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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 411

XVI.] THE PEERAGE. 405 with his nominal .ministers. ) This is especially the case as the reign proceeds ; during the first half Archbishop Morton, who was both a distinguished lawyer and, in popular opinion, a too active financier, really did ministerial work. After his death the king seems to have employed men like Etnpson and Dudley for measures which men like Archbishop Warham and the Earl of Surrey could certainly not have approved, but which they were helpless to prevent, and perhaps without courage to remonstrate about. There is not then much to be said about ministerial history. The next point to note is the composition of the House of Lords. We are open to some risk of exaggeration in relation to this, because of the slaughters and proscriptions connected with the Wars of the Roses. But, great as were the effects of those quarrels on the personality of the baronage; the effect was far greater on the political status and influence of the peerage. It was attenuated in power and prestige rather y than in numbers. Even the bloodshed and attainder fall within a narrow circle; generation after generation perishesout of a few great houses ; the majority continue in succès- . sion and either escape ruin or soon recover. It is as well' to be particular as to this, because it has a real bearing on the character of the Tudor despotism or dictatorship; andwe are liable to be misled both by striking catastrophes and by untested generalisations. If we compare the last parliament of Edward IV with the first of Henry VII, we find a great difference on the face of it : in 1483 there are forty-five lords summoned to parliament; in 1485 there are only twenty-nine. But for this diminution the recent change of dynasty is only very partially the cause : only six peers are attainted as yet, three of whom, the late King Richard, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Lord Ferrers, had fallen at Bosworth field ; and a fourth was Surrey, the son of the Duke of Norfolk. Of the other missing lords, some had

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