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John Wickliffe publishes his work called "The last Age of the Church," directed against the provisions and other abuses of the court of Rome".
A.D. 1357. An ordinance made for the estate of the land of Ireland [31 Edw. III. st. 4, c. 1—19]. This very remarkable document is undeniable evidence of the state of the country, and its slight connexion with England near 200 years after its nominal conquest. It promises liberty to the Church and people, and that they shall have the same laws as the English; but it states that the king's authority is almost wholly disregarded, and that he is constantly deceived by the false reports and certificates of his own officers. It then directs that the public business is to be discussed in parliament only, that all private councillors are to be dismissed, that no man is to be unduly imprisoned, and that no general pardon shall be granted except by parliament; a strict inquiry is to be made yearly into the conduct of the sheriffs and other officers, and the deputy and his fel
John Wickliffe, probably a native of Yorkshire, was a very popular lecturer on theology at Oxford, where he taught doctrines strongly opposed to those then generally received, but not so distinctly Protestant as they are ordinarily represented. He translated the Scriptures into English, and wrote many works in which he inveighed against the avarice of the court of Rome and the scandalous lives of many of the clergy, and advocated the supremacy of the civil magistrate. His doctrines were authoritatively condemned, he was obliged to retire from Oxford to his living of Lutterworth, and strenuous efforts were made to bring him to condign punishment; but being powerfully protected, especially by the duke of Lancaster, he was saved from further harm, and died quietly in his house, Dec. 29, 1384. His bones were several years after taken up and burnt, by order of the council of Constance, but his doctrines had taken deep root, and his followers, termed Lollards, maintained and widely propagated them in spite of the most strenuous efforts of the heads of both Church and State, whence John Wickliffe is justly regarded as the father of the English Reformation.
lows are exhorted to certify truly of the state of the land.
A truce concluded with France, March 23; it was to last till Easter, 1359, but was prolonged till Midsummer of that year.
The Black Prince brings his prisoners to England; he lands at Plymouth May 5, and enters London in triumph, May 24.
David II. of Scotland is released, in November.
A.D. 1358. A fearful insurrection of the peasants against the nobles breaks out in France.
A.D. 1359. Charles the Bad claims the crown of France. The king takes advantage of the circumstance to offer hard terms of peace, which the regency refuse. He in consequence invades France, in November, and ineffectually besieges Rheims.
A.D. 1360. The king besieges Paris. Peace is at length concluded at Bretigny, near Chartres, May 8, and King John set at liberty, Oct. 25.
A statute passed regulating the office of justice of the peace [34 Edw. III. c. 1].
France is ravaged by bands of discharged soldiers, who style themselves the Free Companies'.
After vain attempts to subdue them, De Guesclin put himself at their head, and led them from France against Peter the Cruel.
Bertrand du Guesclin, one of the most eminent names in French history, was born in Britanny in 1314. He was a strenuous supporter of Charles of Blois, and also served the king of France against Charles the Bad of Navarre. He relieved the country of the Free Companies by leading them against Peter the Cruel, whom he speedily dethroned, but was himself captured by the Black Prince, and only set at liberty on paying a very heavy ransom. He became constable of France, and was the chief actor in driving the English
A.D. 1361. Lionel, the king's son, appointed lieutenant of Irelanda, July 1.
The Second Great Pestilence in England, from Aug. 15 to May 3, 1362.
A.D. 1362. The abuse of purveyance restrained by statute [36 Edw. III. c. 2-5]. The king states that he has redressed the grievances of his subjects in this matter of his own will, without motion of either great men or commons, and he directs the "heinous name of purveyors" to be changed to that of buyers.
The laws directed to be pleaded in English [36 Edw. III. c. 15].
A general pardon granted for all such acts as tend not to the permanent injury of the Crown, Oct. 13 [36 Edw. III. c. 16].
A.D. 1363. King John, being unable to fulfil the terms of his release, returns to England.
Diet and apparel of each class of the community regulated by statute [37 Edw. III. c. 8-14].
A.D. 1364. Charles of Blois is killed at Auray, near Vannes, Sept. 29; his rival De Montfort obtains possession of Britanny.
A.D. 1365. The pope (Urban V.) claims the tribute
from their conquests in Britanny and Normandy. At length he relinquished his office of constable, being dissatisfied with the conduct of Charles V. towards his native country, and determined to withdraw to Spain, but delaying his journey, to complete, as a farewell service to France, the conquest of Randon, held by the English, he died before its walls, July 13, 1380; the fortress surrendered a few days after, and its keys were laid upon his coffin, the governor hav ing sworn only to submit to Du Guesclin.
He was earl of Ulster, in right of his wife, and in consequence of some successes was in the following year created duke of Clarence. b He died at the Savoy, April 8, 1364.
promised by John, but it is refused by the parliament. A controversy springs up on the subject, in which Wickliffe inveighs vehemently against the demand.
A.D. 1366. Lionel, duke of Clarence, holds a parliament at Kilkenny, in February, at which severe enactments are made against the Anglo-Irish d.
A.D. 1367. The Black Prince espouses the cause of Pedro the Cruel, of Castile; gains the battle of Najara, April 3, and thus re-establishes him on the throne, but is ungraciously treated, and having suffered much from illness, returns to Bordeaux.
A.D. 1368. He levies heavy taxes on the Gascons, when they appeal to the king of France.
A.D. 1369. The Black Prince is summoned to Paris, to answer the complaints of the Gascons1, May 1. Instead he prepares for war, and the king, by advice of parliament, resumes the title of king of France.
The staple removed from Calais, in consequence of the war [43 Edw. III. c. 1].
The Third Great Pestilence, from July 2 to Sept. 29. A.D. 1370. The French enter Gascony in January.
c See p. 288.
d Their use of the Irish laws, and adoption of Irish surnames and customs, is prohibited, as is also the supplying the natives with arms, horses, or armour.
Peter had, among other atrocities, murdered his queen, Blanche of Bourbon, and he had been dethroned by his natural brother, Henry of Trastamare, assisted by Du Guesclin and the Free Companies. On the withdrawal of the Black Prince, he was again assailed by Henry, defeated, and put to death. John of Gaunt married one of his daughters, and assumed the title of King of Castile and Leon.
The king of France acted unjustifiably in this, as all feudal claim on the ceded provinces had been expressly renounced by the treaty of Bretigny.
Limoges admits a French garrison; the Black Prince retakes it, and butchers the inhabitants in cold blood.
A.D. 1371. David II. of Scotland dies, Feb. 22; his nephew Robert succeeds, being the first king of the house of Stuarth.
The chancellor resigns the great seal, March 14, being charged with corruption by John of Gaunt'.
A.D. 1372. The earl of Pembroke is defeated and captured at sen by the Spaniards, June 23.
Du Guesclin is successful against the English and their adherents in Britanny.
This renowned warrior retired shortly after to England, in broken health, and was succeeded in his command by his brother, John of Gaunt; it is to be regretted that this, his last exploit, was not more in accordance with the chivalrous character usually ascribed to him. h David had endeavoured to secure the succession to an English prince, but the parliament of Scotland indignantly rejected the proposal.
This was the famous William of Wykeham, who was born at Wykeham, in Hampshire, in 1324. He long served the king in the quality of surveyor of works, and built for him many noble edifices, both civil and military, the castles of Windsor and Queenborough among the number; became warden of the forests south of Trent, keeper of the privy seal, president of the council, bishop of Winchester, and at length chancellor, in Sept. 1367. Charges of corruption (which were afterwards allowed to be unfounded) were urged against him by the duke of Lancaster, he was driven from court, and his temporalities seized. On the accession of Richard II. he was restored to favour, but took little further part in public affairs, (though his name appears in the commission of regency, and he again became chancellor for a short period,) devoting his energies instead to the administration of his diocese, and the founding and endowing of the noble establishments of New College, Oxford, and St. Mary, Winchester. He died Sept. 27, 1404, and was buried in his cathedral.
John Hastings, earl of Pembroke, had married Margaret, the king's youngest daughter, but she died soon after. Though thus related to royalty, he was not ransomed until he had suffered a four years' imprisonment, and he then died at Paris, on his way to Calais, April 16, 1376.