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the counts, and an agreement was reached which was finally ratified with special formality in September 1197. 1 With his brother's consent Count John also bound himself in an alliance with the counts of Flanders and Boulogne. 2 The young Otto took part in the solemn ratification of both treaties, and within a few months shared in their benefit; for we are told that, in his desire to please the king of England, Baldwin of Flanders actively supported Otto's candidature for the empire.3.
All these events caused much anger and annoyance in Philip Augustus. The spring of 1197 had brought misfortunes in the field; in April Richard had swooped down on the seaport of Saint-Valery, part of the dowry of the princess Alice, and after burning the town carried away the relics of the saint. In May he made demonstrations from Gournai in the neighbourhood of Beauvais; while he took the castle of Milli,5 a band of mercenaries under the notorious Mercadier met and captured Philip of Dreux, bishop of Beauvais, whom the king hated. It is possible that during this summer Philip succeeded in
1. Rymer (ed. 1816), i, 67; Stapleton, Observations, II, lxxiii; Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 141; Cartellieri, iii, 164. That the treaty belongs to September seems clear from the date of the similar treaty with John, September 8.
2. Martène, Thesaurus, i, 1158; Meyer's note in Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 141. This treaty is erroneously dated 1196, as Stapleton shows (II, lxxiii). Malo, op. cit., p. 55, repeats the error, and complicates the narrative.
3. Gervase of Canterbury, i, 545. Cartellieri, iii., 176. Like Ralph de Diceto (ii, 152-3) Gervase attributes the diplomatic successes of King Richard to the ability of archbishop Hubert.
4. Howden, iv, 19; Diceto, ii, 152.
5. Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 147-9.
6. May 19th, 1197 (Diceto, ii, 152). For the other authorities and the conflicting evidence on this incident, see Meyer's note, Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 148, to which add Rot. Scacc., ii, 301. "Hugoni de Noef
vill ad expensam episcopi de Belvais c. li iiij. li." William of Mello, who was captured with the bishop, accounted for a ransom of 1000 silver marks (Ibid).
capturing the important castle of Dangu, which guarded a ford over the Epte, and which Richard had recently taken into his own hands. In August he proceeded to chastise the count of Flanders for his desertion. The consequences justified all Richard's hopes. Baldwin had laid siege to Arras, the main acquisition of Philip in the north-east; the king began to lay waste Flanders, and was cut off in the neighbourhood of Ypres.2 He had to surrender, and come to terms. Within a week or two the alliance of Normandy and Flanders was consummated, and Philip had to suffer the mortification of seeing his vassals of Flanders and Boulogne in the company of Richard at Andeli. A conference had been arranged between the two kings, but in his anger Philip broke it up.3 But he saw that he was no longer a match for his enemy; a truce was arranged with a view to peace; and Philip sought the help of Rome.
The moment was a favourable one for a settlement. The emperor had just died; a new and vigorous pope was
1. Howden, iv, 20. For Dangu, see below p. 181. On the other hand, William the Breton (Philippid, v, 105, ed. Delaborde, ii 129) gives the date 1195. The chronology of the years 1197-8 is hopelessly involved and can only occasionally be tested by official documents. For example, Philip's invasion of the Evrecin (Rigord, i, 142) probably belongs to this summer, before the capture of the bishop of Beauvais; but it may also be the same as the incursions mentioned by Howden (iv, 54). Howden, still the safest guide, occasionally goes astray at this period, and often repeats himself.
2. See Cartellieri, iii, 159-60.
3. Howden, iv, 21; Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 142. The conference had been arranged for September 17, but probably took place earlier in the month, on the occasion of the signing of the treaties between the count of Flanders and Richard and John. The treaty with John was made on September 8th at Rouen; that with Richard about the same time at the Isle of Andeli. See above p. 178 and the next note.
4. Gervase says on the September 8th (i, 544).
occasion of the conference, and gives the date The truce was to last until Christmas, 1198, or, according to Howden (iv, 24), till St. Hilary's day (January 13th, 1199). It actually lasted till the autumn of 1198 (iv, 54).
elected in January 1198. The king of England hoped to secure Innocent's approval of Otto as a candidate for the empire; the king of France would wish to turn aside the inevitable interference with his matrimonial affairs. The kings accordingly sent proctors to Rome,1 and the papal chancery was busy throughout 1198 with the affairs of France and Normandy. As Innocent's letters show, the whole field of controversy was covered: the pope listened patiently while the royal proctors argued about the precise meaning of the treaty of Messina,2 interested himself in disputes about Richard's ransom, advised the archbishop of Rouen upon the problems of canonical privileges raised in 1196 by the treaty of Louviers,3 and reviewed in detail the history of the last eight years. On the 31st May, in a long letter to Richard, he announced his intention of making peace in person; but later in the year he sent his legate, Peter of Capua, with powers over France and the western provinces of the empire, to preach the Crusade, secure peace and bring about the restoration of Ingeborg as queen of France.4
The legate arrived in Paris between Christmas and the new year.
The truce had meanwhile come to an end in the autumn of 1198,5 when Philip suffered the last serious disaster of his reign at the hands of an English king. The fighting occurred, as in the previous year, on the borders of the Vexin and in the valley of the Epte, for Richard had revived the dispute about the possession of Gisors. In spite of the explicit arrangements made in 1196, he felt
1. Richard's proctors were bishop William of Lisieux and master Garner (Innocent in Migne, ccxiv, 196–9, no. 230; Potthast, no. 235). 2. Ibid.
3. Nos. 236, 241, 260 (Migne, ccxiv, 203, 206, 219; Potthast, nos. 231, 233, 254).
4. Nos. 345–8, 355 (Migne, ccxiv, 319-22, 329; Potthast, nos. 348, 351, 360, 361, 362).
5. Howden, iv, 54: "finitis trengis quas rex Franciae et rex Angliae statuerant inter se, donec segetes hinc et inde colligerentur."
able to attempt the recapture of what Philip still retained in the Norman Vexin: the Flemish alliance protected him in the north, and new allies, in the centre of France as well as in the Rhinelands, had been attracted to his side.1 The king of France had, therefore, to limit his operations, and to rally the barons of Champagne and the east.2
The French force crossed the Epte by the ford at Dangu and invaded the Norman Vexin in September, after the harvest.3 Although Richard was unprepared, having scattered his army, he was speedily in a position to resist attack, for in the spring he had ordered in England the special taxation and the special levy so familiar to students of constitutional history. He was apparently at this time in the neighbourhood of his new castle at Andeli. With two hundred knights, and the aid of Mercadier's troop, he cut off the French. Philip fled on his old war horse to Vernon.5 The king of England now turned aside with his whole army to the ford at Dangu® and invaded the French Vexin. On Sunday, 27th September, he took the castle of Courcelles
1. See the list in Howden, iv, 54. It includes Geoffrey count of Perche, and Arthur of Brittany; and, most significant, Louis of Blois. Cf. the chronicle of William the Breton (Delaborde, i, 202).
2. Cf. Actes, p. 127, no. 534; p. 129, no. 543, for definite agreements of Odo of Burgundy and Theobald of Champagne, in this year. Philip compelled the count of Flanders to temporary submission in April (Delisle, Actes, etc.; Malo, pp. 58, 59, 256, 259; Cartellieri, iii, 182) but the success was only temporary (Actes, nos. 529–32).
3. Howden, iv, 59.
4. Ibid, 40, 46.
5. Ibid, 59.
6. According to Rigord he had 1500 knights (i, 141). See Richard's letter to the bishop of Durham in Howden, iv, 58. Apparently Dangu was taken, though no reference is made to it.
lès-Gisors by assault, and captured the fort at Boury.1 In the evening he returned to Dangu. King Philip was at Mantes, and hearing that Courcelles was in danger set out to the relief with three hundred knights and a local levy.2 Richard, for reasons which he does not state in his letter to the bishop of Durham—our main authority for what occurred-imagined that Philip would cross the Epte below Dangu and attack the Anglo-Norman forces on the left or Norman bank of the river; he accordingly left his main army at Dangu and reconnoitred with only a small following on the right bank. The king of France preferred to march directly from Mantes towards Gisors.3 Mercadier and Hugh of Corni, a knight familiar with the district, who had been sent on by Richard, reported upon the strength of the French army, and, in spite of its superiority in numbers, advised an immediate attack. The king sent them back for reinforcements, and hastened himself to examine the enemy from a neighbouring height. His trained eye satisfied him that the risk could be run, and without waiting for his full strength, he called those within reach, and burst upon the French like a hungry lion upon its prey.'5 It was a second Jaffa. Philip was routed; Richard's army gathered in pursuit: 'We had them so pressed in the gate of Gisors that the bridge broke under them, and the king of France, it is said, drank of the river, and twenty of his knights were drowned. And in that place we unhorsed Matthew of Montmorenci, and Alan of Ronci, and Fulk of Gilerval with a single lance and kept them captive; and of the French force there were 1. Richard's letter (Howden, iv, 58).
2. "Cum ccc militibus et servientibus et communis suis."
3. Rather more than 30 kilometres, not allowing for the slight detour to Courcelles.
4. A good narrative in Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 145. That the risk was great is clear from Richard's letter: "sed nos idem non fecimus immo Deus et jus nostrum per nos; et in hoc facto posuimus in causa caput nostrum et regnum etiam, supra consilium omnium nostrorum." 5. Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 145.