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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Nor the absolute dependence on the Papal policy


Amid

the storms he had called forth Simon de Montfort perished: the King was freed, the royal authority re-established. A new Papal legate entered London in the full splendour of his office, Cardinal Ottoboni; Guido having meanwhile himself obtained the tiara, and using every means to subdue the unbending spirits, from which danger even to the Church was dreaded.[40] Yet the old state of things was not restored: neither the rule of foreigners, nor the absolute dependence on the Papal policy. The later government of Henry III has a different character from the earlier: the legate himself confirmed Magna Charta in the shape finally accepted. It is not merely at the great national festivals that we find representatives of the towns present, whom the King has summoned; it is beyond a doubt that one of the most important statutes of the time was passed with their consent.[41] Yet regulations for the summons of representatives from the towns were as little fixed by law as those for voting the taxes. It would by no means harmonise with the constitution of Romano-German states, that organic institutions should come into full force in mere antagonism to the highest authority. They must coincide with the interests of that authority, as was the case in England under Henry's warlike son Edward I.

Without doubt Edward, who once more revived in the East the reputation of the Plantagenet Kings for personal valour, would have preferred to fight there for the interests

of Christendom, he even speaks of it in his will; or else he would have wished to recover from the French crown the lands which his father had inherited, and which had passed into French possession; but neither the one nor the other was possible; another object was assigned to his energy and his ambition, one more befitting an English king: he undertook to unite the whole island under his sceptre.

In Wales, the conquest of which had been so often attempted and so often failed, there lived at this time Prince Llewellyn, whose personal beauty, cunning, and high spirit fitted him to be a brilliant representative of the old British nationality. The bards, reviving the old prophecies, promised him the ancient crown of Brutus; but when he ventured out of the mountains, he was overpowered and fell in a hand-to-hand conflict. The English crown was not to fall to his lot, but Edward transferred the title of Prince of Wales to his own son. The great cross of the Welsh, the crown of Arthur, fell into his hands: he no longer tolerated the bards: their age passed away with the Crusades.

From Wales Edward turned his arms against Scotland. There Columban had in former days anointed as king a Scottish prince, who was also of Keltic descent; how the German element nevertheless got the upper hand not merely in the greatest part of the country, but also in the ruling family, is the great problem of early Scottish history: a thoroughly Germanic monarchy had arisen, but one which after it had once given a home to the Anglo-Saxons who fled before the Normans, thought its honour concerned in repelling all English influences. A disputed succession gave Edward I an opportunity of reviving the claims of his predecessors to the overlordship of Scotland: he gave the Scotch a king, whom the Scotch rejected simply because he was the English King's nominee. The war, which sometimes seemed ended--there were times at which Edward could regard himself as the Lord of all Albion,--ever blazed out again; above all, the support the Scotch received from the King of France brought about complications which filled all Western Europe with trouble and war; but it was in the home politics of England that their effect was destined to be greatest.


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