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other's domains. Important barons who lived across the border, such as the lord of Fougères and the count of Perche, held lands in England and Normandy. The Bretons came in large numbers to the famous fair of Montmartin in the Cotentin-their absence from it in time of war seriously diminished the receipts of the Norman exchequer. In consequence of this close intercourse special arrangements were enforced when hostilities broke out; for example, the custom of Vernon forbade the prosecution of suits of inheritance during the period of actual warfare.3 Some rules applied to the marches as a whole at all times, such as that which forbade the sale of woods without the consent of the duke or his representative. The problem of the marches was, however, most serious in ecclesiastical cases.

The ecclesiastical and secular frontiers did not altogether coincide. The diocese of Rouen included the French Vexin, the diocese of Séez ran into Perche. During war the churches suffered severely, and the attacks were not confined to the property of the church which lay within the political boundary. At one time, in the year 1196, the questions raised by this condition of things were so serious that the archbishop of

1. See the treaty in 1200, as quoted above, p. 252. 2. Stapleton, II, ccl, and I, lxxx.

3. See Lebeurier, Coutumes de Vernon du xiïe siècle (Bibl. de l'Ecole des Chartes, xvi, 1855, p. 527). This French translation (14th century) of customs drawn up shortly after the cession of Vernon to France reveals other interesting traces of the connection between Vernon and the neighbouring parts of France and the Chartrain. For example, Lebeurier finds a similarity between the mayor of Vernon, who was not a communal officer, and the mayors of the villages and bourgs of the Chartrain (p. 523).

4. Très ancien Coutumier (Tardif, i, 28), c. xxxiii. The original Latin version is preserved in the Vatican MS., not known to Tardif, and reads “Nemora non vendantur in meatibus marchie, nisi assensu ducis vel ejus justitie.” (Viollet, Hist. litt. de la France, xxxiii, 62.)

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Rouen, in his outraged dignity, forced the two kings to combine against him as against a third power.'

The open nature of the march gives the Norman castles peculiar importance in history. In this chapter I will first deal briefly with the legal position of the castle, and afterwards examine the line of Norman defences and the place of the castle in war.

Reasons of state have their origin in reasons of defence; only gradually are they explained by general considerations of utility. The earliest cases of interference with the customary rights of the Norman vassal concern the power of the duke over the castle, even the castle of a vassal. The customs of the duchy, as stated in 1091, not only forbade the erection without leave of castles and elaborate earthworks; they also allowed the duke to take possession of such as existed whenever occasion made it desirable for him to do so.2

It was one thing to insist that a castle should be licensed; it was another to claim the right of entry; and we may suspect that the latter right was of recent growth and showed William's clear apprehension of the fact that, if Normandy was to be strong and united, reasons of state must override feudal privilege. As a rule the policy of the dukes lay rather in the safer plan of checking the growth of fortifications outside the ducal demesne; it is significant that in England most private castles were

1. See my article, King Philip Augustus and the Archbishop af Rouen, in the Eng. Hist. Rev., xxvii, 111 seqq.

2. Consuetudines et justicie, c. 4 (Eng. Hist. Rev., xxiii, 507). 'Nulli licuit in Normannia fossatum facere in planam terram nisi tale quod de fundo potuisset terram jactare superius sine scabello, et ibi non licuit facere palicium nisi in una regula et illud sine propugnaculis et alatoriis. Et in rupe vel in insula nulli licuit facere fortitudinem, et nulli licuit in Normannia castellum facere, et nulli licuit in Normannia forti. tadinem castelli sui vetare do Normannie si ipse eam in manu sua voluit habere."

confined to the north and west, and that in Normandy many of those of which ruins still exist do not seem to contain remains of later than the eleventh century.?

I have referred in a previous chapter to the policy adopted by the counts of Anjou. Fulk Nerra shared the expense of his numerous erections with his immediate followers, who often were able to found new families which rose to great importance. Although this policy led to much disorder in later reigns, the share of the count in the creation of the castles was not forgotten. The story of Château-Gontier is particularly instructive. About 1007 Fulk Nerra fortified the site and entrusted it to a vassal, who was merely a castellan in charge; after some time he began to build a large and expensive tower, but finding himself unable to complete it, he left the work to Renaud Ivon, who worked hard and finished it. We cannot suppose that Renaud had no share in the completed structure, but, adds the narrator, ‘the count, wise man as he was, retained personal lordship of the tower.'

Hence Angevin custom as well as hard experience had trained the counts of Anjou to continue the work of William and Henry I in Normandy. During the years 1141–1145 Count Geoffrey took castle after castle; he first

1. According to Stenton, William the Conqueror, (1908) p. 453, only fourteen castles east of Gloucester, of those built in William's reign, were in private hands.

2. e.g., Briquessart, Le Pin, Le Plessis Grimaut, La Pommeraye, Brionne. See the lists in Enlart, Manuel d'archéologie française, I, ii, (1904), pp. 635 ff. This is not very conclusive, since so many have entirely disappeared.

3. Above p. 36. Halphen, Essai sur l'authenticité du fragment d'historie attribué au comte d'Anjou, Foulque le Réchin, in Bibl. de la Faculté des lettres of the University of Paris, xiii, (1901), p. 22. Halphen points out that the word aedificare may refer to castles built by vassals of the alleged builder. In a list of Fulk's castles, he mentions those whose first castellans founded new families.

4. Cartulary of Saint-Aubin, quoted in Halphen, Comté d'Anjou,

p. 158.

secured Exmes, Falaise, Bayeux, and the district between the Risle and the Seine, then worked steadily east, south, west, until the fall of Arques in 1145 completed the conquest.' At this time several great barons, in return for the rest of their land, gave up fortresses which afterwards became the centres of local administration; William of Warenne, for example, surrendered Neufchâtel-en-Bray or, as it is usually named, Drincourt, and Hugh of Gournai surrendered Lions-la-Forêt.2 The submission of the baronage was completed by the suppression of the rebellion of 1173, when lands were confiscated, castles destroyed, and several important fortresses, including those of the count of Meulan, 3 passed into ducal hands. In the meantime Henry II had gradually continued his father's work, building a castle here, confiscating another there. In 1161 Montfort-sur-Risle, one of the chief fiefs of the count of Meulan was secured and remained in the duke's hands, separately farmed. The family of Montfort continued to provide castellans, but lost all proprietary rights in the castle. 4 In 1166 the count of Alençon and his heirs surrendered the castles of Alençon and Roche Mabille : in this case the local family continued to hold its other lands, but, at any rate until the death of Richard, the custody of the castle at Alençon, which became the centre of an important


1. Robert of Torigni, ed. Delisle, i, 225–237, with Delisle's notes. 2. Ibid., 235.

3. Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 33; Robert of Torigni, ii, 35-6. The counts of Meulan were unfortunate at least three times between 1160 and 1200, but got back their lands in Normandy except Montfort and Pont-Audemer.

4. On January 31, 1200, Hugh of Montfort quitclaimed all rights to the castle, admitting that the honour of Montfort was in the demesne of Henry II when the latter died. Et sciatis quod nullo alio jure vel alique alia ratione nisi solius nomine custodie honorem illum recepi, vel in manu mea habui” (Rot. Chart., 59). See Robert of Torigni, i, 329–330; Stapleton, I, cxviii.

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bailiwick was entrusted to ducal officials. 1 Roche Mabille was, later in the century, in the hands of the count's brother. 2 In 1168 the count of Perche gave back to Normandy the castles of Moulins and Bonmoulins.3 Finally, Henry II held at various times the fortresses of the Eure, Ivry, Anet and the castles of the honour of Evreux.

Many of these arrangements were not lasting; but Henry's rule established several important principles. The right of the duke to enter upon the castles of a vassal was exercised; indeed Robert of Torigni suggests that the occasion of the surrender by the count of Alençon was the evil customs enforced in the honour, 5 not military exigencies or the suspicion of infidelity. With this right of entry was established the right or, as the case might be, the duty of sharing in the defence of the castles both in men and money. Thus Tillières on the Avre was practically a ducal castle, in spite of the existence of a nominal lord ; 6 and so to a less degree were Conches, Neubourg and Neufmarché-en-Lions, all of which played so important a part in the reigns of Richard and John.7 Gournai in 1202 was entrusted to ducal commissioners. During the


1. Robert of Torigni, i, 360 ; Stapleton, I, lxxiv. Ralph Labbe was castellan and farmer in 1198, but was at the exchequer in John's reign. The ease with which Count Robert IV surrendered Alençon to Philip Augustus in January, 1203, suggests that he was in charge of the castle then,

2. Stapleton, II, lxxxvi.
3. Stapleton, I, cxxxiv.
4. Robert of Torigni, ii, 68, 179.
5. i, 360.

6. Tillières did not become an administrative centre, but was in all other respects in the same position as Alençon. The castle appears frequently in the Exchequer Rolls and had its royal castellan. Cf. Stapleton, I, cxx; II, xlv. The rights of the lord in the honour of Brézolles were secured by the treaty of 1200. Above pp. 252, 265.

7. I can find no evidence for Stapleton's statement (II, cccxv) that Neubourg was a ducal residence.

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