Obrazy na stronie

alledge all the objections against it, which have occurred We leave the merits of the controversy to be determined by those, who are disposed to enter farther into the unfathomable depths of metaphysics.

The Cbronicle of England. Vol. II. From the Acceffion of Egbert

to the Norman Conquef. By Joseph Strutt. 410. 155. ix boards. Shropshire. IN N our Review of the former volume of this work, we took

notice of fome improprieties in the style, which were equally inconsistent with perspicuity, and the elevation of historical narrative *; but in that now before us, it appears that Mr. Strutt has been considerably more attentive to corre&tness. This volume, like the preceding, is divided into three general parts ; the first of which contains the civil and military his. tory of the Anglo-Saxons, from the acceffion of Egbert to the Norman conqueft; the second comprises the ecclefiaftical hirtory of the same period ; and the third delivers an account of the government, manners, &c. of the people.

As a specimen of the composition, we shall present our readers with a short extract from the history of Edward the Elder.,

« Soon after the coronation of Edward, Æthelwald, an ambitious young nobleman, laid a claim to the crown of Wessex, and, being aslifted by a strong party of discontents, broke out into open rebellion, and seized upon the town of Winbourne, near Bath, which he made his place of residence.—This young man, it seems, was son to Athelbryht, the second son of Æthelwulf, and brother to Ælfred; so that king Edward was his first cousin. He was too young, upon the decease of his father, to take the charge of the government, and was after, wards withheld by his uncles; however, by afferting his claim at this time, he proved a dangerous enemy to his cousin Edward. Being lodged with his party at Winbourne, he declared to them, that he was resolved to defend himself there against the assaults of Edward, or die in the attempt.-Edward, in the mean time, hearing of this rebellion, marched with his army towards Winbourne, and arriving at Banbury, in the neighbourhood of Winbourne, he encamped before the city.

• Æthelwald, fearful of the event, notwithstanding his former boastings, stole out privately by night, and fed into Northumberland, where he joined the Danish army, which lay encamped on that side of the Humber. Afier the departure of Æthelwald, the city of Winbourne was surrendered up to Ed

* See Crit. Rev. vol. xliii. p. 366.


ward, Ward, who entering in amongst other persons, found the wife of Athelwald, a woman whom he had forced from a convent (where she had taken the veil) and married, contrary to the strict commands of the church; but she was restored to her former situation, by the command of Edward. As soon as the flight of Æthelwald was made known to the king, he sent out a party of his troops in pursuit of him, but all their endeavours to take him proved unsuccessful.

• #thelwald, after he had joined the Danish army, made known to them the occasion of his flight from England, and the claim which he had to the crown of Weflex. They received him with great demonstrations of friendship, and promised him to espouse his cause, no doubt being glad of such a plausible pretext for the violation of the peace which yet existed between them and the Saxons; moreover, they might ex. pect that; whilst the claim of Æthelwald was supported, à divifion might thereby be made in the Saxon ftate in favour of him, which could not fail of terminating to their advantage. Three years after they went, under his conduct, into the East Angles, where they were joined by the Danes, who inhabited that kingdom ; and the year following (905) they broke the league of peace, and entered Mercia with their army, pillaging and destroying the country as far as Creckland, where they paffed the Thames, and entering Wiltshire, proceeded to Bafingstoke ; after which they returned back into the kingdoin of the East Angles, loaden with spoils. — Edward, hearing of these dangerous proceedings, marched with his army after them, and entering the kingdom of the East Angles, laid the country waste between the Dyke and the Ouse, and north, ward as far as the Fenns; when, being desirous of returning, he began his march, first strictly ordering that his whole army fhould follow closely after him: but the Kentish-men, who formed a considerable body, for some cause or other disobeyed his orders, and staid behind, notwithstanding seven messengers were dispatched to them, from the king, to desire them to fol. low immediately.-- In the mean time, the Danes, who had watched their opportunity, finding that the king was departed with the greater part of his army, fell upon those who staid behind, and a bloody battle ensued. The Kentish-men made a valiant resistance; and though, after great carnage on both fides, they were obliged to quit the field, yet it was not bee fore they had so far reduced the power of the Danes, that they had but little cause to boast of the victory.

Besides the great number, of common men the Saxons lost in this battle, the two earls Sigewulf and Sigelm, Eadwold, one of the king's ministers, Cenwulf an abbot, and many other persons of dir

N 2


tindion were found among the lain.-- On the side of the Danes, were killed Eohric, king of the East Angles, who had succeeded Godrun in the year 840, and thelwald, the fedi. tious author of the war, as also several noble men, and a prodigious number of private soldiers.

• What steps were taken immediately after this important batile, either by Edward or ihe Danes, do not appear ; the latter, however, seem to have fuffered so severely by this dearbought victory, that they were not delirous of renewing the war; and the Saxons, on the o her hand, were no less inclined to peace. Accordingly, two years after, a peace was concluded between the Danes, as well in Northumberland as in the kingdom of the East Angles, and the Saxons, which was ratified by king Edward and his nobles.

• This truce continued three years unviolated, at which period the war was again renewed : but what provocation was given, or to which party the infringement of the treaty was owing, is not recorded. However, at this time king Edward caused a powerful army to be raised in Weflex and Mercia, which he fent beyond the Humber, against the Danes who refided in Northumberland. The Saxon forces entered Northumberland with fire and sword, and after staying there five weeks, during which time they made prodigious flaughter amongst the Danes, they returned home, laden with the spoils of their enemies.

• The following year, the Danes, reje&ting all offers of peace, entered Mercia, and retaliated the injuries which they had received ; but being met by a strong party of the Saxons, at Tetnal in Staffordshire, they were overthrown in a set battle. In the mean time king Edward was in Kent, and had collected about an hundred sail of thips, and was met by others which had been cruising upon the southern coasts. The Danes (hearing how Edward was employed, and imagining the greatest part of his army was sent on board the vessels) collected all the forces they could, and advancing beyond the Severn into Wessex, plundered every part of the country they passed through.

through. The king, hearing of their proceedings, marched against them with all expedition, and came up with them, unexpectedly, at a place called Wodensfield, in Staffordshire, as they were returning home: a bloody battle en-, fued, in which the Danes, afier a desperate resistance, were totally overcome, with the lofs of some thousands of their army, together with Ecwils their king, and several others of their chiei 10'lemen and leaders.

• This important victory was of great consequence to Edward, for at the same time that it dainpod ille fpirits of his


| enemies, it animated his friends, and secured him the love of his subjects, who looked upon him as their protector. Some time now elapsed in peace, the Danes not daring to renew the war, which time Edward prudently employed in fortifying his dominions, in order to secure them from the future attempts of his enemies.- In the year 912 died Æthered, the earl of Mercia, brother-in-law to Edward; and upon his decease, the king took the cities of London and Oxford, with the country adjoining, into his own hands, which had before been committed by his father, Ælfred, to the keeping of Æthered. The government of the other parts of Mercia, which Æthered had held, was still poffefsed by Æthelfed his widow, fisier to king Edward, a woman of a courageous and martial spirit.'

Difcontents, used in the sense of malecontents, is a term unfavourable to precision. In this pafrage we might remark several instar.ces of redundancy, and misarrangement, so prevalint among the writers of the age; but we are inclined rather to approve the author's laudable exertion of industry, than to cenfure the occasional blemishes which he has admitted into the narrative, in common with so many other writers.

In an Appendix are given specimens of the Anglo Saxon lan. guage : and the volume is ornamented with no less than fortytwo beautiful copper-plates, besides engravings of the AngloSaxon coins, in a complete series.

The History of the Cafes of Controverted Elections, which were tried

and determined during ihe First and Second Sessions of the Fourteenth Parliament of Great Britain. XV. and XVI. Geo, fll. By Sylvester Douglas, E/. Vol. III, and IV. 8vo.

los. 6d. in boards. Cadell. THE

HE usefulness of this work, towards establishing a judicial

method of procedure in determining controverted elecrions, is too obvious to be questioned ; and every friend to the British constitution must therefore receive pleasure at the accomplishment of a plan, which is calculated to promote an object of so much importance to the public. The two former, volumes, to which Mr. Douglas prefixed an elaborate introduction, were conducted with great judgment and fidelity *; and the same qualities are equally conspicuous in those now un. der confideration,

The following extract from the Preface, containing the established rules relative to the presentation of petitions, comSee Crit. Rev. vol. xi. p. 362.


N 3

plaining of undue ele&ions, on the second, or any subsequent session of parliament, after a general election, may not be unacceptable to our readers.

I. The annual order mentioned in the Introduction, is always expressed in the same words, whether in the first, second, or other subsequent fefion of a parliament : yiz.

• Ordered, “ That all persons who will question any returns of members to serve in parliament, do question the same within fourteen days next, and so within fourteen days next after any new return shall be brought in.”

• But the construction is this ; on the second, or any subsequent, fefsion, no petitions can be received, even within the fortnight, unless, T. Where the same election has been complained of, in the foregoing fellion, and the cause has not been tried ; which happens when the day fixed for taking the first complaint into confideration has been posterior to the rising of the parliament; 2. Where, in the case of a vacancy, there has not been, in the preceding feffion, a fortnight between the time when the return was brought in, and the end of the feffion; 3. When the election complained of has taken place, in consequence of a vacancy, between the two sessions, or after the cominencement of the new one. In the first session of this parliament, an instance occurred of the great rigour with which the house adheres to the limitation in ihe case of original petitions. In the last, the like ftri&ness was observed with respect to the presenting a new petition, complaining of an election which had been already petitioned against. The honourable George Keith Elphinstone had, in the former feflion, presented a petition, queftioning the election of the fitting member for the county of Dunbarton, in Scotland ; but there was no trial of the 'cause before the parliament rose. In the mean time, Mr. Elphinstone being a captain in the navy, was obliged to go abroad on the king's service. The annual or. der of limitation for the last session was inade on the 27th of October, 1775. On ihe ioth of November, the last day of the fortnight, captain Elphinstone was not returned; but Mr. Seton, who had been his agent on the former occasion, of. fered to give information to the house, touching his intention of renewing his petition, and of the time of his going to rea, and of his being at that time abroad on liis majelty's service: A motion, however, being made, and the question put, for Mr. Seton's being called to the 'bar, and examined, it passed in the negative. Then a morion being made, and the quertion put, “ That the honourable George Keith Elphinstone be allowed fourteen days more, from this day, to present his petition to the house, complaing of the election and return of fir


« PoprzedniaDalej »