« ForrigeFortsett »
This plan is certainly a grand one.
It carries "much of pith and marrow in its attribute," and it shews the mind that could delineate it to be vigorous in itself, hardy in enterprize, and rich in resources. We never saw a plan before, at once so bold and so just, for the history of our island in the middle and modern periods, yet calculated so well to produce that final feeling, which is so essential to actual happiness, a feeling of our national happiness under the best of Kings and the best of conftitutions at present.
Having thus viewed the plan; let us now advert to the execution. Of this it is difficult to furnish a competent idea, by either abítract or extra&t. But we will do all the justice that we can to the author, and endeavour, at least, to present our readers with a full view of the work.
After some “ sketches of our arrangement,” and some " queries for information,” that mark the bold originality of the author's mode of thinking; after noting, “it is extraordinary that the number of houses in several cities and towns, ftated by Hume as extracted from Domesday, is incorrect in every instance,” he states to the reader, thus, all our maps will be constructed on a new principle, a few previous directions may be necessary, to render ourselves more intelligible.” These he accordingly gives, and then subjoins, “ to thew how near our calculations approximate to accuracy, we publish our double process in the following table,” the title of which is, “ Kent admeasured by triangles, from a Map laid down, according to its ascertained Latitude and Longitude, on Mathematical Principles.” Then, with'an explanation prefixed, he gives us, “A summary Table of Lands in Kent, with their situation, hundred, value, proprietors, occupants, inhabitants, &c. in the reigns of Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror, compiled from the Autograph of Domesday,” in 15 pages. And he thus clears his way to “the History of South Britain, from authentic documents," of which Chap. I. contains “ the Topographical, Civil, and Political History of the County of Chenth, Chent, or Kent, from the æra of Edward the Con
the Third encouraged not navigation, by patronizing a Ccoke, a King, a Riou, &c. contributed not to the ascertainment of a degree of longitude, by establishing General Roy's base ; benzfited not aftronomy, by favouring a Herschel ; fcience, by promoting a Douglas or a Horsley ; hiftory, by the publication of Domesday ; or arts, by discriminating the grouping of West, or the fimple eles gance of Wyatt, we will instantly retract our affertion."
fessor, 1065, to the reign of Edward the First, 1272, a period of 207 years."
“Throughout the whole eastern division of Kent,” says Mr. Henshall, “ there were only eight persons, independent of ecclefi. aftics, whose lands paid not relief to the crown on the demise of their conquerors. The eight exempted persons, whose names are re. corded, we decidedly ftate, (in opposition to the authority of every English antiquary,) to have been feudal tenants of the Confeffor."
How persons exempted from that essential incident of the feudal tenures, a relief, could be feudal tenants, we shall be curious to see, as Mr. Henshall proceeds :
" These men were Saxons, not Normans. They ccased to exist, or at least to occupy such estates; but the customs that had obtained were continued to their successors. By such military tenants was the King guarded six days, at Canterbury or Sandwich. They were supplied with provisions at the expence of the Monarch,* or, in defect of maintenance for them.elves and their retainers, were ex. empted from personal contributions, or the payment of such penalties as had devolved to the crown within the liberties of their juris. diction. A circumstance ftill more remarkable, and contrary to the general opinion, is here also recorded; that the powers and freedom of the occupants has been lately augmented ;£ that, at the æra this statement was compiled, tives only affected their persons, not property, and the inheritance was secured to the posterity of such Nobles, without burthensome mulets. Many authorities will be hereafter quoted, to prove that the system of military array had been eftablished previous to the Norman monarchs, and payments of different districts had been long adjusted, if their proprietors were not sum. moned to discharge the personal attendance they owed their Sove. reign as his body guards, if he visited their country. Independent of these rights, exalted Peers, the Saxon Princes, received reliefs from every other occupant in the division; from the respective lord
“ Ibi habent de rege Cibum et Potum ; fi non habuerint, fine foris-facturâ recedunt." Domesday, 1 a 2.-“ Super iftos habet rex. foris-faturam de capitibus earum, tantum modò.” Ibid.
+ “ Pro Handlocam, Gribrige, Foristellum.” Ibid,
I « Super iftos habet rex feris-facturam de capitibus eorum tantum modo," Ibid.
« In terrâ Sophis habet rex 12 denarios pro uno Inewardo, et de uno Jugo de Northburg 12 den, aut unum Inewardum, et de Dena 18 den. et de Gara unum Ineward. Hæ terræ jacent in Wi, et homines de his terris cuftodiebant regem apud Cantuariam et apud Sanwice tres dies, fi rex illuc veniffet.” Ibid." De terris eorum habet relevamen qui habent suam Sacam et Socam.” Ibid,
of each manor,* and the potessor of privileged land by Royal charter or hereditary succesion.t The subordinate classes are not noticed in this survey, because they appertained not to the Monarch, but were the property of the lord of the soil ; # and every service that the Sovereign required from his tenants or vassals was extracted from the villains by their respective owners with accumulated oppresion. If the high spirit of the bold yeomanry of Kent should indignantly read this description, or contemptuously reject our positions without examination, we can only lament that the ignorance or misrepresentation of former writers should have reduced the advocate of historic truth to the necessity of contradicting their assertions, or disproving their conclusions. But if they will judge by comparison, by a view that will hereafter be presented, they will
find their superiority in population, in privileges, in wealth, and power, as fully established as their fondest wishes can desire.” Pp: 7, 8.
“ At Canterbury,” notes our author from Domesday Book, “ Edward had fifty-one burgefles of a superior description, the descendants probably of freeholders, I who appertained not to any manor, but rented their poiletfions or dwellings. Of the inferior order of burgeffes, Edward poflefled two hundred and twelve,** and such number cortinued annexed to the Monarchy twenty years subfequent. But with this class we may rank another description of citizens, those men who still appertained to the lords of different manors, though resident in Canterbury, and honoured with the appellation of burgeiles. To place this matter beyond all controverly,tt and to calculate more accurately its population, we shall
* " Erga Dominum cujus homo fuerit.” Domesday, 1 a 2:— 5. Et Uluret non pertinens ad illud Manerum.” « Not more than twelve of this description, exclufive of burgeffes, specified in the whole county of Kent. This subject will be discussed in an appro. priate dissertation on ranks and services."
+ “ Quando moritur alodiarius rex inde habet relevationem terræ.". Ibid.
I « Vide Magnam Chartam, &c.
Ś “ Lambarbe, in his Perambulation, states, that there never was a villain in Kent, (P. 14, no bondmen, or villains, in Kent,) when there are 309 in a manor, Mylton, and, we believe, not one manor without them."
!! "Modo burgensis gablum reddentes sunt 19. De triginta duobus aliis qui fuerant, &c. Domesday, 2 a 1.
1 « On a farther perusal the reader will entertain little doubt that the inferior burgesses were villains, that had einigrated from his
manors, whose property and person were the lords.” ** “ Et alios (burgenses) 212,” &c.
++ « To silence the Towers's and Oldfield's, (admirers of the forgeries of Pettyt,) babblers continually yelping after Saxon liberty and the Saxon constitution,"
enlarge considerably on this subject, and specify the manors and the proprietors, prior to the destruction of the Saxon government. We Thall begin with ecclesiastics, whose manors were always the most populous, whose clients were the most favoured, who were the greatest merchants and promoters of trade, * and most highly encouraged the industry of their vassals. From such men did the liberty of boroughs originate, for warlike chieftains opposed all but military retainers."
“ Canterbury,” remarks Mr. Henshall near the close, « contained five hundred and thirty-one burgeffes, including every defcription, in the days of the Confeffor. The Corporation were proprietors of forty-five houses in the suburbs. The Knights of the Archbishop, Abbots, and privileged Nobles, with their attendants, and the monks of Trinity and St. Augustine's, who had each a public mart frequented by merchants, mult, upon the most moderate computa, tion, be equally numerous, and far more powerful, However other persons were oppressed by the Norman Conqueror, ecclefiaftics certainly recovered some privileges in his reign, I of which they had been deprived under the Saxon government.
This assertion is ainply corroborated by the following fact :-Bruman, the fuperintendant and receiver of the Royal income of Edward, in Canterbury, had demanded and received the customary payments from the traders not resident in the district, || for the liberty of opening their packs or
" Scarce a ship is mentioned in Domesday that belonged not to an ecclefiaftic. Vide Differtation on Trade, Commerce, and Ship. ping."
# " According to modern ideas, pedlars, for they carried a pack; mereator trussellym deferens.” Domesday, Chester, p. 263 a 1.
I "Land held in Frank Almoigne, (in clemofina,) in the time of the Confessor, in Colchester, paid the Royal customs, but was exempted in William's days; et tempore regis Edvardi reddebant confuetudinem, et modo non reddunt. Little Domesday, 107.- The burgeles of Colchester also enjoyed greater privileges, which we shall exhibit fully in Eflex.”
" Quidam præpofitus Brumanno nomine tempore R. E. cepit Consuetudines de extraneis mercatoribus in terrâ St. Trinitatis et St. Augustini : qui poftea tempore regis Willelmi ante archiepiscopuin Lantrancum et epifcopum Baiocenfem recognovit fe injufte accepiffe, et facramento facto juravit, quod ipse æcclefiæ suas Consuetudines quietas habuerunt regis Edvarde tempore : et exinde utraque ecclefiæ in sua terrâ habuerunt Consuetudines suas, judicio baronum regis qui placituin tenuerunt.” Domesday, 2 a 1.
Il “ Scavagium, modern scavage, SCHEUA 2E, shewage. Si abs. que licentiâ miniftri episcopi diffoluerit trullellun mercator," &c. Ibid. 263 a 1.
vending their wares, * within the clerical jurisdiction of the Trinity and St. Auguftine's. This right was contested under the Conqueror, and the cause was tried before Lanfranc, the Archbishop, and Odo, the Earl of kent. It appeared in evidence, that the collector had tolled them unjustly, for, in the early part of the Confeflor's reign, such church-lands were exempted from similar contributions, and a verdict was therefore given in favour of such right, and for the future the Archbishop and Abbot received such customary payment from the non-resident inhabitants.” Pp. 14--16.
These extracts serve livelily to shew the knowledge of the antiquary and the spirit of the thinker, in the present writer. His knowledge appears accurate and deep, his spirit firm and bold. Confiding in his authorities, and emboldened by his discoveries, he pushes forward with his observations, and minds not whom he oversets in the vigour of his course. He even takes an honest satisfaction, it seems, in dashing aside those republican fancies concerning the Saxon times, which have been long playing in a kind of lambent flame around the heads of our writers, but have been lately endeavoured to be charged with ruin and destruction to all governments among US.
On the whole, then, we think this work one of the most original that have been presented to the public for a century palt, one moft calculated to promote the purposes of conItitutional truth, one moft meriting the patronage of the public.
Art. V. The Importance of Religious Establishments. Ar
Elay. By the Rev. Alexander Ranken, one of the Mi.
and though the author has certainly not made the most of that subject, his pamphlet may be read with advantage by the illiterate, and the half learned. It is divided into nine sections, in the first of which he treats of religious establishments in general, and proves, we think, sufficiently, that they laave prevailed in every age, and in every civilized nation,
* “ It is astonishing that writers, of such high authority as Blackstone, should state, that there were no customs paid previous to the Conqueror ; when Confuetudo is found in almost every county of Domesday, and Theloneum in most Saxon laws." C4