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local services, Geoffrey was again employed.1 But Richard and John were unable to resist the temptation to borrow and to go on borrowing. John borrowed from everybody, so that the records of the last months of his rule in Normandy give the impression that the revenue must have been far exceeded by his anticipations. The money which he received, for example, from Laurence of the Donjon, a wealthy citizen of Rouen was almost entirely repaid by the officials of the English, not of the Norman, exchequer.2
How far John interfered with the actual operations of trade and the private obligations of his subjects is uncertain. The exigencies of warfare caused an occasional diversion of shipping,3 or prohibition of the export of corn. But, as a restriction of supplies would speedily have followed any tyrannical interference, the king seems to have been careful, on the whole, to respect commercial interests. A more dangerous tendency was shown by the practice of rewarding public service by the remission of debts which his vassals owed to private creditors. That King John had recourse to such action as this is sufficient proof that he was getting to the end of his
1. Rot. Scacc., ii, 300. He was used permanently (cf. i, 236) as a financial agent, but the ransom and the building of Château Gaillard seem to have given him especial prominence.
2. See especially Rot. de Liberate, 40, 57. Laurence was one of the viscounts, or royal farmers at Rouen (Rot. Norm., 107), and apparently in this capacity received certain orders from John (ibid., 48, 49, 50, 59, 100). He received £1000 in 1203 from the English officials which had been granted to the citizens of Rouen for the fortification of their city (Rot. Pat., 25), and at the same time sterling money to the value of £2536. 10s. 10d. Angevin, which he had lent to John (ibid.).
3. See the case of Roger Wascelin of Barfleur and the merchants of Aquitaine (Rot. Chart., 60).
4. General inquisition into unlicensed export on February 11th, 1203 (Rot. Pat., 25).
5. Cf. Rot. Pat., 13b, July 6th, 1202. A general order that victuals coming to Rouen by way of the Seine shall be allowed to pass, and not be bought "nisi per bonam voluntatem mercatorum qui illud adduxerunt antequam pervenerint apud Rothomagum." On the subject generally, see English Historical keview, xxi, 642.
resources. But, in the majority of cases, the creditors who suffered were Jews, and it is well known that the financial operations of the Jewish community were undertaken in face of the risks which were incident to their privileged position. Their elaborate system of agency and credit, 2 which has been explored by modern scholars, may well have included means of mutual insurance. Moreover both Richard and John found by experience that it was wise to give definite protection to the Jews and to their bonds.3 In Normandy, as in England, they were an integral part of the demesne, attached to the chief castles or grouped in the larger towns, and placed under the supervision of special wardens.5
1. For examples, see Rot. Norm., 47, 60, 61, 73, 100. The release of debts was accompanied by restoration of charter and chirograph, which points to a royal control of Jewish bonds in Normandy and Aquitaine, as in England (Select Charters, p. 262). For the kind of service rendered in return, see Rot. Norm., 107, where twenty days' service at Tillières is promised, and Rot. Pat., 32b, "sciatis quod quietavimus Radulfo de Ruperia de plegiagio Willelmi Lexoviensis Episcopi versus Deodanum (sic) Judeum de Vernolio de debito quod ipse Episcopus debuit eidem Judeo, et pro ista quietacione tenebit predictus Radulfus tres milites in servicio nostro cum equis et armis a Dominica proxima ante festum Beati Petri ad vincula anno regni quinto usque ad Natale Domini sequens." Cf. Rot. Norm., 100.
2. Jacobs, "Aaron of Lincoln," in Jewish Quarterly Review, 1898, x, 629; and the same writer's Jews in Angevin England.
3. Above, note 1. John's charter to the Jews of England and Normandy, 1201, in Rot. Chart., 93. Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, i, 468; McKechnie, Magna Carta, p. 266.
4. Cf. Cart. Norm., nos. 207, 208. In February, 1203, John took £200 from the Jews at Dom front, for the payment of the garrison and for the building operations (Rot. Norm., 79). There were also Jews at Verneuil, Rouen, Montivilliers, Lillebonne (Rot. Norm., 61) L'Aigle, Bernay (Rot. Scacc., ii, 315), Caen, Pont-Audemer (Rot. Norm., 116, 118). In 1200 Deodatus of Verneuil found pledges up to a sum of £960 "quod non recedat a terra" (Rot. de Oblatis, 73).
5. Rot. Norm., 116: "custodia escaetarum Normannie et Judeorum preter Judeos Rothomagi et Cadomi." Richard Silvain collected a tallage of £1000 imposed by John on the Jews of Normandy (Rot. Scacc., ii, 543).
I have dealt with the Norman army and tried to analyse the financial administration in time of war. It now remains to bring together some evidence which illustrates the general aspects of warfare in the end of the twelfth century and the policy pursued by the combatants with regard to booty, prisoners of war and the like.
It is impossible to estimate the waste products of these wars, the hardships which it was no one's business to redress, the vast domain of suffering where no principle save that of cruelty was observed. To some extent equity and charity were more active in time of war. The payment of dues was officially remitted on lands wasted in war,1 preparations were made for the reception of fugitives from threatened towns,2 compensation was sometimes secured for the destruction of ecclesiastical property,3 and alms were more freely given to the poor. But such measures as these offered no relief to the man who was forced, by the hardness of the times, to sell his lands or to leave the country. They could not cope with the widespread effects of famine or with the passions of mercenary troops. We can only guess at the amount of beggary, prostitution and starvation produced by feudal warfare.
1. e.g., Rot. Scacc., i, 155, 156, 235, 237.
2. e.g., Dieppe Rot. Pat., 2b.
3. Round, Calendar of Documents preserved in France, p. 18, no. 67; Archbishop Walter's letter in Diceto, ii, 145. Cf. English Historical Review, xxvii, 114.
4. e.g., Rot. de Liberate, 57: "Liberate de thesauro nostro sine dilatione Laurentio de Dunning (i.e., of the Donjon) £510. 9s. 10 d. sterling, pro pacatione quam faciet pro nobis pauperibus gentibus per preceptum nostrum pro cibo nostro." The date is Alençon, 11th August, 1203: when John was besieging Alençon during his last brief campaign. 5. Cf. the charter of Geoffrey of la Bretêche (1200) quoted by Delisle from the records of Lire in his Etudes sur la condition de la classe agricole, p. 197; and the case of the person who lost his serjeanty by going into France in time of war "propter inopiam" (Querimoniae Normannorum, nos. 460, 467).
All we can know with certainty is that those who suffered must have been very numerous. 1
On the other hand feudal warfare was probably, by its very nature, less horrible than the warfare of later centuries, when society had lost its military character and was as yet unprotected by international conventions. It is impossible to believe that Normandy or Touraine suffered in John's reign as France suffered during the Hundred Years' War, or Germany before the peace of Westphalia. In spite of many changes feudal society at the end of the twelfth century was regulated by principles which applied to war no less than to peace. Law in a feudal society was inseparable from force, but was not obscured by it: they were combined in the theory of contract which informed all feudal relations and which was historically connected with the Germanic principle that every limb had its value, and almost every blow its price. Force was never absent, yet was never uncontrolled. In civil procedure we find the elements of war, such as the duel, and the hue and cry; and in war we find constant applications of legal theory. War was a great lawsuit. The truce was very like an essoin, a treaty was drawn up on the lines of a final concord, the hostage was a surety, service in the field was the counterpart of suit of court. The closeness of the analogy between the field of battle and the law court is seen in the judicial combat. Trial by battle was a possible incident in all negotiations.2 In 1188 Henry II and Philip agreed to submit their differences to the test of a combat of champions chosen by each side, and the preliminary arrangements were actually made.3 Philip made a similar suggestion to Richard some years
1. See especially Luchaire, La Société française au temps de Philippe Auguste (1909). Cf. English Historical Review, xxi, 636-7.
2. See the interesting discussion in Lea, Superstition and Force (ed. 1870), pp. 155 seqq.; also Holdsworth, History of English Law, i, 140. 3. Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 87-90.
later. The obvious impossibility of securing guarantees that the issue would be regarded as a verdict no doubt prevented the pursuit of these proposals; the Marshal is said to have pointed out to King Henry in 1188 that, in order to secure fair play, the combat would have to be waged in the court of the emperor or of some other neutral power, such as the king of Aragon or of Navarre. But it seems to have been regarded as a natural and possible form of solution.2
The practices of war and peace touched each other too closely to prevent the extension of common principles even in details. The disposition of prisoners and booty was exactly parallel to the disposition of wreckage. From a wreck the king took gold and silver, silk, chargers and hawks and other precious things; similarly knights and other captives of war and booty belonged to him, unless he surrendered his claim, yet in both cases the captor was recognised to have an equitable right to a share.
Another point of contact between the courts and war was the curiously strict observance of the lex talionis which prevailed between combatants. A grim letter sent by John to Hubert de Burgh in February, 1203, illustrates the extent to which this strange passion for law could be felt. Hubert is ordered to exchange a prisoner in his
1. Diceto, ii, 121 (1194). On the exchequer roll for 1198 (Rot. Scacc., ii, 481) there is a reference to the "campiones Regis, qui fuerunt ducti in insulam de Andele contra regem Francie."
2. There is a Biblical precedent (2 Samuel, ii, 12-16) and several later instances. It should be remembered that questions of right between the king of France and the Angevin kings were settled by legal process e.g., the inquisition into the rights of Saint Martin of Tours and the count of Anjou in 1190 (Teulet, Layettes, i, 158-162, no. 371).
3. Statuta et Consuetudines, c. lxvii (Tardif, I, i, 62).
4. Cf. John's letter of February 7th, 1203, to the constable of Radepont, Rot. Pat., 24b: "concessimus Radulpho Archer quicquid ipse lucrari poterit in Marchia super inimicos nostros et quod idem habeat, salvis nobis militibus et illis qua ad nos pertinent." See also Guillaume le Maréchal, iii, 149, where the Marshal surrenders and receives again as a gift a noble prisoner.