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the Ouse and Severn had been effectually subdued and garrisoned by the Normans; there remained, however, the extensive provinces north of these rivers which still preserved their independence, and afforded a retreat for all the patriots of the south whom the Conqueror had dispossessed of their lands and forced to flee. Here the Northumbrian chiefs Edwin and Morkar, the brothers-in-law of King Harold, a young Saxon named Edrick, and many other patriots, some of whom had sworn never again to sleep under a roof until their country should be delivered out of the strangers' hands, were constantly engaged in schemes and plots for the expulsion of the Normans. A close alliance was formed for this purpose between the Saxons and the Welsh of the west of Mercia, who generously forgot that, on the present occasion, the Anglo-Saxons were suffering precisely what, six hundred years before, they had themselves inflicted on the Celtic British. Besides the Welsh, the Anglo-Saxons found another ally in the Scotch, under their king, Malcolm Canmore, in whose dominions the young Saxon king, Edgar Atheling, with his mother and his two sisters, sought a refuge. Malcolm—a monarch of great abilities, and who, from an early period of his reign, had made it a part of his policy, for the civilisation of his own kingdom, to admit into it all strangers who chose to come—received the refugees kindly, gave them lands in the Lothians, and, in token of his friendship for the Saxons, married Edgar's younger sister Margaret, a princess of extraordinary accomplishments for that period.
Hearing of this triple alliance between the Anglo-Saxons, the Welsh, and the Scotch, William marched northwards, and, victorious wherever he advanced, took in succession the towns of Oxford, Warwick, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Lincoln, and York. After the siege of York, an incident occurred which Thierry thus narrates: 'Eldred, Archbishop of York, who had lent his assistance at the consecration of the foreign king, came into the desolated city to perform some religious ceremony. When he came, he sent to his lands, not far from the city, for some provisions for his household. His servants, driving wagons laden with corn and other articles, .were met at one of the gates of York by the Norman governor with a numerous escort. "Who are you?" demanded the Norman; "and to whom do these supplies belong?" "We are," said they, "the archbishop's servants, and these provisions are for the use of his household." The viscount, paying no respect to this intimation, made a sign to his soldiers to seize the horses and wagons, and carry the provisions to the Norman magazines. When the archbishop, the friend and ally of the conquerors, found that even he did not escape the miseries of the Conquest, there arose in his soul an indignation which his calm and prudent spirit had never experienced before. He immediately repaired to the Conqueror's quarters, and presented himself in his episcopal habits, with his pastoral staff in his hand. William rose, according to custom, to give the archbishop the kiss of peace; but the Saxon stepped back, and Said: "Hear me, King William. Thou wert a foreigner; nevertheless, because it was God's will to punish this nation, thou didst obtain, at the cost of much blood, the kingdom of England. Then I anointed thee king; I crowned thee; I blessed thee with mine own hands; but now I curse thee and thy race, because thou hast deserved it; because thou art the persecutor of God's church, and the oppressor of its ministers." The Norman attendants of William had their swords half unsheathed, and would have killed the old man; but William allowed him to depart.'
For two years York was the northernmost post of the Normans, and Northumbria continued in the possession of the Saxon patriots. Many attempts were made by the latter, assisted by the Welsh, the Scotch, and also by a Danish fleet sent to their aid by Sweyn, king of Denmark, to regain what they had lost; and one of these was so successful, that York came again into their possession, and Edgar Atheling was again saluted as king in the northern provinces. This success was partly owing to the diminished enthusiasm of the Normans in the cause of the Conquest, many of whom, instead of settling in the country, had taken the earliest opportunity of re-embarking for their native land, carrying along with them the riches which they had acquired. In 1070, however, William made a second expedition into the north, and before his activity and the valour of his troops all opposition gave way. Cumberland and Northumberland were reduced; Edgar and some of his followers fled again into Scotland; while the great patriot chiefs, Waltheof, Edwin, Morkar, and Cospatrick, were obliged to submit to the Conqueror. At the end of that year the whole of England, from Land's End to Tweed, was virtually conquered by the Normans.
FATE OF THE ANGLO-SAXONS—SOCIAL EFFECTS OF THE CONQUEST.
After the completion of the Conquest, in the year 1070, the AngloSaxons may be considered as dividing themselves into three classes —the great mass of the population, which lived groaning under the Norman yoke; the patriot outlaws, who swarmed in the forests and less accessible districts of the country, and waged a perpetual war with the foreigners, leading a free but savage and precarious life; and the exiles, who, quitting their native land, scattered themselves in search of liberty over all parts of the world. Of the first class— the great mass of the subdued Saxon population—a little more must be said.
Now that he was firmly seated on the throne, William pursued with even greater rigour and consistency than before his policy of degrading the natives of the country which he had conquered. In 1070, William, intriguing with Pope Alexander II., procured the assembling of an ecclesiastical council at Winchester, presided over by two papal legates, at which Stigand, the Saxon Archbishop of Canterbury, was deposed, along with Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln; Eghelman, Bishop of East Anglia; Eghelrik, Bishop of Sussex; Eghelwin, Bishop of Durham; and almost every other ecclesiastical dignitary of the English race. These prelates were replaced by Norman priests; the archbishopric of Canterbury being conferred on Lanfranc, to whose services at Rome, as we formerly mentioned, William had been greatly indebted. Eldred, the Archbishop of York, having died, a Norman prelate, Thomas, was appointed his successor. The simultaneous deposition of so many of the Saxon clergy excited a deep interest in the ecclesiastical world, and it is probable that some complaints might have been heard but for the accession of Hildebrand to the papacy. He declared the deposition legitimate, and the discussion was at an end. The last prelate of English birth left in England was Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, a weak simple man, of amiable disposition, who had assisted the Conqueror more zealously than any other Saxon. Even his deposition was at length resolved on. Accordingly, in I076, he was summoned before a council of Norman prelates and nobles, held in Westminster Abbey, King William and Archbishop Lanfranc presiding. It was here unanimously voted that Wulfstan was unfit to continue Bishop of Worcester, seeing that he could not speak French; and he was required, therefore, to surrender his episcopal ring and crosier. On this demand being made, the weak old man was inspired with an energy superior to his character: his lean frame quivered, and rising up before all the assembly, he walked slowly up to the tomb of Edward the Confessor, who was interred beneath the abbey pavement, and standing by the tombstone, said, addressing the dead monarch beneath: 'Edward, I received this staff from thee, and I return it to thee again.' Then turning to the Normans, he said: 'A better than you gave me this staff, to whom now I give it back; take it up if you can.' At these words he struck the tombstone with the end of his crosier, and the Normans, impressed with a superstitious awe, did not venture to repeat their demand; nay, according to the popular tradition, the staff clove the stone, and stuck in it so firmly that no one but Wulfstan himself could pull it out, which he did when the king bade him resume it. This miracle was generally believed; and after his death, which took place shortly after, Wulfstan was worshipped as a saint by the Saxons.
The most immediate and remarkable result of the Conquest was the introduction of what is called the feudal system into England. Under the Anglo-Saxon dynasty, few traces of this system existed —the government being popular in its character. When, however, William had conquered England, there resulted from his partition of the territory among his followers a new set of social arrangements. Reserving one thousand four hundred and twenty-two manors to himself as his private share, he divided the rest of the kingdom among seven or eight hundred of his principal followers, who became bound, in return, to render him homage and military service. These great barons, who were called tenants-in-chief, let out their lands on similar terms to their dependants, and so on until every Norman was provided for. On consulting the Great Roll of the Normans, called also the Doomsday-book, which William caused to be made out between 1081 and 1086, for the purpose of ascertaining into whose hands all the lands of England had got, only one or two Saxon names are found in the list of tenants-in-chief, and these for very small estates; from which it appears that all the former proprietors of England—the Anglo-Saxon thanes and ceorls —had been degraded into tenants of the Norman barons, or even, lower still, into tenants of Norman knights, who were tenants themselves. The lower class of the Anglo-Saxons, again, became absolute serfs of the soil—villains, cottars, and bonders under Norman masters.
Thus, in the end of the eleventh century, there came to be two distinct populations in England—a Norman population, consisting probably at first of not more altogether than a hundred and fifty thousand men, and an Anglo-Saxon population of some millions. Of the mixture of these two populations, the present English nation is the result. The mixture did not take place at once. For two or even three centuries after the Conquest, we can distinguish the two populations. To understand the state of society in England immediately after the Conquest, the reader, in the words of Thierry, 'must imagine to himself two countries—the one possessed by the Normans, wealthy and exonerated from capitation and other taxes; the other, that is, the Saxon, enslaved and oppressed with a land-tax: the former full of spacious mansions, of walled and moated castles; the latter covered with thatched huts and old ruined walls : this peopled with the prosperous and idle, with soldiers and courtiers, with knights and barons—that with men miserable, and doomed to toil with peasants and artisans. Lastly, to complete the picture, these two lands are in a manner woven into each other; they meet at every point, and yet they are more completely separated than if there were seas between them. Each has a language of its own, which is strange to the other. French is the court language, used in all the palaces, castles, and mansions, in the abbeys and monasteries, in all the residences of wealth and power; while the ancient language of the country is heard only at the firesides of the poor and the serfs.'
In the process of time these differences disappeared, and the two populations amalgamated with each other, constituting our present English people. Even at the present day, however, it is maintained by some that the higher classes of the country exhibit traces of their Norman descent, while the lower classes are in a much greater degree the genuine descendants of the Anglo-Saxons.
LIFE OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK.
LEXANDER SELKIRK, the undoubted original of Defoe's celebrated character, Robinson Crusoe, was born in the year 1676, in the village of Largo, on the southern coast of the county of Fife in Scotland. The name of Selkirk (or Selcraig, which was the old mode of spelling it, and which the subject of our narrative did not exchange for Selkirk till after leaving his native place to go to sea) is not an uncommon one in the village, the population of which now considerably exceeds two thousand. John Selkirk, the father of Alexander, was a thriving shoemaker, who lived in a house of his own, which has since been pulled down, at the west end of the town. He appears to have been a man of strict temper, respected for his steady and religious character, and, like the majority of Scottish parents at that time, a severe disciplinarian in his family. The name of his wife, the mother of our hero, was Euphan Mackie, also, it would seem, a native of Largo, and reported by tradition to have been the very contrast of her husband in her parental conduct—as yielding and indulgent as he was rigorous. In the case of Alexander, however, there was a special reason why Mrs Selkirk should prove a kind and pliant mother. Not only was she considerably advanced in years at the time of his birth, but, by a chance not very common, he was her seventh son, born without an intermediate daughter, and therefore destined, according to an old Scottish superstition, to come to great fortune, and make a figure in the world. Mrs Selkirk, good easy woman, firmly believed this, and made no doubt that her son No. 134. 1