Of the elements which compose the English nationality the most obvious is attributable to a Germanic stock.

But however clearly this element may exhibit itself, the specific source to which it is truly to be ascribed has been unaccountably misunderstood and misstated. For it has been commonly agreed, both at home and abroad, to find the required ascription in a theory that Englishmen (on the Germanic side at least) are the descendents of the immigrants of the fifth and sixth centuries solely.

Of this prevalent theory it is to be observed, that it involves the extermination of the provincial Britons as a condition sine qua non, and makes a tabula rasa of Roman Britain.

But such an assumption is attended with [p.iv] this great difficulty,—it is entirely irreconcilable with the leading phenomena displayed in the political, social and. legal condition of England, as it is found during the period of the Anglo-Saxon regime.

The phenomena which Anglo-Saxons exhibit are these:

They are divided into the two classes of the privileged and the unprivileged, distinctions which the philosophy of history has demonstrated to contain within themselves the fact, that a nationality from without has mastered another and a native nationality, which survives in a subject condition.

In the next place, this general society of masters and subjects is steeped in Roman institutions and observances.

No part of its life is free from these impressions, which dominate alike the thane and the churl.

The master holds his land and the servant occupies and tills it in unhesitating submission to rules and conditions which the law of the Empire had inculcated and enforced. [p.v] The master condescends to Roman taxation in order to maintain in their pristine state the bridges and causeways of Rome, and the warlike defences of those municipia which the Eternal City had founded in Britain.

In the Civil, as in the Territorial law, the Roman element prevails.

The Roman Civitates continue in life and action, and the burgesses still follow and obey the lex municipalis.

The civilization and art of the country are high in degree and Roman in character.

The Imperial coinage virtually survives.

Roman words of art and manufacture, of weight and measure, of commerce, of law, of civilized amusement, of common and general nomenclature, spring from the lips of the Anglo-Saxon in the utterances of his daily life.

Pure doctrinal Christianity, such as existed before the fall of Imperial paganism, is traceable in the land before the Roman monk has nerved himself to his task of pious ambition. [p.vi] All this and more of Roman stamp and derivation are parcel of the organization of the country.

Such are the startling phenomena which are to be found in ante-Norman England, and they sharply distinguish it from unromanized and primitive Germany.

But to unromanized and primitive Germany the Anglo-Saxon immigrant unequivocally belongs.

He had never been subject to Rome. The Roman legionary had never traversed his soil. There the Roman plough had never turned its mystic furrow round a future city, to be walled, garrisoned and governed in photographic imitation of Rome.

The limitary stone and fence of Rome had never discriminated his fields.

The national sanction of a monetary exchange the Anglo-Saxon knew not by the light of his own usages.

In a word. Barbarism was his sole inheritance and endowment.

These negations in the original state and condition of the Anglo-Saxon will not allow [p.vii] us to attribute to him the source and origin of the Roman usages of England. But as these usages are found in actual existence in this country, if they cannot be attributed to the leading section of Anglo-Saxon society, they must be attributed to the other section, which, as I have said, is by the philosophy of history demonstrated to be the native and original nationality.

If we reject the last-mentioned postulate, and accept the alleged extermination of the Romano-Britons, we shall find ourselves reduced to admit, at the starting-point of our annals, an absurdity, viz., that a few generations after the Anglo-Saxon occupation, the Anglo-Saxon race, which we know to have been at the epoch of that event merely barbarous, was enabled, by contact only of a soil once tenanted by a civilized, artistic and policee race, and without communication with that or any other race equally gifted, to become possessed, through spontaneous and unconditioned development, not merely of civilization, but of the identical civilization of the erased race,— [p.viii] a civilization of so peculiar a nature and so precise a degree that in the natural order of statistics it could not be obtained except under the same conditions.

As this conclusion must of course be rejected, the ill-considered theory with which it is connected falls with it, and leaves the field open to the substitution of any other speculation which may be more consonant to evidence and general historical analogy.

The rejection of the old theory, however, need occasion no regret in the mind of an Englishman. The theory itself is not only untrue as a fact, but is also disparaging to the national pedigree.

It post-dates the English origines, and dries up the springs of our early history, the merits and interest of which are by this supposition lavished upon a race of strangers. It disentitles a large proportion of the Britons of Imperial Rome to the sympathies of the present race of Englishmen. It asserts that the arts and civilization which the Mistress of the World imposed upon her subjects and pupils have conferred [p. ix] no derivative benefit upon ourselves, between whom and the Eternal City it leaves a gap without connexion or transition. Provincial Briton becomes a lost nation, and four centuries of historical associations, with their momentous consequences, are divorced from our annals.

If this were a matter of historical necessity we should submit to it. But the necessity does not exist. For the commonly received theory is upon its own merits barren and worthless. It can give no explanation of the appearances either on the surface or in the interior of the Anglo-Saxon political, legal and social structure, which, under such a view, presents nothing but unintelligible anomalies.

On the other hand, an exact evolution of the true source of our nationality has (independently of the more obvious interest which attaches itself to any section of the physical history of man) the higher value of supplying a just and complete elucidation of all the leading incidents of the Anglo-Saxon [p.x] organization, and through them of our own inestimable constitution.

In excuse for the superficial old theory which has been so long and so unhesitatingly received, it must be admitted that there are difficulties attending the treatment and solution of this interesting question,—these difficulties having reference to the paucity and smallness of the direct evidence which now exists upon the subject. Yet there is a mass of circumstantial proof sufficient, if carefully and conscientiously handled, to afford a satisfactory induction which will discover to us the true ascription of the English nationality. And this induction, while it will identify our modem Englishman with the Romano-Briton of the Empire, will also yield the fact that his nationality owes its origin to a branch of great Cis-rhenan people, which in its continental seat strained the nerve of the great Dictator before it submitted to the genius of the Empire.

Of this people, as the true continental branches have been long since lost or merged, England is now the sole representative. [p.xi] This induction, while it shows that the English are only Angles as the French are Franks and the Northern Italians are Lombards, is a fact in English history which has been undeservedly neglected, and, as it will assist to explain the peculiarities of Englishmen, it may go far to justify their pride in them.



In the internal polity of Anglo-Saxon England before the advent of the Danes we find the free population throughout the Germanic parts of the country divided into two leading and prominent sections—the gesithas and ceorlas.

The first of these classes possesses pre-eminence in society, the political and judicial power of the country, and the property of the soil.

The other is a subject population which is not servile; for we find in it men possessing a modified freedom and a right to hold such property (at least) as may be acquired by the exercise of industry, but who are unprivileged to participate either in the political government or in the judicial administration of the country.

In short, the two English classes answer in truth and fact to the later gentilhommes and roturiers of mediaeval France.


The peculiar name gesithas, by which the upper class called its members, and by which they were called by their social inferiors, was afterwards superseded by a name equally peculiar, viz. thegn; but it remained in its compound form (gesithcund)1 until the end of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy.

The word gesith in its plain and primitive meaning, which was preserved side by side with its diverted sense, signified companion. It therefore expressly contradicts all obvious and intelligible notions of aristocratic power and pre-eminence.

The signification of the word being thus plainly inconsistent with its transferred and political meaning, it is clear that the merely philological inquirer is baulked of a solution at the threshold of his inquiry.

But if philology is chary of explanation, history may reconcile the inconsistency and contradiction of two discordant meanings being thus found in the same word.

History in fact does afford a plain and satisfactory explanation of the difficulty, for it shows that the transferred and secondary import of the [p.3] term arose out of the principles which governed the expeditions by which all the Anglo-Saxon conquests of Roman Britain were effected.

It is true that upon the specific details of these expeditions history is wholly silent. But this silence does not prevent or preclude us from determining with more than probability the formation and conduct of the expeditions which resulted in the conquest of Roman Britain. For the same principles which regulated the formation and conduct of other warlike incursions of the Germans, whether their end was temporary plunder or permanent conquest, would regulate also the invasions of Britain made by the same German races.

A luminous passage in the Commentaries of the immortal Roman shows us how these expeditions were proposed and adopted. He says,—

"Ubi quis ex principibus in concilio se dixit ducem fore, ut qui sequi velint, profiteantur: consurgunt ii qui et causam et hominem probant, suumque auxilium pollicentur, atque ab multitudine collaudantur. Qui ex iis secuti non sunt, in desertorum ac proditorum numero ducuntur: omniumque rerum iis postea fides abrogatur."2

[p. 4]

These co-adventurers, however, as we learn from another source, for Caesar has withheld the information, were not the loosely associated comrades of a Morgan or a Blackbeard. The law of Germany imposed an obligation of a solemn and sacramental character upon all who preferred their companionship in fair and open warfare of this nature.

Tacitus has supplied the missing information concerning the internal constitution of these bands.3 He says that every princeps or leading man in Germany had a troop of persons whom he had himself selected, and that these persons, who were attached to him by oath or solemn engagement, were called his comites or companions. They were to him an honour in peace and a rampart in war. In other words, they were an army of guerilleros in the service of that princeps. As an army they were equipped and fed by him, and as the princeps could only acquire by war the means of such equipment and subsistence, war was the special pursuit and occupation of both leader and men.

This principle, which we find for the first time defined in the pages of Tacitus, though its workings are described by Caesar, is that Germanic vassalage [p.5] which was afterwards in its developed action to revolutionize Europe, and which has left its traces and consequences indelibly impressed upon the constitution of every portion of that empire which the Germanic conquests subverted. The ancient German considered the subservient condition of the comitatus more honourable than an isolated freedom. And we can easily understand how the friendship engendered by close association of men in a warlike and unsettled state of society, while it softened or suspended those elements of servitude which unquestionably belonged to it, exalted the service in the estimation of the tribe.

This institution and the honour in which it was held astonished a Roman philosopher, but no one can deny that it was an institution peculiarly adapted to the purposes both of general conquest and of personal aggrandizement.

In the pregnant words of Caesar which I have quoted we have the preliminary scene of every accredited invasion of Britain by the Anglo-Saxon bands, for in these words are contained the motives and the means by which all Germanic conquests were actuated and effected. And if for the common term "princeps" we substitute the name Hengest or Ζlla, Cerdic or Ida, we have in the [p.6] general expressions of the Roman a particular description of a specific act.

I will therefore, upon such authority as this, unhesitatingly assume that the invasions of Britain, like all other Germanic invasions, were not the corporate act of a nation warring agreeably to the practices of civilization, but the voluntary and isolated expeditions of chieftains and their comites.

And I am strengthened in this assumption by other evidences of the customs of this Germanic nation, for we find that the Batavians, who at an early period entered the military service of the Empire, insisted and obtained that they should be led by their own notables.4 In other words they carried on war in the Imperial service under the same immediate organization as that under which they would have effected a razzia against a neighbouring tribe; but no more permanent results, would be produced to the individual German or his nation by his service under the Emperor than had been produced by the isolated incursions of his brethren at home, and these had ever left him in his old Germanic squalor and barbarism.

The conquest of Roman Britain, however, as [p.7] it bare no analogy to either, so it produced results to the Anglo-Saxon which nothing in the previous history of his nation could have warranted or foretold.

As the first and immediate consequence of this conquest of Roman Britain, the Anglo-Saxon gesithas became the gentlemen of the country which their swords had won. And they did more. As they had won their estates as gesithas, so they held and maintained them under the same name and title, and that ever afterwards was the badge and exponent of all succeeding Saxon gentlemen. And thus it happened. With the exception of the leaders themselves, all the members of the original invading bands were gesithas, for each member of the expedition was the comes of the princeps by whom it was planned and conducted. We cannot therefore be surprised that the name of gesith, in other respects endeared to the German mind, became ennobled in the estimation of the Anglo-Saxon, and was transmitted by him to his descendants to be borne in perpetual remembrance, as well of the stupendous triumph of his race as also of the conditions upon which these properties and privileges had been obtained.

Thus we have contained in the word gesith [p.8] the concrete feet as well of the conquest of Roman Britain by Germanic tribes, as also of the mode and means by which that conquest was effected. And besides the evidence of these facts, we have in the same word the less direct assertion of those social privileges which the conquest insured to the victor and his descendants.

The privileges of the gesithas consisted of rights proprietary, political and judicial. These rights were soil power in all its forms and phases. The gesith, however, was not only in fact the lord of the soil, but he was haunted and encompassed about by the idea of its possession; and it could not be otherwise, considering the conditions under which he had risen into his new social life. For each Germanic conqueror, in taking his share of the conquest, could do nought else than become a landholder. He did become so, and the law ever afterwards, for its own purposes, considered him such. Land became his badge as well as his privilege. He was never to be disconnected from the land nor the land from him.5 A gesith and a landholder became convertible terms, and the land, from being the possession of a paramount class, became the distinctive symbol of the class itself.


From his proprietary rights we will pass to his political privileges. It was his exclusive right to attend the public councils of his kingdom, whether they were those general political assemblies of the nation which decided on war or peace, or the judicial meetings of his own hundred and shire.

For the gesithas were not only the political masters but the judges also of England. The scyrgemot was composed of all the gesithas of the county, and their attendance upon that court was compulsory; and though the court was presided over by the ealdorman of the shire, it was not that officer but the gesithas who determined the questions of life and property submitted to the adjudication of the court.

In this character they were known to the country as witan, deman and scyrmen, and the right of judicature itself was called thegnsipe.6

The ascription of these exclusive rights to the class of gesithas was asserted by the Anglo-Saxons themselves to rest upon a distinction of birth, as the denial of these rights to the ceorlas [p.10] (the other class) was equally dependent upon a converse distinction of the same kind.7

It follows, therefore, that the gesithas and the ceorlas were distinct castes.

But distinct castes in the same nation are, in other words, distinct nationalities upon the same soil.

We thus have inductive evidence of two nationalities or peoples coexisting in Anglo-Saxon England.

We have assumed, as the reader has seen, the descent of one of these nationalities, viz., of the upper population. And our assumption is confirmed by evidence. For we find that this class claimed and exulted in a descent from Jute, Angle and Saxon, and from those Jutes, Angles and Saxons who conquered or occupied Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries.8


But of the origin and descent of the lower class, their masters have not left us a word of record or information.

This, therefore, is the only question left open for inquiry and decision, and its solution is the subject of this Essay.

At starting, it may be observed, that this class, whatever be its origin, must either have been imported into Roman Britain by the Anglo-Saxons, or must have been a population there and retained by them.

If the first alternative supply the true solution, inquiry into the origin of the lower caste would be impracticable, and if it were successful it would be devoid of interest.

But, if the other alternative be the true solution, we have the act of a British nationality whose fate and fortunes will command and deserve our deepest interest, for it will explain to what parentage modern Englishmen are in the main entitled for their origin.

And if the Anglo-Saxon lower class offer an enigma, the means of solving it, though outside of the men themselves, are not far off.

It is true that prima fade there is nothing, beyond the great act of their political and social inferiority, to distinguish their personality from [p.12] that of their superiors. In other respects, save these and his rudeness and his poverty, the ceorl does not differ from his master; but this modified assimilation, though presenting an apparent difficulty, will, on inquiry, afford us assistance in tracing out the true history of the ceorl.

If we examine the first of the suppositions, we shall see that it rests entirely upon another hypothesis, viz., that the immediate consequence of the Anglo-Saxon conquests was the complete extermination of the Roman British inhabitants.

This hypothesis has no support of historical evidence, and must therefore be tried by its probabilities.

Apart from prejudice, the chief probability in its favour is the change of the name of this country from Britain to Ζnglaland, or land of the Angles. And this change of name, standing by itself and without the light of analogy, might plausibly be urged as proof of the expulsion or extermination of its British inhabitants.

It is of course true that, at a period succeeding the Anglo-Saxon conquest, we find that the ancient name of the Island had fallen, and that some of its new masters had given it a designation derived from themselves. But if we examine this hypothesis by the analogies which the histories of [p.13] other countries afford, its plausibility entirely ceases. We find that Gaul became the land of the Franks and the Burgundians, Northern Italy the land of the Lombards, and Neustria in after days the land of the Normans. But in all these and other instances, the new appellation arose not from depopulation or the expulsion of the old inhabitants, but because the dominion of the country had passed away to another race of men, who had become the political nation; whilst the former, taking the station of a subject class, thence forward appeared as the cultivators of the country and the burghers of the towns and cities. So fifteen counties of England, in later days, became the Denalagu and ceased to be England.

The mere change of name of a country cannot, therefore, be assumed to prove the destruction of its original inhabitants.

We must, therefore, proceed further before we can fairly determine the question either way.

An examination of what were probably the numbers of the invaded nation of Britain and its foes may help us in determining this question.

The long and protracted struggle of the Romano-Britons with their foes, a contention of a hundred years, speaks decisively for the existence of a teeming population, which alone could enable [p.14] this country to support so constant a draft of its strong and youthful members.

The general scene of battle was the table land of Britain, and there small bands of natives, dependent solely upon individual strength and prowess, without advantage of mountain and crag, could not have endured the shock of their enemies for more than a fractional portion of that time which the conquest really occupied.

The acts of the Roman conquest are well known. When Britain had become a collection of provinces of the empire, the petty distinctions of tribes had died away amongst its inhabitants, and the population had merged into an associated mass, protected by its masters from all foreign foes, and patient of the requirements of the tax-gatherer and the recruiting officer. The Romans had reclaimed and cultivated the land, and had profusely interspersed it with cities and municipia. Under such auspices civilization produced its usual effect of augmentation of population.

These general facts, without going into calculations which cannot be satisfactory, will give us a large and teeming population on the side of the natives of Britain.

On the side of their future conquerors it may be asserted, that their numbers could not be large.


These conquerors were, as we know, Jutes, Saxons, and Angles. As a means of determining the numbers of the warriors sent forth by each of these tribes, we will consider separately the resources in respect of population which they territorially possessed.

A reference to the geography of Jutland will demonstrate that the numbers of the invading Jutes must have been small.

And this conclusion is considerably strengthened by acts consequent upon their British conquest. They at no time imposed their own name upon their new country; but, on the contrary, appropriated the old native name, calling themselves Cantware and Centingas.

And at a period of little more than a generation after they had made good the foundations of their new kingdom of Kent, they would seem to have lost a jewel of their crown: viz., London and Middlesex to the Saxons, who founded the kingdom of Essex.

The Angles were another small tribe. Their insignificance had even been a subject of remark to Tacitus.

The only questionable fact, is that of the numbers of the Saxons.

In the first place, it must be premised, that [p.16] there was no greater necessity for numbers in founding the Saxon kingdoms, than in the establishment of the Jutic and Anglic kingdoms,—perhaps there was less necessity.

Before, however, we can hope to approximate to the numbers of the invading Saxons, we must first determine what tribes are meant by that name.

In determining this question, we must be careful of our chronology, and not synchronize the Saxons of the fifth with the Saxons of the ninth century,—of the age of Charlemagne, when they had outgrown their native seat, and were a mighty alliance of inland Germans. But they were a tribe before they were a confederation.

Tacitus, though he knew the Angles, had never heard of the Saxons. It is reasonable to suppose, therefore, that they were small in numbers and insignificant in other respects. This ignorance on the part of Rome was shown by its historian, A.D. 98.

In the second century, i.e. A.D. 120, we find the Saxons named for the first time. For this information we are indebted to Ptolemy; that geographer places them "upon the neck of the Kimbric Chersonese;" and also in three small islands towards the mouth of the Elbe,—in fact, in [p.17] Holstein. They are then a tribe only, or at best a very small nation. But they are a seafaring tribe or nation; and in a few generations afterwards, though still confined to the same Chersonese,9 we find them taking a high rank in piracy, grievously annoying the coast-dwellers of the empire. But as Englishmen well know by the history of their own Drakes and Frobishers, piracy on the very largest scale can subsist and support itself upon small numbers. It requires heart and skill; multitudes of men cannot follow it, and are not needed or to be desired. The effective forces are multitudinized by the changes and velocity of their movements,—their quickened means of aggression, and their unfailing facilities for escape.

We have, therefore, no necessity for a large population in a piratical community. Thus the Saxons, so long as they confined themselves to the sea and to piracy, had sufficient supplies of population in themselves for all the necessities of their mode of warfare.

And they did confine themselves to the sea so long as the sea afforded them the only outlet for [p.18] their ferocity and enterprise. This limitation continued so long as the Franks barred the ingress into the empire of the Germanic tribes which were behind them. But when the Franks had themselves entered into settled possession of the Gallic provinces, leaving the Rhine as it was in the time of the empire, to be guarded only by military troops, not by a nation, there appears upon the scene of history a host of confederated tribes calling themselves Saxons. These are an inland army. It is superfluous to say that these are neither the Saxons of Ptolemy nor Stephanus the Byzantine, whose only outlet was the Elbe.

How this confederacy was formed and why it assumed the Saxon name is in no way our concern. It is sufficient to have shown, that before it was formed there was a tribe of Saxons, seafarers and pirates, small in numbers but skilled in their craft, and masters of the sea and of all who dwelt by its coasts.

It was this tribe of Saxons, and not the confederation of Saxons of later days, that sent forth its aggressors to this island.

I think, therefore, it may be safely concluded that the numerical strength of the invaders was sufficient only to provide masters for the conquered race, not colonizers or substituted and exclusive inhabitants.


This renders unsafe and untenable the theory of an extermination of the original inhabitants of Britain—a theory which Gibbon has pronounced to be "an unnatural supposition."10 And while such a supposition is thus contradicted by probability, it otherwise of itself requires the strongest special evidence, inasmuch as it propounds a state of things for Britain which is diametrically opposed to that which existed in Gaul and Italy. Jella and Hengest are made to do what neither Theodric nor Clodwig contemplated; what neither Dane nor Norman could effect.

Contemporaneous history also acquits the Anglo-Saxons of the extermination by omitting to charge them with it.11

Besides this silent evidence there is a fact which speaks out to the contrary. We find a kingdom in the south-east retaining the name of a British nation; two large kingdoms in the north and east retaining the British names of British nations; a large kingdom in the interior, which if it does not retain a British name has one which certainly does not belong to the conqueror, and [p.20] yet we are told that all British men were rooted out and dead. It is, however, simply impossible that the foreign conqueror should call himself King of Bemicians when there were no Bemicians. King of Deirians when there were no Deirians, or King of Kentish men when there were no Kentish men; and yet the Kings did so.12 In the assertion that the Romano-Britons were exterminated, there is propounded as a truth that which would be, if true, an entirely unexampled and isolated fact in history—the extermination of a populous and civilized race by a few hordes of piratical and military marauders. But would the conquerors be willing to wipe from the face of the earth the surviving inhabitants of the country which they had appropriated. I think not; for such a desire on their part would negative the object and purpose of their own expeditions, which were formed solely for the acquisition of territories and their accompanying population. The natives, [p.21] therefore, would be spared, that their industrial arts might supply the wants and minister to the luxuries of their new masters.

The great and leading landholders are destroyed or deposed and the conquerors take their lands, but the rest of the population is left for tillage and trade. There will need no more to be done if the victors wish to secure their conquests, and no more should be done if they wish to enjoy them.

This has ever been the case of all known conquests which have been made for the purpose of settling on the lands of the conquered. It was so in the case of the Norman conquest when the highmen (as Robert of Gloucester called them), were deposed and destroyed, and the Normans sat down in their places. But the small English gentry and the rest of the community remained untouched.

It was in this manner that the Danes acted towards the Saxons, and that the Normans had previously acted towards the Franco-Gauls.

In the course of the present Essay it will be found that the question of extermination has also an important bearing upon the subject of what was the language spoken by the Romano-Britons, for the logical necessity for the extermination of the Roman Briton arose solely from the difficulty [p.22] arising out of the latter. I shall have therefore to again refer to this point under another aspect.

Having thus shown that there was and continued to be in Anglo-Saxon England a population which had preceded the Anglo-Saxon conquest,—or, in other words, that an older nationality had survived that conquest,—I will next proceed to show that that population was one which at an anterior period had familiarly known Rome and her peculiar institutes, and had been as familiarly known by her.

But though within the Anglo-Saxon polity there is thus evidence of an older and a British nationality, the latter presents, at the epoch of history, an appearance of absolute homogeneity; for it speaks the same language, appeals to the same laws, and in great part worships the same false gods, as the upper class.

This nationality thus presents a striking contrast as well to the Gallo-Roman who spoke his Romance, as also to the Ibemocelt who uttered a language which neither his Norman nor his English master could interpret or conjecture.

But though language fails to afford its more obvious marks of separation and ascription, a population may still be identified by the peculiar institutes which it has preserved, when those in- [p.23] stitutes retain an impress which can be referred to a distinct and ascertainable original.

And there are to be found amongst the Anglo-Saxon peoples certain peculiar institutes, which, while they in no way appertain to those peoples or to any of their kindred tribes, afford clear and intelligible indicia for identifying that other caste comprehended in the Anglo-Saxon polity whose origin we are seeking to discover.

Of all the institutes of a nation the most durable and unchangingly transmitted are those which regulate the possession of land, the enjoyment of its fruits, and the discharge of the obligations which the common consent of civilized nations has imposed upon it.

The laws of Anglo-Saxon England upon the subject of real estate may be thus stated.

By the early and true Anglo-Saxon law of land, the gesith, whom we will now call by his later name of thegn, though the normal land-holder of the country, had only an imperfect and conditional estate in the land which he possessed, and as a corollary to this modified species of ownership, he could neither alienate nor devise it without the consent of the King.

The Anglo-Saxon burgess also could not part [p.24] with his burgage holding, except by the consent of the King's officer—the port gerefa.13

In the fact and necessity of this assent we have the exposition of a principle, viz., that the land might in theory of law be resumed. This principle is utterly at variance with the general freedom and power of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy, and therefore is not natively German. It is, in fact, Roman, and the principle of law involved in this custom arose out of the law which affected landed possessions in the provinces of the Empire.

To understand this better, we must go back to the times of the great Republic. Under the Republic, private estates were of two kinds, the ager privatus and the possessio. The former, which is well known to the student, was the only form in which dominium or absolute property was acquired. But this was the great privilege of the Italic soil, being only exceptionally extended to the provinces. The other estate was the general holding throughout the provinces. The reason for establishing the estate of possession in the provinces was simply this. The ager privatus by law could not be subjected to any standing land taxes and [p.25] obligations.14 To multiply this estate would, therefore, have nullified the advantages of conquest by destroying the sources of revenue.

A new form or modification of estate was, therefore, to be created for financial purposes. This was accordingly done, and the lands of the provinces were allotted as possessio.

The peculiarities of this estate, which have not received the attention which they deserve,15 arose so precisely out of its origin, that they can be best explained by reference to that alone.

The estate of possessio took its origin thus:

From an early period the great warring republic had felt the necessity of a full treasury, both for the maintenance and the extension of its conquests, but the occasional land-tax to which the estates of all citizens were subjected as each new war arose, though of little power to effect [p.26] this great object was always more than able to excite the murmur of a discontented plebs. At the same time, so cherished by the Roman constitution were the interests of the people, that it was a fundamental part of its law that, so soon as fresh territory was won, the state should divide it in allodial allotments amongst the poorer citizens. But with the consequences which I have mentioned, and in view of the great public interests at stake, to continue this distribution of territory amongst persons who would grudgingly render to the state an insufficient due, would seem a measure only calculated to ensure a final public bankruptcy and ruin.

So the governing families of Rome thought, and, in the wisdom of their order, they determined upon a course of action which should perpetuate a supply of ever-increasing revenue, without attacking the purses of the reluctant plebs. The measure was simply this: the state, instead of alienating, retained the dominion of lands captured from the enemy, granting possession of them to tenants who, while they should pay an annual tithe of the products, should be bound to surrender their holding whenever the state should call upon them to do so.

This possessio, as it was technically called, thus [p.27] had within it none of the legal elements of absolute property. On the part of the State, it was nothing else than a mere concession to an individual of the right to create and collect the fruits of the land for the ulterior purpose of paying a standing imposition to the state, while the property remained in the latter.16 In theory, therefore, this holding could not be lawfully mancipated;17 if in other words, it could not lawfully be [p.28] transferred by sale or devised by will. Either of these dispositions would be an arrogation of dominium or ownership which did not belong by law to a possessor. In short, the vendor would sell and the testator would devise under a bad title, because the state could at any time come in and resume the occupation of its own property, or dispose of it by colonial assignments in fee simple, the doctrine of usucapio, or prescription, having no application as against the sovereign Roman people, or its successor the Emperor.18

That the resumability of possessiones by the state at will was an admitted principle of the Roman law, however the advisability of resumption might be an open question, is abundantly [p.29] proved by the history of the agrarian laws, where we find the principle directed in its rigidity against estates held by private persons.19

Resumption took place in Italy, and, before the end of the Republic, the whole Italic soil became ager privatus, through the innumerable military colonies which had been disseminated through it.

This transmutation, however, never took place in the provinces, after the possessio had passed over from Italy to become the normal and general form of real estate. There it continued to have a legal existence until the days of Justinian, who finally abolished the distinction between this and quiritarian property.20

It was for reasons of finance that the principle of possessional holding was extended to the territorial conquests made by the Republic beyond the limits of Italy, and, with few exceptions, no other estate was known in the provinces except the possessio. The charges upon it, however, [p.30] were resettled and extended, the tithe being converted into a standing land-tax, called tributum, or stipendium,21 and afterwards census, which was regulated by the acreage of the estate; and additional obligations, which I shall afterwards have occasion to refer to, were imposed upon it, both for the domestic behoof of the provinces and for the general advantage of the empire.

I have said that by law a possessio was inalienable. This extreme principle, however, of inalienability, was at all times open to relaxation where the possessor could show reasons for parting with his estate. In such a case, the chief magistrate of the province would allow the sale to be made, and would ratify the transaction. But without this consent the sale was invalid.22

Permission would, probably, be granted with [p.31] facility in the case of a private individual, the interest of the state being limited to the revenue which his land produced, and the vicarious services which it rendered. But in the case of a possessor who was also a curialis, or senator of a city, as personal duties, for which his landed estate qualified him, were in addition required from him, the state would be less facile.

Provincial land accordingly was granted both by the Republic and the Emperors as possession only, the dominion remaining in the Emperors or the Roman people, liable under that title to be resumed at will, and thus made a patient producer of revenue, tamely susceptible of any obligation whose imposition the necessity of the state might demand. But, for impositions of every kind, there existed in the empire necessities of the sternest and most exactive form. The large standing armies ramified through the provinces, the immense military staff and civil establishment therein, the formation and repair of the fortifications, the bridges, the aqueducts and the roads of the provinces, the general expenses of the empire, and the private expenses of the Emperors, unfailingly created those necessities.

We have seen, that in return for the usufruct of his land, the provincial possessor paid tributum [p.32] or land-tax. This impost would go far to provide for one set of expenses. But for the other expenses an equivalent provision would also have to be made and accordingly the tributum was not the only condition upon which the estate was conceded. The other charges to which possessiones were liable by law were further conditions of the holding.

In general terms, these charges were denominated onera (or munera) patrimonialia, specifically they were pontium refectio, arcium muntiio (or refectio) viarum munitio (or refectio) and tironum productio. Under these obligations, the possessor within the territory of any given civitas was bound to contribute, according to the extent of the acreage which he had under cultivation, to the repair of the bridges upon the leading lines of road, and of those same lines of road within the territory, and also of the walls and bastions of the civitas itself. He was further bound to find recruits for the imperial armies, and to subsist and receive the Emperor and his attendants when they made a progress through the province.23

Such was the state and condition of landed property in Britain during the imperial occupation; and the state of Anglo-Saxon law shows [p.33] that it remained unaltered after the Anglo-Saxon conquest.

I have intimated that the Anglo-Saxon thegn held, or was supposed in law to hold, his land upon certain general conditions imposed by the central power in respect of all land.

We will now see what these conditions were.

The Anglo-Saxon thegnas were, as landholders, subject by law, in respect of their land, to three leading obligations, collectively called by them or by their clerical lawyers, who had made little progress in Latinity,—the trinoda necessitas.

The three obligations were vernacularly called the threo neode—the three necessities, and were described as burhbot, brycgbot and fyrd.24

The burnbot, the brycgbot and the fyrd are obligations upon all lands. In the language of the [p.34] diplomata, they are general and common burthens, to which all the hidage of the shire contributes. No terms can reach over a wider space than these and other terms of a similar significance which are applied to them in the Anglo-Saxon conveyances.

Whether the landholder parts with a house and premises in a city, an unwalled village, or a spacious manor in the open country, he transfers it imbued with the unextinguishable charges of the three necessities.

To the close of the monarchy the irinoda necessitas was an unfailing reservation in every conveyance of house or land.

It is not difficult to fix as well the specific application of the contributory funds which this obligation evoked, or the labour which it enforced, as also the local limits within which the liability ranged.

To discharge the burthen of the burhbot, the landowner was bound to find labour and material to repair and reinstate the walls and bastions of the chief town of his own shire.25

Under the obligation of the brycgbot, the hidage of each county was bound to repair or rebuild the [p.35] bridges connected with the high roads of the county,26 and also to repair those roads themselves.27

To discharge the burthen of the fyrd the land-lord was bound to find soldiers who should serve in the king's army during any expedition of aggression or defence which the suzerain should ordain. Under this obligation every proprietor was compelled to raise to the utfare, or expedition, a certain quota of the free men who lived upon his estate, proportioned by the number of hides of which the estate was composed.28

Though, indirectly, the services of all freemen were requitable for the purposes of war, the [p.36] landholder alone was directly liable to the state for the due recruiting and supply of them.

These men thus recruited were ceorls—farmers, or free labourers.

The fyrd of each county was kept distinct, and was marshalled under its own ealdorman, while it was officered by the thegns who had supplied the men.29

These three obligations were commanded and imposed upon the country, when the necessity arose, by the geban or edict of the king.30


It is finally to be observed, that the Roman names for two of the obligations of the "trinoda necessitas" were preserved in a strictly equivalent Anglo-Saxon translation. What the Roman called aptis pontis, the Anglo-Saxon called brycgeweorc. What the Roman called murorum exstructio, the Anglo-Saxon called weallgeweorc.31

There was a further peculiarity in the status of the Anglo-Saxon thegn, considered as a land-holder. He was not only regarded by the law as the proprietor of the land of the country, but there was something more. He was to be the possessor of at least five hides of land, apart from land in accumulation upon his birth.

This, and this only, filled up the measure of his rank.

Metaphor, in this measure of land, became precise and technical phraseology of Anglo-Saxon law; and an union of twelve thegns to testify the innocence of an accused was known to the tribunals as an oath of sixty hides.32


It is clear that we have in such authorities as these a defined quantity of land, the measure of land being the qualification of the man.

But what is this quantity? The hide is a varying measure; but it may be shown, that its variations are determinate; and as there is evidence of agri mensura in England,33 we must conclude that these measures were not capricious, but certain.

The hide is stated by reliable authorities to consist of 200 acres; and it is stated by equally reliable authorities to consist of 240 and 120 acres.34

These are the only authentic Anglo-Saxon estimates of the hide.

These are discrepancies; but I think that each assertion is true, and that in this divided state of truth the discrepancies of each may be reconciled.

At all times the hide was a settled and defined quantity of land; for though the number of its [p.39] acres varied, it expressed the same quantity. Where it consisted of 120 acres, as in East-Anglia, the acre more nearly resembled our statute acre. In the hide of 240 acres, the acre was very much shorter, and where the hide consisted of 200 acres, as in Kent and Sussex, it was identical with the Roman Juger,—a third less in quantity than our statute acre.35

This identification is supported by the undeviating use which the Anglo-Saxons made of the Roman term, as an equivalent for their native word, in their conveyances,—documents meant to express absolute precision of description. Ζlfric also in his "Glossary" translates "juger" by "aecer," and centuria, a term used by the agrimensores (as we shall shortly see) to express an allotment of 200 jugera, is rendered by him "twa hund secera." I feel no difficulty, therefore, in identifying the aecer of Kent and Sussex, 200 of which made the hide, with the juger of Rome.

By this identification, we also obtain a satisfactory explanation of the word itself,—hid. This word means family; and therefore answers in meaning, though not in etymology, to that peculiar word of the agrimensores,—centuria.


The latter was the original estate of the Roman colonist, being a quantity of land which the law considered could be cultivated, "ab uno possidente;"36 in other words, upon such a measure a provincial Roman family could be sufficiently or adequately subsisted.

This centuria consisted of 200 Roman acres.37

It is not strange that the centuria should, in the eyes of the provincial, whether he were Roman or Briton, be the type of a modest family estate; and the same idea descended to later days, as the word hid, occasionally interchanged for "hiwisc," and its Latin equivalent mansio, show.

The Roman word, as it conveyed nothing intelligible in the way of direct meaning, was afterwards forgotten, and its place was taken by the native expression.

The hid plays an important social part in the Anglo-Saxon polity. The Anglo-Saxon, as we have seen, was supposed to qualify up to his position by possessing five of these hides, or, in other words, 1,000 acres. How could this have arisen?


The explanation again must be sought for in the Roman law.

The soil of the provinces had in most countries—certainly in the barbarian parts of Europe like Britain—been taken from the natives and given away by the Emperor in grants to Roman settlers and emigrants, who accepted to hold them by the title, and under the obligation, of possessio, not ager privattus, as we have seen.

But all possessiones were subject to the rule imposed by the lex Licinia, and its amendment, the lex Sempronia; each of which remained in force—if not as a law, certainly as a measure—to the end of the empire.

By the lex Licinia, a Roman citizen was allowed to hold a grant of public land, by the title of possessio, to the extent of 500 jugera only. This was the limit of the legal modus, or measure of estate.

The lex Sempronia afterwards enlarged this limit to 1,000 acres, allowing this double measure to a Roman citizen who had at least two sons. This law gave to each of these sons 250 acres; but as these sons were unemancipated, it was, in effect and reality, a permission to a citizen so situated to hold as much as 1,000 acres, and was a prohibition to hold more. This modus [p.42] of 1,000 jugera38 was Horace's ideal of a large estate, affording the type and qualification of a well-to-do Roman citizen.39

We thus have two measures, in accordance with which the public land was allotted under the empire. Of these, the measure of 500 jugera was called simplex, as the other was denominated duplex.40 The double measure in the provinces, as in Italy, naturally attracted the admiration, if it did not excite the envy, of the less fortunate natives.


This double measure was frequent throughout the provinces; for we have the testimony of the agrimensores, that the provincial possessores were large landholders; their estates, as a rule, exceeding in their acreage those upon the Italic soil.41

Wherever we find such a landholder, we are entitled to conclude that at the time of the grant he was a person of distinction—of military rank and fame.

After standing armies were instituted, and the legions became immortal, the emperor made no grants of captured territory except as donatives to his soldiers and their officers, upon the expiration of their term of service.42 For there were no other candidates whose voices could be heard upon such a subject—the Roman plebes which had struggled first with the patricians, and afterwards with the senate and equites for a share in the territorial acquisitions of the city, was [p.44] dead and silent. It had so long passed away that even in the early days of the empire its pretensions were entirely forgotten.

But land, when it was given to the soldier, was given in proportion to the rank and military merit of the grantee.43 A possessor, therefore, of 1,000 jugera, being necessarily a Roman officer of merit and distinction, created in the public mind an impression that his rank and position were inseparably connected with the amount of his estate. He was an object of respect and admiration to the barbarian provincial, and the latter accepted the measure of that man's land as the measure of his rank. The Anglo-Saxon, like the rich Goth, affecting those things which had appertained to his Roman predecessor,44 caught at and perpetuated the idea, and the 1,000 jugera of Rome became the five hides of the Anglo-Saxon customary law.

As the Anglo-Saxon thegn took the estate of the Roman possessor with its imperfections of [p.45] title and its heavy burthens, so, in thus becoming a landholder, he willingly accepted the theory of the Roman Britons, which required him to possess a large estate—as large an estate as his provincial predecessor had anteriorly prided himself upon.

Hitherto, I have spoken of the general estate of the Anglo-Saxon, which I have identified with possessio.

It must not be concealed, however, that there was another form of estate in Anglo-Saxon England, very rare and exceptional only, but still defined and established by law. We are indebted to the accurate and legally-minded monk of Ely for this piece of information. That historian, or compiler, says, that there was, in Huntingdonshire, "terra tarn libera guts per forisfacturam non possit iri perditum."45 Of land of this nature, however, only four hides could be found in that county.

The brycgeweort, in the Textus Roffensis, has been before referred to as illustrating the operation of one of the three obligations upon land. A very interesting circumstance connected with this document must be stated. A careful examination of the localities comprised in it shows, [p.46] that several, though not many, of them are not enumerated.

The reason for this omission would, of necessity, be the exemption of these places from the operation of the tax.46

But the exempted land, thus omitted from the taxation of West Kent, and the estates in East Anglia which "could not be lost," are unquestionably the same holding. For the inability of the latter to sustain a forfeiture could arise only out of such a condition of exemption as the former enjoyed.

Further, the one and the other are nought else than the free ager privatus which existed in the Roman provinces by a special concession of Imperial favour, though to a comparatively small extent.47

It is startling to find that the Anglo-Saxon thegn, in the peculiarities of his position, is no other than the provincial landholder and gentleman, the possessor and the civis Romanus.

From the possessor of land, the next step is to the consideration of the cultivator.


In Anglo-Saxon England, the cultivator is the ceorl.

His distinguishing points are these. He is the farmer and rent payer of the country.48

He is contrasted with the cotesetla, who did not pay rent, and could only render corvees.49 He is called a free man, and he contracts lawful matrimony.50 But there is still an ugly notion in the ruling mind, that his connection with the land is something closer than a freeman's should be, for he is not allowed to leave the land capriciously, or in the exercise of his own free will. In the words of Anglo-Saxon law he has not the liberty of choice.51 If therefore he quit the land without [p.48] his lord's permission, he commits a crime, for he steals himself.52

If he neglect his rent, his lord may content himself to distrain without arbitrary seizure of more, or he may grant him neither property nor life.

In an earlier authority we find, that the lord might scourge and imprison him.53

But there was also a cheerful, because a reciprocal, side to the state of the ceorl. Though he could not leave the land, his landlord also could not remove him from it, provided he paid his rent, or performed his services;54 and after his death, it was transmissible to his heirs.55 He could possess property, at least such as his own industry acquired.56


He is the many or inferior vassal of the thegn, to whose estate he is ascribed, and the thegn, considered correlatively, is his hlaford or lord.57

He is drafted to the fyrd, wherein he must follow his lord unto the death.58

He can never throw off his allegiance to his lord, and offences committed by him against that lord take the deeper dye of treason and felony.59

In all these things he presents that other form of vassalage which is not found until after the settlement of the Germanic tribes in the empire,—the vassalage of birth and compulsion.

In return for this submission and obedience, the lord protects him against the outer world.60

Before the Anglo-Saxon occupation, the place [p.50] which the ceorl occupied in society was represented upon the same soil by the Romano-British colonus. I will state the peculiarities of the social position and duties of the latter, and a comparison may then be made between the characteristics of the two.

The colonus was the firmer and rent-payer of his epoch.61 But distract from these characteristics, which belong to the polity of all civilized nations, he had others which place him in an age and under data entirely apart.

He was not a slave; on the contrary, he was distinguished from the latter as being and being styled free.

But his freedom was limited, for he was, in the words of the law, servus terrce.62 and the proprietor of the estate to which he was ascribed was, by the same law, denominated his patronus.63 And the relative condition of the landlord to the tenant was denominated patrocinium.64

His relation to the soil consisted in his being indissolubly attached to it. He could neither [p.51] be separated from it by his own act without the concurrence of his patronus, nor by the act of his patronus without the concurrence of himself.65

If he quitted the estate to which he was ascribed without the leave of his patronus, the latter might pursue him by law. The land-holder who received him was punishable by fine, and the colonus was considered to be and was punished as having stolen himself.66

On the other hand, the ascription to the soil gave the colonus, in return, relative rights in the face of his patronus, for the latter could not separate him from the estate. The colonus was sold with the estate, and that could not be sold without him.67

He had a right to property acquired by himself, and could hold it as eLpeculium.68

He could contract lawful matrimony.69

He could not bring an action against his patronus.70


He was liable to the conscription, for as the slaves could be enlisted, the tirones or recruits were taken out of the coloni.71

The resemblance between the status of the Brito-Roman colonus, and that of the Anglo-Saxon ceorl, is thus so close as to approach identity.

While the patrimonial estate of the Anglo-Saxon, with its owner and its cultivator, thus wear a Roman garb and clothing, though the names be changed, so the general aspect of the country in Anglo-Saxon times is Roman also.

Anglo-Saxon England we find in the earliest diplomata to be not only a cultivated, but an enclosed country. Not only also is it divided by high roads, cross roads and lanes, but its separate holdings are distinguished by fences, hedge-rows, ditches, stones, trees, and posts.72

This condition of the country excited the intention of Dr. Leo, and the surprise of Mr. Kemble.

The Doctor remarks,—"It is characteristic of Anglo-Saxon cultivation that their establishments [p.53] were enclosures. No other German race thus names its settlements "tun."73

Mr. Kemble says,—"It is very remarkable, that the largest proportion of the names of places among the Anglo-Saxons should have been formed with this word, while upon the continent of Europe it is never used for such a purpose. In the first two volumes of the Codex Diplomaticus, Dr. Leo computes the proportion of local names compounded with tun at one-eighth of the whole number."74

There need have been no surprise expressed at the Anglo-Saxon enclosures. They are not attributable to the Anglo-Saxons, but to the Romans. The hedge-row (hasghrewe) of England is one of the many donations of the masters of the world. Scholars are familiar with the Roman limitatio agli. Under this system provincial allotments of land were defined by professional surveyors, the agrimensares, and the object kept constantly in view in the disposition of those allotments was that each fundus, or estate, should be hedged and ditched; while, at the same time, it was made accessible by cross-roads and lanes to the public high-roads of the territory of the civitas within [p.54] which it was situated and registered.75 The same rules of limitatio applied to the estate of possessio as to the ager privatus. "Etenim (says an agrimensor) civile est debere eos (i.e. possessores) discretum finem habere, quatenus quisque aut colere se sciat oportere, aut ille qui jure possidet possidere."76

The fundus, after its demarcation and registration, remained for all time under the name first given, and under the limits first assigned to it; through whosoever hands it passed, it was never dismembered or resettled. The same perpetuity applied to it also in other respects. When the estate was first formed, a number of the natives were assigned to it by the state as colonic and this ascription also remained for all time.

Besides this private and self-contained estate in severalty, there was another right, which the thegn possessed, and which the ceorl by his sanction enjoyed, beyond the land which the one owned, and the other occupied and rented. This was the right of commonage of pasture, and wood.77


All this is particularly Roman.

The assignation or allotment of estates, in a newly made Roman province, was conducted in the following manner:—

In the first place, a territorium was assigned to the new civitas. Next, this territorium was allotted out in estates to the military colonists; and if any land, as would often and easily happen, remained in excess over what the number of the colonists and the modus of their several estates required, that land, if it were good and fertile, was let annually or for terms of years to tenants or lessees, who paid a vectigal or rent, which accrued either to the treasury of the empire or of the civitas. If, however, in this unassigned residue, there was land of a sterile or uninviting character, whether wood or open, which the lessees would not take, it was ascribed to the estates of the neighbouring possessores as compascua, to be by them used jointly and severally as common of pasturage.

The same ascription of pasturage also occurred when the whole territorium had been assigned at the first colonization, with the exception of those portions of it only which were sterile. The latter [p.56] were then at once constituted compascu for the behoof of the neighbouring possessores.78

The property in the land is not confined to private persons.

In Anglo-Saxon England we find a vast extent of land, throughout the length and breadth of the country, which has no owner but the king in his public right. This land is let by his officers to tenants, who render rent and services for its occupation. It is called folcland—literally, public land.79


This, again, is purely Roman.

In all the Roman provinces there existed tracts of open country and of woodland, being unassigned land retained as fiscal, and remaining the property of the state.

The extent of unassigned land in the provinces during the Empire was immense, as the agrimensores attest.80 This land was, and was called, public land.

From the holding of real property, I will pass to the succession to it.

In Anglo-Saxon England we find that real property was, as a general rule, divisible by law amongst all the children of an intestate.81

This survived to later times, as a custom.

We have also reason to believe that in some districts of Anglo-Saxon England the youngest son succeeded.82 Now, both the law and the apparent exception are Roman. By that law, an intestate's children (being sui or unemancipated), [p.58] shared his real property upon his decease, to the exclusion of the emancipated children.83 At the period, therefore, when the independence of Britain was restored, all an intestate's children, or only his youngest, might take according to the circumstances of a family, as the one or others of the children were unemancipated.

Afterwards, when Roman legal rigor had relaxed itself in this country, some places may have established for themselves, as a custom, that all the children should be sui. This was the general Anglo-Saxon law.

Other places may have applied the principle, that all should be considered emancipated save the youngest son. This became Borough English.

We have evidence that there was a law of distribution of intestate's personal estates in Anglo-Saxon times. Cnut expressly declares, that an intestate's inheritance shall be divided legally between the wife and children, or amongst the nearest of kin, according to their degree of relationship.84

This, of course, is Roman.

By the Roman law, the same persons who suc- [p.59] ceeded to the realty succeeded to the moveable property also.

This principle prevailed also in Anglo-Saxon England, as we find by Cnut's law, and the absence of any authority to the contrary.

Besides this identity in general principle, there have been and still are some striking peculiarities in the English law of personal succession which, as no innovation can be shown, must also be ranked as Anglo-Saxon law, but which, at the same time, are Roman antejustinianean law.

By a peculiarity of English law, unparticipated in by the rest of Europe, the English father succeeds to the whole of his son's personalty, to the exclusion even of his other parent, for where there is a father, the mother is not next of kin to her son. There is nothing to negative this principle of law being Anglo-Saxon, and we will therefore rank it as such. But it is, in reality, the patria potestas of the Roman law.85

There was another principle of Roman law,—one of the highest equity. A testator could not wholly disinherit his wife and family, for he had the right of testation only as regarded a proportion of his property, the rest of it going under a compulsory intestacy to his wife and his issue.


This was law in Anglo-Saxon England, and the testable portion was long afterwards known here as the dead man's part.86

From succession, we will pass to alienation by sale.

There were two modes of sale and transfer of land recognized by the Anglo-Saxon law. One of these was called gewrit, as the other (which was oral merely) was called gewitnesse.

There is no difficulty in tracing the first in the deed made so familiar by the great collection of Mr. Kemble. As regards the other form, which was simply the nuncupation of a contract, the transaction would be valid if it took place in the presence of a port-gerefa at a gemot of his borough, or of a sar-gerefa at a fohgemot of his shire.87

But these two separate modes of transfer together form the one strict mode of transfer sanctioned by the imperial law. By that law, it was [p.61] essential to the due conveyance of title that there should be a written contract which should be enrolled in the court of the prζsses, or before the curia of a civitas.88 The Anglo-Saxon gewrit is this contract. The Anglo-Saxon gewitnesse is that verbal announcement of the contract which, in the imperial law, was the legal preliminary to its registration. But the Roman and the Anglo-Saxon forms equally required to be perfected by tradition or seisin.

This registration of title was considered by the Roman law as a judicial act, being an incident of the voluntary jurisdiction belonging to the provincial and municipal magistrates. And it is observable, that the Anglo-Saxon word gewitnesse has the sense of adjudication.89

In regard to the Anglo-Saxon deed itself, there is a peculiarity which is noticeable. The vendor grants or conveys the estate by the name under which it is commonly known, and, beyond stating the measure in hides, never attempts a descrip- [p.62] tion of the property, or gives what we should call parcels in the body of the deed.

These are always appended to it, and are meant merely to assist the purchaser in recognising his new property, when livery or actual possession is given by the vendor or his attorney.90

It must further be observed, that these parcels are couched in terms strictly conformable with an example given by the agrimensor Hyginus.91 They were also meant to carry into effect the same purpose;—viz., "ut certa et vera proprietas vicinis prcesentibvs demonstretur."92

The Anglo-Saxons made their wills, and we have most interesting specimens of them left. But wills were totally unknown to the Germans, and must therefore have been adopted from Rome.93


There is a peculiarity about the Anglo-Saxon testaments which shows that their origin is Roman, for there is no executor, though that functionary was a canonical creation of an early age.94

As the Anglo-Saxon will is Roman, so are its contents. It manumits a slave agreeably to a peculiar privilege of the Roman testament.95

From the possession of estates, and their succession and alienation, we will pass to the territorial divisions of the country in which the estates were situate. I allude to those time-honoured names of England,—the shire and the hundred.

Under the regime of the Empire, each province was divided into civitates. The civitas was a municipium with a territorium. In other words, the civitas embraced within its jurisdiction not only the space plainly designated by that name, but also a vast territory peopled Ysnith towns, villages, and hamlets,—that is, towns which had no territory of their own, and vici.96 We may judge of the dimensions of such territories when we find [p.64] that in Gaul they became the limit and extent of the Christian dioceses and the Frankish counties.97

This vast territory was subdivided into pagi, or cantons.98

Such cities existed in Roman Britain, with the [p.65] same powers and influences, and the same lesser divisions, as in other provinces of the empire.

When the Anglo-Saxon conquered England, he assigned the territory of each great city to his own Germanic officer, the ealdorman. The territory then became the shire, and the pagi of the territory became the hundreds of that shire.

Thus the civitas of London embraced in its territory what afterwards became Middlesex.99 The territory of Camulodunum became Essex, that of Glevum became Gloucestershire, that of Lindum became Lincolnshire. The other cities and their equivalent counties will easily suggest themselves. And it is a pregnant circumstance, that for ages after the Conquest the idea lingered that the shire [p.66] was, as it had been, in some sort an appurtenance of the city.100

So much unnecessary mystification has prevailed upon the subject of the English hundred, that I feel it incumbent to show in greater particularity the identity between this English division and the imperial pagus.

The pagus was a defined subdivision of the territory of the civitas.101 It was presided over by a magister or praespositus pagi.102

The duties of this officer were to collect the taxes,103 and raise the recruits severally due within the district.104

He also performed another and a higher public function. He conducted the repairs of the viζ vicinales, which led into the viζ militares from the different vici, and he collected the rate, or enforced the labour due from the possessores, who were liable for the sustentation of these roads.105


In later days, the Emperors accumulated upon him the duties of the Irenarch, a functionary who combined the duties of a police magistrate and a police officer.106

In Anglo-Saxon England the shire was divided into hundreds—”that is, the open and unwalled country received a distribution by which villages or townships were arranged into circles of greater or less extent.

Over each hundred presided an ealdor, under whose presidency the hundred had a legal and social action.

In the Domas of King Eadgar we find that the ealdor maintained a surveillance over the men of his hundred, particularly directing his attention to any sudden acquisition of property on their part. In such an event he proceeded to satisfy himself of the truth of an alleged purchase by testing the honesty of the transaction. He also, with his hundred, performed speedy justice on the manifest [p.68] thief, who by law was never tried. And with the same agency, he prosecuted searches after stolen property into other hundreds.

The inhabitant of every hundred was required to be vouched by his kinsmen or his lord in the face of the hundred and its ealdor on pain of loss of position; and every hundred's man upon his return home certified to the ealdor all purchases made by him away from the hundred, the penalty of an omission so to do being the forfeiture of the chattel.107

In other respects the hundred is more strictly an integral of the shire. The gemot, whether held within one hundred or composed of an attendance of two or more hundreds, was the court of the county, presided over by the ealdorman and the judices, or county gentlemen.108

It may be conjectured, although it cannot be proved, that the ealdor, as the minister of the sheriff, collected the taxes and published the king's bans.

In all this, as the shire was the territorium [p.69] civitatis, so we see that the hundred was the pagus, and we trace again the indelible stamp of Rome upon our land.

In the duties of the hundred we find a correspondence to those of the pagus.

The name of hundred, as of wapentake, which was also applied to it, was of course given by the Anglo-Saxon settler. Both names were reminiscences of old Germany, and were applied from a real or fancied analogy. In old Germany the ealdorman, with a hundred assessors, who executed the law as well as advised their chief, traversed his district, administering justice in each township, and never presiding at a central spot for all. The number of the assessors has given to the Roman district the otherwise unintelligible appellation hundred.109

As well as the shire, the Anglo-Saxon borough, [p.70] which was within its local range, was subject to the ealdorman, though at the same time, as we shall see, it possessed a certain amount of independence and local jurisdiction of its own.

The borough was subject to the ealdorman both as the military leader and as the judicial president of the county.110

So far, therefore, the borough is not to be discriminated from the shire. But at the same time it was expressly distinguished from it throughout the whole Anglo-Saxon period. In what this distinction consisted our antiquaries, however, have not taken the pains to explain. It will, therefore, be my task to endeavour to discover in what details the port was distinguished from the upland, the borough from the county.

At the threshold we find this fact—that there is a burhriht, or municipal law.111 This, though a large term, demonstrates that the borough possessed a separate constitution, distinguished from that of the shire.


It will be our concern to obtain the particulars of this constitution.

In the first place, we find the boroughs immediately governed by an officer appointed by the king, called a portgerefa.112

That the latter has authority in the borough is inferable from his title, and we know that this authority was no more than civil, because all the military power was in the hands of the ealdorman of the shire, as I have before said.

This civil authority, however, does not belong exclusively to the gerefa, for he is no more than the head and president of the burghers or citizens, to whom, in reality, this authority appertains.

Before, therefore, we discuss the nature of this municipal power and authority, we shall have to determine who or what were these burghers and citizens who thus possessed the right of governing the boroughs.


We have the evidence of a contemporary, that the citizens of London consisted of two classes—one high and one low.

In the words of the Brussels poem, to which I now refer, there are primates urbis, a senatus and a vulgtis.113

Here, of course, arises the question in whose hands lay the government of Anglo-Saxon boroughs. Was it exercised by the higher class exclusively in the form of a select and aristocratic senate, or by both classes combined into an unqualified communalty?

I think that there is no difficulty in determining that the general communalty had nothing to do with the municipal government of an Anglo-Saxon borough.

In the year of our Lord 1066, Archbishop Aldred and the burhwaru, or citizens of London (says the Anglo-Saxon chronicler), determined to have Eadgar Ζtheling for their king.114 The same resolution is related by the contemporaneous writer of the Brussels poem, and he defines burhwaru to be the "prectores atque potentes" of [p.73] London.115 The same poet makes the same discrimination in regard to the citizens of Winchester.116

The grammarian and lexicographer ΖIfric, who had learnt his Latinity under Ζthelwold and Dunstan, considered the Roman municipium to be well expressed by the Anglo-Saxon burhscipe and the Roman cives, who were a close body to be well expressed by the term of burhwaru. Proceres, primores and primarii he translated by yldest burhwara; vulgus and plebs by heanra burhwerod. Ζthelbald, of Mercia, speaks of the "optimates" of London.117 Ζthelstan specifies the "yldestan men" of a burh,118 and Domesday makes mention of the "meliores civitatis."119


The burhwaru were, therefore, not an unqualified and unrestricted communalty, but a select and aristocratic body.

We will next consider what were the objects upon which this self-government exercised itself; in other words, what were the powers and privileges of the burgesses and their chiefs.

They exercised a police over the borough.

If a breach of the peace were committed within a borough, the burhwaru were bound and empowered to seize the murderer, and if they failed in this duty it was incumbent upon the ealdorman of the shire to apprehend the criminal.120

This right implies the existence of a prison within the borough for the safe custody of the accused, and such we find by other evidence was the fact. Of this prison the portgerefa had the charge.121


The burgesses kept the keys of their city.122

I have before said that the boroughs had a local jurisdiction of their own.

This was limited as regarded the nature or quality of the suits submitted to it, for all pleas of the Crown and important civil actions went to the county for adjudication.123


The citizens enjoyed the right of holding markets and of receiving toll thereat,124 and they also levied port dues when such were exigible.125

Upon the subject also of sales, whether of land or chattels, which were not made in open market, the citizens exercised a species of administrative authority. No such sale could be made, except in the presence and under the sanction of the portgerefa, or, if his presence could not be procured, of certain of the citizens.126 This compulsory witnessing was, of course, required in a financial intent, to ensure the receipt of tax and toll.127

The amerciaments decreed in the burhmot, [p.77] when the ealdorman of the shire sat to hear causes in the borough, were levied by the burgesses.

But in all these revenues, as well as in the landgafol, or landfeoh, of which I am about to speak, they were trustees for the king, amongst whose rights these revenues were enumerated.128

This landgafol deserves especial attention, for hitherto it has been entirely unnoticed.

It was a payment made by the citizens to the king in respect of their burgage tenements. It was peculiar to the boroughs, no similar exaction being imposed upon the counties.

It must be carefully discriminated from the gafol paid by the tenant in the upland to his landlord, for the burgess, great or mean, who paid gafol, had the allodium of the house in respect of which he paid this impost.129


It was, therefore, legally speaking, not a rent, but a permanent duty.130

The citizens were also subjected to another regal obligation. They were bound to receive at their houses the king and the king's men. The quarrel at Dover between Count Eustace and the burgesses, recorded in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, took place upon this subject.131


The aforegoing notes will have given some notion of the financial system which the boroughs subserved. But the actual charge of the finance of the borough was specifically committed to the partgerefa, whose special function it was to assess and collect the landgafol, to levy the amerciaments decreed in the hurhmot of the ealdorman, the tolls upon transfers of burgage holdings and sales of chattels, with those other imposts which in the administration of a city might reasonably be imposed. For all these receipts it was the office of the portgerefa to account with the king's treasury.132

In return for the trouble of collecting and accounting for these revenues the portgerefa was allowed to deduct one-third of the receipts.133


But while we find that the burgesses were subjected to pecuniary burdens, we also find that in their collective capacity they possessed land and houses from which they themselves derived rents and profits.134

These being received in the common name were applied to the common good, and would go to the discharge or alleviation of their fiscal burthens.

They also possessed common land for the use of the general burgesses.135

The citizens of some cities enjoyed the privilege (doubtless a lucrative one) of minting the king's money.136


In all the boroughs the burgesses regulated weights and measures.137

In some boroughs (at least) there was that great outward sign and exponent of municipality—the town hall.138

Let us now compare these particulars of the Anglo-Saxon borough with what is known of the parent of all municipalities—the Roman city as it existed during the empire.

The provincial civitas in the earlier139 days of the empire was thus organized. It had a self-elected curio, or senate, composed of members qualified by possessing a certain quantity of land within its local range. This senate was presided over either by two or by four magistrates, called duumviri or quatuorviri. Besides this full court there was an acting committee, selected from the [p.82] curiales, or senators, called the principales. To these latter was committed the administration of the city, the assessment and collection of the tributary or land-tax, payable within the city and its territory, and the receipt of the other municipal revenues.

Each civitas also possessed the right of holding markets within its own civic bounds and territory.140 The toll levied upon provisions and merchandize at these markets was collected by the [p.83] officers of the principales, who retained one third for the use of the city and paid over the remainder to the imperial treasury.141

The senate and its president administered civil justice, under certain limitations, within the city and its territory. They also exercised a police over the city, and had the charge and custody of the public prison.142 They minted the emperor's money.143 They possessed land which was the property of the municipium,144 and they boasted of a curia, or court-house, in which they met and transacted municipal business.145

The senate and its president had also what was [p.84] called a voluntary jurisdiction. At a session of the principalis and curiales, a vendor and purchaser of house or land completed their contract of sale by a public notification, and the sale was then recorded among the gesta municipalia, or archives. An imperial duty was levied in respect of the alienation,146 but whether the duty was shared by the city or not I cannot say.

Much other matter of municipal liberty and power was in the hands of the citizens; but in all great matters of civil and criminal jurisdiction they were under the authority of the prases, or consularis, who civilly governed the province. They were also subject to other great officers in military and financial respects.

Towards the close of the empire the duumviri and quatuorviri disappear, and the principales became limited to one only. This principalis henceforth appears as a magistrate, and takes the presidency of the curia, while he retains and continues his own financial functions of principalis.147

In the leading points which I have sketched [p.85] there is a real resemblance between the Roman and Anglo-Saxon municipalities, which can only be explained by their actual identity. This identity is drawn closer by other facts.

We have seen that the Anglo-Saxon borough enjoyed the privileges of minting public money, of holding markets and exacting tolls.

In the ninth century libertas Romana was authoritatively defined in a continental charter to mean these two things.148

The specific meaning of the word libertas, as thus applied by a continental city of the ninth century, receives illustration in the fact of the same word being ascribed in the succeeding century to four Anglo-Saxon boroughs of Roman foundation—Cambridge, Norwich, Thetford, and Ipswich—by their own burgesses.149

In this instance the English burgesses claimed [p.86] dignity also as well as liberty for their boroughs.

In illustration of this claim for liberty and dignity may be adduced another fact, related by the book of Ely. A priest named Leoftan, had stolen some saga from certain Irish merchants (institores de Hybernia), which they had exposed for sale in Cambridge. A conviction would expose the priest to a forfeiture of his life and of two hides of land that he possessed; but he "petiit patrocinium civium, qui ei deprecati sunt vitam et solum," and they succeeded in obtaining his pardon, for he eventually disposed of his land.150

The Anglo-Saxon burhwaru, we have seen, was not a corporation: that was an idea of the middle ages. The Roman municipes were no more.151

We thus see that in the Anglo-Saxon borough there is no increment beyond the state of the Roman municipium.

We can see none of those developments which [p.87] the Gallo-Roman cities evolved. The reason is clear. The circumstances in which the Anglo-Saxon boroughs were placed after the Anglo-Saxon conquest did not admit of those conjunctures which led to the development of the Gallo-Roman cities in the Visi-Gothic, Burgundian, and even in the Frankish parts of Gaul.

The Anglo-Saxon boroughs were situated in small and concentrated kingdoms, and under the eye of the barbarian kings. They lacked also the fostering and encroaching power of Christian bishops. The Gallo-Roman cities, on the contrary, were spread over large countries, where the central power was weak and the bishops were favoured by king and peoples.152

The Anglo-Saxon borough is, therefore, in its essential organization, one and the same with the Roman civitas. Neither had political power or haute justice, for both of these were far distant developments of the middle ages, arising out of circumstances which had supervened upon Roman institutes.

In the Anglo-Saxon borough the political and high judicial power was vested in the Ealdorman, and was deshors the borough itself. In the [p.88] Roman civitas it was in the same position, viz., in the hands of the praeses provincitas.

In the Anglo-Saxon borough the portgerea, or the king's officer commanding the borough, must be regarded as being no other than the one principalis, whose conjoint duties of magistracy and finance are performed by him.

In the Roman city the private business of the city was transacted by this magistrate and the curiales, and we know what that business was.

In the Anglo-Saxon borough there was similar business to do, and it was done by the portgerefa and the burhwaru.

The aristocratic character of the Anglo-Saxon burgesses makes them fit successors to the senate of decuriones; and in regard to the portgerefa himself, everything, I think, goes to show that he is a Roman, and not a Germanic magistrate.

He is the recognized chief of an institution wholly Roman, that is, the burgwaru and city; he is a purely civil officer, and is subordinate to the great Germanic governor of the shire. All these facts point to one conclusion only—that he is no part of the Germanic system.

Having found the Anglo-Saxon boroughs to be Roman in their great principles, we need not [p.89] be surprised if details of Roman private law be found within the circuit of their walls.

Some details of this law are found, viz., those peculiar mutual rights and easements growing out of the juxtaposition of contiguous edifices in cities which the Roman called the servitutes urhanorum prcediorum. These easements still obtained in the Anglo-Saxon city in the full force and operation of the Roman law, naturalized under a translation of the Roman word jus into folcriht.153

From cities to civilization there is but one step, at least in etymology. I will, therefore, now pass on to Anglo-Saxon civilization.

We have the fact of a high civilization in Britain from the circumstance that the wealth of that country—an inseparable attendant upon civilization—attracted the attention of the Anglo-Saxons.

The temptation to invade and occupy this portion of the empire was the same as that which actuated the invasion and occupation of the other portions of the empire, namely its wealth.


But this civilization and wealthy in their impulse and in their creation, could only have been Roman.

If the Romano-Britons continued to exist after the Anglo-Saxon conquest, their civilization would continue also. We find that this civilization did, in fact, continue, and could not have been slight in its nature or contracted in its extent, when we consider that even before the teaching of Augustine, and whilst the rough influences of paganism still dominated in the Anglo-Saxon courts, the Christian and accomplished daughter of a Frankish monarch was given in marriage to a king of Kent without any recorded hesitation and doubt at the incompatibility and danger of such an alliance.

Again, if civilization had been absent or defective, the fastidious Roman monk Augustine could not have failed to remark upon the fact in his somewhat twaddling letters to St. Gregory, and this silence of the first-named saint goes far to show that the Anglo-Saxon civilization was, in its nature and extent, on a par with that of the continent of Europe. And no one who has read the Inventarium Sepulchrale of the Rev. Bryan Fawsett but must come to the conclusion that the [p.91] Anglo-Saxons to whom his researches refer lived in an atmosphere of Roman conveniences and luxuries—in a state of civilization corresponding closely to that of Western Europe.

The absurdity of attributing to the Anglo-Saxons any introduction of, or any power of introducing, civilization and arts into this country, is the more patent and glaring as we have historical and detailed accounts of what their congeners, the Danes, introduced at a much later day into England and Ireland--nothing but mere barbarism and desolation. The so-called Anglo-Saxon civilization is, therefore, Roman.

The Anglo-Saxon coinage is, in fact and in name, a Roman coinage. The scilling is the sicilicus, and the penny is the denarius.154 The Anglo-Saxon word for the latter, in its archaic form, was pending, and this gives us the derivation. It is formed from pendoy pendere, and no word was more familiar to the ears of the Romano-Briton, either as pendere pcenas or pendere tributum. It is the technical word for paying a fine or a tribute. The Anglo-Saxon word had been transmitted by the Briton, and had been a portion of the lingua franca of that provincial [p.92] Traditions of the Roman aera survived in England. Alfred, in his translation of Orosius, diverges from his text to say that Caesar crossed the Thames at Wallingford, a circumstance which, it is almost unnecessary to say, Caesar himself does not narrate. Alfred's only authority would be the tradition of the country.155

Another Roman tradition also survived, and, in the form most cherished by tradition, in rhythm. The tradition was one of personal law, and referred to the civis Romanus.

An old Anglo-Saxon poem has preserved an old tradition, that if a merchant throve so that he thrice traversed the ocean in his own vessel, he thenceforth obtained the position of a thegn:

"And gif massere geđeah thaet he ferde đrige ofer wid sae be his ageniun craefte se waes đonne syđan 'Segen rihtes weorđe."156

This is identical in all but the number of voyages with a law which Ulpian gives:

"Latini jus quiritium consequuntur his modis * * * nave * * * Nave Latinus civitatem Somanam accipit si non minorem quam decem [p.93] millium modiorum navem bricayerit et Romam sei annis frumentum portaverit ex edicto divi Claudii."157

The Sunday marketings which the Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastics found so much trouble in putting down, had been a special regulation of the emperors.158

There is another derivation from Imperial Rome which deserves our especial attention, viz. the planetary week of the Anglo-Saxons, that week which has descended to ourselves.

In the true Anglo-Saxon form the seven days are severally dedicated to the Sun, the Moon, the God Tiwe, the God Woden, the God Thunor or Thor, the Goddess Frige and the God Saeter.

Under these rough northern names we find the Roman planetary week lurking in a Germanic translation.

This week with its ascriptions was borrowed by the Romans from their Egyptian subjects, and [p.94] by the second century of our aera it was disseminated through the empire.159

This planetary week is found in use amongst the Anglo-Saxons after their conversion to Christianity. The question, therefore, arises by what means and through what channels did they first obtain it.

They could not have obtained it directly from the East, where it received its origin, because, as we know, they had no communication with that part of the world either before or after their conquest of Britain; nor could they have obtained it directly from the Romanized continent of Europe, for with that also they had no greater intercourse either before or after that period.

It would also seem as unauthorized to ascribe the introduction of this strange institute and its nomenclature to St. Augustine and his priests.

For, if we do so, we must assume that the Italian priests, who had braved what they con- [p.95] sidered terrific jeopardy and grave discomfort to teach the pure doctrines of Christianity to the heathen of England, before propounding the week and its nomenclature to our forefathers, lectured upon the metaphysical identity of the rude gods of the Anglo-Saxons with those of the extinct paganism of the Empire, and then assisted them in translating, with critical exactitude, the euphonious names of the Italian deities into the equivalent idols of the fantastic northern mythology.160 This is incredible, for it is impossible either that sincere and holy men would take a course which would operate as an antidote to their sacred teachings, or that sensible men who had made exertions and braved perils to carry out a serious intention should, so soon as they had commenced their work, do acts which, while they were totally immaterial to their design, would at the same time more than impede its completion. But the monks were the less likely to have introduced this pagan nomenclature, as for centuries afterwards they affected a pious horror at the sacrilegious nature of these ascriptions of the days of the week.


"Woden, quern gentes Anglonun deum esse delirantes, ei quartum diem septimanse * * * perpetuo ad hoc tempus eonsacravenint sacrilegio," says William of Malmesbury.161

These considerations show that it is impossible that the Anglo-Saxons could have obtained the translated week from the Roman monks; and if the latter had imparted to them for the first time a knowledge of the week and its nomenclature, that nomenclature would have remained untranslated. We should have had Mercursdaeg, not Wodensdaeg.

Thus the Irish received and still have the week in its Latin and untranslated form.

This assumption cannot be accepted as a solution of our difficulty, and nothing, therefore, remains but to attribute the true cause.

As the Anglo-Saxons could not have obtained the notion of the planetary week with its nomenclature directly from Rome, either imperial or papal, they obtained it from the Romano-Britons, who must, therefore, have lived in their times in order to be able to tell it.

Another and a better instance of the influence of the Empire is to be found in a circumstance [p.97] which has been hitherto entirely ignored. I mean the feet of Christianity existing among the Anglo-Saxons before the advent of the papal Augustine, by whom the evidence of this fact is unwillingly given.

After his arrival in Britain, St. Augustine found that the people of Kent worshipped the body of a martyr named Sixtus, there buried or otherwise preserved.162 The Roman monk, who knew of a St. Sixtus at Rome, assumed that there could not be two saints of this name, and, therefore, thought good to doubt the authenticity of the British saint, on the ground, apparently, that as the relics of St., Sixtus were at Rome they could not be in Kent also. He accordingly petitioned Pope Gregory, "Ut reliquiζ S. Sixti martyris nobis transmittantur." The Pope's reply was, "Fecimus quae pctisti, quatenus populus, qui in loco quondam S. Sixti martyris; corpus dicitur venerari, quod, tuζ fratemitati nee verum—nee veraciter sanctum videtur, certa sanctissimi et probatissimi martyris beneficia suscipiens, colere incerta non debeat. Mihi tameh videtur, quia si corpus quod a populo cujusdam martyris esse ere- [p.98] ditur nullis illis miraciilis coruscat et neque aliqui de antiquioribus existunt qui se a parentibus passionis ejus ordinem audisse fateantur ita reliquise quas petisti seorsum condendse sunt ut locus in quo praeftum corpus jacet modis omnibus obstruatur nee permittatur populus certum deserere et certum venerari."163

From this question and the answer certain very interesting facts are deducible.

1. There is the people of a locality in Kent who before the conversion of King Ζthelberht are Christians.

2. They worship a saint with a Roman name, who, in spite of Augustine's assumption, appears from the context to have been a native of Roman Britain like St. Alban.

3. The Pope, without any suspicion that all the British Cantuarii had been long since destroyed, directs his bishop to ascertain from the elders of the place the "order of the saint's passion."


We thus have good evidence that In A.D. 597 both the Italians and the men of Kent believed, and had grounds for their belief, that the Britons had not been exterminated, for the Kentishmen of that year communicated to St. Austin a local tradition of the Roman age of Britain which they had received from their ancestors, and the Pope instructed the bishop to sift and cross-examine those natives of Kent, who, as from their age they were the nearest recipients of the tradition, were the best authorities for it.

Further, we have evidence of a pre-existing Christianity, which implies the persistence of the British natives to support and transmit it, for the Jutes of Kent had never come into contact with any form of Christianity. We are therefore entitled to identify this modest Christianity which the monk saw with the Christianity which had existed in Britain before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons.

This Christianity existed in Britain to the very eve of the arrival of the conquerors.164 It is there- [p.100] fore clear, that unless its professors were all extirpated, it would remain after the conquest.

I have already disposed of the dream of extirpation.

This British Christianity was out of favour with papal Rome, for the opinions of its professors upon doctrinal points were occasionally free and variable; and though the constitution of the Church was episcopal, it in no way hung upon the see of St. Peter.

St. Augustine, in his mission, was quite as desirous of suppressing an independent form of the same general with as he was of eradicating the errors of paganism. With the great exception, however, of its independence of papal Rome, this British Christianity would be much of the general order then prevailing in Europe, and in its manifestations and details, with some exceptions which I will afterwards mention, must have diverged from the simple and original doctrines as much and in the same manner as the great see herself had done.

Between one saint-worshipping Church and [p.101] another doctrinal resemblances must, have been close and near. But this being so, why were not these remains of a kindred Church warmly greeted by St. Augustine and St. Gregory, and as heartily acknowledged by the Anglo-Saxon historian?

They are, on the contrary, ignored; the saint, the pope, and the historian, notwithstanding their admission, handling the subject as if the Anglo-Saxon population, high and low, were totally pagan.

For this contradiction of a fact, by the very persons (pope and saint) who admit it in another place, there must have been a reason—one sufficiently strong to produce a motive for the misrepresentation. The reason was this: the want of communication between this early English Church and Rome. St. Austin ignored the existing Church, which was probably small and dispersed, as he vituperated the contemporary Brito-Celtic Church, though on the score of difference in doctrines there was nothing substantial to find fault with in either of them.

This fact gives us the true history of the Anglo-Saxon conversion. We, however, have not so much to do with this as with the fact of a pre-existent Christianity and the conclusion to be drawn from it.


There is nothing in the circumstances which precede, accompany or follow the mission of Augustine to show that there was no existing Christianity in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

By infusing Christianity into the crowned heads, it was intended to bring another country under the jurisdiction of Rome. The pope was notoriously ambitious, and the see had then set in resolutely for aggrandizement and power. Britain was out of its pale, either as pagan or a Christian country, and could only be brought within the power of the see by a spiritual conquest.

The conduct of the Italian priests shows their object. They go straight at the kings, and when the successors of those kings show signs of recalcitration they resolve to turn their backs upon the country which had not rejected them. We hare in this a mark of the cloven foot. They wished, for purposes of power, to convert the kings, who were, of course and notoriously, German pagans.

This is no evidence that there was not a section—modest, perhaps—of the community who were already Christians. But the latter were of little interest and no value to Rome, except as a pendant and an accompaniment to their masters. The jugglery of Laurentius, in the church of [p.103] St. Peter at Canterbury, shows this desire to appropriate the kings. Augustine's determination to put down by fire and sword the Christianity of the Welsh, shows that the object of the foreign ecclesiastic was to obtain power rather than to spread Christianity. Kilian, Grail and Columban addressed the folk of Germany, passing over their leaders, and so did Boniface, in his first and in his third missions. In the intermediate mission he was merely an anticipatory St. Dominic, backed by and invoking the strong secular arm of the Frankish government.

But notwithstanding this ecclesiastical conquest of Anglo-Saxon England by Rome, and all its attendant consequences, the prior Christianity ("absoluta et simplex," as the old Greek soldier Ammianus has described it)165 still in some sort vindicated itself and its claims.

There existed in the Anglo-Saxon language certain words of native growth, expressive of pure and abstract Christianity, which are not due to Austin and his followers. They are a transmission from an epoch much anterior.

They illustrate dogmas, not practices, and are [p.104] therefore strongly contradistinguished from those which followed the advent of the Roman monk.

When the original missionaries (whoever they were) taught the Britons the new doctrine of the reconciliation of man with God, and demonstrated that baptism was the perfecting of that reconciliation, the Britons, as they called the great consummation or sacrifice himself, so they called baptism fulluht, or perfection, and the words were ever afterwards used in Anglo-Saxon to express these ideas. But in these they only literally translated expressions which their early Christian teachers had taught them.166


Far otherwise was the case when the creed had taken to itself a clothing of forms alien from pure spirit and abstract idea—when technical words had been invented to give a weight to what of itself was futile or inane.

When religion under this guise had been imported into Britain, side by side with the pregnant words which we have named came hollow, empty words of office and of art, and our ancestors familiarized to their language the foreign sounds and vocables of maesse, preost, and sacerde.

Between the epoch of the first and the epoch of the second is a separation which, if we estimate by time, must be great.

The first age could realize and convert the words and practices which brought them spiritual life. The second could no more translate the priestly and superstitious terms which Rome had given them than the English lawyer could anglicize fieri facia or habeas corpus.

But however wide the distance of time, and however great the moral difference, the transmis- [p.106] sion of these pure and expressive words in the vernacular to the time when the others made their appearances shows an identity of race between the people of the two epochs, and, as we shall afterwards see, an identity of language.

Intimately connected with the subject of this British Christianity is our strange word church. This our Anglo-Saxon ancestors called cyrce, and the word was so endeared to them that, in their missionary efforts in Germany and Holland, they taught and introduced the same expression and no other for ecclesia.

This peculiar word appears in the earliest Anglo-Saxon remain, composed shortly after the conversion of Kent, viz. in the laws of Ζthelberht.167

Side by side with bishop, priest, deacon and cleric words which the monk could have introduced occurs this word, which he did not bring with him, though it was a word of his own language, but one whose peculiar acceptation was in his day long since lost.

It is circulus,168 the old Italic word for the modest [p.107] congregation of worshippers of Christ when they had left the crypt and the sand-pit for the light of day, but were still overshadowed by the mighty phantom of heathenism, though when their divine creed became paramount the word, by a strange vicissitude, was applied to that congregation only which fell under the ban of heresy.


But though Christianity flourished before the advent of the Anglo-Saxon, heathenism ramped by its side.

The extensive conversions in the time of Ζthelberht may afford evidence retrospectively that the anterior population was in major part pagan, and it is futile to think that their paganism had been caused or affected by Anglo-Saxon invasions.

It is this anterior paganism which is figured in the Anglo-Saxon week—that identification of the gods of Italy with the gods of Germany.

The pliability of the Roman Pantheon was so great, that the Romans could see without difficulty an assimilation in their gods to the gods of the Germans.

The pliability of the Germanic Pantheon was equally as great, for the Germans and their descendants conceived a corresponding assimilation in their rude gods to the gods of the Romans.

When the Romans had built their temples, and had installed therein the assimilated deities, the Romano-Britons felt that these idols, though better made and called by more euphonious names, expressed the same supernatural powers, and reflected the same all powerful existences, as those [p.109] whom his primaeval customs had taught him to reverence and invoke.

The Mars of the master was the Tiwe of the subject; the Frigga was Venus; the Woden, Mercury, and the Thunor (or Thor) was Jupiter.

Notwithstanding this assimilating or, perhaps, tolerating influence both of master and subject, we know historically that the deities of the native provincials survived in the popular mind and worship under their vernacular names.

It has been assumed by the learned that writing was introduced into England at the epoch of Augustine. If this assumption be correct, we must attribute it solely to his agency and his agents, or, in other words, to the foreign priests who accompanied him. Yet this assumption involves many things which on examination appear insuperable difficulties.

In the first place, though we recognize in the Anglo-Saxon alphabet in general the familiar cursive letters of Home, yet we find letters unknown to the Italian—we mean the theta and the w. How could these have been introduced by Italians, who neither required the symbols nor could pronounce the sounds?

If native priests regulated the alphabet, we [p.110] must push still more forward the introduction of letters. For the choice and application of an alphabet would be as a matter of consideration so a matter of time. And when we compare the dates of the earliest existing vernacular diplomata, there is not time enough for Augustine's English clergy to have introduced Anglo-Saxon letters and spelling into England.

But, after all, it is nowhere said by Beda that Austin and his monks taught the Anglo-Saxon to read and to write. And Austin nowhere says the same of himself or his followers. This silence is conclusive, for if he or they had done so would they not have boasted (and legitimately) of so great a contribution to genuine civilization?

The Gallic of the continent was a written language.169 There is, therefore, a presumption that the Romano-British of the south and east should be a written language also. There was as much [p.111] civilization in the southern provinces of Britain as in any of the Gauls, with the exception perhaps of the provincia.

The laws of Ζthelberht are evidence that the vernacular was a literary language so early as one century only after the completion of the Jutic conquest.

All experience is against a language of such power, range and polish as the Anglo-Saxon language was being perfected in so short a period.

The absence of histories or annals composed in Roman Britain cannot be objected against this view, any more than the same actual absence of histories and annals in Gaul can be said to prove that there was no learning and literature in that country. But it is not true to say that such histories and annals did not exist in Britain, however untraceable they are now.

There is evidence that there was history, not merely before Beda, but before Christianity. There is at least one event told in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which that writer has not mentioned. It is a plain, prosaic story of the heathen age, which could not have been taken down in later days from the traditional effusions of sceopas and wandering minstrels, and yet, though un- [p.112] noticed by Beda, it is historic, and is confirmed by unexceptional Kymric authority. This historical notice tells us, under the year of our Lord 577, that Cuthwin and Ceawlin fought with Britons and slew three kings—Conmζgl (Commagil, Commail, or Ccmunagil), Condidan (or Candidan\ and Farinmζgl (Farmmail or Farinmagal), at the place that is named Derham, and took three cities from them—Gloucester, Cirencester and Bath.170

This is a concise account of the West Saxon campaign for the year 577; and if we turn to Llhrwarch Hen, we find the same series of events referred to and two of those Kymric heroes, viz., Kendalann, (or Kynddylan), and Keranmail, father and son, eulogized and lamented by that poet in a contemporary effusion.171

Having traced these resemblances between the Anglo-Saxon and the Roman in the great and leading points of social and political life, I propose to recapitulate them, and then submit to the reader the conclusions which I will draw from them.

The first circumstance to which I drew the [p.113] reader's attention was the division of the Anglo-Saxons into two orders of the privileged and unprivileged—the noble and the unnoble—the thegn and the ceorl—the class of thegnas possessing political and social power, whilst the class of ceorlas was divested of it.

This is a very striking non-German fact, and should be duly weighed.

In ancient Germany such social and political rights were not the exclusive possession of any one order of men, but belonged equally to all freemen.172


In Anglo-Saxon England they had become the property of one section of society only. But they became so because the men who had subjugated the country, while they retained their own old German political rights, would not extend them to their own subjects. Thus rights which belonged to aQ bani homines in Germany became in Britain an aristocratic privilege in the hands of a minority.

As, therefore, these divisions are not to be found amongst the native Germans of the fifth and sixth centuries, they could not have been introduced into Britain by the invaders of those epochs, being a principle unfamiliar to their polity. They are, therefore, non-German, arising out of the circumstances of the invasion, and contain within them the fact that the lower caste was the original nationality of the country.

I showed that the condition upon which the general land was held, in the cases of the Anglo-Saxon thegn and the Roman possessor, was so closely assimilated that the one must be considered Roman as the other was.

I also showed the resemblance between certain [p.115] territorial onera imposed as well upon the Anglo-Saxon thegn as upon the Roman possessor. Of these onera the burhbot and the bryegbot are common burthens which all landholders support.

But these ideas, though they might be understood and adopted by barbarians, would never emanate from them. They are in themselves incontrovertibly Roman, and it is obvious that they were adopted voluntarily by the Anglo-Saxon from the natives whom he had subjugated. But how can we account for a conquering class adopting laws and institutes of the conquered? This is a problem, but it is not greater nor more difficult of solution in this country than on the Continent, in whose history precisely the same phenomena appear.

The adoption of some of these institutes may be ascribable to a sense of policy in the conquerors and their leaders, while the adoption of others may be attributed to the persuasive communication of the natives or the inexorable logic of facts.

For when each German conqueror became a landholder, the Roman law of land clung to him as it had cling to his Romano-British antecessor. He had never been a proprietor of land in his own country, and brought with him no principles to [p.116] regulate its possession and enjoyments in his new country. He could only adopts for we cannot suppose that he would invent. He became, by his own consent, quasi a Roman possessor.

While the thegn would proudly reject the notion of a land tax or tributum upon the fundus which he had seized, he would see the necessity of himself and his brother thegns contributing towards the expenses of the repairs of bridges, roads and fortresses.

The same portions of imperial law were preserved by the Franks and Lombards, men equally proud and equally barbarous as the Saxon.173


The remaining obligation of the fyrd is just as much opposed to Germanic principles, either in the light of an obligation upon land or in the detail of its mode of recruitment.

In both of these things, as we have seen, it is the Roman tirocinium.

But the Anglo-Saxon, in adopting the principle of the Roman tirocinium, followed the same course as the Frank had done.174

This adoption of the Roman tirocinium was due to necessity as much as reason.

The descendants of the Germans, after the work of the conquest was completed, occupied themselves with concerns of domestic and immediate interest. Property and the manifold cares [p.118] of a settled life claimed their attention and their time.

It was, therefore, impracticable, as it would have been intolerable, that they should be called upon, as their predecessors in old Germany had been, at all times and without intermission and proportion to perform exclusively the labours of the utfare.

In the early period of the occupation of Britain that course would be necessary as it was inevitable; but under the altered circumstances of internal peace no necessity would require and no policy would dictate their exclusive monopoly of the trade of war. No army of pure Germans was needed.

There may never have been any real animosity on the part of the Romano-British colonus towards the Anglo-Saxon. There would certainly be no reasonable motive for a display of animosity on the part of the colonus towards the Anglo-Saxon as an enemy, for there could be no real feeling of patriotism in a man so constituted as the colonus was. A change of masters would in any age be a matter of little concern to the transferred servant. He may even have joined the Anglo-Saxon in ejecting the Roman posses- [p.119] sores, or he may have been colonus to the Anglo-Saxon before the presumed conquest of Britain.

It is a fact, as we shall afterwards see, that he fought in the ranks of the Anglo-Saxon against the Kymric Celt in the very outset of the Anglo-Saxon occupation of Britain.

When the Anglo-Saxon thegn with the land assumed or accepted the obligations which the Roman law had imposed upon it, he adopted also the Roman relation which existed between landlord and tenant—the patrocinium or compulsory vassalage of an inferior towards his superior. This was a principle which, whilst it closely resembled the clientela of old Rome, was wholly un-Germanic both in its origin and feeling. In Germany vassalage had always arisen from spontaneous adoption, and there was nothing in the state of society there by which that obligation could be compulsorily imposed, for the congenital independence of the ancient German could only be relinquished through his own volition.

The Anglo-Saxon ham or manor was only a continuation of a state of things which had existed antecedently to the conquest. As the patrocinium gave the relation of lord and man, so [p.120] the funds of the possessor gave the local limits within which the power of the lord operated.

I afterwards pointed out the resemblance between certain other institutes by which the original status of the gesith was altered and developed, and I showed that in England he possessed a settled modus of land duly discriminated from the possessions of others by boundaries, while the German had neither, for he abhorred both. ''Negue quisquam agli modum cerium out fines proprios habet," says Caesar.175

I next observed upon that quaint principle of law which attributed to the landholding Anglo-Saxon the estate of a thousand Roman acres, and I referred it without difficulty to an historic principle of Roman law, regulating that peculiar estate which the Anglo-Saxon gesith had received in his succession to the Romano-British possessor.

The existence of this strangely conventional Roman law of land amongst the Anglo-Saxons may adumbrate an historical fact which the annals have not recorded.


The Anglo-Saxons may at one period have resided in Roman Britain as the endowed and favoured but subservient Varangi of the Lloegrian republics.

The Roman citizen holding land equal in amount to the extreme concession of the Sempronian law, became to the barbarian his type of a gentleman, though in adopting this idea he was no more than the recipient of a Roman tradition, and unwittingly re-echoed the voice of the poet Horace. But, however this coincidence of mind between the Roman lyrist and the Anglo-Saxon pirate may excite and deserve our surprise, the fact does not stand alone. In Gaul the barbarian did more; he selected from the language of his subjects the name by which he delighted to distinguish himself and his class—a word which afterwards became the proudest in European society,—I mean gentilis or gentilhomme.

I said enough, I think, to show that between the ceorl and colonus there was an unmistakeable affinity.

If we regard the former as an importation from the Germany of the fifth and sixth centuries he will present anomalies irreconcilable with themselves as co-existing in the same person. But [p.122] looking at him by the light projected from the Roman colonus, we find an explanation and a solution of all that jarred in the phenomena of the ceorl.

The folcland of the Anglo-Saxon was clearly in its nature as in its name the ager publicus of the empire. The Anglo-Saxon kings succeeded to it, and in so doing they continued both its name and its legal incidents.

The succession to real and personal property, the alienation of land, and the Anglo-Saxon testament, we have seen to be Roman.

From whom could the Anglo-Saxon have adopted all these legal principles and forms to which I have referred but from the Romano-Britons?

I have shown it to be certain that some part, at least, of the mighty organization of the Roman city survived the invasions in Britain equally as in Gaul. Yet, to insure this continuation, it is a condition of strict necessity that the natives also should have survived, and have remained inhabitants of the cities of which they had been masters, for in the natives alone was the tradition of the lex municipalis—of Roman laws and usages. It was in the same manner that the Gallo- [p.123] Romans, who still dwelt in their cities, preserved the tradition of the Roman municipality, and not the Frankish lord, who had taken up his abode in the open country.

If in Britain the cities had been cleared of their inhabitants by their expulsion or their destruction, the Roman organization of the city must have fled or fallen with them; but this is disproved by the vestiges of that organization which I have adduced, and by the continuous existence of cities so organized. That an institution should have subsisted without interruption involves, as a condition, that the nation which understood and exercised it should exist also. The outward forms and external tokens of a Roman city would have suggested nothing to the invader, who had taken up his new abode in cities from which the light of civilization had departed. The modem dweller amongst the pyramids is as capable of reproducing the institutions of the Pharaohs as the rude Jute would have been able to weave from his brain the theory of the Roman municipality.

But the Anglo-Saxon thegn, like his German brethren, would not live in cities.176 He left them [p.124] to the natives, while he settled in the villa of the ousted possessor. To the last he preferred his manor house to a town, and the same feeling swayed and influenced his kings, who, in the choice of a locality for a Witenagemot, more often preferred a village to a city.

This hatred of cities, which distinguished all the Germanic hordes, gave occasion to the kings appropriating these cities to themselves.177 Their retention of the landgafol was a consequence of this appropriation, and of itself proves that the inhabitants of cities could not have been Germanic, for it would otherwise have been retained by the kings in the former territories of those cities, viz., the shires, but this was not the case.

Thenceforward the inhabitants of the town and country became socially separated. The country as a permanent residence became the home of the gentilhomme, as the town became the theatre of action for the trader and artisan.

But though there is in Anglo-Saxon times a municipal population, it need not be considered as indiscriminately the same. We have seen that socially it is itself sub-divided into a high and a [p.125] low class. The low class we may dismiss from our consideration, as it would only consist of ceorls or escaped theows.

But the other and higher class in itself presents a problem of an interesting character.

The higher class, viz., the burgesses proper, is, as we have seen, expressly distinguished by the Anglo-Saxons from the common herd of the inhabitants of cities. It is therefore and for other reasons which I shall adduce, though paying gafol to the king, in the enjoyment of a higher social status than the ceorl, the payer of gafol in the country. And if we consider the actual condition of the men composing this class the same conclusion is forced upon us, for as they were the merchants and the usurers of the nation, the ship-owners also in London and towns on the coast, they would obviously be persons of higher consequence than the quasi servile ceorl. But what was the social rank of these burgesses? Were they thegns—twelfhyndmen? I think not, for, in the first place, they are distinguished from them, and, secondly, they paid gafol to the king178 [p.126] for their burgage holdings,179 and this was abhorrent to the condition of the thegn. Were they ceorls? I think not, for they attended the county court as judices,180 which a ceorl never did.181 Many of them attended the fyrd as horsemen, and therefore individually, which the ceorl never did. Again, their heriots surpassed in quality and amount that of a ceorl.182

In forming an estimate of their social position circumstances seemingly trivial will have weight.

The burgesses kept hounds, at least Winchester [p.127] did in the Anglo-Saxon period; London in later days did so, as we all know.183

This is not a mean circumstance in showing the position of the burgess. It demarcates him from the ceorl, who was never permitted to hunt, and it approximates him to the thegn, of whose special state it was not a point of which he was least proud.

These circumstances respecting the burgess give us every particular except the expression of his status as a class, that status which arose out of race, and which perpetuated its remembrance. This one wanting point, however, I think it is possible to supply.

Besides the two antipodal classes of thegn and ceorl whose characteristics I have described, there was a third and intermediate class in Anglo-Saxon England called the sixhynd.

As the distinction which existed between the [p.128] two other classes was one of caste, so the distinction which separated this intermediate class from the two by which it was surrounded was one of caste also. The difference of caste is demonstrated by the difference of werc, which in all cases was regulated by birth or origin alone. For a man of this class were paid 600 shillings in the name of werc, while 1,200 shillings were paid for the thegn, and 200 shillings only were paid for the ceorl.184 In his birth, therefore, he surpassed the ceorl in a higher degree than the thegn surpassed him. Who then could have been this man [p.129] who was half as good as the proud barbarian who had conquered him? This estimate was a free gift on the part of the German, who fixed the weres of his subjects at his own good pleasure. The admission must therefore be taken against the German,

The sixhynd held or could hold the landed estate of a thegn, but was not such in spite of this possession. This proves him to have been of other than Germanic strain.185

His appearance in the eye of the world equalled that of the superior class. He lived in a burh,186 that form of mansion left by the Romans in which the king, the high dignitaries of the church and state and the twelfhynd delighted to dwell.

But now we have found this sixhynd, it is not at first very obvious where we are to place him. Is his lot to be assigned in the country or in the town? I think we may not make him a resident of the country, for there all room is taken up by the thegn and the ceorl, and he is neither of these. [p.130] He must, therefore, be ascribed to the city, and to the city exclusively.

This ascription may give as his origin, and thus unfold a closed page of English history, for, if he owes his origin to the city, he may be like that—Roman.

Let us see. We will cast a retrospect upon the affairs of Britain consequent with the realization of its independence from Imperial rule. At this epoch there were in Britain two classes only of the free—the colonus, or original inhabitant, and the possessor, the man of Roman origin.

Did the possessores—the Roman inhabitants—leave the island when the Roman armies left it. It is not even said of Britain that the Imperial archontes187 left the island, and it is incredible, as it was unnecessary, that Romans differently placed should do so. By that act they would have voluntarily beggared themselves without motive or reason.

For the only motive which could induce them to leave their teeming lands or lucrative callings would be the certainty of losing them, with the addition of their lives, if they remained behind.

But this state of things did not exist in Britain. [p.131] The natives were long their quiet subjects and their faithful colonus. The danger of the Picts and Scots was occasional and distant. The possessores did not, therefore, leave Britain to the enjoyment of the colonic but remained and assisted the latter to fight the battles of their native land against Pict, Scot and Anglo-Saxon, until they both succumbed to the last of these barbarians.188

But when the latter had established his sway over the island, had he exterminated the possessores?

We have seen that the colonus survived.

The question remains. Did the possessor—the municipal inhabitant—survive? If so, in what state and condition did he survive?

Prima facie there can be no more necessity that he should be exterminated in Britain than there was in Gaul, and there we know that he survived, and to some extent even he retained his old character of possessor.

There were fifty-nine territorial cities in Britain189 [p.132] when the Romans left the island. They governed the island amongst themselves after the departure of the Romans.190

It would have been no more possible for the Anglo-Saxons to destroy the population of these cities than to have destroyed the working population of the country.

And the same motive which induced the Anglo-Saxon kings to appropriate the boroughs, induced them to spare and retain the population who would pay the burghal tax.

Again, if the anterior municipal population were not retained, their ranks must have been filled up with coloni—ceorlas drafted from the estates in the territories of the cities, and the comites, who had newly become landlords, would not have tamely submitted to have the rewards of their valour wasted or extorted by the selfish caprice of their leader, who was little more to them than primus inter pares.

Taking it, therefore, as proved that the municeps did survive in Britain, we may assume that he thenceforward held a position inferior to that of his conquerors, though he retained his superiority over the colonus. For superior civilization [p.133] and the old tradition of birth would keep himself and the ruder class apart.

But to this hypothetical man the actual sixhyndman closely and exactly answers. He widely surpasses the ceorl in birth, and he even possesses land, but he is inferior to the real Anglo-Saxon—the thegn or gesith.

To this exactitude of resemblance we must add the absolute historical necessity for the identification of the one with the other. For if we eliminate the Roman from Anglo-Saxon Britain, we cannot account for the sixhyndman, as he is neither colonus nor Anglo-Saxon thegn.

But as, in spite of all theories, the existence of the sixhyndman is plainly demonstrable, he must be accounted for by the historical investigator.

He answers to the Roman, as I have said; he accounts for the fate of the Roman after the Anglo-Saxon conquest. He is unexplainable himself upon any other hypothesis, for there is no other person or class to whom to refer him. Exhaustion, combined with resemblance and analogy, identifies the two as one and the same.

I have shown, I think, that the sixhynd and the Roman are the same. But is the burgess of the Anglo-Saxon borough identical with these? [p.134] I think he is, for he can be referred to none else. His characteristics ascribe to him an intermediate condition between the twelfhynd or thegn and the twyhynd or ceorl, and there is no other class save the sixhynd to which he may be referred. He also pays the landgafol or tributum to the king. This circumstance alone, I think, is sufficient to identify the burgess with the Roman, and the Roman has been already identified with the sixhynd.

All things, therefore, combine to show that the Anglo-Saxon sixhynd and burgess was the descendant of the Roman possessor and municeps. This conclusion must be agreeable to the vanity of the ordinary Englishman, as without this fact we can only attribute his far off origin to the servile and quasi servile classes of Anglo-Saxon England, the theowas and the ceorlas.

In the aforegoing comparisons I have selected upon the Anglo-Saxon side the most prominent and the most deeply rooted institutes of the Anglo-Saxon system, those that we find at the dawn of its history, and which remain unaltered at its close.

All these are circumstances quite distinct from merely accidental resemblances in colour and sur- [p.135 ] face. They are deep and rooted. They could not be evolved by the Anglo-Saxon in his new home from mere contact of soil and skyey influences, and they equally could not have been imported by him from his old country, for they are Roman and not Germanic, and he had no means of acquiring Roman ways and customs before he settled in the Romanized land of Britain.

These Roman habits which I have described could not have been adopted by them from the Empire before that epoch, because the Anglo-Saxons had no intercourse or communication with the Empire except by sea and in partial and transitory descents upon weak and undefended lines of coast. They made no settlements in the Empire. They enlisted not in the Imperial armies. There was no mental contact and communication between the Imperial subjects and the Saxons. For the Franks, their bitter and implacable enemies, made a wall between the Empire and the Saxons, which the latter never overstepped.

This fact is most grave and important in enabling us to come to a conclusion upon the question of what the Saxons and their allied [p.136] and other tribes similarly placed and situated could have imported into Roman Britain. But in presence of the absolute non-intercourse between themselves and the Empire, they could only have imported into Britain Germanic usages, for they had nothing else to carry with them. This fact of logic is confirmed by the facts of history. At the period of the Empire of Charlemagne the Saxons were still unaltered, unmodified and barbarous Germans, such as Caesar and Tacitus had seen and described—perhaps they were worse.

The Saxon possessed no several estate, and he was steeped in the squalor of poverty. He was warlike in the extreme. He lived under no central government. He was all this and worse when he first put his foot upon Britain.191 What he was a few generations afterwards we have seen.

To make our argument complete, it now only remains to show that these Roman institutes were borrowed directly from the Romans, and [p.137] did not reach Anglo-Saxon England at a later epoch.

In the first place, these institutes could not have been imported from the Continent during the early period of the Anglo-Saxon regime, because we have reason to believe that if the Continent was not closed to the country at large, yet intercourse with Europe was not coveted by its rulers.

This, I think, disposes of one course. It remains to see what other course could be open. Only one other, I think, viz. through the Roman clergy after the introduction of Christianity. But could this clergy have done it?

Could they or would they suggest or introduce a municipal system, a division of territory, and a system of taxation, formed to carry out a secular administration only? Could they have introduced those other Roman principles of which I have made detailed mention?

This continuity of thought, identical in principle and in form, between the Romano-Britannic aera and the Anglo-Saxon sera, is irrefragable proof of continuity of persons and race, and we are entitled to conclude that the ceorls and sixhynd burgesses were a population anterior to the [p.138] Anglo-Saxon conquest—the Romano-Britons and the Romans, from whom the Anglo-Saxons borrowed all those Roman principles which I have before described.

It now becomes a matter of interest, in the prosecution of our subject, to ascertain the ethnogenic quality of those Britons who became the subjects of the Anglo-Saxons.

This will necessitate a retrospect over British affairs during the whole of the Roman occupation.

Caesar, at the outset of his invasion, referring to the Belgae (then the inhabitants of South Britain), says of them, there was "hominum mfinita multitudo."192

He, we know, had no opportunity of lessening their numbers. He had not besides the intention of doing so. His intention was "Britannos togatos videre," as Seneca says.193 This infinite multitude therefore suffered no detriment at the hands of Caesar.

The same people remained statistically unaffected by Roman power until the reign of Claudius, when Vespasian, as the general of that Emperor, received the submission of the south- [p.139] eastern parts of Britain, without bloodshed on either side.

For a generation afterwards there were uprisings in the eastern parts of Britain, which evince a numerous population, and there is no assertion that this insurgent native population was extirpated by the Romans during the necessary process of its pacation; on the contrary, we find that the native population was conciliated and managed. King Cogidubnus of Regni being made legate of a province.194

By the time of the Emperor Vespasian (A.D. 69) even the Brigantes were pacified; and for the remaining periods Rome only had occasion to war—first in the west, and afterwards in the north.

In all these events there is nothing to show extirpation, and there is much to show that the old population was actually preserved. Writing A.D. 97, Tacitus tells us expressly that they were so.

"Plus tamen ferocias Britanni praeferunt, ut quos nondum longa pax emollient: nam Grallos quoque in bellis floruisse accepimus: mox seg- [p.140] nitia cum otio intravit, amissa virtute pariter ac libertate: Quod Britannorum olim victis evenit, caeteri manent quales Galli fuerunt."195

Afterwards he says, "Ipsi Britanni delectum, ac tributa, et injuncta Imperii munera impigre obeunt,"—i.e, the trinoda necessitas.196

The Britanni olim victi of Tacitus, who are thus referred to as still extant, occupied those parts of Britain which afterwards fell into the hands of the Anglo-Saxon.

Ptolemy (A.D. 120) describes Britain by its nations as well as its towns. The nations were therefore existing, and we find, besides other tribes, our native Brigantes, Parisii, Coritani, Catieuchlani, Trinobantes, Atrebatii, Kantii, Regni, Belgae.

Herodian speaks of the Southern Britons existing as a subject nation in the time of Severus, A.D. 197:—his words are, "[Greek]."197

Eumenius (A.D. 297), comparing the state of Britain in Caesar's days with its state in his own days, hints nothing of there having been a change of race in the provincials: rather his words imply the contrary. He says:—


"Adhoc natio etiam tunc rudis adhuc seminudi," &c.198

He afterwards speaks of Britanni (southern and eastern) as welcoming the Emperor in a way that can only apply to natives.

Elsewhere he calls the Britons "Socii." He says, "Quid de providentia, qua sociis sibi junctis se ejusmodi judicem dedit, ut servitutem passes juvaret recepta libertas, culpae conscios ad poenitentiam revocaret impunitas."199

Again, that the British nationality, in its wide sense, existed, is proved by the fact, that the Roman armies were recruited from it, and that a large foreign army was stationed in Britain to keep the nationals of all parts in order.

The transmission of names known to the Romans down into the Anglo-Saxon times is an evidence of the perpetuation of the nationality, and this transmission has occurred very noticeably.

As, therefore, we know of no extermination of the Belgae, either during their conquest by the Romans or after their subjugation, we have only to consider what influences affecting this nation- [p.142] ality could have been brought to bear upon it during the period extending from A.D. 50 to A.D. 450.

I think that no influences other than those which affected the Gauls could have been brought to bear, and these influences left that nationality uninfluenced in temperament and language.

And we need feel no surprise at its existence, when we have under our own eyes the spectacle of Scottish, Irish and Welsh nationalities still flourishing unaltered.

It is thus certain, that the Romano-Britons were still Belgae, and that the older nationality extant in Anglo-Saxon England was composed of these Belgae.

We have, however, to seek what this nationality was; i.e. whether it was Keltic or Germanic in strain.

This solution is postponed.

Let us call Caesar first.

That great historian asserts two facts: firstly, that the Britons of the sea coast had come from Belgium;200 secondly, that most (plerique) of the Belgae were descended from Germans, who, at a [p.143] remote epochs had crossed the Rhine and settled in Gaul.201

It is clear that these are not premises from which a logical conclusion can be drawn, absolutely decisive as to the ethnogeny of the British Belgae.

The latter, for the light which Caesar throws upon them, may be Kelts or they may be Germans, for they may belong to the minority equally as to the majority of the Belgae. As all the latter are not Germans, some of them must be Kelts.

We cannot therefrom conclude, from the single and unassisted testimony of Caesar, that the Britons of the east coast were either Germanic or Keltic.

But at the same time I will observe, that the same premises, while they are logically insufficient to prove that these Britons must have been Germanic, are still weaker evidence to show that all the Britons of the east coast were Kelts.

The question is, therefore, still open. But to determine it, we luckily have sufficient evidence both direct and circumstantial. This direct evi- [p.144] dence, which is derivable from Welsh sources, is unquestionable in character and credibility.

The Welsh appear to have divided the southern part of Britain, at a period not long after the advent of the Anglo-Saxon, into two nationalities, the Lloegrians and the Cambrians. The Lloegrians occupied the eastern coast and the interior.

These two nationalities were distinct and hostile. They had arrived in Britain at different prehistoric epochs, and at the period of history their old inimical antipathy was maintained, as it was aggravated by the circumstance that each spoke a different language.

For the truth of this assertion, we have the direct evidence of Welsh tradition contained in the Triads. The latter alone, it is true, will not satisfy the mind of the impartial student, but there is, fortunately, evidence (and of a high character) that sustains these simple assertions. I mean the testimony of Welsh bards, who are not only authentic but contemporaneous with the Anglo-Saxon advent, and they support the ethnological tradition which I have recited, by the strong aid of indirect testimony.

Nennius, who should be an authority upon these [p.145] points at least gives the following names of bards who (in the 6th century) "in poemate Britannico claruerunt"—Talhaiam, Aneurin, Taliesin, Lljrwarch Hen, and Cian.202 As the expression of these specific names must be taken to be an exclusion of all others from the category, we are entitled to take these bards to be the exponents of British poetry in that age. Of these five British bards we have remains of three only, viz. Aneurin, Taliesin, and Llywarch Hen.

I will use the evidence of these bards to illustrate the mutual hostile antipathy between these two sections of the Britons.

Lloegrians join the Anglo-Saxons in attacking Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath—all Keltic cities.203

They join the Angles in attacks upon Cumberland—a Keltic country.204


The Lloegrians, specified also as Bemiclans and Deirians, in company with the Angles, attack Strathclyde—another Keltic kingdom.205

This general union of Lloegrians with the German intruders against the Kelts carries with it the presumption that the Lloegrian and the Kelt were not close congeners.

In regard to my second assertion, viz., that there was a marked and radical difference between the languages of the Lloegrians and the Kymri, we have in Llywarch Hen's poem upon Kendelan, the chief of Powis, irresistible evidence of its exactness. The chief defends Trenn with men of "the common language" against the Lloegrians, who, being thus contrasted, could not have anticipated in that common language of the prince of Powis and his followers.

A perusal of the Welsh poetry gives us the following general facts, viz.,206 1, that the bards who were contemporaneous with the invasion only recorded (for poesy was a record) the invasions by [p.147] the Anglo-Saxons of those parts of Britain which were then, and continued for centuries afterwards, to be Keltic, some of them being so still: that these bards celebrate those wars and battles only which occurred between Welshmen and Anglo-Saxons: that in these battles and wars the Anglo-Saxons were assisted by the Lloegrians against the Welsh.207

Lastly, if we examine into the genealogy and country of all those bards that Nennius mentions, we shall find that they are British only in the restricted sense of Welshmen. None of these are men of Kent, or Sussex, or Yorkshire—I mean of those counties which we now know by these familiar names.


This is a fact of the same nature as those which I first tabulated.

All these are positive facts.

But there are also negative facts of some significance.

Though the fate of Trenn and of Penguem is feelingly told, yet no bard tells the tale of the fell of Anderida, or the battle of Wippedsfleot.

The authentic Welsh Bards have not preserved one Lloegrian name, or one Lloegrian tradition in a credible form, while they extol to the skies Gherent of Cornwall, Maenwin of Gwened, Urien of Reged, and Kendelan of Powis.208

And while we have British lays of British encounters with the West Saxon and the Angle, there is none which tells of encounters with the Jutes and South Saxons, and there is no bard who is recorded to have related such.

This, therefore, which cannot be accident, must lead us to the conclusion, that in the woes or in the glories of the Lloegrians, the bard and, his Keltic hearers felt that they had no concern or part, for they were aliens and enemies. The conquests of Kent, of Sussex, of Essex, of Wessex, [p.149] of Bemlcia and Deira, were nothing to them. But when the German pushed his aggression into Keltic territories, then the bard could commemorate the deeds done, and the misfortunes suffered, by kings and chiefs of his own and kindred states.

These facts positive and negative completely refute the position that the Lloegrians were Keltic.

There is another argument, and a strong one, derivable from the name Kymri. The name is not archaic, and is etymologically explainable.

Zeuss has demonstrated the meaning and etymology of Kymri. It means compatriot, and nothing else.209 In its origin it is not a proper name. But it became so after the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

It is applied by Llywarch Hen to his own Keltic countrymen, as contradistinguished from the Lloegrians.210 The latter were not Keltic, for the Kelts reject and disown them.

The Keltic Britons would appear to have adopted this new-fangled name, as a bond of union among themselves, and as a mark of exclu- [p.150] sion of all aliens in blood. For Briton was a name common to all these insular subjects of the empire—to the Lloegnan equally as to themselves.

We thus find that the Loegrians and the Romano-Britons—Caesar's Belgae—were distinguished in race and language, as in feeling, from the Kymri, i.e. they were not Welsh.

It only now remains to be investigated, were they Germanic?

In the doubt in which Caesar has left us, an examination of language is the only test left to determine the question, and I think that it is able to do so satisfactorily.

Those who hold the opinion that the so-called Anglo-Saxon language was that which the Anglo-Saxon spoke on his advent, and imposed upon his new subjects to the suppression of their own, whether Keltic or Latin, are hopelessly refuted by the nature and character of the language itself.

We have no statement or intimation anywhere made that the language of the governed and of the governing classes was at any time different. We must therefore hold that the two sections spoke the same language. Of this language we [p.151] have specimens in all its dialects. These linguistically are four only. West Saxon, Mercian, East Anglian, and Northumbrian.

The first, the dialect of the entire kingdom of the West Saxons, was also the language of Kent, Sussex, and Essex.

Of this language the oldest examples transmitted to us belong to Kent. I allude to the laws of Ζthelbert, and the boundaries stated vernacularly in a charter of that king.211

There is no reason to suppose that the laws are modernized, the more particularly as in their present appearance they present archaicisms.

Now the language of these documents is a pure and rich Teutonic.

A Teutonic dialect would be naturally expected in Wessex, Sussex, and Essex, as these countries took their names from Saxon invaders.

But how is this form of dialect consistent with the Jutish occupation of Kent? The Jutes, who occupied that country, were unquestionably of Scandinavian strain. And if they were the sole or the predominating inhabitants of Kent, the dialect of that country would present the peculiar [p.152] and unmistakeable properties of the Norraena. But the language of Kent presents nothing whatever of the kind.

It is clear, therefore, that so far as Kent is concerned the Jutes had not imposed their language upon the natives, any more than they had imposed their name upon the country. But as the natives had induced their conquerors to retain the name, so also they more easily prevailed upon the descendants of those conquerors to speak the language of the country.

If we next examine the dialects of the Anglian countries of England, viz., Northumberland, Mercia, and East Anglia (of all of which we have specimens),212 we again find only a contradiction.


For though the occupants of these countries, as commonly understood, were Angles, i.e. Scandinavians, the language of them all is Teutonic, and is also the same language as that of Kent.

Here, therefore, we have again the same difficulty as in Kent, accompanied, in the case of Northumbria, by the same fact of the native names of the country being preserved—Bemicia and Deira.

Finally, the dialect of Essex, Middlesex and Wessex is, as it might be expected to be, Teutonic; and at the same time it is, what it might not be expected to be, the same dialect as all those which have been previously discussed.

In fact, all these dialects are identical in the essential and fundamental properties of a language, in grammar, construction, and vocables; and this identity exists notwithstanding the fact, [p.154] that between the natives of Kent, East Anglia, Mercia, Wessex, and Northumbria--if they are to be considered as exclusively Jutes, Angles, and Saxons—privity of blood can be presumed.

And as the one did not teach philology to the other, there must, therefore, have been a common source for this identity of language.

But before we endeavour to trace this source we will direct our attention to the form of the Teutonic language of Anglo-Saxon England.

In this language there are strong and startling peculiarities as contrasted with both and either of the Saxon dialects of the continent.

In the first place, it is polished to a degree of refinement, combined with an extent of force and strength, that no other Germanic dialect has ever exhibited.

It has also, at some prehistoric period, undergone that process of phonetic softening which the elimination of consonants confers upon a language.

Each of these things is an irrefragable mark of length of time consumed in the process of cultivation.

Now, the conditions under which a language is thus perfected are these, and these exclusively. There has been a primitive state of civilized [p.155] society, which has softened and polished a previously rude or harsh language. There has been a succession and perpetuation of that civilized society which has maintained and upheld the language in its improved and cultivated form.

The latter condition is as necessary as the first, for this failing the language falls to pieces, and takes a weaker form of barbarism and phonetic decay.

Eighty years after the Jutish conquest of Kent we find a rich and polished language, and that language is not confined to Kent, but extends to Wessex, Sussex, and Essex. How is this fact reconcilable with either of the conditions before given?

Further, the Teutonic language of Anglo-Saxon England is not the Teutonic of the continent. There are broad and substantial differences which insuperably oppose any effort to identify and reconcile them.

It has two letters and sounds unknown to the continent of Germany, viz., the theta and the w.

It has an inflection which no German dialect has ever had, viz.: the formation of a plural of nouns in "as" and "es."


It inflects nouns by change of vowel from slender to broad, and vice versa only,—not, as the Teutonic, by both combined.

The Anglo-Saxon theta could not have been imparted by the Saxons, for they had at no time had it.

Though found equally in Anglo-Saxon runes as in the Anglo-Saxon alphabet, it is not found in the German runes. The Anglo-Saxon alphabet shares this letter with the Gothic and Scandinavian alphabets, but the letter w belongs to itself and the Gothic alone.

These things, as they show an alphabet, so do they also show a language older than the German—an original, considered relatively to that language: for the Anglo-Saxon has, what the other has not,—an undeniable sign that it is an original and not a descendant of the German.

The common source of the dialects of Anglo-Saxon England is, therefore, not to be sought in any common language of the conquerors. For they had no common language.

The Jutes, before they settled in Kent, did not speak German; the Angles, before they settled in Mercia and East Anglia, did not speak German; [p.157] but each the distinct and remarkable dialect of Scandinavia.213

The Saxons of Wessex spoke then and since a dialect strongly contrasted with what was then and is now spoken in any part of Germany in what it has and what it has not.

The common source of these accordant dialects cannot be found in Germany, but must be sought for elsewhere.

For the only conclusion to be drawn from the facts which I have given is, that Jute, Saxon and Angle, when we know them in history, no longer spoke the language of his specific nationality.

He spoke the language of the country in which he had settled. This and not a language of the Germanic continent is the common source from which the Anglo-Saxon dialects are derived.


The common source which gave a common tongue to all these varied Invaders was the tongue of their own subjects, which they had no choice in circumstances but to adopt and use.

Of the justness of this conclusion, there is also other evidence in the language itself.

There is an unnoticed phase in the Anglo-Saxon dialects which is demonstrative of their being a language spoken at one period by a Germanic nation conversant with Romans. They are studded with Roman words so rife and so frequent, that we may classify them. These words, while they run through all the life of the Anglo-Saxon in peace and in war, embody the civilization of Rome in its most conventional forms.

That the impress of the Imperial City in the nomenclature is broad and deep, the reader will see by referring to the Appendix. These Roman words could only have been found by the invaders imbedded in the language of their subjects; they could not have been acquired by these invaders after their occupation of the country, for the only mode of introduction of the Latin language then was through the clergy, and the matters to which these words relate [p.159] were not such as fell within the province of the Church.

These things demonstrate that the language which we call Anglo-Saxon was the adopted and not the native tongue of the invaders, who exchanged the rude accents of Jutland, Anglen, and primitive Saxony, for that combination of nervous and harmonious sounds with never-ending variety, that something profluens et canorum, now called Anglo-Saxon.

This language was the tongue of the Belgae, for no other tongue is left to that nation. That section of the encroaching Germans had, before Caesar's time, intruded into the fair meads and well stocked hunting-grounds of the British Kelt, provoking that strife which was destined for so many succeeding generations to make the British Isles a scene of irreconcilable hatred and never-ceasing bloodshed.

One word more whilst we are upon the subject of language. In a former part of this work we identified the sixhyndman with the Roman. An interesting question now arises. When did he relinquish his choice and beautiful language for the less polished accents of the British Belgae. Though we cannot answer this question as to time, [p.160] we can easily understand how and by what means he abandoned the Latin tongue.

When the Anglo-Saxon was paramount the Latin language lost its supremacy, and the Roman, hemmed in between the Germanic dialects of the colonus and the thegn, in his own despite followed the example of Ovid. And as the poet learnt a barbarian tongue to dispel his ennui, so the Roman or Britanno-Roman learnt a cognate dialect in order the better to pursue his new destiny of minister to his northern masters.

The reader, if there shall be so indulgent a person, must now determine whether I have established, that, instead of a fire-new nationality from Germany, we have a nationality of an older Germanic source which revived on the fall of Rome,—a nationality that can take its place for antiquity of settlement by the side of the Gaul and the Iberian.

If the reader has gone so far, I will trouble him further with some remarks upon what I consider to be the real conditions under which the Anglo-Saxon conquests were commenced and completed.

An examination of the dates assigned by the Anglo-Saxons to their conquests over the Lloegrians will show that they were not so early upon [p.161] the Roman abandonment as is commonly supposed. Between the last conquest and the departure of the Roman army, there intervened a period of nearly a century and a half.

This, the most interesting period that a native of this island can conceive, has been generally considered to be lost to history.

Through the veil of obscurity, however, that enwraps this period of independence, we obtain certain glimpses of historic certainty.

The Romano-British cities became independent at a date more or less preceding the letters which Honorius addressed to them in the year 410. Before that year we learn from Zosimus that the inhabitants of Britain had, though unwillingly and under the pressure of circumstances, set up a [Greek], or general government of their own.

This independence, so assumed by them, may in other words be thus expressed,—their cities became independent of the Roman civil governor, and the imperial treasurer, and military commandant. They thus became independent of the empire in a civil, military and financial sense, and must have appointed their own offi- [p.162] cers, who should take the place of those three great imperial functionaries.214

This state of independence on the part of the southern Briton revived the old aggression of Pict and Scot, and invited the new hostility of the western Brito-Kelt, who seized his opportunity, when the Roman peacemaker had left the island, to feed his ancient grudge against the Lloegrian.

The cities of south Britain substantially, however, though with varying success, kept their invaders at bay. This sustained resistance on their part proves that they possessed large organized forces and efficient leaders. It also affirms a confederacy of the cities; and it may be plausibly urged, that an alliance which could repel such fierce invaders provides an adequate motive, as the period of freedom supplies a sufficient time, for the erection of Stonehenge, a fit council ground for the meeting of the civitates of Belgic Britain.

But, finally, all these enemies, the old and the new, were too much for such powers of endurance as the southern Briton possessed. After trying a [p.163] few generations of continual fighting, the civilized Britons found out that they wanted a military caste. This want they adroitly succeeded in supplying by detaching the Saxons from the barbarica conspiratio,215 and by the aid of their new allies they inflicted the full measure of retaliation upon Pict, Scot, and Brito-Kelt. That this plain and unromantic statement is the true exegesis of the Anglo-Saxon conquest or occupation, an examination of contemporaneous accounts irrefutably demonstrates.

The contemporaneous accounts to which I allude are the notices to be found in Zosimus, Prosper of Aquitaine (or Tiro), and Constantius of Lyons. As these are the only records of the times which have come down to us, it is almost unnecessary to observe that apart from these authors the truth of the Anglo-Saxon occupation can now nowhere be found. Gildas, Beda and Nennius must be discarded without hesitation and reserve.

The facts told by the contemporaneous historians are these.

The Britons being deserted by the Roman [p.164] armies, and at the same time pressed upon by hostile barbarians, take up arms in their own defence without the imperial authorization.216 This was a violation of the Lex Julia, but, though involving the assumption of political independence, was not, as we may gather from Zosimus, a voluntary act of rebellion on their part.

The date of this arming and defection may be reached with tolerable correctness. They both took place, as we are positively assured by Zosimus, during the period in which Constantinus the usurper maintained his position, that is, from A.D. 407 to A.D. 411.

This Constantinus was elected emperor by the Roman army in Britain, sometime in the year 407. But this did not take place until after his two predecessors in Britain, Marcus and Gratianus, had been elected and murdered, the election of Constantinus not occurring until four months after the murder of Gratianus.

As all this happens in the same year, we cannot ascribe the election of Constantinus to an early part of 407, but must assign its date to the close of that year. After his election we find that he removes the Roman troops from Britain; begins and [p.165] completes a successful campaign in Gaul against the imperial generals; takes measures for the repression of the roving barbarians; and despatches an expedition into Spain under the command of his son Constans, who, after having been equally fortunate in his own military exploits, returns to Gaul, prepares and commands another expedition into the same country, and carries though another campaign.

The major and more effective portion of the Roman army being under these circumstances absent in Spain, the barbarians who were in Gaul and in Britain harass these countries to such an extent that the provincials take up arms against them, and in so doing assume their own independence of the empire, the Britons, we are informed, giving the example to the Gauls.

For all these events, which are told in some detail by Zosimus, we must allow two or three years. By these means we arrive at the year 409. Under this year we have the following corroborative statement of the chronicler Prosper, brief and dry certainly, but emanating from one who lived at the period in question: "Hac tempestate pras valetudinc Romanorum vires funditus attenuate Britannia—that is, "in consequence of [p.166] the weakness of the Romans the strength of Britain was fundamentally weakened." The meaning of this sentence is neither more nor less than this—that in consequence of the removal of the imperial troops the Britons were left without special protection against the inroads of the northern and Saxon barbarians. They were free, however, to avail themselves of their own courage and resources, and they did so with effect; for before the year 410 they had liberated their cities and territories from the barbarians who were pressing upon them.

In 410 the emperor Honorius relaxed the Lex Julia in favour of the Britons; and, to use the words of the edict in which it was embodied, he "monished them to protect themselves."217 These latter words are to be noted. They are found in another and similar imperial edict issued to the general Roman world in the year 440, when Genseric the Vandal was threatening with his fleet the coasts of the empire, and they must therefore be taken as the technical words which enured to a relaxation of the Lex Julia.218


Here our information stops, and for twenty years afterwards there is a blank in the history of free Britain which no effort can supply.

After this lapse of time we again step forward into the light, and Constantius the monk comes to our assistance.

In 429 St. Crermanus219 visits South Britain, and finds Saxons warring conjointly with Picts against the Romano-Briton upon his own soil. The barbarians, however, are not invincible, but on the contrary experience a severe defeat at the [p.168] hands of the Britons. For these facts we have the indisputable authority of Constantius in his biography of the saint

Another blank occurs, and twelve years pass away. But during this lapse the partnership for destruction and plunder which had as we have seen subsisted between the Saxons and the Picts, has been dissolved, and the Saxons appear without their former allies. In A.D. 441, the Saxons are masters of Britain—at least of some parts of it. Under that year Prosper says: "Britanniζ usque ad hoc tempus variis cladibus eventibusque laceratas in ditionem Saxonum rediguntur,"220 i. 6., after being torn by many previous calamities, the Britons submit themselves to the authority of the Saxons. The date given to this fact by Prosper cannot be justly disputed, as we have seen that in a preceding date he is corroborated by Zosimus, whose accuracy is beyond dispute.

At this date Constantius again comes to our aid, and through him we are enabled to trace out the nature and character of the submission of the [p.169] free but harassed Britons to their new masters and protectors. In A.D. 448, St. Germanus visits South Britain for the second and last time. His historian, Constantius, as he speaks of no war or turbulence in those days, so he leads us to infer that all was then peace, or what in that age would be considered so, in those parts which he visited.

This comment of Constantius upon the text of Prosper unlocks the whole mystery of the Anglo-Saxon occupation. Peace at this early period between the Briton and the Anglo-Saxon demonstrates that this submission of the Briton was a free and voluntary coalition with the Saxon, following upon the separation of the latter from the ferocious and more barbarous Pict.221

This fact of course raises the question—Why did the Saxon dissolve his partnership with the Pict? The same sense of an advantage, or the same need of an ally, which prompted him to form an alliance, would compel him to continue it, for it must not be forgotten that the Saxon was a [p.170] robber by sea and strand, not an invader of territory and an aggressor of inland cities, like the Frank and the Alleman. And we have seen that even as conjoint armies the hordes of Saxon and Pict were not invincible. Singly, therefore, the Saxon might reasonably expect. In spite of his undaunted valour, that the equally courageous and more disciplined Romano-Briton should at least be his match.

The plunderer and soldier of fortune in all ages, as he does not fight for chivalry and sentiment, so he never tempts a danger or incurs a labour which are beside the object of gain ever proposed to his mind. The Saxon, therefore, did not contend single-handed with the Briton when he left the alliance of the Pict; for such a line of conduct was too obviously opposed to the views for which he had left his native shores. He did not isolate himself from both contending parties, but entered the military service of the Briton; and in conjunction with him repulsed and destroyed the other invaders of this island.222


The result is well known. When the Pict and Scot had fled for ever from the scene of their ravages, and the Kymric Briton had suffered a retribution which has left its material traces at this day,223 the victorious Anglo-Saxon leaders were permitted by a gracious providence to initiate the glorious monarchy of England.224



P. 17. The assertion in the text is borne out by the testimony of Ammianus (lib. 28, c. 2, p. 12): "Nee quisquam adventum eorum cavere poterat inopinum, non destinata sed varia petentium et longinqua, et quoquo ventus duxerat, irrumpentium; quam ob causam prae caeteris hostibus Saxones timentur ut repentine."

P. 23. In proof of the assertion in the text that the Anglo-Saxon landowner could not alienate his property without the consent of the king, the following evidences are submitted:

Eanberht, Uhtred and Aldred, private persons, sell and convey to Headda "terram juris nostri." They do so "cum licentia et permissione pussimi regis Osani Merciorum." (Kemble, vol. I, p. 128, A.D. 759.)

Oswald, A.D. 962, conveys land of the same character ''mid geđafunge and leafe Eadwardes Angul cyninges and Iferes Mercna heretogan." (2 Kemble, p. 383.) The same formula is repeated by the same vendor in other conveyances; vide Kemble, vol. 2 and vol. 3, passim.

Healthegn Scearpa, A.D. 1026, grants land "per concessionem domini mei regis Cnut." (4 Kemble, p. 32.)


Eadsig, A.D. 1032, obtains the consent of Cnut and Ζlfgifu, "aet he moste ateon aet land aet Apoldre swa him sylfan leofost waere." (4 Kemble, p. 37.)

Bishop Ljrfing, A.D. 1038, conveys an estate "cum licentia Haroldi regis ac Leofrici duels Merciorum." (4 Kemble, p. 59.)

The same bishop does the same thing in A.D. 1042, "cum licentia Heardecnuti regis ac Leofrici duels Merciorum." (Ibid. p. 69.)

At p. 262 of 4 Kemble is a licence of King Eadward to alienate.

Leofric and Godgyfii settle land upon St. Mary's Church for a service: "eallswa man haef on Paules byrig binnan Lundene." This is done "be Eadweardes cynges fulra leafe." (4 Kemble, p. 290.)

An exchange of land is made A.D. 956 between a bishop and an abbot, and it is said that "is wζs Eadwiges leaf cyninges." (5 Kemble, p. 378).

At p. 232 of vol. 4 of Kemble is a general confirmation by King Eadward of previous grants: "And ic wille đoet aelc đaera landa đe on mines fader daege laeg into Christes cyrcean, waere hit kinges gife, waere hit bisceopes, waere hit eorles, waere hit egenes, call ic willeđaet aelces mannes gife stande."

As to the burgess, see Ellis's "General Introduction to Domesday," p. 107, et seq.

In proof of the assertion in the text that realty could not be devised without the consent (prior or subsequent) of the king, the following evidences are submitted:

The will of Beohtric and Ζlfswyđ contains a [p.175] legacy to the Queen "to foresprasce aet se cwyde standan mihte." (Kemble, vol. 2, p. 380.) Afterwards (p. 381) is a prayer, "And ic bidde for Godes lufan minne leofan hlaford đaet he ne đafige đast aenig man unceme cwyde awaende."

Ζlfheah (A.D. 965-975) makes his will, "be his cyne hiafordes geđafuncge." He commences with this announcement, and ends thus, "and đisserae geđa-funcga đas se cynung geuđae is to gewitnasssae Ζlfđryđ đζs cynincges wif." (3 Kemble, pp. 127, 128.)

Wulfwaru in her will (3 Kemble, p. 293) says, "Ic Wulfwaru bidde mine leofan hlaford^elred kyning him to aehnyssan đaet ic mote beon mines cwydes wyrđe." She devises her patrimonial estate.

At pp. 314, 315, of 2 Kemble, is a record showing how King ethelred "geuđe đaet Ađerices cwyde aet Boccinge standan moste."

Queen Ζlfgyfu {A.D. 1012) begins her will in these words, "Jjis ys Ζlfgyfae geguming to hire cyne hlafordae, past is fast heo hine bitt for Grodes lufun and for cynescypae đaet heo mote beon hyre cwydes wyrse." (2 Kemble, p. 359.) In the course of the dispositions (p. 360) she devises her own estate "be mines hiafordes geđafungae."

Ζthelstan Ζtheling by his will (2 Kemble, p. 362) gives an estate to Ζlmere, adding, "And ic bidde minne feder for Godes Ζimihtiges lufan and for minon đait ho đes geunne đe ic him geunncn hebbe." He afterwards (p. 364) begs all the witan to assist, "aet min cwvde standan mote, swa mines feder leaf on minon cyde steut."


This will is also given by Mr. Kemble in his third volume, and there the King's consent to his son's will is set out at length (p. 363), "Nu ancige ic minen feđer mid ealre eadmodnesse on Grodes Ζlmihtiges naman đaere andsware đe he me sonde on đone frjdsd aefter middes sumeres messe degbas ΖIfgare Ζlfan suna; đast wass đaet he me cydde a mines feder worde đaet ic moste be Codes leafe and be his geunnen minre are and minre ashta swa me mest red đuhte asgđer ge for Gode ge for worulde; and đisse andsware is gewitnesse Eadmund min brođor, &c."

At p. 200 of the fourth volume of Mr. Kemble's Collection is a licence of King Eadward to "Urces lafe" to devise her land.

See also the will of Ζlfhelm (4 Kemble, p. 300), of Ζlfgar (6 Kemble, p. 12).

P. 32. The following legal excerpts will illustrate the various patrimonial onera.

First, as to the "murorum exstructio." "Omnes provinciarum rectores Uteris moneantur, ut sciant ordines atque incolas urbium singularum muros vel novos debere facere vel veteres firmius renovare; scilicet hoc pacto impendiis ordinandis, ut adscriptio currat pro viribus singulorum, deinde adscribantur pro aestimatione operis futuri territoria civium, ne plus poscatur aliquid quam necessitas imperaverit, neve minus ne instans impediatur effectus. Oportet namque per singula non sterilia juga, certa quaeque distribui, ut par cunctis praebendorum sump- [p.177] tttum necessitas imponator." (Cod. lib. 8, tit. 11, p. 12.)

"Ad portus et aquaeductus et murorum instaurationem sive extructionem omnes certatim facta operarum collatione instare debent." (Cod. lib. 8, tit. 11, p. 7.)

"Turres novi muri quid ad munitionem splendidissimas urbis exstructus est, completo opere praecipimus eorum usui deputari, per quorum terras idem mums studio ac provisione tuse magnitudinis ex nostrse serenitatis arbitrio celebratur. Eadem lege in perpetuum et conditione servanda ut annis singulis hi, ad quorum jura terrulas demigraverint, proprio sumptu earum instaurationem slbimet intelligant procurandam, earumque usu publico beneficio potientes, curam reparationis ac solicitudinem ad se non ambigant pertinere. Ita enim et splendor operis et civitatis munitio cum privatorum usu et utilitate servabitur.'' (Cod. 8, tit. 11, p. 18.)

''Constructioni murorum * * * universi sine uno privilegio coartentur; ita ut in his dumtaxat titulis universi portione susa possessionis et jugationis ad hsac moenia coartentur: quo ita demum, a summis ad infirmos usque sarcina decurrente, ferendi oneris non leve solatium, sed in commune omnibus proturum, communi labore curetur." (Cod. Theod. lib. 15, tit. 1, p. 49.)

The Itinerum, sive viarum munitio, and pontium instructio, may be thus illustrated:

"Emphjteucarii possessores, qui mansuetudinis [p.178] nostras beneficio ad extraordinaria minime devocantur munera, sicut caeteri provinciales obsequium suum itineribus muniendis impendant. Nulla enim ratione debent ab hoc, quod in commune omnibus profuturum est, sejungi." (Cod. 11, tit. 65, 1.)

"Absit ut nos instructionem viae publicae et pontium stratarumque opera, titulis majorum principum dedicata inter sordida munera numeremus. Igitur ad instructiones reparationesque itinerum pontiumque nullum genus hominum, nuUiusque dignitatis ac venerationis meritis cessare oportet." (Cod. 11, tit. 75, 4.)

"Nam sunt viae publicae quae publico muniuntur et auctorum nomina obtinent. Nam et curatores accipiunt et per redemp tores muniuntur, et in quarundam tutelam a possessoribus per tempora summa certa exigitur^ (Siculus Flaccus de Conditionibus Agrorum, Lachman, p. 146.)

That the prosbitio or praestatio tironura was a patrimonial onus will appear from the following excerpts:

"Tironum praebitio in patrimoniorum viribus potius quam in personarum muneribus conlocetur," et seqq. (Cod. Theod. lib. 7, t. 13, p. 7.)

"Reparandi feliciter exercitus cura, conferri debere tirones a possessore censuimus." (Leges Novelise Theodosii, A. tit. 41, p. 1.)

Vegetius (lib. 1) speaks of the jobbing of recruiting officers and landlords in the following words:

"Dum longa pax milites negligentius incuriosius- [p.179] que legit * * * * duni possessoribus addict! tirones per gratiam aut dissimulationem probantium tales sociantur annis quales domini habere fastijliunt."

P. 32. "Cum ad. felicissimam expeditionem numinis nostri omnium provincialium per loca, qua iter arripimus, debeant nobis solita ministeria exhiberi,'' et seqq. (Cod. 10, tit. 49, p. 2.)

P. 158. The following words, Anglo-Saxon and Roman, culled here and there, will illustrate what I have asserted.

ceaster.       castrum.225
port.          portus.
strset.         strata.
weall.         vallum.


carcem.         career.
      camp.          campus.226
funte.         foiis.227
meowle.          mulier.
fcBmne.          foemina.
wencle.          anciUa.
mangere.          magnarius.228
Bceacere.          exactor.
segn.          signmn.
])rifn.          turma.
getrum.          turma.
sweot.          secta.
           cortSer.         cohors, cohortis.
demm.         damnum.229
profian.          probare.230
pund.          pondo.
eln.          ulna.
ince.          uncia.
sester.          sextarius.
                mil.          mille for millepassuum
mytte, mytta.          modius.

amber.           amphora.
ampulle.           ampulla.
cyl.           euleus.
eyste.           eista.
dise.           disens.
aneer.           anehora.
tigol.           tegula.
essfester.           eapistrum.
fan.           vannus.
eulter.           eulter.
fore.           firea.
pffill.           pallium.
loth.           lodix.
symbel.           eymbola.
myuet.           moneta.
ostre.           ostrea.
ele.           oleum.
pepper, pipor.             piper.            
hζnep.           cannabis.
pise.           pisum.
lin.           linum.
fie.           fieus.
pyrige.           pyrus.
cisten.           castanus.
cirse.           cerasus.
eyrf.           sorbus.
cawl.           caulis.
ortgeard.           hortus.
mul.           mulus.
mul.           mullus.

cyse.           caseum.
coc.            coquus.
cycene.            coquina.
candel.            candela.
spyrta.            sporta.
spata (Ζlfric).            spatha.        
tζfel.            tabula.

This list may be very considerably augmented by any one who will take the trouble to search the dictionaries and the diplomata. But probably the instances which I have given are sufficient evidence to support my position.

It must also be observed that the Roman names of the cities of Britain have in a great many instances come to us in a form nearly Roman, e.g. London, York, Manchester, Winchester, Dover, &c.

In other instances the Roman names have also come down to us, but not under such plain and candid forms. One of these perverted appellations is Rochester.

The "Hrofesceaster" of the Anglo-Saxon and the "Durobrivae" of the Roman and the Romano-Briton are one and the same, and "Hrof" is nothing but a fragment of the Roman word. The honest old north-country monk Beda, like the French traveller, "qui prit le Piree pour un homme," turned Hrof into a Saxon chieftain—"quidam primarius." (P. 151 of the Historic Society's edition.)

So the Roman predecessor of Carisbrook from [p.183] Wihtwara byrig became, first, Wihtgara byrig (see Thorpe's Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, p. 26, sub A.D. 530), and, secondly, Wihtgares byrig, and Vectis was merged into the fabulous warrior Wihtgar, whom one tradition makes a Saxon and another makes a Jute. (See Asser as quoted at p. 10; Thorpe's Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, sub A.D. 534, p. 27.)

So also out of "Portus magnus" was fabricated the mythic Saxon Forty who gave his name to Portsmouth. (Thorpe's Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, p. 24, sub A.D. 501.) But there is no need to wonder at these fictions. The unlettered are as fond of etymons as the learned, and it is human nature to invent where we cannot find an explanation. Thus the red hand of Ulster has excited fiction in many a humble homestead even of unimaginative England.


1 For gesith, see Wihtraed's Laws, c. 21, and Ine's Laws, c. 60. For gesithcund, see the Laws, passim. In the first reference I take the reading given by Dr. Schmid.

2 De B. G., lib. 6, c. 22.

3 De M. G.

4 Tacit. Hist iv. 12. "Transmissis illnc cohortibus, quas, retere institato, nobilissimi popnlarinm regebant."

5 Rectitudines singularum personarum, sub thegnes riht.

6 "Rad đa innan đa land mid đζm wife butan witena dome (Hickes, Thesaurus Ling. vett. Sept. vol. 2, p. 59).
    "Cantwara deman," (Hlothaere and Eadric's Laws, c. 8; Laws of Eadgar, c. 3, and of Cnut, c. 15; LL. Hen. 1, c 29). "Scyr. men" (Ine's Laws, c. 8).

7 In the Dialogs Ecgbarti (Thorpe's Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, vol. 2, p. 92) one of the interlocutors says: "Nisi aut dignitas natalium vel nobilitas generis majus reposcat pretium. Non enim justum est, ut servitium sanctae professionis in meliori gradu perdat quod exterior vita sub laico habitu habuisse jure parentum dinoscitur."

8 Asser (Edit Oxon. 1722, pp. 4, 6) says of Osburh, Alfred's mother, that she was "nobilis ingenio, nobilis et genere, qus erat la Oslac famosi pincema Ζtlilwulfi regis; qui Oslac Gothus erat natione, ortus enim erat de Gothis et Jutis, de semine scilicet Stuf et Wihtgar."

9 Late in the 5th century they were still confined to Holstein. Stephanus Byzantinus (A.D. 490) says, "[Greek]."

10 Hist. c. 88.

11 Prosper Aquitanus (A.D. 455) says only, "Britannia tuque ad hoc tempus variis cladibus eventibusqtte lacerata in ditionem Saxonum rediguntur" (see post); and Stephanus Byzantinus (A.D. 490) thus categorically asserts the survival of the Roman Britons: "[Greek] (i.e., Britain) [Greek]."

12 That the Anglic kings of Northumberland called themselves and were called by their subjects Kings of the "Bernicii" and "Deiri," see Eddius's Vita Wilfridi (A.D. 730), pp. 214, 219, 259; St. Boniface's epistles to Osred, rex Berniciorum et Deirorum (A.D. 765); and Beda's History, p. 153, of the Historic Society's edition. For evidence that the Deirians and Bemicians were British and not Anglic, see post. For Cantuarii see Beda's History, p. 111. For Centisemen see Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

13 For the authorities for these assertions the reader is referred to the Appendix.

14 Frontinus de Controversiis Agrorum (Lachman's Gromatici Veteres, p. 35): "per Italiam ubi nullus ager est tributarius." At p. 86 these estates are spoken of as "agri immunes et privati." See also Agennius (pp. 62, 63—Lachman).

15 The possessio in the provinces is passed lightly over by Savigny, and is not noticed at all by M. Macx. There exist, however, very good materials for its elucidation in Gains and the agrimensores. Its interest, as being the type which the Roman conqueror selected for the subject world, is undeniably great, and is heightened by the fact that it continued to have a legal existence until the days of Justinian, who at length abolished the distinction between this and quiritarian property (Cod. 7, tit. 25).

16 In regard to the ownership being in the state, Gains lays down a general position in these words: "In eo solo (i.e., in solo provincial!) dominium populi Romani est vel Csesaris. Nos autem possessionem tantum et usumfructum. habere videmur" (Comm. lib. 2, s. 7; see also the same author, lib. 2, s. 21). With the same meaning, Frontinus (Lachman, p. 36, De Controversiis Agrorum) remarks, "Habent autem rovincise ... stipendiarios (supple agros), qui nexum non habent." As the ownership was in the state, so it would ever remain; for by law there could be no defeasance arising out of "usucapio,'' or prescriptive occupation; any person so usurping or occupying land could only hold it under its old title of possessor without acquiring a better one. Aggenus Urbicus (p. 82) remarks: "Jurisperiti ... negant illud solum, quod solum populi Romani ccepit esse ullo modo usucapi a quopiam mortal ium posse." In the same intent Gaius (lib. 2, s. 46) observes, "Item provincialia prsedia usucapionem non recipiunt." In regard to the purposes of the tenure Frontinus (Lachman, p. 36) says, "Possidere enim illis (i.e., possessoribus) quasi fiructus tollendi causae et prsestandi tributi conditione concessum est." The same agrimensor calls the posses" stones "agros stipendiarios." Gaius (lib. 2, s. 21) says, "In eadem causae sunt provincialia praedia, quorum alia stipendiaria, alia tributaria," &c.

17 Gaius, lib. 2, s. 21. Frontinus (Lachman, p. 36) observes upon this, "Veneunt sed nee mancipatio eorum legitima potest esse." Mancipation, which, meant a conveyance of absolute property, applied not only to a bona fide sale, but also to a devise by will; for the mancipation, or imaginary sale of an hereditas, was a testament. (Gaius, lib. 2, s. 102.) These possessiones, as our last authority shows, notwithstanding the strict principle of law, were in fact alienated by will and deed, or descended to the heirs in the due course of nature; and, for all practical purposes, such a title was perhaps as good as one apparently better, because as regarded the world it was private property, and no person could usurp a possessio with any greater facility than he could usurp an estate of ager privatus. Frontinus (Lachman, p. 36), speaking of the possessiones, says, "neque posudendc ab alio qusfi (acquiri) possunt;" and further on he says, "Vindicant (i.e., possessores) tamen inter se non minus fines ex quo ac si privatorum agrorum. Etenim civile est debere ece discretum finem habere, quatenus quisque aut eolere se sciat oportere, aut ille qui jure possidet possidere. Nam et controversias inter ae tales caveat qoaks in agus immunibus et priratis."

18 See ante, in note, p. 27.

19 The instance of resumption quoted by Savigny from Orosius is less strong, as it refers to property in the hands of the public priesthood of Rome, which the state reclaimed and sold. The passage is as follows:—"Namque eodem anno (i.e. ann. 661) ... loca publica quae in circuitu capitolii pontificibus, anguribus, decemviris et flaminibus in possessionem tradita erant, cogente inopi vendita sunt." (Savigny on Possession, p. 137. Sir Perry's translation.)

20 See ante, in note, p. 25.

21 See Gaius, ante, in note, p. 27.

22 A law of Valentinian, Theodosius and Arcadius (A.D. 386, Cod. lib. 10, tit. 34, s. 1) is clear upon this subject. "Si quis decurionum vel rustica pnedia, vel urbana venditor necessitate coactus addicit, interpellet judicem competentem, omnes que causas sigillatim, quibus strangulatur, exponat et ita demum distrahendae possessionis facultatem accipiat, si alienationis necessitatem probaverit. Infirma enim venditio erit, si haec fuerit forma neglecta," &c. This passage is specially directed to the possessio of a decurion, but by necessary implication it shows that the same form was by strict law applicable to the cases of possessio held by any other person of a different position; the law in fact being revived for more cogent application to the case of the decurion for reasons of state.

23 For the authorities in proof of these assertions, see Appendix.

24 The Rectitudines (p. 432, vol. i., Thorpe) affirms this position. Of the thegn it is said "Ƿet he Ƿreo Ƿinc of his lande do, fyrdftereld, and burhbote and brycgeweorc." And see also the Diplomata generally, and Laws of Ζthelred, post. The charter of the Confessor to the Abbey of Evesham (4 Kemble, No. 801, A.D. 1054) contains the same old reservation. There was a brycgbot for London, A.D. 1097 (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle). In A.D. 1088, William the Red availed himself of the fyrd, according to Anglo-Saxon forms and rules. When he was besieging the Castle of Rochester, he (says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicler) "bead thaet sic man the waere unnithing sceolde cuman to him, Frencisce and Englisce." The Chronicler adds, "him com tha micel folc to."

25 Ellis's Domesday, p. 112.

26 Cfer, the "brycgeweore. on Hrofaceastre" in die Textus Roffensus (Oxon. 1720). For the better understanding of this very interesting record, it most be observed that Kent was sub-divided into two shires, East and West, conterminous with the ecclesiastical dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester. See Palgrave, vol. 2, ccclxxii, quoting the Tex. Roff. 116, and Sax. Chron. A.D. 999. See also 4 Kemble, p. 26; 6 Kemble, p. 81. The reader who will refer to the original will see that the bridge of Rochester was of timber. In the material, therefore, it resembled the majority of Roman bridges in the provinces—pontes tabellarii. Vide Orellios, vol. 2, pp. 70, 71, inscriptiones 3300, 3808.

27 The rubric to the 66th law of Cnut is "de vita pallicis sternendis," though the law itself in words refers only to the burhbot, brycgbot, and fyrd fare. Leo (Die Angelaschien Ortsnamen, p. 56, edit. Halle, 1842), apparently without being aware of this passage, lays down positively that brycg meant a made road.

28 Cnut, cc. 78, 79.

29 See post.

30 Ζthelred's Domas, c. 26 (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 310): "And beo man georne ymbe friđes bote and ymbe feos bote aeghwar on earde and ymbe burhbote on aeghwylcan ende and ymbe briebote and ymbe fyrdunga eac he Ƿam Ƿe man gerade da panne neod si"—i.e., according to what is always ordained when there is a necessity.

From other sources we learn that the ordinances touching these matters were royal bans.

Ζthelbald of Mercia (Kemble, vol. 1, p. 119} releases all monasteries and churches "a publicis vectigalibus et ab omnibus operibus oneribusque, nisi sola quae communiter fruenda sunt, omnique populo, edicio regis, facienda jubentur, id est instructionibus pontium, vel necessariis defensionibus arcium contra hostes non sunt renuenda."

The "Rectitudines," after enumerating the three necessities, adds, "Eac of manegum landum mare land riht arist to cyniges gebanne, swilce is deorhege," &c. A specimen of this ban, so far as regards the fyrd, is found in the Anglo-Saxon Chron. A.D. 1088. The king "bead đat ζle man, Ƿe waere unniđing sceolde cuman to him, Frencisce and Englisce, of parte and of uppelande."

31 Brycgeweorc and weallgeweorc are expressions nearly as common as brycgbot and burhbot: "And sy đis land selce đinges freols butan weallgcweorce and brycgeweorce," &c. (Charter of Aldred, temp, Edw. Confessor, A.D. 1049; Hickes' Thesaurus Linguarum Veterum Septentrionalium, vol. 1, p. 142.)

Oput pontii occurs in an inscription in Orellius, vol. 1, p. 95, inscript. 162.

32 Ine's Laws, cc. 14, 46, 52, 53 and 54; Ζlfed's Laws, c. 11, and elsewhere. The key-note to these texts is found in the "North leoda laga" (Thorpe, vol. 1, pp. 186, 188), and in the "Be leod geđincđum and lage" (ibid, p. 190), where the five hides are declared to be the qualifying estate of a "gesith" or "thegn."

33 Book of Ely, p. 132, "unum praedium aedificatum et LXXVI acras sicuti manne presbyter eas mensus est."

34 For the hid of 200 acres, see the authorities quoted in Leo's Rectitudines, p. 106. For the East-Anglian hides of 120 and 240 acres, see the Book of Ely, pp. 129, 132, 145 and 149.

35 See Morgan's England under the Norman Occupation, pp. 18-41.

36 Siculus Flaccus, De Conditionibus Agrorum (Lachman, p. 136).

37 Siculus Flaccus (Lachman, p. 159); Liber Coloniarum (ibid. pp. 214 and 245); Frontinus de Limitibus (ibid. p. 30); Aggenus Urbicus (ibid, p. 2); Isidorus (ibid. p. 368).

38 See Appian De Bellis Civilibus, lib. 1, c. 11. Appian, while he puts the extension granted by the lex Sempronia at 260 jugera to each son of the paterfamilias, does not limit the number of the sons. The number however was limited, as we learn from Livy through his epitomizer. The words of the latter are these (lib. 58): ''Ti. Sempronius Gracchus tribunus plebis cum legem agrariam ferret adversus voluntatem senatus et equestris ordinis, ne quis ex publico agro plus quam mille jugera possideret," &c.

39  "Arat Falerni mille fundi jugera."
        (In Vedium Rufum, lib. 5; ode 4.)
Again, in the first satire, he says:—"Vel die, quid referat intra
        Naturae fines viventi, jugera centum, an
        Mille aret?"

40  Frontinus (Lachman, p. 46) and also Agennius (ibid, p. 77) have the following remark: "Geminus in provinciis modus ab alio possidetur; ab alio ne quidem simplex." The context afterwards shows that the double modus contained it thousand Jugera. Allotments made beyond the modus were denominated concessi fundi, Hyginus (Lachman, p. 197) says, "Concessi sunt fundi ei, quibus est indultum, cum possidere uni cuique plus quam edictum continebat non liceret."

41 Agennius Urbicus (Lachman, pp. 84, 85).

42 Dolabella (Lachman, p. 304) says, "Ideoque si qui imperatorum aut consulum pugnantes terras adquisierunt nomini Romano et partiti sunt veteranis aut militibus Romanis," &c. Hyginus (ibid. p. 176): "Erat tunc prsemium terra et pro emerito habebatur. Multis legionibus contigit bella feliciter trausigere et ad laboriosam agri culturse requiem primi tirocinii gradu pervenire." See also the Liber Coloniarum (lib. 1) for grants to the soldiery.

43 Siculus Flaccus (Lachman, p. 156): "Non enim omnibus sequaliter datus, sed et secundum gradum militiae et modus est datus,'' &c. Hyginus (ibid. p. 176): "Nam cum signis et aquila et primis ordinibus ac tribunis deducebantur, modus agri pro portione officii dabatur."

44 Romanus miser imitatur Gothum et utilis Gothus imitatur Romanum" (Excerpta Auctoris ignoti, c. 61).

45 Page 139 of the edition of 1848.

46 Whole hundreds sometimes as well as estates paid nothing (Ellis's Domesday, p. 18).

47 Hyginus (p. 197): ''Except! sunt fundi bene meritorum ut in totum privati juris essent, nee ullam colonis munificentiam deberent et essent in solo populi Romani."

48 Rectitudines singularum personarum (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 432).
    "On sumon (i.e. landum) he sceal land-gafol syllan." He is called gafolgeldo, or rent-payer, by Ine (c. 6), ibid, p. 106.

49 Ibid, p. 432. ''Ne Ƿearf he (i.e., cotesetla) land-gafol syllan."

50 LL. Hen. 1, c. 76, s. 3. The ceorl's right to marry appears generally in Anglo-Saxon muniments.

51 Alfred's will in Kemble's Cod. Diplom. vol. 2, p. 116.
"And ic bidde on Codes naman and on his haligra Ƿaet minra msega nan ne yrfewearda ne geswenee nan naenig cyrelif (lege cyreleaf) Ƿara Ƿe ic forgeald—ac ic for Codes lufan and for minre sawle Ƿearfe wille Ƿaet hy syn heora freoles wyrđe and byra eyres; and ic on Codes lifiendes naman beode Ƿaet hy nan man ne brocie ne mid feos maminge, ne mid naenigum Ƿingum Ƿet by ne mocton ceosan swylene man swylce hy willan." These passages in the great king's testament show the rule by the exceptions which he enjoins.

52  Laws of King Ine (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 126). "Gif hwa fare unaliefed fram his hlaforde oype on ođre scyre hine bestele," &c. The same expressions are applied to the theow, though the punishments for the same offence are widely different, being hanging according to one text (Ine, c. 24, Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 118), and stoning according to another (Judicia Civitatis Luodoniae, Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 234).

53 Supplement to Eadgar's Laws (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 270). Alfred's Laws, c. 35 (ibid. p. 84), prohibit these and other demonstrations against an "unsinning" ceorlish man.

54 Laws of William the Conqueror, c. 29 (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 481): "Nee licet dominis removere colonos a terris, dummodo debita servicia persolvant"

55 Ine's Laws, c. 38 (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 126). In the passage referred to "frumstol" is "patrimonial estate."

56 Aelfric in his glossary, printed by Somner, translates "peculium" by "ceorlic aehta." The Ely Book (edition of 1848, p. 131) gives instances of land being possessed by them as land-lords; and in the Fita Ecgioini (Vits quorumdam Anglo-Saxonum, by Dr. Giles, 1854, p. 391) a certain rusticut or ceorl, "e stercore surrigens,'' claims part of the estate of the Abbey of Evesham as his own land.

57 The ceorl was "man'' (see Ine's Laws, c. 70), and his superior was "hlaford" (Rectitudines, "hlaford feormian," sub geneates riht). The true vassal, viz., the thegn, was ''man" also (see Ine's Laws, c. 70), and his superior was "hlaford" (see Wihtrζd's Laws, c. 5, and Ine's Laws, c. 50).

58 Ine's Laws, c. 51, and Cnut's Laws, cc. 58, 78 and 79. The Saxon Chronicle mentions "cyrlisce men" as manning a fortress in the year 893 (see Thorpe's edition, p. 164).

59 See Alfred's Laws, c. 42, "Swa mot se hlaford (i.e., orwige, or without committing war) mid Ƿy men feohtan."

60 See passim in the Laws.

61 See the 48th title of the Code (lib. 11), "de agricolis et censitis et colonisi" &c.

62 Cod. 11, titt.51,52.

63 Cod. Theod. lib. 5, tit 11.

64 For this word see Cod. Theod. lib. 1, tit 24.

65 Cod. 11, tin. 51, 52.

66 Ibid, and Cod. 11, tit 48, p. 23. "Si celaverit vel separare se conatus fuerit, secundum exemplum servi fugitivi sese diutinis insidiis fiirari intelligatur."

67 Cod. 11, tit. 48, pp. 7 and 21.

68 Cod. Theod. lib. 5, tit. 11, p. 1, and Cod. 11, tit. 50, p. 2.

69 Cod. 11, tit. 48, p. 24.

70 Cod. 11, tit. 50, p. 2.

71Cod. Theod. 7, tit 13, pp. 6 and 16, and passage from Vegetius in Appendix. See also letters 38 and 39, lib. 10, of Pliny the Younger and the Emperor Trajan.

72 See the Diplomata, passim, also Ine, cc. 40, 42.

73 Die Angellachsischen Ortsnamen, p. 26, edit. Halle, 1842.

74 Cod. Dipl. vol. 3, preface, p. xl.

75 See the Agrimensores, passim.

76 Frontinus De Controversiis Agrorum (Lachman, p. 36).

77 Bishop Werfirith's will (Kemble, vol. 2, p. 100): "Heo bsbbe tha wudu rsedenne in Ƿaem wudu Ƿe Ƿa ceorlas brucađ, and ec ic hire lete to Ƿat ceola grsf to sundran." King Eadgar's Laws, c. 8 (Thorpe, 1, p. 274): "Mid his tunscipes gewitnesse on gemsnre Isese gebringe." Rectitudines (ibid. p. 488): "Oxan hyrde mot Isiwian oxan oiSiSe ma mid blafordet heorde on gemaenre Isete," &c. See also Ine's Laws, c. 42.

78 Hygrinus de Condicionibus Agrorum (Lachman, pp. 116| 117. "In his (id est vectigalibus) agitur agris qusedam loca propter asperitatem aut sterilitatem non invenerunt emptores. Itaque in formis loconim talis adscriptio, id est in modum compascuae aliquando facta est et tantum compascus; qus pertinerent ad proximos quosque possessores qui ad ea attingunt fiuibus suis."

Hyginus Gromaticus de limitibus constituendis (p. 201): "Si qua compascua aut silvae fundis concessae fuerint, quo jure dats sint formis inscribemus. Multis coloniis immanitas agri vicit adsignationem, et cum plus terrse quam datum erat super esset, proximis possessoribus datum est in commune nomine compascunrum. Haec in forma similiter comprehensa ostendemus. Haec amplius quam acceptas acceperunt, sed ut in commune haberent."

Frontinus (p. 48): "Relicta sunt et multa loca quae veteranis data non sunt Haec variis appellationibus per regiones nominantur; in Etruri, communalia vocantur, quibusdam provinciis pro indiviso. Haec fere pascua certis personis data sunt depascenda tunc cum agri adsignati sunt." So Agennius, p. 79.

Siculus Flaccus (p. 157): "Inscribuntur et compascua; quod est genus quasi subsecivonim, sive loca quae proximi quique vicini, id est qui ea contingunt, pascua ...."

79 See a paper "On the Feodality of the Anglo-Saxons," Gent. Mag., vol. 22, N. S., p. 361.

80 Frontinus, p. 53 (Lachman); Agennius, p. 85.

81 See the note to p. 238 of the annotated edition of Lyttleton's Tenures, by Thomas Edlyne Tomlins, Esq., a work of rare legal erudition and acumen.

82 There is no direct evidence of this to which I can refer; but the fact is proved by the custom of Borough English. That this existed in England before the Norman Conquest is impliable from its name.

83 These and the following assertions as to Roman law are too plain to require special references.

84 Cnut's Laws, c. 71.

85 See a paper entitled "The Distribution of Intestates' Estates" (8 Law Magazine and Law Review, p. 82, et seq,).

86 For the authorities, English and Roman, upon these points, see the Introduction to Coote's Practice of the Ecclesiastical Courts, pp. 44, 45, 46.

87 Alfred's Laws, c. 41. Book of Ely (p. 117): "Haec itaque emptio et conventio in territorio quod dicitur Grrantebrygge facta est coram melioribus ejusdem provincise." The manor of Lindun and its appendices were purchased.

Ibid. p. 120: Certain land at Stretham was bought "coram omnibus apud civitatem quae dicitur Grantebrygge."

88 See Raynouard's Histoire du Droit Municipal en France, vol. 1, chapit. 20, and the authorities quoted therein.

89 Aethelred's Laws, c. 1 (Thorpe, vol. 1, p. 282): "And ne bete nan man for nanre tyhtlan buton hit sy Ƿζes cynges gerefan gewitnesse." Book of Ely (p. 116): "V hydas quas Wlwinus cocus et uxor ejus Ζlfsueth multis modis et teste populo per transgressionem amiserunt."

90 Hlothhari of Kent (Marg. A.D. 679) gives (bis) certain land "juxta notissimos terminos a me demonstratos et procuratoribus meis" (Kemble, vol. 1, p. 21).

91 Lachman, p. 114. The example in Hyginus is of a territorium. But this does not make any difference.

92 Vaticana juris Romani fragmenta, Romζ nuper ab Angelo Maio detecta et edita, Lipsiae, 1825, p. 8. "Id etiam volumus omnibus intimari, nostrse dementis placuisse, neminem debere ad venditionem rei cujuslibet adfectare et accedere nisi in eo tempore, quom inter venditorem et emptorem contractus solemniter explicatur, certa et vera proprietas vicinis prsesentibus demonstretur; usque eo legis istius cautione cuirente, ut, etiamsi subsellia vel, ut vulgo aiunt, scanlna vendantur ostendends proprietatis probatio completur (Constantine, A.D. 313).

93 Tacit, de M. O. c. 20.

94 See papers in the Law Mag. and Law Review, vol. l. p. 252, et seqq., "On Probate of Wills," and paper in the Law Mag. vol. 23, N. S., p. 110, "The Transmission of the Executorship."

95 Gaius, lib. 1, s. 36, et seq.

96 The word as applied in this sense appears in the early period of the empire, and it has then superseded in legal and precise significance the words coloniat municipium, urbs, and oppidufn. Colonia, in fact, has become obsolete; and though the other words remain they are used either vaguely and for variety of expression, or to designate a town as distinguished from its territory, or as having none.

See the Satyricon, c. 8: "Quum errarem, inquit, per totam civitatem (i.e. urbem)." Also Siculus Flaccus (Lachman, pp. 135, 163), where it is used as equivalent to the old words colonia, municipium, et prafectura. Also Pliny's Epis. lib. 10, epist 97: "Neque civitates tantum sed vicos etiam," &c. Also Lampridius in Vita Alexandri Severi; "Templa in omnibus civitatibus." Aulus Gellius (lib. 18, c. 7) says, "Civitatem et pro loco et oppido." It is used generally by Ammianus, who describes the towns of a province as civitates et castra (lib. 28, c. 3). So Ravennas speaks of the "civitates et castra" of Britain. As to municipia which had no territory, see Siculus Flaccus, p. 164. As to the conjunction of territory with the civitas, see Siculus Flaccus, p. 164, and the agrimensores generally.

97 After the Frankish occupation, the civitas survived in Gaul with its territory, the latter becoming the Compte (see Leheuron's Histoire des Institutions Merovingiennes, and the tables in the appendix to vol. 1, p. 501, et seq.; Courson's Histoire des peuples Bretons, and the tables in the appendix to vol. 1; and Walckenaer's Geographie Ancienne des Gaules, tom. 1, partie 3, c. 7. In the same manner the pagi also survived. The territory of every civitas, in the Eastern Empire, became with the city itself the diocese of a bishop. [Greek], says Justinian (Cod. 1, tit 3, p. 35).

98 Siculus Flaccus (Lachman, pp. 164, 165).

99 It can be shown satisfactorily that Londinium was a civitas and a colonia. For the first, see Ammianus Marcellinus (lib. 27, c. 8)—Eumenius in the Panegyric. Ptolemy uses the equivalent. For the second fact implied by the name Augusta, see Ammianus (lib. 27, c. 8) and the Ravennas.

It is probable, however, that the territorium of the Roman London was originally larger than the one county. We learn from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Thorpe, p, 363) that many shires contributed to the burhbot and brycgbot of London. The passage (A.D. 1097) is so curious that it deserves transcription: "Eac manige sciran đe mid weorce to Lundene belumpon wiirdon đrie gedrehte đurb iSone weall đe hi worhton onbutan đone Tur and đurb đa brycge đe fomeab eall to flotan wses, and đurb đes cynges heall geweorc đe man on Westmynstre worhte, and msenige men đer mid gedrehte."

100 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by Thorpe, p. 187 (A.D. 912), "to Lundenbyrig and to Oxnaforda and to eallum đam landum Ƿe Ƿerto hyrdon.''

101 "Pagi significanter finiuntur,'' says Siculus Flaccus (Lachman, p. 164).

102 Siculus Flaccus, pp. 164, 165.

103 Cod. 10, tit. 72, p. 2.

104 See Frontinus (Lachman, p. 53).

105 Siculus Flaccus (Lachman, p. 146). See also Ex libris Magonis, p. 348.

106 As to the duties of the Irenarch, see Dig. 48, tit. 3, p. 6, and Cod. 10, tit. 77. As to the accumulation of the offices of the Irenarch and the magisier pagi, see the expressions of Arcadius Charisius (Dig. 50, tit. 4, p. 18, s. 7): "Irenarchae quoque, qui disciplinse publics et corrigendis moribus praeficiuntur, sed et qui ad reficiendas vias eligi solent," &c.

107 Laws of King Eadgar, vol. 1, p. 258, Thorpe's edition.

108 Book of Ely, p. 130, et seq.; Aethelred's Laws, p. 294, Thorpe's edition.

109 See Tacitus de M. G, c. 12: "Principes qui jura per pagos vicosque reddunt. Centeni singulis ex plebe comites) concilium simul et auctoritas, adsunt." This passage has been strangely misunderstood by commentators, German and English, who have mistaken the pagus of Tacitus for the gau of the German. The Roman on the contrary applies it in the sense which I have before explained. He could not do otherwise, as his own language assigned no other meaning to it. "Vici et castella et pagi ii sunt, qui nulla dignitate civitatis omantur, sed vulgar! hominum conventu incoluntur, et propter parvitatem sui majoribus civitalibus attribuuntur" (Isidori Orig., lib. 1).

110 For the military subjection of the borough, see Anglo-Sax. Chron. sub A.D. 894. The ealdormea collect troops "of slcere byrig," &c. (p. 168, Thorpe's edition). For its civil subjection, see post.

111 See Institutes of Polity (2 Thorpe, p. 312): "ge burhriht ge landriht."

112 We find the one portgerefa in the very early period, and this unity remains to the end. In A.D. 628 (Beda, p. 141, Hist. Soc. edition) there is a "praefectus Lindocolinse civitatis." In the time of Archbishop Wilfrid (Vita Wilfridi, p. 236) mention is made of "Osfrid qui praeerat in Broninis urbe regia." The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gives, under A.D. 897 (p. 175), a ''wicgerefa on Wintanceastre,"' and later (p. 183) a ''tungerefa set Sarum." At the close of the monarchy we have "Alestan praepositus Lundoniae" (Ellis's Introduction to Domesday, p. 135).

113 De Bello Hastingensi carmen (Monumenta Historica Britannica, vv. 649, 685, 741).

114 Thorpe's edition, p. 338.

115 Thorpe's edition, vv. 645 et seq.
    "Una postremum rectores atque potentes,
    Tali consilia consul uere sibi:
    Scilicet ut puerum, natum de traduce regis,
    In regem sacrent ne sine rege forent."

116 Ibid., vv. 625, 626.
    "Guincestram misit, mandat primatibus urbis,
    Ut faciunt alii, ferre tributa sibi."

117 Ζthelbald of Mercia, A.D. 734 (Kemble, vol. 1, p. 94), after granting to the Bishop of Rochester an immunity from port dues in the port of London, prohibits the "optimates et telonearii" of that city from infringing the grant.

118 Ζthelstan's Laws, c. 20.

119 Ellis's Introduction to Domesday, p. 60 in note.

120 Ζthelred's Laws, cc. 5 and 6. Anglo-Saxon Chron., A.D. 1048.

121 Alfred's Laws, c. 1: "On carceme on cyninges tune." This is a borough, because a "cyninges gerefa" is spoken of in the Vita Wilfridi (p. 236) a borough prison is referred to. A portgerefa is ordered by the king, ''Ut pontificera nostrum (Wilfridum) locis tetracaligine obscuratis nullo amicorum sciente diligenter custodiret eum." At p. 237, metaphor is laid aside, and the Archbishop is said to remain "in custodia carceris." He is afterwards (p. 238) removed to the borough prison at Dunbar. These authorides also show that the charge of the prison belonged to the portgerefa.

122 De Bello Hastingensi carmen, v. 740 et seqq..
    "Annuit hoc vulgus, justum probat esse senatus,
    Et puerum regem ccetus uterqne negat.
    Vultibus in terra deBezis regis ad aulam
    Cum puero pergunt agmine composito,
    Reddere per claves urbem, sedare furorem,
    Oblato quserit munere cum manibus."

123 We have direct evidence of these two assertions in the case of London. We know that Will. I. confirmed the burghal constitution of the city as it was in the time of Edward the Confessor, and nothing was done afterwards in the way either of derogation or of increment until the time of Hen. I.

That monarch granted to his citizens of London to hold Middlesex in farm for CCC pounds, ''ita quod ipsi cives ponent vicecomitem qualem voluerint de se ipsis, et justitiarium qualem voluerint de se ipsis, ad custodiendum placita coronse mea et eadem placitanda," &c. (LL. Hen. I., vol. 1, p. 502, Thorpe's edition).

The same charter goes on to provide that ''there shall be no longer miskenning in the busting, nor in the folcesmot, nor in other pleas within the city."

This shows a pre-existent jurisdiction over lesser pleas inherent in the city.

We gather also aliunde that there was a right of sac and soc or jurisdiction in boroughs. The LL. Hen. I., & 20, s. 1, affirm it.

124 For markets see Aethelstan's Laws, c. 13, and the charter of Aethelred and Aethelflsd, 5 Kemble, p. 142; also 3 Kemble, p. 138. Market implies toll.

125 See Ζthelbald's charter, ante (1 Kemble, p. 94).

126 Laws of Hlothsere and Eadric, c. 16; of Eadward, c. 1; of Ζthelstan, c. 12. See also 6 Kemble, p. 210, where a house is sold at Bath upon the witnessing of Huga the portgerefa in the time of Eadward the Confessor; also ibid. pp. 210 and 211, where slaves are sold on the witnessing of the portgerefa in the one instance, and of the "eald portgerefa" in the other.

127 This duty was also called toll. See the entries on the fly-leaves of the Exeter Book, quoted in Wright's Celt, Roman and Saxon (p. 452): "Alfiric Hals took the toll on Tovie's house for the king's hand." See tolls levied on the sale of slaves, 4 Kem. p. 313; 6 Kem. pp. 210, 211. See also Ellis as to the duties paid at Lewes upon the sale of horses, oxen and men (p. 106).

128 We find in a charter of Ζthelred and Ζthelflsd (5 Kem. p. 142) an enumeration of a king's rights over a burh. These rights (inter alia) are "on ceapstowe," i.e. market tolls; ''on strsete,"' i.e., amercements for public offences committed within the borough.

129 The houses within a borough are as much property as land in the country, and are similarly disposed by will or deed. See Ζlfric's will (Thorpe's Analecta, p. 127, and 4 Kemble, p. 69). That prelate devises houses in Norwich and in London: "And ic gean đon hage binnon Norwic, for minre saule, and for ealra đic hit me geuđon into See Eadmunde, and ic gean đan hage into See Paetre binnou Lunden."

In 4 Kemble, pp. 72, 73, we find Leofric and Godgyfu disposing of "senne hagan on porte" (at Worcester). As to alienation by sale of these houses, see ante in note.

130 See the Winchester Domesday (edit 1816, p. 531). It is enumerated amongst the royal rights over boroughs in the charter of Ζthelred and Ζthelflsed, before referred to under the name of "landfeoh." In Domesday and the Winchester Book it is called landgabulum, i.e., landgafol.

It was originally levied upon each house and premises; but, being assessed and collected by the burghal authorities, the treasury received it from the portgerefa in one sum. The form which this imposition eventually took was that of ''firm," a liquidated or settled sum which the crown had agreed to take in satisfaction of the landgafol.

Of Winchester, in the reign of the Confessor, it is said in the Domesday of that city (p. $34), "Et iterum in capite coquinae habebant burgenses cellarios suos, et reddebant landgabulum." This refers to a separate assessment of each burgage holding.

131 Ang.-Sax. Chronicle, A.D. 1048. This service remained in force in the city of London until Hen. I. remitted it. "Et infra muros civitatis nullus hospitetur neque de mea familia neque de alia, nisi alicui hospitium liberetur" (Carta civibus Londoniae, 1 Thorpe, p. 502).

132  In Ζlfric's Glossary, wicgerefa is translated publlcanus. Burhgerrfa is interpreted quastor. He was, therefore, in the eyes of the grammarian, a financial officer. In Domesday we find that the gerefa of Hereford took the third penny upon the transfer of a house in the borough (Ellis's Introduction, p. 107); and we learn from the fly-leaves of the Exeter Book that this toll was taken "for xxs kinges hand." At Lewes we find the same officer levying the toll at markets. We find that judicial fines were collected by the portgerefa (see Domesday, sub Guildford). It is strictly inferable therefore that the landgafol also was collected by the portgerefa.

133 This is inferable from analogy. The crown officer of the county deducted the third penny of the revenues of his shire, and the corresponding crown officer of the borough must be presumed to have done the same as regards the borough. It would be in the one case as in the other an allowance for the trouble and expense of the collection (Ellis, p. 92, in note).

134 See Domesday, sub Dover. The burgesses ''habuerunt XLV mansuras extra civitatem de quibus habebant gavlum et consuetudinem." So also they had 21 acres of land. These possessions were pre-existent to the Conquest, as the great muniment observes.

135 Grantabryge had "communem pasturam." So also Colchester; and in much earlier days there were the "urbana prata—burgwara medas" of the city of Canterbury (2 Kemble, pp. 26 and 66). Rochester, in A.D. 855, enjoyed "communion em marisci quae ad illam villam antiquitus cum recto pertinebat" (ibid,, p. 57).

136 Ζthelstan's Laws, c. 14, and Ζthelred's Latin Laws, c. 9. The latter shows that the mintage was under the supervision of the burghal authorities: "Et ipsi qui portus custodiunt (i.e. the portgerefan)," &c. See also Ellis's Introduction to Domesday, pp. 95, 96.

137 Institutes of Polity (2 Thorpe, p. 312). Of the bishop it is there said amongst other things, "And selc burhgemet, and selc waeg-pundern beo be his dihte ge scyfe, swiiSe rihte." The standards were kept at Winchester and London (see Eadgar's Laws, 1 Thorpe, p. 270).

138 E.g., at Dover (Ellis's Introduction, p. 106).

139 For this subject generally see the first volume of Raynouard's Histoire du Droit Municipal en France, and also Savigny (Geschichte des Romischen Rechts in Mittelalter, Heidelberg, 1834, vol. 1).

140 The institution of compulsory markets is too curious a subject to be passed over without special remark. The necessities of the empire increasing with its close, the emperors Theodosius and Valentinian, under the pressure of these necessities, determined to levy duties generally upon all sales, whether of land or chattels. In their own words: "Placuit itaque ut omni venditione per solidum dimidia siliqua ab emptore dimidia a venditore per omnem contractum aequaliter publico conferatur, in omnibus mobilibus, immobilibusque rebus, venditiones tan turn emptiones, que duntaxat." For the better levying of the duties, public markets (nundinx) were ordered to be established in the cities and their territories on certain days, and all sales were to take place thereat, under the supervision of special officers, sales of real proper, being registered in the municipal archives as usual. All private sales, which lacked this legal witnessing, were declared to be void, and the inland trade became confined to the places in which the markets wore established. "Nulli igitur mercatori prζter hanc observationem nisi ad designata loca temporibus prsestitutis ad negotiationis auas species distrahendas passim licebit accedere" (Leges Novells Valentiniani, lib. 1, tit. 18).

141 Cod. 4, tit. 61, 8. 13. "Exceptis his vectigalibus, quae ad sacrum patrimonium nostrum quocunque tempore pervenerunt, csetera rei publicae, civitatum atqueordinum aestimatts dispendiis, quae pro publicis necessitatibus tolerare non desinunt reserventur, quum duae portiones aerario nostro conferri prisca institatio disposuerat; atque banc tertiam jubemus adeo in ditione urbium municipumque consistere, ut proprii compendii curam non in alieno potius quam in suo arbitrio noverint constitutam," &c (Impp. Theodosius et Valentinianus).

142 Vitruvius, lib. 5, c. 2.

143 This appears by the inscriptions upon the coins themselves, and see post.

144 Frontinus (Lachman, p. 86): ''Habent autem proyinciae et municipales agros." Idem (p. 49): "Sunt et aliae proprietates quae municipiis a principibus sunt concessae." So also Agennius (p. 80).

145 Vitruvius (ibid.) says, "Maxime quidem curia inprimis est facienda ad dignitatem municipii sive civitatis."

146 See p. 82, in note.

147 See Savigny, vol. 1, c 2, ss. 20 and 21. See also the formula de dotef quoted by Raynouard, vol. 1, pp. 317, 318: "Defensor, principalis simul et omnis curia publica dixenint," &c.

148 See Thierry's Recits des Merovingiens, torn. 1, p. 274 (Brussels edition).

149 Book of Ely, p. 140 (edit. 1848). Brihtnoth, the abbot of Ely, bought an estate on the witnessing of the whole city of Cambridge, and, having paid the money down, required of the vendor, "vades de emptione." The chronicler adds, "cui omnes respondentes dixerunt quod Grantebrucge et Norwice et Theoforth et Gyppeswic tantse libertatis ac dignitatis essent siquis ibi terram compararet vadibus non indigeret." See also notes at pp. 69 and 83, for examples of dignitas, as applied to a Roman civitas.

150 Book of Ely, p. 148.

151 They could not be appointed haredes, because they were incerta persona.
Ulpian says: "Nee munidfia nee municipes Jusredes instiiui possunt quomam incertum carpus est, et neque cemere universi neqne pro harede gerere posse ut Jueredes Jumt." (Domitii Ulpiani Fragmenta, tit. 22).

152 Thierry's Recits Merovingiens, vol. 1, p. 266.

153 In A.D. 868 or 888 Cialulf conveys to Eanmund a house with piece of land (tun), situate in Canterbury, for 120 silver pennies.

An endorsement on the deed states, "and đer ne gebyređ an đam lande an folcses folcryht to lefsnns rumses butan twigen fyt to yfssdryps" (Kemble, vol. 2, p. 89).

This has reference to the jus stillicidium avertendi in arean vicini, so well known to civilians.

154 See Clarke's Connexion of Roman, Saxon and English Coins, 1767.

155 See Thorpe's Orosius, p. 458 (Bohn's edition). This discovery was made by Dr. Pauli.

156 Thorpe, Anglo-Saxon Laws, vol. i. p. 192.

157 Ulpiani Fragmenta, tit. 3, de Latinis, 1 and 6.

158 See Orellii Inscriptiones, vol. i. p. 140, inscrip. 508. Constantine appoints "nundinas die solis perpeti anno." For the Anglo-Saxon prohibitions see Laws of Eadweard and Guthrum, c. 7; Ζthelstan, i. c. 24. See also Canons enacted under Eadgar, p. 19; Thorpe, ii. p. 248.

159 See Dio Cassius, lib. 36. The words of this author show the universal acceptance of the planetary week throughout the empire. He says, "[Greek]," The abstract planetary superstition itself was of older standing in the empire. Tacitus (Hist. lib. 5, c 4) speaks of the planets as the seven stars, "quis mortales reguntur."

160 An eye-witness of these idols does not flatter them. Osric, king of the Hwiccas (A.D. 676), says, "Omnia simulachrorum figmenla ridiculosa/' &c. (Kemble, vol. L p. 16).

161 De Gestus Reguni, lib. i. p. 9.

162 Beda's Eccl. Hist, p. .65, English. Historical Society's edition.

163 These passages, though they do not appear in all the copies, are as genuine as the rest. They precisely resemble in style and diction the other portions; there are no "[Greek]" and no motive can be conceived for fabricating them in the early period at which, if they be a forgery, they must have been fabricated.

164 In the year of our Lord 360, three British bishops attended the Council of Ariminum (Sulpicius Severus in Dr. Giles's Excerpta, p. 173). Beda (p. 55, English Historical Society's edition) says, that a church had been built and dedicated to St Martin anteriorly to Augustine's mission. The thaumaturgus died A.D. 402, and as the church would not be built, and could not be dedicated to his invocation until after his death, we have the Christianity of Britain brought closely down to the epoch of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. St Germanus's two missions to South Britain (see post) also are evidence of the same tenor.

165 Ammian. Marcellin. lib. 21, c. 18: "Christianam religionem absolutam et simplicem anili superstitione confundens." He is speaking of Constantius.

166 For the proof that the early Greek or Roman Churches med the corresponding words [Greek] and perfectio in the sense of baptism, I am indebted to the very able and learned editor of The Biblical Quarterly, BL H. Cowper, Esq. Upon this subject, I will take the liberty of inserting an extract from a letter with which I have been favoured by that gentleman. "You ask for authorities [Greek]. &c. in the sense of baptism. Those given by Suicer will be sufficient, at least I think so,—[Greek] and cite Latin perflere both apply to baptism. Thus in the Martryrology of Stephen, bishop of Rome, we read, "Quem—sacri Baptismatis gratia ex more perfecit." For [Greek] the references are Gregor Nazianzen. Orat. 37; Maximus in cap. iii.; Dionysii Areopagitae de coelesti Hierarchia; Aduuiasti Orac. 2. coacra Arianos: the same, contra. Macedoniitui; and Anon. Vita Athanasii,

"[Greek]; Gregor. Nazianz. Otac 13. as Elias Cretensis says; the same Orat. 40, in two places: Athanasii Orat. 3. contra Arianos, in two places; the same ad Imperat. Jovmianum."

The primary meaning of fulluht being perfection, the Anglo-Saxon necessarily a translation of the Greek or of the Latin term—more probably of the latter. The Anglo-Saxon verb fyllan or gefyllan continued to be used in the sense of perfecting or performing fully—

*   *  *   "rađe was gefylled
Heah cininges hζs."—Caedmon.

167 C. 1. It also occurs in the Anglo-Saxon translation of the Psalms, probably by St Aldhelm. (Thorpe's edition, p. 310, v. 31.)

168 The Christians of the early ages, even up to the beginning of the fourth century, had, as their opponents objected, no "temples." They held their meetings in unconsecrated places: that is, in the houses of the faithful. (See Arnobius in Bingham's Origines Ecclesiastics, vol. 2, pp. 362-3, edit 1840.) These meetings of the faithful, being scant in numbers, were called by themselves and their friends circuli—an open word, which would not offend their own religious scruples as templum would, and at the same time would not bring them within the reach of penal law as conventiculum would. Ducange gives the following explanation and examples of the word, "Hominum ccetus collectus, vox Latinis scriptoribus frequens. St. Hieronymus, 'Dum audientiam et circulum,'" &c. St. Augustinus, lib. de utilitate credendi, cap. 9, ' Vel in convivio vel in aliquo circulo ullove consessu,' &c ' Circulis coire,' in lib. 16, tit 5, s. 11, Cod. Theod. de Heretic." I have verified and corrected the last reference. The word is also used in the same sense by Pliny the Younger (lib. 3, epist 20). It is a favourite expression of Ammianus Marcellinus. See lib. 28, c. 4, Β§ 29; and lib. 30, c. 4, 17. Ecclesia finally became the favourite word in the West as in the East; circulus was disused as too modest a designation, and when used at all was applied, as we have seen, to the congregational meetings of heretics.'' This word and not [Greek] is the true etymology of cyrce. [Greek] was undoubtedly used in the Eastern Church for church amongst other meanings. But the word itself was never used in the Western Church, though dominicum, its translation, was sparingly applied (Bingh. vol. 2, pp. 337-8). The Germans obtained their "kirche'' through St Boniface, his Anglo-Saxon predecessors, or his followers of the same nation.

169 Lamp. Vita Alex. Sev. 59; see Dig. 1. 32, tit., 11. Here Ulpian lays down that Jidei commissa may be written in any language, e.g. the Gallicana, In addition to this we have Lucian's testimony that the Keltic was a written language. Alexander, the [Greek] (Tauchnitz's edition, vol. 2, c. 51, p. 256) received letters in this language—"[Greek]." We have also Gallic inscriptions (vide Roget de Belloguet, Ethnogenie Gauloise, premiere partie Glossaire Gaulois).

170 Anglo-Sax. Chron.

171 Villemarque's Bardes Bretons, pp. 66-115.

172 We are told by Tacitus that among the freemen of Germany there were nobilis (de M. G.) He shows at the same time that this nobilitas gave no exclusive rights in the government of the tribes or in the administration of justice, for the nobiles take their part in both by their title of freemen only (Savigny, Geschichte des Romischen Rechts, vol. 1, c. 4, 58). The word itself which Tacitus uses should convince us that there was no nobility in the sense of a select and exclusive class amongst the ancient Germans; for nobilis, in the mind of Tacitus and his countrymen, meant nothing of the kind. By this word the Romans made no reference to birth in the sense of a man being patrician or plebeian. They meant merely that he, who was so called, had a father, a grandfather or a remote ancestor who had borne curule magistracy—that is, in other words, had received the honours and executed the duties of the highest offices in the state. Transfer this word to the affairs of Germany, and we shall see how those, whose forefathers had been grafiones of the tribe and had led successful expeditions into their neighbours' territories, were nobiles in the Roman sense of the word. So Tacitus applies the same appellation to nations themselves (de M. G. cc. 39, 40); meaning, after all, nothing more than that they were pre-eminent or distinguished.

173 Heineccii Corpus Juris Germanici veteris (Hall. Mag. 1738).

"Ut pontes public! qui per bannum fieri solebant anno praesenti in omni loco restaurentur (Capit. 5 Car. Magni, A.D. 819, c. 17).

"De pontibus publicis destructis placuit nobis ut hi qui jussionem nostram inreparandis pontibus contempserunt, volumus et jubemus ut omnes homines nostri in nostram veniant praesentiam rationes reddere, cur nostram jussionem ausi sint contemn ere; comites autem red dan t de eorum pagensibus cur eos non constrinxerint ut hoc facerent, aut nobis uuntiare neglexerint." (Capit. Worrasat, A.D. 829.)

"De pontibus vero vel reliquis his similibus operibus, quae per antiquam consuetudinem ecclesiastici homines per justitiam cum reliquo populo facere debent, hoc praecipimus ut ecclesiae rectores eos interpellent, et eis, secundum quod possibile fuerit, pbrtio deputetur ut per alium exactorem ecclesiastici homines ad opera non compellantur; si vero opus suum constitute die adimpletum non habuerinty liceat comiti pro poen^ propositi operis eos pignorare juxta sestimationein vel quantitatem imperfecti operis quousque perficiatur." (LL. Lothar. 1, c. 41.)

"Ut de restauratione ecclesise vel ponte faciendo aut strati restaurand, omnia generaliter faciant homines sicut antiqua fuit consuetudo, et non interponatur immunitas, nec pro hac re ulla occasio perveniat." (LL. Pippin, c. 5.)

174 By the Frankish, or rather Franco-Gallic, law, as declared by Charlemagne, he who possessed four mansi of allodium was compelled to go to the wars by an obligation arising out of such possession. He who possessed three mansi was conjoined with another to whom one mansus alone belonged. (Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, tom. 5, liv. 30, ch. 13.)

175 De B. G. lib. 6, c. 21. In times later the Saxons, in their native soil, knew not the principles of a division of land. Their territorial regulations continued to be the same as in the days of Tacitus. (Grimm's Deutsche Rechts Alterthiimer, p. 536, et seq.)

176 Ammian. Marcellinus, lib. 16, c. 2, Β§ 12. "Audiens itaque Argentoratum &c., civitates barbaros (i.e., Alamanos) possidentes territoria earum habitare; nam ipsa oppida ut circumdata retiis busta declinant."

177 The Anglo-Saxon kings called the boroughs their own. Eadward (4 Kemble, p. 223) says, "on snig minre bulge."

178 The Book of Ely distinguishes them (p. 132): "Alii quam plurimi barones, et omnes urbani de Teotford et meliores de Ely." Again, under the year 1067 we have the same fact illustrated in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. After a siege of eighteen days by the Conqueror, the citizens of Exeter surrender their city "forđan Ƿa Ƿegenas heom beswicon hζfdon."

179 See ante.

180 In 4 Kemble, pp. 266, 267) a case is tried before the county court at Canterbury. The burhwaru are part of the gewitnesse, besides the county gentlemen.

Book of Ely, p. 137) sub anno 975. "Post mortem vero ejus Begmundus de Holande et cognati praefatae viduse qui prsedictam paludem sive piscationem tenuerunt ad locationem, terram de Stancie Sanctae Ζtheldrydae injuste deripuerunt, sine judicio et sine lege civium et hundretanorum. Deinde venit gelwinus alderman ad Ely, fueruntque Begmundus et alii pro hac causa vocati et summoniti ad placitum civium et hundretanorum .... Tandem veniens Ζgelwinus alderman ad Grantebrucge habuit ibi grande placitum civium et hundretanorum coram xxiiil judicibus.'' See also Ellis's Domesday, p. 107.

181 LL. Hen. I. c. 29.

182 Ellis's Domesday, pp. 107, 108. Cfer, the heriots at Hereford and Cambridge with those of the medenfte Ƿegn in Cnut's Secular Laws, c. 72.

183 The charter of Hen. I. to the citizens of London says, "Et cives habeant fugaciones suas ad fugandum, sicut melius et plenius habuerunt antecessores eorum, scilicet Siltre et Middlesex et Sureie" (Thorpe, vol. i, p. 503). William Fitzstephen, in his "Vita Sancti Thomae," says, "Habentque cives suum jus venandi in Middlesexia, Hertfordsira, et in Cantia usque ad aquam Grays." That the citizens of Winchester kept hounds is shown less directly by the expressions, "Ƿζt on portmanna hundan hylle," which occur in a charter (Kemble, vol. 6, p. 41).

184 The chapter 70 of Ine's laws does not give us the amount of the sixhynd's were; but from the weres of the two other classes (see Edweard and Guthrum's Laws, p. 174, 1 Thorpe) it was of course 600 shillings. The manbot of the sixhynd is stated by Ine (ante) to be 80 shillings, while those of the others are severally 120 shillings and 30 shillings. By Ζlfred's laws, cc. 30, 31, the hlobot of a sixhynd is 60 shillings, while those of a twelfhynd and twyhynd are respectively 120 shillings and 30 shillings. By c. 10 of Ζlfred's laws, the bot for adultery to be paid to a sixhynd man is 100 shillings, while the same compensation to a twelfhynd and a twyhynd are 120 shillings and 40 shillings. The bot, however, for a betrothed woman committing adultery or fornication is, under c. 18 of the same laws, 100 shillings if she be sixhynd; but in cases of the other degrees it is 120 shillings and 60 shillings. The burhbryce of a sixhynd (by c. 40 of the same laws) is 15 shillings; those of the others being 30 shillings and 5 shillings, the Leges Hen. I. repeatedly refer to the sixhynd (see cc. 76, 3; 82, 9; 87, 4), both male and female.

185 Ine (c. 24) declares that a Welshman who has five hides of land is a sixhynd man. But the Welshman, as having the typical property of a thegn, should he twelfhynd. Birth, however, prevents him. He is not of the ruling caste.

186 Ζlfred's Laws, c. 40. The ceorl's habitation is "edor."

187 Zosimus, lib. 6.

188 Zosimus (lib. 6) tells us that the Britons ''took up arms and freed their cities from the barbarians" at the period referred to in the text.

189 There was this number when Marcianus Heracleota wrote (A.D. 250).

190 Zosimus, ante.

191 Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers, in the middle of the sixth century, says,—

"Aspera gens Saxo, vi    vens quasi more ferino."
    (Quoted by Stapleton, in his Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normannise, Observations, p. 47).

192 De Bello Gallico, lib. 5, c. 12.

193 Lud. de M. Cl. Caes., c. 3.

194 Tacit, de Vita Agricol., c. 14: "Quaedam civitates Cogiduno regi donats, is ad nostram usque memoriam fidissimus manait."

195Agricolai c. 11.

196 Ibid., c. 13.

197 Lib. 3, c 14.

198 Pan. Const Cζs.

199 Pan. Const. Aug.

200 Caes. de B. G., lib. 5, c. 12.

201 Caes. de B. G., lib. 2, c. 4.

202Turner's Vindication of the Genuineness of the Ancient British Poems of Aneurin, &c., pp. 116, 117, 118.

203 We know from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that the Saxon chieftains; Cuthwin and Ceawlin, in the year of our Lord 577 defeated and killed three Keltic kings (see ante); and we learn from Llywarch Hen in his elegy upon the death of Kendelan (the Condidan of the Chronicler) that the Lloegrians sided with the Anglo-Saxons in these aggressions (Villemarque's Poemes des Bardes Bretons, pp. 76, 82, 88).

204 Llywarch Hen's poem upon the death of his son (Villemarque, pp.150, 156), and Taliesin's song to Urien (ibid., pp.424, 426, 428), and elegy upon the death of Owen (ibid., p. 442). The river mentioned in the first of these poems is the well known Lune.

205 The Gododin (Villemarque, pp. 254, 260, 266, 276, 284, 308, 324, 330, 354.

206 Villemarque, p. 72.

207 Welsh history is also in the same predicament In the "Annales Cambriae" (published by Petrie, p. 830), from the year of our Lord 444 to 516, nothing is said of the contests between the Anglo-Saxon or the Briton. In the last-mentioned year, however, we have "helium Badonis." Here the Brito-Kelt was touched. It must at the same time be observed, that modern writers have endeavoured to correct the shortcomings of the honest old bards by transferring their geography to the other side of the island. Under this treatment Llongborth or Langport in Somersetshire (see Lady Charlotte Guest's Mabinogian, vol. 2, p. 151) becomes Portsmouth, and Basa is converted from Baschurch in Shropshire to Basing in Hampshire (see Villemarque, Bardes Bretons, pp. 67, 87.)

208 Villemarque, pp. 4, 26, 36, 70.

209 Zeuss's Grainmatica Celtica, edit. 1853, Leipsig, vol. 1, p. 226.

210 Villemarque, p. 156.

211 Kemble, vol. 1, p 1, Charter dated April 18, A.D. 604.

212 The Lindisfarne and Rushworth Gospels (published by the Surtees Society) are specimens of the Anglic dialect of the North. They are of high antiquity, but the language is essentially West Saxon. The differences are these. There occurs the verbal termination in "as," but quite as often the termination in "ais" is used. The infinitive ends in "a" without the final "n." There are of course in these gospels words peculiar then and still to the North I but these of themselves do not make a distinct language: "Ƿζt was geheawen of carre" (St. Mark, xv. 46, Lindisfarne and Rushworth, part 2, p. 115). The canticle recited or composed by the dying Beda was considered by the late Mr. Kemble to be in the Northumbrian dialect (Stevenson's Beda, Introduction, p. xvi., and note), but the language is virtually West Saxon.

For the East Anglian dialect see the wills of Ζlfric and Luba, and the "Homily in Natale St. Eadmuudi," in Thorpe's Analecta.

This dialect exhibits none of the peculiarities of the Northumbrian, and is in closer approximation to the West Saxon.

On the Mercian dialect Mr. Thorpe (in the preface to his edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, p. viii, in note) remarks: "The two dialects (i.e. the Mercian and West Saxon) have, I believe, been never satisfactorily distinguished." And the correctness of Mr. Thorpe's views is corroborated by the edict that the Mercian diplomata published by Mr. Kemble are drawn up in a dialect which is identical with the West Saxon.

For charters of Mercian kings, e.g., see Kemble, vol. l, p. 114.

213 Mallet regards the Angles equally with the Jutes as Danes (Bohn's edition, pp. 181, 182). Professor Rask supports his opinion that the Angles were Germans, by the circumstance of their association with the Saxons in the conquest of Britain—which is no argument at all;—by the fact of the language of the Angles in England being Germanic, not Scandinavia—which can only be an argument if the immigrant Angles can be proved to have extirpated the original inhabitants, and to have become the sole population of the portions of England which fell under their dominion. I refer to Mr. Blackwell's edition of Mallet This work, though apparently a recension, is in many respects an original work of great learning and merit.

214 See Zosimus, ante.

215 For these words see Ammian. Marcell. 27, 8, 1.

216 Zosim. lib. 6.

217 The words of Zosimus (vi. 10) are "[Greek]."

218 The emperors Theodosius and Valentinian say, "Siogulos universosque nostros monemus edicto, ut Romani roboris confidently ex animo quo debent propria defensare cum suis adveraus hostes, si vis exegerit, salva disciplina publican servataque ingenuitatis modestia, quibus potuerint utantur armis," &c. (Leges novelise Theodosii A., lib. 1, c. 20).

219 Bouquet (Recueil des Histoires des Gaules et de la France), vol. 1, p. 643, in notis. The first legation of St. Germanus was A.D. 429. He returned to Gaul in the following year. His second legation was A.D. 448. His life was written by Constantius, circa 488. See also Mr. Petrie's note at p. 63, and also pp. 126, 127, 128, in notis.

See Monumenta Historica Britannica, by Petrie, vol. l, p. 122, et seqq. St. Germanus's visits are confined to South Eastern Briuin. He goes to Verulam on the first mission, and this assertion of Constantius is corroborated by the fact of St. Germanus dedicating a church at Autun to St. Alban after his return to Gaul. At the same period (p. 126) we find that "Saxones Pictique bellum adversum Brittones junctis viribus susceperunt." On the second mission of the saint we hear no more of the war.

220 Bouquet (Recueil des Histoires des Gaules et de la France), vol. 1, p. 639. The chronicler is either Prosper Aquitanus or Prosper Tyro (see Bouquet, vol. 1, p. 685). Petrie gives the reading latζ, which is not very intelligible.

221 Aneurin, in the Gododin (Villemarque, p. 824), expressly charges the Lloegrians with having given an asylum to the Saxons; and in a previous passage of his poem (p. 264) he alludes to the Lloegrians having formed an alliance with the Angleii whom he designates as "unbaptized adventurers."

222 See ante, p. 145. The dualism of forces before referred to may go far to explain the duality of commanders which characterizes the Anglo-Saxon conquests. The Jutes are led by Uengcst and Horsa, by Stuf and Wihtgar. The Angles are commanded by Cuthwin and Ceawlin. The Saxons again are led by Ζlla and Cissa, by Cerdic and Kynric.

223 Mr. Wright (The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon, p. 393) says, "It is also worthy of remark that all the Roman towns on the Welsh border to the north of Gloucester were destroyed, apparently before the period of the Saxon invasion." The same able writer, in his "Ethnology of Southern Britain," p. 148, refers by name to these towns, viz. Ariconium, Magna, Brevenium, Uriconium, Isca. We know that Uriconium fell under the joint attack of the Anglo-Saxons and Lloegrians.

224 The reader will have inferred that I eliminate from the history of the Anglo-Saxon occupation Hengest, Horsa, Vortigem Catigern, Vortimer, et hoc genus omne. These imaginary heroes and kings never existed out of the brain of an inveracious or a deluded chronicler. The authority of Constantius consigns them to the limbo of later inventions. St. Germanus, whose second visit to Britain should have brought him face to face with all of these interesting personages, never saw one of them. And it could scarcely have happened otherwise, for Hengest and Horsa are myths, and Vortigern, Catigern and Vortimer, if they ever were existent, were Welshmen, and neither natives nor inhabitants of that South Britain which only the saint visited. Upon this silence of Constantius, the judicious Petrie (p. 71, in note) could not forbear observing, "animadvertendum est tamen, vel de Vortigeino, de Heugisto, vel de Patricio in Vita Gcrmani nil omnino inveniri."

225 These two words may be treated conjointly.

The Anglo-Saxon "ceaster" is of course the castrum or camp of the Roman. The other word, "port," which is masculine, is also Roman, but taken in a sense which is not so generally known. Portus, in one of its meanings, expressed a custom-house (see Cicero in Verrem, 4, c. 70). The Roman camp was the original city. There all business regarding either the subjected native or the conqueror was originally transacted. Varus tried causes in his German camp, using the same order and forms therein as if it had been a true municipium (Florus, lib. 4, c. 12); and within the precincts of the camp, as afterwards of the city, was the partus (see Cicero, ante).

These two strange words were, as we see, never forgotten by the natives, and their tradition and perpetuation prove that the people who used and retained them were acquainted with the Romans from the epoch of the conquest to the substantiation and subsequent loss of their power in this island.

226This word occurs at p. 425 of the third volume (Appendix) of the Cod. Diplom. "Todan camp."

227 "Ζt Cendeles fimtan," p. 293, vol. 2, Cod. Diplom.

228 "Negociator magnarius" (Apuleii Metamorphoses, lib. 1, c. 5). See also ''Orellii Inscriptiones," vol. 2, p. 281, Insc. 4074, "corpus corariorum magnariorum;" ibid. p. 264, Insc. 4264, "magnarius pistor."

229 "Nu gyt to dsege hit is on leoiSum sungen, hwylcne demm hi Romanum gefeollan." (Thorpe's Orosius, p. 302).

230 Wihtraed's Laws, c. 28 (Thorpe), c. 30 of Schmid's edition.