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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 309

XI.] POLITICAL EXECUTIONS. of legislation; as head on earth of the Church he might already issue, and had issued, proclamations touching Christian faith; and by the natural power of king he had issued proclamations for the public peace: but, Ο strange wilfulness of human nature ! men had not much minded : these proclamations alike were set at nought by those who would not consider the divinity of royalty ; therefore, lest the king should be tempted to become a tyrant, lest the king should be compelled by the wilfulness of his subjects to extend beyond their natural limits the liberty and supremacy of his royal power and dignity, what was to be done ? Was he to renounce the power of proclaiming, and bind the parliament to codify the temporal law, as he had promised to the spiritualty to codify and reform the canon law? Quitei the reverse ; in order that he might not be tempted to\ usurp the functions of legislator, the parliament was to investi him with those functions, and, provided his proclamations did\ not contravene the existing laws, to give to them the full' force and virtue of acts of the whole body of the realm. Here was a 'lex regia' indeed; a dictatorship which, with all conceivable limitations, left the 'king master and only master * in his own house. The security of life and property was of course worth little when such things were possible : but Henry had a Strong executive force at his disposal, and the actual working of this despotism did not affect the body of the people so much as might be expected.. The clergy were of course in constant terror of the shadow of a praemunire; the reformers, alternately flattered and banished, had no easy-, time of it; and the position of even a bishop's lady must have been, to say the least, peculiar. But on the great men, the taller poppies, the actual pressure occasionally fell. The nation had fought hard for justice in the tribunals and for the limitation of the doctrine of treasons. Bills of at

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