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place was destroyed by fire, in order that no time might be lost. Then apparently they left Pontorson on their right, seized Avranches, and, joining the French forces, which were securing the Bessin and Côtentin, they came to Philip at Caen.
Philip divided his army. Guy of Thouars was sent back together with the count of Boulogne, William des Barres and the mercenaries who had surrendered Falaise, to attack the castles upon the western frontier between Pontorson and Mortain.1 How these castles fell is unknown. But, during the next few months they were all lost, Pontorson, Saint-James, Vire, Tenchebrai, Mortain, Domfront and the whole country as far as Cherbourg and Barfleur. In the meanwhile Philip Augustus laid siege to Rouen.
By this time King John's half-hearted and irresolute preparations were useless. Whether he had seriously intended to return to Normandy or not, it is impossible to say, for the royal letters show quite clearly that, until Château Gaillard fell, he had not thought it necessary to move quickly. In January he received the consent of a
. council to a scutage,3 and, according to the annalist of Saint Edmund's, the earls and the barons promised to join him in a Norman campaign. Hugh, the archdeacon of
* Wells, who was in the royal confidence,5 was sent to Normandy at the end of the month, and towards the end of February stores, treasure, and a few men despatched.? The Master of the Temple in England also
1. William the Breton, i, 221.
“E Hue de Welles ensemble . .
Qui le seel le rei pourtout." He was in John's constant service. Cf a reference to his roll, Rot. de Fin., 74.
6. Rot. Pat., 38; Rot. de Lib., 77, 81. 7. Rot. de Lib., 84-5.
crossed on the financial business of the king. But there was no alarm.
On the very day that Château Gaillard fell orders were issued for the transport of beasts of chase, dogs, horses and falcons in preparation for the king's hunting when he should cross.? Then the disastrous news must have come. The papal legate, still intent on peace, was in England, and a great council was held, probably at the end of March,3 at London. It was decided to send a strong embassy to Philip. The archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Norwich and Ely, Earl William the Marshal and the earl of Leicester were chosen; and they crossed with the legate on the 11th or 12th of April. 4 Shortly before, and no doubt as a result of the same council, the bishop of London was sent to the Emperor, 5 and steps were taken to secure the fidelity of those Rhenish barons who received pensions from the English exchequer. 6 The idea seems to have prevailed in England that, if the negotiations did not succeed, Philip would attack Rouen. Hence little was done to avert the coming catastrophe. The seneschal was instructed to further, as far as possible, the concentration of stores at Rouen,7 and to assist the constable and barons in the victualling of their castles. Shortly before Easter two thousand marks were sent to him at Caen ;s and we read of a few Welsh mercenaries who were sent across. But still the king waited.
1. Ibid, 81; Rot. Pat., 38b; he is to attend to the instructions of Hugh of Wells.
2. Rot. de Lib., 82.
3. Gervase of Canterbury, ii, 95. Coggeshall (p. 144) refers to a council as though it were held after mid-Lent (April 4) but John was at Westminster for several days at the end of March.
4. For the dates, see Rot. Pat., 40b. For the embassy, Gervase ii, 95; Coggeshall, p. 144 ; Guill. le Maréchal, iii, 176. Cf. below, p. 472.
5. Rot. Pat., 39b; Coggeshall, p. 147.
9. Ibid, 85. vin of Béthune, the count of Aumâle also see to have gone over for a time (Rot. Pat., 41b).
The negotiations, as might have been expected, came to nothing. Philip was sure of victory.
. He demanded either Arthur (of whose death he was now becoming certain) lor his sister Eleanor and all John's lands across
The bishops retired to Rouen, where they parted from the papal legate, and came back to England with the news of their failure. 3 Philip proceeded to invade Normandy. Later, when after the fall of Caen the king was on his way to the Seine, the Marshal' met him again at Lisieux and made an arrangement with him which is a sufficient commentary upon the prospects of John at the end of May. The Marshal surrendered his chief lands to Philip, and paid a large sum of money in return for a respite of twelve months; if Normandy were lost during that time he would do homage to Philip for his Norman lands. 4
The symbol of defeat had been sent from Caen a few days before this meeting at Lisieux. Sometime during the third week in May the Norman records arrived at Shoreham.5 The Norman exchequer had ceased its work as the agent of an English king.
It is not difficult to imagine the state of men's minds in Rouen at the end of May. They had prepared for a great
1. Below, p. 459.
3. Gervase, ii, 96. According to the life of the Marshal, the envoys met Philip at Bec, but it is unlikely that he had been able to come so far north. The envoys probably met him on the southern frontier in April, during his preparations for the invasion.
4. Cart. Norm., no. 74, p. 14; Actes, no. 818, p. 186.
5. Rot. de Lib., 102–3, a letter from the king, who was at Worldhanı, May 21, 1204, to the Sheriff of Sussex : Mandavimus ballivis de Soreham quod inveniant Petro de Leon clerico nostro carriagium et salvum conductum ad ducendos usque Londoniis rotulos et cartas nostras quas ipse nobis adduxit de Cadomo, unde tibi precipimus quod si ipsi non fecerint, tu id sine dilatione facias, et computetur tibi ad scaccarium."
siege. Peter of Préaux, acting in concert with the archbishop and the mayor, was in military command. He had with him the old official, Richard of Villequier, and other great barons of the neighbourhood, Henry of Etouteville, the young Robert of Esneval,2 Thomas of Pavilli, Geoffrey du Bois and Peter of Hotot. Within the strong walls and triple fosse3 of the city a host of refugees were gathered from Eu, Aumâle and Drincourt. Even those burgesses and vassals of Alençon who had refused to follow their count in his desertion, had found a home there. Provisions had been brought from England and from all parts of Normandy. The city had entered into a defensive alliance with Arques and Verneuil.* But as news came of treachery at Falaise and Caen the mood of Rouen changed. A story of stubborn resistance only broken down by superior force, would doubtless have had a different effect; but the advance of Philip had been so easy; his relations with the men of other places had been so pleasant and cordial. He had confirmed the privileges of Falaise, and had granted a fair of seven days at the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross for the benefit of its lepers. The mayor of Falaise, happy man, had received lands at Lassi and Campeaux. The rights and privileges of Rouen were at stake; they extended through the whole Angevin empire, from Gournai to Bordeaux; they were worth saving; and King Philip was well disposed. If the men of Rouen were not careful they might find upstarts in their path. The men of Pont-Audemer, for example, so well placed near the mouth of the Risle, were already bargaining for a
1. Chéruel, Histoire de Rouen pendant l'époque communale (1843), i, 86 seqq. The chief authority for the siege is the agreement of June 1, in Teulet, Layettes, i, 250–52, ro. 716.
2. Stapleton, II, cxlvii.
4. Rigord, i, 160 : “castra scilicet que cum Rothomagensibus fuerant conjurata."
5. Cart. Norm., nos. 75, 1070, p. 283. 6. Ibid, no. 76, p. 15.
commune. Decision was necessary, for some persons in the crowded city were already out of hand; it was said that they had seized and beheaded a number of King Philip's men, and the king would be sure to insist upon punishment.2
While Robert the mayor and his colleagues were considering these facts the canons of Rouen would hear of Philip's relations with the western dioceses. They would learn that many of the clergy had declared for Philip, even Abbot Samson, of St. Stephen's, who had sat for so many years at the board of exchequer ;3 and they would remember that the church of Rouen had more to lose in Normandy than in England. Moreover the king of France would doubtless assist them in the rebuilding of the cathedral.4 The barons, also, must have been shaken. King Philip was losing no time in the disposal of Norman property. Confiscations and rewards were issuing fast from his chancery. There was Guérin of Glapion, for example: he had already secured Moyon and Montpincon and lands at Cambois. The constable had gone over,
1. Ibid, no. 77, p. 284.
2. See the additional clause in the arrangement of June 1 (Layettes, i, 252) : “Ego Robertus, major Rothomagensis, me vicesimo, jurabo quod capita hominum domini regis non fuerant amputata per nos in civitate Rothomagensi, sed plus de hoc doluimus quam gavisi fuerimus, et si eos capere potuerimus qui hoc fecerunt eos ipsi regi trademus ad faciendam voluntatem suam."
3. John refers to his 'malevolentia' against the abbey of Saint Stephen “occasione Samsonis abbatis illius loci” (Rot. Pat., 70b).
4. Burnt on Easter Day, 1200 (Howden, iv, 116). John had promised a large sum ‘ad fabricam ecclesie ” of which £460 were still owing in April, 1203 (Rot. Norm., 86). 5. Actes, nos. 817B, 825A, pp. 186, 188.
6. The Annalist of Winchester (Ann. Monast., ii, 255–6) ascribes excessive importance to the constable. He states that King Philip subdued Normandy and Anjou “seditione Willelmi de Humet, qui sub rege Johanne totius Normanniae gubernaculum obtinvit, Johanne rege in Anglia moram faciente." The annalist probably confused him with the other Williams, William Crassus and William des Roches, seneschals of Normandy and Anjou.