Download A History of England, Volume 1: Prehistory to 1714 (6th by David Roberts, Clayton Roberts, Douglas R. Bisson PDF

By David Roberts, Clayton Roberts, Douglas R. Bisson

This two-volume narrative of English background attracts at the latest fundamental and secondary examine, encouraging scholars to interpret the entire variety of England’s social, monetary, cultural, and political past.

A historical past of britain, quantity 1 (Prehistory to 1714), makes a speciality of an important advancements within the historical past of britain during the early 18th century. themes comprise the Viking and Norman conquests of the eleventh century, the production of the monarchy, the Reformation, and the wonderful Revolution of 1688.

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Extra resources for A History of England, Volume 1: Prehistory to 1714 (6th Edition)

Sample text

He established it so securely that his son ­Edgar, who ruled England from 959 to 975, could be called Edgar the Peaceable. Anglo-Saxon Government In the creation of the English monarchy, the achievement of geographical unity was only half the story; the evolution of the institutions of kingship was the other half. The earliest kings were hardly more than warrior chiefs, enjoying the loyalty of their personal followers and living off their own estates. Gradually, a tribal, personal kingship became a territorial, institutional kingship.

In this h ­ ierarchy the law also found a place for the clergy: the bishop ranked with the ealdorman, the priest with the thegn. Even traders found a place, for a merchant who crossed the sea three times gained the rank of a thegn. The thegn played a crucial role in Anglo-Saxon s­ ociety. He was a powerful warrior, surrounded by retainers, who served the king in battles and at court. In the earlier centuries lordship was a personal relationship and nobility was a matter of birth, but after Alfred’s reign lordship became associated with the possession of land and nobility could be won by service to the king.

Because people regarded the ordeal as a judgment of God, the Church now stepped in. After a fast of three days and a mass in which the defendant was charged to confess his guilt before receiving the sacrament, the ­accused was subject to one of three ordeals. In the ordeal of cold water the priest adjured God to accept only the innocent in the water, after which the accused was lowered into it. If the accused floated, he was guilty; if he sank (though only briefly) he was innocent. In the ordeal of iron the ­accused carried a hot iron nine feet, and in the ordeal of hot water he plunged his hand into boiling water to take out a stone.

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