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outside few castles Normandy was

Normandy was defended by mercenaries. The irresponsible depredations of these social outcasts had alienated both clergy and people to such an extent that in Aquitaine, even more than in Normandy, popular indignation was a serious menace to John's authority. Finally, the distractions of war had not preserved the king from several quarrels with the clergy, especially in the diocese of Séez, and in the autumn of 1203 the misery of Normandy was increased by the horrors of an interdict.2 England must indeed have seemed an asylum to John and Isabella.

The biographer of the Marshal, who is a safe guide to feudal opinion, has described John's last journey in Normandy; and the passage will be a fit conclusion to this

a chapter:

“The king stayed but a short time at Rouen, and

? announced his intention of going to England in order to ask aid and counsel from his barons; then, he said, he would return without delay. But he took the queen with him, which made many fear that he would stay in England until it was too late. Preparations were soon made, for the king had sent his baggage train on

1. See below p. 340.

2. The ecclesiastical disputes which occurred during the early years of John's reign lie beyond the scope of this volume. So far as they concerned Norman churches, they must have embarrassed his political position. For a summary, see Gütschow, Innocenz 111 und England (1904), pp. 105–126; Luchaire, Innocent iii : Les Royautés rassales, pp. 182-90. The interdict, conditionally ordered by Innocent on May 25th, 1203, if John should not receive the new bishop of Séez (Patrologia Latina ccxv, 69; Potthast, no. 1919) was at least partially enforced, in spite of John's letters of October 9th (Rot. de Lib., 72) ordering a courteous reception of the bishop. The interdict is referred to on October 26th in a letter addressed to the seneschal and bailiffs of Normandy; "mandamus vobis quod non permittatis impedimentum fieri Abbati de Blanchelanda quo minus ipse possit redditus suos juste perquirere quamdiu interdictum duraverit(Rot. Pat., 35).

privately in advance. On the first night he slept at Bonneville, not in the town, but in the castle, for he suspected treason: in fact he had been warned that the greater number of his barons had sworn to hand him over to the king of France, and although he pretended to be ignorant of their intention, he kept at a safe distance from them. He commanded the Marshal and those in whom he felt most confidence to be ready in the morning before daybreak; and so the king left without taking leave while he was supposed to be still asleep; and when his departure was discovered he was seven leagues away. He made for Bayeux, by way of Caen, riding more than twenty leagues on that day! -leagues of the Bessin, too, which are longer than French leagues. From these he went on towards Barfleur where many of his companions took their leave of him :: it was quite clear that they could not look for a speedy return. ”g

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1. Unless the itinerary is faulty, the poet is slightly in error here; but it is more probable that his memory of such a fateful journey is correct, and that John halted, but did not stay at Caen. On the other hand, the poet omits to state that, from Bayeux, John turned southward and visited Domfront (November 20–21) and Vire (November 21-23) before making for Barfleur (December 5th).

2. The following list of John's companions during this journey may do compiled from the rolls and from a charter tested at Gonneville, November 29th (in Round, Calendar, p. 304, no. 545). Those whose names are in italics accompanied the king to England : William the Marshal, earl of Pembroke; the earl of Arundel; the seneschal, William Crassus; the constable, William du Hommet; Robert of Vieuxpont, William of Briouze; Ralph Tesson, Richard of Fontenay, Peter Stokes, Thomas Basset, Warin Fitzgerald (?). The earls of Chester and Salisbury joined the king at Morfarville but stayed to defend the western frontier. According to the Histoire des ducs, p. 97, Baldwin of Béthune, count of Aumale, also accompanied John to England, and there were probably others, e.g., the bishop of Norwich. Peter of Verneuil, who was important in the Gascon administration, took letters from Barfleur to Gascony, and had probably accompanied John during November (cf. Rot. Pat., 36b).

3. Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 175.

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THE TREATY OF MAY, 1200. A twelfth century treaty was a very literal affair, even though it were not observed, and we are able, thanks to a fortunate enrolment on a charter roll, to observe how boundaries were mapped out in accordance with the treaty of 1200, as easily as we can follow the work of boundary commissioners in the nineteenth century. According to the treaty a boundary was to be fixed midway between Evreux and Neubourg, and the distance between it and Conches was to be regarded as a fixed unit of measurement: boundaries at the same distance from Evreux were to be set up between Conches and Evreux on the one hand, and Acquigny and Evreux on the other. In these instances, however, the surveyors were to follow the winding valley of the Itun, in which Evreux lies. The report of the jury under whose direction the measurements were made states that by means of a rope, twenty toises 2 in length, boundaries were found (a) between Bacquepuits and Bernienville on the road to Neubourg; (b) between Glisolles and Angerville-la-Rivière (now united with Glisolles) in the direction of Conches; (c) near a place

1. After visiting the ground I interpret the words of the treaty in this way. The long winding slopes on either side of the Itun valley would make measurement across country very difficult. Another possible version of the words “ex ea parte ubi abbatia de Noa sita est sicut aqua Ytonie currit” would be that from the site of the abbey the Itun should form the boundary (i.e., southwards). The phrase sicut fluvius currit is used in this sense of the same river in John's earlier treaty with Philip, January 1194, before Richard's return from captivity (Cartulaire Normand, p. 275).

2. The tesia (between two and three feet) is mentioned occasionally in contemporary documents, e.g., Cart. Norm., p. 33, no. 213; Rot. Norm., 85; Rot. Scacc., ii, 303.

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