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own, by the imposition of a fine of one hundred shillings.1 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. 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. 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. 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.


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.

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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.

1197, the year following that in which he wrote the letter to the archbishop, Richard proposed another plan, whereby his English tenants should equip three hundred knights for service in Normandy and pay them for a whole year. Although it seems that this plan fell to the ground, the king was successful in maintaining or assuming a claim. upon the continental service of his vassals. He met with little opposition from the laymen; and those who refused service were deprived of their lands. Similarly no objection was raised on legal grounds to such service in the early years of John's reign. This is clear from a study of the events at Portsmouth in 1201 and 1205, of which the chroniclers give many particulars. It is true that the earls met at Leicester in 1201 and decided not to cross the Channel with the king unless he did them right (nisi reddiderit eis jura sua), 2 but their action was an attempt at a bargain, a significant but not exactly a legal appeal to the fundamental agreement between a lord and his vassals. It must be connected with the private arrangements which certain powerful barons were able to make with the king during the stress of war, and with the lavish grants or numerous exemptions from debts by which John sought to retain the fidelity of his subjects. Again, the refusal


1. According to Joceline of Brakelond (ed. Rokewode), p. 63, the abbot of St. Edmund's feared "ne amitteret saisinam baronie sue pro defectu servicii regis, sicut contigerat . . . multis baronibus Anglie." 2. Howden, iv, 160, 161.

3. For the alleged action of William of Briouze, see below, p. 470. A significant note is added by the clerk to the enrolment of a charter to Robert of Harcourt, September 4th, 1199 (Rot. Chart., 17b): "memorandum quod terra ista assignata ei quousque assignaverit cuidam filio suo c. libras redditus in maritagio. Et propter warram talem extorsit cartam."

4. Rot. de Liberate, 44: "sciatis quod Thomas de Arcy nobis serviet se tertio militum ad custum suum proprium, scilicet per unum annum per sic quod nos eidem Thome perdonemus cc et xxv marcas quas debet Judeis et Judeabus super cartas suas et cirographa," etc. Towards the end of the struggle in Normandy, on October 15th, 1203, the king


of the Marshal to follow the king in 1205 was based upon the peculiar ground of his feudal relation to Philip Augustus, not upon a legal right to refuse service.1 Only in 1213, after John's failures abroad and at home, do we find the lay tenants in the north of England refusing to join him abroad for reasons of privilege. The question was not settled in the thirteenth century, 3 although according to one suggested settlement in 1215, King John was willing to compromise by confining the duty of foreign service to service in Normandy and Brittany. *


In 1201 and 1205, however, the objections which were to be raised in 1213, were not heard. In the former year, the whole knight service of England was summoned to Portsmouth. A large host came together at Pentecost. It is not likely that the king had ever intended to take across the whole number; at any rate he adopted his brother's policy. According to Roger of Howden, Earl William the Marshal and Roger de Laci, the constable of Chester, were sent over in advance, each at the head of a hundred paid knights (soldarii).5 They, and others,

1. Guill. le Maréchal, iii, 180.

2. Walt. Coventry, ii, 217, and Stubbs' introduction; Round, Feudal England, p. 534.

3. Stubbs, Constitutional History, ii, 292, 293.

4. In the "unknown" charter of liberties, c. 7: "adhuc hominibus meis concedo ne eant in exercitu extra Angliam nisi in Normanniam et in Brittanniam, et hoc decenter, quod si aliquis debet inde servitium decem militum, consilio baronum meorum alleviabitur." McKechnie, Magna Carta, p. 570; Teulet, Layettes, i, 423; Petit-Dutaillis, Studies Supplementary to Stubbs' Constitutional History (tr. Rhodes), i, 118, 125. 5. Howden iv, 163.

exempted Richard of Ounebac of his debts, apparently in return for twenty days' service at Tillières (Rot. Norm., 107). Other cases in Rot. Norm., 47, 60, 61, 64, 73, 87; Rot. Pat., 18b, 30; Rot. de Lib., 37, 42, 45, 48.


were the representatives of the Portsmouth host, which was sent home after composition with John. Some barons paid a scutage of two marks on the fee, but for the most part fines which varied in amount were exacted from them and the knights separately. It is noteworthy that the knights of the bishop of Lincoln, although compounded for by the scutage, were afterwards forced instead to make personal arrangements with the king. A special roll was kept containing the record of these fines.3


The same plan was adopted in 1205. Again, in 1205 as in 1201, the leading barons opposed the expedition, this time on grounds of policy; again a great company assembled at Portsmouth. The knights were not only willing but eager to accompany John; and much indignation was aroused when the king unwillingly consented to employ only a picked few. Those who were sent away were ordered to pay the money which they had brought with them for the benefit of the rest. Moreover, after a hesitating cruise in the Channel, John returned

1. Wendover, i, 311: "veniente autem die statuto, multi impetrata licentia remanserunt, dantes regi de quolibet scuto duas marcas argenti." A study of the Pipe Roll, however, would show great variety; see Rotulus Cancellarii 3 Joh., 105, 134, 160, 161, 191, 207, 209, 232, 266; Rotuli de Oblatis et Finibus, 143–156.

2. Rot. de Oblatis, 145: "Milites Episcopi Lincolniensis quorum numerus vii et iiij milites dant pro eodem scilicet de scuto ij marcas -Cancellantur quia inferius fuerunt separati." See p. 153.

3. Rot. Canc., 233: "Idem vicecomes [of Wiltshire] reddit compotum de xii li. vj so. et viij. d. de scutagiis militum de honore Walteri de Dunstanvill quorum nomina et debita annotantur in Rotulo quem Magister Radulfus de Stoke liberavit in thesauro ex parte justicie de finibus militum ne transfretent."

4. Coggeshall, pp. 152, 153.

5. Ibid. According to Gervase of Canterbury (ii, 98) 1500 knights came to Portsmouth. Coggeshall states that several thousand sailors also collected with ships from all parts. The discomfort and expense involved in this journey and in the delay in the unsanitary conditions cf a medieval port must have been considerable.

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