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the beginnings of something a little more formal.1 I have purposely avoided all the juridical arguments of M. Guilhiermoz; if the historical evidence is lacking, the judicial can hardly be adduced; but although I think the historical evidence is sufficient to allow us to believe in the condemnation, I would also urge that these semi-legal, semi-political, proceedings would easily escape the attention of contemporaries. They hardly form a theme for the chaplain's epic. He was content to say that Philip hastened to take vengeance, that Iohanni retribui possit pro morte nepotis, and this is not altogether unjuridical.2 Since John did not appear, the trial would be short, and all the more easily disregarded.


Great stress, again, has been laid on the silence of the papal letters of 1203. If the trial took place later this is not surprising. And after all, it is not hard to see why Innocent should refrain from mentioning the subject. The point is that he does not mention the disappearance of Arthur, of which he must have heard. It is certain that Arthur disappeared, yet there is no allusion to him; surely then it is rather illogical to say that John was not tried for the death of Arthur, because the pope does not refer to the trial. At this time Innocent was anxious to bring about peace between Philip and John in the interests of the king of the Romans, Otto. He was also in the midst of his efforts to rescue the unfortunate wife of Philip, Ingeborg, from her imprisonment. So far as he took sides he was. certainly supporting John rather than Philip.* One

1. How relatively unimportant the undeniable (first) trial was is seen from any consecutive account of the French court, e.g., Viollet, Hist. des Institutions Politiques, iii, 301-2.

2. v. 16 (Delaborde, ii, 177).

3. Innocent, in his well known letter to the Norman bishops in 1205, refers to the sentence of Philip's court as Philip's plea in justification of his attack on Normandy (above, p. 405), but it is probable that the pope was referring to the condemnation of 1202.

4. Scheffer-Boichorst in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, viii (1868), 511-6.

English chronicler, who was in the way of knowing, states definitely that it was part of the papal legate's duty to find out exactly what had happened to Arthur.1 The documents of 1216 show that the pope had got some information, and professed to think that John's action was justified. After his quarrel with John he doubtless may have made much of the death of Arthur; but here a significant fact appears to show us how vain is this argument from silence. On 31 October 1213 he wrote to Nicholas, bishop of Tusculum, his legate in France, ordering him to collect and destroy by fire every letter which he had written against John to the English bishops, whether before or after the interdict of March 1208, and especially one letter which had been distributed through France, England, Scotland, Ireland, and in the bishoprics of Liége and Utrecht.2 Surely we can no longer wonder that Innocent's letters tell us nothing of the fate of Arthur. It is a curious and noteworthy fact that the chancery rolls for the very years when John was busiest in his furious attacks on the clergy and barons have also been destroyed.


In the previous inquiry I have taken up and examined the arguments used by M. Bémont to controvert the statements that King John was condemned for the death of Arthur by the court of Philip of France. The whole evidence with regard to the murder of Arthur has in this way been brought before the reader, and we have seen that the chronicle of Margam, which is most explicit in affirming the fact of the trial of the murderer, is also best informed on the details of the murder. Setting on one side the problem of the trial, I will, in conclusion, bring together the scattered evidence which tends to confirm the story of the crime as told by the annalist of Margam and William the Breton,

1. Gervase of Canterbury, ii, 95.

2. See Epist., xvi, 133, in Migne, Patrol. Lat., ccxvi, 926. Potthast, no. 4837.

The date given by the annalist is feria quinta ante Pascha, post prandium, that is, on Thursday, 3rd April, since in 1203 Easter Day fell on 6th April. On this day, according to the itinerary drawn up by Duffus Hardy, John was in Rouen.1 Easter is also given by Matthew Paris as the time of year to which French gossip ascribed the murder.2

A few days later, John sent a letter from Falaise to his mother and the distinguished men of the south, in which M. Richard has seen, I think with much probability, a veiled allusion to the fate of Arthur. It is worth giving in full:


Rex ete. Regine matri et domino Burdegalensi archiepiscopo et R. de Thornham senescallo Pictavie et M. Algeis senescallo Wasconie et Petragorum et B. senescallo Andegavie et H. de Burgo camerario et fratri Petro de Vernolio et Willelmo Maingo et Willelmo Coco salutem. Mittimus ad vos fratrem Johannem de Valerant qui vidit ea que circa nos geruntur et qui vos de statu nostro poterit certificare cui fidem habeatis in hiis que inde vobis dixerit et tamen gratia Dei melius stat nobis quam ille vobis dicere possit et de missione quam vobis fecimus fidem habeatis eidem Johanni in hiis que inde vobis dicet. Et vobis R. de Thornham mandamus quod pecuniam quam vobis transmittimus

1. As Miss Norgate has pointed out, William the Breton errs in saying that John spent three days at Moulineaux, a ducal manor a few miles down the river, before the murder; but it is noteworthy that he was at Moulineaux on the day before (April 2nd) and also on the 7th and 8th (Angevin Kings, II, 430). Minor discrepancies between the two authorities are to be noted: according to the Margam annalist the murder was committed in the castle (in turre Rothomagensi) and the body was afterwards taken to the boat; according to William the Breton, John slew Arthur by night in the boat.

2. Hist. Anglorum, ii, 95.

3. Comtes de Poitou, ii, 425.

non dividatis nisi per visum et consilium matris nostre et Willelmi Coci. Teste Willelmo de Braosa apud Faleis xvj die Aprilis.1

The business of the court at Easter had been important, and John may have been encouraged to broach the question of Arthur's fate, as the story in William the Breton rather implies, and finally to have taken the matter into his own hands. Geoffrey Fitz Peter, the English justiciar, was with the king at Moulineaux on the Wednesday:2 his rare and fleeting visits were doubtless the occasion of conference upon public affairs. On the same day John confirmed the administrative measures taken by Guy of Thouars, late count of Brittany, in the honor of Richmond. 8 Moreover, about the same time the king heard that negotiations for an understanding with Castile had been successful. It throws some light on the man's character, that he should steal away from the consideration of such high matters on the eve of Good Friday, to commit the crime which, more than any other, was to bring about his ruin.


I. March 27, 1202, Andeli. Letter from King John to Arthur demanding his presence and service (Rot. Pat., 7b).

Rex dilecto nepoti suo Arturo etc. Mandamus vobis summonentes vos quod sitis ad nos apud Argentan in octabis Pasche, facturi nobis quod facere debetis ligio domino vestro. Nos autem libenter faciemus vobis quod

1. Rot. Pat., 28b.

2. Ibid, 27b. He attests a confirmation of a judgment which had been delivered in the court at Westminster.

3. Rot. Pat., 27.

4. Letter to the archbishop of Bordeaux and others of April 5th (Rot. Pat., 27b, 28). Compare the references to arrangements with the count of Nevers and the chamberlain of Flanders on the 4th and 7th April, in Rotuli de Liberate, p. 29.

fecere debemus caro nepoti nostro et ligio homini nostro. Teste me ipso apud Andeliacum, xxvij die Marcii.

II. July, 1202, Gournai. Letters of Arthur announcing that he has done homage to King Philip, and entered into an agreement with him.

(Original, sealed with Arthur's seal, in Trésor des chartes, J. 241, Brittany; edit. Teulet, Layettes du trésor des chartes, i, p. 236, No. 647).

Arturus dux Britannie et Aquitanie, comes Andegavie et Cenomannie, universis ad quos littere presentes pervenerint salutem. Noveritis quod ego feci karissimo domino meo Philippo regi Francie illustri hominagium ligium, contra omnes qui possunt vivere vel mori, de feodo Britannie, et de Andegavensi, et de Cenomannensi, et de Turonensi, quando, Deo volente, ipse vel ego predicta acquisierimus, salvis omnibus teneamentis de quibus ipse dominus rex et homines sui tenentes erant eo die quo ipse diffiduciavit Johannem regem Anglie pro interceptionibus quas ei fecerat de hac ultima guerra, de qua ipse obsedit Botavant, tali modo quod, quando ego recipiam hominagia de Andegavia, et de Cenomannia et de Turonia, ego recipiam hominagia illa, salvis conventionibus inter ipsum et me factis; ita quod, si si ego resilierim


conventionibus inter ipsum et me factis, ipsi cum feodis suis ibunt ad dominum regem et ipsum juvabunt contra me. Insuper autem de dominio Pictavie feci eidem domino meo regi hominagium ligium, si Deus dederit quod ipse vel ego eam quocumque modo acquisierimus. Barones vero Pictavie, qui imprisii domini regis sunt, et alii quos ipse voluerit, facient ei hominagium ligium de terris suis contra omnes qui possunt vivere vel mori, et de precepto ipsius facient mihi hominagium ligium, salva fide ejus. Si autem illustris rex Castelle in terra aliquid juris clamaverit, per judicium curie domini nostri regis Francie diffinietur, si ipse dominus noster rex Francie predictum regem Castelle et me de utriusque nostrûm assensu non poterit pacificare. De Normannia sic

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