Page images

society. In 1223, when King Philip died, in 1226, when Louis VIII died, and in 1230, when Pierre Mauclerc, the count of Brittany, welcomed Henry III, English agents were sent to rouse the barons of the duchy.' According to Roger of Wendover, Henry would, in 1230, have turned aside to join the malcontents in Normandy if Hubert de Burgh had not dissuaded him. The French government realised that special precautions were necessary against English intrigue. For example, when the dean and two canons of Rouen desired to cross the Channel upon the business of their church, permission was only granted after they had taken an oath that they would do nothing against the interests of the king of France or his kingdom.

At the same time, Henry III was quite alive to the possibility of playing off his claim to Normandy against his claim to Poitou. As early as 1229 he was willing to acquiesce in the loss of Normandy in return for the restoration of the other provinces. On more than one occasion Saint Louis is asserted by Matthew Paris to have proposed a similar division, or to have offered to surrender Normandy itself. In the end an agreement was reached on these lines, but on terms much less favourable to

1. Roger of Wendover (ed. Rolls Series), ii, 271, 316; and iii, 5-6. Annals of Dunstable, in Ann. Monastici, iii, 81, 100; Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1216—1225, p. 405-6; Petit-Dutaillis, Louis Vill, p. 232; Berger, Blanche de Castille, pp. 160 seqq.

2. According to Wendover (iii, 33), Hubert's advice on this occasion was afterwards made one of the charges against him. It is not noticed by Master Laurence of Saint Albans in his refutation (Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., Additamenta, vi, 63). 3. Quoted from the archives of Seine Inferieure by Berger, op. cit.

Compare the fears of Norman treachery attributed by Matthew Paris to Saint Louis in 1242, Chron. Maj., iv, 204.

4. See the proposals in Royal Letters, ed. Shirley, i, 350, no. 288. At the most Henry asked for territory in western Normandy to link his southern possessions with the Channel : "de Normannia retineatur ad opus regis unus episcopatus vel duo, ad transitum habendum ad terras redictas; scilicet episcopatus Albrincensis et Constanciensis." 5. Chron. Maj., iv, 203, 506.

p. 76.


Henry III. By the treaty of Paris various actual and contingent rights were recognised as his in Gascony and in the neighbouring provinces, and his claims to Normandy, Anjou, and Poitou were formally given up.The prophecy was fulfilled: miro mutationis modo gladius a sceptro separabitur.2 Matthew Paris is responsible for a curious story,3 which

3 he repeats more than once, that the conscience of Saint Louis was troubled by the retention of Normandy, and proof of this statement has erroneously been found in the words of two Norman charters issued by the great king. 4 It is very probable that during a reign which was by no means free from crises of grave anxiety, Saint Louis thought seriously of a compromise with Henry. And it was quite in accordance with his character if his sense of justice was disturbed by the thought of his father's oath in 1217 and the knowledge that the statesmen of King John had called in question the procedure of John's trial and condemnation.5 Moreover, Henry III was his relative, and had his own troubles, and the cause of the crusade was harmed by the long, tiresome war between them. On the other hand, it seems certain that Saint Louis was fully satisfied of his right to Normandy. Matthew Paris himself states that the Norman clergy and the French barons

[ocr errors]

1. Gavrilovitch, Etude sur le traité de Paris de 1259 (1899).
2. Annals of Burton, in Ann. Monastici, i, 487.
3. Chron. Maj., iv, 646; v, 280–1.

4. Cart. Norm., nos. 473, 1185, pp. 78, 325; June, 1248. In these charters Saint-Louis granted Picauville and Saint-Hilaire near Carentan to Bouchard de Mailli, and guarantees certain payments to Port Royal on the revenues of the same. They contain the clause : "hoc etiam semper salvum retinemus, quod si aliquando dictaret nobis conscientia quod de dictis villis restitutionem aliquibus facere vellemus, nobis liceret," etc.

5. Above, p. 219. It should be remembered that the learned jurist M. Guilhiermoz doubts whether the sentences passed on John by the French court in 1202 could be applied to Normandy. The point is not whether this view is correct, but that there was room for doubt.

6. Gavrilovitch, Etude sur le traité de Paris, pp. 41-45.

testified emphatically in his favour. 1 We may see in this story of Saint Louis' conscience, as in other passages of Matthew Paris, not, it is true, the fabrication of facts which never occurred, but the misleading deductions of a patriotic historian.

Long before the treaty of Paris Normandy had been firmly united to the demesne of the French king.

The material for a picture of Norman administration in the thirteenth century is considerable. It shows that the French kings, while making important changes in the government of the duchy, availed themselves of the older constitution. The exchequer remained as the chief court of Normandy for administrative and financial, as well as for judicial purposes. The machinery for the collection of revenue from viscounty and prepositura survived. But Philip Augustus and his successors, by means of a few simple alterations, reorganised these institutions in order to bring them into more accord with the system of government which existed in the Ile de France.

The office of seneschal disappeared in Normandy as it had disappeared in France.3 This change did not take

1. Chron. Maj., iv, 646; v. 280–1.

2. The publications of the Société d'histoire du droit normand, which commenced recently under the title Bibliothèque d'histoire du droit normand, deserve special mention; also the earlier studies of MM. Génestal, Perrot, Lagouelle, and Legras, upon legal and economic history. These matters fall outside the scope of this study. In the following pages I have relied chiefly upon the Cartulaire Normand, which is still the most important collection of texts, upon E. J. Tardif's edition of the custumals, and Delisle's article in the Recueil des historiens de France, xxiv.

3. Tardif, I, i, pp. lxxv, lxxvi. The last official reference to the seneschal is in the ordinance de mutacione monete, probably of date 1204 (Cart. Norm., no. 112, p. 20; Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes, x, 199–204). In unofficial writings or casual deeds various persons are occasionally described as seneschals; for example, the author of Eustace le Moine styles Cadoc seneschal, and other great bailiffs, Renaud of Ville-Tierri, and Peter of Thillai are found with the title. The last

place immediately; for a short time Philip re-established

' Guérin of Glapion as seneschal;1 but it was soon found desirable to distribute his functions among a small number of powerful bailiffs. In consequence of this step the court of exchequer was left without its usual president, and from this time a special commission seems to have been appointed to preside over the great sessions of the court at Easter and Michaelmas.2 The commissioners were generally sent from France, and thus helped to maintain the connection between the exchequer and the superior Parlement of Paris. For, until the date of the great charter to the Normans of 1315, the Parlement of Paris acted as a court of appeal, verified the accounts of the Norman bailiffs, and sometimes assumed the initiative in the affairs of the duchy as a court of first instance. The proceedings of the exchequer and of the Parlement are a most important authority for the history of local administration during the thirteenth century.4

1. He is described by Philip as his seneschal of Normandy in May, 1204 (Actes, nos. 817A, 825A). The king's hesitations may be illustrated by the way in which he revised more than once the position of Guillaume des Roches in Anjou (Teulet, Layettes, no. 723, p. 267; Actes, no. 997). In Anjou and Touraine an hereditary office was established which lasted until 1331 (Viollet, Histoire des institutions politiques, iii, 258).

2. Viollet, op. cit. iii, 344–5, for the chief authorities. These sessions were held at Falaise. See the Jugements de l'échiquier de Normandie, ed. Delisle, in Notices et extraits des manuscrits (1862), xx, part 2.

3. Viollet, ii, 345.

4. Olim (ed. Beugnot); the Jugements; and Perrot, Arresta Com. munia Scacarii, the first volume of the Bibliothèque d'histoire du droit normand (Caen, 1910).

named frequently presided at assizes held in various towns. But the office of senesechal of Normandy had disappeared, and these instances of the word must be compared with the title which Henry II's bailiff, Hamo Pincerna, gave himself "Pincerna Regis Anglie et senescallus Baiocarum” (Stapleton, I, lix). A mandate of 1219, addressed to the seneschal and justices of Normandy, survives in a vidimus of 1255 (Actes, no. 1910). The form of address is quite exceptional.

The management of the demesne was entrusted to the bailiffs of Rouen, Caux, Gisors, Pont-Audemer, Verneuil, Caen, Bayeux and the Côtentin. Thus the tendency towards the concentration of local administration which may be observed in John's reign, was brought to a logical issue by Philip Augustus. All the bailiffs appointed by Philip after the annexation of Normandy were Frenchmen, and several of them had already filled important posts on the Norman frontier. The king's pantler, who had done service during the wars in the Vexin, became castellan or bailiff of Rouen. Cadoc the mercenary, now lord of Gaillon, became bailiff of Pont-Audemer. Nicholas Bocel, the new bailiff of Verneuil, had been previously entrusted with the control of the march along the middle Eure, and had thus supervised the administration of Nonancourt and other fortresses which had passed some years before into French hands. One of the first bailiffs, whom Philip established in the Côtentin, had been prepositus of Paris. Pierre of Thillai, once bailiff of Orleans, filled the most important position of all in Caen and Falaise. In virtue of his control over the two chief centres of Norman government, he took to a great extent the place of the seneschals of Angevin times.?

It was inevitable that men who were entrusted in a newly conquered country with such vast powers, should at times be guilty of tyranny and extortion. Cadoc especially proved himself a corrupt though an able administrator. 3 But the king was successful upon the

[ocr errors]

1. Delisle's introduction to the inquests of Saint-Louis in the Recueil des historiens de France, xxiv, part i, pp. 97*-146*. Delisle shows, however, that the bailiwick of Pont-Audemer was probably merged in that of Rouen after the deprivation of Cadoc in 1219, and that the Avranchin was, late in the century, detached from Bayeux and joined to the Côtentin.

2. Delisle, pp. 134*-136*. 3. Ibid, pp. 130*-133*. Among other charges he was accused of embezzling £14,200 in money of Paris. See Cart. Norm., nos. 363-6 and notes.

« PreviousContinue »