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names have been put in others, to please individuals. Sir William Dugdale openly accuses the monks of Battle of flattery, from having inserted the names of persons whose ancestors never were at the conquest. Guilliam Tayleur, a Norman historian, who could not have had any communication with the monks of Battle, has also published the musterroll, which was called over after the battle of Hastings, to know who had fallen. Fox, Holingshed, and Stow, have each pretended to give a transcript of this muster-roll, but they are so much unlike each other, that an absolute reliance cannot be placed upon any one of them*; Tayleur has put to some the words, le sire de, which being followed by the name of a place, evince that the person so distinguished was of consequence, and therefore those who descend from such ancestors are of families which were baronial before the Norman conquest, and were not indebted to that revolution for their rank. Defective as these collections of names are, they are the only ones that can be had, except what may be learnt from Domesday Book, and a French author, who has enumerated such places in Normandy as have given names to families which have settled in England.

Probably most of those who came hither with the Duke of Normandy were the first of their family that took surnames, that practice being but recently adopted upon the Continent, and was unknown in Britain before the conquest. Probably there were few, if any town, village, manor, or castle in Normandy, which did not give a name to a family; but we are not to suppose that one of each of these came with their sovereign, to support him in his claim upon England. That expedition seems rather a voluntary service, an enterprize in which one was left at his option to undertake or decline; with an exception of those who held their estates imme diately under William, as tenants of the ducal patrimonial lands. Several of the neighbouring princes afforded him both subjects and money, and many adventurers from various parts of France joined his standard, which accounts for the surnames of such in these rolls, who take them from places not found in Normandy. The Normans prefixed to the family name the article de, du, des, or de la. Some, instead of a place's name, have honorable offices in the palace given as surnames; perhaps, however, not quite so early as this period: others, affecting religion, took the name

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of some saint; others distinguished themselves by the christian one of their father, or some favorite ancestor, prefixing to it fits. :


Allowing William every merit as a consummate politician, and a most able general, yet the conquest of this kingdom, and the total change it underwent by that revolution, is every way extraordinary. His audacity in conceiving the idea, his resolution in effecting it, is alike wonderful. Harold was his superior in rank, his dominions more extensive, his laurels still blooming, by the destruction of a potent monarch, who had invaded his kingdom. Harold was an usurper: William, as illegitimate, had no inheritable blood; and, though he had been left Normandy by his father, it was against every rule of right. His pretensions to England were only what ambition could suggest to a mind who grasped at dominion; but that he should retain possession against all the struggles of a free people to regain their lost liberty, aided by Scotch, Danes, and Welch, is more extraordinary. He bent reluctant Normandy to aid his project; he persuaded the neighbouring princes to fight under his standard, when victory must make him so dangerous to them; and he even won the French monarch to assist him in an enterprize, which was to make him his equal in rank, his superior in power, and inexpressibly so in glory. This gives us a great idea of William's capacity in the cabinet. His revenue was equal to five millions sterling, and his regular forces were sixty thousand horse and foot, which he maintained without any expense, by quartering them upon the clergy and laity, to whom he had divided the conquered land. But William stained his great qualities by enormities, the remembrance of which will never be obliterated, so long as usurpation, tyranny, and covetousness, are deemed crimes. Will not the descendants from the Normans be ashamed to own themselves as such? The writer of this, who owes his origin to that duchy, answers no; for, if they descend not from a Norman family, they probably must from a Saxon, or a Danish one and those nations, with their leaders, were still more ferocious and sanguinary. They came here barbarians, destroying all that was valuable. William and his followers were more enlightened than the people they came to subdue, and they gave better customs, if not laws, than they abrogated. The Saxons and Danes were pagan savages, the Normans accomplished Christians, but who, like soldiers fighting for foreign conquest, of every religion and every country, were ambitious and rapacious.



William II., Henry I., Stephen, Henry II., and Richard I., were all natives of Normandy, Blois, or Anjoy, except Henry I., who, though born in Britain, by his education might be said to be a native of the Continent. England, during these reigns, still continued to receive illustrious foreigners, who were the subjects of these princes' Francic dominions. The peers, barons, and dignified clergy, continued to be of transmariné extraction; and though the great accession of dominion Henry II. brought to the crown by his paternal duchy and earldom, the rich dowry of his Queen, and the conquest of Ireland, which rendered him the first sovereign in Europe, as was his successor Richard L., yet in all their wars and negotiations we do not find a single individual, whose family name was taken from a place in England; so intirely were the Anglo-Saxons oppressed and despised by their conquerors and descendants. It is true, some of these princes seemed to give certain privileges to their English subjects; but these were generally a confirmation of those liberties which their Cerdic predecessors had bestowed; and these concessions were chiefly made when it was necessary, upon urgent occasions, to win or conciliate their affections, and broken through as soon as those occasions ceased. The Normanic English were most benefited: the Anglo-Saxons had no trust committed to their care, and were permitted to hold but little property. Our monarchs, from William I. to John, were as absolute as powerful: none could more reward their friends than these princes. Henry II. followed the example of his great-grandfather, in giving whole districts to individuals: he even exceeded him in munificence, granting kingdoms in Ireland to his friends.

To ascertain the changes in the reigns since the Norman conquest, I shall take a review of the different orders amongst our Anglo-Saxon ancestors in the concisest manner. Besides the sovereign and his family,

England had three distinct orders, Thanes, Ceorles, and Slaves.

The Thanes, though all noble, varied greatly in rank. The ecclesiastics of the first order were bishops, priors, and abbots; the lay ones were dukes and earls, taking their titles from those counties of which they had the military government. These titles were not strictly hereditary, though, without some peculiar reason, they were permitted to descend to the next heir. The viscounts were sheriffs, not deputies, chosen by the county: these had the civil jurisdiction, with the collecting the royal revenue, out


of which they obtained a considerable annual income. They generally remained in office for life, or a great length of time. The second class were inferior clergy, and the considerable land-holders. These held of the Crown or the greatest thanes, generally of the latter. The third class were proprietors of as much land as was sufficient for their support. Every gentleman was noble. Their domains were called boclands, being conveyed by written evidences. What was round their castles or mansions, called demesne lands, was cultivated for domestic use, the rest was folkland, divided into two parts, one set out to an hereditary tenantry, who gave attendance about the person of their lord in peace or in war; so that he was never without a suitable number of retainers. The other part of the folkland was used by an inferior tenantry, who cultivated it personally, paying a specified rent, in such provisions as were most wanted for the supply of the lord's table. The greatest thanes were powerful chieftans, possessing an absolute jurisdiction on their estates. At their hall-mote, with the consent of their socmen, all civil and criminal matters were determined. They owed suit and service to the Sovereign in the palace, and in the field; they contributed to build and defend the royal castles, and repair the bridges and public roads.

The Ceorles were merchants, tradesmen, or little freeholders. They were capable of becoming thanes of the third class, by acquiring a seat and office in the royal court; gaining sufficient learning to become a priest; obtaining from a duke or earl, as a reward for their prowess, five hides of land, a gilt sword, helmet, and breast-plate; by making three voyages to a foreign country in a ship freighted by themselves; or by any other manner obtaining five hides of land, upon which was a church, a kitchen, a bell-house, and a great gate or lodge. These new-raised thanes enjoyed all the privileges of those of the third class who received it by birth: their lives were equally estimated, and their weregild, or testimony, of the same weight in the courts of judicature. Nothing was more wise than offering so many ways for the ceorles to attain the honors of nobility.

The third class were Bondsmen or Slaves. Domestic ones, employed in the house or upon their owner's demesne, often learnt, and sometimes excelled in handicraft trades, even those of jewellery, and the finest works of art then known. The Villains, so called from being settled in

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the villages, belonged either personally to the lord, who could dispose of them, or such who, attached to the soil, were alienated with the estate. Their lands are still held by inferior tenure, being copyholds. These slaves had their rights. Their persons could not be maimed, nor their lives taken from them at the caprice of their owners. The property they gained in the hours of indulgence was their own. They might, and often did, by obtaining their liberty, become ceorles, enjoying all the rights of freemen. To distinguish them from those who were born ceorles, they were denominated freoletans. It was wise and humane to permit freedom to stimulate alike honesty and industry.

Such was the state of the Anglo-Saxons when William conquered them, as it still is in Russia, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, and many parts of Germany. He changed all the great proprietors. The names, however, more than the ranks, were altered by him. The title of duke, being the same as he used in Normandy, was omitted. The earls had much the same powers as before. The second order of thanes became barons, having about ten manors, which had constituted a tithing under the late system. A certain number of knight's fees, being a given quantity of land, made a barony. Though the viscounts changed their name for shire-reeve or sheriff, the office was much the same. The lesser thanes became vavasors. From these descend the gentry of England, not of Francic blood. Their lands were denominated vavasories. The fixed services, due from the great land-holders, was changed to grand, that of the lesser ones to petty, serjeanty. Knight's service was not very different from the Anglo-Saxon tenure. The ceorles took the general name, freeFrom these, and the junior branches of the vavasors, the great bulk of the middle rank of the English are at this time composed. The slaves experienced little or no change. From them the great mass of the lowest order of the people now descend.


The irregular accessions of William II., Henry I., and Stephen, tended to mollify the sternness of the Norman government. The privileges granted by these monarchs were undoubtedly more felt by the Normanic English, than those of Saxon blood. Reliefs compounded for by William II. in money, acknowledged some kind of hereditary right to land. Henry I. made the baronial, and other lands, strictly hereditary, and gave leave to the mother, or other nearest relation, to become guardians

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