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freely from Bede's History, already referred to. The following is an extract from "The Chronicle" (A.D., 449), with translation.

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Then came there men of three powers of Germany, from Old Saxons, from Angles, from Jutes.

From the Jutes came [the people] of Kent and of Wight, that is, the race that now dwells in Wight and that kin [tribe] of the West Saxons, the ones [those] yet called the Jute race. Of the Old Saxons came the East Saxons, and South Saxons, and West Saxons. Of the Angles, who have occupied the wastes betwixt the Jutes and the Saxons, came the East Angles, Mercians, and all the Northumbrians.

Alfric the Grammarian, about whose identity authorities differ, was one of the Anglo-Saxon writers of the later days. He was the author of "Eighty Homilies" written in AngloSaxon for the use of the common people. Besides these he wrote a Latin grammar, whence his agnomen.

With the passing of the glory of the West Saxon kingdom the supremacy of the West Saxon dialect came to an end. This was brought about by Danish incursions which checked progress, arrested culture, and blasted all the hopes of an advancing civilization.

8 Untilled land.

The Danes, or the Scandinavian pirates, as they might perhaps better be called, came as a blight upon the land and for nearly two and a half centuries-from the sack of Landisfarne to the accession of Canute-they ravaged the land, terrorized the people, burned their homes, their churches, monasteries, and schools. Under such conditions neither language nor literature flourished. Through the fall of Anglo-Saxon supremacy, achieved by the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the English language, though still spoken to some extent, was gradually superseded by Latin and Norman French, and by the year 1150 the Old English period drew to a close.


This period extended from 1150 to 1350, when the Chaucerian Period began. During the first century of the Early Middle English Period the full inflections of the Anglo-Saxon Period were broken up, and during the second a large number of Latin words that had been Gallicized, and assimilated by both Norman and Parisian, were introduced into English as French either through the Norman dialect or through the Parisian speech.

Latin was the language of the scholars, and William the Conqueror fostered this by replacing the few remaining Saxon prelates whose scholarship was behind the times by abler men, such as Lanfranc and Anselm. In addition to this he built many abbeys and convents where men of learning could study and commit their thoughts to parchment in quietude and peace. He established schools and raised the great seminaries of Oxford and Cambridge to the rank of universities.

The eventual result of the Norman Conquest was largely a reconstruction of the English vocabulary for, after having adopted Gallicized Latin as English speech, the people were not slow to convert such other words as they needed to their use. By this means the English vocabulary was much enlarged, and after the Renaissance-a period dating from the accession of Charles VIII. (1483) to that of Francis I. (1515)-a very marked increase in the number of words obtained from the same source is to be noted.

Then, when French words of Latin coinage were used in speech or writing they gradually passed as English currency and suffered all pains and penalties for their intrusion; that is, "they were subjected to all the duties and liabilities of English words in the same position."'9

During this period confusion of grammatical forms was the rule rather than the exception. Side by side might be seen the full inflections of the Anglo-Saxons and the broken inflections of the Transition Period by which name this, the Middle Period, is sometimes known. On account of these broken inflections this period is sometimes called also the Semi-Saxon. This breaking down or leveling of inflections was completed by 1250.

In his "History of the English Language," Dr. Emerson points out that, although the introduction of Norman French is generally credited to the Norman conquest and its results, French influence in England dates from the accession of Edward the Confessor (1041),10 and, says he, "It is not improbable that some words appearing in the written documents of a later time now first entered the spoken language."

"Encyclopedia Britannica," VIII, 393.

10 Pp. 51, 52.

The same authority attributes the introduction of Angevin, the dialect spoken in Anjou, into English to the accession of Henry of Anjou, as sovereign of England. (1154.)

Although Norman influence waned with the loss of the dukedom of Normandy, still the influence of Parisian French upon the English language continued during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and it has exerted itself more or less sporadically ever since. But the waning of the influence referred to can not be better shown than by citing an official proclamation of Henry III. to the people of Huntingdonshire in 125811-just one century later than the accession of Henry of Anjou, perhaps better known as Henry Plantagenet, the first English king of the Plantagenet line. This proclamation passes as one of the earliest specimens of official English, for that bulwark of the British constitution, the Great Charter, sealed, but not signed as is commonly stated, by John at "Runingmede inter Windlesorum (Windsor) et Staines," June 15, 1215, was drafted in Latin.


"Henry, purg Godes fultome, King on Engleneloande, lhoaurd on Yrloand, Duke on Normand, on Acquitain, Eorl on Anjou, send I greting, to alle hise holde, ilærde & ilewerde on Huntingdonschiere.

"pat witen ge well alle, þæt we willen & unnen (grant) þæt ure rædesmen alle other, pe moare del of heom,

Modern English

Henry, through God's support, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy, of Acquitain, Earl of Anjou, sends greeting, to all his subjects, learned and unlearned (i.e., clergy and laity) of Huntingdonshire.

This know ye well all, that we will and grant, what our counselors all or the more part

11 "Henry's History," Vol. VIII, app. iv.


pæ beop ichosen purg us and burg þæt loandes-folk on ure Kuneriche, habbip idon, and schullen don, in þe worpnes of God, and ure treowpe, for pe freme of þe loande, purg pe besigte of pan toforen iseide rædesmen, beo stedfæst and ilestinde in alle Þinge abutan ænde, and we heaten alle ure treowe, in the treowþe pt heo us ogen, pet heo stedefæstliche healden & weren to healden & to swerien pe isetnesses þæt beon makede and beo to makien, þurg þan to foren iseide rædesmen, oper purg pe moare del of heom alswo, alse hit is biforen iseide

And pet æhc oper helpe þæt for to done biþam ilche oper, aganes alle men in alle pet heo ogt for to done, and to foangen. And noan ne nime of loande, ne of egetewhere, purg pis besigte muge beon ilet oper iwersed on onie wise. And gif oni oper onie cumen her ongenes, we willen & hoaten, þæt alle ure treowe heom healden deadliche ifoan.

And for þæt we willen þæt pis beo stædfast and lestinde, we senden gew his writ open, iseined wip ure seel, to halden amanges gew ine hord. Witnes usselven æt Lundæn, þæne

Modern English

of them, that be chosen through us and through the land's-folk of our kingdom, have done. and shall do, to the honor of God, and in allegiance to us, for the good of the land, through the determination of those beforesaid counselors, be stedfast and lasting in all things without end, and we enjoin all our lieges, by the allegiance that they us owe, that they stedfastly hold and swear to hold and to maintain the ordinances that be made, and be to be made through the before-said counselors, or through the more part of them also, as it is before-said.

And that each help the other for to do by them each other, against all men, in all that they cught for to do, and to promote. And none is to take land, nor property whereby this business may be impeded or damaged in any way. And if any man or any woman cometh them against, we will and enjoin that all our lieges them hold deadly foes.

And for that we will that this be stedfast and lasting, we send you this writ open, sealed with our seal, to keep amongst you in store. Witness ourself

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