« PreviousContinue »
do with his desertion (Rot. Scacc., II, 559; cf. Rot. Norm., 90). The name is found in Norman
records of the 13th century (Cart. Norm., 664, 1143). Fougères, William of. See above, p. 245.
See above, p. 245. For English lands Rot. de Lib., 44. . Gisors, John of, does not properly belong to this list,
though Tôtes, which was part of his escheated lands, was given away by King John on 11 May 1203 (Rot. Norm., 94). He had joined Philip in Richard's
reign. See Stapleton, II, xxxvi-vii. Glapion, Guérin of. See above, p. 255. For English
lands, Rot. de Lib., 66, 67. Gournai, Hugh of. See above, p. 238, and below, p. 497. La Houlme (Holm, Ulmo), William of; lands given
away 7 and 10 May (Rot. Norm., 92, 94). William was pardoned with Pain of Montreuil on 11 Sept. (Rot. Pat., 34).
Houlme, Homme etc., is common. I have assumed that William came from the district north-east of
Alençon. Lascelles, Ralph of, a follower of Juhel of Mayenne;
lands in bailiwick of Falaise given away, 31 Jan.
(Rot. Norm., 72). La Londe, Odo of; his lands at Rougemontier (between
Rouen and Pont-Audemer, in the bailiwick of La
Londe) granted 11 Feb. (Rot. Norm., 77). Merlai, William of, a companion of Count Robert; land
granted 26 Jan. (Rot. Norm., 71). He was probably a member of the family which held lands at Grand
mesnil, in the bailiwick of Falaise (Stapleton, II, xc). Meulan, Peter of, son of Count Robert, see above, p. 238,
and Stapleton, II, cc. Peter had held ecclesiastical
livings in England (ibid, cxcvii note). Ménil (?) (Manil), Payn of, a follower of the viscount of
Beaumont (Maine); land at Bretteville, in bailiwick of Falaise, given away 31 Jan (Rot. Norm., 73).
There are numerous places of this name round
Falaise and Alençon. Montigny, Enguerrand of; lands in neighbourhood of
Arques given away 10 May (Rot. Norm., 93, cf. 95).
Montigny, probably the place of that name near Rouen in the forest of Roumare. There is, however, a Montigny near Alençon; and Stapleton's map identifies Montagny, a hamlet north of the forest of
Lions, west of Gournai, with an earlier Montigneium. Neuilly, Garan of, a follower of Count Robert; Norman
lands given away, 25 Jan. (Rot. Norm., 70).
Probably Neuilly-le-Bisson, near Alençon. Orte, Richard of, a follower of Juhel of Mayenne; land
in neighbourhood of Domfront given away, 18 Jan. (Rot. Norm., 69).
This appears to be the Richard d'Orques who fought in the third Crusade (Saint-Denis d'Orques,
Sarthe). See Estoire de la Guerre Sainte, Index, s.v. Le Pin, Henry of; lands in bailiwick of William of
Mortemer (probably near Pont-Audemer, in the bailiwick of La Londe, cf. Rot. Scacc., II, 559) given
away 10 May (Rot. Norm., 93–4). (Poignard, William, viscount of Caen, an important
official, suffered confiscation in the autumn of 1203 (Rot. Norm., 105, 110), and on 4 Dec., at Cherbourg, bought back the royal favour for 2000 li. Angevin (Rot. Pat., 37); but it does not appear that he was a
deserter.) Séez, Count Robert of. See above, p. 233. Super Ponte,' Reginald de, probably of Montfort, where
he had land which was given away 26 July (Rot.
Norm., 99). Thouars, Guy of, see above, p. 244. Swaffham, in Suffolk,
in king's hands by 11 Sept. (Rot. Lib., 63). 'Tieneri, Richard; land in Lieuvin granted 12 May
(Rot. Norm., 95).
Troarc, John of; land in Oximin given away 13 July
(Rot. Norm., 98).
Troarc=Troarn, in bailiwick of Oximin, east of Caen. For the identification cf. Rot. Pat., 28b.
'Abbas Robertus de Troarc.' La Val or Laval, Guy of (Maine); confiscations from
16 Dec. 1202 (Rot. Pat., 21b). For English lands,
Rot. de Lib., 49–50. La Vacherie, William of; lands granted to his nephew
(Rot. Norm., 76). The lands included land at Mousseaux (Muches, ib., 84).
La Vacherie, near Andeli; Mousseaux on the Seine, south of Andeli; for the order is given to the constable at Chester, at this time castellan of Château-Gaillard
and bailiff of Andeli. Vernon, Richard of; his lands in the Roumois and
Côtentin given away 4-15 Aug. (Rot. Norm., 101,
102). See Stapleton, I, cxlii; II, cclxxix. ‘Vilers,' Richard of, a companion of Count Robert; his
land at Potigny, in the bailiwick of Falaise, given away 7 Feb. (Rot. Norm., 75). See Stapleton, II, xc.
Probably Villers, west of Falaise.
1. Richard of Vernon, who held extensive lands in France (Actes, p. 278, no. 33 : p. 31, no. 200, note) after the exchange of Vernon in 1195-6, apparently decided for France in 1203. In the Exchequer rolls of 1198 (Rot. Scacc., ii, 449) and 1203 (ibid, 530) he still appears in Normandy, see above p. 162. He must not be confused with his namesake in England, who was sheriff of Lancaster.
The Norman Defences.
The feudal State was essentially a military administration, controlled by men who could fight as well as collect dues or preside in a court. During the reigns of Richard and John, Normandy was put to the most severe military test in the history of the duchy, and the records reveal an organisation in which the financial and judicial arrangements which have been described in a previous chapter, fall into a secondary place. We see a strong ring fence of fortresses, supported in the interior by the magnificent castles of Falaise, Domfront, Caen, Montfort. The defences of this extended frontier were organised on definite lines: knights and serjeants took up their appointed tasks in the castles of the March, and were reinforced by mercenaries drawn in small bands from a motley reserve of Welsh, Brabançons, Gascons, even Saracens. Along the main roads between these fortresses and the chief centres of Norman government, Rouen, Lisieux, Caen, Argentan, passed stores, weapons, carpenters' material, military engines; the Seine, carefully policed by a service of bailiffs, joined Rouen to Vaudreuil or Château-Gaillard; and behind all lay the ports, Barfleur the chief, and the constant ferryl across the Channel.
1. See especially the accounts of the prepositura of Barfleur, e.g., in 1203 (Rot. Scacc., ii, 505). One of the numerous entries reads "pro passagio clericorum et servientium Regis pluries euncium in Angliam xxvij li. iiij so. per breve Regis."
Administrators, some of them full of memories of the crusade with King Richard, and great barons who had learned to fight in the school of the young Henry, joined with a crowd of rising self-seeking men, with leaders of mercenaries, and with the king's clerks, in the service of this vast machine. The machine itself was fed by loans, aids and tallages collected with increasing frequency on both sides of the Channel.
This was the stage upon which the dukes of Normandy waged war. They fought with mercenaries and a depleted feudal levy. Behind the feudal and mercenary troops the arrière-ban or host, including the communal forces of the self-governing towns, lay in reserve. The campaign generally came to an end at the time of harvest, when an autumn truce intervened, followed, after the solemn Christmas feast, by a colloquy in January on Saint Hilary's day. If the colloquy were futile, war began again. There was little method in the fighting; it was an affair of forays and quick tussles in the open field, of elaborate sieges and defence in the castles, of booty, prisoners, and hostages everywhere. We must seek in writs and chronicles for the clue to this 'ordered insanity, in which king takes queen, and ace takes king.'
The frontiers of Normandy were not natural frontiers; only at one point, where the forests of Perche and La Trappe rise in broad folds, and the boundary turns northwestwards from the Avre, could a prominent barrier be seen. In the more important districts the fortunes of war had fixed a line along a river or across a plain. Hence in times of peace there was constant intercourse between the inhabitants on either side of the frontier, and in times of war there was certain devastation. Feudal custom and local commerce paid small heed to political distinctions. Fiefs of Gournai carried Norman law into the Beauvaisis. Along the Avre the lord of Tillières in Normandy and the lord of Brézolles in the Chartrain possessed rights in each