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conclusion that without Peel’s aid in office there was no prospect of success. Under that pressure Peel consented to remain, and all the cabinet approved. The consent of the king, which could scarcely have been obtained except by the duke and Peel, was extorted, withdrawn (the ministers being out for a few hours), and again extorted; and on the 5th of March 1829 Peel proposed Roman Catholic emancipation in a speech of more than four hours. The apostate was overwhelmed with obloquy. Having been elected for the university of Oxford as a leading opponent of the Roman Catholics, he had thought it right to resign his seat on being converted to emancipation. His friends put him again in nomination, but he was defeated by Sir R. H. Inglis. He took refuge in the close borough of Westbury, whence he afterwards removed to Tamworth, for which he sat till his death. Catholic emancipation was forced on Peel by' circumstances; but it was mainly owing to him that the measure was complete, and based upon equality of civil rights. This great concession, however, did not save the Tory government. The French Revolution of July 1830 gave fresh strength to the movement against them, though, schooled by the past, they promptly recognized King Louis Philippe. The parliamentary reform movement was joined by some of their offended Protestant supporters. The duke of Wellington committed them fatally against all reform, and the elections went against them on the demise of the Crown; they were beaten on Sir H. Parnell’s motion for a committee on the civil list, and Wellington took the opportunity to resign rather than deal with reform.
While in office, Peel succeeded to the baronetcy, Drayton Manor and a great estate by the death of his father (May 3, 1830). The old man had lived to see his fondest hopes fulfilled in
‘ the greatness of his son; but he had also lived to see that a father must not expect to fix his son’s opinions—above all, the opinions of such a son as Sir Robert Peel, and in such an age as that which followed the French Revolution. ‘
Sir Robert Peel’s resistance to the Reform Bill won back for him the allegiance of his party. His opposition was resolute but it was. temperate, and once only he betrayed the suppressed fire of his temper, in the historical debate of the 22nd of April i831,
' when his speech was broken ofi by the arrival of the king to dissolve the parliament which had thrown out reform. He refused to (join the duke of Wellington in the desperate enterprise of forming a Tory government at the height of the storm, when the Grey ministry had gone out on the refusal of the king to promise them an unlimited creation of peers. By this conduct be secured for his party the full benefit of the reaction which he no doubt knew was sure to ensue. The general election of 183 2, after the passing of the Reform Bill, left him with barely 150 followers in the House of Commons; but this handful rapidlyswelled under his management into the great Conservative party. Hefrankly accepted the Reform Act as irrevocable, taught his party to register instead of despairing, appealed to the intelligence of the middle classes, whose new-born power he appreciated, steadily supported the Whig ministers against the Radicals and O’Connell, and gained every moral advantage which the most dignified and constitutional tactics could afford. To this policy, and to the great parliamentary powers of its author, it was mainly due that, in the course of a few years, the Conservatives were as strong in the reformed parliament as the Tories had been in the unreformed. It is vain to deny the praise of genius to such a leader, though the skill of a pilot who steered for many years over such waters may sometimes have resembled craft. But the duke of Wellington’s emphatic eulogy on him was, “ Of all the men I ever knew, he had the greatest regard for truth.” The duke might have added that his own question, “How istheking’s government to be carried on in a reformed parliament P” was mainly solved by the temperate and constitutional policy of Sir Robert Peel, and by his personal influence on the debates and proceedings of the House of Commons during the years which followed the Reform Act.
In 1834, on the dismissal of the Melbourne ministry, power came to Sir Robert Peel before he expected or desired it. He hurried from Rome at the call of the duke of Wellington, whose
sagacious modesty yielded him the first place, and became prime minister, holding the two oflices of first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer. He vainly sought to include in his cabinet two recent seceders from the Whigs, Lord Stanley and Sir James Graham. A dissolution gave him a great increase of strength in the house, but not enough. He was outvoted on the election of the speaker at the opening of the session of 183 5, and, after struggling on for six weeks longer, resigned on the question of appropriating part of the revenues of the Church in Ireland to national education. His time had not yet come; but the capacity, energy and resource he displayed in this short tenure of office raised him immensely in the estimation of the house, his party and the country. Of the great budget of practical reforms which he brought forward, the plan for the commutation of tithes, the ecclesiastical commission, and the plan for settling the question of dissenters’ marriages bore fruit.
From 183 5 to 1840 he pursued the same course of patient and far-sighted opposition. In 1837 the Conservative members of the House of Commons gave their leader a grand banquet at Merchant Taylors’ Hall, where he proclaimed in a great speech the creed and objects of his party. In 1839, the Whigs having resigned on the Jamaica Bill, be was called on to form a government, and submitted names for a cabinet, but resigned the commission owing to the young queen’s persistent refusal to part with any Whig ladies of her bedchamber (see VICTORIA, QUEEN). In 1840 he was hurried into a premature motion of want of confidence. But in the following year a similar motion was carried by a majority of one, and the Whigs ventured to appeal to the country. The result was a majority of ninety-one against them on a motion of want of confidence in the autumn of' 1841, upon which they resigned, and Sir Robert Peel became first lord of the treasury, with a commanding majority in both Houses of Parliament.
The crisis called for a master-hand. The finances were in disorder. For some years there had been a growing deficit, estimated for 1842 at more than two millions, and attempts to supply this by additions to assessed taxes and customs duties had failed. The great financier took till the spring of 1842 to mature his plans. He then boldly supplied the deficit by imposing an income-tax on all incomes above £150 a year. He accompanied this tax with a reform of the tarifi, by which prohibitory duties were removed and other duties abated on a vast number of articles of import, especially the raw materials of manufactures and prime articles of food. The increased consumption, as the reformer expected, countervailed the reduction of duty. The income-tax was renewed and the reform of the tarifi carried still farther on the same principle in 1845. The result was, in place of a deficit of upwards of two millions, a surplus of five millions in 1845, and the removal of seven millions and a half of taxes up to 1847, not only without loss, but with gain to the ordinary revenue of the country. The prosperous state of the finances and of public afiairs also permitted a reduction of the interest on a portion of the national debt, giving a yearly saving at once of £62 5,000, and ultimately of a million and a quarter to the public. In 1844 another great financial measure, the Bank Charter Act, was passed and, though severely controverted and thrice suspended at a desperate crisis, has ever since regulated the currency of the country. In Ireland O’Connell’s agitation for the repeal of the Union had now assumed threatening proportions, and verged upon rebellion. The great agitator was prosecuted, with his chief adherents, for conspiracy and sedition; and, though the conviction was quashed for informality, repeal was quelled in its chief. At the same time a healing hand was extended to Ireland. The Charitable Bequests Act gave Roman Catholics a share in the administration of charities and legal power to endow their own religion. The allowance to Maynooth was largely increased, notwithstanding violent Protestant opposition. Three queen’s colleges, for the higher education of all the youth of Ireland, without distinction of religion, were founded, notwithstanding violent opposition, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. The principle of toleration once accepted, was thoroughly carried out. The last remnants of the penal laws were swept from the statute-book, and justice was extended to the Roman Catholic Church in Canada and Malta. In the same spirit acts were passed for clearing from doubt Irish Presbyterian marriages, for settling the titles of a large number of dissenters’ chapels in England, and removing the municipal disabilities of the Jews. The grant for national education was trebled, and an attempt was made, though in vain, to introduce effective education clauses into the factory bills. To the alienation of any part of the revenues of the Established Church Sir Robert Peel never would consent; but he had issued the ecclesiastical commission, and he now made better provision for a number of populous parishes by a redistribution of part of the revenues of the Church. The weakest part of the conduct of this great government, perhaps, was its failure to control the railway mania by promptly laying down the lines on a government plan. It passed an act in 1844 which gave the government a right of purchase, and it had prepared a palliative measure in 1846, but was compelled to sacrifice this, like all other secondary measures, to the repeal of the corn laws. It failed also, though not without an effort, to avert the great schism in the Church of Scotland. Abroad it was as prosperous as at home. It had found disaster and disgrace in Afghanistan. It speedily ended the war there, and in India the invading Sikhs were destroyed upon the Sutlej. The sore and dangerous questions with France, touching the right of search, the war in Morocco, and the Tahiti afiair, and with the United States touching the Maine boundary and the Oregon territory, were settled by negotiation.
Yet there were malcontents in Sir Robert Peel’s party. The Young Englanders disliked him because he had hoisted the‘flag of Conservatism instead of Toryism on the morrow of the Reform Bill. The strong philanthropists and Tory Chartists disliked him because he was a strict economist and an upholder of the new poor law. But the fatal question was protection. That question was being fast brought to a crisis by public opinion and the Anti-Corn-Law League. Sir Robert Peel had been recognized in 1841 by Cobden as a Free Trader, and after experience in office he had become in principle more and more so. Since his accession to power he had lowered the duties of the sliding scale, and thereby caused the secession from the cabinet of the duke of Buckingham. He had alarmed the farmers by. admitting foreign cattle and meat under his new tariff, and by admitting Canadian corn. He had done his best in his speeches to put the maintenance of the corn laws on low ground, and to wean the landed interest from their reliance on protection. The approach of the Irish famine in 1845 turned decisively the wavering balance. When at first Sir Robert proposed to his cabinet the revision of the corn laws, Lord Stanley and the duke of Buccleuch dissented, and Sir Robert resigned. But Lord John Russell failed to form a new government. Sir Robert again came into office; and now, with the consent of all the cabinet but Lord Stanley, who retired, he, in a great speech on the 27th of January 1846, brought the repeal of the corn laws before the House of Commons. In the long and fierce debate that ensued he was assailed, both by political and personal enemies, with the most virulent invective, which he bore with his wonted calmness, and to which he made no retorts. His measure was carried; but immediately afterwards the offended protectionists, led by Lord George Bentinck and Benjamin Disraeli, coalesced with the Whigs, and threw him out on the Irish Coercion Bill. He went home from his defeat, escorted by a great crowd, who uncovered as he passed, and he immediately resigned. So fell a Conservative government which would otherwise have probably ended only with the life of its chief.
Though out of ofiice he was not out of power. He had “ lost a party, but won a nation.” The Whig ministry which succeeded him leant much on his support, with which he never taxed them. He joined them in carrying forward free-trade principles by the repeal of the navigation laws. He helped them to promote the principle of religious liberty by the bill for the emancipation of the Jews. One important measure was his own. While in office he had probed, by the Devon commission of inquiry, the
land. In 1849, in a speech on the Irish Poor Lam/he first suggested, and in the next year he aided in establishing, a commission to facilitate the sale of estates in a hopeless state of encumbrance. The Encumbered Estates Act made no attempt, like later legislation, to secure by law the uncertain customary rights of Irish tenants, but it transferred the land from ruined landlords to solvent owners capable of performing the duties of property towards. the people. On the 28th of June 1850 Sir Robert Peel made a great speech on the Greek question against Lord Palmerston’s foreign policy of interference. This speech was thought to show that if necessary he would return to ofice. It was his last. On the following day he was thrown from his horse on Constitution Hill, and mortally injured by the fall. Three days he lingered and on the fourth (July 2, 1850) he died. All the tributes which respect and gratitude could-pay were paid to him by the sovereign, by parliament, by public men of all parties, by the country,.by the press, and, above all, by the great towns and the masses of the people to whom he had given “ bread unleavened with injustice.” He would have been buried among the great men of England in Westminster Abbey, but his will desired that he might be laid in Drayton church. It also renounced a peerage for his family, as he had before declined the garter for himself when it was ofiered him by the queen through Lord Aberdeen. ,
Those who judge Sir Robert Peel will remember that he was bred a Tory in days when party was a religion; that he entered parliament a youth, was in office at twenty-four and secretary for Ireland at twenty-five; that his public life extended over a long period rife with change; and that his own changes were all forward and with the advancing intellect of the time. They will enumerate the great practical improvements and the great acts of legislative justice of those days, and note how large a share Sir Robert Peel bad, if not in originating, in giving thorough practical effect to all. They will reflect that as a parliamentary statesman he could not govern without a party, and that it is difficult to govern at once for a party and for the whole people. They will think of his ardent love of his country, of his abstinence from intrigue, violence and faction, of his boundless labour through a long life devoted to the public service. Whether he was a model of statesmanship may be doubted. Models of statesmanship are rare, if by a model of statesmanship is meant a great administrator and party leader, a great political philosopher and a great independent orator, all in one. But if the question is whether he was a ruler loved and trusted by the English people there is no arguing against the tears of a nation.
Those who wish to know more of him will consult his own posthumous Memoirs (I856), edited by his literary executors Earl Stanhope and Viscount Cardwell; his private correspondence, edited by C. Parker (1821—1899) ; the four volumes of his speeches; a sketch of his life and c aracter by Sir Lawrence Peel (1860); an historical sketch by Lord Dalling (13‘4); Guizot's Sir Robert Peel (1857); Kiinzel’s Lebm and Radar S" obert Peel's (18 I); Disraeli's Life of Lord Georgiel Benh'nck (1858); Morlely's Lye of gobden; monogra‘phs bg F. C. onta ue (1888), . hurs eld 1891), and the ear of osebe (I899 ; Peel 0 OConnelI, by 0rd Eversley; the Life of Sir. . Graham ([907), b C. S. Parker; Lord Stanmore's Life of Lord Aberdeen (1893); an the general histories of the time. (C. S. P.)
Four of Sir Robert’s five sons attained distinction. The eldest, 5111 ROBERT PEEL (1822—1895), who became the 3rd baronet on his father’s death, was educated at Harrow and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was in the diplomatic service from 1844 to 1850, when he succeeded his father as member of parliament for Tamworth, and he was chief secretary to the lordlieutenant of Ireland from 1861 to 1865. He represented Tamworth until the general election of 1880; in 1884 he became member for Huntingdon and in 1885 for Blackburn, but after r886 he ceased to sit in the House of Commons. Sir Robert described himself as a Liberal-Conservative, but in his later years he opposed the policy of Gladstone, although after 1886 he championed the cause of home rule for Ireland. In 1871 he sold his father’s collection of pictures to the National Gallery for £7 5,000, and in his later life he was troubled by financial difficul
sores of Ireland connected with the ownership and occupation of
ties. Sir Robert was interested in racing, and was known on the turf as Mr F. Robinson. He died in London on the 9th of May r895, and was succeeded as 4th baronet by his Son, Sir Robert Peel (b. 1867).
Sm FREDERICK PEEL (1823—1906), the prime minister’s second son, was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a barrister in r849. He entered parliament in that year, and with the exception of the period between 18 57 and 18 59 he remained in the House of Commons until 1865. In 1851-1852 and again in 18 53—185 5 he was under-secretary fer the colonies; from 1855 to 1857 he was under-secretary for war; and from 1859 to 1865 he was secretary to the treasury; He became a privy councillor in r857 and was knighted in 1869. Sir Frederick Peel’s chief service to the state was in' connexion with the railway and canal commission. He was appoirted a corn~ missioner on the inception of this body in 1873, and 'was its president until its reconstruction in 1888, remaining a member of the commission until his death on the 6th of June 1906.
'The third son was Sm WILLIAM PEEL (1824—1858), and the youngest VISCOU'NT PEEL (gm); Sir William was a sailor, who distinguished himself in the Crimea, where he gained the Victoria Cross, and also during the Indian Mutiny, being wounded at the relief of Lucknow. He died on the 27th~“of April 1858. Sir William wrote A Ride through'the‘ Nubian Desert (1852), giving an account of his travels in 1851. ‘ '
Two' of Sir Robert Peel's'brothers were also politicians of note. WILLIAM YATES PEEL (r789—1858), educated at Harrow and at St John's College, Cambridge, Was a member of parliament from 1817 to r837, and again from r847 t0'l852; he was undersecretary for home affairs In [828, and was a lord of the. treasury in 1830 and again in 1834—1835. JONATHAN PEEL (woo—18?) was first a soldier and then a' member of parliament during t c long
riod between [826 and 1868, first representing Norwich and then
untingdon. From 1841 to 1846 he was surveyor- eneral of the ordnance, and in 1858-1859 and- again in 1866—1867 competent and successful secretary of state for war.. General Peel was also an owner of racehorses, and in 1844 his horse Orlando won the Derby, after‘another horse, Running Rein, had been disqualified. _ ' ' >
For the history of the Peel family see Jane Hawortb, A Memoir of the Family of Peel from the yearj600 (1836). .
PEEL, a seaport and watering-plaCe of the Isle of Man, on the W. coast, 11} m. W.N;W. of Douglas by the Isle "of Man railway. Pop. (1901), 3304. It lies on Peel Bay, at‘ the mouth of the small river Neb, which forms the harbour. The old tOWn consists of narrow streets and lanes, but 'a modern residential quarter has grown up to the east. On the West side of the river-mouth St Patrick’s Isle is connected with the mainland by a causeway. It is 'occupied almost wholly by the ruins of Peel castle. St Patrick is said to have founded here the first church in Man, and a small chapel, dedicated to him, appears ' to date from the 8th or xoth century. There is a round tower, also of very early date, resembling in certain particulars the round towers of Ireland. , The ruined cathedral of St German has a transitional Norman choir,with a very early crypt beneath, a nave with an early English triplet at the west end, transepts, and a low and massive central tower still standing. There are remains of the bishops’ palace, of the so-called Fenella’s tower, famous through Scott’s Pevcril of the Peak, of the palace of the Lords of Man, of the keep and guardron above the entrance to the castle, and of the Moare or great tower, while the whole is surrounded by battlements. There are also a large artificial mound supposed to be a defensive‘earthwork of higher antiquity than the castle, and another mound known as the Giant’s Grave. The guardroom is associated with the ghostly apparition of the Moddey Dhoo (black dog), to which reference is made in Peveril of the Peak. In 1397 Richard II. condemned the earl of Warwick to imprisonment in Peel Castle for conspiracy, and in 1444 Eleanor, duchess of Gloucester, received a like sentence on the ground of having compassed the death of Henry VI. by magic. Peel has a long-established fishing industry, which, however, has declined in modern times. In the town the most notable building is the church of,St German, with a fine tower and spire. 'Peel was called by the Northmen ' Holen (island, is St Patrick's Isle); the existing name is Celtic,
'e was a very.
meaning “ fort ” (cf. the peel towers of the borderland of England and Scotland).
PEEL. (r) The skin or rind of a fruit; thus “to peel ” is to remove the outer covering of anything. The etymology of the‘word is closely connected with that of “ pill,”‘to plunder, surviving in “ pillage.” Both words are to be referred to French and thence to Latin. In French peter and pillar, though now distinguished in meaning (the first used of stripping bark
or rind, the second meaning to rob), were somewhat confused
in application, and a similar confusion occurs in English till comparativer late. The Latin words from which they are derived are pellis, skin, and pilare, to strip of hair (pitus). (2) The name of a class of small fortified dwelling-houses built during the 16th century on the borders between Scotland and England. ‘ They are also known as “ bastel~houses,"' i.e. “ bastille-houses,” and consist *f a square massive tower With high'pitched roof, the lower part being vaulted, the upper part containing a few living rooms. The entrance is on the upper floor, access being gained ‘by a movable ladder. The vaulted ground~tloor chamber served for the cattle ‘when there' was danger of attack. The word appears in various forms, e.g. pale, ped, and Latinized as pdum, &c.; “ pile ” is also found used synonymously, but the New English Dictionary (sxv. pile) considers the two words distinct. It seems more probable that the word is to be identified with “pale,” a stake (Lat. palus). The earlier meaning of “ peel ” is a palisaded enclosure used as an additional defence for a fortified post or as an independent stronghold. ' PEELE, GEORGE (r558—c. r598), English dramatist, was born in London in 1558. His father, who appears to have belonged to a Devonshire family, was clerk of Christ’s Hospital, and wrote two treatises on bookkeeping; George Peele was educated at Christ’s Hospital, and entered Broadgates Hall (Pembroke College), Oxford, in r 571. In 1 574 he removed to Christ Church, taking his B.A. degree in 1577, and proceeding M.A. in r 579. In 1579 the governors of Christ’s Hospital requested their clerk to “ discharge his house of his' son, George Peele.” It is not necessary to read into this” anything more than that the governors insisted on his beginning to earn a livelihood. He went up to London about I 580, but2 in r 583 when Albertus Alasco (Albert Laski), a Polish nobleman, was entertained at Christ Church, Oxford, Peele was entrusted with the arrangement of two Latin plays by William Gager (fl. 1580-1619) presented on the occasion. He Was also complimented by Dr Gager for an English verse translation of one of the Iphigenias of Euripides. In 1585 he was employed to write the Device of the Pageant borne before W oolstan Dixie, and in 1591 be devised the pageant in honour of another lord mayor, Sir William Webbe. This was the Desccnsus Astraeae (printed in the Harleian Miscellany, 1808), in which Queen Elizabeth is honoured as Astraea. Peele had married as early as. I 583 a lady who brought him some property, which he speedily dissipated. Robert Greene, at the end of his Groatsworth of Wit, exhorts Peele to repentance, saying that he has, like himself, “ been driven to extreme shifts for a living.” The‘ sorry traditions of his reckless life were emphasized by the use of his name in connexion with the apocryphal Merrie conceited Jest: of George Peele (printed in 1607). Many of the stories had 'done service before, but there are personal touches that may be biographical. He died before 1598, for Francis Meres, writing in that year, speaks of his death in his Palladi: Tamia. His pastoral comedy of The Afaygncment of Paris, presented by the Children of the Chapel Royal before Queen Elizabeth perhaps as early as 1581, was printed anonymously in 1584. Charles Lamb, sending to Vincent Novello a song from this piece of Peele’s, said that if it had been less uneven in execution Fletcher’s Faithful Shepherdess “ had been but a second name in this sort of writing.” Peele‘shows considerable art in his flattery. Paris is arraigned before Jupiter for having assigned the apple to Venus. Diana, with whom the final decision rests, gives the apple to none of the competitors but to a nymph called Eliza, whose identity is confirmed by the further explanation, “ whom some Zabeta call.” The Famous Chronicle of King Edward the first, sirnamcd Edward Longshankes, with his relurnc from the holy land. Also the life of Lleuellcn, rebcll in Wales. Lastly, the sinking of Queen Elinor, who suncke at Charingcrosse, and rose again at Pollers-hilh, now named Queenchith (printed 1593). This “ chronicle history,” formless enough, as the rambling title shows, is nevertheless an advance on the old chronicle plays, and marks a step towards the Shakespearian historical drama. The Balloll of Alcazar—wilh the death of Captaine Slukelcy (acted 1588—1589, printed r 594), published anonymously, is attributed with much probability to Peele. The Old Wives Tale, registered in Stationers’ Hall, perhaps more correctly, as “ The Owlde wiies tale ” (printed 1595), was followed by The Love of King David and fair Bclhsabe (written o. 1588, printed 1599), which is notable as an'example of Elizabethan drama drawn entirely from scriptural sources. Mr Fleay sees in it a political satire, and identifies Elizabeth and Leicester as David and Bathsheba, Mary Queen of Scots as Absalom. Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamyder (printed 1599) has been attributed to Pcele, but on insufficient grounds. Among his occasional poems are “ The Honour of the Garter,” which has a prologue containing Peele's judgments on his contemporaries, and “ Polyhymnia ” (r 590), a blank-verse description of the ceremonies attending the retirement of the queen’s champion, Sir Henry Lee. This is concluded by the “Sonnet,” “His golden locks time hath to silver turn’d,” quoted by Thackeray in the 76th chapter of The Newcomer. To the Phoenix Nos! in 1593 he contributed “ The Praise of Chastity.” Mr F. G. Fleay (Biog. Chron. oi the Drama) credits Peele with The Wisdom of Doctor Doddipoll (printed 1600), Wily Beguiled (printed 1606), The Life and Death of Jack Straw, a notable rebel (1587?), a share in the First and Second Parts of Henry VI., and on the authority of- Wood and W instanley, Alphonsus, EmPeror of Germany. tenure, one of the obligations the tenants-in-chief were bound to perform, although this membership gradually became restricted by the operation of the Royal prerogative to a small section of the Baronial class and eventually hereditary by custom. The Norman Councils may have arisen from the ashes of a Saxon Witenagemot, but there is little evidenCe of any historical continuity between the two. The Church in England, as in Christendom generally, occupied a position of paramount importance and far-reaching influence; its leaders, not alone from their special sanctity as ecclesiastics, but as practically the only educated men of the period, of necessity were among the chief advisers of every ruler in Western Europe. In England churchmen formed a large proportion of the Witan, the more influential of the great landowners making up- the rest of its membership.
Peele belonged to the group of university scholars who, in Greene’s phrase, “ spent their wits in making playes.” Greene went on to say that he was “in some things rarer, in nothing inferior,” to Marlowe. Nashe in his preface to Greene’s Menaphon called him “the chief supporter of pleasance now‘living, the Allas of Poetrie and primus verborum artifcx, whose first encrease, the Arraignemenl of Paris, might plead to your opinions his pregnant dexteritie of wit and manifold varietie of invention, wherein (me judice) hee goeth a step beyond all that write.” This praise was not unfounded. The credit given to Greene and Marlowe for the increased dignity of English dramatic diction, and for the new smoothness infused into blank verse, must certainly be shared by Peele. Professor F. B. Gummere, in a critical essay prefixed to his edition of The Old Wives Tale, puts in another claim for Poele. In the contrast between the romantic story and the realistic dialogue he sees the first instance of humour quite foreign to the comic “ business ” of earlier comedy. The Old W ive: Tale is a play within a play, slight enough to be perhaps better described as an interlude. Its background of rustic folk-lore gives it additional interest, and there is much fun poked at Gabriel Harvey and Stanyhurst. Perhaps Huanebango,1 who parodies Harvey’s hexameters, and actually quotes him on one occasion, may be regarded as representing that arch-enemy of Greene and his friends.
they chose for their raids on the ‘Roman' Catholic villages. The Roman Catholics in return formed the society of “ The Defenders.” ' '
PEEPUL, or PIPUL (Ficus rcligiosa), the “sacred fig” tree of India, also called the B0 tree. It is not unlike the banyan, and is venerated both ‘by the Buddhists of Ceylon and the' Vaish'navite Hindus, who say that Vishnu was born beneath its shade. It is planted near temples and houses; its sap abounds in caoutchouc, and a good deal of lac is obtained from insects who feed upon the branches. The fruit is about the size of a walnut and is not much eaten. ‘
PEEBAGE (Fr. Pairago, med. Lat. paragium; M.E. Pore, 0. Fr. per, pm, later pair; Lat. paris, “equal ”). Although in England the terms “ peerage,” “ nobility,” “ House of Lords " arc in common parlance frequently regarded as synonymous, in reality each expresses a different meaning. A man may be a peer and yet not a member of 'the House of Lords, a member of the House of Lords and yet not- strictly a peer; though'all’ peers (as the term is now understood) are members of the, House of Lords either in essc or in posse. In the United Kingdom the rights, duties and privileges of peerage are centred in an individual; to the monarchial nations of the Continent nobility conVeys the idea of family, as opposed to personal, privilege.
Etymologically “ peers ” are “ equals ” (pores), and in ‘AngloNorman days the word was invariably 'so understood. The feudal tenants-in-chief of the Crown were all the peers of each other, whether lords of one manor or of a. hundred; so too a bishop had'his ecclesiastical peer in a' brother bishop, and the tenants of a manor their peers in their fellow»tenants. That even so late as the reign of John the word was still used in this general sense is clear from_iMagna Carta, for the term “judicium parium"‘ therein must be understood to mean that every man had a right to 1be tried by his equals. This very right Was asserted by the barons as a body in 1233 on behalf of Richard, earl marshal, who had been declared a traitor by the king’s command, and whose lands were forfeited without proper trial. In 1233 the French bishop Peter des Roches, Henry III.’s minister, denied thebarons’ right to the claim set up on the ground that the king might judge all his subjects alike, there being, he said, no peers in England (Math. Paris. 389). The English barons undoubtedly were using the word in the sense it held in Magna Carta, while the bishop probably had in his mind the French peers (pairs de France), a small and select body of ieudatories possessed of exceptional privileges. In England the term was general, in France technical. The change in England was gradual, and probably gathered force as the gulf between the greater barons and the lesser widened, until in course of time, for judicial purposes, there came'to be only two classes, the greater barons and the rest of the people. The barons remained triable by their own order (i.c. by their peers), whilst the rest of the people rapidly became subject to the general practice and procedure of the king’s justices. The first use of the word “peers ” as denoting those members of the baronage who were accustomed to receive regularly a writ of summons to parliament is found in the record of the proceedings against the Despensers in 1321 (Stubbs, Consl. H isl. ii. 347), and from that time this restricted use of the word has remained its ordinary sense.
Properly to understand the growth and constitution of the peerage it is necessary to trace the changes which occurred in the position of the Anglo-Norman baronage, first Anna, through the gradual strengthening of royal supre- Norman macy with the consequent decay of baronial power an‘m locally, and subsequently by the consolidation of parliamentary institutions during the reigns of the first three Edwards.
' Before the conquest the national assembly of England (see' PARLIAMENT) was the Witan, a gathering of notables owing their presence only to personal influence and standing. 1h, 5"“ The imposition of a modified feudal system resulted W116“in a radical alteration. Membership of the Great I'M" Councils of the Norman kings was primarily an incident of
In place of the scattered individual and absolute ownership of Saxon days the Conqueror became practically the sole
Nam" owner of the soil. The change, though not immeifmlll. diater complete, followed rapidly as the country enure.
settled down and the power of the Crown extended to its outlying frontiers. As Saxon land gradually passed into Norman hands the new owners became direct tenants of the king. Provided their loyal and military obligations were duly performed they had fixity of tenure for themselves and their heirs. In addition fixed money payments were exacted on the succession. of. the heir, when the king’s eldest son was knighted, his eldest daughter married, or his person ransomed from captivity. In like manner and under similar conditions the king’s tenants, or as they were termed tenants-in-chief, sub-granted the greater portion of their holdings to their own immediate followers. Under Norman methods the manor was the unit of local government and jurisdiction, and when land was given away by the king the gift invariably took the form of a grant of one or more manors.
When he brought England into subjection the Conqueror’s main idea was to. exalt the central power of the Crown at the expense of its feudatories, and the first two centuries following the conquest tell one long tale of opposition by the great tenantsin-chief to a steadily growing and unifying royal pressure. With this idea of royal supremacy firmly fixed in his mind, William’s grants, excepting outlying territory such as the marches of Wales or the debateable ground of the Scottish border, which needed special consideration, were seldom in bulk, but took the form of manors scattered over many counties. Under such conditions it was practically impossible for a great tenant to set up a powerful imperium in impcrio (such as the fiefs of Normandy, Brittany and Burgundy), as his forces were distributed over the country, and could be reached by the long arm of royal power, acting through the sheriff of every county, long before they could effectively come together for fighting purposes. The tenants-in-chief were termed generally barons (see BARON) and may be regarded historically as the parents of the peers of later days. The pages of Domesday (1086), the early Norman fiscal record of England, show how unevenly the land was distributed; of the fifteen hundred odd tenants mentioned the majority held but two or three manors, while a favoured few possessed more than a hundred each. Land was then the only source of wealth, and the number of a baron’s manors might well be regarded as a correct index of his importance.
The king’s tenants owed yet another duty, the service of attending the King’s Court (curia regis), and out of this custom grew the parliaments of later days. In theory all the king’s tenants-in-chief, great and small, had a right to be present as incident to their tenure. It has therefore been argued by some authorities that as the Conqueror’s system of tenure constituted him the sole owner of the land, attendance at his courts was 501er an incident of tenure, the Church having been compelled to accept the same conditions as those imposed on laymen. But, as already pointed out, the change in tenure had not been immediate, and there had been no general forfeiture suffered by ecclesiastical bodies;
consequently throughout the early years of William’s reign some of the English bishops and abbots attended his courts as much by virtue of their personal and ecclesiastical importance as by right of tenure. The King’s Court was held regularly at the three great festivals of the Church and at such other times as were deemed advisable. The assembly for several generations neither possessed nor pretended to any legislative powers. Legislative power was a product of later years, and grew out of the custom of the Estates granting supplies only on condition that their grievances were first redressed. The great bulk of the tenants were present for the purpose of assenting to special taxation above and beyond their ordinary feudal dues. When necessary a general summons to attend was sent through the sheriff of every county, who controlled a system of local government which enabled him to reach every tenant. In course of time to a certain number of barons and high ecclesiastics, either from the great extent of their possessions, their official duties about the king or their personal importance, it became customary to issue a personal writ of summons, thus distinguishing them from the general mass summoned through the sheriff. That this custom was in being within a century of the Conquest is clear from an incident in the bitter fight for supremacy between Archbishop Becket and Henry II. in 1164 (Stubbs, Consl. Hist. i. 504), it being recorded that the king withheld the Archbishop’s personal summons to parliament, and put upon him the indignity of a summons through the sherifi. During the succeeding fifty years the line becomes even more definite, though it is evident that the Crown sometimes disregarded the custom, as the barons are found complaining that many of their number deemed entitled to a personal summons had frequently been overlooked.
The sequel to these complaints is found in Magna Carta, wherein it is provided that the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and greater barons are to be called up to the council by writ directed to each severally; and all 22:21:11,: who hold of the king in chief, below the rank of Sumo“ greater barons, are to be summoned by a general 2:12;" writ addressed to the sheriff of their shire.l Magna anu. Carta thus indicates the existence of two definite sections of the king’s tenants, a division which had evidently persisted for some time. The “ greater barons ” are the immediate parents of the peerages of later days, every member of which for more than four centuries had a seat in the House of Lords. As for the rest of the tenants-in-chief, poorer in estate and therefore of less consequence, it is suflicient here to note that they fell back into the general mass of country families, and that their representatives, the knights of the shire, after some hesitation, at length joined forces with the city and burgher representatives to form the House of Commons.
' In 1254, instead of the general summons through the sherifl' to all the lesser tenants-in-chief, the king requires them to elect two knights for each shire to attend the council as
. . . Parliament the accredited representative of their fellows. In Must the closing days of 1264 Simon de Montfort summoned to meet him early in 126 5 the first parliament worthy of the name, a council in which prelates, earls and greater barons, knights of the shire, citizens and burghers were present, thus constituting a representation of all classes of people. It has been argued that this assembly cannot be regarded as a full parliament, inasmuch as Simon de Montfort summoned personally only such members of the baronage as were favourable to his cause, and issued writs generally only to those counties and cities upon which he could rely to return representatives in support of his policy. Stubbs holds the view that the first assembly we ought to regard as a full parliament was the Model Parliament which met at Westminster in 129 5. This Mod“ parliament, unlike Simon’s partisan assembly of Plrlllmwl
1265, was free and representative. To every spiritual “'2” _
‘ Et ab habendum commune consilium regni . . . summonen faciemus archiepisco os, episcopd’s, abbates, cornites et majores bummer sigillatim per itter'as nostras et praeterea faciemus summonen in enerali per vicecomes et ballivos nostros omnes illos qul de nobrs tenent in capite (cited in Stubbs. Const. Hist. i. 547 n.).