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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 397

XV.] CONSTITUTIONAL EXHAUSTION. 39* of Lords. The concentration of power in the hands of a royal council of nominees was another result of the abject condition of the smaller and southern nobles. Even the greatest magnates were content to serve in the council as ministers and advisers, rather than to act up to their position constitutionally as members of a great estate in parliament. Or, thirdly, the humiliation of proper ecclesiastical independence, which resulted from the isolation of Church power in the face of the throne. The papacy, which might have lent strength to the clerical estate, was itself weak, and changing its front, becoming more of an Italian power and less of an ecumenical arbitrator and influence, just at the moment when in England the clergy alone remained united. enough to withstand the royal will. The clerical estate did not at first feel what was happening to it ; for Henry VII had no quarrel with it, and possibly had no design of secularising the powers that should have been, first of all, moral and spiritual : he chose his ministers from churchmen, and made bishops of his ministers ; until the bishops forgot that they were anything but ministers; sadly to the de-j pression of religion, and sadly to the depression of learning, as the revival showed when it threw the learning of the • country into the party of innovation, notwithstanding the influence of such men as Morton, More, Warham, Colet, and even Wolsey. The Church ^was sitting at the foot of a dynasty which ere long was to kick it over and to trample on it. And fourthly, there was the people, weary of dynastic parties and politics, and set on à new pursuit of moneymaking, loving peace and hating taxation, and willing to • endure anything from kings who would so far humour them: not altogether content, but discontented in a way that showed that heart and treasure went together : for, true as some of the charges of financial chicanery against Henry VII are;

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