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possession of the English throne, in 1066, the legal heir to
the throne was brother-in-law to the King of Scotland. Na-
tions have in all ages united as much by marriage as by
war. The Reeds were of Celtic origin, and the most power-
ful noblemen were of Saxon blood. Much jealousy existed
between the two races. Edwari the Confessor, son of
Ethelred, being aware that his lineal descendants did not
possess the energy and power to hold the crown against the
opposition of the Saxon nobles, made a compact with his
cousin, the Duke of Normandy, by which William was to
have the crown at his decease ; the crown being then in the
power of the king to dispose of like other property. Harold,
the son of Earl Godwin, represented the Saxon stock, and
was placed on the throne by that interest. It should be
here understood, that, when English historians speak of
the people, they mean only the nobility ; as the common
people then had no more voice in matters of state than the
kids upon the Cheviot hills. William came over from
France to carry out the provisions of the compact ; and
Harold, in behalf of the nobles, met him, and was slain.
Thus ended the struggle which had been carried on between
the two races, and which had been the means of inviting the
Danes, at several different times, to land upon the English
shores, being encouraged by existing jealousies between
the races. There appears to have been no difficulty be-
tween William and the descendants of Ethelred ; the legal
heir waiving his claim, and the son of William marrying
the heiress : and both houses merged into one in the chil-
dren of Henry ; he being descended from Alfred, by both
father and mother.
The Reeds were among the reigning princes of North-
umberland, Kent, Wessex, and Mercia, and seem to have
been of the same blood ; and political alliances existed
between them.

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