BLTC Press Titles

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

History and Description of the Ancient City of York: History

by William Hargrove


We find history is nearly silent respecting York, from this period till the year 1137, in the reign of king Stephen; when another fire, occasioned by accident, spread so extensively as to burn down the Cathedral, St. Mary's Abbey, St. Leonard's Hospital, 39 parish churches in the city, and Trinity church, in the suburbs.

In the year 1138, David, king of Scotland, entered England, with a powerful army, and besieged York; on which occasion, archbishop Thurstan, lieutenant governor of the North, called together the nobility and gentry of the county. They immediately raised forces, marched


against the enemy, and caused him to retire from before the city. The hostile army was, however, overtaken near Northallerton; and after a terrible battle, was entirely defeated, 10,000 of the Scots being slain upon the field.

By this event, the peace of the country appears to have been secured for a long period; and both the reader and the historian will be spared such frequent repetitious of sanguinary recitals, as thus far occupy the pages of our record, and have often disgraced the Christian name. A Scotch historian and poet, Alexander Necham, has noticed the change in some Latin lines, which may be thus translated:

"There happy Ebor's Towers ascend the skies, And mitred honors to St. Peter rise.

In dust, how oft, this hapless city laid;

Her walls demolish'd, and her warriors dead! But for such horrors past—such rage deplor'd, Peace has rcturn'd, and lasting joy restor'd."

In the year 1160, and in the reign of king Henry the second, the first parliament, mentioned in history by that appellation, was held in this city. Malcolm, the Scotch king, was summoned to appear before it, and answer to certaiu charges alleged against him by Henry. One of them stated that Malcolm, when he accompanied the English king, during the wars in France, betrayed all his counsels to the enemy. The Scotch king attended; and though he proved the allegations to be false, was condemned to lose all the lands he held of Henry in England, and to do homage for the kingdom of Scotland; but part of the former obligation was remitted, on condition of the latter being strictly complied with.

Henry called another convention of the barons and bishops, at York, in the year 1171; before whom he cited William, the successor of Malcolm, to appear, and do homage for the whole kingdom of Scotland. The Scotch king complied; and, in token of his subjection, deposited on the altar of the Cathedral, in York, his breastplate, spear, and saddle.

From a variety of circumstances, York appears to have been, about this time, a place of considerable trade; and as it is justly observed that the jews never settle, in large bodies, except at trading towns, or in commercial cities, their number and wealth in York, at this period, justify the remark*.

* We have a proof of the commercial prosperity of York, at a later period, when the staple of wool, which

Drake observes, that the houses of the jews in this city, resembled the palaces of princes, rather than the dwellings of subjects.

This people had been introduced by William the Conqueror; and the immense increase of their wealth eventually proved to them a source of evil. In 1189, when the ceremony of the coronation of Richard the first, was announced, the principal members of that religious sect, as was usual on those occasions, were deputed from various parts of the country, to present the new sovereign with rich gifts, for the purpose of insuring the royal favour towards them as a body. The king, however, disgusted on some account, gave orders that no jew should be present at the coronation; notwithstanding which, several were so imprudent as to mix with the crowd; and being discovered, were insulted, bruised, and some of them killed.

Benedict and Joe-onus, two of the most wealthy merchants in the city of York, had repaired to

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