Page images


If now we seek to define the results of these various inquiries into the army and finances of the Norman State, a growing separation appears between the society of the duchy, with its feudal traditions, and its ruler, both in the organisation of the host, in the methods of collecting money and in the personnel of government. It is true that the forms and appearance of feudal warfare had not been changed; we may see them in the gathering of barons, knights and men-at-arms, in the charters of towns and grants of land for the promise of service, in the military aids and tallages, in the quasi-legal spirit of conflict and the settlement of prisoner and booty. But on the other hand, the king withdrew more and more behind the shelter of his mercenaries, became increasingly dependent upon and involved in the non-feudal operations of finance, and, in the administration of his estates, ceased to rely upon the energies of Norman society. Yet, if we go on to inquire whether these tendencies are sufficient to explain the collapse of Angevin rule, we must hesitate and grope for an answer. Some of these tendencies were not new nor peculiar to Normandy; some were to be characteristic of the later state, they anticipate the centralised rule of Edward I and Philip the Fair. Indeed we may find a parallel to some in the contemporary France of Philip Augustus. Philip also relied upon mercenaries and Jews, and preferred money payments for fixed services to the general feudal levy, and the feudal levy to the levée en masse. In so far as his financial system was less developed he suffered by contrast with John.? In Richard's hands

1. For the recall of the Jews in 1198, which was due to Philip's difficulties in the face of Richard, see Cartellieri, Philipp II August., iii, 184.

2. Borrelli de Serres, op. cit., 169–171; Viollet, Histoire des institutions politiques, iii, 364; Holtzmann, Französische Verfassungs geschichte, p. 260. Although the taille is mentioned in 1190, direct taxation really dates from a century later. It is the return to the idea of universal

the military and financial forces which have been described were potent weapons for checking Philip and sufficient agencies for the transitory direction of opinion against him. The causes of Angevin failure were less material than these. They lie partly, of course, in John's character, but they are to be found even more in the fact that, while in France the growing separation between feudalism and government was a symptom of national strength and purpose, in Normandy it was typical of a general disintegration. In crushing the power of resistance to themselves Henry II and his sons destroyed the desire to unite against an invader. The loss of the duchy has in consequence the inexplicable character which attaches to some men's moral downfall. With no apparent failure, maintaining to the end the exercise of their peculiar virtues, they lose their hold on life.

It will be necessary in the last chapter to deal at more length with one aspect of this problem.


SENESCHAL, CONSTABLE AND MARSHAL IN NORMANDY. There is clear evidence that the seneschal directed the distribution of the Norman garrisons. The castellans were, of course, appointed by the king. The statement of accounts for June 1200 to November 1201, presented by Guérin of Glapion as seneschal, shows that large sums were entrusted to the seneschal's care-in this case £7,365—and that they

military obligation which is really important in Philip's reign, for this underlay the definition of services, even though money might be preferred in their stead (Borrelli de Serres, p. 519). From this point of view there is something misleading in Vuitry's remark that the financial régime was the outcome of feudal institutions and not of political sovereignty. It is of course still more misleading with regard to England and Normandy. See his Etudes sur le régime financier de la France (1878), p. 411.

were very largely expended upon garrisons. Moreover, a Norman roll for the fifth year of John's reign is endorsed with memoranda of the seneschal's actions in the enormous bailiwick of Richard of Fontenai. Richard had set a garrison in Mont-Saint-Michel, and afterwards “posuit v. servientes armatos per preceptum Radulfi Taxonis tunc Senescalli Normannie." 2 Richard also garrisoned Vire and Tenchebrai “per preceptum Senescalli.”3 The seneschal was sometimes accompanied by the constable on these important tours of inspection. On June 3 both these officers came to Mortain " et ibi statuerunt remanere xv milites et x servientes et x pedites qui ibidem interfuerunt usque ad diem Martis in festo Apostolorum Simonis et Jude in Octobris, videlicet per C. et xl. dies.” 4

The duty of the marshal is exemplified by letters patent of December 9, 1202, sent from Séez: 5

Rex etc. omnibus militibus et servientibus ad quos etc. Mandamus vobis quod sitis intendentes fideli nostro Johanni marescallo nostro, et servicium vestrum faciatis sicut vobis ipse dicet. Teste me ipso apud Sagium ix die Decembris.

John the Marshal is not merely entrusted with the arrangements for a levy. He is marescallus noster, our marshal. This is interesting, for there seems to be no doubt that we have to do with the son of John the Master Marshal, or great officer of state, the elder brother of William the Marshal; and this John was in turn the son of the famous John, the Marshal of Henry I's and

1. Rot. Scacc., ii, 501, 502. The exchequer rolls similarly illustrate the duties of the seneschal, e.g., Rot. Scacc., i, 137, 138 : William Fitz Ralf in 1195 received £1196. 108. Od. for the wages of knights and men-at-arms in time of war, and “ad faciendas operationes Regis in pluribus locis per Normanniam.” Cf. ibid., p. 236 : wages for the knights who accompanied the seneschal and others along the March.

2. Rot. Norm., 120.
3. Ibid., 121.
4. Ibid.
5. Rot. Pat., 21b.

Stephen's time, who died in 1165. John II, the brother

, of William the Marshal, acted as Marshal at King Richard's coronation, when he carried the spurs. He died in 1194.3 Now it is well known that his brother William succeeded him as Marshal and was confirmed in his office by royal charter in 1200.4 It is therefore peculiarly interesting to find the son of John II, William's nephew, acting as Marshal in Normandy in 1202, and performing those military duties which were especially attached to the marshal's office. It is not known why he was passed over on his father's death, but this passage seems to prove that, although he was not master marshal, or marshal of the court, his surname was

more than honorific. His duties, as here described, were much more important than those performed by the inferior marshals of the camp and army; they are the duties of a high official, nor is there any evidence that William the Marshal ever performed them.

In 1207 John was made marshal of Ireland. The marshalship of England passed to his cousins, the sons of the great William.

1. Round, in The Academy, 9th July, 1892.

2. Howden, iii, 9, 10. Round, The King's Serjeants and Officers of State, pp. 349, 356.

3. Guillaume le Maréchal ji, 8, 132, and notes. 4. Rot. Chart., i, 46. See Round, The Commune of London, p. 306. 5. Stubbs, Constitutional History, i, 383.




Philip Augustus and Normandy.

At the end of 1203, when King John left Normandy, Philip of France had mastered all the weak spots of the duchy. From the valleys of the Eure and the Itun he had pushed forward into the district between the Seine and the Risle, and had thus driven a wedge between eastern and western Normandy. In eastern Normandy,—that is, in the lands on the right bank of the Seine, he had annexed the Vexin, the country of Bray, and the counties of Eu and Aumâle. Western Normandy, on the contrary, he had hardly touched. In order to understand the campaign of 1204, it is desirable to define the extent of his influence in the east, centre and west somewhat more closely.

On the east of the Seine the Normans still administered the Roumois, or the valley of the river below Pont de l'Arche, and also the greater part of the triangular pays de Caux,—that is, the district between Rouen and Dieppe which is bounded on two sides by the river and the sea. King Philip's charters show that, in addition to Arques, the Normans held, in October 1203, the lower valleys of the Bethune and Varenne.2 Meulers and Longueville were

1. By 1204 the long contest on the frontiers had taught men to distinguish between Normandy and the southern districts of Normandy. Thus, in a letter to the king of Aragon, Philip Augustus announced the conquest of Gisors, Lions and the whole of Normandy except Rouen (Actes, no. 826, p. 188). Again, in their capitulation, the citizens of Rouen secured their privileges in Normandy, the Evrecin, Paci, the Vexin, and the land of Hugh of Gournai; below, p. 386.

2. In a cancelled charter Philip granted Bellencombre, Meulers and the forest of Eawi to the count of Boulogne, to be enjoyed when they had been conquered (Actes, no. 787A, p. 178).

« PreviousContinue »