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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 144

138 LEARNED MEN ABOUT COURT. [VI. of Canterbury, the patron of Vacarius the lawyer and John of Salisbury the philosopher. The hereditary taste for history may perhaps, to some extent, account for the considerable number of independent historians who flourished under him ; such chroniclers as those known by the name of Benedict of Peterborough, and Roger of Hoveden, bear intrinsic marks of having been royal historiographers; one distinguished officer of the Exchequer, Master Thomas Brown, kept a Roll on which were entered all the doings of the king: Richard FitzNeal, the High Treasurer of the Exchequer, composed a similar book, the Tricolumnis, in which he kept a regular register of Henry's acts and of the public documents of the time. There was, as we shall see presently, a fashion for writing history. But not only so ; Henry was also a lawyer. Very early in his reign we find him, in the Chronicle of Battle, dictating a new form of writ; he heard and decided law suits, he took an active part in devising budgets, he took an independent line on religious toleration, and refused to persecute. All these are signs of general enlightenment, but the man is even better known by his friends. Becket indeed was no great scholar in the- early days when the king treated him as an equal and confidential friend, but later in life, when we find Henry choosing for companions such men as Hugh of Lincoln and Baldwin of Canterbury, both of them as remarkable for learning and eloquence as for piety, or even Giraldus Cambrensis, who had a fund of humour and cleverness that is as noteworthy as his extensive reading; or Peter of Blois, who acted for some time as the king's secretary, and, with all his time-serving and self-seeking, was a distinctly learned man in both history and theology, we feel sure that Henry was neither the mere voluptuary that his enemies represented him, nor

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