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The following studies are based upon researches which I began some years ago as Langton Fellow in the University of Manchester. They were inspired by the teaching which I received in that university, and I am glad to think that they have been considered worthy of a place in the historical series published by the University Press.
The studies cover a great deal of ground, and I am conscious that many of them are of a tentative nature. At the same time a twofold aim is common to all the chapters in this book. I desire, in the first place, to call attention to the importance of the extensive materials for the study of Norman history, more especially in the twelfth century. Secondly, I hope to show how a fuller use of our neglected Chancery records may illustrate the actual operations of early institutions in war and peace. In the course of the description I have had to deal with several matters which await treatment by more qualified students. For example, I should like to think that the second chapter will encourage some French scholar to write a book which will fill the gap between the studies, on the one hand, of Halphen on Anjou, Latouche on Maine, and Lasteyrie on Limoges, and, on the other, of Boutaric upon Alfonse of Poitiers; or, again, that the appendix upon the division in the Norman baronage will attract some trained genealogist to a neglected field of research.
The reaction of Norman upon English studies must increase in the future. In the third, eighth and tenth chapters I have tried to point out some ways in which the history of England under Henry II and his sons is modified or assisted by an examination of Norman
evidence. In particular I have found, in studying the loss of Normandy, that much light is thrown upon the origin in England of a sense of nationality, and upon the relations between feudal and national ideas. This important problem has been discussed at some length by recent writers, especially in America. It lies behind the long discussion upon Magna Carta, and I feel that much recent criticism of that famous document would have been written rather differently, if its authors had been students of Norman and Angevin, as well as of English, history.
From one point of view, all that I have written is a commentary upon Thomas Stapleton's Observations on the Great Rolls of the Exchequer of Normandy. I join with Mr. Round in admiration for that great antiquary. His work was taken up and carried on by the young Léopold Delisle more than fifty years ago; and the frequent references to their work in the following pages testify both to the value of their labours and to the later neglect of Norman history. I owe most to Professor Haskins of Harvard, amongst modern scholars. He has kindly read several of the early chapters and given me much valuable criticism. Moreover, his essays upon the history of Normandy in the eleventh and early twelfth centuries are a sure foundation for any work upon a later period. The knowledge that he was continuing his elaborate labours upon Norman charters has justified me in limiting the scope of the chapter upon Norman administration. My friends and teachers, Professor Tout, Professor Tait and Mr. H. W. C. Davis have added to a long series of kindnesses by reading and advising me upon various parts of the book. To Mr. Tout's unwearying encouragement I feel especially that I could never do justice in a preface. My friend Professor Weaver, of Trinity College, Dublin, has also been good enough to read one or two chapters;
1. e.g., in C. H. McIlwain's The High court of Parliament (1910). 2. On the work of Stapleton and Delisle, see Quarterly Review (1911),
and my friends Mr. S. 0. Moffet, of the John Rylands Library, Manchester, and Mr. V. H. Galbraith, of Balliol College, Oxford, have helped me constantly by searching for information and verifying references. My special thanks are due to Mr. H. M. McKechnie, the Secretary to the Publications Committee in the University of Manchester, for his continual help in supervising the progress of the proofs through the press.
Finally, I must express my gratitude to the Council of the London Society of Antiquaries for permission to reprint Stapleton's Tabula Normanniæ; and to Mr. R. L. Poole the editor, and Messrs. Longman & Co. the publishers of the “ English Historical Review,” for allowing me to make free use in the text of my articles in that periodical, and to reprint almost entire the essay upon King John and Arthur of Brittany.
Although this is a Manchester book, I have put it together, in the exercise of my privileges, in Oxford and Belfast. These privileges have been very great; in particular, I can never forget the kindly influences of Merton, domus placida,-of the Fellows' Quadrangle, and, most of all, of Bishop Rede's Library.
F. M. POWICKE.
THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY,
1. In quoting from original sources, I have, in nearly all cases, retained the medieval spelling and grammatical peculiarities. Note also, that, unless otherwise stated, reference to Norman finances are made in terms of Angevin money, according to official usage.