Narrative History of England
Part 1: The Prehistoric Period by Peter N. Williams, Ph. D.

Pre-Roman Britain

Though the scribes that accompanied the Roman invaders of Britain gave us the first written history of the land that came to be known as England, its history had already been writ large in its ancient monuments and archeological findings. Present-day Britain is riddled with evidence of its long past, of the past that the Roman writers did not record, but which is etched in the landscape. Looking out on the green and cultivated land, where it is not disfigured by the inevitable cities and towns and villages of later civilizations -- those dark Satanic mills so loathed by William Blake -- he can see what seem to be anomalies on the hillsides -- strange bumps and mounds; remains of terraced or plowed fields; irregular slopes that bespeak ancient hill forts; strangely carved designs in the chalk; jagged teeth of upstanding megaliths; stone circles of immense breadth and height and ancient, mysterious wells and springs. Man lived in what we now call the British Isles long before it broke away from the continent of Europe, long before the great seas covered the land bridge that is now known as the English Channel, that body of water that protected this island for so long, and that by its very nature, was to keep it out of the maelstrom that became medieval Europe. Thus England's peculiar character as an island nation came about through its very isolation. Early man came, settled, farmed and built. His remains tell us much about his lifestyle and his habits. Of course, the land was not then known as England, nor would it be until long after the Romans had departed. We know of the island's early inhabitants from what they left behind on such sites as Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, and Swanscombe in Kent, gravel pits, the exploration of which opened up a whole new way of seeing our ancient ancestors dating back to the lower Paleolithic (early Stone Age). Here were deposited not only fine tools made of flint, including hand-axes, but also a fossilized skull of a young woman as well as bones of elephants, rhinoceroses, cave-bears, lions, horses, deer, giant oxen, wolves and hares. From the remains, we can assume that man lived at the same time as these animals which have long disappeared from the English landscape. So we know that a thriving culture existed around 8,000 years ago in the misty, westward islands the Romans were to call Britannia, though some have suggested the occupation was only seasonal, due to the still-cold climate of the glacial period which was slowly coming to an end. As the climate improved, there seems to have been an increase in the number of people moving into Britain from the Continent. They were attracted by its forests, its wild game, abundant rivers and fertile southern plains. An added attraction was its relative isolation, giving protection against the fierce nomadic tribesmen that kept appearing out of the east, forever searching for new hunting grounds and perhaps, people to subjugate and enslave. The Neolithic Age The new age of settlement took place around 4,500 BC, in what we now term the Neolithic Age. Though isolated farmhouses seem to be the norm, the remarkable findings at Skara Brae and Rinyo in the Orkneys give evidence of settled, village life. In both sites, local stone was used extensively to make interior walls, beds, boxes, cupboards and hearths. Roofs seem to have been supported by whale bone, more plentiful and more durable than timber. Much farther south, at Carn Brea in Cornwall, another Neolithic village attests to a lifestyle similar to that enjoyed at Skara Brae, except in the more fertile south, agriculture played a much larger part in the lives of the villagers. Animal husbandry was practiced at both sites. Very early on, farming began to transform the landscape of Britain from virgin forest to ploughed fields. An excavated settlement at Windmill Hill, Wiltshire shows us that its early inhabitants kept cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs. They also cultivated various kinds of wheat and barley grew flax, gathered fruits and made pottery. They buried their dead in long barrows -- huge elongated mounds of earth raised over a temporary wooden structure in which several bodies were laid. These long barrows are found all over Southern England, where fertile soil allied to a flat, or gently rolling landscape greatly aided settlement.


To clear the forests, it is obvious that stone-axes of a sophisticated design were produced in great numbers. Many of these axes were obtained by trading with other groups or by mining high-quality flint. Both activities seem to have been wide-spread, as stone-axes appear in many areas away from the source of their manufacture. At Grimes Graves, in Norfolk (in the eastern half of Britain), great quantities of flint were mined by miners working deep hollowed-out shafts and galleries in the chalk. At the same time the Windmill people practiced their way of life and other farming people were introducing decorated pottery and different shaped tools to Britain. The cultures may have combined to produce the striking Megalithic monuments, the burial chambers and the henges. The tombs consisted of passage graves, in which a long narrow passage leads to a burial chamber in the very middle of the mound; and gallery graves, in which the passage is wider, divided by stone partitions making stall-like compartments. Some of these tombs were built of massive blocks of stone standing upright as walls, with other huge blocks laid across horizontally to make a roof. They were then covered with earthen mounds which have in many cases, completely eroded. One of the most impressive of these tombs is New Grange in Ireland. They are the oldest manmade stone structures known, older than the great Pyramids of Egypt. Sometime in the early to middle Neolithic period, groups of people began to build camps or enclosures in valley bottoms or on hilltops. Perhaps these were originally built to pen cattle and later used for defense, settlement or simply meeting places for trading. Perhaps they were built for religious purposes. Soon, these enclosures began to evolve into more elaborate sites that may have been used for religious ceremonies, perhaps even for studying the night stars so that sowing, planting and harvesting could be done at the most propitious times of the year. Whatever their purpose, we call these sites, most of which are circular or semi-circular in pattern, henges. They include banks and ditches; the most impressive, at Avebury, in Wiltshire, had a ditch 21 metres in width, and 9 metres deep in places. Many of the timber posts that defined these henges have long disappeared, but many sites still contain circles of pits, central stones, cairns or burials and clearly defined stone or timber entrances. It was not too long before stone circles began to dot the landscape, spanning the period between the late Neolithic and the early Bronze Ages (c 3370 - 2679 BC). Outside these circles were erected the monoliths, huge single standing stones that may have been aligned on the rising or setting sun at midsummer or midwinter. Some of these, such as the groups of circles known as the Calva group in present day Scotland, were also used for burials and burial ceremonies. Henges seem to have been used for multiple purposes, justifying the enormous expenditure of time and energy to construct them. The arrival of the so-called "Beaker people" named after the shape of their most characteristic pottery vessel, brought the first metal-users to the British Isles. Perhaps they used their beakers to store beer, for they grew barley and knew how to brew beer from it. At the time of their arrival in Britain, they seem to have mingled with another group of Europeans we call the "Battle-axe people," who had domesticated the horse, used wheeled carts and smelted and worked copper. They also buried their dead in single graves, often under round barrows. They also may have introduced a language into Britain derived from Indo-European. Prehistoric Earthworks and the "Wessex Culture" The two groups seem to have blended together to produce the cult in Southern England that we call the 'Wessex Culture.' They were responsible for the enormous earthwork called Silbury Hill, the largest manmade mound in prehistoric Europe. Silbury is 39 metres high and was built as a series of circular platforms; their purpose still unknown. Nearby is the largest henge of all, Avebury, consisting of a vast circular ditch and bank, an outer ring of one hundred standing stones and two smaller inner rings of stones. Outside the monument was a mile-long avenue of standing stones. Stonehenge, in the same general area as Silbury and Avebury, is perhaps the most famous, certainly the most visited and photographed of all the prehistoric monuments in Britain. We can only guess at the amount of labor involved in its


construction, at the enormous complexity of the task which included transporting the inner blue-stones from the Preseli Hills in Wales and erecting of the great lintelled circle and horseshoe of large sarsen stones, shaped and dressed. The architectural sophistication of the monument bears witness to the tremendous technological advances being made at the time of the arrival of the Bronze Age. Grave goods also attest to the sophistication of the Wessex culture: These include well-made stone battle axes, but also metal daggers with richly decorated hilts, precious ornaments of gold or amber, as well as gold cups, amulets, even a sceptre with a polished mace-head at one end. To make bronze, tin came from Cornwall; gold came from Wales, and products made from these metals were traded freely both within the British Isles and with peoples on the continent of Europe. Bronze was used to make cauldrons and bowls, shields and helmets, weapons of war, and farming tools. It was at this time that the Celtic peoples arrived in the islands we now call Britain.

The Celts Before the arrival of the Celts in Britain, iron-working had begun in the Hittite Empire, of Asia Minor. Those who practiced the trade kept it a closely guarded secret, but shortly after 1200 BC, the Hittites were overthrown and knowledge of the miracle metal began to leak out. In Central Europe, a culture known as "Urnfield" developed and prospered. It quickly adapted the iron-working culture known as "Hallstatt," after a site in Austria. One of the most significant elements in the new culture was the system of burial. Important people were buried along with their most precious possessions in timber built chambers under earthen barrows. The Hallstatt people were highly-skilled craftsmen, who used iron, bronze and gold, and produced fine burnished pottery. At some time they reached the British Isles and their culture began to infiltrate those foggy, wet, but mineral-rich islands off the Continent. From their contact with Mediterraneans, the Hallstatt people had advanced their technology and culture developing into what is called "La Tene" after a site in Switzerland. The La Tene style, with its production of beautiful, handsomely-made and decorated articles, came into existence around the middle of the fifth century BC. It was produced by the Celts, the first people in the islands of Britain whose culture and language survive in many forms today. Of the Celtic peoples, Hermann Noelle wrote: The Celtic culture as a whole, developing very early on about 1000 BC, and reaching its finest expression around 500 BC, is a fundamental part of Europe's past. This is not to underrate the subsequent influence of the Latin and Germanic peoples on this part of Europe. But the Celtic foundation was already present. Thus, European culture is inconceivable without the Celtic contribution. Even when the presence of the Celts in their original territory is no longer obvious, we must acknowledge the fact: they are at the root of the Western European peoples who have made history. (Die Kelten und Ihre Stadt Manching, cited in Cunliffe, 214) The arrival of people into the British Isles from the Continent probably took place in small successive waves. The Greeks called these people Keltoi, the Romans Celtai. In present-day Yorkshire, "the Arras Culture" with its La Tene chariot burials attests to the presence of a wealthy and flourishing Celtic society in Northeast Britain. In the southwest, cross-Channel influence is seen. Here, a culture developed that was probably highly involved in the mining and trading of tin; it is characterized by a certain type of hill fort that is also found in Britanny. Hill Forts Hill Forts from the Iron-Age, the age of the Celts, are found everywhere in the British Isles. Spectacular relics from prehistoric times, hill forts had as many purposes as sites. They varied from shelters for people and livestock in times of danger, purely local settlements of important leaders and their families, to small townships and administrative centers. Long practiced in the art of warfare, the people of these isolated settlements were responsible for some of the finest known artistic achievements. In addition to their beautifully wrought and highly decorated shields, daggers, spears, helmets and sword, they also produced superb mirrors, toilet articles, drinking vessels and personal jewelry of exquisite form and decoration.


The Celts in Britain used a language derived from a branch of Celtic known as either Brythonic, which gave rise to Welsh, Cornish and Breton; or Goidelic, giving rise to Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx. Along with their languages, the Celts brought their religion to Britain, particularly that of the Druids, the guardians of traditions and learning. The Druids *glorified the pursuits of war, feasting and horsemanship. They controlled the calender and the planting of crops and presided over the religious festivals and rituals that honored local deities.

*A druid was a member of the priestly and learned class in the ancient Celtic societies of Western Europe, Britain and Ireland. They were suppressed by the Roman government and disappeared from the written record by the second century CE. Druids combined the duties of priest, judge, scholar, and teacher.[1] Little contemporary evidence for them exists, and thus little can be said of them with assurance, but they continued to feature prominently in later Irish myth and literature.[2] Most of what is known about them comes from the Roman writers.
The Celtic communities that Druids served were polytheistic. They also show signs of animism, in their reverence for various aspects of the natural world, such as the land, sea and sky,[4] and their veneration of other aspects of nature, such as sacred trees and groves (the oak and hazel were particularly revered), tops of hills, streams, lakes and plants such as the mistletoe.[5] Fire was regarded as a symbol of several divinities and was associated with cleansing. Purported ritual killing and human sacrifice were aspects of druidic culture that shocked classical writers.[6]

Many of Britain's Celts came from Gaul, driven from their homelands by the Roman armies and Germanic tribes. These were the Belgae, who arrived in great numbers and settled in the southeast around 75 BC. They brought with them a sophisticated plough that revolutionized agriculture in the rich, heavy soils of their new lands. Their society was well-organized in urban settlements, the capitals of the tribal chiefs. Their crafts were highly developed; bronze urns, bowls and torques illustrate their metalworking skills. They also introduced coinage to Britain and conducted a lively export trade with Rome and Gaul, including corn, livestock, metals and slaves. Of the Celtic lands on the mainland of Britain, Wales and Scotland have received extensive coverage in the pages of Britannia. The largest non-Celtic area, at least linguistically, is now known as England, and it is here that the Roman influence is most strongly felt. It was here that the armies of Rome came to stay, to farm, to mine, to build roads, small cities, and to prosper, but mostly to govern. Changes in Empire and at Home The first Roman invasion of the lands we now call the British Isles took place in 55 B.C. under war leader Julius Caesar, who returned one year later, but these probings did not lead to any significant or permanent occupation. He had some interesting, if biased comments concerning the natives: "All the Britons," he wrote, "paint themselves with woad, which gives their skin a bluish color and makes them look very dreadful in battle." It was not until a hundred years later that permanent settlement of the grain-rich eastern territories began in earnest. In the year 43.A.D.an expedition was ordered against Britain by the Emperor Claudius, who showed he meant business by sending his general, Aulus Plautius, and an army of 40,000 men. Only three months after Plautius's troops landed on Britain's shores, the Emperor Claudius felt it was safe enough to visit his new province. Establishing their bases in what is now Kent, through a series of battles involving greater discipline, a great element of luck, and general lack of co-ordination between the leaders of the various Celtic tribes, the Romans subdued much of Britain in the short space of forty years. They were to remain for nearly 400 years. The great number of prosperous villas that have been excavated in the southeast and southwest testify to the rapidity by which Britain became Romanized, for they functioned as centers of a settled, peaceful and urban life. The highlands and moorlands of the northern and western regions, present-day Scotland and Wales, were not as easily settled, nor did the Romans particularly wish to settle in these agriculturally poorer, harsh landscapes. They remained the frontier -- areas where military garrisons were strategically placed to guard the extremities of the Empire. The stubborn resistance of tribes in Wales meant that two out of three Roman legions in Britain were stationed on its borders, at Chester and Caerwent. Major defensive works further north attest to the fierceness of the Pictish and Celtic tribes, Hadrian's Wall in particular reminds us of the need for a peaceful and stable frontier. Built when Hadrian had abandoned his plan of world conquest, settling for a permanent frontier to "divide Rome from the barbarians," the seventy-


two mile long wall connecting the Tyne to the Solway was built and rebuilt, garrisoned and re-garrisoned many times, strengthened by stone-built forts as one mile intervals. For Imperial Rome, the island of Britain was a western breadbasket. Caesar had taken armies there to punish those who were aiding the Gauls on the Continent in their fight to stay free of Roman influence. Claudius invaded to give himself prestige, and his subjugation of eleven British tribes gave him a splendid triumph. Vespasian was a legion commander in Britain before he became Emperor, but it was Agricola who gave us most notice of the heroic struggle of the native Britons through his biographer Tacitus. From him, we get the unforgettable picture of the druids, "ranged in order, with their hands uplifted, invoking the gods and pouring forth horrible imprecations." Agricola also won the decisive victory of Mons Graupius in present-day Scotland in 84 A.D. over Calgacus "the swordsman," that carried Roman arms farther west and north than they had ever before ventured. They called their newly-conquered northern territory Caledonia. When Rome had to withdraw one of its legions from Britain, the thirty-seven mile long Antonine Wall, connecting the Firths of Forth and Clyde, served temporarily as the northern frontier, beyond which lay Caledonia.. The Caledonians, however were not easily contained; they were quick to master the arts of guerilla warfare against the scattered, home-sick Roman legionaries, including those under their ageing commander Severus. The Romans abandoned the Antonine Wall, withdrawing south of the better-built, more easily defended barrier of Hadrian, but by the end of the fourth century, the last remaining outposts in Caledonia were abandoned. Further south, however, in what is now England, Roman life prospered. Essentially urban, it was able to integrate the native tribes into a town-based governmental system. Agricola succeeded greatly in his aims to accustom the Britons "to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He consequently gave private encouragement and official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses." Many of these were built in former military garrisons that became the coloniae , the Roman chartered towns such as Colchester, Gloucester, Lincoln, and York (where Constantine was declared Emperor by his troops in 306 A.D.). Other towns, called municipia , included such foundations as St. Albans (Verulamium). Chartered towns were governed to a large extent on that of Rome. They were ruled by an ordo of 100 councillors (decurion ). who had to be local residents and own a certain amount of property. The ordo was run by two magistrates, rotated annually; they were responsible for collecting taxes, administering justice and undertaking public works. Outside the chartered town, the inhabitants were referred to as peregrini , or noncitizens. they were organized into local government areas known as civitates , largely based on pre-existing chiefdom boundaries. Canterbury and Chelmsford were two of the civitas capitals. In the countryside, away from the towns, with their metalled, properly drained streets, their forums and other public buildings, bath houses, shops and amphitheatres, were the great villas, such as are found at Bignor, Chedworth and Lullingstone. Many of these seem to have been occupied by native Britons who had acquired land and who had adopted Roman culture and customs.. Developing out of the native and relatively crude farmsteads, the villas gradually added features such as stone walls, multiple rooms, hypocausts (heating systems), mosaics and bath houses..The third and fourth centuries saw a golden age of villa building that further increased their numbers of rooms and added a central courtyard. The elaborate surviving mosaics found in some of these villas show a detailed construction and intensity of labor that only the rich could have afforded; their wealth came from the highly lucrative export of grain. Roman society in Britain was highly classified. At the top were those people associated with the legions, the provincial administration, the government of towns and the wealthy traders and commercial classes who enjoyed legal privileges not generally accorded to the majority of the population. In 2l2 AD, the Emperor Caracalla extended citizenship to all free-born inhabitants of the empire, but social and legal distinctions remained rigidly set between the upper rank of citizens known as honestiores and the masses, known as humiliores. At the lowest end of the scale were the slaves, many of whom were able to gain their freedom, and many of whom might occupy important govermental posts. Women were also rigidly circumscribed, not being allowed to hold any public office, and having severely limited property rights. One of the greatest achievements of the Roman Empire was its system of roads, in Britain no less than elsewhere. When the legions arrived in a country with virtually no roads at all, as Britain was in the first century


A.D., their first task was to build a system to link not only their military headquarters but also their isolated forts. Vital for trade, the roads were also of paramount important in the speedy movement of troops, munitions and supplies from one strategic center to another. They also allowed the movement of agricultural products from farm to market. London was the chief administrative centre, and from it, roads spread out to all parts of the province. They included Ermine Street, to Lincoln; Watling Street, to Wroxeter and then to Chester, all the way in the northwest on the Welsh frontier; and the Fosse Way, from Exeter to Lincoln, the first frontier of the province of Britain. The Romans built their roads carefully and they built them well. They followed proper surveying, they took account of contours in the land, avoided wherever possible the fen, bog and marsh so typical in much of the land, and stayed clear of the impenetrable forests. They also utilized bridges, an innovation that the Romans introduced to Britain in place of the hazardous fords at many river crossings. An advantage of good roads was that communications with all parts of the country could be effected. They carried the cursus publicus, or imperial post. A road book used by messengers that lists all the main routes in Britain, the principal towns and forts they pass through, and the distances between them has survived: the Antonine Itinerary.. In addition, the same information, in map form, is found in the Peutinger Table. It tells us that mansiones were places at various intervals along the road to change horses and take lodgings. The Roman armies did not have it all their own way in their battles with the native tribesmen, some of whom, in their inter-tribal squabbles, saw them as deliverers, not conquerors. Heroic and often prolonged resistance came from such leaders as Caratacus of the Ordovices, betrayed to the Romans by the Queen of the Brigantes. And there was Queen Boudicca (Boadicea) of the Iceni, whose revolt nearly succeeded in driving the Romans out of Britain. Her people, incensed by their brutal treatment at the hands of Roman officials, burned Colchester, London, and St. Albans, destroying many armies ranged against them. It took a determined effort and thousands of fresh troops sent from Italy to reinforce governor Suetonius Paulinus in A.D. 6l to defeat the British Queen, who took poison rather than submit. Apart from the villas and fortified settlements, the great mass of the British people did not seem to have become Romanized. The influence of Roman thought survived in Britain only through the Church. Christianity had thoroughly replaced the old Celtic gods by the close of the 4th Century, as the history of Pelagius and St. Patrick testify, but Romanization was not successful in other areas. For example, the Latin tongue did not replace Brittonic as the language of the general population. Today's visitors to Wales, however, cannot fail to notice some of the Latin words that were borrowed into the British language, such as pysg (fish), braich (arm), caer (fort), foss (ditch), pont (bridge), eglwys (church), llyfr (book), ysgrif (writing), ffenestr (window), pared (wall or partition), and ystafell (room). The disintegration of Roman Britain began with the revolt of Magnus Maximus in A.D. 383. After living in Britain as military commander for twelve years, he had been hailed as Emperor by his troops. He began his campaigns to dethrone Gratian as Emperor in the West, taking a large part of the Roman garrison in Britain with him to the Continent, and though he succeeded Gratian, he himself was killed by the Emperor Thedosius in 388. Some Welsh historians, and modern political figures, see Magnus Maximus as the father of the Welsh nation, for he opened the way for independent political organizations to develop among the Welsh people by his acknowledgement of the role of the leaders of the Britons in 383 (before departing on his military mission to the Continent) The enigmatic figure has remained a hero to the Welsh as Macsen Wledig, celebrated in poetry and song. The Roman legions began to withdraw from Britain at the end of the fourth century. Those who stayed behind were to become the Romanized Britons who organized local defences against the onslaught of the Saxon hordes. The famous letter of A.D.410 from the Emperor Honorius told the cities of Britain to look to their own defences from that time on. As part of the east coast defences, a command had been established under the Count of the Saxon Shore, and a fleet had been organized to control the Channel and the North Sea. All this showed a tremendous effort to hold the outlying province of Britain, but eventually, it was decided to abandon the whole project. In any case, the communication from Honorius was a little late: the Saxon influence had already begun in earnest.

Neil Silberman wrote: "Archeology's real contribution has been. The Israelite bards and scribes certainly telescoped the events of the gradual subjugation of the Canaanite kingdoms. certainly the most obscure. the North (which already included people of mixed British and Angle stock). but we do know that the most significant events were the gradual division of Britain into a Brythonic west. certainly not the writers of the English Chronicle. to magnify their successes. in Northumbria. Let's face it. that complex mosaic of cultures. Referring to Israel. Bede's bitter prejudice against the native Britons was honed by his religious beliefs and his praise of the English peoples' successes in colonizing the island of Britain. Tyro had written that the Britons in 443 were reduced "in dicionen Saxonum" (under the jurisdiction of the English). No matter how reliable an historian. he was also a theologian. With the departure of the Roman legions. the 8th century historian Bede. More than one modern historian has pointed out that such an extraordinary success as an Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain "by bands of bold adventurers" could hardly have passed without notice by the historians of the Roman Empire. yet only Prosper Tyro and Procopius notice this great event. English and Scottish nations. Irish. In the Gallic Chronicle of 452. Written evidence concerning the period is scanty. Three main sources for our knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon permeation of Britain come from the 6th century monk Gildas. Nor do Nennius and Geoffrey of Monmouth escape censure. the period has been known as the Dark Ages. transforming what modern archaeologists have recognized as a gradual recrystallization of settled life into a great literary epic of conquest. He used the Roman term Saxons for all the English-speaking peoples . for they had retained a form of Roman Christianity which was anathema to him. ideologies and economies. it is based on such a mixture as took place in the Holy Land.. it seems that the Anglo-Saxon domination of Britain took place in two distinct phases. Recent archeological discoveries in the troubled land have cast into doubt the veracity of the Biblical accounts of the conquest of Canaan. and the 9th century historian Nennius. especially Bede. Acting as a bard of his own tribe in Northumbria. and the South East (mainly Angles). In many ways a trustworthy historian. and will continue to be. From them. to the arrival of Augustine at Kent to convert the Saxons. The two centuries that followed the collapse of Roman Britain happen to be among the worst recorded times in British history." The heritage of the British people cannot simply be called Anglo-Saxon. and Jutes to the south and east. He called members of the Celtic Church "barbarians. the West (including Britons. all of whom subscribe to the notion that the British people were driven out of their homelands into Wales and Cornwall as a result of a catastrophic event known as "the Anglo-Saxon conquest. I have hesitated to use Bede's term of "Conquest" for sound reasons. One analogous situation with events in Britain as recorded by its English historians can be found by looking at the history of Israel. The Celts were not driven out of what came to be known as England." and is thus regarded by many modern historians (but especially Welsh writers) as a "fancy monger" especially for his account of the year of 708 that has been slavishly followed by countless generations of English historians throughout the centuries with nary a question. and economies. Britain had become self-governing in three parts. a Teutonic east and a Gaelic north. perfidious race.7 The Dark Ages From the time that the Romans more or less abandoned Britain. Angles." As far as British history is concerned." " a rustic. and from archeological evidence. the recognition that our biblical heritage is drawn from a complex mosaic of cultures. and that some of our most profound spiritual and cultural traditions were forged in the vibrant diversity of the ancient Near Eastern world. hIs intense hostility made him a partisan witness when he wrote of the British people. ideologies. and Angles). and the Saxons. history is written by the victors anxious to boast of their triumphs. Bede (672-735) spent his life at Jarrow. and the conversion of much of the west to Christianity. the old enemies began their onslaughts upon the native Britons once more. the formation of the Welsh. By 4l0. doing the same thing as the biblical scribes. and to denigrate the enemy. and only in terms that are not always consistent with the received accounts. but in general terms. we find English historians. The Picts and Scots to the north and west (the Scots coming in from Ireland had not yet made their homes in what was to become later known as Scotland).

but whose language is recognizable as Old Welsh Their poems are part of the heroic tradition that praise the warrior king and his brave followers in their constant battles against the Germanic invaders. It was not until the highly imaginative works of Geoffrey of Monmouth (1090-1155) that the Arthurian romances provided the basis for a whole new and impressive tradition of European literature. drawn up at St. for the most influential document written during the period was that of the monk Gildas written about 540: De Excidio Britanniae (Concerning the Fall of Britain). In most of lowland Britain.David's in Wales around 960. confirming that successive invasions of Saxons. The Britons of the North produced two great poets Taliesin and Aneirin. nor that the British people had been vanquished or made to flee westwards. cap 20).000 British people. he writes of the island of Britain being possessed by three very populous nations: the Angili. these peoples were calling themselves Angles and Frisians . and the Britons. Arthur is also mentioned. March/April. however. the Institute of Molecular Biology. and we have to turn to literature to inform ourselves of its important events. the poem is the first to mention Arthur. Aneirin is best remembered for Y Gododdin. there is a great lack of reliable written evidence from the period. migrate thence to the Franks .8 resident in Britain: it comes from the Welsh appellation Saeson ). . By the mid 6th Century. Much of this literature was produced in what is now Scotland. In the Annales Cambriae. Prose accounts of the enigmatic British leader are entirely tales of fancy. Book 1V. Another collection of stories collected around 830 that relate the events of the age is the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) ascribed to Nennius. that the Gallic Chronicle of 452 refers only to a small part of Britain. untrustworthy Welsh. the Frisians. Wade-Evans that the Saxons did not sweep away the entire population of the areas they overran. that overshadows the literary achievements of the age. According to a recent study. Perhaps the most authentic of the early Arthurian references is the entry for 537 in the Annales that briefly refers to the Battle of Camlan in which Arthur and Medrawd were killed. an organized Christian Church seems to have been established in most of Britain. literature written before Bede's prejudiced history. Arthur is recorded as having been victorious at the Battle of Badon in 5l6 against the Saxons. especially since Celtic writing was virtually unknown. "And so numerous are these nations that every year. Thus we have to agree with Professors John Davies and A. and not Saxons. therefore." There is no suggestion here that these peoples existed in a state of warfare or enmity.. described as a paragon of virtue and bravery. By 3l4. The old Celtic gods had given way to the new ones such as Mithras introduced by the Roman mercenaries. .. . We have to assume. He tells us that the coming of the Saxons was an act of God to punish the native Britons for their sins. 000 words. as is Brutus. great numbers . emotionally stable. Oxford (reported in Realm. described as the ancestor of the Welsh. Gildas gives us a sermon that pours scorn on his contemporaries. Taliesin's poetry praises the ideal ruler who protects his people by bravery and ferocity in battle but who is mangnanimous and generous in peace. As we discover from reading Gildas. in some 25. for in that year British bishops were summoned to the Council of . who contributed to the confusion concerning the momentous events of the years 400 to 600. enlightened English from their unreliable. 1999) has established a common DNA going back to the end of the last Ice Age which is shared by 99 percent from a sample of 6. and their attempts to disassociate what they considered to be the politically mature. the kings of Britain. The myth was especially promulgated by 19th century historians in their attempts to stress the essential teutonic nature of the English people. It was not only Bede of course. they were again replaced when missionaries from Gaul introduced Christianity to the islands. both of whom lived in the area now known as Strathclyde in Scotland. . They also celebrate honor in defeat. and that it does not signify conquest by the Saxons. Scottish and Irish neighbors who apparently shared none of the former's redeeming characteristics. Here. Angles and Jutes (and Danes and Normans) did little to change that make-up. Latin was also the language of the Church in Rome. The Roman historians had been using the term to describe all the continental folk who had been directing their activities towards the eastern and southern coasts of Britain from as early as the 3rd Century. It is the coming of Christianity. Latin had become the language of administration and education. In the account given by Procopius in the middle of the 6th Century (the Gothic War.W. commemorating the feats of a small band of warriors who fought the Angles at Catraeth and who were willing to die for their overlord.

We note. They spread rapidly to Ireland from where missionaries returned to those parts of Britain that were not under the Roman Bishops' jurisdiction. he was excommunicated by Rome. Columba is believed to have returned to Ireland to plead the cause of the bards.9 Arles. tonsure of its monks. such as Robert Graves have seen the old traditions underlying much Celtic literature throughout the long. Their success. He also refused to chop down the ancient. and that a great proportion of present-day England is made up of their descendants. however. It is been called the Isle of Dreams or Isle of Druids.D. was more or less forced by majority opinion of the British bishops to accept the rule of St. His banishment from Ireland became Scotland's gain. who established churches in Iona. however. Columba was the most important of these missionaries. with his twelve disciples. We can be certain that the greater part of the pre-English inhabitants of England survived. a diocesan structure had been set up. including visits from kings and queens of Scotland. For many centuries his tomb remained a place of pilgrimage. To answer the question how did the small number of invaders come to master the larger part of Britain? John Davies gives us part of the answer: the regions seized by the newcomers were mainly those that had been most thoroughly Romanized. Mull and Tiree. By the end of the seventh century we can also begin to speak of an Anglo-Saxon political entity in the island of Britain. It was during the time of the Saxon invasions. was a theme repeated by Bede isolated in his monastery in the north. the "De Excidio Britanniae" (the loss of Britain). and the formation and growth of various English kingdoms. Commonly ascribed to the monk Gildas. was written about 540.. long years since the 6th century). Although the bards were allowed to remain. As previously mentioned. It was here that Columba (Columcille '"Dove of the Church" ) with his small band of Irish monks landed in 563 A. the account is the first to narrate what has traditionally been regarded as the story of the coming of the Saxons to Britain.D. In the meantime. in his own day. numerous Celtic saints were adopted by the rapidly expanding Church. ministering from there as a traveling bishop and being buried there after his death in 397 A. many districts having come under the pastoral care of a bishop. Those . it is not a good history. It was thus that Aidan. At the Synod of Whitby in 664. that Gildas made the statement that. introduced by Augustine.Columba. For his efforts at reforming the Church. In this period. the 5th and 6th Centuries. The island of Iona is just off the western coast of Argyll. Closely followed by Bede. with its own ideas about the consecration of its Bishops. they were forced to give up their special privileges as priests of the old religion ( Some modern writers. Part 4: The Anglo Saxon Period by Peter N. From this date on. regions where traditions of political and military self-help were at their weakest. in present-day Scotland. sacred oak trees that symbolized the old druidic religion. destined with Iona to become one of the great cultural centers of the early Christian world. but even he built the nave of his first monastery facing west and not east. regarded by Gildas as God's vengeance against the Britons for their sins. Iona was quickly to become the ecclesiastical head of the Celtic Church in the whole of Britain as well as a major political center. Though preceded by St Oran. to spread the faith. Williams. rather than of St. dates for the celebration of Easter and other differences with Rome. for it is most mere polemic. the king invited the monks to come to his restored kingdom of Northumbria. After the monastic settlement at Iona gave sanctuary to the exiled Oswald early in the seventh century. came to Lindisfarne. and it was here that the missionary saint inaugurated Aidan as king of the new territory of Dalriata (previously settled by men from Columba's own Ulster). Ph. about to be expelled as trouble-makers. missionaries of the Gospel had been active in the south and east of the land that later became known as Scotland (It was not until the late tenth Century that the name Scotia ceased to be applied to Ireland and become transferred to southwestern Scotland) The first of these was Ninian who probably built his first church (Candida Casa: White House ) at Whithorn in Galloway. According to legend. in that relatively unscathed western peninsular that later took the name Wales. the Celtic Church. the Saxons were not warring against the Britons. In 574. mainly the Northwest. By the end of the fourth century. D.Peter. later becoming a popular saint in the history of the Christian Church. however. he sensibly argued that their expulsion would deprive the country of an irreplaceable wealth of folklore and antiquity. that the first monasteries were established (the words Wales and Welsh were used by the Germanic invaders to refer to Romanized Britons). we can no longer speak of a Celtic Church as distinct from that of Rome.

and set up the Sees of Worcester. well-trained in monastic rule. in the southeast. Even Bede could pick out half a dozen rulers able to impose some kind of authority upon their contemporaries. but created a new concept of unity among the various tribal regions that overrode individual loyalties. the monk Theodore of Tarsus was appointed as archbishop. This wealth was particularly responsible for the late seventh century flowering of culture in Northumbria. sometimes not. When Theodore arrived at Canterbury. In 668 when a vacancy arose at Canterbury. Augustine's success in converting a large number of people led to his consecration as bishop by the end of the year. One of Theodore's great accomplishments was to create the machinery through which the wealth of the Celtic Church was transferred to the Anglo-Saxon Church. It was there that Augustine. decisive victory over the native Britons. sometimes peaceful. It was Gregory's guiding hand. Mercia. he was sent into exile. Theodore consecrated new bishops at Dulwich. daughter of the Merovingian King and a practicing Christian. promoted to archbishop. a new See was chosen at Canterbury. and made no accommodations with it. a tradition of scholarship began that was to have a profound . Northumbria. Augustine was sent to convert the pagan English by Pope Gregory. which benefitted from both Celtic and Roman influences. Oxford and Leicester. it is to Bede that we owe the story of the conversion of England to the new faith (the older Roman Christian Church remained in parts of Britain. St. Hexham. however. Edwin of Northumbria's wife chose Paulinus as Bishop and the See of York was established. and enhance papal prestige by reclaiming former territories of Rome. notably Wales and Scotland as the Celtic Church). however. Wilfred of Ripon reigned supreme in Northumbria as the exponent of ecclesiastical authority. As the city of London was not under the control of Ethelbert. He then attacked his work with vigor. Over the next twenty years bishoprics were established at York. though later attacks from Penda of Mercia meant that only a limited kind of Christian worship took place in the North until around the middle of the eighth century. Winchester and Rochester. Theodore also re-established the system of ecclesiastical synods that disregarded political boundaries. more settlement and growth. who had argued successfully for the adoption of the Roman Church at Whitby. laid down the beginnings of the ecclesiastical organization of the Church in Britain. Be that as it may. Again. There were to be two archbishops. Augustine received a favorable reception in the kingdom of Ethelbert. who was anxious to spread the Gospel. it should also be noted that so were the tribes we now collectively term the English. a Celtic bishop and Wilfred of Ripon. London and York (each to have 12 bishops). Theodore seized his opportunity to break up the North into smaller and more controllable dioceses. he set up the basis of diocesan organization throughout England and carried out the decisions made at Whitby. the immense task of converting and then organizing the converted was mostly beyond the limited powers of Augustine. that influenced all Augustine's decisions. and Wessex. Assisted by another Greek scholar Hadrian. Before looking at political developments. It began in the late sixth century and created an institution that not only transcended political boundaries. but little trained in law and administration. it is important to notice the religious conversion of the people we commonly call Anglo-Saxons. both Pope and Bishop seemed to know little of the Celtic Church. Ripon and Lindsey. but when he quarreled with King Ecgfrith. but a result of hundreds of years of settlement and growth. the emergence of England as a nation did not begin as a result of a quick.10 who chafed at the administration of Rome could only have welcomed the arrival of the English in such areas as Kent and Sussex. In 597. there was one bishop south of the River Humber and two in the North: Cedda. Another compelling reason cited by Davies is the emergence in Britain of the great plague of the sixth century from Egypt that was particularly devastating to the Britons who had been in close contact with peoples of the Mediterranean. however. If it is pointed out that the native Celts were constantly warring among themselves. His background as a Greek scholar meant that he had to take new vows and be ordained in custom with the Church in the West. Hereford. The establishment of the Church at York was not possible until 625. In that northern outpost of the Catholic Church. So we see the rise and fall of successive English kingdoms during the seventh and eighth centuries: Kent. for different kingdoms developed in England that constantly sought domination through conquest. Pope Gregory had drawn up a detailed plan for the administration of the Church in England. in Kent. who had married Bertha.

The dynasty founded there by Hengist lasted for three centuries. They had been invited by British chief Vortigern to fight the northern barbarians in return for pay and supplies. Its greatest scholar was Bede. He sifted his evidence carefully. with the death of joint kings Aethelbert and Eadberht. it provided the agent for the fusing of Celtic and Roman ideas. but more importantly. bit by bit. Hengist and Horsa had arrived in Kent with a small fleet of ships in around 446 AD to aid the Britons in the defense of their lands. the English were anxious to hear of their past accomplishments and of the lives of their great people. for rulers such as Edwin. Bede provided them with both. The greatest of the missionaries was Boniface. Never traveling further than York. When Bede was writing his History. All in all. acquiring many valuable manuscripts and beginning what can be termed a golden age in Northumbria. though as noted earlier. the kingdoms of Sussex and Kent had achieved early prominence. Wilfred of Ripon found a new calling after his expulsion from Northumbria. Rulers such as Charles Martel and Pepin III were pursuing aggressive policies against the Germanic tribes. Only thirty years after the arrival of Hengist to Britain. Both were to play important parts in this cultural phenomenon. the Middle Kingdom. peopled by Anglo-Celts. It constituted a remarkable outbreak with equally remarkable consequences. Mercia westwards to the River Severn and Wessex into Devon and Cornwall. Abounding in anecdotes. He entered Jarrow at the age of seven. for land. we can say that the Anglo-Saxon Church provided an important impetus for the civilizing of much of the Continent. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates Hengist's assumption of the kingdom of Kent to 455 AD. the Middle Saxons (Middlesex). There were separate kingdoms in England. his concept of history set a new standard for future writers. who were Jutes. His contemporary reputation rested on his biblical writings and commentaries on the Scriptures as well as his chronological works that established a firm system of calculating the date of Easter. the borough of the people of the Cantii. Edwin. who awarded them the whole kingdom of the Cantii with Hengist as king to be succeeded by his son Oisc. and the West Saxons. and though it also records the flight of the Britons from that kingdom to London. associated with monastic life. Known to posterity as "the Venerable Bede. the only British King to overthrow a Saxon dynasty. Saxons and Jutes whose areas. Bede's greatest work was his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. another chieftain named Aelle came to settle. he added greatly to its store of knowledge through his voluminous correspondence. Only nine years after their arrival." the monk lived from 673-735.11 influence on the literature of Western Europe. Aella ruled the kingdom that became Sussex. Oswald and Oswy had made Northumbria politically stable as well as Christian. they were in revolt against Vortigern. His history shows the stages by which the Anglo-Saxon people became Christian. the first Christian king of Northumbria. Bede's audience was a newly-forged nation. who had allied himself to Penda of Mercia. settled by Angles. and its work in Europe produced events that had repercussions of profound importance. Working in the library with the manuscripts acquired by Benedict Biscop. events were rapidly changing the political face of Anglo-Saxon England. one of the period's greatest scholars. and he and others such as Willibrod carried out their conversions with approval from Rome. preserving oral traditions where they complemented his written material. who established many German Sees from his archbishopric at Mainz. he became the most learned scholar of his time. The leader of the South Saxons. From York came Alcuin. who founded two monasteries. In the meantime. Oswald . it probably refers to an army. However. he was residing in what had been for over a century the most powerful kingdom in England. It all began with a Northumbrian nobleman. Wearmouth (674) and Jarrow (681). In particular. and missionaries from the highly advanced English Church were extensively recruited. In the southeast. guides for memory. it was time for other kingdoms to rise to prominence. Biscop made six journeys to Rome. named the capital of their new kingdom Canterbury. extended into the Celtic regions: Northumbria in the north. we must mention the enormous influence the English Church had on the continent. Other kingdoms were those of the East Saxons (Essex). not a people. was defeated by Cadwallon. Before leaving the Anglo-Saxon religious scene. and he often indicated his sources. Thus the first Anglo-Saxon kingdom in Britain was an Anglo-Celtic kingdom. The invaders. his prejudices against the Britons (Welsh) mar his work. Benedict Biscop. (Wessex) destined to become the most powerful of all and one that eventually brought together all the diverse people of England (named for the Angles) into one single nation.

even to Humber. Offa was the first English ruler to draw a definite frontier with Wales (much of the earthen rampart and ditch created in the middle of the eighth century." Bede tells us that "all these provinces [in the South of England] with their kings. still exists). His many letters to Charles the Great (Charlemagne) show that the Mercian king regarded himself as an equal to the Carolingian ruler (his son Ecfrith was the very first king in England to have an official coronation). but their work was well done and they left behind a strong state able to withstand the might of Mercia. Then. The second period of dominance began under kings Cadwalla and Ine. Wessex borders had expanded greatly and Ceawlin had was recognized as supreme ruler in Southern England. are in subjection to Aethelbald. at which the Roman Church was accepted as the official branch of the faith in England. and during his reign. missionaries under Aidan completed the conversion of Northumbria (an account of the early Christian Church in the North can be found in my "Brief History of Scotland. Lord of Britain. in 663 under his chairmanship. the great Synod of Whitby took place. all subject to Mercian dominance. A series of insignificant kings followed Ceawlin. and Egbert was recognized as Bretwalda. It was Oswy's forceful backing that secured the decision for Rome. It was the North. The kingdom had been threatened by the growing power of Mercia. Wessex also expanded westward into the Celtic strongholds of Devon and Cornwall. Aethelbold (726-57) called himself "King of Britain. that . the other kingdoms defeated in battle or voluntary submitted to his overlordship. it was his successor Offa (757-96) who could call himself "king of all the English. whose king Penda had led the fiercest resistance to the imposition of Christianity. however. Mercia's domination ended at the battle of Ellendun in 825 when Egbert of Wessex defeated Beornwulf. The growth of institutions guaranteed permanency. He also defeated pagan king Penda and brought Mercia under his control. the holiest city in England. The first recorded visit of the Vikings in the West Saxon Annals had stated that a small raiding party slew those who came to meet them at Dorchester in 789. Northumbria's dominance began to wane at the beginning of the eighth century. Aethelbold and Offa. It was hastened by the defeat and death of Ecgfrid in 685. the situation began to change in the early eighth century with the accession of two strong rulers. lavishly endowed with treasures at its monastery and religious settlement. Cadwalla (685-88) was noted for his successful wars against Kent and his conquest of Sussex. so that the continuation of royal government did not depend upon the outcome of a single battle or the death of a king. Offa's correspondence with the Pope also shows roughly the same attitude." Chap. The little kingdom of Mercia found itself a member of the community of European states. they were very much aware of the concept of unity within the kingdom of Mercia." for though Wessex was growing powerful within itself. It was Offa who inaugurated what later became known as Peter's Pence (those financial contributions that became a bane to later rulers who wished to have more control over their finances and sources of revenue). at such places as Lindisfarne. attracted by the wealth of the religious settlements. the first to give reality to the dream of a single government from the borders of Scotland to the English Channel. his successor Wulfhere turned south to concentrate his efforts on fighting against Wessex where strong rulers prevented any Mercian domination. Offa seems to have been the senior partner and overlord of Southern Britain. Though Offa's descendants tried to maintain the splendors (and the delusions) of his reign. It was during the reign of Oswy (645-70) that Northumbria began to show signs of order. However." During the centuries of inter-tribal warfare. however. Under his reign an effective administration was created (and a good quality distinctive coinage). king of Mercia.12 restored the Saxon monarchy in 633. An ominous entry in the "West Saxon Annals" however. A new phase began in 802 with the accession of Egbert and the establishment of his authority throughout Wessex. The creation of a metropolitan archbishopric at Lichfield attested to his influence with Rome. the Saxons had not thought of defending their coasts." Whatever his claims to sovereignty. opening up the whole middle kingdom to Celtic missionaries. often placed near the sea. It was time for Wessex to recover the greatness that had begun in the sixth century under Ceawlin. 2). The dominance of Mercia was finally broken. tells us that in the year 834 "The heathen men harried Sheppey. were free to embark upon their voyages of plunder. Both Cadwalla and Ine abdicated to go on religious pilgrimages. After Penda's defeat. Both Aethelbold and Offa insisted on being called by their royal titles. The Norsemen.

the strongest king in Southern England during his long reign. but they also recognized a title to nobility which is derived from birth and not from service to a king. King Aethelbert (601-04) was the first to set down the laws of his people in the English language. Before dealing with the onslaught of the Norsemen. the king's servants of every degree were still being quartered on the country as they traveled from place to place to carry out their duties. in the assembly. The oath of a bishop.. Throughout early English history. Early on. and to define the process under which accused persons might establish their innocence. destined in time to replace the simple motives which had satisfied the men of an earlier age." All in all. an independent person with many rights. "Yet even those matters which are reserved for the general opinion are thoroughly discussed by the chiefs. he was entitled to compensation for the breaking of his household peace. and the Church was to receive the same compensation as the king for violence done to dependents. the Church which Aethelbert had taken under his protection had become a power all but equal with the king himself. By the early part of the 10th century. however.13 constituted the main target. Other Kentish laws date from the reigns of Hlothhere and Eadric. He filled a responsible position in the state and the law . it is the result of a serious attempt to bring together a body of rules governing the more complicated questions with which the king and his officers might have to deal. They were primarily to provide penalties for unlawful marriages. a ceorl who wished to clear himself at the altar must produce not a group of his kinsmen. neglect of holy days or fast days. The free peasant was the independent master of a household. the laws show a form of society little affected by the growth of royal power or aristocratic privilege. is the fact that the men who direct the pleas in popular assemblies are not ministers of the king. without any claim to nobility. Mere oaths from his own family circle were looked upon with suspicion by the authorities. They make the punishment fit the crime. Long after Aethelbert's reign. but three men who are merely of his own class. The king's food-rent was the heaviest of the public burdens. They show a somewhat elaborate development of legal procedure. These were mainly enlargements of previous laws. In Kent. actions may be brought and capital crimes prosecuted. it is time to briefly review the accomplishments of the people collectively known as the Anglo-Saxons. society seems to have rested on men of this type. Within 90 years. His code is a lengthy document. From the laws of Ine (688-95). Ine's laws point to a complicated social order in which the aristocratic ideal was already important. like those of a king. The basis of Kentish society in Aethelbert's time was the free-peasant landholder. Under Wihtraed (695-96). but subject to no lord below the king himself. it had consisted of providing a quantity of provisions sufficient to maintain a king and his retinue for 24 hours. the government had begun to regard the kin as legally responsible for the good behavior of its members. They were also marked by the definite purpose of advancing Christianity. the killer had to compensate his kinfolk and also pay the king. laws were set down mainly to deal with ecclesiastical matters. his laws constitute by far the earliest body of law expressed in any Germanic language. covering a wide range of human relationships.. heathen practices. is declared uncontrovertible. entering much more fully than any other early code into the details of the agrarian system on which society rested." It was not long after the conversion of the Saxon peoples to Christianity that written laws began to be enacted in England to provide appropriate penalties for offenses against the Church (and therefore against God). however. From the Roman historian Tacitus we get a picture of the administration of Saxon law long before they came to settle in Britain. It stands for a new concept of kingship. There had been earlier passages which ignored or deliberately weakened this primitive function of kin. The Church and its leading ministers were given special privileges. More significant. but "the judges of the Kentish people. especially in the rule of law. due once a year from a particular group of villages. brother and eldest son of Egbert. and thus encroachments upon the power of the kin to protect its own members constituted a rapid advancement of English law even before the end of the seventh century. Not merely a tariff of offenses. For example. His "Germania" tells us of the deliberation of the chiefs in smaller matters and the deliberation of all in more important ones. though respect for the kin did not mean that the ties of kindred dominated English law. They show no sign of Roman influence but are more in common with the Lex Salica issued by Clovis for the Salian Franks. If he were to be slain. including exemption from taxation. As head of a family. it is clear that he was a statesman with ideas beyond the grasp of his predecessors.

In disputes concerning land rights. Alfred insisted that to clear himself. and it seemed as if there was noone strong enough to stop them." The occassion marked the achievement of a new stage in the advancement of the English people towards political unity. the Vikings were more intent on looting and pillaging. in any part of the country. English kings. the acceptance of Alfred's overlordship expressed a feeling that he stood for interests common to the whole English race. mere statements of established custom. "all the English people submitted to Alfred except those who were under the power of the Danes. those who didn't please him. The implication is that his code was intended to cover not only the kingdom of Wessex. However. Offa and Aethelberth whose work had influenced his own. tell us that the Vikings (also known as Norsemen or Danes) came as hostile raiders to the shores of Britain. Showing the religious nature of one who had once depended upon the loyalty of his men for survival. perhaps the one known in legend as Arthur had stopped the Saxon advance into the Western regions at Mount Badon in 496. the only English monarch in all history to have received the appellation "the Great. Part 4: The Anglo Saxon Period (cont'd.) by Peter N. it appeared at the end of a century during which no English king had issued any laws. It is now time to turn back to the Danish (Viking or Norsemen) invasion of England. wished for a reversal of the disasters. This time. our main source is more reliable. retained their right to exercise legislative powers. Their invasions were thus different from those of the earlier Saxons who had originally come to defend the British people and then to settle. and unlawful entry through the hedge around his premises was a grave offense. During the reign of Elizabeth I. Much of what we know about King Alfred. and thus an authoritative source was given to many legends concerning the English king that appeared in the Annals. Following Alfred's example. the leader was Alfred of Wessex. we can praise his laws as the first selective code of Anglo-Saxon England. Williams. The strength of his Wessex Kingdom made it the ideal center for the resistance of Alfred to the Danish plans of conquest. it was also decided that the Annals of St. Neots were also the work of Asser. Though much of Alfred's collection of laws came from earlier codes. It is a work of incomparable worth in its account of English history. which he farmed in association with his fellows. limiting the ancient custom of the blood-feud and emphasizing the duty of a man to his lord. They remain comments on the law. were amended or discarded. so a later leader stopped the advance of the Norsemen at Edington in 878. By the year 878 there was every possibility that before the end of the year Wessex would have been divided among the Danish army. and it was immediately followed by a general recognition of his lordship. it was necessasry for the King and his Council to provide settlement. there were some that were not derived from any known source and may thus be considered original. Leaving aside the political events of the period. giving the first indication that the lands which had lately passed under Danish control might be reclaimed. He owed personal service in the national militia (the fyrd). In 896. As a footnote. naming previous kings such as Ine. a man of lower rank than a kings' thegn must produce the oaths of 11 men of his own class and one of the Kings' thegns. D. their armies marched inland destroying and burning until half of England had been taken." comes from Life of Alfred by his Bishop Asser. for he gives himself the title of King of the West Saxons. The Code of Alfred has a significance in English history which is entirely independent of its subject matter. The free peasant was thus responsible to no authority below the king for his breaches of local custom. just as an earlier British leader. the laws include provisions protecting the weaker members of society against oppression. That this turn of events did not come to pass was due to Alfred. . and the part Alfred was to play in his country's defense and eventual survival. unlike their counterparts on the Continent. It thus becomes important evidence of the new political unity forced upon the English people by the struggle against the Danes.14 protected the honor and peace of his household. though the fundamentals remained unchanged. Earlier rulers had to rely on the armed forces at their disposal for any such claims. In the words of the Chronicle. but also Kent and Mercia. In addition. Though they did settle eventually in their newly conquered lands. It made him the obvious leader of all those who. Ph. Alfred occupied London. The West Saxon Annals (utilized as part of the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" that Alfred began around 890).

when the enemy attacked the south coast of Wessex "with the warships which they had built many years before. the results of battles against the Danes often depended upon chance. Like their Saxon predecessors. wished for a reversal of the disasters. giving the first indication that the lands which had lately passed under Danish control might be reclaimed. Alfred occupied London. but the borders of Wessex remained secure. the Danes also made incursions into Mercia and had conquered all of East Anglia. but defeat them in battle. Aethelwulf succeeded Egbert continuing his father's role as protector of the English people. From the Chronicle.. productive farm lands upon which to raise their families. Its capture made Alfred truly the first king of England. Alfred also fortified the key English towns. now firmly in control of Northumbria. but as it seemed to the king that they might be most serviceable.15 Before Alfred. neither side claiming complete victory. The invaders had already shown their strength by splitting their forces in two: one remaining in the North under Halfdene. the Danes showed that they had come to stay. and then to take over good. It was not too long before the Danes had become firmly entrenched seemingly everywhere they chose in England (many of the invaders came from Norway and Sweden as well as Denmark). Then the Danes gave him hostages as security. Alfred was born in 849. "all the English people submitted to Alfred except those who were under the power of the Danes." Furthermore. though he was later defeated by a large Danish force of the mouth of the River Stour. In the words of the Chronicle. Taking refuge on the Isle of Athelney. some more: they were both swifter and steadier and higher than the others. we learn of the decisive event that took place at Edington (Ethandune). in any part of the country. In the West. Not strong enough to offer total resistance." Wessex had been saved. In 896. it wasn't long before the men of Wessex were ready to reassert themselves." The Chronicle also records one of his victories in 882. Alfred was forced to pay tribute to buy off the Danish army until he could build up his supporters. But this time. Of all the English kingdoms." Alfred "bade build long ships against the Danish warships: they were nearly twice as long as the others: some had sixty oars. The turning point took place in 878. their ships were able to penetrate far inland. East Anglia and Southern Mercia remained in Danish hands. the Danish seamen and soldiers stayed the winter on the Isle of Thanet on the Thames where the men of Hengist had come ashore centuries earlier.. the Danes had been relatively unopposed. who continued to hold his lands against the ever-increasing host of the Danes. And they carried out their promises. The Danes marched westward without opposition. first to find treasure. They came in a huge fleet to London in 851 to destroy the army of Mercia and capture Canterbury. Ribble. there was no standing army in England and response to threats without meant the calling up of the "fyrd" or the local levies. Tyne. He was succeeded by Aethelred. Armies under Aethelred and the young Alfred fought the Danes to a standstill. he conducted a campaign of guerilla warfare against the foreign occupiers of his kingdom. of which historians write glowingly and are generally listed as four: his uniform code of laws for the good order of the . They had begun their deprivations with the devastation of Lindisfarne in 793. Medway and Thames. and the next hundred years saw army after army crossing the North Sea. and swore great oaths that they would leave his kingdom. They were built neither on the Frisian pattern nor on the Danish. when Alfred "fought with the whole force of the Danes and put them to flight. and rode after them to their fortifications and besieged them a fortnight. According to the Chronicle of 896. anxious to add Wessex to his territories. His success made him the obvious leader of all those who. including York. He became King of Wessex in 871 the year the Danes defeated a large English force at Reading. Alfred's successes were partly due to his building up the West Saxon navy into a fleet that could not only meet the Danes on equal terms. and founded their communities wherever the rivers met the sea. Wessex now stood almost alone. only to receive their first check at the hands of Aethelstan of Wessex. Alfred's greatness lay not so much in his defeat of the Danes but in his other major accomplishments. and it was immediately followed by a general recognition of his lordship. they sailed with impunity up the Dee. and the other moving southwards under King Guthrum. Humber. Before Alfred. however. and they promised him that their king should receive baptism. the city of London. In 867. instead of sailing home with their booty. where they settled down as farmers and the lords of large estates. Outside Wessex. on the southeastern edge of Mercia became a national symbol of English defiance.

some of these in the king's favor. which he translated into English. failure to obey made the offender liable to pay the heavy fines proscribed. Outside Wessex. . he increased the number of monasteries and made personal efforts to restore learning to the English nation that are recorded in his own words in a prose preface to the new edition of Pope Gregory's Pastoral Care. The phrase "except those who were under the power of the Danes" is very significant. Under Edward. and the urgency with which Edward commanded traders to resort to it explained its military importance. For example. some of his measures strengthened royal authority. King. One of Edward's laws prohibited trade outside a port. As it was. By the end of Edward's reign. or Northmen. as recorded by his biographer. to watch over the workings of the law. Towns allowed merchants the means to establish the validity of their transactions by the testimony of responsible persons of their own sort." They all recognized Edward's authority and agreed to respect his territories and to attack his enemies. rulers were anxious to keep trade restricted to a limited number of recognized centers. the Crown was no longer seen as a remote providence. Welsh monk Asser. Much of the task of winning back these lands passed to Alfred's son Edward the Elder. and maybe because of them. and to punish those who rebeled. the acceptance of his overlordship expressed a feeling that he stood for interests common to the whole English race. dating back to the time of Ine. On their part. a frontier that even today is reflected in a North-South divide. all of England would have passed under the rule of the Danish kings. and the respect that he gained on the Continent of Europe for himself and his kingdom. The creation of this simple bond between Edward and the rulers of every established state in the Island of Britain thus gave to the West Saxon monarchy a new range and dignity which greatly strengthened its claim to sovereignty in England. Had Alfred been defeated. it is probable that every place of trade which was more than a purely local market was surrounded by at least rudimentary fortifications. Even during the long and protracted Danish Wars. The treaty with King Guthrum that followed Alfred's capture of London delineated a frontier between England and Danes. under which the moots (law courts) worked in independence. A derelict "port" was a weak point in the national defenses and the era saw a rapid rise in boroughs that combined military and commercial factors. his restoration of the monastic life of the Church. all the people in Mercia and all those who dwelt in Northumbria submitted to him "whether English. however. for it includes all of England outside Wessex and much of Mercia. most of England remained under Dane Law. however. and all the Strathclyde Welsh. Use of the Writ was responsible for an unparalleled growth of the King's official responsibility for the enforcement of law and order. The normal "port" of the king's time was also a borough. The foundation of many new boroughs offered traders bases for their operations that were much more secure than the countryside. Orosius' History of the Ancient World. trade in England prospered. The significance of the above is clear. as well as De Consolatione Philosophiae of Boethius. which had been severely disrupted by the arrival of the Norsemen. or Danish. The Chronicle reports that the Scottish King and people. there were advances made in the administration of law. warrior. who became King of Wessex in 899. He filled Church positions with men of intelligence and learning.16 kingdom. the occupation of London by the King of Wessex marked a new stage in the advancement of the English people towards political unity. the future identity of the English people as a separate island nation would have been very much in question. law-giver and scholar. the king of the Strathclyde Welsh. but as an institution which had come to intervene. or others. however. the Kings' Writ. Alfred was also responsible (with other learned men) for the translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History. During Edward's reign. all the people of Wales. every Danish colony south of the River Humber had become annexed to Wessex. and ordered that all transactions be attested to by the portreeve or by other trusty men. Wherever the king had enjoined or prohibited a certain course by express orders. ruled by Scandinavian kings. was enforced to punish attacks on the king's dignity and privilege. Alfred's strenuous efforts to rebuild the fabric of the Church also met with great success. his enthusiastic patronage of the arts and learning. Before the end of his reign. Edward further ordered that the hundred courts were to meet every four weeks under a king's reeve for the administration of customary law.

He soon extended his influence further. now known as Olaf. disaster came to the whole country. who succeeded his father Ethelred by appointment of the citizens of London. Devon and Cornwall. Edmund acted. Following the example of Alfred. Anlaf. Nottingham.17 Edward the Elder died in 924. Taking an army north. and England was made secure at least temporarily. the wapentake court appeared as the fundamental unit in the organization of justice throughout the territory of the five boroughs. It is recorded that eight kings in Britain came to him on a single day to acknowledge his supremacy. He had to deal in legislation with lords who "maintained" their men in defiance of right and justice. Ethelred then managed to get the Danish leader Anlaf baptized at Andover. it was agreed that Edmund should be King of Wessex and Cnut of Mercia. He took the important and strategic city of York from the Danes. At the Battle of Brunanburgh in 937. new threats faced the new King Edmund. Eric Bloodaxe had set himself up as an independent king. Scots and Irish. There seems to have been no essential difference of function between the courts of the wapentake and those of the more familiar hundred. Edmund won many important victories. Cnut became king of all England. These divisions were known as wapentakes. They were found in northeastern England. recognized as King in Wessex and probably in Mercia independently of his election in Wessex. Though Alfred and Edward the Elder had been forced to watch the continental scene from the outside. Under Ethelred. the Danish fleets and armies seemed unstoppable. a king supreme in southern England came to rule in York. Ethelred could only achieve peace by buying off the Danes. villages were combined into local divisions for the administration of justice. anxious to be led by one who was called Edmund Ironside on account of his great strength. was offered huge sums by Ethelred. a move that backfired for it only led to more raids. Anlaf could only laugh at his good fortune. Once again. Under Edgar. Derby and Stamford -. Wales. Lincoln. only returning to England upon the death of Sweyn in the year 1003. but an integral part of the English realm. But the Danes refused to stop their raids. however. The most interesting feature of the organization was the aristocratic jury of presentment which initiated the prosecution of suspected persons in the court of the wapentake. In what is known as the Wantage Code of Ethelred. More fighting continued under Edmund. Upon Edmund's death. and the western and northern kings of Britain and the Welsh princes came to regard him as their lord." (rede-less) the one who lacked good counsel. one passage states that the twelve leading thegns in each wapentake were to go out from the court . Wessex remained the stronghold of the English during the next twenty years of increasing Viking attacks. he married Ethelred's widow that same year. however. In the truly Viking city of York. Giving command of a great army to his son Cnut. Meanwhile. Danish control of the five great boroughs of Leicester. King of Norway. but only at the enormous cost of the complete depletion of the treasury of England. he retook the five boroughs for the English and drove out two Danish kings from Northumbria. was defeated by the Danish King Sweyn who continued his rivals raids on England. there had been important developments in the administration of English law that would have profound effects upon the future legal system. more slaughter and more Danish settlement. The authority of a ruler universally regarded as king of England was placed over the local courts.all in the Midlands -. Formally taking the reins of power in 1017. Aethelstan won prestige and influence in contemporary Europe that resulted from his position as heir to the one western kingdom which had emerged in greater strength from the Danish wars. but when King Edgar was slain by supporters of his brother Ethelred. At his death. to be succeeded by his son Aethelstan. and at Alney. under conditions which no one could have foreseen. that same year. a semblance of order was restored. the site of which has never been satisfactorily determined.created an effective barrier between Northumbria and Wessex. Changing social conditions led to Aethelstan issuing many new laws. In a sea battle in 1000 AD. The word first appeared when Edgar refered in general terms to the buying and selling of goods in a borough or a wapentake. Sweyn marched on and conquered Winchester and Oxford and forced Ethelred to flee to France. northwestern England. but the strength of the Danes forced him to make peace with Cnut. Legal customs from the Scandinavian North were practiced throughout the eastern counties of England. Aethelstan won a great victory for his English army over a combined force of Danes. who became King in Wessex in 954. and thus. and who in turn. He was the first English King to recognize in legislation that the Danish east of England was no longer a conquered province. Ethelred's weakness in dealing with the Danish leaders have earned him the title of "the unready.

(farm or town). whose mother. many of them coming. then from lands bordering that little country. The strength of the Crown. It is generally agreed that he turned the part of conquering Viking ruler into one of the best kings ever enjoyed by the English people. and the ground was prepared for the coming of the Normans. Emma was to reside at Winchester holding Wessex in her son's name. Godwin's fears of losing his control of Wessex. The two peoples had blended to become a single nation. and when Harthacnut died suddenly. There are more than 600 place names that end with the Scandinavian -by. Though the Danes and Norwegians who came to England preserved many of their own customs. He was welcomed in Wessex. Although the two hundred years of Danish invasions and settlement had an enormous effect on Britain. The fate of the suspect. son of Ethelred. His eighteen-year rule was indeed a golden one for England. Edward. became a generous patron of the Church and raised the prestige of England to unprecedented levels on the Continent of Europe. he had become part of the national heritage of England. and one who was determined to rule as the chosen king of the English people as well as King of Denmark. Hardacnut arrived in England in 1040 on the death of Harold. Cnut and his successors became heirs to the English laws and traditions of Wessex. their homelands had been in northern Europe. He had intended to give Denmark and England to Hardacnut and Norway to Swein. At a great assembly in Oxford in 1018. Cnut had precipitated problems by leaving his youngest. be content as subjects of a Danish king in an English country. including the men of London chose Harold Harefoot. was still settled by ordeal. had him captured and blinded. even though it was part of a Scandinavian empire. a new set of invaders no less ruthless than those who had come before. Hardacnut could not come to England from Denmark without leaving Magnus of Norway a free hand in Scandinavia. before marrying Cnut. bastard son Harold.18 and swear that they would neither accuse the innocent nor protect the guilty. bringing over from the continent as many people as had the Anglo-Saxon invasions. he agreed to follow the laws of Edgar. they readily adapted to the ways of the English whose language they could understand without too much difficulty. Englishmen and Danes. Cnut ruled England as it had long been ruled: he consulted his bishops and his subjects. In 1035. came into being in a most important document in English legal history. where Godwin reigned supreme as his representative. not by the judgment of the thegns who presented them. the effects on the language and customs of the English were not as catastrophic as the earlier invasions had been on the native British. he brought a large army with him. the first Viking leader to be admitted into the civilized fraternity of Christian Kings. A meeting of the Witan (King's council) met to decide the successor to Cnut. if not from Denmark itself. and part of Sweden. Alfred's older brother. led by the powerful Godwin of Wessex chose Hardacnut. The evidence shows extensive peaceable settlement by farmers who intermarried their English cousins. and they spoke a related language. unprovided for. The Anglo-Saxons were a Germanic race. Ruler of a united land. Upon his death. he kept the peace. Norway. He made atonement for the atrocities of the past wrought by Danish invaders by visiting the site of the battle with Edmund Ironside at Ashingdon and dedicating a church to the fallen. They shared many common traditions and customs with the people of Scandinavia. most occurring in the north and east. . hitherto unknown to English law. enforced the laws. Thus English kings came to rule in England once again. Thus the sworn jury. sought protection at Winchester. There are over 1040 place names in England of Scandinavian origin. unable to claim the throne of Wessex. The unfortunate Alfred lived out his life as a monk at Ely. at Winchester. she had been the wife of Ethelred. Emma was a sister to the Duke of Normandy. He even traveled to Rome in 1027 to attend the coronation of the new Holy Roman Emperor but also to consult with the Pope on behalf of all his people. was acclaimed as king. however. but others. and the same number with thwaite (an isolated . with the king becoming arbiter of the law continued during the reign of Cnut. adopted many of their customs and entered into the everyday life of the community. When Ethelred's younger son Alfred came to Winchester. his favorite realm. Cnut died in 1035 and was buried in the traditional resting place of the Saxon Kings. his Danish compatriots were to adopt the laws of their English neighbors. after reigning for only one year. One faction. the area of settlement known as the Danelaw. The uniting of the houses of Wessex and Mercia through marriage had produced an English ruler after a quarter of a century of Danish rule. Chaos and confusion were quick to return to England after Cnut's death. some three hundred contain the Scandinavian word thorp (village). Prince Edward.

too. First. in England they had become an island race. The Scandinavians had a similar system that employed the hus-carles or house-troop (the Danish word carl being close to the Saxon ceorl. It has been pointed out that though the separate identity and language of at least part of the Britons lives on in Wales. its people began to extend their outlook and become less insular. who assisted the king. we had the beginning of the civil service. Thousands of words of Scandinavian origin remain in the everyday speech of people in the north and east of England. a free man). who became the English earls. however. there were great similarities between Saxon and Scandinavian. and the need to buy off the invaders in gold and silver meant that the kings' subjects now had to be taxed in terms of real money. The pressure of the Danish invasions. The Saxon chief's immediate followers and bodyguards were the heorth-werode. resided at his hall and were bound by ties of personal friendship and traditional loyalty. Under Cnut. Under Ethelstan. In administrative matters. the hearthtroop. The two people shared the tradition of government by consultation and the reinforcement of loyalty by close collaboration between the leader and his followers. mostly replacing the aldermen. The Scandinavians. and certainly under Cnut. In addition. Under the Saxon kings. the old Saxon system of taxation had been inefficient to say the least. England was part of a Scandinavian empire.19 piece of land). Clerks and secretaries were employed by both rulers to strengthen and communicate authority and raise and collect taxes efficiently. There was another very important feature of the Scandinavian settlement which cannot be overlooked. the identity of the Scandinavians is totally lost among the English: the merging of the two people was total. who followed him in war. kept their contacts with their kinsman on the continent. The Danish leaders were the jarls. . The Saxon people had not maintained contact with their orginal homelands. rather than the material goods supplied formerly to the King's household. both were military societies. the man who held great power under the crown was the alderman. The process was hastened by the coming of another host of Norsemen: the Norman Conquest was about to begin.

the coronation of Harold. D. Edward was double Edith's age. for the saintly king had earlier taken a vow of chastity (a hunting accident had left him impotent in any case). Ever since Edward's father had married Emma of Normandy in 1002. It shows Harold receiving instructions from King Edward. Edward was also humiliated by having to purge his Norman bishops. Godwin's nominee to Canterbury in place of Robert of Jumieges. But the main problem remained. He was spared a decision by the death of Godwin on Easter Monday 1053 and the succession of Harold Godwinson as Earl of Wessex. embarking for Normandy. saving trapped knights in a river crossing and being knighted by the Norman Duke. Godwin of Wessex was the most powerful man in England after the King. The circumstances that eventually led to the arrival of William the Norman had been set in place long before 1066.20 Part 5: Medieval Britain by Peter N. But there were more pressing problems for Edward at home. Edward was left alone to appoint Norman bishops to many vacant English Sees. Only the king and the late Athelings' two children remained of the ancient house of Cerdic of Wessex. Harold then made himself the premier military leader in England. whom he supported in the raid on the treasures at Winchester. he collaborated with the leading earls of the country to dispossess his mother Emma of her wealth at Winchester. He died in convulsions at a wedding feast. uncle of Magnus became king of Norway in 1048. First. aiding William in an expedition. Edward shied away from provoking an all-out war with his hated enemy Godwin. in the pinnacle of his power. By his defeat of Gruffudd in Wales. Edward the Atheling. He was forced to take action. who had been smuggled out of England as a babe to escape Cnut. especially over the appointing of bishops and the leadership of the armies raised to fight Gruffudd of Wales who had been successful in winning back many border areas previously lost to the English. Edward wanted his Norman relatives to gain the throne of England. From 1046 to 1051. The handing over of power to William became his obsession. to whom he swears an oath of loyalty. In 1064. that of succession. he exiled Swein. but who tried his utmost to run the country as family fiefdom. two of whom joined their father and Swein in Bruges and two of whom went to join the Vikings in Dublin. he was perhaps one of the most misunderstood monarchs in the history of England. events that followed his death have spoiled his reputation as a wise. He plotted to have Edward marry his daughter Edith. and who had returned in 1057. But there were other claimants from the house of Earl Godwin that contested the king's wishes. The enmity between the Crown and the House of Godwin continued unabated. who succeeded him. Then Godwin returned. Thus temporarily freed from Godwin influence. A popular choice as king. It is highly probable that Edward did send Harold to Normandy with the formal promise that the kingdom would pass to William upon Edward's death. A motive was provided by her support of the King of Norway's claim to the English throne. a union to which the king consented to keep Godwin happy and allied in the face of continued Scandinavian threats. Edward's cousin was the father of Duke William. the marriage did not produce an heir. was the legitimate heir of Alfred the Great. woven after 1066. Though he took adequate steps to provide for a smooth succession to the throne. Next is shown the death and burial of Edward. depicts the events leading up to the Norman invasion of that year as well as the great culminating battle. he visited Normandy. the ruthless treacherous eldest son who had abducted an abbotress among his other nefarious deeds. Known as Edward the Confessor. Harold himself raised an army to punish Gruffudd. The Bayeux Tapestry. Edward was engaged in a power struggle with the Godwins. a threat renewed when Harold Hardrada. Norman England Hardacnut was the last Danish king of England. effective ruler. He then was forced to appoint Stigand. Matters were not helped by the suspicious death of Edward the Atheling. the appearance of a comet and the invasion and culminating battle. Harold would thus act as regent until the Norman leader could . Ph. England had been wide open to Norman influences. The young Edward himself had been brought up in Normandy. Williams. younger son of Edmund Ironside. Civil War was averted only because the King restored Godwin and his sons to their earldoms. He next exiled Godwin and all his sons.

England would surely have become part of the Scandinavian Empire with all its attendant problems. sudden and self-contained. a subordinate of the French king. ruling aristocracy. to patronize churches and monasteries. William's victories were swift. where young Edgar the Atheling had been proclaimed king in Harold's place. 1066. who had done everything in his power to hold the ambitions of the Godwins in check and to ensure the peaceful transition of power to William. landed unopposed in the south. It had been recognized in 911 at a treaty between Charles. King Harold then showed his military prowess by marching his army northwards and completely destroying the over-confident forces of Hardrada and Tostig at Stamford Bridge. William of Normandy must have been furious. Harold immediately began to abolish unjust laws and make good ones. King Harold had taken concrete steps to enforce his rule throughout the country. Harold had to march southwards with his tired.21 arrive to claim his throne. was also busy raising his own army of invasion. as we have seen. to imprison all thieves and to labour for the protection of his people. he could not have foreseen the wave of nationalist feeling which greeted Harold's bid for the crown. However. Had Harold Hardrada won at Stamford Bridge. They had come to France centuries before as Viking invaders when their brothers were busy ravaging the coast of England. the Norwegian. He crossed the North Sea to make his landing near York. Had Harold of Wessex won at Hastings. The Norman invasion of England was unlike that involving massive immigrations of people seeking new lands in which to settle and farm as marked by the Anglo-Saxon and Danish invasions. The story is too wellknown to be repeated here. before the death of Edward. he mistakenly thought England would be an easier target. he first had to reconcile the houses of Godwin of Wessex and Leofric of Mercia. but when William took his army to London. however. The "Chronicle" went so far as to justify Harold's seizure of power by stating that Edward had entrusted the kingdom to him. his bodyguard cut down and Duke William triumphant. 1066. weakened army and did not wait for reinforcements before he awaited the charge of William's mounted knights at Hastings. They had no choice. the Simple and Rollo. at Pevensey. the funeral of Edward and the coronation of Harold. The saintly king had completely overlooked English resentment at the ever-growing Norman influences in their island nation. King of Norway. became the second wife of English King Ethelred. an area also settled by invaders from the North. In 1002. This new phenomenon was practically an overnight affair. After dealing with the perfidy of his exiled brother Tostig. henceforth held in contempt by the Normans as an untrustworthy bond-breaker. In many ways. On January 6. There was no rest for the victors. only a small. We can only guess at further isolation from the Continent and the making of a truly island nation at this very early date. wishing to surpass even Cnut as the great ruler of a Scandinavian Empire. was raising a massive invasion fleet and William of Normandy. Hardrada. and it was touch and go all day. their new homeland was similar to the English Dane-Law. took place at the newly consecrated Abbey at Westminster. William was duly crowned King of England at Westminster on Christmas Day. According to the account of Florence of Worcester. It is tempting to surmise the path England would have taken had William's invading force been beaten off. with his huge host of fighting men. sister of Richard Duke of Normandy and a descendant of Rollo. No new wave of people came to occupy the land. Harold Hardrada. Emma. Three days later. In order to do all this. had failed to conquer Denmark. then the future course of England would have been certainly different. The resulting Norman triumph depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry shows Harold's death from an arrow. English indecision in gathering together a formidable opposition forced the supporters of Edgar to negotiate for peace. pay reverence to religious men. We do know that William of . to show himself as pious and humble. His people called themselves Franks or Frenchmen. Rollo had then converted to Christianity and ruled his territory as a Duke. The only standing army in England had been defeated in an-all day battle in which the outcome was in doubt until the undisciplined English had broken ranks to pursue the Normans' feigning retreat. to treat wrong doers with great severity. who had raised an army to plunder England's coast line Harold then had to deal with far more serious threats. William of Normandy.

one entirely different from that which had been in place for so long. and what dues he ought to have in twelve months from the shire. Within six months of his coronation. for the next four hundred years it wasted its resources and manpower on futile attempts to keep its French interests alive while. the unique "Domesday Book" (the book of unalterable judgments). William's victory also linked England with France and not Scandinavia from now on. but these attempts were entirely given up in favor of a thoroughly Norman administration. On his absences in Normandy... the only Anglo-Saxons to remain in authority were Ecclesiastes. bishops. nor indeed. other than small-estate holders. Duke William showed that he meant business. Through attrition. and all these records were brought to him afterwards. including powerful church leaders such as Lanfranc of Canterbury. The Conquest meant a new dynasty for England and a new aristocracy. The peasantry was thus deprived of a valuable food source in times of bad harvests. In addition. becoming part of (and contributing to) the spectacular flowering of European culture. The most emphatic proof that the old freedoms were gone was the remarkable survey of England known as the "Domesday Book. there had been a tremendous monastic revival in the Dukedom of Normandy. able barons to deal with any rebellions. what land and cattle the king should have in the country. A rising at York in which the Danes also took part was easily crushed and the land harried unmercifully in revenge. William's insistence that the prime duty of any man holding land from the king was to produce on demand a set quota of mounted knights produced a new ruling class in England. By 1075. In all intents and purposes. he ruled with ruthless severity. losing all their rights as free men and coming to be regarded as mere property. By 1086. The simple rents of ale and barley or work upon the lord's manor were now supplemented by military service of a new kind: one that had been practiced only by and thus familiar to a Norman. Not only was the land now governed by a foreign king and subjected to a foreign aristocracy. reckoning the wealth of England "down to the last pig. with the attendant change in the relations of Church and State. one ox nor one cow nor one pig which was left out.000 places. It brought feudalism and it introduced changes in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. the great Saxon earldoms were split: Wessex." To determine how the country was occupied and with what sort of people." Begun in 1080. that there was no single hide nor virgate of land. "So very narrowly did he have it investigated. and not put down in his record. William felt secure enough to visit Normandy. The years 1066-1075 were a period of trial and experiment. was an attempt to provide the king with every penny to which he was legally entitled. This was not the Saxon way of doing things: it constituted a total revolution. many for the first time. In such a system. Mercia. and one which was transferred to England in 1066 lock. the "Domesday Book" is a remarkable accomplishment indeed. This came about as a result of close cooperation between King and Church in what was basically a feudal society. however: it meant that threats to his security prevented him from undertaking any attempt to cooperate with the native aristocracy in the administration of England. with serious attempts at cooperation between Saxon and Norman. packed . William was also determined to find out how much land was owned by the archbishops. In addition. In the early part of the 11th century. stock and barrel. at the same time. abbots and earls. The great estates of England were given to Norman and Breton landowners. they were no more than slaves. Northumbria and other ancient kingdoms were abolished forever. carefully prevented from building up their estates by having them separated by the holdings of others. the old Anglo-Saxon aristocracy was severely depleted. William sent his men into every shire and had them find out how many hundred hides there were in the shire. By the time of William's death in 1087. he left strong. mainly under the Cluniac Order.22 Normandy won and changed the face of the nation forever. in the futile attempts at resistance. English society had been profoundly changed. A veritable Who's Who of the century. The sporadic outbreaks at rebellion against his rule had one important repercussion. there were in the whole of the land only two Englishmen holding estates of any dimension. further restrictions and hardship came from William's New Forest laws and his vast extension of new royal forests in which all hunting rights belonged to the king. assets belonging to the manor. It worked only too well. For one thing." The book names some 13. those at the bottom suffered most.

not those in power. Not much remains of their building. especially that the influence and intrusion of the Papacy should be resisted and that real power should lie with the metropolitan dioceses. not only in the military strongholds. corrected many irregularities. The new nobility knew no English and probably did little to learn it (in contrast to the situation on the borders of Wales where many Norman lords freely fraternized and married local inhabitants and learned the Welsh language). Though English continued to be spoken by the great majority. There was still the matter of how to deal with the Celtic kingdoms of Britain. A practical administrator. we see that combination of church and castle. Everywhere in England. in which the style we call "Romanesque" dominated. if not canon law. administrators. He had been prominent in the negotiations leading to William's marriage with the daughter of the Duke of Flanders. The lordships of Chester. and righted long-standing abuses. law givers and builders who were never more than a tiny majority. which meant a castle in just about every town. Hereford and Glamorgan kept a tight grip on any aspirations of Welsh princes to re-assert control of their nation. Lanfranc was supported by the king. But all over the landscape. he did not bother to venture further north. he and the Conqueror seemed to have a close sympathy in aims and ideals. abbey and town that demonstrate only too well the genius of this hardy breed of seafarers. introduced many new rules into England that were copied and followed throughout the land. in particular. abbeys and monasteries that so effectively symbolize the triumph of the new order. Shrewsbury. explorers. The growing dispute between the powers of the ecclesiastical courts and the secular courts remained a thorn in the Archbishop's side and soon came to a head in the reign of Henry II. Yet such was the power of the Welsh . His most persistent problem was that of clerical marriage. They agreed on the nature of the reforms necessary for the Church in England. In Anglo-Saxon England. Apart from the cultural and political legacy of the Norman occupation. a frenzy of church building took place. But what they built was meant to stay. he infused new life into the Church made moribund under such as Stigand (deposed by William). Wales was a different matter. an exceptional man whose work was profound As Archbishop of Canterbury. The Anglo-Saxons were not noted for castle-building nor for great cathedrals and churches. Asserting his authority and declaring that England was not merely a papal fief. the marriage of priests had been recognised. it was the language of the common people. growing towns and centers of trade. He held synods regularly. as king of England. those beyond the borders. Household functions had taken priority over Church ceremony. The country was then rent by a series of inter-family squabbles and William seized his opportunity to establish a firm western frontier by giving away lands along the border to some of his most loyal supporters. Lanfranc was chosen as the instrument of reform. the effects on architecture and language were also immense. we see physical reminders of the Norman presence. Lanfranc as a lawyer familiar with current canon law and Church law as practiced on the Continent. giving it a tighter organization and discipline. Lanfranc had been Abbot of Cannes. he was a distinguished scholar and an expert on civil law. Various Welsh princes were still vying for power. those that were not occupied by the Saxons and where the language and customs remained more or less untouched: Scotland and Wales. One important innovation of Lanfranc was the transfer of the seats of bishops to the new. We have briefly noted the efforts to reorganize the Church in Normandy even before the Conquest of England. Though he claimed. William had presented his invasion to the Pope as a minor crusade in which the "corrupt" Saxon Church in England would be reformed.23 with exhaustive detail on every holding in the entire country and its value. These so-called border barons or Marcher Lords were left free to add to their territories as they wished. Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. settlers. Their castles and fortified manors in all the important border towns attest to their power and influence. The last ruler who could truly call himself King of Wales. was killed in 1063. Changes in language also became permanent. such marriages had been defensible from folk-law. but they did not include marriage of clerics. William seemed to regard Scotland as an area best left alone. some degree of influence over Scotland and took control of Cumbria in 1092. On the borders of Wales and Scotland. a situation that wasn't to change until the 14th century. but also in the cathedrals.

Both William Rufus and his successor Henry l had to deal with problems that eventually lay beyond their capabilities to solve. rapidly increasing in power and prestige at the expense of the feudal monarchies." "stench" and "aroma. William's rule can be seen as harsh. that by the time of the death of William's son. dominate the skyline of so many towns and cities had the effect of maintaining law and order. There were bound to be problems. The dominions ruled by William lI. The king was determined to stay in firm control. "legal" and "lawful. The King of England and the Duke of Normandy had rival claims upon the allegiance of every great land-holder from the Scottish borders to Anjou. but the English language itself. the Barons and Earls made it their business to provoke and protract quarrels of every kind between their rulers. To entertain his retinue. Many French words replaced English ones. Even a Saxon scribe wrote that "a man might walk through the land unmolested. Continued Welsh efforts to drive out the Normans from their border territories was of great concern to England's rulers. English became vastly enriched. impetuous man. A huge body of French words were ultimately to become part of the English vocabulary. Taking place in 1088. William II started sending royal armies into Wales and the practice was continued by Henry I. Rufus (1087-1100) Despite the cohesion and order brought to England by the Duke of Normandy. taking their lead from the archbishop but also demonstrating the immense power that was accruing to the Church in England. Rufus (King from 1087-1100) that Welsh control had been re-asserted over most of Wales. in ruin. his favorite son. an old foe of .24 longing to be independent and so cleverly had they mastered the art of guerilla warfare from their mountain strongholds. Norman influence on literature was equally profound. forbidding Norman castles which even today. more cosmopolitan. avaricious. In 1095. Rufus. Though William respected the elective nature of the English monarch. and bequeathed a modest sum to Henry Beauclerk. and he certainly brought a new degree of political unity to England. many of these continuing side by side with their English equivalent. but in some ways just. It seems that the only profession he honored was that of war. An early rebellion was inevitable. his youngest." etc. In addition. he had already sunk below the possibility of greatness or of moral reformation. The new king was an illiterate. He reluctantly granted the Duchy of Normandy to Robert. In the meantime." and so on. In retrospect. The leading Barons acquiesced in the coronation of William Rufus by Lanfranc in September of 1087. for the developments in French literature. Norman Rule not only affected political and social institutions. D. which remained in existence for over four hundred years. perfunctorily recognised at his own coronation.) by Peter N. sharing its Teutonic and Romance traditions. the king had a huge banqueting hall built in Westminster. Part 5: Medieval Britain (cont'd. such as "sacred" and "holy". Trouble came immediately upon his death. his court became a Mecca for those practiced in its arts. were closely knit together by the family. and sent him to England to Archbishop Lanfranc. the Conqueror's reign was almost a golden age. Norman lands were surrounded by enemies eager to reconquer lost territories. One of these foes was the Church of Rome itself." and compared to the lawlessness and abuses which were apparent in the reign of his successor William II. According to William of Malmesbury. Ph. not the sort of ruler the country needed at this or at any other time. it was led by Bishop Odo of Bayeux. on his deathbed in Normandy he handed over the crown to William Rufus. so that before the end of the 14th century Chaucer was able to use a vast store of new words such as "courage" in place of "heartness. could now circulate in the English court as it did in France. Williams. his retainers lived lavishly off the land and took what they wished from whom they wished. the new administrative system outlived him by less than fifty years. It was a rotten state of affairs that could only be settled through the English acquisition of Normandy. his eldest. William II. The great expense of such adventures meant that an easier way to keep Wales in check was to preserve the territories of the Marcher lordships. in England. the leading literature of Europe. Those huge. And these great land-holders.

though the big problem of lay investiture remained. failed to keep "the law of Edward" as promised. subdue the rebellious Welsh princes mainly through his sale of the Earldom of Shrewsbury to one of his Norman Barons and begin his campaign to add France to his kingdoms. took his full attention for the next three years. much in the manner of William Rufus. Rufus seized the opportunity to invade the province with a large force in 1090 to take vengeance on Robert's part in the rebellion two years earlier. penned up at Rochester. riding to seize the treasure at Winchester just ahead of William of Bretueil. He was able to depose Donaldbane in Scotland in favor of his vassal Edgar. built castles without license and acted as petty. The Church was particularly hit hard. bribed to drop his support of Robert. Yet the absence of Robert of Normandy on his adventures in the Middle East meant good fortune for the King of England. "Have you not gold and silver boxes full of dead men's bones?" asked the king contemptuously when his bishops protested. Odo's army. it is significant that Henry was present in the hunting party. Henry I (1100-1135) Of the three sons of the Conqueror. a descendant of Edward the Confessor and a most suitable choice as . especially those involving the selling of vacant benefices to the highest bidder. He had the hated Flambard thrown into prison. Henry was the most able. petitioned for a truce and the bishop himself was forced to depart for Europe. he mortgaged his Duchy to William for 10. then created a new threat to William. Duke Robert quickly lost interest in the affair. Affairs in Normandy. 1100. on the Scottish border. who wished to install Robert of Normandy on the throne of England. the remission of all novel dues and taxes. A land grab by Malcolm of Scotland in 1092 then forced Rufus back to England where he established a stronghold at Carlisle. and thus helped heal the breach between the Church and the Crown. Ranulf Flambard found himself treasurer of England. a supporter of the claim of Duke Robert of Normandy. To raise the necessary funds. Subsequent events in Scotland. A competent administrator at home. did not seem to matter as much as did his success in keeping the peace. in which Donaldbane allied with the Norwegians under Magnus. Duke Robert decided to honor Pope Urban's call for a Crusade to win back the Holy Land from the Seljuk Turks to allow free access to pilgrims. The archbishop did mollify the situation by officiating at the popular marriage of Henry to Edith.000 marks. but with them he was able to raise an army of the people and defeat the scattered rebel forces. He was aided by Philip of France. a sum that could only be raised with difficulty in an England already drained by every method of extortion that could be devised by Flambard. That Henry I of England. however. Rufus called upon his English subjects. Lanfranc's death then removed the only person strong enough to protest against Rufus for failing to live up to his promises. In August. William was killed. as well as Anselm's refusal to honor the appointments made by Henry during his exile. The king could now appoint any advisor of his own choosing and accordingly. With the tide running against him. however. His supporters quickly elected Henry King of England and he was crowned by the Bishop of London in the absence of the exiled Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury. independent sovereigns. He brought back Anselm to Canterbury. the Scottish king was killed at Malcolm's Cross by Earl Mowbray. He promised them better laws than they had ever had before. he succeeded in the conquest of Normandy. Henry ensured the support of his English subjects by issuing a solemn charter promising to redress grievances. Though much of the blame for the death of his brother William was attributed to Walter Tyrrell. on a hunting expedition in the New Forest. During the following year. To meet the threat. He had no intention of fulfilling his promises. Despite the faults of William ll.25 Lanfranc. the repeal of many aspects of the hated forest laws. who fled the country. The throne of England now passed to his brother Henry. He wasted no time in claiming the throne. England was governed well compared to Normandy. where a constant state of anarchy prevailed and where Duke Robert was unable to control his barons who waged private wars. In Normandy.

needless to say. he was aided by Gerard the Archbishop of York. but would continue to receive their homage for their temporal possessions and duties. preferring to believe that she had only done this to protect herself from importunate suitors rather than to fulfil a desire to enter a convent. who now resolved to dispossess his brother.26 Queen of England. He started by bribing the Count of Flanders and the King of France to transfer their allegiance. Robert duly landed at Portsmouth in 1101 to begin his march on London. and stripped Robert. not Rome. He prohibited the custom of private war. It took all of England's resources to deal with the ensuing rebellion of the powerful house of Montgomery. were never honored by Henry. Anselm wisely chose to ignore the fact that Edith had taken holy orders as a nun. Continued trouble with Normandy. Thus the English soldiers. The struggle between Anselm and Henry was abetted by the new Pope Paschal. free from any serious rival. The treaty. who had escaped his captors and returned to Normandy to help organize an expedition to capture the English throne. he insisted on the rule of law. His one great mistake was to entrust the infant son of Robert. Predating Wycliffe. For the king. Back in England. there was no need to have the will of God expounded by a Pope. Henry could now introduce into the anarchy that had been Normandy some of the order and economy that he had established in England. however. put the Church-Crown struggle temporarily on hold. accepting a pension of 3. who argued that the Mother of Churches was Jerusalem. But it left Henry at the pinnacle of his power. Kings were ordained by God to rule the Church no less than the State. and that the Papacy was an institution of merely human ordinance. King Henry could count on the support of his English subjects. growing ever more ambitious under a series of able popes. Flambard. He could now turn his attention to withholding royal authority from the encroachments of the Church in Rome. to the charge of one who would later raise a rebellion against him. In addition. did nothing to settle the question of the English Church's longed-for independence from the Crown. . the Church-Crown struggle continued. all three were obdurate. Robert was held captive in Cardiff Castle in Wales to spend the remainder of his life a closely-guarded prisoner. and for twenty years. climaxing in the one-hour battle at Tinchebrai when Robert surrendered. who had formed a large part of Henry's army. Above all. Henry kept in check the powers and ambitions of the great Barons by judiciously exercising his feudal rights. restored to Durham. Ranulf Flambard. The terms of the Treaty of Alton. King of England. with the English archbishop even moving to France unable to satisfy his king. Gerard argued that the Scriptures alone could give religious instruction. In the meantime. William the Clito. The death of Anselm meant that the King could appoint a successor more favorable to his own views. though many of them preferred Robert as their lord and schemed to replace Henry with their choice. Henry was uncompromising. Many of the leading Barons of Normandy who held lands in England came to Henry's court to pay homage. Normandy now belonged to Henry. the Duke decided to treaty instead of fight. his leading barons would wait to see which side could benefit them most. forcing the Montgomerys to negotiate for peace. could now say that the Battle of Hastings was avenged. In this. however. They were aided by the ex-treasurer of England. Henry promised South Wales to Lorwerth ap Bleddyn. Arnulf and Roger of all their holdings in England. Henry appropriated Church revenues and enacted measures that led the bishops to beg for Anselm's return. nonetheless. Normandy had become a Mecca for just about all of those opposed Henry of England.000 marks and a promise of help to recover his rebellious dependency of Maine. aided by the Welsh princes. Losing his nerve. The conquest of Normandy began in the spring of 1105. remained too unpopular to cause any trouble for the king. the policies of Henry and his Norman possessions was determined by those who continued to plot against him. forbade the building of castles or fortified dwellings without his license and insisted that every under-tenant regard the King as his chief lord. the customs of the realm of England took precedence over the claims of the Church. who immediately began to punish those barons who had sided with Robert. The king was now supreme in his rule. Henry renounced the right of investing prelates. fear of excommunication led the King to finally agree to a compromise with Anselm.

It is to David that Scotland's future as an independent kingdom can be traced. From all the varying tribes that dwelled in England. trouble returned upon the king's death in 1135. The king's justices travelled into the shires to see that his mandate was carried out. fierce resistance. But the King's Court. accordingly. he retained Carlisle (which he had earlier seized). David. he distributed large estates to his Anglo-Norman cronies who also took over important positions in the Church. founded on a new. When conflict arose between the new (and weak) English King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. daughter and designated heiress of Henry. West Saxons were treated differently from Mercians. and soon to be the Count of Anjou. Stephen. It was under the rule of David. in the words of chronicler Walter Map. At the Treaty of Durham in 1136. French-speaking Anglo-Norman aristocracy that remained aloof from the majority of the Gaelic-speaking Celtic population. the "Lion of Justice" thus propelled his English possessions towards a sense of national unity totally lacking in other lands. for example. to . a new nation was being forged out of the common respect for the King's writ. in this struggle. there had been different laws for different folks according to where they resided. nicknamed Plantagenet on account of a sprig of broom (genet) he wore in his cap. When Henry died and his nephew and favorite Stephen seized the throne and the dukedom. an oath he quickly forgot when he seized the treasury at Winchester and had himself crowned King. King of England and Duke of Normandy. refused to recognize these differences. David took the opportunity to reassert old territorial claims to the border lands. Stephen gained early notoriety by running away from Antioch during the First Crusade. had a secure base in Anjou and later in Normandy and Stephen was made to pay dearly for his act of benevolence (or stupidity). were civil wars and local disturbances.27 When Henry first acceded to the throne. to her brother's castle at Bristol. a fool. His adherence to the code of chivalry led him to give safe conduct to Matilda. wearing out a battle axe and a sword before being captured. Events had started in 1128 when Geoffrey the Fair. the most distinctive of the old provincial differences had disappeared. where he became Duke in 1144. Matilda concentrated on England and Count Geoffrey on Normandy. His courtesy and chivalry were not matched by efficacy in governing. King of Scotland invaded England on her behalf in 1135. had taken an oath to accept the succession of Matilda. The rule was that the law of the King's Court must stand above all other law and was the same for all. including Cumbria. His invasion of England took him into Yorkshire. the houses of Anjou and Blois began their long struggle for control of both. Briefly. Then it all unraveled for this good knight who was also. that Norman influence began to percolate through much of southern Scotland. a grievous error. the ninth son of Malcom III. Return to Anarchy: Stephen (1135-1154) The order of Henry l's reign soon disintegrated under his successor Stephen of Blois. Earl Robert of Gloucester paid him homage at his Easter Court. and his political blunders were legion. entirely at his mercy. Prominent features of his reign. out of their submission to and increasing attachment to the same principles of law and their trust in the monarchy to protect them against oppression. Henry. Into the Lowlands he introduced a feudal system of land ownership. Brother-in-law to the King of England. Stephen's position seemed secure. as wife of Geoffrey. he was raised and educated in England by Normans who "polished his manners from the rust of Scottish barbarity. Before Henry died. David was also Prince of Cumbria. one of the wealthiest of the Anglo-Norman landholders. Acceptance of his Dukedom quickly followed from the Norman barons and early in 1136. the "Curia Regis" of Henry. In 1126. He later more than made up for this at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141 when he fought on foot long after much of his army had fled. However. The war of succession began when Matilda's uncle. and through marriage Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon. However." In Scotland. married the Empress Matilda. Events reluctantly forced Stephen to acknowledge Geoffrey in his Dukedom as well as Matilda's son Henry as heir to his English throne. with their mutually incomprehensible dialects and varying legal customs and traditions. Matilda. Even Matilda's half brother.

the Scottish king was able to gain practically all of Northumbria at a second treaty of Durham in 1139.28 what has been called his needless. He was to continue as king so long as he lived and to receive Henry's homage. however. joined by Henry's younger brother Geoffrey who claimed the inheritance of Anjou. In the meantime. was famous for its political results. due mainly to Stephen's troubles. Matilda landed at Arundel in 1139 with a large army. ambitious Henry to an older woman. beginning in 1153. The stage was set for the greatest period in Plantagenet history. Eleanor had been divorced from Louis VII after her spell of adultery with her Uncle Raymond of Antioch. . Stephen was captured at the battle of Lincoln in 1141.) by Peter N. equally ambitious and proud. In turn. was easily overcome and Henry acquired a vast swathe of territory in France from Normandy through Anjou to Aquitaine. normally on the defensive. never to return. Their feeble opposition. thus becoming more powerful than his lord. King Louis. Cumberland and Westmoreland. King Louis of France. but Stephen ultimately was unable to dislodge them. Henry II (1154-1189) Henry had become Duke of Normandy in 1150 and Count of Anjou after his father's death in 1151. fearful of his loss of influence in France. were not happy times. the kingdom of Scotland had been extended to include the Modern English counties of Northumberland. made war on the couple. managing to do so. In contrast to the peace of Henry's reign. A more successful campaign was then carried out by Matilda's son Henry. territories that were in future to be held by the kings of Scotland. headstrong. She was several years older than Henry. the English countryside now suffered the sad consequences of an unremitting struggle with lawless armies on the rampage and barons paying off old scores. complete anarchy prevailed in which the functions of central government quickly broke down. Fragmentation and decentralization were the order of the day. gleeful violence led to his defeat at Northallerton in the "Battle of the Standard. Both armies relied heavily on foreign mercenaries. Henry was to be recognized as rightful heir. finally despairing at her failure to dislodge Stephen. Henry II came along just in time. In the meantime. When he married Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152. the civil wars continued intermittently. often desperately close to being defeated. Stephen agreed to a compromise. he ruled her duchy as well. The situation called out desperately for a strong able ruler. Part 5: Medieval Britain (cont'd." Yet. and the Queen had raised an army to defend the city. only to be exchanged for Robert of Gloucester after Matilda had incurred the enmity of the citizens of London. notwithstanding the efforts of the Pope to keep the marriage whole. when his Barons deserted him. Matilda. left for Normandy. The turbulent marriage of the able. with Matilda and her supporters firmly entrenched in the West country. At David's death in 1153. caused by Stephen's failure to recognize Matilda as rightful monarch. When his eldest son Eustace died the same year. Williams. Ph. anxious to set up their own private fiefdoms in England and on occasion. The wars of succession in England. but she was determined on the union and made all the initial overtures. D. Despite Matilda's being proclaimed "Domina Anglorum" at Winchester.

Henry then turned his attention to the Church.29 In England. Making much use of the itinerant justices to bring criminals to trial. which soon led to demands for more say in their own government and the inevitable clash with the Church. He refused to recognize any land grants made by his predecessor and ruled as if Stephen had not even existed. This in turn stimulated the growth of the towns. administrative and financial developments of his thirty-five year reign. political implications and the intolerance of the age. Particularly noticeable were the growth of boroughs. all thirsty for power and not averse to any means whatsoever to get it. Leaving a greater impress upon the institutions of England than any other king. Great changes in Europe also had their effects on the English political system. Any attempts at opposition were suppressed so that by 1158. Sicily had been conquered by the Normans by 1090. however. founding and endowing many religious houses. Motivated by hatred and fear of the Moslems. The continuing clash between Church and King was another matter altogether. Upon his succession. England began to prosper under its able administrators closely watched and guided by their king. After Eustace's premature death in 1154. In the meantime. Henry replaced feudal law by a body of royal or common law. Stephen was unable to garner the support he needed from his Barons. To posterity. the new trading centers. the horse collar made it possible to efficiently transport the heavy blocks of stone for the building of the great cathedrals. shrewdly relying on his close ally Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury to carry out his religious policies. both of which were to have enormous influence on farming methods and transportation. and the Church had consequently refused to recognize his son Eustace as his heir. ever anxious to protect its own areas of interest and those of the merchant classes and rapidly forming guilds. opening up the Western Mediterranean to trade. his court had to rush like mad to keep up with his constant travels and hunting expeditions. As chancellor for eight years from . even if it meant allying with Louis VII and Philip ll of France against their father. complex and slow accumulation of procedures. His boundless energy was the wonder of his chroniclers. Henry immediately took steps to reduce the power of the barons. though he was castigated for keeping many bishoprics vacant to enjoy their revenues for himself. he ruled supreme in England. But he was also a scholar and Churchman. There seem to have been three main factors in the quarrel between Archbishop Becket and King Henry: their differing personalities. four years into his reign. when Stephen was forced to meet Henry at Wallingford. For one thing. was greatly aided by the stimulation of the First Crusade that revived the commerce of Europe by increased contact with the Mediterranean and especially through the growth of Venice. He had quarreled with his Archbishop of Canterbury in 1147. for the union of Henry and Eleanor produced four sons. The drift into towns meant a weakening of serfdom and the Lord's hold upon his demesne. the Italian city-states grew in influence and prosperity. the new towns that were to transform the landscape of the nation during the century and that were ultimately to play such a strong part in its political and economic life. peddlers and artisans. perhaps Henry's greatest accomplishment was to take the English system of law. The problems of succession did not go away. much of it rooted in Anglo-Saxon custom. The growth of towns. fearful that a victory for either side would be followed by a massive confiscation of lands. Henry was duly crowned with general English acclaim. A major innovation was the replacement of the older system of a sworn oath or an ordeal to establish truth by the jury of 12 sworn men. Henry ll was making his mark as one of the most powerful rulers in Europe. Improvements in agriculture included the introduction of the wheeled plough and the horse collar. the great Barons decided to shift any allegiance away from the King of England to the one he was more or less forced to acknowledge as his successor. a cumbersome. he left a legacy of shrewd decisions in the effective legal. who had built up their estates and consolidated their positions during the anarchy under Stephen. serfs left the land to become traders. and stimulated by the Crusades. however. and turn it into an efficient legal system closely presided over by the royal court and the king's justices.

he died after being forced to accept humiliating terms from Philip of France and his son Richard. But upon his release. his sons now broke out in open rebellion. During the last three years of Henry's life. he was captured while returning to England and ransomed in prison in Germany. Becket refused to submit and his angry confrontation with the king was only defused with his escape to exile in France to wage a war of words. Henry had worked out a scheme for the future division of his kingdoms. methodical and trustworthy. his imprisoned queen once more began to plot against him. but especially over Henry's proposal that people in holy orders found guilty of criminal offences should be handed over to the secular authorities for punishment. After Henry had presented his proposals at Clarendon in January 1164. opposing the king even on insignificant. aided by the Queen. she assumed far greater powers than she had enjoyed as his queen. his anger was uncontrollable and the four knights who sped to Canterbury to murder Becket in his own cathedral thought that this was an act desired by the King. During her husband's many absences. he began in earnest to work solely in the interests of the Church.30 1154. the whole of Europe was outraged. Richard l. heir to the duchy of Aquitaine. Becket immediately excommunicated the Archbishop of York and the other bishops who had assisted at the coronation of Henry's oldest son. He found very little support from the English bishops who owed their appointments to royal favor and who were heavily involved on the Crown's behalf in legal and administrative matters. He was energetic. aided by their ambitious. though their lack of cooperation and trust in each other led to Henry eventually being able to defeat them one at a time. he was killed. Normandy and Anjou. John was to get nothing. thus making Becket liable for punishment. In a minor skirmish in Aquitaine. Showing not a sign of his willingness to honor the compromise. but Henry's insistence that it was illegal for Churchmen to appeal to Rome gave the quarrel a much wider significance. Her particular ally against Henry was Richard. and more than Henry's abject penance made the murdered Becket the most influential martyr in the history of the English Church. When the news reached Henry in Normandy. His ferocious pursuit of the arts of war squandered his vast wealth and devastated the economy of his dominions. and possible rebellion from his sons. Under pressure from resistance in Britanny and Aquitaine. in their eyes. For her part. he went back to fighting. King and Archbishop was broken. trivial matters. Richard l (1189-1199): The Warrior King Showing but some of his father's administrative capacity. It was in Normandy that Henry fell ill. . There was hardly any indication that the relationship of Church and State would be completely changed upon Becket's appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury upon Theodore's death in 1161. Henry was to inherit England. After six years in exile. Loudon and Mirebeau as part of a proposed marriage settlement. a position in which he now displayed the same enthusiasm and energy as before. but now sworn to uphold ecclesiastical prestige against any royal encroachments. Eleanor was imprisoned for the remainder of the king's life. Richard was to gain Poitou and Britanny was to go to Geoffrey. she had acted as regent of England. and upon his death in 1189. and an important phase in the struggle between Church and State had been won. This decision was strongly contested by Prince Henry and was a leading factor in the warfare that ensued between the King and his sons. however. sending his son John as "Lord of Ireland" to conduct a campaign that was a complete fiasco. preferred to demonstrate his talents in battle. Henry was forced to give way all along the line. Taking advantage of their father's weakness. Becket was a firm friend of the king with whom he had been a boyhood companion. a compromise was reached and Becket returned to England. whose intransigence made him. The king was determined to turn unwritten custom into written. as a way out. but later was promised Chinon. a fool. supporting his king in relations with the Church. Instead. The dead archbishop was immensely more powerful than the live one. he busied himself in Ireland. but not quite. who succeeded him as King of England in 1189. The triangle of Pope. the Lionheart. this time against Philip ll of France. On a Crusade to the Holy Land in 1191-2. That almost sums up his reign. Canon law was introduced fully into England. They were not willing to give up their powers by supporting the Archbishop. Resigning the chancellorship. scheming mother.

One of these involves the conquest of Cyprus after Berengaria's ship had sheltered near Limassol and had been threatened by the island's ruler. Philip's sister Alice. the composers of lyric poetry that were bringing a civilized tone to savage times and whose influence charted the future course that literature in Europe was to take. From now on. John lost very little time in losing everything that his brother had fought so hard to protect. He died in the siege of a minor castle in a foolish attempt at inspecting his troops. in favor of Princess Berengaria of Navarre. earldoms. But his dominions were constantly threatened by enemies. Though Richard outlawed or excommunicated John's supporters when he returned from overseas. But that was later. castles. had to pay an enormous sum for his chancellorship. towns. in fact. Henry II). Bishop of Ely. and the Crown of England eventually could concern itself solely with running its own affairs free from Continental intrigue. he forgave his brother and promised him the succession. Poitou and Gascony. Unfortunately. A massacre of the Jewish inhabitants of York took place in March. this match. was Hubert Walter. A sad note is that Richard's preparations for the Third Crusade against the Moslems provoked popular hostility in England towards its Jewish inhabitants (who had been formerly encouraged to come from Normandy). for during his reign all the vast Plantagenet possessions in France except Gascony were lost. One favorable legacy that Richard left behind was his patronage of the troubadours. Richard. he appointed able administrators who carried out his plans to sell just about everything he owned: offices. for he had made ample arrangements for the government of his domains. Count of Mortain (who had been miserly treated in the dispositions of their father. and certainly the most important. sheriffdoms. hailed as one of the greatest developments in human rights in history and the precursor of the United States . as feudal overlord of England. were mainly due to the English king's abilities as politician and military leader. in that Cypriot port. lordships. he was able to raise sufficient funds to recover all that Philip had gained in Normandy and to keep his lands intact. He helped keep the country more or less stable during the absence of the adventurer king despite being grievously threatened by the townspeople's protests against taxes and the nobles' protests against Richard's plans to establish a standing army. unless the exploits of this violent and selfish man deserve mention. but prudent bride." was anything but remarkable. married his plain.31 Philip had been a co-Crusader with Richard. a most formidable foe. His ransom was massive. It is a pity that Richard got himself captured in Germany. Archbishop of Canterbury. but his friendship turned to hostility when the Lionheart rejected his betrothed. it included his recognition of Henry VI of Germany. Nonetheless. Normandy. Richard was fortunate to have loyal. John placed heavy fines which led to many Jews fleeing back to the continent. Raymond of Toulouse and his brother John. Justiciar and Chancellor. The successes enjoyed in the Third Crusade against the forces of Saladin. Anjou. son of Frederick Barbarossa. despite the occasional troubles caused by Richard's scheming and ambitious brother John. a process that continued into the reign of Edward l. however. The system that had been developed by Henry ll enabled the country to function quite well. Even his Chancellor William Longchamps. as well as in the duchy of Aquitaine. who included Philip II of France. and Richard's successor. thanks to such as Longchamps in England. when they were expelled from England. The most able of Richard's ministers. William also taxed the people heavily in the service of his master. making himself extremely unpopular and being removed by a rebellion of the Barons in 1191. did not produce an heir and left the way open for the numerous conspiracies hatched by Richard's brother John. In the meantime. the House of Anjou was separated from its links with its homeland. 1190. experienced men to represent him in England. John's mishandling of his responsibilities at home led to increased baronial resistance and to the great concessions of the Magna Carta. King Richard spent all of six months in England. Disaster under King John (1199-1216) There are quite a number of ironies connected with the reign of John. To raise the funds for his adventures overseas. and lands. the reign of one called by a contemporary as the "most remarkable ruler of his times. All in all. consummated for purely political reasons.

Innocent. deserting him in droves. eventually caused him to flee across the Channel. When John reached England. but he had to place England under the direct overlordship of the papacy. lay not with Scotland. Isabella of Gloucester (who had failed to give him a son and heir). even from burying the dead. He then threw everything away by releasing the most dangerous of his prisoners. held captive). John alienated his vassals in Aquitaine by divorcing his first wife. Many Anglo-Norman lords had consolidated major landholdings and were in defiance of . After Richard's death. He also lacked the military abilities of his brother.32 Bill of Rights. To be fair to the unfortunate John. sent by his father to try to complete Henry's plans to bring the feuding Irish chiefs and independent Norman lords to order. the only French lands left to him. His own resources were insufficient to overcome the problems he thus inherited. After all his lands in France were forfeited for his refusal to appear. York had been without an archbishop since 1207 when John's half brother Geoffrey had fled to the continent after a quarrel over church taxes. was the Channel Islands (these nine island have remained under the British Crown ever since and were the only part of the United Kingdom occupied by Nazi forces in World War II). and it was this humiliation that completely destroyed his political credibility. The campaign of 1210 was more successful. They had begun to lose confidence in their feudal lord. He was punished by the Interdict of 1208. He had failed miserably. they had little faith in a victory over the King of France and became weary of fighting John's wars. Not only that." He proved to be a formidable adversary to the English King. but then fritter away any advantage gained in a spell of indolence. and Philip now pressed home his advantage. John refused to accept Stephen Langton. marching to Poitier. It is more than one historian who wrote of John as having the mental abilities of a great king. Their major dispute came over the appointment of the new Archbishop of Canterbury at the death of Hubert Walter in 1205. and taking as his second wife the teenage daughter of the Count of Angouleme. never to return. When John began to direct his attention to matters in England. but the inclinations of a petty tyrant. an Englishman active in the papal court at Rome. it was the end for John's hopes in France. who continued the revolt against him and worse. It was also in John's reign that the first income tax was levied in England. he was unable to gain their confidence. he had Arthur of Britanny killed. Pope from 1198 to 1216 was the first to style himself "Vicar of Christ. Innocent III. a political move that brought him no gain. The King of England's ineptitude and lack of support. John seized the initiative. now under a strong and determined Pope. English priests were forbidden from administering the sacraments. In the meantime. apart from the mistrust of his barons. who was eventually forced to submit by accepting Langton as his primary Church leader. Philip had not been the only one to be upset by John's repudiation of Isabella. though his age and lack of allies prevented him from achieving his aims. Innocent excommunicated John. John had successfully dealt with the problem of Ireland. William the Lion of Scotland seized the opportunity to reassert his country's claim to Northumberland and Cumberland. his English kingdom had been drained of its wealth for Richard's wars in France and the Crusade as well as the exorbitant ransom. When Arthur was murdered. It was the greatest reverse suffered by the English Crown since the Battle of Hastings in 1066. and the behavior of his undisciplined troops quickly led to his ignominious withdrawal from that troubled land. It has been said that John could win a battle in a sudden display of energy. The act alienated just about everybody. and for the next five years. to be collected by the sheriffs. to try to recover his lost lands in France. John introduced his tax of one thirteenth on income from rents and moveable property. but with the Church of Rome. In 1209. and John was summoned to appear before Philip ll his nominal overlord in France. despite winning some victories in some provinces. Most of the bishops left the country. The English barons were also indignant. and seizing young Arthur (and releasing Eleanor of Aquitaine. The King had already been in Ireland. The young woman was already betrothed to Hugh de Lusignan of Poitou. apart from Gascony. however. John's greatest problems.

They preferred to see themselves as the source of all laws and thus above the law. and not France (both Henry II and Richard I had been buried in Anjou). administrative and judicial powers. He placed the royal Justiciar in charge of Ireland and had castles built at Carrickfergus and Dublin to strengthen English control over the country. Henry asked for taxes in a repeat of his revenue-raising efforts that had failed to bring military success in France and a crisis soon erupted. the two most important clauses were 39. Henry lll. son of Philip ll. He allied himself with the Irish chiefs. His burial at Worcester. Part 5: Medieval Britain (cont'd. came to the throne. were now seized on by the majority of English barons who presented their grievances at Runnymede. Archbishop Langton drew up the grievances into a form of statements that constitute a complex document of 63 clauses. Henry had already alienated his leading barons by marrying Eleanor of Provence. even though John reluctantly signed the charter. In fact. When the northern barons refused to help. Baronial rebellion in England was not crushed by the provisions signed at Runnymede. to rule for 56 years. His request for money and arms was the flash point. including the Crown jewels in the marshy area known as the Wash in the county of Norfolk. whose chief grievance was that of punishment without trial. which states that no one could buy or deny justice. John's efforts to bring them to heel proved to be one of the few successes of his seventeenyear reign. Though John's signature meant that baronial grievances were to be remedied. but achieving little. One persistent legend is that he lost all his baggage train. and with their help was able to dispossess the powerful Walter and Hugh de Lacy. the "Great Charter" was something of a compromise. 1215. which states that no one should be imprisoned without trial and 40. Also of particular interest is the provision that taxes henceforth could not be levied except with the agreement of leading churchmen and barons at a meeting to which 40 days notice was to be given. John's plans to re-conquer his former French possessions led to the revolt of his barons. The Barons showed their power by . however. The Magna Carta. a treaty of peace between John and his rebellious barons. In 1212. Only Langton's intervention effected a reconciliation. The most lasting effect of the somewhat vague conditions of the Magna Carta was the upholding of individual rights against arbitrary government. Henry III (1216-1272) And so it was that John's young heir. the charter became almost a manifesto of royal powers. To raise the funds to pay the ever increasing demands of the Bishop of Rome. who brought many of her relatives to England to create an anti-foreigner element into the realm's political intrigues and helped solidify baronial resentment and suspicion of the incompetent. He had to agree to a meeting of "parliament" in which the opposition was led by his brother-in-law Simon de Montfort. all subsequent rulers of England fundamentally disagreed with its principles. D. on June 15. In addition. It was time for the king of England to turn back to France. John took an army to punish the rebels. His continued disregard of feudal law and customs. restrictions were placed on the powers of the king's local officials to prevent them from abusing their financial. Williams. The angry and frustrated king died in October 1216. in later years. John spent the rest of his reign marching back and forth trying to stamp out opposition that was led by Prince Louis of France. most of which were also spent in futile battles with the leading barons of England and his failure to recapture the lost Plantagenet lands in France. but ended in total failure with the defeat by Philip at Bouvines. The expedition to Poitou then proceeded. however. allied to the disgrace of the defeat in France and loss of lands. but pious king.33 royal authority. Weights and measures were regulated.) by Peter N. for the next 450 years. the safety of merchants ensured and the privileges of the citizens of London were confirmed. For posterity. showed that the centre of Plantagenet rule was now firmly established in England. Ph. Henry also tried to take advantage of the Pope's offer of the kingdom of Sicily by making his youngest son Edmund king of that far-off island.

showing much more resolve and military skills than his father.34 drawing up the Provisions of Oxford. The Statute of Mortmain of 1279 had decreed that no more land might be given into the hands to the church without royal license. which greatly aided in the draining of marshes and the milling of grain. who become Oxford University's first chancellor. they captured Henry. defeated de Montfort to restore Henry. and at the decisive battle of Evesham in 1265. had produced a parliament in which commoners sat for the first time. and set up de Montfort as temporary ruler. He was especially gratified at the completion of Westminster Abbey and the reburial of the remains of Edward the Confessor there. Henry's reign also saw the movement away from the monastic ideal to that of the Church working among the people. Henry capitulated." When the king later tried to reassert his authority. Henry's eldest son. All these efforts and the great statutes of Westminster of 1275 and 1285 were so successful in reforming and codifying English law that Edward was given the title of the "English Justinian. great progress was made in the direction of the English Church. During Henry III's long reign. Henry's son Edward. . Edward l enjoyed warfare and statecraft equally. giving them protection in return for a grant of export duties on wool and other agricultural products. the king also established a long-lasting alliance between the Crown and the merchant classes. Knights of the shire and burgesses of the boroughs were called to attend many of the king's parliaments. an important innovation was the introduction of windmills from Holland. Known as Edward Longshanks. He desperately needed this income to fight his Welsh and Scottish wars. the barons once again rebelled. and was determined to succeed in both. his gathering contained all the elements later associated with the word "parliament. Ever anxious to raise funds for his never-ending wars. who enjoyed his last few years in peace. though it took him two years to return. Under de Montfort. Ely and Lincoln and the erection of the magnificent edifice at Salisbury with its spire lasting for many centuries as the tallest man-made structure in England. King Edward immediately set about restoring order in England and wiping out corruption among the barons and royal officials. he was a man whose immense strength and steely resolve had been ably shown on the crusade he undertook to the Holy Land in 1270. The wily king even granted foreign merchants freedom of trade in England in return for additional customs revenues. His great inquiry to recover royal rights and to re-establish law and justice became the largest official undertaking since the "Domesday Book" of two hundred years earlier. that was to prove of immense significance in the future of democracy in England. though ultimately defeated. and of "government by the people and for the people. Most notable among many learned clerics of the period was Robert Grosstested. he had conducted the ailing king's affairs in England during the last years of his father's life. with himself as a "first among equals. not the least of which was the completion of the great cathedrals at Durham. In the country." Edward I (1272-1307) Seen by many historians as the ideal medieval king. for the opposition of de Montfort and the Barons. Bishop of Lincoln. much more than the Magna Carta of John. In 1295. he was forced to acquiesce to the setting up of a Council of Fifteen. setting that institution on the road to its eventual greatness and its enormous influence upon the nation's future leaders. When he finally did arrive to claim his throne." the writs issued to the sheriffs to call the knights and burgesses made it clear that they were to act according to common counsel of their respective local communities." Of equal importance in the future development of the English civilization was Edward's fostering of the concept of representation in a people's parliament. The proceedings took place under the Statute of Gloucester on 1278 and the Statute of Quo Warranto of 1290. The Franciscans and Dominicans were particularly prominent in charitable work in the rapidly growing towns and villages of England. then raised an army. The death of Henry forced his return from Sicily. Though Henry lll in many ways was a weak and vacillating king. and it was this. Wells. his reign produced a great milestone in the history of England.

Llywelyn was slain at Cilmeri. They were a proud people. beginning with Flint right on the English border and extending to Builth in mid-Wales. In order to keep the peace throughout his kingdoms. gain. Giraldus Cambrensis (1146-1243) had this to say about his fellow countrymen: The English fight for power: the Welsh for liberty. in 1240. Gruffudd ap Llywelyn became king of Gwynedd and extended his authority throughout Wales. Huge forbidding castles. the other to avoid loss. he had to accept the position of sub-regulus to Athelstan of Wessex. Llywelyn married King John's daughter Joan and was recognised by Henry III as preeminent in his territories. Under Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. The English king's determination to crush his opposition. In 1204. near Builth. When the English nation forged some kind of national identity under Alfred of Wessex. At his death. Llywelyn took up the cause. Wales was forged into a single political unit. The stubborn Welsh were a thorn in the side of Edward whose ambition was to rule the whole of Britain. Hywel was a lawgiver. whose codification of Welsh law has been described as among the most splendid creations of the culture of the Welsh. When his brother Dafydd rose in rebellion against the harsh repression of his people's laws and customs. Edward then began his castle-building campaign. Conwy. Llywelyn was forced to concede much of his territories east of the River Conwy. Henry's son Edward was given control of all the Crown lands in Wales that had been ceded at the Treaty of Woodstock in 1247. the Welsh put aside their constant infighting to create something of a nation themselves under a succession of strong leaders beginning with Rhodri Mawr (Rhodri the Great) who ruled the greater part of Wales by the time of his death in 877. such as Caernarfon. considering themselves the true Britons. however.35 The Conquest of Wales Visitors to the Wales of today are sometimes astonished to see the extent of Edward's castle-building campaign. Another Norman-Welsh author. He also praised their history. written in the British tongue (Welsh). The tide of affairs then undertook a complete reversal with the accession of Edward I to the throne of England in 1272. Edward's armies were defeated when they first crossed Offas's Dyke into Wales. when he was separated . the one to procure. Geoffrey of Monmouth (1090-1155) had claimed that they had come to the island of Britain from Troy under their leader Brutus. however. Hywel Dda (Howell the Good 904-50). They show the extent to which Edward was determined to crush any Welsh aspirations of independence and to bring the country firmly under royal control. however. According to one chronicler. Llywelyn was not yet finished. At the Treaty of Aberconwy of 1287. In 1039. setting a precedent that was to continue throughout the Norman invasion of Britain. Rhodri's work of unification was then continued by his grandson. recognised as Prince of Wales by Henry in 1267 and ruler of a kingdom set to conduct its own affairs free from English influence. The situation was restored by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. the Welsh "preferred to be slain in war for their liberty than to suffer themselves to be unrighteously trampled upon by foreigners. soon meant that the small Welsh forces were forced into their mountain strongholds. his enormous expenditure on troops and supplies and resistance to Llywelyn from minor Welsh princes who were jealous of his rule. fighting between his sons Dafydd and Gruffudd just about destroyed all their father had accomplished. despite initial successes. Harlech and Beaumaris are listed as World Heritage Sites along with others such as Flint and Rhuddlan. not a military leader. The English hirelings for money." Sadly. and in 1254. the Welsh patriots for their country.

The same year saw the death of the British (Celtic) King of Strathclyde who left no heir. French-speaking Anglo-Norman aristocracy that remained aloof from the majority of the Gaelic-speaking Celtic population. In addition. intent on ridding himself of these stubborn people once and for all. Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon. territories that were in future to be held by the kings of Scotland. It was under the rule of David l. Brother-in-law to the King of England. "the authority of his might. he distributed large estates to his Anglo-Norman cronies who also took over important positions in the Church. and for all intents and purposes. In the Scottish Lowlands he introduced a feudal system of land ownership. imprisoned at Falaise in Normandy. Conwy and Harlech. Wales was divided up into English counties. his throne going to Malcolm's grandson Duncan. Scotland was a free and independent country. The Scots' Road to Independence At roughly the same time that the people of Wales were separated from the invading Saxons by the artificial boundary of Offa's Dyke. thus the kingdom of Alba established by MacAlpin was thrown in upon itself and united against a common foe. In 1018. . Edward made his son (born at Caernarfon castle. Scotland. held by the Scandinavians. The seizure of control over all Norway in 872 by Harald Fairhair caused many of the previously independent Jarls to look for new lands to establish themselves. Duncan became King of a much-expanded Scotland that included Pict-land. In 1034. Stirling. The Scottish border was considerably shifted northwards. the accession of Henry II to the English throne in 1154 had changed everything.36 from his loyal troops. to add insult to injury. was also Prince of Cumbria. founded on a new. It excluded large tracts in the North. was that Scotland became surrounded and isolated. Cumbria and Strathclyde. 1157 Henry's strength. and Edward's troubles with the Welsh were at an end. At the Treaty of Chester. the Shetlands. Thus the humiliation of the Falaise agreement was cancelled. the Angles were finally defeated in this northerly part of Britain and Lothian came under Scottish rule. Wales ceased to exist as a political unit. whose main concern was the Third Crusade. Lothian. Richard showed little interest in running his English kingdom. David.00 marks of silver. and through marriage. got him captured at Alnwich. Desperately needing money to finance his overseas adventures. the kingdom of Scotland had been extended to include the Modern English counties of Northumberland. Jedburgh and Berwick were to be held by England with English garrisons at Scottish expense. Henry II's successor was Richard I. Once again. and forced to acknowledge Henry's feudal superiority over himself and his Scottish kingdom." In Scotland. At David's death in 1153. many of whom became settlers. Orkneys and the Western Isles. Alas. the Scots. His successes in part were due to the threat coming from the raids of the Vikings. The situation seemed permanent when Edward followed up his castle building program by his completion of Caernarfon. Roxburgh." forced Malcolm to give up the northern counties solely in return for the confirmation of his rights as Earl of Huntingdon. he was raised and educated in England by Normans who "polished his manners from the rust of Scottish barbarity." The powerful king could now turn his attention to those other troublemakers. 1284. And there it remained until the rash adventures of William. At the Statute of Rhuddlan. One result of the coming of the Norsemen and Danes with their command of the sea. the strategic castles of edinburgh. Richard freed William from all "compacts" extorted by Henry and restored the castles of Berwick and Roxburgh for a sum of 10. the English court pattern set firmly in place. In 1300. that Norman influence began to percolate through much of southern Scotland. MacAlpin had been creating a kingdom of Scotland. in that mighty fortress overlooking the Menai Straits in Gwynedd) "Prince of Wales. Cumberland and Westmoreland. David had been succeeded by his grandson. Malcolms' brother and successor. Malcolm IV an eleven-year old boy He was no match for the powerful new King of England. There was still no established boundary between Scotland and England. King of Scotland. The old link with Ireland was broken and the country was now cut off from southern England and the Continent. less interested in Scotland and departed for the crusade in 1189. Their "impetuous rashness" was now severely punished by the English king. under MacAlpin's descendant Malcolm II. the ninth son of Malcom III.

Showing a hitherto unshown courage. Scotland was to remain a separate and independent kingdom. The English king's plans for a peaceful relationship with his northern neighbor now took a different turn. Bruce came out of hiding. lavishly-equipped English army under the command of Surrey. judicial authority over the Scottish king in any disputes brought against him by his own subjects and defrayment of costs for the defence of England as well as active support in the war against France. a desire consummated at a treaty signed and sealed at Birgham. The rising tide of nationalist fervor in the face of the arrival of the English armies north of the border created the need for new Scottish leaders. His answer was to strike out boldly. His army was defeated by Edward at Dunbar in April 1296. declaring himself King of Scots. the infant daughter of the King of Norway. won an astonishing victory when it completely annihilated a large. Yet within a few months. With the killing of an English sheriff following a brawl with English soldiers in the marketplace at Lanark. At Stirling Bridge. Aided mightily by . The indefatigable Scottish leader bided his time. including homage from Balliol. though Edward wished to keep English garrisons in a number of Scottish castles. on 10 July. during which two of his brothers were killed. John Comyn. who was now finished as an effective leader and forced into hiding. Edward was ready. with Edward as judge. Soon after at Brechin. somewhere in the Orkney. On her way to Scotland. his re-organized army crushed the over-confident Scottish followers of Wallace. he surrendered his Scottish throne to the English king. a young Scottish knight. leaving as heir his grandchild Margaret. "the coronation stone" of the Scottish kings. We can imagine the shock to the over-confident Edward and the extent to which he sought his revenge. At a meeting of 104 auditors. the strongest of whom were John Balliol and Robert Bruce. Edward had gone too far. in front of the English king he declared that he was the King of Scotland and should answer only to his own people and refused to supply military service to Edward. among them none other than Robert Bruce. After a year of demoralization and widespread English terror let loose in Scotland. Following the battle. suggested that Margaret should marry his son. Flushed with this success. He went north to receive homage from a great number of Scottish nobles as their feudal lord. In exchange for his support. a campaign began to ruthlessly suppress all attempts at reasserting Scottish independence. At Falkirk. but also excommunication from the Church. he then concluded a treaty with France prior to planning an invasion of England. who took into his possession the stone of Scone. Even Balliol rebelled at these outrageous demands. John Balliol was supported by King Edward. Balliol immediately punished this treachery by seizing Bruce's lands in Scotland and giving them to his own brother-in-law. At a meeting between the two surviving claimants for the Scottish throne in Greyfriar's Kirk at Dumfries. Under the terms. a Scottish force led by Wallace. At a parliament which he summoned at Berwick. Overestimating his strength. The succession was now open to many claimants. Edward l viceroy. he sent a large army north. raising the Royal Standard at Scone and. unable to enjoy the consignment of sweetmeats and raisins sent by the English King. the Scottish king was to disappear from the scene. on March 27. thus earning the enmity of the many powerful supporters of the Comyn family. It was time for Robert Bruce to free himself from his fealty to Edward and lead the fight for Scotland. executed many of his supporters and forced the Scottish king to become a hunted outlaw. the young Norwegian princess died. he demanded feudal superiority over Scotland. Robert Bruce murdered John Comyn. who was duly declared the rightful king in November. the English king received homage and the oath of fealty from over two thousand Scots. 1292. the decision went in favor of Balliol.37 A new struggle for control of Scotland had begun at the death of Alexander III in 1286. Edward's reply was predictable. He seemed secure in Scotland. William Wallace found himself at the head of a fast-spreading movement of national resistance. 1306. who owned estates in England. defeated Bruce at the battle of Methven. who believed him to be the weaker and more compliant of the two Scottish claimants. English King Edward. with his eye on the complete subjugation of his northern neighbors.

its armies free to invade and harass northern England. Though English kings still continued to call themselves rulers of Scotland. the clans answered the call and Bruce's forces gathered in strength to fight the English invaders. Sir James Douglas. then he would be dismissed in favor of someone else. just as they called themselves rulers of France for centuries after being booted out of the continent. "the Black Douglas. heavily outnumbered by their English rivals. The armies of Robert Bruce." marched north at the head of a large army to punish the Scots' impudence. begrudgingly.) by Peter N.38 his Chief Lieutenant. and in 1326 their combined forces landed in England to begin active resistance to Edward." he won his first victory on Palm Sunday. She took as her lover the powerful Mortimer. won a decisive victory at Bannockburn. The Declaration of Arboath of 1320 stated that since ancient times the Scots had been free to choose their own kings. as one chronicler put it: "He did not realize his father's ambition. Part 5: Medieval Britain (cont'd. the 24th of June. where his brother Edward had been crowned King by the exuberant Irish. 1307. If Robert Bruce were to prove weak enough to acknowledge Edward as overlord. It was left to his son Edward to try to carry out his father's dying wish. Ph. without any support. D. The aging Edward. 1314 occurred one of the most momentous battles in British history. On Mid-Summer's Day. Misrule in England under Edward II (1307-27) Edward II's miserable failure in Scotland was matched by equal ignominy at home. Such was Bruce's military successes that he was able to invade Ireland. King Edward finally. the so-called "hammer of the Scots. especially enjoying a passionate relationship with the French Piers Gaveston. Bruce was left alone to consolidate his gains and to punish those who opposed him. was forced to surrender his crown in favor of his young son. Edward ll was crowned King of England in 1307. the young king had no wish to get embroiled in the affairs of Scotland. Williams. His gruesome death in prison need not be . a freedom that was a gift from God. The unfortunate king. Scotland was wrenched from English control. Scotland remained fully independent until 1603 (when James Stuart succeeded Elizabeth I). Meanwhile. From all over Scotland. Faced by too many problems at home and completely lacking the ruthfulness and resourcefulness of his father. The disaster at Bannockburn added to the king's ever-plummeting reputation for incompetence and opposition gathered under the Earl of Lancaster. He was no man for the task." One problem was the resurgence of baronial opposition. It didn't help much that the king was overly fond of his male companions. He could only wish that after his death his bones would be carried at the head of his army until Scotland had been crushed. Edward's wife Isabella and their young son had gone to the French court to start their own revolt against the profligate. A second expedition carried out by Edward II north of the border was driven back and the English king was forced to seek for peace. In 1311 he drove out the English garrisons in all their Scottish strongholds except Stirling and invaded northern England. but the now weak and sick king was ineffectual as a military leader. bestirred himself from his dalliances at Court to respond and took a large army north. whom he made Earl of Cornwall. winning many encounters against cavalry with his spearmen. homosexual king. but employing tactics that prevented the English army from effectively employing its strength. Quite simply.

gained his motto "Ich Dien" (I serve). It arrived in England in 1348. Charles V of France had other ideas. It was to avoid confiscation of the duchy by the French king that Edward decided to invade. the Prince of Wales. Gascony was held by the king. its kings had to come to terms with it. years marked by the king's restoration of royal prestige. From 1299 on. Briefly. carried by the black rat and transmitted to humans by fleas and the pneumonia that inevitably followed. and his tactic of using men-at-arms and longbowmen produced the outstanding victories at Crecy in 1346 and at Poitiers in 1356. A floating population of traveling workers came into being. Edward had no control over the outbreak of the Black Death that devastated most of Europe by bringing bubonic plague. The assembly of nobles and administrators who offered advice to the king had begun to insist that they had a right to be summoned. Edward's son. the growth of Parliament. It began over the duchy of Gascony. however. a move that would also help to provide sanction for his French supporters (the title was only given up by the British monarchy in 1802)." for the color of his armor. they had been summoned by the king and parliament to authorize taxes to pay for the military. many statutes were passed to increase the powers of the nobles. The earlier conflict of 1321 between Edward II and his barons had led to the Statute of York one year later that clearly limited the king's powers. but the Commons. and brought his full military might to repudiate the settlement. the beginnings of what is known as "The Hundred Years War" with France. He ruled for fifty years. but it received dramatic attention at the hands of the gifted Marlowe (1564-1593). following a costly war of attrition. the so-called gentry. in fact.39 recounted here. By 1375. The beginning of rule by consensus was firmly established by the time of Edward III's death. It left behind a greatly depleted population. came about as a result of Edward's constant need for finances to support his continental adventures. creating a situation in which many workers could offer their services to the highest bidder. The third major phenomenon. made laborers scarce and thus drove up wages. It had been the combined assembly of prelates. the English king made a peace settlement by which he received southwest France in full sovereignty. known as The Black Prince. . both these classes then expected some recognition in return. as Edward II learned of his peril and ultimate death. Parliament took action to curtail many royal perquisites. The Hundred Years War began when Edward took up arms against his overlord. Edward's policy of launching lightning raids deep into France was initially successful. Philip IV. knights and burgesses. At Crecy. that had shown their own increasing power by demanding the abdication of Edward in 1326. also depended upon for revenue. however. the middle class landholders in the various counties were also taking part in the political debate. the only fragment left to the Angevin kings of England (apart from the Channel Islands) of their French possessions. Edward had lost most of his gains. the King of France. England Revives Under Edward III (1327-77) The murdered king's successor. as a vassal of his powerful overlord. The Magna Carta had been primarily a concern of the barons to protect their interests against the king. Perhaps as many as one half of the country's population died before the scourge suddenly came to an end in 1350. used as part of the insignia of the present Prince of Wales. quickly spreading inland from its port of entry and within one year had affected all of Britain. for its chief port Bordeaux shipped huge quantities of wine that provided a much needed source of income for the English Crown in customs revenues. the growth of parliamentary privilege in England and the devastating results of the plague known as the Black Death. It was an extremely valuable asset. however. also increased its influence at the expense of the king. A crisis occurred in 1341-43 over Edward's finances. In 1360. When Edward I also imposed heavy taxes on the clergy and offered special favors to the merchants. Edward III began his reign at the age of fourteen. Edward was also successful in capturing Calais in 1347 which was to remain in English hands for over two hundred years. Edward also re-enforced his claim to the French crown by assuming the title of King of France. Since then. It was apparent that a new political society had been brewing ever so gradually but ever so strongly in England.

Sir John Mandevill. he was faced with the mass popular uprising known as the Peasants' Revolt. England. Four years after Richard acceded to the throne. who had now taken the initiative in ousting royal favorites. The gradual disintegration of royal authority brought about by diplomatic and military failures produced the serious confrontation of the so-called Good Parliament of 1376. In 1362. and John Wycliffe. Though King Edward. Great economic and political developments were changing the face of Europe forever. watching the soldiers of Henry. The Duke's second marriage was to Constanza of Castile. enforced after a rule of 22 years of great social unrest and baronial discontent. but the English language continued to be used in parliamentary rolls and statutes and ultimately replaced French to become the official language of the country. Richard had become king at the age of ten. and the first use of the judicial procedure known as impeachment took place. was the age of Geoffrey Chaucer. His reign also coincided with the period of the French Wars. The king's own lack of judgement only precipitated his eventual abdication. highly praised by his contemporaries as a period without parallel in the history of England for its "beneficent.40 Another important phenomenon taking place in England in the 14th century must not be overlooked. to Blanche of Lancaster. betrayed his master that day by running to greet the triumphant Henry. the vast variety of Middle English dialects notwithstanding. advance from the direction of Chester. in summing up his long reign. Parliament passed an act to make English the official language of pleadings in the law courts. The last ten years of the glorious reign of Edward lll. in its lonely position on the Dee estuary in Northeast Wales. By the end of the 14th century. an enormous number of borrowings came into English at this time from Latin." The resulting dismissal of some of the king's advisors and financiers meant that it was the commons. Edward the heir to the throne was painfully ill and dying. Flint townspeople still relate that the king's ever-present companion. King Richard stood on the ramparts of Flint Castle. The principal grievance was that Edward's councillors and servants "were not loyal or profitable to him or the kingdom. Because Latin was a spoken language among clerics and men of learning. Math's ghost is now said to howl nightly in the ruins of the ancient castle. through his powerful Councillor John of Gaunt. all of whom wrote in the English language. not the barons. his greyhound Math. There were many grievances to be dealt with by the Good Parliament and a committee was set up of leading prelates and nobles to deal with them. that ate away at his treasury and caused constitutional crises at home. a standard form of written English had come into being. 1399. was governed by a powerful council of nobles. Richard had already been betrayed by the Earls of Northumberland and Arundel who had persuaded him to leave the safety of Conwy Castle to journey to Flint." was marred by constitutional crises. supervised by the Richard's uncle. we can praise his remarkable ability to accommodate the interests of so many of his subjects. John Gower. A King is Deposed: Richard II (1377-99) One sorrowful day in August. a poll tax was adopted by the government the unfair distribution of which caused massive resistance (much like the one initiated by the government of Margaret . John Barbour. No wonder a cult of Edward lll as a wise and benevolent king quickly grew in England. This. His own reign saw the unleashing of forces completely beyond his control. Poor Richard! He certainly had delusions of grandeur. That the king himself was in his dotage hardly helped matters. merciful and august rule. a union that forced a great deal of his attention to acquiring the throne of that Spanish kingdom. but many of his attempts to establish a realm of royal absolutism were to come to fruition only in the reign of his successor. still held shackled by great war debts. Resistance from the lawyers prevented its full implementation. Duke of Lancaster. rather than French. sought some measure of revenge by nullifying almost everything the parliament had sought to put in place. A speaker was appointed to act as the Commons' chairman and representative. It was a cult that made it very difficult for his successors. John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster by virtue of his first marriage. too. The Good Parliament had also seen one of the most serious attacks on the Crown during the whole later Middle Ages. To raise funds for the French war.

Richard had greatly overreached his powers by appropriating the lands of the Duchy of Lancaster after the death of John of Gaunt in 1399. including the Dukes of Lancaster and Norfolk demanded trial for Richard's friends. He also incurred the enmity of the citizens of London. Richard was outraged. His despotic measures. then no man's land was safe in England. arrogant man. lavished gifts upon his favorites and spent huge sums of money on extravagant court feasts. who introduced the handkerchief to England. imposed additional taxes. down to the poorest of is subjects. coming of age. whose leaders could always appeal to Rome against any royal encroachment on their privileges. The great revolution of 1399 was an assertion of the rights of Englishmen to constitutional government. The last straw was Richard's attempt to make Parliament the instrument of destruction of its own liberties (a political move carried out with much greater success by Henry VIII many generations later). his extravagant tastes. that his nobles had regarded with loathing his patronage of the arts. and his assertion that it was high treason to try to repeal his statutes. It did not help Richard. Richard regarded his coronation as giving him the right to keep royalty from being dishonored by any concessions to anyone. When he found a pretence to banish both Bolingbroke and Mowbray (Dukes of Lancaster and Norfolk). his appeals to the Pope to obtain confirmation of his measures all combined to force the barons to acquiesce in his deposition. His will directed that he be given a royal funeral. If the great house of Lancaster could lose its property to the king. Richard devoted all his energies to the establishing of a despotism that was out of place in the England of his time. The nobles had grown too powerful and Richard's insistence that he was the sole source of English law. alienated the barons. he then showed he meant business by having their leaders executed. The articles of deposition setting forth the charges against the king were just as uncompromising as his own absolute doctrine. When de Vere raised an army. leading to his ultimate deposition. thus it bears an uncanny resemblance to the great revolt of the American Colonies some centuries later. including de Vere. without whose support no king of England could now successfully govern. in an attempt to reassert royal prerogative. not bound by custom. his choice of favorites and his effeminate ways. Richard believed he had a free hand to begin his aim of ruling by absolute fiat. Neither the time nor the place was right for the establishment of an absolute monarchy. He was repudiated by his nation. The rebels marched on and occupied London. he was defeated.41 Thatcher many hundreds of years later). who sided with Duke Henry of Lancaster. that they had no intention of keeping. This was the ultimate blunder that led directly to its downfall. and the "Merciless Parliament of 1388 tried an executed many of Richard's followers. it turned out. began his majority by dispensing with a council altogether. Perhaps scared for the safety of his Crown. nullifying measures passed by both Lords and Commons. did not sit too highly with those who thought otherwise. It seems that his ideas. from the Pope himself. The young king pacified the angry mob when their leader Wat Tylor was killed. through the leading barons. Richard and his advisors hastily promised charters of emancipation and redress of grievances to the rebel leaders. but also with the powerful English Church. promises. The principal grievances were the same. a greedy. The kings' tampering with the will of Parliament. but in 1389. . A group of nobles known as the Lords Appellant. coupled with his attempts to create a written constitution that would serve the rights of the crown for ever. In 1386. This not only brought him into conflict with his barons. Richard's major problem was that he had high ideas of his own dignity and of the power of the divine right of kings. originally formed into a system of defence against the papacy (growing increasingly powerful in the affairs of Europe) were formulated into a doctrine of absolute monarchy. the king had given the title of Marquis of Dublin to Robert de Vere. The future Henry IV was thus acting as the champion of property rights when he met Richard at Flint Castle. he then squandered the support of his lords in Parliament by going too far. An outbreak of rioting followed attempts to collect the tax from the poorer classes. He raised a private army.

had been deposed (a theme that provided Shakespeare with so much material in his "Richard II"). His conquest of Normandy and his acquisition of the throne of France made him a legend in his own time. King Henry V. he was able to overcome most of the troubles that were a legacy from Richard. A tripartite alliance among Owain. Henry Percy of Northumberland (Hotspur) was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury. ridding its people of its usurper monarch. Owain's other ally. of a prominent Welsh border family. Henry V (1413-22) The reign of Lancastrian hero Henry V was not a long one. D. the other led by Richard. Of the serious threats he had to deal with. properly anointed and recognized by the Church. certainly if we think of him solely as a warrior-king. commanded by the ever resourceful. as troubled as it was by constant wrangling over the king's expenses. at first successful in reclaiming much Welsh territory and capturing English strongholds on and within the borders. Louis of Orleans was assassinated and the promise of French aid was not fulfilled. leaving the throne to the charismatic warrior. Uncertainty as to the future of Wales and the repressive measures of successive English kings following Edward IÍs conquest of their nation found expression in the general uprising under Owain. Thus Henry succeeded in keeping his shaky throne intact. Through this alliance. One problem with Henry's usurpation of the throne was the setting of a dangerous precedent: a rightful king. the King of Scotland was taken prisoner by the armies of England. ever mindful that they were the true Britons. Henry was most troubled by the revolt of the Welsh under Owain Glyndwr. It was thus up to Henry to consolidate the powers of the monarchy. however. constitutionalism triumphed in England. Social unrest and racial tension underlay much of the resentment of the Welsh people. Duke of Lancaster. husband of Anne Mortimer. who was disgruntled by his excommunication and imprisonment for heresy. sister of . England Triumphant: Henry IV (1399-1413) Henry of Bolingbroke was renowned as a fighting man. For a short time at least. It could have been a glorious one. Owain's fight for Welsh independence was betrayed by fellow Welshman David Gam. He had travelled extensively in Europe and the Mediterranean before overthrowing the unpopular Richard (who died a mysterious death. They thus asserted the right of Parliament to elect the fittest person from within the royal family. the Earl of Northumberland and Henry Mortimer looked as if it would succeed in dismembering England. fearless in leading his troops into battle and winning his military victories against seemingly-impossible odds. fighting for the English. King Henry then quickly dealt with other rebellions. Who can find fault with his dream of ultimately uniting all of Christian Europe against the infidel? Henry's brief reign. who was executed for his audacity. descendants of Brutus and rightful heirs to the kingdom. Two rebellions had to be dealt with: one led by Sir John Oldcastle. Richard Scrope.) by Peter N. Williams. Unfortunately for the future of the kingdom. Part 5: Medieval Britain (cont'd. son of John of Gaunt and grandson of Edward lll to the throne. Glyndwr (Owen Glendower) had himself crowned Prince of Wales and called a parliament at Machynlleth. Earl of Cambridge. Ph.42 By elevating Bolingbroke. the passing over of the elder branch of the royal house in favor of the House of Lancaster meant the eventual reasserting of the claims of the House of York and the consequent Wars of the Roses with their attendant anarchy. later Henry V. He died after a long illness in 1413. ever able military strength of young Prince Henry. Wales had to wait almost 600 years for its next people's assembly. and his cause was lost. Military aid was promised from the king of France. probably due to starvation while in prison). including one led by Archbishop of York. Then it all unraveled for the conspirators. and it was to his advantage to utilize Parliament to bolster his position and counter the ever-present threats to his throne and challenges to his position as chief lawgiver. did not get off to a good start at home. the nobles passed over Richard's nearest heir.

His ideas were then preached with great zeal by the Lollards. Louis of Orleans and the other by the king's uncle. The first one owed a great deal to the earlier attempts of English monarchs to make their country more independent of Rome. also suffered the same fate. took as her next husband Owen Tudor of Wales. The resulting outbreak of civil war paralyzed France for a generation. mounted knights completely unable to maneuver in the marshy lands and cut down by the skill of Henry's mercenary archers. Wycliffe went so far as having the Bible translated into English. making it accessible to all who could read. After years in hiding. including burning Lollards at the stake. remaining in England. but it had been meeting with increasing resistance.43 Edmund Mortimer the nearest legitimate claimant to the throne by descent from Edward lll. against the Royal House of Lancaster. and not the Church. Their demands were premature. had declared that the Bible. There was also the matter of the Papal Schism. for religious dissent also constituted a grave threat to the stability of the realm. one headed by the king's younger brother. and younger brother of the Duke of York. and not just the classically educated clergy. The latter had designs on complete control of the government of France. The Dauphin fled Paris. was thus free to embark on his French adventures. the second to the continuing claims of the heirs of Richard ll to the Crown of England. it was declared that on the death of Charles VI his throne should be given to "his only true son. supported by an effective. especially the incompetence of Charles V's son and heir Charles VI. and King Henry IV. after escaping from the Tower of London. disciplined royal council. By the Treaty of Troyes of 1420. After all. Contemporary events in France greatly favored the implementation of Henry's claims in that country. with the able assistance of ultra-conservative Archbishop Arundel had undertaken stern measures to combat their ideas. who also suffered from bouts of insanity. he was eventually betrayed. Henry VI (1422-71) . Bitter rivalries tore asunder the French Court. was accused of organizing a Lollard rebellion. reformer John Wycliffe. a cause aided by the assassination of Orleans in 1407. Philip of Burgundy. captured and executed and his followers dispersed. During the reign of Edward lll. now married to the Princess Catherine. whose support had been crucial for Henry. leaving Queen Isabella (during one of her husband fits of insanity) to come to term with the victorious English king. the way was open for Henry to take possession of Normandy. a boyhood friend of Henry V." Henry V of England. many recruited in Wales. Both plots were foiled by the decisive action of the king's supporters and Henry. it needed a representative of Rome at Canterbury to sanction the accession to power of the English monarch. the French army attacked the motley crew that made up the English forces at Agincourt using the same tactics that failed them in the earlier slaughter. We can only surmise what the political future of both France and England might have been had Henry not died during one of his French campaigns in 1422. The rebellion of Richard. The Catholic Church had been steadily increasing its demands upon the English treasury. was fatally stabbed by a former supporter of the murdered Orleans while arranging the negotiations. with consequences we shall deal with later. all of who condemned many practices of the established Church. was the true guide to faith. This was hardly a situation that created confidence in the Holy Catholic Church. The English king could welcome this novel idea as long as it didn't lead to attacks on his own prerogative. Oldcastle. In the meantime. The heir to the English throne was less than one year old. the King of England took immediate advantage and took his army across the Channel. Forgetting anything or everything they had learned at Crecy in the previous century. Earl of Cambridge. leaving the Duke of Gloucester as regent in England and the Duke of Bedford as regent in France. The powerful Duke of Burgundy. with rival popes in Rome and Avignon. Following Agincourt. but the English king had no serious rivals in France to thwart his ambition. The result was an even bigger disaster for the over-confident French with appalling losses among their heavily armed. Queen Catherine.

At the battle of Tewkesbury. whose family had adopted its emblem a white rose as a Yorkist badge.. He had come to the throne as an infant. His son Edward was then supported in his claims by the formidable Earl of Warwick (Warwick the kingmaker). Henry found himself back in prison at the Tower where he was executed. His joy at being restored to the throne was short-lived. and thus a battle was necessary to try to settle the matter." but he was driven into exile one year later when Warwick had the Yorkist prince crowned as Edward lV.44 In a reign lasting almost fifty years. the bloody conflict nevertheless managed to exterminate most of the English aristocracy as its fortunes swung back and forth between the two sides. They released the poor. at the same time. Perhaps we can blame bad luck for the king's misfortunes. but the former Henry had . Richard of York." In France. his only son and on many occasions. Under the inspired leadership of a peasant girl from Domremy. the constant feuds of the kings' relatives. Henry had been recaptured by his "manly queen. Henry stayed behind as fugitive. he was also controlled by his wife Margaret of Anjou. he then defeated Queen Margaret and killed her husband's son Edward. the boy whose rights had been passed over by parliament in 1399. Henry and Margaret had to flee to Scotland. The fires that burned Joan also ignited the latent forces of French nationalism. When his wife left to drum up support in France. Warwick then switched his allegiance to Margaret and their joint invasion forced King Edward to flee to the Continent. despite a few desultory successes after the death of Henry V. but York was killed at Wakefield when Margaret led an army against him in 1460. England was ruled by Richard. During bouts of mental illness. In particular. In marked contrast to the good order of his father. Agincourt might as well not have happened. they were gradually forced to give up all they had gained under Henry V except the single port of Calais. During the long years of attrition that followed. There were now two kings ruling England. Though he was interested in education. self-serving courtiers and advisors only hastened the onset of civil war. known as Joan of Arc. King Henry and Margaret had adopted the red rose as the symbol of the House of Lancaster. No wonder Henry had fits of insanity. with aid from Charles the Bold of Burgundy and at Barnet in 1471. but Henry was never a ruler in his own person. Never really involving more than armed clashes between small bands of noblemen with their private retainers. The Wars of the Roses began in 1453. Richard returned to claim the throne for himself. created a situation bordering on anarchy. heir to the son of Richard II. led the anti-Lancastrian party. the monarchy was rapidly losing its prestige. his reason. French resistance was revitalized. It duly took place in 1461 at Towton. Richard of York. used to rule. the country being governed by a regency dominated first by his uncles of the House of Lancaster and later by the Beauforts. Later chroniclers praised his good qualities and Henry VII even sought his canonization. raised the standard of revolt to begin the thirty-year period of civil war that wracked the whole nation. but when Henry was later captured at the Battle of Northampton. He returned to England in 1471. and both Eton College and Kings College. bewildered Henry from the Tower of London to be recognized as king again. Joan was eventually captured by the ever-treacherous Burgundians and sentenced to death for heresy by a Church court. Henry VI lost two kingdoms. for Edward was not finished. After 1435 and the death of the Duke of Bedford. In England. the complete fiasco of the reign of Henry Vl ultimately led to that sad period in English history known as "The Wars of the Roses. becoming a national martyr after she had nobly perished in the bonfire at Rouen in 1431. certainly his bad judgement. things went from bad to worse for the English occupiers. the English armies found themselves virtually leaderless in the face of increasing French strength. Henry's employment of ambitious. when the birth of a son to King Henry precluded the possibility of a peaceful succession.. only to be imprisoned once more. Cambridge were founded during his reign. he defeated and killed Warwick. despite the avowed saintliness of the king. They managed to force Richard of York into exile. the bloodiest engagement of the whole war and a disaster for the House of Lancaster. Orleans relieved and the Dauphin crowned at Reims as Charles VII. descended from Edward lll. In addition to being dominated by the Duke of Suffolk. A compromise was then effected that would allow him to reign after Henry's death. Duke of York as protector.

Both periods were marked also by his extreme licentiousness. but regarded as an unfit bride for a king. (It had been Hastings who had informed him of the late King's death and the ambitions of the Queen's party). he could never cleanse himself of the suspicion surrounding the . Edward and Richard. His rivals had been defeated and the prospects for a long. and the second in which he enjoyed a period of relative peace and security. Edward had allowed Richard to govern that part of the country. seeking to redress government abuses and the lack of input into the arbitrary decisions of the king and council. When Edward married Elizabeth Woodville. It is one thing to kill a rival in battle but it is another matter to have your brother's children put to death. There were also fears that he may use his influence to avenge the death of his brother Clarence at the hands of the Queen's supporters. Though the new king busied himself granting amnesty and largesse to all and sundry. with the results that have forever blackened their guardian's name in English history. freed himself from involvement in France by accepting a pension from the French King. Edward's coronation was set for June.45 completely failed as a ruler. and all in all. but Richard had her brother and father killed. stable reign looked promising. the first in which he was chiefly engaged in suppressing the opposition to his throne. it showed only too clearly that arbitrary decisions by those in power could be strongly protested by those without. And Richard was supported by the powerful Duke of Buckingham. who had rewarded his loyalty with many northern estates bordering the city of York. By being suspected of this evil deed. After his immediate acceptance. Richard III (1483-85) Richard of Gloucester had grown rich and powerful during the reign of his brother Edward IV. Richard planned his coup. a commoner of great beauty. where he was known as "Lord of the North. anxious to restore her influence in the north. He then had his other young nephew Richard join Edward in the Tower. in the protection of Richard of Gloucester. remained a popular monarch. His reign is marked by two distinct periods. convincing his own followers of the need to have Lord Hastings executed for treason. but also had to deal with the serious revolt of the middle classes led by Jack Cade. Edward lV (1461-83) Edward began his reign in 1461 and ruled for eight years before Henry's brief return. Richard had the young prince of Wales placed in the Tower. he then rode to Westminster and was duly crowned as Richard III. the Duke of Clarence. First he divided the ruling Council. His brother. His reign had not only seen civil war. He was never seen again though his uncle kept up the pretence that Edward would be safely guarded until his upcoming coronation. Though the rebellion failed. the Duke of Gloucester headed a council in the north. After a series of skirmishes with the forces of the widowed queen. invested his own considerable fortune in improving trade. Clarence continued his activities against his brother during the second phase of Edward's reign. We can understand Warwick's switch to Margaret and to Edward's young brother. The queen herself took sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. He levied few subsidies. but he was praised highly for his military skills and his charming personality. when we learn that he had hoped the king would marry one of his own daughters. One day after that set for Edward's coronation. Then it all unraveled for the treacherous King. his involvement in a plot to depose the king got him banished to the Tower where he mysteriously died (drowned in his bath). even Warwick turned against him. Richard condemned himself. who had married into the Woodville family against his will. He left two sons." The new king was a minor and England was divided over whether Richard should govern as Protector or merely as chief member of a Council. it is said that his sexual excesses were the cause of his death (it may have been typhoid). Richard was able to pressure the assembled Lords and Commons in Parliament to petition him to assume the kingship. Richard's competence and military ability was a threat to the throne and the legitimate heir Edward V. Edward had meanwhile set up a council with extensive judicial and military powers to deal with Wales and to govern the Marches. 1483.

the kingdom of Britain had become a great sea-power. enjoyed an unparalleled growth in literature and drama. competent royal administration. At the beginning of Henry VII's reign the Wars of the Roses were still pitting the Houses of York and Lancaster against each other for the throne. and in the face of his weak claim to be the legitimate ruler. a battle that was as momentous for the future of England as had been Hastings in 1066.46 murder of the young princes. thus bringing together the white rose of York and the red of Lancaster. The king was defeated and killed at Bosworth Field in 1485. Their son Edmund was granted the title of Earl of Richmond. James VI. a name of great historical significance to the people of Wales. Henry VII (1485-1509) The victor at Bosworth Field was Henry Tudor. Williams. Much of Wales. for all intents and purposes. He effectively dealt with the early Yorkist threat to the throne when he defeated a conglomeration of rebels under Lambert Simnel. the last of the Tudors. His grandfather. Though his claim to the throne was tenuous and few in England could even hope that stability had at last come to that troubled land. D. on his mother's side. he was to begin a dynasty that lasted 118 years. The battle ended the Wars of the Roses. After all. it was generally felt in the principality that a Welsh ruler had now come to the land. experienced vast economic and social change and suffered (and more or less settled) the tumultuous problems of the great European Reformation. brought up in France. Henry had a lot to think about when he defeated Richard. had been a household clerk of Catherine of Valois. Part 6: From Reformation to Restoration by Peter N. now rejoiced in Henry's victory. Then he dealt with Perkin Warbeck. The problem of Wales was more easily settled. could have been a wellmanaged. They identified with the new ruler. but when Henry assumed the throne. He had his own son Edward invested as Prince of Wales. The people of Wales showed little interest one way or the other. nephew of Edward lV and Richard III. Henry's victory at Stoke. the problem of the succession was an English one. The rebellion against him started with the defection of the Duke of Buckingham whose open support of the Lancastrian claimant overseas. Wales and the Marches were quite content to be ruled by the King's Council. whom he married after the death of her husband Henry V. Henry Tudor." impugned the legitimacy of his own brother and his young nephews and stigmatized Henry Tudor's royal blood as bastard. after all. and thus heir to his throne. specifically barred from the succession. had the good sense to marry Elizabeth of York. Along with the support of the King of Scotland. pushed forward to claim the throne as the supposed Earl of Warwick. a quarter Welsh (a quarter French and half English). in the English Midlands. in 1487 marked the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. His victory was due as much to the king's allies deserting him on the field of battle as much as it was to Henry's own determination and courage. transformed a situation which had previously favored Richard. Little England had become unrecognizable in its unswerving path toward world domination in so many different areas. . Earl of Richmond. who seemed proud of his Welsh lineage and showed that he recognized it. and Henry himself. ever conscious of their long history as true Britons and heirs of the illustrious King Arthur. eldest daughter of Edward lV. Warbeck foolishly led an army composed mostly of Cornishmen against Henry but was defeated and beheaded. especially the gentry. It was not easy going for the new king. It certainly helped that Henry named his son and heir Arthur. Consequently. Ph. the victory of Henry Tudor and his accession to the throne conveniently marks the end of the medieval and the beginning of England's modern period. but revulsion soon set in to destroy what. It didn't help Richard much that even before he took the throne he had denounced the Queen "and her blood adherents. a desperate gamble. and for all intents and purposes. Welshman Owen Tudor. who posed as the younger of the princes who had been murdered in the Tower. he was descended from the offspring of John of Gaunt and his mistress. By the end of t Elizabeth IÍs reign. Henry had landed in West Wales to begin his march that culminated at Bosworth.

D. John Cabot's voyages put the English flag on the shores of North America. Right away he began his policy of "dynastic extermination. But the king had not reckoned on the obstinacy of Charles V. they were qualities highly sought in a king. the solution seemed simple enough: he would have to get his marriage annulled and marry the young. Earl of Surrey. he left much of the administration in Wolsey's able hands. the grandson of Buckingham. He was a man who loved music. we have to remember the infertility of the Tudors. but also reinvigorating the administration of law on both the national and local level. Cardinal Pole. for Henry's daughter Margaret married King James IV of Scotland. His prudence. the repercussions of Arthur's premature death can be said to have led to the later success of the Reformation in England. it was a welcome relief when he was succeeded by the amiable. becoming elected cardinal for his spirited attack on the English monarch. who had married Catherine of Aragon when both were in their teens.47 The king could now concentrate on his governmental reforms. he revived the Court of the Star Chamber to deal with problems that mostly involved the nobility. but it was not. the nephew of Catherine and. Considered by his contemporaries as a true renaissance prince. thus his family was chosen for elimination. Henry had no heir of his own other than Princess Mary. It was Henry who introduced the Yeomen of the Guard. Henry secured his position as king by firm and effective government.) by Peter N. All male children born to Catherine and Henry had died. the most powerful monarch in Europe. caution and wisdom were praised by historian Polydor Vergil as best suited to his age. and those who failed to support his efforts to have the marriage annulled were quickly to feel his wrath. the Countess of Salisbury (sister to the Earl of Warwick) and in 1546. Part 6: From Reformation to Restoration (cont'd. Henry also took control of the government's finances. which was having problems of its own trying to remain independent from the growing power of European monarchies. more importantly. it was unthinkable at the time that a woman should rule England. his use of statutes to raise money raised some hackles. All seemed well. fertile Anne Boleyn. willing and it was to be hoped. the poet Henry Howard. As the king enjoyed other pursuits. Thomas Wolsey joined the king's council in 1509. In one way. Williams. and he reinvigorated the system of Justices of the Peace to keep tight control of the towns and parishes and ensure respect for the Crown. a curse that was to haunt them. Henry VIII (1509-1547) After the reign of the avaricious. As Henry had married his brother's widow. attractive. appointing him Lord Chancellor in 1515. Henry was just as obstinate. In understanding the spate of executions and the ridding of even those with the slightest of claims to the throne. the first year of Henry's long reign." showing his bent by getting rid of the Duke of Buckingham. He then appeared as a legate at the Council of Trent and played no significant part in English affairs until the accession of Mary. duplicitous Henry Tudor. but the subsequent remarriage of the Spanish Princess to Arthur's younger brother (who later became Henry VIII) created a major problem with the Catholic Church. son of the Countess of Salisbury led the opposition to the king. cementing in place not only the combined power of monarch and Parliament. Pole had earlier gone to Paris in 1529 to seek a favorable opinion of Henry's claims in the matter of the divorce. the virtual keeper of the Pope. centred in Westminster. real or imagined. a man who brooked no opposition. had unforeseen consequences. It also meant the eventual unification of the Scottish and English Crowns. the colorful "beefeaters" still to be seen at the Tower. At Westminster. paid him handsomely to stay away). the great marinerexplorer was supported by the king's grants of money and ships. . athletic Henry VIII. in any case. Henry was also interested in books and learning. The marriage may not have been consummated. Ph. but he always had the excuse of needing extra cash to fight the French (who. the son of an Ipswich butcher began his rapid rise to some of the highest offices in the land. He later sided with Charles V against the king. soundly supported by adequate finances and backed by a strong legal system. the military arts. The country was at peace and able to enjoy a great increase in trade with the Continent. But all this was later. The premature death of Prince Arthur. Henry proved just as ruthless as his father. In the meanwhile. and was interested in building England's navy.

He died on his way to face the king. To be fair to Charles. the king himself had no great desire for a complete separation. twenty-two other Englishmen were also burned at the stake for refusing to accept Catholicism. when fears arose of an expected invasion from France. He was thus discarded when he was no longer useful to the king. The official break with Rome came in April 1533 with the passing of the Act of Restraint of Appeals that decreed "this realm of England is an empire. but Henry had been given the title "Defender of the Faith" by Pope Clement for his efforts to keep the forces of Protestantism at bay in England. Henry married the pregnant Anne Boleyn and upon the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury. and the Catholic Church in disarray. Henry made it quite plain that he wished for a quick divorce. considered by many to be the architect of the English Reformation. Henry obtained his divorce regardless of Charles V and the Pope. Then. Cromwell was ruthless in carrying out the policies of Henry. including those of Archbishop of York. with the teachings of Martin Luther reaching into all corners of Europe. Though Sir Thomas Moore. The Pope duly excommunicated both Cranmer and Henry. In his passion for the beautiful Anne and his desire for a male heir. the dissolution of the monasteries in Britain proceeded at a rapid pace. but the ." It was in Henry's own interest to give free reign to his chief minister. Perhaps the break away of England was inevitable. events moved even more rapidly. in the words of a Venetian ambassador. he was more interested in Italy than what happened to his aunt. but it is safe to say he probably sneaked in many of his own. His dismissal and the charges against him also point out only too well the declining influence of the universal Church in politics. After 1534. Because of Wolsey's failure in the matter he was banished from court and eventually summoned to trial on a charge of treason. however. with Henry at variance with the imprisoned and demoralized Pope." One month later Archbishop Cranmer declared that the Kings' marriage to Catherine of Aragon was null and void. Dissenters known as the Lollards were also increasing their attacks on the malpractices of the Catholic bishops. but the dilemma of the royal divorce ultimately proved too much for him. a man initially beloved of the king and Bishop Fisher were executed for refusing to acknowledge Henry's claim as Head of the Church in England. All his acquisitions of wealth and power had come to nought to the king's benefit. a court by which the nobility was kept in check. He simply used the authority of the state and the so-named Reformation Parliament that was first called in 1529 and that. like so many others in the kingdom. We have already had an inkling of what was to come when John Wycliffe. Ann Boleyn was duly crowned Queen. but only so far. but matters came to a head with the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell. however earned. it was the Emperor Charles V that presented the biggest obstacle. There was no Catholic uprising in Britain. Cardinal and Papal Legate. There was no break with Rome on matters of dogma. for he had just defeated his major European rival Francis l and taken Pope Clement VII prisoner. in a fossilized state. "ruling the kingdom. Wolsey himself had begun the matter. The medieval church was moribund. Henry still considered himself a staunch Catholic. The growth of nation-states independent from Rome would be a recurring theme of Europe for the next few hundred years. politics and social conditions. Wolsey.48 The ambitious Wolsey then acquired other offices in rapid succession. he tried to get himself elected Pope. Now. had preached his revolutionary idea that grace could come from a reading of the Bible and not from the benefit of Church and clergy. during the reign of Edward III. giving birth to Elizabeth but three months later. The Act of Supremacy of that year declared that the king was the Supreme Head of the Church of England and the Pope officially designated merely as the Bishop of Rome. was completely undone by his failure to get Henry his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. out of touch with the vast changes that had been taking place in economics. In 1533. Charles was not the only one who obviously felt that monarchs should live up to their titles. retaining his title of "Defender of the Faith" and obviously proud of such an appellation. for the next seven years. mainly for ready cash to found chanceries and schools. On two occasions. effectively destroyed the medieval church in England. and William Tyndale was busy translating the New Testament into English. appointed Thomas Cranmer to do his bidding in that office. the floodgates of the Reformation were let loose. for they were an easy target to satisfy Henry's need for vast amounts of money for coastal defenses and for the strengthening the navy. Again. Wolsey had greatly increased the work of the Court of Chancery and the Star Chamber.

The bishop's house at St. had been highly sought after by Henry V for his campaigns in France. that "the monastic life should not be equated with the virtuous life "and that the monasteries themselves were "a backward-looking anachronism. thus the monasteries were destroyed and their lands taken over by the Crown. The value of so much art. books and architecture meant nothing to those who carried out Cromwell's work and the smashing of holy places even included the shrine of Thomas Becket. Such examples of allegiance to their commander. went a long way in dispelling any latent thoughts of independence and helped paved the way for the overwhelming Welsh allegiance to the Tudors. . after the revolt of Owain Glyndwr in the previous century. In three years. were too busy enjoying the fruits of cooperation with London. many of whom had descended from English families and intermarried with their Welsh counterparts. Such petitions may have been distasteful to the patriotic Welsh. the same year that the last monasteries were dissolved. As the long period of monasticism ended in England. they came to associate the latter with loyalty to the Tudor sovereigns. The year 1536 produced no great trauma for the Welsh. to say nothing of their vast herds and flocks and huge swathes of the best arable land in the country. the foundations of the great Welsh landed-estates had been laid and much of the day-to-day affairs of the nation were controlled by its landed squires. Either the Welsh realized the hopelessness of their position. owing to the harsh penal legislation imposed upon its inhabitants. rich landed aristocracy was set in place to dominate England's rural scene for centuries. Piety seemed notably absent from their magnificent edifices and vast land holdings. in true "Dic-Sion-Dafydd" style. out of sympathy. Henry's chief minister and architect of the Reformation in England issued injunctions stating that every parish church should have an English bible and shrines were to be destroyed. Welsh mercenaries. Their vast land-holdings were now sold off to those who could afford them and a new. known as the Pilgrimage of Grace was easily suppressed. In 1538. The destruction of so much that was a priceless heritage of an ancient nation is to be lamented. When Henry Tudor ascended the throne as Henry VII. but not with their native country. church plate. Many beside the king and his nobles were happy to see the monasteries disappear and the power of the Church diminished. The picturesque ecclesiastic ruins found all over the English landscape can give but little hint of the former grandeur and wealth of the great monasteries. but for the ambitious and socially mobile gentry rapidly emerging in Wales and on the Marches. no longer fighting under Glyndwr for an independent Wales." And fall they did. Henry was determined to have it all. in his well-read "Enchiridion" (1504). relics and gold artifacts they also possessed must have been enormous. two acts of dissolution brought to an end hundreds of years of monastic influence in the island of Britain." The term was unknown in 16th century Wales but. Perhaps they had owned as much as one quarter of the arable land of the nation. A feeble protest from Catholics in the North. they were a necessary step for any chance of advancement. perhaps the holiest place of pilgrimage in all of Britain. out of date. all the ingredients for its acceptance had been put in place long before. it had become necessary for many Welshmen to petition Parliament to be "made English" so that they could enjoy privileges restricted to Englishmen. and the skills of the Welsh archers in such battles as Agincourt are legendary. Their loyalties were with the Crown or Parliament or both. or their leaders. Thomas Cromwell relished his new duties in seeing that the crown replaced the pope as the arbiter of religious affairs throughout England. An expression that describes a Welshman who pretends to have forgotten his Welsh or who affects the loss of his national identity in order to succeed in English society or who wishes to be thought well of among his friends is "Dic-Sion-Dafydd. the English sovereign. writing of them. including the right to buy and hold land according to English law. of course. the nation of Wales also lost any hopes of regaining its independence. Abbots lived like princes. and ripe to fall. and the amount of jewels. It wasn't only the great scholar Erasmus who decried the obscene wealth of the great religious houses in England. An orgy of iconoclasm now took place in the land. their dwellings were more like baronial palaces than religious houses. David's rivaled the cathedral itself in grandeur.49 work was willingly carried to a rapid fruition by Cromwell. In the military.

and its corrected version of 1543 seemed inevitable. of Wales shall have and enjoy and inherit all and singular Freedoms. James continued to use his kingdom as peacemaker between England and France. recruited from the gentry.50 The so-called "Act of Union" of that year. One of these was the minor Laird Hepburn of Hailes. All seemed well. led only to an increase in the powers of parliament at the expense of the Crown. He thus began a Scottish ship building industry that would become the envy of the world in a later era. His country enjoyed enormous prestige holding the balance of power between constantly warring England and France. for the king's repeated demands upon them for cash. But." By the Act. Henry continued to increase the powers of the Star Chamber at the national level.. A major part of this decision was to abolish any legal distinction between the people on either side of the new border. The Pope undertook to excommunicate whoever broke his pledged word. Privileges and Laws . but who would use it in all legal and civil matters. he had a large fleet built. James first had to establish peaceable relations with England. From henceforth. James IV had grand ambitions. where the political privileges of the old nobility were being drastically curtailed and a new class was rising rapidly. a capital city.. In 1544. the Welsh ruling class would be divorced from the language of their country. In addition. "finally and for all time" the principality of Wales was incorporated into the kingdom of England. and saw to it that the Justices of the Peace.. as pointed out earlier. commercial interests and religious reformers alike. Liberties. following an agreement signed between the two monarchs that promised to be a treaty of perpetual peace. His efforts gave him the title . enjoy or inherit.. Accordingly. Rights. lower house "The House of Commons." A language that persistently refused to die. including the mighty warship the Great Michael. as a start. In 1488 in Scotland. France. James IV had come to the throne at the age of fifteen. it was necessary to create a Welsh ruling class not only fluent in English. by the gentry. the name "The House of Lords" first appeared. Through his chief ministers. James was twenty-eight years old. carried out the king's commands at the local level. We shall read more about the Bothwell later." which from now on was always ready to challenge the Lords' power (as well as the King's). Thus inevitably. Edinburgh. attended by many dignitaries from England. and why not? Didn't it state that "Persons born or to be born in the said Principality . He believed that Scotland could lead the way in the glorious cause of freeing Constantinople from the Turks. The EarlÍs cronies and conspirators received rich rewards for their services. English law would be the only law recognised by the courts of Wales. The ceremony took place at Holyrood Palace. and saddled with a language "nothing like nor consonant to the natural mother tongue used within this realm. who became Earl of Bothwell and Lord High Admiral. an indication of the rapid rise of the other. and their repeated insistence on the granting of privileges in return. It was time to marry. his powerful neighbor to the south. In order to carry out his grandiose schemes in Eastern Europe. The king's foreign intrigues meant that he was forced to sell off most of his newly acquired monastic possessions. In 1501. their eyes were focused on what London or other large cities of England had to offer. or even a town large enough to attract an opportunistic urban middle class. More than one historian has pointed out that union with England had really been achieved by the "Statute of Rhuddlan" in 1284. The landed gentry were the beneficiaries in more ways than one. with Earl Douglas acting as Regent. The new legislation was welcomed by many in Wales. The Welsh people were without a government of their own. not upon what remained as crumbs to be scavenged in Wales itself. He chose Margaret Tudor. for the placing of the administration of Wales in the hands of the Welsh gentry. The rise of the Welsh middle classes was mirrored in England. as other the King's subjects have. the fourteen yearold daughter of Henry VII. Much of Henry's need for money came from his wars in Scotland during the years 1542 and 1546 and with Scotland's ally.


"Rex Pacificator." When the Pope, the King of Spain and the Doge of Venice formed a Holy League against France, it was joined by Henry VII of England, the father-in-law of the King of Scotland. James did not join the league, however; he was convinced that the survival of France was essential to the stability of Europe. Thus he renewed the Auld Alliance that had begun in 1422 under the Regency of Albany. When France appealed to Scotland for help, as it had done when Buchan responded so magnificently in an earlier time, James unwisely sent an ultimatum to the English king. Henry's response, though typical of the English monarch, must have startled James and the whole of Scotland. He declared himself to be "the verie owner of Scotland," a kingdom held by the Scottish king only "by homage." This was too much for a proud Scot to bear, and it was answered by James's march on England at the head of a large army in September 1513. So much for the peace treaty that was "to endure forever." The result was Flodden, one of the most disastrous battles in Scottish history. James' own natural son, Alexander, thousands of the best and brightest young men, many of its bravest and strongest Highland chiefs, great Church leaders, and many Earls and Lords lost their lives in the calamitous battle at Flodden. Though no one knows what happened to James's body, a legend quickly developed in Scotland to match those in Wales concerning Arthur and Glyndwr, he was not dead, but one day James would return to lead his country again. Thus a typical Celtic myth grew out of what people saw as the refusal of a Welsh King (Henry VIII) to secure a proper burial for the body of a Scottish king (James IV). Scotland now had no king and no army. As James V was still a baby, Queen Margaret assumed the Regency. However, in 1514, in a move that brought a surprising change of fortune for the country for which she showed little affection, she married the Earl of Angus and was succeeded as Regent by the French-educated Duke of Albany, the nephew of James III. Albany (who headed the National or French Party), continued the alliance with France, a country that had somehow extricated itself from its previous grave danger by the failure of its enemies to formulate a united front. After a series of plots against Albany by Margaret and her husband were foiled, the miserable, unfortunate Queen was forced to flee to England (the couple had planned to kidnap the young James V). This gave Margaret's brother Henry one more excuse to continue his policies of interfering in Scottish affairs. In 1524, Albany returned to France. Chaos returned to Scotland. A series of battles between the Douglases and the Hamiltons, including one fought in the streets of Edinburgh, had left the mighty Douglas clan in control of the young king and thus of Scotland. James, however, who had declared himself ready to rule at the age of fourteen, escaped his captors and arrived at Stirling. He vowed vengeance against Angus Douglas whom he drove out of Scotland to seek refuge with the English king. James V could now begin to restore order to his suffering nation. He started by wisely agreeing to a truce with England. In the meantime the effects of the Reformation were beginning to have their serious and long-lasting effects upon Scotland. In the struggle of Protestantism versus Catholicism, there was a mad scramble for a marriage alliance with the Scottish king. Keeping the idea of the Auld Alliance in mind, he elected for Madeleine, the daughter of the French King Francois I and when she died six months later, he took as his bride another French princess, Marie de Guise-Lorraine. Sadly for future Scottish history, she bore him no sons. Henry VIII of England had the same seeming misfortune in lacking a male heir. He became more and more aggressive in his policies toward Scotland. By 1534 he had broken with Rome, was getting ready to totally absorb Wales into the English realm and had plans to turn Scotland against France by making it into a Protestant nation. When James was offered the crown of Ireland in 1542, Henry took an army north and proclaimed himself Lord Superior of Scotland. He met with and defeated the small, dispirited army of James at Solway Moss. From his retreat at Falkland, the sad King James heard the news that his longed for heir was not to be; his wife had given him a daughter. Upon his consequent death, the young girl was proclaimed Queen of Scotland. So in 1542, Mary, Queen of Scots entered the world in much the same sad circumstances as she was to leave it fortyfive years later. After James' death, Mary's mother, Marie de Guise, was determined to rule with a strong hand, but by her attempts to stamp out Protestantism in Scotland, she only invited further English activities in her


country. Marie failed, for though an invading English army arrived too late to rescue a Protestant garrison holed up at St. Andrew's, it crushed the Royal Scottish army at Pinkie, near Edinburgh. Further hostilities were ended in 1549 by the Treaty of Boulogne between England and France that also effected the withdrawal of English troops from Scotland. By that time, Henry VIII had been dead for two years. Jane Seymour had died soon after giving birth to Edward and Henry had remarried three times. Thomas Cromwell then chose Anne of Cleves as a bride for Henry, a bad choice for the Lord Chancellor and for the king, who despised his plain "Flanders Mare." The marriage was never consummated and quickly annulled by Parliament. Cromwell lost his head over the affair, but he had done his work for his master the king. The Reformation had been firmly established in England and the power of the Catholic Church irrevocably broken. The aging, gout-ridden, obese Henry had then married Catherine Howard, soon to be beheaded for adultery and Catherine Parr, his last wife, who outlived him. Part 6: From Reformation to Restoration (cont'd.)By Peter N. Williams, Ph. D. Edward VI (1547-1553)

Another great "if" for English history was presented by the early death of Edward. At the time, no one could possibly see that the greatest Tudor monarch of them all would turn out to be Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the ill-fated Ann Boleyn. English hopes for a strong monarchy centered on Edward's survival. During his minority, despite Henry's wish that a council of ministers should govern, the Duke of Somerset (Edward's uncle) made himself Lord Protector. He continued the late king's policy of religious changes, furthering the Protestant reforms. Cranmer's "Book of Common Prayer" was made compulsory in all churches and the Latin mass abolished. These acts that were strenuously resisted in many Catholic areas of the country, not to mention Ireland, forever faithful to Rome, and because of this, Ireland was forever suspect in English eyes as a center of rebellion. In England, attempts to impose the new Prayer book led to a serious revolt in Cornwall and Devon. This was joined by another uprising in Norfolk against rising prices and social injustices. To add to Somerset's woes, he embroiled England in a war with Scotland, as ever allied to France, and got himself defeated in battle and deposed and executed at home. Of the state of affairs, Sir Thomas Moore regarded the fight for influence and spoils between the great families of England as nothing more than "a conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of a commonwealth." After Somerset's death, however, the country was then run by a much more able administrator, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland. He extricated his country from the disastrous war with Scotland, returned Boulogne to France and re-established social order in England. Protestantism now became official with the new Prayer book of 1552 and a new Act of Uniformity passed. But sickly Edward was dying.

To Northumberland's great chagrin, the rightful heir to the throne was Mary, Henry's only surviving child by Catherine of Aragon and a committed Catholic. He thus persuaded Edward to declare Mary illegitimate and to name Lady Jane Grey as heir (the granddaughter of Henry VIII's sister and married to his son Dudley). Poor Lady Jane, shy and unsuited for her role, was not supported by the country, who rallied to Mary, a Tudor and thus rightful sovereign. Mary arrived in London to great acclaim to take her throne. Mary Tudor (1553-1558)

Mary took her throne with high hopes of restoring England to Catholicism. It has been said that she took her religion too seriously. In any case, she was too late, the Reformation had taken firm root throughout Northern Europe and in much of England, where her sacred duty to return the country to the Catholic fold was sure to be violently opposed. There were not too many in England who wished to return to a church that, as late as 1514, had condemned a dead man for heresy. To further her aims, Mary, already middle-aged, married Philip of


Spain, the son of Charles V, who had defended her mother Catherine's marital rights. To most Englishmen, this act presaged an inevitable submission of their country to foreign rule. It was not a popular marriage. Pious Mary then set about having Parliament repeal the Act of Supremacy, reinstate heresy laws and petition for reunion with Rome; the Latin Mass was restored and Catholic bishops reinstated. Rebellion was inevitable, and though easily crushed, the peasant uprising of Thomas Wyatt convinced the Queen that obedience to the throne had to be established by fire and sword. The orgy of burnings of heretics began. The fires that Mary ordered to be lit at Smithfield put to death such Protestant leaders and men of influence as Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and Hooper, but also hundreds of lesser men who refused to adopt the Catholic faith. The entire country became enraged and fearful. Mary's failure as Queen was ensured. Her marriage to Philip only made matters worse for it intensified the English hatred of foreigners, and by this time, of Catholicism in general. Parliament was rushed to declare that should Mary die without an heir, Philip would have no claim to the English throne. The Hapsburg Philip himself spent as little time in "obstinate" England as possible, got himself all involved in war with France in which Calais, England's last continental outpost, was lost forever. Calais hadn't been much of a possession but its loss was a grievous insult to the English nation. When "Bloody Mary" died in November, 1558, it seemed as if the whole country rejoiced. The Virgin Queen, Elizabeth l (1558-1603)

Elizabeth became Queen of England at the age of twenty-five determined to show that it was neither unholy nor unnatural for "a woman to reign and have empire above men." She had many problems to settle, for the whole nation had gone through a period of social discord, political shenanigans and international failures, and was still in a state of revulsion over the Smithfield martyrs. Fortunately, the determined, charismatic and reasoned woman was adequately equipped for the enormous tasks ahead of her. Furthermore, though insistent on restoring royal supremacy and severing the ties with Rome, she was also willing to compromise on certain religious issues, putting her in another league from the late unmourned Mary. The new queen was astute enough to realize that she needed the support of the common people, the majority of whom were overwhelmingly Protestant and anti-Rome. Her own feelings had to be put aside, though she did allow some of the ceremonies associated with Catholicism to remain. The communion service could be a Mass for those who wished. The religious settlement may have not satisfied everyone, but it satisfied most; above all, there was to be no return to the great distress and acrimony of Queen Mary's unfortunate reign. Even the rebellion of the Catholic nobility in the North created no great trauma for the Queen, for her nobles were better Englishmen than Catholics. Loyalty to England, expressed through her Queen, was stronger than loyalty to Rome. Those who bucked the trend, such as the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland paid for their insolence with their heads.

Elizabeth was served well by loyal citizens. One of her greatest assets was her ability to choose the right people to carry out her policies. In this, she had the luck of her father Henry, but unlike him, she was also able to have such men serve her loyally and efficiently for life, rather than carry out their own self-serving policies. She was particularly fortunate in finding William Cecil, who served first as her principal secretary and later as her lord treasurer. He was a man of amazing talents and industry; quite simply, he made governing into an honored profession. It has been astutely pointed out that, unlike Lords Leicester and Essex and the others who flattered the Queen, Cecil was no court ornament. His ability to compromise in matters of religion also stood him in good stead, and put him, like Elizabeth herself, slightly ahead of his time. It was obvious to Elizabeth that in order to govern effectively, she needed to find a middle way between the extremes of Geneva and Rome. As Queen, she insisted on the retention of royal privilege. Her anti-Catholicism was heavily influenced by her desire to keep her country free from domination by Spain, rather than by any personal dictates of conscience. She thus chose the middle way of the Anglican Church, rather than accept the harsh doctrines of such men as Calvin and Knox, who would destroy much that was precious and holy in men's

made her escape from Lochleven Castle. In 1548." Catholic Mary returned to Scotland as Queen in August 1561. Mary should have gone to France." and her Supremacy Bill and the Uniformity Bills of 1559. she had ended her period of moving from place to place for safety by going to France as future bride of the Dauphin. Mary's complete lack of foresight caused her to marry her younger cousin.54 minds. Mary then made her second grievous error: she married Bothwell. Mary. substituted fines and penalties for disobedience. and when the Protestant Nobles attacked the French-backed government forces of Mary. she promised not to "make windows into men's souls. reckless Protestant of considerable charm" James Hepburn. Lord High Admiral of Scotland." stated the French King. after she had been led in humiliation through the streets of Edinburgh. the Auld Alliance had been immeasurably strengthened when as little Princess Mary. now became Regent. Remaining the head of the Church. who was immediately crowned as James VI. for his accounts of Prince Madoc's supposed voyages to the New World were eagerly seized by Elizabeth's Court . In 1567. she was no longer Queen of France. (reportedly leaping 'for blitheness') are now one country. Her endless schemes to recover the Scottish throne and to depose Elizabeth. for Elizabeth was no Calvinist. Widowed at age eighteen. impulsive (and apparently highly-sexed) nature quickly put her at odds with the austere. Scotland had undergone a major transformation in her absence. and the Throgmorton Plot. the Reformation in Scotland had taken a much different path than it was to take in England after Mary. Now it was the turn of Mary's Catholic subjects to be furious. Mary's half-brother James Stewart. The Queen's sprightly. Puritan divines who wished to keep a tight hold on the hearts and minds of the newly-converted majority of Scottish people. that made the Church of England law. Henry Stewart. for as long as she lived. Knox had done his work well. From the teachings and intractability of such men. who had been held prisoner by the Scottish lords. "France and Scotland. One irritating and persistent problem that Elizabeth had to face was that of Mary. but thoroughly French in outlook and education. Lord Darnley. specially favored by the Queen. had managed to alienate everybody. He had been strangled to death. Darnley's body was found in the wreckage of his house at Kirk o Field which had been destroyed in a mysterious explosion. In the expansion of England overseas. immature and seemingly completely lacking in wisdom and intelligence. not the usual burnings and banishment. The young Queen. A Protestant army was raised to force Mary to abdicate and at age twenty-four. When Darnley. The Earl of Moray. fourth Earl of Bothwell. peaceably incorporated into the realm of England by the Acts of Union under Henry VIII. Queen of Scots. We have noted the success of John Knox in Scotland. Welshman William Cecil and others were included in the partnership that was forming a new and imperial British identity. Welshman John Dee played an important part. She then made another grievous error when she fled to England to seek refuge with the proud and easily jealous Queen Elizabeth who promptly imprisoned her unfortunate cousin. finally ensured her execution in 1587. Edward VI protestant reforms book of common prayer catholic sir thomas moore john dudley lady jane grey mary tudor act of supremacy bloody mary virgin queen Elizabeth I smithfield martyrs william cecil john knox church of england auld alliance mary queen of scots In 1565. Elizabeth was naturally delighted when the French were driven out of Scotland. in which Pope Gregory XIII may have been involved. but the small army she managed to raise was defeated by Moray. upon whom so many hopes had depended. Elizabeth had far less trouble with Wales. including the Ridolfi Plot that got the unwise Duke of Norfolk executed for complicity. her own claim to the English throne made her a potentially deadly rival to Elizabeth l. Welsh men were found in strategic positions in court. John Knox had arrived back in Scotland in 1544 carrying his huge two-handed sword along with his Bible. who had practically nothing to commend him either as husband or king. stabbed to death Mary's Italian secretary Riccio in a fit of teenage jealousy. Heavily implicated in the murder was a "bold. Queen Mary was not so happy. It wasn't only Protestants who were furious. the fires were lit for a never-ending saga of intrigue and misfortune. Mary Queen of Scots gave up her throne in favor of her baby son. Bothwell's life was saved only by his escape to Norway.

for by this method. They were also people of "the Book. was inevitable. there was little need for the Welsh to join in the fight to try to restore England to Catholicism. would prove no match for the vibrant. in return for his loyalty to the Crown. a country that formed a natural bulwark between England and the ever-rebellious Ireland. a small strip along the east coast. though aided by the intolerable English weather. it encouraged the Irish to rebellion. for Philip II of Spain had proved his incompetence as a ruler time and time again. Fiercely tribal. One of them. He failed miserably and returned to England in disgrace. Ireland remained a problem. Queen of Scots. William Salesbury had published his translation of the main texts of the Prayer Book into Welsh in 1551. it was a country that resisted all attempts to impose Protestantism. Besides. the second Earl of Tyrone (who was a personal friend of Sir Philip Sydney). the most powerful nation in Europe. despite its large armies and uncountable wealth. despite the bounty of wealth streaming in from South and Central America. almost a different world. grown modern and efficient under Henry VIII was able to run rings around the cumbersome. It was a far different country. completely failed despite the well-intended efforts of some of her most able men. Elizabeth's refusal forced Tyrone to appeal to Philip of Spain for help. In 1588. Elizabeth also had the task of defending the realm. The Queen's response to this threat of an independent Ireland under Spanish patronage was to send the Earl of Essex at the head of a large army. decadent and moribund. for it was a country that did not know how to govern itself. Wales got her Bible in 1588. driving out the English from all their lands except the Pale. unsolvable Irish question. Its defeat also sealed the fate of any Catholic revival in England. . With its own Bible and its language secure. It was a country that England did not know how to govern." having received the Holy Bible in their own language and any attempts to make the Counter-Reformation productive in Wales failed miserably. where they found a population far less able to withstand these ventures. England's war with Spain meant that Ireland had to be controlled somehow. a return to Rome would be out of the question. they had members of their own national clan in firm charge of the whole nation. It was left to Charles Blount. the Queen of England was lucky. This meant a twenty-year war against Spain. The great Irish chieftains were courted by Elizabeth in the hope that they could be used to bridge the gap between the native Irish and those that were sent from England on their "civilizing" mission. perhaps in the Welsh model. demanded that chieftain rule be preserved and that the Irish people should be allowed freedom of worship as Roman Catholics. economically self-sufficient. loyal to the Catholic Church. the Elizabethan dream of creating a loyal. He had practically ruined Spain in material resources. and his successful attempts at pacification and the surrender of Tyrone in 1603 completed the Elizabethan subjugation of Ireland. Protestantism could be firmly established in Wales.55 officials as justification for their war against Spain and proof of their legitimacy of their involvement in the Americas. Hugh O'Neill. from now on. Her navy. The theocracy that was Spain. The difficulties with Wales and Scotland were smoothed out. (A lesson that the later Catholic Stuarts were slow to learn). in the Tudors. fiercely proud and loyal island nation that was England under Elizabeth. to restore the situation. one in which time had stood still for centuries. Dee claimed that Elizabeth was rightful sovereign of the Atlantic Empire. the brilliant achievement of Bishop William Morgan eleven years after Jesus College had been founded at Oxford to channel the flood of Welsh scholars flocking to the universities. and it was somehow that Elizabeth extended her authority over a wide area of her Western neighbor. The best we can say about the whole sorry adventure is that those who were busy trying to bring civil order to Ireland used the experience in their planting and colonizing of the New World. When John Penry pleaded with the Queen and her Parliament to have the whole Bible translated. poorly trained forces put out by Philip in his attempt to conquer England. modernized state of Ireland. Alongside that of the ever-troublesome. the defeat of the seemingly-invincible Armada. ill-led. how to deal with Mary. Yet. he found a sympathetic audience. Sorrowfully. Welsh people were proud of their contributions to the nation. Again. Lord Mountjoy. Though the armada sent by Philip was turned back by storms. and the problem of the religious settlement.

" With such encouragement. Elizabeth's long reign also saw her country undergo a remarkable economic growth. and not just for religious reasons. who made a series of voyages to Canada in the 1570's. he was no more than a slave trader. from the Plymouth family of sailor adventurers. Only two ships escaped. Drake's search for treasures led to his circumnavigating the globe (1577-78). The transition of the English landscape by the enclosures of land (mainly to aid the wool industry) had thrown the traditional life of the yeoman farmer into turmoil. Only a year after the Northern Rising. The papal grant of 1493 that had divided newlydiscovered lands and oceans between Spain and Portugal was conveniently ignored by Englishmen. when the Duke of Alva began his reign of terror in the Netherlands. now an experienced mariner grown bold. who had discovered Newfoundland in 1497 in search of a Northwest Passage. and a complete sea-change from the financial and political chaos (in addition to the religious quagmire) that had been the norm when she first took the Crown. Remarkably free from corruption. So were those intrepid sailors and merchants who braved the Baltic to establish the Muscovy Company in 1555 to trade with Russia. in which England thought of herself as divinely favored. was dismissed from the shadow cabinet of that august body by Tory leader William Hague in December. English sailors began their mastery of the world's oceans. perhaps we should also point out. On one of his voyages of plunder. His son Robert was one of the chief ministers responsible for carrying out the policies of James l. one of the same family. one of the most efficient administrators that England was ever privileged to enjoy. some of Hawkins' ships had been captured in the Gulf of Mexico by the Spanish viceroy. and others of his ilk then turned their attentions to disrupt the Spanish treasure fleets returning from South America. There followed a veritable explosion of English maritime achievements. these seamen laid the foundations of their nation's naval superiority which was to last. and it was not too long before the so-called Spanish monopoly in the New World was successfully challenged. John Davis travelled into the northern regions of the world. Sir Walter Raleigh organized his expedition to Virginia four years later. for the bankers and capitalists of Antwerp flocked to London to find a new and more secure international money and credit market. Industry and trade prospered under the guidance of men such as Secretary Cecil (later Lord Burghley). Compulsory weekly fish days were increased from two to three "so the sea coast should be strong with men and habitations and the fleet flourish. Sir John Hawkins. And in an interesting note. One of them. It didn't do his economic policies any harm either. Hawkins was no John Cabot. the East India Company was founded and English culture and ideas spread east and west. But so was Martin Frobisher. It can be safely said that whatever Cecil did as pilot of the ship of state was made possible through English sailors. a senior hereditary peer in the House of Lords. Thomas Gresham had opened his new institution in London. For example. but one of them had young Francis Drake aboard. Cecil became rich and prosperous in the service of the Crown and his loyalty was assured. was the first to show that English mariners could outmatch those of Spain. the source of England's navy and backbone of its sea power. Though little more than pirates. . In the midst of all these successes. John Cavendish emulated Drake's epic voyage by sailing around the world.56 It was thus that England was saved from domination by foreign powers. for centuries and which later led to the acquisition of Britain's vast overseas empire. poverty was everywhere rearing its ugly head in the land. If William Cecil can be regarded as the great conservator of the Queen's strength. A Spanish embargo then had the effect of the English rag-tag navy playing havoc with Spanish merchandise and shipping in the English Channel. Lord Cranborne. the Royal Exchange. later to make the city the financial capital of the world. Drake. 1998 for agreeing to a compromise deal with Labour leader Tony Blair over the reform of the House. that the passage of the Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601 showed only too well that in the midst of prosperity and the rise of a wealthy middle class. in search of riches. Cecil also encouraged the fishing industry. Sir Humphrey Gilbert took settlers to Newfoundland in 1583. with few exceptions. her seamen can be seen as its great expanders. be they that of Rome or that of Spain (or a combination of both) or even Scotland.

deeply interested in music. In addition to producing Spenser. There were great achievements in literature and drama. the Scottish king had taken the throne of England without rancor. to mention a few of those who would have been great in any age. James' attempt to impose the Five Articles on the Scots. Part 6: From Reformation to Restoration (cont'd. The mighty Queen was laid to rest in March 1603 with James of Scotland declared as rightful heir. in which to show off the new paintings. Thousands of landless peasants were now thronging into the cities and towns looking for handouts. James VI (1603-1625) Elizabeth's reign finally came to an end. peasant unrest and the resulting growth of parliamentary influence and prestige in becoming the instrument by which the will of the landed classes could not only be heard but carried out against the royal prerogative meant that great political changes were afoot in the land. inviting great European artists such as Holbein and Hillard to paint their portraits. it was a hundred years before a treaty was signed. the throne of England. Typically. The acquisition of vast land holding became a commercial venture and unemployment became rife. the Virgin Queen found herself replacing the Virgin Mary as an object of devotion among many of her English subjects. George. soaring prices. It had also experienced a remarkable artistic renaissance. Young Henry VIII had been considered a "Renaissance Prince. herself skilled in music and master of more than a few languages. Marlowe. the Union Jack. their own ways of levying taxes and regulating trade and to a certain extent. Great houses such as Longleat. His troubles with the Scottish Presbyterians. . they could pursue their own foreign policies. Under Elizabeth. Whatever the English thought of their northern neighbors. however. Williams. new lawyer and gentry class. Hatfield. James journeyed to London to claim what he had longed for all his life. and pushed through his reforms at a in 1618. dealing with matters of worship and religious observances was met with strong opposition. decorative arts and advances in architectural technique. theology and learning. He greatly favored a union of the two kingdoms and the new national flag." skilled in the military arts. The high costs of wars. had their own national church. D. Fear of foreign intervention played its part in keeping England internally peaceful. But though the Estates passed an Act of Union in 1607. bad harvests. The Stuarts were to suffer from the increase in Parliamentary power and the diminution of the royal prerogative. courtiers became patrons of the arts. there were many in England who had no wish to merge their identity with what they considered to be yet another inferior nation. In the midst of this outpouring of talent. marred by the failure to bring Ireland into her fold. Traditional medieval music gave way to new forms of composition and performance under the skilled guidance of William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons. Scotland itself was practically two distinct nations. bore the crosses of St. Andrew and St. Raleigh. It is important to remember that during the reign of James as King of both Scotland and England. brought in through Antwerp. James VI was perfectly happy in the seat of power at Whitehall. After the glorious successes enjoyed under Elizabeth. A Golden Age indeed. were nowhere near at an end. increased the speed of land enclosures. Poetry was led by Edmund Spenser (1552-99) whose masterpiece The Faerie Queen was inspired by Elizabeth herself. Ph. the two nations retained their separate parliaments and privy councils. they were systematically ignored throughout Scotland. perhaps made possible by the growth of a large. He went ahead anyway. Hardwick Hall followed Wolsey's magnificent palace at Hampton Court. her reign was the age of Shakespeare. It is astonishing that the Queen and her Council were able to ride out the climate in which a major revolt seemed inevitable. Francis Bacon and John Donnne. let alone one that had been allied with Spain and France for such long periods in its history. Sir Philip Sydney. They passed their own laws and enjoyed their own law courts. years of depression brought on by high taxes. and in which she is portrayed as a symbol of the English nation. it was possible to see the end of the Tudor system of government. yet at the time of Elizabeth's death in 1603.) by Peter N.57 The large market for English cloth on the Continent.

part of which became Nova Scotia (New Scotland). Moderate as James considered himself in matters of religion. its government had progressed along different lines." Accordingly. a group of Catholics took action. The example of Scottish Presbytery still rankled and the English Puritans' demand for a "reduced episcopacy" made him suspicious of their desires. one of the maritime provinces of Canada. with both Catholic and Protestant factions vying for his support. In particular. but also led to the demands for an oath of allegiance from Catholic recusants. the Catholics in England were not as accommodating. James called an early conference at Hampton Court to listen to their arguments. Sir Thomas Shirley. James' twenty-year experience as the King of Scotland should have put him in good stead as monarch in London. the convocation of the clergy insisted on excommunicating anyone who impugned the royal authority. in the notorious Gunpowder Plot of 1605. But England was not Scotland. It is to James that we can attribute much of the sorry mess in Ireland that also continues to divide Catholics and Protestants. What was more important was the decision to issue a new translation of the Bible. James had insisted that his powers were divinely bestowed as one way of counteracting the demands of both Presbyterians and Catholics. or the Thirty-Nine Articles that had been confirmed by statute in 1571 during Elizabeth's reign. or granting such taxes as he needed. the situation had changed altogether.58 There was a huge division between Highland and Lowland. Anxious to expand Scotland's influence overseas. In Scotland. Nationalists and Loyalists. beginning in 1610. led to the establishment of the New England colonies. There. It was during his reign that the House of Commons first began to question the rights of the monarchy on matters of privilege." Goodwin had been denied his place in the Commons by the Court of Chancery. the so-called King James Bible. It wasn't only the matter of a religion. JamesÍ attempts to persuade the clan chiefs to adopt the Protestant faith was a failure. There was also the continuing religious problem. the Commons were led to state what they considered to be their privileges in "The Form of . these were moderate demands indeed. along with many of their compatriots from England. The House of Commons now not merely being a legislative body performing this task for the monarch. Their influence gave Ulster that staunchly Presbyterian character that so strongly resists attempts at Irish reunification today. James had to back down from his position that the whole institution of Parliament was dependent upon the royal powers. the king unwisely encouraged the plantation of Ulster. He did not wish to have the English state made subordinate to any Church. the concept of the divine right of kings was not a major belief of those who held power at Westminster. The change had come about gradually but the writing on the wall was set firmly in place even at the very beginning of James' reign in the matter of "Goodwin v. When the Commons vigorously protested. Their failure. it was king and Parliament that was the source of all laws. nor the vexing problem of what to do with Ireland which James had to deal. But more of this later. Following the Goodwin case and one concerning another Member of the Commons. James stated emphatically. "No bishop. no king. Thousands of Scots settled on lands that rightly belonged to the native Catholic population. They clung to the military habits of their ancestors and continued the Gaelic tongue when most of Scotland had abandoned it in favor of English. Elizabeth had replied most forcibly to the Common's interference on matters touching her prerogative and yet by the end of James' reign. but possessing remarkable administrative and legislative powers of its own. For the age. James also encouraged Scottish emigration to Arcadia. and in 1630 their voyage from there to the New World. Fortescue. when they tried to blow up king and Parliament did more than merely ensure the commemoration by burning Guy Fawkes in effigy every November 5th. not the king alone. or giving advice. This was a severe setback to their cause and an increase in the hatred of the Catholic religion in England and those who continued to practice it. the Authorized Version. the Anglican prayer books. whatever its religious preference. In the meanwhile. The consequent flight of many so-called Pilgrims to the Netherlands. He carried this idea with him when he came south. When James reintroduced the recusancy laws that meted out penalties for not attending Church of England services. Despite such setbacks. he still promised to harry the Puritans out of the land. and in 1611 the world received that most magnificent of all its holy books. as well as to try to establish some sense of order in a country not willing to join Wales and Scotland as part of the British nation.

as a foreign king. apart from his sexual preferences for men such as George Villiers. or call it "addled. but the German Catholic League. His daughter Princess Elizabeth married Frederick the Elector Palatine of the Rhine. the unfortunate monarch. To avoid war. which James at least had the foresight to end in 1604. Charles I (1625-1649) At the death of James. whom he appointed to many high offices. The king's extravagance became legendary and the costs of running the Court and the war with Spain. Charles despaired of enforcing his rule on Parliament and from 1629 until 1630. The scholarly and intelligent James. politics were dominated by . James then turned to France to arrange a marriage between Charles and the French Catholic Princess Henrietta Maria (James' oldest son. In the dispute. The king dismissed his Parliament to save his friend. concerned the raising of money. he tried to rule without it. Prince Henry. the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The success of The Authorized Version . who continued his disastrous attempts at making war against France and Spain. The failures on the Continent. who refused to grant him money until he got rid of Buckingham. But as so often in history. He ended the wars with France and Spain. and so disappointed by so many failures at the end of his reign." that is the preference of common law (common right and reason) over an act of Parliament. did not stand him in good stead with Parliament.59 Apology and Satisfaction. He also wished to marry his surviving son Charles. Most of the troubles that beset James in his fight with Parliament. had died in 1612). they stated that James. however. supported by Spain. It was a sign of things to come in the long struggle between king and parliament that came to a head in the reign of Charles l. as well as his own marriage to a Catholic princess. now Duke of Buckingham. did not understand their rights which they enjoyed by precedent and not by royal favor. remained a magnificent legacy of the James l. who had only himself to blame for the troubles that would later befall him. The Commons wanted a war with Spain. the most learned of all who sat on the throne of England. using the Crown's emergency powers to raise his revenues until expenses grew too great and Parliament had to be recalled. The king could dissolve parliament. and a new dispute arose as to the exercise of free speech in Parliament when James resisted their efforts to discuss foreign policy. His insistence on "a higher law background. died in 1625. to the Spanish princess Donna Maria. had an enormous effect on the future direction of law both in England and in the American Colonies. James tried hard to keep the peace in Europe. Its members promptly drew up a Petition of Right to emphasize the ancient rights of the English people. led to the levying of additional customs duties. The Thirty Years' War began with England's disastrous attempt to recover the Palatinate for Frederick and Elizabeth. the throne passed to Charles l. where a supreme court could annul legislation or executive acts as contrary to a constitution. His support of Buckingham. who urged immediate war." In it. so full of promise when he came to the throne." but it had to be recalled when the need arose once more to finance England's entry into the snares of the great European conflict. and in the struggle with Parliament continued in the reign of Charles l. Chief Justice Edward Coke thought that the judges should mediate between king and parliament. to assert that no man could be imprisoned without trial and other clauses that later became the foundation of the United States Bill of Rights. Prince Charles visited Madrid to court the Infanta but returned humiliated along with Villiers. drove the Protestant Frederick out of his lands. a merchant who had refused to pay an imposition caused a deep split between those who believed that impositions were part or the king's absolute power and those who considered them to be a parliamentary privilege. The matter of John Bate.

His elaborate coronation as King of Scotland at St. Although born a Scot. and when. the gentry and the Scottish burghs. the first reading of the Revised Prayer Book for Scotland was met with nothing more than a riot. As one who ruled by Divine right. decreed by Charles in 1625. A devout Episcopalian. coupled with a serious decline in the cloth trade with the Netherlands. a further exodus to New England took place in the 1630's that became known as the Great Migration. Jewish and Armenian. And they had a worthy general. the Stuart Charles had very little understanding of Scottish affairs and even less of prevailing Scottish opinion. led to Charles's attempts to enforce the collection of Ship Money over the whole country. It was as if Charles were deliberately setting out to antagonize everyone north of the border. Though it had been signed "with His Majesty's Authority. The Assembly deposed or excommunicated all bishops." Completely unwilling to compromise his position on the Church." Copies of the Covenant were carried throughout the country. In November 1638. the nobles. they began to renew persecution of the ever-growing Puritan sect. outrageous demand of 1629 that religious practice in Scotland conform to the English model. Alexander Leslie. The First Bishop's War. Popish. The Bishop of Brechin was able to conduct only with the aid of a pair of loaded pistols aimed at the congregation. He won his case against Charles Hampton. the Scots had great numbers of experienced soldiers returning from overseas campaigns. It was an obligation that eventually was to cost him dearly. more-or-less financially secure and doing quite nicely without Parliament. In July. was settled. not enough. and all the nobles who had resisted its use were to submit to the King's Will. 1637. In contrast to the poorly prepared. The unwise and ill-advised King of England and Scotland had not reckoned with the strength of his opposition. nor did he wish to. as it was called. but the Lords of the Tables. and let it be known that it was not Charles' representative in Scotland who made decisions. . ironically at the height of his powers in 1637 with an efficient administration. In Edinburgh. Neither did his outright. To enforce his commands. Charles also increased the power of the clergy. Charles and Archbishop Laud went ahead anyway. he believed he had the sacred duty to bring the Scottish Kirk in line with the Church of England. he decided on war. including the torture of William Prynne and other divines. All petitioners against the Book were to be dispersed. the National Covenant was drawn up by a committee made up of representatives from the clergy." it served almost as a declaration of independence from English rule. abolished the Prayer Book as "heathenish. restored the lands and titles to the Church which had been distributed among the Scottish nobles during the upheavals of the Reformation. Of the Highlands. by the Pacification of Berwick. he distrusted the Kirk and Presbyterians and greatly mistrusted democratic assemblies. Charles' answer was simply to demand punishment for those who refused to obey his orders concerning the use of the new Prayer Book. and to the Scots. most unwillingly by Charles (who had no other choice). signed on what was called "the great marriage day of this nation with God. and poor harvests in England." pledged to maintain the True religion. He completely failed to try to understand his Scottish subjects. religious or not. who had commanded the army of the Swedes after the death of Gustavus Adolphus. but alienated many of the country gentry without the support of whom his later fight with Parliament was doomed. the document. Attempts to bring the Scottish Presbyterians into line spelled the beginning of the end for Charles. It was known as the Tables. poorly led and poorly motivated armies of the English king in the early summer of 1639. By this further example of rashness. he sealed his fate. He didn't know what he was in for.60 economics. Briefly. Charles met with the General Assembly in Glasgow. It was the wrong time to raise the question of the liturgy. The Act of Revocation. Charles once again showed his naivete by brusquely informing the Assembly that all their decisions were invalid. It did nothing to endure the king to those who could have given him support in Scotland. its theological implications often lost. Even the Privy Council had to seek refuge from the angry mob in Holyroodhouse. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh in 1633 was sufficiently "high church" to smack of popery to the assembled congregation. he knew nothing at all: of the Lowlands. under Archbishop Laud. by which the King agreed to refer all disputed questions to the General Assembly or Parliament. who had refused to pay.

mainly untrained levies from the shires.000 pounds a month. Meanwhile. was signed in the autumn of 1643. Without an effective army. the king again foolishly took up arms. but also his loyalty to the King. well-armed New Model Army (nicknamed "the Roundheads). his obstinacy in resisting the Long Parliament and his stubborn insistence on Divine Right created the conditions for the actual outbreak of war in 1642. where he had more support from the landed gentry. the Westminster Assembly was summoned to establish uniformity of worship in Scotland. where even to this day. Charles had gathered enough supporters to gain many early victories against the forces of Parliament. for it stated that no more than three years could pass between Parliaments. it was the English Parliament. without cavalry and with no artillery. A good beginning. Cromwell's rag-tag armies had now become the well-trained. and the Second Bishops' War began. The desires of the Covenanters were theological. he distributed titles freely and reluctantly agreed to accept the decisions of the General Assembly and the Scottish Parliament. as well as in Scotland. More important. managed to completely rout an army of Covenanters led by Lord Elcho at Tippermuir. In England. who made the request. worship. they . With this further whittling away of royal prerogative. Then an about face took place. The agreement known as the Solemn League and Covenant. The powerful Lord accordingly. that had been greatly augmented by a large force of disciplined and well-armed Scotsmen.61 The Scottish Parliament wasted no time in abolishing episcopacy and freeing itself from the King's control. The conditions of the agreement now had to be imposed upon the English Church. Charles had the audacity to try to arrest five members of Parliament but his attempts to locate them. Accordingly. and not the king. Montrose had been greatly disturbed by the forces of extremism. Following their success at Marston Moor. and government. It also guaranteed its own existence against periods of personal rule by the monarch. Charles was forced to summon the English Parliament to beg for funds. Because the Covenanters wanted to establish presbytery in Ireland and England. it stated that the present Parliament could not be adjourned without its own consent. England (and Wales) and Ireland. but this time. The Royalists in England were not faring as well. He had no choice. Scotland was again seen as a source of aid." and the moderates. was the heavy defeat of the Royalist forces at Marston Moor by the Parliamentary army under an up-and-coming cavalry officer named Oliver Cromwell. who reaffirmed both his belief in the Covenant. but also the agreement that there would be "a reformation of religion in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland in doctrine. The Grand Remonstrance presented by Parliament had contained a long list of political and religious grievances. however. led by Montrose. and Montrose's army. And in the Highlands of Scotland. the Westminster Confession of Faith continues to serve as the basis for Presbyterian worship. The task was much easier in Scotland. the offer from the English Parliament was too good to refuse. The nationalist spirit was still beating in some Scottish hearts after all. In return. they would receive not only 30. who viewed practically anything at all of piety as "popery. aided by many in Ireland and a few loyalists from the Lowlands. Presbytery did not run deep. It was not as easy to implement in England and almost impossible in Ireland." (Wales was considered as part of England). raised an army of Highlanders to win Scotland for the King. Off to Scotland again went Charles to try to gain support against his own Parliament. not political. the Scottish army was to attack the forces of Charles in England. civil war threatened in England. The ancient theory of Divine Right of Kings was being severely tested. In the land that he had hitherto so blatantly antagonized. and the speaker of the Houses' refusal to disclose their hiding place marked the beginning of the Speaker's independence from the crown. however. another landmark in the growth of Parliament. At first. There was also a split developing between the extremists. He then occupied Glasgow. When it took measures to weaken the Committee of Articles by which Charles had tried to control it. One term of the agreement was that popery and prelacy were to be completely extirpated from the whole realm. it did nothing to please the King: the famous Long Parliament impeached and executed two of his chief supporters. When it met. Strafford and Laud. Scotland had no wish to get involved.

Ph. would not admit defeat and on New Year's Day. abolished the monarchy. this was totally unacceptable to Oliver Cromwell. Then. it was destroying more than a thousand years of English history. its leader executed and its followers dispersed. Perhaps Charles would have been their best chance after all. for being useless as well as dangerous. Republican Government in England (1649-1660) Charles I sincerely believed that he died in the cause of law and the Church. Argyll continued the strange alliance of King and Convenanter and had the 18 year-old Prince Charles proclaimed King at Edinburgh. who had assumed the title of Lord Protector.62 won a second smashing victory over Charles at Naseby. Cromwell invaded Scotland. A purge of the moderates in Parliament. They then turned towards Scotland and stopped the string of successes of Montrose and his Highlanders at Philiphaugh. Charles' joy at this unexpected help soon turned to grief. His death may have been thought of by Cromwell as a political necessity. too. also returned north of the border. The Scots army. burdensome and dangerous. Cromwell had come to Edinburgh to receive a hero's welcome. no doubt trusting that God would preserve their cause. Despite their military successes." and later the "Protectorate. Eventhough. on the grounds that it was unnecessary. seething with anger at the execution of their King whom he had promised to preserve and defend by the Solemn League and Covenant of 1644. whose only reaction was a loud and mournful groan. The Covenanters. the Covenanters were not happy with the situation." he had allowed himself to be crowned by the more powerful Presbyterian faction.) by Peter N. Everything seemed settled. Determined to bring in an era of firm government. Williams. Cromwell was determined to crush them in a show of force. whereby he would give Presbyterianism a three-year trial in England in return for an army to help him against the Parliamentarians. When his Parliament. he quickly and forcibly suppressed any revolts and attempts at challenging his authority. but the news of the unprecedented execution of Charles. 1651 they crowned Charles II at Scone and raised a sizeable army to defend him. After all. In 1650. The demands of the Levellers put them way ahead of their time. It was utterly defeated by Cromwell at Preston. an agreement was made between the Scottish Parliament and the king. the Commons passed the final ordinance establishing Presbyterianism. There was little likelihood that Cromwell would establish Presbytery in England. Taking immediate action. So at the end of 1647. a vast increase in the electorate and no established church or doctrine. in May 1646. The victorious Scots army. in an opportune "conversion. After Preston. the so-called Levellers wanted more. even these measures had not gone far enough. defeated the Scots under General Leslie at Dunbar and marched on Edinburgh. held in public before a saddened crowd at Charles' own banqueting hall in Westminster. wishing for biennial parliaments with strictly limited powers. First called the "Commonwealth and Free-State. a few days later." it lasted only eleven years. was a foregone conclusion. Mainly composed of Highlanders. but it created an atmosphere that was to haunt his own efforts to build a new godly society. His execution. There was to be no room for the king in the post-war settlement. Part 6: From Reformation to Restoration (cont'd. left the radical elements in the so-called "Rump Parliament" that created a High Court of Justice to bring Charles to trial for high treason. the Rump. Yet for many. after having turned Charles over to the English Parliamentary Commissioners. The Rump then proclaimed a republican form of government. had decided that it was their duty to call Charles Stuart to account for the blood he had shed and the mischief he had done against the Lord's cause. the unfortunate man had been king of their country. however. it was utterly defeated by . He also had to deal with the Scots. sent a tidal wave of dismay over much of Scotland. Charles II duly arrived in Scotland to claim his Kingdom. and then meted out the same fate to the House of Lords. And regicide was still an act against God. led by the Duke of Hamilton duly came south. news came of the King's surrender to the Scottish forces at Newark. even before the battle. D. Cromwell and his officers. There was little left for Montrose but to take ship for Norway and his followers went back to their homes.

It is interesting to note that General George Monck is on record as being "the first professional soldier of the unique school which believes that the military arm should be subordinate to the civil" a doctrine followed by non other than General Dwight D. who blockaded the Dutch ports and defeated and killed Admiral van Tromp in a sea battle before peace came in 1654. yet he wished to rule through a much less radical parliament. the Dutch people were horrified at the news of the king's execution. Cromwell was determined to prevent any of the Stuarts from gaining a foothold in Ireland. virtual dictator of England. Monck had captured the Committee of the Estates (the remnant of the Scottish Parliament and had occupied Dundee). At the beginning of his "reign. after he had refused an offer of the Crown. Under his protectorate. he forced it to accept the authority of the rulers of England. Like the Scots. Cromwell now occupied all of Scotland south of the Firth of Forth. The resulting war brought forth one of England's great military leaders. Charles l had married his daughter Mary. began to . The continent now became a refuge for yet another Scottish monarch. leaving General Monck in charge. perhaps to show his commitment to Protestantism. He was to return after nine years in exile.63 the more disciplined. Through his ruthless campaigning. Prince of Orange. Cromwell has been seen as an evil genius. many more English landowners were able to take advantage of the confiscation and sale of sizable Irish properties. On 12 December. In 1653. He was certainly a man caught between opposing forces. the Rump Parliament sent envoys to Holland who were deliberately insulted and thus the opportunity and the excuse was presented for English commercial interests to engage in a trade war. He had gained his power through the army. "Old Noll" Cromwell. to William. where his cruelty and butchery in reducing the towns of Drogheda and Wexford made his name so hated that it is spoken in a dreaded whisper even today. While the king in exile "went on his travels. He destroyed it. Consequently. as Charles II fled to France in the timehonored fashion of so many Scots rulers. interested in the establishment of a lasting democracy that practiced tolerance. Welsh." One result. 1651. 1653. unable to satisfy the demands of both factions. the Rump passed a Navigation Act in 1654 designed to cripple Dutch trade. however was that his military successes made it possible to integrate Scottish. To propose a union between the two republics. Jews were allowed back into England for the first time since their expulsion under Edward I. a situation that was later to lead to the blight known as "Absentee Landlordism. He instigated a period of government remarkable for its religious tolerance to all except Roman Catholics. The Society of Friends or Quakers. he resumed his power as head of the government of a nation that consisted of England and Scotland. Under Cromwell. English and Irish MP's into a truly British Parliament. a remarkable achievement that lasted until the first quarter of the 20th century. As the signs of civil strife became apparent. A few days earlier." sanctioned by the Rump Parliament. Admiral Blake. Cromwell was busy setting up an efficient system of government in both kingdoms. in true monarchical fashion. England was also able to strengthen its position abroad. Eisenhower during his presidency of the United States some three hundred years later. received the title of Lord Protector. he even dissolved Parliament. Ireland and Wales. at odds with the other impression that saw him as a godly man. but after the lack of progress of the interim "Barebones" Parliament." as one historian has remarked. He saw that a Treaty of Union in 1652 united Scotland with England and made it part of the Commonwealth." as he put it. In retrospect. still regarded as enemies of the realm. Cromwell caught up with the Scottish army at Worcester on September 3. better trained Roundheads at Inverkeithing. Many Jewish families were to do much to support later English governments financially. he had dealt severely with insurrection in Ireland. Following the precedent set by James l's land grants at the expense of the native Irish. He truly found himself "sitting on bayonets. War with Spain a year later resulted in the British capture of Jamaica and the destruction of a large Spanish fleet at Tenerife. He then departed to deal with the Scottish army that had been looking for support in England.

When he retired to his farm in the country. but in later life. an unfortunate choice. "laid aside at the expense of so much blood. he was shrewd enough to change his beliefs when he saw an advantage. except business. which did nothing to diminish his reputation as a philanderer. The great diarist Samuel Pepys has adequately described the rejoicing when the monarchy. returned without the shedding of one drop. Sadly enough. a Royalist uprising forced Cromwell to divide England into eleven military districts to keep down insurrection and to rigidly enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. Lords and Commons were restored. In 1655. but in some districts. . that cut off the dissenters from professional advancement in all the professions. nevertheless. though he sired at least fourteen illegitimate children. he reverted to his Catholic preferences. were allowed to escape punishment. Charles was crowned in April 1660 and within the same year married Catherine. claim to rule by divine right. Many of those who had plotted against Charles l. The Crown could not enforce taxes without the consent of Parliament. The unpopularity of these puritanical justices. led to their dismissal in 1657. all of who resisted strenuous efforts to get them to toe the line by conforming to the Act of Uniformity of 1662. That era in English history had gone forever. Protestants were grouped together under many names. nicknamed "Tumbledown Dick. such an integral part of their history and a source of great national pride when things went well. the Anglican Book of Common Prayer was replaced by the Directory of Worship. for the young man.64 flourish under the inspired leadership of George Fox. as was the Church of England and the bishoprics. swearing and gambling became punishable offences. he had courted the Scots Presbyterians." didnÍt have the experience nor the desire to govern the nation. Perhaps more remarkable was the permission granted to congregations to choose their own form of worship.P. where not only drinking. it only strengthened the desire of the new and various Protestant sects to worship in the way they pleased. Action against them came in the form of the Clarendon Code. but there was no orgy of revenge and many prominent anti-Royalists. Congregationalists and Quakers. In his earlier attempts at winning the throne. the same mob was to lustily cheer "God Bless King Charles ll" at the arrival of General Monck's army. even going for a walk on Sundays. The king got off to a good start. Even these measures were not enough to satisfy everyone. such as the poet John Milton.'s as Charles l had attempted. England was tired of being without a king. The Republic of Great Britain and Ireland came to an abrupt end. The same year saw Parliament nominate Cromwell's son Richard as his successor. mostly army colonels. The people had never been happy at the interregnum. Always a Cavalier at heart "Old George" Monck brought his army from Scotland to London. nor could it arbitrarily arrest M. The restoration of the supremacy of the Anglican Church. Perhaps this may have led to the close alliance of Dissent and the world of Business that so characterized later England and has been seen as the foundation for its commercial success. A cynic in morals and a pragmatist in politics. however. of course. Many of these leaders were responsible for the so-called "blue laws" creating a land of joyless conformity. meant the upswelling of resistance from those outside its embrace. the daughter of the King of Portugal. an act. where he quickly assembled a parliament and invited Charles ll to take over the reigns of the kingdom. but he was not able to produce a legitimate heir. a period of great confusion between the various political factions and indecisive government resulted in the decision of General Monck to intervene. In any case. it did not. Charles could not. known as "regicides" were executed. Charles ll (1660-1685) Though a London mob had thrown down a statue of Charles l outside the Royal Exchange and placed the words "Exit Tyrannus" over the empty space. There was still Parliament. a collection of different restrictive measures completed during 1664-5. The two houses of Parliament." Charles must have thought that the tumultuous welcome accorded him gave him carte blanche to govern as he thought fit. There were Baptists.

fiercely Protestant Scottish drovers. John Bunyan. Catholic priests went into hiding. had been particularly manifest in England's relations with Scotland. he had a reason to execute his opponents. the hunting down of Catholic priests. (Note: in World War II. the new king had little interest in Scotland. and most severe recriminations were reserved for the Catholics. went to prison for twelve years. Charles continued his secret intrigues with the King of France. Panic swept the land. Another civil war seemed imminent before anti-Catholic feelings managed to die down in the absence of the "threatened" invasion. After 1668. was excluded from the throne by Parliament because he was a Catholic. but also of bringing back the bishops and restoring the system of patronage that chose ministers. like his father. Yet even then. and not of any bishop. not only of strengthening his position in relation to Parliament. The Whigs supported the claim of The Protestant Duke of Monmouth. he whipped up public feeling to frenzied heights by graphically embellishing the false tale. All ministers chosen since 1649 were required to resign and to reapply for their posts from the bishops and lairds. it seems that there was no end to the anti-papal processions in London. As King of Scotland. Alas. Charles had signed two Covenants in 1649 merely to secure his own coronation. as he stated so emphatically. humble Quakers were particularly singled out for ridicule and harsh treatment. Despite his early support by the Scots Presbyterians. The result was first. and there was little that Charles II could do to restore their former dignity and favor. when Protestant Clergyman Titus Oates. In the orgy created by rumors of plots to kill Charles and burn down Parliament. the author as a small boy remembers the rumors being put about of an invasion of German paratroopers who had. he issued a Declaration of Indulgence allowing freedom of religion for Catholics as well as non-conformists (Dissenters). One third of all Scottish ministers refused and held services . Catholics were hunted down and killed. In 1678. who flooded their lands successfully and resisted invasion. Fortunately for the profligate. by invitation of God. heard rumors of the possible conversion of England to Catholicism by an invasion of French troops. When he restored James VI's method of choosing the Committee of Articles. the closing of their schools and search for their secret meeting places. already landed in Scotland: it was probably started when Nazi leader Hess parachuted into Scotland to give himself up to British authorities). But the worst fears. Those who supported him were called "Tories" after Catholic outlaws in Ireland. These struggles. who preached. The failure caused a return of English resentment of Catholics and the passing of the Test Act of 1673 compelling public office holders to take the sacrament of the Church of England. The pious. when a Whig plot to murder him and James. preferring to govern it through a Privy Council situated in Edinburgh and a Secretary at London." It is a constant source of astonishment to the modern reader how little Charles knew about how deep the roots of Presbyterianism had been planted in Scotland and how strongly the Covenanters would fight all attempts to return Scotland to episcopacy.65 Unlicensed preachers became a thorn in the side of government who regarded them as something akin to traitors. it was said. he had the intention. one of Charles' illegitimate sons. and the legitimate heir. James Duke of York. known as an habitual liar. Popular opinion then allowed him to bring back James to England where he regained his earlier position as Lord High Admiral. they had become anathema during the inter-regnum. the burning of the pope and cardinals in effigy. He then joined the French king in a war against the Dutch. He concluded treaties with Louis XIV of France and agreed to reconcile himself with the "Church of Rome. Charles began to turn more and more toward the Catholic religion. During the period known as Carolingian England." In 1672. he considered Presbytery as "not a religion for gentlemen. mostly involving the degree to which Protestantism had taken hold in Britain. "Grace Abounding" and then "Pilgrim's Progress" completed in 1675. but Machiavellian English King. Great Catholic families had been particularly loyal to Charles l. In 1660. Charles was then able to live out the rest of his reign in peace mainly free from the political and religious struggles that had occupied so much of his reign. Those who opposed James were the "Whigs" after Whiggamores. after Charles had made his triumphant return from the Continent. in constant peril of death or were forced to fall to the Continent. His years in exile had taught him very little.

An army was sent to deal with them under the command of James. fire and war. bringing London to a standstill and causing panic at the numbers of dead and the lack of any knowledge as to how to deal with the terrible scourge. it gave a chance for architects such as Christopher Wren to rebuild. In his own words. had learned nothing from his predecessors. catastrophic as it was to the city. He recognized the Church of England as the established church and defeated a rebellion led by James. unhealthy medieval. This time." The troubles continued when Charles died in 1685 to be succeeded by his brother James VIl (James ll of England) an openly-avowed Catholic who was welcomed in the Highlands. Those who could afford to. Though it destroyed the massive St. Before the accession of James II. its magnificent new churches. He was able to get Parliament to grant him adequate finances. He too. The third catastrophe was the continuation of the war against Holland. we have to mention the three great disasters that befell the England of Charles: plague.66 in defiance of the law. may have helped destroy the dwelling places of the brown rat. Though many of the . His reign lasted only three years. with fine. After the triumphs of Admiral Blake in the First Dutch War (1652-4). the carrier of the deadly fleas and thus brought the plague to an end. claiming to be obeying a command from on high. James ll (1685-1688) James was yet another of those who have only themselves to blame for their downfall. Charles II died in February 1685 of a heart attack no doubt brought on by a life style that today' medical men (and religious leaders) would style nothing less than debauched. he admitted that had he kept his religion private. and that of his successor. James could not. simply packed up and went to live in the country. And thus the seeds were sown for the Jacobite opposition that blossomed under the next king. The government decided to intervene to bring the rebels to heel. and all of which were recorded in graphic detail by diarist Pepys. but he would think of nothing "but the propagation of the Catholic religion. the Second Dutch War (1665-7) was a national disgrace. He defeated the Covenanters at Bothwell Brig and the survivors were dealt with severely. The reaction and counter-reactions that followed gave the period of the 1680's the title of "The Killing Time. In 1679. including the present St. prevented him. William of Orange. ever true to the legitimate monarch. some say his high-handedness. Duke of Monmouth. the Duke of Monmouth who had foolishly landed on the southern coast of England and declared himself king. with the Royal Navy mutinous over poor pay and atrocious conditions aboard its ships. however. Paul's cathedral. he could have been one of the most powerful kings ever to reign in England. The Great Fire of London. Troops were sent to enforce the regulations but made the Calvinist Covenanters even more eager to serve God in their own way. who could modify his beliefs to suit the occasion and ride the swells of political change. transforming the old. all of which took place in three consecutive years. the Dutchman. The great outbreak of plague began in 1665. infested warrens into a city worthy of being a nation's capital. more than one historian has seen all the political struggles. for his attempts to re-introduce Catholicism into a country that had become a bastion of Protestantism meant with disaster far worse than any plague or fire or minor skirmishes on the Continent. They came to a head during the reign of James II. his morality. the Dutch navy was able to sail with impunity into the Medway at the mouth of the Thames and burn many of the English ships moored at idle anchor. memorable public buildings and above all. Paul's. wide streets. they murdered Archbishop Sharp. as springing partly from their attempts to grant to Catholics a greater degree of tolerance than would be countenanced by their other English subjects. Unlike Charles II." Things went well at first. culminating in the Revolution of 1688 and the triumph of Parliament over the Crown. Of his reign.

it only furthered the resentment of. ill health and probably poor advice. constant wars with continental powers. It was widely believed that William allowed James to escape. and especially to. 1688. had built a strong. in a joint monarchy. but his first invasion attempt in mid-October was easily defeated. a series of provincial uprisings did nothing to bolster the morale of James' forces. Part 7: The Age of Empire Preparation for Empire Building: The Growth of the Commons In 1690 John Locke published his highly influential "Two Treatises of Civil Government. but also. but a rapprochement followed the marriage of William and his first cousin Mary. James's eldest daughter in 1677.e. mainly to the New World.67 people of the southwest came to his support. thus ensuring that his last years were peaceful ones. became rulers of Britain. James. He began to implement policies that not only gave religious toleration to nonconformists. his forces. not wishing to make the King another English martyr. William made his decision to intervene in England in early 1688. On the continent. mainly by the English weather which destroyed most of his ships and supplies. nor under the domination of any will. that later prevented the British fleet from intercepting the Dutch armies of William landing at Brixham on 5 November. the Protestant ruler. Charles II of England had fought against the Dutch in a series of skirmishes for commercial hegemony. but especially to Parliament. Hull and Durham declared for William whose army marched towards London. i. the lure of gold perhaps as equally . hoping to be seen as a liberator. his efforts to win widespread support for his policies were totally unsuccessful. always anxious to increase its own powers and give special favors to its members. Derby. James had chosen the wrong time and the wrong country. or restraint of any law. rapidly disintegrated. poor judgment." Prior to the great electoral reforms of the later 19th century. He ignored all Protestant pleas for concessions. "The liberty of man in society is to be under no other legislative power but that established by consent in the commonwealth. the Dutch King William III of Orange was engaged in a duel with the French King Louis XIV for military success and diplomatic influence in Western Europe. King James. Nottingham. Catholics. James fled to France in mid-December. Enlightened as this policy seems to us. was too anxious to foment change. who had done his best to keep this alliance alive. In the meantime. he did not take into account the anti-Catholic sentiments of much of the British nation. the king dug his own grave. and increased the fears of. not as a conqueror. and it was the House of Commons that made the Empire. Showing a complete failure of nerve. James II and his baby son were debarred from the succession. the kingdom of Spain may have had mixed motives in its overseas conquests. the nation's Protestant majority. He had learned nothing from Charles II. But it was a powerful class indeed that came to dominate the House of Commons. and the strong northeasterly wind. One of the last straws was his 1687 Declaration of Indulgence which aimed at complete religious toleration. Non conformists and Anglicans reformed their alliance against the religious policies of the king. for it was an empire based on trade. despite having numerical strength in soldiers was forced on the defensive. According to Locke. Catholic. His weak resolve." its theory of limited monarchy had vast appeal to the majority of Englishmen. nationalistic British (and Protestant) state. military leaders and in important offices of state. the legislative in England was restricted to a very limited class. In what historians have called the "Glorious Revolution" William and Mary. York. James' plans for equal civil and religious rights for Catholics were out of the question. Yet it was precisely this weather. on the other hand. King James was misled by his early success. This too. twice the size of those of William. While England's great rival. caused him to retreat to London instead of attacking William's vulnerable army. was an act far ahead of its time. Monmouth's rag-tag army was defeated at Sedgemoor and soon came to suffer the reprisals handed out by the infamous "Bloody " Judge Jeffries who had hundreds executed and hundreds more transported overseas as convicts. as were all Catholics. but what that legislative shall enact according to the trust put in it. By replacing Protestants as heads of universities.

for their seats often depended upon the support of local magnates. especially when the Crown asked for money. the House of Commons grew in leadership. The power of the Commons. Parliament had come a long way since the days of Henry VII. and royally suspend and dispense power. The leaders of the House of Lords were usually landed magnates who had often helped the Council in formulating Crown policy. The "Habeas Corpus Act" of 1679 had obliged judges to issue upon request a writ of habeas corpus directing a gaoler (jailer) to produce the body of any prisoner and to show cause for his imprisonment. a voice that the Tudors may not always have liked. the Bill re-affirmed the will of the English people (or at least of those who represented them in Parliament) against the arbitrary powers of the monarchy. it strengthened his hands. but which was made necessary to keep their expenditures under parliamentary control. It was during the troublesome reign of Mary Tudor that the Commons became more contentious. keep a standing army and proscribe ecclesiastical commissions or courts. Privileges began to be exchanged for promises of ready cash: once granted. though the whip hand remained firmly in the hands of the Queen and Council. but during most Parliamentary sessions it had not been enough to cause any great anxiety to the Crown or the Council. free elections and frequent meetings of Parliament. They were aided by the constitutional crisis that occurred when James II fled to France in 1688. came to an end. It is worth while to take a brief look at what had been taking place in the winning of the initiative by the House of Commons. A Bill of Rights was drawn up that guaranteed free speech. Yet the Members in Commons could become vociferous. was a firm ally of the Council. hundreds of years of abuse of the prisoner by the authorities. Also of considerable interest and lasting importance was the creation of a fixed Civil List for both the Crown's household and administrative expenditures. and Mary had to go out of her way to dragoon them into acquiescence with her unpopular policies. If the King wished to go slow on his promises of treaties.68 important as the saving of souls. Parliament began to be recognized as the voice of public opinion. The Act remains an integral part of the Commonwealth's legal system today and has been widely copied in many other countries including the United States. should not be imprisoned again for the same offense. where something like a Protestant Party began to form to voice its opposition. able to gain in power. aided and abetted by a rapidly growing stratum of lawyers. then brought to the Commons. and its control by the business and trade oriented middle-class. it was hard for future monarchs to refuse them. The Lords seldom resisted the wishes of the Council. had been building steadily. In any case. Thus at a single stroke. be tried no later than the second term and once set free by order of the court. those who governed Britain did not disguise their motives. but one which they wisely never wholly failed to heed. The Act went on to state that a prisoner should be indicted in the first term of his commitment. but surely. Her determination to reverse the trend of events in religion brought her into conflict with her Parliaments. a novelty which the monarchs may have chafed at ever since. The Puritan element in Parliament began to exert more and more . Members began to speak out. There were simply too many members in the Lower House who regarded opposition to the Crown as disloyal. Henry VIII was ruthless in dealing with those who opposed him. In short. it gave him a convenient way of retreat. hereditary succession was replaced by parliamentary succession. In the reign of Henry VIII Parliament had become increasingly important in the scheme of government for it gave confirmation and authority to the royal wishes when needed. in the struggle with foreign and domestic interests. the consent of which was made necessary to raise taxes. often capricious and vengeful. it looked for opportunities in whatever part of the world they could be found (and exploited). In Elizabeth's long reign. as expected. One of the most important milestones in English law had already taken place. who dutifully followed along. A Convention Parliament offered the throne to William and Mary (elder daughter of James II) as joint sovereigns. The Tudors had encountered some opposition from the Commons. The Upper House. and much legislation was put first through the Upper House. Much more than a formality of government and a mere income-generating body. It was in matters where the Queen expressed no opinion that the House was subtly.

It was this leadership that established the real initiative in legislation. For the time being. "Bonnie Dundee" was killed in the battle. but the Highlanders' success led the hitherto hesitant clans to flock to James' standard. defeated a much larger royal army led by General Mackay. A new interest in precedent also searched for ways to establish the privileges. Jacobus. Viscount Dundee. the Commons remained quiet. Almost unnoticed. they . The Commons eventually showed that it not only could decide who could sit on the throne of England. and his constant interference meant that his words lost their weight. however. it was especially alarmed at Elizabeth's middle-of-the road religious policies. Though King James and his supporters controlled parts of Britain including most of Ireland. and especially during the time of the Cecils. from the Latin for James. but was seen as a dignified profession for wealthy and powerful country gentlemen.69 influence. its members were no longer subservient to the Royal Will. they failed miserably in their cause. The first battle against the new King William of England was fought in Scotland. which became increasingly vociferous in expressing its grievances. In July. The King's penchant for elevating his supporters to the House of Lords also left him with inexperienced. Their allegiance was primarily to common law. Between the time of Elizabeth I and the Long Parliament of Charles I. William succeeded in driving them from their bases in both Ireland and Scotland. The Jacobites in Scotland and Ireland It was all-too-soon apparent that William's success in England did nothing to ensure the compliance of Scotland and Ireland. he was not content with staying in the background. the most active of James' supporters. essential changes had taken place in the growth of the English Constitution. Resentment led to opposition. Their presence ensured that the Commons no longer served as a recruiting ground for the service of the Crown. Parliament had further grown in strength when James I failed to keep a sufficient number of his own men in the Commons. and royal prerogative began to be sneered at openly. Privy Councillors had ceased to guide the Lower House. James himself was seen as a meddler. many were lawyers who brought new initiatives along with their legal skills into the committee system. both military and political. a great change had taken place in the relation of the Royal Council to the Commons. untried members to speak for him in the Commons. The leadership exercised by Elizabeth's able Councillors was wholly absent during James' reign. in which there came into power a group of leaders who had no official connection with the government. rapidly changing it from a mere ratifying body to one that formulated and passed laws. By the time of the early Stuarts. without Dundee in command. The cause of the exiled Stuarts became known as Jacobitism. rights and powers of the Commons on a firm basis. It also had to deal with Scotland. acquiescent body that had been afraid to cross the Tudors. kept firmly in control by the carefully groomed Speaker. forceful leaders had made the institution almost unrecognizable from the old. under the strong hand of the Privy Council. The Commons could only benefit from the hiatus. 1689. In a series of strategically-sound campaigns. The Commons had become a dominant force in government. its dynamic. duly supportive of Royal legislation. thus forcing them to become reliant on foreign support. at Killiecrankie. changes in the day to day business and in the way of doing things. it could even dispense with the monarchy altogether. not to the whims of their monarch. The campaigns against William's rule in overwhelmingly-Catholic Ireland began the period of close cooperation of that country with France. unlike Elizabeth. Yet even his power had declined by the end of Elizabeth's reign with the dramatic increase in the use of the committee system. It was a success that gave them false hopes. It continued right up the '45 rebellion.

French King Louis. the costs of the war led to the formation of the Bank of England. he fled to France. Starving Derry (Londonderry) was eventually relieved by an English fleet in July 1689. the Jacobite victory was not followed up. The method of borrowing money at interest. they could make their own terms. instead of taking it by taxation for nothing was established as a normal practice. Other successes were enjoyed by John Churchill. the resolution of May 26. it was too late. Another revolutionary idea was the granting of monopolies in trade by Parliament. In June 1690 William marched on Dublin. 1698 was as important as the "Magna Carta" of 1215. which is precisely what happened over and over again in subsequent British history. The foundation of a society to write marine insurance formed by merchants and sea captains at Lloyd's Coffee House in 1688 was also of enormous importance. It took a while to catch on in other countries. Yet it was the desire for trade and overseas markets that led to the expansion of the Empire. but in Ireland. a day still celebrated with much pomp and pageantry in Northern Ireland. James II left France for Ireland in March 1689. and in June 1690. what was left of the Jacobite cause suffered another catastrophic defeat. and not by the timehonored system of royal dispensation to favorite courtiers. James' outnumbered forces were cast aside. For many. but a prolonged resistance was put up by the people of Derry. his hopes were raised when a large French naval force managed to defeat an Anglo-Dutch fleet.70 were unable to exploit their initial victory. This company. but catch on it did. as soon as respective governments saw the advantages. In 1694. A period of peace between France and England. going to France to continue the fight for James. more accessible to French naval power. Once more showing a failure of nerve. a Whig joint-stock company that raised funds from the public and loaned it to the government in exchange for the right to issue bank notes and to discount bills. His way was blocked by the Jacobite forces on the banks of the River Boyne. William's army. seen by many as the greatest event in the organization of British foreign trade. He still enjoyed the strong support of Louis XIV. And if the trading classes could control Parliament. the so-called Wild Geese. made peace at Rijswijk in 1697. On the Continent. his fleet was sent packing. in time-honored fashion for a Scottish ruler. James had not given up hope of regaining his kingdom. When Louis finally decided to invade England in May 1692. recognizing William as King of England and his sister-in-law Anne as heiress presumptive. where the Protestant apprentice boys had slammed the city gates shut against the Catholic army. for it gave the granting of powers and privileges for carrying on the East India trade to Parliament. occupied Belfast. together with the newlyformed Bank of England. showed only too well the growing power of the British traders and financiers over the state government. Thus a funded national debt came into being. with about 11. came to an end with Louis's recognition of the prince born in 1688 as the future King James III. mostly Danish and Dutch mercenaries. The loan did not have to be repaid as long as the interest was raised by imports duties. and William easily took Dublin. His armies soon won most of the country. which became the site of the battle so vividly remembered and celebrated by Ulster's Protestant majority. however. however. The 1698 Parliament showed its strength by announcing that such grants could no longer be granted as a general rule by royal charter but only though an act of Parliament. Earl of Marlborough. French control of the Channel was not exploited and the initiative was soon lost. The decisive battles involving the Jacobite cause were not fought in Scotland. all their forces in Ireland consequently surrendered. The new East India Company came about as one of the first results of these acts. As so often in the past. dates from this time. mainly as a consequence of the resistance of Derry and Enniskillen. One result of the hostilities was entirely unexpected but had an enormous result on subsequent world history. having enough of the war against the stubborn Dutch and their allies. an act regarded by historian Arthur Bryant as . At Limerick. aided by the Dutch General Ginkel with Hugh Mackay as his second-incommand. In August. It became one of the ever-increasing problems for the country's government: the interference of trade with legislation and administration was to become an inevitable part of the future. the practice of underwriting enormous expenditures in overseas ventures and shipping.000 Irishmen. and thus to troops and supplies. In a desperate attempt to regain his throne.

Marlborough went ahead and attacked the French army at Blenheim. Though the quarrels within and without the Church continued. A grateful nation built Blenheim Palace for the Duke (a sumptuous residence in which Winston Churchill. Though the Dutch feared an invasion by France. Princess Anne succeeded him. the husband of Queen Anne's close friend Sarah. a member of the Established Church of England. Though the times were not yet ripe for complete religious toleration. England became the leading military power in Europe for the first time since the Hundred Years' War. The victorious Wellington was satirized by Scot John Arbuthnot in his "The History of John Bull" (1712) that introduced the name John Bull as a symbol of England. in an age noted for the prolific rise in pamphleteering and electioneering chicanery. another smashing victory at Ramillies was then followed by additional successes at Oudenarde and Malplaquet. gouty Anne that Britain was also fast becoming a nation thoroughly Protestant. continued England and the New World: An Expanding Empire In 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht firmly established England's commercial and colonial supremacy. a name that is remembered in England as one of the greatest victories in its long history. The rise of the Dissenters and the spread of Unitarianism accompanied the so-called Scientific Revolution in England associated with the upsetting (to Churchmen) discoveries of such men as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle. John Churchill. William's accession had meant that the island nation of England had become inextricably part of the Continent. The Established Church no longer played a major role in national politics. The war brought forth one of England's great military leaders. After Louis agreed that his grandson Phillip V would rule the Spanish Empire. the war in France continued." Prospects for the Jacobites. Newfoundland and Minorca as well as Gibralter and the sole right to supply slaves to Spanish colonies.71 one of "megalomaniac folly. though the inevitable differences in worship continued. The accession of William. . a direct descendant of John Churchill. Under his leadership as the Duke of Marlborough. An indication of its eventual triumph in Virginia had been the founding of the College of William and Mary in 1693. the time of Daniel Defoe and Dean Swift and the intense and bitter political between Whigs and Tories. King James had been forced to make a number of concessions to the Nonconformists (or Dissenters) in order to win political support. When William died in 1702 after falling from his horse (young Queen Mary had died of small pox in 1694). a Dutch Calvinist. Anne was an Anglican. Queen Anne (1702-14) The Foundations of Empire It was evident during the reign of dull. As important as William's victories were in Scotland and Ireland. had been instrumental in helping sever that special relationship long enjoyed between Church and Crown. for it gave her new possessions in Nova Scotia. were not helped by the War of the Spanish Succession which tied up Catholic forces in the Netherlands and forced France to withdraw to its own borders. Britain's interests in the New World had begun early. the Toleration Act of 1689 had broken the monopoly of English Protestantism hitherto enjoyed by the Established Church. he was more concerned with the fate of the Spanish Netherlands that looked likely to fall to France upon the death of the childless Charles II of Spain. William formed his Grand Alliance against France in 1701. We have to remember that William's main purpose in taking on the throne of England was to utilize its resources and military forces to defend his beloved Netherlands against the French King. Part 7: The Age of Empire. was born in 1874). The annihilation of the French army at Blenheim was followed by the English capture of Gibralter in 1704. however. it was the war with France that dominated Queen Anne's reign. Churchill succeeded King William as leader of the English and Dutch forces in the Grand Alliance.

In 1541 Pizarro completed his conquest of Peru and de Soto discovered the Mississippi.72 Success in colonizing North America had not come without its terrible costs. One year later. English exploration of North America continued in 1576 when Martin Frobisher discovered Baffin's Land and . it was claimed. A great boost to exploration then came from the publication. and successor to Madoc." tobacco seeds reached Europe. Perhaps the most consequential discovery of the century was that of the silver mine at Potosi by the Spanish in 1545 that fueled the commercial activity of Europe during the following century. initiated by the Cabots. a Bristol merchant and Customs officer. In 1496. Three years later. As a result. The elder Cabot recorded the vast fishing grounds later known as the Grand Banks. It is a sobering fact that the first voyage of Christopher Columbus took place only 20 years after Scotland had finally acquired the Orkneys and Shetlands from Norway. intermingled with the Mandans in the upper Mississippi Valley. took their little fleet along the coasts of what were later called Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Such imports to Europe seized the imagination of John Hawkins who began his career of high-jacking Portuguese and Spanish ships in 1562. the Muscovy Company was founded by Richard Chancellor to trade with Russia in 1555. Jean Nicot (who gave his name to nicotine) sent seeds and powdered leaves of the tobacco plant to France. Canada and on lands along the St. Interest in finding new lands may have been initiated by the publication of "Utopia" by Thomas More in 1515. It was especially so since the writings of Welshman John Dee had claimed the New World for Elizabeth I as Queen of an Atlantic Empire. English mariner Francis Drake then undertook his daring voyage of 1572 to capture the Spanish treasure fleet returning from Peru. along with similar exploits of his fellow mariners. by Jacques Cartier in 1534. of the Flemish geographer Mercator's projection map of the world which represented the meridians of longitude by equally spaced parallel lines and which greatly increased the accuracy of navigational maps. led to England's entering the Slave Trade despite Queen Elizabeth's dramatic speech against it (she later took shares in his company and even lent him a ship). who helped finance the Cabot voyages. in what many non-smokers now consider "a year of infamy. along with oranges from the Orient. In 1561. Further interest in the New World was surely sparked by the explorations of Franciscan missionary de Niza who returned to Spain in 1539 with glowing accounts of the "seven cities of Cibola. Another deciding factor was the planting of the French flag in the Gaspe Peninsular. David Ingram explored from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and reported finding vines with grapes as large as a man's thumbs. Columbus had visited England in 1477 to try to obtain backing for a voyage to discover a new route to the Indies but had been turned down (his brother Bartholomew was also rejected by the English Court in 1485). Much of Britain's investment in North America may have been simply to prevent French influence. It must certainly have been influenced by the Spanish discoveries of maize. John and Sebastian Cabot." One year later. brought from Brazil by a Franciscan monk. yet in retrospect it seemed extremely rapid. that described the benefits of a new land. a feat surpassed by his even greater haul one year later. John Cabot reached Labrador aboard the Matthew. tobacco and the potato. all of which they introduced in Europe. Yet only five years after Columbus had landed in the Bahamas. England's own era of exploration. His 35 day voyage marks the beginning of British domination of North America. sailing from Bristol. was expanded by the journeys of Hugh Willoughby to seek a Northeast Passage to China and the spice trade. He reached Moscow by way of the White Sea and Archangel in 1553. Dutchman Jo Greenlander discovered that early settlers had been in what was later named Greenland. Hawkins' exploits. Tobacco found its way to England when John Hawkins brought some home from Florida in 1565. Lawrence River. The efforts of Spain and Portugal in the same area also spurred further English interest in the Americas. a Welsh prince purported to have landed in what later became known as Mobile Bay in the 12th century and whose followers. Some English scholars maintain that the name America comes from Richard Amerik. Hernando de Soto landed at Tampa Bay and Coronado explored the American southwest. in 1569.

receiving a bonus when Richard Hakluyt produced a recognizable map in 1599. Jamaican ginger. In 1612. In 1586. he re-directed England's efforts at colonizing North America. renamed the Golden Hinde after the gallant ship had passed through the Straits of Magellan. Ireland. and Virginia Dare was born on Roanoke Island. The Virginia colony was established in 1584 at Roanoke by Sir Walter Raleigh. the first English child to be born in North America. In 1632. but the colonists did not entertain their Indian guests at the dinner until the following year. In 1610. Maryland received its charter by a grant from King Charles to Cecil Calvert. Raleigh planted potatoes on his estate near Cork. In 1580. Drake was then knighted by the Queen after capturing the richest prize ever taken at sea. Drake arrived back in Plymouth having circumnavigated the globe in the Pelican. In 1594." The search for the famed Northwest Passage continued unabated. mistakenly called "Indians. This was also a year in which small pox ravaged the native population of the English North American colonies. Chesapeake Bay was discovered by Ralph Lane and Davis Strait by John Davis. Jamestown. Providence was founded as a Rhode Island settlement by Roger Williams. . During the same year. the Virginia House of Burgesses. which eventually managed to produce an extremely profitable export commodity in tobacco. In 1616. including Chief Powhatan. the Mayflower arrived off Cape Cod with 100 Pilgrims and two children born at sea. Canada. Henry Hudson sought a route to China and sailed round the Eastern Shore of Greenland to reach Spitzbergen. providing a further impetus to would-be settlers. the Honourable East India Company was chartered to make annual voyages to the Indies and to challenge Dutch control of the spice trade. In 1628 John Endicott arrived as the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1600. after deaths from scurvy in the Royal Navy had become epidemic. In 1614. and the first American day of Thanksgiving was celebrated on the English ship Margaret at the mouth of the James River. but left smallpox behind to decimate many of the native peoples. Smith also explored the New England coast and renamed a native village.73 Frobisher's Bay on his search for a Northwest Passage to China. The Plymouth Colony celebrated its first Thanksgiving Day. Gilbert then tried unsuccessfully to create the first English settlement in the New World at Newfoundland. When the Portuguese closed its spice market in Lisbon to Dutch and English traders. In 1618. The smoking of tobacco became fashionable in London this year." He brought sassafras back. It eventually became standard practice in the Royal Navy to add citrus juice to the diet (conquest of scurvy played a big part in England's later domination of the seas)." After James I had made peace with Spain in 1604. Two years later Queen Elizabeth gave a patent to Sir Humphrey Gilbert to "inhabit and possess at his choice all remote and heathen lands not in the actual possession of any Christian prince. arrived in Europe. One year later. In 1602. the first black slaves arrived in Virginia. During the same year. and Harvard College came into existence. James Lancaster dosed his sailors with lemon juice to make them the only crew in the entire fleet not decimated by scurvy. Sir Richard Hawkins recommended orange and lemon juice as antiscorbutics. Sir Richard Cavendish became the third man to circumnavigate the globe when his ship the Desire reached England after a voyage of over two years. When the first spice fleet leaving for the Orient arrived at the Cape of Good Hope. the first legislative body in the New World convened at Jamestown. Four years later. John Smith published his "Description of New England". Hudson's ship Discovery reached the strait later to be known as Hudson Bay. when he ventured to a latitude of over 77 degrees north to seek the Northwest Passage. John Smith published his "Map of Virginia" describing the colony. Next. William Baffin sailed farther north than any other explorer for the next 236 years. One year later. the Dutch East India Company was created to obtain spices directly from the Orient. calling it Plymouth. Virginia was founded in 1607. Coffee joined tobacco as a London fad. English sailor Bartholomew Gosnold explored what was later to be called "New England. In 1585. Thousands more English settlers went to the American colonies during the reign of Charles l. In 1620. and the Plymouth and London Companies sent ships and colonists. the first oriental spice to be grown in the New World. English exploration of the New World continued.

as the US Constitution itself later came to be. and the last monarch of the ill-fortuned House of Stuart. But first came political union with Scotland. unless the Scottish government was freed from "English or any foreign influence. She was succeeded by Hanover's Prince George Louis. after the defeat of the armies of King Charles l. but competing with France (and to some extent the Dutch) for North America. Massachusetts Bay Colony began to export codfish. leaving the East Indies to the Dutch. Admiral Penn captured Jamaica from the Spanish. the New Jersey Colony was founded by English colonists. Anne's exiled Catholic half-brother. Pennsylvania had its beginning in the land grant given to Admiral Penn's son. when William died in 1702. supplying Britain with a substitute for honey.74 In 1639 the first Smithfield hams arrived in England from Virginia. Nieuw Amsterdam was renamed New York after its capture from the Dutch. In 1696. A year later. Queen Anne. the country might choose James Edward Stuart. but settled for the Welsh word for head (Pen) and the Latin for woods (Sylvania). sugar cane was grown for profit. as distinct from the existing dynastic union (which had been established with the accession of the Stuart James VI of Scotland as James I of England in 1603). Britain began to concentrate on the West Indies and the Americas. Massachusetts. thus allowing many thousands of Irish peasants and Scots Highlanders to join the forces that would be needed to expand and control England's ever-growing empire. In a move that has been ignored by many historians. he was succeeded by Queen Anne. During her reign. an innovation that made it a self-adjusting constitution." . died in 1714. In 1649. now starting to thrive. On William's deathbed he had recommended union with Scotland. who wished to call it New Wales. William Dampier published his general survey of the Pacific. slaves to the Caribbean and sugar and molasses to New England. a true daughter of the last legitimate monarch. was a precursor of the later war to come. In 1681. Princess Anne did not survive. The English Parliament passed the Act of Settlement in 1701 to ensure that Anne's heir was to be the Electress Sophia of Hanover. whose last surviving child. Further emigration from England to the American Colonies was encouraged during Queen Anne's reign by the 1702 publication of Cotton Mather's "Magnalia Christi Americana. In 1655. 1707 James II's youngest daughter Anne. London was afraid that unless a formal. and the following year. James II. which had produced most of British honey for centuries. developments had taken place in England that were to shortly make it the world's leading industrial power. The manufacture of Rum from sugar cane was established in Barbados. a greatgrandson of James I. granddaughter of James l. of a most "ordinary" character." One year later. In 1703. In the West Indies. England readmitted Roman Catholics to the army in 1686. freeing the English to expand their trade and grow prosperous on it. now rare after the dissolution of the monasteries. Parliament opened the slave trade to British merchants who began their triangular trade from taking rum from New England to Africa. the Quaker William. Consequently. thus there was no direct successor to the throne. The Act of Union with Scotland: May 1. many Royalists emigrated to Virginia. A French-Indian attack on Deerfield. In 1664. however. "Voyage Round the World. In 1698. The Treaty of Westminster of 1674 returned New York and Delaware to England. The Frame of Government for the new colony contained an explicit clause that permitted amendments. the Scottish Parliament passed the Act of Security that provided for a Protestant Stuart succession upon Anne's death." a history of New England designed to show that God was at work in the colonies. political union with Scotland was firmly in place. Dampier sailed on his Pacific expedition to explore the West Coast of Australia.

1707 by act of Parliament. there were many who wished a restoration of the Stuart monarchy. the restoration would have to be accomplished by a foreign (and Catholic) army of occupation. for no longer could European powers use Scotland as a base for an attack on its southern neighbor. the Stuarts were not yet finished. "the fifteen. despite their differences in traditions. Union with Scotland became official on May 1. The Act proclaimed that there would be "one United Kingdom by the name of Great Britain" with one Protestant ruler. Then. launched from France managed to avoid the British fleet. the troops landed too far north to be effective in taking Edinburgh. died the same year as Anne. a Popish enemy at that. Scotland kept its legal system and the Presbyterian Kirk. met with hostility from the English Parliament. and by now predictably. seen in retrospect as an act of policy. In this period of rapid Anglicization of Scotland and the acceptance. cultures and languages. For another. were held together simply because they felt different from people in other countries. to give up a separate and divergent economic policy in favor of a merger that would be of equal benefit to both Parliaments. Sophia. James Edward Stuart. not of affection. who was James III to his supporters was persuaded to undertake an invasion of England. the Act of Union merely cemented what had been a growing interdependence between the two countries. their hopes were raised once again when an invasion of Scotland. When her son George left Hanover to come to England. Sometimes overlooked while discussing the reasons for Scotland's agreeing to the union is the terrible beating taken by that unfortunate nation in the Darien affair. they were constantly being compared with those of other countries in Europe as being better fed. the nation had to balance the loss of its ancient independence against the need to open itself up to a wider world and greater opportunities than it could provide by itself. The Act of Union settled the boundaries of a state known as Great Britain whose people. one legislature and one system of free trade. The people of Britain also felt superior. part came from government propaganda and the need to suppress dissent. When union was strongly urged by Lord Godolphin. Part of the feeling of superiority came from the acquisition of so much overseas territory. The British press was full of the horrors of life in the Catholic states of Europe and the blessings that the island nation enjoyed under its Protestant rulers. In particular. but Scottish mercantile interests were forced by the experience to find a workable solution. they reasoned. Not all on either side were happy with the Union that many historians see as a result of "judicious bribery".75 The English Parliament responded with an Alien's Act that prohibited all Scottish imports to England unless the Scots accepted the Hanoverian succession. Unfortunately. Disease and Spanish interference brought a quick and sad end to the scheme. of the political and economic situation that prevailed in Protestant England." It had been highly apparent that attempts at restoring the Stuarts would have meant the replacement of a Protestant monarchy. better housed and better governed. England gained a much-needed security. with a Roman Catholic dynasty. knowing but a few words of the English language. In 1708. The mercantile interests in Edinburgh did not represent the whole nation. Despite the nostalgia and the romanticism . part came from technical advances that already heralded the coming of both the agricultural and industrial revolutions. The people of the Highlands certainly were not consulted in the matter. There were advantages for both countries in the Union. but gave up its Parliament in exchange for 45 seats in the House of Commons and 16 seats in the House of Lords. For its part. Eighteenth Century England The Electress of Hanover. The Stuarts were backed by France. and it was far too late for that. Britain's most obvious and strongest enemy. in which practically the whole Scottish nation had shown interest. or Panama. in 1715. James II's son. however foreign and dull it appeared. The Scottish Parliament's grandiose scheme to finance a rival to the East India Company and its attempt to found a colony on the isthmus of Darien. for one thing. Perhaps it would be better. the Scots reluctantly acquiesced in order to gain the advantage of free trade with the new British common market. the opportunity was lost. Much of the blame was cast upon "Dutch William" and his English advisors. through the Union.

Briefly. John Hadley invented the reflecting quadrant that made it possible to determine latitude at noon or by night. (In 1676. the South Sea Company. spring-driven timekeeper that would win the prize offered by the London's Board of Longitude to solve a centuries-old puzzle. The attempt of the Pretender to regain the throne for the Stuarts in 1715 thus fizzled out like a damp squib. had acquired a monopoly in the lucrative Spanish slave trade and other trading ventures in South America. In addition. there were two that were to have a profound influence. he kept England at peace and he increased the powers and privileges of Parliament. The first of these events began in 1728 when Yorkshire carpenter John Harrison created a working model of a practical. accurate to with one-tenth of a second per day. a smaller group formed the cabinet. The fiasco. Parliament had insisted that there should be a Privy Council of 80 members. George II (1727-1760) Among the many events that took place during the reign of George II. not only upon his kingdom of Britain. Prices of its shares increased dramatically when the government announced that the company. it was unthinkable for most Britons to contemplate their return. unhampered by royal interference. Part 7: The Age of Empire. gave him such influence that he is remembered as England's first Prime Minister (The title originated as a term of abuse when his opponents mockingly used it to describe his extraordinary power). In 1730. Dozens of irrational schemes came into being as the result of the ridiculously high prices of company shares. was the Jacobite Rebellion. and their wide support in Scotland. but upon much of the world outside its borders. Walpole straightaway reduced import and export duties to encourage trade and took care of the financial crisis by amalgamating the South Sea Company stock with that of the Bank of England and the East India Company. It was left to the Young Pretender. The majority of people in the nation were not in the mood for what surely would be a bloody and prolonged civil war. King George reduced it to 30. Charles Edward to try again during the reign of George II. it was quickly adopted by the admiralty. along with the observations of astronomer . who defended the ministers and the Crown. They certainly did not welcome the idea of a Jacobite army that would be mainly composed of French troops marauding through their land. the inner cabinet. and an even smaller group. The other crisis that affected the reign of the first Hanoverian monarch of England was known as the South Sea Bubble. and not the Bank of England. In 1736. it seemed as if the struggle of Whig against Tory that had brought the country to the verge of civil war had exhausted everyone. understood practically nothing of the English constitution and stayed away from cabinet meetings. involving many government ministers. should finance the National Debt. how to make the accurate determining of longitude possible. that fool of a king (who was ridiculed for his eccentric behavior and poor English). They all crashed in October of 1720 when shares began to tumble. He continued his leading role after the death of George I in 1727. He was lucky that his nation was in no mood for another civil war.76 attached to the exiled Stuarts. At the Act of Settlement of 1701. many investors were ruined. Walpole rose to a position of chief minister. the Greenwich Observatory had been established to study the position of the moon among the fixed stars and to set a standard time to help sailors fix their longitude). And it was here that the important decisions were made. Walpole's day-to-day supervision of the administration of the country. Made weatherproof and placed aboard ships. An astute business man. being rewarded with the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer and leading the House of Commons for 20 years. As "German George" knew little English. founded in 1711. Harrison presented his ship's chronometer to London's Board of Longitude. James Stuart was sent back to France after failing to rally Scotland behind him. and the right person appeared in Robert Walpole. Extremely accurate. continued George I (1714-1727) The first great crisis of the reign of George I. needed someone to straighten things out. and from these.

the Jacobite cause was still powerful enough to be considered the greatest threat to Britain in mid-century. Charles had rallied thousands of Highlanders. Despite having endured so many years of ill-fortune. It was now time for the Jacobite Cause to resurrect itself. he personally led his forces.. From then on. England was forced to involve itself in the war that primarily involved the coalition of Central European powers. Charles Edward seized his opportunity. published in 1763 that calculated longitude at sea from lunar distances. As so many times before in the island nation's history. and indeed some ships did reach Scotland with supplies and artillery. of her possessions. was aided by the Provost's who had secretly left a gate open and had taken the city of Edinburgh (where he assured the Presbyterian clergy of religious toleration). the chronometer was to revolutionize the world's shipping. Walpole was unable to effect a compromise and England went to war in 1739. Brother John was to begin preaching Methodism at Bristol in 1739. Walpole was held responsible and defeated in Parliament after losing support of the Commons. 22 years later. unending search for new markets for English products. the Stuarts were to try again. the new Arch Duchess of Austria. unemployed citizens. When a certain Captain Jenkins presented the sight of his sun-dried (or pickled) ear. George signed a treaty with France to protect Hanover. In 1718. Though the attempt ended in a defeat for the Highlanders at Glenshiel. At home. spread rapidly. as strong-willed as George II seemed to be. to despoil Maria Theresa. aided by his indefatigable preaching and wide spread travels in the British Isles.. new trading centers and eventually. an English newspaper argued in 1723 that the people of the Scottish Highlands "will never fail to join with foreign Popish powers. The new religious ideas were to take root in North America where ideas of political independence from Britain were to merge with ideas of religious independence from the Church of England. Parliament was forced on the defensive. it was increasingly difficult for Walpole to keep England out of war with Spain. He was encouraged by promise of support from France. Caroline of Anspach. believing that she was the cause of most of her troubles. At a time when George II was away in his beloved Hanover and the bulk of the British Army fighting in Flanders and Germany. when a group of students began to call divinity student Charles Wesly a "Methodist. Despite King George's attempts to stay neutral in the European conflict." because of his methodical study habits. the movement. in the conflict with Britain for control of trade. The first conference of Methodists was held in 1744. Parliament was enraged and demanded action. had sponsored an abortive raid on Scotland. By September. Because George II feared a French invasion of his beloved Duchy of Hanover. captured Carlisle. whose influence ensured that Walpole keep his position as prime minister in the new regime. brought about by the continual harassment of British trading ships by the Spanish. (The chronometer was proved to be a success aboard HMS Deptford in 1761). the notorious British weather helped destroy a French invasion fleet in 1744. the War of the Austrian Succession had broken out on the Continent. Walpole had coined the term "balance of power" in a speech in Parliament in June 1741. supported by France. At Dettingen. also in 1728. it gave expression to the principle that was to guide British foreign policy for decades to come. however. Charles was to help found a holy club with his brother John and others for strict observance of sacrament and the Sabbath. along with reading the New Testament and undergoing fasting. new lands to settle her surplus criminals and poor. after the farce of the last attempt to regain the throne. To the dismay of the jingoistic Parliament.77 Nevil Maskelyne. the Spanish government." As if to fulfill this prophecy. he could be controlled by his wife. and won a great victory over the French. When Caroline died in 1737. The Last Gasp of the Jacobites Incredibly enough. At the same time. It was to prove of particular importance to English navigators in their constant. When France declared war on England in 1744. The second major event began at Oxford University. supposedly cut off by the Spanish in 1731. the Stuart prince landed in the Hebrides in July 1745. and defeated a small . he had to fight.

This was not forthcoming. though they still hoped for support from the Bourbons in Spain and France. Even in the Scottish Lowlands. Then William Pitt took over. In the subcontinent of India. support had not been forthcoming. In particular. Scottish success. the fighting qualities and heroic traditions of the Highlanders were put to good use in British armies sent to fight in Europe and further afield. Admiral Byng was disgraced when he lost Minorca to the French in 1757. his countries' armed forces began a string of victories that made them seem invincible. the country was led by William Pitt ("the elder"). and the tiny North Atlantic island of Britain found itself at the head of a vast. and ten years later The . was finished. the wars went badly. Yet. who was determined to use his superior fire power and strength of numbers to his advantage the next time." and under his direction of Parliament. misleading reports about the strength of the English forces convinced the majority of the Council to return to Scotland. In the Seven Years War. Robert Clive won important victories to establish British presence at the expense of the French. it soon became apparent that Charles Edward was not going to be successful in raising the men and money necessary to sustain the invasion. The battle also led to a feeling among the Highlanders that they were invincible in a charge involving hand-tohand fighting. only strengthened the resolve of the pursuing troops under Cumberland. Scotland was ready to play a major role in the expansion of the British Empire. a concentrated Highland charge managed to dislodge British dragoons. only the theatres of war were now primarily in North America and India. But Britain was still anxious to fight for possession of new lands and trade routes. In addition. An English force that caught up with the retreating Scottish army was soundly defeated at Clifton. West Africa and the West Indies. Once again. however. The Seven Years War (1756-63) that closely followed the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion was the most dramatically successful war ever fought by Britain. They were almost correct. Flushed with victory over the obviously ill-trained and ill-prepared British force of General Cope. at first. "Bliadna Thearlaich. Success followed success (mostly at the expense of France) in Canada. Lord Murray argued for a return to Scotland. for struggles in Europe were shifting to those for control of North America. hoping to rally support all along the way. England's ally Prussia was relied upon to conduct operations against France and Austria in Europe. In 1747 James Lind had reported on the success of citrus juice in combating scurvy. In North America." Charlie's Year to the Gaelic-speaking Highlanders. Interests of commerce overrode those of patriotism. the French occupied Hanover. The enormous casualties suffered by the Highlanders in their futile charges against the entrenched infantry. The Jacobites were left without any hope of reorganizing. a man who believed that the strength of the nation's economy depended upon overseas expansion as well as the defence of its trading outposts. world empire in which the Scots played a leading part. and the slaughter of their wounded was followed by a brutal aftermath. the British colonists suffered defeats at the hands of the French. the Scottish army marched south to England. the last battle to be fought on English soil. The Prince reluctantly admitted the lack of support from English Jacobites. uneven pasture lands of Culloden in April 1745 with a considerable distance to cover under fire before they could reach the ranks of the English troops. Despite Charles Edward's bold plans to advance on London. An New Role for the Island Kingdom The War of the Austrian Succession was ended by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. On the bumpy. who began Fort Duquesne. India. the bravery of the charging Highlanders would not be enough. After Walpole's resignation. the person described by Frederick the Great as having been "a man brought forth by England's labor. After Culloden. In other areas. in Europe. Thus Britain found itself at war with France again.78 British force at Prestonpans where his soldiers employed their broadswords in the famous Highland charge.

including those by Admiral Rodney in the Caribbean. (In 1775. Florida (from Spain). as "King of England for four years. It also took considerable toll on England's resources and a general war-weariness gave fodder to those enemies of Pitt who worked for his downfall. the centre of the French West African slave trade and at Guadeloupe in the West Indies. in 1759. It took a considerable amount of political chicanery and bribery to ensure the ratification of the treaty by Parliament. yet France and Spain came off rather well. the West Indian Islands of Grenada. Lord Bute. other victories occurred at Senegal. England was forced to declare war on Spain. he appointed four different men to lead the country in the . had nothing of Pitt's political acumen. which controlled the sea-going trade in the Caribbean and Manila. wide-ranging vision or experience. for it was denounced by Pitt as giving too much away and for containing the seeds of future war. British troops captured Fort Duquesne and renamed it Fort Pitt (later Pittsburgh). As George insisted on picking his own ministers. sea-island cotton and other products produced by slave labor." William Pitt undoubtedly was one of England's great leaders. the right to navigate the Mississippi. it certainly involved more than a mere redistribution of strategic forts and a re-shuffling of frontiers.) He had succeeded with sauerkraut: the Royal Navy ordered all its ships to give out lime juice as a daily ration in 1795. Senegal in Africa. General Wolfe captured Louisburg and then Quebec. upon his return from the Pacific. and the preservation in India of the East India Company's monopoly. a true statesman with a vision expanding far beyond the political boundaries of England. He understood fully the threat from France for hegemony in North America. Vincent.79 Royal Navy received the new sextant created by John Campbell. Pitt gathered all power into his own hands. Lawrence. Seen by historian Carlyle. At the time of King George II's death in 1760. Cape Breton. To Pitt's dismay and fears for the future. a center of the trade with China. Minorca. honorable. and in Europe. one who was perfectly capable of choosing his own ministers. Britain did gain Canada. the king wished to end what he called " a bloody and expensive war. it reflected the growing influence of the mercantile classes in Parliament. Captain James Cook received a medal from the Royal Society for finally conquering scurvy. administration and the military. Spain. In Canada. England was growing rich from profits made in sugar. Besides. that made her mistress of the world and master of the seas. he controlled finance. Thus France's naval power had been left untouched. "thoroughly English" monarch. Pitt refused to desert Prussia. but despite a series of overwhelming victories. in turn. Pitt's urging of war with Spain met with fierce resistance in the Commons and he was forced to resign. Pierre and Miquelon." Britain gained handsomely at the Treaty of Paris of 1763. A new leisured class was rapidly developing that would eventually demand its say in government. France then turned to Spain for an alliance to help her regain her North American possessions. France was appeased with the islands of St. fishing rights off Newfoundland (the nursery of the French navy. a victory that was followed up by General Amherst to complete the surrender of Canada to Britain. Lord Bute was more to his liking than William Pitt. Britain was later to pay dearly in the loss of its American colonies. islands in the Gulf of St. George III (1760-1820) The new king saw himself as a kind of savior. In North America. Nova Scotia. tobacco. His successor in Parliament. It also reflected the indomitable energy and initiative of William Pitt. and he took the vital steps to counter it. Bute did not wish to further antagonize a severely weakened France and Spain. Only months after Pitt's resignation. freeing the country from the tyranny of a corrupt Parliament and restoring it into the hands of a virtuous. St. received Havana. Dominica and Tobago in the West Indies. When peace negotiations began with France. His war with France has been seen by many historians as the First World War. he had brought 118 men "through all climates for three years and 18 days with the loss of only one man. later to play such a decisive role in the American War of Independence) and the rich sugar islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Britain's prosperity had come about despite the favoring of Hanover by King George.

a Second Navigation Act forbade English colonists to trade with other European countries. especially from Germany. wool. ideas of breaking away from the Mother Country were sure to follow the pioneers as they moved over the mountains in search of new lands to settle. Meanwhile. In 1660. In the meantime. a drink heavily favored because of its supposed therapeutic properties increased dramatically in the Colonies. the result was widespread economic distress and political unrest.80 1760's: the Earl of Bute. Parliament imposed customs duties on goods carried from one American colony to another. or wool cloth to any place whatsoever. sugar. It therefore could justify the infamous sugar tax of 1764 and the stamp duty one year later. The enormous expense of the Seven Years War. molasses and many other essential items of American livelihood. Charles I sought to strengthen the Navigation Acts in that certain "enumerated articles" from the American colonies may be exported only to the British Isles. not to be overlooked in the growing aspirations for independence. In 1763. Six years later. In addition. Part 7: The Age of Empire. and the Elder Pitt. A rolling iron mill established in New Hampshire also gave notice that the colonists could engage in an industry that had hitherto been an English monopoly. The decree was honored only in the breach and further intensified the Colonists' growing desires for independence from the . Between them. the population of the American Colonies was enjoying a rapid population increase. George Grenville. A hint of later rebellion was provided in 1741 when Salem sea captain Richard Derby avoided the British Navigation Acts by sailing his schooner Volante under Dutch colors. Colonists could now break out of their relatively narrow coastal areas and move westward. his personal favorite. His last choice. It was still too early to be a bone of contention with the Colonies. the Cumberland Gap through the Appalachians was discovered by English physician Thomas Walker. the Mississippi River was recognized as the boundary between the British colonies and the Louisiana Territory. the Navigation Act forbade importation of goods into England or her colonies except by English vessels or by vessels of the countries producing the goods. the raising of the bounty on whales by the English government in 1750 did much to encourage the New England fishing industry. In 1651. the Marquee of Rockingham. In 1663. In 1750. Export duties and profits to middlemen then made prices of the goods prohibitive in the Colonies. Even though not many colonists were engaged in the woolen industry. The price of rum. further resentment came with the Woolens Act of 1699 that prevented any American colony from exporting wool. European goods bound for America had to be unloaded at English ports and reshipped. In 1672. But these taxes were only the latest in a long history of repressive measures that were designed solely to benefit England's mercantile. These articles include tobacco. This was passed to help the nation's merchant navy in their struggle against the Dutch. it was mostly restricted to their individual homes. industrial and agricultural interests. they lost America. Ireland and other countries not disposed to favor keeping ties with Britain. but large profits were made by American merchantmen carrying cod from the Newfoundland banks. due to the high birth rate and high rates of immigration. rum and sugar imported from non-British West Indian islands." Trading restrictions continued in 1733 when the Molasses Act taxed British colonists on the molasses. and the protection of the Colonies from the designs of France. wool yarn. led Parliament to insist that Americans should pay for their own defence. continued The American War of Independence The final revolt of Britain's American colonies was a long time coming: it certainly could have been foreseen and better prepared for by the intransigent London government. was Lord North. Benjamin Franklin was able to report to the Colonies just how far American importers could safely go in flouting London's mercantile acts. In 1757. farther away from English interests. London marine insurance companies began to charge exorbitant rates on ship and cargo from New England to Caribbean ports. By 1763. there was an angry reaction to George III's decree that Colonists must remain east of the sources of rivers that flow into the Atlantic. especially in Virginia. after a visit to England.

In May. Parliament passed the Sugar Act and sent customs officials to order colonial governors to enforce it. Boston in September to draw up a statement of grievances. However in March. completely out of touch with the aspirations of the American Colonists. but in England. showed only too well that the fledgling nation could develop its own institutions. the greatest protest against the Act came. as were lands of the Iroquois between the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. First. fish. the Currency Act then forbade the Colonies from printing paper money. the land-hungry Colonists were indifferent. Though William Pitt had returned as Prime Minister. a Bill that imposed duties on American imports of paper. In Philadelphia the opening of the first American medical school. received a great boost by the invention of Pennsylvania mechanic James Davenport that could spin and card wool. Ironically. the Declaratory Act rekindled the flames of colonial resentment. not in the Colonies. indigo and wheat were streaming out of the ports of Boston. by and with the consent of Parliament. passed in March.81 dictates of London. despite cries of "Treason" from other delegates." and urged the colonies to unite to oppose Britain's new tax laws. Daniel Boone took his party through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. in the Virginia House of Burgesses. partly in response to the persuasive powers of visiting Benjamin Franklin. was particularly resisted: it was the first measure to impose direct taxes in the Colonies. Boston merchants organized a boycott of British luxury goods and initiated a policy of non-importation. lead and tea. it seemed that reconciliation was in the offing when Parliament. Boston lawyer James Otis denounced "taxation without representation. where the Sons of Liberty formed clubs to show their resistance. In commerce. Exports of tobacco. Patrick Henry stood up to denounce the Act. infantry regiments were brought in from Canada. .000 inhabitants. The king had not wished to antagonize Spain and France. In 1767. Parliament passed the Quartering Act ordering colonists to provide barracks and supplies to British troops (quite fair considering the expense of maintaining the defence of the Colonies). In May. where merchants complained that it was contrary to the true commercial interests of the Empire. almanacs and legal documents. Cherokee lands were ceded to the Crown in the Carolina and Virginia Colonies. They were now beginning to despair of bringing the British Government to reason through limited resistance. In April 1763. Philadelphia. playing cards. for it declared that the King. with over 25. It required revenue stamps on all newspapers. New York and Providence. During the same month. had become the second largest city in the British Empire. thus defying the 1763 decree of King George. bread and flour. In the meantime. Rebellion may not have been immediately on the minds of the Colonists and John Dickinson's "Letters from a Farmer" advised caution and loyalty to King and Empire. Two years later he was emulated by a party of Virginians moving into what later became Tennessee (10 years later.000 pioneers pouring into the new territories of Western Tennessee and Kentucky). Another pioneering journey was that of a fleet of American whalers into the Antarctic Ocean to begin a new and most profitable industry. but the Townsend Act would be on the minds of the merchant classes. in the meanwhile. Self-confident American colonials were beginning to flex their muscles. following anti-British riots. When delegates from 28 towns in Massachusetts met at Faneuil Hall. rice. pamphlets. the government decided at this juncture to take a harder line American industry. later to become the College of Physicians and Surgeons. More riots broke out in Boston the following June when Customs officials seized a sloop belonging to John Hancock. As the colonists had contributed little tax support to England. The Act was also denounced in Boston. had the authority to make laws and to bind the British colonies in all respects. dice. The Stamp Act. shipping interests were booming. glass. repealed the Stamp Act. Also in May. Events started moving to a head in 1765. and the arrogant Lord Townsend introduced the infamous Townsend Act. Early in 1766. Boone led a party to break the Wilderness Road to be used by more than 10. his powers were no longer as effectual. In October a Stamp Act Congress convened in New York to protest taxation without representation and resolved to import no goods that required payment of duty.

at this juncture. However. whose smuggling of contraband tea had been made unprofitable by the measures passed in Parliament. In June. but they were aided enormously by incompetent English generals. the colonists were no match for the better trained. It created a major shift in political emphasis. The War of Independence can be summarized briefly. One George Washington in charge of English redcoats would have quickly ended the rebellion. The resolutions were adopted on July 2. but no less than George Washington himself wrote that ". already being incited to rebellion by radicals in many of the Colonial governments (aided by such Whig newspapers as "The Massachusetts Spy"). supported by John Hancock. "Men of Sense and property" such as George Washington. Boston Harbor was closed until the East India Company was reimbursed for its lost tea and until trade could be resumed and duties collected. the war started well for the government. a huge step towards independence was taken by the Virginia House of Burgesses that issued its resolutions rejecting Parliament's right to tax British colonists. The first Continental Congress quickly adopted a Declaration of Rights and Grievances. at the Battle of Golden Hill. came too late to assuage those who had already made up their minds that the future of their country was as an independent nation. It is interesting to note that the protest was organized by Samuel Adams.. arguing the pro's and con's of independence. that the majority of the colonists opposed independence. not to force its hand. The war began in April 1775 when a force of redcoats. the so-called "Boston Massacre" further inflamed passions." Benjamin Franklin also cautioned against a break with the mother country. New York. when news of the Bostonian's "tea-party" reached Parliament. the Second Continental Congress had followed after the urging of Richard Henry Lee of Virginia to make foreign alliances and form a confederation. In March.82 In 1769. were not willing to fight Britain to gain it. Efforts to end the war by negotiation broke off. The publication of The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson which was signed by 56 delegates was no doubt influenced by the publication of Thomas Paine's Common Sense written in July 1776. sent to seize war material stored at Concord. were met by a force of patriots. for despite its unkindness "of late. Patrick Henry made his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. Lord North. Yet even with these crippling burdens. 1770. and many colonies sent supplies to help the Bostonians survive the closing of its port. Other "tea-parties" followed Boston's example. The so-called Boston "Tea-Party" in December 1773 had protested British taxes on American imports and in September 1774. The strong determination of the colonists to make themselves completely independent would surely have succeeded in the long run. no thinking man in all of North America desires independence. The acts were a fatal blunder by the Prime Minister. outrage by many of its members produced its coercive acts in a failed attempt to bring the colonists to heel. the first blood was shed between British troops and the colonists. 1775. 1774 can be called the year of the pamphlets.. with huge amounts of tracts being written and distributed throughout the American Colonies. As nothing else. or at least. better armed and better disciplined regulars of the British army. however. When the governor dissolved the assembly. despite the incompetence of its generals. Events moved fitfully towards an inevitable conclusion. the first Continental Congress of twelve colonies met in Philadelphia." the link was worth preserving. without the notoriously corrupt Earl of Sandwich in charge at the Admiralty. and the dye had been cast. One of its immediate effects was to create a will and strength to see the thing . At first. augmented by King George's Hessians. deplored the actions of those who staged the "Boston Tea-Party" and it is safe to say. In March. The repeal of the Townsend Acts by newly-appointed Prime Minister Lord North. The radicals were still few in number and all measures taken by the Colonies were undertaken to pressure the British Government to listen to their grievances. In addition. the Royal Navy would have surely held the seas against the French relief forces. completely freed from its political links with Britain. In January. its members met in private and agreed not to import any duty-liable goods. The resulting skirmishes of Lexington and Concord meant that there would be no turning back for either side. they united the colonies against the government. 1776.

Its results were to destroy the ambitions of the French dictator. Poorly led. surrendered one of its armies under Burgoyne at Saratoga. On the Continent. the armies of France crushed those of Austria. "the citizen-soldiers" who made up the bulk of the American armies. Britain was at war with the greatest military power on earth. they had been betrayed by the incompetence of their officers as much as by the determination of the Colonists under Washington's inspired leadership. For 23 years. Lord North expressed his dismay at the poor leadership shown by the British commanders in America. paradoxically was just about to begin. including Robert Walpole. 1776 which provided a stirring impetus to continue. but sympathetic (and profit-hungry) British merchants. led by its great military genius Napoleon. which was blocked the French fleet. the Treaty of Paris recognized the independence of the American Colonies. General Howe failed to consolidate his victory. The British armies in North America were exhausted. 1783. United in their Protestantism more than anything else. no further military operations of any consequence took place. it was their Protestantism (and perhaps their representatives in Parliament) that held them together. mainly through the conflicting aims of trade and religious conversion (the latter always second to the former) to the far corners of the earth. preferring to sit out the winter in Philadelphia. When the British forces. Thus it was only right for them to go out as bringers of enlightenment. dispersed over hundreds of miles of unknown territory and harassed every step of the way. also provided aid in the form of money. but to uphold the imposition of order only through international law. In Parliament. Later in the year. Signed on September 3rd. religious and moral people. In January. however. forced to march and counter-march through untracked wildernesses. Washington followed up his victory at Trenton by defeating Cornwallis at Princeton.83 through. Britain's great age of Empire. continued The Growth of Empire The long struggle between Britain and France for world supremacy continued to be fought all over the globe. after the Declaration. they saw their fight as necessary to protect their natural rights as free men against a tyrannical and out-of-touch king. The anarchy and confusion that prevailed in France during its Revolution were looked on with revulsion in England. When Cornwallis surrendered his troops at Yorktown. The War was over. The victory at Saratoga galvanized into action the French government. General Washington appointed Polish military expert Kosciusco to help train the volunteers. Before the Declaration. who followed up its policy of aiding the Colonists with money and supplies by recognizing American independence and forming an alliance with the fledgling nation. the revolutionaries had seen their cause as mainly fighting for their rights as British subjects against a stubborn English Parliament. now having come to terms with the loss of its American colonies and having become more of a united kingdom in the painful process. Not only that. Part 7: The Age of Empire. who returned to England. were engaged in smuggling arms and provisions to the Americans through the West Indies. Following many early defeats. In 1779. repelled those of Prussia and helped establish . after foolishly digging in where he had no natural defences except the sea. The French fleet was to prove decisive in the struggle and ultimate victory of the Americans. and the American army was miraculously able to recover. it was the beginning of the end for the valiant redcoat armies. This indeed was a cause worth fighting for. for reasons of their own. they thought of themselves as a united. supplies and military hardware. it was a surprising victory over the Hessians at Trenton on Christmas Day. Spain and Holland. To aid in the fight. to impose a New Order on the whole of Europe by force and to vindicate Britain's equally firm resolve to not only resist. the Welsh and Scots and English thought of themselves as British. when he lost the Battle of Brandywine and retreated to Valley Forge.

made the Pope a prisoner and the same year assembled an army to invade England. (It is to be noted that the British crews were now free of scurvy which continued its deadly toll on enemy ships). He went to Egypt instead. was utterly defeated at Leipzig. soon to succeed Sir John Moore as British Commander. during the following year gave Britain control of Trinidad and Ceylon in exchange for its other maritime conquests. with their British allies at Abukir. where his forces captured Alexandria and Cairo from the Mamelukes. leading to the Treaty of Schonbrunn that ended hostilities between the two countries. England was asked to help protect the navigation rights to the Dutch. who invaded Portugal under Sir Arthur Wellesly. Napoleon invaded Russia.84 a French Republic. In March 1810. On October 21. French troops then marched into Spain to prevent occupation by Britain. The war came to an end during the same year when the Congress of Vienna rewrote the map of Europe. Holland and Spain who formed an alliance. the Treaty of Ghent ended the ''War of 1812' between Britain and the United States. When British ships bombarded Copenhagen in September for joining the Continental system. and Wellesly continued his successes in Spain to cross the borders into France. On land. however. Denmark allied with France and Russia declared war on Britain. He then left to take command of his armies in Europe as first consul and dictator of France. with Napoleon defeating the Austrians and Russians at the Battle of Austerlitz in December. A renewal of hostilities and the need for France to find adequate finances led to the doubling of the United States by its "Louisiana Purchase" in 1802. Similarly. With her armies victorious in Europe. now opposed by the formidable Prussian leader Marshall von Blucher as well as Wellesly. The European war then seesawed back and forth. Early in 1806. Napoleon married the Austrian Archduchess Maria Luisa. It was the beginning of the end for the armies of Napoleon despite a costly victory over the Austrians at Wagram. and when Napoleon reached Moscow. Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor. the same year that Britain and the United States began a 30 month war over issues that included the impressment of US seamen. another British victory was achieved by Arthur Wellesly over native forces. Napoleon won at Dresden. Wellesly continued his success in Spain against the French armies. the French armies continued their string of victories. he defeated the Turks. Prussia now joined the fight against Napoleon's grandiose ambitions. Spain then declared war on Britain. he found the Russian armies had prudently withdrawn and the city almost empty. The French Republic then declared war on Britain. 1805 one of the greatest sea victories in England's long history took place at Trafalgar.) When France invaded the Netherlands. 1793. 1800. In 1812. (The monarchy was abolished by the National Convention in September. England was now poised to assume the mantle of world leadership in many areas. defeating the Austrians at Marengo. 1815 at the hands of Blucher and Wellington finally ended his European dreams. Two years later. All French pretensions as a great sea power were effectively ended by this decisive battle during which Nelson was mortally wounded. but a temporary peace signed at Amiens in March. in May 1804. Napoleon's abdication was followed by his internment at Elba. In India. Austria renewed its enmity with France. Napoleon's Berlin Declaration inaugurated the Continental system designed to cut off food and supplies reaching Britain from the Continent. promoted to Duke of Wellington. when Admiral Nelson defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet near Gibralter. His escape from Elba and consequent defeat at Waterloo in June. Early in 1805. the Holy Roman Empire came to an end after a thousand years when the Confederation of the Rhine was set up under French control. An alternating series of defeats and victories then followed for the French armies. In France. Leadership implied responsibility and created a dilemma as to which side England should support in the . Napoleon once more contemplated invading England by assembling a fleet at Boulogne and negotiating with Robert Emmet to lead a rebellion in Ireland. Viscount Nelson blockaded a French fleet intent on invading England. 1791: King Louis XVI was executed in January. Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Rome in 1796. No-one in Paris witnessing the construction of the Arc de Triomphe could have guessed the fate soon to overtake their triumphant Emperor. Napoleon continued his victories in Europe.

In 1600 "Theatre d'agriculture des champs" had been published in France by Huguento Ollver de Serres recommending revolutionary changes in crop growing methods. The horrors of the War have been well documented." gained diplomatic representation and the right for Christian missionaries to practice their trade in China. Potatoes had been planted in the German states as early as 1621 though much of Europe remained in fear of the tubers' spreading leprosy but their food value was too great to be ignored. An Anglo-French force captured forts leading to Tientsin and Peking. in particular. Massive numbers of peasants and small landowners were displaced. There. where they had to deal with the great mutiny. Palmerston continued his "gun-boat" policy by later aiding Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily and the Neapolitan mainland by sending warships. send reinforcements and ensure adequate training created disaster after disaster in the field. the more dangerous rival? In 1854. Florence Nightingale and her gallant nurses did their best to remedy the appalling hospital conditions and the army's resentment at their "interference. an undertaking that had for so long been traditionally conservative and opposed to change. vowing to punish the insolent Chinese for arresting the ship on a piracy charge. including more "treaty ports. land enclosures had been taking place steadily since the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. His government also compensated the United States for the mischief caused by the Confederate raider Alabama built on Merseyside. The result was the costly muddle known as the Crimean War that began in 1854 and that solved nothing. . The Chinese forbade the opium trade. the general incompetence of the military leaders such as Lord Cardigan of the Light Brigade fame. typhus and scurvy as well as the lack of adequate food. common interests brought Britain and France together in defense of the crumbling Empire of Turkey against the ever-increasing aggressiveness of Russia. or Russia. It had been mainly ignored by all. Notorious winter weather continued to plague a system that was reluctant to introduce major changes except to increase the amount of land available for the raising of sheep and cattle. but the numbing cold aided by cholera. dysentery. the known. wanted to keep Russia out of the Straits and away from the Mediterranean. A riot against the enclosures in Elizabeth's reign was severely dealt with. the unknown. agreed to the peace terms. his countrymen were at the forefront of creating changes in the way the land was farmed and livestock raised that would dramatically change the face of agriculture. to prevent Austria from joining the allies. The second war with China came in 1857 out of an incident involving the Arrow. The refusal of the Duke of Wellington to initiate reforms in the army. a Hong Kong schooner sailing under a British flag. The Opium War ended with the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 that opened up five "Treaty Ports" for trade and gave Hong Kong to Britain. but there were some in England who took notice. Britain. Palmerston won an election on the issue. Other areas in which English soldiers were involved included India. clothing and shelter." The war ended when the allies took Sebastopol after a costly siege and Russia. The Agricultural Revolution King George III had shown such a great interest in the agricultural improvements taking place in England that he was known as "Farmer George. won concessions from the Chinese.85 conflicts of Europe. but a war with China over British export of opium from India in exchange for silks and tea. Was France. The main enemy proved to not be the incompetent Russian armies. however. the lack of an efficient central authority to manage supplies. with the great barons amassing huge swathes of the best agricultural lands when the king sold them off. rashly fired on a British warship and were bombarded by a Royal Navy squadron. and the enclosures continued apace." He had much to be proud of.

English engineer Thomas Savery improved matters with his crude steampowered "miner's friend" to pump water out of coal mines. hardier and healthier. an industrial revolution was taking place that would also change the world forever. Hand in hand with the vast improvements in agriculture and medicine. Townsend was followed by Thomas Coke who worked on the principle "No fodder. Bakewell pioneered methods of selection and the secret of breeding. The enormous increase in the price of firewood fueled a rush to find and extract more coal. Scotsman Andrew Meilde developed the first successful threshing machine. A further advance came in 1705. no beasts: no beasts. It is to Robert Bakewell. farmers had realized that beef and mutton would be more profitable than powers of draught and quantities of wool. Townsend also studied foreign methods of land use and introduced the practice of crop rotation into England. using turnips and clover to revitalize land left fallow and to provide winter feed for livestock. English farmers having produced sufficient basic necessities. In 1627. Even as early as 1707. Another great pioneer was "Turnip" Townsend. had a great impact on future methods of cultivation. Arthur Young's tenure as Secretary of the Board of Agriculture ensured that the new farming methods were accepted throughout the nation (though it took many years for English farmers to utilize the iron plow. The opening of Fortnum and Mason's in London in that year attests to the increased demand for foreign delicacies. who made iron boilers for the Newcomen engine. Land enclosures may have been protested vigorously by the peasantry. Tull had studied farming methods on the continent and was not reluctant to introduce them into England. The Industrial Revolution The progress of the industrial revolution is a long catalog of mechanical inventions by which the labor and skill of the human worker was replaced by machines. discovered . contributing greatly to better breeds of both cattle and sheep. In 1709 a major breakthrough occurred when Abraham Darby. but it also enjoyed better and more reliable supplies of bread and vegetables. developed in 1784 by James Small). This was of little use. however. Farm animals became fatter. In the latter part of the century. Coal was a ready substitute as fuel and it was abundant. The early part of the 17th century brought a new emphasis on coal mining though effective methods of extracting it had to wait until developments in the steam engine took place and mines could be drained of their ever-present water. even under the most primitive mining conditions. In particular. It had its beginnings in the depletion of England's forests in Elizabethan times to provide timber to build its great navies. It was simply a matter of the nation being better fed. Edward Somerset had invented a crude steam engine." At Holkham. no manure. Progress in agriculture was to be dwarfed by what took place in industry. but they did result in better management. In 1701 Jethro Tull's seed-planting drill had enormously increased crop production and lessened waste. Newcastle was producing half a million tons a year. In 1786. population growth had been more or less increasing at the same slow rate for hundreds of years. But coal was expensive and dangerous to mine. Britain became a meat-eating nation. Coke continually worked on ways to improve crop yield. In addition. whose manure in turn fertilized his fields. when Cornish blacksmith Thomas Newcomen produced his steam engine to pump water out of mines. England was enjoying the fruits of its explorations and settlements in India. In England.86 By 1631. including breeding the new Leicester sheep. allowed for selective breeding of stock and experiments with fertilization and machinery that produced better crops. following the publication of Lady Montagu's "Inoculation Against Smallpox" in 1718. Secretary of State under George II and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. the killing disease began to be eliminated in England. but in 1698. both of which. In 1733 he invented the two-wheeled plough and the four-coulter plough. and after the work of Edward Jenner in the 1790's. but began a rapid rise in the 18th century. potato production in Europe was so great that a population explosion ensued. that most of England's outstanding success in producing better breeds of sheep and cattle is to be attributed. By 1655. strenuously resisted at first by his labourers. no manure. no crops.

The adaptation of Richard Trevithick's high pressure steam engine to propel a road vehicle in 1800 is a major milestone in the development of the railroad. the whole process being geared to producing for profit and ushering in a totally new economic system. The steam engine also affected and completely transformed transportation and though the canals had their glorious years. and giving further impetus to the search for coal. especially in Yorkshire. James Watt patented his double-acting rotary steam engine in 1782. It was used to drive machinery of all kinds. Watt entered into partnership with Mathew Boulton to produce his steam engines which would revolutionize industry and the world. A single worker could now operate a number of spindles to produce several threads at once. The industrial revolution was on its way. In 1739. Women and children now left their homes and their spinning wheels and looms to work in the mills. joining cities and towns all over the nation and enabling manufactured goods and raw supplies to be shipped anywhere they were needed. a centre of manufacturing. During the same year. In 1765. James Rumsey and Robert Fulton and the Scot William Syminton led the way. the textile industry was also changing English society. English ironmaster Henry Cort perfected his process of puddling iron. totally freeing it from its dependence upon charcoal for fuel. It heralded an era of rapid canal building. a far more efficient source of power than that of Newcomen. quick execution of their leaders brought the movement to an end with only sporadic outbreaks). Scotsman Patrick Clark developed a cotton thread that was to replace linen thread on Britain's looms. for it allowed enough thread to be produced for the weavers. at first furnished by the rapidly flowing streams of the North. wind. Brindley's Grand Truck Canal began construction to link the western and eastern coastal ports of Britain. The locomotive had arrived on the world's scene. Labor costs had been halved by the invention of Kay's flying shuttle in 1733. and the lines of the factory system laid down. English cotton mills began to proliferate in Lancashire and Yorkshire. the first of the inventions by which the textile industry was transformed. Benjamin Huntsman rediscovered the ancient method of making crucible steel at Sheffield. the same year that the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufacture was formed. made from coal. In 1769. The same year saw the invention of a spinning machine by Wyatte and Paul that redressed the gap between spinning and weaving. In the 1760's the Bridgewater Canal was opened to link Liverpool. or water power. England's major port (which had profited enormously from the slave trade) with Leeds. the Golden Age of domestic industry was now over. In 1782. the first iron rolling mill was established in Hampshire. Samuel Crompton devised his spinning mule. Hargreave's spinning jenny completed the balance. a great improvement on his earlier invention. The woolen industry was also to benefit enormously from the new machinery. At the same time that coal mining and iron manufacturing were making such rapid progress. In 1804. The 1780's saw the introduction of steam to power riverboats. Sporadic riots against the employment of the new machinery did nothing to halt their proliferation and with the increase came a shift in the way industry was financed. could substitute for wood in a smelting furnace to make pig and cast iron. In 1779. . With the steam engine replacing animal. In 1754.87 that coke. but more and more powered by steam. they were soon to be eclipsed by the railroad. James Watt produced his steam engine. in a trial run. In 1805. Trevithick carried 10 tons of iron and 70 men by steam engine run on rails at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. In 1765. The factory system was responsible for the development of the joint capitalist enterprise that became such a powerful force in the nation's economic affairs. Both English and US economies were to benefit from Eli Whitney's cotton gin of 1792. beginning two years later at a textile factory in Nottinghamshire. The mining industry benefited greatly from Humphrey Davy's invention of a safety lamp for miners in 1815. in which the work US inventors John Fitch. completely changing the way wrought iron is produced. soon to become a major British steel producer. (The Luddites began their activities in earnest in 1811 to no avail. a landmark in the industrial revolution. The move away from cottage industry to the factory system was further hastened in 1769 with Arkwright's invention of a frame that could produce cotton thread hard and firm enough to produce woven fabric.

In the meantime. pearls and sugar. Huge coal fields were thus made available in Scotland and Wales.88 Only three years later the first paying passengers were taken on the mineral railroad world linking Mumbles with Swansea. African slaves were first introduced into Hispaniola by Spanish settlers. needed for the vast networks of railroads sprouting up all over England. the first iron railroad bridge was completed by George Stephenson for the pioneering Stockton-Darlington line. the world's first iron steamship was launched in April. Aaron Manby. but also to use anthracite to smelt iron. road transportation began to benefit enormously through the improvement of highways brought about by the experiments of Scot MacAdam after 1815. it is sad to relate that so many of its leading citizens made their fortunes from the slave trade. 1822 but it took many years for iron to displace wood in the world's navies. South Wales. In 1501. During Britain's rise to world supremacy in so many areas. Hawkins traded the slaves at Hispaniola for ginger. In 1879. making a huge profit which could not be ignored by his countrymen. he brought back more than 500 Caribbean's to Spain to be sold as slaves. used as slave labor and increased the importation of African slaves to replace them. the natives had already been severely decimated. The introduction of the hot blast by Scot James Neilson in 1828 made it possible not only to use coal without having it coked first. Part 7: The Age of Empire. Siemens invented the regenerative furnace. and a new industry was given to England and the world. the invention of the flanged T-rail by Robert Stevens in New Jersey laid the foundations of all future railroad track developments. began its challenge to the Erie Canal). this was the same year that the Erie Canal opened in the US to link the Great Lakes with the Hudson and the Atlantic: only two years later. The snowball effect of all these inventions continued throughout the century. The nefarious business played a crucial role in the development of Britain's mercantile interests.S. using horses for power (It lasted until 1960 when its electric trams were discontinued). African slaves were taken to Cuba. Portugal also imported slaves into Brazil to replace native labor in the sugar plantations. the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. continued England's Role in the Slave Trade Only two years after Columbus discovered the New World. (Ironically. During the same year. an important advance came when Gilchrist-Thomas was able to remove phosphorous from the ores used in smelting (Germany and the US with great deposits of iron ore were particularly grateful for this invention). The 1545 discovery of the Potosi silver mines as well as epidemics of typhus and smallpox hastened the decline of the natives. Hawking sold a cargo of Black slaves in Hispaniola and the floodgates were opened. In 1864. resulting in a labor shortage in the plantations. The S. By 1518 huge numbers of African slaves were arriving at Santo Domingo to harvest sugar cane. In 1856 Bessemer introduced his revolutionary steel-making process. though the biggest gains came in Pennsylvania when Welsh iron master David Thomas built his first furnace on the Lehigh in 1839. In 1511. English participation in the lucrative slave trade seems to have begun when John Hawkins hijacked a Portuguese ship carrying Africans to Brazil in 1562. Though Queen Elizabeth spoke out against the dark business. In 1830. even lending him one of her ships in the . One year later. the first to go into regular service. using rolling stock and rails imported mainly from Wales. improving the strength and durability of steel. English inventor George Stephenson ran his steam locomotive on the Killingworth colliery railway in 1814. In September 1825. she later took shares in Hawkins'' ventures. the world's first steam locomotive passenger service began as the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The nasty business had begun in earnest. In 1560.

sugar and tobacco grown with slave labor. but a drop in sugar prices had made slavery unprofitable on the . English Quakers were also very active in their denunciation of the trade. a whole new leisured class had been created in England from profits gained mainly from island cotton. Sharp's rebellion in Jamaica took place in 1831. perhaps due to pre-occupation of the House with the American War of Independence. At this time. Portugal. from there West Indian sugar and molasses was shipped to New England to produce more rum. speedy Baltimore clipper ships continued to deliver cargoes of slaves. The Virginia colony received its first Black slaves in 1619. and. all the elements of the anti-slavery movement in England coalesced when William Wilbeforce and Thomas Buxton formed an antislavery society in London. However. tea (begun to be drunk in earnest in England in the mid-1600's). In 1823. English privateers in the slave trade gave way to the Royal company. In Europe a growing appetite for sugar as a sweetener for the newly introduced beverage. and from there.500 slaves a year into Spain's New World colonies for the next thirty years.000 Black slaves a year to the Caribbean. the new. in which cotton was sent to West Africa. and the Netherlands (It was Hawkins who introduced tobacco into England in 1565). especially after "King Philip's War" of 1676. more and more investment took place in the slave trade. but insurrections in some of the islands prevented a motion from being passed in 1781 that forbade the practice. A turning point in British toleration of slavery occurred in 1772 when James Somerset escaped from his master. meant a great increase in sugar plantations in the Caribbean and thus the need for more slaves. The slaves were then taken to the American South. By the 1750's. formed expressly to take slaves from Africa to the Americas." The first motion to outlaw slavery in Britain and her colonies was heard in the Commons in 1776. British cotton manufactures were also profiting greatly from slave labor in the American South that gained enormous benefits from the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1792. introduced into Africa from Brazil that ensured a steady food crop that fueled the population growth to furnish a steady supply of slaves. Britain was taking as many as 20. slaves to the Caribbean. despite American protests. where it was sold for slave. a booming stock exchange appeared. English Quakers did not follow the practices of their Friends in the American Colonies who excluded slave traders from their Society. Prominent Welsh reformer and factory owner Robert Owen also publicly advocated the abolition of slavery.89 enterprise that pitted her adventurous navigators against those of Spain. By 1709. Ironically it was maize. the most active period in its participation in the trade began when the South Sea Company received a grant to import 4. A new triangular trade began. where they were sold for raw cotton which was taken back to Liverpool to be processed in the mills of Lancashire. the fast-swindling supply of native slaves was augmented by Africans who were bought and sold at enormous profits. after 1773. British slavers began taking Xhosa (Bantu) slaves to Virginia plantations in 1719. In 1570 large scale exports of slaves to the Americas began. Parliament opened the slave trade to British merchants who began the triangular trade. Britain's Lord Chief Justice William Murray ruled that "as soon as any slave sets foot in England he becomes free. including the giants Barclays and Lloyds. The business of cotton helped create hundreds of banks in England. In 1830. From this time on they began to play a role in the North American economy. taking rum from New England to Africa. Perhaps the beginnings of public protest against the slave trade in England began in 1763 when the badly beaten slave that Granville Sharp nursed back to health was kidnapped and sold (three years later. In the North American Colonies. mainly centered in Liverpool. As the industrial and agricultural revolutions in England began to show enormous profits for many individuals. it failed. In 1672. British authorities in the Bahamas declared that slaves from the wrecked schooner Comet were free. In 1698. In 1627 English settlers colonized Barbados and soon began to transform into the largest sugar grower in the islands. A speech in the Commons by William Wilberforce in 1789 strongly condemned the practice of shipping Africans to the West Indies. Though the US and Britain had agreed to cooperate in suppressing the slave trade in the Treaty of Ghent (that ended the War of 1812). none other than George Washington exchanged an unruly slave for rum). and as a preservative for fruit.

" 1748. his daughter had died in 1817. the historian Edward Gibbon "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Daniel Defoe. Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace were renovated and extended and under the architect John Nash. Wordsworth and Coleridge. and the extravagant Royal Pavilion built at Brighton. Samuel Johnson. Shelley and Byron all followed in rapid succession bringing a new depth to English literature. Laurence Sterne and James Boswell." could only have come about however. Turner was still alive. only reluctantly agreeing to prevent civil war in Ireland. Political Reform Between the death of George III in 1820 and the accession of Victoria to the throne in 1837. but they were driven off by natives. England and its empire was at last free from its terrible curse. As members of the so-called Romantic Movement." 1776. The brilliant landscape artist John Constable died the same year that Victoria became queen. There is not much to say about George IV except that he suffered from a disastrous marriage and that he exercised a fine artistic taste. George had no male children. It wasn't until . the first shipload of 750 convicts arrived in that most inhospitable area of Australia. they had been part of an astonishing artistic revolution that accompanied the topsy-turvy develpments in politics and the gradual displacement of the aristocracy by the middle class trading interests in the seat of power. continued Expansion of Empire: Australia One result of the separation of the American colonies was that the British legal system lost one of the places to which convicts could be transported (Canada's climate was too severe for plantations and thus slave or convict labor). During the same year. The transition was most apparent in the writings of philosopher David Hume "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. The throne thus went to his third brother. William IV from 1830 to 1837. The new class of poets included William Cowper and Robert Burns. England was ruled first by the Prince Regent. in their revolt against "common sense. Henry Fielding. Progress in the Arts The first half of the 18th century had given us the "Augustans. The idealization of the "noble savage. and the "common sense" philosophy of Dr. 1834 (three days after the death of Wilberforce). George threatened to abdicate. when England's explorers and missionaries journeyed to new. Keats. Part 7: The Age of Empire. English poets and painters. After considering the coasts of Africa. James' Park and Regent's Park laid out. During his reign. Parliament finally ordered the abolition of slavery in the British colonies to take effect by August 1. during the dotage George of then under his own rule as George IV ending in 1830 and by his Uncle. and his second brother was childless. J. the British government decided that the lands called Botany Bay would be suitable and in 1788. changing it from one concerned primarily with "reason" to one that we now call "romantic. the Factory Act forbade the employment of children under 9 and proscribed the number of hours children were to work in the textile mills. England produced the painters Gainsborough and Reynolds and crrated a climate for musicians such as Handel to receive Royal patronage. When the Catholic Emancipation Bill became law. Dutch sailors had landed on the coast of Australia in 1606. John Gay.M.W." Instinct and emotion took the place of the old rationalism. Samuel Richardson." following the ideals of classical Rome. who became William IV who ruled from 1830-1837. St. Alexander Pope led the school that included Jonathan Swift. and politician Edmund Burke "Reflections on the Revolution in Francem" 1791. and hitherto unknown lands.90 island and news of the savage reprisals shocked British consciences." began to follow the brilliant explorations of poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827).

" Cook took possession of the island continent in the name of George III. He particularly advocated a settlement of New South Wales that would open up new markets as well as absorb what he termed Scotland's "superabundant population. and as one historian has pointed out. The rapid increase in the number of free settlers led to demands for some kind of self-government as had been granted to Canada. attempts were made to put his plans into practice. Though most of the emigrants chosen for governmentassisted passages in these early years were Irish (one way to get rid of those troublesome Catholics) many Scots were attracted by the offers of free land overseas. Attitudes in Parliament began to shift with the publication of Captain Alexander McConochie who recommended that Britain look to the Pacific Ocean to expand its commerce.'s such as Robert Horton. Victoria. in the very early years of the 19th century. Van Diemen's Land (later named Tasmania). Tasman discovered the islands of New Zealand. especially in Tasmania. in the colony now named New South Wales. New Zealand In 1642 Dutch captain Abel Tasman discovered what he named Van Diemen's Land after the governor general of the Dutch East Indies. Australia offered an alternative to the vast wildernesses of loyalist Canada. Despite its reputation as a penal colony. The introduction of the merino sheep was to lay the foundation for the great Australian wool industry. There was lots of room to accommodate British convicts.91 1770 that Captain James Cook explored the eastern coast of what was then called "New Holland. The native Aborigines were ignored. and from 1820-60 new colonies were established. There just were not enough jobs to go around. Increasing pauperism and distress. The whole of Australia may have had no more than 250. There simply were too many people to feed (and control). massive unemployment and public debt. an interior suited to sheep farming. especially the commercial interests. By 1815.000 natives at that time.P. In the years 1823. A growing population which had hitherto been regarded as one of the strengths of the nation now found itself looked on as something of a curse. the Swan River Colony (later part of Western Australia). Thousands of convicts continued to arrive each year. further shiploads of which caused the early settlement to move to an area to be named Sydney. severely strained the limited resources available. along with monstrously bad harvests. the island continent of Australia had more and more begun to appear as a practical proposition for settlement. an article by James Mill on "Colonization" in the "Encyclopedia Britannica" offered emigration as a remedy for over-population. transformed by the discovery of gold at Ballarat and Bendigo and Queensland. In 1856 all four colonies were granted constitutions which gave them responsible self-government. especially because the Government wished to settle British people in new lands that could be contested by other nationalities.25. Four months later. In 1769. in Ireland "there were neither enough tenements nor enough potatoes. A Parliamentary Committee condemned the convict system and gradually each Australian colony banned their importation." Following the peace of 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Both the agricultural and industrial revolutions had contributed to an enormous growth in population. Captain Cook arrived to charter the coasts and to discover that the country consisted of two main islands. and drastic remedies were sought by the folks in Westminster. Queensland and Western Australia soon followed suit. he named his landfall Botany Bay on account of the great variety of plants he found there. where they were hunted down and killed off for possession of their lands. It was eagerly read and avidly discussed by M. who spent quite a few years of his time in the House of Commons trying to convince his colleagues of the merits of his emigration schemes. It wasn't just land to resettle criminals that Britain needed. In 1822. an awareness of the potential awaiting them in Australia. Perhaps the easiest solution was emigration. so much so that a feeling of alarm spread through government ranks. created in 1859 out of New South Wales." McConochie's "A Summary View" of 1818 gave the people of power in Scotland. These new colonies included : South Australia. He reported . there was a great increase in the population of the British Isles. the Blue Mountains had been crossed and the vast interior revealed.

who had left Ardross.92 that they were fertile and well-suited for colonization. The Spanish recognition of British trading and fishing rights in the area opened the way for the establishment of British Columbia and the creation of a British North America stretching from ocean to ocean. the lucrative fur trade beckoned further English interest. as well as keeping it closely tied with and proud of its association with. New Zealand particularly owes a great debt to John Mackenzie. Gradual penetration by settlers. native lands and possessions received some kind of protection. and the ruinous effects of the subsequent soil erosion are still very much in evidence. In 1892. sub-tropical forests to create their sheep pastures. There still remained the thorny question of the borders with the United States. the Advances to Settlers Act greatly expanded the supply of credit available for small farmers. Ross-shire in 1860 to become a farmer in his new country. and an effective navy. this process began to flood the English market. convicts and missionaries followed. . a group of English traders settled on Vancouver Island (discovered by Cook 10 years before). Many of the kilted soldiers who conquered Quebec for Britain had been Jacobites and followers of Prince Charles Edward. Also to his credit was the laying of the foundation of the New Zealand ministry of agriculture. It has been suggested that their victory at Quebec was sweet revenge for France's general indifference to and failure to help the Jacobite cause. The Treaty of Waitingo was signed by many Maori chiefs. and for almost twelve years. Canada Captain James Cook had made three exploratory voyages to the West Coast of Canada between 1768 and 178l. Witnessing the same kind of activity in New Zealand. Great Britain. There were many land disputes between the Maori and the white settlers. Because the Chinese were very interested receiving fur in exchange for the tea. in 1840 Captain William Hobson was sent out from London to negotiate with the Maori chiefs for the cessation of sovereignty to the Crown. forced them to accept its terms. Mackenzie won passage of the Lands for Settlement Act. becoming Minister of Lands and Immigration in 1891 under Prime Minister John Ballance. Mackenzie entered politics to prevent it from happening in his adopted land. Mackenzie used his political clout to promote scientific methods of agriculture. He was elected to Parliament in 1881 as a Liberal. The same year. Scots settlers stripped millions of acres of lush. and in 1813 the islands were proclaimed as dependencies of New South Wales under British protection. Alas. but under the leadership of Sir George Grey. 1845-53. and though some resentments linger among the Maori people. it remains an important symbol for the equal partnership between the races that is the foundation of New Zealand's national identity. There were many more Scots of influence in the islands. they did much to make the country prosperous. In Scotland he had developed a deep antagonism towards the power of the landlords to dispossess small farmers. Spain still claimed the whole West Coast of America up to the boundary of what is now Alaska. a phenomenon that was destroying much of the traditional life of the Highlands. The Maori had banded together in the face of increasing immigration from Britain and elsewhere. An amendment in 1894 compelled the owners of large estates to sell parts of their lands. who number about 12 percent of the country's population. Many thousands of Empire loyalists left the United States after its independence to settle in Canada. England presented an ultimatum to the Spanish whose lack of allies. In addition to his sponsorship of legislation to aid the small farmers and break up the large estates (something that had never been achieved in his native Scotland). New Zealand began to export huge quantities of frozen mutton and lamb to Britain. In l880. mainly in the eastern Maritime Provinces. In 1788. Mainly due to missionary activity anxious to protect the native Maori population from exploitation. but after a confrontation at Vancouver between the two countries. opening up Crown land for leasing. By l902. equally committed to protecting the small farmers against encroachment by the large landowners. silks and porcelain in so much demand in Europe. including fair prices for their land and equal treatment under the law. a military police action against them eventually led to their being granted full citizenship rights. whalers. He also sponsored a plan to use the unemployed to clear and then lease land holdings.

to send swarms of emigrants "like bees" to New Scotland. first settled in 1827. Back east however. Other settlers from the US arrived in the Columbia River Valley. Lord Elgin was made Governor of the newly united colony of Canada. Quebec. Other Maritime Provinces were also heavily influenced by Scottish settlers. One was John Macdonald of Glenaladale. Sir William deplored the ancient proclivity of Scotsmen to expend their energies in foreign wars and encouraged them instead. Within six years. The War of 1812 seems to have begun over the impressment of US seamen. . The two countries agreed to a joint occupation of the Northwest Territories for a 10-year period. Their numbers were swelled by the arrival of thousands of loyalists of Scottish origin. The Union Act was passed in July. was granted a charter in 1621. the US-Canadian border was established by a convention. but frontiersmen on both sides were intent on territorial gains in many disputed areas. It was crushed after some desultory skirmishes. A continual influx of immigrants from Scotland and Ulster meant that by 1843. The Canadian Pacific Railway begun in 1880 then became a crucial link in the chain of confederation. In 1839. In 1761. in 1613. the Earl of Durham proposed a union of Upper and Lower Canada and the granting of selfgovernment. 1840. Fort Frederick was garrisoned by a Highland regiment. claimed by Britain. The naval battles on Lake Erie showed only too well US interest north of the established borders. 1880. In his book describing the colony. Over 300 years later. In June. a French Canadian rebellion against British rule. the fear of economic and political subordination to the US stimulated the movement to combine the eastern Maritime Provinces to the rest of Canada. The treaty was extended in 1828 for an indefinite period. In 1867 the British North America Act united Ontario. mainly Scottish. the Dominion was joined by Manitoba. the Oregon Treaty granted land south of the 49th parallel to the US. in his Report on the Affairs of British North America. New Brunswick also became the home for many Scots. Still in dispute was the boundary of the Oregon Territory.000 Scots in New Brunswick. the Webster-Ashburton Treaty finalized the Maine-Canadian border. The RushBagot Treaty of 1817 limited US and British naval forces on the Great Lakes. friend of the king. A Scots-Canadian. there were over 30. in 1758 and parceled out among a number of landed proprietors. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Dominion of Canada with its capital at Ottawa. Prince Edward Island was captured from the French by Lord Rollo. In 1846. In 1809. led by Papineau and Mackenzie took place in 1837. John Alexander Macdonald. The vast territory of Acadia was seized by Captain Argall in the name of James VI of Scotland (James I of England). In 1847. Part of this lovely land became the first permanent North American settlement north of Florida when Scotsman Sir William Alexander. both during and after the American Revolution. who conceived the idea of sending Highlanders out to Nova Scotia on a grand scale after Culloden. who had led the federation movement became the first premier. British Columbia and Prince Edward Island (Newfoundland joined in 1949). making it possible for the addition of the two prairie provinces to join in 1905. it received official English lyrics in 1908.93 Perhaps the Canadian province most closely connected with Scotland is Nova Scotia New Scotland. a Scottish Peer. Durham argued for putting the government of Canada into the hands of the Canadians. The West was still unknown territory. making the 49th parallel the boundary to the Rockies while Thompson continued his survey. including many Scots. Alberta and Saskatchewan. By the 1860's. which received thousands of American immigrants after John Fremont mapped the Oregon Trail guided by Kit Carson. Welsh-born fur trader David Thompson surveyed and mapped more than 1 million square miles of territory between Lake Superior and the Pacific. The surrounding lands surveyed by Captain Bruce in 1762 attracted many Scotch traders when William Davidson of Caithness arrived to settle two years later. Two years later. the anthem "Oh Canada" was sung for the first time in Quebec. One year later. The land had been discovered by John Cabot in 1497 and claimed for Britain. thus extending the frontier to the Pacific and granting British Columbia and Vancouver to Britain. seven eighths of its people acknowledge British ancestry.

however. Its finances and its troops were used to protect British interests. Sir John Macdonald (1815-91). Under his leadership. In 1816. when sections of the army of Bengal attacked British settlers. was closely studied in January 1999 by members of the US Senate in their own impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. . Hastings was impeached by Parliament for enriching himself unduly in India. simmering discontent flared into a great mutiny. His rebellion dramatized the need for a reform of the country's outmoded constitution and led to the 1841 Confederation of Canadian provinces. India was regarded as the "jewel in the crown" of the British Empire. six years later. became a symbol of Canadian radicalism. in which he refused to admit his mistakes. Warren Hastings took over to strengthen British interests in India and to establish a basic pattern of government that remained virtually unchanged for 100 years. Another Scot. who led the revolt in Upper Canada against the Canadian government in 1858. finances. the dominion expanded to include Manitoba. where he introduced the two-party system of government and worked tirelessly on behalf of the extension of the railroad. leading the country through its period of early growth. Many Perth families became prominent in both state and national governments. Robert Clive had defeated pro-French forces at Arcot in 1751 thus helping his East India Company to monopolize appointments. William Lyon Mackenzie. Immigrant Alexander Mackenzie was the first Liberal Prime Minister of Canada (187378). even overthrowing native Indian princes. Many of their descendents have become prominent in the business. In 1815. but in Upper Canada. in what was then wilderness. They were joined by many Highlanders during the Revolution. After the end of the War of 1812. British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. three loaded transports thus set sail from Greenock for Upper Canada: the Atlas. by a whole regiment of the "King's Royals. opportunist Clive defeated the local Nabob at Plassey to become virtual ruler of Bengal and opened up much of the country to further exploitation and control by the East India Company. Sir Richard McBride (1870-1917) was Premier of British Columbia from 1903 to 1915. was chafed under English practices. Then." Unemployment and suffering that followed the end of the Napoleonic Wars caused the British government to reverse its former policies and to actively encourage emigration. the Glengarry Settlement in what is now Ontario. Explorer Alexander Mackenzie completed the first known transcontinental crossing of America north of Mexico. continued British India In India. who emigrated in 1820. the Baptiste Merchant and the Borothy. When Clive was recalled to England. Much of the country. We can only mention a few more who contributed in so many different areas. Here. further arrivals from Ulster helped swell the Scottish element in what was at first a military settlement. His trial. there were simply too many differences in social and religious customs between the two countries. The great centre of the Scottish Loyalists. Part 7: The Age of Empire. however. became the first Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada. and after the War had ended. The list seems endless. they were joined by many soldiers from the disbanded regiments. faced with native opposition. over two thirds of the vast sub-continent was ruled by the East India Company. John Sandfield Macdonald (1812-72) became Prime Minister of the province of Canada in 1862 and the first Prime Minister of Canada in 1867. In 1857. The British victory led to the withdrawal of the French East India Company. was not in Quebec. land and power.94 A large group of Scots chiefly from Ross-shire arrived in 1802 on the Nephton to settle in the Quebec province. financial and religious activities of Montreal ever since. The list of Scots who influenced Canada's history is indeed a long one. many of the early settlers had come from Tryon County in New York State.

Rhodes with other imperialists established British colonies to the north of the Boer territories. English speaking elite emerged to further westernize its peoples. His slowness. In 1652. In 1815. In 1856. Britain made Natal a Crown colony. The British arrived in 1820 when the Albany settlers founded Grahamstown in the eastern coastal region. By 1826. who flocked to the gold fields soon began to outnumber the Boers (sometimes called Afrikaners). In 1834. The Outsiders (Uitlanders. South Africa South Africa came to the attention of Europeans when a Dutch ship. Using his great wealth. When gold was discovered in the Transvaal in 1886. a network of roads. The British government then took over the administration of India from the East India Company and the British Governor General became the Viceroy of India to represent the Crown. always concerned with doing what was right and moral. and the Boers established the South African Republic (Transvaal) with Pretoria as its capital. Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877 by Prime Minister Disraeli. In 1838. The seeds of later conflict. When Colonial Secretary. the revolt was finally crushed by November 1858. Britain gained its long-desired "half-way house" on the sea route to India when the Dutch ceded the Cape of Good Hope. Britain's Cape Colony had extended its borders to the Orange River." late in 1895. Both Northern and Southern Rhodesia (settled by English workers for Rhodes's British South Africa Company who founded Salisbury in 1890) were granted charters by London. controlling the key areas of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. A proclamation from the Queen then ensured the Indian people that their religious practices and customs would not be interfered with. In 1854. annexing the district to Cape Colony in 1871. Dutch and native Africans were sown. In December 1880 a Boer Republic independent of Britain's Cape Colony was proclaimed by Paul Kruger. the drive to annex the Boer republics began in earnest. a small group of Dutch settlers founded Cape Town. India did not gain its independence until after the Second World War when it fought alongside other countries of the British Empire. Haarlem. amassed in the diamond and gold fields. the Treaty of Pretoria gave independence to the Boer Republic but under British suzerainty. The Boers demanded a restoration of their independence and fully expected it from British Prime Minister Gladstone. After a British defeat at Majuba Hill a year later. At the same time. Xhosa tribesmen revolted against Dutch encroachments on their lands but were defeated. Rhodes dreamed of extending British rule in Africa. They were to found Natal. and an educated. the majority of Indians. broke up at Table Bay in 1648 and the survivors. Six years later. back in Holland. building a railroad from the Cape to Cairo but the Boers were in the way. The British disregarded Boer claims to the territory. In the next two years.95 After atrocities on both sides. railroads and telegraphs (in addition to the ubiquitous civil servant) helped unite the sprawling subcontinent. Transvaal and the Orange Free State. some 10. having remained loyal. urged authorities to establish a settlement for provisioning their East India fleets. in getting a reluctant Parliament to act led to the Boers taking up arms. involving British. Soon after Britain abolished slavery in its Empire in 1834. Joseph . however. Cecil Rhodes (who had founded the De Beers Mining Corporation in 1880) was determined that the riches being discovered in South Africa were not going to the Boer farmers. who took retaliatory measures which included excessive laws against the newcomers that led to Rhodes intervening in the abortive "Jameson Raid. the British withdrew from lands north of the Orange River and the Boers seized the Orange Free State. however. they were forced to defeat the Zulu at the Battle of Blood River in Natal.000 Boers (Dutch colonists) moved to new lands beyond the Vaal River. Britain then repulsed the Boers and made Natal a British colony in the pretense of protecting the natives. that the titles of their Indian princes would be recognized and that in the future they would be able to participate in the government of their country. Events came to a head between Boers and Brits when diamonds were discovered in the Orange Free State. Britain annexed the South African Republic in violation of the Sand River Convention of 1852 that recognized the independence of the Transvaal. Dutch cattlemen in South Africa began their great Trek north and east of the Orange Rivers.

and a series of defeats showed only too clearly the deficiencies in leadership. Victory for Britain only came when Buller's replacement. The war was costly for both sides. Further Expansion of Empire Britain's rise to a world power meant that she found interests everywhere. in the Zulu War two years later and in the ill-fated attempt to support the ruler of Afghanistan against Russia in 1878. and one that may have cost them the war. The Suez Canal. Lord Roberts took the war into the enemy heartland. operational planning. the attempt ended in yet another humiliation for his government. to Australia and New Zealand and Disraeli persuaded his government to buy the khedive of Egypt's majority shares with a loan from the Rothschild banking house. . Kruger went into exile and the two Boer republics were annexed to the British crown in 1900. but also to spread British ideas of democracy and law. putting the Boers on the defensive. The highly mobile guerrilla units of the Boers were immediately successful in defeating much larger units of the British Army. burning their farms and crops and removing masses of farming families to concentration camps. such as Australia. It was also Disraeli who backed British military intervention in the Transvaal in 1877. Their big error. so successful in small engagements but heavily outgunned an out numbered in larger battles. Under skilful leaders such as de Wet.96 Chamberlain tried to get Kruger to accept British supremacy. Not only was she now head of the self-governing colonies. Because of Britain's control of Egypt it got involved in the war against the Mahdi. The British resorted to a scorched earth policy to deny the Afrikaners food and supplies. the Boers utilized commandos to strike at British lines of communication in determined efforts to fight to the last for their independence. as well as the Christian (and Protestant) religion. New Zealand (mostly settled by British newcomers in addition to the relatively tiny native populations). offered a 5. Yet overwhelming Boer victories occurred when British commander Redvers Buller split up his forces. Most of these had been acquired somehow to protect the merchants and traders of England. The red jackets of English soldiers had made them easy targets for Boer marksmen on the high Veldt. The capture of Bloemfontein and Pretoria effectively ended the gallant efforts of the Transvaal Field Army of the Boers. an error they repeated in the sieges of Kimberley and Mafeking (of Baden-Powell fame). preaching a holy war in the Sudan (a dependency of Egypt). Losses to attrition and demands from Liberals in the government at Westminster to stop the barbarism led to negotiations and the Peace of Vereenigning in May 1902. training. equipping and supplying of troops that had been so evident in the Crimean War. but also the vast Empire of India and a veritable host of dependent territories all over the world's oceans. or areas in which their missionaries and explorers (mostly Scots such as selfpromoting David Livingstone or English brave hearts such as Richard Burton and John Speke) had established their outposts. but especially the British. Yet the war dragged on. opened in 1869. Deaths from disease greatly outnumbered those from bullets. was not to invade Natal.000 mile shortcut from Britain to India and the east. and their lack of knowledge of how to survive on the land was to lead Baden-Powell to found the Boy Scout movement primarily as a form of early outdoor military training for youths born and bred in the unhealthy cities spawned by the industrial revolution. Benjamin Disraeli became Prime Minister in 1874 with the idea of expanding the Empire and taking up the "White Man's Burden" (as Rudyard Kipling described it) to not only create trade and bring profit. War began in 1899 as a result of British diplomatic pressure and a military build up on the borders of the Transvaal. The Boers accepted British sovereignty with a promise of future self-government. Botha and Smuts. but to lay siege to a large British force penned up in Ladysmith. Canada. and the defeat of General Gordon at Khartoum.

while doing nothing for the poorer classes. the Empire had expanded across the globe. when the expansion of Russian power in the Near and Middle East in the 1820's and 30's alarmed the East India Company. that graveyard of so many foreign troops. It managed to extricate itself after dealing with rival claimants to the throne." It was only a beginning. Increasing enclosures of land had thrown hundreds of thousands of small landowners onto the mercy of the Parish or drawn them into the fast-growing cities to replenish the stock of poor and unemployed. The Northwest frontier between the Punjab and Afghanistan was finally drawn up in 1901 under the British viceroy in India. Not everyone had benefited from the improvements in agriculture and industry. since an Act of 1430. the puppet ruler assassinated and the British envoys murdered. which dominated in Parliament from 1812 to 1827 and under the dynamic Robert Peel as Home Office Minister. In a further attempt to control the northwest approaches to India. exports were soaring. It was time for major changes. for the manufacturers and merchants had long been the chief factors in the economic life (and success) of England. the Duke also had to acquiesce in the passing of the great Reform Bill of 1832 that. another British invasion against the legitimate ruler (considered too friendly to Russia) took place in 1880 under Gladstone's government. A whole British army was destroyed. Lord Byron. In 1832. Victoria's uncle. however. industrial productivity was booming. Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee. Yet there were many cracks in the wall and skeletons in the closet. The great movement in population from the countryside to the towns and the urban squalor and poverty it created has been well-documented by such writers as Charles Dickens. Lord Curzon. Not much was learned from the experience. Britain had undergone enormous changes in the 60 years of her reign. the future was uncertain. The poor had no representation in Parliament. continued 1901: The End of an Era In 1897. Not even the Royal family could escape the dreaded cholera. The murder of the British Resident in Kabul brought another British force to remedy the situation under General Roberts. It had become the workshop of the world. only law could change the intolerable conditions. a hereditary peer in the House of Lords was not the only one to speak out against the evils of industrialization. Peel reformed the criminal code. the nation led the world in manufacturing. Their agitation was their demand to be admitted into the elite of the ruling set. Reforms had tentatively begun under the Tory Party. to many of its inhabitants. She died in 1901. the days of prosperity and optimism were over. The constant refusal of landlords to improve their properties. the so-called "Bobbies. Those who did care about their workers. Reforms were greatly needed in every sector of British society. abolished the death penalty for over 100 offences. install proper sanitary facilities and relieve the burden of high rents was matched by the indifference of the factory and mine owners to the terrible working conditions of those they employed. at long last recognized the right of the new manufacturing magnates and the middle-classes to govern England. . As the first formal change in electoral law. for the system had long ago failed to represent anyone except a small privileged class. improved prison conditions and created the London Police force. it heralded further inevitable changes in the relationship between the old aristocratic oligarchy and the new men from the boroughs and manufacturing towns. such as Robert Owen. Commerce was flourishing. An attempt by the British government to control the mountainous land in 1839 by placing a pretender on the Afghan throne proved a complete disaster. It was a right long overdue. yet. Part 7: The Age of Empire.97 Britain had become involved in Afghanistan. rampant in London due to its tainted water supplies. William IV's had two daughters die in infancy and disease was rampant in the squalid slums of the rapidly growing cities and manufacturing towns. were few and far between. The government was forced to step in.

for in that year. Early attempts at forming workers' unions had failed miserably.98 The British working classes were still without representation in Parliament: they turned to Chartism to redress their grievances. The workers then turned to violence. Primarily due to the obstinacy of George III. Once again. and the vote given to many working men as well as tenants of small farms. Anglo-Irish relations had been bitter ever since the ruthless policies of Cromwell. Dic Penderyn was hanged for wounding a soldier. coming into the town in columns from the coal-mining valleys. The great depression of 1829. created for the Royal Navy. They staged demonstrations in many towns and when the government refused to consider the six points of the Charter presented in June 1839 took to arms. Order was brought into the area by the military and punishment was severe. The biggest demonstration took place in South Wales. Even the revolutionary effects of the coming of industry to Britain had little effect upon Ireland. no Catholic could be a Member of Parliament. The repeal of the infamous Corn Laws in 1846 and the consequent availability of cheap bread meant that people were less inclined to revolution. but sold commercially by the London firm of Donkin-Hall in 1814 that eventually helped alleviate shortages caused by bad harvests (the industry took advantage of the vacuum pan recently invented by Edward Howard). governments had to heed the voice of the middle and lower classes. where thousands of marchers. 1801. at Newport. . nor become a minister or servant of the Crown. and the first great democratizing point of the Charter had been conceded by the government. 1793 to aid the Irish rebels. not just the privileged few. a country so near and yet so far. the Great Reform Bill finally ended the Chartist Movement. The Chartist Movement. who drafted a bill known as "The People's Charter" in May 1838. On January 1. A country that remained an enigma to most Britons. faced with the might of the British military and a recalcitrant government. its resources had to be used to benefit all of society. A French fleet set sail for Ireland in December. nearly doubling the electorate. their leaders denounced as "gin-swilling degenerates" and their members expelled from their work places. Forty-five new seats were created. In 1791 Wolfe Tone and others established The Society of United Irishmen to follow the lead of the Americans to agitate for independence from Britain. In 1857 an Act declared that property qualifications were no longer necessary for a seat in Parliament. was fading by the late 1850's. The problem could not be continually put on the back burner by the Parliament in London. becoming a martyr for the Welsh workers. A mighty storm dispersed the ships and no invasion took place. after the Battle of Vinegar Hill had broken Irish resistance to British rule. nearly one million voters were added to the register. with its massive unemployment and wage cuts led to the great Merthyr Rising in South Wales. Not to be overlooked. and the State came to play a leading part in the lives of Britain's citizens. Catholics could vote in elections. forming groups such as the "Scotch Cattle" that destroyed property and threatened workers. was the introduction of canned foods. which remained rural and agricultural. but the French tried again in 1795. From henceforth. The Chartists now began to recruit in earnest. and the failure of the Jacobite rebellions had not helped matters. they were defeated. now heavily industrialized and influenced by many of its Irish immigrants. the Act of Union of 1801 created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Continuing Problem of Ireland One of the major cracks in Britain's armor was Ireland. but only for Protestant candidates. were shattered by well-directed volleys from a body of troops (chiefly recruited in Ireland) stationed in the Westgate Hotel. however. this time by troops under Cornwallis. unable to understand the depth of nationalist (and Catholic) feeling that kept their neighboring island out of the mainstream of the Empire in so many ways. The Chartists hoped to bring about a democratic parliament and an enfranchised working class. establishing one single Parliament. the union had little chance of success. who did not wish to give full emancipation to Irish Catholics. The movement was named after the radical London reformer William Levett. the work of Daniel O'Connell saw to that. In 1867. The Ulster Plantations of James I.

In 1879. however. The Prime Minister responded to the resulting violence by the Coercion Acts that further antagonized the poor Irish. but it did nothing to settle the major one: that of the unpopular Union of 1801. They seemed to be an admirable food to supplant wheat. and between 1848 and 1851 over a million left for the United States. so dependent upon the weather. an increase that was most dramatic after 1800. During his 1874-80 ministry. Despite the Irishman's eloquent oratory and strong support in Parliament. Peel's proposals to alleviate the problems in Ireland. the answer was starvation or emigration. O'Connell's activities had him convicted for conspiracy. In 1770.99 O'Connell gave voice to the political aspirations of the Irish people. easily stored. however. In less than one hundred years. In 1868. They were easily grown. The Act settled one grievance. A greater tragedy came with the second failure a year later. meant further agitation by O'Connell who returned unopposed from County Clare. By 1841. When Parnell took over the reigns. There had been many warnings of the problems that could result for the Irish from their reliance on a single food crop. A Bill introduced in 1845 to give Irish tenants the right to compensation for improvements to their holdings was opposed in Parliament. Disraeli was not married to a Welsh girl as was Gladstone. The Bill opened up the right to sit in Parliament and to hold any public office (with few exceptions) to Catholics. there were almost eight and a half million people in Ireland depending upon potatoes. it believed that economic forces must work themselves out with as little interference as possible and threw the burden of relief onto the local Irish Poor Law authorities. planted on his estate near Cork by Sir Walter Raleigh. and to give compensation for the improvements made to land or property. and in 1829. was lost to a fungus. for it sought nothing less than complete separation from Britain and the setting up of an independent republic. he died in 1847. The only problem was that landlords consequently raised their rents (and could thus have an excuse for evictions). O'Connell wanted nothing less than the restoration of an Irish Parliament. over one half the Irish potato crop. In 1870. he had less sympathy to the people of Ireland. mostly grown on nearly 2 million acres in spade-cultivated plots of less than one acre. their value as a food source had helped fuel a population increase in many parts of Europe but especially in Ireland. the Irish Home Rule League was founded. Its rejection by the Lords. Robert Peel refused to budge on the question. easily cooked. and the peasants saw their winter food supplies go to rot. founded in the USA. In 1845. they did not remain loyal to the Empire. His influence waning. were met with hostility from both Protestants and Catholics alike. the "Problem of Ireland" intensified for successive British governments during the second half of the century. sent troops to Ireland to quell disturbances. but the verdict was reversed on appeal. but as early as 1830 William Cobbett had warned of over reliance on the crop. and in 1823 a Catholic Relief Bill was passed by the Commons. Like the Home Rule League. Gladstone promised to "pacify Ireland. Unlike the Scots. to demand repeal of the Union of 1801 and the restoration of an Irish Parliament at Dublin. For the majority of the Irish. It was supported by 59 Home-Rulers elected to the Commons in 1874. he founded the Catholic Association. the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood. Its aims went a lot further than those of O'Connell. Meanwhile. taking with them their resentment of the British government and its feeble attempts to solve the mass starvation in Ireland. In the 1860's a new force entered Irish politics. The repeal of the Corn Laws (passed to aid the British farmer) in 1846 did practically nothing to solve the problem. Meanwhile. Gladstone's desire to give the Irish Catholics their own university was defeated by a narrow margin in Parliament. The Great Famine prevented its implementation for over thirty years. It also promoted violence as a means to achieve its aims. The harvest failed. the INLL was . In 1823. and in timehonored fashion. The British government did very little. Gladstone enacted a Land Act to prevent eviction of tenants (except for non-payment of rent). another movement began: the Irish National Land League was founded by Michael Davin to boycott landlords and to work for ownership of all Irish land by Irish peasant farmers." and began a program of moderate reforms including the disestablishment of the Protestant Church of Ireland. bereft of their lands in the Great Clearances. they were sold publicly in London. to provide the funds for a national movement. the Catholic Emancipation Bill was pushed through Parliament by the Duke of Wellington over strong Tory opposition. the League became a powerful political force. Potatoes had come to their country in 1586. that became known as the Fenians.

In Lancashire. After Parnell's disgrace in 1891 (over an affair with a divorcee). in 1869. Balfour made effective the Committee of Imperial Defence to carry out the reforms made necessary after the humiliations of the Boer War." In 1834. Balfour. one politician. Britain suffered the humiliation of having four out of six governments being defeated as a direct result of Irish affairs. all of which were vigorously opposed by Parnell. at the height of its imperial powers. the Admiralty began building the Dreadnought a new type of heavily-armed warship. Gladstone continued to press for a Home Rule Bill. mostly unsuccessful because of determined resistance from the mine and factory owners. Unfortunately. England in the Edwardian Age existed in a twilight zone. six English farm laborers were sentenced to deportation for secretly forming a branch of the GNCTU (they were the famous Tolpuddle Martyrs). The jovial. Between 1880 and 1895. the formation of the Amalgamated Association of Miners led to fierce resistance from the coal owners and was forced to disband. Known as Edward the Peacemaker for his diplomacy in Europe. technical and secondary education under the control of local authorities. saw that Britain needed to advance its educational system and to strengthen its defenses. their leaders were once denounced by the leading Welsh newspaper as "gin-swilling degenerates. qualified young men (and later young women). This helped to create an "education ladder" by which abler children were able to win scholarships to enter the secondary grammar schools (the mis-named Public Schools continued as private enclaves for the rich and very rich). feeling secure as the head of the largest empire the world had ever known. and under John Fisher. Part 8: England in the 20th Century Changes in Empire and at Home The popular. the deplorable conditions endured by coal miners led to the creation of a new force in British politics: the trade union. there had been ominous warnings before 1910. Workers had been fired for trying to form unions. To further meet the threat from the new German fleet. Determined to press for Home Rule for Ireland. Italian and German to good advantage. His final attempt passed the Commons in 1893 but was rejected by the stubborn. Though many historians see the death of King Edward as marking the dividing line between the security and stability of the 19th century and the uncertainties of the twentieth. In Wales. myopic House of Lords. avuncular Prince of Wales had waited a long time to accede to the throne. There had been many earlier attempts to form unions. Ireland's problems. popular. who reigned for nine years (1901-10). The Civil Service was thus able to find itself enriched by a steady stream of educated. Spanish.P. the government implemented strict measures to try to improve law and order in Ireland. when Robert Owen had attempted to improve factory conditions and the lives of the workers through his Grand National Consolidated Trade Union. he used his knowledge of French. and in a world in which the United States would soon dominate. Matters seemed fine in the island kingdom of Britain. he also concentrated the Royal Navy in home waters instead of having it dispersed all over the world. despite their passage of a Land Purchase Act in 1891. A united front against the unionists was then forged by the . and one in which its mighty empire disintegrated. was completely unable to prevent the inevitable. however. Prime Minister 1902-5. His Education Bill of 1902 abolished the School Boards and placed primary. Parnells' power block of 80 or so Irish M. and the inability of the English government to deal with them continued well into the next century. The Committee also improved Britain's naval defenses. their constant side switching in an attempt gain their aims led to the Irish Home Rule Crisis of 1886 which split the Liberal Party in two and kept the Conservatives in power.'s was a crucial factor. To prepare for the future. Arthur Balfour. the balance of power in so many areas was shifting in a Europe in which the decisive factor was the rise of a united Germany. one in which the accomplishments of Britain began to be matched by other countries. Yet the image of splendid and carefree easy living portrayed by the King was in direct contrast to the growing forces of discontent and resentment felt by too many members of British society. conditions in the tin plate industry had been severely depressed by the 1891 McKinley Tariff of the United States.aged Victoria was succeeded by Edward VII.100 backed by huge sums of money raised in the US by Fenian societies.

George was the second son of Edward VII and Queen Alexander. and old traditions were being challenged everywhere. A crisis occurred in 1906. however. .101 formation of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association in which 85 companies owned over 200 mines. The Upper House. One year later the Gas Workers Union secured a reduction from twelve to eight hours in their working day. They were helped enormously by the advent of the BBC in 1922 which probably did more to perpetuate the national sense of common identity than any other factor save war. it became known as the Labour Party. As a response to poor working conditions. Six years later the Miner's Federation of Great Britain began at Newport.) In 1888. and in 1877 the Cambrian Miners Association began in the Rhondda Valley under the inspired leadership of William Abraham (Mabon). rather than a party of organized labor. The Federation argued for the creation of a Board of Arbitration to replace the infamous sliding scale and the restriction of the work day to eight hours (also that year the Women's Social and Political Union was formed by Emmeline Pankhurst with the goal of achieving voting rights for women. a successful strike of girls in the sweated trade of match-box making occurred. In 1934. One group wished to use the tariff to protect British industries and boost inter-imperial trade and co-operation. The Labour Representative Committee answered their needs: in 1906. The unions saw clearly that they had to have legislation to guarantee their rights. was in favor of Free Trade. Abraham was elected Lib-Lab M. When judgement was given in favor of the owners and against the striking workers in the Taff Vale Railway Company dispute of 1900. was particularly upset by what it considered the socialistic and confiscatory nature of the budget and rejected it. following their efforts as factory workers taking the places of men called up for the military). The rapid rise of such men as Lloyd George from humble origins to high positions in the government showed only too clearly the changing nature of political life in the country. Welshman David Lloyd George became Chancellor of the Exchequer and pushed through Parliament his "People's Budget" that proposed a tax on the rich to pay for reforms and the rebuilding of the Royal Navy. Their disciplined behavior won them widespread support When their demands were finally conceded. its composition of middle-class intellectuals (including dramatist and critic George Bernard Shaw) giving it considerable weight as an instrument in bringing forth political and social reform. George began his broadcasts to Britain and the Empire. fearing the social and political consequences that higher food prices would bring as a result of the tariff. the Dockers Union gave considerable stimulus to recruiting for other trade unions. It was George who changed his family name from the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to that of the English Windsor. In 1918. the other. The Fabian Movement began in 1884. A strike by London Dock workers the same year was equally successful. Prince Albert Victor had died in 1892. With his wife Mary. (The Lib-Labs represented an informal agreement with local Liberal organizations to run a number of trade union candidates. newspapers (and later television) all added to the mystique and prestige of the royal family when so much more was in a state of flux. and thus they needed representation in Parliament. packed with its hereditary peers. Radio. South Wales. The workers persisted in their attempts to form unions. left-wing Liberal. The pre-War years saw major changes in England's domestic policies. the Independent Labour Party was formed in 1893. the huge costs levied against the union practically ensured the creation of a new party in British politics. women over thirty were granted the right to vote. a change that the House of Lords was slow to accept. but it took many years before it could muster enough strength to offer a worthy challenge to the Liberal and the Conservative Parties.P. he did much to continue the popularity of the monarchy. who were quick to see the strike as a means to solve their grievances. The question of tariff reform divided the Conservatives. George V (1910-1936) The new King. for Rhondda in 1885 and kept the peace between owners and miners for twenty years. In that year.

the Lords could no longer reject bills outright and there was to be a general election every five years (instead of seven). and later. free meals for school children as well as periodic medical exams. to found the Boy Scout Movement in 1908. both in and out of government." The introduction of a salary for M. sorely needed to aid its own people. Gladstone. Sadly. The government was forced to respond. in particular. that they would not fight against their brothers in Ulster.102 Two general elections were held to resolve the deadlock. who had successfully defended Mafeking. A major civil war loomed in Ireland. All this cost a great deal of money. Britain's strength lay in its own people. that the possession of an Empire would not be enough to cure Britain's domestic problems. there could be little advantage. and old-age pensions inaugurated as the first installment of social security. the Lords continued to reject the Budget. in contrast to the imperialist Disraeli. More than one historian has pointed out that the German navy was floated on a . He had relentlessly condemned the Conservative government's overseas policies. boded ill for future relations between the two countries.P. in expanding it. Many reforms took place in a veritable flood of "socialist experiment. they wanted their reward in Home Rule. For him. that Germany's support of the Boer farmers. it was said that "the public had forgotten the Irish for the Belgians. Irish M. eighty-three labor exchanges set up.P. A new rivalry developed over their respective navies. He had noticed. The Liberals were able to win a landslide victory and remained in power until the wartime coalition government was formed in 1915. led Baden-Powell. the Sudan and South Africa. He respected the rights of small nations to seek their own forms of government. it had become increasingly apparent to many.'s had helped the Liberals gain power. though he recognised what was going on in Ireland. the Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain. railway men and miners brought the country to a standstill. in their own land. Foundations were being laid for a veritable sea of change in the way the state was to assume responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. to be avoided at all costs. sick pay. slum clearances effected. equally alarmed at the prospect of being ruled from Dublin. where Britain was forced to stay. once involved. Through the efforts of Winston Churchill there had been the setting up of Labour Exchanges where the unemployed worker could sign on for vacant jobs. the idea of Britain splitting up (in the face of increasing German hostility) seemed ludicrous. and the British Army regulars made it clear in the so-called "mutiny" at the Curragh. but the outbreak of the Great War pushed everything else aside." Part 8: England in the 20th Century World War I (1914-1918) By the turn of the century. until the middle of the next century.'s allowed the entry of working class members to Parliament. In the interim. He died in 1898. To the Conservatives. had the wisdom (and the courage) to admit that though the Empire was a duty and responsibility that could not be shrugged off. four years after being defeated in Parliament. it came from the pockets of the rich. disability and maternity benefits. Nationwide strikes of dock workers. The National Insurance Act was passed to ensure that the worker. however. In 1914. he had failed to see that a genuine nationalist movement had surfaced in Egypt. They were further incensed by the Home Rule Bill of 1912. the poor physical condition of the British soldiers in South Africa during the fight against the Boer farmers. (As a sideline. the employer and the government all contributed to a general fund to pay for free medical treatment. which finally passed in 1911 when the Commons approved the Parliament Bill to limit the delaying power of the House of Lords. It also introduced a measure of unemployment benefits. the trade unions were freed from the liability for strike damage and allowed to use their funds in politics. William Ewart Gladstone had believed in peace with justice.) In the heady day of Empire. Hours and conditions of labor were regulated. Foreign adventures could only waste the nation's resources. From now on. the Home Rule Bill was finally pushed through. however. and possibly only future problems. hence his support of Home Rule for Ireland. They were aided by the Protestant forces of Ulster (most of Northern Ireland). He had been proved right in the costly adventures in Afghanistan. The year 1911 saw the greatest industrial unrest in Britain's history. in the way of arms and guns.

The new Liberal government's Foreign Secretary. The length of the war. and when that country violated the neutrality of Belgium in August. It was thus that Britain's foreign policy. With the Kaiser's support. alarmed the Germans. The troubles began in Bosnia. Trouble in the Balkans precipitated the outbreak of hostilities. Serbia's successes further alarmed empire of Austria-Hungary. The latter policy would have opened the door for Germany. resulted in the German fleet heading for home. Germany declared war on Russia and on France. Perhaps it was inevitable -. Austria-Hungary. Germany also felt humiliated by the Treaty of Algeciras that temporarily settled the Morocco question. to defeat the Turks. one of small-statured Lloyd George's "little 5-foot-5 nations. a threat to England's long-held supremacy at sea. the war produced one large-scale battle and a few smaller engagements. was completely unpredicted. however. her own empire contained many Slavic peoples. the battles at Ypres managed to stem their advance. mainly over their respective interests in Egypt and Morocco. creating a huge dilemma for Britain: should she give full military support to France and her allies or to stay out of Europe altogether in a policy of complete neutrality.103 tide of Anglophobia. An Anglo-French agreement in 1904. and felt surrounded by hostile powers. the allies decided to strike at Turkey and the rear of Austria-Hungary by . A German plan for a rapid victory in the West was thwarted by the combined French-British armies at the Marne. and its enormous toll on life and resources. In reply. had no intention of dissolving its association with France (and with Japan and Russia. too. during the first few years of the new century. not France. and to impose an economic blockade upon Germany and her allies. Italy then took Tripoli. in which the late victorious Balkan states were now quarrelling among themselves. The answer can be found in the summer maneuvers of the English army that assumed Germany. The sinking of the Lusitania off Kinsale Head. Austria declared war on Serbia. including the Dreadnought. the consequent German submarine campaign showed only too well the strengths of this new kind of weapon. The question now arose of what would be Britain's response should Germany attack France over a dispute concerning Morocco. Austria seized Bosnia in 1908. Russia. With the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June. World War I broke out in August 1914. feared Russian expansion in the Balkans.the result of the profound economic changes that had been at work that had caused a "structural failure" of European society. when Germany declared war on Russia. nor did she want to lose her position as the world's leading power. In England. The action at Jutland. Germany. would be the enemy. 1914. In the meantime. In any case. who were at war with one another in 1905). domestic problems. but at heavy cost. all hell broke loose. At sea. changed drastically. a feeling that grew alarmingly after the 1906 Anglo-Russian Entente. Britain went to war on the side of France. and Germany were all hungry for spoils in the area. had enormous consequences for the later stages of the war. she now became friendly towards France and Russia and hostile to Germany. A conference in London in 1913 failed to pacify the region." marked the beginning of the end for his country's world dominance. in order to aid rapidly weakening Russia. Historians have succinctly pointed out that an inexorable military machine quickly overwhelmed the improvisations of diplomacy. Its reply was to build up its navy. Britain was not willing to see Germany defeat France again. Cyrenaicia and some islands to show that Turkey could no longer defend what was left of her empire in Europe. to supply new fronts in the Eastern Mediterranean (with limited successes). When Greece allied with Serbia and Bulgaria (all satellites of Russia). Instead of the old cordiality towards Germany and fear of a combined France and Russia.the bad judgment of a number of individual politicians. allowing the Royal Navy to continue to dominate the sea routes. Perhaps the War came about as the result of a breakdown in the European diplomatic system -. however. but they had been stewing for a long time. When the German offensive began down the North Sea coast of Belgium. Ireland in May 1915. The years of trench warfare then began in a costly war of attrition with neither side gaining any real advantage. despite British losses. The military chiefs of many nations were all ready to go to war. had dictated foreign policy decisions. The decision to aid Belgium. as much as the crisis in the Ottoman Empire. Lord Grey. Austria became alarmed.

The Italians were then overwhelmed by the German-Austrian army at Caporetto before stabilizing their line with help from British and French troops. 1917. British efforts were rewarded by the entry of the United States into the War in April. They were accepted on November 11. circumvent Bulgaria's entry into the war. Military deadlock. British forces turned the tide at Amiens. one whose contribution to national life was to be sadly missed during the political mismanagement of the postwar years. was followed by the Balfour Declaration of November 11. Lloyd George became minister of Munitions and Arthur Henderson. the Russian state began to show signs of collapse. and the failure of the British counteroffensive. In late December. New Zealand and Australian troops stranded on the Gallipoli Peninsular unable to break through the Turkish defenses. the Germans planned their great offensive to capture the Channel ports. and bring Greece into the side of the allies. the successful U-boat offensive. a decision that clearly showed the growing importance of organized labour. failure to co-ordinate their activities. The great French offensive early 1917 failed hopelessly. attrition had taken its heavy toll. Secretary of the Labour Party was admitted to the Cabinet. left great numbers of British. On the Western front. 1916. President Wilson's "Fourteen Points. In spite of early successes. however. where gas was used for the first time. At the same time. brought a government crisis in Britain. To make matter worse for the allies. The abdication of the Kaiser was followed by the imposition of severe armistice terms by the allies at Compiegne. 1918. the new Russian revolutionary government made peace with Germany. had a great impact on world opinion at the time when all belligerents except the US were exhausted by the war effort. needed drastic measures. the defeat of the Bulgarians. It was followed by an equal failure of Haig's offensive in Flanders and the misery of the mud at Passchendaele Ridge. Both Lloyd George and Winston Churchill argued for the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. The German attack at Ypres. A German offensive at Verdun then blunted the allied plans for a simultaneous attack. The introduction of an organized convoy system put a huge dent in the success rate of the German submarines in sinking allied supply ships. The campaign was designed to attack weaker spots of the enemy's front by combining military and naval forces.000 men in futile attacks against a firmly entrenched enemy. The blood baths of the Somme and Passchendaele could never be adequately described by the nation's poets and prose writers. In the spring of 1918. most of whom . and the Battle of the Somme ended in disaster for the allies. 1917 that favored the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. a mutiny of the German fleet at Kieland a revolt by the German people against their military leaders. as well as the onset of revolution in Russia. The conduct of the war. and the difficulties in Ireland (where the brutal suppression of the Easter Rising almost certainly turned that nation against Britain when a more just solution may have kept the nation loyal to the Crown). allied losses also caused great concern. Further allied successes on the Eastern front. provided a new test of character of the British people. Lloyd George took charge of a coalition ministry in which he showed the energy and capacity for getting things done in a time of great crisis.104 way of the Balkans. to force Turkey to abandon her support of Germany. all convinced the German high command to enter into peace negotiations. In the campaign. however. freeing nearly fifty German divisions for service on the Western front. the capitulation of Turkey. what had been the costliest war in human history was over." set forth in an address to Congress. a victory by the Italians at Vitoria Veneto. The cost to Britain was the loss of an entire generation. Things then began to change. despite lingering affection for the mother country). All the objectives of the bold but totally mismanaged campaign were lost (much hostility resulted in the attitude of Australia and New Zealand that is still evident today in their progress towards republican status. the losses incurred. Aided by their new weapon the tank. who lost around 600. German intrigue with Mexico (still simmering over the loss of much of its territory to its powerful northern neighbor) along with the unrestricted submarine warfare of 1917 brought the USA into the war. a battle that German Commander Ludendorf decided was critical. Britain's seizure of Palestine from the Ottoman Turks (aided by the successes of the famed Lawrence of Arabia).

France. it was the Liberal Party under Lloyd George that was most effective in bringing needed changes to Britain. Farmers protested in vain. but which became a staple of British diets beginning in 1928 when the first canning factory began at Harlesden. cheese. The US did not ratify the treaty. and the disunity that prevailed after its signing did not bode well for the future of Europe.P. To meet domestic demand. Fuel shortages in 1916 motivated Parliament to pass a "summer time" act. The troubles culminated in the George Square riot in Edinburgh of 1919 that practically ensured the Labour Party's national victory in the General Election of 1922. Scotsman Keir Hardie. Italy. who wished for even more severe recriminations against Germany. the United States and Russia did not join the League of Nations that met for the first time in Geneva in November. English farmers turning to market gardening and fruit growing.105 had been conscripted into the army when the regulars. There were also many changes taking place in British agriculture during the early years of the century. A series of episodes took place there that have since assumed legendary proportions. imports of US pork. In addition. there was also unrest at home. he came up against the idealism of US President Wilson. The matter of Ireland then became a serious source of hemorrhage to the confidence of a seemingly-united Great Britain. Japan and to a lesser extent Russia) was to hammer out the peace terms to be presented to the defeated powers (Germany. The conflicts. At Versailles. he defiantly chose to wear his cloth deer-stalker hat (transmogrified by legend into a working man's cloth cap) in place of the usual top hat. they later became an excuse for Herr Hitler to begin his efforts to countermand them. pitting management's use of semi. produced such well-known activists as James Maxton. The war had presented the opportunity the Irish nationalists had been waiting for since the postponement of the Home Rule Act of 1914. The introduction of salaries for M. Bulgaria. had ceased to exist. pressing for severe penalties against the Germans. the socialist ex-miner. John Wheatley. As noted earlier. A new addition to the British diet was baked beans. as a fighting force. almost on the scale of the Jacobite rebellion. Lloyd George represented Britain. however. advancing clocks one hour to make the most of available light. The reparations and "war-guilt" clauses were later seen by English economist John Maynard Keynes as a future cause of discontent. had been elected to Parliament by the Merthyr constituency (South Wales) in 1891. and Clemenceau of France. When they seized their opportunity to attack British rule in . confident morning" of Scottish socialism. deep-sea trawlers that packed their catch in ice and rapidly shipped it to British markets.'s in 1911l meant that the Labour Party could now field many candidates from the ranks of the trade unions. 1919. Turkey and Hungary). and a reliance grew upon Denmark for these products. first test marketed in Northern England by the American Heinz Company in 1905. anxious to have his plans for a League of Nations implemented. the USA. Austria. The final treaty came in June. 1920. It wasn't only conditions in industry that were being transformed by the growth of Labour. the first order of the day for the victorious allies (Britain. Argentine beef and New Zealand lamb continued to rise. but a significant contribution to raising protein levels of urban English diets came with the introduction of the fish and chip shop. It utilized the product of fast. A rapid increase in population due to a declining death rate meant that farmers were unable to meet the increasing demand for butter. Part 8: England in the 20th Century Between the Two World Wars Following the Armistice of 1918. particularly in the industrial belt of Scotland where Intense labor conflict gave the name "Red Clyde" to its shipbuilding region. So many of Britain's physical and intellectual best were killed off in the endless fighting to gain a few yards of muddy ground. They have been regarded by many in the Labour Movement as forming part of the "glad. During the War. near London.or unskilled labor against the militant unions. In the hallowed halls of Westminster. margarine and lard (used for cooking until the switch to vegetable oil right up until the 1960's). John Maclean and Emmanual Shinwell.

there had been a major downturn in the British economy since the end of the World War. Prisoners were inspired by hearing the Welsh language all around the camp declare a republic in which Gaelic would be the national language. The coalition government in London was finally convinced that a policy of reconciliation was needed and a truce in July. however. In 1918. led by Michael Collins. there was simply too much reliance on the traditional industries of cotton.106 Ireland. who had been elected President of the Irish Free State in 1919. the successful Sinn Feiners refused their seats at Westminster and formed the Dail Eireann that proclaimed the Irish Republic on January 21. Lloyd George somehow managed to persuade the Irish delegation. The Liberal Party. mainly Catholic. Many countries which had been dependent upon British manufactured goods were now making their own. the execution of many of their leaders following the Easter Monday Rising in Dublin. It seemed that no one in Ireland was satisfied and guerrilla warfare intensified. the other 32 counties. 1921 was followed by the AngloIrish Treaty of December. began to lose its standing in the polls after 1922. 1919. The war against British rule then began. A basic British condition was that the six counties of Northern Ireland. brought together many who would later become key figures in the fight for independence. all of which were finding it difficult to compete in world markets and all of which were managed by those who could not adapt to more modern methods. It began a bitter civil war in which Collins. later known as "Sinn Fein " University. railways and electricity. Eire was finally declared a republic in April 1948. The British government failed to separate its important Irish prisoners. mainly Protestant (who equated Home Rule with Rome Rule) should not be coerced into a united Ireland. the Republican Party against the government of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. The Act divided Ireland into Northern Ireland (containing the largest part of Ulster) and Southern Ireland. made reconciliation between the two countries impossible. the nationalization of basic industries such as coal. but who had escaped from Lincoln Gaol) objected to the oath of allegiance to the Crown and formed a new party. it proved ineffective to handle the nation's . Britain once more turned to the Conservatives under Stanley Baldwin. but reserving taxation powers for the Westminster Parliament. and the imposition of higher taxation to pay for social welfare and to reduce the burden of the National Debt. in North Wales. In October of that year. and the Irish Free State came into being. Eamon De Valera (one of the participants in the Easter Rising. As had Labour. including Michael Collins (later to become Director of Intelligence as well as chief organizer) and Richard Mulcahy (later to become Chief of Staff). giving both parts Home Rule. including a national minimum wage. The "dole" (unemployment benefit) allowed workers to survive while unemployed (it was probably the reason why there was not greater social unrest or even revolution). following the General Election. The productivity rate was falling rapidly behind that of other nations. The bloody civil war ended in April 1923 when De Valera. with Northern Ireland remaining as part of the United Kingdom. Labour had become the chief challenger to the Conservative Party. leader of the Dail's military forces and a much revered Irish patriot lost his life leading the Free-State forces against the Republicans. lasting until December 1920 when atrocities and counter atrocities by both sides (not only those committed by the infamous "Black and Tans. however. ordered a cease fire. The political program of the Labour Party advocated increased social security measures. and formed its first government in 1924 under James Ramsey MacDonald. The Great Depression In the meantime.") finally led to the Government of Ireland Act. which had done so much to alleviate conditions of poverty and had made so many significant strides in improving social conditions in general. An internment camp at Frongoch. to accept the offer of Dominion status within the Commonwealth rather than hold out for an independent republic. A great slump in which millions were unemployed was left to work itself out when planned government expenditure would have helped mobilize the unused resources of the economy. Government promises of a better society in which there would be a higher standard of living and security of employment had not been fulfilled. Mainly through a threat of an all-out war. coal mining and shipbuilding.

however. came to power at the beginning of a world-wide depression triggered by the Wall Street Crash. King George initiated the Christmas Day radio broadcasts that served to link the Commonwealth countries in a common bond with England. the pound was devalued. steel. only a modest program of social reform took place. A general strike took place in 1926. cotton and ship building suffered the most. Old industries were replaced by newer ones such as automobiles. coal. and the gradual wearing away of the resistance of the miners by the coal owners eventually ended the stoppage. A Labour government. There was still lacking a coherent policy to deal with the relief of unemployment. 1931. There were also changes made in the relationship of Britain to her colonies. But grievous harm had been done to the miners. The Crown remained as a symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth. At the conference. where strikes became common. The colonies had come of age. removed much legal inferiority not addressed in 1839. The independence of the Dominions was now established. but lack of support for the unions. the conference showed only too well that Britain was no longer a magnet for Commonwealth goods. . the very industries that Britain's free trade economy relied upon to provide the bulk of the consumer and capital goods exported to provide for the large imports of food and raw materials. The Widows. mainly to appease working class opinion. A showdown came about when the government indicated that it would not continue negotiations under the threat of a general strike. electrical manufactures. Cook coined the phrase "not a penny off the pay. led by Ramsey MacDonald. The resulting unemployment and wage cuts caused serious repercussions in the industrial areas. 1926 the great strike went into effect. steel. Agriculture was aided by the adoption of a protective tariff and import quotas in 1931. machinery. the white-settled colonies of Canada. Simpson). not a minute on the day. who came out of the business with longer hours and less pay. and Britain's share of the world export market declined rapidly. On May 4. imposing a 10 percent tariff on most imported goods. Since the Durham Report of 1839. including textiles. A building boom followed the increase in population that new health measures made possible. In the 1930's things improved a little under a national government comprised of members from all parties. A huge drop in coal exports. Under Health Minister Neville Chamberlain. Canada in July 1932 to hash out the problems of Dominion economic policies and to settle the matter of their exports to Britain. the use of volunteers to keep essential services going. Further mass unemployment resulted when Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill returned Britain to the gold standard in 1925. A. In turn. In 1932. Orphans and Old Age Health Contributory Pension schemes extended the Act of 1911 and insured over 20 million people.J. New Zealand and South Africa had been virtually independent of Britain. The Imperial Economic Conference met in Ottawa. Their loyalty was to be proven in World War II during the reign of George VI. the miners' leader. textiles. In April of that year. passed in November. but like the Conservative government before it. elected in 1929. The Statute of Westminster. The return was made at the old pre-war gold and dollar value of the pound. Iron. George had come to the throne in 1936 after the abdication of his older brother Edward VIII (tradition ensured that the Edward had to renounce the throne if he were to marry the American divorcee Mrs. they were to provide markets for British exports. In 1928. the Local Government Act of 1929 reduced the number of local government authorities and extended the services they provided. British goods (coal. steel. which was to put Britain further behind other countries). the government's refusal to nationalize the coal industry and the setting of wages by the pit-owners triggered the unrest. could do little to remedy the situation at home. Under the Conservative government of Stanley Baldwin. and chemicals. The abandonment of the gold standard and the decision to let the pound find its own value against the US dollar made British export prices more competitive in world markets. but exempting Commonwealth nations. the intransigence of the government." The mine owners refused to compromise. the Equal Franchise Act gave the parliamentary vote to all women over twenty one. cars and telecommunications equipment (thereby discouraging innovation in many industries. Britain agreed to abandon free trade. Australia.107 industrial problems. As a result. ships. cargo rates and other goods and services) became over-priced.

Chamberlains finally saw what Germany intended. In March. Lack of British resolve against the ambitions of Mussolini may have spurred Hitler to act. their implications were not fully grasped. Unencumbered by obsolete equipment and even more obsolete thinking that hindered the British and the French.108 In the late 1930's Britain's foreign policy stagnated. the Nazis opened their first concentration camp for Jews. While the aggressive moves by Germany. he announced the annexation of Ethiopia and joined Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to create Italian East Africa. in defiance of the conditions laid down at Versailles. In Italy. It seems incredible. he sent his armies into the Rhineland. While domestic policies still had to find a way out of the unemployment mess. in retrospect. They were soon to be used in a bid to dominate Europe. a series of defeats led to the Italians withdrawing from their protectorate. By 1896. In August. to dominate Europe. gypsies and political prisoners. his regime was given dictatorial powers. After he proclaimed the Third Reich in March. and his extension of a guarantee to Poland practically ensured war. Hitler became President of the Reich at the death of Hindenburg. When Italian and Ethiopian troops clashed on the frontier between Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia in 1934. It proceeded to fortify its Maginot Line as Hitler began to fortify the Rhineland. including the Sudetenland (with a large German population). Italy and Japan may not have been totally ignored in Westminster. 1938. In 1906. it was vainly hoped that the League of Nations would keep the peace. 1936. there were too many problems to worry about at home. France was afraid to react without British support. along with the French Premier. in their efforts to appease. Fearing a catastrophic war. it was vainly hoped that the League of Nations would keep the peace. how all the signs of a forthcoming major war were conveniently ignored. there were too many problems to worry about at home. In Germany. Italy had entered the scramble for Africa in 1881 by taking over Assab in northern Ethiopia. in . Britain and France stood back for fear of precipitating a general European war. to hand over the Sudetenland to Germany. Three years later. general fears of communism led King Victor Emmanuel to summon Benito Mussolini to form a ministry in which he would be given dictatorial powers to restore order and bring about reforms. His troops marched into Austria in March. Italy and Japan may not have been totally ignored in Westminster. French. the German republic was able to rebuild her army and airforce from scratch. The dictators of Germany and Italy then signed the pact known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. He thought he had bought "peace with honor. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain then agreed. in November 1922. Part 8: England in the 20th Century World War II In the late 1930's Britain's foreign policy stagnated. Hitler's next move was first to surround Bohemia and then to demand modifications to the Czech frontier. After his troops had occupied Addis Abbaba. and while the aggressive moves by Germany." Hitler then showed his true intention by seizing the rest of Czechoslovakia. a Tripartite Pact declared the independence of Ethiopia but divided the country into British. Italy made Assab the basis of an Eritrean colony. Both leaders then supported General Franco's fascists in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). and with the vivid memory of the carnage of World War I in mind. It seems incredible. While domestic policies still had to find a way out of the unemployment mess. they protested but did nothing except to embolden Hitler even further. It then expanded its holdings in the East African highlands. at the height of the crisis in Ethiopia. The League of Nations proved totally ineffective to prevent this seizure of the last bastion of native rule in Africa. Earlier in the year. In 1887 the Italian-Ethiopian War began. however. and Italian spheres of interest. Also in March. He announced open conscription early in 1935. 1934 on a rising tide of nationalism and economic unrest. He secured his fascist Dictatorship the following year through political chicanery and began protesting the terms of Versailles in 1930. Mussolini had led his black-shirts Fascists into Rome. Hitler had become Chancellor in July 30. Mussolini had an excuse to invade Ethiopia. their implications were not fully grasped.

Britain and France stood back for fear of precipitating a general European war. Conscription was ordered for all men 20 years and older. though there were two million unemployed. French and Italian spheres of interest. they protested but did nothing except to embolden Hitler even further. In March 1936. Hitler had become Chancellor on July 30. He thought he had bought "peace with honor. By 1896.39). railing and gateposts disappeared into . a country which geography he was incapable of aiding. There was no resistance. Italy made Assab the basis of an Eritrean colony. After he proclaimed the Third Reich in March. Somewhat better prepared France followed Britain by declaring war on Germany. It proceeded to fortify its Maginot Line as Hitler began to fortify the Rhineland. on a rising tide of nationalism and economic unrest. however. housewives turned in their pots and pans for scrap. He secured his fascist dictatorship the following year through political chicanery and began protesting the terms of Versailles in 1930. clouds of barrage balloons filled the English skies. how all the signs of a forthcoming major war were conveniently ignored. He announced open conscription early in 1935. Chamberlain finally saw what Germany intended to dominate Europe. Mussolini had an excuse to invade Ethiopia. but Stalin had ideas of his own. In Italy. in defiance of the conditions laid down at Versailles. The dictators of Germany and Italy then signed the pact known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. Mussolini had led his black-shirt Fascists into Rome. Cities were blacked out. the German republic was able to rebuild her army and airforce from scratch. a Tripartite Pact declared the independence of Ethiopia but divided the country into British. After his troops had occupied Addis Abbaba. children from the larger cities were moved into the countryside. in November 1922. In 1887 the Italian-Ethiopian War began. it was a totally unprepared Britain that declared war on Germany on September 3. 1934. Hitler became President of the Reich at the death of Hindenburg. Nevertheless. It then expanded its holdings in the East African highlands. Both leaders then supported General Franco's fascists in the Spanish Civil War (1936. along with the French Premier. In August. France was afraid to react without British support. he announced the annexation of Ethiopia and joined Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to create Italian East Africa. Stalin also took advantage of the situation to attack Finland. Three years later. Britain then prepared for total war. When Italian and Ethiopian troops clashed on the frontier between Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia in 1934. including the Sudetenland (with a large German population). In Germany. 1939. but things were generally looking prosperous following the slump of the Great Depression. German armies swept through Poland in 18 days. and with the vivid memory of the carnage of World War I in mind. in their efforts to appease. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed. his regime was given dictatorial powers. a series of defeats led to the Italians withdrawing from their protectorate. the Nazis opened their first concentration camp for Jews. In 1906. The League of Nations proved totally ineffective to prevent this seizure of the last bastion of native rule in Africa. Fearing a catastrophic war." Hitler then showed his true intention by seizing the rest of Czechoslovakia. gypsies and political prisoners. rationing was imposed and rigidly enforced. he sent his armies into the Rhineland. two days after Hitler's armies had invaded Poland. Lack of British resolve against the ambitions of Mussolini may have spurred Hitler to act.109 retrospect. Hitler's next move was to surround Bohemia and then demand modifications to the Czech frontier. and his extension of a guarantee to Poland. general fears of the spread of Communism led King Victor Emmanuel to summon Benito Mussolini to form a ministry in which he would be given dictatorial powers to restore order and bring about reforms. They were to be used soon in a bid to dominate Europe. The allies turned to Russia for support. Also in March. In Britain. coming to a marriage of convenience with Hitler in which Poland became a pawn in the hands of both. iron fences. Italy had entered the scramble for Africa in 1881 by taking over Assab in northern Ethiopia. Unencumbered by obsolete equipment and even more obsolete thinking that hindered the British and the French. practically ensured war. at the height of the crisis in Ethiopia. to hand over the Sudetenland to Germany. Earlier in the year. His troops marched into Austria in March 1938.

In the meantime. to fight on until the situation might eventually change. The final assault . if it did not involve nearly every country on earth. Hitler then planned an invasion of England. the British army was forced to evacuate the continent at Dunkirk. mechanics. He stressed that Hitler would have to break Britain in order to win the war. When France fell. British industry mobilized every person not on military service into production. but Churchill's defiant riposte was that he wasn't on speaking terms with Adolph Hitler. after they had easily bypassed the Maginot Line. While the country waited to see if the French could successfully resist the Nazi armies. The task seemed easy enough. tank traps and other obstacles to invading forces appeared everywhere. Mussolini entered the war on the side of Germany. when it signed an armistice. Luxembourg. not even the United States. total blackout was imposed and rigorously enforced by air Ðraid wardens. In one of the most successful campaigns in the history of war. They had to report immediately to work in war industries or to work on the nation's farms in the socalled Women's Land Army. Beginning their march to the Channel in the Ardennes. Denmark. including babies. Trapped behind their so-called "impenetrable" Maginot Line. Norway. even the retired. At a time when the war at sea was rapidly turning in Germany's favor. the Netherlands. leaving Britain alone in the West to face the Nazi hordes. tears and sweat" to eventually emerge victorious in what was to become a long. All Britain could do was to hang on. the Battle of Britain began with an attack of German bombers on England. toil. But single women played a major role. One of the strangest fleets in history had rescued the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force from the burning beaches of Dunkirk. a humiliated Chamberlain (who had earlier crowed that "Herr Hitler had missed the boat") resigned in favor of Winston Churchill. and that no nation would be safe from sinking into the resulting darkness. but Britain precariously held out (those of us who were living in Britain at the time realize just how near to collapse we were). The country quickly rallied behind him to expend its "blood. he had a decided advantage in the number of planes and in trained pilots. but first he would have to destroy the Royal Air Force. The 65-year-old veteran of many a political campaign was to prove a remarkable leader. Soviet troops entered the Baltic States of Estonia. German forces took only five days to take Holland. the Royal Navy destroyed the French fleet anchored at Oran in North Africa. When France formed a "Vichy" government under Marshal Petain. air-raid wardens and night watchmen. protected by barbed wire. Realizing that she would not come to terms. German U-boats were destroying thousands upon thousands of tons of allied shipping. Belgium. From airfields in conquered France.110 blast furnaces. certainly affected them. 1940 and artillery began shelling the English coast. In the Atlantic. British beaches were mined. swept all through it. the Blitzkrieg. German forces soon controlled France. Even the old and retired were called on to play their part as plane spotters. truck drivers and pilots in non-combat roles. gas masks were issued to every single person. New Prime Minister Winston Churchill informed the British people that the Battle for France was over: the Battle for Britain was about to begin. Hitler expected Britain to come to terms. Norway and Romania. Latvia and Lithuania to incorporate them into the USSR. They then raced forward at lightning speed to capture Paris. to work as radar operators. the French could not hold back the German tide. believing that Britain was doomed and that he could pick up rich spoils in Africa. after a disastrous British attempt to force the Germans out of Narvik. July 10. bloody war that. but somehow halting a German division at Arras. managed to save most of its cadre to train millions of new soldiers it needed to defend its Empire. the English coast was only a few minutes away. air raid shelters were dug in back gardens and London subway stations prepared for their influx of nightly sleepers. After the complete collapse of France in June 1940. In May 1940. Hitler's legions first occupied Denmark and then brushed aside a Franco-British force sent to help Norway. Women also entered the armed services by the thousands. and the new weapon of war.

where he feared a British attack against his flank from Greece. even the Royal Family was issued ration books). There wasn't much to stop the invader. The oncoming winter would prove to be a deciding factor in the holocaust that ensued. Their defiance of the might of the German air force. he ordered the Luftwaffe to destroy London. Hitler's second-in-command Herman Goering miscalculated the resilience of the Royal Air Force. All that stood between the German armies and the planned invasion of Britain was the Fighter Command of the Royal Air Force. (In a time of great food shortages. During the early air war. Though 1. These were called "the happy times" for German U-boat crews. The Royal Navy managed to keep control of the Mediterranean throughout the war. . the heavy losses sustained by the Luftwaffe put an end to any real chances of German forces crossing the Channel. concentrating mainly on airfields and radar installations. the RAF fought on in what was becoming a war of attrition in the air. He ordered his fleet to sink German submarines on sight. following a total blockade of the British Isles ordered by Hitler. They then advanced practically unopposed to the borders of India in the West and Australia in the South. In opposition to many in America who still thought that Britain's total defeat was only a mater of time. Hitler's hatred of Communism blinded him to the risks involved. In June 1941 when the German armed divisions poured into the east. like most of the French fleet before it. their courage in carrying on "business as usual" and their slogan "London can Take it"" (relayed to the United States by radio commentators such as Edward R. On the "day of infamy" so strongly proclaimed by Roosevelt. When British planes bombed Berlin to retaliate for bombs dropped on London (the German pilots had lost their way and missed their intended targets). the Imperial Air force crippled the US Navy at Pearl Harbor. Plans were meticulously drawn up for the government of a conquered Britain. ranging from Hong Kong to Australia.000 tons of British shipping. The British Air Force did not rise to the bait to defend London. On December 7. and a very short time at that. Hitler determined to teach the British people. putting it. their airfields (and pilots) were given a much-needed respite to rebuild. church bells rang in the mistaken belief that the invasion had begun. the regular army had left most of its hardware behind in the evacuation from France. huddled in their air-raid shelters awaited the worst. the great symbol of the British Empire. to attack Russia. had delayed his assault on Russia. President Roosevelt came to the aid of the beleaguered island nation. In November. Germany declared war on the US.000 men in Britain had joined the Home Guard. out of action for the rest of the war.000 men ashore by the end of the second day. idolized by adoring crowds as they set out into the Atlantic to wreak havoc on merchant ships bringing supplies from America. Skilled use of a secret new weapon. Hitler postponed the invasion of Britain. Hong Kong and Singapore. The British people. British ships destroyed the Italian fleet at Taranto. More important. Eventually. His involvement in the Balkans.111 was planned for August 13th. In many villages. In September. To meet the U-boat challenge. Mussolini's grand boast of dominating what he called "mare nostrum" was defeated. the US then provided Britain with Lend-Lease supplies in addition to handing over to the Royal Navy 50 much-needed destroyers. the German Air Force conducted over 1500 missions a day over England. Japanese forces then captured the British possessions of Malaya. Hitler planned to have 125. following decisive losses. 1941 she seized her opportunity to attack. Japan had concluded a pact with the Axis powers in order to fulfil her designs on the Pacific. they conserved what was left of their strength. then gave them a decided advantage over incoming German airplanes. it was a colossal mistake. Britain breathed a huge sigh of relief. U-boats sank 160. " a lesson. Radar.500. It was a grave error. Burma. they had only 70. especially upon the President. On September 17.000 rifles. There was great fear throughout Britain during that late summer. the frustrated German dictator decided to ignore Goering's pleas for just a few more days to destroy Britain's air forces and turned eastward. Insisting on a thousand-fold revenge. Instead of keeping up the pressure. those "night gangsters. Though almost exhausted and down to its last few pilots. On December 11. Murrow) had a profound effect upon American opinion. In September 1940.

Countless thousands of returning soldiers and sailors wanted a turn-around in the status quo. Back home. Russian troops continued to inflict heavy casualties on the Germans. The War in the Pacific came to an end on August 14. The fall of Saipan in July had the same effect in the East. A string of successes was halted in May 1942 when they sustained heavy losses in the Battle of the Coral Sea. In April. Members of British armed forces were considerably better educated than they had been in World War I. he had mixed loyalties. French and American forces into Germany. and all through the year. and he did not trust a Conservative government to . 1945. After being blocked by the winter snows and the fierce resistance of the Russians. east met west as allied forces met with the Russians at the Elbe. Londoners were once again forced into their underground shelters as V-1 rockets began to fall upon the city with terrifying effects.112 The Turn of the Tide It seemed that the Japanese were unstoppable. but steady progress brought British. suffered its first defeat when Hitler underestimated the strategic importance of Egypt. In the east. they over-reached themselves. It was now time for the allies to invade fortress Europe. but bit by bit allied armies advanced up the peninsular. despite determined German resistance. who lost over 2. By May 6. the allies crossed the Rhine. In March 1945. Japan surrendered only after the American Airforce dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Burma had been retaken. The whole country had been taken by the spring of 1945. An expected German counterattack at the landing beaches did not come. Years of meticulous planning and careful preparation paid off and hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers were landed within a few days with their equipment.000 men polishing off one German division after another on an inexorable march to Berlin. The soldier returning from the war was no longer in awe of his leaders. Only defeat of Germany would end the threat. "D-Day" the invasion of the Continent by allied forces in Operation Overlord marked the beginning of the end of the war in the West. It was still heavy going in Italy. the British Eighth Army (the "Desert Rats") under Montgomery destroyed a German fighting machine of 250. Germany still had enough resources to produce a thousand V-2 rockets a month. The news eclipsed the news from Burma.000 men at the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. The tide of war had turned irrevocably on the side of the allies. Germany surrendered. wishing for a greater share in the nation's post-war restructuring. On the sixth of June 1944. in February 1943. Later in the year. 1945. Allied forces recaptured Sicily to invade Southern Italy. Germany too. most of which were directed toward London. He was resentful of unemployment.392 airplanes at the decisive Battle of Kursk. A failure of allied intelligence to spot 24 Nazi divisions gave the enemy temporary success in the Ardennes. where British forces under William Slim had stopped the Japanese efforts to invade India through Assam. Canadian. but as had the Germans. Part 8: England in the 20th Century The Post-War Years The great social-leveling influence of the War meant that Britains were anxious for change. Deceptive messages had led the Germans to concentrate their forces around the port of Calais.000. a huge German army surrendered at Stalingrad. By September 1944. The re-conquest was the most successful of all the campaigns British forces had undertaken during the whole war. Hitler's exhausted forces in the west were finally brushed aside. On May 7. at the Battle of the Bulge. There. 1945. Some failures in the re-conquest of western Europe inevitably ensued. It was the climax of a most difficult but brilliantly executed campaign. but it was beaten back with heavy German losses. a new Russian offensive began with 3. The War in Europe came to an end on May 8. recapturing Rome to bring Italy out of the war.000 tanks and 1. notably the efforts of Montgomery to end an early stalemate in Normandy by the airborne attempt to capture bridges over the Rhine.

The much-heralded Festival of Britain. maintain its armed forces in sufficient strength to meet a new threat from Communist Russia. Nationalization of the hospitals made nationwide care available for the injured and seriously ill. Another crisis occurred in 1947. especially in the undeveloped areas of Scotland and Wales. (In August." close the trade gap." that parodied a popular song of the time by referring to the Bread Unit. however. the new government began some of the greatest changes in Britain's long history---nothing less than a reconstruction of the nation. It succeeded in these aims remarkably well. As a consequence. along with road. though not until 1954 was meat rationing abolished. 1947. A fuel shortage severely curtailed exports. Under its slogan "You've Never Had It So Good. found himself as a member of the opposition when the election of 1945 returned the Labour Party to power with a huge majority. that they had done very little to solve between the wars. Central control of the economy. Along with the devaluation of the pound and an expansion of world markets. He wished for a change. The introduction of the Land-Rover to world markets in 1948 was a godsend for British exports. economic prospects seemed to be on the upturn. In 1948. who led Britain to victory during the war. Family allowances had already been introduced before the War's end. and in 1948 even bread and potatoes were rationed (both had been exempt during the War). orange juice and cod-liver oil for children.U. food was still severely rationed. rail and waterways. there was a revival of the spirit that had united the country during the War. at Harwell). to maternity and child welfare services. economist William Beveridge had put forward proposals for postwar "cradle-tograve" social security." led by the aging Winston Churchill. During the dark early days of the War. introduced by the US to help the European Economy recover. air transport. monstrous gales and floods wiped out farms and destroyed agricultural products. The Government had taken on an emergency welfare responsibility. Winston Churchill. In 1947. which had proved so successful in wartime. It was achieved under terribly adverse economic conditions. Britain's pre-war industrial strength was severely weakened. It was now time for Labour to put the Beverage Plan into full operation. the Conservatives resumed control of the government. saw the nationalization of the Bank of England. rationing began to be phased out. Under the Parliament of Clement Attlee. it can take credit for the building of giant hydro-electric schemes in the later 1940's. move to a "mixed economy. A total of 20 percent of all British industry had been taken into public ownership by 1950. the balance of payments deficit had become a surplus. and to keep of its overseas bases. Stringent financial measures. In less than one year. Britain was even able to join with the US in ferrying supplies to Berlin in the famous "Airlift" that began in July of that year. caused undue hardship that was only made worse by one of the worst winters on record. The "Welfare State" had begun. The author remembers well the little ditty "It had to B. Compared to those of the developing nations of Southeast Asia and the rebuilt economies of Japan and Germany. under Attlee. The second major change brought about by the Labour Government. By 1950. the government introduced the National Health Service to proved free medical treatment for all. 1946.113 tackle the enormous social economic and political problems. and a two-year period beginning in 1946. the coal industry. from the spectacles and false teeth. Though the Labour Government did very little to develop the private sector. the government operated its first atomic pile. A National School Lunch Act was passed in June. not as a demonstration of the nation's . imposed to meet the enormous war debt. relief appeared in the form of the Marshall Plan. was to take control of industry and public utilities. it provided milk for babies. electricity and gas. The Labour Government struggled heroically to deal with the problems: to improve standards of living. held in London in 1951 has been seen by many in retrospect. In 1951. was now a major undertaking in peacetime.

In 1974. Britain entered a period of depression in the 1970's. 1972). In 1974. however. Great expansion of the oil fields then took place in the 1970's so that in 1979. Margaret Thatcher was perceived as a grocer's daughter. Britain's post-war lead in the production of motor-cycles had long been surrendered to the Japanese. In 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement was an attempt to end it. who along with his queen Elizabeth. Her emphasis on "self-help" encouraged private enterprise. like the Festival's Skylon. committed to union with Eire and Protestants. but hopes for peace were shattered on "Bloody Sunday" when British troops opened fire on protesters at Londonderry (January 30. It took the outrage of the Inniskillen bombing in 1998. inflation spiraled and economic decline continued despite the social contract between the government and the trade unions. had done much to bring back dignity and honor to the monarchy. and full-scale activities had begun in 1964. killing a leading Conservative M. Margaret Thatcher Though married to a millionaire. social services and education made her extremely unpopular with the masses. hard-working and thrifty. 1971 when Rolls-Royce declared bankruptcy. scale down social services and reduce the role of the state in daily life had wide appeal and gave her a large majority. in March. Since 1962. which they believed had grown into a monster. In March. the country had no visible means of support. She was the first female Prime Minister in the nation's history and gained her reputation as "the iron lady" for her tight control of Britain's monetary policy. 1979 Prime Minister Callaghan lost a vote of confidence by one vote in the House of Commons and Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher became the nation's first woman Prime Minister in May. A tremendous blow to British pride came in February.P. the country's oil production exceeded its imports for the first time. Yet there was a mood of optimism that received an another upturn with the coronation of the young queen Elizabeth. committed to retaining their British identity. Britain's ports also adapted to the new container vessels. Many in Britain also wished to curb the power of the unions. Glasgow and East London. the great strike by the country's coal miners (over the government's "freeze" on wages) caused the Conservatives to lose the general election but under Labour. Bitter confrontation between unions and government continued to escalate. with both Britain and the Irish Republic agreeing to confer over the problems and to work together against terrorism. in 1982. Violence continued almost unabated. The IRA brought their violence to Britain. Her promises to cut income taxes. but her cutting back of expenditures on health. Along with most of the industrialized nations of the world. Part 8: England in the 20th Century Something of a miracle occurred just when the world's oil producing nations doubled the cost of their product: Britain herself became a major oil producer. the first oil find came five years later. peace had to come from the initiatives of the people themselves. In Ireland. she had been conducting seismic prospecting for oil and natural gas in the North Sea. led to the Government imposing direct rule over Northern Ireland. but as a product of British postwar weakness and a signal pointing to further decline. the first such ceremony to be televised. The Nation and the Commonwealth mourned the death of King George VI. spelling the end for such great traditional ports as Liverpool. . forcing the government to bail out the company to avoid job losses and to restore national prestige. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Continuing violence between Catholics. A fashionable joke at the time was that. the whole of Britain felt itself under siege from a vicious bombing campaign. a complete no-nonsense person. claiming sovereignty over the small group of islands they called the Islas Maldivas in the South Atlantic that was home to a few thousand British settlers.114 strength. almost out of control. Then. violence continued and Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in August. to shock both sides into realizing that governments could do little. A strike by London dock workers idled hundreds of ships and prevented goods from being exported.

mainly with income derived from the sale of Beatles records. The Conservatives. Thatcher continued her policies of tight economic control. British television projected an image of quality throughout the world. and the switch to oil. In 1974. In July. Its legislation. was tempered with distrust of one who was acquiring almost dictatorial powers. the miners also protested against overtime work. The 1990's saw the birth of the famous sheep Dolly (the first mammal produced from a donor cell taken from an adult rather than from an embryo). the Water Authorities. the miners went on strike to protest the closing of many pits deemed unprofitable. (The tax was an attempt to reform local government and finance by replacing household rates. the closing of so many pits. British doctors at London's Oldham Hospital created the world's first "test tube baby" Louis Brown. The nation was jubilant. The British were. the computed axial tomography scanner was developed in England. Thatcher was regarded as something of a national hero. No wonder the Labour opposition was in complete disarray. despite riots in the deprived areas of some of England's biggest cities. one of Britain's oldest shoe companies. and Mrs. and after two months. (essential for organ transplants). the Humber Bridge was completed. now named Reebok. which made each voter bear a full share of the costs incurred by prodigal spending). Britain was also busy creating its own "silicon valleys" adapting the new micro-chip technology to replace traditional industries." Then. the better-trained and disciplined British infantry. with whole areas of the larger cities occupied by those whose religion. Mrs. however. many promising development in science occurred. better housed. The problems resulting from the country fast-becoming multi-national.626 feet the world's longest Suspension Bridge. food and social mores were considered "anti-British" were swept aside in a euphoria of jingoism. won the day. US) fire. Inflation and interest rates also remained alarmingly high.115 Prime Minister Thatcher sent a task force to recapture the islands. better clothed. aided by its highly maneuverable airplanes (launched from carriers). In 1981. Under their dynamic and outspoken leader Arthur Scargill. begun on such an optimistic note. The world's longest high-speed optical fiber link connected Birmingham with London. 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer (and another kind of spirit benefited from the "real-ale" campaign that protested against the mass production of pasteurized beer). Privatization of British Gas. cleaner and warmer than at any time in their history. British scientists retained their lead. and then Polly. dress. Thatcher's government was also helped by the splitting off of some Labour members to the Social Democratic Party. Thatcher's second government. especially those from the West Indies and some African states would disagree). The bitterness caused by the strikes and the insensitivity of the government to their demands deeply divided the whole of British society. The government was mainly split by the question of integration into Europe. General optimism. with some prominent members . British Telecom. the Iron Lady's imposition of the "Poll Tax" caused unrest and street demonstrations. on the whole. at the bottom of the social scale. Mrs. Spirits were also warmed in July. Mrs. The number of videos acquired by British families was far greater than those in the US or Europe. and continued IRA terrorist attacks. British Airways and the electricity industry (termed by Macmillan as 'the family silver") proved a godsend to government revenues and also created a new class of British shareholders. better fed. In addition.e. were a decade of prosperity (many immigrants. the privatization of industry and "dismantling" (when possible) of the Welfare State. had defeated the unions. In addition. once again helped by a split in opposition ranks. Thatcher's decision to send British land and sea forces into the Gulf to participate in the United Nations multi-national task force raged against the government of Iraq divided the country. at 4. a transgenic animal produced through cloning. The 1980's indeed. revolutionizing diagnostic medicine in immunology. and in 1990. especially when it was learned that English casualties came mostly from "friendly" (i. 1978. made impressive gains in the world market in competition with Nike. in Mrs. who later joined with the Liberals in "the Alliance. retained their control of the government.

embraced the European community and purged from within the unrepresentative labor bosses. vacillating government policies and a foolish disdain toward enterpreneurship). which had been offered for sale to private owners). communications. 1990. By the mid-90's. Its motto "It's Time for a Change" seemed to appeal to most Britons. Hayek (first published in 1944). For many. Despite the fact that the economy was recovering and inflation was at a 30-year low. Tony Blair was thus able to inherit an economy free from the dreaded "British disease" (militant trade unions. brought a challenge to Thatcher's leadership. Why should they force Britain to enter a stagnant Europe? In addition. Labour won a landslide victory in 1997. leading magazines (particularly in the US) wrote of the death of the Labour Party eventhough it had abandoned its policy of nuclear disarmament. the Thatcher Era came to an end." As a result of reading the book. insurance. But once again. there was very little to divide the Labour and Conservative parties on the central principles of economic management. For most. over-regulation.116 disagreeing with the purchase of the Westland Helicopter by Americans rather then Europeans. Thatcher wrote that none of what her government had achieved would have been possible without the values and beliefs "that set us on the right road and provide the right sense of direction. perhaps the greatest gift of wealth to the working class in British history. it was the restoration of British pride in the victory in the Falklands. it was apparent that Britain was beginning to come to terms with the loss of much of its heavy industry and the increasing reliance on finance. the Euro-skeptics determined to sabotage their leader. and in November. despite public sentiment in favor of the miners and as debatable as the benefits of privatization had proved. putting the country far ahead of the US and Europe in the percentage of housing units owneroccupied. the desire for continuity overrode the desire for change. On Hayek's 90th birthday. Part 8: England in the 20th Century John Major & Tony Blair John Major then took over the reigns of the Conservative Party as Prime Minister. heightened by what Sir Geoffrey Howe (deputy leader of her own party) called her anti-European paranoia.P. tourism. By the general election of 1992. The longest ministry of the century. For others. continuing revelations in the daily newspapers about scandals involving leading Tories doomed Mr. and despite the highest growth rate and the lowest unemployment in Europe. They were told to support Major's European policy or bring down the government. Mrs. not a single poll showed the Conservatives winning. Major. the winds of change were blowing strong. accounting and other service industries. John Major was returned to power.A. forgotten that it had preached in favor of public ownership of the means of production and exchange. . Other such issues. The warm afterglow of the Gulf War had dissipated rapidly and continuing economic problems and uncertain leadership ate away Major's popularity. Yet as early as 1993. The unions were not going to regain their former powers. there was no going back to the old days of nationalized industries (and council houses. Many Conservative M. Hundreds of Tory candidates were in open rebellion over Major's fence straddling on Europe. the sale of tens of thousands of public housing (at bargain prices). the main achievement of the Iron lady was to free her country from the iron grip of the trade unions. What must not be overlooked in the polices of "Thatcherism" was the influence upon intellectuals and government policymakers alike of "The Road to Serfdom" by F. Britain was still saying "No" to socialism. they feared that British industry would be subject to European regulations in working conditions and labor relations. oil. Anthony Fisher founded the Institute of Economic Affairs in London which was to be the most important source of free-market ideas in Britain. it had glorified the Victorian values of self-help and nationalism. When Major was first elected. He was committed to keeping "Thatcherism" alive. Leading Tories wanted to scuttle any deals Britain had made at Maastricht.'s were in open rebellion over Europe.

the people of England). The new brand of socialism was hardly distinguishable from that of Mrs. with powerful voices being raised in Scotland and Wales for more self-government. four days after the trauma of Lady Diana's funeral. and national security. For the people of Wales and Scotland (and no less. which no good man loses but with his life. On March 1. Japan. called the results a step in the process of "modernizing Britain. common markets for goods and services. they had been supported by the Labour Party. was also still deeply divided on the question and the extent of devolution. 1997. In any case. border controls.117 The election took place only two years after Labour had rid itself of the clause in its constitution that called for the "common ownership of production. meanwhile. but each proud of its own distinctiveness as cultural and political units.P. led by Tony Blair. may prove to be one of the most important ones in their long histories. It would have no revenue raising powers and sovereignty would be retained in Westminster. sharing a unique British heritage. Eighteen years later." Hollywood movie star. It was now joined by a much more ancient problem: that of devolution with the British Isles. discontent in both areas of Britain led to a feverish proliferation of committees soon at work in Westminster looking at further measures of devolution for Scotland and Wales." It was particularly anxious to keep the billions of dollars that had been invested annually in the UK by the US. David's Day) the people of Wales voted overwhelmingly against devolution. British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "It is not for glory. The government published its proposals for a devolved Scottish assembly in November 1975. three voices will be heard instead of one: three equal voices. Scotsman Sean Connery (who did not appear in "Braveheart") campaigned hard and contributed a great deal of cash to the campaign. This time. 1979 (St." The decision gives Scotland an Assembly with tax-levying powers. riches or honours we fight. Westminster . whose Labour Party had actively campaigned for passage of the devolution bill.'s as Neil Kinnock (with his eyes on the Prime Minister's job) was done only too well. by a small majority. the Party of Wales. the people of Wales chose an Assembly of their own. Thatcher but the move of Labour to the center was expedited by the popularity of its leaders. The question of just how much should Britain integrate itself into Europe remained a thorny issue with the new government. voted overwhelmingly in favor of its own Assembly. The reasons were many (they are discussed in full in my "Brief History of Wales" and "The Referendum of 1979. and social security). monetary and fiscal matters. the decision to approve the Labour Government's plans for separate assemblies. but Westminster has the right to "reserve" or "withhold" many powers (constitutional matters. On September 11. The Scots will be given the broad authority to legislate in a host of sectors." Too many feared changes in the statues quo. the results were reversed. and by the fervent and some say overzealous and destructive activities of the Welsh Language Society Cymdeithas yr Iaith Cymraeg. defense. The reasons are given at length in my "Brief History of Scotland." but are also summarized below: Though very much a minority party. This was also a period of intense activity in Wales by members of Plaid Cymru. and still suffering from the stigma attached to the very idea of nationalism during war years. the referendum resulted in the decision to give back a Parliament to Scotland by a 3-1 margin. Korea and others during the 16 years of Conservative rule. unlike the much weaker "talking-shop" that the Welsh are going to be saddled with as the result of their own (barely) successful referendum. but only for liberty. led by such influential Welsh M. foreign policy. employment law. and the seemingly insoluble problem of Northern Ireland casting a deep shadow over the entire so-called United Kingdom. the wide range of competing priorities for government attention took away the time needed for the Callaghan government to devote to the issue. In the councils of Europe. invoking the 1370 Declaration of Arbroath. the work of the anti-devolutionists. Though prospects for passage looked good. Scotland. (the Scottish National Party) SNP had begun to build its organizational skills and work on political strategy. The government's program was bound to fail: the Bill was headed for defeat. distribution and exchange. But in 1997 a new referendum was held in which. despite heavily financed campaigns against it. fearing loss of support in Scotland to the SNP. Labour. its share of the vote steadily grew.

the Upper Chamber had become an anachronism. In the late 1990's. A conference held in 1917.118 must have breathed a sigh of relief that the problems of devolution for Wales and Scotland were settled so amicably. It took four years of contentious debate to settle the matter. it was the budget of Lloyd George in 1909 that really stirred up the pot. Many Labour M. was duly elevated to the peerage upon the death of his father (who had been appointed as a Labour peer only twenty years before). social welfare and sport. Time and time again the Lords had obstructed legislation that would have surely benefited the nation. Lloyd George threatened to swamp them with five hundred new peers. faced the old difficulty of "the paralysing perplexity of so many alternatives. hereditary legislators seemed ridiculous in a country that prided itself on its democratic institutions. proud and independent. the government of Tony Blair and is centrist Labour Party. there was the age-old question of what to do about the House of Lords. The old arguments about the need for a second chamber to act as a brake on any impetuousness showed by the government of the day had long since disappeared. is still grappling with the problem of the Lords. as Wales and Scotland have shown. Leaving aside century after century of attacks on the privileges (and power) enjoyed by the Lords. Yet all attempts at reform eventually died down lacking a concerted opinion as to what kind of second chamber the country should support. When the Lords rejected his bill. Lloyd George became notorious for selling lordships to the highest bidder. was defeated. Their record on Ireland was appalling.P. it is perfectly capable of putting its own house in order. but a compromise was reached: only minor changes were effected. to allow him to resign his peerage. literature. in art. in the difficult art of compromise. but it was evident that the House of Lords needed some drastic changes. The days of complacency were over. The landed aristocracy saw his attempts to tax the rich as the beginning of the end of all rights of property. but it could be matched by many other areas in which they had excelled in their obstinacy. politics." The Commons also feared that an elected upper chamber would offer a serious challenge to its own powers. . the Labour Party announced its plans to reduce the powers of the Lords and to eliminate its hereditary basis. with their obstruction of Home Rule Bills. While England my no longer Rule the waves.'s wished to abolish the Upper House altogether. The very idea of non-elected. it was willing to compromise in the uncertainly of what was to replace the second chamber. Once again. A private bill. There is nothing in the nation's proud past that would prevent a satisfactory solution to the problem of the privileges enjoyed by the House of Lords. a people who will continue to give so much to the world. exploration. science and technology. As a peer. In many ways. Would the Irish question follow the same road? The problem of Europe remained for Tony Blair. the younger Benn was refused admission to the Hose of Commons when he came to take his usual seat. but above all. Another crisis occurred in 1960 when Antony Edgwood Benn.P. In 1967. The newcomers proved just as anxious to preserve their newly-gained privileges as their hereditary colleagues. The Parliament Bill of 1911 was thus a weak compromise: all the hereditary peers and bishops would stay in the House. a promising and ambitious Labour M. however. however. a problem that perhaps exemplifies the struggle of Britain to adjust itself to the modern world. and the old aristocracy found itself rapidly outnumbered by the new captains of industry and leading financiers on the benches of the chamber. The advent of the First World War postponed the move to exclude hereditary peers from the Upper House. In 1922. Their defense of ancient privilege had often blinded them to the realities of British political life since the time of Oliver Cromwell. in addition. but their powers of delay would be reduced to two years: it continued to remain a powerful revising chamber. The past two thousand years have shown a resilient people.

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