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of John. The defect of Henry's rule lay in this, that under him Normandy was connected with an empire whose just and elaborate institutions were controlled by a body of officials, and by officials of whom half were not Normans. In the later twelfth century Normandy was brought through various causes-the Crusades, the wealth of the Rhenish cities, the connection between England and the south-west of France, and the growth of Parisinto intimate contact with the civilisation of Europe;1 and during the same period she came under the control of a highly organised bureaucracy, which was drawn from many different quarters. At the same time a variety of influences changed the character of the baronage and diverted their interest from political to social ambitions. Hence there was a divorce between the baronage and the administration, and John bore the consequences.
This process becomes the more significant when we contrast the position of the Norman baronage at the end of the twelfth century with that which it occupied before the rebellion of 1173, or, again, after the settlement of the duchy by Philip Augustus. Before 1173 the Normans, rebellious and even treacherous though they might be, displayed a keen national consciousness. It is significant that in spite of their love for the heroic legends of Roland and William of Orange, they do not seem to have naturalised the chanson de geste. They adopted its form, but the matter of their own poetry was more severely historical or religious, and was frequently taken from a Latin original. Their literature satisfied the desire for knowledge, as their adventures took the form of stern practical enterprises. In Master Wace and the later historians in the vernacular they produced an historical school of a sort. Henry II was sympathetic and imagina
1. In the custumal (Tardif, I, i, 37; ii, 33-34) essoins on account of absence in Spain, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, are mentioned.
2. Gaston Paris, La Littérature Normande avant l'annexion (1899).
tive enough to avail himself of this movement. He was the patron of Wace, and the friend of the chief Norman chronicler, Robert of Torigni. For a short time Norman patriotism seemed to be merged in the wider patriotism of the Angevin empire. In his savage satire, the Roman des Franceis, Andrew of Coutances professes to speak for English, Bretons, Angevins, Manceaux, Poitevins and Gascons as well as for his fellow countrymen: they all look to Arthur as their national hero, to the beer-drinking Arflet of Northumberland as their leader.1 Unfortunately the self-consciousness of the Normans was not often capable of such flights. A faculty for powerful criticism, derived perhaps from the heavy satire of their Scandinavian ancestors, was certainly bound up with their practicality, but it was as easily directed against their own rulers as against the outside world. In 1173 the barons rebelled, as they had rebelled against earlier dukes. They were crushed, and Henry II was free to develop the customs and institutions of Normandy unhindered.3
The dukes of the house of Anjou were not aliens in Normandy; their rule had caused no break in the forms of government. The duchy was not a subject or conquered state, but the centre of a great feudal dominion. Hence there could be no provincial opposition to Henry's rule,
1. Ibid, pp. 46–52. In his Estoire de la Guerre Sainte, the poet Ambroise mentions that during the third Crusade the Angevins, Manceaux, Poitevins and Bretons marched together; but the Normans do not seem to have marched with them.
2. Orderic Vitalis, has a story, quoted by G. Paris (op. cit., p. 39), cf a certain Luke of La Barre, near Pont de l'Arche, who so exasperated Henry I by his rimes, which were of a personal nature, that the king condemned him to have his eyes torn out, "a punishment which the unfortunate man evaded by dashing his head against a wall."
3. The young king Henry was at the head of this rebellion, but the causes were not merely personal. He availed himself of the opposition, as the Prince of Wales did in the reign of George III.
4. See Haskins, "Normandy under Geoffrey Plantagenet" in the English Historical Review, for July, 1912 (xxvii, 417). This article appeared too late for reference in the preceding chapters.
and no ground of appeal from his legislation as opposed to the customs of Normandy.1 The effect of his policy was simply that the baronage as a class lost political 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 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
3. Coville, Les états de Normandie, leurs origines et leurs développement au xive 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 race. 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.