Domesday Book and Beyond: Three Essays in the Early History of England

University Press, 1897 - 527 páginas

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Página 142 - No matter with which we have to deal is darker than the constitution of the English army on the eve of its defeat.
Página 207 - ... Norman Conquest has been very gradually attained and is chiefly due to the influence which the old heathen world working through the Roman church has exercised upon the new. The process that is started when barbarism is brought into contact with civilization is not simple. The hitherto naked savage may at once assume some part of the raiment, perhaps the hat, of the white man. When after a while he puts these things aside and learns to make for himself clothes suitable to the climate in which...
Página 447 - pressure was brought to bear in influential quarters,' and in favour of their own districts the witan in the moots jobbed and jerrymandered and rolled the friendly log, for all the world as if they had been mere modern politicians.
Página 3 - The grown man will find it easier to think the thoughts of the schoolboy than to think the thoughts of the baby. And yet the doctrine that our remote forefathers being simple folk had simple law dies hard. Too often we allow ourselves to suppose that, could we but get back to the beginning, we should find that all was intelligible and should then be able to watch the process whereby simple ideas were smothered under subtleties and technicalities.
Página 3 - But it is not so. Simplicity is the outcome of technical subtlety; it is the goal not the starting point. As we go backwards the familiar outlines become blurred, the ideas become fluid, and instead of the simple we find the indefinite.
Página 344 - What else should they call it, when a foodless wilderness is the most scientific of frontiers? Readers of the English Chronicle will doubt whether there is any village in England that has not been once, or more than once, a deserted village. And if we must reckon with war, there is famine also to be reckoned with. When in a few brief words the English Chronicler tells us that in 1043 there was mickle hunger in the land so that the sestar of corn sold for sixty pence and...
Página 286 - ... they shall erect a hedge for the bishop's hunt and shall lend their own hunting spears whenever the bishop may need them. And further, to meet many other wants of the bishop, whether for the fulfilment of the service due to him or of that due to the king, they shall with all humility and subjection be obedient to his domination and to his...
Página 326 - In some cases they fitted themselves into the agrarian framework that they found; in other cases they formed villages closely resembling those that they had left behind them in their older home. But to all appearance, even in that older home, so soon as the village was formed and had ploughed lands around it, the strips into which those fields were divided were owned in severalty by the householders of the village.
Página 214 - Now if we hold by the letter of the charters, if we say that the king really does confer landownership upon the churches, there will be small room left for any landowners in England save the kings, the churches and perhaps a few great nobles. This is a theory which for many reasons we can not adopt ; no one can adopt it who is not prepared to believe that Britain was conquered by a handful of chieftains without followers. The only alternative course seems that of saying that many of the land-books...
Página 205 - ... the baronial castle. When therefore we speak, as we shall have to speak, of forces which make for the subjection of the peasantry to seignorial justice and which substitute the manor with its villeins for the free village, we shall — so at least it seems to us— be speaking not of abnormal forces, not of retrogression, not of disease, but in the main of normal and healthy growth. Far from us indeed is the cheerful optimism which refuses to see that the process of civilization...

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