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tottering into their graves. And to aggravate the horrors of the scene, the most ingenious modes of inflicting torture which could be devised were resorted to-those of her own sex seeming to be the objects of her special cruelties. The number of individuals, inhabitants of London, who were thus put to death by Boadicea, has never been satisfactorily ascertained; but it is supposed to have been not less than from fifty thousand to sixty thousand. If this be so, the fact shows what an important place London must have been even at that remote period, especially as many thousands who were in the prime of life must have effected their escape. Nor did this cruel though courageous woman content herself with the massacre of the inhabitants; she followed up her slaughter of the citizens by setting fire to, and destroying, the last vestige of the city. And here it may be remarked, that at this time London could not have been a fortified place; had it been environed by walls, it would not have fallen so easy a prey to the fury of Boadicea.
The Romans speedily recovered possession of London, though at what precise period has not been ascertained. It was not, indeed, likely that such a people as the Romans—at that time, and for centuries before, the military masters of the world—would allow any long period to elapse before they wiped away the reproach of being dispossessed of one of their favourite locations by a few thousand barbarians, under the command of a woman. Still less probable was it that they should rest satisfied until they had been revenged on those who had slaughtered so many thousands of their people, and their attached allies. They accordingly returned with a numerous and formidable army, and marched at once into the heart of London. scarcely met with anything worthy the name of resistance, in consequence of the dismay and consternation which the imposing appearance of their soldiers struck into the minds of Boadicea and the Britons. Of the latter it is computed that not fewer than from seventy thousand to eighty thousand perished in one day and on one spot. The loss of the Romans was trifling as compared with the numbers that had fallen under their sword. Only about four hundred of their soldiery were killed, and about a similar number wounded. Boadicea escaped from the scene of slaughter; but, finding her cause to be wholly hopeless, and anxious that the Romans might not be able to make her their prisoner, she took a quantity of poison, and very soon afterwards expired.
History is silent for a considerable period after this respecting the condition or extent of London. That it speedily recovered its civil importance and commercial prosperity, under the same institutions which had so rapidly raised it to greatness before, there is no reason to doubt. The first mention made of it after
They this time, occurs in the life of the emperor Severus, by Herodian. That writer, speaking of it in the beginning of the third century, represents it as being “a great and wealthy city."
Considerable diversity of opinion exists amung antiquarians as to the time at which London was first surrounded by a wall. A very general impression prevails that it was first enclosed in the time of Constantine the Great, in the end of the third or beginning of the fourth century. This is undoubtedly the traditionary account of the time at which the wall of London was constructed, It is supposed to have been built at the request of Helena, his mother; an impression strengthened by the fact that coins of that celebrated woman have been found under the wall, Be this as it may, it is not questioned that before the close of the fourth century, London was surrounded by a wall. The extent of the city at this time may be inferred from the locality of the seven great or double gates by which it was entered. These are understood to have been Ludgate, Newgate, Aldersgate, Cripple. gate, Bishopsgate, Aldgate, and the Posterngate near the Tower. The wall was one of remarkable strength. Its foundation was eight feet deep, the height was ten feet, and its thickness about nine feet. It was composed alternately of layers of broad flat bricks and of rag-stone. At a subsequent period an addition was made to the height of the wall, making its altitude about twenty feet. The circuit of the wall was about two miles and a furlong. It had two grand forts and thirteen smaller towers, conjectured to have been each about forty feet in height. The principal street of Roman London is supposed to have been the Watling Street of the present day. Cheapside is also supposed to have been then, as now, another of its leading thoroughfares.
From the time of Constantine the Great until the departure of the Romans from Britain, which event is supposed to have taken place in the second quarter of the fifth century, our information respecting London is exceedingly scanty. One fact, however, of considerable importance, as indicating the commercial prosperity of London in the middle of the fourth century, has been ascertained. It is, that in the year 359, the very large number-large for that remote period—of eight hundred vessels, were employed in the exportation from London of corn alone.
For a considerable period after the Romans had abandoned our shores, London continued rapidly to decline, both in grandeur and in commercial importance. The Saxons, whom the Londoners had sent for to protect them from the incursions of the Scots and Picts, began, soon after they had acquired a footing in the country, to attempt bringing the Britons under subjection to themselves. The Britons resented as long as they were able, these efforts to subjugate them to the Saxon yoke. At last they were compelled to relinquish the unequal contest. The
decline of the trade and commerce of London, which had been gradually going on for nearly a hundred and fifty years, was now followed by its almost entire annihilation. Ethelbert, king of Kent, whose sovereignty was acknowledged by all the Saxon nations south of the Humber, transferred the seat of government from London to Canterbury. From this period down till the year 827-being a period of
nearly two centuries and a half-scarcely anything is heard of London, excepting the fearful visitations which befel it in the form of fire and pestilence. In the year last named, Egbert, who had just established the Heptarchy, chose London as the seat of his sovereignty. Fortune again, therefore, began to smile on it. In six years thereafter, namely, in 833, a Parliament was held in it. Scarcely, however, had the prospect of recovering at least some portion of its former grandeur and commercial greatness, begun to break upon it, than it was overclouded by the results which followed the invasion of the Danes. One of the first of these results was the expulsion of Egbert from his adopted capital. This was followed by the massacre of the great majority of the inhabitants, and the destruction of nearly the whole city by fire.
The name of London was, for about half a century after this, scarcely heard of, excepting in connexion with its past history: At the end of that time, namely, in the year 884, the celebrated Alfred, having previously vanquished the Danes and expelled them from Britain, ordered the city of London to be rebuilt. He was the first to introduce houses of stone and brick. The circumstances of the people, however, were not such as enabled them to construct many of their houses of these materials; though, as London again advanced in the path of prosperity, the number continued to increase. He encouraged trade and commerce in every possible way, and instituted a municipal system for the local government of the place, which proves him to have been as great a statesman and philosopher, as his brilliant victories had before proved him to be a distinguished warrior. London continued to make steady progress in trade and commerce, and civil and political importance, for more than a century, when it was again doomed to meet with disasters, owing to the pusillanimity of Ethelred the Second, the reigning monarch. He ingloriously fled from London, leaving the citizens to defend their walls as they best could, when exposed to the assaults of the united armies of Denmark and Norway, headed by the monarchs of these two countries. The citizens made a brave defence, repeatedly repulsing the invaders with great loss, and compelled them, at last, to raise the siege. The Danes, assisted by the Norwegians, continued, however, to harass other parts of the country, until the cowardly and feeble-minded Ethelred was induced to abdicate his throne, and retire into the province
of Normandy. This was in the year 1013. Unable to hold out any longer, the citizens of London were obliged to open their gates to the army of Sweyn, the Danish king, and to submit, with the rest of the inhabitants of England, to his sceptre. That monarch's reign, however, was not of long duration; he died in three years afterwards, and was succeeded by his son, the celebrated Canute—a name made familiar to every school-boy by means of the anecdote respecting his vain attempt to arrest the progress of the waves by commanding them, with kingly authority, not to approach the place where he had seated himself on the shore. The citizens of London promptly and bravely rallied round the standard of Edmund Ironside, the son of Ethelred, in the effort which the Saxons, under his command, then made to release themselves from the Danish bondage in which the latter were held. Prospects of a successful rising looked remarkably bright for a time. Canute was compelled to flee from the capital, and Ironside, his rival, was crowned king of England. Three several times in the course of the year 1016 did Canute return to London and lay siege to it, but as frequently was he repulsed with a very heavy loss. Both princes, finding their army so alarmingly reduced, and their forces so equally balanced, that it was impossible to say which of them should ultimately triumph, entered into a compromise. The condition on which they agreed to lay down arms was, that there should be an equal division of territory between them. The agreement was carried into effect; the division of territory was made, and peaceful relations seemed to be established between the rival princes, when Ironside was assassinated by his treacherous relative, Edric Streon. The Saxons, thus deprived of their leader, were obliged to resign themselves to the sole sovereignty of Canute.
At this period of the history of London, it is only from incidental hints in the writings of those who refer to that era, that we
can form any idea of its wealth and commercial greatness. That it must, at this period, have been a place of great opulence and commercial importance, is evident from the fact, that on Canute succeeding to the entire and uncontested sovereignty of England, he called on the citizens of London to pay more than a seventh part of a tax of £82,000, which he imposed on the whole country. Canute died in 1036. His death was followed by serious disputes as to which of three claimants to the throne should be his successor. Edward, son of Ethelred, had a large and influential body of partizans; who, failing him, resolved to declare in favour of Hardicanute, son of Canute by queen Emma. Harold Harefoot, another son of Canute by queen Elgiva, of Northamptom, had also a formidable body of adherents. Among his friends were the citizens of London; a host in themselves. It was eventuaily agreed, for the sake of peace, that the two brothers should equally divide the kingdom between them. It was while these disputes were going on that the citizens of London, for the first time, sent representatives to Parliament. On the death of Hardicanute, the Danish line of succession ended, and Edward the Confessor, a prince lineally descended from Alfred the Great, was chosen to the throne of England. His reign is remarkable on many accounts: a new era in the history of London is to be dated from his accession to the throne. The privileges which that city had enjoyed for so long a period, but which seem to have rested on no better foundation than that of mere usage, were now, for the first time, recognised by special act of Parliament. What those privileges were, is a point on which we are left in doubt; but there can be no question that they were very important ones: that, indeed, may be fairly inferred from the frequent incidental allusions made to them by the chroniclers of that period. One important fact which is clearly ascertained is, that London bad from time immemorial enjoyed the right-a right confined to itself-of conferring liberty on those slaves or vassals who had fled to it, and had remained within its walls for a year and a day without being claimed by their lords. This was one of the privileges which received a statutary recognition and confirmation on the accession of Edward to the crown. It is supposed, and with reason, that in this privilege of the city of London is to be found the origin of that great constitutional doctrine-a doctrine which is the boast and glory of Englishmen—that the moment a slave sets bis foot on the soil of England, that moment his fetters burst asunder, and he stands erect in all the conscious dignity of a freeman.
The only circumstance to which it is necessary to allude, connected with the accession of William the Conqueror—the next important epoch in the annals of London—is, that the citizens only consented to submit to his sway, on the condition that he would, by special charter, ratify certain privileges they had before enjoyed, and confer upon them new ones. The most important of the privileges before possessed, but now guaranteed to them in all time coming, by express charter, was, that they should be " law worthy;" meaning, that in all matters affecting their persons or property, they should be entitled to a legal trial. This privilege was first conferred on them in the time of Edward, and is supposed by some to have been the origin of trial by jury, though in a much ruder state than that in which the institution is developed in modern times.
From this period until the reign of John, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, nothing definite is known respecting the military resources or commercial greatness of London. That the citizens must have been a courageous race of men, and