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was questioned as to his right to his estate, that nobleman unsheathed a rusty sword, as the title by which his ancestors gained their property, and with which he was prepared to defend it to the last.

It must be owned, that in the wars which Edward carried on, whether in Wales or Scotland, he did not always follow those principles of justice which he did so much to establish among his subjects. The conquest of Wales was one of the great events of this reign. It was then governed by Prince Llewellyn, who was induced to withdraw the allegiance which the Welsh princes had usually owned to the kings of England, and thus gave Edward a plea for attempting the conquest of that part of the island. His first invasion was boldly resisted; but Llewellyn was after a time defeated and slain (A.D. 1282), and his brother David was taken and executed with great barbarity. As the Welsh were easily excited by their bards, who rehearsed the ancient glories of their fathers, and their descent from the Britons, the original possessors of the whole island, the king most ruthlessly commanded that those national minstrels should be assembled and put to death; and his execution of this purpose is a lasting stain on his memory. He built strong castles at Conway, Caernarvon, and elsewhere, of which such noble ruins still remain; and, to reconcile the Welsh to their loss of independence, he presented to them his infant son, born at Caernarvon, as their prince. He had promised to give them a ruler born in Wales, who could not speak a word of English. The Welsh could not charge him with having broken the letter of his word, though perhaps they expected a very different performance of it. From this time, the eldest son of our sovereign has always had the title of Prince of Wales conferred on him soon after his birth.

Having added Wales to his kingdom, Edward next sought some plea for taking part in the affairs of Scotland, and soon found one to his purpose. The heiress of that country was the daughter of the king of Norway, and had been betrothed to Prince Edward. She was called the Maid of Norway, and died before she arrived in Scotland. The crown was then claimed by twelve competitors; and Edward took advantage of such divided interests, to obtain a recognition of his claim (as lord superior) to act

as umpire in the question. The principal claimants were Robert Bruce and John Balliol; and the crown was awarded by Edward to Balliol, because the feebleness of his character was likely to favour his designs. He soon began to treat Balliol as a subject; and on his unexpected revolt, defeated him at Dunbar (A.D. 1296), and forced him to resign his crown. Edward on that occasion brought away from Scotland the famous stone on which the kings were always crowned, and he destroyed the records of the kingdom. The stone thus brought away had long been regarded by the Scotch as a kind of pledge of empire. It was placed by Edward in Westminster Abbey.

Indignant at Edward's usurpation, the Scotch made Sir William Wallace their regent; but after most heroic efforts, that great leader was defeated at the battle of Falkirk (A.D. 1298); and having been taken prisoner, was executed with the same cruelty which had been exercised on David, the Welsh prince.

With all his severity, Edward could not break the national spirit of the Scotch. A new conspiracy was formed by Bruce and Cumin, who succeeded Wallace as regent. Cumin betrayed the design to Edward; and was himself killed in a monastery at Dumfries by Bruce, who asserted his own title to the throne, and was soon crowned at Scone. This great prince was afterwards reduced to such extremity, that he was hunted even by his own countrymen from one hiding place to another, while Edward reduced the Scotch to the most helpless misery, and wreaked his vengeance even on Bruce's sisters, and on the Countess of Buchan, whom he inclosed in cages, and hung over the battlements of different castles. Nothing, however, could make the noble Bruce despair of delivering his country; and his renewed efforts provoked the king to swear that he would march into Scotland, and never return until he had subdued it. He kept his word so far, that he never returned. He was taken ill at Carlisle, and died at Burgh-on-the-Sands, A.D. 1307.

Stern as Edward showed himself to his enemies, he was tenderly attached to Eleanor his queen; and several records of that attachment still exist in the crosses which he built at the several places where her remains rested on their way from Lincoln to be interred at Westminster. [H. s. 1.]


They are not merely memorials of his affection, but proofs of the skill of the architects and builders of the period, the Freemasons; an incorporated body of men, who had for more than two centuries been employed on almost all the cathedrals and churches in Europe. To this and the following reign we attribute the choir of Exeter, the nave of York, the lantern of Ely cathedrals, and portions of Bristol abbey and Lichfield cathedral. The Early English style had now given way to one which, from its richness, was termed the Decorated, which continued to advance in grace and elegance until the time of Richard II., when it began to yield to another called the Perpendicular, a style superior, perhaps, in gorgeousness and splendour, but inferior in lightness and grace.

The clergy were sadly oppressed by Edward, who was continually extorting money from them to carry on his wars; and it is to be feared that one of the perverse practices which was remedied at the Reformation,—the withholding the Cup from the laity in the administration of the Holy Communion,-may be traced to this period. But, on the whole, the spiritual condition of the Church was much improved under the Archiepiscopates of Peckham and Winchelsea, who filled the throne of Canterbury during Edward's reign. For instance, the former held a synod (or assembly of the Church) at Lambeth in A.D. 1281, where more frequent preaching to the people, and in plain unlearned language, was enjoined; and various subjects were specified on which the priest of every parish was to instruct his flock, four times a year, or oftener if need be. These subjects were: the Fourteen Articles of Faith; the Ten Commandments; the Two Evangelical Precepts of Love; the Seven Works of Mercy; the Seven Deadly Sins; the Seven Principal Virtues; the Seven Sacraments: and the synod went on to state the manner in which these topics might be best brought home to men's minds. Of course, as the above enumeration will have shown, there were points on which the synod was more curious than Scripture required; but it is evident that it had the wellbeing of the Church at heart. The efforts of Archbishop Winchelsea were directed against an evil which had for some time been growing up in the Church, the holding of more benefices than one by the same person, and, con

sequently, the neglect of parishes by their legitimate and'

appointed pastors.

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Robert Winchelsea, A.D. 1294-1313. | Walter Reynolds, A.D. 1314(Vacancy one year.)


EDWARD of Caernarvon did not inherit his father's wisdom together with his throne. His reign is similar to that of his grandfather, whom he resembled in character. He was governed by unworthy favourites, whom he chose for their personal beauty and accomplishments, and whose insolence became insufferable to his barons. The first of these was

Piers de Gaveston. It was hoped that Edward's marriage = with Isabel of Valois, sister to the French king, would divert him from his weak attachment to that favourite; but it remained as strong as before. He was forced by the barons to send Gaveston out of the kingdom, but soon found some excuse for recalling him; and at length the favourite was seized by Guy, earl of Warwick, and beheaded at a hill near Warwick, still called Gaverside.


While Edward was thus at variance with his barons, Robert Bruce had carried every thing before him in Scotland; and the king now resolved to recover what his father had gained in that country at such a sacrifice of human happiness. He marched to the relief of Stirling at the head of a vast army, which was totally defeated by Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn. (A.D. 1314.) This battle is one of the most glorious events in Scottish history, and secured the independence of that country under Bruce, whose name is joined with that of Wallace, as the most renowned and dearest in the annals of Scotland.

The reign of Edward was afterwards disturbed by insurrections in Ireland and Wales; but still more by the con

sequences of his affection for Hugh Despencer, who (together with his father) succeeded to the place which Gaveston had held in the king's affections, and was equally odious to the barons from his rapacity and pride. The barons were now headed by the Earl of Lancaster, the cousin of Edward, and the Despencers were forced from the kingdom. Recalled by Edward, they were the occasion of a new revolt, in which the Earl of Lancaster was taken prisoner, and beheaded at Pontefract, with many of the noblest barons in England. The Despencers, however, excited the bitter enmity of Queen Isabel; and that princess took advantage of a pretext to withdraw to her brother's court, with Prince Edward, her son. While at Paris, she gave herself up in the most criminal manner to the influence of Roger Mortimer, a nobleman who had special ground of enmity against the Despencers. Having arranged a treaty of marriage between her son and Philippa, daughter of the Count of Hainault, she returned to England with an army raised by that prince, and landed in Suffolk, where she was joined by great numbers of the nobles. The king was forced to fly into Wales. The elder Despencer was taken and beheaded, at the age of ninety; the younger was afterwards hanged; while Edward, having been discovered, was kept a prisoner, and forced to resign his crown to his son (then fifteen years of age); during whose minority the queen and Mortimer were declared regents. (A.D. 1326.)

Such was the miserable end of Edward's reign; during which, the effect of those measures which his father had taken to resist the influence of the pope, was lessened by Edward's continual applications to Rome for assistance against his barons.

It may be remarked, that at this time the popes had removed their court from Rome to Avignon. A violent contest had been going on between the popes and Philip the Fair, king of France. On the death of Benedict XI., Philip obtained the election of a French prelate, who took the name of Clement V., and who removed his court to this French city, where they resided about seventy years. It may also be mentioned, that in this reign the order of Knights Templars was dissolved. It was an order of soldier-monks, originally instituted at Jerusalem by the Crusaders. Having possessed itself of great wealth in all

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