ALIENS IN ENGLAND
THE attitude of Englishmen towards aliens in the later Middle Ages was one of hostility. "They have an antipathy to foreigners," wrote the author of the Italian Relation, "and imagine that they never come into their island but to make themselves masters of it, and to usurp their goods." The opinion of Froissart, given more than a hundred years earlier, is very similar; he speaks of "the great haughtiness of the English, who are affable to no other nation than their own; nor could any of the gentlemen of Gascony or Aquitaine, though they had ruined themselves by their wars, obtain office or appointment in their own country; for the English said they were neither on a level with them nor worthy of their society."
This dislike of aliens seems to have been inherent in Englishmen, but it was heightened by the long foreign wars in which the country was engaged, and in moments of national excitement it rose to fever heat. At such times the lives of aliens were not safe; when the Duke of Burgundy left the English alliance and joined the French, "the commonaltie" attacked "all kinde of Flemminges then being in London" and "many were wounded, many killed, before the multitude could, by