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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 284

378 ENGLAND AT HENRY'S ACCESSION. [XI. My plan will be to offer you, at the beginning and end of the lectures, some general remarks on the position and character of England and her king at the beginning and end of the reign ; but to devote the main part of our discussion to the definite arrangement of the particular acts and measures of the period, saying as little as possible about external matters, but fixing as accurately as we can the,framework of internal history; its principal changes and their tendency. I will not now anticipate any general conclusions, but simply propose an arrangement under the ordinary heads of taxation, legislation, administrative action, ecclesiastical reform, :and parliamentary history. The position of England at the opening of Modern History, the position which she had assumed under Henry VII and in which Henry VIII found her at his accession, was that of a young, well-concentrated and well-equipped, but untrained, actor for the great drama of European politics. England had had more than twenty years of such peace as amounted to a disuse of warfare ; that is, her yeomanry had only maintained the use of arms as a part of their education, they had no practical acquaintance with military tictics or with blood and iron. But in other respects she was well furnished ; she had money, and good intelligence, and astute ministers, men of wide mind like Wolsey, and of minute experience, and of no small ambitions. I am not going to say that England came upon the stage with more real wisdom or with more honesty of purpose than the other powers : her diplomacy seems to have partaken quite as much of the character of chicanery as did that of Spain, France, or Austria : but her interests in the struggle of European forces, which is now commencing, were not so direct as theirs ; her sympathies were not definitely with either the one side or the other; and, if her hereditary antipathy to France might seem likely to throw her too unreservedly on the side of France's enemies, the cool .way in

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