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army in less direct ways. For example, drastic and savage punishments for default take the place in the ordinances of Henry II and John of the fixed amercements which are found in the Anglo-Saxon laws and in ordinary French practice. And, more important, any tendency on the part of the greater vassals to feudalise and turn to their own profit the public obligations of the freeman was checked by royal insistance upon the judicial and financial rights of the sovereign. Hence, although the arrière-ban or national levy was less important in practice, it was fixed more firmly than ever in the administrative system of the country.
Although the arrière-ban is mentioned on the rolls, it is not quite clear whether a distinction was maintained at the end of the twelfth century between the feudal force (exercitus) and the host of freemen. The references
1. Assize of Arms, c. 10 (Select Charters, p. 156) mutilation, not loss of lands or chattels, to be the punishment for non-observance of the assize. Cf. the elaborate regulations for the organised defence of England in 1205, with their penalty of perpetual servitude; Stubbs, Constitutional History, i, 634. Such regulations were, of course, unusual, and are really important as showing the intensity of the royal will. In ordinary cases of non-attendance at the host, amercements were exacted. See below.
2. Vinogradoff, English Society in the Eleventh Century, p. 28; Prou, “De la nature du service militaire du par les roturiers aux xio et xiie siècles,” in Revue Historique, 1890, xliv, 321–3.
3. Cf. Statuta et Consuetudines, c. xlviïi (Tardif, I, i, 38), “Nullus vero hominum audeat talias vel exactiones ab hominibus suis exigere, nisi per scriptum Ducis et ejus indulgenciam, scilicet pro gravamine guerre,” etc. The privilege enjoyed by the archbishop of Rouen with regard to the arrière-ban, illustrates the practice to which it is an exception : "De retrobanno Normannie sic erit, quod cum oportuerit submoneri retrobannum, secundum consuetudinem terre Archiepiscopus per nos vel per litteras nostras vel per capitalem Senescallum nostrum vel per litteras ejus submoneri debet, et ipse Archiepiscopus summonebit retrobannum secundum consuetudinem terre, et ducet vel duci faciet, et si retrobannum plenarie non venerit justicia erit Archiepiscopi.” (John's charter in Rot. Norm., 3.)
concern the conduct of knights, and it is possible that the later dukes were satisfied to summon the better armed subtenants, in addition to the stated feudal levy. At any rate it is apparent that the army, comprising large numbers of soldiers (servientes) on horse and foot was called out nearly every year between 1198 and 1204.2 Its usual rendezvous was Argentan.3 Its administration or organisation was the duty of the Marshal, if a single reference to the functions of John the Marshal may be trusted. Those great military officials, the constable and marshal, together with the seneschal or highest officer of state, still retained the functions which they had exercised in days when the host was the normal instrument of warfare.4
A more important element than the arrière-ban in the military system of a feudal state was the organised militia of the communes. 5 It is true that in Normandy, although
1. Account in 1198 “ de misericordiis militum Ballie de Domfront qui
venerunt ad rerebandum exercitus ex quo summoniti fuerunt," (Rot. Scacc., ii, 495). John's letter to William of Caieux, Argentan, June 5th, 1200 : “vobis mandamus quatinus ad nos cum retrouuarda accedatis desicut retrobannum nostrum mandavimus,” (Rot. Norm., 36).
2. The evidence for 1198, 1200, 1201, 1202, and probably 1203 rests upon Rot. Scacc., ii, 445, 495; Rot. Norm., 36; Rot. Pat. 1, 21b; Rot. Norm., 83. Most of these passages are quoted in previous notes. For Rot. Pat., 21b, see note at the end of this chapter. Rot. Scacc., ii, 445, contains this entry : “Henricus de Ponte Audemer reddit compotum de x li. pro 1 summario cum apparatu quem Burgenses Fiscanni debent Regi quando exercitus Normannie submonitus est.” It should also be noted that local forces were occasionally summoned for special purposes, such as Count John's attack on Vaudreuil in 1194 : above, p. 155.
3. Cf. above, p. 232.
5. Borrelli de Serres, Recherches sur divers services publics du xiije au xvijo siècle, i (1895), 467 seqq. ; Giry, Etablissements de Rouen, ii, 36-ch. 28, 29; Luchaire, Les communes françaises (ed. 1911), pp. 177– 190 ; Jean Yanoski, in the Mémoires presentés par divers savants à l'académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 1860, 20 series, vol. iv, part ii, pp. 1–105.
the militia was regarded as a potential field force, it was used mainly for defensive purposes, whereas Philip Augustus frequently employed it in the open.' But its defensive value was very great, and King John was fully alive to the fact. The communes which he created, many of which were very short-lived, were designed to have a military function, and are excellent examples of the feudal character of these organisations. The immediate consequence, as Luchaire observed, of the communal bond was that the commune, as a seigneurie and member of the feudal hierarchy, owed military service. 3 The Norman towns, like the Spanish, were chartered “ad persecucionem inimicorum,” if not “ ad persecucionem inimicorum crucis Christi.” 4 “It is our good pleasure,” John wrote to the men of Fécamp on June 30, 1202, “that you and others in your neighbourhood shall have a commune for so long as it may please us, and that you be ready to defend your land by arms and in other necessary ways.
Failure to serve in the communal levy was met with communal punishment. For example, according to the établissements of Rouen, a citizen who was not present at the hour fixed for the start upon a communal expedition was punished by the destruction of his house, or if he had no house of his
1. Cf. Howden, iv, 56, 58. On the other hand it should be noted that Philip Augustus demanded fixed quotas of men and carts from the towns, and organised these according to districts; also that he frequently took money instead of service. Borrelli de Serres, op. cit., 476, 489; and below, pp. 326–7. There are signs that fixed quotas were demanded from some Norman towns, e.g., from Rouen, Rot. Scacc., ii, 306, “servientes quos cives Rothomagi debuerunt invenire Regi in gerra.”
2. Delisle, Cartulaire Normand, pp. Xv-xviii. Aufai, Domfront, Evreux (formed in Richard's reign), Fécamp, Harfleur, Montivilliers were of short duration. 3. Luchaire, op. cit. p. 178; see also Giry, i, 440 4. Fuero del Teluel, c. 2, quoted by Davis in English Historical Review, xxiii, 768.
5. Rot. Pat., 13b. The date given in the enrolment is July 30th, but the context points to June 30th.
own, by the imposition of a fine of one hundred shillings. During a siege the pressure of public opinion would, of course, be still greater: the action taken by Evreux during King Richard's captivity, and the preparations at Rouen in 1204 illustrate the military importance of communal feeling.
It has been stated that the dukes of Normandy do not appear to have often availed themselves of the communal militia in the open country. Two obvious reasons would account for this fact. In the first place the military obligations of the towns were limited in many cases by local privilege. Henry II exempted the men of Pontorson from service in the host when the duke did not command in person.3 By Richard's charter, the burgesses of Andeli were bound to serve on no expedition which would not enable them to go and return on the same day. In the second place, the short period of service required from feudal levies—forty days—made a force of this kind ineffective. These disadvantages were shared to a large extent by all branches of the feudal host, and we are led, therefore, to consider the expedients adopted by the Angevin kings, and especially by Richard and John, to remove or neutralise them.
In a letter which King Richard addressed to Archbishop Hubert on April 15, 1196, the king made a marked distinction between those barons whose capita baroniarum were in Normandy, and those whose chief interests were
1. Giry, op. cit., ii, 36, c. 28. See Round, Feudal England, p. 556, for this communal house demolition.
2. Above, p. 147.
3. Henry's charter survives in a vidimus of 1366 (Ordonnances, iv, 638). Delisle ascribed it to 1171-3 : see the list of charters at the end of his Introduction, no. 294.
4. See John's confirmation in Rot. Cart., 65b : "quod non eant aliqua de causa in aliquam expeditionem sive chevalcheam quod (sic) non possint redire ad hospitia sua eadem die qua decesserunt.”
centred in England." He ordered the archbishop to send the former into Normandy without delay. The latter were required to cross the Channel by the Sunday before Pentecost and the form of their service was regulated more precisely. They were not to cumber themselves with many knights: and no baron should bring more than seven; on the other hand, they were to come so prepared that they could remain in the king's service for a long time. 2 The king then referred to the English bishops and abbots who owed military service. The archbishop was ordered to admonish them to send such aid as would win royal approval. 3 This letter lays down two principles : Firstly, the Norman and English military tenants-in-chief are distinguished, but only for the king's convenience; all owe service alike, but it is expedient to organise the service due by English tenants. Secondly, King Richard implies that the obligations of the ecclesiastical tenants to serve out of England were not so precise or binding as those of the laymen. This point was emphasised by Bishop Hugh of Lincoln in the following year. We cannot do better than discuss the matter on the lines laid down here by Richard.
Henry II in 1157 and Richard in 1194 demanded a third of the knight service of England to fight against the Welsh and French respectively, with the object, it may be presumed, of securing a threefold term of service. In
1. Edited by Stubbs in his preface to Diceto, II, pp. lxxx, lxxxi. See above, p. 166. Sufficient stress has not, I think, been laid upon this letter by previous writers.
2. Summoneatis etiam omnes illos qui debent nobis servitium militis in Anglia, praeter Willelmum de Braus et Willelmum de Aubenei et barones de marchia Wallarum, quod omnes sint ad nos citra mare in Normannia proxima Dominica ante Pentecostan cum equis et armis, parati ad servitium nostrum; et veniant ita parati quod possint diu morari in servitio nostro; quod scilicet non gravent se multitudine militum, nec aliquis plures adducat quam vii. ad plus.”
3. "quod ita serviant nobis in militibus quod eos inde laudare et gratias agere debeamus." 4. Stubbs, Constitutional History, i, 631.