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the count, that the seneschal, controlling the use of the seal, should be able to exercise authority in the count's absence. If we examine the state of Anjou just before the accession of Henry II, we find that, despite the civil wars of the previous hundred years, it had developed along these lines. The count or his seneschal are seen issuing summonses to litigants to appear before him on a particular day;l the inquest by twelve men is what Glanvil would call an engine of the count, 2 and Count Geoffrey on at least one occasion sent a special commission empowered to hear a case upon the spot. The seneschal is clearly capable of exercising the powers of the count. He holds the castles in trust. 3 He is supreme over seneschals and bailiffs, who, in the next half century, will form a sort of hierarchy. Yet the seneschal is a servant, subject to the count's will and forced to proceed in judicial cases even against his own will. The custumal of the thirteenth century, moreover, shows how precise the legal relations between the count and his subjects were to become. The country is regarded as divided into castellanies, whose
1. Professor Haskins, who is sceptical about the existence of Angevin influence in Normandy, has pointed out to me that we have no Angevin writs, and that Count Geoffrey adopted the Norman forms in Normandy.
2. Beautemps-Beaupré, pp. 117–8, 204. For the inquest see also Coutume de Touraine-Anjou c. lxxii (Viollet, Etablissements, iii, p. 47).
3. Early in Henry's reign Chinon appears definitely as the royal treasure-house, in the charge of a special official. This is clear from the annals of Vendôme, for the year 1163 (Recueil des annales angerines et vendômoises, p. 73), when the special official was Stephen of Tours, who was afterwards seneschal. (Delisle, Actes de Henry 11, Introduction, p. 460).
4. See the list of Angevin officials in Henry II's charters, in Delisle, Introduction, pp. 210, 220. In 1201 John orders the knights, burgesses, and others of the honour of Mirebeau to obey his official in all things, 'salvis placitis et finibus que pertinent ad capitalem senescallum nostrum Andegavie' (Rot. Pat., p. 6).
lords possess rights of high and low justice;1 and his vavassors also have their courts. Not only is the law of persons and property carefully defined, but the law regulating appeals from one court to another is also clearly laid down. The right to rebel in default of justice, a right latent in feudalism at all times, is recognised but so as to be almost valueless. If a man summons his tenant to fight against the count, the tenant must go to inquire whether justice has been denied or not, and if justice is promised and the lord still insists upon his service, he need not obey and cannot lawfully lose his fief.3
A great deal of all this had been known for a long time in England and Normandy; it is possible that the Angevins may have borrowed from their Norman neighbours; but, on the other hand, the close grip and the administrative habit of mind which are found in Henry II must have owed much to Angevin example. The principles of his administration which he saw most clearly, and which stand out so simply in his reign, such as the importance of the castle, the value of system and centralisation in judicial affairs, the responsibility of the seneschal, are Angevin, just as financial organisation was peculiarly Norman.
Both Norman and Angevin practice seems to have influenced Henry II and his sons as dukes of Aquitaine. As a general rule the administration of the demesne and the supervision of feudal relations between the duke and his Aquitanian vassals were entrusted to a single seneschal. There were exceptional periods; it is probable, for example, that in the early part of Henry's reign, Saintonge had a
1. Besides many other passages, compare chapter xxiv in the custumal (Etablissements, iü, p. 15). "Nuns vavassors ne puet faire forsban, ne ne peut faire à home fors jurer la chastelerie sanz l'asentement dou baron en qui chastelerie il sera.' Cf. Guilhiermoz, p. 167 and note.
2. Ibid, cc. 24, 74, etc.
3. Ibid, c. 43. For the défaute de droit, see Viollet, Hist. des institutions politiques, ii, 219.
separate seneschal," and that Poitou was distinguished from Aquitaine in a similar way; in Richard's reign, Gascony and Poitou were separate administrations.” Again, for some time John divided Gascony and Périgord from Aquitaine. But as a rule the duchy was regarded as a whole-it is noteworthy that Henry II never used the title count of Poitou, but only styled himself duke of Aquitaine 4_and King John insisted emphatically upon the vice-regal powers of the seneschal. The importance of this command is obvious. The seneschal had not merely to direct the ducal officials in those districts, such as Saintonge, which were peculiarly subject to the duke; he had, in his master's absence, to calm the rivalry and enforce the allegiance of semi-independent princes. The war in Angoulême during Richard's captivity is a case in point.?
The royal letters to some extent prove the contention
1. 'Hoc anno (1163) Radulfus, senescallus tunc temporis in Sanctonia' (Annals of Vendôme in Recueil des Annales angevines, p. 82). Delisle identifies this person with the Radulfus de Haia who was afterwards detested as seneschal of Aquitaine (Introduction to Actes de Henri II,
2. Delisle, p. 220. For Richard's reign see Richard, Les Comtes de Poitou, ii, p. 301. The name Aquitaine, except in the royal style, was not officially used in the later twelfth century. It only occurs once in the Patent Rolls of John (Rot. Pat., 154).
3. Rot. Pat., p. 21, December 4, 1202, a letter to Robert Turnham, seneschal of Poitou, 'sciatis quod constituimus . . . Martinus Algeis senescallum nostrum Gwasconiae et Petragor. Unde vobis mandamus quod illi integre balliam illam habere faciatis.' Gascony and Poitou were joined again in 1215 (Ibid., 152b).
4. Delisle, Introduction, p. 124. Similarly Henry is never styled Count of Maine (Ibid, 206).
5. Rot. Chart., 102b, 'manifestum est quod qui senescallum non obedient mandatum domini contempnunt.'
6. Saintonge is specially picked out for notice in several of Henry's charters, Delisle, p. 210.
7. Rog. Howden, ii, pp. 216–218.
which the Poitevin barons constantly urged against their Angevin suzerains, that their customs and privileges were not observed. Important vassals like the viscount of Thouars could only be expected to provide service in case of need, but less powerful persons, at any rate in the last years of the century, had to contend against demands for the fines or contributions of their sub-tenants.2 To what extent these demands were justified by custom it is difficult
It is possible that Poitou proper and Saintonge had developed on the same lines as Anjou and Touraine, but that the difficulties in which their rulers found themselves made it possible for the barons to secure better bargains. When Richard gave Poitou as a fief to his nephew, Otto of Brunswick, who made himself very unpopular during his brief residence, he showed an indifference to the exploitation of his subjects which would explain a great deal of resistance.
It is, at any rate, clear that the distinction between the actual demesne of the counts of Poitou and Saintonge, and the lands of their vassals was very marked. The old subdivisions, or vicariæ, lost their importance in Poitou as they did in Anjou and were absorbed by the new feudal areas whose lords had acquired all the privileges of jurisdiction.3 The demesne, on the contrary, was carefully farmed. The accounts of Alfonse of Poitiers, which carry
1. e.g., Rot. Chart., 102b, 103. Letter of viscount to John after his reconciliation : 'terram meam et totum posse meum et amicos meos voluntati vestrae et vestro servicio expono.' These words express the humility of a vassal who was independent in his own lands.
2. See charter of exemption to the men of Humbert of Forz. Rot. Chart., 8, August 1, 1199. They are to be quit 'a tallagio et ab omnibus illis consuetudinibus quae dominus Pictavie de illis accipere solet pro terris suis,' in certain fiefs. Hallam has noticed instances of interference with Poitevin custom (Middle Ages, 8th ed., i, p. 128 note).
3. Redet, Cartulaire de l'abbage de Saint Cyprien de Poitiers, p. 21. (Archives historiques du Poitou, vol. iii (1874).)
us back to the administration of Poitou before the final conquest in 1242, reveal a financial system exactly parallel to the familiar methods of the Norman or English exchequer. The exchequers of Poitou and Anjou are implied in royal letters, 2 and the treasurer of Poitou was a well-known official; and it is interesting to find that, where accounts have survived from a later period, they should wear the same appearance as those presented in the twelfth century at Westminster and Caen. The demesne included the preposituræ of Poitiers, Niort, Benon, la Rochelle, Saint-Jean-d'Angeli, Fontenay-le-Comte, and the forest of Moulière, with other property. Most of this was farmed; the three citizens, for example, who farmed la Rochelle and the great fief' of Aunis, took over in their bargain all rents and the proceeds of small fines and forfeitures, and accounted separately for the reliefs, sale of woods, and smaller additional items. These official bailiwicks, some of which are mentioned in Henry II's charters, were evidently administered from the castles of the same names, and some of the inquests of Count
5 Alfonse give valuable pictures of their inner economy. One of these inquests, the survey of the honour of Chizé, will be found useful on a later occasion. It gives life to
1. Edited by A. Bardonnet in Archives historiques du Poitou, vol. iv (1875).
2. Rot. Norm., p. 28. Cf. the reference to the king's money changers at Tours and Le Mans (Rot. Scacc., i, 38).
3. Archives historiques du Poitou, iv, 8, and passim.
4. e.g., 'prepositis de Pictavi et de Chiseis et de Rochella et ceteris prepositis et servientibus suis de Aquitania' (Delisle, Introduction, 210). A claim in John's charter to Ralph of Mauléon, September 30, 1199, implies this financial system—“decem millia solidos monete Pictavie annuatum sibi percipiendis in prepositura de Rupella” (Rot. Chart., 24b). Cf. for Saintes, 197b.
5. Bailiff's accounts for payment of garrisons, Archives historiques du Poitou, iv, p. 13.