Metal artifacts appeared in England as early as 2, BC although it is believed they were imported. By about 2, BC bronze was being made in England. The Bronze Age people also rode horses and they were the first people in England to weave cloth. Bronze age women held their hair with bone pins and they wore crescent shaped necklaces. This may have been because the population was rising and fertile land was becoming harder to obtain.
Meanwhile the Bronze Age people continued to build barrows. The dead were buried with useful artifacts. Presumably the living believed the dead would need these in the afterlife. Bronze Age people lived in round wooden huts with thatched roofs but nothing is known about their society or how it was organised. However there were almost certainly different classes by that time. Tin and copper were exported from Britain along with animal hides. Jet and amber were imported for the rich. Then about BC iron was introduced into England by a people called the Celts and the first swords were made.
Warfare was common during the Iron Age and many hill forts fortified settlements were built at that time. Although there were also many open villages and farms. The Celts fought from horses or light wooden chariots. They threw spears and fought with swords. The Celts had wooden shields and some wore chainmail. Most of the Celts were farmers although were also many skilled craftsmen. Some Celts were blacksmiths working with iron , bronze smiths, carpenters, leather workers and potters. Celtic craftsmen also made elaborate jewelry of gold and precious stones.
Furthermore objects like swords and shields were often finely decorated. The Celts decorated metal goods with enamel. The Celts also knew how to make glass and they made glass beads. The Celts grew crops in rectangular fields. They raised pigs, sheep and cattle. They stored grain in pits lined with stone or wicker and sealed with clay. The Celts also brewed beer from barley.
Caesar returned in 54 BC. Both times he defeated the Celts but he did not stay. Both times the Romans withdrew after the Celts agreed to pay annual tribute. The Roman invasion force consisted of about 20, legionaries and about 20, auxiliary soldiers from the provinces of the Roman Empire. Aulus Plautius led them. The Romans landed somewhere in Southeast England the exact location is unknown and quickly prevailed against the Celtic army. The Celts could not match the discipline and training of the Roman army.
A battle was fought on the River Medway, ending in Celtic defeat and withdrawal. The Romans chased them over the River Thames into Essex and within months of landing in England the Romans had captured the Celtic hill fort on the site of Colchester. Meanwhile other Roman forces marched into Sussex, where the local tribe, the Atrebates were friendly and offered no resistance. The Roman army then marched into the territory of another tribe, the Durotriges, in Dorset and southern Somerset.
Everywhere the Romans prevailed and that year 11 Celtic kings surrendered to Claudius. Normally if a Celtic king surrendered the Romans allowed him to remain as a puppet ruler. However the war was not over. Fighting between the Welsh tribes and the Romans continued for years. Meanwhile the Iceni tribe of East Anglia rebelled. At first the Romans allowed them to keep their kings and have some autonomy. However the Romans easily crushed it. In the ensuing years the Romans alienated the Iceni by imposing heavy taxes.
Then, when the king of the Iceni died he left his kingdom partly to his wife, Boudicca and partly to Emperor Nero. Soon, however Nero wanted the kingdom all for himself. His men treated the Iceni very badly and they provoked rebellion. This time a large part of the Roman army was fighting in Wales and the rebellion was, at first, successful. However the Romans rushed forces to deal with the rebellion. Although the Romans were outnumbered their superior discipline and tactics secured total victory.
After the rebellion was crushed the Celts of what is now southern and eastern England settled down and gradually accepted Roman rule. Then in AD the Romans conquered the north of what is now England. By the middle of the 3rd century the Roman Empire was in decline. In the latter half of the 3rd century Saxons from Germany began raiding the east coast of Roman Britain. The Romans built a chain of forts along the coast, which they called the Saxon shore. The forts were commanded by an official called the Count of the Saxon shore and they contained both infantry and cavalry.
Then in an admiral named Carausius seized power in Britain. For 7 years he ruled Britain as an emperor until Allectus, his finance minister, assassinated him. Britain was then taken back into the Roman fold. In the 4th century the Roman Empire in the west went into serious economic and political decline. The populations of towns fell. Public baths and amphitheaters went out of use. They overran Hadrian's Wall and killed the Count of the Saxon shore. However the Romans sent a man named Theodosius with reinforcements to restore order.
Yet the last Roman troops left Britain in In the leaders of the Romano-Celts sent a letter to the Roman Emperor Honorius, appealing for help. However he had no troops to spare and he told the Britons they must defend themselves. Roman Britain split into separate kingdoms but the Romano-Celts continued to fight the Saxon raiders.
Roman civilization slowly broke down. People stopped using coins and returned to barter. Roman towns continued to be inhabited until the mid-5th century. Then town life came to an end. Roman civilization in the countryside also faded away. Life in Roman Britain.
By the 5th century the Romano-Celts had broke up into separate kingdoms but a single leader called the Superbus tyrannus had emerged. At that time and possibly earlier they were hiring Germanic peoples as mercenaries. According to tradition the Superbus tyrannus brought Jutes to protect his realm from Scots from northern Ireland and Picts from Scotland. He was also afraid the Romans might invade Britain and make it part of the Empire again.
The Superbus tyrannus installed the Jutish leader, Hengist, as king of Kent. In return the Jutes were supposed to protect Britain. However after about 7 years the Jutes and the Romano-Celts fell out. They fought a battle at Crayford and the Jutes won a decisive victory. The war went on for several more years but the Celts were unable to dislodge the Jutes.
In the late 5th century Saxons landed in Sussex and after about 15 years the Saxons had conquered all of Sussex. They gave the county its name. It was the kingdom of the south Saxons. Meanwhile at the end of the 5th century or the very beginning of the 6th century more Jutes landed in eastern Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. At the same time Saxons landed in western Hampshire. They founded the kingdom of Wessex the West Saxons. Then in the late 5th century a great leader and general arose among the Celts. We know him as Arthur.
Very little is known about him but he defeated the Saxons in several battles. His victories culminated in the battle of Mount Badon, about AD. We do not know exactly where the battle took place. The Saxons were crushed and their advance was halted for decades.
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Meanwhile in the early 6th century the West Saxons, of western Hampshire, annexed the Jutes of eastern Hampshire. About they also took over the Isle of Wight. Then in the West Saxons won a great victory somewhere near modern Salisbury and they captured what is now Wiltshire. In they won another great victory.
This time they captured Bath , Cirencester and Gloucester. They also cut off the Celts of southwest England from the Celts of Wales.
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Meanwhile in the mid-6th century other Saxons invaded Essex. The kingdom of the East Saxons. A people called the Angles landed in East Anglia. Obviously they gave East Anglia its name. They also gave England its name Angle land. Other Angles landed in Yorkshire. Also in the later 6th century Saxons sailed up the Thames and landed in what is now Berkshire. They gave Middlesex its name. The land of the middle Saxons. They also landed on the south bank of the River Thames. They called the area suth ridge, which means south bank.
In time the name changed to Surrey. So by the late 6th century eastern England was in the hands of Angles and Saxons. In the 7th century they continued their relentless advance. In they won yet another battle. This time they captured Dorset. Then in Saxons from eastern Somerset invaded western Somerset. At the same time Saxons from southeast Devon marched north and west.
The two groups advanced in a pincer movement and soon occupied Devon and western Somerset. However the Saxons never gained effective control of Cornwall. So Cornwall kept its own Cornish language. By the 7th century there were 9 kingdoms in what is now England. In the early 9th century Wessex gained control of Sussex and Kent.
The Midlands was ruled by a kingdom called Mercia. In the late 8th century a great king called Offa ruled Mercia. He built a famous dyke ditch to keep out the Welsh. He also absorbed the kingdom of Lindsey roughly Lincolnshire. In the north was divided into two kingdoms. Deira roughly modern Yorkshire and Bernicia further north. However in the two were united to form one powerful kingdom called Northumbria. So by the mid-9th century England was divided into just four kingdoms, Northumbria in the north, Mercia, East Anglia in the east and Wessex in the south.
The Conversion of England to Christianity. In Pope Gregory sent a party of about 40 men led by Augustine to Kent. They arrived in Aethelbert permitted the monks to preach and in time he was converted. Furthermore his nephew, Saeberht, the king of Essex was also converted. He may have been influenced by his wife, Ethelburga, who was a Christian. Most of his subjects followed. A man named Paulinius became the first Saxon Bishop of York. Paulinius also began converting the kingdom of Lindsey Lincolnshire. However things did not go smoothly in Northumbria. King Edwin was killed at the battle of Hatfield in and afterwards most of Northumbria reverted to paganism.
They had to be converted all over again by Celtic monks from Scotland. He asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to send men to help convert his people. Missionaries also preached in the kingdom of Mercia The Midlands In King Penda of Mercia was converted and baptized and gradually the realm was converted. The last part of England to be converted to Christianity was Sussex. It was converted after by St. Finally by the end of the 7th century all of England was at least nominally Christian. In the Vikings raided a monastery at Lindisfarne northeast England.
There followed a respite until when the Danes descended on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. Although the Viking raiders were fearsome they were not invincible. In the Danes joined forces with the Celts of Cornwall. However they were defeated by Egbert, king of Wessex, at Hingston Down. Nevertheless the Danes continued raiding England. In a force of Saxons from Hampshire crushed a Danish force at Southampton. However the same year Saxons from Dorset were defeated by the Danes at Portland. In they sacked Southampton. Further Viking raids occurred in and In the latter year the Saxons defeated the Danes in a battle at the mouth of the River Parrett in Somerset.
Then in the Vikings spent the winter of the Isle of Thanet. In the spring they attacked the Mercians and defeated them in battle. However they were later defeated by an army from Wessex. In another Danish force wintered on the Isle of Sheppey before raiding England. There then followed a relatively peaceful period in which the Vikings raided England only once.
However the Danes eventually stopped raiding and turned to conquest. In the autumn of an army of Danes landed in East Anglia. In the following year, , they captured York. The Northumbrians attacked the Vikings occupying York in but they were defeated. The Danes then installed a man named Egbert as puppet ruler of Northumbria. The Danes then marched south and they spent the winter of in Nottingham. In they marched to Thetford in East Anglia. In the spring of they crushed an army of East Anglians. They then turned their attention of Wessex.
At the end of they captured Reading. The men of Wessex won a victory at Ashdown. However the Danes then won two battles, at Basing and at an unidentified location. Then in the spring of Alfred became king of Wessex. He became known as Alfred the Great. The Saxons and the Danes fought several battles during but the Danes were unable to break Saxon resistance so they made a peace treaty and the Danes turned their attention to the other parts of England.
In they attacked the unoccupied part of Mercia. The Mercian king fled and was replaced by a puppet ruler. Afterwards Wessex remained the only independent Saxon kingdom. In a Danish army invaded Wessex again. However they were unable to conquer Wessex so in they withdrew to Gloucester. In they launched a surprise attack on Chippenham.
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King Alfred was forced to flee and hide in the marshes of Athelney. Alfred fought a guerrilla war for some months then took on the Danes in battle. The Danes were routed at the battle of Edington. Afterwards Guthrum, the Danish leader, and his men were baptized and made a treaty with Alfred. They split southern and central England between them. Later this Danish kingdom became known as the Danelaw. Alfred took the land west of Watling Street and southern England. However in Alfreds men captured London.
Moreover the wars with the Danes were not over. In some Danes who had been attacking France turned their attention to Kent. In the Saxons defeated them and they withdrew into Essex part of the Danelaw. Meanwhile in another group of Danes sailed to Devon and laid siege to Exeter. They withdrew in They sailed to Sussex and landed near Chichester. This time the local Saxons marched out and utterly defeated them in battle.
War with the Danes continued in Danes from the Danelaw marched into what is now Shropshire but they were forced to withdraw. There then followed a few years of peace. During his reign Alfred reorganized the defense of his realm. He created a fleet of ships to fight the Danes at sea. It was the first English navy. He also created a network of forts across his kingdom called burhs. Finally Alfred died in And he was succeeded by his son Edward. By the end of the century there was only one left, Wessex.
In the 10th century Wessex gradually expanded and took over all the Danish territory. So a single united England was created. The process began under King Edward. The treaty of Wedmore in gave King Alfred control over western Mercia. However the people of that area still saw themselves as Mercians not Saxons or Englishmen. In time they merged with the people of Wessex.
He took control of all England south of the River Humber. By all of England was ruled by Alfred the Greats descendants. In the late 10th century England enjoyed a respite from Danish raids. England was peaceful although a young king, Edward, was murdered at Corfe in Dorset in His brother Aethelred replaced him.
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Despite this in the late 10th century there was a religious revival in England. A man named Dunstan c. He reformed the monasteries. Many new churches and monasteries were built. Then in the Danes started raiding England again. The Saxons paid the Danes to stop raiding and return home. However the amount the Danes demanded increased each time. In they were paid 10, pounds to go home.
In they were paid 24, pounds in they were paid 36, pounds. England was drained of its resources by paying these huge sums of money called Danegeld Dane gold. King Aethelred or Ethelred also, stupidly, enraged the Danes by ordering the massacre of Danes living in his realm. He was persuaded they were plotting against him and he ordered his people to kill them on 13 November This terrible crime, the St Brice's Day Massacre ensured that the Danes had a personal hostility towards him.
Eventually the Danes turned to conquest. In the Danish king Sweyn invaded England. The people of northern England welcomed him. Swein marched south and captured more and more of England. King Ethelred fled abroad. Swein was on the verge of becoming king of England when died in February Incredibly some of the English invited Ethelred back provided he agreed to rule more justly. When he arrived the Danes withdrew. However they were soon back.
Ethelred finally died in April The people of the Danelaw accepted Canute as king but London supported Edmund. England was split between the two contestants. They fought at Ashingdon in Essex. Canute won the battle but he was not strong enough to capture all of England. Instead he made peace with Edmund. Canute took the north and midlands while Edmund took the south. However Edmund conveniently died in November and Canute became king of all England. Canute turned out to be a good king. Under him trade grew rapidly and England became richer. When Canute died in England was stable and prosperous.
Each earl was very powerful. Unfortunately after Canute's death there were seven years of fighting over who would rule England. Then in Edward, known as Edward the Confessor became king. During his reign, which lasted until England grew increasingly prosperous. Trade grew and English towns flourished. England was stable and well governed. Edward also built Westminster Abbey. However Edward's mother was Norman and Norman influence was increasing in England. The next king, Harold, was to be the last Saxon king. Edward the Confessor died without leaving an heir.
William Duke of Normandy claimed that Edward once promised him he would be the next king of England. He also claimed that Harold had sworn an oath to support him after Edwards death. If Harold ever swore such an oath it was only because he had been shipwrecked off the Norman coast and was coerced into swearing an oath. In Anglo Saxon times the crown was not necessarily hereditary.
A body of men called the Witan played a role in choosing the next king. Nobody could become king without the Witans support. Duke William of Normandy would have to obtain the crown by force. However William was not the only contestant for the throne. Harald Hardrada, king of Norway, also claimed it.
He sailed to Yorkshire with 10, men in ships. The Earls of Northumbria and Mercia attacked him but they were defeated. However King Harold marched north with another army. He took the Norwegians by surprise and routed them at Stamford Bridge on 25 September That ended any threat from Norway. Meanwhile the Normans built a fleet of ships to transport their men and horses across the Channel. They landed in Sussex at the end of September. They also burned houses. Harold rushed to the south coast. He arrived with his men on 13 October.
The Anglo Saxon army was made up of the housecarls, the king's bodyguard. They fought on foot with axes. They wore coats of chainmail called hauberks. Kite shaped shields protected them. However most Anglo Saxon soldiers had no armor only axes and spears and round shields. They fought on foot. Their normal tactic was to form a 'shield-wall' by standing side by side. However the Anglo Saxons had no archers. The Norman army was much more up to date. Norman knights fought on horseback.
They wore chainmail and carried kite shaped shields. They fought with lances, swords and maces. Some Normans fought on foot protected by chainmail, helmets and shields. The Normans also had a force of archers. The battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October The Anglo Saxons were assembled on Senlac Hill. The Normans formed below them. Both armies were divided into 3 wings. William also divided his army into 3 ranks.
At the front were archers, in the middle soldiers on foot then mounted knights. The Norman archers advanced and loosed their arrows but they had little effect. The foot soldiers advanced but they were repulsed. The mounted knights then charged but they were unable to break the Anglo Saxon shield wall. Then the Anglo Saxons made a disastrous mistake. Foot soldiers and knights from Brittany fled. Some of the Anglo Saxons broke formation and followed them. The Normans then turned and attacked the pursuing Anglo Saxons. According to a writer called William of Poitiers the Anglo Saxons made the same mistake twice.
Seeing Normans flee for a second time some men followed. The Normans turned and destroyed them. The battle was now lost. Harold was killed with all his housecarls. The surviving Saxons melted away. William captured Dover and Canterbury. Finally he captured London and he was crowned king of England on 25 December The Anglo Saxon era was over. However at first his position was by no means secure. He had only several thousand men to control a population of about 2 million. Furthermore Swein, king of Denmark also claimed the throne of England. At first the Normans were hated invaders and they had to hold down a resentful Saxon population.
One method the Normans used to control the Saxons was building castles. They erected a mound of earth called a motte. On top they erected a wooden stockade. Around the bottom they erected another stockade. The area within was called the bailey so it was called a motte and bailey castle. The Normans soon began building stone castles. In William began building the Tower of London. William stayed in Normandy from March to December When he returned to England his first task was to put down an uprising in the Southwest.
He laid siege to Exeter. Eventually the walled town surrendered on honourable terms. Although Southern England was now under Norman control the Midlands and North were a different matter. In William marched north through Warwick and Nottingham to York. The people of York submitted to him- for the moment and William returned to London via Cambridge and York. However in January the people of Yorkshire and Northumberland rebelled. William rushed north and crushed the rebellion However the rising in the north fanned the flames of rebellion elsewhere.
There were local risings in Somerset and Dorset. There was also rebellion in the West Midlands. However local Norman commanders crushed the uprisings and drove out the Irish. It was not over yet. In the autumn of King Sweyn of Denmark sent an expedition to England. When the Danes arrived in Yorkshire the local people rose in rebellion once again.
William marched north and captured York.
The Danes withdrew from northern England. This time William adopted a scorched earth policy. William was determined there would not be any more rebellions in the north. In his men burned houses, crops and tools between the Humber and Durham. They also slaughtered livestock. There followed years of famine in the north when many people starved to death. This terrible crime was called the harrying of the north and it took the north of England years to recover.
Meanwhile the Danes sailed south. They plundered Peterborough and took the Isle of Ely as a base. Many Saxons joined the Danes. These Saxon rebels were led by a man called Hereward the Wake. The Saxons kept on fighting in the Fens but by they were forced to surrender. William was now in control of all of England. After the Norman Conquest almost all Saxon nobles lost their land. William confiscated it and gave it to his own followers. They held their land in return for providing soldiers for the king for so many days a year.
William also changed the church in England. In those days the church was rich and powerful and the king needed its support. William replaced senior Saxon clergymen with men loyal to himself. With the agreement of the Pope. Lanfranc then deposed Saxon bishops and abbots and replaced them with Normans. Among the lower ranks of society there were also changes. In late Saxon times the peasants were losing their freedom. This process continued under the Normans. On the other hand slavery declined. It died out by the middle of the 12th century. In William decided to carry out a huge survey of his kingdom to find out how much wealth it contained.
The result was the Domesday Book of William died in and he was succeeded by his son, also called William he is sometimes called William Rufus because of his reddish complexion.
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His brother Robert became Duke of Normandy. William the Conqueror was a ruthless man. However a writer of the time did say this about him; 'he kept good law'. The eleventh century was a lawless age when a strong ruler who kept order was admired. Rufus was definitely not a supporter of the church and was deeply unpopular with the clergy. Among other things they criticized him and his courtiers for having long hair. In his father's day short hair was the fashion. The clergy thought long hair was effeminate.
However in many ways Rufus was a capable king. Under him the barons were in an awkward position because most of them held land in Normandy as well as in England. Many of them wanted a single man to rule both. So in there was a rebellion in eastern England. The rebels hoped to dispose of Rufus and make his brother Robert ruler of both England and Normandy. However Rufus crushed the rebellion.
A second rebellion in was also crushed. Meanwhile Rufus captured the area we now called Cumbria from the Scots until his reign it was part of Scotland. Rufus also forced the Scottish king to submit to him as his feudal overlord. William Rufus was hit by an arrow while hunting in the New Forest. We will never know for certain if it was an accident or as seems more likely he was murdered. Following the 'accidental' death of William Rufus his brother Henry seized the royal treasure in Winchester and was crowned king of England.
Henry I was born in and he was well educated. When he seized the throne he issued a charter promising to rule justly. He also gained favor with his Saxon subjects by marrying Edith, a descendant of Edmund Ironside. Very importantly he also had the support of the church.
Henry proved to be a capable monarch. He also had many illegitimate children but he only had one legitimate son called William. In the king of France recognized William as the heir to the English throne and heir to the Dukedom of Normandy. However William drowned in when his ship, the white ship, sank. Henry was left without an heir. Before he died in Henry made the barons promise to accept his daughter Matilda as queen.
However when Henry died in his nephew Stephen also claimed the throne and many barons supported him. Matilda was abroad when her father died and Stephen was crowned king of England. Yet Matilda would not give up her claim to the throne and she had many supporters too. As a result a long civil war began which went on till These years were called the 'nineteen long winters'. Fighting only ended when, shortly before his death, Stephen agreed to recognize Matilda's son Henry as his heir.
He proved to be a strong and capable ruler. Henry II was the first Plantagenet king. He was born at Le Mans in France in He was a highly educated man known for his violent temper. However Henry did not just rule England. He also ruled large parts of France. From he was Duke of Normandy. From he was Count of Anjou. By marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine he became the Lord of that part of France. Later he also became ruler of Brittany. As an adult Henry spent more time in France than he did in England. Henry proved to be a strong king.
During the long civil war many barons had built illegal castles. Henry had them demolished. Furthermore Henry reformed the law. He appointed judges who traveled around the country holding trials called assizes for serious offences. However clergymen had the right to be tried in their own courts. The penalties were often very lenient. Henry felt that was unfair and he tried to force the clergy to allow themselves to be tried in his courts.
Not surprisingly they resisted. However as soon as Becket was appointed he refused to submit to the king's wishes. In , while Henry was in Normandy he lost his temper and shouted 'will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest? Four knights took him at his word and they went to England and killed Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Public opinion was horrified by the murder. Eventually Henry was forced to do penance. He walked barefoot through Canterbury while monks lashed his bare back. Henry also had trouble from his sons because he refused to give them any real power.
In Henry faced a rebellion by his four eldest sons assisted by their mother. Henry put down the rebellions and he forgave his sons. However his wife was held a prisoner for the rest of Henry's reign. In Henry faced another rebellion. This time his youngest son, John joined the rebellion.
That broke his heart and Henry died in Richard I was born in In his own time he was a popular king because he was a successful warrior. However he neglected his kingdom to fight in foreign wars. Saladin had captured Jerusalem in and Richard was determined to win it back. He left England as soon as he could in He arrived in the Holy Land in Richard had some success but he failed to capture Jerusalem, the main prize.
In he made a treaty with Saladin. However on his journey home he was imprisoned by the Duke of Austria. Richard's subjects were forced to pay a huge ransom to release him in After his release Richard returned to England but he soon left for Normandy. He never saw England again. While besieging a castle Richard was hit by a crossbow bolt. He died in and was followed by his brother John. King John proved to be a failure.
Between and the king of France managed to capture most of the lands in France held by John. Afterwards John was given the nickname soft sword. He also, in , began an argument with the Pope over who should be the new Archbishop of Canterbury, John's choice or the Pope's. As a result in the Pope place England under an interdict, which meant that religious services could not be held. In he excommunicated John. Finally, in , John was forced to submit. Meanwhile John alienated many of his subjects. They claimed that he ruled like a tyrant ignoring feudal law.
He was accused to extorting money from people, selling offices, increasing taxes and creating new ones whenever he wished. Matters came to a head after John tried to recapture his lost lands in France in but failed. The barons patience was exhausted. Finally in civil war broke out.
In June John was forced to accept a charter known as Magna Carta. The charter was meant to stop the abuses. It stated that the traditional rights and privileges of the church must be upheld. It also protected the rights and privileges of the aristocracy. Merchants who lived in towns were also mentioned. However ordinary people were overlooked. Yet Magna Carta did uphold an important principle. English kings could not rule arbitrarily. They had to obey English laws and English customs the same as other men. Furthermore Magna Carta laid down that no free man could be arrested, imprisoned or dispossessed without the lawful judgment of his peers or without due process of law.
A history of English government. John had no intention of keeping the terms of Magna Carta so he appealed to the Pope who declared he was not bound by it. Rebellion broke out again and this time the rebel barons invited a French prince to come and rule England. However John conveniently died in October However John did achieve something during his reign. He founded the port of Liverpool.
John was succeeded by his nephew Henry. He was crowned in great haste in Gloucester by the Bishop of Winchester. The Archbishop of Canterbury was in Rome. Henry III was only 9 years old in and at first two regents ruled on his behalf. The first problem was the French prince Louis, who had been invited by rebel barons to come and be king of England. However in Louis was forced to leave. Henry began to rule in his own right in and he soon alienated the barons by ignoring their traditional rights and privileges.
Worse, in the pope was fighting in Sicily. Henry III offered to fund the pope's wars if the pope agreed to let his son, Edmund, become king of Sicily. Lays of Ancient Rome. A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? The English and Their History. History of England [6-Volume Set]. Defender of the Realm, Here's how restrictions apply.
About the Author Thomas Babington Macaulay was widely admired throughout his life for his prose, poetry, political acumen and oratorical skills. Penguin Classics; Reprint edition April 26, Language: Start reading History of England on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. See all customer images. Read reviews that mention history of england glorious revolution table of contents english language english history william iii abridged version macaulay history history without edition of macaulay volumes james prose kindle volume historical historians modern pages historian.
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Showing of 58 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I've been meaning to read this book for decades. It is out of favor with the politically correct because it doesn't have enough about gays, transgenders, Marxism and patriarchy, but it was written in , so why would it? Unlike most histories written then, it is not just about battles and diplomacy.
Macaulay makes a point of discussing art, culture, trade and other subjects that weren't considered to be worthy of a serious historian. The chief pleasure of the work is the writing style, which has seldom been equalled in English. Some Amazon reviewers say that the language is antique and difficult, but I don't think it is.
Here's a sample, so you can judge for yourself. Macaulay is discussing Oliver Cromwell-- "While he lived his power stood firm, an object of mingled aversion, admiration, and dread to his subjects. Few indeed loved his government; but those who hated it most hated it less than they feared it. Had it been a worse government, it might perhaps have been overthrown in spite of all its strength.
Had it been a weaker government, it would certainly have been overthrown in spite of all its merits. But it had moderation enough to abstain from those oppressions which drive men mad; and it had a force and energy which none but men driven mad by oppression would venture to encounter. The prose style fits the intricacy of Macaulay's ideas, unlike Gibbon, for example, who always used twice the number of words needed to express even the simplest thought.
The ebook conversion is better than average. I've noticed about one typo every ten pages. And the price is right. OK, history isn't written this way any more and contemporary historians don't read him any more. And, OK, he was lambasted as the proponent of Whig History. Progressive always progressing liberal enlightenment Absurdly Anglo Centric But, he was a literary genius. He was also a brilliant and masterful story teller. First if you haven't already studied the period he covers, this is not an introduction.
Not should it be accepted as a valid synopsis of the period. Only as a very singular and brilliantly evocative depiction of a particular and compelling perspective. Also, like Gibbon, who was equally, and maybe even more so an absolute master of prose narrative, it can take some initial effort to get with the flow of his writing style. His thoughts and the narrative drive are effortless and pellucid. But the style is from another age and a distinct discipline. No longer taught in modern schools. I believe Churchill thought him a great model of writing concision and clarity.
Reading him is a joy and a pleasure and deeply instructive. We live, self consciously, in a supposedly "post modern" post deconstructivist age. It is not a bad idea to use our history to appreciate what was of true worth and value in past ages. The now and the then can offer insights, each into the other. So that, maybe, after all, there might be some progress There are some garbled sentences or passage due to transcription errors. As of mid, this is by far the best Macaulay available on Kindle. It's a fine text with next to no typographical errors and complete notes. The notes in the back are not linked, but they can be reached by a number search, and the numbers are given in the main text very clearly.
Most of the notes are just references; the few that are discussions can be read in a lump, meaning the reader doesn't have to go back to the notes except at long intervals. The five-volume format is a little fussy, but it reproduces the way the books originally came out. Meanwhile the Kindle competitors are clumsier because of their greater length, and cost a couple bucks instead of nothing. This five-volume version lacks detailed chapter summaries, but those hardly seem necessary they were added by the etext creators, not Macaulay , especially when the books can be searched.