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THE HISTORY

OF THE

NORMAN CONQUEST OF ENGLAND,

ITS CAUSES AND ITS RESULTS.

BY

EDWARD A. FREEMAN, M. A.

LATE FELLOW OP TRINITY COLLEGE.

VOLUME 1.

THE PRELIMINARY HISTORY TO THE ELECTION OF EADWARD THE CONFESSOR.

Αινέσωμεν δη άνδρας ενδόξους, και τους πατέρας ημών τη γενέσει . κυριεύοντες

εν ταις βασιλείαις αυτων....βουλεύσονται εν συνέσει αυτών.... ηγούμενοι λαού
év dlaßovacous.-Ecclus. c. xliv.

Oxford:

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.

M.DCCC.LXVII.

DA 195 F855 vil

PREFACE.

THE present volume is the first instalment of a work which I have contemplated, and for which I have at various times collected materials, for the last twenty years.

I had hoped to complete the work, or so much of it as would come down to the actual accession of William the Conqueror, in time for it to appear during the year 1866, the octocentenary year of the Conquest. I found however that, to make the main subject really intelligible from my point of view, it was necessary to treat the preliminary history at much greater length than I had originally thought of. The present volume therefore is merely introductory to the account of the actual Conquest. The second portion of the narrative, containing the reigns of Eadward, Harold, and William, is already in progress, and will follow with all possible speed.

I think it right to add that this work must not be taken as a sign that I have at all given up the design of going on with my History of Federal Government. Of the second volume of that work a

considerable part is already written. One or two circumstances led me to lay it aside for a time, and I do not at all regret that such has been the case. The part on which I was engaged was the history of the German Confederation, and I find that, of what I have written, part has already become antiquated through the events of the past year. When Germany shall have assumed a shape possessing some greater chance of permanence than her present clearly transitional state, I shall be better able to take a general view of German Federal history from the beginning. The peculiarity of the German Confederation is that it is the one recorded Confederation which arose from the separation of the component parts of a Kingdom. There now seems every chance of its changing back again into something more like its original state. The condition of the Hanseatic towns also, another part of my subject, is already greatly modified by the same events. It is even possible that they may not be without effect on the European position of Switzerland. On the whole, I believe that the delay in my work will only lead to its improvement, and that a volume on Swiss Federalism, and on German Federalism generally, will be far more valuable two or three years hence than it would have been if I had been able to complete it in the year before last.

With regard to my present work, my main object is to draw out that view of the Norman Conquest which I believe to be the one true one. That view, I may say, is formed by uniting the views of the

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