H́nh ảnh trang

had reigned in full and undisputed sovereignty over the northern portion of the island, was killed in battle against the English at Fagher, near Dundalk.

In 1319, the English king made another attempt to reduce Scotland, but his progress was arrested at Berwick, on which he could make no impression. Meanwhile the Scots invaded England, and advanced nearly to York, ravaging the country with unsparing fury. A truce for two years, concluded in December 1319, at length put a stop to hostilities between the two countries, but only for a short time, for Edward again unsuccessfully invaded Scotland, and Bruce retaliated on England.

After Gaveston's death, Edward placed his affections on the amiable and accomplished Hugh Despenser, an Englishman of ancient family. Even this latter quality did not save him from unpopularity. He had married the daughter of the late Earl of Gloucester, and been put in possession of his immense estates. The barons rose in arms, and, under the guidance of the Earl of Lancaster, accused the Despensers, father and son, of usurping the royal power, and of estranging the king from his nobles; upon which the parliament pronounced a sentence of banishment against both. Suddenly the position of the contending parties changed. The favourite returned after an exile of two months, encouraged by the king's boldness in hanging twelve knights of the opposite faction. Lancaster now withdrew to the north, and entered into communication with the Scots,-a step which lowered him greatly in the estimation of the people. He was soon afterwards compelled to surrender, and being condemned as a traitor, was beheaded on an eminence near Pontefract. Of his partisans, twenty-nine were executed, and their estates confiscated. The attainders passed upon the Despensers were reversed; the father was created Earl of Winchester, and received liberal compensation for his losses. The son was again received as the favourite of his sovereign; but instead of profiting by the fate of Gaveston, he gloried in following his example, and prepared the way for his own murder and that of the king.

11. Charles le Bel, brother to the English queen, now occupied the throne of France, and being at variance with


Henry, had overrun a portion of the English territories on the continent. Under pretence of propitiating the French king, Isabella repaired to France, and concluded a dishonourable treaty, by which Henry agreed to do homage for his continental possessions. He was afterwards persuaded to cede Guienne and Poitou to the Prince of Wales, who was then to be allowed to do homage instead of his father.

Isabella's visit to France was the first act of a terrible tragedy. To all entreaties for her return she replied by the most bitter accusations against her husband, and an open defiance of his authority. But there were attractions at the court of France that rendered her deaf to the voice of reason and of duty. Lord Mortimer, the head of the Lancastrian party, was a handsome and gallant knight: Isabella was still young and beautiful; and rumour whispered that their intimacy exceeded the bounds of political friendship. Troops were soon raised in the cause of the fair queen against her rival in the king's affections. In September 1326, she landed in Suffolk with a little army, and was hailed as the deliverer of the kingdom. Wife, son, brothers, cousin, were all in hostile array against the unfortunate Edward. The elder Despenser threw himself into Bristol; but the citizens compelled him to surrender as soon as the queen appeared under their walls. He was tried, and condemned to die the death of a traitor: after his bowels were torn out, his body was hung upon a gibbet during four days, and then cut to pieces and thrown to the dogs.

The king and his favourite fled from place to place: at length Hugh was captured in South Wales, and Edward immediately after surrendered to his pursuer, who was his own cousin, and brother to the late Earl of Lancaster. The favourite was dragged to Hereford, and there after a mock trial hanged upon a gallows fifty feet high.

Early in January 1327, Edward II. was formally deposed by the parliament; and his son, then in the fourteenth year of his age, was crowned at Westminster on the 29th of the same month. The dethroned sovereign was secretly transferred from one prison to another, and at last lodged in Berkeley Castle, whose inmates were alarmed

during a dark night in September by shrieks of anguish proceeding from his apartment. On the following day, the body of the king, who had been murdered in the most horrible manner, was exposed to public view. It bore no outward marks of violence, but the fearful distortion of the countenance showed how acute had been the suffering of the unhappy monarch. No investigation was made into the cause of his death, which his keepers said had happened suddenly during the night, and he was privately buried in the abbey church of St Peter at Gloucester.


1. How far was the authority of Louis sustained? What method was taken to secure the crown to the young Prince Henry? Describe the way in which the power of Louis came to an end. What did the legate Pandulph accomplish?

2. What happened in the year 1225 Describe the power which parliament held over an extravagant king. Describe the circumstances attending the downfal of De Burgh.

3. What foreigner became unpopular at this time? What brought many foreigners over? What was the effect of this on the king? Describe the ceremony which took place in Westminster Hall. Who was Simon de Montfort.

4. Describe the beginning of the representative system. What made the barons again make war against the king? What was the Mise of Lewes? What was de Montfort's fate?

5. What was the surname of Edward I.? What happened to him in Palestine? Describe the meeting with the Count of Chalons.

6. What territory did Edward first invade? What method did he take to keep Wales in subjection? How did he fulfil a prophecy? 7. Describe an incident which produced a war with France. How did other nations side in it? How was the army intended for France employed?

8. Tell how parliament checked Edward in his ambitious schemes. What plans did he adopt to raise money? What was the fate of the Jews?

9. What was the character of Edward II.? Who exercised undue influence over him? What effect had this upon the people? What was the fate of Gaveston?

10. How did Edward take the death of his favourite? Who invaded Ireland? Who succeeded Gaveston as favourite? What was the fate of Lancaster?

11. Who concluded a treaty with France? What coalition was formed against Edward? What was the fate of the Despensers ? Describe the circumstances that are known as to Edward's death.




1. At the time of the Norman conquest, Malcolm III., called Canmore, was king of Scotland; not indeed of the exact district which now bears that name, but of all the country north of the Forth and Clyde, with a tract on the west stretching into Cumberland. The other portions formed part of the earldom of Northumberland. Edgar Atheling having fled to Scotland in 1068, Malcolm married his elder sister, and two years after, entering England through Cumberland, he ravaged the western parts of Durham and York, and carried the young men and women back to Scotland, where they were made slaves. William I. retaliated in 1072, and wasted the country as far as the Tay, till at Abernethy Malcolm agreed to give hostages and do homage, not for his whole kingdom, but for territories annexed to that kingdom, and situated in England. Such feudal homage was not unusual between crowned heads: thus we have seen that John, as Duke of Normandy, acknowledged the King of France as his feudal superior, and his refusal to appear before his lord paramount, touching the death of Prince Arthur, cost him that province.

During the reign of Rufus, Malcolm again invaded Northumberland, and met his death before Alnwick Castle. Under this monarch the connexion between the northern and southern portions of the island became closer, the superior civilisation brought to England by the Normans penetrated through Scotland, and as the Scots had been like the inhabitants of South Britain in their barbarism, so they still continued to resemble them. Many of the Norman and Saxon malcontents of England were received at Malcolm's court, and the learned and pious Queen Margaret encouraged commerce, particularly in articles of luxury. Malcolm is said to have made great innovations in the constitution, assimilating it in some degree to the forms and usages of England; but the more we investigate, the more we find that the original laws and institutions of the Scots

resembled those of their southern neighbours. Many changes occurred in the succession until the reign of David A. D. I., who, although defeated at the battle of the Stand} 1138. ard, returned not ingloriously into Scotland. He promoted the civilisation of his country, particularly by the foundation of religious houses, at that time almost the only sources of knowledge and the liberal arts.

Malcolm IV., surnamed the Maiden, a child in the A.D.? twelfth year of his age, now ascended the throne, and 1153. his reign of twelve years appears to have been one uninterrupted series of rebellions. The reign of William (the Lion), his brother and successor, is remarkable for a A.D. contest with the papal court, respecting the nomina1178. tion of a bishop to the see of St Andrews. The chapter elected an Englishman of distinguished learning, named John Scot; the king appointed his chaplain to the vacancy. Eventually William's nominee succeeded to the bishopric.

William was somewhat unfortunate in his endeavours to secure the independence of his country. After a fruitless attempt to obtain the restitution of Northumberland from Henry II., he invaded that province, but being made prisoner, he was carried to Normandy, and did not procure his liberty till he consented to do homage to the English monarch, whose successor, however, willingly renounced the superiority for the sum of 10,000 marks.

2. After the death of John of England, Alexander II., the king of Scots, continued his co-operation with Prince Louis, and drew upon himself the excommunication of the legate Gualo; but when the French prince withdrew from England, Alexander, who was marching into that country, became reconciled with the pope and Henry III. In 1217, he was absolved by Gualo's delegates at Tweedmouth, doing homage at the same time for the earldom of Huntingdon and other possessions in England. Four years later, he married Henry's eldest sister, the Princess Joan, and a long period of uninterrupted peace ensued between the two countries. This tranquillity was shaken by the death of Joan in 1238, and Alexander's marriage in the following year with Mary, daughter of Ingelram de Couci, a great lord of Picardy, whose family had been distinguished for its opposition to English interests. In 1244, Henry,

« TrướcTiếp tục »