« PreviousContinue »
forerunners of the king. On the 10th May, Philip, again marching north-west, laid siege to
siege to Verneuil. At Portsmouth a hundred great ships were waiting stormbound, but at last, on the 12th, Richard landed at Barfleur. 2
In the last two years the king of France had shaken the Angevin power in Aquitaine and in Touraine as well as in Normandy. At the end of 1192 Sancho of Navarre, the brother of Queen Berengaria, had to come to the aid of Richard's government against a revolt of the Gascon barons, who were headed by the count of Périgord. 3 The seneschal of Poitou, Peter Bertin, had shown great vigour. The troops of Poitou and Navarre had in one campaign invaded Toulouse, and, in another, defeated and captured the count of Angoulême. But Philip Augustus was none the less able to turn the restlessness of the western vassals of Richard to account. Ademar of Angoulême had insisted that he owed allegiance to Philip alone, and Philip insisted upon his liberation from captivity in the treaty which he concluded with Richard's legates at Mantes on July 9th 1193. In the following January, as part of the agreement between himself and John, Philip got recognition of the homage of Ademar for all his lands except certain places which were recognised as part of Aquitaine.* French claims upon Touraine were still more dangerous; for in the same treaty John surrendered the keys to the west, Tours and its dependencies as far as Azai, Amboise, Montbason, Montrichard, Loches: the chief passages of the Loire, the Cher and the Indre. Moulins and Bonmoulins were to have gone once more to the count of Perche, so that
1. Historiens de France, xviii, 547.
4. Cart. Norm., p. 275; the distinction between the fiefs which Ademar held of Philip and those which he held of John by this treaty is explained by Boissonade, Quomodo comites Engolismenses, p. 8.
Touraine might be cut off from Normandy; and with a similar purpose Vendôme had been allotted to Louis of Blois.
King Richard had peculiar reason for his anger at the news of this suggested division of his inheritance; for, if Philip succeeded in realising his share of the bargain Richard had, in part, himself to blame. In the previous July, when the end of the captivity seemed near at hand, and John had left England in terror, the king of France had met William of Ely and other agents of Richard at Mantes. The treaty which followed was ineffective. Philip found more hope of profit in the continued imprisonment of his enemy. But by its terms four great fortresses, Arques and Drincourt in Normandy, Loches and Châtillon-sur-Indre in Touraine, were surrendered to the French king; they were to be garrisoned by French troops at the expense of the Norman and Angevin exchequers, as sureties for the payment, in four instalments, of 20,000 marks of silver. By his later treaty with John, Philip kept control of these castles, and they were in his possession when Richard reached Normandy in 1194.
The squire of William the Marshal retained in his memory a vivid picture of Richard's return to Normandy, and of his reconciliation with his brother John.3 It was the middle of May, and the king was followed by a great crowd of joyful people from Barfleur to Caen.
1. See the treaty of July in Howden, iii, 217–20. For points of interest in the agreement, see below p. 429.
2. Cart. Norm., p. 275. “Castellum vero de Lochis cum pertinentiis suis, et castellum de Castellione cum pertinentiis suis, et castellum de Driencourt cum pertinentiis suis et castellum de Archis cum pertinentiis suis regi Franciae remanebunt in perpetuum."
3. Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal, 11. 10432–52.
joined in dances and rounds; old and young came in long procession, singing 'God has come again in his strength'; and the bells rang everywhere. The rejoicing of the north was echoed in the fierce exultation of Bertrand of Born in the south. The lion had come, and the wolf would now be caught in the net of his own contriving.
John came to Richard at Lisieux and found him in the house of John of Alençon, the archdeacon. The king was trying to sleep, but could not, owing to his anxiety for Verneuil. The archdeacon entered the room with the news that John had come. His air was distressed, and Richard at once guessed the reason. 'Why do you look like that? You have seen my brother-don't lie. I will not reproach him. Those who have driven him on will soon have their reward.' The archdeacon went to John and brought him in. Still fearful, he fell at Richard's feet. The king raised him and kissed him, and said: 'John, don't be afraid. You are a child.2 You have had bad companions, and your counsellors shall pay.' Turning to John of Alençon, he inquired what there was to eat. Just then a salmon was brought to him as a gift, and he had it cooked for his brother. Richard had never feared John. He was ten years older and had seen him grow to manhood. During his captivity he had soon thrown off his depression at the news of John's treachery. 'My brother John,' he had said, “is not the kind of man to subject lands to himself, if anyone meets his strength with a little strength.' 4 A few months before the reconciliation he had been willing to receive John's homage and to restore him his castles in England and Normandy, but the royal officials had feared treachery, and refused to acknowledge
1. See the references in Cartellieri, iii, 85. 2. John was 27 years of age.
3. Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal, 11. 10363–10419. notes.
4. Howden, iii, 198.
Cf. ii, 137
the king's writs. Now Richard, while assigning to his brother more than a competency, retained his castles in his own hands.2
From Lisieux Richard took the road to Verneuil. Verneuil was
one of the strongest castles built by Henry I in that effective style of architecture which in 1194 was only beginning to go out of fashion. It lay in a stretch of flat upland country on the very edge of Normandy; and was so prosperous, or had been so well endowed with ‘appurtenances,' that it was farmed for 700 li. a year.3 In 1194 its castellan was one of the ablest among the younger officials of the empire, William of Mortemer. Indefatigable as well as able, the castellan defended Verneuil against King Philip for nearly three weeks. He was assisted by a body of knights and arbalasters whom Richard managed to throw into the fortress, and he was encouraged by the success with which the English king cut off French provisions. Philip raised the siege on May 28th; and when Richard entered the town men recognised that Normandy was saved.4
Philip had not waited for Richard's approach, probably 1. Howden, iii, 225. Compare above p. 126.
2. Howden, iii, 286. In 1195 Richard allowed John the possession of his honours of Mortain, Eye and Gloucester “exceptis castellis, et pro omnibus aliis comitatibus et terris suis dedit ei rex per annum octo millia librarum Andegavensis monetae.” Accordingly Mortain does not appear on the Exchequer rolls of 1195 and 1198 (see above p. 112) and in 1198 the revenues of Argentan, the forest of Gouffern and Guernsey are allotted to John (Rot. Scacc., ii, 390–391). For John as “dominus Insularum,” see above p. 115; and for the revenues of Mortain, so far as they are known, p. 113. The authorities for John's earlier possessions are Howden, iii, 6; Gesta, ii, 73, 78, 99; Richard of Devizes, in Howlett, Chronicles of Stephen, etc., iii, 385. See also Stubbs's note in Howden, iii, p. xxiv.
3. See Stapleton, Observations, II, cxx. The privileges of Verneuil, confirmed by Henry II, probably date from Henry I's foundation, though, as Giry points out, Verneuil was not a commune in Angevin times. Ordonnances, iv, 634; Giry, Les Elablissements de Rouen, i, 52.
4. Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 136–9.
on account of the foul news from Evreux. For after his reconciliation with Richard, John had hurried off to Evreux with one of the bodies of picked knights which the king was sending to the frontier. Philip, it will be remembered, had entrusted the city and castle to John earlier in the year. The count secured the good will of the citizens and after a day's siege captured and slew the garrison. 1 According to the story told some years later by Philip's chaplain, John made merry with the Frenchmen, and slew them by guile. Their heads were stuck on long poles. Some time later Philip took his revenge. He burned the city, slaughtered the citizens, destroyed the churches and carried off the sacred relics. When we wonder why Normandy was afterwards lost so easily, we must remember that the strongest king could not protect the frontier from this sort of treatment.
Thirty-seven days after Philip raised the siege of Verneuil, says the careful dean of St. Paul's, 4 the king 'broke in terror into Chateaudun. The occasion of this second flight was the rout of the French at Fréteval, a place on the road between Chateaudun and Vendôme. The fight came about as follows. After the success at Verneuil, King Richard had only waited to capture the count of Meulan's castle on the Risle, Beaumont-le-Roger, and to order the destruction of its keep, 5 before hastening
1. Rigord, i, 127; Annales Aquicinctenses, in Historiens de France, xviii, 547; Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 139.
2. Will. Bret. (ed. Delaborde, i, 196); also in the Philippid, iv, 445 (Ibid., ii, 115). Norgate, ii, 365 note. English Historical Review, xxi, 290.
3. Rigord, i, 127; Robert of Auxerre, in Historiens de France, xviii, 261. Howden gives the order of events, iii, 255.
4. Rad. Dic., ii, 117–8.
5. The count of Meulan had joined Philip; for the fall of Beaumont, see Will. Bret., i, 196; Guill. le Maréchal, iii, 139; Rot. Scacc., i, 253, refers to the destruction of the keep, “pro turre de Bello Monte prosternenda, xl so." A garrison was placed in the rest of the castle. Rot. Scacc., i, 260.