A powerful native dynasty reigned in the 12th century, but in 1408 the island was attacked by Chinese, and from 1505 onwards it was distracted by the attacks and squabbles of Europeans.
He now bought an estate at Dawley, near Uxbridge, where he renewed his intimacy with Pope, Swift and Voltaire, took part in Pope's literary squabbles, and wrote the philosophy for the Essay on Man.
These squabbles John Groot is said to have settled by building an octagonal house which had eight entrances and eight tables, so that the head of each family could enter by his own door and sit at the head of his own table.
In religious matters Calvinists and Lutherans were placed upon an equality, but the elector was unable to impress his own spirit of tolerance upon the clergy, who were occupied with ecclesiastical squabbles while the state of education and of public morals left much to be desired.
Now sole emperor, he saw in the one Catholic church the best means of counteracting the movement in his vast empire towards disintegration; and he at once realized how dangerous dogmatic squabbles might prove to its unity.