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to surrender the castle of Beaumont-le-Roger and to swear that he would never again cross the Epte or the Eure into Normandy. On the other hand, Philip probably regarded most of these decisive actions as measures of precaution, not as irrevocable judgments. His attitude after the critical years were over and the victory of 1214 had been won, shows that he was anxious to come to an agreement with those who were not in his peace.
And if we turn to England and compare the attitude of John with that of Philip, it appears still more unlikely that Philip was pursuing a deep policy. Both sides expected that a settlement would be reached; and all vexed questions of private ownership would then be solved. The English chancery rolls for 1204 and the next few years show, as we shall see later, that John by no means hardened his heart, and Philip certainly had not any more reason to harden his.
The truth is that Philip's position in Normandy was unprecedented. For the first time a great fief, which had been independent in everything but name, had been added to the royal demesne as the result of a judicial sentence passed by the French court. In previous years John had freely acknowledged the competence of the court to decide the questions arising from his succession to the Angevin dominions, but he had protested loudly against this attempt to disinherit him. The Pope had throughout refused to express any opinion upon the justice of Philip's action, and it was with some difficulty that the king of France established its validity in the minds of men. The situation would have been easier if Normandy had not been attached by the history of two hundred and fifty years to a country
1. Cart. Norm., p. 289, no. 1080 ; Actes, no. 968. The date is January, 1206.
2. e.g., Jugements, nos. 145, 171. The last reads "judicatum est quod duo soreres Alienor de Barnevilla que sunt ad pacem domini regis, habeant escaetam ejusdem Alienor defuncte, salvo jure tercie sororis que est in Anglia, si ad pacem domini regis venerit.”
which had no traditional connection with France and the French crown. Philip might confiscate Norman lands and regard the followers of John as felons, but he could hardly treat the Normans who stayed in England either as foreigners or rebels. At this period not only were the words 'foreigner,' ‘alien,' 'traitor' invested with the vaguest political meaning, but even the political unity of France was hardly capable of definition.
France in the wider sense of the word represented a bundle of Carolingian traditions which had been maintained by feudal rather than by national institutions, and in which the Normans had the slightest share. In 1204 the French monarchy had not yet interpreted the unity of France clearly in terms of history and geography and law. Although Philip Augustus took the first step towards this interpretation, it only began to find clear expression after another century of legal intrigues on the Aquitanian border and of wrangling about the rights of the empire on the German frontier. Even the clear-cut theories of the publicists of the sixteenth century and of the statesmen of the seventeenth did not resolve all the vagueness in the definition of the French state. Precision only came with the Revolution. Even then the determination of the National Assembly to have no doubts about French rights in Alsace precipitated the revolutionary wars.
With these considerations in mind we cannot be surprised that Philip Augustus did not press forward his vigorous policy in Normandy to what would seem to be its logical consequences. He could not immediately insist, as the Germans insisted in the case of the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine after 1871, that every Norman should decide whether he would be a Norman or an Englishman. He did not attempt to give a precise name to the crime
1. The reader may refer to Kern, Die Anfänge der französichen Ausdehnungspolitik (1910), pp. 15–56, 87-92; and, for the condition of France in this respect at the end of the ancien régime, Brette, Les limites et les divisions territoriales de la France en 1789 (1907).
for which the fugitives lost their lands. They were simply treated as felons, whose lands, like those of any other felons, lapsed to their lords after the king had enjoyed them for a year and a day. It is clear that the cases of injustice or hardship to which I have called attention in the preceding pages were the result of official tyranny or of the inequitable anomalies incidental to every body of law, and not of any additions to the law. Only after a war of fifty years did Saint Louis finally insist that those barons who still held lands both of him and of Henry III, should make their choice between them. It is very unlikely-indeed, if we believe the stories of Louis VIII's oath in 1217 and of Saint Louis' conscientious scruples, it is incredible—that Philip and his successors regarded the Normans who had not sworn fealty to them as traitors. Treachery was a sin against a man, not a political crime against a ruler. In the minds of all men, French and Norman and English, Gilbert of Vascoeuil, who betrayed Gisors to Philip, and Nicholas Orphin, who betrayed Nonancourt to Richard, and the count of Alençon, who deserted John in 1203, were traitors;? but it is unlikely that William des Roches, in spite of his tergiversations, was regarded as a traitor. He had made certain arrangements with Philip in 1199 and with John in 1202, and they had failed to observe them. Nor was William the Marshal a traitor when he did homage to Philip for his
1. Jugements, no. 30 (a. 1208), “judicatum est quod Fulco Paganelli habeat terram fratrum suorum fugitivorum ..... quia dominus rex habuit exitus ipsius terre de anno." Fulk had endowed his brothers in return for service and homage. The practice in Normandy before 1204 is clear from a letter in Rot. Norm., 51 : John wrote to the abbot of Saint Ouen saying that he had given to Richard Comin “exitus terre que fuit Mathaei de Ernenvilla qui est in Francea in instanti anno qui nostri sit. Et vos rogamus quid permittatis predictum Ricardum terram illam interim de vobis tenere per servicium quod terra debet.” For the law, see the Statuta et Consuetudines, c. lxxxviii, 1 (Tardif, I, I, 98). On the custom of Poitou, see Rot. Chart., 198b, and above, p. 25.
2. Above, pp. 144, 168, 233.
Norman lands. The Marshal, on the contrary, was an authority upon moral questions of this kind. He is said to have remonstrated with Philip upon the unchivalrous way in which the latter availed himself of such traitorous vermin as the count of Alençon and his colleagues. Philip might have replied with justice that after his condemnation John had no right to expect the support of his followers; we know that it had been one of the objects of the condemnation of 1202, to give John's vassals an excuse for deserting him. But Philip knew that he was speaking to a gentleman, and he answered as a gentleman, mildly apologetic for himself and frankly contemptuous of his tools. They were, he said, merely a temporary convenience, to be thrown aside as soon as used.2 We know the fate of one of these men.
Hugh of Gournai, after his peculiarly disgraceful treachery in the spring of 1203,3 found no welcome at Philip's court. He took refuge at Cambrai. The story goes that Hugh one day was riding outside the town with the bishop and some of its chief inhabitants, and remarked upon the wealth and beauty of the place. A burgess who was present innocently remarked: “True, sir, but it has one bad custom."
” “And what is that?" asked Hugh. “Sir,” the burgess replied, “there is not a traitor nor thief under heaven whom it does not shelter." 4 Hugh of Gournai stayed for some time at Cambrai, for his lands in England and Normandy were confiscated, but through the inter
1. This follows from the papal letters of October 31, 1203, Migne, Patrologia Latina, ccxv, 182; Potthast, no. 2013. See Petit-Dutaillis, Studies Supplementary to Stubbs' Constitutional History, i, 113.
2. Guill. le Maréchal, 11. 12687–12700. 3. Above, p. 238. Hugh is styled 'proditor regis' in Rot. de Lib., 74.
4. Histoire des ducs de Normandie et des rois d'Angleterre, ed. Michel, p. 92; a slightly different version in the anonymous French chronicle edited by Delisle in the Recueil des Historiens de France, xxiv, part ii, p. 760.
cession of Otto he succeeded in making his peace with John once more at the end of 1206.1
A long time was to elapse before the royal power in France was able to extend the charge of treason to acts of open disobedience as well as to acts against the person of the king.
II. In England, on the contrary, the most distinct result of the separation from Normandy was the development of the idea of treason and of the law relating to aliens. So long as the baronage of England was as much at home in Normandy as upon the other side of the Channel treason in its political sense was an unknown offence. The relations between king and barons were primarily the relations between lord and vassal. The lord himself was a vassal of the king of France. Many of his vassals, as tenants of
1. Rot. Pat., 57b. The Hugh of Gournai, who is described in October and November, 1203, as John's talliator and servant (Rot. Norm., 110, 113) is obviously a different person.
2. In the thirteenth century the right of the vassal to rebel under certain conditions was still acknowledged in France (Viollet, Histoire des institutions politiques, ii, 219). The history of treason in France is bound up with the growth of the belief in the divine right of the king and the extension of the idea of lèse-majesté. See, for example, the chancellor D'Aguesseau's Mémoire sur la jurisdiction royale, written in 1700, to prove that, from the very nature of the secular power, no ecclesiastic charged with lèse-majesté can be exempt from royal jurisdiction (Oeuvres, vol. v (1788), especially p. 337). Illustrations of treason in France in the middle ages are the trial of Arnulf of Reims at Verzy in 991 and the charges against the bishop of Pamiers in 1301. Gerbert. in describing the crimes of Arnulf speaks of his “scelus proditionis et. rebellionis" (Lettres de Gerbert, ed. Havet, p. 205). For the libels and other offences of the Bishop of Pamiers against Philip IV, see Lavisse, Histoire de France, III, ii, 143. These cases are very similar to the trials in Merovingian times described by Gregory of Tours, v, 19, 49.
3. Pollock and Maitland, The History of English Law, second edition, i, 303, 461-463; ii, 500-508; Holdsworth, A History of English Law, iii, 251. Sir Matthew Hale, in his Pleas of the Crown, gave the clue to later writers.