This banner text can have markup. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Full text of " The Anglo-Saxon home: " See other formats Google This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations Colm quando beve Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online. It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.
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Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. The materials which exist for a history of the social life of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers would not be abundant, even if they were all trustworthy ; but unhappily a large proportion of them cannot be so considered.
We have a very valuable collection of laws, the bulk of which are of undoubted authenticity; and we have an immense number of charters, of which a considerable proportion are knoion to be forgeries, and a Colm quando beve greater number are regarded with suspicion. We also possess numerous chronicles and histories which were written at a very early period ; but the majority of them have been more or less discredited by modern criticism.
They nevertheless afford a great amount of valuable information, though the numerous errors they contain, particularly as to names and dates, prove that they cannot always be im- plicitly relied upon. These inaccuracies, however, are of more importance to the historian and biographer than to the Colm quando beve of social history.
This may be explained by an illustration. In each of these stories a critic might possibly point out an error as to a date, Colm quando beve. The cZ- nides may therefore often be used as evidence of general customs, when they caimot be relied on to prove particular fiEicts.
In those instances in which the chronicler Colm quando beve at the period of which he wrote, and was generally believed and respected by his cotemporaries and immediate suc- cessors as was Colm quando beve case with Bedeit is comparatively immaterial, for the purpose of forming an opinion as to the manners of the time, whether his anecdotes are true or false. It is enough that they were so Consistent with what was then deemed probable, that no Colm quando beve at that time doubted their truth.
We also possess some Anglo-Saxon poetry. One poem, that Colm quando beve Beowulf, throws light on the customs of an almost pre-historic period ; and some of the shorter poems Colm quando beve lished in the Codex Exoniensissuch as The Scop's Tale, and The Fortunes of Men, are useful to the student of social history.
The illustrations of MSS. The work most frequently referred to in such of the following chapters as discuss the relative position of hus- band and wife, parent and child, master and servant, dif- ferences of rank, and vices and virtues, is The Ancient Laws Colm quando beve Institutes of England, published by the Record Commissioners.
These works relate exclusively to Colm quando beve, and they furnish us with a more valuable amount of knowledge than can be derived from any other source.
They do not, however, contain a fuU exposition of the laws and customs of England. They are merely fragments, and on many important matters their teaching is scanty and obscure. I have occasionally endeavoured to supply from the laws of the Northmen or Danesand from those of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians of the continent, some of the information which is not con- tained in our own ; but I have only done so in those cases in which our own and continental customs were substantially the same.
The Danish Colm quando beve preserved and most jealously defended their native laws and cua- toms, and were governed by the Dane-lagh, and not by the English law, down to, if not after, the time of the Norman Conquest The other tribes named, though the laws of all were substantially the same, retained their local customs in the different districts in which they settled ; and through many centuries we read of the laws of Wessex, Kent, Northumbria, and Mercia, as distinguished from one an- other.
When, therefore, our knowledge of the customs of the Danish and Teutonic colonists who settled here is Colm quando beve or obscure, we may fairly endeavour to supply the deficiency by a reference to the institutions of the countries whence they came. In addition to the codes of the tribes already named, we Colm quando beve the laws of several cognate nations, including those who formed the empire of Charlemagne, of the Franks, the Lombards, the Wisigoths, and others. All Colm quando beve codes are curiously alike, though they differ in matters of detail, and occasionally, though very rarely, in matters of great importance.
The whole of the ancient laws of all these nations and tribes, though usually enacted by the kings and public ' I think that the most important bards and others relating to the differences are the laws of the Salian judicial combat. Neither of these Franks Colm quando beve the inheritance of laws ever prevailed in Anglo-Saxon women, and the laws of the Lom- England.
V assemblies, were reduced into writing by the clergy, who in so doing modified them very considerably; and this they always did with a view to reduce them to accord- ance with the civil law of Bome, and the canon law of the church. They also borrowed their legal phraseology from these sources. As the ecclesiastical regulations introduced into this country by the Christian clergy were all based on the teaching of the catholic church, no apology is necessary for a reference to foreign councils Colm quando beve evidence of their meaning.
To the chapters devoted to the main topic of this work, viz. I should have added a chapter on domestic manners and architec- ture, but this subject has been lately treated at length by my friend Mr. Thomas Wright. I have in the appendix given a glossary of the few technical terms with which I have been unable to dis- pense. April 21, The Wife. The Child. The Slwb The Fbbeman The Noble The Priest The Monk. The Nun The Pilgrim Vices and Virtues.
IX 14w Music. Ecclesiastic music. Secular music. Thb Gleehan. Sports akb Pastimes. Hunting Hawking Fishing Swimming, skating, and boating Domestic animals.
Colm quando beve and tumbling In-door amusements Facetiaa. It is the Colm quando beve of the following pages to give a true picture of the domestic life of our Anglo-Saxon fore- fathers, and in so doing to trace the gradual development among them of the domestic affections and of the morals and manners of private life.
There are numerous works by distinguished writers on the history of the Anglo-Saxon Church, and on its theological opinions. The literature of the period has been examined and illustrated with the greatest learning and ability; and its civil and military annals have been traced and criticised in all the most famous histories of England. There is not, however, to the best of my belief, any work devoted to the history of the Anglo-Saxon home. Anglo-Saxons, but no attempt has been made to point out the Colm quando beve eras of civilization through which the morals and manners of the people passed.
There is, in fact, no history Colm quando beve their social development; yet there was as much difference between the morals and manners of the time of Hengist and Horsa and those of the reign of Edward the Confessor, as between the cus- toms of England under Henry VII and those of the present day. To describe them generally, without refer- ence to any particular period, is to pourtray a social state, which, existing partly in one age and partly in another, had as a whole no existence at all.
Some slight perception of this difficulty appears to have occurred to the mind of the anonymous author of a Colm quando beve servedly popular history ; as he states, in effect, that it is unnecessary to attempt to trace the social advance of the Anglo-Saxon people, seeing that they never made any such advance Colm quando beve of notice.
It must be Colm quando beve that we can- not fix the exact limit when any of them commenced op ended, yet their duration may be easUy explained in general terms. The first of these periods would occupy the time when the colonists firom the mouth of the Elbe were arriving in ever increasing numbers on the southern and eastern coasts, and were gradually reducing the natives Colm quando beve their subjection.
This period would extend firom the arrival of Hengist and Horsa in the middle of the fifth century to the youth of king Egbert or the end of the eightL The second era would embrace the years that elapsed Colm quando beve the Colm quando beve invasions of Ihe Danes and their final and peaceful settiement in the country, or from a. The third or Norman period of Anglo- Saxon history would be that comprised between the time of Cnut's death and the Norman conquest.
It generally means con- at once, and that Hengist and fusedly all Englishmen who lived he- Harold may have heen most intimate tween and — that is, during friends. These three eras were marked by decided differences in manners and morals, and by equally marked distinctions in laws and language.
It is probable that their visits first Colm quando beve place at least three or four hundred years prior to this era, and that at their earliest coming they arrived either in single families or in smaU numbers. There is no reason for supposing that they were then otherwise than welcome guests. There were in the south and east of England hundreds of miles of uncleared forest, there were boundless marshes which any one might use- fully drain, and broad and fertile plains which no one occupied.
To these the stranger was welcome, for in taking them he deprived no man of anything ; and his labours in clearing and cultivating the soil tended to the good Colm quando beve the community. He might also have been wel- come in the Koman towns, where the number of Roman colonists was rapidly decreasing, and in need of recruits Colm quando beve abroad. At that time the arrival of the Saxon was rather a benefit than a disadvantage, and there can be Colm quando beve doubt that the Anglo-Koman and Anglo-Saxon races at first intermingled in a friendly spirit.
Wright's same cemetery ; and in an extensive Celt, Roman, and Saxon, p. The Saxon came hither to settle, peaceably if he could ; but if not, stiH to settle. It was absolutely necessary that he should possess land, and if he could not obtain it by amicable means, he must take it by force.
The necessities of this position immediately placed him in a state of antagonism to the previous in- habitants, and in one of open warfare with their Boman governors. The period during which this system was carried on is, however, for the purposes of social history, almost pre- historic ; for we have no materials for a description of the social life of the inhabitants of these realms prior to the middle of the fifth century.
At that time vast numbers of persons migrated fi:om the coasts of the German ocean, from the mouths of the Elbe, the Eider, and the Rhine, and firom Holstein, HoUand, Zealand, Westphalia, Saxony, and countries even further north, to these shores. All these, though composed of different tribes, were of cog- nate origin; and after their Colm quando beve received the general designation of Anglo-Saxons. It is sometimes pretended that these tribes were distin- guished by many and marked differences of laws and customs, but the instances quoted are rather diversities of language or dialect than of political or social institutions.
The land prior to the Conquest. Selden, existence of the Jutish law of gavel- Analect, 1. Having, according to these same traditions, occupied nearly the whole of the southern coasts, the invaders attacked the eastern shores, where they also found large bodies of their fellow countrymen. These two "subsequently formed the kingdom of Northumbria.