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"THE Battles of England, by Sea and Land," present an almost boundless theme to the historian-as they carry us back to the first century before the Christian era; whilst they have continued, with intervals, few, and seldom far between, down to the present day. Some of those battles have been fought in defence of the soil from an invading foe; others have been contests between our own people, fighting under different colours, a red or a white rose; or ranging themselves under the banners of a Guelph, against the Stuart. But the great majority of the conflicts took place with foreign enemies abroad; and in them, from the battle of Crecy to that of Inkermann, the flag of England, if not always crowned with victory, has never been disgraced: her sons have worthily maintained their country's honour; and the heroism of her soldiers and sailors has achieved for her a place amongst nations, second to none.

In the four volumes now submitted to the ordeal of public approval, a succinct narrative of all England's Battles will be found. Originally, it was intended to confine that narrative to those fought in the war which had its origin in the unjust pretensions of the French republicans: but, as the work progressed, suggestions were received for extending it to the earliest and latest periods of our history, and to the wars which England waged in the East and in the West; wars productive of great events; gaining, in the former, a territory and a people, far surpassing, in extent and number, those of the largest and most powerful European empire. Those suggestions have been carried out; and although, of course, minute details have not been given-our limits must have been very greatly extended to have allowed that course to be pursued-the general reader will find, in the following pages, all he requires to know respecting the military and naval history of his country.

The English are a mixed race, sprung from some of the most renowned of the old European tribes. "The men of the Celtic race, with their restless sensibility, their vivid imagination, and their soul of fire; the Saxon, with his graver foresight, his noted bravery, and his sense of social right;"* the Dane, with his daring recklessness, and his love of the sea; "and the Norman, with a strength like that of the old Roman, a strength to conquer and to rule;-all these had their work to do in making England what she was," and what she is. Between the Britons or * Vaughan's Revolutions in English History, vol. ii.

+ Ibid.

Celts and the Saxons, the Romans intervened; who, however, though they influenced the manners of the day, do not appear to have intermingled their blood with that of the Celts; and when they departed from the island-though the stone buildings, which had superseded the wattled hut, remained—no trace of the Latin people appears to have been left. The other races were permanent settlers; all, in their turn, were paramount; and all intermingled, and intermarried, leaving few distinct marks of the separate nationalities; but founding a new people, combining many of the best qualities of each. The result is, that, if excelled by Italy or France in the elegancies and arts of life, the English people stand foremost in arms; while in those essentials that contribute to the domestic happiness, the social comfort, and the general prosperity of a nation, England is, as yet, unrivalled.

No wonder, therefore, that her sons should be brave; no wonder that, when duty calls, they should rally round the national flag, which has, for so many years, braved the battle, as well as the breeze. We follow, in our narrative, the triumph of that flag abroad-not omitting to chronicle its few disasters; and we also-as an Introduction to the fourth volumetrace the origin and progress of a home movement, which, intended "for defence, not offence," was prompted by the purest spirit of patriotism, and has been carried out with a determination, a disinterestedness, and an unselfish zeal in the cause of their native land, that eminently entitle those who take part in it to the admiration and gratitude of their countrymen. We allude to the VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT, which commenced when a hostile invasion certainly "loomed in the distance," and required to be guarded against; and has progressed so successfully, that the Volunteer System has become one of our permanent institutions.

Our work is, therefore, a complete military and naval manual; and, as those who peruse it may not always have a general History of England at hand, we close our Preface with what may be useful for reference-a synopsis of the different dynasties which have ruled in England since the departure of the Romans, A.D. 427; and a list of the sovereigns who have held the sceptre since the Heptarchy, established by the Saxons, became united in one kingdom, under Egbert, A.D. 827.


The Britons, when the Romans were compelled to leave the country, in order to defend Rome against the Gauls, were under a chief called Vortigern, who appears to have possessed few of the qualities essential for a ruler. After the Romans departed, the Picts and Scots who inhabited the


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