Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
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mate sources of history, and what from the
legendary tales of the bards. We shall,
however, certainly not err in assigning to
the latter source the statement which makes
the foundation of Oxford nearly coeval
with the destruction of Troy. The first
certain fact connected with the subject at
which we can arrive, even under the Sax-
ons, is, that in the reign of king Alfred,
who at one time resided at Oxford with
his three sons, the place was noted for a
monastery, which was founded in the year
727, and which sober writers, with great
appearance of probability, conclude to have
formed the nucleus of the town by gather-
ing around it the dwellings of the laity.
Since that period the name of Oxford is
of very frequent occuiTence in history; and
it will be proper to notice the prominent
facts, without descending to such subordi-
nate details as might be thought interest-
ing in a more extended account than it is
our object to supply.
Almost our earliest authentic information
of the existence of this town states that it
was set on fire twice, and otherwise suffer-
ed much from the Danes, in the reign of
Ethelred the Unready; we are therefore
prepared to learn that when that monarch
ordered a general massacre of the Danes
throughout his dominions, this order was
executed with the most terrible fidelity at
Oxford in particular. In revenge for the
active part which it took in this transaction,
Sweyn again fired the town on his next
descent on this country; and in the year
1013 the place was surrendered to him by
order of Ethelred. In subsequent years,
Oxford was frequently the residence of the
court. Edmund Ironside was murdered
there; Canute held there a great council,
at which the laws of Edgar were made
binding upon all the subjects of the crown,
— Danes as well as English; and on the
death of that prince a Witenagemote was
held there to settle the succession of the
crown, and Harold Harefoot, who succeeded,
was crowned and died at Oxford. The
town seems to have been much attached
to the other Harold, who was killed at
Hastings, and was one of those that held
out for a time against the Conqueror, who,
however, took it by storm, in 1067, and
bestowed it upon Robert D'Oyley, one of
his officers, in whom he had great confi-
dence. 'This Robert,' says William of
Malmsbury, 'made the Castelle of Oxford,
and, as I conject, other [either] made the
waulles of Oxford, or repaired them.'
This castle was in tolerable repair in the
early part of the civil war between King
Charles and the Parliament, but it after-
wards went to decay, and all that now re-
mains is St. George's Tower, of which so
much as is habitable is used as the county
prison; the keep in which is a strong vault-
ed chamber, with a well of great depth,
and a crypt, now used as a store-cellar.
After the erection of this castle, Oxford
became more submissive, and appears to
have become quite reconciled to the Nor-
man yoke before the death of the Con-
queror. The Empress Maude, daughter of
Henry I., during her contest with King
Stephen, obtained possession of the castle;
but being closely besieged by the latter,
she avoided being taken prisoner only by
escaping through the postern-gate, dressed
in white linen, with four knights similarly
disguised. She passed across the Isis,
which was frozen, and travelled on foot
six miles, through deep snow, to Abingdon,
and thence to Wallingford, where she was
joyfully welcomed. Her son, Henry II.,
resided, during the greater part of his
reign, at Oxford, in a palace called Beau-
mont, which had been built by his grand-
father; in this palace was born his valiant
son, Richard Cœur de Lion, who held a
council there before his departure for Pa-
lestine. King John spent much of his time
in the same palace, and he had a meeting
with his barons in the vicinity, about two
months before they compelled him to sign
the Magna Charta. Henry HI. also occa-
sionally resided at Oxford, and several
parliaments and councils were held there
during his reign ; but afterwards the town
became less distinguished as the residence
of the court and the theatre of political
transactions. Edward II, made a present
of the palace to the Carmelites, and some
remains of it are still extant.
In the reign of Henry VIII, Oxford was
the seat of one of the six new bishoprics
created by that monarch. In the reign of
his daughter Mary, Oxford was chosen for
the burning of the bishops Latimer and
Ridley, for the alleged crimes of heresy
and treason; and, a few months after, Cran-
mer suffered death at the same place. To
Queen Elizabeth the homage of learning
was particularly grateful, and she visited
the place frequently in order to receive it.
Her successor was driven thither, on one
occasion, for refuge from the plague in
London; but the plague reached Oxford
also, and its devastations were so awful,
that the scholars hastened from the uni-
versity, and the citizens shut up their shops.
'Not a living creature,' says Ayliffe, 'be-
sides nurses and corpse-bearers, was to be