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Richard I. and Normandy.
I. When Philip Augustus heard that Richard was prisoner, he prepared forthwith to attack England and Normandy. The seneschal of Normandy had called a conference at Alençon, where the barons might discuss measures for their lord's release. Count John crossed the Channel to join Philip. The seneschal sought to divert him and begged him to come to Alençon; John demanded an oath of fealty; but the seneschal and the barons refused to take such an oath. Hence John passed by to Paris and did homage to Philip for Normandy and for Richard's other lands. Philip promised to give him that part of Flanders to which he had recently succeeded, as the dowry of his sister Alice, whom John was to marry. In return John promised to surrender Gisors and the Norman Vexin. Moreover, it was said in English official circles 2 that John had also done homage for England, and it was at this time that Philip planned the invasion of England. He collected ships and men at his Flemish port at Witsand, tried, as we have seen, to win over the king of Denmark, and to keep King Richard in captivity.
Count John with a band of mercenaries made civil war in England, but with small result. His chief stronghold at Windsor was besieged by the archbishop of Rouen and
1. For what follows, see Howden, iii, 203; Coggeshall, p. 61; Gervase of Canterbury, i, 515; William of Newburgh, p. 384. During 1192 Philip and John remained quiet. Richard's later protests against Philip's attacks upon his lands, while he was in the Holy Land, are not to be taken literally (Innocent III in Migne, Patrologia Latina, ccxiv, no. 230; Potthast, no. 235). 2. Howden, iii, 204.
the royal justices. King Henry's strong government lived after him and forced John to make peace till the feast of All Saints of this year 1193. 1 Moreover, a general levy guarded the coasts and put an end to thoughts of invasion. In July, John, hearing from Philip that his brother was to be set free, fled to France. 2
The real strain was felt in Normandy. The Normans, says William of Newburgh, were like sheep not having a shepherd; the fate of their king sapped their loyalty. 3 At this time every man was suspected. William of Ely, who had gone to Richard, brought a charge of treachery against William the Marshal himself. The monks of Canterbury were by no means certain of the fidelity of the archbishop of Rouen, and their chronicler breathes a curious slander against the aged seneschal, William Fitz Ralf.5 The surrender of Gisors, the key to the Norman defences, in April 1193 was more than sufficient to justify suspicion, for it was lost through the treachery of the castellan, Gilbert of Vascoeuil. King Richard, when he made his last arrangements for the safety of his lands, had sent this man home from Messina. He had been specially entrusted with the most important fortress on the frontier. His treachery became a byword. He lost his lands in Normandy and failed to gain the confidence
1. Howden, iii, 206–7. The truce was made after the arrival of bishop Hubert of Salisbury who came from Richard. See Gervase, i, 516.
2. Howden, iii, 217; William of Newburgh, p. 391.
5. This seems to be the meaning of the phrase in Gervase of Canterbury (i, 515) describing the earl of Leicester's action at Rouen before the siege of 1193 : "procuratorem, immo proditorem, Normanniae, ut ferebatur, vinculis coartavit.” Gervase and William of Newburgh describe the justiciar of England as ‘procurator.' The seneschal held the corresponding office in Normandy.
of the French. 1 But he was to have many successors in treachery during the leaderless rule of John.
With Gisors, Neaufle had also fallen, and Philip occupied the Vexin. The French king, save during one short period, never again gave up his claim upon the Vexin. He immediately restored Chateauneuf-saintDenis 2 to the monks of Saint Denis, and began that process of settlement whereby he bound Normandy bit by bit to the French throne. By the fall of Gisors the way to Rouen was also opened. The men of Rouen feared a siege above all things, for they depended upon their industry and trade. They would relax their chartered right to refuse hospitality, in favour of a great baron who would protect them. He was sure of good entertainment, of special wines, and fruits and nuts for his table. 3 In this crisis Rouen was defended by Robert earl of Leicester, one of the heroes of the Crusade. The lord of extensive lands in England and Normandy, having more than 120 knights in his service from his Norman honours alone, this great baron had every inducement to preserve the connection between the two countries. His prestige and his exhorta
1. Howden, iii, 206 : "sed vilis habitus est inter illos (Francos) propter proditionem.” For Gilbert, see Tardif in the Coutumiers, I, i, 108. The author of the custumal (c. lxiv) refers to him as a means of dating : “in tempore Gisleberti de Vascuil.” Cf. also Coggeshall, p. 61 ; William of Newburgh, p. 389; L'Estoire de la Guerre Sainte, 11. 1166–7; and Itinerarium Ricardi (ed. Stubbs), p. 176. In 1195 Gilbert's lands in Normandy were farmed for 260li. by William of Ely, the chancellor (Rot. Scacc., i, 155).
2. Rigord, p. 123; Cart. Norm., no. 1062, p. 279 (March, 1197 : confirmation of an exchange made by the monks of St. Denis).
3. See the story of the manner in which the Marshal and his companions get a good meal in 1202 (Guillaume le Maréchal, 11. 12321-12404). The point of the story seems to lie partly in the privilege of the citizens, first granted in 1150 : “Item, quod nemo infra Rothomagum aliquem hospitetur ex precepto nostro nisi per proprium marescalum civitatis." The privilege was modified by Philip in 1207. See Giry, Les Etablissements de Rouen, ii, 63.
4. Red Book, ii, 627.
tions nerved the men of Rouen to such unexpected resistance that after a short demonstration of force, Philip burned his engines and wrathfully withdrew. 1
The success of the campaign, however, was by no means small. Besides the Vexin, Aumâle and Eu had probably fallen in the north-east, and the fortresses of Ivry and Paci surrendered to Philip on his return. He had broken the Norman frontier at three important points by these acquisitions on the uplands of Caux and the Vexin and in the valley of the Eure. From all three directions he hoped to advance in the spring of 1194. In January John surrendered any claims he might have to the whole of Normandy east of the Seine, with the exception of the city, and restricted banlieu of Rouen. On the west bank of the river he gave up Vaudreuil and all the territory south of the river Itun, east of a line drawn from the Itun southwards to Chennebrun on the Avre. This meant the surrender of Verneuil and Evreux. In other words, John made over to Philip the whole frontier of Normandy, with its castles, from the country east of the central forests, where so many of the smaller Norman streams have their source, to the shore of the English Channel.3
1. The date of the siege in the coniposite chronicle of Rouen, Kalendis Maii (Histor. de France, xviii, 358). Interesting details in Howden, iii. 206–7; Gervase, i. 515-6. Cf. Gilbert of Mons in Mon. Germ. Scriptores, xxi, 583; Coggeshall, p. 62.
2. Coggeshall says that Philip prevailed usque ad Diepe” (p. 61). Howden's reference to the invasion (iii, 205) seems to be an anticipation of what follows, as often in his chronicle. Miss Norgate regards it as an allusion to a previous attack (Angevin Kings, ii, 363).
3. The treaty, sealed as proclaimed by John, still exists. The best editions in Cart. Norm., no. 1055, p. 275; Teulet, Layettes du trésor des chartes, i, 175. It is dated "Actum Parisiis anno mcxciii mense januarii.” Although the form of dating used in France at this period is doubtful (Giry, Manuel de diplomatique, 112) and Delisle attributed the treaty to 1193, internal evidence proves that 1194 is the correct date; e.g., the reference to the four castles pledged by Richard in July, 1193, below p. 149. Cf. Delaborde in his edition of Rigord, i, 126.
To fulfil the bargain Philip suddenly invaded Normandy by way of the valley of the Eure in February 1194, and approached Rouen for the second time.
Evreux, Neubourg, even Vaudreuil fell to him after little or no resistance. The citizens of Evreux had prepared to meet the danger. Their count and bishop had recently died; the new bishop had gone to King Richard in Germany; the county was farmed by a Norman bailiff. The seneschal advised the citizens to form themselves into a commune and to defend themselves. Accordingly they formed a commune under Adam the Englishman, as mayor. They dug a ditch through the episcopal lands on the Lord's Day, and the archdeacon absolved them. Four men guarded each earthwork and fenced it with a hurdle. 2 What resistance they made when Philip approached we do not know. The new government of the city was disregarded, and John, who had already been entrusted with the great castles of Arques and Drincourt in eastern Normandy, was now put in charge of Evreux. 4
King Philip passed on to Rouen, but rumours of the great preparations which Richard was making in England must have caused his withdrawal once more. He made a truce and retired to France.5 The brief quiet was disturbed, according to a chronicler who wrote in the diocese of Arras, by the arrival of men from England,
1. Rigord, i, 125–6; William of Newburgh, p. 403. It is clear from a phrase in the Histoire des ducs de Normandie (ed. Michel), p. 88, and from the Annals of St. Aubin (in Halphen, Recueil des annales angevines, p. 26) that Rouen was besieged twice. 2. From a later inquest; see Stapleton, Observations, II, clxxiv-v.
3. William the Breton (ed. Delaborde, i, 196), Wendover, i, 230, probably from an early draft of Coggeshall (English Historical Review, xxi, 289). 4. Howden, iii, 226. 5. William of Newburgh, p. 403. Philip's charters show that he was in Paris in May, so that he could not have marched from Rouen to Verneuil, as Miss Norgate thinks (ii, 364).