Page images

Pontorson over against the Breton frontier near Mont Saint-Michel, and in the interior Vaudreuil, owed their origin, according to Robert of Torigni, to King Henry. 1 Most of them still stood firm, their white stone work but little worn, when King Philip came.

Robert of Torigni is also our chief authority on the means taken by his friend Henry II for the preservation and improvement of his grandfather's work. 'He improved or renewed nearly all his castles, and especially Gisors, on the Norman frontier. He enclosed with a paling his park and dwelling-house at Quevilli, near Rouen, 3 He built a marvellous lazar house near Caen. He renewed the hall and rooms (cameras) in front of the keep at Rouen. And not in Normandy alone, but in England, Aquitaine, Anjou, Maine, Touraine he worked at his castles and houses, either building new ones or restoring the old. Moreover, he built the castle at Osmanville on the river Vire.'4 The rolls of the exchequer for 1180 and 1184 confirm and enlarge this evidence. We can see the king's men at work on walls and towers, mills and causeways. 5 A thousand oaks were felled for the construction of the palace at Bur;6 the forests of Caux provided palisading for the royal dwellings in the Côtentin. 7 Some operations, great or small, were paid for in 1180 at nearly every castle on the

1. Ibid., 196-7.

2. Henry II does not appear to have built many new castles, at least in Normandy.

3. This afterwards became a lazar house, well endowed. See Stapleton, I, cxlvi; Delisle, Actes de Henri 11, no. 486.

4. Robert of Torigni, i, 331-2. Osmanville was farmed separately in 1180. Rot. Scacc., i, 8.

5. At Osmanville, Condé, Argentan, Gorron, Domfront, Vire, Pontorson, and especially at Tenchebrai, Verneuil, Arques. Rot. Scacc., i, 8, 17, 24, 27, 28, 29, 52, 84, 90; also Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Exmes, Moulins, Bonmoulins; pp. 98, 104, 105.

6. Ibid., i, 30. 7. Ibid., 31, 82.

March, and especially in the Norman Vexin and the cluster of castles in or about the forest of Lions. It is also clear from the rolls that local responsibility had been defined: the revenues of Rouen were applied especially to the constructions in Bray and the Vexin, for these were the main defence of the city, but in the rest of Normandy the prepositurae were for the most part self-supporting or depended upon grants made from neighbouring budgets by royal writ. The system was by no means rigid and expenses of considerable magnitude, such as those incurred by the construction of the mills at Gorron,were met by liberal subventions drawn from a large area; but small precedent appears in Henry's reign for the special efforts required in the reigns of Richard and John.

I will take as an illustration of this financial system the expenditure on the castles east of the Seine. In 1180 the chief outlay was directed on the castle of Beauvoir (Bellum Videre) in the northern part of the forest of Lions. The castle was important enough to be an independent ministerium and was in the charge of Enguerrand the Porter. Over £450 had been spent on the operations; and of this sum the revenue of Rouen contributed in the


1179— 1180 £353. 4s. 1d., the farm of Drincourt £50 and the local farm of the ministerium £48. 17s. 11d.3 A remark that the greater part of this sum had been expended after the corroboration (per visum) of three local witnesses reminds us of a fact upon which the later Norman and English rolls often insist, that for purposes of this kind

1. “In margine etiam ducatus Normanniae fere omnia sua castella, et maxime Gisorz, melioravit vel renovavit"; Robert of Torigni, l.c.

2. Rot. Scacc., I, 9, 14, 28. Moneys from Mortain, Le Teilleul, Domfront.

3. Rot. Scacc., I, 75, and cf. 70, 74. A comparison of these passages proves that the castellan had received more from Rouen than is accounted for on the rolls. The odd sums are either balances of farms not expended, or represent the valuation of the local jury.


moneys were granted according to the estimate of a local jury."

The works at Lions-la-Forêt and Neufmarché had cost £112. 5s., which had been paid out of the farm. They included the construction of rooms in the keep at Lions, which had been heightened. Repairs at Neufchâteau and Neaufle on the Epte had cost £87. 3s. 9d., of which £40 had come from Rouen. 3 At Gisors the repairs of 1180 were not very great—they included a frieze (echina), repaired ditches, and a rope which cost 40s. for hauling up timber 4—but four years later the valley of the Epte must have been very busy. King Henry had realised that the Norman Vexin would be the first object of his young rival's attack. A great military command which included, besides the bailiwick of the Vexin, custody of all the castles on the lower Epte and of Vaudreuil on the other bank of the Seine, was entrusted to William Earl of Arundel; and among the earl's duties was the direction of repairs. For this purpose he received no less than £4,270, collected from the English and Norman treasuries and from Normandy. This money was expended as followsthe record may serve as an illustration of many similar returns in this and succeeding reigns : Moneys received ad operationes castrorum de Marchia:

£ Angevin From the treasury at Caen through Herbert

of Argentan ? and William of Calviz 8 600 1. The wording of the writ generally runs "per testimonium legalium hominum de visneto."

2. Rot. Scacc., i, 73. 3. Ibid., 70, 72. 4. Ibid., 72; Stapleton, I, cxii. 5. Rot. Scacc., i, 110–111. 6. Ibid., 110, 116, 118, 120 passim, 121. 7. This treasury official had previously farmed the forest of Gouffern (Rot. Scacc i, 17, 18).

8. This financier seems to have been a large money-lender, for accord. ing to the roll of 1195, after his death, the exchequer confiscated his wealth in various parts of Normandy, e.g., ibid., i, 170.


[ocr errors]


From the English treasury through the
same, £100 sterling=

From the treasury at Rouen, de focagio,

through the bishop of Lisieux, treasurer,
and Herbert of Argentan

From the camera regis, & £100 sterling= 400
From Walter of Chanteloup 4

From John de Botell (Bouteilles ?) prepo-
situs of Dieppe

From Alvered of Saint-Martin 5

100 From Ralph, son of Matthew of Loriol 100 From Richard Beuerel 6

100 From Richard Silvain 7

260 From Saer de Quinci 8

50 From Ralph of Frellencourt 9

40 From Robert Pratarius (?) 10


Total 4,270

1. On the fouage, see Stapleton, I, xvi; Delisle, in Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes, xiii, pp. 104-5. In 1207 King Philip exempted the citizens of Rouen from the payment of this tax, which was levied every three years and in origin corresponded to the English monetagium. See Giry, Etablissements de Rouen, ii, 63.

2. The roll says 1700 li. sterling, by mistake.

3. Separate payments from the camera regis began very early (Amer. Hist. Review, xiv, 464-5). Extraordinary payments went into this ducal treasury, which became very active in John's reign. Below, p. 350.

4. In 1180 he was castellan of Beaumont-le-Roger, en in the king's hands : this subscription may have come from the revenues of this honour of the counts of Meulan. (Rot. Scacc., i, 97.)

5. i.e., from Drincourt (i, 116). 6. i.e., from the Lieuvin (i, 118, 120–121). 7. In 1198 he was farmer in the Côtentin. 8. i.e., from Nonancourt (i, 76, 117). 9. i.e., from the district between the Seine and the Risle (i, 100). 10. An Anselmus Parcarius appears on the roll for 1180 (i, 92), and Round, Calendar, no. 1282, but the abbreviation here is probably a slip for Portarius. Robert the Porter in Round, Calendar, no. 734.

[ocr errors]

Expenses, per breve regis :



Works at Gisors : re-roofing the keep

and expenses on the wall round the
motte, the kitchen, the ditch outside
the verge (virgultum), bridges, gates,
wooden house within the bailey, base
of the wall round the market

2650 1 11 Works at Neauflé: on the keep and

buildings (domorum) and heightening
the wall and making the base (pes)
of the wall

195 4 8 Works at Neufchâteau-sur-Epte: height

ening the walls round the motte,
building a little tower before the door
of the keep, and a wall to shut off the
bailey from the castle,2 repairing the

building and chapel of the castle 301 00 Works at Dangu: building a keep,

repairs on walls, bridge and gates 208 100 For 29 shields ad munitiones predictorum castrorum (i.e., at 7s. each)

10 3 0 For bows and swords for the same

5 0 0 For two windows in the king's chamber at Gisors

1 5 0 Carriage from Rouen to Gisors of 6 tuns

of Poitevin wine and 27 English cheeses 2 12 0 Carriage of lead from Rouen to Gisors

for the roof of the king's chamber and
of the keep

1 12 0

1. Stapleton suggests 'string course' (I, cxxxvi).

2. This illustrates an interesting development of the 'motte and bailey' type of castle. A comparison between the plans of Arques made by Deville and Viollet-le-Duc suggests that a similar wall was built there. Château Gaillard was built with an outer bailey in 1197.

« PreviousContinue »