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and no ground of appeal from his legislation as opposed to the customs of Normandy. The effect of his policy was simply that the baronage as a class lost political
a influence. But after Normandy had been added to the French king's demesne, the society of the duchy was linked to that of a state with different traditions and customs, a society, moreover, which would naturally claim to be superior to the descendants of Danish pirates. Within a comparatively short time the political sense of Normandy was aroused from the trance into which Henry II had thrown it. Even the Norman Exchequer, largely composed though it was of French officials, felt its influence, and asserted the independence of Norman law by decisions contrary to the Ordonnances of the French kings. In 1315 the Normans received their charter, by which the privileges of classes were preserved and the right of appeal from the Exchequer to the Parlement of Paris was taken away. The next step, derived from the Charter, was the insistence by the Normans on their rights to meet together and to discuss questions of taxation in the assemblies of the estates. The provincial institutions
3 of Normandy were developed, the political aptitude of her inhabitants in their various ranks displayed, and the
1. There was some popular indignation in Brittany against Geoffrey's assize, on the ground that primogeniture, being opposed to natural justice, should be confined to those countries in which it was customary. See the chronicle of Saint-Brieuc, as quoted by Borderie, Histoire de Bretagne, iii, 284.
2. Viollet, Histoire des institutions politiques, ii, 246. The same scholar has pointed out, in the Histoire litteraire, xxxiii, 83, 121, that the thirteenth century custumal (c. 1258) is strongly Norman in tone : "cette affectation singulière qui consiste à envisager, avec une sorte d'entêtement patriotique, un duc de Normandie qui n'existe plus et qui s'est fondu dans le roi de France.” This obstinacy was justified by events.
3. Coville, Les états de Normandie, leurs rigines et leurs développement au zive siècle (1894).
virility of her customs made manifest, not when the duchy was the centre of the Angevin empire, but only after its annexation to France. The stubborn resistance which the Normans made against the English during the Hundred Years' War need cause
no surprise if this development is remembered.
3. The third reason suggested by Gerald of Wales for the success of the French was that, at the French court, the pursuit of arms was accompanied by devotion to the Muses. This is not the place for the examination of the general principle which underlies Gerald's contention. But there is nothing fanciful in the view that the social interests and literary impulses of the time were all in favour of French supremacy.
The court of Philip Augustus was the natural home of a literary tradition, and from his boyhood Philip had learned to associate the great theme of the matière de France, the exploits of Charlemagne and his knights, with the political ambitions of his own
The habits of the French and the intellectual tendencies of the twelfth century gave emphasis to this claim. The frugality and good taste of the French, the fastidious taste which they showed in their luxury, are frequent topics in contemporary literature; and the foreigner who began by despising them, ended in the discovery that they were essential to the chivalrous refinements which were then in fashion. And the conditions which made the French such an illuminating force in the thirteenth century were already present. They were the main force of the Cistercian influence in art. The students of their great university were destined to become prelates in all the lands of western Europe and to send to the Ile de France for the artists, carpenters and masons
1. The tenacity of Norman custom may be studied in the law of the Channel Islands. In the sixteenth century Norman customs still prevailed in a few parishes of the Beauvaisis which had formed part of the honour of Gournai three or four hundred years before ; above, p. 163.
whom they required. Only a very powerful and brilliant court, such as Henry II gathered together in his best days, or only a man of great personal force, as was Richard I, could counteract the influence of the French king and of French ideas.
It is probable that Richard's career did more than Henry's statecraft to rally the chivalry of north-western Europe against Philip. The new chivalry of the twelfth century was not necessarily a political force. It became such in France and learned during the campaign of 1214 that it was an integral part of the French nation. But there is sufficient evidence to show that in England and Normandy the knightly class had few political interests. The growth of a bureaucratic system combined with economic and legal changes 2 to create a class of idle gentlemen with cosmopolitan tastes. Their thoughts were not of law courts or bailiffs, but of tournaments and adventures in vast forests, of fair castles and launds, of hermitages where one could pray and rest. The young king Henry, not his father, was their model. He had “made chivalry live again,” says John of Early, “when she was dead, or nearly dead. .. In those days the great did nothing for young men; he set an example and kept the men of worth by his side. And when the men of high degree saw how he brought together all men of worth they were amazed at his wisdom and followed his lead." 3 Yet they were not dilettanti in their pursuits. Their associations were managed on business lines. The Marshal's practical ability, as well as his moral code, was developed in the following of the young king. There was no reason why this energy should not have been trained
1. See Anthyme Saint-Paul, “L'architecture française et la guerre de Cent Ans," in the Bulletin Monumental (1908).
2. On the effect of Henry II's insistence upon primogeniture in forming class distinctions, see the English Historical Review, xxii, 39.
3. Guill. le Maréchal, iii, 37. In this paragraph I have adopted some sentences from the English Historical Review, xxii, 40-1.
in the service of the state. And for a short time chivalry found a royal leader in Richard. His taste for music, literature and building must have appealed to his generation. His strength and courage made it possible to join his name without absurdity with those of the heroes of chivalry, with Alexander, 'that king who conquered Darius,' and with Charlemagne and Arthur. His captivity had made him doubly interesting : it was due, said William the Breton, no friend of his, to a kingliness which could not be hid. Under his guidance politics could be exciting and for a few years French and Norman were engaged as in a tournament. But with John all was
changed, and the sympathy between the French and the · Normans was no longer suppressed. Political unity joined
two peoples who already had the same speech, manners and ideas.
After the annexation Normandy became a province. As a result of the separation England became a kingdom. The loss of Normandy hastened the twofold development of the English state. The king strengthened his position as the source of justice; the people, under the leadership of the baronage, gradually acquired the power of making the law.
It is now a commonplace with historians that the disaster of 1204 was the direct cause of the Great Charter. The greater barons, having surrendered their Norman lands were free to devote themselves to English affairs, while the less important men, amongst whom those of the north were conspicuous, denied that their feudal obligations extended any longer to service upon the continent, and insisted upon reforms at home. The change came none too soon, for during the later years of the twelfth century the attractions of the continental lands had given
1. See the song composed after Richard's death by Gaucelin Faidit, the son of a burgess of Uzerche, in Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes, i, 362.
2. Gaston Paris, La littérature Normande avant l'annexion, p. 53.
a serious shock to the growth of an English public opinion. For those intent upon knightly occupations England offered no delights, and even if the sons of the feudal gentry had held no property in Normandy they would, like the Marshal, have sought their fortunes across the Channel. The effect of primogeniture, however, had been to make the greater families as much at home in Normandy as in England. In the period which immediately succeeded the Conquest, the Norman kings had encouraged the division of Norman and English lands between different branches of the holder's family.? The Conqueror applied this principle to his own family, when he left Normandy to Duke Robert and England to William Rufus. But Henry I had set aside this precedent, which does not appear to have been followed by many families. When his grandson declared that baronies were indivisible, he stereotyped a practice which seems to have been applied to those baronies which included fiefs in both countries no less than to those which were confined to England or Normandy.3 In consequence many baronial families
1. As the chamberlain of Tancarville genially remarked to the young Marshal, England was not a land for those who would go tourneying; it was fit only for vavasors and stay-at-homes. (Hist. de Guill. le Maréchal, 11. 1530–50.)
2. Stubbs, Constitutional History, i, 394.
3. This point is illustrated by a dispute between Henry of Tilly and his brother William, which was settled in 1200 (Rot. Norm., 8. Cf. 7, 42). William had disputed Henry's right to succeed to the English and Norman lands of his father and mother, but finally agreed to receive certain lands in England to be held of his brother by homage. This result shows that the estates as a whole were regarded as an inclusive barony, and that there was no question of parage.
The question whether a succession was impartible or not was raised in this year in the case of William de Merle (Rot. Norm., 41; Rot. Chart., 76b) : William gave £500 in Angevin money pro habenda carta domini Regis de terris suis tam in Normannia quam in Anglia. Ita si terra ipsius tam in Normannia quam in Anglia nunquam partita fuit inter fratres vel antecessores suos, qui antiquitus fuerunt, inter quos terra illa partiri debuerit si partiri debuisset ; quod ipse et heredes sui terram