand and Privy-Members.

Murder.AS for Murder, or killing a Man with Malice prepensed, it was by the Preface to King Alfred's Laws punishable by Death: And this and the former Law concerning Treason, will help us to interpret in what Cases the Wiregilds or Mulcts, that we find so frequently mentioned in the Saxon Laws, were to be paid for the Life of a Man, and particular­ly that Law of King Athelstan, which sets the Rate of these Wiregilds according to the Quality of the Person slain, from the King to the Pea­sant; that is, when the Party was Killed in some sudden Fray or Quar­rel without any Malice forethought.

THIS I take notice of, to obviate the Error of some who suppose, that all Murder, even of the King himself, was redeemable by Money, which was not allowed in any Cases but those we account Man-slaugh­ter at this Day;Manslaugh­ter. and shews the Antiquity of that distinction between Man-slaughter and Murder, which is now almost peculiar to England, and arose at first from the Proneness of our Nation to Fewds and sudden Quarrels; tho the like Custom is also to be found in the Antient Frisian and German Laws, if you will take the Pains to consult them. But as for Bloodshed,Maiming, &c. Striking, Maiming, Wounding, Dismembring, &c. they were all of them punishable by Mulcts or Fines, as you will see in the Laws of King Alfred, and other Places in this Volume.

Robbery and Burglary.I proceed in the next Place to Robbery and Burglary, which by the Laws of King Ina, were punishable by Death; only the Thief was ad­mmitted sometimes to redeem it according to the Estimation of his Head, and that I suppose was left to the discretion of the Judg, either to deny or allow. But for all other less Thefts, they were redeemable by Fines. And the Laws of Edward the Confessor, limited that Punishment of Death to Thefts of twelve Pence in value, or above.

Trespasses.AND Trespasses of a less Nature upon Lands and Goods, were to be punished by the Criminal's making Satisfaction to the injured Party, and his paying a certain Fine besides to the King; which by King Al­fred's Law was set at five Shillings; and in his Time other Actions were likewise used,Cap. 30. such as we call Actions upon the Case; and the Plaintiff not only recovered Damages for Trespasses done to Possessions and Goods, but also Costs for Injuries in Point of Scandal and Defamation, in case the Complainant specially declare that he was thereby disabled, or inju­red in his Preferment, and made Proof of the same, much like to the Forms of our Pleadings now.

Perjury.AS for Perjury which I have hitherto omitted, tho in strict Method it should have been mentioned before, as a Sin against both God and Man, [Page cxxvii] the Saxons were utterly Enemies to it, and punished it with perpetual discredit of their Testimony, and sometimes with Banishment, or with grievous Fines to the King, and Mulcts to the Judg. For that difference I find observed in those Days between Fines and Mulcts, LL. Aethelst. Cap. 12. LL. Canuti, c. 5. Spec. Sax. l. 3. Art. 53. LL. Edw. c. 18. tho the more Antient Times used them for one and the same; for I often find pars Mu [...]ctae Regi. In all these Matters where any Interest was vested in the Crown, the King had the Prerogative of Pardon, yet always a Recom­pence was saved to the injured Party; besides the Security of the Good-behaviour for Time to come, as the case required.

THESE Mulcts for all these Offences were set down in a Book, which was the Rule and Standard of the Judge's Sentence. And it is called in the Preface to the Laws of King Edward, the Doom or Judgment-Book; and Composition was to be made, and Satisfaction given, according to what was laid in this Judicial or Doom-Book.

THIS shews that Fines were then set out and appointed by Law,Fines set and ap­pointed by Law. and were proportioned not only according to Mens Offences, but Abi­lities of what they were able to pay; and were not in those Times left to the Arbitrary Wills and Humours of the Judg, to ruin Mens Fortunes and Families, and imprison their Persons during Life, perhaps only for a small Offence in a rash Word, or unmalicious Deed.

I confess this Introduction is longer than I first intended it, but herein I hope the Reader will excuse me, since I have presented him with a true Scheme of the Antient English-Saxon Government and Laws, as well Ecclesiastical as Civil, relating to the just Prerogatives of the King, as also to the true Rights and Liberties of the People: and this I have done for two Ends; first, to inform those of our own Nation as well as Strangers, that this Government before the pretended Conquest, agreed in the most material parts of it with those of the same Gothick Model all over Europe; and that if we do still labour to preserve our Antient Constitution, when most of our Neighbours have either lost or given up theirs, I think we do deserve Commendation, more especially since both Prince and People may have found an equal Interest and Happiness in it.

AND secondly, to shew, that neither the Danish nor Norman Inva­sions, (called by some Conquests) have at all altered it in any of the Sub­stantial parts of our Government or Laws, notwithstanding what some Men have so strenuously advanced to the contrary, out of what designs they themselves best know.

AS for what I have here laid down, if any thing appears either new, or of suspicious Credit, I desire to be no farther believed, than the Rea­sons and Authorities I have here produced will justify me; and therefore shall leave the Reader to make what Judgment he pleases of it, which if it doth not suit with mine, I shall not take it amiss, since I am suf­ficiently sensible how much Mens Opinions depend on their present In­terest, Education, or Course of Life: and I cannot but observe, that there are a sort of Men, whose Heads seem framed for such a set of Notions rather than others, which make them that they cannot easily digest any thing that clashes with them.

BUT I do not pretend to be infallible, or to propose my sense as a Rule and Standard to all others; Homo sum, nihil humanum à me alienum puto, as the Comick Poet hath long since well observed.

[Page cxxviii]ONE thing indeed I think I may pretend to in this Undertaking, and that is Integrity; for I look upon it a much viler thing, either to falsify, or conceal part of an Authority that makes against one, and use only so much as shall serve a present Turn, that it is to pick a Pocket: and as it is of far more dangerous Consequence to the Publick, if not found out; I must say it is likewise more easily to be discovered, since every Man may, if he please, consult the Authors that such Writers make use of, and so detect the Fraud.

BUT for those who think they may differ from me in some things with good Reason and Authority, and will please by their learned La­bours to give the World any better Information and Account of these Matters than I have done; I shall be so far from being displeased at them, that I shall upon full Satisfaction, readily own my self very much in their Debt, for making the World and me so much the Wiser: only I must desire to be treated as one, who, if I chance to be under any Error, am not so wilfully, nor (as I think) without great appearance of Reason and Authority on my side; since I call God to witness, that neither from a vain Ambition of Glory, nor prospect of any Temporal Advantage, nor design of gratifying any Party or Faction, have I wrote any thing that may disgust Men of different Principles and Notions.

AND I thank God for this great Blessing to us, that we live in a Time, when we may not only think or speak, but also safely write what we believe to be the Truth, to which all Mankind do owe Alle­giance; and therefore I hope I never shall abuse that invaluable Liber­ty, to the Prejudice of the Government, or that excellent constituted Church, of which I own my self a Member, being fully satisfied that the main End of all our Writings, ought to be for the Honour of God, and the Common Good of Mankind.

THE TABLE to the Preface and Introduction.

  • ACtions on the Case, how an­tient— page 126
  • Adultery, its Punishment, 125
  • Aetheling the Title, what it was 72
  • St. Albans his Sufferings most pro­bably a Legend— 24, 25, 26
  • King Alfred his Preface to Pope Gregory's Pastoral, 11. His Testament, with Observations up­on it— 51, 52
  • Allodium, Lands h [...]ld in Allodio 118, 119
  • Annals Saxon, a brief Account of them, and their Translation 10, 11
  • Antient Demesne, Tenants therein 121
  • Antiquity of the Ordeal, 124. Of the Distinction between Man­slaughter and Murder — 126
  • Arch-bishops of Canterbury and York antiently of equal Dignity and Power — 116
  • Asser Menevensis, an Account of him and his Writings — 12, 13
  • BAro, its antient Signification, 93, 94. When it came first in common use — 102
  • Barones Comitatûs, what they were 96
  • Bede, the first English Historian, 10
  • Bishopricks and Abbeys often bestowed by the Election of the great Coun­cil of the Kingdom in the Saxon-Times — 113, 114
  • Bishops sometimes deprived by the same Councils — 115, 116
  • Blasphemy, vid. Swearing and Cur­sing.
  • Bocland, what it was, 118. The same with Lands in Allodio, 119
  • Dr. Brady his Errors concerning the English-Saxon Succession, 50, 51, &c.
  • Britain how divided under the Ro­mans — pag. 31, 32
  • Bromton John, an Account of the Chronicle that passes under his Name — 16
  • Burglary, how punishable — 126
  • Burhwitan or Burhwara, who they were — 80
  • CAradoc of Lancarvon his Welsh Chronicle — 15
  • Ceorl, or Ceorl's Man (i. e. Coun­try-man) his Privileges — 77
  • Chancellor, whence derived, and the Antiquity of that Office — 73
  • Clipping and Coining of Money, its Punishment — 126
  • Coining of Money a Prerogative of the Crown — 67
  • Colonus, its Signification— 121
  • Combat single, or Duel— 125
  • Comes Littoris Saxonici, who he was — 33
  • Commons present in the great Coun­cils of the Kingdom, 88-101. To have been also present there in the Reign of K. William I. 97. Prov'd also to have a Right by Prescription before his time — 98
  • Compurgators, who — 125
  • Conquests of the Danes and Normans (which were no more than Invasi­ons) never altered this Govern­ment or Laws in any of its sub­stantial parts — 127
  • Contract, or Compact Original between the first English Saxon Kings and their Subjects, proved, 69, 70. and that more antient than the Coronation-Oath — 71, 72
  • Coronation of our Kings whence de­rived — 16
  • Coronation-Oath, its Form before the pretended Conquest — 58
  • [Page cxxx] Costs, recovering of Costs and Da­mages, how antient — pag. 126
  • Great Council of the Wites, for what ends they were established 41
  • Great Council or Parliament its Ori­ginal, 86-88. The Persons of whom it consisted, 87-102. These Councils often met in the open Air, 104. Its Power in making Laws — 105-08
  • Counties, their Division more an­tient than the Reign of K. Al­fred84
  • The County-Court, what — 84
  • Courts of Justice in England, how many they were under the Saxon Kings — 80, 85
  • Court-Barons, their Original — 82
  • Craig, Sir Thomas, his Objections a­gainst the Truth and Antiquity of our English Historians considered 18-23
  • Crown of England not bequeathable by the Testament of the English-Saxon Kings — 51, 52
  • Curia Domini Regis, its Significa­tion — 85
  • DAnegelt first imposed by Autho­rity of the King and his Wites — 120
  • The Decennary, or Tything-Court, what — 81
  • Defamation, how punishable — 126
  • Degrees of Men that constituted the Common-weal — 72-80
  • Demesnes of the Crown could not be granted away even to pious Vses, by the English-Saxon Kings, without the Consent of the Great Council 68
  • Deprivation of English Saxon Kings, 68. Of Bishops by the Great Council — 115, 116
  • Deputies of Cities and great Towns, how antient — 95
  • Disposition of Goods and Personal Estates, either by Deed or last Will — 121
  • Doom, or Judgment-Book — 127
  • Durham Simeon, who he was — 15
  • Dux Britanniae, what he was — 33
  • EAdmerus his History pag. 14
  • Ealdorman, the Title — 73
  • East-Angles, the Succession of their Kings — 45
  • East-Saxon Kings, their Succession 43
  • Ecclesiastical Laws, by whom made 108-113
  • Ecclesiastical Power settled at first under the two Arch-bishops of Can­ [...]erbury and York116
  • Eddi Stephen, Author of the Life of Bishop Wilfred, with a brief ac­count of him — 10
  • Edward the Confessor, the manner of his Election — 61
  • Electus & eligerunt, their true Sig­nification — 55, 56
  • Encomium Emmae14
  • English-Saxons, vid. Saxons.
  • Eorl74
  • Ethelwerd sirnamed Quaestor, an ac­count of him, and his Work 14
  • FEng to Rice, the meaning of that Saxon Phrase — 55
  • Feudal Lands, what — 122
  • Fideles, who they were in the Saxon Government — 107
  • Fidelium multitudo in the Charter of King Ethelwulf, what it sig­nified — 104, 105
  • Fines and Mulcts their difference, set down in a Book at a certain rate, and not arbitrary — 127
  • Folcland, what it was 118-120
  • Folcmote, the same with the County-Court — 83
  • Fornication, its Punishment — 125
  • Franc Pledg, what — 8
  • France, its antient Kings, the man­ner of their Succession — 69
  • Friburg, or Tithing-Court, its Insti­tution and Business — 80, 81
  • GAvelkind118, 119
  • General of the King's Forces, his Antiquity — 72
  • Antient German Laws — 35, &c.
  • [Page cxxxi] Government of Britain before the arrival of Jul. Caesar very un­certain, 29. During the time of the Romans, 31-34. Vnder the Saxons, 34, &c. Of the Antient English Saxons, rather Aristocra­tical, than Monarchical, pag. 39
  • HAgulstad Richard, an account of him, and his History, 15
  • Heir, its antient Signification, 53, 54.
  • His Right to Lands and Goods, 122
  • Saxon Heptarchy, vid. Kingdoms.
  • Heretoch, what that Office was — 74
  • Heriots, to whom due — 122
  • Higden Ranulph his Polychronicon, 17. Our Historians in English, a brief Censure of them — 5, 6, 7
  • Historians in Latin, an Account and Censure of their Works, 7-18
  • The Holde, what — 74
  • Homage from the Scotish Kings to those of England, how far to be credited — 19, 20
  • Hoveden Roger, an Account of his Works — 16
  • Dr. Howel his Mistake in making the first Saxon Kings absolute Mo­narchs — 39
  • Hundred-Court, what — 80
  • Huntingdon Henry, an Account of him — 16
  • INtestates, their Goods how anti­ently to be divided — 121, 122
  • Introduction, its Design — 127
  • Joseph of Arimathea his preaching the Gospel in England fabulous, 24
  • Judgments inflicted for several Of­fences — 125, 126
  • Grand-Juries, how antient — 123
  • Jury-men, their Number to be Twelve in the English-Saxon Times 123
  • Jus Haereditarium, its Signification 53
  • KEntish Kings their Succession, 42, 43
  • Kings of Britain not despotic, but often elected — 30
  • Kings at first no better than Generals in War; in Peace they had little or no Power — pag. 38
  • Saxon Kings not absolute or by Con­quest — 39, 40
  • Kings of the Saxons at first elected, 39-41. The manner of their Succession to the Crown, ib. 66. Their losing their Crowns otherways sometimes than by Death, 68, &c.
  • The King, in what sense he is said to make Laws — 108
  • English Saxon Kings, what kind of Supremacy they exercised in Eccle­siastical Affairs, — 108, &c.
  • Kingdoms of the English-Saxons how many erected in this Island, 34, 35
  • LAnds in England all held under the three great Services, called in Latin, Trinoda necessitas 120
  • Lathes, what — 80
  • Laws British — 29
  • German — 35-38
  • Ecclesiastical, by whom, 108-113
  • Saxon Customary Laws, their Origi­nal, and how many sorts of them, 117, 118. Reduced into one Body by [...] Edward the Confessor, ib. Their Civil Laws concerning Lands, 118
  • Legislative Power, in whom it re­sided under the English Saxon Kings — 105-108
  • MAiming, &c. how punishable antiently— 126
  • Malmesbury William, his Cha­racter — 15
  • Manslaughter and Murder their di­stinction — ibid.
  • Mercian Kings, their Succession, 45
  • Milites, what sort of Men — 90
  • Monasteries, how far taken notice of in the ensuing History — 24
  • Monmouth Geoffery, a Censure of his Work — 7
  • Mulcts, the difference betwixt this word and Fines — 126, 127
  • [Page cxxxii] Murder its Punishment in the Eng­lish-Saxon Times — pag. 126
  • NObiles Angli, who they anti­ently were — 91
  • Northumbrian Kings, their Succes­sion — 44
  • OFfences of several sorts, with their Penalties — 125, 126
  • Optimates, who they were — 92
  • Ordeal what, and what the Trial 123, 124
  • Ordinaries at first had nothing to do in Administrations — 122
  • Ordinary People, how they were called in the Saxon Times — 121
  • Original of the first English Saxon Kings — 38-41
  • Original Contract — 70, &c.
  • Osbern Author of the Lives of St. Dunstan and St. Alphege 14
  • PArliament, the Original of this Great Assembly, 86. The same with the antient Witena-Gemots, and Mycel Synoth, 86. which met thrice every Year ex more, ibid.
  • Perjury, Saxons utter Enemies to it, and their Punishment of it. 126, 127
  • Plebs & Vulgus, their Signification 99, 100
  • Populus & Populi must signify the Commons in the Saxon Laws and Charters — ibid. to 102
  • Portgereses or Port Reves their An­tiquity — 96
  • The antient Prerogatives of our Eng­lish Kings, 67, 68. to pardon, 67, 127. They could not debase the Money, nor give away their Crown-Lands without the Consent of the Common Council of the King­dom — 126, 127
  • Primates, Principes & Proceres, what they were — 90, 92
  • Probate of Wills, 122. how long a mat­ter of Civil Cognizance, 122, 123
  • Procuratores Patriae, who they wer [...], pag. 95
  • Punishments among the English Sax­ons, their several sorts 125, 126
  • SEveral Questions for Dr. Brady to answer — 99, 100
  • DE Rationabili parte Bonorum, the Writ grounded at Com­mon Law, and on what Custom 122
  • Robbery, how punishable — 126
  • Romans their Government in Bri­tain31-33
  • SAbaoth-breaking, its Punish­ment — 125
  • Sacrilege, its Punishment — 125
  • Sapientes, who they were — 96
  • Saxons not at first govern'd by Kings 38
  • English Saxons, whence deriv'd, 35. Their Government rather Aristo­cratrical than Monarchical — 39
  • South-Saxons, their Kingdom, 34, 43
  • Saxon-Tenures — 121
  • Scandal, how punishable — 126
  • Senatores Gentis Anglorum, who they were, — 92, 93
  • The Scire-mote, or Sheriffs-tourn▪ what — 82, 83
  • Sheriff, his antient Office — 75
  • Sithcundman, what — 78
  • Slaves, or Servants, among the Eng­lish-Saxons, and what Power their Lords had over them — 79, 80
  • Free Socmen, what they were, with their Privileges — 78
  • Studia Sapientiae sometimes (tho rarely) taken for the Study of the Law — 88
  • Succession of the English-Saxon Kings, whether hereditary or e­lective — 38-65
  • Swearing and Cursing, rarely known in the Saxon Times — 125
  • Mycel Synoth, what — 86
  • [Page cxxxiii]TEnants in England, how many sorts under the Saxon-Kings, 118, 119. In antient Demesne, who — 121
  • Thane, his Title and Dignity, 75, 76, 136. Their several sorts ibid.
  • Thanes of London, who — 96
  • Trinoda necessitas, what — 120
  • Thefts, small ones, their Punish­ments — 126
  • The Tourn of the Sheriff — 83
  • Trespasses upon Lands and Goods, how punishable — 126
  • A Tithing, or Decennary, what 81
  • Tithes granted à Rege, Baronibus & Populo100
  • Treason, its Punishment, 125, 126
  • Trials, the several sorts among the English-Saxons, 123, 124, 125
  • The Trihing Court, what it was, 80
  • VIcarius Britanniae, what he was — 32
  • Villanus, its Signification, 120, 121
  • Voyer dire, what — 125
  • WAllingford John, an Account of him, — 17
  • Mr. Washington's Observations on the King's Ecclesiastical Juris­diction — 108-113
  • West-Saxon Kings their Succession, 47-65. The Form of their Crowns and Titles, 66, 67. Often deposed — 69, 70
  • Witena Gemote, or Great Council, by what other Names it is called in our antient Histories — 90
  • Wites or Witan among the English-Saxons, its Signification did not mean only Lawyers, 88. For what they were established in the Great Councils — 41
  • War or Peace, in whom the Power, 68
  • Will, the antientest observed before the Conquest, when — 122
  • Wiregilds, what — 67, 68, 126
  • Worcester Florence his Character, and an Account of his Chronicle, 17


In the Preface. PAge 5. line 5. for be would, read would be. P. 17. l. 4. f. Greshams, r. Gresham. Ibid. l. 45. del. in. P. 23. l. 3. f. Ilcombil, r. Ilcombkil. P. 23. l. 14. f. that, r. whither, ib. f. never, r. ever. P. 24. l. 15. f. no, r. any.

Introduction. PAge 31. line 17. for longer, read long. Ib. l. 18. f. which, r. and, ib. r. enjoyed it. P. 34. l. 27. del. for a long time after. P. 86. l. 13. del. the Comma's in the Margin, beginning at, from whence you may observe; and ending at, well observes. P. 89. l. 15. f. word, r. words. Ibid. l. 32. f. upon, r. that. Ib. del. that. P. 96. l. 29. f. Longobardarum, r. Longobardorum, P. 97. l. a. f. Crihtan, r. Crihtan, (i. e. Knights.) P. 105. l. 38. f. consist, r. reside.


SINCE this Volume was printed off, coming to a more strict View of the whole Work, than I could make when it was in loose Sheets; I think fit to make some few Additions and Corrections, as in these following Particulars.


Pag. 195. The Consecration of Erkenwald Bishop of London being set down twice, viz. in the beginning of Anno 675. and again at the end of that Year, and was forgot to be struck out in the Page above-mentioned, those first three Lines and half, beginning at Line 23. may be struck out; and that Relation referred to p. 196. at the end of the Year (where it is already) and you may read it in these words. This Year also according to Matth. of Westminster (for Bede does not give us the time when it was done) Erkenwald a younger Son to Anna King of the East Angles was by Theodore the Arch-bishop consecrated Bishop of London, he being in great Reputation for the Sanctity of his Life, as having before he came to be a Bishop, &c. Read the rest as in the Print.

P. 198. Queen Etheldrithes being twice married and never lain with, having been already mentioned, p. 193. you may strike out part of three Lines in p. 198. beginning at Line 48. at who yet remained, and ending line 51. with but she, and then read it thus: Wife of King Egfrid above-mentioned; this Lady, tho twice married still remaining a Virgin, died at last, &c.


Pag. 312. line ult. The Continuation of Asser's Chronicle published by Dr. Gale, having put this Action of Prince Ethelwald's, there men­tioned under the Year 904. and Florence of Worcester making him come as far as Crecanford (now Crayford in Kent); from the different Names of which Places, and Years, I supposed that this Action was not the same with that related in the Year 905. but upon better Consideration I am now satisfied, that either Florence's Copy of the Annals, or his Tran­scriber were mistaken, and that Crecanford and Bradenewood mentioned by him under 905, and Creccagelade and Braeden set down in the Annals under the same Year, are both the same Places, setting aside the diffe­rence of the Years; so that this is also but one and the same Action: and therefore I rather now chuse to follow the printed Copies of the Saxon Annals, and place the whole under Anno 905. therefore you may strike out the last Line of pag. 312. beginning at after, as also the four first Lines of pag. 313. ending with, so returned home.

P. 265. After the Reign of Ethelwulf, Anno 855. add this that follows. That about these Times the Scotish Kings held the Low-lands of Scotland as Tributaries to the Kings of Northumberland, take this Rela­tion from Lessely Bishop of Rosse's History of Scotland, in the Reign of King Donald V. where he tells us, that the Picts (who had been lately conquered and expelled Scotland) having hid themselves in Northumber­land, and the Neighbouring Countries, combined with the Britains and Saxons to recover their Liberties, who, being thus confederated, invaded Scotland; whereupon King Donald gathering together his Army met them near Jetburgh, and joining Battel with them put them to flight; [Page cxxxv] with which Success the King and his Men growing insolent and secure, spent the Night following in Luxury and Drinking, without keeping any Guard, or observing Military Discipline; of which the Enemies (who it seems fled not far) gaining Intelligence, and laying hold of this Opportunity, set upon them about Midnight, and slew near 20000 Scots, being then (as it were) buried in Wine and Sleep; King Donald himself being also taken Prisoner, and to purchase his Liberty, was forced to give up all the Countries lying between the River Cluyde and Sterling to the Britains and Saxons, and farther obliged himself and his Successors to the Annual Payment of a Sum of Money in Name of a Tribute: and that then in the sixth Year of his unhappy Reign the English-Saxons, in Memory of this Victory, rebuilt the ruined Castle of Sterling, and fortified the Bridg of Forth, where they erected a Cross of Stone as a Monument of their Victory, on which were engraven these barbarous Latine Verses.

Anglos à Scotis separat Crux ista remotis,
Arma hic stant Bruti, stant Scoti sub hac Cruce tuti.

BUT in the mean time the Picts, who were the Authors of this Scotish Slaughter, were so far from being thereby restored to their Country, that they were quite expell'd by the Saxons out of Britain.

THIS Relation Hector Boetius gives you much more prolix, and makes King Osbern who reigned in Northumberland, to have commanded the English-Saxons at the great Battle above-mentioned.

THE same Author likewise shews us in the Reign of K. Gregory, Anno 872. how the Britains came to be driven out of Cumberland, which they had till then enjoy'd, viz. That the Britains having by the Assistance of the Danes, expelled the Scots from divers Territories, endeavoured also by secret Treacheries to drive them yet further; but being surprized by K. Gregory were by him quite expelled Cumberland and Westmorland, as a Punishment for having violated their Faith with him.

Pag. 313. l. 18. After East-Angles, add this. And Bromton's Chro­nicle in this Year further adds, That Ethelwald having passed the Thames at Crekelade to Brithenden, and marched as far as Brandenstoke (now Bradenstoke) in Wiltshire; so that as Mr. Britan. Wiltshire. p. 102. Camden well observes, our Modern Historians have been much mistaken, in making that Place to be Basingstoke in Hampshire.


Pag. 8. l. 1. You may strike out the three remaining Lines after Dunstan; for I am satisfied upon better Consideration, that the Assertion therein contained is not true, as I have prov'd in the Introduction, p. 71, 72.

Pag. 12. l. 8. After the words freely forgave him, add this. That the Low-lands of Scotland continued under the Dominion of the Kings of England till the Reign of King Edgar, we have the express Testimony of John of Wallingford Abbot of St. Albans, who wrote his Chronicle in the beginning of the Reign of King Henry the Third, and before ever the Dispute concerning any Homage being due for the whole Kingdom of Scotland was raised, which began not till the time of K. Edward the First. This P. 444, 44 [...]. Author thus relates it in the beginning of the Reign of King Edgar, viz. that about Anno Dom. 964, that King summoning the Northumbrian Barons (i. e. Thanes) to a Council at York, ordained di­vers things relating to the Publick Affairs of the Kingdom, among which he divided the Earldom of Oswulph (Earl of Northumberland late de­ceased) [Page cxxxvi] into two; for the King was not willing to bestow so great a Part of the Kingdom on any as an Inheritance, lest the Northumbers should again aspire to their antient Liberty; wherefore he bestowed that Part of Northumberland lying between the Humber and the Theys upon Earl Oslac, girding him with the Sword of that Earldom: But from Theys to Mireferth being the Sea-coast of Deira, he bestowed up­on Earl Eadulf, sirnamed Ethelwald; and thus the two Kingdoms be­came two Earldoms, and so continued all the times of the English-Saxon Kings under their Gift and Jurisdiction; whilst Lothian lying open to the Incursions of the Scots was of no great concern to our Kings.

BUT Keneth K. of Scotland receiving a high Character of the Generosi­ty of K. Edgar from the two Earls above-mentioned, desired the King's safe Conduct to come to London to visit him, which being granted, the said two Earls conducted him thither, where he was honourably received by K. Edgar, who often conversing friendly and familiarly with Keneth, he then represented to K. Edgar, that Lothian appertained to him as his Right, having been long possessed by the Kings of Scotland as their Inheritance: but the King not being willing to do any thing that he might afterwards repent of, referred the Determination of this Affair to his great Council; where the chief Men of the Kingdom would not assent to part with it, un­less under a Homage to be yielded by the K. of Scotland to the K. of Eng­land; and that too only because all Access to that Country was very diffi­cult; and its Government of little or no Profit: Whereupon K. Keneth assen­ted to this Demand, and so received it under that Condition, did Homage for it accordingly, promising likewise many other things; as that the People should still remain under the English Name and Language, which conti­nues to this day; and so the old Quarrel about Lothian was now happily determined, tho some new ones were often started. Thus the King of Scots became Feudatary to King Edgar on this occasion; whence you may observe how the Scotish Nation became Masters of Lothian, where Edin­burgh the Capital City of the Kingdom is seated, and which City con­tinued in the Hands of the English (as Mr. Vid. Britan. D [...]sc [...]ipt. of Scotland. Camden well observes from an antient Manuscript he there cites) till the Reign of K. Indulf, viz. till about Anno Dom. 960.

You may add this to the Laws of King Edgar at the end of his Reign: p. 14. This King is also related by William of Malmesbury to have made a Law to re­strain excessive drinking of great Draughts; by which Law it was ordained, that no Man under a great Penalty should drink at one Draught below certain Pins that were ordered to be fixt within the sides of the Cups or Goblets for that purpose.

Pag. 72. I confess I was so far misled by the Authority of the Saxon Annals and Matth. Westminster, as to believe that Siward mentioned under Anno 1043. had been consecrated Arch-bishop of Canterbury; but being now satisfied of the contrary, and having given good Reasons against it in the Introduction, p. 115, 116. that Relation of William of Malmesbury from these words, l. 20. of which Author, may be thus altered. That tho he was designed Successor to this Arch-bishop, and to that end was consecrated his Corepiscopus (i. e. his Coadjutor) yet that notwithstanding he was soon after deposed for his Ingratitude, in defrauding the weak old Man of his necessary Maintenance. But that this also was a mistake in this Author, see the Introduction, p. 115, 116.

Thus much I thought fit to advertise the Reader, since I had rather confess my own involuntary Mistakes, than put another to the trouble of shewing them to the World; but however, since I do not pretend to be infallible, if any Person of greater Skill in our English Histories, will take the pains to shew the World any other Errors or Omissions I have been guilty of in this Work, I shall be [...]o far from taking it ill, that for the publick Satisfaction, they shall be mended [...] the next Edition.

THE General History OF BRITAIN, NOW CALLED ENGLAND: As well Ecclesiastical, as Civil. BOOK I. From the Earliest Accounts of TIME, to the First Coming of JULIUS CAESAR.

SINCE I design (with God's Permission) to write and digest the most Remarkable Things and Transactions that have occurred in this King­dom from the earliest Accounts of Time, I shall follow Venerable Bede, as well as other Histo­rians, in first giving a brief Description of this Island.

Britain, the largest of all the Europaean Islands, (and one of the biggest in this Habitable Globe,) is scituate between 50 Degrees 16 Minutes, and 59 Degrees 30 Minutes North Latitude, the whole Isle lying in length from Dunsby-Head, the most Northerly Promon­tory of Scotland, to Dover, the space of near Six hundred Miles; yet is the Climate more mild and temperate than could be expected in so Northerly a Scituation; the Winds from the Seas encompassing it on all sides, so tempering the Air, that it is neither so cold in Winter, nor yet so hot in Summer, as the opposite Continents of France, Germany, and the Low-Countries; and also by the Indulgence of Hea­ven, as well as the Fertility of its Native Soil, it is plentifully fur­nished with all Things necessary for Human Life.

It was anciently called by the Greeks Albion, but whether from a Giant of that Name feigned to be the Son of Neptune, after the [Page 2] Fabulous Humour of those Times, in giving Names to Countries from Giants and Heroes; or else from the Greek word [...], which accor­ding to Festus signifies White; since, this Island is on many sides of it encompassed with Rocks of that Colour; or else from the Phoenician word Alp, which signifies High; or from Alben, which in the Hebrew Tongue signifies White, is uncertain, and therefore needless to be insisted on too much.

As for the Name of Britain, which Nennius and divers other British Writers derive from Brutus, (whom they likewise call Brito;) but others of them from the British words Pryd Cain, i. e. Forma candida, a white Form; it seems too far fetch'd; and besides, we do not find that the Na­tives of this Isle ever called it Britain.

Introduct. to Britan.Mr. Camden derives it from the Welsh word Brith, which signifies Painted, (for the ancient Britains used to paint themselves of a pale blewish Colour with Glastum, or Woad;) and [...], which in Greek signifies a Region, or Country. But this Etymology has this Inconve­nience in it, that it is derived from too far different Languages; and besides it seems very improbable, that such an Accidental Custom as that of painting their Bodies, should give a Name to the whole Island, as well as its Inhabitants. Nor does this word, Brith, signifie in the Welsh Tongue, Painted, but rather Spotted with divers Colours; whereas the ancient Britains, as some write, did not paint themselves with various Co­lours, but only stained their Bodies with one simple Colour, viz. Blue. We must therefore endeavour to derive it from some other Language, if it was not the Britains themselves, but other Nations (as is most pro­bable) that first called this Island Britain. Now it is certain, that there is no Word in the Greek Tongue from whence [...] can well be derived, which Name only the more modern Greek Historians have given this Island; for thô Lib. III. c. 2. Strabo in his Geography calls it [...], yet since this word is an Adjective, it is plain that [...], i. e. Insula, an Island, is to be understood: So that it seems the word [...] must be more ancient than [...], and therefore Mr. Camden's derivation of it will scarcely hold good: Yet Ptolomy never calls this Island [...], but [...], for when he speaks of all the Islands lying toge­ther in these Seas towards the North, he calls them [...], or [...]; i. e. Insulae Britannicae, the British Islands. And Lib. II. c. 16. Pliny in his Natural History speaking of all these Islands, says, Albion ipsi nomen fuit, cum Britannicae vocarentur omnes; i. e. The particu­lar Name was Albion, but the Islands together were called British.

But Monsieur Bochart, in his most Learned Work, Entituled Lib. I. c. 39. Cha­naan, where he Treats of the Colonies and Language of the Phoeni­cians, hath given us a more probable derivation of the Name of Bri­tain, which he supposes to be derived from the Phoenicians, who in their Language called this Island (as well as some others near it) Barat Anac, or more contractedly Bratanac, i. e. in the Land or Coun­try of Tin or Lead; which being thus given it by the Phoenician Mari­ners, that first sailed thither and discovered those Islands, might after­wards by the Greeks be mollified into [...], and [...]. Now, that the Phoenicians were the first that discovered those Isles, (which the Graecians called Cassiterides, (and which are proved by Mr. Camden to be no other than our Scilly Islands,) and from whence, as [...] II. c. 2. Strabo tells us in his Geography, ‘The Phoenicians first brought Tin, which thô [Page 3] they vended to the Greeks, yet kept the Trade, as well as the Place, private to themselves, may be believed upon these Authorities: Lib. VII c. 36. Pliny tells us, That Midocritus was the first who brought Lead from the Cassiterides. But Monsieur Bochart there shews us, That it ought to be read Melichartus, who was the Phoenician Hercules of Sanchoniathon, and to whom the Phoen [...]cians attributed their first Western Discoveries.

Yet notwithstanding the Care of the Phoenicians to conceal these Islands, the Greeks did at last discover them, (thô we cannot tell the certain time when,) giving them the Name of Cassiterides, which signifies in the Greek Tongue, the same that Barat-Anac does in the Phoenician, viz. The Land or Country of Tin; which Name; thô given only to these Islands at first, was at last also communicated to the adjoyning Coun­tries, now called Cornwal and Devonshire; from whence also the Phoe­nicians might bring this Commodity; and so by degrees this Name came to be given to all those Islands thus lying together; since in those Times (as well as now) it is probable, there might be Mines of this Metal in Britain itself, as well as in those smaller Islands above-men­tioned: In some of which Mr. Camden tells us, there are found Veins of this Metal even unto this Day; and there might be far greater Mines of it in former Ages, thô long since worn out.

But it is Objected, That Mr. Camden, in his Introduction to his Britannia, hath positively asserted, that Britain was not known to the Greeks, and therefore its Name could not be derived from them, or the Phoenicians: and for Proof of this, he cites a Place out of the Third Book of Polybius's History, which we shall here render into English thus. ‘As for Asia and Lybia, where they joyn to each other about Ethiopia, none can say positively to this Day, whether it be a Continent running to the South, or whether it be encompassed by the Sea. So likewise what lies between Ta­nais and Narbon, stretching Northward, is unknown to us at this present, unless hereafter by diligent Enquiry we may learn some­thing of it; they that speak or write any thing of these Matters, are to be thought to know nothing, and to lay down meer Fables.]’ By which Words Polybius only means, That as it was doubtful whe­ther the Sea encompassed the South Parts of Africa, so it was unknown whether the North Parts of Europe about Narbon were likewise so en­compassed; whereas Mr. Camden understands the Words as if they were spoken in general, when indeed they related only to that parti­cular Question, Whether the Northern Tracts of Europe were invi­roned with the Sea or not, which notwithstanding the great Improve­ment of Navigation stands unresolv'd even unto this Day. But that Polybius writ not in this sense, appears further, in that he himself de­scribes the Fountains of Rhodanus and Ligeris, with many other Places of Gaul which lie all above Narbon. But to put this past all Dispute, in this very Third Book, he promises particularly to write of the further or Western Sea, as also of the Britanick Islands, (for so he calls them,) and of their manner of making Tin: Which Promise of his required more than a Cursory Knowledge to perform: Since he says, That the Trade into those Seas was then very great; now that he also performed this Pro­mise, appears from Lib. II. Strabo where Polybius is cited, as comparing the Opinions of Pytheas, Dicaearchus, and Eratosthenes, concerning the Magnitude of Britain; but that these Islands were discovered by the [Page 4] Greeks long before Polybius's time, appears also from Herodotus, who confesses, he does not know the Islands Cassiterides, from whence Tin, is brought; (that is, he did not know them any otherwise than by Report;) and if these smaller Islands were then discovered, can any one believe, that so great an Island as Britain, which lay so near them, could re­main undiscovered? But I have spoke enough, if not too much, of the Etymologies of the Names of this Island; since of all that may be counted Learning, nothing is more uncertain than this, nor is it often of any great use when known.

I shall therefore now proceed to somewhat more Solid and Useful, and try if we can discover who were the first Inhabitants of this Island; but since the Scriptures, as well as Prophane Histories, are silent in this Point, it is impossible to tell the Name of the Man who brought the first Colony hither; Only thus much seems probable, That Europe was Peopled by the Posterity of Jophet, either from one Alanus, (whom Nenniu [...] supposes to have been his Grandson,) or else from Gomer his Son, from whom Mr. Camden derives the Names of Cimmerii and Cimbri, whom be supposes to be one and the same Na­tion, and by whom the ancient Galli [...] was first Inhabited, and from whom he brings the present Welsh, called in their own Language Cymra, which, if true, nothing is more certain and easie to believe, than that this Island was first Inhabited (at least as to its more Southern Parts) from the Continent of Gaul, as is delivered by Bede in his first Chapter as a current Tradition in his Time; and Mr. Camden farther proves it out of Caesar's Commentaries: For thô be there tells us, that the In­land Parts of Britain were Inhabited by those who called themselves the Natives; yet that the Maritime Parts were possessed by such, who to make War, and get Prey, had passed over from Belgium and Gaul, which were then called by the same Names as those People from whence they came. Which may be also proved from other Ar­guments, as their Affinity in Customs, Language and Religion, with those of Gaul, as they are there described by Caesar, and also by other Roman Authors: Thô Tacitus, in his Life of Agricola, does not wholly agree with Caesar as to this Particular, for he there tells us, ‘That the Northern Parts of Britain seem to have been Peopled by the Ger­mans, as the Eastern Coasts by their opposite Neighbours the Gauls, and the South Part by the Iberi or Spaniards: This he gathers from the different Complexion of the People, the Northern Britains (says he) are Fair, having large Limbs, and long yellow Hair like the Germans; but the Silures, or Southern Britains, were Swarthy, and had curled Hair like the Spaniards, whereas the Coast lying over-against Gaul agreed in Language, Customs, and in every thing else with the Gauls.

It was not from the Continent of Gaul alone, that this Island was first Inhabited, but also from Ireland, and the North Parts of Germany, or else from Scandinavia, now called Sweden; for Bede tells us in the First Chapter of his History, ‘That, after the Br [...]tains, the Picts came out of Scythia in long Ships, and landed first in the North of Ireland; but being there refused Habitation by the Scots, who then possessed that Island, they were advised to plant themselves in the North part of Britain, which they then thereupon performed; and when the Picts, wanting Wives, desired the Scots to bestow some on them, they con­sented [Page 5] to it on this condition, That when there was any dispute about the Succession to the Crown; they should rather chuse a King from the Feminine, than M [...]sculine Line of their former Kings, which is still ob­serv'd (says he) among the Picts to this day.’

Now that this Country, which Bede here calls Scythia, could be no o­ther, than the more Northern Parts of Germany, or else Gothia (now called Sweden) at the farthest, seems highly probable, since the best Writers of the middle Ages do all agree, that these parts were in those times called by the general Name of S [...]ythia. And you may see Authorities sufficient for this, cited by Arch-Bishop Usher in the 15th Chapter of his learned work; D [...] Antiquitate Britannica um Ecclesiarum, and by the reverend Dr. Stillingfleet (now Lord Bishop of Worcester) in his Origines Britannicae; who allows Hector Boethius his Conjecture not to be be improbable,Cap. 5. who de­rives them from the Agathyrsi, who came out of Sarmatia into the Cimbuca Ch [...]rsonesus, and from thence into Scotland.

‘But that the Scots came into this Island many Ages after out of Ireland is also as certain, Since Bede tells us in the same place, that in process of time Britain receiv'd a Third Nation, viz. of the Scots, besides the Britains and Picts, which Scots going out of Ireland under the conduct of one Reuda, took those Territories which they have among the Picts, either by terms or agreement with them, from which Reuda even to this day they are called Da [...]reudini, for Dal in their language signifies a share or portion, which Reuda in what Age he lived and brought over this Colony out of Ireland, since it hath bred a great dispute among our Modern Antiquaries, I shall not take upon me now to decide:’ But that the Scots came at first from Ireland, is acknowledged by John Fordon, and John Major, their two eldest Historians extant; the latter of whom tells us, That as yet, that is, in his time, almost half Scotland spoke the Irish Tongue, which they had brought over with them from Ireland.’

To return to the matter in hand it is evident from Bede, that in his time, God was served in five several Languages in this Island, (viz) The English, the British, the Scotish, (or present Irish) the Latin (which they commonly used in Divine Service) and the Pictish; though what that Language was we cannot now tell; for the Picts being totally subdued by the Scots, and thereby incorporated into the body of that Nation, that Tongue is quite extinct; though if it had not been at least different in Dialect from that of the Britains, it seems improbable that Bede, who was so near a neighbour to them, should mention it as a distinct Tongue from all the rest. And yet notwithstanding by all the relicts we can now find of it in the Names of places in the South and West parts of Scotland, they are purely British, as Mr. Camden hath learnedly proved in his said In­troduction, and therefore, since the name of Pict is indeed Latin, and signifies no more than painted Men, and that no Roman Author makes mention of them, before Ammianus Marcellinus, who lived about the end of the fourth Century, and is the first who calls the Inhabitants of the Nor­thern parts of Britain by the name of Picti, distinguishing them into Di­calidonii (perhaps, it should be Deucaldonii) and Vecturiones, which the learned Dr. Lloyd, late Lord Bishop of St. Asaph, and now of Coventry and Litchfield, in his Historical account of Church Goverment in Britain, probably enough derives from the British Deucilyddion, and C [...]withwrion, that is Southern Caledones, or Borderers and Northern Men. It is probable that these Picts were no other than the remainder of those [Page 6] Britains, who preserved their Liberty by resisting the Roman Arms, and were at last divided from the Roman Britains, by a Wall, now called the Picts Wall, (the Vestiges of which are to be seen to this Day) drawn between the mouths of the Rivers Tine and Eske, to hinder their farther Incursions into those parts which were then under the Roman Empire.

But having said enough concerning this Island in general, together with its first Inhabitants and their Languages; It is now high time to come to our main design, the History of that part of it, called at this day England, and which was in the Romans time divided into several Provinces or Governments, as Britannia Prima, Secunda, and Maxima Caesariensis, &c. they may [...]e seen in the Antient Notitia of the Roman Emp [...]re. ‘We must therefore in the first place ingenuously confess, that till the coming in of the Romans, there are no certain or Authentick Histories remaining of any transactions before that time; for Gildas, who liv'd not long after the Saxons were first call'd into Britain, freely owns, that as for the Antient monuments of his Country, (whatever they were) being either burnt by Enemies, or carried beyond Sea by his banish'd Country men, they were not then to be found, therefore I shall wholly omit that fabulous Succession of Celtick Kings, who are feigned to be derived from Samothes, one of the Sons of Japhet, whom they suppose to have planted Colonies first on the Continent of Celtica or Gaul, and next in this Island, and thence to have named it Samothea, since they never had any existence, but in the brain of Amnius de Viterbo, and by him vented in his counterfeit Berosus, which is long since exploded by all that are any thing versed in Antiquity.’

But now I could heartily wish that we had any certain monuments of the History of this Kingdom, which might justly supply their room; but having no Authentick accounts left us of the British Kings, that reigned in this Island till Julius Caesar's first Expedition hither, I could willingly have excused my self from the drudgery of writing things so uncertain, nay in diverse particulars utterly false, were it not that most Authors who have already writ our History either in English or Latin, have thought those long Successions of Kings not unworthy a particular Recital, as sup­posing it scarce possible, that a descent of above Sixty Kings together, with so many transactions attended with such particular Circumstances, as the making of War and Peace, building of Cities and enacting Laws, should be wholly Fabulous and Romantick, or that the names of so many successive Princes should never have been derived from any real Per­sons.

For though it is true that Geoffrey of Monmouth is look'd upon as the chief (if not only) Author of the Story of Brutus and his Successours; yet it is certain that he pretends in the Proem to his History, (which he dedicated to no less a Man than Robert Earle of Gloucester, natural Son to K. Hen. the I.) that he received an antient British History from Walter, Arch-Deacon of Oxon, which (as he says) he faithfully translated out of the British Tongue into Latin, though William Neobrigensis, (who lived some time after this Geoffrey) in the very beginning of his History writes thus of him, In thes [...] our days (says he) a certain Writer is risen, who hath devised many foolish Fictions of the Britains, he is named Geoffrey: And a little after, thus, with ho [...] little shame, and with what great Confidence doth he frame his Lyes!’ So that you may see his History began to be cryed out against almost as soon as it was published. ‘And [Page 7] yet for all this, it is certain, that Geoffrey was not the first Author of this Story of Brutus; for Nennius, Cap. 2.3, 4. who lived in the 8th Century (and is also Intituled Gildas in some Copies) in his History makes the Isle of Britain to be first inhabited by one Brito, the Son of Hisicion, the Son of Japhet, or else from one Brutus, (it seems he did not know which) whose Pede­gree he derives from Aeneas by his Son Ascanius, and who (as he supposes) reigned in Britain in the time that Eli Judged Israel, and under whose Conduct the Britains in the third Age of the World first came into this Island; which Calculation falls out right enough with our at present received Chronology:’ But as for Sigebertus Gemblacensis, a French Monk, (who lived about Twenty Years before Geoffrey) tho' in some Editions he speaks of Bru [...]e with his Trojans arrival in Gaul, and of his passage from thence into Britain, yet it is certain they are none of that Author's words, there being no such thing to be found in the truest Edition of his Chronicle, published by Mirraes. An. 1608. as the a­bove cited Lord Bishop of Coventry, and Litchfield, in his learned Preface to his Historical account of Church Government in great Britain and Ireland, hath fully proved. But after him Henry Arch-Deacon of Huntington, an Author of Credit (who lived at the same time with Geoffrey) ascribes the first habitation of this Island to Brutus, the Son of Sylvius, Grandson to Aeneas: whom together with his certain Trojans he supposes to have come into Britain in the third Age of the World, as the Scots did in the fourth into Ireland, which he seems to have taken out of Nennius, or some other ancient Author: But this must still be confest, that the whole relation of the Actions of Brutus, and the Succession of all the Princes that followed him, do all depend upon the Credit of Geoffrey and the truth of his trāsaction, and so was looked upon in the Age in which he published his History: But to make this Brute to be a Trojan, and to give him a Genealogy, which is plainly contradicted by all the Roman Au­thors, is that for which his History ought to be condemned: Yet thus much may be said in Excuse of him, and of all those Authors who have ascribed the Origine of the Britains to Brute, that they have imitated the Vanity of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who derived their Kings from some God or Heroe. And have been followed in it not only by the Britains, but the French and almost all other Nations of Europe, since they began to write Histories of their Originals.

But since it is fit that we should give you some account (though as short as possible) of this Brute and his Successors, I shall contract their History from Geoffrey of Monmouth into as narrow a Compass as I can.

Brutus, who is suppos'd to have first Peopled Britain with Inhabitants of the Trojan Race, is said to have been the Great Grandson of Aeneas, by his Son Ascanius, who killing his Father Sylvius, King of Alba, accidently with an Arrow, was forced to fly his Country, and going into Greece joyned himself with the remainder of those scattered Trojans he [...]ound there, and be­coming their Leader, made War upon Pandrasus, the King of that Country, to whom he sent this Message, viz. ‘That the Trojans holding it unworthy their Ancestors to serve in a Foreign Kingdom, had retreated to the Woods; choosing rather a Savage, than a slavish Life; if that dis­pleased him, then with his leave they might depart to some other Soile.’ The particulars of which being tedious and fabulous, are here needless further to be inserted. But at last that King being by them made a Prisoner, was forced to accept of terms of Peace, the Articles of [Page 8] which were, That Brute should Marry Inogena the King's Daughter, and in Consideration of her Dower should have a Fleet given him, with Li­berty to transport all such as would be willing to follow his Fortunes: The Marriage being thereupon solemnized, Brute and his Trojans with a great Fleet betook themselves to Sea, and within a short time landed on a deserted Island, where they found a ruin'd City, in which was a Temple, and an Image of Diana, that gave Oracles; whereupon Brutus consulting with his Diviner and Twelve other of the Ancients, was ad­vised to invoke the Goddess to tell him, in what Land or Region he should find a place to settle in, and accordingly as we find it in Geoffrey of Mon­mouth, he is said to Adress her thus,

Diva potens Nemorum, terror Sylvestribus apris,
Cui licet anfractus ire per aethereos,
Infernasque domos: Terrestria Jura resolve,
Et dic, quas terras nos habitare velis.
Dic certam sedem, quâ te veneremur in aevum,
Quâ tibi Virgineis Templa dicabo Choris.

Thus excellently well translated by the Learned Mr. Milton.

Goddess of Shades, and Huntress who at will
Walk'st on the rouling Sphere, and through the deep,
On thy third Reign the Earth look now, and tell
What Land, what Seat of rest thou bidst me seek,
What certain Seat, where I may worship thee
For ay, with Temples vow'd, and Virgin Quires.

Whereupon the Goddess returned this following Answer.

Brute sub Occasum solis trans Gallica regna
Insula in Oecano est undique cincta Mari.
Insula in Oceano est, habitata Gigantibus olim,
Nunc deserta quidem, Gentibus apta tuis.
Hanc pete, namque tibi sedes erit illa perennis;
Haec fiet natis altera Troja tuis
Hic de prole tua Reges nascentur, & illis
Totius Terrae subditus Orbis erit.

Rendred thus,

Brutus, far to the West, in th' Ocean wide
Beyond the Realm of Gaul, a Land there lies,
Sea-Girt it lies, where Giants dwelt of old,
Now void, it fits thy People, thither bend
Thy Course, there shalt thou find a lasting Seat,
There to thy Sons another Troy shall rise,
And Kings be born of thee, whose dreaded Might
Shall awe the World, and Conquer Nations bold.

[Page 9]But these Verses being in Latin, when there was no such Language sp [...]ke in the World, sufficiently betray the moderness of the invention: So that were it no more to please, then instruct, I should not have inserted them here.

And now Brute being guided, as he thought by a Divine Conduct, Sails again towards the West, and Landing in Italy meets with some other Trojans who had come thither with Antenor, many of whom he takes along with him, together with one Corinaeus their Chief. With this recruit Bru [...] puts again to Sea, and passing the Pillars of Hercules, at the mouth of Ligeris in Aquitania casts Anchor, where they were set upon by one Goffarius a Pictish King of that Country, now called Poictou, with whom having se­veral Battles, Brute at last Conquered and Expell [...]d him his Kingdom, but he solliciting the other Kings of Gaul to his assistance; Brute thereup­on finding himself too weak for so great a force, called a Council, where 'twas resolved, that since this was not the Land promised them by the Oracle, they should again put to Sea: So embarking all their Forces, after a few days Sail they arrived at Albion, and Landed at a Haven, now called Totuesse in Devonshire. The time of which enterprize is supposed to be about 1200 Years after the Flood, and about 66. Years after the Destruction of Troy; if any certain time can be assigned for so uncertain a relation.

But Bru [...]e having at length (through many dangers and difficulties) attained this long wish'd for Island, Lands his Trojans, and marches up into the Country to take possession of it, which he found in great part desart, or Inhabited only by some Gyants; these he quickly destroys and to his People divides the Land, which in allusion to his own Name he called Britain. On Corinaeus Cornwall, (as we now call it) was bestowed: But here I omit as a Fable, only fit to be told Children, how this Hero, though no Gyant himself, yet took up the mighty Gyant Gogmagog in his Arms, and flung him off from a Cliff into the Sea, from whence the place hath been ever since called Langoemagog, that is to say, the Gyant's Leap.

After Brute had thus conquer'd the Island, he chose a fit place to build a City, which he called Troja Nova; (for it seems he spoke Latin though it were not then used in Italy) which Cities Name was changed in time to Trinobantum, or Troynovant, after to London: This he made the Seat of his Kingdom, (Eli being then High Priest in Judea), where he en­acted several Laws, and having reign'd here Fifteen Years, he divided his Kingdom among his Three Sons; Locrinus the Eldest had that part called Loegria now England: Camber the second possessed Cambria, now Wales. And Albanactus, Albania, now Scotland; but he some time after being in­vaded by one Humber King of the Huns, was slain in Fight, and his Peo­ple driven back into Loegria, whereupon King Locrinus and his Brother Camber march'd against this Humber, who fighting with them, and being overcome, and drown'd in a River, left his Name to it. I designedly omit the long story of the Lady Estrildis, whom Locrinus then taking Pri­soner he fell in Love with, and privately enjoy'd, and would have Mar­ried, had it not been for fear of Corinaeus, whose Daughter Gwendolin, he had already betroathed; but no sooner was Corinaeus dead, but he owned Estrildis for his Queen, which so incensed Gwendolin, that although Lo­crinus was strengthened by the addition of Cambria upon the Death of his Bro [...]her; yet she goes into Cornwall, and by powerful sollicitations in the [Page 10] behalf of her self and her young Son Madan, the Cornish are brought to assist her: With these Forces, she marched against Locrinus, and in a pitch'd Battle nigh the River Stour he was overcome, and Slain, in the 20th Year of his Reign, upon this (just as she would have it) the King­dom fell to her Son

Madan, the Son of Locrinus by Gwendolin, although a Child, yet suc­ceeded his Father, but under the Regency of the Queen his Mother, who out of Revenge, drown'd Estrildis and her Daughter Sabra in a River, which from her was called Sabrina, in English Severne; Gwendolin, her Son coming to full Age, resigned her Power, and retired into Cornwall, after she had Govern'd Fifteen Years: But Madan having had the fame of Ruling well for the space of Forty Years in all, left behind him two Sons, Mempritius and Manlius; Mempritius the Eldest Son of Madan is sup­posed to have ruled over the whole Island, but Manlius his Younger Bro­ther rebelling against him, he desired a treaty with him, who giving his Brother a meeting, he treacherously murdered him, and now having put an end to that trouble, giving himself up to Luxury and Cruelty, and at last to unnatural Lust, hunting in a Forrest was devoured by Wolves; to whom succeeded Ebrank his Son, who was a Man of mighty Strength and Stature; h [...] first after Brutus wasted G [...]ul, and returning rich and prospe­rous, built Caerbranc, now York, and in Albania, the Town of Mount Agned, now Edinburgh. He is said to have had Twenty Wives, and by them Twenty Sons and Thirty Daughters, which (as our Author relates) were sent un­der the Conduct of their Brother to Sylvius Alba then King of Italy to be provided with Husbands, because he had heard that the Sabines would not give their Daughters in Marriage to the Latins, which is so very ri­diculous that it needs no Confutation. This Prince dying, after he had reign'd about Forty Years, left the Kingdom to Brute, Sir-named Green­shield from the colour of his Target; he revenged those Indignities, which had been put upon his Father by Brunchild, Prince of Hannonia or Hainault Conquering him near the banks of the Scaldis, i. e. the Scheld, but the mo­dern names of Hainault, and Brunchild sufficiently betray the Novelty of this Fable: He hath the Character of an Excellent Prince, Just, Mer­ciful, and a most exact observer of his Word; and reigned Twelve Years, to whom succeeded

Leil his Son, who built the City of Carlisle, (in the Days of Solomon,) after called by the Romans Lugubalia, and did also repair Caerleon, now called Chester; he was a good Prince till the latter end of his days, when falling into several Vices, he occasioned great dissentions in the Kingdom, which did not end with his life, but after he had reigned Twenty five Years, left the Kingdom to

Rudhudibras or Hudibras, who compos'd the disturbances begun in his Fathers days, and, studying nothing more than to strengthen and adorn his Kingdom, built several Cities, as Caerkin now Canterbury; likewise Caer Guent, now Winchester; as also Mount Paladur, after Septonia or Shafts­bury, and having reigned Twenty nine Years, was succeeded by,

Bladud his Son, who is said to have been skill'd in Magick, and there­by to have found out those Medicinal Waters, now called the Bath, where he also built a City, called Caer Baden; he is said to be a Man of a good Invention, and having made himself Wings to flye, fell down from the Temple of Apollo in Trinovant, and broke his Neck, having governed Britain Twenty Years. To him succeeded

[Page 11] Leir his Son who built Caer Leir, now called Leicester: He had only Three Daughters, Gonnilla, R [...]gana, and Cordiella his darling; but in his old Age, being jealous of their Affections, he called them before him, and demanded, that they would give him some assurance of their Love; the two Eldest called Heaven and Earth to witness, that they loved him Ten thousand times dearer than their own Souls, and that they were not able to Express their infinite kindness for him; and at last concluded their flatteries with horrid Oaths and asseverations of their Sincerity; but Cordiella, the Youngest, though having before her Eyes the present re­ward of an easie flattery, yet could not be moved from giving him this downright honest Answer: Father (saith she) my Love toward you, is as my Duty bids, What should a Father seek? What can a Child pro­mise more? They who pretend beyond this flatter: This short Answer not at all satisfied the old suspicious King; for he shewed his resentments by his neglect of her, and the suddain advancement of her Sisters, Marrying Regana to the Duke of Cornwall, and Gonarilla to the Duke of Albania; reserving no portion at all for Cordiella, but it so happen'd, that Aganippus a Prince of Gaul (however he came by this Greek Name) hear­ing of her Vertue and Beauty desired her in Marriage, to whom she was welcome without any other Dower, but her own Vertues. King Leir having thus disposed of his two Eldest Daughters, and dividing half his Kingdom between them, they within some time by their subtile practices work him out of all; so that he was forced to sojourn with his Daughters by turns, who being set on by their Husbands, put so many affronts and Indignities upon him (needless here to be recited) that in the end he was constrained to leave the Realm, and take refuge with Cordiella. This re­jected Daughter received him with all the Duty and Affection imaginable; and then appeared the difference between the down-right Love of some Children to their Parents, and the over talkative obsequiousness of others, while the hopes of a large Inheritance obliges their Tongues to Express more Duty than ever they mean to perform; but what was more signi­ficant than Words, she assisted her Father with powerful aids, and in Person went to revenge his wrongs: So that bringing a great Army in­to Britain, she destroyed his Enemies, and restored him to his Crown, which he held but for the space of Two Years, whose Reign in all is computed to be about Forty Years, and then dying left the Throne to

Cordilla, who Governed the Kingdom for Five Years; but in the mean time her Husband Aganippus dying; Morgan and Cunedage her Ne­phews, by her Sisters Gonorilla and Regana, disdaining to be under the Government of a Woman, rebelled against her; and so prevailed, that they took her Prisoner; but she being a Woman of a high Spirit slew her self, rather than to live under their Tyranny.

Whereupon Cunedage and Morgan possessing the whole Government, divided the Island between them; to Morgan fell Albania, to Cunedage all the Land on this side Humber; Morgan not being content with his Por­tion Invaded his Brother, but being driven by him into Wales, and there Slain, gave the Name of Glan-Morgan to that Country: Cunedage now Ruling alone built many Temples to his Gods, and dying, was buried at Trinovant; after he had Ruled Thirty three Years, to whom suc­ceeded

[Page 12] Rivallo the Son of Cunedage; in his time it rain'd Blood for Three Days together, from whose Putrefaction, Noisom and Venemous Flies were bred; which in Swarms infested the whole Land, and brought great Contagion both upon Men and Beasts. He, after he had Ruled Forty six Years, was succeeded by

Gurgust his Son, of whom nothing is recorded worth mentioning; he is said to have Reign'd Thirty seven Years: Nor is there more left of Jago his Nephew,

Nor yet of Sillius, or Sicillius, thô how related to the former is not said: But to him, after Forty nine Years Reign, succeeded

K [...]nemare, said to be Brother of Jago, of whom there is nothing Re­corded, but that he was Buried at York: To whom succeeded

Gor [...]odug, the Son of Kinemare, he is noted for Tyranny: But dying, he left behind him two Sons

Ferrex, and Porrex, who Reigning joyntly at first, did within a few Years begin to contend, who should have the whole Kingdom; in which Contention, after a great Battle Fought between them, Ferrex was Slain, whose Death affected his Mother with so great a Grief, that transported by Revenge, she by the help of her Maidens, Slew her other Son Porrex whilst he was a Sleep; an unheard of Example, and too strange to be true.

After his Death, the Blood Royal of Brute being extinguished by his Death, there happned cruel Wars, so that the Kingdom was rent into five parts; one Pinnor made himself King of Loegria or England: Stator seized Albania; Rudock Cambria, and Cloten Cornwall: But as to the fifth division, the Story is silent; this Pentarchie is supposed to have lasted a­bove Fifty Years, the Kingdom in the mean time being miserably har­rassed by Civil Wars, until

Dunwallo Molmutius, Son of Cloten King of Cornwall, excelling in Valour and Comliness of Person, by subduing the other four Princes, reduced the whole Island again into a Monarchy, and is said to be the First in Britain that wore a Crown of Gold; and therefore by some reputed the first King: But what he got by Force he managed with great Prudence and Moderation; Enacting several excellent Laws, which Geoffrey says were translated into Latin by Gildas; and in Saxon afterwards by King Alfred. But since no such work of his is any where extant, I shall not give them so much Credit as to recite them; though Mr. Selden hath not thought them unworthy of a place in his learned Treatise; called, Janus, Anglorum. But this King, after he had governed Forty Years, died, and was buried at T [...]inovant, to whom succeeded his two Sons

Belinus and Brennus, who after some Controversies, divided the King­dom between them, Brennus being to have all that lay North of Humber, and B [...]linus the rest; but the Younger being not long so contented, did upon new designs Sail into Norway, and enter into a League with Elsing King of that Country, and Married his Daughter, which Belinus hearing of, did in his absence dispossess him of his Kingdom; Brennus with a Fleet of Norwegians makes toward Britain, but is encounter'd by Guithlac, a Danish King, who laying claim to his Bride pursued him at Sea, and being there vanquish'd in a Fight, was forced to get away with a few Ships; but Brennus nevertheless recollecting his shattered Navy, landed in Albania, and gave Battle to his Brother, who totally routed him and forced him to fly into Gaul, with no more than one single Vessel.

[Page 13]But Belinus being now rid of his Brother, turns his Thoughts to Arts of Peace, and amongst other things they reckon his making the Four great Ways or Streets, which are still to be seen, to run cross the King­dom, which they will have him, and not the Romans, to have first laid.

Brennus in the mean while having been kindly received by Seguinus King of Armorica, now Britagn in France, and having Married his Daugh­ter, was by him assisted with a powerful Army to regain his Kingdom, and Landing in Britain, was now ready to give Battel to his Brother; when their Mother Conwenna mediated between them, and so perswaded them, that embracing each other they were perfectly reconciled; so that going to Trinovant, they resolved to turn their united Forces on Foreign Parts, and then Sailing into Gaul, the Author tells us, that un­der these two, not only all that Country, but also Italy, was Conquered, as you may find in the Roman Authors. If those were Britains and not Gauls which took Rome, which is not worth our while to Dispute: Some say, that Belinus went not into Gaul with his Brother, or if he did that he soon returned. After which he made it his Business to adorn his Kingdom, Building some Cities, of which Caer-Uske, now Caer-Leon upon Uske was one; and he also adorn'd Trinovant with a Gate called to this Day Belin's Gate, having a Tower on the Top of it; at the Foot of which he made a Harbour for Ships: He is also said to be the first Founder of the Tower of London. After he had Reigned Twenty-six Years died, and his Body being burnt on a Funeral Pile, his Ashes were put in a golden Urn, and placed on the Top of the Tower that he himself had Built.

Gurguint, Sirnamed Brabtruc; his Son, succeeded him, in whose Reign the Danes refused the Payment of the Tribute, which had bin imposed by Belinus, when their King Guithlac, being driven by force of Weather upon the Coast of Northumberland, was made a Prisoner, nor could be set free, without an Engagement to pay Tribute for himself and Successors, which being now denied, Gurguint now Sailed into Denmark, and by force of Arms obliged the Danes to renew their Treaty, and received Homage of their King and Chief Nobility, and then Embarqued again for Britain: In his return he met with a Fleet of Thirty Sail about the Isle of Orkeney, these he encountred, and having taken their Captain Bartholain, he de­manded of him what he was, and the Reason of his coming into those Parts; Bartholain answered, that he and his Followers were named Ba­lences, being banished from Spain (their Country) with their Wives and Children, and thereupon had put to Sea to seek out new Habitations, whereupon it is said this King assigned them Ireland, being a Place not then Peopled. This King is supposed to have Built Caer-Werith or Lancaster, Caer-Peris or Portchester in Hampshire, and Caer-Gaurvie now Warwick, where he was buried, after he had Reigned Nineteen Years; to whom succeeded

Guintelin his Son, he was a Prince Learned, Prudent, and of singular Justice and Moderation; he is said to have had a Wife of as great Ver­tue, named Martia, to whom Geoffrey falsly Attributes the making of the Laws called Merceuenlage, which was indeed so called not from her, but but from the Mercians, by whose Kings they were first enacted. This King is also said to have Reigned Twenty-six Years, and was succeed­ed by

[Page 14] Sicilius the II. his Son, being about Seven Years of Age, but under the Government of his Mother Martia, he is supposed to have Reign'd Fifteen Years, Seven under the Tuition of his Mother, and Eight after his full Age; and having given all the Signs of a hopeful Prince, he was suddenly snatched away by Death, and then the Crown fell to

Kimarus the Son of Sicilius; but he being of a wild and ungovernable Temper, and wholly given up to all manner of Exorbitances, was killed in the Woods, in pursuit after his Game, some say by an Ambush, o­thers by wild Beasts: He Reigned but three Years, then

Elanius, or Danius his Brother succeeded. This King was not Infe­rior to his Predecessor in Wickedness of Life, insomuch, that some make them the same Person, so exactly did these two Princes correspond in their Vices. He held the Scepter about Ten Years; the succeeded his Son

Morvidus, or Morindus (by a Concubine) a Man of great strength and Comeliness; as to the Qualities of his Mind, he was Liberal, but withal exceeding Passionate: In his Days the Moriani, or rather Morini, a People of Gaul, Landing in Northumberland with Fire and Sword wasted that Country, which Morindus hearing of, with all Expedition gathered his Forces, and with long and wearifom Marches made up to them, and in one Ba [...]tel utterly defeated them, and then put all the Prisoners to Death with exquisite Torments; but not long after hearing of an hide­ous Monster, which, coming out of the Irish Sea, seized and devoured many that lived near the Shore. The King beholding the lamentable Destruction of his Subjects, fought the Monster himself: the Contest held for a while doubtful, but at last the Monster prevailed and devoured the King. This is said to have happened in the Ninth Year of his Reign, to whom succeeded

Gorbonian his eldest Son, a religious Prince, which he evidenced to the World by repairing decay'd Temples, and erecting new ones in several Places in his Dominions: He is said to have built Grantham in Lincoln­shire, and some say Cambridge, antiently called Caer-Grant and Grant Chester. He Reigned Ten Years, and was succeeded by his Brother

Archigallo, the Second Son of Morindus; he endeavoured to depress the Nobility, by depriving them of all Power and Command, and pre­ferring Mean and unworthy Men, and by taking away Men's Estates to enrich his own Treasure; all which Oppressions the Nobility of the Kingdom not being any longer to bear, they rose up in Arms, and de­posing him, placed

Elidure his Brother in the Throne; he was called by his Subjects Eli­dure the Pious; for as he went on Hunting one Day in the Wood Calater, in the midst of the Forest he met with his Brother Archigallo, and being struck with Pity of his Misfortunes, he secretly conveyed him Home to his own House at the City of Alchluid, where feigning himself sick, he assembled all the Nobles of his Realm, and there partly by Perswasions, partly by Commands, he engaged them again to receive his Brother Ar­chigallo for their Sovereign; and afterwards calling a general Assembly of his People at York, he there publickly resigned his Crown, and ta­king it off his own Head, placed it on his Brother's, after he had Reign­ed Three Years.

Archigallo being thus Restored, by his wise and sober Deportment re­gained the Affections of his People; for he discarded his former Favou­rites, [Page 15] and adhered to the prudent Advice of his Nobility, and Reigning to the general Liking of his Subjects for the space of Ten Years, died and was buried at Caer-brank, or York.

Elidure, after the Death of his Brother, became once more King of Britain, and so with much Honour and Reputation received the second time the Crown, but was soon deposed by the Ambition of his Brethren, Vigenius and Peridurus, after One Year's Government; when being seiz­ed by them, and his Person confined to the Tower of London, they di­vided the Kingdom between them; Peridurus took Albania, and Vigenius all the Country on this side Humber for his share.

Vigenius dying after he had Reigned Seven Years, the whole King­dom devolved to Peridurus who managed it with great Moderation and Justice, and having governed Nine Years died, then Elidure again re­sumed the Crown, being delivered out of Prison by his Subjects, and after he had Reigned Four Years to the general Satisfaction of all Men, then dying, was succeeded by his Nephew or Grandson, the Son of Gor­bonian, who is called

Regin by Mat of Westminster, though not named particularly by Geoffrey: He was a worthy Prince, and Reigned with the general Approbation of all his People, to whom succeeded

Morgan, or Margan, the Son of Ar [...]igallo, he Reigned Fourteen Years in Tranquillity: After him

Ennian, or Emerian, another Son of Archigallo's was advanced to the Throne, who, quite different from his Brother, govern'd Tyrannically, and was in the Sixth Year of his Reign Depos'd, and then succeeded

Ydwallo the Son of Vigenius, who warned by the Misfortune of his Pre­decessor avoided Tyranny; after whom Reigned

Rinco the Son of Peridurus, an heroic Prince and a great Warriour. Then next follows, in Geoffrey of Monmouth, a long descent of Kings, who either did nothing, or had no Body to Record it; these make up Seventeen Kings in all, viz. Gerantius the Son of Elidurus, to whom succeeded Ca­tellus his Son, then Coillus, and after him Porrex the Second; then Cherin, or Cherim; then succeeded Fulgentius the Eldest Son of Cherin; next him Androgeus the Third Son of Cherim enjoyed the Crown; then after him

Urianus the Son of Androgeus began to Reign, who giving himself up to all Riot and Intemperance, soon died; and to him succeeded

Eliod; then Elidavius, then Cledanus, or Cletanus, called also by others Detonus; but here arises so great a Difference amongst the Writers of this long Bed-Roll of British Kings, that there is nothing of Certainty con­cerning their very Names, much less of their Actions, for their Names are variously recited by Geoffrey, and those Authors that lived after him, and pretend to correct or enlarge him; but you must take them as we find them. Then succeeded

Gurgurntius; then Merianus, and after him Bledunus; then Capenus; next to him Sisilius the Third; then Blegabred, who is said to have been ex­cellently well Skill'd in Vocal as well as Instrumental Musick; he Reigned Ten Years: After him succeeded

Arthimallo his Brother; and after him Eld [...]l: Then follow Nine Kings more, without any thing Recorded of them, but their bare Names, viz.

Rodianus or Redian, then Redarchius or Redargius, then Samuil, then Pe­nisill, then Carpoir or Corporius, and after him Geidu [...]llus or Dinellus the Son of Carpoir, a Prince Modest and Prudent in all his Actions, who left [Page 16] his Son Heli his Successor, who Reign'd Forty Years, and was succeed­ed by

Lud his Eldest Son, who is reported to have been a Vertuous Princ [...], making divers excellent Laws, and Correcting many Abuses in the Go­vernment; he Adorn'd the City of London with new Walls and Towers, and therein built a Gate, which is still called after his Name, Lud-Gate; and is said to have built himself a Palace not far from it: And, after he had Reigned Eleven Years, died, leaving behind him two Sons, Anaro­geus and Theomantius, under the Tuition of his Brother

Cassibelan, whose Bounty and Worthy demeanour so wrought upon the People, that he easily got the Kingdom transferr'd upon himself; yet nevertheless shewing some Favour to his Nephews, he conferred freely upon Androgeus London with Kent, and upon Theomantius Cornwall; re­serving to himself a Superiority over them both, till the Romans for a while eclipsed his Power.

I shall not here trouble my self to set down, much less to confute the Errors that may be found in the Chronology of these Kings Reigns, since Geoffrey of Monmouth, from whom they are taken, hath bin so cau­tious, as not to give us any account in what Year of the World they Reign'd; sometimes telling us (tho' with no certainty at all) the Names of the Judges and Kings of Israel, whom he makes Contemporary with them. But as for his last Nine and Twenty Kings from Elidure to Lud, he has given us nothing but their bare Names, without so much as setting down how many Years they reign'd, as if he himself, or those Authors he had Translated had bin ashamed, or weary of their own tedious Stories, and so would make it as short as they could.

But as for Mat. of Westminster, Ponticus Virunnius, Polydore Virgil, and one Richard White, (who calls himself Basinstoke) I do not think it worth while to put down their pretended Corrections, Emendations, and Ad­ditions of Geoffrey's History, since, if he had no Authority to invent, I am sure they can less pretend to Correct his Inventions, or alter his Course of Succession of the British Kings, as Polydore has done, under pretence of making them more suitable to his own Accounts of time: But White has exceeded all others in this, making bold with Geoffrey, not on [...]y altering the Names of his Kings and their Course of Succession in many Places, but also referring them in particular to the Years of the World, in which he supposes them to have Reigned, adding also the Years of their Reigns where-ever he thought Geoffrey to be deficient, but without vouchsafing to give us the Names of any Authors from whence he took them: So that since we have indeed no better Authorities than Geoffrey himself, I shall not go about to Confute the Faults that might be found in the Chronology which Mr. White has given us of these Kings Reigns; though it were no hard Matter to shew diverse Absurdities in it. But this much is evident from the disagreement of these Authors, about the Names of their Kings and the Years of their Reigns, that they had nothing but their own Fancies to rely upon, for what they wrote; whence proceeds so great a Confusion in this part of their British History, that no Body can certainly conclude any thing from hence, unless that they were all mistaken: Nor is it only the uncertainty of Kings Names and Successions that we here find fault with, but the great Improbability (I might say Impossibility) of divers Matters of Fact related by Geoffrey of Monmouth, in this History of the British Kings: As for Instance, that of [Page 17] King Ebrane's sending his Thirty Daughters to find Husbands in Italy; which Story plainly took its rise from the Sabines denying their Daugh­ters to those People, which Romulus many Years after got together. Not to mention the Story of Morindus's being devoured by a Sea-Mon­ster, whereas neither our Seas nor Rivers do now (or ever did) afford any such noxious Creatures; divers other more improbable Relations (because I would not tire the Reader with such Fooleries) I have here omitted. Besides all which, the very Names of many of these Kings, such as Jaco, (which is the same with James in English) Molmutius, Mo­rindus, as also Archigallo, Gorbonian, Ennianus, Geruntius, Fulgentius, An­drogeus, Archimalus, Rodianus, sufficiently betray some a Phoenician, some a Grecian, and some a Roman Original, and could never be derived from the British O [...]iginals.

Lastly, There is great difference between this part of the British Hi­story (especially from Elidure to Lud) and all other Histories; for whereas these commonly are barren of particular Transactions in their beginning, and afterwards enlarge themselves still more and more the further they proceed. This History is quite contrary, and the farther we go, the more confused we find the Succession of their Kings, and the less there is Recorded of their Actions; for from Elidure to Lud there are Nine and Twenty Kings, of whom nothing almost is Recorded but their bare Names; and which is also very remarkable, from this Elidure, Geoffrey makes no mention of the Years of their Reigns. What we find of this kind hath been added by those that writ long after him, who have done it very preposterously, allowing not above Ten Years one with another to Thirty Kings, which are supposed to have Reign'd in about Two Hundred Years; so that if there were any Truth in this Hi­story, it seems more rational to believe these Kings not to have succeeded each other, but many of them to have bin Contemporary Rulers of par­ticular Provinces of this Island.

I shall therefore conclude this Part of the History with Mr. Milton's Words concerning these Kings. ‘Thus far have we gone relying up­on the Credit of Geoffrey of Monmouth and his Assertors, though, for the Reasons above-mentioned, I have not thought it beside my Purpose to relate what I have found, whereto I neither oblige the Belief of other Persons, nor shall over-hastily subscribe my own.’

‘Yet granting these things not to have been true, but invented by the Author above-mentioned; yet since even Romances, as well as true Histories, may furnish us with Observations sufficient to Instruct us, not only in the Humours and Passions of Mankind, but also in the Causes as well as Effects of human Actions: And since Am­bition, Lust, and the Desire of Revenge are commonly in their turns the Motives that incite Princes as well as private Men to Transgress the Laws of Reason; let us look back and survey some of the most remarkable Actions of those Princes, whose History we have here cited.’

From those frequent Divisions we here read to have been made of the Kingdom between several Brothers, we may learn, that the Britains had no Notion of any Right in the Eldest Brother to Command over all the Rest, no not after they became Christians; the Welch Princes still dividing their Territories among all their Sons alike, though we may see the Inconvenience of this Course, by their making War upon each [Page 18] other about their particular Shares: Whence we may conclude, that Sovereignty ought to be left undivided, and the more Shares there are in it, the more Causes there are of Civil Wars and Divisions; nor have any prov'd more fatal than those among Brothers, of which we have sufficient Examples, not only in this, but other Histories.

From so many Kings being depos'd for their Tyranny, we may ob­serve, that the ancient Britains, though under a Monarchy, yet did not think themselves oblig'd to suffer their Kings, by becoming Tyrants, to make their People Slaves; but knew how to cast off that Yoke when it grew insupportable.

Lastly, from Cassibelan's being made a King by the People, for his Va­lour and Worth, it plainly appears, that if the Kingdom were then He­reditary; yet the Estates did then reserve a Power to themselves, during the Minority of the Right Heir, to place in the Throne that Prince of the Blood-Royal, who was like to prove most able to defend them either against Foreign or Domestick Enemies; as this Prince in the War with Caesar evidenced to the World. I have made bold to add these few political Observations, that the Reader as well as my self may pro­fit somewhat by Reading a History otherwise so dry and uninstructive.

THE General History OF BRITAIN, NOW CALLED ENGLAND: As well Ecclesiastical, as Civil. BOOK II. Containing the Annals of ENGLAND, from the First Landing of JULIUS CAESAR, to the Romans Total Desertion thereof, being about Four Hundred and Ninety Years.

HAVING in the former Book deduced the Succession of British Kings (as well as I was able) from Brute to the Beginning of the Reign of Cassibelan, in whose Time Caesar Landed in Britain; and having hitherto wandred through divers Ages of Fictions, or Uncertainties at best, like a Man in a dark Night, who knows not well whether he is in or out of his Road, yet is still forced to Travel on, till Day-light overtake him: So we having hitherto gone forward, though in the dark, are at last arrived at a Period, which will give us a more certain Light into our British History; though no Roman or Greek Historian did ever undertake to write a History on purpose concerning this Island, during all the time that the Roman Emperors govern'd here, either in Person or by their Lieutenants. For those Authors that are extant, only write of the Af­fairs of Britain occasionally, and as they stood intermix'd with other Parts of the Roman History: Hence we find that they rarely mention the Affairs of Britain, but by the bye, when an Expedition, occasioned by some fresh Rebellion or sudden Commotion, oblig'd them either to come in Person, or to send Forces over hither. Nor is there any Author, [Page 20] except Tacitus in his Life of Agricola, who expresly treats of the whole Government or Actions of any one Lieutenant of all those that govern'd here; whence it is that we have so imperfect an Account of the Civil State of this Island, or what particular Laws were made for the Govern­ment of it, whilst it continued part of the Roman Empire, farther than we may pick up from some Laws dispersed here and there in the Code, and Digest; or else from the Notitiae of the Roman Empire: To which may be also added (that which is yet worse than all the rest) the great Loss Civil Knowledge has undergone, by the perishing of so many excellent Histories both in Greek and Latin; so that whoever pleases to survey them will find of those few that remain, scarce one of them is come to us entire, but has lost some consider [...]ble Part or other: All which, if we had them together, would without doubt make a Compleat Roman History of this Island, which now it is impossible to perform, having nothing left us during several Emperors Reigns, but some lame Epitomes, or immethodical Lives in the Historiae Augustae. This I premise, that you should not wonde [...] if you find such large gaps in this Period, as to things perform'd in Britain, during several Successions of Roman Emperors: So that if it were not for some old Altars, and votive Inscriptions that have been dug up of late Years in divers Places of this Island, we could not certainly have known any further than by guess, that those Emperors, whose Names are there mentioned, had any thing to do here; and as for Geoffrey of Monmouth, and those few Modern Writers who take upon them to treat of these Matters, they are so false and uncertain, that they are rarely to be relied upon, and indeed never to be made use of, but when we are at a loss for any other Account of those Times. So that this (as I suppose) hath bin the Reason why some of our late English Hi­storians, for want of other Matter, have stuffed out their Histories, not only with what the Roman Emperors did in Gaul, or Britain, but all the other Parts of the Roman Empire, where they had occasion to make Wars; which is indeed rather to give a General History of the then known World, than of one single Island or Province.

But since I intend to confine my self only to write of such Actions as were perform'd within the compass of this Isle, either by the Roman Empe­rors or their Lieutenants during the time they govern'd here; I shall rather chuse sometimes to leave a gap in the Story it self, than to write Things foreign and impertinent to the Subject I am to treat of: And indeed I could willingly have forborn Writing this Part of the History at all, since it hath been done already by Mr. Camden in Latin, and Mr. Milton in Eng­lish, who have scarce omitted any thing which is worth the Collecting out of the Greek and Latin Historians, that was necessary to compleat this Period. Therefore, were it not for leaving too great a Chasm in our in­tended Work, I could very willingly have excused my self from so un­grateful a Task, in which I confess it is hard to equal, and much more to exceed such great Authors. But since I find there is a Necessity, in order to render the History entire, to give an Account of what was done in this Island during the Roman Empire, I shall perform it as well as I am able.

But that I may follow Caesar's Example, give me leave from him, as well as other Greek and Roman Authors, to give you a short Account of the Religion and Manners of the antient Britains, as well in Caesar's Time as some Ages after, before we say any thing of his Expedition hither.

[Page 21] ‘That Great Man in the Fifth Book of his admirable Commentaries tells us, that in his Time there were in Britain a vast number of Men and Cattel, the Houses thick, and built almost like to those of the Gauls; that they used Copper or Iron-Plates weighed by a certain Standard instead of Money: That they counted it against their Re­ligion so much as to taste of a Hare, Hen or Goose.’ And a little after proceeds thus; ‘Of all People those which inhabit Kent were most human, neither differ'd much from the Gallick Customs: The more Inland People for the most part sowed no Corn, but lived upon Milk and Flesh, being cloathed with Skins. But all the Britains stain'd themselves with Woad, which made them of a blewish colour, and thereby of a more terrible aspect in Battel: They wore long Hair, but shav'd all the rest of their Bodies, besides the upper Lip. Ten or twelve Men had Wives among them in common, chiefly Bre­thren with Brethren, and even Parents with their Children, but the Children that were got by them were looked upon as theirs, by whom those Women were taken in Marriage.’

As for their manner of Fighting, I shall leave that to be related when I come to Julius Caesar's War in Britain.

Strabo in his Geography Lib. IV. tells us, ‘That the Britains exceeded the Gauls in Stature, he having seen some of them at Rome who were half a Foot higher than the tallest Men there, but that they were looser made.’ He says farther, ‘That they were like the Gauls in Disposition, but more simple and barbarous; so that some of them knew not how to make any Cheese, though they abounded in Milk; and that divers of them were ignorant of dressing Gardens, as well as other Parts of Husban­dry: That they had many distinct Governments among them; their Woods serv'd them instead of Cities, for with Trees cut down, when they had inclos'd a large Circle, they build themselves Cottages, and Stables for their Cattle within it, though for no very long time.’

Diodorus Siculus describes the Britains to be Aborigines, [...]i [...]. [...] Hist. Lib. IV. and living after the Manner of the Antients, and in Fight using Chariots like the Greek Heroes in the Trojan War; that they made their Houses for the most part of Reeds or Wood; that they laid up their Corn in the Ear in Granaries, from whence they fetch'd as much as would serve for one Day's Use; that they were simple and uncorrupt in their Manners, Strangers to the Craft and Subtilty of that Age, and liv'd content with very mean Diet and Apparel, remote from Riches and Luxury that at­tends them; and that the Isle abounded in a multitude of Men, who were subject to divers Kings and Princes.

Lib. III. Pomponius Mela in his Treatise de Scitu Orbis relates, That Britain produced much People and divers Kings, but that they were all rude and unpolished; and that the farther they were from the Continent, the more ignorant they were of Foreign Riches, abounding chiefly in Cattle. That they died their Bodies with Woad, uncertain, whether for Orna­ment, or some other Cause. That they sought frequent Causes of War, and disturbed each other, from Ambition of Empire, and desire of en­larging their Dominions. That they fought not only on Horseback and on Foot, but also arm'd like the Gauls in Chariots, whose Axeltrees were arm'd with Scythes.

[Page 22] Cornelius Tacitus in his Cap. 2. Life of Agricola tells us, ‘That the Britains were very like the Gauls, whether the same Original, or the likeness of Climate were the Cause of it; so likewise their Speech was not much different. They had the same boldness in seeking out Dangers, and the same fear in declining of them when they were at hand: Yet that the Britains shew'd greater fierceness, as whom long Peace hath not yet softned; for we have heard (says he) that the Gauls were once fa­mous for War, but Cowardice soon succeeded slothfulness, their Va­lour and Liberty being lost together; which hath also happened to the Britains already Conquer'd; but that the rest of them remained such as the Gauls once were: their chief Strength was in their Foot, but that some Nations of them us'd also Chariots in fight; the Charioteers were more Noble, their Followers fighting for them. That in Times past they obey'd Kings, but were then divided by their Princes into Factions and Parties; neither is there any thing so advantagious for the Romans against the strongest Nations, than that they do not consult in Common; for there are very seldom Assemblies for two or three Cities to repel common Danger; so whilst they fight separately they are all alike overcome. And in the next Chapter he goes on thus; The Britains chearfully yielded to the Pressing of their Men, paying Tribute, and all the other Duties impos'd by the Emperor, provided Injuries were not done them; these they will hardly endure, for they submit that they may obey, not that they may serve as Slaves.’

Dion Cassius (epitomized by Xiphilin) speaking of the more Northern Britains relates,Lib. LXIII. that they Tilled no Ground, but liv'd on their Fruits and Hunting, for of Fish, though they had great Store, they never ta­sted. That they liv'd in their Cabines naked and barefooted. They had their Wives in Common, and all of them maintain'd the Children. The chief Authority, for the most part, resided in the People. They were much addicted to Steal. They fought from Chariots, and had little nimble Horses; their Footmen ran very fast, and also stood very firmly to their Posts. Their Arms were a Shield and a short Spear, at whose lower end there was a Ball of Brass, that when they shake it they may terrifie their Enemies with the noise. They wore long Daggers. They can bear Hunger, Cold, and all sorts of Labour; being in the Woods they can live upon the Bark of Trees. They have still ready a certain sort of Food upon all Occasions, of which if they take the quan­tity of a Bean, they will not be Hungry or Thirsty for a great while after.

Lib. XI.But Herodian is the first who describes the Northern People, then the most barbarous sort of Britains, and who, I suppose, were afterwards called Picti (that is, painted Men) to have had their Bodies mark'd with divers Figures; which, whether it was their Custom in Ceasar's Time, may be doubtful, since he makes no mention of it. But this Au­thor thus proceeds: The Britains know not the use of Garments, but gird their Bellies and Necks with Iron, thinking it an Ornament as well as a Sign of their Riches, in the same manner as other Nations prize Gold. They mark'd their very Bodies with divers Figures of all sorts of Animals, wherefore they will not wear Cloths, lest they should hide the Painting of their Bodies. It is a warlike Nation, and most greedy of Slaughter, and use only a narrow Shield and a Lance, besides a Sword hanging from their naked Bodies. They knew not the use of the [Page 23] Breast-plate or Helmet, thinking them a hinderance to them in their running over the Bogs, of which they had great Store.

Pliny relates (among their other Customs) that they wore Rings on their middle Fingers, and manured their Land with Marl;Lib. XXXIII. cap. 1. Lib. XVII. c. 8. which can be only meant of the more civilized Britains, who undertook Husbandry; which improvement is used with us in some Countries to this day: but as for their Drink, Solinus tells us, they made it of Barly as we do now: and as Dioscorides also notes, who calls it, (though corruptly) Curmy, for Curw, for so the modern Britains still call Ale.

So that whoever will but consider the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Britains, Cap. 35. may find them not to be much different from those of the naked Indians of some part of America; when they were first dis­covered: only then they had the use of Brass and Iron, which those wanted until they were brought to them from other places: and also had Horses and Chariots, the use of all which were unknown to the Americans: but in other things you will find them much alike, only the latter seem to have been a better temper'd and more Vertuous People; from whence the Reader may judge of the likelyhood of those Stories in Geoffrey of Mon­mouth, when he makes such descriptions of the stately Cities, Palaces, and Fleets of the British Kings; whilst Caesar, and Lucan, and Pliny describe their Vessels to have had their Ribs and Keels made of slight Timber, interwoven with Wicker like our Baskets, and covered with Hides, sowed together; not having the Art of making Saws to cut out Boards or Planks.

Having given you an account of their Ancient Manners and Govern­ment; I will next say somewhat of their Religion. Caesar tells us, that the Religion of the Britains and Gauls were much the same; that they had the same Gods, and the same Priests, viz. The Druids, who had a great Authority, not only in Religious, but Civil Matters; so that they could Excommunicate whom they thought fit; and a Person so inter­dicted could not be admitted to their Sacrifices, but was esteem'd among the number of the Accursed: so that all Persons studiously avoided him, not daring to come near him, for fear of being infected with so dangerous a Curse.

These Druids taught the People that the Soul was Immortal,Caesar Com­ment. Lib. IV. and went out of one Body into another: But whether they had learned this from the Greeks, who traded amongst them, or from the antient Phoenicians, is uncertain.

But as for their Gods, they were the same with the Gauls. Jupiter was Worshipped under the Name of Taramis, or Taran, for Taran still signifies in Welsh Thunder. Maximus Tyrius writes, That they Wor­ship'd the highest Oak they could find, as the Figure or Representation of this God.

Tutates the God of Travellers is suppos'd to be the same with Mercury, and by the Britains called Duw Taith, the God of Journeys. Mars was Worshipped by the Gauls and Britains under the Name of Hesus; as also Camulus, as Mr. Camden proves, from a Coin of Cunobelin, of which he gives us the Draught, being a Man's Head with an Helmet on it, and with these Letters, CAMU. The next God of the Britains was Apollo, Worshipped by them under the Name of Beleus or Belinus, as appears by a Passage of Julius Capitolinus in his Life of Maximin. He is also suppos'd to have bin called Belatucadrus; there being divers Altars and Inscriptions [Page 24] dug up of late Years out of the Earth, all of them with this Title, DEO BELATUCADRO, which Name seems to be deriv'd from the Assyrian God Bel, or Belus.

As for Goddesses, they Worshipped Diana under the Name of Camma. Another Goddess the Britains had, who is call'd by Dion Andraste, or Andrate, and is suppos'd to have bin the Goddess of Victory; she had a Temple at Camalodunum (now Maldon in Essex.) As for their Sacrifices, though they were most often Beasts, at sometimes they also Sacrific'd Men, as Caesar expresly tells us; and Tacitus relates, That it was usual for the Britains to consult the Gods by the Entrails of Men; Pliny also tells us, That the Misletoe growing upon an Oak, being cut with many Cere­monies, was made use of in all their Sacrifices and other Religious Rites; and also says, that Britain in his time did so Superstitiously cultivate Magick Arts, and that with so many Ceremonies; that they might have communicated it even to the Persians themselves.

These are the chief Things, which antient Authors have left us, con­cerning the British Customs and Manners, relating either to their Reli­gious, Civil, or private Life, which, if it seem tedious to you, may be passed by: So I now come to my main Design, and give you Caesar's own Account of his first Invasion of Britain, out of the Fourth and Fifth Books of his Commentaries.

Comment. Lib. IV. Julius Caesar having now subdued most part of Gallia, and quieted the Germans, and stopped their Incursions into his Province, resolv'd on an Expedition into Britain: his Pretences were these, That the Britains had underhand sent Supplies to the Cities of Armorica, who the Year before had revolted from his Obedience, and had joined with the rest of Gaul in a general and dangerous Rebellion, and not only so, but that they had received into their Protection the Bellovaci his Enemies, who had fled to them for aid. These Caesar there assigns as the Causes to justifie this Invasion.

But though these were the seeming Causes that moved Caesar to this sudden Expedition, yet certainly a Soul so great as his could not be tempted, by the mean hopes of getting the British Pearls, to so dange­rous a War, as Suetonius in the Life of Caesar supposes, though he men­tions his comparing their weight and largeness by poising them in his Hand; yet I will not deny, but he might even propose the getting of these as a Bait to encourage his Souldiers in this Enterprize. By his past as well as future Actions we may guess, that besides Glory his main Design in Invading Britain, was to inure his Souldiers to Hardship, and to accustom them to the most uncouth and barbarous Enemies; that they might not be afterwards terrified at the most dangerous Enterprizes, but wholly depend upon his Fortune and Conduct.

Caesar therefore, although Summer was almost spent, and Winter co­ming on very early in the Northern Parts of Gaul, yet resolved to pass over into Britain, and if the time of the Year should not suffer him to make War, yet he thought it might be to good purpose if he should but Land upon the Island, and understand the Natures of the Inhabi­tants, and come to know the chief Places, Harbors and Accesses to; it all which, he says, were as yet unknown to the Gauls; for, besides Merchants, no Body commonly went thither, and even to those scarce any thing was known besides the Sea-coast, and those Countries which were opposite to Gallia: Therefore though the Merchants were called together from [Page 25] all Parts, yet could he not understand what Nations they were that in­habited it, nor what sort of War they made, nor what customs they used, nor what Ports were fitting to receive a Fleet of great Ships: Though by the way this seems very strange, if it were true, as they of Rhemes told Caesar, that Divitiacus King of the Soissons had a little before held Britain also under his dominion; besides the Belgian Colonies, which he affirms to have named and Peopled many Provinces there, as also what he tells us in the Sixth Book of his Commentaries, that those who desired to know the Druids Discipline went thither Yearly on purpose to learn it.

But be this as it will, he thought it necessary before he exposed his own person, to send Ca. Volusenus thither with one Galley to discover these things, commanding him to return as soon as this could be effected, whilst he with all his Forces marched towards the Country of the Morini, now the Province of Picardy. Because thence was the shortest cut into Britain; hither he draws together his Ships from all parts of the neigh­bouring Provinces, as also that Fleet which he had built last Summer for the Armorican War, in the mean time when his design was made known, being carried over by the Merchants into Britain, Ambassadours came to him from divers Princes and States of this Island, who promised to give Hostages, and to obey the Roman Empire: All which being heard, Caesar as largely promising and exhorting them to continue still in that mind sent them back; and with them Comius of the Atribates (now called the Country of Arras,) whom upon the conquest thereof he had made King, and of whose Courage and Fidelity Caesar was very well assured: him he enjoyns, that he should go to as many of the States as he could, and per­swade them to come into the Roman Interest, and should also inform them that he himself would speedily come over thither. But Volusenus having only surveyed the Country at a distance (which was all he could do, since he durst not go out of his Ship, nor trust himself with these Barbarians) on the Fifth day return'd to Caesar, and related to him what­soever he had there observed.

Caesar having settled the Morini by taking Hostages of them, then gathered together about Eighty Ships of burthen, which he judged sufficient for the transporting of two Legions; but all his Gallies he distributed to his Quaestor and Lieutenants; there were also Eight Ships of burthen more, which lay Wind bound at a place Eight Miles distant, so that they could not reach the same Port; These he appointed for the Horse, the rest of the Army he committed to Q. Titus Sabinus, and L. Aurunculus Cotta, with orders to march into the Country of the Menapii, and into those Towns of the Morini, from whence Ambassadours had not yet come to him. But P· Sulpicius Rufus his Lieutenant he com­mands to keep the Port with a sufficient Garrison. All things being thus dispatched, and having now got a fair Wind, about the the Third Watch, he set Sail, commanding the Horsemen to march to the further Port, and thence to go on board and follow him, which orders proved too slowly executed. But he himself together with the first Ships about Four a Clock in the Afternoon reached Britain, where he found divers strong Troops of the Enemies lodged on the Hills; the nature of which 'Tis supposed by Mr. Somner to have been near Dover. place was such, these Hills hanging so steep over the Sea, that a Dart might be cast from the higher ground to the Shore; therefore judg­ing this no fit place to Land his Men, he lay at Anchor till Nine of [Page 26] the Clock, that the rest of the Navy could come up to him: in the mean time calling a Council of his Lieutenants and Tribunes, he communi­cates those things he had learn'd from Volusenus, and also what he would have done; telling them that the Nature of all Military (and especi­ally Maritime) Affairs, having a sudden and unconstant motion, all things should be executed by his orders, and that in due time. These being dismissed, and having got the Wind and Tide both with him, the signal being given, and the Anchors weighed, he sailed again forward about Eight Miles from that place, to an open and plain Shore, where he came to an Anchor. But the Britains knowing the Roman's design, having sent their Horses and Charioteers before (which they were chiefly wont to use in Fight) followed with the rest of their Forces, and hinder'd the Romans from landing: The difficulty of which was great in these re­spects, because the Ships by reason of their great bulk were not able to ride, but in a deep Sea; whilst the Souldiers having their hands taken up with their Arms, were yet in unknown places, not only to Leap down from the Ships and to withstand the Billows, but also at the same time to Fight their Enemies; whilst they either fighting on the Shore, or else marching but a little way into the Water, and having their hands free, fought in places where they were well acquainted, and boldly spurr'd on their Horses already managed and used to it; but the Romans being terrified with these things, and altogether unskill'd in this sort of fighting, did not shew the same briskness and courage, as they were wont to express in Land Service; which when Caesar perceived, he ordered the long Ships or Gallies (as both unusual to these Barbarians, and more ready for use) to fall off a little from the Ships of burthen, and to be rowed towards the Shore, and being laid against the naked side of the Enemies, to drive them back with Slings, Darts, and other Engines; which stood the Romans in good stead, for the Britains being terrified with the strange shape of their Gallies, the motion of their Oars, and those unusual kind of Engines, first stood still, and then be­gan a little to retreat: But the Romans still delaying, because of the depth of the Sea, the Ensign of the Tenth Legion first invoking the Gods, that this action might prove fortunate and successfull, cried out, Leap down fellow Souldiers, unless you mean to betray this Note the Ro­man Ensigns were then all Eagles, tho af­terwards they took the Figures of other Ani­mals. Eagle to the Enemies, for I will certainly perform my duty to the Commonwealth, and to the General: When he had spoke thus with a loud Voice, he cast himself into the Sea, and began to carry the Eagle towards the Enemy; Then the Roman Souldiers encouraging one another not to suffer so great a disgrace as the loss of their Ensign, all leap'd out of the Ship, whom when the others from the next Ships had beheld, they also followed them, and quickly reaching the Shore, pressed upon the Enemy.

The Fight was sharp on both sides, but the Romans were not able ei­ther to keep their Ranks, nor get any firm footing, nor yet to follow their Ensigns: So that every Man being forced to joyn himself to the first Ensigns he met with, they were hand put to it, whilst the Enemies ac­quainted with all the shallows, when ever from the Shore they beheld any marching from the Ships, immediately spurring on their Horses, they charged them at disadvantage, many encompassing a few, whilst others assaulting them on the i. e. that side which wa [...] [...] unarmed side, casts Darts against the rest; which when Caesar perceived, he commanded the Long Boats of the Gallies, and smaller Vessels to be mann'd with Souldiers, and sent them [Page 27] to the assistance of those whom he beheld most distressed. The Romans, as soon as they got on Shore, making head, all together charged the Ene­my, and put them to flight, yet could not pursue them far for want of Horse; this only was deficient to Caesar's wonted Fortune.

The Britains being worsted in fight, as soon as they got together again, presently dispatched Messengers to Caesar desiring Peace; promising that they would give him Hostages, and do whatever he injoyned; together with these Ambassadours came Comius of Arras, whom (as I have before shown) had been already sent by Caesar into Britain; him, as soon as he came out of the Ship, and had related the General's Message, they laid hold on, and put into bonds; but the fight being over they sent him back, and Petitioning for Peace, cast the blame upon the common Peo­ple; and desired that because of their Ignorance this fault might be par­doned: but Caesar complained, That when they had of their own accord, by their Ambassadours sent to him into the Continent desiring Peace: Yet that they had without any Cause made War; But (he said) he would pardon their Folly, and therefore again injoyned them to send Hostages, part of whom they gave him presently, the residue they promised (be­ing to be sent for, from places more remote) to send him within a few days, whereupon their Princes came from all parts, and commended themselves and their States to Caesar.

Peace being thus concluded, within Four days after his arrival in Britain, the Eighteen Ships which are already mentioned to have taken in the Horse; sailed from the farther Port on the opposite Shore with a gentle Gale, but when they drew near the Island, and could be now dis­cern'd from the Camp: So great a Tempest suddenly arose, that none of them could hold their course; but some were driven back to the same place from whence they set forth, whilst others were carried to the further part, of the Island lying toward the West with very great hazard; for casting out their Anchors they took in so much Water, that they were forced (thô in the Night) out to Sea again, and to Steer towards the Continent: It also happened the same Night that the Moon was at the full, which is wont to make the highest Tides in the Ocean; but was then unknown to the Roman Mariners: So that at the same time the Spring Tide had filled all those Gallies with Water in which Caesar had transported his Army; though he had now drawn them on Shore; whilst the Tempest had shattered the Vessels of burthen which lay at An­chor, neither was it in their Men's power any ways to help them; so that many Ships being Wrack'd, the rest, their Cables, Anchors, and other Tackle being broken or spoiled, became unfit for Service; this caused a great Consternation in the Army, for there were not any other Ships left, in which they could be again transported, and all things necessary were wanting to refit them, nor was there any Corn provided for them to Winter in these parts; all which being known to the Britains, their Princes, though after the Fight they had agreed to perform those things which Caesar had injoyned; yet when they understood that the Romans wanted Horses, Ships, and Provisions, and had also judged of the paucity of their Souldiers from the small circuit of the Roman Camp, which seemed the less, because Caesar had transported his Legions without any Baggage; they thought it the best course again to take Arms, and thereby to hinder the Romans from fetching in Corn or other Provisions, and so to protract the War till Winter came on, for they thought if [Page 28] these were once vanquish'd and cut off from ever returning into Gaul, none of them hereafter would again presume to transport an Army into Britain; Therefore the Plot being thus laid, they began by little and little to steal out of the Camp, and privately to draw their Men out of the Fields.

But Caesar although he did not then know their design, yet from the late disaster of his Ships, as also from their neglecting to send in their Hostages, suspected what would happen, therefore provided for the worst, for he every day brought in Corn out of the Fields into the Camp, and as for those Ships that were most shatter'd, he made use of their materials to refit the rest, and what things were farther necessary he ordered to be brought from the Continent, all which being executed by his Souldiers with the utmost labour and diligence, only twelve Ships being lost, he fitted out the rest ready to go to Sea: Whilst these things were in action, the seventh Legion being by course sent out to Forrage, and that there was at that time no appearance of War, whilst great part of their Men remain'd in the Fields, and others of them went, and came between that and the Camp, those Souldiers who kept guard at its Entries, gave notice, that there appear'd a greater dust than was usual in that part of the Country toward which that Legion had marched; whereupon Caesar suspecting that the Britains were undertaking some new design, commanded those Cohorts which were then upon the Guard, to march with him towards that Quarter, ordering two more to take their places, and the rest to Arm, and immediately to follow him; when he had marched some distance from the Camp, he perceived his Souldiers to be overcharged by the Enemy, and hardly able to sustain their assault, and that the Legion being drawn up close together, Darts were cast at them from all quarters; for the Corn being cut and carried away in all other parts, one piece was left, and the Enemies guessing that the Romans would come thither for it, had laid in ambush in the Woods, and sud­dainly assaulting them, being then without their Arms, and busie in reap­ing, killing some, thereby routed the rest, being then out of their Ranks, hemming them in both with their Horse and Esseda a sort of open Waggons. Chariots: For in their Battles they make use for the most part of Chariots, with which they first of all scowre through all parts, casting Darts as they go, and so by the terror of their Horses, and ratling of their Chariot-wheels, they often break the Roman Ranks, and when they have got in among the Troops of Horse they leap down from their Chariots, and Fight on Foot, in the mean time the Charioteers retire a little from the Battle, and so place themselves, that if they should be pressed by any number of their Ene­mies, their Masters may find an easie retreat; by which way of fight­ing they had both the speed of Horse-men, and the steadiness of Foot Souldiers; and had so enured themselves by daily use and Exercise, as that they were able to stop their Horses in full speed, though running down steep places; as likewise they had been used to turn their Char­riots in a narrow compass, to run along the Temo. Pole, to sit upon the Jugum. Yoke, that joyn or couple the Horses together, and from thence quickly to re­turn into their Chariots. The Romans being much astonished with this new way of Fighting: Caesar in a lucky moment came to their rescue: At whose approach the Enemies stopped, and the Romans began to re­cover themselves, which thô done, yet Caesar thinking it no fit time fur­ther to provoke the Enemy, nor then to renew the Fight, kept his ground [Page 29] and presently led back the Legions to the Camp; whilst these things were doing, the Britains who where in the Fields also retired.

During many days following there happned continual bad weather, which both kept the Romans in the Camp, and hindered the Enemies from attempting any thing against them.

But in the mean time the Britains sent Messengers into all parts, pub­lishing abroad the small number of the Roman Forces; and how great a booty they were like to get, that this was the time of freeing themselves for ever, if they could but take the Roman Camp: Upon which great numbers of Horse and Foot being now drawn together came to the Camp: Caesar although he foresaw the Event by that which had happen'd before, and that the Enemies if once stoutly repulsed, would avoid the danger by flight; having got about Thirty Horse, whom Comius of Arras had brought over with him at his coming into Britain, drew out the Legions in Battle before his Camp, which when joyned, the Enemy being not able to bear the assault of the Roman Souldiers, turned their backs; whom Caesar followed as long as his Men's speed and strength would permit: After a great slaughter, and burning of the Villages round about, but they return'd to their Camp. The same day Messengers came from the Britains to treat of Peace, from whom Caesar demanded double the num­ber of Hostages, which he had before enjoyned, commanding them to be brought over to him to the Continent; because the Equinox approach­ing, he did not think a Winter Voyage was to be undertaken with such weak, crazy Vessels; therefore having now got a convenient Season, a little after midnight he hoisted Sail, so that all the Ships got safe to the Continent.

It is not pertinent to our History to relate here how Caesar's Men as soon almost as they came on Shore, were set upon by the Morini, whom he had before left in peace, and whom notwithstanding he routed, and killed a great number of them till they were quite subdued.

But it seems the Britains had no great Opinion of Caesar's Power, for only Two States of all Britain sent him Hostages, the rest neglecting it. These things being thus performed upon the reading of Caesar's Let­ters, Twenty days supplication to the Gods was decreed by the Se­nate.

Thus far we have given you Caesar's own account of his first Expedi­tion into Britain, of which he had no great cause to boast; since, had it not been for his own good conduct, assisted by the timorousness of the Britains, he had never return'd to make this relation; but this much is to be acknowledged, that his landing here is a noble monument of his skill in Military affairs, for Cicero writing to his friend Atticus, tells him in one of his Epistles, that the accesses to the Island were wonderously fortify'd with strong works, or banks.

But Valerius Maximus, as also Plutarch in his Life of Caesar, have given us a noble Example of the Roman Courage, as well as discipline, who both relate that in the confused fight which happen'd at Caesar's first, landing, Sceva a Roman Souldier having pressed too far among the Ene­mies, and being beset round, after incredible valour shewn, single, a­gainst a Multitude, swam back safe to his General, and in the very place that rung aloud with his praises earnestly desired pardon, for his rash adventure against Military discipline; which modest confessing his fault after no bad event for such an action, wherein Valour and ingenuity [Page 30] outweighed the transgression of Discipline, easily gain'd him pardon and preferr'd him to be a Centurion: this was that Sceva who after­wards gave good occasion to have his name remembred at the Battle of Dyrachium, between Caesar and Pompey, whose side he had then took.

Th [...]s is all we can find concerning Caesar's first Expedition into Britain either from himself or others, more than that Orosius in his History from some accounts that are now lost, tells us that most of Caesar's great Ships which were to bring over his Horse, were cast away in that violent Storm, he hath already told us of.

The Winter following Caesar returned into Italy as his Custome was, for some Years before; but upon his return thence finding that most of the Britains had neglected to send him their Hostages according to their former agreement, he resolved to make a fresh descent upon them, and in order to this (in the Fifth Book of his Commentaries) he tells us that upon his going into [...]taly he had commanded his Lieutenants, whom he had set over the Legions, that they should take care to build as many new Ships as possibly they could that Winter▪ and to repair the old ones, shewing them the model of those that he would have built: And, for the more ready taking in of Men and Horses to be of somewhat a lower make, than those that are used of in the Mediterranean Sea; and for the more speedy lading and unlading them, to be also somewhat broader and flatter bottomed than ordinary, as well for the transporting of the Horses as baggage, but to be all made to be rowed with Oa [...]s, to which purpose their low building contr [...]buted much, but all things ne­cessary for the rigging out of these Ships he ordered to be brought out of Spain.

Caesar upon his return from Italy, having settled all things in the hither Gallia, made a short Expedition into Illyricum, and having settled affairs there, return'd into Gaul; where he found built by the extraordinary in­dustry of his Souldiers, about Six hundred Vessels of that kind already described, (notwithstanding the great scarcity of all necessary materials) together with Twenty Eight Gallies, all which did not want much of being ready to be launched within a few days; so having much com­mended his Souldiers, and Overseers of the Work, he then commanded them all to meet at the Port called Ictius, from which (he had already known) was the most convenient passage into Britain, being about Thirty Miles from the Continent.

Concerning which Port, give me leave to say somewhat by the bye, since there are so many several Opinions whether it be still in being, or else is destroyed by the Sands; and indeed there is such a great difference about this Port, that there is scarce a Haven, or Creek upon all the Coast of Flanders and France, from Bruges to Bulogin, but some Writer or other would make to be this Portus Ictius now mentioned by Caesar; but since there can be but Three places on this Coast, viz. Calice, Whitsand, and Buloign, that can with any probability pretend to have been this Portus Ictius, I shall neglect to speak of any of the rest, ex­cept these Three.

As for the first of these, though it be the nearest cut between France and England; yet it is not likely to have been that Ancient Haven: For though it be the shortest, yet it was not the most convenient passage in Caesar's time; both which are to be taken notice of, since he himself in his former Book calls it the shortest; but in this, the most convenient passage, and [Page 31] therefore cannot answer the distance from Calice to Dover, which is but Twenty Miles; whereas Caesar describes this Port to be about Thirty Miles distant from Britain, nor was this place so much as known in Caesar's time, being never used as a Port, till of latter Ages that Whitsand was quite stopped up by the Sands driven into it. Nor was Calice ever commonly used for a Port till Philip Earl of Buloign built and walled this Town, before which time there is little mention made of it: But as for Whitsand, though it had much fairer pretences than Calice, as having been the ancient Port from whence Men usually passed from France into England, for above Five hundred Years before; till it was at last about the Fourteenth Century become utterly unserviceable for the Reason already given: Yet that this could not be the Portus Ictius, is proved by the learned Cluverius, in his Goegraphy, nor was it any ancient Port, being seldom or never made use of as such in the Roman's time; none of the Military ways leading at all to it.

And therefore only Buloign can with any probability pretend to be this Portus Ictius, as being the antient Gessoriacum, from whence the Romans most commonly passed into Britain, and best agrees with the distance that Caesar here sets down, being also proved by the above cited Cluve­rius; and by our Learned Antiquary Mr. Somner, to have been the true Portus Ictius, by many unanswerable Arguments and Authorities. And as for the only Objection made against it, that it is not likely that one Place should have so many several Names: It signifies not much, since the same Place might be called by several Names in different Ages. That which was Portus Ictius in Caesar's Time, being afterwards, (when a Town came to be Built there,) called Gessoriacum, which in after-times was named Bononia, and now Buloigne. But whosoever desires to know more concerning this Matter, may consult the said, Cluverius's Antient Germany, as also his Geography; but especially that De Porti [...] Icti [...]. Treatise of Mr. Som­ners, wherein he proves against Monsieur Chris [...]et, that neither St Omers, nor Mardick, could be the Portus Ictus mention'd by Caesar: Which Trea­tise, together with another of the Learned Monsieur D [...] Fresne's upon the same Subject, hath bin lately Publish'd in Latin by my worthy Friend Mr. Edmund Gibson, of Queen's Colledge, Oxon. together with an Inge­nious Dissertation of his own upon the same question. But to return to the Matter in Hand, from which we have too much digressed.

Caesar in the Fifth Book of his Commentaries tells us. That having found a fit time,Anno ante Christ. LII. he had Commanded his Souldiers again to Embarque for Britain, when there happen'd a Mutiny rais'd by Dumnorix with his Aeduan Horse, who would have left the Expedition and gone home; but he being kill'd by some of Caesar's Souldiers, whom he had order'd to do that Execution, all those Horsemen return'd again to him. Things being thus settled, Labi [...]nus was left behind on the Continent with Three Le­gions and Two Thousand Horse to defend that Port, and to provide Corn, as also to observe the Motion of the Gauls.

Then Caesar with Five Legions, and an equal Number of Horse, to what he had left behind, about Sun-set weigh'd Anchor, and sailed on with a gentle Southern Gale; but about Mid-night the Wind falling, he could not hold on his Course; but Day coming on, found he had bin carried away by the Tide, and that he had left Britain too much on his Left Hand: But then again taking Advantage of the Change of the Tide, [Page 32] he endeavour'd,Anno ante Christ. LII. by the help of Oars, to reach that part of the Island, where he had found before to be the best Landing the last Year; where­in the Souldiers deserved a great Commendation, who made the heavy Transport Ships, by the constant Labour of Rowing, keep almost equal speed with the Gallies. About Noon they arriv'd at Britain with all their Ships, but there was not any Enemies to be seen in that Place; for, as Caesar learn'd afterwards from the Prisoners, the Britains had been there with great Forces, but were terrified with the vast Multitude of the Ships, which, with Vessels of Provision and others upon private Ac­counts, amounted to above Eight Hundred; so that the Britains had quickly left the Shore, and retired into Places more remote. Caesar ha­ving Landed his Army, and chosen a fit Place for his Camp, as soon as he learn'd from the Prisoners in what Place the Enemy's Forces were Encamped, about the Third Watch of the Night marched toward them, being not concern'd for his Ships, because he left them at Anchor in a safe and bold Shore, with Ten Cohorts, and Three Hundred Horse to guard them, under the Command of Q. Airius. But Marching that Night about Twelve Miles (towards Chilham in Kent, as is suppos'd) he at last saw the Enemies Forces, who with their Horse marching down to the River Stoure, lying between them, began [from the higher Ground] to assail the Romans, and to give them Battel; but being repulsed by the Horse, they convey'd themselves into the Woods, where having a Place strongly Fortified, as well by Art as Nature, and which it seems they had before provided during their own Domestick Wars; for all the Avenues to it were clos'd up with Trees laid overthwart the Pas­sages. The Britains fought straggling out of the Woods, and hinder'd the Romans from entring within the Fortification: But the Souldiers of the Seventh Legion making a (i.e. A kind of an Arch made with their Shields clap'd c [...]ose to each o­ther, like the back of a Tor­toise, from whence it had its Name. Testudo, did by a Mount rais'd against their Fortification soon take it, and drove them out of the Woods, having themselves receiv'd very little Loss; but since they fled, Caesar forbad to pursue them too far, because he was ignorant of the Place; and a great part of the Day being spent, he would employ the rest of it for the For­tifying of his Camp.

The next Day, early in the Morning, he sent his Foot Souldiers and Horsemen, being divided into Three Bodies, upon another Expedition, that they might now pursue those that fled: But before they had march'd any great distance of Ground, the Enemy being in sight, some Horse­men came from Q. Atrius to Caesar, telling him, that a great Tempest ha­ving risen the Night before, almost all the Ships were shatter'd and cast on Shore, neither the Anchors nor Cables being able to hold them, nor could the Masters of the Vessels nor Mariners withstand the Force of the Tempest; so that by the Ships falling foul upon each other, great Damage was receiv'd; which when Caesar knew, he return'd to his Ships, and he himself beheld what he had heard from the Messengers; so that about Forty Ships being lost, the rest might be refitted, though not without much Labour. Therefore he chose some Carpenters out of the Legions, and Commanded others to be sent for from the Continent, and he writ to Labienus, that he should by the help of those Legions he had with him, speedily get ready as many Ships as he was able, whilst he himself (although it was a business of great Toyl) thought it was most convenient to have all his Ships haled on Shore, and to enclose them within the same Fortification with his Camp; in which Work he spent [Page 33] about Ten Days without any Intermission of Labour Day or Night.Anno ante Christ. LII. The Ships being thus drawn up, and the Camp strongly Fortified, he left the same Forces to guard them as before, whilst he himself marched for­ward to the same Place from whence he had last return'd: When he came thither, he found much greater Forces of the Britains, there assembled from all Parts. The Chief Command for managing this War being by their common Consent committed to Cassibelan, whose Territories the River Thames divided from the Maritime States, being about Eighty Miles distant from the Sea. There had been in former Times perpetual Wars between him and the Neighbouring Cities. But the Britains being now terrified by this second Invasion, had given him the Supreme Com­mand over them all.

Now from hence you may see the Falshood of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who makes this Island to have bin a Monarchy before Caesar's coming, and Cassibelan to have bin the Sole King; whereas we find him only to have been a small Inland Prince, and the rest of the Island divided into many Petty States or Principalities. The rest of what Caesar here tells us concerning the Manners of the Britains, as also the Situation of this Island, these being either already related, or else needless, as sufficiently known, I shall pass over, and return to Caesar's Actions, as he relates them in the same Book.

In this March the British Cavalry and Charioteers fought sharply with the Roman Horsemen, yet nevertheless these were Superior in all Places, and drove them to the Hills and Woods, many being slain; but the Ro­mans pursuing them too eagerly, lost some of their own Men. Some time after this the Enemy on a suddain sallied out from the Woods, the Romans not being aware of them, (being busie in Fortifying their Camp) and charged briskly upon those who were upon the Guard before the Camp. But two Cohorts (the chief of two Legions) being sent by Cae­sar to their assistance, whilst they made a halt, as being surpriz'd with their new way of Fighting; the Enemy boldly charg'd back again through the midst of them, without the loss of a Man: So that Day Quintus Laberius Durus, a Tribune, was kill'd; but the Enemy, upon the sending out of fresh Cohorts, were repell'd, and forc'd to save them­selves by flight.

This Skirmish thus fought before the Camp, and in the Eyes of all Men, made it evident, that the Legionary Soldiers, being neither able, for the weight of their Arms, to pursue those that retreated, nor yet da­ring to go far from their Ensigns, were no equal Match for such a kind of Enemy; and that the Horse fought with much greater Danger, be­cause the Britains oftentimes retired on purpose, and when they had drawn the Romans a little from the Legions, leap'd from their Chariots and fought on Foot, to the great Disadvantage of the Romans. But the manner of their Cavalries fighting brought the same or equal Danger to those that retir'd, as to those that pursu'd: To which you may add, that they never fought in close Order, but scatter'd, and at some distance, and had their Men so Posted, that they could easily Succour each other, fresh Men still relieving those that were wounded or weary.

The next Day the Enemies made a stand upon the Hills at a distance from the Camp, and began to show themselves less frequently, being not so forward to Skirmish with their Horse as they were the Day before; but about Noon, when Caesar had sent out the Three Legions with C. Tre­bonius [Page 34] to Forage,Anno ante Christ. LII. they suddenly on all sides set upon the Foragers, and charg'd up after them to the very Legions and Ensigns, whilst the Ro­mans charging them with great Courage, repell'd them. Nor made they an end of chasing them, until the Horse, who were supported by the Le­gions behind them (and not giving them time either to stand still to rally, or to get down from their Chariots as they were wont) had slain a great many of them. After this Rout the British Auxiliaries which had come from all Parts return'd home; and from that time the Britains never fought the Romans again with their whole Forces: But Caesar guessing their Designs, drew his Army toward the River Thamesis into the Con­fines of Cassibelan's Territories, which River was only fordable (and that very hardly) in one place: At his arrival he found great Forces of the Enemy's there Encamp'd, and the Bank Fortify'd with sharp Stakes, and many of the same sort were also fix'd under Water, which being made known by the Prisoners and Fugitives, the Horse being sent before, he order'd the Legions immediately to follow; but the Soldiers march'd with that Courage, that, though their Heads only appear'd above Water, yet the Enemy, not enduring the Force of the Horse and Legions, quit­ting the Banks committed themselves to flight. This Ford is suppos'd by Mr. Cambden in his Britannia, to have been at Coway-Stakes near Lalam in Middlesex, where the remainder of those Piles plac'd by the Britains were of late Times still to be seen, being bound about with Lead, and of the thickness of a Man's Thigh; and some of them have been of late Years pull'd up, as hindring the Passage of the Barges.

Cassibelan having now lost all hopes of doing any good by downright Fighting, having dismiss'd the greater part of his Forces, retain'd only a­bout Four Thousand Charioteers, who observ'd the Roman Marches; and going a little out of the way, hid themselves in woody and intricate Places, driving away the Men and Cattle into the Woods: But in those Parts of the Country where he knew the Romans were to march, whilst the Horse were dispersed abroad into the Fields, either for Forage or Booty, he sent out his Charioteers from the Woods, by all the known ways, and there fought the Roman Horse-Men, putting them in great hazard; whereupon Caesar strictly commanded them not to march too far from the Legions, and that they should only burn and destroy the Country as far as the Legionary Soldiers alone could safely perform it in their Mar­ches. In the mean time the Trinobantes, being one of the strongest States of all those Parts, sent Ambassadors to Caesar, promising to submit them­selves to him, and perform his Commands, desiring that he would de­fend Mandubratius from the Injuries of Cassibelan, and would send him to them, that he might receive the Supreme Authority of their State. This Mandubratius being a young Prince, had fled to Caesar in Gallia; for his Father Immanuentius had been King of that Country, but having been slain by Cassibelan, his Son avoided the like Fate by flight. Whereupon Caesar sent him to them, enjoyning them to give him Forty Hostages, and Corn for his Army; they speedily perform'd his Commands, and sent him that number of Hostages, as also the Corn. The Trinobantes being defended from the Violence of the Soldiers, the I shall not un­dertake to Eng­lish th [...]se Names, b [...]cause they are very [...]ncertain. Segontiaci, Anacalites, Bibroci, and Cassi, having also sent Embassies, submitted themselves to Caesar: By these he understood that the Town of Cassibelam (suppos'd to be Verulamium) was not far off, being strongly Fortified with Woods and Bogs, in which a great number of Men and Cattle was got together.

[Page 35]You may here also observe Caesar's Description of a British Town:Anno ante Christ. LII. The Britains, says he, when they have taken in some woody Place, and enclo­sed it with a Ditch, or Rampire, call it a Town, to which, to avoid the Incursions of their Enemies, they are wont to retreat, But thither C [...]sar marched with his Legions, and found the Place strongly Fortified both by Art and Nature; yet when he began to Storm it on both sides, the Enemies not enduring the Assault of the Roman Legions, threw themselves out from another Part of the Town, and so made their Escape, whilst many were kill'd as they fled: Here Caesar found great Multitudes of Cattle.

Whilst these things were doing, Cassibelan sent Messengers into Kent, in which Parts were four petty Princes, (whom Caesar, for his own Glory, calls Kings,) viz. Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus and Segonax; these he orders, that with all the Forces they could make, they should assault upon the sudden, and take the Romans Naval Camp. These Princes, with their Forces, marching to the place, the Romans sallying out upon the Britains, killed many of them, and taking Cingeterox, a noted Leader, Prisoner, returned again to their Camp without any Loss. Cassibelan hearing of the Success of this Fight, having had his Borders thus wasted, and received so considerable Losses, but being chiefly terrified with the Defection of so many States, sent Ambassadors to Caesar, by the Media­tion of Comius of Arras, to treat about a Submission: Caesar being resolved to pass the Winter in the Continent, because of the sudden Commotions in Gaul, and that there was not much of the Summer left, and which might be easily spun out, demanded Hostages, and set how much yearly Tribute the Britains should pay to the People of Rome; and having far­ther forbad Cassibelan, either to molest Mandubratius, or the Trinobantes, Hostages being taken, Caesar marched back his Army to the Sea-side, where he found all his Ships re-fitted; but because he had a great num­ber of Prisoners, as that also some of his Ships were lost by the Tempest, he resolved to transport his Army at two several Returns; yet it hap­pen'd, that out of so great a number of Ships, in so many Voyages to and fro, neither in this, nor the former Year, any Ship that carried the Soldiers was wanting; whereas, of those which were sent him empty from the Continent, and which afterwards Labienus had taken care to have new-built, (being to the number of Sixty) very few reached the Port; almost all of them being lost, or driven back; These when C [...]sar for some time had in vain expected, lest he should be debarr'd from go­ing over by the Season of the Year, because the Aequinox now approached, he was forced to crowd his Soldiers the closer together; and having found a calm Season, about the Second Watch of the Night he set Sail; and by Break of Day reached the Continent.

This is the Account which Caesar himself gives us of both these Expe­ditions: Howbeit,M. other Ancient Writers have spoken more doubtfully of Caesar's Victories here, and that in plain Terms he fled from hence; for which that noted Verse in Lucan, with divers Passages here and there in Tacitus, are alledged. Paulus Orosius, who took what he wrote from an History of Suetonius, now lost, writes, That Caesar in his first Journey being entertained with a sharp Fight, lost no small number of his Foot; and by Tempest, nigh all his Horse: But be it as it will, Pliny tells us, That at his Return to Rome, as from a glorious Enterprize, he offered to Venus, the Patroness of his Family, a Breast-plate embroider'd with British Pearls.

[Page 36] Anno ante Christ. XL.I shall not much trouble you with the Relation of Cassibelan's Actions after Caesar's Departure, since we have no other Account of them, but from Geoffrey of Monmouth: But, according to his Relation, Mandubratius (whom he calls Androgeus) was not restored to the Kingdom of the Trino­bantes; whether through the ill Will of Cassibelan, or the general Hatred the People had to him, is uncertain: So that leaving Britain, he again betook himself unto Caesar, and attended him to Rome, where he was en­tertain'd as King of Britain, and a Friend to the Roman Commonwealth. Cassibelan, after the Departure of the Romans, is said to have reigned Ten Years; which Time he employed in revenging himself upon the Cities and States that had revolted from him during the Wars with Caesar.

After whom, until the Time of the Emperor Claudius, the Britains were free from the Roman Yoke, living under their own Kings, and being go­vern'd by their own Laws: So that for a while we must take our Fare­well of the Roman History, collecting it only as we find it scatter'd here and there, and follow the Succession of the British Kings, according to Geoffrey.

Then Theomantius, or Tenantius, Nephew of Cassibelan, is said by him to have succeeded his Uncle, having before enjoyed the Principality of Cornwall; far remote from the Troubles of these Times, and by that means not engaged in the Quarrel, was not obliged, either to take into the Roman Interest; or by aiding Cassibelan, to justifie his Violences; by which indifferent Carriage, by the general Applause of the People he is said to come to the Crown.

Anno ante Christ. XL.In this King's Reign it is supposed, that Octavius (the Grand-child of Julia, Caesar's Sister) obtain'd the Empire of Rome: But before he had fully possessed himself of it, Geoffrey relates, That Tenantius sent his Son Kynobelin to attend him in his Wars; hoping thereby to ingratiate himself with Augustus, and obtain a Relaxation of the imposed Tribute: And that Kynobelin so well behaved himself, that he grew into special Favour with the Emperor, and accompanied him to Rome, where he was saluted by the Name of FRIEND of the Commonwealth; and that during his Residence there, Tenantius paid no Tribute at all; which (as the British Historian relates) was in respect of his Son's great Favour with Augustus. But the Roman Authors seem rather to make the Troubles of the Empire, and the Bandyings of the Factions against each other, after the Death of Julius Caesar, the Causes of the Quiet of the Britains during those Civil Dissentions.

But Augustus Caesar, who succeeded his Uncle Julius in the Empire, either contemning this Island, as a place of no Importance, and whose Enmity or Friendship conduced nothing to the good or ill Fortune of the Empire; or as Tacitus, in his Life of Agricola, relates, because of the Civil Wars that had lately happen'd, caused a long Quiet to Britain: D [...]on. Cas. l. 49. Yet we find Augustus once advanced as far as Gallia, in order to the Reducing of Britain under his Obedience; and had not a Revolt in Ib [...]d. l. 23. Pannonia divert­ed him, he had certainly attempted it. Yet about Seven Years after, with the same Resolution, he once more drew down into Gallia; but the Britains hearing th [...]reof. sent their Ambassadors thither to him, to beg Peace; which for the present he accepted of, because it required some Time to settle his Affairs in Gaul, which were then much out of order: The Year following, he again resum'd his Resolutions of making an Expedition into Britain, because they had not perform'd their Articles [Page 37] with him; but he was again hinder'd by fresh Insurrections in Spain. Anno ante Chr. XIV. The Cantabrians and Asturians being revolted, Tenantius having re [...]gned in Britain Thirty two Years; then dying, was succeeded by

Geoff. Mon. Kymbelein, or Kynobelin, who, if he was not educated at Rome, yet the good Correspondence between the Romans and Britains about these Times, gave fair Occasion to the British Writers to feign it: For now, it seems, the Britains began to learn the Roman Arts, to flatter for Ad­vantage, and by Gifts to appease a powerful Prince, and buy off a War. So they sent their Tribute to Dion. ibid. Augustus, with Offerings and Sacrifices to the Roman Gods, to be offered in the Capitol; where, in the Temple of Mars, they swore Fidelity to the Senate and and People of Rome. Which Obsequious Addresses, as I suppose gave Occasion to Car. Lib. III. Od. 5. Coelo tonantem credidimus Io­vem Regnare: prae­s [...]ns divus ha­bebitur Augustus, ad­jectis Britannis Imp [...]rio, gravi­busque P [...]rsis. Horace to write thus:

Though we believe that thund'ring Jove
In Heaven reigns, yet here below
Augustus we a God do prove;
Since Britains, and proud Persians too,
Are to his Empire made to bow.

Nay, so conformable to the Roman Customs was this Kynobelin himself, that he caused Coins to be stamped after the manner of the Romans, some of which are still to be seen; whereas before, all Payments among the Bri­tains were made with Rings of Iron, and Plates of Brass, of a certain Weight: And his Image was made after the manner of the Emperors; and on the Reverse is CAM: signifying Camolodunum, (now Maldon) his Royal Seat: And it is to be suspected that Tribute was paid with it; for in a Coin of his, TASCIO is found in Great Letters, with a Man on the Reverse, sitting Hammering of Metal: Which Word implieth Tribute, as you may find in that Collection of Coins before Mr. Cam­den's Britannia.

The Emperor Tib [...]rius, who succeeded Augustus, Anno Dom. XIV. being given up to Ease and Luxury, thought it best to observe Suet. in Aug. Augustus's Advice, of con­tracting, rather than enlarging the Bounds of the Empire: So that as he had no Desire to trouble the Britains, they had also as little to pro­voke him; though 'tis certain that they still paid their usual Customs and Tolls for those Commodities they transported to the Romans, into Gaul; and exchanged with them Things wrought in Ivory, for Chains and Trinkets of Amber, which they wore for Pendants and Bracelets. The Roman Customers collected them at first after a precarious manner; and (as Strabo writes) not daring to compel them. Besides, their Cour­tesie to Germanicus's Soldiers, who had been Ship-wrack'd on the British Shore, and had been by them sent back to their General, produced a like kind Return from the Romans.

Caius Caligula, who succeeded Tiberius, Anno Dom. XXXVII. being a Prince of a cruel Nature and fantastick Humour, having passed the Sueton, in Calig. Alpes, and come into Gaul and Belgium, to peel those Provinces, and having received into his Protection Adminius, the Son of Kynobelin, (above mentioned,) who being expell'd by his Father, fled to Caligula, and excited him to invade Britain. Whereupon, as if the whole Isle had been yielded up to him, he sent magnificent Letters to Rome, giving a strict Charge to the Cou­riers, that they should drive their Chariots into the Forum, to the very Curia; and should not deliver their Letters, but in the Temple of Mars, [Page 38] and in a full Assembly of the Senate.Anno Dom. XXXVII. But Caligula, after this, marched his Army to the Belgick Shore, making as if he would pass over into Britain; but being (as is suppos'd) assur'd that the Britains were ready to oppose his Landing, if he should attempt it, Dion. l. 15. thereupon he thought it safer to let them alone: Yet however, he put out to Sea in a Galley; and after he had row'd a little distance from the Shore, return'd again to Land; and then mounting on an high Tribunal, ordering the Trumpets to sound a Charge, gave his Soldiers the Signal of Battel; then all on the sudden commanded them to gather their Suet. ibid. Helmets and Laps full of Cockles; Muscles, and other Shells: Having gotten these Spoils (as he call'd them) of the Ocean, (as wanting others to adorn his Trophies,) he grew as proud as if he had conquer'd the Ocean it self; and rewarded his Soldiers for this great Victory, with a Donative of an Hundred De­narii a Man, bidding them all depart Rich and Happy. After which, he erected an high Tower on the Belgick Shore, out of which, as from a Pharus, Lights might direct Mariners to steer their Course by Night; the Ruins of which Pharus are supposed, even to this Day, to be seen at very low Tides, on the Coast of Holland; being call'd by the Inhabi­tants, to this Day, Britten Huis. Nor did Caligula stop here; but was so vain, as to carry these Shells to Rome, (together with the Galleys in which he went out to Sea;) where, when he had required a Triumph for this noble Enterprize, finding the Senate averse to it, he had Thoughts of murthering them all for refusing him Triumphal Honours; but he was not long after murther'd himself.

Anno Dom. XLIII.But that we may return again to the Affairs of Britain, which remain'd in Peace till the Reign of Claudius; and then Cynobelin (according to Geoffrey) after Threescore Years happy Reign, died, (not long before the Roman Invasion.) This Prince had many Sons; (viz.) Adminius, who, as we have already heard, was banish'd by his Father: As also, Togodu­mus, who is thought to be the same with him whom Geoffrey calls Guidar, or Guinder; and whom he supposes to have reign'd, some say Four, and others Eight and Twenty Years; in whose Reign, Claudius the Emperor invaded Britain. But Lib. 60. Dion Cassius makes no Mention of this Prince, and only names Togadumnus and Caractacus, being Brothers, to have reign'd in this Island; but whether with Equal, or Subordinate Authority, he does not mention; only gives us an exact Relation of the Invasion by Claudius, the Occasion of which he thus relates: That one Bericus, (though what he was, he doth not further say) having been driven out of this Island by a certain Sedition, and highly resenting it, was the Man who excited Claudius to invade his Country: And that the Britains being provok'd at the Receipt of these Fugitives, and their not being given up when demanded, thereupon forbad all Commerce with the Romans. So a War being resolv'd on, Plautius, then Praetor in Gaul, was immediately order'd by the Emperor to transport those Legions he had with him, into Britain: But the Praetor, who was to carry over this Army, could very hardly get them out of Gaul; being much concern'd that they were to make War (as it were) in another World; spending a great deal of Time in Delays, before they would yield to go along with him. But when Narcissus, (Claudius's Freed-Man) being sent by him to persuade the Army to march, had ascended the Tribunal, and went about to make a Speech to them, the Soldiers being inflam'd with Indignation, began presently to cry out, Io Saturnalia; (for in the Feast of the Saturnalia, it [Page 39] is the Custom for Slaves to act the Part of their Masters:Anno Dom· XLIII.) Yet never­theless, they were at last persuaded to follow Plautius, and go on Ship­board. But the Forces being divided into Three Parts, lest coming all to one place, they should be hinder'd from Landing, were kept back in their Passage by contrary Winds, and suffer'd great Hardship: Yet, taking fresh Courage, because a Meteor had shot from East to West, (the very Course they were to steer,) they at last reach'd the Island, no body hin­dring them; for the Britains not believing the Romans would have come over, (for the Reasons you have already heard,) had prepar'd no Forces to prevent them; and therefore, not drawing together, had hid them­selves in the Woods and Marshes, with Hopes of drawing on the Romans by Delays, as had before happen'd under Julius Caesar: So that Plautius spent much Time in finding them out; but after he had once found them, he overcame first Caractacus, and afterwards Togadumnus, the Sons of Ky­nobelin, (their Father being dead some time before:) For the Britains did not enjoy a Popular Liberty, but were then subject to divers Kings: Yet all these being put to flight, he receiv'd a part of the Boduni into his Sub­jection, who before obey'd the Catuellani; and a Garrison being left there, he march'd to a certain River which the Britains suppos'd the Romans could not pass over without a Bridge, and so lay there the more carelesly encamp'd on the other side: Wherefore Plautius sent over the Germans first, who being accustom'd in their Armour to swim over the swiftest Rivers, set upon the Enemy on a sudden, but kill'd none, only wounded the Horses which drew their Chariots; wherewith they were so gall'd, that they would not endure their Riders. Then Plautius sent Flavius Vespa­sian, (who afterwards was Emperor,) together with Sabinus, his Brother, as his Lieutenant; who also passing the River, kill'd many of the Bri­tains at unawares; yet did not the rest, for all this, run away, but the next Day renew'd the Fight with doubtful Success, until C. Sidius (tho' he had like to have fallen into the Enemy's Hands) so routed them, that although he had never been Consul, he had nevertheless Triumphal Ho­nours bestowed upon him.

From hence the Britains retired to the Mouth of the River Thames, and easily pass'd it, knowing all the Fords and Shallows; whither the Ro­mans following them, were in great danger: But when the Germans had again swum over, and that some others had likewise pass'd by a Bridge that lay higher, the Britains being every where routed, they made a great Slaughter of them; though pursuing the Residue too rashly, they fell into the Marshes, and many were lost. For these Reasons, and because the Britains were not, by the Death of Togadumnus, (who was kill'd,) at all discourag'd, but rather more eager to revenge his Death, Plautius doubting the Success, would not proceed farther; but putting Garrisons into those Places he had conquer'd, sent notice to the Emperor Claudius, who had before order'd him to do so, if any thing extraordinary or un­expected should happen.

Claudius having receiv'd this Message,Anno Dom. XLIV. immediately got all things ready (together with divers Elephants) for this Expedition; and being now the Third Time Consul, and having chosen Britain for his Province, he committed the Care of the City and Soldiers to L. Vitellius, his Collegue, (who was Father to A. Vitellius, afterwards Emperor.) But Claudius sail­ing from Ostia, landed at Marseilles, though by the way Sueton: in Claudio. he had like, by foul Weather, to have been cast away, first on the Islands Staechades, and [Page 40] then on the Coast of Liguria;Anno Dom. XLIV. yet landing, he pass'd through Gaul, as far as Gessoriacum, (now Bolo [...]gne;) where again embarking, he pass'd over into Britain, and joyn'd his Forces that expected him near the Thames; then passing over the River, he fought with the Britains in a pitch'd Bat­tel, and obtain'd the Victory; taking Camolodunum, the Royal Seat of Kynobelin, together with many Prisoners, some by Force, and some by Surrender. For these Exploits, he was oftentimes by his Soldiers saluted Imperator, or General, though against the received Custom of the Romans; for it was not lawful before to assume that Title more than once in the same War. Claudius having thus disarm'd the Britains, left them to the Government of Plautius; ordering to subdue those that remain'd un­conquer'd: But as for those that submitted, he remitted the Confiscation of their Estates; which so oblig'd the Britains, that they built him a Temple, and ador'd him as a God. But whilst he return'd towards Rome, his Sons-in-Law Pompeius and Silanus were sent before with the News of his Victory, which was accomplish'd in Sixteen Days. For no longer stay'd he in Britain, and that with so little Noise, that it gave occasion to Suetonius (thô erroniously) to write, that he suddu'd Britain without ever a Battel, or any Blood-shed.

Claudius returning thus Triumphantly to Rome (from whence he had been absent but Six Months in all) the Senate decreed his Son the Sirname of Britannicus, to himself a Triumph, and annual Games, with two Triumphal Arches, one in the City, the other in Gaul, from whence he had passed into Britain. In his Triumph (performing all things ac­cording to Custom) he ascended the Stairs of the Capitol on his Knees, his two Sons-in-Law supporting him on each side; he then bestow'd on those who had serv'd with him in this Expedition (not only such who had been Consuls, but even bare Senators) Triumphal Ornaments. I shall not trouble you with the rest of this Solemnity, since it is not much to the Matter in hand, and also transacted out of this Island, only I shall Remark,S. That it appears this Conquest of Britain was look'd upon as so considerable, that the Senate thought fit to Decree as high Honours to the Emperor, who had now subdu'd but part of this Island; as they had done for any former Conquerors, and the Sirname of Britannicus, was esteem'd as Glorious as that of Germanicus, Africanus, or Asiaticus: And even in the heighth of the Roman Grandure it was esteem'd so considerable a part of the Empire, that it was held not Inferior to any of the forementioned Provinces, and cost more Legions in gaining and preserving it than all Asia, and was never forsaken by the Romans, but in their last Extre­mity.

I shall now by the way take a little notice of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Relation of this British War, which is much different from the Roman Accounts of it, he making Claudius to Land at Portchester in Hampshire, and to have Besieg'd that Town, to the Relief whereof Guiderius, or Guider (the above-mention'd King of the Britains) quickly came, and that a Battel ensuing it went on the Britains side; until Hamo, a Roman, disguising himself like a Britain, slew the King; whereupon Arviragus his Brother, (lest the Britains should be discourag'd) conceal'd the King's Death, and arming himself in his Armour, continued the Battel, and so obtain'd a great Victory, and then succeeded his Brother Guider. But since none of the Roman Historians make any mention of these Kings, nor of Hamo (who is here suppos'd to have kill'd Guider) it is probable, [Page 41] that their very Succession is as Fabulous as Arviragus his Encounters with Hamo; and his Marriage with Genuissa, a supposed Daughter of Claudius;Anno Dom. XLIV. as likewise his Treaty with that Emperour and homage done to him; Therefore leaving such Fables, we will come to what the Romans per­formed in this Island after Claudius his departure to Rome. Which is thus related by Tacitus and Suetonius.

Aulus Plautius being left by Claudius as his Lieutenant in Britain, af­ter the Emperour's departure, diligently prosecuted the War;Tacitus Annal. Lib. XIII. c. 32. and so be­hav'd himself in quieting the revolting Countries, and gaining new Con­quests as far as the Western parts of the Island, that Claudius allow'd him an A sort of petty triumph per­form [...]d on foot. Ovation, and at his Entrance into Rome, himself went to meet him, giving him the Right hand both in going and coming. Neither were the Actions of Vespatian (afterwards Emperour) less remarkable in this War; for partly under the Conduct of Claudius himself, and partly of Plautius, he fought Thirty Battles with the Britains, Sueton, in Ves­pas. and brought two most powerful Nations, and above Twenty Towns, together with the Isle of Wight, under his Subjection; for all which noble Actions he received Triumphal Ornaments, and a little while after two Sacerdotal Dignities, together with the Consulship: His Son Titus, then serving under him in the quality of a Tribune, was much renowned for his Val­our and Diligence; he had also the good fortune to rescue and relieve his Father: And his modest Behaviour was as signal, as his Courage; as appears by many Inscriptions, under his Image, dispersed through di­vers Provinces.

Ostorius Scapula succeeded Plautius in the Quality of Propraetor, a Man no less experienced in Martial Affairs:An. XXV. Id. Annal. Lib. XII. c. 31. At his first entrance into his com­mand he met with many Commotions and Troubles; for that part of Britain, which was not yet subdued broke in upon their Neighbours, who had entred into League, or made any submission to the Romans, wasting their Country; and with so much the more Vigour, for that they thought this new General (as not yet acquainted with his business, nor having Experience of his Army) would not be soon able to revenge it; especially considering that Winter was near, and that a Season unfit for Action: but Ostorius, knowing that the first Success makes the greatest Impression of Fear, or Confidence, resolved to put a stop to their In­roads betimes, before they proceeded too far; and for that end he quick­ly took with him some of his lightest Cohorts, and unexpectedly seting upon them, killed many, following those that fled so close, that he gave them no time to rally; and lest for the future a treacherous unstable Peace might prove more dangerous, and troublesome, as well to him­self as his Souldiers; he disarmed all whom he suspected most likely to revolt, and set Garrisons on the two Rivers, Severn and Antona (now Avon,) thereby to hinder the Incursions of the British Army: By this means he reduced the most Southerly parts of the Island into the form of a Pro­vince; having also planted there a Colony of Veterane Souldiers, and to secure his Conquest the better, he gave several Cities to Cogidunus, to be held as Tributary to the Roman Empire, under the Title of King: by which he strongly engaged him to its interest; it being an antient and received Policy of that State (as Tacitus well observes) to make Kings the Instruments of it's Ambition, as well as of their own Ser­vitude.

[Page 42] Anno Dom. XLIV.But the Iceni, (who Inhabited what we now call Suffolk, Norfolk, Cam­bridge, and Huntington-shires a potent Nation and not yet wasted by War, because they had voluntarily entered in alliance with the Romans; not brooking these proceedings of Ostorius, took Arms, and by their Example encouraged many of their neighbouring Nations to do the like: this done, they encamped in a place chosen for that purpose, casting up a Rampire of Earth; leaving a very narrow Entrance, for fear, least the Enemy's Horse should break in upon them.

Ostorius, although he had not his Legions, but only his Auxiliaries with him; yet resolved, if he could, to break down this Fence, which he perceived was but rudely thrown up, and setting all his Cohorts to work, the Horse also alighting to that Service, he himself giving the Signal, at once they flung down the Works, and drove the Enemy from their Fortress: But the Britains, as well through the Consciousness of their Rebellion, as because all ways of escaping were blocked up, made a no­table Defence: In which Battel, M. Ostorius the Son of the Lieutenant, gained the honour of having saved a Citizen.

The Iceni thus overcome; the other States, who hitherto stood in a doubtful Posture between War and Peace,Tacit. An. lib. 12. c [...]p. 32. were confirmed in their O­bedience by their sufferings. After this Success, Ostorius marched into the Country of the Cangi (who they were is not well known) where he plundered and laid waste their Fields, they not daring to give him Battel; and if at any time they ventur'd out of their Coverts to fall on his Rear, they always met with sharp entertainment: At last he approached near the Irish Sea, where news was brought him of stirs among the Brigantes, (sup­posed to have been the Inhabitants of Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the other Northern Countries). Upon this he resolves to return, intending not to attempt any new Design, till he had fully quieted those Commotions be­hind him: and indeed the Brigantes were soon quieted; those few who took Arms being all Slain, and the rest pardoned. But the Nation of the Silures (the Inhabitants of the now South Wales) were not to be won by Clemency, or terrified by Severity; but would needs have a War, and if subdued, were to be kept in obedience by Garrisons of Legi­onary Souldiers.

So he marched against these Silures, who, besides their natural Fierce­ness,Ib. cap. 33. were much exalted with the Opinion they had of the Courage and Conduct of Caractacus, who by many doubtful, and some Fortunate At­tempts, had raised himself to a greater Reputation in Arms than any of the British Generals: he finding himself over-matched in Strength made use of Policy: he knew his Advantage lay in choice of Ground, to that end he transferr'd the War to the rough unacces [...]ible Country of the the Ordovices (now those of North Wales) chusing for the Seat of the War, a place, whose Avenues were most difficult to the Romans, and easiest of Access to themselves: there he raised a Fortification with great Stones on the tops of the Mountains: and where a River running near made a dangerous and uncertain Ford, placed a range or breast-work of larger Stones to defend the passage: which place (as Mr. Camden Conjectures) has still from him the Name of Caer Caradoc, lying on the West edge of Shropshire: Caradoc being in the British Tongue supposed to be the same with Caractacus in the Latin. Ostorius having drawn hither all his Forces (since Caractacus resolved here to [...]ight it to the last) the Officers went [Page 43] about, encouraging their Men, diminishing their Fears,Anno Dom. XLIV. and enlivening their Courage by all the Rhetorick of War. But Caractacus notably be­stir'd himself, and with quick motions going from place to place, Cryed out, this was the Day, and this the Field, which would be either the recovery of their Liberty, or the beginning of a new and perpetual Slavery: and then in­voked the Names of his glorious Ancestors, who had driven out Caesar the Dictator; and by whose Valour they had hitherto been freed from the Roman Axes and Tributes; and still kept their Wives and Children preserved from dis­honour.

At these, or such like Speeches, the Army testified their Joy by loud Shouts and Acclamations; and every one, according to his Country Su­perstition, bound himself by Oath, that neither Force nor Wounds should make them yield.

This Couragious alacrity in the Enemy startled the Roman General: especially when he descried the River before him, and the Rampire made upon its Banks, both of great difficulty to be passed; whilst the steep Hills full of Armed Men hanging over their heads, gave a dismal pro­spect, and made a terrible Scene of War: but the Common Souldiers be­ing eager for Battel required the Signal; Crying out, nothing was impreg­nable to Valour: This impatience was increased by the Prefects and Tribunes, who were of the same Opinion. Then Ostorius having first tried which Fords were passable, and which not, led them on as insensible of Danger; who with no great difficulty wading through the River, when they were come near to the Rampire, and that it came to be disputed with Darts and Javelins, greater loss followed on the Roman than British side: So that not being able longer to endure it, the Legionary Souldiers joyning close together made a Testudo; whereupon this rude Fortifica­tion of rough Stones being thrown down, and the Romans meeting with them hand to hand, the Barbarians soon fled to the tops of the Moun­tains: but thither also the heavy as well as the Light-Armed Souldiers quickly followed them; whilst the Britains assaulting them with their Darts, these received them in close order, whereby their Ranks were soon broken, who made use of no defence, either of Brest-plates or Hel­mets: So that, if they could have resisted the Auxiliaries, yet they were beat down by the Swords and Darts of the Legionary Souldiers; and if they turned from these, they were again routed by the broad Swords and Spears of the Auxiliaries. The Victory was very remarkable, the Wife and Daughter of Caractacus being taken Prisoners, and his Brethren submitting to Mercy.

But though he had committed himself to the Fidelity of Cartismandua Queen of the Brigantes, (yet as unsafe Counsels prove commonly unfor­tunate) he was by her, delivered bound to the Victors in the Seventh Year (according to Tacitus, Ib. cap. 36.) but indeed in the Ninth Year after this War was begun in Britain. Nevertheless Caractacus his Fame being carried through all the Neighbouring Provinces, was also Celebrated as far as Italy, and they desired to see the Man that had for so many Years de­spised the Roman Forces: so that the name of Caractacus became famous at Rome it self; and Caesar whilst he extoll'd his own Victory, added glory to the conquered; for the People being summoned as to some solemn Spectacle, the Praetorian Cohorts stood to their Arms in the Field, which lay before their Camp; The King's Servants marched before, [Page 44] bearing his Gold Chains and other Ornaments,Anno Dom. XLIV. with what ever else he had gained in Foreign Wars; presently after came his Brethren with his Wife and Daughters, and last of all He himself: The behaviour of others, through fear was mean and degenerate; he only neither in Countenance, Word, or Action, appeared dejected: But standing at the Tribunal of Caesar, Spoke to this purpose.

If my mind, O Caesar, had been as moderate in the Heigth of Fortune, as my Birth and Dignity was Eminent, I might have entred as a Friend, rather than a Captive into this City; nor couldst thou have disliked one for a Confede­rate, so Noble by Descent, and Ruling so many Natinos. My present Estate, tho to me disgraceful, to thee is Glorious: I had once Riches, Horses, Arms, and Men; no wonder if I was not contended to lose them, but if you will extend your Empire over all others; then of necessity all others must obey you: If I sooner had been brought to yield, my Mi [...]fortune had been less notorious, your Conquest less renowned: but by a severe treatment of me, both will be soon forgotten: if you grant that I may Live, I shall live a lasting Monument of your Clemency.

Caesar mov'd at so sad a Spectacle of Fortune, but especially at the Nobleness of his bearing it, gave him Pardon, as also to his Wife and Brothers; they being all unbound went also to do the like Reverence to the Empr [...]ss Agrippina; who sat not far off on another Throne, no less conspicuous: a new indeed, and unwonted sight, far different from the Manners of the ancient Romans, to see a Woman in her Faeminine Pride, presiding ove [...] the Roman Ensigns; but indeed she looked upon her self as a Companion, and Sharer of the Empire obtained by her As being the Daughter of Germanicus. An­cestors.

The Senators being then also summon'd, made long and pompuous Dis­courses upon this taking of Caractacus; saying, it was no less famous than when P. Scipio shewed Scyphax, Tacit. An. lib. 12. cap. 38. or L. Paulus, Perseus, or any other General, who had exposed Captive Kings to the view of the People of Rome; so that they decreed to Ostorius all the Ensigns of a Triumph.

After this, Affairs continued some time prosperous; but presently after became more doubtful: either because that Caractacus being now remov'd, he thought the Britains as good as subdued, and so the Wars was less eagerly pursued; or whether the Enemy in Compassion of so great a King burnt more fiercely with Revenge; for they had beset the Gover­nour in his Camp, and fell upon the Legionary Cohorts, who had been left to build Forts among the Silures; and unless Assistance had come in to them speedily from the Neighbouring Garrisons and Castles, the whole Army had then perished; nevertheless the Governour with Eight Centurions, and the most forward Souldiers of each Company were cut off, and not long after they routed those that were Forraging, as also some Troops sent to their Relief.

Then Ostorius drew forth his Light Armed Cohorts, nor had he thereby put a stop to his Mens flight, unless the Legions had also engaged in the Fight, [...] c. 39. by whose Force it first became equal, and at length quite turned the Scale; for the Enemies fled, thô with small Loss, because the Day was declining; afterwards followed frequent Skirmishes, more like Robberies than Fights, they often meeting in the Woods or Marshes, as Design or Chance gave them opportunity; often commanded, sometimes [Page 45] without any command:Anno Dom. XLIV. all which proceeded from the remarkable obsti­nacy of the Silures, whom that common saying of the Roman General had much provoked, That as the Sicambri had been formerly destroyed, so also the very name of the Silures ought wholly to be extinguished. Therefore they intercepted two Auxiliary Cohorts, who through the Avarice of their Officers were too securely pillaging: and bestowing the Prisoners and Spoils on certain neighbouring Nations, drew them also into a Revolt: When Ostorius being now worn out with Cares and Troubles ended his Days. The Britains rejoycing, that thô not a Battle; yet a lingering War had taken off so great a Souldier.

But Caesar understanding the Death of his Lieutenant, lest the Province should remain without a Governour, sent A. Didius in his room, who quickly arriving there, found Affairs but in an ill Condition; for in the mean while there had happened an unsuccessful Engagement of that Le­gion over which Manlius Valens commanded: the Fame of which Exploit being also much increased by the Enemy's reports, that thereby they might terrifie the new General, which was also much increased by him­self, that if the War were well ended he might win the greater Glory, or if otherwise, he might gain the easier pardon. But the Silures had already done much mischief, and made Incursions all abroad, until by Didius's meet­ing of them they were repelled; which being one of the last Actions that happened in Claudius's Reign, I shall only take notice that he lived about Three Years after his sending Didius hither, and died (as is suppos'd) of Poyson given him by his Wife Agrippina; therefore since by his Conquest of so great a part of Britain, he is accounted by most Authors as the So­vereign power thereof: I shall for the future give you the Names of all the Roman Emperors his Successours, that ruled here, till their quitting of this Island, whether they were here in Person or not. Claudius was succeeded by

Nero his Wive's Son by Birth, and his own by Adoption,Anno Dom. LV. of whose Reign I shall say nothing, but what relates to the particular History of this Island. Therefore since Tacitus tells us, that those things, which were done under the two Praetors, Ostorius and Didius, Annal. XII. for the space of many Years, he had for their better remembrance put all together; It plainly appearing, that most of those things he there treats of, are to be referr'd to Nero's Reign; I shall make bold to place in the beginning of his Time that long War between the Romans and Venutius, which Tacitus thus relates.

After Caractacus was gone, Venutius a Prince of the Jugantes, was the most remarkable for Military skill, having continued faithful hitherto;Id. Ibid. being defended by the Roman Arms, as long as he kept Queen Cartisman­dua for his Wife; but a Quarrel happened between them, and presently after a War; in which he at last took up Arms against the Romans, to which Tacitus tell us in another place, he was highly provoked, not only upon the account of his natural Fierceness, but by the injuries of the Queen his Wife; who, being proud of her Nobility, had increased her power, after her taking of Caractacus, as you have heard; so that abound­ing in Wealth, and wallowing in Luxury, she despised her Husband Ve­nutius, and made Vellocatus his Armour-bearer the partner of her Bed and Kingdom: So that upon this, immediately the whole State became di­vided; on the Husband's side were the inclinations of the Nation; for the Adulterer, the Queen's Lust and Violence; from whence proceeded [Page 46] a Civil War among themselves;Anno Dom. LV. for Cartismandua by her Stratagems had intercepted the Brother and Kinsman of Venutius: whence those of his party were the more provoked; meer shame egging them on, lest they should be subject to the command of a Woman: whereupon a strong Party of the choicest Troops Invade her Kingdom, which being foreseen; and certain Cohorts being sent to her assistance, they fought a sharp Battel, whose beginning though doubtful, yet the Conclusion proved prosperous, thô the Legion which Cessius Nascia Commanded, fought with different Success.

But Tacitus tells us in another place, that Venutius sending for more Supplies (I suppose from his own Kingdom;History III.) as also by a general de­fection of the Brigantes themselves, brought Cartismandua into extream hazard; so that she was forced to seek Aid of the Romans, whose Cohorts, though in diverse Battels they freed the Queen from danger, yet was the Kingdom still left to Venutius, and the War continued on the Romans: I suppose Tacitus means this, during the times of all other Lieutenants, though not expresly mentioned by him; for he tells us in his Life of Agricola, That Veranius succeeded Didius, and dying within the Year, that then Suetonius Paulinus found affairs prosperous for the first Two Years: yet it seems could not drive Venutius out of his Kingdom. But thô Tacitus afterwards in the Third Book of his Histories relates this Story of Cartismandua, as if it had fallen out in the time of Vitellius, and that the Discord and Civil Wars which then happened in the Roman Em­pire, had encouraged the Britains to take Arms under the Command of Venutius; yet it is evident from what he hath already said in his Annals, that this War with Venutius must have been begun in Nero's time, since Didius was the first Lieutenant in Britain, who sent any assistance to Cartisman­dua; and who must be supposed to have been dead, or remov'd some time before the Death of Nero; or else there would be no room left for his two Successors above mentioned; the latter of which ended his Go­vernment with the Reign of Vitellius.

But to return to our History, it is certain that Veranius the Successor of A. Didius did little,Annal. LXIII. except his wasting the Silures by many small In­cursions; being hindred by Death from carrying the War any further. A Man of great reputation for his Discipline, but, as appears by his last Words in his Testament, guilty of manifest Vanity and Ambition; for after many things spoken in Flattery of Nero, he said that he would have subjected all, viz. Britain, to him, if he might have lived but two Years longer.

After him Paulinus Suetonius governed Britain, being in Reputation and Military Skill a Commander equal to Corbulo;Ibid. c. 38. but since in Paulinus's Time the Romans received so great a blow in Britain, Let us take Tacitus's account of it.

This General desiring to equal Corbulo's glory in recovering Armenia, by taming the British Rebels;Anno Dom. LXIII. endeavoured to Conquer the Island Mona (now called Anglesey), strong in People and a Receptacle of Fugitives. To which end he built many flat bottomed Vessels, for that shallow and uncertain Shore: his Foot thus wasted over, his Horse waded or swom, where thick upon the Strand stood several gross bands of Men well Armed; many Women like Furies running to and fro in dismal Habits, with their Hair hanging loose about their Shoulders, held Torches in their Hands: The Druids (who were their Priests, of whom we have [Page 47] spoken in another place) with Hands lift up to Heaven,Anno Dom. LXIII. stood uttering direful Imprecations: All which so astonish'd the Soldiers with the No­velty of the Sight; that at first they yielded themselves, without any Resistance to their Enemies Blows; but then being encourag'd by the Exhortations of their General, and encouraging one another, that they should not fear this Womanish, Phanatick Rout, they led on the En­signs; and routing all they met, overturn'd them into their own Fires. After this, a Garrison was impos'd upon the Conquer'd; and the Groves▪ sacred to their cruel Superstitions, were cut down; for they look'd upon it as piece of Religion to sacrifice Captives, and to consult the Gods by inspecting Humane Entrails. But whilst Suetonius was thus in Action, Word is brought him, that a sudden Defection had happen'd in his Pro­vince; the Occasion of which is thus farther related by our Author.

Tacit. lib. 12. Prasutagus, King of the Icenians, abounding in Wealth, had left Caesar Co-heir with his two Daughters, thereby hoping to have secur'd from Wrong both his Kingdom, and his Family; which fell out far otherwise: For, under Colour to Oversee and take Possession of the Emperor's new Inheritance, his Kingdom became a Prey to the Centurions; his House to ravenous Officers, his Wife Boadicia being violated with Stripes, and his Daughters ravish'd: And, as if the Romans had gotten the whole Kingdom as a Legacy, the cheifest Men of the Icenians are turn'd out of their ancient Estates, and those of the Royal Family treated like Slaves. By which Indignities, and for fear of greater Evils when they should be reduc'd into the Form of a Province, they took Arms. The Trinobantes were also moved to rebel, whilst others who were not as yet reduced to Servitude conspir'd with those that were, to regain their former Liberty. This proceeded from a cruel Hatred against the Veterane Soldiers, who being planted in the late Colony of Camalodunum, drove Men from their Houses and Estates in the Country, calling them Slaves and Captives: The other Soldiers also encouraging this Violence of the Veteranes, as well through a Likeness in Manners, as through an Hope of the same Li­cense. To which may be also added, That the Temple dedicated to Claudius was look'd upon as a Badge of their Eternal Slavery; and the Priests ordain'd for it, under a Shew of Religion, seiz'd upon divers Men's Estates. Nor did it seem difficult to destroy a Colony, defended by no Fortifications; which was but little fore-seen by the Roman Commanders, who rather had studied their Pleasure, than Safety.

To all which Provocations, Lib. LXII. Dion also adds, That Catus Decianus the Procurator, endeavour'd to bring all Men's Goods under the Compass of a new Confiscation; by disavowing the Remission of Claudius himself. Lastly, Seneca (only in his Books a Philosopher) having drawn in the Britains to borrow of him vast Sums, upon fair Promises of an easie Loan; and for Re-payment, to take their own Time; all on a sudden compell'd them to pay both Principal and Interest at once, with great Extortion: Which you will find in In Vita Agric. cap. 14. Tacitus, expressed at large, in a long Speech by the injur'd Britains.

Thus provok'd by the heaviest Sufferings, and invited by Opportu­nity in the Absence of Paulinus, the Annal. Lib. XIV. Cap. 31▪ Icenians, and by their Example the Trinobantes, and as many more as hated Servitude rose up in Arms; but of these ensuing Troubles many foregoing Signs appear'd, among which the Image of Victory at Camalodunum fell down of it self, with the Face backward, as if she had turn'd to the Enemy: And certain Women, in a [Page 48] kind of Ecstasie,Anno Dom. LXIII. foretold great Calamities to come: In the Council-House by Night, strange Noises were heard; and in the Theatre, hide­ous Howlings; but in the River Thames, horrid Appearances were seen, as of a Colony destroy'd, but what these were, Dion tells us more plain­ly viz. That in that River there were discover'd the Ruins of Houses under Water: Besides, the Ocean seem'd of a bloody hue, whilst at the Ebb appear'd the Shapes of human Bodies left upon the Sands: All which as it rais'd in the Britains new Courage, so in the Romans it caused un­wonted Fears: Therefore since Suetonius was now far off, they desired from Catus Decianus some Assistance; but he sent them scarce above Two Hundred Men, and those ill Arm'd.

There was within the Town a moderate Garrison of Soldiers, who trusted in the Strength of the Temple; but some who were conscious of the intended Rebellion, had perplex'd their Councils, and hindred them from drawing any Line about the Place; nor were the Old Women and Children turn'd out, and the Fighting Men (as they ought to have done) only left behind. Thus the Romans being secure, as in the midst of Peace, were circumvented by a Multitude of Barbarians, so that all Places were quickly Spoil'd and Burnt at the very first Assault; the Temple, in which the Soldiers had gotten together, held out Two Days, but was at last taken. The Britains being thus Victors, marched out to meet Petillius Cerialis, Lieutenant of the Ninth Legion, then coming to their Succour, they routed his Legion, and killed all the Foot; but Cerialis with the Horse escaped into the Camp, which was defended by the Trenches. Catus Decianus the Procurator, whose Covetousness, and the hatred of the Province that ensued upon it, had been the Cause of this War, fled like a Coward into Gaul.

But Suetonius not dismay'd with this sad News, marched through his Enemy's Country to London, Ibid. cap. 33. which, thô not honoured with the Title of a Colony, yet was then famous for the great Concourse of Merchants, and plenty of all Provisions; where being arriv'd, he was doubtful whether or no he should make it the Seat of War; but having consider­ed the small number of his Soldiers, and taking warning from Cerialis, he resolved to preserve the whole by the loss of this one City: So that he was not moved by the Crys and Tears of those who implored his Pro­tection, from giving his Men the Signal of Departure; only taking those into his Army, who would or could march along with him; they who, through weakness of Sex, or Age, or love of the Place, stay'd behind, were destroy'd by the Enemy, as was also Verulam, a Roman Municipium, or Free City: For the Barbarians omitting Forts and Castles, pillag'd the richest Places first, and then went easily forward to others more emi­nent for Strength: So that, as it afterwards appear'd, about Seventy Thou­sand Citizens with their Confederates in the Places above-mentioned, lost their Lives: None might be spared, none ransom'd; but they endea­vour'd by Gibbets, Fire, Crosses, and all other ways of Slaughter, to re­turn those Punishments they had suffered, and prevent any Revenge that was to be taken upon them.

Dion here also adds, That the Roman Wives and Virgins being hung up naked, had their Breasts cut off and sow'd to their Mouths, that even dead they might be seen to eat their own Flesh; whilst the Britains Feast­ed in the Temple of Andate, their Goddess of Victory.

[Page 49] Tacit. Ibid. chap. 34. Suctonius having then with him the Fourteenth Legion,Anno Dom. LXIII. with the Standard Bearers of the Twentieth, which, together with the Auxiliaries, made in all about Ten Thousand Men; resolving to lay aside all De­lays, prepar'd to joyn Battel, having chosen a Place accessable, only by a narrow Lane, and defended behind by a Wood; knowing well enough that the Enemies could do nothing but upon his Front, and that the open Plain was without danger of an Ambuscade: he drew up the Le­gionary Soldiers in close Order, and being defended on each side with the light Arm'd Men, and the Horse that made both the Wings. But the British Forces being drawn up here and there in smaller Companies and Squadrons, appear'd a great Multitude; being so fierce and confident of Victory, that they carried their Wives along with them in Wagons to behold it, which were placed in the outward Borders of the Field.

Let us here also add what Ibid. Dion says of Boadicia, the Widow of Pra­sutagus, who chiefly stired up and perswaded the Britains to make this War upon the Romans. Boadicia (says he) was a British Lady of a Royal Race, who did not only Govern with great Authority in Peace, but also order'd the whole War: Her Disposition was more Masculine than became a Woman, being of a tall Statute, and a severe Counte­nance, having a harsh Voice and yellow Hair, which being let loose, hung dishevel'd below her Wast, wearing a great Gold Chain about her Neck, and having on a loose Coat wrought with divers Colours, and a thick Mantle button'd over it, holding a Spear in her Hand. Having now gotten together an Army of an Hundred Thousand Men, which were drawn up ready to fight, the Queen getting up on a high heap of Earth, made a Speech to her Soldiers, which, since it is tedious and most likely to be made only to set out the Eloquence and Invention of the Author, I shall pass over, and shall rather give you what she is suppos'd to have said, out of Ibid. cap. 35. Tacitus; as being shorter and more to the Purpose; who re­lates it thus.

Boadicia carried her Daughters with her in a Chariot, in which being driven about to every Nation that compos'd her Army, she spoke to this Effect: ‘That since it was no new thing for the Britains to make a War under the Conduct of a Woman, therefore for her part, thô descended of Noble Ancestors, she sought not so much to Revenge the loss of her Kingdom and Treasures, but rather (as one of the Common People) the loss of her Liberty, the bruising her Body with Stripes, and the violated Chastity of her Daughters. That the Ro­man Lust was such, that they did not leave either old Age or Virgi­nity undefil'd: That the Gods had hitherto favour'd her just Revenge, one Legion being already cut off, which dared to fight; the rest ha­ving hid themselves in their Camps sought how to run away, as not being able to endure the Shouts and Clamours of so many Thousands, much less their Power: So that if they would but consider their own great Forces, they ought either to overcome or die in that Battel.’

Ibid. cap. 36.Neither was Suetonius silent in so great a Danger; and although he trusted much in his Soldiers Valour, yet thought good to give them some Encouragement, to this effect; That they should despise the empty, noisy Threats of those Barbarians; That they beheld more Women, than Fighting Men among them; That being unwarlike, and unarm'd, they would presently give way, as soon as they felt the sharp Swords and Va­lour of their Conquerors, by whom they had been so often routed; and [Page 50] That of so many Legions,Anno Dom. LXIII. a few would serve to gain the Victory; and that it would be an Addition to their Honour, if so small a Force could obtain the same Glory as if it were an entire Army. His Advice then was, That they should keep close together; and having cast their Darts, should afterwards continue the Slaughter with their Pikes and Swords, not minding the Spoil, since the Victory once obtain'd, all would be their own. The Soldiers were so encouraged with this Speech, that the Veterane Soldiers, experienc'd by many Battles, urged Suetonius to give the Signal.

Tacit. c. 37.Yet all the Legion stood unmov'd, keeping that strait Entrance as a Defence before them: But when the Enemy had approached nearer, and had spent their Darts, the Legion sallied forth all at once upon them, in the form of a Wedge. The like Assault, was also made by the Auxi­liaries; whilst the Horse, with their Spears, routed all that stood be­fore them: The rest turn'd their Backs and fled, but could hardly escape, because their own Wagons had closed up all the Avenues: But the Sol­diers gave no Quarter, not so much as to the Women; and the very Draught-Cattel being run thorough, increas'd the Heap of the dead Car­cases. This Victory was very eminent; and the Glory of it equall'd those of Ancient Times, since it is related, that not less than 80000 Bri­tains were then slain; but of the Roman Soldiers, not above 400, and about as many wounded. Boadicia ended her Life by Poyson: And Pae­nius Posthumus, the Commander of the Second Legion, when he heard the good Success of those of the Fourteenth and Twentieth, since he had de­frauded his own Men of the like Glory; and had also, contrary to the Rules of War, refused to obey the Orders of his General, run himself through with his own Sword.

The Army, after a general Review, still kept the Field, to make an end of the War; and Suetonius increased his Forces with 2000 Legionary Sol­diers, and 8 Cohorts of Auxiliaries, together with 1000 Horse sent out of Germany; by whose coming, the Ninth Legion was recruited: Where­upon, all those Cohorts, with some others, were put into Winter-Quar­ters: Whatsoever Nations continued either Enemies, or Neuters, were now destroy'd with Fire and Sword. But nothing afflicted them so much as Hunger; having been careless to sow Corn, because they rec­kon'd upon the Roman Provisions as their own; all their Hands being employ'd in the War. But these fierce Nations were the less inclin'd to treat of Peace, because Julius Classicianus, who succeeded Catus, differing with Suetonius, their private Animosities hinder'd the publick Good; the former giving out, that a new Lieutenant was to be expected, without the Rancour of a Conqueror, and who would treat those that submitted to them with Mercy and Clemency: Having also written to Rome, that there was no End to be expected of this War, unless Suetonius were remov'd; attributing all Miscarriages to his ill Conduct; and any happy Success, to the good Fortune of the Commonwealth.

Ibid. cap. 39. Polycletus therefore, one of Nero's Freed-men, is sent to inspect the State of Britain, with great Hopes that he might by his Authority, not only procure an Agreement between the Lieutenant and the Procurator, but also work the Minds of the Barbarians to a Peace. Polycletus, after having been burthensome, both to Italy and Gaul, with his great Retinue and having cross'd the Ocean, did not omit to become terrible also to the Roman Soldiers. This gave Matter of Sport to the Enemy, who then [Page 51] enjoying Liberty, had not yet known the Power of these Freed-men;Anno Dom. LXIII. but wonder'd that so great a General, and an Army who had fought such Battels, could obey Slaves. But though all things were soften'd, and fairly represented on the General's behalf; yet because (whilst he was otherwise employ'd in Affairs) he had lost a few Galleys near the Shore; he was commanded, though the War yet lasted, to deliver up the Army to Petronius Turpilianus, who was then just out of his Consulship; who, nei­ther provoking the Enemy, nor being provoked by them, gave his own Slothfulness the honourable Title of Peace.

Cap. [...]But Tacitus also, in the Life of Agricola, having given a short Rela­tion of this War with Boadicia, (whom he there calls Voadicia) owns, that Britain had been lost if Paulinus had not speedily come to its Assi­stance, most of which he restor'd by one Battel to its ancient Subjection: though many still continued in Arms, whom either the Guilt of Rebel­lion, or the Fear of the Lieutenant, still kept out; who, though he was a worthy Man, yet carried himself too haughtily toward those that sub­mitted; and, as a Revenger of his own Injuries, imposed too hard Terms upon the Vanquished: Therefore Petronius Turpilianus was sent in his stead, as being more exorable; who, as one altogether ignorant of the Enemy's Failings, would be more easie to their Repentance; but all former Differences being composed, he durst do nothing farther; and so deliver'd the Province to Trebellius Maximus; who being a Man of an un­active Temper, and no Experience in Military Affairs, govern'd the Pro­vince by a Softness and Complaisance; yet nevertheless, he continued still in the Government till the Reign of Vitellius.

But Ibid. Tacitus here farther tells us,Anno Dom. LXIX. That the Britains had now learnt to approve of the pleasant Vices of the Romans, whilst the Intervention of their Civil Wars gave them a just Excuse for their own Cowardice.

But one thing is by no means to be passed by without particular No­tice; that it was in the Reign of one of these Emperors, either Claudius, or Nero, though uncertain in which, that Gildas, as do divers other la­ter Authors, supposes the Gospel to have been first preached in the Island; though by whom, is also unknown, no ancient Church-Historian making any mention of it: And indeed, there is much difference in the Ac­counts of latter Writers about it; some attributing it to St. James, the Son of Zebedee; some of the Modern Greek Ecclesiastical Writers, to Simon Ze­lotes, or St. Peter; others of them, to St. Paul, who is said to have Or­dain'd one Aristobulus, (afterwards a Martyr) to be a Bishop in Britain; as you may see at large in the first Chapter of Archbishop Usher's Antiquities of the British Churches. But though he there understands those Passages in Gildas, where he speaks of Christ, the true Sun's affording his Rays, i. e. the Knowledge of his Precepts, to this Island, then shivering with Icy Cold, as if it referr'd to the very first Preaching of the Gospel, in the Reign of Tiberius; yet the learned Dr. Stillingfleet, now Lord Bishop of Worcester, hath very ingeniously shewn us in his learned Work, called Cap [...]. Origines Britanicae, that the Word intereà, in the mean time, (with which Gildas begins this Discourse) is to be referred to the Times before-men­tion'd by him, (viz.) that fatal Victory over Boadicia and the Britains, by Suetonius Paulinus; and the Slavery they afterwards underwent in Nero's Reign. So that the Doctor supposes Gildas to speak of a double Shining of the Gospel; one more general to the Roman World, the other more particular to this Island: The former, he says, was in the End of [Page 52] Tiberius's Reign,Anno Dom. LXIX. the latter was interea, in the time that is between Plau­tius's coming over in the Time of Claudius, and the abovementioned Battel between Boadicia and Suetonius; and this the Dr. thinks to be most probably the Time which Gildas has there pitched upon, for the first Preaching of the Gospel in this Island. Since therefore there is so great a difference between those Authors, who have taken upon them exact­ly to assign the time when it was first Preached (as you may find by the Citations given us by the said Archbishop, it were to no purpose croud this History with those uncertain Relations, and therefore I shall refer you to the said Learned Work, if you shall desire any further Sa­tisfaction.

To which period of Time may be also referred the Story of Joseph of Arimathaea's and his Twelve Companions coming to Preach the Gospel in Britain, which, thô it wholly depends upon some Legends and Tradi­tions of the Monks of the Abbey of Glastenbury, for no such thing is to be found in Gildas, Nennius, or any ancient British Author; yet since they have been so commonly receiv'd, it deserves a particular Notice, thô the said Archbishop in the Chap. III. Book but now cited also tells us, That he believes those Stories to be not antienter than the coming in of the Nor­mans, as smelling plainly of the Superstition of those latter Ages: For Will. of Malmsbury in his Treatise concerning the Antiquities of the Church of Glastenbury, is the first that mentions it; when drawing its Hi­story from the Apostles, he relates, that St Philip coming into France to Preach the Gospel of Christ, and being willing to spread it further, chose Twelve of his Disciples, over whom he set his dear Friend Joseph of Ari­mathaea, and sent them to Preach the Word in Britain; and that coming over hither in the Sixty-third Year after Christ's Passion, he faithfully Preach'd the Gospel; but a British King (whom he does not name) hear­ing things so new and unusual, utterly refus'd to hearken to their Preach­ing, nor would change the Traditions of his Forefathers: yet because they came from far, and shew'd great Simplicity of Life, he granted them a certain Island to inhabit, encompassed with Woods and Marshes, called by the Inhabitants Iniswitri [...]; where, by a Vision of the Angel Gabriel, they built a small Church, making the Walls with Wattles, in Honour of God and the Virgin Mary, where these Twelve Holy Men spent their Time in Devotions to God and the Blessed Virgin, by Fasting and Praying. These things he says he had received from a Charter of St. Pa­trick's, as also from the Writings of the Antients; but that Charter is by the Learned Dr. Stillingfleet prov'd to be a meer Forgery of the Monks of Glastenbury: And as for ancient Writers, thô Malmsbury there cites Frecul­phus as an Author, who relates Philip's sending Joseph hither, yet the Archbishop there shews us, that this Author whom Malmsbury cites, had only taken a Passage from Isidore's Book concerning the Fathers of both Testaments: But in both those Authors it is only thus, That Philip Preached Christ to the Gauls, and Converted many Barbarous Nations lying near the Sea, to the Knowledge of the Gospel; but says not one word of Joseph's coming hither. So that, thô Cardinal Baronius hath pla­ced this coming over of Joseph in his Annals, and says, That he took it from a Manuscript History of England, which was in the Vatican Library; yet the Archbishop proves in another Place, that History to have been written in Modern Times. So that all the Romish Writers on this Subject have barrow'd their Legends one from another, as the first of them did from our William of Malmsbury.

[Page 53]The said Archbishop there likewise tells us,Anno Dom. LXIX. as does also Sir Henry Spel­man in the First Volume of his British Councils, That in their time there was kept at Wells, in the House of Sir Thomas Hughs, Knight, a brazen Plate, which was formerly fastned to a Pillar of Glassenbury Church, wherein was Engraven this Story with divers Additions, too long to be here set down: Therefore I refer you to the said Authors Works, where you may find it word for word, with the draught of it, as it was taken from the Original, where you may also see that he there conclude; from the modernness of the Character, as well as divers other Circumstances in the Inscription it self, that it could not be above Three Hundred Years old, and so plainly betrays the Forgery of those Monks, who set it up, and contriv'd the Story of St. David's Hand being pierced through with our Saviour's Finger, as it stands related in the said Inscription. But whosoever is not satisfied with this, that is here set down, but desires farther Satisfaction in the uncertainty of this Story of Joseph of Arima­thaea, may, if they please, consult the said Doctor's above-cited Trea­tise; where you will find all the Authorities that have been further made use of for this Story, learnedly confuted.

The short Reign of Galba affords us nothing relating to British Affairs,Anno Dom. LXIX. no more than that of Otho; only, that during this last Emperor's Reign, Ibid. Tacitus relates, That whilst Trebellius Maximus govern'd Britain, he [...]ell into the Hatred and Contempt of his Army, for his sordid Covetous­ness; and that this Aversion against him, was heightned by Roscius Cae­lius, Legate of the Twentieth Legion, an old Enemy of his, insomuch, that oftentimes by flight and hiding himself, he escaped the Fury of his Army: and that thus debasing himself in a mean and abject manner, he exercis'd a precarious Authority, as if he and his Army had had agreed, that they should enjoy a Licentiousness of Living, and he his own Ease and Safety. But when the Civil Wars broke out between Otho and Vitellius, then began Trebellius and Caelius to fly into greater and more open Discords: Trebellius laying to Caelius's Charge the spreading of Se­dition, and drawing the Soldiers from their Discipline and Obedience; whilst on the other side, Caelius upbraided him of defrauding and Pilla­ging the Legions. Amidst those shameful Contentions, the Modesty of the Army was so Corrupted, and their Insolence grown to that height, that the Auxiliary Forces stuck not publickly to speak ill of their Ge­neral, and most of the Cohorts openly deserting him, went over to Cae­lius. Trebellius being thus forsaken, presently fled to Vitellius, who being then Emperor, received him but coldly, without Restoring him to his Command. After his Departure the Province remain'd for a time quiet, though without a Lieutenant; the Commanders of the Legions Go­verning with equal Authority; yet Caelius was most powerful, because most daring.

But Vitel [...]ius not long after he came to the Empire,Anno Dom. LXX. sent hither Vectius Bolanus to succeed Trebellius: And it also appears by several passages in Tacitus, that no small number of British Forces were Commanded over Sea, to serve in those Bloody Civil Wars between Otho and Vitellius;Tacit. H [...]stor. Lib. II. c. [...].5. Id. v [...]t. Agrico­lae, [...]. 1 [...]. especially when he and Vespasian contended for the Empire; and pa [...]ticu­larly the Fourteenth Legion, called the Conquerors of Britain, having been removed from hence by Nero, to the Caspian War; were again sent into Britain by Vitellius, but recalled by Mutianus, on the behalf of Vespatian.

[Page 54] Anno Dom. LXX.But Bolanus during the Civil Wars, was not able to keep the disci­pline, much less to attempt any thing upon the Britains; since the Facti­ons continued as great in the Army, as in the time of Trebellius; only with this difference, that Bolanus was Innocent, and not hated for any publick Vices; and carried himself so obligingly, that though he had not the Authority of a General, yet he Ruled by the Affections of the Souldiers. But now Vitellius fearing the power of Vespasian, whose Forces began daily to encrease; wrote to Bolanus for supplies: but he deferred it, partly because the Britains were not sufficiently quieted; but taking the advantage of these dissentions among the Romans, raised continually new Commotions, by the instigation of Venutius; who had hitherto car­ried on the War against the Romans, ever since they took part with his Wife Cartismandua; but chiefly because the Souldiers of the Fourth Legion being incensed against Vitellius, had sent over privately Letters of Sub­mission to Vespasian: In this condition was Britain, during the Govern­ment of Bolanus, when Vitellius was deposed about the Tenth Month of his Reign.

Vespasian succeeded him, and as soon as he was declared Emperour, his great Reputation easily brought over the Legions in Britain to his Interest;Anno Dom. LXXI. for he had served from a Youth in the British Wars, and being Lieutenant of the Second Legion, under Claudius, had fought many Battles,Tacit. vi a Agritol. 17. and taken many Towns from the Britains.

But as soon as Vespasian was acknowledged in Britain, as well as in the rest of the Provinces; Famous Generals and great Armies were sent hither, whereby the Enemies hopes were quite defeated: For the Empe­ror presently sent into Britain, Petilius Caerialis one of Consular Dignity, as his Lieutenant; under whom Valour found not only a room to show it self, but also an Example in himself: For in the first place, he attack'd the State of the Brigantes, which is counted the most Populous in the whole Island, in which Expedition many Skirmishes happen'd, though sometimes not without much Blood-shed; he taking in a great part of their Country by Conquest: But when Caerialis had indeed both eclips'd the Fame, as well as prevented the Care of a Successor; Julius Frontinus succeeded him, who did as worthily sustain that great Charge, being a very brave Man; he subdued the Silures, overcoming both the diffi­culties of Places, and the Valour of the Enemies.

In this State was Britain, when the Emperor sent hither Agricola as his Lieutenant,Anno Dom. LXXVII. who had learned his first Principles of War in Britain, under Paulinus a Mild, yet diligent General, who made him his Tent­fellow; neither did Agricola after the manner of some Young Men, turn Warfare into Wantoness, or made use of the Command of a Tribune, only for Pleasure and Luxury; but made it his business to know the Province; to be known to the Army; to learn from the more Skillful; to imitate the Best; to undertake nothing for Vain Glory; to refuse no­thing for Fear; but at once to Act both Cautiously and Stoutly. For Caerialis, had from the beginning enured him to Labours and Dangers; and at last communicated a share of Reputation often times for a Tryal, giving him the Command of some part of the Army, and sometimes encouraging his former Success, by giving him the Command of greater Forces.

[Page 55]This is the Character, which Tacitus gives us of this Great Man;Anno Dom. LXXVIII. whose Daughter he had Married, and this was the State of Affairs in Britain, when Agricola came over about Midsummer: When the Soldiers having laid aside all thoughts of any Expedition, were grown secure, and the Britains on the other side were as watchful for Advantages, the Or­dovices a little before the coming of this new General, had lately almost destroyed a whole Squadron of Horse, that was Quarter'd in their Country, few escaping; whilst those Britains, who were desirous of War, approved the Example; and others of them rather observed the Temper of the new Lieutenant: Then Agricola, although the Summer was spent, and the Souldiers dispersed into their Winter Quarters, expecting nothing but Ease for the rest of the Year; and though he considered the diffi­culties of beginning a War at that Season; (most of his Officers thinking it sufficient to defend what was weakest, and least to be defended; yet he resolved rather to obviate danger, than to expect it; so he gathered to­gether some of the chief Legionary Cohorts, with a small band of Aux­iliaries. But because the Ordovices durst not come down into the Plains; he Lead the Army against them himself; that by exposing his own person to equal Dangers, he might make them all a like Couragious: and having fought the Ordovices, he almost cut off their whole Nation.

But, Agricola, knowing that reputation is chiefly gained by success; and that as this first Enterprize succeeded, so it would give a counte­nance to those that followed; He resolved therefore to subdue the Isle of Mona; from the Conquest of which Paulinus was recalled by the re­volt of the Britains, as you have already heard; but wanting Ships for this Expedition, which was undertaken on the sudden: He used this Policy for the Transporting his Men; he commanded them all to lay aside their Baggage, sending over first the chief of the Auxiliaries; who were acquainted with their shallows, and whose Countries use had taught them to Swim, govern their Horses, and Fight all at once, which was executed so on the sudden, that the Britains, who expected Fleets, and thought without Shipping nothing could attack them, were now surpri­zed and daunted; since they believed nothing was difficult or invincible to Men, so resolutely prepared for War; whereupon they desired Peace, and delivered up the Island.

This sudden Success gained Agricola a great Reputation; especially since he employed even his first Entrance into his Province, in labour and War; which by other Governours was spent in Ceremonies, or be­stowing of Commands; nor did he make use of his Prosperity for Osten­tation, or call this Expedition a Conquest; but only that he had reduced those to Obedience, who had been before subdued; neither did he so much as adorn his Letters to Rome with Laurels: (as the custom was) Yet even by this, slighting of Fame and Reputation, he at the same time encreased it; all Men admiring that, having such great pre­sumptions of future success, he could thus conceal such noble Actions.Ibid. cap. 19. Having thus overcome the Britains, the next thing he set himself about, was to understand the Minds and Inclinations of the People; having learned by long experience, that little good was to be done by force, whilst open injuries and oppressions were permitted; therefore he resolved to cut up this War by the very Roots, so beginning with his Domesticks, he first of all reformed his own Family, which is not less difficult to some than to Govern a Province; he acted nothing of publick concern [Page 56] by his Freedmen or Servants;Anno Dom. LXXVIII. nor did he nominate his Officers by his own private inclinations; nor on the bare recommendations, or intreaties of others; but still chose the most Vertuous and Faithful; he would both know and do all things himself; as for small faults he pardoned them, but punished great ones; nor was he always satisfied with punishment, but more often with Repentance; putting into Offices and Commands, rather such who would not offend at all, than punish them when they had: He also rendered the payment of Corn and other Tributes more easie by the equality of the Taxation; cutting off those exactions which were invented for private gain, and which were often more grievous, than the Taxes themselves: for the People had been compelled to attend at the publick Granaries, which were on purpose kept locked against them; and when opened, the Publicans obliged them to take greater quantities of Corn than their necessities required, and that an at extravagant rate, and which they were often constrained to sell again at a lower price to make Money for other necessaries, or the payment of their Tribute; the Purveyors also commanding them, when they pleased to carry it not to the nearest but remotest Markets, compounding with such as would be excused: thus causing a scarcity where there was none indeed, they made a particular gain to themselves: the reforming these abuses in the very First Year of his Government, brought Peace into Reputation; which either by the carelesness or connivances of his Predecessors, had hitherto been not less dreadful than War.

Geoffrey of Monmouth, and those that follow him do about this time make Arviragus a British King, [...] to have reigned in some part of this Island; and then dying, that he was succeeded by one Marius, whom some will have to be the same with Gogidun [...]; all which being as un­certain, as whether there was ever any such a Man or not; I shall not trouble my self to dispute, since this Arviragus, whom they suppose to have been his Father, lived in the Reign of Domitian, as I shall prove when I come to it.

Anno Dom. LXXIX.About this time dyed the Emperor Vespasian, and was succeeded by his Son Titus, who rather exceeded, than equal'd his Father in Valour and Worth: He continued Agricola in the Government of Britain: who when Summer was once come drew together his Army,Ibid. cap. 10. praising the good Discipline of his Souldiers, whilst they keept close to their Ensigns, and punishing the Straglers; he himself always chusing the places whereon to Encamp; and before hand searched the Woods, and Sounded the Fords they were to pass; by which means he not only hindred the Ene­my from taking any rest, but so continually allarmed them with fresh Excursions, that be prevented the pillaging of the Roman Territories: Having thus sufficiently terrified them; he then began by sparing them to show them some allurements to Peace; by which means many Cities that before stood upon Terms,Ib. c. 20. now laid down their Arms, gave Hostages, and received Garrisons; which were all placed with such care and fore­sight, and in such places of advantage, that never any of them were at­tempted, whereas before no new fortified place in all Britain escaped unattacked.

The following Winter was wholly spent in a wise and profitable de­sign; for to the end, that the Britains who then lived rude and scattered, and so apter to make War, might be accustomed to pleasure, and living at ease; he privately encouraged, and publickly promoted the building [Page 57] of Temples, Houses, and Places for Publick Assemblies;Anno Dom. LXXIX. commending the Readiness of some, and quickening the Slowness of others, whilst Emulation of Honour wrought more than Compulsion among them. He also caused the Noble-Men's Sons to be instructed in the Liberal Scien­ces: And by commending the Wits of Britain before these of Gaul, he brought them, who before hated the Roman Language, to grow in love with the Latin Eloquence. And now came the Roman Garb to be in fa­shion; and the Gown no Stranger among them. Thus came in by de­grees all the Allurements of Vice and Voluptuous Living; as Porticoes, Baths, with the Luxury of Banquets; which was by the Ignorant called Good Breeding, and Civility; when, indeed, it was but a Badge of their own Slavery.

Ibid. cap. 22.In the Third Year's Expedition,Anno Dom. LXXX. Agricola discover'd new Nations wast­ing the Countries as far as the Frith called the Taus. Thus by the Ter­rour of his Marches he so aw'd the Enemy, that though his Army was much harass'd by bad Weather, yet durst they not attack him: so that he had time enough to build Forts: And those that were skilful took notice, that no other General did more prudently chuse Places fit to be fortified. So that no Castle of Agricola's was ever taken by Force, or de­serted: But from these, being well provided with Provisions for a Years Siege, his Men made frequent Sallies. So that the Enemy, who before used in Winter to re-gain what in Summer they had lost, were now alike in both Seasons straitned and kept short. Neither did Agricola, as too covetous of Honour, attribute to himself things done by others; since every Officer or Centurion had him for an impartial Witness, as well as Judge of his Actions; And though he were taxed by some, as too bitter in his Reproofs, yet must it be granted, that as he was gentle to the Good, so he was morose to the bad; but his Anger did not last long: Nor needed one to have fear'd his Silence, or Reservedness; for he thought it much better to displease a Man, than hate him.

The Emperor Titus, for these great Atchievments of Agricola, was fif­teen times saluted Imperator, or General: And the Honour he got by the Actions of so great a Commander, he rewarded with Triumphal Orna­ments. Not long after which, Titus (stiled for his Goodness, Deliciae hu­mani generis, The Delight of Mankind) dyed (as was suspected) by Poyson.

Domitian, Anno Dom. LXXXI. his Brother (a Man as wicked as the other was vertuous) succeeded to him. It was now the Fourth Year of Agricola's Government in Britain; which was also spent in securing what the Summer before had been gotten in this Island: And had the Courage of his Soldiers been answerable to the Conduct of the General, and the Fortune of the Com­monwealth, he had now reach'd the utmost Bounds of Britain; for Glota and Bodotria (now Dunbritain and Edinburgh-Fryths) running from both Seas, far into the Continent, and being dis-joyn'd by a narrow Neck of Land; these, together with all the Creeks and Havens on this side of the Streight, were held by Roman Garisons, and the Enemies, as it were, confin'd in another Island.

Ibid. cap. 24.In the Fifth Year of his Government,Anno Dom. LXXXII. and as soon as the Season would admit passing over the Bodotrian Erith, he subdued divers Nations, (until then unknown) in frequent and prosperous Battels; placing Ga­risons in that part of Britain that lies over against Ireland, though more in hopes of a new Conquest, than for fear of any Invasion: For Ireland lying in the midst, between Britain and Spain, lies convenient for the [Page 58] Gallick Sea,Anno Dom. LXXXII. and would have united the vast Members of the Empire, and render'd them highly useful to each other. This Island, if compa­red to Britain, is much less; yet exceeds all the Islands of the Mediterra­nian Sea: The Soil and Climate, together with the Dispositions and Mannners of the Inhabitants, being not much different from those of the Britains; but its Havens are better known to Traders, by reason of its greater Commerce. Agricola had receiv'd one of the petty Kings of this Nation, who had been expell'd by a Domestick Sedition; and retain'd him under a Shew of Friendship, till a fit Occasion. Tacitus further says, That Agricola told him, that he believ'd Ireland might be both conquer'd and kept with only one Legion; and that it might be useful even against Britain, if the Roman Arms were extended thither, and Liberty were once, as it were, banish'd quite out of sight.

This, though it be a Digression from our History of Britain, yet I thought good not to omit, because it gives the best and most particular Account we have in any ancient Historian concerning Ireland: As also, the Reason why so great a General as Agricola thought it worth his Conquest.

Anno Dom. LXXXIII. Ibid. cap. 24.But the next Summer, which was the Sixth Year of his Command, he first discover'd by his Fleet those large Countries lying beyond the Bo­dotrian Frith; and Incursions of all those Nations lying beyond it, were much fear'd by him. This Fleet was by Agricola also made use of, to as­sist his Land-Forces; and therefore still follow'd him, making a dreadful Shew as it sail'd along. The War was thus carry'd on, both by Sea and Land; Nay, often in the same Camp, the Foot, with the Horse-men, and Marine Forces, would meet, and make merry together; where each in his Turn would extol their own Feats and Adventures; comparing the Dangers of the Woods and Mountains, with the Accidents and Ha­zards of the Waves and Tempests; and that as the Britains by Land, so the Ocean it self was by them subdued: Thus they boasted in a Soldier-like way. But, as Agricola afterwards heard from some Prisoners, the Sight of his Fleet so much dishearten'd the Britains, as that the utmost Secrets of their own Seas being now discover'd, the Conquer'd had even lost their last Refuge. But then the Caledonians made great Preparations for War, though with greater Fame than Reality; as it is usual for it to relate too much of things unknown, giving out, as if they had assaulted and taken some Roman Fort. This News made some afraid, who being Cowardly, under the Shew of Prudence, took upon them to advise the General, that they ought to retreat to the other side of the Frith; and that they should rather do it voluntarily, than by constraint. But when Agricola knew that the Enemy would invade him in many distinct Parties, lest he should be environ'd by Numbers far exceeding his own, he him­self divided his Army into Three Detachments.

Ibid. cap. 26.Which, when it was known to the Enemy, changing their Design on a sudden, they in one entire Body broke in by Night upon the Ninth Legion, as being the weakest, and killed the Centinels between sleeping and waking; and now they fought in the very Camp. When Agricola, having by Scouts learnt the Enemy's March, follow'd them at the Heels, and commanded the swiftest of his Horse and lightest Foot-men to charge upon their Rear, whilst the whole Army presently seconded them with Shouts. The Britains hearing the Enemy behind them, were dishearten'd; especially when the Day appearing, discover'd the glittering Ensigns of [Page 59] the Romans, who then took heart, and renew'd the Fight;Anno Dom. LXXXIII. not as Men doubtful of Victory; but ambitious of Honour: For now might be seen some of the Roman Soldiers getting into their own Camp, whilst others fought to get out; both contending, which should have the most Glory; the one, in bringing a timely Assistance; the other, in not seeming to have needed it. In this Fight the Britains were routed; and had they not betaken themselves to their old Refuge, the Woods and Bogs, that Day had put a Period to the War.

Ibid. cap. 27.By this constant Success, the Army gain'd fresh Courage; and they now all cried out, That nothing was impossible for their Valour; that Cale­donia was to be passed through; and that at last they would fight their Way to the utmost Bounds of Britain: And they who were lately so wise and cau­telous, now seem'd as forward, and talk'd as big, after this Success, as the best. And this, indeed, is the hard Fate of War; All challenge a Share in the Success, whilst Misfortunes are laid upon a single Person. However, the Britains would not own themselves beaten by the Cou­rage of the Roman Soldiers, but by the Cunning and Conduct of the General; and therefore they had no meaner Thoughts of themselves than before, but made new Levies, in order to prosecute the War; and beforehand carried their Wives and Children into Places of Safety, send­ing about, through all their Cities, to enter into new Confederacy; which was afterwards ratified with solemn Rites and Sacrifices: And so their Spirits being thus heightned, they at present return'd home.

The same Summer, a Cohort of Vespasian's, raised in Germany, and sent into Britain, having slain a Centurion, and other Soldiers that were appointed to exercise them, deserted, and went to Sea in three Pinnaces; and having kill'd two of the Masters whom they suspected, the other they constrain'd to do his Duty. Having thus escaped, and none know­ing what was become of them, and having no Pilates, they were carried at random, as the Tides and Winds drove them to and fro. Thus com­passing the Island, they practis'd Piracy where they landed; and often fighting with the Britains, who defended their Goods, were sometimes Victors, and sometimes worsted; till at last they were driven to that great Extremity for want of Provision, that first they devour'd the weakest of their own Men; and then drew Lots, who of them should be eaten after­wards. Thus having floated round Britain, and lost their Ships for want of Skill to steer them, getting on Shore, they were taken, and sold as Pirates, first by the Suevians, and afterwards by the Frisians, till at last they were sold into Britain; where the strangeness of the Accident render'd this Discovery of the Island more famous.

Ibid. cap. 28, 29.But Agricola having in the beginning of this Summer lost a young Son,Anno Dom. LXXXIV. made use of War as a Remedy to vent his Grief; therefore he sent his Fleet before, which by spoiling many Places on the Coast, struck a greater Terror into the Enemy: He himself with a flying Army consisting chiefly of Britains, whose Courage and Faith he had long experienced, following it, marched as far as the Grampian Hills, upon which the E­nemy had Posted themselves; for the Britains nothing daunted with the ill Success of the last Fight, and expecting nothing but Revenge or Sla­very from their new Leagues and Confederacies, were got together Thirty Thousand strong, more being daily expected; nay, the aged themselves would not be exempted from this Days Service, but as they had been brave Men in their time, so every one of them bore some Badge or Mark [Page 60] of his youthful Atchievements.Anno Dom. LXXXIV. Among these was Galgacus, chief in Authority and Birth; who when the Army cry'd out for the Signal of Battel, is brought in by Tacitus, making a long yet noble Oration; which thô it is likely he never spoke, and that it is contrary to my Design to stuff these Annals with long Speeches, yet since there is a great deal of good Sense and sharp Satyr expressed in it against his own Nation, I shall contract some part of it,Ibid. c. 30, 31, 30. Galgacus his Sp [...]ch to the Britains. and render the rest word for word. ‘In the first place having set forth the Occasion of making War upon the Ro­mans, from the Necessity of avoiding Slavery, as being the last People of Britain that were yet unconquer'd, and that beyond them there was no more Earth nor Liberty left: That now the utmost Bounds of Bri­tain were discovered, and no other Nations but them left to employ the Roman Armies, whose Pride they might seek to please in vain by Ser­vices and Submissions; those Robbers of the World, who having left no Land unplunder'd, ransack even the Ocean it self. If the Enemy be Rich, they are greedy of his Wealth; if Poor, they covet Glory; whom neither the East nor West could ever satisfie; the only Men in the World who pursue both the Rich and the Needy with equal Appe­tite: To Kill and Plunder, they call Governing; and when they have brought Desolation on a Country, they term it Peace. That Nature, by nearest ties, had link'd their Children and Relations to them, yet even these were taken away and pressed into their Service: That their Wives and Sisters, if they escap'd their Violence, yet could not avoid Dishonour; since when they came as Guests into their Houses, they were sure to Debauch them: Their Goods and Fortunes they made their Tributes; their Corn, their Provisions to supply their Gran [...]ries; and wore out their Bodies in cutting down Woods, and draining Fens, and paving Marishes; nay, and all this amidst a Thousand Stripes and Indignities: That Slaves who are born to Bondage, were sold but once, and afterwards kept at their Masters Charges; but Britain daily bought its own Bondage, and maintain'd it too.’

He then proceeds to exhort them to be tenacious of their Liberty, lest (like the last Slave in a private Family, who is the Sport and Scorn of his Fellows when conquer'd) they should be flouted by those who had been used as Drudges long before, advising them to take Courage and Ex­ample from the Brigantes, who under the Conduct of a Woman had al­most quite destroyed the Romans, and might have driven them out of Britain, had they not failed in the Attempt by their too great Security and Success. Then magnifying the Valour and Strength of his own Na­tion, and lessening that of the Romans, as made up of divers Nations, who unwillingly served them, and as soon as they durst would turn a­gainst them; he concluded with shewing what Advantages they had above the Romans, to make them hope for Victory, and the miserable Slavery they were like to undergo if they were vanquished; and therefore going now to Battel, advised them to remember the Freedom of their Ancestors, as well as the Danger of Slavery to themselves and their Po­sterity.

Ibid. c. 33, 34.The Britains received this Speech with great Testimonies of Joy, such as Songs and confus'd Clamours, after the Custom of their Country; all which shew'd their Approbation, and now their Arms began to glitter, and every one to put himself in Array, when Agricola, scarce able to re­press the Heat of his Soldiers, yet thinking it convenient to say some­thing [Page 61] to them, made a Speech to this Effect, (for, being somewhat long,Anno Dom. LXXXIV. I shall make bold to Contract it:) First he told his Soldiers, That this was the Eighth Year that their Valour, protected by the Fortune of the Roman Empire, had subdu'd the Britains in so many Battels,The Substance of Agricola's Spe [...]ch. and that as he had exceeded his Predecessors in Success, so they had all former Ar­mies. That Britain was now no longer known, only by Fame and Re­port; and that as they have had the Honor to discover, so likewise might they to subdue it: That he had often heard them ask, When they should meet the Enemy? but now they had their Desires, now was the time to shew their Valour, and that as every thing would happen as they could wish if they Conquer'd; so all things made against them, if they were overcome. That if it was Great and Noble to have Marched so much Ground, to have past so many Woods, and both the Friths, yet if they fled, the very same things would be their Hindrance and Destruction: That as for his part he had been long since satisfied, that to run away was neither safe for the Soldier nor General; and that a Commendable Death was to be preferr'd before the Reproaches of an Ignominious Life; that Safety and Honour were now inseparably conjoyned: And let the worst happen, yet how glorious would it be to die in the utmost Bounds of the World and Nature? Then putting them in mind of their late Vi­ctories, and representing these Britains they were now to fight with, as the Meanest and most Rascally of all the Nations they had Conquer'd, so he doubts not but they will afford them an occasion of a memorable Victory. Then concludes, in advising them to make an end of the War, and to Fifty Years Labours add one great concluding Day, by which means they should approve themselves to their Country; and that it should never be justly laid to their Charge, that they had Protracted the War, nor let slip any Opportunity of compleating their Conquest.

Whilst Agricola was yet speaking, the Soldiers expressed great Signs of their Eagerness and Resolution, but the Conclusion of his Speech was received with loud and joyful. Acclamations, whilst every Man stood to his Arms, and shewed his Impatience to march on. Agricola order'd the Battel after this manner; his Main Body was made up of Eight Thou­sand Auxiliary Foot, and Three Thousand Horse were placed in the Wings, the Legions being set in the Rear before the Camp, for the greater Glory of the Victory, if it could be won without any loss of Roman Blood; if otherwise for Succour and Assistance.

The British Army, for the greater shew and Terror, was drawn upon a rising Gound; the first Battalion stood on the Plain, the next a degree higher, as the Hill ascended, the Field rang with the Clattering Noise of Chariots and Horsemen rangeing up and down. Agricola perceiving the Enemy exceeded him in numbers, and fearing lest they might at­tack him in the Front and Flanks at once, stretch'd out his Front in length; and although by that means his Van-guard was somewhat thin, and that many Councelled him to take the Legions into it, yet he stood firm to his first Resolution, and alighting from his Horse, placed himself at the head of the Foot before the Ensigns.

Ib. cap. 36.The Fight began at a distance, with missive Weapons, wherein the Britains shew'd wondrous Skill and Constancy, for with their broad Swords and short Targets they either avoided the Darts, or shook them off, and in return liberally bestow'd whole Showres of their own; Agricola per­ceiving this Disadvantage, commanded Three Batavian Cohorts, and [Page 62] Two of the Tungrians, Anno Dom. LXXXIV. that they should bring it speedily to dint of Sword, which they easily performed, as being fitted for it by long exercise, but the Britains on the other side having little Targets, and huge unwildly Swords without points, lay under a great disadvantage, nor could en­dure a close down right fighting; so that when the Batavians came to exchange blows with them, and to make at their Faces with the Pikes of their Targets, they easily bore them down, and prosecuting their Victory, advanced to the side of the Hill; the rest of the Cohorts being spurr'd on by Emulation, and striking at all that were near them, run on in the same course, leaving for hast many behind them, some half Dead, others untouch'd; in the mean while as the Horse-men fled, the Chariots brake in upon the Foot; so they who had lately terrified others, were now distressed themselves, being penn'd in by their own close Ranks, as well as the unevenness of the Ground.

But the manner of this Battel was not like a loose skirmish of Horse­men, but all keeping their Ranks, endeavoured by the weight of their Horses to bear down the Enemy, and now might be seen Chariots with­out Drivers, and the affrighted Horses running to and fro, without Riders, overturning all that met them, or thwarted their way.

But when those Britains, who had not yet engaged but on the tops of the Hills despised the paucity of the Romans, Ibid. 38. began to draw down by degrees, and taking a compass to fall upon them in the Rear; Agricola having foreseen their design, with Four Squadrons of Horse, which he had reserved for such a purpose, opposed their Descent, and driving them back with as great hast as they had come forward, put them totally to flight; so that now this project of the Britains was turned upon them­selves; some Troops of Horse being by the General's order taken from the Front of the Battel, and sent to charge the Enemy in the Rear; then might have been seen in the open Plain a great and dismal Scene of War, some pursuing, wounding, taking, and then killing those that were taken; when other fresh ones came in the way; now whole Regi­ments of the Britains, according to their several dispositions, though Arm'd, and more numerous turning their backs, whilst others though unarm'd ran desperately upon the Swords of their Enemies; the whole field was covered with scattered Arms, Dead Bodies, with mangled Limbs and Blood; whilst many wallowing in their own gore, ceased not to give some proofs of their last Anger and Revenge: But when the Britains, by running away, had got nearer the Woods, rallying again, they cir­cumvented those that pursued them, as being unwary and ignorant of those places: Agricola (who was every where) prevented this by sending out some Light Arms, yet strong Cohorts, and as also by Commanding some of his Horse-men to alight, and scoure the thickest parts of the Wood; these might have suffered considerably for their rashness: But when the Britains once saw that the Romans followed the pursuit close, and in good order, they all fled, thô not as before in whole Troops and Companies; but dispersed and stragling into remote and by-places until Night, and the satiety of slaughter put an end to the chase: Of the Britains Ten Thousand were Slain: Of the Romans Three Hundred and Forty; amongst which was Aurelius Atticus, Commander in chief of a Cohort; who through Youthful heat, and the over-much mettle of his Horse, was carried into the midst of the Enemy. The Night was spent with Joy by the Romans;Ib. 38. being now flush'd with Victory and Spoil; but the [Page 63] Britains ran wandring up and down; Men and Women howling together,Anno Dom. LXXXIV. some lug'd on the Wounded, whilst others cryed for help, to those that were not hurt; some forsook their Houses, and of their own accord set Fire on them, searching out holes to hide themselves in for safety, which they as quickly left, to find out others; sometimes in consult together they en­tertained some glimmerings of hope, and then again fell into despair, be­ing sometimes dispirited, and some enraged at the sight of their dearest Relations; and it is certain, that many out of a cruel compassion laid violent hands on their Wives and Children to secure them from the cruelty of the Romans: But Day appearing gave a plainer prospect of their Victory; every where reign'd desolation and silence; the Hills being forsaken, and the Cottages smoaking afar off: when the Scouts brought word that no body appear'd, only that they found the uncertain Foot­steps of their flight. Whereupon Agricola, because the Summer was far spent, and that no fit Season to divide his Forces; brought them in an entire body into the borders of the Horesti: (supposed to be the Inhabi­tants of Eske-Dale in Scotland) where having received Hostages, he Com­manded the Admiral of his Fleet to Sail round about Britain; furnishing him with all things necessary, but the terrour of the Navy was gone be­fore, whilst he with slow and easie marches, to the end he might strike the greater terrour into the new Conquer'd Nations, arrived at his Winter Quarters, whilst the Navy with prosperous Winds and good Success, safely arrived at the Port Trutulensis (supposed by Mr. Somner, to be Richborough, near Sandwich) from whence it had set out, and coasting a­long the nearest side of Britain returned thither again.

And now the Romans first discovered the Isles of Orkeney, which others, with less Reason following Orosius, ascribe unto Claudius.

Agricola, Ib. ch. 39. having sent a plain account of these Transactions (and that without any vain Glory or Amplification) the Emperor, as his manner was, received them with a shew of Joy, thô with an inward Trouble of Mind; for he was Conscious to himself, that his own Counterfeit Triumph over the Germans was a ridiculous piece of Pageantry (to set out which, for want of real Captives,Dion. lib. 67. he was forced to buy such as by their Hair and Attire might personate them); whereas the great and real Victorys of Agricola, where so many Thousand were Slain, being ap­plauded by all Men, would give him a vast Reputation: Thinking it therefore dangerous, that the Glory of a private Man should Eclipse that of his Prince, He secretly design'd his Ruine, thinking it in vain to have suppressed the Study of Oratory, and other Liberal Arts, there­by to depress other Mens Fame; if he should suffer himself to be thus surpassed in the Art of War, which he esteemed the peculiar honour of an Emperour, being daily tormented with these Cares, and much alone in his Closet (which was always with him still a sign of some ensuing mischief) he thought it best for the present to hide his resentments, till the noise of Agricola's Victory, as well as the Love of the Army to­wards him, was a little abated; he continued him therefore in his Com­mand for some time, and with all shews of acknowledgments for so great Services, and ordering the Senate to decree him Triumphal Orna­ments, with the honour of a Statue;Ib. c. 40. himself speaking highly in his Fa­vour.

He also caused a Report to be spread abroad, that the Province of Syria, then void by the Death of Attilius Rufus, and reserved for Persons [Page 64] of the highest Rank,Anno Dom. LXXXIV. should be bestowed upon Agricola; and it was also commonly believed, that a Freed-man imployed in the Emperours most secret Services, was sent to Agricola with a Commission for the Govern­ment of Syria with private Orders, if he were then in Britain, that it should be delivered: But that the Messenger meeting Agricola at Sea, never so much as saluting him, returned again to Domitian; whether this were true or only feigned (as agreeable to the humour of this Prince) is uncertain.

However, Agricola delivered the Province peaceably and quiet to his Successour;Anno Dom. LXXXV. and least his entrance into the City should be too remark­able, by the croud of those that might go out to meet him, he came (as he was ordered) by Night into the Palace, where being received with a short salute, and no particular discourse, he presently drew off amongst the croud of attendants.

But tho' it is not to our present Design, give me leave to wait on this Great Man to his Grave, and give you Tacitus's last Account of him, since he is so great an Example of Moderation in Prosperity, as well as of Patience under the Slights and Affronts of an insolent Tyrant.

Ibid. 41, 42.But Agricola, though he thus striv'd to lessen his own great Reputa­tion, which is ever grievous to those that are lazy and unwarlike, yet by his Retirement he increased his own Glory, as well as his Vertues; still continuing modest in his Garb, easie of Access, and never accom­panied with more than one or two Friends: So that most People, who are accustom'd to esteem Great Men only by Titles and outward Ap­pearances, when they saw Agricola thus private, wonder'd at his great Reputation, and few understood his Vertues. And though, not long after, when absent, he had been accused to Domitian, yet he was also acquitted; there being no Crime alledg'd against him, unless it were to have liv'd under a Prince who was an Enemy to all Vertue. Besides, Had those worse sort of all Enemies, Flatterers prevail'd; there happen'd afterwards such Times which would not permit Agricola's Fame to be con­ceal'd, so many Armies being lost in Germany, Pannonia, and other Pro­vinces, through the Rashness or Cowardice of the Commanders, that Agri­cola was again desir'd by all Men to command, comparing his Constan­cy and Experience in War with the Sloth and Cowardice of others. Which Discourses coming often to the Ears of Domitian, whilst some of his Freed-men fairly represented his Merits, and others of the worst sort, through Envy and ill Will, as much misrepresenting them, it provoked this Prince, too apt of himself to do evil: So that Agricola, by his own Vertues, as well as the Vices of others, was often near Ruin. And though some time after, when the Proconsulship of Africa was void by the Death of Civica lately slain, the Command of this Province was seemingly offer'd him, whilst some were privately to offer their Assistance in making his Excuse; and others, more bold and open, both persua­ding, and also terrifying him, brought him into Domitian's Presence; who being already prepar'd to dissemble, haughtily (though willingly) accepted his Excuses; nay, suffer'd himself to be thank'd for his Accept­ing them; nor blush'd at his own Envy of so small a Benefit; nor did he so much as bestow upon Agricola, who w [...]nted [...] Salary, which had been usually allow'd to those that had been Proconsuls; as either being of­fended that it was not asked him, or out of Guilt lest he should seem to have bought that which he did not desire; since it is the Property of too [Page 65] many Mens Natures to hate those that have too much oblig'd them;Anno Dom. LXXXV. yet Domitian, though prone to Anger, and (by how much the more hidden, so much the more dangerous) was nevertheless mollified by this rare Moderation and Prudence of Agricola, since he did neither augment his own Fame, by any vain Boasting of his Merits; not yet accelerate his Fate by Contumacy or Sullenness. So that all those whose Custom it is, only to believe things dangerous unlawful, may be convinc'd that great and good Men may often live safe under the worst of Princes; and that Obsequiousness and Modesty, attended with Prudence and Industry, do far exceed all that Glory to which many by violent Courses, but for no publick Benefit to the Commonwealth, and by a too much sought for Fate, have endeavour'd to attain. However, thus much is certain, That not long after this, Agricola died, (whether by Poyson, or not, is un­certain,) to the common Grief of his Friends, as well as Strangers; and even Domitian himself appear'd to be concern'd at his Loss, though he could more easily dissemble his Joy, than Fear. Thus died the famous Agricola, who carried the Roman Eagles to the utmost bounds of Britain; Con­quering more Nations than all his Predecessours before had done, and had also subdued Ireland, had not the Jealousie of Domitian too soon re­called him: If Tacitus, or some other faithful Historian had given us as exact an account of the Actions of these other Lieutenants, that were sent into Britain, during the Reign of this Emperour and his Successours, then we might have had a compleat History of those times; But we are now at so great an uncertainty, that we cannot tell, who it was to whom Agricola resigned his Command; only we read in Suetonius of one Salustius Lucullus, to have been Legate of Britain, in the days of this Emperour; but nothing can be found of any others or of him,Domitian. more than that he was slain by Domitian, for giving his own name to a [...]ort of Spears which he had invented.

But this seems more certain, that not long after Agricola's departure; the Britains recovering fresh Strength and Courage, under the Conduct of Arvi­ragus, rebelled against the Romans, as some gather from that Speech, which Frabricius Veiento, is supposed by Juvenal to speak in flattery of Domitian:

Omen habes inquit, magni clarique triumphi;
Regem aliquem capies, aut de temone Britanno
Excidet Arviragus—
—See the Mighty Omen, see,
He cries, of some Illustrious Victory;
As I find it Elegantly tran­slated in Mr. Dryden's Ju­venal. lib. 1. Sat. 4 v. 12 [...].
Some Captive King, thee his new Lord shall own,
Or from his British Chariot headlong thrown,
The proud Arviragus come tumbling down.

Dion also mentions C. N. Trebellius to have governed Britain, though in what time is uncertain; but Tacitus in his Proem, to his First Book of Histories, speaks of Britain, as though formerly Conquer'd, but as then lost; which though it might be true, yet that it was again recovered is also as certain; since during the Reigns of the succeeding Emperours, we find Britain, as far as the Friths of Dunbritton and Edinburgh, entire­ly reduced into the form of a Roman Province, which was not governed by any particular Praetor or Proconsul, but was esteemed Praesidialis; that is, under the immediate protection and Eye of the Emperour, and held by his Garisons, and thus it continued as long as Britain remained a Member of the Roman Empire.

[Page 66] Anno Dom. LXXXII.But about the end of Domitians Reign, Arviragus is supposed by Geoffrey to have deceased; and that his Son Marius, called by the British Historians Meurig, succeeded him.

I have no more to observe during the Reign of Domitian, than that in his time, Claudia Rufina, a British Lady, was the Wife of Pudens a Senator, and she is famous in that Elegant Epigram of Martial for her Beauty, Wit and Learning; but more excellent was she for her profession of Christianity, if she were the same Woman St. Paul mentions in his Se­cond Epistle to Timothy, as some of our English Historians have (though without any great certainty) asserted, for it is certain that St. Paul wrote this Epistle to Timothy, in the Reign of Nero; and therefore it is not likely that this Claudia should be found for her Beauty, in the latter end of the Reign of Domitian; or else of Trajan, above Twenty Years after, since by that time, she must certainly have been a Woman of more Years than Beauty.

Anno Dom. XCVI.The short Reign of the Emperour Nerva, affords us nothing of cer­tainty, concerning the Affairs of Britain, only that in his Reign, as also in that of

Trajan his Successour, There were great Commotions in this Island, which may be also gathered out of Spartianus's History.Anno Dom. XCVIII. But in the Reign of this Emperour, the Britains are said by him to have Revolted; yet were soon reduced again to Obedience. To his Reign, we may also re­fer, that War which Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions, to have been made by Roderick King of the Picts; who aiding the Caledonians, was over­come and Slain by this King Marius above mentioned; which Victory, although it be only related by this Historian; Yet Arch-bishop Usher in his above cited De Ec [...]les. Brit. Antiquitat. Work, does not think it unlikely; since William of Malmesbury, before ever Geoffrey had published his History, makes menti­on of this Marius, in these words, (There is in the City of Luguballia (now called Carlisle) a Room Arch'd with Stone, which can neither by Weather or Fire be destroyed, the Country is called Cumberland, and the Inhabitants Cumbri; and in the Front of this Room, there is to be Read this Inscription, Marii Victoriae; but though Mr. Cambden (speaking of this place) says, he has found it written Marti Victori in some Copies, yet those could not be true, as being quite contrary to Malmesbury's meaning; who presently after adds, What this should mean I much doubt, unless perhaps some part of the Cymbrians planted themselves in these parts, after they had been driven out of Italy by Marius: But Ranulph of Chester in his Polychronicon, doth thus rectifie this mistake of Malmesbury, ‘As who not having seen the British History, attributed this Inscription to Marius the Roman; when it indeed belonged to Marius the British King.’ This Battel is supposed to have been fought in the great Moore, now called Stanmore, in Westmoreland; as a Monk of Malmesbury, in the Book called Eulogium, hath written.

We have nothing to Remark in the Reign of Trajan, unless it is what Geoffrey of Monmouth relates to have been performed in Britain in his time: Which I shall here give you. The publick ways (saith he) Trajan repaired by Pa [...]ing them with Stone, or raising Causeways, even such places as were wet and boggy, or by grubbing and clearing such as were rough and over grown with Bushes and Woods; making Bridges over Rivers, where the way was too long; where by r [...]ason of some steep Hill, the way was difficult, he turned it aside through more level places; or if it [Page 67] ran through Forrests, Wastes and Deserts, by drawing it from thence, through places inhabited.

Aelius Hadrian, succeeded his Unkle Trajan in the Empire; he was also a Spaniard, and these two were the First Emperours,Anno Dom. XCVII. who were not by birth Romans; he differed from Trajan in his policy of extending the Empire, and rather to imitate Augustus his Rule in restraining its limits to render it stronger and more united, in so much, that he excluded on the East all Armenia, Media, Persia and Mesopotamia, being the Con­quests of Trajan: yet excepted Britain alone from this retrenchment; which Province he by no means would part with, although he somewhat streightned it, as shall be shewn by and by.D [...]on. Lib. 68. Under him Julius Severus was Lieutenant, an excellent Soldier; and upon that account called a­way to suppress the Jews then in Rebellion.

After his departure, the Britains till then kept in,Anno Dom. CXX. had entirely revolt­ed, had not Hadrian made a Journey hither in the Second Year of his Empire, being then thrice Consul; where he reformed many things, and seems by Force of Arms to have reduced the Britains to Obedience; as Mr. Camden well observeth, from a piece of Money of his Coyning, where there is the Figure of that Emperor, with Three Soldiers on the Reverse, whom he judges to represent the Three Legions, of which the Roman Army in Britain then consisted, and under them this Inscription, EXER: BRITANNICUS, and another of the same Prince with this Motto, RESTITUTOR BRITANNIAE; but the greatest work done by him in this Island was the building of a Wall Fourscore Miles in length, cross the Island,Spartian in Adriano. from Solway Frith upon the Irish Seas to the Mouth of Tine by New Castle, on the German Ocean, laying the Founda­tion thereof with huge Piles, and Stakes driven deep into the Earth, and fastned together in manner of a strong Rampire or Mound; this he did to keep out the Caledonians from infesting the Roman Province; who could not it seems be contained within those farther Fortifications, raised by Agricola, between Glota and Bodotria, now the Friths of Edinburgh, and Dun Britton; by which the Northern, and more Barbarous Britains had more room to inhabit, and quitting those colder Countries, inclosed only the warmer and richer parts of the Island; by which means the bounds of the Empire, as well in Britain, as the East, were reduced to more con­venient compass.

In the Reign of this Emperour, Priscus Licinius, was also Propraetor or Lieutenant in this Island, as appeareth by an Antient Inscription, late­ly found near this Wall; which mentions this Licinius to have been not only Propraetor of Britain; but also before of Capadocia, and to have been Praefect over the Fourth Legion, as also to have been honoured with a Military Banner, by Hadrian in his Jewish Expedition, as may be seen at large in this Inscription in Mr. Camden's Britannia. I have nothing to add in this Reign relating to Britain, more than that Geoffrey of Mon­mouth makes King Marius to have dyed, about the Year of our Lord 132, and to have left the Kingdom to his Son Coil, who loved the Ro­mans, and was honoured by them; so that paying his Tribute, and re­ceiving their protection, he filled up a long and peaceable Reign, go­verning Britain many Years.

To Hadrian succeeded Antoninus Pius, at whose first coming to the Throne that Law was made,Anno Dom. CXXXVIII. whereby all the Subjects of the Roman Em­pire, were made free Citizens of Rome; by which Edict the Southern [Page 68] Britains, Anno Dom. CXXXVIII. within Hadrians's Wall, as well as other Provinces, enjoyed that Priviledge; but the Brigantes ever least patient of Foreign Servi­tude, breaking in upon Genoani; (which Camden guesses ought to be read Guinethia, or North Wales, (then part of the Roman Province) were with the loss of much of their Territory,Pausan in Arcad. driven back by Lollius Urbicus, Lieutenant here, who drew another Wall made of Earth and Piles, be­yond the former Wall of Adrian, and (as Mr. Camden proves) from Ca­pitolinus) extending it self between the Friths of Dunbritton and Edin­burgh, Capitolin in Autonin. Pio. kept out the Incursions of the Northern Britains: for these At­chievements, this Emperor received the Sir Name of Britann [...]cus; thô the War was managed by his Lieutenant, it is also recorded in the Digest, that Seius Saturninus, Lib. 39. had then the charge of the Roman Navy on the British Shore.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (called also the Philosopher) succeeded Antoninus Pius, Anno Dom. CLXII. having been before, by him adopted and declared Caesar; in whose Time, Britain impatient of Foreign Subjection, again raised new Commotions; for the appeasing whereof Calphurnius Agricola was sent Lieutenant; the Sir-name of Agricola no doubt, was terrible to the Brita [...]ns, who could not but remember the great overthrows they had re­ceived formerly under a General of that Name; and indeed, these Com­motions lasted not long after his arrival, but seemed to have been end­ed with Fortunate success; for which it is likely there was made that Inscription, Ingratititude to the Syrian Goddess, which has been of late Years dug up out of the Earth, near Adrian's (now called the Picts) Wall; but this is more certain, that the glory of having dispatched this War so soon,In Eumenius capitolinus. is by Fronto the Roman Orator, ascribed to this Prince in a Panegyrick made in his Praise: where he tells him, that although sitting at home, in his Pallace at Rome, he had given Commission to another General for the War; yet like the Pilot of a Galley sitting at the Stern, and guiding the Helm, he deserved the Honour of the whole Expedition: Nothing else is recorded of Britain, during Antoninus his Reign, saving that Helvius Pertinax, afterwards Emperour, was employ'd in these Wars; being called hither from his Service, against the Parthians, and here for some time afterwards remained Lieutenant.

About the end of this Emperours Reign (according to Geoffrey,) Coil the Tributary King of the Britains dying, left his Son Lucius for his Successor, who by Nennius is called Lhes, and Sir-named by the Britains Lever Maur, that is, the Great Light.

To Marcus Aurelius succeeded Commodus his Son, having before been made partner of the Empire with his Father,Anno Dom. CLXXX. in the beginning of whose Reign King Lucius (above mentioned) is by Bede supposed to have sent to Eleutherius, Bede lib. 1. then Bishop of Rome, desiring that by his means he might be made a Christian, the relation you may find more at large in Arch-Bishop Chap. III. Ushers De Brit. Eccles. Ant. from the old Book of Landaffe, which relates this King sent Two Embassadours to the Pope, beseeching him, that by his means he might be made a Christian, and he did not long after obtain his request; and so the Britains till the time of Dioclesian, maintained the Christian Faith without any disturbance; this is the Ac­count which Bede hath given us, though there are other, (but more Mo­dern Historians) that take upon them to give a much different and larger relation of this matter; and do not only take upon them to tell us the Message, but also who where the Messengers that carried it: The old Book of Landaffe, as also divers other Monkish-writers, call them Eloanus [Page 69] and Medwinus;Anno Dom CLXXX. but Will. of Malemsbury in his Antiquities (lately printed at Oxford) of the Monastery of Glastenbury, calls them Faganus and De­ravianus, and others Faganus and Damianus; yet though they differ about the Names of these Men, they all agree that these being sufficiently in­structed in the Christian Faith, and Baptized, were sent back to Preach the Gospel here; who at their return converted King Lucius, and his whole Kingdom to Christianity; but as for the story it self, it is thought by several learned Men to be of very suspicious Credit; for thô Bede places Lucius his writing to the Pope, in the Year of our Lord, 156: and in the Reign of Marcus Antoninus, Verus and Aurelius Commodus his Brother: yet it is certain from the best accounts in Chronology, that nei­ther Antoninus then succeeded to the Empire, nor was Eleutherius chosen Pope, till near Twenty Years after that time; and besides all this, there is so great a difference amongst our Historians, as well Antient as Modern, about this matter, that Arch Bishop Usher has given us above Twenty different accounts, some whereof differ from this of Bede, as also from each other; some Twenty, some Thirty Years, nay some Forty, and others near Fifty Years; only this must be acknowleged, that they all agree that such an Embassie was sent by Lucius, in the Papacy of Eleutherius, and that the Pope returned such an answer to it; now it is certain that he was not chosen Pope till the Year of our Lord, 171 at the soonest; or according to Eusebius's Chronicle, till 176, and so Lucius's Conversion must have happened in the Time of Marcus Aurelius, to which time the English Saxon Annals, as also Bede himself, with divers others of our An­cient Historians, as well Foreign as English, do refer it; though Roger of Wendover, and other Authors about the same Age, refer it to Anno Dom. 184; which falls out in the Second or Third Year of the Emperour of Commodus, which seems most likely, if it were ever done at all.

But that there was never any such King, seems to some learned Men very probable; since Gildas makes no mention of any such thing; but says the time of Christ's being first Preached in this Island, was as early as the first Conquest of it by the Romans; besides which the Monks (who have since new drest up this Story) not only make him to have been King of all Britain; but to have settled Christianity in all parts of his Dominions; and instead of Flamens and Arch-Flamens in the chief Cities, as London, York, &c. to have placed the Arch-Bishops and Bishops in their rooms, which is impossible to be true: since the Title of Arch-Bishop was not then known in the Church; nor could Lucius settle Christianity all over Britain, which was then either under the power of the Romans, or else what remained unconquered, was absolutely Heathen and Barbarous at the time of this supposed conversion.

But however I think we may safely follow Vid. Eccl. Brit. Antiquit. Arch-Bishop Usher, and Vide his orig. Britan. chap. 2. fol. 62. Doctor Stillingfleet, in allowing the common Tradition of King Lucius, and that he had Regal Authority under the Romans, in some part of this Island; since the two Coins seen by the said Arch Bishop, the one of Gold and the other of Silver, with the Image of a King on them, and the Letters LVC, with a Cross, do sufficiently evidence it: But in what part of Britain he governed, whether as Successour to Prasutagus among the Iceni, or else was King of the Belgae, or was Successor to Cogidunus, over the Regni, in those parts that we now call Surrey and Sussex; I will not take upon me to determine, thô I rather incline to the last, (being Dr. Stillingfleet's Opinion) for the Reasons and Conjectures, he gives us [Page 70] in the same Chapter;Anno Dom. CLXXX. but as for the Letters pretended to have been writ by Pope Eleutherius to King Lucius, thô they are inserted among the Laws of K. Edward the Confessor, and are also to be found in an old Book of the Constitutions of the City of London; I shall not trouble you with the Contents of them, since they plainly discover their Imposture to any Man at all versed in Antiquities.

I have no more to add concerning this King, but that the Grisons make him to have been their Apostle, and to have first preached the Gospel in their Country, and shew his Tomb at Cloir to this Day, which can by no means agree with our British, as well as English Historians; who all sup­pose that he dyed in his own Country without any Children.

Dion. Hist. lib. 72. aboutBut to return again to the civil History of Britain, we further find, that under the Emperour Commodus, Britain as well as other Countries was much infested with Wa [...]s and Seditions,Anno Dom. CLXXXVII. for Xiphiline in his Epitomy of Dion relates, that the British War was the greatest of all others, because the Britains having broken through the Wall, which divided their Terri­tories from that of the Romans, had laid wast many places, and had cut off the Roman General together with his Army; whereupon Commodus terrified with this Rebellion, sent Ulpius Marcellus against them, who was a sober and modest Man, and lived after the rate of a Common Souldier, he was also Stout an [...] Magnanimous in his Warlike Expeditions, but thô he was not to be corrupted with Money, yet was not at all com­plaisant in his Conversation; but as for the other examples, this Author gives us of his great Vigilance and Temperance, they are so trivial, that they do not merit any particular relation; and I could have wisht that Xiphilin his Epitomator would have been more sparing in his Character, and larger upon the Actions of this great Man; for all he tells us further of him, is, that he did very great mischief to the Barbarous People in Britain, for which he was very near being made away by Commodus, because of his Vertue; yet that nevertheless he let him alone.

Britain being again brought to Obedience by so worthy a Commander, after he was recalled, began to fall into more dangerous Commotions; for Aelius Lampridius in his Life of this Emperour, tells us, That now stubbornness began to break into the Roman Camp, and the Military Dis­cipline of the British Army, being relaxed, the Souldiers began to refuse to Obey Commodus, and would have set up another Emperour against him; for Perennis, who was than in highest power with his Prince, removing Senators, set Men only of the equestrial Order to Command the British Army; which being made known by their Lieutenant, Perennis was de­clared a publick Enemy by the Souldiers; for as Dion farther relates the Army in Britain mutinying against Perennis, sent no less than 1500 of their own number into Italy, to represent their Grievances at Rome, and being admitted to the Emperour's presence, they told him that the rea­son of their coming, was to let him know, that Perennis had conspired against him, and endeavoured to make his Son Emperour; to which Commodus giving credit, at the Instigation of Cleander, immediately de­livered up Perennis (thô then Praefectus Pretorii) to the power of the Prae­torian Bands, whom he then commanded, who soon dispatched him; but Commodus listed those 1500 (who were sent out of Britain) among those Bands, who were his Guards. Perennis being thus dispatched, Commodus sent H [...]vius Pertinax (afterwards Emperor) in to Britain, [...] Pertia. though he was then employ'd against the Parthians, who when he came hither, did what [Page 71] he could to hinder the Soldiers from Sedition;Anno Dom. CLXXXVII who would rather have had any other Man for their Emperor than Commodus, and especially Per­tinax himself; yet he then underwent the Censure of an envious Person, because he was said to have accused Antistius Burrbus and Aristius Antonius to Commodus, of affecting the Empire; so that though he quell'd some Se­ditions in Britain, yet he escaped a great danger, being almost kill'd in a Mutiny of one of the Legions, and left for dead among the slain; which Fact, though Pertinax severely revenged it upon the Mutineer, yet after­wards he asked leave to be dismiss'd of his Government, alledging, that the Legions were displeased with him for holding them too close to Disci­pline; Having thus received a Successor, he was, after some time, made Proconsul of Africa.

After, Pertinax Clodius Albinus, a Man of great Birth and Valour,Id [...]m in Albino. was made Lieutenant of Britain. He had before got himself a great Reputation, whil'st he govern'd Gaul; but routing the Frisians, and after his coming into Britain, Commodus would have created him Caesar, and have given him the Honour of wearing the purple Robe, even in his presence, though without the Golden Embroideries; as appears by the Letters he wrote, recited at large in this Author.

Albinus, having received these Letters, yet knowing how odious Com­modus was, because of his Vices, by which he not only destroyed the Common-wealth, but disgraced himself; fearing, lest the Emperor being killed, himself might Perish with him; he therefore prudently refused these Honours, saying, That Commodus sought either who should perish together with him, or whom he might upon some jealous pretence destroy: Yet however he still commanded the British Army; but hearing, by a false Report, that Commodus was slain, thereupon going out to the Soldiers, he made them a Speech to this effect:

‘That if the Senate of Rome had still preserved its ancient Power, and the Supream Authority had not been intrusted to a single Person, the publick Management of Affairs had never come into the hands of such as Nero, Vitellius, and Domitian: Then reckoning up the greatest of his own Ancestors, the Albini Postbumi, under the Government of Consuls; and setting forth the great Additions the Senate had made to the Roman Empire by their Lieutenants, and that they maintained their Authority to the days of Nero, whom they had not feared to con­demn as a wicked Prince: And concluded, that he utterly renounced the Name of Caesar, which Commodus had profer'd him.’

And yet this great Common-wealths Man; when time served, did not afterwards stick to assume the Titles and Honour,S. which now for private Reasons he refused, and against which he so much declaimed; and died in asserting to himself the Imperial Purple against Severus, the wearing whereof he now so much reproved. This Oration being brought to Rome, as it pleased the Senate, so it highly incensed the Emperor, Id [...]m in Albino. who thereupon presently wrote Letters to all his Pretors and Prefects, wherein he let them know, ‘That he supposed they had heard, that it was given out that he was slain by a Conspiracy: And had likewise seen that Oration of Albinus to his Soldiers, wherein he so much ingratiated with the Senate, and (says he,) not without Reason, for he who deni [...]s that there ought to be one Prince over the Common-wealth, and asserts [Page 72] that it ought wholly to be govern'd by the Senate, Anno Dom. LXXXVII. doth by them seek the Empire for himself; therefore bids them beware of him, for they knew the Man was to be voided both by the Soldiers and People.’ So Commodus, immediately upon this, sent Orders to dismiss Albinus from the Government of Britain, and to deliver it up to Junius Severus.

But Commodus being not long after poysoned by Martia his Concubine, Helvius Pertinax, H [...]rod. l. 1. id. l. 2. was thereupon created Emperor, who is supposed to have confirmed Albinus in his Command of Britain; but being within the space of Three Months, slain by the Praetorian Bands, Didius Julianus bought the Empire of them for so much Money, to be given each Soul­dier; but kept it but Two Months, and was then overcome, and slain by Sev [...]rus; who upon the news of the Death of Commodus; had been saluted Emperor by the Pannonian Army; as was also Pescenius Niger in Syria: so that Albinus in those troublesome times, under the short Reigns of Pertinax, and Didius Julianus, found means still to retain the Govern­ment of Britain, nor would surrender it to Junius Severus, whom Com­modus had before sent to take it, nor yet to Heraclitus, whom Septimius Severus, after he was saluted Emperor, sent also hither to take possessi­on of it.

Cap [...]tolin in Albino.It is said of Albinus, That the Senate made Addresses to Pertinax, that he would make him his Associate in the Empire, which Pertinax refused; fearing his secret Ambition, and published that Letter which Commodus had before written to the Prefects, that he might thereby bring Albinus in­to hatred and disgrace with the Souldiers; who hated a Common-wealth, by which action Albinus was so incensed, that it is said, he secretly ex­cited Julian to Murder Pertinax, as hath been already related.

‘But Severus having got possession of Rome (the principal strength of the Empire) and having now the Senate on his side,Spartianus in Nigro. resolved first to make War against Pescenius Niger; but knowing himself too weak to contend both with him and Albinus at once, was resolved at the present to keep fair with the latter, as knowing him to be a Man of great Riches and Power, fearing lest he should take Rome, whilst himself was busied in making War against Niger in the East; therefore he thought it best un­der a shew of Friendship to draw him to his Party, wherefore he gave him the Title of Caesar, anticipating his Ambition, by this voluntary Com­munication of Power; and sent him very smooth Letters, beseeching him that he would take care of the Empire, which now stood in need of such a worthy Person in the prime of his Years; that as for him­self he was now Old, and troubled with the Gout, his Sons being as yet but Infants;’ to which fair Pretences Albinus giving Credit, joy­fully received the Title of Caesar, telling his Souldiers in a Speech, he made them upon this occasion; ‘That though he had refused the Title of Caesar, when offered by Commodus, yet now must obey in this the Emperour's Commands,Capitol. in A [...]bino. as well as their own desires; since it could not be denied, but that the Common-Wealth might be well govern'd by one single, Valiant and Good Man:’ So much was his Mind charged by his Interest, so well was he pleased, that he had obtained his wishes, without any danger; but Severus to make what he did ap­pear more credible, caused Statues to be erected, and Money coyned with the Image of Albinus, and also made what he had done to be con­firmed by the Senate.

[Page 73]After which he marched against Niger, Anno Dom. CLXXXVII. and having overcome and slain him, he had now Albinus only left to deal with, and whom, as not think­ing him for his turn, he was resolved by any means to remove out of the way; therefore in the first place he raised a Report that Albinus carried himself insolently, and ungratefully towards him; and that there were di­vers of the chief Senators, who had wrote to Albin [...]s, to return and seize upon Rome in his absence:Herod in Alb [...]no. Nevertheless Severus thought it not the safest way to act against him by open War, especially when there appeared no sufficient grounds for it; and therefore he sent certain trusty Messengers to him, who were privately ordered, that when they had delivered their Letters, they should tell him. That they had something more to say to him in private: But as soon as they had him alone, that they should be sure to dispatch him; and besides, gave them Poyson whereby they should make him away, if they could not succeed by open force. Albinus being warned of these treacherous Ambassadours, stood upon his guard, and would not admit them till they had laid aside their Swords; but when they desired to speak with him in private, he then seemed more suspi­cious, and having examin'd them by Torture, forced them to confess the whole design, and then having punished these Conspirators, he im­mediately declared War against Severus, and took upon him the Titles of Emperour and Augustus.

Which as soon as Severus heard, he was extreamly incensed,Anno Dom. CXCVIII. and thought it not fit any longer to conceal his Anger; but having made a sharp Oration to his Army against Albinus, and which was received with great Acclamations; he presently began his Expedition against him,H [...]rod. l. 3. who to defend himself, with the flower of Britain entred Gaul, and march­ing as far as Lyons, he and Severus there met at the head of their Armies; when the Battle being joyned, Albinus had at first the better, the British Souldiers not yielding to the Illyrians, either in strength or courage; so that part of the Army, which Severus Commanded, being routed, he himself was knocked down from his Horse, and casting away his Purple Robe, was for some time supposed to be slain; when Laetus Severus Lieu­tenant General, supposing him to have been killed, came in with fresh Forces, with an intention to gain the Victory for himself, for which treachery, he was afterwards by Severus put to Death: However, at present by his assistance, he won the Victory, and put his Enemies to flight, pursuing and killing them with great slaughter; whereupon the City of Lyons being taken, Albinus was forced to fly from thence; but being pursu'd by Severus's Souldiers, and driven into a House near the River Rhosne, was there forced to run himself through with his own Sword, or (as others relate) caused one of his Servants to do that office for him; but however he was taken, and brought to Severus before he was quite dead, who quickly dispatched him, and cutting of his head, sent it to Rome, to be set over the place of publick Execution; but he let the Body lye before the Praetorium till it stunk, and was devoured by Dogs. A mean revenge, for so great an Emperour, to take upon so Valiant a Person.

But now Sev [...]rus having by this Victory, obtained the whole Roman Empire; and finding that Britain was a Province too great and powerful to be trusted in the hands of one Man, he divided it into two Govern­ments; committing the North part thereof to Virius Lupus, Dig [...]st Lib. 28. Tit. 6. as P [...]opraetor and Lieutenant (whom Ulpian nameth President of Britain) and to Hera­clitus [Page 74] the Southern parts,Anno Dom. CXCVIII. as Mr. Speed gathereth by a Coyne of Severus Minted in his Second Consul-ship, which fell in the Year of our Lord, 198, from whence it appears, that after the Death of Albinus, Britain was not reduced under the subjection of Severus, until he had won it by the Sword, the memory of which he left to posterity in this Medal wherein is the Goddess of Victory represented, as sitting upon spoils, with this Inscription, Victoria Britanniae; but this Victory must have been then won by his Lieutenant, and not by himself.

But Virius Lupus, who had the Government of the Northern parts, was forced to buy Peace of the Meatae a [...] a great rate,Herod. lib. 3. because the Caledonians, who had promised to check the Incursions of the Meatae, had not per­formed that Article of their Agreement: This Author likewise tells us, that the former of these Nations, lived next the Wall that divided the South of the Island from the North; so that Lupus finding himself unable alone to curb their Inroads, after great losses suffered from them, sent for Severus, but he being at that time taken up with other Wars, Lupus was forced to buy this Peace of the Meatae, as we have said; only some Roman Prisoners were then set free: The Memory of this Virius Lupus is preserved,Vid. Camden Britan. in an Altar dug up, dedicated to the Goddess Fortune; upon the occasion of his repairing a Bath, or Hot house, at a Town called Levatriae (now Bows) upon Stanmoor, in Richmond shire: This was done for the sake of the Thracian Cohorts, who lay there in Garison with the Romans.

But Lupus hearing that Severus had at last put an end to his other Wars; he wrote him plainly the state of things here, that the Britains of the North made War upon him, broke into the Province, and harrassed all the Countries nigh them; that there needed suddenly either more aid, or himself to come in person.

Severus was not much displeased at this news, being in his own nature greedy of Glory,Ibid. lib. 3. and being also desirous after so many Victories in the East, to raise also new trophies for the Britains; and besides he thought at best to withdraw his Two Sons from the pleasures of Rome, and inure the Young Men to hardship and Military Discipline.

So this Emperour, though Old and much troubled with the Gout, yet with as great Courage as any Young Man, made this expedition into Britain; and taking his Journey for the most part in a Litter, staid long in no place; so that having finished his Journey by Land, and having crossed the Sea sooner than could be expected, he entred Britain, and ha­ving Muster'd his Soldiers, and brought great Forces together, he pre­pared for War: But the Northern Britains, daunted with the Report of so great Forces brought over with him, and that more were preparing, sent Ambassadours to treat of Peace, and to excuse their former doings. The Emperour now loath to return home, without some memorable Action, whereby he might assume to his other Titles the addition of Britannicus, delay'd his Answer; but quickens his preparations, till in the end, when all things were in a readiness to follow them, they were dismissed without effect; when he arrived, his principal care was to have many Bridges and Causeways laid over Bogs and Moors, that his Souldiers might fight on firm ground, for many parts of Britain, were at that time over run with Bogs and Marshes, (as Ireland was some Years ago) now the Britains used to wade through these Marshes up to the middle, not valu­ing it, because they went naked: But Severus prepared all things which [Page 75] might be of any use for the Souldiers, or a damage to the Britains:Anno Dom. CXCVIII. And when he found all were ready to his Mind, having his Younger Son Geta to govern the more Southern part of the Island, by the help of Pa­pinian, the great Lawyer; taking his Eldest Son Bassianus along with himself, he marched against the Britains, and having passed the Wall that divided their Territories, there only happen'd some tumultuary Skirmishes, in which thô the Romans were still Conquerours, yet the Britains found an easie retreat, by hiding themselves in the Woods and Bogs, which were well known to them, which contributed very much to prolong the War. Yet did not Severus desist, till he had passed to the very farthest part of the Island, and had compell'd the Enemies to make Peace upon this Con­dition, That they should give up great part of their Territory, although he lost in this Expedition, by the sudden Assaults and Ambushes of the Britains, as well as by Diseases, near Fifty Thousand Souldiers; which is also confirm'd by Lib. 76. Dion, who further tells us, That he fought no set Battel, nor yet saw any Forces of the Enemies in Battell Array; but that they did often leave their Sheep and Oxen on purpose, that the Romans going out of the way to seize them, might be the more easily taken and overcome: besides all this, the want of Water much troubled the Romans, and Am­bushes were laid for those that went about stragling to find it: And when they were not able to march any further for want of it, they were killed by their fellow Souldiers, least they should be taken by the Enemy.

But in this Expedition, the wicked cariage of Bassianus gave Severus perpetual trouble, not only because he lived debauchedly, but also for that it was evident, as soon as he had Power he would kill his Brother; and had also made some attempts against Severus himself; for he ran once all of a sudden out of his Tent, crying out that he was much in­jur'd by Castor, who was the worthiest Man in Severus's Court, and was privy to his most secret Councils, being the chief of his Bed-chamber, (the same with the Lord Chamberlain with us.) Now there were before ready prepared some Soldiers on purpose, who upon Bassianus's thus cry­ing out came to his Assistance, and (as Herodian says) proclaim'd him Augustus; whereupon Severus immediately made himself to be carried to the Tribunal, and having order'd all those Officers, and Soul­diers who had been engaged in this Action, as also his Son (who had taken upon him the Name of Augustus) to appear before him, He commanded them all except his Son to be put to Death, when they all begging pardon for their offence, fell down prostrate before him; upon which he pardon'd them, then touching his own Head with his Hand, said, At last you'l find that it is a Man's Head, and not his Feet that Govern; but Dion says, he did put some of the most Seditious of them to Death; who also further relates, that at another time when both the Father and the Son were marching together into Caledonia, Bassianus did openly endeavour to kill his Father, for as they rode at the head of the Army, the Enemies Forces being in sight, he stopp'd his Horse, and privately drew his Sword, that he might run his Father into the back; which when those perceived who followed them, they presently cryed out, at which Bassianus being startled stopt his blow; but Severus there­upon turning about, saw his Sword drawn, yet then said nothing; but returning to the Camp, went into the Praetorium, and there called before him his Son (together with Papinian and Castor) then Commanding the naked Sword to be laid before them, he sharply reproved him, that not [Page 76] only now in the sight of his Army;Anno Dom. CXCVIII. but also at other times he had at­tempted so great a wickedness, concluding thus, ‘if thou desirest to kill me, kill me now, for thou art Younger and in full strength, and I am Old and can scarce stir, which if thou refusest to do with thine own Hand, here is Papinian our Prefect, whom thou may'st command to kill me, for he will do what ever thou bidst him, since thou art already Emperor. Thô Severus said all this, he did no more to his Son, notwith­standing he had often blamed Marcus Aurelius, that he had not put his Son Commodus to Death; but Severus, said this only in his passion, for his Son was dearer to him than the good of the Common-wealth, thô by this means he did as good as Sacrifice his Younger Son to the Elder: since he might easily guess what would happen when ever he should die. Herodian confirms the same Story, and that though several Grave and Wise Men had perswaded him to put his Son to Death, yet he refused it, too much indulging his paternal Affection.

The War being thus happily ended, Severus in Memory of these Vi­ctories, caused Coins to be Stamp'd with this Inscription, Victoria Bri­tannica: and upon the Frontiers of what he had now Conquer'd, built a Wall cross the Island, from Sea to Sea, which our Author judges to have been the most magnificent of all his undertakings,Spartianus in S [...]vero, Eutropi­us, Orosius lib. 7. and that he thence received the Stile of Britannicus. It was in length 132 Miles; Orosius makes it fortified with a deep Trench, and at certain Spaces, by many Towers.

In Rege. XXVII. Buchanan in his History of Scotland, will needs place it in Scotland be­tween the Friths of Bodotria and Glotta, in the same place which Lollius Urbicus, and Agricola had fortified before, whilst In Britan. Mr. Camden affirms it to be only Had [...]ianus's Wall re-edified, and which passes through the higher parts of Cumberland, between the Rivers Tine and Eske; and brings very good Authorties for this Opinion out of the Roman Authors, as well as In­scriptions near the said Wall; in which the name of Severus is particular­ly mentioned: which Wall is called by the English, the Picts Wall, by the Britains, Gual Sever, and by the Scots, Mur Sever; all which denomi­nations do manifestly denote the name of its Founder: whereas the name of Greames Dike, by which the present Scots call the Ruins of that Wall or Trench, which is still to be seen in Scotland, doth no way de­note Severus to have been its founder. There is also another Argument that this was the place where he built this Wall we now treat of; for be­tween Dun Britton, and Edinburgh Friths, although there be many Ruins of continued Fortifications;See the Descrip­tion of this Wall in the New E­dition of Cam. Brit. Scotl. p. 958, 959. yet are they not so visible as this of ours: nor doth the Wall in Scotland seem to have been of that strength and so­lidity, as this of Severus is rela