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· tells us, that when the fleets were We know of none fach at proadvancing to engage, that of the fent. The composition was hra Chriftians was drawn up, not in a discovered by Callinicus, an archi. ftrait line of battle, but in a cref- tect, who came from Syria to Concent or half-moon ; to the intent ftantinople; and the Greek enthat, if the enemy thould attempo perors, for some time, kept the fe. co break in, they might be inclosed cret to themselves. Constantine in that curve, and consequently Porphyrogenitus, in his creatise on overpowered. In the front of the the administration of the empire, half-moon (that is, at the two which he dedicated to his son, adends of the curve) the Christians vises that prince to answer the bar. placed their strongest galleys, that barians, who should defire him to ihey might attack with more ala- give them any of the Greek fare, criiy, and better repel the attacks that he was not allowed to part of the enemy. On the upper deck with it, because an angel, who gave of each galley the soldiers belong. it to Conftantine the Greaty com. ing to it were drawn up in a cir- manded him to refuse it to all other cle, with their bucklers closely nations.
While this advice was joined; and on the lower deck adhered to, the wild-fire proved of the rowers fat all together, so that great use to the defence of the em. those who were to fight, and were pire ; several feets, which came placed above for that purpose, to invade Conftantinople, having might have the more room. The been burnt and destroyed by it: action began, on both sides, with but it appears, by the passage above.
a discharge of their missile wea- quoted, that in the twelfth century pons: then the Chriftians rowed the secret was known to many forwards, as swiftly as they could, other nations, and even to the Maand shocked the enemy's galleys hometans. I find also that it was with the spuss or beaks of theirs : used in the attack and defence of after which they came to close towns and castles. fighting; the opposite oars were The Saxon chronicle tells us, mixed and entangled together; that King Alfred, to oppose the they fixed the galleys to each other invasions of the Danes, ordered a by grappling irons thrown out on number of ships, or rather galleys, both lides ; and fired the planks to be built upon a new model, dif
. with a kind of burning oil, com- ferent from those which were ofed monly called Greek wild.fire. The by that nation, or by the Frifons ; account which the same historian being higher than any of theirs, gives of that wild.fire is worth and almoit twice as long ; better tranfcribing. His words are these: failors, more steady, and more pro"With a pernicious ferch and livid per for war. . Of these fome had "Plames i confumes even flint and fixty oars, and others more. Ex. " irm: nor can it be extinguished perience shewed that they were fa.
by water: but by Sprinkling fand perior to any of those ships, with e upon it the violence of it may be which the northern corsairs had in. “ abated; and vinegar poured upon fested the coafts of England, till " # will put it out."
this admirable prince,
and application to whatever might certainly is exaggerated very far 'conduce to the benefit of the pub- beyond the truth : though it is pro. lic instructed his subjects in all bable that king Edgar had a much kinds of useful knowledge, made tronger fleet, and more constantly this improvement in the naval ar. maintained on all the coafts of his chitecture of the Anglo-Saxons. kingdom, than most of his prede. His fon, and grandsons, after the coffors ; becaufe we find that he wife example he had set them, kept enjoyed a fettled peace, through up very strong feets, which not the whole course of his reign; un. only protected, but eolarged their molefted by any of the people of dominions. And (if we may be- the North, or other foreign states. lieve the accounts of fome ancient Yet he had not been dead above historians) his great grandfon Ed. fix or feven years, when the naval gar raised the maritime force of power of the English was fo ftrange. England to fuch a degree, as can- ly reduced, or to ill managed, that not be paralleled in the history of a Danish fquadron of feverf Thips any other nation. They tell us, was able to infult fome parts of that this monarch had three seve their coast, and to plunder their ral Meets, each of twelve hundred town of Southampton. Nor did the fail, and all fout thips, which loss and dishonour which the nation were stationed to guard the
different had sustained by this descent, excoafts of his kingdom; and that cite them to restore, or better recvery year he cruised in each of gulate, their maritime forces. For, these squadrons, so as to make,with- ten years afterwards, Ethelred, or in that time, the whole tour of the rather those who had the direction ifland. If these thips had been built of public bufiness, during the upon the fame model as Alfred's, tender years of that prince, could the number of rowers aboard of find no means of delivering the them, allowing but one to each oar, kingdom from these invaders, but would have exceeded two hundred by giving them money ; for the thousand, befides the mariners that raising of which a new tax, called were neceffary to manage the fails, danegeld, was imposed on the people. and foldiers for battle. But fup- The natural effect of this timid posing that three in four of them measure was to draw on other inwere of a much smaller fize, and vasions. They accordingly hapcarried no more than foor and pened ; and more compositions of twenty men each, which was the the same nature were exacted, each lowest compliment of any that we new payment being higher than read of in thafe days, the aumber the foregoing: fo that from een is still greater than England, not thousand they came to eight and united either with Scotland or forty thousand: pounds; a great Wales, could poflibly furnish, to fum in those days! One vigorous be kept, as it is faid these were, in effort was indeed made by Ethelconftant employment. I am there. red, in the year one thousand and fore furprifed that Mr. Selden, in eight, to free himself and his peoone of his moft important and ela. ple from this infamous tribute by borate works, should seem to have a general tax on all the land of the given credit to this account, which kingdom, for the fitting out of a
fleet, which might effectually guard cept forty thips, which he retained it againit the Danes. Every ihree to secure his new-acquired domihundred and ten hides of land was nions : bur, in the year one thou. charged to furnish a galley of three fand and twenty-eight, he carried rows of oars, and every eight hides with him to Norway fifty-five fhips to provide a coat of' mail and a of war, which his English chanes helmet ; which armour was for the provided for him, and by which soldiers, designed to be employed he was enabled to conquer that as marines, aboard of the fleet. kingdom. His fon and fucceffor, This was done with the advice and Harold Harefoot, who reigned only consent of the parliament, or wie four years; laid a tax upon the tena gemote : and the Saxon chro- English, to maintain constantly in nicle tells us, that the number of his service fixteen ships of war, al. ships built and equipt the next lowing eight marks to each rower, year, by means of this imposition, according to the eftablishment fet. was greater than any that the Eng- tled by Čanute. His brother, Harlish nation had ever furnished un- dicanute, increased that number to der any former king. Mr. Selden fixty-two, with the fame allowance obferves, that, according to a com- to each rower; for the defraying putation made in Camden's Brie of which there was paid, in the fetannia, from rolls of that age, the cond year of that king, twenty-one number of hides of land in Eng. thousand and ninety-nine pounds : land did not exceed ewo 'hundred but presently afterwards he reduc. and forty three thousand fix hun. ed the number of fhips to thirtydred; which makes the number two, and the charge to eleven thou. of ships obtained by this hidage se- fand and, forty-eight pounds. In ven hundred and eighty-five. This truth, it was not necessary that apparently was a fleet sufficient to these Danish princes should keep have maintained the sovereignty of any great naval forces for the de. our seas against any other nation. fence of this island; as they them. Yer, by violent tempefts and wick. felves had the dominion of those ed treachery, it was soon deftroy: northern countries, from whence ed; and the wretched expedient the former invafions and defcents of compounding with the Danes had been made : and as no other was again taken up; which at last power, then exifting, could preproceeded so far, that, in the year tend to dispute with them the emone thousand and twelve, the Eng- pire of the ocean. lish nobility, after paying the tri- Hiftorians relate that Earl God. bute (though too late to prevent win, to appease the anger of 'his the enemy from over-running and fovereign, Hardicanute, for the fubduing a great part of the
king- fare he had in the death of Alfred, dom) hired a squadron of Danish that prince's brother, presented fhips to guard their coafts against him with a ship, the beak of which the attack of other corfairs. All was of gold, and which carried England being soon afterwards sub. eighty soldiers, of whom every one jected to Canute, that prince, in had on each arm a golden bracelet, the year one thousand and eighteen, that weighed fixteen ounces; on difmiffed all his Danish Acer, ex. his head an iron helmet, gile with
gold; as were also the other parts liam Rufus good service against his. of his armour : on his left shoul. brother; a great number of Nor. der a Danish battle-axe, and in his mans, who were coming over to hand a javelin : which circum- support the pretensions of the lat. stances. I' bere mention, not so ter, having been destroyed in their much on account of the richness of passage by the ships that guarded thé gift, as to thew the number of the coat of Sussex'; which so inti, soldiers that, in those days, served midated Robert, that he durft not aboard of thips of war, and how atempt another embarkation. A they were asmed. For it may sufficient Aleet was likewise sent by reasonably be supposed, that this Henry the First at the begioning galley was equipt in much the same of his reign, to oppose that prince manner, as others were at that in his pallage between Normandy time, except the peculiar magni. and England: but a part of it ficence of the gold in the beak joined him; which enabled him to and in the ornaments of the fol. land without difficulty; and, a diers.
peace being soon concluded beWhat was the ordinary strength iween the iwo brothers, this island of the royal navy, from the times remained exempt from the inva. of William the conqueror to those fions of foreigners, or any alarm of Henry, the Second inclusively, of that nature, till the war excited or to what number of ships it was against Henry by the son of Duke increased upon extraordinary exi. Robert obliged him again to progeoces, we are not well informed. vide for the defence of his realm, But it appears from a passage in the by a proper exertion of its mari. Red Book of the Exchequer, that time power. the Cinque Ports, during those During the reigy of Stephen the times, were obliged by their te- English navy declined much in its nures, to provide fifty-two thips, strength, and we cannot wonder that and twenty-four men in each' mip, it did : for the long intestine war, for fifteen days, at their own char. which desolated the kingdom, ruin. ges, to defend the coafts, when ed its commerce: Without which ic required. And not only there, but is impofli ble for any prince to mainother maritime, and even some in. tain a naval power. This was reland towns, held by the same kind fored, and, probably, augmented, of service. This seems to have by Henry the Second yet it been the constant support of the seems that, till the latter part of navy: but upon extraordinary, oc- his reign, he made no efforts to fit cafions danegeld was levied : and, out any powerful feets : because, although at the end of that century being master of almost all the the name was lost, a like provi. French coast, and in close alliance fion was often made, in every age, with the earls of Flanders and Boy, by our parliaments, for the de- logne, he feared no invasion. For fence of the British seas and secu- the kings of Denmark had given sity of the kingdom.
up all intentions of renewing their It has been mentioned in a for- claim to England ; nor did their mer part of this work, that the Eng. subjects, or any other of the norHifh feet in the channel did Wil. thern nations, continue those pira
tical expeditions, which had been fleets, mentioned before in the fo troublefome to the English in for English history, confifted of veffels mer times. It seemed therefore un. much smaller than this of Richard." necessary for Henry the Second to The following remarks on the guard his coafts by great fleets; feudal fyftem are equally new and and, being bufied upon the conti- curious. nent, he chiefly turned his thoughts “It was a general maxim of the to the increasing and ftrengthening feudal law, that a forfeiture of the of his land-forces, which ne might property of the lord in the fief, better make use of, either to de- and of all his dominion over his fend or enlarge his territories in vaffal, was as neceffary an efect of France. Geoffry de Vinesauf tells any great breach or negle of the us, that after king Richard the First duty which he owed to his vassal, had made himself master of Cyprus, as the forfeiture of the fief was of a when all his galleys were arrived fimilar crime or neglect in the in one of the ports of that ifand, vaffal. Indeed this principle, which the number of them, including is fu confonant to natural equity five which he had taken from the and natural liberty, was the corner Cypriots and added to his owl, ftone of the whole policy settled in amounted to a hundred; whereof England by the Normans. So that fixey were superior to the common our kings, confidered as feudal armed galleys. And in another Words of this kingdom, were bound place he says, that a fleet so finé, no lefs to protect their vaffals ia and fo well provided, had never all their juft rights and privileges, been seen before. Besides the gal. than their valfals were to serve leys, Richard had with him, when them; and a failure, on either he failed from the harbour of Mes. fide, in these reciprocal daties, de. fina in Sicily, a hundred and fifty Aroyed the connexion, and dit. great fhips, which he used as crani. folved the obligations of the party ports. Thefe, we are told, he offended. The inferior vafals, in had selected from all the fhipping all degrees of fubinfeudation, were in the ports of England. Nor. likewise, by virtue of the above. mandy, Poitou, and his other ma mentioned maxim, entirely freed ritime territories. That most of from the bond of their homage and the galleys were built before the fealty to their respective lords, if death of his father, I think very these did not acquit themfelves of probable; for they could not other. what they owed to them, agreeably wife have been ready to put to to the nature and conditions of fea in fo short a time after. A their original compact. It is there. manuscript chronicle of the age of fore very apparent, that the fpirit Henry the Third, cited by Spelman of this fyftem was moft abhorrent in his Glossary, says, that fifty of from tyranny, and that the plan these were triremes, viz. galleys of of it, in all its several parts, was three rows of oars; and that, designed as much to relift any opamong the other thips, thirteen, presiive exertion of power wihin, diftinguished there by the name of as any attacks from foreign enebuffes, carried, each of them, three mies." malts, Upon the whole I pre- We fhall now give our readers fame, that the more numerous his Lordship’s curious account of