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Note XXXIX.-p. 130.
The exaggerations of some, as T. Walsingham, in describing the expedition from Harfleur, and of most writers, but not T. Walsingham, in their accounts of the sea fight, expose and contradict themselves. Thus T. Walsingham, p. 441, says there were 15,000 French and only 1500 English in the Harfleur battle, and he describes the attack as begun by Armagnac, while all others state the plundering expedition of Exeter as giving rise to the engagement. He very slightly mentions the sea fight, and only says that the French vessels having molested our coasts for some time, it became necessary to oppose them by the king's brother, who took eight, of which the three largest escaped. Hardynge, c. 216, gives 20,000 as the number of French killed or taken prisoners—it is hard to say which, for he uses both expressions within seven lines, if indeed “ taken” be not an error for “ slain.” But after their utter, destruction he makes the French avail themselves of a calm to attack the English fleet night and day with “ wilde fyre.” Ho-' linshed (iii. 85) describes the whole French navy as either sunk or captured in the engagement, but he also mentions the resistance made next day by “ certain French gallies” to the English entering and victualling the town. T. Liv. (p. 26) only relates the victory as having put the enemy's ships to fight, and not as having taken or sunk above three or four. T. Elm. (p. 82) does not widely differ from this account. Stow (iii. 52) gives no account of Bedford's expedition at all; but in relating Huntington's the year after, he confounds it with Bedford's so far as to make its object the relief of Harfleur, and to represent Henry as at one time intending to command it. Monst. (c. clxv.) says that 800 English were slain in Exeter's (Dorset's) predatory inroad. The Polychron. (cccxxx.) only states the number of the French fleet at 57, and that three were taken, one destroyed, and the rest fled. Mr. Hume has neither mentioned Exeter's expedition nor his repulse and subsequent success, nor the siege of
Harfleur and its relief by Bedford's naval victory. He is, however, quite correct in his remarks on Henry's invasion, and in his comparison of the three victories, Crécy, Poictiers, and Agincourt; all these inroads he truly describes as mere predatory incursions, and the victories to which the English owed their escape from apparently inevitable destruction as only occasioned by the gross errors of the French captains. In fact, Henry's success two years after was owing not to his first invasion, but to the accidents which had arisen to increase the distractions of the French court.
There were, of course, many loans contracted by former kings ; but these were chiefly on their own personal security, or by pledges of their property or the property of the crown, as we have seen that Henry pawned the crown jewels and even the crown itself. The necessities of war had also put the Parliament, as well as the King, upon many shifts. Thus in 14 Ed. III. money was borrowed by the King upon the 20,000 bags of wool granted to him by Parliament (Rot. Par. ii. 119-121). In the 20 Ed. III. a subsidy was granted, the merchants having advanced money upon it; the entry is made on the roll that the grant could not be repealed without the consent of Parliament, meaning that the merchants could not be deprived of their security by the Crown giving up the subsidy (Rot. Par. ii. 161). But this does not amount to a parliamentary pledging or mortgaging of the revenue granted. In 50 Ed. III. Latymer was impeached for borrowing 20,000 marks for the King and binding him to repay 30,000, and also for having shared in the enormous profit (ib. 325). Merchants were in the same reign allowed to export the wool duty free, until thus repaid the money lent by them (ib. 444). In 5 Rich. II. one of the causes assigned in the speech for assembling the Parliament is, that the merchants being applied to for a loan, refused to advance their money without parliamentary security (Rot. Par. iii. 121). But the first regular mortgaging of a subsidy which I can find is that referred to in the text, 4 Henry V. The entry on the roll (Rot. Par. iv. 95, 96) purports to bind the King, and his three brothers in case of his decease, in the presence of the prelates, peers, and commoners whose names are underwritten for more solemnity. The security of the lenders was to be by writs under the Great Seal made for the several sums advanced, whether by abbeys, princes, bishops, towns, or individuals.
There is considerable obscurity and some uncertainty respecting the nature of tenths and fifteenths. The other fractions, as nones or 9ths, sometimes 20ths, sometimes 8ths, and once 14ths, soon sunk in the regular 10ths and 15ths. It seems to be thought by some that 10ths were of landed rents and profits, 15ths of personal property ; but for this supposition there is not any foundation. In fact, R. Hoveden (vi. 42), when relating the first assessment of the kind in Henry II.'s time, expressly states it to be 6 de mobilibus.” Then, if both 10ths and 15ths are assessments on moveables, why should they be granted together? It is possible that they were originally granted on different kinds of property, and afterwards continued in conjunction when granted on the same kinds of property, instead of one grant of 1-6th ; but this is not very likely. I take the fact to be this :—We find that they were given originally, the one on country owners or inhabitants, the other on city or borough inhabitants. The former were rated at 1-15th of their personal property, the latter at 1-10th, perhaps because of the feudal services of the country folk, afterwards commuted for scutage. Of these there were exempted all whose personal property was under 10s., of the town folk all whose property was under 6s. For many years the terms of the grant kept up the distinction: thus in 8 Ed. III., 1-10th is expressly granted on persons within cities and boroughs, and 1-15th on those in the country (Rot. Par. ii. 447). So 2-10ths and 2-15ths were granted in the same way in 1 Rich. II. (Rot. Par. iii. 7). But afterwards the Rolls of Parliament only mention 10ths and 15ths indiscriminately, and the first instance which we find of this is in 7 Rich. II. (Rot. Par. iii. 167). In 6 Ed. III. we find 1-14th de mobilibus and 1-9th de redditibus granted (Rot. Par. ii. 446); but next year, 7 Ed. III., it is 1-10th on cities and 1-15th on counties, and in both it is on the 6 biens” (Rot. Par. ii. 447).
The assessment made, 8 Ed. III. 1334, was afterwards the rule for these levies, a general survey having been made, and the whole put into a more regular form; so that when afterwards a 10th or a 15th was granted by the Parliament, each town was to pay the sum paid in 8 Ed. III., and collect that sum among its inhabitants by apportioning it.
The clergy appear to have given 1-10th with very few exceptions, of which Rot. Par. iii. 176 would seem to furnish one in Rich. II.'s tiine, as it looks like the grant of 1-151h. In 11 Hen. IV. the city of Oxford complained that the religious persons there had purchased since 20 Ed. I. lands and tenements, and refused to pay any of the late or future levies granted to the revenue of the city ; but they are ordered to pay their 15th on all such purchases (Rot. Par. iii. 645).
There has been considerable inaccuracy in the writers who have made mention of Provisors and Provisions, an important head of our old ecclesiastical and constitutional law. All of them, so far as I know, have represented the claims of the Roman See to presentation as general. Even Blackstone (4 Com. 107) only restricts it apparently to the case of incumbents or patrons dying on their way to Rome or during their residence there. So Hume (ch. xvi.). Dr. Lingard, who might be supposed better informed than others on such a subject, gives no distinct account of it (ii. 151). It might from these authorities be inferred that the Papal claim extended to all benefices; though Dr. Lingard (ii. 310, and also iii. 387) seems to have had some suspicion that this generality did not belong to it. The truth is, that Provisions were confined exclusively to those dignities and benefices the conferring of which was in the hands of spiritual patrons, as prelates, abbots, chapters. Hence it included bishoprics and other ecclesiastical dignities; but it had no relation to lay patronage, although the vague language in some parts of the Statute of Carlisle (35 Ed. I.) and of the Statute of Provisors (25 Ed. III. St. 4) might seem to countenance such an error. It is possible that the encroaching spirit of Rome might have secretly favoured a design of its legates to extend the claim; but when complaints of the abuse of the right were urged in the reign of Henry III., the Pope (Innocent IV.) explicitly disclaimed all but the restricted claim now stated. Rym. i. 426, 495. See too the preamble to the statutes 35 Ed. IV. and 25 Ed. III. St. 4. The statute of Henry IV. extends the former acts to all Provisions which give dispensations, as well as to interference with advowsons.
Note XLII.-p. 143. It is remarkable that while Hol. (iii. 89), and after him Stow (353), to say nothing of Goodwyn and Hume, have given the whole force as above 25,000, and Juv. des Urs. (337) at 50,000 “combattans,” T. Liv. 32, and T. Elm. 92, both state it at 16,400, and the former gives the number brought by each baron, amounting to 2361 horsemen and 6862 archers, adding that the residue, 7177, to make up 16,400, were the King's own retainers and the men he had hired. It is to be noted, however, that this author (T. Liv. 33) expressly says he omits to mention how many attendants came with each of the barons and knights, so that the irregular forces may have been considerable. The whole army was by much the greatest that had ever been sent out of England. At Crécy Edward III. had only 2300 horsemen, 5200 archers, and 1000 Welsh infantry with him; at Poictiers the Black Prince had not above 8000 men, of