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tempted to seize extensive possessions, which they knew neither how to cultivate nor enjoy. But the Normans and other foreigners who followed the standard of William, while they made the vanquished kingdom the seat of government, were yet so far advanced in arts as to be acquainted with the advantages of a large property; and having totally subdued the natives, they pushed the rights of conquest (very extensive in the eyes of avarice and ambition, however narrow in those of reason) to the utmost extremity against them. Except the former conquest of England by the Saxons themselves, who were induced, by peculiar circumstances, to proceed even to the extermination of the natives, it would be difficult to find in all history a revolution more destructive, or attended with a more complete subjection of the ancient inhabitants. Contumely seems even to have been wantonly added to oppression; and the natives were universally reduced to such a state of meanness and poverty, that the English name became a term of reproach; and several generations elapsed before one family of Saxon pedigree was raised to any considerable honours, or could so much as attain the rank of baron of the realm. These facts are so apparent from the whole tenor of the English history, that none would have been tempted to deny or elude them, were they not heated by the controversies of faction; while one party was absurdly afraid of those absurd consequences, which they saw the other party inclined to draw from this event. But it is evident, that the present rights and privileges of the people, who are a mixture of English and Normans, can never be affected by a transaction which passed seven hundred years ago; and as all ancient authorsf, who lived nearest the time, and best knew the state of the country, unanimously speak of the Norman dominion as a conquest by war and arms, no

d H. Hunting. p. 370. Brompton, p. 980.

e So late as the reign of

king Stephen, the earl of Albemarle, before the battle of the Standard, addressed the officers of his army in these terms," Proceres Angliæ clarissimi, et genere Normanni," etc. Brompton, p. 1026. See farther Abbas Rieval, p. 339, All the barons and military men of England still called themselves See note L, at the end of the volume.

etc. Normans.

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reasonable man, from the fear of imaginary consequences, will ever be tempted to reject their concurring and undoubted testimony.

King William had issue, besides his three sons who survived him, five daughters, to wit, first, Cicily, a nun in the monastery of Feschamp, afterwards abbess in the Holy Trinity at Caen, where she died in 1127. Second, Constantia, married to Alan Fergant, earl of Brittany: she died without issue. Third, Alice, contracted to Harold. Fourth, Adela, married to Stephen, earl of Blois, by whom she had four sons, William, Theobald, Henry, and Stephen; of whom the elder was neglected, on account of the imbecility of his understanding. Fifth, Agatha, who died a virgin, but was betrothed to the king of Gallicia. She died on her journey thither, before she joined her bridegroom.

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Accession of

ILLIAM, surnamed Rufus, or the
Red, from the colour of his hair, had
no sooner procured his father's recom- William
mendatory letter to Lanfranc the pri-
mate than he hastened to take mea-

sures for securing to himself the government of England. Sensible that a deed so unformal, and so little prepared, which violated Robert's right of primogeniture, might meet with great opposition, he trusted entirely for success to his own celerity; and having left St. Gervas while William was breathing his last, he arrived in England before intelligence of his father's death had reached that kingdom. Pretending orders from the king, he secured the fortresses of Dover, Pevensey, and Hastings, whose situation rendered them of the greatest importance; and he got possession of the royal treasure at Winchester, amounting to the sum of sixty thousand pounds, by which he hoped to encourage and increase his partisans. The primate, whose rank and reputation in the kingdom gave him great authority, had been intrusted with the care of his education, and had conferred on him a W. Malms. P. 120. M. Paris, p. 10. b Chron. Sax. p. 192. Brompton, p. 983.


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