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litary discipline, as well as the administration of justice. The next superior court to that of the buudred was the county-court, which met twice a-year, and consisted of all the freeholders of the county, who had an equal vote in the decision of causes. Alfred also added to the alderman and bishop a third judge in each county, under the name of sheriff, who enjoyed equal authority with the two former. His office also empowered him to guard the rights of the crown in the county, and levy the fines in posed; which formed no inconsiderable branch of the pub. lic revenue, in an age when money atoned for almost every violation of the laws of society.
15. In default of justice from all these courts, an appeal lay to the king himself in council: and as the wisdom and justice of Alfred were universally revered, he was soon overwhelmed with appeals from all parts of his dominions., In order to remedy this inconvenience, he chose the earls and sheriffs from among men most celebrated for probity and knowledge: be punished severely all malversation in office; he removed all whom he found unequal to the trust; and, the better to guide magistrates of all kinds in the administration of justice, in the year 890 he framed a body of laws; which, though now lost, served long as the basis of English jurisprudence, and is generally esteemed the origin of our common law. Alfred appointed regular meetings of the states of England twice a year in the city of London, which thenceforth became the capital of the kingdom. Such-success attended his legislation, and so exact was the general police, that he is said to have hung up, by way of irial, golden bracelets near the high roads, and no man dared to touch them. But this great prince, though rigorous in the administration of justice, which he wisely considered as the best means of repressing crimes, preserved the most sacred regard to the liberty of his people. His concern on this subject extended even to future times, and ought to endear his memory to every Englishman. It is just,' says he in his will,' that the English should for ever remain as free as their own thoughts.
16. Alfred gave great encouragement to the pursuit of learning. He invited the most celebrated scholars from all parts of Europe ;-he established schools every where for the instruction of the ignorant;-he founded, or at least
repaired, the university of Oxford, and endowed it with many privileges, revenues, and immunities ;-he enjoined by law all freeholders, possessed of two bides of land, to send their children to school ;-and he gave preferment, either in church or state, to such only as had made some proficiency in knowledge.
17. Notwithstanding the multiplicity of civil objects which engaged his attention, and altliough he fought in person fifty-six battles by' sea and land, this illustrious hero and legislator gave much time to the cultivation of literature. He composed a variety of poems, fables, and apologues, to lead the untutored mind to the love of letters, and bend the heart to the practice of virtue. Fur the same purpose, he translated from the Greek the instructive fables of Æsop. He also gave Saxon translations of the Histories of Orosius and Bede, and of the Consolation of Pbilosophy, by Boetius. Alfred introduced and encouraged manufactures of all kinds, and suffered no inventor or improver of any useful or ingenious art to go uorewarded : and he set apart a seventh portion of his whole revenue, for maintaining a number of workmen, whom he employed in rebuilding the ruined cities and castles. He died in the year 901, in the vigour of his age, and the full strength of his faculties, after a life of fifty-three years, and a glorious reign of twenty-nine years and a half.
18. Edward, the Elder, succeeded his father Alfred, under whom, though a brave prince, the Danes renewed their barbarities and invasions. He died in the year 925, and was succeeded by his eldest son Athelstan.
19. Athelstan. This prince was so great an encourager of commerce, as to make a law that every merchant whomade three voyages on his own account to the Mediterranean, should be equal in dignity with a thane or nobleman of the first rank. He caused the Scriptures to be translated into the Saxon tongue. He encouraged coinage; and we find by his laws, that archbishops, bishops, and even abbots, had then the privilege of minting money. His dominions appear, however, to have been confined towards the north by the Danes, although bis vassals still prevailed in those countries. He was engaged in perpetual wars with his neighbours, the Scots in particular, and was generally successful. He died in 911. The reigns of his
successors, Edmund, Edred, and Edwy, were weak and inglorious, these kings being either engaged in wars with the Danes, or disgraced by the influence of priests.
20. Edmund I, the fifth son of Edward the Elder, succeeded at the age of 18; and was crowned in 940. On May, 26, 947, in endeavouring to part two persons who were quarrelling, he received a wound, of which he bled to death.
21. Edred, his brother, aged 28, succeeded in 947, and was crowned the 17th of August. He died in 955.
22. Edwy, the eldest son of Edmund, succeeded, and was crowned in 955. He had great dissensions with the clergy, and banished Dunstan, their ringleader. He died of grief in 959, after a turbulent reign of four years.
23. Edgar, who ascended the throne in the year 959, at the age of 16, revived the naval glory of England, and is said to have been rowed down the river Dee by eight kings, his vassals, he sitting at the helma. Like his predecessors, he was the slave of priests, particularly of St. Dunstan. His reign, however, was pacific and glorious, though he was obliged to cede to the Scots, all the territory to the north of the Tyne. He imposed on the princes of Wales a tribute of wolves' heads, that for three years amounted to 300 each year. By this means, that ferocions animal, once common in this island, was extirpated. Edgar died in 971. 24. Edward the Martyr, Edgar's eldest son, but 16
age, was crowned by Dunstan, at Kingston-upon Thames, in 973. He was stabbed by the instructions of his mother-in-law, as he was drinking at Corfe-castle, in the isle of Purbeck, in Dorsetsbire, in 979.
25. Etheldred II. succeeded his balf brother, in 979. In 982, his palace, with great part of London, was destroyed by fire. The Danes ravaged England in-999, and received at one payment about £16,000, raised by a land-tax, called Danegelt. In the year 1002, they bad made such settlements in England, that Etheldred was obliged to give way to a general massacre of them by the English, but it is improbable that it was ever put into execution. Some attempts of that kind were undoubtedly made in particular counties, but they served only to ebrage the Danish king Swein, who revenged his countrymen's
deaths, and did not quit the kingdom till Etheldred had paid him-36,000l. which he, the year following, demanded as an annual tribute. In the spring of 1008, they subdued great part of the kingdom. To stop their progress, it was agreed to pay the Danes 48,0001. to quit the kingdom. Io the space of 20 years, they had 469,6871. sterling. Soon after Swein entered the Humber again, when Etheldred retired to the Isle of Wight, and sent his sons, with their mother Emma, into Normandy to her brother, and Swein took possession af the whole kingdom, 1013.
III. The Danish Line.
1. Swein, was proclaimed king of England in 1013, and po person disputed his title. His first act of sovereignty was an insupportable tax, which he did not live to see collected. He died in 1014. Canute, his son, was proclaimed in March :1014. Having endeavoured to gain the affections of his English subjects, but without success, be retired to Denmark, and Etheldred returned at the invitation of his subjects. Canute returned, 1015, soon after he had left England, and landed at Sandwich. Etheldred retired to the north, but by evading a battle with the Danes, he lost the affections of his subjects, and retiring to Londog, died in the year 1016.
2. Edmund Ironside, his son, was crowned in 1016; but by a disagreement among the nobility, Camste was likewise crowned at Southampton. To the June following, Canute totally routed Edmund, at Assendon, in Essex, who ssoon after met Canute in the Isle of Alderney, where a peace was concluded, and the kingdom divided between thein. Edmund did not survive -above a month after, being murdered at Oxford, Nov. 30, 1016, before he had reigned a year. He left two sons and two daughters; from one of whom James 1. of England was descended, and from him George III.
3. Canute was established in 1017. He made an alliance with Normandy, and married Emma, Etheldred's widow in 1018. He made a voyage to Denmark, attacked Norway, took possession of the crown in 1028 : and died at Shaftėsbury, in 1036
.;". 4. Hurold I, his son, began his weign in 1036. He died April 14, 1039; and was succeeded by his younger brother.
5. Hardicanute, king of Denmark, who died at Lambeth, 1041. He was succeeded by a son of queen Emma, by her first husband, Etheldred II. This was Edward, named the Confessor, though Edgar Atheling, by being descended from an elder branch, had the lineal right, and was alive.
6. Edward the Confessor began his reign in the 40th year of his age. He was crowned in 1042, and married Editha, daughter of Goodwin, earl of Kent. He remitted the tax of Davegelt, and was the first king of England, that touched for the king's evil. He died Jan. 5, 1066, aged 65; and was buried in Westminster-abbey, which he rebuilt, where bis boues were enshrined in gold, set with jewels. Emma, his mother, died 1052.
7. Harold II. son of the Earl of Kent, began his reign in 1066. The first danger that Harold experienced was from abroad, and from his own brother Tosti; who, when expelled from the government of Northumberland, had submitted to a voluntary banishment in Flanders; but no sooner was he informed of the accession of Harold, than he entered into a league with Halfagar, king of Norway, who invaded England with a fleet of three hundred sail. Tosti himself had collected about sixty véssels in the ports of Flanders, with which he put to sea; and after committing some depredations on the southern and eastern coasts of England, he sailed to Northumberland, where he was joined by Halfager, and his powerful armament. The combined fleets disembarked their troops at the mouth of the Humber; and the earls of Northumberland and Mercia were defeated in attempting to oppose the invaders.
Harold was vo sooner informed of this disaster than he hastened to the north; anxious for the safety of his people, and ambitious to show himself worthy of that crown which had been conferred upon him by his countrymen, The English flocked from all quarters to his standard : so that he found hintself able to give battle to his enemies, as soon as he reached them. The two armies engaged at Staudferd. The action, which was long and bloody, ultimately terminated in the total rout of the Danes, and in the death of Tosti and Halfager. Harold, however, had