A Constitutional and Legal History of England

By Goldwin Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
Enterprise and decay

COURT AND HOUSEHOLD

THERE were found Norman kings of England: William I ( 1066- 1087), William II ( 1087-1100), Henry I ( 1100-1135), and Stephen ( 1135-1154). The ablest of these were William I, some of whose achievements have already been described, and his talented son Henry I. William II was evil and reckless and he constructed nothing. The reign of Stephen, following the shining chapters of Henry I's enterprise, brought decay and disintegrating feudal anarchy. This chapter describes the main features of legal and constitutional development in the years before Stephen's death in 1154. We begin with an examination of the structure of central government.

At the three annual feasts when the king wore his crown the great council of England assembled. The members met at Easter in Winchester, at the festival of Whitsuntide (seven weeks after Easter) in Westminster, and at Christmas in Gloucester. This council was the king's feudal court, the curia regis, the nucleus of future parliaments, the ancestor of the modern House of Lords and the departments of state. In this impressive council the whole nation was conceived to be present. Membership in a feudal age was based upon landholding, not upon the criterion of personal importance as in the case of the Anglo-Saxon witan. The principle of composition was thus new to England, an importation from the Frankish world quite dissimilar to Saxon arrangements.

The king was lord of all the vassals in a kingdom that was, after all, the greatest of feudal honors. He summoned the mighty barons, including the abbots and bishops, and the duty to attend was sometimes enforced by penalties. The king, of course, could summon to

-58-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Constitutional and Legal History of England
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 566

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.