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strenuously than of old ? 1 Glanvill gave a historical reason for the change, based upon his reading in the epic literature of the day. The Franks had suffered so much during the wars which had preceded the arrivals of the Normans that their youth had become exhausted. A life and death struggle, such as that between Raoul of Cambrai and the house of Vermandois made many gaps in the ranks. Now, on the contrary,--so Glanvill implied -the balance between Frank and Norman was redressed. Gerald of Wales, after repeating the conversation, adds two other reasons. In the first place, the Normans had suffered from the effects of the conquest of England, for the violent despotism which the dukes had practised as kings of England, had been extended to their Norman subjects, and had been followed by the usual disastrous consequences. And, secondly, the kingdom of France from the time of King Pippin onwards had given a striking proof of the truth, also illustrated by the careers of Alexander and Cæsar, that success in war always accompanies a pursuit of the arts. The French love of learning was a cause of their political victories. 4
Stripped of its literary extravagance, each of these reasons for the decadence of Normandy contains a profound truth.
1. The Normans were faced by a state which was steadily increasing in wealth, population and compactness. The resources of Henry II and Richard I were remarkable, and were perhaps greater in the bulk than those of Philip
1. Giraldus Cambrensis, De principis instructione, distinctio iii, c. xii : “Quare se nunc segnius quam olim Normannia defendit.” (Opera, viii, 257–9).
2. On the twelfth century poem, Raoul de Cambrai, which is evidently in Glanvill's mind, see Bedier, Les Legendes Epiques, ii, 320 seqq.
3. “Effecti violento dominatu et insulari tyrannide Normannos sicut et Anglos oppresserant” (Opera, viii, 258).
4. Howden (iv, 121) in his account of the dissension between the citizens of Paris and the German scholars, refers to Philip Augustus' desire to keep the scholars in his dominions.
Augustus, but the effective strength of the French monarchy was felt by Richard's ministers to be more than adequate to that which they could command.2 If the barons of Aquitaine and Gascony had been consistently loyal, if the resources of Tours and Le Mans had been unreservedly at their lord's disposal, if the Bretons had never provoked a punitive expedition, and if the counts of Flanders, Boulogne, and Toulouse had never deserted the Angevin alliance, then there would have been no doubt as to Philip's inferiorityMen and treasure could have been diverted as necessity arose from any part of the empire to its threatened and vulnerable points. But these happy conditions did not prevail. The resources of the empire, with the exception of English treasure, were not readily available for general use.
Even the wealth of England was very nearly exhausted in 1204. The heavy drain of specie had caused the currency to become seriously debased, so that Henry II's new coinage of 1180 had to be replaced by another in 1205.3 The payment of the thirteenth in 1207 was the last great financial effort of the English people before the chaos of the next ten years. Moreover, in comparing the position of Richard or John with that of Philip, it should be noted that a
1. See, for example, the comparison of their position in the French Chronicle edited by Delisle in the Historiens de France, xxiv, part ii,
2. See Archbishop Hubert's speech in 1197 at the Council at Oxford, Vita Magni S. Hugonis, p. 248. Richard, he said, needed money “qui, sumptibus et militantium copiis inferior, contra regem dimicaret potentissimum, ad suam exhaeredationem et perniciem totis nisibus aspirantem.”
3. Coggeshall, p. 151; Annals of S. Edmund, ii, 13. Cf. in corroboration of the statement that the coinage was clipped, the following entry in the Rot. de Fin., 271 : “Rex mandavit thesaurario et camerario quod liberarent eidem Willelmo (Brewer) DCC marcas de thesauro suo qui fuit apud Wintoniam de grossioribus et fortioribus denariis quas ei comodavit ad redempcion filii sui."
4. Above, p. 393.
great deal of the formers' money found its way into the coffers of their enemies or of their very uncertain allies. The payment of Richard's ransom strained the resources of England and Normandy at the very beginning of the great war. Philip received large sums by the treaties of 1193 and 1200.1 Otto and the princes of the Low Countries were maintained by large pensions. Expensive missions to Rome were constantly necessary. Towards the end of the wars the balance of money paid by each side in ransoms turned heavily against the subjects of John. 2 And, lastly, the needs of the Angevin governments of Aquitaine and Gascony diverted a great deal of money from the main scene of conflict.
2. Gerald of Wales rightly distinguished the absolutism of the Angevin rule in Normandy as a cause of Norman weakness in the struggle with France. As a strong upholder of the claims of the Welsh to independence, at least in ecclesiastical affairs, he was no doubt impressed by the decay of public spirit in England and Normandy. It was no tyranny of the ordinary kind that had prevailed in Normandy. The strong rule of Henry II was not a novelty, and must have found favour with the great majority of his subjects. He simply applied in more complicated conditions those principles of law and order which inspired the rule of the Conqueror and of Henry I. The chronicles only begin to speak of tyranny in the reign
1. Above, pp. 149, 204.
2. For some of the ransoms paid in 1204–5, see Rot. de Lib., 103; Rot. Pat., 41b (the Constable of Chester; Rot. de Fin., 271; Rot. Pat., 41b-42 (W. Brewer the younger); Salmon, Chroniques de Touraine, p. 150; Rot. Pat., 65 (for Girard of Athée).
3. The culminating point is the enormous payment of 28,000 marks, said by Coggeshall (p. 147) to have been paid to the brother of the archbishop of Bordeaux in 1204 for raising an army in Gascony. The rolls show that money was sent to Gascony (Rot. de Lib., 102; Rot. de Fin., 271). Coggeshall states that the archibishop was hostage in England for the fulfilment of the bargain; and it is true that he was in England in 1204 (e.g., Rot. Chart., 123; Rot. de Lib., 102).
of John. The defect of Henry's rule lay in this, that under him Normandy was connected with an empire whose just and elaborate institutions were controlled by a body of officials, and by officials of whom half were not Normans. In the later twelfth century Normandy was brought through various causes—the Crusades, the wealth of the Rhenish cities, the connection between England and the south-west of France, and the growth of Parisinto intimate contact with the civilisation of Europe ;1 and during the same period she came under the control of a highly organised bureaucracy, which was drawn from many different quarters. At the same time a variety of influences changed the character of the baronage and diverted their interest from political to social ambitions. Hence there was a divorce between the baronage and the administration, and John bore the consequences.
This process becomes the more significant when we contrast the position of the Norman baronage at the end of the twelfth century with that which it occupied before the rebellion of 1173, or, again, after the settlement of the duchy by Philip Augustus. Before 1173 the Normans, rebellious and even treacherous though they might be, displayed a keen national consciousness. It is significant that in spite of their love for the heroic legends of Roland and William of Orange, they do not seem to have naturalised the chanson de geste.? They adopted its form, but the matter of their own poetry was more severely historical or religious, and was frequently taken from a Latin original. Their literature satisfied the desire for knowledge, as their adventures took the form of stern practical enterprises. In Master Wace and the later historians in the vernacular they produced an historical school of a sort. Henry II was sympathetic and imagina
1. In the custumal (Tardif, I, I, 37; ii, 33–34) essoins on account of absence in Spain, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, are mentioned.
2. Gaston Paris, La Littérature Normande avant l'annexion (1899).
tive enough to avail himself of this movement. He was the patron of Wace, and the friend of the chief Norman chronicler, Robert of Torigni. For a short time Norman patriotism seemed to be merged in the wider patriotism of the Angevin empire. In his savage satire, the Roman des Franceis, Andrew of Coutances professes to speak for English, Bretons, Angevins, Manceaux, Poitevins and Gascons as well as for his fellow countrymen : they all look to Arthur as their national hero, to the beer-drinking Arflet of Northumberland as their leader. Unfortunately the self-consciousness of the Normans was not often capable of such flights. A faculty for powerful criticism, derived perhaps from the heavy satire of their Scandinavian ancestors, was certainly bound up with their practicality, but it was as easily directed against their own rulers as against the outside world. In 1173 the barons rebelled, as they had rebelled against earlier dukes. They were crushed, and Henry II was free to develop the customs and institutions of Normandy unhindered.3
The dukes of the house of Anjou were not aliens in Normandy; their rule had caused no break in the forms of government. The duchy was not a subject or conquered state, but the centre of a great feudal dominion. Hence there could be no provincial opposition to Henry's rule,
1. Ibid, pp. 46–52. In his Estoire de la Guerre Sainte, the poet Ambroise mentions that during the third Crusade the Angevins, Manceaux, Poitevins and Bretons marched together; but the Normans do not seem to have marched with them.
2. Orderic Vitalis, has a story, quoted by G. Paris (op. cit., p. 39), cf a certain Luke of La Barre, near Pont de l'Arche, who so exasperated Henry I by his rimes, which were of a personal nature, that the king condemned him to have his eyes torn out, a punishment which the unfortunate man evaded by dashing his head against a wall."
3. The young king Henry was at the head of this rebellion, but the causes were not merely personal. He availed himself of the opposition, as the Prince of Wales did in the reign of George III. 4. See Haskins, “Normandy under Geoffrey Plantagenet” in the
lish Historical Review, for July, 1912 (xxvii, 417). This article appeared too late for reference in the preceding chapters.