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action of Eleanor, therefore, the house of Thouars might have become a most dangerous ally of the house of Lusig

Moreover, in March, John, through his officials, took over the direct administration of La Marche. 2

In Normandy, it was important to anticipate rebellion and to confiscate the possessions of the count of Eu, which lay along the north-east border. In addition to Eu, they included the castle of Drincourt, which had been granted to the count by King Richard. As early as 6 March John took measures to secure the control of Drincourt and to crush the power of the count. 3 The seneschal of Normandy was instructed, apparently later, to lay siege to the place, when it was found that more warlike measures were necessary. In the meantime the king made preparations in England for another expedition across the Channel. These preparations, owing in part to the opposition of the earls, mark another step forward in the direction of a paid mercenary army.'

John landed in Normandy at the end of May, to find that the immediate danger was over.

The facts are not very clear, but it seems that the king of France had after some hesitation used his influence to maintain peace. According to Roger of Howden, he broke up the sieges by which the rebellious barons south of the Loire were beginning to harass the government of Poitou, 6 and he met John alone near Andeli. There were several reasons why Philip should prefer a quiet settlement. For one thing, the Rhenish allies of Richard were making preparations for their departure to the East; John's letters show

1. See the letters in Rot. Chart., 102b-103a. Cf. above p. 41. 2. March 8th, 1201. Rot. Chart., 102a. Boissonade, who thinks that La Marche had been promised on John's marriage to Ademar of Angou. lême, brings together the records of John's relations with his pater carissimus. (op. cit. 12.)

3. Rot. Chart., 102a.
4. Howden, iv, 161.
5. Howden, iv, 161, 163. Below pp. 316-7.
6. Howden, iv, 161.


that he was trying to maintain good relations with Baldwin of Flanders and his officials, and Philip would realise that he would be more at liberty to pursue an antiNorman policy after the crusaders were well on their way. Again, the energy of John's government in Aquitaine must have impressed Philip; until French influence could create more disunion among the Poitevin barons, or eat its way once more into Touraine, it was useless to renew the war. Finally, Philip, had learned that John was a more pliable rival than Richard. John had already surrendered the Evrecin, where Philip was steadily making his government felt;- a little pressure might end in further concessions. So Philip kept the peace, met John and invited him to Paris. 3

John left Normandy in the last days of June; he had made peace with the count of Eu, - and had nothing to fear. In Paris he was royally entertained, although, according to one malicious story, his companions preferred bad wine to the good. The treaty was secured by a

1. John orders payment of stated pensions, arrears, etc., to Baldwin, his uncle, his chancellor, to the counts of Ponthieu, Nevers, Namur, Hainault. See Rot. de Liberate, pp. 15–21 passim, June to September, 1201.

2. See the Actes for 1200-1202, e.g., nos. 622, 631, 636, 637, 639, 662. Some of these are in favour of Norman abbeys still in John's dominion. In January 1201 (no. 655, p. 162), Philip refers to his bailiffs in Normandy and Anjou.

3. John was at Paris on July 1st (Rot. de Lib., 18). Rigord and Howden are confused in their chronology.

4. This follows from a letter to Geoffrey fitz Peter of June 15th, from Jumièges : “Sciatis quod dederamus Waloni de Fruges c. solidos terre in terra comitis Augi et quia reddidimus eidem comiti terras et feoda sua, vobis mandamus quod predicto Waloni c. solidos terre alibi assignetis." (Rot. de Lib., 16.)

5. French chronicle printed by Delisle in Historiens de France, xxiv, part ii, p. 760. It was upon this occasion that John and Philip granted one-fortieth part of their revenues for one year for the relief of the Holy Land. (See Delaborde, in Bibliothèque de l'école des Chartes, lxiv, 306–313; Delisle, Actes, no. 619, p. 144, where the ant is wrongly attributed to May 1200; Howden, iv, 187.)


special agreement with regard to the sureties on both sides ;l and John went on to Chinon. There he settled a handsome dower on Richard's widow, Berengaria? necessary preliminary to the negotiations with Sancho of Navarre, which were commenced in the autumn, and ended in a close alliance at Angoulême on 4th February 1202. 3

About the same time, strengthened by the friendship of the family of Thouars, the king secured the peaceful execution of the last acts made by Constance of Brittany. 4 Constance had died in the previous August, to all appearance reconciled. With her death a last page of painful memories could be turned, and John might well think that he had come through his dangers.


Yet even in the autumn of 1201 the insecurity of John was manifest. The Lusignans broke away from him again in October, and appealed to Philip of France. Philip and his court had set John up, and they were now ready to pull him down. In the war which followed their judgment John was left almost alone. The terms of the treaty with Sancho of Navarre show that hostility might be expected from the kings of Castile and Aragon. The viscount of Limoges and the count of Toulouse, the latter of whom held important fiefs of Aquitaine by definite service, deserted.

The appeal made by the Poitevin enemies of King John to the court of Philip must be connected with the somewhat curious method by which John tried to enforce justice. He had acted with a high hand in taking control of their

1. Howden, iv, 175, gives a confirmation of this year which probably belongs to this time. For the sureties, see Cart. Norm., p. 281.

2. Howden, iv, 164, 172. 3. For authorities, see Boissonade, op. cit., p. 13. Rot. Pat., 3, 5b. 4. Rot. Pat., 5.

lands, and in October, 1201, he attempted to put their cause to the test of a trial by battle. According to Roger of Howden he had brought with him picked champions for this purpose. The rebels refused to come, saying that they would acknowledge no judge but their peers ;3 the first sound of that famous cry which was to be dinned into John's ears by his English vassals.

It is easy to study in the rolls the way in which-in a time of disturbance—John, as feudal lord, dealt with his vassals and officials. As we have already seen, he relied upon comparatively few servants, frequently changed his castellans and officers, and bound his barons by elaborate guarantees. In the autumn of 1201 he made Robert of Turnham the seneschal of Poitou, and in Normandy displaced Guérin of Glapion, after a very short period of service, by Ralph Tesson.5 There is some evidence which goes to show that Guérin, like some of his

1. It is clear that the Lusignans complained, not of John's marriage, but of his treatment of them after their rebellion. Cf. Coggeshall, p. 135. The Patent Rolls show how, in Anjou, Normandy, and Aquitaine John administered their lands. The passage in Howden apparently refers to this : “Pictavi enim praevaluerunt adversus custodes terrarum suarum, et castella sua obsederunt” (iv, 160).

2. Howden, iv, 176. John “volens appellare barones Pictaviae de sua et fratris sui proditione, multos conduxit et secum duxit viros arte bellandi in duello doctos, etc.” Cf, a reference to the king's campiones, brought to Isle of Andeli in 1198 (Rot. Scacc., ii, 481, "contra regem Francie”). John collected his forces at Argentan, as a letter from Verneuil of September 27th proves (Rot. Pat., 1). He was at Mirebeau on October 9th.

3. Howden, iv, 176.

4. Robert appears as seneschal of Poitou and Gascony, September 23rd (Rot. Pat., 1).

5. An exchequer account remains dated “Recepte Garini de Glapion... & die Martis post clausam Pentecostim anno secundo regni Regis Johannis, usque ad diem Martis in festo Sancti Leonardi anno tercio regni ejusdem ” (Rot. Scacc, ii, 501). These dates, June 6th, 1200-November 6th, 1201, apparently mark the limits of the seneschalship. Ralph Tesson was seneschal before November 23rd, 1201. See Staple. ton, II, ccxviii-ccxxi.

neighbours across the border in Maine, had lost the confidence of the king. 1 An arrangement which John made with the greatest baron in Maine, Juhel of Mayenne, illustrates the precautions which he found it desirable to take. Juhel had been granted the castles of Ambrières and Coumont by Arthur during the latter's brief tenure of Maine in 1199.2 On 14 October, 1201, at Chinon John received Juhel's fealty and arranged that, while the fortresses should be retained, a son of each of their castellans should be given as hostage by the lord of Mayenne. If a hostage should die, his father was to be replaced by another castellan, who was in his turn to give up a son as hostage. Moreover, Juhel's knights and sureties

gave charters, and the men of his towns swore that, if Juhel failed to keep the terms of the agreement or to stand by the judgment of the king's court, they would fight against him and do him all the harm in their power. The convention is characteristic of the way in which, in small affairs and in great, John went behind the immediate relations between himself and his tenants-inchief. Philip was about to treat him in the same way.


On a Sunday in October, very probably the same Sunday as that on which Juhel of Mayenne was reconciled with John, Ralph of Esoudun, the count of Eu, denounced his feudal obligations. Ralph was lord of Eu in right of his wife, and the king immediately wrote to the burgesses reminding them of their duty to himself, and ordering them to obey whomever he should send to harm their lord. In the following spring, believing that the

1. See note B at the end of this chapter.
2. Above p. 196.
3. Rot. Pat., 3 Joh. m. 8, printed in Rymer, 0. i. 125–6.
4. John, in an undated letter to the burgesses of Eu, says

“ vobis mandamus quod Radulphus Exoldinus comes Augi nos defidavit Dominica proxima preterita non ob culpam nostram et (sic sed ?) ob culpam suam et superbiam ” (Rot. Pat., 2a).

5. Rot. Pat., 2a.

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