Page images
PDF
EPUB

che Succession to the Kingdom was not conferred as a Hereditary Right, but according to the Appointment of the General Council; yet the Franks were so far willing to retain the Custom':? of their Progenitors the Germans, (who as. Tai citus tells us, chuse their Kings for their Nobility, and their Generals for their Valour) that for the most part they elected such Kings as were of the Blood Royal, and had been educated in a Regal Manner, whether they were the Children, or some other Degree of Kindred to the Royal Family..

But in the Year 987, after the Death of Lewis the Fifth, who was the 21st King of Francogallia, and the 12th of the Carlovingian Line, there hapnied a Migration or Transla- i tion of the Royal Scepter, and a Change of the Kingdom. For when there remained no Person alive of the former Family but Charles Duke of Lorrain, Uncle to the deceased King, to whom the Succession to the Kingdom, by, ancient Custom seem'd to be due; there arose up one Hugh Capet, Nephew to Hauvida; Sister to the Emperor Otho the First, and Son to Hugh Earl of Paris ; a Man of great Reputation for Valour, who alledged, that he being present upon the place, and having deserved extraordinary well of his Country, ought to be preferr'd to a Stranger, who was absent. For there having hapned fome Controversies be- ! tween the Empire of Germany, and the King.' dom of France; Charles upon occasion had shewn himself partial for the Empire against France, and upon that score had lost the Afa fections of most of the French. Whereupon. Charles having rais'd an Årmy, made an Irrup. tion into France, and took feveral Cities by

compo

composition. Capet relying on the Friendship and Favour of the Francogallican Nobles, got together what Forces he cou'd, and went to meet him at Laon, a Town in the Borders of Champagne ; and not long after a bloody Battel was fought between them, wherein Capet was routed, and forced to fly into the innermost Parts of France; where he began again to raise Men in order to renew the War. In the mean time Charles having dismiss'd his Army, kept himself quiet in the Town of Laon with his Wife ; but the Year following he was on a sudden surrounded by Capet, who besieg’d the Town with a great Army.

There was in the Place one Anselmus, Bishop of the City. Capet found means to corrupt this Man by great Gifts and Promises, and to induce him to betray both the Town and the King into his hands; which was accordingly, done. And thus having obtained both the City. and the Victory, he sent Charles and his Wife, Prisoners to Orleans, where he fet strict Guards over them. The King having been two years, in Prison, had two Sons born to him there, Lewis and Charles; but not long after they all died. So that Capet being now Master of the whole Kingdom of France without dispute or :trouble, affociated his Son Robert with him in the Throne, and took care to get him declared his Succeffor. Thus the Dignity and Memory: of the Carlovingian Family came to an End, the 237th Year after the first beginning of their ; Reign. And this History is recorded by Sige- : bert in Chron. Ann. 987. as well as the Appendix, lib. 5. cap. 45. .

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

We must not omit making mention of the cunning device made use of by Hugh Capet, for establishing himself in his new Dominion: For whereas all the Magistracies and Honours of the Kingdom, fuch as Dukedoms, Earldoms, &c.' had been hitherto from äncient Times conferr'd upon select and deserving Persons in the General Conventions of the People, and were held only during good behaviour ; whereof (as the Lawyers express it ) they were but Beneficiaries; Hugh Capet, in order to secure to himself the Affections of the Great Men, was the first that made those Honours perpetual, which formerly were but temporary; and ordained, that such as obtained them shou'd have a hereditary Right in them, and might leave them to their Children and Pofterity in like manner as their other Eftates. Of this, see Franciscus Conanus the Civilian, Comment. 2. Cap. 9. By which notorious Fact, 'tis plain, that a great Branchi of the Publick Councils Authority was torn àway; which however ( to any Man who Teriously considers the Circumstances of those times) seems impossible to have been effected by him, alone, without the Consent of that Great Conncil it self.

[ocr errors]

1.

| C H A P. XVII. Of the uninterrůpted Authority of the

Publick Council during the Capevingian Race.

IXE may learn out of Froiffard, Monftrellet, VV Gaguinus, Comminės, Gillius, and all the other Historians who have written concerning these Times, that the Authority of the Publick Council was little or nothing lefs in the time of the Capevingian Family, than it had been during the 'two former Races. But because it wou'd be too troublesome, and almoft: an infinite labour to quote every instance of this nature, we shall cnly.chufe some few of the most remarkable Exanıples out of a vast number which we might produce. . And the first shall be what hapned in the Year 1928. When Chartes the Fair dying wichour Issue Male, and leaving a Pofthumous Daughter behind him; Edward King of England, and Son to Isabellay Sister of Chartesy claims ed the Kingdom of France as belonging to him of Right. Now there cou'd be no tryal of greater importance, nor more illustrious, brought before the Publick Council, than a Controversy of this kind. And because it was decided there, and both Kings did submit themselves to the Judgment and Determination of a the Council, 'tis an irrefragable Argument, that the Authority of the Council was greater than that of both Kings. This Fact is recorded not only by all our own Historians, but by Polyclore

Virgil, Virgit, an English Wricer, Histori lib.196 Møreover, I chat great Lawyer Popkins, Arreftotuod, lib. 1. cap. 1. has left it on Record, (grounded, no doubt, upon sufficient Authorities, ) SAThai

bothi Kings were) prefent at that bukti « when the Matter was almost brought tolans

open Rupture ; by che Advice of the Nobless! Ca General Convention of che People ands States “. was fummond : and the Vote of the Majorify " was that the Kinsmanj byrthe Father's fidel ( ought to have the preference ; and chatrthe " Custody of the Queen, then great with Child; ç shou'd be given to Vaborsi do whom also the “ Kingdom was adjudged and derreed in cafe She < brought forth a Daughter14-8 Which History Froifard, Vol. 1. cap. 22. 2: Papanicus Arreft. lib.2. cap. 1: Art. Ź.and Gaguinus in Philippo Malefi, have publikhede inval op jolas bi od

The Year 1956, furnishes us with Ianarhás Example; at which time King Fahn wasrdet feated by the English at Poitiers; taken Pribat ner, aná: carried into Englende toit. ) L Aftersta “ great a Calamity, the only hopes left were “ in the Authority of the Great Council & theres) “ fore immediately as Parliamenty wası Sám“ mond to meet at Paris) And althoi King fohn's thrée Sons Charles Lewis and abroad

were at hand, the eldest of which was fof

competent Age to govern giovet íother: Meil " were chosen , to wit,howeve approved Berliams

out of each Order of the States, to uhom the rc Management of the Kingdom's Affairs iwas “intrusted; and there it was decreed, thadan “ Embassy shou'd be sent into England to treat “ of Peace with the English. Froifırd, Wob. I. cap. 170. Joannes Buchettaesi lib. 4. fol.. 7.181 Nich. Gillius in Chron. Regisifoannis. are! Our Authors.

K 2

« PreviousContinue »